Living With Hearing Loss

Living With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss affects many aspects of daily life. I have had hearing loss since birth. The doctors believe that my hearing loss was caused by oxygen deprivation. I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. According to the CDC, there are over 12,000 babies born in the US with hearing loss every year. The cause of hearing loss in most children is unknown.

As a child with hearing loss, I was tested yearly to check if my impairment was getting worse. I had to sit at the front of the class so that I didn’t miss anything the teachers said. I did get hearing aids when I was in the sixth grade, but the inevitable teasing and embarrassment were one of the reasons that led me to stop wearing them.

I had the large behind the ear model, with the full ear molds. The school also had a special amplifier system to help students with hearing loss. The teacher wore a microphone around her neck which transmitted directly to headphones that I wore.

As I grew older, I learned ways to cope with my difficulties. I began reading lips, and paying attention to facial cues. I also learned to focus on what I needed to hear. Situations with a great deal of background noise were especially difficult. I preferred not to draw attention to my disability, and would often miss key points in conversations or lectures. I also have trouble pronouncing some words because I am unable to hear the different sounds.

When you are hearing impaired, it is important to inform others that you need them to speak more loudly. Usually this will help, but sometimes it doesn’t. One notable occasion when this was not effective was when my father died, and we were at the funeral home discussing arrangements. I informed the woman more than once that I was hearing impaired and couldn’t hear her.

Unfortunately, she was unable or unwilling to speak more loudly. Luckily, other family members were there and helped by repeating what she said so that I could hear after I became frustrated and upset. Friends and family should volunteer to go along to appointments for people with hearing loss.

Hearing loss can also affect relationships with other people. I don’t know how many arguments I’ve had with people due to my impairment. Some arguments have been caused by a misunderstanding while others were merely from the frustration of asking to have things repeated.

I do know a few signs in sign language, but because most of my interaction is with the hearing world, there are few people who would understand or know how to respond. I now have hearing aids, and while they do help, my hearing is not perfect. The hearing aids I have now are much improved from what was available when I was young!

Another thing you should know when talking to people with hearing loss; it is not funny to joke that you couldn’t hear something they said. It is cruel. You wouldn’t pretend you couldn’t walk if you saw someone in a wheelchair, would you? Do not shout at those with hearing loss. I find it most helpful if people speak clearly and slowly. Also, do not try to speak with the hearing disabled from another room. We often rely on lip reading and facial cues to fully hear.

To see what it can be like living with hearing loss, try this: turn your TV down to a very low volume. Are you frustrated that you can’t hear everything the characters are saying? You can turn up the volume so you can hear. Now consider that those with hearing impairment cannot just turn the volume up on life. Hearing aids may help, but they do not replace natural hearing.

Understanding the limitations and practices of those with hearing loss is key to successful interaction with those affected. If you take the time to learn what may be helpful to the hearing impaired, then communication and their lives will be much improved.…

How To Be Lucky For The Rest Of The Year

How To Be Lucky For The Rest Of The Year

OK, so you slept through New Year’s and didn’t get to kiss anyone at midnight. And you didn’t eat black eyed peas. Or throw open all the doors and windows. Fear not, here are a few ways you can still be lucky in 2008:

  1. Put up chimes. I list this first because this belief appears in a lot of different cultures. The Chinese believe chimes attract good energy, or chi. Several hundred years ago, Europeans believed bells drove the devil away. Good energy in, evil spirits out. ..either way, it sounds like a no lose situation.
  2.  Plant rosemary by your front door. Another way to keep bad spirits away from your home.
  3.  Get rid of dead flowers in your home. At first glance, this seems silly. Who keeps dead flowers around anyway? But dried flowers are dead. And that bowl of potpourri? Out. Better to have fresh or silk flowers for decoration.
  4.  Find plants that whose leaves are round shaped if you want to attract wealth. Round shapes look like coins, and therefore having a living object upon which “coins” are attached is sure to bring wealth. The Chinese keep so-called coin plants in their homes for this very reason. Ask your local nursery for a cacti called Crassula arborescens. If you have a lot of room, plant the Silver dollar tree, otherwise known as Eucalyptus cinerea.
  5.  When playing games of chance, pick up the token with your left hand. Whenever I ask my ESL students to pick something out of a hat, the Latino students always use their left hand, for luck. This is surprising, since being left handed was thought to a mark of the devil. During the Salem Witch trials, left handed women were look upon with a lot of suspicion. However, in a way it make sense that when you want your hand to “see” a winning token in a basket, you would rely on a little black magic.
  6.  Make your decisions on the best day. Women should make their decisions on a Wednesday or a Friday; men on a Tuesday or Thursday.
  7.  Knock on wood. This superstition goes so far back that the reasons have evolved as they went along. First, oak was considered the wood that Jesus’ cross was made from, and from then on was considered holy. In pagan times, good spirits were thought to reside in wood, so whenever you said something that was positive, you knocked on wood (three times) to wake up the good spirits, and to drive away the bad.
  8.  Never store a wallet or a purse empty. Always put a coin, or money, inside. An empty wallet is bad luck because you are attracting, and symbolizing, your poverty.
  9.  Do not kill spiders. In 16th century Germany, spiders were believed to carry a stone inside them that had remedial powers. Spider webs were also believed to have curative powers, and witchcraft spells sometimes use spider webs. Therefore, killing a spider was considered bad luck.
  10.  Use the number 8. There is a reason why the Beijing Olympics are going to start at 8:00 on August 8, 2008. The Chinese word for “8” sounds almost the same as the word for “wealth”, or “prosperity”. Therefore, the Chinese believe 8 is a very fortuitous number, and pay a lot of money to have an address, license plate, or telephone number with this number.
  11.  Carry an acorn for good luck and prosperity. This is from the English, who carried dried acorns as far back as the Norman conquest for luck and protection.
  12.  Wear new clothes on Easter. Some of us probably remember getting new clothes for Easter. The origins of this are in Christianity, when converts were baptized on Easter, and given new (white) clothes to represent their new life with Christ.

And finally, because the number twelve is considered perfect, I won’t list anymore items.

Good Luck, Bon chance, and buena suerta. Here’s to a lucky 2008.…

Delete Your Facebook Account And Get A Life

Delete Your Facebook Account And Get A Life

A colleague of mine is not able to attend a movie without checking facebook and texting constantly. This person will sit at a table in a nice restaurant posting on facebook while consuming dinner! No joke, fork in one hand, smart phone in the other. Needless to say, I no longer spend much time in a restaurant with this individual. I might add that this could be anyone and is not limited to those under the age of thirty. I know people in their fifties that use facebook as an opportunity to behave, as if they were once again, in junior high school.

This obsession with facebook and texting is a detriment. What kind of people have we become? We post pictures of ourselves on facebook, and spend hours trying to find people from high school. A former acquaintance in her late fifties has probably found 75 percent of the people that attended her rural high school from 1964-1974. This is not only weird, but very creepy and not healthy.

How sad to reach a point where the highlight of one’s life is the local summer get together of all the high school friends. You can imagine how interesting are the photos sent out to thousands on facebook of a bunch of fat old men and women rehashing the ‘glory days’. Don’t get me wrong.

There is nothing wrong with getting drunk with old friends, and dancing to really bad music, provided, by the participants. But to then plaster it all over facebook, for the entire world to view? Mind you this nonsense lasts all year. On the bright side, it gives those that never do anything the opportunity to act like they do something.

What kind of person is interested in knowing that someone they waited tables with in college has posted an album of their nephew’s wedding, graduation, birthday bash, etc? People need to keep some things private; but obviously they think that their hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of friends want to view photos of people they have never met and will never meet. Remember when we were kids and hated it when friends and family pulled out the picture album of the most recent vacation or reunion? What happened?

What kind of person has time to view multiple daily pictures of the granddaughter of that person you really couldn’t stand in grade school? How about clicking that you like what a friend of a friend of a friend had for breakfast, or that they spent all day long in their pajamas! No kidding! More pathetic than the moron who constantly posts photos revealing their daily activity (never got out of the pj’s today) is the idiot that posts the comment ‘love the pajamas’!

Moreover, what kind of life does the person have that spends hours daily on facebook, posting pictures of their house, their pool, the sunset, the dog, the wife, the husband, the cat, the bottle of wine they are drinking and on and on. Even more astonishingly is the fact that at least some people take the time to view all of this nonsense. It appears as if these folks truly believe they are interesting. The self-absorption is rampant. This social networking is clearly anti-social behavior.

I was reluctant to try facebook, as from the onset it seemed just plain stupid. Of course facebook could be used for many good reasons. Unfortunately most of it is shear nonsense. I tried facebook for about a year. I can assure you I never looked up my old high school buddies. I was astounded at the number of friend requests and from whom many of the requests derived. I deleted my account a few months ago.

Now I don’t have to respond, as to why I didn’t click ‘like’ on some moronic photo or statement. And yes, believe me, I know colleagues that discuss who from and how many clicks they get on their posts! I learned much about the state of society today. I may be an old curmudgeon, but I am now certain that facebook, in general terms, is not a good thing.

As always, good people are very hard to find. The banal activity on face book is a simple reminder. Since facebook is a reflection of society, that could partly explain why in 2012 only clowns run for President of the United States. Ah yes, that warrants another story, for another time.…

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King: How His Sacrifice Has Been My Inspiration And Blessing

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King: How His Sacrifice Has Been My Inspiration And Blessing

I am almost at a lost for words as I try to express what Dr. Martin Luther King ultimate sacrifice has meant to me as an African-American man. The majesty of his life has led me to believe that I can accomplish anything that I set out to do. During the last ten years, I made it my personal quest to study the brilliant life of Dr. King; in my studies I have come to realize that this man was an appointed savior that helps give me the voice to live my dream without fear or degradation.

His visionary attributes are what have shaped the design of African-American people in the modern day, the America we have come to know today. The freedom that I have today is contributed by Dr. King’s tenacity to unite and form organizations that broke the mold of hatred and immorality.

All of my dreams and aspirations come from acknowledging that I am the by-product of many courageous people that sacrificed their time, energy and pride to make this a better place for me. If it were not for the civil-rights movement, my life probably would be much different than it is today.

Often times I feel that I am blessed in so many ways, in comparrison to some of the atrocities that still take place in our modern world. One of the main reasons I love the written and spoken word were due to the energizing and prophetic words of Dr. King. It does not matter if I have read or listened to his works a hundred times or more, I am still amazed at the grace and eloquence that his words breathe in the confines of our humanity.

Martin Luther King life has been a constant symbol of motivation for me personally; this is where I draw strength from the magnificence of his courage. Indeed, it takes courage to fight for what is just and right, and when the odds are stacked against you, these undeniable barriers would be that thing that Dr. King used in his advantage to defeat prejudice and bigotry.

By this reasoning, Martin Luther has been one of my most favorite role-models that have shaped my principles and beliefs. The many brave tales of Dr. King’s life has made me realize the importance of giving back to my community and world.

Undeniably, his contributions have made me a better man, it has also made me aware that the only resolve for true peace is negotiation and flexibility; this is my precedent of truth, the footprint and genealogy that has become my walk in this life.…

Sew Keepsake Soft Baby Block Toys To Upcycle Baby Clothes

Sew Keepsake Soft Baby Block Toys To Upcycle Baby Clothes

Fabric blocks are a great gift to sew for any young child. They are soft and can be used for safe throwing. A jingling bell inside makes throwing even more fun. They can also be stacked into towers that are fun when they fall down. You can make them in any size, from tremendous and useful for climbing or seating, down to miniature sets perfect for tiny hands.

I knew I wanted to make some of these for my baby last year, but I didn’t want the blocks to have boring or plainly patterned faces. My applique skills were not developed at all, and I didn’t want to try making my own applique at that time. I found my perfect solution when I was putting away baby clothes. This is a task that is always bittersweet for me; I am glad my baby is growing but I just love sweet baby clothes and hate putting them away!

We had been gifted with loads of hand me downs, and I noticed that after my baby had worn them, some things were too worn or ragged to save or give away. But many had such adorable appliques and embroideries. So here was what to do for decorating baby’s blocks!

Just cut out and remove the appliques from the baby clothes, and hand stitch them to felt squares for making the blocks. You can also use squares from the baby clothes for the other block faces, to match and coordinate. I even used knit onesie fabric in making some of our blocks.

I just stabilized the knit with nonwoven interfacing, or in one case, handstitched the knit square on top of a felt square. If you have baby scraps too small for the size block that you want, you can do what I often have and make up a four or nine square patchwork to size.

To make these, determine what size block you want to make. A really nice set of these for stacking could be 8, 7, 6, and 5 inches. Or you can just choose a size, say 6″ and make only one. For each block, you cut 6 squares to the same size. Sew on the appliques for those squares that will have them. Sew the squares together. Refer to my photograph above of the duck block for assembly order.

After you have all six squares sewn together, you will sew the sides to make the cube. Leave one side partially open, for turning. I double sew the seams, to make certain they are sturdy. Carefully clip corners and turn.

Then you will stuff them. I add a plastic capsule with a jingle bell in the middle. You can use the kind of capsule that encases toys in the vending machine, or even a plastic Easter egg taped shut. I like to encase the jingle bell like this, so that the sound does not get muffled by the stuffing.

You can use whatever you prefer for stuffing. Poly-fil makes a light block, perfect for tossing about. I have also stuffed larger blocks with scraps to make them heavier and more sturdy for stacking and climbing upon. Once your block is well stuffed (but not overfull), hand sew the opening closed carefully. Then make a whole stack!

Besides being used as toys, these look sweet in the nursery as decorations, and even piled on a bed. They can be played with a long time and then be saved as sweet keepsakes of baby’s favorite outfits. And they make great gifts. No one should throw away ruined baby clothes- instead reuse them and make them cute and useful again!…

I Will Walk With You During Your Life

I Will Walk With You During Your Life

One Feather–I felt compelled to share some thoughts with my friends, as I have been walking and connecting with many more of you recently. I frequently wondered where my life was taking me when I was a child. From my beginning, I knew I was different when compared amongst others in my clan. My thoughts seemed to generate more quickly in virtually all areas of normal occurrences.

Everything that happened seemed to have an explanation or deeper meaning. It made little difference if it was the witnessing of a predatory animal snatching its meal, or something as mundane as why people need to breathe. The obvious, as well as the “secretive” aspects of earthly living always had the wheels in my brain turning, whether I wanted that or not.

As I matured, I found myself more and more social, yet at the same time, looking for ample time to be secluded. It was a juggling act of unimpressive proportions in my own mind. Seclusion was my best friend and often felt like my biggest enemy. While I had many friends, some of the biggest ones seemed to be the invisible variety–at least invisible in regard to anyone else’s ability to see them.

Living life with visions dancing in my head also created an awkward balance. Streams of thoughts, where I wondered if I was simply crazy, combined with a deeper awareness that I knew I was anything but crazy, made my quest and thirst for knowledge even stronger.

My journey through this life intrigued many people. Some saw me as inspiring, while others viewed me as your basic lunatic. There were many who shied away from me as if I were possessed by some demonic forces.

Those were the people who I loved to have a little fun with, simply because their ignorance of who I was earned them the right to be chided. Yes, I know this was improper and far from what I have shared and taught in the past. Keep in mind, I have human tendencies, just like each of you. The ability to balance right from wrong is an ongoing lesson for myself, as it is for all people.

I noticed that as my age advanced, so too did my industrious nature. I wanted to build an empire of knowledge that could be equaled by no one else. A competitive edge emerged more strongly with each day that passed, and exists in me even now.

As a teacher of spirituality, my desire is to make each of you feel filled with a base of knowledge that is unmatched when it comes to living and sharing the preponderance of love, compassion, generosity, hope, trust and faith that should be the basic principles of your behavior. You should know that it is a God-given gift for all of us. My connection to my friends is just as strong now as ever.

It is something that I pride myself on. It is one of the largest driving forces in my life, just as it should be in yours. Perhaps what I really want to ask you is if you are going to honor yourself enough to live your life the way I just mentioned. Those character traits are never going to grow old, nor will they ever become the wrong way to do things.

I look forward to speaking and seeing more of you. Some might be wondering how that is possible, but rest assured, even though I am living in the form of energy and not in a physical body, I can still reach you. The value of what I am sharing today is that the magnification of your importance is elevated on a pure soul level.

If you learn and absorb that, then you know that all spiritual beings are a present, as well as a presence in your journey on earth. May the blessings from this body-less friend of yours continue to bring the love and invigoration you need to have a secure, perfect physical life! These are The Spoken Words of Spirit.…

How To Make Your House Wireless For Internet Access

How To Make Your House Wireless For Internet Access

After years and years of my family switching between AOL dial up, and then Verison DSL, we finally had enough of this painfully slow Internet connection and decided to finally get wireless Internet access for both of our 2 desktop computers and one laptop computer.

One day later I can’t tell you have much better I sleep at night and how much of a hassle has been removed from my every day life. Before we got wireless Internet access from Time Warner Cable, I discussed the costs with my family. We would be paying the same per month cost.

The only additional cost would be the set up and installation fee for the wireless connection in my apartment. I also found out that my apartment building had a bulk rate deal with Time Warner Cable which made the per month fee lower.

The first thing that you need to do to get wireless access is to contact a cable provider like Time Warner Cable. Ask a lot of questions because when the installation is going on, a lot of wires are going to be moved around. Ask questions about your phone jacks and whether your home land phone lines will need to be moved. Ask if any furniture will need to be moved.

On the phone arrange for a time to have the installation of the wireless access of your home. Make sure that you arrange for a time in which someone in your family is home. Whenever you have a stranger entering your home, you want to make sure that they are watch to make sure that they don’t ruin, destroy or steal anything.

Its also a good idea to have someone in your home while the installation is occurring because the cable guy will have a few questions for you while he is installing the internet access such as, where are your phone jacks located? Where is your phone base on your landline? (This usually means where is your answering machine device located).

The cable guy will also need to give you a password for your internet access so that someone cant access your internet connection and steal your data. This password is usually more than 18 characters or letters in length. Wires will also be cut when the cable guy is installing the wireless access so make sure you know what is being cut. At a certain point during the installation, the phone landline will be cut just so you are aware.

Before the cable guy leaves, make sure that the Internet access works on every computer in your house. For one of my desktop computers the cable guy needed to come back and bring a wireless chip because the computer didn’t have one. Also make sure that all the phones in your house that are connected to wires are working. If something isn’t working, make sure you tell the cable guy so that he fixes it before he leaves.

You will also need to sign a contract from the cable company. Before you sign anything, make sure you read the contract first. Read the print that says what you are paying and make sure that the price you are signing for is what you agreed to over the phone with the cable company. If the price is different then call the cable company before signing anything.

Finally, one very useful tip. The cable guy was supposed to arrive in the morning before noon at my house. He didn’t show up until 2pm and I was so livid that I called the cable company to complain. Because of that, they gave me the first month of wireless and phone service free of charge. If you aren’t happy with your service, make sure you say something, notifying the cable company that they will lose a customer if you don’t get something for free.…

Valentine’s Day 2011 – Great Gift Ideas For Her

Valentine’s Day 2011 – Great Gift Ideas For Her

With the New Year comes new holidays, Valentines day is right around the corner. Valentines day is the day to show that special someone in your life just how much she means to you, whether its your wife, girlfriend, soul mate or really good friend. You don’t want to be stuck in the dog house this Valentines day because you waited until the last minute to buy your special someone’s gift or even worse forgetting to buy her a gift at all.

If you are the type of person that procrastinates because you have no clue what to buy your special someone then it’s time to lose that excuse because here are a few no fail gift ideas that will make anyone woman feel special.
Instead of purchasing the same boring box of chocolates that you get her every Valentines Day mix it up a little with customized M M;’s.

Not only will this gift melt her heart but it will also melt in her mouth! This is a great way to show her how you really feel. You are able to upload a photo, pick your own colors and create your own unique message to appear on the M M;’s. This is a very reasonably priced gift as well; you can purchase a bag for as low as $9.99.

If the woman in your life would prefer jewelry then the open hearts collection by Jane Seymour is a great route to go. The design is beautiful and the meaning is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Another great thing about this collection is that it’s available in necklaces, earrings, rings, charms, bracelets and watches. There are necklaces available for as low as $49.99 making this a very affordable gift.

Maybe that special someone in your life is a book worm; if that’s the case then you want to purchase her a gift that she will appreciate. Pay attention to her favorite authors and types of books that she prefers to read.

A membership to a book club would be a perfect gift or a complete collection of books in the category that she enjoys reading. For example if she is a Twilight fan then you could purchase her all of the Twilight books so that she has the complete collection.

Have you and your significant other been together for quite some time now? If so then you might feel like you need to rekindle the flame. A great time to do that is at Valentine’s Day. If it’s possible try to recreate the first time you met, or a first date or any happy memory that really stands out to you.

For example if the both of you used to enjoy going out for coffee and then parking somewhere and gazing up at the stars then do just that. To some people this may seem like a stupid idea that didn’t cost you any extreme amount of money but to your loved one it will show her just how much your relationship means to you and that you do remember the god times and fun that you both used to have with one another.

Valentine’s Day is the day of love; don’t forget to show that special woman in your life just how much she means to you. You don’t have to spend a fortune; these gifts are all under $50 and are wonderful gift ideas. If all else fails you could fall back on the same old flowers and candy, but why not try to mix it up a little?…

Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle During Tough Times

Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle During Tough Times

First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am an American citizen of Nigerian descent. Before I came to this country, I didn’t understand too much about nutrition. Food was food. Since we generally lived off of the farm my family owned and ate very little prepackaged foods, I never worried that the food I was eating was ‘unnatural’ in any way.

When fruits or vegetables were planted in the ground, they grew, and that was all there was to it to me. We used no unnatural pesticides and the seeds were all natural, not reeingineered in any way. This was simply not an issue to me back then.

After I came to this country, and was forced to eat prepackaged foods, I began to notice a change in my health for the worse. I never suspected that it might be the kinds of foods I was eating that was leading to these problems. As a matter of fact, it took me years to finally begin questioning just how and where the food I was eating was obtained. That’s when I began reading labels.

I’m sure you can guess that I began to notice unnatural ingredients and additives in my food that did not belong there at all. What were dyglicerides doing in my ice cream,anyway. What were they? One question gave rise to another until I realized that most of the food I was eating wasn’t ‘real’ at all. Those potatoes I was eating out of a bag were not just plain old potatoes. It seemed like it took a college degree in chemistry and nutrition just to make sense of it all. I began to do some serious thinking.

Over the course of time, I began to change the way I ate. I would actually buy potatoes and cut them up and fry them, instead of buying ready made, frozen potatoes. I began using honey in my tea, instead of granulated sugar. I also increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. But, as I grew, my knowledge about these things grew as well. I discovered that not only were the potatoes I was buying (just an example) genetically modified, but that harmful chemicals and pesticides were used while growing them. And then there was the meat…

I had to make a change. I discovered Whole Foods Market, where I now work years after that happened. Yes, it was more expensive, but what was I willing to risk when it came to my health? It’s not like I ate like I was a rich man, or anything, anyway. I ate a basic diet of meat and vegetables, legumes, and of course desert to top it off. The beans and the rice I got at Whole foods weren’t that much more expensive than the kind I found in conventional stores.

The more I became used to shopping at all natural and organic stores, the more I found that I could afford to shop there, afterall. True, the red meat was expensive for my tastes, but how often did I eat red meat anyway? Mabe twice a week, and we weren’t talking Beef Wellington here, just enough to put in my red beens and rice! Besides, my complextion was clearing so nicely, I simply had to keep this up.

Keep in mind that I was working a lowere level construction job at the time. I just practised a little frugality, that’s all. I began to think: What if I owned a house in this country, and land to plant and raise my own food and maybe even meat? That would be so much cheaper! I could do it if I was serious enough about it, but that would have to come later…

What I am saying here is that it is possible to eat a well balanced, all natural and/or organic diet even on a low budget. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but doesn’t it seem as if the additives in those prepackaged foods seem to be included in the price of the product.

You pay for the additives! There are many organic canned products, for instance, that are actually cheaper than the conventional canned products. Sometimes much cheaper! What does that tell you?

In summary, I think that it’s all about the fram of mind that you have. If you are thinking that you can’t afford to shop in all natural stores like Whole Foods, think again. Sure, some items seem to be well overpriced, but how many of those items do you need all the time? It seems to me that with a little planning and clear thinking, and a change in lifestyle, just about anybody can afford to shop all natural.

Those who care seriously about their health will do so. Like I said, imagine if you had your own land to produce food on. In time, one could practically eat for free, with only their own labors to pay for it! With this troubled, worldwide, economy, it’s very important to think about.…

My Day: A Day In The Life Of A Horse Trainer In Northern Illinois

My Day: A Day In The Life Of A Horse Trainer In Northern Illinois

I am the caretaker and trainer at a small, private stable in northern Illinois. There are only six horses on the property, two in active training, two in maintenance work, one pregnant mare, and then my horse.

My day starts at 6:30 when I wake up, pull on a ridiculous amount of winter gear, and head outside to feed, turnout horses, and clean stalls. It only takes 30 minutes if I set up feed the night before, so I head inside to warm back up, feed myself, and peruse the internet.

I allow a few hours for the horses to finish their breakfast before I start putting them to work. When it’s really cold (below 0º), the horses don’t get a true workout; they’ll get groomed and perhaps some basic ground-manner training before I turn them back out. I’ll then hobble back inside and wait for the painful return of feeling to my toes as they begin to thaw.

When temps are above zero, I ride! I usually ride Carl* first. He is in dressage training and is getting more and more fun as he progresses. Bob* is next. Bob is a huge, 4 year old who has only a few rides so far. He has “baby brain” syndrome and most days has very little attention span. He’s only bucked me off once.

Lucy* and Pedro* are fully trained (dressage) and are easy rides – just groom, hop on, put them through their paces, pat them, and throw them back outside. I save my own horse, Mosely, for last; she’s obviously my favorite. She’s not great at anything, but she gets the job done.

After I groom and carry on a one-sided conversation with her (“I wish your tail would grow faster. Don’t you poop in the aisle; I just swept! I should let your bridle path grow out over the winter and then pull your whole mane this summer, don’t you think?”), I head into the indoor arena (wish it was heated…) and do a bit of training with her – anything from jumping, dressage, western – whatever floats my boat that day.

I end the day with feeding again, bringing in horses from the paddocks, and checking waters once more. Other tasks that happen on any given day are: dragging the arena, repairing fences, repairing winter blankets, trimming hooves, and hitching up the truck and trailer and going out on a trail ride. All women should learn to haul a trailer! It’s a liberating experience.

After I’m done in the barn, I head in to finally be thoroughly warm again. Most nights are spent reading articles about horse care and training, talking to horse friends, or watching TV.

*Horses with an asterisk have had their names changed to protect their identities. Not all horses want to be associated with the person who talks to them all day.…