Parelli Foundation https://parellifoundation.org Natural Horsemanship Grants and Scholarships Wed, 29 Jul 2020 18:46:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 From Unwanted to Adopted – My Journey with Gem https://parellifoundation.org/gem/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gem https://parellifoundation.org/gem/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2020 18:46:54 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=77222 Robin asked me if I would consider fostering three new horses that had come to the sanctuary hundreds of pounds underweight. Gem was a beautiful strawberry roan gaited/quarter horse mix. The only thing she wanted from humans was food. I had no idea what to do with her. I felt she was way beyond my level of natural horsemanship skill.

The post From Unwanted to Adopted – My Journey with Gem appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
By: Carolyn McAdoo

Gem and Carolyn in the beginning

Nancy Slater had this to say about her experience working with Gem and why she supports the Parelli Foundation’s efforts: “Second hand gold is as good as new. Through their grants, the Parelli Foundation continues to help make the world a better place by spreading the wealth of knowledge. Gem and Carolyn are an example of hearts of horses and people coming together, hearts that otherwise might have been lost. An unwanted horse is simply misunderstood. It is my pleasure to be part of the team educating people to speak the language of the Horse, so all horses can end up in loving, forever homes.”

I’ve been with Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary in Ona, Florida, for a little more than three years, helping to care for 30-plus abused, abandoned and/or neglected horses, plus two adorable donkeys. When I first met Robin Cain, the sanctuary’s founder and president, she naturally asked why I wanted to volunteer there. I had read some books written by the founder of another horse sanctuary; I was appalled and saddened to learn how common it is for horses to be mistreated by humans, and yet I was intrigued and encouraged at how horses can heal physically, emotionally and spiritually, and how they can learn to trust people again. I was so moved by the author’s accounts of the many different horses she had rescued that I knew I had to find a place where I could become part of this amazing healing process. Robin told me about the sanctuary’s history, and she explained that she required all volunteers to learn and use Parelli Natural Horsemanship principles and techniques when handling the horses to stay safe around them. (Although I had heard of it, I wasn’t completely sure what Parelli was about. I was willing to

learn, though.) She also gave me some background information about the horses there, including some that were being cared for offsite by people taking part in the sanctuary’s Foster to Adopt program. I casually mentioned that at some point, I thought I’d like to consider fostering a horse or two – even though I wasn’t sure it would ever really happen. In the meantime, though, we agreed that I would begin volunteering at least one day every week, and Robin began teaching me about Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

Gem and Carolyn - no pressure

Gem and Carolyn – no pressure

In April of the following year, Robin asked me if I would consider fostering three new horses that had come to the sanctuary hundreds of pounds underweight. One was a gorgeous, bright-eyed blood bay Arabian named Cricket, whose curious and intelligent demeanor were immediately evident.

Lyric was the second Arabian, flea-bitten in color and the most severely underweight. She was much more reserved than Cricket, uncertain of her circumstances and the new humans attending her. She would hesitate, considering whether it was safe to accept any treats offered to her by volunteers.

And there was Gem. Gem was a beautiful strawberry roan gaited/quarter horse mix. She was not as underweight as the Arabians, and it soon became apparent why. Gem was extremely food motivated. The only thing she wanted from humans was food, and the only thing she wanted from other horses was for them to stay well out of her way when it was time to come to the barn for her food. Her personal space requirements were much larger than most of the other horses. Because we bring horses into the barn at liberty, her space was usually invaded by other horses, often at their own peril. Gem would pin her ears, scream, spin, and kick at any horse that got too close to her, sometimes making contact, and in one instance, actually knocking one large Andalusian completely off his feet.

Even though I had told Robin that I would foster these mares as soon as we got our pastures in shape, I really had my doubts about Gem. In fact, I had decided that I really, really did not want her. I had no idea what to do with her. I felt she was way beyond my level of natural horsemanship skill.

Then, late one Friday afternoon in July of that year, I watched as Robin began the process of loading Gem into her horse trailer. Gem was going to Nancy Slater’s in Lake Wales, Florida. Nancy, a 2* Parelli Natural Horsemanship Instructor, was going to begin working with Gem.

Robin invited me to come along, and I accepted the invitation. When we arrived in Lake Wales, Gem was unloaded into a round pen, and Nancy began working with her almost immediately, moving Gem’s feet around the pen, applying and releasing pressure at just the right time. I didn’t realize it at first, but she was teaching Gem that she could find release of pressure – rest and relaxation – when she focused on and approached Nancy, but not when she was running away. If she wanted to run, that was okay. Nancy would help her run.

Gem and Carolyn Special MomentEventually Gem began showing signs that she understood by lowering her head, blowing air out through her nostrils and yawning, and it wasn’t long before Nancy was able to touch her and put a halter and lead rope on her. I held back tears, taking in what I had witnessed. Nancy had begun peeling back the layers of this untrusting, very afraid, extremely unconfident horse, revealing a soul that very much wanted to trust and find peace with humans, and was willing to try. In that moment, I was the one who was changed. I fell head over heels in love with Gem, wanting so much to be able to learn how to communicate with her in her language. Over the next several days, Nancy began teaching me not only about staying safe with Gem, but she also began teaching me the skills I would need to help Gem feel safe with me. We accomplished quite a bit during that time.

When it was over, Gem came home to live with my family and me.

During these past two years, we’ve taken many baby steps, plus another trip to see Nancy for help. Gem has come a long way from the time I first met her at the sanctuary, when no one could touch her, or barely make eye contact with her. My Natural Horsemanship skills have also come a long way, including working with Gem at liberty.

Even though we are still getting to know each other, I know Gem and I are on the right track. Recently, Gem ran out of a pasture onto some neighboring property through a gate that was open while contractors were doing some working at our place. I went after her, calling to my husband, Scott, to bring a halter and lead rope. My heart was pounding. If Gem continued running west, she would go onto a street into the neighborhood behind us. Worse yet, if she switched direction and ran east, she could end up on a busy road where trucks, cars and semis often go well over the 55-mph speed limit. A collision would certainly kill her and potentially a person or persons. I called out to her, and eventually she stopped running, obviously confused by unknown surroundings. She was roughly 30 or 40 yards away from me, when she turned and looked at me. I began backing up, gently inviting her to come to me. She began walking in my direction, slowly and hesitantly at first. My mind raced. Would she speed up and run past me? Would she come up to me, only to take off again when she saw Scott with a halter? I concentrated on relaxing and smiling, continuing to invite her into my space. Slowly, surely, she came to me and stopped. I began stroking her neck on both sides, softly telling her what a good girl she was.

Riding GemWhen Scott caught up to us with the halter, she let me put it around her neck, and then she put her nose into the nose band. I was able to lead her back to the safety of her pasture (gate closed). And then I realized even more how important, how vital, Natural Horsemanship is for people and their horses. In that situation, I was Gem’s safe place. Without Natural Horsemanship training, that event could have had a tragic ending. I’m so grateful to Robin Cain, Nancy Slater, the Parelli Foundation, and to all of the others who have provided encouragement and help in improving my Natural Horsemanship skills. Parelli Natural Horsemanship has changed my life and the life of not only Gem, but also Cricket and Lyric as well. I’m happy to say that I’ve recently adopted all three mares, and we’re having lots of fun learning to keep it natural!

Sixteen Hands Sanctuary is a 2019 Horse Welfare grant recipient whose new foster-to-adopt program has enabled eligible horses to move into permanent homes with maximum success.

Since 2007, Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary has provided a lifetime home for more than 70 rescued horses. Although we haven’t had an adoption program, we’ve allowed people well known to us to become fosters. Of our 40 horses and 2 donkeys, 10 horses are in foster care. However, horses with special physical and/or emotional needs will continue to receive lifetime care. We work hard to keep our horses healthy and content. It takes an 8-hour day and several volunteers to feed the horses, provide hay and fresh water, scoop barn stalls and pastures, groom and play with some of the horses.

Stay tuned for more stories from this grant opportunity.

The post From Unwanted to Adopted – My Journey with Gem appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/gem/feed/ 0
E.J. and Janet Hoskins https://parellifoundation.org/ej-janet-hoskins/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ej-janet-hoskins Wed, 08 Jul 2020 17:40:33 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=77089 In loving memory of E.J. and Janet Hoskins.

The post E.J. and Janet Hoskins appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
Rainbow Bridge

Person: E.J. and Janet Hoskins

Details: Both parents were WWII Navy Veterans and horse lovers.

The post E.J. and Janet Hoskins appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
Hank | Owner: Linda Goodfellow https://parellifoundation.org/hank/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hank https://parellifoundation.org/hank/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:46:40 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=77004 In Memory of Hank

The post Hank | Owner: Linda Goodfellow appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
horse graphic

Owner: Linda Goodfellow

Name: Hank

Details: In memory of Hank

The post Hank | Owner: Linda Goodfellow appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/hank/feed/ 0
Road to the Summit 2017-18 https://parellifoundation.org/rtts-2017-18/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rtts-2017-18 https://parellifoundation.org/rtts-2017-18/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2020 13:55:03 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=55635 6* Licensed Parelli Master Instructor Dave Ellis is monitoring the development of our two Road to the Summit Horses, Raven with 3* Parelli Professional Ashley Dudas and Zoe with 3* Parelli Professional Jerilyn Caldwell.  Follow along as they complete 20 tasks designed by Dave Ellis and approved by Pat Parelli.

The post Road to the Summit 2017-18 appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
Dave Ellis

Watch “Raven” and “Zoe” Develop!

6* Licensed Parelli Master Instructor Dave Ellis monitored the development of our two Road to the Summit Horses, Raven and Zoe.  Watch their development on video as they completed 20 tasks designed by Dave Ellis and approved by Pat Parelli.

Raven

“Raven”

Follow “Raven’s” development by 3* Parelli Professional Ashley Dudas.  Click the link above or:

For more pictures and more information… click here.

Ashley Dudas
Zoe

“Zoe”

Follow “Zoe’s” development by 3* Parelli Professional Jerilyn Caldwell.  Click the link above or:

For more pictures and more information… click here.

Jerilyn Caldwell

The post Road to the Summit 2017-18 appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/rtts-2017-18/feed/ 0
Hope for “George” through Equine Assisted Therapy https://parellifoundation.org/hope-for-george/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hope-for-george https://parellifoundation.org/hope-for-george/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 20:44:46 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76924 As George’s sessions progressed with Midnight, he learned to use the horse’s behavioral cues to check in within himself both emotionally and physically. He began to make connections between feelings of anxiety and increases in his heartrate. As George became more self-aware, he began to connect specific thoughts and feelings.

The post Hope for “George” through Equine Assisted Therapy appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>

Story of GeorgeGeorge was an Army Veteran who suffered from both physical and psychological injuries after bravely serving his country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After seeing the impact of 9/11 on friends and family living in New York, George vowed to do whatever he could to protect his loved ones and his country. During his deployment, his caravan was struck by an IED. The proximity of the impact caused George to develop a traumatic brain injury, chronic physical pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After being medically discharged, George felt hopeless. Upon returning home, he felt misunderstood and disconnected from all friends and family.  George was desperate for relief and trying countless therapies to help him feel “normal” again. None of them worked and George began to feel more hopeless. He even had thoughts about ending his life, just to escape the physical and emotional pain. One day, a friend mentioned hearing about equine assisted counseling and encouraged George to call for an appointment.

George arrived at his first appointment anxious and unsure. He’d heard of “equine therapy” but was concerned if he would be understood and if it would really help treat his PTSD. At his first appointment, his counselor explained that equine assisted counseling is a unique type of psychotherapy that takes place through interaction with horses and other equines. Unlike other types of equine assisted activities that focus on learning horsemanship or riding, George would be collaborating with his counselor to establish specific treatment goals related to PTSD. To meet these goals, his counselor would use psychotherapeutic interventions through interaction with the horses.

The Story of GeorgeGeorge participated in a form of equine assisted counseling called Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC). This approach is based on the premise that, like the therapeutic relationship between a client and counselor, the relationship created between clients and equines can be healing and increase the likelihood of positive clinical change. Similar to office-based counseling, the goal of REPC is to help the client gain insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a way that will improve their quality of life. REPC can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions such as trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, anger management, grief, self-esteem, attention problems, family/couple relationships, and child behavior problems. The difference between REPC and office-based counseling is the approach taken to reach these goals. Clients frequently come into counseling uncomfortable or afraid to verbally communicate basic needs or emotions.  As a result, office-based talk therapy may feel very intimidating for them. REPC takes place outdoors in the relaxed atmosphere of a pasture where clients may not feel as pressured as in a traditional office setting. The presence of the equine in the counseling session increases the client’s sense of emotional safety by decreasing anxiety, facilitating openness, and helping the client express feelings and process any past trauma.

In REPC, the equine is treated as an equal participant in the counseling session – one who is encouraged to act in a natural way in the environment and whose actions, reactions, and experiences are just as valuable to the therapeutic process as those of the client and counselor. This approach enables both the equine and client to strive towards collaboration, compromise, and mutual understanding – all the ingredients of a healthy relationship. The interaction between the client and the equine helps the client gain the insight needed to meet mental health goals and identify strategies for effective relationships in life outside of the counseling session.

After completing his intake, George entered the pasture to meet the equines. Standing in the pasture and observing all of the equines, he was hit by a wave of anxiety. He didn’t know what to do or which equine he wanted to approach. His anxiety and indecision felt paralyzing. It was a familiar feeling, one he often experienced when a doctor asked him a question, a friend tried to schedule a dinner, or he entered a store to buy groceries. As he tried to focus on the peacefulness of the pasture, a tall black Thoroughbred gelding named Midnight, caught his attention from across the field. He said the horse looked strong and confident, qualities he felt he’d lost in himself. Almost as if on cue, Midnight abruptly stopped grazing and walked directly to George putting his nose in George’s hands. George spent the next ten minutes lost in petting Midnight’s velvety nose and feeling a sense of peace and tranquility wash over him. When the session ended, George stated that he had not felt that level of calmness in years.

As George’s sessions progressed with Midnight, he learned to use the horse’s behavioral cues to check in within himself both emotionally and physically. He began to make connections between feelings of anxiety and increases in his heartrate. As George became more self-aware, he began to connect specific thoughts and feelings. In Midnight’s calm steady presence, George felt safe enough to allow himself to recall traumatic memories and learn new ways to calm himself. He felt an increased sense of control and empowerment in learning to understand and take care of himself. He realized that his relationship with Midnight had turned on the “connecting part” of his brain and he began to reach out to friends he’d lost touch with to rekindle those relationships. As a result of his relationship with Midnight, George has found ways to manage his PTSD and has created a “new normal.”  Today, he has gone back to school to become nurse, has a close circle of friends, and has hope and excitement for his future ahead.

Story of GeorgeIn order to protect client privacy and identity, George is a representation of the many clients served in equine assisted counseling and his experiences are reflective of the changes often witnessed in military veterans receiving equine assisted counseling.

For more information on equine assisted counseling with military clients or the REPC approach, please visit www.equineconnectioncounseling.com or email office@equineconnectioncounseling.com.

The post Hope for “George” through Equine Assisted Therapy appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/hope-for-george/feed/ 0
Leading to Success with “Fancy” https://parellifoundation.org/leading-to-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=leading-to-success https://parellifoundation.org/leading-to-success/#respond Wed, 22 Apr 2020 17:17:28 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76891 That little unwanted filly, named Fancy, I brought home years ago turned out to be a Level 4 riding and competitive driving horse. I used her for many years to demonstrate how Parelli Natural Horsemanship works. She went from a difficult horse to my dream horse within months!

The post Leading to Success with “Fancy” appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>

By 2* Licensed Parelli Professional Nancy Slater

Fancy and Nancy SlaterEver tried to lead your horse from the barn to the mounting block and it feels like you’re dragging a 1000 pound chair through the sand?!

As prey animals, horses are born to push against pressure. A colt will see what boundaries are laid before him, testing, flexing, and bending them until his mama makes him aware of the truth… Yield to me! From the moment they are born, a foal is hard wired to push, and will continue to push until taught not to.

When I brought home a young rescue horse years ago, it became evident that she had never learned this. She was taken off her mama early and not socialized with other horses. Unfavorable behavior resulted and she pushed and pulled heavily on the young lady who was attempting to use her for 4H. The result was an unwanted, difficult horse who needed leadership and dedication to help her become a great horse. Most people give up when push comes to shove.

FancyMost people are not trainers. They buy a horse that they expect to carry them throughout whatever endeavor they choose, whether recreational or competitive. A lot of horses do just fine. But sometimes the horse misses out on good mama parenting and/or human partnering training. When that happens, especially with a horse with a dominant personality, we end up with a horse we can’t even lead from point A to Point B without a struggle! But if we learn some basic horse training skills, like Parelli Natural Horsemanship, we can keep from getting frustrated or hurt, and prevent having to sell the horse.

Teach your horse to yield to poll pressure. You will do this by putting on pressure in small increments with your fingertips. First rub your horse gently between his ears near the halter. Then start to press with your fingers slowly until the horse lowers his head a little, releasing the pressure immediately when he does. Rub him gently in that spot, as if you’re erasing the touch. Repeat this until his head readily lowers with your touch. Parelli calls this the Porcupine Game.

FancySome horses will put their head up or pull away, trying to shake you off that spot. Without being aggressive, hang in there with your horse, drifting with him, until he relaxes and licks his lips. Licking and chewing means he is processing our request, so pause and allow him a moment to do so. When he is finished processing, rub him, then begin again. One of the beautiful things about horses is there are plenty of do-overs allowed in training them! The goal is for him to be relaxed and trying to comply.

I see a lot of horses that make no apologies for dragging their owners around. They love to grab grass and engage in a tug of war! The easiest way to get your horse’s nose to lift up and come to you, is to disengage the hindquarters. Put a steady feel on the leadrope, not a heavy pull, then, while staying safely out of the kick zone, look with intention at the horse’s hip. Using a carrot stick (training stick), start tapping the AIR above your horse’s hip with rhythm. If he continues to not move, then start tapping his HIP until he steps his back legs over and away. Parelli calls this the Driving Game. He might try to step forward, so be ready to lift the leadrope and wiggle it up and down. As you communicate to him to yield his hind end and not step forward, suddenly, his nose, eyes, and ears will be on you! Pet him. Repeat this exercise until he willingly lifts his head from eating grass without you having to lift your stick at all.

FancySome horses are more sensitive than others and won’t need a lot of pressure, but others will be harder to convince! They are all different! Always start off politely with a smile. Anger has no place with horses. Emotions will only get in the way of your progress. Simply follow through with patience and pressure until your horse tries to comply. Then thank him with a sincere rub. Remember that he is your friend, you’re just nipping him like his mama would to get him to respond! Horses understand nipping and kicking!

Leading is understanding and responding appropriately to poll pressure (head pressure). Always get your horse’s attention with your INTENSION to go somewhere. Be aware and kind as you put a gentle feel on the rope. If he comes, do not pull on him. If he does not come along with a suggested feel, then you can add some driving pressure at his hip with your stick to encourage that nose to come along! Everything in increments, always releasing all pressure you have on your horse when he tries to make you happy by coming along with you.

FancyHave a purpose to your steps, go somewhere with commitment! If you are hesitant, he will lose focus and begin to eat grass again. He might decide that he would rather hang at the barn with the other horses- Doesn’t matter. A horse will follow a strong leader. Remember there is a pecking order in every herd. You fall somewhere in that pecking order. Communicate like a horse, because then your horse will understand that you are not being mean to him, you are only asking for respect as one higher up on the pecking order.

A horse is like water in that he will always pick the path of least resistance. Water will always flow downhill, and a horse will give in when he sees how easy it is to comply with our wishes. Your horse will, at one time or another, play you! Horses are in it to win it…Parelli Natural Horsemanship skills will get you to where you can have fun playing and winning their game!

FancyThat little unwanted filly, named Fancy, I brought home years ago turned out to be a Level 4 riding and competitive driving horse. I used her for many years to demonstrate how Parelli Natural Horsemanship works. She went from a difficult horse to my dream horse within months!

Horses instinctively look for leadership within the herd. A foal follows his mama everywhere, even after she nips him for being pushy! People are always amazed after they have become effective with pressure and their horse ends up even more bonded to them and following them around! Understanding, communication and assertiveness will lead you and your horse to success!

The post Leading to Success with “Fancy” appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/leading-to-success/feed/ 0
A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part One https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jewel-1 https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-1/#respond Tue, 21 Apr 2020 18:20:16 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76877 He was not a bad man. He had bought Jewels with no intention of harming her. The problem lay with not knowing how to work with a horse like her. He was confused by her behavior. Why was she so difficult? What was wrong with her? She acted so crazy!

The post A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part One appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>

By 2* Licensed Parelli Professional Nancy Slater

JewelsMiss Jewels Bar was born a Left Brained Introvert. What this means is, genetically speaking, her personality or ‘Horsenality’ if you will, is one that is naturally confident, calm, and thinking. She naturally is prone to reserve her energy, preferring to not over exert herself to the point of perspiration. She enjoys standing in the shade, pinning her ears and squealing at herd mates when they come to invade her space.

,She is a well bred Quarter Horse, solid red, and shiny like a copper penny. Cow horse through and through, her owner bought her to work cattle on a ranch and compete as a roping horse. He paid good money for her and thought she’d do him proud.

A sensitive mare, she thought the cowboy was a bit pushy and demanding. He thought she was disrespectful, with the glare in her eye, ears pinning, and tail swishing. It didn’t take long before the two of them were strong in their opinion of the other’s negatively, and it was on like Donkey Kong!

She got nasty and he got angry. He lounged her to get the buck out, but she fought him. He rode her and spurred her, and she fought him more. When he had had enough of the nasty, red mare dominance toward him, he got so angry and aggressive, that he frightened her. So much so, she suddenly believed her life was in danger!

JewelsNo longer feeling safe, Jewels began to dance and prance under saddle. She wanted to run back to the barn, the trailer, the pasture, to safety. Her owner was happy; the nasty behavior was finally gone! He kicked her up into a canter and she moved out. Hooray!!

But something had flipped in her brain. Yes, she no longer had a fight to give. And she no longer balked or bucked. Instead, she ran. Trouble was, there no longer was a slow or a stop. And, she would twist her face in a distorted way; her feet nervously searching for a way to escape.

Her owner now saw there was a new problem. No matter what he tried, pulling on her bit didn’t work, nor did just allowing her to run to exhaustion in deep sand in the orange groves. She could spin and spin in circles till he felt like he was in a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle! He lunged her till she was dripping in sweat, but she never slowed. And there, always present, the twisted, distorted face.

He was not a bad man. He had bought Jewels with no intention of harming her. The problem lay with not knowing how to work with a horse like her. He was confused by her behavior. Why was she so difficult? What was wrong with her? She acted so crazy!

JewelsHe tried and tried to figure the twisted puzzle out to no avail. She just never stopped and finally, he gave up on her. He called my husband, and told him to have me come get her.

Of course, I said no at first. I have plenty of horses to feed, I noted. But I knew I needed to go pick her up. To my surprise, he had two horses standing ready to load up in my trailer when I arrived! I felt bad leaving the young bay Cracker Horse…only Jewels would be leaving with me.

Jewels would twist her face any time while in my presence. She looked ugly. Obsessively twitching and making strange noises in her throat. It would get worse when I tied her, saddled her, and bridled her. When I climbed up in the saddle she danced and spun, if you loosened the reins, she ran. She would sweat a nervous sweat, it was as if you could see her mind racing behind her unseeing eyes. She would look through you, not at you.

I rode her on the back trails, seeing if I could get her to calm down and focus. I allowed her to run, petting her, talking to her. There was nothing but fear. I turned her towards the acres of palmetto filled pastures, hoping she might look down to see where she was going. She continued to run fast. I headed her for a small bush and gently turned her around and around it, expecting her to see there was nowhere to go. She never slowed. She was locked in fear, with her crazy face on.

Then, in desperation, I took hold of the reins in both hands, and headed her straight for a tall pine tree. When we ran to it, I said whoa and sat deep in the saddle. She hit the tree with her forehead. Then she frantically looked side to side, and I headed for another, and another, each time I sat and said whoa. She finally stopped, and I dismounted.

I walked her back and untacked her. I was amazed at how much of a Right Brained Extrovert she was. Right Brain horses can’t think, and I had never seen an extrovert with so much go!! Yes, she had become crazy because of her experiences. But I knew that just like people with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), there was a way of helping her with the right course of action.

My experiences as a Parelli Instructor, and the individualized help I had received from Linda Parelli with my Josh mule years before, gave me lots of strategies. I used 10 or more strategies on Jewels for several months, but felt I needed more help. I contacted Linda. She told me to bring Jewels out for a look…

Continued in Part Two

The post A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part One appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-1/feed/ 0
A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part Two https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jewel-2 https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-2/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2020 18:15:55 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76883 Linda said Jewels is an extremely challenging case and that we needed Pat to have a look at her. Most horses would have relaxed with the exercises we had been working on and made big changes. She was not like most horses... I was excited that the Master would look at my rescue horse!

The post A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part Two appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>

By 2* Licensed Parelli Professional Nancy Slater

Continued from Part One

jewelsFear. It can be mind numbing. The body pumps cortisol into the brain, along with adrenaline. Flight and fight, forms of self preservation, take over, and being able to think things through, becomes impossible. In Left Brained horses, loss of dignity is traumatic. They can display fear aggression, lashing out. Temperament and behavior is shaped by genetics and life experiences.  How do we help these sensitive horses with a past?

Puzzles. We set up situations where the horse has to figure out a puzzle. Knowing they seek safety and comfort, we carefully create specific pressure that causes them to hunt for release. WE supply the release- they cannot take it. Horses will push and brace in an attempt to find freedom/escape. If we have enough feel, timing, and balance, the horse will find the answer we desire, get relief, and feel better as they come down off cortisol.

I had been working with Jewels for almost a year before I asked Linda Parelli for some help to expedite things. We had made good progress. Jewels had bonded with me. She learned to catch me for haltering, stood quietly for saddling and bridling, stood relaxed for mounting, could now halt and stand under saddle on loose rein, and her lips didn’t twitch near as much as they had in the beginning. But, setting her in forward motion under saddle still revved her up like an accelerator stuck to the floorboard. We could walk only about 4-6 steps on loose rein before she got charged up.

JewelsI had gotten excited a few weeks back when Jewels started to pin her ears and nip at me. She was warning me to not disrespect her. This is where the conversations with her past owner probably ended! I felt this was where ours was beginning. It would be alright now for her to express her feelings, especially since I’d been asking her to open up to me for a long time.

At the Parelli Center, Linda wanted to see Jewels in the round pen at liberty at a walk, trot, halt, and backup, Jewels had trouble finding relaxation. She was anxious, wanting to push forward with her head in the air, lips twisting. Putting her back on halter and lead rope, I worked on the transitions on the rail, but she struggled with the exercise. It improved, but no major breakthrough.

We tried several different approaches, but didn’t find the one to really make the breakthrough that was needed so she could just relax and walk or trot. Just walk! Amazing how she was so afraid to stop running off. If I held her back with the reins, she could walk, but it was not her idea. How sad I felt for her!

This trip to the ranch, Linda said Jewels is an extremely challenging case and that we needed Pat to have a look at her. Most horses would have relaxed with the exercises we had been working on and made big changes. She was not like most horses… I was excited that the Master would look at my rescue horse!

JewelsPat saw her look of escape. He saw her terror. He had seen it before in a couple of horses from his past. Jewels could not yield to pressure. She continued to push forward; pumped up on cortisol. She did not want to talk to this cowboy! Her fear was so bad, she could not see things around her. In her mind, this was it…

Most recently, I had gotten Jewels to the point of occasional clarity in the arena at home. She would think and feel safe under saddle when I said, ‘Whoa’. She had finally come to a point where she felt comfortable at a standstill. That was something, but not enough. Pat had a bigger puzzle for her to solve.

Pat says that we need to have long bodies, (using ropes, sticks, fences, etc) to be effective with horses, and horses need to have tall bodies, (collect, shorten, self carry, yield to pressure). Horses must have lateral and vertical flexion, engage the hindquarters, follow a feel- yield. The perfect puzzle.

Pat was gentle. He understood her worry. Like the true Horseman he is, he guided Jewels carefully to preserve her dignity. She looked at him with mistrust, flashing eyes- warning him. But he showed her how she could flex laterally, yielding left and right at walk, trot, canter, halt, and backup. His timing was impeccable. She licked her lips as she understood.

Pat showed Jewels that she could yield to vertical flexion. He showed her how to put her head down. He recommended long lining exercises. All the while working, his hands touched Jewels kindly, his voice soothing, moving slowly with her like a dance that it was. When he rode her, she blinked a lot, thinking about his request for yields. She was thinking and responding.

He matched her with a much bigger puzzle than ever before. Got her thinking and moving through some of those big can’t – won’t – don’ts.  With the flexion included, it was big!

Then, she looked better; she looked beautiful. Pat told me to put the halter on her, but she was trying to follow him! She had met the Master, and wanted to be with him. I was not disappointed, I was motivated to be more like Pat.

Pat Parelli has taught me so much to help horses over the years, including a very difficult mule everyone said was garbage. Fixing that mule led me on this journey. How exciting and rewarding it is to help horses with a past.

Jewels and I loaded up to head home to do our homework.

To be continued as Jewel progresses…

The post A Rough Diamond is a Jewel – Part Two appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/jewel-2/feed/ 4
Mo https://parellifoundation.org/mo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mo https://parellifoundation.org/mo/#respond Mon, 20 Apr 2020 20:08:24 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76868 Mo, that sweet Tennessee Walking Horse mare, was gifted an amazing and long life, since her foaling, with her very special person, Anne Northrup. We'll keep thinking of Mo gaiting over the hills of Pengilly Hill in Ellicottville, for years to come.

The post Mo appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
Mo

Owner: Lori Northrup

Name: Mo

Details: Mo, that sweet Tennessee Walking Horse mare, was gifted an amazing and long life, since her foaling, with her very special person, Anne Northrup. We’ll keep thinking of Mo gaiting over the hills of Pengilly Hill in Ellicottville, for years to come.

The post Mo appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
https://parellifoundation.org/mo/feed/ 0
Jean Holbrook https://parellifoundation.org/jean-holbrook/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jean-holbrook Tue, 07 Apr 2020 16:15:27 +0000 https://parellifoundation.org/?p=76842 In loving memory of Jean Holbrook

The post Jean Holbrook appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>
Rainbow Bridge

Person: Jean Holbrook

Details: She was my mother that let us get a horse when I was 8. It was a dream come true for this little cowgirl.

The post Jean Holbrook appeared first on Parelli Foundation.

]]>