"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, May 30, 2010

FS/L3 Cantering Breakthrough! Edited version from savvy forum

Wow, the last three days have been a doozy....I know I won't be able to walk tomorrow.

So I have been mulling (avoiding by hangin on my couch) over my L3 freestyle audition. Ride good ole, but old and out of shape 26yo Snookie. Or let Rose carry her torch, and figure this thing out with her. Also, now that I have passed level 2, and just recently my Liberty L3....I am finding a desire to do L3 things online....desire is not something I have had for a while. But, I felt confident on friday and started some zone5 driving with one rein. things went well  My second big move back into L3. Whew!

I trimmed feet on sat, so that was a wasted day (fear causes many a wasted day) but had a playday scheduled for sunday at the local arena with my friend. So today I met her there, Rose and Snookie, saddle and bareback pad, 22' & 45", not knowing what I would have the desire, confidence or skill to tackle. I just knew I needed to play with L3, with someone. I saddled Rose, and my body was in total shaky tremors.  As is the ritual...prior to taking her in the arena, I had my final cigarette to help calm my nerves.


Turns out, after a great online warm-up working on yo-yo transitions...... the thing that was in our way of getting back in tune......
I had a wonderful L4 Liberty session with Rose.....with other horses in the arena, one of them being Snookie and she was loose at liberty as well. I only wished there were more obstacles to play with. She never once left me. We did a 30' long sideways to me, stick to me, circling, change of direction, pushing a ball, sideways from zone 1 and god only knows what else. I was in such a blissfull state....I can't even remember it all.

THEN....I mounted with cookies.  After reading the little article 'nothing to brace against" pg 74 this months savvy times, she never even tried to bite me while I mounted or saddled either  Which worked way better than just the loving and petting I was doing.  I haven't "defended" my space while saddling or mounting for years, unless she actually got close enough to bite me.  I have honestly tried EVERY technique known to man and the best one was loving her through her defensiveness to protect her dignity & body, as she will not tolerate things being done TO her.  IE: you better have the right attitude and skill or you may not live through the experience to tell another of your failure.  So I am proud of myself, helping her through this and being one of the few that she respects to touch her and preserve her dignity.

So off we went and we were in total harmony. I was using a neck string, walk and perfect trot transitions, sitting trot was AMAZING, porcupine sideways and turn on FQ/HQ was light as a feather, backing...perfect. I was in heaven and remembering how much I love this horse and what a magical and wonderous LBE she is. I'm gonna yada-yada-yada over the next part, where someone came in the arena couldn't respect that Rose has SEVERE issues with other horses not respecting her personal bubble,  and rather than asking ME if I would LIKE help and if so, how THEY could be of help to me, they way "I" would like to be helped....they just kept acting as if I don't know WHAT to do and barging into our bubble...........aaarrrggggg....unless you bring cookies....stay the heck away from me!  

I would love to have a session with other like minded riders, and have them approach us and give her a cookie and leave.  Lather rinse repeat. It has been a great tool in changing her perception of saddling and mounting, and works INSTANTLY.  So I have a feeling, it would change her perception of other horses encroaching into her space.  The other thing I would like to try, which my friend and I were doing before interrupted, and was working well, was to have ME be a good protector of my herd, and ME keeping the other horses out of her space with the carrot stick.  The problem is that she doesn't trust me to protect her bubble while in the saddle, so she assumes the leader position and attacks anyone who comes too close to her.  So my friend obliged and let me shoo her and her horse away with the carrot stick.  And it changed Rose's mood about her horse coming close.  So my position on this is.... if you don't respect the way I choose to fix my horses problem, then at least respect my request to keep your distance.  I don't force my ideas on you, please don't try to force yours on me. 

So we left the arena....as I couldn't take it anymore, but was not ready to give up my fun day.  I ponied Snookie and we went on a trail ride around the ranch.  I had my hands full with ropes, but it was fun and I was enjoying myself. It was hot, but I didn't care (not a good idea....heat exhaustion soon to follow).

After the trail ride my friend was done and dismounted and I told her wanted and needed her help cantering in the round pen. Her eyes got big and she asked if I was sure. "YUP" lets go. Snookie tied to the outside, friend in the middle of round pen, one fat old lady, and a leaping LBE.

I asked her to point and support with carrot stick, when she could see me asking for canter, I grabbed a bunch of mane and went for it. I porcupined with seat and legs and cantered with my body, she supported me...and Rose was a leaping. I held on, disengaged and asked again. She leaped again, and tossed in a kick for good measure. Lather rinse repeat, third time I kept asking until she quit leaping and actually cantered. woooo hoooo. We went both directions with her cantering from my cues only, no support from friend in the middle. About 6 laps each direction.

It was spectacular.....well I am sure hideous to watch....but for me it was SPECTACULAR. I couldn't have been more thrilled if I was riding a cloud.
Called it a day and got off.

I then proceeded to pass out! It was just snowing 2 days ago in the hills and now it is so hot I got heat stoke 

I managed to make it to the barn, pack up, get home, unload and jump in the ice cold pool. AAAHHHHHH!

The best part was that I wasn't afraid when I decided to canter, and I wasn't afraid at ALL while I was cantering. NONE.....maybe it was the heat and I was delirious! But who care's....I wasn't afraid!

I can feel EVERY muscle in my body aching.....but I don't care.....today was a GREAT day! 

I plan on getting my OLL3 taped VERY soon, maybe even today.

And now I have hope that I don't have to leave Snookie at home to go to the arena to tape my L4 Liberty, I should be able to do it with Snookie loose or at least tied in the arena with us.....whew!  And I have hope that I can tape my L3 Freestyle before the end of next summer With ROSE! Then I will be getting close to where I was before the car accident, minus the Finesse and Freestyle, and can start to focus on actually continuing my education, instead of just trying to get to where I left off.

Thanks for a fun day Brit!  Probably one of my best days in the last year....and if it is NOT.....I can't think of any that were better!

Savvy On


  1. Congratulations! What a great day for you! You were ready and you listened to your inner voice. When we take the time it takes, "suddenly", with prior and proper preparation, we grow in leaps and bounds. Good for you Michelle!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 1Star Junior Instructor

  2. Thanks Petra for visiting and for commenting.
    Nice to know I'm not all alone here talking to myself all the time. :)
    Yes it seemed very sudden, even though it has been well over a year, I have only been able to ride a handful of times due to the car accident. I guess my mind is healing and learning and making up for the adjustments that my body cannot. Kinda like "excersize the mind and the body will follow"

  3. Yes, absolutely! I'm glad you're getting back into riding again... One step at a time will bring you progress!


I know I am not perfect.....so be nice!