Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kansas City or Bust!!!


I'm tired. End of story. That's really all I can say about it. This is going to be a relatively direct recap of my adventures in Kansas City, simply because I'm EXAUSTED. I'll tell what HAPPENED...if you want details, email me or post a comment and I'll be happy to elaborate after I've gotten some sleep.

First of all, Kansas City, MO is a little over 7 hours drive from me when traffic conditions are GOOD. However, driving into rush hour on a Friday afternoon could be considered stupid, and that's definitely what I'd call it at this point.

I like to drive with some music on most of the time. It keeps my mind busy when things are dull, and keeps me calm and cool when things are stressful. For those that know me well, you know how important my music is to my ability to drive sanely. Well..getting into Kansas City, I had to TURN MY MUSIC OFF. That's how intense it was. I was lost, and as Linda so correctly pantomimed/immitated for me 20 minutes after arriving, I slammed my music off, gripped the steering wheel so hard my knuckles were white, and screamed "WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING?!" Multiple times.

Anyway, believe it or not, I made it safely and with minimal mental damage. We hung out and I chatted with Farrah, Michelle, Pat and Linda a little, then Farrah, Michelle, Carrie (another working student of Farrah's)and I went out to a yummy dinner.

Saturday was a pretty typical Parelli seminar day. Can't say I learned a whole lot new, of course I'm always reminded of little principles that get buried under other things in my brain. The savvy team did a GREAT performance, Farrah and Caesar stole the show in my opinion, with their one time tempis and rearing and leaping the air. Caesar's such a magnificent horse, and so pensive, he's just fascinating.

The most interesting session was the demo horse, a pretty classic RBI, came in literally shaking, but totally unable make himself move physically. Pat did a great job as usual, it was funny because he walked around and told stories for about an hour (stalling for the RBI's sake) It was hilarious, because there was a guy and his girlfriend sitting behind us. They were obviously new to PNH and this was probably their first seminar. Anyway, the guy kept leaning over and arrogantly telling the girlfriend what and why Pat was doing. At first I wanted to smack them (Dammit, I'm trying to LEARN HERE!) but then I realized I might actually be able to learn something from THEM. I know lots of strategies for RBI horses, lets learn what makes these newbies tick :)

So, listening to this conversation, what was hysterical was that 50% of the time, this guy was right about Pat's actions, and he'd get all cocky about it, and what was even MORE funny was then when he was wrong, he'd act genuinely shocked "I have NO IDEA why he just DID THAT!" And that's when I...miss share-a-holic, would turn around, smile, and tell him EXACTLY why Pat Parelli did what he just did. The befuddled looks that would earn were HILARIOUS. And it was helpful to me, too, to reinforce MY understanding of what Pat was trying to teach.

Saturday night ended with some horseplay (I actually played with the dogs, while the other 3 played with the horses) and then we went to bed.

SUNDAY...The day that Linda and I jokingly decided she set up and designed specifically for my learning pleasure :)

The Savvy Team opened, which was amazing, as usual. The highlight for me was definitely Emily Thompson on her little black arab Porsche, and Amy Book on Zeus the Friesian, playing carrot stick tag to "Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall. You know Linda's running the sound booth when...

Anyway, Pat opened and did some chat-chitting, then he startled Linda, and sent her out to get Allure WAY before she was expecting it.

Allure charged in all adrenalized, and Linda talked very intently about extroverts need to move their feet in order to think (Vs the introvert, who has to think in order to move his/her feet) and how she prepares Allure for a play session before the play session even starts, and the signs she looks for that show he's ready to play/focus/learn. She also talked about the subtle difference between LB adrenalized and RBE behavior--all VERY useful information for a girl such as me, who own's Allure's twin in Crest. She then proceeded to talk about how she plays on the ground to prepare him for riding, and she talked about the little tests and signs she reads in order to tell if he's truly ridable or not. And again, I say, very useful to me with Cresty. She did eventually get on (I WAS ONE PROUD LONG LOST DAUGHTER/STUDENT!!!) and did a lovely riding demo, explaining, again, how she keeps his brain occupied and prevents him from coming up with evil thoughts (One particular thing in this that I took and used with Crest IMMEDIATELY, and WOW, talk about instant difference! More on that tomorrow)and then rode to a song, explaining that the song meant A LOT to her in her journey with Allure. I feel very connected to Linda's journey, ESPECIALLY with Allure, so as the beautiful song started, the flood gates opened, and I blubbered like a baby through the entire thing. I'm going to put the song on here as background music tomorrow, when I have the patience to deal with my computer's antics. SO PERFECT.

Next, Linda did a Q & A session with the audience about what we got out of the session with Allure. She came back to me 3 times. I was flattered, because it wasn't like there was a shortage of questions to be asked. I guess she recognized that the session was doing a lot for me, and she wanted to help me more.

The next session, she coached Amy Book through a Finesse lesson on Remmer. That was another session that I really connected to, mainly because Linda kept talking about how physically inflexible Remmer is, and also how finesse can kill an LBIs motivation and energy if it turns into a drill. Poor Prin. Another session to digest. Got some tips that really put me on a good track with things I can try with the Boo-Boo next finesse session :)

Pat ended the day with a fantastic session with and about young horses. I was given the math award (this involves nothing but Pat Parelli saying "You get the Math award", by the way) for knowing that 555 days is 18 months...But anyway that was a blast to watch.

And then I drove home this morning, and right this very second, I am going to BED. PLEASE feel free to ask for more details. This is BY FAR the best Savvy Club Sunday I've been to. FANTASTIC. Just RIGHT ON. Linda and I joked that she designed the day around what I needed, and that I owed her for it. Love that lady, she knows how to make me feel good about myself and my progress :)

Savvy on and out!


Katie Oostman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie Oostman said...

Sorry above was a misspelling.

I loved Kansas City! Thanks for hanging with me!


Anonymous said...

Quick question: what exactly is the difference between LB adrenalized and RBE behavior? I'd really like to know, because I thought all horses on adrenaline were RBE until a mare I play with started hating me/becoming hard to catch. Ah well, live and learn!


Katie Oostman said...

Here is a quote form Jesse Peters
"A LB horse on adrenaline is out there running around and they are NOT looking for a leader." Where as a RB horse is looking for a leader, saftey, and survival.


ERIN said...

Hi! I found your blog not too long ago and i love it! SO, you don't know me or anything and I feel alittle weird about asking this but do you mind if I email you about the tour stop and get some of your input?! What is your email?? (If you don't mind me emailing you) Thanks alot!

Fran said...

No, not at all! Feel free to email! my email address is

have at 'er, happy to share :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks much, Katie!