Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parelli Kids Camp! July 29, 2008


I am leaving this morning to help out at with a program Pat started called "Parelli Kids", they are having a camp this week and I am helping Charlotte out. One of our SCSC members will be there too, happy day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

MOTHER! This looks rediculous.

Mariah - No, it doesn't.
Sundance - Yes, IT DOES!

Mariah - I think it makes you look manly...
Sundance - Really?

Mariah - No.

Sundance - ARRGGH!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 24 - 26, 2008 - Learning More and More

Wowza! I've got so many good things going on and coming up. I am very excited about everything that is going on in and around a Little Patch of Heaven, life is most definitely good.
First off I will talk about some events that are coming up in the next few months for me -
  • Parelli Jacksonville Tour Stop on October 18-19, 2008 - I am an ambassador for this event. The South Charlotte Savvy Club is renting a van ( 8 seater with DVD players) and will ride up there together as a group, watching DVD's and talking like women do about Parelli. FOR 6 WHOLE HOURS. I am glad there won't be any guys tagging a long, they'd go insane and jump out of the van for all the talking of Parelli and dreams and such... for 6 hours. We will more than likely head down on Thursday because volunteers have to help set up Friday. Then we will spend the weekend on cloud nine and head home on Monday, with our pumped up selves ready to play with our horses.
  • Jesse Peters 2 Star Parelli Professional Clinic/Private Lesson/Halloween trail ride starting October 23rd. I will (a long with other SCSC members) be attending clinics by Jesse Peters. I will be auditing the Advanced Level 2 Clinic on October 26-27 and the Level 1 Advanced Clinic on November 1-2 with a Friend, and having a 3 hour private lesson on October 31 right before we go on a Halloween trail ride.
  • And of course monthly play days, which rock our extra tall cowboy boot socks off.

Now, for some things I have learned through playing with my super horses and things that have happened.

  • I need to interrupt RB behaviour in Bebe, he tries to but I have to help him not go off that edge.
  • Spend time with Bebe other than Level 3 practice time, he is not a hobby, he is a buddy that needs undemanding time like Sundance.
  • Sundance now instigates fun. Mom chase me, let's cut each other like cows!
  • Through improving and finishing one game, others improve including rapport.
  • We are almost ready to move on to the Liberty section of Stage 2 and finish up! Liberty will be easy to pass once I get a pen up, he's gotten really good and we have prepared.
  • Keep on doing what your doing, keep on persevering, keep on keeping on because it is and will pay off.
  • I GOT MY BLUE SAVVY STRING! See new profile picture on left/top of site.

It is all very exciting, we are improving leaps and bounds and I am learning so much! Any comments? Thanks for reading. I hope you all enjoy my blog, it is here for you and to show you dreams can come true with dedication and perspiration! It is so worth it, I promise.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Videos

New videos on "Mariah's Videos" page, hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Level 3 Task - Mounting Both Sides at Liberty with No Help, Stand on Horse with No Strings.

Warm up Video, making sure we are prepared...

Results Video, nervously standing my 5 foot 11 inch self on a horse...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Oh, all so many people want an easy secret formula on how to ride into the sunset in a perfect partnership with their horse. There is a secret formula ! Well, I wouldn't say it's easy...

You have to learn to be Savvy. What is savvy, you ask?
Savvy is knowing where to be, when to be, why to be and what to do when you get there, at any given moment and in any situation with a horse.

Doesn't sound so much like a short cut any more, eh? No, it's not but it sure can get you a long way. It's a life long pursuit, you can never be too savvy. But once you get a certain amount, it opens up doors you once did not have keys too, ones you never knew were there.

Some savvy help from a friend and fellow level 3 student has opened up a door that I never thought would be opened, it was like a far off dream a million light years away ( and you fellow geeks know just how far away that is! ). Here are some points I already knew but had forgotten, that my friend kindly refreshed and re-added to my savvy arrows which I added to my quiver...

  • Be as light as possible, but as FIRM as necessary.
  • STOP insisting and start PROMISING!
  • Follow through, don't threaten more than 2 times.
  • Sundance needs a strong leader, worth following.

If you have noticed I have put up these reminders (more like screaming consistent rules) on the left hand side of my blog under Fabio and Babys pictures. I am so glad I put them there, now I should not forget and loose this amazing thing we have going on. Sundance and I had the most surprisingly cool session today, it was just amazing. Sundance learned a very important lesson today, what was it again? MOM! GUESS WHAT? IF I CANTER ON MY OWN FOR MORE THAN 5 LAPS, I WON'T DIE FROM EXHAUSTION! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! Yes, you could see it on his face as he trotted into me after cantering all by himself 11 laps! I could have died right then and there! Was I dreaming? Was I hallucinating? Was I going hysterical? Nope, I was going SAVVY. So was Sundae, he did it all for mommy without a crabby look anywhere in sight. He decided he needed some water so we walked over to the pond and he jumped in the pond like a frisky dehydrated foal. He walked around and drank, enjoying the cool refreshing water as a reward for being such a Fabio. We sat by our concrete bench under the weeping willow, on the peninsula of our lake and spent undemanding time. I was so in love, he went between eating the lush grass and coming over to check on mom and give her kisses and nudges. My ears were hurting so much from the lake calling my name so I took of my boots, had Fabio side pass too me, put on the 12 foot line, jump on and swam in the lake together. When he finally got tired we collected our belongings and straightened it up enough for me to sling it over my shoulder, then walked all the way to the barn totally at liberty. We ended the session with Sunday neighing and begging for the sweet feed bucket in my hand. What a great session, couldn't have been any better! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Email to Jesse Peters - 2* Parelli Professional

Here is the email I just sent Jesse Peters (http://jesserpeters.com/) 2 * Parelli Professional...

Hello Mr. Peters,

I have been meaning to introduce myself to you for a while now since I knew you were coming to my friends place in York, South Carolina for a clinic. (I would like to have a private lesson with you in October) But have not had time until now, and also have quite a problem for you to help me solve! I will introduce myself first then present my problem.

My name is Mariah Helms, I am 16 years old and a future Parelli Professional. I first found out about Parelli at the Fletcher tour stop when I was 14 and knew that day my life was changed. Two years later I am in Level 3 with my APHA LBI Gelding "Sundance" and AQHA RBI/LBE Gelding "Bebe". I have been privileged to speak with Pat and Linda personally and have them view my blog (http://mariahpnhelms.blogspot.com/) which has about 48 viewers daily! (Which I still cannot believe) Pat gave me a challenge and he and I want to see it through, he told me to pass my level 3 by the time I am 18 and get to Florida and he will see to I am found there. I finally have some videos up (http://youtube.com/user/savvysundance) too. I dedicated my life to Parelli at 14, now every breath is dedicated to Parelli and I have no doubt if I keep on doing what I am doing I will succeed. My father has blessed me with a small equestrian facility and I now host Parelli Playdays monthly and teach lessons an average 12 hours a week. I have been able to afford all my equipment by myself including the Natural Performer. I play with both of my horses on average 1 and 1/2 hours a day, and put my heart and soul into it. The horse I want to use as my main Parelli Professional horse, to show the world to, is a challenging Moderate/Extreme LBI. He has been a REAL challenge for me and have tried SO hard with him, we have come such a long way too. Our level 3 went along very smoothly until we hit Advancing the Yo-yo game. Everything else so far is great, with some help from a friend, Sundance will canter into eternity for me and are almost done with Stage 2. He is great at Liberty, and in the saddle. He is an amazing mover and once you learn to fit and add 4 ounces to his horsenality he is an amazing partner. Now, I have asked 4 Parelli Professionals for help on this task after some hard long work and thought. (Because of my aspirations of being a Parelli Professional and being stubborn I wanted to wait until I felt like giving up to ask for help!) I have done everything the other professionals told me and way more to try and accomplish this task with savvy and without boring my horse. He will back to the end of the rope but maybe after some failed attempts at phase 4 (he rears so I cannot reach him), and lots of rope tossing to keep the rhythm going. His ears usually stay back, through this task he goes back to the old Sundance. "I will do what you say but with a bad attitude, no enthusiasm at all!" Which he rarely EVER does anymore. I am very stern with him when I need to be, I am light as possible but as firm as necessary. If I was not he would not do a thing I would ask, and I believe he does not go back all the way because he knows I cannot whap the savvy string at him when he is that far away. The whole time I am doing this I am giving him the most evil scheigermutter look on the earth with my energy up. When I do feel he is taunting me at the end of the rope, I make my way up with the carrot stick in a threatening position and the only thing he does is says NO! I will run away before you slap me with that thing! Because he knows he is hard to control at that length. I try to stop him, and when I finally do it is useless because he does not listen to the wiggling of the rope at that time. As I said our relationship is great, he will do most of anything and we are also doing some Level 4 tasks, I believe our relationship is great and everything else in Level 3 so far is going great too. That is why I am so confused!

I will list everything I have tried so far -

1. Normally, as in first tries to get him to back all the way.

2. With large cones as in using point to point.

3. Large cones with treats as in using point to point.

4. Improving our driving game, which is now great.

5. Running backwards, which he will do now at a light phase and run very fast backwards.

6. ALWAYS having our adrenaline and energy up before doing the task.

7. Running backwards the whole way before or during the task.

8. Cookies, he is EXTREMELY food oriented.

9. Breaks, breaks, breaks, rest, rest as a motivator when he comes to me and goes down to the end of the line.

I will keep on with everything else in Level 3 until I get some help, I do not want to ruin our relationship any more until I am savvy enough to handle the situation.

I hope you can help me somehow! I know this is a challenge but I believe you can help me, I have heard great things about you. I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you and hearing of your experiences as a new Parelli Professional. As you now know, I am a future Parelli Professional and hope you can make some difference in my life.

Thank you very much!

Best wishes and always, Keep it Natural!

Mariah Helms

I will post what he replied when he writes back, I can't wait to hear from him.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nocturnal Learners - July 17 & 18, 2008

July 17-18, 2008
Those two days went by so fast! It was a blast though. I had some great break throughs on the 17th with both of them. With Sunday and Bebe I played on the 45 foot line with our Level 3 tasks in Stage 2. They are not on the same exact tasks but they are close!
Break throughs
  1. Cantered 8 full laps on 45 foot line.
  2. Sideways whilst I stay still is a lot better.
  3. Rapport is TONS better.
  4. Chase The Tiger is helping him feel motivated before each session.


  1. He learnt side pass toward mommy! Offered it actually.
  2. He is trusting me more.
  3. He was GREAT with all the students on our play day.

Yes, we had our play day on the 19th and it ROCKED our extra tall cowboy boot socks off. I don't have any good pictures yet that I'd like to share of the whole group but will write about it in detail later.

The moral of the story is we are PROGRESSING, and it feels great.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 15 - 16, 2008

I've been preparing for the Play day and teaching the babies how to "Chase the Tiger"

Explanation Below :

Playing Chase the tiger

'Chase the Tiger' is one of the most popular games to play with horses on this forum and is developed by several forum members, so it deserves a spot of honour in the groundwork section indeed! See for wonderful examples the movies of HelenMai and Esprit:



Here is also a great video I found on YouTube of Chasing the Tiger through a maze. How creative! This one is of Lucy the Spotted Draft.


Chasing the tiger

Chasing the tiger is nothing more or less than letting your horse chase a plastic bag/piece of clothing or something else that you hold in your hand or have tied to a stick/whip/pole. A lot of traditional trainers also use sticks/whips with plastic tied to it, but then in order to let the horse flee away from it in order to make them run. You can compare it to the rope that is flung to the horse in a join-up, or even a lunging-whip that is cracked in the air in order to 'scare' the horse so that he becomes faster. These training methods reinforce the horse that the human is the hunter and the horse is the prey, and therefore subordinate to the human.


We do it the other way round. First you teach your horse through rewards that he can put his nose against a plastic bag that you're holding in front of him - and reward a lot for that! Then you just walk a step away from your horse and ask your horse if he wants to follow you and touch the bag again. Then slowly take longer distances, or let your horse touch the bag longer while walking, before you reward. If that's all okay, you can tie the bag on to the end of a whip and start running away from your horse, animating him into a trot or canter while holding the bag in front of him. When you tie the bag to a longer driving/lunging whip, you can lunge your horse around you like this, let him do the more energetic moving while you're in a safe distance (and a bit less tired ).


The most important reason to do this, is that most horses just love it. They love the fact that they're the hunter instead of the hunted and that they can chase instead of be chased. Because for horses, chasing each other is very natural too, only a lot of horses never chase others because the others always chase them. So giving them the opportunity to change place really can give them a boost of self-confidence. Chasing the tiger is also a very good way to conquer fears. Clicker trainers already know that targeting a scary object with the nose easily convinces horses that that object isn't that scary after all. Chasing is makes it even more harmless, as obviously the previous scary object is now running away, and therefore scared of the horse. So let the horse be as wild as he wants to be with the bag (or other object) and reward him for that behavior. Touching the bag with the nose is very good, but stamping on it with a front foot is even better, as it means that your horse dares to come closer to it with his body. Another reason why Chasing the Tiger is a great game, is that it teaches horses to move freely and at higher speeds eventually, even the more timid horses. It also offers a wonderful opportunity to 'make' horses more independent of you, especially those horses who don't play wild games on their own because they don't like to leave you. The last reason is that lunging in Chasing the Tiger-style, with the horse following the bag with his nose stretched out down and forwards, is a very good way to loosen the back. With horses who tend to lean a bit too much on the front legs when moving, you can also hold the whip with your target bag more at knee-or breast-height. Essentially you can play Chase the Tiger with anything: with wooden planks that you drag through the sand, or a jacket tied to a rope so that you can drag it behind you, or a tennis ball or piece of cotton tied to the end of the whip. Start easy, with an object that isn't that scary according to your horse, and gradually you can make the game more interesting by taking more scary materials (plastic, wild colors) and by asking your horse to follow it at higher speed. Experiment! And everybody with new ideas for this game, place them in this topic!

Follow a Tiger towards collection

For the Tiger-experienced horses, Chase the Tiger is also a very good way of introducing them to good self-carriage and collection, as Marleen shows in her video amongst others. For stretching the neck/back, you can keep the Tiger really low on the ground so that the horse follows it in a forwards-downwards posture. However, when he gets better at that, you can also start lifting the tiger a bit at knee/breast height of your horse and instead of just pulling it away from him (which would stretch the neck out again), move it away and then a bit towards him and then away again in for example walk or trot. Most horses will respond to that by raising the front, lifting the neck while looking down (the ramener-pose) in order to kick the heck out of the tiger with the front feet - using natural collection exactly for what it was originally meant for in the wild. That way you not only can let your horse experience that collection is fun (and useful ) too, but you can also get more jumpy, upwards movement that you can put on a cue during the CtT game, and then develop and refine further as haute ecole movements (Spanish trot, passage) and jumps (terre a terre, rear, courbette...? ). That way your horse introduces himself to higher collection that you can use in the focused work again, while even more important, he also learns that moving in such an extravagant, flashy, impressive way is fun.

I taught Sundance how to chase the tiger within 3 minutes on the fifteenth, the next day he really caught a hold of it an now will trot around to catch it! He is so smart. It is such a great tool to help him become more motivated and help him learn how to play, he looks forward to playing with it now. With Bebe he had to first get over his slight fear of the bag, then after that it took him 2 minutes to get the concept, I taught him how to CtT (Catch the Tiger) the day after I taught Sundance. Yesterday I had both of them playing CtT together in the pasture, it was so cute seeing who could wrestle their way and touch the bag first! It was so much fun watching them play, playing games the way they should... Naturally.

On July 15, 2008 I played with Sundance with CtT, then played at Liberty which was VERY fun, then we went on a trail ride working on our Level 3 riding tasks (Carrot Stick Riding). I also played with Bebe on his previously new tasks on the 45 foot line, he was actually confident enough to get out to the end of the line. He is such a great horse, he just needs to find confidence in learning. The greatest thing about him is that he wants to do so well and he wants to do what mommy asked so bad! What a wonderful personality. On July 16, 2008 I did not have enough time to play much because we had to take my dog to the vet, but I did get to teach a lesson and chat with other fellow horseman. I did get to play with CtT more, they are really getting a hang of it.

I'm off to play, clean and feed out at the barn. Stay Savvy! XOXO

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 13 & 14, 2008 - Leaps, Bounds and Videos

July 13, 2008

Oh my goodness, that felt like a year ago! Let's see... that was Sunday.
I remember playing with Sundance first, we did some liberty and online to warm up which went very well. Then we went on a trail ride with our carrot stick, I only had to pick up the reins once! Even at a gallop and jumping creeks and everything he did great! We also had some undemanding time while we camped out in the woods, he was SUCH a good boy. I got some good pictures of him too, he is so photogenic. That is one of the many reasons he is called Fabio! Later that afternoon I went out to play with Bebe, the beautiful slightly unconfident talented baby. Little man did not like the fact the herd was on the other side of the pasture, so he was unconfident about that. I got him thinking and kept on approving and he slowly got better and better, and also got a hang of the squeeze game and circling game on the 45 foot line. He doesn't like getting out that far, but he is getting better. The session went very well and ended very well, we did some liberty out in the pasture a little bit to make sure he was still with me. He was, but still was ready to get to his herd. So I decided to comply and put the Cradle bridle and Bareback pad on and used his energy when we rode to the herd into constructive energy, we worked and played on our Finesse. He is a very graceful horse if you know how to handle him, very sensitive too. I love a sensitive horse, very easy to get your message across and harmonize with.

July 14, 2008
Sundance and I did the same exact thing today as we did yesterday, it was SO much fun and he is improving a lot. It is also helping my independent seat, which is great! I played with Bebe again, he is SO smart! We played with the same things online and he did it again except so much better, more confidently and farther out in the line. He did really good on the circling game, he actually got out on the full 45 feet and did some head tosses and buck jumps (because we had the new Natural Performer on, which is new to him somewhat). He looked very happy and did a great job! We went on the same trail ride as Sundance and had no spooks, he had a couple of unconfident moments because of the new environment but did SO well! He desensitized very quickly and tried so hard, his canter felt great too. When we camped out he sat there like a little angel, ate grass and came over to snatch some crackers as a treat from mommy. I am sure our relationship got a little better afterwards, it was just such a great session. I am so very proud of him.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Our First Videos

Our New task, Sundance offered 2 days ago.


Taken July 12, 2008 - Right before we went on a trail ride, it was so much fun!


  • L3 Stage 2 Liberty Tasks
  • L3 Stage 2 Carrot Stick Riding
  • Undemanding time


Student rode and played with him, he did SO well!

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 10, 2008 - Creating a Better Relationship Through Undemanding Time

Yesterday, I just spent quality time with the horses. You won't believe how much of a difference it makes if you take the time it takes. I first spent time with Sundance alone in the barn and around the barn at liberty, giving scratches and hunting for goodies together. It is so much fun just bonding, you really get to know your horses very well that way. I'd say spending time like this is a major contributor to the relationship we have now, you know the saying? "A horse doesn't care how much you know, until he knows how much you care" - Pat Parelli. That statement is so true, and it has made a difference. After I had fun chilling and bonding with Sundance, I went out to the herd and took turns scratching them. By the time it was time to head in all of them were following me around, I wish I had a video of it, it was so funny. Bebe and I also got into a one-on-one grooming session, he'd come up to me to scratch backs and it all started. I itched and itched his back and he itched and itched all up and down my back, I had dirt all over my white shirt. It was so much fun, he enjoyed it a lot too. I know he did because he started it and I had to end it! No one wanted me to leave last night, I didn't want to leave either but the night was beckoning and I had to leave.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 9, 2008 -


Learning to Help His Confidence Grow

I did get to play with Bebe today, and what a learning experience I had.
I have been playing with Bebe’s half-brother (same Sire) once a week for a while with one of my students and have noticed their Horsenalities are somewhat similar when it comes to confidence and learning. Their Sire seems to pass down the same Horsenality traits, they are wonderful. Willing, loving, sweet, very intelligent, tolerable, understanding and somewhat unconfident but left brained when faced with something new. I love these traits; all together they make such a great horse. When they are unconfident they still are paying attention to you and trying to understand, they try very hard. I have noticed both of them desperately need reassurance and acceptance during the time of learning, as soon as they do anything right they need an okay from their human. If they do not get your okay and reassurance, they will not lick their lips and their confidence will not grow. If they do receive your okay and reassurance they will sigh, lick their lips and their confidence will grow. Then you can move on and the task will be better, and they will feel better too. How Interesting!

What makes up a horses Horsenality?
Innate characteristics
Learned behavior

In this case, it is mostly innate characteristics passed down from their Sire.
How Interesting! Playing with Bebe’s half brother has helped me tremendously and I get to keep on playing with him, and learning and growing. I am actually working with one of my students that are working with him, so I am learning twice as much because I am upping my savvy with people and horses at the same time in new situations. Now lets talk about Bebe’s session yesterday, he was ready to move on to new tasks in Level 3. Now when he is learning is usually when he becomes unconfident, not right brained BUT an unconfident left brained extrovert. I at first did a few things he knew well already, just to start off on a confident note for the sake of his sanity. Then I moved onto the squeeze game at a longer distance, well on top of him not knowing what to do at first he had to move his feet pretty fast. In his mind, a very good excuse to become unconfident. At first I just made him keep on going, thinking it would just eventually wear off and he would calm down. Let me say it now, the answer is No. In his world it does not wear off, it stays the same or gets worse. In this case it stayed the same; he did the task with unconfidence then turned and faced with ears at attention. I knew he was not confident but what I did not know was that he was begging me to let him in and feel accepted, to know what he was doing was right. It seems him and his brother ‘fear failure’ and want to do what they are asked, but are afraid they are not doing it right so become unconfident when not approved of. I do not think that behavior is an innate characteristic, but learned behavior or a mixture of the two. I do not know if I am 100% correct, but it sure seems that way. I soon learned he wanted acceptance and needed things to go slow, and when I did his confidence went back to normal and was doing things with a confident look about him. He very soon got a hang of the pattern and did it confidently, then I moved on to circling on the 45 foot line. He started out slightly unconfident, but soon after some reassurance from me he was confident and doing some great circles. The session ended marvelously, doing side passes and trotting with me at liberty. All the while he seemed content and was begging for some treats, I got some slobbery kisses and he received his handful of sweet feed. What an interesting session, what a rewarding one.


Unexpected Success

I walked to Sundance wondering what I wanted to do; I was tired of playing on the 45 foot line. We have been playing on it for 2 months and we are both ready to take a break from it for a while, so I decided we could play at liberty a little bit. I remembered from reading at the end of stage two you are supposed to do liberty out in an arena, sounded like a messy fail – ridden task to me. We headed out to our 75 by 100 foot arena and played a little bit with some puzzle obstacles, going through cones without squishing them, coming to mom without standing on his throne (I mean Pedestal) and little fun things like that just to feel together before all unleashed. Then I asked him to trot or canter around me, I expected to see his shoot off to the other side of the arena. But to my surprise he did big circles around me going along the fence trotting down half the arena then back to the fence. Like this …

I guess all the playing on the 45 foot line is paying off! I was SO ecstatic, and surprised.
I started to make myself a little calmer and just approachable but I did not let him come in unless I wanted him too, soon enough he was doing the coolest thing in the world, for the first time, AND HE OFFERED IT. I did not ask him, he offered it…
I absolutely could not believe it; most horses do not offer a close contact Liberty circle at a higher gait until the end of Level 3 and here he goes doing it before I am even thinking about it. It felt amazing, and I thought it to be too good to be true. So I took him in and gave him pets, smooches and scratched his itchy spot and sent him out again at the trot. Voila! Close contact Liberty circle, and it was real. He had his ears up and looked very content and not bored at all, he wanted to do this. I asked him in after 2 laps and he received some loving, then we made our way to the barn to give him some sweet feed as a treat for being so good. I still can’t believe it, I am so happy! I knew our relationship was better than it has ever been, but I did not know it had progressed this far. It sure feels good when your horse wants to be with you, rather than with their herd or alpha mare. I really feel like I am his leader now, and he really feels like a partner. All the hard work pays off, it really does!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 8, 2008 - Being an Unpredictable Leader

Unpredictability is Key with Left Brained Introverts
Why? Because they always know WHAT HAPPENS before what happens happens. Left brained introverts are so incredibly smart, but they are introverted about it and have so many 'evil' thoughts it is hard to tell. You can ask them with a Phase 1 and they'll go "Whut?" with this dimwitted face about them, but you quickly use a higher phase and they'll go "Oh, I remember!". Yesterday I had some feed on the other side of the gate, and he found it but couldn't get it on the other side. So the little smarty got to thinking on how he could snatch a bite! Well, he couldn't stick his head through the gate, option one out. He couldn't put his head over the gate and snatch a bite, option two out. He couldn't paw the gate to get it open, option three out. So stumped he was, oh so pitiful. Guess what he tried next? He went down on one knee in the bow JUST like I taught him days ago and put his head under the gait, and nibbled at the bucket just enough to push it farther, close but no cigar. Well, I would say the trick worked pretty well to me because it caused his mommy to reach over and hand him the bucket. Option four, SUCCESS! What a clever little boy he is. All this took place during a 3 hour lesson, so I shot in afterwards just in time to beat the sprinkle of rain the clouds offered. As soon as it stopped I ran outside to play with him again before the big black clouds came, and got just enough done before all unleashed. I put the 45ft line on and got my energy UP like an electricity plant, he soon became excited too. We did some blood pumping close up tasks to get his energy up more then released it into the task I am trying to complete, cantering and trotting on the 45ft line. It went fabulously, MUCH better than on Monday, he actually got almost 5 laps at a canter without correction and did 8 laps with a mixture of trot/canter (but mostly the canter).Then we played with his favorite task, sideways and sideways towards mommy, he did so well and at liberty. By now the absolutely evil looking storm was upon us so we trotted our way back to the barn, just enough time to smooch him, give him a treat and run to the house before getting drenched. That session was awesome. Because of the rain I did not get to play with Bebe, but one of my students did during the three hour lesson, so I don't feel too bad about it. I will work with him first today to make sure we get some level three time under our belt once again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 7, 2008 - The New and the Naughty, Back Home.

Beautiful Breezers, poking out to say "Hay!"

Sundance, the Naughty

Sundance was actually quite a good boy today, but as always he is naughty and that will never change. It's a great attribute to his 'Fabio'ness, makes him all together a perfect creature called Sundance. I got home from 'vacation' (so called) yesterday around 9 am and went straight to the barn, to see beautiful bright faces showing their expression of happiness that mother is home. I went out and played with Sundance on the 45 ft and 22 ft line, with the plan of Free Willing. His backing was great, cantering for a while on the 45 ft wasn't his favorite task. I attached the 22 ft line and did some zone 5 driving, that was FUN and it sure got him thinking quite a bit too, I think he liked it because he was trying so hard to do what mommy asked. I had to go in and get ready for a 2 hour lesson to teach, had fun with my student, she's great, all of them are. Afterwards we played with his bowing, to my surprise when I went to go to him to ask for the bow he started to paw like a mad man and went down by himself and begged for his treat. You know me, I stashed out the loot. Now he is totally begging me to ask him to bow, now I can just cluck and stand beside him and he will bow all the way down. The coolest thing is is that he is actually 'thinking' down, because he is pawing a boat load when he wants to bow. He should be easy to teach to lay down, if we do this long enough I bet he will eventually just lay down on his own. I am just going to be patient. Sadly, I did not get to play with Bebe yesterday because by the time I got back from helping my dad it was dark. Oh poo, I will get to play with him today though. I expect to have a great lesson!

Positive expectations = positive results

Negative expectations = Negative results

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Check out the link bar on the left hand side to see my NEW and improved Lessons Program page. Thanks for all your help F!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship Level 3 Refinement Program

Uncompleted Stage 2 Online Tasks

The Circling Game (#5) at 45 feet

  • To send horse out and have trot and canter, with slack in line, without breaking gate, until you call him in (for at least 8 laps). Nothing should take more than a Phase 2.
  • To make transitions between walk, trot and canter while circling.

Almost classified as complete, just need to test now that something was clarified.

The Sideways Game (#6)

  • To drive your horse sideways down the fence (and ultimately without a fence) over a distance of 50 to 300 feet, with slack in the rope and the belly of the rope dragging the ground.
Flying Lead Changes on the 45-foot Line

One day soon (as part of Level 3) you’ll be asking your horse to execute a flying change of direction in the round corral. This lesson on the 45-foot Line is a great way to prepare for that task.

  • To have your horse canter in one direction, then change directions, making a flying change onto the new direction.
Week Schedule, write down when home.
  • Call * for round corral use
  • Lesson on Monday for 2 hours
  • Lesson Wednesday
  • Modeling at 3:30pm wed.
  • Lesson with C Thurs. Fri. Sat.
  • Lesson with L on Thurs 2 hours
  • Get stuff together for July 19th play day
  • Look up deworming schedule

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Whoa, push the PAUSE button then REWIND, then PLAY back in slow motion please!

More pictures from the first SCSC Play Day

Wow, it is amazing. Yes, I know my horses are amazingly good looking but I was referring to how fast the days go by. (Ha ha) The last time I blogged it was JUNE 31st, now it is JULY 3rd! So that is too many days I have not kept everyone posted, my bad! Sorry about that! I will give you a briefly put update on my life.

  • I have 2 new students.
  • I am at the beach.
  • I am getting prepared to hopefully appear in the savvy team next year at a tour stop.
  • Had the cutest guy in the world watch me teach a student (I didn't just say that.)
  • Sundance is learning the steps on how to lay down and do a Spanish walk.
  • Going to help at a Parelli Kids camp next week.
  • Getting prepared for another SCSC Play day on July 19, 2008.
  • Soaking up the Parelli Liberty and Horse behaviour kit like a sponge at any chance.

Think I am busy? No not too busy, just enjoying the life of a future Parelli Instructor, that's all!

Contrary to belief (on my part!) I have been playing with the horses the past couple days and with great success! I will skin it down to the most important factors.

  • I found that Sundance hates circles (again) but if I am fun, provocative and savvy enough he can enjoy them.
  • It's not about the gate... trailer... task... getting water... etc.
  • Humans are direct line thinkers, horses are not.
  • Left brained horses are not ALL confident, some are unconfident yet still left brained. (Everyone say, "Hmmmmm!")
  • Sundance is a Moderate Left Brained Introvert and will die for food.
  • Nita Jo Rush is a great Parelli Instructor.
  • Being savvy in every situation, no matter what is the most important thing you can do.
  • I am no longer nervous when someone watches me teach.
  • Be a fun, exciting, unpredictable instructor.
  • Never bore your horse, use consistency.
  • You can never receive too many kisses from your horse, even if he is being a suck up.
  • Never give up, there is always a light at the end of a tunnel... and usually a reward.
  • Do the right thing, it might not be easy now... but will make things a lot easier later.
  • Compassion goes a long way.

I think that is about it, that is everything I learned the past 2/3 days. Hope you enjoyed, I know I did.