Monday, February 28, 2011

Externship - Day 42 -

My internet service is down! I am trying to update from my phone. Today was a wonderful day spent having some very eye opening wonderful horsemanship session with Berin on masterying hindquarter and forquarter yeilds then fuild rein at trot. Sundance really got it today for the first time, I had never felt it before but it feels like lighting between you and your horse that goes through your whole body. WOW! I jumped off and thanked him for trying so hard. We broke for lunch then my group went and hayed for the afternoon, it's hard but I LOVE IT. We got back in time for some of the friends to get together to practice soccer for the tournament coming up against the apprentices and proteges. We had dinner and helped clean up, ran an errand and took care of my sweet baby. I finally got a nice shower, feels so good to be clean after a hay run! Looking forward to tomorrow, probably
horsemanship then a teaching rotation. It might rain, but that's a whole nother adventure to come! Talk soon!

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Externship - Day 41 - Road to the Horse

Today we were able to sleep in, get up and do some laundry and shopping then watch Road to the Horse most of the day... Pat was phenomenal! I am so proud to be a Parelli student. After the Road to the Horse we grabbed dinner and played with our horses, then had some bible study with our friends which was a blast, so good for the soul, hoping we can do it every Sunday. :-) A whole new 6 weeks start tomorrow! Wow! I've got some work to do, and I am ready.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Externship–DAY 40–Loving Life, Learning, Hay Run, and Road to the Horse

Today was a wonderful day, I really do love it here, love the people and the environment. This morning we had the chance to sleep in until 7:00 pm, I woke up and said good morning to my beautiful partner and ate some breakfast. Ran to Winning Edge Tack with Sarah and Zoe then learned some more interesting tips on barefoot trimming… I’ve got to be a bit more savvy with the hoof knife.

We had a chance to run the full hay rotation for the whole campus, I learned a lot about the horses, the people, and the campus from that run. Afterwards we grabbed some lunch around 3:30 pm and sat to watch the Road to the Horse until 8:30 pm. Pat Parelli absolutely blew the whole crowd and everyone in our room out of the water, he is truly a master and I am very blessed to be able to work so close to him and his students. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow, it starts at 11:00 am… we get to see a live feed at the classroom here of the event.

We were able to get some laundry done this afternoon, what a relief. In the morning we all plan on riding then watching road to the horse, then I have a project to work on with my friend in the afternoon.  I am still contemplating a lot on the personalities and how my personality is and what they are looking for in being centered here on campus, class starts back on Monday and we will see if I can catch some of my habits and get them in check… it will be very interesting, I am looking forward to the weeks ahead.

watching road to the horse.. Pat is AMAZING the crowd! HOLY COW! He is out of this WORLD, blowing them out of the water. Good job! :-)

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Hayin from up high!

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On hay run!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Externship–DAY 39–Personal Horsemanship, Hay Time, Reviews, and Road to the Horse

Most of the day consisted of personal horsemanship time, always started with a soccer game. Zoe and I got done about an hour before lunch and had to run up to the lodge and get some water for us since it was so hot! We met the draft team pulling the hay, Nate invited us to join them so we hopped on and helped them with the rest of the run. It was quite magical, and I learned a LOT of information. After the hay run we had lunch then ran and did more horsemanship, Sundance and I played with maintain gait backwards at liberty, FUN STUFF. A couple of us got to talk with Berin and Brian about our performance and receive our reviews, my most important things to work on is my impulsiveness… I need to feel of and feel for the situation and slow it down, so I won’t miss things. I am an extrovert on the chart on the outer quadrants, and like my horses my goal is to become more centered so I will be working on checking my impulsion. Anyone want to give me any tips on this? Any struggling extroverts out there?

Tomorrow is Saturday and thankfully we have the day off to rejuvenate, I do believe the only thing we are doing tomorrow is volunteering to help to do the feed run tomorrow since everyone is at the Road to the Horse. The Road to the Horse started this afternoon at 3:00 pm, and someone recorded it for us so we were able to view it this afternoon, Pat’s beginning demonstration really stuck out from all the rest because it really seemed about the horses and NOT him, I thought that was spectacular. So, we will see if I can control my impulsiveness and see if I can get a passing grade in 6 weeks. I am going to set myself up for success and say I will do just fine and I will move into internship this fall and will become a better person through the thoughtful advice from Brian and Berin, I have a lot to learn… thank goodness! ;-)

Watching to Road to the Horse...

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got to go hay with Nate, Thunder, Lightning, Luna, Sarah, Zoe and Todd! :-) GORGEOUS, Had an awesome time

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Externship–DAY 38–Horsemanship, Testing Over and Rotations

This morning we had  short but great soccer game, I LOVE playing soccer! When the apprentices and protégés get back from the Road to the Horse, we are going to have a tournament… the externs and interns vs. the apprentices and protégés. We are all very excited! We had horsemanship with Berin afterwards, we all rode in our confidence snaffles and played with the fluid rein concepts. Sundance has already learned to push into the bit, now I can teach him to round into it and really start to use it to shape him. I feel I am a good rider but it is very easy for me to get stiff and hollow backed, it shows in his back too. So we played with the fluid rein pattern like Berin showed us, really swinging our arm out and around, becoming light in our seat and rounding our own back.

I had an epiphany, my back totally transformed in that session! WOW, I went from riding with a sore back right below my shoulder blades to the point of almost having to stop from the pain to really being able to tuck my tail bone and feel free! It was amazing, my posture totally transformed and I was able to sit in the saddle and sit in my seat in a way that I could not even force myself to sit in before… looks like I will be doing this a lot until I can get my back to where it needs to be. Now that I think about it, where I was having the terrible pain, that is exactly where Sundance has the exaggerated muscle atrophy and that is the only place he really has atrophy…. Hmmm, how cool? Looks like where his back is sore and needs work on, it’s the same place on me! Wow!

Afterwards we went over to the lodge and took our written portion of the draft testing, after that we went outside and tested on the practical of harnessing the team, single horse and tying up special knots and reins/lines correctly. I was happy with my scores! I only missed part of one question… YES!

After lunch we met LeAnn Thacker at office for Administration rotation, BEST class time I have had so far. I got a real good check on draining my emotions and concentrating on the future, I was able to drain 4 pages of emotions and 2 detailed pages of my future, my values and how I am going to reach these goals… on of them was to win the lottery. Ha ha… Take a look at my page on for more detailed information on the class, really good stuff.

We had our meeting and enjoyed a more intimate meeting with the group as a large portion of the group is gone to the Road to the Horse, we should be seeing a live feed of it on the afternoons of this weekend which we are very excited about.

We had a great dinner, kudos to the chefs! We went to Coldstone to celebrate testing is over then we came back and played with some patterns on the ground with our horses, we took care of them and fed them. The lights got turned off and the stars shone bright, I laid in the middle of the driveway and just looked at the wonder of the sky and the unknown galaxies. The stars are breathtaking, we saw 2 shooting stars!

I have a good feeling tonight, I have my emotions under control and have totally surrendered to trust the process. Everything happens for a reason and as long as I am trying my best, that is the best I can do… I think we are supposed to have midterms tomorrow, we are supposed to be individually meeting with Berin and Brian and talking about the midterms and our goals and personal development, I am very excited to talk with them.

I am going to have to work around my nervousness and learn to take energy they have like a man, I can get quite intimidated easily and I need to learn to be confident AND respectful around my leaders, I don’t have to COWER and be respectful. We will see how it goes, please keep your fingers crossed and keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers.  Thanks so much, guys! Talk with you tomorrow!

Testing for draft class...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Externship–DAY 37–Time goes by SO Fast

Goodness, to recollect the day is a challenge! This morning we got to play soccer, thank goodness! I love playing that in the morning, it is really good for me and my energy. We broke and saddled our horses to ride, Sundance and I played with some more long line driving and liberty. Sundance is really starting to catch onto some of the harder concepts, I am really excited about him trying so hard. We hopped on and played with hindquarter and forequarter yields with Level 4 quality then trotting and cantering the cloverleaf pattern. Sundance responded very well and really started to get the pattern with some nice rhythm and relaxation, I was very happy and can’t wait to pick back up on this again.

We rode our horses over across the road to work with Nate, we had more hands on time to get a feel of the equipment. We had the chance to test on two of the tasks, testing with Nate is fun! You are a joy to work with, a wonderful teacher… thank you very much! Tomorrow is the big testing day, so I have more studying to do tonight… I need to get to it, dishes took a long time and I have been working on a speech about Paso Fino’s for class, I am almost done with it.

After lunch we rode back across the street to play with multiple ways to play the porcupine game, lead by the lip, ear, and chin. I taught Sundance to do this years ago, and I also taught him to lead by the neck, mane, forelock and nose… I sat with him and taught him to lower his head by lightly holding his nose or pinching his lower neck. I also reviewed the tasks Berin wanted us to do… Pretty fun stuff! I also played a bit more with backing by the tail, refining it a bit more! We had dinner and dish duty, now I am ready for bed. Keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers for tomorrow and Friday, it’s been a stressful week. Thanks guys!

Externship–DAY 36–Never Better Ever!

Today was a much better day for myself and my horse. I once again got up early enough to get quite a bit of work done, both inside and outside. I had the opportunity to take care of Sundance, clean up, work on a project here on the PC and get some paperwork done! We once again met up across the road (boy do I wish our football and soccer in the morning) with Berin and split in half for driving and horsemanship, our group did horsemanship first. We met at the foundation station and we received a wonderful surprise from Berin! He took the time to print out all of the Parelli Patterns on single sheets, front and back of all four savvies for all of the externs. THANK YOU, Berin!

We also received the self-assessment sheets and he wanted us to fill them out. I am so beyond excited as we can do everything except for like 3 or 4 Finesse tasks such as 10 flying changes in a row between cones. Ha ha… I plan on being able to do that with Sundance by the end of this externship, if not I will after I work with Marc de Champlain. We have been able to do some flying changes freestyle, which is VERY beyond excited. Back on track, after Berin gave out the sheets he had us meet him at the farthest round pen for an inspirational liberty performance with his horse Jasmine (Casper X Nova), gave us all great ideas to play with for a while. I got a couple of ideas from it…

- Refresh my zone 5 driving at liberty, Sundance gets tense and confused sometimes so we need to scrape the rust off! Which we did today, we had some of the best driving rapport I have ever had with him, we played in a 180 foot round pen so it was really big! He got over a good bit of his tensity, which I am very excited about. I have a good bit to add onto after this session, and it’s something very solid to build onto, so I can’t wait to play with it tomorrow.

- Close range circles, I played with that in the 180 round pen and he was STUCK to me which I am very happy about. There is still some respect to work on and maintain gait but that will come as I continue to play with increasing our rapport. The session ended on me a VERY happy mommy as he did very close range canter circles, close enough to where I could take a hold of his mane and keep a hold of it and put my arm over my head and around as I follow with him with a soft feel… Wow, I am SO proud of him!

- Back by tail, refine into backing the pattern of a figure eight. I played a bit with that today, that will be fun to actually get consistently!

- Canter to halt transitions, getting this good online and will start transferring it to a 50 foot round pen at liberty.

There is a good bit more of things we need to refine, which is the exciting thing! After his demo we went and played at liberty and had a great session which I explained above. After our session we went across the street and met with Nate where we once again got a WHOLE LOT more information, we also had the chance to play with a good bit of hands on with the team harnesses, single harnesses, and rope tying. It was a lot of fun, kudos to the VERY well behaved horses and wonderful teacher. They moved the test up to Thursday as there is more that Nate wants us to learn tomorrow before he tests us Thursday, no problem! We can ace a test on things we learned only the day before! No problem! Actually, we have a great and determined group and I do believe we can DO it, and we will get it done with a little FUN too!

We broke for lunch then my group and I worked in the kitchen until about 2:30 pm to make sure it was cleaned up. We had rotations this afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, we had a chance to observe all that went on from the instructors view of the Fast Track. It was very interesting seeing the different students, how they handle horses and situations, how they ask questions and how they take the answers. I also see how much guts an instructor has to have to do the right thing for the student. Great learning afternoon, great job John and Kristi! Thanks for the opportunity to learn.

We had dinner and now I am back filling out the patterns sheet and getting some good ideas for our sessions. I am working on my Paso Fino report for a speech we will be doing sometime this week or next week. We also will be studying like crazy people for the driving test! Wish us luck! I am not as emotional about the test results at the end of this week, what happens happens and all I can do is try my hardest and see what happens. I just have to remember if and when I fall short that I am not stupid or wrong, that will be a hard thing but I am determined to make it constructive, not destructive! Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you! :)

letting our horses drink beside the lodge during lunch break...

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breathtaking trees...

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The carriage/draft barn...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

John Baar instructing class...

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helping at fast track!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Externship–DAY 35–Personal Horsemanship, Driving with Nate and Speech Preparation Time

This morning I was able to wake up early and work on my project, make some calls and take care of my horse. I do believe the mornings are my favorite time out of the day, I had a chance to finalize some things with Marc de Champlain and talk with my family which is wonderful. We ended up meeting over across the street at the courtyard at 8:20 am to talk with Berin about the exciting week ahead. This week will consist of testing and pressing, not sure what all that will consist of though. I do know that our focus this week is driving and testing on all of the driving theory and practical tests. Most of us are quite nervous though, since we have only had 1 day of driving, and then counting today which makes two. There is a lot to see and a lot to remember, a LOT of stuff and we are very new to it and we are being tested Wednesday. I am sure if we try hard and study we can do this and pass, I am sure they will not throw stuff at us that we cannot handle… I trust Parelli in that. So this week is midterm week, I am not sure when we will get the results but I am sure it will come at the right time.

So after we met with Berin we divided into two groups, one to work with Nate for a couple of hours and another to meet with Berin across the road to play with horsemanship and get a chance to ask Berin for help with our horsemanship. For some reason, Sundance and I didn’t have a super fabulous session today. I did however learn how to fix or create a draw that is having problems at liberty, pretty good to know. I also learned a bit about being a leader in the saddle, and playing around with shims and saddle fit. I will continue to grow, everything happens for a reason, I can’t have an amazing day every day… and I do believe it is all in how you look at it as to if it is an amazing day or not?

After horsemanship time we had an intriguing lesson with Nate Bowers and the draft horses Thunder, Lightning and Peaches. There is so much to learn but I loved it and can’t wait to learn more. The drafts were great, they stood so patiently and let all the different students take the harnesses on and off, over and over again.

We went to lunch, my group did dishes for lunch, I love the core value “get it done with a little fun!”. Anything can be fun if you are in the right spirits. We met up with Berin again but this time in the Student lounge to talk about speeches and the topics we are to research. I got the topic of the Paso Fino, the gorgeous gaited spanish breed. I am going to try to get that done before this Thursday. We all split into groups to talk about what makes a good speech then went on our own to work on it ourselves. I went and took care of Sundance then joined everyone for dinner, afterwards we had a study group going on in the Student Lounge to study for the driving test, once you categorize everything in your head it is not that hard. It is also helpful to have Nate’s book around to get some visual on what we are testing on.

Tomorrow should be another day of fun with the drafts! My emotions are going a bit crazy about the testing, these results this week and at the end of my Externship mean a lot to my future and how far I will and will not go. I sure hope I have what it takes, I guess we will see in time. I know this pushing me out of my comfort zone is what is going to make me a better person, growth can only come from being outside of your comfort zone. I need a couch out here, and come chocolate… maybe that would help! I will update you guys tomorrow, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Externship–DAY 34–Relaxing Day to Rejuvenate

Today our alarm didn’t go off! Oh no! We were going to get up at 7:00 am, we didn’t wake up until 7:36 am. We got dressed and stepped outside, it just smelled amazing, and the air felt so relaxing and the sounds comforting. I knew it was going to be a good day off right then and there. We fed horses and cleaned up, ran to the lodge to eat breakfast and then ran up town to do some errands and went to the laundromat.

We made our way back here where I worked on a project and clipped Sundance’s bridlepath, ears, legs and jaw… he looks very handsome. I met with the Parelli Saddles reps and purchased a shim, we shimmed him up and I rode and he felt ABSOLUTLEY amazing, I once again had another horse! He had the smoothest jog and he was stretching his head and neck down and blowing… I felt so happy, now that he is shimmed well he should start muscling better behind his scapula. We took a trail ride around the campus and decided to stop at the lodge for some dinner. We stopped at the arena beside the courtyard to talk with friends and I got another flying change on him! HOLY MOLY! Smile We made our way back here and I gave the sweet boy a shower and some yummies, I am about to head back out to put a sheet on him and the rest of his dinner. We have another exciting day tomorrow, I have no idea as to what we are doing but I know it will be good! We have our midterms Friday, I am so excited to get my results… I have ants in my pants! Please keep your fingers crossed. Talk with you soon! Have a great afternoon.

trail riding our horses up to the lodge for dinner...

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Externship–DAY 33–Energetic Atmosphere

Groups B and D were in charge of helping with the Parelli Games, we had our work cut out for us! There were 50 plus people from off campus then a good bit of the fast track participants! The atmosphere was absolutely energetic and inspiring, I thoroughly enjoyed watching, interacting and helping out all the different personalities and learning how to speak to them at exactly where they are at. People are pretty cool, TOTALLY different than horses though and much more challenging. Don’t you think it would be easier for us to interact with our own species being that we are exactly the same, than for us to interact and co-exist with a totally opposite species? I thought wrong, but now I get to see how in the levels I can get with human rapport!

The Parelli Games ended with very inspirational spotlights full of talented individuals! It’s great to see them be brave enough to do this, it gave me great insight as I am one of those that really love doing them but am very nervous about doing things like it… now I can be a viewer and know that no one is “judging” me, but they are with me in the journey at that moment, crying with me, laughing with me, cringing with me and enjoying every moment. It really isn’t anything to be nervous about, I am sure I can use this experience the next time I do something in front of a crowd.

After Parelli games we went and did the shopping that needed to be done and came back for a mandatory meeting for all mastery students, led by Sue Shoemark and Mark Weiler. All it was was a bunch of inspirational stuff, as expected! Great to hear from some of the leaders of Parelli. It was also awesome to see Mark Weiler get his red string! GO MARK, You are definitely never better ever!

After the meeting I had a chance to do some chores and play with Sundance at liberty, I didn’t ride him today as he worked very hard yesterday. We played our games as I sat on the fence, it seems very interesting to him that he has to understand the games and perform while I sit on the fence! He was so intrigued and we had a very good time, I am very proud of him trying so hard. We played with invisible aids, were learning a lot. He is teaching me a ton about lightness, it’s amazing just how light and sensitive horses really are.

I put him in his stall to rest and munch on hay, now I have the chance to update for you! Sarah and Zoe are still out there playing, I think I am going to work on a project then all of us will run over to the lodge to try to find some dinner. So far I have no plans but to do laundry and meet up with the Parelli Saddles Reps, hopefully I will be ordering a Parelli Ranch roper… I have my fingers crossed! Talk with you all soon…

Mark Weiler getting his red string and Pat being filmed at the lower honeycomb at liberty...

Mark Weiler and Sue Shoemark talking to the mastery students about social media...

Parelli Games! 50 plus people from off campus, VERY exhilarating!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Externship–DAY 32- Ties and Spurs Session, Horsemanship, Kallie and Set up for Parelli Games

Today started as a normal beautiful morning, we played soccer then met up with Berin. Liz, one of our sweet externs from England had a birthday today so we all ate cake then grabbed our 12 foot line and did a lap of jump rope around the tack room for the heck of it! Berin gave us a great interactive talk about correct tying, he played with a horse that had tying problems then we talked about spurs. Spurs are a YES in higher levels for refined communication, just some fun and VERY eye opening homework to our assumptions of what spurs are harsh and which ones aren’t… go to your local tack shop and take every different type of spur and test them by feeling them against your ribs, REALLY cool stuff, you will be very surprised.

We all went and tacked our horses up and met with Berin around the intern tack room where there are tilled paths of patterns around round pens, we used it to instill positive patterns in our horses and it gave me some great arrows to use with my beautiful gift of a partner. It was too soon time for lunch and decided to let Sundance join me across the road for the rest of the afternoon, so we carried a bag of hay with us across the road. We rode over peacefully through the majestic ranch and found him a quiet tree to relax by while I had lunch. After lunch we were invited up to beside Pat’s house where the weanlings are kept to watch Kallie, so I rode him over there.

At 3:30 pm we had a meeting with Kirsti Smith to get ready for the play day on campus at the morning, so we made our way to the instructor room and talked about the next day ahead. We headed out to the play ground and set things up, Sundance came with us with his sweet ways and helped out… often trying to play with the chalk marker, at least he was trying! We made our way back to the foundation where he got a smooth deserving bath and a bunch of fresh hay… a great way to end the day! I had a chance to work on a project during dinner, got some ice cream and came back to take care of my pony. I will be up extra early and dressed extra special for the setting up and execution of the Parelli Games… we are expecting a huge crowd, we are excited to see all of the faces and opportunities. Hopefully it will all go smoothly…

Riding to lunch on horseback...

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Waiting at Pat's house at the weaning pasture for Kallie to work with the babies...

Meeting with Berin... playing with patterns.

Sundance in the shoe shack...

Follow the rail and controlled catasrophe...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Externship – DAY 31–Horsemanship, Facility, Sundance’s Pedicure and Weekly Meeting

This morning I woke up at my regular beautiful early morning time, peaceful and alone to meditate and be thankful for all of the amazing blessings that I have been given. I ate breakfast at the trailer, yay for microwavable meals! I gave Sundance a quick shower and met up with the group, our group leader was later because of a meeting, so we all started on our own with a fun name game that involves hitting people with a pool noodle! We started a really fun and engaging game of soccer, it was a total blast! Berin made his way this way and we played online with our tasks and soon saddled up to play with “controlled catastrophe”.

I ended up not riding as I saw that Sundance was having a hard time with his leads which he never does, I called Jim Crew, and he said that since we are going through corrective shoeing that will happen when he is due. Since I knew I needed him balanced to play with him tonight or tomorrow I decided to get him done that afternoon. I rode Sundance to lunch across the road and tied him up to rest by a tree, I went to eat and then to my facility rotation here I learned a lot of interesting and fun things from Jim Kiser about facility management, I really enjoyed learning from him and look forward to more.

I hopped on Sundance and rode him up to Pat’s Performance barn so Jim could work on him. Jim had me ride around so he could analyze his movements, he took him into the shack. I watched the whole time and Jim explained what Sundance’s body was doing and how it was changing and how he was going to accommodate and help him create positive patterns and positive growth in his body. About half way through or less of that time, Sundance seemed to mentally be a different horse. I hopped on him and tested him out, he felt so much smoother in his body and transitions and his emotions! Holy cow! I felt like I had my old Sundance back, it’s amazing how if something is off in a horses body it can effect their emotions that much!

At 5:30  pm we had our weekly meeting with all the students on campus, including the campus leaders. It is always inspiring and really gives you a positive mental picture of the relationships that goes on within the campus. The days go by so fast here, I have no idea as to what we will be doing tomorrow! I do know it will be very good, today was a very amazing day.

I talked with Marc De Champlain and I am beyond, WAY BEYOND excited to work with him. I know for a fact this is a once and a lifetime opportunity as to how he is working with me, the quality of time he is putting in, the length and how amazing and rare the things that had to be set up to actually be able to do this… I am blown away, I can only pray I will be able to take in all of the information as I need to and grasp it and really make something of it. I feel so blessed, I only hope I can be who I need to be to carry through on with all I have been blessed with! We still have a few details to figure out with traveling to his farm in Georgia but is all a GO right now!

I am very tired at the moment, but I can’t go to sleep without telling all of you that has gone on, it gets a little addicting! Hopefully I will have some good things to share with you tomorrow, I look forward to it…

Mariah Helms

Externship–DAY 30- Horsemanship, Panels, more horsemanship! Pat’s Instructor Webinar and Extern Topic Speeches

I am figuring out that if I get up around 6:00 am and quickly get ready and do my chores (I take that back, there is no way I can call it chores! I find it an EXTREME pleasure and absolute honor to have the privilege to take care of my horse and everything it entails.) I have plenty of time to do what I need, relax an start my day right by setting everything up for success…. so I do believe I have finally established a very positive pattern in myself now in the mornings!

Now I just have to work on controlling my extroversion and it is much harder here because of the positive and electrifying atmosphere… Linda Parelli did a seminar on the Elements of Man, in which the Parelli Horsenalities were inspired from, she did expensive explanations and examples of every personality. Left Brained Introvert is Air, Left Brained Extrovert is Earth, Right Brained Extrovert is Fire and Right Brained Introvert is Water. I found out that I am a very typical medium to extreme Fire, with some Earth tendencies attached. The seminar really helped me figure out what I really am, why I do things and how to handle them… so now my goal is to tamper down some certain qualities of my fire personality, I do tend to have innocent yet mischievous child like facial expressions and tendencies, these are very natural and positive to me but it is not always appropriate so I have to struggle to program myself to react to certain situations differently. Especially in classroom situations, if I am not  moving my feet I cannot keep my mind going and I fall asleep which is very embarrassing because I do very honestly have a huge interest in what the speakers here have to say and I do not want to come across as disrespectful. So I am learning quite a bit about myself here! Are there any extroverts out there that have any good information or tips for me? PLEASE leave a comment or shoot me an email, I would greatly appreciate your feedback VERY much!

This morning, after a thrilling and sweaty game of soccer, we had personal horsemanship time with the topic of change direction on the 45 foot line with flying lead change and falling leaf pattern. At the moment with Sundance I am playing with him on giving to the pressure of the 45 foot line around his neck just clipped to itself, kind of like a lasso! He had a very hard time with it when I first introduced it to him a few days ago but now he I getting quite a hang of it. It is not anything I have been told to work on but I do feel this is really another porcupine game he needs to learn and will advance his refinement and understanding of the game even more! We played once again with the meaning of my shoulder positions, now if I am in front of him and just tilt my shoulder a certain way he understands to face me and sideways whichever way my shoulder opens up to… which is pretty awesome, one of the students during the speeches today had the assignment of talking about Principle # 7 “Horses teach Riders and Riders teach Horses”. Sundance has truly been an example of that during my fast track, my instructors and the experience here has taught me a lot but I do believe he has been my most influential teacher here, which is pretty amazing I do feel.

Berin called us in and said Jim Kiser, the faculty handy-man, needed our assistance in taking down all of the paneled round pens within the foundation station.. “Oh no!” Was my first reaction. Work? In this heat right now? Did not sound appetizing to me at that moment. THEN the core values kicked in, “Do more with less!”, “Get it done with a little fun!”. Oh yeah, “oh no!” ended up turning into an “Oh Boy!”. Many hands make a light load, experience creates learning, friends together never ever have to work… can we move MORE panels please!? We saddled back up and played with follow the rail, cloverleaf and the bowtie pattern. Sundance usually never has a hard time picking up the right lead, he did today! I told Sarah he really felt off, that this wasn’t normal, I knew it wasn’t. I went later and took the pad off and noticed quite a large dry spot on his right scapula! OOPS! I had been playing with the shims under my saddle, looks like I hit a No No pattern, just means I have more positive patterns to find! I seem close, I will need to purchase some more shims sometime this week.

We broke for lunch, had a webinar seminar with Pat, Linda and Neil Pye for all the instructors around the world. They had a record of over 100 live viewers and many sent questions in, it was all great to hear. Afterwards the externs met with Berin in the student lounge to listen to half of the groups presentations, every one did a fabulous job! Thanks for the wonderful information and inspiration. We all moseyed back to the foundation station to put all the panels back up, Yay! I learned something new too again, always learning something in every situation. We ran and did more chores, ran to publix for water bottle cases and came back and I played with one of my new projects here on the computer, I get to use my organization skills and fun creative side… so I am enjoying it, hopefully I can get the word documenting system figured out on this little technical computer soon so I can really get on it.

It seems I have typed off into the tomorrow, it is now Thursday! I have an exciting day ahead, I have NO IDEA as to what I will be doing tomorrow. I do know it will be very warm outside and we will all be on another beautiful adventure, please stay tuned and please help me along. I am looking forward to the journey, thanks for sticking with me. Until next time…

Mariah Helms

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Instructor Webinar with Pat, Linda and Neil Pye

moving panels! fun actually, since we were with friends... many hands make a light load, get it done with a little fun!

Sundance and Hoksila, Zoe's horse right after playing with each other...

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Sundance, Max and Hoksila... Sundance and Hoksila playing, silly boys!

Helping with Fast Track yesterday....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Externship–DAY 29–Horsemanship Morning and Teaching Rotation

This morning I woke up early and completed my horse chores early since my family was coming in at 7:00 am to say goodbye before they left, it felt good to get stuff done early! Sundance was somewhat cleaner than usual and happy to see me, the morning was gorgeous and my family pulled in right on time just as I had gotten finished. They brought me some breakfast so I wouldn’t have to go up to the lodge and I had a great time with them, I am so very thankful for such a wonderful family… I am truly blessed that  we are so close and we love each other so much!

After my family left for sweet little North Carolina, we met up at the Intern tack room with Berin and talked about our day. We have 3 new Interns in our group so we played a new and hilarious round of the name game… our regular backwards football game was changed, it’s now deflated ball deep sand soccer! I was  a lot of fun and regardless of the cold and wind, all of us ended up very sweaty and quite out of breath. Once our game was over we all gathered our horses, groomed, tacked and warmed up. I chose to warm up at liberty in one of the 50 foot round pen, Sundance and I are really focusing on subtlety within our phases right now, using mostly my energy, my facial expressions and my shoulders to communicate with him… I learned JUST how much one shoulder movement can make to a horse, if  I was blocking him with my shoulder in sideways mirroring he could not do it, but once I opened it up he did it beautifully and all I had to do is open up my shoulder and look at him and he would do it. I am playing with my energy with my drive, draw and send also. I noticed just how much I paid attention to his bosy and energy, how much I noticed his changes and his queues and how small and subtle I made mine during my liberty sessions, it made me think… Why don’t I do all of this online just as much? It made me think of Pat’s quote “ Play Online as if you were at Liberty and at Liberty as if you were Online'” Hmmm…. why didn’t I think of that and apply that before? Sundance taught me  a lot today, he also gave me lots of giggles and smiles, how blessed can I get?

We met with Berin in the performance arena and discussed about the importance and use of the change of direction at the canter on the 45 foot line. He demonstrated with a horse then had us separate and work on it individually as he watched over and offered help as it was needed. That lasted until 12:40 pm, I jumped on and rode for a couple of minutes as lunch is from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. My rotation this afternoon was teaching, we met up with the instructors and assessors of the current fast track course in the instructors room, discussed quite a few things. I am in group B, so all 4 of us went to work with all of the instructors who were helping out with testing… we transferred items back and forth, got water, helped students  and zipped up zip ties for the tests. We finished at 10 after 6 and ran and ate some great chicken, which after I came back here to the Foundation Station to blanket Fabio, braid him up and feed. I tried my best to get chores done early so I can write a long update for you and work on a current project… so here I go!

We have no idea as to what we are to be doing tomorrow, everyday is an unknown adventure… you never ever know what you are going to do! That’s why you are hanging here with me, I appreciate it. We will talk soon, thanks for the pleasure of being able to speak to you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Externship - DAY 28 - Check In and Make a Wish

Today I woke up at 5:30 am to meet a couple more students to help with check in for the 50 plus students and horses that were coming in for the fast track, a 4 week intense course for level 2 plus students with goals of completing levels 3 and 4 and going into professionals program. I took this course November of last year, it was great and so were the instructors! We had people coming in from all over the world, naming some such as Italy, Austria, France, England, Canada and more! It was interesting speaking to all the different cultures all in one day, it was a wonderful experience... I enjoyed it very much.

We ate some lunch and then went to take care of my horse, we then headed over to the Ocala Equestrian Complex for the competition fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation... what a WONDERFUL experience, such amazing horse trainers and riders in one place. Pat and David O'Connors team went for one of the highest bids. I am not sure who won at the end, I DO KNOW that I learned a lot and almost cried as I know this is exactly what I want to do! I am looking to work with the trainer that Pat recommends right after my externship, Marc De Champlain, for working cow horse training. I hope I will be able to do it, because I am beyond excited! So beyond excited!

It is very late, and it seems we have another busy day tomorrow. I am not sure exactly what we are going to do tomorrow, I do know we are to meet at 8:30 am with Berin at the Intern tack room to start the day. My parents should be meeting me at 7:00 am to say goodbye before they leave for North Carolina, I do not want them to leave but they will be back in a couple of more weeks. I have work to do here alone, and they have work to do at home. We should have mid-terms at the end of next week, I am excited to get a report on how I am doing an where I can improve. I just can't believe we are this close to the mid-mark... it's crazy!

Talk Soon,

Mariah Helms