Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reading Horses

After watching a savvy club dvd at our camp this weekend about patterns, I've decided to actually log (like they tell us to do) how many days in a row that we do it. And really stick to it (like they tell us to do)! I'm guilty of starting and never completing this. I am very scatterbrained but i'm working on it. Today I helped Can Do with fig. 8. I used concepts from Mickey and think I may have made points with her. We did both sides and I got tons of licking and chewing. I tried to keep my body calm and to give a phase 1 of a phase 1, as sometimes that is all she needs. Very sensitive sometimes! Her ears are what really needs work. She lays them back frequently then pops them up as fast as they went back. Hard to read for me because before I can correct her they are up again. I will continue with this schedule and see what happens. We also worked on not changing gait and look where you are going. She is very clumsy. I laid down some pilings about 6 in in diameter and sent her in a circle. At first she went down to a walk and made it through. She did this a couple of times. I tried to be non reactive with her but kept my "you need to keep going" posture and look. Low and behold, she started to walk the first couple of poles and trot coming out on the last couple of poles. Not long after that she really tried hard to keep the trot. She did it! I stopped her and gave her scratches and rest. Then we did the other side. Same experiences. Feelin very savvy! We then went to freestyle.

Passenger Lessons on CanDo

After a very successful online session, Can Do and I played with passenger lesson. I never really did it with her because she doesn't have impulsion issues. But, I decided to give it a go to become the partner she needs and I blew her mind. She could not figure out what in the hell was going on. Mostly at first, she stopped and I had to get her going again by going all the way with flapping my rope around my shoulders and then on her hip. She kept trying to stop and eat grass. Slowly we made it to a steady walk but she only stayed on the arena side close to the pasture horses. How interesting! I then tried to pick up the trot by trotting in my body. She didn't understand. It took a while, but her walk from a stop improved to just phase 1. I ended up getting her trotting to where she understood she had to keep going. This was just day 1 with this game so I'm expecting better results soon. We then did 4 corners and follow the rail. She didn't do bad, but it wasn't great either. Like I said, this was day 1. We backed and turned on the haunches then turn on front end. Score of 6 with those.

One Funny Horse!

Gizmo is a riot! Today when I went to get him (he was at the gate) the phone rang and it was my son's school. So as I talked to his math teacher (who had bad news), Gizmo proceded to do a spin in front of me for a treat. It was hilarious.Gotta love them LBI's. After that we played sideways on a log and the circling game. His circling game was a bit boring (my fault of course) so then we moved to fig. of 8. It was so so. He would not maintain gait. We then saddled up and moved on to the arena. We started with a passenger lesson at a walk, which he has done lots of times. It went well even to the degree of trotting and our first canter passenger lesson. Hardly took anything for it to happen. We didn't do much because I didn't want to make it work for him.We did lots of transitions and he respected me entirely. Then we moved on to follow the rail and 4 corners. Gizmo did not stop great in the corners at first. It took a little repositioning and then I let him relax when he was lined up with the fence. I did feel like he was trying for me and we ended on a good note of moving around the haunches for a half circle in both directions. I have noticed that when he does not understand me he shuts down. I have to keep that in mind sometimes when I feel him not responding. Is he being a LBI or is it unconfidence in what I'm trying to ask him to do. It is definately me and my actions and I know this!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Make it Burn

Can Do and I worked on some of the tasks I learned at Maurice's clinic with Gizmo and yep, she did them right on. I knew she would know what to do, she was only waiting for me to learn how to ride. I'm not there yet, but I'm on the way. I need for Maurice Thibault to move to south Louisiana so he can be my personal coach. Lessons 3 or 4 times a week would do the trick, lol! I really just need more time with a PP. We trotted around the property just getting her to burn some calories and get her body moving. Wish I had a couple of more hours a day to work with my chubbies!!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Fast Horse

Rode Gizmo all day yesterday. I had a couple of friends over and we rode in the arena before lunch and in the woods after lunch. As I was thinking how great Gizmo was on the trail, he quickly made me realize that he needs a lot of work. What makes him a good trail horse is the fact that he is left brained most of the time and very curious. He feels comfortable in the lead, in the middle, or in the back of the line. He is very friendly and has never shown aggression to any other horse that I have experienced, even when they are very aggressive to him. The two problems I encountered yesterday was the adrenaline rush he picked up from the others and his need to gallop instead of canter. On the way back to the barn all of the horses started picking up a little speed. Some more than others. Well, so did Gizmo! I would bring him to a walk again using the partial disengagement and it worked 100% of the time. However, after slowing to the walk, he would pick up the trot again almost immediately. I kept at it because I felt it was right. One of my friends lost her cell phone on the trail so me and another friend decided we would ride and look for it. We decided to go at a slow canter to cover more ground so off we went. There was no canter for Gizmo. It was a race to the finish. He would hardly slow when I tried to use one rein. He was completely ignoring me. He never bucked or did anything to unseat me, he was just super fast. In the arena, he is an introvert and once in a canter, he is so ready for me to que him to slow. He does it 95% of the time with just me breathing out, but in the real world I'm dealing with a different animal. I will have to practice more in the arena before asking him to do it in the pasture, and then bringing him on the trail. Wow, it was a wake up call!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brushy Creek again!

Went horse camping again with a group of ladies and had the very best time. We rode, ate, laughed, and sat by the campfire all weekend long. The temps were pretty cold in the mornings, but warmed up to tolerable during the day. One of my friends had major breakthroughs with her confidence. Gizmo did great and had no hesitation going into the creeks this time. I think he might be part bloodhound because he feels the need to smell everything we pass on the trail. Its kind of funny, but how much poop can you smell in one day. He also likes to check out all of the surroundings. He looks around constantly as if he may miss something. It doesn't seem to be a problem for him, but it makes him go all over the place. Probably a rider issue! I am focused but could be doing something else wrong.

Horse is out of shape

Well, not riding Can Do for so long has caused her to gain weight. Her weight gain is causing problems for her feet. She is always lame! This past week I have decided to do something about it. She and her friend will be getting a grazing muzzle. At first I thought they were cruel, but now I do not have a choice. I have started to work with her again and today we played the circling game. She was so LBE that I had to laugh at her. She would stop on the circle and rear and change direction on me. I matched her energy and soon I had her behaving. It was so interesting to watch her throw the tantrum. She is the best. I only wish she were younger!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Brushy Creek

Gizmo and I went horse camping this weekend in Mississippi. I was very proud of him and convinced that trail riding is his fortay. He was brave, calm, and athletic. He took to the creek after a little convincing. My only issue is that he is too tall. If you have to get off on the trail you had better find a log or something to help you get back on. I also pulled something in my hip which didn't help matters. Gizmo bonded with my friends horse enough to get a little worried when he couldn't see them saddling up on the other side of the trailer. That bothered me a little, but we did some thinking exercises and it helped. He obviously didn't see me as the leader at that point. My friend Sandy had a great time! It was her as well as her horse's first trail ride. She was very brave and tackled some steep slopes. We had lots of laughs. Looking forward to another trip!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trail Ride

 Went on a 3 hr. trail ride today on Giz. He was wonderful. We walked, trotted, loped, and galloped. He was well behaved and slowed down and stopped with the energy in my body. The galloping wasn't by choice though. If I asked for the lope and he was behind the other horses it went into a gallop until he was caught up. Will have to work on that! Once he got to the front he would slow way down and kind of go a little sideways to make sure everyone was still coming. It was kind of interesting how obvious it was that he wanted to be in the herd and not to far in front or behind them. He went after the dog on some occasions like he'd be after a cow. When we were loping, I wasn't in favor of this. I kept telling the dog to get out of the way and trying to steer Gizmo in opposite direction. It was all a a great experience for him. I just don't think he has ever been in this situation before. The weather was very warm and after about 2-1/2 hrs I think Gizmo was done. He got more introverted which, to be honest, bothered me a little. All in all I was pleased with him. Our big test comes this weekend at Brushy Creek. Me and a couple of lady friends will be going horse camping. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Whoo Hoo! I'm not sure why, but my last two rides on Gizmo were very cooperative. Today, I got on in the arena and I asked for lateral flexion and there it was. I asked for some turns and there they were. We only walked because things went so well that I got off before I screwed something up. He got a little sticky on indirect turns, but then gave me a 180 degree turn on the forehand like he finally understood what I've been asking for so long. We were on the fence. One of his sides were stuck, but when he got it I jumped off. It was amazing! Just think when we are really going somewhere. I will be besides myself. I've been working on this all summer at a steady pace. He has been such a punk about following my suggestions and going where I want him to go. I'm hoping all of this is not a fluke!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stuck in the System

I haven't been riding lately due to some family issues. Also, both of my Parelli horses have been limping, go figure. I played a little online just asking for simply stuff, like backing by tail, sideways, etc. They were very obedient with this. Maurice's clinic is approaching fast and I feel like I'm in the exact same spot as 6 mos. ago. What's up with that? I worked so hard this summer trying to improve on what I learned in March. I'm feeling stuck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Follow the Rail

Had a 2 hour session today because he needed it. I think the session went pretty good but our one issue was following the rail to the right at a trot. There were a couple of spots that he just couldn't stay on the rail. He would turn into the rail and head the other direction. I could not figure out what the problem was and it seemed to be left brained to me. At first I would keep him turning until we were going back on the rail in the same direction and then I tried the concept of "you want to go the left, me too, lets go faster". I thought being an introvent he would hate that. But, he flew to the left at a canter. It didn't bother him at all. Then when I asked him to slow, he did. Just perfectly, for him, I might add. Didn't seem right brained at all, hmmm, how interesting. Finally, he gave me a slow controlled trot for one lap, no exiting the rail, so I hopped off and called it a day. I'm always wondering if I did the right thing, and we'll see. The next time I ride, it should take less time, right? I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saddle Issues

    Saddled Can Do today and started riding in the arena. Things were going great but I needed to tighten my cinch a little so I got down. I then realized that my cheap saddle with its nylon latigo was slipping. I can't ever get it fitted right and now I know why. It is always slipping. I did not get frustrated, I simply removed the saddle and used my Parelli bareback pad. It felt wonderful, and I felt secure. Maybe my riding is getting better!!!!!! Can Do probably felt a whole lot better too. My good saddle (the one that cost so much, not really good) is too tight and it seems to pinch Can Do's withers. I noticed some white hairs appearing after using it on a regular basis. The cheap saddle fits her better, I just may have to buy some leather latigos. If that won't work, I may have to ride her bareback forever! or that is, until I can buy my Natural Performer. I'm saving up now. Wonder if Maurice will let me ride bareback during the clinic in October.
    I feel Can Do trying for me. Although she probably knows everything I'm doing, she is listening to me and doing what I want. That amazes me because Gizmo does not. I feel like I'm actually going somewhere. Can Do and I just need to develop our communication. I'm not really teaching her anything. My idea is that once I know what all that sensitivity feels like, I'll be a better leader for Gizmo. She is just giving me experience. She is even sticking with me without the lead rope when I hose her down after we ride and when I walk her back to her pasture, which is a two minute walk. She rocks!

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Liberty

I felt progressive with Can Do today! She was attentive and cooperated with me. I need a NP saddle so bad. I'm using one of those synthetic saddles with her because my Circle Y in too tight for her round back. It just seems to fit her better, but not great. Maybe Santa will bring me one. I'm really lol right now!!!! Anyway, I was happy with her session of FR, direct turn, indirect turns, and stopping with my seat. I even played a little liberty with her in the arena and she stayed with me. I tried stick to me. If I tried asking her to move her front end in the pasture, for example, she would ignore me or walk away, so I felt good about that. When I did a partial disengagement to change her from my left side to my right, I got two eyes and it flowed pretty good. Joey is putting sand in my tire today and is regrading my path in the arena. Yeah!

Can Do

Played online today. We havent' done that in a while due to the dew on the ground. My ropes get so heavy and I don't think it is very productive. My handling skills with the 22' rope were in need of practice, has it been that long? We played with backing by the tail, hind end towards me, touch it, circling game, which led to fallen leaf, and figure eight. Her fig. 8 needs lots of work. She can't make it around the barrel without stopping and pinning her ears. I worked on sending her around the barrel and using the carrot stick to lure her to me for a treat. It helped, but it doesn't fix the problem. I need to do this more consistantly with her. She flips between right brain and left brain dominant in a nano second. Are all horses challenging? or do they have some that just go with the flow? It seems to me that they all have some kind of hang up somewhere, could we just combine all positive quallities into one horse and make a super horse, lol!


Rode bareback because I'm trying to improve my balance. I think my balance is fine iif Can Do wouldn't slam on the brakes. She more than likely feels movement from me that I'm not even aware of. I love the Parelli bareback pad. Can Do did fine for our lesson except for the fact that she kept stopping on me. After staying in the arena a while we ventured out into the real world. Her trot got faster of course, but I felt pretty secure.

Can Do

Can Do just needs some consistency from me after I put her on hold to focus on Gizmo. Rode her on Monday and she is prettly obedient, but is lacking the leadership she needs because of my inexperience. She is a retired cutting horse so she knows what to do for a cowboy, she just does'nt know what to do with a level 2 parelli student. It is kind of like she is saying to me, " would you just learn how to ride correctly, and by the way, could you please graduate from kindergarten!!!" Oh well, I'm trying! If I could only ride horses all day long, lol!

Feeling Extroverted

 I rode Can Do yesterday for the first time in a while. I was feeling a bit extroverted and wanted some forward movement after Gizmo. She was very obedient and I enjoyed the ride. I'm thinking about taking her to my next clinic instead of Giz. I'm trying to work on getting the shims right for her. She is very downhill. I've noticed that when I take off my saddle pad she has a dry circle area on the side of her withers. I watched the saddling dvd yesterday morning for some shimming ideas, but it rained all day. We have been so dry that the rain was welcoming, but typical for our area, when it is dry, it is dry, and when it rains, it never stops! I'm sure it will be hard to find hay. I find it hard to play with two horses at the same time. I just need to come up with some sort of workable schedule like Giz on M, W, and Fri then maybe Can Do on T, Th, and Sun. It seems like it would be easy, but it never works out. I need to figure this out though, because I'm ready for the saavy train that is truckin it's way to me. I'm feeling good about my savvy. I know I'm getting there.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Called in the Professionals!

I have been riding nearly everyday, but haven't posted. I've called on the professional - Maurice. I'm waiting to hear from him now. Gizmo is doing better than expected on ground work, but I'm not progressing in freestyle. It is like I just started. Direct thinking - probabaly! Drilling him - probably! But after one and a half years of freestyle I should be out of level 2. I've even stopped riding Can Do so I can concenrate on Gizmo. With that said, I'm ready for some level 3. However, I must post that we have started liberty. I have no round pen, but decided to give it a try in my arena. He did everything I asked. I even filmed it and posted it on youtube (way out of the box for me). Yesterday, which would be the first time I tried it out of the arena in the big wide world with no fences, he again did everything I asked. We played stick to me to get to the obstacles then I sent him over the bridge, one foot on the bridge, two feet, then back up. He was on! Then I asked him to jump 3 barrels and he did. How cool was that. Then I played STM to get to the pasture, opened up the gate and sent him in. No grass eating either. That was exciting! Wish I could go to the summit coming up. I know I would learn so much. I will be eagerly awaiting the DVD that comes out on that one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


 Our ride today was fabulous. I really felt try in Gizmo right from the start of our session. I have been trying to be so light with a phase 1 of a phase 1. I'm feeling that maybe he is finally starting to connect with me. I've read that it happens in level 3, which I am playing in online and a little freestyle, and low and behold it is happening. They say to trust the program! To top it off, I decided to hose him down when we were done so I put him next to the water hose and left him to get the nozzle. Well, he wandered off to visit the other pasture horses about 30 feet away. I ran back the water hose, grabbed my c stick and attempted to disengage his hindquarters. He then spun towards me at a trot and I instantly had the thought to slap the c stick hard on the ground. His trot turned into a canter and I put my hands up to stop him right in front of me. His expression was a "10" and mine was "OMG!!!! Did I just do that". The feeling was amazing. This was completely at liberty which we have only scratched the surface with. At that moment I realized the true meaning of being provocative. I get it!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Want to Go There, Me Too!

Today was a different story with Giz. I decided to stay out of the arena because Gizmo is more extroverted in the field. I set up my cones for the weave and saddled him up. I didn't do much in the warm up because I didn't want to use up the little energy that he has stored. He was great and stood still. Then I had to talk myself into " you want to go that way, me too" Oh bother!!!!!!! So, I mounted up and we were off. He did well with the lateral flexion and I tried to guide him a little. Refusal! I then said where are we going Gizmo? You lead the way. He visited everything in the barn area, and discovered his reflection in the barn windows. Funny! We went to all of the farm equipment and I just let him guide me. Then he suprised me and took me into the 10 acre pasture that none of the other horses would dare step foot in. I have tried so hard in the past with the others and they just don't want to go there. He was all over that place, looking here then going over here. The grass in some places was up to his belly so I couldn't believe he was tromping through it. He went all the way to the back and then back towards the barn. I loved it. Well, when we got to a fork in the road that leads to a trail that Gizmo had never been on, I tried to see if he would go..... and he did. We were discovering new ground and all on his idea. I felt like he was having as much fun as me. I did have to keep him going forward some of the time, but it was never hard to do. We even did some indirect and direct turns around trees. We were on!!!!! He did beautifully, but now what do I do about the arena? I'd love to ride him out everyday, that is why I have horses, I love to trail ride. But I want more. I want finess and all the fancy stuff. For now, I will keep doing what he wants and gradually ask for little things every now and then. We'll see how that goes. Also, he has been letting me jump on his back. He used to try and bite me everytime I started bouncing on the side of him. I tried it from a tool box and then graduated down to a bucket. I haven't tried the ground yet but I will soon. He is so darn tall!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eight laps and First Canter

Got eight laps online with 22’ line so that is definately an improvement. Before that, he went a little nuts playing the circling game. All I did was ask him for the canter and I got all kinds of bucking and body positions. The back legs were going all over the place. I really think he was just blowing off some steam and enjoying the cool front that had passed through. He was far enough away from me that I didn’t feel like it was directed at me. I just laughed an went along with him like it didn’t bother me. It was fun because he mostly so introverted. I think I like extroverted horses better. He also jumped only 3 barrels lined up instead of four. My goal is, of course, one barrel. He had trouble going to the left, but after 3 attempts, he jumped it and then looked at me with that "can I stop now" look.
    I think all day about how the session went and have come to the conclusion that Gizmo is just being a left brained thug when it comes to riding. By this time he should know what is expected of him and I only get 75% from him. I sometimes think it is because I don’t know what I’m doing, but maybe he does know what I want. He must have had trouble turning to the left yesterday because the inside of my right leg is so sore. Maybe I went more than four oz. of pressure with that leg. i wasn’t kicking, just putting pressure. I think I’m going back with Linda’s savvy DVD that says don’t argue, just go along with it and shape it into something you want. Even though I watched it, I thought it was at a more advanced stage than I was. I did canter with Giz for the first time on purpose. His canter is so much better than his choppy trot. It was very controlled and I liked it. We only did one lap in both directions. He stopped with my seat the best at that gate, hmmmm how interesting. I’ll start cantering every time I ride now. I was always worried about cantering because it always makes the trot so fast and out of control (in my past anyway). It was easy to get him to go into it also. I was impressed. It was like he was saying, "thank you for asking me to canter".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All In A Days Work!

 Got 6 laps on the circle with the 22’ rope with one correction one way and two corrections the other way. We also played with stick to me when I hop over the piling and just stop. It was wishy-washy with him, but it was just day one. We also did light as feather. This is where I see his improvement from when I first started. He was such a dud! Gizmo did well with riding yesterday. He was pretty willing and I just felt like he is understanding my requests. I’ve been concentrating on my riding position and getting him more confident with trotting. His old training came out when I was trotting the rail and asking for direct turns at the end of the arena. He kept coming off of the rail on the short end of the arena so we hung out there for a while. Soon his trot hot fast and his turns different. Same thing when I tried trotting the weave. Its kind of like they were training him to run barrels. Also, he speeds up when I touch him with my heel as a phase two of the turn. He is getting better on that one though.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unconfident in the Trot

I can see so much improvement since Maurice's clinic. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wish I could have him in my pocket when I'm out there with the horses. I have completely gotten rid of my sissy hands and I try to concentrate on not leaning too far back. My direct turns that have been so wishy-washy are improving so much. Yesterday, his DT at the walk were there for the most part. It is when we do them at the trot that he gets (what feels like to me) unconfident. He goes into a tight circle to the right and it is hard to get him out of it. It is funny that he never did this in the clinic! Anyway, I just hold my position with my eyes, shoulders, belly button, leg, and rein facing to the left and eventually he comes out of it and I release instantly. I think whoever trained him previously must have turned him like this and it has become familiar to him. Not sure, but it is weird. We worked on some turning on haunches against the rail, back up, and sideways. He is very slow with this stuff, but I'm not sure if he completely understands it yet. I'm going slow so that I can be correct in my requests and i think he will get it. I had to resort to the end of my lead rope for the backup a couple of times, Funny how he backs so well when we are going out of the gate, lol. His backup is amazingly effortless and fast. He is such a shit! He is definately a "what's in it for me" horse. I quess I'm just happy he puts up with my inexperience and he doesn't try and buck me off. He is very tolerant of me. I have to give credit when it is due. FTR is improving. Only one and two correction a lap. Got that baseline Maurice! Funny how I never thought about counting my corrections even though I hear it from the savvy club vault regularly. Maurice talked about it a couple of times and I filed it in my brain. I hope I'm able to pull out all that I learned when I'm riding.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today was the test to see how much I learned from the clinic this past weekend and I passed. I could feel the effort in Gizmo's backing and direct turns. He walked and trotted with little effort on my part and was just more willing. I am so happy. Now I need to bring it on and be progressive. I need to be aware when he is being a punk. I really enjoy playing and riding him even though he isn't mine. He was put in my life for a reason and he is making my dreams come true. He is just not what I want. First of all, he is way too tall, and I don't like paints (at least ones with a lot of white). I love his personality and he is very entertaining. Just trying to figure it all out!!!! What about the other 3 horses that I love so much? I sometimes feel like I am ignoring them although they are probably happy I'm not riding them. What's a girl to do? Too many horses and so little time!

Awesome Weekend

This weekend I was lucky enough to go to Mississippi for a clinic with Maurice. I was quite nervous because I had to pull the 4 horse trailer for 3-4 hours and go through New Orleans with it. Everything worked out perfectly. I only brought Gizmo this time because he needed it the most. We got started on Saturday morning with online. We learned about COD and when to ask for the change by partial disengagement, then driving zone 2 then 4. Worked like a charm. Maurice set up obstacles everywhere and we rotated as needed. I think Giz did a great job. It is amazing what focusing can do. After lunch we rode. Giz was in full mode "I don't want to backup, I don't want to do change of direction, I do not want to stand still, etc." Most importantly, he got all of that by the end of the weekend. He sure did backup when Maurice started heading for us. That cowboy means business! All in all, we learned a great deal and I'm hoping I can replicate it when I get home. I almost forgot, Gizmo goes sideways along a fence! So proud! My butt hurt at the end of the second day. I have never stayed that long in the saddle. Gizmo fell asleep with me on his back and he did a Stop, Drop, and Roll while we were traveling down the arena. He is so funny and entertaining. I had all of my questions answered by the end of the weekend plus more, and I made some great new friends. Awesome weekend!!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Trail Ride

Gizmo and were on the same page today. We practiced in the arena for an hour then when it was flowing pretty good, we headed out onto the trail. I had to keep him straight when first starting out because he wanted to turn back to go to the herd. He finally got the picture and then he started to speed up a little. At that point we practiced transitions back to the walk. We got lots of practice on that. A couple of times I had to bring him to a halt because of impulsion issues. Never got out of control though! We even caught some trespassers 4-wheeling on our property. They were stuck in the ditch. I slowly approached them and he stood quietly while I fussed the kids. I enjoyed our ride tremendously!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

He's Got It!!!!

Gizmo got it! If I ever questioned it before, today he has me convinced that he understands direct turns. They were so light. I think I was applying 5 or 6 ozs. to the rein before. Today, for some reason, I was so light (maybe I got it too!). He turned so willingly. I think he may have understood it before but not as clearly. Woo Hoo, we are going somewhere and it feels wonderful. On the other hand, his backup is terrible. I go through the phases and I get one step. Then repeat. I think it is a left brain "I'm not doing it" thing. I even think he's laughing at me everytime I start the procedure. Yesterday I got smart or savvy and became the leader that he needed. I added the carrot stick to his chest with a tap, Tap, TAP. He have me a couple of steps, but we never made real progress. Today it was the same. After about 40 min. of 9 step backup, I opened the gate (while on horseback of course) and positioned him to go through the gate backwards. Low and behold, that punk backed up with no stick and hardly any of anything. I immediately got off, gave him some lovin, and unsaddled him. So what do I do now? Tomorrow I'll start by going through the gate again first then trying it in the arena. I know it'll happen, but it was like watching paint dry. I am proud of myself though. I feel progress that I am in charge of. If I can't influence my husband or kids, why not the horse. Love it!!!! I'm one happy girl! Savvy On!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have to brag! I pulled my new 4 horse trailer, all by myself, to my friends house this week. I brought Gizmo because I thought he needed to experience being alone with me somewhere else. Well he did great. When he got unconfident as the other horses got further away, I made him think by giving him tasks to work on. We were also able to work on liberty for the first time in a real round pen. He did everything he was supposed to do. We played all seven games, even circling game! It really pumped me up because I'm am seeing progress. It seems like I was stuck for awhile, but now we are moving forward and it feels great. I need to get those auditions going. I bought a new card for my camcorder and I will get my friends to tape me soon. I promise!

Getting Somewhere

Okay, I'm finally seeing improvement in Giz's direct turns. I'm just saying!!!! It hit me when I started working on something else. This past week I have been working on walk to halt transitions and then trot to halt. The problem I'm running across is his backup. When he overshoots the cone I try doing the 9 step backup until he is even with the cone. His backup with hackamore was great, but he is having trouble understanding it with the snaffle. Thats okay, I'll keep working on it. I'd say I have been doing it for about 4 days in a row. I get one step back at a time then I have to start over. Yesterday, a couple of times, he started backing when I just lifted the reins, but he is not getting it like I think he should. The reason I know this is because it doesn't always work. I am definately rewarding the slightess try. When I get that step backwards I release immediately. He'll get it, i'm sure of it. I definately have to give it at least seven day, right? At the end of yesterdays session, he was starting to put two and two together about stopping at the cone. I quit when I got a couple in a row. Then I took him in the woods. He was a little RB but it was very manageable. We did HQ yields, disengagements, and transitions the whole way. When we got back to the barn I unbribled him and he kept his head in the perfect position for me to take off the bridle. I was so proud as he is 10 ft. tall. Anyway, it makes me feel like he's getting somewhere. He was definately relaxed and I know that is a good thing. I rode for almost 3 hours. Then I met Bugg and Joey at the marina for some jambalaya. It was delish! Oh, by the way, FTR is improving also, yeah!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011


We worked on FTR, indirect and direct turns, and stopping off of my seat. He needs more practice on FTR and direct turns. At the end of the session we worked on backing. His backing was so good with the hackamore, but it has not followed over to the snaffle. He was acting introverted so I went slowly and did the nine step backup. I must of did it twenty times before I think he put the motions into thought. He licked and chewed everytime though! I was always sure he was going to do it the next time, but he didn’t. I will work on it today to keep it fresh in his mind. Don’t think I’ll have time to ride Can Do. Stopping needs a little work also!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Polite Refusals or Misunderstanding?

I’m just not sure if Gizmo is politely ignoring my requests or he doesn’t understand them. What is so hard about a direct turn? I kind of think he isn’t understanding me because he goes intoverted when he is unconfident and that is what he did yesterday. He gets all quiet and stuff if that makes any sense. Kind of like shutting down internally. I can just tell when he is "all about it". I’m going to keep on, because I think he will get it soon. He’s got too!!!!! When I first started online level one he did the same thing. Today we worked on stopping. Towards the end of the lesson he was stopping a little better. His backing is broken! He backed well with the hackamore, so we have lots of work to do. Wish I had an instructor in my pocket!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Perfect Day

Can Do is improving! Me and my friends, Sandy and Nancy, had a play day today. We started about 10 and finished at 3. All three horses jumped over the barrels. Can Do was still unconfident about it, but I gave her an "A" for effort. Sandy's horse, Tuff, went over it like he had been doing it for years. I didn't see much pinned ears the entire day from Can Do, she "caught me" every time I wanted her to be haltered, and her draw is improving. After lunch we saddled up and went for a trail ride. The horses behaved so well. The weather was as perfect as you could get. What a perfect day!!!

Hanging In There

I don't think I am communicating correctly to Gizmo. He just doesn't get direct turns. I am using phases of eyes, leg, rein, then carrot stick. I have just recently started riding with carrot stick so maybe after a couple of sessions he will understand. He really isn't refusing in an ugly way, he just keeps on his track and either ignores my ques or doen't understand them. I will keep at it though. I remember starting new things with him on the ground and it taking a while to sink in.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On the Trail

Had a great ride today. The weather was awesome. Practiced FTR, indirect and direct turns, corners game, and clover leaf. She is stopping sometimes at "X" even when I’m not asking for her to do so. A couple of times we made it through "X" without an attempt to stop and she definately stopped when I quit riding. After I was interupted two times by a phone call from my son (nicknamed Bugg), I decided to take her out on the trail. Just a nice leisurely walk. Not! She couldn’t pass a threshold to go past the back of the pasture. This is where we always have trouble. I hung it there with her and did a couple of fig. 8’s and my son showed up. He thought it was funny that she followed him around and zigged when he zigged and zagged when he zagged. That turned into a follow me on the trail game. It was awesome.Can Do followed Bugg all over the trails. He would take off jogging and Can Do would trot. We even loped a couple of times. She forgot all obout thesholds. I think I’m going to pay him to jog the trails so I can trail ride every day. I wish he’d ride with me, but isn’t interested in horses (he tells me everyday). I thanked Bugg for making me and Can Do’s day. I know she had as much fun as me. Bugg had fun too! Everyone wins!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trail Walking

Giz and I went for a trail walk today. We started out with driving in zone 3 and it turned into a yah-hoooo party. All I have to say is that I’m glad I was on the ground. This is the second time in a week that this big-time lefty turned into a right brained maniac. How interesting! So, I played with the horse that showed up and we were off again behaving, with a little munchies every now and then. It turned out nice and pleasant. At the end we were doing figure 8’s around trees and gait changes. Good, but still needs a little work. One more stop at the log on the way to the barn was rewarded by a jump. He really put effort into that for me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Direct Turns

I am so excited today because I feel like Gizmo is finally making some progress with his direct turns. I think I maybe over did it though, because he is over shooting them. He turns, then keeps in the turn too long, even though i’m straightening up my hips. That is okay i guess, but he is finally understanding what I want. His indirect turns are so nice. He still plays with that bit when I first put it in his mouth. Yesterday I coated it with molasses. That big ol’ left brain horse spooked yesterday when I was on his back. First time he did that! Jordan was washing out an ice chest in the driveway, and he couldn’t figure it out. It had to be some kind of wild animal getting ready to strike at him. We did lateral flexion and some turns on the rail and he was fine. I felt his heart pumping throught to saddle though. If he throws me I might just land on the moon! Now that I have to sadde from the right (according to Kelly) my technique is terrible. The saddle never lands on the pad. Poor horse! He just stands there though. I will start trying to throw it up on our arena fence and build my muscles. Getting those phases is a challenge for me also. I catch myself using the rein sometimes before I should. I find it hard to do more than one thing at a time on the ground, on the horse it is really tough. Riding with reins, carrot stick, and neck string is blowing my mind. Then throw in all of the phases and whew! I'll get it though. My friend Connie (who recently moved up to Heaven) will be there to give me my black string! I can't wait to see her again.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Riding was nothing special today. Don't mean that in a bad way! Our session was short, but that is okay. I tend to keep going and going and going. I just love riding! We are in the teaching stages still for both him and I. With that said, I can’t expect the moon. I’m expecting a little improvement every day. I find it hard to read him sometimes because he flips introvert/extrovert. That is funny because my other horse, Can Do, flips LB/RB. All I can say is "experience gained". I am not getting enthusiasm with freestyle, but it took me 2 years to get it on the ground. I still think he doesn't understand my phases and that is my problem not his. I'm working on being exact in my requests. They posted some new videos on pconnect and I think they will help me a lot.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Can Do

Freestyle and online today. I made a new game by putting 3 telephone posts radiating from a center. We played circling game, maintaining gait and direction, change of direction, stop at the pole, straddle the pole then sideways off of it. She did well, still a little clumsy. We did a very short figure 8 and weave. I'm trying not to get the ugly ears. She is starting to understand some of the patterns better. We did the question box for the first time since clinic. I went slowly and stopped in center for a while then tried to mix it up. She got it, then she didn't. We never got into a trot, but that is okay.


Gizmo's online circles are getting so good since Kelly's clinic. I am trying to use my energy up and energy down. We are moving and shakin. Since the clinic I have started riding him in the country bridle. He mouthed it a little in the beginning, but soon kept his mouth quiet. My swinging of that heavy saddle from the right needs some improvement! Gizmo isn't giving me direct turns like i would like. His indirect are there. He also needs to practice stopping. He isn't picking up when I quit riding. It very well be me that is making it hard on him. From experience, I know that when I first start something new it is always like that. I know he and I will get better. His halt in the hackamore was pretty good, but we must progress. Can't stay in the hackamore forever!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Covering New Ground

I rode both Can Do and Gizmo and we graduated to the bit. I had bought the Parelli Country Bridle when I attended the Rendevous in Jacksonville. I always wondered when to switch from the hackamore, which I love riding with, to the bridle. My favorite clinic girl, Kelly Sigler, told me not to stay in the hackamore too long or the horses learn to brace on it. Overall it went pretty good. Can Do has been in a bit forever so she was probably good with it. She behaved and thats all I have to go by. Giz played with it alot. Can Do and I played FTR, cloverleaf, point to point, direct turns, indirect turns and corners game, all with the carrot stick. I'm going to have to get used to riding with that stick. It is like there is too many things to think about. However, I was really soft with my phases before I used it. Gizmo had a short lesson because I was running out of time so we only played FTR. I'm having trouble with wasps hanging out on my arena fence. I actually think they are stinging the horses faces sometimes. Not sure what to do about that. How do you kill wasps that don't have a nest and are just flying around randomly? I'm sure the horses will love to follow the rail tomorrow and get stung a couple of times!

Sandy came over on Wednesday and we played online. I tried to help her with things we learned in the clinic. It went well! At least her horse loaded up with no problems. Once we get these play days going I think great things are going to happen. I want us to film each other so we can go home and see what we look like. It will also get us used to being in front of the camera so that our auditions won't be so nerve racking. The first time someone filmed me I freaked out. It was like Pat himself was watching me. That is so silly! My sister filmed me since then and I did okay. I tried to ignore her and the camera.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kelly Sigler's Clinic

Tomorrow is the big day. My friend Nancy and I will be taking off around 9:00 am to Pensacola, FL for Kelly's clinic. My best friend Sandy was supposed to come, but had to cancel at the last minute. We will miss her so much. I will take notes for you don't worry. You will be there in spirit. I cannot begin to express how excited I am. My mom has been working her tail off sewing my name on all of my lead ropes and halters. She has also embroidered some cute little boots on my new towels for my new horse trailer. I will styling and profiling!! Oh, she also put the boots on my pillow cases. It really looks good. Thanks a bunch mom! You always put the icing on the cake for me and appreciate you more than you know.
      I feel like I am at least getting my foot in the door with PNH. I get so frustrated sometimes because my journey is moving so slowly. Lately I have been reading a lot of blogs and I am learning that if you do not attend clinics you will have missing pieces in the program. In some of the blogs I have read, I came across "clinic notes". I have almost the entire set of DVDs and some of this information isn't on them. Why not? I have paid for the goods. I know why info. is left out, but I don't have any Parelli Professionals nearby to have regular clinics with. This is the first one that is fairly close in two years. Anyway, I felt the need to vent on that one. I just want to be in the 'know', ya know!
     We are packing up and bathing the horses today. My poor husband doesn't realize what he has signed up for driving us on a five hour drive. He will be driven mad, I'm sure, by the time we pull up at Forever Sky Ranch. I will hopefully get to meet Mirka Pitts at the clinic. Evidently she trains at the ranch. I have been watching her videos on youtube and she is awesome. I could watch her for hours.
        Okay, my coffee cup is empty, so it is time to get my butt in gear. Lots to do today. Wish me luck!
                                                                                            Savvy Sam

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A good laugh!

I finally got a chance to play with horses again after some wicked weather. I wonder how the folks up north deal with snow and cold when I live in south Louisiana. Our weather is so mild in the winter, usually. Gizmo cut the back of his foot and he is out of commission, so that means Can do was the center of my attention. Yesterday I tried to find a high spot to play so the yard wouldn't get chopped up. It got chopped up anyway, oh well. We worked on trying to walk a circle on a 12' line. We have had to back track lately because of right brained behavior. She could not walk one lap without breaking into a trot. It took about ten laps before I got it then we changed sides and that one was worse. We did accormplish it though. End of session! Today I started again and we were back in the same boat. We were eventually successful. I got some good laughs playing with her. Being dominant, she pins her ears when I suggest she go a certain direction. Well that doesn't sit well with me. When I'm being provacative, however, she turns into a clown. She tries all kinds of stuff not to do what I ask and looks at me to see my reaction. This is so funny! She does it in a fun way. I hope when I go to Kelly Sigler's clinic that she behaves this way so others can see her horsenality. It also makes me realize that I need to be more interesting and not so boring for her.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Pattern Progress

Now I remember why I had trouble with patterns, I spend all of my riding time with thresholds. After the great day I had yesterday, I figured I was going to be following the rail, point to point, corners game, etc. Well, Can Do had other ideas and was worried about everything in the arena. I got to thinking about it and it is the same thing with Gizmo. So now that I've discovered the obvious, I need to do approach and retreat. If I recall correctly, the reason I thought Can Do needed Parelli was because I could never take her out alone. She never wanted to leave the other horses and my ride was miserable. If others were trail riding with me she was fine and a joy to ride. So I'm backing up my journey a little and putting in the time to get that fixed. Reading horses is so much more important than I ever realized. I'm licking and chewing on that for awhile and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pattern Progress

I just finished a lesson with Can Do and she did great. Why did she do great? That is because I just finished watching the new savvy club DVD and I had a BFO. I know I'm supposed to do the patterns, and I do, but the DVD put it in a different perspective for me. I was always worried about boring my horse. According to Pat, you have to do it more than I realized. I did as Pat said and put different patterns together, mixing them all up and she was on! Don't think I bored her at all. I thought I was doing them enough, but I wasn't even scratching the surface. Before we rode I played the circling game on a 12' line and I made her walk, which is very difficult for her to do. It took about 10 laps of corrections both ways until she got it. I then disengaged her and it was game over. That my dear was progress! Even if it was a baby step.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Relationship Issues!

Ok, if my witchy mare who I love so much did not have fun playing today I am going to trade her in for a newer model. We went trail walking and ate lots of clover and other goodies. She understands driving from zone 3, we did it for about a mile. Then we got to this wonderful log and we played some squeeze games and sideways. She participated fully! She is giving me a hop with the front end but walking over with the back. I’m trying to prepare for the big barrel jump one day. Then we went on the trail again and had the greatest conversations. I know mine was great anyway. We ended up at the trailer for a couple of loads and then we were done. It surely was fun for me. We’ll see if she’s waiting by the gait for me tomorrow. Heck, I’d be hysterical if she allowed me to slip on her halter without walking away. An update to this posts is that she really did have fun. The farrier came by later and I had to go out to get her and she was with me. She approached me and let me slip on her halter. When it was time to bring her back out she did the same. I need to make a note of how to be more provative with her. She did stick the middle finger at me when I directed her for the figure 8 and weave though. Need to work on that!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My First Blog Post!

I have recently been very inspired by reading blogs by Parelli students. So inspired that I am stepping out of my box and becoming a blogger myself. The other day, for example, I made contact with a parelli student who I located on the forum. After reading some of her posts, her story sounded a lot like mine so I sent her a private message. I was really nervous doing that, not sure why. Low and behold, she wrote back to me. Now I have a freind in New Zealand. How cool is that! I want to keep track of my journey that is already two years in the making. I've lost those records by not writing anything down, but now I'm serious. I'm finished level one (self assessed), have got two horses in level two (self assessed), and one of them is doing level three tasks. Now I'm getting into the good stuff. I am taking my savvy to great heights. I want the black string! So here goes, you gotta start somewhere right?