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Natural Horsemanship – The Parelli Program


Founded in 1981 by lifelong horseman, horse trainer, rodeo rider, cowboy and teacher Pat Parelli – who was joined by his wife Linda Parelli in 1993 – the Parelli Program focuses on teaching the human rather than training the horse.

Early on, Pat realized that horses already had all the skills they needed to thrive in their world. He discovered that understanding the psychology, personality and nature of horses could become the basis for a deep, seamless and mutually beneficial human-horse relationship. 

Pat named his new relationship-based approach “Natural Horsemanship” which is now recognized worldwide as an innovative and effective method of natural horse training.

Natural Horsemanship – Natural Relationships

The Parelli approach is not to train horses, but to teach each horse owner to become his or her own horse trainer, and to succeed by building a relationship of trust with each horse. 

Of course, horsemanship skills are taught in the Parelli program, but the foundation of the method is built on the relationship as primary, with the principles of Love, Language and Leadership as guides.

The Parelli method of natural horsemanship enables horse lovers at all levels and disciplines to achieve:

  • Success without force

  • Partnership without dominance

  • Teamwork without fear

  • Willingness without intimidation

  • Harmony without coercion

“People realize this is what they’ve been looking for in all their relationships,” comments Pat Parelli. “It’s balanced with love, language and leadership in equal doses. 

"The program and the horse give them a living model so they can practice and become fluent in their abilities in all relationships, not just horse relationships."

“It’s about more than just the horse,” echoes Linda. “It really dips into the personal development side of things. You learn about yourself, you learn about communication, about leadership, about truthfulness, about consequence and responsibility. 

"You learn about love and imagination. The horse becomes the animal that tells you the truth about yourself in all these categories.”

Horse owners who follow the Parelli program have found that not only does the program enable them to become a gifted horse trainer, and not only do they achieve exciting horsemanship successes, but they come away with the lasting gift of an enhanced relationship and communication with their horse. 

Perhaps the greatest gift of all, however, is that they discover enhanced relationships and communication with everyone in their lives.

Parelli Vision and Mission

Pat and Linda’s individual life stories are enlightening and extraordinary, and their love of and dedication to horses is palpable, but it is their common vision and mission for Parelli Natural Horsemanship that truly inspires. 

So much more than horse trainers, Pat and Linda have dedicated their lives and Parelli International to making the world a better place for horses and humans.

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