Carol Coppinger, P.o Box 717, Steinhatchee, Florida 32359
Lots of quality times with my horses and husband is the plan for everyday and enjoying the life we have created for ourselves over our 38 years of marriage. WOW... how times flies. Enjoying the balance of exercise at the Gym and exercise keeping our 25 acres in shape mowing and weedeating, picking up rocks and maintenance projects around home.
We took a trip to Colorado to the Parelli Campus and caught up with many friends in addition to being a substitute teacher for one of their 2 week courses that was tons of fun. You may have seen some of the live coverage on FB as I took the class out on some of the miles of beautiful mountain trails. If you missed that it is still on my FB page if you want to catch up! If for some reason you are not one of my friends than send me a friend request for consideration.
Having an absolute blast with my horses and as I get footage I am posting some to FB for others to enjoy. Fun is my plan for my horses and from all reports....the answer is yes from them!
Report back soon. cc
Updated: February 2017 A little history of "Where is Carol Coppinger?": As of late November I have been focusing on my family and my home. I am seeing a very happy husband, cats and my horses...they are much happier! Through the winter I headed back into to my woods, where I used to have cool trails..20 years ago! Those trails were all grown up and had no attention for all those years. I started with just a goal of making new parameter trails for me to enjoy trail riding on but the scope grew and they ended up being usable to my golf cart, 4 wheelers and walking, some even for the tractor with the bushhog! Whew.... lots of work....lots of fallen trees, dead trees..young trees, bushes. One of my cats ... PC1 actually goes with me on the golf cart and explores the area while I am working. Les and I have joined Planet Fitness and are enjoying getting our bodies back to a fitness level of many years past!
Thank you all for your concerns and comments.
** Thoughts 06/14/2017** There is nothing like having the keys to success at your fingertips. If you have forgotten what they are or maybe didn't ever really know them they are: Attitude, Knowledge, Tools, Technique, Time and Imagination and those 6 keys were the backbone of the Parelli Home study program for many years. A 7th key was added "Support" in later years which was meant to fill a void of feeling lost or worse yet thinking you have no imagination, so between the tour stops, the Savvy Club, attending classes at one of the Parelli Campuses and if you are lucky to have any Licensed Parelli Instructor coming to your area most any learning situation could be overcome. But to really enbrace those keys....is key! The "Attitude" it takes to be successful with horses is one of "no judgement" and "not getting mean or worse yet....mad! and there is so much more to this "Attitude" thing and if the right one is not achieved the other keys will just not open possibilities as explained or desired. Hum. Are you feeling Pleased? ...Yes - Good Start on Attitude. So I am here to report for me....my attitude seems to be spot on...as my horses are telling me so in many ways. Happy ears.....Comes a running when I show up.... So if you are having touch and go situations with your equine partner(s)....keep an eye on the first key to having success.
** Thoughts 05/16/2017** Some of you may know this but before my Parelli journey I had many hours of driving and showing the versatility of the Tennessee Walking horse and I had tons of fun doing things with those horses. To this day I have a huge respect for that breed of horse as they have hearts filled with pure gold and a try that never quits. As my trails laid in wait so did my driving cart for 20 years.....I kept my cart under a tarp waiting for me to have the time to develop another partner suitable for being driven and yes....now is the time! I have to say teaching all of those thousands of hours and my horses needing to demo most everything (which sadly resulted in them getting "drilled" but... no harm done...)especially when it comes to the practicing of zone 5 driving! Today after friendly game with the cart for a couple of days it was time for the real thing.....Walk, Trot and Halt! Yeah!
Sol - 5 Years Old
I must admit being able to take the time to do all the things I always loved doing before I took on the role of Parelli Instructor is to put it lightly....wonderful! I continue to appreciate the value of the Parelli method of teaching communication between horse and human. I am so glad I was prepared and able to help those of you I had the honor to help with your horse(s) and helping with the future relationships of all the horses that have the opportunity to enjoy your company as you exercise your feel, timing and balance of those qualities. Thank you.
** Thoughts 04/30/17 ** How pleasant it is to have in my back yard nice trails to walk/ride/drive using either my horses, my feet or my 4x4. I am so blessed to have such a place of peaceful woods to enjoy. It is interesting to put ones brain really in the "allow" when it come to honest communication. All too often we really don't want to know the real truth and just prefer a convenient truth. I have and do witness this day to day with my horses. When I was the 6 Star Master Parelli Instructor spending my days traveling the world, teaching horse lovers how to modify their behavior to enable their beloved equine partners to begin to even have a chance to get confident enough to give honest feedback, was the biggest hurtle. Humans and Horses have more in common than one might naturally think! The biggest common denominator is "confidence" or more precisly "lack of confidence"! If a human is unconfident/scared/afraid even they have difficulty communicating and horses are no different. Behaviors like: Agression, shyness and blind obedience are just the tip of the iceberg. My horses, as I have throttled down my hectic pace of living to a more suitable pace for my equine partners have responded as I thought they might.....happier; ears & attitudes and lots of try. I am witnessing more honest effort on their part to think, ask questions and make more of an effort to relay messages to me for interpretation and understanding. So.....if you find yourself not knowing what to do to help your horse be that dream partner it might just be as simple as slowing down..... to the horses speed of thinking rather than desired internet speed..... Just observing and thinking....
** Thoughts 03/08/17 ** Trails all done for this winter's project as the ticks are starting to get hungry after being dormant all winter and the temps touching the 70's! I am on a quest to regain my fitness so between working around the farm and working out at the Gym I am starting to see some rearranging. I often joked how to get rid of your muffin top was just to raise your arms up straight above you and magically that roll of extra stuff just goes away. Well I am really working on making mine go away with my arms down! It's working and I am starting to enjoy once again having correct proportions around my middle. On a horsey note: It is still and most likly will always be interesting to me to see horses solve puzzles. Sadly not all horses will even try as they have been so shut down in their training or handling in some way that they just act more like a robot doing what is told (or not) and not even trying to be a thinker. I do realize it is tricky to have a "thinker" as that then requires one to be prepared for the consequences which could be good, bad or even ugly! But non the less I enjoy the interaction and especially the 2 way communication. Just the other night I was enjoying my horses at liberty and I had 3 full size barrels standing up and Sol was breezing over them happily without me even asking as he circled. Legend on the other hand likes to do standing jumps....well Sol was cantering around and just going over the barrels in a flow and Legend would get to the barrels stop...prepare for his lift off and out of nowhere there is Sol flying past him and over the jump! Legend would loose his setup and go bucking off. Yes it was fun and funny to watch them but I knew I needed to get Sol under some sort of system so I ask him to stand by me and Legend made his way back to those barrels without any suggestion from me and then proceeded to do the most awesome jump clearing them and the form was perfect. He was so proud of himself as he just had a way that showed he was pleased with his performance. He came over to me as if to say see...I can do it and I am glad to do it if Sol is "out of my way!". Sometimes I wonder if they say that about us.....we are so busy trying to get a horse to do something maybe they would if we would just not push so hard and maybe just slow down and allow. hum......
** Thoughts 02/28/17 ** Having some great time on my new trails. I have been zone 5 driving and wow what a work out! Often times I will drive one and have one following behind me which gives everyone great exercise. They are wide enough for my golf cart to move along on so I can do trail maintenance all summer! Hurray! I had the best liberty session today with Legend in my outdoor arena and his attitude was right on. I have really made a plan to really resist "driving" so much and offer more allow and Legend has delightfully responded with a very positive compliance. Whether it was a weave, figure 8 or just stick to me all light and lively. On a side note for fetching: Each morning I have Sol and Legend bring their feed dish out in the hallway for their breakfast and if they get in a hurry and arrive without their dish I just wait and they go back and get it without me saying a word! I will see if I can get a video out as it is pretty darn cute.
** Thoughts 02/12/2017 ** My trails are almost ready for horse use! What does that mean....You should be able to ride on them without dodging tree limbs and brush! The golf cart can travel them all and the tractor with the bush hog can travel on the main one! yeah! That means they will be usable even in the summer when the ticks are the worst. I was thinking the other day just how much we often take so many things for granted. Whether it is time with humans or time with those critters you have agreed to take care of that time is very important for all. Just today I sat down out in front of my barn to take a rest when PC2 jumped in my lap and PC3 came and laid beside my foot! That was unheard of before this treasured time I am taking. Take time to smell the roses....holds true for many things.
** Thoughts 02/05/2017** I am so enjoying reconnecting with my home and family. What is funny but sad in some ways is I just did not realize how far I had strayed from having a calm, connected lifestyle rather than a rush, rush, rush, get er done and rush some more trying to keep commitments across the country and globe. With my brain being allowed to relax a bit I have observed a change in my horses that is positive and indeed what everyone strives to achieve and that is happy, willing and ineractive attitudes. I had observed some behavior from Sol this last year that made me reflect on his quality of life and to strive to find a happy medium for us both. I am here to report it is so working! I taught the "games" to thousands but the bigger challange was not turning those games into drilling. It is important that once those games were known and understood that the customs of the equine herds in addition to using the language correctly becomes paramount. The "games" are great to teach people how to begin to communicate with horses but that is just .00000001% of the process. The hardest thing to conquer for humans is "Slowing Down" and waiting on the horse to process the request. What are you waiting for or what do you want to see? Licking and Chewing.....then.....the question....The question will appear in sometimes very subtle ways and othertimes the horse will almost knock you over wanting to know what else you would like.
January 2017 Update: As of late November I have been focusing on my family and my home. I am seeing a very happy husband, cats and my horses all are much happier! Recently I have been heading back to my woods, where I used to have cool trails. Those trails had since grown up and had been left unattended for the last 20 years. I started with just a goal of making new parameter trails for me to enjoy trail riding on but the scope grew and now I am making those trails usable to my golf cart and some to the tractor and bushhog! Whew.... lots of work....lots of fallen trees, dead trees. I have made great progress over the last week and tonight I actually took the tractor into the woods and actually made it! I have to say my cat PC1 actually goes with me on the golf cart and explores the area while I am working. To make sure I am not falling short on my fitness I have also joined Planet Fitness and am enjoying refocing my body to get in shape!
Click Here Have you seen this lost/stolen Equine Partner?
Click Here for something different!! Costumes on the wild side!!
Click Here to see more pictures!
Click Here in Loving Memory of Ranger.
Forward is the key...
Music by: Mary Ann Kennedy - "The Rhythm of the Ride"