Saturday, June 19, 2010

Open House - Parelli Style

What a fantastic end to our third week in the Fast Track. Participating in the Open House was a blast. The Mastery students were awesome and inspiring to all as they played with their horses in Arena Grande. We got to watch from horseback, what a cool seat to view from! Between them they played in all four savvys and we were all riveted, clapping, giggling and cheering them on as they demonstrated their creativity and superb horsemanship.

Next up the Parelli Games. There were 4 areas to participate in- timed riding events (poles and barrels), liberty & online tasks, and a freestyle obstacle course. My little Dove was quite calm considering how she started out somewhat frantic this morning in reaction to the changes in the Parelli campus environment. As Pat says prey animals are sensitive to people, places, changes and things, Well suddenly porta-potties had sprung up everywhere and there were tractors, bob cats and the team pulling the wagon about all morning. Not to mention all the new people. So when it was our turn for the Parelli poles I was pleased at her smooth jog and responsiveness to me despite all those predators watching. As I was walking to the starting box for the barrels event our MC "Dancing Pete" said "Oh say Kim Pat is watching. Do do we think she'll walk the pattern now?" Ha ha gulp, thanks Pete. I decided to stick to my plan of trotting the pattern. In past few weeks John has been talking to us about moving outside our comfort zone and so here I was doing just that, trotting the barrel pattern while Pat was watching. I decided to use the amazing power of focus and be present in the moment with my horse. Results? We jogged the pattern and felt good. Wahoo! Then while watching and cheering on other friends taking a turn, along comes Linda riding Remmer saying hello and asking us if we'd had a turn yet! And the day has only begun. Big happy sigh!

During the day we also mingled with the crowd, answering questions or posing for pictures. There we some eager future students in the crowd inquiring about our travel, accommodations etc. I realized, yep I am living the dream baby!

My friend Josefin & I took a try at the Liberty games next. Josephine and her lease horse Vista were awesome. They have really formed a lovely relationship over these 3 short weeks and it showed today as Josefin put that relationship first when Vista got worried. Vista is 20 years old and Josefin has been patiently and persistently building Vista's confidence in so many areas. It has been fascinating to watch their progress.

Dove & I had fun during our turn at Liberty when suddenly the team pulling the wagon appeared. Dove is both concerned and curious about that horse drawn wagon. Although she broke our connection a few times as the team walked around the coverall, she reconnected quickly and we managed to get 3 of the 5 tasks done. I was quite proud of my pony.

Time ran out to try our hand at the online events as the spotlights were up in 15 mins in the big top. So Josefin & I unsaddled and tucked our ponies in their pens and grabbed a quick bite at the yummy hamburger and ice cream stand.

Dancing Pete was the opener and he is certainly a crowd pleaser. He has a fantastic relationship with his horse and a wonderful sense of humor. We were all clapping and cheering and oohing and ahhing at what he and his horse can do online. Jason and his horse gave a lovely liberty spotlight. Ryan Rose awed us with his freestyle riding on a 4 year old Atwood horse, and Ashley wowed with her routine where she ended up riding a figure 8 while sitting backwards on Revolution! Ann and Bandit were as amazing as ever. She has been such joy to get to see over the years. Then in came John and Kathy Barr who rode a sweet goodbye dance with their horses. They have been on faculty the past 5 years and this will be their last summer in Pagosa before heading off to start their own instructor programs at their new ranch. We will miss them but wish them all the best in their new adventures.

And now drum roll..... in comes Pat to dazzle us even more. Then he brings Linda in too and we all have fun watching them play with their horses. Linda mesmerizes us with a lovely ride on Remmer and Pat leaves us humbled by his amazing flow and creativity with Magic and 2 other horses. He and Magic ride as if they are one. It is hard not to shed a tear of joy to watch Linda and Pat with their horses.

As I walk back up to my horse, I can't help but want to pinch myself.... Yes dreams do come true. Wow! As I watch my horse nibble the green Colorado grass. I think about how fortunate I am that Pat has the desire, passion and drive to share all that he has learned. It is passion that drives he and Linda to trot the globe to spread the word, working long hours to create new material for eager students, dream up new ideas to keep us progressing and inspired, setup and maintain campuses like the one in Pagosa Springs for us to enjoy and call home for the past 4 weeks, and then, to open their ranch to the public and host a fun filled day like this.

Yes friends this is way more than riding and it IS about putting the relationship first, foundation before specialization, and never ending self

I plan to join them and help make the world a better place for horses and humans.


  1. Hi Kim, I really love your blog, I have one too but most of it is in swedish but there are some fotos :-)

  2. Thanks for your informative description of the day. I wanted to come to the open house but couldn't find a sitter for my toddler. I thought of bringing him but between the 4 hr ride both ways and his short attention spand I thought it best to wait.
    Thanks for sharing with us, your blog is fun to read!!