Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On This Day We Give Thanks For . . .

. . . The community that sustains us at Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue

. . . Our incrdible, hard working, caring volunteers






Jennifer (on left)

Heather Snow-Flamer - trainer, clinician, riding instructor,
volunteer, and incredibly good-natured friend!

. . . The families of our volunteers and board members - for the time and support you give us.

. . . For our Board of Directors.
Misty Hunter, president

Robert Dorsett, treasurer

Kira Hawk, chair of the Horse, Health, and Hay Committee
Becky McBain, bookkeeper and corporate wizard

and Cherie Shipley, secretary.

. . . For the many, many businesses and professionals
who donate their time, services, and products (just a few are pictured here).
Natalie Herman, trimmer (Epona Natural Hoof Care)

Jodie Swanlund - trainer and riding instructor

Mackenzie Kincaid, photographer

Tim Shreeve and all the awesome folks at The Farm Store.

Jerry Boots, for your continued encouragement, support, and for
making it possible for Quincy to heal and rehab at Hillcrest Stables.

Doug Shaw, for our McKinleyville pastures.

. . . For our entire community of support - all of you who gave so much
through your generous gifts of time, services, and donations.

. . . For our Horses that are currently in the Rescue . . .

Sophia (needing a sanctuary home).

Olive (available for adoption)

Ben (needing a sanctuary home)

Angel (available for adoption)

Quincy (currently in training with Heather Snow-Flamer)

. . . For our newest volunteers who just finished orientation or are currently in screening.
Thank you for volunteering and for stepping up to this hard, hard yet endlessly rewarding work.

. . . For the Isaacsons who are no longer part of the
organization but had the vision and founded the Rescue.

. . . For those dear ones we couldn't save,
who continue to inspire our commitment to do this work.

We are so thankful for all you (and those we might not have mentioned).
YOU are the community that enables us to continue to grow and serve more horses.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hillcrest Stables Riding Clinic with Heather Snow-Flamer

Equine clinician Heather Snow-Flamer is a Humboldt County treasure! This talented,
eloquent equestrian donated her time to present a six hour clinic to benefit
Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue on Saturday, November 20th at Hillcrest Stables.
Jerry Boots, owner of Hillcrest Stables, donated the use of his beautiful facility for the event.

Throughout the morning we practiced ways to center and balance our emotions
and bodies so we might encourage reciprocal balance in our horses.

Taking time to complete a rider's self-evaluation helped each clinic participant set personal
goals for the day. Setting our intention this way helped synthesize the morning's theory and physical exercised with the afternoon's application of concepts while on the ground and mounted.

Balanced riding calls for a centered body. Jennifer Walts shows her Xtreme balance.
And THAT is exactly why she is our evaluation rider at HRHR!

For the first part of the clinic, participants got to experience many exercises to increase body awareness. Working on this board helped to focus attention of our seat bones and how to move.

The concept of "neutral spine" was useful and let us experience how the alignment of hips,
back, and shoulders could create a shock absorbing pillar or collapse and direct force onto the backs of our horses. I loved the image of lights shining from the ends of our seat bone,
shining those lights straight down helps to promote a neutral spine.

Centered, focused, and aware, HRHR volunteer Carey Call is ready to use her newly
learned strategies to support Angel has they negotiate a series of obstacles.

At the end of the day Heather brought out her devious "Tunnel of Doom".

Red Horse is letting me know he is not overly impressed by of the idea of my "gradually increasing pressure" to build his confidence. Gotta tell ya Red, that concept was my favorite "lesson" and one we will use over and over as we prepare for the next season of Trail Trials.

Angel moved through the tunnel and every obstacle with steady grace.
This little Arab mare is waiting for her forever home.

Jessica White and her coming three year old Diego build their partnership skills.

While Angel waits to change partners, she enjoys a few scritches in her favorite itchy places.

Robert and Angel. They adore each other.

Jennifer and Vida take on the tunnel.
Vida is an HRHR sponsored horse that is ready for her new home.

Kira Hawk, HRHR board member, sharing a few words of
encouragement with an equine participant in the clinic.

This was SO cool. I was thrilled that Red had gained the confidence to stand
steadily while I spun the rainbow umbrella. Red not so much.

Throughout the afternoon, riders practiced the strategies they learned during
the morning. We paid close attention to how we used our bodies to help our horses
calmly and confidently move through a series of obstacles.

Here is Jessica excelling at one of the hardest trials of all - the "pie-eating while your
horse watches" obstacle. HRHR volunteer Mary Urbach made the most
amazing, mouth-watering apple pies for clinic human participants.

Part two of the "pie-eating" obstacle is defending your pie while horses
team up to try to take the cinnamon apple delight away from you.

Even though the weather was very cold for Humboldt, with rain
and wind, the clinic was so absorbing and full of rich information that
I wished we were able to spend another week or so working with Heather.
Jerry, Heather, and the HRHR volunteers who provided dessert, thank you SO much
for a day I'll long remember as Red and I move down the trail.