What I learned from saying “yes” to a horse behaviour clinic


Last month, I had the privilege to participate in a private horse behaviour clinic with my mentor, Linda Parelli. I couldn’t be more excited: After 15 years of studying horse behaviour through Linda’s videos, books, and online courses, I was going to meet her in person. I’ve studied many different methods to improve my horsemanship skills and participated in various clinics in North America, but the style and approach I love the best is Linda’s. She makes it easy to understand the theory and put it into practice. I did say practice because that is the key to becoming an excellent natural horsemanship trainer. Horsemanship is an art that takes leadership, patience, observation, and love.

I want to share what I learned about myself from joining this clinic. This time, it’s not directly related to horses, but preparing for this trip gave me the opportunity to break old thought patterns and see things in a new light.

First, let me start by saying that I live in Montreal and the clinic was in Ocala, Florida so I had to make arrangements to fly there. During these COVID times, travelling to Florida wasn’t the easiest decision. People kept asking me whether I was sure I wanted to go. That was the first obstacle—I had to stop my spiralling negative thoughts from taking control: “Maybe they’re right, it’s not safe to travel right now. Maybe I should cancel. It’s much too expensive. I should save my money to pay off my credit card.”

After 50,000 thoughts of why I shouldn’t go, I decided it was time to stop overthinking and just do it. After all, this is what I really wanted. This opportunity might not come again, and meeting and learning with Linda for the first time live would be a dream come true. Then another negative thought creeped in: “Yeah, but there will be other clinics.” Why was my mind going against what I really wanted?

To calm your thoughts, the simplest thing to do is say “no.” Then you’re off the hook and you no longer need to fight your negative thoughts. It’s not always a bad thing to decline an opportunity, but just make sure it’s not out of apprehension, insecurity, resistance, or laziness. When you decide to say “yes,” then it’s the real deal and you need to fully commit because even when you say yes, negative thoughts will continue to show up.

I decided to say “YES” to the horse behaviour clinic. Then I had to figure out how to make it happen: I had to find a lease horse and a place to stay, book plane tickets, lease a car, make arrangements at home so my husband could take care of the horses and the dogs—all in one week. Yeah, I forgot to mention that the opportunity appeared two weeks before the clinic started. While I was busy planning all of this, apprehensive thoughts were still coming through, saying “Are you sure about this?” To help myself stick to my “yes,” I decided to ask questions instead of letting my mind look for ways to stop me from going.

My first questions were: What opportunities are waiting for me at this clinic? Where would I be without those negative thoughts? What resources must I attract to make this trip fun, easy, and full of joy? What is keeping me from being focused on making this trip come true? When you ask questions instead of letting your mind wander, it opens up a whole new way of seeing things, and new ideas and solutions magically appear. Asking questions fires new and different neurons in your brain and helps you let go of old thought patterns. As Joe Dispenza says “Neurons that fire together wire together.” So we must make sure that we fire the right thoughts.

I could go on and on about this, but ultimately, I did make the trip and I had a fantastic time. I reached my objective to learn more about horse behaviour and meet my long-time mentor. I connected with people, played with horses, and had so much fun. Everything came together easily. Every day of the five-day clinic, I had to pinch myself when I looked at Linda teaching. And as always, the horses there helped me go the extra mile.

From all this I have created a new program on HOW HORSES LEARN AND COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. It will be coming out mid-January on line.

Next time you really want something, say “yes” and fully commit to it. That’s when the big magic happens.

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