Self-shadow shot

Overcoming Injury ~ Life Lessons

Life is great when all’s going well :))

No problem!

But what about when stuff goes South?

When illness or injury stops our earning, or enjoyment, poof! — mid-stride.

Dawn Starboy and Aria

Dawn with Starboy and Aria — Note the size relationship between human bones and horse bones — note wrist!

Wrist Injury!

So sometime later on this summer, I injured my wrist, and was unable to work for nearly three weeks . . .

(For those of you who don’t know, I work as a farrier — trimming and shoeing horse hooves — a very physical job that demands much strength from every part of a complete, strong, physically fit body!)

I’m thrilled to be back to work now, and I wrote this piece somewhere in the midst of the healing, as a reminder of how to deal when an injury happens.


Previously Hurt

Unfortunately, this (left) wrist has been injured before.

First, about four years ago, working on a very strong mare who resisted me — over and over — with her right front leg.

(You see, in order to work trimming or shoeing a hoof, the horse must cooperate. Yield. Or nothing can get done.)

Eventually, I finally got the shoe on — I’ve always been strong.


But after shoeing the mare that day, it felt like my wrist had broken!

And as it turned out, radiographs later showed, it had!

Hairline fracture.

Just from trying to restrain the pressure of the big mare throwing her leg forward, over and over, in resistance.

Big Mare Hoof

Innocent looking hoof — capable of breaking a wrist!

Ever since then, I’ve kept that wrist in a brace/wrap while working.

(I know, with the weight and forces a horse is capable of — just a twist and a lean the wrong way could tweak it, strain it — or even break it, all over again.)

It’s an honor-system agreement I have with myself:  Keep brace on!

And it’s worked wonderfully, until about a month ago . . .

DawnHoof Horse Shoeing Gear

Me with my Horseshoeing gear :))

So I ask myself:

What happened?

How did I injure it, even with the brace on?

How can I take better care of my wrist, my entire self? Prevent this, or another,  painful, work-shattering event from happening again?

What lessons have I learned in the three weeks I wasn’t able to work?

(Note the physical riggers of working on horses hooves . . . )


I must have gotten cocky.

Everything with my body (and my physically demanding work), was going along well.

I felt great! Top of my game.

And then I got in some new work.

Thrilled at the opportunity to both help my new client and earn some much needed money, I started in.

Two solid weeks of work.

And tucked into the midst of that, two very difficultly behaved horses.

Resistance! Over and over again! Stressing all my stamina.


But I’m tough!

No worries — I held up.

Kept on going, no matter what!

(“Die Hard Dawn!”)

Shoeing Horses -- Shadow Jeep

Shoeing horses, end of day — Shadow Jeep

So how did I tweak it, even with the brace on?

The straw that broke my wrist (again!) was a definite break in my usual work routine.

At the end of the two straight weeks, more work than I’d been doing, I had to trim hooves on an older, arthritic horse who can barely lift up his hind legs.

The weather was hot. The hooves were dry — hard as steel. And my friend’s husband is pretty good at helping me squeeze the nippers in these dry hoof conditions.

So I decided to try a new strategy.

I held the heavy hind hooves up, first the right, then the left, for maybe five minutes each . . . with all the arthritic weight of the large horse pushing onto my hand, pulling on my wrist, while my friend’s husband crouched down and worked the nippers.

It didn’t hurt at the time. I really didn’t know til later  . . .

By later on that night, both wrists were sore. Unusually so.

The right, previously uninjured one, healed in a few days.

But the joint on the left (previously injured) wrist, pulled completely apart.

“Subluxation” :(( affecting tendons, ligaments — full blown PAIN and weakness!!!

Monstro's Mouth!


At first, my wrist just HURT.

Then I saw my Osteopathic doctor.

He snapped the joint back in place . . . it felt fantastic!

But I worked on a horse later on that same evening, and it went out again. Immediately.

Then it went completely gimp!


(Regardless of wearing the wrist brace!)

OUCH!!! It HURT!!!!

Now, even the weight of holding a phone was too much for it . . .

(Not a good sign, if your work involves lifting the legs of thousand-pound horses!)

Lenticular clouds

And I finally realized I had to STOP working!

Lay off all hoof work in order to let it mend.


“Time Heals”

That’s what they say.

But I know, it takes even more.

It takes good practices in both the physical realm, and the metaphysical.

The mental, as well as the Spiritual.

Good care and good thinking.

Going up into Love and Light, and focused Goodness.

Hawaiian Blossom


So I went up into my Light-God-Goodness space, and applied the following:

“Good wrist, good baby!!!!”



“Thank you for being quickly healed!”



“You will get better . . .”



“You are better!!! You are well!”



“You’re such a tough, hard worker . . . “

Time off.

Let it heal . . .

“I’m grateful for all you’ve done.”

Ignore the pain . . .

Focus on the good.

“All things, even this, work together for good . . . “

Round Rainbow

And I set about working on other aspects of my Life.

Uplifting. Affirming . . . Ignoring.

Reading. Writing. Journaling.

Overcoming, as best as possible.

Working my Life Strategies.

(See my: Depression Emergency Kit)

Window into Flight

Lessons Learned

And the take-home lessons from this incident are many.

  • No more working on really bad, resistant horses. When these come up, I’m putting down my tools, packing my car, and walking away!
  • Once again, watch for breaks in my usual routine. (No bowling!) A break in routine can trigger an unfortunate accident or incident. (See: Anatomy of an Accident)
  • Be VERY GRATEFUL for the physical ability to do my wonderful, satisfying horse hoof work! It’s a great blessing that my body has held up — not every body can do what I do.
  • Be thankful, appreciative and take good care of the physical condition and abilities I have :))
  • Realize I’m in a different phase of my life now — in my 60s. (Not my 30s or 40s or 50s!) Pace myself. Set my good boundaries.
  • Love my abilities. Love my horses. Enjoy my Life’s beautiful ride!

White Horse in Green


So when illness or injury happens. When things go South:

Remember, there’s always a series of Life Lessons involved.

  • Immediately affirm Goodness — “I am fine! All is well! I am safe and protected!”
  • Take necessary ACTION to resolve the problem.
  • Re-write my mental thought patterns.
  • Learn what I can from the experience.
  • Stay in Gratitude and Love.

And discover fresh awareness from the events.

Take good care of myself!

Shine. Love. Give!

Molokai Egret Preening


In reviewing this piece, now that the healing is complete, I’ve noticed that I’ve changed my Life in several wonderful ways:

  • I’m much happier now :)) (Previously I had been working too much, and had been in a bit of a funk.)
  • I’ve been riding my horses more and really appreciating and enjoying them!!!!
  • I’m more in-tuned with my inner, intuitive voice. I’m listening first, and acting later :)) :)) :))
  • I’m less worried and less stressed about finances, and more certain that all will continue to manifest and be here, as needed, as it ALWAYS, somehow, has! :))
  • I’m really, really glad I can still do my awesome hoof and horse work!!!!!!! :))
  • I’m grateful for my wonderful Life and all the Goodness and strength I have :)) :))

So remember: When stuff happens to us that appears to be bad, Good abides. Right along side.

Bless it! Transform it. Learn from it.

This too shall pass . . .

And we will come out the other side stronger, better, renewed!

:)) :)) :))

(See My Yoda Story — and remember, it’s true! :))

Molokai Rainbow


                  Find out more about Dawn’s HoofCare Services and Soul Horse Rides in the Frazier Park Outback of Southern California :))


Please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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El Rancho Viejo


Copyright 2017


Reminder: Miracles Abound

Of late, it seems the news, so bad. So sad.

Yet, Miracles do Abound.

Awful things do happen . . .

Yet Miracles still Surround.


Birds soar outside my window.

Golden boughs grace poplar trees.

Fall wildflowers paint the meadows.

All is not as it appears to be.

Grateful Squirrel

How do we reach up, Higher,

When things down here seem so low?

What proof do we have of Goodness and Love

Amidst such senseless acts of woe?


Bad days have always rushed towards us,

Yet good days, also, right along side.

Think back to Mom, to Grandma, the

Wisdom of a simpler Life and time.

Grandfather -- Army Air Service

Grandfather Conway Ulyate, U.S. Army Air Service, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

They weathered many, many storms.

Depression. War. Why?

Their loved ones also passed away . . .

Yet still, their chins kept up high.


What message can we learn from them

In times of fear and loss?

What hope and Love can they send to us

From the other side of the cross?

Vibrant California Rainbow

Dig deep into that calling

That Love writes in the Sky.

The Sunshine and the Moon Glow

Shall find a way to let us know —


Reminder: Brighten, not frighten.

Miracles. Do. Still Abound.

Be Grateful for the Good you have

When evil times surround.

Fall Leaf Shadow Bells

The best I know to offer

In times of trial and woe —

Is to tune my thinking up to the

Highest place I can go.


Rather than go down

The rabbit hole of fear —

Stay in Love. Light. Grace.

Stay in consciousness most clear.

Saint Francis statue


Please visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Rick and Laddie


Copyright 2017


Malibu Twilight


“Good girl, Dawn!”

“You’re a very good girl!”

I heard myself say it to — myself — again, today.

I heard myself say it to my horse, last night.

And I realize how far I’ve come . . .



A few years back I caught myself, saying stuff in my mind, even out loud, to berate and belittle myself, that I would never say to someone else.

It was hurtful. Non-productive.

It was a habit, and it was bad . . .

And I had to stop.

And I had to have a little talk with myself.

And I made up my mind, that if I wouldn’t say it to someone else, it wasn’t exactly helpful to say to me!!!

And I did a little self-accounting. And I put a little Angel on my shoulder.

And I asked my Angel to please point out and make me aware whenever I would be mean to me. To remind me . . .

To STOP!!!

Saint Francis statue


Yes, I can check myself and notice when I’m off track. I can listen to my self-criticism and add the needed correction to my course.

But I’m not allowed to berate myself. Nor anyone else . . . (Oops! Still working on this one, too!!!)


Mentor at Dusk

Just Like Training a Horse :))

It’s like training one of my horses. If they go off behavior, off course, I can give them an immediate check to get their attention back. A pull of a rein, a shake of a rope, a tap or a smack.

But once I’ve got their attention, I have to re-direct them back to what I want.

“That’s a good girl! Come on now, let’s go . . . ”

Same thing with me.

If I go on a tirade, I can give myself a tap, a smack, to stop the tirade . . . and then I must re-direct myself back to the task at hand.

I must STOP. I must ask . . .

“What do I need to be doing right now???”

And I must — do that!!!

“Good girl!”

Just like with my horses, I work poorly with hounding and criticism.

I work best with encouraging words and vocal tones. Cookies and pats and praises. Giggles and sorbet and chocolate.



WordPress Blogging Community :))

And the supportive WordPress blogging community greatly encourages with soothing, upbeat comments.

(So many of you took the time to reach out to me in my moment of funk last week, and that meant so much to me :)) :)) :)) To be heard. Understood.

. . . Still, many bloggers out there seem to be stuck. Depressed. Down. Struggling . . .

I’m hoping that by sharing my process, my Ups, my Downs, and how I work my Life Strategies — we can all band together, for Goodness sake.

Grow. Learn. Share inspirations.

Offer, and receive, support.

Be there for one another . . .

Find a way to climb up, out of the funk.

Into the fullness Life has to offer each one of us  :))

East End Molokai

I’m wishing us all the best!!!

In Self-talk. Self-thoughts.

And in our thoughts and talk, to and about, those around us.

Let’s ride our Lives like we do (or would) our horses.

Put an Angel on our shoulders to remind us when we get off track.

Give ourselves a little smack — and then re-direct — up to what we really want our Lives to be about :))

As my Malibu friend, Pastor Scott O’Neal, always says: “Go give ’em Heaven!!!”

Encourage one another.

Connect. Listen.

Share those soothing comments.

Let our Light shine into the darkness that another might be having right now.

Hibiscus by the

With all that’s been going on lately, we all can use a little Heaven!

(And listen to a little upbeat music:))

Dawn :))




For more Life Strategies see: Depression Emergency Kit, and Runaway (Emotional) Emergency Escape Ramp


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Crystal Horse


Copyright 2017







Crystal Cat


I’m at a fascinating place to observe right now.

Have I ever experienced this before?

Is is an aberration? Is it normal? Will it shift?

It’s like all the “will” has left my Life.

I’ve done, literally, all I have wanted to do.

I have traveled, worked, ridden . . .

Flown, loved, slept . . .

The only thing that seems to interest me right now, is writing.

Some reading, but mostly writing.


What about my horses?

Why not ride???

I just don’t have the urge.

Why not anything else???? Anything physical, like I used to do, my whole Life?

Maybe it’s normal to want a time to come down off of a physical Life like mine. Physical work and labor. Toil, travel and sweat.

(I’m still working, although less in the last two weeks — I blew out my wrist, and am on a forced hiatus.)

But that, alone, isn’t it.

Oh yes, the weather turned bad. Thunderstorms and hail and pounding rain. Washing out roads and such, thwarting our rides-to-be up Mt. Pinos for two consecutive late summer weekends.

But not even that, is really “it“.


It’s like my “wind-up doll” unwound.

And it’s sitting on a heap on the floor.

But, I just don’t care.

Motivation: Zip. Nada. Nothing!



So, can I make peace with this phase/stage of my Life?

Or do I ROAR like a lion, to (try and) shift it???

It’s like I’m sick, without the sickness.

Forced down time . . .


So I might as well find a way to enjoy this new phase of mine.

Set my sights on shifting what I can. Accepting what I cannot shift . . .

(See my Yoda Story)

I must thank God for ALL things, the Good and the bad — for things just like this.

Force myself to do the little that I can, and appreciate that.

:)) Dawn-who-must-everkeep-Seeking


(Strategies to use at times like this: my Depression Emergency Kit, and The Assignment, Guide to Greater Happiness.)


Copyright 2017


Life Lost — Written, and Found

How much of our Lives are lost — forgotten? Fallen through the fractures of our meager minds. Evaporated into the ever-ticking course of Time . . .

How many stories, chapters, do we see, experience — only to remain ghost memories?




Dawn and Piper Tomahawk

When I was younger, did I really fly airplanes — 300 hours!?!

Did I camp alone with my horse for ten days, when I was just 18? It’s so far away now, like some kind of Past Life.

Soul Horse Riding

Did I ride my horses, all by myself, under the stars, on the side of a mountain?

Fly to Hawaii every six weeks to work shoeing horses for the last 14 years???

Molokai Mural


And if those memories seem so distant, what am I doing, now, that will seem like a dream to me later on . . .

And, what can I do to enhance that dream, to LIVE my Life, fully, today?

What do I need to change, tweak, alter?

What am I waiting for . . . to really be here . . .

Today, right now, and Live?

Luney Moon


I Write!

In writing, I set out to capture what Time, and Life — shall someday forget.

What shall certainly, one day, be gone.

Word pictures, I call them.

Snapshots. Some in prose. (I have journals full.)

Some in colorful Mind Maps . . .

Mind Map

Us writers — we Live. We write.

We Live some more. Write some more.

Doing our best to capture the never-ending Circle of Life.

Freeze it. Store it.

Love it :)) Learn from it.

And now we reach out, though blogging, in hopes of connecting, sharing with each other.

Like pointing out a shooting star . . .

Honolulu Fireworks

“It was really bright! Fast! Lit up the whole sky!”

(I’m there, with my back to the quadrant you saw it streak past in, but I didn’t see. So you, on the spot, do your best to describe it to me.)


Questioning Reality . . .

Yet, where is reality?

What makes something real?

Who is my witness?

Ghostly Orbs Pinos


If a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?

If I experience Life, and I don’t write it, share it, preserve it, did it even happen???


(I look at my computer, 11:44 right now — the alignment of symmetrical patterns and multiple numbers have always confirmed my truth!)

Gorman Hopscotch



Think about the psychic connections we share. I think of you, then the text chimes.

Of course, it’s you! That’s normal. Expected.

That’s how my reality works.

(So much takes place on so many levels that we won’t even acknowledge.)

Like dreaming.



Ghost Orbs on Pinos



And so I ask you. I ask me:

What in your Life is lost right now? How will you strive to find it?

What do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered?


What shall you shift in consciousness, before your leave this Green Earth?

How deep, how connected, do you want to go???

Ella at Fuji's


So go for it, girl!

Blast off, boy!

Make the shift . . .

Take the dip . . .

Jump into the uncharted waters.

Shoot for the stars!

Roll onto the runway of Life, and lift off :))

Ready to Roll

For strategies in dealing with anxiety and depression, see my Depression Emergency Kit.


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Running Horse


Copyright 2017











Disney Merlin's Hat


1969 — The year we went to the moon. The year my rusted out ’69 Chevy pick up truck was brand spankin’ new.

The year my Dad — just months, even weeks, before he died — gave me one of his greatest gifts . . .


I’m 16. It’s dark. Fall; Winter?

I’m waiting outside, under the lights, for Dad to pick me up from the Junior Achievement building in Culver City, CA.

Oh yes, here he comes — I hear the rattling engine of his black diesel Mercedes.


What makes one simple statement a parent says to a kid stand out? Stay in their memory all of their life . . . out of all the interactions and conversations of my then-sixteen-years???

I don’t know the answer to this, but I’m sure glad — somehow, it did.

Date Niters Disneyland Patch

Dad’s Disneyland Band Patch

Dad was an Entertainer. Disneyland Bandleader. Fox Orchestra Studio Musician for TV and films. (Read more about Dad, and listen to his music, here: You can do ANYTHING!)

But by the late 1960s, things in Dad’s world had changed.

Walt Disney had died.

The new management of the Park had wanted to clean house, start fresh. Dad’s twelve-year Main Street Band run was up. Gig over.

And in the Film Industry, things were changing, as well.

The big orchestras were phasing out. Songs from folk and rock artists like Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Steppenwolf, and such, were used in musical scores for films like Mrs. Robinson and Easy Rider.

There were fewer work calls for the older studio guys. Dad’s Big Band era had somewhat lapsed.

So Dad had less studio work. And he had time on his hands he’d never had before.

Instead of working insane hours every day, barely time to sleep or see his family — for the first time in his life, Dad was idle.

He still went to the airport. Still flew his plane. But less, way less.

Beechcraft Bonanza Landing

V-Tail Beechcraft Bonanza — same style as Dad’s.

Dad had always played clarinet and saxophone professionally. But in those last few years he began playing flute, figuring it would help if he could be hired to play a third instrument.

I remember his flute scales fluttering in the background of my early high school life . . . homework, phone calls, messing around in my room, to the melody of his methodically  practiced notes.

Family Band

To help with finances, Mom got a “dumb job,” as Dad called it. (I think he felt badly that she had to work; he missed her, and resented her time away from home.)

She worked at a department store, in customer service and returns.

(Mom, so fair and kind, was well suited to solving customer’s problems:)) Besides, Mom never complained. She seemed to enjoy it.)

But Dad was down. He had never, ever had so much time without constant work, and it didn’t suit his Type A, Bigger-than-Life personality.

Skid Marks


So Dad picked me up that night from Junior Achievement, and I rode in the car with him the fifteen minutes or so it took to get home.

I don’t know exactly how the conversation went, but I remember the stand-out statement:

“Honey. Things are always changing. The sooner you get used to that, the better off you’ll be.”

Question Mark

In fact, I didn’t think much about it. Just one of so many conversations in family life.

Until the following February, when Dad died of a heart attack in the night.



Is that what you meant by: “Things are always changing . . . ” !!!!???!!!!

Monstro's Mouth!


I’ve replayed that statement many, many times over the years. I still see Dad’s eyes, hear his voice. Like a mental tape recorder — words frozen in time.

And he’s right.

Things are always changing. Oftentimes when we least expect.

And our job is staying flexible. Ready.

Dad, born in the 1920s, was old school. Matter of fact.

Maybe another way of putting it would be:

“Honey. I want you to know that things are always changing. It’s our job, as humans here on Good ‘ol Planet Earth to adapt. To adjust. To find a way to thrive among Life’s shifting circumstances.

“I want you to know this, so that you will be ready. So that you can embrace change. So that it won’t knock you down. but you can continue on. Adapt and adjust to the new norms . . .”

David Bowie sings in 1971 — Ch-Ch-Changes :))


Thank you, Dad!!!

You gave me a final gift. Of wisdom. A strategy for dealing with what Life has to offer.

And it’s really helped :))

Just to know, in advance, about the changes that loom ahead. For all of us.

As sure as the hands of Time . . .

Things are always changing, still.

So rather than grumble or complain: Adapt. Adjust. Take the lead, and make changes, too.

And yes — all these years later — I still take this one to heart! ❤

Gas Cap Heart


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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White Horse in Green


Signs! Gone Surfing


Copyright 2017






Vibrant California Rainbow

Intuition . . . Speaks


What is it?

How do we identify it?

Define it?

. . . So illusive. So hard to nail down . . .

Twilight Sky

It seems to emerge from a fluttering, ethereal, nearby type of 6th sense.

A glimmer.

A feel.

A taste.

A shift.

Ghostly Orbs Pinos

Alerting me that something is up . . .

A buzz.

A dream.

A sense.

A peripheral glimpse — something from the sidelines . . .

Round Rainbow

However ephemeral, this intuitive function somehow finds a way into my world from wherever it normally dwells, rumpling its reality up against my own.

Prompting me that something important is near . . .


Someone to meet.

Somewhere to go.

Listen! Look!

Stop! Wait!

Lani Kai Sail Board

Most of the important events of my Life seem to have found their origins in this other-worldly realm.

Jobs, husband, kids. Moves, upheavals, salvation.

An inner knowing.

A voice.

A flash of light.

A synchronicity.

Disneyland Night Lights

Time seems to freeze. Colors grow bright. Exterior scenes pale. And it speaks to me, deep in my Soul. Right when I need an answer . . .

A piece of music.

A gust of wind.

A celestial alignment.

A cosmic event.

Iwa Bird in Flight

Preparing me. Alerting me. Open up! Listen!


An animal.

A bird.

Representing a loved one.

Reassuring me that all is well . . .

Grateful Squirrel

The signs are all around me . . . dropping in. Waking me up from a dead sleep — more than once, saving the lives of those I love!

Wake up!

Get up!



Signs -- Greenleaf Springs

So I’ve learned to listen. Trust. Tune in to the elements surrounding me. Guiding me. Reassuring me . . .


A daydream.

A vision.

A tinge.

A feeling of elation, or dread.


Intuition speaks. But it’s up to me to listen. Take heed.

Open up and allow the messages to guide me.

Fine-tuning my Life by the synchronicity. The timing — virtually dropping in.

And for this magical momentum, I thank Heavens!!!!


Vortex off Catalina


Like what you’ve read here? Visit Dawn’s sister blog: Soul Horse Ride

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Cloud Shadows


Copyright 2017