I finally have some time to write since arriving in Pagosa Springs for the Extern program!
My lovely boyfriend helped me out and drove Aspen to Salt Lake City
while I followed in my car to meet up with a fellow Extern. From there
Aspen loaded onto her trailer the next morning and we continued our trip
down to Colorado. She arrived in good health and was happy to unload
here in Parelli land!
Our instructors, Maurice Thibault and Susan Nelson, along with other
Parelli staff helped us get checked in and unpacked and proceeded with
orientation and a facility tour.
Week 1 was comprised of establishing
our individual baselines - where we're at in the program in each savvy.
No testing, just a 'show me what you can do today' kind of set up.
Week 2 has been helping us as a class (17 in total) spruce up in a few
common areas we all could improve on; such as Porcupine game in
preparation for riding (remember, Porcupine Game is the most important
game after Friendly - that's why it's game #2!), changes of direction on
a circle, connection on a circle, soft touch, and carrot stick riding.
We've also done some fun simulations and team building exercises as
well as some great Q&A with Maurice and Susan!
Right now I'm sitting here in the Extern barn gazing out the office
windows watching people mosey around, visiting, laughing, riding,
shoeing horses - all of our equine partners content in their pens or out
in the playground grazing on supervised turnout. It's such a lovely
atmosphere full of support and a common goodwill. Nothing is
competitive here, it really is about putting the relationship first -
with our horses and each other.
Aspen had a little bath this morning and is all shiny and braided and
content soaking up the sun. I love seeing her everyday and I am so
optimistic to see how our relationship grows throughout this course! We
finally got my shims figured out (for now, I think!) and I am no longer
having crooked and sliding saddle issues - I can already see a
difference in her when it's time to ride. Horses love harmony and now
that the saddle isn't falling off her left side anymore we can finally
have more of it - the harmony that is!
I am so excited for this upcoming week as we should be getting to see
Pat and Linda and really get into the learning! I will try to write
more and keep better updated now that I've settled in and have a routine