Saturday, September 26, 2009

Break through... in a way

Yesterday was such a nice fall day. I couldn't have asked for a nicer day weather wise. It was beautiful out!!

I played with and rode Prince. We had a blast!! I make another change to the shimming pattern for my saddle. I think this one should do the trick.... I hope ;) Prince did really well while I saddled him. Isn't it wonderful when you can use even the smallest thing to help with saddling etc. When I was saddling Prince yesterday he was standing beside the fence and I needed to get to the other side but there wasn't any room for me between him and the fence, so I simply asked Prince to come sideways towards me and make room for me. He did it perfectly!! It is wonderful!!

We played a little bit in the corral. I like to be on the second stage before I go up the hill so that the saddle stays where is should and doesn't slide around. So we did some sideways and circles on the 12ft line. Even though I hadn't played with Prince a lot before I saddled him he did so well. He trotted 4 laps on the circle with out me correcting him once!!

Then we went up to the riding ring and played with our change of directions, transitions, sideways, and leading by the tail. It was so much fun!! We did some canter to walk then to canter again. At first Prince wasn't paying much attention to me but after a couple transitions and change of directions he got REALLY in tune with me. He started putting slack in the rope, he didn't break out of the canter, and our transitions got a million times better!!

After that I set a barrel up about 6ft from the fence then and put two poles on it and the other ends on the fence. It was about 3 1/2 ft tall. I sent Prince on the circle and "put" the jump in his way. I wasn't really sure what he would do because he has never jumped that high before, he has jumped the barrels on end but it was higher than that so I wasn't sure what he was going to do, and if he jumped it if he would make it over. He did. He just about 1ft higher then the jump too!!!! He just flew over it!!! When I disengaged him he turned and faced me with the look on his face like "I did it!!!"

Prince and I have only been practicing our ground tying for the last week or so but Prince has already figured it out. It is SO cool. He will just stand there and wait for me while I do what ever I need to do. I have such a cool horse!! We also played around with spinning. At first Prince wasn't sure what I wanted but after a couple tries we finally got something that resembled a spin ;) The last couple ones we did were actually really good!!

I switched the reins on my black hackamore to my blue one. The black one is SO small. Even though they are both the same size. The black one I had to tie really rather tight just so that I could tie it. So I am now going to be using the blue one. It is SO much better. It fits really well too. I think Prince was a lot happier with it too.

When I mounted up Prince wouldn't stop licking and chewing!! I am not sure if it was because of the shimming pattern or the hackamore but either way it was so cool!! We started with some Follow the rail, Million transitions, Weaving, and Sideways. Prince was SO responsive!!! I hardly even needed my reins!!

When we were doing the Million transition pattern Prince was totally amazing!!! We did it at the walk/trot. It was incredible!!! After we did that we played with refining our indirect and direct rein even more. Prince is doing so well!!!!! At one point we were facing one way and all I had to do was collect my reins and focus where I wanted to go [which was the other side of the corral] and Prince pivoted PERFECTLY 1/2 a circle to where I was looking!!!!!!!!!!! It was such a cool feeling!!!!!

Through out the whole ride Prince wouldn't stop licking and chewing!!! It was really cool!! Plus the had his head REALLY low. Even when I took the saddle off he kept it low. It was interesting!

Prince's back is looking so much better now. It is so nice!!


Interesting play time with Twosox

 September 24 2009

I had a rather interesting play time with Twosox. It started out with an "oh boy" moment. I had haltered Twosox and saddled him. He was doing really well until we were going up to the riding ring and suddenly Twosox took off bucking, and I mean he was bucking BIG. I let go of the rope, he ran down the road. So I went up to the riding ring and put the 22ft line and hackamore down by the time I was walking down the hill again to get Twosox he had turned around and was walking back. He came and stood beside me, he was breathing a little hard but he seemed okay. Then I saw that one of my stirrups were missing..... I looked around and saw that he was on the fence post.... we used to have a gate on the once side of the corral and the hinges that the gate hooked onto were still there. So when we were walking by the stirrup got caught on the the one hook, Twosox felt the pressure and feeling trapped, exploded.

Fortunately it was my english saddle so the stirrup just came off and everything was okay. We went up to the riding ring and I put everything back in place. For the first couple minutes we just stood there. Making sure that we were both relaxed before we started.

Then we went and did some circles. I wanted to make sure that Twosox had no buck left in him before I got on. He seemed to be okay until I asked him to do a change of direction and then he took off bucking. After that he was okay. We did lots of transitions. To make sure that Twosox could go fast then slow down and not get scarred or on adrenaline. At first Twosox had a hard time with this but then he started doing really well and got pretty connected. We played around with some cantering also. Twosox doesn't canter a lot [when we are playing or on his own] so it was interesting. I have to play around with getting an effective phase four but not scarring him. That will be interesting.

After that we did some Figure eights, Weaving, Touch it, jumping and sideways. Twosox did really well with all those. Then I realized that Twosox hadn't licked and chewed once so far so we took a rest. Twosox did a really small lick and chew so I just waited then after about 5 minutes he totally relaxed, he was yawning, licking and chewing, sighing, his head was low. It was great!!

Then I went to his feet. He did SO well. I was really proud of him. His front feet are really good. I am starting to recognize different parts of his foot and such. He let me pick of his back feet!!!! Now a thought just struck me that that might seem really simple. That Twosox let me pick out his back feet.... but that is okay. Because I know that it was without tension and that is big for Twosox.

After I I asked Twosox to put all four feet on the pedestal. It took a little while but he finally got it. Then asked him to stay there while I went and got my hackamore. He stayed there for a while but then got down and started walking towards me. So I politely asked him to get back up on the pedestal. Once he was back up there I put the hackamore on him. He stood really well. He lowered his head for me and everything!!! Then I went over to the fence and left him there again. This time he stayed longer but still got off the pedestal and came over again. So I asked him to climb back up. This time he licked and chewed over that. Hmmmm... a change. I had to leave once more to get my helmet and this time Twosox stayed the whole time!!!!! He looked at me but he didn't move his feet. It was interesting because then when I asked him to get off he didn't want to!!! :) I think he figured the puzzle out!! ;)

I then got on... but not before checking our lateral flexions ;) At one point we were walking down the rail and I asked Twosox to stop and he spun around and looked at the gate. Fortunately it was just Ruffy. I could feel that Twosox was tense so I got off. More for my sake than his. Then I got back on again. I would rather have to get back on again then fall off ;)

Once I was on again we did some point to point and follow the rail. Just to get Twosox's mind on me. He did really well with those. Twosox soon started to listen to my body more and my rein less. So that was good. We then did some Weaving, Sideways, and refined indirect and direct rein. When we were doing the direct rein I started to ask Twosox to move his weight back to his hind quarters and pivot. He had a really hard time with this. I didn't realize just how much Twosox has his weight on his forequarters! He couldn't pivot. I would release every time Twosox tried and after a little bit we got two steps!!

Then we just stood there for a while. Twosox licked and chewed then I got off. We didn't ride long but that was more for my sake. I am not unconfident about riding but I am just making sure that I end on a good note each ride.

It was interesting because Ruffian was still standing out side the riding ring, sleeping. I had let Twosox go but I hadn't opened the gate yet. Ruffy decided he wanted to roll so he went down, I was like "Hmmm I wonder if Twosox will roll too?" He did. A couple seconds later Twosox left me and went over to the really sandy spot in the riding ring and rolled. It is really interesting how the horses read into each others emotions!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saddle fit, cool transitions and hooves!

Sorry for all the post today. This has been the first chance I have had to get caught up. This will be the last post for today though ;)

This morning I went out and played with Prince, even though it looked like it could rain any minute. I had a new shimming pattern in my theraflex and I wanted to try it out.

Prince followed me over at Liberty to the gate where the halter was. I am trying to think of new things that I can do with Prince. Doing the same things [in this case haltering] differently. Prince was really good. He just stood there while I got the halter ready [I took a little extra longer because I wanted to see what he would be ;)] Prince did have some trouble bending his head for the halter. Not sure why, he is normally great. So I played with the horse that showed up. We spent about 5 minutes at it, rewarding the slightest try, and finally Prince got it.

I attached my savvy string to my halter. I wanted to have something a little bit lighter on the halter. I wasn't quite brave enough to saddle Prince at Liberty so I figured this would be the next step. Prince will stand still while I saddle him and the rope will be on the ground not problem but I wasn't making any assumptions ;). 

Prince stood fine the whole time. Then we played a little bit with just the 6ft of rope. It was so much fun! We did sideways towards and away, circles w/t/c!!!! Change of directions, transitions, yo-yo and some more!! It was so cool!!

After that we went up to the riding ring. We did driving from zone 5 up the hill. I am trying to give Prince more rope than I normally do. I left the belly of the rope on the ground. It will really help our Liberty. When we got up to the riding ring we did some Sideways over two tires from 20ft away. Then we did some totally AMAZING walk to canter [and back down again] transitions. Prince was SO in tune and had a lot of energy to give me. It was so cool!!!! All I had to do to get him to walk was relax and lift my stick a little bit then once he had walked about 1/2 a lap I would pick up my energy and he would go into the canter and canter for a laps or two then I would do it again. Our transitions have never been that good before!!! Prince is so amazing!!!

I brought Prince in after that and gave him a rest. I couldn't believe how hot it was this morning!! It is the first day of fall and it is almost warmer then it was all summer!! Prince was even sweating! Which come to think of it it is not a bad thing. He needs to loose weight. So he is on a weight loss program.... well not really but I do have a lot of cantering in mind for the next couple weeks.... or months depending on how long it takes for him to loose that fat tummy ;) I wouldn't over do it though. So you don't need to worry about that ;) ;)

Anyways. Then I played with picking up Prince's back feet. I had done his front ones in the corral. He was so good and let me hold them, pick them out, move them around etc. I started by just giving his back legs a good massage. He really liked that. The really nice thing that was Prince's tail was perfectly still!!! Hooray!! No more getting hit in the face when you are trying to pick up his back feet! I totally understand why Prince was doing it though. I would have to if I went through what he did. I rewarded the slightest try and when Prince took the weight on his foot I released. He is so soft!!! Phase one the whole time!!! Pretty soon Prince handed me his foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He has only done that once or twice before!!!! He let me hold it and pick it out. It was SOOOOOOOOOO nice!!!!!! Prince got oats for that [yes I know there goes the weight loss program ;) but I would rather have a fat horse that will hand me his feet then a slim horse that won't pick his feet up ;)]

Then I went to the other back leg. That leg was a little big harder but I knew that before because it has always been the harder leg. Prince did really well though and let me hold it and get most of it picked out. I was so proud of Prince!!!! He did so well!! Then I sent him over to the pedestal and asked him to climb up with all four feet and stay there while I unsaddled him. There was only a little bit of ruffled hair and it was were one of the shims were. Hmmmmm How interesting!! I am going to try a thin shim there instead next time. Even though I wanted to ride I wanted to see if there was any ruffed hair because it might have been from me. So at least we are getting some where.

Prince stayed on the pedestal even after I let him go. Then after I couple minutes I asked him to get off. I guess the little bit of ground tying work that we have done has payed off!!! I let Prince out to eat some grass on the little strip  of grass that is around the riding ring. We keep it fenced off because it is kind of small for all four horses to be in there at the same time but we let one horse in there every once now and then.

When I came back to let Prince out he came right over to me when I called him. He is such a sweet horse!! He followed me over to the gate and the slowly walked part way down the hill. I had gone back into the riding ring to get my saddle and other equipment and when I turned around there is Prince coming back into the riding ring!!! He came back to be with me!!! I was surprised but it was a nice surpise!! Prince waited with me while I picked up everything then followed me down the hill into the corral. It was a really good ending to a really good play time!!


Building more confidence in Twosox and Libery with Prince.

September 21 2009

Yesterday I played with Twosox. We haven't played in a long time.... well okay it has only been a week but it has seemed like ages!! Twosox and I played with building more confidence in him. I picked up all of his feet. His front feet are really good. He will let me do almost anything with them but his back feet he is so tense when ever I pick them up. Poor guy. So I did lots of friendly game and get him relaxing before I even picked them up. That really helped. He let me hold them but like I said he was really tense. He would relax a little bit after a couple seconds. So after I had picked up each of his back legs once I stopped there. I then went and sat on the ground and we hung out together for a bit. Then Twosox started licking and chew, blowing, and yawning. He lowered his head and really relaxed. It was such a nice sight!!

Then we went and played around with being more particular about our porcupine games. Getting him to pivot instead of just walking around. Twosox caught on pretty quickly. Then we did some sideways and backing up. Twosox is so light!!

After that we walked over to the tractor tires. Twosox walked through it no problem. It is amazing how his is confident doing that now!!! He had a little bit of trouble walking through it going to the right but he did it and was confident. One time he jumped it but that was because I sent him to big and with to much energy.

All in all Twosox did really well. He was responding really well. I am really proud of him!! :)


After I was finished with Twosox I had to give the horses there salt and Hoffman's minerals. We want to free feed it but we can't figure out how to free feed it plus keep the rain and dirt out. So every week I put it out for the horses in there grain pans and they eat all they want. They were all done eating except Twosox so I was standing in the corral making sure that the other horses didn't come over and drive him away before he was done. Prince was on the out side of the corral and came in. Twosox and I were close tot he gate so I asked Prince to go in between me, the fence and through the tire. Prince jumped it to my surprise. So then I got the idea of just playing with Prince at Liberty for a bit.

So I asked Prince to come to me. We did Stick to me [walk, trot, back up], draw at a trot, Sideways towards and away [both were perfect sideways too], moving the hind quarters and fore quarters around, backing up, backing by the tail, Touch it, then I asked Prince to jump the tractor tire again. Normally when ever Prince jumps something at Liberty he will then run off but this time he was in tune with me that he didn't, he just disengaged beautifully and looked at me and asked a question. He was priceless!!!!!

Prince was itchy on his chest so I spent some time scratching him. That is where we ended. It was SO much fun. The whole time Prince could have left if he wanted to but he didn't. I think that when Prince and I get into a round corral we both get REALLY bored and don't have any fun. So it was really good for both of us to be able to have some fun at Liberty!! 

After I had finished playing with Prince I was talking to my mom and Twosox came up behind me and slept right beside me for around 10 minutes while we talked. It was really sweet!!


A whole new Prince!

Sunday September 20 2009

My mom and I went out and played with the horses. It was BEAUTIFUL outside. I saddled Prince [with a new shimming pattern]. Some things that I wanted to play with were

- Snappy departures in everything
- Sideways with my feet still
- Getting our porcupine games better. Lightness, Speed and Distance
- 5 circles at the canter. One thing that we saw at the clinic was you pick how many circles you want to your horse to do and what gait. Then you sent him off at what the gait and direction you have chosen then you count how many times you need to correct your horse [because he broke gait or stopped] then you work at it everyday and each day you should have to correct your horse less and less. Interesting!!

- Using my body/energy FIRST and then follow through.

Then for riding I wanted to play with

- Follow the rail. stopped at every corner and have STRONG focus. One thing that Mr. Pyne said at the clinic was to have really really strong focus.

- Refined indirect and direct rein. We got our September savvy DVD and it was all about rein positions and such. It was REALLY REALLY good. I showed me what I needed to do to truly refine our indirect rein and direct plus things like supporting reins etc.

Here are the things that I had to be thinking about while I played and rode...

- Getting my horse Happy and Snappy
- How effective is my phase 1
- Play strong to ride soft
- Have a STRONG plan
- Lightness, Speed and Distance
- Is this what I wanted my horse to do? Is this what I asked for?
- Using my body and energy first then my tools
- Is my horse aware of my energy?
- What do I want to get out of this session?
- After you wiggle your carrot stick once, you are obligated to tag your horse [this is more for Level 2+]
- Cause and Allow, don't Make and Let.

One thing that Mr. Pyne stressed at the clinic was that you have to be really particular. 

So with all that in my mind we set off. While we were still in the corral we did some porcupine sideways, Prince was leaking forwards so we had to play with that. Then Prince gave me a beautiful sideways for about 5ft at a phase one!! It was so nice!!!

On our way up the hill to the riding ring I drove Prince from zone 5. He was great!! Then we did some zone 5 driving with one rein. We did Weaving, Touch it and sideways. Prince was AMAZING!!! Then we started playing with sideways while I was keeping my feet still. Once Prince figured it out he was great!!! He would respond to just my energy!!!
Then we started to play with snappy departures. Prince caught on really quickly. On the third time I kind of though that I should just send Prince and not support it because Prince seemed to get it but I didn't [don't ask me why] and so I sent Prince and supported it. Prince went off at a canter [like he had been doing] but when I went to disengage his hind quarters he kept running. So I just slowly took more rope in till he turned and faced me. The interesting thing was that Prince wasn't quite RBE but he was definitely not his LBI. He was worried!!! It was my doing because I didn't need to put that pressure on him when I did. I guess Prince is a lot closer to the center of the circle than I thought he was!!! Now that I think about it he is really balanced I just never noticed it before.

So then since we had our snappy departures I asked Prince to canter the 5 laps. Prince cantered 5 laps with only 3 corrections. I was impressed! I thought it would be a lot more than that. One time Prince broke gait but picked the canter right back up again. When I went to bring him in he disengaged right away and looked at me with the most amazing look on his face!!!!!

After a bit of a rest I sent him over to the pedestal and Prince climbed right now. Then my mom asked Knightly too climb up beside Prince. I was about 20ft away from Prince and I had to move him over a bit so I just picked up my energy and pointed just a little with my finger and Prince moved over. It was so cool!!! As soon as I brought my energy up Prince at his attention on me and was like "okay what do you want me to do?!?!?" It was cool!! Once he moved over I relaxed but Prince was stilling looking at me with both ears and eyes. He was so in tune with me it was amazing!!!

At one point Prince and I were walking somewhere and I sent Prince over to a barrel that was lying there and Prince jumped it!!!! All I had to do was point and Prince did it!!! That was a HUGE improvement from before when Prince would walk around it, half jump it but half not and knock it around etc. It was so cool!!!

We also played with ground tying. Prince did really well. He figured it out really quickly. Prince was a little spooky too. If I dropped my carrot stick and had energy in my body he would start doing something. So I had to play some friendly with him. I remembered that the Parelli's said that when you get your horse more in tune with you they will get a little bit more spooky because they are actually paying attention!!

Ruffy and Twosox came up and were eating some trees and such around the riding ring then they took off into the bush. That didn't help Prince any. Since he wanted to move his feet I gave him a job to do. We did figure eights at a trot and canter. It is amazing how when you fix one thing [in this case it was Prince being snappy] that everything else gets better!! Our figure eights were incredible!!!!

After Prince was calmer I asked him to do some lateral flexions and indirect rein from the ground. He was still worried about Ruffy anf Twosox and where they were so it took a while but finally Prince relaxed and looked ready to ride. The whole time I was thinking "Does Prince look rideable?" "Is he paying attention to me or where the other horses are?" When he looked rideable I got on.

We just stood still for a while. Prince relaxed. Then we played around with some supporting rein, direct and indirect rein on more of a finesse rein. Prince was SO sensitive!!!! We did 1/2 of a circle with Prince pivot perfectly on his HQ's!!!!! Then we did sideways over to the my do give her my carrot stick. Prince went perfectly sideways and I was only using my body. We did a couple indirect rein and it was really good too.

Then we walked off. We did some Follow the rail. Prince was a little worried when we got to the one side of the riding ring but nothing to bad. We did 1 1/2 circuits of follow the rail, stopping at every corner. Prince got really good and would turn with out my reins. We did a little bit of trotting. One thing they did at the clinic was while you are following the rail you trot a little then bend your horse to the fence just a little so that they will come back down to a walk.

When ever I asked Prince into a trot he would put his ears back. Not pin them but I think it had a lot to do with the last time I rode and I got to direct line so Prince was now being defensive. We will get through it though. We played around with some more sideways, direct rein, getting Prince to pivot longer on his hind quarters. In the end Prince pivoted almost a whole circle!!! I was really proud of him!!! I had to get off once while I was riding. Knightly spooked at something and then Prince started to get worried again so I bent him and got off. Good thing I had practiced my emergency dismounts!!

Through out the whole play session and ride I was being very aware of my energy and making sure that I was doing that first before I used my tools. It made a huge difference in Prince. He started responding to the slightest suggestion. It was so cool!! The shimming pattern still wasn't quite right. Prince still had a lot of ruffled hair when I unsaddled. Hmmmmm..... we will get it!!



Okay so Friday September 18th we went to the meet up. I played with Sage. I don't remember her exact breed but she has some Percheron in her. She is only 13'2hh or something like that.

Anyways. I didn't do a lot with her. We went down to the arena and I sat on a log while she ate some grass for a bit then every once and a while I would ask her to move over, played friendly game with the carrot stick, disengage her hind quarters, back up etc. She did really well.  I am not sure what horsenality she is but I would say a RBI.

It was REALLY windy and rather cold but that was okay. There we other people playing so it helped her confidence. Then near the end the lady that owns Sage handed me a big plastic garbage bag and asked if I could play with it around Sage. At first Sage wasn't to sure about it. She wasn't scarred but she wasn't confident either. So I let it blow in the wind for a couple minutes then Sage started to relax a little. She even came up and sniffed it while it was blowing around!!

Then she fell asleep right beside me. It was so cute!! Her head was almost in my lap!!! It was sweet!!! Right before we went back to the barnyard I started rubbing Sage's face with the bag. She was fine with that so I moved down her leg and at the end I was able to rub her all the way down her back with the bag on both sides!!!!! I was really proud of Sage!!

On our way back Sage was REALLY in tune with me. There is a big field between the arena and the barnyard where the horses stay. When we were going to the arena all Sage wanted to do was eat and she was not listening to me at all. She was really leaning on the halter too. So one thing I did when we were playing was getting her softer and teaching her not to lean on the halter. She got REALLY sensitive and so when we were walking back to the barnyard I just had to pick up my life and Sage would start walking. We even trotted a little!!! She would only start eating when we stopped. It was really nice to have her walking with me instead of pulling her a long [or at least it seemed like that!]

She bent her head around really nicely for me and waited while I took the halter off then she slowly walked away. It was really fun!!


Sorry for disappearing like that

Sorry for disappearing like that. This past week has been really busy.... and I mean REALLY busy. Thursday I played with and rode Prince, Friday was the meet up, and then Saturday my mom, myself and two ladies from our Parelli group went to a Ron Pyne Clinic. It was SO good!! I learned so much and took lots of notes. The morning was Level 1 stuff then the afternoon was Level 2 stuff. Even though I am not playing in either of those levels I was able to pick up on some stuff and a lot of what Mr. Pyne said could apply to any level or I could easily adapt it to my level].  Most of the day was Online but there was a little bit of Freestyle. I was able to watch a lot of what Mr. Pyne did with his horse, Buck [absolutely beautiful by the way ;)]. They are amazing together!! I now know where I am heading with Prince!! I am super excited!!

As someone from a computer game once said "Cast your mind back to ____" so I have to cast my mind back to  

Monday September 14th.....

After I had played with Prince I played with Ruffy. He was really good. Not as playful as I thought he would be but that was fine. We did traveling circles, change of directions, transitions, Sideways, backing through a weave, figure eights and lots more. Then I got on and rode. Ruffy wasn't to bad. I made sure to do our lateral flexions. Then we did some follow the rail and weaving. Ruffy wanted to go slow so we took it slow. It was really sweet when Ruffy and I were riding along the one side Ruffy was walking kind of slow but when he saw my sister he perked right up and we walked right over to her and stopped. He was so sweet!! You can tell that Ruffy really loves her!! We also did a couple 9 step back ups. Ruffy is really sensitive!!

Then I got off and let Ruffian go. He stayed around and was being his normal LBE self. He is such a great sport!!!

Now.... let see....  

Thursday September 16th 

I played with and rode Prince. We spent about 3 hours playing and riding. He was pretty good for the most part. It seems like ages ago since Thursday so I might not remember everything that we did but I will try....

I changed the shimming pattern around a little bit in my Theraflex. Prince has ruffled hairs when I take the saddle off so I am trying to figure that one out. Prince did really well on the ground. We even did some zone 5 driving, which we haven't done in a LONG time. He was amazing!!! We did some Weaving, trotting, Touch it, back up and some sideways. We didn't do that for to long because I wanted both of us to stay interested!!

We also did some figure eights, circles, transitions, touch it, jumping, sideways, weaving and more. Prince did really well at all of them!! Then I got on and rode. I wanted to play with trotting figure eights and jumping. Those were the two main things that I wanted to play with. Plus refining our direct and indirect rein.

So we started off with the Figure eights. Prince did well at the walk but when I asked him to trot around the barrels plus through the middle he started tripping and not watching where he was going. At one point Prince tripped over some poles that were on the ground and fell, to me it felt like he just went down on his front two legs but my mom [who was watching] said that he fell right down then got back up again. I am not sure if Prince was tripping because he was being lazy and just wasn't paying attention or if it was the different shimming pattern, or if it was because it was really thick sand where we were doing it. I am not sure but for some reason Prince was having trouble. We kept with it until we could almost trot the whole figure 8.

Then we went and did some Weaving, sideways, and follow the rail. Prince and I did the weave at a trot!!!! It took us a couple tries to get the trot the whole way through but we did it!!! I was really proud of Prince. Then after that I asked Prince to jump. I had added one more tire to the jump so it was higher. The first time Prince jumped it not problem but then when I asked him to jump it again he didn't want too. Now that I think back I think that he felt my uncertainty about doing it again and that is why we had to much trouble when I asked him to jump it again. I just was a little unsure and Prince felt that. To bad I didn't clue in before now. Oh well. It took us a while before Prince jumped it again. I took the one tire out also. In the end Prince did jump it but I know now that I was direct line. Even though I wasn't necessarily forcing Prince over the jump I still got direct line and that is way Prince and I have had a little bit of a set back in our riding [more on that in another post].

Prince offered to buck twice through out the ride. Once when we were doing the figure eights and the second time when we were doing the jumping. Oh how I would have changed what I did if I could go back!! Knowing what I know now. Especially since the clinic that we went to on Saturday!!!

When I took the saddle off there was a lot of ruffed hair. So it might have been from the shimming pattern or because Prince and I weren't in harmony the whole ride. We shall see next time. I am going to keep [playing around with some different shimming ideas and see what I come up with.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

What a busy week.... and it isn't even over yet!!

So it started off with my birthday on Monday. Here is a picture of my cake...
Normally my mom will shape it and make it all really fancy but I had no idea what I wanted it shaped like so it ended up like that. It tasted SO good!! There was strawberry jam under the icy... YUMMY!!!!
Anyways..... enough with the food.

Monday morning I played with Prince and Ruffy. I think I set a record for how fast I caught Prince, saddled him, played with him and then rode. It was cool!! We went up to the riding ring to play. We did figure 8's at a trot and canter [Online], Transitions, Change of directions, Touch it, Traveling circles, and jumping. Prince did SO well. I was really proud of him. He was so in tune with me and was responding at a phase 2 or less!!
Then I got on and rode. I started off with my hackamore on. We did some Follow the rail, Weaving, Point to point and Transitions. Prince responded really well to just my body I hardly even needed my carrot stick and reins or even my savvy string!!

Since that was going well I took my hackamore off and rode around brideless for a while. We did some figure 8's, follow the rail, and a million transitions. Then I asked Prince to jump. We started out bridleless but Prince didn't quite know what I wanted so I put my hackamore back on. I did it from Prince's back too!! He just stood so well!!!

When I asked him to jump again he did it perfectly!!! We took a rest then did it one more time. Prince was great!! When we were riding bridleless Prince was responding so well. He has come such a long way in the past couple months!!! Sitting Prince's trot is really easy for me know. It is great!!! Now we are working on Prince trotting longer. He will trot a good length but we are working on him trotting for a longer period of time. I want to start playing with Weaving at a trot more too. This fall is going to be great!! It has been great already!!!!

After I was done with Prince I played with Ruffy. I will type that later though. I have to go. We [my family and I] are going out to a Chinese restaurant for supper to celebrate my birthday!! I am excited. I love Chinese food!!! :)


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall, Fog, and fun!

Today it was REALLY foggy outside. I waited till 10:30 before I went out to play with Twosox.

Here are some pictures that I took around 8:30/9:00am


It was all so pretty!!
Okay so now to the play time. After I had haltered and saddled Twosox we walked over to the tractor tires. Twosox walked right through it no problem!! Hooray!!! Then I asked him to walk through it on the other side but he wasn't confident enough to do it. Hmmmm..... How interesting!! Something to continue working on!!

We then went up to the riding ring. We started with some sideways with out a fence and with me keeping my feet still. Twosox did pretty well at that. He leaked forward a little bit but near the end he was going sideways. Then I sent Twosox on the circle. I had a little bit of a BFO and realized that I was only doing little things with Twosox because I didn't want him to get unconfident. So we would only do things at the walk and some trotting but we weren't progressing. So today I asked Twosox to respond a little quicker, we worked on cantering on the circle, Figure eights at the trot, jumping and some other things. Twosox did REALLY REALLY well. He has been ready to move on and for me to ask him to do more but I just haven't asked him to do it.

Twosox was so attentive to me and was asking LOTS of questions. It was incredible!!! When we were ready to ride I got on. It is amazing how different riding Twosox is compared to Prince. I never realized just how light and responsive Prince has gotten, but today I did. Twosox has always been really sensitive and has over all always been more responsive when we are riding..... up until today. It felt so weird not having the horse under you turn when you focus at something, go when we go, stop then you stop, back up when you back up etc. Prince does all that wonderfully!! It was interesting.

It kind of felt like I was riding a LBI and not a confident RBI. Twosox seemed to be ignoring me!!! Now I am wondering if Twosox has always been like this and I am just noticing it now because Prince has gotten WAY more responsive and so Twosox feels worse or what but something it different. All Twosox wanted to do was eat grass..... hmmmmm how interesting. Now that might be a good thing because maybe before Twosox wasn't confident enough to eat or maybe it is feeling that difference in saddle and now he can put his head down to eat. I don't know.

Anyways I was kind of thinking out loud there. Sorry about that ;) So let see....

Twosox and I did Figure eights, Follow the rail, Weaving, Point to point, 9 step back up, and Sideways. Twosox still responsive but it just felt different. I had to use my carrot stick/reins to turn him and it wasn't just a little bit but quite a bit actually. He didn't even want to trot!!! Which isn't that different from normal because normally Twosox doesn't exude energy when we are riding. So we worked on that. We did point to point at a trot and stopped at the little grass patches that could be found. The nice thing that was I could sit his trot!!! Even his faster trot I could sit no problem!!!

Our Figure eights are getting better. Twosox did really well going around the one barrel but on the other barrel he would wonder off. I made sure that I was doing everything right in my body and he got a little bit better. We just kept with it until there was a noticeable change. Weaving was really good also. I had made put the tires closer together yesterday so today when we were riding I wasn't sure how Twosox would do but he did fine.

After we had ridden for a while we worked on trotting. We went up and down the one side of the riding ring and every time Twosox broke gait I would let him walk a few steps that ask him to trot again. He started trotting for a little bit longer. So we stopped there.

It was definitely interesting. My saddle was really comfortable though!! I will have to start working on doing a rising trot in it. That is one thing I can't do in an english saddle..... or at least not very well ;)

After I had unsaddled Twosox I picked up his front to feet. The flies were to bad to do his back ones so they will have to wait. His front feet were nice and clean from riding in the riding ring so I didn't have to pick them out. So I just played with them a little, moved them around and then put them down.

It was a really good play time and ride all in all. Lots to lick and chew over!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simply amazing!

Today's play time and ride with Prince was simply amazing!! Lets see if I can explain...

After I had haltered Prince we walked over to the fence where my saddle was, there was a 4x4 board lying on the ground so I sent Prince over it then asked him to come sideways towards me and stop so that he was straddling it length ways. It took a couple minutes but we finally got it. After that Prince was riveted to me!! He stayed there while I saddled him. While I was saddling him I would stop every once and a while and rub one of his legs. I wasn't going to pick them up but I just wanted to rub them and then not pick them up so that Prince would be like "she didn't pick them up this time?" He was exactly like that!!!

After I saddled Prince we did some porcupine games. One of the things we worked on was our sideways. Prince will go sideways but not a true sideways because he leaks forward. So we played with that. Then we did a little bit of Touch it. I wanted Prince to touch the ends of the carrot sticks that were leaning on the gate. It took a while but Prince finally figured it out. Prince was trying SO hard to figure out what I wanted. He offered to put his foot on the fence, he was trying everything. Every time his nose got close to the carrot stick handles I relaxed and pretty soon he caught on and put his nose right on it.

Prince was so in tune with me that when we went up to the riding ring I didn't have to play a lot. I just needed to move him around a little to make sure he wasn't going to buck or anything. We did Figure eights at a trot then we went to a canter. Prince did SOOOOO well. He didn't pull on the rope either!! It was beautiful!!

Then we did some sideways over a barrel at the end of the 22ft line. I asked Prince to go part way over then stop. Then we went the other way off. He was totally connected. It was wonderful! Then we did some circles. Prince didn't buck once so that was nice. We got some really nice Change of directions. They were almost perfect!! Our transitions are getting SO much better also. When I relax Prince will slow down and when I pick up my energy Prince will too. Prince is also putting slack in the rope. Even at the canter there is lots of slack in the rope. It is really nice to have him connected to me on the circle and not just running around.

So after that I got on. Prince was so totally amazing!! I didn't use my reins at all [except for right near the end but I will get to that ;)] We started with some follow the rail. We started off at the trot. I am now able to sit Prince's trot really well. It is so nice just to be able to sit it. It also makes downward transitions easier too ;) While we were following the rail we did some transitions. Prince was so in tune with me that all I had to do was relax and he would go from the trot to the walk, then we would walk a little bit then I would relax and we would stop, then we would back up. We did a couple of these. I couldn't believe it!! They were perfect!! I didn't even need to use my savvy string!!

Then we switched to the Million Transitions pattern. Prince was even better!! We didn't really do a lot of those because we had been doing transitions on the Follow the rail. Then I grabbed my other carrot stick and we did some two carrot stick riding. Again Prince was incredible!! We did sideways, trotting, backing up, point to point, follow the rail, and figure eights all with two carrot sticks. Riding freestyle [not using my reins at all] has greatly improved my seat. I am so much more fluid!!!!

Then after that I put both carrot sticks down and we JUMPED the small jump!!!!!!!!!! We did it twice in total, the first time Prince walked up to it and jumped it from a stand still so we knocked both poles over but the second time we got a trotting start and he jumped it perfectly!!!!!!!!!! It was only the second and third time that I have ever jumped. The first time I was riding a friends horse and he jumped a barrel from a stand still and I got whiplash. I wasn't at all expecting it. That was over a year ago. I have been watching how the people [Parelli people ;)] jump and so today I knew exactly what to do and it was really smooth and I didn't get whiplash!! But I would warn you that it does get addicting!! I LOVE IT!!! Prince did a great job too. I can't believe how well our ride went.

Oh and another thing that we did that was REALLY cool was that Prince can now pivot on his hind quarters!!!! We did about 3/4 of a circle and Prince pivoted PERFECTLY!!!!!! Even when I asked him to turn he would pivot. I just have to make sure my weight is in the right place and he will do it.

We didn't ride long. About 30 minutes but both Prince and I were interested the whole time and both of us had a BLAST!!!! Prince was so light and responsive. I didn't think he would be that responsive for a while!! So now the only thing we have to work on is cantering then we can film our Level 3 Freestyle Audition!! But I am not going to rush it. We will do it when we are ready but in the mean time we are going to have a blast riding!!

Now we just need to work on our Liberty and improve that. I think that since our Online is a whole lot better now we will have more success at Liberty. The good thing is that I wouldn't have know where to improve our Online if I didn't try Liberty again. So that is good.

Anyways. That is all for now. I can't wait until I can ride Prince again. It probably wouldn't be again this week because tomorrow I play with Twosox [Lord willing], Friday is the Parelli meet up, Saturday I can't ride because neither of my parents are home and Sunday is church, then Monday is my birthday but hopefully I can ride on my birthday!! That would be cool!

Oh I would just like to say a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to my best friend Lea for passing her Level 2 Freestyle!!!! You are amazing Lea and I love you!!! Check out her blog at 


Monday, September 7, 2009

We crossed a threshold this morning...

I am the proud owner of a confident, tractor tire walking through RBI!!!

This morning Twosox crossed a HUGE threshold!!! Twosox walked THROUGH the tractor tire CONFIDENTLY!!!! I was SO proud of him!!! He tries so hard when I ask him to do something. What a special boy!!!

This morning I went out to play with Twosox. After I had haltered him I saddled him up. We played in the corral for a little bit. We did some porcupine games and short range circles then we went over to the big tractor tires. A couple posts ago I mentioned that Twosox couldn't walk through them but he would jump them and that he had gotten his leg caught in one last year and was really scarred of doing anything with the tractor tires. Twice [this play time and our last play time] I has been playing around them. Twosox has come a long way and could put his foot on it and get his nose and neck over it but he couldn't walk through them.

So today I sent Twosox over to them. He sniffed them and then offered to jump it. I took it and then sent him back over to it, just wanting him to sniff it and out his foot back on it. He jumped it again [both times from a stand still]. So the next time I make sure to have just a tiny little bit of energy in my body. Twosox walked up to it but this time he got his front feet closer to it. Progress! So I asked him to go a little bit closer. He offered to put his foot inside the tire. He didn't put it on the ground but it was a huge thing just for Twosox to put his foot in it because that is how he got is caught in there last time. I was so proud of him!!

Twosox confidently pulled his foot out then I lightly asked him to move closer to the tires. This time he jumped it but it was really slow. So I gave his a rest for that then I sent him over to them again. Each time he went to the tires I could see him getting more and more confident. This time Twosox walked right through it!!!!!!! I was shocked and surprised!! I could see Twosox getting closer to doing it and more confident but I NEVER thought he would do it so soon!! Twosox didn't even get worried part way through he just calmly walked through the tires. I let Twosox lick and chew over that. He had a big lick and chew over that then we went up to the riding ring.

We did some Touch it, circles, transitions, change of directions, and jumping. Since we had played for a while down in the corral Twosox was paying attention to me so we didn't have to do a whole lot. Our transitions are getting really really good. We have to work on our trot to canter transitions but we will get there. I am really trying to wait till Twosox is totally confident at one thing before we advance it and it has been working really well. As long as I keep with it and don't push him ;)

Then I got on and rode. It was the first time that I have ridden Twosox since I fell off. I wasn't unconfident but of course I was careful. It didn't help that there was squirrels falling from the trees but Twosox was okay with that.

We did Figure eights, Follow the rail, Sideways, 9 step back up from a walk, a little bit of trotting, and Point to point. Twosox did REALLY well with all of them. He is so sensitive!! We rode around for a while in the one side of the riding ring then went to the round corral side. I noticed that I am  more confident riding Twosox in the round side for some reason. I think it is because I know he is more confident. It would be so nice to have a real round corral!! I think Twosox would really benefit from one but for now we don't have one. So we will make do with what we do have.

We didn't ride to long, about 30 minutes. I wanted to make sure that we ended on a really good note, more for my sake then Twosox's. I wanted to make sure that our first ride after I had fallen off was a good one... and it was. Twosox even stretched some!!! His head was low the whole ride which is a wonderful sight!! His back and scapula are getting better too!! It is wonderful!!

Tomorrow I hope to ride Prince. I was watching some Level 3 Freestyle Auditions today on Youtube and the only thing that Prince and I couldn't do is the cantering and we are already working on that. I have a feeling that this fall and winter are going to be really fun!! Since winter is coming [scary I know!] I am trying to get a lot of riding in with my saddle because I know that in the winter I will be doing a lot of bareback riding instead because of all the snow we get it makes it really hard to ride in a saddle, plus it is freezing cold and I am not very fond of cold toes ;) but then who it. :)

So anyways. I am trying not to think about winter. I like it but fall is my favourite so I want to enjoy every minute of it!!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

I played with Prince this morning. We didn't do a lot but that was okay. Once I had halterd him I spent about 20 minutes just massaging his legs. Prince really enjoyed that.

Then we went up to the riding ring and played around with jumping one barrel, transitions and change of directions. Prince did really well with the transitions. He didn't want to walk a full circle though so we played with that. Then when he was bursting with energy I asked him to canter and he cantered two laps then I brought him in. We did lots and lots of transitions. Prince is getting really soft and is putting more slack in the rope even with out me asking!!

Our change of directions will be the next thing we really refine. They have gotten better now that our transitions are getting better but they need some work. After that I worked on picking up Prince's feet. Then after we were done that I took Prince out onto the grass and he ate for a while when we both went back down to the corral.

It was a really good play time. Short and sweet!


Friday, September 4, 2009

What it is all about...

  It's all about LOVE, LANGUAGE & LEADERSHIP in equal doses. That way you will never force a horse against his will... you'll cause your idea to become his idea. 
That's the Parelli way.
This is so true. I had a little experience with the opposite side of that and it wasn't very nice. I never want to see it again that is for sure.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It just keeps getting better!

I played with Prince this morning. Since my mom is suffering from allergies and can't go out early to play with the horses my oldest brother came out with me. It was a lot of fun being with him. It is an amazing brother!!

We went out into the bush to find the horses. They were way at the back of 28 acres. Then Prince didn't want to be caught. So we started driving them home but it is hard to do that in the bush so eventually I just decided to catch Prince. There was an apple tree back on the bush so we grabbed some apples for the horses. After I caught Prince we walked back home. The other horses followed but then we stopped to let them go down the big hill first. Then Prince and I played stick to me the whole way home. At first Prince wasn't paying attention to me, he just wanted to be with the other horses but after a couple minutes he started to think that I was more interesting ;)

After I saddled Prince we went up to the riding ring. Prince was in a REALLY good mood. He wasn't to interested at first but after we had played a little bit he really started asking questions and offering things. The first thing we did was I asked Prince to put his straddle a pole length ways. So his left side and feet were on one side and his right side was on the other. Prince figured it out in about 5 seconds. Then we BACKED off of the pole that way!!

Before I went out I looked at the self assessment sheets and got time things I wanted to work on. On of the tasts was circling 10-20 laps. So I sent Prince out on the circle and he trotted 5 laps to start with. While he was trotting I noticed that on the first lap he was trotting really fast, kind of like was on adrenaline. Then the second lap he softened a little then each lap he got a little bit softer. He didn't slow down but his trot got smoother and softer. So when he was on lap #5 I asked him to slow down to a walk. All I had to do was relax and he started walking. He walked for about half a circle then I asked him to canter, phase one and he cantered. So we played around with our transitions. They were really really good and when I had a chance to think about it after I had finished playing it was because he was softer and paying attention to me when I asked him to do something different. Hmmmm how interesting!!!

In the end we got 7 laps on the circle. Not bad!!! Then I asked Prince to change direction and he did it so smoothly!!!! It was incredible!!! We did a couple change of directions then I brought him in. Prince was so in tune with me when we were finished it was so neat!!!

Then I asked Prince to pick up his feet. He was SO good. he softly handed me his feet and let me hold them and play around with them. I did his front to feet from the same side but his back ones I am not quite ready to ask him for that yet. He was really good for his back feet too. He picked them up nicely and let me hold them. He has gone such a long way with his feet!! I remember when it was such a huge struggle pick them up and hold them. Now it is so easy!!

We also worked on dragging the bucket. Prince was totally fine with it dragging close to him and far behind him. After that we worked on doing lateral flexion from the ground with a carrot stick. Prince got it just like that. He figured it out so quickly!! Once we had played around with that for a little bit I then got on and rode. Prince did so well. We did a perfect sideways for about 20ft with out a fence. Prince was so soft and responsive. We worked on refining out indirect and direct rein. Prince will now back up with just me wiggling my legs but a tiny little bit. He is so cool!!!

Then we did some preparation for bridleless riding. Just riding with my carrot stick and a savvy string. Prince was responding really well to my body. We did some trotting too. I now find it really easy to sit Prince's trot. It is so much nicer then doing a raising trot all the time.

We then rode over to the fence where I had put the rope that was tied to the bucket was. I picked it up and we started  by backing away from the bucket and letting it follow. Prince was okay withat so we rode forwards. Prince was okay with it dragging around his back legs so I let the rope slide a little bit and the bucket started dragging farther behind Prince. Prince was fine the whole time. So we dragged it around different places then since Prince was fine with it we stopped.

Prince was doing so well that I decided to try taking the hackamore off then putting it back on. Prince bend his head around and held it there for me while I took it off then brought it back around so I could put it back on. Then I took it off again. Prince stood perfectly still while I did up the hackamore then we rode over to the fence and put it there.

We then went and did some walk to halt transitions, backing up, turning, point to point and follow the rail, then since everything was going well I asked Prince to trot. We trotted around the end of the riding ring and then all I did was relax and Prince stopped right there. I was totally amazed!! I didn't think Prince would respond that quick!!! It was really cool!! Prince has gotten so much better at listening to my body it is amazing. When I relax he either slows down or stops, when I turn he turns, when I back up he backs up.

Like Mr.Parelli says "There is nothing you can't do when your horse becomes are part of you" That is so true!!

Tomorrow the horses are getting there feet trimmed. I hope that goes well.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well I wasn't sure what to title this so it isn't getting a title ;)

I played with Twosox this morning. on our way up to the riding ring we stopped at the tractor tires that were sittingin the corral. Before when I have asked Twosox to walk through then he would tried but was really scarred and got even more scarred because he foot got caught in the tire. So now when ever I ask him to walk through he will jump it. I left it for a while just because it wouldn't a huge deal that he wouldn't walk through it but today I wanted to see what he would do. So I sent him up to them. He sniffed it and offered to put it foot on the tire. I was impressed!! I waited to see what he would do next. Soon after he looked at me and asked a question. So I smiled and waited. He started putting his foot in different places and played around. Then he took his foot off so I rubbed him and then asked him to step towards the tire. He got his nose and neck over the tire and then put his foot on it again. He looked at me again and asked another question. We ended that there because Twosox did really well considering what he used to do. He licked and chewed then we went up to the riding ring. Twosox stayed right beside me the whole way up the hill. I didn't even need to ask him!!

I spent a little bit of time just rubbing Twosox and hanging out with him. Then we went and did some figure 8's. I started them normally then I moved back so that I was farther away from the tires. We only did them at a walk but Twosox did REALLY well. I ended up being about 20ft away from the tires. Twosox was a little unsure about me being farther away but he still did really well.

Then we did some Touch it from 22ft away. One time I sat down on the ground and sent Twosox over to a jump that was up. It was about 20ft away from where I was sitting. Twosox walked over it the first time then the next time I stopped him half way over. He looked at me and the look on his face was so cute!! He was like "and what is the point in this?" It was funny. He stayed there until I asked him to go the rest of the way over and come to me. After we took a rest for a while I got up and stood in a tire and sent Twosox around on the circle. He did two laps one way at the trot then we did a change of direction and went the other way.

There were some chainsaws cutting trees down [I think] somewhere near by and Twosox got really worried about them. He was half RBI and half RBE. I haven't seen Twosox go right brain in a long time but I took it and we went and did some Figure 8's, Touch it, Falling Leaf, Sideways, backing up etc to get his mind on me. After a while he started licking and chewing, sighing, blowing and relaxing. So that is where we ended. He wasn't paying total attention to me but it was a lot better. He could keep his feet still and wasn't right brain. So I took the halter off and started walking over to the gate. Twosox followed me so I started slowly running and he did the same. It was really neat!!

It was a really interesting play time that is for sure. I am so glad God gave me Twosox! He is an amazing horse and has taught me so much.