Lacey

Lacey

Lacey is our sweet “Princess Pony”. She is intelligent, sassy, and beautiful, and she uses these qualities to the fullest! She is the finest little pony with children or anyone who is timid or nervous. She charms clients with her lovely, expressive eyes and Welsh Pony character, and she is happy to meditate in the sun and practice the art of “Wu Wei”. At feeding times I can be sure to find Lacey standing at the corner of the paddock closest to the house gazing intently at the door for my appearance. Lacey and Willow came to Ravenheart when an elderly gentleman named Cliff from the Quill Lake area in Saskatchewan became too ill to care for them any longer.

Lacey as a Princess. She does things in her own time when she wants to. And she does not come up to just anybody. She is a good teacher of the philosophy that even if someone does not always greet you, it does not mean they intend to harm you or that they do not like you. She just happens to be a princess and that is how princesses act. Princess-like. She does not look down on humans or treat them with contempt. She is just a princess and acts accordingly. You can take it personally, or you can just accept her the way she is. Here again, another valuable lesson for us humans. I’m ok, you’re ok.

Princess Pony. Lacey’s nick name and one that suited her personality, fairy tale pony looks, and character. Lacey came to Ravenheart in spring 2007, along with her pony friend Willow (aka Brownie). I was at my Dad’s memorial service when an older gentlemen and friend of the family in Quill Lake, SK mentioned that he had 2 lovely ponies that he might need to rehome due to health reasons.

Lacey Senior Love

Sure enough a couple of months later, in April 2007, I received a phone call from his wife asking if I might be interested in the ponies, and if not, they would be taking them to auction on April 21st. I said I would come and see them right away. As soon as I walked into their corral Lacey came to me and put her nose on my chest. There was only one decision to be made. I knew she was coming home with me, along with her friend Willow of course. It was love at first sight.

Lacey and Willow were once working logging ponies in Manitoba. Cliff, the gentlemen who I purchased them from, had bought them for riding ponies for his grandchildren. They arrived at Ravenheart with their old blue halters, handmade lead ropes, and their cute pony driving bridles. Raven and Sugar accepted them right away.

Lacey was a beautiful grey 12 hand Welsh Pony. She had grey points as in some of the pictures which gradually turned pure white over the years. You couldn’t ask for a nicer pony. She was smart, cheeky, steady, beautiful, and friendly. She was confident, independent, safe for all ages, and loved to be in the limelight.

Although I don’t know much more about her background, other than she seemed to have been beautifully trained at some point, and probably shown in Welsh Pony classes, as she loved to be groomed, braided, and fussed over, and would “stand up” like a show pony.

Taylor and Lacey

My niece Taylor showed an incredible affinity for horses and all animals. It started with her collection of stuffed tigers and progressed to an enormous collection of animal figures, including barns, fences, jumping equipment, tack, and more. As I had dreamed of having my own pony my whole life, with my first horse Raven coming to me at age 40, I thought I would gift Taylor with Lacey at Christmas one year, a real pony to call her own.

Lacey and Taylor shared a special bond of love. Taylor couldn’t have had a nicer pony to spend time and learn from as a beginner. The photos attached will give you a glimpse of their journey together.

Here is a note posted by Taylor after hearing that Lacey had crossed over the rainbow bridge:

“Appreciation post for my baby girl who passed away this morning ????. Whenever I would go out to my aunties, my favourite part was getting to spend time with you. You were my best friend and ALWAYS loved when I came to visit you. You were my first and only horse who I love very much and the farm will not be the same without you. I love you so very much my Lacey, little Angel pony ❤️. Thank you for the many great years I spent by your side.”

Taylor

Horse Angel Lacey

Lacey made a lot of friends along the way as an equine assisted learning partner at Ravenheart Farms. I loved this sweet pony. I could have a field of ponies just like her. I, Taylor, and all of the Friends of Ravenheart will miss her beautiful pony character. Thank you, Lacey. You really are an angel pony now.

RIP Lacey
2000 – 2017

Love Lifts Us Up
“Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry
On a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the world below
Up where the clear winds blow”

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Willow

Willow

Willow is the Shape Shifter of the Ravenheart herd. Generally, she is a wise, loving, sensitive and sweet little mare, the shy one of the herd, but ask her to do something she’s not ready to do and she’ll show you her “teenage boy” side.

A recent workshop participant intuited her “real” name to be Rockstar! Brownie is the quiet observer. She connects strongly to people who are sad and grieving, or who need a little love and nurturing in their lives. She also loves a good hug. A quote from a participant captures her intuitive nature.

Willow (aka Brownie) came to Ravenheart along with our sweet Lacey, from an elderly gentleman named Cliff in the Quill Lake area in Saskatchewan when he became too ill to care for them any longer.

I don’t know about the others, but Willow said to me, through Carol’s interpretation, let it go and let it be. Willow sensed in me a great tension in my body. Perhaps, my dear, she said, you need to stop being so haughty. You’re not fooling anyone, certainly not me. Just be yourself – let go, let God, and then you will see…”

Participant

Spirit

Spirit

This is Spirit. We adopted him from a neighbour at 10 years old. He was still a stallion and seriously overweight. He lived with a family but by himself.

He was with us just a short 3 weeks. He passed away during his gelding/neutering operation. It was a really tragic situation. He was like a little medicine horse. When we went to see him at the place he lived, he took us down a hill to show us where his hay was and his little shelter. He was full of piss and vinegar, as most little mini stallions might be.

Charlie

Charlie

harlie has been the very best friend for 14 years. Our friend Christine was visiting Ravenheart shortly after I moved to the original Ravenheart Farms in 2007. It was a Sunday morning and we were enjoying a quiet winter day with coffee and friendship, and Christine was reading the small rural newspaper called the Humboldt Journal. With excitement she read me an ad in the classified that said Free Bichon/Poodle/Border Collie puppies to good homes. We jumped up, called the number, and jumped in the car and headed towards a small village called Guernsey and picked up the most adorable pup in the world, Charlie and drove home with him cuddled on Christine’s lap. Just as we were arriving home after the 40 minute drive, Charlie initiated Auntie Christine by throwing up on her lap.

Charlie is smart, cheeky, loving, and a devoted friend. He and sweet 6 month old Polly bonded quickly and enjoyed many years together. One summer day Charlie kept coming to us though the dog door and barking, then going back out. This was odd. I went out to see what he was up to and he led me towards the woods where I found Polly stuck in an old building. She had been able to push the boards inward, but wasn’t able to get out. Charlie was letting us know!

Rosie

Rosie

Rosie joined our family of 4-legged friends in the spring of 2019. She had just turned 7 months old and had been raised or fostered by our local vet tech, along with her sisters Violet and Daisy, for Paws & Claws Animal Rescue. She is part Shepherd and Pyrenees, and who knows what else. Tall and lanky, fast and clumsy, as she grows into her legs and ears, she is a very good girl. As I write this on February 20, 2021, we are celebrating her 2nd Birthday.

 

Rosie is friendly, loyal, discerning, and very good with the horses. She plays a bit rough with the cats who keep a safe distance, yet not at all aggressive with them.

She is a good farm dog who sticks very close to home, loves the couch, eats horse poop, and barks her warnings as necessary. She greets everyone who comes to Ravenheart with a little cautious discernment at first, and then friendly exuberance. Her silly ears land in many positions throughout the day.

 

Elmo

Elmo

Here is Elmo. He lived a good long life, using up all his 9 lives.
He was here at the farm when we moved in. Previous owners said he was probably 20ish. He had once been missing for a few days and they found him injured in the woods, possibly due to a coyote attack. They took him to the vet and he lived to tell about it.

Sarah

Sarah

Sarah (AKA Penny). Determined, bold, no-nonsense, cautious, protective leader, strong-willed, independent, smart, beautiful. We will all miss your big, bold, beautiful presence.

She was a lovely and willing participant in the Raveheart Equine Assisted Learning programs and retreats. She loved being groomed, enjoyed her treat bowls, took care of the herd so well, took her “job” very seriously, and preferred a “hands-off” approach unless she was being groomed at liberty. When she connected with someone, it was obvious and powerful to see. If you were one of these people, you know and understand how special this was. ♥

Sarah moved on to the horse angel herd on Sunday morning, August 7, 2016. We appreciate the kind and gentle veterinarian who did all he could to ease her suffering. (Colic – Equine colic is a relatively common disorder of the digestive system. Although the term colic, in the true definition of the word, simply means “abdominal pain,” the term in horses refers to a condition of severe abdominal discomfort characterized by pawing, rolling, and sometimes the inability to defecate. Source: Google)RIP Sarah. We will remember you every day as we look over your resting place in the “valley view”.

Sugar

Sugar

Sugar is definitely the social butterfly! Curious, friendly, persistent, confident and steady, Sugar is the boss mare at Ravenheart , and Raven was the love of her life. (See Raven’s story below). Sugar arrived at Ravenheart as a one and a half-year-old filly. The day her owners Joe, Alaina, and Paul trailered her over is still clear in my mind. This sweet and brave little mare stepped carefully off the trailer and calmly followed me to the paddock to meet Raven over the fence. It was love at first sight. As a 4 day old filly, Sugar had an accident in the pasture where she received a serious injury to her face (a kick from another horse, or possibly from running into something like a post), just below her right eye. Fortunately, her sight was not damaged but she lost her tear duct so she always looks like she’s shedding tears from that eye. She connects deeply and lovingly from her heart.

“Sugar is one of the most loving, caring horses I have ever met, with such a beautiful energy around her. She is inquisitive in a healthy way, she will come up and check out what is going on (usually after Flicka has done some reconnaissance work!take this out) and will gently nudge you or even, when she knows you, rub her head on your back or front. She has a big, strong, heavy head so you have to always be present and aware and focus when she is around you (and not only with her, with all the horses) because she means well, she likes people and she is always there for you to give her a hug, especially if you are having a down day – she will give you as much healing energy of hers as you need. If she moves away during that time, again, don’t take it personally. It is very easy to feel a special bond with Sugar.”

Norman McIntyre

Jasper

Jasper

 Jasper (AKA Jaxon) came to Ravenheart from Parkland Ranch in Manitoba. Parkland Ranch is the dream of Judith Graile. Visit their website here: www.parklandranch.com Judith is a gifted and experienced horse woman who trains horses using kind, respectful, and gentle methods, with no bits, spurs, or harsh methods. She rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes many horses, dogs, cats, and the occasional wild one.

Judith messaged me one day to ask if I would like to add a sweet horse to my herd. She said he is only 8 years old, fully trained, and she wasn’t in a hurry to rehome in, but thought he would be a perfect fit for equine assisted learning at Ravenheart. She described him as a very gentle, sweet, quiet horse, and handsome too!

Jasper arrived in early October 2016. Judith trailered him here with a pasture mate, Henry, and two of Parkland Ranch’s intern students, spending time with Judith to learn from her and experience the beauty of Parkland Ranch. 

When Jasper first came towards me I saw such majestic  beauty , then as he looked straight at me, it’s his strength that I see . As he stands closer I feel safe and protected. Words to describe Jasper are strength, protector, beauty, confident, and last but not least majestic.”

Margaret S. 

Jasper quietly stepped off the trailer and looked around. We introduced him to our herd and they spent time getting to know each other over the fence. As Judith and the students pulled away with the Henry and the trailer, Jasper called after them and watched them drive down the road. I always find this part heart-breaking. Taken from their herds and homes, having to adjust to new routines, herd mates, facilities, and people requires us as caretakers to consider all of these factors consciously and give them time to adjust, integrate, and feel safe and welcome.

Jasper joined the herd smoothly and without incident. After the initial flurry of activity as the girls checked him out, he kept his distance from the rest of the herd for the first few days. It was Sugar who he first connected to and befriended. Willow thought he was the handsomest guy ever, Mystic kicked him to let him know who the real boss is around here, and Lacey pretended she didn’t notice this handsome new horse.   

We didn’t ask anything of Jasper through the winter and early spring, except to stand for the hoof trimmer, at which he was the star. It didn’t take a lot of time before he established his place in the herd. With a lot of squealing and half-hearted kicks (no contact), he now makes sure he is the first to get the treat bowl. After I put his bowl down, I give the girls theirs, and then give him a second bowl, so that he leaves the others to finish theirs in peace. He really enjoys the treat bowl (a blend of minerals, supplements & horse crunch), and paws the ground as he eats. 

In April we hosted the first session of The Ravenheart Way. This is where Jasper had his first opportunity to interact with people in a formal way. He just loved learning about clicker training with Saskia Dockrill. He caught on so quickly and you could just see his brain working. This is fun! And I get treats too. This followed with a few opportunities to work with clients and workshop participants.

“Jasper – Intuitive, intelligent, curious, embracing, nurturing, respectful – of himself, of his herd, and (once he got to know me) of me.  Love that guy so much!”

Christine H

Although the majority of equine assisted learning and coaching sessions take place on the ground (unmounted), on occasion a session may include an opportunity for a participant to experience quietly sitting, or laying on a horse. For more information of the benefits of this, visit Riding Beyond at http://new.ridingbeyond.org/why-how/  Ravenheart will be offering a similar program in the near

Raven

Raven

Raven, the namesake for Ravenheart and my wise and gentle teacher. Raven was raised in Saskatchewan on a beautiful large ranch called the Cherry Hill Equestrian Centre. Raven’s father was the Champion Welsh Cob Brynarian Eiddwen Comet.

Like his sire, Raven is definitely wary of people but he loves to work! I purchased him as a 7-year-old from a friend who had travelled to Saskatchewan to buy Raven’s full brother, a stunning Welsh Cob she calls Arthur. Due to rough treatment at the hands of a less than kind trainer after being sold from his breeders, Raven was in need of someone to start over again, gaining his confidence and trust.

I “volunteered” to work with him. I was immediately smitten with this polite, gentle, but very cautious and untrusting little horse and over a short time and much gentle prodding from his owner, I realized the dream of a lifetime with Raven becoming my first horse at the age of 40. Raven epitomizes the duality of the “dark horse” and “lightworker”. He is truly engaged and loves this work, showing up for the people with subtle but powerful reflections as captured by a Horses, Spirit & Play participant during a reflective round pen session.

“I am standing in the round pen facing Raven, his jet black coat shining in the brilliant Saskatchewan sun, his eyes soft and at the same time intent. Unfettered by even a halter, he is, in a word, exquisite. I am reminded of my own writing about my lifelong passion for horses: Sometime between birth and puberty, I fell in love with soft brown equine eyes… and still I am undone.”

He is wary yet stands firmly, directly in front of me, fully engaged. There is no agenda here; we stand and look and feel suspended in an intuitive encounter, a dialogue without words. Time passes. I am not sure if I have taken a breath. Then, without urging, he lifts his hoof and offers to step forward, and then again. He licks his lips and sighs. I feel a soft tingling in my body and inexplicable gratitude in my heart. I gently bow, and leave the round pen. Namaste Raven.

Scirocco

Mr. Sirocco

This handsome fellow joined our herd a few months ago. He “belongs” to Kelly Painter but lives here at Ravenheart. He is an ex race horse/Thoroughbred named Mr. Sirocco. In November of 2017 I looked out to see this handsome guy visiting with my herd over the fence. I went out and saw that is right foot was dripping blood. I put him in the paddock and doctored him up and then went about trying to find his owner. Turns out he was being tried out by neighbours but had escaped, thus the wire cut. After 3 weeks or so he went back to his original owner and at the time he wasn’t ready to sell him. In the meantime Kelly had come to visit him and thought it was the right time to buy a horse. He’s a “saddle horse” as the owner says and is a real gentleman. Mystic was the first to befriend him.

I wrote this little piece the day he left:

Red Horse Wisdom – Nov. 19, 2017

“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you it is yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

Thank you Sirrocco. I loved meeting and caring for you. You are an incredible horse. Wise, gentle, respectful, independent and strong. I wish you a good and gentle life. May you be treated kindly and with love and respect. May all your needs be met…for friendship, nutrition, comfort, and care. You are always welcome here. Come back if it is meant to be. Kelly will provide you with wonderful care if it is to be. I loved being in your presence. Grace and strength combined. Our hearts will be forever linked.

 

You didn’t leave without a fight. You expressed your displeasure as best as you could. You were dignified and brave, solid and careful. You took care of your young and inexperienced rider, but gave him a taste of your power and presence. I am sure he won’t forget you either and the thrill of your power and speed. The horses didn’t call to you as you left. You didn’t call to them. They didn’t race down the fence line to follow you as you rode down the driveway. Red Horse Wisdom…all horse wisdom. The mystery of the equine connection to our hearts. So much love here.

Feather

Feather (AKA Raven)

I was scrolling through Facebook one day last September when a photo popped up of a dark mare named Raven at Blackbird Ranch Equine Rescue and Rehab located in Stonewall, Manitoba. Through the years we have received numerous calls from people who are wanting to rehome a horse. I consider all requests seriously, look at their pictures, and determine if they will be a good fit for our clients, our herd, and our resources (time, money, experienced care required).

Her face, name (because of our “original Raven” and namesake for Ravenheart Farms, and this description below compelled me to contact Blackbird Ranch, an action that I did not take lightly…

Raven is a beautiful little girl that came from an auction in October 2017. She is very fearful of people but slowly coming around. She will take treats from people and when she sees you coming will nicker to you. We have been working on gaining her trust. She is approx 2 years old and possibly a morgan cross. She was very thin coming into rescue but is blossoming 🙂 She watches you interact with other horses and we believe this is helping her along. Last week we were able to pet her neck and shoulder without halter or lead.

After speaking with Corrinne at Blackbird Ranch, I slept on it and called them the next day to make arrangements to adopt her. The trip to Ravenheart from Blackbird Ranch would take at least 6 hours. I thought about Raven leaving a herd she was comfortable with, and people she was learning to trust, for a very long drive all alone, and a brand new herd and people. I had spent a bit of time looking at all of their horses and ponies for adoption and saw a couple of ponies I thought might be a good companion for Raven and for our herd. I inquired about Pudge and Max. Pudge had a pending adoption, so you’ll meet Max below.