|Mocha and I are the 4th horse/rider pair from the left with Terry Wilson (in yellow) standing next to us.|
The opportunity to participate in a clinic with 3-Star Parelli Professional Terry Wilson came up. He was offering two clinics: basic Level 1 and Advanced Level 1/Beginning Level 2.
At that time Level 1 had riding in it and the Audition (then called an Assessment) included 21 minutes of trotting! I hemmed and hawed with where I was at, if I was good enough to take the Adv. L1/L2 clinic or if I should stick to the safe route and go with the basic L1.
With the support of my mentor I chose to go for the more advanced course. It was perfect for where Mocha and I were at.
We learned so much but I still didn't feel ready to do my Level 1 Assessment. At that time Parelli Instructors could do live assessments in the field with students so most of the clinic participants signed up to assess with Terry.
I watched person after person go before Terry with their horse and perform a lengthy list of tasks both on the ground and under saddle.
I wasn't ready so I just stayed in the background watching, wishing I was good enough.
At the end of the weekend Terry came up to me and asked why I hadn't assessed with everyone else. I told him that Mocha and I still had things to work on and it wasn't perfect. I needed to practice a lot more.
He smiled and then handed me my red string. "Congratulations," he said, "I saw you playing and riding during the clinic. You and Mocha should be ready to pass your Level 3 in a few months, you are more than ready for your red string. Don't doubt yourself so much."
I was thrilled, flattered, and feeling a little undeserving but trusted Terry's judgement of my skills. It was a big lesson for me in a lot of ways.
First, assessing for your Level doesn't mean that you and your horse are perfect. An Audition is all about showing your savvy and ability to problem solve, it's not about having each task PERFECT. If you were perfect you'd be Pat Parelli.
Second, I learned to believe in myself a little more. Fear and doubt will hold you back, so trust the process, trust yourself, trust your horse and take chances. This is true for all areas of life.
With that, I was the proud owner of a bright red Level 1 string and a clear vision of where to go next in my horsemanship. Level 2!
Stay tuned for my Level 2 journey! In the mean time check out my Facebook page for daily tidbits, fun photos, and inspiration!
Since my Level 1 Audition was live I have a fun Level 1 Audition from my little friend Tristan. He filmed this just days after his 5th birthday with my Levels horse, Aspen. :)