"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, January 31, 2010

Cha'Cote first day out

Today was a big day. His first day out EVER. Again, he was captured wild as a 3yo, adopted a year and a half later, and sat in a stall for 5 /12 years, never to be halter broke. I broght him home on 1-1-10 and today 1-31-10, having only played with him on the weekends, he went for a mosey ate alot of grass and was a perfect gentleman. I cannot tell you how many times I know he was thanking me. I cried and 4 hours later I am still crying.

Cha'cote's first Mosey

OMG, I couldn’t be happier than I am right now for Cha’cote. The weekend started out with a serious back slide. The rain has been relentless for two weeks. Clearly, since Cha’cote is wild and the only horse on the ranch with a real shelter, he has no blanket to keep him dry…..or un-muddy, as I have discovered he is quite pleased with himself now that he can make a complete and utter pig of himself when he so chooses. Saturday started with me going in to catch him and him acting like a wild horse again. I was worried at first, but had confidence that it wouldn’t last long. He said, I wanna be a wild horse….I said….let me help you with that. I went and got a plastic bag and attached it to the carrot stick. It was part of my “test” anyways that he would need to pass in order to get OUT. So I turned the wild horse session into a “controlled catastrophe” learning experience. What fun that was. He was spinning and ducking and striking, rearing, kicking, shaking and so forth. But it was required to see if I could control him and keep him with me during a crisis. If he gets away from me outside, I am terrified he will not see the wire fence and go thru it. So of course I could NOT keep his attention on me, and it took a few bumps on the nose, and some hard shakes of the lead line. While he did NOT really ever accept the bag, he did calm down quite a bit and he did finally accept to turn to me for leadership, which is what I wanted accomplished. There is always another day to work on such a scary object. Right now, the most important thing for him is to have a life, we will conquer the bag down the road. After the bag session, we just hung out together until his breathing was back to normal. When I left, he wasted no time destroying all the hard work I put into brushing all the mud off. In the end, he was muddier than when we started. Sunday was met with it’s own challenges for the day. I went to watch a horse show with my best friend and we talked a lot about me wanting to take him out. How I wanted a plan and needed confidence in my self and him, in order to take the risk. I didn’t feel at the time of our conversation that the time was right, though the desire was certainly there. She came over to watch me play with him a little and she even came in with us and he let her hold the rope and pet him. Though cautious, I was proud that he didn’t freak out and by the end was putty in her hands too. I showed her all his new tricks, and how well he is doing them all now. She left and I had a conversation with my self about whether or not today is the day. The way I saw it, there were only 3 possible out comes, leaving them each a 33% chance of happening. 1. It could go horribly wrong, and he needs to be put down. 2. It could be relatively non disastrous, with him spooking a shying and me keeping him under control, but sucking on a darviset lollipop to go to sleep. 3. It could be a wondrous brady bunch moment, completely uneventful. I told myself that no matter what, I will be nervous to do it, even if I wait a year. It was time to have faith in what I have taught him and confidence in myself that I can handle whatever situation comes my way. With a lot of butterflies in my stomach, I decided to try it. I went to the house and got my 22’ line and my gloves….no learn burn required today. We ran through a quick reminder of the 7 games and then I opened the gate. He did not rush thru it…Yay! Then I started to lead him, and he stopped on the imaginary line where the gate once was. He had a definite mental block, and couldn’t go thru. I know part of it is the claustrophobia squeezing thru the gate, but it’s a 12’ gate. He just didn’t know he could do it. One inch at a time….literally and we finally got thru. No blasting thru, got to the other side and just stood there. He looked around as if he had been dropped off by a space ship on another planet. He was quietly and inquisitively looking around, and when I walked off, he quietly followed. I was stunned. Though I quickly disengaged him to let him know the same rules apply outside. No problem for him, apparently he had no plans for bucking the system…pun intended. He never once spooked or shied. He is also a trash compactor, eating all the weeds, roots, dirt, pine needles and leaves, spitting nothing out. I am sure, once he gets used to it again, he will have the discerning palate of Kentucky bred king. He appeared quite grateful and put his head in my “lap” many times. Somehow it didn’t feel like he was looking for reassurance, but more like a huge thank you. I cried…and cried…and cried. I was so happy for him, that while I cannot release him back in the wild, he is no longer a prisoner. He has been pardoned, but will for ever be on probation. I cannot think of any better gift to give him. I think he finally realized the purpose to all that we have done. When the sun was close to setting for the day, he did not want to cross the line back into his corral. I can’t blame him. So we just went in and out, with a mouth full of grass in between. As is becoming his pattern by the 5th time he got it, and we called it a night. I came in straight away to make my movie. I added some emotional effects to it. and a really sappy song, so I could cry like a baby for years to come.
Freedom On

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 3 Meeting herd & Figure 8

So here are the pics from day one of figure 8. Today he actualy GOT the idea of the send, and we mageged to finsh up, doing two straight repetitions of fig 8 without stopping. Of course I had no batteries left in the camera....Dangit! Also meeting the herd for first time, everyone one was good, and of course the two whores are in LOVE!

L1 Online basically done

This week has brought some depressing downpours of rain. I couldn’t do anything with him, not even a little undemanding time. Everything is pea soup here. I noticed the blues are running rampant thru the herd, so a much needed turn out was in order for the girls. I had put them on hold for the grazing because I didn’t want them to upset Cha’cote until he was very comfortable with his home and me. Just as I suspected they would, they all run straight away to him and scared the crap out of him. He spun and ran into his shelter and would not come out. They did everything they could to get his attention, and he would have no part of them. After about an hour, I went in with him and haltered him and brought him to the fence to meet everyone. He almost touched noses with Snookie once or twice, and over all I was pleased with everyone’s behavior. Certainly a nice sunny day grazing, chased away the cloudy blues. I just felt sorry for Cha’cote that he couldn’t join them. He learned to take carrots in small pieces from my hand and he was quite grateful for the treats. We got a really good start in the figure 8 pattern, though it was tough for him to understand. I started with leading him in the pattern, which progressed to being able to do one circle to the right, stop, straighten him out, then one circle to the left, stop, straighten and begin again. By Sunday he was really starting to get the “send” and a phase 1-2 from the stick. We ended the weekend being able to do 2 full revolutions of the figure 8, though choppy at best. I pray for him that next weekend we/I will be confident enough to take him out.
Till Next week,
Savvy On,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Parelli Horsenalities .. Hilarious!

I made this after my friend took me out to see my horses after my surgery from the car accident. she took 600pics and I had 6 wks off work! The video speaks for it self.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mustang Makeover day 10

It's halter day! Progress after just a day and a half being at home!

No Sweat....No Poop?

So after being with him all afternoon, I have an interesting observation to share. He didn't sweat or poop during the whole ordeal. I know he was terrified being put in the trailer, and at the very least, "unconfident" in the trailer for a 45min drive. He was dry when he got out of the trailer and there was no poop. Then I thought about it, he didn't poop the whole 2hrs during the loading process. He then did not poop till later in the eve. So no poop from 10a to 6pm. He did not appear stressed at all once home. This morn there is a nice heaping mound for me....BTW he is a tidy pooper, one spot only.... My older TB mare has severe trailer issues and no matter how cold or confident she is, she still has the usual nervous sweat pattern and water poop when trailering. I have been around alot of nervous horses in my day, and most (untill today I thought ALL) horses have the usual sweat pattern when nervous. He had NONE. Not even a little around his ears. Right now he is a perfect right brain horse and has dots equally between intro and extro. Something odd to lick and chew about for sure, though I doubt I will ever have an answer. So I thought I would share.
Savvy On

Friday, January 1, 2010

He's finally home...great progress!

OMG....today was the big day. Shelter is built, corral built....time to come home. Getting him in the trailer was going to be the issue....and was the issue. I wanted to try the slow way first, trailer at the end of the barn, but it was a no go. The barn owner suggested we make a shute with the panels and squeze him in. I was not happy with it, but with an unhaltered, untamed mustang, he left us no choice. I was terrified one or all of us was going to get hurt. I left it in the hands of the "expert" and he finally was in. The whole ordeal, my way plus her way, plus shute construction took an hour and a half. He didn't make a peep all the way home. He came out with out incident, loved grazing on the grass in his corral, something he hasn't done for 7yrs, and generally did not seem upset. Whew. I spent most of the after noon with him, and was able to make huge progress. I brushed and cut his mane (unsalvagable) touched him with my hands for the first time down his right front foot to the hoof, and all the way down his back and rump! He lets me walk right up to him now and pet him straight away. I think this is the best thing that has happened to him since he was kidnapped from his freedom 7 yrs ago.

See his pics on my website www.naturalmanners.com mustang page
Savvy On

Haltering Demo