Welcome to my blog! I am a dedicated student in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program. I am currently studying Levels 3 and 4 with my wonderful horse Solo. He is an RBI, mainly LBI now. I also have another horse. He is LBE/RBI, but I can tell he's innately LBE! This blog is for me to express my ups and downs of my journey with my horses, so read and enjoy my posts! Comments are welcomed! =)
Savvy On! =)


This is my first levels horses and my main love!

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Love, Language, and LEADERSHIP!

Hey everybody! First off, I'd like to apologize for not posting for a long time! I've been so busy lately! School had me going nuts for about the last month, but now that I'm off for the summer, I can post again! (:
So I'll start off with what I've been doing with each of my horses!
Solo: We've been working on refining everything we do. I've noticed that he's become much more LBI instead of RBI, so he needs me to use my leadership tons more than I had originally done. He challenges me to see if I'll go there, and when I do his light up like "YAY we get to play!" It's super adorable. We've also been playing at liberty again with just refining stuff, and getting our circling game better. I plan on sending my Level 3 liberty in at some point this summer! With Freestyle, I just taped my Level 3 Freestyle, so I need to add some music to that and send it in! We've been working on finishing the level 3 patterns; right now we have one more figure 8 to do. We've been doing a lot of bridleless and also getting snappier departures and having him be on his hindquarter more! With Finesse, lots of exercises to get him underneath himself. When he gets it, he sure gets it! It feels like we're floating!
I hope to pass my level 3 with him by the end of the summer!
Cavallo: Online we're starting level 3!!! I never thought we'd be this far in only a year in a half! I was reading about LBEs and Linda said that you should teach them something new at least once a week to keep them interested, so that's what we've been doing! Lately, I've taught him the weave pattern, cantering on a circle, head down, and sideways towards me. He's so brilliant! He usually tests my leadership a little right when we start out, but as long as I show him I'm still on top, he respects me and we have a fun play! Liberty: well, we havent been playing tons at liberty, but he can do the 7 games in a round pen which is really neat! Freestyle: I've decided to put freestyle on hold until we get the help of a PP. We had a little scare a few weeks ago. I was teaching him lateral flexion and when he would bend to the right, he would get really scared and do this hoppy scoot sort of thing. I had to bail and decided that the next time I got on him would be with a PP. We had a chiropractor out to rule out any physical pain. Cavallo LOVED it! She found that he was really tight right behind his back, about where his hindend begins. She also adjusted his poll. This makes me believe that it is a physical pain issue, because up until that right side, he's totally confident and relaxed. I guess I'll find out next time I'm on him! I have a lesson with 3* Parelli Professional Michelle Manshardt on Sunday so hopefully we'll make some progress!
I'm really proud of how far Cavallo has come! Our farrier and chiropractor have both been impressed with how well he behaves and how calm he is, which is crazy when you think of where he came from! Well, that's all for now!
Savvy On! (:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Long time no blog!

WOW! Sorry it's been so long since I've last blogged! A ton has happened since August. The most exciting I would say is that I've been riding Cavallo! (: It hasn't been anything too drastic, but it still counts. I sit on him and my mom will lead him around the arena, stopping any time he needs to think. He's really doing wonderful with it! We've also started doing some liberty, and our connection is unbelievable! Really overall our relationship has just improved a TON! I really love that boy with all my heart, and then some! (:
Solo has also been doing great! He seems much happier lately, and I think it's because I've been paying more attention to what he likes to do, not what I want to do. It makes a HUGE difference!
Savvy On! (:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stepping Back..

Lately, when I play with Solo, I've noticed that he doesn't look completely happy. He has the expression on his face like "I'll do it, but I really don't want to do it!" About 3 days ago, I decided to figure out what was causing that, because a year ago he didn't have that expression. We started out our play session with some Touch It on the 45 foot line. He had that sour expression, so I decided to bring him in and just wait, because he is an RBI. I think I waited for about 5-10 minutes before I finally got a lick and chew! YAY! After that, I knew I was on the right track. I asked him to go touch some other things, and then brought him in again and waited... and waited... and waited. Well finally he sighed a BIG sigh, then licked his lips and looked at me like okay, what's next? I had him go touch something else, and then I decided to be done, because when I brought him in, he blew out his nose, sighed, and licked his lips. After that his expression totally changed. His eyes were bright and his face just looked lighter, like he lifted himself out of the fog.

So could have really been that I wasn't waiting long enough for him, and he was beginning to feel like a robot? I hate to admit it, but I think so! After I decided to end our session, we just spent some UDT togethe, and I was thinking that I couldn't think of the last time I had really sat down and just hung out with Solo. I'm so ashamed! How did I get so caught up in being "great" that I forgot about the relationship? I was so focused on doing all these advanced things, but it doesn't even matter if my horse isn't happy! =( So, from now on, Solo creates the time line! DUH!

As I was sitting there with Solo, deep in thought about how right out stupid I was, he reached down, put his nose on my cheek as if to say thank you, and it was hard no for me to break out in tears! I love that guy so much!

Well, ever since I realized that, our play sessions have been completely different! Solo almost always looks happy, and we've progressed so much more now that I have the relationship back in mind! How simple! I'm so glad horses are as forgiving as they are! Sheesh!
Well, that's all for now!
Savvy On!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Love, Language, where's the leadership?

Thats what I asked myself the other day! I was thinking, out of the 3, (love, language, leadership) which 2 am I best at? Well, love and language, of course! My leadership has been lacking! This has been the missing puzzle piece in both of my relationships with my horses! Instead of leading, I've either been micromanaging, or taking something that's "good enough" but not quite what I was asking! So lately, I've been working on being particular without being critical, and already the relationships with my horses have improved! YAAAAAYYYY!!! :D It's so exciting that I've finally figured out what was lacking, because I knew something was!

On another note, yesterday I had a lesson with Cavallo! We been doing lessons every 2 weeks, and let me tell you, we have improved soooooo much! We started with working on a figure 8. Right away, Lori, (she's who I take lessons from) noticed that I was moving my feet too much, and that our draw was lacking. She had me sit on a barrel, and then continue doing a figure 8. Well guess what?! When I sent Cavallo, he looked at me like "Pshhh yeah right! You can't get me from over there!" So I was told to take my carrot stick and hit the rope until he moved his feet. The theory was that it would be uncomfortable when he wasn't moving, but the minute he moved, it would be comfortable! Next, because our draw wasn't so great, whenever I would draw him in before I send him in the other direction, I would bring him in for a few seconds, say hey, and then send him out. By then end, we were doing beautiful figure 8s!
Next, she asked to see our circle game, which she said was beautiful! The only thing we worked on with that was my send, because it was too big and my phases were too fast! After we fixed that, everything was wonderful! We also worked on lining up at the mounting block. We did this small circle where I was up on the block and there were two barrels set upright, one in front of me, one in back, with a big enough space in between for... you guessed it! A horse to fit through! So the game was that he could only stopped when he had me in his zone 3! This got him really relaxed! It was great to see!
Next, she wanted to see my zone 3 driving, which she said was also beautiful! yay!!!!
Lastly, we tied a cone to the saddle, just to simulate the movement of my leg if I were to get on him. Well, he responded to that really well! He wasn't scared at all! She said that he's almost ready to ride, and I feel it too!!!! (:

On thursday, my mom and I went for a trail ride! I rode Solo, and she took her horse Boomer. It was really nice! We had some nice trotting and cantering, and they are just wonderful on the trail! We even galloped once! EEEKKK! It's all so fun! (:
I love my horses! and Parelli!
Savvy On!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


So lately I've been thinking a lot about Cavallo and his situation and my situation. I'll start with his..
So his story goes like this: He was "started" as a dressage horse (my thoughts are that he had a saddle thrown on him and was kicked to go, and pulled to stop) and was a total handful. He ended up running off with his owner's grandpa, and their five year old daughter. They decided enough was enough and dumped him on my mom and I's friend. She didn't have enough time or cash to care for him like she wanted to, so thats when he ended up in my hands. When I got him, I thought I was getting an LBE playful, confident horse. Turns out I came into a tripolar, emotional mess! I've had him for almost a year now. Just as I thought we were heading for a major breakthrough, I feel his confidence has plumetted again. He's jumpy and skeptical, and I haven't changed a thing I'm doing. I really don't understand. He's quite a handful, and although I do love him to death, I've been thinking lately, is he too much horse for my skill level? Did I take on a big project before I was ready? The reason I took him was to have a second riding horse, because my main riding horse is 25, and you know the rest!
I've been thinking, is Cavallo fulfilling my needs? Am I fulfilling his? Well, the first one is no. That's not his fault, it was mine. I feel like I'm fulfilling most of his needs..I'm building his confidence while at the same time playing lots and going as slow as he needs.
I do have a contract with the friend that we got him from saying that if we don't like him, we can give him back and she will rehome him. Here's where I always get emotional. I start thinking, I can't give up on this guy! He's already been rejected twice, and a third can't happen. He needs a permanent home with a permanent partner whose going to love him and show him that humans really arent bad! As we were playing today, I started doing some new stuff like transitions on a circle using my stick instead of the line. He's so brilliant..he picked it up right away and looked at me like DID I GET IT RIGHT?! He really just wants to do the right thing. When he gets scared, he comes around quick. Whenever I play with him, I can't help but think how much I love him and how fascinating he is. He can flip from RBE to RBI to LBE in a matter of minutes, and I love seeing what I can do to help him become confident. I believe he fell into my hands for a reason. I wasn't looking for a horse like him, at all! I wanted a horse that was rideable, and mainly one horsenality. Instead, I was instantly attracted to him. He needed me, and I needed him, so in conclusion, I'm keeping him, because he's just the teacher I need, and he's just the challenge for me. Also because he needs a natural home, where he'll always be understood and given what he needs, mentally, physically, and emotionally. He's my boy, and that's how its gonna stay. I wouldn't want it any other way. I mean it is "Horses teach humans, humans teach horses," right?
Savvy On!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Wow! Sorry it's been so long since I've updated this! I've been so busy!!
So where do I start! Well, Solo was lame for about two weeks, but he's improving now! We still don't know what it was, but a little bute goes a long way! It was his right hind leg. We think he pulled a muscle. Anyways! He's able to be played with again! And I've been riding him lightly, just trying to build him back up again. He seems fine, but I don't want to take any risks! As far as our relationship goes, it's better than its ever been! I think that two weeks off was needed, because it gave me a chance to just spend some undemanding time with him! He expression has totally changed..he looks like himself again. For a while, he wasn't looking too happy, which I think was a mixture of pain, and boredom! While not playing with him, its given me a chance to think of what we need to work on, instead of playing with the same things. I've realized that we need to work more on our liberty patterns, and move onto our level 3 online patterns for gosh sakes!! (:
Our rides have been great! He is so soft and responsive and I always feel safe on him! I trust him with my life..literally! He's been using his topline so much more these days, and the muscle growth shows it! He really looks fabulous! Our finesse has really taken off. He understands now that when I pick up collection, he needs to follow that feel, not hollow out his back and overbend. Silly boy!

Where do I start with Cavallo?! Well, he really is my "wild child"! He's such a goof ball, and his LBE side is peeking through more and more everyday! about a week ago my mom and I took Cavallo and Mandala (that's my moms "new" horse..we got them on the same day!) out to The Horse First Farm for a play night! They just got a new playground in, and there is a pond in it. Its about knee deep on the horse, and probably 15-20 feet long! How fun!!! Well, the first time I asked him to touch it, he sniffed it, and then decided he didn't want anymore of it. So I said okay, let's go play with some other toys! After we made our way around the playgroud, we approached the pond again. This time, he walked up to it, sniffed it, dunked his nose in it and swished it around. Then he pawed it a little, and said "okay! I'm done!" So we went and played with some jumping over the logs, and with the carwash. Then we came back, and this time he walked right up to it, sniffed it, pawed it, and then with a little encouragement from zone 5, he walked right through! What a smart boy! Well later that night, my mom was asking Mandala to go through, and Cavallo and I came over and he wanted to walk through it again! He started out by pawing the "shoreline" and emptying about half the pond! :D He splashed Mandala in the process! It was so funny! I asked him to go a little further into the pond! Well now he was sticking about half of his head into the pond, and then figured out that water doesn't work as well as oxygen! After he figure that out, he started blowing bubbles out of his nose! That was the funniest thing I've ever seen! He then finished off his comedy act by laying down in the pond! Then he got up, walked out, and looked at me like "Okay, I've had my fun!" I couldn't stop laughing at that goofy boy! I took him into the sand arena to roll afterwards, which he thoroughly enjoyed!
At home, we've been working on getting our draw better, because he likes to lean on the rope..not good! I've found its better when he's already moving, compared to when he's standing still and I ask him to come to me! We're also working on spirals, and getting him to arc more on a circle, instead of just leaning on the rope. We're also working on lots of friendly game in zone 3, with flank ropes, long lines, and lots of commotion in that area! Lastly, we're working on doing lots of things from the mounting block, not just mounting!

Savvy On! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shrinking Violets!

I've been pretty busy with horses lately, not that I'm complaining about it! ;) Last weekend, well, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I had the opportunity to horse-sit for some friends of mine while they were out of town. They have about 30 horses, ranging from foals to full grown adults! They breed, train and sell their horses and mostly specialize in dressage. Well, while I was taking care of the weanlings, I noticed 3 painfully shy horses. One was a little bay filly with big brown eyes and black tipped ears! Another one was a cute little fresian. The last one was a little chestnut filly with two socks, one on the left front, and on the right hind. She also had a blaze. My mom and I noticed they were watching us, but the minute we looked over at them, they looked away! Classic RBI! So we squatted down in an effort to reduce the pressure we put on them. Before we knew it, the chestnut filly was over checking us out and sniffing us everywhere. Next, the little bay filly came over, but I could tell she was a little more shy, and she kind of hid behind the chestnut filly. The chestnut filly continued sniffing us from head to toe and it was just so sweet! I've never really had the opportunity to be around young horses, so this was pretty touching. Well, the fresian just couldn't take it! He had to come over and see what all the fuss was about! He was the most shy of the 3, and it took him about five minutes before he finally reached his nose over and take a sniff at my face! After that, my mom and I had to finish picking poop, so I slowly stood up, and everyone left but the chestnut filly. What a smart girl! I think she realized that I was same person as I was squatting.

The next night, we did the same thing, and soon we had the little chestnut filly following us everywhere! How sweet! We continued to do this whenever we had time, and by the time we were done with our horse-sitting job, I had pretty much fallen in love with her! When the family got back that owns all these horses, I told about her. Turns out her name is Gimlet. I think she's a German Riding Pony/Warmblood cross. She just absolutely beautiful!

When they went out to feed that night, the owner texted me and told me that Gimlet was looking for me when they were feeding. AHHHH! (= I can't believe I made that much of an impact on her. BUT! I don't need another horse! Grrr, what to do now?! Well, I'll figure something out! (=
Savvy On!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun in the Sun!

Yesterday was spectacular with Solo and Cavallo!!!
I played with Cavallo first yesterday. I brought him in the barn and clean him up nicely and it was a good time to spend some undemanding time with him! When I was brushing him, he cocked his hind leg and almost fell asleep! Also, when he turned his head and looked at me, his bottom lip was drooping! That was a first! He used to suck his bottom lip and it would make his mouth look REALLY small! This was his introverted "happy place." He barely ever does that anymore, even when he does get unconfident! We went outside and played around online with some weaving and figure 8s at the trot and then did some circle game at the walk. His problem at the walk is that he wants to turn and face me, which is great, but he needs to understand that I'll ask him in when he's done! Then we went in the round pen and worked on cantering on the cirle which went really well! He caught right on! He's so brilliant!!!! I thought everything was going really well, so then we played some stick to me at the trot at LIBERTY! It was quite the compliment that he stuck to me! He started get more interested in the grass than me, so I decided to hook him back up online before it fell apart! I was so proud of him! After that, we played with some jumping, and getting his confidence up with it. Then to end off the play time, I lined him up to the mounting block and rubbed him all over until his confidence showed, then I put him back out! It was a great day!

It was also a great day with Solo! We finished the weave and figure 8 pattern, so we moved onto traveling circles, which went really well for the first time! He even gave me TWO flying changes! Wahoo! We didn't play with too much online, because I wanted to go to liberty! Once at liberty, we played with our sideways towards and our draw from zone 5, which both are improving vastly!! Then we played with the circle pattern, which went really well! It was only our 3rd time doing it. After that, we saddled up and rode around! We did our last weave and figure 8 patterns which were perfect! Then I decided what the heck, lets try the level 3 figure 8! He did almost perfect simple changes and it was just beautiful! To end the ride, we did some point to point at the canter, and he got to eat grass at each point. Talk about motivation! We booked it to each point, and even did a roll back! What a great way to end the day! (=
Savvy On!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Finally, I'm on summer vacation, which means I get to ride all day! I'm so excited! I have so many goals and it's great that I finally have the time to just spend all day with my wonderful partners!!

So, which horse should I start with?
I'll do Solo! (=
He is doing amazing! He has gained a ton of weight and he finally looks healthy again! I think he lost about 50 pounds this winter! It was scary! Thank god for Equine Senior feed and Dr. Dan Moore's weight check oil! He is all shed out and his coat shines like the sun! As far as our progress as a team, we are forever growing a stronger relationship and he keeps proving to me what an amazing horse he is! It's hard for me to grasp the fact that he's 25, because he doesn't act like it at all! The way I see it, I'll stop riding when he tells me he can't do it anymore, but right now, he's always eager for me to hop on! :D On the ground, we've been working on patterns! They've helped with impulsion so much and now he's always willing to go! We're also working on getting his downward transitions onto his hindquarters, instead of tumbling onto his forehand. All of his games are looking fantastic, and we are about to start the liberty patterns! YAY!
Onto riding! Well, it's been fantastic! He's been using his topline so much it's hard to believe! He's got haunches in at the walk down, and it's time to move onto the trot! He really is fantastic! We've also been doing patterns freestyle and he's just awesome! I really don't think I could be any more please with my lil guy! I love him sooooooo much!

Now for Cavallo!
We had a lesson about a month ago now, and we were introduced to the flank rope! It has worked wonders! After the first time we did it, he was a different horse! Not jumpy, stood still, just completely confident and trusting! I had been looking for something to push his confidence outside the bubble without bursting it, and that was it. We also attached the 22' line to my stirrups and swung them around and flapped the line against my saddle and really desensitized him to all the noise going on! Now he looks like an old pro when I do it!
I've also been doing patterns with him, and he just loves them! He leaps around gets so confident and it's really great to see! It's crazy; I've had him for almost nine months! It's hard to believe he's even the same horse that I brought home labor-day weekend! He stands still now, which was almost impossible before! I'm so proud of him, and I really feel a special connection with him. He's going to be an excellent horse and I have a feeling that when he accepts me as a rider, our relationship will really take off! I can't wait to start doing some things at liberty with him!
He really is one special guy! I'm falling in love with him, a day at time!

Savvy On!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Well, that's how I feel right now! Solo, Cavallo, and I have been making sooo much progress! It's really amazing and I am SO proud of both of them! I'll start with Cavallo!
Ever since I made the decision to just push riding out of the equation, he has improved tenfold! I've been working a lot on zone 3 driving, to simulate riding! The past couple of times, I was able to drop the carrot stick and do it! He is brilliant! Yesterday was the first time he really looked confident. He was blinking, licking and chewing, and looking at me like he really realized how much I care. I see so much hope for him and it really is heartwarming! His patterns are getting much better! We can now do a trotting figure 8 and weave with slack in the rope and lots of exuberance! (= YAY! At the end of our last session, I lined him up to the mounting block. He was very skeptical about it at first, so I remained passively persistent until he had a flash of confidence, and I released the pressure! Boy, what a difference! He came a little closer, and I gladly scratched his itchy spot, which is conveniantly on his back! Wahoo! I am falling in love with this guy! <3

Now for Solo, my ol' man (=
Well, he's doing great; we're doing great! When we're together, it feels like we're one and it's the best feeling ever! Impulsion isn't a problem anymore, he asks a billion questions, and is just the most amazing partner I could ever ask for! Our liberty is also better than I could ever imagine! As far as riding goes, I'm speechless. Ever since my clinic with Nita Jo, we've been having the rides I've always dreamed of! Right now we're working on the suspension rein, getting transitions snappier, and haunches in! He's doing really amazing, and I can't believe I've been honored with these two spectacular horses! (=
Savvy On!