First, allow me to apologize for being scarce on the blog these past few weeks. There have been a lot of things going on in my life that just haven’t left time for writing.
The cold weather this winter has been very hard on my horse Alf. He’s my boy, born and raised here at my farm, and was my riding, driving, show, and trail horse for many years until his official retirement two years ago. He has Cushings disease and is severely Insulin Resistant, but that is being treated quite nicely with Pergolide and a low-carb diet. Two years ago, he was diagnosed by ultrasound with DSLD/ESPA, a degenerative connective tissue disease. He has been stable on Dr. Kellon’s experimental protocol, but the cold (extra cold far earlier than normal) is wreaking havoc with him and he’s been having enough pain to go off his feed. The scariest time was when the farrier was trying to trim his hinds and Alf collapsed to the ground in a heap. He got right back up and we proceeded to trim him, but it was quite a shock to all of us, I think. He’s doing better now, but it has been a couple of weeks of adjustments to his meds and supplements — and, of course, some diligent work with Spirit — to get him there. As you can imagine, my free time has been consumed with making him comfortable and happy again.
For more information about the insideous disease commonly known as DSLD, go here: DSLD Website. The good people on this site are working to make everyone aware of DSLD and its ravages.
My friend’s Percheron had been going downhill as well, and recently had a bladder stone the size of a softball broken up and removed in a surgery that unexpectedly ended up taking about 5 hours. The horse is doing quite well at this writing, and I must attribute much of that not only to good surgical and post-op care, but also to intervention from Spirit. Shamanic healing can really enhance the results of conventional medicine. I smile quietly to myself when I hear that everyone is impressed with his rate of healing, especially when the odds were not in his favor to begin with, for I am keenly aware of the effort that the spirits contributed on his behalf from the Otherworld. I honor and acknowledge their gift of healing energy. I know my friend, the horse’s owner, is very grateful!
As far as my new healthier lifestyle goes, I am still plugging away. I have my good days and my not-so-good days, but overall, I am making headway. It’s all about discipline. Discipline is something I learned in Aikido, something that is actually very good for a person, especially when that person is trying to make changes. I know the word brings punishment to mind, but discipline is so much more than that. Discipline can be “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” It can also be defined as “self-control.” These are the concepts that should come to mind when I refer to discipline. When we assert our discipline, we assert self-control and training which ultimately leads to perfection of our character. It is the manner with which we improve our Selves and our lives.
I had a friend and mentor from my Aikido days who imposed a “discipline” on himself every New Year. Since one of his favorite indulgences usually had something to do with sweets, he would impose a no-sweets discipline on himself until Easter. And he never broke that discipline, for as long as I knew him, in spite of many temptations. I admired his strength of purpose, and sought to emulate it in my own way.
So today I am thinking of my journey to fitness as a discipline much like the one followed by my Aikido friend. It’s just something I do.
PS – I am working on starting an e-newsletter, with informative articles, helpful coaching suggestions, and interviews with the movers and shakers of the equine world. If you would like to be privy to this publication, sign up to receive it on the bottom of the “Contact Us” page on the Black Horse Website.