10 Years Ago…

10 years ago (today) – I went to ‘go see a man about a horse’…

Guess who?! My life changed forever – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Pre-Order Available Now!

 

Destruction of Wild Cats – the sorta sequel to Murder of Crows is now available as a pre-order on Kindle, with a release date of October 31, 2016 – yes…Halloween!

What’s it about? Oh, just another little ghost story…but this one takes place in St. Augustine during the 450th Anniversary and requires Liam and Ellie to move ghosts to the safety of the Castillo…not an easy task!

But don’t just take my word for it – watch the trailer and order your copy now!

 

To pre-order for your Kindle, click here!

 

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Oh, Kobi…

A few times a year, I think Kobi tries to see just how much I care about him by getting sick. Yesterday was one of those days. I went out to ride Midnight since Kobi’s allergies are still so bad, and realized Kobi wasn’t ‘right’.

He was drooling this disgusting thick slobber and wouldn’t or couldn’t eat. Every time he tried he would make these bizarre faces, sticking his tongue out and seemed generally miserable. After several attempts to look at his tongue, Les noticed a dark pink spot on Kobi’s tongue – right in the middle- about the size of my thumb.

They say horses are always looking for ways to hurt themselves – Kobi’s no exception. Somehow he scraped his tongue and it was making it painful for him to eat. Having no idea what to do, I consulted Google and about the only thing I could find is that tongue issues aren’t that big of a deal – unless they won’t eat…

I stalked him all afternoon and when he came in to eat his super squishy dinner of soaked beet pulp and pellets, he tried to eat. Broke my heart watching him…

BUT…

after two hours he ate his dinner and was eating hay! Not sure what triggered his eating response to override his sore tongue, but I’m glad it did. I’m back to having a normal horse. Or at least normal where Kobi is involved!

Since we are still celebrating our 10 years together….I have to plug his book. If you haven’t picked up Kobi: Memoirs of a Mustang yet – please do…many more of our adventures await you there!

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Happy September!

When September 1st rolls around, I always feel a sense of relief – relief from the heat and bugs of summer. Don’t get me wrong…it’s still hot and buggy, but I feel the end is in sight!

This year is something special. 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary since a certain mustang came into my life. Kobi and I have outlasted many other relationships! Those of you who know us or have read his book know that it has not been an easy relationship – nothing worth having ever is. But also, as with good relationships, I wouldn’t change a thing…except maybe ease his bug allergies for him!

For those of you who haven’t read Kobi’s story yet…It’s on sale all of September at Amazon – click here! And if you want to follow more of our experiences in Sugar’s story – it’s here! If you would like to celebrate this momentous occasion with us, feel free to leave a review at either link.

Kobi and I appreciate all the well wishes!

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The latest…

Things have been happening fast and furious at the Triple H Ranch the last few weeks – so quickly in fact, I’m having a difficult time keeping up!

School is back in session, which means I’m back to the day job…sort of. I took a different position within the school so I only work 40% now, Thursdays and Fridays, back in the classroom supporting students with special needs.

So that freed up a ton of time that I can spend…writing!

The latest projects include another ghost story which will be released on Halloween – Destruction of Wild Cats. I’ve been busy wrapping up the loose ends and getting a book trailer created (more on that later!)

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I’ve also just finished up Into Amethyst Mists, which is scheduled for December 2016 release, and all of the messiness that’s involved with that one!

 

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As for the horses, working 40% also frees up time to spend with them. Kobi and Midnight are happy and healthy (even tho the gnats are making them crazy) and Jasper still hasn’t moved in yet…soon!

And finally, now that I’ve finished my Yoga Teacher Training, I’m filling ’empty’ time by teaching classes at Downdogz studio. Please come visit me there and enjoy the peace and relaxation only a great yoga class can provide!

While I love everything that’s going on, each day is a new adventure – which I’m embracing to the fullest!

 

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Jasper’s Latest Adventure

As most of you know, I was fortunate to adopt another horse a few months ago – Jasper! He hasn’t come to the Triple H Ranch yet to live or meet his new brother’s, Kobi and Midnight yet, since I wanted to fence off more property for him and the Florida heat (and bugs) haven’t allowed much outside time.

But he’s not being ignored…

I’m helping out at Thompson Therapy’s Horse Camp – which also happens to be held at Jasper’s current home. He is so gentle and amazing with the kids, and was a huge hit at camp! Yesterday was the last day of the camp last week, so the girls painted the horses. Two girls asked if they could paint Jasper!

 

There’s still some spaces left for next week’s camp – sign up and give Jasper some love!

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And the new horse’s name is…

Before I announce  it, I want to thank everyone who submitted their suggestion to me. They were fun, thoughtful, and most of them food related!! There were a few duplicate names (again, mostly food related) and quite a few had thought up ‘Freckles’ which was one of our original thoughts – but still a great one looking at that sweet boy’s face!

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Les and I went around and around – trying to find the PERFECT name for him. We tried pulling names from a hat and almost every evening we tried to eliminate one or two. We even tried to follow in the footsteps of naming Kobi (Comanche word for Mustang) and the Nez Perce word for Appaloosa is m’a min, which is not something that flows off my tongue.

My yoga sister, Meaghan Alvarado, won the rights to be mentioned in my next book as she came up with his new name, Jasper, after the stone Dalmatian Jasper. She was even thoughtful enough to include a link to the definition and meaning to the stone. Just in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link – here are a few tidbits I pulled out that I felt had meaning for Jasper as well as us:

  • it aids in breaking down areas of protection we have place around ourselves
  • release lack of trust in others
  • creates child like joy and enjoyment in life, and finally
  • allows you move forward in life and find true purpose for being here

So from here on out, I hereby declare the Spotted One to be known as Jasper!

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Graduation Day

We did it! Nine of the most amazing women and I have completed our 10 month, 200 hour journey to become yoga teachers.

I remember back to when I made the decision to become a yoga teacher. It was on a cruise with my mom and best friend and we had a horrible yoga instructor on the ship. It was almost as if we weren’t there, and she was put out by having to teach a class at 7 am. That day my course was set (and it didn’t hurt that the leggings I had bought from my friend and later mentor, Mandy, were so comfortable I didn’t ever want to take them off!)

I could not have taken on this amazing quest alone, so here come the thank you’s.

First of all to Les – not only did I spend Valentine’s Day weekend with all my new friends at teacher training, but he’s the one who has, without complaint, taken over everything I’ve let slack on yoga weekends (cleaning, the horses, cooking, you get the idea).

Next my family – I missed out on Mother’s Day since I was also with all of my new friends at teacher training. I am also missing out on my nephew’s birthday in Asheville today due to graduation.

My friends – thank you so much for your support and rescheduling your lives when you tried to include me for things and I’d respond “Sorry, it’s yoga weekend.” That is why I know I can call you ‘friend’.

Lastly, thank you Mandy. You have talked my off the ledge more times than I can count since you knew exactly what I was going through, but also understood the end of the 10-month tunnel. I also can’t thank you enough for having faith in my from the beginning to tell me that I would have a place teaching in your studio – and meaning it!

I have so enjoyed this part of my journey, which I know is only the beginning! Namaste!

 

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Summer Vacation

To me, summer vacation is where I can live my life between one 180-day school year and the next. This year is no exception!

I’m working on changing my amazing back porch into my writing ‘cabin’. The transformation isn’t complete yet, but will be soon. From here – my summer writing plans are to finish book 5 of the cryptozoology series: Into Amethyst Mists.

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I also plan to start on the screenplay for the series. I’ve never written a screenplay, so now seems as good of a time as any to do it!

I’ve also agreed to take on a 3rd horse. He’s a beautiful brown and white leopard appaloosa (whose name is yet to be determined – currently between Biscuit and Cracker). He won’t be moving to the Triple H Ranch until the end of summer, but he’s currently where I will be helping with horse summer camp – so I’ll still get to see and work with him every day!

I will also be completing the first part of my yoga journey on Sunday when I graduate with my 200 hours to become a registered yoga teacher and will be teaching at Downdogz studio every Monday at 4.

And this is just the first week of summer break – imagine what I can do with 8 more weeks!

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Quest for Perfection

I will tell anyone who will listen that I feel as if I have two near-perfect horses…or near perfect for my world.

I was recently working with a horse (that isn’t one of mine) to get him ready to use for Ashley Thompson’s summer camp, which I’ll also be helping out with. The horse has been ‘out to pasture’ for some time now and is underweight and missing that beautiful top line from being worked.

The first time I worked him, he was near-perfect. He rode for about 45 minutes on a trail, but when he was done…he was done. He started crow hopping and min-rearing – nothing serious but enough to get my attention that he wasn’t as perfect as I thought. Our second session I had planned just to groom him and feed him. That’s when I found out that he’s quite food aggressive. He pinned his ears and even swung his rump over to warn me about getting too close. He never acted on his threats – but made them.

Now I was a little more concerned…

But then I took some time to think. The only area I expect perfection is with me and the horses. Yoga has taught me that I’ll never be perfect…so why should I expect perfection out of my horses. Being ‘perfect’ for me is a journey, not a destination…

Case in point: Kobi – I have spent probably thousands of hours working with him. He completely shattered my equine confidence and then built it back up. He is (in my opinion) a horse with one of the best trots and canters around in terms of smoothness. He can neck rein and work off my legs and seat as if through telepathy. But if he’s not in the mood, I can’t get ANYTHING out of him. But I accept his flaws.

Midnight – As near perfect as I’ve ever met. But the first time I lunged him, he broke my lunge line and took a victory lap to the barn. After I recaught him for attempt 2, he pulled the line through my hands and gave me a significant case of rope burn. But I learned. I started using gloves and dropped my level of expectation and worked with baby steps. He still doesn’t pick up his ‘correct’ lead when he canters, but is such a lover on the ground I accept his flaws and will continue to work with him. I can’t put any level rider on him without any worries.

Which brings me back to my original thought: why expect perfection? Find who you love, whether it’s a person or an animal, accept their flaws but continue to grow together with baby steps.

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