Archive for September, 1997

PostHeaderIcon Velvet and the Gunsil

One of the million Parelli (original) Level Two tasks is to start from a halt to a walk, to a trot, to a canter. The canter is to be non stop for 60 seconds and you are riding either with a bareback pad or bareback. After the 60 seconds, you are to come to a stop and make an emergency dismount. Well, poor sad Susan never got to the emergency dismount place as we couldn’t maintain a canter for 60 seconds around the arena.

Velvet, The Princess of the Pasture, has figured out that it’s a lot of work to canter in the arena and she would just as soon not do it. So we slid right down into a trot with a one-legged canter. This is where Velvet made her big mistake. The one-legged fake canter did not fool the assessor!

We “testees” were a quiet, focused (some would say grim and scared) group. Now it was the partnership Susan’s and Velvet’s turn to head for the rail and show our stuff. We showed our stuff all right. Here is a 3 legged trotting horse with a one-legged canter.

The 1st and 2nd time we broke gait, I knew that my passing this task was remote, so I decided to get into it! However, all I had was my coat with the too long sleeves. I made one coat sleeve drop about 6 inches below my hand and I commenced beating Velvet with the coat sleeve which was one of those lightweight fabrics.

How the Princess must have enjoyed feeling that light nothing swack her on the behind. Then I started using my best cowgirl barrel racing noises….shshshshshshshshs!

Man o man. Oh little WOW…this made absolutely no difference in the world to the Princess of the Pasture. We continued merrily along at our 3 legged trot/one leg canter gait. My trainer, Jenny, was up in the visitors stand and started to laugh as I went swishing by. But she looked over at the clinician/assessor and her mouth was held in a tight line. Jenny just ducked her head and tried to disappear.

Then the rocket team zoomed by again…shshshshshshshs with that arm back there beating the Princess to death…all .0000001 lbs. of pressure! This time the assessor broke out in a hearty laugh and her booming voice called out to Velvet and Susan…that’s enough now, you can stop!” Ever the positive thinker, I yelled back, “Do you want me to do the emergency dismount now?!”

Later we had to ride at a trot in two figure 8’s with a Cherokee bridle…just a rope with a loop through their mouths as our bridle. Miraculously, we kept up a trot without going down into a walk. As we came out of the last figure 8, we were to stop and back. We slide to a stop right in front of the assessor and backed straight and true. The assessor nodded, “Good Job” and was annotating my test sheet when I asked, “Can I do the emergency dismount now?”

Believe it or not, I never got to do the emergency dismount! But, I’d say it was that sparkling question that made me the hands down favorite testee!


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