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.
“I became a student of natural horsemanship in 1998 after deciding to leave the horse show scene to find something that really resonated with me. I will be forever grateful to the Parelli Foundation for their support of my Parelli Natural Horsemanship journey. It began in 2010 when I returned to the Colorado campus after an 8-year hiatus. I immersed myself in the 4-week Fast Track. At the time, I intended to ‘just improve my horsemanship.’ I wanted to become an instructor but, it was not feasible for me both financially and in terms of the time commitment required. Opportunity presented itself when I was introduced to the auxiliary path to becoming an instructor! After a successful score in my Fast Track, I found a way to attend the 1-Star course, and I earned my first star rating.
“I couldn’t stop there and had my sights on becoming a 3-Star Instructor. Unfortunately, being a mom, a rancher, and a teacher didn’t lend itself to the financial requirements of the journey. I thought that was the end for me, but then The Parelli Foundation (at that time, the Parelli Education Institute) stepped in with a scholarship!
“Fast forward to today: I am now a 3-Star Instructor, a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Certified Instructor, and have been part of many events with the Parelli Foundation. I was even able to leave the public schools five years ago!
“The Parelli Foundation has supported my dream of teaching Parelli Natural Horsemanship, so that I can help others pursue their dreams with horses. I have met so many wonderful people over the years. I’ve been able to “pay it forward” through donating my time at a horse rescue in Petaluma, fundraising through teaching natural horsemanship at our therapeutic center, and putting on my Parelli instructor hat to advance horse leaders who graciously donate their time to the therapeutic center. I have also had fabulous opportunities such as teaching the West Coast “Rehoming for Life” clinic, and co-teaching the Parelli Natural Horsemanship in Therapeutic Centers Workshop in Kentucky.
“If it hadn’t been for the scholarships and opportunities through the Parelli Foundation, I would not be living a life with horses and teaching those who love them!