Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What a change!

I can't believe the change is Twosox!! Today when I played with him he was so much more confident. On the circle he was connected and wasn't looking out or away. At first I just asked him to walk then when that was going well and he could do that I would ask him to trot every time he got a a barrel [there were two]. At first he would only trot a couple steps then break gait but after a while he relaxed and then he started trotting longer and longer. At the end he trotted from one barrel to the other. I then brought him in and gave him a rest. It was so nice to see him confident and not bracing!!!

After a rest I backed him out and we went the other way. He was having a little bit more trouble so I switched to a driving game.... in a circle like Mr. Parelli showed in the Level 3 Online DVD. That really really helped Twosox. If he broke gait I would let him walk for a couple steps then ask him to trot again. We got two laps at a trot!!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!! Twosox was really confident and was trying so hard!!!!!! We took a long rest while my mom did Figure eights with Knightly then we did some Stick to me at the walk/ trot/ and back up. Twosox was so in tune with me and did exactly what I did!!!

Then we did Figure eights. Again Twosox blow me away!!! He did an almost perfect Figure eight right off the start!! He would look away just a tiny little bit when he was coming towards me so we just kept it up until it was a non issue. Then I asked him to trot.... just a little. Twosox offered to trot way more then I would have ever expected!! He trotted over 3/4 of the Figure eight pattern!!! After about 2 figure eights I brought him in!! I was so proud of Twosox!! We much have done something right last play time!!!!

After a long rest I let Twosox got. Twosox stayed right with me though so we played at Liberty a little bit. We did some Stick to me first then I asked Twosox to jump the barrels. He jumped right over them and then turned and faced me. Our draw is SO much better!! All I have to do is take a couple steps backwards and Twosox will come right to me. Then when I was about 20ft away from the pedestal I sent Twosox to it. At first he walked up to it, put one foot on it and then looked back at me like "Is this what you wanted Keri?" then he climbed up with his front two feet. I walked up to him and stood on the pedestal with him. He was perfectly content standing there. Then I started swinging my carrot stick and savvy string around etc. Twosox just stood there quietly. Twosox was amazing!!

When I opened the gate to let Twosox out he just stood there then I had to sent him out because my mom wasn't done with Knightly. He slowly left and then moseyed down the hill into the corral.

I can't believe how well Twosox did!!! It was so much fun!!!

Next time should be fun!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh what fun it is to ride my horse bareback and brideless...

even in when it is -20c [not including wind chill;)]...... and that is what I did this afternoon!! After we had finished cleaning the corral I decided that it was to cold to do an all out play time with Prince so we played in the corral at liberty then I got on and rode around bridleless with just a savvy string and carrot stick. It was so much fun!!!

We did Stick to me walk, trot, back up and sideways [both towards and away]. Then we did Touch it. I asked Prince to put his hind feet on one pedestal and his front feet on the other. At first he wasn't quite sure what I wanted but after a could tries we got it. That was the first time we have ever done that at Liberty and only the second time we have ever done it!! So I was really proud of him!!!

Then we went over to the water trough and I climbed up. This time I rode with my carrot stick so that was fun. We did transitions, sideways with and with out a fence, point to point [climbed up on the pedestals!!] indirect and direct rein, pivoting on the HQs and backing up with out using my savvy string or carrot stick. Prince did REALLY well!!!!! Our sideways was a HUGE improvemnt from our last ride!!! Prince was really responsive and I didn't even need to use my carrot stick. Except for one when I had to stop his forequarts from running away with out his hind quarters ;) But he got it all figured out!!!!

It wasn't a long play time/ride but I am glad I did it. It was fun!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Going slow.....

Yesterday [December 27 2009] morning when I was outside I went to see the horses and spent some time with Twosox. I didn't do a whole lot. Just rubbed him and then massaged his legs. While I was massaging his legs I could slowly see him start to relax and by the end he was totally relaxed and spent about 5 minutes yawning, licking and chewing and then fell asleep. It is amazing how Twosox can look okay but you don't know how unconfident he really is till you see him coming off the adrenaline. 

After lunch I went back out and I played with Twosox. It was actually warm outside.... or at least not cold ;) After I had haltered Twosox we went up to the riding ring to play. I had a couple things that I wanted to play with but nothing to big..... well they are big for us because Twosox isn't confident at them but not in general :)

We started out with some friendly then did some circles at the walk. I had the 22ft line on but when Twosox is circling at the end of it he looses confidence and in so we loose all connection. So we started out on about 15ft. Twosox did a lot better. He still was a little bit unconfident but not to bad. Once we had done a couple circle at the walk I asked Twosox to trot every time he got to the barrel. I didn't care how long he trotted as long as he tried. So we did that for a while. I was really really soft and by the time we stopped Twosox, though he wouldn't trot long, was trotting at a phase 1/2. A couple times he came in with out me asking so I gave him a rub and really softly asked him to go back out. The whole time I was playing around with how light and soft I had to be so that Twosox would respond confidently. It was incredible!!! I mean I was hardly doing anything and still Twosox couldn't back up with out looking away or having a high head!!! I think by the end of our session I had found out just how light I had to be.... or at least some thing that would work ;)

After we finished circles we went to Figure eights. Those were interesting. We just did them at the walk. I put the barrels farther a part [My sisters idea! Thanks sis!!] I think it really helped. After a couple minutes of experimenting and such Twosox offered to trot.... a very little bit. I took it but continued on. I could see that Twosox was getting more confident and he wasn't bracing as much. Twosox started trotting through the middle of the Figrue eight and then he started trotting part way around the barrels [something I have only ever been able to get when he was RBE and I was doing the Figure eight pattern until he relaxed]. So I brought him in and gave him a LONG rest. I still wanted to play around with getting his confidence when he was coming around the barrel towards me. He was having a hard time giving me two eyes. So after our rest I asked him to go back out on the figure eight. It took a while but soon Twosox could almost 100% of the time confidently [and giving me two eyes] come around the barrel and go the other way. So that was where we ended. I brought him in and wait for Twosox to lick and chew. It seemed like eternity before he finally licked and chewed but it was worth the wait!!

After that we did some Touch it. I was standing about 15ft away from a barrel so I asked Twosox to go over to it and touch it. He did really well. Once he got over there he sniffed the barrel then turned and looked at me and asked a question!! It was really neat!! We went to different things. What started out as just Touch it from 22ft way turned into Touch it from zone 5. It was really cool!! Twosox did so well!! Each time he touch what I wanted he would ask me a question and check in to make sure he did the right thing. He is such a sweet horse!!!!

Then we just spent some time hanging out together. When I let Twosox go he stayed right with me and then followed me all the way across the riding ring, down the hill and into the corral. It was a great ending to a great play time!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

As the song in one of the Christmas plays I was in says "From our herd to your herd, merry Christmas, may you day be filled with joy. From our herd to your herd merry Christmas lets rejoice in our Saviours birth....."

Merry Christmas.... and can't forget a happy new year ;)

So I hope you all have a wonderful day!!! And remember the true reason for the season :)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Liberty, Bridleless and more!!

After my little brothers were finished playing with Prince we [Prince and I] went up to the riding ring. I drove Prince from zone 5 up the hill then we both ran in to the riding ring. After I switched to the 22ft line we went and did some Stick to me. Prince had so much energy so we played with that. We did w/t/c all over the place. I couldn't believe all that energy Prince had!! It was fun but tiring.... all that running in the snow!! :)

Then we did Figure eights. Prince wanted to canter them so I took it for a little while then asked him to trot them. At first they were a little messy just because we haven't done them in a while but then Prince got really connected and put slack in the rope and was just listening to my body. It was so cool!!! After that we did some circles. At first we just played around with Change of directions. Then we did some cantering/maintaining gait. At first Prince didn't want to canter so we played with it then he cantered a lap. So I brought him in, gave him a quick rest and then sent him back out again in the other direction. This time it was a lot better and he cantered 2 laps nicely. I am hoping to play with him more so that we can build it back up to where it was in the summer and not take so long but I am going to take the time it takes so it will take less time!!! After that we did some long range sideways over barrels and then back towards me. That was fun!! 

My mom needed the 22ft line so I took it off Prince and I wasn't planning on playing at Liberty but we ended up doing some really fun stuff!! We did stick to me, the cutting game, a little bit of circles, change of directions, drawing to me at the trot from far away and some other stuff. The look on Prince's face was priceless!!! He was riveted to me!!!!!!!!!! It was SO much fun!!!!!!!

Then I put my 12ft line on him and tied then into two reins then got on. I tied my savvy string around Prince's neck and checked and made sure that Prince was responding to that. Then we were off. I didn't have a lot planned but there were a few things I wanted to play with so we started will A Million transitions/Follow the rail. Prince did really well with that. We did walk/trot/ back-up all with the savvy string and carrot stick. Prince did really really well. I was so proud of him!!! I wanted to play around with trotting for a bit so we did that next. When ever Prince got a little bit faster I would just grab onto his mail and hang on!! It was fun!!! Prince was happy to trot around but we did some transitions here and there. Prince got REALLY good at listening to me seat. We even played around with transitions with in each gait. That was fun!! When I asked Prince to back up he got so good that all I had to do was shift my weight back, focus and wiggle my feet a tiny bit and he would back up. It was amazing!!!

After that we did Figure eights at the trot. At first Prince wasn't to thrilled about trotting figure eights. But pretty soon it became a game that if he trotted one figure eight he would get a rest. Then he put effort into trotting!!! We did big figure eights too. Prince liked that better. More like straight lines!!

The last thing I wanted to play with was sideways brideless. At first Prince would do what he normally does and his hind quarters were lagging so we played with that. Then I remembered what Mr. Parelli did in the Level 3 Freestyle DVD of the new Levels when Magic did the same thing [not to the same extent though ;)] which was just bring the carrot stick over to the other side and "blocking" the shoulder from going to far ahead. That really helped Prince. It fixed a lot of our problems with Sideways too. At the end Prince would go true sideways for about 10-20ft with just my body and a little bit of pressure from my carrot stick. It was so light!!!

Prince responded really well to the savvy string today and most of the time I didn't even need to use it! He responded to just my body. He is SO light when I ask him to turn or pivot on his hind quarters!!! It was amazing the improvement!!!! We also did Lateral flexions with the carrot stick. It isn't perfect yet but we are getting there. It is a good start though!!!

I can hardly wait for our next play time!!! It will probably be me trimming him though. He is next so that should be interesting!!!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

M1 & M2 are at it again!!

After lunch I went out and played with Prince. Since it was warm... or warmer at least my two little brothers played with Prince first. They both did REALLY well and I am really proud of them. They remembered so much since the last time they played.

M1 [my older youngest brother ;)] played first. He had been asking me earlier today when he could play with Prince next so it was the perfect timing. Before he started playing he figured out what he wanted to do. It was neat hearing him think through it all. He decided he would like to so Friendly, yo-yo, circles and some Touch it. So after I caught Prince I handed him over to M1 and they were off. I was there to help him if he needed it and give him suggestions but most of the time he was able to figure everything out himself. After he did some Friendly game he sent Prince to the pedestal. Last time the boys played with Prince they had a hard time driving Prince away from them and directing him so that he would go where they wanted. But today they were both really good. I explained to them that if they got Prince's nose in the direction they wanted to go that the rest of his body would probably follow. That really seemed to help them. Prince climbed up on the pedestal for M1. It was really cute. Prince then looked at M1 asked a question. Then M1 backed Prince off of the pedestal and squeezed him between him and the fence. It is really interesting because even though Prince responds and the boys hardly have to go past a phase 2, Prince doesn't do it for them. He waits till they ask him and then he responds. So I think that is really helping the boys because they actually have to do it.

After that M1 sent Prince over to a chair I had brought him. The look on his face when Prince went over to it and sniffed it was priceless!!! He was smiling ear to ear!!! M1 was really good this time at not having the carrot stick off the ground the whole time. He had really good control over it. Which was good because last time Prince kept going sideways everywhere because M1 was asking it with out knowing it ;) Them M1 did circles. M1 remembered everything that he had to do. At first Prince was like "Are you sure I have to go circle?" But M1 just nicely sent him on again. He had everything down pat..... even down to the carrot stick leaning up against him. This time he let Prince go around 2 circles before he brought him back in. It was funny because as he standing there he said "You know what I like best about the circle game? I like passing the rope behind my back.... as long as I don't get all wrapped up in it" It was so funny!!! Talk about a true Parelli kid!!

After M1 was done M2 came out. At first he said all he wanted to do was do friendly but then once he got started he didn't want to stop. He played around with getting the savvy string over Prince and not hitting him in the side. It must be so hard being so short!! He did really well though. Then he did yo-yo's. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It was amazing to see the look on Prince's face to change though because at first he was like "yeah what ever. I will back up but it is boring" But after the third yo-yo he started getting interested and asking questions. It was cool!! It was really cute seeing M2 backing him up and then bringing Prince forward again then rubbing him on the nose. After that he was like "I want to do Touch it!!!!" So he sent Prince over to the chair. I was surprised at how well he did.  I told him the same thing as I told M1 about getting Prince's nose in the direction you want. He did a wonderful job!!! Prince knocked the chair over and then offered to go sideways over it..... what a sweet horse!! M2 wanted him to sniff it though so he brought him in then sent him back out again to do it the "Right way" So he did it again this time Prince did it "right" and sniffed the chair. M2 was so pleased!!! Then he sent him over to the pedestal. M2 only wanted Prince to sniff it though. Then after he sniffed it he sent Prince on to it. It was amazing to see them try and figure out what zone they needed to put pressure on etc. Once Prince got a little rest for climbing up M2 asked "Can I ask him to put all four feet on the pedestal?" I said sure and then waited to see how he would figure it out. M2 lifted the hand with the rope in it and then supported it with the carrot stick. Prince climbed right up. M2 was so happy!! Then he was like "K [that is me ;)] do you have an apple I can give Prince?" I said I didn't have an apple but I had some sunflower seeds he could give Prince. I gave some to M2 and he fed them to Prince. He did really well. His hands are so small and Prince's mouth is so big!!

Well that is all for this post. I am going to type a separate post of the fun Prince and I had after.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

*gets excited*

Well this is a little late but that's okay. On Thursday the Levels arrived, I had just about given up hope that they were going to come Thrusday becasue it was past their regular time but at 2:30 guess what showed up!!! Even though I have already seen a lot of the Level DVD's I was really excited. Here are some pics...

Good things come in Fedex boxes!!!

.... and white Parelli boxes ;)




*sighs* I am so happy!! God is so good to me!!!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Confidence Games: Day 1. Green lawn chair

So today was Day 1 of playing Confidence Games with Twosox. Over the next couple months I am going to be focusing on building and strengthening Twosox's [my dear sweet RBI horse] confidence. I am going to pick an object and play all seven games with it then after we have played all of them I am going to pick a new object... and not just any old toy but I am going to try some really scary ones too. Things that Twosox wouldn't see every day!! This way I can still play with Twosox and create a stronger relationship but at the same time not over loading him. Plus I can focus on Prince's and my journey even more with out neglecting my other horse :) I think it will give them and me the best of both worlds!! Another bonus is that on those cold winter days [which I know we will have ;)] I can still go out and play because it wouldn't take long to do!!

So today was Day 1. I picked a green lawn chair to start with, nothing to hard but still it will present some challenges. Of course game #1 of the seven games is the friendly game. So we started off with some Touch it, nice and simple. Twosox had no trouble going over and sniffing the chair.

 He even offered to put his front foot on it!! Not a bad start!! After Twosox was done checking it out I asked him to put different zones hear the chair. Then I stood on the chair and did some extreme friendly game with my carrot stick. Then I played friendly game in every zone. Twosox did really well with that. Zone 5 was a little bit harder but all in all Twosox did really well. I was proud of him!!

Then I picked up the chair and walked around Twosox seeing how he was with the chair moving in each zone. He was great!! He got a little bit worried about me and the chair in Zone 1 but other then that he was fine. The whole time I was watching his head, ears, and eyes making sure that he hadn't gone internal.  After that I started rubbing Twosox with the chair. Twosox wasn't confident with that at first. But with some approach and retreat he let me put the chair on his back and hold it there. Twosox was okay with it but he wasn't 100% confident so I gently asked him to bend his head around towards me. I did that every time he got a little worried and pretty soon every time he got a little worried around the chair on his back he would turn his head towards me and check in. I was amazed at how fast he learned that!!! 

After that Twosox and I just hung out together for a bit. After a couple minutes Twosox finally started licking and chewing.... and boy was it a big lick and chew!! He wouldn't stop yawning too!!

Since he was so relaxed I decided to climb on and ride for a bit. Twosox lined up right next to the fence so that I could get on. Once I was on we checked our lateral flexions and indirect rein. Twosox wanted to go to the other horses so we had a chance to practice our lateral flexions. We walked back over to around the tree and stopped there and rested. Then we played around with how light I had to be when I was asking Twosox for a lateral flexion so that he would keep his feet still. Every time I ride Twosox I am amazed at how light he is! I mean I was hardly touching the reins and he had already bent!! Pretty soon Twosox was bending no problem and he was keeping his feet still. It was fun!! Our 9 step backs were really light too. If I wasn't light enough Twosox would do what I wanted but he would brace so when I was light enough he would do it calmly with no brace. It was really interesting!!

Then we stood still for a while. I wanted to wait till Twosox relaxed before I got off. He is always tense when I am riding ring. It doesn't really look like it when I watch our rides on video but when I am up there you can tell that he is tense the whole time it especially shows when you see him come off all the adrenaline he was on!!! Then you know he was tense!! After about 5 minutes he started licking and chewing, yawning, shaking his head and relaxing. That was when I got off. Once I was off he kept yawning, and licking and chewing. I love seeing him coming off adrenaline!!!

I knelt down and asked Twosox to lower his head so I could take his halter off. He kept it low the whole time and then stayed with me for a while before he left. The whole time was still licking and chewing. It was amazing!!

So I had a REALLY fun time with Twosox it was so much fun!! I can hardly wait for our next play time!!

Here are some more pictures....


Next day it will be the Porcupine game with the green lawn chair!!! I am excited!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Looks whats coming my way....

Yep.... that's right... all four of the new Parelli levels!! I am REALLY excited!! It is a good thing that I have already had a good look at them or else I wouldn't be able to stand it!!!

I would like to thank a dear friend for providing work for me so that I could get these and also my Mom and Dad who are simply wonderful parent!! I love you!!

I can hardly wait..... it is like Christmas.... 10 days early!! I am so blessed!!


It's the little things that count

I went outside this morning to clean the corral and give the horses their grainless grain [flaxseed, apple cider vinegar, and sunflower seeds ;)] I had to make sure the horses didn't get to Twosox while he was eating so after he was done I played with Prince at Liberty a little. We had a lot of fun!!

It all started when I had to drive Prince away because he was coming to close to Twosox and I so I got really intense and then started walking slowly towards him, Prince started backing up but it was kid of slowly so I got even more intense and then flicked him with the end of my savvy string. Prince out more effort into backing up after that, all I had to do was look at him and started getting that intense look and he would move. It was cool! Then we went and did some sideways from zone 5, leading by the tail, drawing backwards from zone 5, porcupine on the nose, stick to me, and then we did some yo-yo's at first I started out where I would back Prince up about 3ft then bring him forward about the same then each time I would shorten it so at the end I would take a step forward and Prince would back up a step then I would step back and Prince would step forward. I did it quickly too so I just hesitated a very little bit before I took a step forward or backwards. Prince was so in tune with me and didn't miss a step!!!

After that I asked Prince to back up to the water trough with me in zone 5 [I moved out of the way when he got there ;)] then I climbed up on it and did some extreme friendly game, I stretched out over him, climbed on his hindquarters. I really wanted to get on but I didn't have a helmet, Prince was at liberty so he could have walked off etc but I asked my mom if I could and she said sure and that she knew that i would (1) get off if I felt I needed to and (2) I wouldn't get on if I didn't feel safe and if I didn't feel that Prince was ready. So I got on. Then I tied my savvy string around my Prince's neck. He stood perfectly still. We didn't do a whole lot but what we did do was AMAZING!! And it proved that what we did last day paid off. Prince responded REALLY REALLY well to the savvy string he was VERY light. Half the time I didn't need to use my savvy string, Prince just responded to my body!! It was so cool!!

We practiced out turning/hind quarter pivots , back ups, stops, and sideways all totally brideless!!! It was so fun!! Prince offered the sideways so I took it and then made it my idea. I didn't need to use the savvy string for backing up. I just shifted my weight back and wiggled my feet a tiny bit and Prince would back up and it wasn't a slow back up either, he was putting effort into it!! We did almost a full pivot on the hind quarters with just my body and a very very  little bit of pressure with the savvy string. It was SO light!!

Prince was in tune with me the whole time and responded to my slightest suggestion!! It was wonderful!! Through the whole ride Prince wouldn't stop licking and chewing. We would do something and then stop and he would automatically start licking, chewing and yawning.

It was such a fun session even though it wasn't very long at all. I am so proud of Prince!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow... bridless riding,,, winter... and more!

I played with Prince yesterday. It was our first play time in the snow this winter!! It snowed over a 12 inches since Monday!! It was crazy!!!

Prince and I had a lot of fun though. I got a wooded shed out of the shed so that Prince and I could play around with pulling it. At first the horses were like "WHAT IS THAT???" But once Prince sniffed it out he was totally fine with it. I wasn't going to halter Prince right away but he brought his head around and wouldn't take it away!! So I haltered him and then went up to the riding ring. I dragged the sled all the way up the hill and it was behind Prince the whole way!!! Prince couldn't have cared less!!!!! When we were up in the riding ring I let the sled drag farther behind Prince, I asked Prince to trot and some other stuff then I looped the rope around his neck and held the end. That way he was pulling it. Prince was perfect!! He responded really well and it was a lot easier then me trying to pull it ;) Prince is so much stronger :). We played around with that for a bit. Prince was fine the whole time.

After that I put the 22ft line on Prince and we did some circles. Prince did really well keeping the slack in the rope at the walk and trot. After a couple circles I asked Prince to canter. We definitely have to play with that. Prince would canter about 4 strides and then break gait. So we played with it until he cantered about 1/2 a circle then I brought him in and gave him a rest. Then sent him back out again. This time I could see that he was trying harder and knew what I wanted. He would canter about 3/4 of a circle, break gait, then either pick the canter back up again or I would just point and he would start cantering again. After a couple times of doing this he cantered 1 and a 1/2 laps then I brought him in. Since I haven't asked Prince to canter on the circle in a while I didn't force him... besides it would be REALLY hard to force Prince to canter 4 laps ;) So I am going to take it slow and build back up to where we were a couple months ago.

Since we were ready to ride I decided to play around with mounting by the neck. Prince has the basic concept but he still walks away a little when I jump on his neck. But after a couple tries he did it really well. He walked away a little bit but not as much as before plus he put effort into lifting his neck and helping me on. So I decided to leave that there. We then just spent some time doing nothing. Prince stood really well. Ruffy was a little distracting because he was trying to convince Twosox that to play with him but Prince did well. After a bit we went and did some different things. Just playing with getting everything lighter and such. Prince tried so hard at what ever I asked him!! Our sideways and 9 step back ups are getting really soft. Prince is had figured out that when I put a little bit more pressure on it means to go faster. That was cool!

We didn't do a wholel lot of trotting but we did some. At one point Prince started trotting faster so I just grabbed a hold of his mane and did what Mr. Parelli calls "Hang tight and raddle!!" It was fun! The good thing was that I didn't raddle to much ;) We also played with indirect rein. We are starting refine it in the way of I will ask Prince to pivot either a complete circle or a circle and a half. Prince caught on really quickly. It was amazing!! Plus we are taking up the speed too.

Then I tied my savvy string around his neck and played around with that. That was another one of those things that we were kind of avoiding just because I didn't want to take the time to teach Prince not to run through the pressure. But I think that this winter will be a winter of doing the things that I was avoiding for no reason what so ever. So far I have done two of the things so I guess that is a good start ;) As soon as Prince felt the pressure of the savvy string he started walking right through the pressure. So I just pretended that I was a fence post and then when he stopped I released instantly. It took a while but finally he figured out to yield to the pressure. Then it was time to try it at the walk..... we walked a long the rail and did walk to halt transitions with some back up in there too. Pretty soon Prince got the hang of it. After that was going smoothly we went to turning. It is amazing how riding with a savvy string really makes sure you get all our phases right!! At first Prince would just back up when he felt the pressure when I was asking him to turn but he soon figured it out and was turning and I didn't even need to use the savvy string!! It is an amazing feeling when you horse responds to you and you don't have to use your rein, carrot stick, or anything else but your body. After that Prince got even lighter and he was responding consistently with our me having to use my string. That was going really well so I grabbed my carrot stick and we rode around with that for a bit. Prince is getting ultra light!! We ended when Prince gave me 1/2 a pivot on his hindquarters with just tiny little bit of pressure with my savvy string. It was amazing!!!

Definitely a good first snow ride!!! Now I just have to uncover all our toys.....


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My challenging RBI

 November 8 2009

Twosox always gives me a challenge of some sort!! And today it was a a good one!! I think that it was more me then anything.... wait, I KNOW it was more me. I wasn't in the best frame of mind to play with him and the weather didn't help any. But I went out anyways and played. At some points I think I should have just stopped and went inside but there were still some really good parts of our play time.

The horses were down near the turn around so we played there for a little bit. The ground was frozen and bumpy so that didn't help any. Poor Twosox. Since the ground was hard when ever he walked you could see that he wasn't comfortable. I think part of it had to do with the fact that Twosox's feet aren't very healthy. But he still tried really hard.

When we got back to the corral we went out to the front yard and did some circles. Twosox was not paying attention to me AT ALL. The wind had picked up so that didn't help. So I decided to just let him walk around on the circle [because I know he wouldn't maintain the trot] until he connected with me. Or at least try that and see how it worked. Fortunately there is a slight hill on our front yard and so as Twosox was going around he had to go up and down the hill. Twosox was bracing, was looking away etc etc but after about the third circle or so Twosox started watching where he was going, he started arching his body around the circle, he got connected and then what REALLY surprised me was that he started blowing, stretching, licking and chewing etc!!! It was SO cool!!! His gait softened and he put slack in the rope. Plus he picked up the trot and gave me a nice slow, soft trot!!! And he didn't break gait!!! It was so amazing!!! I couldn't believe the change!! There were times when we lost the connection but for the most part Twosox was connected and had slack in the rope.

I brought him in and then after a rest and lick and chew I sent him out the other way. Twosox did the same thing on this side, he was bracing, looking away etc but after a couple circles he did the same thing he did on the other side and started to relax. Again he picked up the trot and trotted 4 laps with out breaking gait and kept the slack in the rope the whole time!!! I couldn't believe this was the same horse!! Twosox has never trotted 4 laps on the circle that calm!! It was wonderful!!

After that we went and played around the trailer. Twosox was fine walking up the ramp and putting his nose, neck and front to feet in the trailer. It was amazing how confident he is now!! So we played with getting him really confident with him whole body in the trailer. He will now stay in longer when I send him in. So that is good progress. After a bit I went in the trailer and asked Twosox to come in that way. I opened the little side door so he could see out and we just hung out in there for a bit. Twosox was a little worried at first because he was windy but after a while he calmed down and even ate a little bit of hay.... a very little bit. Then I asked him to back out, he calmly backed out and then I let him eat grass before we went back to the corral.

It was a great play time but I could have handled myself a lot better. Like Mr. Parelli said over and over in the New levels.... "Before you can have control over your horse, you have to have control of yourself" That is very true!!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Viewing the new Parelli levels, playing with Prince on the 45ft line and more!!

Yesterday we was our Parelli meet up and our friend brought the new Parelli Levels. We only watched the Level 1 DVD there but she lent us all four levels [If you read this Mrs. S. THANK YOU!!!!!!] We left the Level 3 Online and Liberty at our other friends house so she could watch them. I didn't have time last night to watch any more so I got up extra early this morning, did my Bible reading then started watching the Level 4 Online. It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was exactly what I needed. I will have to watch it again because there was so much info packed into that 2 hours and 8 minutes :)

After lunch I went out and played with Prince. He didn't want to be caught. So we played with that. Then I haltered him from my knees. That was interesting. We have done it before so Prince knew what to do but he was distracted. We got it done though. Then I put the 45ft line on him and we went out to the front yard. Normally Prince rushes out the gate as soon as it is opened but for the last couple times that I have let him out I made sure he stood still till I gave him permission to go through. I am doing the same thing when I open the other gate after we have finished cleaning the corral in the morning. The horses have to wait till I take the boards down and give them permission to come through. They have caught on REALLY quickly. I was surprised! Prince will now perfectly still and not move even when I am putting the boards on the other side of the fence. Then when I am finished he will look at me and ask a question then I let him in. It is cool!!!

Anyways.... Prince ate grass for a little bit then we went to the middle of the yard and we played with backing up to almost the end of the 45ft line. There wasn't quite enough room to back all the way. I had another arrow in my quiver that I learned from the Level 4 Online DVD this morning and that really helped. Prince would get about 35ft away and then stop, he knew I couldn't reach him from there. So that went really well. Then I sent him out on the circle. Prince could only be about 30ft away because the house, rose bush and well were in the way but I was really surprised at how well he did!! I put the slack in the rope and Prince kept it there the whole time!!! It was amazing!!! Considering we were out on the front yard and there was a lot of distractions he was wonderful!!! We also practiced out Change of directions and Transitions. Prince walked a full circle too!! Okay so all of you that know that Prince a LBI would be thinking "Yeah and so... what is so special about Prince walking a circle?" Well it is really special because Prince likes to trot when he is on the circle and even when I ask him to walk he will walk some then start trotting again. So when Prince walked a full circle and I didn't need to correct him once it was good!! Our Change of directions were REALLY good. Mr. Parelli showed two ways to do them, one was the way that I was doing them and the other way was a different way so I tried them the new way. They were SO much better!!! Prince was had rythym, relaxation and connection pretty much the whole time we were circling!! He normally trots with his head a little high and it is normally a faster trot. But today it was a soft jog [but it wasn't a lazy jog] he was relaxed. It probably helped that there was a hill that he had to go up and down.

We also did spirals on the circle [when you coil the rope in so the circle gets smaller and smaller] Prince didn't break gait once!!!! We only did it at the trot so it wasn't as hard as if we were doing it at the canter but still for the first time Prince was wonderful!!!!!! He still kept slack in the rope. It wasn't on the ground but it wasn't tight. I was really surprised at how good our porcupine game it!!! One thing that watching the Level 4 Online DVD has done is it has shown me that we are really playing in Level 4!!! I kind of had my doubts before because but when I was playing with Prince it was amazing!! I guess I just thought that a lot of the things we were doing weren't really Level 4 things. But I guess they are!!!

After that Prince and I played with some Sideways at longer distances. Prince went sideways almost the whole way to the end of the 45ft line!!! It wasn't totally straight but it is getting there. I was a lot better at coiling my rope today.Maybe it likes me better now!!! hehe ;) After that Prince and I went over to the trailer. I sent Prince to it from about 20ft away, Prince walked onto the ramp then wouldn't stop looking at me, he was kept asking me questions!!!! Finally he figured out that I wanted him to go into the trailer. I am really trying to make being inside the trailer a comfort spot. Prince did really well though. I loaded him a couple times. Some times I would back him out by the tail, other times I would leave him in there longer and then back him out. The first time his head was a little high. So I just rubbed him until he relaxed them he licked and chewed. That was good.

Since everything was going really well I climbed on Prince bareback. The whole time I was riding and playing it didn't even feel like I was out of a fenced area. Prince was wonderful and we both had SO MUCH FUN!!!! We rode around for a bit doing some sideways, 9 step back ups, pivots on Prince's hindquarters, we rode onto the trailer ramp, we did a little bit of trotting, then we rode up our road. Prince was AMAZING!!!!!!!!! He followed my focus almost perfectly and even though there was a lot of grass on either side of the road he didn't even try to go for it!!! We rode to the edge of town and then back again. I love Prince!!!!!!!!!!! I am so blessed to have him!!! Then I let Prince eat on the front yard for a bit before I got off. He was keeping me warm!!! hehe

It was so much fun!! Tomorrow I am hoping to play with Twosox again. I love my horses!!!!!!!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trailer loading day 2

December 2 2009

Yesterday after I played with Prince I played with Twosox. While we were in the corral we just did some friendly then we went out to the front yard. I talked to my dad for a little bit then we walked over to the trailer. Twosox was fine walking up to it and he sniffed it out then started eating again. He was so much more confident!!! That means we left it on a good note last time!!

I let Twosox eat for a little while then I asked him to climb on the probelm!! He climbed right up and was sniffing the inside of the trailer out. I backed him on and off a couple times then on about the third time I asked him to go a little farther in. Twosox put his front feet in the trailer then stopped. He looked around for a bit then I backed him off. He backs off really straight!!! Better than Prince and Knightly!!! Then I got in the trailer and asked Twosox to come in a little bit then back off, come in a little bit more then back off. Just doing different games and seeing how Twosox did. He was really confident and came in farther each time. After a couple times of going in and out Twosox came all the way in!!!! I was SO proud of him!!!! He looked around, sniffed the divider out and looked out the door. He wasn't as confident as say Prince but for a RBI and the first time in a trailer in almost 2 years it was amazing!!!

I asked Twosox to back out again and then I just let him eat grass for a while. I knew that the real test would be if I could stand on the outside of the trailer and send Twosox in but I wanted Twosox to see that it wasn't a bad place in there. So after a couple more times on coming in hanging out and then backing out again I got out of the trailer and stood on the ramp. Twosox was even more confident that he was at the beginning!!!!  It was really cool!!! The first time Twosox put zone 1,2 and some of 3 in the trailer but he couldn't stay in there long. He didn't get worried but he wasn't 100% confident. So I let him back out, take a rest and then I asked him back on again. This time he stayed in there a little bit longer before coming out. So I let him rest a little bit longer outside the trailer. The third time Twosox offered to put all four feet IN the trailer!!!!!! IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!!!! He stayed in there a little while then slowly backed out.

I was so proud of Twosox!!!! For only being the second day I was really impressed!!! It will be really interesting to see what he is like in 7 days!!!!! I then just let Twosox eat for a while then we went back into the corral and we went up into the riding ring and hung out for a bit. Twosox had a HUGE lick and chew and then fell took a nap. Since Twosox was in such a great mood and was calm I we went over to the fence and I played some friendly with him while I was on the fence. Since we haven't ridden in a while I was making so assumptions. He was doing really well so I decided to stand on the fence, put my foot on his back and swing my rope a little bit. Twosox did really well. He was a little concerned about the swinging rope but only for a couple seconds then he relaxed again.

After that I climbed on, checked out lateral flexions and then we just walked around. Twosox was calm pretty much the whole time. One time he saw something in the bushes but then he relaxed at the end he fell sleep!!!! That was what I was hoping he would do!!!! Twosox is calm when I am riding him but he isn't always 100%. I can tell that there is a little bit of tension. Just the tiniest bit. So for him so fall asleep it was really good. I was reminded of how light Twosox really is. To ask him to go I would think "go" and pick up my life just a very tiny bit and Twosox would start walking. Stopping was a little but harder but if Twosox didn't stop when I relaxed he would stop when I picked up my rein to bend him so he was still light with that.

After a while I got off. When I let Twosox go he stayed at the gate so I rubbed him for a while. He is such a sweet horse!!!

Here are some pics....







Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What a day!!!!

Today was a wonderful day!!! I played with and rode both Prince and Twosox. Prince in the morning and Twosox in the afternoon. The sun was peaking through the clouds on and off through out the morning but by lunch time it was shining bright and clear. It was so nice!!!

About 5 minutes after I got outside the horses left..... so I filled the water trough, played with my little brothers, waited.... and finally my mom was finished cleaning the corral with my sister so we could go [it was my day off from that duty ;)]

The horses were in the turn around when we got there. After we caught Prince and Knightly we decided to go to the field and play for a bit before heading home. Before we left the turn around I noticed Prince was being a little dominate so we did some driving game, sideways and circles. I "put" a huge hill in Prince's way so that he really had to think about where he was going. It took him a while but finally he started playing attention to where he feet were and he stopped tripping. Then we played Stick to me to the field. We did trotting departures, back up, and sideways!!! It was really cool!!!

After that I sent Prince sideways while I kept my feet still over to a big rock that is in the field. He did really well!!! He had a big rest there then we played with our Stick to me at the canter. It was a little slippery in the field but we managed. Prince did really, really well!!!! After a couple minutes he would start cantering when I started cantering in my body!!! After that was going well we played around with cantering then slowing down tot a stop, then cantering again. Prince caught on really quickly!! It isn't perfect yet but it is getting there!! Then we went over to a big dip in the field [we have a VERY interesting field... rock, tree, dips, raspberry bushes etc etc ;)] I went Prince down it and then up it again but he wanted to trot through it so I ask really really softly for a walk and he walked all the way down and then back up again! He is so smart!!! Then I switched positions and asked Prince to back down it and up the other side. Prince and I have been having some problems with backing up straight but this time Prince backed up perfectly straight, even when he was going up the other side he was straight!!! Prince had a rest on the other side then I asked him to come trotting to me. I backed up a couple steps and Prince came trotting right to me!!!

I then put the 45ft line on Prince and we went to the middle of the field [or as close to it as we could get!] and we did circles...... well at first they were a rather odd shaped circle..... more of an oval.... not they weren't even that!! Oh dear....... Prince has never been at the end of the 45ft line when it was circling so he was a little confused but we played around with it and he got it. He was circling at about 40ft by the end and this time it was a circle!!!! He had to watch out for rocks, hills, big hills, shrubs and lots more too!!!! Talk about the 4 responsibilities!!!! Once Prince gave me one true circle with out me making any corrections we stopped.

I was ready to go back home so while my mom finished up Prince and I went over to a little hill in the field and I set Prince up onto it. Then I crawled under him. Stopping right under him to play some friendly of course ;)

I decided to ride Prince home. So once we were ready I climbed up. Prince is SO comfy bareback!!!!! He did really well the whole ride home. There were a couple close calls with low hanging trees but other then that it was great!! Man those tree are wet!!!! That is the problem when you have short horses that only make the paths a certain height!!!! hehe it was a lot of fun though. Prince and I went in the lead, my mom and Knightly followed and Ruffy and Twosox  took the rear. Prince was really in tune with me and did everything I asked!!! Once we got to the turn around I asked Prince to trot. It was really comfy!!!! I am going to be doing a lot of bareback riding this winter!!! Unless it doesn't snow a lot then I might dig my saddle out!! :) 

When we were coming up to the short but steep hill that is on the other side of the turn around I grabbed a whole of Prince's mane and we walked right up it. It was SO amazing to feel Prince under me pushing himself and me up the hill!!! It was an amazing feeling!!!! The nice thing about bareback is that you can feel everything!! Going down the hill was interesting also. I was totally confident going down it. It isn't a steep but it is longer so it is more drawn out. For 90% of the ride home I only had one hand on the rein. Before when I have ridden home [or out on the trails] I have made my reins shorter so I could control Prince a little bit more [i.e. Bend him if he got a little to impulsive! ;)] So it was really nice to be able to trust Prince and trust myself!!!

Another bonus about riding Prince home was that I didn't have to walk through mud!!!! hehe it was so nice!!! My jeans still got dirty but not as bad ;) I couldn't believe how comfortable Prince was!!!! It was wonderful!!!!

I will type Twosox's playtime tomorrow!!! It is getting late!!