Saturday, July 31, 2010

Too hot to trot....walk...ride...anything!

They say the heat index this weekend is around 105 in our area. It's been hard to imagine that I used to guzzle gatoraid till I was about to pop, ice down my big, white, heat-tolerant thoroughbred & ride on days like this. For the last couple of months, after feeding everyone, I've been riding Kisia in the mornings. So the last two mornings I imagine she was anticipating a ride. Kisia really tries to be a good girl & learned early that making ugly faces didn't sit well with me. But, she can't totally control that fun & naughty nature. So as I've walked by her stall, just as I pass her, she's pinning her ears at me. Yeah, just like a kid sticking their tongue out behind your back. This morning I thought, I really should at least play with her online & deal with that attitude. Then thought...."Hell (pun intended as it is that hot), I feel the same way about riding in this heat!" So she got her mane braided....snoozed in the fan the whole time...we both felt better ;) Pic here of Sir Miles who may be bothered by a lot...but never the heat! He'll be returning home to Oxford in the coming weeks. Thanks for the fun hot rides big guy!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Often when viewing educational materials, there's so much information I just don't get it all. Then again, I believe some knowledge comes when your ready for it. I've found this to be the case with much of my Parelli materials. I may watch a video or read some material to find just the answer I've been needing even though I've seen/read the material previously. I refer to this as finding a nugget. Sounds silly but in my mind I see these bits of knowlede as Golden Nuggets of Knowledge. So will post these as discovered. Kisia & I are playing at level 3 online. Kisia is a medium spirited LBE (left brain extravert). She's usually pretty equal on go & whoa depending on the day. Cantering online she doesn't always pick up the correct lead & prefers to only go a few strides before breaking gait. While viewing the new level 3 online dvd, Pat described "leading" the front end when asking for the canter. I've been going through the phases of pointing, support with stick, kiss, hit ground with stick & string... So, rather than go through all that, I simply lead the front end & the most fabulous thing happened. My filly picked up the correct lead, did not swish her tail at me & offered the most quiet canter depart one would want. Obviously I deserved those tail swishes....she must have been wondering if I would ever get the fact that she doesn't need baby talk at level 3!! Thanks for another golden nugget Pat! More to come as discovered.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lessons & Plans

Everyone's lessons here are coming along nicely, although not too nicely. What's life without a challenge right?  This morning Zorra stood tied for the 1st time. I must say here that if I had had Zorra as my 1st young one,I would have thought I had some magic touch. So far all her lessons have gone super smooth. I'm calling her "Ms. Perfect Jr" as I've often referred to her dam as our "Ms. Perfect". Zorra pictured here leading the the herd on a trail ride. Kisia the lovely round grey & Foxy, the chestnut is Zorra's dam.

Kisia & I have had some challenges of late. She is now with Foxy & Zorra. While they all get along great, she's decided that she really doesn't want to leave them to hang with me! I've had her since she was 5 months old & leaving the herd has never been an issue. So what's the difference? Zorra. She & Kisia have bonded closely. Zorra hates to see her Auntie leave & lets us know by doing that cute little whinny. All of us want to come running right?? Well Kisia does too. After a really frustrating ride in which Kisia was jiggy & constantly wanting to head to the gate/barn causing me really lost patience (ie total loss of emotional fitness), I decided I needed a new plan. So the next day I groomed Kisia, tacked her up & went out with NO plan!!! I love plans & hate not sticking to them which was the problem the previous day. I just went with it....turned her loose & picked a spot to plant myself. Her options were...1. hang out quietly with me 2. stand quietly looking at me from a distance or 3. Move her feet at whatever gait she chose. She could not 1. Stand staring at the other horses. 2. Refuse to look at me when standing still or 3. Stop at the gate. It was a long session with some pretty impressive bronco moments but in the end it worked. She stood with me of her own choice as her herd headed to the back & out of site. Zorra eventually gave up when Kisia quit responding which was nice too. We had a nice short ride & another the next day. I don't think I've seen the end of this particular issue but am pleased to have discovered an arrow for my quiver to help deal with it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fun with the green ball!

Steamroller from Randall Barr on Vimeo.

Kisia here having a good time with the Parelli "Big Green Ball". When she was around 6 months old, I introduced her to a large white pilates ball. Would roll it around her, under her & all over her body. One day when we were doing this, her pasture mate (huge 16.3 hand pinto warmblood Holly) looked up & seeing the huge white monster on Kisia's back, spooked hard & took off. Kisia of course followed suit running with her head high looking from side to side as if to say "OMG!! What are we running from?!?!" She spent a lot of time playing with that ball in her stall & when we would hang out together. She eventually squashed it. Her first meeting with the green ball was like a happy reunion. She loves having something that she can really be aggressive with. When it comes to other horses & people...much as she wants to dominate...she's really just too sweet & gentle. So if looking for a laugh...check out "Steamroller". It's almost as much fun as Kisia in person.