Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Exploring teamwork with Jeep and Lucky, the horses

Lucky (left) and Jeep
Well, as you may have gathered from my posts, I have been exploring working with horses as thinking, conscious feeling beings with opinions of their own, and the right to say no.
This has been an interesting journey, that started with childhood dreams after watching The Black Stallion, and grew when I had my first experiences actually "hearing" the horses, and having them listen to me.

I've been pretty busy these last couple months with goat shows and clinics and my mom's 80th birthday.  Tonight was my first chance in a while to just hang out with the horses and catch up on some hoof trimming.

I usually trim with the horses loose in the square pen ( we don't do round pens, which is a story for another day).  I worked on Lucky's front hooves while Jeep his roommate hung out in the same pen to watch and also spend time with his person Cody.  Jeep was very curious about what I was doing, hanging over my shoulder and watching closely.

When I was done trimming, I just stood with Lucky and asked what he felt like doing.  I got a very clear sense that he wanted to play a bit at liberty, and wanted Jeep to join us.  I checked in with Cody, and he was getting that same sense from Jeep.  OKaaayyyyy, I think we can do this.  Hmm...

I asked Lucky to pick a direction and walk, using body language and picturing what I was asking for. Lucky pushed Jeep ahead of him and started circling, then passed Jeep and Jeep followed along.  Just a couple circles and clearly Lucky wanted to do something more.  He picked up a jog.  I agreed and added my body language for jogging and off we went, Lucky leading and Jeep following.  What happened next was the truly fun part.  When I stopped circling and asked for a stop, Jeep rushed over to me and touched me with his nose, then Lucky came over.  This had clearly turned into a version of musical chairs, with the game being which horse would see the stop cue first and get back over to touch me.

We did several rounds of this, with Jeep beating Lucky every time.  He even anticipated a couple times (or maybe I gave a cue I wasn't aware of)  When I had the sense they were done, I just sat down on my heels and they both came over to hang out.  Jeep was very curious and nuzzled me and wanted to share breath.

[side note:  sharing breath is almost a meditation.  Nose to nose, we breath together, me in and the horse out, then the other way around, sharing breath.  It is an act of trust, and really forms a connection]

Tonight was the first time I got a clear sense that one horse wanted to work with me with another horse, and it was pretty amazing.  I'm really excited to see what the 3 of us come up with next.

Copyright ©2016 Carrie Eastman.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or American Veterinary Medical Association, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinarian about any changes to your animal’s health program.

Monday, October 26, 2015

CAE, CL and Johnes in goats

Ever since my holistic book The Energetic Goat came out I've been flooded with questions about the top three tested goat diseases - CAE, CL and Johnes. So I put together a resource for the holistic owner.  If you know of additional information, please comment and I will edit the blog post.

This information has a definite holistic eastern bias, as conventional western medicine says that all 3 diseases are untreatable, incurable, and often grounds for kill-culling the infected goat.

I am NOT claiming to have treatments or cures for any of these diseases.  I AM sharing resources and leaving you to draw your own conclusions about whether or not they are treatable or curable.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Are you being rude to your horse? Energy fields and etiquette

Every living being has an area of personal space around them.  This space can actually be measured and photographed using a technique called Kirlean photography.  Another term for this space is aura, or auric field.

In my experience, horses and other prey animals have a much larger personal space or aura than we people do.  People CAN have a large aura, it's just that many folks make choices that keep them small.

Monday, October 19, 2015

To Soy Or Not To Soy

Soy and soybeans.

That is a pretty controversial topic these days, both for human consumption and for your animals.

Add in how common genetically modifiied (GMO) soy has become, and it's partner glyphosate, and you really stir the pot.

I personally do still use soy for my horses and goats.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Heirloom & heritage plants and animals

How many of you are familiar with heirloom plants and heritage animals?  How about landrace animals?

A heritage livestock breed is a breed that was traditionally raised by farmers before agriculture went large-scale.  These heritage breeds may or may not also be very old breeds.  Some date back just to the early 1900s, some back centuries.  Heritage breeds are typically adapted to local climates and to small and medium scale farming.  Heritage breeds tend to be more able to fend for themselves.  While the genetics within a heritage breed may sometimes be narrowed down by the process of developing the breed, the sheer variety of heritage breeds creates a lot of genetic diversity within a species.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oak Hill fall musings & planning for 2016

Boy, it's been ages since I updated folks on doings at Oak Hill.

You may (or may not) have figured out that a variety of species share Oak Hill with us.  In residence are horses, fainting goats, muscovy ducks, buckeye chickens, dogs, cats, fish and turtles.

As time passes we continue to change or add buildings, fence systems, shelters, feeding programs and all the many details that go into running a small homestead.

Fall is my time for assessing the past season and planning for the next.

We realized that we need to really get back to doing regular soil tests and focus on building the best soils possible, making that the top priority.  The pastures are decent, sure.  We can do better.  The healthier the pastures, the healthier the animals are.  And good pastures save money on hay and supplements.  We had been doing pasture rotation.  This fall and early winter we will be doing soil tests, fertilizing with Dynamite Humizyme (only available by special order - you won't find this on the website), and also spreading the manure that has been composting all season.  (In the past we have just had the manure hauled next door to fertilize the hay we buy).  I'm also planning to experiment with a light application of Redmond salt to make the minerals more available, and possibly applying commercial-grade zeolite powder to neutralize environmental toxins (time to add "locate bulk zeolite" to my planner).  In 2016 the plan is to continue pasture rotation and the runways for the horses, while adding high-intensity high-density stocking and rotation using the goats within the horse pastures (watch for future posts on high-intensity high-density grazing).

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Energetic Goat

Whoot!!!  It's here!  I finally wrote my first book.

My dad always wanted me to write books.  I don't think he thought my topic would be practical applied kinesiology for goats.  Hopefully he's chuckling...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Emotional Freedom Technique for animals & people

Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is a major tool in my toolbox for myself and my animals.

To quote Garry Craig, "EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques (sometimes called Tapping) and, in essence, it is an emotional version of acupuncture, except we don't use needles.  Instead, we stimulate certain meridian points on the body by tapping on them with our fingertips.  This has shown repeatedly to reduce the conventional therapy process from months or years down to minutes, hours or a few sessions."

To put it another way, I use EFT to clear emotional baggage from animals and people.  It is fast, simple, and easy to learn.  For the equestrian, it can even be done one-handed while riding your horse if issues come up. You can do surrogate EFT, tapping away the emotional issues of your animals on your own body, or you tap directly on your animal.  You can tap yourself.

Garry feels that EFT is a tool that should be available to everyone at no cost and his website is packed with free manuals, videos, a blog, and more!