Monday, July 30, 2007

The begining - L1

I had seen someone (2nd generation trainer) do 'so called Parelli' with a horse at a show two years ago - I was brand new to owning my horse and a year into riding.... I decided that Parelli was no good (the horse looked scared stiff of the whip) and I promptly ignored everything about Parelli, UNTIL a month ago.....

I was watching a video testimonial about coverall arenas - and Pat Parelli had one - it showed some demos and wow I was converted. I thought "that's what I want for me and my horse!!"

I started Level 1 home study and this weekend I started Level 2... I am still working on the riding in L1 - that takes longer for me because we have no enclosed area where I graze so I need to go out to practice Pushing Passenger etc. Also if my co-grazers and YO saw me riding with a rope halter and one rope I would get so many "What the hell are you doing" looks.!

My horse didn't have any major problems.... but things I wanted to fix were;
  • he would lean on his feet when I tried to pick up the front ones, and kick out a little when I picked up the back ones (only a little)...
  • he would not leave me on the lunge (stay close to me)
  • he was crabby while grooming and girthing up
  • when we go out he bucks if other horses get excited or canter (at shows mainly)
  • if other horses got upset he does too (out)
  • if it's feed time I can't ride him - too distracted
  • Distracted - that's a great word to describe him
  • Mostly he would load ok - hesitating on the ramp - sometimes (1 in 30 times he would run out once loaded.
  • Leans in on circles with shoulder
  • Pull me around if he wants to eat grass when leading
  • Try and move me with his nose as if to say - go get my food
  • Walks out of wash bay or pulls back if tied up
  • if he became RB he would run - sometimes towards me - or spin round on the end of the lead rope while tied up so his bum would come at me - not seeing me....
okay - after typing that he sounds really bad hey? But they were all quite little things and apart from the shows - mostly manageable.

But I realised I was doing what Linda said she was doing... I would only ride between 12 and 4pm, and avoid riding with others with excitable horses, I was extremely picky about who else I rode out with - their horse had to be bombproof, and the ground stuff I guess just slowly got worse over time so I didn't notice it.

NOW; - 4 weeks later....
  • he picks up all his feet at the lightest ask (and from both sides)
  • if he stands on the 12ft line while grazing while we are moseying - he slowly picks up his foot and moves backwards and carries on
  • he is less crabby with saddling - and not crabby with grooming anymore
  • He leads politely - occasionally we have a tug of war for grass but not a big one
  • One night we had this huge storm - 150km winds and ice cold rain - I had to lead him in from his paddock in the dark to add another cover as he was shivering cold.... and it was very scary up at the barn with all sorts of noises and howling winds.... but even when he got a fright he didn't run into me or spin into me - and kept looking at me for reassurance..... I was so pleased.
  • He doesn't move off when I mount
  • He doesn't call out to other horses when out (so far)
  • He seems more calm when we are out (only been out twice)
  • He doesn't shove me with his nose
  • We can do the circle game and he stays out on the circle!!
  • He doesn't fall in on the circle in the circle game
  • He pays more attention to me
  • Stays in wash bay now without being tied up
  • He seems really happy - still checking me out each day as if to say "you have changed!" but generally our relationship is much better.
  • He yawns daily now!

I am very very very impressed with Parelli - and also with the standard of their home study - well worth every cent... best home study course I have done.

So - after L1 DVDs saying I must move on to L2 ground work while I am completing the L1 riding - I thought - ok - why not?! The exchange rate is awesome at the moment.

So - after watching the beginning of L2 I went out with Garbo today. Wanted to go to a place that had some obstacles - we have NONE at our grazing.

He normally hesitates just before the ramp of the float and then I lead him on. He sometimes takes a look around and then comes on. For some bizarre reason (it was raining) I thought I would use the Send to send him ahead of me.... he started then turned away..... so I led him on but I had the carrot stick in my hand still (don't normally use a whip or anything when loading) and he ran out

After all the things I learned from the L2 dvds so far I put so many into use today.....

Normally I would have got angry....

I stayed really calm - smiled and patted him.... and asked him again - again he ran off (turned in the float and ran out front ways)....I had the 12ft line and started to try and stop him by yanking the rope, and remembered the dvd and just followed him off... he stopped!! Yay.

More patting and smiles.... (gee that helped me not get angry and frustrated)..... and then I led him on again (save the send for another day me thinks).... and he stayed on.... and he was good going on for the return journey too....

  • I remembered to stay calm and smile;
  • to not make it a tug of war if he runs off;
  • and to go back to friendly game each time after a RB episode.
  • AND as my OH pointed out - to last longer than my horse....

As Linda would say - OH BOY!