horse welfare art
Horse Welfare
Horse Welfare
Horse Welfare Poster

The International Horsemanship Foundation provides grants to organizations promoting horse welfare.

The welfare of horses is of great importance to the International Horsemanship Foundation.  Nothing promotes equine wellbeing more than humans learning to communicate with horses in a way horses understand naturally.

We fund education initiatives for horse rescue centers that improve the welfare of the horse and increase adoptability. We also support showmanship and competition when performed using natural horsemanship principles. Rescue center education raises awareness of how natural horsemanship can help rescued horses have a future.

“We’ve seen firsthand the difference that Natural Horsemanship can make for horses in need and we hope that Romeo’s life story will help reduce the number of equines in the rescue world by providing people with training solutions that work, not only for the horse, but also for the human. Our best goal of all would be that horses like Romeo and the Parelli Rehoming 4 Life Challenge will be so successful for years to come, that it eventually puts all rescues out of business!” Kim Meagher, Wild Horse Rescue, Arizona

 “The training that I have received from Nancy Slater over the past few months has opened a door to understanding horses that I thought I had already learned. It was as if she had unlocked all the random bits of information that I had in my head and brought it to a higher level of understanding. I find that now I can puzzle solve more difficult issues where before I would find myself stuck self-doubting. She gave me a clearer picture of what to look for and now I see much better whether a horse is connected and understanding. I could always talk the talk but now I am beginning to be able to walk the walk and our horse and our volunteers are so much better for it!

“All of this will carry over to getting our ambassador horses confident enough to go to more events to get the word out about horse abuse and that natural horsemanship should be a “best practice” at all rescues and sanctuaries.” – Robin Cain, Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, Florida

Horse Welfare Poster

Grant Reports: If you are a grant recipient and need to file a report, click here.

The application period for Horse Welfare grants is now closed.  Be sure you are signed up for our newsletter to be notified of the next application period.



We grant funds for projects within the United States which further our mission of:

“Helping create a better world for horses and humans through natural horsemanship education”

Special note to our international friends: The International Horsemanship Foundation is a United States company. We provide grants for non-profit organizations in the United States. We are sorry that currently we are unable to provide grants for organizations outside the United States.

Some examples of the types of grants we provide:

  • Natural horsemanship related training equipment and materials
  • Educating potential adopters
  • Funding to train staff and volunteers in natural horsemanship
  • Certification of staff members/volunteers by horse welfare related organizations
  • Development of rescue horses by natural horsemanship professionals
  • Public outreach through natural horsemanship education, including competition
  • Educating the public about issues of over breeding, the real cost of horse keeping and care, best practices in competition and care, etc.

Grants may be given for any combination of the above and will be considered for other related activities. Grants may range in size from $500 to $5,000.

Applications to fund unrelated projects and expenses, such as land, feed, veterinary care, improvements and other non-education related expenses will not be considered by the Parelli Foundation.

If you are considering applying and need help to determine if your grant request falls within our mission, please contact us.

To be considered for a grant, an organization must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • The grantee organization must be a non-profit 501c3 organization.
  • The grant requested must fall within our mission as described above.
  • The grant application must be properly filled out and received on or before the advertised deadline.
  • Applicants must commit to natural horsemanship.

All grant applications are considered for funding without knowledge of the identity of the applicant.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please proceed to the next step below.

Rehoming 4 Life Rescued Horse Development

The Rehoming for Life program is an ongoing effort by the Parelli Foundation to demonstrate that rescue horses are not “throwaway” horses. We currently offer grants for the development of select horses through our Horse Welfare grant program.

Ashley Dudas and Merlin

Through a grant to Wild Horse Ranch Rescue  3* Licensed Parelli Professional Ashley Dudas is developing “Merlin”.  Follow Merlin as he learns how to be a partner.

Episode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

Pat Parelli and Wendelin

In 2018, the Parelli Foundation provided a Horse Welfare grant to the SPCA of Texas. This partnership effort included a video demonstration with Pat Parelli and a horse from the SPCA of Texas for the promotion of horse welfare through natural horsemanship education.

Follow this video series as Master Horseman Pat Parelli demonstrates how to build a partnership with “Wendelin”, a three-year-old filly found running with a feral herd running wild in south Dallas, Texas. Wendelin had not been handled before her capture and though had been with an outside trainer for four months prior to this series, many steps had been skipped in her education.  More below…

Episode One

When this video series was taken, Wendelin had been with the SPCA for about 4 months, had received some basic training, been ridden a few times, but she lacked confidence and had “a bit of an attitude.” Pat shows us the holes in her education and how to fill them using natural horsemanship. Watch as Pat uses various natural horsemanship methods to build a basic relationship with a rescued horse.

As more horses are finding themselves without homes, humane shelters are often opening their doors to equines in need and many equine rescues are filled to capacity. Too often horses are sold, abandoned, or euthanized because of undesirable behavior or lack of access to proper training.

Using natural horsemanship methods, rescue organizations can improve the lives of equines in transition and improve adoptions. Parelli Foundation’s Horse Welfare program provides grants to help do just that.

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Episode Five

Episode Six

Episode Seven

Final Episode

Executive Director’s Message from the Final Episode

Some of our previous Rehoming 4 Life horses

Rehoming 4 Life horses 2017

Rehoming for Life Workshops

[slideshow_deploy id=’25347′]

Rescue horses have unique needs and safety is paramount for both horses and the humans who care for them.  The Foundation’s Rehoming for Life Workshops were created to offer education by Parelli Professionals designed for the rescue staff and volunteers.  We offer Rehoming for Life workshops regionally by request.

Past Rehoming for Life Workshops:

Best Friends Animal Society’s Horse Haven
The Parelli Foundation’s first Rehoming For Life Workshop
Kanab, UT
March 18-23, 2014

Sonoma Equine Rescue Rehab and Adoption (SERRA)
A story about the regional group that developed as a result of the Rehoming for Life Workshop at SERRA, Petaluma CA
May 16-17, 2015

We will continue to offer Regional Rehoming for Life Workshops if a group of recues in a region would like to contract with us to do so. Mnimum guaranteed registration 25. For additional information contact us.

We are grateful for the support of the ASPCA for our workshop.

The Parelli Foundation is a Partner in the Right Horse Initiative

The Right Horse Initiative of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) hosts a collective of industry professionals, equine welfare organizations, and advocates working together to reframe the conversation around equine adoption and improve the lives of horses in transition through a dialog of kindness and respect.

What This Means for You and For The Parelli Foundation

    • Support for The Right Horse’s goals of massively increasing the number of successful horse adoptions.
    • Broad based education, training, and public awareness
    • Alignment with the Horse Welfare goals of the Parelli Foundation
    • Shattering the stigma surrounding horses in transition
    • Providing access to fostering or adopting equines from sources aligned with The Right Horse initiative. Visit

“Together we will continue to improve the lives of countless horses through innovative programs, training, and increased public awareness.”  Dr. Emily Weiss, Vice President of  ASPCA® Equine Welfare. 

Click here to view the full press release

Action Alert: Urge Congress to pass Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.

Action Alert


A Tennessee Walking Horse rider participates in the 2014 Walk on Washington event to garner support for the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. (Courtesy of Victoria Broehm from

What is the PAST Act? This bill will close loopholes in the federal Horse Protection Act and end the abject cruelty of soring, a practice in which Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) are tortured with chemicals, chains and heavily weighted stacked shoes and other horrific practices to perform the exaggerated gait that is referred to as the “Big Lick”. The PAST Act would abolish the use of the torturous shoes, chains, and chemicals that are fundamental to the soring process, as well as increasing penalties and stop the self-policing of the TWH industry, which has failed to stop this practice.

The bill passed the House this July with the support of well over 300 bipartisan cosponsors!  With this momentum and over 40 cosponsors in the Senate, it is now more important than ever that people contact their Senators and urge their cosponsorship of PAST.



A Tennessee Walking Horse’s leg with multiple heavy chains, which hit the sensitive and sometimes chemically sored, ankle and heavy stacked shoe. Courtesy of Bradley Dick Photography

Help support horse welfare: Find your Senator’s contact information and email and/or call them today to ask for their support of the PAST Act (HR 693). If your Senator is a co-sponsor, please contact them to offer your thanks.

Donate to Parelli Foundation’s Programs, each helping to promote the welfare of horses and other equine through natural horsemanship education.

More information:

• Interested in doing more for horses? Follow @ThePASTAct on Twitter to share information and tweet at legislators.

PAST Act Soring

Thermographic image shows excessive warmth (seen as red and orange colors), which may be caused by inflammation from soring. The pattern seen is consistent with soring using a chemical agent. © USDA

• PAST is known formally in the House as HR 693, and S.1007 in the Senate.  The House bill is titled U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings Memorial PAST Act. Senator Tydings was known as the “Father of the Horse Protection Act,” the original legislation of 1970 that first outlawed the practice of soring.

• Why is the Horse Protection Act not sufficient? Loopholes in the law have allowed abuse of Tennessee Walking Horse to continue, due mostly to allowing the Tennessee Walking Horse show industry to be self-policing; allowing trained third-party individuals to serve as inspectors at Walking Horse shows.

• This abuse known as soring and taking advantage of the loopholes of the Federal Horse Protection Act has been occurring for decades and is well-documented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and various interest groups. Change can only occur for these beautiful animals if these practices cease and this must be done through federal legislation in the form of the PAST Act.

PAST Act Stacks

Built up pads, called “stacks”, held on by a band over the top of the hoof, are used in some performance divisions. Credit APHIS veterinarian Todd Behre, USDA

• This legislation has hundreds of endorsements from the American Horse Council and dozens more industry groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association,American Association of Equine Practitioners, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, every state’s veterinary medical association, National Sheriffs’ Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, all major animal protection organizations, and others appalled by this ongoing abuse.


X-Ray image of a “performance package” on a Tennessee Walking Horse, showing shoe, “stacks”- the multiple pads, multiple extra nails placed in pads to add weight and possibly pressure (known as “pressure soring”) and band across hoof to hold it all on. Credit USDA

The Parelli Foundation is a previous grant recipient from the Humane Society of the United States “Now that’s a Tennessee Walking Horse” program and this grant was used for a natural horsemanship course geared toward gaited horses. We have long promoted opportunities for the use, care and training Tennessee Walking Horses and other gaited breeds through natural horsemanship.


Take Action Now.

Maryland Horse Rescue

Back-to-Back Grants for Maryland Horse Rescue

Horses at risk, especially those in their golden years and those blind, are well off at the Maryland Horse Rescue Rehabilitation and Adoption in Mount Airy, Md. A Parelli Foundation grant in 2018 furthered their ability to partner with humans after training by 2* Licensed Parelli Professional Dru Lucia Roia.

Read More…

Parelli Charity Clinic

Joining Hearts and Hands to Hooves

In June, Animal Guardians Horse Rescue, Inc. (AGHR) in central California used a Parelli Foundation Horse Welfare grant to buy Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) tools and hire 4* Licensed Parelli Professional (LPP) Susan Nelson Thibault. In the high desert town of Tehachapi in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the group gathered for a Parelli Charity Fundraiser Clinic at 3L Ranch, which Susan operates with her husband, Maurice, also a 4* LPP.

Read More…

Resources for Horse Welfare

Horse Welfare

Resources for those seeking help in other areas beyond natural horsemanship related to horse welfare such as:

  • Standards of care
  • Resources for rescue/rehoming and long-term care
  • Inhumane Treatment of PMU mares/foals/nurse mare foals
  • Unintentional abuse
  • Humane euthanasia and disposal
  • Competition
  • Wild Horse/Burro management

We are continually updating this list.  If you have a favorite link or resource that you would like us to consider adding to the list, please send the link using our contact us form.

Horse Welfare

Competition related abuses in training, racing, and other arenas

Background Information:

Issues impacting equine welfare in competition

  • Pressure to win can exceed concerns regarding the welfare of the horse
  • Lack of knowledge and skill among trainers, riders and owners (especially those who are novices)
  • Use of abusive equipment and practices
  • Soring and other pain induced enhancement of gait and frame
  • Medications to alter performance (doping)

Despite improved regulations in these areas and improving judging standards, penalties for infractions are often not serious enough and are applied inconsistently.

See some of the competitors and their equine partners who are Winning with natural horsemanship!

Margit Deerman
Margit Deerman
4 Star Parelli Professional
Susan Nelson
Susan Nelson
4 Star Parelli Professional
Ryan Pfouts
Ryan Pfouts
4 Star Parelli Professional
Elli Pospischil
Elli Pospischil
4 Star Parelli Professional
Amy Bpwers
Amy Bowers
4 Star Parelli Professional

Standards for facilities and care

Background Information:

Standards for equine facilities have been developed but are not widely known and not enforced.  These standards include safe facilities/prevention of disease spread, manure  management and  nutrition (overweight).

Minimum Standards of Horse Care

Current Resources/Organizations devoted to this issue:

Local agricultural associations/farm bureaus have courses on farm and equine management.

Resources for rescue, rehoming, long term care

Background Information:

The need for space at rescue centers may be 10 times the current availability (roughly spots for 6000 horses annually). Data compiled by the Equine Welfare Alliance indicate that the cost of feed is the most important factor leading to unwanted horses.

The 2007 UHC Survey identified several factors leading to the number of unwanted horses: downturn in economy including change in owner employment, loss of owner interest, closing of processing facilities, indiscriminate breeding, unmanageable horses, old age/injured horses.

2009 Unwanted Horse Survey

Current Resources/Organizations devoted to this issue:

Indiscriminant breeding

Background Information:

It is estimated that there are nearly 10 million horses in the US.

The American Horse Council: Equine Economics

Current Resources/Organizations devoted to this issue:

The PMU and Thoroughbred Racing Industry: mares, foals, and nurse mare foals

Background Information:

Pregnant mare urine (PMU) is processed to make the hormone replacement Premarin. Concerns about the living conditions for Premarin mares and foals as well as the high probability of these horses being sent to slaughter are real.

The Thoroughbred industry produces thousands of “nurse mare foals” each year due to the practice of using nurse mares. This practice stems from the inability to use artificial insemination in the breeding of Thoroughbreds. Read more about this issue from Last Chance Corral.

PMU Foals Before Rescue

Current Resources/Organizations devoted to this issue:

Unintentional Abuse: lack of knowledge and skills

Background Information:

Unintentional abuse by novice owners, trainers, and riders results from lack of the knowledge and skills needed to own, care for and ride horses. Many resources exist to provide education and improve the lives of horses and the people who love them.

Horses developed through natural horsemanship are confident in a variety of situations

Brent Logan
In the water
On the trail
Jumping obstacles

Humane euthanasia and disposal

Background Information:

It has been suggested that the cost of euthanasia and disposal of unmanageable, old, and injured horses contributes to the number of horses abandoned, sent to auctions or rescues, or transported for slaughter.

Wild horse/burro management

Background Information:

Here is an article that presents an overview of the wild horse situation with suggestions for management improvements.  This is a very controversial topic.

Horses at Risk
Valley Fires in California
Hurricane Rescue
horse rescue

Equines at Risk Emergency Grants

We are devastated to know that many horses and people continue to be affected by the natural disasters currently facing the United States. The effects now stemming from various wildfires and hurricanes can be life threatening and may seem insurmountable, especially when added to those challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parelli Foundation is making a commitment to help those equines at risk and the people who love them during this very difficult time.

Our mission and programs remain relevant over time and circumstance, and we are dedicated to providing the right help at the right time for as many horses and humans as we can. In this pursuit, we have made available this new grant opportunity with the hope and intention of helping non-profit organizations across our nation continue to provide care for the equines in their programs as they are faced with the unexpected challenges that natural disasters present.

Equines at Risk Emergency Grant funds may now be requested for the following purposes: hay, emergency board when evacuation is necessary, veterinary costs associated with illness or injury stemming from natural disaster, or other costs related to your herd due to the current wildfires or hurricanes.


  • Grants may be given for any combination of the above and will be considered for other related needs.
  • Grants to be awarded in amounts up to $1,000 each.
  • Applications to fund unrelated projects and expenses, such as land, improvements, and other non-disaster related expenses will not be considered by the Parelli Foundation during this grant cycle.
  • Reporting for expenses related to Equines at Risk Emergency grants will be required by 3 months from the date the grant award is issued.
  • Equines at Risk Emergency Grants awards will be announced by October 31st, 2020.
  • Deadline to submit an application October 24,
  • All grant applications are considered for funding without knowledge of the identity of the applicant.

To be considered for a grant, an organization must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • The organization must be a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to natural horsemanship (an individual may nominate a qualifying organization and complete the application on their behalf).
  • The grant requested must fall within the related purposes as described above.
  • The grant application must be properly filled out and received on or before the advertised deadline.

Grant Applications are open now and are being accepted through October 24, 2020

If you are considering applying and need help to determine if your grant request falls within our mission, please contact us.

Special note to our international friends: The Parelli Foundation is a United States company. We provide grants for non-profit organizations in the United States. We are sorry that currently we are unable to provide grants for organizations outside the United States.