So I finished off a brand new horse owner, a brand new Parelli L1 pack owner with absolutely NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, i started with pocket guide 1! On the FIRST day of horseownership, there i was, flicking a carrot stick & savvy string over my RBI (and at that stage still catatonic) horse. I thought "Gee he's really good at the friendly game" when i first started, but in all honesty, I don't think he was present. Being a riding school horse, his method of "dealing" was to just "find a happy place".
I had no idea. I could leave Sante tied at the railing for hours on end, and he would stand there quite happily, purely because he was asleep, or "out of his mind". It took a fair few months for him to snap out of that behaviou, but not before some serious lesson learnt for me!
After about 2-3 months of doing Games 1,2,3, - Friendly Porcuppine & Driving, I started to get "riders itch" I wanted to be riding dammit!!!! Things were going well on the ground. Friendly was great! I could touch him all over, including the ears (real headshy when i got him) and belly etc. Porccupine - I was no longer using P4! Thank God for that - i was literally knuckle deep before he would yield the hind quarters - All was progressing! So I started riding with the others.
Riding was fun! I was having fun! Here i was with my RBI (at this stage i had NO IDEA about horsenality) riding through the great Australian Bush with my mates - it was everything i had dreamed of. Until i started falling off!
My first fall - I was out with a small group of people, who had decided to break into a canter, so wel followed - When all of a sudden we weren't cantering anymore?! I was flying. Huh? Flying?
Sante, my dear darling trusty stead, had broken into a gallop! I had no idea how to sit a gallop, and neither did I have a chance to try, because all of a sudden, he made a 90º change of direction, and I was looking at the sky as I skidded across the ground.
Ouch. Dammit. Ouch.
So --- didn't tell the parents about that one! waited 15 minutes for the stars to clear & got back on, rode home.
For some unknown reason - don't ask me what I was thinking at this point - over the next few weeks, I started concentrating more on the riding and .. ... less... on.. the... groundwork..
I know! Looking back now, that was the most stupid thing I could have done. But everyone was out riding having fun in the Australian summer and i was... flicking ropes at my horse.
So! A few months later, on a long ride out with a group of 3 other people. My dear wonderful beautiful boy, took me on a slight detour through the Aussie underbrush, and GOD love him, got a branch caught in his tail.
Bugger me if he didn't think he was being attacked by a dingo. He FREAKED OUT!!!!!!!!!!! Bolted before I knew what was happening. Colided with one of my friends, catapaulting me out of the saddle & onto his rump, causing him to buck. Meanwhile, he is still running forward, my forward momentum has been stopped in its tracks due to the collision, and i fall off his butt, still holding my split western reins. I hit the ground on my stomach still holding the reins, which were wrenched out of my hands as he ran off. My last image of Sante was a 16.2hand freight train running off with a 4ft long branch lodged firmly in his tail.
I rolled over & started ordering myself to breath again. The guy that I had collided with, rode over & asked if i was ok" My response -- "Don't let him die!! Please". My wonderful knight in shining armour galloped off after my horse.
I stayed on the ground, in a puddle of water, on my back for 15 minutes as the pain set in. Right shoulder, completely useless.
15 minutes later my wonderful knight came back with my horse. Apparently he was still running when he was caught. Branch still in his tail. Poor baby.
I walked out with him for 15 minutes before I was assisted back in the saddle. Right shoulder screaming in agony completely useless. My 3 fantastic awesome friends rode in front of me, preventing Sante running out if i lost control.
It was a 2 hour ride back home. It took 4 people to get me out of the saddle. The diagnosis: Torn Rotator Cuff Muscle.
I was out for 8 weeks. It was that final accident that forced the decision. Get serious about Parelli. DO the program. There is something WRONG with your horse, he is seriously lacking in confidence. Lift your game.
So I did just that. I didn't ride for about 6 months. I worked with Sante on the ground. Though Level 1, bought level 2, and started working through level 2 before I started riding again.
The difference - I had a horse who now thought before he freaked out. I did so much work desensatising him to noise & pressure around his hind quarters / tail etc, I worked on his confidence, driving game, going for long walks, anything I could think of on the ground we did.
All the time thinking - exposure is key. Approach & retreat, gotta keep his confidence in tact.
the release of the horsenality model turbo charged our progress. Discovering he was a Right Brained Introvert, gave me the strategies I needed to encourage him, to build his confidence, all the while helping him to realize that i was his leader and I "meant him no harm"
I've now owned Sante for 20 months, we've had our ups & downs, but every weekend we progress. Every weeknd he teaches me something. This journey is awesome. Its what Iv'e always wanted, and to be honest, 2 days a week, isn't enough. I get to work on Monday wishing it were Saturday. I finish work on Friday praying for Saturday morning to hurry up.
Parelli has given me the information & the method to communicate with my horse. Me, a wannabe horse person with no experience and no idea, finally living my dream, thanks to Parelli.
WYOMING! - Well, here we are in beautiful Cody, Wyoming to spend a month with Farrah Green at Double Doc Center for Artistic Horsemanship. Me, Mo and Surreal have jou...
10 months ago