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.

Enter to win

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When asked why my horses are so special to me, I said this:

My horses aren't just horses. They are my angels. Not religious angels, just angels. 

They are always there when I need them, no matter what. They make sure they make me laugh when I'm sad. They make me feel safe when I'm scared. They make me see reason when I'm unreasonable. I didn't save them. They saved me and they still save me every day. I couldn't imagine my life without either one of them. 

Sharlie is my joker, my sweetheart. She makes me smile and laugh, and even though we argue I know that she still loves me and she knows I still love her.

 Casper is my saviour. He always pulls me out when I'm in a dark place. I am convinced he was a pegasus in his previous life. He is truly my soulmate in horse form. I've never felt so close to a horse as I have with Casper. Of course Sharlie and Casper are special to me.

 Wouldn't your guardian angels be special to you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

To Be Forgiven

   A few years ago, over the summer I attempted to join up with Casper (who at the time was Little Britches) in an attempt to prove my worthiness and to try and reach out the the conservative pony. There was very little progress in either way. He would go on, around and around, for almost an hour before finally giving some signals of wanting to stop. Even the best he would do was just stop and look at my turned back. He would not...or perhaps could not... come in and meet me in the middle.

   After a time I learned more and more about Casper's horsenality and just more about Natural Horsemanship in general. I realized that by attempting to join up with him I had made a mistake. I began hating myself for what I did. The experience with joining up in the round pen had only added to Casper's fear and resentment of the round pen.

   Another thing on the lists which he didn't understand what was wanted of him.

   One of my 'things' with Casper is forgiveness. I hope and work toward Casper forgiving me for the sins done by myself and others before me.

   Casper forgiving me for that terrible summer was on the list.

   Recently Mom was encouraging me to try again. Finally, on Saturday, I decided I would try. I had to admit our relationship wwas much stronger than before and he was practically a different horse now compared to before.

   So I gave it a try. At first he panicked. So I took off a lot of the pressure, asking him to just stay in the trot. After several laps I began to worry that it had been a mistake. He was still tense, panicky. Maybe I should just quit before the damage is too severe.

   That was when he began to relax and settle into a slow trot. He didn't lower his head or chew the air, but he had his ear fixed on me and he blew out severa times.

   I turned away from him and listened carefully to the slowing of hooves. Then there was silence. He wasn't walking. He wasn't eating. He was just standing there, on the edge again.

   "He is looking at you." Mom whispered.

   So that is it I thought in despair. A horse who can't join me in the middle. Not that I didn't love him any less. If anything, I loved him more. He was about to add another question to the list of mysteries titled "Casper's Questions."

   I was about to turn to reward him for trying when I heard the quiet thudding of hooves on dirt approaching. I stayed perfectly still. Barely even breathing.

   Then he nudged my shoulder. I turned and hugged him affectionately. I almost cried I was so happy.

   I could see in his eyes that he had forgiven me. If he had even needed to forgive me in the first place. More importantly, I forgave myself.

Conyers Countdown begins TODAY!!!

Conyers Countdown begins TODAY! Just over 30 days to go!!!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Light as a Feather & Troubles of the Bit

Feather Line: I love you!

You know when something new things come out and you are sure it is a complete and utter waste of money and you don't need it, and then you are usually proved wrong?

That was my attitude towards the Feather Line when it first came out. I saw Pete Rodda play with his horse at the Summit a couple years ago and my first impression was it was for extremely advanced levels.

I grudgingly tried a Feather Line for the first time at camp with Kara in the summer of  2011. The first impression was everything.

It was a revelation. An epiphany.

You almost never realize you are doing something wrong until someone points it out to you. The Feather Line was that 'someone.' I never realized just how 'loud' I was being when I played with Sharlie and Casper. With the help of that line, I made some pretty amazing progress on myself during the duration of camp.

[Look for the "Back To The Herd" camp blog posts in June 2011 to read more.]

Since camp I have been begging, bargaining and saving to buy a pair of Feather lines. I planned to buy someat Conyers at the end of February but thank you SANTA CLAUS I got a pair for Christmas!

Quick, find some clips that are strong enough to endure a run-away horse! We don't have any? Well I'll just use these instead!

Wait for the rain to stop! Waiting for the rain to stop...3 days later...
Alright Sharlie, let's see what you got!

She flew on that line. She danced. There weas a few ugly expressions when I asked something wrong, or if I asked too strongly, or if I just asked too much. We played for about half an hour which is about when she realized I had no treats.

That ended pretty quickly. *laughs*

NOW onto troubles of the BIT! (Focusing on Casper)

As all of you know- or most of you at least- Casper and I have been going through the very slow but very educational process of starting. It has been an interesting journey so far and we have recently reached another wall to break through (One of several)

Riding with a  bridle

This, of course, isn't an immediate concern. But it was an important beginning of a step to share.

The other day I rode Casper in a bridle for the first time since he had been with me. I was usnure how I would react, let alone how he would react!
He was tese. (DUH). He tried to eat a couple times but after I corrected him he stopped. His walk was fast and choppy for the most part, until the last minute or so of our ride. He calmed down, so stupid me, asked him to trot instead of rewarding him by getting off.

He shot forward and I tensed before trying to pull him to a stop. It didn't work and he just went faster attempting to dislodge me more. I panicked and thought "This is how I die. Death by trot."

Luckily there was a fence post in front of us so I just aimed him for that and he stopped.

I immediadtly jumped off and just walked him around to calm him down. When we had both recovered from the shock, we went back to the field.

Fun little experience, no?

That tis all for now!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Horse Poem

Why do I like horses?

 I think I must be mad. 

My mother wasn’t horsey - and neither was my dad. 

But the madness hit me early - and hit me like a curse.
 And I’ve never got much better. In fact, I’ve just got worse.

 My stables are immaculate. My house is like a hovel. 

Last year for my birthday - I got a brand-new shovel.
I hardly read a paper - but I know who’s sold their horse.

And I wouldn’t watch the news - unless Mr Ed was on, of course. 

One eye’s always on the heavens - but washing waves in vain. 

As I rush to get the horses in - in case it’s going to rain. 

And though they’re wearing 15 rugs, the best that you can get, 

I bring them in to keep them dry - while I get soaking wet. 

I spend every pound I’ve got- on horsey stuff for sure.

I buy saddles, bridles, fancy rugs - and then I buy some more.

I should have had my hair cut - or bought that nice blue shirt,

At least it wouldn’t now look ripped and showing up the dirt. 

I can’t make the books balance - so I don’t even try. 

But I can back up a car and trailer in the twinkling of an eye.

It’s jeans and joddy boots that I live in night and day.

And that smell of sweaty horses just doesn’t wash away. 

Once every now and then I dress up for a ball,

With make-up and posh hairdo- and high-heel shoes and all.

I ache from long-forgotten falls. My knees have got no skin.

My toes have gone a funny shape from being squashed again.

But late at night, when all is still- and I’ve gone to give them hay, 

I touch their velvet softness and my worries float away.

They give a gentle nicker and they nuzzle through my hair.


And I know where my heart is - more here than anywhere.