Thursday, July 30, 2009

We are out!

Well after today's play time and ride with Prince I think we are out of our two play time rut/ rough spot. Today was INDESCRIBABLE!!! But I will try and capture it for you.

Yesterday I had a BFO and realized that the reason Prince and I were kind of going through a rough spot and neither of us were having fun when we played was because of MY attitude. I still don't really know what it was but for some reason it was really effecting out play times. So I purposed that today it would be different and I wouldn't get frustrated at Prince when he didn't do a figure 8 right even though he had been doing it for almost a year, and I wouldn't let other peoples opinion on Parelli effect our play time, Prince doesn't deserve that.

So after I had finished playing with Twosox I went back down to the corral and haltered Prince. I made sure to reward him for the slightest try. It really helped me because then I didn't get over focused. Prince and I took our time getting up to the riding ring. I saddled Prince in the corral but I didn't rush it. I spend some time scratching him and just hanging out with him. Then we went up to the riding ring and played. We BOTH had a blast!!

Sure something went wrong, like Prince being over exuberant on the Figure 8 and knocking the barrels over, running off etc, or Prince not changing direction when I asked and instead kept cantering around. But all that was okay. We still had SO much fun.

We played with transitions, got some AMAZING change of directions, we did leading by the tail, short range circles, sideways towards me, sideways away from me with out a fence really fast [almost at a trot!] and LOTS more!!!

One time with Prince was circling around at a canter he was really pulling on the rope so I ask him to slow down and move his rips over. Every time he pulled I would just ask him to move his rips over. Pretty soon he was arcing his body and was circling with out pulling at all! There was LOTS of slack in the rope and he would walk and trot around me on a really close circle. Even when he was farther away he was able to trot and be really light. He is such a smart horse!!!

After that I got on. I rode around a little then had to tighten my saddle. Then my mom and I set up a Question box. Our riding ring is a little on the small size for it so be ideal but we can't help that so we made do with what we has. At first Prince wasn't listening to me and all he wanted to do was trot off and do nothing else. It was kind of hard not to get a little frustrated so I had to stop Prince and recompose myself then we carried on. Then it got REALLY fun!!!!!!!!

I didn't get frustrated at Prince when he wanted to go around smushing all the tires and I didn't get so legalistic about Prince doing a perfect circle. So since I wasn't do all that we had a lot of fun and Prince figured out the pattern so quickly it was amazing!!! We soon were trotting the pattern and then stopping in the dead center of the box. It was really funny because Prince was paying so much attention to me that as soon as I relaxed he would stop, normally I relax then he stops about 2ft later. I caught myself a couple times stopping right before the center of the box that way Prince would stop in the center, well since Prince was paying attention to my seat he stopped right then and there. Then I had to ask him to go again and stop in the center. It was so funny!!

Prince was SO good!! He already started asking questions as soon as we were coming up to the box. Then one time after Prince had licked and chewed and licked and chewed and then did some MORE licking and chewing we went sideways from the middle of the box to the fence. It was almost a perfect sideways!! We stayed at the fence for a couple minutes then we backed all the way back into the box. Prince did so well, I was amazed!!!!

I was so proud of Prince. Before I got off I practiced some of the things that I saw on the July Savvy DVD about improving our balance. Then my mom was like "When you are done can you slide of Prince's bum?" I was like "Sure! Why not" I have only done it once before and that was over a year ago. Prince just stood there like nothing was happening. I LOVE YOU PRINCE!!!!!!!!

Prince's scapula is almost perfect now!! It just goes to show you what a good saddle can do!!

"Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I have a feeling that EVERYTHING is going my way!!!!!!!!!"

Okay well maybe not everything but almost everything. This morning was SO nice, the weather was perfect and I had two totally incredible play times and rides with my horses.

I got up about 6:15 and went out to play with the horses. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fall like weather. You couldn't quite see you breathe but almost!! I played with Twosox first. He stood really well while I saddled him up, then we went up to the riding ring. There were these little mosquitoes type bugs that I think are called no-see-ums and when they bite they BITE. Those things are totally horrible!! Twosox, being the sensitive he is was really bothered by them but we survived.

We didn't really do a lot on the ground. But what we did do was really coo. We did some figure 8's, circles, transitions, leading by the tail, zone 5 driving, sideways and change of direction. Twosox and I worked on don't change gait and don't change on the circle. Twosox would trot up to 4 circles one way but only 2 the other way. It was REALLY cool because when Twosox was circling to the left he started to stretch!! On the first circle his trot was pretty normal, big and bouncy but then he started to soften and relax. Then when he was on about the 3 circle he started to lower his head, stretch and blow. I was REALLY happy!!!! I did hill therapy with Twosox last year but he didn't really change his conformation any. So this was great!!!

Our change of directions are getting a lot better too. Twosox was really in tune with me on those!! The whole time Twosox was circling the belly of the rope was on the ground. He is SO sensitive!!! I now have something to work on with Prince!!! We also played with short range circles a little bit. Twosox got the pattern really quickly and he soon was walking and trotting around me at about 4ft and the rope had lots of slack in it. It was amazing! We are ready for Liberty.... if only the round corral wasn't so far away. Oh well we will just have to brave the deer flies and do it.

We also did some leading by the tail and zone 5 driving. Twosox was so light and backed up with just a few hairs!! We did some Touch it from zone 5. Next time I want to put two reins on. Twosox is really good with two reins but I just never remember to do it.

Then I got on and rode. We did figure 8's, follow the rail, sideways, and circles. Our figure 8's were awful so we went to just doing circles around the barrels till he got that pattern then when we went back to the figure 8 pattern it was a lot better. At first we did close circles around the barrel then we mixed it up so sometimes we would circle close then circle farther away from the barrel. It was good. I had to play around with how I should have my body but once I got it the circles got even better!!!

Then we went back to the figure 8's pattern. It was WAY better. Twosox was great!! Then we went and did some follow the rail at the trot. Twosox's trot was SO much nicer to ride!!! I really tried to sit his trot. Doing a rising trot in an english saddle is something I am still trying to master.... more like figure out how to stay balanced!! We shall get there. Right now a sitting trot it a lot easier.

Twosox's sideways is getting really good. He will now go sideways with out a fence and I don't even need my carrot stick. Our 9 step back up is getting nicer too. I think I have it figured out how light I need to be. It is REALLY LIGHT!!!! If I am not light enough Twosox will tell me, instant feedback!!

It didn't seem like we did a lot but I guess we did. I guess I rode for longer then I thought!!!! Twosox was really great. I found that I really need to me clear with my body and focus and once I get that he will respond SO well and I don't even need my carrot stick or reins!!!

I have been having so much fun playing with Twosox!! He is great!!!

I will post about Prince's and my play time and ride soon!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not MORE bugs :(

Well my sister and I went out this morning and went to the turn around. We got about 30ft out of the corral gate, just past where we would normally turn off to go up to the riding ring, and the bugs started swarming us. Mostly deer flies and mosquitoes but we pressed on. It got a little better when we got to the turn around but not much. We continued playing. It did help in a small way because the horses didn't want to stand still so we got come nice circles, sideways etc. But in the long run I would rather have to motivate a slow horse the deal with all the bugs.

Prince was a lot more responsive today. We did some nice simple change of directions at the trot, falling leaf, sideways really fast at a walk with out a fence, and transitions. We did a traveling circle game, Prince went up and down hills, around stumps etc. He really had to watch where he was going. Then I asked Prince to jump the pile of logs that was stacked in the turn around [we stacked them there for the horses to jump] Prince leaped right over it and turned, faced and waited. I wanted to see how light Prince was so I left my hand open and he turned and faced me and I didn't even have to use the rope.

Prince and I also played with straddling things. We did the smaller logs to start with then we went to the bigger logs. Prince is really getting the hang of it!!!!!

I need to help my sister with something, so I just dropped the rope on the ground, I figured that Prince would just stand there nicely. Well he didn't he decided that the bugs were to bad to just stand around and left..... he went all the way back to the corral. Oh boy! So back I went. After I had caught him again we went back to the turn around.

The bugs had gotten worse [if that was really possible I am not sure but I think they some how managed to get worse] so we didn't play to much longer. We did some circles at the canter. It was a little slippery but not to bad. So Prince was okay cantering around. I asked him for a flying lead change and he did it!!!! Hooray!!! I know he can do it but sometimes [depending on what which way he is circling] he won't do it. But this time he did. It was PERFECT!!! Some day I will get a good one on video!!!

I asked Prince to jump the logs one more time. This time he hesitated just a little right as he was going over the jump and I if I had a asked him to it probably would have stopped right over it. But I wasn't prepared so I didn't. It was still really neat to see him offer to straddle the log.

Prince and I ended there. I decided to take Prince home instead of letting him go in the turn around. We ran most of the way home... well okay I ran, Prince trotted. But he was trotting fast so I think that counts as running right? ;)

Now it is raining.... again..... I don't mind the rain though. As long as I can still play with the horses ;)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shimming, transitions, heat, and more....

Well Prince and I had an interesting play time today. Mom and I went out earlier because it was supposed to get really hot later this morning. I had to do a new shimming pattern for Prince. So I did that first. After that was figured out we went up to the riding ring.

The whole time I was watching to see what things we could improve on. Prince bucked a lot when I asked him to canter so instead of letting him circle we did figure 8's. After a while Prince stopped bucking and just cantered. I then asked him to canter on the circle and GUESS WHAT!!! Prince cantered 5 laps and only broke gait once!!!!!

Prince and I did some sideways, we worked on jumping one barrel lying down, then we played with some change of directions. Prince would run off and totally ignore me. So we took it right back down to the walk and worked on it there. We played with transitions and getting both Transitions and Change of directions really soft.

We got some REALLY REALLY REALLY cool transitions. Plus they were just with the carrot stick!! Normally Prince wouldn't listen or respond to the carrot stick. We got walk, trot canter, then back down again. Prince also backed up about 12ft with me just using my carrot stick and wiggling it slowly, he was about 20ft away from me too!!!

Prince was asking LOTS of questions and was so in tune with me!! I would have gotten on and rode but we were both sweating and it was really hot. The good thing was that the saddle didn't slid forward and Prince's whole back was sweating and there were no dry marks. So that was really nice!!!

Just before lunch when my sister came home she had both our Level 1 packages, with our red strings, certificates, and pins. It is nice to see nice clean savvy string again seeing as my blue on is really rather dirty now. My red one will go up on my wall somewhere as I don't need two to carry around ;)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Twosox play and ride!! FUN!!!!!

Twosox and I had a really FUN play time and ride today. I wanted to work on our Figure 8 pattern and play around with different yo-yo games. So when we got up to the riding ring I asked Twosox to back over a small log, in between the tire that we have planted standing up and the fence and then touch the bucket that was on the other side of that. Now I didn't have all that in my mind when we started but we just took it one step at a time and made it!! Twosox was okay with backing over the log and okay with backing in between the tire and fence but he had a little bit trouble with the bucket. Lots of approach and retreat and with in minutes he touched the bucket with his back leg. I am always amazed how much Twosox is willing to try. What a special boy!!

We then did some figure 8's. At first Twosox was being playful but then in a split second he became un confident. It was rather interesting. I was a little bit behind Twosox on that one but once I realized it I slowed down right to a walk and Twosox got a lot better. He still braced when he was going around the one barrel so I just asked him move his ribs over then after a couple time of doing that he walked around the barrel perfectly and we got a beautiful figure 8. Then I started asking him to walk around the barrels but trot through middle. Twosox did really well with that so we ended there. When I brought Twosox in he started licking and chewing and really thinking about that.

After that I asked Twosox to back up to the barrel. We took it really slow and Twosox was able to get about three steps from the barrel then he would either stop and look at the barrel or move his hind quarters out of the way and not be straight any more. So more approach and retreat. It took a long time.... or at least it seemed like a long time. We got closer to the barrel but Twosox was still not sure. So I didn't push it. We ended that when Twosox was really close to the barrel but still not touching it. We will have something to work on next time.

I then got on and rode. I so love my Wintec wide. It is SO comfy!!!! Twosox likes it too I think. We had a lot of fun riding. We did Weaving, circles, Follow the rail, Weaving with a supporting rein, Sideways, 9 step back up and Point to Point. It was SO much fun!! Twosox was really in tune to me and was listening to my seat. It was amazing.

One time after Twosox and I had been trotting around and doing some stuff I asked him to stop, it took almost nothing to stop him and he just stood there perfectly. Only a month or so ago Twosox would have stopped for a couple seconds then start walking again. So it was so cool that he just stood there and waited for me to ask him to go. I didn't think anything of it for a bit because I was telling my mom something but then I noticed how well he was standing. I was really proud of him!!!

Then just for fun I asked Twosox to bend his head around so I could take the hackamore off. He was perfect!! He held his head there nicely then after a couple minutes I put it back on. I was surprised that Twosox did so well but I know I shouldn't have been. He is such a great horse and is so willing to try.

Then I tied my savvy string around his neck and grabbed my carrot stick and we did some savvy string/ carrot stick riding. That went so well that I decided to take the hackamore off and ride brideless. I had checked everything before I took it off, stopping, back up, turning etc so I was confident that he would do really well. He did. Twosox never stops amazing me!!! Plus he never stops teaching me how to be even lighter. I still haven't found how to be light enough when I am asking him to go sideways. He is SO sensitive!!! Especially when we are riding, on the ground he is a little bit more tolerating.

So I took the hackamore off and we rode off. We did sideways, follow the rail, weaving, transitions, and point to point. Twosox was so light and responsive. He did AMAZINGLY well!!!! I was so proud of him. One time we went from a trot to a walk to a halt to a back up. All with just a light amount of pressure from the savvy string.

It was AMAZING ride!!!! Twosox was just incredible.

Just for fun I copied the list of things you have to do in your Level 3/4 Freestyle Audition.

The things that are red are the things Prince and I can do.

Equipment: 1 or 2 Carrot Sticks
Savvy String around horses neck (bridle permitted as safety net)
Arena or open arena
Saddle or Bareback Pad

Obstacles: ___2-foot+ Jump

___ Mounting ___ Open Gate
___ Simple Change
___ Canter-Stop
___ Flying Change

Obstacles (choose 3)

___ Small Jump ___ Cones
___ Ball ___ Tarp ___ Pedestal

Gaits: ___Walk ___ Stand Still
___ Trot ___Back Up
Follow the Rail or Clover Leaf
Question Box <<< working on it

So I have a little ways to go but we are getting there. Once I get confident at the canter then things will really be moving a long.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Short and sweet with Twosox

This morning I was late getting out so Twosox and I didn't play long. My sister came out and played with Ruffy!! I was SO proud of both of them!!! They were amazing to watch!!!!! Ruffy totally loves my sister you can just tell it!!!!

Twosox was being rather dominate today. We were doing figure 8's and he was tossing his head, bucking and pinning his ears. It was funny to see my normally RBI horse being extra confident!!!

We also did some traveling circle game. It was SO much fun. There were obstacles and toys everywhere so I would send him between and around different things. He trotted the whole time and was really interested!!! He was asking questions the whole time.

We did a little bit of sideways also. He was so sensitive!!!! Twosox and I then just spent some time together doing nothing much. I was helping my sister with Ruffy so we just hung out for a bit. Then I let him go. We didn't do much but it was still a good play time. Twosox is such a great horse!!!

It was really cool because when we came down from the riding ring Prince came out of the shelter to come see me. He is so sweet!!!! He stayed right beside me for a long time then I had to go. I love my horses so much!!!!!! I am so blessed!!!!!


WE CANTERED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 23 2009

Yes after 3 years of owning Prince we have finally cantered!!!!!! Sure it might have been only 6 strides but we did it!!! It felt awful because I wasn't balanced but it took over a year to finally be able to ride Prince's trot and feel totally fine with it and not have to hold my reins or anything so I am not expecting the canter to be an over night thing. When I asked Prince to canter again he bucked :( but that was okay. I am pretty sure I know what to do about that. It was a big day though..... I rode my first canter.... wait my second canter but my first canter didn't count because I got bucked off, got a concussion and don't remember it. So that one doesn't count. But I rode my first official canter and my first major buck!!!!! What a day!!! hehe.

I didn't go out with plan of cantering this morning but I did want to practice riding Prince's really fast trot fluidly. Prince and I had fun playing on the ground too. Prince cantered 4 laps with out breaking gait one way then he cantered 3 laps the other way!!! We did some really cool transitions and change of directions too.

Before I got on I tied my savvy string around Prince's neck and we practiced some walk to halt transitions on the ground with me in zone 3. I had to support it a couple times but I knew that i needed to do it on the ground before I got on. Prince would just run right through the pressure of the savvy string and just totally ignore it so this way I could be more effective and help him understand what he needed to do.

Once that was really good I got on. Prince offered to trot so I took it. Like who wouldn't take a trot that your extreme LBI offered?? ;) Then I asked him to weave through the tires. He got the first couple ones but then decided that he was just going to ignore the carrot stick. So we stopped trotting and did it at the walk. After a couple minutes Prince was yielding nicely to the carrot stick.

Then we went and did figure 8's. Prince just wanted to trot and not do the pattern so we had to play with that. After Prince could walk around the barrels in a figure 8 pattern we stopped. I NEVER thought I would have had a problem with Prince trotting to much!!! Prince never ceases to amaze me!!! After a long rest, for no reason in particular just because I was talking to mom and so we ended up having a long rest but after that it was so cool because I asked Prince to go sideways with out me holding my reins, just using my carrot stick and he did!!!! We went sideways about 10ft and I mean it was a PERFECT sideways!!! No drifting forward!!!! It was amazing!!! After a rest and lick and chew I shifted my weight back picked up the savvy string about 1 inch from Prince's neck and Prince BACKED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was SO light I couldn't believe it!!!!!! Then I did it again and the same thing!!! PERFECT!!!!!!

Prince and I then did some follow the rail. We trotted 2 and a half laps around the riding ring at a fast.... I mean REALLY fast trot!!! Prince has never trotted that fast before but as long as I kept my focus everything was great!! I wasn't bracing anywhere!! It felt so good!! Then we worked on my sitting trot. The interesting thing was that I could sit Prince's trot a lot better when I wasn't holding my reins. Hmmm..... I don't really know why but I could. So we played with that. I could sit his trot a lot longer and was a million times more fluid then I ever was!!!!

After doing a lot of trotting and such I felt ready to ask Prince to canter. Man he has an even faster trot then I thought!!!! But finally he cantered. But I do believe that he offered it but that was perfectly okay!!! As I said before he only cantered about 6 strides but that was okay. I was SO happy!!! I couldn't believe that we had actually did it!!! After a long rest we started off again. The next time I asked Prince to canter he bucked but I stayed on and then got off after I had bent him. I am kind of proud of my self because as soon as I bucked I automatically started to bend him and get off.

So we played on the ground some. Prince bucked a couple more times when I asked him to canter and especially when I asked him to canter on a phase one instead of a phase two or three. I got back on and rode around a bit but for some reason I felt like I should get off, so I did. We played for a little bit and then I noticed that my saddle was sliding forward like you wouldn't believe. Good thing I got off. So I took it off and looked at the sweat marks. There were some dry spots so I will have to play around with shimming. If Prince doesn't loose weight I don't know. The last four rides we have had he been all sweaty when we were done and it wasn't even hot out!!!

It started to pour rain when we were still out. The clouds just couldn't wait any longer. So everything got wet. Oh well. My blue savvy string that only a couple weeks ago was nice and clean is now really rather dirty. But maybe that is a sign of good use!! hehe :)

Anyways. Over all it was a good ride. I can't wait to get back out again. Should be fun!!!!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A lesson in being "as light a possible but a firm as necessary "

July 22 2009

Well today I got a good lesson in being as light a possible but a firm as necessary. I was supposed to play with Twosox but I ended up playing with Knightly because my mom was having trouble with sideways so I said that I could play with him and see what was up.


Knightly did really well for the first bit. We did some stick to me, zone 4 driving, circles etc then we went over to the fence to do sideways. As I suspected Knightly put his head over the fence and wasn't going sideways. So we played with that. Then for some reason or other we got onto fixing his yo-yo game. He would back out about 20ft then stop and not go any farther. HMMMM HOW INTERESTING!!!! Then when you got a phase 4 he would just put his head up and totally ignore you. So I decided to use my carrot stick as a phase 4 instead. Knightly respected that better. We ended up spending a lot of time playing with that. After it had gotten a little bit better and Knightly was backing farther and being respectful we went back to sideways.

It was a lot better then before. But Knightly wasn't really going sideways. As we were going down the fence I noticed that Knightly wasn't really crossing his front legs. Hmmmm.... interesting!! So we went and got our Driving game and Porcupine game on the forequarters really good and I made sure that Knightly was really crossing his legs over and moving right around instead of half doing it and half walking off. After we fixed that Sideways went a lot better!!!

I made sure that Knightly was moving his forequarters over then when he was doing that his hind quarters automatically went over and we got sideways!!! I was really pleased!!! Going to the left was harder for Knightly but in the end he was going sideways both ways and all at a phase two or less!!!!

I really learned a good lesson in "as light a possible but a firm as necessary" I had to be firm one minute and light the next. It was really interesting!!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Yet another amazing day.....

Prince and I had yet another amazing ride. We went trail riding again. We rode down our logging road, out both gates, then onto water street. It is all gravel and not used a lot. My mom took Knightly and they played on the ground while Prince and I rode. Prince was AMAZING!!!!! The bugs were bad but it was still a blast!! We did lots of trotting too. At one point we must have trotted 500ft or more!!!!! I felt totally confident and Prince loved it!! It was so cute seeing him looking at everything and enjoying it.

We wanted to ride farther down the road but the bugs were getting so bad. So we turned around and went back. Just for fun we decided to go through town. Somebody was like "Horses!" it was funny!!! Both Prince and Knightly did really well even cars went by. When we were still on our logging road Prince and I trotted through the long grass. It was REALLY tall!! It was fun!!! At first Prince was walking really fast but then he slowed down and we went at a nice slow pace. After a bit I was like "I want to go faster! Walking is sooooooo slow" Prince was willing to trot so we did!!

Before we left we played in the riding ring. I think I figured out what shimming pattern Prince needs. Hooray!! That is done for another 8-12 weeks!!! I rode for a little bit in the riding ring. Our riding has taken HUGE leaps is the past couple weeks. It is amazing!!! I asked Prince to trot faster then he normally does. I want to really get good at riding what ever trot he gives me before I ask for a canter. I can feel it getting closer!!!!!!!!

It was SO cool because after Prince and I had trotted really fast a couple times all Prince wanted to do was trot fast. So while we were trotting I just lifted on rein a little and he gave me a NICE slow trot. It was wonderful!!!

We also worked on Sideways and backing up with lightness plus we are playing around with trotting departures. I really want to get our riding light. Our sideways it getting a lot better. I am asking Prince to go sideways farther. It is slow but right now I am not worried about that. Slow and right beats fast and wrong.

Then I asked Prince to back up softer and faster. Prince was soft but wasn't really going faster so I started moving my feet he got a little bit faster so I stopped. Now the BFO that I had was this.... I was sitting there thinking "Why isn't he getting it that I want him to go faster?" Then I thought "Well maybe it is because I am not moving my feet fast enough" So I tried it. I asked him to back up then started wiggling my feet faster and guess what!?! Prince went faster!!! I was like DUH!!!!!! I wasn't moving my feet faster because I wanted to give Prince the chance to move but then I realized that he didn't kn ow what to do!! So when I started moving my feet faster it made sense to him. *sigh* I love learning!!!!!

We did some figure 8's. We kept doing the pattern till Prince got softer. After about 5 figure 8's I relaxed and Prince stopped right away!! Then licked and chewed!! I think next time I should use my carrot stick to guide him.

While we were riding through the bush on the logging road I was looking for things to go over or to do a squeeze game with. We trotted over a fallen down tree that was maybe 9 inches high. The only time Prince got a little unsure was when we had to do in between two houses. It was the biggest squeeze we have ever done and he didn't really want to go first. There was also a car on one side and a whole pile of junk or something on the other side. So mom and Knightly went first then he was okay.

I am so proud of Prince. I can't wait to do it again!!! I really think that the trail ride on Friday shot my confidence sky high. I got to see how well Prince did and that we are both ready to move on and that it doesn't hurt to try :)


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Never forget these!!

The Eight Principles

1. Horsemanship is natural.
2. Don’t make or teach assumptions.
3. Communication is two or more
individuals sharing and understanding
an idea.
4. Horses and humans have mutual
5. The attitude of justice is effective.
6. Body language is the universal language.
7. Horses teach humans and humans
teach horses.
8. Principles, purpose and time are the
tools of teaching.

The 8 Responsibilities

There are four responsibilities for the
horse and four for the human.

1. Don’t act like a prey animal.
2. Don’t change gait.
3. Don’t change direction.
4. Look where you are going.

1. Don’t act like a predator.
2. Have an independent seat.
3. Think like a horse.
4. Use the natural power of focus.

The Qualities of a Horseman

1. Heart and Desire
2. Respect
3. Impulsion
4. Flexion
5. Attitude and Focus—Positive, Progressive and Natural
6. Feel
7. Timing
8. Balance
9. Savvy
10. Experience

I have an idea but I have to ponder it some more before I share it. I am excited about it but I want to make sure I have it all right first ;)



Yesterday afternoon I didn't have anything to do.... well okay I did have things to do but I didn't really want to do them. So I did some research on shimming and tried to figure out how to shim my Wintec wide so it would be level on Twosox. I watched the free saddling DVD that I got with my Fusion saddle last year and I also searched the Savvy club site. I found a lot of useful information. So just before supper I ran out and tried some different shimming patterns on Twosox. It was REALLY interesting. I figured out that it is okay that the saddle is sliding back because that is where it needs to be so that Twosox can have room to move his scapula. But then the problem is that I need to shim the saddle up so that it is level so I tried different things but nothing seemed to work.

So today I went out after thinking about what to do and I changed the gullet so that I had the smallest of the Wintec Wide gullets in [the xx-wide]. I put it on Twosox and it was PERFECT!!! It was level and it was far enough back that Twosox had room to move!!! I was so happy!!

We went up to the riding ring to play. Someone my mom knows came by to drop off something and ended up staying and watching us play. She seemed to really like it all. Twosox and I did Touch it, figure 8's, circles, Stick to me, and Leading by the tail. We also did sideways over the barrel. At first Twosox got a little unconfident at the other end of the barrel so I took it slow and kept asking him to go over it until he was okay. I didn't even need my carrot stick!! Twosox knew exactly what to and followed my slightest suggestion. He was amazing!!

Then I took the halter off and played at Liberty. I seriously think that Twosox is better at Liberty then Online. Which is really weird because he is a RBI. Anyways.... Twosox stuck right to me. We did stick to me to start with, Twosox stayed right with me. When I ran he ran, when I stopped he stopped when I backed up he backed up. He matched me energy and everything!!!!

I asked him to jump the barrels. He jumped it first from a stand still then the next time he jumped it from a trot. The whole time he was totally connected with me. It was COOL!!

Twosox was ready to ride so I got on. As soon as I got on I noticed a difference in the way the saddle felt. I was right on my balance point and it was AMAZING!! So we started off. I checked our lateral flexion and indirect rein. They were great. We did a little bit of follow the rail at the walk then I asked Twosox to trot. He gave me a beautiful, smooth trot. Plus he trotted the whole length of the riding ring!!! His head was lower. He wasn't really stretching but just the fact that he was trotting slowly and didn't break gait was great feedback. I was able to ride his trot sitting and rising. We played with that for a bit. Just trotting then walking then trotting again.

We did some Weaving, point to point, and then I asked Twosox to go sideways AND HE DID!!!! I hardly had to do anything and Twosox knew what to do and went sideways beautifully!!! I was shocked because normally it is a struggle getting Twosox to go sideways.

We ended there because the bugs were bad and I didn't want to ride to long. Well I did want to ride longer but it wasn't fair to Twosox when he was being driven crazy by bugs. I am SO happy that the saddle fit better. Now I just have to figure out a new shimming pattern for Prince. The saddle has started sliding forward again. *sigh* I think I know what I need to do though so hopefully it won't be to hard.

Well that is all for now!! I am still working on the videos from the play day. I got one done. It took me all of yesterday morning and a little bit in the afternoon then it was done!!!!! So it is getting there!!! The hard one will be one the whole play day because I have to pick and choice from something like 2 hours worth of footage :)


Friday, July 17, 2009

What a day!!

Wow..... what an amazing day yesterday was!!!!!

The play day was totally amazing. Prince was a gem!!! Our first major trail ride was TOTALLY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prince walked really fast for most of the ride until he and the other horses spooked at a wild turkey in the long grass. Then he relaxed and walked slowly for the last 3 minutes of the trail ride. Prince really wanted to trot but we were just walking so I would ask him to walk again. I SO wanted to trot but that was okay.

After lunch I rode Prince bareback in the arena. We got some AMAZING sideways, back up, I stood on him and lots more!! I am amazed at how much more fluid I can ride him trot bareback now!!! It is nice!!!

We also played at Liberty. We still need to work on it but it is getting there. We did change of directions, transitions, sideways, leading by the tail, stick to me, zone 4/5 driving, and lots of other stuff. It was SO much fun!!!

When I got home I checked my email and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I PASSED BOTH MY LEVEL 3 AUDITIONS!!!!!!!! I passed my Online Level 3+ and my Liberty Level 3. I was/ still am in shock!! I didn't think I would pass either one let alone both!!!! My Freestyle will have to wait for a while because my riding is coming along slowly but we are getting there.

I am going to be really busy sorting through pictures, video footage and making videos for everyone but that is okay I like that.

We did lots more but that is all I have time for right now.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trail ride coming up!

Well tomorrow Prince and I are [Lord willing] going for a trail ride with the people from our Parelli group. I hope the weather cooperates. The weather network keeps changing it... rain one minute, sun the next *sigh* oh well I am praying for partly cloudy. I don't want total sun. It would be to hot.

I am hoping to be able to play with Prince at Liberty and also ride in the arena. It is BIG and will be SOOOO much fun to ride in!!!

I will let you all know how it goes!! :)

In the mean time...

Here are some pictures....

Wintec Wide:

My view:

Some misc picture ;)

Another misc pic

That is it for now.


Monday, July 13, 2009

It's the little things that make the big things...

I just got in from playing with Prince. All I can say is WOW!!!!!! I didn't ride because I just wanted to play on the ground and see what we can improve. I took the old Level 3 task list out with me just to see how well Prince could to the Online tasks. On our way to the riding ring I figured that I could use that big hill to see if Prince would back up it. We walked part way up then I asked him to back up the rest of the hill. Prince did pretty well the first time but when I asked him to do it again he didn't want too. So we played Don't make me move off my spot. Then Prince got more responsive.

I realized that even I needed to take our play up the next stage and advance what we already can do but do it even better. So we worked on our back up, sideways towards me, transitions, change of directions, figure 8's, Weaving from z5 at a trot, leading by the tail and Stick to me.

We started out with Transitions. Prince cantered really well and all of our upward transitions were really good but our downward transitions needed some work. So we played with them till all I had to do was relax and Prince would slow down. Our trot to walk transitions will still need work but they are getting there. Prince cantered 3 laps too!!! Plus there was A LOT of slack in the rope!!!

We then did weaving at the trot from zone 5. Prince trotted most of it then broke gait. Now normally I would just take that because we were almost done but today I asked him to keep trotting and he did. It was really cool because we did it with one line too!!! Prince responded REALLY well to the carrot stick. Even better then I thought he would!!!

Then we did some Figure 8's. Prince will trot around the one barrel and through the middle but then break gait for about 3 steps while he is going around the other barrel. So I wanted to work on that. We got some pretty good figure 8's then I asked Prince to canter through the middle and GUESS WHAT!?!?!?!??! Prince CANTERED through the middle, around the barrel and then went the other way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was TOTALLY surprised!!!! I was NOT expecting that!!!

I gave Prince a big rest then we went and played with our circles again, doing short range circle at the walk and trot then cantering medium circle then again Prince shocked me when I asked him to change direction at the canter and HE DID!!!! He did a flying lead change too!!!!!!!!!!! Prince looked like he had been doing this more ever!!! It was SO much fun!!!!

I also asked Prince to smell his tail. We didn't quite get it but it should take long before he will get it!!! He is such a fast learner!!!

We went back to the figure 8's and Prince was a lot better. He cantered most of them. But he would pull while he was going around the one barrel so I asked him softly to push his rips to the out side and he did and then stopped pulling!! So every time he would pull I would just ask him to move his rips out of the way and pretty soon we were getting perfect figure 8's!!!!!!

Then we did some stick to me. We did a little bit at the canter but I wanted to focus more on the walk and trot and when those are really good then the canter will come. Prince was so in tune with me it was totally amazing!!!!!!!! We also did leading by the tail. I asked Prince to do it faster too. It is getting there!! We also worked on different things we can do with sideways, we did sideways from zone 5, sideways towards me over a tire, sideways from 15ft away and lots of other cool sideways things!!! We also played around with our draw, how far will Prince come in at a trot, and other things!

After I took the halter off Prince and I played at Liberty a little bit. We did some stick to me, sideways, drawing in at a trot and leading by the tail. Then we just hung out together for a bit before I let him go.

Prince offered me SOOOOOO much today and even when I asked him to do things that we have never done before he tried so hard and in the end we both had a blast!!!!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wintec Wide!

Well I decided to exchange my Wintec 500 for a Wintec Wide. I want to make sure that Twosox has LOTS of shoulder room. Plus it will probably fit Prince. It came today!! Normally I can't ride or play in the afternoon in the summer because the bugs are awful but today it was cloudy and perfect so I went out and tried it on Twosox. It was really wide but that is perfectly fine. The saddle also has the CAIR panels and the interchangeable gullet system. It is REALLY NICE!!!!! The billets are nice and long so I didn't have to get a longer girth either!!

I put it on Twosox and we went and played. We did some circles transitions etc. Then I asked Twosox to jump the barrels. He did it but wasn't really putting any effort into it. So I kept asking him jump it until he could and also till he could put more effort into jumping. After a couple times he did it so I gave him a rest. We also did some leading by the tail. I just took a couple tail hairs and asked him to back up and he did! He is SO sensitive!!

Then I asked him to go sideways over the barrels. He was really having trouble with it. So instead of asking him to go over the whole thing at once I asked him to so two steps sideways, stop, wait then go sideways off the end of the barrels. We kept doing this put every time I would ask him to go one or two steps farther onto the barrels, then come off the end. Every time he go more and more confident so then I asked him to go right over and off the other end. He was okay for about 3/4 of the way across then he got worried and rushed over the end. So I rubbed him and gave him a rest for trying. Then asked him again. But this time I stopped him just before he got worried. He lowered his head a little and looked more relaxed. Then I asked him to go off the barrels. He did it this time totally confident and didn't rush over the end. Then I asked him to go over the whole way. AND HE DID!! Twosox was perfectly confident the whole way!!!!!

Instead of trying to find a lot of new things to do with Twosox I am going to take the things we already can go and make then even better. I think that it will help his confidence a lot too.

We did a little bit of Liberty. We did some stick to me, sideways, leading by the tail, and friendly in zone 1 while I was standing in zone 5. Twosox did so well!!!

Then I got on. The saddle is SOOOOO comfy!!! We walked around for a bit then I asked Twosox to trot. At first it wasn't exactly the smoothest trot. Twosox didn't want to trot a long time [he never does] I am going to get really good at downward transitions!! :) Twosox's trot got a little bit smoother after a bit, then he started stretching while we were trotting. It was so nice to see him stretching!! We did a lot of follow the rail for the first little bit then after Twosox gave me a REALLY smooth trot we took a break and went and did some sideways.

Twosox and I have been having trouble with Sideways. I am not sure why but we are. So I was playing around with different things today while we were riding. He would yield really well on the forequarter but our hind quarters needed some work. So we played with that. After a little while it was getting better and Twosox would yield better. So we went to the fence and I asked Twosox to go sideways. It was more half sideways and half walking forward, so I asked Twosox to move his hind quarters over and then he started getting worried. I was trying REALLY hard not to get frustrated. It seems that sideways brings out the worst in both Twosox and I. I figured that I would try being really really really light and see if that helped..... it did. Twosox started going sideways and we didn't even need a fence!! Some times his hind quarters would be lagging a little bit so I would really softly ask him to catch up and he would. *sigh* Just when I think I am being light Twosox shows me a whole new meaning of the word :) He is so good for me!!

I had to remember to focus too. It is becoming a lot easier and I almost don't have to think about it anymore!!! It really helps me be able to sit his trot!! My mom said that my stirrups looked a little long so I decided to get off and shorten them. As soon as I got back on Twosox I felt a HUGE difference!!! I really felt that I was on my balance point and I wasn't coming unbalanced when we were trotting. It was even more comfortable too!!!

We then went and did some point to point, we climbed up on the pedestal, we did some bow ties then I got off. When I took the saddle off I looked at Twosox's back and was REALLY surprised not to see any rub marks! Normally there are some small ones but there were NONE what so ever. Plus his back looked better!! I had a hard time believing that Twosox's back would change that fast but he is a sensitive horse and once I compared the pictures that I took of his back before and after I rode I can tell there is a difference!!! I am SOOOOOO happy!!!!

I will post pictures soon!!

Anyways.... I am going to go read now!! I told myself that I couldn't start a new book till I had caught up on here!! [I needed some good old incentive!! hehe ;)]


P.S. Here is a totally AMAZING video that my best friend Lea made.... it is called "The future of Parelli"

More on focus!

July 9 2009

Prince and I had another great play time and ride today!!! We didn't really do anything new on the ground. Prince wanted to buck when he went into the canter on the circle so I let him get all that out on the ground... I did NOT want to ride that!! :)

When I was riding I worked on my fluidity again. It was even easier to sit Prince's trot!!! It is amazing how much having focus can do!!! Prince was willing to trot too. So that was nice. One time started trotting really fast and I lost my balance a little bit but I realized after that I was looking at the ground in front of him instead of far ahead!!!! No wonder ;) So the next time he started trotting faster I made sure that I was focusing and I didn't even notice that Prince was trotting really fast.

We also worked on our sideways. Prince was having a little bit of trouble with it so I took it slow and made sure my body was right and pretty soon it was fine. We even went sideways both ways over two tires stacked!!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

I played around with riding with just my savvy string. At first Prince would just run right through the pressure but near the end of our ride he would yielding to it really good!! At the end of our ride I stood up on Prince. He really couldn't care less. I swung my arms around and he just stood there perfectly still. I love you Prince!!!!


Interesting play time with Twosox...

July 8 2009

Twosox and I had an interesting play time together. I wasn't really in the mood for playing with a horse but I thought I would go out and just do some small stuff.

Twosox did pretty good on the ground. I put the bareback pad on him too. I wanted to ride him in it and see how it felt. It slid back a little because of his conformation. I can't wait till I find a saddle that fits him really well and he becomes more of a "good banana". Lord willing that will be soon.

After we played on the ground for a bit I got on a rode. We did some follow the rail, point to point then I wanted to work on some sideways quickly before the rain started [I was watching the dark gray clouds coming in]. Twosox was having trouble getting his hind quarters over and I should have gotten slower but I didn't and so he started getting worried. After about 5 minutes and we still were not getting any progress I decided to get off and try and fit it from the ground. I was almost frustrated and I knew that wouldn't help any.

Now the interesting thing was that our sideways on the ground was pretty good but while I was on the ground I remembered what Mrs. Parelli said one time that if your horse is having trouble going sideways GET SOFTER!! So I got back on and took it really slow and made sure that I get Twosox lots of time to get his body in the right place and move his hind quarters over. As soon I did that [plus I made sure that I was relaxed before I got back on him] he gave me some almost perfect sideways!!! Once we got some good sideways both ways I got off. By this time it was pouring rain but that was okay I don't mind getting wet and I was really glad to be able to work through that.

Now that I think back it was a pretty good play time but at the time I was kind of discouraged because when ever I play with Prince we have AMAZING play times and it is a lot of fun but with Twosox it was harder and really makes me think!! But I guess that is why I bought him.... to make me think.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Catch up time!

Well this is where I have to catch up on the last couple play times with my boys!! One thing that has happened is that I am switching the Wintec 500 for a Wintec Wide. I think that it will fit Twosox better and also fit Prince. So hopefully that will be here Monday!!! I am excited!!!

Now let see.... okay so on July 6 [man that seems like a long time ago! ;)] Prince and I had a REALLY REALLY great ride!!! We had did lots of stuff on the ground before we rode. We did zone 5 driving with two lines, that is getting SO much better!!! We did figure 8's, trotting, Touch it and lots of other stuff all from zone 5!!! I was able to keep it short and interesting both Prince and I. We did change of directions, w/t/c transitions, sideways towards me and sideways at a trot. It was SO much fun!!

When I got on Prince we just stood still for a little bit then we went straight to follow the rail at the trot. I wanted to work on my fluidity at the trot and I figured that following the rail was good because Prince would have a job. Well before I could ask Prince to do follow the rail at the trot we had to fix our very much broken follow the rail. After a couple laps around the riding ring Prince knew what his job was so I asked him to trot. It was okay but I still didn't feel that fluid. So I kept experimenting with different things, moving different parts of my body etc. I did find that I could sit his trot a lot better than before. My mom was watching me and she said that it looked really good.

After about 10 minutes of experimenting I finally found what I problem is..... now the sad thing is that it was so obvious that is should have seen it!! But anyways it was a BFO that is for sure!!! Are you ready for this.... it was my focus!!! Like DUH!!!!! Oh well you live and learn. I had to make sure I when we were trotting that I was focusing far ahead at another fence post and as soon as I was doing that riding Prince's trot was a breeze!! I mean I could sit his trot, I could do a rising trot, even when he trotted really fast it was like he wasn't trotting as all!!!

We took a break from trotting and played around with our sideways, Prince gave me a perfect sideways with just a little bit of pressure from my savvy string and leg!!!! It was beautiful!!!! We also did [for the first time ever!] sideways over a barrel!! and I didn't even have my carrot stick!! Prince is getting SO much lighter!!

We did a little bit more trotting. We have never trotted so much before!! We almost trotted one whole circuit!!! It was great!! Prince had a little bit of trouble walking along one side of the riding ring. I think he saw something in the bush so we played around with that. It was fun!! We also did some FABULOUS figure 8's Prince was light and really responding to my seat and FOCUS!!!

So my focus is something I really have to work on and not just when we are trotting but in EVERYTHING!!

After I had got off my mom asked me to do figure 8's with Prince so that she could see how we do them so she would now how to do them with Knightly. So Prince and I did. Prince trotted the whole time!! We got the best figure 8's that we have EVER gotten!!! Then my mom challenged me to try then at Liberty. So we did. Prince was really good. He was going ever so slow but they were figure 8's non the less. At the end Prince came trotting into me and I didn't even ask for it!! He is such a special boy!!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Horses makes my world go round

July 2 2009

So I was having a slow day. I didn't feel like I had done much and I guess it was showing because mom was like "Have you been out with Prince lately?" I said no I hadn't. She was like "You need to get out and play with him!"

So I went out and haltered Prince. I had a couple things I wanted to try but not much planned. It was just want I needed. We had an AMAZING play time!!!! Prince cantered 4 laps like it was nothing, I picked up all four of his feet and held them for a long time, we did an obstacle course, Touch it, Prince gave me some TOTALLY COOL change of directions they were amazing!!! Then when we were done I went and sat on the pedestal and Prince came over and climbed up right beside me!! It was so cute!!!

I worked some more with Prince's feet. He did really well. Then Ruffy came up and was being REALLY cute just watching Prince and I from the gate. So I let him in. Then I let Prince go and haltered Ruffy. I let Prince out on the grass. He liked that ;)

Ruffy and I had a lot of fun playing. I would play with him a little then pick out a foot and pick it out then go do something else. I had to think SO hard because I would think of something then we would go do it but Ruffy would do catch on so quickly that I had to keep thinking up new things.

Then thought that I should teach Ruffy to bow. Ruffy figured it out in like 2 minutes!!! He almost did a complete bow too!!!! Then we just spend some time together not really doing much. We had already done some circles, change of directions, jumping from a stand still, sideways towards and away and lots of other stuff. Ruffy is so clever!!!

When I was done with Ruffy I went to get Prince and close off the little strip of grass he is on and he came right over to me when I got there!!! Such a sweet horse!!!! I was defiantly a lot happier when I was done playing.

It turns out that our trimmer came over to trim some of the horses about an hour later so back out I went, this time in the pouring rain. But it was fun!! Prince was first. I was SOOOOOO proud of him!!! He was almost perfect!!! We set a record time of how long it took to trim all four of Prince's feet. It only took 45 minutes. Big difference from the very first time she trimmed Prince, it took her 2 hours on ONE foot!! Prince has come a long way!!!

So needless to say, I had a really good day!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Lord willing we are going to the fire works this evening so I will post picture for sure!!!

On another note, it has been 1 year and 2 days since I got bucked off Copper [a friends horse] and got a really bad concussion. On a better note, it has been 1 year and 3 days since I got my Fusion saddle!!!! That is for sure a better note to remember!! :)