Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Knightly News Update--El Finale

I've finally found the heart to post this on my blog. Our dear little Knight had to be euthanized on the evening of the 29th. It's a long story to explain, but the ultimate cause of death was colic, we think.

We had noticed him getting a little thin on the 26th, but thought little of it. It had been pretty chilly those past few days, and so we weren't alarmed at his dropping a few pounds. The next day (27th) he looked a bit more gaunt, and I noticed kind of a foul smell coming from his nose. I de-wormed him on a hunch that day, and on the 28th, I noticed some little red worms in his stool. Also on the 28th, we noticed he had kind of isolated himself, and didn't really perk up when we brought feed out. I knew he couldn't be feeling well, and I also knew that the vet was coming on the 29th to do a pre-travel exam on Prin.

The 29th came, and Prin passed her exam with flying colors. I pointed Knight out to the vet, who said "Oh my...go catch him and we'll have a look." (Keep in mind that Knight by this time looked downright gaunt) I brought Knight over to the vet, and he went to take a look inside his mouth. Knight tried to struggle, and much to our horror, was so weak that he fell over! The vet gave us a rundown of what was going on. He said that it looked like he might be feeling the symptoms of a tick-borne disease called Ehrlichiosis. It's similar to Lymes in symptoms, but caused by a different organism. Knight was running a 104 temperature, and based on the fact that he had blood worms, all the elements had combined to create a really sick horse. We were told that we needed to get him indoors, warm, pump all the feed we could into him, get him drinking warm water, de-worm him heavily using SafeGuard, and overall keep a really close eye on him. The vet drew some blood to do some tests, and gave Knight a massive dose of Tetracycline to reduce his fever.

Fast forward to about 9:00 that evening. Knight was in a stall, warm with all the hay and grain he could possibly want. He ate a bit unenthusiastically, and drank a couple of small buckets of molasses water. I had mixed up an electrolyte and pro-bio paste (applesauce, blackstrap molasses, and Fast-Track powder)and wanted to give him some. Knight, however, was standing with his head in a dark corner, and I couldn't see what I was doing. I asked him to turn around really slowly, and he obliged. I gave him the paste, and he went to follow me to the gate for some more, but he was so weak that his knees buckled, and he fell. What happened next will haunt me for a LONG time. Not only did Knight fall, but he fell HARD. Then, he started to thrash and kick at his stomach like I have NEVER seen before. It didnt' take long for that to wear him out, and he just lay on his side panting, looking helpless.

Micky and I were TERRIFIED, so we called the vet, and told him the update. The vet told us that we should administer a large injection of Banamine into Knight's HQ, and wait to see how he did. If his gut sounds and appetite returned, and he could stand up, he might be fine. If not, we'd have to make another call. The banamine seemed to do the trick, and when the Probiotics got there, he seemed to pretty much recover. He ate a bit of grain and hay again, drank half a bucket of water, and seemed to perk up considerably. He tried to stand up, and we all backed away and let him try. But he simply did not have the strength. He fell again, thrashing around like had had the first time, and by then, we knew what we had to do.

The vet came, took one look at him, and went "The only way this horse will survive is if you get him to the U of M. And I highly doubt he'd survive the trailer ride. I think your best bet is the option you obviously are not going to want to take."

But we took it. We HATED to see him like that.

The evening afterward was REALLY hard. Knight was a favorite to all who met him. A horse with that much heart, and SO CUTE. He had a special gift with children, and he seemed to melt when he saw them. To see that little horse go was the most painful thing I've ever been through. We'll miss him SO MUCH.

This concludes your Knightly News Update. Dear god, I'll miss them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Leader vs. Boss

I lay awake a long time last night thinking about this, and came up with some interesting thoughts I'd like to share. But first let me explain kind of why I was thinking about this.

I had a WEIRD session with Crest yesterday. My usually confident-in-his-leader-and-self LBE had complete and total RBI meltdown, literally. I was out riding with my friend Renee, who was on Prin. We had cut across a corn field to avoid icy roads, and we're about to meet up with the road again, and there was a small patch of ice that we'd have to cross (it was either that, or an almost 4-foot-deep snow drift) to get to where we needed to go. We opted to take the ice. It wasn't a glare sheet, just a patchy spot (ice, dirt, ice, dirt melt pattern). Prin tiptoed across it without so much as a second glance, and Crest easily followed suit...until he realized what he was standing on. Crest's mind went into COMPLETE PANIC mode. But, being that he was on ice, he realized (Thank GOODNESS) that he couldn't scramble, or he'd hurt himself. At this point, I thought it best to get off, and I'm REALLY GLAD I did, because what happened next scared the ever-living out of me. Crest's entire body got tense, and then, he basically collapsed in on himself. I watched him as he did it, he was very careful, and folded his legs up and lay down in a way that wouldn't hurt himself, but then he just stayed there, on the ground, totally tense, and WOULD NOT move.

That's all I'm going to share for now (fear not, Crest is fine save a few surface abrasions from the gravel) because I want to get onto my point. This was such a bizarre experience, because number one, I've never seen a horse get so scared they'd lie down, and number two, I've NEVER seen Crest go catatonic before, so I emailed a couple instructors, wondering what I could have done, and bluntly put, one response really sent me for a loop. I'll let you make the judgment call on it (I'm not at all offended, but am fascinated by how to progress, now)

"You're going to hate (or love) my answer. As his leader you should never have put him in that position. You need to assess the situation and know if it's something you should ask him to do that won't compromise his self confidence or confidence in you.

You handled it well, but in the future savvy means never having to create the problem in the first place. Okay... that's Level 3+, so it's not a judgement but as you are studying that level it is important you know. If you could have done it better you would have... chalk it up to a learning experience and the key then is not to relive it... you'll know better next time. Otherwise it was not a learning experience :)"

Anyway, that sent me into a frenzy of thought (yes, sounds dangerous, I know!) especially since that little skeptic in me said "So wait, how is being a good leader any different than 'showing the horse who's boss'?" So that got me thinking about how I might explain that to a traditional rider who asked that question. Here's what I came up with. A "boss" pushes without an allow. The persona is "I'm in charge, and you'll do what I say, deal with it." Whereas a good leader guides without pressure unless it is appropriate, and causes other to WANT to follow.

It was kind of a strange train of thought, my brain tends to segue a lot, so if you didn't get that, I apologize.

Anyway, That's that for now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Course Blog is up!

That's the web address for my secondary blog cataloging my experiences while in Florida. I'll try to keep it updated as often as possible :)

Off to feed again, yippee!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays and an update

Happy holidays, everyone! Hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow, and finds lots of horsey goodness under the tree :)

Here's a little update on MY life, it's been an interesting week, to say the least. Richard is currently out of town for Christmas, and I'm in charge of the farm for a week. No big deal right? WRONG. Let me tell you about what's going on here. First of all, there are two feet of snow on the ground right now. No big deal for Richard, with his 4WD truck. Big deal for me--I have to walk in the 1/2 a mile, down and up a hill, in a full coverall suit, through the snow. It's way more exausting than it may sound. I'm doing this about 3x a day (sometimes 2x, sometimes 4 or 5, depending). The good thing is that I'm shedding fat like mad-haha.

Secondly, we have a compulsive eater on our farm. The majority of the herd could go on two large feedings a day, one around 8 am and one around 8 pm. But then we've got Belle. Belle is Richard's OBESE Morgan mare. Belle is a chronic founder case, and loves to eat, and will do anything TO eat when she's hungry. When she gets hungry, she doesn't think twice, she just bashes down the fence to get to the hay. Three mornings of the past four, we've come out to find Belle on the other side of a very crippled fence. The electricity (enough to knock me on my butt) doesn't even phase her!

Thirdly, Let's talk waterers. Automatic waterers are so fantastic...most of the time. They make doing chores much easier...most of the time. Until the winter when they freeze. ARGH. Ours has been frozen every day I've been out there recently. It's been pretty cold recently (High temps peaked yesterday, and it was 22). Keeping the dang thing open long enough for everyone to get a drink and to refill is tough. Then, two days ago, it wouldn't STOP filling. Fortunately my father, handy-man that he is, realized that the last time the thing had been taken apart, a piece had been put back on backwards, and that's what caused the problem. But since then, it's been off and on freeze. I swear I'm a fan of tank heaters, now.

OTHER THAN THIS, life is actually quite grand. Micky and I took Nugget and Prin out for a trail ride yesterday (Nugget's first!!) which went GREAT. Micky hopped on Nug on the way home, and commented immediately on how much she reminded her of Digger. All in all, a very successful outing. Today, we opened one present before dinner (family tradition) and I was very happy to receive a telephoto lens for my Canon Rebel digital camera. This equipment will all go to FL with me and be used like CRAZY, no worries :)

In other news, as well, one of my students passed her L1 last week, congratulations Jenifer and Mamma! I helped film and coach these two through their assessment, so it gives me a great sense of accomplishment, too. Well done, girls, now onto L2!

OH! Speaking of FL, I'm going to start a new blog and try to keep track of my journey as the course I'm attending progresses. I'll post a link to that as soon as I get it up and running :)

Finally, my two ponies got blankies for Xmas and boy do they look cute! Crest got a green and blue plaid Noreasta turnout, and Prin got a denim/navy Weatherbeeta Orican midweight turnout. They both look fantastic, and will keep nice and warm on these cold nights, now. I'll take pix soon.

I think that's all for now, folks :) Time for me to hit the hay, let Santa do his job, and prepare to get up early again tomorrow morning to go feed...again.

Savvy on and out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Updates and Such

BRRRR!!! Sorry I've dropped off the face of the planet, my life got crazy! I've had a really interesting week, and while I'd love to write about all of it, my fingers are freezing, (WHO ORDERED THIS WEATHER?!)so I'm going to try to keep kind of general.

Thursday through Sunday last, I took a road trip across the state. First stop was Green Bay to visit my friend and fellow PNHer, Heidi, then back to Mosinee to teach at Anne's for 3 days.

The visit to Heidi's was a blast, we ate a lovely dinner on Thursday night, then stayed up WAY TOO LATE watching Best of Show. Friday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed and made our way to Algoma to go visit Heidi's horse Charmer. To begin with, Heidi got out Charm and I was partnered with a horse named Dutch, who belonged to the barn owner. He was a bay ball of fun, reminded me a lot of Crest, very playful and devoted to pleasing. We had a good time. Next, we put my fluidity saddle on Charmer, and BOY was there a change! This horse is not one prone to stretching or round/correct self carriage. Check out this video!

Pretty neat huh?

We finished my visit with lunch at a lovely little cafe in Algoma and then I hit the road back to Mosinee.

Saturday was a fun day. It was just warm enough to give the snow a nice crunch, so Anne and I got out the snowmobile and broke some trails around her property both to walk the wiener dogs on (the snow is so deep it swallows them) and also for us to ride on. That was an adventure in itself because this girl here hasn't driven a snowmobile in a couple years, and this one happened to have a sticky throttle. You can imagine where that went... Anyway, we also played with Clearwater, both basic 7 games and also trail riding, some trail riding stuff, and we ended the day on a good note. Sunday, the weather was nasty, but even so, we braved the sleet and went out to play with all things blanket-y. We started with Clear, who couldn't have cared less, then we moved to Blix, who I KNEW would be scary if we just went straight to the blanket. First, I decided we should get him confident with rhythm in general before even TRYING to desensitize him to a big flopping blanket. We played with friendly game with the carrot stick and string, and also discovered that Blixen is a closet LBI...yes. You read correctly. He's a cookie monster. Everything suddenly became easy when we realized this. Anyway, a long story short, carrot stick/string, then saddle blanket, then blanket, with not a single flinch. Very cool stuff.

I got home Sunday night, and have pretty much been home-bound since, it's been a brutal mostly subzero week so far, today was the warmest at 10 above and sunny with little or no windchill. Today I had a nice session with Prin and Nugget though. Prin's been spoiled and not been played with much, so today was an interesting battle of leadership, which I ended up winning by pulling out some exercises from the old Levels. She wasn't quite sure what to think, but it all worked out. Also I played with standing to the trot, an exercise suggested to aid in my apparent inability to properly sit the trot--not caused by a lack of fluidity entirely, but also a lack of properly developed muscle. This has made the person that suggested this exercise public enemy number 1 to my legs, which currently ache so much I can't straighten them entirely. But it definitely aided my sitting trot! I could feel that right away.

Nugget was fantastic, she was very LBE today, her motto was "Look at meeee, I'm WIIIILLLD!!!" We played with some W/G/T/C (G as in GAIT!) stuff, and that little horse just likes to GOOOOOOO. Very fun, she's gonna be a helluva trail horse :)

Anyway, I need to go play with some paperwork, YAY. Course in 19 days :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Intentions, Anyway...

One of the top things that people say they miss when they move from the midwest to a warmer climate, is the lack of seasons...they say warm all the the time gets old. I say they're crazy.

We got about 6 inches of snow last night, enough to cause administrators around the area to call school off, etc. When school is called off in WI, most of the time, you KNOW there's a good reason for it, because if the plows can't get it done, no one's driving anywhere. That being said, what better way to start out the day than go for a drive, eh?

I spent most of my morning at Warren's, doing some work on the computer, chatting over coffee, and just hanging out with my boy. We had a fantastic time, I don't usually get that much quality time with him during the week because he's working a lot, etc. He had to work tonight, as well, so I was "booted" at 2:30 so he could get ready.

I decided to head for the farm, since it was a gorgeous day after snowfall. Perfect temperature to hop on and go for a bareback "dash through the snow".

Richard's drive way has always been some cause for concern to me during the winter, having a 2WD car, and usually by mid December, I'm left to park at the top of the hill that goes down to the driveway. Today, I wasn't entirely sure on the traction, so I did a fairly classic traction test: Try reversing out every couple of feet until you start to feel the slightest inkling of slipping. If you feel that AT ALL, DO NOT PROCEED. I did this going down the hill, and didn't hit a single spot I couldn't back out of, so I just let myself creep down the hill slowly, and went up the other side. This side of the hill has NEVER (Never say never?) given me a problem during the winter. It's a straight shot up, not very steep, and doesn't drift badly at all, and usually, there's at least a little bit of gravel to get a grip on. Today's conditions looked no different. I started to climb the hill at about 15 mph, as usual, and got nearly to the top, and then felt the thing EVERYONE dreads. My tires started to spin and give way to the soft but "full-bodied" snow.

Now at this point, I realized I wasn't going to crest the hill. The smart thing to do would have been to park the car and run into Richard's on foot and grab our ever-present bucket of wood ash, come back, dump it in my slippery spot, and continue driving. Of course, I'm not that smart. So, what do I do? I decide I should probably back down the hill and get a better "running start". WRONG. As SOON as I started to back, I started to slide. I cranked my wheel around to try to get back on the road, and instead of straightening up, I slid more crooked. When I looked out my rear-view and saw the ditch I was already 1/2 into, I realized that I was just downright screwed. I half heartedly tried to drive out, realized that it was hopeless, put the car in park, and trudged into the farm to do feed, anyway.

Richard and I will pull the car out tomorrow (would have tonight, but the sun was setting by the time he got there, and he didn't have his tire chains) so all is not lost, but I'm disgusted with my stupid decision. Ah well...such is winter in WI. My intentions were good, at least. Thank goodness for warm savvy places like Florida :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Horse in the HOUSE?!

We have a town holiday festival every year the first weekend in December. This year, my mom asked me if I'd bring my miniature horse (Now affectionately known as L.B. for those who helped me name her some time ago) into town and parade her around for the little kids to pet, etc. I thought it sounded like fun, and what a great way for L.B. to get exposed to "stuff". So, instead of being all traditional and hitching up the trailer, Micky and I loaded L.B. in the back of the car, and drove her into town. Here's where the pictures begin:

On the way to town, driving. She rode just like my dog does.

Santas and the Mini
Posing with Santa :)

After meeting and greeting for over two hours, all 3 of us got COLD! We walked back to my house, and were going to put L.B. on the porch to eat, drink, etc while we warmed up. No such luck! L.B. drank some water, then marched up to the door of the house, and started pawing on the door...she wanted IN. I was honestly afraid she might do some damage to the door, so I grabbed a towel and a hoof pick, cleaned her up, and let her come in.

In the kitchen "Hey...what's this?"

Hanging out with mom


Checking out the kitchen table

Makes a good head rest!

Long story short, my mother wasn't thrilled, but we didn't make a mess, my father thought it was hilarious and now has a new best friend, and she's expected to make more trips to town in the future :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Drama is SO Overrated!

I'm posting this entry on my blog mainly out of frustration. I'm trying to put some thought into this, and also try to be careful what I say, because I am not in the business of insulting people. Everything I've said here is what I've thought today and refrained from posting on the forum, for fear of being ripped open.

The Parelli Savvy Club was created over 5 years ago as a student body that could study and share information together. People NEED to be able to study together to stay motivated on this journey we call horsemanship, and the Savvy Club Forum is a great place to ask questions and get support...until recently. Obviously when you put 20,000 some odd users on a forum together, there isn't always going to be total agreement on everything said, but in the past month or so, the place has totally erupted into CHAOS. There have always been differing opinions (hoof care, cost of the Parelli program, nutrition/holistic care, just to name a few hot topics), and that's fine when people can carry out mature discussions, and most of all, agree to disagree when opposite points of view can't be seen.

I have frequented the forum for over a year now, enjoying reading a lot of the topics and posts written. It gives me something to think about, and a way to test my own knowledge. Recently though, the atmosphere has been coming up nothing short of poisonous and hostile, and I can't help but think: "Has everyone FORGOTTEN what our goals are here?" There are some people on there that I'm beginning to think pay the $20/month to Parelli JUST so they can complain about it. Some have been threatening to quit Parelli for MONTHS now, and I'm going through a serious attitude shift towards them: Quit already! If you really and truly hate it that much, GET OUT OF HERE! STOP POISONING THE FORUM! STOP LIGHTING FIRES! But that's where we hit a problem: OF COURSE they don't hate it that much! They love PNH, they're just really not happy, positive people, they just are looking for an outlet to complain. Come on guys, go outside, and do something with YOUR horses for once, instead of picking Pat and Linda's.

This statement (^^^) opens up another can of worms. Plenty of people retaliate with "Well we're genuinely concerned about the wellfare of their horses." Sure. Right. That's why you're complaining on a forum, and not writing to THEM. I will give you a little piece of information: TELL THEM about it! I certainly have. The information they provide you with might surprise you.

A lot of people think that the reason I don't like these posts is because I follow blindly every word that Pat and Linda say. I'm here to say now, that this is not true. Underlying all the complaining I've heard about hoof care, the representation Pat and Linda have in their company, the welfare of Remmer and Allure etc, I've actually heard a lot of good points brought to the table.

Yes, I'm actually very concerned about Remmer's feet and Allure's right-hand side, and I don't think either one can be solved entirely by putting bigger, thicker, specially designed, shimmed, (you name it) shoes on their feet. I'm a devout barefoot trimmer, and I don't believe for a second that their horses HAVE to be shod. But the Parellis have an underlying reason why they don't advocate barefoot trimming (and no, it's not "we travel a lot"...that's their cover story). Granted they may not be 100% justified (I wish I could point them to Pete Ramey's stuff), but they're certainly not totally ignorant.

Yes, Linda is a representative of her company. Her recent segment on purity of gait with Allure was probably not her best representation of her knowledge on the subject. I think what she was aiming for was more to show how one might START developing purity of gait. Remmer would have done it perfectly, Allure hasn't done it, and so I think the point was to show the development. And maybe it wasn't the best idea. But let's not decapitate the poor girl, and for God sake, to whatever imbecile said "Linda is NOT a student, she is a professional" Have you HEARD THE WOMAN TALK?! EVER?! She is SO on a journey of never-ending self improvement, that it can be a bit intimidating to people who don't have that drive. Self-improvement comes from learning. Any person who learns is a student of some kind. Sure, she's a professional, and she IS professional. She admits that she doesn't know what's going on, and that she's working to fix it (some may not agree with the steps she's taking, but at least she's made an effort!). A non professional person (I actually had a PNH instructor do this once) would get all huffy and defensive, and pretend as if nothing was wrong, and try to make their students feel ignorant.

I guess the bottom line of this rant is that I am TIRED of people using the Parelli Forum (Remember? that Positive-minded student body?) to pick on Pat and Linda's character for not understanding something. They're trying. They really and truly are. As I put it to a friend in conversation today, it'd be like if I screamed at you "YOU CAN'T DO CALCULUS??? YOU ARE SUCH A MONEY-STEALING JERK BECAUSE YOU CAN'T DO CALCULUS!" Okay, rediculous, flamboyant, and just downright out of line. Cut them some slack, they're doing the best they can with the resources they have. If you're not fond of their resources, provide them with some that you think they could benefit from! Let's be productive here!

I apologize in advance for the severity of this post. These thoughts have been weighing on my mind all day. I may end up removing it eventually, anyway.

THanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Few Pics!

We had our first real snowfall of the season last night, and Prin and I took advantage of it today and had a nice online session. Here are a few photos. Take notice of how uphill and round she is, and the nice expression on her face :)

Tall horse, short girl ^^^

Bring back
Drawing in :)

Gorgeous Canter
Big extended ROUND canter (using her shoulders for once!) Playing traveling circling game here.

This pic just blows my mind. she's uphill, round, LOOK AT HER HIND QUARTERS, theres slack in the's just gorgeous.

Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Online, Freestyle Patterns and the Like

I have to say, since starting to play with Nugget, I've gained a whole new appreciation for the usfulness and effectiveness of the Parelli patterns pack. Not that I had any doubt about it, but being that I come from older Parelli, I'm kinda partial to the levels formatting, particularly to old levels. But the more I use this new stuff (with my prior knowledge of horsenality and the seven games) the more I like the format.

Anyway, point of this statement is to open up what I did today. I actually started out with Crest before playing with Nugget. After my experience yesterday trimming Crest's feet (I didn't write about this because I was too exausted, but long story short, I had a hard time doing his back feet because of the weakness in his stifles leftover from the accident we had in winter '07) I decided he needs to get strengthened up in that hind end. I figured probably the best way to go about that was to just do another 4 weeks of hill therapy, but because his back is strong enough this time, and I have a good saddle, maybe allow myself to ride him a bit. So we started playing with the circles pattern, and I put hills and obstacles in the way accordingly. We pretty much played all over the property, up and down, over barrels, down through some steep stuff, up into a nicely sloping corn field, and Crest seemed to really enjoy himself, while getting a really good workout. Watching him move all over the place like that had me DROOLING. He's such a gorgeous horse.

Moving on to miss Nugget. She was queen of multiple horsenalities today, and I could have been better "on my game" at first, but I think all in all it went well. We started out playing the catching game for the first time since she's been here. I'm of the opinion that Crest and Cricket are teaching her this during feeding time, since one or both of them consistantly takes off after being fed, insisting that they have some grazing time. Anyway, we played with that for about 5 minutes, then she came to me with a truly confused look ("I don't know why but I'm strangly drawn to you...") and we headed out to the west paddock to feed and play.

Nugget has had a little (VERY minor) food aggression thing since she's been here, and I've played with it a little bit, but just enough to get her to not lay her ears back while I'm throwing hay. Today, for some reason, I was not in the mood to play dominance games anymore, so I pulled out a new trick. I decided that this pan of feed was MY feed, and that she didn't get any until she yo-yo'd to the end of the line, ASKED ME PERMISSION to come in and eat,and then came in with her ears forward, or at least one ear on me. She wasn't exactly pleased with this at first (got some serious tail swishing) but when she caught onto the game, it actually improved her entire attitude in the session.

Next, we played a little with the weave pattern, which she was quite RBE about at first (I'm thinking I may have scared her a little with my sudden quest for dominance) but she calmed down after seeing that there was purpose and "FOCUS" for her scattered energy. We also played a bit with more extreme friendly games, getting comfortable with the "helicopter" action with CS and string, etc.

Then I hopped on, and this is where things got really interesting. She was a little uneasy at first coming to get me off the barrel, but she soon settled when I played friendly and just leaned on her back, etc. When she finally relaxed, I put some weight on, and she didnt' object, so I hopped on. I asked her to bend in each direction, then backup, then stand, and then I asked politely for her to walk on. She had a CLASSIC RBI moment, and totally froze up. I backed off until she turned her head to check in. I played friendly and then asked her forward again. 3 little bucks in a row, on the spot is what I got in return. How INTERESTING...I bent her head without getting tense, asked her to back up, and then asked her forward again, and she kind of BLASTED into a walk, and proceeded to attempt to walk me off, I think. Instead of asking her to slow (I'm HAPPY that she wanted to move!) I immediately directed her towards the barrels, where I still had my weave pattern set up. We power-walked through the pattern about 4 times, and then, like clockwork (Pat and Linda sure know what they're talking about ;P ) she started to lower her head, blow out, relax, slow down, etc. Her ears went forward, and all of a sudden, she had this attitude of "Let's DO something!" and she took me for a walk around the paddock, just investigating everything. I even got several strides of a lovely smooth trot, and got her to walk over a log, and do an entire fence line of running walk. This gaited thing is kinda fun!

I ended the session with her relaxing and blowing out even more adrenaline, and walking me over to the gate, no hurry, just moseying. I'm pleased with this girl's progress! Pix to come soon, I hope :)

Time for me to go to bed now! It's supposed to snow tonight, YAY!