The Special K Ranch is a residential ranch in Montana for adults with disabilities and, among its many activities, is an equine program. Special K was fortunate to have a PNH developed horse, Jake, donated to the program. The staff was so impressed with Jake that the finance manager of the ranch, Sharon Flemetis, contacted the Parelli Foundation to find out how they could “get all of their horses to behave like Jake.”
Turn on Hind Quarters
As a result of several discussions, the Foundation agreed to provide scholarships for six Special K Ranch staff/volunteers to complete a clinic with Jenny Trainor, 3-Star Parelli Professional, who lives about an hour from the ranch. Those participating in the clinic ranged from a 15-year-old volunteer who loves horses but hasn’t handled them much, to a 79-year-old who has been around horses his whole life. The results were amazing and inspiring!

Sharon Flemetis wrote:

“By far, this is the best experience I’ve ever had. Everyone learned so much and we all realize it’s not about disciplining; it’s about becoming a partner with the horse and how to communicate with the horse instead of forcing him to do something that we want. Problems that we had with our horses have been fixed. The connection between staff and horses is probably the biggest change. Instead of being frustrated with the horses that don’t respect personal space, we now have the tools we need to teach. I look forward to continuing the journey with the Special K Ranch program and continuing my education with the Parelli method.”

Thanks to volunteers Marilee Donovan, Foundation Programs Director, and Shannon Knapp, Therapeutic Horsemanship Coordinator, along with Jenny Trainor, 3-Star Professional, for helping to make this happen. It is another outstanding example of how natural horsemanship is making the world better for horses and for humans! If you’d like to learn more about the Special K Ranch, go to: or visit their Facebook page.
 Has the Parelli Foundation touched your life in a meaningful and inspiring way?  We would like to hear about it. If you have a story to tell, and the Foundation has helped in some way, write it down in 1000 words or less and send it using our contact us form, along with three photos to illustrate your story.  We may use your story at our web site or in other ways.  If we do, we will send you a Parelli Foundation tee-shirt.

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