How To Be Horse Crazy and Keep on Smiling!

debbie006If you’re reading this, I’m sure you love horses just like me. But I wasn’t lucky enough to have horses at an early age. My mother was very scared of horses and therefore never allowed me around them. As I grew up I would beg other people to take me for a ride. I lived in the city so there weren’t a lot of horse owners around.

When I was in junior high there was a small rental stables within walking distance from my home. I talked the owners into allowing me to muck stalls in exchange for riding out and bringing the renters back to the stables. Some days I never got on a horse but was happy enough just to be around them. Smelling them was the next best thing. Can you relate? Then we moved away.

My next school was over 6 miles from our home so I took the school bus. One day I decided to walk home because I had seen a horse half way between home and school. It had snowed and there was about 18 inches of snow on the ground. I stayed too long with the horse and when I finally got home, hours late, I found my parents frantically searching for me. I was grounded for a month.

When I entered high school I attended dances on Friday nights. Unknown to my mother, behind the dance building was a field of horses. I skipped the dance and jumped on the horses until I fell off. Then I’d jump on another. I did this over and over. I was in heavenly bliss, racing through the pasture at night with the wind blowing through my hair. This continued for about a year until they closed the Friday night dances. Looking back, I realize I was totally crazy jumping on horses I didn’t know and without a bridle or saddle!

deb_horse_dogYears later I married and raised two wonderful children. My daughter showed a small interest in horses when she was in high school. I immediately jumped on her interest, and within two weeks bought four horses. My daughter quickly lost interest, but that didn’t stop me. We didn’t own a truck or trailer but I finally owned my own horses. I didn’t have the money for lessons or much less to compete in anything. But I did have time to ride. I formed a riding club and we would ride in parades, grand entries and anywhere we were allowed to go. Every weekend we would go trail riding on any trail we could find. We would even make our own trails. As years went by, I started getting tired of trail riding.

My husband was an avid watcher of Pat and Linda on RFDTV. One evening I sat down and said, “I want to play games with my horse!” I started searching for a Parelli instructor who was close to me. When I found one I told him what I wanted to do—play with my horse. I told him I was not new to horses and didn’t need the Level 1 clinic. He asked if I knew the 7 Games. I said, ‘Sure I do, I saw them on RFDTV, they are cavalettis, ball, tarp, pedestal, cones and the trailer. He asked if I knew what the porcupine game was. I said, “Never heard of it”.

4 Debbie005He convinced me I needed to start with Level 1. When I arrive on the first day of the clinic he told us that we would be riding on the last day with a halter. At that time I rode a horse a ‘cold back’ horse, meaning he bucked every time I rode him until he warmed up. I said, “There is no way I will be able to do this”. (I was smarter as an adult) But by the last day, I got on my horse with only a halter and he just stood there, until I asked him to walk off. He never bucked! Boy this Parelli stuff was interesting and not at all what I thought!

That was in 2006. At my second clinic I met Jeannette Wright. She and I eventually formed a club we called the Seven Savvy Sisters. We started having regular playdates and clinics. I recruited people from all over our area to attend our events.

Then in 2009 one of the Parelli Celebrations was going to be in Ft Worth. Jeannette, Adrienne Dunn and I quickly came up with a routine and submitted our video to perform a spotlight. I had never been in a show arena in my life and I was scared to death. We were accepted. We had four weeks to perfect our routine well enough to perform in front of Pat and Linda. That is when I found out how powerful patterns are. We learned so many new maneuvers’ in such a short time. Pat gave us a perfect “ten” on everything. I was definitely hooked on Parelli. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn.

I attended a Parelli Fast Track course in 2012 and received an acceptance into the Extern Program and the 1-Star Instructor Course. Soon after I became a 1-Star Junior Instructor Trainee and started my journey for the rest of my life.  Since then, I have study heavily with Pat and LInda Parelli and with many other professionals.

If you have had horses your entire life or just bought your first one, I would love to help you start your journey of love, language and leadership with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Please give me a call……