Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
As a young girl I always had a vision of myself riding a paint horse into the mountains alone with a dog by my side. I didn't have a horse but I wanted to be free and independent. In seventh grade I started working for a colt starter and he paid me by giving me a three year old paint gelding. I had him until I was 23 and he and I covered a lot of country together- out alone in the mountains just like my vision.
Visualization is a valuable tool in everyday life, and I have seen proof of it working in others life as well as my own. It's simple and effective. See things as you would like them to be. Place yourself inside the picture and see things through your eyes. Feel the feeling you want to feel when you have created what you want. Visualization helps you to practice for the future because when you get there, you will already feel comfortable and confident. A lot of professional athletes will visualize a perfect performance.
Every time I visualize something and think about it a lot and it comes true, my faith in the process grows. I just moved to Arizona for the winter to ride horses and help my boyfriend put on team roping jackpots. Lots of exciting things have been happening. I got offered an awesome apprenticeship with an NFR barrel racer, I walked into a restaurant today and picked up a waitressing job a few nights a week, and everything is just effortless and flowing.
Matt, my boyfriend, followed the principles of The Secret and it helped him clinch the Collegiate National Championship in team roping with his partner Cody a few years back. He just believed that they were going to win and he imagined it and visualized it. It didn't look like they were going to get it, then in a crazy series of events, they had the title.
When I was getting ready for Miss Rodeo Montana, I would visualize when I was doing my cardio workout. I would just run and feel the feelings of winning. I was super nervous about answering the impromptu question at the fashion show. I felt like extemporaneous speaking was my weakness and so I visualized a question I wanted to get and my perfect answer for it. I answered this one question perfectly over and over again.
The day of the fashion show came and I was standing up on the stage waiting for my turn to draw a question out of the bowl. I felt confident and felt like it was my time to win. I reached into the bowl and touched a piece of paper, but something in my head said to throw that one back and pick another one. I even laughed to myself because of how ridiculous it was that I had not liked the piece of paper and didn't even know what was on it. So I grab a new one, pull it out, and read it. I was blown away when it was THE QUESTION I HAD BEEN PRACTICING FOR MONTHS. Needless to say, I nailed the question without a bobble. As I was crowned Miss Rodeo Montana a few days later, I felt so excited and knew my visualization and preparation had worked.
Imagine the life you want to lead. Put out the good vibrations. Know that great things are coming your way. Believe that people are out there that you will magnetize into your life who will influence, inspire, and assist you. Know that you are a powerful part in creating your life the way you want it.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Ahhh. The blog post I've been dreading but know that it has to happen. This is about my perspective on love and loss, on the inevitable... which we will all experience."For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one" -Khalil Gibran
My first experience with loss happened when I was twelve years old. I was an animal crazy kid who had a furry best friend named Duke. Anyone that knows me, knows I really love and connect with my dogs. Duke and I were best friends. In the spring during high water of the creek I was playing fetch with Duke and threw a stick in the water for him. A current violently grabbed him and took him downstream and he got sucked underneath a dam and drowned. I was helpless to do anything and it happened so fast that there was nothing I could have done. Duke hit his head underneath the dam and drowned. When the water lowered later that year we found his body and buried him.
There are no words to describe how horrible I felt as a child, feeling so guilty for the death of my beloved friend. I feel like God used this experience to prepare me for what was to come in my life.
I'm not going to go into too much detail, but when I was 18 I lost my boyfriend in a freak truck rollover accident in the mountains. I was riding my horse behind the truck and found him dead. I was miles out in the middle of nowhere and found a man camping in the woods who brought me to a camp to call 911. Me and this complete stranger waited 8 hours for help to arrive. After that day began the hell on earth that we all know as grief. Anyone who has experienced it knows it is the most draining, terrible, horrific thing you can go through.
But this isn't a story about sadness and negativity. This is a story about hope. On the day of the funeral, it poured down rain. And after that the clouds opened up and there were beautiful rainbows in the sky. I looked up to the sky in my oilskin duster, and despite having just buried someone I loved, I knew that a rainbow was a promise from God. It was a visual reminder of hope for me. I knew my life would change, but one day I would understand the Plan.
A few weeks after the funeral, I went to church and I felt like the pastor spoke right to me. He said we all start out as a block of wood. The hard times are like sandpaper, that are shaping us to be who we are. In the end we become God's beautiful carving. I held on to that thought- that my adversity was shaping me. I tried to read books on grieving and I hated them. So I started reading self help and inspirational books. I filled my mind with stories of hope and success and love. I got a new puppy named Gus, who helped teach me how to love something again. I set a goal for myself to be Miss Rodeo Montana. I started a degree in Natural Horsemanship and decided I was going to be a horse trainer. I let a new boyfriend into my heart. I gained perspective on life and decided to live my dream.
These things never would have happened without the loss I endured. I am certain you can choose how you let loss affect you. It can either debilitate and crush you, or it can be a catalyst for growth and enlightenment. I am blessed with my experiences because I APPRECIATE OTHERS IN MY LIFE DEEPLY.... I KNOW THAT WHAT WE LOVE CAN BE GONE IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.... I AM MORE SPIRITUAL AND HAVE FAITH IN WHAT IS TO COME AFTER I DIE.... I REALIZED IF I CAN GET THROUGH THIS, I CAN DO ANYTHING.
Life is not always fuzzy and cute and perfect. Sometimes it sucks. But I can promise you this. You can heal your heart. It may take awhile, but our souls are very resilient. And know that if you have had loss in your life, all it takes is the decision to move on and live and love fully, and you will live a life you never before could have dreamed of. And I believe with all of my heart I will see Duke and Dusty again.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
That person is you.
To be truly successful, you must take 100% responsibility for your own life. Every failure, every success, your friendships, your physical fitness, your debts, your feelings, your current work situation. It is so easy to blame... the weather, your childhood, the people around you, your spouse, your lack of money, the list goes on and on.
Dare I say, the real problem is usually you. This means that you create what happens to you. If you are constantly negative and feeling like others are hating on you and taking advantage of you, it will soon become the story you're writing for your life. The life you are living now is the result of all of your past thoughts and actions. Change yourself today for your future.
I believe in surrounding yourself with positivity- positive people, images, books, ideas... If a really negative person comes into my life I really can feel them sucking out my energy. Granted, people need help at times and everyone has rough patches. But there are some people who are chronically negative and I don't think they want to change. I choose not to be around those people.
Pursue your passion. I have always known I wasn't going to fit in the 9-5 mold. I was never going to wear heels and a business suit. I just would feel my soul dying if I had to be working at a job I disliked every single day. Following your passion is not easy at times, however. I have lived a gypsy life and don't have a house or a huge savings account. But I know that will come. I am glad to have the experiences of being a cowgirl and traveling and meeting people that invigorate and inspire me. If you love something so much that it doesn't even feel like work, you can make it pay. There is a niche for you. I just feel like life is super short and the time is flying and I can't take all the material possessions with me anyways. I am going to learn about horsemanship, rope, ride colts, and travel. Your inner guidance system is your joy, and I have always felt the most alive on the back of a horse.
We get one chance. One life to live. One story to write. You are the captain of your ship. Are you going to sit back and read about other people's lives on facebook and wish you were doing what they did? Or are you going to take 100% responsibility for your own life and make it something incredible...
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
They both have excellent foundation and body control. Their foundation, is most likely identical.
No matter what a horse does, if they are good, they know how to control their body and perform certain maneuvers. Rope horse, jumper, mounted shooting horse, barrel horse, hunter jumper, dressage horse, it doesn't matter.
When you watch a barrel horse sit down and rate to turn a barrel, there nose will be tipped in and their hip in as well. This is a similar position to a lead departure in western pleasure class. This is an unnatural movement for a horse, but when those muscles are built up and they are trained to be in that "C" position, it will make a very powerful and fast turn around a barrel. It also encourages the proper lead on a circle.
Today I watched my boss ride two horses that I struggled getting in this position. To get the head position, flexed and tipped in, you must make it uncomfortable for them to get out of position. They will seek the spot you want because it is more comfortable than the place they are getting pressure. So I jiggle the reins when they get out of position and release when they are where I want them to be. To move their hip to the inside, a horse needs to understand that leg pressure means move away. You always start with a calf, then a touch of the spur, then a deep roll until they move their hip in. When they make the slightest movement in, you release. It's all about feel and timing. If you are terrible at releasing, your horse won't know what you want him to do. All they want is a release of pressure. It is their greatest reward. Nothing pisses me off more than watching someone never release. That makes a horse confused and scared.
A neat drill that helps build those muscles is using the fence and having a horse keep their "C" position sidepassing along the fence...both ways. Just a training tidbit I learned today.
Every day I value cadence more. Cadence in horsemanship is having a rythym to movement that is continuous. For example, if I am doing ground work and sending a horse around me in a circle, I want them to walk in a constant rythym and not stop until I disengage their hindquarters. I listen to their hoofbeats and can tell if they have it. You don't want a horse to stop, then walk, then bolt off, then trot, then back up, when all you asked them to do was walk calmly in a circle. I get my horses to stay moving in rythym until I say stop. This helps so much when you get in the saddle. The first three rides on our colts is all about cadence. We give absolutely no direction. All I do is set my stopwatch for five minutes, cluck to them, and over under them if they don't move. I use no legs because legs are to teach side to side movement. All I want is the colt to walk for five minutes. If they break into a trot I either one rein stop or bring them into a small circle then start again. Next, I ask for ten minutes of consistent trotting. And I am not afraid to pop them on the rear in this process. If I cluck, bring my end of my lead rope across to spank without touching them and they haven't trotted off yet, I spank them. Its good to have movement above them like that in the first few rides especially. Sitting up there like dead weight will get you bucked off when you wave to your friend or pet their neck.
I have learned that my previous method of ground desensitization did not work at all. It is what I was taught in school but I found that my horses were still spooky. You would introduce a flag or tarp or the boogeyman and then the moment they stopped running from it, take the scary thing away. Well, now I have learned that you keep it moving even after the horse has stopped for about 5 seconds. Then you take it away. It seems like it takes a few seconds for the horse to catch up with whats going on. You let them know that you are rewarding the correct behavior of standing still. I am seeing great results with this. They lick their lips a lot and get desensitized fast.
Sorry this is a smorgasborg of different thoughts about my job the last two weeks, so lets just call it a training tip buffet. Very random, but some good stuff.
Cantaloping. Nope not a fruit. Its my boss's nickname for counter cantering as the English folks call it. Since western people say lope instead of canter- we cantalope. Haha. Cantaloping or counter cantering is loping on the opposite lead that you are supposed to be on. So if you are going in a circle to the right, you would be in the left lead. If you are on a horse that can't control their body and is muscularly imbalanced, you will feel an extremely rough gait. Males may no longer be able to have children it can be that bad. I cantalope all of the horses. If they have a rough time staying in the wrong lead, use more inside leg to drive their hip out. The more cantaloping you do, the better your horse will become. They will be less stiff and more athletic. But here's the catch... you have to do it both ways. Otherwise you will just be building up the imbalance in muscles. It's great to do also in a small barn where you would normally be constantly picking up their shoulder. If you are cantaloping their shoulder is already picked up! Oh and for all you rope horse people- Lope both directions when you warm up. If your horse can't even take their right lead you have some major problems!! Shoulders will be dropping and you will be ducking. They need to be strong in both sides to perform the tasks asked for in a run. If you going around in a circle to the left for the entire warm up, I'm just going to assume you have no horsemanship skills:):):)
Okay I've got to hit the hay.... I will be journaling more of what I learn at work soon. Wishing you the best from Red Lodge, MT..........
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
"Dream So Big That If Only Half of it Comes True, It's Still Amazing" Cowgirl Profile: Bobbi Jeen Olson
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
It Doesn't Matter Where You Came From, or What Has Happened to You! Quit the Pity Party and Live Your Dreams!!!
I didn't grow up on a ranch and no one in my family is a horse person or a rodeo athlete. But I have loved animals so much my entire life and I decided a long time ago that I was going to be like all of those horsewomen I admired. Even at 12, I knew I had to do something to get closer to being what I wanted to be. I worked for a horse trainer the summer of seventh grade. For my payment I got a three year old gelding that I affectionately nicknamed Crowbait because of his looks. I spent 12 years with that horse and started worked for a multitude of different trainers. I believe that it doesn't matter what kind of background a person has, or where they grew up, or how they were raised. If you have a dream and enough dedication to see it through, you will become the person you want to be.
In 2006, after a rough time in my life when I lost my boyfriend in a car accident, I decided I wanted to be Miss Rodeo Montana. It took three years and a lot of dedication and giving up other priorities, but I achieved it. The fun thing about getting prepared for Miss Rodeo MT was that none of it felt like work. It was fun and I could barely wait to read and study and practice. When you want something bad enough, the preparation doesn't even feel like work. After I won, someone came up to me and told me how lucky I was. LUCKY? I felt like luck had nothing to do with it. I was offended because I had worked SO HARD. It was an interesting view into how a lot of people see the world. Like success is an accident. A lucky thing that happens to some people. Long term success is not a lottery gamble.
I have some really large goals for myself. I want to be a professional barrel racer and team roper. I want to be an entrepreneur. And I know that I can make all those things happen with HARD WORK. I feel like if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. And they are not. Sometimes when I get anxious about a goal or start thinking about it too much I just try to do something to step closer to it.
"Nothing Diminishes Anxiety Faster than Action" - Walter Anderson (The Confidence Course 1997)
I remember telling Miss Rodeo Montana 2007 Megan Helmer that I was nervous about the Miss Rodeo America Pageant and she said something that was very wise. She said that everytime she got nervous, she would just get out her material and study some more. It worked. Every time I took action, I was calm and focused.
I am going to share some quotes that help me keep perspective.
E + R = O (Jack Canfield, The Success Principles)
Event plus Response equals outcome. If you change your response, you change your outcome. A positive response generates a great outcome. A negative reaction leads to a negative experience. When I went through tragedy at 19, I realized that we cannot control all of our experiences. All you can control is how you respond to them. And every single person on this planet is going to have experiences that make you think, "Why did this happen to me? I don't deserve this! I am a good person." This equation changed me life and I use it every single day.
"Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now." (Jonathan Martensson)
Jack Canfield says to do 5 things a day that will aid you in the completion of your goal. If you take three swings at a tree with an axe every single day, one day that tree is going to fall down.
"Turn your wounds into wisdom". (Oprah Winfrey)
"A person will sometimes devote all of his life to the development of one part of his body- the wishbone." (Robert Frost)
"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." (Arnold H. Glasgow)
"Fall down 7 times. Stand up 8." (Japanese Proverb)
I really like all of these quotes. Quotes helped me to get through a lot. It doesn't matter what you've been through, or where you come from. Look at horse trainers Monty Roberts and Buck Brannaman. Research their past. People have bad things happen to them and they have two choices. They can accelerate, have a great attitude, live their life with love and purpose. Or they can give up and never love or dream again. I chose to live my life and it has been amazing. I would never take back anything that has happened to me, as difficult as it was.
Here's a video the Missoulian did about adversity I got through to achieve Miss Rodeo Montana
Remember smooth seas don't make skilled sailors!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Doing a little dummy roping!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Then, I dropped it in water last Thursday and my Droid died. Upon waiting for a new phone, I have experienced many feelings of loss and frustration:) This is funny coming from a girl who would purposely lose the cell phone her dad made her keep just so she could be "out of touch" in high school. The past few days I have had a lot of thinking time about what is important in life.
Throughout the day, I am constantly texting, calling, facebooking, surveying bank accounts, emailing, googling, and researching. My brain hurts just thinking about all the material I am seeing constantly. The last 6 days have been kind of refreshing. Today I was laying out by the pool reading "Chicken Soup for the Soul- Living Your Dreams" and I found an interesting statistic. Keep in mind, this book was published in 2003 so the statistics are outdated now. The book states that research has shown that about 90% of all our behavior is habitual and one of the worst habits Americans have is watching too much television. The average American watches six hours of television a day (this was in 2003, probably excessively more now!). If you are part of the average, that is one quarter of your life. So approximately 15 years of your life if you are 60!!! If you were to cut out one hour of television a day, that would give you an additional 365 hours a year, which is the equivalent of over nine 40 hour work weeks. THINK OF HOW MUCH YOU COULD LEARN IN THAT TIME...... OR HOW MUCH BETTER YOUR PHYSICAL FITNESS WOULD BE!!! I am proud to say I watch no television. I hope I never become a part of this statistic! However, my phone sure does take over a huge portion of my day! In fact, sometimes I feel like its my entire life. What if I were to take all that phone time and work on roping or training my horse? What if I were to actually read a book without getting interrupted by emailing and facebooking... or even work out hard without returning a text (yes, I am embarrassed to admit this:))
As a recent college graduate, I have been working on figuring out my life path and how to balance making money with finding a career I love and expanding my horsemanship knowledge. STRESSFUL. But I have found myself falling into the me me me trap. All I can think about sometimes is where I am going, how to achieve MY goals, how to carve MY own path, and what I can do to be successful and productive.
A story in Chicken Soup for the Soul really touched my heart and I probably looked like a total dork shedding tears by the pool today, but I didn't care. The story meant that much to me and made me realize what I have been missing out on in my life thusfar....
The man in the story recounted a Thanksgiving when his family had no money and no food and someone came knocking on their door and brought them a huge box of food, a giant turkey, and even pans to cook it in. The stranger said that he knew they needed help from a friend of theirs and that they had no choice and were going to take the box. The experience had a profound effect on the man's life as he grew up and he vowed that one day he would do well enough financially so that he could return the favor to someone else. He started his Thanksgiving ritual when he was 18 years old. He would buy food for a few families, dress up as a delivery man, then go to the poorest neighborhood and knock on a few doors. He always included a note about his Thanksgiving experience as a kid. All he asked in the note was that the receiver would take good enough care of themselves that one day they could do the same thing for someone else.
He and his new wife were in New York away from their families one Thanksgiving and she was really sad because she wanted to be decorating the tree and house for Christmas at home. He said, " Why don't we decorate some lives today instead of some old trees?"
The couple proceeded to buy several weeks worth of food and get a bus ride into the bronx to give food away to families who really needed it. They fed seven families for 30 days. They made a huge difference in people's lives on that holiday. I want to be a person that can help other people. I commit to doing something like this with my family one day. This kind of behavior is so rare and it is really sad.
Reading the book today also really prompted me to step up in a situation that I almost didn't take action in. A few weeks ago, my father met a woman on an airplane who has a daughter that just recently had her leg amputated because of cancer. This girl is 17 and was a highly competitive gymnast before the amputation. My dad told her that I had experienced some adversity in my life and that they should connect us to talk. This girl wants to get a prosthetic that will help her tumble again and also wants to do some motivational speaking. During my year as Miss Rodeo Montana, I had been the keynote speaker for SOAR (Students Organized Against Risks) and had spoken at numerous banquets and events.
The girl had emailed me and it took me a week and a half to get back to her because I felt emotionally frail and wasn't sure how to handle the situation. But we are corresponding now and I am really going to befriend this girl. I gave her some advice on how to get into motivational speaking and how to stay positive through difficult times. Reading the story today on helping others has got me thinking about how I can help this girl and be a good friend to her. I almost missed out on this opportunity because I was so focused on my own life and day to day meaningless activities and stress. I am excited for our friendship to progress and I want to find other ways to help people. So much of life is take, take, take, me, me, me, and I don't want to get sucked into that.
Well, the man in brown is bringing me a new Droid today. But I'm going to remember all of the lessons I learned away from my cell phone and work on being a more loving, unselfish, focused, and productive person! Have a great week my friends!!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Wylene Wilson is making a SPLASH in the equine world! Not only is this chick hilarious and gorgeous, she is more of a hand than any man I've seen. It only makes sense that she specializes in colt starting!
Dubbed as "Extreme Wylene" because of her daredevil riding presentations and fearless competing style, Miss Wilson sure is building a reputation for herself. She has won Extreme Cowboy Races, Mustang Makeovers, and was just in an inspirational documentary about mustang trainers called "Wild Horse, Wild Ride". The film has debuted at many film festivals across the country and Wylene can add *MOVIE STAR* to her resume.
I met Wylene at one of her clinics in Arizona and she invited me to come assist her with a clinic in St. George, Utah. We had a blast and I learned a lot from her. I was blown away at how great the colts turned out. I have always started colts so slowly and with Wylene I was loping down the river wash on colts on their 2ND DAY! Her style and the way she builds confidence in horses is almost hard to believe!
Choosing Wylene as my first cowgirl profile was easy because she exemplifies COWGIRL! She can get the job done looking damn good! She wears makeup, hair glitter extensions, and a flower in her cowboy hat. Check out her website and youtube videos...It's a kick!!!
"As Long As We Structure Our Lives in a Way Where Our Happiness Is Dependent Upon Something We CANNOT CONTROL, Then We WILL Experience PAIN."
Are you someone that allows the troubles of the world to affect your level of joy? Most people are. I read this quote in Tony Robbins' book "Awaken the Giant Within" and I realized how simple happiness could be. We all believe that we will have joy around the corner; when we open up our new business, or get married, or get a material item. This is false. This belief system will make you depressed. Ever wonder why rock stars and celebrities are so unhappy and headed to rehab because of addiction? Most of them have expected their success to bring them constant joy and when they reach the top they feel unfulfilled. They need Coke, Meth, and Ecstasy to flood them with endorphins. Tony Robbins suggests setting up your happiness so you're in control. Create and list by filling in the blank: ANYTIME I ____________ I FEEL GOOD.
READ MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS
SPEND TIME WITH MY DOG
WORK WITH YOUNG HORSES
DOIN' SOMETHIN' RANCHY:)
Here's a few more from my list...exercise. being a good listener, helping someone and expecting nothing in return. doing spin class. g something new. being positive. eating healthy and frequently. listening to music. hanging with girlfriends. getting dolled up. lighting candles. getting massages...
It's awesome if you can combine some of these together to get an extra boost!!! For example- this is dorky but I created a DOG WALKING MIX of happy songs on my ipod and combined listening to music with hanging out with my dog.
CREATE YOUR LIST and let me know how it goes:)