These past few weeks we have had some good horsin' around weather and then some not so good. It has been a time to take advantage of both! What? Take advantage of not so good weather? Have you lost it? Well maybe.... but then again I am an avid student of Parelli and those 3 Laws keep ringing in my ears.....
1. Put the Relationship FIRST
2. Foundation before Specialization
3. Never ending self improvement (for me AND my horses)
Last week we had freezing weather all week- note to all I am in the San Francisco Bay Area in California so anything below 40 degrees is freezing... really...ask my plants they are all droopy and black spotted poor things. So when the thermometer hit 32 degrees we almost fainted. LOL. As for my ponies they are super fuzzy and enjoying the extra flake of hay. Then this week we were deluged by rain, the flooding kind... coz again we are in California where the summers are hot and dry and so when the rain hits the dirt swells..... oozes really.... all down the road, and the gutters fill.... ok you get the picture.
Now what's a Parelli student to do in this yucky weather besides reading books, watching videos and dreaming of warm sunny days filled with glorious trail riding? Pull out my rain slickers, muck boots, long johns, thinsulate gloves, and warm caps (all my friends who live in the snow country are laughing at me right now- I can hear you!!) and play with the list of items on the new ParelliConnect.com site! There are several tasks that with a little imagination I can do under the dry cover of my horse's shelters.
So we have had fun and heaps of progress this week on the simple but not easy things such as lowering your head with only phase 1 while the rain and wind is pelting our shelters, or using a hand held massager to simulate clipping ears while I sit on a bucket, leading by the ___(fill in the blank) and the list goes on. Plus just think of all the undemanding time we can spend scratching.... ah my horses were jockeying for first position on that one! Staying warm and dry is such motivation to take all the time we need. In fact time whizzes by on days like these.
Then today the sun peeked out and I almost stumbled trying to get to the barn as fast as I could. I decided to check out how Cherokee was doing and so we moseyed on down to the arena. After some fun galloping on a circle- let me help you move your feet (RB moment) we had fun experimenting with our ParelliConnect task list. His progress floored me. Being particular without being critical I found that we still need more sessions to improve his confidence in some areas and straightness in others before we "tick" them off, but overall WOW! Here he was trotting back to me from a Yo-Yo on a 22' with his ears pricked on me! And there he was trying so hard to allow me to hold his tongue or scratch the inside of his precious ears. So why should I have been so surprised to find him to be excellent transport as we rode from the arena to his pen? Well because when we followed the hay cart up the road this time he trotted the whole way with his ears totally on me! And it was his idea!! The fact that we were bareback and in a halter made it super sweet. My little gelding was sooooo smooth. I was smiling ear to ear.