Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Spirit of Crazy Horse



"TWO-GUN" NAN ASPINWALL:  In 1910, she rode her mare, Lady Ellen, from San Francisco to New York, covering 4,496 miles and taking 180 days in the saddle. At 31 years old, she became the first woman to ride from coast-to-coast. She did it wearing pants and split skirts, riding astride, which was likely still illegal in some parts of the country. She did it packing a pistol, which she used on at least two occasions to shoot up inhospitable towns . . . and she made the ride alone. 

Read her amazing story here!:

Honor the Sacred

Smudging -

Smudging -

We smudge to clear the air around us.
We smudge to clean our minds so that
we’ll only have good thoughts ...
of others.
We smudge our eyes so that
we’ll only see
see good things in others.
We smudge our ears so that
we’ll only listen
to good things about others.
We smudge our mouths so that
we’ll only speak
of good things about others.
We smudge our whole being so that we
may portray only
the good part of our self
through our actions.

-Niji Mahkwa 

We gain knowledge with our tobacco (ah-say-ma) and we grow spiritually. Our hearts feel and our spiritual eyes have to see what our Creator wants us to learn. We feel the knowledge in our soul, and we know it comes from our Creator. When we pray, we get answers, then we are nurtured and we grow spiritually.
Smudging helps us center ourselves with the four sacred herbs mentioned: tobacco (ah-say-ma), sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. We begin by using a shell or bowl with a fan or feather. We then smudge the room, slowly walking clockwise around the perimeter of the room, fanning the smudge pot, keeping it lit and wafting the smoke about. Smudge any medicine tool you will be using such as pipe, jewelry, outfit, etc.
It is a good practice to smudge each person in a group, circle, ceremony, and lodge. Starting from the East and holding the smudge pot lit, each person can bathe themselves in the smoke. Many people smudge the heart area first, next the head area, and then the arms, then downward toward the legs. This isn't the only way you can smudge. It isn't wrong to smudge another way. We can purify and cleanse fairly regularly in this day and age with so much sickness and bad feelings around.

Artist : Jackie Traverse

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 19

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 19
"We all come from the same root, but the leaves are all different."
--John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA
We all come from one Great Spirit but we are all different and unique. Nothing in the Great Creation has a twin that is identical. Even children that are twins are different. Every single person is extremely special and unique. Each person has a purpose and reason why they are on the Earth. Just like every leaf on a tree is different, each one is needed to make the tree look like it does. No leaf is better or worse than the other � all leaves are of equal worth and belong on the tree. It is the same with human beings. We each belong here and do things that will affect the great whole.
Great Spirit, today, let me see myself as a valuable contributor to the whole.

Jogging Can be good for your Health

Friday, April 18, 2014


Horse Diary

I am a Red Man

Facebook Quiz---I like the answer :]

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 18

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 18
"Our people don't come in parts. Either you are Indian, or you are not."
--Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE
We really need to take a look at how Indian People are talking about Indian People. We say there are Rez Indians, Traditional Indians, Urban Indians and Breeds. This type of thinking will keep us separated. An Indian is an Indian, a brother is a brother, a sister is a sister. We are all related. Today, let us respect ourselves and our people. Today, let me realize Indians are Indians.
Great Spirit, let me see the Unity of the People. Indians are Indians.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 17

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 17
"Women know more about love than men do...Love is taking. Love is sharing. Love is learning things about each other."
--Mary Leitka, HOH
The Elders say Mother Earth shares Her special gifts of love with the Women. The Women know about bringing forth life and nurturing their offspring. Through this gift of love the Earth really makes the Woman special. Men should look upon the Woman with a Sacred Eye. She should be respected. The Woman is a role model for love. When the Woman talks, we should listen; when she shares, we should be grateful. We should all learn about each other.
Grandmother, teach me to love with the power of the Woman.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 16

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 16
"But one should pray in one's heart during a sacred ceremony; this is the purpose of the ceremony, to purify the participants both inside and outside."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
How do you know if you are praying from your heart or from your head? Pray from your head and you will feel nothing; pray from your heart and you will feel feelings. You may feel sorrow, you may feel joy, you may want to cry, depending on what you are praying for. During the ceremony, the cleansing will take place. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power: emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. The prayer controls the emotional, mental and physical. When we ask for purification of our feelings, our mental mind and our physical body, the spiritual direction causes the cleansing to happen.
Great Spirit, create in me a clean heart.

Real History-The Truth

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mornin' Coffee

Listen to the Wind.....

Indica or Sativa

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 15

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 15
"When people live far from the scenes of the Great Spirit's making, it's easy for them to forget his laws."
--Walking Buffalo, STONEY
Society today is way off track. Unfortunately, many Indian people are caught up in these modern times. The Elders are telling us we must wake up! We must come back to the culture because this is where His laws are. If we don't follow these laws, we will be unhappy. We cannot do things just because everybody is doing them. This does not make it right. We must follow what the Great Spirit says we must do. We need to pray hard for the courage to come back and live according to the culture. It will be difficult at first but worth it in the end. We must teach our children the culture.
Great Spirit, today, let me listen to the warnings of the Elders.

History of the California Vaquero

History of the California Vaquero

painting of old time california vaquero
To trace Vaquero horsemanship as we know it today, we have to return all the way back to medieval Europe.
The war horses of medieval and renaissance Europe required many of the same skills found in the reined working cow horses of today, and those cow horses all owe there existence to the bridle horses of the old time Vaqueros.
In studying the history of the knight and war horse of Europe you will find references to what today we would call a turn on the forehand, spin (turn on the hind quarter done at speed), slide stop and roll back.
These maneuvers and others have evolved in two distinct directions: what we know as dressage, and the reined working cow horse.
When the Spanish began to colonize the Americas they brought with them the horsemanship skills they learned on the battle fields in Europe .
A quick side note: the practice of branding cattle and horses comes directly from the knights of Spain. The traditional family coat of arms was adapted and used to permanently mark livestock for identification. Those who find the practice cruel and archaic should note that in many states it is the law. California, the birth place of the Vaquero, is one of those states that requires cattle be branded for identification
As the California missions began to spread from San Diego to Sonoma, so did the Spanish style of handling horses. As time passed, the California Vaquero began to refine their methods of training horses and working cattle.
California was unique in both climate and culture during the birth and growth of the Vaquero tradition. The mild climate meant that the Vaquero could spend more days in the saddle than the cowboys of other regions. The culture allowed the Vaquero the freedom of taking their time making a horse. California was the land of “many mananas” or many tomorrows. For the Vaquero it took as long as it took to get the job done. If that meant that the job didn't get done until manana, that was no problem. The Vaquero was free to take all the time needed to make the best horse possible. As a result the California bridle horse evolved to the point that a top hand could ride his horse with just a light string attaching his rein chains to the bit.
While firmly established in California, the influence of the Vaquero also spread up through Texas and evolved into what we think of today as the classic American Cowboy. This cowboy had, and still has, his own style of training horses and working cattle that differed in many ways from that of the California Vaquero.
The Texas style prefers to tie on “hard and fast”, meaning they tie their rope directly to the saddle horn by a loop on the tail end. The Vaquero has always preferred to dally, meaning that he wraps his rope around the saddle horn and is therefore able to let slack slide out if needed. The term dally comes from the Spanish “dar la vuelta” -  meaning to make the turn.
Many of the Texas style cowboys where not prone to doing a lot of ground work with their horses, preferring instead to get on and do their training from the horse's back. The mark of a good cowboy was one who could stay in the saddle no matter how hard a young horse bucked and tried to throw him. On the other hand, the Vaquero spent a lot of time working his young horses from the ground. The mark of a good Vaquero or Californio was and still is, one who could make a horse from start to a finished bridle horse without ever having him buck.
In all fairness to the Texas cowboy, he was not afforded the luxury of time that the Vaquero had. The Texas and Midwestern ranches usually had the cowboys riding more horses than the California ranches. A Texas cowboy might have twice as many horses in his string to work and as a result was not able to devote as much time to each horse as was the California Vaquero.
While the Texas cowboy uses his horse to work cattle, the Vaquero uses cattle to work his horses. Even this has evolved over time and what we have now are two very different forms of competition that have grown out of each style. The cutting horse has grown out of the Texas style that prefers the use of a horse that is bred to work a cow on its own once that horse has been sufficiently trained. On the other hand you have the reined working cow horse that comes from the Vaquero tradition of having a horse that is also bred to work a cow but works entirely from the commands of the rider.
It is interesting that even the gear differs in many ways. The Vaquero prefers the silver spade bit with silver conchos adorning his bridle and a fancy set of elaborately braided rawhide romal reins. Texas style is more apt to use a grazer bit and much simpler but just as functional bridle with a simple set of leather split reins.

For the Vaquero, it has never been just about getting the job done; doing it with style has always been just as important. The Vaqueros have always prided themselves on being able to work their cattle and horses with the greatest finesse, and fortunately that tradition is still alive and well today.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 14

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 14
"The base of all things is love and respect."
--Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo
The greatest weapon of any Spiritual Warrior is love. Love will change minds; love will forgive; love will let go; love will cause good luck; love will heal; love will cry; love will get rid of resentments; love will overcome fear. Love loves love. Any human who is loving will be guaranteed respect. Respect loves love. We need to love and respect ourselves.
Grandmother, Grandfather, today, lead me on the path of love.

Mornin' Coffee

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nice art

May You Follow the Great Spirit's Path...

Take Only what you need

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 13

Elder's Meditation of the Day April 13
"Once you make a friend, a friend never leaves you, even to death. So a friend is really hard to find."
--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
Once, an Elder told me he made a decision to be my friend. He said this friendship wasn't based on my behavior or how I acted; he said the friendship was based on his decision. He decided to be my friend. This friendship has happened like he said. Even if I don't see him for a long time, or if I get mad at him, he has never changed his decision. This is true friendship.
Great Spirit, I'm glad you are this kind of Friend.

Black Elk