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Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Day In The Life...

A day in the life of the Highfield Farm Medicine Horses....

The horses come first..always.

I press the button to start my coffee brewing and head to the mud room to slip on my boots and waterproof jacket. We live on the rain coast of British Columbia, Canada which means wet wet wet conditions for much of the year. This gives us lush vegetation but also presents some challenges for the care of the horses.

The pastures are smaller than most since we live in an a neighborhood of small acreages, mainly five acres segments with a few larger sections nearby. The small size means we have to manage them well so this time of year, mid March, we try to keep the horses off the grass until the ground stabilizes.

Luc, Jet, Sirius and Trinity have individual walk out stall / paddock combinations with 'hawg fuel' lining the paddocks. Hawg fuel or hog fuel as some call it is a by-product of the forestry industry and is made up of shredded bark and scrap lumber. The stalls are rubber matted for the comfort of the horses and to make clean up easier.

The walk outs allow the horses to have some manner of choice.
Choice is important to the overall well being and contentment of the horses.

I begin their feeding with a combination of oats, corn, barley, soy hulls and beet pulp, canola meal and a vitamin mineral supplement paying special attention to a particular ingredient that our land lacks...selenium.

Next comes  hay which is grown on the land owned by my friend and neighbor....He is a very meticulous farmer and the hay is always very good quality. Good hay is difficult to find on the south part of Vancouver Island due to the wet conditions and the growing season and so we feel very blessed to have good hay so readily available to us.

The horses have hay available to them MOST of the time, either in their hay racks or outside on the ground if weather permits.

They each have two 5 gallon water pails which are kept clean and full and are checked several times per day.

Salt is added to their daily ration with salt blocks are available to them outside. They rarely use the blocks until they move out to pasture.

While the horses are happily eating I begin to clean the manure from their stalls and paddocks taking care to keep mental notes as to color, consistency, content and amounts for each.
Any deviation from the norm will alert me to any potential imbalances in their system.

Alley ways are swept, feed is measured out and set to soak for the noon feeding and since today is a Medicine Horse Visit Day special attention is paid to their grooming.

Each horse is thoroughly groomed...and balanced make sure they are in the best possible frame of mind to work with the people who will be entering their 'bubble of biology' later today...

For the next hour or so the horses will contentedly finish their breakfast and since it is a fairly warm sunny day they will 'meditate'.
Pictured above...From left to right..Sirius Eclipse, Trinity Red Star and Jet represent the mares as they meditate in preparation for their day with a group of young First Nations children which took place earlier in the week.
Luc lives on the opposite side of the barn and he too is in a meditative state...

'Guests' are scheduled to arrive at 1 pm., our preferred time for visits. I find the horses are at their most relaxed when they are not expecting feed or turnout so fairly soon after they have finished the noon feed during winter months works best.

At 12 noon I top up their water buckets after refilling the hay mangers and giving them their 'grain'.
Paddocks and stalls are picked and tidied and the alley way swept.

The guests arrive and the horses begin to 'work'.
More often than not they will have already connected to the clients long before arrival! as do I.

I greet the guests outside the barn door and as we enter I can see Luc watching us with ears pricked forward. Sirius can be seen and Trinity's nose is poked through the front of her door. No sign of Jet. She has remained outside for now.

It is highly unusual for the horses to be inside and I take note of this.

They usually wait outside until 'entrainment' takes place, the time when the energies of the group harmonize with the energy of the 'place'.
Their eagerness tells me they 'know' these people. They feel 'at ease' with this new energy.
Jet's absence tells me we have no need of her 'specialties' since she only presents herself to deal with particular imbalances.

I feel comfortable and familiar with these new guests as well.

We walk through the barn as I give a short description of the horses. I speak a little about how they came to be at Highfields  and about the large heart gene which they all share. I describe what the horses are doing as they 'lick and chew the air', rub a leg, sneeze and the like. Questions are asked and hopefully answered. One of the guests casually remarks about a sensation in her hands and I speak on that subject for a while explaining that the horses are pulsing energy through our collective system creating more flow especially healing energy flow.....

I bring Luc into the aisle for some 'up close and personal' work and Luc responds to the guests in a very deliberate way which speaks to their own wisdom and healing abilities.
He shares knowledge between us in a way I have seen and felt him do. I have yet to witness this from the others.

Emotion comes up for the guests, some tears gather and I take this opportunity to talk about emotion being energy in motion....nothing more, nothing less and I tell them not to attach stories to the emotion...but these people already have a deep understanding of this process and seem to welcome it with open hearts.

Luc spends what seems to be a very long time with them and to close the session I ask them each to place their hand on any spot upon Luc that they are drawn to touch.

One guest places both of her hands on either side of Luc's jaw and he exhibits a slight involuntary jerk as though he has received an electrical shock which tells me she (the guest) has ample healing energies emanating from her hands..Luc softens under her hands and she steps back.

The other guest steps forward and is drawn to place his hand on Luc's forehead.
Luc rarely allows anyone to touch him there, and the guest seems to intuitively know this. He stops short of physical contact, hovering close by and then gently makes the connection.
Luc allows this to happen and gives a long soft sigh, a release is palpable and he relaxes his hindquarters to show contentment.

I offer to put Luc back into his paddock and he agrees.

The fillies and Jet are visited briefly. Each gives a short scan and moves away to say all is well...nothing more to be done.

The guests bring bags of apples and carrots to the horses and so offerings are made with the remainder of the treats held to be added to the dinner ration.

Goodbyes are said and the Highfield Farm Medicine Horses have completed their working day.

I leave the horses in their quiet spaces to simply 'be' in order to give them the opportunity to continue to process the energies of the day.  I watch as they take turns rolling on the earth, standing and giving themselves a good shake.
Trinity finds a sunny dry spot to lie down and naps for a time while the others sleep standing up. They remain in various states of rest and meditation until dinner time when they are again fed, watered, picked out and brushed off.

I check each one for signs of being 'on the muscle' or distressed in any way but finding none I know all is well at Highfields for the night.....

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