Monday, August 30, 2010


As I think of Decker today, I'm reminded of how just earlier this year I thought I'd lose him! In March Decker came down with some neurological problems! He acted like he had encephylitis or EPM! Thankfully blood work proved negative to everything! The vets said that he either got a bite of moldy hay off the ground in the pasture or he hit his head really hard on something to cause the swelling!

The symptoms where Decker walking in circles only to the left, head cocked to the left, difficulty swallowing and sleepiness. After two weeks of treatment of penicilin, Dex. and mushing up feed and hay; Decker was back to normal! Thank God!!!! Prayer really does work! I had so many people praying for us that it was amazing! My Grandma and Papa, who we lost this year in March and May, were not doing well at the time and I just couldn't handle losing them and my horse too! God I think blessed me with Decker for a reason! Maybe we are going to be able to make a difference in south Georgia by using Parelli! Who knows! I just know that this horse is special & I'm blessed to have him in my life!

Flash, flash! Can you see the light bulb over my head?

I played with Decker yesterday afternoon & found out just how out of shape I am! Wow he's got energy! :) He had a bunch of energy when I got him out of the pasture, so we played the catching game in the round pen to blow off some steam. He did well, with some changes in direction. He finally decided that was stupid and wanted to come into me. So he walked nice and slow into the center of the circle. Very Nice!!!

We then played the touch it game with some new pink cavelettis Tom & I made! So pretty! (I know I'm such a girl!) I wonder if horses shouldn't eat paint, because he picked them up, and chewed all over the poles! We then played the driving game over the cavelettis and then some porcupine game.

Well my light bulb moment was during the porcupine game. I've always had a hard time winning this game with Decker, because he is so much better at it than I am! He gets argumentative! What I finally realized was I was being rude! Even after I realized that I still was to an extent & he let me know it!...

I worked in zone 1 and 3 asking Decker to back up. We've always had issues with this! I had been watching one of my Savvy Club DVDs over and over again with Linda, Louis and her LBI. I realized that I wasn't being patient in waiting for him to move off of an ounce of pressure! I found out that Decker is SOOOO sensitive! Who would have thought it! I thought he was going to be hard to move off pressure forever! was me, not him! Duh!!!!!

So anyways, I held his halter with an ounce or two of pressure on the side that I wanted his front feet to move. I held my hand on his chest/shoulder with an ounce of pressure, b/c any more causes him to bully me. When we were standing there...he looked at me like "I can beat you at the waiting game," so I put my toe on his hoof and just waited! Well he moved his foot in a matter of seconds! How cool!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe he needed help getting the idea to his feet! :) No fights, no bullying, just us working together! I was so proud of us! We repeated this a few times on each side & then moved on, so I didn't bore him!

I was so pleased with that breakthrough that I thought I'd work on picking up his front feet, which is just as challenging! Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead, because he bit me in the back! Wow! Maybe I didn't learn my lesson! It was just a nibble, but I got the picture that I was being rude again...or maybe he is just a punk! I tried a few more times, but it wasn't great! To finish things on a good note, we played the yo-yo backwards out the round pen gate. We played the driving game to the pasture! Whew!!! Today, my plan is to work on myself, my attitude and my phases. I think my earlier idea of phases and what Decker needs are totally different! Pray we can work it out without nibbles!!! :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lessons to come!!!

So...I have decided we need lessons!!!!! My LBE is a handful and I think I need someone to help me become a better leader for him!

I contacted Berin Macfarlane, 3 star Parelli Instructor, about colt starting, and that led to lessons! Basically we decided that Decker is like a teenage "punk!" He is very challenging!!!! I am really excited about what we will be able to accomplish in the months ahead!!! Ocala here we come! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well, I went to the barn yesterday looking forward to working with my Right Brain Introvert, Brandy. She is an older quarter horse mare that is very challenging! Tom decided he'd go to the barn with me & mow Decker's pasture to keep the weeds suppressed while I played with the horses. So I put Decker in the round pen while I played with Brandy.

I played with Brandy for about 30 minutes. I was just checking her out, b/c I have only played the friendly game with her before. She did really well with the friendly and porcupine game. I think I'll have to find better ways to engage her for the driving, squeeze and yo-yo games. Over all though, she was great!

So now that Decker has been in the round pen for 30 minutes, he is all sweaty from running around and playing! The boy sure can buck! :) He is fun to watch...scary to think how athletic he is though! Well I went to get him out of the round pen, so I could feed everyone for the night. He frisked me as usual at the gate, so I played the yo-yo game to back him out of my bubble. He is starting to be able to yo-yo at liberty now! I'm so proud!!! :) Well I let him chew on everything as usual and put the halter in his mouth like a bit to make it playful. He then excepted the halter very well & wanted to play I used that! :)

I backed him up and drove him towards a cone in the round pen. He stood there and didn't do anything. I used my carrot stick & string to push his neck over towards it. He squealed & shook his head, b/c he is so dominant. He got over it though & did what I asked. He picked it up with his mouth as usual & stomped all over it! Better the cone than me! :) He loves checking things out and playing with everything! We then played the touch it game with barrels and cones. I drove him to each object and stopped him so he could check things out. He is getting much better at this game! I can see the wheels turning when I ask him to do something. If I get boring...he gets mischievous!!! Once he got the touch it game, I decided to yo-yo him out of the round pen & ask for some more! I played the driving game to his pasture and then asked him to yo-yo backwards into his stall. He got kind of nervous about the small opening to the stall, so I opened the gate more, so he could feel better about it. The backing and turning at the same time was hard, so I backed him through a gate and then drove him into his stall. This felt like me asking him into the horse trailer. He did it perfectly! I am so happy that we are finally communicating!!! :) Love him! It is surprising what passive persistence will do with a horse! :)

Keep it Natural,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Decker Details

Decker, as he's known to us, is a LBE!!! Decker has moments of RBE behavior when he is un-confident or gets scared. I'm learning to interrupt his patterns though to help him through those outbursts! He is such a fun horse when he is being obedient! He is super friendly and always wants to love on everyone! Decker is a 4 year old Appendix registered Quarter horse. He is out of These Irons Are Hot and a Last Detail mare.

I purchased Decker in 07 to be my dream English mount. We'll see how that goes! We have to get to level 3 or 4 before we start showing full time! :) We have a long way to go!!! We are studying Level 1 now and dabbing in Level 2 in certain areas. :)

Decker is wonderful with the friendly game. He is confident with the carrot stick and string and he doesn't have any "yeah but" spots. He is very sensitive in some aspects and then bracey at other times! The porcupine, driving and sideways games are challenging for us. The squeeze is easy though!??? We're working hard on improving them all though! Polite and passive persistence is the key with him. If you ask in a rude manner, he'll show you his mean side! He can get aggressive at times. He is quick and stubborn. Hmmm...How interesting! :)I have to really be on my game when I ask for things. I can't rush him or get frustrated! He really is a great horse to change my way of thinking!

I'm learning not to get frustrated and put our relationship first. I think we've got a great relationship, but now we are working on the respect part! :) I have just inquired about getting help from 3 star Parelli instructor and Horse Development Specialist Berin MacFarlane. I'm hoping once he gets back from the UK, that we can get together and improve mine and Decker's 7 games. Pictures and hopefully video will follow! :)

Keep it Natural,

My Parelli Journey with Decker!

Well, I've been studying Parelli for about 2 years now! Having a full time job, going to school part-time, and being a wife has made my Parelli time challenging! I work with Decker as often as I can, but sometimes life makes our time scarce!

I would like to use this blog as inspiration and motivation for me as I continue my journey to never-ending self improvement!

A little background on me...I'm 26 & I've ridden horses since I was 6 or 7 years old. I started showing English at a young age & got my first horse at the age of 13! Oh how I wish that I had found Parelli back then!!! My first horse would have been awesome!!! I sold that horse and continued to ride horses for other people who didn't have time for them. This gave me the opportunity to ride better trained and more expensive horses. I gained a lot of experience riding, but still had the desire for my own horses. I leased some horses and then met my now husband in 2002. He had horses and I've been playing with them ever since! We currently have 6 horses and a pony. I am currently focusing only on one right now, Decker. All of our horses are responding well to the friendly, driving and porcupine games! the journey begins!!! I can't wait! "Good Better Best, Never Let It Rest. Get Your Good Better & Your Better Best!" -Pat Parelli (one of my favorite quotes!)

Keep it Natural,