Archive for March, 2014

PostHeaderIcon Just Act Like Linda Parelli!

One Parelli Tour Stop and Lucky Star acts like a willing horse with a go button.  I found the secret.  All I have to do is pretend I’m Linda Parelli and poof, Lucky Star fell for it!  One portion of the Parelli program is bringing in four horses that have each personality type…left and right brained extrovert and left and right brained introvert.  Lucky is a left brained introvert…”What’s in it for me?”  More Whoa,  Low Energy, Tendancy to stop.  Linda took us on a tour of each horse’s personality in the arena surrounded by us crowd people.

And it was the Lucky Star act-alike’s turn to be in the spot light.  Linda took over the horse and within a few seconds, that horse became a horse with tons of go!  Everyone that goes to a Parelli Tour Stop event can’t wait to get home to play with their horse and use all the knowledge that was packed into our head for two wondrous days.

Three factors made Lucky Star into a go horse today:  Longer Rope, Acting like Linda Parelli, Using Parelli learned horsemanship and Chiropractor Treatment.

Ground Game circle- I acted Like Linda Parelli when I asked Lucky to move and he took off at a canter!  Not only did he take off at a canter, but he went around the 22′ circle multiple times at a canter.  Then we practiced canter to trot to walk and back up to a trot to canter transitions.  After some rest, licking lips to digest his thoughts, we went around again and jumped the barrels…multiple times.  I wanted to faint with happiness, but managed to keep upright.  This is the second time I have learned about the wonderful difference made by the 22′ rope.  I wonder if I will ever have to learn it again.  This is the second time I have learned about the importance of leader body posture when making a request of a horse.  How many more times will I have to relearn this?

Riding-we practiced pushing passenger riding for me to gain confidence and for Lucky to experience freedom to think.  Linda demonstrated the arm position to keep yourself from folding up into a ball when struck with nerves.  The arm position ..pushing…also keeps your pockets in the saddle, instead of your upper legs when you fold into that bent over fear position.  Without my permission, Lucky went from walk to almost a canter on his own choice.  This is not the normal Lucky Star!  We ended up hustling from one end of the arena to the other end…stopping at the barrels.

Next I took up the reins for a little bit of control.  We did flat foot walk to fox trot to canter transitions and down while on the rail.  Transitions down for Lucky Star used to be from a go to a whoa.  Today, there was a brief moment of whoa argument and the rest of the time we experienced real downward transitions and non-argument faster transitions.

Finally, I decided to canter arena size figure eights with a drop to trot lead change in the middle.  Once again, I am thinking someone switched horses on me as cantering around the arena is just not something on Lucky Star’s want or able to do list.  Getting to do drop to a trot lead changes is my idea of heaven!  Flying lead changes with Lucky would be a miracle!

Chiropractic treatment from Dr. Randy Huenefelg last week has helped Lucky with his “Physical Ability” to canter.  Longer Rope on the ground game made it possible for Lucky to run like a locomotive engine.  Acting like Linda Parelli convinced Lucky Star that I was totally in charge and that I would back up any request that I asked for.  Good Lordy!

Above is horsemanship and caring for the physical.  All of this can be learned from Tony and Jenny Vaught at clinics and lessons!  Join us at For the Horse group on Facebook and www.forthehorse.org.  Visit your chiropractor or sport horse massage professional for the physical!

PostHeaderIcon He Did What?

I must post this as documentation of Lucky Star’s progress.  Weather has turned nice and I’m able to ride and play with Lucky Star most every day.  We make amazing progress when consistency happens.

Are you sitting down?  This is a stunner.

We have been practicing our jumping with the latest success of jumping over barrels with only the front legs…and that isn’t often.  Usually, Lucky Star balks at the barrels and just plows into them.  We have managed to jump the barrels with his front legs but then he stops forward motion.  We end up with barrels underneath us.  Jumping the barrels with only his front legs as been as goodwe’ve been practicing every day jumping the barrels on-line.  I’ve taken the barrels apart and set up poles as the jump.  Today, Lucky Star jumped over the poles.  it was a serious jump.  His hind end popped up a bit and sent my hind end out of the saddle.  When my hind end gets propelled out of the saddle means a real JUMP has just occurred.  And not only did he do this once, but he did it twice.  On our forth attempt, we went back to plowing through the poles and knocking them askew.  Jumping ended for the day with such success.  Perhaps our next ride, we’ll try it again without the poles.

The second activity we did after resting up from all the jumping is walk to canter transitions.  Yes, you read it right.  We started out at a walk, sped up to a canter and then came back down to a walk.  If he stayed in the canter until I asks him to come back down to a walk, he got a nice long walk to get his breath back.  Lucky does not yet canter from the walk, but that’s where I start asking.  It’s only taking 10-50 feet before he speeds up enough to get into a canter.  This is amazing progress as it used to take us about half the arena before he managed to canter.  He argued for shorter periods of time and took a lot less convincing on my part before he gave in and cantered.

Lucky Star had a cardio fitness day!  I had to put my pink Missouri Fox Trotter bling hoodie on him as a cooler.  Oh the suffering …..

PostHeaderIcon First Trail Ride in 2014

March 15, 2014 turned into a 70 degree afternoon.  A good friend with a fabulous young horse invited Lucky and I to ride at Holden Lake.  I didn’t ask Lucky and said YES!  I was excited about the ride.  We’ve not been on a trail ride since, wait…sometime last year before all my 2013 foot problems started.  I bet that I’ve not rode on a trail ride since last June or so.

Lucky had developed a fear of wind last year.  He went into training with Nichole Copple and Paul Hack to get him over that, but I didn’t get to ride him on the trail after that.

Holden Lake trailer parking is out in the middle of no-where.  There are no buildings or trees to block the wind.  It was a windy day out in the middle of nowhere.  Lucky and Louie, Chas’ horse got warmed up and we got on.  Lucky was his usual low energy guy with no frizz to him until I got on.  We walked a few steps and Lucky became “frizzed up”.  We managed to walk a few steps and the frizz started.  Lucky became a horse with an arched neck, pointy ears and decided to toss his head up and down and do a slow speed hip hop dance.  Riders like me don’t like hip hop horseback riding.  Lucky and I hip hopped around for a few more minutes and then the decision was clear that I needed to get off.  Lucky and I had another session of ground warm up.  This time, he showed some energy during the warm up.  I didn’t have to convince him to canter and fox trot.  He was more than willing.  After about 7-8 minutes, he appeared to have lost most of the hip hop dance routine and settled down into fox trotting.

I mounted up again and with Chas’ and Louie’s help, we managed to follow them at a  bit of a high energy trail walk.  The open field windy area was about two blocks long but we made it into the forest.  There’s hardly any wind in a forest and our great ride was on.  Lucky is a “YES” horse on the trail.  We tried being in the lead for a while, but Lucky likes to burn a fast gait when his position is in front of another gelding.  The lead horse is the dominant horse is Lucky’s philosophy.  So, I asked Chas if she and Louie could lead and that worked out well.  Lucky was under good control and stayed his mandatory horse length behind Louie and he even relaxed a little bit.  That was after we had words about him not getting to close to Louie.  Lucky wants to be the lead horse and he takes just a little bit of convincing that can’t pass the lead horse.

The trail was just a little “sloggy” making our horses put forth some effort in our smooth ride through the forest.  We came upon a place on the trail where two thin trees had fallen across the trail.  Louie stepped over the trees and Lucky jumped like a deer.  Whoowee…never let Lucky convince you that he can’t jump!

Our forest path has a great stream crossing.  It’s a wide stream crossing.  The water level is down and we could see the big rocks in the stream.  Horses have to walk on rocks and into water to get across this stream.  Chas had to get off Louie and lead him across.  Once she took the lead across the stream, he relaxed and followed right behind her.  Now it’s Lucky’s turn.  We pawed, one front foot at a time.  I’ve never been on a horse that pawed like he was mad at the ground.  So we pawed and then we made it across the first portion of the stream crossing.  We poised on the edge of the dirt ready to either leap across or walk across.  I was expecting a giant leap when Lucky decided to take a step into the water and walked right across it.  What a great horse!

We walked on and turned around after a short distance.  We managed another stream crossing.  This time Louie took Chas across.  She didn’t have to get off.  Lucky pawed again and made the two stages across the stream.

We made it to the open field portion to discover the wind had disappeared.  We had a good flat foot walk going and made it back to the trailers.  A good trail ride is one where you are alive at the end.

Lucky was worn and wet at the end of the ride.

PostHeaderIcon A “Demo” Horse

Long have I and the multi-talented, willing Velvet been doing solo demonstrations.  My demonstrations  are all about showing lot’s of WOW Horsemanship along with a little bit of humor.   (judged Free Style entry for your enjoyment)

Velvet and I started doing “demo’s”at Equitana in Louisville in 2000 and I’ve added bits and pieces to the original demonstration since then.  Our 2009 demonstration was for Pat Parelli, Walter Zetl (dressage master) and an adoring crowd of 1000 people.  Velvet and I brought down the house.  The thought of doing a demonstration with another horse is daunting.  I can never top Velvet’s performances.

Now I have Lucky Star who is very different from the willing Velvet.  Lucky Star is occasionally, “unwilling”.  Picture this:  Audience of nearly 500 people all staring expectantly at Lucky Star and I spotlighted in the arena.  Lucky Star and I have an argument about whether or not he will move forward.  This is my demonstration vision of hell on earth.

We’ve got a Fox Trotter Fun Horse show coming up in April 2014.  There’s a class called Free Style.  It’s a judged class of you and your horse doing a “demonstration”.  There are no rules, except you can’t ride naked.  Multiple riders can ride, duets can perform, any horse and rider or teams can go into the arena for 3 minutes and do something.  You can have your own music, props, props team, script reader etc or nothing.

I’ve worked out a totally new demonstration idea for Lucky and I.  The idea incorporates his personality!  The routine includes props, barrels and an amazing Lucky Star trick Grand Finale.  We have practiced once and I’ve formalized the demonstration action sequence.  I’ve ordered two special toys for Lucky’s demo debut.  I need another toy.  Thank goodness for Amazon.com where you can just type what you need and there it is.  In the old days, I had to search through thrift stores to find my props.  I need music that goes along with Lucky Star’s Demonstration Theme!

We will continue to practice. Let’s hope Lucky Star comes through and shows all his talent and personality!  Pray for me!

I hope everyone who comes to watch the horse show brings a filming device.  Lucky Star’s first demonstration must be filmed!  Wish I could give you even a hint of what is going to be happening, but that would just ruin the surprise for those that will be there watching!  It’s not only the audience that will be surprised.  I will be too!

April 27th Fox Trotter Fun Horse ShowPXKCRFTHASpringShow2014.pdf

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