Sunday, August 30, 2015

Linda riding Highland in the Honeycomb

There are some benefits to being ready on time. Kari, Anne-Marie and I (the cream team) are usually the first to class, or our meeting spot, and always on time.

Well - it just so happened we were meeting at the honeycomb on Friday before lunch. Kari and I started riding over there and Linda and her riders were riding just head of us back to her barn. We followed along and she stopped at the honeycomb for a while and rode Highland in there. Here's a small video.

YouTube Video

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Last day of First week.

So much happened today. We started in the lodge talking about yesterday's highlights. Then we did some seat builder simulations and talked about upper body posture.

We simulated floating our ribs up and it's a great feeling. I tried it while riding and it lengthens your spine. We did all sorts of simulations today on seeing how uneven or crooked we were naturally.

Linda rode over and came and spoke to each one of us this morning while we were saddling up. While she was talking to the others I mounted and was talking to Rachel, one of her riders. She's from Australia and really nice.

Then Linda rode over and myself and Kari headed off to the honeycomb where we were meeting Ryan, right behind Linda and Rachel. Linda came to the honeycomb too and started riding inside it. I started riding around the outside. It was cool to see her ride Highland. Then she headed back.

We worked on riding downhill to see what it's like to ride the hind end up.
At one point Dixie cantered back up the hill. Lol.

After lunch we did some more seat builder and reins simulations and then rode in the big arena. I'm feeling a bit frustrated that I don't see much VP. Visual progress. Feels different. Just I look at a photo and my legs are still heels up and toe out. I feel like I have a nice contact and I see a picture and its loose or uneven or my arms are out wide. Jeez!

A nice trail ride back again this afternoon.

Location:Parelli Ranch.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Level 4+ Riding - Day 4

I can't believe we've only got one week left after tomorrow. It's gone so fast. Today was really great, we rode early at 9am in the big top for an hour and worked on freely forward warming up and soft touch and ride the line. I'm working on my lower legs staying still. Mostly. Lol.

After that we all traveled to Head office to Skype with Dr Jenny Susser and talk about learning, how we learn best, how we improve, setting goals, achieving goals and all that really interesting stuff!! She said we need to make a mistake to learn. And then we need to focus on what we are doing correctly. She's very cool. Ady , Anna-Marie and Kari trusted my driving skills enough for me to car pool them down there. Lol.

After lunch we had a liberty demo from Ryan and Mocha who is just beautiful. He reminded me of Maraschino so much.

Then the whole class except Kari and I went into town for the big launch of the new savvy club format. Ryan wasn't going either so we had an informal lesson with him and just us two which was super cool. We rode in the coverall during the thunderstorm and then the sun came out so Kari and I went for a trail ride around the ranch. Super cool day.

Location:Parelli Ranch Pagosa Colorado.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Day 3 Level 4+

We got rained on a couple of times today but it wasn't too bad.

Sooooooo... Where to start.

The morning started with some visuals of what we are aiming for as a picture or plan or goal from riding freely forward.

For the horses neck to be stretched forward, not with his head lower than his chest, that can be evasion or hiding.

We revised the riding posture from the feet up (building the foundation) and then added on the elbows and soft touch.

Then to add it all together and go riding right!!

We walked over to Pats arena on horseback and it gave me a chance to practise my leg position and engaging from the "thuttocks". It's something I am loving because it's making a big difference to my lower leg position and my knee.

Of course there's always time for a selfie. That's the lovely Kari from Albuquerque and the cheeky Ann-Marie from The Netherlands. The cream team.

So by engaging or pulling your heel and lower leg back rather than pushing it back you wrap your thighs. The angle should be 120 degrees. Where's my protractor?

Wrapping thighs: This was something I could not do before. But I can see the concept now. It stretches your hip flexors. I knew how to do that out of the saddle but not while riding.

Then this creates the hover, lightening your seat and sitting you up to some extent. Of course you still need lats on (armpits down) and to be straight with an engaged core - oh and breathe and look where you're going lol.

Oh Dixie likes selfies now too. She needs more practice though. Handsome has got the photo bombing down though. Aptly named horse right.

Our riding session was focusing on our position, the horse riding freely forward, then follow the line. So keeping our nose and the horses nose on an imaginary line, and not losing rhythm as we turn (faster or slower). Horses tend to speed up trotting a turn and slow down walking a turn. So we needed to keep rhythm while making sure there were no floppy reins. Soft touch. We were not trying to put the horse in a frame just have a soft contact. Going up the slight incline I could really feel Dixie getting it! She doesn't love going downhill so much.

We rode back just as the rain started again. Dixie has been a super star.

The afternoon had rain predicted so we had lunch and then did simulations again. This time on the equissage horse. Then on barrels. Just to get the right feeling and to isolate the muscles for the thuttocks and then for the rising trot.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Ryan is so patient with all us females. :-)

Location:Parelli Ranch Colorado

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Day 2 Level 4+ Riding

So this morning we were working on posture, and our legs only - well lower half. In the past I've been told to put my heels down, toes in, point my knee down to the ground, wrap my thighs around, etc etc. well today I figured out how to wrap my thighs! And not only that it also is the best way to bring your lower leg back under you.

Instead of pushing your lower leg back, you pull it with your glutes and behind the thigh. In time with the walk either side, and then both when you rise to the trot. It's amazing how it also makes your knee lower.

So there were three things we were working on. If the horse was taken from under you - would you still be standing n the ground or would you lose balance and fall over. Pulling your lower leg back behind the horse and under your hip. This action actually opens up the hip flexor. It's very very cool!

And lastly engaging your core and tucking your tail. I think there will be some sore muscles tomorrow!

Ryan also did a demo for us with Rembrant (so adorable) on warming up for responsiveness and connection. And that's it.

After that we all trail rode to Pats barn arena. It's about 2kms I guess. It's actually a nice ride for the horses before and after our arena work.

Then Ryan talked about posture again and reminded us about legs. We practised at walk and I of course practised it all the way back on the trail ride, then all the way back to the arena after lunch, then all the way back to the the pens again.

Ryan did a demo of riding forward to warm up on Zen, then Rembrandt.

Juli took some photos of me and I can see my legs look in a better position already.

Pretty pleased considering this is day one of doing this.

See the small white coverall. The pens are beyond that.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

All in all a great day. Tomorrow we are starting ride the line. Yay.

After dinner I met Kari at the Hot Springs. I can walk there, and I did. And we soaked in a pool that was 103 for about an hour. No sore muscles for us two! :-)

Location:Parelli Ranch Colorado.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Couple of videos of my daily drive

Just a couple of videos driving from my apartment to the ranch and back. Just for anyone that's interested. My apartment is in Pagosa Springs. The coffee shop is Higher Grounds.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Location:Pagosa St,Pagosa Springs,United States

Day 1 Level 4+ Riding

Ryan is very cool. We like his way of instructing a lot. Today we had a pretty cruisy day for the sake of the horses. Some were new and needed to settle.

We were working on balance simulations, then tried it out in the saddle. Like leaning more in one stirrup, leaning in the turn etc. just to see what the horse did. In the morning after some theory where we learnt about goals for your horses and you, we rode for an hour or two practising indirect and direct rein responsiveness. Getting the effort of phase four with phase one or less. We did sideways too.
So think sideways is phase 1/2.
By phase 1 she should be going sideways well.

Talked a lot about responsiveness and posture, as well as what we want the end picture to look like. Have a picture to have a plan. Get a feel.

After our afternoon class Kari and Ann-Marie and I went the long way back to the pens for a teeny trail ride. It was a nice relaxing day but with lots of information. Ryan said we're going to be riding a lot so this was a nice day for the horses.

No thunderstorm today so I had coconut icecream for dessert to cool me down. Still hot.

Location:Parelli Ranch Pagosa

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My apartment.

This is my apartment. The green painted weather boards is basically it. The top floor window is my bedroom, below that to the left is the stats, next window the kitchen and dining room in the apex thing.

It got to 32 today. I fed Dixie and took her for a graze just in time before the big thunderstorm this afternoon. Dropped to 16 on the way back!

This apartment doesn't have a mixer and I wanted to try a grain free bread recipe that needs a beater. So I went to the thrift shop across the road and got one for $3.

Location:Pagosa St,Pagosa Springs,United States

Saturday. Rest day.

It's rest day for Dixie and I, so it called for the fly mask since there are a lot of flies and the spray doesn't seem to be cutting it for her.

I had a mini sleep in till 6.30am and headed out to feed her after a shower. My lip is blistered which is a bit of a pain, I need to find some zinc today.

Fed Dixie, cleaned her stall, filled up her water and said goodbye to Deirdra who is heading back home with Pixie today. So there's only a few of us left. You can see Playboy next to Dixie, and Kari's horse Handsome, the palomino in the background too. The paint is leaving today too I think. Mandy was heading off on a 20 hour journey to Montana !!

Few errands today, a bit of work catch up and just some relax time before I head back this evening to take Dixie for a walk/graze and feeding plus clean out her pen again

Think I'll wait till it's a bit cooler...not sure when that will be!

My apartment is nice and cool with the windows open today though - they have flyscreens so I can open all of them up and get a lovely cool breeze. I'm going to try not to use the air conditioning anymore because between that and the dry mountain air here, and the dust from the arenas, my nose is drying up inside.

Location:Parelli Ranch, Pagosa Colorado

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Knowledge board from this week

At the end of our last riding session today we did this.

Location:Parelli Ranch

Last day Level 3 Freestyle at the Parelli Ranch

Friday already. Gosh how time flies. Some of the class are leaving today and some staying for the next two weeks. It's been a great group.

So the morning warmup consisted of us and the other course in a "don't drop the ball" volleyball type thing in a circle - fastest to 30 passes without dropping the ball. Think we won one of them out of three.

We revised what we did yesterday and then looked at the cloverleaf and question box pattern. I've never really been able to ride the cloverleaf very consistently because most arenas I got to have lots of jumps set up in them. We learnt why we do each pattern. I think Maraschino will like both. Maybe Garbo too actually. Maybe not the cloverleaf lol.

I've never done question box but I really like it now.

Anyway out we went to try it out.

First we started with question box and we ended up trotting happily around the playground which was nice.

Then we had a rest on the bridge. And some water!
I've discovered Dixie loves to jump and get up on things.

We did the cloverleaf in the round corral. So we did it 8 times, each way!!
At trot. Lol. Phew that's a work out. No reins apart from corrections. We didn't need many which was great. This was us waiting our turn chilling out.

Oh and guess who came to see us. Linda and Hot Jazz.

I was over by the jumps when I saw her ride up by Pats playground (below) with her team and Highland. She came and said hi and asked how we were enjoying the course. We had a group photo but I don't have it yet. I'll post it once I do. Hot Jazz is beautiful. Much bigger in real life.

Weekend off apart from caring for Dixie. I need to do some cooking and I have a DVD to watch that I brought with me.

Location:Pagosa Colorado, USA