I'd been thinking for a while actually because time was just vanishing - as it does.
The options were to send him to Russell in Hamilton - long way - plus I wouldn't be able to be involved. I still wanted to be part of the process.
There was not really a local instructor I could use, who I could have weekly lessons with...or anyone that was local enough to do sessions in a row. Not Parelli ones anyway.
Jool's had a couple of ladies at her farm starting horses and doing clinics. I'd thought about them as an option, but wasn't 100% sure. It was local - only two streets away - and they use Buck Brannaman methods - not too dissimilar to Parelli. It wouldn't be perfect - but I think it would be good enough under the circumstances - I mean - what were the other options? Take another 4 years to get no where slowly lol.
I spoke to my good friend about it - and she said some very sensible things. 1. I couldn't afford to get hurt - true. 2. I couldn't afford to lose my confidence - which had been happening. 3. It was close so I could stay involved - even pop down in my lunch break (lunch break??)... and 4. She'd seen a horse be started by them - both the process one day and the end result - the hose was a LBE - so I called Teresa up and discussed a few things with her. She made me feel comfortable enough to go ahead.
So - next problem - separation training or lack thereof - for Garbo! It was always Maraschino I was leaving behind so I'd ignored doing it with Garbo. Naughty me.
The night before we were due to drop Maraschino off I took him for a walk up the road and did lots of retreat.... Garbo was not that happy but not a maniac. I had planned to take Garbo in the float anyway.
So - I was a little nervous since I hadn't floated Maraschino for quite some time but he and garbo loaded like angels and off we went. He was put into a paddock of dirt - they don't believe in grass for horses down there -just hay so he's going to be thinner when he returns!
It's a lovely peaceful place for him. He rushed off a little on the float - not too bad... and I tied him at the float for a while while I saddled Garbo up - thought I may a well go for a ride. Mickayla came and led Maraschino to his paddock.
I warmed up Garbo and Maraschino was very very settled - but wondering where all the grass was lol. Garbo looked nice and calm so I got on and had a nice ride - we did some trot and walk and lots of transitions. I have not cantered in my new saddle yet! It's not as couch like as my NSC so still getting my seat so to speak.
It was a good session even though it was hard for Garbo to concentrate on anything expect grass since we're in a drought and the grass at home is not even 1mm long - so this seemed like Heaven to him.
After the ride I took Garbo back to the float which was about 200m away I guess and Maraschino started calling out and running around. We hung around going in and out of sight for a bit and then loaded. Jools said she would be there all afternoon so she would keep an eye on him. I texted later and they said he'd settled.
Driving away I felt like a Mum leaving their kids at school or kindy for the first time. He's had the last 5 years of his life with me at home, and the first year of his life wild in a 100 acre paddock with a herd of 30. So to let someone else "train" him was a massive step for me. But I think I'm lucky these guys are here, and so close, and it's still Natural Horsemanship - it's by far no means "normal" "breaking".
They asked I not be there for the first couple of sessions so I was dying to get back on the third day to see how he was doing - I had gone up each night anyway to see him and give him some chaff and seaweed. They commented he was hard to catch on the first day, and I explained his world was pretty upside down for him - new place, away from Garbo and I.... and he's Right Brain.
Anyway - they said he was hot, and sensitive and needed repetition and patience. Exactly. So that made me feel better. Although they are not doing it exactly the way a Parelli Professional would do it - none of what they are doing will do him any harm.
He calmed down after a few days - I went up tonight and Mickayla was using the flag again and he finally stopped snorting at it lol. He seemed much more himself in the paddock too afterwards. He's taken to licking me after his dinner which means I end up covered in left over dinner. :-)