Sunday, June 29, 2008


I haven't been doing any Parelli lately - it's been raining. Garbo is showing signs of grumpiness because of it - and dominance. That in turn has caused me to be a bit grumpy with him so hopefully the rain stops soon.!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Umbrella Friendly

Did a little more with the umbrella today. I can open and close it about 6 ft away from him, he jumps, but if I don't point it directly at him, slightly off to the side, then he doesn't jump. I walk backwards with the rope having some slack in it and he follows...(maybe there might be a treat in the umbrella if it stops for long enough!)

More rain today - two and a bit months till Spring!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Extreme Friendly - Umbrella

It was a puddle paddock this morning after a night and morning of rain, and when I got Garbo back in at about 3pm it was still soggy - and so was he. After a groom - well the beginnings of one - we played with the umbrella. He was mugging me looking for treats and wouldn't let me pick out his feet - so we stopped that and went to Extreme Friendly.

Started off walking away with him following while I put the umbrella up and down (and twirled it) and then facing him while I walked backwards. He wasn't 100% happy and was a bit introverted (a stranger would have thought he was fine), but eventually he licked his lips. Then I closed the umbrella and swished it around making lots of noise while walking beside him. Everytime he turned towards it with Zone 1 I would stop and he would sniff it.

This is him sniffing it while it was 'dead' on the seat.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anything to get treats

I thought I would show you some of the challenges I have with Garbo - being the LBI that he is.

The first videos are of me asking him to back up by the tail, before much other work. His mind is TOTALLY on treats and where are they hiding! The look on his face is priceless. You will see some of my new subtle with energy as phase one backing - and also a part where I realised I was not standing up straight while driving him. For some reason I find it hard to do the Schweigermutter look while standing up straight!! - hmmm seems the video is over 100MB so I need to try and shorten it. Wish the blimmen blogger site would tell you that rather than just making you wait for nothing while it's pretending to upload!

Ok - here's the short version and then part 2

I took another video after we played some games on the ground.

Today on the ground I decided to focus on feel and subtlety. I watched the Savvy Club DVD this month, today and that horse that Ginger had - OMG I was crying with laughter - that was me and Garbo exactly. I had not realised it! He would just stand there and watch me dance. I did exactly that the last few times we played with barrels. He would look at the barrels and pretend like he didn't know what he was supposed to do... hilarious.

So armed with some new awareness and not new arrows, but reminder ones, I went out and was very specific about what I asked for, trying to do as little as possible first, and then backing it up up with a REMINDER . Phase two Garbo gets very offended so it doesn't take much to spark him up again after realising I was letting him become dull.

I had him trotting and maintaining trot on the circle with me not moving or picking up the stick, and some lovely sideways.

Then we tried the leading by the tail again.... it was a little more focused.

Oh then we did some more extreme friendly - I started skipping towards him then got self conscious thinking the neighbours could probably see me and wonder what in the heck I was doing, so we retreated into the tie up area (where no one can see us) and I started doing jumping jacks. I couldn't go alongside Garbo without him moving so I was doing them at the front of him and going from one side to the other - he was just looking at me like "what is she doing now!?"

Then I rode bareback - by myself, no one else home - just us - AND it was at 4pm. I never used to ride Garbo at 4pm because it was so close to dinner time and he would be all grumpy and pretend to spook just to get me off. Very clever boy - that savvy club segment reminded me all about that cleverness.

Anyway - the bareback ride was short and sweet but cool...

Here's the riding video - even with a pan shot to show I was actually bareback. He got a bit fast over the muddy bit - hence the wobble - I lifted the rein for him to stop. He had his ears back at one point but he was pinning them at Scribble as we rode past (my Human!). Thought I did quite well to ride bareback, hold the lead rope, and take a video!!

I have just finished watching all the Savvy Club DVD - that Beni reminded me of Garbo too - when I first got him! And especially that nose stuff - as you will have seen in the first video!

I have just come in after cleaning out the yards of poo so far tonight - before I go to bed. Garbo stands by the door into the barn so that he can get a treat before I go in - he doesn't budge from that spot - like a toll collector!


And the blooper!!
His face is priceless - after you watch Gingers horse on the June Savvy Club DVD - doing kind of a "what is it you want ? I am confused" look but sniggering to himself like Scoobey Doo... lol

Friday, June 20, 2008

Winning the 7 Games

Back to Stage 1 booklet - Level 2.

Winning the Friendly Game Up until now you've just been 'playing' the Seven Games. Now it's time to 'win' them! To have your horse more respectful and snappier in his responses. Objective - to advance your Friendly Game and encourage relaxation in a more extreme situation. Turn up the heat. See how much more your horse can take without getting upset. Gradually turn up the energy until you can;
  • Flap the ground vigorously with your CS and SS
  • Do jumping jacks around him
  • open and close umbrellas or flap a coat around him
  • Skip up to your horse
... do this until he's really desentitised and can stand still with calm confidence totally relaxed, head low. Pretty soon, commotion will be his signal to hurry up and relax!

I have done the first one with the carrot stick and savvy string twice in the last two days now, He is not totally relaxed but getting better.

I also tried running backwards today and getting Garbo to trot to me (that's easy for him - he always wants to come to me) and then I added swapping the carrot stick into the other hand and holding my arms out to the side, and he changed directions, both ways, easily. Hah!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Extreme Friendly

I tried the extreme friendly game tonight with Garbo. On a side not - I am really looking forward to having more daylight each day (counting down to shortest day on the 21st I think). There doesn't seem to be enough time for doing everything each day at the moment.

So I had never tried the whacking the ground with the savvy string and CS - so I did today. Garbo looked initially worried until I really relaxed and smiled and turned away from him. Then I stopped and gave him a treat and repeated it on the other side and he wasn't worried at all.

Worked on just moving him backwards with energy up rather than touching him, worked well. Then we practiced sniff your tail again.

Then I put them to bed. They are so cute in the morning with post peelings in their hair!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stage 3 booklet, L2 review

Thought I would add a bit from the old L2 booklets each day...I have so much to do in these little pocket guides.

Changing directions at the trot on the 22 foot line.
Objective to smoothly change directions at the trot on the 22ft line and horse to maintain trot.

You have to have accomplished first;

1. The bring back and allow in the circle game. Your horse should be able to maintain trot at the circle. (hmm - need to work on this I feel).

a. Have your disengagement so finely tuned that you can just look at his hindquarters (phase 1) and have him come to you. If not go through your phases: lift your carrot stick and savvy string directly toward Zone 4. Do not pull on the line and keep your feet within your circle.

b. If your horse speeds up rather than disengaging and facing you, shorten the line, then slap the ground hard again, then shorten the line, and slap the ground hard again, repat this until he disenages and faces you, or until he's close enough to tap Zone 4.

c. When he faces you, relax and wait until he licks his lips, and then Send him out again and repeat the experience. Each time you repeat this your horse will respond sooner, until finally it will take just a look from you at those hindquarters and he'll snap around without you even slapping the ground.!

2. A good Yo-Yo game- there should be no resistance, especially in the come forward part. You should be able to run backwards and comb the underside of your rope with the Carrot Stick to draw your horse in to you at the trot.

a. Walk backwards abd comb the underside of the rope with your carrot stick, all the while drawing your horse towards you. At first, your horse may be skeptical of this but pretty soon he'll read your friendly invitation and his growing confidence will be reflected in his willingness to come forward.

b. Slow and right will build fast and right. Get to where you can run backwards while rubbing the rope and reeling it in, and your horse will run to you. Don't expect this to happen consistently after just one session! Take a few practice sessions to get good at it.

This exercise is a great key in preparing for changing directions at the trot on the 22 foot line. Once your horse is confident in running to you. It will be easy to redirect him onto a new circle in the other direction.

I shall post more once I have all of this sorted!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I have yarded the boys for three nights now - counting tonight. The night before that the young boys saw the goats next door (horse eating goats obvioulsy) and froze and ran - actually turn face and re-assess to be technical. I couldn't get them near the yards (which were closer to the goats than not).

Two nights on and they both went in to their yards at liberty. I had used yo-yo (rightly or wrongly) with Maraschino - (his yard is closest to said goats!)..each time he looked at the goats I yo-yo'd him backwards so he looked at me - then asked him forward towards me. Took three yo yos the first night - two last night - and none tonight - yay.

All is quiet in the yards now apart from occasional hay bag banging... that's yanking at the hay so the hay bag swings out and then bangs back on the wall (our wall).

Parelli wise I have been really studying the old L2 booklets and getting everything just so.... ie the one rein transitions - by sliding your fingers down the rope like a trombone lightly three times until the horse bends his head to you.... you close one finger at a time (Indirect rein position) and then walk on... eventually they will slow or go down a transition by pumping/lifting the rein.

I am trying to get everything soft and gentle as opposed to L1 hard and rough on the edges. But also trying to be effective at the same time, assertive but not aggressive....

I can yo you Garbo back and forward one step at a time just by energy and a look now.
He can back by leading from his tail...
He can sniff his tail (can't hold for 10 seconds yet)
Stage 3 booklet has the canter passenger lesson.... hope the track dries out soon so I can try it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bareback pad

My friend loaned me her bareback pad to try out today. Garbo was a bit spooky so we didn't go far. To be honest I didn't prepare properly and should have seen the signs and did more on the ground first. But anyway - after a couple of spooks, bareback, I got off and played the 7 games online.

I guess I was quite tough on Garbo because he was sticking his ears back a bit in the tie up area, because he ended up in a pose I hadn't seen for quite a while - head down by my knees and quite unconfident/submissive.

Still no jumping over the barrels but if I move the circle away from them he leads me back again to them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bareback ride

I can't really believe it but I rode Garbo bareback today! I had ridden him round the track in my saddle and then was unsaddling and thought - what the heck! I was only going to walk around the wash bay and then I went out onto the track - so much fun!! Even did a little trot too. And didn't wobble all over the place.

I have not ridden bareback before apart from sitting on horses as a kid (just sitting) - this is a pretty old photo!! It was taken at my Mums farm in Silverdale one school holidays. Yes, I have no shoes and a skirt on! Let alone no helmet.

I thought it would be harder but it's great being able to feel the movement of the horse.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Painting and Parelli

Woke up to a clear blue sky so after breakfast I took the boys covers off (it had been forecast to rain) and then I thought I would continue painting the yards. As soon as I took their covers off it clouded over and I thought oh here comes the rain so I got them all in one by one and put their covers on - but not before playing some games with Garbo and Maraschino.

Today Garbo figured out how to back up from me leadilng him by his tail. Clever boy! And his sniff my tail is getting better also. I tried combing the lead rope to get him to flex his head to the side like Pat suggests in the colt starting savvy club DVD I watched last night. That really helped with being polite asking and keeping him light. I am going to do that riding next time too.

We also did some carrot stick in the mouth and playing with mouth and tongue in preparation for the GG Dentist coming on Monday to see all three.

I was just telling Cilla I always forget to play games two and three so today I had a quick revise of porcupine and driving with lightness with Garbo - he was great!

I had a box of treats on the seat and Garbo was giving me sign language - translated "please get me a treat".

So then I stuck Garbo in his unfinished yard (no post peelings yet) so I could get Maraschino in without Garbo chasing him away - because Garbo clearly didn't think we had played long enough! And he was still trying to get the treats (politely).

I tied Maraschino up today for the first time - a quick release knot but he was such a star. "Look at me!!"

Then we played friendly game with the sack like it was a saddle blanket (nose for a smell then up and on his back)... this is him saying "I think I'm ok with this Mum".

Then I tried some driving (HQ and FQ) - interestingly Maraschino has a ball HQ and more of a chair FQ so I think he may be more LB than originally thought. I must find my charts and do one. Gosh I wonder where they will be?

Then I did some porcupine, back, HQ and FQ. He was really responsive, I only had to use phase 2 on all three. Then we played friendly with the carrot stick and savvy string over his back and withers...that was a bit scary to begin with but all he did was just jump without moving his feet..if you know what I mean - he improved very quickly.

Then it was time to put his cover on - and I am pleased to report he doesn't move away or flinch (that was the word I was looking for before instead of jumping without moving feet!) when I put the cover on his back. He stands still like an angel. He is very mouthy (LB tendency or a foal thing - not sure?)..he wants to bite everything including my ears, his lead rope, the snap, the halter, Scribbles halter, Garbo's rug strap (when it's hanging on the rails), the rails, the plant over the fence (hmmm), and the carrot stick to name a few. Oh yes - he was nibbling at the sand and the stones I put down the other day too.

Then I did some painting and finished painting all the yards. Well first coat anyway. Garbo tried to help for a while.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


We played with our barrels today - Garbo decided they were a little high to jump today Mum. But he tried really hard. We also tried going sideways over them - again - a little high today Mum but he tried really hard. You should have seen the look on his face. Asking a BIG question. So cute.

We'll try again tomorrow.