Saturday, December 24, 2011

I played with Aravis yesterday and today.

Yesterday we played with getting off adrenaline.

Today we played with thresholds leading up to the round pen. :)

PS, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gender of Santa's reindeer?

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.
Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring; therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen- had to be a girl.
We should have known. Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What brings a smile to my face

 Aravis(Freestyle, 45 mins) rode her bridless (without anything on her head) in my wintec English saddle..... shhh! This shouldn't be happening in level 1!!


It's what everyone wants to escape.

I've noticed that a lot of people with a hobby and a passion take part in their activities to escape. Escape reality. Why? Because deep down inside, we know we aren't whole, we are incomplete, we are broken, we are dead.

For some reason, our routines, our "lives"... they make us aware of the dullness of sin. The grind of the world. That's why some rich people have their own kind of "happiness". The ability to afford lots of different "experiences".... It really creates a numbness, a distraction from the grind.

As Christians, God has saved us from the grind, the urge to numb ourselves instead of seeking him. As Christians, reality is a wondrous word. The reality that we are sinners, the reality that Christ took on our sins and came and died for us to pay the penalty for them. The wonderful reality that we not only are truly free from the old reality, we are now able to spend eternity with God, forever separated from the grind.

I play with horses to be closer the the new reality. I take my bible down to the horses and read it, sometimes aloud, sometimes crying, sometimes silent. This helps me to remember my new reality, especially on a hard day.

Why do people use reality as such a bitter word?


the advice given

I'm not into giving advice anymore. Especially regarding my horse life.

I will not give advice to someone wanting a quick fix anymore. If someone wants advice, they will get an answer similar to, "take the time it takes to make a good relationship with this horse... everything else follows."

The truth is, after you've taken the time to say "how interesting!" and thought, your horse is most likely ready for the next thing. He's licking, chewing and asking questions.

I know how to get a positive response fast from a horse. That's because I've taken time to develop my skills and thought through ideas, studied, before going to my horse. I have learned a flow, yet I've only scratched the surface. And studying with my horse. If you don't have time to study with and for your horse, you shouldn't be with your horse. Or anyone else's horse.

Mmm... just a thought.


Friday, December 16, 2011

and it's gone!

What happens when the 14 year old (me) gets a good idea... 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It's raining here. Not nice, refreshing rain. Cold, wet, soaking, drizzly, persistent rain. I had to blanket the horses because they were starting to shake. Now they're nice and warm with those thick, burly things on them. Aravis was relieved, she started chewing and relaxing after I put it on. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

How many horses does it take to change a light-bulb?

Thoroughbred: Who ME?? Do WHAT? I’m scared of light bulbs! I’m outta here!
Arabian: I changed it an hour ago… C’mon you guys – catch up!
Quarter Horse: Put all the bulbs in a pen and tell me which one you want.
Standardbred: Oh for Pete’s Sake, give me the bulb and let’s be done with it.
Shetland: Give it to me. I’ll kill it and we won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Friesian: I would, but I can’t see where I’m going from behind all this mane.
Belgian: Put the Shetland on my back, maybe he can reach it then.
Warmblood: Is the 2nd Level Instruction Packet in English? Doesn’t anyone realize that I was sold for $75K as a yearling, but only because my hocks are bad, otherwise I would be worth $100K? I am NOT changing lightbulbs. Make the TB get back here and do it.
Morgan: Me! Me! Me! Pleeease let me! I wanna do it! I’m gonna do it! I know how, really I do! Just watch! I’ll rewire the barn after, too.
Appaloosa: Ya’ll are a bunch of losers. We don’t need to change the lightbulb, I ain’t scared of the dark. And someone make that Morgan stop jumping up and down before I double barrel him.
Haflinger: That thing I ate was a lightbulb?
Mustang: Lightbulb? Let’s go on a trail ride, instead. And camp. Out in the open like REAL horses.
Lipizzaner: Hah, amateurs. I will change the lightbulb. Not only that, but I will do it while standing on my hind legs and balancing it on my nose, after which I will perform seven flying lead changes in a row and a capriole. Can you do that? Huh? Huh? Didn’t think so.
Miniature: I bet you think I can’t do it just cause I’m small. You know what that is? It’s sizeism!
Akhal Teke: I will only change it if it’s my owner’s lightbulb and no one else has ever touched it.
Andalusian: I will delegate the changing of the lightbulb to my personal groom after he finishes shampooing my mane and cleaning my saddle, but only on the condition that it is changed for a soft blue or green bulb, which reflects better off my coat while I exhibit my astonishing gaits.
Cleveland Bay: I’m busy. Make the whipper-in and the hounds do it.
Saddlebred: My ears are up already, please please get the lightbulb away from me! I’m ready to show, really, I promise I’ll win!
Paint: Put all the lightbulbs in a pen, tell me which one you want, and my owner will bet you twenty bucks I can get it before the quarter horse.
POA: I’m not changing it. I’m the one who kicked the old one and broke it in the first place, remember? Now, excuse me, I have a grain room to break into.

Grade Horse: 
Guys? Um, guys? I hope you don’t mind, but I went ahead and changed it while you were all arguing.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

good... better...

Aravis(On Line, 60 mins) Played online with the weave pattern for the first time. It was good. Then I introduced the S Pattern, it was really good for the first time. I think I'll try falling leaf next time to help her confidence. She was so beautiful. I had a HOW INTERESTING moment with her. Last week her circling on one side was very bracy and tense. Today it was PERFECT! Better than the other side! Hmmm!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

the trot

Warmed up Aravis to ride. We worked on some porcupine stuff and played the games. That went well.

Then I rode! It was fun, I had been getting some opposition to trotting previous tries, I didn't push it but today I wanted to find out why. Well I did!

She has a big trot.. A very big trot. Not bumpy, it's just a huge stride with a dramatic rise and fall. It's a good trot, I'm just not used to it.

The reason she didn't want to trot is that I was not yet fluid with her and I bounced while I rode it. She didn't like that but today I was able to do better.

I went into the pushing passenger position and she held the trot much longer... Hmm! How interesting! :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

some holes..

Aravis and I had a review of Level 1 today, she got it all very good according to the self assessment sheets. She only had three things she couldn't do perfectly- porcupine hind quarter yields, fore quarter yields, nose and chest yields, and touch it.

We have stuff to play with! :)


Sunday, December 4, 2011

and she can be a pill too....

I played with Aravis the other day while my friend Morgan was watching. She's sorta stiff circling to the right. I went out there and I was just going to circle until all the brace left.

She is the most teachable horse I've known, but she's not a goody-two-shoes.

She trotted about 10-14 laps until her brace started to leave. Mmm. That was interesting.

Good session with her.

Cricket was SO active. She ran around bucking, jumping, snorting and bolting at liberty for about 30 mins... All left brained. Hehe.. cute. She's so exuberant now.



Friday, December 2, 2011


I didn't realize this but I think I look a little intimidating though that was not the effect I was trying to have at all. I was just focusing. "You wouldn't be talkin' so sassy if I had mi' gun!" -Granny from the beverly hillbillies.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is one of the things I made for Thanksgiving...

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a new game

(Liberty, 45 mins) Aravis is just starting liberty.. Here's a game we came up with. 


Cool game, huh? 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I brushed Aravis then played with her. She was so calm that her gaits were slow and deliberate but also elegant and elevated. She was gorgeous and did very well.

We played with circles, she cantered a lot (22' line). She was right brained at first but the settled down after about 10 mins of circling either way. She was showing her extroverted colors. Her sideways game is fantastic! I think we're connecting more, we had the opportunity to do some liberty and she stuck with me very well while I was playing at liberty with Cricket.

Cricket was hilarious and so so cool! She has a mischievous side to her, I think she just keeps getting a tiny bit more extroverted every time we play. She bucked, galloped, went sideways trotting... etc. Most of our play sessions are at liberty now days which she adores! Liberty allows her to go crazy but also to connect with me. I'm teaching her the extended trot with my energy on the ground. She's responding very well and getting what I mean. Her trot just flairs when you act as though your sneaking up on her. ;)

I've had a great horsey day!


Monday, November 28, 2011

I love the sideways game

(On Line, 60 mins) We played with figure 8s at the walk, she did well. She was distracted at first due to some strangers walking by her pen. 
We did some stick to me at the walk and trot, she is a bit disrespectful when I trot forward and stop. She's not quuuiittte as mindful as I'd like about space... but then, we can figure this out. 
Then we did circles looking for rhythm, relaxation, and contact. Got that after a while, she can be persistent! 
Her sideways REALLY came together! Loved it, very coordinated for not having been a parelli partner for very long. She's a great horse to have on this journey. 
She also did some squeeze over the log. Good. 
Then undemanding time. :) 

:) How interesting.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm back....

...And I've been back for a few days now, just didn't have time to write. I'm so glad to see my family and animals. 

This is my Thanksgiving passage (yes! I expect you to read all 51 verses!):

2 Samuel 22:2-51

 2And he [David] said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
 3The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
 4I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
 5When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
 6The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;
 7In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
 8Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.
 9There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
 10He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.
 11And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.
 12And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.
 13Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.
 14The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.
 15And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.
 16And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
 17He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;
 18He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.
 19They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
 20He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
 21The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
 22For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
 23For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.
 24I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.
 25Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.
 26With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
 27With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.
 28And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.
 29For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.
 30For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
 31As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
 32For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
 33God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
 34He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
 35He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
 36Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.
 37Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.
 38I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.
 39And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.
 40For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.
 41Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
 42They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
 43Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.
 44Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.
 45Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.
 46Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.
 47The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.
 48It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me.
 49And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
 50Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
 51He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.


PS. Lauren, if you have free time, is there any way you could translate this into Sindarin (elvish)? I would if I had time, but I don't!! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm off!

I'm leaving early tomorrow for Colorado!

This is the first flight I've taken myself, looking forward to seeing Paul and Lynn. I'm bringing warm clothes and I've taken a good look at a Denver Airport map (and printed it!). I'm taking Mom's cell phone, it's charging on top of my bag so I don't forget it. I have leave from my work. The horses are going to be cared for by my horse protege, Mom! I have yet to find who will take care of Lottie. I have a clear idea of where I'm going!

This is going to be SO cool!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

breaking it up.. making the goals

Just thought I should do this because it's what is always advised by Parelli Professionals. Break down the dream into 100+ steps.

Short term goals for Aravis 

Friendly game

  • Play with the Green ball more
  • Introduce more varieties in riding
  • Passenger lesson at the walk, trot, AND canter
  • A greater bond
Porcupine game

  • Leg yields at the walk
  • Lateral flexion to a softer degree
  • Spins (riding)
Driving game

  • Getting zones more responsive on the ground
  • Ride with the Carrot Stick
  • Stick to me at the canter
  • A lighter and more responsive back up
  • More respect of space
Yo-yo game

  • Back to the end of the line with Phase 1/2 every session 
  • Downward transitions with more ease
Circling game

  • More laps
  • More laps with rhythm, relaxation, and contact
  • Introduce obstacles 
Sideways game

  • More steps in either direction
Squeeze Game

  • Better bring back after jump 
  • Develop the quality to where she doesn't want to sneak between me and the jump
  • Trailer load
  • Go other places (Rene's, walks, etc.)


  • Introduce more figure 8s
  • Start the weave pattern
  • Play with the Pedestal

Aravis is doing great! She's a super learner and I'd say she's a solid Level 1. She let some of my friends that she didn't know sit on her back with nothing on her-- at night! :)

I hope you guys get some insight as to what we're playing with just from this list. She'll get this in NO time! :) She's so special.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Geometry and Relationship

If you know me, you'll know that I hate math. Always have. It has something to do with the way my brain works, I don't think with order, methods, and formulas. I'm a free-spirited writer, reader, font-maker, etc.. You get the picture. I don't like to have to order my brain, though I control it, I don't split everything up and categorize it.

When I do math, I have to find a way for me to remember, think, and process without shutting down or going nuts!

Do you know what this is?


Most of you do! It's called a Ray and it's introduced in Geometry. The point is called the endpoint but I like to call it the starting point.

A ray has a starting point and it goes on and on and on without end. If it had an end, it would be called a line-segment.

Our Relationships in life look like a ray. They have a starting point and, in our perspective, they go on and we can't see an end (unless we have a falling out). Only God can see the line-segment (if it is indeed a line segment.

Our relationship with God looks most like this:

A is our birth, B is our death, and eternity is the time we (his children) will spend with him.

(Somewhere in between A and B, he changes our hearts so we can follow him and live with him forever)

And that's how I remember!


Aravis is a good jumper

Monday, November 7, 2011

Aravis' first baby tooth!

I found this in her feed bucket this morning!! :) There's still about 4 or 5 left to go! :)
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Saddle fitting

I did some saddle fitting today with the new saddle and pad. Aravis rounded under me but the saddle didn't put me on my balance point. I came home and made a shim so I'll try it out again sometime soon. I'm going to use my Wintec 17" for everyday riding. I'm going to use the new jumping saddle for special occasion jumping and the Wintec 16" for training over jumps. I'm really excited about this Parelli pad! 

Below: this is the pad


  o Evenly distributes the weight of the entire saddle tree
          o Improves saddle fit
          o Alleviates pressure points
          o Provides anti-slip performance
          o Protects the horse s back
          o Allows the horse's back to flex and move more freely
          o Allows the skin to breathe , and COOLS the horse through evaporative process.
          o Insures No pressure on the spine or its ligaments
          o Improves air flow and release of heat
          o Allows right and left balance for the rider
          o Improves the feel of riding by facilitating close contact
          o Improves the horse's comfort and performance
This revolutionary non-slip, (custom fit) pad is designed to work with most English saddles.  The baffled air cells (through micro-porous filters) inside allow the pad to fill gaps that occur between the horse's back and the saddle, providing optimum weight distribution and eliminating pressure points. 
The Theraflex Pad slowly reshapes as the horse goes from standing to moving thereby continuing to create a perfect interface between the moving back and the static saddle.
This pad's functional air cells are the same shape and size as the air cells of all of the English pads.  It is only the overall base material that is sculpted to fit the overall shape of our saddles for the sake of appearance, and to prevent the saddle flap leather from touching the body of the horse. It can certainly be used under other English saddles.  

Below: You know these camping pads? How they inflate through an air valve? 

Look at the picture of the saddle pad, see the air valve? There's a specially shaped air pad in the saddle pad that inflates! It really does help the horse move better... :) Cool, huh?

I think so... 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I have a fairy-godmother

I had a great day yesterday!

I had a friend over that I met at the home-school group, she rides horses... but not horses like Cricket and Aravis! Mostly horses that want to buck you off, prance down the trails like maniacs, etc. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her to simply wiggle her finger to back Cricket away. When she got on a rode, I said she could sit back and wiggle her toes to stop Cricket and she said, "Seriously?". It worked.

We went to Rene's and looked through tack and clothes. Rene is my fairy-godmother.
This is what I came home with:

2 horse blankets
1 pair of front jumping splint boots
1 Parelli saddle pad (they are originally $300 but she's only asking $100)
1 Collegiate saddle (free with the pad, if it doesn't work out, I give it back to her. These saddles are usually $1000+ new, this one is in excellent condition)
A HUGE stack of really really cute and cool shirts that I love!
1 pair of English jumping reins
2 pairs of stirrups, safety and regular
1 pair of leathers

NOW you can see why she's my fairy-godmother!! :) I LOVE HER! (not just because she's so amazingly generous but because she's a REAL person, she's sweet and so kind!)



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beware: This is a horsie post

Aravis, (On Line, 45 mins) We played online in prep for riding, she was really great. I had a 'how interesting!' moment. I circled her one way and she was great, she had good rhythm. The other direction, it sorta fell apart, she made a lot of transitions, wanted to change direction, etc. I wasn't bad, I knew what to do. I just hung in there, stayed slow, friendly and consistent. :) It came together.
She also did a few steps of sideways in either direction! (c
lapping!) This horse is SO smart! She also did a really good figure 8 at the walk (level 1). :)

Aravis, (Freestyle, 45 mins) Rode follow the rail, indirect and direct rein--which she blew me away with the quality! She did full spins, they seem to come to her naturally- it's the quarter horse! :)

Cricket, (Liberty, 30 mins) We played at liberty and I got a lot of really light and connected responses. We weren't doing anything serious but she was great anyways!

That was the horse part of the day... The other part wasn't as exciting.. :) 


Going places

I'm going on a trip to Paul's house (Colorado) from the 15th-21st! :) Super cool! 


neat word

col  (kl)
A pass between two mountain peaks or a gap in a ridge.

I'm using this in my book, don't steal. ;) 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What happens when you warm up strong...

(On Line, 30 mins) Warmed up strong for riding. She was great, she backed with phase 1. She was very responsive. She knows naturally how to back when I lift and gently pull her tail. She also knows how to back by her hocks. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY MY LEVEL 1 HORSE IS SO PERFECT!?! :) :D I also saw marked improvement with her rhythm, relaxation, and contact on the circle. She's picked up a much calmer and slower trot. Sideways game is also coming together, I got a few steps either way.

(Freestyle, 30 mins) Riding. She was great. We can now follow the rail, do indirect and direct rein, mount, etc. She was SO spectacular! I trotted her for the first time!! She has a long, beautiful, big, ground covering trot. :) 

I had a great time! There are so many things I'm happy about with this horse. In fact, there's nothing I don't like about her. :) 


PS. I've logged 17 hours with her!

Something I want to do

This is something I want to teach Aravis to do. Now where do I find that many poles?!


Friday, October 28, 2011

They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom. ~ Ben Johnson

A horse is like a violin.  First it must be tuned, and when tuned, it must be accurately played. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My round pen!

Thank you to Rene', Mom, Dad, Isaac... everyone who helped!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I've grown!

I had the twins measure me this morning and I was 5'8.4! I've grown an inch and almost a half!


Friday, October 21, 2011

If Cricket were a car...

... She'd be this!

lightness to the highest

I just played with Cricket and Aravis.

I had the lightest session with Cricket I've ever had. I sent her using my eyes, I backed her by glaring, and drew her in by smiling. I drew her from zone 5 by shifting ever so slightly. She loves energy more than motion. Liberty comes better to her than Online.

I rode Aravis for the first time! I've only sat on her once. I got on her fine and she was very responsive. I'm dying to know who started her because she knows her indirect and direct rein well. I think she'd make a good reining horse even though I want to do dressage and jumping. A really good reining horse. Her freestyle will be very cool. :)

I had lots of fun.


Posture and Fluidity

The concept of Fluidity in riding, introduced by Linda Parelli, taught that one should be relaxed, move with the horse with your whole body, allow the toes to turn out as they wish and sit back in a more comfortable position.

Above: The rider is probably sitting on his tail bone, if his feet were in the stirrups they would be bracing, his core is not in the least engaged, his head is throwing his weight to one side, and most importantly, he doesn't look at all like he's mirroring his horse.


Above: This position is the traditional English position. The rider is erect, stiff, the weight is all on the horse's forehand, the position is fragile because it is very easy to be thrown forward, and again; the horse is not being mirrored.

Fluidity is mirroring the horse. It is harmony. Synchronicity. 

The pictures above take the concept of Fluidity to a very exaggerated and unnecessary level.

Above: Look at the length of the riders back and then the horse's. They are mirroring each other. She is relaxed. He is relaxed.

Above: Riding comfortably but with energy and engagement!

Above: Focus and expression of horse and rider are the same, in harmony.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I played with Cricket and Aravis which was very interesting! Cricket was at liberty and responding at nano-phase 1 while Aravis was Online responding at phase 2/3. I had to be incredibly focused on the exact horse I was interacting with and have no confusing signals. It sharpened me.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the importance of quality in expression vs. what I'm asking

A very interesting play time with Aravis this afternoon. It was beautiful out, the sun was going down and the lighting was just dreamy.

It was very very very challenging, I had to read her extremely hard because she was on adrenaline and right brained but being super subtle about it. I could tell only by her eyes and posture, I was super happy when I saw she was continually calming down (chewing, lowering head and shaking it, yawning, licking lips, etc..).

It was a real bond builder and a true reminder that I need to always read her and respond accordingly no matter what it is I'm trying to get her to do. :)


Our sideways game is coming together and our first ride!

(On Line, 90 mins) The pretty girl had a few days off due to her rabies vaccination but now she's back on the job! We played with Thresholds.. Very interesting with an Extrovert. Then just the seven games and especially sideways. She's learning and it's coming together! Then a warmed up strong and I SAT ON HER FOR THE FIRST TIME!! YAY! She didn't mind and then walked off. I got off, that's all I needed for the day. :) Awesome time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Tonight, I find myself ready for tomorrow. I realize how much Sunday really is for us, we need that rest that God so wisely ordained. On Saturday, we had an ordination ceremony that felt very much like Sunday and my brain kept saying it wasn't ready for "tomorrow" thinking that it was Monday. It made me very happy and relieved to realize that it was Saturday. Today has prepared me perfectly for tomorrow. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Horse feet

I had the farrier over today to trim the horse's feet. The farrier was impressed with Cricket's feet. She hasn't had them trimmed since early May and they're still perfect. It's the ground here, it's hard and rocky. Perfect for horse feet.

Aravis only needed a few things done. She picked up her hooves perfectly, no opposition reflex! 



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

this is cool!

I have a super friend named Jemima who has now made a super blog!


My day

Wow. I had an amazing few days.

  • I watched my amazing friend, Rene', who has been with horses for over a decade and with Parelli for about 10 years have her first bareback canter. She is a great horsewoman with a deep knowledge and understanding of horses. She has a great and inspiring relationship with all 6 of hers.
  • I was walking home from work this morning when I met a Parelli Student (and future Professional), Diane Atlas. We'd met at one of Tina Giordano's clinics. She offered me another job!
  • I introduced Aravis to the Big Green Ball and she had no sceptical reactions and was completely at liberty. 
  • I finished one the "books" to my stories. I've split my story into "books" like Tolkien did, it helps keep me motivated to write my stories.
  • I broke in my new riding boots a little more.
  • Mom and I watched a newer version of Little Women and loved it. 

Hmm... That's just a taste.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Aravis and Rene'

I had Rene' (my amazing Parelli friend) over today to see Aravis. She liked her, a lot. She said that she's super smart, has long legs ("like you!"), is very accepting, likes me, and she's very glad that I know she's perfect for me! We talked about Victor and we've decided that maybe it isn't the best idea to get him... a little to much at this point.

We were talking about Aravis and her type of horse.. not wild but with character.. Ya know, level headed, charismatic, smart, accepting.. etc.

Rene': "'You ridden her yet?"
Me: "Nope..."
Rene': "WHAT?! I'm so surprised! You're the kind to at least crawl over a horse [like the type we were talking about] very soon!"
Me: "What? You've surprised that I have self control?!"

At that point we were both in stitches! We're these nutty Parelli people that don't get on a horse until they're like.... really calm. and we're having a "normal" (as opposed to natural) conversation about getting on!

Around my sisters, I'm the weirdo that waits "FAR tooooo longggg" to get on.... Haha... but I'm just savin' my neck people!



Saturday, October 8, 2011

Progress: 22' line

(On Line, 45 mins) We played with most of the same Level 1/2 things today and on the 22' line. I was able to back her to the end of the 22' line with phase 1 and 2 (wiggling finger and some wrist). It was AMAZING!


""Victor" (aka. Visions of Victory)... was VERY hard to think about turning down. He's an Arabian. He was SO perfect... just not for me. His pros are almost to many to count. GORGEOUS. Out of national champion parents. Liked to go. Wonderful stride. The cons: he's only a yearling and there's a strong possibility that he won't grow quite as much as I want." -blog post written a few months ago

This is a horse that I saw when I was horse hunting. I think he was the most beautiful, alive horse I've ever met, seen, or known. 
2 days ago, his owner texted my mom and offered to give him to me. My parents talked it over with me and excepted his offer if he will take him from Pheonix to Tuscon (2 hours). It's up to his owner now.  
I'm very excited! 


Friday, October 7, 2011


This afternoon I called up my employer and asked if I could come play with two of her horses, Jag and Chester. She said yes very happily and I was off!

Jag is a retired Andalusian.... and... well, grouchy! Underneath the crabby behavior, there's a curious, active, and alive mind. You just have bring it out. My guess is that Jag has let his grouchiness set and has allowed it to be a habit. 

I put him on the 22' line and did everything he didn't expect. I rewarded him when an ear came forward. He didn't brighten up until I was putting him away and he had a blinding flash of the obvious-- I'm different! He suddenly pricked both ears and followed me and when I went away, he whinnied! I was very shocked and super happy. 

Chester is a super sensitive, really sweet, and extremely spooky Warmblood. He's retired but is by no means lifeless. He is a communicator but he's very subtle about everything. Everything he does means something

I put him the the 22' foot line and was VERY consistent so he would know I'm trust worthy. I had him circle in either direction and he picked up a amazing trot, very slow and smooth and then after a long while... He B-L-E-W... Pffffthhhhhht..... He went about 5 laps with the nice and calm trot on either side which is huge for how tense a horse he really is. 

Chester's terror is the big green ball. He thinks it's going to eat him! So what did I do? I took it out! Tense and Right Brain horses overcome their fears with approach and retreat with a lot of psychology. With how tense a horse Chester is, no approach is necessary. Retreat, retreat, retreat. More retreat. So I rolled that ball away from him the whole time... I wouldn't let him touch it! I wanted him to chase me for it.. Retreat retreat retreat. I ran away from him and bounced it away! Eventually he trotted towards me and touched it! YAY! I'm talkin' this is a TENSE horse! :) I loved it! 

This whole time... I didn't know but my employer and her friend were watching me!  Her friend would like to have me keep her colt at my house for a few weeks so I can play with him.. We'll see. I have to think about it. 

I love my job. And those horses. And my employer. 


Note about the 22' line: When I use a line this long, I give the whole thing to the horse if possible. 

Horse agility course... This is inspiration

First time on the 22' line... How interesting!

Aravis started our play time in a very interesting way... We've just started playing on the 22' line, I think she'd been wanting more space for the last day or so.

She started by doing about 7 crazy laps in either direction making voluntary transitions between trot, canter, and gallop! I laughed and laughed and laughed and told her how gorgeous and athletic she looked. For a Left Brain Extrovert, you don't want to stop their ideas, you want to help them. So I gave her all the space she wanted and let her run as much as she wanted. She settled down some more after she ran her adrenaline off and ended that statement by giving some nice and calm laps at the trot.

We started sideways game today which she did really really well for a first timer! I'm very proud of who she is with me and who she is just herself. Know what I mean? Just... Her.

I've also started some mounting from the fence simulations. When she fills out, she'll probably be a whole inch taller. I know I can mount 16 hands (I did it with a horse I was looking at) fine but it's quite useful to have a horse that knows this. I taught Cricket (12.2 hands) to come to the fence to mount. My point? It doesn't matter what size the horse is.

Today she was introduced to the tarp and she was very confident with it for any horse. Didn't even flinch, crossed it without any help from me, I just watched. She's such a diva!

She's SO close and I'm almost sure she's got so little time before she's done with Level 1!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


(On Line, 90 mins) We played with much the same things as yesterday. She's SUCH a fast learner! I got one step of back up with only wiggling my finger! Lifting her feet is getting really good. Lifting her tail is getting easier, she's a bit tense at times. I still am struggling over her horsenality. She's bi polar I'm pretty sure. lol.

She's got SO much good goin'. We're only 5 days into our relationship and I'd say she's a third of the way through level 1! Very glad!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I don't think I've said "How Interesting!" so many times in an hour....

(On Line, 60 mins) Did some interesting stuff... I'm seeing some Right Brain Introvert and Right Brain Extrovert traits. Hmm... Bi-polar? She swings from Left Brain Extrovert to Right Brain Extrovert to Right Brain Introvert..... She's not extreme and she's subtle.. She's still a level headed horse... I can't assume anything though, remember, "Don't make or teach assumptions!"

We played with Friendly games... She's doing good, needs consistency though.
She loves porcupine game and is doing very well with it.
Her forehand driving game is improving. One step at a time and I'm rewarding her slightest try.
Today I lifted all her feet with phase 1 or 2. Excellent improvement! I took the time it took yesterday and it definitely carried into today. I played yesterday for the betterment of today.
I learned she likes a soft stroke better than scratches.
Her circling game is REALLY good for only 2 days of play. 3 laps at trot. Either way. She's going to start learning more about the quality (rhythm, relaxation, contact) of the circle. She's a tiny bit tense and Right brain on the circle but she's pretty good anyways.
She's a wee bit timid about squeeze game but she's getting more confident.
I've had a lot of how interesting moments... Hmmmm!
I'm not going to start sideways until her driving game is really good. Driving game is the biggest ingredient in this game.
Yo-yo game is getting better and I need to stay consistent. She's a little confused about what the wiggling finger means!

She seemed very Right Brain Introvert today.. She didn't explode (I waited for her and such) but her demeanor was that way. She's not stubborn, she but is sorta skeptical sometimes.

She is completely fascinating and an extremely fast learner!


Monday, October 3, 2011

First day.. First hour... of real play!

 (On Line, 60 mins) Played with a lot of things but mainly with the focus of the 3 Principle games in mind (Friendly, Porcupine, Driving). NOW I know why people told me quarter horses are so amazingly practical and smart!

She can do all of Level 1 Friendly Game
She can pick her front feet up with phase 1
She can let me skip and hop around her without any fear or worry
I can lead her through the walk, trot, and back up when leading
She will let me touch her everywhere

I can lead her and direct her from zone 3
I can send her onto a circle
I can play the yo-yo game 
I can play the squeeze game

I had a big "HOW INTERESTING!" moment when I was picking up her back feet. The fronts were amazingly good and not flinching or fidgety.

I did phase 1,2,3,4 (back feet), and waited..... and waited..... for 3 mins... then... s-h-i-f-t...... Oh boy! There it was! Other foot... Phase 1,2,3,4.... wait..... wait for SEVEN mins.... s-h-i-f-t.... YAY! So... the time difference and wait was a head scratcher... But cool!

I love this horse and will always... We're connecting

Some cool moments: When she lifted her fronts with P1, when I lead her from Z3, our undemanding time, when I could swing my rope around, when she did 2 laps around me, when she backed with me in Z3 with a phase 2... and that she respects my space all the time! This is one hour.. toDAY! that's the only Parelli training she's had!

What I learned: Picking up feet is a big deal! It's a dignity and dominance issue! It says a lot about the leader. Persistence is necessary! 

I loved today.... (except math!)


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"For me to live is Christ and to die is gain..."

Yes, I do count my blessings. But I was thinking about losses... Or are they losses? I read over a passage we memorized in Philippians and it's actually the title of this post. "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

The losses (which have become gain) that I've experienced have not been material. You can always count on there being a curse as well as a blessing to who and where you are at any given time, it's part of the fall.

Being the youngest in the family has been one of the greatest and worst things in my life. The very best part is looking up to my older siblings, learning from them, watching, learning from their success and those things that haven't been so successful.

Where the blessing and curse lies most rooted is in the love and bond I have for them and with them. It's eerily strong in my eyes and it's probably possible that I'm far more attached to them than what is healthy. (Haha, but I can't speak for their relationship with me) If it were to ever come to it, I would die for them in a heartbeat and without a second thought.

The more cursed part of that loyalty lies in where I stand in the age group. I am the youngest of the family and I'm going to probably be the last at home. Already, three of my six siblings have left home, that is by far the biggest gap in my heart.

But then... The curse is also a blessing. It makes me so much more aware of what I ought to cling to, Christ. No matter how much I love my brothers and sisters, my love and thirst for Christ should outweigh it by far. I know I should not and am not alone.

This is the hardest thing for me to come to grips with in my every day and spiritual life. It's the constant brokenness that cannot be healed until we stand before God in Christ.

To rephrase what Paul said, for me to be with my brothers and sisters would be the grace of Christ and to be apart from them (torn) is to glorify God where he has placed me.

Soo... just thought I'd share that thought...


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

miracles in our lives...

As you may have read in my last writing, Mom is reading The Dragon and the Raven aloud to me. It's by G.A. Henty and he writes about the battles between the Saxons and the Danes. It's enchanting. Although there isn't much character development, you can still work out pretty well what is happening.

The reason why I name this post what I did is because of one particular battle between the Dragon and the Raven (the Saxons and the Danes).

It was 10,000s against 350. Sound familiar? But it was also brawn against brain. The Saxons defended their fort for hours and days by finding new and brilliant ways to keep the Danes off. None were able to enter the fort without dying soon after.

More to the point. Before the 'afore stated battle, King Uffa (ruler of the Danes) rode up with a small band and essentially said, "We're going to kill you, in the name of our gods (false gods), you will be dead by morning."

But what the Saxons said was more profound. "You will need the help of all your false gods to take us on, with God on our side, we'll stand to whatever end."

Can you imagine what it must've been like to be standing by your fellow 350 and look out over the 10,000s of King Uffa and still stand like they did? Do you know how many of the Saxons died in that fight? Only 20! The Danes were killed in the hundreds and the next day 1,500 were slain. Only some Saxons were wounded but nothing serious.

The intelligence of the Saxons was deeply insightful but their victory truly reflected the true source of their triumph. God.


this is more than an update...


Life is looking like the big picture right now which is sometimes hard to look at. I hope you know what I mean. You see everything you've done and what you should be doing and how it relates to the greater plan. It's exhausting because of how imperfect I am but it's encouraging because of how perfect God is. 

So, no the horse hasn't come home yet. That's set for Thursday, the 29th, the day after tomorrow. After that, she'll be taking a week off. 

I thinking of possibly taking a trip to Colorado to visit a friend and his wife who have both been re-diagnosed with cancer. Pray for them. 

Mom has been reading aloud to me more because I missed out on a lot of that being the youngest and all. Right now we're reading The Dragon and the Raven by G.A. Henty. 

I took a few days off school because we had house guests. We had a lot of fun together and I miss them already. 

I'm excited that a book that I've been waiting for is coming out November 8th. It's the fourth book in the Inheritance Cycle series, it's called Inheritance. :) It'll be the last book in the series and be closing a lot of loose ends that I've wondered about for about a year. 

I'm thinking that I need to write more in my stories and such because it helps my brain develop and it makes me write down ideas because I simply must share. 

I'm also thinking I need to eat a bit healthier because I've slid a little in the past few days. 

Cricket is doing fantastic just as always. 

I need to get footing in the round pen so the horses (I like the pluralism) can work in there without stumbling. 

I need to write my and call my sisters more as well as my friends.
I need to be more open to the ideas of others instead of setting myself in my own ways. It's not respectful. 

I need to be less quiet and reserved (I know, it's hard to believe) around the people I don't know very well. I should make more conversation to make them more welcomed. 

I need to think of Tuscon as more of a place that God has put me to do his will, be a light for others, and glorify him. 

I need to look at the things around me a realize their beauty more.

I need to be more thankful that I have a job, and a good one at that.

I need to not waste who God has made me. I need to "shine" more for him. Stop hiding my light. 

Anyways... I could go on forever but my battery is about to die.. :)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

I love this women's work!

 <-This is very Aravis

I got to see her work in person at the Arizona Horse Expo. She's in Arizona and she's just a wonderful artist... :)

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