Tuesday, June 11, 2013

GUEST POST! Horses make wonderful Companion animals!

By Margaret Wood

A few years ago I attended some workshops that changed my perception completely about horses, definitely a paradigm shift from where my journey with horses was leading, but then again maybe not, maybe I just went full circle back to childhood and the magic with horses.

Margaret with her friend Ribbleton Blue

Horses are not who or what I’ve been told they are, they are much more. We have forgotten or never taken the time to know the path that horses travelled before us! 
 I think we have been blind sighted in the way we view horses because we have used them for  transportation,  work, war and sport,  we  see horses from a human perspective, an extension of our pleasure.
Deciphering the information wasn’t hard because truth resonates deeply, we know it when we hear or see it.

There is such strong emphasis on Alpha thinking these days, dominance/ leadership in so many horse disciplines, it is popular thinking about herd life and I suppose that is because we want to control these large powerful animals and feel safety doing so. However if you study horse herds you will soon realize what social animals they are, with systems, families, bands and that they form deep bonds and friendships with each other, their very survival rests on co-operation and approval!
If you observe happy horses closely, you will discover how much of their being together is defined by harmony and play.
Because of their social nature, horses are emotionally susceptible .They adopt each other’s moods, it is as though a current flows back and forth among them, one lifts his head, they all do and look in the same direction adopting the same energy. Horses love harmony and for the most part alternatively attune to one another, scratch each other, in the same rhythm, in the same spot. They trot and canter in unison and they wrestle the same way .Horses like to feel at one with their friends and organize themselves around mutual harmony.

Margaret and Cisco doing a gymnastic exercise called Jambette at liberty (in a huge paddock)

Our thinking is hijacked because in captivity this harmony can be disrupted, domestic horses in paddocks  are often aggressive toward one another  and can develop strong rigid herd hierarchies, such “pecking order" is a sure a sign of stress that comes from our interference in  their lives. We  control everything about our horses, who they share their space with, how much and what they eat, just about all aspects of their lives. So that usually means competition for food, and many other factors that affect their emotions. Under normal circumstances in the wild there is hardly anything to fight about as there so much space; they can get away from each other, and choose who they spend their time with, and where they graze. 

My point is that many equine teachings tell us to model ourselves as alpha/ leader but I have found this incorrect. I have discovered friendship with my horses, harmonizing with them: there is nothing safer, nor more joyful, no force, no resistance. I've found my horses to be more like dogs. which brings me to point I want to make: horses make wonderful friends and companion animals.

I love my interactions with my horses so much more than before and I never feel that my horses are trying to get one over me or dominating me. They really are such beautiful animals when we stop projecting all this nonsense onto them.

When you adopt the friend model, you give the horse back some choice and freedom, as there is no dominance, no force, no slavery , only plenty of mutual sharing of pleasure.

Margaret playing at liberty with Cisco

The way we train needs is fun and positive (no punishment) and in the awareness that is now proven, animals have morality, empathy, sensitivity, reciprocity and sense of fairness, it’s only fair to them. There is no such thing as a naughty horse, that is a human term and value, horses are usually fearful, in pain or haven’t understood our communication.
There are so many things we can choose to do and be with our horses now, it doesn't matter whether you just love hanging with them, you don’t have to ride, I have had so many older women say to me they can no longer ride but would love horses in their life again, I say do it, there are so many who need rescuing and good homes. There’s horse agility, liberty sports, tricks or Haute Ecole, and that is only a some of what’s on offer!
Also let’s not forget the therapeutic and spiritual experiencing of nature with the help of horses:

Bringing oneself into a greater whole, perceiving the needs of other beings, transforming inner landscapes, developing presence, interspecial communication, body awareness and competent action, within the frame work of communal unity, like the horses themselves. Harmony between human and horse. Horses sensitize us to the environment, they school our sense of the interconnectedness of relationships and give us a model of social competence, honesty, and with them we can become to know again aspects disappearing in today’s world , trust, responsibility, community,  being and finding joy in the present moment and perhaps finding our way to a more humane world.

Margaret and Tenorin, her Thoroughbred rescued from the knackery

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kindness to horses, or outright murder?

Kindness to horses, or outright murder?
Let's call a spade a spade.
People often say, "Poor thing; kinder to put it to sleep." This of course, is often said about horses and not about people. (I'm also a bit disturbed about horses being called "it.")
There seems to be so much concern with the public in general about putting injured or ill horses to sleep, but very little on the other hand about saving their lives.
Do these people who are so very quick to suggest that old/sick/injured horses should be put to sleep advocate the putting of themselves or their relatives to sleep if they are aged, injured, or wounded? I don't think so.
Why then, are they so quick to want horses dispatched to the great hereafter?
Saying it's on humanitarian grounds just doesn't wash - if so, they would be quick to get rid of their great-grandmother or anyone in the hospital injury ward.
This pretense at a kind attitude is in fact a blatant disregard for horses' lives.
If a chair is broken, someone throws it out.
If a human is sick or injured, the same person wants to help them.
If a horse is sick or injured, the same person wants to put them to sleep, and worse still, under the guise of being kind.
It is not kindness; it is an utter lack of regard for the horse and a quick fix to a problem.
Below are two rescued horses, Sera rehabbed by me and Annie rehabbed by Linda Broadbent. These were bad cases with multiple and serious physical issues, but both now are fine.
Sera: Before and After
(Note that the standing photo is after 5 days on heavy painkillers prior to which she was unable to stand and she had been down for 3 weeks - she was unable to be removed from person's 
property until the 5th day on medication. Below is pick up from the property.)

Annie Before and After

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My horses do NOTHING

The other day someone asked me what I did with my horses.
I replied, "Nothing" and immediately felt guilty.
Yet why would I feel guilty? I suppose the reason is that the horse industry makes us feel that we should be doing "something" with horses, as if not, the horses are "going to waste."
The other day, someone made the wise comment that a horse is not going to say, "Oh bummer. I wish I was in the 7th race today at Randwick," or "I wish I'd had 3 foals by now, with my valuable, rare bloodlines!"
I'm not ashamed to say it. They have forever homes with me. They are members of my family.
When I was a child, my riding instructor said to me, "Horses are not pets; they are livestock."
Unfortunately, many horse owners share his view. 
How many dog owners would happily sell on their dog? 
How many cat owners would happily give away the family cat? 
Yet why do many people so freely sell on their horses when they are old or injured?
I expect the reason is that horses are considered to be livestock rather than much-loved family pets, or even members of the family.
The other day, three elderly Standardbreds were rescued from the knackery. One soon passed away. One of these horses had won his owners a large sum of money, but that was not enough to secure him a happy retirement. Another of the horses was a mare who had been imported from New Zealand. Someone at one point thought enough of her to import her, but had not bothered to give her a retirement. This is just one example among hundreds of  thousands. The racing industry on the whole discards horses as if discarding an old pair of shoes. It is not only the racing industry - this can be found in all horse disciplines.
So don't feel bad if you are doing nothing with your horses! Feel okay that they are "going to waste" and "just" being happy members of the family!
Sera - doing nothing.

Leto - doing nothing

Gallifrey and Blondie - doing nothing

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Are you looking for a translation of ALL THREE books of Enoch?
Now is a good time, as Amazon has just slashed the price on the paperback Complete Books of Enoch to $14.93 (was $21.95!!)

This is NOT A PUBLIC DOMAIN VERSION. This is a NEW (2010) easy-to-read translation by ancient languages scholar Dr. A. Nyland and is NOT one of the many century-old public domain translations of Enoch NOR IS IT A REWORDED PUBLIC DOMAIN VERSION of Enoch. Great advances which have been made in ancient word meaning in the last twenty years were unknown to the translators of the public domains of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite the current trend for non-translators to reproduce public domain versions, both as is and slightly reworded, as a commercial venture, be aware that such public domain versions do not take advantage of recent scholarship in word meaning or any corrections in translation.
This new translation by Dr. A. Nyland contains all three Enochian books: 1 Enoch (The Ethiopic Book of Enoch) 2 Enoch (The Slavonic Book of Enoch, The Secrets of Enoch). This volume contains the extended version of 2 Enoch, The Exaltation of Melchizedek. 3 Enoch (The Hebrew Book of Enoch)
Note that this is Dr. Nyland's translation and NOT a public domain work.
1 Enoch tells of the Watchers, a class of angel, who taught humans weapons, spell potions, root cuttings, astrology, astronomy, and alchemies. The Watchers also slept with human women and produced the Nephilim. For this, they were imprisoned and cast into Tartarus. This is also mentioned in the New Testament.
In 2 Enoch, two angels take Enoch through the 7 heavens. This volume contains the extended version of 2 Enoch, The Exaltation of Melchizedek.
In 3 Enoch, Enoch ascends to heaven and is transformed into the angel Metatron. This is about the Merkabah and is of interest to Kabbalists. People interested in Theosophy and Rosicrucianism will find this book invaluable. There are copious background notes and cross references to Bible verses. This book is an easy to read translation with cross references and notes. 
Here is part of a 5 star review by Amazon Top 1,000 Reviewer Relytia:
 "The book is very unbiased and objective, even in the additional "commentary" parts that are scattered numerously throughout the book. Thankfully, Dr. Nyland does not fall trap to the grating, presumptuous mistake that most religiously oriented supplementary book authors do; that mistake being injecting his/her own ideas into the work and treating that as if their own conjecture and speculation is God's inspired word as well (a very arrogant, annoying practice, if you ask me). Rather, the author takes a very scholarly approach by merely presenting the material untouched, and then by giving context to certain terms that appear in the writings themselves. Certain names and terms may be unfamiliar to most (there were many terms I really had no idea about), so there will be a box that informatively tells you what that term meant to people of the time it was written, and may even show you some scriptures that specifically refer to that very same subject."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why can't I be a vegan?

You know, it gets pretty tiring when I constantly, incessantly, have to explain to people over and over and over again why I'm a vegan. 
I don't ask people why they are carnivores. I don't give lectures on health or lectures on eating animals who have been horribly murdered in terror at slaughter houses, or lectures on eating eggs from battery hens. I mind my own business, so people, next time you encounter a vegetarian or vegan, please resist the urge to comment on their eating choices.
People pushing pies and cream cakes in their mouths express fears for my health, worrying that I'm eating "that sort of food."
People with nutritionally-based health problems say to me, "That food can't be good for you!"
Then there are the people who ask, "What about protein?" Ok, we all know that plants don't have protein, right? Wrong!
It's all oh-so-tiring.
I don't comment on the eating habits of other people, so why do they feel free to comment on mine?
Also restaurants think they are so good for having one vegetarian option on the menu. That means that vegetarians are forced to eat that; there is no choice. How would all you non-vegetarians like it if you went to a restaurant and there was no option but one?
I don't try to convert non-vegans, so please don't try to convert me, and please resist the urge to comment on my eating habits. How would you like it if people questioned you every time you tried to eat or make comments about it? I just want to eat in peace.
Ok, now here is my recipe for vegan fake chocolate mousse.
Vegan Non-Soy Chocolate Mousse.
Assemble: organic raw cacao powder - 1 heaped dessertspoon, plus some oat milk, and a lot of baby spinach, and some pea based isolate protein powder.
How much I hear you ask? I am a bad cook, so I have no idea. I just stick them all in. You can use a LOT of baby spinach - you will not be able to taste it, and that makes it thick.
Blend. Don't put too much oat milk in at first or it will be too thin, and you can use a LOT more baby spinach than you will think.
This makes a delicious chocolate mousse.
Here is vegan non-soy fake ice cream. (I am soy intolerant.)
Vegan Non-Soy Ice Cream.
1 can of lite coconut cream (make sure it's the coconut cream, not the coconut milk.)
Put it in a blender with 1 dessertspoon organic raw cacao powder - you can add a dessertspoon of sugar if you like.
Blend it. Freeze it.
Eat it before it's frozen too solid, or you will have to thaw it a little to eat it. It is DELICIOUS!!!
The coconut taste is not obvious in the lite coconut cream but is obvious in the coconut cream. If you use coconut milk, it will be icy, not like ice cream.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New 99c horse rescue book!

My new 99c horse book is now live on Kindle! How to Care For a Rescue Horse.
Rescue horses have different needs. Some may be injured, or have wounds, while others may "only" be skinny. Whatever their circumstances, rescue horses need worming and feed, and these two very things, if not carried out correctly, may harm or even kill the horse. This concise and to the point how-to book also takes the reader through several pictorial case histories.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Perseverance Mauser - first barefoot SA horse to go to World Champs!

South African Arabian horse Perseverance Mauser went through Kikkuli training and along with Laura Seegers has been selected for the South Africa team for the Endurance  World Champs in Great Britain 2012. He has always been barefoot and is a wonderful ambassador for barefoot endurance. The photo taken in Oct 2011 at Schanskraal 160 CEI is with Francois Seegers - Mauser won the heavyweight category 100 miler in 10 hours 09 minutes. Mauser does not wear boots. In his three years endurance career, Mauser has entered 20 endurance rides, and successfully completed 19. A 95% success rate. He has 1800km on his  logbook. A Kikkuli success story! Read more about Mauser's success here!
Find out more about the Kikkuli Method of horse training here!