I had fully expected to have to work Saturday but at the last minute management decided one admin person could handle the needs of all the management personnel. Rene volunteered to work since her husband also had to work so I got the day off. After hurried phone calls and e-mails, I managed to sign up for the Parelli Games in the morning at the ISC in Ocala and the Liberty Series Workshop, Circles and Change of Direction, with Jerry S. Williams in Williston, FL in the afternoon. To top off an already wonderful day, I had dinner with 3 fabulous friends; it was like the icing on the cake. I absolutely love it when the stars align and everything becomes possible!!
Since my truck is still out of commission, my friend Terri was very generous and provided transport for both me and Renegade. Renegade and her horse, Beau, get along well so they kept each other company while traveling. Ingrid also rode with us (she didn’t take her horse) and the three of us had a fantastic time talking and laughing with each other. It’s always nice to have friends to share with while traveling; we never seem to run out of things to talk about!!
We arrived at the ISC about 9:00 a.m., signed in, parked and unloaded our horses. After letting the horses relax for a few minutes, we tacked up and headed down to the area where they were holding the games. Renegade was distracted by the nice, green grass and that was an indicator of how things would go for the rest of the morning; I seemed to have only 50-75% of his attention. I’d like to note, this is different than having his attention only 50-75% of the time as he was paying attention to me but had about 30-50% of his mind on the grass and grazing. When I asked for something he would comply but didn’t do it with enthusiasm.
The first stop was the station for the online games and I decided not to try the online games right then; there were several people in line and there would have been a wait…more time for Renegade to disconnect from me. I decided to move on to the liberty station thinking that might be a better place to start; there was less waiting and not much lush grass in the honeycomb. I quickly learned my thinking was flawed! While some of our liberty was o.k., it was pretty lack luster for the most part. Stick to me was great at walk, trot, AND canter and back-up and our friendly game was good as was our squeeze between me and the rail but porcupine 6’ was difficult and sideways over a cs on the ground didn’t go very well. BFO…if it’s not going well online; don’t go to liberty!!
I had thought about trying the freestyle games but since I didn’t have Renegade’s full attention on the ground, I decided riding might not be a good idea!! Instead, I thought I’d take him to a different area to work on getting his attention using a squeeze but looking for snappy responses and it worked really well. The first two times through the squeeze Renegade was moving his feet but with no real purpose or direction, he was just shuffling his feet around. The third time through, after getting tagged the first two times through, when I sent him he left at a canter and it was a really nice one!! He was relaxed, soft, responsive, and enthusiastic and was easy to bring back when I asked for the disengage. I’m glad I decided to abandon my original plan and take care of what my horse needed as it helped the rest of the day get better!!
Renegade must have felt very comfortable at the ISC because he rolled 4 times while there. I wasn’t happy that he decided to roll with the saddle on but since it was warm out and he’s still got a pretty good winter coat, he was sweaty and was most likely itchy. He also doesn’t roll all the way over, so I wasn’t worried about the saddle horn. I’ve been working on having him lay down next to me so I decided to take advantage of him laying down and rub him while he was down. Later, after I had untacked him, he rolled 3 more times. I happened to be sitting on the ground the last time he rolled and he gave me a lovely sand shower when he got up and shook!!
After the games were over we were shooed out of Parelli Land so that the staff could get on with their chores and enjoy the rest of the day off. It looked like a giant wave of people moving up the hill towards their trailers with a couple of smaller waves following. It’s easy to get caught up in the feeling at the ISC and not want to leave such a magical place. After waiting for the initial crush of people to leave, we loaded up our horses and pulled out headed to the Holistic Horsemanship Center in Williston, FL for the Liberty Series Workshop, Circles and Change of Direction, with Jerry S. Williams, 3* Parelli Professional. It was about a 25” drive from the ISC to the Horsemanship Center and we arrived there about 1:30 p.m., enough time to unload, water our horses, and give them a bit of hay before the workshop started at 2:00 p.m. I’m going to write up the workshop notes in a separate post on my clinic/workshops pages.
More to come...