Friday, July 30, 2010

Quote for July 30, 2010

The Forth Key to Success

4. Techniques


The techniques I will share with you ensure that all communication with your horse is clear and understandable. 

Horse training techniques can be forceful and cruel. You are going to learn techniques for communication.

Therefore, every technique used must have the following ingredients: the right attitude, focus, feel, timing, and balance. They are not forceful. They allow a horse to think and choose his response.

This program will cause this quality to evolve in you naturally. You will learn when and how to use steady and rhythmic pressure, rhythmic motion, comfort, discomfort, phases, and release.

Just a little quiz...

Here is quiz for all my blog readers... Who can tell me how teaching your horse to back up by the hocks could help with bridling from your knees?

Ruffian: Focused energy...

July 29 2010

Ruffian had so much energy today. It was unbelievable! But at the same time he was willing to go slow and learn too. It was pretty cool. We started out with one line zone 5 driving. Ruffian was amazing! We did walk, trot, backup transitions and Ruffian was so in tune with me that I hardly had to use my rope or carrot stick! It was so much fun. 

Then we did Figure eights. This was where Ruffian showed just how much energy he really had.... or at least so I thought ;) He did them well and even though he seemed much more interested in running in circles. At the end he gave me some nice soft Figure eights so that was were we ended those. Then we did circles. These were FUN! At first I tried doing some transitions and such but Ruffian got a little but carried away with himself and so I decided to do Change of directions.... every five seconds. Both of us had a blast and by the end our Change of directions were pretty snappy! Ruffian cantered most of the time and I found out that it takes about 5 seconds for Ruffian to canter about 3/4 of a lap. Interesting ;) 

After all that Ruffian still had a lot of energy but he was more calm. So we went over and I sat on the pedestal and we took a break. Then I un-haltered Ruffian while I was sitting on the pedestal and he stayed with me for the longest time before he slowly walked down the hill. 


Prince: Short and SWEET!

 July 29 2010

This morning it was so nice out. It felt like fall. I was able to play with all three horses. First it was Prince. We had a really good play time. It was short but VERY sweet!! We started off with doing a Weave from zone 5 with one rein. At first Prince didn't seem to know the pattern very well or he was confused so we just kept on doing it until he figured it out. the Falling Leaf pattern [I have learned to do that ;)] and it was incredible! At first Prince wasn't as light on the turns as I would have liked so we kept playing with that until he got lighter and then guess what?!?! Prince cantered to the left about 3/4 of a circle and had the belly of the rope on the ground, plus there wasn't any fence there!! I was shocked!!! He also cantered really nicely to the right!! I couldn't believe it!!

After a long rest we did Figure eights. Prince was great on the one end but not as good on the other end so we kept playing with that until he started coming around nicer. It didn't take long before I was hardly doing anything and Prince was trotting around the ends and cantering through the middle. It was pretty cool!

Then we went down to the corral and hung out there for a bit before I let him go. I was so happy with how the play time went. God gave me the wisdom that I needed and really helped me!

Up next was Ruffian!


Thursday, July 29, 2010


I realized today that I have never really introduced myself. So I thought I would write up a little intro.
Well my name is Keri, live in Canada, am a middle child of a larger family, I am a born again Christian, my relationship with my Heavenly Father is the most important thing to me. Second to that is my family. Then third is my horses and my horsemanship. I am home educated (and loving it!). I am an introvert (mainly RBI) even though I do my best to do what I know is right even when it means going outside my comfort zone, and through Christ's strength things like answering the phone, talking to people and all those things, is getting easier and easier for me.

I have many interests and there isn't much I don't like to do. I love being outside and seeing all of God's wonderful creation. I enjoy reading even though I don't have a whole lot of time for it. My favourites are classics, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell etc. I also enjoy baking/cooking, and almost anything that I can do with my hands. I am definitely a hands on learner and so doing Parelli has taught me to learn a different way, even though there is a lot of hands on things (aka getting out with your horse and just doing it!), there is a lot of reading and it has helped me learn to learn differently. 

I like structure, rules and order. Once I know the rules I feel a lot more confident and am able to enjoy myself better. If I am not sure about the rules then I am less confident. I strongly dislike conflict even though I am learning to handle it better. I don't really like politics. I know enough to know who I will vote for when I am old enough and I know what I don't like and what I do like but that is about it. I leave the rest up to my older brother and sister :)

Photography is another one of my interests. I love taking pictures and capturing just a small glimpse of nature.

Some random facts about me:

- I love running barefoot through the grass with a skirt on.
- I love fried onions!
- I love long jean skirts.
- I prefer to be a little colder than hot.
- I don't normally walk up or down stairs. Most of the time I go up and down two stairs at a time.
- I love watching movies with my older sister.
- I like mowing grass and vacuuming.
- I am much more comfortable talking to people older than me than people my own age.

So that is just a little bit about who I am and my life.


Prince: Discoveries....

July 28 2010

This morning I played with Prince before I trimmed Twosox. I was also able to ride because mom was there. We had an interesting play time. I was going to do the Falling Leaf pattern first but we ended up doing close range circles at the walk and trot, I was testing our connected from different distances. Prince did well so I increased the distance until he was walking and trotting circles in both directions and was able to keep the belly of the rope on the ground. But as soon as I asked for the canter to the left we were basically back to square one. So after a while of doing lots of transitions and lots of there strategies I decided to go to the center of the riding ring and see if Prince could stay connected to me at the trot with the fence being there for part of the circle. He did well consider his adrenaline was up. But it was still at the canter that he couldn't stay connected. So I decided to end but I still wanted to end on a good note so we switched to the right and pretty quickly Prince cantered about 1/4 of a circle connected to me. So at least we have that! 

We then went and did Figure eights. Prince did well and they are getting even better! Then we did the Falling Leaf. At first Prince was running right through the pressure when I asked him to turn so we had to play with that. I really had to make sure that I was matching his energy so that he would notice me. Then something really cool happened! After the falling leaf started looking more like a falling leaf and less like a spiral Prince cantered to the left and to the right [at different times ;)] with the belly of the rope on the ground!!! It was only a couple strides to the left but I took it! It was really amazing! I think that this might be the key that I need to help Prince with our circles

Then I rode!! Taking a week off from riding has made me appreciate the little things that Prince and I have recently gotten and not take them for granted and trying to advance them to fast... I have a problem with being over particular and sometimes to hard on myself and Prince. So our ride even though it was simple it was amazing. We did Follow the rail, walk trot transitions, Weave at the trot, Figure eights at the walk, pivots, indirect rein (making sure that Prince was light on the rein but still putting effort into moving his hind quarters over) and some other fun stuff. When we were doing Follow the rail we did some really fun change of directions where we would be trotting a long then we would stop, back up and pivot half a circle and then trot off, all with out using my reins. It was so much fun! Prince was light and very responsive! 

Our Figure eights were really nice also. We only did them at the walk but Prince was really light! I was a little bit surprised! Everything else was really amazing. Then we stood still for a while and I talked to mom for a bit then I got off and let Prince go. He stayed with me though and followed me over to the fence and then he moseyed over to see what my mom was doing, she was building a little wall with rocks and boards to keep the dirt from washing down the hill any more. It looks really cool and matches the rock border around the fence posts and such. 

So all in all it was a good play time even though I still have a lot to figure out. I guess our next play time will tell a lot :)


Quote for July 29, 2010

The Third Key to Success

3. Tools
No gimmicks, no gadgets. Keep it simple, kind, and effective.
I recommend the use of only a very few tools, but I’m very particular about their quality and function.

When you have savvy you need very few tools to be effective with horses,
and you become more and more particular about the tools you use.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quote for July 28, 2010

The Second Key to Success:

2. Knowledge
It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

You have to have the knowledge of how horses think. Most people think like people, and that's a whole different type of knowledge.

Natural results are accomplished through communication, understanding
and psychology rather than through mechanics, fear and intimidation.

Prince: Always things to think about...

July 27 2010

This morning I played with Prince. We had a good but interesting play time. We start out with circles. Going to the right Prince did wonderful. Even after he came out of the canter and into the trot he still kept the slack in the rope. It was amazing. Of course we were still using the fence to help on the one side so Prince would canter a long the fence and then trot where the fence wasn't. So we played with that until he cantered a couple steps where the fence wasn't there. Going to the left however was a lot harder. Prince wasn't even very connected at the walk and trot. So we played with that until he got connected and then we went into the canter. He started rushing into the canter and doing a lot of what he used to do so we kept doing lots of transitions from the trot to the canter until he relaxed a little and wasn't pulling quite to much.

Then we did Figure eights, which were pretty good and after that we did the Falling Leaf. I don't know why I didn't do it before the circles because I am pretty sure if would have made a difference but I will know for next time. It went pretty well. At the end Prince was doing some really nice Falling Leaf and would canter through the middle part and turn nice and sharp and go the other way. He did have a harder time changing from the right to the left, which makes sense because his left is his hard side. But near the end he got better.

After that we spent some undemanding time and Prince stayed with me the whole time expect for once when he went to scratch on the fence. But other then that he stayed with me. I have a lot to think about. I really want to help Prince and do what ever it takes to help him find that connection on both side (but especially on the left) at the canter. I know that most horses have there hard side so it is normal. I just need to figure out what Prince needs from me, as his leader, to help him overcome this. I think I am up to the challenge but I know it shall test my emotional fitness :)


Ruffian: Playing...

July 26 2010

Ruffian and I had a really good play time. We did lots of high energy stuff, Falling Leaf, Circles, Change of directions, Traveling circles, Figure eights, Weave, Sideways (speeding it up a little) and lots of other fun stuff. We also played with the ball, which was fun. Ruffian was pushing it around every where and trying to scratch himself on it but that didn't work to well ;) At first when we started playing Ruffian was a little bit distracted and so he wasn't connected to me. But soon his play drive came out and that was when we really started having fun. We also did some smaller things like Stick to me, forequarter and hindquarter yields and some other fun little things.

By the end Ruffian was relaxed and seemed to have enjoyed it a lot. We then spent some time just hanging out in the shade and cooling off :)


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quote for July 27, 2010

The First Key to Success:

1. Attitude
The attitude that truly works with horses is positive, progressive, and natural. How you interpret and react to what happens, and what you perceive as success or failure is dependent on your attitude. You can take it badly, or, you can be unaffected by it and instead look forward to a positive outcome.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quote for July 26, 2010

"There are six keys to success. The degree of your success depends on maximizing each of these keys. Some may come more easily to you than others, but you need to keep
your focus on all six to get the formula right." Mr. Parelli

Prince: Picking up the pace.

July 26 2010

Prince and I had a wonderful play time today. Over the last day and a bit since our Saturday play time I have been thinking and I realized what I could have done better. Yes we did our patterns and such, which were all good and amazing but I think that it got a little to slow and that is why when we went to play at Liberty Prince kept running off and all. 
So I decided that today I would see what I could do to pick up the pace and make things even more interesting. Doing the Falling Leaf seemed like a pretty good idea because that worked well with Twosox and I figured that it would probably help our circles too. So that is what we started with. At first Prince wanted to canter around in circles and not do the Falling Leaf pattern at all. But we stuck with it until he offered me some really nice smooth turns (which was the thing he was having problems with) Prince cantered most of it and so that was really cool. The look on his face when we ended was incredible! 

Then we did circles. Wow. What an improvement! Prince cantered a laps and a half to the right and cantered a lap to the left! Just like that! Not he wasn't 100% connected so we are going to have to play that. But is a start and I think that if I can get out transitions from the trot to the canter with rhythm, relaxation and connection then that will be the most important thing. 

After that we did Figure eights. They were even better then on Saturday and it really felt that Prince was doing the pattern by himself! It was amazing! He trotted/cantered the whole thing and it was really something. The look on his face when we finished was priceless. He turned to me and asked the biggest question (I have a picture of it that I will post farther down). 

Then we did the Weave, sideways, and yo-yo's. I asked Prince to back onto the pedestal. At first I felt that he wasn't quite sure what I wanted but then once he figured it out he tried so hard! He did make it and he backed all the way up and stood there with all four feet on the pedestal. What an amazing horse! 

We weren't going to play at Liberty but Prince wouldn't leave me (for the last couple play sessions Prince would stay with me for a couple minutes and then wander off, normally he stays with me until I leave so I noticed that he started leaving me sooner so today when he stayed with me it shows that I must have done something right) so I decided to do just a little bit. We did Stick to me at the walk, trot and back up, we played with the ball (Prince pushed it every where and followed it around), and we did Figure eights! They were much better then last time. Prince did really well. We did all that with the gate open too!

Then I sat down on a barrel and we had some undemanding time then while still sitting on the barrel I sent Prince over to the pedestal which was about 20ft away. I asked Prince to climb up with all four feet and then turn and face me, all the while still keeping all of his feet on the pedestal. He did it perfectly! Then I brought him back to me. I was so proud of him! 

By this time Twosox was waiting at the gate for me to let him in off the grass so Prince and I went over there to let him out. Then I played with Ruffian! 

Here are some pictures...

Prince and I after we did Figure eights.
After Prince had backed up onto the pedestal! 

I will post some more pictures later!


Twosox: A new pattern.

July 26 2010

I was going to play with Prince first today but Twosox had other plans. He came over to me and wouldn't leave so I decided to play with him first. 
I wanted to add something different into our play time so I decided to start the Falling Leaf pattern. It isn't an "official" pattern but I am going to do it as a pattern. Twosox really liked it and at the end he was so connected to me and kept a lot of slack in the rope. One thing I like about the Falling Leaf is that the horse can move his feet but he still has to stay connected with you because he has to turn. We had a lot of fun with it and he cantered quite a bit of it too!

Then we did circles. Twosox did well and we got some nice trot to canter transitions. We also got some nice circles at the walk and trot. It was nice. We then played with the ball. Twosox was pushing it around every where and really seemed enjoy that. Then I bounced it in zone 1,2 and 3 and Twosox was confident with that. 

We also did the Weave and Figure eights. Twosox did well with both of those. We are still playing with them and trying to improve them but I think that Twosox has the general idea now. I don't think that it has been 4 days yet (I will have to check) but I am confident that they will keep improving :) 

After that we went over to the pedestal and I asked Twosox to do like what we did on Saturday and I asked him to put his two back feet on the pedestal and then back on with his front feet. He did well and it didn't take long before he got it almost perfectly. At first he wouldn't keep his back feet on as soon as his front feet got up there but the last time his one back foot almost went off but he made it. It was pretty cool! 

That was where we ended and then I let him out onto the side grass to eat while I went and got Prince! 

Twosox did so well with the ball! I was really proud of him!
He is actually looking pretty good right now. He has put on some weight so I am really happy!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quote for July 25, 2010

"Timing is critical to obtaining good results. The better the timing of release, the quicker the horse learns." Mr. Parelli

Twosox: Using the patterns...

July 24 2010

Twosox and I had yet another good play time. Playing with the patterns has really helped me stay interesting and it has been really amazing to see Twosox progress. He is putting more effort into doing them then I have ever seen! It is pretty cool. 

This morning we started out with the Weave. We did it completely at the trot and Twosox did really well. He missed a couple tires but I was sure to catch it on the way back and he did really well on the last one. We also played with some sideways, forequarter and hindquarter yields and then we did Figure eights. Twosox was really amazing! He trotted most of it but cantered a little too and did a really nice job at maintaining gait around the ends. 

Circles are getting there. Twosox had a little bit more go than whoa today so I made sure to especially pay attention to our trot to walk transitions. Then once those were going well we played with some trot to canter transitions. I decided to play around with doing a change of direction and asking Twosox to canter as he went in the other direction. It helped quite a bit and he seemed to have an easier time getting into the canter. It made a difference in our normal trot to canter transitions also. So I shall have to continue playing with that. But it is progressing really nicely. 
After that we went over to the pedestal and I asked Twosox to put his hind feet on it and then back his front feet up onto it. Eventually it will lead to him backing all the way up but I am going to isolate, separate and recombine ;) Twosox did well since we haven't played a lot with it. He got a little bit worried part way through but after a lot of repetition he got it. It really got him interested though! He is asking so many questions! 

I am trying to get a little bit more weight on Twosox. He is a little on the thin side and so I have been making sure to give him his supplements regularly. It really seems to be helping. I am giving Prince and Ruffian theirs too. Not that they need the weight but they get most of the same stuff for digestion and other things. It seem to be making a difference for them all. Plus I get to spent time with them all and that is fun :) 

I hope you all had a great weekend and had a lot of fun with your horses!!


Prince: Patterns Day 4, the truth.

July 24 2010

WOW! Prince and I had an amazing play time. This was session for of all three patterns that we have been playing with since Monday. We have done all of them in the past but this week I wanted to concentrate on these three. The Figure eights were beyond amazing. Prince totally blew my socks off!! He was incredible! Coming around the ends he was connected and light, he cantered through the middle and trotted around the ends. I was in neutral the whole time and it was so amazing!!! 

The Weave was really good too. We did it at the trot and I didn`t have to correct Prince once. He just trotted the whole thing and didn`t miss a tire. That was really amazing too. Then there were circles, our third pattern. Prince was incredible! When we started off I noticed that Prince was a little bit disconnected to me so I decided to ask him to walk some circles. That really helped and Prince regained the connection. Then I asked for the trot. Prince did much better and when I asked him to trot faster he maintained the connection. After Prince trotted a couple laps I asked for the canter. He did really well. I only had a bag on the end of my carrot stick so that was different but it was still good. We got some really nice trot to canter transitions then we went back down and played with different gaits. It was fun to test Prince`s connection and it was really neat because he offered 3 laps at the trot about 12ft away from me!! It was really nice! 

After that we played with Changes of directions, something we haven`t done for a while because we needed to get out circles better. So it was a lot of fun to play with those. The first couple were a little messy but then they got really nice! So that was where we ended. We also did some sideways, porcupine games etc and then we played at Liberty! 

Prince had a lot of energy and so he left a couple times. So I decided to play with that and instead of bringing him back to me we played a game. I asked just took his idea and made it my idea. I asked him to canter one lap around the riding ring, not breaking gait and while I stood on the pedestal. At first Prince didn`t really want to, he wanted to change direction, break gait etc (this was after he figured out that the game had become my idea) but pretty soon he got it. Then I brought him in and gave him a rest. Then we did some circles. Which were pretty cool. I am not sure if Prince recognized them as circles but it was still pretty cool. 

Then we did the Weave at the trot and Figure eights. Prince had a little bit harder time with the figure eights. But in the end we got it. After that we did zone 4/5 driving. We did walk/ trot/ stop/ back up, Touch it, and some other little things and then after that we did jumping and straddling the barrels (not from zone 5) Prince did really well. 

Then we just spent about 20minutes undemanding time. Prince stayed with me for 95% of the time and we just hung out. It was a really nice way to end the session :) 


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Quote for July 24, 2010

"Reinforcement is the key. Let’s say the horse is leaning against a cactus: the instant he moves away from the pressure, he finds comfort. As long as he keeps making the wrong move (leaning against it), the pressure gets worse. Reinforcement has to happen in the moment. The difference between punishment and reinforcement, therefore, is attitude and timing." Mr. Parelli

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quote for July 23, 2010

"You can force a horse with Phase 1" Mr. Parelli

Ruffian: Touch it, Weave and more...

July 22 2010

Ruffian and I had a good play time. There were some cat fighting in the woods by the riding ring, you couldn't see them but you could hear them so that added a little challenge. Ruffian was a little concerned but that wasn't to big of a deal. We did the Weave at the trot, jumping, straddling a barrel, sideways, circles, transitions and Figure eights. The Figure eights were pretty good. Ruffian had a lot of energy and so he wanted to run, run, run and run some more. So I channeled that energy and that was when we did the figure eight. 

Then we did Touch it from 22ft away. I picked some larger things like fence posts, tires on the ground, rocks etc and then we found really small things. We went to the rope is thinner then a savvy string that ties the gate, it was lying on the fence, I asked Ruffian to touch a knot that was tied in another rope by the other gate, lots of little things. He did really well and was really trying near the end.

Then we went over to the fence and hung out there for a bit. When I took the halter off Ruffy stayed with me. Then after a while I went down the hill and Ruffian trotted down part way and stopped beside me! We then went into the corral together. I am certain that Ruffian could have played for hours but my sister and I had to go cut grass before it got to hot. 


Prince: When things come together!

July 22 2010

You know the feeling you get when things that you have been playing with come together one day and it is so beautifully? Well that was definitely what I felt like after I played with Prince this morning... and even as we was playing. Everything was beautiful and some things that we had been playing with for a while now came together and were amazing!! 

We did the Weave from zone 5 with one rein. That was fun because it added a little challenge. Prince did really well and caught on quickly. Our Figure eights was beyond wonderful. We did about 5 Figure eights and Prince cantered through the middle, trotted around the ends (he cantered around a couple too!) And I was hardly doing anything!! I couldn't believe it! This was the third play session that we have done figure eights since this session: Prince: Things happen... and they are better now then they were before it happened!

Then we did circles! We did lots of transitions and we also played with trot to canter transitions. Prince was so light! In both directions he cantered about half a circle. Going to the left was harder, but I expected that. But it didn't take long before he cantered half a lap. I am confident that when we get this part right, the maintaining gait at the canter will come easily. We also got some really cool walk to canter transitions!! 

After that Prince and I played at Liberty for a while. We did the Weave, Touch it, jumping and straddling a single barrel, close range circles, sideways, Figure eights, and zone 5 driving!!! Everything was amazing but especially the Figure eights and Zone 5 driving. I wasn't sure if I should try the Figure eight because we are just getting it right Online but after we did the Weave everything was in place and it just happened. Prince did an incredible figure eight. I was in neutral and he was so connected to me! 

In the past we have played around a little bit with zone 5 driving at Liberty but nothing major. Just little things. So today I wasn't sure what to expect but we started out with Touch it and then we did transitions a long the fence. Prince was amazing [and I know I say that a lot but he was! :)] We did walk to halt transitions first and then we did walk, trot, halt, back up transitions. At the end I didn't even have to use my carrot stick! Prince just matched my energy and if I walk forward he did, if I started running slowly he did, if I backed up he did. It was really something. Both him and I were interested and having fun. Next time I want to try with two carrot sticks because that will be easier then just with one. But it really wasn't that hard and Prince caught on really quickly. 

So it was definitely a great play time!! 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quote for July 22, 2010

"Inside every wild horse is a gentle horse. And inside every gentle or domesticated horse is a wild horse. Never, ever, forget this." Mr. Parelli

Twosox: Things are really comming together!

July 21 2010

So this morning before I trimmed Knightly I played with Twosox. Again I kept it short because that seems to be working really well for us. We had a lot of fun and even took a couple things to the next level! To be consistent we did the same patterns. I am falling in love all over again with the patterns!! Our play sessions are so much easier and fun! Today we did the Weave, Figure eights and Circles. Twosox did really well on the Weave. We walked the first side and then trotted the rest. He is so light! Then we did Figure eights. Twosox did so well! It was like he was a totally different horse! Our Figure eights have never been that good! He trotted around the end, cantered through the middle and I was in neutral! It was so cool!

Then we did circles. After checking our walk/trot transitions I asked Twosox to canter. At first he just trotted faster so I took that and then asked again. It didn't take to long before he went into the canter! It was so nice! I think that the hardest thing for Twosox is getting into the canter but once he is cantering he is okay. Interesting. We did it going in both directions and he did well on both. After he cantered a couple strides I would ask him to walk. This really let me know if he was calm, cool and collected after he had cantered or it he was right brain. He was on a little bit of adrenaline but all in all I was pretty pleased.

Twosox stayed with me after I let him go so I scratched him for a while and then went down to the corral. I am really pleased at how well Twosox is coming along recently. It is really amazing. I think it has helped me keeping the sessions short and not being afraid to progress. The difference is amazing!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quote for July 21st 2010

"A horse needs a leader—calm, controlled and focused. It is up to us to learn how to become this kind of leader for our horse and even more important, how to be his teacher. Only then can we teach our horse to become our partner." Mr. Parelli

Ruffian: Getting the mind not just the body.

July 20 2010

Ruffian and I had a great play time and learned a lot too. When we started Ruffian was more interested in running and playing then listening to me. No problem! We can do both! So we did Traveling circles, Falling Leaf, transitions, change of directions, circling at the canter but stopping at the barrel and then cantering off again.

Then after all that we did some Weaving at the trot, Figure eights (which were incredible by the way!!!), jumping a single barrel, straddling, we played with the ball, we did a little bit of zone 5 driving, sideways, and lots of other stuff. Ruffian was so much fun to play with! When I took the halter off Ruffian didn't want to leave so we played at liberty. We did some leading by the chin, which was really cool because that used to be one thing Ruffian did not like. We did a Weave, sideways, Touch it and lots of other things. Ruffian still didn't want to leave though but I had to go. He came followed me around as I got everything put away. He is such a sweet horse! I love him just as much as I do my own horses! 


Prince: A Breakthrough!

July 20 2010

Prince and I had a really good playtime this morning. We started off with Figure eights. They were not very good. Prince was putting a lot of resistance into not doing them. I felt a lot better emotionally then I did yesterday. It wasn't like I was an emotional wreck yesterday but today I was expecting it and I was prepared. At first there didn't seem to be much improvement for after a while or doing the same thing the same way and getting the same results I realized what I might have been doing wrong. I wasn't thinking of it as a game, or at least not 100%. When I would  tag the middle I wasn't seeing it as a game and so Prince wasn't seeing it that way. As soon as I changed my attitude and put more effort into tagging the center Prince started trotting around the ends and we got some really nice figure eights. It was really interesting and eye opening!

After that we did circles. I am so proud of Prince! Our transitions from the trot to the canter are coming a long really nicely! Prince will go into the canter really softly. He wouldn't canter for long, about 1/4 or a circle but he is getting it.... or more like I am getting it!! We did circles going both ways. I made sure that Prince had rhythm, relaxation and connection at the trot first and then we played with transitions. Prince did really well going to the left (his hard side) too! It was so much fun! 

Then we did two line zone 5 driving! At first Prince has his own ideas and wasn't sure that my ideas were any fun, we haven't done it for a while so we were a little rusty. First we played some tit for tat. Your idea, my idea. Then he started getting interested and would maintain gait for longer at the trot and we did some really cool weaves at the trot! Prince was so light! I was farther back (almost at the end of the 22ft lines) and Prince was listening so well! Then we did circles, transitions, change of directions, Touch it and lots of other fun things all from zone 5. Prince was really light and responsive when we ended. It was a great place to end.

Then we did some forequarter and hindquarter yields and some sideways. I asked Prince to go sideways 22ft, without a fence, and while I kept my feet still. Prince put so much effort into it I was shocked! He was matching my energy I guess but it still surprised me! It was really cool! 

After that we spent some time licking and chewing! We both had a lot to think about. It was definitely a good playtime both in what we accomplished and in what we learned! I love the patterns!!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quote for July 20th 2010

"There are three things that define aggressiveness from assertiveness in people: attitude, emotion and timing." Mr. Parelli

Twosox: Must have done something right!

July 19 2010

Twosox and I had the most amazing playtime yesterday afternoon. It was cut short because of a storm that came rolling in. But Twosox was so connected to me and was asking loads of questions! 
We started off with playing with the ball. Twosox was actually pushing it around with his head! It was really something to see my RBI pushing the ball around and being 100% confident with it! After that we played with the Weave. Twosox did really well seemed to like it!We were playing, and loving it! 

Then we did circles. It was getting really windy and dark and even though Twosox was a little concerned he did really well and it just proves that transitions really do work to gain mental connection! We kept it simple and just did walk, trot, halt etc transitions and Twosox did so well. At the end I didn't have to completely stop him before I asked him to walk forward and we did some pretty nice trot to walk transitions. Of course they weren't by any means perfect but it is am improvement from last day. 

It was just starting to rain as I let Twosox go. But he stayed with me even though it was really windy and we went together down the hill. I was watching some video footage from about 2 weeks after I got Twosox and it was interesting. Lets just say, "You don't know what you don't know, until you know it" But it is a learning experience and I wouldn't trade this journey for the world! 


Monday, July 19, 2010

Prince: Things happen...

July 19 2010

This morning it was raining but after the rain stopped I went out and played with Prince. We had a pretty good play time but we had some complications with our Figure eights... I will explain later.

We started off with doing one line zone 5 driving. It was really cool because we were playing on the 45ft line so I was able to get even farther behind Prince. It was fun! Prince did really well. We did transitions, pushing the ball, and jumping. Then we did a Weave. I was about 30ft away and Prince did really well. When we went to the trot Prince missed a tire so we did it again and he did a lot better. One thing that I have learned over the past couple weeks since the Ohio Celebration is that it is so easy to micro-manage your horse! Even at phase 1!! We need to give the horse a responsibility! So that is what I did on the Weave. If Prince missed a marker we would keep going but next time I made sure to set it up so that he didn't miss it. It went really well.

We then did circles. We started off to the right and they were so cool! Prince cantered half a circle and it was so soft! I literally thought he was going to break gait because he was cantering so slowly! But he didn't because it was a rhythmic, relaxed canter! It was beautiful! Prince had a harder time going to the left though. He could canter a couple strides but even at the trot he was pulling a lot. So we just did lots of transitions and such and when he cantered a couple nice strides I brought him in. It was really neat though because he got to the point where I didn't even need to cluck any more! I just picked up my energy and sent Prince and he would start cantering! It was really amazing. 

Then we did the Figure eights. They started out pretty good. Since we haven't done them in a while and we were on the 45ft line it was a bit different. After the first couple figure eights they started getting worse. Now I didn't have my 22ft line with me and I regret that because I could have switched to it and things would have been a lot better. I could have been more effective. But alas I didn't have it and so things did get worse. Then I started getting caught up in my rope but thankfully my sister had come outside and she was able to bring my 22ft line up. It took a while but we finally got a nice half of a figure eight so I brought Prince in and gave him a little rest and then we started again. Prince had one side really good and would do really well but the other side was a lot worse. So I think I am doing something different from side to side. 

Things got a little bit better and so we stopped when it was pretty good. Hopefully we will be able to build on it next time. What I should have done was made sure that we could do the figure eights on the 22ft line before we tried them on the 45ft line. But I figured that we would try because they were getting really good on the 22ft line. But hindsight is 20/20 right :) 

Prince was pretty sweaty because it was getting hot out I let Prince go and we spend 30 minutes of undemanding time. I was kind of hoping that Prince would roll and 15 minutes later Prince rolled! He didn't stay down long but that was okay. Prince stayed with me for most of the 30 minutes but every once and a while he would leave for a couple minutes and then come back. It was a nice way to end our play time. 

As I was sitting there I was thinking about our play time and about the things that Prince and I are having the most issues with right now and I realized that on the circle, figure eight, follow the rail and a couple other things Prince has a hard time doing them to the left.... how interesting! I think I knew that before but I just kind of forgot it :) So with that knowledge I am going to go out next time and see how I can help Prince with that. Now the problem could be because I am doing something in my body that isn't helping any so I shall have to be aware of that too. Should be fun! Hopefully we can play with it and get things going better soon. 


Quote for July 19 2010

"Every time you find yourself saying “Yeah, but I usually do it this way,” or “My horse can’t...” you’re going to stop making progress...." Mr. Parelli

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Prince: Little things that make a HUGE difference!

July 17 2010

This morning I slept in a little bit because I was really tired. So I only played with Prince but we had an absolutely incredible play time. Not so much in what we did, even though we did a lot of fun things, but it was what I learned that make it really amazing. 
I decided to play on the 45ft line today. I knew that since I would be playing in the riding ring we wouldn't be able to use it all but that was okay. I wasn't planning on doing a lot. Just advancing some small things. We first did the Weave at the walk from about 35ft away. Prince did really well and basically did the weave by himself. On the way back to the other end of the riding ring where we started Prince offered to trot so I took it. I wasn't sure if he would stay in tune with me but to my surprise he did! He trotted the whole thing and was light and responsive! 
Then I backed Prince out to the end of the 45ft line. I remember when that used to be a really big issue. Prince would get about 25ft out and then stop because I couldn't get effective with my rope when he was that far away. It took a while and he still doesn't do it perfectly but he will back all the way out to the end and it is at a phase 1 or 2. We shall have to play with getting the speed now that we are getting the lightness though. But it shall come!

I gave Prince a really long rest at the end of the rope. There was a pole that was there so I asked him to back over it and stay on the far side of it. That way he had a purpose and a job too! I decided to sit on the ground and ask him to come to me. He did and then after a while I sent him over to the pedestal, while I was still sitting and I wanted him to put one foot on the pedestal. He was doing well but he wouldn't leave the foot there so we kept playing with it but then he shifted his weight and put his other foot up. I decided that I wanted his other foot though, the one we started with so I had the challenge of getting him to shift his weight and pick up right foot which was the one that we started with, all the while sitting on the ground. It wasn't to challenging but it made us both think and soon Prince figured the puzzle out. 

I was going to end there but then I decided that I wanted to play with some transitions on the circle. So I sent Prince off. He went off at a trot, which I asked for, and was trotted nicely so we did some trot to walk, walk to halt, halt to trot transitions and lots of other ones. Then I asked him to canter. Now this is where I had a BFO. At first Prince would trot faster but not canter so I would have to come out of my circle and go up my phases then he would canter. After a couple of these I realized what I was doing! I would pick up my life and then I would smooch and then cluck twice... don't ask me why. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can't cluck very good... so Prince would hear the smooch which means trot so he would trot faster. But I wanted the canter so I would go up my phases and then he would canter but almost all the time he would be cross firing, counter cantering etc he was rushed into the canter and we would loose the connection. 
So when I realized what I was doing I started only clucking twice and guess what!?! Prince went from a nice relaxed trot into the canter! He didn't canter for long but that was okay. He still tried! I couldn't believe it! So we did a couple more transitions like that and Prince was the same, he went into the canter really nicely from a relaxed trot. I couldn't believe how something so small could make such a huge difference, well I know that small things do make big differences but this just reaffirmed it!  It was definitely a BFO!! 

I brought Prince in and gave him a long rest, more for me to lick and chew then him I am sure. Then I took the halter off and we spent some time scratching him and just hanging out. I can hardly wait for our next play time to play with it more!! 


Quote of the day: Phases

I decided to start something a new on my blog. Every day I will post a quote by Mr. Parelli (or Mrs. Parelli). It may be long and it may be short. It will just be something to think about and try to apply to our horse-man-ship journey.

Here is today's

"It is evident that each phase gets stronger, but I want you to especially note the lightness of Phase 1 and the power of Phase 4"


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Twosox: Gaining that mental connection.

July 16 2010

This morning I only got to play with Twosox because my mom, two little brothers and myself were had to go somewhere but we had a really good playtime, most likely one of our best ones in a while!

Right from the start I noticed that Twosox was doing what I asked, we were doing traveling circles, but he wasn't really connected. I would ask him to either slow down or speed up and he would not do it, his mind was else where. So we stopped the traveling circles and we did transitions, which were in great need of being played with. At first I just asked Twosox to trot faster, walk for a little bit then trot etc then I asked him to walk and I wanted him to walk one full circle. So I asked him to come down from the trot, which he did but he could only walk a little ways before he started trotting again. I would let him trot a couple strides and then ask for the walk again. This went of for a couple minutes so I decided to try something a little bit different. Every time Twosox went into the trot again I would ask him to walk again and then after he walked one or two steps, I would ask him to stop but stay on the circle. This way he was completely shut down, then I would ask him to walk. This really improved it. Twosox was able to walk for about 3/4 of a circle but there was one place where he had a harder time because the ground was uneven and so he would trot on the downward part.

I kept doing the same pattern though and pretty soon he was able to walk the full circle and so I brought him in. It was really interesting to see his whole body language change. He got more interested, tried harder and was asking questions. It was a huge difference from the beginning when he wasn't asking questions, he wasn't interested and he wasn't trying very hard. 

After that we did Figure eights. He did really well. We didn't have to do nearly as many as last time. This time he was still walking around the ends and trotting through the middle but he wasn't stopping on the ends. So that was good. 

We didn't play long but I think that it is better if our play sessions are shorter. Twosox is challenging for me especially when I want to get his feet moving more and get his mind involved so that means that progressing is hard. So right now keeping the sessions short but purposeful is important, that way I can be prepared and be the leader he needs. If we play to long I am not as good of a leader. 
I waited for Twosox to lick and chew and maybe start yawning before I took the halter off. He did and was really relaxed when I let him go. He stayed with me though and went with me down the hill. This was definitely a good playtime for us and hopefully we can build on it in our future sessions :)


Ruffian: Energy!

July 15 2010

Ruffian and my play times just keep getting better! As I was just finishing up playing with Prince Ruffian came up to the riding ring and came right over to where mom and I were getting out equipment in order. Prince and Knightly left but Ruffian stayed, and was quite sure that he was going to be played with next. So I decided to play with him. The first thing we did was circles but every time Ruffian got to the barrels I asked him to stop between the barrels and the fence, then after a short rest canter off. We had a lot of fun with this. Ruffian really liked the cantering off part and pretty soon he would canter up to the barrels and I would relax and he would stop. It was fun! 

Then we did some traveling circles, change of directions (we almost of a flying lead change!!),  falling leaf, sideways from zone 1 at 22ft away, pushing the ball, Weave, drawing at the trot and lots of other really fun stuff. At the end Ruffian was asking LOTS of questions and looked like was having a lot of fun. I was too! 

When I took the halter off Ruffian stayed with him and so I scratched him and we hung out for a bit and then he moseyed off down the hill. It was such a fun play time. Ruffian is really coming a long and definitely his LBE self is coming back. I am really glad though because for so long, when he wasn't getting played with a lot,  he became more of a RBI. It was really sad and almost scary how he changed. Hopefully that will never have to happen again :) 


Friday, July 16, 2010

Prince: Learning...

July 15 2010

This morning it was really nice out. I saddled Prince up and we went up to the riding ring to play. It was a lot of fun and Prince was really connected to me. We started out with the Weave. First at the walk and then at the trot. At the walk Prince did it with the belly of the rope on the ground and I only had to use my body to draw him and drive him. It was pretty cool! Then we went to the trot. Going one way Prince was very light and maintained gait well going in the other direction though he had a little bit of trouble, part of it was my fault though because I had to avoid the pedestal which was in the way. But we stuck with it and in a short while he trotted a really nice weave with me at the end of the 22ft line. 

Then we did circles but I had a little bit different of a goal today. My goal was for Prince to trot 10 laps each way with rhythm, relaxation and connection. Going to the right it took a couple laps for Prince to stay connected the whole time but after that he was really good. Then I decided to try something a little bit different going to the left. I stood on the end of my rope and sent Prince off. He did really well. I had a little bit of trouble keeping the rope untangled though. Next time I want to try it and ask Prince to spiral in as the rope shortens. It should be fun! 

After that I mounted up. Prince and I stood around for a little bit while I helped my mom with something and then we did Follow the rail with two carrot sticks. Prince was doing okay but his upwards transitions were not as light and responsive as they used to be so we played with that. Then we did Figure eights at the walk and trot. They were pretty good, the last ones were the best because I only used one finger on the reins to guide Prince. We did bigger Figure eights but that was perfectly fine because Prince was light! 

As I waited for Prince to lick and chew and have some time to process the Figure eights I got to thinking and I think that I really need to become more interesting in our riding. Since our riding ring is so small it is hard to be imaginative, especially with a LBI. I think that the Patterns that we can do in our riding ring (we can't do them all because of the space limitations) have just gotten to boring. That doesn't mean that I shall stop doing them. I am not the type of person to stop doing something because it is boring... I figure out what is boring about it and why and figure out how to make it interesting again. So it shall take a lot of thinking on my part but that is what the leaders role it. To have a plan. 

Prince and I ended with doing some really cool transitions. We did walk to trot, trot to halt, trot to walk to halt to back up, halt to trot and lots of other ones. By the end Prince was pretty light again and seemed interested. Then I asked Prince to back up from where we had stopped to the planted tire, which was about 30-35ft. We have never backed up that far before but Prince put so much effort into it and did so well!! It was incredible!

Then we played with the ball. Prince really likes pushing it. A couple times he came off the fence and we followed it and we even trotted a little bit while pushing it! I tried to stand on Prince while I was bouncing it but the ball kept rolling away. I have to figure out how to keep the ball bouncing while I kneel on Prince. I shall get it though! It will be a good challenge! 

Prince did really well and it was a good ride even though it was a challenging one. I have a lot to think about and hopefully I shall be more interesting for our next time :) 


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prince: Undemanding time...

July 14 2010

This afternoon we had some people that we know come over to see the horses. Either Prince was being extraordinarily friendly or he wanted to be with me... I am not sure but either way he spent the how time right with me. He never left once. It was really sweet of him. I scratched him itchy spots just spend some undemanding time with him. I did have to make sure he didn't invade the others space because the bugs were bad and he us to get them off. 

After a while I decided to climb up and just sit on him bareback and bridleless I just put my savvy string around his neck and we just hung out. I did ask him to do some sideways, pivots, back up and indirect rein. He did really well and was really really light! 

It is amazing how things work out, God is really good because I wasn't planning on playing with Prince today, even though I wanted to. But since I had played with Twosox and trimmed Ruffian I was pretty tired. So this way Prince and I got to hang out and do some little things and we were able to stay cool (because it was very hot out).


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Twosox: Getting interesting...

July 14 2010

This morning before I trimmed Ruffian I played with Twosox. We had a lot of fun but first it took me getting a little bit more creative and interesting. Being creative doesn't come naturally to me, being a RBI it can get very easy to just stick with the same old things, it is consistent! Through my Parelli journey I have learned to be more creative but it is still a process. It is even more difficult when I have the same obstacles, the same environment etc when I am in a new place or have a new obstacle it is a lot easier for me to find creative, challenging and fun things to do with the horses. 

So this morning I knew I had to get more creative and provocative for Twosox. We started off with some circles. I knew what my goal was for our circles this session and Twosox did very well. He kept the slack on the ground and circled really rather nicely! Then we did Figure eights. It took a while before Twosox maintained his responsibilities but once he got it he did really well. 

After that we played with forequarter and hindquarter yields. Twosox was really good on the one side but had a lot of trouble on the other side... most likely my fault for not developing both sides evenly. So we played with that until he was able to do about 1/4 of a pivot and keep his back feet still. 

Then this is where I had an idea to play with our transitions, something that we haven't played with in a long time. So I stood by the pedestal and sent Twosox out on the circle and every time he got to the tire that is planted standing up I would ask him to stop between it and the fence. At first Twosox would just trot on by and not really pay any attention. But pretty soon he started asking questions. I still have to use higher phases to get him to stop but he was at least asking questions and seeing that something was different. After I would let Twosox have a short rest I would ask him to trot off and continue on the circle. By the end Twosox stopped as soon as I relaxed and so after a short rest I asked him to go and he trotted off really nicely. It took a while and it took being consistent but it payed off. When I brought Twosox in had two ears and eyes on me and was very interested. 

So I think I shall have to develop my creativity more and get even more provocative, especially when it comes to doing bigger things and not just little things. 

 After giving Twosox a good brushing to get the dirt and some sweat off, I took the halter off and he stayed with me. Then he followed me over to the gate, I had to close it for my mom so Twosox went out the gate and then waited for me on the hill and we walked down the hill and into the corral together. It was really neat. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ruffian: The LBE is back!

July 12 2010

I do believe that playing with Ruffian more and progressing is paying off! Ruffian's LBE self has come back! I am loving it! He is totally different the Prince and Twosox but at the same time he is a lot like the others.

Today I saddled him up because it wasn't to warm out so the bugs weren't to bad. We did Falling Leaf, Touch it, Sideways, circles and Figure eights. The Figure eights were more challenging but still really good. It took a while to get them to the point where I wanted to leave them for today because Ruffian just wanted to run and play, which was fine with me, except I wanted to do it on the Figure eight. So it took some time but it was fun. I had lots of chances to play with how I can stay in neutral and let Ruffian have his responsibility. 

After that I mounted up. The first time Ruffian got a little worried so I got off and remounted. He was a lot more confident the next time. Then we just did lots of lateral flexions and indirect rein. Ruffian got really light and soft on our lateral flexions! It was really cool! Then we went and did some follow the rail. But first Ruffian had to roll. I got off just as he went down, and again thanks to Ruffian my saddle got yet another dirt bath... :)  Once he got back up again though we were able to do one full circuit of Follow the rail and even got right through the sandy part of the riding ring and Ruffian didn't try rolling again. I think that next time I ride Ruffy and he wants to roll I will get off before he actually goes down and see if I can interrupt the pattern.

We finished on a really good note though and when I let him go he didn't want to leave. So I groomed him to help him cool off a bit. Then Ruffian tool a nap for a while and then I brought out the ball and we played with that. Ruffian still didn't want to leave so we just hung out for a bit and then we went down to the corral. 


Prince: The importance of having good phases...

July 12 2010

This morning Prince and I had a really good play time and ride. I went out with the plan on playing with phases, especially in our riding. I knew what I wanted to play with but I wanted to make it interesting for Prince. So I decided to play with it while doing Follow the rail, something that Prince likes. 
But I wanted to make sure that on porcupine and driving games were where they needed to be for us to have success in our riding. For the most part they were. While Prince and I were in the corral we did lots of driving from zone 3 and played with turning, yielding the hind quarters etc. I taught Prince to yield to my fingertips on his withers. He caught on to that really quickly. It isn't ready to test in our riding yet but I think it will be soon. Prince learned it really quickly! 

When we were up in the riding ring Prince and I played with yo-yo's, getting them with more speed then we did circles. Prince went off with rhythm, relaxation and connection! I couldn't believe it! We trotted about 3 laps really nicely, we did a change of direction and went the other way and he was the same. So then I asked him to trot a little bit faster but still keep the connection. He did pretty good. Prince went into the canter a lot easier today too. He didn't canter for long but that was okay. 
Then we had a lot of fun playing with getting more lightness and speed into our forequarter yields. Which was a lot of fun because I learned that I didn't have enough energy in my body for what I was expecting Prince to do. I wanted him to put more effort into it but I didn't raise my energy enough. Once I did that Prince put a lot off effort into it and was pivoting beautifully! Know when I say more energy I don't mean getting bigger but having more core energy, intense energy (if that makes sense). 

I knew that I wasn't doing that while I was riding either so when I mounted up that is what I did. We started off with some Follow the rail, like I had planned. We did it at the trot and did lots of transitions, direct and indirect rein, and lots of other stuff. It was interesting for both Prince and I. I also felt that Prince was putting a lot of effort into the turns. They weren't big and sloppy but tight and fast. It was a very cool feeling! 

Then I asked Prince to pivot on his hindquarters and let me tell you, the difference was incredible! Prince was so much lighter and he put a lot of effort into it. It was so much faster then the last time I asked him. We almost did a full spin! We did it on both sides and Prince had one side that was a little bit harder but it wasn't to bad. The cool thing to was that I wasn't using my reins at all! I just had my carrot stick that I used to support but I hardly had to use it. I had to make sure that in my body I did what I wanted Prince to do and that really helped also.

We also did sideways, which was a huge improvement since last time. I made sure I was really clear in my body and Prince got it. I didn't have to use my carrot stick, Prince was just responding to my body and a little bit of pressure with my leg, plus he was putting effort and speed into it! Like Mr. Ron Pyne (a 3* Parelli instructor) said at a lesson day that I went to, "If you get the lightest and speed, the distance will come" Well we are finally getting more lightest and speed and I know the distance is coming really soon!

Another thing that I noticed the difference from the beginning of our ride and the end was that at the beginning Prince was a little non-responsive to the savvy string around his neck when I asked him to back up, normally he is really light but today for would respond but really slow. So I asked him to speed up a little and he just leaned on the savvy string. So I had to support with my carrot stick but that made a huge difference because at the end of our ride I hardly had to lift it and Prince was backing up with effort!

We ended after that. Prince was amazing and I was really proud of him! When I got off I was really confident that our next ride will definitely build on this one... if I do everything the same ;) When I let Prince go he didn't leave me. He just stayed there and even once I had haltered Ruffian and saddled him he still stayed with me. 

One more thing... I think I finally found the perfect shimming pattern for Prince! Since it has been so hot Prince is almost always sweating when we finish and there were no dry spots when I took the saddle off after our ride. And Prince wasn't super sweaty either, just under the saddle and girth area. So it was really encouraging! 


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ruffian: Playing with the horse that shows up... and loving it!

July 10 2010

After I played with Twosox I played with Ruffian. We had an absolute blast! Ruffian was very playful so we played with that. We did falling leaf and Ruffian was doing simple lead changes every time. Then we did circles but I asked him to jump a single barrel each time and not only that but I asked him to canter to the barrel, jump it and then continue cantering after he jumped it. At first he would canter up to it, jump it and then trot afterward but pretty soon he figured it out. He loved it!

Then we did Figure eights and they were really nice! Ruffian cantered most of it and really put effort into it. That was fun too! Then I brought out the ball. Ruffian really likes that ball! He pushed around and followed it. Ruffian was fine with me putting the ball on him so to advance that I started bouncing it on him. He was totally fine with that too! The last time we played he was a little worried about it being on him but today he it didn't even bother him when I started bouncing it. It was really cool! 

When I let Ruffian go he stuck around so we just spent some time together. He is truly a wonderful horse. I just wish I had more time for him! But I guess that every little bit helps and makes a difference :)


Twosox: The importance of progressing Part 2

July 10 2010

(Please read Part 1 one of this post first which is below this post)
So with all that in mind we set off. From the time we let the corral to the time that we got up to the riding ring I watched Twosox ans observed how he responded, or didn't respond, to what I asked of him. There were time when I had to get to a phase four but I made sure to have long phase 1 and a quick 2,3,4. So many people stay at a phase one and then they wonder why their horses isn't responding... and then if they do get to a phase 4 they often times put emotion behind it. 

The one mistake I did make was that I had the rope looped loosely around my left arm so that I could have my lead rope in left hand and my carrot stick in my right hand [It was one of those savvy bypass moment ;)] So when I asked Twosox to catch up to me he shot forwards and the rope tightened up on my arm, no really tight but enough that it gave me a good learn burn. I don't think I shall ever do that again ;) We started out with our Figure eights. Twosox did better then he did last day but it still took a little while before he wanted to do the figure eight. It did go a lot better though and in the end he did a very nice figure eight. 
After that I brought the ball out. Now as soon as Twosox saw it he didn't go right brain but he did get a little worried about it, more of a unconfident LBI. So I left the ball where it was and we went and did falling leaf! Which was a lot of fun. At first Twosox wasn't very light. He was more concerned about the ball. So we kept going back and forth from one of the riding ring to the other until he was more focused on me. It is amazing how if you pick a patterns and stick with it long enough when your horse is worried, he will relax. It just takes time and being persistent.
Then we did some circles and I "let" the ball get in the way just to see what he would do. Twosox was okay with it now so he would just move around it and keep going. When he had rhythm, relaxation and was connected to me I brought him it. Then we went and played with the ball more. Twosox pushed it a little bit and then I walked away while I was bouncing it. Twosox was confident so I then turned towards him and bounced it. He was fine with that also. Which was really cool! 
When I let Twosox go he stayed with me and followed me down the hill and into the corral. I think that this was a very good play time all in all. I just have to remember not to slip back and do the easy thing, which is not progressing. 

Twosox: The importance of progressing Part 1

July 10 2010 

(I am going to split this up into two parts. One explaining what I was thinking about before our session, and other second part explaining how it changed our session)

This morning I learned a lot from my play time with Twosox, from the importance of progressing to how much a learn burn hurts on your arm... :) 
Twosox and I had a good but interesting play time. After I haltered him it kind of hit me that I have not been fair to Twosox in not progressing faster with him. He is at the point now where I can and should be progressing with him a lot faster then I am. For so long Twosox has been my "dear sweet RBI" that needs to have things taken slowly and etc etc but he is changing and I think that subconsciously I have wanted him to stay the dear sweet RBI Twosox he was. Yes I did realise that he was getting more dominate but not to the extent I now see. Twosox needs me to progress with him. He needs me to get big sometimes and let him play in his own way. 

I could very easily play nice, gentle, soft etc (don't get me wrong, those things are good too but that they aren't the only what Twosox needs from me). If I just did that Twosox would stay nice and calm but as soon as I ask him to do something like... Figure eights he becomes a totally different horse. I could stay where we are at and keep Twosox calm looking but if he has all this dominance and play drive in him, which has been developing ever since he got confident, then I do not want to hold him back. Yes it will mean me changing and using different techniques but that is all apart of the journey. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy, but we can keep it easy by choosing to ignore the signs that our horses are giving us, signs that tell us we need to change. 

What is Principle #5? The attitude of Justice is effective. I was not being just to Twosox in not going to a phase 4 when he needs it me to. I was not applying that principle.  I know it may sound the opposite, in our human ways we want to love, love, love but that is not all that our horses need from us. When you look at your herd when they are all together, do they just show love and nothing else? No! They aren't exactly the nicest sometimes, in our human eyes but that is what that horses needed at that time and so the other did it. Why do you think that people separate horses and can't put one horse with that other horse? (Now I know that there are times to separate horses, say mares and foals from other horses etc) but so many times it is because to us it looks like the one is horses is being "mean" to the other horse. If you look again though that horse probably deserved it. 

So with all that in mind Twosox and I set off.... (Read part two above)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Prince: Freestyle Video

July 8 2010

Here is Prince's and my Freestyle video from this mornings ride. It isn't anything fancy and we still need to play with a lot of the things but it is definitely progressing. Even if it is slowly :)

I would love to hear what you all think of it :) 


Prince: A different feeling...

July 8 2010

Prince and I had a really good play session and ride today. My mom video taped it for me so I have made two videos of it. One of our Online and of of our Freestyle. It was really good being able to see us and have an updated video to critique.

Once we were up in the riding ring we did some circles first. I was surprised at how well Prince did actually. He was connected for almost the whole time and gave me some really nice circles. Since it was going so well I asked him into the canter. Now we haven't played with the canter for a while because I wanted to get our circles at the trot really good. So Prince doesn't have an snappy of trot to canter transitions as he used too. But that is okay. We shall play with it and take it slow. I know that getting the rhythm, relaxation and connected at the canter on the circle will be a challenge for us.

Then we did smelling the tail for 10 seconds on each side. Prince did really well. He learned that so fast! Then we did Figure eights! This went really well. Prince again had a little bit of trouble maintaining the trot around the one end but I am pretty sure I know what I am doing wrong and how to fix it. After that we played with the ball! As you will see on the video Prince did really really well and I was able to walk all the way around him while bouncing it, I put it on him, he really liked pushing it even though he had a little bit of trouble because he is rather short and he would push it with his chest/legs but then it would hit his nose... poor guy. He figured it out though.

After that did some other stuff like sideways, jumping, straddling, spins etc and then I got up to ride! Prince did very well but there are some things that I will need to concentrate on next time.We started off with Follow the rail. Prince did very well and the gate was open too! We did lots of trotting and then we changed direction and went the other way. Prince really knows the pattern now so I have to be careful not to over do it.

After that we did some direct rein and indirect rein. Prince almost pivoted a full circle!! He would have expect there was a tire in the way. It wasn't fast but it was a pivot. Then we went and played with the ball! Prince pushed it a long the fence and then it came off the fence he followed it and kept pushing it, I bounced it beside him, then as I was bouncing it I almost stood all the way up on him!! He just stood there nice and still. I would have made it up all the way but the ball hit my stirrup and bounced away. That was okay though because it was a wonderful start! I am so proud of Prince!

After that we did circles. These were interesting. I think I mentioned in my last post that we will circle for a little while and then Prince will head right for the middle, before we have gotten a good circle. Now on the June Savvy DVD Mrs. Parelli said that it is really easy for us to get into a fight with a LBI and that it is better to take the horses idea and then just continue on with yours... i.e. if you want to follow the rail and your horse turns, turn in a full circle the way your horse wanted to turn and then continue on a long the rail. I knew that before but I wasn't really applying it to our circles. So today I knew what I was going to do when Prince headed for the middle. I didn't make a big deal about it and we just did a small circle and kept on going. One time Prince started spinning on his front end, doing a indirect rein basically so I just took what he offered, asked him to go a little bit faster then what he wanted to go and then I asked him to keep on going on our circle.

That really helped. And eventually we got some nicer circles and I asked Prince to disengage his hind quarters, stop face and wait, and then we went into the center. Just like if we were doing a circle Online. Before we headed in the other direction my mom helped me mark a circle because I wasn't really sure where an exact circle was. I knew where I four points were but wasn't 100% sure about the circle. So when we went in the other direction I knew exactly where we needed to be trotting. That really helped me and Prince. It turns out that when we were going in the other direction, we could have stopped a lot sooner. Prince was trotted a pretty good circle, it wasn't perfect but it was good. So this time we only had to do a couple circles before we went back to the center.

I felt bad because if I had of known that information before I started riding circles then it would have saved a lot of problems. But it is a learning process and next time I will know. Another thing that I noticed was that Prince wasn't as motivated to go after we did the circles. Now I know that some of that was because we were both sweating and he was tired but I just have to make sure that we do not over do circles, no matter how willing Prince is to try for me, he still is a LBI (Hopefully getting closer to the middle day by day though) and he likes straight lines. I am confident though that know that I now what a good circle is we shall be doing a lot less circles :)

We ended with doing a weave at the walk, just to end the ride and let Prince cool off a little. I really had to concentrate on making half circles around each marker. That really helped Prince... it also helped that I didn't use my reins because when I would ask him to go I would pick up my reins a little bit to much and Prince would go but be a little bit confused because I was also asking him to stop.... :) So much learning to do!! I do really like it though. It is helping me become a better partner for Prince.

After I got off I noticed that I didn't feel the same as I used to feel when I finished riding and I came to this conclusion... I didn't have the same feeling because I am finally confident enough to solve bigger problems while riding. So instead of loosing confidence when things like the circles didn't work out right I was confident enough to help Prince and myself through the issue. So in doing that I don't really feel the same when we end but that is okay. I am learning... I am outside my comfort zone!!! Which is exactly where I need to be.

Here is the video of Prince and I playing Online:

I will post the Freestyle video when it is uploaded. Because it has been very hot we are dealing with the internet is going in and out a lot so it won't upload.


P.S. You might have to scroll down to the bottom of my blog and pause my playlist music, if it is playing so that you can hear the music on the video :)