Journal

A place for those who’d like a glimpse at the goings on at Journey-Well Farm.

Welcome to our journal!

I love to journal; I love to track the plans and outcomes of the day.

Journaling for public reading will have a few twists to it. My goal is to make a place for those who care to glimpse the goings on to do so, and hopefully participate in the tracking.

I hope for this to be an entertaining place for clients to go, where they can ask questions and connect on all things that bring us together here at JWF.

Another learning adventure I expect.

Love, Beth

June 14, 2023

Braylynn finally gets to sit on a horse. Thanks Mollie! Bounce gymnastic school with Mollie and Riley- went super. It is a challenge to learn to give to the horse in the bridle and support with the leg when you already feel as if they are running away. They were great together.

Morgan and Rosita- worked on energy shifting to achieve roundness instead of raw aids. Love the ah-ha moments the horses grant us. Very windy day, only one spook from Rosita.

Barb and Ginger have a lunge lesson. First time for me to be on the end of the lunge line post-surgery. Not great on my part, but we got it done and Barb and Ginger were off to the next level- again!

Ava and Naughty Pants (Liam) started off great. He ended up over threshold when the wind and his pasture mates running around the field got the best of him. Ava gets her first experience bringing a horse back to cooperating – she did a super job, settled him, got some stretch over his topline, and got off before the gremlins in his brain came alive again. I love a horse like this to keep riders aware that they are in fact, animals. Respect the fact they cooperate with us and our desire to ride them as a gift from them.

June 13, 2023

This is why I teach, days like today! Every rider/horse team assimilated the skills they’ve been working on! Such fun. Tyde went comfortably around nearly the entire time. Riley was more tolerant as a school pony today.

June 3, 2023

Teams off to school at Carrollton Hounds Fund Raiser!

Dave on Kid (he’s actually excited to go).
Christina on Savvy Pony
Zoe on Tyde
Shaelin on Chilly

I’m so grateful Shaelin hits it off with Chilly. He deserves so much enrichment. A very cool horse who with a little more experience with excellent ametuer riders will really blossom. All teams did a great job! The horses left here to teach were exceptional as well. We did a bit of XC here.

April 29, 2023

Too much fun! Dave set me up with all the comforts and a good day was had. The ponies looked great! It is a challenge getting this done w/o Win. Gayle will let us bring Savannah in. That will be a fun surprise for everyone.

May went by in a blur- PT, lessons, classes, all slowed down with keeping the knee safe. I’ve kept my private journal and record book up to date, not this. Better intentions set for June journaling. The knee rehab and drain on the schedule is cutting into my intentions for this to be informative on the student/horse progress. It’s been an abridged update. I expect that as I get back to my previous pace, it will get on track. Maureen tells me I’m off hand walking and on private turn-out.

One thing- Dr. Tanner gave the second series of spring shots. I opted to do it without help. Good thing all well behaved ponies here! If anyone needed to be handled, it wouldn’t have been with positive reinforcement strategies. This is another “why” people need to train their animals- dogs included to exhibit good manners. When you are injured, you can still work with them if you need too.

All the horses, even Chip were very co-operative and stood perfectly.

Savannah needs to be called Savvy Pony to avoid confusion with our Savannah college student!

April 12, 2023

Motto for the month- Learn new strengths. Train everything differently with an unstable knee until surgery gives you another look at – Learn new strengths. Braced I can still ride with no pain. Tyde is improving when ridden strongly into a frame. Riley needs to work on her seat responsiveness again. Rosita, no spooking in the fields! I’ll be off the horses for now, surgery is scheduled. 6-12 months before returning to usual activities- that can’t be right!

April 3, 2023

Dr. Carlson looks at Tyde and Chilly. Chiro and acupuncture for both. New herbs for Tyde. He’s improving. Something tells me to ignore the saddle fitter and fit him myself. Time will tell.

March 14, 2023

The morning training off the farm went great. The weather was horrible though and the afternoon lessons were cancelled.

Good. I have taught many times on days I’ve had animal friends cross over. This one wasn’t really in me. The message to the barn family will read:

Hi All,

I’m so sorry to have to write that our dear friend Win is galloping in greener pastures today.

We do not know what happened. We found him already gone laying in the field. No struggle, no appearance of hardship. After watching many beloved animals suffer to the end, I will say this is somewhat less painful as he does not appear to have suffered.

I am sure this news will hit many of you hard and I am grateful so many love our ponies. Thanks again barn family for being a great net to fall back on.

Love, Dave and Beth

Heart sick over this guy. I sat with him for hours wishing I’d spent more time with him while he was alive. He was an indescribably cool guy. Is that a real word? Don’t care today. I’m so going to miss that beautiful, kind beast.

March 13, 2023

The dogs are ecstatic! They get to run as far, fast, and free as they want back on the farm. We ran around the neighboring farms for nearly 4 hours. The ponies look good for this time of year. All but Tyde. Chronic Lyme’s and winter are taking its toll on him. Every type of Veterinary practitioner has been on the case. All of them are encouraging, we have a plan. It’s no different than what we’ve been doing, but it is encouraging we are all in agreement. Tyde, Chilly, Houston, and Riley are on my priority schedule to school up. Conditioning plans are made. Dr. Carlson has weighed in on Houston’s plan and we are hopeful he will find employment again here.

Watch out whoever grooms him. He’s very excited to be back to a schedule!

Another cool thing about being away is the reunion home with the barn family. I did miss y’all and look forward to a full week of teaching. The weather is quite warm.

We started using Magna Wave on the critters- excellent results! Hang in there Tyde.

March 10, 2023

There’s just something about this place. Although I miss my farm, and the daily goings on, I am so sad to leave here. Last everything in Santa Rosa Beach until next time; sentiments are too strong. This year I was so sad I didn’t even call Pat to say goodbye- too big a lump in my throat. She seemed to know, as she usually does, and sent back a very sweet text about me checking in later on the trip.

Stopped at Leslie and Alan Porten’s for a half way rest and visit. Met their most awesome new puppy and as usual, was completely spoiled with a delicious supper! Stopping in with them bridges the emotions of leaving my Florida home to happily anticipating arriving home.

February 19, 2023

It feels like going home to be at the Gulf Pearl. Dave and I got a chance to catch up with a long-time friend who is retired and volunteers at a sea turtle rescue. Amazing stories of rescues and learning how they do what they do, it was impressive.

After Dave heads home, Leslie, Tracy, Hilda, Shirlyn, and Stacie spend some time. Not enough time, I do hate to see them head home. So does Carys. One year, she sat at their bedroom doors whining. I opened the doors for her to see they did, in fact, leave. As Carys searched for a trace of them, I took that opportunity to empty the bathroom trash. She caught a whiff of someone’s hair and ran over. She was so excited! She poked around in the trash as if she was trying to tell me they were still around- too funny. She sulked a good day before bouncing back.

February 18, 2023

Dave and I drove through to the trial site, checked it out, and set up camp in our hotel. All went well with the dogs settling in. The trial site is at a park, we saw an armadillo sunning itself on what the Floridians say is the first really warm day so far.

The rings were in a covered horse arena, but with fencing Jigger could easily duck out of. No problem for Lore and Carys, they did much better on video than how it felt to run it. Jig got measured successfully! One more measurement to go some other day. I’ve trialed twice in Florida and gotta say they are the nicest people. They know each other very well, so a new comer stands out. Lots of them come by and welcome me, chat about dogs, and wish us well.

Great trial, the dogs were super. Off to the beach house! Knowing we have an awesome crew at home, headed up by Amanda makes being away a bit easier.

February 2, 2023

Gearing up to road trip to Florida with Carys, Lorecan, and Jigger for three weeks! It would be a dream to someday be a Snowbird. It is always very hard to leave the farm, my family-especially the grandkids, the animals who don’t get to come. However, it is much harder for me to fight the winter. It’s hard for many, that’s why I invite people to join me.

The dogs are entered in a trial on the way down. I’m curious how they trial after traveling. Jig needs to be measured and is still learning to allow people to touch him. This will be a challenge! His re-training is going well and I’ve filed all the good advice from coaches, vets, and friends to use as needed.

January 9, 2023

This is going to be the busiest month to date. I have decided all outstanding business projects will be completed.

I hate doing business projects- then again, does anyone love it? While I won’t be competing my dogs in the effort to accomplish these goals, I do have some great training opportunities for them. If I were to allow it, I’d be a little nervous about our upcoming Agility Workshop. Mentally tough and we’ve prepared to the best of our current abilities- that’s why we’re going to this. I will relax and enjoy it, so I don’t miss a thing to apply to our development.

Daily dog, personal, and business practices. 2 days/week rides. 6 days this week lessons. Lord, guide this please!

January 8, 2023

I received THE BEST gift from Liam today. He was sunbathing! In the decades I’ve known this horse, I can’t recall him laying down. He obviously goes down- I’ve seen him roll and seen his rewards from rolling many times, but I’ve never seen him lay down and rest. He usually props himself on a wall and balances with his head and neck. This is part of the decision to try him out full time. I noticed an improvement in his soundness after the first week and now it is quite obvious full-time turnout is the best thing for him. He looks comfortable and settled.

How many others would benefit from the same? Maybe another farm goal would be to have less horses and more run-in sheds. The whole day was a blessing- Riley started off typically resistant with Mollie, but in less than a quarter hour was beyond her last good ride.

Agility lessons were inspiring too. Nearly every single team both Saturday and Sunday showed vast improvement. Handling was clearer, the dogs were engaged, the handlers learned to acknowledge engagement with their dogs before continuing on course. !!!!! Debunking my belief system to always be productive, the lesson of the week is a good refreshing break can move you unexpectedly ahead. Well done everyone! I am fortunate to learn much from those who let me teach them.

December 26, 2022

It’s the last week of December and the lesson plans focused on building skills for the riders without stressing the horses in full winter coats on a 60-degree day. I’m not complaining at all, loving this myself, but the animals are only enjoying it if sunbathing is the only thing on the schedule. The week prior to Christmas the temps were season lows with highs in the teens. The quick changes in temps always concern us, it is very hard on the horses and colic occurs more frequently. Liam has just switched to full turn out so I’m glad to see the temp rise a bit.

The Tuesday lessons were all with horses we decided not to clip for the winter. Rider fitness and establishing a stronger lower leg position became the lesson plans. Suppling exercises for horse and rider with core conditioning for the horses proved effective. All showing great improvements from the summer/fall training. It’s so rewarding and inspiring to see the results from collective efforts.

The college kids are back for lessons during their break and while that makes my heart happy, seeing they haven’t lost a thing is the coolest. Savannah’s riding improved even. I’ve had really good rides on Riley, Rosita, and Tyde. Riley worked through her left side bias, Rosita stronger in the canter, and Tyde continues to recover from Lymes. On Sunday I hopped on after his half hour private and easily got the left lead canter on three strike offs. Sustainability is improved to a few trips around the ring with greater ease for him.

Dogs this week- Started Handling 360 and keeping up. Still not finding time to enjoy participating in the community, but that’s ok for now. Jigger is getting the foundation he needs, Carys will just do agility for exercise now, and Lore…………. Lorecan is my mirror. Having just seen that in print I have clarity on proceeding.

Now, God, will you help me and direct my steps? As I will soon write to a class who took a fitness workshop with me- when you’re not sure what actions to take, start with a training plan. Pick one thing, break it down, and write it out. One step at a time. This dog loves to work, but only when she knows what is expected of her. Although she will participate anyway, giving me a false sense of accomplishment, the quality and balance between effort and ease are lacking.

As Julie points out to me, remember to use your yoga training in your life. Isn’t that why we practice yoga?! Isn’t bringing yoga to life the goal?