Being Natural in the Normal World

by Linda Parelli on April 4, 2012

Sometimes it’s really hard. It’s hard to watch horses being smacked and jerked around, being pulled in the mouth. It’s hard to witness their emotional confusion, stress and pain. It’s hard not to blame the human, to refrain from saying “you’re doing it wrong!”

But sometimes I am there and I just have to know that somehow I am part of this. Part of the problem and yet part of the solution. That book Zero Limits by Joe Vitale really puts it into words.

These past few weeks, I’ve seen more than I care to, and having that exposure presents a choice – criticize and condemn, or understand and educate. I choose the latter.

Sure, it’s hard at times. I get sad and mad, but somehow I collect myself and stop the judgment. Somehow it is perfect. I am renewed with motivation and am more passionate about our cause than ever.

{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorrie Bracaloni December 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Yes and this is why I am teaching horse owners where their horses are in pain + having them do the releases themselves.


Nancy Slater June 7, 2012 at 2:00 am

LIFE IS GREAT! I’m living the dream with my horses and can’t wait to RIDE each day!!!!! Natural Horsemanship is hitting every corner of the WORLD! Just look at YOUTUBE, everyone is getting hooked on RESPECT WITH CALM COMPLIANCE. What’s not to Love!? Linda, we each shall do our part to help change the world for E V E R Y horse and E V E R Y human by doing what we love to do. I’m sharing MY LESSONS WITH LINDA PARELLI on I’ve been told by others that they tried it… And WOW! :) ))


Cheryl Brinkmann June 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Yes, I agree, it is difficult observing a person smacking or jerking the reins in a horses mouth!!!! We have a choice of how we want to be in this world – that would include our relationship to animals and to fellow humans. I am greatful to the Parelli mindset, program, and education! It matches how I want to be to my fellow person and my animals. Be well on your journey’s, Linda – enjoy your trip overseas!!! My blessings go with you. While you are abroad, my husband and I will be utilizing what we are learning through our new Savvy Membership!


Chris Kräutli May 16, 2012 at 5:58 am

Dear Linda,
Recently I have been confronted with exactly these issues in the barn I have moved into…. it was hard to not say anything but it has paid out! After watching Ayleen and me for a few weeks I am now being asked ” How do you get her to do this/that/the other”? and I get to tell them about Parelli. Some of them have gone “hmmmmmmm……” ! :)


allison May 4, 2012 at 2:58 am

have to respond on here to what Betsy said,,,,, oh my goodness,, I already know that Linda Parelli has sense enough to know whether or not she needs to wear a helmet when she is on a horse!!!


Betsy April 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I saw your picture on the cover of Horsenaround magazine and there you are without a riding helmet!!!! I think someone of your influence should consider the impact you have on young people…..and that seeing you without a helmet is a bad influence.
Disapointed Betsy


Holly Schimpf May 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

A person cannot make everyone happy all the time. But using a helmet is for those that feel it is important. I do not wear one & never have in all my many years of riding. I believe Linda has said if people feel they should use a helmet then they should. It is impossible to do enough things to be totally safe in every situation.


Gina Lloyd April 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Hi Linda, I find your comments really enlightening and helpful. I also remember riding with you on Radar along Narrabeen beach and all the different trails through Warriewood and Terrey Hills and at Pony Club. The pony club is still going and we are having our 50th reunion later this year. I hope this finds you.


Anne April 18, 2012 at 3:52 am

You are changing things Linda and Pat. It is slow but sure. I started PNH 10 years ago in Australia, and have seen the natural horsemanship movement expand, and go from something to be boo hoo’d to something to be respected. Cruelty at my local “normal” riding club is now not tolerated, and the offender is banned. Being “thrown out of the herd” is a great leveler for people to control whatever emotions they are feeling and settle down. You have inspired many people to adopt “natural” into their training, and there are many independent “natural horsepeople” as well as your many instructors who are continuing to keep the movement growing. Just think of how many people followed the movement when you first started, to now, and how many instructors you have now at all levels. It may not be as big as you would like yet, but you are saving many thousands of horses (all of ours!) from a horrible life. You may not have invented natural horsemanship, but you have certainly got the message out there. Good on you and all your instructors.


Pattie OBrien April 18, 2012 at 3:52 am

I recall asking you last year how you handle seeing “normal” people deal with their horses and you told me blind eye.
I live here in Pagosa Springs as you know and have several neighbors who are not entirely with the program, but I do see that some of them do handle their horses kindly. One of my neighbors drives by every day and sees how I play with my horse and donkey and well she asked me to take her 20 yr old mini because she felt bad that he was just wasting in his pen because she doesn’t have time for him. Star actually is brother to Barnum and Bailey. Anyway, she did pass Level 1 yrs ago and did do a fabulous job with Star because he is well mannered and well adjusted.
Another neighbor just today saw my horse and donkey loose and when I pulled up he was using the natural power of draw to get my horse into the round pen. I just waited watched.
I think we Parelli folk are best to show by doing what we have learned and those other folks will see.


Stuart Abicht April 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

Wow, It’s amazing that in the back of our minds before all the glitter and the glamour of the show is the moment when we don’t want to go because of what we might see,
Every horse or pony I put my 10yr old Daughter on goe’s quiet in about 1 minute, she has the most amazing savvy because of you Pat, jumps with a loose rein, even the our race horse off the track enjoys here on her back,,Her hands are soft and she would not hit a horse in a million years,,, thanks Pat, These kids coming through are equine kindness on every mount for the world to see. Stu


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