Hey everyone, Jake here! I wanted to share a bit of my story with you so you could get to know me better. Like many men who are into horses, I got started all because of a pretty girl. I am currently a Licensed Parelli 3-Star Instructor and Horse Developement Specialist based in Michigan. I have recently had the honor and privilege of riding with Pat Parelli every day and have gotten to work with a great team at Pat's Barn at his Florida and Colorado campuses.
I am originally from Michigan and have worked for Parelli Natural Horsemanship as an employee on the Ranch Crew and Tour Team. I started the Mastery Program at Parelli's Florida campus in Oct 2009. I have traveled across the country, to Europe, met some of the horse industries top professionals and had the opportunity to ride and perform in front of thousands of people, all thanks to Pat Parelli. However, I have only been into horses since 2005 when I began my horse and Parelli journey.
Before my horse journey began I did a little bit of a lot. I've been a carpenter, worked in a daycare with toddlers and infants, done landscaping, worked at a dog boarding kennel and spent almost 5 years learning at Tom Brown's Tracker School where I practiced tracking, wilderness survival and primitive skills. I even spent most of a year living in a primitive shelter in the woods as a caretaker at Tom's "Tracker" school. While there I helped teach and had lots of time to develop my primitive skills since I had the opportunity to live them daily.
Once horses came into my life it didn't take long for me to decide I wanted to make horses a part of my career. I found a two-year Horse Management Program at a major university and enrolled in 2006 to increase my all around horse knowledge. Many people there didn't support me because of my dedication to Parelli Natural Horsemanship. They told me I was "gonna die" because of using Parelli methods. PNH has helped me live a happier life and has helped me be able to enjoy my life with horses more and more. I continued to find a way to make my Parelli dreams come true and in 2007 went to the Florida campus to interview for an internship which was required to finish the two-year program. The legend goes that I hitchhiked all the way there and refused to leave until they put me to work. The legend also says I stayed in a tent while I worked for free at the ranch.
I did make the trip with a one way plan in mind, I did start working for free and I have stayed in a tent to save money while at the campus. (Mark Weiler, President of PNH, does embellish the story a little bit.) I began as the chief leaf-raker and stick picker-upper on the Ranch Crew and after 12-weeks I earned a paid position and became a Parelli employee. I have had my share of growing pains along the way (Pat likes to sing Kermit The Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green" to me) but I have gained so much knowledge and experience because of PNH. It's great to get to have the opportunity to share my journey and I hope I can be a part of yours.