10-17-2014 3-14-21 PMThe tears flowed as I listened to a song sung by Christina Aguilera, “Say Something.” Christina had no idea that when I was considering what to write on my informational card, I had coined the phrase “connecting with life and the power of choice through horses”.

Life is communication. Communication is relating. Relating is RELATIONSHIP. A healthy relationship is always a 2-way passage: listening/speaking, giving/receiving.
First and utmost, I considered my relationship with Abba Father. Second, I considered my relationship with humans. Thirdly, I considered my relationship with horses. When we “CONSIDER” someone or something, we position ourselves in a place where the eyes of our understanding can be opened!

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Because this is HORSE WHISPRING my focus will be on the equine.
The song states “anywhere I would have followed you.” Horses are TRUE followers. True followers do two things. Want to take a guess what those two things are? (1) They follow and (2) they challenge the leader to see if the leader is worth following. Horses are skilled at outwitting their predators. It is at this point we make a choice whether we will relate as a predator or as a leader, a controller or a communicator. The song also states “swallow my pride.” Human ego is the horse’s greatest predator in domestic life.

Human/horse relationship is not rider teaching horse OR horse teaching rider, but it IS creating an environment! The environment it creates establishes emotional and physical boundaries in which human and horse can understand each other. Horse lovers desire the discipline and the ability to act as one with one’s horse. This requires open, two-way communication between horse and rider. This relationship can be obtained easily, but by no means does it come quickly. To secure a true partnering relationship and open communication with your horse, very specific tools are needed, the most important of which is time.

With his students having been dismissed for the summer, a teacher carried out his months of preparation to ride his Arabian horse from Minnesota to Wyoming to visit his brother. His biggest challenge was when he and his horse encountered a wild stallion. They came through unscathed. His most rewarding event was coming upon a campfire one evening, and the Chief extended an invitation to ‘come and be by the fire.’ He accepted. Needless to say, when his personal goal was reached, the teacher and his horse had quite a connection. True but rare story; however, the point is time spent with horse.

A mother and grown daughter wanted to do something together and spend some time with each other that would include their love and interest in horses. CORRAL CONNECTIONS welcomed them.

I received this letter. “At times I felt like crying. I don’t know why I held back my tears. I felt protected standing so close to the horse, maybe it was its shear [sic] strength next to me. He didn’t use his strength to harm me. I felt connected, maybe because of the beauty of God’s creation. I felt accepted in the moment; the horse didn’t care who I had been or where I would be going. I felt empowered. Today wasn’t just about being with the horse, but learning about the horse and how being and learning translated into lessons about relationships and boundaries. Boundaries are precious. Boundaries enrich a relationship, not suffocate it. Seriously, boundary setting & enforcing established boundaries is uncomfortable for me because I am concerned that setting boundaries will come across uncaring or rejecting! Yet I am aware that HEALTHY relationships REQUIRE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES. I have known how to build walls. That is lonely and disconnecting. My new equation in LIFE looks like this: walking in love = setting and enforcing healthy boundaries.”

And….”My experience today was very nostalgic and reminded me of riding classes I took during middle school. I enjoy learning about various things and appreciate the knowledge Deb shared with me. Although the horse I was grooming was sassy and difficult, Deb patiently explained that he was challenging me, which meant confrontation; not my greatest forte. It was a great practice in being a leader, although I didn’t quite get the horse’s full respect by the end of the day. Spending time with the horses was a great de-stressing experience, which is nice after a long work week. Thank you for the awesome day, Deb!”
Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections
www.corralconnections.com
256-426-7947
Animal B.E.ST. Practitioner
corralconnections@mchsi.com

9-19-2014 2-18-05 PMAn African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” has controversy wrapped around it like bubble wrap. No! Others say, not a village – a family! An idea is that individuals and groups outside the family have an impact (for better or for worse) on a child’s wellbeing. Bill Grace writes, “it takes a village or at the very least a church of great heart to help raise a child.”

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CORRAL CONNECTIONS, founded on Romans 8:15, has been established to provide opportunities to develop self-worth, self- confidence and to experience God’s love through building relationships. God did not leave us alone as orphans. He has adopted us by paying a great price for relationship with us. We are HIS sons and daughters! CORRAL CONNECTIONS will provide opportunities to develop interpersonal skills and confidence in who we are in Christ Jesus and who we are becoming as we learn how to receive God’s free gifts of grace, love, and mercy.

Students will learn about groundwork, haltering, leading, mounting & dismounting, bridling & saddling. Of course we will provide ample opportunity for grooming the horses and daily clean up chores. You will learn principles that can be applied to all areas of life through these activities.

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As you develop sensitivity to the horses, you will also be more sensitive to those around you. Your awareness of varied ways of communication will become evident, and you will see how we can encourage the horses and one another through affirmation and praise.

CORRAL CONNECTIONS mission statement: “We purpose to provide an experience that will be enjoyable, memorable, inspirational and educational while building confidence, esteem and relationship.” We invite you to come and BE BUILT.

The hand of LOVE, in the form of loving grandparents, brought a precious young lad 13 years of age to be with us for nine days and experience CORRAL CONNECTIONS. Upon returning back to Minnesota with Grandpa Donny, an over-the-road truck driver, he wrote about his experience. I received his permission to share with ya’ll.

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“Hey, I’m Eli and Deb is a really good person to do horses with. She has you do things that really help you build connections with the horse you are working with. There was a lot of fear in me working with 1,000 pound animals, but Deb helped me get passed [sic] that by grooming and playing trust games between me and this 1,000 pound animal! There was a lot of stuff that I did to build a relationship with these horses! I have learned MANY things to do with horses to build trust and connections! My main goal was to ride a horse since I was 9/10 years old and this amazing lady helped me do that! NOW I can truly say when I am older I will want to have horses! These animals teach you things about yourself that you didn’t know! I did an exercise on the back of my horse with the assistance of Loren and Deb that rocked me on the INSIDE! I experienced a relaxation and confidence that I had never known before! These entire amazing things Deb had me do all led up to my goal, RIDING HORSES! It was a really FUN experience! Grandpa and Grandma Watson, your love for me creates a space to grow and be rooted and grounded. THANKS! Mom and Dad, I love you! I always will. Loren and Deb “thanks” for impacting my life. Ruhammah, you are a beautiful horse! Thanks for letting me work with you and for teaching me!” ~ Eli Hauser

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I quote, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” (Jimmy Johnson) Because of the extra, extra….you are reading about it!
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” Teddy Roosevelt

That’s what Grandpa Donny & Elijah James did when they stopped in Alabama. That’s what CORRAL CONNECTIONS did when they came.

Eli expressed having fear when he was in the presence of a horse. My final quote is from George Addair who said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” Eli rode a horse!
Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections/www.corralconnections.com
‘A church of great heart’
256-426-7947
Animal B.E.S.T. practitioner
dkitchenmaster@mchsi.com

8-15-2014 4-26-23 PMMaking one single phone call (to inquire if my friend had an extra wormer in her inventory) repositioned me into a new dimension with horses. I was invited to attend a clinic to learn about Animal B.E.S.T. Graciously receiving answers from several questions that had arisen, due to the fact I had never heard of this before, I made a quality decision to attend.
Animal Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (Animal B.E.S.T.) is energy work, which balances the body and updates memory patterns so animals can heal. This powerful technique provides your animal with increased immunity, pain relief, behavior stability, stimulated cellular and tissue repair, and increased performance.

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As an Animal B.E.S.T. practitioner, I feel for the pulse in the animal. This pulse is an energetic pulse, which may feel like a vascular pulse, but there are not necessarily any major blood vessels where you are touching. It is really an energetic pulse. Often the pulse will be a slow, rhythmic one, which may feel different in each of your hands when you first feel it. This is common and demonstrates the imbalance in the animal’s energetic pattern. By holding the pulse until it balances out the same in both of your hands, you will synchronize the animal’s pattern, an indication that interference has been removed.

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There are varied responses to the Animal B.E.S.T. treatment in both distinct and subtle ways. Some obvious reactions you might observe would be muscle spasms, licking, salivating, chewing, yawning, digestive sounds, moving away from or into the point of pressure, or a noticeable change in breathing patterns. Some not-so-obvious signs would include a relaxing or lowering of the head and neck, a “dreamy” softening of the eyes, changes in facial expressions, including a relaxing of the mouth, chin or ears. Sometimes with Animal B.E.S.T., when energy is shifting, the animal may become uncomfortable and want to strike out.

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I would like to share with you someone’s experience with Animal B.E.S.T. “The results that I’ve seen when my own horses have been BEST’d by Deb Kitchenmaster have truly been remarkable. Most recently my old retired quarter horse Doc has experienced some significant pain associated with founder and hip trouble. His pain was to the level that I had thoughts about having him humanely euthanized. However, I believed that as long as he continued eating his meals and greeting me every morning with a nicker, then I wouldn’t give up on him. But I felt so bad to see him in pain. The traditional pain medicines were providing him with some limited relief but I wanted more, so I turned once again to the BEST program. During Deb’s treatment I could see Doc getting more relaxed and “tuned-in.” He started to groom me (something he had never done before), as Deb was balancing out his energy flows and breaking down the blockages. As part of the BEST, Deb had him walk a small figure eight pattern a few times. With each pattern I could see that he was putting more weight on his bad foot! I was so amazed, and thankful for any bit of pain relief that she could provide. I don’t know the ‘hows’ of BEST, but I do believe in the results. Thank you Deb and the BEST Program!”

The training and the information I have shared with you in this article comes from Morter Health System, 215 W. Poplar St, Rogers, Arkansas, 72756. Telephone: 800-874-1478 or visit www.morter.com.

Thank you, Dr. Morter for touching my life that I might reach out and touch others. Thank you Julie and Greg. And last but not least, I want to thank the donkey that is seen from highway 53 in the Ardmore area. After passing my written exam and B.E.S.T.“ing” the stallion I was assigned to, my training required ten case histories on animals. While driving my Mustang convertible on Hwy 53, I was contemplating if this is what I wanted to pursue at this time in my life. In that moment of contemplation a donkey began braying and I chose “pursue.” Thank you Donkey!
Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections – www.corralconnections.com
Animal B.E.S.T. practitioner – 256-426-7947
dkitchenmaster@mchsi.com

7-18-2014 3-02-57 PMI received a phone call asking if I would host two young women from the Women’s Institute of Psychology from Tokyo, Japan who wanted to come to the United States to learn about horses. Two years prior, this same organization had contacted me and asked if I would host a young woman from Zurich, Switzerland. I said yes to this request and was grateful to have met a very lovely young lady from the Alps.

At the time I received the request from Japan, I was on crutches. I had a horse that was extremely sensitive to bugs, flies and mosquitoes, and suffered from allergic reactions to these annoying critters! When this mare sensed a bug was present, she forgot everything and everyone in desperation to free herself from any possible contact. It was in one of those moments that one of her hooves came in contact with one of my feet, hence, the crutches.

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One Japanese student had never been on the back of a horse, and spoke little English. This was her first time to the United States. The other student had experienced one hour on a horse, spoke English pretty well and this was her second trip into the United States. With crutches under each armpit and a telephone at my ear I said “Yes, I would love to have them!” Little did I know that those crutches would serve to be a potent visual aid in answering a question that surfaced from the heart of one of these students!

We started grooming, moving to ‘connecting’ in the round pen, and then went on to the corral. We utilized various obstacles to develop eye/hand coordination. Other exercises included using a hula hoop to loosen up the hips as well as mucking stalls. One student made an entry in her journal stating how surprised she was to notice that horses makes manure in same place every day, and that observation made me chuckle. Of course the most important part of thelesson was communicating and more communicating, so crucial to all successful relationships with animals, humans, or both.

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It was in one of those “‘connecting/communicating” ‘moments when the question was presented to me. It went something like this: “Debbie, I attended Christian school in Japan for two years. I do not understand the Christian way. I see people not needing this Christian God unless they are unhappy, struggling or don’t know what to do. This does not make sense to me.”
“Oh, like crutches,” I thought! These young ladies were with me when I returned the crutches to the rental place just that day. I needed the crutches because I was hurt, and I couldn’t walk on my own until I healed up. With great joy I was able to communicate the difference between religion and salvation. Religion is like the crutches. Salvation is a relationship with a personal, intimate, loving God! When you have a friend like Him, you are safe communicating your failures, weaknesses, and struggles. He becomes the first person that comes to mind when you want to share something happy or something you are thrilled about! He becomes the One who will carry you when you aren’t able to walk on your own.

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When these young students experienced the role of the Holy Spirit as Teacher, they closed their eyes, touched their hearts and nodded their heads. It was precious to behold, and I felt honored to have been a part of such an important lesson.
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2014-06-21_15-28-16New faces, new names, new friendships, and new connections are happening at Corral Connections.

In each session, I purpose to create a pathway for each individual that will be exciting to follow in the arena of connecting with horses and humans. An elder can teach ‘proper’ manners, such as saying ‘thank you’, but gratitude comes from within the heart of the person. Someone can provide a piano for a student and teach timing and notes and keys, however, the music comes from within. An individual can mount a horse and be instructed on certain techniques, but the riding comes from within. Within each person is a leader, and through the horsepower of ‘common sense’, I desire to excavate, awaken (that can be alarming), and improve leadership, with the hopes that ‘corral connectors’ will think beyond themselves. Why? Because when you think beyond yourself, you enter into the zone of “considering.” That, dear reader, is a mega amount of horsepower! When we consider someone or something, we ‘soften’ inside, and connect with the power to understand the person or the situation.

2014-06-21_15-28-40What a learning process! It’s like a spiral. You go over the same steps again and again, each time at a different level, with new perspectives and insights. This type of spiraling is not regression. Each spiral represents growth.

Common sense is about being consistent, sound, reasonable, valid and rational. Being consistent in training, whether horses or humans, is one of the most effective tools used. We have to be effective to be understood. We have to be understood to be effective. If you were drawing a symbol of these past two statements, it could easily be one of a horse and rider.

Common sense reveals the difference between aggressive and assertive. Common sense encourages you to be as gentle as you can and to be as firm as you need to be with your horse or a human. How to be gentle without being timid is another spiral in the learning process. Common sense shows you what it looks like to be firm without being mean or mad.

Isn’t the learning process amazing! Even though our classroom is held outside in an arena of different sizes and shapes, and our teachers have four legs instead of two, we are learning! A precious equine student blessed me with a mug that reads, “In teaching others we teach ourselves.”

Two sisters from Arizona came to visit their Grandparents in Tennessee. They chose to come to Corral Connections, and I am so glad they did! I received emails regarding what their first time experience was like for them. I would like to share some of their comments with you.

“My experience was ‘sooooooo’ amazing! I NEVER thought I could trust a horse as much as that. The horses were very well trained and so beautiful If you are scared of horses, then Mrs. Deb is the “Horse Whisperer” that you can trust to get out of that fear.”

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“My experience at your farm and horse ranch was so amazing. I actually got to connect with my favorite animal…….horses. I got to walk and trot on bareback. It was the most awesome experience I have ever had with horses. Horses are like humans, they need water and food. They also need respect and honor too. They need to be treated fairly too. Just like people do. Horses are beautiful on the outside and on the inside. I learned you can’t expect the horses to do everything so fast. We learned how to get them to trust us and how to get their permission to ride. We learned how to groom and brush them properly I will never forget how amazing this day was.”

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What common denominator word shows up in these two quotes? The word “trust.” Whew! You see, “trust” is a major building block for a healthy identity. Learning to trust begins in infancy, and is the foundation for the toddler to learn about autonomy (independence) versus shame (inadequacy).
Thank you, Michaela and Chelsea!
Your “NEIGH”bor,
Deb Kitchenmaster

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2014-05-16_14-59-01Remember the movie, “Dances With Wolves”? The dedicated soldier mounted a horse that caught his eye, changed the deadlock between two opposing parties, his wounded leg received the medical attention it needed, and one step at a time he walked into a destiny. Most likely, that wasn’t in his mind when he mounted that beautiful horse on that most challenging day!

Little did I know on that “ordinary” day when I saddled up my horse, coins jingling in a blue jean pocket (with the purpose of buying a Crème Soda and a Zero candy bar), descending from Hocking Hill, wading through a creek, smelling the curing of freshly mowed alfalfa, I would encounter intimacy with my Creator!
“Upon A Horse’s Back!” That’s what I titled this particular writing when I asked three questions in my new, living relationship with perfect, unfailing love. (1) What is love? (2) Freedom! Can it be seen? (3) Do my questions bother You?

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“I like to get upon a horse’s back; running free in an open field. I feel security that I’ve lacked while riding upon that horse’s back. The wind blowing through my hair, my mind without a single care; loving to live and living to love, searching for answers from God above.”

2014-05-16_14-59-27“Love, O Lord, what does it really mean?” “Freedom, Lord. Can it be seen?” “Questions I have, answers I need, won’t you help me, LORD, please?”

“My love, My child, is a perfect thing. It makes hearts rejoice and voices sing. To prove to you My love is not a lie, I sent Jesus to earth and for you He did die; freeing you from all your sin, to let you live again. To live a life that’s worth the living, to live a life that’s full of giving. Love, My child, is giving all you have, even yourself, and don’t keep you on a shelf. Open your heart, let ME do what I want to do through you.”

“Freedom, My child, is becoming someone. Someone you thought you could never become. To live a life that’s free from fear. To live a life that’s very clear; having peace within your mind, joy all the time, having the control that you need, as you go about, planting My seed. Freedom, My child, is for you to RECEIVE! Open your heart, YES! In ME BELIEVE! The fruit will come, as I look at you, I’ll say, ‘Well done!’”

2014-05-16_14-59-40“Questions, My child, don’t bother me, for the answers I give will set you free! I just love it when you come and talk to ME, for I know you will be, who I created you to be! So come to ME, My child, every day. You need to take heed and continue to pray, for the day is coming ‘LO’ it’s at hand, when the trumpet will sound and come the SON OF MAN.”

After writing this, I heard a “new” song. It was a simple song, “I’ve got a feeling everything’s gonna be alright. Alright! Alright! Alright!” While outside one “ordinary” day with a couple of horses and my golden lab, Jubilee, this song came to my mind. I began singing this from my core; you know, that place where you find balance while riding. In the presence of only 4-legged friends, I began twirling around as I sang. One horse, Annie, walked away. She wanted no part of this song or dance. HOWEVER, a beautiful chestnut mare, (whose name means ‘great grace’) along with the dog, Jubilee, began twirling around! Seriously! Here I am in the midst of a horse and a dog and we are dancing! Please don’t share my ordinary day with anyone, okay? I just wanted to share this with you. What an amazing moment of worshipping our Creator, along with HIS creation! One horse chose not to participate, but another horse and a dog chose to!

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Happy, happy May days, dear reader, and if you get the chance, “I HOPE you dance!”
Your “NEIGHbor”
Deb Kitchenmaster

2014-04-18_16-06-23One of the many joys of connecting humans with horses is the unforced effortlessness of excavating treasures buried in the human’s heart. Again and again I have eye-witnessed the simplicity of this miracle that can be easily overlooked, ignored, or about which we can be unaware.

Out at the barn I met a young lady. It was but a short time in her presence that I realized she had a secret place deep inside where no one was ever invited. That was until an “equine breath” entered into her “no trespassing, barbed wire” zone! It was this unreachable part of her heart that this horse had every intention to touch!

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The baseline of this CORRAL CONNECTION is that this precious human being suffered from severe difficulties in taking ownership of her life. Made in the image of God, she was created to take responsibility for certain tasks. Check out the first book in the Bible, Genesis, chapter 1, and verse 28. Part of taking responsibility or ownership of one’s life means that one knows what her job is and what isn’t. People who take on duties that aren’t theirs will eventually build walls, shut down, or go away inside.

There are those who aren’t aware that it is okay to set boundaries in their lives due to the fact that their personal boundaries have been previously violated instead of protected, cherished, and valued. The first step here is to acknowledge that it’s alright to (1) have personal boundaries, (2) set personal boundaries, and (3) enforce personal boundaries. Bottom line: let your “yes” be YES and let your “no” be NO.

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It is the setting of our personal boundaries; mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in our lives that bring clarity in what is our responsibility and what isn’t. The action of setting personal boundaries is a great antidote for “confusion”.

Two emotions that popped up like popcorn in a microwave, were guilt and fear. These were faced and acknowledged in the corral connection of horse and human, equipping her so that when in the big arena of human to human interaction, she could transition from toxicity to health.

I enter my round pen through a gate. The gate that enters into the round pen area swings both ways. I can open towards me or away from me. The setting of boundaries always brings in the dynamic of ‘gates’ and ‘choices’. ALWAYS!

Boundaries are NOT walls! Boundaries are your personal property line between you and your neighbor. In these boundaries are gates, gates that let the goodness, safety and health in, and allow the pain, poison and toxicity to exit. OR, gates can allow pain, poison and toxicity in, and causes goodness, safety and health to exit.
Horses, round pens and gates offer a support, awakening, and invitation to humans in creating boundaries. Isn’t that amazing?

2014-04-18_16-13-45What treasure was uncovered from the heart through our CORRAL CONNECTIONS? Feelings! Please don’t put the paper down, hear me out. There are teachings that refer to feelings as ‘fleshly’ or ‘unspiritual,’ and not to be given attention or governed by’. If we are told to run, ignore, pay no attention to ‘feelings’ and we believe and judge them as ‘evil’ or ‘wrong’, we will NOT connect. Feelings come from your heart and tell you something. A feeling can tell you the state of a relationship. Feeling loved, accepted, supported, cherished and safe indicates measurements of a healthy relationship. When you feel numb, rejected, anger, shame, guilt and fear you have a problem in this relationship that needs to be addressed.

The core of the life lesson that was a ‘gift’ to this person during our CORRAL CONNECTIONS is that your feelings are your responsibility. You must willingly face them and make a decision to how you will begin to find an answer to whatever issue they are pointing to. Perhaps it will be asking yourself some questions about a particular relationship, acknowledging something in your belief system that is tripping you up and keep you from walking in the unforced rhythms of God’s grace, or an agreement that needs to be broken, or one that needs to be agreed upon.

Our ability to receive and give love is our greatest gift. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, ‘love one another even as I have loved you.’” Let’s receive His love for us and give it to those we come in contact with.
Your “NEIGH”bor,
By: Deb Kitchenmaster

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2014-03-21_14-17-50As I write this article, I am on a plane, on my way to Colorado Springs, CO. One of our grandsons is marching in his first parade as one of the drummers in his school band. A couple of weeks ago, his older brother took first at a regional through his school’s forensics solar speech competition, and is going to Denver, CO to compete at a state level.

One grandson is all about rhythm and the other is all about communication/language, which leads me to another Horse Whispering Article.

It’s one thing to see that people are different. However, do we also understand, and are we willing to accept that horses are also? What works for one may not work for another.

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Have you met some people who enter the room with their mouth first? Oh, they are so full of high energy, talkative, making jokes and loud? Others are quiet, reserved, and need some quiet time, alone. Some people are quicker to bond than others.

So it is with horses. Some horses are right out there! “Hey! Let’s play! What’s next? Do we have to do the same ole thing again? How about something new and fresh?” By contrast, some horses get overwhelmed because we push them too fast and hard. These horses need us to slow down, be more deliberate and allow them time to process it all! Sometimes these horses can appear to be detached or uninterested, while in reality they are more introverted in nature and need time allowance. Once a human connects with this type of horse and builds a relationship, you will discover a friend that will give you their attention, and help you live a more balanced life. The key to unlock and enjoy a relationship with an introverted horse is to be gentle.

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How many times have you heard the statements, “That horse is crazy”; “That horse isn’t safe to be around”; or “You need to get rid of that horse?” Many times these statements are based on experiences, observations and opinions about a particular horse. Did anyone stop and consider the possibility that this particular horse may NOT be any of the above, but rather an extremely sensitive horse? Or do “sensitive” and “horse” not fit in the same sentence? What if the truth was that a human was in the presence of an extremely sensitive horse? Sure, there will be some challenges in the training of this horse, but if this horse is understood, a building of confidence can be achieved to the point that even a human paralyzed from the waist down could move this horse through the disciplines of walk, trot and canter. Think about it. I have met a few of these “super sensitive” horses personally, and some I have read about.

As with the grandsons, not only are we different in our personalities and learning skills, but we also are emotional. Horses are too!
Because horses are prey animals they have an inner wiring to be aware or sensitive to danger. A horse’s number one emotion is fear. However, horses can become frustrated, irritated and annoyed with humans because of peoples’ unawareness of their personality, their learning curve and their emotional state. This is what I call BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE.

Our relationship with our horse is “squished” when we are unaware, unwilling or uneducated in the whole horse, i.e., personality, learning curve and emotional makeup.

Some ways to deal with emotions that arise in your horse are to get him to move his feet. Whether ground work or riding, please dismount when the thought comes to you to do so, regardless of who is around. Ride forward in tiny circles until your horse slows down on his own accord, and be more patient and consistent.

Good News: Get to know your horse’s personality; answer the question “Is your horse a quick learner, or does your horse need time to process?”And when emotions arise, assess what’s up with your horse and deal with it in a network of safety for you and your horse.
Happy Spring!
Your “NEIGH”bor,
By: Deb Kitchenmaster

I am happy to announce Julia Wood as the winner of the Horse Whispering trivia that was in ATHENS NOW/ Dec 20 – Jan 2, 2014 issue. Congratulations, Julia! It was fun to receive the many responses to the equine trivia. Julia was the first to respond; answering all the questions.

2014-02-22_16-47-35HERE is what Julia wrote:
“When I went to Ms. Deb’s it was so much fun!! We sat in the barn… some sat on hay bales. Ms. Deb taught us all about horses. She told us the parts of the horse. She used a live horse so we could see the parts on him & on our picture. We wrote the names of the parts so we could remember. Then we all got to brush the horses. I learned a lot!!!

Thank you for the horse brush & book.” 🙂
Julia

Although the requirements differed, 18 young ladies, ages 5-16, who came out to CORRAL CONNECTIONS, received their horsemanship badge from having spent time hearing and learning about horses. If you are in an equine group that requires time at a horse facility, please call CORRAL CONNECTIONS at 256-426-7947 and schedule a session.

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In the Aug 17-Sept 6, 2012, edition of Athens Now, I wrote about “CONFIDENCE”. This particular HORSE WHISPERING article ended up in the hands of a horse person in Iowa. THERE in my email box I received my first connection with a NEIGHbor in Des Moines, Iowa. This ‘happened’ to be a timely article for her. Through expressions of gratitude and being encouraged she shared her horse story with me. This fall she came to the South! I asked Christine if she would share her experience with ya’ll. She was honored to do so. HERE is her story.

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“Over the course of 3 weeks my 8 year old Quarter Horse, Willie, transported this Iowa farm girl through some amazing country I’ve never seen before at the Cross Country Trail Ride at Eminence, MO, the Shawnee National Forest in South IL, and Land Between the Lakes in KY. We hauled over 1700 miles. We spent over 100 hours in the saddle in 4 states in 15 days, averaging over 6 hours/ day riding with 4 days of it in rain and 1 day in hail. And after a 20 mile trail ride from KY to TN and back, we woke up one morning in Eminence to a frosty 27 degrees.

2014-02-22_16-47-42This entire trip was full of firsts: my first encounter with a copperhead, seeing Cypress trees with knees, learning about tobacco sticks, riding into territorial ground wasps, zip lining, visiting a pawn shop, tasting liver, persimmon, wild grapes, and grits.

It’s not possible to choose just one beloved new place. The 81 million gallons a day rushing through Alley Spring in Eminence and the barn red color of that grist mill next to that multi colored clear water is unforgettable. Also the metal art was clever and “old West” shops felt homey. The Blue Hole in KY held the prettiest of hidden treasures – rocks turned blue from the process used to create Iron Ore in the area. The hues range from pale to teal, iridescent, purple, and striped. I’d love to live on the edge of the serene One Horse Gap Lake in Shawnee. Lunch at Peter’s cave, taking in the tumultuous clouds at Crow’s Knob, the waterfalls at Jackson Falls and Jackson Hole, the Tin Whistle culvert and tunnel are just a few of my favorite things.

2014-02-22_16-53-53Everywhere we went the people were wonderful: the people at tack stores helping me with saddle fitting, the staff at the various campgrounds, other riders, and non-horse people. The time spent with new fiends and growing closer to current ones was precious.”

Christine and I want to encourage you to go THERE sometime.

HERE (at this time, at this point, at this juncture) is where qualifications were met to receive a horsemanship badge because of choices, decisions and interests INSIDE individuals.

2014-02-22_16-47-14THERE was a connection with another person because I was HERE writing and horse/human sparks ignited a new friendship.
The only difference between the spellings of here and there is the letter “t”.
The “T” reminds me of the cross where Jesus cried out, “IT IS FINISHED”!
May you keep hearing and learning about how much God loves you and how precious you are to HIM.
Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster

1-17-2014 4-27-05 PMLast month’s Horse Whispering trivia question really generated quite a response! Thank you to all who participated, and the winner will be announced in the February column.

Eye/hand coordination is important when one is upon the back of a horse. Some ways to improve this skill while increasing your riding skills are: opening and closing gates, get- ting mail from the mailbox, or finding an object that has been hidden while playing games on horseback.

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One particular summer during horse camps, we had two cats on our ranch; an all white cat with blue eyes by the name of Gideon Charles, and?a black cat with green eyes by the name of McFly! When Gideon came to us he was a tiny, six week old kit- ten, and was as wild as wild can be. He arrived on the back of the topper on our pick up, and bounced from one corner of the truck box to the other. We put him safely in the tack room with all his necessities. Daily I would go out and sit on a hay bale and sing to him. In time, he and I, along with McFly and two German shepherd dogs would go for walks. We simply enjoyed each other’s company.

As the campers came week after week, the dogs and the cats would be right in the midst of what we were doing. At times we had a blue barrel in the center of the round pen, and we would put objects on it. This served a two-fold purpose: developing better eye/hand coordination, and teaching equine terminology.

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The cats and the dogs wanted to be included along with the horses as “teachers”, so they showed up, too. What a classroom! The cats became a part of the eye/hand/ focus/ balance round pen sessions. They were NOT objects, but rather LIVING animals. They chose to come. They chose to jump upon the barrel. They chose?to be touched. They positioned themselves willingly. Relationships between cat and horse and be- tween rider and cat and horse unfolded in this circle called a round pen.

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While there existed a place to develop, even master a skill, this paled in the face of connecting relationships. In connecting relationships there is a willingness to be present, to touch and be touched, i.e. to connect, something for which all creation was designed.

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now,” quotes the book of Romans, chapter eight. What is the whole creation groaning and travailing about? Two things: for the manifestation of the sons of God, and for the glorious liberty of the children of God. I’ve seen it in the eyes of dogs, cats and horses, and I’ve heard it in the song of a bird, a loon on a lake, or a trumpeter swan flying over… ………“Sons of God, children of God, awake to righteousness!”
Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections: Connecting with LIFE through a horse
Animal B.E.S.T practitioner dkitchenmaster@mchsi.com