My name is Sandy Hodskins and after 2 years of trying I was finally able to arrange for Linda Parelli to teach in New Hampshire! I have been studying Parelli Natural Horsemanship through the home study course for the past 12 years. I started out by purchasing and selling trail horses. Each horse I purchased, I would put through level 2 in the program before finding them their perfect new partners. Ten years ago I purchased an untouched Kiger Mustang filly that I named West Wind and together we completed level 4 of the Parelli program and learned a lot along the way. Two years ago I was given a handsome black gelding named Toona. Toona was formerly shown in dressage however his nervous and reactive manners made the owner decide he wasn't the horse for her. I have spent the past 2 years gaining his trust, building his self-confidence as well as his respect in me as a leader. I will be riding him in this clinic as I want to learn more about how to help him when he becomes scared and worried. I would like to enter him to another dressage show someday when we are ready.
I have been told from family members, horse was one of my first words. Who knew my passion would be stronger than ever nearly 50 years later. Horses were a daily thing for me from my first pony at age 6 through my high school years with 2 of the most wonderful horses a kid could ask for. Flash forward thru a 20-year hiatus from horses which was when I was introduced to Natural Horsemanship. I have had some really great mentors along the way and bounced around a bit with the natural horsemanship programs, but realized I was not in it whole heartedly, that is until I got my RBI Dunkin. I had a few horses in my adult years but never have I been so challenged. The first few weeks were pretty rocky – he went from very quiet and dull [which I didn’t realize was a very introverted state of mind] to spooky, reactive and unpredictable. At that point I decided he was not a match for me. When I called the barn to let them know I would not be keeping him and was interested in looking at other horses I found out he had already been returned 3 times. So I let him stay here while I looked at other horses. Turns out that was a good choice because despite my efforts to find another horse, turns out my match was already here. He has been an incredible amount of work, patients and understanding and learning. Through our journey I had been using NHS methods but we have made the biggest improvements in our relationship since I got back in to doing things with the GSSC. That really put my focus back on “why” he behaves the way he does and I am learning how to understand and interact with his RBI horsenality. The support from this group is incredible from the teachings of Sandy and Laura to all the really awesome members of the group. I am so excited for Dunkin and I to meet Linda and get and even better understanding of reading him and seeing things from his point of view and how to become better partners so he can become even more confident and trusting.
My Parelli journey began at the World Horse Expo in Maryland when I caught a level 1 pack (original version) which Pat tossed into the audience. I had just bought a new horse and together we fumbled our way through Level 1, then it took 9 years, through the ups and downs of raising a family and career, to officially pass Level 3. My dream was to develop our partnership through Level 4, but 2 years ago, while in Virginia for some lessons with Michael Alway, my horse suffered a catastrophic field injury and had to be euthanized. It was through this misfortune that my current horse, Pilot, came to me. Pilot was Michael's horse in his colt start class with Pat and, although Michael liked him enough to buy and bring him home to Virginia, he spent the next few years as a pasture ornament while Michael focused on his other horse and teaching. Pilot needed a human and I needed a horse so he came home with me. Going from LBI to RBI has been humbling! Pilot and I spent most of the first year playing on line. I felt that I needed help from a professional with the riding so over the winter while I was moving from Pennsylvania to Vermont, Pilot stayed with Avery Gauthier. Now that I feel safe riding, we are progressing well and I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of learning with Linda and Patrick.
My name is Tuula and I am attending this clinic with my horse Pax. a 14-year-old Friesian gelding. My first “real” encounter with an equine was when I had just turned 40, and now I am 50. I moved to the US eight years ago, and somehow life kept telling me I should be around horses. Pax is my first horse, we met by fate in 2013 and the rest is history. No, I didn’t choose the breed, he just trotted into my life; so many mistakes, so much of learning by and from mistakes, so many happy moments of pushing the envelope! I know that we could have gotten SO much further if I had grown up faster… I have lucked out by having skillful horse people around us. To start with, I didn’t know the parts of a horse even in my native language, and a hoof pick sounded like a tooth pick to me. We have attended multiple clinics within natural horsemanship and that has given us a lot of basic skills that I wish I would have known when I first got into horses. Well… we all have our own paths, don’t we? I am honored to be accepted to attend this clinic and I know Pax and I will be able to learn a lot more; but also, we might be the couple that teaches the audience something, just something little, to someone. I sure wish we will. I don’t have a long list of accomplishments to post out, I only have us to wear on our sleeves. That’ll have to do.
I came to natural horsemanship and the Parelli program much like many others, I finally had an a BIG behavior issue that I didn’t know how to solve from the saddle. I have been riding since the age of 6 and competing in dressage and eventing since the age of 12. I thought after 25 + years of riding and competing horses that I had a good understanding of horsemanship and horse “training”. I learned quickly that I needed a new bag of tricks and tools and that there is so much more to horsemanship then I previously believed. I feel very blessed to have found Sandy Hodskins, and a community of knowledgeable and thoughtful horseman/woman, who have guided my horse and I on our way. Almost 3 + years ago I had a rearing horse, who didn’t trust or like me, and now I have a horse that seeks a partnership and a connection. I have learned a lot about myself as a leader, a partner and communicator. There is so much more to learn on the journey back to the competition ring, but I finally feel that my goal is back in sight. I have worked really hard with Monte, my 8 y/o TB cross, to be ready to ride in July with Linda, and I am so excited to continue to expand my tool box and my relationship with my horse. My partnership with Monte has been challenged many times but each time we come out stronger and smarter; which is a true reward.