When people hear Linda Parelli’s story, they always want to know how in the world a dressage rider ended up studying with a cowboy like Pat Parelli. She explains, “Had I not owned a horse who brought me to the ‘end of the road,’ I would never have gone to Pat Parelli for advice. But, there I was struggling for two years with a Thoroughbred that I was advised to ‘sell to a man’ or ‘put a bullet in his head.’ I tried all kinds of devices to control him: chambons, martingales, draw reins, nose bands, all different bits. But this horse would still go crazy – bolting, rearing, and freaking out. Are you getting the picture? It was just miserable and dangerous every time I rode.”
Then Linda Parelli – who at the time was Linda Paterson – saw a video of Pat riding bridle-less. Something told her that “this cowboy was my last chance.” So she registered for a Parelli Horse Training Clinic and showed up with a list of problems in her hand.
But she never got to show Pat the list because within five minutes, she had learned that horses were prey animals who lived by their instincts and when they felt threatened, trapped or unsafe, they would do whatever it took to escape. She suddenly understood that her horse was not being “bad” – he was simply following his instincts. Linda says that that Parelli natural horsemanship clinic “changed everything between me and my horse.”
To this day Linda Parelli can ride that horse without a saddle or bridle…and remember, this was a horse who couldn’t be stopped even with $200 worth of gadgets on his head!
Asked why she doesn’t compete anymore, Linda replies:
“It’s just not important to me right now. I’d rather win my horse’s heart and maintain a pure focus on developing my horse savvy and making our Parelli Membership the best natural horsemanship club in the world.
I also dedicate most of my time now to writing down what Pat teaches so that as many people as possible have access to this life-changing information. I’m having more fun with horses and accomplishing more than I ever thought possible, and I want to share that.
I also want people to know that it doesn’t take talent, it doesn’t take bravery and it doesn’t take years to get there. It takes heart, desire and access to a phenomenal teacher who’s willing to share everything he knows in a way that is simple to understand because it builds, step-by-step, to as high a level as you want to take it.
Parelli natural horse training – which isn’t really horse training at all; it’s people training and a journey of relationship and self-discovery, so let’s just call it natural horsemanship rather than horse training – well it changed my life. Literally. And in so many ways. I want to share that journey with as many people and as many horses as possible.
Horseback riding – of whatever kind: Western, English, Dressage, Hunter Jumper, whatever – shouldn’t be stressful for horse or rider. It should be joyous and natural for both.
Here’s to happy horses and happy riders!”
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