Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

The Hazel Tree

by Julia Debski

Giveaway ends May 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010- An Overview Of The Ups and Downs

Can you imagine? In less than 24 hours it will be 2011. Then comes the time when we keep writing the date with a 10 at the end before we realize it is supposed to be an 11. Add that to the fact we have been writing two digit months for the last several months, now to go back to one digit. It could seem like I am complaining but I am saying this in a voice of wonder. If you look at it in the right light, you notice that we have a quite complicated system to record time, days, months, years, etc..

This year was my first full year of blogging. And it was eventful and looking back, I am so thankful and grateful all these things happened just in 1 year.

In January I got my Level 1 string, certificate and pin even though I had passed back in October. It made me feel important.

In February I met Kara. That was probably one of the best things that have ever happened to me. She is my best friend and I love her. She has kept me sensible and down to ground when my head was spinning. We met at a Panera Bread on a dreary February day the weekend before (after?) her birthday and its been an excellent and growing friendship ever since.

Over the winter and spring Sharlie made progress with the trailer, but unfortunately in the wrong way. I was bribing her with food. But our work was worth something when it came to loading her on the day of  going down to camp because it only took us half an hour.  At camp I learned the proper way and Sharlie will now load up easily- without food.

In June, I went to England and France, including revisiting my old stable. At the end of the month I got to go to the camp in Atlanta. I learnt alot, made friends and strengthened my relationship with Kara.

While at camp I advanced 2 levels in one week,  but unfortunately when I returned home I lost most of it. When I borrowed Kara's bareback pad I did make steps forward. I worked on my fluidity and I cantered quite a bit. It boosted my confidence amazingly.

In January I started playing Casper in the field. In March I was able to catch him for the first him. I started playing with him. Then in August we came at a crossroads. The owners would sell him or we bought him. I tortured myself over it for days. Then finally a solution came together where we are leasing him for a year while I pay off the board by working at the stables.

Those are the highlights for now...

I am thinking and thinking about my goals and new years resolution. They will come soon.

Happy 2011

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

7 Keys to Success - 6) Imagination

"6) Imagination - You have to exercise your imagination. Imagination is something children have that adults do not, or at least they lost the ability to use their imaginations effectively. Einstein said that imagination is even more valuable than knowledge." quote Natural Horsemanship by Pat Parelli
I figure people don't use their imagination because they don't want to look silly. "Oh, I won't do that... that is silly!". They might embarass themselves. bBut once you catch onto it, you find life so much more fun and an opportunity in every situation and around every corner. As they say, savvy lives over the silly bridge!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo Entries

Entry by Petra Christensen, 2 Star Parelli Instructor

Entry by Blind Eyed Photography,

Entry by Blind Eyed Photography,

Entry by Naturally Creative Equine Photography

Because of the very few entries, there is no winner. But here they all are. Maybe for the 200th post we will get more of a turn out!

The Tale of The Wall

Hello Everyone. I trust that your day has gone well. You may have noticed the drawing above. None of the drawings I post on here are done by me. I have no such talent. If I do decide to show some of my drawings, I'll let you guys know. I chose this drawing because it reminded me strongly of Casper. Which leads me to the point of this story.

It is not really a story if it is still going on. But I will give this a mystical appeal and call it the Tale of the Wall. From the picture above, naturally I am talking about Casper. You see while he has been challenging in more ways than one, there is nothing more challenging then the brick wall on his right side.

It came to my mind to write about it when Kara suggested I read a post on her blog about how she can 'feel' things with her horses. I have experienced this wall before, but it is because of her I have decided to write about it.

I can see it for the shortest of seconds before he moves out of the way. Sometimes I can sneak around the wall and touch his right side. Some days it is made out of twigs or even hay. Other days it can be solid cement or brick.

The part I emphasize on is that I can see it. Maybe it is my imagination. Maybe it isn't. Maybe he is so defensive there that the subconsious conjours up a picture of a wall to tell us to back off. (Yes, I have been reading Blink!)

Thats all for now. Just a quick thing. I am enjoying playing the Sims3! My new guilty pleasure. Hope your christmas was wonderful, and I know some of you may have had a white christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Horsenalities- Photos, Info & more...

RBE- uses the survival side of the brain, will move his feet before thinking.

Remember to send in your photos and drawings!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Horsenalities- Photos, Info & more... RBI

The RBI horse-  
Has a tendency to freeze just before exploding. These horses frequently catch their owners off guard because no one could see the buck or explosion coming.

Remember to send in your photos/drawings!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Forgotten Story & More...

While I was concentrating on posting the notes about Casper (took 2 hours to figure it out) I completely forgot to tell you about a small play session I had with Sharlie a few days ago. It was short but really quite lovely. I was actually trying to halter Casper to play with him. However he was distant and was trying to hide behind me from me...interesting. I have noticed he seems to be missing Kara a bit too. Looks for her sometimes I think. I don't really mind. It gives Kara a reason to come play more often! ;)

 So I took Pat's advice and caught the easier horse, the horse that wants to be caught. This usually means I catch Sharlie. However I did the unexpected- assume never to assume- and did not lead her to the gate as she was expecting. Instead, we walked off in the opposite direction. We played online preparing for liberty while in the field. My friend Emily gave me the idea as it would increase rapport and respect between Sharlie and myself. I had put together 2 objects that would be interesting. One was a rough mismatch of rubber mats. It wasn't anything impressive. All together it was no bigger than 1 foot by 1 foot.
 Another item I put together was 3 'planks' put together into what could be seen as a step. It is hard to explain. It was a flat spot in the side of a hill and I took advantage of it by putting the 3 planks there. So I played with Sharlie and those 2 toys. Funny thing is is that Casper followed us around, following Sharlie across the rubber mat and the planks.

This is rather odd because Casper is dominant over Sharlie, yet he was looking to Sharlie for leadership and was interested what she was doing. But wait...oh! No! I just had an epiphany!Casper was following me and watching and looking at me for leadership! Well that just made my day! The play session that I thought was great just turned out to be wonderful!

Drawing is not mine! :)

Now you noticed of course that the title indicates "more." As the Winter holidays are here I won't be spending much time on my blog. So I have lined up several small stories to be posted in due fashion. I advice that you guys do not spend your entire holiday glued to the computer, but I do understand if it is to escape some rather unpleasant family or friends. Happy Holidays and may the Horse be with you!


PS- Kara check your email Tuesday evening.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Photo Contest!

Hey guys!!

So for my 100th post, I am going to have a photo contest! The theme has to do with horses (of course) and you have 2 options. Either a photo that is as natural as possible. Or one that is as un-natural as possible. Has anyone ever noticed how Parelli is supposed to be natural, yet we use ropes, sticks and other un-natural tools?


Send your photos to and I will post them on here and announce a winner. Be sure to include your name and your blog. :) Sorry, no prizes.

Due by Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Notes and Annotation About Casper

Hello Everyone!
For those of you who live close by, you have also received snow. Brrr its cold! In fact, on Monday we had school canceled which caused it to be a very productive day! I received the email from Kara that when printed out, it ended up to be 8 or 9 pages long! But I had so much fun annotating it! I was high lighting, underlining and commenting on it almost all afternoon, but boy was it fun! I have annotated papers and poems before, but those didn't personally affect me so I didn't enjoy it as much. This was a personal joy so it was easy. 

So my Christmas present to all of you is the notes on here, my blog. I hope that it will give you some lovely new insight, especially where RBIs are concerned. I want to thank you Kara Cumberton for her time to write this all out as well as playing with Casper. Kara and I met through the Parelli Savvy Club in Febuary of this year. We have connected splendidly since then, spending hours together with the horses. Kara and I went to camp together, and have had many educational sleepovers. Kara has a very insighful and deeper and...different look on life. I find it fascinating. I am like her in some fashions, but she is just extrordinary. People may say she is wierd, but to me she is marvelous. I love her very much and admire her talent with horses. Her blog is
Be sure to go take a look, because it is a great site. If you have any questions for Kara, be sure to comment here or on her blog. 

Thank you again Kara!!

Click on the pages to open them up to be larger. Make sure to select to open in a new tab or window, because won't.

Page 1

In case you can't read my notes along the side of the paper, here they are in order from top to bottom.

- I remember this now. I used to be aware of this all the time.
- I didn't know this. Very interesting.
-Approach and retreat.
- Thought and Mental control

Page 2
- (First on right) In hind sight, I see it too now.
- (On left) Blowing out with your lips is another good way
to tell your horse that you have released tension from your body
and so its ok for him to do the same.
- (Second on right) He is still very head shy, though less so when you start
from the withers and move your way up the neck to face.
- (Center/Circled portion) Kara lead Casper around like this for  a bit. She kept her back to him.

Page 3

-(Top left) There went a bunch of confidence and trust.
- (First on right) This takes a large amount of self-control &
a very powerful ability to read the horse.
- (Middle) Horses have no sense of time or date. They live in the moment.
- (Last on right) Linda Parelli, Celebration DVD, Horsenality Segment

Page 4

- Assume not to assume
- New valuable information
- Still scared of CS

Page 5

- The arena holds many bad memories
- *The second note is a drawing of the entrance to the arena*
- Amazing so far. Casper has never been very happy in the arena.

Page 6

-  Complete focus, however indirect
-* The second note is a drawing showing how Kara slowly
pivoted her feet till she was facing Casper
- Working with RB horses takes time so it is important you don't make too many plans,
especially those involving a time limit. Take the time it takes
so it takes less time.
- Mental control
-Turn, think
Page 7

- Cherish is Kara's horse. She can be very RB.
- (Saddling Sharlie)
- The LB side coming through always confuses me!
- Emotional control & awareness is essential
- She is your partner, not your poison.
- Kara is RBI sometimes, in terms of she can go catatonic in a way.
- RBIs need contact
- needs room to run away if needed
Page 8
- When working with scary objects, Linda suggests following after
the object as it moves away. This concept could be
applied to what Kara was doing.
- A LB horse uses his brain. If a RB horse is thinking more, he is becoming more LB
- Casper is extremely sensitive
- Phases (low)
- All those times I've gone to phase 4! O.O
-Reward the slightest try
- LBI comes in to get out of working. RBI come in for comfort and safety.
- Whenever I tried Circling Game, he went RBE!
- This has been because of disrespect in the past...
- Never EVER thought of that. How interesting!!! Hmmm....
Page 9

- The phrase "Trust is good, control is better" comes to mind
- I have never played sideways w/ him
- Important to learn to STOP
- sensitive
-lots and lots of Friendly!!
- Kara I believe you just have a special talent. I do have several questions though.

- Casper went in one end of the tunnel scared, and came out the other much more confident.


 If you have some problems seeing the papers above or would like me to email them to you, please let me know by commenting.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

100th Post!

We approaching the 100th post on my blog and I want to do something special. Comment below to suggest your ideas!

Stay Warm!
Its snowing! :)
It has been a long week. Needless to say I am swamped. Everything went by so quickly, yet it was forever. I told you about Monday and the farrier, even though I didn't give you much detail. I feel that I need to commit myself more to this blog. For the long winter I have decided to expand my current limited knowledge by reading some to all of the books on the Parelli Externship Program Reading List. Join me and we can share our thoughts on them! Here they are.

~ Blink by Malcom Gladwell
~ Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
~ Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
~ Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
~ If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to School by Robert Kiyosaki
~ Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
~ The E-Myth Revisited by Micheal E. Gerber
~ True Unity by Tom Dorrance
~ Think Harmony with Horses by Ray Hunt
~ Raise Your Hand if You Love Horses by Pat Parelli
~ Natural Horsemanship by Pat Parelli

We already have Blink and I will start reading that right away :) .

Today was a very good day. It was the first time I've played with Sharlie since Monday. Also, Kara was with me. 
Now it has only been told to a couple of you that I have recently felt rather lost with Casper. I couldn't connect with him anymore. He was more scared and RB and I didn't have any focus. I didn't have goals set for short or long term. I was ... lost. There are no exact words I can use to explain it. Thats just the way it is. So that is one of the reasons why I was so happy for Kara to come over. She is very good with Right Brain horses, while I am stronger with Left Brain horses. I have a harder time grasping the terms 'slowing down' or 'repetition' or even 'approach and retreat'. As I have said before, when I am around Sharlie and Casper, I am usually Left Brain Extrovert. I am always moving onto new things and moving my feet. And with Casper...sometimes you just have to sit down and go into neutral. Which is exactly what Kara did. Don't worry, I have asked Kara for an extremely detailed step-by-step account on any and everything she did with Casper. All I can say is that Kara did something right because Casper went in one end of the tunnel Right Brain and turned inward, but came out bright and beautiful. Thank you Kara. :)
With Sharlie I had a very interesting play session. Online was the usual. Really. It was the usual. Circling game, sideways, friendly, driving. Usual. It was when I hopped on that it got interesting. I used the bareback one last time before returning it to Kara. (Nooooooo! *Reaches out into the darkness after a retreating bareback pad* Don't goooo!!!) Ah well. I guess I won't be riding for a while. :(
What happened when I began to ride is that Sharlie was spunky. Not exactly in a good way, but not too bad. The important thing is that I did not lose my confidence. Needless to say, I did a lot of trotting. That is what is so great about the bareback pad. I can trot and trot and trot and trot and trot and trot....etc. One thing that I suppose we will have to work on next time is our slowing down and stopping. Its very ungraceful and usually unbalances me. It can be all of a sudden, which throws me forward and it is usually a couple of short little skids that unbalance me. We attempted the bulls eye and it can safely be said it didn't work out today. Another thing I played with Sharlie is extending her trot. Relaxing it, extending it, whatever you want to call it. It was so choppy! 
After some failed attempts I decided to take a new approach. I took the 'dressage approach'. Don't be alarmed, I stayed natural. I tightened my reins a bit, sat up a bit straighter and asked her to trot while focusing on one specific spot. We did this a while. I played 'the dressage rider' and Sharlie did well. While it did not relax her gait, it did however get her more focused and in tune. Looking back this evening I realized that I was focusing, thus giving Sharlie a job and focusing her. When I wasn't the 'dressage rider', my focus was scattered. I know what to do now!

Now you  must see the two photos above and wonder  "What on earth?" Well Kara and I went to go take off some of the horses's blankets, and it was cold and if you add it all together....well you can see it for yourself. :)

Quote of the Day
A good rider can hear his horse speak to him.
A great rider can hear his horse whisper.
But a bad rider won't hear his horse even if it screams at him!"

Bonus: "When in doubt, ask a horse."

How well do you know your Parelli-isms? Find out here!

Thats all for now guys!
Life is short! Hug your horse!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7 Keys to Success - 5) Time

"5) Time - If you take the time it takes, it takes less time. Most people don't have the time to do it right, but they always have time to do it over and over. With respect to time, we have to understand the relevancy of time, the meaning of short-term time and the long-term time, and the word "timing"." quote Natural Horsemanship by Pat Parelli
I often have to remind myself that horses have no conception of time, they could care less what time it is. They take life as it comes! Unlike us, we live by the clock. No wonder it is so hard for humans to think like horses, we live totally different then they do. We have opposite mindsets, but once you start to think like a horse... it all starts to make sense. Slip on one of their horseshoes, look through their eyes... imagine yourself a horse. How would your timing be different?

Question: How much time do you spend doing something with your horse? What about not doing anything with your horse?

Challenge: If you don't spend much time doing nothing with your horse, slow down and spend some undemanding time together. I am LBE when Im with Sharlie and I always want to do more, but sometimes I set myself to do nothing. And I do it. Even if Im dying inside ;)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Farrier Day!

Today the farrier came to Mercy. In fact, as I write this, he is still doing some of the horses. But this is beside the point. My point is that this afternoon was a very good one!

I got down early to the stables so I played with Casper a bit. He was quite RB but also slightly pushy. So I worked with him on several things...simple stuff. Some circling game, friendly and squeeze. Nothing much.
Then Sharlie got her hooves done. Such a good girl! I am very happy that Sharlie is very good with the farrier. I am so lucky! :)
I put on Sharlie's coat -a miracle really. She has lost a bit of weight, but her rear is still very much exposed.

I used the catching game to catch a loose horse. :)

Thats all for now. Its getting cold (dropping down to 19 degrees!) and we are not expecting it to change. :\

Im going back to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I cry when Sirius dies! :(


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Go Take a Look!

This time, I am stealing one from the Parelli Central blog that was posted back a few weeks ago. The blog is called "Zen Habits"

Go take a look!