"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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jason and a Porcupine

Jason and Spirit are doing fantastic. He is using more line in obstacles/patterns such as pedestal and fig 8. Using a cone helped with the pedestal, making him stay behind it. For the fig 8 last night I took a savvy string, made a loop on the ground, and told him he had to keep one foot in it. By golly he figured it out. It is becoming clear, that if I give him a task with markers and just tell him the task, he works out the ‘how” himself. I don’t have to do a whole lot of ‘technique” explaining to him. He figured out on his own, and quickly I might add, that he had to let the rope slide through his hand in order for Spirit to have enough line to make it around the cone. They did lateral flex great, and we added porcupine to the front and back end. Oh geez, I am going to have to get in there and work that one out with Spirit on the hind end. Clearly I didn’t teach him that. But Jason was able, with a long phase 4, to wait it out for one step, and then rub it away. Front end was pretty easy, though it was more of a circle than a turn on the haunches. The more we practice though the better they will get. Spirit is a forwardaholic for sure. He is very hard to get to back up. While he will take a step or two in yo-yo with a phase 1 or 2. In the trot-stop-back up….it is a big ‘heck no’ for him. We are working on his confidence, because if we get a good back up, we lose the trot on the next go. So for now, what we have is this. Trot, stop and rub, then back up anyway we can, then lots of rubbing. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Snookie’s boo boo is better, but still healing, and everyone else is good. Cha’cote is getting really good at coming to the gate to be pet before being let out, and he is fantastic at coming in for dinner. Last night, he was down in the ditch behind his shelter when I came with the hay. I called to him, he looked up, watched me for a few steps, and then trotted thru the ditch, jumped into the yard and was over my shoulder by the time I was at his gate. I let him snatch a bite of hay as we walked through his stall, and said my good nights to him. He’s my friend now!

Savvy On


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jason gaining coordination

As usual, the weather gal is off. I have to say….I feel as though the statement…..”it’s raining again” is redundant. But I am so sick of the rain! It was suppose to rain tue/wed/thur this week. And while accurate somewhere…..just not accurate for where I live. It sprinkled a tad on tues, but Jason managed to get in a play session. We tried to tape it, but my batteries in the camera died. He did all the stuff he has been working on, and his coordination is getting a lot better. As far as the pedestal, he has had to be quite close to spirit to get him up there. So I set a cone a couple feet away, and told him to stay behind it. I got his usual pessimistic response “I can’t do that!” I reassured him that he can, and of course he did. So I moved the cone another foot back……again “I can’t”……again…..he did. So another 6in back….you’da thought I was cutting off an arm or something, but again, he did fine. When done, he was so proud of himself. He started on the weave pattern, not to shabby for them. Granted, most of his work is on a relatively short line, he has to have a starting point. Then we tried our hand at driving the front end. Hmmm, not so good. Spirit has his foot planted firmly on the gas pedal. It be came obvious, as my memory from 8yrs ago is failing me big time, that there are some things that I did NOT teach Spirit back then. I was still new to Parelli, was new to owning a bunch of horses, was still new to being a mom, new to being a ranch owner. I guess I just did the minimum required for him to be safe around Jason and for maintenance care. We also did not have the Horsenalities when I was playing with him, AND I was still on the original green pack level one! ……….New strategy…..porcupine front end and then back end, which just so happens to be the next thing to add on his OLL1 self assessment check list. Spirit is still too RB when “driving” even with me. I need to get my hands on the new L1-2 dvd’s for Jason and I to watch together. I would like to see the quality, distance, coordination that they are looking for in the new L1. I think Jason would benefit from seeing it as well. He is OK with me giving him directions….just not ‘showing’ him. Yesterday it poured down rain, but today it is sunny. So I hope we both get to play tonight. I would like to play with Rose in the egg pen, and maybe Cha’cote a little for friendship. Snookie needs her bandage changed….geesh the list gets long fast!

Savvy On


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Itches, Boo Boo's, and a Princess

Well this week is going to be lack luster. Last night, after getting hay and unloading it, I noticed Snookie needed some doctoring of a boo boo, and with impending rain for the rest of the week, I had some horsey chores to do. Jason left right after I got home to go to boy scouts. So I turned the horses out, picked up Cha’cote’s poo, and grabbed a halter for Snookie. 1 boo boo, turned out to be 2. It took me a while to get all the dried blood off, then some medicine, a good bandaging and she was set for a curry session. She is shedding in such an odd manner. I know it is due to her age. One hip had clumps coming out, the other hardly any hair at all. I just curried her two days ago. She looks so pathetic. Poor old gal. Once done, I set my sights on Cha’cote and he was so into it. He is so cute, he stretched out like a morgan horse at a show, and rocked back and forth while I scratched his withers. When I stopped, he turned and nudged me! And his new game it definitely to try and grab a bite of hay while following me into his pen at bed time! This is a big step with him. While the game might get annoying…..I will let it progress, as he is finally PLAYING something! While grazing, the neighbor had some friends over, and I heard someone say “Ok you can stand by the fence, but for just a minute, it’s almost time to go”. I look over and see a darling little 4yo, princess prancing to my fence. I offered for them to come over and pet the horses. I didn’t need to hear her ask her dad…..it was obvious what she wanted. So they came in, and Cha’cote was the first to oblige her first time EVER to pet a horse. She was bouncing out of her skin, and I was proud of him that it did not bother him at all. Rose came over and sniffed the top of her head when I had her crouch down with me, and she giggled to high heaven that the horse was kissing her like her dog! Snookie was pleasant as well, but Spirit and Miyagi wanted nothing to do with us, grazing was just too good! As she left, she asked if she could come and meet me again. I told her “No, you can only meet someone once. But you can visit me anytime time you want.” Her face lit up like a Christmas tree.

Savvy On


Monday, April 26, 2010

The good...the scared...and the sleepy!

Can I just say….I love my kid. He has gotten so ambitious with this whole level 1 thing. He is starting to get a little frustration too, as things are getting difficult. He absolutely refuses for me to “show” him. He wants to do it himself. I was reminded last night, after my mom got home (my disabled mom lives with us) just how defiant I was as a child, and still am as an adult. Just because I am 40yrs old, doesn’t make her stop being MY mother, or her butting into my business and giving advice. And I thought long and hard about how resentful I feel as an adult, to not feel like my mother believes in me as ‘capable’.
I really do not want Jason to feel that way. But it is so hard, as an instructor, to really sit back more. I said it before, and I will say it again. Parents are too often the worst instructors for their own kids. He will gladly take advice from someone else, but from me, he is more resentful. This is going to be a challenge for us both. So for me…I will be focusing on the having fun part with him, and give advice when it is asked for. So long as he is safe, and his ponies confidence/ and respect is getting better…not worse.

So yesterday, OMG…..My friend came over with her kid and their mini’s, for the boys to play with their ponies together and for us to have some horsey time together. Spirit was all upset to hear Rose scream for him/me from the back. I think she was more screaming at me…..’how dare I leave her back there” Snookie could care less as long as Rose is still there. Spirit was compliant and OK but he then started to bully Jason. Jason was not being a strong enough leader for a right brained horse and so the dominance games began. I took over as Jason started to cry a little. I played with some different strategies, and for the second time, letting him move his feet forward or sideways or in a pattern, only made matters worse. Trying to get him to stand still, again did nothing. Focus on me…..forget it. The only thing I hadn’t tried was backwards, so I gave it a shot. BINGO! I backed him about 20-30 steps and saw immediate improvement. So when he tried to go forward again, I backed him up nearly the length of the yard. SHAZAM! His eyes rolled back in his head, he sighed, snorted, yawned and walked off like nothing ever happened. To bad, backwards isn’t his best gait, for Jasons sake. About 2 minutes passed and Spirit went right brained again, I backed him again and it was over instantly. I gave Jason his pony back and with in a few minutes, he went right brained. I now had a strategy to give Jason, he backed him and it worked like a charm. There was not another right brained incident for the remainder of the play session.

Jason proceeded with the weave at a walk, and he tried his hand at disengaging the hind end, driving style. Not ready for that one. So we went to lateral flexion. That was much better. But tonight I am going to have him start porcupine/driving the front end. I think it will help more in the respect department. All in all, Jason got to mark everything off on his list that he has been playing in, a couple new ones, and move one step closer to taping his OLL1. It is suppose to rain tue/wed/thur this week. UGH! Interesting….this morning, when I fed, spirit stood at the gate, and after I threw the hay over, he just stood there staring with those beautiful doe eyes. I started to pet him soft and gentle on his muzzle, and under his jaw, his favorite spot. It was a nice tender moment for us. I finally had to walk away as I was very late for work.

I got to play with Cha’Cote yesterday. Mostly undemanding loafing time together. Jason did a little fig 8 with him while I was ‘fixen” Spirit. I must say, Cha’Cote has gotten a lot braver lately. I have been having anyone who walks by come and pet him. He is starting to get less startled by new people. And I think it is really helping him. I offered for him to canter again at the circling game. He is so cute in his first couple canter strides, looks just like Rose leaping for joy. Though it does not look fun to ride! He was doing everything brilliantly. My friend and her son were laughing, as I parked him on the pedestal, and he stood there, alone for about 5 minutes. I am hoping one day soon, I can transfer all this INTO the trailer. But for now, I am in no hurry to get anywhere. I have my hands full with 5 horses and one kid. Anyways, he has taken to following me into his pen at bed time, rather than me directing him in there. I love it. He parks himself in an advantageous spot, waits for me to pass by then follows. If am holding hay, he plays a game now to see if he can snag a bite from behind as we walk. He also is up for being pet at the gate. He seems to have let out a deep breath he has been holding for years. He appears to have come to enjoy my company and misses it when I can’t spend time with him. He was totally cool just hanging out with his nose over my head, sleeping and NOT eating the grass all around him. I hope I find the means with which to get him started by someone great. I don’t want any mistakes. I wish I could do it myself. But wishes are not realistic, so move on, I will.!!!

Savvy On


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First Liberty Weave

Man that weave pattern at liberty sure is harder than it looks. I used 2 cones and 2 hoof stands, as I don’t feel like dragging all my cones back and forth from the front to the back. I need to get out my liberty patterns dvd and have a look at it for some ideas as to what might make it easier. While we did it OK, I have a feeling we are doing something wrong. She seems to be more LBI at it, I need to look that stuff over too. I think I need some cookies for Liberty! She was ‘chumping” me a little, so we also worked a little on long phase 1. All in all, she is doing good and I am satisfied with what we are getting at this point. Of course it is raining AGAIN. Probably going to rain for a few more days, should be good to play again by Friday.

Savvy On


Jason & Spirit day 1

So now that I have a kid who seems to want to play with the horses with me, and is seems sincerely interested in passing OLL1 in Parelli, I thought I would tell you all a little bit about him and his pony Spirit. We rescued Spirit about 8 yrs ago when Jason was 3yrs old. Spirit was severely abused, and deathly afraid of people. He is partially blind in his right eye. With people he is an RBI, on his own and within the herd, he is an LBE. He is very nosey, and always makes a mess of my stuff when he has the opportunity to snoop! He is not bothered by things, but if a human sneezes or makes a sudden move, he jumps out of his skin. I started him with Parelli, back in the beginning, but have done little other than what is required to care for him since. Of course we always handle him naturally when we are with him. For the first year or so, I would lead line Jason on him down the road, and while he was OK, he was a bit jumpy. One day, my friend brought over her son and his pony, for the boys to play together. We were in the round pen, and for the first time I let Jason circle around me. Big mistake. He and his friend got to giggling, Spirit spooked and lurched forward a bit, Jason came tumbling off the back of him, and when he hit the ground it scared Spirit and he kicked out and barely grazed Jason’s head. OMG he bled like a stuck pig. I was wearing a new white sweatshirt and looked like I had murdered someone, as we drove to the emergency room. 30 seconds with the DR, one drop of surgical glue and $1000 later, it stopped bleeding. It seemed Jason would never forgive Spirit for hurting him, and he lost ALL desire to do anything than say hi to him and give him a hug. A couple of years ago, he expressed a desire to show him at the pony/mini show, but due to other circumstances we did not pursue it. Late last year, the ‘circumstances” were gone, and we took him to a show directly after his soccer game, and that is when we came home with the rescue mini’s. Since last fall, Jason has showed more interest IN the horses, wanting to help me feed or open gates, or put the horses away after grazing, but little more.

So last weekend was the spring pony show. It is one of only a handful we can take Spirit to as he is not registered. Jason got to show him in all the classes, rather than share his pony with me, as I had Miyagi. I had him do the obstacle class as last year he was not confident to do it, and I showed him in that class. I asked him if he wanted to try the jumping class and it was a very serious……”NO”. But after the show, he said he wanted to try it next time. I told him he could, but that he would have to practice for it. As he has not practiced for the other 2 shows. He agreed he would and I thought I would hear nothing further from him. The next day I let him play with Cha’Cote for the first time. Both were very patient with each other and I was proud. So the next day I printed him a packet like the ones I make myself for each savvy for each horse. Which includes the self assessment checklist, the patterns, horsenality strategies that apply to that horse and the Audition score card. Stapled together, it is handy to grab and take with me while playing and able to mark things off as we go. I gave him his packet Monday when I got home, but he was heading out the door to boy scouts, and not interested, chattering and interrupting about everything under the sun. I figured his Parelli journey was doomed before it even got started. But, to my surprise and joy, he showed up in the rain with his packet Tuesday night, asking to play and work on his packet. Yeah. So now you are up to speed on their journey. I intend to not interfere or train his pony for him, as he already knows this stuff, but hasn’t really done them for years. Spirit seems to be quite patient and obedient, so unless it is absolutely required, I will stay in the background gently coaching and teaching Jason.

It is easy as parents, to fail your child while teaching them. Disappointment and heartache are usually the theme of ‘teaching” sessions, and lack of interest usually follows discouragement. I will have to be very careful not make him feel wrong while he is learning, and always focus on his and his ponies confidence. Not to micromanage him, and allow him to make mistakes so he can learn from them. As long as Spirits needs are not compromised, I can follow my above principles as a teacher and a mother, and hopefully gain a lifetime friend to share horses with.

Savvy On

Here is day one.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Jason & Cha'Cote

This is Not only Jasons first time playing with Cha'cote, but also his first time doing anything 'parelli"

I couldn't be more proud of them both. Cha'Cote a 10yo BLM Mustang, was wild and un halter broke just 3.5mos ago, and Jason....well Jason just doen't do much with the horses. He is starting to get interested....YEAH!

Liberty L3 take ONE 4-18-10

Well I did it. I got off my butt, made a 'round' corral. More like an EGG corral. I taped my first "dry run' of my L3 audition. I forgot to drag the pedestal back there, and my 11yo son taped it. Bless his heart, and shakey little hands! At first I was a little upset at how, "not like it used to be" this is.....but then when I started to think about it, it HAS been 2 yrs since I really played with Rose. Especially at Liberty. I played with her OLL4 last summer for a very short stint. Rode her a couple of times. But really, nothing to brag about. I am lucky to have such an amazing horse. This is our first time playing at liberty in 2 yrs.....I am weaping with Joy!

I love my Liberty Queen!

Savvy On

Pony show 4/18/10

Well, first of all, let's not get crazy here.....it was just a schooling show.........but she was soooooooo gooooooooood. So was Spirit....sort of. Last night Spirit went ALL right brain crazy when I was clipping him.....because all the other horses were on the other side of the house. It carried over to today. BUT, my son did a wonderfully savvy job and he got FIRST place in his showmanship class! Now I have to admit....he was the only kid in the class with a right brained horse.....but the judge must have saw his savvy and rewarded him with first. I had him thank the judge and she told him he did a good job. The next biggest highlight was how well he did in halter obstacle. I really didn't think that Spirit would jump the jumps but he did....brilliantly, he went over the tarp, did a fig 8 with plastic bags filled with cans on his bag....jumped the pedestal instead of walking on it, went under the piniata great AND.......AND.....on the ground tying.....he did not want to stand still and was walking around Jason while screaming to the other horses and Jason rubbed him until calm, dropped the lead rope and walked all the way around him....YEAH! I am a very proud mom right now for his level of savvy with a crazy horse, when Jason doesn't play with the horses. All in all, he left with a "ribbon" in every class, though a few were still last place. Lets face it, though we think him beautiful, he didn't have the prettiest head in the pretty head class! He is quite pleased with himself that he got one of each place 1-6.

As for Miyagi and Me, she felt all day that trotting was just too much work, and proceeded at a slow crawl EVERYWHERE! She saw fit to oblige me a few times in the show ring with a trot, but mostly felt like a side of beef. I played the 7 games with her in the small warm up area and she was good. And no, even though we entered, she did NOT have the prettiest head of the class either. We got 2nd place in obstacle though, I think it was that class. I just don't care about showing and honestly my brain is mush after the long day. I know we didn't place in a couple classes because they were bigger classes than ribbons and there were some very beautiful mini's there. But her shining moment was the obstacle class. The first obstacle was a "brick" wall, that I knew she wouldn't jump because of it's size. Instead though, she solved her own little puzzle....I taught her so well....she put a foot on top of it, winked at me and proceeded to pull it down and walk right across her new "bridge". She gave no hesitation at the tarp with a "waterfall" of shiny things next to it, was not happy with the bag-o-cans saddle but didn't let any one but me see her disapproval, walked over the bridge between the trees great......was perfect for the ground tying, right under the piniata....and the last obstacle was a small vertical pvc pipe jump, which at 12" was just too high for cute fatty, and she just knocked it down as she walked over it. I can't complain for sure, she had perfect manners all day, was even nice to Spirit all day. Guess it was her gift to him, seeing as she is a holy terror to him otherwise.

Jason, Spirit, Miyagi and Me, ended the day in liberty class. I nearly passed out keeping her at a gait other than a walk, and Jason did a stellar job catching his pony at the end of the briliant right brain gallop fest. He was the only kid to do Liberty, and for his first time he did good. Next time, he will do better of not giving his pony a phase 4 so many times when a cross eyed look would have sufficed! I refuse to use plastic bags like everyone else as it is just counter productive to what we do here, to "teach" our rescues to act like a fool when they see a plastic bag. Luckily me and miyagi survived our own coronaries, from running at our age and weight!

We took the scenic route home,and it was a wonderful drive. And for a couple of crabby mares, Rose and Snookie sure looked happy to see the short ends of thier herd again. But once they said hello, they split. Typical!

Friday, April 16, 2010

OMG, do not even get me started.......

Well I didn’t play with my horses, but I got to give a confidence boost by helping my friend. The lesson was great, and I think it was a pivotal moment for them. Her colt was not started in the manner in which I feel was best for him OR her. A thousand thresholds had been blown through right from the get go, and it was no wonder he was ensconced in bucking explosions. There were quite a few things that were contributing to the scenario, as I figured was the case. And while some things in his original start may have been OK for someone else, it was not ok for her. She is new to this, he is just a baby, and the whole thing blew up. Literally. So here is the list of oooops’s I diagnosed.

1. He was not prepared at all, much less properly for being started, to begin with.

2. He was never taught how to canter without the saddle, yet expected to do it with it.

3. His LBI horsenality was taken advantage of causing thresholds to go unnoticed repeatedly.

4. Not honoring his thresholds and taking the time it takes cause him to become RBI.

5. Because RBI horsenality was misdiagnosed, the proper strategy of NOT pushing him…….pushed him into RBE.

6. Thinking that being an RBE was “NORMAL”, instead of using proper strategies for that horsenality….ie: don’t let em go there and focus them if they do……wasn’t part of the plan EVER.

7. Now that he “went there” the wrong strategy of letting him continue caused him to just scare himself even more to the point of a bucking fit.

8. The whole fit was diagnosed as normal, and riding him “anyway” was encouraged.

9. My friend needs to do some serious exercises to get her “seat” and should have been doing them while prepping him to ride.

10. Sometimes, the right strategy was used at the wrong time.

All in all, I thought it was a great lesson. We were able to identify his very first threshold of the saddling process, and thus NOT move forward until HE accepted the process. We then proceeded in a lather/rinse/repeat fashion with each step of the saddling process, as we noticed each step WAS a threshold. Once we got him in the arena, we kept him focused on patterns that he already knew and was confident with while not wearing a saddle, and continued again with each step looking for thresholds. Also, because he is not his usual LBI while saddled, in fact and RBI, we used the strategies for that horsenality. Soft gentle phases, lots of patience, and never making him feel pushed……AT ALL. His confidence was priority #1, at each and every moment, for each and every step. No buck. He got hump backed at time or two and we shut him down, and restarted even softer. You could really see the difference in him, and watch his confidence grow, his stride get less choppy, his rhythm start to be steady, his head lowered and he rounded his back the good way. You could see the tension in his body melt away. Then, for diagnoses purposes, we attempted the canter……and he started to buck on stride two, and was shut down at stride 3. He was shocked. “What?, you DON’T want me to buck? It’s not OK?” So we reassured him we were not going to push him, and for now, she is not to canter him with a saddle on, until he can canter without one. Prior and PROPER preparation! From there, we mounted up. Again…..another threshold. On/off On/off until he accepted her. Again, still and RBI, we used the NEVER push/be gentle with me strategy and it paid off HUGE! I could not believe I was looking at the same horse that tried to kill her with his bucking and rearing just two days prior. One step at a time, don’t push, don’t let him “go there” and shut him down instantly if he does. No matter what anyone else (trainers) might be able to do with him, if she does not have the skills, a complete different strategy must be used. One that not only is good for HIM but for HER too. Green on Green makes black & blue….but I think if we stick to this new plan, they both have what it takes to make it together. She doesn’t have the money to send him to a trainer for 30dys, so all I can do is help her make it right again. And impress upon her, to take the time it takes, and it will take less time. Pay attention for the slightest un-confidence and stay there until he is confident. Don’t let him go there, but if he does….treat him like an RBE and focus him immediately! Just goes to show.....thresholds and horsenalities are NOT imaginary things....and if honored and looked after properly, will pay huge dividends in the end!

Well done my friends….practice, practice, practice!

Savvy On


Thursday, April 15, 2010


I still haven’t done anything with the horses. Well not absolutely nothing. Last night I trimmed spirit’s feet. My shoulder is now KILLING me. I am ok to trim the left side of the horse, but the right side is too hard on my right shoulder. He was a good boy for the power grinder. Honestly, I have been nothing but shocked that ALL of my horses never have had an issue at all with the power grinder. I know I presented it well with approach and retreat, but still. If ever any of them have had even the slightest hesitation, it has been over the moving extension cord……not the loud buzzing and whirling, and flying pieces of hoof, at 5000 revolutions per second. Head scratcher for sure, but wonderful none the less.

I don’t know what is wrong with me now. Doing nothing with the horses. I had such a blow to my confidence in general last week, I think that it has set me back quite a bit. I know initially, it was better to do nothing with them, my head in the wrong place and all. But it has spilled over and carried on too long and now I am afraid. Of what this time I don’t know. I just lost any and all desire, and it is upsetting me. I was cruising along at a fairly good pace for 3 months, made tons of progress with Cha’Cote, and had a big breakthrough with Rose. And now…no desire….and unfocused fear. I have come to realize that confidence is conditional and a VERY fragile emotion. I am hoping to get it under control before the week is over and it gets totally out of control again. I cannot go back to the way things were last year.

Last night Cha’cote let Jason walk right up to him again while he was grazing. I got some intimate pictures of them. Will up load tonight. Maybe he is getting lonely with no play for over a week. Who knows. Jason said when he let him out last night, that Cha’Cote came up to the gate and let Jason pet him too. That is for sure a first for us here. I am told he used to, at one time, let you give him carrots through the fence, and you could steal a pet here and there. I still get a little teary eyed from time to time, watching him graze or nuzzling one of the other horses, knowing he hasn’t grazed or been able to be part of a heard for 7 yrs. He certainly takes advantage of every moment he is out, and does not let one single moment go to waste. While I was trimming Spirit’s feet, I heard Cha’Cote walk over the pedestal all by him self. I was tickled pink as it was very hard for him to put his feet on there in the first place.

Tonight is supposed to be lesson night with a friend. I have to say I am proud of her. She has been off the horsemanship path for about 9 mos, almost like the pied piper mesmerized her and led her astray. Anyways, I have been helping her again for the last few weeks here and there, and she and her horse have mad an amazing turn around. I taped her OLL2 last weekend, and I know she will pass with flying colors. Now we are working on freestyle L2. She has a young horse, just turned 3yo, who has been barely started and needs direction and a clear cut plan. Let’s face it, you ain’t got nothing if you don’t have a plan. That’s what is so great about Parelli. A clear cut progressive plan. They have logical sequential patterns and one tasks builds a foundation for the next. So tonight we are putting her new saddle on, and doing some ground play and see if we can discover what his bucking is all about. He is an LBI who likes to wear LBE clothes whom I suspect is secretly an RBI in disguise at times. I think…..THINK…..a few thresholds have been blasted through when he was started. He is such an easy going fellow, that when he is unconfident, it goes unnoticed. It is possible that because he is not extreme in anything, that it is easy to mistake the ‘horse” that shows up, for another horse and use the wrong strategy. Only time will tell, we shall see what we have tonight.

Savvy On


Saturday, April 3, 2010

What is the dumbest thing you ever did with a horse?

Just sharing a blooper from my past. Enjoy!

I will start, so no one has to be the first to raise thier hand. HMMMM...which to choose, I have soooooooooooooo many. ok ok ok....swallow any food you have in your mouth...this one is a hum dinger. (that's "really funny" for all you youngsters out there) When i was a kid, 16 I believe, I was given this 17hh (yes 17hh) 3yr old TB. he was not started for the track due to leg problems, due to his abnormal growth. Not too long before this, the black stallion movie had come out....in theaters....that'll age me if nothing else does. I went to the wash rack with him to give him a bath and he was afraid of the mud puddle at the edge and wouldn't go thru it. I tried everything my puny, uneducated brain could muster and it was all a no go. So, having just watched the brilliantly "written" scene, where they blind fold the Black on the ship to get him to follow them thru fire, i figured that this was a time honored and widely accepted training method, and followed suit. I came back the next day with a pillow case, tied it to his halter, and viola! He went thru the mud puddle and into the wash rack. I just knew I was on to something. At that moment, I WAS a horse whisperer and thus...(as if that whole thing wasn't stupid enough) I Decided that I had a much more deserving equestrian challenge that required my new found horsemanship skills to conquer.

Ya'See... I had been having trouble with getting him to go into a certain corner of the arena..............while RIDING . Sooooooooo... I tacked him up, pillow case and all, and rode him in the arena. Wait.....there's MORE....this tale barely has happy ending.... It had been going so well at the WAAALK...I figured I was really onto something, soooooo I decided to T..T..TROT Again young and trusting Apricot (I don't know why I never changed his name, a 17hh horse named after the teeniest member of the peach family....oh I get it ) conceded to my bidding, and graciously proceded in the loveliest of trots that a 16yo girl has ever ridden in her life. Round and round we went, gay as two love birds in spring right thru the very scary horse eating corner that had plagued us for so many riding sessions.

Now this is where the story turns dumb .....eh'hem....Ya'See....I had been having a bit of dificulty getting him to canter previously, and as my new found skills were abounding, ......I decided to tackle this challenge as well. (you do remember my horse is blindfolded don't you?) And considering this is the first horse I had ever colt started, I do believe that a certain degree of respect be given me for training a horse so willing to follow my.... 'er'hem ....lead?

Apricot hesitantly picked up the canter, (I know, it's so stupid I can barely believe it myself) We cantered in harmony like Alec and the Black on the beach, until.............(of course there is an until, if not this would not have been a dumb story!) One teeny tiny hair on his muzzle grazed the fence rail and he came to a screeeeeching halt. I however did not! I landed on the fence on my back (luckily not breaking it) and ooooozed down the rails to the ground. When I awoke....gazing thru the fog...I see, Standing over me, my trusting steed, snorting and blowing. I lay there, staring thru my somewhat broken and no longer so rosie glasses, at my mothers paisly pillow case, thinking......(you guessed it)

.....THIS....... may NOT...... have been...... such a good.... idea??

I scrapped the whole concept up to awesome movie special effects, and told my mother nothing of my bruises or my tear stains in her pillow case. Now kids......and any adults pondering ANY brilliant ideas at this very moment......... Do NOT try this at home!

You see this is actually a story about guardian angels, and how mine, who btw can only fly as fast as a trot, not a canter, took a coffee break that day, seeing how things were going so well at the trot! I know the mind reels at my insanely high level of stupidity, but I do have more stories of the same high caliber, award winning stupidity, that they should give medals for!

Savvy On

Thursday, April 1, 2010

well....it's raining.....again!

Well Shucks. I have done nothing this week so far with the horses. Monday was a bad day at work. BAD DAY. One of my clients…..6yo son….was wandering in the office during our interview, and stole my boss’s cel phone. My boss was going ballistic, as I would have too, but we have all been warned about not leaving personal items on our desks, in plain sight and unattended. She blamed me, in not so many words, prior to knowing for sure who stole it. As hard as it was, I called my client and asked her to check to see if her son took it. Sure enough he did, and promptly returned it. We all, I’m sure, can appreciate how wonderful it is to get a lost phone back, as we all know….the “contacts” IN the phone are more valuable than the phone itself. So when I got little to no ‘thanks”…..I was a little hurt. I know, playing with your horse is the worst thing you can do when you are in a really bad mood, so I didn’t. I did, however, have a little undemanding time with Cha’Cote after grazing, and for the first time ever……….he got into being scratched. He was so cute. His lip all tight and quivering, head bobbing all over the place and reaching for my arm to return the favor. I politely told him “no thanks, I don’t itch”. He got so into it, he started rocking back and forth. I think at one time his eyes even rolled back in his head! I scratched for about 10 min, till my arms felt like they were going to fall off, and not once did he stop showing his gratitude and enjoyment of my affections. COOL!So yesterday it rained……..AGAIN…… and the ground is slick and suppose to be raining all week. BUMMER. Today is payday and I plan on getting some step in posts so I can construct a small play pen and start on some liberty play time with both Rose and Cha’Cote so that I can get my L3 Liberty audition sent in. I have to reiterate that I love the new audition process. I love that I can now include all of my horses in the journey, and not have everything invested in ONE “levels horse”. I can appreciate the power and usefulness of taking one horse thru all the levels. But if something happens to your levels horse, a lot of time that was invested in that horse is lost. And if it is your only horse, your screwed. Now, I have the ability to concentrate on different areas with each horse. And while, each will get it all in the end, my education is getting the growth it needs right now, and each of my horses is getting quality educational time with me as I have it to spare, right now. It is hard when you have 5 horses. To give each of them the time they deserve. I would be really upset right now if something happened to Rose. I have a lot of time and heart invested in her. She is my Liberty QUEEN and ultimately my perfect partner. I have enough of the whole spooking thing with Snookie over the years, and I am so done with that. That’s what is so awesome about Rose…no Spook. Love it. So it is suppose to rain the rest of the week. Big sigh. So we shall see, what, if anything, I can get accomplished.Just want to say a special thanks to everyone who finds my blathering interesting enough to return for more.
Savvy On