By Kerul Kassel, President of the Parelli Foundation, and Seth Burgess, Director of Operations
Do you know how the Parelli Foundation is helping to create a world where even horses pulled from kill lots could, with understanding and savvy, become wonderful partners through natural horsemanship? And how we are helping to create a world in which horses in equine therapy centers can enjoy enhancing the lives of people with physical, mental, and emotional challenges without being treated as “just another piece of equipment” and without “burning out?” We are also supporting youth and the career-minded who have the talent and desire to reach their horsemanship dreams, but who don’t have the financial means, get the support they need to excel and become leaders of horses and people alike, in their communities and beyond…all with your support, thank you!
Here’s one of the ways we did it: On May 5-7, 2017, the Parelli Foundation hosted Festival Magnifico in Hamilton, Texas. During the weekend, we showcased our Rehoming 4 Life, Road to the Summit, Future of Horsemanship, and scholarship programs. The centerpiece of Festival Magnifico was a gathering of nine Master Horsemen to collaboratively demonstrate the potential of natural horsemanship. Horses helping people and people helping horses was the predominant theme throughout the event, as were key learning opportunities, uplifting stories, demonstrations of incredible horse-human partnerships, along with fun, exciting horsemanship challenges that attracted amateurs and professionals alike.
The likes of Jack Brainard, Doug Jordan, Craig Johnson, Martin Black, Mary Kitzmiller, David Lichman, Craig Johnson, and Pat and Linda Parelli’s support for this event made for a magical event. There was something unexpected, inspirational, educational, and fun for everyone at the event, from the Extreme Cowboy Race demo with Craig Cameron, to the energizing performance by the Heart of Texas Cowgirls, to the Secret of Horsenality demo with Linda Parelli, to Basics and Beyond with Pat Parelli, to the demonstration of Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy by Tim Jobe, and much more.
The Parelli Foundation was created because of a dream of Pat and Linda Parelli: that any person or organization interested in changing the world through natural horsemanship not be held back by insufficient means. The Parelli Foundation’s Rehoming 4 Life program and participating Parelli Professionals are accomplishing that goal, with seven rescue horses having been developed and adopted out to new homes this year.
In 2017, we are funding seven therapeutic horsemanship organizations to obtain staff and volunteer training from Parelli Professionals. The Parelli Foundation is making the dreams of gifted youth horsemen come true through our five Future of Horsemanship students in 2017. We are also supporting accomplished natural horsemanship adults through financial assistance to advance their career aspirations. Since our inception, we have provided many thousands of dollars in scholarships. All of this work could not be accomplished without your donations and your volunteer assistance.
Many thanks to the many folks who made this possible. If you would like to be one of our partners in support of our ongoing work, please visit our giving page at parellifoundation.org/giving.
Click here for a list of people who helped make Festival Magnifico a success.