Monday, February 28, 2011

Horse Blogging Challenge #1- When and why you started riding

I'm feeling better, although still groggy and stuffy. But, no rest for the weary/wicked so I'm just surviving on cough syrup. But, on to new things.

I started riding waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I was a wee little tot. My first ride ever was when I was 3ish on a dude string horse named Jug. Yep, Jug, but this was in Arkansas so it was par for the course. I loved riding and started going to horse camp when I was seven. My mother has pictures of me with Dot, "my" pony for the week. And by "my", I mean I groomed and tack and rode her every day for a week, and even in a fun show at the end. I went back to that horse camp for six years, until a spider bite incident landed me in the hospital and it was so poorly managed on the camp's part that I never wanted to go back.

I started taking weekly lessons when I was ten. I started at a saddleseat barn that one of my friends rode at, then started jumping lessons at a private barn two years later. I switched from that barn to a different h/j and dressage barn until I started leasing Royal at Last Chance Farm. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I tell people I went through the horse-loving stage almost every girl goes through and never grew out. I hope I never do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick note

I haven't been able to post for a while due to a terrible cold. I'll spare everyone the gross details, but suffice to say that breathing out of TWO nostrils has been a luxury this week. Haven't had the energy to play with the Royal Fuzz or do anything remotely interesting beside mope around and feel sorry for myself.

It appears to be getting better though. One can only hope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Brief Interlude Before the Horse Blogging Challenge

Yes, I will start that up soon, but first I want to talk about legs. Specifically, horse legs. I'm currently taking an Equine Anatomy course which includes a lab, and I have dissected two lower legs, one front and one hind. Both have been fascinating and I highly recommend doing it if possible. It only makes me want to go to vet school more.

Yes, it's gross at first. But once you get the skin off, a whole new world opens up. Seeing how everything fits together, how thin yet tough the tendons and ligaments are, and feeling synovial fluid (the fluid that lubricates the joints) makes you see the horses leg in a whole different way. In one way, you marvel at how all these little strings hold up a half-ton animal; in another, you see how easily things can go wrong.

For me, the hard part was getting past the skin. Once that was off, it's just ligaments and bone, baby. It was interesting to see how integral the suspensory ligament is to holding up the fetlock and the way joints open up. Now when someone talks about a suspensory injury or a deep digital flexor tendon lesion, I actually know what they're talking about. I've seen it, I've touched, and I know what happens when it fails. It's an experience I'll treasure.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

PNH Blogging #30-What have you learned about yourself since you have started doing PNH?

Mostly how introverted I really am, and how brave/adventurous I can be.

As I have alluded to before, I am an introvert. Royal is such an extrovert that I'm constantly having to bring my own energy up and match him, and sometimes I'm too strong. Matching and mirroring Royal has been very helpful for me, especially in gaining experiences with vets. It's really hard for me to promote myself, but learning with Royal has increased my self-confidence. It's easier for me to speak up in social and learning situations, and I've gotten better at standing up for myself. I don't know if I would have that without Royal and PNH.

And, to bring this blogging challenge full circle, I've learned I really am a brave person. I could have done what some do to their "problem" horses: send them down the line, hoping for the best. But I had a pretty good idea of what would happen to Royal if I gave up on him, and it would have probably involved getting back on the slaughter truck he so narrowly escaped before. Yes, there's the possibility that someone else would have taken him on as a challenge, but the odds were not in his favor. I had invited this horse into my life, and I couldn't just kick him out.

So, I stuck with him and together we persevered. Through ridicule, taunts, gossip, and threats, we got through it together. Most people would have given up, and I almost did on a number of occasions, but decided to keep going. And we're doing stuff most people can only dream of. Cantering through fields, jumping, and just being happy to see each other. I have the horse of my dreams, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

PNH Blogging #29-If you could ride one of Pat or Linda's horses which one would it be and why?

Another hard one. All their horse are so beautiful and responsive, but if I absolutely has to choose, it would be West Point, Linda's new Hanoverian. He seems like a slightingly less stressed out version of Royal and I think after riding him, Royal would be easy! He also has wonderful movement and looks like a dream to sit on.

But, in the end, I'm perfectly happy riding my Fuzz.

Friday, February 18, 2011

PNH Blogging #28 - Love, Language, Leadership: what is the easiest for you and what is the most challenging

Easiest: Love! I am always ready to love on my Big Fuzz, cuz he's so cute and handsome and athletic and wonderful, and just the bestest horse EVER. The sheer amount of just hang out and cuddle time I have spent over the years will attest to that.

Most challenging: leadership. I am not a "born leader" and it's hard for me to assert myself without become overly emotional. It's also hard for me to have a plan and easy to get sidetracked. Or I become aware of that tendency and get so focused on What I Want To Accomplish Today that I forget to listen to Royal and his needs. Royal is usually very forthcoming with how he feels about this treatment. I'm always trying find the middle.

But! Light appears to be forming at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully I'll be able to get some riding in over the next couple of weekends, so we'll see how Royal is after not being played with for over a month. Will we see Energetic and Playful Royal? I think we will. :D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

PNH Blogging #27 - A time you have impressed someone with your PNH skills

People really think it's cool when I get Royal to go sideways over barrels. Bareback and bridleless, they shrug. But sideways over the barrels, that never fails. Of course, it helps that Royal has this totally smug look on his face like "look what I can do. I showed those barrels who's boss here." He can be such a ham.

In other Royal news, both of us got very wet today. Him because he was out in the fog/rain and me because I fell in a puddle. I'm ever-so-graceful when I want to be, but only my jeans got wet. We went for yet another walk on the dirt road, since I don't want to deal with the arena. With all the warm weather this week, the snow and ice have been sliding off the roof and that freaks Royal out. Now, if I were to be righteous about it, I would insist that he get used to it. But I've tried for five years and it never gets any better, mostly because it only happens once a year. The snow falls off with great crashes that shake the whole building and it happens at completely random intervals. Royal remembers this and once he hears the telltale "THUD," game over. And it can take a long time for him to feel comfortable in the arena again.

So, we take advantage of the nice weather and go for walks. Today I took advantage of all the puddles and gave Royal great opportunity to get his hooves wet. I helped him be confident walking through, then tried trotting. That confused him a little bit, but eventually he would trot straight through. I was very happy with that, and left it there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PNH Blogging #26 - What is your favorite obstacle to play with

Barrels. I love barrels. They're so versatile and easy to use. You can do a lot of things with barrels: Touch It, go sideways in front/behind/over them, jump, use them a a Yo-Yo game, squeeze between them, and use them for riding practice. Barrels are so nice.

Also, I like the jumps that I made. They're made entirely from scrap lumber and landscaping poles, lightweight, tough, and painted with funky colors and patterns. I currently have a cow (Holstein) oxer complete with panels that say "Moo!", a bright purple vertical, and a florescent yellow vertical with fake flowers sticking out of the poles. Hopefully this spring I'll be able to make a candy-cane oxer and a party-cloud-sky vertical. I'll try to get some pictures.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PNH Blogging #25 - What is the most challenging aspect of your relationship with your horse

Our tendencies to get fixated on one thing. Both Royal and I can have a single-minded focus on something and not consider anything else. A small problem with picking up the left lead? I am going to fix it NOW dammit! And I won't do anything until that problem is "fixed" by which I mean it gets slightly better after Royal and I get reduced to sweaty panting messes. Likewise, if something is worrying Royal, he will not stop focusing on it. I once spent an hour trying to get him to stop freaking out about a corner of the arena that a mouse skittered through when we were walking by. Once he decides something is scary or interesting or both, it's hard to redirect his attention. Even though he may be doing what I ask, he's not really "with me".

I think he feels the same way about me sometimes. "I'm getting so sick of cantering to the left. Why can't we do something else?" I like to think I'm improving and getting a better feel for when to quit, but it's been a while since our last "real" session. Only time will tell.

Monday, February 14, 2011

PNH Blogging #24 - A time PNH made things harder for you and your horse

Trailer-loading, most definitely. My family currently owns a 3-horse slant (which is for sale, btw) which has a mid tack. The horse area is big and open which is very nice for claustrophobic horses getting in, but not so good for horses that are not willing to stay in the trailer. And Royal was one of those horses.

I tried for five years to get him to stay in the trailer without being forced. But nothing worked. He'd hop right in... and immediately turn around and try to come back out. I tried loading and unloading until he realized it was no big deal, but that just ingrained the habit further. Asking him to keep his nose straight with my carrot stick only lead to panic. And he absolutely hates to be lead into the trailer. So, the way it worked for those five years was he'd get in the trailer, turn around, I step in and ask him to turn back around to the front stall, get in position, tie him, and close the divider. It was always very tense, but I had no idea how to make it better. I couldn't spend untold hours loading and unloading him, nor could I leave the trailer in his pasture for him to explore on his own.

So, I got my clicker. And I started the clicker training process.

Step 1: Load the clicker. This just means you establish the click as a good thing. You click and immediately give the horse a treat. Click/treat, click/treat, click/treat, click/treat, all in rapid succession. I used Royal's favorite: Winnie's Cookies for this, but I also had small pieces of carrot.

Step 2: Start the puzzle. I lead Royal over to the trailer with the door open. He looked at the trailer, I clicked and gave him a treat. He looked again, click/treat. I ask him to step towards the trailer, he did, click/treat. He put his nose on the trailer floor, click-treat. Now we're getting somewhere.

Step 3: Shape the behavior. Then I only started trying to get him to load himself by getting progressively more particular when I would re-send him. First, I started only clicking and treating if he put a hoof in the trailer. Then 2. Then putting those two a little further in. Then trying to get his hind legs in. Then the Jackpot (two whole cookies) came when all four feet went in and, for the first time ever, he didn't immediately turn around. This was HUGE. Click/treat for that five times in a row, then asked him to go a little more into the trailer. Then all the way back. Then put his nose on the tie ring. Then stay there for a while. Then wait for me to walk up to him. Then for calmness while being tied. Calmness while being untied. Calmness walking out.

Everything was broken into tiny steps, with lots of retries, re-sends, and some guidance in between. All in all, the whole process took about an hour, and it's been reasonably stress-free since. I think some of his stress has to do with the fact that the trailer is a bit small for him (it's a 7'x7') but he's a lot better now. If I am able to get a new trailer this year, this is the process I'm going to follow, because it works for us.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

PNH Blogging #23 - SADDLING: do you use the PNH saddle and/or theraflex pad if not what do you ride in and what does your horse think of it

Parelli saddle? You mean the chocolate brown Fluidity sitting on a rack less than three feet from me? That Parelli saddle?

Yep, I have a Fluidity. It's an 18" Standard width, and I LOVE IT! Royal seems to like it too, and his back has really benefited from it. I've done lots of stuff with it: jumping, flatwork, trail rides, and both of us are very comfortable.

I know the Parelli saddles are expensive, but so are a lot of saddles. Stubben, Pessoa, Bates, Passier can all be in the $2000+ range, and they're are not nearly as comfortable and versatile as my Fluidity. It's also kept me safe on a number of occasions when things haven't gone according to plan. Especially when I started jumping more. The deeper seat of the Fluidity was able to catch me if needed and the wide contours of the saddle helped Royal learn how to use his back.

Compare this with other saddles. My barn owner has been having problems with her saddles, both English and Western. Neither fit her horse very well and she's considering getting a Theraflex pad. I let her use mine today with her English saddle, and her mare seemed happier, but the pad was having to make up for a poorly designed saddle. It's so much easier when the saddle is designed to fit a moving horse and not a stationary model.

Friday, February 11, 2011

PNH Blogging #22 - How do you explain PNH when people ask what you are doing with your horse

Now, on to happier things.

Usually I simply say I do a unique form of horse training that starts from the ground up and helps me have a connection with my horse. I've had people ask about the "orange stick" and I tell them it makes it easier for me to find it. And usually people are most impressed when I ride and jump in a halter or hackamore. And when I tell them that's what you start out with in the Parelli program, their eyes get HUGE. Even more when I tell them lots of Parelli people ride bridleless before they put a bit in their horse's mouth.

More often than not, I get lots of compliments on how wonderful Royal is. He's currently playing babysitter to a 2-year-old gelding with some back issues, and the gelding's owner really likes him. "He's a real gentleman" she told me and thinks he's a good influence on her horse. I'm never comfortable bringing up Parelli unless directly asked, but I think she knows that's what I do. I suppose it doesn't really matter if someone knows or not, but they can see how wonderful my horse is, and that's what counts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

PNH Blogging #21 - Criticism you have about the PNH program

As much I love PNH and am grateful for everything it's given me, there are some things I would like to see changed. The biggest being the hyper-focus on the Parelli Centers, with the problems people experience at home being dismissed out of hand. Look, I think the Centers are wonderful and beautiful, but unrealistic for most people. I also think the scholarship program is a fantastic idea and commend the Parelli company for doing it. But it kinda leaves the rest of us feeling a little high and dry.

Because most horsemanship-type questions are so easily answered at the Centers, I think it's easy to forget the 99% of students who don't have that access. Even the hotline doesn't always come through. It helped me with some issue that Royal and I had, mainly pertaining to saddling, but sometimes the advice just doesn't work. They can't observe your interaction with your horse and that can really be the "tell" in your issue. It often feels like the material goes from A and jumps straight to J, with the rest of us wondering about Steps B-I. And sometimes, I'm not sure I especially like Step J.

The last DVD (January) really drove home this issue for me. It mainly showed Pat with the Proteges and Mastery students at the Performance Summit. It's the finished product, without the steps to get there. The Western portion was pretty intuitive, but the English was kinda scary. Now, I'm no equitation princess. I would get laughed out of the Maclay regionals, but I am a stickler for harmony and balance. And I never saw it in that portion. The rider were frequently jumped out of the saddle, pulled on their horses mouths, and just seemed disharmonious. I will fully admit I can't jump 3'6" fences (yet) but I feel it's really important to make sure you and your horse are together when jumping, and I just didn't see that in that segment. Maybe it was an off-day for the riders but I don't want to jump like that. I tried jumping like that, and got thrown off repeatedly. I had to draw on my previous jumping experience (which was little), Holly Hugo-Vidal's "Build Confidence Over Fences" book and Jimmy Wofford's technique of looking at the jump until it disappears between your horse's ears and then looking up. Then I was able to finally get my timing and balance right. Since then, jumping has been both simpler and more fun, because I feel safe.

I bring this up because I recently had a conversation with a Parelli Instructor in which I pointed out that passing Level 3 and 4 requires jumping fences of a significant height, and there is currently NO information about jumping readily available in the Savvy Club. The last time the Parellis did anything related to jumping was in 2003 with the "Jumping with Confidence" DVD. I was able to get a copy off of eBay, but it didn't help me a whole lot. A newer student probably doesn't know about that DVD and may not be able to find it. I mentioned this to the Instructor and was told the only important thing was not falling off. Well, that was exactly my problem. I was able to solve it, and my horse and I are much better for it, but the dismissiveness got to me. It was no more helpful than "Do what the horse does". Nice principle, but the execution requires a bit more detail.

I'm sure people at the Centers who have problems with jumping can get all the help they need, but me in Minnesota is up a creek without a paddle. Luckily, I had the resources needed and have been successful so far, but not everyone knows where to look. If Parelli isn't going to give the answers, I think they should be able to admit that and point out people who do. And be more patient with those of us who like/need Steps B-I fleshed out.


2/14/11 Edit - I've changed my stance of Parelli-style jumping somewhat after seeing photos of one of the riders on the DVD. She and I have damn near the same style, and on re-watching that segment, I was harsh on her. I think she was probably nervous riding in front of a huge crowd; I know I would be. I still think the other rider was out of balance most of the time, but at least one Parelli protege has very good style, if I do say so myself. ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

PNH Blogging #20 - A PNH clinic or lesson that was inspirational. If you have not been to a clinic or had a lesson what educational material has been particularly inspiring

I've participated in two clinic, and had 7 "official" Parelli lessons, but I'm not quite sure I would label any of them "inspiring". Educational, definitely, but I'm not sure about inspiring.

The most inspiring piece of educational material has been the "Leadership" lecture on L&HB, which I've watched about 50 times. For someone as introverted and self-absorbed as I am, it's been a good reminder to get out my head and work through my problems.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PNH Blogging #19 - A time you were able to help a "normal" horse or horseman using PNH

Nothing currently comes to mind. I guess the closest would be the time I played with the barn owner's horse and helped her use the barrels. I've been able to give people some vaguely Parelli tips like "Maybe he's scared of the trailer" or "It could be easier if you started off at the walk" but nothing Earth shattering.

It's a small barn, and I don't go out to many others.

Monday, February 7, 2011

PNH Blogging #18 - A time you have seen Pat & Linda live. If you have not seem them live would you like to, what do you think it would be like?

I have seen Pat and Linda live at a number of occasions, all tour stops. Most have had differing formats, but both are so engaging and entertaining. I kinda miss the "demo" horses, non-Parelli trained horses that Pat or Linda would play with at the beginning of the weekend. The horses would come into the arena, get really right-brain, wacky and scary hijinks would ensue, Pat and Linda would each play with a horse, and you'd see two completely different animals in two hours.

They're coming to the MN Horse Expo this year. I wonder how that will turn out.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

PNH Blogging #17 - What is your favorite game?

I would have to say the Circling Game, both for its versatility and usefulness. Follow the Rail is technically a Circling Game and I've used circles to build confidence in both myself and Royal. You can circle over jumps, over tarps, through water, at all different gaits and sizes. I find it a very useful tool.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Unmounted "Intro to Dressage/Eventing" Clinic

I've mentioned before that I would like to try eventing with Royal this summer. Most of our major issues have been worked out and the remaining ones are being chipped away. Or, they were before the weather took a detour to Crazy Town. I haven't been as eager to play with Royal lately since the opportunities are so far and few in between and it always feels like I'm just trying to get him to use up all his energy instead of teaching him new things. Especially while riding. Right now, I'm just trying to get through February so we can start having more regular sessions.

Luckily, a lot of Minnesotans and Wisconsinites are in the same boat, so the Central States Dressage and Evening Association is holding a bunch of "unmounted" clinics. These are more informational seminars than riding clinics, but still useful. The one I went to today was all about preparing for shows, what the judges are looking for, how to fill out your entry form, etc. It was out in the woods of Stillwater at a very nice facility. I found most of the sessions very helpful.

The first one was the least helpful. It was all about bitting and choosing the right bit for your horse. The first half went over the structure of the horse's skull and the various types of things that can go wrong. Bad things like arthritis, malocclusions, and loose teeth. This was mostly stuff I already knew, thanks to the equine courses at the U. The last half was downright WRONG. The presenter described a study they did where they used a fluoroscope to examine how various bits sit in the horses mouth and what their actions are. But, in order to test this, they put the horses IN STOCKS and pulled on the reins! And, as anyone with a cursory understanding of horse behavior could guess, the horses started chewing and fussing with the bits. WELL, DUH! You put a trained horse in a confined space where it can't move more than a step and put tension on the reins, IT'S GOING TO START CHOMPING AT THE BIT. You're telling it to stop or back up, and it's already stopped and can't back up. I understand that you can't exactly attach a fluoroscope to a horse's head and ride around, but this research showed nothing useful. Only that confused horses chomp on the bit. Whoop-de-friggin-do. And how the horses chew does depend on the bit, but also on the horses emotional state. The more emotionally tumultuous, the more frantic and frenetic the chewing. People, this is not rocket surgery. This is basic horse behavior.

Then the presenter went on about fitting a bridle, and they mentioned crank nosebands as a good thing. I despise cranks. You might as well put a big sign around your neck that says "I have rough hands, and will strap my horses mouth shut so they can't give me feedback about it." Hate hate hate cranks and damn near every English bridle has them. I was very displeased to find my show bridle has a crank-like noseband, but it's very mild and I will never put it too tight. Two fingers or bust, people.

The other sessions were leagues better. There were two concurrent sessions: one about saddle fitting (which would have inspired more exasperation from me) and one about entering your first event or dressage show. This was very helpful for me, and apparently, there's going to be a recognized event in Delano, which is in the Twin Cities area! Yay!

The third session (for the whole group) was given by a dressage judge who talked about how to ride the dressage and eventing tests, how the tests have changed, and what the judges see. The main things I took away were: 1. practice your halts, 2. don't get flustered by mistakes, 3. Judges are eager to give high points if earned, 4. a horse and rider score much higher if they are in harmony. The judge was very funny and inspired me to start practicing.

The fourth and final sessions was about Things That Can Go Wrong and How To Laugh About Them. Take-away message: don't take everything so seriously and don't forget to have fun. All in all, a mostly good experience, and I feel better informed about how prepared Royal and myself for showing. Prior and Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance and all.

So, right now, the plans are to try some private x-c schoolings at local barns, do some open schooling days at the Delano barn, compete in the Carriage House schooling show, and Roebke's Run HT in July and Steepleview in September. If the private schooling don't work out, that's okay. Royal's farm has a big pasture with lots of logs and an area that turns into a mini-lake if it's wet enough. And, given the amount of snow we've had this winter, I think the mini-lake will be around for some water crossings. But, first the snow has to melt and the weather has to be a bit more consistently comfortable. Until then, Royal and I rest.

PNH Blogging #16 - What is the most challenging horsenality for you to work with?

Hmm. I would have to say Right Brain Introvert, simply because they can be so hard to read and so easy to blow up. One of the mares at my barn seems like a RBI to me, but she has a really short fuse. I've ridden her once, and she leaks tension. Every single step, twitch, and movement was short and quick, with no softness whatsoever. She just gets so frazzled and frantic. She doesn't go into the wild panic mode right away, but can if pushed.

She's also in her late teens. So she's lived this way all her life. Poor thing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

PNH Blogging #15 - How is PNH perceived where you live, board or ride at?

Hard to say. I've done PNH the entire time I've been at the barn, which is almost six years. I get all kinds of compliments about how sweet and obedient and wonderful Royal is, but the only person who ever ties it to Parelli is my barn owner. She mostly does Clinton Anderson stuff, but has a lot of respect for the Parellis and has seen them live a couple of times. So, people think my horse is great, but I'm not sure if they credit Parelli for that.

The other two barns, not so much. I started Parelli a few months after the Confidence Shattering Fall (the one where I wanted to get off 15 minutes before being thrown off) and it caused a huge rift between my family and the owners. They were mad I wasn't training with them anymore, to the point of refusing to clean our horses' stalls or give them water.

The Crazy Control-Freak Barn, a dressage/eventing barn where we boarded for a brief six months, was even less happy about Parelli. I told the owner/trainer that I did Parelli with my horse when we visited the barn, and while she referred to it as "circus tricks", she didn't have a problem with it. However, that didn't last long after I made it clear I wasn't interested in taking lessons from or putting my horse in training with her. I had watched her teach some lessons and ride some horses, and she never hesitated to beat her horses (sometimes with two whips) or call her students stupid for the smallest mistakes. I told her I simply wasn't interested. Then the abuse started. According to her, I was a stupid, ignorant, no-nothing teenager who was ruining my idiotic nag of a horse and I was going to kill us both. After five months of near constant abuse, neither my sister nor I wanted to go to the barn unless it was 8'o clock in the evening, so we wouldn't have to deal with her. When we gave her our 30-day leaving notice, she told everyone in the barn who joined in on the harassment and tried to guilt us into staying. Then, we got into an argument when my sister and I let our horses graze on the cross-country course when no one was using it, and the owners boyfriend threatened to kill us.

We left the next day and went to the barn where we are now, although my sister has her horses in her backyard now. Interestingly, I've often wondered if my recollections are too harsh on this woman, but then I meet other people who have dealt with her and they've all said she's a nutcase. Every single one has said that she beats her horses and berates her students. So, I don't think I'm being too mean.

I suppose Crazy Control-Freak trainer doesn't think too highly of Parelli, but I'm not sure I'm too bothered by that. Her negligence also contributed to my dad shattering his wrist, major health problems in all our horses, and caused me to hate dressage for a long time. Luckily, the Parellis, Karen Rolhf and Walter Zettl have helped me like it again. Thank goodness for that.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

PNH Blogging #14 - What PNH tools, clothing, tack etc. do you own?

Hoo boy. Here we go.

12-foot line
22-foot line
45-foot line
2 Carrot Sticks
Savvy String (this item is the one I've had to replace the most often. Royal has a tendency to chew them and the leather poppers can become brittle and break in the cold. I think I'm on my fifth)
Snaffle bridle with Horseman's reins
Confidence snaffle
2 sets of Finesse reins (having an extra has really come in handy)
C3 Cradle bit
Cradle headstall
Theraflex pad, English
Bareback pad
Fluidity Saddle

So, yeah. Almost everything on the webshop. Although it was acquired over 6+ years, one or two pieces at a time.

Lots of t-shirts, some I don't wear anymore because I wore them to their grave
2 long sleeve shirts
2 sweatshirts
4 visors
3 Baseball caps
1 pair of Equissentials breeches that I haven't worn in over a year. I have a pair of winter Equissentials that I wear, but the rest of the year, I prefer FITS.

Also, I have one the Big Green Balls, various calendars, and a Parelli Mug.

Lots o' Parelli stuff, but it's pretty tough stuff and most has lasted me a really long time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PNH Blogging #13 - Post a video (could be an audition) of you playing with your horse

I can't decide which, so I'll just post both of my Level 2 auditions. I did Online and Freestyle, both of which passed Level 2++, which means "almost Level 3". I hopefully be able to film my L3 auditions this year, so that could be fun.

His mane is so long in those videos. I kind like it, but I think he looks slightly better with a short mane. And I am never messing with his tail. No shaping, no banging. It looks so nice the way it is. Also, notice that I was not wearing a helmet in the riding video. This was before I started wearing it more regularly.