"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, December 3, 2010

It’s not about THE…….Trailer!

It’s about the ……RELATIONSHIP!

How could I be so direct line? AGAIN!!! What the heck is wrong with me? Ya know that little predator just sneaks right in, without warning, and without notice. It takes hold of our thoughts and actions, and before we know it, we abandon all that we know, to get something done. Usually during a difficult task, that may take more than a few sessions to accomplish. So what I think is happening, is that it is soooo gradual, in minute increments during each session, that you don’t see how it is accumulating, until it manifests itself into a full blown predator palouza, that is ALL about the trailer….the relationship flies out the window….with us completely oblivious to what just happened. ARGH!

Cha’cote was getting in the trailer GREAT, once he figured it out. He was confident, calm and trusting while thinking his way into the trailer and he had no problems staying in the trailer as long as I didn’t close the door. Back in august is when it all started, and it was a 1~2 whammy to his confidence. First was the day I taped my OLL3 with him. My husband had removed the wheel chocks to use to protect his precious MG Midget, from what I have no idea. During the filming, Cha'cote got in, felt the trailer really rock, then decided since it hadn’t done that before….he now had good reason to question going in again. Then a couple days later is when he went on his very first outing, and that is what sealed the deal to our trailering doom and gloom.

The next time I went to trailer load him, he said “NO WAY….I know what happens when I get in there!” I had plans that day with a friend, and I got REALLY predator on him, and in the end we did not make it to our destination. It was one of those days that you wish you could erase from your life forever. So then I tried to kiss and make up with him, and you know the saying about RBI’s…..all he can think is…..’I knew I couldn’t trust you not to push me’. And he was right.

So I left it alone for a few weeks, then made my move. I did a lot of undemanding time/sharing territory with the trailer, and that helped a lot. We picked at it here and there, until he was good about going in again….but he still didn’t want to BE in there, unless I was in there too. Nor did he want the door shut. So here I am at a loss for how to really help him. I haven’t had an issue with trailering horses since my HUGE monumental BFO with Ann Kiser 7ys ago. In fact the opposite, I have helped a lot of horses overcome thier trailering issues, so now I am feeling like a failure and knowing I am letting him down, and my ego is a little bruised too.

Talking it over with my friend and student, I had some mini moments of mediocre intelligence, but it is genius I am seeking here. In the end, I reluctantly agreed to try the only solution that came to mind. It seemed reasonable, however, I know that technique will get you so far, it is the principles that get all the way home.

So how do you diagnose a problem? First you figure out the game or games that are broken. This is mostly comprised of the main three games…..friendly, porcupine and driving, and/or the principles and concepts that may be forgotten about, and then think of solutions, experiment with them, and compare results. What's so hard about that....right?

I think it is safe to say that it is obvious that the friendly game needs some help, not surprising since that is his hardest game. And the conccept that my friend and I kept hovering over is ‘making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy’. But I have been doing that, and the usual technique of ‘a lot of work outside the trailer, rest in the trailer’ really makes him more right brain explosive. I told her the only thing that makes him uncomfortable and start to think about going in, is backing up. He doesn’t like any tugs on the halter, and usually a finger wiggle to back up, is enough to make him start going forward. So the plan we came up with is WAY more backing up than I had been doing. Maybe a few laps of yo-yo around the trailer would be in order? It’s settled, yo-yo is the technique, and discomfort/rest the concept. Not exactly genius.....but it was the best I had to go on at this point.

Now I hadn’t had a chance to work the theory out in practice yet, when I come across a thread on the forum that seemingly has nothing to do with my problem, and only read it by chance anyways. I had skipped most of the responses, but something made me read one of them….and low and behold the lights started blinking and fireworks bursting in the sky. Hmmm….it’s not about the…..trailer! How on earth that one left my brain is beyond me.....but at least someone jogged my memory! Someone mentioned playing the touch it game with zones 3-4-5. He touches the trailer really well with zones 1-2-3. Why on earth it never occurred to me to do it WITH the other zones I will never know…..but…..does a predator really ever think more laterally anyway? I also learned something about myself. I am REALLY good with new horses or difficult horses….it is the ones that I KNOW can do something but won’t, that I have trouble with. And that is when I go all ninja predator. When I can’t understand why they won’t/can’t do something that they have already done to great success. Hmmm, now what is up with that?

Good news is….I have a plan, and just need the weather to help me out a bit, to see if I can put the principles before the goal. Plan: Lots of touch it with zones 3-4-5 on all sorts of things via yo-yo and sideways, and lots of friendly putting all zones near the trailer via yo-yo and sideways….ALL the parts of the trailer…..and lots of yo-yo around the trailer with rest in the trailer. And above all else remember….it’s NOT about the trailer…..it IS about our relationship and his confidence. I also promise NOT to push my RBI, and remember I have brought him a long way in a short time since I rescued him, neither of us are failures….we have all the time in the world to get in the trailer.

So there is my plan, fingers crossed….wish us lots of savvy.

Savvy On


  1. I have never thought about touch it zones either, I will do so next time the trailer is out.

  2. Well I would start with other things to back up to first....if you are having trouble with the trailer......I found out JUST how hard THAT is today. will be blogging bout it as soon as the advil knocks the snot out this head-ache!

    But it was obvious....this needs to be done until he is confident with it.


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