By 3-Star Parelli Professional & Horse Development Specialist Mattie Cowherd

We are so proud to have Natural Horsemanship Professional & Horse Development Specialist Mattie Cowherd, one of our very own Parelli Central staff members, raise her hand to donate her time to the Parelli Foundation’s Rehoming4Life Challenge!

Mattie has volunteered to partner with a beautiful pony mare, Daisy, to give her the opportunity to have the brightest future as someone’s perfect partner!

Tristan and Daisy

 Daisy is pictured above with 5 year old Level 1 graduate, Tristan, who enjoyed a little undemanding time with this sweet pony after her first ride with Mattie.
With that said we’ll let Mattie properly introduce Daisy and what this challenge is all about!…

I love stopping in to Best Friends Animal Society to share in their personal piece of heaven. For those of you who have not stopped in before, you definitely should. The Sanctuary is just over 3,000 acres of peaceful, spectacular beauty in Kanab, Utah. The red rocks and red sands ooze of healing and change. Animals that are lucky enough to have the chance to heal here are so blessed by the care and concern of their handlers at Best Friends.

 My last trip was so much fun! I put first rides on three young horses. They had been given the most wonderful foundations on the ground by the staff and all three youngsters were more than ready to carry their first rider.

My favorite of the group was a young paint pony. Her name was Daisy.

Daisy was so cute! She was the perfect pony – well-balanced, sweet featured, and curious. Her little Left Brain Introvert nature warmed my heart. She was so full of personality and so full of try. Her first ride went textbook. She was sticky in her feet but busy in her mind, which is a great combination and easy to solve as long as the mind is engaged – the feet will soon follow. She soon gained confidence in her balance as I sat on her and waited, flexing her slowly so she could readjust each time to my new weight on her back. Soon, she was freely walking forward with no brace in her mind or her body.

I always love these dream first rides. It left me with a desire to ride her again. Even dream of taking her farther. There was just something so special about her!

Low and behold – my dreams have come true! Theresa with the Parelli Foundation called to ask me about my thoughts on a new program called Rehoming4Life, a program similar to the Natural Horsemanship Challenge hosted at the last two Parelli Savvy Summits with the Atwood Ranch yearlings. I had helped with these Atwood colts in the past as I had been the yearling teacher for the first batch of participating horses and the foal/weanling behavior manager for the second group while working at the Atwood Ranch. The idea of building a foundation with a rescue horse and showcasing them in the same program was VERY exciting to me!

And then Theresa mentioned that she had a few horses in mind for the program, including a young filly from Best Friends… DAISY!

I did my usual thing (which made Theresa laugh) and said that I would “think about thinking about it” when she asked me my thoughts. It only took two hours (and would have been less if I hadn’t been traveling by airplane at that time!) for me to call Theresa back and say “ABSOLUTELY! Count me in…. and I want Daisy!”

I look forward to our journey together and in taking everyone else with me on it as well.

If supporting the Parelli Foundation, giving hope to rescue horses, and supporting the Parelli Professionals who have lovingly opened their hearts and homes to the horses in this competition is important to you, please consider sponsoring a horse during the coming year. These horses are wonderful and all of us in the program want to give them the best – feed, care, time and love – and we need your help! We appreciate your gifts and support!


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