Sharon and Sienna

Sharon and Sienna

Social Media Internship

I was fortunate enough to be offered a Social Media Internship with Parelli, which has now turned into a permanent position.
I am excited to be here in Pagosa Springs on this journey and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun!

I haven't said much about my actual horsemanship with Sienna since we have been here together. You all heard she hurt her back and I haven't been able to ride her, but we have been having a ton of fun on the ground. She has been offering so much when we play, and it seems like everything we do, she thinks I am asking her to put her hoof on "it". :0) She has offered to put her hoof on the pedestal, a cone, a frisby and the other day a big log. The funniest was the big green ball, she usually pushes it with her nose, but she decided to put her hoof right on the top of it, she rolled her leg forward and the ball went with her, then she brought her leg back and the ball followed. It was funny to see her rolling the ball back and forth like that and she seemed to be enjoying it just as much.
We have been playing a lot at liberty too and she has been sticking to me like glue. So to up the game, instead of asking her to just "Stick to me" at the walk, trot and canter, we have been playing with different speeds. Slow walk, fast walk, slow trot, fast trot.....and I am amazed at her willingness to stay with me no matter how slow or fast we go. God I love this horse. Her back up from zone five has improved, we backed up half way around the round pen by the tail the other night. We have also been working on tight circles around me, which for a big girl like her was a struggle in the beginning. We have been using the 22ft rope and gradually shortening the rope each time she goes around, and after doing that for four days in a row, tonight she did it at liberty which was just amazing.This week Sienna and Titan (Gina's Horse) are down at Pat's barn as we had over 50 people come in for this last Fast Track and they needed our pens. I miss rolling over in my top bunk, looking out the window and being able to see her, but it's only for a week.
I have been using the red light on her back and on Sunday she felt good enough to test the waters. I sat on her bareback while she grazed and then asked her to take a few steps, she seemed OK so tonight (Saturday) we rode from Pats barn up to the playground in the bareback pad, rode in the small coverall for a little bit then rode back down and she seems all good now. Her hair is still growing back, but her back is no longer sore. While it's so wonderful to have my girl here with me, I can't forget about my Beau boy back in Las Vegas. I miss having him here with us and I am forever grateful to the my friends who are looking after him so well for me. I don't know how i'll ever be able to say thank you enough.

Until next time......

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What a beautiful day!

Today there was a level two clinic taking place at the ranch today for employees and locals, so I headed up with my camera to watch for a bit. Click here to see more pictures.
People practicing rope skills at the Level 2 clinic

Around 10am I went and got Sienna and we played for about 2 hours. Her back is still sore and can't be ridden yet so we had some fun on the ground. I took her for a walk to explore the property a bit, then we played on the pedestal, the teeter-totter, with the ball, and ended up playing in the pond. Click here to see more pictures.
Sienna in the pond

Then we (Gina, Kerrin and myself) had lunch with our horses. We sat under the shade of a tree while our horses grazed around us. It's moments like that you need to cherish!.

This afternoon Kerrin and I watched some more of the clinic, then the three of us went into town to get a bite to eat.

Today was one of those days where the weather was perfect, the company was great, and the horses were wonderful. It was one of those days when I just felt blessed!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beautiful Pagosa

I just thought I would share some images that i've taken recently around Pagosa. It really is beautiful here, and this mornings temperatures were so cool that there was steam coming off the local golf course lake which I pass on the way to work. You can see them here.

How did she do that?

It seems it's been a while since I wrote my last blog, but having Sienna here puts a whole new spin on: "Time flies when your having fun!"

Gina, Kerrin and I leave the office around 12.30, go back to the ranch, grab a quick lunch then go get our horses. We usually just let them graze for the half hour that we have with them and before we know it, we are rushing back to work.
After work, we head back to the ranch again, grab a quick dinner then go get our horses once more. We usually have a couple of hours before the sun goes down so we make the most of it.
Last weekend was our first full weekend with the horses and on Saturday, Sienna and I participated in the Parelli games that they have here on the weekends, we did our online, liberty and freestyle challenges and as usual, Sienna did just great. In the afternoon we played in the honeycombs and the playground, and it was such a beautiful day.
Sunday I planned to ride her a little more around the property to get her used to the surrounding areas, but when I woke up Sunday morning and looked out the window of the cabin, (I can see the horses from my top bunk,) Sienna was not in her pen!!!!!.......
Boltar, Titan and Sienna in their pens

My heart started beating fast as I rubbed my eyes to wake them up, and looked around in a panic to see if I could see her......then I spotted her standing outside Titan's pen (Gina's horse, they are quite the buddies), they were hanging out.I got dressed in a hurry and legged it down to the pens. One of the Fast Track students got to her first and put her back in her pen, but when I got up close, all the hair was missing off Sienna's spine.

My heart started pounding even faster not knowing what she had done to herself and how hurt she might be. I started looking around her pen for signs of a struggle, there really wasn't any. But I did find some of her hair under the bottom rail and in the empty pen next to her, plus that pen was not closed and that's how Sienna got out. All I can surmise is that she laid down and got herself so far under the bottom rail, that when she went to stand up, she had no other option than to go forward.
Apart from the hair missing off her back she was also swollen by her right withers, but other than that she was in good shape....just obviously very sore.
Sienna's swollen withers and missing hair

So my poor girl has been out of action this week as far as riding, but we have had some fun on the ground and just taking it easy. Hopefully she will be OK for a saddle fitting on Sunday (which we were supposed to do the day she hurt herself), but I will probably give her another week off from riding. It will just mean more undemanding time, and there is nothing wrong with that :0)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In a happy place!

I think these images speak for them selves. Sienna has settled in nicely and is enjoying the green grass and the cooler temperatures. It's in the 50's both mornings and evenings, and about 80 during the day with the occasional thunderstorm and rain. She has a great view from her pen of practically the whole ranch and can watch the clinics and lessons going on around her. (I wonder if she is really learning anything by watching :0).
I get up around 6am, clean her stall and give her fresh water and her breakfast, then head off to work. At lunch time we head back to the ranch and I take her out and let her graze.
In the evenings we go out and play and we have so many choices: the obstacles, arena grande, the honeycombes, the round pens, the pond, or the coverall. Either way Sienna takes everything in her stride and seems to be loving it here. You can see more pictures here.

The only thing that could make it better is if my Beau Boy was here also. I think about him all the time and wish he was here to enjoy it also.
The Beau Man

Gina and her horse Titan, and Kerrin and her loaner horse Boltar are also loving it here.Gina and Titan

Kerrin and Boltar

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back with the horses!

Well we finally did it. We (Gina, Kerrin and myself) took a trip back to Vegas this weekend to pick up the horses. We had a fun drive back, stopping at the 4 corners and the famous Las Vegas sign to take pictures.

We got in fairly late Friday so we were up early Saturday to go out to my horses. It was so good to see them after 5 weeks without them. Unfortunately Beau showed up lame Sat morning so the vet was called. They are not sure what's wrong and he was put on Butte and stall rest for the next week, which meant that I would not be able to take him back to Pagosa for Kerrin to play with. It was pretty devastating news, he would have loved it here, but once again I am VERY thankful to the wonderful friends I have at my barn, who will care for him like he was their own.x
Saturday afternoon, Gina's horse arrived in Vegas, her parents had driven him down from
Oregon. He settled in nicely and we put him next to Sienna for the night so they could get acquainted.

Sunday we loaded up the horses and hit the road around 6.30am. The drive was going really well and then the adventure started. Gina was now driving while I was sleeping, and when I woke up the conversation and the up-coming chain of events went a little like this:

Gina: "Sharon, do you have any spare gas?"
Sharon: "No, why?"
Gina: Because the idiot light just came on"
Sharon: Are you kidding me?" (i think i may have used slightly stronger language than that!)
Sharon: Shit!! (I then check the range on the truck and we have less than 6 miles before we run out, CRAP!, we are also on a desolate road, not knowing where the next gas station is)
Gina: "Do you think we should stop at the next house we see?"

Before I could answer, Gina was indicating and pulling into a turn out. There was a gate with a path leading to some buildings that looked more like some kind of business than a house. We went in and was greeted by a very friendly sheep, then saw a man going into one of the bu
ildings. We knock on the door and out comes the man who we now know as Andrew. He just happened to have 5 gallons of gas sitting in the back of his truck which we paid him for, (it was all the cash we had on us also), and he helped us put it into my truck. We thanked him profusely then got back in the truck to leave, only we weren't going anywhere.
I put the truck in drive and feel the back wheels spinning, so I put it in reverse and the same thing happens. Gina gets out and starts laughing again and says, "just stop". I get out and the back wheels are buried and the trailer hitch is about 2 inches from the ground. Gina informs me that I should have a four wheel drive, (not really helpful at this point) then Kerrin gets out and starts laughing also (I was not laughing at all!!!!). Gina finds a piece of tin roofing and I find a piece of wood to put behind the back tires. I get in, put the truck in reverse and Gina tells me to stop and starts laughing even more!!!! grrrrrr!!! I get out and the tin roofing has moulded itself to the shape of the tire and shot through to the middle of the truck. Apparently this chain of events now seemed camera worthy to Kerrin who is now capturing images of the entire thing!!!

Just when we were figuring out what to do next, we look up and here comes Andrew in a digger!. This guy turns out to be a life saver as he towed the truck out of the mud, but just when we think we are safe to go, even though the truck is out of the mud, the trailer is not. (Gina thinks now is a good time to remind me AGAIN that I should have a four wheel drive, grrrr!!!) So Andrew towed us out again until truck and trailer were free and we were in our way.

Only then did the whole adventure strike me as funny and we drove off down the road laughing.

Sooooooo, I have learned two valuable lessons from this whole thing:

  1. ALWAYS carry spare gas
  2. I am trading my truck in for a 4 wheel drive the first chance I get!!! (that got a high five from Gina :0))

I also want to say thank you to Greg Chianello (Gina's Dad) for getting his daughter stuck in so many situations as a young girl, that she kept a level head and knew what to try (even though she was laughing the entire time) :0), and to Kerrin for capturing it all on camera so we can look back at it later and laugh again.

Lastly we want to thank Andrew who was brilliant that day. I took his name and address and in fact maybe you could help us decide what to do for him to say a big thank you?

I cant help thinking of the circumstances that day and how lucky we were to stop where we did, (even though Gina said she scoped out the place, to which I informed her that if she had scoped out where to park also we wouldn't have got stuck :0)). Anyway, what were the chances that this guy not only had gas, but a digger also!!!!!!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Having a great week here at Parelli Central!

What a week this has been....

Monday night Pat was filming at the Parelli Campus and we caught sight of him driving Rick Lamb and his wife around the ranch in horse and wagon. We also had the pleasure of having Ian Hayward here this week. Ian is a consultant from the UK who was instrumental in helping Parelli get all their Social Media Platforms up and running. We had some great meetings and learned a lot from him. Lastly, Caton Parelli was celebrating that he now owns and can legally haul the trailer that Pat and Linda used to travel with when Caton was a small boy. I took some pictures which you can see on Tumblr.

Tuesday there was a meeting after work with Pat, Linda and the executive team who shared their experiences with Zappos, and what the future may hold for Parelli. The meeting ended with an ice cream social :0)

Wednesday, we here at Parelli Central actually got to meet Rick Lamb and his wife Dianna. We showed them what goes on behind the scenes.

Today we are all busy as Brett (boss) leaves for vacation tomorrow, and Gina, Kerrin and myself are headed back to Vegas tomorrow to pick up our horses. Gina's folks are driving her horse (Titan) down from Oregon tomorrow and will meet us in Vegas on Saturday. Gina will board her horse at my barn overnight, then on Sunday we will load up, Beau, Sienna and Titan and head back to Pagosa. I am bringing Beau for Kerrin to play with as her horses are in the UK.We are all really excited to have our horses with us for the remaining 4 weeks that we have at the ranch as we have been going through withdrawal :0

Kerrin and I with Caton Parelli

Pat and Linda with Vinnie and Moxie at the meeting
Rick Lamb and his wife Dianna with Pat at the ranch

Monday, August 2, 2010

Durango to Silverton Train

This weekend myself, Gina and Kerrin went into Durango to look around, then went back on Sunday to take the Steam train to Silverton.

Durango was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in 1879. The railroad arrived in Durango on August 5, 1881 and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of the same year. By July of 1882, the tracks to Silverton were completed, and the train began hauling both freight and passengers.

The line was constructed to haul silver & gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but passengers soon realized it was the view that was truly precious.

This historic train has been in continuous operation for 128 years, carrying passengers behind vintage steam locomotives and rolling stock indigenous to the line.

You can read more about the history here, it really is fascinating.

My intro on Parelli Central blog :0)

Hey Guys,
I have been officially introduced on the Parelli Central Blog, check it out: