Solutions for Your Bitchy Mare

Three years ago I was a presenter at the Horse Expo in Pomona, California.  I had a Horse Hippie booth and gave presentations on Eco-Friendly Horse Care, DIY Ideas for the Horse Owner, and Alternative Methods for Equine Ulcers.

I met many interesting horse people at this expo (it WAS California after all) but I really connected with one in particular.  Shelly Black is a native Californian where she lives with her rescued fur family of: 3 horses, 1 donkey, 4 dogs, 4 cats, and 2 cockatiels.  She has been in the equine industry and holistic health industry nearly all her life.

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Horse Hippie Happy Box is Here!!


I’ve been working tirelessly on 3 new projects for 2019;

a subscription box,

a skin care line with equestrians (or anyone that spends a lot of time outdoors) in mind.

and a daily gratitude journal (coming in September)

I’m so happy to announce our HORSE HIPPIE HAPPY BOX is ready to order!

The HAPPY BOX is a carefully curated collection of my favorite handmade and Fair Trade products that are sure to make you happy!  Each box is worth more than $150 but cost only $49.95!! Yup, you read that right….

You can buy by the season (one box) or subscribe for the year.

If you subscribe you will get to pick sizes, scents and other ways to tailor your box each season PLUS you save $$$$$

Some of the Spring Happy Box Items include:

* Mantra Cuff  * Handmade Earrings * Leggings * Vegan Cross Body Bag  * Personal Care items  * Fair Trade Key chain * PLUS Surprises worth more than $50!!

Seasonal Schedule:

Spring Box ships April 15th so order today!

Summer Box ships July 15th

Fall Box ships September 15th

Winter Box ships November 15th

The Horse Hippie Happy Box is filled with products that have a story and make a difference!

Over $150 worth of products in each box which is around the cost of the entire subscription of FOUR boxes!!!

Shipping is always FREE!

So get HAPPY with our Horse Hippie Happy Box!   CLICK HERE TO ORDER >>>> HAPPY BOX

Dear Last Year, THANK YOU. Hello New Year, I’m Ready.

Image: Nantucket Blue

I don’t know about you, but many-a-year on New Year’s Eve I have been soooo ready to see the previous year go.  I was so focused on getting the heck out of that year that I forget the value it offered.  The lessons I learned.

In other years, which were filled with good things, I found myself offering gratitude rather than good riddance.  Then I realized, the New Year’s Eves when I felt grateful set me up for a wonderful transition into the new year.  My energy was positive, focused on all the good stuff, rather than negative.

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The Benefits of Smudging



After two years of unsuccessfully trying to sell our house, I decided it might not be just the market.  There had to be something else interfering with the process. I thought that maybe there was some bad juju in the house.

I had recently purchased a smudge stick in a Native American shop in Asheville, NC so I decided to give it a try.  The owner of the shop had told me to make sure I smudged myself first. Before I did the house.

I had never heard that before! So I did what he said.  I lit the stick and fanned the smoke up and down my body. Asking the spirit guides to remove any bad energy that might be in my way.

Then I did the house, carefully getting in each corner, nook and cranny. It was a Wednesday and we had an open house scheduled for that Sunday.

Let me remind you, we had been trying to sell for close to two years, I was desperate. We had already purchased a new house too!

On Sunday we had the open house. We had 2 offers by Monday. Two really good offers.

Maybe it was coincidence, but whatever, I’m now a huge believer in the power of the smudge!

Here’s a link to a really good article if you want to learn more….

Peace and good riding,

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Wellness For The Aging Equestrian- Part Three: Mental Health

So far in this series, Wellness For The Aging Equestrian, we’ve covered PHYSICAL HEALTH in part one, and NUTRITION in part two.  In our last section we will cover MENTAL HEALTH.

There are two areas involved in mental health for aging equestrians; the physical side of brain health and the emotional component of mental health.  I will cover the three ways to keep your brain healthy including:

A) Challenge

B) Meditate

C) Connecting on a Spiritual Level


Eating right and exercising your heart, limbs, etc. is important, but equally important is staying mentally sharp. Your brain is like other muscles in older age – use it or lose it! Continue reading

Wellness For The Aging Equestrian- Part Two: Nutrition

Believe it or not, 80% of your success when it comes to getting healthy will depend on your diet.

Diet is a four letter word to many but it doesn’t have to mean restriction.  Unfortunately our society has associated the word with some sort of restrictive meal plan. BUT remember….

A diet is just what you eat.  Plain and simple.  Just think of your horse.  When you discuss his “diet” with your vet or riding buddies you are just describing what he eats!

I honestly cannot stress the importance of this enough.  You cannot feel like you are restricting yourself or you will never succeed in your goal to eat healthy.

Your nutritional needs change as you mature and grow older.  This is especially noticeable after age 50, when you may need higher levels of certain essential nutrients to maintain good health and optimal muscle function, at the same time that your gut may not be absorbing all those nutrients as efficiently as it used to.  

Getting all the nutrition you need is even more important when you’re an active equestrian who has no interest in hanging up their spurs anytime soon.

Riding places a lot of demands on your body, and as you get older and your body starts breaking down here and there, in addition to your exercise program it’s especially important to stay on top of the nutrition you need to support it and keep it strong and healthy.

I don’t like keeping track of how much I’ve eaten. Not only do I hate counting calories, but I know that calories are really only half of the battle, as they’re not all created equal.

400 calories of Doritos do NOT have the same effect on your body as 400 calories of high-quality vegetables and protein.

Fortunately, if you can expand your horizons and remove certain types of food from your diet and replace them with healthier choices, you can stop worrying about counting calories FOREVER.  Although eating healthy is no excuse to OVER eat either.

Many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these four simple dietary changes:

  • Eat well balanced meals and snacks,
  • Lower your intake of (or better yet eliminate) sugar, white flour products and processed foods,
  • Eat mostly plant based diet,
  • Eat anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory foods.

What does well-balanced mean anyway?

45%–65% of energy from carbohydrate

10%–35% of energy from protein

20%–35% of energy from fat

This isn’t as hard as it sounds, and you don’t need to be a math expert to eat right.  Just…

  • maintain a high intake of colorful fruits and vegetables;
  • choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods;
  • consume (oily) fish at least twice a week;
  • opt for vegetable oil–based spreads rather than butter, which is rich in saturated fat;
  • select lean meats and vegetable-based sources of protein (e.g., soy, quinoa, legumes);
  • Limit sweets and eliminate diet drinks

As an aging equestrian there are a few things you should add to this plan.

Probiotics:  Just like in horses, a healthy gut is the gateway to improved overall well being and good performance.

It not only absorbs the nutrients you need, but also support and boost immunity.

Prebiotics: Part of maintaining a healthy gut flora is feeding those bacteria (the probiotics) to keep them alive.

Prebiotics are the substances that these bacteria eat.  This photo illustrates some easy ways to add prebiotics and feed the probiotics:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 

Inflammation is such a catch phrase these days but many older folks are dealing with it.  Omega3s  lower inflammation in the body and help regulate muscle growth, plus they are good for your heart!

Eat at least two 4-ounce servings of fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines) per week and you’re set.  In order to get your Omega-3s I generally recommend food over capsules, but if you don’t eat fish often, this is one place to take a supplement to get what you need.


These wonders of nature fight free radical damage that can contribute to poor performance and to chronic disease. Vitamins C and E are great examples of antioxidants.  A few others that helps maintain an active riders’ body are lutein and co-enzyme Q10 (coQ10).  It’s always best to get them through whole plant foods like vegetables and fruits.


Not only do you need to keep your muscles active, but you need to feed them enough protein to stimulate growth. Just think of body builders, the first thing they do after a strenuous workout is grab a protein shake!  By eating enough protein, you’ll also make enough collagen, the substance your body uses to maintain joint, muscle, and bone strength.  The building blocks of protein are amino acids. Your body forms collagen from the amino acids (in the protein) you eat.

Make sure there’s dairy, fish, meat, poultry or plant-based protein on your plate every time you eat.

It’s easy to get your protein. I drink it in my shake every morning.

You can pre-pack your lunch and focus on protein.

And add it to your dinner in the form of fish, or chicken.

Here are 8 great muscle building foods to add/include as often as you can.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is another important nutrient for aging equestrians. It is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and for optimal muscle function and recovery.

The sun is the main source of vitamin D, so as a equestrian who spends time outside, you’re probably good, but as we age, our skin becomes less effective at synthesizing vitamin D from the sun.

Good food sources include fortified dairy foods and fortified milk substitutes (e.g. almond milk) and fatty fish.

This is a good one to substitute with a supplement but choose supplements that are made from Vitamin D3, the form your body creates when sun hits your skin.

As you can see, there are lots of great ways an aging equestrian can fuel their body and keep it healthy! No need to starve or count calories. Mother Earth provides us with a bounty of wonderful, nutritious foods.  You can even share some with your horse!


Remember the main four rules;

  • Eat well balanced meals and snacks,
  • Restrict (or better yet eliminate) sugar, white flour products and processed foods,
  • Eat mostly plant based diet,
  • Eat anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory foods.

By adding good nutrition to your exercise routine you are now two steps into our three step plan for wellness!  Join me next week for my last installment of Wellness for the Aging Equestrian when I discuss Mental Fitness for Aging Equestrians.  Click here to go to the introduction for the series  or here for the Physical Fitness program.

Thanks for joining me in our quest to stay well as we age.

Peace and good rides,


The Horse Hippie


Wellness for the Aging Equestrian Part One: Physical Fitness

Aging may improve the quality of fine wines and cheeses, but it tends to negatively affect physical performance.  As the human body ages, there is a decline in cardiovascular functioning, respiratory ability, musculoskeletal strength and the flexibility of muscles and joints.  The good news is that consistent physical activity can offset some of the detrimental effects of aging.

Before you make any changes, like adding exercise to your life, talk to your doctor. Get a good baseline of your current wellness so you can know your limitations and track your progress.

A complete program for physical fitness should include the three areas of cardio, strength and flexibility.  Continue reading