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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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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Future: All the Gory Details

[Warning: This post contains a lot of photos!]

I have decided to write a post- a detailed one at that- about my future. What I plan to do with my life.
I am one of those people who needs to have an exact, strict plan of what is ahead so that I can allow myself to  breath because I know what is coming. I need it to be planned in order to be spontaneous. 
So you can imagine how hard it is to be able to relax, be spontaneous when something like college and onwards is always uncertain...

Many people are puzzled by my need to know what I am going to do in my life and just how terrifying the words "I don't know." are to me. So perhaps by writing about my future will help people understand a bit more what exactly I mean.

With the path I am on at school right now I will hopefully be able to graduate in December of 2013 rather than May 2014. I am progressing well with my credits so hopefully I will be able to accomplish that.

Some recommend staying in school till May because you are less likely to get off-track for college. However I think that if I was to have those 8 months before I started college, it would be almost a gap year for me. I would finish any books I am writing at the time so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I am also hoping that during this time I will be able to perhaps intern for Emily again, focus on my horsemanship and my two marvelous horses.

Now it is the beginning of summer and I am leaving for Sewanee in a few months. Why Sewanee? Well I have compared MTSU and Sewanee and I really love the fact that Sewanee is in a rural setting. Have you seen the photos? It is gorgeous. 
I once shared a dream with Kara of going somewhere far away for college, escape from Chattanooga and all the rest of it. But is soon dawned on me that with Sharlie and Casper I couldn't go running off to New York, Utah or anywhere else for that matter. Also I have built a small- very small in fact- network of friends here. Emily, Hannah, Kara... I plan to build it a bit more before I leave.

However I still don't want to stay too close.

Now of course there is the thing that Casper currently belongs to the stable. My plan is to buy him a couple months before I go off to college. I would buy him now if I could afford it or work off the hours but I can't. Especially not now that I am juggling 4 after school clubs and such.

Once I buy Casper and he is officially mine I plan to take both Sharlie and Casper with me to Sewanee (hopefully by this point Sharlie will have had a major break through and will load like any other Parelli horse. If this does not occur, then I will have to ride her there.)
That is where some 'I don't know's come into play. I don't know where I will keep Sharlie & Casper. Sewanee has a stable but it is small, expensive and I have a feeling there won't be very many Parelli people there :/ 

No, what I am hoping is that I will find a Parelli-friendly stable/ a stable where there are a couple Parelli people. That or I find a Parelli person who has their horse(s) on their own land and I board them there...something along those lines.

At Sewanee I plan to get my English degree so I can continue to write. Whether it be writing novels or editing for the Savvy Times, I still want to write.

After I get my English degree, I will probably take a year or two to get my horsemanship to the point it needs to be to begin my journey to becoming a Parelli Professional. I would get a job and start saving up to the trip to Colorado. I am not sure what sorts of scholarships Parelli will offer at that point and time but I'll be hoping to get alot of them.

There is of course my horses. By the time I make it to Pagosa Springs Casper will be almost 30- retired for sure. I am planning on retiring him when he is around 25. He is a healthy pony now but he is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. For example his joints hurt him from time to time, become stiff and painful during the coldest part of winter. When he retires I won't be able to afford to keep him. My plan? Find a good kind loving home where someone (Parelli of course) will continue to play with him on the ground from time to time perhaps, and make a great companion for another horse.

Sharlie will be bordering 20 at this point. So it is very unsure of whether she will be the horse to come with me to Pagosa Springs. She may come and stay at the center later, when I am an intern or something but not for the beginning. 

So I will be horseless? No. Emily plans to have a QH breeding program in a few years time. I hope to go and study with her when she has the program set up because it is something that has always held my curiousity. And I am hoping that perhaps there I will find a young horse that will be my partner through the next step of my life.

I spoke of focusing on my horsemanship before and after university. Well while I was writing this post I began talking with the 3* Parelli Professional Jamie Evans, who lives out in Colorado. It was very interested to talk to him. I enjoyed it a lot.

He mentioned a new intensive study program he and his wife (Mattie Cowherd, also a 3*) were offering and encouraged me to look into it. Reading about it now I find myself very excited about the idea. Not something to do at this very moment but perhaps during my 8 month break before college. I couldn't take Sharlie or Casper out there because it is too far but still.

I always thought that Ocala was the place where I would begin  and perhaps complete my journey to become a Parelli Professional. However this news that they have to sell the center obviously changes that. When Parelli announced that they were selling the Ocala campus I cried. I know, but its true. You see, going to Ocala with my horse (whether it be Sharlie, Casper or someone else) was on my bucket list. Now that goal is never going to happen.
Emily and the others who are going to Ocala for their fast track are lucky. They are one of the last few to go there before the center shuts down. Savor it.

So my new future home will probably be the Pagosa Springs campus, a magical place in itself. I still am excited to go there, it is just a little farther to drive. Okay, a lot farther. But if it is meant to happen, it will happen.

I look forward to the day when I can ride under that same view and study under Pat & Linda Parelli. 
I realize its a taboo subject but they are not going to around forever. (Or maybe they will! :D ) So we are entering a new stage of Parelli I expansion, a large bound of progress. And I want to be there when it happens.

So those are all the gory details. The main factor that involves all of this is money. Of course. If only I could win the lottely, a million dollars, and I wouldn't have to worry in the slightest. Of course life doesn't work that way. But I will make it happen. Its what I am going to do in life.



(Don't be put off by his expression :P )

Saturday, October 29, 2011


"Many people are puzzled by my need to know what I am going to do in my life and just how terrifying the words "I don't know." are to me. So perhaps by writing about my future will help people understand a bit more what exactly I mean."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hey, Remember Me?

I have a mental bucket list.

Things I want to do before I die.

Number 3 on my list is called "Hey, Remember Me?"

(Note: This list is not in order of importance!)

Now what is "Hey, Remember Me?" Allow me to explain.

Ever since I got into Parelli all those years ago (hehehe...) I've always wanted to go to 3 (or more) tour stops in 1 year/one touring. Just so after the second one I can go up to Pat and/or Linda and say "Hey, do you remember me?"

It's not possible to do it after just one because I am pretty sure they won't remember you. However if you go twice before and then the thirt time they see you, I bet they may remember you!!

Anyway that oppurtuny may have finally arisen! Thanks to the Parelli Horse & Soul tickets being free for Savvy Club Members, it is now possible for Mom and I to go to the Conyers, GA event in February and the Murfreesboro, TN event next October. Also there is the possibility of me going up to Ohio to visit the same friends who I just went to go visit in Savannah (they are moving) and we can go to the Columbus, OH event together!

The Ohio option is still VERY up in the air so nothing for sure, though I would love to go because it would mean completing my bucket list goal!!

Scenario @ Murfreesboro even after going to previous two..(lets just say it did happen...)

Julia: Hey Linda, remember me?
Linda: Oh my gosh, yes! Didn't I see you at.. Conyers and umm...Columbus?
Julia: Yep! And I'm back again!
Linda: Oh wow. Where do you live?
Julia: Chattanooga. So this is the closest one out of all. I think you should offer free tickets more often. It really makes alot more things possible. ;)
Linda: Obviously. *laughs*
Julia: Would you mind signing this photo that you have already signed twice once again please?
Linda: Sure.

Something like that ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Doors Open when Others Close.

Lately, I have found myself amongst so many new oppurtunities it has become hard to keep track.

I have also found my past coming back around to find me in odd ways. 

The first thing that has come back around is the fact Casper is doing lessons again. (With me of course)
When I first began playing with him I was determined not to teach lessons with him till I deemed him ready. Some part of my mind even decided that he would never do lessons again. At that time he was completely wrong for the job. His horsenality, spirit level, emotional, mental and physical fitness were all wrong for it.

Now he seems to be the perfect match for Jimmy. I have been using Sharlie too of course but still. It is odd how things come back around in a circle. 

The important thing is that Casper is thriving. Something he wasn't doing before because he couldn't. [This is where I could go on and on about why he couldn't before, but I won't do that.] What is important is that his enviroment, emotional, mental and physical fitness are all in great shape and the most important facter- he is happy.

Another thing that has seemed to come back around is that I feel like I am accepted at the stables again. I think the summer away caused me to feel like a bit of an outsider but I feel involved again. Of course it had nothing to do with anyone leaving me out. I did it to myself. I went off in my own little bubble for a while with just Sharlie and Casper. When I started teaching lessons, I came back out of the bubble and back to the stables. 

Some people from my past have come back into my life. Some via Facebook, some in other ways. Not quite sure what to make of it yet...though I have a feeling it will turn into something or another.

I have officially been writing Casper's story for a year and a half! (give or take!) 
Here is a excert from Chapter 3.

"Startled and frightened, Tangerine shot forward into the stream. I began running toward the stream, expecting Tangy to come running out the other side. However she had stopped in the middle of the stream, realizing what she had done. I watched as she tried to turn around to go back but she seemed to be sinking into the sandy bottom of the stream. Since that didn’t work she tried to wade towards me on the other bank.

I realized in growing horror that Tangerine was stuck in the sand and seemed to be sinking. It hit me with a jerk. 
“Quick sand!” I shouted."

Now onto new doors...

A few days ago, a lovely old horse by the name of Callie passed. She was a sweet and gentle darling but was in pain. Callie's owner Melissa contacted me today (or was it yesterday?) about what I did with Sharlie and Casper, was it Parelli, etc... Melissa also has Little Bit who was Callie's bestest friend in the whole wide world but Callie was Melissa's soul-pony. (Soul mate, soul pony...get it?) Thus she and LB never really had the same relationship as Callie and her. 
LB and Callie used to be therapy horses and I was delighted when Melissa told me she did the 7 games with them way back when. 
Anyway we set up an exchange of sorts :P
I help her out with Little Bit, the queen of all Left Brain Extroverts. (No, seriously!)
And hopefully she can help me out with my teaching technique when it comes to lessons!

"Good, better, best, never let it rest! Make your good better and your better best!"

Now you may have noticed I have added some music to the blog. I love music and I have been thinking about adding a playlist. I hope you like the music. Hopefully the list will expand past what it is now (as in...5 songs! :P) 

If you want to turn the music off, it is at the bottom of the page!

I'm off to Savannah tomorrow!


A Strange New Welcome!

Hey guys!

I have always taken pride in the fact that Sharlie and Casper are some of the best mannered and friendly horses at the stables. They always are waiting for me at the gate, nickering at me with ears pricked and eyes fixed on my every movement.

I loved this welcome every time I went down to the stables and I had become used to it. Taken it for granted.

So imagine my shock when I went to go and say hello to them and they are acting like completely different horses! Sharlie was going back and forth from nudging me with her nose rather violently to spinning around in circles. Casper had taken to trotting around me and and almost prancing in place.
On top of that they were biting and kicking at each other like they were suddenly worst enemies!

Needless to say I was shocked and dumbfounded. My sweet, gentle, polite, well-mannered, friendly darlings were being aggressive and just....completely different. I was about to walk out of the field and decide not to play with them when I saw Sharlie paw at the gate just before Casper came up and began nibbling at one of the bars.

Suddenly it clicked! They wanted out, they wanted to get out and explore  and play! I hadn't been down to play since the weekend!

I ran back and got Casper's halter and ran back to him. He practically dove his nose into the halter!

I got the sense that both horses wanted to play hard today. It was a vibe. So that is what we did.

With Casper we did something I have avoided for a while: circling game at the trot!
He was tense at first but I didn't stop this time. Soon afterwards he relaxed and had slack in the lead rope.

We did traveling circles, squeeze through barrels, watch where you are going...a whole bunch of stuff. Casper was sweaty by the end of it (something very hard to do if you have ever met Casper!) but he had a very happy expression on his face!

Also, I think I found out one of the other reasons why he was acting so offish before. While spending some undemanding time with him afterwards I noticed he had clumps of what looked like mud on his belly. However when I looked closer I saw that they were in fact large scabs on a very ugly infected wound.

Its rather odd looking I must admit. However its in a rather odd place where a savvy string, brush or hand could easily brush over it unknowning but cause him pain. I washed it several times, disinfectated it. The point looks wierd.

I will have to keep an eye on it.

For Sharlie, our "intense" play session was much more mental than physical. The trailer was up by the barn so I took advantage of it to play around it a little bit. Sideways, squeeze, all of it helped. We have definitly made progress. She willingly sniffed it today! That is a lot of progress considering she was afraid to go near it 3 weeks ago.

That is all for now. I won't be posting till after fall break probably.

Good night,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thoughts of the Past, the Present and the Future


Time for a much needed long and lovely post, n'est pas?

Alright, first things first. Remember those things below?? (They are also in the side column! >>)

Fall Goals:

For Casper:
- Pass Level 1
- Go out on the trails confidently w/ a saddle and hackamore.
- Be 100% comfortable in the stall.

For Sharlie:
- Fluidity at the trot and onwards.
- Balance in the saddle.
- Refine phases.

For Me:
- Raising my energy. [Lightening bolts & purple waves.]
- Being more aware and improving my use of body language.
- My lightness.

These are my goals to complete before the end of November. (Yea that is when fall ends for me :P)
I just read over them today and realized something. I've already completed alot of this!

For Casper:
Go out on the trails confidently w/ a saddle and hackamore ✓

For Sharlie: 
Fluidity at the trot ✓
Balance in the saddle ✓

For Me:
Being more aware and improving my use of body language. ✓

Pretty darn good if you ask me!!

Now, onwards!

I completely forgot to tell you guys I have started teaching lessons! Yes, yes! 

To be honest, its been a little bumpy. I have been using Casper but he hasn't been the most cooperative. Sharlie on the other hand has been a charm. However it is very true that Sharlie is much more intimidating than Casper is due to her size. Its a completely new path so we are sort of expirementing as we go. (Unfortunatly for poor Jimmy!)

Then next week I am going down to Savannah to go see my friends! They are (hopefully) starting Parelli and so I'll help them out a bit. I can't wait to go to the beach, eat donuts for breakfast and watch all the X-Men movies. 


Also, keep an eye on the Parelli Central blog for when my blog post is published! :D

Anywho...that is all for now! :)


Monday, October 10, 2011

"Natural" Manifesto

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Not a Night to Forget

This evening was a very productive evening. I did the pony rides at a party, did the chores and then rode Sharlie out on a trailride with Mom walking with Casper.

I enjoyed doing the chores like always because I learn alot about horse behavior and horsenalities. I find all very fascinating.

The highlight though was when we went out for a walk. Sharlie was doing well at the walk so I decided to try a trot. For the first try I wasn't completely fluid but I wasn't bouncing or unbalancing myself. It took several more tries to find what I wanted.

To be completely in sync with Sharlie while trotting.

And I found an amazing discovery.

When one is completely in sync and fluid with Sharlie at the trot, one can drop the reins and steer with only their body. They do not bounce or slide. Almost like they are sitting on an armchair. You aren't going to fall.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Discovery of Confidence

Hey guys!

I have some very exciting news!

I have been writing an article about my discovery of confidence. It took a few weeks but I finally finished it last night.
I then sent it to Parelli Central.
I got a reply today asking if it was okay if they used it on their blog. I said yes!
I am so excited!
I will post the link when it is up :)