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, June 16, 2008

Move Your Comfort Zone Challenge!

This week's task is all about the comfort and learning zones! Below is the task and e-mail I passed along to the NCPPG and I am passing along to you! I plan to work on my riding issues with Whiskey---weather permitting. LOL And, yes, I have a plan--do you?

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? Whose fault is it (if fault is really a "real thing" in this horsey world), you? or your horse?

Well, this week, reflect, plan, and react! Work on moving your comfort zone or your horse's comfort zone! Remember, that 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 L1 and L2 materials and read, "Move Closer, Stay Longer" by Dr. Stephanie Burns. http://www.stephanieburns.com/products/movecloser.asp Be sure to also take your horse's horsenality into consideration.

Here is more info for you (in addition to the suggested studies above).

HORSE CHART: (Acquired as notes on a student's blog-- ISC Colorado Experience--cannot find the link now.)

Comfort Zone Info Adapted by Michelle Young from Philip Nye Horsmanship Model POSTING by Sharlene on Sun Jun 15, 2003 9:20 am
on the, “Savvy Circle - A Worldwide Chat and Discussion Forum Dedicated to PNH”
**Info added here relating to the human experience. Diagram constructed based on text instructions and knowledge of the concept.
**Please note that Stephanie Burns and Pat & Linda Parelli have very similar information in the levels kits.


Comfort Zone
Think about your horse when he is comfortable; say in the paddock eating grass, how he appears physically, eg. head down, relaxed muscles, this is the zone where your feels safe.

Think about when you are riding your horse. At a walk, you are relaxed and happy.

Not So Sure Zone

You horse has left his comfort zone, he is feeling tense and could be exhibiting physical signs such as tail swishing and ears back.

You are riding your horse and ask for a trot. You don't mind but, feel some aphrehension.

Unknown/Danger Zone

Your horse believes his life is in danger, terror, rock hard muscles, we don't want to be there with our horses.

The thought of cantering your horse makes you physically ill. You are scared for your life. You feel inadequate and quite sure death is eminent.


The idea of the model is to explore where you and your horse are and stretching the comfort zone by taking your horse and yourself into the Not So Sure Zone and returning back to the Comfort Zone, while avoiding the Unknown/Danger Zone.

This can be applied to any game we play, on the ground and while riding. The base line of the zones will be different for every horse and human and will change with progression in the Parelli Program.

We want our horses and ourselves to be in the Comfort Zone most of the time. If we decide to go into the Not So Sure Zone we need to know that we can deal with their reactions and with our reactions and then return safely back into the Comfort Zone. The further into the Not So Sure Zone you go, the further & longer you need to go back into the Comfort Zone for both of you. This will build you and your horse's confidence.

Be sure to report back to the list on your progress! We are interested and can learn together!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I get into trouble because we can get into the danger zone so quickly! There's an advantage to having experience with many horses... :=)

Savvy Horse Girl said...

I can honestly say that I love playing with other people's horses as well as my own. The more the better. It opens up my world and helps my skill-set grow, helps me become more savvy. In hindsight, after reflecting about my pre-Parelli horse days, I realize that my responses back then were sometimes unreasonable to my horse and to myself. I now can respond appropriately more often than not and keep myself and my horse farther from the danger zone (not to say that "stuff" still cannot or does not happen). We are, afterall, partnering with creatures much larger and different than ourselves.