Tuesday, September 10, 2013

News from Sonny

Here is a note from Sonny's new partner, Audrey, describing what they have been doing since Sonny went to live with her earlier this year: 

Hi My Name is Audrey Bjerke and I am 11 years old.  I am SOOOOOOOOO thankful to have Sonny as my horse, partner and very best friend!!  He is incredibly amazing and I have learned so much from him.  I just turned in my level 2 online and freestyle auditions to Parelli and CAN'T wait to earn my blue savvy string with Sonny.  

Emily has been so generous and helpful to Sonny and I by helping us get to know each other better quickly and by teaching me the cool tricks that Sonny knows.  One of my favorite things he does is when he gives me kisses on cue.  Whenever I go out to play with or just to love on him he just starts giving me kisses.  It makes me feel so loved!!!  Right now I am teaching him to hug me on cue.  He is so smart.
Sonny is the best partner ever for Parelli Natural Horsemanship.  He plays all 7 games like a rock star.  He jumps really well. He is just soooooo perfect and wonderful I love him so much.

I was able to go to a level 1/2 clinic in June with 4 * instructor Jesse Peters and Sonny and I had a blast.  I played the yo-yo game from Jesse's hay loft, I cantered in Jesse's honeycomb, threw tarps on his back, and many more wonderful things!!

My mom and I have been going trail riding with Sonny as many weekends as we can.  Sonny and I lead.  He is so confident and loves trail riding.  As a matter of fact aside from cantering in our big field at home I think trail riding is my favorite thing to do with Sonny. It is so peaceful and relaxing.

I also love my lessons with 2* Parelli instructor Juli Piovesan.  I learn so much from Juli and my dream is to earn my level 4 black string on Sonny before I graduate from high school. 
Like I said, Sonny is the perfect horse for me.  We are both LBI's.  I could not be more thankful for two of my amazing friends, Sonny and Emily.  THANK YOU EMILY for SONNY!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leave it to Sonny

So I have made the difficult discussion to leave this blog to Sonny. Maybe it sounds obvious, after all it is called Savvy with Sonny. Even excluding that, this has been about our journey and everything we went through together. I think that is really special and would never want to override it with any other experiences. So other than the occasional Sonny update (which may happen more often than not), I am retiring this blog.

So I have started a new blog that's more about my life in general. I would love for you to follow me there :).


Savvy on!

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Anchor

“Change is not pleasant, but change is constant. Only when we change and grow, we’ll see a world we never know.” ~From Wisdom of The Orange Woodpecker

If life has taught me anything lately its that change is inevitable. It's no longer winter, my hair is growing longer and everyday I grow older. Although we are all constantly changing, most of it is unrecognizable. But when I sit back and think about it, it feels like everything has changed within this last year. My job has changed, my house has changed, my relationships have changed, my goals have changed, and I, personally, have changed. To look back to last summer and not even recognize the person I used to be... that's a scary thought. But, here I am. Alive. Breathing. And happy as ever.

The biggest change of all has been that Sonny has found a new forever home. Although I never would have imagined selling him, sometimes things just fall into place. 

When Heather first asked if I would ever think about selling Sonny, of course my first reaction was "Psht, no way!". Heather is a great friend who does Parelli with her daughter, Audrey. They recently had to sell Audrey's horse due to health issues and were on the hunt for a new one. Even though I was quick to say no, the more I thought about it the more I felt like it might be the perfect opportunity for everyone.

If you know me at all or have followed my blog, you know that Sonny is the absolute love of my life. He is my best friend, the best partner I could ask for, my teacher, my love, and my anchor. He has taught me so many life lessons and more about myself than anyone ever could. He has always been there for me, and most importantly he has always kept me calm, centered, and positive. Sonny has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and I will be forever grateful for his contributions in developing me as a person. 

With that being said, it is probably hard to believe I would sell him. But after a lot of thinking and some great advice (thanks for all of your input, Melissa. Even though the distance between us has changed it's so great to know I can still count on you), I decided that it really would be great for Sonny to go live with Heather and Audrey. There are so many positives we all get out of this opportunity. Audrey now has a super safe, reliable, knowledgable partner who is going to take care of her just as much as he took care of me. He is going to teach her so much about Parelli, and more importantly about herself, just like he did for me. In return, I know Audrey and Heather are going to take fantastic care of him. He will always be treated with respect and kindness in a natural way that I have always done. I now have the opportunity to acquire a younger horse that I can do more with, like jumping and dressage. On top of all of that, Sonny will have a similar living arrangement as he did with me, except he will be in their backyard (which makes for easy access for extra treats ;)). Sonny's diet will still be balanced like I did for him and he will still have the same barefoot trimmer. Audrey will train with the same instructors as me and he will even still have the same trailer. Best of all: he will only be half an hour away and I can visit whenever I want. Does it get any better than that? I know that Heather and Audrey will take just as good of care of Sonny as I did, if not better. They will give him the love and attention he deserves, that I haven't had time for  these last few months. 

Sonny & Audrey.

So my decision to sell Sonny isn't because of money, or because I don't love him anymore. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity for Audrey to have a new lifelong partner to learn from and for Sonny to have a cute little girl in his life to forever love and adore him. In the end, I couldn't ask for a better situation. I will obviously miss him, but I know he is in good hands and I know he is giving someone else the incredible opportunities he once gave me. I will forever love him and of course, forever consider him my anchor. 

"All you need is one safe anchor to keep you grounded
if the rest of your life spins out of control" 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Enjoying the Moment

If you haven't noticed, I haven't posted in the last three months. Ooops! (To find out why, you can go here). In that time a lot has changed and I am finally at a point where I am ready to start playing with Sonny again. And boy, does it feel great! Although, April might be my busiest month yet, but at least I got a good 5 sessions in with him towards the end of March.

It was interesting to me how fabulous Sonny was for those few sessions. I go three months without playing with him and I come back and he is better than ever. How interesting! Of course he was a little out of shape and couldn't hold more than 3 canter laps on the 22', but his mental/emotional state were so much better than before. What really blew my mind was that he kept giving me two eyes and two ears. Even backing up, he kept his ears on me. He has never, and I literally mean never, been so willing and respectful. I still can't believe it.

Not only was he giving me awesome faces, he was just all around being totally awesome. Sonny has always been afraid to go sideways over barrels after he sliced his leg on one. The other day while playing at liberty, I asked him to touch the barrel and he knocked it down. I drove him a bit more and he offered to go sideways over it. Again, he blew my mind.

Cutest horse in the world :).

One day it was beautiful out so we went and played in the big 130' x 300' outdoor. I was going to play a littler liberty before getting on. I asked for a trot circle, not expecting much. If anything I expected him to run back to the gate. There, right in the middle of that giant arena he trotted the tightest, most perfect liberty circles around me. Never has he ever trotted small liberty circles around me. It wasn't too long ago that he wouldn't circle me, let alone trot a small circle. Where did this horse come from?!

After playing at liberty, I took off running for the fence. Not only did he canter behind me (whoa, lots of effort from an LBI!), while I was getting on the fence he positioned himself perfectly for me to get on. That definitely gave me goosebumps.

My little liberty star.

I am not sure what those few months off did for us, but it was definitely something great. I do miss the time I used to get to spend with him and I miss actively pursing never ending self improvement, but right now I am just ending the moment. In this crazy world, I guess you never know when the next one might be...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Long Over-due Update

Wow, it's been a while. Three months, to be exact. The Christmas decorations are still up (does that make me a redneck?). I guess that means it's time for an update. Where to begin?

These past few months have been crazy. So busy! Classes started in January and this semester may be my busiest to date. I am taking two equine classes; that sounds fabulous, but they are so much work. Not only am I on campus all day, I have so much work to do out of class. On top of that, work is as busy as ever. So I have been getting plenty of horse time, but zero of it has been with Sonny.

Since I haven't done anything with Sonny until recently (and I will save that for another post), here is the last three months of my life in photos.

January snow. 

Sheldon and me in January. 

My sister got married in February! Snowshoe, WV.

My pretty roses for Valentines :). 
Sonny love! 

London and me at the beginning of March. 

Our first trail ride of the year. 

Tilly, a filly I work with at school.

Spring break with my boyfriend! 

New York City! 

NYC :) 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

Unrelated to Sonny and parelli, this is Sheldon (a.k.a. The Big Bang :)).

He is a dutch/thoroughbred cross that I am currently riding. He is an LBE and so much fun! I adore him!!