Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Friday, March 19, 2010

My South Dakota Adventure

So I've mentioned it, now it's time to elaborate some.

Prin, Crest and I will be leaving for Heartland Ventures (Click link to check the place out!) on Tuesday, March 23rd. I'll be working full time as kind of an all-around helper--Farrah I think referred to me at one point as the "Sha-BAM Instructor-in-Training". Yes, that will go on a name-tag, just watch!

Anyway, my duties will be as follows: playing with the young horses Farrah started (a few 3-year olds, several other yearlings/2-year olds), general barn-management/maintenance stuff--feeding, turning horses out, grooming, cleaning up, stalls (I am nothing if not ace at picking stalls by now), as well as developing my own horses, assisting Farrah while she's teaching, and keeping things running smoothly. Like I said, pretty general responsibilities, and all-in-all more great experience.

So that's what I'll be up to. I'm not sure how long I'll be there, (pending when I leave for my externship), but I look forward to it! I shall keep you posted as best I can--I intend to keep an album of pictures on my facebook page as we progress and move along in this adventure, so please add me as a friend if you haven't already, and keep track of it that way, too :)

Savvy on!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elvis is For Sale!

Right side Confo

**If photos don't format correctly, click on image and it will open in a separate window**

**I'm Advertising this horse for a friend/student of mine**

Elvis is an 11-year-old Arab/Appaloosa Gelding. He stands about 14.2hh, and 1000lbs. He is dark bay with a star and two small white socks.

Elvis has been brought through Level 2 of the Parelli Program, and is a Left-Brained Extrovert. He has lots of confidence and energy, and loves to be played with. He’s a very brave horse. He knows the seven games up to a 22’ line, handles scary obstacles in stride, and has been ridden freestyle in both a Parelli hackamore and a snaffle bridle. He’s been ridden on trails, and was used in two lessons with 3* Parelli Professional Farrah Green in 2009. He is currently ridden in a western saddle, including a back cinch.

Though Elvis is a smart, playful guy, I wouldn’t suggest him for a total novice. He does best with consistency, and enjoys being played with on a daily basis, and appreciates a leader who can offer him variety and mental stimulation.

Elvis is only for sale because current owner is looking for an older, more reliable mount horse to introduce her husband to Parelli and riding.

Asking $1300, negotiable to a loving, Parelli home.
Contact Fran with any questions regarding Elvis.
Email: Cell #:715-495-0094

More photos below!



Back between the tires


Sunday, March 14, 2010

What a Week!

Life went from "busy" to "insane" this week, and since I've been eluding to some new opportunities on Facebook, I just wanted to share what I can about them :)

First of all, my externship audition package is off! I sent it out in the middle of the week last week. So begins the game of waiting. Usually I'd be nervous and unable to get it off my mind, but with all the stuff that's going on around here, I'm actually having to use that as a positive reminder to myself to get my mind off the STUFF I've to be doing! I'll keep you posted, hopefully I'll hear back on that in a couple weeks.

Secondly, I am relocating to South Dakota sometime in the near future! (I'd be more specific, but my coordinator is being a little vague with me about timing) Farrah called me a couple weeks ago and made a pretty interesting proposal. Apparently Farrah was asked to take up the position of barn manager at her current facility. Trouble is, she's taking that as well as instructing full time, and playing with their young horses, and even though Farrah is the queen of getting way more than I could get done in a 24 hour day, that's still just too much. So she asked if I'd be interested in coming out, taking up some of the management responsibilities, as well as finishing the young horses she's started. I'll be bringing Prin and Crest with me, and in exchange for my work, Farrah's offered me a series of lessons. I'll use that to finish up my L4 and get Crest going, I think. Talk about an awesome opportunity and more experience, which I'm so excited for.

Finally, slightly less for the positive, Prin has been sick. I'm still not entirely certain what's wrong, whether it's an upper-respiratory infection brought on by moldy hay, COPD coming on from the moldy hay, or some other kind of allergic reaction. In any case, she's been snotty and coughing some, right now I've got her on antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory, antihistamic, and soothing herbs. Poor little lady. I have lots of faith that she'll be okay, but it's just sad to see them when they're not alright.

So that's what's going on here. As I find out more of what's going on, I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Extern Audition Video

Hey All,

Just wanted to share this--in addition to the compulsories, I put together some "Just for fun" clips with my horses to go with my Externship Audition film. I felt like even though our compulsories looked really good, I wanted to showcase some of the things I'd been playing with my herd beyond that.

Check it out, and I'd love to hear your feedback!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Well That Was Humbling...

So I did something different today.

I went out to the barn and had my mom film me just for the heck of it. I saddled Prin up, bridled her, and rode some patterns at a L2 standard--casual rein with Carrot Stick, like what's required as a compulsory for the extern audition. It's been about 3 months since I've had enough decent footing to play with anything other than isolations and follow-the-trail, so I wasn't expecting perfection by any means...

As the title implies, I was given a bit of a check to the ego. Not only does my riding look horrific (Tell me, Fran, have you ever ridden in a saddle before?), I seem to have forgotten how to be NEUTRAL!

I confess, I've neglected my fundamentals a little. I've done so much bridless riding on Prin that I forgot how to ride casually with reins and a bridle! I found myself lifting my reins before switching my focus, lifting my reins before asking her to turn with the stick, lifting my reins to stop, lifting my reins, lifting my reins!!! Arrrgh! Beautiful excuse for my LBI to lose impulsion, I'm so sorry, dear Prinny!

So, needless to say, I'll be teaching myself to ride again this week! I'll probably continue filming it, too. It's really good friendly game for me, because I tend to get kind of bracy in front of a camera, too. So, I shall keep you posted.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Progress with Cresty

Hi folks!

The past week has been a really educational week for me with regard to that big bay horse of mine! I'm still in the process of becoming "unconsciously competent" with the information I've learned, and since a recap of the sessions would be ungodly long, I'll hold off on writing this as a "I actually know what I'm talking about" sort of article for the time being.

Here's just a quick, overall recap of what's come in our relationship, and things we've been focusing on and playing with.

**Bringing confidence in zones 3 and 4 to a new level
**Expressing himself with obstacles (Vs. me telling him what to do with them)
**Emotional balance in the canter online to a new level
**Maintain gait, maintain direction, more laps, 22' and 45' lines
**Western pleasure gaits (!!!!!!!!!) More on this in a later post--this is important!
**Purpose to the circling game
**Levade (okay, I admit it, this one is for my own entertainment!)
**Excellence in sideways from Zone 1

Our progress has been huge on an emotional level for both of us. I made some discoveries about myself when he becomes emotional, in that I have a tendency to want to just put him back and not deal with it--talk about dumping my horse off a cliff when he needs a leader most! Time for me to start finishing what I've started--and the results have been FANTASTIC. Crest has gained tons of confidence in my leadership, and the things he's been offering throughout the past week have been amazing...yesterday he began to stretch downward, slow down, and use his back in the canter online. I've NEVER seen him do that, even in the pasture on his own. He also offered a western pleasure jog at the end of the 22' line yesterday. THAT definitely passed the mental "Does that horse look rideable?" test in my book, although I'm holding off from riding him for now.

So. That's what we've been up to. I will continue posting, probably in smaller, specific-task/behavior oriented posts, since this horse has so many interesting behaviors to consider! It's certainly taken some time, but I'm beginning to see this horse in a different light, and I think I'm actually, dare I say, enjoying the complexity?

Savvy on!