Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time goes by so fast...Officially Done with Stage 3

Okay, the last time I blogged it was Saturday... so I will start there. Saturday morning one of my precious students and I went to Mephibosheth Farms for their annual Walk-A-Thon, it was fabulous. I met some other Parelli enthusiasts and another of my blog fans, Rebecca, that volunteers there often. It was funny because I was just standing there listening to a conversation and here pops up this sweet girl, saying "Hi Mariah, I'm Rebecca!" I had a moment of slight panic, I was saying, "Rebecca... Rebecca? Rebecca! Oh, crap. I don't recognize her.... ugh! How does she know me? I should know her if she knows me! Ah, crud!" in my head, but of course I said "Hi Rebecca!" on the outside. It was a sigh of relief knowing that she was a fan I had never met, I know so many people... I want to be good at recognizing them and their names and it kills me when I don't! But it was great, she seems like a sweet girl. I know your probably reading this Rebecca, here's my email savvysundance@hotmail.com, if you still would like to come over and ride, Bebe's waiting on you! When I got back from the Walk-A-Thon, I had a Brooks reunion to go to then a double party whammy at my house. Early Sunday morning Sundance and I went to Charlotte's for a Parelli Varsity Team practice, last one until October 12th at Chetola Farms. Charlotte informed me of another performance we will be doing in February in Pelzer, SC at the South Carolina Horseman's Council Weekend Celebration, which is pretty exciting I'd say. Visit http://www.foxpointfarms.com/ for more information on what we are doing, what were about and what we plan to do. I've got to practice before the performance, we have to do some pretty complicated dances and patterns on our horses for the demo and I want to get it just right. Here is the Parelli Varsity Team requirements chart I made for Charlotte that she'll be putting up soon, how's it look?

(Click picture for larger view)

Sundance and I can do all these pretty easy, no problem. About 16 + people and their horses showed up in the tiny arena, I am sure there will be less than that because not everyone can do them from what it looked like... they did good though! I hope most of them can make it, but not too many because it was pretty hectic. I wonder how many there will be, and still have questions about the order of our performance because that was not discussed. Hmmm... Oh well, Charlotte always follows through. I still need lots of prayers and thoughts going towards the Parelli Celebrations performance, I really really hope we can do that but Charlotte hasn't heard back from Pat or his legal team. Just got to keep on working hard and staying positive! If you do it usually works out pretty well. Of course, Sundance and I did play the days before the practice. He offered a perfect flying lead change at liberty for the 2 days that we played, CHECK! All of Stage 3 complete. Yesterday, the day after the practice, I was sure Sundance was still a little tired and wanted to do something different so I put on my natural performer and cradle bridle on an moseyed around. I absolutely cannot recall the last time I put that saddle let alone any saddle on that horse, I think it's been months because we have been working so hard on online and liberty. To be honest, I was afraid he was going to feel pretty cruddy because I hadn't done this in a while. Boy was I as wrong as the day is long, he was AMAZING! Like eye popping amazing. I barely had to use the cradle bridle and when I did he was as light as a feather, the saddle was so uphill on him too, he was all uphill and did a tiny fluid canter that felt so good and on the right lead too! His right lead is the hardest, so I was surprised. The session only lasted about 10 minutes because of the darkness so as soon as he gave me that right lead so beautifully I gave him a cookie out of my parelli cookie waist bag and rode straight to the barn. Oh, and my jods I got, they ride beautifully. When I am standing the bottom of my pants are slighly bunched up and touching the top of my spurs, and when I get on Fabio they aren't bunched up but they still touch the top of my spurs, so thank the lord I now have the perfect riding pants. Back to Fabs, I have seen this liberty build up his hindquarters a lot, the first thing Char noticed about him was how big his hindquarters have gotten. He has gotten real light at liberty too, that is the reason why he moved so well and was so light in the saddle. All I could say and can say is WOW! The senoirs feeding schedule has changed in preparation for the winter, so I have to feed and wait for them to eat in the mornings... so I have to scoot and let them out. I will update on our next session if I can, hope ya'll have a great week. Please comment, I love feedback.


Mariah Helms

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mother, Father by Journey

Yes, my father is a Journey addict. And guess who takes after her father? ME! I love this song, it's so passionate and what a  truth! How inspiring, and Deen can sing like heaven, what a voice! I have embedded the video and lyrics at the bottom of the page, go listen and read... I got chills. Tell me what you think!



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Response to Comments - What's Sundance and Bebe up to? - Kelly Sigler's response to Bebe's Explosion (EDIT New Pages for Partners)


Thanks for all the de-codes and comments on the emails, I think all of you are correct in your hypothesis and appreciate the help! Thanks for the comments on the Jods, I really think they are going to be enjoyed. Also, I really think I have Bebe figured out this time... Katie give me and update on Apollo when you can.

Thanks fans, I love getting comments!


Here's what I've been up to with Sundance and Bebe the past few days...


Sundance and I are currently playing with -

Figure 8's at Liberty (Patterns) - He's gotten really good at walk, today I asked him to do it at a walk and he did it half heartedly and left. Hmm... He knows this! I think? So I put a little more energy into it and he trotted the pattern! He knew it but was just BORED and we hadn't even done the pattern long at all. As I said, he loves to say "NEXT!" I just have to learn to listen to when he says it.

Game #5 Lead change at Liberty (Stage 3)- We've done this twice and he will make the change of direction quick but can't quite pick up the other lead fast enough at liberty, so we are still doing it online a little bit to help him out. I thought this task was going to be devastatingly hard, but he actually offered it so I about cried! The cool thing is, he is doing all this at close contact liberty since we don't have a round corral! He still amazes me.

Sideways facing partner (Stage 4) - We've been doing this about two days too, he's got the concept I just want him a little straighter!

Stick-2-Me Canter at Liberty (End Stages of Level 3 + Beginning of Level 4) - We've been doing this for a couple of weeks, he's good at it! He offered today a flying lead change as we change directions, as an example... Well be cantering to the right on the right lead and I will back up as he switches really fast, change arms and canter to the left on the left lead. How neat is that! Fabio is amazing, I love him! Funny thing is, I just looked at the stages and don't see this task in them... I'll be asking somebody about that one.

Spanish Walk (Level 4) - Get's better and more graceful every time, I think it will be a great thing to do at the demos.

You know what's scary? (In a good way) Our Level 3 is going by fast, I am really excited about that! We just started Level 3 in mid-June and we can already do most of the tasks in stages 4-5 already, that's half of level 3! Am I getting ahead of myself? Am I feeling over achieved? or should I calm down because Finesse is coming? *WIDE EYES* *HEART SKIPS BEAT* All I can say is, I love this journey! It just get's better and better!


Here is an email from Kelly Sigler regarding Bebe's Explosion-

Hi Mariah! Great to hear from you. Looks like you are having an interesting journey. One of the things that you might want to ponder is how to set him up for success so that he does not have the opportunity to "go there." What is happening before it happens? Do you have a plan that is interesting and proactive to keep him left brained, confident, and curious? Also, think about matching his energy- I have heard Pat and Linda say this a lot- can you match his energy when he gets like this- if so, has that helped? Let me know how you go- have fun! Keep It Natural, Kelly Sigler

I totally agree with Kelly, all his sessions have always started with brain-twister games that he loves that make him feel confident and ready to do things. I really has also helped matching his energy, so he doesn't feel out of sync. I agree with all the instructors! I love getting different opinions, the past three emails have really added up to the same conclusion. See if you can set it up to where he doesn't go there, if he does, freak with him and make him do more than he wants and will realize being RB isn't all it's cut out to be. I love my Parelli Instructors! Thanks guys! I bet all of you are wondering what horsenality Bebe is now classified as? (since it's changed so much) I have re-filled out his horsenality chart and he is a moderate Left Brained Extrovert, very sensitive and can switch to right brained extrovert in an unsuspecting way so you really have to stay in tune and WATCH your energy. Onto the sessions, we have had some great results! I put him in the arena and did some mind-twisting fun games he loves to get his naughty little mouthy mind going and then did the circling game at liberty (about the same diameter as the 45ft rope) and we got some good sends, great allows and marvelous bring backs (Trot/Canter)! I think he doesn't feel as much pressure in the arena with no ropes, I think he needed a break from the 45 foot line. He also started to offer the Spanish walk which was VERY surprising! He also offered to jump a single barrel laying down in the middle of the arena, which was great too. So thanks to perseverance and amazing Parelli instructors giving me ideas through email, Bebe and I are back on the journey and I am ready to make Bebe a star just like Fabio the Fabulous Parelli Star. Makes me think, maybe I need to redo Sundance's horsenality chart, he's still a LBI but his dots may have changed or disappeared or gone to another quadrant! Hmm... How Interesting!

NEW! Check Sundance and Bebe's Pages, click pictures on left hand side.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jesse Peter's Response - Updated with Bebe's Horsenality Chart as of Sept. 24, 2008

Jesse responded today to my email, I am very satisfied with his emails and love getting his opinion on everything I do. I am really looking forward to having a 3 hour private lesson with him in October, I think with both of our brains storming and his creativity and knowledge we will get some amazing things done.

Hello Mariah,

It sounds like you have done a great job assessing your situation and you are doing a fabulous job reading your horses. Well done! Just remember that Slow and right always beats Fast and Tight ( or Fast and wrong).

It sounds like your horse is a Left brained horse that is bracing against your leadership and requests. Usually when a LB horse makes a dominant squeal they are saying NO! Sometimes we are making our requests faster than the horse is ready to process the request. Maybe try asking for your transition slower and just melt your transitions so that you are Matching your horse and only adding 4 ounces. A LB horse on adrenaline is out there running around and they are NOT looking for a leader. So then one possible arrow is that we need to try to speed them up faster than they really want to go (maybe 10-20 laps until they make a change). Then when the horse checks in with you….you can slow them down and let your horse process what just happened but have them do it way out there on the circle as they stand still. This will help them find the release of pressure out there on the circle!

The Parelli Formula is 1. Rapport 2. Respect 3. Impulsion 4. Flexion. We teach it in that order as we progress through level 4. When something is broke we fix it backward through the formula until the problem is solved.

Take your time…You are on the right track. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. But don’t make the wrong thing Wrong!


Jesse Peters

Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship Licensed Professional

2 Star Instructor Trainee

Success Pathways Elite Coach



(513) 659-8339

Parelli Natural Horse-man-ship...."Way More Than Riding!"

If you reply to this message PLEASE leave the e-mail message I sent you attached.

New Release: Parelli Patterns! Buy it today and support Jesse by clicking on the "Shop" button on his Home Page! Thanks :)

I've never really thought of Bebe as a LB dominant horse, well never at me but now I am realizing he is! He squeals, and nips and sometimes bucks for fun... what a naughty LBE and LOTS of fun. Loves to paw and chew things 24/7, and play is his favorite! Very fun horse, I have to update this post with the liberty session's we've done the past 2 days... you'll love it. I will also be updating his horsenality chart, he's been so hard to assess! I think I really have finally figured out his horsenality, even though it changes a lot in different situations.

Here is his new Horsenality chart...

I think I've got it right this time, I sure hope so because this Bebe sure has been fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008

BREECHES IN! (Pictures) & Nita Jo's Response Regarding Bebe's Explosion Email (located in last post) Help me solve the puzzle!

Hi Mariah,

Bebe sounds like fun! :)
And what is the prescribed strategy (or what are the strategies) for a RBE horse?  I think you know the answer to this--and RBE is exactly what Bebe is when he "explodes" and comes running to you, then leaps about again and goes back out. My hint for you is contained in the quote from your email below. What you are doing is great strategy for. . .which horsenality (could pertain to two, actually)?
See if you can noodle this out. If not, email me again. I will be leaving tomorrow and will be back the following week. I could tell you exactly what to do but what fun would that be? :)
Take care and let me know how it goes.
Nita Jo
At 05:54 PM 9/21/2008, you wrote:

all the while I try to keep very low confident energy.

Nita Jo Rush
3 Star Licensed Parelli Professional
Have Savvy, Will Travel
Visit Nita Jo's Parelli web page and Parelli shop entrance--

Gosh I love Nita Jo, she answers emails according to my horsenality!

I need ya'll to help me decode this email.  I think I have it figured out, but I want to hear your thoughts too. Start commenting!

My jods came in! They fit like a glove, feel like velvet and are long enough. The pictures aren't very good but that's all I could take, so enjoy!

beechesbeeches (1)

beeches (2)beeches (3)beeches (4)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Early

Yes, I am home early. I got home Saturday afternoon just in time to play with fabulous Fabio! As an update on our progress, Sundance's figure eights at liberty are now awesome. We finished 2 more tasks (2 left and almost done) in stage 3, our flank rope task and circling game (w-t-c-s-w-t-c-) are done as of today and the last 2 tasks are breezing by. Stage 4 is also looking really easy, we can already do 98% of it, and about the same for stage 5 which is really exciting because once I finish stage 4 I will be half way done with level 3! In a matter of about 5 months! How exciting! I can't believe how well Sundance is doing, everything is so PERFECT! I LOVE THIS! It is amazing.

Little Beebsters starting back his playing session after recovering from an almost broken nose, I sent this email to a couple instructors and should clear some things up for all of you...


Hello ________ ,

I've got a little puzzle for you. I have been trying very hard the past 2 months or so to figure this one out, and am getting a little progress but not as much as I should be getting in this length of time. Bebe my 5 year old quarter horse LBE dominant / RBI ( ? very hard to determine absolute horsenality), has done very well with Level one and two, been a star actually. Then the beginnings of Level 3 have been great, until he had to get out on that 45 foot line in the circling game. I have worked through, with him, a lot of fear of getting out there 45 feet away from mom. He didn't seem comfortable at all without mom holding his hand, but now with some brain storming he can get out there a lot better. He started to feel comfortable and get the idea when we did some one rein type driving where I ask him sideways until his HQ's are toward me and then ask him to move on until he finds the end of the line and then proceed onto the circle, and if I wiggle the carrot stick towards zone 2 he needs to face out and get out a little farther. This has gotten good at the walk, and got a lot better at the trot as of today. Where things go wrong is where he "suddenly" explodes, here are the series of events. Something (who knows what or 'who' is that something) disturbs him, he squeals loud (sounds dominant) and jumps in the air and canters, therefore gets his adrenaline up which makes him go right brained, when he feels he can get a hold of himself or needs my direction he very abruptly stops and tries to come to me. Sometimes when he stops he re-explodes and goes back out, all the while I try to keep very low confident energy. I am not sure why he does this, he can go from LB to RB and then back to LB in a matter of seconds and I am not sure what is triggering this. I would love your thoughts and help on this!

Thanks so much in advance!

Mariah Helms

Bebe is an amazingly smart horse that has a lot of potential, but we've just hit a little rut that I need a little help with. After we get past this everything else will fall in place, it always does, that is why I am not discouraged. Remember my Success and Failure post? Just what I am talking about, I can't wait to figure this puzzle out because it's going to be really fascinating!

I've got school, and a couple of lessons this week, my breeches will be in tomorrow (Monday), a couple of birthday parties for my brother and father, choir, orthodontist, farrier, ambassador duties around southern NC, and practice at Charlotte's for the weekend and of course playing with my babies everyday (my favorite part)! So I have a busy week, and am looking forward to it. Hope all of you have an amazing week too! Will update after next session.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Parelli Kids Practice Sept. 14 & 15 - Play Time on Sept. 16 & 17, 2008

Life has been busy and amazing! Sorry for not blogging every day like I prefer, you'll just get an extra long post today. I am here at the beach for my fathers birthday, the man who has made all this horse and Parelli stuff possible for me and many others. We left mid-Wednesday and won't be back home until Sunday night-ish, so I have tons of time to blog and catch up on things. First off, this past weekend Sundance and I went to Charlotte's (http://www.foxpointfarm.com/) at the Lancaster location and had a Parelli Varsity Team practice for the Chetola Farms Breed Show Demo on October 12, 2008. We are to do all 4 savvies in one large arena with about 10 + other people, including liberty! We all did the requirements in the arena at the practice, and amazingly Sundance did VERY well. What surprised me the most was how well he did at liberty! He did canter-rounds, spins, circles and everything we do at home PERFECTLY at practice, I was so proud of him. He was also a ham, of course, to everyone that he came in contact with. He stole treats from Stef, that of course were for Bali. He made Johnny mad because he was sucking up to Sue, which was very cute! All the babies protecting their herd of two. So far I can do all of the requirements for the varsity team, and Charlotte says I am on. Here are the requirements: http://foxpointfarm.com/parelli%20kids%20index.htm scroll down towards the bottom until you see a picture of Sundance and I riding bareback and bridless. I spent the night there and spent the next day helping Charlotte with horses and lessons, I first of course got up early and played with Sundance while it was cool and no one but Tommy was up feeding. Sundance was distracted at first but soon joined up and we got some great things done! I was so proud and Sundance was having fun. As soon as Charlotte got up to the barn she had me play with Bali, Stef's gorgeous palomino. He was amazing of course, Stef has done a great job on him. It is lots of fun playing with other horses that have been through the program, we speak the same language and help each other fill in gaps in our communication and foundation. Bali has an amazing foundation, he was so much fun to play with. He started off heavy on his forequarters, just like Sundance does. But with some mirroring and advanced turns Bali was a little helicopter, well little is not the word, a 16.2-3 hh helicopter. By the way, Bali was the inspiration behind the South Charlotte Savvy Club logo. After I played with Bali boy, we went to the Indian land location and I got to play with Portrait! I was so happy with her progression, she has a lot to offer. I had fun with her spunky mare-ish leader type horsenality and rode around bareback working on getting her willing to stop when asked and following the rail. Which went very well, and ended the session with smiles. I helped Charlotte with her group lessons the rest of the afternoon, which was fun! I learned a lot about teaching children, I am sure it will help me in my teaching skills at Little Patch of Heaven. All too soon it was time for me to load up Fabio and go home, of course he was an angel and hopped into the trailer ready to ride home to his equine friends. The ride home was smooth and rested well through the night, I woke up sick and today am now finally 100% better! I am glad I get this weekend to REST and restore my health, even though I have a really hard time with not doing anything. There is such a thing as doing 'nothing', I am just not the type of person to do that. But I'd say I've done well, I went shopping yesterday and had my hair washed and styled and have taken naps once a day for three days which I NEVER do... I guess I didn't know how tired I was! Oh, I did get to play with the babies on Tuesday and Wednesday right before I left. I played with Sundance at liberty, doing a pattern from the Parelli Patterns. Figure eight around barrels at liberty, he caught on after a little while and then we practiced one canter round. I knew he was tired from the weekend so I decided to stop there, he was a little comedian during the session too! Every time I had him stop to think he would (in this order) blink, sigh, lick his lips, stick his lip up a few seconds and then lick again. It was very cute, because he did it in that order every time. Since we were leaving the next morning I got up early and went out around eight-ish before school, this is when the horses are napping under the shed right before they head to the arena and roll then head out to graze, so I caught them at a good time. I went out and scratched every ones itchy spots then headed out to the arena with Fabio, and everyone followed (YES!) and Breeze, Bebe, Sundance, Taco and I went into the arena. I was just standing there with Fabs watching everyone smell around the arena and Bebe and Taco having a wrestling match (very entertaining) and unsuspectingly Sundance just dropped from beside me on the ground. Then Breeze on the other side of the arena did the same thing, and then Bebe! I guess it's roll time, I thought! So I rewarded Sundance for laying down, for I had a thought. (Everyone run and scream, I was thinking, and you know what happens when I think!) What if I kept the arena closed and came out every morning at the same time and let them in the arena (as the rolling permitter) and stood with Sundance every time he rolled, to him I will be the lady that allows all heavenly sand rolling. (You know where I am going with this now don't you?) *evil laugh* And what if he figured every morning if he rolled beside me he would get a treat? What if I started to use a cue right before he rolled and then give him a treat? What if I start asking for a lay down with that cue and a treat once he gets used to the cue and associates it with laying down? Catching on? *tee-hee* *continuous smart laugh* *snicker* Don't you love me? *wink* Yep, I am excited. Onto the session, Bebe's nose is better and is not broken! Thank goodness. So I decided it would be great to start sessions back next week, I waited until Bebe and Taco got done having a man fight (or man-wanna be fight) and waited for Bebe to walk to me. We did some long range 'put your nose on something' game at liberty, which is his favorite game and really builds his confidence in me and himself. It went very well, he is extremely intelligent, and was a great place to leave off in preparation for next weeks start up. Sundance and I worked on our liberty figure eight pattern which was better than last night, then left for the barn to give him a treat for being good. Sundance has been amazing, I am so proud of him and cannot wait to get home and start the sessions back! I also hope Bebe's sessions will turn out well. Sundance and I have another PKV practice next Sunday and Charlotte's so I am excited about that too. Time to go to a show, I will update whenever I get home and have a session. But until then, Keep it Natural!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Western Breeches? Hmmm...

You know Linda's breeches? The ones that make all women green with envy at her figure and how well she pulls them off? http://parellicollection.com/ under apparel, the perfect riding pants.


Well, I have drooled over them the past 3 years or so and said to myself, I deserve some by now! I have enough money saved, I have everything else I need and this is for ME but will benefit Sundance and I and our performances. BUT I don't ride English because I do not have a fluidity, so I recalled hearing who makes her breeches and found them at http://equissentials.net.

Well, I'll be! They have the EXACT same kind of breeches Linda wears but in western! http://equissentials.net/icelandic.htm

They are a little more than the English breeches, $299 but the same thing and CUSTOM MEASURED! So they will fit my long legged slightly pudgy/muscular body perfectly with the custom measurements. The ladies called that were making them this morning about my inseam, they were worried it was too long, but I told them honest it's right! People don't believe my inseam most of the time. I am very excited about them, I really hope they work because I have the darnest time finding jeans for riding and if these work my life will be a lot easier and will be less self conscious. They look really professional too! I don't think jeans look as professional. I am just ready to get them in, it's about time. I am hoping they will be in by the beginning of next week, they are in New York so the shipping won't be far at all. I also think they are working on them right now because I was speaking with the seamstress about the inseam, so... *big smile* I just hope they look right and flatter me, on the ground and in the saddle. That's all I need!

I will update you all on the PK Varsity team practice I had at Charlotte's this past weekend when time allows.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Bareback & Bridless Pictures

Here are some new bareback and bridless pictures taken by Charlotte (http://www.foxpointfarm.com/) at the Indian Trail Fox Point Farm location, while taking a lesson from Charlotte and showing her what we do!
Picture from first camp at C's, teaching the children...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick Updates

September 10, 2008

Sundance and I just worked on refining our spins and liberty canter. He also is as white as a snow man, I gave him a bleach bath last night.

September 11, 2008

I got a hold of a western bit like Pat uses on Magic and put it on our Parelli Country Bridle, and boy does it look amazing on the drop dead gorgeous Fabio! It feels good too, almost like the cradle bridle with power steering, but like we need it. We're good with steering right now! He's just light and that's nice.

Now, everyone listen! (Fran, I know you will see this but what the heck) It is Fran's (http://savvyup.blogspot.com/) 18th birthday today! I would love it if you would just drop her a happy birthday and some encouraging words. savvyup@yahoo.com

Happy Birthday Fran!

I haven't known you very long, but I love you already! You have done absolutely amazing things and I believe that you will continue to amaze others, you are an inspiration to me and don't think I would be where I am in Level 3 with out seeing what you can do and what you have accomplished. Keep on doing what you are doing, you'll become something even greater than you are now... which seems impossible because you rock. Thanks so much for chatting with me on the phone, even though we often have to play phone tag or dodge around our crappy AT&T / Nextel connection. You make me feel like I really am in the inner loop, even though I am some random overly dedicated student that has an unhealthy obsession with Parelli (Tee-hee). I think we both can get a long way, we just need to keep on doing and giving our best while lifting each other up and listening to each others gabbing whenever we feel really crappy. BTW Send me your home address, you might find a surprise in your mail box!

Lots of love!

Mariah & Fabio

Yes, Mariah fans I expect you to email Fran... or post on her blog. I am being a carrot stick person right now, well, more of a stick person so I would run.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Success and Failure - It's your decision.

Here is a short story (more like a report) I am working on to turn in for a Parelli book prototype that a group of Savvy Club members and I have created, may be coming out sometime next year if Sue Shoemark still likes the idea. Can't tell anymore, it's a secret!...

What is success? The proper definition of success is the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors. What is the opposite of success? Failure. Failure is an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful, a lack of success. Now that we know the correct definitions of these two perplexing terms, we have to decide whether we agree or disagree with the definitions we have been supplied with. I agree to a certain extent, because I have personally lived and experienced these two words. But, is success all it’s cut out to be? Is failure really something we want to avoid? Because just like life, it is all in how you view it. Success is something we all want with our horses and our journey in general; we all want to be that perfect partner. We all want to know where to be, when to be, why to be and what to do when you get there, at any given moment and in any situation with a horse. We all want to have the ultimate horsemanship; we all want to ride into the sunset bareback and bridle-less in perfect harmony just like Pat Parelli. We all also want it right now, and want it to stay like that forever. Mind that Pat Parelli took 25 years to get where he is now with horses, but we all still want it instantly. Where does that feeling come from? Your inner predatorial self. I want it and I want it now! What direct line thinkers we are. Horses are not direct line thinkers, but all predators are. Direct line thinking leads to perfectionism and goal orientation and we all know that that often leads to discourse in your partnership and contempt on your horse’s part. Goals cannot be reached without willingness on both parts, so we all have to swallow our pride in order to embark on this journey so we can succeed. On this journey we all will face success and failure, both necessary factors but not necessarily something negative. We all know success is something we all want, but do we want failure? We cannot avoid it, it is inevitably impossible to avoid failure some time in our journey. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I've just found 300 ways how to not make a light bulb” But yet, there was success. In our journeys, we will and have learned “how to not make a light bulb” in many different ways and situations and that is how we learn. You can call it the process of elimination, our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. I personally have learned so much in my failures, and do not regret one instance of failure on my part. So it all goes back to the original questions, what is success? What is Failure? And how will you allow them to effect you in your journey?

How do you like it? What would you change or add?

The past few days with Sundance have been a perfect example of how you perceive success and failure and what a difference it makes in the way you view it. A couple of days ago I had a liberty session with Sundance that did not go very well, but I learned a lot about my energy and how much it effects the way he perceives my communication and aids. In another persons mind, the session was a failure. But in my mind, I have learned about a huge piece that fits in the puzzle! The 2 sessions after that was absolutely amazing, we danced literally! We had breakthroughs, our communication was changed and refined. We were in harmony. The day after the so called 'failed' session, our Liberty became a dance. I learned that through refining the cues for sideways towards me, we could do a spin like a couple does when dancing. The man twirls the woman under his finger whilst holder her hand, it was magic! And of course Sundance loved it, because he got treats. The next day, we performed a task I thought we wouldn't be able to do until the end of Level 3. I canter on the ground (kind of a skip-hop, and you have to be on the right lead too!) and Sundance canters right beside me at liberty in a tight circle. What a dream! It was beautiful, I have always wanted to be able to do that with Sundance. Is that what true unity feels like? Is that what can come from failure? If so, I don't mind failing at all.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dreams do come true! With your support.

As you all know, my dreams are coming true! Sundance and I performing at 2 mini-conferences.You know the 7 keys to success too right?








Well, the opportunity I have been given is of course a once and a life time kind of thing. A lot of Parelli enthusiasts dreams, something no one gets to do. It is also not a 100% yes, more yes than no but not a 'yes'. So those of you that believe in me, have followed me, see how hard I have worked and want to see me succeed and live my dreams... I ask of you something very simple. Please pray for me, please pray that this dream will come true, that I will be performing 2 times next year. If there are those that have different religious beliefs than I, I hope you will send positive thoughts my way, because they are just as effective. If you all will pray for me or send positive thoughts my way, once a week, I do believe this dream will come true. It means the world to me, and if you do this I am sure you are helping form my destiny. You do make a difference in my life! Thank you so much.


All my love,

Mariah Helms


Thanks All!

Thanks all for the comments! I am VERY excited too! I just got done talking with Charlotte and here's the scoop...

She went to Pat's house last night with Pat Parelli, Mark Weiler and Neil Pye and are getting the Legal things sorted out for the Parelli Kids. Everything is going great! She also told me Amy Book and some other people got their Level 4 strings yesterday at the conference. She also said that we will more than likely be performing in Tennessee and if the schedule goes right with the World Paint Show we will be performing in Florida too! I am about to explode again. I really hope Florida will work out too! I will be going to Charlotte's on Thursday and we will be talking forever and crying, so I am excited! I just got done talking with Fran too, she has almost lost her voice from screaming so it was fun chatting with her. Their about to leave now, it's 7:30 their time and 9:30 ours. She got to dance with Pat last night, what fun! Pat's a booger too, such a confident LBE. He's going to be fun to toy with, figure him out and mess with his brain. *evil laugh* Will be getting an update right after the conference, will post what I know. XOXO

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I just talked with Charlotte (http://foxpointfarm.com/) at the Savvy Conference, and she said the Parelli Kids probably will be performing at the conference next year and I  WILL TOO! I  will be performing with Sundance, at a savvy conference next year! AHHH! It will be either in Tennessee in January or Florida in October. I AM GOING TO EXPLODE! I also got done talking with Fran (http://savvyup.blogspot.com/) and she will be telling Pat and Linda hello for me, since I know them. Once again, I am going to EXPLODE!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hurricane Hanna - Forcing me Inside

Title says all, tell Hanna thank you because you get an extra post today. The funny thing is, my first name is Hanna! So I am making myself stay inside. The Savvy Conference in Colorado is going on now as I speak, what a bitter sweetness. I sit here and look at the rain, as the savvy conference goes on. It is supposed to be raining there too, what irony. I bet all my friends including Ginger, Sue, Stef, Fran, Misty, Charlotte, Parelli Instructors and many others are having a ball listening  to Pat & Linda in Colorado. But that's okay, I will be going next year. I am enjoying catching up on my emails, making plans for all the parelli events coming up and enjoying family time. I am looking out my school window, I can see the horses sleeping under the tin roof of the shed listening to the rain caressing them to sleep overhead. It really is beautiful, peaceful and calming. I love the sound of the rain hitting the tin roof of the barn, I could just sit out there forever and listen with the horses beside me. Listening to them breathe in and out... smelling the wonderful scent of their fur and looking at the natural beauty around me. Sounds relaxing huh? It is. Well, I guess I should talk about what I did yesterday with the babies! Well, I just did some liberty outside with Bebe. He is such a sweet heart! We didn't do much since we did a lot on the 45 foot line the day before. Sundance and I worked on his bow with treats, he is starting to offer to stay down longer so he gets more treats. I say why not? Why not take it up another notch. I hooked on the 45 foot line and we worked on cutting each other like cows, which he now enjoys! It is getting a lot better, and made him appreciate the lower key liberty preparation we did afterwards. We played on the 12 foot line in the liberty arena, we played with our walk which was really good and close just like at liberty. We went into the trot, which was a nice close shuffle and played with change of direction at both gaits and stayed really close. Was VERY nice, fluid and savvy. The best thing is he offered for the very first time, a really really slow lope around me at about a 4-6 foot diameter for about 3 laps with EXTREME slack in the line like it wasn't even there. It was AWESOME! That was the end of the lesson, I mean when he offers something this 'with me', this savvy, I stop, rub, give him a ton of treats and let him stand on the pedestal. So yesterday, we had an AMAZING session. I checked off boxes in the Level 3 - Stage 3 booklet this morning, and we have 6 out of ten done. There are 4 left, and we are almost done! I think stage 3 is the fastest booklet we have gone through, and one of the most challenging but fun! I am very happy, and am waiting for the rain to stop so I can go out and play.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

August 31 - September 3: Amazing Progress! WORDS FINALLY ADDED

Bebe and I had a break through on August 31 with the 45 foot line, I taught him with a different sideways que how to walk straight in front of me (like one line driving) the whole length of the 45 ft line, find the end and go in the circle. It really helps him understand that I want him way out there, even though he'd rather be cuddling with me. I have noticed that doing a brain teaser before we go and do something like this really gets him thinking and with me, he really enjoys it too! I wants to play a lot now, I will ask Sundance to come to me in the pasture and Bebe ends up coming to me and beating Sundance. What a booger! I love it! I must have done something right! Now, every time I work with him, no matter how close he is he comes in to me with positive happy ears forward at a trot or a canter. How amazing is that? I would say VERY! He is a very challenging horse, but I do believe with passive persistence in the proper position he can get through Level 3. I don't ever feel like much of a failure with him if we do not get things right away because I know I can already do this with another horse, Bebe takes a little longer to get through the RB side and into the LB side, and I am having to learn about him by myself, just one small savvy step at a time, making me a savvier more emotionally fit person every time and making him a better, stronger, smarter more courageous horse! This journey is such a great thing for me, such a test, such a challenge, such a privilege. I am so blessed!

Bebe posing for his 'Save the Donkey' shoot...

I decided since I had time and it was gorgeous outside I would get up and go straight out to the horses as soon as I got up, Bebe did great on ground work before (break through!) so I decided to ride him. Well, everything was going great until Taco escaped and went blasting around the property for fun. We decided to follow after him, so we blasted behind him and finally after about 45 minutes later got him back to the house and alerted the family to get my brother the donkey whisperer and put the dern burro up. Bebe did amazing the whole time, did exactly what mom said with no spooks or snorts and was a good baby! I was so proud of him! The pictures were taken right after the chase, he was looking pretty hero-ish so I decided to take a snap shot... Good job Bee!

Fabio being GORGEOUS, practicing his modeling skills with our new barn fan...

Since Sundance and I have moved up in our Level 3 (SCREAM! SMILE!) We had some new tasks to take on, which were not simple but easy! Thanks to my perfect Einstein (Well, Sundance's hair looks cute, not frizzy) partner and the foundation we have. We are starting downward transitions at liberty from w-t-c-t-w-stop-c-t-w etc. really hard stuff, so we did this on the 12 foot line making sure it's gonna be really good and within the first session he was doing this with the 12 foot line so slack and him so close I thought he was going to trip over the line. So it is ready for liberty, I will do this a couple more times but in the arena so he can make the connection. Then we moved onto the flank rope task! (Yes! Couldn't wait for this one.) You use the 12 ft line on the halter as a guider, teacher and safety net. Then you take the 22 foot line and put it around his flank area, but through the metal loop so you can take the pressure off easy.

See diagram below...

You are supposed to play the circling game (w-t-c-stop) with JUST the flank rope as a result, and should practice a long time. So you have to get the circling game really good with the flank rope and not have to use the 12 ft line and have it loose, just like at liberty. You can use a carrot stick but I just prefer to point forward with my leading hand to ask him to go forward, lots easier so you won't have to multi-task as much. If you need to you flip the rope to tap him on the side to go, and you tighten the rope to ask him to slow down and/or stop. Of course my Einstein with cute hair got EVERYTHING within 5 minutes, so we are almost ready to do it at liberty. So I can just check that off my list! I was so happy, could have done flip after flip. What a smarty, and got to say his favorite word... NEXT! So now we get onto Stage 4 online, I wonder what's next. How exciting!

Mariah & Fabio practicing their modeling skills with new barn fan...

Starsky is progressing very well, I have been doing a lot of stretching exercises with cookies because he is so tight because of his severely ex-club footed feet. He looks forward to them everyday, one of my students passed her Level 1 ground with him yesterday and rode him. I was so proud of him! He is doing great, just got to get this riding down pat.

Oh, and I forgot to add. Sundance and I actually are models together, we have modeled for equine clothing companies and work pretty well together!