Petra's Parelli World - Follow my Journey as a Parelli Professional Instructor

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How to Learn to Set Boundaries

So, you read my last blog "Gaining Confidence with Setting Boundaries" and you could relate to my troubles and are eager to find out HOW to set boundaries? Great!

If you read this blog, you probably have a big advantage: You are "into" horses! Let them be your teacher and they will teach you well... Your horses will show you whether you are able to set boundaries (you might not even know like I did) and what to do about it if you're not.

So, next time you go out with your horse, make a plan and set a goal. Then observe yourself and your horse, remember and compare...

  • Is your horse entering your personal space uninvited and you are happily accomodating him?

  • Is your horse not responding to your requests and you have a hard time to follow through with a loooong phase 1 and an effective and quick phases 2-3-4?

  • How many times did you ask your horse to do something but you didn't follow through in the end? For example: Did you ask your horse to move his front end but he only moved his hind end and you didn't follow up by asking again?

If you say "yes" to any of those points, read on ... Here are the great news: Once we are conscious about something, that's when we have a choice to change it! So, for your next play session set yourself one achievable goal, for example: "from today on my horse will not enter my personal space uninvited". Now it's up to you to follow through. If you feel good about doing this with a knowledgable friend or family member, it might help if somebody watches and points out to you when you step backwards instead of asking your horse to move etc.

Remember that this is a learning process. It will take time and it will not happen overnight. Just know that you are not alone in this. Pat yourself on the shoulder when you feel successful. Everything else: take it as a learning experience and check it off and store it as such! Do not fall into a pattern of "Oh, why did I do this" and "I could have done better". This is negative self talk and wasted energy. You gain NOTHING from it! Immediately stop yourself .Take it as a "learning experience", move your thoughts to a new game plan. This will help you maintain your energy for better, more worthwhile things!

Once you become a better leader for your horse, it is time to take your newly learned knowledge into the real world! How I went about his and what I learned, I will share in my next blog. Please share your comments, so we all can learn from each other!

You are always most welcome to email me privately at as well!

Yours Naturally....


  1. Great post, Petra. Learning comes one step at a time and sometimes the things we want to learn to do we aren't ready for, so we have to take a step back and see what part of the foundation or "cake" is missing.
    Thanks for the great lesson last week. I know the parts of my riding foundation are stronger now and that Perfect Practice will make a Perfect foundation.

  2. Good to hear that my (second :-) freestyle lesson was a success! Learning takes patience....