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 Post subject: PonyPros
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:20 pm
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Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Edited by Romy: This topic was split from the Friendship training thread (page 9).

Hi All,
I haven't been on the forum for a long time given that this summer we were out having so much fun with our ponies and students. We were married Aug 21 with a herd of kids and ponies in the wedding and then went on a magical trip to the Dominican Republic where we worked with rescue horses and spent some great time in the ocean.

Regarding the photo of my pony, Sam, rearing on the homepage, yes, of course it is on cue. I "trained" him to strike out when he rears and can select for either leg, or none with a different cute. Hence it does not look like a pesade but a rear with a strike. The way he learned it was by pawing a noodle working on Spanish Walk. I specifically taught Sam to rear to strengthen his back and give him more confidence. And, he was not in a halter but a cordeo. Sam was a rescue pony with severe back and hip problems due, I believe, to cart wrecks. Here is a video of Sam and I playing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63fMvMzjb3E

Here is a PowerPoint presentation and XtraNormal vid that will respond to many of your questions about our program:
http://ponypros.net/powerpoint/PonyPros.ppt.htm
http://www.ponypros.net/blog/2010/12/03 ... a-ponypro/

I have a GiddyUpFlix membership that allows me to learn from everyone, both likely and unlikely sources. It is important to me to be able to operate knowledgeably in the collective conscious of the contemporary equestrian. I cite the world renown trainers I have learned from on my site but I'd as readily cite Kim Sturgeon and Karen Clouston. It is very difficult to explain what we do, hence all the photos and 200+ youtube videos. The logos at the bottom of my site are there to show people the eclectic nature of what we do and encourage people to go straight to the source so they can find their own path.

It is very important to me to balance the horse's mental, emotional, and physical needs, and to do that for the human as well. For that reason, I am an empirical horse trainer - what I need to know I learn mostly through experience - through interacting with that individual and trying to see his heart and what is most important to him. While many horse people only work with Warmbloods or Quarter Horses, people from a variety of backgrounds seek my help because, where do you go if you want help with something other than work or sport? The reality is that how I can help the Lusitano is incredibly different from the Fox Trotter and the Fox Trotter is nothing like the Shagya-Arabian who is nothing like the Icelandic (all horses I am working with right now, so I need to understand a lot of different training histories). What I want to know is "Who do they want to be?" as souls. I'll find that out, and then my job is to help them get there. I may not teach every horse to rear, no more than I would teach every horse to lay down. I try to teach to the horse's core.

Kali

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Love in action and in truth. We are born to make manifest the glory that is within us.


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
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Location: Alberta
Kali, in the last few days, as I've struggled to try and explain a feel in my diary, I've thought of you over and over. I've spent a bit more time watching some of your videos, checking out your blog a little and on facebook. I've come to the conclusion that if there was somewhere I could go to and just hang out and learn through observation (which I love doing), your place is in my top three choices. If I could, I would.

Although I do not see teaching as being part of my future in a formal sense, teaching occurs almost every time I'm at the farm. Inevitably someone will ask for help with something. So on that level, that one on one level of just me helping another person, it would be nice to be able to afford the time to learn how to do that better from someone who does it as well as you - especially in relating to kids. The end of this month, I've been asked to do a session with a group of young 4Hers and I'm really looking forward to it! My hope, mostly, is that I am understandable, and that I don't bore them to death. LOL. When it comes to kids, engaging them is such a big part of it.

I adore how you teach and what you teach. It is so valuable. Reading that you take your whole crew to other places (like Canada!!!) was heartwarming.

One day, maybe, when I'm retired for real or simply have a summer free for traveling and chasing my own heart's content, then maybe I can come for a visit, sit on the sidelines and see the future in action. :f:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:44 pm 
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Sheesh...and where are my manners.

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND LES!!!!!! :applause: :f:

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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:39 pm 
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Hi Kali, congratulations from me, too!! :) :giveflower:

And so nice to watch your video with Sam. Puts a big smile on my face (like all your videos that I have seen so far), so great how you can be focused and non-demanding at the same time - I wish I had only half of that ability.

Great to read from you again! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Friendship training
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:41 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Kali,
I am inspired by how you teach the kids..... :applause: :applause: :applause:
I am loving your blog and have bookmarked it for future reference. Lots of ideas there for explaining things to kids and so positive to read at any time!
Thank you for sharing

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:54 am 
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I split those posts so that PonyPros has its own, fresh topic. Kali, please feel free to write more about PonyPros here, it's such an inspiration! :clap: :)

P.S.: Just doing some cross-linking to another great topic that might be of interest for those who love Kali's kind of work: Natural instinct and children


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:20 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Wow, you guys, that was so heartwarming! Thank you :))))

Karen, you and any of the ANDers are welcome any time for a visit! Wish we had an extra room but we do have a couch :) One day I'm hoping to host a European style expo so we all have an excuse to get together and share. I was thinking about calling it EDTalks as a TEDtalks pun lol.

That's' super cool that you're doing a day for the 4Hers, Karen. 4Hers usually seem to really enjoy getting a little freedom from holding their horses tight on the ground and riding with stiff backs. They also seem to pick stuff up really quickly. It was really cool at the clinics last year to help kids ride bareback in a halter for the first time (they were so nervous!) and to see their faces when their horses followed them at liberty. For kids in our program, that's just everyday stuff, but for most kids it is a distant dream! By the way, we taught both groups Chase the Tiger and while they were a little afraid to treat their ponies, it was a big hit :)

Here's the video from our wedding. It was SUCH a special day. The kids and ponies did an amazing job, especially considering it was August and for whatever reason, the temperature was like 60 degrees that day when it had been 80-90:
http://www.ponypros.net/blog/2010/09/28 ... s-wedding/

I'm happy to answer any questions anybody might have. What we do is always a work in progress, especially because the various pony breeds are all so different, and the child's age is such a big factor. Plus the parents watch Hidalgo, Seabiscuit, etc, or have siblings who are horse show people, so have some preconceived notions about how it should be... But, after I make the parents a montage video of their child that they can send around to family, that's when everyone really buys in because the kid's smiles and the pony's personality are right there in front of them.

Probably the most fun we've had this fall was our Halloween Show. It was sort of a show because I think the kids benefit a lot from the ribbons as an emotional fitness exercise, but really different from what people usually do. The kids get to play free-form for 2 songs. We play music they hear a lot in lessons so it makes them feel safe. We also try to match the music to the ponies. I was so amazed by the costumes the ponies would wear.The kids were riding in poofy dresses and 8ft capes, and the ponies wore things like tutus around their loins and bells on every foot... If I had known the kids would be so creative I would have had them try them on hte ponies ahead of time but no, they just showed up, dressed the ponies, and off they went. Halloween events when I was a kid were always a disaster and this one was soooo much fun.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... d=19705901

Something interesting that I've observed this year is how much the ponies pick up from one another. Somehow we ended up with a herd of ponies who smile on cue and lay down on cue but we only taught that to about 2 of them, and some of the ponies are rarely, if ever, out at the same time because the kids come on different days. I don't know how on earth they would have learned it unless they're out in the pasture teaching each other tricks.

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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:15 pm
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Location: Georgia (USA)
:ieks: omg.... **sees cute ponies... overwhelmed...falls over**

Such cuteness! I would love to work with ponies like that! Wonderful wedding video by the way :) I love the way you had it filmed!

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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:43 am 
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Kali, I just watched your Pony Pro's powerpoint and it brought me to tears.

THIS is what I dreamed of finding as a little girl obsessed with horses and it took me until my mid 40's to find a way to begin to explore it. I can't imagine how glorious it would be to have how you and Les approach this as the baseline for a lifetime with horses.

Wow.

All the best,
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:43 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I am loving this. Allowing kids and ponies to be kids and ponies without destroying the capacity to love and respect each other.
So many children are taught to hold tight, use a whip, "pull him up", "kick him on", and it goes against what drew them towards ponies.
Brilliant that you video for parents to treasure and share the smiles.
Real achievements in trust, love and true leadership without dominance, just a nice place to have fun and feel peaceably safe. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:20 pm
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Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Collinde, the ponies really are cute, aren't they? This is one of my favorite photos: http://www.ponypros.net/blog/wp-content ... G_2260.jpg

Thanks, Leigh :) I remember one time my trainer went out of town when I was about 11. There was a rule that we couldn't jump if the trainer wasn't there and it was a competitive hunter/jumper program so we had no idea what to do with ourselves. My mom told me to run my pony around the arena for exercise if I wasn't going to ride him. I noticed that after he got done parading around, he came back and started following me. I ran a little bit and he trotted. I hopped over some cavalettis and so did he. I remember thinking, "This is the coolest thing in the world! Who knew my pony was so special? I have to show this to people!" I totally thought that it was only my pony who would do this, lol... But, here I am now, and I am showing it to people...

Susie - Very poignant comment and quite true to my own thoughts as well! This is a portion of the intro to my EQxpressionists book:

"Despite the enthusiasm with which many people enter equestrian activities, after a few months of lessons in riding in circles, many horse-lovers begin to question whether or not horses are really for them. Though the horse symbolizes freedom, passion, and expression, what people find at the stable are disenfranchised mounts and trainers wrapped up in standardized benchmarks. It’s no wonder that a person’s vision of the horse as a majestic creature slips away.

Some react to the loss of the horse of their imaginations by attempting to fill the void with mechanics, believing that sufficient skill is required to feel the equine magic. Others continually buy and resell horses, searching endlessly for the one who will be their Black Beauty or Flicka. Many get hurt because they can never reconcile what they believe a horse is with what they meet at the barn. Some simply quit horses, thinking they must be too old for horseplay, and go on to something else.

What a travesty it is to have so many people born with the love of horses and to have so many dreams never made into reality. And because of what? It is my feeling that available horse training information works off the incorrect premise that professional trainers have experienced the ride that most horse-lovers lust after. Rather, I believe the collective id’s ideal is rarely experienced, perhaps known best by colt starters and youth riders. It’s time that the equine professionals of the world – breeders, trainers, and instructors – aligned themselves with the desires of the equine enthusiasts.

In this book, you will hear from people who have hung on to the horse as he is in their dreams and have pursued a relationship of that design..."

You can read the book for free here: http://ponypros.net/books_and_dvds/EQxp ... sts_v1.pdf
It will be nothing new to you all since you're already on this forum, but for people who need a way in I think it is a useful tool :)

Kali

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Love in action and in truth. We are born to make manifest the glory that is within us.


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
I notice that when I surf on into the Pony Pros website from time to time I always come away enriched emotionally.

That's not to assume I am always happy and contented. No, more often just feeling more as though things are right in some places in the horse world. The small thing of my discontent and lack of cherry feelings comes from having missed this by my own horsey childhood being so very long ago, and so very work driven so young.

Heck I was in my thirties nearly when these kinds of experiences begin to happen for me.

My mind turns to that other horse world out there, Kali, that you refer to.

The one where people fruitlessly pursue the dream or simply give up.

A recent addition of a popular monthly horse magazine had the most sad story. And an opportunity for one of us to write in response to the article.

Seems a woman brought forward her own childhood dream and found what she believed in her heart was her forever horse, her dream horse, and bought it. She went through a difficult time - we can only imagine the kind of horse handling and possible instruction she was getting - and she and the horse could not connect.

So intense was her sense of loss she felt it better, even for the horse, to move the horse on to another owner.

That last evening, with the new owner's money in her pocket she went to say goobye to her dream, and in the quiet of the barn saw that same distant and even slightly hostile look in the mares eye. Leaning on the door of the stall, her chin on her arms she continued to watch the mare for a time, and the mare stopped eating and came to her and laid her head on the woman's arm - for a long time.

What happened that this change in behavior and attitude took place?

I guess it was that the woman finally had no demands to place on the horse, and the horse read her and was open to her at that moment. No, she didn't buy the horse back. In fact I read no acknowledgment of awareness of this by the author - the realization that when we stop making demands and start being with the horse for itself - just the being with, things change.

Children, as you and Les know so well, teach us this every day if we listen as we watch instead of "teach."

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Ha, Ha, Kali,
when I was 14, my old pony had severe arthritis and my poor Dad had to agree to vet humanely destroying and replacing her with a younger pony.
Initially I blamed my 4 year old pony for Mischief leaving my life. Then Shah became my best friend.
I thought being young he should learn to jump.
I would get off in a 20 acre field, leave him tacked and ask him to watch me. He just did.
I ran over 1 foot poles and then I would go to his shoulder and we did them together side by side, or he would follow me. Then I'd mount and ride the same thing.
This was fine until I put up fences I could not jump on my own two feet, and then I found out he could do it all anyway and had been humouring me.
When we rode off farm I would rest him on our 30 mile excursion adventure rides by removing his tack on Malvern Hills. Shah always came when I called, it never occured to my young mind that he could stray into danger if given freedom.
Shah was telepathic, arrived at the farm gate 5 minutes ahead of me and my bicycle, a lady who lived in the farm cottage told me she always knew when I was cycling from home because my pony made his way to meet me.
Oh to be so free and without awareness of responsibilities, no boyfriend or complications at that point, I love my husband but my life has tangents that did not exist for me at 14 to 16.
Ignorance can be blissful, just going to school and spending every waking hour available joined with my best four legged friend. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:54 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
PonyPros on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106372606061894

with so much help in Q & A form, directed at the kids being taught and video links appropriate to the answers. xx

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Susie xx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/piepony/


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 Post subject: Re: PonyPros
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:20 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
Sad story, Don. We have a horse that is just coming out of a situation like that at our barn. He is a very spirited Arabian who was at a dressage barn and is very angry still. His owner bought him because she found him majestic and said there was just this connection the first time their eyes met. Unfortunately, the horse behaves dangerously at this point, even being led. The woman has a four year old daughter so I'm not sure she will ever be able to have the confidence needed to build a good rapport with him, unless she gets to keep him at home instead of at a stable. We taught him the Initiator Signal (which is something we came up with working at the rescue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPDdlnWFWw) but it is really sad to see both the woman and the horse struggling. And it's hard on Les, who works with the horse on the days the owner can't come out :) It's amazing that the woman still has a dream at all. That part really impresses me.

Susie, what fun you and your pony must have had. That sounds idyllic. We do some liberty walks with our horses and ponies today. I hold my breath every time we call them back but so far so good. It's something I would like to do more of. In the Spring, they flood a meadow at one of the trails we go to. That is the most magical time of year. It's great for introducing the ponies to water because it is quite large but only about 1 foot deep all the way through.

The other day we had two girls out on their first trail walk. We told them that they needed to look under all the trees for cougars, in the tops of the trees for owls, and for anything man made to show their ponies that they could think like a horse. On the way back from the walk, we came to a place where you could see a house. There were 2 dogs wrestling in the front yard and a pinwheel spinning about 12 feet up in the air. The ponies started walking sideways a bit to move away from the scene. We asked the girls what the ponies saw - something that looked like a cougar, an owl, or something man-made. They couldn't find identify anything in the scene that might bother the ponies, so we explained that the pinwheel is up high, so they might have noticed it when they were looking for owls, the dogs were down low, so they should have seen them looking for cougars, and the whole house was manmade. Their mom said, "I really need to get these girls out more!" I thought it was great that the ponies were teaching them to use their eyes in a new way. Horses make you so much more present.

Don, I'm glad the PonyPros site gives you hope. We really enjoy what we do. The hardest part about it is the finances. The kids who can really afford horses are mostly in hunter/jumper programs so we have to be creative to keep things running smoothly. I have much to learn about business, but we keep rolling with it because we have fun almost every day.

Kali

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Love in action and in truth. We are born to make manifest the glory that is within us.


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