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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FEAR


A friend of mine recently posted an email about realizing that she now has a fear of riding even her easiest horse. I am not going to say that that particular horse is easy, just that for her, this was a serious and saddening realization. I thought about it and responded to her divulging my own fear story, something at the time I felt ashamed of, but now realize it was just part of something I had to manage. Where I find myself now is being back to my old self, I often feel like a teenager with my horses, especially as the weight melts off and I become stronger and more agile. That said, every once in awhile, that little fear monster tries to creep in. I review the fear materials in the Level 2 pack (the blue one--I love this version) anytime I start to have doubts and think consciously about my comfort zone, my relationship with my horses, and my principles (always before my goals). In any event, I thought I'd share my response to her with you all. (She is not a PNHr but is a true horse lover.)

I am sorry to read about your troubles but can identify. I too was a been there, done that rider (started horses, rode endurance Arabs and TBs on the track, etc.) and through a series of a bad accident, weight gain, and no horses in my life for an extended period of time, at one point, I too lost my confidence. I think that there are many reasons why this happened, physical fitness it certainly a valid reason, but there are mental things like having to support your family and "what if you get hurt," etc. In any event, as my fitness gets better, so do my interactions with my horses and I no longer harbor those feelings. It was many years ago that this fear thing was in my life but, I remember the fear vividly and the shock and embarrassment I had realizing that it was there. I remember the first horse I sat on a few years post-accident, I was terrified and this was a older QH trail horse. I could barely breathe and wanted to flee! Amazing as I used to hop on anything with 4 hooves and ride like the wind...tack, what tack!? So, you are not alone.

I read a book years ago by Dr. Stephanie Burns called Move Closer, Stay Longer and it is about fear. I liked the book and suggest it as a read...here is a post where I put out a few books that I think people should consider (there are so many more to add--these are not all fear-based titles). http://naturalhorselover.blogspot.com/2009/11/must-read-book-list.html

Take care and be kind to yourself. If you have fear while mounted, get back on the ground with your horses and build your relationship there first. If you are riding and feel unsafe, get off! There is no shame in that. As you become more fit and take this time, the relationship growth and your confidence will translate back in the saddle, truly it will. Any horse time is good horse time and horsemanship is way more than riding. Even if you cannot do much because of your schedule, do what you can and keep going to the barn, keep at it.

I post weekly tasks on my blog, Natural Horse Lover http://naturalhorselover.blogspot.com (although at the moment, I owe two postings). Anyhow, here is the link to a post of 10 minute tasks by Parelli. Even if you are not "into PNH," I think these, or some of them, you'll find useful and fun. http://naturalhorselover.blogspot.com/2009/10/weekly-task-challenge-parelli-10-minute.html

3 comments:

Parelli Central said...

Great blog, Michelle! I remember when I was sitting on my horse, crying uncontrollably because I was so afraid and so frustrated with myself for being afraid...
I overcame my fear thru Parelli and I am so grateful. It truly was just the beginning and changed my life.

Another tip for gaining confidence would be last year's March SC DVD, the one with Elizabeth and Linda doing simulations on the log...

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Trainee Instructor
Parelli Central

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Hi Petra--

Thanks! I loved that DVD too and have done the log simulations at my place--it was fun! Parelli is the direction I went after my accident and after I realized that I could have horses in my life again which happened after the time on the QH. My family was very worried but after showing them Pat on TV and talking about the PNH philosophy, they were all put at ease and now are huge supporters! I truly believe that Pat saved my life with horses, Linda added to it, and overall, I cannot ever imagine not having horses or Parelli in my life. I may not always be the most active because the rest of my life gets in the way but, it is always here, waiting for me and frankly, I live Parelli in all aspects of my life not just horses.

Thanks for reading and contributing to my blog,it means a lot to me!

Naturally yours,
Michelle

Parelli Central said...

Thank you, Michelle! Our mission is to help the world become a better place for horses - and humans. We love when we get positive feedback like this!

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central