Change Starts In The Little Things

  • By Karen Nowak
  • 29 Dec, 2015

An Invitation to Connect

In the above photo Annie is searching for what I was asking with the halter. She walked away from my other two horses to place her head where she did. And no, I did not have a treat in my hand.

Annie, a 12 year old Appaloosa mare came to live with me last July.

I have had horses for 30 years. This time starting with a new horse was different. I could no longer rely on the flexibility of youth.

I did not grow up riding, only coming to it thirty years ago. I had lots of fear to overcome then, as I do now.

I had crossed into the over 60 crowd when Annie came into my life.

So I again found myself learning a new language. One we both understand. It is one of feel, intent, consistency, and more. Our communication is not merely physical in nature. It is also non-verbal, developed from an emerging trust in one another.  

More Of The Story - On To Annie

How we began to communicate and listen to one another came by trial and error.

It began because Annie flummoxed me. She would lead just fine, but at her own speed, not mine, a small thing on the surface.

No amount of coaxing, flag waving, or other antics on my part would change her speed.

She was obedient, but resistant.

I began to pay attention to other ways she had learned to cope with humans and their funny request. And how often her thoughts were with me, finding they rarely were.

Annie is a kind mare so I didn’t notice until then how often she wasn’t feeling good about what we were doing.

She was obedient that’s all.

I was at a crossroads about what to try and how. All the ideas of guru’s in natural horsemanship didn’t work with Annie in such a simple thing as leading.

My request meant nothing to her. She found no reason to try that would benefit her.

And Then It Began To Change

I had recently attended a horse clinic with Ross Jacobs . It focused on changing a horse’s thought to change how they feel, recognizing how they feel in any given moment, and where their focus lies. And why  this is all important for your relationship and your safety.

By the end of the clinic I walked away with a new resolve to change my thinking and how I felt. I began to move forward in my life. Replacing fear with understanding and trust.

I Jumped In

Not knowing where to start didn't matter. Starting was all I needed to do.

Annie, like all horses, want to feel good. My convoluted requests left her waiting to get through our time together and get back to her herd.

Would it change how she felt if I let her find her own way to understanding what I was looking for?

I decided to get creative and play with a new approach.

Let The Play Time Begin

I started by sitting in the middle of the round pen facing away from where Annie stood.

I made sure my focus was clear and remained on her choosing to come be with me. It required her leaving being near her pasture mates where she felt good.

I only made small noises to let her know I was still there. Never anything directed at Annie.

It took a bit of time but she walked over and placed her muzzle on my shoulder. Then let out a sigh. I let her know she had done well.

I had let it be her choice, no longer trying to trick her to join me. The choosing made a difference to her.

For several days I tried a different variation on her coming to me.

I remained consistent in letting her find feeling good inside, while in my company. Each day we had the same results with varying time frames.

It was now time to see if this extended to leading her.

I had learned before starting all this that if I was facing Annie she was more willing to respond. So I began by facing her and asking her to back away from me. I made sure I could feel her connected to what were doing.

I let her know we were going to do something else. I then turned and with the lightest physical request, Annie walked up beside me. We walked off at a pace I requested. I smiling a goofy grin. We both felt good.

This may seem minor, but it is major piece of the future we are building together.

What Annie Is Teaching Me As My Partner

Annie is teaching me just how important the little things can be. And to pay attention so as not to miss them.

We are creating big change, in little things.

We both learn and grow in the small quiet moments together.

We feel deeply.

Feeling good in the moment opens us to trusting each other.

Annie cares nothing about age in our relationship. I am taking her lead on that.

She sees me. I am learning to see myself through her eyes. Yet another gift.

Each time Annie leaves the other horses out in the pasture to be with me as she did earlier today, I get emotional.

Precious Moments

Earlier today, as I was walking through the pasture, Annie invited me into her world. It was a gift I received with emotion and humble grace. She wanted to connect.

I let go of the sled I had been pulling loaded with wood. Instead I asked her to move with me, no halter, no fences, using nothing but her invitation to guide us. Unscripted we played together.

What magic she brought to the moment. Such abandonment I felt in my heart.

Yet again she left me with happy tears upon my face.

We are riding the dusty trail of heart connection and friendship . 

She is giving me entry into the purity of her heart. I cherish it.


Next Week

              Subject To Change

If you feel like sharing the blog, I appreciate it. Thank you.

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When I was asked that question I thought back to the death my horse, Chris, to find the answer.

Her death had left me emotionally devastated. I wasn’t aware of all she had been in my life. Without conditions. The hurt seemed stronger than losing humans I had been close to. It wasn’t until the loss of my parents, that I was able to experience the difference.

Only then could I understand it was judgments I made, and the perspective I took that kept me in emotional pain about the difference.

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I matured in many ways on her back. She had my heart and supported me, as I matured into an adult with a federal job and a mortgage.

I became more confident in many areas of my life, from riding her. I trusted her with my heart and life. She knew me in ways no human could. When on her back our energy fields become one. I could never hide my feelings from her, she always knew what my heart didn’t always want my head to know. Chris knew things about me no human could see. She judged none of it.
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If you have ever had an animal that went missing,even for a few minutes, you have experienced the many emotions that take over.
Finding lost animals is wrought with fear, anxiety, panic and lack of control.

If the animal has escaped to go out on a jaunt it could include joy on their side not on yours. There are as many variables, emotions, and situations as there are animals.

We as the human know the inherent dangers of what could happen. They on the other hand, such as in the case of a Beagle, may be just following a scent. Something they were bred to do, unaware of the dangers that might surround them.
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Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). What set her apart was that she was born with everything the breed didn’t want. She was improperly coated, had short legs, and a unique head. Some felt she was an embarrassment to the breed and should be euthanized. 

I was living in WoodstockValley, CT when I received the call from the PWD Rescue that they had a female they wanted to place that had “issues,” I didn’t let it deter me. My other PWD had personality to spare and wefelt he would like a companion,as our other dog was very old.
By Karen Nowak 05 Apr, 2016
What language do you use with yourself throughout your life? Is it one based in uncertainty and imperfection? Or, ever growing trust in self?

Wanting and Choosing are Two Different Things
Universal energy does not see wanting something as choosing something. It responds to “wanting” by remaining in a state of wanting.

Implied Additional Meaning
Filling your request with negative connotations will not get you what you desire.

Statements such as “Universe, I don’t want to live in lack. I don’t want be alone, anymore. I am tired of being sick; I don’t want to feel this way anymore” hold implied meaning of what you believe to be true. There is no room for more than one meaning. Your belief, and the feeling attached to it, will always trump, win, and create your reality.
More Posts

Catalyst Of Evolution

By Karen Nowak 11 Jul, 2017
The article I started here handed me an unexpected opportunity. It gifted me a very personal opportunity to evolve. My hope is it stimulates you in ways that bless you deeply.
By Karen Nowak 13 Feb, 2017
 Answering this question honestly, and changing yourapproach if necessary, contributes to you building a well-rounded health-care plan for your animal. Waiting until an illness or disease arises places you in a position of reacting, and not in the optimum mind-set to make informed decisions based on research. Creating a holistic approach involves incorporating the concept that both you and your animal are more than just
physical beings. Traditional medicine addresses physical symptoms. Alternative modalities encompass the mental and emotional aspects that present themselves in the body as imbalances, known as diseases.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
I am often asked the question “Why does losing my cat (dog, horse etc) hurt worse than losing humans in my life? I feel guilty because it hurts more.”

When I was asked that question I thought back to the death my horse, Chris, to find the answer.

Her death had left me emotionally devastated. I wasn’t aware of all she had been in my life. Without conditions. The hurt seemed stronger than losing humans I had been close to. It wasn’t until the loss of my parents, that I was able to experience the difference.

Only then could I understand it was judgments I made, and the perspective I took that kept me in emotional pain about the difference.

Chris and I had come together at a pivotal time of personal growth and change. No human knew how insecure I felt on the inside during that time of my life.

I matured in many ways on her back. She had my heart and supported me, as I matured into an adult with a federal job and a mortgage.

I became more confident in many areas of my life, from riding her. I trusted her with my heart and life. She knew me in ways no human could. When on her back our energy fields become one. I could never hide my feelings from her, she always knew what my heart didn’t always want my head to know. Chris knew things about me no human could see. She judged none of it.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
If you have ever had an animal that went missing,even for a few minutes, you have experienced the many emotions that take over.
Finding lost animals is wrought with fear, anxiety, panic and lack of control.

If the animal has escaped to go out on a jaunt it could include joy on their side not on yours. There are as many variables, emotions, and situations as there are animals.

We as the human know the inherent dangers of what could happen. They on the other hand, such as in the case of a Beagle, may be just following a scent. Something they were bred to do, unaware of the dangers that might surround them.
By Karen Nowak 25 Jul, 2016
Rocky and Mia,  brother and sister Puggles, have been at Freedom Reins for about a month now.

Understanding their new life has come at their own pace. Life changed dramatically, the day they were surrendered to the shelter in St Maries ID. That day did not make them victims.
By Karen Nowak 21 Jul, 2016
You may be saying I have read this all before. Yes you have. How much did you commit to when you did? Universal law doesn't let you pick which laws you use and which you ignore to get the life you long for. Okay I am willing to do this, but not that, no,no I don't want to give up that. Just a little bit of it won't affect the outcome. Universal law and clear and we can't pick only what we like as if we are ordering pizza toppings.

Healing yourself, not blaming the outside world, clearing up your language of negativity in all thoughts, forgiving yourself, taking responsibility for what you have created, not judging what you have created, just to name a few are part of transformation to a higher vibration of self. These and many others are imperative to moving into the life you desire.

Healing and balancing your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies is also crucial at this time of unprecedented change.
By Karen Nowak 20 Jun, 2016
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
— Anonymous

Owners of dogs have noticed that, if you provide a dog with food, water, shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide a cat with food, water, shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
―Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
By Karen Nowak 20 May, 2016

Some will say this is a faery tale, but being about a very real feline, who shall we say does not embody the demure attributes of a faery, It, is simply, a Tale of a Tail.

Charlie, the main feline of this tail, lived with my aunt for many years. Coming in a long line of very large yellow cats my aunt had in her life, all named Charlie, he was of indeterminate age in the records. The Charlie this tale is about was the last my aunt would have on this earth. . My matante and Charlie lived together for many years, always sharing their daily meals. My aunt holding the food in her hand, and Charlie obligingly eating it. They shared an interesting diet. what my Aunt ate, Charlie ate. The selection was large and varied, donuts to water chestnuts, could be found on the menu. Their favorite delectable delight, unanimously voted upon, was most assuredly pepperoni. Hardly a balanced diet for a cat. But both were full and happy, Charlie not being your normal cat. After all, this feline, ALWAYS got what he wanted. Charles Persistent T Cat being his full name.

By Karen Nowak 20 Apr, 2016
These were the words of wisdom that my dog Moxie, originally known as Noni, spoke to me well into our relationship. Moxie was a
Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). What set her apart was that she was born with everything the breed didn’t want. She was improperly coated, had short legs, and a unique head. Some felt she was an embarrassment to the breed and should be euthanized. 

I was living in WoodstockValley, CT when I received the call from the PWD Rescue that they had a female they wanted to place that had “issues,” I didn’t let it deter me. My other PWD had personality to spare and wefelt he would like a companion,as our other dog was very old.
By Karen Nowak 05 Apr, 2016
What language do you use with yourself throughout your life? Is it one based in uncertainty and imperfection? Or, ever growing trust in self?

Wanting and Choosing are Two Different Things
Universal energy does not see wanting something as choosing something. It responds to “wanting” by remaining in a state of wanting.

Implied Additional Meaning
Filling your request with negative connotations will not get you what you desire.

Statements such as “Universe, I don’t want to live in lack. I don’t want be alone, anymore. I am tired of being sick; I don’t want to feel this way anymore” hold implied meaning of what you believe to be true. There is no room for more than one meaning. Your belief, and the feeling attached to it, will always trump, win, and create your reality.
More Posts
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