"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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deadly virus outbreak, imediatly stop touching any horse not your own.

OMG.....this is just one county away from me....infact three bordering counties.  Please read and spread the word FAST as you can spread it with your own hands by touching an infected horse or thier tack or buckets....and then bring it home to yours.  Be savvy and wash your hands and brushes and buckets, and quarantine your horses NOW.  There is NO cure or Vaccine for this.  This article was in our news paper yesterday morning.

Deadly virus sickens horses in Stanislaus County



An outbreak of a highly contagious and possibly fatal virus in horses that started at a competition in Utah has claimed the life of at least one horse in California and one in Utah, and sickened at least four in Stanislaus County.

The equine herpes-1 infection showed up first at the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships, held in Ogden, Utah, from April 30 to May 8. One of the big money winners at the show, a 7-year-old horse, was diagnosed May 9 with the virus in Colorado. Of the 500 horses at the event, at least two were positive for the virus, and one died. Fifty-four of the competitors were from California.

Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said one horse in California was euthanized at a cutting horse event May 13 in Bakersfield. The horse had been to the Utah event and had severe neurological signs.

At a Glance

Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta has announced that all horse events there will be canceled through June 7 because of the outbreak. The center had events scheduled every weekend.


"This is still all unfolding. There wasn't a confirmed case of this virus in California until Monday, and now we have 10," Lyle said Tuesday afternoon.

Four of those confirmed cases are from Stanislaus County. Dr. Carol Van Hoogmoed, a veterinarian at Monte Vista Equine Care in Turlock, said veterinarians at Taylor Veterinary Hospital in Turlock had treated at least one horse that tested positive for the virus. Horses in Kern, Placerville, Amador and Napa counties also tested positive.

Van Hoogmoed hasn't seen a case yet but believes there may be more horses that have been exposed to the virus that may come down with it.

And it can be deadly.

"There's a neurological form of the virus that can end up killing the horse," Van Hoogmoed said.

The virus is highly contagious and can spread quickly between horses or from contaminated feed, buckets or people's hands, Van Hoogmoed said.

The incubation period can range from two days to two weeks. One of the first signs is a horse will start running a fever. The horse also can have nasal discharge, a lack of coordination, hind-end weakness, inability to rise, lethargy and dribbling urine.

"There's no treatment for the virus, and there's no vaccine," Lyle said. Of the horses that come down with the neurological type of the virus, 30 percent will die.

In past years, cases showed up on the East Coast at horse race tracks. The horses were quickly quarantined, and the outbreaks were stopped.

But the Utah show had horses from 10 states competing, and when the show was over, the horses went home, possibly taking the virus with them.

The National Cutting Horse Association, which held the Utah event, said there are reports of cases not only in Colorado and California, but also in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and western Canada. The Washington Department of Agriculture has reported cases in Idaho and Utah.

The NCHA said its affiliates and other show producers in California, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Washington and Nevada have canceled shows scheduled for this weekend.

Lyle said California's borders haven't been closed because of the outbreak, but the CDFA is evaluating options that could be considered if the outbreak becomes more serious. All California horses that have been in contact with an infected horse and show signs of the disease or test positive for it will be placed under a CDFA quarantine, Lyle said.

More severe restrictions could be on the horizon.

"We could consider a ban on all horse shows in the state," Lyle said. "Some events have already been canceled, but we haven't done that yet. But we do have the right to do it."

California is working with other states, and is asking horse owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus.

"We're telling horse owners who were at the Utah event to be very vigilant, and catch this right away," Lyle said. "And isolate any horses that were at the Utah cutting."

Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at creiter@mercedsun-star.com or (209) 385-2486.

Read more: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/05/18/1895405/deadly-virus-sickens-horses-in.html#ixzz1MiJBornu


Another article from online The Record

Tue May 17 2011

Horses contract fatal virus at Utah competition

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Agriculture officials say horses in Canada and at least four Western states have contracted a fatal equine virus after attending a national competition in Utah.

An Idaho State Department of Agriculture spokeswoman told the Post Register that two cutting horses from Idaho have died from what appears to be Equine Herpes Virus-1.

So far, authorities believe it has infected horses in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California and Canada. But Idaho state veterinarian Bill Barton says veterinarians across the country are being notified that animals in their states could be impacted as well.

Barton says the virus is easily spread because it can be airborne and transmitted by touch or through sharing brushes, bits or other equipment, but it doesn’t pose a risk to humans. Llamas and alpacas can also be infected.

The Associated Press

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How I built a cheap and portable Round Pen.

The Picadero.....is DONE!!!! Check it out!

Total Cost: $118
Total time to Build: 5 Hours
Ease of use and relocation: EASY
Enjoyment level of use: Unconditionally, exponentially, limitless!

Now of course this is as 'low tech' and 'cheap' as I could get it done.....but it is functional and should provide me many hours of enjoyment as I explore the..... Waterhole Rituals / Hempfling / PNH L4 Liberty / Clicker training .... further this summer, and I am dying to get started.  Compared to the cost of a pipe panel round pen which can run from $600-$1200 this is a cost effective alternative.  I also considered 8x 20ft cattle panels at $25ea plus the cost of clips to connect them $20 would be cost effective, but not as easily moved from one location to another, BUT easier than a pipe panel pen to move for sure.  This is also a great way to NOT have to try to pound or beat a post into rock hard ground filled with rock hard ROCKS.

So here I am, with my limited but growing knowledge of cement, and may even have become the "expert" on cheap round pen construction....ROFLMAO!!!! HA HA HA

So Here are the two first buckets, that were suppose to be, mix in one, pour into/set-up/pop-out in the other....but I messed up by using too much water and created two $10 posts.  As each of 'these' buckets were $5 ea plus $3 ea for the posts plus $4 for a bag of cement.  The rest of the posts are much cheaper as I found cheaper buckets.  Gotta LOVE Wal-mart.

These buckets are found in the paint department.  The larger handle buckets were $1.83 each and the smaller ones were $.89 each.  I bought 12 for a total of  $14.65 + tax.  This makes my bucket purchase total = $25.  The step in poly posts were $3 x 14 = $42 and the electric tape was $30 for a 656ft roll and I bought 7 bags of 2/3 cubic foot size, cement at $4 bag = $28....However, with finding smaller buckets, I only used a total of 3 bags  = $12 for cement. That brings my total investment to $109 + $9 tax = $118 for a portable round pen/picadero.  Not bad huh?

Now as for ease of construction and time spent, it only took me 3 hours total to mix the cement and fill 14 buckets.  Time spent making my 10 foot strands of tape, that took me 2  hours, but that included time spent screwing up and starting over, but I think we can count it accurate. And after 24hrs set time, I am good to go set it up in it's designated area.  As for my mom's parking spot.....too bad ~ so sad ~ mama!
Don't forget to read the end for my corrections to my mistakes.

Now there is assuredly an even cheaper way to do this.  I was thinking supplement buckets, while coveted as feeding buckets, I am sure one could beg all your friends for their used buckets when they are done with them, plus your own, would take no time at all to collect 14 of them.  If one used poly hay bailing twine, you could round that up all over the place for free as well.  I have over a years worth bagged up in my back yard, and you are welcome to come by and take all you want....;). Cement is pretty cheap with small buckets, but sand or dirt could possibly do in a pinch, just would not survive the winter rains.  One could even get fancy and use potting soil and add flowers I guess.  That just leaves the matter of the posts.  I am sure there are alternatives to $3 fencing stakes, and I am sure one could be creative in this department as well.  Just don't ask me, if I could have thought of a cheaper way, I would have done it.  All in all, I would have to say that if you were creative and resourceful, I bet you could do this for free! 12 posts set 10ft apart makes a 30ft  square picadero or a 40 foot pen.
Don't forget to read the end for my corrections to my mistakes. It's pretty funny.

This type of construction allows for all types of terrain and shapes, and one does not need worry about the condition of the ground (for construction sake not horse soundness sake) or having a friend nearby every time it needs to be moved. Also, by having short 10ft strings looped to each post, you forgoe the headache of sagging lines, and a night mare of night mare when taking apart or changing shape or just moving part of it to use the space as a parking lot!  Using one long line can be a pain in the rear, and if a horse goe thru it, there is a better chance of it just popping apart, rather than stringing along behind them.  On THAT note, one does need a horse to respect fences for this to be advantageous and safe.  I would not recommend putting a flighty frightened horse in a pen like this, nor would I leave a horse unsupervised in it.  As always, use your head, and put both you and your horses safety first....and fun should follow.....not vet or hospital bills.  If desired, you could hook this up to a fence charger and actually use the electric tape as designed, but now you have to consider the cost of that, and the fact that in a small space, a horse being jolted with electicity is not a great idea with you inside.  Also, since you SHOULD be using this pen to create harmony and confidence in your horse, I do not know how 'comfortable' a horse might feel if he is worried about getting electrocuted.  Use your brain and choose wisely when it comes to electricity.  Ok now that the public safety announcement is over.....here are some links to where you can purchase similar items on-line:
step in poly posts
highly visible electric tape 656ft roll

What you need: Obviously, buckets, cement, posts, water and string....but other than that:
Scissors, a wheel barrel or sturdy man to carry said cement bags.  Weak men crumble like paper, so if that is all you got, you may as well do it yourself.  Your mothers sturdiest cooking spoon. I own mine, but since I stole it from my mom 15ys ago, I thought i would share the resource.  Plastic butter tub for scooping dry cement. Bout 1 cup size, anything bigger is too big and too hard to handle, anything smaller just makes more work.  Something for your posts to lean against while drying if you made your cement too soupy.  I cannot stress this enough.  Think ahead, because when you have wet cement that you percieve to be drying at lighting speed, panic tends to set in quicker that cement sets up.  Which by the way is 12hours.  Chill, you got time....once your done mixing.  Just don't touch the posts once you have placed them in the cement.  Unless they fall, jiggling them will just make them jiggly after it is set....literally in stone.

How to tie so it makes a loop at the end of string, but won't come undone.

Tips of things to keep in mind:

The cat will not get out of your way, as if they just know that you will go around.

Do Not Park your work station or tools near the cactus.

The cactus will not get out of your way, as if it just knows that you will go around.

Do not let the cat lay near the cactus.

Wear a painters mask.  If you do not, then make sure to keep tissue near by to blow your nose often.

Wear gloves as the lye in the cement will dry your hands quickly and instantly.

Watch out for the cat.

Do not put lotion on, and immediatly work with dry cement.

Leather birkenstocks and cement do not mix.  Wear rubber flip flops so you can rinse your legs often.

Watch out for the cactus.

Cement dust gets everywhere. Do not just dump one bucket of dry cement into another.  Pour it slowly.  Don't worry if you forget this one, the cement will remind you quickly and you will only make that mistake once.  you will then be reminded of the need for tissue!

Rinse your tools and work station in between the making of each bucket, while it may take 24hrs to set up in the bucket, it will quickly harden in small quantites on/in other things.

Do not assume your post will be 'stuck' in the cement and carry it over your foot.  Don't worry, you will only have to do that once to remember it.  Luckily I have not had to deal with that, mine are in, but you never know, so i thought i would mention it.

Always know where the cactus is!

Damn Cat!

You may find it benificial to not put your work station directly underneath a hornets nest.  The theme here is to be aware of your surroundings....and who is occupying it.  As you will want to do this in a well ventilated area.  PS....well ventilated = wind, and it will always be blowing directly towards your face when ever there is a cement dust cloud in front of it!

Beware where you grab things, as dogs think these are great for peeing on!

Don't use too much water, you can always ADD more water, but you cannot ever take it OUT!

Stir quickly!

Do not let your horses investigate during the first 12hs.....cement is permenant and if they knock the post over inside the cement.....It will be stuck that way by morning.

Make sure to bring drinking water with you.  You will likely get very thirsty.

Have a couple extra buckets, and start by filling small buckets first.

When making strings.....measure twice, cut once, measure again!

There is a limit to the number of things you can hold in your hands all at the same time.  You would hate to drop something, reach for it, and instead get a handful of cactus.  Especially when tripping over the cat!

Frozen yogurt does NOT taste as good after a weekend in the freezer.  It has nothing to do with round pen construction.  I just thought it was worth mentioning.

I found it helpful to put a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the small buckets, 1 inch of water in the big buckets, then cement, then water as needed while stirring.  As for how much water.....well....that is a learn as you go kinda thing.  i just had a bucket of water to pour from....a hose is not reliable AND the pressure blows dry cement in your face.  By the By.....lots of things will blow dry cement in your face....including a nosey horse snorting in the bucket. Cha'Cote was quite side kick as I worked.

Mistakes and Corrections;
Last but not least.....plan on paper first and double check your math.  I don't know how I did this, but even though I planned this out in detail, many times prior to commencement of supply purchase and construction, somehow I managed to screw up my math.  Originally I planned on 2 buckets and to pop the cement out when set, yet, as described above they didn't pop out.  So when I went to purchase more, I bought 12...thus making 14 posts in all.  Where I can't figure out how I made my other mistake though, is how I just so happened to have 14 stakes.  Hmmmm.  THEN.....Oh yes, there is more.....trust me when I say, when done and set up, I stood there bewildered at my blunder.  So I already told you about my 9ft length of string mishap....this is incredibly stupid......10 feet was wrong too.  Aparently, I had planned to make them 13ft, ie, 3 sections, yes 4 posts only make 3 sections......OR.....I failed to notice that 4 posts only make 3 sections.

THUS......4 posts per side with 10 foot sections will only yield a 30x30 square or 40ft round pen.  DUH....I just couldn't fathom making such a mistake on such simple SIMPLE math.  SO.......The correction to the plan is this.  IF you want a 40x40ft square or 50ft round, you will need 12 post with 13.3 sections.......OR.....you will need 16 posts with 10ft sections.  And what's more, since I had already typed this thing up, and have absolutely NO intention to go back and make THAT many corrections.....YOU.....can change the math on the money for the total cost.  So far, my correction for now, is to use my house as one side of the pen, until I can get to the store to buy 2 more buckets and stakes.  The good news is that I have plenty of cement and string left to correct the mistake.  All in all, it should only cost me another 9 bucks, and another trip to the store to fix it.

PS....yes....the cat and the cactus are conspiring against you.  They even recruited the dog!

PPS.........Ignore the dog in the pic....he is in trouble in the moment for hiking his leg on the couch.....damn dog

Savvy On
the math challenged moron.

Happy Mothers Day

Just want to wish all my friends a happy mothers day
enjoy it

Savvy On

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Is DEAD

That is right, Osama Bin Laden is DEAD!

While it is sad that any human life is lost, some illicit a little less sorrow than others.  May the war on Terrorism be able to be laid to rest.  And may the loss of soldiers fighting for freedom come to an end.  I want to extend my gratitude to the soldiers, of all countries involved in the war, who have paid most dearly, in order to provide me and my family to live in this most wonderful country.

I remember being awake early one morning with my 2yo son, just days before his 3rd birthday, living in a travel trailer waiting for the construction of my new house to be complete.  As trailer trash as one could be, I had my big satellite on the roof of the trailer, so I could still be connected to the world on my little 12 inch screen tv.  I had no idea when I turned on the tv that morning, that the date of that day would forever be the title of a world wide historical event.  Of course that date is 9-11.  The day many US civilians and servicemen/women died at the hands of Osama Bin Laden.  I sat there in disbelief as the events unfolded right before my eyes, and there I sat, in that tiny trailer, crying, grateful it was not me, and saddened for those who could not say the same.

I cannot express in words, through my tears of joy and sorrow, my fear as to what may happen in response to his demise, but am hopeful that maybe this 10yr war may come to an end, and peace and liberty be restored to our mother earth.

May today be known as 5-1

Savvy On Soldiers
May you find Peace in  your hearts

How's that saying go?  
"We'll put a boot in your ASS......It's the American Way!"

Great horse commercial