During my 1 Star Course at the Parelli Center in February, we were honored to have Kalley Krickenberg speak to us and I must have taken 10 pages of notes from that one hour discussion:-) One of the topics was energy. I was so intrigued by the concept of having students walk into a group of horses and either not have one move or focus your energy on one and have him come to you. Yesterday was the first real session I’ve had with my LBI mare, Jesse, since returning home from my almost 6 week trip. We played with her coming into the halter from 20 feet away and I worked hard to be really SLOW with everything. Stick to me was quite funny. She fully expected me to go right into trot, canter transitions but I was always a bit slower than her. She had started off with ears pinned, as per usual, but suddenly she began to look at me with such a questioning look on her face. I giggled. Then I got even slower. I did this until it seemed she was almost getting to a point of frustration because I was going to slow. After a bit of yo yo using sideways away and to, and treats as rewards, it was time for circling game. This is the one game I have not focused enough on and was really excited to put the concepts of using as little as it takes for the send and the allow. I started with a really connected circle where she gave me two eyes all the way around. Treat for reward. Then it was time to ask for maintain gait and direction. At first she wanted to leave, so I sent her sideways before she could. Did this a couple times, then asked for circling again. She left at a trot and did 10 laps with a positive expression. Wow!!! I’m still licking and chewing on this one. I kept in my mind how important my energy is and made sure to use way less than normal when asking, but do something sooner and really bring my energy up when it seemed appropriate. Then while she was circling, I really put my intent and energy on her and saying to myself “we are trotting”. Now that I’m writing about the session, it seems like not much was changed in my approach, but the results seemed really huge. To top it off, my beautiful girl followed me around after I finished the session and was doing chores. AMAZING for this LBI who is rarely very interested. Can I say it again? I LOVE Parelli!