Parelli Fast Track draws people to Pagosa Springs CO. from all over the country and the world for that matter. “The mountains look so beautiful, it must be a great place to trail ride.” This is a typical comment for someone coming to a Parelli Fast Track for the first time. The answer is yes it is beautiful but if you are not prepared it can also be a harsh environment for some horses and humans that are not accustomed to the dry air, rocky ground and high altitude.
Getting ready for Fast Track requires you to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically in order to get the most out of the experience. Before I went to the Pagosa campus for the first time I had spent time in other parts of Colorado with my horses so I knew what to expect but the environment does take a little bit to get used to. This post will just hit some of the main ideas that you will need to be prepared for your upcoming Fast Track.
The key word here is prepare. Both you and your horse should be in as good of shape as you can prior to arrival. I know that it can be hard to find the time to get in shape but it will pay off in the end. Remember that your horse will get in shape faster that you will so keep that in mind when you start to work out.
It is important that your horse be in shape to finish in good shape. You don’t want to have your horse go lame in the second week when all that would have prevented it was to strengthen their tendons with consistent prior conditioning.
Starting a couple of months out with long trots are a great way for both of you to get into shape. Start with a mile several times a week for a couple of weeks to build a foundation then work up to 3 to 5 miles. I want you to think of conditioning and getting proficient with all the tasks as something separate. They are two different goals but sometimes they can be accomplished together.
Emotional fitness will be something that you will have to deal with in yourself and in your horse. The biggest thing that you will have to manage is your expectations. We all come to the Parelli Ranch expecting perfection which is rarely the case. Things happen and it has more to do with the way you choose to respond to things than what actually happens that determines your emotional fitness.
Be prepared to be tested. I know that many people have test anxiety but just know that it is part of the process. How do you perform under pressure? You will have to think under all conditions. You will be tested! When you are hot, tired and in need of a drink you still need to remain clear headed and focused. You will be stretched and asked to do things you thought you couldn’t do.
My suggestion to help set yourself up for success would be to arrive a couple of days ahead of time to allow a little time to acclimate to the altitude and the dryness and to get any last minute items you might have forgotten or had not thought about. Condition your horse early. Be prepared for it to be hot and dry or maybe cold and muddy or all of these.
I hope this gives you a start to prepare for Fast Track. Although this can be a trying time, for most students I talk to this is one of the most memorable times in their lives.
There are many other aspects of getting prepared for having a successful Parelli Fast Track. Things such as goal setting, skills acquisition, commitment to principles, mindset (attitude) development and using your time wisely.
I have put together a “Preparing for Parelli Fast Track” short course where we will go deeper into preparation in these areas and really making sure you set yourself up for the best experience possible.
Click on the link below to find out more about preparing for your Fast Track.
I hope you find this helpful and look forward to meeting you in Pagosa!
Please leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to in Fast Track