"Look back at our struggle for freedom,

Trace our present day's strength to it's source;

And you'll find that man's pathway to glory

Is strewn with the bones of the horse."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What is a "Foundation?"

Since my previous post, I have gotten a few emails asking "What is a foundation to you?"

I feel a basic foundation is training in everything most horses need to know how to do: starting, stopping, turning, transitions, loading, clipping, washing, tying, side passing, standing for grooming, mounting and farrier work, and carrying people, packs, jackets, etc.  I would say that these are things that if you sent your colt to a trainer, you should have at the end of 90-days.  

A solid foundation would be a bit more, say through the colt's first year.  Where you do all of that plus the basics of riding in a group, trail obstacles, shows, a few clinics.  The horse is learning collection and to carry themselves with a rider comfortably in many environments.  
Without a proper foundation, your horse won't progress to his true potential and be able to maintain performance-whether it's on the trail or in the arena.


Sunday, December 26, 2010


This is a blog I have been meaning to write for a while now.

The quote:
"Don't make, or teach assumptions".
Is something that has been though my mind over and over again though out the years. Mainly because my horses "Assume" what I want all to often, Especially Blazey boy.

It's not really a big issue for me, I can handle it, but is it important for everyone to understand that Teaching assumptions can be dangerous.

Why does Blaze assume things? That's easy, trick training. Here is one of the main reasons I am writing this blog: I have questions though emails, messages, all the time with people who are basically beginners wanting to know how to teach a horse to lay down, rear, paw, Spanish walk, bow, etc. And their horses don't even have a solid foundation. (I was one of those who did not, an still don't, have a solid foundation.) It is very frustrating for me when you know how dangerous these tricks can be once they are taught. Truth is, once you teach one of these tricks, and give them a treat every time, you teach an assumption.

I see it all the time, when a horse does one of these tricks, people think "Aww they offered it!" and then they give them a treat, THAT is by far the worst thing possible, you're horse does not need to do any trick UNLESS you ask them.

Because I didn't follow my own advice, I have been in quite a few dangerous situations; Blaze rearing up almost striking me in the face,(wanted a treat.) horses pawing me in the back, legs, etc. Because they was assuming.
I would advise everyone to learn the basics, get more advanced. (if your Parelli, wait till you are at least Level 3 or 4 before attempting to teach any trick). Not only will you have a safer horse to teach, but your horse will be more physically, and mentally ready, and so will you.

So please, PLEASE, learn the basics before specialization. I can not tell you how many times I wish I would have taught the basics before trying to specialize things..

Thanks to my mentors, I'm really starting to see though the eyes of a teacher!

I hope this is helpful!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Developing a new mindset

One thing I have struggled with from the very beginning of my journey is developing a new mindset, or in other words, thinking like a horse during every moment of our play sessions. It is so easy to start thinking like a predator, or start getting ahead of your self, and you're horses abilities. I think it is really important to make sure you're doing things FOR the horse, not for your own personally wants, or to him.

What I just wrote is something I have struggled with myself big time. A few weeks ago, Mirka told me that Blaze shouldn't even be ridden right now, (because he has no back muscle). This was a true test whether I was doing things FOR him, or doing things because I WANTED too. Because I love to ride, and I found myself struggling because I wanted to improve things under saddl such as trot, canter, lead changes). Isn't it amazing how selfish we become when it comes to our wants? And our horses needs? Usually we put our wants before our horses needs, and I've done that allot. And it has really jeopardized my relationship with some of my horses, (in the past.)

So, how do we change this? By developing a new mindset!! Having someone be straight up with you, learning how IMPORTANT the horses needs are before your wants. Learning to TRULY care about how your horse feels about you.

Why is this so difficult?
Because we usually look at horses as some sort of entertainment, a hobby, something fun for us. How many people truly look at a horse as you would a friend? you wouldn't ask you're friend to do something for you if they were sick, or in pain right?
I think the secret is learning how to treat your horse like you would your best friend. And of course, no friendship is perfect, friends fight and have misunderstandings. Just like you will with your horse, but you will learn to work together.

This is something that Mirka has really helped me change about myself, and I'm still working on it. Never ending self improvment right?

Something to lick and chew on!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

What we learned

While I was in FL, Mirka mainly focused on Water hole rituals. So, I have learned all of them and a whole lot more.

The water hole rituals are:
1.Sharing Territory
2.Saying Hello
3.Taking Territory
4.Eye Contact
5.Leading from Behind.
6.Companion Walking
7.Go trot and come up

For now, here are some pictures:






Here is a pictures of Layla

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm back!!

Hey guys, I know it has been aproximaily FOREVER since I have wrote an update.

Well I'm finally back from FL and I must say that I learned more then I ever have in my life, Blaze has totally changed. And I came back with a new FILLY!

Her name is Layla, she is a perlino mare. 7 months old.

Her Reg name will probably be R 'n'R's Smokin Layla.
Her Dad is Alabama Rock n' roll. And her Mom is PR smokin Kitty. Layla has 2 BEAUTIFUL blue eyes. And a star, and a hild stocking. She knows almost all the games, trailer loads herself, will go over poles, tarps, get on pedestals, etc. She's only known natural horsemanship.

Here are some of her first day pictures with her Mom:

I'll have some new pictures of her soon.