My Time with Linda Parelli

In October 2016 I had the privilege to ride with Linda Parelli at the New Zealand Master Class in Christchurch.  We were asked to give feed back.  Below are my answers to the questions from the Parelli Office which appeared in the Parelli Savvy Club Annual 2016.

What course did you participate in with Linda Parelli?

Christchurch Master Class in New Zealand.

What was the biggest highlight for you?

Leadership and how important this is.  I have two very different horses I am bringing through the programme.  Dee who I took on the MC and Merrick.  The lessons in leadership on the MC have been invaluable.  I feel our progress is improving every day and both the horses have more respect.

Since Linda has not been in the Southern Hemisphere for quite a while, what was the energy like? Was this your first time meeting Linda in person? If so, how did that make you feel? 

The energy was amazing from both riders and auditors. Everyone was buzzing and so supportive of the riders.  Complete strangers would come up and give you a hug and say thanks, as they learnt so much just watching us.  Was very humbling. 

This was the first time I had met Linda and I was blown away by how down to earth and open she is.  She made me feel really relaxed, no question was a stupid one.  And what I really liked is she doesn’t take any crap – she will tell you how it is, tell you what you are doing wrong and give you the tools to fix it and stay with you while you sort out the issue.  It was  such an amazingly supportive feeling to know that she was there for you while you worked through the issue.  Linda was great too, in that my husband and daughter were also there supporting me and she made them feel welcome and part of the whole experience.

Can you talk a little bit about your experience as a rider in the course?  

I was very nervous to start with and in all honesty had thought about pulling out the Monday before as I had been working so hard on getting Dee to a level I thought we should be at that I did far too much and she lost her go button.  I was torturing both of us.   I took all the fun out of it.  But Linda gave that back, she made us feel relaxed and gave us the tools to do so at the course and at home through Calm, Connected and Responsiveness.  Working on Calm is easy – especially at home – but getting Connected and Responsiveness and understanding what you are looking for is not always easy.  Linda explained them so well that I feel I’ve got the concepts and the tools to achieve them.      

What kind of horse do you have?

I have 2 horses.  Dee who I took on the Master Class is an LBI, Anglo Arab who we rescued.  I did a full restart on her.  She has taught me so much about taking things slow and allowing the time it takes especially for processing of new information.   And I have Merrick a LBE, Andalusian/Thoroughbred that we bred and I have started myself, he unfortunately was not at a level to go to the MC – but hopefully next time.

Do you compete or ride for pleasure?

Both – Dee and I, along with my daughter do competitive trail rides (CTR).  As a family we go trekking and my long term goal is to compete in dressage with Merrick.  

Did Linda help in giving you tools to overcome your problems and achieve your goals? If so, how?

Definitely – my biggest problem is Leadership and being too goal orientated.  Linda talked in length about leadership and gave some very powerful demonstrations.  As I have previously said these lessons have been invaluable.  Last weekend I had Merrick at his first ever Parelli workshop with 4 star instructor Jackie Chant.  This was a really big deal for both of us as it was in a new environment with strange horses.  A couple of times when Merrick got confused and upset I channeled Linda and her teachings on leadership and we worked through his emotions together.  At one stage he did this amazing big blow out making me realize how tense he had been – I was so pleased I had the tools to be a good leader for him and help him through his emotions turning the experience into such a positive one.

I also get very goal orientated and Linda talked about how we can still work on our goals using the four savvy’s to make it less boring for the horses and ourselves.  I have started doing this and one day we might do liberty, next on-line, with each day working on the same thing but making it different, interesting and fun.  Both Dee and Merrick are a lot keener for our sessions now.

If you could tell one fun story from the course, what would it be?

 I think this is when Dee was putting in a few little bucks and Linda asked if she could ride her.  I have never got off a horse so fast and handed over my reins.  Everyone else thought it was hilarious – I was just so honored to have Linda ride Dee.  My friend has said I can never clean my saddle again because Linda Parelli has sat in it!

If you would like to add anything about your experience with Linda, please do so here: 

WOW – where to start.  I suppose simply put –  I have never learnt so much in 2 days before that has had such a big impact on myself and my horses.  Our never ending self-improvement really had a massive injection of savvy! 

Recovering From Injury

As many of you will know in November 2016 I broke the flexor tendon attached to my left little finger.  Yes - little finger seems very minor - but unfortunately is very important for grip and that tendon is attached to the muscle running down the inside of my arm - hence very little grip and no arm strength.  

How did I break it you ask - well Pat always says "hands that close slowly - open quickly".  In my case a horse we had not long purchased went to take off and instead of letting him go and frighten the others and himself with the rope flying around I chose to hold on, rope slid through my hand catching the tendon on the way - needless to say horse and rope flew around the paddock.  

2 surgery's later I am now well on the road to recovery and fingers crossed (just cause I can now) I am going to get clearance in the next week to start playing with the horses again.

After my first surgery in March 2017 I made the decision not to ride and only play on the ground with Dee, Merrick and GG as a few things happened and I realized I did not have the strength in my arm or the confidence that I would not do further damage.  Now 3 1/2 months after my second surgery I am chaffing at the bit - or so they say - to get back and start playing with the horses.  I have not been allowed to do anything with them that could involve them pulling on me and risk snapping the tendon joins.

I decided after spending at least a week sitting on my butt watching it grow bigger as I trolled my way through as many sci-fi tv series I could find - that if I carried on like this, especially having 6 weeks off work, I was going to be in no fit state in any shape for form to get back on a horse when the time came.  So what could I do?