Thursday, February 5, 2009

All Good Things...

...must come to an end. It was the last full day of my course today, and I'm SO not ready for it all to end. I won't detail much about what happened, but let's just say it was way more emotional than I ever anticipated. I've made a ton of friends down here, and am really enjoying the Parelli bubble.

Tomorrow will be el-finale, we'll perform our savvy spotlights (yes, we're doing those) for Pat (EEK!) and then that'll be it for the course. I'll have lots of pictures when I get home, especially of that. I'm really really excited to do it, but also terrified, go figure. I honestly don't remember how I calmed myself down before savvy team, and this is a different scenario, because I'll be the only one in there--YIKES! Anyway, just trying to get my wits about me there. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

In other news, I went to dance classes tonight for the first time. Pat's sister Joy teaches them every Thursday night here, and they're a total blast, I come to find out. I avoided them like the plague the first 3 weeks, and tonight I went into the lodge only to get a cup of tea, and got roped into dancing, and had a BLAST. We learned Cotton Eye Joe and the Cha-Cha, and I got to dance with some really phenomenal professional dancers (Dancin' Pete!) and we just had a great time. It was a big step out of my comfort zone, and I didn't feel awkward for the most part, so YAY me!

Anyway time to tuck in for the night. Gotta think about my spotlight, and try not to dwell on the fact that I'm leaving :(

Savvy on,
F and P

Monday, February 2, 2009

Words to Consider

"In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
~Eric Hoffer

I'll come back and expand upon this later if my thoughts grow at all. But for now, take this quote and mull it over. Thank goodness for rainy days and the never-ended library of faculty video material.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wild Thang...

Hi ya'll,

Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been kept far too busy to sit down at a computer AT ALL this week. It's been one hell of a trip, mentally, emotionally, and physically, it took a toll on my body, and stretched my devotion, pushed me as a learner, torqued around my emotions, and gave me the ability to see a way to change and be proactive. But that's a story that should be told one-on-one. If you'd like to hear about it, call me, or if you don't have my cell number, email me and I'll give it to you. The important thing is that I'm really inspired, excited, and a much fuller and more solid person. I have a plan!

Now, onto the important thing, my FABULOUS SESSION with my hossy. As my title suggests, Prinny was WIIILLD! I haven't had her out to the end of the 45' line in quite some time, simply because of time and space and focus on other things, so I was quite astounded today when I yoyo'd her back to the end of the 45' and sent her out, and was met with a willing-to-canter, happy, mild LBE. She was totally into maintaining her responsibilities (I think she's been eavesdropping on Kristi's demos with Maxi, personally) and gave me something like 8 flying changes of direction when asked for them. Totally cool, I wish i had had either a video camera or Pat Parelli, "Here you go, sir, my L3 audition if you want it!"...yeah,TOTALLY feeling confident and happy.

So next week begins my fourth and final course here at the center *tear*. It's focus will be liberty, and the course is entitled "The Truth". I'm really excited about it, it's going to be a great time. I'm particularly looking forward to the day that will be devoted to developing savvy spotlight presentations and routines. My weakness is in choreographing--if I could just go out and play, I'd be fine, but it is something that should be planned. Really looking forward to it, though.

Other than that, kind of looking forward to coming home, but on the other hand, I don't wanna leave...but hell, I'm broke!

I'll try to keep you posted better this week!

Love you all, apologies again for the neglect.



Monday, January 26, 2009

Left-Brain Monday

Ahhhh...That is the sound of my relaxing and getting truly comfortable in my environment for the first time in two weeks.

It's interesting, I've gone through this morning's classes, and NOT ONCE have I felt even the slightest bit unconfident about myself or my horsemanship. I'm not 100% sure on my reasoning, but I think it's probably the energy and teaching style. The previous group of instructors (we've switched) was a group of very RB people. Not to say anything negative at all about RB people or horses, but they brought that side, a part of me I'm really not familiar with in an extroverted situation, hence the discomfort. It's been an interesting thing to examine, I'm really fascinated with what I've learned about myself just in this little compare/contrast, and also in what I've learned in how to set my own learning up for success...I don't anticipate a PERFECT week, of course. I anticipate that if I have problems, they'll be dominance related, probably.

So this morning was much more relaxed and LB for me. I was able to take in and read little details like I used to (or should I say, what I did before I repressed that side of myself subconsciously) and also had NO problem piping up in class and asking questions to my heart's content :)

So all's well. I'm off for lunch now, and then back out to play UDT this afternoon, it's about 80 degrees, so Neither Prin or I will be up for romping around like crazies. Though the pond is looking more inviting!

Anyway, savvy on, love you all!

F and P

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No One Said This Was EASY!

Bleck...okay, thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. I'm WIPED OUT. But, I did learn something VERY important about myself today that I'd like to share before I go and sleep for the evening.

I am a VERY introverted learner, and I blow through MY OWN thresholds! How weird, right? I figured this out after volunteering to ride in a demo today. It was on the subject of leads and lead changes, and I was REALLY excited to go play with it. I volunteered with gusto, saddled my horse up, paid special attention to warming her up correctly for her horsenality, got to the arena, and played with everything that would help us set up for a good learning experience. Went great...then Prin started to get blocked in Zone 1. Then more blocked. Then more blocked...then...*zoom back head toss, fling fling fling fling!* and then Avery shouts "GET OFF!" But by then she had calmed down. Yet another round of pissed off Prin feedback. And this time, I didn't have my hands on the reins. I'm not going to detail that right now. I'm just too tired and it's still sinking in.

But what I can tell you is that the advice I received in front of 14 people sent me into a round of catatonia I've NEVER been sent to before. So I opted to sit the rest out (best for my horse, anyway) and I realized that the reason was because I am TOTALLY uncomfortable doing hands-on learning in a group situation. It explains everything; my dislike for conga-horse simulations, how little I get out of group lessons and clinic scenarios, and how much I prefer private one-on-one discussions and lessons, and why I can focus in the classroom (I can immerse myself in my head and notes).

Now believe it or not, this is SO going to help me to set my learning up for success. Because see, knowing this, firstly, I can set myself up into situations where I am comfortable, and it'll also help me put a guide-line on for stretching my comfort zone. It really helps to know where that line is, instead of feeling blindly until I ram over my own threshold. So, with that in I go to be an introvert.

Btw, I have pictures from today. Just need to find a computer that has enough brain power to handle them ;)

Savvy on,

F and P

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Body Awareness?

I have that?! Seriously?! i do! In the past 3 days, I've really come to the realization as a person that I am really freaking inflexible. So the range of motion that I have (or actually, HAD now)was what was preventing my horse from having the ability to perform L3/4ish lateral maneuvers.

I have really thrown myself into figuring this out in this course, though. I've been aware of a lack of awareness, but I had no idea where to begin, and I"m really finding a new respect for the ladder the Parelli system has built up to help people figure out what their bodies are doing. I'm really and truly thinking about finding out where I can find one of those damn seat builders, I've learned so much on them. Also I'll be investing in a big exercise ball for ME (not my horse to attack...for once!)

So: what has come of this? RIBS! I HAVE RIBS! At the beginning of this course, I had NO IDEA how to flex my ribs correctly, let alone change the bend gracefully, and also cause my horse to move correctly based upon it. That almost 2 years of "C'mon, c'mon, it's just a half-pass right!" is really starting to make sense--you should see MY half-pass right! *Cringe* I'm so over feeling bad about it, though. I'm a student, and as a student, unless I do the same thing after receiving new information, I cannot make a mistake. That has really relieved some tension, for sure.

Other than that, I really am just going to start focusing on isolations, again. Prin and I both have some body awareness to keep building and playing with. I've opted to take the afternoon off to just play with little things (My LBI is going to love this, it's slow and varied)and see if I can build with the knowledge I already have, rather than totally overloading myself like I did last night. That was too far out of my comfort zone!

So anyway, savvy on, and seriously, one day I will have pictures for you...

Savvy on,

F and P

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me?

I truly am LIVING THE LYRICS to that song.

I just had the most FANTASTIC session with my horse ever. She's been getting more and more extroverted this week, and today she was WILD. Prin (YES, MY PRIN!) was jumping and bucking and squealing online, doing flying changes on the circle. I hopped on and played bridless for a while, too. I've never HAD her so responsive. She was a little distracted at first (The faculty's horses were fascinating) but we played a bit with some patterns, and she picked up and gave me the most fantastic bridless ride all over the enchanted forest. By the end of it, I had let my hair down, and was cantering around singing "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" under my breath. Seriously this is the best thing that's ever happened to me, I don't ever want to LEAVE! (Bet you all saw that one coming, eh?)

So anyway, today has been fantastic. Now I'm off to grab an apple and mosey to the mercantile and see if I can find anything fantastic. I'll be back out to play later.


F & P

Friday, January 16, 2009

Course One Finale

Week one is OVER! How unbelievable is that?!

Today was a bit strange for me. I'm still REALLY struggling with direct-line thinking with my horse. It has really been emphasized in this course that it is NOT ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THE RELATIONSHIP. I get all motivated to NOT GET DIRECT LINE when I go play, but by the time I get out there, I get all excited about the fantastic access to all this wonderful play area, and I completely lose it. POOR PRIN!

So today, after "Graduation" (They're so cute here, they give us completion certificates and everything, I LOVE IT!) The faculty gave a fantastic demonstration, kind of a super savvy team, if you will, and then I headed out to play with Prin. I really wanted to play with some liberty and bridless, so I headed out to the honey-comb. There I go, direct-line thinking again. It's such a damn tough habit to break! Anyway, the session started out okay, Prin and I played with things I knew she could do already, and then because she was having trouble setting into a rhythm, I decided to sit on a barrel and play "Don't make me get off my barrel" for as long as it took for her to find her rhythm. As soon as she found it, she could come in and eat grass. Surprisingly enough, she found her rhythm within a lap going to what used to be her bad direction (The right)and had a HELL of a time to the left. In fact, going to the left, she went a bit RBI. It was SO FREAKING HARD (but I did it, yay me!) to just sit back and ALLOW her to come out of that. Learning SO MUCH. It's painful (ego is annoying when you're an LBE) but so fascinating.

Anyway, back out for round two. Laters!


F and P

PS, for all you wanting pictures, there'll be some this weekend. I haven't had time to bring my camera anywhere yet because I've been so busy. But we're playing and picturing this weekend.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mental Overload

Hi all,

Sorry to miss logging the past few days, but I promise it was the best thing I could have done for you all. I think it's so interesting, I've learned so much over the years, heard all the stories about how mentally trying these courses are, and still carried that mildly cocky mentality of "Oh, that won't happen to me!" Hahahahhahahahaha Oh my. I've already started to run the emotional roller coaster that Linda talks about in L&HB. It's fantastic because it's EXACTLY WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR (good thing I knew that when I was considering)but at the same time, it takes a lot of focus away from things like my social life. So sorry if I'm not on here as much as I'd like to be.

Okay so anyway, let me kind of give you a lowdown of what's been going on. Not too many details as I'm still trying to work it out myself, but here goes. Tuesday, we played a bit with horsenality/aptitude. Had far too many realizations about Prin that I didn't necessarily enjoy, but was interesting. I'll share my notes when I get home, since I conveniently left them in the classroom, about 100 yds and 2 doors away. Yesterday was all about leadership. We broke into horsenality-filtered remudas and learned some leadership, relationship, and interaction strategies to help our "horsenalities" grow (I was in the LBE group) Very interesting stuff, learned some great strategies for interacting with people of a less "WEEEEEEEEE!" nature-hehe.

Today has been all about fluidity and fluidness in horses. I spent the morning glowering and pouting about a bad day on the seat builder (they've got another one, a blue one, that's a bit more extreme than the mighty broncy, and it solidly kicked my ass today)

Later on, we had a demo about crookedness/straightness in horses, and Avery quickly chose Prin to use as her online example. How cool, right? Turns out Prin's blocking is mostly a physical problem (yes, I HAVE taken care of that mental/emotional for the most part! Yay!) Avery explained how to use the sideways game to my advantage in getting Prin's ribs moving how I wanted, and how to use the tracking of her hind end as a measure of the change. VERY helpful stuff.

So, now i"m off to go play with my poneh. It's a little cooler today, and I'm in a really mellow mood, so we'll have to see what happens. I have some ideas from yesterday as well as thoughts from today that I wanted to play with, but I'm seriously embracing a conspicuous lack of agenda right now.

Hopefully log again tomorrow or this weekend. Let me know if you have any questions and email me :)

Until next time, savvy on!


Fran and Prin

Monday, January 12, 2009


Just wanted to update and let you all know that everyone made it to Florida safe and sound. The trailer ride was long but steady, nothing huge or eventful to share. We stopped in Belleville, WI the first night, Cadiz, KY the second night, and made it to FL on the 3rd day. It is absolutely perfect down here, the first 3 days it was 70+ degrees, bright sunny, with a light breeze. Gorgeous weather. (It's raining buckets right now, go figure)

We're staying at a little equestrian center about 10 minutes from the center, which is nice. It's a traditional barn, so we do have to watch that we don't go too crazy, but still it's a good place.

Prin had a VERY unpleasant weekend. Saturday she got her feet trimmed, bathed in a washrack for the first time, which ended VERY badly-the cross-ties squeaked, scared the ever-living out of her, and so I ended up bathing a really really rambunctious 1/2 crazed 16.1hh Paint in the yard. After that (took me almost 2 hours of alternately doing vigorous falling leaf and scrubbing in shampoo) we set to work drying that crazy winter coat before doing a trace clip. Which brought me to Prin's next torture: She's never been clipped before except around the ears and on the fetlocks. She started out worried about the clippers, but then fear turned to dominance, and she got really really BIG. Farrah ended up having to take her and give her a thought or two (or six, since she we played with it for almost 2 hours)and then we finally made some progress. Prin still looks like someone took a weed whacker to her coat, but it's better than having 2 inches of winter coat all over.

Yesterday we arrived at the center (GORGEOUS!!!!!!) and checked into our pens, etc. Our course is small, there are only about 40 people split between two courses.

All went well, until after orientation, when we all went outside to see a demonstration. We were watching the demo intently when all of a sudden everyone's attention was drawn to "CLANK CRASH CLATTER CLANG CLANG CLANG!" of panels. We looked over and I was horrified to see that 100 yards or so away, in her pen, Prin had cast herself against the corner, had gotten a leg stuck and was now FRANTICALLY trying to get up and out. What a welcome to the Parelli Center! I sort of froze until the person sitting next to me went "FRAN! GO!" and I went SPRINTING.

To make a long story short, Prin is fine. She got out, favored the leg for quite a while, but eventually (after a red-light treatment cold water, and liniment) she got her full weight back on it, and we were able to play in the Enchanted Forest play ground for the afternoon. I do want to commend the faculty and support that all came RUNNING to help me out during this whole ordeal. There were at least 4 people there almost immediately, and I think everyone (students included) asked me how Prin was both yesterday and today whenever they saw me. Only a Parelli family could be so fantastic.

Today was rainy and damp. Prin and I played around for an hour and a half, and I am sufficiently soaked, now. I'm not going to detail much about sessions so far because I need to check with the powers that be to make sure it's okay for me to describe classes here, first. Same with photos. But I can tell you that Prin and I are having a blast, and that I will try to get you more details. I'm having dinner soon, and I'll investigate then.

Until next time, Savvy on! We certainly are :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We're On Our Way...

Everything is packed. Clothes and tack all stuffed into plastic storage bins, neatly placed (okay, who am I kidding? They're "hastily strewn") by the front door. All that's left to do is load up and hit the road. Farrah is supposed to be here in a couple hours.

I'm left to sit here and contemplate my feelings, thoughts, etc, of the journey ahead of me. I'm so jumbled and mixed, it's driving me nuts. I'm thoroughly excited and enthralled, to begin with. I've lived for this day for 5 years, in a sense, dreaming of the time I could attend a course at the Parelli Center. I'm anxious, too. My horse and I have never traveled this far, this long, together. I've never driven across the country with anyone but my parents. The longest I've been away from home is two and a half weeks.

Then of course, there's the endless list of "Who? Where? What? How? Why? What if?" that keeps running through my head about the actual curriculum. Who'll be in class with me? What's the new format like? What will I learn? How will Prin benefit? How will Prin respond? All these QUESTIONS! All will be answered in due time, I'm sure.

Anyway, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. Opportunity has presented itself, now it's time to take the plunge. We'll be on the road for 3 days, arriving Thursday afternoon sometime. I'll blog again when I get there, and get things figured out. There will be massive amounts of pictures, too! I PROMISE :)

Savvy on, Savvy out. From now on, all blog entries will be on this blog. Talk to you soon, and for those of you with my cell phone number, call or text any time. Later!