Saturday, December 27, 2008
This blog entry is from NickerNews reader, Robin Kroc:
Last April, my friends and I went to West Springfield, MA to enjoy a two-day Parelli Tour Stop.
When the Tour Team was introduced, Alison Bickley was among the group. At the first break I went to speak with this young woman from Sydney. She gave me the email address of her mother, Cassie, in Australia.
Cassie and I emailed back and forth several times about my trip to Australia. In one email Cassie mentioned Helen Topp’s Level 2/3 Clinic that she and Alison were planning to attend in Wilton, New South Wales. I immediately contacted the Center to see if I’d be able to audit. A return email assured me that I would be welcome!
The Australian Parelli Center is on Neil Pye's farm in Wilton, NSW. Neil is a five star Parelli instructor who has been with Pat and Linda Parelli for many years. He is the Dean of Faculty at the Parelli International Study Centers in Colorado and Florida.
Two years ago he married Sue Shoemark, an Australian, and the first president of the Parelli organization.
He and Sue were back in Australia for their Christmas holidays as well as for the wedding of Sue’s son Jake to Helen Topp.
Alison and Cassie Bickley brought their horses to the clinic in their horse ‘float’ (Australian for horse trailer).
Cassie’s horse was a beautiful dark dappled palimino gelding and Alison’s dark bay Thoroughbred mare looked like a Warmblood.
There were six other participants, with different types of horses ranging from Arabians to Australian Stock Horses.
Alison’s American boyfriend, Jake was also at the clinic. He was in Australia for the first time visiting Alison’s family. He is the bloke we see at the Parelli Tour Stops and on the Parelli Savvy Club DVD’s. A wonderful young man, he is playing in level 3 with his horse in the United States.
Saturday morning began on the patio with introductions and all of us expressing our goals for the weekend, including the four auditors!
Helen led an interactive overview of the level 2 and 3 principles, skills, tools and techniques while we furiously took notes and shared experiences.
All of the humans at the clinic had passed at least their Level 1 (safety) and were currently playing with level 2 and 3 (partnership and harmony) in several of the four savvys.
After a couple of simulations everyone went to get their horses ready to ‘mosey’ to the playground to enjoy playing with their partners on-line. All the horses wore rope halters. Most of the participants used their 22-foot lines, carrot sticks and strings. Two participants were learning how to use 45-foot lines.
The weather was sunny, warm but not humid and as WINDY as it could possibly be!! Seriously, it pulled the plastic chair right out of my hands and almost knocked me over several times!
The horses were amazing. Only one seemed to be a little spooked by the wind. All the horses were focused on their humans and were happy.
Everyone played the Seven Games with as many obstacles as they wished in the large playground on the property. There were so many different obstacles to play with: logs of all sizes, hills and ditches, trees, gates and fences, barrels and Irish banks of every description, a “car wash”, a balance beam, a horse size see-saw, cones, pedestals of several sizes and tires in different configurations.
Everyone was having such a wonderful time. Each partnership was at a different place in their journey. Helen moved around from pair to pair, providing encouragement and feedback, discussing techniques to try with differing “horsenalities.”
You could see both humans and horses gaining confidence in their own skills and trust in each other. It was amazing to watch!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
This blog entry is also from NickerNews reader, Robin Kroc. She writes from Australia:
I went on a natural ride in Canyonleigh, New South Wales at Aruma (an Aboriginal
word meaning 'place of contentment') with Kath and Liz who live on 3400
acres of land.
These two young women give horsemanship lessons and
rides and do summer camp weeks...all natural. They use a lot of Parelli
with other natural techniques. It was just the three of us for a half
day ride in the bush. Liz rode out the first leg of our journey with
her rope halter and 12-foot lead as a single rein. Kath and I rode with horseman's reins on a snaffle bridle with rope halters
under their stockman bridles. We rode on a "casual" or loose rein.
Midpoint we dismounted for a rest, a chocolate bar, an apple and a
drink of water. Kath and I tied our horses to gum trees with the
mecate rein using a quick release knot, while Liz's mare was ground
As we mounted for our return ride I noticed that Liz had looped
her 12 foot line loosely around her mare's neck, so now she had only
focus and body to control her horse's speed and
Kath and I would trot, canter or gallop ahead as we liked.
Liz was able to ask her horse to wait and then canter softly to join
us! It was sooo nice to see.
Near the end of our ride, Liz began to
whistle for her dog to come meet us. Suddenly two kangaroos leaped out
of the bush spooking my horse...a cool head, a one-rein stop, full seat
britches and practice on the 'mechanical horse' at the Parelli Center
the previous week-end kept me astride my lovely Australian Stock Horse mare named Dakota.
Notes on the Parelli clinic next!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
My friend and NickerNews reader, Robin Kroc, is having a heckuva time this month. It's summer downunder! Don't want to introduce any feelings of envy here, but read on to live vicariously -- if only for a moment. And stay tuned for more blogging from Australia!
Robin writes: "I am having a wonderful time...took a ride out last week in the bush
and saw lots of wildlife...kangaroos, wild goats, emu and her three
babies, a giant three foot long lizard, wallabies and two huge
eagles...I attended a two day Parelli Clinic at the Australian Parelli
Center last Saturday and Sunday...super! I am riding out in in the
bush in a different place tomorrow..natural horsemanship...can't wait.
Take care. Tell my horses that I am coming home soon."
Monday, December 15, 2008
This just in from Sharon Higgins of Andwemet Farm and a former CMP worker:
I worked at CMP for 19 years and was there for the ice storm of
This storm was nothing in comparison. I worked 19-20 hour days for
28 days straight back during the '98 storm.
People were without power
for 2-3 weeks. Our linemen worked around the clock with 4 hours off to
sleep for every 20 they worked.
As much as we all hate being without
power - especially those of us that have lots of horses to water, this
storm was pretty minor compared to that one. I just thought I would
send a reminder out that we never want another storm like the '98 one.
Hope you get your power back on soon.
I am saying a prayer for all the
linemen out there risking their lives for us and all of us horse people
that need electricity for lights and water.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
File this under the "How Desperate (and creative) Can Horse Owners Get?
This just in from a woman in California: She and her husband brought their horses to the beach for a winter ride. They took them off their trailer and hit the beach. When they returned to the parking lot, there was two horses in their trailer, munching away on hay!! Desperate owners had apparently dropped off their horses with the assumption that the beach riders/Good Samaritans would give their horses shelter. Wow! A little like dropping off your newborn at the firehouse, huh?
There is no Safe Haven law for horses and their owners -- If there was, I'm sure states would have their hands plenty full with cute, little 1,000-pound bundles of joy.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Not long after NickerNews blogged extensively on the topic, MPBN reporter Susan Sharon covered the story and interviewed several Maine folks in the horse business.
Check it out at this link:
If you can't click on it directly, copy the code and paste it into your browser line. OR, check the Links page of NickerNews.