I am a videographer in Portland, Oregon with a love for all things horses. Originally from Minnesota, my childhood was spent on racetracks across the Midwest. I am currently training my dream horse with hopes of excelling at dressage and Parelli. I have a Cairn Terrier, Ellie, and an old cat named Winston. I am fortunate to have a pretty nice boyfriend who understands and supports my love of horses. My blog helps keep a record of my successes and failures and helps friends and family enjoy the journey with me.
This weekend I audited a Level 2 clinic by Ann Kiser. I got a lot of good information and ideas for things to work on while riding. Ann talked about direct rein and indirect rein, leg yields, and lots of horse psychology. We also learned a game the Parellis teach called "Tit for Tat." Basically you choose a point in the arena you want to get to, aim your eyes and bellybutton that way and if at any time your horse drifts, you let them go a couple steps and then you re-direct your horse 90 degrees. Keep going until your horse walks in a straight line to your focus point. If you get there, stop, pet, and give a break. Sounds like fun right?:-) I have to say I was kind of looking forward to seeing some good performances by Level 2 horses and I was sadly disappointed. I don't like to bag on other horse people, because we are all in this together, but I am not sure how some of these students even passed their Level 1. There were 5 horses out of eight that were at times completely out of control and then the owners didn't seem to handle the situation with much "savvy." Two horses bucked while people were riding and one girl was constantly rattling her lead rope at the horse with no clear idea of why she was even rattling it. If anything, it made Maddy look like a Parelli superstar and her bad behavior, very manageable. After seeing these horses, it seems like there is no standard when it comes to passing Level 1. I wonder if any other Parelli people out there have seen similar things and share this frustration. This week, I filmed and mailed out my remaining skills I needed to pass to get my Level one. After seeing these Level 2 horses, I am pretty optimistic, but it will feel like getting a gold star on your homework, only to find out later, the teacher put one on every paper.