Palpating for Pain

Today, instead of doing a traditional blog post as I have been doing so far, I thought I would do a video blog or a vlog to those in the know!


In the vlog I palpate Brezia, a mare a Shana’s barn, to identify where she has pain in her body.  I did not use Shana for this demo because she has now been worked on four times by Savannah Aliy Jackson and her Elevates Equine-Lifetime Soundness system, and therefore she is almost pain free!!  It is such an exciting time for both Shana and I and it won’t be long before we have reached our goal of having Shana live out her golden years completely pain free and loving life.


An open letter to Savannah Aliy Jackson, founder of Elevates Equine-Lifetime Soundness

Dear Savannah,

It has taken me a few days to write this because I have been processing what I can only describe as a miracle, not just for Shana but myself as well.  In a way, I still find it hard to believe.  When you have dreamt of something for so long, it is hard to think of it as a reality, because you are so used to the dream.  I know my mare so well, she has been a constant in my life for 23 years, and it feels like we have been searching for something for a long time.  It was easy for many who do not know her as I do, to attribute her pain and issues to being the result of her age, with no true solution.  I know that she is old, I know that better than anyone, but I also know who she is.  She is fire, she gave me wings, she puts me in my place, she is so strong, and she never gives up.  I knew there had to be something out there in this vast, wide world that would help us.  I was always looking, it never left my mind.  In my heart I knew that Shana and I had another chapter.

It must have been an answer to our prayers that day at work where I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook as I am known to do when I am not entirely engaged in my job.  Through one of the many horse-related pages that I subscribe to, I halted on a post from Corie

about an Elevates Equine-Lifetime Soundness free Friday night demo.  It was as if everything came together just as it should be.  The price (free), the location (local), and the topic (full of possibilities).  I was not going to let this opportunity pass, I immediately signed up, but I did not know then that it would change everything for me and my mare.

I can not fully recall what my thoughts were as I watched that first live demo, I was just so in awe of what was transpiring.  I had to let the information sit with me for a few days, but then when I heard how dramatically different Beau, the demo horse, was doing I knew I had to call you Savannah.  I was nervous during that first session because I did not know how Shana’s body would respond, but I shouldn’t have doubted her, she did amazing.  As her body was releasing all of its pain, I felt so proud to watch her process the new feeling being in a body without the discomfort that weighed her down for so long.

The change in her was so dramatic after that first session, that when you started to put your healing hands on her for the third time, I did not quite believe you when you said that she would again show an enormous change.  You were right, of course.  Shana’s body had gotten stronger over the three months, and she was familiar and receptive to your ministrations now.  The relief she felt was immediate, she wanted to move!  Savannah, the way Shana felt while I trotted her around in hand that day lifted me so high.  Then setting her loose and to see her tail in the air, snorting, and trotting with such fluidity, it was a dream come true.  I will treasure that moment and her expression forever, it was the best gift to see her so free and happy.  After you left Savannah, I must admit that I cried tears of joy thinking about the miracle that I had just witnessed.  I wanted to give everyone a hug that day, and after I left the barn I came back three more times.

Shana has grown stronger every day since that third session, and so have I.  It is time to stop regretting what I can not change.  Wishing that Shana and I had met each other at different times in our lives (that I was older and had the opportunity to raise her from birth).  Wondering where Shana’s progress would be at if I had crossed paths with you earlier.  The truth is I do not know what our reality would look like for Shana and I if this had been our path, I only know the truth of our reality; our lives have forever been changed by your presence.  From now on, I vow to only look forward because the future ahead is bright for me and my mare, brighter than it has been for a long time.

Rediscovering “Billy and Blaze”

Many people have sighed for the ‘good old days’ and regretted the ‘passing of the horse,’ but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses.

~C.W. Anderson


When I saw this quote, I had a little moment of woah, that is so true.  I am definitely guilty of being one of those people who have longed for a more simple time when my car breaks down and I feel totally incapable of functioning without modern conveniences.  I know that it is not uncommon that when we find our vehicle needs fixing and we have no other means of transportation, we drive anyway.  Of course our car does not know the difference, but if we lived in the time of the horse, would we apply the same thinking?  Sadly, I know that some people would.  This is how a horse gets ruined and we fail as horse people.  Being imperfect, we have all made mistakes and have seen others make mistakes with their horses.  The horses are the ones who suffer the consequences of these mistakes.

The great C.W. Anderson, the creator of the Billy and Blaze books, knows this and he passed it on through his great writing and art.  I grew up reading Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony, Blaze and the Lost Quarry, and Blaze Finds the Trail.  In elementary school I was always in the library during recess pouring over the graphite images of this beautiful thoroughbred.  It is that same love that horse owners have today that makes the present a better time for horses.  My mare will never pull a plow or carry me into battle and I will never ride her to work or the market.  Our world is much different than what it was and so too is our horses’ world.  All we can do is strive for our horses’ happiness.

What I got from an Amazing Clinic Weekend

Horses have followed us into battle, helped us settle new frontiers, and now the right horse can bring us fame and fortune.  The horse human relationship is unlike any other.  Horses have an amazing capacity for trust.  They are willing to do whatever we ask of them no matter how much it is against their nature.  So why is it that when they do not do what we ask we resort to harsher methods and punishment as if our horses do not hear us.  I have always known in my core that this is bad horsemanship and I have applauded those who start from the beginning and work harmoniously with their horses to create that special relationship that we seek.  However, it is not often enough that when our training is not working that we consider, perhaps our training is not the problem, but in fact it is because our horse is not physically capable of doing what we ask of them.  This is probably one of the most frustrating situations for any horse: to know and understand what you are asking for and to not be physically able to perform.

It was not until I went to Savannah Aliy Jackson’s clinic that I realized that even if you were to bring the vet out, and the dentist, and the chiropractor, that your horse still will not be able to perform to the best of their abilities because of the crookedness and misalignment within their bodies.  By looking at a variety of horses first hand with Savannah we were able to identify different types of crookedness and how that would relate to the horses physical issues.  As a group we then learned how to palpate the horse and identify a painful response.  It was so eye opening to learn these great techniques and then see how the horses responses would confirm our findings as a group.  The greatest thing about the clinic was that it showed me an entirely new way of seeing horses and it gave me so much inspiration and hope of how I can make the lives of any horse that I meet, so much better for them.

Help is on the Way

As a horse mom nothing scares me more than the idea that my horse might be in pain and I am not doing all that I can to make her feel better.  My mare is a lot like Violet the Dowager Countess of Granthem from “Downton Abbey”; her age does not hold her back.  She is still a spicy older gal but she has not been feeling her best.  I would turn her out in the arena so that she could roll, and when she would try to get back up, it would sometimes take two or three attempts for her to get her front out from underneath her so that she could get back up again.

Then one day as I was scrolling through Facebook I saw a post on one of the many horse related pages that I follow that advertised a free demo night at Stanford Red Barn.  It was a demonstration by Savannah Aliy Jackson on her ELEVATES Equine Lifetime Soundness Health System.  Her system claimed to be unlike any other; combining ancient horseman’s wisdom with modern healing techniques to restore the horses’ body to its natural healing state so that they remain healthy.  I was blown away, if such a system worked it would be revolutionary.  It would completely change the lives of every horse who was given this treatment.  The reviews I read were so amazing they were hard to believe.  I signed up for the free demo right away!  Watching Savannah work; it was like I had an epiphany and I could finally see the light.  She went over Beau the demo horse and identified all of his areas of pain, which were confirmed by his trainer.  Then she got to work, changing his body and eliminating his pain.  At the end we watched him walk and we all could see a completely different Beau.  The next week, his trainer told us that he was now willing to offer canter on his own and he want from doing walk/trot lessons to being able to do walk/trot/canter lessons.  It was such an amazing improvement, and now that I had seen it with my own eyes I was able to believe in the amazing power of this system.  I signed up Mashana right away!

Mashana’s meeting with Savannah was life-altering for both of us.  Sometimes when people meet your horse even if they are horse people themselves they just don’t get it.  Savannah got it.  She was able to see Mashana as I see her and there is no greater testimonial than that.  Savannah did the same evaluation and healing work that she did on Beau and all the horses that she works on.  The results came right away.  The muscle group surrounding her left ribs started spasming for a minute as all of the tension and pain that she held in that area was finally released.  At the end of the session Mashana was shaking her head and swishing her tail as she adjusted to how her body felt.  She has never done this before and it was astounding proof of how the horses Savannah works on experience immediate relief.  Now, days later, she has adjusted to feeling as if her body is finally working with her and she is continuing to improve and enjoy her golden years in happy horsie bliss.

Love Brings out the Consumer in me

Some women love to go shoe shopping, some men need to have the latest Nikes, and some people own every Apple product ever made.  In our culture we are all taught to have at least a little bit of the consumer in us.  The holidays are fast approaching and our consumerism has become even more apparent with terms like layaway and black friday encroaching in on our subconscious.  But why do we give into this need to spend our hard earned money.  I can not tell you what motivates everyone else, but I can tell you that my spending habits are motivated by: love. A few years back, Mashana had a bout of laminitis and now anytime I see something that claims to help laminitis, founder, insulin resistance, or Cushing’s disease I immediately switch into shopaholic crazy horse mom mode.  This is the only time I turn into a crazy shopper, the rest of my life I abhor shopping and I will hate you if you make me go to the mall.  I have skipped many a barn Christmas party simply because I never bought a gift because I could not bring myself to go out and shop.  Most recently I was perusing the Dover catalogue when I saw an “EZ Ice Hoof/Founder Pack” being advertised.  When I saw this I was like “ooooo ahhhhh must get now, money spend yes”.  Realistically does she actually need this?  If I am honest with myself….no.  She doesn’t need it and my bank account certainly can’t handle it, but love drives the consumer in me.  I want her to be happy, I want her to be healthy, and I want her to have everything that I can give her.

Committed to You

I have never been someone who is good with commitment.  When I make plans, I have to fight the urge to avoid going out and having fun in favor of staying home and being lazy.  When I was a kid I would leave my homework assignments to the very last minute not for the thrill of running down the clock, but just because I didn’t really care all that much.  I am also famous for wanting to start a fun project, or sometimes even actually starting it, and then never actually seeing it through to completion.  Just a few weeks ago I came across the most amazing DIY project for Moss Graffiti and I got so excited.  I had my friend roped into the project and we were going to do it together.  In my crazy loco mind, I saw myself becoming the next Banksy.  To date, this project is still in the “wow that is a cool idea” idea phase and I have made no effort to even get underway.

The one thing in my entire existence that I have ever committed to is my horse.  She is the one thing that means more to me than every other thing that I am willing to blow-off.  In fact, sometimes I even blow-off other commitments in favor of being with her.  I remember having to go to a Spanish study session because my grade was so bad, but instead I opted for a bareback trail ride.  I had not planned on going to the barn that day, so I did not have any riding gear; instead I changed into my gym clothes and rode in those.  After our ride, I changed back into my school clothes and picked my brother up in my mom’s old Volvo station wagon and no one was ever the wiser that I never made it to Spanish.  If I had gone, I never would have remembered what I learned in Spanish that day, but I will always remember the great ride I had when I should have been at school.

Today, commitment to me means getting up early, getting dressed for work, throwing on sweats over my work clothes and driving five minutes down the road to the barn.  There I give Mashana her supplements, feed the barn cats, do a quick stall clean, check her water buckets, give her a big kiss and then run like hell back to my car because inevitably I am late.  Then I am gunning it down the freeway the 40 miles to my desk job.  Once I make it to the parking lot, I peel myself out of my sweats, hoping that none of my co-workers see me doing my quick change from my true horsie self into my disguise as a young business professional.  This is my everyday crazy routine, the only example I can give to show that I know the true meaning of commitment.

Introductions are in Order:

I have been on a journey for the past 22 years.  No I have not been not been backpacking across the globe (although that does sound quite exciting, and I would not turn down that opportunity if it came along). Nor have I been on a journey of romance (I have never kissed a stranger on the balcony of the hotel Du Cap).  No no no, in fact I would go so far as to say that I have gained so much more from this journey than I ever could have from any other adventure.  It has been an educational journey through which I have learned much, but I find myself learning more every day, an emotional journey in which I have grown into the person I am today, and most importantly it has been a journey of the soul.


Now I have chosen to share the adventures that Mashana and I have taken, with the world so that others may come on this odyssey with us.


The voyage begins now!!