It’s heartbreaking.  I see the imagines and news stories, and it’s unimaginable.  The beloved animals that couldn’t be reached in time, and worse, the ones abandoned.  It reaches deeper too.  The available rescue organizations, often overcrowded already, trying to help where they’re able but often so inundated with their existing burdens they don’t have many resources left to offer.


To us, our animals are family.  We’d no sooner leave them behind if at all avoidable, than a parent or child in an emergency.  The idea of losing one of them (or Heaven forbid, more than one), crushes our souls.  Yet in story after story and photo after photo, they’re left behind, cast aside like garbage, and they have no idea why.


AOL news


KTLA news


Beef Magazine


Some are fortunate enough to be thought of in enough time to get out before it all begins.  Other, carried high on the weary shoulders of their family members to safety.


Fox news


No matter how they manage to survive, they’re still going to need help, just like their humans.  On Today.com I found several links to local and national organizations accepting donations and offers to help.  The poor animals of Texas and the Gulf Coast don’t know what they did to deserve the storm, but we can all pitch in to help them ride it out.



When you’re sending that donation to help the people of the Gulf Coast, remember, some of them have more than two legs, and they need your help too.  Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.







When I was a kid, I dreamed of having my own horse.  You know I’ve already lived that dream, and hope to be able to live it again someday.  I still dream of my horse, Buddy.  The dreams never really amount to much or offer resolution, I suspect they’re my brain’s way of still trying to reconcile losing him, even now, almost eight years later.  You never stop wondering, “did I do everything I could, did I miss anything?”  Maybe it’s a way to spend more time with him.  Who knows?


What you may not know, is that dreaming about horses in general, can actually be completely unrelated to horses.  That seems to be fairly common, you dream about driving a car, and it actually means something different, like you want a new job.  Being an avid dreamer at times, I enjoy researching them (on the internet, where all the truth is, of course!) to see what my brain is really up to, and I find dreaming about horses to be pretty interesting!



To see a horse in your dream symbolizes strength, power, endurance, and virility. It also represents a strong, physical energy.  It can be linked to common phrases like:  horsing around, get off your high horse, or beating a dead horse.  Consider what you’ve experienced recently, you can often find a way to link the two.  I think it’s a lot like reading your horoscope, if you try hard enough, you can usually make a connection.


The color of the horse you see can indicate mystery, wildness and the unknown if it’s a dark color or black.  A white horse can indicate purity and good fortune.  To see a dead horse in your dreams could mean you’re “beating a dead horse” in reality, is there something you need to let go of?


If you see a herd of wild horses, that can indicate freedom and lack of responsibilities.  Are you watching them, being run over by them, or are you riding them?  Consider how that could alter the translation.  If you are riding a horse, that lends itself to your being in a position of power (on a high horse), how is the horse responding to you?  Are you handling your responsibilities, or are they handling you?


An armored horse can mean fierceness, aggression and power.  What are you trying to protect yourself from?  Are you putting up walls where they don’t need to be?  Are you confrontational?  What’s the deeper meaning being your stance?


Is the horse talking to you, straight from the horse’s mouth?  This often represents a higher power.  What is the horse saying, and what does it look like?  A black horse could be speaking from your subconscious, where a blue horse could be speaking from a place of sadness.  Are you looking for help and don’t know where to turn?  Maybe you know the answer already, but haven’t let yourself see it, and needed someone else (the horse) to tell you.


From The Huffington Post:

“Dreams are a universal language, creating often elaborate images out of emotional concepts,” explains Suzanne Bergmann, a licensed social worker and professional dream worker for more than 16 years.  “There’s no single, definitive meaning for symbols and images in dreams,” Bergmann notes. “But just as a smile usually means that someone is happy, these dream images are so common, that they do have a generally accepted meaning.”




Heroes on Horses is back, and it’s getting around!  The event was so well-received last year at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, that not only have they kept it on the bill for 2017, but the NSBA World Show (August 19-20 in Tulsa, OK) has added the class and their special guest will be Taya Kyle, wife of former Navy Seal Chris Kyle.  What a fantastic way to bring attention to our Veterans!




I was honored to assist with one of the competitors last year at Congress, and to witness the event in person.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!  To see our organizations celebrating and supporting our “Wounded Warriors” participating in PATH, International programs is so special.  Therapeutic horsemanship programs are growing throughout the country as a reliable resource of assistance to our Veterans diagnosed with all manner of physical and non-physical injuries incurred during their service.  There are some things animals can do for us, that humans simply cannot.



The 2017 Heroes on Horses class will take place on Friday, October 13th at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.  The show takes place annually at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, OH.  If you’ve never been, you’re missing out.  If you have been, I know you’re already planning on returning.  For more information about the class, and all Congress events, go to their website:



God bless our Veterans, and every soul that lends a helping hand, paw or hoof to them!




This week I find myself at a crossroads.  It’s quite the opposite of the excitement from last week.  On Monday I was told my services were no longer needed at my job, so here I am, 40 and unemployed.


I’m fine.  We’ll be fine.  I always land on my feet, and this will be no different, it just came as a bit of a shock.  Well, it did and it didn’t, but that hardly matters now.  What matters is, I’m free to choose my own path again, and I’m looking forward, not back.


That being said, I haven’t made time to research a horse-related piece for you, I’m sorry for that.  But the number of people who have rallied around me tells me I’ll be charging ahead in a new direction sooner rather than later, and this blog will not suffer as a result.


So for now, let’s enjoy the break, and we’ll talk again soon!





I’m straying from my usual subject matter this week, to share with you my recent experience in a new hobby.  My family took a trip to an outdoor range at a state park in November of 2016, that was my first real shooting experience.  Now, less than a year later, I’m a firearms owner, member of a ladies shooting club (The Well Armed Woman), and most recently, an NRA Certified Instructor in Basic Pistol.  So far, the only things in common it has with horses, is that it’s highly addictive, and expensive to do.  Needless to say, if you’d have asked me last fall, or any time in the past, if this is where I saw myself heading, I’d have laughed.


Under the watchful eye of Papa, while Mama loads up a magazine in the background


All my life, I’ve been able to say with 100% conviction, I am a horsewoman.  I’ve never questioned or hesitated with this, I know it to the depths of my soul, and I always will be.  I’m proud of it.  In the absence of having my own horses, I’ve dabbled in other hobbies, running, acoustic guitar, ballroom dancing…  but I’ve never BEEN any of those things.  I ran, but wasn’t a runner, I took guitar lessons, but wasn’t a guitarist, I love dancing, but I’m not a dancer.  They never became part of my identity like horses did, and still are.  It’s this line of reasoning that’s often kept me from trying new things, and being a perfectionist.  If I couldn’t master whatever the new skill or hobby was, right out of the gate, it would lose it’s appeal.  When I first picked up Dad’s .22 last fall, the journey it ended up being the first steps to, wasn’t even on my radar.


Owning a gun wasn’t anything I’ve been opposed to, but never having the means or resources, it stayed in the back of my mind.  My boyfriend and I have discussed it many times during the course of our relationship, but last fall seemed to be the catalyst.  After watching shooting after shooting being reported on the news every morning, and coming to the realization that nowhere is safe anymore, we finally decided to put thought into action.  I know nobody gets out of this world alive, but given the choice, I’d much prefer to have the means to defend myself against a violent attach and never need it, than die wishing I’d had them.  You only regret the chances you don’t take.


Getting started at our local range


My boyfriend gave me my first pistol for Christmas, 2016.  “Stella,” (because I name them all, since we do need to be well-acquainted it makes sense to me) is a Smith & Wesson J-frame revolver model 642.  She’s the one I trained and qualified for my Concealed Handgun License with, and the one I carry currently.  I know revolvers aren’t the first choice for personal protection, but it’s what I want at the moment.


I’m extremely fortunate to be surrounded by amazing resources in the firearms industry.  We have a state-of-the-art range very close to home, staffed with amazing, knowledgeable people.  My shooting coach is a real gem.  I actually met him through training at a previous job where he coached on customer service.  Based on that experience, when I wanted to pursue my CHL, he was my first choice.  I still talk to and work with him regularly.  He’s a powerful voice in my head.  My new circle of friends in The Well Armed Woman is fantastic as well.  We have Instructors, RSO’s, beginners, and every stage in between, and they all have something to offer.


TWAW offers great learning opportunities to it’s members, like gun trial days where we can test many different firearms for purchase


Working with Coach, in preparation for my Instructor Course


After “Stella,” came “Rick.”  Springfield (get it, Rick Springfield? lol) was offering a great promotion over the last several months, with the purchase of a new firearm, you could send away for an additional four magazines, holster, and mag holster at no cost.  I wanted a traditional 1911 style .45acp, and found a great deal on him.  “Rick” isn’t fancy, he’s a Mil-Spec model, very simple, but very reliable.  Since I bought him in February of this year, I haven’t had a mis-fire yet.


After joining TWAW in April, I learned that not only was the chapter growing at a rapid pace, but the need for certified instructors was as well.  When the challenge was presented, I thought, “why not?”  Along side two other members of our chapter, we registered and began training for the Basic Pistol Instructor course taught by my local range.  The shooting qualification was the most intimidating, but I took advice from those who’d done it, borrowed Dad’s .22, and started practicing.  Our weekly visits to the range, quickly became two and three nights a week, and my skills improved.  I booked some time with Coach for a tune up, and just before our visit, my boyfriend surprised me with my own .22, a Browning Buck Mark Black Label, “Brownie.”  We got on like a house on fire, and my confidence grew.  The more practice time I got in, the more people I trusted and respected kept telling me I had it and I would do well, the more I started to believe them.


In the week leading up to our course, I expected to find myself stressed and anxious (no surprises there), but I was also becoming more emotional.  At first I chalked it up to nerves, but when I kept being caught off guard with tears, it dawned on me.  I’m emotional because I really care about this.  I’ve worked hard, and I’m becoming passionate about something again.  It means a lot to me, and I want to do well not just for myself, but for everyone who’s believed in me.  For the first time in a long time, I felt like I “was” something again.  I am a shooter, and I believe it when I say it.


I’m so happy that I was in the first group to shoot, on the first day in the morning, to get it over with and not allow myself too much time to stew.  I still have difficulty seeing at 15 yards, but I could rely on my ever-developing skills to get me through.  My first 10 rounds all found the target, but two were in the border area, so only eight counted.  I re-set and fired my next 10, all well within the target area.  A final score of 54/60 advanced me through the class.


The remaining pieces got easier as I went through them.  The basic handling and malfunction clearing felt clumsy to me, from lack of experience.  In hind sight I wish I’d taken the Range Safety Officer course first, but that will happen in due time.  The test after the first day wasn’t terrible, and I scored 100%.  The test at the end of the second day, was one I’d downloaded and studied on flash cards, so I finished quickly and scored 100% on it as well.  At the end of the day, our lead instructor asked if there was anyone in our class, any of us felt shouldn’t be recommended for the certification, we shook our heads no in unison, and he told us, then we all knew how we did.  Again, I was blessed to have great fellow IC’s (Instructor Candidates) and a great Instruction team around me.


Our class photo


I’d be a fool to tell you this makes me any level of a professional in the industry.  I’m hyper aware of just how green I still am, but I’m learning more every day.  Part of being an Instructor, is always being able to take instruction, and knowing that you don’t know everything.  I’m excited to see where the next turn on this road leads me (actually, it’s leading me to an Appleseed Project rifle camp with the new Ruger 10/22 I got to reward myself!).  One small step in my next big journey!



Proof of my accomplishment

My new badge of honor