Archive for October, 2015

PostHeaderIcon Cisco-Parelli Level 4 Journey

More trailer today. This time we loaded with the 22′ rope around his neck. He loaded at a trot the first couple of times! Whoowee! Same as before, he exploded a couple times when he first loaded. I managed to drop and grab the rope when he exploded out of the trailer. Then he ate a bit of grain, turned around and stayed quiet. I had dropped the rope. I had to figure out how to get the rope in my hands to get him to come out. I didn’t want to step in the trailer with him just yet.
Finally I was able to keep the rope in my hands when he loaded, ate, turned and stayed. I asked him to come out with a little pressure on the rope.
Next I led him into the trailer and kept him from turning. We backed out three more times, all with quivering. Tomorrow, I’ll figure out how to stop him from turning around…after he gets over the initial explosion turns and settles down.

Then we played with circling. Circling with the 22′ around his neck is fun. Whe. He put pressure on the rope, I put more pressure on till he got light again. We ended with a game of “catch me”. He circled. Via body language, I told him to reverse and go. Then I took off running. His job was to catch me and run beside me. Oh that was fun! This is the pre-liberty, “run to me”. Running is something else again for me. It is a foreign language.

Having lots of these horsemanship goals are wonderful. This gives me a lot of purpose! That is what I need to stay motivated. Cisco gets a better leader! You can’t beat that!

PostHeaderIcon Trailer Loading-Carrot Stick Riding-Journey to Level 4

Level 4 task is for the horse to load himself into a trailer at a trot or canter (at liberty). I have my 3 horse trailer at home for a while. Cisco and I went to load. With my 14′ rope… This trailer is different and makes him nervous. So we had words for me to send him into the trailer…about 10 sentences. Then he panics, turns and runs out. About 5 times of this, he finds the bucket of grain and takes a mouthful before panicking and running out. Five more times of this, he turns around in the trailer and peacefully stands. I motion him out. This takes about 5 more times until he stays in the trailer and eats the grain.
Now I lead him into trailer, eat a biteful of grain and back out. We did this 3 times and we quit the trailer loading task for the day.
Trailer loading at Liberty development has started!

This afternoon, I started my carrot stick riding. We played some ground games at Liberty including side passing to me and from me. We also backed up with me standing behind him. Yep, he is outstanding.

I was ready to start my carrot stick riding. I got on, with him coming along side me automatically. I didn’t even ask him to do that. We did our flexing from side to side and putting his head down at a suggestion from the reins. We walked off and I dropped the carrot stick. So that ended my first day of carrot stick riding! I discovered tree branches are in my way in the round pen. Riding a 15.1 hand horse makes you aware of tree branches! One of them scratched me too! It will die soon. Die, wretched branch!

Cisco and I rode in the round pen. When that got boring, we went out into the pasture. I had not noticed that it was so dead out there. The lack of rain since Early Sept (of course, during the horse show) is killing the green stuff. I did ride holding the reins when we rode thru the pasture, but I bet the next time will be with neck rope and carrot stick. Yee Haw!
I haven’t rode a horse in my own pasture for quite a while. My goodness, we had fun!
What a great time we had! City dog went with us. He really is a country dog now.

PostHeaderIcon Cisco and the Parelli Journey to Level 4!

Surely everyone in the world knows that Velvet, Sage and I completed the Parelli Levels Journey from Level 1 to Level 3.  If you don’t know that story, please buy the book and read about it!  Susan Fox Trotter.  The Level 3 pass occurred some many years ago, 2001.  I’ve been involved with a few horses since that amazing accomplishment, but the desire to return to the levels journey never came back.

Until now.

I blinked and the perfect horse appeared in my pasture.  Cisco, my raffle win, is the perfect horse for the Parelli Levels Journey to Level Four.  It also appears I am ready for the journey to start again.  I love the journey.  The journey is a struggle to convince a different species to exert their mind, body and soul to my human requests.  Winning the Parelli games at a high level is the ultimate experience.  Having the right horse is very important to this process.  Lucky Star could succeed in this endeavor before my body hits the nursing home stage, maybe.  Lucky is not the perfect horse for this journey.  Cisco was born for this.  He is sensitive, smart and athletically talented.  It doesn’t hurt at all, that he is also gorgeous.  If I’m going to do amazing things with a horse, let him be gorgeous too!

Each Parelli Level is composed of four Savvy’s, Liberty (on the ground with no ropes…horse is loose) , Free Style (bridleless, neck rope allowed), On-line (ground with 45′rope and 22′ driving ropes, and Finesse (riding with a bridle).  This is level 4, mind you.

I have looked over the Free Style and Liberty compulsory tasks.  Liberty tasks are doable.  Free Style tasks are doable with some great worry about bridleless flying lead changes.  Good Lordy.

The present day Level 4 is easier than the original Level 3 and some Level 2 tasks that Sage and Velvet completed.  Some of the tasks Sage and Velvet did in the original levels appear again in Level 4.  I’ve been somewhat disdainful that the levels program was made easier.  Now I’m really glad because I have a new horse to take through the highest level and it might not take me seven years to do it!

Yesterday, I decided to start on Level 4 liberty tasks with Cisco.  The round pen is calling.  I went into the barn with my carrot stick and string, thinking that Cisco would accompany me to the round pen and the games would start.  Sadly, Cisco left the barn and ran into the adjoining pasture to the far side of the lake.  I sighed and went back to the house.

Today, we had two sessions at liberty in the round pen.  We have started.  I won’t guess at how long the liberty tasks will take.  I haven’t yet looked at the Finesse and on-line tasks.  I will be forced to buy another 45′ lariat rope and try to love it again.  You almost have to sleep with your 45′ rope to get used to it.  Have I mentioned a flying lead change bridleless? Have I mentioned jumping  barrels bridleless?  Have I mentioned two jumps in a row holding two carrot sticks?  When you are holding a carrot stick in each hand, you can’t hang on to the mane.  I did this with Velvet.  Cisco jumps as nice as Velvet did long ago.  I have a good chance at not dying!

We start riding in the round pen tomorrow!  Stay tuned.

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