What's Missing in your Horse Training?

From Steve....

We all have our reasons and motivations for doing what we do, whether it be with horses or any other aspect of our lives, and whether motivation comes from finding enjoyment in an activity, goals of monetary gain, excitement and adventure, or any other reason, there is one consistent factor that needs to be in place;  The Foundation.   We come across all manner of horses, young to old, experienced sport horses to old inexperienced horses (evergreens), right on up to the highest level of sport horses, and often people come across issues that they are unable to handle.  It all goes back to having (or not) a solid foundation in not only the horse, but the rider as well.  I often tell folks, if we want to "fix" our horse, we have to start with ourselves.

Being a foundational specialist, I've heard many different ideas and opinions on what foundation training is.  Some think it's just ground work and manners, others think it's buck out training, and I've also heard that it's just for problem horses.  Though this may be true at some farms, the truth is that foundational training is very specialized and much more in depth than some may realize.  Those who have studied with us figure out quickly how specialized this really is.

There's a balance we look for and achieve as soon as possible with a horse that many folks don't achieve with any horse in a lifetime.  We like to see a balance in care and communication between horse and human, physical, mental, and emotional balance, exercise, muscular and lung development, and recovery for mental, emotional, and physical growth.  All of the foundational pieces we need in the saddle or on the ground to set up any sound horse and human for a healthy and happy life in sport and recreation.


Meggie's Parelli Journey

Meggie's journey...

Meggie loved horses since she was a young girl, and throughout her childhood, she begged her parents for a horse. In middle school, Meggie's dream came true and she got a big, black, beautiful 4 year old Tennessee Walking Horse. Soon after bringing him home, Meggie learned some valuable lessons about right-brained horses. After struggling, falling off, and getting frustrated while trail riding a fire-breathing dragon for a few years, Meggie had a very unfortunate event where her horse took off, and on a sharp turn she went one way while he went the other. After that fall, Meggie was hurt, and though she healed physically, it took a long time to heal mentally and emotionally. She didn't ride for over a year, and thought she would always keep her horse, but just as a pasture pet. It was then a good friend talked her into going to a Parelli Tour Stop in the area. If you've been to a Tour Stop, I'm sure you know what happened next. Meggie was hooked on the Parelli Program from that day on. 

Meggie spent the next few years passing her Levels and regaining her confidence, while studying English and Linguistics at The University of Michigan and graduating with 2 Bachelors Degrees.  During college, Meggie also made the trek to Pagosa Springs for 6 weeks of courses on campus. That was where she decided that she wanted to become a Parelli Professional.

After college, Meggie worked at a Therapeutic Riding Center in Mid-Michigan where they practiced Natural Horsemanship. Her year there was a catalyst to her horsemanship; it allowed her to get her hands on more than 10 horses and gain experience. It was at that time as well that Meggie was excepted to an Externship at the Florida Parelli Campus. Meggie did a 3 month externship in 2009, and graduated the course as a 2-Star Instructor. Meggie taught in Michigan and the surrounding States, while heading back to the campuses to teach and study each year. She also participated in two Internships, and after the second, was awarded her Level 4 and 3-Star Instructor status. 

Shortly after receiving her 3-Star, Meggie got hired as the Head of Horse Development at Atwood Ranch in California where they breed and raise wonderful Quarter Horses. Meggie had the opportunity to learn from over 100 horses there, from newborns to stallions and everything in between. She is very grateful for the lessons learned while at Atwood and the opportunity to work at such an amazing place.

In 2015 Meggie assisted 4-Star Instructor, Maurice Thibault, in the 10-week Intensive Horsemanship Course at the Parelli campus. This is a course for those who are looking to become Parelli Professionals. This was a dream come true for Meggie, and a huge learning opportunity. 

Meggie and Steve currently live in Mid-Michigan, where they are raising their son, teaching horsemanship, and growing ethically-raised pork, pastured chicken eggs and a plentiful garden. 

Meggie is forever grateful to Pat and Linda Parelli for their wonderful program, her horses for being the perfect teachers, her mentors for supporting her, her students whose dedication is inspiring, and to her husband who is her constant support and encouragement.