Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Progress Updates and Course Registration

It is official! I just talked with Parelli and sent in my info through fax. I will be attending Fast Track #4 in Florida, that starts November 1, 2010. I am very happy with the timing, that will give me a just a short couple months to relax and prepare after graduating high school. I am excited about this school year, there is a lot to learn and it is going to be a wonderful year. I'm even designing and making my own graduation dress! I've got an 18th birthday party to plan too.


Sundance and I are getting psyched about the Lakeland, FL Parelli Celebration, it is coming up quick, only about 1 month away. I wonder which class we will be picked for? I signed up for 3 savvies - Online, Liberty and Freestyle. My family, students and I will be going down together, it will be a blast. I think this is a great preparation ride for Sundance, as we will be traveling right near the Parelli Centers where he will be staying. So if he has any problems with such a long drive (8 plus hours), we can sort it out before the we start the courses... "Prior and Proper Preparation Prevents P-Poor Performance!"

As to Sundance's progress, we are doing very well! He can bow on both sides well now, and that seems to have helped a TON with our flying lead changes. We haven't  done much long line driving at the canter, I've just been testing his flying changes on the 22 foot line... which have been surprisingly much better. I've been doing a lot of stretching  with him lately too, to even out his sides. I think today I will start his long line driving program, really get him built up there. He is now rearing by mirroring on the ground well too, he's really starting to get it. Turning by the tail has been a little hard for him, but he is getting it... he is very good at turning his zone 4 to the right, now today we will start turning to the left.

In the latest Parelli Savvy Times, there is a VERY helpful article by Linda Parelli... "Bribe VS. Bonus"


I love this article, I need to read over it ten million more times, and then maybe I will get all I need out of it! Linda did a wonderful job of explaining the do's and don't's of using treats, and how the use of psychology is much more useful in most cases... but how treats are a wonderful bonus. It really helped me look at the world from a horses point of view. I decided to stop with the treats at the moment, and take on the character of an alpha-mare. My first horse, that I have had for almost 7 years now, is a mare and the alpha of the group. I have watched her manipulate and lead our herd for quite a while now, but never took on the role myself. Reading this article awoke my inner alpha mare! I am so glad I found her too. Now, I am digging at my horses mind... he is asking my so many more questions now, and I have gained a lot of respect from him.  I am paying a lot of attention to...

1. Act like a leader

2. Pay attention to thresholds, block them, allow him to ask for permission

3. Use LOW phases, real low, tiny mouse type low... then QUICK 234! BAM!

4. Keep a lower energy than him, cause him to keep his energy down until he feels he's about to burst with energy.

Those are all I can think of at the moment... just a couple of points I have picked up on. I really do feel like this is one of the "big stepping stone" moments in our progression, because you know... It's always our fault! My Fabio has just been waiting for me to  step it up. I look forward to going out everyday and seeing what we can accomplish now, I do believe I am out of the little rut I have been in. Life is much better from a queens point of view!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let's Get to It!

Hey family!

I just got back from the beach, and am very excited! Life is coming back on full throttle.

School, horses, choir and dance are really all picking back up next week, I'm even finally getting my drivers license this Wednesday! Please be sending positive thoughts and prayers towards that. I have also been picked as a chairwoman for our 80+ member high school choir, I will be coordinating all the social events. I signed up for this, as I think it will be a great way to learn to coordinate events and get used to a role in leadership, I believe it will be a great help for future professionalism. And dance, well, I took it up so I could be better for the horses... and it looks like it is almost as much of a passion of mine as the horses itself. Of course, the horses will always come first though. I've got a showcase and competition coming up soon, very excited about that. My last year of school, 12th grade, is coming up, and I am in the process of picking out all I want to do. I am home schooled, so even my time doing Parelli and teaching counts as school... Hmm, I'm going to make my science this year, about equine psychology or physiology....

Sundance is doing fabulous, I have written down all we are doing in our sessions at the moment... I needed to write down a plan, as we were getting sticky. I have always been spoiled with Parelli writing a plan down for me, detail for detail, and now I don't have anything much but those patterns... which are great! But there are OTHER things that need to be done and approved on whilst doing those patterns.

Our sessions this week look like...

Bowing on both sides - Sundance knows how to bow on his left side, YIPPEE! Well, that means his right side is all stretched out and nice, right? Well, we can't have a one sided horse can we? That means he can't pick up both leads correctly, doesn't it? Now, I am doing an exercise to stretch out the other side, so now he will bow on BOTH sides.... it was fabulous last night, we will put it in concrete this week.

Turning while backing with tail - Fabs already knows how to back up with the tail, matter of fact, I don't even have to touch his tail, I just have to lower my energy and he will back up... now we need to refine it... let's turn too! We've already been working on it, we are going to try and finish it up within the next few sessions.

Cantering on Long lines - (In Horseman's halter, and two 22 ft lines) I think this will really help him stretch his sides and gain control at the canter, I'm almost doing a "Hill Therapy" type program with this. I believe this will really help him become more balanced... this will be a bit boring for him, so I am going to have to really get good at my TIMING... Which quality is that in the "10 Qualities of a Horseman"? Who ever gets the answer, gets a cookie! No cheating either, don't go look it up!

Fine tune FREESTYLE - Haven't done carrot stick riding in a while, we both need to get back to that and refine our skills... will be playing with a million transitions and his lightness to my raising and lowering my energy. Want to get to where I don't need the carrot stick, just the savvy string for safety.

I'm glad I am writing these down, keeping MYSELF, in check... when I get all of these tasks where I think we are ready to move on, (which should be very soon!) I will inform all of you on how they went and what we learned and write down our next building block onto these tasks... let's see how far we can go? Let's get to it!


Mariah & Fabio

Monday, August 3, 2009

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