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

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