Friday, February 26, 2010

Level 3 Online Audition

Hana and Jane arrived at my place at lunch time and Garbo decided he didn't want to be caught today and ran off chasing the others. I had originally caught Maraschino first with the idea I would play with him first but Garbo followed along badgering him, so I thought - ok your turn first then - and he ran away - what games he plays with me! You could almost hear him giggling. When I walked back to the wash bay he saw we had visitors and the curiosity of course got the better of him!

I had a quick play with Maraschino after they all got a brush since we had one person for each horse... and he was very good. Backed into the yard like a pro.

Garbo loaded fine and off we went with the pedestal and ball in the back.

Arrived at Jools and set up the arena and parked the float next to it. I had a wee trial run and of course Garbo proved me wrong and did the weave perfectly, and everything else, so I said - ok lets film before we lose it.

We started on the pedastal, got all 4 feet on, then he backed off it and back on again (offered that) - actually I think he was saying "errrr you missed it - scuse me I am on the pedastal - where's my carrot??"

... then we went to the ball - he sniffed it - didn't push it - oh well.... sideways along the fence at trot both ways - one way was better than the other....

A couple of half circles from the fence, then trotting along the long side with a transition, to the cones for the weave, he did it perfectly.....

then jumped the barrel, added in some circles somewhere there.... he was a bit sore I think so didn't stay in canter for long (after slipping over the other day), change of direction x 2, then trot to me... yay.


We also did sideways over a pole, and backwards squeeze through the barrels.

Oh I forgot - we started with Extreme Friendly - he couldn't have cared less really - added in lead backwards by the tail and the hind legs (both at once)

and then trailer loaded, and a yo yo on the 45 - phew - not quite sure how we fitted all that in to 10 minutes but it was a rap!

He's such a good horse!

Thanks to my two amazing friends Hana and Jane for helping today - your photography and videography skills were amazing - not to mention the ginger cake and just 'being there'. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well I had set Friday as the day for filming our online audition for L3, but it's been so hot it's hard to get any good work from Garbo (and myself).

We went to Jools today and I set up the arena with some of her barrels and a pole and some markers for the weave.

We had some trouble with the weave - he kept thinking I was asking for circle. He also had trouble jumping the barrels on the circle with me in neutral, but could jump it if we were playing stick to me (run with me in fact).... from about 20ft..

We got some nice sideways.... at trot to... better one way than the other...

Garbo checking out the mower.

I came home and was watching the patterns DVD again - and with the sound off like Linda suggests (on subsequent viewings), the circle pattern Level 3, Pat is playing with Casper on the 22ft (surprisingly).... and oh my gosh - that is so much like Garbo. If you watch without the sound you see how much effort Pat has to make to keep Casper out on the circle.... and at one point Pat rubs his nose (his own) and Casper comes in - that's how acutely aware Garbo is. Any reason to come in.

I also notice Pat uses the shaking of the rope to transition Casper down (not the carrot stick) which Garbo has problems understanding (the carrot stick in front means slow down).... he can do it at walk fine....

Oh well off to watch for muted DVDs.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I had Tracey Fergusson (Hands On) do a treatment on Garbo and Maraschino last week. It was really interesting. She also does Animal Communication as well.

While with Garbo she said he had a very old solid energy - like a Kauri tree and when I was telling her how I lost my confidence he butted in and told Tracey that "she just needed to trust me"... sweet...

He said I was 'his' person and that without me he would most likely be a grouchy old man in the corner of the paddock (somehow I doubt that)...

She then asked how I make him think my ideas are his ideas.... funny.... I explained Parelli to her a little and told her about Tit for Tat etc.

She didn't say much about Maraschino - just that his energy was very "zing zing zing" all over the place.

Coco came in at this point after watching through the yard fence, and sniffed Tracey. As she was still doing Maraschino she slowly began touching Coco too - and scratching him. He backed up to her, she said she couldn't get much from him initially - but then she said lots of sadness. That we was locked in a yard with no food or water for a very long time. She said he didn't know this was his home - and kept expecting to be taken away again - we set him straight on that. And you know what - he has been very brave and curious since then! Even with loud strangers!!

Hay bales

I had 1.5 hours to play with Maraschino and Garbo and pick up poos and feed the boys today. I started with Garbo and we went out to the soft grass - there isn't alot of room there so we stayed on the 12ft and I got two hay bales and put them side by side so I could work on jumping Garbo over it and then Maraschino - and sideways along it with Garbo.

It didn't take long to get Garbo jumping the bales of hay, as well as pawing them, moving them, going sideways over them lol.

I also played alot with Extreme Friendly with Garbo while he was eating grass (thanks for that tip Jane) and he was great apart from when I approached Zone 1, but after a while he was fine.
I put the camera on his hind end and took a video!

3/4 hour went by so fast!!

Maraschino's turn...

So I had 15 minutes with Maraschino - that was enough - he trotted over the hay bales without even changing the height of his gait! As you can see he wasn't too worried.

I took him up the drive a bit and he was a bit giraffe like (he has't been up there in a while - maybe 6 months).... and got him on the pedastal and also putting his weight on it too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Horsenality Report

Well I have completed the online questions for the Horsenality report - looking forward to seeing the results.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Savvy Club Answer

I found this answer on the Savvy Club Q & A (Level 3 Freestyle).
Interesting isn't it - oh the question was do do with a horse being aggressive and dominant and emotional when riding on a trail ride (towards other horses) but fine if she was on the ground (like he forgot she was riding him)....

The more challenging the horse, the more savvy you need. Are you working through the Harmony Pack step by step? If not, please do so, diligently. While you can have a good level of respect on the ground, once you get on his back there are certain things that can start to erode this...loss of balance, fear / unconfidence, rough handling of the reins, holding back on two reins, pulling, rough use of reins, lack of phases when using your legs or hands, lack of strong enough focus, etc. etc. Lots to think about!! Given that you are working on all of this and by your question you actually are showing a good degree of savvy (chasing / following, etc) there is still one other thing to think of while on a trail ride. Here's how it usually goes... You set off on the ride, everything starts off well because you've prepared your horse and yourself on the ground. Gradually, things start to get a little worse, mainly because you start chatting to your friends, looking at the scenery and you lose connection with your horse. Worse still, he loses connection with you because you're all he had! The loss of confidence translates into fractious behavior, jigging, increasing insecurity and as a result... shying, spooking... LOSING IT! The question therefore is... "how can you maintain your connection with your horse while on this fun ride with your friends?" Of course there's many ways and depending on your level of savvy, you'll have more strategies. First of all, use things that will engage left brain: backwards, sideways (for a mile or two if necessary!), turns involving disengagement, stopping and grazing, stepping over things, backing over things, getting the person in front of you to keep your horse off his tail (so you don't have to hold back on two reins.. very claustrophobic and seriously disturbing for horses!)... etc. If you are riding with people who would think you are stupid / a nuisance / a dummie / a weirdo for doing this, then STOP RIDING WITH PEOPLE WHO PUT EGO AND JUDGEMENT AND CRITICISM / HUMILIATION IN FRONT OF HORSEMANSHIP! When we do savvy trail rides, we commit to everyone being involved in the horsemanship process so we create rest stops (savvy stops) and little games along the way to keep people and horses connected, left brain and calm.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ride and Saddle Fitting

Under the willow having lunch together.

After a quick burn in the Falco down to Whitianga for breakfast I took Garbo to Jool's place for a ride.

We played on the ground a bit as Critey didn't come because Bronwyn's leg is worse and she is on crutches! So he was a bit tense, but that didn't take long to sort out.

I have been thinking alot about how he was in the forest and I read a question in the Savvy Club Vault about it as well - it said to keep your horse busy like sideways or back up (for a mile if need be) and to only ride with Parelli understanding people. I think what I did today was what I need to be able to do in the saddle as well.

Anyway - I got on and he was not very motivated so we didn't do alot - and I got off again - his saddle is a bit tight and Abbie is coming tomorrow to fix - and it was really hot too!

We are going back on Sunday.

Next day Abbi came and she was awesome - she was so pleased to be taking the extra wool out of the front of the saddle finally and she couldn't believe how much bigger he was at the front end. I had not seen her since starting Parelli.

She complimented me on the work I had been doing with him, which she said was obviously doing him only good, and also on riding without contact - saying that many 'good' riders cannot do that - they just don't have the balance - and she wishes more of them would because then she wouldn't have to try and fix up horses/saddles that can't really be fixed (due to the way the rider rides).

So - she was really pleased with the outcome and it will be interesting to see how we go on Sunday...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today at Jool's

Critey has been having a mini-break at our place for a couple of days before she heads off to Bronwyn's place for good - finally Bronwyn was able to buy Critey! Yay!

We decided that when Critey left we would go somewhere for a ride and then both of us go to our own places so that he didn't call out for her for hours like he did last time she visited. It worked really well - they were both really settled once at their respective homes. He loaded well both ways too - even with the added stress of him wondering if Critey was coming too.

The ride at Jools was just fab - considering we haven't ridden there since the New Year, and only been to the forest once. He showed me he could even do Change of Direction today too (properly) and transitions down with the carrot stick were marginally better too.

It was really hot but I didn't notice once we were doing stuff.... he went into canter really well with me putting my rail arm back under my bum to get the right lead, and cantering with my other hand. My canter position felt really secure today too.

His back up was finger light - his sideways a bit sticky but we can work on that.