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The Savvy Station

Equine Lordosis, commonly known as swayback in horses, is a relatively rare condition where the ligaments around the horse’s vertebrae start to slacken, causing a noticeable dip right behind their withers. While the condition looks severe, it is usually not painful, and there are things you can do to help strengthen the swaybacked horse’s back.
  • 3 min read

Parelli Natural Horsemanship is celebrating 40 years of teaching the Parelli Method with a live, three-day event at the new state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center in Ocala, FL on March 4 – 6, 2022.

Most lifelong horse enthusiasts cannot remember a time when Natural Horsemanship didn’t exist. The simple systems of equine partnership helped shape the way that equestrians approach their relationship with their horse in every riding discipline imaginable. This year marks 40 years since the father of Natural Horsemanship, Pat Parelli, gave his very first clinic.

  • 4 min read
However you came about horse ownership, you likely have some goals in mind for you and your horse. Whether you have your sights set on a competition or simply a peaceful ride out on the local trails, a good ride is founded on harmony with your horse. Harmony in horsemanship isn’t some elusive concept that we chase. You can actually achieve harmony and build on it daily with your horse. Read on for tips to make your future rides your best yet.
  • 3 min read
Many of us horse owners are accustomed to working in the round pen, arena, or on the trail. Yet the incredible thing about working with horses is that every moment we spend with them is a teaching moment. Horses are never not learning, so your work together starts not when you swing your leg over, but from the very moment your horse sees you.
  • 3 min read
You plan weeks in advance to take that incredible trail ride on the beach. Your trailer is packed and you’re excited to hit the road with your barn buddies. Everything goes to plan up until the day of the ride, and your horse refuses to load. After a fit of pulling back, kicking, and finally just halting as far away from the trailer as possible, you give up and commit in your mind to working on trailer loading before the next group ride.
  • 3 min read
Perhaps the most common sticking point in developing a partnership is when your horse reacts with a big “no” to what you ask of him. Understanding equine behavior doesn't have to be a mystical phenomenon reserved for those with decades of experience in the horse industry. Getting a fundamental blueprint for understanding a horse's reaction will significantly improve your ability to address the behavior and work towards a solution (minus the frustration).
  • 3 min read
This "Stuff Works"

Pat Parelli developed a skeleton of communication that goes beyond the traditional yields and coupled them with love, language, and leadership principles. The Parelli Natural Horsemanship program works for any horse, any breed, any discipline. It works because it is NOT about the sport; it is about understanding and relating to the horse's point of view. Humans think very differently from horses, which seems obvious. Still, we try to rationalize the mistakes, bad behavior, and opposition with intellect when most of these issues are rooted in the simple emotion of fight or flight. This combination of human intelligence and rationalizing with the horse's instinctual and emotional nature can be like oil and water if you're not equipped with the right tools.
  • 2 min read

Waarom Natural Horsemanship?

Mijn verhaal…


Waarom eigenlijk…? Tja… Waarom? 

Waarom heb ik intussen zo’n 17 jaar geleden gekozen om niet langer mee te lopen in de ‘normale’ manier van omgaan met paarden? Waarom besliste ik toen geleidelijk aan om niet langer het gangbaar uitgestippeld pad te volgen van:


  1. Ponylessen op de manege
  2. Paardenlessen op de manege
  3. Privélessen op een privéstal
  4. Dressuur- of springwedstrijden en trainen in LRV- of HROV-verband (of gelijkaardig)
  5. Wie weet waar ik ooit kon belanden op internationaal niveau (Olympische Spelen?)?



Waarom koos ik dit NIET?


Want dit leek mij op mijn 13 – toen de wijde paardenwereld me eindelijk wat duidelijker werd en mijn spaarboekje zicht kreeg op m’n eerste echte eigen paard – eigenlijk echt de enige weg om vooruit te komen, bekeken vanuit de manegeblik die ik toen had. Want ja, alle ruiters deden dat toch zo? Eens ze 13-14-15 jaar waren, gingen ze les volgen bij een bekende privélesgeefster in de buurt, met haar paarden, of met een eigen paard, en dan konden ze zelfs na een tijdje wedstrijden gaan rijden!


Dat leek dus ook mijn doel… tot… ik ontdekte dat er ook nog een andere weg was!

Horses have always been symbols of strength and valor. With their sturdy form, amazing stamina, and elegance, it is easy to be in love with these fine creatures. Owing to proper training and care, your horse can build its name as one of the successful horses in history like the following:
  • 2 min read

Walk a mile in your horses horseshoes is what Troy Henry and Tom Dorrance tried to get me to understand!  

Showing a horse who is boss was an easy concept for me to grasp as a young man.  I loved horses and I loved the notion of being a good enough cowboy to make horses do what I wanted whether it was halter breaking a young horse, riding them for the first time , getting them to stop or turn quickly, rope a cow, or any other ranch duties. I found out quickly that if I stayed focused and worked really hard I could out-fumble most any horse, this is what I now call ” Young Man’s Disease.”  You may have heard me use that term a lot lately and my intention is to help other young men realize that they don’t have to go through that process like I did.

It is true,  to be really good with young horses one should be as confident as a lion tamer, as good a rider as a rodeo hand, as strategic as a CEO of a corporation, as mentally aware as a psychoanalyst, but one should lead with compassion, skills and TRUE HORSEMANSHIP KNOWLEDGE!

  • 6 min read
"I found myself with a lot of ambition but no patience or principles. I also found out once I got to the show that the trainers showed their real colors in the warm up arena, this is were I found out that birds of a feather flock together. I soon started calling the warm up arena the torture pit and I was in there doing the same things." 
  • 3 min read
Pat Parelli talks about “foundation before specialization.” Achieving ourLevel 4 is just the beginning. After that, we’re supposed to find our horse’s “sport.” Sometimes this is easier said than done.