About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Play Date Fun - Parelli Puzzles

Yesterday, I enjoyed the pleasure of participating at a play date with my North Country Parelli Play Group and my horse Whiskey. In total, there were 6 people and 6 horses with varying experience levels. I distributed handouts on clipboards, set up Parelli Puzzles in the indoor arena, and everyone worked through them using their chosen savvy, speed, and direction (the puzzles had pre-chosen zones, obstacles, and games). Overall everyone made progress, was safe, and worked through important thresholds. The group decided to have another play date this month following the Parelli Freestyle Patterns meeting. The idea will be to have fewer tasks and each individually go through them while others watch.


The reason I bring all of this up is that while brainstorming and reflecting about the play date, I started thinking about Whiskey and I and about our relationship and about my leadership. The question emerged, are relationship and leaderships the same thing? Personally, I say no. I think that leadership is how you manage the relationship and that the relationship is all those components we work on as a whole, communication, respect, etc. There is more to reflect on this but for now, let's just say, my mind is processing this (maybe I'll change my mind--who knows).

Friday, August 28, 2009

SO LUCKY to have my savvy sister, Clare!

Emotions abound as I gear up for tomorrow's play date and think about my dearest friend, my savvy sister, Clare. No, we are not related by blood but who cares, I love her to pieces and I wish she could join me.

My Parelli journey started when I was in Virgina. I was alone, trying to have fun, learning from the pocket guides, and even went to a weekend tour stop, by myself. I was enjoying the beginnings of my journey into this new realm in horsemanship fascinated by content and truly learning. I was the president of the local horse club (more of a group for gunsels really but it was all that was available so I tried to lead by example--I think a few were intrigued whereas most thought I was a nut job with Arabs and a Chevrolet).
As fortune would have it, a local (but not raised local) girl (woman) named Clare heard about me and could not believe that a Parelli person was running this horse club--she decided that she had to meet me! She tried to find me at a Parelli tour stop in Lexington but I was not there--I was at work. Anyhow, she somehow got my number (I think a club member, a newer more open-minded one was there), she called (or e-mailed), I called back, and as they say in the movies, the rest is history.


I found myself a wonderful friend who shares this passion, this horse dream of partnership, harmony, and better horsemanship. Together, we tried desperately to find others like us. Yes, clubs were started (and still going), meetings were held, play dates, parties, and people did (and still do) attend. However, she and I find ourselves constantly looking for more (her in VA and me in NY). This morning, I have come to realize that what we are looking for is truly just each other. We are horse-friend soul mates. We are now separated by several states, too many miles, but talk almost every day, email constantly, and cry over our grief, our loss of being together, of playing with our horses together.


Clare and I understand each other and communicate very well. We've identified our "horsenalities" as left brain extrovert (me) and right brained extrovert (her). We find ourselves a perfect balance and match. We are like peas in a pod. We are safe and fun. I could always count on her powers of reason, he willingness to think outside the box, and her ability to always be there for me and my horse. She could count on the same from me, I think, and I always tried to keep us focused.

Anyhow, I write this today to try to fight back the tears and sorrow I feel over not being able to see her, to play together, to get in trouble together, to just be around her, in person, all of the time. I MISS HER TERRIBLY-my horses do too!

Clare, I know you are reading my blog...I love you girl! I sincerely miss you. You are the greatest friend anyone could ever have and I consider myself very fortunate to have you.

HUGS & KISSES!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Trailer Loading Savvy

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

Can you imagine your horse loving the trailer and wanting to hang out there? This week's task challenge is to play with your horse and the horse trailer. Now, this does not mean to just go get your horse and toss him on the trailer. What it does mean is to not be direct-line in your thinking, play the games, ask your horse to load, simulate your dividers, leave the trailer, etc. You want to be able to load and unload with a confident horse (not a robot and not a right-brained maniac) and be able to know the difference. Be sure your horse is confident with the trailer, and when ready, do lock him in the shut the door. Now, take your horse for a ride around the block! (Don't worry if your neighbors think you are weird.) When you get back, unload and then ask your horse in again. Play, then unload.

Here are a few ideas to help you out. I know you can come up with more!

-Try loading your horse using the 12, 22, and 45 foot lines.
-Position yourself in the back of the trailer, in the trailer, on the side of the trailer, while sitting on a barrel away from the trailer (get the idea?). The idea to go in the trailer needs to be your horses--and we want the horse in the trailer, not the human! LOL
-Load and unload your horse. Load and then go play games elsewhere, graze, mosey and eat grass, load again, etc.
-Simulate your divider by using the carrot stick. This will ensure he is actually ready for the divider.
-Play yo-yo in the trailer. Sometimes ask for him to exit the trailer, other times, ask for him to go to the end but not leave, then come forward again, etc.
-Rathe than immediately tie your horse in the trailer, use your rope and simulate tying. It makes it safe for your horse and you will be able to better understand his willingness and ability to be tied and calm (your trailer set-up will determine how you can do this).
-If you have a ramp, or if your step up is very low, try loading backwards.
-Be sure your horse can unload backwards and forwards.
-Be sure to play all the games with your horse and teh trailer as an obstacle. (IE. Sideways around, squeeze between you and the trailer, etc.)
-If you can, play with other trailers, all shapes and sizes. Give your horse as many good experiences as you can.

Ok, the rest is up to you! Be creative, be safe, and have fun!

Questions? Let me know! Have a great week!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Let's Play Footsie!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week's task challenge is to play with your horses feet and legs. Practice picking your horses feet up from one side, from both sides, in different order. Use your savvy string to pick up his foot, tap his leg to ask for his foot. Try leading your horse by using your rope, try the fronts first, then the rears (if your horse is ready). Massage your horses legs, all over, all the way up. Try to think of may other way to interact with his feet and legs (please do share). Tasks like this can help with the farrier, help if he gets tangles in a fence, help if the vet needs to do something to them, and much more! Be creative, be safe, and have fun!

Questions? Let me know! Have a great week!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Preparation Means Something, Just do it!



I am taking a quick break this morning, it is hectic here, I am waiting for my long lost friend from school (whom I haven't seen in like 20 years). She and her family are stopping in for an overnight visit! Anyhow, I thought I'd take a moment to blog. They should be here around 1:30pm (I am nervous). All I have left to do is mop the floors and take a shower. I already cleaned the kitchen, straightened the upstairs and downstairs, did laundry, vacuumed (Rick is finishing that because he likes to get every nook and cranny--fine by me), cleaned the barn, cleaned the paddock, fed the animals, and vaccinated the horses which brings me to blogging this post.

The horses had an exam, teeth check, Coggins, TC4, Rabies, Potomac a few weeks ago, this morning I gave them their West Nile, 2nd Potomac booster, and Strangles vaccines. It was really cool actually because Fosse is not exactly a fan of vaccinations. He's been known to flip the needle, act out, the vet in Virginia twitched him (rope version) because she didn't want him to freak out. But, I worked on the needle preparation stuff this year and it really helped. For the veterinarian he flinched but actually after he got the shot--kind of interesting. So, when I approached the task this morning, I had a plan. I was alone, no one to hold the horses which I think is better. I haltered them and just let them hang out with me, lead lines draped over their backs (or lying on the ground if they fell off).

I started with Whiskey and I rubbed his neck, asked for a flex, pinched some skin, asked again for flex, and while pinching, gave the vaccination next to that area, it worked great, he just stood there. I used the same technique on the other sides. I did the same for Fosse. At first, just knowing what was coming made him obviously nervous so I got some cookies and waited, I played friendly with him, and just waited (only a minute or two really). Anyhow, the same procedure and he did great, better than ever before. I am so proud of them both. No flinching, no outbursts, just calm horses hanging out and getting shots. Strangles is different as it goes up the nose! I cannot think of any prep for that except to play with the nose I guess, which I do. Anyhow, that one is fast and painless if you aim the tube right and hit the plunger! LOL Which I did and all went well.

Another thing, a testament to PNH and preparation is the hooves thing. I can easily trim my horses hooves too (have been for years) and I am sure that the games and relationship have a lot to do with it. I trimmed both horses this weekend and I didn't tie them up, have a handler, or anything like that. We just hung out together, I trimmed, they allowed it, halters on, leadlines hanging.

My point to all of this is simple. Prepare yourself using tools and knowledge, time, practice, etc. and do the same for your horse! Veterinarian and farrier visits don't have to be traumatic but simple and sometimes even fun!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whiskey and I are Saddling Up For St. Jude! Can you sponsor us?


Whiskey and I are Saddling Up For St. Jude on September 13th! St. Jude is a children's research hospital specializing in pediatric cancer research. I am looking for sponsors to donate money towards this cause. Your support will help fund lifesaving research.

Your donation of $10, $20, or any amount would be fabulous!

To sponsor us, please send a check or money order payable to: St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and mail it to me (before 9/10/09 please): (Contact me for my mailing address)

Thank you for your anticipated support!


Yours ever,
Michelle

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Linda Parelli Update

This is a Linda Parelli Update posted on Share Parelli (8/11/09)
"Rode Remmer today! Just walked bareback and rode him up the hill, a couple of jog steps, but I felt great! No pain :) I'll take it slowly and try a trot tomorrow, but if for any reason that doesn't work, there's plenty I can do at the walk to bring our fitness back and to improve maneuvers. It was SO GREAT to be back on Rem! Linda"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Put Your Nose On It, Put Your Feet On It

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week's task challenge is to play the game we've all see Pat Parelli play, the "Put Your Nose On It" and "Put Your Feet On It." Try it using your 12', 22', and 45' lines and at liberty! Try it with and without your carrot stick. For those if you who studied the Level 2 Kit, put your bell back on your carrot stick to make yourself aware of how often you are using it. For the put your feet on it, once you get good,. work on placing each foot, one at a time. Once you have it on the ground, try it while mounted! Isolate, seperate, recombine! Have fun and be creative.Questions? Let me know! Have a great week!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

I have to say that this new round of assessments in my life have been complicated to say the least. Between technology issues, my own issues, my horse's issues, it has been challenging and for some, quitting would have sounded really good! But for me, I keep pushing forward as I know this is a life-long journey.

So, the good news is that I finally have my laptop (Dell Latitude D830) and camcorder (Canon ZR930) talking to each other (talk about a touchy relationship). I actually used my sister's boyfriend's laptop to get my L2 Online Assessment submitted. After a great deal of work, I believe my laptop has a motherboard issue which makes powering the firewire port (4pin) a problem and this is the data transfer port for the camcorder to laptop. As an interim fix, yesterday I bought a new, I/O Card 3 port IEEE 1394 Firewire CardBus Adapter (6 pin to 4 pin) and it works! I can get the video now without a problem (but the motherboard will still need to be replaced--fortunately under warranty). During all of this troubleshooting (since March) I even had Canon replace the firewire port on the camcorder to rule it out (they are great by the way and stand by their products), bought new cables, ran several system upgrades and checks (hardware and software), etc.

The bad news is that Rick, while trying to tape "take two" of freestyle, inadvertently taped over part of my first attempt, "take one" at freestyle so, I have nothing to submit. It could have been my fault but I thought I cued it right for him. I am using a new tape next time. So, I have to start from scratch---which is probably a good thing anyway! LOL I'll keep you posted.

The photos is of Whiskey and I on "freestyle take one" day.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Have You Hugged Your RBI Today? I need to go hug mine, NOW!


Image from: http://www.cartoonstock.com/

Check out this cute cartoon...I almost uploaded an image of a nuclear blast...read on and you'll understand why. :)

I am not really certain where to begin with this post. Today's events have taken my mind, spirit, and emotions all over the place. As I spoke to my husband about it, I know in my heart that what I share here helps me and others who read and can identify with my journey. (Yes, this is going to be a long one.)

As I posted earlier, I videotaped my level 2 freestyle yesterday. Although pretty good, I was able to identify room for improvement and wanted to film again today in hopes of something better. Although I know it is not about perfection, I know we could do better and wanted to try.

This morning the weather here was humid, threatening to storm, but I still wanted to squeeze it in. After all, it is just a ten minute video, right? What I hadn't revealed about yesterday is that I was feeling direct-line and wondered if I was somehow compromising my principles for my goals but, the ride and time was good so, I thought better of it afterwards. I did play with Whiskey beforehand but only for a few minutes, not the usual ~45 minute preparation. Whiskey didn't run away after his tack was removed yesterday but hung out with me a little more and this morning, he called to me (not something he always does). I thought all was well with our relationship.

This morning, I went out with my video camera, tripod, stop watch, and an agenda. In my mind, I just wanted to just get the video done, I want to be official level 3 (I've been doing this for years). So, I was to get Whiskey, take him to the playground, tack up, play for a few minutes and tape. My first mistake (and I know better, I've written about it) was this direct-line thinking behaviour, the agenda, the lack of proper preparation, the thought that Whiskey would want to comply with my wishes. The guilt I have for even starting out this way is heavy on my heart tonight. I betrayed my partner.

I am going out tonight to lavish him with apples, he'll like them, I know it won't make him forgive me but, it will make me feel better. I'll have to prove my worthiness as a partner the next time we play.

I suppose at this moment you are wondering, what happened? Well, I set up the camera, set out the tack, set up the playground, got Whiskey, tacked up, barely played with him, and tried to mount. He was fractious and was not standing still at the mounting block (unusual for him). He was telling me something but I was ignoring him, not very nice of me. He finally stood still but as soon as I tried to put my foot in the stirrup to mount, he'd back up. Just another quick thought, I had a carrot stick in my hand. I don't think I've ever mounted with one in hand--another thing that was out of the ordinary. Anyhow, this happened several times, each time I yelled to Rick to stop the tape, and each time I found myself more and more frustrated (and I thought frustration for me with horses was all over, I hadn't had it in forever I think, not with the horses anyway, what was happening?). My thought about the frustration now is, Whiskey probably had it too and all because he and I did not properly prepare together for this leg of our journey. My gosh, what an epiphany! Anyway, the last time he moved off, I told Rick to forget it, get my 22 foot line and carrot stick with savvy string and that taping for the day was over. In my heart, at the time, I was angry, I hate to admit this but it is true. At the time, I was upset that I couldn't just get the darned tape done, now I am upset that I didn't take the time it takes and be there for my partner. At the time I thought, yes, Whiskey, just do what I say (can you believe this? what the heck!) now I think, I am such an idiot, a horrible human being, a terrible horse-man but through this reflection and through future action, I can and will redeem myself. And, please know that I've felt depressed, sad, incompetent, and just terrible all day (tears folks, tears).

While waiting for Rick, I asked for a circle with the rope on the natural hackamore, Whiskey exploded into several bucks and was out of his mind. Once Rick returned with the items I requested, I attached the 22 foot line, left the tack on, and asked for a circle again, the same effect. I am not sure if I was still direct-line thinking but perhaps because now my goal was to play with this horse that was explosive, but why? To prove something? To make things better? I don't know really. I think I intended to try to repair things but with a right-brained introvert, sometimes the best thing is to stop and start again another time (and I know this, I really do).

Throughout this session, Whiskey absolutely exploded, reared, bucked and bucked, was emotional, reactionary, defiant, and not my partner. A motorcycle loudly went by and he lost his mind (he hears them all of the time but at this moment, it scared him to death). We continued to play all over the playground, using the obstacles and patterns, some things were really good like I was using my entire rope (as reminded by my latest assessment) and completing several tasks and he would lapse into left-brained calm. I sent him between the tires from 22 feet away, was able to ask for a few steps, then back, etc. At moments, he was really partnering and I was pleased and I think he was too, and at other times, he was off in crazy-horse land. He was freaking out so badly at times (several times) that I had to just let the rope go (or risk my hand being rope burned) he'd always run away to the same place, away from me, and as far to the barn as he could get. I had the alley blocked so he could not get to the barn, only because I needed to keep Fosse out of the playground during the videotaping time. I also think there were times of defiance and so I wonder what really was going on. Was this a test of my leadership? I am not sure, maybe that and the fact that I didn't do what we usually did, changed the routine of extensive preparation, and maybe that in itself made him not trust me, no leadership due to no preparation--this is interesting. We did end on a good note (I think) but, I never wanted to go here in the first place, not again, not ever, to this place where our partnership is splintered and where my horse cannot trust me and I cannot trust him.

Whiskey is not an easy horse, probably one of the toughest. Ask my horse friends about him--he scares most people and is not for the faint at heart (on the ground or riding). Yes, he can be very quiet, this is the introvert that can explode at anytime, dangerous and not for everyone for sure. I want to continue our journey, I know we have a long way to go, I know it won't be simple, ever, but it is worth it.

The easy way out would be to sell him and get a more compliant (robot) horse. I spend a fortune on my education with horses and feel stuck in a way because things are not simple for me. Knowing my personality, not only would I feel terribly guilty but, a push-button horse would bore me to tears. My plan is to continue with Fosse and Whiskey, we have a lifetime to learn together. Fosse by the way is not necessarily easy but is a fun challenge (LBE). The only catch is that he has a heart condition limiting what we can do. (As a side-note, I played online with Fosse after all of this. He too was right-brained and I think that all of the emotions wore off on him from Whiskey and I because he was watching. I stopped our session fairly quickly and called it a day rather than make things even worse.)

I was thinking about past trail rides and other play dates and arena rides with him. For trail rides, every time, I arrived at the location an hour early, took time to groom him and tack up slowly and politely, played on the ground in the parking lot for at least 30 minutes until the other riders arrived. Then, I would hand walk/play down the trail some more and then would ride (even if people thought I was weird). I never just got on and headed down the trail, never. He just seems to need a great deal of time to prepare, partner, and gain confidence in me and himself-everytime. For the play dates and arena rides, I typically do 30-45 minutes of ground preparation, whatever he seems to need. Before loading in a trailer I always put in at least 30 minutes of play time, always. Why was today different? Because I was being a direct-line jerk. Period.

So, where do we go from here? I am going to try to cut down (in time) the original video from yesterday and submit it--if only to get feedback. Even if it is not a pass (and who really knows), it will give me knowledge and guidance. I also talked with Rick and my best friend Clare and I plan to tape many play sessions (as I have suggested to you all many times). The camera has a remote control and I will try to place it in such a way so I can get most everything on it without a videographer. I also have a timer from my Parelli Playcards that I can use to practice with and better understand how long things are taking to do. I will continue to officially assess but, I will always take the time it takes to prepare myself and my horse, this means preparation on the ground of 30-45 minutes (or longer if he needs it), each time, always, no compromises. I also spoke to Rick about him not taping me in the future. Although he is extremely helpful, I believe that I feel pressured about him taping because I am taking up his time for something that is not necessarily on the top of his list. He does not mind helping me at all, he is very supportive, but, I think I may feel unnecessarily and illogically rushed which can affect everything.

I believe that there is much more reflecting to do but will stop writing for now. Thanks for your indulgence. I hope you don't think less of me but honesty is the way to truth and as they say, the truth will set you free. I feel free to start over rather than quit horses all together.

So repeat after me, principles before goals, principles before goals, principles before goals...

Put yourself on video!

I taped my freestyle L2 yesterday but it was a bit too long (not able to edit it back on both ends as some tasks won't be on the final version) and could have some improvements, very interesting to watch. What I clearly could see is that we made progress throughout the session and it was interesting to see the change and all the licking Whiskey was doing (you cannot see that from the saddle).

I would highly recommend anyone to videotape themselves, even if just for yourself and not for official assessment. Watch it with an objective eye, you will learn a great deal about you and your horse and your relationship. You will better understand what is going on. What can I say, how interesting!

I am going to try to tape again today if the weather permits. We are heading out to the barn in the next few minutes.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

On my way...I Officially Passed Parelli Level 2 Online Today!



I AM SO HAPPY, I OFFICIALLY PASSED LEVEL 2 ONLINE TODAY!

Well, I have gotten back into the official assessment mode and sent in a video to Parelli Auditions for Level 1/2 online. My recent goal was to pass at level 2 online savvy. If you recall, I officially passed Level One under the old assessment model in 2006 with Carol Coppinger using my Thoroughbred, Wilbur. Well, now, I am assessing under the new rubric and using Whiskey to do it (quite a different horse indeed). If you are not assessing officially, do consider self or peer assessment, it is valuable and a powerful thing. (Click here to read my blog post on "The Power of Assessment".)

Now to be honest, I was reluctant to send my recent video in because I know Whiskey and I have played much more provocatively and with better skill in the past but, if I didn't send something in now, I wondered if I ever would get back into the assessment groove. It is very easy to get caught up in the game of perfectionism (and direct-line thinking) and thus never accomplish anything. If you recall, up until recently, we hadn't played too much and our relationship was not quite there anymore. So, I just sent it in, knowing it was not perfect or the best, knowing I looked icky (this is my self-image issue rearing its ugly head again), and figured what the heck, worse thing is they laugh at me and say no pass, or level 1 still, and I try again, right? (Actually, if you ever saw us, and my friend Clare can tell you, he and I do some level 3/4 stuff! So this video really does not even show any of that...all well, next one.)

Okay, so my thoughts (before hearing I passed this evening) and what was going on with the video...

I only thought it was a level 2 pass (which was okay as this was what I was looking for). I was nervous but only to be on camera because of my appearance, not because I was with my horse. This was take two and I was being pressured a bit to get done so we (Rick, Heather, and Doug)could leave to the river. They were not being upset or anything but, I knew Heather wanted to get in some horse time and the men wanted to leave asap. I do think that the cones being tight could have been an issue but it was not the worst because he was able to do them and the tight turn to jump the barrels was good. I liked the rubbing of the legs part as he was really relaxed there. The tarp actually was really wet and dirty, I was not trying to be cautious--it was yucky! LOL Oh, the run forwards thing was terrible and always has been. He is really unresponsive on this for some reason whereas the other horses have always been good. But, I was not going to re-tape because of it (but plan to work on it). I also should have stayed at the end of my rope better--you know, actually USE the 22 foot line! LOL Another good was using the obstacles and trying to not be boring for him with lots of friendly. Oh, sideways is superb, over poles and logs, next to me, in front of me, etc. but we did just a few steps around and between the barrels in the video but could have done more. I will have to really plan to get it all in for L3.) I am already planning my level 3/4 online definitely in the playground because we will have more room. We have a lot of fun out there and it will look and be way more provocative. We can use the barrels, tires, trailer, etc. It is hard to use the 22 foot line in the round pen--too confining really (it is 60 foot and I want it bigger). I guess L3 will be the 45' anyway!

The 10 minutes for assessment is really a problem and too short (I liked the old assessment better). 15-20 minutes would be a better picture of reality but 10 is what we have to work with so I'll figure it out. However, I am also thinking that I'll submit my level 2 freestyle first to be an official level 3 student having passed in all savvys for the level 2 criteria. (Not sure yet how this will all go but, I am taping again this week/weekend and submitting something...I am MOTIVATED.) It was funny about Whiskey's appearance by the way. Here I am telling Parelli he's a RBI on the paperwork and he sure didn't look like it. LOL I guess he was just feeling very LBI instead. He looked sleepy or like a farm dog. After the session, he was at liberty and was sticking to my like glue--I think we have a good relationship really.

Here is the email announcing I passed level 2 online from the Parelli Auditions Team...

Dear Michelle,

Thank you very much for your audition! The assessment team has viewed your audition and it was a pleasure. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your horsemanship journey!!

Let me be the first to congratulate you on achieving a Level 2 on your On Line Savvy!!!

Please expect at least 3-4 weeks to receive your certificate.

Thanks again for your dedication to your horse and to the Parelli program. We look forward to viewing your future success.

Have fun and keep it natural!


Yours Naturally,
Susanne Neff
for the Parelli Audition Team 2009

To read my official assessment document with commentary from the Parelli Audition Team, click here. To view the video, click here. Enjoy!

Weekly Task Challenge: The Learning and Comfort Zones!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week's task is all about the comfort and learning zones! Do you ever feel stuck in a rut with your horsemanship? Do you feel like you have stopped making progress or you are afraid to try something new, to progress further? Do you make excuses as to why you are not making progress rather than dealing with the issue at hand? Do you want to put new skills in your comfort zone but are avoidant to do so and don't know why?

Well, this week, reflect, plan, and react! Work on moving your comfort zone or your horse's comfort zone! Change occurs outside your comfort zone. This is the point where learning happens.

For more information on this important topic, you should consider consulting your Parelli L1 and L2 materials, read, "Move Closer, Stay Longer" by Dr. Stephanie Burns, and check out my "Move Your Comfort Zone Challenge" blog post!

Questions? Let me know! Have a great week!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

More horsey fun! I miss my sister...

Well, Heather and I played with the horses again yesterday (before heading out for a day and night on the St. Lawrence River). I truly miss her and we are having a lot of fun. I feel like I've made progress with myself and the horses and like we are all back on the same page, like we are ready to move forward...I wish Heather could continue to play with us!

Yesterday we played with the horses in the round pen. First at liberty, then online. I had Doug (her boyfriend) video tape my L1/2 Online assessment with Whiskey for Parelli (I'll share this at a later date), then Heather had a pony ride on Fosse. Finally, I rode Whiskey for a bit and a little more point to point at the walk and trot, obstacles, etc. We had fun, I want this everyday, it is fun alone but better with a horsey friend...and my sister is fun.

So, no major details today, just wanted to share a few more photos.