About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lola is Home!

The trip down to Vermont went well. The weather was cool and sunny. We ended up meeting Lola's previous owner at a David Lichman Clinic rather than drive downstate. She was going to be there and we were up for a New England road trip. The farm we met at was beautiful. I do hope to get back there some day and really take the time to look around (and hopefully participate in a clinic).

When we arrived, my friend Barb (the one selling me Lola) burst into tears and so did I. We were happy to see each other and also really happy for Lola's new life to come. We talked for a bit, got to know Lola just a little, Rick gave her a big hug (so did I). We knew she was a nice horse and looked forward to getting to know her better at home. After the paperwork was all done, I wrapped her legs, put on a fly mask, and asked her to load on the trailer. She was very resistant to do so. Barb played with her for a bit and still, she would not load. We took all of the stuff I'd put on her for her protection and thought that may make the difference, nope! So, we broke out the apples, Barb went to get her other horse to comfort Lola, and Barb's friend and I, with Lola at the trailer entrance, started singing, "Her name was Lola, she was a show girl, with yellow feathers in her hair..." and I was petting her face. My singing partner gave her and apple. Barb arrived with Tory her horse (the one who hauled with Lola). I asked Lola to load and she did. She never had a problem loading in the past but, we believe that the 4 hour trip to Vermont, the strange farm, not being able to see Tory, and then me, a stranger, a strange trailer, etc. all added up to a threshold. So, apparently, a friendly horse she knew, apples, and a little singing did the trick! LOL

I really enjoyed seeing Barb in person, loved meeting new people at the clinic (some of you are my blog readers), and Barb's friend, the one who helped with the trailer loading (I am so sorry I cannot remember your name) seemed very nice too. I wish we all lived closer, I know the three of us would have a good time! It truly feel isolated up here away from any Parelli people. I love living up here, just want some more like-minded horse people studying what I am studying. It is not to say that there are not natural horse people up here whose company I enjoy, there are but, my journey is Parelli Natural Horsemanship and there is a difference when you are all on the same path, talk the same language, and truly understand the entire picture, together. I love the Parelli community, I just love it. I am thinking of trying to connect with the Parelli folks up in Ottawa. It is two hours away, at least, but, maybe I can get together at least once a month? Not sure. There were Parelli folks in Cornwall, Canada but, I emailed them and never heard back.

The trip home was uneventful. We drove through Vermont and crossed back into NY at Rouses Point. The roads were much better than the way we came (we originally drove through New York and crossed south of Port Henry). We had to laugh though, because when we were at a stop light, she'd whinny and this one time, a guy started looking around, it was really funny. We ended up at McDonald's for dinner (we had been eating sandwiches and snacks in the truck for breakfast and lunch). When we stopped there, we checked on her again and she was just hanging out, munching hay, and seemed calm and unconcerned about anything.

It was dark when we got home. When I unloaded her, she started turning her head. I simply wiggled the rope and she turned her head back forward and then unloaded backwards, slowly, as I wanted her to. Once off the trailer, she was more interested in eating grass than anything else. My horses were going nuts and acting nasty but she was fairly level-headed. I separated them for the night rather than risking injuries by putting them together and the boys ran out to the field and disappeared. She was housed at the barn with access to the front turnout. None of them would talk to each other at all. I checked on her several times over the night and she was fine.

Yesterday, I had each horse in its own area so that no horses would be together and thus, no one felt compelled to be the boss. That made the herd dynamic quite different, interesting (divide and conquer I guess). I then played with each but mostly Fosse (who was acting up the worst when she arrived and seemed to be the troublemaker). I reminded him that I was the herd leader (not him), without exception. I got extremely particular about what he needed to do. So like if I wanted him to stand and he moved his but away, then he had to move it back and then several more feet in the opposite direction than what he was trying to do. Anyhow, I got him right in the palm of my hand and he realized I was still herd boss. I them did a little liberty and stopped on a good note. As the day progressed, we put Lola and Whiskey together and she made sure he knew he was lower that her in the ranks (he didn't care). Later, Lola and Fosse together and they were fine, a few kicks but overall not too bad (I think they are still working on who is herd boss between them actually). Finally, a few hours later, the three were together and they had it all worked out (but we didn't' allow them in the barn together yet). We just let them graze in the front turnout and eventually, they were all standing, totally relaxed, leaving each other alone.

While the horses were grazing and learning to like each other, Rick and I emptied the barn, moved all of our large equipment out, moved wood, and anything else that was in the way, moved all of the hay (100 bales-glad I didn't have more like I would later in the season-we have 400 on order-but my friend is going to house most of it for us thank goodness), moved the wall in the horse area about 5 feet expanding the area to better accommodate the three, filled it with more shavings, refilled the water, installed a third hay feeder, filled the feeders with hay, etc.

At the end of the evening, in anticipation of the rain, we let them all come in the barn. I stood guard with my carrot stick. I played friendly with them and if one chased the other out of the barn, I chased that horse and let the other one back in. Finally, everyone seemed okay so we fed them some apples, that worked okay. After that, everyone got grain and alfalfa cubes. We gave Fosse extras to keep him busy. I stood there watching and playing friendly with my stick with all of them. Life was calm and good.

Rick and I both really love her. She is a wonderful addition to our family. Thank you again, Barb, for bringing her into our lives.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Have You Rasped Any Hoofs Today?

I've been doing natural balance trimming for many years now and it has worked out great for me and my horses. The reason I started was a lack of farriers willing to travel to my place out in Rich Creek, VA. Deb and Dave (from the main natural horse club I started down there) introduced me to his methods via their annual clinic. I could only afford the Friday night lecture and did so a few times. I have Gene Ovnicek's materials (videos, book, handouts, website material) and did self-study. I also have read Pete Ramey's book and some Jamie Jackson materials. Overall, I follow Gene's method (with a Ramey influence). I trim for a barefoot horse and use hoof boots only when necessary. I have trimmed my horses only; Fosse, Whiskey, Stella, Wilbur, and Mini-me. I am not perfect and I am not an expert. :)

Fosse is an Arabian with a club foot. He has NEVER been lame and he has quite a club (born with it). He used to have bad frogs with the regular farrier. Now, his feet look great and he is very active and athletic.

Whiskey is an Arabian with regular feet. He had a deep crack in the central sulcus and bad frogs (this is when the regular farrier was coming). Since I've been trimming, he has healthy feet, has never been lame.

Stella is an Arab/Tennessee Walking Horse (Fosse's half sister). She came to me after a severe founder. I rehabbed her, got her feet back in shape, and when she was re-homed was barefoot, not lame. I also gave her a good level 1 foundation (level 2 ground too) and found her a new home at a lesson barn. She is very happy, is owned by a 15 year old, does lessons and shows (and wins).

Wilbur is a Thoroughbred who came with 4 shoes on and had pancake shaped, tender feet in the front, regular shaped tender feet in the rear. I was riding this horse barefoot or with boots with no problems and no lameness since I trimmed his feet. I completed my official level one with him. He was a nutty, reactive TB rescued from starvation - a track guy left all the horses to starve out in a field - they were eating the barn). I redeveloped him I then retired him to a lap of luxury in a cow field with lots of grass and horse people. He is really happy.

Finally, Mini-me came to me as a rescue with four clog feet (very , very overgrown). Dave did the initial trim to cut all of the extra hoof off. I then continued with his care for a year and this horse's feet, when placed in a new home were as close to normal as they'd ever be (and to the untrained eye looked normal) was never lame, never foundered. I fixed his feet over a year's time, taught him level 1 ground stuff, and found him a nice home with a 10-year old - a match made in Heaven

Anyhow, I've been doing it for a long time now and my horses are always sound--guess I am doing something right! (I do want to say that there are many different methods and many great farriers out there. I am not an expert and like I said, only do my own horses.

Here are some resources for you!

Barefoot for Soundness The high-performance barefoot horse approach is widespread in USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are barefooters in South Africa, Zambia, at least 15 European countries, the Caribbean islands, Chile, Argentina, Pacific island nations, Taiwan, and Singapore. Barefooters do trail and pleasure riding and driving; competition in endurance, dressage, gaited, polo, reining, "fox" hunting, and harness racing; livery stables, several in the mountains; and horse-drawn carriage businesses. A racing stable in UK is successfully racing barefoot horses in both flat and steeplechase races. http://www.barefoothorse.com/

Gene Ovnicek, New Hope for Soundness Welcome! This site is dedicated to the pursuit of soundness in horses. We offer information and products that can assist horse owners, farriers, veterinarians, and other horse care providers with treating & preventing lameness, as well as improving the overall soundness & performance of horses. The products and information you will find here are derived from combining the best traditional ideas from the past with the latest scientific research and practical experiences of innovators in the equine community. It is then merged with studies and observations of horses in a natural state, and some good common sense. The results you will find here are labeled as Natural Balance Hoof Care, but we like to think of it as just good, basic hoof & horse care. http://www.hopeforsoundness.com/index.html

Jaime Jackson, Helping Horses Naturally Thirty years experience as a natural hoof care practioner. http://www.primechoice.com/jaime-jackson/

Jim Crew, Healthy Stride, The Key to Fluid Movement Healthy Stride is the personal farrier to the performance horses of Linda & Pat Parelli and for their natural horsemanship program. Healthy Stride is creating positive changes in horses everywhere. Allow your horse to experience the Healthy Stride difference and become your perfect partner!

K.C. LaPierre, Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry, Inc. "The essence of Applied Equine Podiatry is the conscientious study of the equine foot, always striving to expose it to proper environmental stimuli, making every effort to promote proper structure and function, as we progress toward achieving high performance." http://www.equinepodiatry.net/

Pete and Ivy Ramey, Hoof Rehabilitation Specialists It's all about growing a healthier hoof! http://www.hoofrehab.com/

Progressive Natural Hoofcare Here you will find educational information and resources for keeping the NATURAL BAREFOOT HORSE sound and healthy. You'll also find information on how to get your shod horse transitioned comfortably to barefoot! http://www.barefoottrim.com/

Strasser Hoofcare, North America For nearly three decades, Dr. Strasser has studied the causes and cures for lameness as well as other common health problems of the domestic horse. Using her research, she has developed a complete model for the care of the domestic horse. This model works to help minimize a large percentage of the health issues associated with the care and keeping of domestic horses today. http://www.strasserhoofcare.org/

The Horse's Hoof The Horse's Hoof was born in September, 2000; the company of James and Yvonne Welz. James is a former computer systems administrator and printshop/technical equipment guru who gave up his career to become a barefoot hoofcare professional. Yvonne is a former desktop publishing wizard who tranferred her skills over to this company. And so The Horse's Hoof came into being, initially as this website, and then as a printed publication to support the new interest in barefoot horse care. A full line of products are offered to support the horse owner in their quest for a healthier and more natural life for their horses. http://www.thehorseshoof.com/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lola Songs, Meaning, and More

Ok, so I am bored and restless. I worked hard all day at the office, took care of the critters this morning and evening, took Rick to dinner, worked on my French for a few hours, did laundry, checked email, and should probably be in bed sleeping. Anyhow, so here are a few useless things with the name Lola.
I found out that Lola was named after her pervious owner's favorite Lola song, by Chris Smither, "Lookin for my Lola."

By the way, plans have changed and I don't go to get Lola until Friday.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Songs with the Name Lola

Hello Lola by Mound City Blue Blowers
"Ich bin die fesche Lola", a german song performed by Marlene Dietrich in Blue Angel.
"Lola", a song by The Kinks
"Lola" from Wow by Superbus
"Lola", a song by The Coasters
"Lola", a French song sung by the Israeli singer Dana International
"Lola", a Filipino song composed, recorded, and performed by Willy San Juan under HHP Records 1994
"Lola Leave Your Light On" from Deja Voodoo by Gov't Mule
"Whatever Lola Wants", popular song written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross for the musical play Damn Yankees

*Not in the title but Copacobana is the one with "Her name was Lola she was a showgirl"

Meanings of the Name Lola

Lola is a Spanish name, short for Dolores, in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows; its diminutive is Lolita.
Lola is a synonym for a grandmother with Filipino background.
Lola is a Greek variant of Theodora.

Lola (given name), a female given name popular in several languages
Lola is short for Omolola and Oluwadamilola in Yoruba Omolola means "Child of Wealth" while Oluwadamilola mean "God Gives Me Wealth"
Lola is a Tajik-Farsi female given name
Lola may also be short for given names such has Yolanda and Lourdes
Lola, a Nepalese name given to water balloon used especially in Holi
Lola (given name)

Lola is a feminine given name, a short form of the Spanish name Dolores and German name Aloisia, meaning "sorrows", a name taken from a title of the Virgin Mary: Virgen Maria de los Dolores, or Our Lady of Sorrows.

The short form Lola has been rising in popularity in several countries in the past decade. It was the 270th most popular name for baby girls born in the United States in 2007, up from 279th place in 2006 and 375th place in 2005; was ranked as the 64th most popular name for baby girls in Spain in 2006; was ranked as the 51st most popular name for baby girls in England and Wales in 2007; was the 17th most popular name for baby girls in France in 2004; and was the 20th most popular name for baby girls in Belgium in 2006.

Though the name originated with a title for the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, Lola has also acquired a number of contrasting sensual associations. Authors Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz noted in their 2008 book Cool Names for Babies that the name has a sultry image and that people associate the name with the song "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets" from the musical Damn Yankees, in which the character of Lola is the Devil's "best homewrecker."[2] The name also has associations with the Irish-born Lola Montez, who became famous in the nineteenth century as an actress, Spanish dancer, courtesan and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Lolita, a diminutive form of the name, is associated with the 1955 novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov about a pedophile's obsession with a 12-year-old girl, Lolita. "Lolita" has since become a term for a sexually precocious young girl. In 1992, 16-year-old Amy Fisher gained notoriety as the "Long Island Lolita" after she shot her much older lover's wife. The name's sexually-charged image is also due to associations with Lola, a 1970 The Kinks song about a young man's encounter with a transvestite named Lola.

The title character in the 1998 German film Run Lola Run may also have raised the name's profile, as has Lola, a clever and inquisitive child character in a recently published series of children's picture books by Lauren Child.

The naming of several children of celebrities in the past decade has increased the popularity of the name. Madonna uses the nickname "Lola" for her daughter Lourdes Leon, born in 1996. Entertainers Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson and Annie Lennox all have daughters named Lola. The name was also used for a granddaughter of Camilla Parker Bowles.

Baby Names Meanings, Lola, from www.babynamespedia.com/meaning/Lola

Lola - Origin and Meaning of the name

[ 2 syll. lo-la, lol-a ] The girl name Lola is pronounced LOWLah KEY. Lola's language of origin is Germanic, Spanish, Latin, and French. It is predominantly used in the Spanish, English, Hawaiian, and Italian languages.
Lola is a pet form of Dolores (English, German, and Spanish) in the English and Spanish languages.
Lola is also a pet form of Lourdes (English and Spanish) in the English, Italian, and Spanish languages.
Lola is also a variant of Charlotte (French, German, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian) in the English language.
Lola is also a variant of Laura (English, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Spanish) in the Hawaiian language.
Lola is also a variant of Caroline (English and French) in the Spanish language. Lolita (pet form in Spanish and English) is a variant of Lola.
Lola is a popular baby girl name, and it is also considered trendy. At the modest height of its usage in 1904, 0.213% of baby girls were given the name Lola. It was #99 in rank then. The baby name has seen a steep drop in popularity since then. In 2008, it ranked at #246 with a usage of 0.068%, somewhat regaining its popularity in the recent decade. Within the family of girl names directly linked to Lola, Charlotte (French, German, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian) was the most regularly used. The name was thrice as popular as Lola in 2008. The name Lola has been primarily given to girls, although it has also been used as a boy name in the last century. In 1902, 38 times as many girls than boys were given the name Lola.
Baby names that sound like Lola include Laia (Catalan), Laila (Arabic, English, German, and Iranian), Lala (Czech), Layla (Arabic and English), Leah (English, Hebrew, and Yiddish), Leela (English and Indian), Lehua (Hawaiian), Leia (English), Leiah (English), Leila (Arabic, English, German, and Iranian), Leilah (Arabic, English, German, and Iranian), Lejla (Slavic), Lela (Spanish and English), Lelah (English), Lelia (Greek and Italian), Lelya (Russian), Leola (English), Leya (English), Leyah (English), and Leyla (Turkish).
KEY: Pronunciation for Lola: L as in "lee (L.IY)" ; OW as in "oat (OW.T)" ; L as in "lee (L.IY)" ; AH as in "hut (HH.AH.T)"
Lola Bunny
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lola as she was seen in Space Jam.
First appearance
Space Jam, 1996
Voiced by
Kath Soucie, Britt McKillip (Baby Looney Tunes)

Baby Lola in Baby Looney Tunes.
Lola Bunny is a cartoon character from Warner Bros. Studios. She is a female rabbit and has been established as having a romantic involvement with Bugs Bunny as well as being his main love interest and girlfriend.
The name Lola comes from the Kinks song of the same name.[citation needed] Lead animators at WB would often listen to music as a source of inspiration for their work.
Lola's first appearance was in the movie Space Jam, in which she is voiced by Kath Soucie. Lola's basketball skills got her a spot on the Toon Squad, in which the Looney Tunes characters battled the villainous Monstars for their freedom, with help from Michael Jordan. The Toon Squad was victorious, and Lola kindled a romance with Bugs. Although she had turned down his earlier advances, she saw him in a new light after he heroically saved her from injury by shoving her out of the path of a belly-flopping Monstar, getting himself painfully squashed under the Monstar's belly.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A little time to kill

This evening I had a little time and ended up involved in a very fun and interesting play session. I had Morgan (above) on a six foot lease and proceeded to the play ground (our play ground for the horses and dog). I went to see Rick while he completed his weed-wacking work on the fence line. As we walked over the see Rick, the horses showed up and started following us. Then, then took off in a shot, back across the driveway and over to the barn (all in a fenced in area - everything is connected now and they have access to the field, paddock, barn. playground, etc.) Anyhow, I checked in with Rick and decided to play with Morgan and the obstacles. We played with the tired, slalomed the cones, figure eights around the barrels, and worked on heal, sit, etc. You get the picture.

Well, once we got going, the horses (primarily Fosse) started following us and watching. I decided to turn this into a dog online/horse liberty session. It was great fun! Morgan and I worked through all of the obstacles, ventured across the driveway and back over to the front paddock (another obstacle course over there), to the barn, etc. The horses followed, Fosse performed some liberty tasks, Whiskey too, the dog and horses got to meet and kiss a little as well. I would sometimes ask Morgan to sit next to me and just ask Fosse for something, then Whiskey, other times, I'd do a task with Morgan and Fosse would follow and copy what we did (like going through the tires or over a log). Both horses would follow and we even played a little catching game where I'd go away from them and they would follow, catch me, then we'd turn and follow them, etc. Hard to explain but fun. Oh, and the barn kitties Ed and Anita were there for the entire play time and followed us from place to place as well playing and having a great time. (I sure got a lot of walking in!) Anyhow, it was fun, spontaneous, and a creative use of our time. You just never know what a play session might be!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little bit of kismet...Meet My New Partner Lola

This is Lola (notice her feet--all floating on air!).

Another photo of Lola...look at that gorgeous mane!

Fate has a funny way of working and it seems that the Universe was listening to my heart even though I only, so very slightly, opened the door. As some of you know I've been concerned about how I might continue on my horsemanship journey with Fosse and Whiskey. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly, will continue to play and make progress with them, they aren't going anywhere. But, their limitations (Fosse medical and Whiskey mental) may cause my goal of achieving level 4 to be a dream rather than a reality. If you go back and review the so-called old level 3, Pat specifically addresses the need to have the right horse to get through the levels before going back and developing other horses. It seems I've been doing it all backwards (no surprise really, my mom says I've always gone about things the hard way). And, I know there are many of you out there in the same predicament.

Another photo of Lola, is she sleeping?
After the St. Jude's experience, I was regrouping and trying to figure out my next step in my horsemanship journey. I have to truly thank two people for giving me permission to look for another horse. My thoughts at the time were, okay, how can I make this work with Fosse and Whiskey. To be honest, I'd been feeling like I was either doomed to be in limbo with my horsemanship or, that it was going to continue to be an uphill battle, one where I never knew what to expect around each turn, one that was becoming very draining. I was very resistant at the idea of taking on a third horse. (And if I did take one on, no rescues, no head-cases, I needed a true, viable partner.) Clare and Diane, two natural horse women in my life really took the time to communicate to me that it was okay and probably a good idea to find a new partner, that I was not giving up on my other horses, and that it was allowed! They continued with the thought that things don't always work out the way you plan, and that it is okay to evaluate and make a new plan. I was really reluctant to even consider another horse still. Another natural horse friend, Tammy, took me out to lunch and bought me a great greeting card to help me feel better about the St. Jude's event.

So, I joking, light-heartedly, secretly, started looking on the Savvy Club Forum and Dreamhorse.com, just to see what was out there. Just to prove that there was nothing and that I was only going to have two horses, Fosse and Whiskey. That I didn't need to play with other people's horses, and that my two were it.

Pretty, pretty, Lola.

The idea of getting another horse made me nervous and made me feel guilty for even thinking about it. I didn't want to give up on Fosse or Whiskey, I didn't want them to think I didn't love them, and I also am not a quitter and didn't want people or my horses to think I was quitting. My good friends were able to make me understand that I was not quitting and that my time to find a new partner was here.
"Her name was Lola, she was a show girl!" (Clare's song for Lola.) I love it!

I started looking like I said but frankly, nothing was clicking. Then, another friend asked me about a Parelli clinic slot that was open. She wanted to know if I wanted it or if anyone I knew might. My reply was, "I don't know anyone who'd take your place and I don't have a horse that would work for a clinic at the moment ( I have two inappropriate horses...a realization I've come to believe unfortunately. One has possible potential, the other needs a psychiatrist.) LOL." Little did I know, I had opened the door to the Universe's ability to make everything change, my life was going to change, and I didn't know it, kismet I believe.

My friend responded that she had a wonderful 3 year old, very pretty, very sweet, QH filly who is meant for a Parelli person (and she sent a few photos). And, she thought we'd be a nice match. She talked about how finding her perfect partner (a beautiful Morgan) changed her life and her progress leaped in huge strides, and that she was happy. I cannot say that at this particular moment that I was happy. I had been avoiding playing with the horses since that fateful Sunday, I called it taking a break.

She wondered if I'd be coming her way any time soon (she is near my mom down state) but, I said no, nothing in the near future as travel can be complicated with all of our critters and my demanding schedule. Anyhow, I basically dropped the issue but had this horse on my mind, all of the time. I figure that when things are meant to be, they happen so, I figured this was not something that would happen. I continued to look at horses and decided that I probably would just stick with Fosse and Whiskey and work something out (what I didn't know).

Lola doing yo-yo game.

Then, I received an email that said, "Do you want me to try and get a video of Lola?" I was being pursued and responded that I would love to see one but was clear that I didn't know about getting her. However, I could not get Lola out of my mind though and I knew I wanted to see more. She then sent the first two photos in this post (where Lola looks really red). I told my friend that I was hooked. We continued to discuss her back and forth. I knew I wanted her and that her owner wanted me to have her, she seemed like the perfect fit, the perfect horse, the perfect partner. (I'm going to leave out all of the financial stuff--private treaty folks, sorry).

This is Lola's dam.

So yesterday, I sent another email and was waiting to hear back about how all of this would work out. I was watching a Katie Drake Music Video (Pat is in it) of her song "In Your Shoes." It is a wonderful song and as I was listening, was thinking about my horses, about Lola, about my journey. Then, I received an e-mail message that said, "She's yours if you want her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (among other things). Our terms were all in agreement, I had a new horse, and her name was Lola!

Well, as you can imagine, the tears just started to flow! I looked up from my computer and said to Rick, "She's ours" and began crying. I never did this with any other horse in my life. I was (and am) so excited! I never expected to feel this way, it is incredible. Everything came together, I can say that I didn't expect to have a new horse (and definately not this fast). But, I know it is right, I can feel it.

So, this is my new beautiful horse, Lola. I love her looks and she is "almost Arab looking" which definitely fits the looks of a horse I desire. She was born with her current owner present and has had Parelli in her life from the beginning. I'm told she seems to be a LBI with no RB tendencies. I look forward to discovering her horsenality myself though, you never know what you might find! I'm hoping to see some LBE too. Lola is fully registered. Her dam is Smart as Hickory (Smart Little Lena/Doc's Hickory) and sire is Friendly Leo (anyone have a photo of Friendly Leo?). Smart Little Lena & Doc's Hickory are grandfathers on mare side and on dad's is the Leo/King line out of Canada...all really top Quarter Horse lines. She was with Craig Johnson for two months getting a good foundation and reining experience. I plan to go to level 4 with her and then pick our sport. I really lean towards hunter/jumper, endurance, and dressage. Maybe we can dabble in all of it including reining (I just have to learn what reining is LOL). And, I bet there are other sports I have not considered. The sky is the limit I believe. For now though, I'll just get to know her and once she is settled, once we are ready, get back to official assessments.

I'm in love with this horse and I have not even met her yet (kind of like online dating I guess). Normally I would not buy a horse in this manner but, I know her owner and trust her impeccably. She is looking out for me and for Lola, how nice is that? I simply love the Parelli community and am honored to be a part of it.

Another one of momma!

Rick and I are picking Lola up on Wednesday morning. There was a NCPPG Play Date scheduled for today (I coordinated it). I decided to not attend the play date so that I can make sure the fences are all in good order, get out the extra buckets, and move out wall in the barn, not to mention clean the barn and paddock, chores! This is the wall that we put up for the hay. We are going to unstack all of the hay, move the wall, and expand the horse area in the barn to be sure she has plenty of room with the boys. (As you know, our lives revolve around our animals). I was asked to cancel the play date because I was not going to attend (and run it). But, it seems the folks that were planning to attend had other things to do anyway and are very understanding about why I cannot attend.

So, I guess that is it, the beginning of a new partnership in my life, to another leg of this wonderful journey, natural horsemanship.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Winter is on its way...Have you checked your horse's blanket today?

If you look at the photo, you'll notice the blankies are a bit big. Be careful to measure correctly (I goofed). LOL

Winter is around the corner and you may be starting to think about your winter coat, winter riding pants, boots, gloves, and perhaps, even your horses' possible need for a blanket. Some people use them and some don't for a variety of reasons. This is a personal choice.Winter horse blankets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_blanket are used for protecting horses from the elements, especially in cold climates. They come in a variety of styles, shapes, weights, and sizes. Some are made for primarily indoor use like the the stable blanket, designed for maximum comfort and warmth rather than maneuverability. Whereas the outdoor turnout blanket (turnout rug) is designed to be weather resistent, and accomodate better maneuverability. Some manufacturers have even designed accessories like a hood, sleezy sleapwear http://www.ss4horses.com/, and more!

Have you checked your horses' blankets yet? Do they need repairs, cleaning, waterproofing? Do you have the appropriate type for the various weather conditions (many people have multiple blankets for wach horse)? Does your horse not have a blanket and maybe he needs one?This week's task is to examine your horses' blanket needs and take action! Please consider reading a few of the resources below (whether you blanket or not).


How Horses Keep Warm
Learn how to choose, purchase, use, clean and maintain horse blankets in this free series of video guides. http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/4958_horse-blankets.htm

When to Blanket Your Horse in Winterhttp://equisearch.com/horses_care/health/winter/blanket_101904/

Horse Blanket Q&ABlanket manufacturers answer some of your most common questions about the use and care of blankets for your equine partner.http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/tack_apparel/miscellaneous/eqblanket2649/
Horse Stable Blanket Selection and Care by Cherry Hill

To Blanket or Not to Blanket

Blankets and Sheets Buyer's Guide

Turnout Blanket Buyer's Guide

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Pop Quiz Time!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week’s task is designed to be a pop quiz for those at the beginning of their journeys and those well on their way. Have fun with it! If you don’t know the answers, contact me or better yet, check out your own study materials!

Quiz Questions:

1. List the 7 games in order and describe the purpose of each game and list at least two keys to each of them.

2. Which of the games are the principle games and which are the purpose games?

3. Draw a picture of a horse or print one from your computer. Label the zones of the horse and write a description of each zone of the horse.

4. Make a list and describe the four savvys.

5. List all gaits and directions your horse should be able to do.

6. How many phases of pressure are there and what do they mean?

7. There are 16 patterns listed in the Parelli Patterns kit. List them and draw a diagram for each one you list.

8. Write what each level’s patterns do for you and your horse. List the typical equipment would be used in that level of the patterns.

9. BONUS: What are the 8 responsibilities for the horse and human?

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeling Empowered Again - Thanks for the support

The is an image of a Parelli Logo. For more information on Parelli Natural Horsemanship, go to:
Just some random thoughts after reading the posts on the SC forum and those sent to me privately regarding my post, Where is my horse journey going? Should I continue? Should I give up?

My conclusion is that YES Parelli is definately working for me and YES I've made tons of leaps and progress, and YES I still love it and YES Whiskey is complicated and NO I am not out of my depth. I think that I need to be more aware of this, to remember his thresholds, and to remember all of the good stuff that CLEARLY outweigh the bad stuff. I really love this horse and we've had a ton of fun.

I am ready to get on with my journey, put in more time and be sure I am taking the time it really takes. I suspect that some of my expectations were unrealistic when looking at the entire picture.

I am also feeling empowered and allowed (if you will) to pursue my levels (an important piece for me, a measure, an assessment that I desire) with Fosse AND Whiskey. There really is no reason I cannot work with both on the official stuff too (oh duh - I should have realized this long ago) but, knowing that they are different and our progress will be different. That is the reality of things. (I "do" PNH with both but was only assessing with one horse.)

(I'm also secretly keeping a small part of myself open to the idea of a new partner as well but, not looking--or trying not to anyway. LOL)

Thanks for the push to think about this even folks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where is my horse journey going? Should I continue? Should I give up?

Whiskey's Horsenality Profile on the Day of the St. Jude's Ride...Yikes,Oye!
Whiskey's Horsenality Profile at Home (recharted this morning).

Before you start reading, please review the horsenality profiles above. Then, check out these links to other Whiskey profiles. They offer you a glimpse of what I am dealing with.

So, where is my horse journey going? Should I continue? Should I give up? Am I a failure? Do I have any talent? Do I have savvy? Can I only talk the talk but not walk the walk? Do I have the right horses? Can I, should I, am I giving up on mine? Can I put any more energy into this? These are questions that hit me hard yesterday, the thoughts, that through my tears, my dear friend Clare and my dear husband Rick, tried to help me understand.

As I type this, keeping my emotional fitness in check (aka tears) is difficult. But this post is necessary no matter how difficult. This reflection is part of the journey and an important one. It is one that demands me to be honest, logical, practical, and face realities that are not the easiest to accept. I share this with you all in hopes that if anyone else is facing a journey like mine, that you know you are not alone, are not a failure, and that it must be just another challenge we have to live through in the wonderful world of horses.
As a small background piece, for those of you who have not read the entire blog, or for those of you who don't know me in person. I've been involved with horses most of my life. I rode in horse shows (English/hunter jumper), I rode TB race horses, I rode endurance horses, I hacked around on any horse that would let me crawl up on them (often times bareback, halter and lead, or nothing at all but their mane and my balance). I was in a jumping accident about 13 years ago, destined I thought to leave horses behind, primarily out of pressure from my family, some fear, and the thought that it was all okay to give up. But then, as luck or the Universe would have it, I saw Pat Parelli (winter 2002/2003) on TV and felt hope. I found a reason to start over, and a will and strong desire to have horses back in my life (I started PNH actively in the November of 2003).

I found Fosse (April 2003), a nice LBE Arabian gelding, too young to ride, full of energy, had a heart murmur that he might grow out of, I paid $1 for him, saved him from euthanasia, and he was a wonderful addition to my yard. I love him to pieces, he is with me for life, notmatter what. Our energies are a perfect match (LBE-him/LBE ESTJ-me. Eventually and as he grew older, he was cleared to ride by several veterinarians. His heart is still functioning with the murmur but, he was otherwise deemed very fit. The caveat is that the murmur is a grade 5 and that any moment, whether being ridden or not, I may find him dead. There is nothing I can do for him but let him live. The doctors are amazed at his condition and believe that had they not heard it, the would never believe he had a condition. Just the way it is, they say to enjoy him to the fullest as he would have never had a life if I'd not taken him on. I eventually started him under saddle, bareback with a halter a lead, but to date, have only ridden him at a walk out of concern for his health (although the vet said I can do more now, so I plan to).

I acquired another horse, Whiskey (Jan 2004), a RBI Arabian gelding, not rideable yet (not started) but had potential. I was told he had special needs of a small herd , that a person with natural horsemanship-type mannerisms was best as he was a sensitive horse, and so I took him (he was free). He was an ex-A-rated halter horse, he was unable to cope with the shows and their high demands I was told. I was told by a few professionals that he was a danger to himself and others and to euthanize him, I refused to do so or believe that any horse is hopeless. So, I eventually started him under saddle too, myself, bareback, with a halter and lead (I am not saying I do this right, just what I do). We have had a complicated relationship but have made progress. We have had many successful arena and trail rides, many successes mounted and unmounted in the play ground, we have been out in public without incident! The biggest issue is that Whiskey's emotional fitness is extremely questionable and situational, he can be extreme to the point of scaring most people. Our horsenalitities/personalities are total opposites as you swa wtih the "Meeting in the Middle" post. However, I have continued to stick with him, I have a better relationship with him, but wow is he a perplexing horse.

I also acquired (rescued) a couple of other horses after Whiskey. Stella (winter 2005/2006) was an Arabian half sister to Fosse, she was rehabilitated (weight and founder) and eventually became a great lesson horse at a local farm. Wilbur my Thoroughbred (October 2005) was a wonderful partner (not without his own demons) who took me officially through level 1 and was retired and rehomed. Finally, Mini-me (March 2007), a little mini horse rescue was rehabilitated (feet) and redeveloped (level 1/2 online) and placed with a 10 year old who loves him to pieces. These three horses were never meant to stay with me, they were all rescues destined for different places in their lives, I just knew it. But, somehow, for some reason, Fosse and Whiskey have become life partners, no matter what.
So, this leaves me with these two horses, Fosse and Whiskey. One has a heart condition and the other a mental condition. I love them both. My goal for my horsemanship is to complete level 4 but I question whether or not I can do it with these two. I really don't want another horse, two works well, but I also cannot part with them which means if I get another, it will make 3. I have a dedication to them that is unmatched and I feel a responsibility to take care of them for life, I don't knwo why, I just do. That said, I suppose if the right horse (LBE, Arabian, gelding) came along, I'd consider adding a third. Fosse is perfect for me except for his heart issue. And this description of a potential third is just like him.
Okay, so much for the background information and additional editorial chatter, let's get to the crux of the blog post. I think I've been avoiding talking about the true content as it is just hard to think about and reflect on. It is hard to stay focused.
Yesterday was the St. Jude's ride. I really was looking forward to this. I worked hard on acquiring sponsor donations and could not wait to take Whiskey on the trail ride. The weather was nice, we'd meet new people, maybe even find like-minded horse people along the way. He's been on trail rides with me before with much success. I have ridden him in the saddle or bareback, but always with the rope hackamore. There have been a few times where he's been reactionary and I've had trouble but equally there have been many great successes. I thought we were ready but apparently I was terribly mistaken.
I arrived at the farm early, giving us time to settle in, play, and tack up. When I loaded him at home, he was a little resistant at first but no more than normal. I was feeling very nervous about the event and he may have felt it. I felt like he should just be fine knowing that perhaps I should be riding him more at home--but time has really been a problem.
The ride to the place was all of ten minutes. I got there, gave him a carrot through the side of the trailer but and was unable to unload him for about 10 minutes, he seemed calm, no kicking, no calling, just a quiet horse on the trailer--I was pleased and surprised. Once I unloaded him, he seemed different. He was on alert, would not take the carrot I offered him (quite unusual), and he could not look at me. Eventually he took the carrot but held it in his mouth, didn't chew it, just stood at alert with this carrot for at least 1 minute, then chomped it and ate it, looked at me as to check-in. He seemed a little better.
I didn't tie him right away out of concern about his mental state. I do use the Blocker Tie Ring (aka Aussie Tie Ring) but, I still felt uneasy about his mental state. I thought he was just going right-brained to left-brained and back again but now, after charting him, he was heading and would land smack into extreme right-brained extrovert--I didn't see it coming, not this strong and not this hard. These initial mannerism were the start of something very ugly and very dangerous to come.
Eventually, after about 20 minutes of being unloaded, I tied him to the back of my trailer. He had his hay bag (hay from home) and water bucket (water from home), both familiar things to him. I took his leg wraps off, groomed him, gave him apple treats, he liked them. I tacked him up, he seemed fine, no gupling, no kicking, nothing, just looking and asking for treats which I was happy to provide. We then went to the arena for some warm-up ground exercises. He was a little nervous heading over, trailers were pulling in, there were other horses there by now too and it was getting more and more like a horse show environment. I still felt that he and I were okay, that he got over whatever was bothering him, and we could just go play for a bit before the ride.
In the arena, I had to keep him on a 12 foot line because there were too many others around, riding and racing about. This event was not just Parelli people but all kinds of horse people with all levels of experiences and all different ideas about horsemanship--just another challenge for us. Anyhow, we played with the few obstacles in the arena, just did stuff we knew (7 games type stuff but all different variations) and he was already reactionary and spooky. he had trouble with the simpliest of tasks. This is not the horse I play with at home. My partner's mind was deteriorating more rapidly but silently (and I am not sure at the time that I identified it this way).
I saw a few horse acquaintances from the NCPPG there and so we chatted at the fence allowing Whiskey time to chill out. I noticed that the saddle pad had slipped (I was trying the new (used)Endurance saddle). I decided to tack him with my Theraflex and English saddle instead (something familiar to us both) and so my friend went to my trailer and got my saddle for me. Whiskey was fine with it, stood quietly, I re-tacked and thought, ok, he seems fine now, this is good. I left the arena and headed for the trailer. I walked with him to the outside of the arena and removed my stuff from the fence and put my extra saddle back on the saddle stand near the trailer, got out my mounting block, and contemplated mounting. I contemplated it because when we got back to the trailer area, there were many horse there, all tacked up or being tacked up. Whiskey was nervous again, but, not that bad I thought, I could do this. Anyhow, when I attempted to mount, he backed up, several times 9the latest thing he does). Eventually, when stood still, a signal that he was ready to be mounted, I got on. He was okay, stood still, flexed, I gave him treats. I asked him to walk forward (he is no longer biting me while mounted by the way) and he walked, no biting, good inplusion. We stopped, he flexed, treat, ok, we are good. We walked around the grassy area, near the arena, and I noticed he wanted to be near other horses but we had to keep our distance. I allowed him to graze instead and he was okay with it. Some horses seemed to make him more nervous than others but, we were okay.
We were waiting for the others to head down the trail (it seemed to be a long time) but, eventually they started and we went, at a walk, Whiskey and I were in the middle. He was tense and as we heard other horses coming closer, their riders having issues keeping them walking, his nervousness got worse. I allowed a small trot and miracuously, he trotted with no trouble (sometimes at home he gets ugly about the trot). I asked them to pass us and they did. We slowed back to a walk. Very early in the ride, we came across some wood in a pile and a piece of farm equipment that was to our left near some evergreen trees. Considering the exposure he has had to obstacles and weird things, I would not have thought he'd have cared much. However, I was horribly and utterly wrong. He got very scared, backed up, leaned down, and I knew that had I not dismounted, Whiskey would probably fall on his knees (this happened one other time when I tried to ride out his spooky behavior at horse camp). So, I calmly removed my foot from my right stirrup, swung my right leg over, paused in the position you take when mounting and jsut stood there in the left stirrup, I had a fleeting thought to just remount as he was calmer but, something told me this was a brief moment of sanity and that he was mentally in big trouble. So, I thought better of it and just dismounted (knowing to remount, I needed a block and was not going to be able to get back on--another issue I have to deal with to better my horsemanship--better physical fitness). I must say that Linda Parelli gave me the courage and the knowledge to read my horse and get off, no matter who was around, to put safetyfor my horse and myself first. I cannot thank her enough. Ok, so I proceeded to remove him from the middle of the trail and he went absolutely nuts. I got him off the trail but, as I did, he swung his hips and tried to kick me with his left rear leg and then he struck at me with his left front leg (he missed both times and I immediately got him out of my space using a yo-yo, he was fractious and out of his mind. People were starring at us. After the other riders passed us, some at the end of the line asked if I'd remount and continue and I declined and told them to have a fun time and that we were fine. I hand-walked him for a bit on the trail following the group and then headed back to the trailer. He was dangerous, he was not thinking, he was not being a partner. (FYI--there were horses in the area when we went back to the trailer.)
At the trailer, I allowed him to graze for a bit then removed all of the tack. I tied him for a very brief time but decided that to be safe, I'd just have him in my care on the lead line. I finally decided to just take him home. I was too exhausted to play with him in the arena and I suspected he was too mental to even try. This leads me to tell you that it took 2 hours to get him on the trailer. He was fractious, rearing, swinging around the right side of the trailer, backed into bushes, acted like a lunatic. There was no end to people trying to offer help and each time I declined with a smile and thank you. Whiskey needed time and patience and apparently I have the patience of a saint because I never lost my cool, and when he loaded, he was ready, he stood still for a few minutes, then I put the divider in place, and then I shut the door. I climbed onto the side of the trailer, put his lead in the tie ring, gave him a carrot, and we headed home, both mentally and physically exhausted.

In any event, I was left feeling terrible, sad, depressed, inadequate, like a failure, embarrassed, and the list goes on. I spend an inordinate amount of money on my horse addiction, a ton of time (but I know I need more hands-on time...my schedule has been difficult). I also questioned why I continue to try to proceed down my Parelli path with Whiskey as my levels horse (he became "the one" when I placed Wilbur). Would I ever even get through level 2 with this horse? I know I can get through level 4 but, on what horse? I have Whiskey the gorgeous nut case and Fosse, a beautiful, great horse, with a heart condition. What do I do? I tried hard yesterday to keep my composure in front of the people at the event but, with Clare (on the phone) and Rick (on the phone and in person), I could let go a little and the tears of frustration flowed, my words flowed, but was I making any sense?
I was careful not to get angry with Whiskey, I maintained the tenant of principles before goals, but wow, this is difficult, I just wanted to trail ride--we've done it before, why not here and now? Why can't we seem to translate the games from the ground into riding? Why can't he be in public? He was good at the last play date. I can say that there was tons of stimulation at this event, perhaps he has a threshold of only a few horses? Only a few things? I just don't know. I also can only imagine what the other horse people at the ride were thinking about me, about my horse, and about Parelli. Was I a good example of someone who lives by the Parelli standard? To me, I was, I did what I had to for my horse, but those outside the circle would never understand this, could they? All they saw was a lady with a gorgeous lunatic horse that she could not get on the trailer. The compliments Whiskey got all day were about how pretty he was and then opeople would say things like wow, he is having a bad day. (By the way, when we got home, he was fine, totally calm, and back to being a partner.)

To be honest, I feel frustrated about something in particular. The people at the event rode their horses, had fun, I am happy for them, I really am. But the time I put into my relationship with my horse, I should have too. How can it be that I have all of this knowledge and skill and yet, I am struggling with my horse? I've put years into him! I worry that I looked like an idiot (but I know I am not one)! I want to be a great example of PNH and this is not helping.
I don't want to give up on Whiskey but I also don't want to be stuck in levels limbo forever. I want to progress further. Had Wilbur still been in my life (and he was his own kind of nut job) I'd probably have been through level 4 by now! I know I have it in me but incidents like this make me question everything (rational and not).

So where do I go? The first step is acknowledgment of the good and the bad of yesterday's event and a few other pieces of this puzzle:
The Good
  • I brought a lot of money to the event for the cause.
  • We explored a new place.
  • We practiced tacking up with different tack, several times.
  • We did play on the ground and got in some ride time.
  • I had enough savvy to ensure that neither Whiskey or I was injured on the ground or while riding.
  • Whiskey did not bite me while mounted.
  • My horse did eventually load on the trailer, calmly, and I was able to take him home.
  • Whiskey was fine when we got home.
  • I went back to the event with my dish to pass (and Rick) and didn't just hide at home after this stressful day of humiliation.
  • Fosse is a fun and safe horse who is forgiving. (Not sure about away from the farm, never tried it yet.)
  • Fosse is a potential levels horse for me.
  • I can always acquire another horse.

The Bad

  • Whiskey went extreme RBE which is a bad place for any horse (or human).
  • Whiskey was a danger to himself and others.
  • Whiskey does not seem to be a levels prospect for me if I want to get through the levels in this lifetime (or the next 3-5 years). This is hard to accept. Is it reality or have I not done enough for him to prove himself?
  • Fosse has a medical condition. I can ride him but to what extent is an unknown, can he really be a levels horse?
  • I don't want another horse but I may have to get one. (Do I have the room, time, or devotion in my heart?)
I am not sure what will happen. Here are a few action items on my list:
  • I am not going to quit.
  • I am going to breathe.
  • I am not going to cry.
  • I am going to make a concerted effort to play with the horses every day including some riding.
  • Rick and I are going to assess our facilities and try to get some lighting put up for the darker months to come.
  • I am going to seek out the use of a local indoor arena for the winter months.
  • I will consider a third horse but only if it happens to come my way--no seeking out a horse.
  • A new horse must be a levels prospect, rideable, sane.
  • I will not take in another rescue horse at this time.
  • I will get through level 4 (as Clare would say, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise.")
  • I won't give up on Whiskey but put him on the back-burner, take off the pressure from the both of u regarding levels and official assessments, play dates, trail rides, etc. I will just play at home with him.
  • I will try to use Fosse as my levels horse.

For now, I think the crying and sorrow is gone. Frustration is really not a good word to describe the events yesterday. The appropriate description is that I felt sad that I could not participate the way I wanted to and also felt a terrible and painful sorrow for Whiskey because of his mental state and the fact that I did everything I could but it seems he needed something more. I just don't know what. I do know that most people would never deal with him, everyone I know (including Clare) say they'd never ride him and most people tell me to give up--but I cannot. I know this horse has something to offer, he is worth my time and money, even if he ends up just being a beautiful lawn ornament. In all seriousness, I know he is more than a lawn ornament as we have had successful times together. I just don't know that he is the best horse for what I am trying to accomplish (then again, maybe I am wrong).

Thanks for reading, I am sure I forgot stuff, there is just too much to digest. I needed to at least get this stuff out there. *sigh*

Sunday, September 13, 2009

St. Jude's Update

Just wanted to thank everyone. I raised $805 and the total for the event was $2,100. I appreciate your support, folks.

Whiskey and I had some issues (extreme RBI, kicking, striking, rearing)...another post about all of that once I can come to grips with it all. Oye.

In any event, thanks folks!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Do you know your knots?

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

Take this quiz to see if you know your knots or not. This quick and easy quiz was generated for the NCPPG back in 2008 but, you can take it too! After your finish, refer back to your old issues of the Savvy Times, look at your pocket guides, go to the Savvy Club forum for more informative videos, articles, and more and review! Then, go to the barn and practice. Click here to take the quiz. **If you have trouble accessing the quiz, email me and I'll send it to you!

Remember, "Practice doesn't make perfect, onlu perfect practice makes perfect" ~Pat Parelli

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com/ for any official instructions or materials.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Test Your Savvy - Old Level 3 Tasks!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week, I’ve listed one task in each of the four savvys. They are from Parelli’s “old” level 3 kit, the Refinement Challenges pocket guide .

Online: Long Distance Trailer Load

1. Set a hula hoop or marker on the ground, 36 feet away from the trailer door, and at a 45 degree angle.
2. Keep one foot on the marker and send your horse into the trailer.
3. Count to 10.
4. Ask him out again and bring him to you.

Liberty: Finger Tip Yield Course

1. Set up a course with parallel poles to go through and cones to go around, even pedestals to stand on.
2. Using only your hands, lead your horse forward through the course and back him through the lane, You must keep your hands on him at all times.

Freestyle: One Carrot Stick Course (Use carrots stick or snaffle bridle (if bridle, only casual rein))

1. Set up a course that includes a figure 8, a small jump, and a lane.
2. Ride your horse bridleless through the course using one carrot stick. (or with snaffle-casual rein) Include at least one back-up in the lane.
3. Stop after the finish and relax your carrot stick (or reins).

Finesse: Transition Challenge

1. Set up a lane 12 feet wide and 97 feet long.
2. Put 2 markers 6 feet apart at the following points (12 feet from start, 22 feet further, 45 feet further)
3. Enter the lane at a walk.
4. Trot at the first markers.
5. Canter at the second markers.
6. Back up ten steps at the last markers.
7. Drop your reins and relax.
8. You need to make each transition between the markers, therefore your have 6 feet in which to make them—a great test of accuracy!

Ok, the rest is up to you! Be creative, be safe, and have fun!

Questions? Let me know! Have a great week!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Got Dumped - LOL

Today, I rode in the Marathon Endurance saddle my friend Clare sent me. I think I need to shim the front because it tips me forward too much. So soon after we headed to the field, Whiskey spooked sideways and downward, fast-- I got dumped. I am fine though, just a little rope burn on my fingers from trying to hang onto the reins. He went away from me, not too far, and then turned, faced, and I signaled for him to come, he did rather than running to Fosse at the barn- a good thing I think. I remounted and did approach and retreat and let him graze. I think we are doing ok but it would be nice to just go do WTC and trail without all the work! But, I am committed (or should be lol) and won't give up. St Judes ride is this weekend, I will try to ride but will hand walk if necessary--I don't think it will be though but I'd rather have a plan in my mind instead of feeling disappointed if something goes differntly than I'd prefer. LOL

Does anyone know how to stay on during a surprise sideways, downward spook? Or even just a fast sideways spook? My horse was there and then, he wasn't! LOL (This happened to me once before, a firrerent horse, bareback, in a field. Turkeys flew out in his face. He went one way and I went down--darn I hate gravity sometimes! LMAO