On Sunday, my barnmate and I drove up to Battleground, WA for a Parelli lesson with Michael Sparling. We met Michael at the Redmond Parelli tour stop. He is a young, enthusiastic trainer so we thought "why not?" I was a little anxious about things...I haven't had a Parelli lesson since Ann Kiser left over two years ago. I still worry about trailering new places and how Maddy will respond. I need to get over my fears. Maddy walked off that trailer, took a casual look around and started eating grass. So once I was over my worries about her, I worried about myself.
Running through Parelli procedures...trying to remember all the things they teach without my modifications. My lesson went really well. We focused on all online things...he called it a "day of refinement." Polished up my weaves and worked on a better depart for the circling game. He pointed out I need to direct her zones better, which is why my circling game departs kind of started with a sideways and then depart. He was very observant and was clear with his directions. I was pretty pleased and excited to have some direction and homework.
Joni doesn't know a lot about Parelli, but was willing to try a lesson. Joni and Sky had a very similar lesson to my own, working on shoulder yields and hindquarter yields along with better departs. He comes down to our area about once a month. We are hoping we can convince Michael to hold lessons out at our barn in the Beavercreek area...wouldn't that be nice. Below are a few pictures of Joni, Sky, and Michael in their lesson. The last one is Maddy, content, not a care in the world, just make sure my haybag is full.