The cropping conunundrum

Grace and Sue 2010045Sooooo Ear cropping may be contoversial, but there are a few things to consider and I ask you to, and go to and sign The Objection to Ban Cropping. “Natural” ears on Danes ond other typically cropped breeds are NOT natural. Created by human kind selecting for other traits ie size, herding, guarding ability, temperment etc. the ear cartilage broke and a flop ear was created. It is a by product of Human genetic engineering and to say cropping is for easthetics only is not not fully comprehend the subjct. NO WHERE in nature is an animal created with floopy ears…its just not advantageous at all. Copy (2) of Mountain Trip054To ban cropping on the grounds of “It’s just an unatural man made desire” is to fail to recognise that ALL dog breeds have been created for exactly the same reason! Let’s be aware and fair in our assements…and dogs that spend their lives chained, forgotten in back yards, puppy milled and posted for sale on Pet Find, abused, neglected and forgotten and filling shelters and rescues from unethical breeders who care not about their chosen breed, with no buyer screening, questionaries, responsibilities outlined. As I search for my new Dane Puppy…I am shocked and staggered by the number a poor breeders out there looking to make a buck. DSC_1653It is so dang hard to get a hold of a great Harelquin Great Dane from a responible and ethical breeder who does comprehensive health checks and breeds once every year or two.  We all owe it to ourselves to be enlightened and awre of breeds origin, heritage and welfare as we created these  beings for our use and pleasure, like it or not. Chromadane has a wealth of links that detail domestication and inherited selection of traits that impact animals.   With gratitude to JP Yoshua for May 2011 008complining such a fascinating and comprehensive body of work….



Home on the Range

IMG_2441  Well…we’re home! It’s been a busy, busy time moving all six horses, dogs, cat…and more ‘stuff’ then I thought was possible to fit in a single wide mobile! WHERE does all that ‘stuff’ come from anyway??? I was astonished by boxes and boxes of accumulated “well, I might need this to fix that broken coffee pot”or tax reciepts from last decade or  socks with just one hole in the toe….yikes! So this has been a time of change, purge and re fresh, all the way around. And boy….it is starting to feel so much lighter and open. Remember ‘the spaces in between’? Hard to allow when everything is jam packed with real and metaphorical crap, and I have been in this haul everything to the dump and Let Go mode for a month now. Start fresh I say…

I have been surprised in any number of ways with this move. Just how deeply down my roots were at “the Dot” and how comfy I was there and how intimidating this whole thing has been for me. Clearly I needed to do it if the change was unerving me. Old fears floating back up to the surface that had fallen down into the still waters of complacency happily allowing me an opportunity to see them again or even for the first time. Now, I will admit there may have been some knee jerk reactions to some of them….like our old friend money. lol what IS the deal with money anyway? Why does it bring up such terror? That we spend so much precious energy in resistance to it when it is after all…just energy itself? My choice this winter to focus on the Art side of me has brought up all my old favorites for a nice replay….like” You’ll starve” and “No one can earn a living doing Art” and my favorite “I’m gonna lose it all, become a street bag lady freezing to death in the corner of a doorjam”… No really that’s what I hear when I actually listen to myself…eesh! So throw in a nice move after living in a place the longest I’ve lived anywhere and winter and well…let’s just say it wasn’t all the pretty in my head for the first couple weeks here…(shaking my head…:)

IMG_2456Part of me wonders…are these big fears around not being good enough, worthy, talented, useful, valuable coming up BECAUSE I am getting closer and closer to my wonder filled, life long dreams?

The more light shines on something…the darker the shadow? Is it BECAUSE I am actually not only creating, but publicly showing (Kamloops Cowboy Festival Art Show) and LOVING creating that I begin to sabotage myself? Or….maybe I am not, maybe it is really all in my head (oh man…I am spending FAR to much time alone) and everything is perfect and flowing along nicely and I just mentally create resistance? Questions like ” who am I?” “What or who am I becoming?”  ” How do I want to live?” ” What is my true hearts desire?” keep coming up for me right now and its all mighty disconcerting. I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time saying ” I don’t know.” And oddly, in one of my morning free writes I wrote back to myself (see? FAR to much time alone…) “You need to get good at not knowing.” well, huh.
I spent the most blessed winter painting, sculpting and riding and hanging out with my personal horses and dogs something I had been trying to do for years and lo and behold…did not end up in a drafty doorjam squabbling with the Danes over their Alpo somewhere.

IMG_2406Actually…I ended up in this most magical of houses in this most magical of valleys with kind and welcoming neighbors, a couple of training colts, a new website in the works and a summer just nicely full of camps I am super excited about and a strong commitment to allowing myself time to paint, sculpt and walk in the hills…or laze around on the back deck absorbing that strange but oh so welcome feeling of warm sunshine on my face.

I am rereading a translation of the Tao and the first verse is ” Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one sees only the manifestations. And the mystery itself is the doorway to all understanding.” AKA get good at not knowing. hmmm Such a human condition it seems; to know what,when,how,why,where with whom…to Trust is so foreign, so lame feeling, so controless (ahhhh), so vague and wishy washy somehow, so lacking in focus and drive and the big Kahuna…safety. It is not lost on me as I begin to dust of my colt starting ‘feel’ muscles again that of course that is what I am asking them to do. Trust me. And every single one is like…what? When? Why? Where? With YOU??? And so it inevitably comes full circle for me. Its a Paradoxical Unity and I love it…

I am attempting another Open House/Warming here again now that break-up is over and the road in has promised not to swallow any small cars or children(well maybe still children:), so if you feel like a road trip…come on out…I’d love to see you! April 6th, its Sunday from say noon til?


One of the Lucky Ones…

A couple months back I had posted a picture of a painting I had just finished up on Facebook, and one of the comments was something to the effect of “Wow, you are one of the lucky ones!” That comment had me sit back in my chair and think to myself… Oh my gosh…its true! I really am one of the lucky ones!

   I am lucky in that I get to live in a truly remarkable part of this remarkable planet. One that allows for freedom of speech, will and expression. A place where with some pig headed determination, focus, and certain degree of “oh what the heck…I’ll jump, it doesn’t look that far down this cliiiiiiiiiiiiifff” I was able to achieve a childhood dream of working with horses for a living. And literally…what a ride! 


What stated so innocently as working with young and troubled horses turned me into a bona fide people lover as well. In teaching folks how to have at home success with their beloved horses, this shy and self-conscious girl turned into a teacher and ack…even a Public, microphone wearing, will she ever shut up chit chatting clinician of sorts. And I love it! And I am so LUCKY to have been touched by the lives of so very many incredibly good people. I have learned so much, been graced with such love and friendship over the years it compels to to wonder at who exactly the teacher even was…Thank you all for being a part of my life….I so wonder what is coming up just around the corner for us!

I am lucky in that I have my health….a body that seems to be able to quite happily heal itself even though I have not been the best at caring for it. I have been on a real diet awareness program since watching my mom pass away and saw so many of her poor eating habits (like say…not eating!) in myself and I made a vow on her deathbed that I would change this in me, learn from her lessons. And I really am. I, Stefanie Travers, now eat vegetables. Yep, its true…and whats worse? I like them! hahaha This combined with being Gluten aware( and if you haven’t heard about this…oh boy, better get reading!), my Bluegreen algae and tons of lemon water has shifted my energy and over all sense of well being un imaginabley. Sage and her toe nail dilemma really reinterated this for me as well in looking at what we choose to feed our dogs and yes, Sagey is eating her vegetables, too! (but don’t tell her:)

I am lucky in that after all this fussin’ and fightin’…I AM CREATING…..STUFF! The sculpture sits half patiently, awaiting my finishing touches before I finally Let Go of this process and tenderly cart it off to the bronzer. What a feeling that will be! So excited to see what it looks like in ‘real life’. And so excited to begin a new…BIGGER ones after getting settled into the new place. And how the painting just sort of took on a life of ts own and even now, as I really ought to be packing things up….I CAN”T HELP IT!!! I keep finding a paint brush in my hand…scratching my head and cursing the ridiculously poor light in here but really not caring…just loving the squishy feeling of the paint, the crazy colors as they mix, the bizarre way I forget about everything and slip far away as I paint and then waking up in the morning and trotting down the hall way to see what the paint fairies did at night….I am so lucky! 

Of Course a huge!!!!!!!!!!!! part of this was due to my very intrepid couch, Karen Lanser at for gently but firmly (hey Karen…want a job training horses!:) guiding me to keep digging, keep opening up trap doors, keep asking why, to find what was laying in wait under the poop with ice cream on top of it….”) Oh, and helping me to get good, real good with…”I don’t know”. Boy am I lucky…

I am lucky to be blessed with incredible friends. Wow…I just never really fully ‘got’ how precious you all to me…some of you have stuck with me for far to long ( not mentioning any names, Inet), some not as long, but journeys deep, and fun and scary and rich with fears and triumphs all. to know you all are just a call away….well, I am beyond lucky. Thank you….for putting up with me and helping us all to shine brightly! 

I am so lucky to have these incredibly special dogs in my life. Without Sage…well, I wouldn’t be doing what
I am doing, that’s for sure. And Griffy in his clown suit…so glad you stayed! Indy…my man, glad to have back ‘on-line again! Espada and Duende…how can a gal get any luckier??? IV…lol sometimes you make me wonder:) Cita and Querida…over there in the fat pens managing quite well on slender diets in sub zero temps…all a part of the wonderful
package. and Taos…not many folks kknow I have a cat. I very small cat surprisingly enough…but fierce and fiesty and SHE is going to love the new digs!   Not sure at all how I got to be this lucky to be surrounded by so many very cool animals!

And I am so lucky to have my family. Chris, my older brother…Saint in a 
Freightliner…honestly. I would be
completely lost with out you! Colin, my globe-trotting, hob nobbing, social lite younger brother…we DO NOT see enough of one another…and my bad! And our dad….Thanks, Pop…for just being there, a thread holding us still connected us a family….And  Todd and Christy…miss you both!

So….Yes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I AM one of the Lucky ones…

Aren’t we all???

Thank you, Leslie, for this gratitude provoking comment….:)

Flower Power

It was a thought form that drifted into my awareness early one morning as I was finishing up my 
yoga and ready to step into the chill Merritt morning to toss hay to my herd already staring
holes through the windows at me….but it demanded to be written. I wonder…where does this stuff come from?
Perhaps it came about through being pulled through the key hole backwards, you know, out of the fire for a little more hammering and finishing. Ah, the Grace of tension….
I’ve come to realize that a large portion of my life lesson homework package is about accepting and embracing my Power and I have been skipping out…alot. And so it was I was musing on this confounding piece of information that had been brought to me via one more pop quiz and assignment uncompleted when I had this very very cool metaphor wash through me.
 It went like this:
Not accepting all the good that flows into me by immediately sharing it to “empower” others or sharing your hard won and well deserved skill and knowledge before it has nurtured you is EXACTLY like not accepting a compliment. The energy just passes straight through you.
Think of a plant in a pot with over dry soil-the water when it comes, just flows right on through and the plant just barely gets enough, needs more right away and looks half starved and desperate. The problem occurs when we do not accept the nourishment(water, love,nurturing,energy…) that the Universe just pours out with ease and abundance. 
Would the plant ever put up an umbrella to keep out the water? Why do we, when we do something as ‘simple’ as deflect a compliment, or give to much of ourselves when we have not received the nurturing that is ours first by harboring a deep belief that we are not worthy of water…love…money…creativity…support…happiness…truth?

  I have been busy trading the universe’s gift to me of water for love and friendship, saying ‘no, I’m ok…I don’t need water’, sharing my ‘water’ ei. life force, time, energy, money skills, knowledge or love or maybe even taking other’s water in desperation, but the plant(me, in case you hadn’t worked that out) does not have to “be worthy”. “Do right”. “Deserve”. It just IS because it exists. 

That it is worthy is completely irrelevant.

Of course it is. And we are.  

Allow yourself to RECEIVE that which the Universe so easily shares and nurtures its creations. And so as the plant soaks up the water that flows to it with ease, joy and gratitude and the soil becomes rich and loamy, the plant….Blooms.

And right then and there it hit me square on the noggin. 

It’s not about sharing the WATER! Its about sharing the FLOWERS! 

It is not the WATER the plant needs to share…there is water enough for everyone, and indeed…it is the Universes job to provide the water. But, it is the unique, glorious, individual, beautiful FLOWERS that bring joy! What we grow into and become in all sorts of wondrous and unique ways THAT is our gift to share back with the world. WOW! No wonder I feel stripped, empty and dried out. I have been giving away my water and scraping by, barely shooting up a scraggly bloom from time to time…

Allow yourself to receive…Oh my God! This whole time I had it backwards! I assumed the order was to Give and then Receive…but it is
Because you are 
And then Give! 

You see when we little humans allow our egos to get in the way (cloaked nicely in humility, selflessness, spirituality, and martyrdom of course) and we somehow manage to convince ourselves that we are the Source of the water and doesn’t that just set us up for failure and a constant battle for control and quasi god-ness? Really? Who did I think I was trying to take over someone else’s job? No wonder the struggles, the seemingly hopelessness I’ve felt sometimes…my job is to be me. 
I am
I receive
I give. 
Of course we are worthy! We would not exist if we were not, so it does not even come into the question any longer. The Real question is    “Will you Receive?”
And accept with Grace, gratitude and allow yourself to bloom for it is our unique flower that is the truest expression of a Universe flowing in harmony and joy and creation. Allow others to see the beauty of your flowers, smell them…even have cut flowers in the kitchen, woven into the hair of our horses, flung up into a crazy blue sky. A healthy, happy growing plant just makes more, easy as pie.
Now, think about this. Sometimes the plant can become root bound, can’t retain any water, no more room to grow and again the water runs straight through, barely retaining any, requiring many frequent waterings even to survive. In this state we are constantly on the look out for our next feeding, sourcing out others energy again as we have no reserves of our own but this time because we have out grown where we are and have not yet ‘transplanted’ ourselves. Now what we need is a big, new empty pot (the unknown), lots of fresh dirt and fertilizer (usually a happy by-product of being stuck:), plenty of water ( Source and/or Self care) and pull ourselves up out of the old pot. Of course what often happens is we have left ourselves in that old pot FAR to long and have actually grown into the the fibre of the pot and can’t get pulled out. That’s when the pot needs to be shattered…
 To get us out, sometimes parts of us are ripped off, torn and we sure can have a set-back, get all wilted and have a hard time settling into the new pot. Hmmm, it’s pretty clear from this analogy that here is when we REALLY need self care, water, and thoughtful attention to help the adjustment…again the plant just receives. It cannot give at this cycle. But once the plant has adjusted, oh boy!
 Watch out! Just look at it grow now! Oh and was that tiny little buds I see popping up????  Ha! Might want to try re-potting a bit more often:) 
  Somehow, this epiphany has changed everything for me. To remember that the water is free, always available, joyously given of Source to nurture and feed us to bloom in a full and outrageously spectacular expression that is ours and ours alone, which then in return, feeds the world with all its glory…OUR Gift to share.