So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Christmas!

This time of year is the main time for book buying, then afterwards people are using vouchers. So here is a subtle hint from me about my books and then I’ll not bug you again until the new year!

All are available as ebooks and free on Kindle unlimited. Christmas and Collection are not available as paperbacks.


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Compromise

At last in paperback, yippeeeeee!

Sometimes, things just can’t get any worse, but for hardworking Mollie, they do!

Not only does she have to leave her job at the stables, but she also has to find a new home for herself and the dogs. Then a chance encounter with old friend Chris at the Hazeley show brings a solution; Compromise living. Mollie gets a new start on his farm and Chris gets freedom from being harassed by the riding club ladies.

But will this just make things worse? As tangled emotions and hurt begin to surface, Mollie has to make sense of her past and Chris has to come to terms with his deeply buried sexuality.

None of this is helped by the cows and  Keith, a slightly dippy stallion, whose combined antics and dramas cause confusion and heartbreak.


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Can horses really help?

 

In the Baize Door, Joanna, Diane and Ray find the answers to a lot of their problems and begin healing the rifts between them through the equine-assisted therapy weekend they get sent on by Chloe, Diane’s Mum.  Is this really true? Can this happen?

I’ve worked with horses for many years and they certainly do pick up on our body language, actions and voices, reflecting things we are not aware of. Maybe its a product of domestication or self-preservation. If the humans are OK, the horses are OK.  They work for us and are our partners. They reflect our souls. Let me tell you about my first experience of this.

We were a group of twenty or so people in an introductory workshop and had just finished an exercise working as a group to get some horses over an obstacle very like the one in the book. Those who had been working were standing making an evaluation with the trainer and the horses came over to join in and were being stroked. After all, they had taken part too.

The trainer suddenly turned to one of the girls and said, ‘I see that you have a horse standing beside you. He seems to be nudging you and shoving you to move you out of the way.’ He was, with his nose firmly pushing her aside.

The girl looked a bit sad,’Yes, this is how people treat me in life, I’ve had a drug problem and people use me and ignore me.’ We all sat for a moment, gobsmacked. The trainer then skillfully redirected the talk from the girl’s distress and moved on. This was a course, not therapy, but many times when I’ve been in training, it’s turned into a counselling session for more than one student.

I rest my case!


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The Baize door is published!

I’m soo excited!  You can’t imagine the buzz from having a book on Amazon. Do have a look and maybe have a read!! It’s what I call rural romance, with countryside, romance, horses, equine assisted therapy, of course, dogs and Christianity!

Joanna has been sleepwalking through life living in her family’s ancestral manor house and running the Hazeley horse show.

Then a childhood friend, Diane, reappears, ruining the glorious isolation Joanna and her father have created. Diane opens a riding stable literally on Joanna’s doorstep.

So begins Joanna’s descent into a life of pain and frustration but then two totally disruptive puppies enter her life, and she needs Guy to help her with their training. They seem ill-suited until a tragedy sparks something more.

It is when Diane commits the ultimate betrayal that Joanna realises she must radically change her life.

But how?  Is there a way to reconciliation with Dianne? Can horses help? Will she finally overcome her past and pain to build a new life built on faith and love?


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Niedermohr – a place without culture

View from Guest house window

Niedermohr, the village we stayed in, I found fascinating and found out what all I could. The whole area is very low-lying and is obviously drained water meadows with thick black soil.  Yet at the top od the hills, the land is red, like in Devon, and I found they think it is full of sand, copper and iron. 

The houses I soon noticed had their cellar windows above ground and asked the Landlady if this was right.  She said the area is prone to flooding and where they are converting an old house, the earth cellar is constantly wet and they have to lag it.

She herself offered the idea that this area is without culture.  They local population was wiped out by every plague that has swept Europe, with only a resurgence in the 16/17th century before another bout of illness.  It’s not surprising with the low lying, swampy nature of the land. There  was a couple of battles there in the 18th century and a couple of castles still survive.  Farming is decline apart from growing Maize for heating fuel. So how do you attract people to an area where there is no culture?  Is this an attraction in itself?  The village looked just like a commuter belt place, no shop, just the station and many old farmhouses either abandoned or converted into flats. Most of the income in the area is generated by working for or coming from the USA airbase.There is the attraction of miles and miles of unlimited riding or walking.  But this would have to be marketed, with maybe a marked path such as the Niedermohr route if you see what I mean.  The couple who run the Guest house where we stayed have just built extra flats, and maybe they can bring the riders in if they create a riding centre – but the buildings at the Riding school require a bit of investment to get up to licensed standard, at the moment it’s just half livery,maybe if someone needs to invest in a whole new centre! Yet I feel they are on the right way, maybe Niedermohr will just have a horsey culture of its own!

Maybe you could visit to for a ride!

www.husarenhof.com


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EAGALA and me!

Part of any EAGALA training is taking part in the activities yourself and so I was watching what was coming up and selected what I thought would be a simple one which wouldn’t be too difficult and then my bit would be done.  So when they asked for volunteers to get a horse (s) over an obstacle without touching the horse (I may remember wrongly) , no bribing and without talking, I thought easy and was there.  So it proved, with us linking arms together and with one of the ladies walking by the horse it was easily done, the only problem was the group deciding if finished.  It was the end of day and we all went home and I didn’t give it another thought.

It was only the next day , when we met again that everything suddenly hit me as others shared their experiences. One lady had been blown away by the whole experience and I’d never noticed.  For once I had completely lost focus on the horse, I was just in on myself and getting finished, and no-one else. I had felt I knew it all and this was just a simple exercise that meant nothing.  I know I’m single-minded, and can really only focus on one area at a time, and now I was showing the traits of the old arrogance – it’s still here.  With this, I felt a little low and wanted to touch and rub a horse. 

This set me wondering, do I prefer animal contact to people?  More affection that way too, due to my untouched childhood?  Do I have a need to touch and feel?  I don’t know!!!  Then one of the horses came and started blowing down the neck of one of the trainers and I was reminded of when I first came to Austria.  Despite all my saying I’d given up horses, I was missing them as they’d been so much part of my life.  I met Edda, who took me to visit her horses and as we went across the field, this huge thoroughbred youngster came up to me and snuffled my hair and I just stood there and felt the comfort of the touch, his interest in me, and was so grateful and touched, I felt rejuvenated.  Then at the training, the Shetland pony who was in charge of hospitality came up to the woman sitting in front of me and began snuffling her – I was so jealous!  I was needing that too, then he came to me, snuffled and lipped the side of my face so it was wet – I had to laugh, I’d got double the dose!  Watching these people I was with, all touching, scratching  and communicating with the horses, I suddenly realised I wasn’t alone.  And that was the greatest peace giver of all, I’m not alone in this bond with horses and from at that moment I was at peace.  If this work can do this for me, what more can it do for those in real pain and damage? How much more when this therapy is used to start God‘s healing?