Afternoon Shadows October 16, 2015

Afternoon shadows

Fall on black cows in pasture

Grain bin keeps the gate.

Art Prescription: As I do most Fridays after my two RN days, I headed out to see Finn at the farm. I can be completely exhausted, and my visit with the horses and fresh air renews my spirit. On the way home I take in the gently rolling pastures. Today a herd of black cows against the green pasture made me pull over. As I sat in a drive a white truck approached me. “You okay honey.” “Yes sir, I just pulled off to take a picture of your cows, may I.” “You sure can. Did ya see the babies? They are probably off down near the woods. They are purdy.” He backed up the drive. He had only come down to see if I needed help. Country. A far cry from the news of the day. Just people watching out for each other. I got my photo and headed home. Sigh…

Watercolor sketch 8 x 8

Black Cows

This Town February 20, 2015

Been hanging round this

Town for so, so long, walk paths

Just like yesterday.

Art Prescription:  As I walked to the bus, lunch in hand, I cornered the UNC School of Nursing. Been hanging around this town for a long time. This, it occurs to me, is my life…

Pet sitting for my favorite neighbor cat…watercolor sketching her while visiting.

Matilda sketch

Dragonflies June 1, 2014

Big fat dragonflies

Wings flicker in sun over

Turtles on a log.

Art Prescription:  It was very “buzzy” at Mason Farm today. Lots of winged insects. Dragonflies big as birds, well, almost. Watercolor pencil on 3 x 5 notecard illustration.

dragonfly 3 x 5

Color Galore May 27, 2014

Shelves of pure color

Buy single or in a group

Paint in a pencil!

Art Prescription:  Field trip to the art store today. Shelves of color, watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastels, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, ink, markers. It’s intoxicating!! And oh all the papers…

Well I survived and got out with some exciting stuff to try. A bargain for the spirit.

new pencils

A B C’s of Self-Awareness May 22, 2104

Mountain pose, palms out

Deep breath, an invitation

And then, there she was.

Art Prescription:  Hectic day…and then I went and stood in the field and Lacey came to me. Reminds me of Rumi’s poem:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.”

Lacey meet me there

And Bonus!! My friend and co-rider Ginger Holler wrote a piece about being in the ring. Magic!

Riding around the ring today I was looking at the letters we ride to each week, and was feeling such gratitude for the opportunity to be in the calming beautiful energy of the horses.  As I rode I thought about what each letter represented to me and I made it like a meditation to help me relax, quit clenching my jaw and let Chance, my loving and generous horse set the pace. We set our intention to ride to each letter, try not to use the reigns and just look where we are going and amazingly when clear, he will follow where I look.

So the letters- C- an easy one to connect to – as Alan J Hamilton writes in Zen Mind Zen Horse  the 4 C’s of balanced leadership and essential to becoming are:

Control – Our energy, our thoughts, who is in charge –me alpha when I am riding, under control. Staying calm when the fence and a jacket and the longe rope become a monster.

Command- What are we going to do, turn left, turn right, trot, walk, canter, Stop, take it easy.

Compassion- for ourselves and the herd, knowing that peace and safety for all is the goal of a true leader.   Learning a language that is all body language and energy and being one with the horse- Being congruent.

Communication- what am I saying with my breathing, with my legs, with my Seat, with my energy, with my reigns, with my chattering mind.  The horse will constantly challenge your leadership to make sure you are still worthy, you have to learn to stand tall, be clear in your intention, clear in your communication and understand to stay alpha, the horse has to trust that you will take care of him and not let him get hurt-TRUST between predator and prey.  If I can learn to trust a 1200 lb. horse, and he learns to trust me, maybe I can trust myself and be trust worthy with others.

Letter B – learning how to Just Be, Being in the moment, being one with the horse. Breathe, just breathe and be in the breath, let whatever needs to go – go. Be the Breath.

Letter F- Freedom, the freedom in the mind when you are one with your horse, not thinking about all the stuff you have to do, worries, what next, do I look ok, riding at one with an energy that doesn’t judge, just is – that is  freedom.  Flow- learn how to go with it, not push the river, but rock with the horse, trust he knows what he is doing and be aware of what I need to do to keep in his rhythm, in the rhythm of life- and quit fighting it.

Letter M- Me in motion, riding with the rhythm of the horse, trying to keep my heels down, give clear signals learning to truly be the me I am when no one is watching, the true essence, my soul essence that is me for now and forever without separation, without angst, with just pure energy and joy in Being Me- one with my horse.

Letter K- Kindness, learning to be kind to myself, give myself a break, give others a  break, understand we are all in this together and if the horse can  be kind enough to let me- a predator get on his back- prey, then kindness is what is called for here and really everywhere I look.  Do I really need to be at the front of the line, get in the lane I want the fastest, get the first parking spot I see, or can’t I really just be kind and Flow with it.

Letter H- Healing, ourselves, hopefully share that healing we get with the horses, maybe help them heal too.   Horse- learning what a horse is, who the horse is and  learning to be one with the horse, out of our heads and into our HEARTS- that is the essence of the horse- opening our hearts and letting them in so we and heal ourselves with their help.

Letter E- Energy, that is what I am sharing with my horse his calm, clear energy, teaching me to have my calm clear energy, enjoy the ride, look around feel the wind.

Letter A-Appreciate the opportunity to spend my morning with the horses, with my friends, with our fearless leader, who encourages us gently, Allowing us to learn our own lessons. Thanking the Angels for looking out for us and keeping us safe.   I don’t know if I have all the letters here, I think so, I will check tomorrow to see if I have missed any.  Maybe- but this is my journey, I am learning as I go, learning to watch the herd, be an Alpha with compassion, give myself a break and feel JOY as is my Birthright, YES, this is what it is like to be with the horses, you find your true self, warts and all and what a Ride it is.


Letter G- may not be on the fence, but it is the biggest letter- GRATITUDE, and Ginger, who I am and what I feel for this day, this week, this month this year of riding.  Blue Skies is an apt name for where I ride, I am learning to look up and see the blue sky and appreciate each day with horses and without.  I learn to Trust the horse but first I am learning to trust myself.  Thank You Deborah, for being a part of this glorious journey, I am so grateful for you and all the women in my class, the owners, who trust us with their precious horses, the horses who allow us to ride them and my husband Don who signed me up for Women’s Intuitive Riding- I am all IN.



Ginger Holler
7002 Knotty Pine Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517


New Horses May 7, 2014

Two new mares arrive

The herd greets them politely

Boys settle some turf!!

Art Prescription:  Fascinating day at the farm. Two new mares are coming to visit Blue Skies of Mapleview. So some mixing up of the paddocks was involved. The home-horses were all a bit like, what? new? where is she going? And the two new mares were like, this place has exquisite hay, and we like all the attention, which we will ignore because, well we are new. The boys suffered a bit…Girl Power!!!

Lacy, watercolor pencil quick sketch with graphite.