"A horse is like a mirror, and it's reflecting what and who you are."

This is just a little diary of my horse life. I teach natural horsemanship and dressage. I am currently working on getting back to L4 Parelli after a car accident and surgery.

I suffered from a fear of failure, as things had not gone according to planned after my time off from my injuries. It had been an paralyzing disability (fear) but my healing is coming along nicely, and I hope to pass my level 4 before the end of 2011.

I don't know where I am going, but I am NOT lost!

I am now reviewing dvd's and books, and blogging my reviews. The link on the left in the categories (DVD Clinician Reviews)will take you straight to it. You will find links to the websites of all dvd clinicians I review and they are located on the left hand side bottom of page of the page. None of the clinicians or trainers I am reviewing, sponsor, endorse or authorize this site. For more info about them please click on thier link.

I hope you enjoy!

Savvy On,

I will be giving Savvy Star Ratings based soley on my opinion of it's value to a parelli student as such

***** Must own

**** Must watch

*** Worth watching, but you won't die without it

** Eh' take it with a grain of salt, you will have to filter alot

* OK, but there is better stuff out there to spend your time and money on

0 stars....skip it, it just isn't worth your time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Miyagi and the 7 games

I am definitely pleased with her progress. When I first got her, I couldn't even walk farther back than her withers, now I am using a power grinder on her back feet, so I would say we are nailing the friendly game. I have discovered that she is an LBE/RBE and that has helped with our progress immensely. I first took her to a local barn to play with a friend on the extreme cowboy obstacles. We started in the arena where I began to teach her the 7 games. Yo-yo she picked up amazingly fast, driving and porcupine frond and back end went very well too. Side ways was a dream, but she had trouble with the send and allow of the circle game. She started to get it to the left, but flat out refused to go to the right. I just let it be what it be, as she was doing quite well for her first day of play. We went in the round pen for a liberty catching session as she is the queen of not being caught. She was more tired than me in the end, so that was good, since she was catching me! Then we went out on the obstacles and I couldn't have been more pleased. Technically the only games we played were friendly, send and squeeze, and put your nose on it. All I figured would help to get her back in the trailer which she has boycotted as a mode of transportation. She went thru a car wash made of pvc pipes, fallen limb trash pile, up and down moguls and 2.5 ft high steps, thru a 5ft deep trench, over telephone poles, on a teeter-totter bridge, a tractor tire pedestal....Surely she will get in the trailer...........NOT! So as I remind myself that it is not about the trailer....even though it is the only way get her back home. Some people came to give me a hand with encouraging her, and just putting her feet in one at a time. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it as the day went so well. I have all the time in the world to take the time it takes at home. Loaded up, we went home feeling like we conquered the world. We spent the next week playing with the seven games some more and playing friendly with the trailer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Baths" are done...um sort of.

Well what a day. We started off by worming the girls, and then to give them baths. Kandi wormed them and it was, no exaggeration, a breeze. No fuss, no muss. I would liked to have let them settle in longer before the stress of a bath, but the days are getting shorter and colder and I work and comute....AND...it's hard to see in the before photo's, but they are FILTHY. Miyagi's tail probably had 5lbs of pooh stuck to it. Hard long poo balls that probably could have been sliced and had rings counted for age like a tree. Let me just say that a 150 lb mini IS strong. And a 400lb mini...oh my. I felt like my sons favorite wrestler in WWE. Joni came to help, thank god. She was initiated into the world of rescue by letter of demand. My birthday...I get to choose. We skipped our planned trail ride to care for the mini's. I figured it would not go smoothly, but it did go according to planned. That little Ochi, not halter trained, and no desire what so ever to be wet, in the end stood still enough for me to lather up and rinse her face and top side. I used the EZ-all sprayer and it helped. After dragging me all around the back yard, with approach and retreat, she started to play in the water with her lips. After all the hullabaloo, everything else was a breeze. As I suspected, she felt nothing was as bad as that BATH. Miyagi was a different story and with 400lbs to back up her flight method, I had my hands full for sure. She learned more quickly that if she stopped and faced the water, it would go away. Again, all I could get was the face and top line, but that was fine for a first bath. Her tail however, was a whole other story. With the thickness of the pooh, her short stature, my bad back and wanting nothing to do with me behind her with the hose, I had to bring in the re-enforcements. The non horsey husband. He stood close to her and reassured her, while I soaked her tail in a bucket of shampoo. I massaged and rubbed and picked apart that pooh for nearly an hour and still couldn't get it all. But I knew I had enough gone that once dry I could brush out the rest. I slathered it with a finishing detangler and brushed when dry. Voila! Still dirty, but next time it will be a breeze. I banged their tails because they were dragging the ground and Miyagi was stepping on hers. During Miyagi's primping and fussing, Joni took Ochi for a walk around the house a few times, and unlike the drag fest from the night before, she was leading like she had been halter broke since the day she was born. They both are leading so well, that I took off the halters for good. They both stood for nearly 5 minutes to have me and Joni scratch away all evidence of ever having worn one 24/7. They both were easy to catch and halter again for our little post bath photo session that Joni made me do. I must admit, I looked better too after changing my clothes. Rose 16hh and Miyagi 34" have decided that they are of equal stature and skill and both defend the same section of fencing. I think they will get along just fine in the end. I have to take my shower now, I smell and have work in the morning.
Savvy On

Oh dear, I did it again...more rescues

This story starts at it's most interesting spot....How I tried to explain to my husband that I went to a pony show with one horse and came home with three! It was a long day that started at 7am getting the trailer ready, my son showered and dressed and on the road by 8:05. The soccer game started at 9:10 and as always we have to be 30min early. Spirit loaded well, and despite his sheer terror, he was a good sport at the soccer field while he waited an hour and a half in the trailer. He had company for a while as a few horse crazy girls stood on the tire well and pet him through the window. The team won 5-0, then off to the show. We had a great day even though we were late. It was my sons second show ever and Spirits first. They had a blast! I think Spirit felt special with all the grooming, loves and cookies. He rarely is the center of attention at home. And not to mention without two evil 16hh TB mares bossing him around, he felt like king of the ponies, as he towered over all the mini's. There was only one pony bigger, she was a welsh pony. Spirit fell in love with this little black shetland mare who was pregnant. I think it was the lack of mama drama, knowing he wouldn't be the "baby daddy" must have been the appeal. After the show we left to go pick up our mini's that we agreed to rescue. One for me and one for Kandi (my best friend). So this is where I back up and explain the plight of the little black horses. The story is that there was an elderly couple in the bay area, hoarders, who were in over thier heads. One stallion and 14 mares and fillies. All black, and while well fed, they were severely neglected. Most were not halter broke, and some had health issues and/or ticks, needing hoof care, worming and vaccinations. And of course....A BATH! ASPCA had seized all but two and they had been in quarantine for about 3 weeks then transfered to a local "holding" rescue facility (Fancier Farms). We were foretold about them by two days, but of course, that tid-bit is left out of the husband version. As always, many details are. We rolled into the farm three trucks and trailers deep. A mini rescue convoy, if you will. We walk over to the stall and there are only three left. The matriarch 12yo grandmother and two yearlings. I told Kandi to pick hers first, as she was the one to share with me. She chose "blue halter". I had already decided on the older mare before we got there, and that left "red halter" all alone, so I took her too. Being that we were all experienced horse handlers, these little ladies loaded without incident. Though "red halter" either drug me or I drug her to the trailer. We took turns dragging. We tied grandma in with Spirit who was happy for company, and left "red halter" loose. She snuggled in between them and they didn't make a sound all the way home. You would have never known there were horses in the trailer. My son on the other hand couldn't stay quiet. He proceeded to tell me that my rescue count for the year is "7". WHAT?! No way! So out come his little fingers and a one by one count of compassion. Starting with our two kittens Zack and Miley, then our puppy Roxy (which I pointed out the technicality of dad actually bringing her home) a teeny kitten that we saved on the side of the road while taking my mom to the hospital that a vet was gracious enough to take, a puppy that I nearly ran over on the way to work and a co-worker took home, and now these two. Yup that is 7. Damn kid. I pull in the drive, park, and proceed with a guilty look that could not be disguised, into the garage to start the explaination. Before I could utter a word, my husband knew something was up. He insisted that I must have wrecked the truck. I assured him I had not, as he was headed to inspect his beloved white dodge. I stopped him and began the explaining. As always he was understanding and proceeded to begin his "honey do" of building be a small gate, and I headed to construct a corral. Luckily, we had t-posts still in the ground for a pen that we had made earlier for a friends horse that had an injury. I was quite please that I was able to complete a home for them in under an hour. There was a rush as they were still in the trailer. They have a huge oak tree for shade and enough room to move around freely. When we went to unload, poor Spirit was at the end of his lead rope with the baby under his nose eating hay. He had the look of, "seriously?...why am I the babysitter?" None the less, there they all stood quiet as mice. So me, my barely knows anything about horses son, and knows even less about horses husband...leading the unleadable to the back of the house. The trick of course...getting them in gate with out the evil TB mares making a nuisance of themselves. We fed them away from the gate, and put Spirit in to join them. Luckily, they wanted NOTHING to do with the TB eating goblins, as it took a few minutes to travel the 10 foot distance from one gate to the other. Baby first, carrot stick ready for fending of evil mares if needed, she had all heels dug in, unwilling to make the final 6inch journey into the newly constructed palace. And with a final "jump" in she came. Grandma was more willing, and they were now in there new home, with no one being mauled. Whew!Kandi drove thru the front gate moments later. She will be my mini "expert" I will field all my "mini" questions to, as these are my first. With in minutes she is shaking her head NO. There I stand with a small flake of hay...."What...too much?" Her head shaking now seriously YES. I put some down...."Now?" Head shaking with eyes rolling now...NO. "WHAT?" ...."STILL?" So she watches as I keep pulling hay from my hands until I get the all approving nod. "I mean really, c'mon, grandma is quite obese any ways, and baby is not in any danger of being starved either. I'll get you trained" she reasures me. They settled in well, with grandma "owning" all the piles of hay, but there were enough that baby still got to eat. I have named grandma "Miyagi" Me-ah-gee and baby "Ochi" Oh-chee. I removed the catch ropes from thier halters as I have not had a problem getting close to them. Today I will make my signature rope halters for them. It started to rain, but luckily it was only for about 5 minutes. I checked on them a few times before I crashed, and they were quiet. The big horses of course want NOTHING to do with them. I woke up this morning and Ochi had some goop in one of her eyes. I will have to get some ointment from the vet for that. No snotty nose, so that is a good sign. Today will be bath day. I will ad some "Eqyss Micro Tek" to the shampoo. Good bacteria/fungus killer. They both have beautifull long curly tails that are full of nasty poo. After they are dry, they will be wormed and tick checked. My other best friend Joni (non horsey person) will be here soon to help with the make over. We were going to go for a trail ride, but since we are both exhausted, and the ponies will be enough to finish us off, we decide that the ponies will be a fun way to spend the day together. That really is the most important part. My plan for these girls is to take them thru my manners program, and one of them to follow the Parelli Patterns on line to level 4 and hopefully Liberty level 4 as well. We would like to keep one of them and adopt out the other in the spring. Which one we will keep we are not yet sure, I am leaning toward Miyagi at this point because, she is an alpha mare and I feel she truely could hold her own with the big girls. At this point they are terrified of her!Follow along on thier journey with them here on my blog. You can view the lovely ladies in my photo's page. And follow along with Kandi's rescue "Onyx" on her web site. www.kandilandminis.weebly.com Savvy OnMichelle