Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Such a nice weekend!

The weather this weekend has been so nice!! And we've been using it!

Let's see....to catch up:

Last Saturday, June called me and said that Buster's owner, Mr. Freet, had come out and wanted to see me play with Buster. I was so excited to show off what Buster can do now! I hadn't worked him for a while, because of weather, so I didn't expect a whole lot from him. He totally blew me away!! He did wonderfully! He had a really consistent back over a pole, his circles actually went okay, and he actually danced with me! When we did our synchronization and I asked him to canter, he was so happy! It was really cute to see! And what was even cuter was how every little bit he would look over at Mr. Freet to make sure he was watching. x)

So that was Saturday....Monday was 4-H. I worked Lady, and I also worked with Betsy a little bit. Working with Betsy showed me how extroverted Buster's getting when he plays. She was so.....slow. And hard to motivate. But I got her to trot on the rail in the end.

And today, Tuesday. It was 65 degrees out today. O.o Thirty years ago today, we were having the blizzard of 1982. There was like, 22 inches of snow...not that I was there, but still, weather interests me. :)

Anyway, Kate and I did morning barn chores this morning, and then we rode and did pictures!! We had tons of fun! I got video of Katy galloping up the hill....and then falling off. x) Not a bad fall, more of an emergency dismount, but hey, I got video!!

Buster's trot is suddenly really easy to sit. I don't know if it's me or him. Either way, it's really good and I hope it stays that way.

I'll post a few of today's pictures after I sort and edit them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Haha! I saw these Horsenality Do's and Don'ts once in an issue of the Savvy Times. I printed them out, but alas, I have misplaced them. So, for my future reference and yours I'm posting the link to a web page that has them all! :D Check them out, if you haven't seen them before!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bad weather...

I really think I dislike this weather.

Thirty degree temps with wind chills down in the twenties and teens is just too cold for riding. At least, for a Missouri redneck like me. x)

Anyway, we've got at least a weeks worth of this weather...I know there's lots of stuff I can do in his stall with him, but it's just not the same. :(

Monday, January 16, 2012

Worked With Another Horse Today

So today was Monday. On Monday's, I go to a 4-H horse project meeting that my group leader, Mrs. Miller, hosts. Me, Kate, and a few other friends ride on the first group, and then we help teach the next three groups that ride.

I usually work with Lady, a Quarter Horse mare (different horse than Kate's Lady). Lady is a right brained extrovert- the complete opposite of Buster. She's flighty, tends to be a little crabby, a little distrustful, and she has some confidence issues too. We're starting a new schedule, and I get to work with Lady for the next 6 weeks straight!

Today, we worked on just getting her to relax. The weather was changing today, and it was a little windy, so she was a little extra hyper today. We did some ground work and some stretches, and then I got on.

We worked on relaxing while mounting, and then when I finally did get up, we worked on relaxing at the walk and trot. Every time she sped up her trot or tried to buck, I would move her into a circle. We finally got to where we were doing a relaxed trot almost all the way around the arena. Not bad.

Overall, I think Lady did really well today, considering the fact that the weather was freaking us both out. I'm trying to think on how I can get her to stop bucking at other horses when they come near her....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We did the yoyo game PERFECTLY!!

Buster backed off of phase one and two! I only had to go to three once!! This is serious progress for him!

I was able to back him all 22 feet out- in a straight line (!)- and then draw him back in. He had his ears completely forward the whole time! Aaaahhh!! I'm so excited! I have zero complaints about his yoyo tonight.


We also did more work on our circles. He did his left side okay, but then as soon as I went to the right side, we kind of lost it. but we'll get it.

Anyway, we had fun. We're supposed to be getting some real winter weather starting tonight, so we might not be able to play for a while. It was good to have one last play session for the time being. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Yesterday's Ride

We did about an hour yesterday. We played for about 15 minutes. I didn't worry about the audition outline, I just worked on some things we were having trouble with. We did:

Yoyo over a pole- he did much better. I used Ralph Moses' advice and went to phase 4 really quickly a few times. Buster knows what he's supposed to do, he just didn't think I would actually go to phase 4 (when you ask a horse to do something, ie: back up, there are phases. phase one is wiggling your finger with the rope in your hand, phase two is wiggling your wrist, phase three is wiggling at your elbow, and phase four is wiggling at your shoulder.) I could see it in his eyes....he was doing the little "nanner, nanner, boo boo, you won't do it!" thing. So I did. It only took a few times. Now he knows I'll do it, and he's much more consistent. He even backed off of my finger ONCE!! :D

Circles- I kept him at a walk again. He did really well! The middle of the rope was even dragging on the ground, which is unheard of for Buster! I asked for a trot using just my energy, and moved right into it. He would do about half a circle really well, and then he would start getting antsy. But still, that's improvement! Cooper came over and started feeding off of the energy....I ended up putting him in a stall for a while so I could finish with Buster.

Porcupine, leading by the front legs- Buster is doing wonderfully well for only doing this for two days. Instead of just lifting his leg and pawing, he actually took a few steps towards me today, and then he really sat there and thought about it. Yes!!!

We got up and rode well into dark. We have floodlights on the back of the barn now and they light up the arena so well! It;s really nice! I worked on more trot to back up. I can't believe how well is yoyo is doing on his back! I don't know when that happened. x)

All in all, a good day. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Much better!

Could we possibly have better January weather?? Seventy degrees??? AND tomorrow's supposed to be the same!! Aaaaand, I don;t have to work tomorrow, so all I have to do is finish school, and head to the barn! Let's hope it works out that way...;)

So today we did about and hour. Buster did much better today on his circles, even though we just kept it at a walk. He braced less, and was more consistent. Until Cooper came along and started aggravating him....rotten little dog. Buster decided it would be fun to chase Cooper (which is something he's never done before), and almost took the rope out of my hands again. But he came back nicely.

I also timed myself for my audition. We took things pretty slowly, and we didn't do as many circles as I'm planning for the audition, but we ended up right at ten minutes. So I might have to add something later to fill in any extra time.....we'll see. Oh, and my new audition outline works much better than the first one!

We did a little bit of riding afterwards. It was dark, so all we had were the barn lights to see. We just worked on trot to back up, and did some weaving through cones and walking over tarps. He had an excellent yoyo today, online and freestyle!!

Tomorrow should make for some awesome riding!

My Parelli Audition

When you play with horses using Parelli, there are levels that you can pass. There are also types of levels. Here are the four types: (Hold on here, this could get confusing.)


Online means that you have a lead rope attached to the horse's halter. Freestyle is riding, with reins. Liberty is working on the ground using your energy and your body- no halter or lead rope touching the horse. Finesse is riding without reins, hackamore, etc.

There are 4 general levels to each type. Level 1, level 2, level 3, etc. That's no the end of it though. I'm pretty sure there's only one person that's level 6, aside from pat and Linda Parelli themselves.

When you think you've worked enough to test for one of the levels, you video yourself doing a 10 minute session with your horse, and send it in to Parelli Central. They evaluate your savvy skills, and send you back your score sheet.

I'm getting ready to test for levels 1 and 2 online. The first two online levels are the only levels that you can take at the same time. Level 2 requires that you use a 22 foot lead rope, so I've been working all summer and fall long practicing with the longer lead rope and working on a few other things for my audition.

So this is my level 1/2 audition. It's pretty straightforward: I introduce myself and Buster, play the friendly game, touch the ball, do some front end spins on the tarp (driving game), lead Buster by the front legs (porcupine game), weave through the four cones, do some circles (circling game), back up over a pole (yoyo game), sidepass along the barrels (sideways game), and then walk over the tarp (squeeze game). I have to do all of this in 10 minutes, and we have to video it. Shouldn't be too hard. I'm excited!!

I just have to figure out how to fix our circling issue, and we'll be ready!

Learned something interesting today...

I put in a good 3 hours with Buster today. Kate and I set up the arena to work on our Parelli auditions, got the horses out, groomed, and started playing! Buster did really well (and my new audition outline that I made yesterday is much better than my first one!)- until we got to the circling game.

Circling game used to be Buster's favorite. Then we started trying to ask him to canter on the circle. I think that's where he lost it. I think he's gone back into 'longeing mode'. He wouldn't be consistent today...he wouldn't even go in a circle. It was more like a triangle. At each point of the triangle, he would pull and buck and go nuts. i went to something else for a while, then we came back and did one circle at the walk in both directions and called it good.

I don't understand it...he finally did half a cantering circle the other week, and now he;s fallen to pieces. I have to work on his right side a lot too...that side is really lacking.

BUT- aside from the circling issues, we had a good play session. We went for a ride afterwards. The pastures were dry enough to ride in, so we did lots of cantering!

Oh yes, and Lady tried to bite the side of Buster's head....while we were riding. Bad mare...x)

SO anyway, 3 hours of awesomeness today. :) The weather is going to be fantastic for the res of the week, so I'm planning on getting in lots more time!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Year Goals!

Okey dokey, so this is what I would like to accomplish with Buster this year:

Short term goals: (as in, this winter/spring)

Improve our friendly game
Pass levels 1 and 2 online!
Learn to sit Buster's trot
Make more time to play!

Long term goals:

Get Buster cantering in a circle without freaking out
Pass level 1 Freestyle!
Teach Buster some tricks- bow, lay down?
Better my Parelli Savvy

So those are my goals for now.

Oh yes! A pretty cool thing happened last night when Kate and I were doing the barn. I walked out of Lady's stall (next to Buster's) and headed down for the feed room, and Kate called me back. She said that Buster was in his stall craning his little neck around as far as he could to see me. I went over and said hi to him. He just licked my hands. :)

It was kind of cool to see that he really wanted to see me. I know that he likes me, but I didn't know that he liked me that much. Maybe it was because he was hungry? Nah...I don't think so. He's such a special little boy. ;)

Happy New Year!

The horses all got raisins, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, and grapes for their Christmas and New Years suppers! I noticed that Buster goes straight for the goodies, before he eats his grain. Lil' piggy. ;)

We had wonderful weather from the 28th-31st. Like, 60 degree weather. It was amazing. And unfortunatley, because of work schedules and the holdiays and such, I never got to play with Buster. :(

As soon as we get more nice weather (36 degrees and really windy now!), me and Buster are gonna gear up for our level 1 pass!!

Here's to a new year!!! :D