Monday, February 28, 2011


"Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful."- The Art of Horsemanship

Read Xenephon's book "The Art of Horsemanship". Wonderful book. Although I don't agree with all of it, it's quite amazing and great stuff. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I took a nap just now and woke up to see the Mountains and the Sunset. Their beauty and purity reminded me of my own downfall and that something so majestic could only be created by a Sovereign, Incomprehensible God. I remember that although those Mountains are awesome, there is something beyond words waiting for us in heaven.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This is what Dressage is really about....

...not forcing the horse to listen to your aids but rather gaining his respect and trust and the rest will follow! This is a really great rider as the horse's expression will tell you. Watch some other Dressage videos with riders that have hard hands and large bits, this horse has nothing and has by far the better expression.

I love it and it's a huge inspiration for me..



Westu Hal, Rohirrim! Cormamin lindua el le!

How are ya'll? I'm doing really well. Here is how the horses are doing...

Brego: He's doing really well and his character and body are developing at top speed. I have dreams and plans for him and I hope that he will take them on with me. One of those dreams is for him to complete Level 4, I know he can do it. Once I have his brain, his body will follow, he's going to be a great horse. His current Horsenality is 'Right Brain Extrovert'. 

Cricket: This is one amazing pony, I've never seen, heard or read about anything quite like her. She's getting way more responsible and consistent. Her Horsenality chart at the moment reads 'Left Brain Introvert'. I would love for her to specialize in Liberty mainly and a wee bit of Finesse. On the Level 3 Freestyle, the only compulsory she needs right now is Simple Lead Changes and she'll be ready to assess. Right now, her top-line is really developed and she can trot with her nose touching the ground for quite a bit, she looks like an amazing sport horse.

These horses are a dream and I'm getting closer to them every session. They're just such willing and fast learners! :) So easy!

Toodles. Quel Fara!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Horse quotes

"A horse 'held in shape' by his rider is only posturing in a seemingly correct form, usually for the benefit of inexperienced observers." 
~Charles de Kunffy

DRESSAGE, n.: the passionate pursuit of perfection by the obsessively imperfect

Their horses were of great stature, strong and clean-limbed; their coats glistened, their long tails flowed in the wind, their manes were braided on their proud necks. 
~ J.R.R. Tolkien 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This is SO me.....

Right click on image, then click 'Open Image in new tab' to enlarge image.

Cricket Day 2

This is Cricket's day 2 with playing with the figure 8 at the trot 7 times... I saw a PHENOMENAL change in Cricket... SHE WAS AMAZING! She was light and soft and responsible!!!! I loved it!!!!! She kept the trot the whole way and she had a lovely expression and she wasn't LEANING in the halter!!!!! I cannot thank Tina enough for the advice about my phases and everything!!!!!!!! I can't imagine what our figure 8 is going to be on the 7th day!!!

I also did our circle game today. It was really good. I played with the yo-yos before I sent her to make sure the assumption was going away. It was GREAT! I had that lovely rhythm, relaxation and contact.. It by the end of one lap at the trot it actually looked as though she would go farther but I disengaged her as a reward... IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cricket today

Cricket and I played today and she did super!

We started with a little Touch it. Then we moved on to the figure 8 which we did 7 times like we need to, she did some walk and trot, she didn't maintain the trot but the quality of the 8 was a lot nicer than before. I'm watching my phases and making sure I do the 1-4 without pausing for too long for the 3 taps. 

I also did some yo-yoing and making sure she didn't make an assumption. I kept it as light as I could (phase1/2 going left and right). 

I moved on the circling. I sent her with the phases 1-4 with the "1-2-3" taps on the ground and made sure I wasn't SPANKING and that the string was aimed at zone 1. At first she just sent at the walk, I disengaged her, smiled, and resent and she did the trot. If she stopped broadside, I did phase 1 then "1-2-3" taps. If she faced me, I'd smile and send her the other way. I'm an LBE and this process was killing me. I felt like smacking her.... but I didn't, I just took a deeeeeep breath and smiled... It worked! I sent her and got that rhythm, relaxation and contact for one lap at the trot! I know my goal is to have more laps but it was a good lap and I didn't want to push it.. What I really liked is that she didn't argue with me, I think by getting over the want to smack her and smiling instead gained some leadership. 

The circling took about 5 mins to get that good lap where as before it would have taken around 20 mins and I wouldn't have every gotten that quality. THANK YOU TINA!!! 

We moved on to Freestyle. I got permission to mount, she came up broadside to the fence and waited. I made sure she was really soft on her lateral flexions, which she was. We started with Follow the Rail at the walk, we did a few circuits/laps. I found it was hard for her to keep walking and not scrap me along the section where her buddies hung out on the other sides. I focused and asked again, it took about four corrections to get past that part at first. After a few laps of little corrections I crossed my arms and made my corrections with my legs, she did fabulous. On the last lap I made 11 corrections altogether. 

I did some weave pattern after that and at first she was hard and leaning but she softened up a bit toward the end. 

I've learned the Seven Keys to Success: (this is off the top of my head I'm not looking at a piece of paper)  


(I thinks that's right..... I hope)

I'm hoping I can come up with a rhyme or something' later.

Toddles for now!!!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leadership and Refinement.. A lesson

Hey everyone!

I got a lesson with Tina Giordano, 3 star Parelli Instructor.... It was Fabulous! She's an awesome teacher... I learned a lot, you can always assume the issue is with you and NOT with the horse.

We started out by playing "touch this", yo-yo game, then we moved on to circling game which was the main issue I had told her about.


1) I found out that my power position was more of a lean or a yank! We did some simulations and very soon, that was better.

2) In Level 2 you learn to send and do everything really with a long phase 1 and a quick to 4. I was still on a Level 2 send and my phase 4 was a scary sort of spank the ground!

3) In Level 3, phase 4 becomes lighter and phase 1 becomes not quite as long. Your circling game sending phases will be about three seconds of phase 1 then three light taps on the ground with your stick and string pointing at her neck.. Aha!

I had a many blinding flashes of the obvious. So right now as we move into Level 3, I needed to be remembering that it's about refinement.

Here's what was happening to Cricket and I.

I would back her out to a sending position and then she'd make the assumption about the send and take off in the direction of her choice (that's where my power position came in)! What is Pat's Principle number 2 (it is number 2, right)? Don't make or teach assumptions! I had helped her make an assumption by going with it every time, hmmm.... Leadership?

So where we went after that was playing with our yo-yo game, back and forth. I would back her all the way out and before she could send herself she would be able to come back in! Fun, right?? YEAH!

So once I gained Leadership I was then able to work on me actually doing the sending.. he he... So I backed her out and did a looooonnnnnnngggggg phase 1 and a really BIG phase 4..... BAD! Tina helped me right off.... "Whoa! Slow down!"

During the looooooonnnnnngggggg phase 1, Cricket was saying, "no, no, no, no, no, no... etc...", I needed to interrupt the "no" by being quicker than she could say them.. Hence the shorter phase 1!

So the reason why Cricket wasn't staying out for more than a lap at the trot (but it was more of a pattern of yanking and tugging) was because she didn't have my leadership from the start, our backing out was an assumption, my yo-yo was up and down rather than left to right, and my phases were like I was talking to her like a child... "Mom, we're past that. Can you talk to me like I'm in Level 3?"

So by the end Cricket sent beautifully, trotted a lap and a quarter (with slack in the rope!!) then came in.... FABULOUS.. Couldn't have done it without Tina.. While she did that amazing last lap, I was looking at Tina and talking (I wasn't even paying attention), and as Cricket came around I gave Tina my "I-can't-believe-my-awesome-pony-did-that" smile and Tina said, "Quick! Disengage!"

At then end of the session, Tina said, "She's the cutest. She's really good and you've done a fantastic job with her, I don't see any reason why you can't do everything with her." As you can guess I was so proud of her in that moment, just beaming...

I've gotta go get ready, I'm going to help Tina with a clinic today... EEEKKK!

Toodles for now!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So Close!

If you remember in one of the last posts, I said that Brego was progressing faster than any other horse I've played with. Well, I really meant it. I'm not being extreme. We've been playing for about 7 days and in another few days he'll be just about ready to assess Level 3 Online... Yeah, crazy I know... It's to fast to be true... Wow!

Okay... That's about it... For now... I need some time to think, lick and chew.... :)


Monday, February 14, 2011

Horsing around!

I played with Brego and Cricket today. I’ve been living in the moment a lot more, I could feel some frustration trying to well up but I quickly shut it down and then it disappeared. It was really good.
Cricket decided to be LBI/LBE and very playful "You can’t catch me!" I loved it and did a few draws before she CANTERED toward me!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brego is progressing faster than any horse I’ve ever played with, he’s well into Level 3 Online and he’s so curious and willing!! His sideways (most challenging for him) is getting better and I saw more collection in him a some more slack in the rope!! :)
To answer your questions, Abby gave me Brego about 9 days ago, she is busy with school and can't give him the time he deserves. I'm trying my best to fulfill his potential to the best of my abilities... :) 

Vanya Sulie!


Friday, February 11, 2011


 Here's the deal. Brego is mine, but if I ever want to give him away, Abby gets first dibs as she was the former "owner"....


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Conformation vs. Build" or "The advantages of a Mutt"

Do you remember how I always thought it would be cool to have a Warmblood? I was reading articles about conformation (structure of the horse) and have learned that it is nothing more than the skeletal/bone placement, the build is made of only tissues and muscle. Many horses can look like they're a different breed altogether just by having a different "workout". This theory does, of course, have obvious limits (Example: You cannot make a Shetland Pony look like Secretariat). 

Warmbloods, because of so many generations of breeding and inbreeding (which can have a bad effect on gene pools), they have a tendency to need special care and they also can have weak bones and/or issues with thyroid. Looking at Brego's bone structure right now (it's about all you can see right now, he's so skinny), I can see him being able to go many directions with his build. Since he is also a mix of breeds, he has the potential to be stronger than many Warmbloods (yes, that's right, Warmbloods). 

Because he is skinny right now, I have an advantage, I don't have to "work up" or "work down" certain muscles I can start from scratch and not have to worry about muscles that are over developed. 

Right now, I'm planning on building foundation fat and muscle in the right areas and then eventually I will start gradually building what I call "Finesse" muscles. They're like icing on a cake, these muscles also have to do with your relationship because you can't really build these without having precise communication and such. 

I think I'm getting more excited about Brego.... :D 

Quel Fara!


Monday, February 7, 2011

"Just watch what horses do in the pasture naturally. This is what, I'm sure, your horse is begging you to understand; how does he do it naturally? If you could understand that, if you could get your head around it, if you could try to emulate nature. Never forget your horse's nature it it's finest form. If we can understand it, then what we can do is start to open up the real secrets to success with horses. It takes Love, it takes Language, and it takes Leadership. And that horse is going to respond with Respect without Fear, he's going to be Light and Responsive, and the Bond that we will create is going to be Strong. That's my only goal, it's to keep it natural and keep it simple, help humans understand horses. Understand them so much that it actually becomes innate, that's what savvy is. It's designed to help you have horse savvy, because if you're savvy, your horse is going to know it and he's going to respond to you so naturally that he's going to think you're his mother. That's the goal. To keep it Natural." --Pat Parelli

Living in the moment.. Why does this seem new to me?

WOW.. I had a blinding flash of the obvious about the way I need the approach Cricket and all horses really. Live in the Moment! Don't carry around baggage from previous sessions, I never really understood what "playing with the horse that shows up" really meant until now! It was INCREDIBLE the change I saw in Cricket. 

I've been very confused when I've been playing with Cricket the last few sessions and I don't know why but is consequence Cricket became confused as well. I think I was playing with the imaginary future Cricket or the dreaded Cricket of the past, I'm not sure which but either way, it was very wrong. Would I have wanted to be the horse at the end of my rope? No. I have to keep asking myself that. It was dreadful. 

Cricket and I warmed up *super* slow and I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere (but I was okay with it), we were playing touch it and point A to point B. She was VERY introverted and Catatonic. I kept it at the walk and *very* slowly I saw her confidence develop and she wasn't catatonic anymore. It was very good. Then we played stick to me at the walk and trot, that also was *very* good. She was quite a bit more warmed up and LB, I was very happy with it. She could trot all the way across the pen when I was only at a vigorous walk, then I went into a slow jog and she cantered with me which was pretty awesome. After that we played with patterns, I didn't get very far on the figure 8 before I realized that Cricket was *LEANING* into the halter towards the other horses, (*again*) and going Introverted. Blah! She went Introverted every time there was a turn, so I thought, "How can I make less turns and more draws?" Aha! Make it into a paper clip shape! She was leaning at first but I was persistent and the first time she came around the corner at the trot, running to me all without leaning, we *stopped*. We got off it! "Getting off it" is sometimes hard for me. 

After that I played with Brego, he was really willing and he's a quick learner. He's an LBI/RBE and very naive, it's hilarious. Brego has ZERO "baggage" and is always thinking we're just horses with long bodies. 

I think I said how interesting out loud for the first time without feeling any frustration at all today.... hmmm

Vanya Sulie!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Every horses dream.....

..... sitting around with his buddies eating! Can you guess what Brego's doing right now? Yep, just that. He's eating senior feed with all his friends in the turnout next to him. He's really loving life.

He's on a new diet right now for gaining weight. He's a growing boy! :D

He'll be on grain and hay for 1-2 weeks before he starts working out. He just needs some more meat on his ribs and a little more energy before he starts working the muscles.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011