PostHeaderIcon Cisco the Fun and Amazing- Journey to Level 4 Parelli

A round pen is a wonderful place. You can use the inside and you can use the outside.

Cisco’s liberty progress is so advanced, I wonder if I really am the “trainer”. Is anyone playing with Cisco at night just to make me think it is me who is bringing him along? Surely I can’t be this good. Or maybe Cisco is just a miracle awesome horse. I believe choice number 2 is the answer. Cisco is a miracle horse.

  • I am standing behind Cisco. I lift my arms and becken him to back with my hands. We back clear around the round pen like that.
  • I am standing behind Cisco. I lightly pull a few hairs on his tail and he backs up. Just to make certain this is really happening, we back about a fourth of the way around the round pen.
  • I ask Cisco to sidepass away from me about halfway around the round pen and then asked him to sidepass towards me halfway around the round pen.
  • I stand in the middle of the round pen with Cisco on the rail. I tap my carrot stick on the ground. Cisco backs up. I am astounded. I ask him to back again by tapping the carrot stick. By golly, he did it!
  • Cisco and I left the round pen. I had him back through the gate. We visited the two barrels and jumped over them going in both directions. He just hops over them now which looks like something I can easily ride. Oh wait. One of the tasks in level 4 is to jump the front feet over the barrel and the sidepass to the human.

  • I asked Cisco to go just barely fast enough to jump over the barrels rather than step over them. He jumped his front legs. I asked him to stop his forward momentum using the carrot stick. Wow!
  • I ask Cisco to sidepass towards me. The barrels are between his front and back legs! He sidepass to me, over the barrels. Good Lordy!

I mount Cisco and we practice going around the outside of the round pen. His job is to stay on the circle. My job is to tell him to follow the round pen by my razor focus and leg aide. My job is not to use the reins. My hands are not happy with this directive, but semi-willing to follow the directions.
Now this is fairly easy at a walk. My hands are happy to give up their job on the reins.

I decide it is time to do this at a speed faster than a walk. Cisco jumps into a speed faster than a walk as we are coming around to where Cisco chooses to abandon the round pen and makes his escape to the gate that allows him escape from the arena. My hand attempts to use the carrot stick to turn Cisco’s head back to the round pen. The carrot stick fails. The hands attempt to find the reins. Now we are heading toward the front end of the arena where the wooden bridge lives. OMG we run over the bridge.

Not to worry. Cisco’s speed was faster than a walk and slower than a fox trot. We were not a blur. We were not a streak.

Needless to say, our bridleless communication is not there yet.

We did finish up by jumping the smaller style of barrels. Yep, Cisco and I jumped barrels. He is a wonderful jumper. His rear end doesn’t flip up which flips off riders. Next is the blue barrels, hopefully this weekend at Jenny Vaught’s Horsemamship clinic!

Can you see how much fun this journey is? Having the tasks as goals in the Parelli levels program makes my life so much more fun. I think Cisco likes the journey too.

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