Parelli Natural Horsemanship University is Country's First Approved Private Vocational School of Its Kind

Approval of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship University in late June as a private occupational school by the Colorado Department of Higher Education distinguished Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship (PNH) as the first such institution in the country to do so, according to Neil Pye, dean of instructors and of the group's international study centers. Key to the unanimous approval given by Colorado's division of private occupational schools was the sound curriculum and acknowledgment of the program's "university" status.

"We're delighted that we've begun the process of becoming fully accredited," said Mark Weiler, president of PNH. "We're going to set the standard for the industry," he said. The University maintains campuses at its International Savvy Center in Pagosa Springs, Colo., and in Ocala, Fla.

Pending a two-year probationary period of curriculum monitoring, enrollment audits, and graduation statistics, the University will be eligible to apply for full accreditation, enabling students to receive state-recognized college credits for Parelli courses and apply for student loans. The PNH curriculum is a focused, step-by-step pathway to attaining horsemanship goals. The courses are based on a logical, safe, and systematic plan including theory, practical application, keys of success, equine psychology, riding dynamics, tools, and techniques.

All Parelli teaching professionals must pass rigorous testing for each rating they attain, and they are assessed in other areas including communication skills, marketing, and business. Annual continuing education is required of all Parelli teaching professionals, Weiler said.

"Our instructors are very professional and can attain significant financial success using the system Pat and Linda Parelli have created, which makes us fairly unique in the horse world," said Pye. "It's not an easy one-two-three jump to graduation, by any means," he said. Tuition for a three-year program runs $45,000.

About the Author

Meg Cicciarella

Meg Cicciarella is a freelance journalist who lives and writes in Homer, on Alaska's banana belt, the Kenai Peninsula. Her articles have appeared in local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines.

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