My beloved Juliano is 18 today. Time flies so fast, I can't believe we have already spent 9 years together. Over these years he has brought so much into my life, amazing people, inspiration, oportunities - it'sbecause of him I'm where I'm now. He's a horse that puts a smile on my face everyday but also tested my will and patience so many times in the past. He has toughed me so much - how to be patient, have dreams and never give up. If someone told me 9 years ago that I would be riding Juliano bitless into the woods and not worry about my safety I would have loughed in their face. It turns out everything can be done, even situations that seem absolutely without solution at first have positive outcome. All it takes is a bit of courage, persistance and patience.
I hope we will spend another 9 years together and another 9 years after that - I will annoy the heck out of him and he will continue putting a smile on my face :)
Even thought Christmas Eve is tomorrow it feels almost like spring here. It's warm and sunny so we continue riding outside. I secretly wish for one day of snow but maybe it's for the best.
Juliano was a bit annoyed with the whole world this past week and yesterday was the first day he wanted company and wanted to do things. I got on him and we went for a spin around the arena. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoRVnHYWRE4
Tomorrow we will go for a walk into the woods as part of our Christmas tradition. We wish you a very Marry Christmas and as much time as possible with horses.
Yesterday we went for a walk with Juliano, Dum Dum, Magda and her dogs into the woods. It was pitch black but as we know this forest quite well we've decided to give it a go, we could always turn back.
Juliano was walking in front of me and leading the way. As we walked deeper into the woods it got darker and darker and we got to a point where we could literary not see a thing.I could just as well close my eyes and it would be the same. Even though I was holding on to Juliano's rope I couldn't distinguish weather I was on the right track or am I going to walk into a tree. Few quick thoughts - turn back, look for Magda, stop and I was on a verge of panicking. I quickly caught up to Juliano, grabbed his tail and allowed him to lead me through the forest. This blind walk lasted for few minutes until Juliano turned onto a field where we could finally see silhouettes of trees, dogs etc. From there the road led through less dense forest so we could continue walking, giggling and talking with Magda.
After we got home I was thinking about why I trusted Juliano so much and why the second I have reached for his tail I got calm. Maybe it's because he walked rhythmically, he was confident and didn't spook or hesitate once. If he would jump in fear even once I would be completely lost. Maybe that's the secret behind trust, you have to be calm and steady to be trusted. You can't demand trust, you can offer your confidence and in time earn trust. As they say "It's a delight to trust somebody so completely". Juliano got me out of trouble in his, animal world. If we switch roles, I should be able to do the same for him in out human world. Hmmm... how interesting, when we walk through the village I always lead, as we set foot in the forest Juliano want's to walk first. Coincidence?
It was a very interesting experience and I recommend it to everyone who thinks horses are spooky for no reason at all. Think what pushes you out of your comfort zone, maybe it something as simple as a forest at night. Now who is the spooky one?
We are playing on-line and at liberty every day with Cash. Usually I go out with a plan, we play around a certain idea. Every time the plan is modified either by conditions or Cash. To be flexible - hmmm how interesting. So today we set out to do driving from zone 5. We ended up at a round corral.
We have tried stick to me at canter and finally got it :) Before, I would go up to canter, she would follow but after I went down to walk she would zoom past me in canter. Today I thought to myself, canter to walk can be quite hard to synchronize between human and horse so why not make a transition from canter to trot instead. It worked! We could go up to canter together and go back to trot also together. After that we were both in quite playful moods and Cash offered quite a few flying lead changes. It was a great morning.
So here I'm in Colorado, Pagosa Springs doing a Fast Track. I got here over a week ago but with all the things going on I didn't have much time to write.
I'm riding and playing with a very nice AQH mare - Cash. She belongs to Petra Christensen - 2 Star Parelli instructor. She is very, very sensitive and trying her best to understand me and what I'm asking of her.
Me and Cash at Parelli Games on Saturday
We are starting to build a strong relationship and I think we are going to have a lot of fun together. By the way, we got a green ribbon for on-line and black ribbon for liberty on Saturday at the games :)
Parelli ranch at Pagosa is amazing - it is surrounded by mountains, amazing nature, animals like deer, chipmunks and beers passing by. I'm learning a new thing every minute that I'm here - thanks to our superb instructors and Cash. It is a place where a horse is never wrong and people are trying to understand horses every step of the way.
Juliano is back home and he is doing great. Magda is looking after him and playing with him. It seems he is having a great time with his best buddy Dum and all his mares. I miss him like crazy but there is a reason why I'm here - to become a better horseman especially for him.
Juliano is a very dominant and playful little gelding, “Master of Disaster” called by some. His spirit level is very high, always alert, easily bored. He acts like stable royalty both around horses and humans. Though he was gelded at the age of 8 he still thinks he is a stallion. “Crazy ideas and won't take No for an answer” that's his motto.
Marta – graphic designer, IT graduate, master thesis on equine iridology and horses health. In 2006 I have qualified as an Equine Iridologist with Ellen Collinson (Equine Iridologist & Herbalist from UK).
I have started riding at the age of 12. After a long break from riding and being around horses I was asked to look after Juliano as a favour. After few months I knew he is “the one”.