Horses: Hope or Hopelessness?

Horses: Hope or Hopelessness?
Fingers grasp the cool doorknob; one boot hits the step, then the other. The door closes firmly behind me as I push back, ensuring it’s latched. 

A deep breath of cool fall air fills my lungs. I pause. I hear my kids inside playing with the sitter. A smile tugs at the corners of my lips, slowly making way for a big toothy grin. 

❤️‍🔥It’s time! My time! 

I bounce down the steps with the giddiness of a child and heave open the heavy tack room door to quickly grab my favourite blue halter and lead. 
As I walk out to the pasture, my gaze turns skyward as a flock of geese honk overhead, they’re flying low to the ground, and I know they’re heading to the water across the road. I close my eyes with the sun on my face and take another deep breath. 

❤️‍🔥Freedom. 

Ace isn’t far now. His head rises from the grass as his ears prick in my direction. Hey buddy. Warmth fills my heart, it quickly spreads through my whole body, and I feel like I’m walking in an orb of warm golden joyfulness. 

❤️‍🔥I’m home. 

Touching his neck, breathing deep into his shoulder and getting the biggest dopamine kick from his scent. 

❤️‍🔥This is tranquillity. 

Ace sidesteps over to the fence to let me slide onto his back. We casually walk away from the herd, listening to the leaves fall gently to the ground while others crunch under hoof. 

❤️‍🔥Deep inner calm. 

Sitting on Ace, I can’t believe I almost said no. 
I almost allowed guilt, shame, overwhelm and stress to keep me trapped, small, exhausted and defeated. 

❤️‍🔥
Proud. 

Good boy, Ace. A gentle, loving rub on his damp neck as we finish our ride. Gratitude fills my heart as I see how far we’ve come. 

❤️‍🔥
Connection. 

Believing in myself. Connecting to my heart to know what I need. Trusting my soul to lead the way. Feeling more trust and connection to my horse than ever before. 

❤️‍🔥
Partnership. 

With peace in my heart and a gentle smile on my face, I grasp that cool doorknob once more and know in my soul I made the right decision.

🙏
It's my heart's prayer that you get to feel fulfilled and at ease with your time with horses, overcoming your struggles.

Looking to connect with other horsewomen who are daring to  Rise Up & Ride
See you inside.


One of the biggest lies around identifying trauma.

One of the biggest lies around identifying trauma.

Would you say you’ve experienced trauma in your life? Most people would say no. 


If I were to ask those who said yes what those traumatic experiences were, they would most likely share things like a car accident, serious illness, near-death incident, war, losing a spouse or child, becoming an orphan, being sexually or physically abused. 


But what if trauma wasn't only these notable dramatic moments in time? 


The more I learn about trauma, the more I’ve come to understand that experiencing trauma isn’t about the dramatic event; it is about how you felt from an event. 


So what does this mean? If there have been moments in your life that you have ever felt abandoned, terrified, never heard, never valued, worthless, waste of time, then you have experienced trauma. 

When we experience trauma, we go into fight, flight, or freeze/shut down. We aren’t safe to express ourselves, or worse, told not to. When our nervous system enters this sympathetic state without being able to complete the cycle - process emotionally and mentally what’s happening and it is met with empathy and validation from another human - then those emotions become trapped inside our nervous system. 


For those of us who perhaps didn't realize what trauma included, we would most likely have thoughts like: “Oh jeez, my childhood was great! I really don’t have anything to complain about,” or “sure I was bullied, but it wasn’t that bad, they were just kids and didn’t know what they were doing after all.” This denial is a safety mechanism to keep that trauma locked away deep inside us to protect us from the pain. 


When we can start learning what trauma actually is, we can begin to free ourselves from it. If for your entire life, you were trying to tell yourself that what you went through wasn’t a big deal and to just get over it, those painful emotions stay trapped. What you felt was real! What you felt was painful and traumatic. 


Learning how to overcome my trauma has been the gateway to understanding myself. Trauma is the root of anger, frustration, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide, self-harm, and more. All of a sudden, I’m not “messed up.” I’m simply emotionally and mentally wounded, and I need to heal. 


If you find yourself relating to this, I want to personally invite you into my Facebook community. Inside the guide section, I have a free 30-day transformation - Chomping at the Bit: Transition from Guilt to Freedom. This will help you get started on your healing journey. Click HERE to connect with others wanting their happiness, hope and freedom too. 


Learning to heal has transformed my life to find happiness, hope, and freedom! Becoming more whole has helped my anxiety and depression; it helps me be a better mom and prevent passing my trauma down; it’s immensely helping my marriage. 

If you would prefer to go through the 30-day Transformation off of Facebook, simply create your free Membership Login to access all of my materials HERE.

See you inside. 💜



How I overcame my suffocating thoughts and emotions.

How I overcame my suffocating thoughts and emotions.

Let’s be honest! You love the fact that you have children; you love your children! But then, on the other hand, you're also missing who you were before your kids. You're missing what you used to be able to do. You're missing the amount of time you'd used to spend with your horses. You're missing freedom. You're missing almost everything about your life pre-kids, and you don't know how to navigate all of those big, ugly emotions, and then the guilt that follows them, right, because the guilt is going to follow. I know that because I went through all of this.

Read more...

How to deal with not being where you feel you should be.

How to deal with not being where you feel you should be.
It’s so easy to be frustrated, hurt, sad, resentful or anxious about where we are in life.

“It shouldn’t be like this”
“Why is it so hard”
“My horse should be doing -“
“Why am I still scared”
“No one supports me”
“This isn’t what I thought my life would be like”

When we get stuck in what we think life -should be- we totally miss what life really is.

This is commonly the root of our frustration, anxiety, depression, resentment, and suffering.

Life is what it IS.

Learning to accept and love what ‘is’ allows you space to then make a plan with action steps to move in the direction you want; my friend, that is true freedom.

Let go of what you think life should be.
Let go of where you think you should be.
Let go of what you think your horse should be able to do.
Let go of what you think your marriage should be.
Let go of how you think your kids should be.

Live in this moment. Love now. Embrace now.

If you’re looking steps to help, check out the free 30 day challenge inside Back Into Horses After Babies in the guide section: “Chomping at the Bit.”


Until next time my friend 💜

Three steps to help your anxiety, depression or other overwhelming emotions.

Three steps to help your anxiety, depression or other overwhelming emotions.
Anxiety and depression are big, painful emotions that many people struggle with. Are you one of them? Perhaps you only deal with one or the other, or maybe you struggle with both regularly.


Sometimes, however, I think people only know that they feel gross, down, frustrated, stressed or sad. When we feel this way, we often don’t even want to really think about what we feel because we don’t want to get lost down that rabbit trail of figuring it out. I believe that is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make when they truly desire to improve their life and strive for happiness.


First off, do you know the difference between anxiety and depression? When I first thought of that question, I honestly had to stop and really think about it. I then decided to double-check with good ole Google to see if I had it straight.


These are common struggles for those with anxiety: (summarized in my words based on this article)
 - Often thought of as “worry-warts.” They are always fearful about something bad happening, right now as well as the future.
 - They often get stuck thinking about all the horrible things that could happen today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. Something is bound to go wrong, and they can’t stop thinking about it.
 - They don’t put themselves in any situations where they are scared that their anxiety will take over and humiliate them. This can result in a lot of self-isolation.
 - Getting fixated on the probability of death due to random circumstances, feelings or symptoms.


Depression rather shows itself as:
 - Feeling of sadness that you cannot shake or possibly even identify.
 - Feeling hopeless about a situation, or even your own abilities not being good enough.
 - When you feel like you are worthless and all your efforts in life are worthless.
 - You think of death often; your life is hopeless, you are worthless, and you are a burden on your loved ones.


The struggle with anxiety and depression is dealing with one of these alone is a huge struggle. But, commonly, one can create the other, so you find yourself fighting with both anxiety and depression.


While I’m not a therapist, and I always suggest seeking professional help (especially if you find yourself fixated on death or suicidal thoughts), I want to encourage you to try out these few practices that can be life-changing if used regularly.

     1. Deliberately sit with your feelings and try to identify them to the best of your ability. Depression, anxiety and overwhelm for a lot of people can be a symptom of an unmet need or an emotion that isn't being taken care of. Check out this feelings wheel chart I found that can help narrow down specifically what you are feeling.

     2. Once you’ve got a feeling, we will use worthless as an example, and I want you to remind yourself that you are not wrong or broken for feeling this way. Emotions are never right or wrong; they simply are what they are. Hating them or wishing you didn’t have them will not serve you; that will only start creating hatred and resentment toward your own faults.

     3. Now, I want you to envision yourself sitting at a table, and your worthless feeling is sitting beside you. What would you say to it? “Hey, worthlessness, I see you. I see you hurting and in so much pain. I love you, just as you are. I am here, I see you, I love you, and we will figure this out.”

Learning to identify and name our emotions allows us to see it for what it actually is. When we don’t know, and we stay stuck in the “I just feel horrible” road, we can’t love ourselves where we need to be loved.

Staying stuck in the unknown is the perfect recipe for continued depression, anxiety, resentment, frustration and anger. Love and empathy are the antidotes.


I, for one, have struggled with both depression and anxiety. They come and go, but the one thing that stays the same is that getting help from other people helps keep me happier and more emotionally healthy. If you would like to be surrounded by other like-minded wonderful people, you can find us in my Facebook Group by clicking the button.





How To Come Back Into Your Body During Moments of Fear or Anxiety

How To Come Back Into Your Body During Moments of Fear or Anxiety

Yesterday I hauled Ace and our new horse Greg to the arena. It was barrel practice night, and this was the first time going for all three of us. 


Ace has been really learning to let go of his anxiety and fears during rope nights with my hubby's help, so I personally hadn’t ridden him the last few times he was hauled. On the drive, I mentally prepared myself to be a relaxed and confident leader for Ace while listening to a podcast. (The Journey On Podcast with Warwick Schiller interviewing Jane Pike)


This podcast really explained things in a way I had never thought of before, and it helped a lot! I want to share a few of those with you now summarized in my words. 


  1. My body and mind are amazing. It created defence mechanisms to protect myself during stressful/scary/traumatizing situations when I literally couldn’t process it. I am thankful my body has this ability -- but I am now aware it's time to release these defence methods as they are no longer serving me. 


  1. When I feel anxiety, stress or fear, it's like internal energy becoming bigger than my body that I cannot hold it in anymore. I am learning to tune into what my body is telling me and respond before my emotions become bigger than my body, creating a fight/flight/freeze. This is my body trying to protect myself from danger - which again is a beautiful thing! Accepting that nothing is wrong with me is extremely important. 


  1. When I start to feel anxious, an easy method to help refocus my brain is to move my body: wiggle my toes in my boots, tap my thumb against each fingertip. Yesterday I also became aware of how I wanted my body to feel to Ace while riding. I envisioned my body being connected to him through my seat and thighs, like in Avatar minus the ponytail hehe. I wanted to feel soft, relaxed, gentle and curious about his own movements. This helped me ride so much softer I was shocked!


  1. Every single thing I learned about myself is exactly the same for my horse. When Ace reacts anxiously or fearfully, this is his natural response to keep him safe and protected. I don’t want this to disappear, or if a bear ever came for a visit, then he would be in trouble! I want to show him he can trust me and that I’ll keep him safe.

    1.  His anxiety can feel so big it's pouring out of his body, putting him into fight/flight/freeze; it is up to me to recognize when his cup of anxiety is getting too high and help him empty it before it overwhelms him. 

    2. Asking him for simple body movements can help him come back inside his body, getting his mind off his stress, but it's important to keep things very simple and basic, so it doesn’t become an additional stress source. 


There is nothing wrong with feeling fear or anxiety or stress, for either you or your horse! This is an instinct meant to keep us safe from harm. Learning to accept this is the first step to understanding and moving past our fears. Invite your fear to sit at a table beside yourself; what would you say to it? Invite your horse's fear to sit at your table; what would you tell it? Loving ourselves through these feelings is so important. 


Thank you, Jane, for the amazing reminder. 


Asking For Support Shouldn't Be So Hard!

Asking For Support Shouldn't Be So Hard!

How come talking about the loneliness, guilt, resentment, anger and shame that comes with motherhood isn’t a thing?


How come when we try and reach out for help, we are told, “Yes, being a mom is hard, isn’t it,” or, “It’s just your hormones dear, it will all level out soon enough,” or my ultimate favourite, “don’t worry about that stuff, your babies are only babies once, sit back and soak it all in and just cheer up.” How isolating is that? We have just confessed we feel like we are drowning, and we are told to swim better.


Read more...

Do Everything, Do It Perfectly, Make It Look Easy: The Recipe For Unhappiness

Do Everything, Do It Perfectly, Make It Look Easy: The Recipe For Unhappiness

If I asked you to describe a ‘mom,’ what comes to mind? For me, Brene Brown explains it perfectly: mom’s do everything, do it perfectly, and make it look easy while doing it.


What about being a horsewoman? According to western movies, they make us tough, resilient, stubborn, firm and can do any job a man can do, but better.


Those are a lot of expectations. If you are like me, you are both a horsewoman and a mom. The weight of those expectations is exhausting. 


What’s worse is we don’t talk about these extreme expectations. These standards are unspoken by society, but they are implied. It’s not like after your first baby, a nurse comes in and says, “okay, now here’s what you need to do to be a good mom.” You don’t get a piece of paper when you become passionate about horses stating the requirements needed for you to be considered a good horsewoman. 


What’s sad about these unspoken standards is that we feel like failures when we inevitably can’t do it all. Those thoughts and feelings like we are failing, unworthy, less than, not enough, who am I to do that? They haunt all of us. These feelings are shame. We hide them away in hopes no one will ever see them; because if they did, we would indeed be judge and found unworthy.


Before we go further, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. Shame is the fear of disconnection, fear of being judged as unworthy and not good enough; to be cast out. Shame is “I feel awful because I am a bad person.” Guilt is “I feel awful because I did something bad.” 



As a mother of two amazing young daughters, living on a beautiful farm, with an outdoor arena as a front yard, who was I to complain? I should be the happiest person alive, shouldn’t I? But I missed myself before having children. I felt that I was a horrible mom for having these thoughts; I felt ashamed. I felt unworthy around my horses because my connection with them was almost nonexistent. I was angry, resentful, frustrated, and I felt alone. 


Luckily, thanks to my horse, I started going down a rabbit trail, trying to fix our connection. Instead, I found how much healing I needed. The shame I was carrying was eating away at my passion for life. I started to see the hope that I could indeed be happy and fulfilled as both a mother, wife and horsewoman. 


What I wish I had in those moments was someone to talk to. Someone, I felt safe enough to share my thoughts and struggles without being disconnected or judged.  I wish I had someone to help me realize that what I was dealing with was, in fact, shame and that there was a way through it. If you recognized a part of yourself as being stuck in shame, I’ve created a free booklet to help you start unpacking your thoughts to work towards finding your freedom from shame! If you’d like your copy sent directly to your inbox, you can get that here: Finding Your Freedom From Shame


Brene Brown is famous for her talks on shame; if you haven’t read or listened to her books or lectures on youtube, you need to. Almost everything I’ve learned regarding shame has been from her, so she gets all the core credits here. But what I’ve come to realize is in my darkest moments, it was shame that kept me there. Don’t let it keep you stuck. 


You are enough! You are worth it! 


One thing I wish I had known that would have made healing and finding myself easier.

One thing I wish I had known that would have made healing and finding myself easier.

Have you ever heard something that gave you a bit of a revelation? One of those ah-ha moments where you went, “wow, I wish I figured this years ago!” I had that experience a few days ago. What he shared wasn’t a new thought, but the way he explained it caught my attention. I was driving, so I couldn’t write it down word for word or the gentleman’s name who said it, but here is my version of what he said. 


Our mind doesn’t care about time. All the thoughts and emotions throughout our lives are forever stored in our minds within an eternal filing cabinet. What becomes the challenge is how easily we can access a specific file. Some are filed so long ago and pushed right to the back that we cannot access the memory easily at all. Others are at the forefront, and we can quickly go back to that moment. Some are stored in the pleasant and happy files; others are put in the traumatic and terrible feeling files. 


This idea was a perfect explanation for ingrained, knee-jerk reactions I have. Some responses are pleasant, like rushing to see a loved one for a hug. Others are bad, like jumping to the defence and lashing back verbally if I feel vulnerable or attacked. These are reactions based on specific files created by particular memories and feelings. I might not understand why I am reacting that way because I cannot access that file. I buried it so deep in hopes of losing it, but in reality, that event in time changed me. That file I pushed to the back, hoping it would get lost only becomes ingrained in me; the emotions and feelings associated with it altered my DNA. 


Then I started to think about it like retraining a horse after a traumatic event. The event could be something huge like being in a significant accident or something that we view as minor; however, they perceived a very real scary threat. After a while, the horse might not remember how or why something awful happened. They only remember that when they did something (got in the trailer, got close to that shed, went through that door), that something terrible happened as a result. I think humans have the habit of assuming time should take care of these traumatic/scary events. Feeling that after a set amount of time, the horse should just “be over it by now.” Have you felt this way? In reality, we have to help them retrain their brain to release that bad memory. 


This thought process is no different when it applies to us. We react, think, feel, function and are-who-we-are because of every single thought and emotion stored within us since the beginning of our existence. I find this incredibly empowering! Knowing that I am shaped because of stored memories and emotions means I can change my perception. I’m not at the mercy of it’s-just-who-I-am mindset anymore. I have immense power to heal and evolve my deepest self. 


As much as I wish I knew this years ago, I also recognize we all learn things when we are ready for them. We find people within our lives, hear their stories, see their examples, and we can choose to be curious. We can decide to be vulnerable and open ourselves up just a tiny bit to try a new perspective. Or, we can let our inner child who is scared of change keep us exactly where we are. 


I encourage you to start taking action and empower yourself by acknowledging you can release and heal from the past. Comment “I RECLAIM MY POWER!”


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