Life is Full of Second Chances

The "Copperhead Rustlers" at Parelli Ranch - (L to R) Sally Pringle, Doyle Patrick, Herb Wilkes, Nathan Siemens, and Randi Peters - Photo courtesy of Doyle Patrick

Do you remember playing horses as a kid? I do. We jumped over picnic bench courses, whinnied, reared, bucked, and cantered both leads. The bigger of us carried the smaller ones piggy-back, sometimes over the picnic benches. Any dogs that happened along ended up on the end of a lead rope and jumped the jumps with us until they had had enough. When the farmer down the hill spread manure, we swore there were invisible horses just under our noses. What fun we had!

We would have done anything to have horses of our own, or at least to be able to go to summer horse camp. That opportunity never came about for me as a kid, hard as I begged and pleaded, but much to my parents' relief, I recently had the good fortune to do so. After all these years, they are now off the hook. I finally got to go to horse camp.

I had arrived home after my niece's softball game and among the waiting messages was one from Kate Riordan of Parelli Ranch in CO. It was an invitation to Horsemanship Experience Week, on them, and would I be able to come next week, as they had a cancellation… I nearly fell on the floor. Short notice, but would I be able to go? There is never time for a break around here. But in the midst of the ever-busy schedule, there was a week of non-pressing stuff - sandwiched in between unchangeable weeks. The dates in question happened to be that non-pressing week. So rather than use that time to catch up as planned, I jumped at the opportunity to go west - to beautiful Colorado, to the spectacular Parelli Ranch, for a week of playing with horses!!!

I packed my things, stuffed the Partnership Pack booklets in my carry-on, left my husband behind to take care of the farm and the office, and off I went with the biggest smile on my face I've had in many years. In fact, I'm still smiling. It was the most wild and wonderful week - breathtaking scenery, lots of great fun, good food, wonderful people, perfect weather, natural horsemanship, playing hard, and all-day-long HORSES! We played with our horses over the biggest 'benches' and jumps ever! We had the best time, and we all learned a lot. I will never forget this week. It was worth waiting all these years; I doubt that anything else could have ever been near as much fun.

Horsemanship Experience Week was really the experience of a lifetime for me. I thought that the chance of ever going to horse camp had passed me by, but I got a second chance. I will be forever grateful! I will write about the entire week more in detail in an upcoming issue, and in the meantime, you can contact Parelli Ranch at 800-642-3335 or visit for more information on this and other programs.

Please remember to come to the Savvy Conference Sept. 7-10, Pagosa Springs, CO to see what Natural HorseManShip is really all about - you and your horses will be so glad you did!