"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, November 27, 2011

Classical Dressage day 4 ~ Video~

Well, last day of the 4 day weekend. I made good use of my time and rode 3 days in a row. Today we focused on jaw flexions (chewing the bit) and timing of aids. Rhythm suffered a bit, but, this had more to do with me knowing the camera was on me than anything else. It was good and flowing before i called the honey out of the drunken man-cave to do me a solid. My back was getting stiff too.....havn't spent this much time in the saddle in the last year nearly. Rose is getting pretty good at the jaw flexions and is chewing nicely quite a bit i noticed in the video. she is still having some trouble with the lateral poll flex to the left, and you can see it a couple times in the birds eye view where she tips her nose to the left and sticks her under jaw to the left rather than turning her forehead to the left. tisk tisk. we are getting better. let me tell ya....that was hard holding the camera under my two chins....lots of editing where the camera was caught by my 'cleavage"....but i think over all she is bent nicely, except where i was holding the reins in one hand and the camera in the other. see ya'all next weekend. gonna go do lots of research on french classical dressage this week.

Savvy On

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Classical Dressage day 3 progress

Hell's bells and the bee's knees.....this is pretty dang easy this French Classical Dressage stuff.  Well, not THAT easy...but ya....this is pretty easy.  Maybe my background with dressage and parelli have made this an easy transition, or maybe it really is just that easy....I don't know, but after watching Phillipe Karl's dvd yesterday and again today before riding, having this clear picture in my mind of EXACTLY what I should do, it was pretty easy.  Now I am not saying we have mastered anything by any stretch of the imagination here, but what I am getting at is the YEARS it took me to get to a great place where both Snookie and I had not only a good understanding of the basics, but also to be able to execute them with some form of success.  With this approach, on a OLL4/FSL2 horse, I can't believe how well she is doing in the jaw mobilization.  It honestly is blowing my mind. I believe a good portion of it is my great timing (that i have learned over years of study, still could be way better.) is one of the reasons, and maybe her understanding of pressure/release as well.  And maybe the other half is something to do with it feeling better to have a jaw that is mobile rather than locked.  All these years hearing the term "jaw flexions" gave me one very specific understanding of jaw.  The way Phillip Karl explains it using the term "jaw mobilization"...it gives me a whole new understanding.  Heck, maybe jaw flexions and jaw mobilization are in fact two totally separate things, maybe even a german vs french thing, or maybe just my understanding....i don't know.  All I know is that I get it, i get this, and my horse gets it....and we got it in 2 sessions. I would say in a few more sessions we should have it going good most of the time as well.  She is getting the hang of the poll flexions, but you are only suppose to ask for those after the jaw is mobilized, and lets face it....I am not that "back" as far as my coordination, timing and balance is concerned to put all this together at every moment in every movement.  Not yet, and I am sure not for some time to come.  The good news is that today we also worked on doing figure 8's while doing pirouette's and shoulder in's.  Those were hard, the shoulder in more so.  I think all those years of sideways, turns on the FQ/HQ kinda ruined the 'forward' while doing them.  So for now we are not doing anything that is also not in some fashion...'going forward'.

And the really cool part is that I am having no issues catching her, I do not tie her to saddle her, I have been putting the bridle on prior to the saddle and using the outside rein to stop her from turning to bite me while girthing up....which by the way, using this technique has all but stopped the reaching around to bite me.  I also am not tying her to unsaddle her and she is staying with me when done, as opposed to running off with a high pitched squeal (the tel-tale sign she was not a fan of what ever we did that day).  Woo Hoo!

Savvy On

DVD Review: **** Craig Stevens: Theory of Dressage

Disk 1 ****

Holy Maccaroni.....this is a GREAT dvd for Parelli students.  If you are doing finesse in any sort of fashion, be it in a dressage saddle or western saddle....you really should watch this dvd.  You will not see any pictures or moving video of horses.  It is a theory lesson, regarding why we do what we do, and why we shouldn't do what we hopefully are not doing.  In a short amount of time, you can learn quite a little bit about the French Classical Dressage (FC) style of riding that Pat talks about from time to time.  While it may contradict Linda's "Game of Contact" (founded with German Classical Dressage) it does not in any way contradict PNH with Finesse.  He covers such things as the history of dressage, rein effects, weight and balance effects, resistance effects, half halt, halt by combined effect, rein adjustment, how to hold the rein, and classical seat balance

He states we should never make a rearward retraction, (pull on) the reins, rather only in the halt should we used the combined effect of driving into a solid hand.

I love this saying regarding timing and strength:
"It's not the effect of force, but the force of properly timed effects."

He has a great explanation of whether or not humans are capable of balancing a horse, loved it.
"To modify balance thru suppling excersises to help the horse/rider discover where the center is"

Ride with tact....
Tact: "The application of imagination to sensation"

French:  Never attempt to deal with more than one resistance at a time.  When a horse gets out of balance physically or emotionally, Start with the halt to eliminate resistances of the weight, second: deal with the resistance of force, ie: supple the stiffness....third: then carry on.

German: Ride the horse forward through the resistance into patterns designed to gain suppleness.

In no way am I going to stand up and say every thing he says is a golden rule, simply because at this point I really don't know that much about FC dressage, but honestly whether or not I may agree or disagree, I certainly do understand it all better due to his explanations. His work is supported by French Classical Dressage master Phillipe Karl and Natural Horseman Ed Dabney.  So I am going to say that despite what ever controversy may be going on in the 'modern' dressage world regarding his work, is of no consequence to me, especially since the 'modern' dressage world is most predominantly German Classical at it's roots, if not execution.

Having now watched all 4 of his dvd's, I know he is big on classical equitation gained through suppleing and strength exercises designed to force you to find your balance and the proper seat as opposed to having someone tell you 'put your leg here and your arm here", they can easily be done in a round pen as opposed to having someone lunge you, if your horse is good in the round pen and good with passenger lessons of course. These excersises can be found on disk 1 of the "perfecting the seat" dvd set he has.

I also think this dvd set goes well with Phillipe Karl's dvd's.

Click here for a great article written by Craig regarding French Classical Dressage vs German Classical Dressage equitation.

Click here for an interview with Craig

This video series is no longer available for sale, but you can rent it from Giddyupflix

Click Here for more info on Craig Stevens

DVD Review:**** Phillip Karl ~ CLASSICAL DRESSAGE VOL. 1

School of Aids ****

WOW.....this is a great dvd.  If of course you are interested in Classical Dressage, particularly French Classical (FC). However I could only give it 4 stars for parelli students because French Classical would be somewhat contradictory to Linda's new "Game of Contact" which is more of the German Classical (GC).  I have yet to see her dvd though as it is not yet released.So I really cannot say just how contradictory it is...if it even is at all

I will say that for anyone wanting to know more about FC dressage.....to compare to GC dressage..... this is a GREAT place to start. Also for sure it will go really well for those wanting to do Finesse with western riding.  This is his "basics" dvd and I will say he explains it well, and I learned alot, since I come from a GC dressage background and really never knew, or quite ashamedly admit, never cared about FC before.  But with my current desire to study FC, this was exactly what I needed to understand what the essence of FC is about.  I am thrilled that it is completely in line with my current situation for my horse, and now I can work on doing all this properly as the rein aids are completely and wonderfully explained.

Now, not being a FC expert, having never studied ANY thing about it, I have to ask though, "Is this all there is too it?  Is it really this easy?"  My current FC study, in it's infancy, I keep reading how easy it is compared to GC.  Which makes it way more fun, according to it's fans.  So watching this, having a relatively thorough, albeit rusty, understanding of GC......added to my relatively thorough understanding of Parelli....it was easy for me to watch this dvd and not have any issues understanding what he was talking about.  It was foreign to me due to my GC background, and a bit opposite in principles, so it took me a minute for me to wrap my brain around it to embrace it, so I had to watch it a couple of times simply to access my memories of years gone by at how it could have related to my dressage back then....but once I did, I could see how it not only completely applies to my current green horse, but it is honestly pretty much what we were starting to do naturally on our own.  So this perfectly showed me not only how to do it properly, but how to apply it to each situation of our riding.  His explaination and examples given, completely cleared up how to get the pole high, keep the horse from getting behind the vertical or bit, how to flex the pole, and how to mobilize the jaw.  It was something that was always a mystery to me what FC students were talking about and how different it is from GC as far as contact is concerned.

At the very least, this dvd will show you how to get that poll up and keep it the highest spot. ;)

I totally loved it, and if there are any French Classical Dressage students, true scholars, who are riding above 3rd level........PLEASE tell me.....is it REALLY this EASY?

Click here For more info on Phillipe Karl

Savvy On

Monday, November 21, 2011

Muscle vs Mindfullness

So I watched my lame little video.....looked at the title i gave it...'back in the saddle'......thinking.....but my A$$ has been in the saddle over the last 4ys.....what makes it different this time?  truth be told, I have not done anything 'dressagy' for probably 13ys.  just been starting my rescues and green beans....

during that time i have been doing parelli, be it my intial "this is crap, gonna prove it wont work with dressage" to "i'm gonna be a PP"  to "something is wrong gotta bail".  with the car accident, my inferior skills upon my return, my horse hating me and life in general.....i have been on this journey for the last year n half.....since my whole OLL3 audition debacle.....and have noticed many times I thought i had 'figured it out'.

Many times I have had these BFO's....that in retrospect were only mini bfo's.  but i think i have it now....I think I finally found the missing piece....or maybe just figured out how all the missing pieces i have found in the last year...have finally completed some cosmic kharmic picture.

a picture that shows me the death grip i had on what ever it was i was holding on to so tightly.....that it took something pretty big to get my attention.  Maybe I needed that smack to my leg to force me let go with the last finger i had gripping on for dear life.

so i recently watched Mark Rashids dvd "developing sofness in the rider".....and just as his books have given me deep spiritual revelations, his words are so profound to me and this dvd was no different.

he talked about our minds needing to be like still water in a pond, so the landscape around it can be mirrored perfectly in the water.....and if you throw stones in the water....the ripples distort the picture.  and just as in life....chaos in your mind distorts your perceptions of people places and things around you.  or something like that....

so my friend and i have been talking about his muscle vs mindfulness concepts nearly every day for the last week about nearly every aspect of our lives.....and then.....I rode.

so here i sit, watching my little lame dressage video....and it hit me....for the first time in 13ys....i saw a glimpse of ME....and realized i have not seen her in a long time.  i saw the soft me, the mindful me, the peaceful me, the get in harmony and help my horse move right me, the dressage me that i never thought i would see again....

unfortunately i saw the FAT me too....but....i guess you cant have your cake and eat it too.....oh wait...that's how i GOT fat.....so i take that back....i guess you can have your cake and your husbands cake and your kids cake...and eat them all in one sitting while crying in your cereal :roll:

i noticed in this last ride, all the fear, judgement, assumptions, ridicule, self loathing, hatred, pain, and worst of all the ANGER....were gone.  i was at peace with myself, and my horse and i danced.  sure it wasn't perfect....not even by a million to one long shot.....but it was ME and i liked what i saw

it wasn't the me that everyone else told me i had to be, the me that everyone expected me to be, the me I thought everyone else wanted me to be.....I was

ME.....and I was pretty dam OK with it.  I cleared the clutter from my head and followed my own set of rules, tuned everything else out.....and listened to my horse.  Instead of 'upping my leadership' and using muscle (not physical rather mental) and i used my intuition and let nature guide me.  i didn't fight muscle with more muscle....I simply redirected the energy using my mindfulness and we danced.

In that lame little dressage video i also saw something else.....HOPE
Hope for the future....that I do have one and it does include dressage....MY dressage......Rose's dressage.....Nature's dressage and

we will dance again. :wink:

Do you REALLY know what Rhythm is?

Do you know the difference between Rhythm and Tempo? We’ve all heard (god I hope we have) that walk is a 4 beat gait, trot a 2 beat gait and canter a 3 beat gait. And we hear the three “R’s” rhythm, relaxation, retreat. But do you REALLY know what RHYTHM is? In my experience in the ‘natural’ world…..the answer is….probably not. You may know someone else’s definition based on ‘their’ overall goal….which is actually…..TEMPO. And also interchangeably use ‘purity of gait’

The greener our eyes are, the bigger we need the picture to be, in order to ‘get’ something. So it is easy for someone to say…..rhythm….in exchange for tempo…when talking about ‘behavior’ and ‘emotions’ in a horse. Or a green horse just learning to ‘rate’ his speed. So we wouldn’t want to see his canter go quickly then slowly then quickly then slowly…..we would like him to be consistent…..but this is actually TEMPO. So unfortunately we don’t, in the end understand and thus incorrectly use the term ‘rhythm’ for ‘tempo’ but it served it’s purpose of helping us identify and correct emotional inconsistencies in our horse, or helping a very green horse get his very basic bearings about himself.

However, in Dressage, Rhythm is a core element, and inconsistencies will cost you big time. It is suppose to be TABOO to cause irregular gaits….ie: RHYTHM…..but they take a fine eye and ear to recognize…..so it would be prudent to REALLY know what it is, what is correct, and what would be considered a crime against nature.

Rhythm: Unconstrained, forward flow of energy through “well timed” steps

Rhythm is the pattern of the beats of the gait….2 beat trot, 3 beat canter and 4 beat walk. It should be even and consistent. It isn’t the ‘beat’ in so much as it is the amount of time ‘between’ the beats….that defines the RHYTHM. We tend to think of the trot as 1-2 1-2- 1-2…. So to define the ‘even’ part….what you need to know is that the time between footfalls should be perfectly even, and it is helpful to think of it as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8….which 4 strides of trot.

If you counted out loud as your horse trotted along…..

that is exactly what you should hear….1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8……..NOT…..1-—2-3-—4-5-—6-7—8.

Same for the walk there, which is the easiest gait to screw up and cause an ambling or shuffling as described above….mainly from too much contact not enough engagement. The trot however is usually screwed up by posting. So when posting, you should think of an imaginary saddle seat hovering over the pommel. You should be spending just as much time with your ‘front’ on the imaginary saddle as you do with your ‘back’ in the real saddle….and the time in between, spent rising, should be equal to the time in between, spent falling. Usually this is the reason for lack of even rhythm in the trot gait. Do it for too long, and you make it a habit hard to break for you and your horse. Now the canter is a whole ‘nuther story. While it is a 3 beat gait, we must remember there is a suspension phase as well, with it’s own ‘beat’ so to speak. Making the canter kind of like a 4 beat gait…..for the purposes of explaining the canter rhythm…………at least if you want your horse to not be totally flat with no elevation or space of time between strides. So a canter rhythm would be like this….. 123-123-123-123……..not 123123123123123…so it might be helpful to go ahead and count out the suspension beat like this 123s123s123s123s123s123s or how I like to do it….123412341234. The longer the suspension phase….the more uphill, springy, engaged, etc the canter will be.

Let’s talk about SERIOUS deviations of purity of gait. These are things you will see caused by such things as Rolkur and again serious lack of impulsion or odd mix of collection/impulsion….this is where the trot becomes a 4 beat gait because of diagonal pair of legs not hitting the ground simultaneously….or the canter becomes a 4 beat gait such as in the often seen 4 beat ‘pirouette’ where the horse is rearing on two hind legs, swings his torso over, then places his front feet down separately…..that is NOT a canter. This would be caused by focusing too much doing the pirouette on the ‘spot’ rather than focusing on keeping the gait pure (3 clear beats) and sacrificing the ‘spot’. As I said in the beginning, it is ‘suppose’ to be taboo to lose purity of gait or have an irregular rhythm. It is suppose to be taboo to not have the poll the highest spot, and taboo to have the nose behind the vertical….yet we almost exclusively see all these deviations from the most elite in the sport. Adhering to “Winning” above basic cardinal principles….will be nothing more than sacrifice at your horse’s expense.

So now that you know WHAT rhythm is and isn’t, let’t talk about TEMPO again. Because lets face it 1---2-3---4-5---6-7---8 IS a rhythm, it just isn’t an even rhythm or the one we are looking for…..it is an irregular rhythm.

So lets say you have a trot…..1---2---3---4---5---6 as your regular working trot….when you shorten or lengthen the stride…this will shorten….1-2-3-4-5-6 or lengthen 1-------2-------3-------4-------5-------6 but see how it stayed regular and even and consistent….if you ever got 123456…..your horse will likely to be found….on the forehand, strung out, emotionally scattered. Time needs to be spent doing lots of half halts and lots of cavaletti work.

Remember, while we want a canter to have a well defined suspension ‘beat’, we do not want him to move like Pepe Le Pew 123--------------123-------

Hope this has help clear up any confusion about what Rhythm really is……and don’t worry……with this knowledge, despite what Gloria Estephan says….the Rhythm isn’t “Gonna getcha’”

Savvy On


Sunday, November 20, 2011

When Pigs Fly

I looked out my window and saw pigs flying and the weather lady said it was indeed a cold day in hell.  It must be if I am doing French Classical Dressage.  Something in my youth, my narrow minded German Classical Dressage Brain said I would never do, ya know.....'when pigs fly or when it is a cold day in hell'.  Ya.....so that day has come, and no one is more shocked than I am.  I currently just do not have the funds for in depth research of this method, to purchase the literature of masters long since dead, or current masters, only to find out they are of the German method.  My library is already a vast one in the German Style.

As I google this, I am finding it difficult to even know where to start.  Much of the literature is still written in the native language of the masters such as French, which of course I cannot speak, let alone read.  I have conceded to reading knowledgeable scholars interpretations, written on forums, blogs and websites along with the few dvd's I have found from Phillipe Karl, Craig Stevens, Jean-Claude Racinet and Dominique Barbier.  So if anyone knows of any produced French style dvd's and books from anyone other than the above authors.... in "english".....PLEASE share with me who they are.

What I am not looking for, at least at this point, is a natural horsemanship interpretation of the subject matter.  I am looking for the Classical Dressage.  I am learning that Dorrance, Parelli and Anderson and the like have for better or worse, a foundation in this style.  But it is their own interpretation as it relates to COW work and the vaquero style.  Like I said, for better or worse, I am learning there is alot that is misinterpreted and or applied incorrectly, and at this point, it just isn't what I am looking for. I want the info from a master artist, not the guy who tries to copy him and fails near miserably, while attempting to manipulate this information to his own end means. Straight from the horses mouth, not the jockey's.

If you would have asked me 20ys or even 2 weeks ago if I ever thought I would be doing this.....lordy the eyes would have been rolling for sure.  But here I am, seeing that it can be learned, easily, even by ME!

Now that I have made my request, let me tell y'all, "long time no see".  I went from not really being online because I was out have a blast with my horse, to not being online due to being a couch jockey from bustin up my knee pretty good and having surgery.  During my time on my back, I thought about a dvd i watched a while back, regarding a "second manner" boucher, which is of course french, and it has been stewing in the back of my mind.  the only thing that caused me to give it a second thought, is the fact that I am limited to walk only on my horse for a while, now that i am back in the saddle.  the french style seemed much more 'do-able" in my current condition since every thing starts at the halt and then walk and so forth.  I didn't have much to go on my first two rides, then I got Phillipe Karls dvd friday and watched it.  OMG....lightbulbs were going off like fireworks, and after only two rides, Rose and I totally "get it" and I wish I woulda done this sooner.

So here I am, spending my non saddle time this weekend, reading dressage forums seeking more info to get an even better understanding of the method.  But so far, there is nothing I don't understand or disagree with.  Not a sentence I ever thought would leave my lips for sure.

This is me, eating crow pie.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Classical Dressage day 1...video

Shoulders in, leg yields, turns on HQ/FQ....I really wanted to have a 'before' video....something to compare things to when the winter is over, and I have spent the cold months......working on WALK. The basic classical principles I am adhering to at this point are.....Poll is the highest point, stay straight, keep forward momentum all with light contact. Being that I am restricted to walk for a while....and walk is the easiest gait to screw up.....I don't want to add the pressure of being on the bit. for all intents and purposes....Rose only has the equivelent of 30-60 days under saddle.....spread over quite a number of years, and I have only had the bit in her mouth @ 10 times. So it would be REALLY easy to cause her to resent the bit, lose impulson, over bend her neck and have c2-3 be the highest point, lose purity of the gaits and get sour to being riden....so for now....poll high, forward and straight on light contact is my only requirements. If things go well, I will play with inside leg to outside rein.....

One thing I noticed watching the video back is how much and how easy it was to get going with the shoulder ins and leg yields with contact. I struggled for YEARS with Snookie to get her to understand how to move her hind end. she found shoulder in easier...but still it was years before i learned how to do it....and with Rose, this was a breeze.....so easy....we over did it and got 4 tracks instead of 3. Which is a suppling excersize too, so i am not going to complain. Again, todays only pain was putting my sock on.

Savvy On

Lyrics to the first song in the video...which I think are so fitting and the reason i chose it.

"Tangled Up In You"
by Staind

You're my world
The shelter from the rain
You're the pills
That take away my pain

You're the light
That helps me find my way
You're the words
When I have nothing to say

And in this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you

You're the fire
That warms me when i'm cold
You're the hand
I have to hold as I grow old

You're the shore
When I am lost at sea
You're the only thing
That I like about me

How long has it been
Since this storyline began
And I hope it never ends
And goes like this forever

In this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you

Monday, November 14, 2011

What a little trouble maker!!! picture story of a busy pony

So this is what we see from the garage

"What.....I don't know Nuttin"
"I'm a good boy...didn't do Nuttin"

"What the hell?"...my husband asks...
"Look Closely in your hay shed"

looks like the hay monster to me!

How could he let me sneak up like this?

Oh Crap!  I'm Busted!!!!

Savvy On

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I can RIDE again!!!!

Well it has been 6 weeks since my knee injury, and 3 weeks, I think, since my surgery. I have been good, and stayed off my horse, problem is.... It has thrown me mentally back to my post car accident state of mind, and for the last two days I have found myself finding distractions or letting distractions find me.... In efforts to avoid my horse all together. So I laid in bed this morning, and decided I would be proactive from the second I got my undies on. Instead of following those w sweat pants.... I put my breeches on.... One less thing to "avoid" to help me "avoid" the thing I am obviously subconsciously "avoiding". That was step one. Step two was to claim it to all of you to help hold myself accountable to my promise. Now I just have to wait for them to finish eating. Step 3 will be to let the horses loose in the yard so they will be in my face, then all I will have to do is make the long journey in my mind to actually do this. 

the whole 'move closer stay longer' is the only thing that got me off the couch years ago....but mine is an uncommon and completely irrational fear, though just as debilitating as rational fears. i suffer from a fear of failure. I myself think it is the most ridiculous thing ever, which is what made it so hard to 'diagnose'....'come to grips with' and 'get over' the first time around. the whole process took almost a year, and included every horse i could get my hands on....other than my L4 horse. I had to travel WAY outside parelli to get the answers to having a relationship again with my wonderful rose....yet we still have some issues we are overcoming. So, I knew even with my knee and worries about that.....it wasn't about that at all. I needed to just do it, or I was headed for a serious downward tailspin that would be devastatingly hard to get out of. for pete sakes, I was JUST starting ride again (riding for a whopping whole 2 months) after 3ys off from my car accident, taking care of my mother, getting over this fear of failure thing, yada yada...... I REALLY could not let this current injury put me back there.....nope, not again....ever again. 

So THERE.... I said it..... Now I am going to do it!..........

7 or so hours later.......

.......... I did it!  ............ 

Good news....riding didn't hurt. was able to get on from trailer tirewell on right side, and dismount from left side. It was horribly painful to put my sock on,  close enough to impossible to never want to try that again myself....and putting my boot on was slightly better.  

today was day one of playing with true contact, and playing with lateral work. We had several really good shoulder in's and some really nice turns on the fq/hq's, got some ok leg yeilds, and one or two sufficient haunches in. All this based soley on it being day one....nothing I would ever want it to look like after we have really spent some time playing with it. then i took out the camera....and true to my past....  it went to hell in a handbasket in no time flat  But.....I came away with re-affirming a querry of mine.....that of which i will no longer be riding with the fluidity reins. it gave me false sense of contact and weight in my hands and thus my timing was off a bit, and it was making my releases to abrupt....for me... and was making it harder to help rose in the way that I want things to be. but that was not to bad....our worst problem was her not listening to my injured leg very well, if she decided to at all. CS to the rescue....ended on a great note of being very light to the leg....  

the best news of all.....my fear of the whole bucking thing(my pre car accident fears)......is 100% gone....I didn't have ANY anxiety during the whole tacking up process....and didn't have to go thru my normal pre ride ritual of cigarettes and breathing exercises....woo hooo     lets see here.....I got that fear with Jueli the bucking rescue.....that was .....hmmm.....GOOD LORD......7-8 YEARS ago......and it is FINALLY gone! whew! Really over shadows how ENORMOUS I look in the pics....ugh!

Yeah Me!

Savvy On

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day light savings???...WTH??

Last night I was thinking about daylight savings time and wondering……

Who the heck came up with it?

Who the heck does it benefit?

And where is the piggy bank that they save all this time in?

I stopped at local community K-mart near where I work, which btw is in the worst neighborhood in the worst town in usa. Stockton, where I work, has more crime per capita than New York. A local pizza delivery guy was killed in broad daylight just outside our building at quitting time. And we just had a drive by a few months ago, just a few blocks from here. So as I ran into k-mart quickly for cat food, I hoped I would make it back out before the sunlight was replaced by complete darkness, and I stood in line for what seemed like an eternity as the cashier moved slower than a snail, I pondered this whole daylight savings thing and decided to google it, as it does me and my horsemanship little good.

Appears that it is not the ‘saving’ time frame that I don’t like…it is the ‘standard’ time that gets me. Apparently Benjamin Franklin invented this idea….to allow for us to enjoy more of the sunny summer evenings with an extra hour. Trouble is….going back is no fun at all. While I appreciate the sunlight to feed my horses in the morning during the winter months…..for all intents and purposes, I would prefer a little sunlit evening time to enjoy myself….rather than be stuck in an office all day while the warmth gets used up by all those people NOT stuck in an office. Anyways, I found a whole lot of history and info on daylight saving time. All the trouble it has caused and people it has helped, money wasted and saved, hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil saved, people killed, riots held, wars started and ended…..good lord, seems I am not the only to find it controversial for my life. I guess, if it has been around that long, has caused that much harm and good….who am I too complain…..and who would listen anyways.

Guess I will go play with my horse in the dark

Savvy On

Baggage from the past, apprehension about the future

I started this post with typing just the title.  At the time, I had something on my mind....what it was.....now I cannot remember.  That happens more and more as you get older.  I am getting close to a milestone on my blog....any dang day now.  Anyways, I think it had something to do with my journey and being 'stuck'....yet again.  Feeling a bit lost maybe...not really sure. 

I was scheduled to ride in a Mark Rashid clinic this week. But finances were tight and the closer it got the more I realized I didn’t want to ride in it. I really respect and admire Mark as a writer and a horseman. But when I met him in person, I felt so inferior I could hardly breathe. I don’t know why, but it appears I am intimidated by men Well, I do know why, but that is just “baggage from my past”. . I did not get this feeling when I met Linda, nor when I have met any other well known WOMAN, so I don’t think it is the notoriety. Regardless I felt it was silly to spend so much money for nothing. I would be a ball of nerves, probably not hear over half of what he says, and ultimately learn ZILCH. So, knowing there were other people on the waiting list, who would just love my spot….I backed out. I think this may have been what I typed the title for….a month ago before I got hurt.

I have quite a few posts, laying in wait to be completed…but at least there are words typed in them to help me remember what my ‘thought’ was….and where I was going with it. Here…nothing! Maybe I was just going to talk about how we shouldn’t let our baggage from the past….or our apprehension about the future……chain us to one spot. I am trying to remember if it was a good and inspirational moment about how I felt liberated....or if it was a sad and somber one feeling lonely and stuck.  I just sit here BLANK…..staring……nothing but BLANK……Since I cannot remember where I was gonna go with this….let me just take you to where it took me……I am certainly melancholy lately….more than a few things to bog down the heart…..for some reason I thought of this quote…..so I just googled it. So, let me just share it with you and be done with this post. I think there are some good things in here for me to ponder….she was a wise woman for sure……..

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

― Mother Teresa

For now, I am going to concentrate on completing my 'draft mode' posts, get them published and then move on to milestone.....I have about 10 drafed posts, nearly finished....so let me get to gettin 'er done.

Savvy On

Monday, November 7, 2011

Days without a learn burn…..36

Well, until a month ago…..I had racked up quite a good number of days since I had any kind of horse related injury, so long ago that I can’t even remember what/when it was…….but…..here I sit with a jacked up knee. Things are better today than a month ago for sure, but I can’t believe it has already been a month. Time seems to really have flown by without me, and we rolled the clocks back this last weekend. October is always the month in which all horse enthusiasts get in their last minute fun before the curtain closes on yet another season of horsing around. This week it will be pitch black when I get home from work, so weekdays will not be optimal for play time. I had surgery on my knee 2 weeks ago, but not much got fixed. They thought it was one thing, that would easily be fixed laproscopically……but got in there and found something all together different……that will require a cadaver donor to fix. I am going to pass on that for now……and hope I can return to somewhat normal activities with a knee brace…..and then just sit it out, wait and hope for the best. I can at least straighten my leg now, but the bending is going so slowly.  I am at a 90* bend at best.....good news is.....riding only requires a 112* to a 135* bend.  I rode a barrel at a recent playday, and having something between my legs didn't seem to hurt, so that is a plus as well.  Biggest plus is that Rose is generally a good girl undersaddle so no glaring issues with that either.

So what did I do to jack up my knee you ask?  Well....I was helping a friend with a wild colt.  They could not touch him, much less halter him....so I went over to help her out.  All was going good, I was just a minute or two from being done.....and I had done a mighty fine job of it too, if I do say so myself. The whole thing from start to finish, took less than two hours.  I was haltering him and touching him well, approach was good, I got fly spray on him....and was giving the final 2 squirts when he turned his haunches toward me and bumped me.  I was just too slow to get out of the way and my knee whent the wrong way.  I flew through the air trying to get my feet under me and as I landed my knee went the other way!  Tore the ACL ligament 90%.  As I lay there in a pile of shit, I thought to myself.....the Moral of the story is......be carefull when you toot your own horn....you just may choke on it while you are tooting!

I havn't been on line much, very little to be exact, been riding the green fluffy couch for a month....watching my son hog up the computer to his hearts content!

Savvy On