Monday, October 31, 2011

Maraschino's turn - the tubby he is

Maraschino had a play last weekend too although the cows next door had escaped into the paper road so we were limited to the paddock.

Coco came in for a nosey too.
You probably can't see the cherokee bridle - and Garbo watching, and my cat darting across the paddock behind him.

He was very relaxed and after the grass reactions in autumn it was the first real non spooking, jumpy play we have had in a long time.
We were working on complete circles without asking a question and the same point every time - which is cute but not what I was wanting. He got one and a half laps without asking finally so we stopped there. (trot).

 Afterwards was dinner time for everyone.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spring at last

At last some summer weather today so off Garbo and I sent for a ride at Jools.
I have not ridden him for a month but he was really good. We did lots of transitions, a little Game Of Contact, and some freestyle.
This is him eating while I change from 45ft to Bridle.
 I started on the 45ft and then got on as there were no issues. We did follow the rail and corners mainly, walk and trot. And then I even added in some circles. I think we'll try Cloverleaf next time.
 Afterwards he got to nibble on willow all the way back to the float.
 Mine's the blue float not the white one.

 Then he just stayed close while I loaded up the saddle etc.... he's such a good boy.
Double bonus - he didn't poop in the float either way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Play on the Paper Road

Took advantage of the fact there were no cows in the paddock (and paper road) and took G up for a walk - along our private road, then into the paper road and back down to the other side of our house.

When we replace the fence you can see we will add a gate - it will be alot quicker!!

 Garbo did some lovely trot circles and Garbo even kept his head low at the same time so he could snatch bites at the long g

Monday, September 5, 2011

First big space play since Pagosa

I rode Garbo today for the first time in 4 weeks!
Boy - he has a bouncy trot - way bouncier than I was used to with Heart lol. Isn't it funny I could forget something like that??

We headed out around 1.30pm and had a lovely play on the 45ft, where I very much enjoyed being Jim Carey and playing the "come here so I can spank you game". It was very effective.

Then I got on and did all my lateral rein, indirect and direct reins. Then I did some bow ties at walk/trot. Finally after about 8-10 times Garbo got the pattern and started relaxing and blowing out. Yay.

Had an awesome catch up with my friend and tried to fill her in on all my two week adventure days.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Still cold but we played again

It's turned quite chilly but I got out and gave the boys another brush to try and get rid of some more winter hair. Then I worked on getting the boys to pick up their feet from a less than phase 1 - snapping fingers...

George came up the driveway with me and held which ever horse I wasn't playing with.

Maraschino was a little jumpy so we did some half circles with a disengage at the fence, then some figure 8's which he does beautifully even at trot. Then circle - today he had so much suspension while on the trot circle and also flexion it was amazing - looked amazing. Sorry I didn't get a photo.

With Garbo we did Falling Leaf again - he wasn't pushing into me so much today. Yay. Progress.

Then we let them have some grass and hopped them on the pedestal on the way by. Then I showed George how to do the On The Barn Halter knot.

Garbo has his ears back because Coco was backed up to about 2 inches from his back end - he was not impressed. When I am cleaning out their hooves, Coco backs right up to me and bumps into me for a scratch.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

First play post Flex Track

Well I got to play with my two big boys today for the first time since I got home. After giving them all a good groom because they are moulting like crazy! Especially Coco. It's really strange, after two weeks with Heart my boys seem HUGE. You'd think she would have seemed small since I have been around my guys longer than two weeks, but she didn't.

Grady showed me how to do Falling Leaf at the Flex Track, one night after dinner because I missed the workshop due to getting the Parelli Saddle fitted. He said Falling Leaf was for Dominant Horses and Backwards S was for Unconfident horses. So can you figure out which one I did which with today?

Garbo has always used Falling Leaf (attempts) by me to push into me and stop me walking forward, but I had new tools today. I had to separate, isolate and work on disengage for a little bit, then start over. But by the end he was getting the hand of it without over-reacting and trotting or cantering. He started blowing out and lowering his head.


I also worked on drawing him from a circle in preparation for Change of Direction (the new and improved version), because he assumes - that I am sending him the other way.

Then of course practicing my belly button focus I took him back and grabbed Mr Maraschino.

We did backwards S which he was pretty good about, and then he got to witness my new way of doing Figure 8 - focussing, not leading - it's so awesome - we didn't have any cones but I had imaginary ones I was focussing on. Gosh at one point I upped my energy a bit and he jumped off all 4's!

I am loving having so many more ingredients to work on.
Measured them both for saddles and they came out as Standard!!??

Monday, August 29, 2011

Heading home

I'm on the plane from Denver to LAX. I managed to get earlier flights from Durango, then Denver, so that I have more time in LAX for my flight from there to home. Looking out the window, it's very dry, red and barren looking.

Reflecting on my time in America, the longest time away from my husband, and animals, I feel it's been an amazing trip, well worth the money and time, and planning.

I'm heading home with more tools and knowledge, plus more experience and new friends and mentors. Even more than that I'm heading home with my Level 3 string which is just awesome. I'm looking forward to working on Level 4, and starting Finesse and continuing my progress with the Game of Contact. It seems like there was a tonne of filming going on at the ranch while I was there, both for Game of Contact and Trail riding which is pretty awesome. I'll be looking forward to seeing those.

I'm going to see my horses (and my husband) at about 6.30am Tuesday NZ time (about 1pm Monday Pagosa time), and I'll be taking it easy for the day. Later in the week I'll be looking forward to riding again and playing with both my boys.

I want to thank;
Pat and Linda for creating such an awesome programme, and a wonderful place to learn, and for the teaching system in place to make it happen.
Pete (Dancin Pete Rodda) for leading our course. We had loads of fun.
The awesome instructors; Grady my wonderful coach, Jamie, Mattie, Judi and Jane.

There's also a whole team of friends at home looking after my horses, my grass and yards and keeping everything in order and the horses in their routines. Without them I could never have gone, so thanks guys.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Amazing how slow the day goes off campus

If Hearts back had not been sore I would have ridden her today, that was the initial plan for staying longer. But turns out it's just been a quiet day, had a bit of a sleep in till 730am. Then wandered up the road since I had not checked any of the local stores. Not really alot there unless you want cowboy boots lol.

I bought another bag because I only want to have my handbag on the way home, I'll have to pay extra no doubt. But that's life.

Then I drove uptown to get a coffee, and came back and wrote some notes up, they are all up to date now and sorted in subject order on my Note App.

We went to the Elk Horn cafe for lunch and waited 30 minutes for food which is a bit unusual, when I questioned it she said they were training a new chef and they don't think she can cook - great! I ordered the eggs with beans no bacon something called a espaquerdra or something....

These were the questions...
How would you like your eggs?
Bread or tortilla?
Flour tortilla or corn?
Green chilli sauce or red?
hot or mild?

blimey lol.

Then Jane and I went to the Out West Saddlery shop. It's in this amazing barn on a private property up a private road off a road to nowhere!

This was the pretty drive there, only about 7 miles from where we are staying.
The door was pretty unique, a bit like the whole shop actually. Lost of western stuff and it looked like they made their own chaps and things.

Since then we've just been catching up on notes, Facebook, emails etc.
We have to check out at 11am, I'll be awake early anyway so I think I'll head there early and see if I can get an earlier plane, since I have tight connections.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Last day - so sad

It was very hard saying goodbye to our team and our wonderful instructors. It was a wonderful last day for many reasons (apart from having to leave). We started at 8am going over all the highlights.

Then we split up into our Remuda's with our personal coach and got our scorecard. We get graded on EVERYTHING... from Attitude, Emotional Fitness, Physical Fitness, Social Skills, team-man-ship, Horse Husbandry and care, and overall savvy. As well as online, tool savvy, liberty, and freestyle. And theory of course!

In a loo break Ryan and Pete had a tug of war with a 45ft on buckets, as you do!

I was super stoked - I found out I got an 89% on the theory test at the beginning and 100% yesterday.

Then all of the instructors spoke about their experience in being our coaches. it was very emotional to see how much they care about us.

For a break we did some savvy simulations throwing carrot sticks. That was pretty fun. I learnt how to throw and catch it!

At 12.30 they took us into to classroom and played us a video they had made of our week one testing compared to week 2, it was awesome.

We were back on the porch, which I remember seeing in the old Level 2 DVD which was pretty cool.

We did a team building exercise, with a Helium carrot stick.... Really interesting....;-)

Then it was awards time. Anyone that had improved enough to gain a Level, was called up and given a string. I was called up and it was very hard not to cry because I got my Level 3!!! Everyone was so happy for me and cheered it was amazing. I'm still in shock really, so pleased!

The afternoon was very relaxed, most people were leaving and the ranch slowly emptied out. I was going to ride tomorrow but I have decided to rest up instead and maybe do a spot of shopping.

So - if you are thinking of doing this course or a Fast Track, be prepared to be busy all the time, be prepared to be physically and mentally tired, but it's something you can't get from a DVD, and the positive energy here is so amazing - I can really see how people come for one course and stay for a year!

I left Heart eating hay and made sure she had water etc, I didn't say goodbye, too sad. I hate goodbyes and hate endings lol. But this is a new beginning, my Level 4 journey!!!

Final testing

We had our theory test yesterday morning and then off to online and freestyle testing. This was us in the yo yo and indirect/direct rein. That's Grady in the red shirt. It was fun but I think Heart's back is finally getting a bit much for her.

Then we had a play on the jumps, actually I think these are slightly out of order sorry.

Our online testing went really well, trailer loading from the fender, jumped the barrels both ways, she's been a little unconfident with that until now, so I was pleased.

We also did circling and change of direction of the 45 at trot so I couldn't have been more pleased with the online. The freestyle wasn't so great, but I know what I need to work on, and when we get our results tomorrow it will be more obvious.

At the Thursday Campus meeting the Fast track guys who got strings got them awarded, which was pretty cool.

Lindsey came down with Westpoint, Hot Jazz and Remmer, it was great to see Remmer looking so good.

I tested for Liberty too, just as it started raining but we had to do all 7 games, and we did, it was fantastic.

After dinner there was an Essential Oils presentation which was really interesting. Then I went back to the apartment and crashed.