WEG: Pat Parelli To Do Natural Horsemanship Clinic During Games

As the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games approach, guests should not only be looking forward to the competition, but also to the multitude of equine entertainers and clinicians that will be a part of the 2010 Games Equine Village, Sept. 25-Oct. 10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.

Among the entertainers that are part of the Equine Village is Pat Parelli, known around the world for his Natural Horsemanship training method.

Born in California, Parelli became involved with horses early in life, and learned from a horseman and trapper named Freddie Ferrera. Ferrera introduced Parelli to a more natural way of handling horses, which stuck with him as he grew up.

As a teenager, Parelli started competing in rodeos and won the Bareback Rookie of the Year title in 1972. He began training young horses as a business but soon found that training horses wasn't all he wanted to do.

Parelli had been developing his own style of teaching based on natural training methods, as well as Kung Fu principles learned from Australian horseman Tony Ernst. Parelli discovered that in order to make a difference with horses he would have to train their owners, and in 1982 he began giving seminars.

"Our philosophy is that we use the same thing that the horse's mother used," Parelli said. "She used strength of bond, lightness and politeness of response, and had an ultimate respect. The idea is to create a relationship with the horse that is way more than riding."

Parelli said his Natural Horsemanship method applies to any discipline and any breed. He and his wife Linda plan to showcase this at the Equine Village by bringing a team of mastery level students and horses from seven different breeds.

"Every demonstration will have a different theme and it won't be the same thing over and over again," Parelli said. "We'll have a western performance, English sport horses and driving horses."

Parelli also will be doing demonstrations on his world famous mare, Magic, who he said can jump, slide, spin and piaffe all in the same demonstration.

"I think that the World Games is a stage so-to-speak," Parelli said. "A stage where everything top level equestrian is going to be, and we are there to inspire and educate at the highest level."

Between performing on his own horses and doing demonstrations along with his students, Parelli has planned an educational experience in Natural Horsemanship that will run every day during the Games.

"Tell everyone they need to bring two pairs of socks," Parelli said to those who plan to come to the Equine Village, "because we're going to blow the first pair off."

Access to the Equine Village will be available with a Grounds Pass or a competition ticket. Grounds Pass tickets can be purchased at www.alltechfeigames.com, www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, and at 800/745-3000. Tickets will be on sale at a promotional rate of $20 until May 31. Grounds Pass tickets will be priced at $25 after that time. All children 12 years of age and under will be granted free entry with a paying adult.

For more information, visit www.alltechfeigames.com.

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