Saturday, November 28, 2009

and it was pretty clear that Lil and I's relationship is waaay stronger than last winter.

I was wondering if I'd even be able to put a halter on her safely. She was leaping around, tail over her head, snorting. Although I figured she'd be pent up as the horses were all in on thanksgiving day due to yucky weather....this was the most trouble I've seen Lil have so far this winter.

She came right up to me when I went to see about catching her. I did send her away a few times because she didn't feel safe but on about the third time she looked at me and waited to be invited in. As I put the halter on, Kip asked if I was going to be ok. With conviction I said: "yes! she needs me and I know what to do. we're going to be fine".

Now, here's the first: As soon as the halter was on and we were heading up to the arena, Lil calmed down. She even started sighing and shaking out tension in her neck. Ha ha! So even just on the way to the arena she was finding comfort. Wow. wow. wow. wow.

I've been watching the new Parelli Levels DVDs. As we know, a horse's needs are Safety, Comfort then Play right? (then food. lol) Well, Pat was talking about comfort. He was talking about horses finding comfort in movement.

Pressure motivates, but its the release that teaches..... I have usually thought about giving comfort as stopping. Giving a rest. This of course is effective...but as Pat was talking about letting your horse go out on a circle and just find the comfort in movement....I began to think about Lil and how helping her move...makes her more comfortable. Like I knew it was making a BIG positive difference. Obviously. But I was more thinking about it helping her get more Left Brained*...calmer...less emotional....etc.

Now I started to think about her physically being comfortable. Like warming up by the fire after being outside in the freezing cold for hours. Or finally stretching out on the couch after a long day at work.

So with this in mind, I turned her loose in the arena. I thought she'd really need to gallop around....she didn't want to roll...but surprisingly to me she was very very connected. I asked her off on a canter circle and she maintained gait and direction really nicely!

However...when I brought her back in...I didn't get any blowing out. Or really that much licking and chewing. So I put on the 22ft line and set up some barrels. Over the last few sessions I've been thinking of how to take this to the next level. This maintain gait maintain direction and look where you're going... I've felt that it's time to up the anti a little to make even more progress into her relaxation mentally, emotionally and physically.

So. The game was just a simple circling game at canter but I added jumping the barrels. We went about 12 laps (very connected it seemed) to the left then stoped. She was very still...I could have waited for her to come out of it but after a few minutes I decided to send her the other way and see what happened.

To the right after about 13 or so laps I could tell she was thinking more about maintaining gait and putting more effort in. She broke to trot a couple times then picked right back up into the canter. She was thinking! Excellent.

Then...........after oh my gosh like 20? laps, (remember that's a half a mile), when I brought her back...she blew and blew and blew and licked and even yawned a little!!!!! She hardly ever does that. It took very very little to draw her the rest of the way to me. Finally she rubbed and scratched her head on me which she only does if she's present and with me. Horray!

She rolled then fiddled around the arena...then I turned her and everyone else out to play.

A while later I came down to clean stalls .... she came over to the gate and hung out with me. What a great feeling!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A few of my fav Coco picts from FL 09....

From my recent attendance of the Natural Performance (Finesse* Level 3/4) and Riding with Purpose (Freestyle* Level 3/4) courses at the Ocala Florida campus of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Academy.

Isn't Jetti a handsome boy. I love these picts because his presence comes across so well. Coco as usual your pictures capture the spirit of the moment and the relationship.

Thank you so much Pat for generously lending him to me for those two weeks. .... it was a very special time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Got 'em!

The New Parelli Level's packs arrived moments ago! I've been at work since 6:45 so I could have a look as soon as they hit the door. I'm starting with the Get Started Dvd....onto the Level 4 Pack. . . then this evening hubby and I will watch the Level 1/2 Pack...then Level 3. Then....being again! lol

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For those of you horse behavior junkies.....

Check this out....I was uploading vids from my blackberry today and found this one of Lil from earlier in the summer.

This is how long I have to wait sometimes for her to come out of her Right Brained Introversion. Just watching the video it seemed like forever. 4 and a half minutes!!! This is why when I mention that it took her less than a minute to lick her lips or that I could see an inch or two of tongue its a HUGE deal.

(sorry for the buzzing sound. better just mute it. at about 4min 30 she really comes out of it...if you care to watch all the way until she lays down you'll see her go back to her happy place)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parelli's blog | Parelli

Parelli's blog | Parelli

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This is a link to Linda Parelli's new blog. So cool to hear how she's getting on with Goyani. I'm so stoked for the new level's this weekend. I'm DYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYING waiting to order them. I just know they will help me advance my savvy.

I am also hoping that the Horsenality Profile will be out this weekend too.........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letting Lil Gallop It Out

I'm so glad that I know what she needs right now!!!!!!!!!!!

The horses were in for nearly 48hrs. (all their stalls have large runs but of course its not the same) Plus..even when Lil gets turned out she doesn't usually gallop enough.

Last night I put on forty thousand articles of clothing and sat in Nigel's stall while he ate. This turns out to be a great way to spend undemanding time with him. If I go in when he's not eating he just gets bored with me and wants to DO something. It was pretty cool. He seemed happy to have me there. He kept checking in and blowing out nicely. I say points for me. Ha!

Meanwhile in the stall next door....Lil was climbing the walls. Poor thing. The crazy weather freaks her out.

So today I squeezed in about 40min to take her up to the arena. She rolled right away which is always a good sign...then hopped up squealing and jumping around. Also a good sign. At Liberty* I asked her to maintain gait and direction which she challenged a few times but not in a scared way. After 15 quick canter laps I asked for a flying change which she was present enough to do but she wanted to change direction again so it took us about 7 laps to get 2 good ones maintaining gait to the right. Then she wanted to come in. The really really cool thing was that she was licking her lips within about a minute. And I could see like 2 inches of tongue!!!

We are working on hopping halfway over the barrels. Teaching it Online* at the took about 4 tries to get it today but then she licked and chewed within a minute again.

Also quickly did a few walk canter transitions and some stretching online...then waited for a final lick and check. This took a little longer but not too bad. She shook her head and as we were walking to the gate she did a few little bits of blowing out. Not like she does most of the time but this was a pretty quick session so I was happy. She was relaxed when I put her blanket back on and settled back into her room. Later when I set everyone free she walked out calmly. Yay!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

News From Linda's Blog.

Sounds like Mr. Remembrance got an abscess in his tootsie and couldn't make the trip to the Uk for the Parelli Celebration there.

Just wanted to say how impressed I am with Linda rolling with the punches, lucking out with such a fabulous replacement horse and above all putting the well being of our beloved Remmer first. Talk about being a living example of principles before purpose huh?

So glad Rem's abscess blew out and that he'll be fine by the time they all get back from the UK.

I got to see Carmen Zulauf's horse Goyani on vid recently (this is the horse Linda will be riding in her Walter lesson)...he is spectacular. I know I'd be super disappointed if I was going to the event but I'll bet this turns out fabulously. It will certainly be a treat to see Linda and Walter bring this all together.

Of course for those of you who haven't heard this news yet check out the entire story in Linda's Blog from today

Thanks Linda for being so wonderful. Give Remmer a big hug for us.......

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

and I am glad to be back home!

Well, I made it back from Florida. About 3063 miles from our door to Pat and Linda's.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be there for those two weeks. Just getting 3-4 hours a day of in the saddle time (in a fluidity saddle no less) was a huge gift in and of itself. Add on top of that getting to be around so many dedicated Parelli students all living their dream, plus learning and growing, plus being shephearded through the courses by some very talented teachers and having a wonderful horse to play with.... plus, getting to see and chat with Pat and Linda at their home... I mean really. What more could I ask for? (ok maybe having Kip there too)

I do have to say that coming home this time has been a completely different experience. Having our little Savvy Team as support...coming home to like minded feels good actually. Not so much like being ripped from the fold like it did last time.

I did get to play with Nigel and Lil yesterday. Nigel and I had our best play session yet. I missed Lil so much...and she seemed very happy to see me...but it is a whole different grove with her. Jetti, the horse Pat lent me while I was in FL, was such an extrovert...a very balanced one for sure but an extrovert none the less. Lil is SUCH AN INTROVERT! It is a stark difference. And I find myself struggling to adjust. I love her though...and am so glad to be back to share all I've learned. To be better for her....

A huge thank you to Ann Kizer. From the bottom of my heart. You made this happen and I am so grateful. Big Hug.