Friday, September 17, 2010

The close of a decade!

It is the end of the CO Parelli season for 2011 and as I help close the campus one last time I can't help but think each time I do something "well, that's my last campfire" or "this is the last time I'll ride down 'Sneaky Snake Trail'". (Can you believe I've had the fortune of taking part in over 150 campfires with Tim Sullivan!!) It's hard to believe but I've been spending summers here at Parelli for a decade!! How time flies (at least when we look back on it :-)
As we close down this summer I can't help but feel a finality to this chapter of my journey. In a way it seems sad but in another way I am excited by the preparation Pat and Linda have helped me develop for the next leg of my journey, teaching out in the field! If Principles, Purpose and Time are the tools of teaching, "Watch out!!" because here I come!! :-)
Among the hustle and bustle that the end of the season brings, we also had our website debue this week, have been answering a stack of e-mails to arrange events for next year, and Chloe's baby is continuing to grow (her blanket hardly fits anymore)!! All exciting new adventures for 2011, and still my sense of holding on to every moment I have here is strong. Over the past 10 years I've done my share of losing track of the gorgeous scenery and stunning night stars, but recently I can't help but take a few extra minutes and soak up the fresh air, the never ending beauty that makes Pagosa Springs such a destination!
I feel blessed, overjoyed, sad, nostalgic, content and impulsive all at the same time (good luck to my horses trying to figure out my intention :-)! What a wonderful journey it has been, I can't wait to step into the next adventure!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thank you

   Things are picking up speed here at the Parelli Center CO. We have finished the Confidence Transformation Course, are moving on into Savvy Finesse and have just finished a 1* and 2* Instructor Course. WOW time flies!
I just read a blog entry from a students recent post As I was reading, it made me think (no surprise!). I was thinking of how very personal each one of our journeys can be. How each of us can have a completely different experience the the person sitting right next to us, and then the wheels started rolling :-)
   Occasionally a student will come to the Parelli Center and be wishing they had 'found' Parelli sooner or that they were able to get into horses sooner. They will ask me if there is anything I would change about my journey and are surprised when I say "No". At this point they usually respond with something along the lines of "seriously? Nothing bad has ever happened to you?" with a slightly sarcastic tone in their voice.
   Well, I'm human, live in todays world and spend most of my time and money with horses, of course bad stuff happens, and maybe you could call me superstitous or maybe I watched "Back To The Future" one too many times, but the way I see it if all that 'stuff' good and bad hadn't happened I woudn't be who or where I am today. Please note - I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but it seems that the more stuff we experience, the more stuff we live through (depending on our attitude, of course) the more balanced and strong we can become. The more experiences we have the more knowledge we can draw on in any given situation.
   Someone who comes to mind is Pat Parelli. When I listen to the stories he tells about what his mentors put him through or about him having to learn lessons the hard way I can't help but think "thank goodness I didn't have to go through that!" but on the other hand those experiences good and bad are what makes him who his is. It's what makes his "quiver of arrows" seemingly endless!! (Still I'm pleased he is willing to share his lessons with us: "Second hand gold is as good as new.")
   If I were to try and collect my thoughts into one sentence it would be: Thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey! Even if you didn't know it, you have helped me in some way and whether we laughed, cried or gave each other the 'stink eye' :-) thank you for helping me get to this stage of my journey. I couldn't have done it with out!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Macchi gets a visit from the Tooth Fairy

   As you may know Macchi and I have had an interesting journey (to say the least) with our Finesse riding, due to some displaced behaviors with his tongue. I think that the psychology piece is finally coming together (took me a while to 'get it'!, you can read more about that here: Lessons with Linda ) We have also spent time being sure his bio-mechanics from his feet upwards were lined up, his energy was "in line" via photonic therapy and now (I'm hoping) that we've added the last piece of the puzzle to get him as comfortable as possible: The tooth fairy came to visit!
   If you haven't heard of Spencer LaFlure aka The Tooth Fairy , he has been an ongoing part of my horse care and I can't wait to see if Macchi is now more comfortable with contact!! Apparently he was fairly locked due to the angle of wear on his teeth and therefore it was physically difficult for him to offer softness, and even more challenging to be comfortable while offering softness! On one hand "YAHOO!!", I feel I've helped him be more comfortable. On the other, I wish I could have done it sooner. However everything comes in it's own time, at least he is on the right track now!
   It will take a few days for him to get used to the new feel and some gentle coaxing from me to get him to bend and flex in ways that were previously uncomfortable, but I am excited to see how he feels by the end of the week!! Onwards and upwards!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Iceberg's have in common with Horseman

I've been thinking (not surprising for a Left Brain Introvert :-), and then I saw a photo of an iceberg:
Iceberg photo
and had a realization: Horsemanship is like an iceberg!

   Weird you may say, but hang in here with me for a minute. What's the first thing someone asks you when you get back from a clinic, course, event or lesson? "What did you learn?" often followed by "Show me what you learned." If you've ever been in this situation it can be hard at times to put your finger on what you have learned, it can be even harder to pull your horse out of the pasture and show them what you've learned!
   After 10 years at the Parelli Center I know that feeling!! "Show me what you learned." "Umm, well, I, uh . . . ." Here's where the realization comes in, they are asking to see something on the surface. Something skin deep so to speak, or like the iceberg photo the LITTLE piece that sticks out above the water. However given the opportunity to see both sides of the picture (underwater and above), the biggest change, the biggest 'growth' is below the surface. The part no one can see. They might feel it after a while, if they are close enough but it can not yet be seen.
   So much of our Horsemanship journey happens below the surface, whether it is dealing with fear, overcoming internal dialogue, or making a shift in our reality, none of this is skin deep. None can be seen by the average observer, the observer only interested in looking at the surface! But this doesn't mean it isn't real, it is there, it's important and without that HUGE internal growth there would be nothing to support the "visible stuff". The internal 'stuff' has be happen first. It's the hardest and most uncomfortable but also the strongest once built. It is only thing that makes a lasting change in who we are, who we are for our horses and how we relate to life!
   I was so impacted by the photo of the iceberg (in this case a picture truly is worth a thousand words), that I printed it off and whenever I feel pressure from my 'friends or support' I have a look at that photo and remind myself of the great big chunk of stuff, on the inside :-) If I think of it as a "great big chunk of stuff" I can't help but have a giggle at the same time I start to feel reassured that all the time and effort does make a change, and that the visible part of that change is not in direct relation to what's actually occurred!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Balancing Principles, Purpose and Timelines

   First, I have to warn you that by no means have I balanced these three! However, they have been on the top of my mind lately and have caused me to lick and chew a TON. The clever side of my brain quickly came up with a solution: If there were only two I would be fine - perhaps I should bring this to Pat's attention and get him to change the saying :-) Take Principles and Timelines for instance, perfect, no problem, set a goal and reach it with the dignity of the horse foremost. Now take Principles and Purpose, "great" take all the time it takes, no pressure, perfect. But combine Purpose and Timelines and out comes the 'predator', the direct line thinker. All of the sudden it becomes easy to forget there is a third, Principles. On the flip side I might remember there is a third and get stuck in a paralysis of analysis trying to figure out how to stay on timeline while sticking to the principles with the prupose shouting lous and clear. WOWSER
   So, as I said, I haven't mastered it but it is something that is becoming increasingly important to me as I think about heading back into competition. Since I began Parelli I have steered clear of the competition ring (knowing what I was like before), and things have been relatively stress free (after my Parelli levels strings, of course :-). But now I'm trying to put the timeline piece back in and I find if I'm not 'beating myself up' for putting my goal ahead of my principle then I'm doing nothing and becoming ineffective in an effort to keep my principles ahead of my purpose! ARGH!
   Complicated! At times I think "wouldn't it be better for my horse if I just took what is now the easy road for me and stuck to just practicing principles?", but then I'm reminded of Pat asking us how interesting it is to say the alphebet? At first, it's great, the best song in the world!! When you first learn it you go around singing to anyone who will listen (often to yourself, but 'who really cares at this stage?'). Then it gets a little boring. What becomes exciting next (depending on your teacher, I suppose) is how to put the letters together to make words, then sentences, then stories and so on. Well, so is the horsemanship journey. I could happily sit at my current level of skills and knowledge with perfect peace and comfort for a LONG time (I'm an introvert by nature, so it would take some time before I was bored enough to decide to make a change), however my horses are already bored!! Pat says horses learn up to 7x faster then humans! Can you believe that? By just showing up we're already behind! With this in mind I started looking predicatably to my extrovert some time ago, and HE is ready for me to step up my game, NOW! So, as is often the case in horsemanship I find myself attempting to stretch myself because my horses need me to. Yes I'll reap the benefits as well, but this is only a secondary focus. My horses need me to get uncomfortable, they need me to push my comfort zone and figure out how to stretch it so that I can push it again.
   As much as my human nature may cause me to 'beat myself up' after an imperfect day, my horses need me to 'get over myself' and keep pushing forward. They need me to learn from my mistakes, after all, Linda says "they're only mistakes if you already know better, so as a student you can't make a mistake". What a powerful concept to truely understand! (leave it to Linda :-).As I journey into this world of combining all the information I've learned, Pat's horsemanship Principles, my Purpose, and the shows Timelines I need to learn a valuable skill, the ability to FORGIVE myself, learn from what's happened and be the best I can be TODAY. It's a new part of my journey and one that I am truely excited about learning from!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reality TV

Having just watched Tony Robbins 'Breakthrough' last night, I just wanted to say "Thank you!" thank you to God, the universe, the Secret or whatever you may believe in but thank you! I think this is an example of reality TV that may actually be useful, uplifting and beneficial to watch! Is there drama? Yes, Is there screaming, crying, and yelling? 'Yes' but it has to do with people growing, changing and ultimately becoming happier. Instead of the ever common drama for the sake of drama!
If you're a Parelli person you know that after being exposed to the Parelli principles it can have a 'small' effect on how you look at things, so with that theme in mind. I think and feel what Tony is doing for people is similar to what Pat does for horses. The show reminds me of how Pat plays with, diagnoses and helps change to issues horses have. At times there may be 'drama' but the key is something that these leaders both live by, doing it FOR the person/horse they are leading not TO them! This is such an important piece, it makes a HUGE difference! I know that I have been in situations where someone is leading with an attitude of tasks and requests being asked FOR my best interest, as well as the alternative of serving them and whats being asked is happening TO me. The feeling of working through something difficult but knowing that I'll be better for the experience is huge!
In summery I enjoy the new series 'Breakthrough' and will be watching it every Tuesday night while it lasts. I'm excited about the potential that reality TV could have a positive effect on our minds, and I look forward to the response and possible future endeavors of this kind.
So, watch Tony Robbins, see what you think and if your a Parelli person see if you can spot the similarities.

My first personal blog :-)

Howdy! This is my first blog page, devoted to my thoughts and what I want to say (mwhahaha). Please enjoy or don't, your choice :-)