Sirocco update: getting reacquainted

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When Sirocco and I arrived home from Florida the temps dropped into the 30′s at night and it was a cold rain during the day. I put his new blanket on him and kept him in the covered arena for a few days because his pasture mates wouldn’t let him under the gelding roof.

His brother Grayson is the most dominant in the herd. He’s a left brain extrovert and a level 2 (online only) parelli horse. I’ve never ridden him and he had a trainer and Deb sit on him but that’s about it. These were taken last summer when JR was working with him.

The bucket makes a handy mounting block and it has a rope so you can move it around. The first time he just layed around on Grayson’s back and rubbed on him.

JR is a 3rd generation horse trainer and he uses natural methods. If I were to compare him to nationally known trainers I’d say he’s closer to Clinton Anderson. Since I am a serious Parelli student (level 2) I decided to end Grayson’s training sessions with JR and start him using the Parelli levels program.

I’m posting his progress on parelli connect and hoping to get him in the extern program next fall too. He is very dominant in the herd so after putting Sirocco in there and finding bite marks on him I decided to move horses around. I separated Grayson and Sirocco and put Grayson in the next paddock by himself. I’m hoping it may help him connect with me and stop some of his aggressiveness. Sirocco is happy with his new herd with Gunner, JP, Bill and AJ. He can still touch noses with Grayson over the fence. We’ll see how it goes. Horses have a herd hierarchy and usually I let them work it out. Grayson is very athletic and more aggressive, however, than most geldings. I thought it was prudent to intervene. He is beautiful though ;-)

So with that sorted out for now…I groomed Sirocco this morning and played with him online. I’m wondering if my saddle is too heavy for me. I’m not very graceful swinging it up on his back and it weighs 30lbs. It’s new and all leather big horn western with an equiflex tree. It’s comfy when I’m in it and I have a Parelli therapeutic pad. The saddle also has pads under it built in. I’m sure it’s comfortable for him. Sally suggested I practice on a fence with it. Note taken. I need to get in better shape too so I’m stronger.
After saddling I played a bit more with him online and had him jump the barrels. He felt very compliant and so I climbed on and started the freestyle patterns. We completed several easily…follow the rail with a neutral rein, question box at the walk, carrot stick follow the rail and flexing zone 1 & 2, direct and indirect rein, turn on hqwtrs and forehand. Using indirect rein to turn the hindquarters and then moving the shoulder with direct rein. Today was really “our” reunion. Nobody else around…just me and my horse. It felt really really good.

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6 Responses to Sirocco update: getting reacquainted

  1. Thank you so much for sharing those lovely photos and a little insight into how you
    and other experts train your horses. What little I had of it, during my highschool years, the horses we had were work horses, tall, with big feet. And I had the pleasure
    of feeding and watering them all, all summer, when they were using our land for pasture. Later, when they were indoors, I had the pleasure of cleaning up after them.
    Again….that was the extent of my being around horses….and I never quite got used to
    getting too close because, while I was pumping water into a huge iron tub in the yard
    each afternoon, they would all come running up from the back nine and surround the
    huge tub, which was up against the six foot wooden fence that contained them. If I
    was not careful, they would push me up against the fence and scare me half to death
    for fear I was about to be squashed by them. So, I would pump like he–, and then
    climb that fence for dear life, and swing my legs over and drop, just as they all appeared. I wish I had had the closeness and love that you and your crew have, each
    day, as you work with your horses….They are so bright,and obviously love you guys
    very much and work well for you. Being an animal lover, myself, and knowing the
    intelligence and different personalities that each horse has, I would have loved to be
    doing what you do every day. Sirroco is beautiful, and so is his brother. Give them
    a hug for me, would you please? And thank you so much for letting me share those
    moments with you. It was worth staying up until 4 a.m. to see it all. God bless you,
    darlin! I hope your visit home with your mom and family was a pleasant one. Aunt Jean

  2. val says:

    You’re welcome Aunt Jean…I had a great visit with Mom & Steve & Dawn…& Jim too…
    Glad you’re enjoying the blog. The levels in the Parelli method I study addresses the safety issues first in level 1. They start you on the ground with a 12′ line on the horse and you learn the 7 games that horses naturally play with each other. Horses are all about having a leader. When you become the “true leader” anything is possible. Level 2 begins the riding part and again, safety is first…the online part is the same but know you begin to play with the horse further away (using a 22′ line instead of a 12′ line) when he/she realizes you control his/her feet from a distance it adds respect. In the horse world “he who moves his feet first loses.” My goal is to as little as possible to get my horse to do more. Level 3 (where I am studying now) Begins to put things together and adds liberty…playing with the horse in a 50′ roundpen without the ropes and halters etc…now it’s the horse’s choice to be with you…or not…Pat Parelli says when you take that rope off…is where the truth begins…my goal is to pass level 3 this year with Sirocco. He already has done all of the tasks in level 3 and a few in level 4 while he was at the Parelli ranch in Florida this winter. Now his Mamma just needs to get smarter so she can catch up with him ;-)

  3. Sally Berry says:

    Hi Val, great to read your update, sounds like your reunion is going well. Really pleased for you. I’m back with my 2 horses now, which is lovely, although still miss little Sirocco’s cheeky character :-) Take care, Sally

  4. val says:

    hi Sally! He’s doing great and he is so responsive and interested. a little fussing with other horses trying to find the place in the herd…but he’s settled in now. i wound up separating him and his brother Grayson. I think it will be better for both. Grayson was too dominant with him and (everybody else)…

  5. Great to hear that Sirocco is back and doing well. Grayson is surely a handsome boy!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central

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