Extern, Week 1 & 2

I finally have some time to write since arriving in Pagosa Springs for the Extern program!

My lovely boyfriend helped me out and drove Aspen to Salt Lake City while I followed in my car to meet up with a fellow Extern. From there Aspen loaded onto her trailer the next morning and we continued our trip down to Colorado. She arrived in good health and was happy to unload here in Parelli land! Our instructors, Maurice Thibault and Susan Nelson, along with other Parelli staff helped us get checked in and unpacked and proceeded with orientation and a facility tour.

Week 1 was comprised of establishing our individual baselines - where we're at in the program in each savvy. No testing, just a 'show me what you can do today' kind of set up. Week 2 has been helping us as a class (17 in total) spruce up in a few common areas we all could improve on; such as Porcupine game in preparation for riding (remember, Porcupine Game is the most important game after Friendly - that's why it's game #2!), changes of direction on a circle, connection on a circle, soft touch, and carrot stick riding. We've also done some fun simulations and team building exercises as well as some great Q&A with Maurice and Susan!

 Right now I'm sitting here in the Extern barn gazing out the office windows watching people mosey around, visiting, laughing, riding, shoeing horses - all of our equine partners content in their pens or out in the playground grazing on supervised turnout. It's such a lovely atmosphere full of support and a common goodwill. Nothing is competitive here, it really is about putting the relationship first - with our horses and each other.

Aspen had a little bath this morning and is all shiny and braided and content soaking up the sun. I love seeing her everyday and I am so optimistic to see how our relationship grows throughout this course! We finally got my shims figured out (for now, I think!) and I am no longer having crooked and sliding saddle issues - I can already see a difference in her when it's time to ride. Horses love harmony and now that the saddle isn't falling off her left side anymore we can finally have more of it - the harmony that is!

 I am so excited for this upcoming week as we should be getting to see Pat and Linda and really get into the learning! I will try to write more and keep better updated now that I've settled in and have a routine :)