Friday, December 31, 2010

Leave Me in My Comfort Zone!

"Can't I learn AND stay in my comfort zone? I can still learn in my comfort zone, can't I? I know I can, just let me stay here. I'm going to stay here, LEAVE me alone!" my inner self screams, it's just a momentary temper tantrum. It comes and goes, they get smaller and smaller eventually... Don't they? I can only hope!
I am the type of personality that has to be perfect, I must please every person in this universe. I must seem like a faultless saint that can do no wrong and only wants to make the world a better place. But I am human! Did you know that EACH and everyone of us is human? (Unless there are some smart horses out there reading this on the computer!) I sometimes forget that, I am a human. How does that quote go? "To be human is to err?"  Well, I be darned, I am programmed to make errors. BUT I CAN'T! Not me.
Some of those errors were pointed out in my fast track, and it hit me hard. I had my tail tucked between my legs like a scared little puppy dog! I can not stand it when I make a mistake, I feel like a miserable failure with a life not worth living. But that is all my human emotions taking over, if I use my logic I will soon learn to receive the criticism with grace and move on even more determined than before! That will be my largest mountain to climb, not let my emotions get so totally involved in the process of growing. Lee Palmer, a leader of Parelli University and 3 Star Instructor, gave me a few wonderful and helpful tips on this topic...
"Trust in yourself, and if you just do your best every day, with an open mind - you'll have an amazing experience.  It's always good to explore and analyze ways to improve, but try not to get 'paralysis of analysis' - where you think too hard and become over-critical of yourself. At some point, you have to just file away the feedback you've received, and move forward."
I myself tend to over analyze myself when criticized and begin to over do my analysis and start to shut down, that's a true paralysis of analysis! Psycho-Cybernetics talks about this in quite a few chapters, and helps you overcome these mountains by using emotional control and ignoring the "bell". I highly recommend this book to anyone who plans to grow and get out of their comfort zone. Thank goodness to this book, I have been set up much better for my externship than I would have been before.
John Baar, a 5 Star Master Instructor, my Fast Track Instructor and previous Instructor of the past Externships, also had a few great congruent points for my brain to absorb....
"As Linda says "self improvement is rarely comfortable or convenient". Overall, the fact that your feeling a little uncomfortable means that you are on the right track. You are looking on ways to improve, ways to become better and this can cause us to feel uncomfortable.
 The biggest piece of advice that I could give you is to go into your externship acting like you, who you are today. Each day we grow, and can be a better version of ourselves, but if you try to act how you think you should, and not who you are/how you feel, you'll only be cheating yourself and slowing your progress.
Keep in mind that you will make mistakes, you will 'screw it up', and that's part of the journey! Welcome to feeling uncomfortable, it means your on the right track, and your growing. You'll find most upcoming Instructors are feeling just as uncomfortable, I know I did."
I recently finished the book "The E-Myth" by Michael E. Gerber, "Why Most Businesses Don't Work and What To Do About It'. I was reading a quote from a financial mastermind that owned a large chain of hotels, in his attempt to keep his employees to a higher standard of excellence, he often reminded them of quotes like these... " The business is a place where everything we know how to do is tested by what we don't know how to do, and that the conflict between the two is what creates growth, what creates meaning."
Why am I going into this externship? To learn. Do I know everything? No. Where does learning take place? Outside my comfort zone. Welcome to feeling uncomfortable, welcome to learning. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fast Track #4 - Photographs by Coco

Take a look! Thank you, Coco!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Awaken the Giant Within, a Morning with Tony

This morning I looked at the clock, it's 8:30 am! Yikes, I better get ready! As I rise, the smell of warm cooked bacon sneaks into my room, beckoning me to come and enjoy the morning meal. I rush and get ready, putting on some pretty riding jeans and a warm flannel shirt given to me by family on christmas, everytime I put on clothing or jewelry given to me by friends and family, I say I am putting on their love. I have my grandmothers, mothers, fathers and aunts love wrapped around my body today! I pass my door and see a book, but the bacon beckons!

I do not give into my flesh, but into my curiosity! I sit down on my bed beside my window covered in beautiful bright white snow and call my Australian Shepherd, Heidi to come sit by me and learn with me. So I read, Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, I am about on page 50 by now on this giant book! My head swims from all the words I am going to have to read between now and the time I need to leave, how am I ever going to get it all done? Today, Tony talked to me about failure. One of my favorite topics to read about, NOT sarcastically speaking. If you take a look at my website, you will see an article on failure and how failure really isn't a bad thing at all. But during my fast track I did not grasp that concept well, I wasn't allowed to fail! I had to be perfect, you know how it goes. So Tony keeps on talking about failure, blah, blah, blah.

I have a few light bulbs, a few BFO's (blinding flashes of the obvious) and then come to this quote, "Remember: Success truly is the result of good judgement. Good judgement is the result of experience, and experience is often the result of bad judgement!" I tilted my head sideways and look at Heidi with a puzzling face, she does the same. "Well, Mariah" I say to myself, "I guess I'm gonna mess up, I guess I will make a fool of myself during my externship. But that's okay! It happens and that's how I will grow" I was thinking to myself later on as I was putting on my snow boots, as to how much I laugh at myself. I'd be in big trouble if I didn't know how to laugh at myself when I make mistakes or boo boo's and move on with my life. Maybe I should laugh at myself a little more? Heidi and I jumped off the bed and ran down the stairs in a race to see if there was any bacon left! There was.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I was sitting at my window, looking at all the beautiful birds eating at the snow covered bird feeder. They were absolutley stunning, I sat and marveled at the beauty and watched them socialize. I had been previously worrying about my Externship, wondering if I will be good enough... will I have everything I need? Will I be everything I need? Then I thought about the scripture, in the bible, it says something like "Why do you worry about tomorrow? Why do you worry about what you are going to eat or what you are going to wear? Look at the sparrow, does he not worry about his next meal? If I will not let the sparrow fall, do you not think your Father in heaven will not take care of you? Have faith my child." I sighed a deep breath, and thanked my creator for the love he showed me this snowy morning.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finishing Today's Session

After Online we played with Finesse (and Freestyle) - the Game of Contact

It was pretty much our first time playing the game of contact, it was lots of fun. The concept was pretty easy for him to catch onto, but of course we know this is something we will have to do everyday for a while to get it concrete. But Linda was right saying you would be amazed when they pick up on it, when he picked up on it at the trot I said "yee haw!" we were off! It felt so powerful! The game is very much mind boggling and challenging, so I love it! It keeps my mind busy so I LOVE playing this game. I will play with it again tomorrow and will continue to work on it as much as I can in my next future sessions. We are playing more with half-passes, sidepassing, shoulders-in and haunches in... that's always fun! Sundance seems to like Finesse a lot, he picks up on things very quick.

Groundwork is not his favorite activity but he does not mind being ridden all day! Our freestyle is a blast! We have been playing with getting our circles and follow the rail refined, arms crossed at all gaits. He is getting in the habit of backing at least 5 steps everytime he is asked to stop, and for the first time ever we are getting the starts of some slide stops! Watch out! We're going to be reining and cutting champs one day! :0)

More Notes From Fast Track #4 - Nov.1 - 26, 2010

Saddle Fit and Shimming

Why do we shim?
- To offer scapula clearance.
- To find and stay on balance point/
- Fill in for muscle atrophy.

POSTURE = Muscles, tendons and ligaments


- Act like a partner when taking off the halter, nose in to you and have horse walk and follow you as you slide it off.
- For a left brained introvert, sit there and just relax a bit before starting liberty.

PORCUPINE = follow a feel
DRIVING = follow a feel-ing

Why play online?
1. To teach the human something new.
2. To teach the horse something new.
3. To prepare for something.

3 Laws of Parelli
- Put the relationship first.
- Practice in all four savvies/foundation before specialization.
- Commited to never ending self-improvment.

Humans lack...

You are a salesman, sell your idea to the horse.

4 Relationship Killers
- Anthropomorphic
- Cheauvanistic
- Autocratic
- Direct Line

More soon!...

Session with Sundance

Online - Playing with using more psychology rather than force, you cannot force a left brained introvert into doing anything. Trying to make backing all the way to the end of the 45 foot line more interesting, he will do it now with a phase 1 and trot back but it soon becomes very boring. This is a very challenging puzzle for me, but I am learning to get my timing right with this task... lately I will have it, then I will loose it because I will over do it in excitment! I want to make sure we have it, and I loose it in attempt of trying to secure it.

Ideas for Game 4 on 45 foot line...
- Back to end of line and stop at a point e.g. hit leg/butt on object and stop and lick.
- Same but sidepass over barrel and stop (he loves to sidepass over objects.)
- Back up various distances, and come in to me! Don't go too far, just this far then come back!
- Back up, then back sideways, then back, then back sideways.
- Give him an audial clue of a great job, if I excitedly tell him with my energy up and positive that he has done a very good thing, he gets excited and puts more effort into it... of course a treat NEVER hurts if used correctly.

Freestyle / Finesse... will write about in another post this afternoon. If you have any more ideas about Game 4 on 45 foot line, please email me at and I will put it on my next post. We can all share all of our ideas with our fellow students here! :-)

Savvy Out!

Mariah and Sundance

Change Equals Progress

Hello Everyone!

I would like each of you to send me an email to with new ideas for my blog. What would you like to see? What do you want more or less of? I want to hear from you. Use your imagation and let's do it!


Mariah Helms

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New! Parelli Connect

Check out the NEW Parelli Connect! Parelli Connect is the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program's digital campus.
Here you'll find everything you need to help direct your horse's foundation training based upon the Parelli program's
home learning DVD series for horsemanship foundation Levels 1 through 4. Parelli Connect is designed to make it easy
for you to find new friends within the program with which to share not only your own wall updates but also that of your
horse via your horses's own wall too!"

Join me! at

Mariah Helms, Sundance, Bebe and Aamira

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Aamira Video and Completed Another Book

A video of Aamira chasing Heidi! I am proud to announce I have another book completed! "Think Harmony with Horses" by Ray Hunt. I do have to say that if you are not an intense student of the Parelli Program, this book would not be easy to understand but it does open your eyes to how the great horseman thought.

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Fabio's "follow-me-everywhere"... little Aamira. Actually, more like his shadow than anything else! ha ha!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Dad Starsky Heidi Smoo and Mariah

A video I sent to my Father as he was at work... one of the only videos I have of Starsky.

Courage for the Steps Ahead

One of my current favorite Christmas gifts, given to me by a student and friend. It's by WillowTree, and it's the angel of Courage. Reminding me to continue to have courage through every hardship and adventure I endure, and do it with faith, hope and endurance. I couldn't do any of this without my beautiful friends, or family or God. Thank you all! Speaking of "enduring", I just finished my first 2 books and half of another. I'm reading three books at a time so now I can move on to two more! It looks like I am going to start "Think Harmony with Horses" by Ray Hunt and "The E-Myth" by Michael E. Gerber. Wish me luck! About 26 days left to finish 6 books, I've got to read like a maniac! I was able to actually have a play session with Fanbio since Starsky has moved on, and he is coming along magnificently! We are playing with the points we learned at the fast track and his impulsion has
improved greatly and we're getting some slide stops in freestyle! Woo hoo! Yee haw!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Last Moments Last Forever

Here are a few words I have been sharing with my Parelli friends that have supported me so well during this hard time, just thought ya'll would like to hear more in depth of our last moments and the future ahead! Thank you all for support here too, leaving heartfelt comments, they mean so much to my family and I. Starsky is not gone, he is just in a different stage of life, just like we go through different stages in our life. He is still alive and well, and I can feel him with me very strongly...

Thank you SO much for your support everyone, it makes things so much easier. We were there last night, and even though he was heavily sedated I make my little squealing voice and said his name and he perked up way more than a horse that sedated regularly could. Our family walked in and he just LIT UP! He tried so many times to lift his head but nothing was working, but our last moments were SO PRECIOUS! He was so sweet and loving and talking to us and telling us things up till the last few seconds, I we got to hold him in our arms up till the last breath. He went so easily too, the shot was not but half way in and he was already released from his earthly shell. He was born not knowing love, but knew nothing but love at his death. Today, he has a class with 5 students at NC State, teaching them about his disease and helping future horses that come in in the same condition. I always called him my great teacher, becuase he taught me more than most horses did… I can not explain how thankful I am to him for all that he did for me and my family. So I am beyond ecstatic that he is staying there and continuing to teach beyond his release, and in everything I do here on earth… he will continue in with me, his legacy of perseverance, love, understanding and patience will live on.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Babies at Home

Mariah and her Little Baby Aamira
Update on Reina, she looks the best she has since we've gotten her! Her back is so much better, we let her loose and she was doing an extended trot, flicking out her toes and tossing her head! Turn the volume up. :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is Not the End... It is the Beginning

His feet and body no longer ache. He is up there wondering why we would want to be down here? He is with Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. He is my guardian angel above, I have an angel that loves me. He is a "star" in the heavens, showering light to the dark world above. You will forvever be in my heart and your legacy will live on through me forever. Thank you Starsky, I love you, job well done.

On our way to tell

On our way to tell Starsky what a great job he did and that we will see him sooner than he knows.

Last Goodbyes with a Promise

We are going tonight to tell Starsky goodbye, and we will see him soon. He fought so hard, but we acheieved our goal. I wanted him to spend the rest of his life here in peace until he passed and he has. He spent almost 4 years here with no worries. He is the one who taught me so much about farriery and brought me to become the trimmer I am today. I always called him my teacher, and he made me of so much I am today. So he can continue to teach, he will stay at NC State and teach the students more about horses that have suffered from colitis... he will continue to teach after his death and hopefully give other horses a chance at life. God bless him... together we have and will continue to change lives one horse and human at a time.

Please pray for Starsky, he

Please pray for Starsky, he is not getting better and we may have to put him down soon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NC State Equine Hospital Starsky Update - Day 1 PM

The vet just called and said his laminitis is getting worse and causing him to become depressed. They are going to see if we can switch around some medications for him to get that soreness gone without the medicine effecting his gut which is what we are trying to fix in the first place... we're kind of going in circles. Please pray and send positive thoughts, my baby has to make it somehow...

NC State Update on Starsky

Got home at 12:00 am this morning. The vet called this morning and said she put him on some more medication (litacane?) and he seems much more comfortable, our only real worry is laminitis and we are trying to get him to be able to sustain his electrolytes/fluids on his own. She said he is more comfortable today and that he is eating and drinking much more today... so we're just going to have to wait wait wait to see if his digestive system can get back to normal and hopefully it will NOT turn out to be premanent laminitis. I wish I could be there so badly, but I have 7 other horses to care for here at home and it is so far away. Oh, and today I turned 19! I'm still so young, still a baby. Age never ment much of anything to me anyway, it's your spirit that shines through no matter your age. Let it shine, and change the world! One human, and one horse at a time. Please keep continual
prayers and positive thoughts going for Starsky, I have a feeling he's gonna make it somehow.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Will arrive at NC State

Will arrive at NC State Equine Hospital at 6:26 pm.

On way to NC State Equine Hospital

Starsky is fighting for his

Starsky is fighting for his life right now, please pray with all you have for strength and health. Will tell more soon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crawling and Singing

Our Australian Shepherd, Heidi, joining us inside as we decorate our christmas tree. I am playing the harmonica as she is sliding her belly across the floor, singing along!


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Pictures from today

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Starsky's foot is 95% better when it comes to walking, we are changing the complicated intricate hoof bandages every other day. His digestive system is way off whack, so his stall and blankets are covered in hooblah! Such fun cleaning, ha ha. The vet came out and gave him some biosponge, and we've got to give him some electrolytes... yogurt and all that good stuff! He still needs some instense care, good thing I am home! :-) My friend Beth is here with me for the weekend to help me with the horses before she leaves for her trip to Disney world. That's a picture of her and I with Heidi, then her and Bebe. More updates soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deep Sigh of Relief - Update on Starsky

As of yesterday afternoon, Starsky had his catheter removed and the vet "Skip" checked in the deep crevices of his hoof saying that he could not believe how fast his hoof is healing! So I have been overwhelmed with relief and joy, he still needs intense care from me but we are half way there! Both of us are pulling on with hope. He is still very sore and has a lot of healing left to do, so please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

I've been reading like a maniac! The book "If You Want to be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to School" is half way read. "Psycho-Cybernetics" and "Blink" are about 1/3rd of the way through! Of all the three I cannot pick a favorite, they are all extremely interesting and informative and I can see where I can apply these concepts to my every day life and into my horsemanship. It's great that the books that Pat Parelli recommends are all in familiarity to the beliefs I hold strong to. It is great to know that the program I am dedicating my life to has such a strong and deep foundation, much like my family does. I look forward to digging my nose into more of those pages! I highly recommend these reads so far, if I were you, I would go snatch one up now! It may change the way you think and perceive your life and yourself.

I start back at the dance studio again as of today, first time I will be back since I got back from Florida. We'll so how out of shape I got from missing it for a month? Ha ha!

If anyone has any comments on any of my posts, anything you would like to share, please do not hesitate to leave a comment. I would love your feedback on any subject! I hope all of you are doing well and I hope you are enjoying my posts, just wanted to thank you for your support as I embark on this journey and I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Will talk soon... Mariah

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Starsky, as of a few

Starsky, as of a few minutes ago, felt perky and happy enough to actually eat his feed! Boy did I shout for joy!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Sitting in the hay of Starsky's stall reading while I place the heating pad on his sore little legs, just got done reading a good bit of "If you want to be rich and happy don't go to school" and "Blink" just came in via UPS so I will be starting it now! :-) Talk soon... Mariah

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check-Up on Starsky and New Reading List

A picture of Starsky after getting a profusion done, he is knocked out cold! He is coming along as well as anyone can, I feel sorry for him... it's not fun being used as a pin cushion! I just recieved my first book that I am going to read, of many, before my externship. I have 9 books, of non-miniscule proportions, to read before Janurary 15 (when my externship starts)! They changed the list! I had the old list already read, and they changed it all on me except for three. OH DARN, I MUST LEARN MORE! (Hope you can hear that hint of sarcasm!)
Here is the Introductory Reading List -
Blink - Malcom Gladwell
Outliers - Malcom Gladwell
Psycho Cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz
Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins
If You Want to Be Rich and Happy, Don't go to School - Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
The E-Myth Revisited - Michael E. Gerber
True Unity - Tom Dorrance
Think Harmony with Horses - Ray Hunt
Raise Your Hand if You Love Horses & Natural Horsemanship - Pat Parelli

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