Nose to the Grindstone

It’s been a busy week filled with creative developments … but it’s finally paying off … I’m delivering my life purpose of helping animals and helping people in a huge way!

The Unveiling … here are my two new logos … click on either logo to see the corresponding websites!

Full Stride is a program to help horses and people experience a stress-free partnership.


Answers With Animals is problem-solving coaching for people using animal archetypes.


I launched Answers With Animals today! And FULL STRIDE – Expand Your and Your Horses Comfort Zones this past Tuesday …
FULL STRIDE is a 4-week course delving deep into expanding your and your horses comfort zones, filled with rich horse savvy and science-based content each week for less than $25 a lesson. Course details are at http://www.FullStride.Info – Note: Course Bonuses are available until Monday June 1, 2015. Course begins Thursday June 4, 2015.

Topic: Miracle In The Saddle – One-hour teleconference to explore fear, courage, and safety in the saddle. When: Tuesday May 26, 2015

Presenter: Rebecca Cook OTR, HPCS, LMT and PATH Riding and Driving Instructor and Equine Specialist In Mental Health and Learning.

Why: You’re aware of the power of the horse … for better and for worse. The horse is a flight animal, wired to run first and think second … if it can’t escape, then it will turn to “fight” behaviors. But you can’t risk getting hurt because people count on you to be there.

What: On the call we covered …

  •  Science – what fear does to your body (and horses too) covering the Amygdala, the Vagus Nerve and the Fight/Flight Response
  • Horse Psychology – the exacerbating connection between you, your horse, and fear (Horse as a herd animal, in the here and now, reacts more to sensation rather than thoughts like humans do)
  • Stress Management – the one thing you can do to immediately minimize the effects of fear and enable courage (hint – it works even better in the saddle!) Diaphragmatic Breath and Muscle Relaxation
  • Practical Advice and Experience – actually learn exercises and education in this class that are readily applicable in and out of the saddle – Ideal Horse Meditation and discovering the gaps between your current horse and your ideal horse so you can problem solve training and safety

    Receive a free recording of the May 26th Miracle In The Saddle call with your registration in FULL STRIDE!

As you can tell, I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone and these creations are beginning to unfold!

Everything is in Blossom

Crabapple blossom

Crabapple blossoms in a spring rain above.

Below, lilacs in bloom, creating a crown over the old milk house.

Lilacs in Bloom Lilac crowning milk house

May is morel mushroom time and my husband enjoys the “hunt.”

Morel bag of mushrooms with Joe

Morel Mushroom

But what has been blossoming for me is ideas … I can’t believe how open and flowing everything feels right now – in the Spring. Maybe it really is a renewal?!

I’ve been doing saddle fitting since I first started offering therapeutic riding lessons over 20 years ago. The saddles needed to fit the horses to avoid the pain related equine fight/flight response with this group of special people who lacked the ability to sit evenly in the saddle and whose balance could be easily challenged.

About 10 years ago I began to offer saddle fitting on a 1:1 basis with my Centered Riding lesson clients – usually professional adult women who were newer into horses.

Over the years, I’ve perfected my saddle fitting system and now I’m creating an online product so everyone, no matter where they live, can learn basic saddle fitting principles and find the best fitting saddle the first time out.

I haven’t launched Saddle Fit Simplified – Lesson in a Box but here’s a sneak peak of some of what will be available in the next month or so!

Nicci Chalk drawing

Determining the Saddle Fitting Area on the Horse.

Measuring gullet width

Measuring Gullet Width and Shoulder Angle.

Saddle Fit Simplified

Stay in tune! It’s coming soon! Updates are available on and at my Facebook group



Yes, this a real plant. Even nature grows in tangles. What’s the definition of tangle?

Tangle can be used as both a noun or a verb – it can be a thing or an action. As a thing, a tangle is a confused situation or intertwined thing. As an action, a tangle is something that obstructs, twists, overgrows, or is a conflict.

But maybe, we can also create a new word definition style – how about a t-angle … the “t” is the vertical piece of tangle – looking up on the bright side, inspiration. And the horizontal crossing your “t” is the looking at the practical side, at the details. And the “angle” of t-angle … that would be your focus – the angle you look at things.

What do I mean?

Focus on Weeds

T-angle, what is your focus?

Thoughts can cause a tangle for people. Notice the picture above and the one below. They are pictures of the same thing but with a different focus – a slightly different angle. In the picture above, the focus is on the weeds – which is fine if you’re in need of weed pulling (the horizontal part of the “t”)!  But if all you see is weeds, you’ll miss the beauty of the garden around you (the vertical piece of the “t”). Look again at the pictures. Notice the orange tulips in the bottom picture, recently touched by morning rain; aren’t they just amazingly beautiful?

Focus on Tulips

How do you look at t-angles in your life? Where would it benefit you to change your focus?

Do you need to weed things out? Or do you need to appreciate the beauty that is already in the world?

Or maybe a bit of both is the answer to master the t-angle!



What is freedom to you? Being outside the containing quarantine of a fence?


The opportunity to move about at night and not be on a restrictive curfew?


Or maybe the chance to lay on your back, look up at the clouds and dream!


Freedom is all of those things plus more. It’s the opportunity to be out in and experience the magical feelings of awe in the nature around us.


It’s the ability to stand out from the rest and be beautiful and appreciated.


And freedom is the ability to express ourself in art, pursue learning and discover the complexity of God’s creation around us.  Just look at the fractal pattern of this tulip … 3 outer petals, 3 inner petals, 6 stamen, 3 black stripes, the triangle pattern repeated in the yellow center.  Wow!

I’m so grateful for all my freedoms … the ability to move about whenever I want, the mind to learn and dream, the spirit to appreciate and give thanks.  Each builds on the other. If you take away a person’s ability to move about, you also impact their learning, dreaming, and appreciating.

It’s so interconnected. And not to be taken for granted. Freedom comes with responsibility … to remain free, we have to love and respect each other.

I’ve come to believe the wisest, most just, and simplest way to love is to love as God loves us. What about you? What freedom’s are you thankful for and how do you propose being able to keep your freedoms in a way that does not trample on others?