Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sign Petition against horse slaughter

Message from Petition Website, not my own words:


As a result of spending bill H2112, slaughterhouses in the United States will be able to resume slaughtering horses for human consumption.  We are not a nation that raises horses as food animals or one that consumes horse meat. Rather, horses are largely considered companion animals, more similar to dogs and cats than to animals raised for consumption.  They should therefore be treated as such, and not subjected to mass slaughter. 

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

That's why I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate and President Barack Obama, which says:

"We ask that the House of Representatives, Senate, and President Obama pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, S.B. 1176/H.R. 2966, to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption.  This is particularly important  for the following reasons:

1) Horses are revered for their contributions to the building of this country, their long-standing history of working alongside humans in a variety of tasks, their companionship, and their special bond with people;

(2) Horses are not raised for the purpose of being slaughtered for human consumption and as a result, American horses are not raised, fed and medicated within the FDA guidelines established for food animals, making them potentially unfit and unsafe for human consumption;

(3) Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia, and does not allow for each animal to be respectfully treated as an individual;

(4) Banning slaughter would encourage breeders to be more careful in the number of foals they produce, and ultimately would reduce the number of horses in need, while improving horse welfare; 

(5) President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption; and

(6) Allowing commercial horse slaughter for human consumption in the US uses American tax dollars to support an industry that caters entirely to foreign interests, instead of directing those tax dollars to domestic interests."

Will you sign this petition? Click here:



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Level One Horse with a Level Three Line

Hey Guys!

This happened a few weeks ago but I forgot to write about it! 

I have always wondered what would happen if you put a Level 1 horse on a 45-foot line. Pat and Linda always talk about it, how you shouldn't do it until you and the horse are ready for that sort of thing.

I understood why but some part of me couldn't help but wonder...what would happen?

So one evening I clipped the 45 foot line onto Casper's halter and began playing the 7 games. (Except Sideways. Still having trouble with that game) I left Circling for last. The other games went fine. He didn't  act any different. He didn't really stray more than 15 feet away though either.

So last came Circling Game and I knew that this is where something would probably happen. At first I asked him to walk then trot. I asked him to move out 15 feet away...then 20...then 25. He was a little unsure at first but after some Bullseye-ing and walk/trot transitions he was pretty relaxed. I even got him to jump over a barrel a few times!

Then I decided to ask him to canter. He gave me a look as if to say "Really?" before he bolted! He took off faster than a bullet from a gun. I gripped onto the end of the rope while he took me skiing. I didn't even think of letting go. All I did was tell him "Casper! Young man you better stop right now! What do you think you are doing? Casper!!"

Then as suddenly as he had took off, he stopped - dead on with a cone too. I can see that Point A to B paid off- and looked at me as if to say "What? I only did what you asked. Its not my fault!"

I couldn't help but chuckle. He was rather silly. He just did it to have some fun since his ears were pricked the whole time. But dang that little pony is strong!!

Anywho. Now I know what happens if you put a Level 1 pony on a Level 3 rope. :)

Good night!

School tomorrow :(


Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving- A Movie, A Student, A Mentor and A Pony.

Hey Everybody!

Let me start out by saying Happy Turkey Day to all of you, even if it is a day or two late!

So as you probably have guessed I have been a very busy girl. School has been working me to death. I know its horrible. But yet I am such a hypocrite cause I love my school :) No seriously. I had a bad dream that it was shut down and I had to go to the high school in Ooltewah and I cried. And cried and cried. 

Dead serious.

I am probably the only kid who enjoys school. Oh well. I always knew I was weird. 

Anyway hopefully with the end of the semester approaching my work load will lighten (not likely) but at least it means that Christmas break is almost upon us! (It can not come fast enough) Between convincing my Algebra 2 teacher to give me extra credit and doodling horses in ACT Prep class, I have my hands full ;)

Now that I have given you the update on school (I know, you guys were so looking forward to it.) Let me tell you about the high light of my Thanksgiving Weekend. I GOT TO WATCH THE MOVIE BUCK!! :D
Trailer below *points down*

I have been looking forward to the day when I could finally see this and I am glad to say I was not dissapointed. I laughed and cried and had shivers running down my spine multiple times. It is an amazing documentary. 

Even if you have no interest in horses, I recommend you watch it. It still is just...amazing.

It confirmed several things as well. It confirmed that I indeed was following the right path, the natural path with horses. Also that this is the life I want to have. Clinics, traveling, meeting new people and catching up with the old. Learning from mentors and teaching students. I cannot wait.

On a note of mentors and students. I am glad to say that my mentor Emily Larramore has done splendidly at the Ocala Fast Track despite a hiccup involving switching out horses. She overcame it with grace and still did wonderfully. I hope to talk to her and see her soon. Its amazing how close you can get to someone. Or maybe I'm just clingy. *shrugs*

Now onto students. I have a new student! That brings the number to an all time high of 2!! Riley is a family friend. She is in the 6th grade. Go do the math. 

I chuckle when I think of how she thought Casper (a little 13 hand pony) was big. (PS- She is tiny!!) However Casper fell completely in love with her. She was very soft and kind with him as I taught her to lead him around the arena, going over jumps, doing figure 8s around the barrels and so on. At the end of the lesson we sat on our barrels and he just kept his head right next to her the whole time, relaxed and falling asleep. I was taken back by how much he loved Riley because usually Riley is a hyper little ball of energy and for a Right Brain Introvert like Casper, it usually is too much! But she was calm, almost timid!

I look forward to future lessons with her. Jimmy, my other student is doing well. We have already covered the 7 games and more and may or may not be moving onto riding. With the way the weather has turned, it looks like all riding will have to stop soon. Too cold, too wet, too slippery, too miserable.
I have come to enjoy teaching children. It has indeed been a challenge to think of things from a child's point of view. (But you are a child too Julia! True, but when it comes to what I am teaching, I am used to learning it and thus teaching it from an adult's point of view) Though I still hope to be able to teach an adult soon. I think some balance would be nice. Maybe its the fact that I am 15. Why must people always judge by age? Ugh.

NOW onto that pony. Oh goodness, don't we all know I have a soft spot for ponies. All ponies, all horses. I love them all!! Can I just buy all the horses in the world then give them to people who do Natural Horsemanship? (This is where the child inside me comes out) Anywho, back on topic. I am so excited. I got permission today to go and catch the uncatchable horse and groom her! :) So maybe I'm a little confident about being able to catch her. But I was able to catch Casper when he was deemed uncatchable! 

This pony isn't much different. She just has associated being caught as a really really terrible thing. (Can I blame her?) As do many horses. As did Casper once upon a time. Anywho I am excited.

To those who don't know- catching is my THING. I love the phycology of catching horses. If I could make a living off of that, I would do it. (Well that and other stuff. I think I would get bored eventually) The point is that the whole though process on both the human and horse's sides fascinate me. Why does a horse react the way they do to when the human moves over here? Why does the human walk around this way instead of that way? Does he think he is being sneaky? Wow really you think the horse can't see you? Wow... (interior monologue continues rambling off until you can't hear it anymore)

So thats all I have for now. I'll let you know how catching the uncatchable works out. I'm SO EXCITED! :D (Can you tell?)

Also- Do you think I can convince my school principal to let the teachers play the Today Show during first block at school? I have been thinking about it because I seriously want to watch the news in the mornings at school while I work. And I love the Today Show.
Maybe I'll shoot her an email after Christmas.

On a final note I have felt somewhat out of touch with my dear horsey friends. So let me just say to Kara, Hannah, Emily, and the others (you know who you are!) (no I totally did not just forget who you are!) I love you guys to no ends. CALL ME!! :P No, seriously. Or email me. EMILY email me girly! I MISS YOU! YOU TOO KARA!! Hannah, I get to see you at Conyers!! EEEEEKK! LICK THE WINDOWS! :D


Okay, Julia OUT!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Long Term Goals

I have a new set of goals for next year.

Casper: Audition & pass Level 1 before May

Sharlie: Have my blue string by the Murfreesboro event


Friday, November 11, 2011

New Short-Term Goals: Sharlie

Sharlie Goals
  1. Friendly Game
-On the Ground
● Extreme CS slapping on each side
● Helicopter
    • In the Saddle
Wrap CS around sides
● Rub down w/ CS
● Toss reins over head
  1. Porcupine Game
    • On the Ground
● Pick up feet
● Back up by tail
    • In the Saddle
● Direct Rein
● Indirect Rein
● Yield to leg w/o speeding up
  1. Driving Game
-On the Ground
● Spinning in square
● Zone 3/4 Driving
-In the Saddle
● Riding w/ CS
● Spins
  1. Yoyo Game
-On the Ground
● Phase 1/2 backup & draw on any rope and anywhere
●Million Transitions
~improve downward transitions for walk/canter transitions
-In the Saddle
● Back up w/o reins
● Walk/trot/stop/backup transitions
  1. Circling Game
-On the Ground
● Maintain gait
~ walk 4-5 laps
~ trot 5-6 laps
~ canter 1-3 laps
● Maintain direction
* ‘Tag’ the ground
-In the Saddle
● Circles in body
● Arc
  1. Sideways Game
-On the Ground
● Faster
● Don’t move my feet
● On the square
-In the Saddle
● Start trying
  1. Squeeze Game
-On the Ground
● Jump poles
● Jump barrels
● Gate
-In the Saddle
●Jump poles

Thursday, November 10, 2011


My article for Parelli Central was posted this afternoon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Perspective on Circles

Hey Everyone!

So since watching the Million Transitions DVD I have been doing some pretty serious thinking about the Circling Game. "Million Transitions" or Yoyo game on the circle were not new to me, but I never really thought about it. 

Photo by Charlotte Abramow
Maybe also finally saying out loud that I am going to become a PP also has made me start thinking.

Anyway ever since watching that DVD the horses and I have learned and accomplished quite a lot.

 Lets start with Sharlie: The other day I did some canter-gallop transitions (video above of one of those times) She did buck a couple times at first but after a couple of laps she had a steady gallop which I found impressive! Though I did find out that it hard for Sharlie to do even just one lap cantering and our downward transitions need work. 

Then yesterday I practiced my Neutral while sitting on a barrel as Sharlie was to maintain gait and maintain direction. From sitting on that barrel Sharlie walked, trotted and changed direction. However on the canter I had to stand but did not follow her around (like I did in the video)

It took us about 10 or 15 minutes for Sharlie just to complete one full circle of canter. We ended there by backing her out of the arena from 40 feet away. I stood in one spot and she backed all the way out by just using Phase 1/2!

Casper was truly a shining star yesterday. We have been working on him relaxing trotting on the circle and finally yesterday he relaxed. He blew out and his gait slowed. As he walked and trotted I learned something else about Casper. He is AMAZING at maintaining gait/maintaing direction. Not exactly Level 3/4 yet but still advanced level 2, beginning level 3!

Anywho after a few laps of relaxed trotting I took a risk and asked him to canter! In responce he did something he rarely does- express himself playfully. He arched his neck, pricked his ears, threw his front legs out and then proceded to buck before taking off in the canter.

These wonderful photos were taken by Charlotte Abramow. Here is the link to her blog.

Photo by Charlotte Abramow

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Warm and Cozy

This evening I had the pleasure of curling up in front of the TV and watching the 2 latest Savvy Club DVDs, accompanied with a snuggie and cookie dough.

The Project: I have decided that Mickey is the perfect combination of Pat & Linda. He can teach like Linda but talks about philosophy and previous experiences like Pat. "Step Tree!" :)

A Million Transitions Online: Really got me thinking about all sorts of Yoyo Game. Going to try some transitions tomorrow. Also may try getting Sharlie to gallop...hmmm

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It is Black and White

I have recently found a new interest in drawing horses.
Well, I've always had a interest in drawing horses. But as I sketched and drew and Sharpied over the last few weeks, I developed a style of sorts.

I draw mostly simple lines and then add detail to one particular area- usually the eyes. 

Notice the drawing of Vanna. Her face is pretty much simple lines except for her eyes. No shading except for her eye.

I am also expirementing with shading. (Thus the photo below)
Again I am about simplicity. Notice I don't draw the trees, the horizon...Just Sharlie...

Anyway... yea... just wanted to share. Drawing, drawing, drawing and writing all the time.