The who, what, when, where and why of an equestrian

I’ve heard the game called “stick to me” referenced any number of times but I have to admit that I don’t really understand what the game is. I’ll compile below my research from Savvy vaults and Parelli Connect. I’ll post later as I play with my horses.


“Stick To Me” is the game we teach our horses to do, where they run with us just like a foal sticks to the mare and does whatever she does. What we do, the horse does…he mirrors or mimics us, so it’s important to be very clear in our own way of moving so he can copy it.

We start this On Line, with plenty of slack in the rope and teach our horse to walk when we walk, stop when we stop… gently supporting with the Carrot Stick and String as necessary. The whole time we pretend we don’t have a rope on the horse; it’s like a safety net.

As things progress and advance we start to do turns, towards and away from us; back up; trot; canter; transitions; simple changes; flying changes; jumps; etc. It’s a lot of fun. Most students start being able to play with this at Level 2 On Line, and pretty soon they are able to do it at Liberty too. By Level 3-4 they can do it anywhere, in corrals or open areas because the horse is so connected.


Expectation and Reward

Here are some thoughts from a blog by Linda Parelli:

…The key is to put it all in balance – big rewards for big tries, small rewards for small tries. Sounds simple doesn’t it? The hard part is expecting the appropriate level of response, and I say “appropriate,” because how much response your horse can give is directly proportional to his level of education and the ability and confidence you have to ask for it. For example, you don’t want to ask a green horse or a worried horse for more than he’s able to give.

Pressure and release is the cornerstone of horse training – it’s a simple as that. But how you ask, and when you release is where the art of horsemanship really is.

Read more at Linda’s blog.

  • Put the relationship first
  • Be the best me that I can be
  • Get it done, with a little fun
  • Exceed expectations
  • Embrace never ending self-improvement
  • Do more with less
  • Be humble
  • Truth, transparency and trust
  • Keep it natural
Shagya's Sarabande AF, age 6

Shagya's Sarabande AF, age 6

Hello from Sara

Sara in the September Sunset

Where does the time go?

It’s been almost two months since my last update. Yikes! How unsavvy of me.
My silence is the result of a new full time job. I’m making money to spend on my horses…that I have no time (much less energy) left for at the end of the day. It’s an ironic conundrum.

Last weekend, Sara and I played for the first time in about three weeks. Bless her heart, she is a wonderful teacher. I anticipated her being angry or resentful, like a human would be. Instead, she surprises me with a totally Left Brain liberty session with nice draw and jumping of barrels.

The more time I spend with my horses and studying the Parelli program I’ve come to love, the more I realize that this is a system for training people, not horses. It’s people that need re-education; I am an example.

The more I envision my future, the more I want to attend a course at a Parelli campus…Hmmm…

Sara falling asleep, waiting for her chiropract.

Sara and I have been having a lot of fun lately. We’ve begun trotting under saddle, using the follow the rail pattern, figure-8 and weave. She also seems to enjoy pushing the big green ball. We’re adding trotting with the ball to our list of “Can Do’s!” I have only been able to ride maybe two days a week but we do our best to make the most of it.

Today, Sara’s chiropractor came to adjust her. After a brief bareback ride, Sara stood tied for a solid 45 minutes! My RBE was falling asleep, waiting for her turn. The chiropractor, Dr. Dawn, was very pleased with Sara and had to make minimal adjustments. She said she wasn’t sore at all in the saddle area, which is thrilling for me to hear!