Youth Horsemanship
Youth Horsemanship
Anna and Dazzle

Join us in our effort of investing in the Future of Horsemanship

This program concentrates on helping children progress in their horsemanship by using natural principles and methods, allowing them to really learn what it takes to become both a partner and leader for a horse. These skills lay the groundwork not only for becoming an expert horseman, but also future good citizens, innovators, and leaders.

The Future of Horsemanship Scholarship - Journey to Level 4

The purpose of this scholarship is to support and expedite the journey to Level 4 for youth with exceptional talent and dedication but not the financial means. It is designed for youth from 10 to 16. The goal of Module 1 is Level 4 in the first 3 Savvys (On Line, FreeStyle, and Liberty).

Donate directly to the Future of Horsemanship Scholarship program through the Marceline “Joy” Simnitt Youth Memorial Fund or the Susan Carr Hanson Youth Memorial Fund.

IrisAnne Nee, Cumming GA
Susan Carr Hanson Memorial Fund Scholarship Recipient

IrisAnnOn January 16, 2017, IrisAnne became the second Future of Horsemanship student to benefit from the Susan Carr Hanson Memorial Fund, established by the Hanson family to support talented young people in their Parelli journey.  And what a journey IrisAnne has already had in her 12 years!  She and her mother Vickie, have spent many happy hours volunteering at a therapeutic horsemanship center, Angels on Horseback, and at a horse welfare facility, Save the Horses.  At Angels, they learned to play the 7 games with the horses, and then they transferred that knowledge to Save the Horses for their rescue horses, volunteers, and kids’ camps.  They have worked with the Parelli Foundation to enhance the programs at Save the Horses since December 2014.

In 2013, IrisAnne adopted her pony, Snickers, from Save the Horses.  He had been seen galloping down a highway and Animal Control was called in. They had to sedate him with a tranquilizer gun to stop him.  He then spent three years at Save the Horses, where he was considered untouchable and therefore unadoptable. Enter IrisAnne! As Cheryl Flanagan, founder of Save the Horses, says of her, “Seeing IrisAnne introducing herself to a new horse is magical.’IrisAnne says she fell in love with Snickers immediately and Parelli Natural Horsemanship transformed his life.

IrisAnneRobin Harris, a 2 Star Parelli Professional from Alabama, began quarterly visits to the area and IrisAnne added lessons with Robin to her home study program.  Fast forward to November 2016, and IrisAnne passed Level 2 On Line and Freestyle (at 2+ and a 2++) with Snickers and applied for a Parelli Foundation Future of Horsemanship Scholarship.  IrisAnne will continue studying with Robin Harris.

IrisAnne spends hours daily with her horses and the 8 others at her sister’s barn, where Kira, also a PNH student, runs a program teaching natural horsemanship to children and adults.   IrisAnne already embodies the idea of Pay It Forward.  She has volunteered at kids’ camps to help children learn natural horsemanship.  She continues to help rescue the ponies and foals with Cheryl at Save the Horses. She has been helping the horses at Save the Horses and Angels on Horseback benefit from the communication provided by the 7 games, starting at Angels when she was 8 years old. Angels on Horseback expressed their admiration for all that IrisAnne is and does by gifting her with an Appaloosa named Millie on Christmas 2016, because they knew she had outgrown Snickers and would need a larger horse to continue her Parelli journey.

IrisAnne’s goal is to have her own barn where she teaches natural horsemanship to children and adults, matching them with rescued horses.  On her application for the scholarship, IrisAnne wrote “I like working with the horse itself but I say to myself, ‘what good is it if the horse is amazing and trained in Parelli, if the person doesn’t know how to communicate and cannot bring out the best in that horse?’ The person has to be trained as well, so that both can reach their full potential!’

Mikaella Bell, Texas

Mickey & RockieHi! I’m Mikaella (Mickey) Bell from Texas. I am 13 years old. Horses have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I also enjoy singing and acting at a local theatre. My favorite band is Pentatonix.

Mickey & RockieBarrel racing was my introduction to horses. Once discovering Parelli, I instantly fell in love with everything about the program. My horse and I have both learned Parelli very fast. We now have a strong connection and  love for each other. I have passed my level 3 Freestyle and level 2 Online.

Rockie and I are both LBE. We think a lot alike and are emotionally connected. I have had the absolute privilege of working with Debbie Adcock (2 star Parelli Professional) and her horses. My favorite, Mateo, is an LBE and just an overall fun horse. God has blessed me so much to have this opportunity. I am excited to be working toward level 4 and my dream of becoming a Parelli Professional!


Mickey and Rockie

Ada Draghici, Nova Scotia, Canada

By Morgan Barnes

Ada DraghiciWhen Ada Draghici, a thirteen-year-old from Nova Scotia, Canada, applied for the Parelli Foundation Future of Horsemanship scholarship on January 13, 2016, she knew she had to be patient in waiting for an answer. “Because we have not provided a scholarship to anyone outside the United States before, we will need to move slowly on this one,” Marilee Donovan, Director of Programs, wrote to Ada’s mother.

At that time, Ada had been a Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) student for three and a half years. When she first got into horses, she was very excited to learn to ride, but quickly realized two things – one was that the horses were unhappy; and two, that there was more to horses than riding. Ada’s parents had no experience with horses, but when she insisted that there must be a better way to interact with them, her mother typed “natural horsemanship” into the search engine. “Intuitively, it seemed like the right term to use,” her mother said. When they discovered PNH, Ada knew her mission would be to help create a better world for horses and humans.

There were no Parelli instructors in Nova Scotia, but Ada’s parents had always tried to provide an environment that encouraged her to fully engage her interests. When she was ten, they helped her connect with other PNH students. For the first three years, she played with half-a-dozen horses owned by members of the small Parelli community. These experiences made her realize that one day, she too would like to empower humans to be the best they could be for their horses, just as her mentors empowered her.

In May 2015, her parents helped her buy a four-year-old gelding, Kai. Her mother would drive Ada to the only natural horsemanship barn in Nova Scotia, an hour away, up to five days a week, so that Ada could do what she loved.

Ada passed Level 2 On Line, Level 2 FreeStyle, and Level 3 Liberty, all with two pluses

Ada Draghici

Despite only being able to afford occasional lessons, Ada passed Level 2 On Line, Level 2 FreeStyle, and Level 3 Liberty, all with two pluses, within the first four months of being Kai’s partner. While waiting to hear from the Foundation about her scholarship application, she was determined to work hard and film her Level 3 On Line audition on the first day she could take Kai into the outdoor arena, which had been snowed in. She accomplished this and worked on her Level 3 FreeStyle.

She had done well learning from the DVDs, but to receive the scholarship and the opportunity to take regular lessons from a Parelli Professional would be a dream come true. Reading Marilee’s emails intensified Ada’s feeling that there was a larger Parelli community out there, with many people working hard to help her reach her goals. This motivated her to start a Facebook group for Parelli youth: Parelli Youth Community, which came into existence on March 22, 2016. Ada was eager to meet other PNH students her age and start building new friendships.

Ada’s application has raised the issue of international scholarships to a much higher priority

As the Future of Horsemanship scholarship program is based on matching a student with a sponsor, the Foundation initially looked for a way that a Canadian sponsor could make a tax-deductible charitable donation to support Ada’s scholarship. “Ada’s application has raised this issue to a much higher priority,” Marilee wrote.

Ada DraghiciOn March 26, barely two months after Ada had submitted her essay and references, Jill Holmes, a Parelli Foundation volunteer assigned to her case, wrote: “Many, many congratulations, Ada, on being awarded a Parelli Foundation Future of Horsemanship scholarship!”

“Rather than seek a local sponsor as we had intended, the Foundation decided to spend dedicated youth funds to sponsor this first youth outside of the United States,” reported Marilee.

The following weeks were spent finalizing equipment lists; scheduling clinics and lessons; discussing the various ways Ada could start fulfilling her responsibilities as a scholarship recipient; and most importantly, reconnecting with Farrah Green, a three-star Licensed Parelli Professional with whom Ada had had a lesson in April 2015 in Quebec.

Farrah and Ada are unfazed by the long-distance coaching relationship. Ada is a tireless researcher and natural emulator; after just a few video submissions and several inspiring phone conversations, she couldn’t be happier with how things are going. “Ada can hear or watch something and she’s got it,” Farrah said. On April 30, Ada learned that she and Kai had passed their Level 3 On Line with the score of 3+.

Ada is excited and grateful

Ada is excited and grateful to be the first Canadian recipient of the Future of Horsemanship scholarship and vows to always keep learning and sharing what she learns. She is optimistic that we have the power to change the world together when we share knowledge and care about horses and each other. This optimism is contagious and has helped her follow her gut throughout the last four years. She never wavered in her dedication to do the best she could for every horse she played with, despite being bullied and ridiculed by well-meaning adults. Now she has a mentor who understands and shares her passion, and financial support to continue her journey to Level 4.

Avery Schaffer, Madison, Wisconsin

First recipient of the Susan Carr Hanson Youth Memorial Fund

AveryAvery Schaffer is thirteen years old and lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Avery has loved horses since she was very young. When she was ten years old, she started taking her first riding lessons. She loved every moment she got to spend with the horses. However, she quickly realized that she wanted to become more of a partner and learn to better communicate with horses. Fortunately, Avery and her mom discovered The Horse First Farm in Brooklyn, WI, where they met Gretchen Arndt, 2* Junior Instructor. There she “learned what Parelli Natural Horsemanship was and realized that there was a way to connect, trust, and love horses on a deeper level.” Parelli was the missing piece of Avery’s horse puzzle.

Avery is thinking ahead to a future with horses, and after achieving Level 4 through this scholarship, she plans to continue her education in Parelli Natural Horsemanship and possibly specialize in three-day eventing or another riding sport/specialty. Ultimately, she is planning to become a Parelli Professional and assist and encourage youth, teens, and adults as they progress in their horsemanship journeys.

Avery and Mac
When asked about her thoughts on being the first recipient of the Susan Carr Hanson Youth Memorial Fund, Avery responded: “I feel truly honored. I know this special woman had such a huge impact on so many people’s lives and that she was passionate about Parelli and horses, just like I am! Her kindness and generosity to support youth is a pretty incredible thing. Being the recipient of this fund in Susan’s honor is so special to me. I want Susan’s friends and family who donated to this fund to know how much I appreciate it, and that I plan to work my very hardest on this journey. I hope to follow in Susan’s footsteps by sharing Parelli with others and also cherishing the Parelli community, just like she did.” ~ Avery Schaffer, thirteen years old

Susan’s family is very thankful that the fund grew so quickly and that a young girl is already benefiting from it. “When I donated, it was very personal and a feeling like I was helping to complete something that Susan would have loved to have started. Years from now, maybe we’ll be hearing about a child who is being mentored by a Parelli Professional named Avery Schaffer. How amazing would that be!” ~ Stephanie Mills

To help fulfill Susan’s dream and create our future leaders, you can go to the Susan Carr Hanson Youth Memorial Fund and help us sponsor two more talented and dedicated children:

Anastasia Workman

Anna and Dazzle - This is love
Anna and Dazzle

Do you want to help a talented child expedite their development through Natural Horsemanship?

You can be the sponsor for one of these deserving youth.  Your support will supply their equipment, Savvy Club Membership, Educational Material, Lessons, and Clinics.

For more information on this scholarship and to apply, go to the application or contact us.

Level 4 is the basic foundation

suggested for youth that have the desire to show some day, perform or become a professional in the equine industry. Level 4 is required to become a Licensed Parelli Professional.

So why not get started now

with support from the Foundation? If you are a parent or child that is excited about this opportunity read the requirements before you apply:

The pre-requisites to qualify for a scholarship are as follows:

• provide a formal audition passed at Level 2+ or above in On-Line and Free-Style Savvys
• provide a reference from a Licensed Parelli Professional
• complete in full the application process
• have the commitment to achieve level 4 in the first 3 Savvys: On-Line, Liberty and Free-Style within 12 months

You will need to be dedicated to the program and to changing the world by agreeing to the following:

• devote more than 10 hours each week to advancing your horsemanship
• show regular progress toward level 4
• provide community service 4-8 hours monthly to organizations that support our focus areas such as: youth equine, horse welfare or a therapeutic riding center
• attend a Parelli Natural Horsemanship and/or Parelli Foundation event to represent the Future of Horsemanship Project

Are you the next Future of Horsemanship youth?

We will be accepting applications again in the future when funding is available.  Please check back with us for more information.

Well if you are… Apply now!

Youth Horsemanship
Youth Horsemanship

Scholarship Youth to Horsemanship Clinics

Youth who need financial assistance to attend a workshop or clinic offered by a Parelli Professional who specializes in teaching youth (Youth Horsemanship Instructors) can request a scholarship to reduce the cost of the workshop or clinic. These scholarships can cover up to 50% of the cost of a workshop/clinic up to $100.

There are three ways to apply:

  • A youth can apply directly to an instructor on the list (Youth Horsemanship Instructors)
  • A youth can apply using the Youth Application and the Foundation will contact an instructor who serves the youth’s area to let the instructor know that a youth is interested in a scholarship to attend one of their workshops or clinics.
  • An instructor on the list can apply to the Foundation for scholarship(s) for youth attending one of their workshops/clinics using the Instructor Application.
Youth Instructors
Youth in 4H

Resources for Youth

Youth Horsemanship Instructors
These Parelli Instructors enjoy working with youth. Please contact them directly for more information, upcoming workshops and lessons.

Resources for Home-Schooling
The Youth Programs division of the Parelli Foundation will serve as a resource for youth and parents who have a desire to incorporate Parelli into their home school curriculum.

Resources for National Horse Organizations (Pony Club, Horse Council, 4-H)
There are a myriad of horse related youth organizations in existence. Many local level divisions of these organizations have expressed a desire to incorporate natural horsemanship into their programming.

The Youth Programs division of the Parelli Foundation will serve as a resource for youth and parents who have a desire to incorporate natural horsemanship into their home school curriculum or youth groups.  We envision a series of educational DVDs for youth ages 5-15.  Since this will require a great deal of design and production, the proposed release date is 2018.

Licensed Parelli Professionals for Youth

The following list identifies Parelli Instructors that enjoy working with youth. Please contact them directly for more information, upcoming workshops and lessons.

There are a myriad of horse related youth organizations in existence. Many local level divisions have expressed a desire to incorporate natural horsemanship into their programming.

The Youth Programs division of the Parelli Foundation will serve as a resource for youth and parents who have a desire to incorporate natural horsemanship into their home school curriculum or youth groups.

For an example of how to integrate natural horsemanship into a 4-H group, read this inspiring story.

Licensed Parelli Professionals for Youth

The following list identifies Parelli Instructors that enjoy working with youth. Please contact them directly for more information, upcoming workshops and lessons.

What if your lovingly used Parelli Equipment —

could help a non-profit horse rescue, equine therapeutic
center or youth club with natural horsemanship tools?

Lovingly Used Equipment

Maybe …

… it’s finally time to create space in your tack room and reduce tool redundancy for a GREAT cause!

If you are interested in donating equipment:

Contact Us!

A Passion for Natural Horsemanship and a Heart for Youth

On Saturday, January 16, 2016, a wonderful woman was called to Horseman’s Heaven. Susan Carr Hanson passed away unexpectedly and everyone who knew and loved her is missing the bright light that she brought to their lives.

She has talked about this day that we all hoped would never come and had expressed her wish to have donations made in her memory to the Parelli Foundation and particularly to support talented young people in their Parelli journey.

For a limited time, Dennis Hanson will match all donations made after January 16, 2017 up to a maximum of $1000.