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Training diary 2008-2018

January 1, 2019

Back to work in the arena with Carlotta this morning.

I can feel how everything is starting to fall into place - fan-tas-tic! Most of the time, a small shift, a minuscule twitch with a finger on the reins or change of focus - and off she goes into the desired direction, changes laterals, does turns on haunches etc.

Being the badass smartie she is, she sometimes misinterpretes my cues, especially when she doesn't want to do what I am asking for (mainly backing), she offers something else instead. Quarter turns are soo much less demanding, hahaha. But, of course, no way, Madam, we are doing this now. And suddenly she do can do it promptly and softly.

All the many changes of direction with outside rein (most of the time, still struggling a bit to the left) make things so smooth by now, it's pure pleasure.

I still have issues with lifting my hip (ouch at times!), so working on making it smaller and smaller, so we are both happy.

We did a lot of stops upon just coiling my pelvis, without reins, worked in about 80% of the cases. For the rest, a tiny additional squeeze on the long rein did the job. Will experiment a bit with an additional voice cue over the next few sessions. Problem with this is that she immediately slams on the breaks from any gait when I say psst or aaaand (whoa), but on the forehand at the moment, so not what we really want. More time for trial and error.

Anyway, a great start of the year

January 4, 2019

Got my riding session in this morning at 7, when it was only 31°C :-D

And Carlotta and I are starting a new adventure: we are part of the Intrinzen Project Proprius.

Fascinating, but at this stage still everything to learn - will be an interesting journey. Another one....

Riding went well. I took a bit of video, which is taking time to process. And lots of empty arena in it. I need to learn how to use my camera effectively on a monopod (tied to an arena post)

January 6, 2019

Cliff adjusted my seat during yesterday's lesson. He said my left hip was too much up (and not enough weight in left stirrup) and my right shoulder too. Boy, did that feel weird when I sat in that position!

So, spent this morning's ride to practice this posture. Starting to feel slightly more normal.

Carlotta was surprised, for sure, about my fumblings! But I got some nice feeling of her tuning into me. Backing came very softly, and the turns are nice too. Then I just had to be baaad and asked her for a little spanish walk. Um... from then on, she wanted to do but that for at least another 5 minutes ;-)

Then some lovely laterals (remembering this time to look into the direction of travelling for shoulder-in, duh!), including half-pass. This is still a struggle for her, especially to the right, but even Cliff had to work a bit to get it right with her.

Once unsaddled, I asked her for the "crunch" from our new Intrinzen work. The first attempt had been... well... not very successful, but this time, I suddenly felt her withers, then her back, lift under my hand. Wow! Didn't expect that to happen so soon!

January 9, 2019

This morning was really interesting.

Carlotta worked nicely under saddle, but wasn't really sure what I wanted when I asked her for crunches from up there...

I did notice that her canter has been becoming very elevated and powerful the last few times, almost like a "panther walk in canter". Not the most comfy thing to sit, but she really seems to pick up on the Intrinzen idea of autonomy. And her turns in canter became easier for her as well, so increased agility already!

But then came the Eureka moment! After unsaddling, I just stood at her side, about mid-rump, very softly resting my hand on her back, and doing nothing else. And suddenly I felt her arch up, lift her withers and back into a beautiful crunch! She got biiig praise and hugs and goodies. I walked over to the right side, put my hand on her back and again did nothing else. And there she went again: lovely crunch!

Couldn't wipe the smile from my face.

January 10, 2019

Crunches under saddle are starting to work.... as long as we do them in her "comfort spot" on the north corner of the arena. I tried one somewhere else, and she just walked on.... :-D

And she can do them (me on the ground) now with my hand held in the air above her back or withers.

Smart girl!

January 11, 2019

Another lesson with Cliff today. Boy, do I have difficulties sorting out that lifting of inside hip!!! For sidepassing at this occasion. I kept collapsing my inside hip and at times looked like Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid! ;-)

One day, it will work. And I have a week to practice now. Love the way Cliff picks one thing to work on each time, so we have all the time we need to process it.

Chris had brought her Vicente for the first time today. He was a very good boy and took it all in his stride.

January 12, 2019

Am I dreaming?

Today's riding session included quite demanding elements (for me to use my inside hip correctly and for Carlotta to learn sidepassing). So, in between, I took her to her comfort spot and asked for crunches. She was very happy to perform, after one or two even with me just sitting passively and no cues!!

A bit later, I asked her in another spot, also with reins on her withers and doing nothing. She thought a sec, then walked off. But at next try, she lifted both withers and back beautifully, and each time from then on.

Suddenly, I heard rattattatttaaaaa in the distance. Yes, the local motorcycle kids were arriving, about a dozen of them. Steinar's (Intrinzen instructor) remark came into my mind to allow the horse to be the master of her own fears and tensions. So I stopped in the middle of the arena (which is about 30 m from the road), dropped the reins on her neck and did nothing (no expectations at all). When the gang came noisily thundering past, Carlotta watched for a moment with high head, then suddenly went into a beautiful crunch! This was such a wonderful moment - feels like an enormous breakthrough.

Back in the paddock, Keldan came to greet me, so I decided to just play a bit with him, walked to his side and put my hand on his back and shifted my weight a bit backwards. I could see the wheels turn in his head, and then he started to shift his weight a bit back. CT! I changed position frequently (satellite crunches) all around him. Very soon, he started to lift his withers a bit. Being Keldan, he arched his neck beautifully. And then I started to leave some air between my hands and his skin, and he could do it too! I suppose here is a candidate for becoming a superstar!

January 15, 2019

Chris came over early this morning (it was already nice and warm at 8 a.m.) with Margaret and brought Vicente, so we could have a bit of fun with him and Carlotta in my arena. Another good opportunity for him to gain experience under varied circumstances.

Carlotta was not impressed - she immediately switched to Grumpy Bum and growled: This is MY arena! A lot of flattened ears, but she did cooperate with me after all ;-)

Vicente was just a gem, very unimpressed and calm and happy to do whatever Chris asked him (remember: he is still very green), be it walking or trotting, turning, doing nice bends and some more advanced stuff already. Very impressive, this horse.

For once, Carlotta and I felt small when standing at his side. Usually we are the tall ones :-)

I practised my stuff, as usual. Still being crooked here and there and dropping my inside shoulder, hggggnnnnn....

But from time to time, it worked quite well at least.

Margaret kindly took lots of pics and a few videos. And Greg came out and took one to:

Too funny how Carlotta switched to a hint of school walk at the end of the video :-D

Thank you, Margaret and Chris.

Thank you also to our wonderful CJ, who built a rail into my tack room, so I can hang my horse rugs over it.

January 22, 2019

Oh what a beauuuutiful summer day, euh, I mean, how st*nking hot it is! And we had a riding lesson with Cliff. I was really half expecting to keel over and fall off my horse from a heat attack ;-)

Chris kindly let me ride first at 10 a.m., but I only held out some 20 minutes, then handed my steed to Cliff who gave her an intensive and impressive training session.

Even Rev was on economy mode today, so they didn't do the full hour either, but rather stopped after a couple of good performances.

Again, a lot of useful things learned and some progress made. Cliff, you are The Best!

January 23, 2019

Another Intrinzen session with Carlotta in the arena. She was happy to walk with me and offer Panther Walk from time to time. No significant improvement on PW since last time. But instead, the crunches were a lot more upward - yay! :-)

So I tried to point forward from a PW, and she did the same trick she had invented last time: going more and more forward and down with her front legs, until her chest almost touched the ground. She looked like a big dog, doing a doggie stretch, and with her front legs crossed on top. So hard not to laugh, and even harder not to reward her for such a splendid creativity!

We did most of our current programme under saddle. Her leg yields are becoming pretty fluent and straight, with very little help from her human friend. Seems I am starting to get my act together on this now.

I asked Cliff yesterday whether it would make sense to do the turns towards the fence from a standstill at first, as we both struggle with this. But today, when I followed Cliff's suggestion to put her into a slight travers position, then ask for the turn, it worked very well and fluently.

It is such a rewarding feeling when you notice that suddenly your aids are becoming so precise that your horse has no problem to react to them correctly! All of Cliff's explanations I can now feel - amazing when I twitch this muscle in my upper thigh, or lift my inner hip and keep my focus straight ahead, or put my knee in just the right spot, and everything suddenly is so easy for my horse and comes so naturally. Wow and wow and wow.

Wish I had known such an instructor some 40 or 50 years earlier - I bet I would be just brilliant by now!

January 24, 2019

Much too hot for whatever outdoor activity. Even the horses are hiding in the deep shadow.

But this morning at 8, it was just perfect, nice and cool and a little breeze. Was fun to play with Carlotta - we enjoyed our interaction, first on the ground, then with a quiet riding session.

Working on improving the crunches, and some of them are starting to look quite nice. She was less keen about the PW, so maybe I have taken the poolnoodle away and out of knee reach too early.

Towards the end of the session, she again offered a deep doggie stretch with crossed front legs and chest going far down towards the ground - caught it on video :-) But maybe not something to encourage her to develop and put into her tool box ;-)

Later nice leg yields, with only small cues, and turns towards the fence and other goodies. I sometimes did some stupid things with my inside hip again, but I was forgiven.

Thank you, Carlotta, you are just lovely!

2 videos (not ideal, as camera too far away) on my youtube channel. When I look at her in the riding video, I hardly can believe her transformation - she looks so incredibly beautiful and noble.

January 27, 2019

Nice progress with our Intrinzen work. There seems to be quite a mind shift in her (and me!). When I come into the paddock to halter her, she has now started to walk towards me! That from Carlotta!!!

And when she needs a break and a good stare into the distance during our sessions, I walk away and do something else, but now she almost immediately turns around and follows me. Each time. Wow!

Today I decided to do something new and put the saddle on her while we did our exercises. And she was a different horse. Much prouder posture. Tentatively, I started to speed up myself and, after a bit of hesitation, she copied me. Went into a slow corto and then, suddenly, she offered two (very low) steps on Panther Walk. But PW it was, definitely!

Jubilees from me, and big praise and cuddles, and goodies.

January 28, 2019

Interesting yet again today. I tried to combine the crunch with forward into the PW for the first time. Lots of puzzles to solve for Carlotta, but she tried so hard, the dear girl.

My attempts to animate her into "crunched forward" went a bit over the top, like hopping around like Bugs Bunny, haha. When she managed her first little tölt/trot ending with a creative hop forward and up, she needed a big break for processing. 3 and a half minutes, before she was ready to interact again.

I was very happy with her cooperation and tries and good will. I have made a number of mistakes, like too far forward at her side and target held too low, putting mental pressure on yet again, but she figured things out nevertheless :-)

The riding session afterwards was just delightful. She was overbubbling with energy and proud posture. Wanted to go into piaffe, but I just said thanks and asked for a walk. Very nice turns and leg yields to both sides upon just lifting my corresponding hip. And yes, I finally remembered to look in front of us for leg yields and shoulder-ins ;-)

She is now offering shoulder-in in corto on her own! After 10 minutes or so I asked for canter and slightly turned my body while she was cantering, and here she went, right into a shoulder-in. Wow! Dismounted immediately and ended the session on this highlight.

Carlotta Super Girl!

January 29, 2019

Backed off from the inadvertantly demanding stuff I had done yesterday and opened my mind to the desirable approach.

Waited for Carlotta to come to me. Tried to run around when she did, but she wasn't ready to follow me yet. No worries.

Stood at her side, asked for crunch with my body language (doing a crunch myself and slightly lifting one hand, palm up) and also introducing a verbal cue: "lift". She got the idea very quickly. So we proceeded to start walking in PW out of the crunch. She is becoming very willing to do this, i.e. go into PW right away.

I have to pay attention to use external focus when we are about to start walking, which means that I point forward with the poolnoodle (or my arm) and take my look off her and look ahead instead. And Crunch and PW myself. Which is pretty hard, especially trying to throw my legs forward. Working on it... but it definitely has a positive influence on the way Carlotta moves. Duh!

There was half an hour left before the hoof trimmer was due, so threw the saddle on her and we worked a bit. As the days before, she was overbubbling with energy, wanted to offer all sorts of fancy things and had lots of power and enthusiasm. I really love the way I can influence direction, bend etc. with just a tiny bit of "knee on", and she stays straight and on track a lot better by now. And when I get carried away, then suddenly realise to readjust my seat, I can see her ears play vividly.

January 30, 2019

My faithful friends and readers here on FB might wonder why I am doing this "weird Intrinzen stuff", so it might be time for an explanation what it is all about. Intrinzen is based on functional human movement (which is scientifically based) which opens new pathways in the brain (not only the horse's!!), in order to create new ways of learning and achieving things.

The goal is to help our horse become autonomous which will in normal cases, along with special work we do with motivation, empower our horse to make his own decisions during training. This does of course not mean that he will from now on be allowed to walk all over us and do only as he pleases. Via well sought-out exercises, the horse learns to use his body and mind in a very efficient way. Insecurities (as well physical as mental), lack of balance and agility are addressed in various ways, always giving the horse time and space to figure out the solutions himself. And allow him to decide when he wants to apply what he is learning. Especially in the beginning, he will very often appear "switched off", i.e. will stare into the distance and seem to ignore his human partner. This is a sign that he is processing (it is not a break, as his nervous system is working overtime) - it may look like a break, but it is not - also staring at something in the distance is not taking his mind off things, but also is processing Once this is done, he will turn towards his human and be ready to continue.

There is a great variety of exercises, which go from doing a "crunch", which is a lifting-up of his withers and his back, while coiling his loins. Then it is combined what is called a "panther walk" (PW), which is a collected way of walking, incorporating the proud posture of the crunch. It can vary in how it is carried out, but we want to see the noble, collected, upright posture, with front legs reaching out far in front, making room behind the elbow. And hind feet following, of course. PW can be done at the walk, but also become much more spectacular, showing very vivid movement, like going up into the air and forward, doing it at the trot, at the toelt (maybe even at the canter).

Once the basics are solid, there is a huge number of things we do with saddle weights, acqua bags and passenger lessons before we ride our horse AND the test is can our horse crunch (like an expert) with our weight - if not we get off and work more on the ground - this is something Steinar is very particular about.

The end goal is a horse that readily makes the decision to be proud and collected in any circumstances. Which means that he will stay sound for a very long time, as he has learned to carry himself in a very effective way. And he has learned a mindset and self-confidence which make him a very safe horse to ride.

You can see some videos here:

One word of warning about the addressed "bad ass" behaviour. Bad ass can be running around free and proud BUT is more about being proud and having the proper core structure in place and capacity to do movement well - this takes the time it takes and a lot of people just go and do what they see and then their horse falls apart or they get hurt as they dont do the work they need to do first - and if a horse crunches and nickers THAT IS bad ass.

February 7, 2019

After 4 ride-free days, back in the saddle again today for a brief ride. But before, we did our Intrinzen session. I am trying to introduce the gymnastic mat, but Carlotta is still too worried to step on it. So, I am now trying to just put a feed bucket on it and let her eat from it, and decide herself when she will be ready. Which is what Intrinzen is about, of course.

Played with a bit of PW and crunches, which are improving a bit, but still too far back instead of up - ah well, takes the time it takes...

Today, for the first time, she responded to my body language suggestion to increase speed a bit: staightened herself up at the walk and increased energy into an almost corto. Click and treat.

She was full of enthusiasm for the ride, did lovely laterals and prompt, very soft walk-canter transitions, wherever I asked for them.

During one of the breaks (standing calmly with reins on withers and breathing out), there was a Eureka moment: she suddenly walked off in PW. Lots of praise (dang, I didn't have my treatbag with me!), then a bit of walking, and - bang - she decided to do it again! Felt heavenly. Biiig preaise and hugs and end of session.

February 8, 2019

Nele kindly brought Hanna here, so she could pick up her painting. And have a little ride on Carlotta. :-)

Nele's kids, Nelson and Ellie, provided some nice distractions, so we had a slightly modified environment to work in. We started with taking a video (thank you, Hanna) of some Intrinzen work, then Hanna was happy to give it a go.

Quite a challenge, as this was a horse she didn't know at all (and vice versa), in an unknown environment and the horse at liberty, not even a halter on. She did great, and Carlotta really seemed to like Hanna, as she affectionaltely licked her and gave her kisses.

And worked very nicely for her. Then riding time. I hopped on briefly, just to show Hanna the way she is ridden, then it was Hanna's turn. Very good rider with lots of feel and great seat, so they both clicked immediately. At the first corto, Hanna giggled in delight and said to Nele: I am taking this one home!

And she loved Carlotta's level of education and cooperation. But the absolute highlight was that Carlotta started to offer us (first to me, then to Hanna) Panther Walks under the rider! Once she even did a little hop, wanting to speed up, but wasn't quite sure whether this was desirable. I loved her display of raised energy! Julie saw the video and spotted a crunch (which I hadn't noticed!) while doing PW.

From then on, she kept doing PW, and we both laughed with delight when she did. It was SOOO much fun! Thank you, Carlotta, you are an absolute Star!

Took Carlotta back to the paddock and asked her to lie down on hand signal, which she did. Hanna was amused :-D

Video of Carlotta's PW:

Notes form Julie:

going well and it is nice to see her moving- I think you need to click less for the most part - we need to let her go a little longer and wait for effort before we click - this is especially so in the crunches as she needs to poof up allot more and not use her neck - when you ask her to focus externally in the crunch - we need the stick long and we need her to crunch while she is doing it (so dont click if there is no crunch) - I am hoping we get some film of this from Steinar this weekend while he is in Denmark - it is linked up for him so fingers crossed. Also watch you are not chasing her - a couple of times you were way behind the 'riding' position so when this happens - do some turns - so mix it up and vary the direction allot and that should help maintain the riding position as it is easier for us to drop back than to catch up.

the reason we struggle here is because we want to click all the time - wait for more effort before you click but her neck needs to get out of the way - so no we dont want to bend yet - just askj her to look forward towards the pointer

a secondary reinforcer should not be a compromise it is the same as a primary so it is the same as a click when a click is not really deserved - she will have days where she does not want to do much so a couple of crunches where effort is clicked for and then stop will work wonders for her

February 12, 2019

Carlotta really surprised me today. Upon Julie's urgent suggestions, I finally gave in and decided to allow 2 weeks without riding and "only" doing Intrinzen. We played a bit with walking together, a few PWs (she wasn't overly keen on that today), and some crunches, trying to improve them. Got two really nice upright ones with chin slightly tucked in. Good I had some jackpots in my treatbag!

Then suddenly, while I ran at her side, she took off at a playful canter and then joyfully put in a kick - at good distance from me. Who would have thought that she had it in herself to play?! Wonderful!

February 15, 2019

Early in the morning, I had the first ride after 2 weeks off riding (for Intrinzen purposes). Princess was pretty hot and goey, no walk or stop possible for about 5 minutes ;-)

But did she look pretty (even from above) with her arched neck and collected posture. The laterals and the leg yields came fluently at the corto. She hasn't forgotten a thing :-D

When she offered me a very calm series of walks and transitions, we called it a day.

February 17, 2019

Have the feeling that she had bee trying too fast and too hard to please me over the last six weeks, since we started this journey.

She is going through a phase now, as I suppose, where she needs time to process. Today again, she didn't want to do PW and only hesitatingly some crunches. So I just asked for 3 or 4 crunches, but those with poofing up, which worked quite nicely.

Then briefly to the mat, and she put her front foot on a few times. Still worried it might move and eat her... . Never mind how long it takes. Will see if I can bring myself to just WAIT now and let her decide (at liberty) when she can approach it and walk on. Even if it takes forever. When I took some hay to the paddock a bit later, Carlotta stood at the gate, then went into a deep dog bow!

From Julie:

there is going to come a time when the mat is going to be poisoned - you need her to have the autonomy - I would recommend that you stop asking her to come to the mat - if she goes to the mat or even thinks of going to the mat click and treat BUT walk away do not take her to it. Often when our horses don't really seem to 'want' to engage it is autonomy at work and this is crucial that you respect this - I see it allot and we need to do exactly as you did BUT you dont ask for anything - see what she offers - give her a massage - then if she does something click and treat for it - this is the hardest part but it is really worth it and once we honour it - it will be done, but if we dont, it is going to happen again and again and with each time it will be harder as our horse will not have the confidence that we are listening. If we respect it straight off the bat and when we find a clickable moment we make a huge fuss and finish up, that process will go very quickly and it does not really come back again unless we start telling our horse what we want. There will be days when they say na not today and thats fine - it is their day of massage

it is hard and intrinzen is harder for us than it is for our horses! it is not really a demanding personality it is more about habits that we form when training - dont look at any of this as training, just look at it as releasing emotional and physical parking brakes.

OK hahahaha - no what she is showing you now is a test of autonomy - so she is asking you to put your money where your mouth is

- you see this is autonomy and 6 months ago you would not have thought she had this in her - so hang in there and trust me with this - I have been through it with Star and I have had contact with so many people with this same pattern

just my views and someone else would probably tell you something different - but it really works well this way - I think it was about the 7th month mark with Star because we were in the first next steps way back when this stuff was not really spoken about - hahahahahaha what have you got to loose...a couple of days of really checking ourselves will tell us for sure

February 17, 2019

Difficult day today, very hard not to feel frustrated.

She was packed with autonomy for the brief Intrinzen session, most of the time wanted to graze. Turned to me once or twice and was willing to walk along my side for a lap, then off again. Gave me one good crunch, so I left it at that.

Looks like my calm, relaxed riding horse has gone out of the window. Carlotta was pretty tense yesterday (first ride after 2 weeks) and tense she was today again. Stopping (which works on coiling my loin and no reins normally) was only possible in her comfort spots, and standing still was soo hard. Took me a lot of work to allow her to simmer down to panics, as Chris calls it jokingly. When she finally managed to give me a good stop and breathed out, I dismounted and called it a day. Oh my, poor girl, this is so hard for her, as it seems.

I know that there is a lot of stuff going on underneath, but I am not (yet) zen enough to allow it without feeling worried and somewhat frustrated.

So, I hear you, and I hope she will be OK and not hold a grudge against me.

From Julie:

these days happen and there is no need to feel frustrated - you respected her choice she gave you a good crunch and you left it at that - it is these days that will really make a difference - embrace them - when you come out the other end you will understand

Ok so you rode her as well - the stuff with Cliff is important to you so you need to weigh up what is best for you and her as I am quite sure riding her with Cliff is not providing any autonomy and the difficulty for her is that one day she has it and the next she is under control - even Steinar with a fully autonomous horse would get off if he had any hint that the horse was not happy - so you need to make the best of the situation and accept that she cannot be provided with autonomy - see the problem is that she was starting to feel empowered but it is not fair to her for her emotions to be up and down like this. You probably have to think about what the trade off can be - I will give it some thought and when I next speak with Steinar I will see what he can suggest (other than what I know he will LOL).

So, I had some thoughts about this:

Cliff is a brilliant rider with perfect timing and very good hands, but there is zero autonomy for the horse when he rides.

It didn't seem a problem for Carlotta to switch between autonomy and being ridden before she had that break. I used to do Intrinzen, then let her graze a bit while I got my gear out, then rode her for 20 to 30 minutes, and she seemed fine with it, all soft and happy to go. Now it all seems changed.

Yes, I will have to weigh what to do, and yes, I understand she must feel betrayed by switching between autonomy and obedience. I wonder whether this is not too much for her and maybe I should postpone Intrinzen until I can give her really several months of break from being ridden, i.e. when I have her bred toChris' Morgan stallion and she gets around 5 or 6 months pregnant until the time the foal is ready for weaning.

I would really love to continue, as in general she seems to love it and showed a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning. Thank you for asking Steinar what he thinks.

When I ride her, I can give her some autonomy and I am soft wherever I can, but there is a programme I am working on, and I just cannot let her "off the leash" while riding her. I do put in frequent breaks, allow her to stand on reins on withers, take deep breaths etc., apply minimal cues and let her think about things for a couple of minutes. But in between, we are doing work. I am absolutely passionate about becoming a really good rider, and this takes hard work at times, and my horse is asked to cooperate, even though asked gently, wherever possible. And it was starting to become very possible very often.

Here is an example of a riding session from end of January (just before the break):

February 18, 2019

After feeling so miserable all yesterday about the whole thing, I decided to change things today. Asked for a crunch before saddling, then had about 5 minutes of practising our stuff, then stopped in her favourite corner and did nothing. She sighed and then did a crunch (her own decision). Biig praise and goodies (have now your little bag hanging over my shoulder, which works well). Then did nothing again, and she walked off purposfully, then started doing PW!!!

Another big praise, then I let her decide what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. She happily wandered around, then started to unroll her repertoire (shoulder-in, travers, corto, canter, and even a shoulder-in in canter). When she decided she wanted to finish and walked towards the gate (I ride with the gate open), I just let her and she went and lined up at the MB for me to dismount. After unsaddling, I took her to the arena, brought the mat (folded) and placed the bucket with her supplements on it, where she happily ate it while I took the hay to the paddock.


dont feel bad about things - I know it is hard not to and we all go through these things - it is a very hard commitment to be 'all in' and it does not suit everyone and their dreams and goals. What your experience shows today is that autonomy is very important for her and when you give this to her she gives you all of her repertoire by choice - and that is the best feeling for us and for our horse - I think your approach is great - aside from a little bit of a parking brake in her left hind area (and the fact that I do not believe she has the capacity I now believe to be true after all these years with Steinar) her parking brakes are more emotional AND the only way these can be released is through autonomy - I think it sounds like you had a wonderful morning


Yes, I did, and Carlotta did as well, which is even more important. So I will let her decide what she wants to do during our rides most of the time and not ask for anything from the ground for now, apart from a few crunches here and there.

I can't be "all in", was already very hard for me not to ride these 2 weeks! But I can try to work around and give her as much autonomy as possible. Maybe we can meet on this ground.


crunches need more effort so you do need to ask for these on the ground if she shows you she wants to do them - so more effort will give her more capacity and go with it in the PW if she offers this as well, but remember again to ask for more effort - you only have to get 1 or 2 good ones. yes I think that it is a good compromise

February 24, 2019

All going well with Carlotta. I have dropped the liberty work for now and decided to incorporate Intrinzen/autonomy into our riding sessions, so she can have a say and not become frustrated by "obedience all the time".

This seems to work very well. After a few laps on long rein, we do a bit of work. At the moment, Cliff is teaching us counter-bend work, i.e. how to use my hips effectively and smoothly. Carlotta was starting to respond very nicely this morning, was a real pleasure.

Then reins on withers, do nothing, and let her decide. Usually, she now does a crunch or two then walks off and wanders around in the arena, sometimes adding some PW.

An interesting moment was when she suddenly decided to walk through the scary bottleneck between the pedestal and the labyrinth. :-)

Then pick up reins again and continue with some more work. Her general tasks have improved a lot, I feel. Much more suppleness and agility in her movement.

And I think I have improved myself, also for my posture. It can still be hard at times, but there has been a biiiig leap forward. Great feeling!

Thank you so much, Cliff!

The canter can still be sticky at times, especially her tendency to drop the right shoulder. Cliff showed me what to do in this case and it works nicely.... IF I do it correctly! ;-)

She still loves to come to me in the paddock, nickering or whinnying. Sweet! :-) And she is starting to nicker while doing crunches. I can see the connection between us - wonderful feeling.

Love my proud, noble horsie!

February 25, 2019

This about the dogs:

Something extraordinary happened today.

While I was clipping Leo's toe nails (with clicks and liver treats in between), Niko came into my office. He is the one who used to be terrified beyond belief by the idea of having any of his nails even touched by the clippers, and it took a lot of patience to get him over it.

He stood close to me for a while, but I was busy with Leo, so didn't pay attention to Niko. Suddenly I heard a "plop" behind me, as Niko lay down on his bed and waited for his turn to have his nails done!!!!

This was so suprising that I could hardly believe it. But I turned around and did Niko's nails, while he enjoyed his liver treats after each nail.

Turned out that Greg had sneaked up from behind and taken some photos.

February 27, 2019

Very pleasant lesson with Cliff yesterday. We worked more on counter bends, adding some canter too. Carlotta was very cooperative and is now gliding into the movements very gracefully. No photos or videos from it unfortunately.

Got some high fives from Cliff about what we achieved together. Yayyyyy! When I ran out of steam, Cliff took over and did a few minutes of canter work with her. And - tadaaaaa - she once (very calmly and beautifully) gave him a flying change! The first one right at the beginning of the video, and there was another one a bit later too. Wow!

For the warmup, Chris grabbed my umbrella (which I had taken for sun protection) and did some elegant moves with Rev.

Then Renae was having her baptism as a jouster on Paco, teamed up with Chris on Rev. Cliff coached from the ground. All did very well and had a ball on top. Great job, girls and horses!

This morning, Carlotta and I practised at home, adding cortos and canters, as well as switching from counter-bend to half-pass. Once she got the idea, she very happily performed for me.

She was so engaged in the process and hyped up that she couldn't stop at times, especially when we had worked on some collected (school) walk. I didn't force her, but instead gave her the reins and let her show initiative. Which mostly quickly turned into Panther Walk and some crunches. This seems to be a concept that really suits her.

March 2, 2019

Anyway, had my extra-lovely b'day ride this morning at 8. Inaugurated my new air vest (a Two Point Softshell). Boy, sits it tight (or am I just fat?!). I hope it will stretch a bit over time. But I like it a lot better than the Hunter. I think that one will be up for sale soon...

Princess Carlotta was at her best, just one stare-freeze-growing-in-withers moment when neighbour's cat had the audance to walk around their lawn, haha.

Our combos of counter-bends, half-passes, shoulder-ins, travers etc. came fluently and softly - much fun for both of us.

I often see the benefits of our Intrinzen work (even though it wasn't much yet), as she is willing to be brave and walk through the scary bottleneck between pedestal and labyrinth, all by her own choice. Or the repeated crunches she did today and some nice little PWs as well.

It seems to me that her posture has become a lot stronger already - I feel so much more "elevated". And it is easy for her now to respond to my request to lift her inside shoulder.

We had slightly different opinions about canter work, as she thought it was too hot to go through too much effort, so started to canter, then slowed down after a dozen strides. OK, back to walk, and canter transition again. She finally gave in, being the wiser one of the two of us. So, I tried a flying change. After all, Cliff got two, so why not me!

I looked into the opposite direction and lifted my new inside hip, and I could feel the "jump" under the saddle when she changed lead. Her feet got a little bit muddled up, but she did it. It was a premiere for me too. Yay, thanks, Lolle!

March 5, 2019

At today's lesson, Carlotta had the honour to be the first one to set foot on the luxurious new layer of sand in Cliff's arena. Not completely, as we discovered various footprints of small animals who had tested the terrain already.

Of course, Carlotta saw gremlins, sharks and who-knows-what in every corner of the arena, but we managed eventually to get a bit of work done ;-)

When I ran out of steam, Cliff took over and got some canters which looked really nice.

Oh, and I love my new Point Two Softshell vest.

March 8, 2019

We are having a visitor over the weekend: Bindi, Vago's daughter.

The boys (Leo and Niko) are delighted about the female company, and there is a lot of happy running around in the garden. For the moment, they are all a bit pooped and having a nap.

Oh, looking into those Vago eyes, she definitely has her dad's head. *sniff*

But before she arrived, Carlotta and I did our daily half-hour in the arena. She still has problems with half-pass to the right and canter to the right, where she tries to do sharp turns and at times drops her shoulder. More work to be done.

Her canter to the left was very vivid today, and when I tried to get a flying lead change, we somehow got a bit mixed up with our intentions and almost landed in the fence. Narrow escape. It can get tricky when your horse reacts in the split of a second to your slightest cues and even (in this case undecided) intentions... ;-)

The lateral work is becoming lots of fun: very fluent and soft most of the time. And I am trying to keep my leg position where it belongs. I am adding a little video from Wednesday.

To finish the session, we did a bit of school walk. Feels so good when she becomes all proud and arched and upright and floats along with so much controlled energy. I automatically adopt a very proud posture myself! Then a few steps of piaffe attempts. At the end, she went into a bit of passage! Big jackpot and end of session.

March 9, 2019

Can't stop laughing with delight. Carlotta has made PW her default behaviour, as it looks like. We spent at least half of today's session in it, haha.

She is becoming very comfortable with it and offers it all the time. But today she started to lift herself really, really up in the withers, arching her neck so proudly and coiling her loins - all of her own making! That little bit of Intrinzen we did was apparently enough for her to change completely in her attitude and capacity.

She must have looked like a very noble alta escuela horse.

And when she heard my delighted giggles and jubilees, she lifted even higher, and her legs flew out straight in front of her. She is so light in the front end now that levades come almost automatically. As I didn't ask for this, I didn't encourage it, of course.

Backing is very easy now, with chin nicely tucked in and back lifted. The canters were animated again, she seemed to get carried away by her own beautiful movements ;-)

Such a pity that nobody was there to film my Carlotta Superstar.

From Julie:

YES now we have the proud movement that will change her nervous system - we speak about this in the video - I am sooooooo HAPPY for you and we also speak about the social engagement and how that also alters the nervous system which is what your joy is sending her. I would not worry about the crunches they will come when she wants to show you - yes the passage will come also after the PW - and gee we dont even have to train it!

and see all this is is giving her the opportunity to do something she is proud of - yep I understand how you are feeling

remember all horses regardless of their breeds begin with a great posture and it maybe that she is now rediscovering her true posture

maybe - for me it is really more like a proud behaviour that shows us they feel 'alive' this is why they are doing this in the fear situations - when their reliance is higher and the come down from the sympathetic state they do what makes them proud

I am not sure where all this will take me but I have wanted to work with Sarah for such a long time and at the present time Steinar has taken me as far as he can - I am grateful and I will help him if he needs it but I am pleased I am back where I want to be AND that this movement stuff is complementing it all OK so the video I am editing will help you see what she maybe going through - the three pathway model of the Autonomic nervous system is the key

our job is to get good at what is high and low and then support her

March 10, 2019

Can't stop laughing with delight. Carlotta has made PW her default behaviour, as it looks like. We spent at least half of today's session in it, haha.

She is becoming very comfortable with it and offers it all the time. But today she started to lift herself really, really up in the withers, arching her neck so proudly and coiling her loins - all of her own making! That little bit of Intrinzen we did was apparently enough for her to change completely in her attitude and capacity.

She must have looked like a very noble alta escuela horse.

And when she heard my delighted giggles and jubilees, she lifted even higher, and her legs flew out straight in front of her. She is so light in the front end now that levades come almost automatically. As I didn't ask for this, I didn't encourage it, of course.

Backing is very easy now, with chin nicely tucked in and back lifted. The canters were animated again, she seemed to get carried away by her own beautiful movements ;-)

Such a pity that nobody was there to film my Carlotta Superstar.

March 14, 2019

Yesterday I felt like trying the beautiful new bit Chris gave me for Carlotta. Princess made a few wrinkles around her nostrils and lips, but went well in it.

I have switched back to her usual one today, as she really seems to like this one. The other one will be for a bit later, in our more advanced stages.

Carlotta was in a good mood today, performed beautifully and often offered me crunches, sometimes a whole series of them. And some nicely elevated PWs. She seems to have come to the conclusions that, when I tip my hip (stop signal), this means that she should do either school walk or PW. She is so funny with her creative input.


March 15, 2019

Lovely lesson with Cliff yesterday, and he seems to notice that my own posture has also improved ;-)

Carlotta had her hands full to learn some new moves, like working in renvers and turning to the opposite direction from it. After a few repetitions, a whole series of switching between travers and renvers. Such a talented girl! Lots of homework for us.

And, for the first time at Cliff's place, she offered me a few tentative steps of PW! Took me completely by surprise. :-)

Then a big session where Cliff was teaching Chris and Renae jousting. This got pretty animated at times, but always under control.

I took "only" 250 photos and 20 videos... took me all yesterday to process it all. Thank you Chris for taking some photos and videos from my lesson.

It was very impressive to watch how the girls and their power steeds did pass after pass. And Cliff always watching closely and coaching. Fasacinating!

Video footage:

March 17, 2019

Phew, Valeta is a real little pest at feeding times! She knows she isn't allowed to come into my space when I arrive with the wheelbarrow full of hay, so she takes it on poor Aliyana!

This morning, Valeta was at her hay pile and I was about to pick up the wheelbarrow and make another pile, when suddenly Aliyana reared up at my side and turned into me. Fortunately she was able to avoid me. I noticed that Valeta had come running over from her pile, ears flat and trying to bite and push Aliyana. Believe me, she got a big swearing session and a set of schmackos!

Riding session went super-well, on the other hand. Carlotta was in PW mood. She kept offering it to me all the time. When she thought that my request for, let's say, backing or stopping was inapprorpiate, she immediately started PW'ing, and it got bigger and bigger. Must have looked great. And several times, she started to do Power Trot! Or maybe Power Corto? Couldn't tell, as it were only one or two steps ;-)

But it's great to see her so empowered and enthused!

I became creative again and started "jingling" on the reins a bit while she was in PW, to encourage her to tuck her chin in. Which she did. Wish I had had the camera on....

Threw in a bit of our homework as well, like working on longer cantering (which was very expressive and upwards today) or the laterals. Also some prompt turning upon neck rein. Cliff would have been pleased, I bet ;-)

Better get back to my photo and video processing. Then back to the Cliff clinic, Day 2, and take some more photos.

March 19, 2019

Caught Carlotta in PW mood today and fortunately had the camera turned on:

Got some very valuable coaching from Julie about it:

Carlotta seems to be using her back more

Ok so where you are cueing her with your hand - you are not using your upper body just before the 3 min mark - chest and shoulders up at this time

so now I think we need to hold the crunch a little more when you ask - practice on the ground first and remember her standing posture

no we all do it but we need to raise our chest when we raise our hands (this way the horse feels it from the seat as well - can you raise your vertebrae we need to use the pointer - when she crunches AS she crunches move the pointer to in front of her head - here look at this - so no more clicking if she is using her neck

At 9.09 CLICK CLICK CLICK that is her autonomy and wonderful - she wanted a game!!!!!! and under saddle to boot!!!!! see how she then tried to go straight into a PW

but yep I see maybe you cued her at the same time as she wanted to PW hahahahaha - and she let the PW slide

and again at 9.27!!!! that was a late click LOL - go with this - trust her I would break this ride up allot and go into the labyrinth love the PW at 10.20 ish but see how she is dragging her back legs? this is a capacity issue it was a better one at the end for the back legs

March 22, 2019

Was a last minute decision to participate at Arne's clinic. But a good one - it was such a wonderful learning experience, as always.

Chris and I shared a rider spot, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It was becoming pretty hot by the time of our second ride, and I had my usual heat-related difficulties, but managed to stay until the end of the session.

Chris rode Rev in a sidepull in the morning, and he behaved very well and shone with the exercises. Carlotta was very well behaved during the whole clinic and did her best to solve all the puzzles Arne gave us.

We worked on combining laterals (shoulder-in and renvers) on a straight line in the middle of the arena in preparation of flying lead changes. This was quite a challenge for us, but started to work out well. But, just as I wanted to try it in canter, some cows walked into next-door paddock. Carlotta spotted them (arena is open) and froze. From then on, her birdie was gone, and no chance to get it back. She did cooperate a bit, each time she was looking into the other direction, but that was only momentary and she was still tense. Anyway, was the end of the session, so never mind.

The theory part after lunch was very inspiring again. The influence of the rider's seat and cues on the balance and way of moving of the horse. We had heard most of it before, but it was good to be reminded of how much impact very small things have.

In the afternoon, Katherine wanted to work on preparation of piaffe, and Arne gave her and her horse great help via lateral work. I have taken lots of video of this, as it will come in handy for Chris and me once we will be at this level! :-)

Chris tried a few little piaffes, and Rev put in a good effort. When I did a brief try, Arne said drily "that was very lateral" and the audience burst into laughter. Including myself, as I knew very well what it looks like when my gaited lady tries this ;-)

Arne then asked us to walk together in patterns of shoulder-in, then circle, then travers, then half-pass. I was so focussed on trying this that I didn't wait for Chris (who had waited for me) and was too far ahead. Sorry, Chris!

During the afternoon session, Carlotta wanted to do a bit of Intrinzen when Arne was busy with Chris, so I let her, and she started offering a series of very nice crunches and once walked off in PW. Looks like she is becoming able to generalize this now and do it in unknown locations. Bingo!

March 24, 2019

Carlotta had yesterday off, but this morning we put into application Arne's homework tasks. I really tried to lift my base, and Carlotta responded beautifully.

After some 10 minutes of work, I "handed the (mental) reins over to her". She was in play mode and offered me several joyfull skips, then PWs, some of them quite spectacular. And we managed to improve the crunches considerably, in height as well as in duration and quality. Nice quantum leap forward. Thank you, Princess!

Julie's comments:

not sure if the first one got through so here it is again

although I would normally ask for the pole to be higher it worked well where she had it - the idea is (for the most part she did it) to click at the crunch

yes as I said I would not be holding it under the nose but a little in front - but it is working this way for Bersi -yep shape the lift a little more but now and again delay the click - a few small one delayed, small again

it takes time and often it is because we actually do not wait long enough to see if we can get more crunch - can you crunch a little more ??? so our horse takes the 'easy' way out as this is the one we click for all the time

yes just ask again (your mind will be saying - ok that was good now try to get this a bit bigger)

OK so your friend is using a form of a keep going signal - yes - but we need to build duration in normal clicker ways to help our horse understand this - I use yes yes yes YES (click) or sometimes x x x x xX(and X loud is the click)

in the first one, she is really crunching but you are not seeing the crunch - place your had lightly on the wither as at the time she really lifts up ( really well) - you ask for her to focus on your target. Can you see at 1.55 you clicked before the crunches (the two before this) - she gets herself ready at 1.55 and then you click - so maybe if you feel her lift it may help time the click. So crunch look click. at the 2.50 ish mark she is processing - wait till she cues you

In the second one - cruch look click (hahahaha asking for her to look at the target is not going to work - so think of it this way - can you take your neck out of the crunch - OK so crunch - now neck now click (it does work) - yep so same as the first take the figuring out 'out' of this by placing your hand behind her wither and feeling for the lift - as she lifts can you ask her to look a little more forward - and click before she looses all the crunch. so try it this way and see how you go - she is doing good crunches (better in the first than the second) just a little tweaking - crunch head click - it was a pretty good one at 2. 00 though - 2.21 when you delayed this was really good - you did crunch more look click!!!!!!!! Processing then again at 2.44 - let her process and wait for her to cue you - she will....thats why she walked away (as the end of the first) LOL.....breathe and look at the scenery

no you did not miss the crunches you just clicked too early - yes for sure there were some good ones there

see she heard the click but kept going - this tells me that there may be some inconsistency about clicking and treating

yeah I think she is trying to process and when she does and she is not given the time she kind of zones out a little - try and work on when she looks like she was in these two videos you take a step back and wait for her - just need to be consistent with this and she will be fine

March 26, 2019

Still pretty windy this morning, and cold, so Carlotta was in active mood. She put in a few spooks in place and was generally pretty animated. Got some nice work on the combined laterals Arne had suggested. Then she took over and went straight into crunch and PW. Lots and lots of them. Funnily enogh, after each spook, she started doing PW!

And lots of skips, several even in gait! Quite elevated too. Looks like she is becoming really playful and creative. Once she started trotting (or gaiting?) in PW for several steps.


yes :-) she is using her ventral vagal circuit to triate through her nervous system - this is EXACTLY what we want to happen and how I am now using these things we learnt in intrinzen -you should post this to Sarah Schlote in the human horse bond page

I am convinced that the crunches and the PW do not work because of what the project says but rather what Sarah says - hey Steinar had his choice to get in on this but his loss - LOl - I am speaking to him tomorrow so who knows what will happen in the future

March 27:

Much more of it this morning. Each time Carlotta wants to do something else than what I suggest, she first tries to touch my stirrup and then immediately does PW. To a point where this morning I finally said: sorry, girl, we are doing one or two more of my things, and then you can have your way again.

What was really cool, was that instead of spooking, she did a crunch today. She really loves doing skips. I hope that this will not turn into a monster, i.e. getting so elevated that I will have problems sitting them...


Interesting can you try and video this next time i think i need to see it and then we can see if it is something we can tweak

The skips put on cue at the time she does them click and treat. ...a verbal cue then it will only be done on cue

no need for PW today from her end then?


She did really well, and it was very visible how she gradually understood and processed everything. Some really nice crunches and PW to start with, but then she became so enthused with the skip that i felt a bit like the sorcerer's apprentice: The spirits that I called...

And then I realised that the recording hadn't worked, grrrr. All because I didn't want to waste your time, so pressed the button from her back. From that angle I can't check whether the little red light is on.

Julie: hahahahaha it is sounding really good - as long as you keep the 'hop' said as she skips for a while and click and treat and then start not saying 'hop' when she skips and do not click then follow with the word 'hop' and when she skips click and treat

March 28, 2019

So, put gear back on Carlotta, turned camera on again and asked her to perform again for me. She was willing, the good girl. By that time, the skip had become a lot more pronounced and frequent. In fact all she wanted to do was that!

At around 3:58 she offered a levade, but I declined, as I don't like her to do it. She has a tendency to go up very high very soon. NOT good in my book!

But she is already experimenting with using skips while moving, and even a little bit in corto, unless it was a half-hearted canter, hehehe. She seems to go in quantum leaps at the moment.


OK so she is moving allot more forward so wonderful - think about when you are on the ground practicing your skips that you are ready and move forward - so it becomes a skip into a canter not a 'jump up'

when she starts to get a bit 'above the bit' this would be when I would ask for a crunch as she is walking

yes these skips she needs to be more forward - she is loosing her crunch when she does it - so allot of practice on the ground here will help - yes I know she is enthusiastic but this will come as she starts in the crunch - skip (hop) you move forward at the same time

She is offering all sorts of things, now that her autonomy is growing, so I feel it's normal that some unwanted stuff happens. And she wasn't offended, when I gently said I didn't like it.

yes that is true, she is allot more active - you have to be happy with this

definitely am, as long as it stays in my comfort zone, which it does for now. Not sure how well I could sit big Power Canters though....

It looks like a new transition period right now, and it's good that she experiments so happily.

yes thats for sure. you will be fine and she will as well - remember the ground is the better place to finesse now

March 29, 2019

OK, have been eager again. Took Carlotta into the arena for 10 min of groundwork. We played with crunches, then movement. I ran at her side and when she was cantering, said "hop", and she did! She was very happy to move, and at one stage, took off bucking and fartig :D

But always happy to come back and do some more. Head is still high, but I hope it will eventually happen....

Julie: crunch hop :-D let her take the time when she goes off and she will come back :D

March 30, 2019

Interesting again this morning. I was hardly in the saddle when Carlotta already walked off in PW. So I said, no thanks, let's do something else first. Which she accepted. After 10 minutes, I stopped and let her decide. She stood and did crunch after crunch. Very nice onces, some a bit extended in time. Big praise. Then she decided to practice her skips.

Some of them were considerably higher (as it felt and looked) than yesterday's. She kinda proudly lifted her front end in an elegant Andalusian way. And several times from that lift, she took 1 or 2 strides of canter! She is so good at figuring things out!

I wasn't sure where this would lead to, so ended up saying "gently", and she went into normal PWs instead. When she crunched, three or four times, I said "hop" while she was in it, but she didn't associate the cue with the crunch (yet).

Forgot: at the beginning of the session, she did a nice, elevated canter. And the skips+ steps of canter felt like those Panther Canters that are shown in some of Steinar's videos.

Julie: thats great - I think her PW is also becoming a good proud movement so thats great!

March 31, 2019

Coudln't ride yesterday, too many showers, but today I was determined! ;-) Poor Carlotta shivered a bit when I took her rug off, but was happy to work for me. We ran through our homework (another Cliff lesson tomorrow) for 10 minutes, then she wanted to play. She is like a Ferrari: from 0 to 100 in 2 secs :-D Which means, she switches between "work" and "play" very quickly and happily. A few crunches, then off into PW. Then she suddenly went into a series of very elevated canter skips. Eeek! I ended up saying: Nonono! and she stopped. It worries me, as I know how quickly this can escalate with her.

So we carried on with some "normal" PW, looks like she understand that she shouldn't go overboard too much. I hope at least ;-)

She was also happy to do a bit of normal corto and canter in between. During a few of them, I said "hop", and, after a sec of hesitation, she did!

Now, I will have to work out how I can keep her within a comfortable way of doing that elevated canter.....

In the worst case, we can always reserve it to liberty work on the ground.

April 1, 2019

While waiting for Chris who was running late, Carlotta and I played a bit in the arena. She was happy to canter and skip and hop around happily. Also did lovely crunches. She still isn't tucking her chin in, but her back definitely goes up and sometimes she brings her weight back when she crunches.

During the lesson with Cliff (he said "let's work on canter", so we did), she was quite engaged and eager to perform, so still struggling a bit at times. But most of the time, she used her new high-and-wide canter. I had to adapt to it and Cliff gave me some good hints about the use of my hands and legs and weight. So it must have looked quite nice in consequence. Didn't bring the camera unfortunately.

I said to Chris that the canter felt really elevated in front, but she said, yeah, certainly for Carlotta (as it was always pretty flat and smooth before), but looked indeed like a "normal" Andalusian canter. But after all, that one is high and "jumped". I have enough opportunities to see Andys at work...

Anyway, very happy with my girl. Cliff noted how much more she uses her back and engages her hind end now. And those muscles on her bum are very impressive.

Oh forgot: during the groundwork session, she decided she wanted to practice levades as well. I was happy to let her experiment. Very funny how she tried various movement, like shifting her weight back, then lowering her croup, then lifting her front end in slow motion. She got lots of clicks and treats, of course. At one stage, when I didn't click her for a nice skip, she stopped and looked at me sternly! Had to laugh.


sounds great for sure - I forgot to film the crunch with the neck out yesterday but will do it for you. If you have a clicker then you will click as it is habit - I only use X when I am not holding a clicker. it is good that the movement work is helping her posture and her canter

It has made a huge difference!

yes but importantly for me she is having some autonomy and having a ball I noticed this morning that, at times, she was kinda coming a bit towards me sideways, as if she was insecure and was seeking a bit of help through contact.

Lots of autonomy and enjoying it SOOOO much. And so do I.

let her do what she wants to do when she goes sideways it is more akin to her finding a threshold for herself to get herself more collected in the moment - something you may not have noticed may have worried her

We are really warming up to ground"work"!

yes you will even more - groundwork is really good as it takes out the 'worry' of the larger movements for us

Possible. It didn't feel threatening or whatever

and also the larger movements without having to worry about if our horse has the capacity to carry us during them

Good point!

no a sideways movement is not threatening - it is a slow motion movement from the horse who wants to take a little more time to work out their 'safe spot'

It is such a wonderful thing that they can decide themselves whether they are ready or not.

yes thats very true

That sounds very right, Julie. It felt that way when she did it. Like reaching out for me. Difficult to describe.

April 2, 2019

After the ride, it was playtime. Carlotta experimented with new movements, some cute badass, running and kicking joyfully, and towards the end, came up with some quite creative levades

For those who aren't tired yet of my constant talking about Carlotta's progress as a high class riding horse, here is another little video from today.

Still trying to put the skip on cue and ignore the unwanted ones. Will take a while, as she is so fond of it ;-)

We are trying to put into practice Cliff's yesterday's exercise (a really cheeky one indeed!): ride around something, in this case my orange pylon, with head facing the pylon and hindquarters moving around it in a bigger circle, BUT with the horse being NOT bent! Sounds like nothing, but just try this!!!

Carlotta managed one or two short correct moments of it, which is at least a beginning.

Yesterday, when I fumbled with this at Cliff's place, she got really grumpy about it. No wonder, I must have been pretty clumsy in my asking. Sorry, Carlotta! But today, it felt a lot more promising already :-)

She was also beginning to combine the skips with striking off into canter and tried for several strides in a row. Was her own input. Good girl!

Video from Julie about crunches:

Exchange with Julie (easy to tell us apart, as Julie writes everytghithing in lower case letters):

This morning during the ride, Carlotta only 2 or 3 times briefly did little skips, which I ignored and then she didn't offer them anymore. But very keen on immediately throwing in PW when I asked for something she didn't wanna do. I allowed her to do it a few times, then asked to please do a bit what I wanted.

When we practised Cliff's difficult exercise, immediately afterwards she used PW to let off inner steam.

Have watched your video about crunches. My problem is that she does not (resp. cannot?) arch her neck, but instead uses her neck most of the time with chin out. I can get very small beginnings of it, when I click very early when she barely starts to lift a fraction, but haven't seen much progress for quite some time. I wish you were closer so you could work a bit with her. I am sure that I am the one who does something wrong, but can't get improvement.

She does lift her withers and back from time to time, but nothing as beautiful as Sharney does sigh Will try again this afternoon. And all the other days to come.... Will rewatch your video several times, so I don't miss the details. Have started to use exexex while she is doing PW.


oh thats more like it PW when she needs to self regulate :-) - it is still the same with the neck - just manipulate the actual scope - to being further towards the ground (like Catrine did with Bersi)

the idea is that she knows this well enough now not to get a click for 'less' so ask again but be sure to click the second time so she is not offended

thats good if she is beginning to understand a keep going signal - anything that is easy for you will work - xxxx is just something I used to use with SATS so it stuck

syn alia training systems - just a different way to look at fear issues (some parts good some parts too off with the fairies for me) - the second time ask for less so we set her up for success - just for a little while for you and her to get into the habit of not feeling the need to click or expecting a click

But it makes a lot of sense to see how you do it in your video, i.e. for example rest the pointer on her withers or just behind. Will do this a lot more often now, and see how we go.

yes they need to know what it is for - so even just stand use your pointer and when she moves her head towards it click and treat - do this a couple of times and then say can you crunch and do this?

plenty of time for everything! just play around with it in different positions - we dont want her to touch it just 'follow' it

April 4, 2019

My exchange with Julie:

This morning during the ride, Carlotta only 2 or 3 times briefly did little skips, which I ignored and then she didn't offer them anymore. But very keen on immediately throwing in PW when I asked for something she didn't wanna do. I allowed her to do it a few times, then asked to please do a bit what I wanted.

When we practised Cliff's difficult exercise, immediately afterwards she used PW to let off inner steam.

Have watched your video about crunches. My problem is that she does not (resp. cannot?) arch her neck, but instead uses her neck most of the time with chin out. I can get very small beginnings of it, when I click very early when she barely starts to lift a fraction, but haven't seen much progress for quite some time. I wish you were closer so you could work a bit with her. I am sure that I am the one who does something wrong, but can't get improvement.

She does lift her withers and back from time to time, but nothing as beautiful as Sharney does sigh Will try again this afternoon. And all the other days to come.... Will rewatch your video several times, so I don't miss the details. Have started to use exexex while she is doing PW.

oh thats more like it PW when she needs to self regulate - it is still the same with the neck - just manipulate the actual scope - to being further towards the ground (like Catrine did with Bersi)

Think she is beginning to understand.

the idea is that she knows this well enough now not to get a click for 'less' so ask again but be sure to click the second time so she is not offended

Ah, I see.

thats good if she is beginning to understand a keep going signal - anything that is easy for you will work - xxxx is just something I used to use with SATS so it stuck

Even if the second time still isn't good then?

Yes, seems easy to apply. I said it a bit too strongly, I suppose. Will be softer from now on. And she did put in a bit more effort indeed

What is SATS?

For crunches: when I used the pointer from the beginning, she was confused, and when I added it once she began to crunch, it didn't have much effect.

syn alia training systems - just a different way to look at fear issues (some parts good some parts too off with the fairies for me) - the second time ask for less so we set her up for success - just for a little while for you and her to get into the habit of not feeling the need to click or expecting a click

But it makes a lot of sense to see how you do it in your video, i.e. for example rest the pointer on her withers or just behind. Will do this a lot more often now, and see how we go. Goody. Will do!

yes they need to know what it is for - so even just stand use your pointer and when she moves her head towards it click and treat - do this a couple of times and then say can you crunch and do this?

Now you made we want to run out and try again, hahaha.

NO NO NO - relax...chill .....wait hahahahaha

Breathing out.... I am.... relaaaxed!

hahaha! plenty of time for everything! just play around with it in different positions - we dont want her to touch it just 'follow' it

April 5, 2019

All good this morning. Carlotta didn't skip anymore, but did nice PWs, while I said exexex. She really puts in the effort and wants to please me.

We worked a bit on the dreaded staying straight when walking around with hind legs around the pylon. She managed a few brief ones, so got big praise, and we stopped.

Very windy today, and the gardener was doing noisy stuff nearby. I didn't have time to try things on the ground. She had offered me a few crunches, but I clicked very quickly when her neck wasn't engaged yet.

Will watch your video again and try crunches tomorrow on the ground. Or the beginning of them and following the pointer.

Had to abandon the idea of riding on Saturday, as neighbour's horses and ponies were in the paddock just across the road. All lined up at the fence and dancing and prancing while I was in Carlotta's saddle. She was so "elevated" and tense that I dismounted after 5 minutes and did some groundwork instead.

Tried to do the crunches the way you show in your video. She got the idea after 2 or 3 repetitions, that I wanted crunch then turning head towards pointer. And offered it by herself in the following. Has done each time since!

Also did some nice playing with PW and skips. And today with putting the levades on cue. When I lift the pointer and my other hand with index finger raised and say "levade", she goes straight up right in front of me and tries to walk on her hind legs.

And Valeta, my 2 y.o. filly was so funny yesterday: when I took Carlotta back to the paddock, Valeta made it clear that she had watched us closely when doing crunches... and suddenly started to lift her neck! I am sure that she will be a lot of fun to work with, once she will be old enough

Riding is going well. She still hates the exercise with nose pointed to pylon and moving hind end around, while staying straight, but is starting to be able to do it briefly now.

Today, when during PW, I said "Hop", she went into a series of skips - it actually felt like an elevated canter in slow motion. Big praise and end of session.

yea for Greg! The painting looks great - sounds like you have had some great times with Carlotta and Valeta is already learning! use those times when she feels tense to think about how you can guide her to calm her nervous system - sounds more like social engagement so take advantage of this and see if you can get her to bond with you when she is 'excited'

Yes, we did that after I dismounted. I had left the saddle on, just taken the headstall off, and we played at liberty. Each time she started to stare at the other horses, I walked away, but she almost immediately followed me, so we could continue. And she often uses crunch and PW now for calming herself down. Just this particular situation didn't feel safe to stay in the saddle. I really don't need another fall, so did the safe thing instead.

oh yes I would also want you to get off her - so now we dont want to walk away - let her digest what she is seeing and when she looks like she is 'done' cue a PW - hahahaha about Greg!

so we are giving her time to focus on her own nervous system and you are there for support

OK, so I just stand at her side and wait?


It did feel like she wanted to connect with me and was looking towards my support. Very subtle and mostly a feeling, but that's what it seemed to be.

it is also a great opportunity to see how she regulates her nervous system

yes thats what it would feel like - so we just need to give her time to see if she needs help or can do it - then cue the PW - if you feel she is stuck or she has seemingly settled herself a little It's on my to-do list

this is the kind of stuff that Sarah teaches

I am getting the hang of handling all this, I have the impression.

April 9, 2019

10 mm of rain last night. Much needed...

Having lots of great moments during our daily riding session. Carlotta comes up with something creative almost every time. I had gone back to doing some groundwork, upon Julie's suggestion, when her movements under saddle started to become pretty elevated and I wasn't sure where this would end ;-)

So, now we have a lot of movement - she copies me when I start "trotting" or "cantering" and add skips when I say "hop". Yesterday this developped into a whole series of skips which looked like a very elevated slow motion canter. Lovely!

And today she offered it to me under saddle. I said "hop", and off she went into a succession of beautiful, almost collected and partly very lifted canter strides. She got jackpot and end of session for it.

I also started to put the levade on cue (just couldn't resist). She loves this exercise - goes straight up, holds her position, then tries to walk forward a few steps. There must be a tiny stallion hidden in her mind to make her so fond of this type of work....

And Valeta, my little 2 y.o., has shown that she is a copycat: she had watched me closely when I occasionally asked Carlotta for a crunch in the paddock. And suddenly she started to arch her neck and slightly lift her withers!!! With SUCH a look in my direction!

At feeding time, Leo (borzoi) can do the most beautiful terre-a-terres! Maybe I should put this on cue?

Exchange with Julie:

Fun this morning again. Carlotta has transferred her new skill of repeated skips-slow motion-canter under saddle. She surprised me a bit with the first series, but then I went along happily. She didn't feel like backing yet again and tried other stuff, but this time, I insisted and finally she agreed

Haha, if she offers a new creation each day, we will end up with capriole under the rider... with this rider on the ground. ROFL

Just joking, she behaves really well and only very rarely still offers something I didn't ask for (other than PW, which she just loves too much)


Exactly! Isn't she a Star?!

for sure. it sounds like you are very happy with how you both are doing

Over the moon indeed. I would never have thought this possible!

and I am sure there is more to come

April 11, 2019

Got some lovely slow-motion, high spanish canters this morning from The Princess. She is so keen to show off what she can do! When we did a bit of groundwork after the ride, she did some skips and canters and 2 levades on cue, then had enough and wanted to go and have brekkie. Which she got, with los of praise.

have fun glad it is going well

April 12, 2019

Made a painting for Cliff, called "The Horseman", showing him on his PRE Paco. Giving it to him, to thank him for all the wonderful help he provided to Carlotta and me in our journey towards great riding.

April 15, 2019

Our clinic with Anke Hawke was wonderful. Another big step in the right direction (softness and lightness). We have decided to bring Anke over every 3 or 4 months. All the participants were hooked and enthusiastic to continue on this path, even the "bush riders" and such who would have never dreamt to do dressage

It has been a fantastic experience in body awareness and lightness, and how I suddenly was able to actually recognise when she was shifting her weight to the "wrong" side and thus brought me out of balance slightly.

And Anke told me how to remedy to a lot of thing and influence them. Such an eye opener. She said that it was such a pleasure to be now able to work on finesse!

Ok so thats good so what I was seeing with the hind issue was a shifting of weight the wrong way?

I think it was. When you have time, look at the groundwork videos I took. Anke was able to straighten her out very quickly. And the most amazing thing: when I rode Carlotta this morning, just after getting on, I was about to shift my weight to straighten her out, but: she was already straight!!!!

Another interesting thing: we were very busy with the things Anke taught us, but in between, I gave Carlotta a break and let her stand still. Anke stood just in front when suddenyly Carlotta lifted into a few crunches. Anke jumped a bit back and started to say: No!, but I laughed and explained to her what it was.

And during the walk phases, Carlotta didn't really offer PW, but I could feel how she organised her body into a much more elevated frame, which felt like a mini PW. Pity I forgot to turn the video on the first morning, as she did some really lovely canters. Stupid me! We did a second session in the evening, but it wasn't as good. Never mind...

Anke has a lot of respect for Carlotta's mind of her own. Seems that her own mare, Georgie Girl, is very similar and also can put up some quite impressive stunts, when she feels like it, hahaha. They must be soul sisters.

April 16, 2019

Another Anke Hawke clinic.

The clinic hosting was particularly challengeing this time, as we had several dropouts close to the date, the most spectacular one just the day before the clinic, due to an accident. Thank you to my friends who helped out with asking around to fill the vacant spots. They went to a couple of "newbies" who hadn't thought of riding in this type of clinic, but became completely hooked.

Everybody was very keen and enthusiastic and soaked up Anke's many information. She is incredible: spent the whole two days, tirelessly talking her students literally through each step. And always with a smile and so attentive to and aware of the tiniest detail and able to always offer a solution and a way of adressing the problem and getting good results.

I had the first spot in the morning, and we had decided to do my lessons at home at my place (convenient as Anke stayed with us). Meant to get up early, so Anke could have a little brekkie, then meet me outside, where I had saddled Carlotta in the meantime. By 7:45 we got started, so we would be over at Narrawin in time for the 9 a.m. lesson.

Anke did a little bit of groundwork with Lolle, to straighten her out (she can be pretty crooked at times), then I hopped on, and we worked most of the time at the walk, especially on straightness in her and more body awareness and softness in me.

Anke noted that we both had made big progess since she saw us last November (a big thank you goes to Cliff for his great teaching, which made this happen!), and that it was great that now we could work on finesse as a result!

And we did. We went along, step by step, and Anke commented. Sit a bit to the inside, soften your inside rein, sit to oustside, open your outside hip, lift your inside rein, lower your outside rein, sit to inside, lift your ear, look at her outside ear, open inside leg, open it more, soften... use less rein in shoulder-in... And after a while, I became very aware of what was going on and started to correct things myself. Which Anke spotted immediately of course. Wowsers, felt amazing!

I wanted to do a bit of canter work as well, so Anke guided us through some moves which allowed Carlotta to balance herself better for going into canter. And her canter was quite nice and elevated (jumped) in front. We practised canter-stop-canter-stop after only a few steps of it. I could feel how happy and balanced Carlotta was with this. Anke also gave me some pointer for preparing relaxed flying changes. Will have to work on this now.

After we were finished, I noticed that I had placed my camera on one of the fence posts, but had forgotten to turn it on. Grrrr.

Anke hopped on and commented "one of those days, you will notice that I have taken your saddle with me". Hahaha. I offered her my second saddle of the same type which I want to sell, but she liked it less than my oldie. ;-) Anyway, she worked a bit more on everything we had started during the lesson. Then we jumped into the car, as we had got carried away, and we just made it to Chris' place, where Jane and her mare were already saddled up and ready. I went back home to get my chores done, then joined them again a bit later.

All the riders were very attentive to her instructions and had nice results with their horses. Would lead too far to talk about them all here. Will add some photos below. There are some 80 or 90 videos on my youtube channel as well, for those who want to check.

And after the clinic in the evening, Anke still wasn't worn out, so we fit in another little ride, this time with the camera turned on, and Carlotta gracefully agreed to cooperate and go through the morning tasks again. Anke then hopped on Carlotta and had a little ride. She noted how much softer she has become, and much more of a pleasure to ride. Still an opinionated Princess, but such fun to be in her saddle. From Anke's stories about her lovely mare Georgie Girl, these two dames seem to have a lot in common, haha.

April 17, 2019

I had a ,look at some of them - she really is just using classical in hand work and if Carlotta goes well with this then that is great and informs you that her issues are capacity (as I thought) and she has /had some emotional parking brakes. It just depends on your view of the training scale - in Intrinzen capacity is last whereas in classical work capacity is first. Sharney goes well with in hand classical work but Star does not - why? I feel because Sharney is similar to Carlotta and Star is a HUGE functional movement nightmare - this is why he goes better with intrinzen

Very interesting, Julie. Yes, Carlotta has taken a lot out of it, so I am happy to use it here nd there.

April 18, 2019

Did get our daily ride in at 5 pm. Carlotta was great. We started with a little bit of Intrinzen groundwork. I had set the mat in the arena (folded), and we walked towards it. Carlotta sniffed it right away, and I gave her a few treats which she ate from it. Then she decided to touch it with one foot, and I called it a day on this. Left the mat lying there for the riding session.

She still hates Cliff's exercise to walk around the pole with her hind legs making the bigger circle. OKish to the left, but to the right... she tried to persuade me that she could do PWs instead. After a while I let her, and she did some real beauties. Then I said "hop", and she did a whole series of lovely skips - slow-motion canter. We stopped on that.

Oh, and during the groundwork, I asked for a few crunches as well, and for the first time ever, she did some nice little ones with her neck arched and her chin tucked in! Small, but definitely crunches. Hurray!

I have a question for you: must have mentioned that she offered me some pretty high levades with remaining on her hind legs for 2 or 3 seconds, then taking small steps forward while still in the air. I am a bit concerned that she might do this under saddle, like she has done before, and this scares me. Definitely don't want it. Not sure whether I can get it sufficiently under stimulus control. So maybe I shouldn't encourage it for now? At least until she is much more advanced and balanced?

It looks fabulous, but safety first, says my gut.

BTW, you did a great job with the video editing for Sarah!

good call with the mat - OK so look at the PW as her trying to get some courage and feel good - I would go with it and dump that exercise - so pleased for you with the crunches. The levades you put on cue on the ground and make it a verbal cue and if she offers it under saddle breathe cue and stop get off and click and treat...AGHHH I hate the theory one but more like me for the video with Star - thanks

April 19, 2019

Good morning Julie, just a shortie before grabbing Carlotta. Yes, PW seems to work for her this way now. I just exexex it a bit and reward if/when it becomes more spectacular. Sometimes, I just let her do it and do nothing myself, apart from saying "yes" or "good".

Can't really dump that exercise, as Cliff will wanna see it next lesson, so I work on it very briefly, like once to each side. Once he will have come up with something new, I certainly will dump it

For the levades, I started putting it on cue with verbal cue already ("Levaaaade" + raising my hand vertically), it isn't solid yet and she seems less keen about it now. Yesterday, when I cued her for it, she kinda came towards me more before shifting her weight back. Didn't feel right, so I left it there. If she went up so high under saddle again, not sure whether I would be able to breathe, haha. You mean cue her for it whilhe she does it? Wouldn't she think then that this is what I want?! Especially if I dismount afterwards. This is my jackpot for doing something great. Sorry, a bit confused here.

lets renegoiate the exercise for cliff - ask - do a little and immediately do a PW - see how that goes. Yes if a horse does something we dont like we cue it as they do it and always cue it as they do it and then they learn the only time they do it is when we cue for it

It's just so scary to for me when she rears up so high. Wasn't that way when I was younger, but it is now.

at least now she is listening to me with video 1 - just work on the cue on the ground so that is really tight first - yes I know it can be scary but if it happens remember on the ground to put the forward movement in - RUN forward like hell just as she lifts

Yup, that is basically what I did for the Cliff exercise: 3 or 4 steps into one direction, then allow her to PW right out of it. She always tries to flee into PW when she feels that I am looking at the pylon and am about to line her up to it.

Ahaa! As I am facing her, will have to turn around and run then. Didn't think of that approach. It seemed like a lovely dance when she went up close to me and then tried to walk a few small steps forward.

Gosh, what a broad pallet of things are coming out of all this.

Again for the levades: in my feeling, if I start running away immediately, I suppose she won't feel encouraged to hold it, like it should be done for a real levade?

first we want the correct elevation and then when we have that we can finesse

April 23, 2019

Have started to play a bit with 2 1/2 y.o. Valeta. She has a very inquisitive mind and is as brave as a lion, a completely different personality from Carlotta :-D

She willingly followed me away from the other horses and into the arena, where I had placed the gymnastic mat.

Didn't take Valeta long to explore it and soon step on it, stand on it, walk over it. Eager little beaver!

Today, my great osteo Caroline was here to give Carlotta a treatment.

She felt very stiff and uncomfortable when I rode her last time, so it was definitely time to have her checked.

Caroline found soreness and tension in her shoulders, back and left hamstring on hind leg. She gave Carlotta an intensive, though soft massage (Carlotta hates stronger ones, as the past had shown), then one of the sacro-cranial treatments Carlotta loves so much.

We will keep up with more frequents treatments now, to keep her happy and in optimal shape.

Decided to give her a couple of weeks off riding, so she can heal in peace.

April 25, 2019

How do you "unglue" a very sticky pony from your side? ;-)

I had planned to give Valeta a number of interesting toys to explore, but all she wanted was to stay and play with me...

Ah well, never mind, let's play a bit together then (second video).

She will always amaze me with her unflappability and brave heart. Note that big box being whirled around by the wind, and she only spooked very briefly and mildly, then immediately came back to me. And her being ready to see whether she can pick up the mat with her teeth... :-D

Or push the ball around... or just walk over the ground poles, and then figure out how to step into the tyre.

Or, at the end, when she suddenly decided she could go up with both front feet on the pedestal! And you can see the wheels spinning in her head, deciding whether she should step up as well with her hind feet. Which I decided was too early, so directed her back down.

All this from a not even 3 y.o. without any previous training of any sort, apart from the very basics. But she was incredibly cool bananas as a three months old filly already.

May 3, 2019

Was very hard not to ride, but I held out! Had her for a short lesson at Cliff's (about 10 to 15 minutes), very calm and low-key, just a couple of short canters. Decided I will ride her very briefly every other day for a while and do groundwork (very brief too) on the days off.

A looong exchange with Julie:

Ok sounds good and good that the head wrap by itself did not cause any worry for her - I think that doing too much (remedial wise) is far too much proprioception etc for a horse to handle. If her wither and shoulders were sore then that may be the reason she does not want to PW at the moment yes, my feeling too. She was happy to walk with me and just throw in those little skips here and there. With that look from the corner of her eye

I am doing a bit of CT with Valeta each time I go out there (feeding). She stands VERY politely with her head turned a bit away

great on both counts - sounds like it will occupy you enough for a couple of days LOL

Also teaching Aliyana to have her feet handled at liberty. Chris visited the other day and was quite please to see how much more confident and friendly Aliyana has become. Funny how a few seconds per day make such a difference.

yes good - and yes I agree with you a few seconds a day make a huge difference, but we can go the other way too - too long and things become punishing.

Will bring Valeta in again soon. I have kept a biiig carton (from our new vacuum cleaner), should be perfect for her to investigate and play with.

Kool so remember SEEKING - let her work it out That's true. Working on myself very hard to keep things short

Yep, it's a good opportunity for her, after I messed it up with the mat, hahaha.

oh I got the first lot of videos from one of the people who I said I would help with worming (clicker training way) - it was nearly 40 mins long FOR THE FIRST time AND she has decided she wont be using the clicker training way - that was the basis that I was going to help her for the videos...gee some have a hide

it will be good for you to see the difference when they are in SEEKING mode

I know a couple of people like this. Have wasted waaaay too much time on them! Fortunately there are others who are worth helping.

If it doesn't rain (threatening to right now), I will put up the camera. yes but I now have to help her as it was really bad and very controlling - I know her very well so I will do it for her but it wont be used in my DVD's LOL

looking forward to video

I might sit on the pedestal and just do nothing. I bet Valeta will come to me, but I hope she will eventually turn away and investigate her new toys

for sure

Now... that didn't go as planned - Valeta refused to go into seeking mode (apart from verfy briefly once or twice), but preferred staying glued to me

hahahaha she wanted you to engage with her with click and treat - you were more inviting - take it as a compliment

see how she did with the ball and you back was to her...engage with this

OK, makes me feel good that you say that. It was sooo hard to ignore her invitations!

no dont ignore her invitations have fun with it - she wants to engage so engage - or else not engaging is punishing for her

And she lets me know that she doesn't like to be ignored!

careful to reward the movement towards - so when she is approaching with her leg click and treat - what happened to your manners games???? do you want some videos? I think you need to use a clicker she is not registering that there is a click (before the treat). hahaha the tyre is the better option for the moment - so she is seeking your treats and this is because she does not understand the relationship - so you need to click

see how she is pawing at the tyre reward this

A bit more work with the mat this morning. Gradually getting better. Yeah, I know... I occasionally did tug on that rope, but note how she always quickly brought her focus back to the mat and was willing to give it anoyther try. So, maybe we are getting somewhere eventually

Also wanted to do a bit of Anke's in-hand work, but Carlotta decided very soon that she wanted to do PW and skips instead. So be it. What do you think: do her legs look better by now? Haven't ridden her since, just doing some crunches and PW and such.

She uses her neck for the skips. Too much of it? I find it looks better in the PW now, her frame seems more "collected" to me. What d'ya think?

She has been very happy over the last 2 days to do those movements, so I am hoping that she is on the mend now.

it is really when she is under load that her legs show she is not ready - she seems fine, I will have to show you how to do the in hand stuff without using pressure and release LOL. What she does with the skips is she lifts her neck and you click and then she tries to move her legs forward - so you need to look at the last couple of seconds of the second video to see what I mean - I would focus on crunch to PW and get the hind legs catching up and then dont click this that she does with the skip but run forward yourself and see if you can capture her hind legs coming up

Before putting her rug on or the night, I briefly did a few crunches with Carlotta and tried to get her to move forward out of the. Nope. As soon as she started to move, the crunch was lost

So..... how long do you think I should not ride her, so she can strengthen her core and improve her capacity sufficiently? I really would like to get this sorted out, so we are not in the same sh*t in a few months again.

the moving forward from the crunch is like a miliscecond - it is before she even takes a full footfall - we click this and then we ask again and wait a little longer - it takes a while. For me personally I would begin with a saddle and no rider and ask for the same PW etc you are doing and then add weights to the saddle (those ankle weights you can get on ebay) and ask again and make sure she can crunch carrying a couple of kilos of weights and PW and then if that is OK get on her

Yes, will do. When she does PW and sometimes gets longer and flatter, I try to lift myself up, and what she then mostly does, is go into skips... But sometimes, it does work and she makes herself prouder and engages from behind. Whew...

I think the cue for skips is just that we need to really hone in on cues for lift and also skip - let me see if I can do this for you tomorrow - for skip and canter depart I say dum dum

For tomorrow too: in the mat video, I found it interesting how Carlotta was offering stretched-out front legs, sortof tendings towards PW, at times before touching the mat with the foot. I wonder whether this has to do with a mind shift? I regualrly take the lead off, so see whether she is willing to approach the mat at liberty, but not ready yet.

mmmm I felt that this was as much as she wanted to do and as you were clicking for it , she knew that she would get a click for it. Her body language with her legs splayed out the back tell me that she is very uncertain of it. I dont think having a lead rope on is helping her though

Ok so this is not as clear as I would have liked it to be. The in hand stuff is only beginning again after a couple of years of not doing it, so I am going to be working on straighter lines now - but what Sharney is showing here was all taught with clicker training and shaping and no cavesson, - so I need to begin now to help her keep straighter lines and I will try and make sure I video these steps - I dont have video of how this all began (I may have but cannot even think where that may be) - but the crunch is built into this as 'lift' and my cues either beside her or in front of her are the signals for her - the crop is there as a hint if it is needed. Speed here is due to lack of balance, which is due to not engaging the core as well - so the idea for a few days for me will firstly to get the core engaged more and more (slowly) - the more engagement of the core, the slower the gait and the less bending - at the same time I want to work on stellning and this will also help the overbending. The bit showing the core then PW then dadump for a canter depart is not clear I know - it is hard to go backwards

I was carrying on with the mat, as I wanted to be able to help her body by walking over it. Have bought two EVA pads today, so can use those instead and give her a mat break.

Thank you for the helpful video. Wish Carlotta would lift and crunch so nicely sigh Love how willingly Sharney goes into travers and half-pass. Beautiful!

yes Sharney is great - Star can do this also and there is no problem with it - but all I am saying is that there is not reason why you need to use pressure to have Carlotta do it. I am not a fan of the EVA pads as the human takes the control but I dont know enough about their benefits as compared to the mat. The crunches are simply work on your part not hers to make sure you don click for the little things. can you do a video where you do not click for the little things and let her go through what she needs to and then ask again?

you have spurred me on to work out just how one would vertically straighten our horse during in hand exercises - got some nice tries today and I could not believe how straight Star was after years of not doing this, especially seen as he has huge parking brakes - so I am really examining again the concept of function verses capacity - he is now also giving me a new asset with the saddle pad - now his PW are always strong he is bunny hopping as well hahahahaha

I cannot figure out now how to actually put Sarahs stuff (the SE stuff) into this equation now that I can rest the pad on his back - he cues me (that was something he was taught way back and I want to keep this as it gives him a sense of control and also tells me if he feels he has titrated down) - he crunches (it is telling me he is masterful) and then saddle pad on, he crunches more and then off to a PW and then to a bunny hop - click and treat and take the pad off - so this is really not SE (and I dont mind) but he seems to be developing the assets he needs to be masterful and kind of saying 'I got this'. he is not as good on his right side and I can see a little worry so I can allow him to titrate down and then he cues and off we go again - maybe all I need at the moment is what I actually began with here - that the movement stuff gives him the confidence to change his mind about the pad.

Carlotta was very engaged yesterday when we played at liberty. She went close to the EVA pads and sniffed them, then walked away. OK, no worries, let's do something else. Worked on crunches from various positions and I also tried to apply your "aaand ba-doum", only I said aaand hop, of course. Clicked very early when she was about to go into the movement and a bit up. She experimented with crunch-turn head-sideways-walk-forward-PW-skips. Got really p*ssed off (at it looked) when I didn't click quickly enough for her liking when she offered crunches she thought were good enough. So instead, she went up into a whole series of levades instead, to earn the treat, visibly!

I am always jealous when I see the lovely crunches your horses do, and Carlotta and I are struggling so much with it....

it will happen but lets just see 1 minute of crunches and you waiting - no more - see the trick often is to only do 5 mins or so and leave it till tomorrow - well if you want to see todays I will load them tomorrow and you can have a giggle at his bunny hop

oh and you need to remember I have been at this for a while and used the clicker from day one - really do you see allot of others do my horses crunches LOL

OK so here is an extract from yesterday (poor star and his itch) so I checked and he has not done any of this in hand work since 2013 so we are beginning slowly - funny how I could only get a PW shoulder in LOL. the side that the pad is on him is his bad side and he needs to go allow slower but it was this side he has begun his little hop

This is lovely, Julie. Love your conversations with Star! His renvers are very impressive. They never seem to forget, once they have learned something.

His little hop looks like Carlotta's in the beginning, so who knows, maybe he will end up doing impressive levades as well?

Will try some liberty laterals today, if Carlotta agress with this plan She started doing some PWs and small hops while walking back to the paddock.

Oh, and I tried to do the suggested one minute without clicking - longest minute of my life. Carlotta became very grumpy very quickly when the were no clicks for such a long time. She became more and more reluctant to even go into the crunch, and when she did, she immediately started to walk off. Only tried this twice, then we played a bit together, and again, she did some very slow, calm levades right beside me. Didn't feel threatening in the least, and I had the clear impression that she paid very close attention to where I was.

no it was not one minute without clicking - I said dont to more than around a minute all up LOL - so wait for a bigger crunch and try and click more effect IN THAT minute hahahahahaha Stars hops are always there normally but it was the first time he was offering them with the pad

Bwahahahaaaa. Poor, poor Carlotta! Now, I am relieved

hahahahaha I am trying to get you to ask for more get more in one or two then stop for the day LOL

Stop all interaction for the day? Or just the crunches? Just double-checking.

I find it extremely difficult to do so little with her. And I have the clear feeling that she wants to do more too. Always gives me soft nickers and expectant looks!

I really miss my riding sessions incredibly. Feel like amputated. And becoming grumpy about it.

I really mean go away - finish for the day and finish on a high note with nothing else being done - stretch it to 5 minutes at the most - but we want to ask - if it is her ordinary crunch do not click but ask again straight away (more more more) and click the next ask again see if you can get something better - if ordinary dont click but ask again straight away - go for a PW click this if it is good. Stop ask again etc (but the PW can extend to 5 minutes or so- because I know you hahahahaha) make sense?

She wasn't keen to even try in the beginning, but then agreed. After 2 minutes, I got a, what I think was, good crunch, so ended session on this. She stared at me in disbelief and didn't want me to halter her for leaving!

So we walked one other little PW round, then went back to paddock. On the way, she did her skips in a whole series. Then, once unhaltered in the paddock, while I was still standing there, she went up into two beautiful levades. It was so cute that I rewarded her for it. Shouldn't have, maybe?

She is still using her neck and unfortunately it was too far away to see well, but she did lift her back a bit:

you are on a mission arent you LOL - see at .58 she wanted to explore the rope on the ground but you did not let her. she actually moved off at 1.09 with a lift. But after that you are clicking for small effort - there was once there that you asked for more but she gave you the same and then she wanted to leave - she started to explore the rope but then thought better of it and went away. So this is where I would wait and see what she wants. Now that canter at 3.40ish try and move ahead of her as this was good - if you can move ahead a little or have the long stick as long as it can be in front of her nose she may just drop that neck. Yes that next crunch was better and as you say the neck..... so you need to of course go back to using the telescopic pole as I think that the neck is worse than it was and this is because this is where her effort is going (and maybe why she was sore in this area) I would really try and get better and asking for the crunch, when she crunches as her to look at the pole (in front of her head ) and click before she looses all the crunch.but as long as you click as she reduces the lift from her neck this will help in the short term. The best thing is that she followed you when she finished. I would have clicked and treated what she did in the paddock also. But honestly I would do the same time frame tomorrow - there is no problem with playing with her in the paddock afterwards but let it all be what she wants and dont ask for anything but if she wants to offer you something then go for it

I dont personally like to click for exploring as their SEEKING system is motivating them - I feel that what may be happening is that she is giving you more effort but it is coming in the neck - so the other thing we could try is to ask her to line up her feet better - let me see how you go with the pole again (just click as soon as you see her neck drop a bit) and I can show you how to re-position her feet in case if she moves her front feet back a little more (you see my horses do it all the time before I will click) that may help her

For the crunches and the long pointer ahead: this is difficult, as she didn't seem to try to crunch when the pointer was pointing forward, or loose it right away when I start pointing. Must investigate this some more.

Maybe get her more used to it by walking at her side with the long pointer pointing ahead? So, you want all four feet standing square? And her front feet a bit further back?

Would be good to see how I can achieve this.

And when she does crunches and the slow canter, I click the second the head goes a bit down, right? Whew.....

Oh yes, and take my focus more off her, I suppose!

to begin with as soon as she looks like she is lowering her neck click - dont worry about the crunch at this stage - lets do this with the clicker not intrinzen (there are a number of ways) - no we dont want her hinds back -that means her fores are too far foward - lets work on the click for a little lowering of the beck first - yes we want to click as much as possible in all gaits where the neck is not being used (or used less to begin with) - oh it is no problem and none of this is on you - it is very hard I know - and there is very little help out there - so lets do it with the clicker and see if this progresses things more

Okeydokey, will see how we go. Good idea to click for those under saddle as well?

You can tell I'm really itching! Happy to ride her in a noseband for a while, if you think that this is a good idea.

she looked fine in the canter so maybe a little BUT you have to understand that she sees the arena for work - the idea for her to have fun only and stop short in the arena was to change her mind about feeling she 'has' to do it verses I WANT to do it - do you want me to do a video on what I mean? i think I have one about the legs though somewhere as I did it this way for my horses (why? because I am a clicker trainer LOL). Sometimes we have to develop cues and I dont believe when you see my horses crunches I own them - they do and they love to do them

Oh yes, please! Would love to see them! And it is very obvious that your horses love to do them!

yep the clicker did not take away their autonomy - OK so I cannot find the video that I was thinking of at the moment I will keep looking, as it was good to show the progression - otherwise I will do one for you - yes if it were me I would change things around a little for a while if that were possible - I recall you cant really focus on her only if she is in the paddock doing the crunches so yes change it around

OMG I used SATS LOL fuck that was a long time ago - here it is gee that was only 2 years ago I thought it was allot longer

Just a quickie, must tell you what happened right now: brought Carlotta in for evening rugging. Took her to the arena for a few minutes. Had the long bamboo pointer with a piece of poolnoodle at the end. Just walked at her side and held it out in front, at approx. her chest height. She walked with me, did skips and PWs occasionally (I let her do whatever she wanted), and clicked each time she lowered her head a bit or didn't use her neck. She seemed to understand very soon and started to lower her head a bit by herself. While I stood at her side, at one stage, I asked for a crunch, and she did a beautiful one without using her neck.

When walking back to paddock, she offered some PW, then remembered and lowered her head again a bit. Earned her several clicks and treats on the way back

YEP!!!! clicker trumps!

oh the video will need some explaining but will explain after you watched it - I cant add you to the group that was before the project as I was not admin - but it was a very authentic group - you can log in as me if you want

Oh I must remind you also that Carlotta appears to be more motivated now - this happens very quickly when we do very short positive sessions

How was Carlotta?

Had her in the noseband. She was fine, and her canter was very beautiful and slow-motion and elevated.

thats great

Chris brought her back just before nightfall (she had been jousting all day with Rev at Cliff's place), and Carlotta walked along my side in proud PW

sounds really good

This morning, after taking rug off, a 5 minute session in the arena, again with the stick with poolnoodle. She happily performed, sometimes trying to snuggle closer to me. I kept clicking for each head a neck relaxation. After the second time, she seemed to say: Ah yes, I remember!

Asked for 2 crunches, with the target stick held just under her chin, and she arched her neck and lifted her back!

Jackpot and end of session.

thats good - you know you could just do this when you take the rug off where ever you are - BUT back then neck not neck then back

I know, but somehow she never seems to "get" it when I ask differently. And I saw in your Star video that you touched his front legs with your pointer, and he crunched. What I did was pretty similar, I think? I still hope that, once she has understood how it feels, she will do it on her own. no the touching of the front legs was to get him to re position his front legs then crunch Seems like such a frustrating journey.

Ah, OK.

no it isnt - it is early days and we are establishing cues - see thats the point of the SATS as I used this to teach to get the front legs back - of course the intrinzen 'folks' dont agree with this BUT it is not taking away his autonomy AND now I have seen videos of Steinar at the clinics and how rough he can be with horses - I dont care LOL - my way works

Will try a couple of times with the target stick touching her back briefly, she crunches on this and sometimes lifts her back a bit, but the neck still is an issue.

the more I dont 'pick' on you the harder it is to change later

Yes, I understand, if only I wasn't such a stubborn person I really appreciate your patience!

then you cant click for the neck - BUT it has only been a couple of days - so crunch using neck then you ask for the cue you are developing for her neck and then click this and then it will eventually be put together - see were are doing it my clicker way now (not the intrinzen do as I say not as I do way)

it really is no problem for me AND you are giving me HUGE ideas as to what to do with new things I am developing

oh it is nothing you will get it straight away - see the SATS system takes the view that horses are very cognitive beings (I wont go there as there is no way of testing) and uses language with the clicker for the name and explain body parts - it is very easy to see that allot can 'stick' as you will often hear me say 'front leg' and the horses move it back

I like it how Carlotta has started to PW at my side (on the way to paddock) without me cueing her. This morning, she did a dog stretch to the ground again. I wonder whether this feels good to her back.

yep they do love that stretch - Sharney has never really done it but Star does it in preparation for work LOL

I think it is great that she is starting to PW at will - and you can see that sometimes less is really more for them

Would you put it on cue?

Yes, it really sounds like this is the case.

yep it is on cue - I use my hand in a circle from back to front and go stretch anything you like can be cued by adding the cue as the horse does it - you have to be consistent and do it every time you are with them and they do it but it works if they love to do it

I only wish I had another riding horse, so I don't get all these withdrawal symptoms

oh and I click for it

turn your withdrawal symptoms into constructive planning and remember just how happy she is

Yeah, sure, but I am not sure how much time I have left to enjoy what I love most....

Haven ridden Carlotta yesterday evening for 6 minutes (after being pretty sore all day from unloading hay). Had her in the noseband and didn't ask for anything demanding, mainly just walking around quietly and asking for a few steps of canter here and there. She amused herself with some PWs and bunny hops (love that expression). The canter was nice and elevated. She was very surprised when I said "OK" after that short time and hardly believed me when I directed her to the exit (usually she walks there by herself when she hears OK). When going back to paddock, as soon as I fall a bit behind (saddle level), she immediately starts to PW and throws in skips. She did it this morning when walking towards arena.

hahahaha Carlotta has got it!

I have some ideas also to change the neck bear with me I will video shortly

I keep clicking only when, during her movements and crunches, she softens her topline. Then she says "oops, I forgot" and corrects herself

yes thats great thats what we want!

I had placed the mat in the arena and asked her twice to approach it. She put her foot on a couple of times, then I turned her loose, folded the mat and just stood there. She farted and looked into the distance. After a while, she turned around and I clicked for it. She took a few steps towards my outstretched hand (a metre away from the mat) and took the treat. A few repetitions, and we stopped. On the way to paddock, she went straight back into PW and once even tucked her chin in a bit (I got a bit far behind because she was swinging her legs so eagerly, hahaha). Once set free, I stood there for a moment. She tried crunch, then decided to get my attention NOW and went up into levade. I rewarded, then left, as I don't want Valeta to pick that up - she would be all over the top of me, if she learned this!

I held the mat upright by the handles.

its a good start - try not to look at her LOL

Yep, I remember that from time to time!

May 7, 2019

Exchange with Julie:

Love your Sharney, and Star too is a very elegant horse in his type.

oh Sharney is just so great - I am getting her stronger and stronger. I wish that I had her from a baby. Star is Star LOL but he is really starting to enjoy moving so thats all I can ask

so with the first video Carlotta was telling you no so you need to let her process and come back to you in her time (not for a treat) - I would not be clicking when her emotions are not as good as they could be - no clicking for looking at the mat (if this were me) and she needs to come to the mat - not you bring the mat to her. She then starts to walk away again (she does not want the conflict of the click and does not want a treat) but as you walked towards her again she looked away and took her mind off somewhere - so breath and wait for her to come to you. See she is really yelling at you a big NO with the mat - so you need to either leave the mat down and see if she ever wants to come near it or if you cant trust yourself dont bring it out. I believe it is poisoned now for her and we need to go back to listening to her before you ask anything .....hint hint - see I understand the frustration - it is just a silly mat - but for her it is something else. What you have to try and remember is that if our horse wants distance that means they want distance so clicking and treating is the opposite to distance - we want to provide the reinforcer that our horse desires. So think about it this way - do we want to mark those emotions we would rather not have our horses feel? I can see you are confused and want to try and change her mind with the mat - you cant - and this is making it harder for her.

now see at 1.59 when you clicked her near the mat - lets stop thinking that you can control her emotions here with the clicker

you are still clicking the neck - did you see the SATS video? see where her front feet are? Yes this is good with the stick at 5.10

in the second video - see how much more willing she is going to be with you? I would not be clicking for walking towards you - try not to rely on the clicker so much - just feel gratitude for her walking with you and smile and tell her she is a good girl

I watched it, but will have to watch it again.

Thank you for the explanations about the mat. Duh! It will stay in the shed now, until it will come out for Valeta. After all, it's not that important. We can do other things instead. When leaving the arena yesterday, I stopped on the short slops just outside and she did a crunch for me there. yes i am glad you are seeing you are not giving her time to process but see how she walked away from you after that first click and treat? I suspect this is because she cant understand why she got the click and she was not feeling proud. In the PW try not to be so far behind her and start to use your stick here as well for her to follow and then shape her head a little more

I tried to have her rearrange her feet, but I think I asked for it the wrong way. She wanted to offer positioning for levade instead or just lifted the leg.

you are funny - see at 1.10 CLICK hahahahaha - no the legs with the SATS are not to lift they are to re-position herself so she has a better chance to crunc

Bummer how I get carried away all the time and then forget crucial things in the "heat of the moment", like giving her time and listening to her.

Will try to do it better next time and pay attention to what she says.

no OK so use the full legth of the stick tap lightly with you standing to her side and say front leg and click and treat - the tapping is name and explain so that she will learn when you say front leg she will move it back a little

have a look at 2.10 YES YES YES

and see after that can you see how her front legs are too far in front of her so she has no option but to use her neck

Definitely should have clicked at 1:10, instead of just being pleased!

yes that would have been the place to click - OK you need to go back to the SATS video just the little at the beginning where I explain what front leg is - as from 2.10 she cant crunch with her legs out the front like that

Yes for the front legs. I suppose we will have to work on good leg position first.

Ok so what you are doing is touching her and there is a pause (as you saying anything as I cant hear over the wind?) - then you are clicking - it is almost touch and click and the same time touch click front leg treat - and it is very quick and there are no pauses - I will try and find one of Kayces with a zoo animal to show you how quick it is Ouch at 3:30 - I did it again!

Goody, thank you. The feeling in your SATS video is of very elevated energy, not the usual calm like in your other videos.

How do you like her last crunch in that video?

yes it is very high energy- we then get slower by xxxxxxX good job treat but at the beginning it is very fast. The one I want to show you was with a rhino but it does not seem to be on line, I have it somewhere I will have to find it. Yes that last crunch was pretty good but I think the one at 2.10 was the best

The SATS video is so far back I can't find it anymore. Can you give me the link again please? Right, the one at 2:10 is more fluent and almost looks like it should!

OK I will find it hang on

yes the 2.10 one would have got quadruple treats from me Thanks. Hahah, you are doing a great PW backwards!

So, in the beginning, do you say "front leg" or "back leg"? Can't understand it very well. And do you slightly touch the leg with the pointer? Or just hold it near?

Looks to me like you almost want the horse in mountain goat position, i.e. the front legs a bit backwards?

yes I say leg or front leg or back leg and yes touch very slightly - we wnat the fronts to be under the shoulders

Love it how you always ask him whether he is ready. Really must start doing this instead of imposing myself on Carlotta.

OK, thanks, will try and keep you informed how it goes.

can you see at 1.13 he was not in a good position to crunch and how I used it to get a better positon?

Yes, I saw that. oh the are you ready - thats all the SATS training that I have - so it is a HUGE habit - I may have to go back into the old hard drives to find the video I wanted to show you but there is a good ebook I will send you on dropbox as I think it will be too large to load here Lovely, thank you.

I found the reduced size one but there is the link - just download it - you will pick up allot of what I say (especially are you ready) from the perception modification stuff - as I said I do not do allot of her stuff - just the stuff that works for me but I did spend years studying it with her I think one of the things that makes me so chatty with the horses is the old SATS training but allot of it is also when we speak out loud we visualise what we want and that also helps with our focus and reminds us when we need to do something else (rather than what we are thinking) Makes a lot of sense.

Wow, that is a lot in that link. Will look into it more when I have more time.

Not much to report recently. Carlotta really fancies that Power Canter! She offers it all the time, which means every few seconds! This morning I had planned to do just 5 minutes of calm walking and some turns, as I had a Pilates session afterwards which can be a bit draining at times. But no, Carlotta wanted to do her elevated canters. And when I said "pspsps", which means "lovely, but not thanks, not now", she went into PW right away... My back was well "massaged" through by the end of those 5 minutes, hahaha.

And when I took her back into her paddoc, as soon as the halter was off and she was on her way towards the fillies and the hay piles, she did 2 or 3 steps of that canter! Funny girl! It is very wet here - finally! Some 80 mm of rain over the last 2 days. That should save the next hay harvest, whew!

May 12, 2019

oh she sounds very happy hahahahaha - rain whats that? I wish it would make a return here May 12, 2019, 9:17 AM

It's that wet stuff that sticks to your saddle before you can get into it, and then flogs your face and makes your horse grumpy

it sounds like you are getting the mix now so that is really good. Star had to show off to the trimmer after he was done and it was little nickers in this panther/shoulder in he has decided now to do all the time - and with nice bending and stellning - gott video that and see if it is good for him LOL

Panther shoulder-in.... WOW!

Carlotta is telling you what is working - yes I cannot get a non PW in front now hahahaha

They are going through phases..

When Carlotta didn't want to continue with laterals around the cone today, she started to do a shoulder-in PW.

interesting, so I need to work out whether that is good for them

May 13, 2019

She did it again today!

Yes, looks like Carlotta is happy. You would really have laughed yesterday. I hopped on briefly to show Carola and Lisa who to ride her, mentioned that there might be some spectacular things going on. But no, Carlotta wasn't in the mood for any of the Intrinzen fun. After riding, I took her into the arena and wanted to show off her PW and bunny hops from the ground. Nope! She didn't wanna! Carola and Lisa almost rolled on the floor laughing, when I said to Carlotta: Can't you do a teensy-weensy PW at least, puuuleeeease?

May 14, 2019

oh the horses never do what we want when we want to show off LOL. Good the money went through well Greg wanted to do it that way hahahahahaha. Hope Carola enjoys the videos

Yep, and he got well served!

Oh yes, they horses can make you look sooo stupid...


Both girls said that had never ridden a horse so light on cues and so fine-tuned.

thats so nice

Oh, and Csrlotta did two beautiful crunches for me while they watched. You should have heard the Ooohs and Aaahs, and they wanted to know how I taught her that. I laughed and said: it took a loooong time!

hahahaha well the online course I am developing may get people there quicker LOL. I have one thing to test out on you but need to video to show you first

you realise you are instrumental in getting my finger out of my bum with this!

I feel honoured, Julie

no it is the way Steinar taught it (which was not the way I did it) but the problem is that many people have tried and we cannot correct the posture the same as we would if we began from scratch. But there is a way I have been working through with the horses to get the neck out that may be easier once it is there - hard as we dont have a neck but I had to go back to what it was that I did differently to work this out - stay tuned will do the video soon. I have worked out the platform and also the lessons just gotta video what I say

Have been a good girl and rode 9 minutes this morning. She is so light and willing, such a pleasure.

Something interesting and new: while I was unsaddling, Carlotta started doing crunches by her own. Several even!

yeah that sounds really good, it is just getting better and better - glad the clinic is sorted We might end up at the same stage as you and Star that I holler "Lift" across the paddocks. Not tomorrow yet, but maybe the week after, hahaha

you will for sure it wont take long - it will come and go and she will have different preferences for different days and she will keep putting things together. Star is still on renvers for some reason at the moment - the more effort the more he grunts and the more he bends and then nickers LOL

OH I meant to find you an example of a really good cheap cavesson that doubles as a halter and does not really act as a noseband - I will try and find it now - as I had forgotten I used it before I used a 'real' one, and went back to that today when I took them for a walk.

this is it - I had always got mine from the UK - I do believe there is somewhere in aus but not sure where now - they run a little small but they double as a standard halter and works perfectly with light aids (in hand)

here is the first of the course I am creating - I have a beta tester so this may not be clear (please tell me if it is not clear to you of course) - it was freezing here this morning LOL - in this you can see what I am trying to also develop before we begin to crunch - the connection to the chest - 'lift' see if that helps if you still need it

Hahahaha, maybe remind Gusti to sit back and breathe at times. And tell him what you told me: keep sessions SHORT! Worked wonders for Carlotta.

Just watched the video.

Maybe could be useful to give a few explanations to inexperienced people, like for example that in the beginning you click as soon as you have touched the body part and named it, i.e. you don't really need a reaction at this stage. And in the end, also explain why you ask her to bend her head around, i.e. "can you do Y while you are doing X?"

I noticed that when you ask "lift", you hold your pointer in a very similar position I do (and began to get the lift with this, without her using her neck as a balance crow bar).

Interesting that you drop treats in Sharney's bucket and proceed to ask for more body parts while she is still busy munching. Also you voice modulations that occur at times, mostly when doing the back leg.

I suppose that doesn't make much difference to our horses.

So, you want me to do a video with all the elements, so people can see how it goes with a less experienced horse? Could also use Valeta for the "leg" etc. cues (apart from the crunches), as she is completely new to this.

yes the explanations are going to be in the actual text that accompanies the lessons - no the crunch part was just a preview (the crunches come way later) - it was just the way it happened today with the voice LOL - no you dont have to unless you want to but sure - I have a person who is beta testing so it does not matter if you dont - it was only that she has been asking me for help so I eventually said this is how I could help

aghhh! yes the chest is interesting - I was working on this with shoulder in

She is just barely starting to do correct ones when I cue her on the back or croup. Had the trimmer in and Carlotta got impatient when left behind in the arena. I was very surprised, she usually doesn't do that kind of stuff. Very respectful to fences. yep I think the little cue on the chest (if their feet are good) gives the gentle weight shift back and then up - I prefer up then back but i feel this takes the neck out so quickly that I wonder if it is worth going to all the trouble with correcting

May 15, 2019

Did a video this arvo:

Noticed that I "missed" (didn't click) one very nice back lift, somewhere in the middle

Then was worried that you wouldn't be able to hear what I said (it's OK when you turn up the volume), so did a second one from closer. But Carlotta had enough by then, so it's not so good. Here it is, just for the records:

with the body targets I suspect you dont need to actually touch just point, we dont want her walking off and then you click that so it is a good reminder for me - so point to the area rather than touch her hinds - I have ordered some feathers to see what that will do also - you are still clicking for using the neck LOL at 1.45 - so for her I would only use the chest. So at 2.24 that was good, I would use the pointer to ask her to look and then click. My gut feeling is that she is in the corner as a compromise - 'ok mum alright' rather than 'ok lets go' so I would wait for her when she goes in the corner and engage when she comes to you (rather than the other way around) - think of the corner as her autonomy. Could she be thinking you want to cue something with her back legs? Look at where her front legs are when you click at 5.16 LOL - so she is at the stage in her fronts where you can ask her to take them a little further back - but not in the corner - think of the corner as her space. OK so when you are asking for her leg to go back (5.38 - ask and then take the pointer away and if it still stays there ask again - rather than leave the pointer on) - good things for me to address in the text! but a good click when she moved it (but she lifted it rather than placed it back - I would therefore ask again) - remember we get what we click for so if you are going to click when her back leg is in the air that is what she thinks you want (now I will be playing with this but with a feather)

All good points, of course. I am proud of myself to always be able to deliver all these things that need improvement...

Yes, I suppose she thinks I want back leg lift then turn around towards me, as I had accidentally clicked this once!

Hahaha, feathers I have a lot. I have collected them and keep them in my tack room, so I have something to scrape the lucerne chaff out from under the roller of the shank bit! Mostly cockie feathers, so fairly short ones. I had seen that Steinar had used (Pheasant?) feathers in some of his videos. When I take videos, I tend to not allow Carlotta to go away and think, because I don't want to waste the video time...

Will try to incorporate all this into the next sessions.

in the second vid she walks away - I would wait and see when she comes back to me. try and see what the target at her chest does for lift rather than her wither - I think that it may take the neck out - yes see at 1.33 there was allot less neck. 2.18 was a good click! oh 1 second too late at 2.28. 2.36 perfect. Now at 2.54 you did not look at her front legs before the lift - so legs first and then ask for the lift - if her legs are too far forward she cant lift well. I would have clicked at 3.00 as she was trying to reposition herself. at abount 3.04 you are seeing her legs. so wait for her to move it back before clicking now. Definitely I would not be clicking for hinds lifted. Nice at 3.21. That was good at 4.07

OK so the feathers - twine them around the little stayers in the pole if they are still there - I think that they may work better for her - yeah I know about the video time - but at the end of the day the more we dont listen the more this keeps on keeping on - best to sacrifice a video day or two - (I have plenty)

the back legs are always hard and maybe that accounts for my difference in tone with Sharney also as she has so much muscle damage in the back - so just be aware of this we dont want the lift and put down we want her to just recognise that we are saying back leg - perhaps the feathers will help with her

May 18, 2019

So the way this online course will be structured I think is 1. SATS 2. power walk (this is engagement with the target as a lift under the chest and then a down stretch - with rhythm - I may have to do a bit of targeting BUT I want follow the target not touch) 3. Then core work - teaching the crunch 4. then mat and pedestal work (which includes somatic stuff of lifting feet and also carrot stretches 5. then pantherwalk and of course the aim of this course is to develop mastery and confidence with the principles of the PVT

Sounds great, Julie!

Off to morning chores, then Pilates, then cooking dinner for guests tonight, hopefully talk tomorrow. Have a lovely, quiet weekend! have fun

2 questions: why do you not want her to move the hind legs when I say "hind leg"? I thought we want this, as she needs to reposition herself?

And: when she does PW under saddle, am I sitting light or "deep"?

because she is not 'moving' the legs she is reacting - we dont want that - and it is easier to ask for the front legs to be repositioned and then the back ones will only need a tweak - but reactions come with emotions that we do not want to have her react this is why I suggested feathers for her - make sense?

if the PW is happening under saddle you will feel your body rise and fall with her strides so you need to be light as best you can - it is hard to do though as it is such a off balancing thing

one of the things that you can also do is to try and click sooner for the back legs - so the click is the moment the hoof leaves the ground and this may work to help her understand we want a purposeful move not a reaction - and remember the more we click for high lifts the harder it will be to fix that later - this is also why I use the vet wrap around my pointer because cues are everywhere - if we are using the pointer in a different way (with the 'target' like point) they can learn to discriminate really well

BUT again see you have added to my information that I will be providing in a lesson! thankyou

Useful guinea pig?

Thanks for the great hints. I had a feather on the pointer this morning already and had tried to click earlier. Will need some work to get the reaction out of her system, I'm afraid. But I could see a small step into the right direction.

Makes me happy that I now am able to work some things out by myself, like clicking earlier for leg lifts. I thought this morning: let's try that. Also tried to softly stroke along her croup and halfway down hind leg with the feather. She kept her leg on the ground, but seemed a bit irritated.

If you want to use parts of my videos as "bad" examples, you are very welcome!

it takes the time it takes - but thats good if you are seeing improvements AND yes yeah your mind is working it out!!! - there are no bad examples LOL - BUT it will be good to add a few pics here and there to show examples of what we need to be careful of. The next step which is the power walk is coming together but fog to bad this morning to video. What I really feel is that the core posture work comes too soon - we have to develop masterful, energetic and motivated horses first and this way I feel we dont have to 'undo' allot of the stuff. For example in the power walk I am working out exactly how to ask the horse to follow our focus with the pointer and to create a little stellning and bending at the poll - the shoulder cue can then lead the circle and a little capacity if we get the correct footfall as we ask for the shoulder - gotta work out a way of explaining this better. THEN we extend the power walk to further away with the use of our pointer and whoalla we have created distance so we dont need to extinguish and risk the behaviours we get when this happens - a few days for me to really work out the best way of showing it.

May 20, 2019

I found an old video of me teaching SATS to Star

Sounds like a great approach, Julie! Love it!

It often felt to me like Carlotta was struggling with PW, due to not enough capacity, but still insisted because she so much wants to please me.

Yes, my feeling to for how to sit when she does PW under saddle. I was sitting light almost all of the time, was just double-checking with you

Have experimented a bit this morning with the feather at the end of the pointer. Touched her ever so lightly with it (her ears were very vivid!) and she tried to figure things out: slightly shifter her weight back when the feather touched her front leg, then moved them very softly a little bit (which she hadn't done very well before). I also tried here and there to just hold the feather close without touching her.

For the hind legs, I started with touching her hip with the feather (so she wouldn't move her legs reactively), and it was fascinating to see how she tried out several things, like standing still, twitching some muscles, shifting her weight back, then - BINGO - slightly shifting a hind leg in a non-reactive way.

She did throw in a couple of the reactive ones, but waaay better already! sounds great maybe for her the feather gives a different sensation Yes, definitely! I love this.

It's so much more delicate. And she is such a delicate creature and loves cues to be very soft to almost inexsitent.

yes and also it helps for horses who may be used to escalating pressure and release - from ebay

I will keep an eye out for them on the ground (cockies, magpies and such), but I think the moult is over for now.

it will be interesting to see if the little flag connectors on the pointer work I did that stupid escalating pressure in my Parelli times, but have come off it ages ago, of course. I took those off I think. Just wrapped a bit of elastic wrap around the feather. yep the wrap will do it for sure - I think the ones I have ordered are quite long Wow, love the SATS video of Star!

that was when i was teaching him - so that is the way I also taught the PW

At one stage, he does the same reactive hind leg thinggy like Carlotta. yep he did - but I was touching the other leg LOL


Who would have thought that it is so much fun to work all this out! Lovely, mild weather for the last few days. So much fun to ride in a T-shirt! Carlotta is happy to dance for me, so it's pure bliss

I have the impression that, since Anke did that in-hand work with her, it's now very easy for her to sort out and straighten her body upon a mere weight shift from me. Such a glorious feeling when your horse follows your slightest movements.

Carola and Lisa (our last visitors) just couldn't believe it how prompty Carlotta reacted to their slightest changes in weight and focus - even when they hadn't even noticed that he had actually done one, hahaha

thats great. yes it is really good if they can follow our movements and really it is all about having fun also as if she is relaxed and thinking it will be all good for her. I was digging around the videos to see if I had allot of the begining stuff with crunches and I have which is good.

May 21, 2019

More experimenting with the feather:

Oops, didn't notice that I made the session that long!

In the last third, she had either completely enough or felt irritated or tickled by the feather when I touched her chest and asked for lift.

I tested that theory on the way to paddock. Picked up a twig, touched her chest very lightly and said lift and she did, without walking away like she did from around 9:50. Thoughts?

that was nice when you gave her some time and she went into her school halt - I wish we could get her neck out so she could use her core. Its the same in the PW she is not using her core - a dainty PW but LOL. She understands the feet though I would not be doing this anymore except when you ask her for a crunch. At 3.35 you are asking her to 'lean' with the chest - see how you kept it on her for a few seconds - but see her front feet - so we have to be careful we dont set her up for failure - I would do the 'chest' when you are walking (good that you did this). Yep I am sure you are just repeating things too much now - she has this so I would not do more unless she was crunching. I did not think her back legs were as reactive as they have been though. see at 6.31 - we cant get her neck out when you click for it LOL - so if you are in SATS just for SATS then name click name click - dont let her have the opportunity to do more - but you dont need to do this anymore - I would be working on the crunch when her feet are good and then lets see what she does with her neck and - but you have to remember not to wait for allot in the crunch just a little as we need to reshape it so she does not use her neck and dont ask for too much - a couple and thats it do something else. You are getting so good at giving her time! but she is annoyed as it is repetitive and too long - remember repetition just for the sake of repeating is punishing. we need to add this to a purpose and the purpose is crunch, can you move your feet and crunch again

May 23, 2019

Been busy again, sorry. Get her neck out? You mean she should stretch her chin forward, so to speak? Can't see how she can use her core when doing this. I tried to crunch myself doing it and it was impossbile.

Seems to me that I haven seen several times that she did lift her back and use her core. Like at 2:14 in this one:

May 26, 2019

Sorry for my whining. Going through a time of frustration and discouragement right now, as I never seem to get anywhere with the crunches and the core lifting.


when I say get her neck out think of it like she is using her underneck to balance her posture and try and crunch - so if you try and crunch and you are on all fours but you try and lead the crunch by using your neck (your chin goes up the more effort but it is your underneck / throat that is trying to lift) and then try instead of that your chin in a little and push your belly button through to the back of your spine as you do this your shoulders will raise- there is a difference you should be able to feel - it is not impossible - if you think it is then you are not using your abs well. The difficulty is that you reward her for it when she uses her underneck to lead the crunch- until the rewards for this consistently stop it is always going to be there

I am looking at the video and struggling to see what you are clicking for - are you getting a little reliant on the clicker for 'normal' things? she is definitely not motivated at the beginning and was not interested in your suggestions - BUT think about what you are clicking for - there is no issue with using the clicker to micro manage but it is not something I would encourage. If you think about what you are rewarding - so here is an example - Carlotta is not really interesting in coming to me - so yes initially she will get the click and treat - but that was some time ago now - and can you see here (not always in some videos it is really great) but here she is just coming to you at an even - 'whatever' 'take or leave it' kind of way - as she knows this will get her a click and a treat - so ask yourself what are you clicking for - coming to you (unmotivated) - now this is fine if you are...or are you clicking because the camera is rolling and it will always be number one rule that when the camera is on, our horse just will stand there - so are you clicking here to get something on video? no judgement and just be honest with yourself here to be sure you know the answer. I did click Star for anything when he would come to me initially as he would not come to me - then when this was 'known' I would only click if he came to me with motivated attitude - if I went in the paddock and he did not come to me I never went to him (unless of course a vet etc was waiting) - I would wait - BUT I have the added advantage that Sharney is there also and taking her always will have the effect of Star wanting 'in' so I can never truly say that it is waiting that did it but he comes to me with motivation all the time now

so you are repeating SATS again - you dont need to repeat it - remember repetition is punishing but have a look here at the first one at .48 - see how she was stretching back with her front legs fixed to the ground - we dont want this - now if this was at the chest in a walk this would be the early stages of the half halt for collection - but pause at .49 - can you see the underneck is starting to come into her full movement - this is what I mean about the underneck in the crunches. So now at the crunches - help her be successful first before you ask for a lift - see at 1.12 she is not holding an even posture? so Steinar would say not to click this but wait for the horse to set it up - I say help the horse set it up - this is the purpose of the SATS - to ask for a better standing posture and then lift - here can you see at 1.17 she lifted her neck (this is what I am talking about - see her underneck is doing the work). There was no underneck in the next one but her front right leg seems forward here so I cannot see if there could be a crunch. Now the next time when you ask for her front leg - you are still naming it rather than waiting for her to take it back - so no more clicking for name LOL. I think the next thing was chest - thats fine but remember to lift yourself (this is the half halt part of the crunch). That front leg at 1.47 was better but dont leave the pointer on her leg - if you do that you are asking her to respond to pressure and release rather than bringing her attention to it (take it off her leg) give her a chance to move it - if not remind her again by pointing and taking it off - dont leave it on - see the difference? at around 2.00 that was good, I would personally aim for this to the be absolute least you would click for consistently as there was no neck used and she was standing pretty OK. now at 2.05 you only just managed to get the click in before the underneck was used - so remember your pointer here to direct her head down and then click and treat - pause at 2.14 - move your pointer so she sees it and takes her head towards it a little - ask for the lift again and then click - for some reason you have forgotten about this and you are pushing the pointer to her chest? the chest is simply a name and you have done this - so in walk now and again we can also use this to half halt. but yes at 2.18 PERFECT. See at 2.33 she is standing well but you said front leg? this immediately sent her leaning back - I think this is because the pointer sometimes is left on her leg so she is trying to work out what you want and this is developing because she is being clicked for it.

Pause at 2.53 - a perfect crunch but look at her front legs. You see the problem and you dont click and she starts to shape her legs better - this is all good stuff but then you leave the pointer on her front leg and click - you dont need to name now - ask 'front leg' back at 2.53 and only direct the pointer to her leg if you need to (and take it straight off) - so the sequence at 2.53 would be better this way - lift....front leg (NO pointer) - best scenario she lifts her front leg....and it is placed back a little (if not use the pointer to -touch her leg as you say front leg and then take the pointer off) - yes good, other front leg (same thing if needed) - yes good lift YES click treat - make sense? I would not be clicking for those reactive back legs - but I dont think you need any naming now you only need to use it if you want her to posture herself better for the crunch - now it is purpose only. What was the reason for clicking at 3.22? now the way she was standing after this she was in the perfect position to crunch but you went to her back leg again - are you maybe trying to desensitise her? if so you do what feels right for you but dont do this at the same time as crunching as this is where you need to work through emotions separately. The SATS we are using are simply for naming so we can ask when we need to - but remember repetition is punishing and that may have a hand in this as well. YES at 4.06 this is what you want to see (at first I was not sure you saw it but you did - as you were focusing on her legs LOL) - YES YES YES. I would have clicked when you said Yes the next one - but what that tells me is that she does not know what yes means in this context as it ought to make her feel proud. so remember to use the keep going signal allot and she will get it. So I think you are getting somewhere with the crunches but you need to be consistent with not clicking when she uses her underneck - use the keep going signal allot more and dont name any more - only ask when you need to and tap (and take off) when you need to - also here is a challenge for you - put up something that can show you were the cameras view is - and each second ask - go off with her and play for a tick and then come back into the cameras view and ask for a crunch - only a crunch and go and play again - help set her up for success for every crunch though as we have talked about here - and we dont want more than 4 crunches - so each crunch gets a click because it was effort and good and we are clicking and treating this and then also going and doing what she loves to do - so the video will contain allot of 'scenery' and 4 crunches only...lets see what happens

Exchange with Julie:

Oh Julie, you are so patient with me, and my poor horse has to put up with me sigh I am really frustrated and considering giving up on it, as I don't seem to be able to do it correctly and enable Carlotta to progress.

But I will read and re-read all your above suggestions, compare with the exact moments in the video, and then try again to put it to work.

What discouraged me the most was when you said that she is not using her back when doing PW. It feels like she lifts a lot when doing it under saddle though.

Yes, you are right: when the camera was on and in the beginning, I clicked her for turning towards me half-heartedly. Deep inside, I knew it was bribery, haha.

Such a pity you never travel to our area - it would have been so wonderful to see you work with her and have you to coach me through my struggles. Ah well, life's a bitch...

Almost 5 months of doing this, and so little progress. I have never spent so much time on a learning process with so small success.

I suppose it's a phase I go through, and I just have to take a deep breath and try again. But it's kinda difficult to pedal in one spot, so to speak, when the riding is so much more fun, because so much more achieved.

But I still would love to get this to work, as I would love her to be able to use her core. One excellent thing that happened: she is so much happier now. And only this might be worth it all, if all else fails

Sorry for being a pain in the ... Shouldn't pour all this into your poor ear, haha.

you are going well, you just need to stop reinforcing what we want to change LOL - the PW I see on the ground she is not using her core - that may be different under saddle as you have other aids you may be accidentally using (we cannot help this) - I am not ruling out travelling, I am not yet sure if I can handle it yet so we shall see. I have a very good friend down there and it may happen - it will happen but you have to take the pressure off yourself - and it is no bother AND you are making me work and this is important for me - so look at the video and see when you have time that is if you can see the difference when the underneck is used (and of course that is another difference under saddle - she has the bridle on. first thing is first this is the most important thing and once this is changed we will see a mammoth cruncher

Have asked her for a few crunches before putting the rug on tonight. The first one was with underneck, so ignored it and asked her to walk forward a few steps. The 3 following ones were good, and I made darn sure to click at a very early stage.

yeah for you

May 25, 2019

I got on all 4s and did crunches as described by you. Yep, works well. Now... to get Carlotta to do the right things. And resist my own urge to click her for things that were not wanted, just because I felt sorry for her not to earn clicks

Correct, I didn't give her a chance to walk towards me with eagerness. And sometimes even walked to her yet again.

Good approach you used with Star. I can't wait it out in the paddock for her to come to me all the way. Will see whether it can be built up more over time. But at least she stops now and waits for me, while before she always walked away and didn't want to be caught. Maybe I could go and do a few tries to wait for her when I don't "want" anything during the day. Will report what happens.

Valeta comes to me all the time, but not Carlotta, especially when the little ones are snuggled around me. But I will pay close attention to do it better in the arena. And maybe I can take her into another paddock on her own and try it there.

And yes, I fell into the trap of clicking her again for normal things.

why cant you wait it out for her in the paddock? see that head turn when you approach? stop when this happens and wait for her to cue you to walk on - so when her head turns to you again then approach - this will be a good compromise

Usually I am coming in late, so in a hurry to get her rug on and feed everybody. And with this lousy wqather, I am happy to get things over and done with before getting soaked again. You mean CAT, right?

Ahaaaaa, now I have figured out why I couldn't see what you commented in about the video. I had created confusion by reposting the older one (called Carlotta body targets and only 4-something minues long), and I thought you had commented on the most recent one which is 14 minutes long!

So watched the short one again and, yey, saw everything you talked about. Agree on everything. Just have to remember to first check her legs before asking for crunch (resp. the beginning of it). I seem to forget this way too often. Just checking: when she stands square for her front feet parallel, this is all we need as crunch prerequisite, right? No need to bring the feet closer together in "mountain goat" position?

May 27, 2019

I think we are on our way now. Sometimes, when she stands in the paddock and wants my attention, she does a "bad" crunch (using her neck). What do I do then? Just smile and say good girl, or go to her and ask her for something she does well and then click? I feel so sorry for her when she tries so hard to do something she thinks I like.

CAT? with the head turning? no thats not CAT - with the head turning she is saying no I am not ready (for whatever reason) so when we ignore this and keep moving towards her we are saying we dont care that she is not ready - so she has no control emotionally. If we stop when this happens and wait for HER to signal us to come towards her (CAT is signalling for us to go back) then we are giving her the control as to the speed at which we approach her. Sorry I am confused now about the comments - I dont think I have missed any videos? I thought it looked familar though - the last two videos were the body targets - I recall a 14 minute one that I commented on but cant find that video when I scroll up now

no you just want her feet aligned with her shoulder - if then the crunch is not getting there the feet are the first we would check - I do like the back feet to also be square but if not the quality of the crunch is not as affected as the neck with the front feet. Yes smile and ask again and say can we do this again without the neck to yourself or what you like to say - that will happen less and less though. Its fine to click early but we are going to have to wait soon or else you will never get more, and this is where you can use the keep going signal now and click but then soon delay the click a little

Great explanation, thanks, Julie. Yes, I was worried a bit that Miss Smartiepants would soon think that a minimal effort is enough. I have started to use the keep going signal for crunches, and I like the conversation to myself about trying again without neck!

Would it be a good idea to touch her back and do a little scritchie with my fingertips to make her aware that I would like a back lift in the crunch? She has done a few, but somehow I have the feeling that she needs more "pointers" to be really aware of what we want.

yes for sure scratch her withers but if her feet are aligned and you use a keep going signal (I use yes or more) and take it slowly so as not to destroy her confidence there will be a little bit more and thats what we click for

There was a gap between two showers, so off to the paddock. Deposited the wheelbarrow with hay outside and walked in with the horses. Of course, Valeta came immediately and offered to do shoulder-in at my side. Did a little bit of that, than asked her to leave. Carlotta watched and stood. So I called her, but didn't move from my spot. After a minute or so, she suddenly walked towards me and stopped at my side. Praise, then I asked for a crunch, which she did with neck. Said "Can you do it again without neck?" and she did. Click. Then she had to chase the fillies away, but came back to me. Asked for another crunch, and it was so-so, so didn't reward it. Again after the fillies, but came back again. Changed sides and asked again, holding out the pointer. Nice crunch this time. Click and end of session. Got the hay and rushed inside, accompanied by the joyfully hopping dogs. A girl rode past my gate at that moment, on a very big Clydie, not even wearing a jacket. I said you better rush, because the clouds became more and more threatening and night was about to fall. Hope she made it home safely.

sounds really good Yvonne

oops hahahaha Y and T the cat was typing

May 28, 2019

This morning, she came again to me right away, even when she knew that it was for a riding session.

Gee thats great!

We managed to get finished before the rain kicked in again. Asked for a couple of crunches after unsaddling. Still struggling with her wanting to use her neck a bit. But I got 2 decent ones, using yes-yes-yes. She did beautiful, even more elevated skips during the ride. And nice PWs in between the other stuff. Offered collected frame by herself several times. Had her on loose contact. She seems to like the new bit (portuguese mild shank with curbed side and a bit of tongue freedom). Looks soo flash: all in "silver", with brass (golden) buttons on the side of the bit. And Chris gave me brass clips for the reins - looks just beautiful. Must take photos.

Haha, fortunately we have only one cat left. That's plenty enough for me, as I am always the one they sit on!

It sounds great how she is feeling - the neck will come less and less the more consistent you are and it sounds like this is happening!

It's just hard not to go too fast and look for tiny improvements

And I find it very hard not to click, because she puts in so much effort to please me, even if the wrong thing comes out. But I am doing my very best.

My friend Ruth from Germany reads my training diary (and thus your comments which I always add, because I want to keep them and be able to get back to them). She still is very sceptic about Intrinzen and what we are working on with Carlotta. But she admitted that Carlotta's outlook on life and her attitude have changed so much towards positive, so "it suddenly has its merits"

She met her last November at her visit here, before all this happened.

I hope she will come back, so she can experience my changed Carlotta herself and "live".

I think that we are a little 'past' intrinzen in the strict sense as I dont feel that Carlotta has any physical parking brakes, but I do believe that she may have some emotional ones and giving her freedom to choose is making the difference for her. We are of course changing the way we are teaching the crunch and the PW . I also do believe that she needs more capacity but that is getting there too - what we do need to begin to work on is making the crunch really autonomous but we need to get that neck out of them all first and it is happening. What I mean by the crunch being autonomous is that she automatically uses her core to stop and 'go' and I am sure she actually does most of the time, I am trying to put this together with the power walk - it is not easy but I think it is happening

yes she may not like the 'light' touch - strange as there are allot of horses who dont - I wonder if it feels like a fly to them and they cannot discriminate

Yes, definitely past Intrinzen now. You are adding very valuable things to our toolbox. I am fascinated and honoured to be an active part of the process

As long as you think that we will get there, I am happy to keep trying. Just such a pain that I am never sure I am doing it right. Will take more video for you, once the weather clears up.

aghh you are helping me being the guinea pig. yes you are getting there - remember it was a huge shift for you to make first

Oh yes! Break with a lifetime's habits is not a small thing

My biggest concern at the moment is that I will not be able to guide Lotta through improving her posture step by step. Would be horrible if she stagnated because I can't do what is necessary.

Do a little and lets see with lotta....just a little as she is the young one isnt she

For the feather: I really had the feeling that it tickled her, like a fly indeed, and that she hated it. Usually she loves light touch (like for rein contact and such) and responds to it willingly and promptly.

Hahaha, only 13 I just shortened Carlotta to Lotta

Yep i think they like our contact

Oh god lol haha lotta is getting it

The young one is Valeta. Do you know the cartoons of Prince Valiant? Chris chose her name from them, as Prince Valiant's wife is Aleta, and their daughter's name is a mixture from both their names - Valeta - voila!

Oh kool...valenta thats right

April 29, 2019

Gosh, my softie side has taken over yet again. I just heard that Wotan, whom I had given to a local woman "for life", is neglected. So I spontaneously decided to take him back. Greg is OK with it. Chris will pick him up with her float at the first opportunity and bring him to my place. Maybe next week, when she is back from the Jousting Championship in Lardner Park.

I need another horse like a hole in my head, but that poor boy needs to be rescued. I am sure she hasn't had his feet done for over a year now, and there is no feed, and she feeds the two horses only ONE bale of hay per week!!!!

Wotan is the horse I had told you about, who has that deep fear of being ridden after a freak accident years ago.

He might be a good project to play with (Intrinzen and your approach).

His mother is my favourite American Saddlebred mare Scarlet, and his dad is Nattfari, an Icelandic stallion.

Why do I do this to myself all the time, hahaha....

oh but it sounds like he needs to come back to you - sounds like a great project lets hope you get him back soon though - it is really hard when that happens but he will be back with you soon

He is the little guy sitting at my side in the hayshed in the photo I posted on Human Horse Bond.

Has grown into a tall, big horse. I love his colour - a deep chocolate.

He was a sweetie when I owned him. Hope he has got wrecked too much in the meantime.

So good that I have Silke, my excellent barefoot trimmer, now. She should be able to get his feet back to soundsness.

I am sure he will remember you all and he will be very happy to come back to you. It is good you have a great trimmer. Mine is good, but I do most of the trimming and she just comes and tidys up My back wouldn't hold out, and I prefer to have it done by Silke. She is so good with it. Well I was trimming when I could not bend for years - one has to do what one has to when we could not get anyone as we got sacked all the time because no one could do Sharney LOL

When I had him here for a few weeks before I gave him away, we bonded beautifully, and he remembered me, for sure!

Yes, that's a pain when something like this happens. I have done it from time to time, but it always took me quite some time and agony

So happy that Silke agrees to do mine.


May 30, 2019

Impossbile to ride yesterday with all that snowy rain etc. But this morning, I got one fitted in, yay. Carlotta danced along happily and offered PWs and once or twice a crunch. It was with neck, so I stretched out my dressage whip to the front and said "lift", and she did a little bit. Also did this during the PW, and she visibly lifted!

I don't like exexexex as keep going signal, so have started using "besser" which means "better" in german. This somehow goes smoothly from my tongue

After unsaddling, I took her to the arena for a couple of minutes. She stayed with me right away and was happy to perform a crunch, which was acceptable. Changed sides and asked again. Then back to the other side and said besser-besser-besser while she crunched, and she arched up a bit and kept it. Click and end of session.

yeah for you - hahahaha xxxxx is hard to wrap around the tongue but that was my SATS training and it eventually changed from sex sex sex to xxxx - it whatever works and yes whatever you use it works, giving them the feedback they need without extinction bursts

Well, your original version wouldn't appeal to a gelding...

No extinction bursts today, for sure.

Certainly looked promising today when she did that last one.

funny, it was very hard to say x without saying sex! it will come with the crunches - it already is so it wont be long, just remember to stay consistent

oh BTW can I use that little snip with the head turn with carlotta on your body target video - I am sick of through the videos to try and find allot and I wanted just a couple of a few second videos showing what can happen when we begin to work with autonomy - I am building the full on line course now, and I think I need to first mention a couple of things about autonomy

OK thanks for the video bit - I finally found some early PW with the noodle - I have all the crunches (but will probably grab a bit on showing what the neck is verses getting it out, as I did not really have the neck problem (that was because it was drilled into me early on), but just beginning from scratch - I think though the SATS leaving the pointer on might be useful too - I shall see when i get to it - what would be good would be to try and video your progression to get the neck out and lets see what we end up with.

June 1, 2019

This morning, I noticed her legs were not in alignement, so I said front leg, and she immediately moved it a bit!

actually I think there may be some good pool noodle ones with you also. thats great about the front leg - it is so much easier when we can do that It felt like gold when she did this!

You want it at liberty or under saddle?

no on the ground, this one is the one I am building for the early mastery

I have another lassie doing it the same way as you are and she is up to the PW now and it is great that between the two of you my content and suggestions as to what can happen so it is really good

I am going to enrol in the natural animal center behaviourist course - it provides you with accreditation and this will help 'sell' the courses as well - it is a +R methodology though but it looks good and will probably do the honours component with them as well - I had wanted to do this a while back when I was thinking of trying to get my doctorate in psychology but the only uni who would take me with a learning theory slant with equines was Qld and I was not prepared to travel (and pay the $$$) so at the moment the natural animal center has 50% off for the stage 1

Wow, sounds facinating! Fingers crossed that everything goes to plan!

Here is a very early of (January 18, i.e. 2 weeks into Intrinzen) of PW with the pool noodle:

June 3, 2019

WIP crunches today:

Couldn't get a really good one, but she did try. She is gradually keeping her front feet together.

yes she is but I would personally not ask for a crunch until she does stand square (or certainly not click it - just say good girl and lets try again and then take less so there are no extinction bursts) - see at 4.46 - this is a good one to actually see the reason she is using her neck - you can almost see the energy at the front feet. it is not just keeping them together it is their position in relation to the shoulder thats why 4.46 shows it so well

Yes, you are so right. Somehow I always try so hard to do things right and then it doesn't work out. Or she is positioned correctly, and then doesn't lift.

But at least it gave you some examples of how not to do it....

think about how are her feet - if she crunches and the feet are not good thats fine, just smile and tell her great but ask for the feet to move a little, click and treat this and then ask again for the crunch. Oh you are funny - it is really not about how not to do it as so many have this problem, it is about how can we get this better

June 4, 2019

I hope we will eventually work it out... Will try again when it stops raining. The bummer is that she sometimes does really good ones and the camera isn't on

its always the way about the camera but the more this happens the more likely they will be good for the camera as well - even leave it for a couple of days - do something else and sometimes when you come back to it there is a huge change for whatever reason

Good idea! Yes, we often notice this - it's like the horses think about it overnight. A bit like I do when I wake up in the morning and play my riding sessions in my head. Maybe I should start doing this with the crunches too?

When I was flat on my back after the accident, I did this a lot and in great detail, and it had a positive impact on my riding

yes thats a great idea

The crunches are not what we want at the moment, as she leans back a bit when she goes into one. Not sure how to explain to her that I would like her to stay "in place". Only asked for 2 yesterday and 2 today. Maybe really not do it for several days...

it is good she is going so well - leave the crunches until you can film a couple and really see where her front feet are - it is helpful of you make sure she is side onto the camera and the see the angle. I am glad for you that Wotan is coming back soon - hopefully no more delays for the poor chappie - it will be good to begin him from 'scratch'

June 10, 2019

hahahaha it is so funny - I was going through some books this morning to make sure I had all I needed in the core posture section of the on line course and here we go again - Jec Ballou's corrective exercises book opens with speaking about parking brakes (she does not call them this but it is what she is saying) - is there nothing original in intrinzen? it seems NOT - so I dont feel near so bad now about calling the panther walk the panther walk

Hehehe... not the power walk anymore then?

the power walk is different - I finally got some video this morning to show how to begin it - not perfect but we can see what is happening. I am doing that now and then I need to scan a bit of a book for Marianne (my real guinea pig) and I will send it to you as well - it is a great explanation of what I am doing with the stuff that you saw with Sarah - of course it is my adaption but it is something I re-read the other day and I think I now have nearly the right adaption of somatic experiencing and the polyvagal theory - Star has been showing me the last couple of days and we have worked it out - start cue (as he has known that) crunch then the pad on crunch more - happy camper This morning was funny: when I brought the hay to their paddock, the horses were quite far away, but when they spotted me, they all came running: Wotan in a splendid extended trot, Valeta still slightly hobbling, but much better, and Princess Carlotta in her elevated show-off canter!

what happened to Valeta do you think? glad that Wotan seems happy. Carlotta is feeling good! In case you haven't seen the post on my timeline: Wotan jumped the fence the first day, to be with the girls, and some interaction must have taken place. I suppose Valeta got kicked in the shoulder, as she held her right leg stretched out straight and could barely walk. Second day was better and today it's even better. When I arrived, they were all happy together already, so no reason to separate them again. Even Carlotta has accepted him.

It clearly felt as if Wotan was saying: I am home now - all good! oh OK so good it is getting better - no I have not had allot of time to look through the feeds on fb recently

Have put a long update in Human Horse Bond, as everybdoy seemed keen to hear the development. Which is funny, as they don't know the horse.

One thing just occurred to me: Elmira (Haflinger), my first horse, had exactly the same colour as Wotan.

I dont access the horse human bond unless I am tagged - I am over the self righteousness of some of them to be honest and they get my back up so it is best I dont really see anything - but I was reading something yesterday there but it was about knocking clicker again so I did not really look any further hahahahaha - oh maybe all these things add up to Wotan staying!

t depends on how we will be going for grass and hay etc. Will wait and see. But if I need to find him a new home, I will be extra-careful this time!

well here is hoping that it is not too much of a burden - it sounds like he is meant to be with you

Don't twist my arm - will do whatever I can.

here is a bit of video of showing how I am trying to work a power walk

and here are the two chapters - scanning not great as only have a flatbed scanner but it is all readable

June 13, 2019

Thanks a lot, will have a look tomorrow. Just came inside, after spending most of the day helping CJ (our 80 y.o. handyman) to build the extension of my horse shelter. So good to have it finished, with the horror weather announced for tomorrow evening and following day.

Quick video from this morning: I tried to take some of the riding, but had difficulties again with the camera position, so not even worth watching

Watched the power walk video. Something to get started on with Wotan? Or what else would you like me to try first with him?

you are still clicking for the neck - the first one was good but the second she lifted her neck and you kept going, so here take the pointer down and ask again rather than click through it. why did you then walk away? there was nothing to suggest that she was leaving you - but she was then confused as to why you walked away. So OK when you got back to crunches - think about it this way - ask and if she does not align her feet up then ask for her to align her feet and then ask again - lets try and make this her decision, as if we start with micro managing she will never 'think' for herself - make sense? I think that next one as far as I could see at 3.17 was good - you clicked before she got her neck into it - the next maybe a second too late with the click - maybe the strategy for you can be that you click earlier for a while before she gets her neck into it as the click for this one was using her neck (I think - hard to see with her being so dark) - it looks like you clicked at 3.37 - 3.36 maybe?

OK so the power walk comes after crunches and before PW - it is kind of like alex kurlands pose on a walk - Star does it allot and he gave me the idea as it makes him feel proud - as we need to get the 'lift' and we need the crunches first

so your homework is to ask for the crunch - do not click for any neck or legs in the wrong position (as she needs her legs right not to use the neck) - ask for front feet (leave the back feet for the moment) and then ask for a crunch again - if it is the neck she uses - ask again but then the next time click earlier - before she uses her neck for more effort

Packed-full day yesterday, and heavy rain all day long. Soo much fun when you are out shopping and each time you get back into the car, all the windows are damp and no visibility, so you have to wait until the ventilation kicks in again. Had to go to a dozen different places, so this was really annoying... And didn't find the darn fitted sheets I need

Anyway, back to horses. I admit I was guilty to click when she used her neck that first time, when I hadn't asked for crunch and she did it to greet/please me, so I didn't have the heart to ignore it. Yep, stupid of me to walk away when all was well - it didn't feel right when I did!

So when you say: ask her to align her feet, and if she doesn't, ask again etc. You mean that I just say "front leg" without any further intervention from me?

This might take a while. She does it from time to time, but not very often.

I thought that all four crunches (as small as they were) were good, will have to check again. Sorry it was so shady, was early in the morning. Might try again now, as it's later in the day and the sun is over the arena now.

I DO try to click earlier. sigh Working on myself.

Seems that the clicks I do come out somewhat delayed at times in the video. Will get back to you later.

yes just ask front leg - ask for the crunch then ask if she needs to align her legs and then crunch - this is SATS - if we are consistent with asking for this IF our horse does not do it when we crunch we will get it - but you have to let her see if she does it first and for a while click any choice she makes to move the leg - I can really only see her neck when it is used - it is just too dark - I can usually see when someone clicks though as I look at the reactions from the horse - some were really well timed

June 15, 2019

Now, that didn't work out well.... Got one short video where she is shwoing a beginning of SATS (moving her feet upon "fron leg"), and a couple of tiny attempts for crunches, but not good really. I tried again (after some problems with positioning the camera in a suitable spot and Carlotta staring towards the paddock where Wotan kept calling out for her), and she reacted better aleady and moved her feet quite nicely a few times and also did 2 or 3 promising crunches, but when I looked at the video it was all blurry, as I had forgotten to adjust the focus. Grrr....

Ride was a bit animated, because of Wotan's vocal input and the rather strong wind, but she did her best

hahaha - I am just about to go and feed up - will try and look at it when I get back in otherwise before you are up in the am. wish the rain would come up here!

Happy to give you a bit, there were puddles on my arena ground today. Doesn't happen often. No hurry for the video. I am not happy with it (i.e. myself) anyway

June 16, 2019

OK so in the video you have walked over to her and asked her for the front leg. This is not the way I would recommend it as we have done with SATS now- we ask for a crunch and if our horse crunches with the legs out we ask then for the front leg - and crunch again WE DO NOT CLICK if the front leg is out in the crunch - this way our horse understands to crunch and get a click we have to have the front legs square. It looks like you are having no pleasure in what is happening here and she can feel this ....why not leave it for a while but I would love for you to get this order in your head and be confident and then maybe leave it and see what she is like in a couple of weeks? The click for her leg moving back was great but the need now is the 'connection' between front leg and crunch. what seems to be happening here is you are teaching her to lift her front leg (because there is no need for her to bring it back I guess)- this is going to cause you trouble later (and one of the reasons I dont like to overdo SATS) - NO CLICK if the legs are out in front (as this will make her use her neck) - ask crunch then if needed... front leg and then ask for crunch again in the new leg position . see at around 1.53 if we were real lucky and got a click in as she re positioned her front left leg it would be good (before she moved off LOL and she had a connection between the crunch and her standing position here) but I cannot see the reasons for the clicks after this though

I can see her legs are not positioned square in front yet you clicked her :-(I am sure accidentally. The next one was good as you waited - but you are not giving her any feedback - it looks to me as if she is not pleasing you - maybe it was not a good day for you - it sure was windy!. But if we are not excited and grateful it is not something she can be proud of - so the way it works for me is ask - crunch - legs are not good or using neck - smile - good....this is really great but front leg good crunch yes! click - but it is all enthusiastic and my tone acknowledges the try. the camera lighting here was allot better - dam about your second video though!

Thank you, Julie. Yes, correct, I was pretty upset by then about all the sh*t that had happened before, like trying half a dozen positions to find a place not too dark for filming, then Wotan keeping calling out and distracting Carlotta and other stuff. And then I couldn't get it right - yet again. Yeah, very frustrating. I should have stopped and waited for a better day. Poor Lotta. Oh, I hadn't understodd that I was supposed to ask for a crunch right away, even with legs out of position. OK, will bear that in mind in future.

Here are 2 vids I took this morning (in between showers, haha).

OMG, yes, you are right, I am teaching her to lift her leg now. Aaargh! And asking for leg way too often. I should have waited for you post before trying again... But at least I am starting to do a few things better, right? In this second one, while I was standing with her, I thought she was doing the crunch really well, but looking at it now, I notice that there is no real lifting and a bit of neck involved? Hm, yes, why not - I can give her a break from crunches. Would though like to give it one last try tomorrow, with your instructions in mind

Gosh, I feel like such a slow learner here. An experience very new to me gnnnnn

Oh just noticed that I missed a beautiful back lift atr 2.23 in the first video!

it is great you are challenging me to come up with different explanations - it is good! now the first video showed some really great crunches with no neck - even though you did not adjust her legs you were able to get the neck out - but you are surprising me with more information I will need to make clear in the course - see the crunch at 2.22 - you were right not to click it BUT ask again by adjusting what needs to happen - you see even though you did not click and treat you rewarded it by the PW hahahahahaha - whats the leg lifting for again?? now with the bunny hops I was only telling marrianne this morning we need to make this without the neck also - move forward with your pointer when this happens to try and turn this into a canter depart with no neck - I am going to try and tape this with Star to show what I mean

in the second video - OK so front leg - see how she is lifting rather than placing - yes she is still stretching back rather than lifting and then stretching back - dont click this - wait and ask again but remember to remind her about the wither - take little muscle movements there with her new leg position - yes the 2.23 in the first video was great with the core but of course there was neck in it as well - so we know she can do it

June 16, 2019

I wanted to get it right at least once, so before rugging her tonight, I asked her for a crunch (legs not in perfect position) and of course, she used her neck a bit, so I said front leg, and after a second, she calmly adjusted her leg. Asked for crunch again, and when she started doing it, I clicked very quickly, before she could rock back.

Went to other side, asked for crunch, and she started to rock back slightly, but then came forward quickly again and arched her neck beuatifull. CT and big, enthusiastic praise.

sounds PERFECT and fantastic

And when I try to get it on video now, it will not work out, hahaha.

it will eventually - dont worry about that as the more consistent it gets the more likely you will capture it

True. wasn't bad this morning, not as good as yesterday, but I am quite happy with it. She seemed to make the connection between "front leg" and crunch and I havew the feeling that she is becoming happier with it, as it is beginning to become old hat, sortof

yep thats what we want

Video is loading, will send it when done. Bugga, I clicked her again for leaning back once...

it will happen sometimes - see what seems to happen is that when we give our horse the control to move the feet back more autonomy and mastery seems to develop - the only way I can see how to do this is we begin with SATS then we make sure we dont over do it - and then ask for front feet and not click the crunch with the feet out - the more we can get consistent with this the HUGE shifts seem to happen - I am just trying now to put both the polyvagal and the somatic experiencing into words that are not confusing - trying to dumb it down is so hard - but it is nearly there and I think I can then move on and finesse the rest which is nearly all finished anyway - BUT your experiences are making it really easy for me to figure out what to say. Also too this developed when Star nickered the first time he managed to do this himself - he gives me so many hints hahahaha

I am happy I can contribute a bit to this, Julie. Yes, the first happy nickering about accomplishment is such a Eureka moment, also for the human. Will get started with Wotan soon. He has been here for a week now and feels completely at home already.

Poor Valeta is so jealous when he starts throwing bow after bow on me when I arrive. I wouldn't be surprised if she copied him soon on this

Glad you will put all this scientific stuff into simple words, so people like me can understand it

how great that everything though that the horses are enjoying it all

explain to me the lift with the first click - is this something you want her to do? I would have clicked that foot at 1.14 oh you did but too late LOL. When she tries and her feet are ok bring attention to her wither to help her understand. The next two were PERFECT - not so much at 2.11 but so much better. I would have left it after the first two really good ones and gone for a run to be honest - drilling does not help she did a great job so leave it for another day (greedy greedy).OK now at 2.31 I see now what is happening - your hand for the 'lift' with the finger movement is actually the cue her neck is responding to. Yes a good one at 2.43 - see you did not use your fingers? (that I could see) - so lets make sure of this touch at the withers for the lift and keep your hand still but use your body (belly button to the spine and lift your chest)

Hahahah, yes, I know, I know.... Really should have stopped after those 2 good ones. That little nagging voice inside told me!

no I may have missed your cue if you did stop! but tell me about this 'jump'?

Agreed about 1:14. Yes, 2:11 was too rocked back. But I thought it was small enough, so I should click anyway. Is it a bad thing to curl my fingers? I did it sortof inadvertantly. I think that the arm and finger movement is cueing her using her neck 2:43 is the best one, I think? I didn't use my fingers. see she actually raises her neck with the timing of your fingers

yes thats what I said 2.43 was good and you were not using your fingers

OK, will do. But crunching myself is soo hard to me...

Jump? At 0:37? I just thought it was cute, so clicked for it

oh get the bodyfx starter videos LOL - you will learn to crunch with them. OK so what I do is sweep under my boobs in an upward motion as if I am lifting my boobs to raise my chest. So the jump was all neck that was what I was questioning - move forward as she does this - I am actually going to video this for marianne and I think a lassie on the community needs it also - the frost here was bad this morning so tomorrow if there is no frost - I worry about slips I can do crunches, but I find it pretty hard to do it repeatedly. And I usually do them during the sessions. Maybe not very visible with that thick jacket. thats why this is really good - they do so many and it really tunes my crunches OK, sorry. fogot about the asking forward again when she does skips. One day I will actually remember to do it

there is a free one there on 10 min abs - try it Yeah, be careful with slippery ground. it is getting her neck out of the jump Next time, promised! (I hope!)

Thanks, will check the vids.

hahahaha! honestly though try the 10 min ab one - I do these now every day (with alternating with the paid ones) and I have never walked better - it has freed my hip allot

Okeydokey. Just can't bring myself to it right now - am quite pooped from Pilates - Helen gave me all those strenuous tasks today...

HAd a look at the 10 min abs. You mean the one with the leading girl in the pink bra and all the others girls in white bras, right?

Geeez.... How does this help with crunches?

May try it tomorrow.

yep - crunches gallore! ab work is crunches

gee I am a little peeved - Sarah had been asked on her page if they could buy access to the videos and she said she was thinking of hiring a videographer to do this - well she had asked me and of course I purchased extra weight in the plane for all my equipment. I have sent her a message to confirm she does not need me - but I imagine she will not reply - just so rude I reckon. On a different note Star is ready to do up the girth on the pad - he went today with the girth hanging - so I have a plan for when hub is next here ...fingers crossed!

Now... that is really rude of her. How can people be that way?! Congratulations for Star! And fingers crossed from me too. Off to Ballarat Sunday market to get some nice stuff. Will ride later.

oh she actually just replied and wants me to do it - she said she forgot!


yes and then she had the hide to ask if I can come to the 5 day to video as well!! I said nope I could not be away for that period of time (as much as I would love the experience but also that would be another 5 days of accommodation and meals costs!). I suggested she hire the cameras for the 5 day and get someones partner to film - allot cheaper than hiring a person to do it

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