Hello horse lovers,
The days are beginning to get longer and spring is on it's way! I'm currently busy working on my schedule for this summers season, so be sure to check it out on my website regularly as I'm adding events and courses as dates are confirmed.
It's been a busy few months since my last newsletter so let me fill you in on all the news!
In June I kicked off the Winter horseless workshop series with a trip down south to Invercargill for a day to present 'Learn to read a horse' and 'Natural riding dynamics' workshops. This very successful event was hosted by Glenis Harris and Bev Williamson, who did a fantastic job getting so many newcomers and enthusiastic Parelli students along to this mid week event!
Then in Christchurch a few weeks later I held the 'Natural riding dynamics' workshop to a great bunch of students who all made lots of discoveries over the 3 hours with the theory, watching DVD footage and lots of fun simulations focussing on natural rein positions and what to do in their bodies to be clear in their communication. I know their horses will definitely benefit from their participation! Our next workshop was held at the Chant ranch and Rocky was an exceptional partner helping me to demonstrate how to use imagination at liberty. I could not be more proud of Rocky's connection and willingness to please throughout his 2hour demo!
Mid July we flew up north for Cooper to visit his Nana & Poppa just out of Palmerston North. Of course, this was a perfect opportunity to organise a workshop with the locals! Special thanks to Mandy Punnett who hosted the Freestyle & Finesse full day workshop held at the Feilding RDA arena. I had such a great day with everyone who attended and was really excited to see the progress that was made over the day.
Back in Christchurch the next horseless workshop at the end of July was focussing on 'Fluidity and rider posture'. These two subjects are ongoing and something we are always working on as we progress through our horsemanship journey and it was great to have students from lower to higher levels attending. Students learnt a lot about how they can work on their posture and balance before even getting on their horses and then how to stay on without getting tense and tight. As Pat says, two tights don't make it right! Some of the key points were: Balance point, nothing but a butt, pedal inside your skin, sit on your thumb, tuck your tail, suck it in, knit your ribs and wrap your thighs, toes up, turn with your eyes/shoulders/belly button then pull your inside armpit down and back before using legs.... it was lots of fun! Thanks to everyone who came along and for all of your help packing all the barrels away!
I'm looking forward to my final workshop this weekend I hope you Cantabrians can make it along.... its a great subject!
Winter Horseless Workshops ****THIS WEEKEND****
Sunday 17th August - Learn to read a horse with Horsenalities explained. SPACES STILL AVAILABLE!
Do you know someone who you can invite to my *** Free Introduction to Parelli presentation*** held on 14th September? I need your help to spread the word. This is a fantastic way for someone to be introduced to what the Parelli program is all about and how it can help them to develop a relationship based on love, language and leadership with their horse.
Venue: West Melton Community Hall, State Highway 73, West Melton Time: 10am - 1pm ONLY $55 bookings are essential so please make your online bookings today to ensure your place is secured.
These workshops will include theory, dvd viewing, simulations and question and answer sessions. This is the perfect way to keep progressing over the chilly months. Click on the link button below for more information and bookings on my website.
South Island, 5 DAY SUPER CAMP! With 4* Senior Instructors Kaye Thomas and Jackie Chant
I am very exciting to announce that we have legacy instructor Kaye Thomas from Australia coming to Christchurch this January to join me in teaching a 5 day Super camp! This camp is open to students who are studying from Advanced level 2 - Level 4. Over the 5 days at Super Camp we will be looking at expanding all 4 savvies (Online, Liberty, Freestyle and Finesse). Some sessions will be split into smaller groups with the main focus on refining your communication to achieve a calm, connected and responsive partner. There will be inspirational and problem solving demo's and plenty of hands on help to ensure you have that special one on one time along with Q&A sessions, saddle fitting, rope handling skills and fun games to build imagination. You will be stretched but you will not be pushed off the cliff! It will be you and your horse, for five whole days in a supportive learning environment with like minded people... there is no better way to fast track your progress and achieve your horsemanship goals than with two of the most experienced senior instructors in the Parelli program. We hope you can join us for this Savvy Immersion!
To learn more about Kaye Thomas go to: http://www.kayethomas.com.au/About.html
When: January 21st - 25th 2015 Venue: National Equestrian Centre, McLeans Island, Christchurch Price: Early bird $1290 Exp 10th Dec Regular Price: $1490
Limited positions available so book early to secure your spot!
For online bookings click here for all enquires contact Jackie
I'm very happy to announce that dates are now confirmed for two Game of Contact clinics this coming summer season here in New Zealand.
Feilding - February 6-8th
& Christchurch March 6-8th 2015.
As Linda Parelli says, “I call it the Game of Contact because it’s about the psychology of getting your horse to want to engage mentally, emotionally and physically… causing it to be their idea rather than something forced on them. It is absolutely in keeping with the Parelli philosophy of partnership with horses and now there is a clear pathway for carrying it through to the highest levels of performance and Finesse.”
“I firmly believe that every rider needs to learn how to have better feel and how to give horses confidence and understanding when being ridden with a bit. Horses are happier and riders quickly acquire advanced skills by learning how to have more ‘feel’. You are making contact with the most emotionally sensitive part of the horse, and his feedback about the quality of your ‘feel’ says a lot. I’ve seen how The Game of Contact transforms relationships between horse and rider and that makes me, and my Team of GOC Instructors, ever more passionate about sharing this message to students in their Level 3 and 4 journey and beyond”.
Bookings are essential and spaces are limited!
For more information and to secure your spot with your deposit click here
Rocky has come a long way in the past few years. He is now 7 years old and has a solid Parelli Level 4 foundation in all four savvies. The game of contact has taken my understanding of 'contact' and 'feel' to a whole new level and I know without it, I would not have the same results I have today!
To attend a GOC clinic as a 'rider' you will need to be confidently riding in Parelli Level 3 Freestyle. Anyone at any level is welcome to attend as an 'auditor'. Auditors are invited to participate in all theory and simulation sessions.
Rocky's Progress: The power of a 'program'
In my last newsletter, I challenged you to looking at ways you could improve your relationship on a daily basis by having higher standards. It has been really great to hear from some of you who were inspired to work on the little things that make a BIG difference in the relationship with our equine partners.
Taking a little of my own advice, I have been making some HUGE progress with Rocky lately. Although he is a confident/dominant left brained extrovert most of the time, being away from the herd really brings his adrenaline up and he can become very fearful and reactive. With my goals of getting out and about, I am now very focussed on building Rocky's self-confidence. Leadership is the key element here, as when it boils down to it, he wouldn't worry so much if he believed he could count on me to keep him safe. So building Rocky's self confidence to be away from the herd in a calm, connected and responsive state, needed to start with me being the confident leader that he needed to follow. You may be asking why have I waited so long to address this? He is after all 7 years old! It was always my plan to have addressed this issue earlier, but with a busy teaching schedule, travel and then Rocky having a year off while I was pregnant and then coping with a newborn, time has just flown by - as we say, life just happens. I knew that with Rocky's innate characteristics, spirit level (high) and horsenality (LBE), it was not going to solve itself. So the time was right, I wasn't going anywhere, Cooper was now in a good sleeping routine during the day for me to get away so I started a program of riding out alone. This is step one of my goal of having Rocky confident to go out in the float alone without arriving in a right brained lathered emotional mess. I want to put the relationship first, but I want to make progress and this is where so many can get stuck. Dr Stephanie Burns has a fantastic book called "Move closer, stay longer" about facing our fears and gaining confidence in careful calculated steps and this is the approach that we often need to use with our horses. You have heard Pat Parelli say "Approach and retreat" to build confidence and also that to be a 'Horseman' you need to be positive, progressive and natural in your approach. As I see it, setting a program is a way of looking after the relationship while staying focussed on the goal, having a positive outcome in mind and being progressive but yet always looking after the horse that shows up. It's not about blasting over their thresholds and pushing them off the cliff, BUT with a LBE, you can often find yourself dealing with the arguments and not making much progress. Leadership is all about having a plan, an unwavering focus and using psychology to cause our idea to become the horses idea. Working with our horses nature - not against it is the key - especially with a LBE. So with all this in mind.... it can be tough knowing what strategy to use when your horse is trying to convince you that it is REALLY NOT a good idea to ask him to leave his herd. So the first step is to schedule and commit to the 'time' (Pat's 5th key to success) it takes to follow a program. Secondly, you need to give your self permission to experiment. Do your thinking at night, and your feeling during the day while you are with your horse.
Setting a program means:
7 days in a row (or if that's not possible, at least 7 sessions in a row)
Then every second day for 2 weeks
Then once a week for a month
Then once and a while
June 19th was our first session - it wasn't pretty, but of course the process isn't supposed to look good, it was all about being in the moment with Rocky, managing his right brained behaviour and living through the experience. I thought, If I could achieve a more relaxed horse at the end of the session than when we started that would be success! Each session was very different, some were online only and then others were using positive patterns out on our lovely big grass verges on the road side such as 'Bow tie', 'Partial disengagement' and 'Point to point'. I could feel that things were changing from RBE to LBE on adrenaline and my strategies changed to encourage Rocky's movement rather than using RBE strategies. Soon, I was achieving a walk on a casual rein out on the road alone and hearing that wonderful sound we all love to hear when they blow out to release tension and allow themselves to relax and even enjoy themselves! (For more details on what I did each session go to Rocky's wall on Parelli connect).
Since doing this program, lots of other things have become easier for Rocky. One example is that I can now tie Rocky up out of sight of the herd and he is able to stand still pretty relaxed. I feel we have a stronger bond than ever before which definitely shows up when I'm playing at liberty or when I've finished a session and I put him back out with the girls and he doesn't want to leave me to run off to be with them. Overall, he is much braver, and if he's not coping for any reason, rather than completely checking out, he's now looking to me for confidence! This was a huge balancing act of being a strong leader and not pushing him too far, using my focus, feel, timing and balance to be who I needed to be for Rocky. This process has reinforced to me, just how powerful it is to set a program and stick to it - just as I did with each of the Parelli patterns while building his foundation, but also with issues that need special attention!
So step two, is to begin his next confidence building program of going out in the float alone. I'll let you all know how it goes next newsletter!
The point of sharing this experience with you, is that sometimes you will be faced with an issue that seems so big you don't want to go there, but if you set a program and take it one day at a time, in most cases by day 4 there will have been a significant change. By day 7 you will be really excited at the progress you have started to make which only gives you more motivation and commitment! If you do not make progress, perhaps this is when you should seek help by contacting me for advice on the strategies you are using. I am here to 'support' you on your journey!
Rocky and I out on the road relaxed and on a casual rein!
Where has the time gone? Cooper is now 9 1/2 months old!