"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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Houston....We have a problem!

Holy Crud! Complete confidence melt down. Here we go again. Just when I think I have this thing nailed….**Kablamo**….something to shatter it again. I got home and pulled Rose out to play with her online to practice for the L3 audition and things just went from bad to worse. While I just recently remembered what I love about her…..I now remember what I hate about her. Well not so much hate about her…I hate what she brings out/shuts down in ME. She has this little problem of tying up. When it happens it is debilitating for her and she cannot be played with for months. Medicine, supplements for months after daily injections for a week. Here is the problem that occurs, that is debilitating for ME ……before she falls subject to the episode. Rose is VERY smart. Smarter than the average smart horse. Here would be a typical scenario that leads to utter failure or a lame horse, and in fact what happened last night.
I am asking rose to canter and she refuses. I get more firm and tell her she has to canter. She gets more defiant and stops and looks at me and wants to charge me or change direction. Again I have to be firm until she complies. The reason for this is because if I don’t, she knows instantly that she is the dominant one, sensing weakness in me, and it can quickly become dangerous as she has no problem upping the anti to get her way. I am fair and reward even the slightest try on her part….ie: when I ask for canter if she speeds up the trot…I reward by relaxing my body and stop asking…wait a few strides…..and then ask again. I do not have a problem being firm and not letting her bully me. This technique was confirmed on my OLL2 audition remarks regarding Miyagi….who is also a dominant LBE mare.
“as a dominant mare, remember that Miyagi will hold you to a high standard so be fair but firm enough that she says "yes, Ma'am!"”
So if Miyagi, a mild LBE holds me to a high standard, can you imagine the standard that Rose, and extreme LBE holds me to? I have heard it explained, that the LBE must believe that you are worthy of their efforts. That if you are not more savvy than them, they will not respect you as a worthy leader, and will not put for the effort in a try for you. I have always been mindful of this with her, and it has always been a balancing act for me, because if I get too firm with her when she is just being exuberant and playing, she gets highly offended. Firm with her has always been a micro fine line. And usually I only have to get firm once.
So here is my dilemma. The first time she tied up was after her very first long distance trailer ride, about 3.5hrs. We were in a new place, and the footing was a teeny bit deep in the round pen and it was a very hot day. We had been playing for less than 5 min when she refused to canter. At that time, we were so in tune that I couldn’t believe that she was refusing to do anything. So I pushed and pushed until she cantered. She only went about 5 strides and came to an abrupt stop and refused to move a single foot, but I then could see something different in her eyes. She was not being defiant, I could tell something was wrong. I went up to her to go put her away figuring it was hot, and noticed she couldn’t move her back legs, especially her left one. It took a half hour to get her to the stall. Where I then called the vet, diagnosis “tie up” and I couldn’t take her home for 2 days…thus missing my first day at a new job….eeeek! Since that day 3 yrs ago, I have been completely paranoid, that I will not recognize the difference between an attack and defiance, because I can’t tell the difference, and thus respond inappropriately. If my response is wrong, it could have devastating consequences. If I don’t push when I should, she knows I am a chump. If I push when I shouldn’t I could put her in severe pain. THAT BLOWS! So after I finally convinced her that she could in fact trot in a complete circle without stopping, and give me at least one stride of canter, I disengaged her and brought her in to me. Her back leg was moving funny and that is when I remembered. CRAP! The worst thing you can do with a horse that is tying up is make them move even one step. We just stood there. I felt totally and completely defeated. And I began to cry uncontrollably. I rubbed her and stroked her and played a little friendly game. Then took the halter off so she could decide when she wanted to move. She walked off almost instantly and her leg was moving fine, although it did look a little weird. Whew! So did I do the right thing or am I a CHUMP? The jury is still out on that one! I will have to check her out tonight when I get home and see how she is walking. She looked ok this morning when I fed. She has always looked a little odd in the back end to me, because she is the only horse I have ever seen up close, that doesn’t drag her back feet. They swing different than other horses, and the way she places them on the ground is different too.
Anyways, I then played with Cha’cote, just some light stuff, while everyone else was still in the yard. He was quick to stand with all four feet on the pedestal and his sideways is getting really relaxed. I asked him ONE time to canter each direction, which he did immediately, of which I immediately disengaged him when he broke to the trot. He is so expressive in his canter depart, it is like a carousel horse leaping into it, just like Rose! Aiye Aiye Aiye! Lord help me now!
Savvy On

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