By Shannon South
Each September, Parelli Natural Horsemanship students and instructors from around the world gather for a pinnacle event, the Savvy Summit, held at the Parelli International Study Center in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This three day event is filled with education and inspiration for natural horsemanship devotees.
The Parelli Foundation is present at the Savvy Summit to raise awareness for its mission of helping create a better world for horses and humans, and to raise money to provide support and education for Youth Horsemanship, Therapeutic Horsemanship, Horse Welfare, and Scholarship Support for the Talented and Career Minded.
Immediately following the 2015 Summit, a Foundation fundraising event took place at the private home of Linda and Pat Parelli. As the Summit rolled to a close, two women held tickets to spend three days “In the Kitchen with Linda.” Cheryl Almasy, a Parelli student since 2000 travelled from Pennsylvania to attend, and she was joined by Lorraine Kaliher, a long time Parelli student and Parelli Foundation supporter, arriving from Georgia. The reality of taking part in this amazing opportunity caught up with Lorraine on the drive to Linda and Pat’s house as it would with most Parelli students:
“…then the Summit flew by and I was in Colorado driving to Linda and Pat’s home. Two of us – Cheryl and myself – had committed to supporting the Foundation by participating in this offering by Linda of her time and focus. All of a sudden, I found my right brain introverted self asking, ‘What in the world was I thinking when I accepted this gift from my husband? What would I say if I could get the courage to say anything?’…”
Linda’s warm welcome soon had the women at ease and they settled in to enjoy three days watching, sharing and enjoying their time with her. “I LOVED having this cozy, private experience with three things that I love: horses, cooking and people! In the morning we played with horses. They watched me train and I coached them too with simulations and great discussions. Then, before they left for lunch, I asked what they wanted for dinner. If I didn’t have everything I needed I ran to the store! And when they came back at 5 PM, the cocktail hour, we prepared dinner together.” ~ Linda Parelli
For Cheryl, this experience impacted many aspects of her life, “It changed the way my husband and I cook. Although we had always enjoyed a diet with very little processed foods – Linda’s focus on simple, whole food cooking inspired us, and now we are making better quality food and cooking more often!” The private instruction she and her horse received each afternoon meant that she came home with improved riding skills and became a more effective leader for her horse. Also being able to observe Linda’s interaction, handling and training of her own horses, gave both women tremendous insight into strengthening their relationships with their horses. “To watch everything she does with her horses from beginning to end: how she greets them, warms them up, how she gets calm, connected and responsive from each horsenality, and even how she returns them to the herd, was valuable learning for us, all the while encouraging us to ask questions. We could ask her anything – nothing went unanswered!! Fantastic!”
Lorraine reflected on her motivation to attend In the Kitchen with Linda and what it brought to her life: “The Foundation presented an opportunity that allowed Kaliher and me to assist them on their pathway of helping to create a better world for horses and humans.’ At the same time Linda was a wonderful guide and inspiration in my endeavor to be a better human being and partner to the humans, horses and beings in my life in this ever changing world.”
Spending days at the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Colorado Campus with Linda also meant that Lorraine and Cheryl had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. During the day they shared learning and insights with Linda’s protégé, Ryan Pfouts and the other visiting students. Each evening Linda’s dining table gathered guests from all over the Campus. “One night we invited Pat for dinner! What a fun, exhilarating, truly caring and giving couple!” ~ Cheryl
“One surprise was that we invited special guests that were on campus too. One night we had David Lichman, Neil Pye; of course Coco was part of it, and even my sister Vonni. Cheryl and Lorraine each had their favorite dishes…and here are the recipes for you! I can’t wait to do this again!” ~ Linda
You’ll need: 1 c. fresh basil
¼ c. shelled pistachios
3-6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
to taste salt & pepper
~ In a food processor, or Magic Bullet, pulse into a granular paste (you could grind it all by hand with a mortar and pestle of course!). Add a little more oil if it is too thick. And always check the taste in case it needs more salt or pepper.
~ Serve on top of pasta – I like using thin spaghetti. And to make it more interesting, toss through some pieces of smoked trout!
There is nothing easier or more fun and tasty!
You’ll need: Crusty bread, toasted
Halved garlic cloves
~ Simply rub the toast with the garlic, then the tomatoes until nice and red.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some salt. That’s it!