By: Deb Kitchenmaster Brother Donny from Blomkest, Minnesota, called to tell me that it is actually warmer in Minnesota than Alabama! Seriously! “Rub it in.” Yes. That’s the reason he called his sister! It’s beyond expression when simply out of the clear, friend/brother calls, just to have some fun. We laughed, enjoyed a connecting moment, said “I love you,” with a promise to come for a visit before too long. Are you comfortable having fun? Are you creative in thinking of fun things to do, safely and soundly? Is fun natural for you or a bit challenging? If you could benefit from having someone in your life that would help you with FUN, that would be a horse. Horses like to play. Some horses have more play in them than others, but play is part of their gift to us humans. I know of some horses that play often. They will kick at each other, then run to the other side of the pasture chasing each other, and if they have the jolly ball, they throw it and race to grab it from the others (they have done this with rubber feed bins too). A friend of mine told me her horses play hide and seek by going into the woods or around the side of the barn to hide from her, and then hurry to another spot. She sees ‘the game’ and hides from them. They try to figure out where she is and if she has treats. Game on! Watch their eyes, their ears, and their tails (swishing or flagged) because it will make you laugh! Personally, I think these amazing horses KNOW more about laughter being good medicine for our souls than we do. Our stallion, EMR Big Sky, has a huge play drive. The more you laugh, the more he entertains. I remember being with Sky in the round pen, and we did this dance. It’s really cool. I asked him to stop, he did, and then he bowed to me. Some friends were over and thought that was the coolest thing they had ever seen. How long did it take for me to train him to do that bowing thing? I didn’t. He simply wanted to bow to me, out of respect? Or being a knucklehead? Only he knows. Isn’t that just funny! Involved with training to become an Animal B.E.S.T. practitioner, I was leading a horse from paddock to indoor arena. On the road several people were out with their cameras for social media and training brochures. Giggles, smiles, and laughter is expressed when I am shown a picture taken of me smiling as I lead my horse. My dear horse, on purpose, deliberately, sticks out its tongue as we pass by the camera. I love it! Why? Because the horse can! What a gift. I’m at a horse show. I stopped to visit with some people I know and their horse started licking my arm like a dog. The twins I’m with asked me what the horse was doing. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” They made some silly comment like, “Only you Debbie.” They giggled. I smiled. Are you comfortable with unanswered questions? I hope so. Horses have a brilliant way of challenging our linear, rational thinking patterns and usher us into open continuum patterns of thinking. When you “shift” from having every “i” dotted and “t” crossed, you may very well find yourself asking frequently, “Isn’t that interesting?” And it is. I can relate to the Disney movie SPIRIT. Do you remember the scene when the man came to trim the horse’s hooves? He ends up with two black eyes, doesn’t he? When Sky was a much younger stallion, I was cleaning out his front left hoof. Extending my hoof pick, Sky flexes his muscle and pops me in the left eye. Ouch! I look at the dude and he’s laughing at me. I said something intelligent like, “I know a vet with a very sharp knife if you don’t straighten up.” I finished that hoof and moved to the front right hoof; same thing, only right eye this time. The next morning I had two black eyes. I got the eye cream out and then applied makeup. Did this become a habit? No. One and done. Did I become more aware of energy, body posturing, my own presence? Absolutely! My heart for you this February: relax, have fun, and laugh. Your “NEIGH”bor, horsinaround188@gmail.com

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