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The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Update!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Even though the mud has been horrible, Sharlie's eye and leg have been acting up (though apparently, there is nothing wrong with Sharlie's leg) and all that, I have been having fun! My goal this vacation was to exercise Sharlie till we both drop, trying to work some of those pounds off. And unfortunately, according to Sharlie's still tight-fitted blanker, we have failed so far. But school starts on January 6th, so I still have some time to work off maybe a millimeter of that very fat waist. (No, there is no waistline, none at all. )
The only good thing about Sharlie being so fat right now, is that her back is cushioned, so bareback riding had become more comfortable then usual, and thus helping me self-assess Level 1 Freestyle. It's nice to know we are now all around Level 2/3 (except for Finesse) and also to know I don't have to ride in the saddle all the time. I dread riding in the saddle, because it pinches Sharlie and so it speeds up her already very fast walk & trot. I have managed to get her to keep her walks slow, some of the time, thanks to lots of walk-stop-backup-walk transitions.
Again, even though its been terribly muddy, we have been able to do some amazing Online play. Even though we have taken a break from working with the trailer (fearing that Sharlie will slip in the mud when she does one of her rushed, unplanned backups) we have made progress in other areas, such as jumping poles and low jumps. Its so amazing to watch Sharlie struggle over coordinating herself to get the right footing and timing with just some simple ground poles, to getting her to jump over a 1 foot jump, somewhat gracefully! Also, we have been doing alot of cantering on the 22-foot line. I am growing more confident with Sharlie cantering and she isn't taking me grass-skying every time she does canter. The other day, she finally cantered nicely with me on her blind side without bolting when I asked her to trot. I am also starting to look at the Level 3 objectives because I am hoping to be able to film my Audition when I go to Jennifer's camp, because there are pedestals and many other obstacles and toys there that would be very helpful to the audition.
One of the most surprising things this week was Sharlie's RBI attitude toward the little platform that holds the rolled up hoses by the side of the barn. Sharlie has passed by it, glanced at it and thought nothing much of it. But the other day, we approached it while playing a game of Sniff It, and she totally went RBI! It was so odd and definitely a shock to see my fun little LBE (for once, not having to use treats to motivate!) turn RBI, so unsure, with a glazed over look creeping into her eyes. The Sniff It game became the Porcupine Game as I tried to get her to put her head down a few feet away from the platform. And the Porcupine Game quickly became the Friendly Game as Sharlie saw me as a predator for asking to put her head down. Even though we weren't close to the platform at all by this point, it was still too close for Sharlie. So you can see how quickly the simple Sniff It game got out of hand! But it ended on a good note, and I am proud of myself and Sharlie!
As the New Year comes around, I set my sights on the trailer once again. Along with it, Freestyle and finding my balance point and confidence. I really want to go to Jennifer's camp, and I want to be prepared. It's annoying and depressing that my parents don't understand how much this camp means to me, and how much I think it could help Sharlie and me with our relationship and our confidence! But I am going to go. No matter what. Sharlie is going to get in that trailer and be ready to go down to camp. I'm taking the awesome groom bag that I got for Christmas as a sign that I should go. Right now, your probably thinking "Huh?" It's because it's a traveling groom bag. Meant for people who compete and need to bring all their stuff with them. I even found a compartment that would be perfect for Sharlie's meds. And...if your not superstitious, I'm sorry, but the moment I picked up the wrapped present, I immediately thought of Jennifer, Jeff and their farm. If that's not a sign, what is?!
It's getting late, and I have to go free Sharlie from her stall tomorrow morning, so I am going to have to leave you. But I will leave you on a humorous see the photo below?( Ah, I miss green....) Well, imagine it as a great big brown slop. That's what it is right now. *sigh* Let's hope it drys soon! :D
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Horse Photography

I am now intrested in horse photography. I love horses and I love to have a camera in my hands. Plus, if somehow the dream of Parelli Professional is slashed out, I will have a backup plan...Parelli's photographer! :D

Soon I will be making a new blog for myself as I learn all the tricks and secrets of equine photography!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

My goals....delayed

Well you all must remember my wonderful goals that I set for myself a few weeks ago. Well due to the rain, the Christmas (A) ones are not possible. The only one that we have actually managed to start is the Spanish walk one. So the other 2 are delayed. Lol. Stupid rain!!!!


~ Sharlie gets all the way into the trailer more frequently, for a few seconds at time
~Start to teach her Spanish walk on the ground
~Be close to passing Level 1 Freestyle (Self-assesment)

~Sharlie gets all the way into the trailer for at least a few minutes at a time, calmly.
~ Knows Spanish Walk on ground okish....
~Level 2 Freestyle
~Getting close to passing Level 3 Online
~Doing well with Liberty

~Sharlie can get into trailer confidently for severel minutes at a time, can move and (maybe) close door. (If I can not get her in calmly by April, I'm calling Jennifer!!! :o)
~Knows Spanish walk on ground, maybe transitioning it to riding....
~Auditioning Level 2/3 Freestyle
~Self-asses Level 3 Online
~Level 2 Liberty...(Maybe...:D)

Naturally, Julia & Muddy Sharlie!

Today = awsome

Today I 'taught' my first lesson. Its not really a lesson, because Jessi isnt paying. In exchange for lessons, she is helping me refine my teaching skills. But she played the 7 games with Sharlie and did really well! Then when we got home, we started to make my new website. Here is the link!

Its still in the works, but I hope it will help. Plus, once Jessi is Level 2 or so, we are going to start teaching lessons together. And maybe once we have several paying students, we can buy a second horse for them to play with. I believe Sharlie will be fine for now, but it may become stressful for her to play with alll these humans!
Naturally Julia

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Principle #2 Never Assume

Ugh. I don't like today at ALL! Yesturday was an amazing day with Sharlie. And so I made the mistake of assuming today was going to be good too. Ah well, that definitely didn't happen. It was one thing after another after another. Basically i broke down started crying, and the whole thing. I don't know why I keep doing it. Everytime we have a good day, I assume the next time will be good too, but it turns out being horrible! >:( ugh....


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bridleless and the...stall

Wow. Today the rain spoiled my fun, so we could only walk in the slop. Taught Sharlie to back up when I "march" at her. Well...she wouldn't stop!!! :D
Then I did a confidence thing of "hanging" on her. But I slipped over and landed in the mud! So I tried again. But once I got on, I realized I had no reins. So I just grabbed my stick, and rode with my stick and using focus. It was fun, even though she tried to trot with me once. :D

I am learning alot with the Natural Horse-Man-Ship book I bought at Barnes and Nobles. I love it!