Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Last night as I was laying in bed thinking, an interesting question popped into my head. What is lightness? I'm talking about connection when riding here. The immediate answer that came in was what a read in the Savvy Times under "Education with Linda". She says, "Think about lightness as harmony rather than a light touch on the reins." I realized I had been striving for a very different kind of lightness when I read this, "Sometimes when your horse is light in your hand he's actually avoiding the contact and his back is hollow." Aha! Then she said, "There is a positive and consistent contact that your horse needs in order to be round, connected and powerful. Sometimes this connection form the bit in your hand may feel quite strong." So lighter in responsiveness (leg ques/go and whoa/turning) to be striven for but lighter in the reins in not necessarily the goal. Totally what I needed to hear. Cricket, Leah and I have just started dabbling in the game of contact (we're all unofficially level 3/4 in different areas) and before I got to far I wanted to read up on it as much as possible. I'm so glad that I was able to catch this.

So after this week is up (this is Cricket, she's still healing from the tendon issue), we're going to start up again playing with flexion and contact on the ground and riding. It's perfect because it's not very physically demanding and you're starting really slow.

Leah is really taking to the game of contact, she really loves it and rounds so easily now. No more inversion, Yay! Yes, she's still sensitive but she becoming a lot more trusting. I can do things with her now that she couldn't even think of 2 months ago, she's such a fast learner.

Thanks ya'll!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

I am Blessed

Westu Hal!

We took Cricket to the vet 8:00 am this morning. She had developed some sensitivity in her front legs in the past week. It was so slight I couldn't pin point it. She began getting better but I still wanted to make sure she wasn't just being tolerant of a bigger issue.

On the way to the vet, we stopped at a cafe. Daddy got a latte, I got a gooey bun, and Cricket got a scone. 

Then we whisked her off to the vet. They started by asking questions about if it's happened before, how old is she, is she a performance horse, blah blah blah. (No, she's always been completely sound.) Anyhow, we took her over to their round corral because they wanted to see her circle at the trot. We did both directions and she did fantastic and was blowing in a left brain manner. So sweet. They concluded it was very slight and in the left front leg in the knee down. 

Then they did a flexion test and low and behold, she had a slight over-extension  (meaning a microscopic strand of her tendon snapped) of her "Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon" (I think that was the one). That just means she was probably goofing off in the pen and slipped. They also said she's just a tad over weight in spite of the time and play I give her. She's around a 6 1/2 out of 2-9 on the fatso scale. That just means take it easy on the hay. She they sent us home with some butte (horse pain killer) and she gets one gram morning and night while she stays in the turnout. 

I'm so happy that it wasn't anything serious!

Vanya Sulie!


PS. Please correct me if I got some facts wrong.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Doughnuts for breakfast!

Westu Hal!

Ian is coming home tonight and I'm thrilled! The holidays are going to be really busy so please don't think I've forgotten you all if I don't post for a bit.

Things are going super well so far with everything. Cricket had been sensitive in her legs for the past week, she may have kicked something and bruised her foot, we're not sure what. Anywhos, she's looking better but I'm still taking her to the vets tomorrow. I'd rather pay $50 to hear, "She's okay" than wait and just find out she's just been tolerating a larger problem. The last thing I want is to have a large, unrideable lawn ornament.

Quel fara!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Favorite Paintings

Below: "Godspeed"

Below: "The Accolade"

Below: "Call to Arms"

Below: I'm not sure what it' called but I think it's really sweet. :)

Below: "Dance me to the end of Love"

Below: "The singing Butler"

Below: "The Billy Boys"

These are some of my very favorite paintings. The last three are by Jake Vettriano and the rest are by Edmund Blair Leighton.



PS. Keep in mind, they're not mine and I do not claim ownership.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trail ride with Finesse

^-- On the turn asking for some engagement. She's listening.

^-- We've come off the turn and shes starting to collect herself.

^-- She's still giving it but she's not trying any harder so I've started swinging my legs with her stride.

^-- She's taken the que and is now offering the vertical!

^-- She's kept the vertical and begun to engage herself and collect for the jump.

^-- And she's off! She kept the vertical and has joined me for the jump! YAY!

^-- Surprisingly, she kept the contact over the jump and didn't shove my hands out of place! :D

^-- And for the fun of it we added a Freestyle jump in which she wasn't asked for any contact!

Westu Hal!

Here are some pictures of the trail ride the other day, we were playing with a log. I had been dabbling with the game of contact the whole trail ride. Now, when I bridge my reins give contact, she comes up under me and goes forward! So cool! Very impressed with how her muscles are taking to it, shes much more arched and graceful! :D SUPER NICE!

Anywhos! Namarie!


Cooking with Daddy around...

I was in the Kitchen cooking and Daddy came up to the bowl of batter and took a snitch.

"What are you making?" he asked. I grinned really big while he took another snitch. "Pony likes that! ("Pony" is my nick-name for Daddy) It has Bananas--and LOTS of sugar." he stated as he watched the batter drip slowly off his finger, it was his third snitch.

I kept grinning and said, "Pony likes it? Good, they're horse treats!"

"Horse treats?!" he asked in disbelief. "You're feeding me horse treats?" Ha ha ha! I got a good laugh out of that and surprisingly, he kept snitching.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The results sheet for the LEVEL 1 PASS!


Priscilla and Cricket's Level 1 Online Audition- PASSED 1++

GREAT NEWS! I passed Level 1 with a 1++ score! It's rocks! SO COOL!!

Moment of truth, I knew I'd pass. I really just wanted to know how I would do and I needed to get back on track! No surprises there. :) IT'S SO COOL ANYWAYS!!

Here's what they said: "Super job!! Love the helmets for the figure 8. Very clever!! Can't wait to see your Level 2 submission. Continue to get Cricket more responsive on phases 1&2. Congratulations!!!" I was so right about the responsive at phase 1-2! I got a LOT of level 2 scores in there! EEEKKKK! SO EXCITED!




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My Hilarious Brothers

Can you guess what they're talking about? :) This is right before we left Colorado and before Ian left for Viginia Tech.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trail Ride

Westu Hal!

Yesterday, Abby found a great new trail to ride on. We're going to try it out today, I'm really excited! I hope I get some time to play with Cricket and perhaps film Level 2. It all really depends what Abby's up to. After all, shes the driver! :) I realized the other day that I forgot to include some tasks in my Freestyle so now I have to re-film it, uhhhgg! We anyways... Toodles for now and Good Hunting!

Vanya sulie, Namarie!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Thinking time...

Westu Hal, readers!

I've just finished showering after taking a swim. I went by myself, I think I needed some time to think. I really miss Cricket and I haven't had much time to play with her and nobody can drive me out to the horse lot.

Well, anyways. I don't know if I want to share my thoughts at the moment so I'll update you in a few hours or a day after I've given myself some time to let the thoughts sink in.

Quel fara!


Saturday, November 6, 2010


Westu Hal!

Us Children and Daddy surprised Mommy on Thursday night by not telling her Harrison was coming home.

Daddy stated that he'd done something really dumb and forgot to buy more deodorant when he was in town earlier and was going to go buy some in town. It was around 10:00 pm and Mom didn't think it was such a wonderful idea and wanted to know why he couldn't just borrow the twins. He really wanted his own and vowed he'd take one of the twins with him. Mom decided it would be safe enough with one of the twins tagging along and off Daddy went to town. Around 10:45 Mother began to worry, town is only a few minuets away and Daddy should have been back by then. At around 11:00 Daddy got back and to Mommy's and ours joy but Mom's surprise, there was Harrison with him! :D Nice, huh? It was fun!

We've showed Harrison around since then and gone swimming twice! It's really fun and awesome! :D

..... And hey, it's always good to be home!



My current Favorite

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
 tune my heart to sing thy grace; 
 streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
 call for songs of loudest praise. 
 Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
 sung by flaming tongues above. 
 Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
 mount of thy redeeming love. 

 Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
 hither by thy help I'm come; 
 and I hope, by thy good pleasure, 
 safely to arrive at home. 
 Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
 wandering from the fold of God; 
 he, to rescue me from danger, 
 interposed his precious blood. 

 O to grace how great a debtor 
 daily I'm constrained to be! 
 Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
 bind my wandering heart to thee. 
 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
 prone to leave the God I love; 
 here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
 seal it for thy courts above. 

The thriving blog!

Gosh! I found this gadget I failed to see before, my blog got 1,080 views last month. That is really cool.

Anyways. Moving on.

Cricket and I are going to start spending a lot more undemanding time, level 2 auditioning, and a tad more intense play sessions. We have a lot to learn, I'm not trying to rush her, after all I have five years before Parelli School. I just think that I spend to much time doing things wrong and slow. I need to speed up a little and do things right. Get us where we need to be and putting the relationship first, DUH! Silly me for not seeing it clearer before. With a confident RBI you are given permission to move forward and speed up! Hello!! --Just as long as you keep the confidence there.

Things that need to be worked on:

Getting a back up by the tail a bit faster with less hair. -Online
Simple lead changes. -Online
5 laps in each direction at trot. -Online
Change of direction at trot. -Online
Half-pass. -Online

I also need to buy motivational incentives, aka, treats! I'm not sure what she likes in particular 'cause I usually give her what I'm eating, horrible I know. Peppermints are a common favorite among horses so I'll try those.


Friday, November 5, 2010

List the Impossible: Cricket

Westu Hal!

In the Savvy Times, May 2010 Issue, Don Jessop (3 star Parelli Professional) challenges us to write down a list of the "Impossible". I thought, "What's impossible? My impossible list with Cricket has already been fulfilled." But then he went on to quote Pat and said, "You can do anything you want with a horse, you just have to dream big enough." So I'm rewriting an "Impossible" list.

10 Laps at the canter- Online, Liberty
Flying Lead Changes in a straight line- Finesse
Trotting half-pass- Online, Long reins
Collection in all gaits- Finesse
Jumping higher than 2 feet- Freestyle (we have jumped 3 feet online)
Passing Level 4- All Savvies
Cantering to me: Catching game- Liberty

That ends my "Impossible" list, it will keep me busy for at most another year. It's achievable. Summer 2009 I wasn't able to have Cricket sideways 20' online. Now we can do that. Summer 2009 I wasn't able to have Cricket not brace against the halter in the circling game. That's gone now! So many things fall together in a year, and like Pat says, "You only need to dream big enough".

Thank you!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Critiquing my own audition

Westu Hal!

So, watching the video in my former blog post, I realized a few things that really need to change in level 2/3. First off, for the audition itself, I need to let things flow more instead of going through tasks like a checklist. -That was something Abby first suggested. Secondly, I need to have a snappier response to phases 1-2, I had to go the phase 4 before getting a real response. All phases are allowed in level 1, but as you progress you have to have quicker responses. Although we didn't have any warm up and it didn't make the video all too accurate, it's still something that happens after a nice warm up. Thirdly, the circling game needs more allow and a stronger "stay out there 'till further notice" send. Fourthly, I don't spend enough undemanding time, there's never very much pushing and shoving to get to see me. That really needs to change and sitting in the pen doing nothing can change that.

Something more than I learned from this. You really need to be honest with yourself about where you are, somethings done well will seem like a whole level further. Don't fool yourself, know where you are.

Quel fara!


Monday, November 1, 2010

What we sent in.

Hello peoples!

This is what we sent in for level 1, it's really elementary but essential. Enjoy! I should have done this long ago..

Quel Fara!


Cricket's Story?

Well, I'm really surprised at this but I was looking through my blog archives and never found a post telling the story of Cricket and I.

I got Cricket in fall 2005, she was almost two years old and a testing Left Brain Introvert (smart, pushy, argumentative). The first time I fed her, I was scratching her all over and she kicked out at me. I was quite a bit surprised and was wondering what could have provoked it. Not knowing what else to do, I lunged her around the pen, wasn't smart but I was all I knew. She wasn't at all a problem horse, she was smart and I didn't know what to do about it. We started riding without having much foundation on the ground, almost every trail ride ended in tears of frustration. I began avoiding working with her, complaining it was to cold to do so. As spring came, Mommy bought Parelli Levels 1-3 and I began watching them with my sisters. I was intrigued but I was not convinced that anything could really help where we were. I spent one session after another trying the concepts and games all the while beginning to notice I wasn't crying as I came inside but I was smiling. Cricket got safer and safer on the trail, and she knew the seven games. I wasn't savvy yet but I was starting to be safe. Daddy's job took us to Colorado, it was a big change and downsize for me. I was used to 40 acres of woodland and now we had 10 acres of prairie grass and sage brush- not a tree in sight.

In Colorado it was a bit lonely, I had not much else in the day to look forward to besides Cricket. I would spend more than 4 hours in a lot of heat (90 degrees or hotter) finishing level 1 and starting in level 2, I was driven. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but when I heard of the University program, it sounded like what I wanted. Emily went away to college, I remembered seeing her getting Leah to canter and Leah throwing herself around not wanting to. It was something new and I wanted to make it work, I watched a lot of videos on impulsion and lead changes and for about 2, 3 hour sessions we circled and circled. Eventually we started to do weaves and now she can canter, trot, and be in control of herself more.

This picture is something I didn't think possible, the kind of strength it takes for her to jump this high is mind blowing.

Even though we're still in level 2 for the circling game, everything else in mostly in level 3/4. Auditions help me keep track of myself and Cricket. She does so much for me now and I haven't cried from a session in a long long long time. :)

Thank you for all for your support!