Level 4, boy what a ride...
I have heard Pat say it many times, in person and also in different recorded formats: "You don't know what you don't know, until you know it!" But some times you think you know it and then you find that what you thought you knew, was only a piece of it... I think that the missing link is EXPERIENCE (the tenth quality of a horseman).
So I have been playing towards level 4 now for a while now, hoping that if I don't focus on it too much it will just kind of show up...
I was riding today, preparing for a local event called the Extreme Cowboy Race, and I had an excellent ride! I was playing with canter yo-yo's, quality stops, turns and flying lead changes. I have heard of refining flying lead changes to the point where you can do them with your seat! Well today, it was really starting to happen for Jack and I!!!
I was mulling this over at the end of our session as we walked out of the arena and something that Pat has said came back to me "Level 4 is the fundamentals for performance and it is by no means the end, it is the beginning and where the majority of the work starts"...
Now, as I am getting nearer to the standard of level 4, I am really starting to feel like I can go out and do something with my horse and represent Natural Horsemanship well, with a level of understanding, savvy, and competence.
That is what Parelli does; it helps prepare people and their horses for whatever they want to go out and do. It does not have to take forever but I can promise you, it will take as long as it takes!
So enjoy the journey!!
Keep it Natural and Savvy!
Kailaan and Jack
Well lots has happened since last we spoke! I have moved and am living in the center of horse country! My horse is at home for the first time ever living with me! It is so flipping awesome!
I have a story to tell you guys; I think it is interesting how the little things in life can relate back to Horsemanship in so many ways!
So, my Mom just bought a new car, which she is quite protective about. When I finally got the chance to drive it her parting words to me were "go easy". So off she goes with my dad and I jump in the new Escape and go to back up; wow the throttle is responsive, holy cow this thing turns tight, it felt like I was driving a wheel barrow! I pull up to the road and put the brakes on, they grab very soon in the stroke of the brake pedal (way sonner than my old 1990 ford truck). I pull out on to the road and the tires chirp a little bit. So in summary, it was very responsive!!!
I met up with my Mom and she asked how it went? I told her all of the above and she was concerned/upset that I had not been careful enough. It took me a little while to articulate that every time I did something I thought I was being subtle and basically using a nice low phase one! I did not know how responsive it was and was conditioned by driving my old truck to use what turned out to be a lot of pressure! If you're used to a somewhat dull LBI, even if they have become more responsive, until you play with something much more sensitive like a RBI, you don't know how light, light can be.
I will talk to you soon and keep you up to date!
Kailaan and Jack Keeping it Natural!
p.s. Look for Jack and I in June at the Extreme Cowboy Race in Burlington ON!
Among other things, Kailaan Walker is a horse trainer and horsemanship instructor. He is also a Level 4 Parelli student. Jack is Kailaan's levels horse and partner. Papa Jack, as he is now affectionately known, is a 20 year old buckskin Canadian Quarter Horse cross. Kailaan's 1st horse, his inspiration, partner and friend for more than 10 years now.