Horses were the furthest thing from my mind when my friend asked me to attend a local “roundup” for kids at a small barn 6 years ago. It was a bright spring day. A gentle breeze cooled us off from the beating Georgia sun. I stood there in my tennis shoes, awkwardly waiting for my turn to get on the horse. Still, to this day, I remember that first ride. How the saddle squeaked under my weight. How looking down on everyone else gave me an excited chill. How, when I looked up and really felt that horse move under me, I felt like I was someone else. Something else. No longer was I entirely me. Something changed—clicked —within me.
As an infant I held Garrett Eigenhuis and bounced him for quite some time to get him to sleep. When he was a three year old, I remember him dashing across the front yard and wrapping his arms around my legs when I arrived at his home. Now at seventeen and 6’1” tall and a Parelli Foundation scholarship recipient, his love and deep passion for horses and the Parelli method of natural horsemanship has ignited in me a like passion…a passion I never knew I had.
3* Licensed Parelli Professional Jody Grimm-Ellis’s story is unique and beautiful, yet it is not unusual to find such fabulously similar individual stories in the Parelli family. It is a story of love—and the sweat and commitment behind it—of those who wish to truly make a difference in the lives of horses and the people who love them.
Kari Bowser is a 2-Star Licensed Parelli Professional from Quebec, Canada, who recently received a $2,000 scholarship that she will apply toward the costs of attending Pat Parelli’s Mastery Program. ‘“Receiving this scholarship means more than just the money”, says Kari. “It was such an amazing feeling when I got the news to know that the Foundation and others had a belief in me that warranted this scholarship.”
Erin Fowle is a Parelli Foundation scholarship recipient and a 3* Parelli Professional. All scholarship recipients are required to give a few hours of their time to help in one or more of our program areas; Youth Horsemanship, Therapeutic Horsemanship, Horse Welfare, and Scholarships for the Talented and the Career Minded. This requirement is called “Pay-It-Forward”. Here are some thoughts from Erin about her horsemanship journey with the Foundation and her Pay-It-Forward experience.