“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”- Steve Jobs

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fast track #5 Colorado June 2010

Here comes the whole Fast track journey...
May 27 me and Josefin left Sweden and went to Colorado to experience one of the best things I have ever done, 4 weeks at the Parelli Center in Pagosa Springs.
Finaly at Durango airport after 20 hours of traveling, lokal time 11 at night and we are a bit tired. Karin picked us up and drove us to Doble KB ranch - our home for the next 4 weeks. We couldn´t ask for a better home. ( See pictures in older posts) We were really amazed by the nature and the view in Pagosa Springs it is a magical place and really good for your soul.
The first morning, breakfast in Pagosa Springs with Karin and her family. After that we went and got a tour at the Parelli center, went to meet our horses and unpacked our bags. We sat on our porch and looked at the beautiful view of the mountains and Pat´s feilds amazing.... and really cool to be here :-)
One night we went to this great place called Kip´s, they hade very tasty Margaritas. Here are Fast track instructor Molly Sanders and her husband Brett, Laura, me and fast track instructor Jarno.
On our way home from Kip´s, - come on guys try to be a bit serious...
(Rich, me, Humphrey, Laura, Jarno and Josefin)
Oh no, didn´t work...
The fast track students waiting for a demo.
John said in the first days that they might not give us what we want, they´ll give us what we need... and that it´s my responsibility what I get out of this course, we are all responsible for our own learning. Frustration is part of learning and as a student I can not be wrong, good words to keep in mind.
One evning we went to Pagosa Springs cinema to watch, the preview on The Parelli Apprentice.

http://www.thehorsemansapprentice.com/ A lot of people was there, Pat and Linda, externs, interns and a lot more. Caton (Pat´s son) sat with me and Joesfin he is so funny and he knows a lot of stuff. We also took a look at the hot springs, but this was as close as we came to them. We just didn´t have the time to go there, so busy... I love Pagosa Springs, it´s such a nice town and I wish that we hade the opportunity to spend some more time there, oh well now we have a good reason to come back :-) We did go and shop at Goodmans one day, they hade really nice cowboy boots but i didn´t by them.
Catrina from England on a log. Behind her is the smal coverall.
One of the days Pat came in and talked to us. It was very intresting, both him and John talked about the fork in the road, when you´r following your road and all of a sudden you got 2 or 3 roads to choose between. Life is ful of forks in the road...
It´s for us to discover on our journey what we are going wrong. Listen to your horse, he is telling you when you are doing right.
He also talked about: W.W.P.W = What Would Pat Want and W.W.P.D = What Would Pat Do it´s always good to keep in mind.
Stay safe - Have fun - Accept the seeds of learning.
Me, Jennifer and Steffanie having some fun while we are waiting for a demo. Jennifer didn´t go home after the course, she stayed as a working student and now she´s an extern. Behind us to the left is Pat´s big coverall - The big top and to the right is the office.
3 reasons to play online:
1. Develop the horse.
2. Develop the human.
3. Preparation for riding, vet etc.
We were 27 people in our group from all over the world. A very happy group that got along great together. Here is Laura from The Netherlands, Sandy, Janice, Cindy, Mary-Ann from USA and Diana from England. Behind the top the left is Sarah from England and Felicity from Austrailia. To the right is the lodge where we hade our meals and classes.
"Be effective to be understod,
be understod to be effective."
One saturday there was an Open House with over 200 people visiting the ranch. We did some Parelli games, the externs and interns did some savvy spotlights and Pat and Linda played with some horses. Here is Pat and Brook.
Linda and Remmer.
Every day at 11.30 we hade a demo with John Baar he is head of faculty, the externs and the fast track course . Here he is with Leo at the honey comb talking about liberty and spins.

As a student you are outside your comfortzone dealing with a lot of new stuff, feeling a bit silly sometimes that´s why John asked the faculty to go and stand infront of us and do different dances so they could feel a little silly too :-) Here is Rob, Jarno, Clair, Rich, Dancin Pete and Chris dancing for us.
Inside the lodge, Laura preparing for class, she is such a good student.
" I need to do what ever I need to do to build my horses curiosity and need to be with me. If I have an emotional bank account with my horse what can I do to keep putting deposits in there...??? And be aware of when I withdraw."
Here is Dancin Pete on the seat builder.
It was fun to try them.
Every wednesday we hade a BBQ and after that Pat, Tim Sulivan and some friends played at the bonfire. It was really fun and this evning the ranch was open for visitors so there was a lot of people at wednesdays. Pat and Linda also joined us for the BBQ.
The first guy i don´t know the name of but then it´s Brett, Pat and Tim.
Me, Juliette, Linda and Felicity at the fire. It usually ended around 11 and then me and Joesfin took our flashlights and walked home in the dark, if was so funny :-)
BBQ dinner.
Me and Lakota in Arena Grande at the lesson about zone 5 driving. We started out following the rail and go further and furher back when it felt good in one zone. Some things that we should think about was: Does the hores respond to my energy, can I ask him to go or change gait using my energy... Can I trow the rope over his zone 1 from diferent zones, start in zone 2 and go backwards until I can do it standing in zone 5. Can I drive my horse with 2 22" ropes, first start with just having the 2nd one haning there. It was fun, I found out that it was easier to have a focus and do it as a pattern, we did fig 8 and it went a lot better when I started with that.
And I culd really feel it in my arms the day after.
Me and Lakota before a riding lesson in Arena Grande. He was such a nice horse and I got to borrow an english saddel so it was perfect, it felt a bit odd with a western saddel.

Giving the horses a shower after a long day. The weather was perfect just a little bit rain 2 or 3 days, the other days the sun was shining and we hade to use sunscreen 50. The elevation at the center is 2 172 meter (7 126 feet), Halmstad, Sweden is 31 meter ( 101 feet) and we coud really feel it. The first days we hade to stop to catch our breath when we was walking but it became a lot better.
Every saturday it was Parelli games at the center, 5 taskes in 3 minuter 20 points / taks you can do and after 3 minutes if you want you can have 1 extra minute but it will cost you points. It was a lot of fun. Here is me and Lakota picking up all 4 feet from one side at liberty.
Bandidos!!! .... No it´s just Diana from England, she hade some problems with all the dust. It was not easy to be clean, and the tan was a mix of sun, dust and sunscreen :-)

Every day we started and ended the session in Arena grande with follow the rail. We wanted rytm and relaxation at the rail, to get the horses sweet on the rail. It was interesting to see how much we were doing it, it was a lot more than I ever done at home, it made me see the patterns in a different way, how important they are and how inportant consistency is. First we did it at the walk and then we started with transitions walk and trot 5 steps, walk again until the horse is relaxed and then trot 5 steps. When we could do this relaxed we did some more steps of trot. I need to do it so much longer at home and so much slower with Panter and to start and really see the relaxation before I do anything else. And do´n´t use my reins so much, think about the phases. Eyes - bellybutton - legs and then reins.

And oh yes... I look soooo happy .... :-)

Trailer loading demo with John Baar and Steffanies horse Boomer. One thing i learned was to se how my squeeze game is in all zones before I go to the trailer = All zones and under, over and between, also think about the zones from the ground and up.
Another lesson with John... don´t ask what we are doing... :-)

It was about gaits and footfalls, can´t you see that we are cantering around doing right and left lead. I´m glas he didn´t ask for lead changes that day.
Riding lesson with John in Arena grande.

A day at the fast track looked like this:

7.00 Walk to the center, feed horses and clean pen.

7.30 Breakfast at the lodge.

8.00 Focus stations, different topics each day and faculty and externs to help us.

11.30 Demo with John . We wach - John do...

13.15 Lunch in the lodge

14.30 Riding in Arena grande.

17.30 Cleaning horses and pen, feeding horses.

18.00 Dinner in the lodge.

Some days was different, with simulations at the precision pen and teory in the lodge.

Me and Steffy. Looking at a problem solving demo John did with 4 horses.
3 trailer loading and one brideling. In was intresting to see different strategies with each horse.

Catrinas horse was right brain extrovert and with the ears back and I learned a lot from that one because she looked a bit like Panter in her behaviour.
The first 3 days was test days. John said that this was Pats dream course and that he came up with the idea of having the tests on the first day so you should know what you need to know and then they spent 4 weeks teaching us what we needed to know and then they tested us again at the last two days. It was intresting to see how I work under that kind of pressure, I found my self think my way through the difficult parts, stop and think before I do anything else. I´m usually Right brain under pressure...

Below: Week 3 was Finess week and a lot of simulations in the precision pen, it was fun, we did shoulders in, haunches in, leadchange and circels. We also got to mark the precision with the numbers, letters and lines.
A talk with John at the honeycomb.
Some of the focus station was: Rope handeling with the 45" rope. I´m running and Roose is getting the rope out of my way. It´s not as easy as it looks. Knots to know, we learnes 4 knots to tie the horse with. 7 games at liberty, purpose games at liberty, Fun with sideways and squeeze online. Dancin Pete can sideways his horse over him when he´s laying down. (I don´t recomend trying that:-) Sideways with 45", Porqupine by leg, freestyle sideways, follow the rail, circels.

Dancin Pete shows us his rope handeling skills :-)
Saddeling demo with John. Jarno is showing us how to move your horse around when you saddel without moving your feet. Level 4 is level 1 done with exelence so we did everything: saddleing, putting halter on, mounting, picking up feet...
Lakota and Vista is having a nice afternoon at the center.
Josefin and Vista. This is from the saturday with Open House, we got up early to preppare and give our horses a shower.
Open House: Jennifer and Janice are looking at the Savvy team when the are playing with their horses in Arena Grande.
Open House: Lakota after his shower, black and nice.
Open House, at the big top: John and his wife Kathy Baar rode a song together it was so beautiful. We hade Kathy in some lessons too one of them was in Horsenality. She talked about how your horse can change horsnality in 5 areas = the confident areas: Self Confidence. Confidence as a learner. Confidence in his leader. Confidence in new environments and Confidence among other horses. She talked about what strategies to use an that we want Calm . Trusting . Motivated . Obedient. She said: Don´t use your horses horsenality as an exuse - I can´t do this, I can´t do that.... instead use it as a tool to help you with strategies, learn al the strategies to be abel to adress the horse that shows up.
Open House: Pat and Aspen. Pat talked about his mission to change the world for horses and humans.

The view from the horses pens.
Kim and Dove.
Kim, Josefin, Josie and Steffy.

Jennifer from Texas.
Felicity, Diana, Rob, Kim and Sarah.
John, the last day. This day we did some teambuilding exercises. 1.The name game: throwing a ball to eachother and say our names, we did this the first day too but this time we used numbers instead of names. 2. Lowering a long whip: 2 teams , hold fingers together put the whip on them and se which one who could lower it fist, it was difficult. 3 Stand on a log and pass a guy along without falling down. Laura did a great job getting pass us. 4. Lead the blind: pair up, one was closing the eyes and the other one was leading. It was a bit difficult but when I let go of my worries og walking into other people and instead trust Michaela it went a lot better.
The name game: At the first day we did this game to learn each others name, this time we did it with numbers instead. After we hade done it both back and forwards. John asked if anyone of us wanted to stand in the middel and remember the numbers. First Micaela did it then Rob challenge me to do it and then Catrina did it. It was fun and a bit hard but it went better then i thought it would go.
Waiting for some teambuilding exersises. Michaela, Diane, Nancy and Diana.
Faculty Molly, Rob, Rich and Clair. Rob talks about how we are going to pass a guy along at the logs when we are standing on them. We was passing Laura and she did so good...
On our way home to Double KB Ranch at the last day. Thank you Lakota for 4 amazing weeks, I have learned so much and I hade a wounderful time.
At the last day John, Rob and Molly hade a talk with us both as a group and one on one. They talked about the future and how it could be different getting back to "normalsville" Then they handed out awards, I got the Moest likely to be a stuntman award. Some of it was based on an accident that we hade one day. Me and Lakota was cantering in Arena Grande and he triped and we both fell, but we were ok.
Lakota was a really nice horse to ride. It was fun to do freestyle he hade a smoth trot and he is not a complex horse. Riding with one stick was much better and we even did some cantering at the clower leaf. I found out that I didn´t use my legs in my phases and I learned not to use my reins so much.
At the one on one talk I talked with Molly, she gave me my scores and said that I was welcome back to do an externship when ever I want... Cool...
So we will see what the future will bring us...
May the Horse be with you....


Ulrika said...

Det är så mycket!

~kim said...

This is a great post Sofie! I will check back for updates since you say it is "under construction" however I must add that it is fantastic already. ;)

Miss you dear Fast Track friend, ~kim

Eva said...

Jätteroligt för oss här hemma att läsa - tack för att du tar dig tid!

Elisabeth said...

Tack! Helt fantastiskt inlägg! Precis vad jag drömt om, nu känns det verkligen som om jag vet hur det är att vara där :)

Josefin Svensson said...

Wow! Jag är imponerad! Bra gjort att lyckas sammanställa kursen, det är mycket info att få ihop i text :)!

Marta and Juliano said...

Great blog Sofie, I especially liked your Colorado post. It is my dream to go there and do the Fast track. Keep up the good work :)

Colleen said...

I do not know you nor have I ever been to Parelli center. I am unsure how I landed upon your blog, but because I enjoyed reading it so much I wanted to tell you thank you. Your blog is entertaining, compelling, and filled with provocative details. Your description of Parelli Fast Track sounds like a wonderful working vacation. (I visited Gothenburg, Sweden last year---how beautiful!!) Colleen S.