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This is an article I wrote at the invitation of my goddaughter Verena.  Verena is passionate about dog training and has recently graduated f...

Friday, 24 October 2014

Team Parelli succeeds at the Quarter Horse Congress!

Pat cutting Quarter Horse Congress

The following post was written and contributed by Pat Parelli, and reprinted from the Parelli blog.   To ensure that you’re always up to speed on the latest news from Pat and his team, be sure to “like” his Facebook page, and keep an eye on his Parelli Connect profile. Take it away, Pat!
It’s been about three decades since I was a professional competitive horseman. Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I participated in reined cow horse and cutting competitions pretty regularly. Since then, my focus has been helping regular people achieve extraordinary results with their horses. For the most part, I’ve taught recreational riders, so it’s been a pleasant surprise to be invited to such events as the AQHA World Championship, the APHAWorld Show, and the World Equestrian Games over the past few years. Most recently, I was invited to present and compete at the Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, OH.
It’s taken me years to realize that, when it comes to the Parelli Program, competitive horsemen and women are mostly looking for the 3 Rs: reference, relevance, and thenreverence. When looking for what Parelli can offer them, most performance horse owners are searching for a reference, someone who has done well in competitions (English, Western, or other sports) while implementing the Parelli Program in their training.
Lately, there have been many Parelli students who fit this criteria! All over the world, from local competitions to the Olympic Games (see Lauren Barwick and Luca Moneta), Parelli students are succeeding in the competition arena! And now, Team Parelli (myself, my son Caton, and Elli Pospischil) is consistently taking part in cutting competitions. At this time, two of our horses are qualified in the Top 15 in the world, and will likely be competing in theWorld Finals in Fort Worth, TX this December. Additionally, Elli is going to compete in the $2000 Limited Rider division.
Combine this success with the invitations I’ve received to do demonstrations at these high-level events, and all of a sudden I’ve had the opportunity to present the relevance of theParelli Program to thousands of horsemen from the competitive world.
This recent trip to the Quarter Horse Congress was a first-time experience for me, and it was very exciting for all of us. Elli did a great job in her division and ended up with an 11thplace finish. Quite a good result, considering the group of roughly 50 very talented competitors in that class. Cutting, if you’re not familiar with it, is one of the most complex equestrian sports out there. While technically you’re competing against other riders, your real competition is the cow.
Meanwhile, Caton ended up receiving three standing ovations: two in the competition arena in the two classes he entered, and the third in a father/son demonstration that we performed in the Celeste Center on Friday evening as the openers for the PBR bull riding evening session. Check out the great action photos below for a few more shots of me, Caton, and Elli during the competition.
Both of the horses I brought, Sparkplug and Scout, did quite well in their divisions, and both wound up receiving medals. I entered Sparkplug in the bridleless cutting competition, and we marked a 226 in the finals and ended up in 3rd place – the highest score either of us have ever marked in a three-judge competition.
What’s most exciting to me are the doors that are opening up for us. I think the students that are riding with me – Elli, Caton, and Carlos Osorio – have actually opened more doors than anything I’ve done, because people are seeing not only them and their horses doing quite well, but the tremendous growth they’ve achieved in a very short period of time.
People are starting to ask us questions, and it’s starting to make sense to them. Foundation before specialization. Put the relationship first. Never-ending self-improvement. So here we are, sharing an inspired vision to help make the world a better place for horses and humans, and modeling the way by putting that relationship first, not only with our horses, but with our fellow competitors as well. The future is bright; it’s in our hearts and our minds, and this experience has confirmed that ambition can be a great thing if it’s tempered by patience, principles, and sequence.
Remember, keep it natural!
– Pat Parelli
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