A Horsewoman's Guide to Everyday Balance.
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A Horsewoman's Guide to Everyday Balance.

#12 Happy New Years

by Laurie Henderson on 01/11/17

Happy New Year to everyone. I am not the type to make New Year's Resolutions because I am always trying to improve, self actualize, or just plain learn something new! Instead,I try to make daily, weekly, and monthly goals. For example during the month of January it is my daily goal to work out...my weekly goal to ride a horse once...and my monthly goal to "redo" one room in our farmhouse. I plan on making a template with each daily, weekly, and monthly goal in order to stay focused and organized on the prize...accomplishing these tasks in a controlled manner without feeling overwhelmed!

In order to achieve the goals that I set I find it helpful to utilize a day planner. I like to schedule my goals into my planner so I know I have an exact time to do each thing. I generally like to get my workout done in the am so I can shower and move through the rest of the day "ready to go". The weekly goal is for me is usually a time block that requires an entire day or large block of time. In order to achieve the monthly goal I list out the necessary steps and schedule them into my planner.
It is important to remember to be flexible about your goals. If you miss a time or an entire goal forgive yourself and just reschedule...You are the boss of your achievements and can move things around in order to make it all happen. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. For me, once I have three days in a row of successful goal achievement I am on a roll and once I get momentum It seems to just get easier. Also, remember to give yourself credit for all of the steps you are taking, small or big. You need to be your best friend not worst enemy!
Good Luck this year in achieving all of your goals... remember the first step
is to think it! Be brave, positive, and thankful! Keep smiling and Godspeed to everything you do today and throughout the New Year!

                    Fondly,
                                 Laurie Henderson 

#11 My Wellness Suggestions to arm yourself during Flu Season

by Laurie Henderson on 01/11/17

It is January and in New England that means the coldest month of the year and just about the middle of the Flu Season. I was raised by a mother who employed many home remedies out of tradition and necessity. I was the youngest of four children and seven years after my closest sibling so by the time I came along I think health insurance was probably part of the equation. I can still remember our family doctor making house calls with a leather doctors bag like the one I keep on a bookcase in my foyer filled with vintage and antique medical items. I have compiled a list of my top suggestions in combating the flu season or any other time of the year when you are fighting a virus or feeling like you are coming down with an illness. I am not a medical practitioner but I do pride myself in practicing Homeopathic, Naturopathic, Herbal, and Ayurvedic medicines as solutions to my families wellness issues.


My top 10 (not in order) suggestions to arm yourself during flu season:

 1. Eat Clean
 2. Take Supplements...do research...buy quality...be consistent.
 3. Hydrate
 4. Ventilate
 5. Exercise
 6. Sleep
 7. Communicate
 8. Meditate
 9. Journal
10.Balance




#10 For the Love of Chocolate and a Dog

by Laurie Henderson on 01/07/16

Super rough night...On Tuesday Reese made a recipe for a dessert and misread the ingredients...1.5 Cups of cocoa instead of 1.5 tsp...She has been baking since she was 8 so this was not the norm...We baked it anyway...not palatable! On Wed morn Bob said he would throw it to the chickens but I trumped him and said no, I do not think it would be good for them and anyway...Hatteras, our yellow lab female, steals food from the chickens on the regular...I threw it into the trash can( a metal city can with a pedal step to open the top. When we got home from work I did horse chores and Bob did veggies for the chicken dinner that was cooking slowly in the crock pot and finishing off in the oven. I asked him to change the garbage bag because I put the cocoa cake into the can and was nervous that the dogs would get into it. When we leave the house we put the pooches on short leads in a designated "go to bed" spot in the kitchen.We had dinner...watched some tv...I fell asleep finishing up an episode that I missed on Discovery while everyone went to bed...At 1:00 ish I awoke to the dogs not in their "go to bed" spots but free in the kitchen with the garbage can knocked over and most of the cocoa cake eaten ...I panicked!!!! I blamed Bob for not changing the bag!!! I was so angry and frightened...Cocoa is very high in the type of "caffeine" like compound that kills dogs if enough is ingested. I didn't know who ate what and how much...I got out the Hydrogen Peroxide and dosed both dogs twice...I looked up on the internet the dosage...this would induce vomiting...I walked them around the kitchen...nothing!!! I then let them out and watched them to see if either vomited...not the case...I brought them in and discerned from their belly size that Hatteras was the naughty cake stealer...I dosed her again, walked her again, and then I cried and went into the living room to get some pillows and wool blankets...I decided to lie next to her on the kitchen floor and to wait just in-case she threw up...or worse, started to convulse in tremors...She laid so close to me ...it was a one dog night! I cried and prayed that Jesus would save them from the affects of the cocoa and to help Hatteras to vomit...I know it sounds putrid but I was one step from the emergency room trip the Veterinarian's office...I think within 30 seconds of the end of my prayers(I am a former Catholic and current Christian so praying takes awhile)she got up and vomited what looked like could have filled a small kiddy pool...I am sorry this is so graphic but I had to share...So, to summarize...

1. Be certain to keep all chocolate away from your dogs and if they are garbage guts like mine...flush the evidence or bring it out to the "dump can" (preferably lockable)yourself.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide 3% will more than likely work to induce emesis. Please refer to this link for more information: Pet MD

3.It is everyone's job to insure the safety of your children and your pets.

4.Unfortunate things happen to intelligent people with all good intentions...do not play the blame game...instead go into action and solve the problem.

5. Lastly, Do not underestimate the power of prayer...Thank you, Lord Jesus! I know you pulled us through this one!

This morning everyone is doing well...Enjoy your day, be your best, and be kind and forgiving.

#9 Consistency

by Laurie Henderson on 01/04/16

Consistency is something that I work on almost everyday. I am a very active person in both body and mind. I almost never go without doing something or thinking about something...for the people that share my space it can sometimes be overwhelming but often I do hear inspiring. I must admit that consistency does not happen for me as easily as it does for. well let's say, my husband, Bobby, for example. I haven't figured out if it is a guy thing, a Bobby thing, or a combination of the two...He is very focused and very consistent. I guess that is why we are married and have been together for over 30 years...we balance one another...and that is a constant.

I guess the reason I brought up consistency today is because when I first started this blog on December 15th I really believed that I would write a blog entry daily. The holidays hit, my car needed repairs, the New Year's Celebration took hold and here I am today writing almost two weeks after my last entry! A couple of days ago I thought about logging on and hammering away with some New Year's Resolution thoughts but decided I just wasn't into it. So, I have decided to number my entries and to highlight them with the point of interest rather than call them "Day One", Day Two, etc. I just think for me it fits my personality better and being authentic is what is important.
As far as consistency is concerned I do think it is important to rally to some extent to master a level of consistency that makes you feel balanced on a daily basis. I do like to challenge myself from time to time and for me that sometimes means to self actualize out of my comfort zone and just "be".
Cheers to the New Year! Laurie Henderson

#8...Winter Solstice

by Laurie Henderson on 12/22/15

I really look forward to the Winter Solstice because to me it is symbolic of what Christmas means ...the birth of light. We begin to gain approximately two minutes of daylight each day after the Winter Solstice until the Vernal Equinox(March 20, 2016) and approximately 3 minutes per day with March being the most daylight gain. I know that doesn't seem like much but to me it is a promise of things to come(Summer) and that is all I need to get me through the dreary days of Winter.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the light that guides us in our life here on earth and promises to guide us to everlasting light and life after our time on earth. As a Christian I do believe that Jesus is the son of God and it is my faith that gets me through the difficult(dark) times knowing that Jesus(light) will be there to spiritually guide me forward. That is what faith is...a belief in something so deeply that the explanation is not necessary because the knowing is not in the proof. 
For all of those people who click on my blog and do not share my belief system I want you to know that another word for God in my vernacular is Love. I think it is important to be kind, loving, accepting, and accountable to the expectations that a life worth living is filled with love.
Happy Holidays and make certain you get out there and enjoy that extra two minutes of daylight tomorrow...before you know it ...Summer will be here!

#7...Christmas Eve Traditions

by Laurie Henderson on 12/21/15

I am a last minute shopper and wrapper. When the kids were younger and making certain that presents did not appear until they were fast asleep so that "Santa" could place them under the tree meant wrapping with the hub on Christmas Eve after out family festivities were over. 

We make seafood chowder and corn chowder on Christmas Eve to keep it simple and comfortable. There is just something wonderful about breaking bread over a bowl of homemade chowder that feels right. Afterward we put a Christmas classic movie on to watch with the kids. When they were younger it might have been a classic like Rudolph or The Tangerine Bear but as they got older the new classic became The Polar Express and it still is. 
I took care of my mother for the last five years of her life while she was dying from Alzheimer's Disease. She lived in our home in her own large downstairs bedroom with an en suite bathroom and propane "stove" in the fireplace. We furnished the room with her couch and some familiar items along with a hospital bed for comfort and ease. Christmas Eve became an event where my youngest of the older brothers would come with his family and they would share in the Christmas Eve festivities. Mom passed peacefully in January 2012 in our home but her spirit is still with us. Now we all get together during our annual Christmas Party which is the third Saturday of December. 
So, from the sounds of it, I should be a bit more organized and have at least a few presents wrapped and under the tree, but I am holding onto the "old ways" as we speak. This week will be filled with some last minute shopping, cooking and baking to get ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I plan on starting in small ways to get ahead of the wrapping ...I will be certain to update you!
The best thing I can offer as advice is to live in the moment and enjoy the Spirit of the Season. I know I do. I enjoy getting out there and shopping with the chaos swirling around me, music playing, decorations sparkling, and people hopefully smiling. I am always to smile, hold doors, spark conversation, and share Christmas Sentiments with complete strangers...I usually feel that it makes a difference and actually that is how I roll everyday of the year so why not during the Holidays!
Whatever your traditions are I hope you find these last few days before Christmas lovely ones...remember you are the author of your story and it is never too late to add a new chapter.
Cheers,
Laurie Henderson

#6...Rich with Love

by Laurie Henderson on 12/20/15

It is the third Sunday of December, the day after another Christmas Party on the farm, in the year of 2015, it is December 20th, my father's 90th birthday. He passed away in 1998 but a day hasn't passed that I haven't seen or felt him with me. I am the youngest and the only girl of four children. My brothers are 7, 9, and 12 years older than me but we were and still are a tight family. My memories of my father are filled with humorous and jocular, hardworking and fastidious, but mostly kind and loving images in the context of life with our mother throughout the years conducting the simple activities of keeping a household and raising a family.

We were not wealthy people but one of my favorite sayings to my own family is that we are "Rich with Love"...that is how my father (and mother) made me feel. It was the simple things he would do and say that embodied that sentiment. Like those amazing hot fudge sundaes he would "build" for each of us in the most spectacular sundae glass with the care of a craftsman. He always made me feel like I was perfect just the way I was and that his love was unconditional. I know I was not the only person he made feel that way. He had that same sentiment for everyone he came in contact with.
My father was not a large statured man but he certainly knew how to get things done and you were certain to do what he asked of you, mostly because you did not want to disappoint him. I remember him always lighting up the room with his amicable smile followed by kind or funny words, at times pointed at my mother,we would all have a good laugh. As we all got older and started to have our own families he was the one who would rock the babies and play with the grand kids.
I cherish everyday but mostly the Holidays because it is a time to reflect on family memories, make new memories, and to treat other's with the kindness and unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us.
So, on December 20th, I say Happy Birthday to my father and thank him for being the loving and giving man who filled my heart with enough love to pass on to my children in the hopes they will cherish the simple things in life and unconditionally love the people they build a family with.
During the Holidays my advice would be to "let go" of the unrealistic expectations you have placed on yourself and to remember your loved ones mostly want to build memories with you. Keep it simple, real, and filled with palatable pleasures to look back on and build family traditions on....Maybe you could start by getting some sundae glasses and start building an ice cream memory of your own.

#5...Christmas Spirit

by Laurie Henderson on 12/19/15

Today is the day that I have my annual Christmas Party, the third Saturday of December, every year...So, I should have everything clean, decorated, cooked, baked, and pressed....This is not the case. My husband and I are self employed which means that I am usually "taking care of business" down to the last minute. This year I found myself running a business errand and picking up some last minute items about an hour away.

On my journey home(before the last stop for some important items), my Mini Cooper battery light came on. I checked the manual and it stated to stop driving as it could damage the engine. Well, I had to get home, stop for my last errand, and then troubleshoot the warning light at home. I stopped at the store( a large box store) and made certain to strategically park so I could "pop" start the car in second gear. Well, after three tries, holding up cars with angry shoppers behind me, literally pushing the car across a two lane road at the light, I stopped in a small parking area to seek out a likely candidate for a "jump start". 
So, here is where the story gets "great"! I was overwhelmed with the kindness from the driver who stopped to assist(even though they could not find their cables and I did not have mine...ugh), the woman who did try to jump my car with her little car(I showed her how to connect as she did not know), the store associate who helped me to call road side assistance(two hours out), and finally, the patron who owned a car dealership up the road who called his service manager to bring a powerful start box(he was returning sox)!
My shout out to you all today is to remember how good life is and to be Present in the moment...I do try to be thankful everyday for the God given life I have and for all of the amazing friends and family I share it with. On this occasion I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the selfless kindness from complete strangers!
Thank you and have a wonderful joy filled Holiday!

Cheers,
Laurie Henderson

#4...Take the High Road

by Laurie Henderson on 12/18/15

In raising four children there have been so many sayings I have coined over the years, some original and others used throughout the generations. One of my favorites that I have handed out over and over again as advice to utilize during conflict or discourse is to " take the high road". I think I started to use this as advice once our children got to the 7th grade, I found that the drama really started to ramp up around that time and for me it was the best advice to give. I am certain that as they got into High School this phrase got a chuckle every now and again but I am certain the true meaning will be used during their parenting years at some point.

Like most phrases and everything in life, it is all in the interpretation. Even the most cut and dry statements and situations have context and that can change everything. The advice to "take the high road" to me means:
1. Be the best person you can be...have high expectations of yourself.

2. Steer clear of the drama and high above the conflict.

3. Rise above the negative comments and behavior and think highly of yourself, if you don't nobody else will.

4.Walk with your head up and your eyes forward because you will most likely be leading the way and others will follow....the high road is narrow.

5. Pace yourself and dig deep...the high road isn't for the faint of heart.

6. Sometimes the high road is lonely but you will rest knowing you did not take the easy way out and you stayed the course.

I think that taking the high road can be great advice in any situation, The difficulty comes with applying it to your everyday life. The first and foremost thing to remember is to be the best person you can be...for me that starts with being kind and loving. Please don't confuse this with being weak and without conviction...no, it is actually the opposite. You need to make kindness and being loving your conviction.
I am a Christian and Christmas is a time for me to get together with family and friends and celebrate the love of our savior, Jesus Christ. I do however, try to keep in mind that not everyone holds the same belief in their heart. To me being a Christian means, "taking the high road", and that means it is our responsibility to be kind and loving everyday. With love and acceptance comes great things. 
During this Holiday season if someone or something is getting the best of you, I hope that you can also remember to "take the high road". My only advice would be to fill up that glass of wine, walk slowly, and square breathe(love this technique...day one).

Cheers Y'all,
Laurie Henderson

#3...How we learn from horses.

by Laurie Henderson on 12/18/15

As I stated earlier, I am a horsewoman. I have a farm in NH where I teach lessons and solve horse behavior issues based on Natural Horsemanship. The basic rule is when we work with horses we need to "listen and speak"  their language which is based on how they act in the natural herd setting. Horses are prey animals and rely on their instincts to survive which are based on "fight or flight" tendencies. The skills we learn to hone when working with horses are: boundary setting, patience, persistence, empathy, determination, diligence, communication, and capability. Horses are great at clearly asking for what they need but also at revealing like a mirror of what we need. The most amazing things happen to a person when they allow the dance between a horse and themselves to unfold...it is not always easy, pretty, smooth, or without circumstance, but it usually ends up in an epiphany of some sort. 

For anyone who knows me intimately, I am a high energy person who has high expectations of herself and the people I share space with. I have learned through working with my own horses how to slow down, breathe deeply, relax, and live in the moment, but the most important thing I have learned is how to take baby steps to reach a goal and how to end on a positive note. 
In looking at all of the responsibilities we have around the Holidays as wives and mothers it is important to remember the rules of Horsemanship. I feel that it all begins with clear communication which can be as simple as making a "to do" chore list for your loved ones in order to delegate some of the responsibilities to them. We have always had a large chalkboard in the kitchen. When our children were younger and living in the home with us I would put their names at the top of the board and list all of the chores that they had to complete that day...kids love boundaries...seeing it in black and white helps. We still have one child at home and she still asks  me to put the chore expectations on a list and gladly checks off each one as she accomplishes them. 
It is also important to have realistic goals of ourselves and our loved ones. For me, since I am a "big now" person, I make lists of everything I need to accomplish for that day to help me stay focused. I keep decorating simple and to a minimum of mine and my families favorite things. I find candles glowing, primitive baskets and boxes filled with greens, pine cones, and berries, a simple tree cut from our land, and annual favorites like my wooden mantle Santa Figures to fit the bill.
Balance is not only something we seek to achieve. It is something we create, accept, and are willing to flex and bend toward.

#2...Square Breathing

by Laurie Henderson on 12/16/15

Well, It is day two here for my new blogging adventure. One of the things I struggle with is time management. I am what I call a "big now" person. I immerse myself in what I am doing completely and usually think I have more time than I do to complete something or to get somewhere. It is a challenge for me to switch gears and to account for "travel time" when I have an appointment to make. So, you guessed it, Time Management will be something that I speak on often, I am also a very big believer in nutrition as science and that the body intuitively knows how to heal itself. I have always been an athlete and even at the age of 52 I find time on a daily basis to work out and for me that usually means a run or an hiit workout. I know that sweating on the regular makes me feel alive, centered(balance), and more focused. My goal from here on out is to make certain I am finished by 9:00 am so I better keep this short! I cook and bake from scratch and always buy the best ingredients in their whole or closest to nature form...that means no reduced fat or 2% anything...real butter, olive oil, whole milk, grass fed meat, wild caught fish...You get the picture. oh yeah, and for all of the people saying: "I can't afford to shop that way". I say that you can not afford NOT to...Your health and your families' health depends on it. Remember, to achieve balance you must be present, have realistic expectations of yourself and others, and keep it simple!!! Breathing is very important and during the Holidays I know that people get anxious and feel overwhelmed...here is a great way to calm yourself down and avoid those out of control feelings or arguments with the important people in your life...It is called "square breathing" ...instead of counting to 10 or taking a couple of deep breaths...Do square breathing...start by closing your eyes and envisioning a square box...it is the holidays so get creative...Now, inhale for 4 seconds...that is one side of the box...HOLD for 4 seconds...that is another side...Exhale for 4 seconds...yep, a side...and Hold for 4 seconds...Done...or repeat until you feel relaxed. This is actually a great technique for those times of panic and stress...it physically slows your heart and is also a behavioral coping skill because you think about how to square breathe rather than the thing that is getting the best of you...Cheers, Laurie.

#1...Introduction

by Laurie Henderson on 12/15/15

Today is the first day of my blog. This has been on my mind for a long time but I truly believe that everything in life has Divine timing. My name is Laurie Henderson and I do think of myself as a Horsewoman. I think I always have been even though I did not start keeping horses or even riding horses until I was around 35 years old. I have always loved them. I can remember as a child growing up in a small town in the Berkshires(smack dab in the downtown), I used to dream about riding and would visit some horses that were kept nearby just to watch them and every now and again I would sneak them a sugar cube treat(I know better now). I am the youngest and only girl out of four children. My parents were blue-collar working class people whom would give you the shirt off of their backs. I had and still do have a large extended family. As a child our door was a revolving one and everyone was welcome. We had a very lively and I like to call it "passionate" upbringing. In our family you spoke your mind, minded your manners, and never minded the rules which were basic ones of respect and hard work. I guess that is how a herd of horses runs...There is an Alpha, direct communication, and constant movement to secure their place in the food chain(work to stay alive). I have been with my husband for over thirty years, we have four children, are self employed, and take pride in living our lives to the fullest. That is what this blog will be about...raising kids, keeping a house, staying fit, holiday traditions, daily struggles, but mostly,  plain and simple solutions.

Dustin...15'2"...Gelding...born in 2001...with papers...Grulla Buckskin Appaloosa...Direct Reined...Natural Horsemanship Trained...W/T/C...Trail and Road Worthy...Knowledgeable, confident rider and handler...$2500.00 to approved home...call Laurie 603-267-6443