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On waking, feeling the cool temperature, I was compelled to get up and enjoy Heartland and Jaynes Herd, knowing we are likely to get another intensely hot day, after 9. 

BachCedarWhiskey & Presence all tended, their roses (I began to tend the roses because the herd adore eating them, and now I love the roses for many more reasons than their nutrition!) drew me in. I knew I would enjoy weeding and edging the garden, because the sky began to drop water. Not quite rain, but promising, nurturing, and the climate is perfect at 6am! 

Two hours later, I have completed a row started by Megan and I last week. Our progress is slow. Couch is difficult, roses are vicious company when gardening, and anyway, we spend the majority of our time with horses and humans, not landscaping.

It doesn't matter. The task is meditative. The task gives appreciation to the garden, a place that gives us beauty and food. I may spend several hours tending the garden over summer - early mornings, of course! The veg patch needs attention. Our Aloe Vera has been neglected. When I tend to our garden, starting with our soil, I love the inhabitants of Heartland, and I love myself. 

XJ


 
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At The Heart of Horsemanship, we know that you are motivated in the same way! 

You believe you will FEEL BETTER than you currently feel, if you choose... the next choice you were about to make!

It does not matter if you are misguided. It does not matter if the choice you make results in bad feelings. IF YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR INTENT IS TO FEEL GOOD, YOU ARE EMPOWERED! 

Now you know that like Presence in this moment, you want to FEEL GOOD, you can glance around you with the gaze of appreciation, and YOU WILL SEE SOMETHING THAT INVOKES GOOD FEELINGS! 

When you FEEL GOOD, decisions become easier to make. Choices simpler. You increase the percentage of time you spend FEELING GOOD, and of course decrease the time spent feeling "Off." 

If the thought of FEELING GOOD invokes a voice - your protective ego (incidentally; absent in Horses) which reminds you that you may not be entitled to FEEL GOOD. You haven't worked hard enough to FEEL GOOD. Who are you to FEEL GOOD while others DON'T! Or even, I'm hesitant to reach for GOOD FEELINGS because I'm familiar with mediocre, I'm afraid to FEEL disappointed. OR, you simply FEEL GOOD by FEELING "at odds" with the flow the herd are drawn toward. We're here to tell you, from OUR HERD AND YOURS - Now you know that you can FEEL GOOD more often, that YOUR HEART seeks GOOD FEELINGS. That horses seek GOOD FEELINGS - anytime you feel "off" YOU MADE A CHOICE. FEELING "OFF" separates you from the herd.  

We love and appreciate you for exploring your feelings. We are explorers too. 
Join us, Join OUR HERD, Join with Horses. 

FEEL GOOD! 

 
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Bach IS the BEST! 

My right arm is in a sling, due to strain. My RIGHT ARM Bachy knows how to help me get the job done. Hooves still need filing, even if I am having to use my weaker, less coordinated left hand. 

Thanks to Megan, between us we trimmed all 5 horses in our herd here at Heartland this week, despite heat and being one-armed. What a team! 

XJ

 
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Little Rupert Diggin

Megan, our apprentice, saved his life when he was hours old, and his mother killed. 

He has been coming to Heartland with Megan since his first few days alive, and ably assists us with our work... 

 
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"Some recent images, shared on Facebook, of Bach, reminding us all that although Cedar is currently getting all the attention, being "The Face of The Heart of Horsemanship," he is the centre, The Source! XJ"

 
Like thunder, the sound that penetrates all thought, all action, and alerts me to focus - galloping horses! 

I leapt from my bed to look in the direction of the herd thunder, to see Whiskey animated, breathtaking, cantering around a tree. Mane swirling like waves, tail held high, neck arched as he gestured towards his rival - Adonis. Adonis cantered after Whiskey determined. They stopped and turned to kick out at each other, or rear and lock forelegs, several times. I could see Bach with Cedar under the tree, unconcerned but watchful. 

Energy flew out from the playing horses like heat from a fire. I thought, "I guess the cool change, fresh grass, has inspired them to play," but then I saw Bach walk to Adonis, to reprimand him. Just a touch with his nose, yet the presence of a Master. Adonis swiftly grasped the fly veil Bach wore, ripped it from his head and dropped it from his teeth like it was on fire! Bach drove Adonis away, Whiskey joined Bach for some stillness. 

Then I saw Adonis walk to Cedar, and mount her, but dismount moments later, frustrated. Always about sex! Whiskey believes he is Lancelot to Cedars' Guinevere. Bach is Arthur, absent. Adonis believes he is Bachs' heir. Whiskey will continue to guard Cedar from Adonis, until Bach returns for a while. 

Who needs movies! 

And Presence? Grazing on the fringes, uninterested in the drama. This time... XJ
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My latest published effort with my Xmas-present Canon. I'm learning more each shoot (I've still 3 shoots to view once more, watermark and share, so I hope to have improved with each since the date these were shot, 23rd December at THIS EVENT). 

My photographic subjects are learning with our herd and I - to communicate across a species barrier, to play and be safe. I know horses better than anyone, and as a horse interpreter, I know which captured moments are valuable from the point of view of representing the animal, the personality and spirit rather than "looks." This enables me to have a great time with horses, turn them into awesome models, so to speak, for their "photoshoot". It has made me rather indifferent to the thousands of professional photo's of horses that pass in front of my eyes. Technically beautiful - troubled and suffering subject...

Obviously there is a lot of action, movement, and changeable light in my teaching environment, but I'm getting the feel for focus now, having lined my red light up on the horses' eye the first shoot after I even realised I could choose the red light, rather than rely on the dozen or so variables the camera offers! Of course as the subject moved I got great detail of his ear - now in the former position of the eye! I line the dot up where the eye is likely to be by the time I press the shutter now! 

Sunshine and clouds are coaxing more awareness out of me, and after spending MANY hours editing friends photo's with horizons on incline, or the subject not central or cut inappropriately in some way (I'm use Microsoft Office to cut and rotate - CS6 intimidates me!). I am now much more particular to frame the scene, the camera settings, for a good shot, hopefully NOT requiring edit. Editing is SOOO tedious! 

Once again, I type MY disclaimer - The moment is exciting to me, I want to capture the moment and enhance the lesson with words, so some of my photo's are far from perfect, technically, but beautiful to me.

Thanks for browsing! XJ

 
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We love being ambassadors for Horses! 

Jayne Lavender has been part of demonstrations for years, since her first, barely competent demo for skeptical friends, when she was learning Natural Horsemanship back in the 90's, through to events in front of thousands, bareback and rein-less; Western Australia's "Night of Stars," Equitana in its' infancy, at Equestrian Centres in Great Britain and annually since those days at all variety of events, clubs and gatherings, Jayne and Jaynes Herd visit anyone, anywhere, to invite people to discover THE HEART of Horsemanship. Do you know a group of people who would love to know?

We have published an album of recent Demo's here on Facebook

 
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"Incredibly amazing and magical morning at the beach this morning. Billy became a seahorse, embraced the ocean. I set him free in the water and he chose to stay with me. Can't stop smiling! Magical is the best way to explain what we felt this morning." Jessie-Leigh

This is the moment Whiskey recognised Billy as a fellow Sea-Horse. Today we met at our favourite beach with Horses Pudding & Billy, and their partners Katy & Jessie-Leigh, and realised our dreams.

XJ

 
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Appreciation, Alex Cearns

I feel alive with tingles because this image - that you photographed and gave to me - FIRST SHOT OF THE DAY! - now carries my creative contribution, a highlight of a journey still ongoing, so I can complete the circle. 

Cedar was born with a birthmark, and as an unwanted racehorse I was drawn to take on, a stablehand pointed out to me that her "star" was actually a heart, in fact her name was "Heart of Burgundy." At that time in my life, some 16 years ago, I may never have noticed!

Cedar and I have lived more than most these past years. I intended to train her, as did others, only to understand she was the teacher, or turn away from her, turn her away. I lost count of the "horsemen" who told me to shoot her. 

We have suffered together, we have loved more than I was capable of imagining. 

Throughout the years her heart permeated me and our life. It is no exaggeration to say that I am the best version of me that I can be, because of her. 

Even while away from her, teaching in Europe for many months, thoughts of her inspired me to name what I passionately share; "The Heart of Horsemanship." 

Everything I wrote, several blogs, stories, instructions that will one day be published, I gathered as "The Heart of Horsemanship." When at last I released my fears, I began The Heart of Horsemanship as a co-creative project, inviting others to join me, and I knew Cedar was our representative. I imagined a close-up beautiful image of her birthmark, her loving face. 

I snapped various images, none contained her essence. I KNEW that Alex was to be the one to capture Cedar and the photoshoot manifested in September. Alex generously gave me this image almost immediately. Inspired and thankful, I could commence creating based on this photograph - a logo and branding that signifies who we are and what we're for! 

This moment Alex had with Cedar inspired an adventure these past 3 months! I have hired and fired graphic designers who were not able to transform the image as I imagined. I have attended a photography Workshop with Alex & Debora despite not even owning a camera! I have fallen deeply in love with capturing moments I experience with the animals I befriend in pictures, and pleaded with the Universe for a DSLR - which came to me via my co-creative partner for Christmas! I have repeatedly resisted, then surrendered, to learning something I considered too difficult - Photoshop. And as the busy weeks have passed while I continue my work, operate a business, work every single day, each second felt like lost opportunities to expand The Heart of Horsemanship - Cedar's message to the World. I distressed myself enough with this viewpoint to sit with the genius that is a computer, shift my attitude towards optimism once more, and with Alex's image, Alex's gift, and Cedar's inspiration, I learned how to create what we needed. Sleepless, fueled by passion, I saw the image inside my head appear on screen by Christmas. 

Here it is, Alex. My labour of love, created with ingredients from sources like you. A mix of passion and imagination. A blend of beings who contribute small, but always valued, gifts and ideas. I care not that it could be better, or different to another eye, this image is exactly what I wanted and I am happy! 

When I was a child I was an artist who was discouraged, so chose academia, then a "career", then thankfully Horsemanship, as my paths. Your contribution to The Heart of Horsemanship this past year has significantly contributed toward coaxing the artist from her small space within this adult. 

Your work is so much more than capturing moments for display! I wanted to remind you that you emit the ingredients for expansion and you may not hear about your contribution from all the recipients of your gift! You are a light. 

We shine, we create a better World. 

Love,

XJ 


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    Written by Jayne Lavender

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