The Success of Your Horse

by Parelli Central on October 18, 2013

Parelli student Melissa Kellams recently sent us this blog. Great job, Melissa! Take it away

It’s great to have goals. In fact, as humans (and equestrian humans, in particular) goal-setting is a natural byproduct of our direct-line nature. Goals can help keep us motivated and focused when we might otherwise lack direction or get bored.

Given this goal-oriented, direct-line nature of ours, it can sometimes be easy to put our goals and aspirations over the needs of and our relationship with our horse. Now, before you start getting all down on yourself, realize that we all have done this at one point or another, and often it is completely unintentional. Remember when Dr. Patrick Handley said: “We judge ourselves by our intention, but we judge others by their behavior.” Being the good Parelli students that we are, we certainly do not intend to put our goals over our horse; sometimes it just happens. You know, when you think, “…if only I could get one more step of sideways, or maybe do it just a little bit faster.” We’ve all been there, inch-by-inch, step-by-step, slowly and innocently making withdrawals from our piggy bank of rapport with our horse.

So, why am I bringing this up? Recently, I was watching one of the Liberty and Horse Behavior DVDs in which one of Linda‘s students was reflecting on what helped her achieve more with her horse during that particular day of the course. The student simply said this: “I planned the day around the success of my horse, rather than the success of myself.”

Hmmm, how interesting! This definitely got me thinking. My goals are all set with the good of my horse in mind, but is every step I take toward achieving those goals planned with the success of my horse in mind?

I’ll be the first to say thank you to whomever that student was for reminding me to put the relationship first, and to not make the assumption that what is necessary for my success and what is necessary for the success of my horse at that moment will always be the same. Of course, this is not to say that it will never be the same either. As Pat always says, “never say never, don’t always say always, and usually say usually.”

Are you smiling yet? I know I am, and that’s because Parelli has changed the way I think about this beautiful journey of horsemanship and life itself. Plan the day around the success of your horse. Plan every day around the success of your horse! In doing so, you might wake up and find you have beyond achieved your goals.

A moment of relaxation with my wonderful horse.


Amazing Grace: The Star of the 2013 Parelli Summit

by ScottTeigen on September 16, 2013

The 2013 Parelli Summit took place September 6-8 at the Parelli campus in Pagosa Springs, and suffice it to say, it was a memorable three days. Pat and Linda Parelli, Nate Bowers, Colleen Kelly, Parelli Professionals, a surprise guest turn from world-class cutting horse rider Doug Jordan… it had it all. But arguably the star of the entire weekend was a little horse named Grace.

Grace and her owner, Tamara Tate, took part in Pat’s three-day Problem Horse Makeover sessions, and the progress she made between Friday morning and Sunday evening was, to put it mildly, stunning. As the Summit came to a close, Pat announced that he would like Grace to return to the Parelli campus next year to spend time with him and his students!

Here’s Tamara herself, with Grace’s story:

“Grace was born in 2005. Before she was a year old, she and three other fillies from the same Quarter Horse farm ended up at a feedlot to be sold for slaughter.  Hytyme Equine Rescue of Eagle Creek Oregon heard about the fillies and had to pay to rescue them. Before they came to the rescue, they all came down with severe cases of strangles. They spent a month or so in quarantine at the feedlot then another month in quarantine at the rescue. For the next three years or so, Grace was at the rescue, but no one worked with her. In 2009 I started volunteering at the rescue and she was assigned to me the first day. I quickly realized she had some trust issues. Eventually she came to my house and has never left.

Grace, when I first saw her at the rescue.

Grace, when I first saw her at the rescue.

The first two years I worked a lot with Grace, and believe it or not, she made a lot of positive changes. I got to a point with her where we could do a lot of things together as long as we both remained calm. The next step was to start riding, and although my husband has ridden her bareback at a walk, we both knew it was not safe since the slightest thing could potentially cause her to blow. I was at the end of my skill level and still had not gotten her past her deeply rooted fear of people. So for the last two years I have just loved and taken care of her.

The opportunity to bring Grace to the Summit was like a dream come true. I knew Grace was an amazing horse, because she would slip up and let me see it sometimes. So, to me, she was worth the long trip from Oregon. I learned that I had made one of the best decisions of my life while I watched Pat work with her. I could have never gotten her to that first big release. I know now that although I did quite often take her out of her comfort zone, I did not do enough or for long enough. I was constantly questioning what I was doing.

The offer to bring Grace back to Pat for the summer was more than I could have ever hoped for her. She is finally going to learn how to be the calm, smart, amazing mare that has been locked up inside for all these years. I cannot wait to make the long trip back to Pagosa in the spring, because Grace deserves this!”

As you can see from the photo below, Grace (who was quickly dubbed “Amazing Grace” by Pat) is a beautiful horse. We look forward to sharing her journey with you for the next year.

To keep up with Grace’s progress, keep an eye on Pat Parelli’s Facebook Fan Page as well as the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Facebook Page. Grace’s partnership with Tamara is an inspiration to anyone with a difficult or distrustful horse; with the right support system, the impossible is truly possible.

Grace, responding well to Pat at the Summit.

Grace, responding well to Pat at the Summit.


Eunisse C. De Leon sent in this great blog. Not only is it a fascinating topic, but it’s also an excellent history lesson. Take it away, Eunisse!

Horses have always been symbols of strength and valor. With their sturdy form, amazing stamina, and elegance, it is easy to be in love with these fine creatures. Owing to proper training and care, your horse can build its name as one of the successful horses in history like the following:


Meaning “my treasure” in Hungarian, Kincsem is indeed a fortune to keep. She was first introduced to the world of racing in 1876 when she was still two years old, ran in 10 races, and won all of them. This 19th century mare remained undefeated, with 54 victories all in all. In memory of the most successful racehorse to ever live, a horse-racing venue and life-sized statue was erected for Kincsem.

Black Caviar

Named as Australia’s Horse of the Year twice, Black Caviar is indeed as exquisite as her name. The thoroughbred mare has an unbeaten record of 25 wins, 15 of which were from her Group 1 triumphs. Black Caviar retired recently as a broodmare but her career as a successful sprinter is unparalleled in recent times.


Indeed a king among horses, Kingston had 138 starts and has won a total of 89 competitions, earning himself a well-deserved spot in the United States Racing Hall of Fame. The stallion still holds record of having the most wins, even competing against younger horses at the prime age of 10.


Frankel boasts an extraordinary ability that continues to baffle scientists: this thoroughbred colt can run a mile in just under two minutes. Frankel is owned and bred by none other than Prince Khalid Abdullah, a member of the Saudi royal family. He ran his final race in 2012 but his legacy lives on as many consider him as the greatest horse in British history.


1940s actor Roy Rogers owes part of his success to his famous horse Trigger, who appeared with him in his motion pictures—all 90 of them. This Palomino Stallion first appeared onscreen in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) for a different actor shortly before Rogers saw his potential as his onscreen sidekick.

Buena Vista

Japan’s 2010 Horse of the Year, Buena Vista is not certainly your average mare. Having won a title in the Japan Cup and other prestigious competitions like Tenno Sho and Victoria Mile as a filly, she is the highest-earning horse in history. Buena Vista acquired $12.3 million dollars during her active years—an accomplishment no other horse has ever attained.


Traveling all the way from the Middle East to America, Haleb is commonly known the “Pride of the Desert”. Though lacking in size, this brown and white Arabian Horse was respected for his endurance and exquisite form. Haleb won the Justin Morgan Cup in the year 1907, giving many horse-loving Americans proof that he was one of the greatest horse imports of all time. His career was short but was well-lived.



It’s Savvy Times Time Again!

August 20, 2013

By this point, you’re probably used to seeing a Savvy Times blog pop up every 3-4 months, requesting articles and laying out some guidelines for submissions. And heck, with writing as exciting and witty as this, who wouldn’t want more instructional blogs?! In case you’ve missed the last couple, there’s a link here and here. […]

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After Level Four: What To Do With Your Parelli Foundation

July 5, 2013

Pat Parelli talks about “foundation before specialization.” Achieving our Level 4 is just the beginning. After that, we’re supposed to find our horse’s “sport.” Sometimes this is easier said than done. Take Mharquis (Markie). Markie is my Levels horse. When we found him eight years ago, he had been a Halter Class horse. At age […]

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Hurry Up & Wait: How 100 Cattle Became Perfect Teachers

June 13, 2013

“Hurry up and wait” is something we used to say when I was in the US Air Force. At that time, the phrase had a specific meaning for me. It wasn’t a positive thing – it was a way to complain. The feeling was that we were expected to hurry, hurry, hurry, but then no, […]

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Horsenality Isn’t Exactly Common Knowledge!

May 24, 2013

Parelli student Melissa Kellams sent us this great blog about a recent vet visit and the conversation about Horsenality that resulted from it. Take it away, Melissa! Probably like many of you, Horsenality is one of my favorite subjects to study. Through this study, we find that one of the key components of horsemanship is […]

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The LBE Playoffs: Round 2

May 17, 2013

Parelli Professional Isabelle Farmer sent us this great blog about her continuing partnership with her horse Walter. Take it away, Isabelle! For those of you who read my last blog, think of this as a continuation of the interplay between Walker and myself. If you haven’t read it, please enjoy this blog as an example […]

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A Lesson with Linda & Allure

May 7, 2013

I recently spent some time in Florida with Linda and had the opportunity to ride the famous Allure! At the end of my stay, Linda asked what I had learned from Allure. In response, here’s a blog! Each horse has the ability to teach us so much; sometimes it’s a new lesson, sometimes it’s re-learning […]

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Another Savvy Times Blog: We Want Your Articles!

April 17, 2013

Hi everyone; it’s me again, back with another blog about our Savvy Times magazine. In the event that you aren’t sure what Savvy Times is, it’s a quarterly Parelli members‘ magazine that features News, Community and Education articles from Parelli staff, certified Parelli Professionals, members, and Pat & Linda Parelli themselves! You can catch up […]

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