The Savvy Station

Jack Parelli: Father of a Great Horseman

bis Parelli Natural Horsemanship auf Mar 17, 2024

Jack Parelli: Father of a Great Horseman

by Beau Erdman

Shared in honor of Jack & Doris Parelli on the anniversary of their passing on March 17th, 2021.

In the world of Natural Horsemanship, there is one name that stands out among the rest: Pat Parelli. Pat himself praises his parents, Jack and Doris Parelli, for his upbringing and blames them solely for his fortunate position to do what he loves for a living. Much like his father, Pat stands strong behind his belief that it’s not work if you are doing what you love. Most major players in the equine industry have been in the game for generations; Pat is an exception to that pathway. So, what was it about Jack Parelli that brought Natural Horsemanship and Horsenality into the heart of his son, Pat? Chance, happenstance, luck, or fate perhaps? Sometimes the dominoes fall as they may and a ray of sunshine shines favorably on those youngbloods who are just along for the ride, but if you ask Pat, he will tell you it was fate.

While Jack’s accomplishments as a 2-time Gold Glove champ and being a successful furniture rep (or as Pat reverently proclaims, “The world’s best!”) are impressive, his passion for his career truly resonated with Pat. His passion was contagious as it defined his character and drew adoration from his fan club and loyal friends alike. Retiring from the Navy, Jack was as athletic as he was tough. In addition to boxing, he fancied golf, bowling, and baseball. But, it was the introduction of his son, Pat, to his boxing manager, Joe Keirsey, which gave Pat his first look into the world of horsemanship. Joe Keirsey was a true horseman, and Pat would now be aware of the industry he has come to embrace in his beloved career. Joe had fathered only daughters, and due to the closeness of the families, he was bound and determined to accelerate Pat’s interest in horses. Joe taught Pat as much as he could about horses from feeding to riding them…teachings that have lasted a lifetime.

After leaving the Navy, Jack secured employment as a Plant Manager for a government-subsidized plastic pipe company. One of the perks of the job was carte blanche access to 40 acres which surrounded the plant. As luck would have it, the last horse slaughterhouse in California bordered up to the plant property. Keeping the secrets of the slaughterhouse to himself, the owner, Jim Augustine, would find good, old horses in the corrals for the kids to ride. It’s here that Pat got his first taste of horse riding. Jack’s boxing manager being a horseman and the neighboring slaughterhouse owner becoming a close family friend were blessings rather than coincidences for Pat. Had it not been for Jack’s love of boxing and strong sense of family responsibility taking a job as a plant manager, Pat may have never discovered his burning desire to be a cowboy and pioneer of Natural Horsemanship as we know it today. As Jack found himself diving deeper into the wholesale furniture industry, the family found themselves relocating to areas where they were surrounded by horses. Jack’s uncanny ability to develop solid, new relationships led to Pat’s growing list of new pals who were involved with horses. Jack’s career moves and new associations made Pat’s unbreakable attachment to horses inevitable.

Other bonding moments between Jack and Pat reinforced the adoration Pat held for horses and cowboys as a young boy. Pat was allowed to stay up past his bedtime and enjoy his favorite TV shows he and Jack would watch together. “Wyatt Earp,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” and “The Rifleman” sat at the top of the list. Then came the time where Jack paid $300 for a “gentle” horse named Kelly. The auctioneer, Roland Reed, a friend of Jack’s no less, asked Pat if he could ride. Pat fibbed his way into the saddle, as any kid would, and took his new horse, Kelly, on a 7-mile ride to the stables. Accompanied by a friend on a bike, the ride was slow and sloppy, but Pat and Kelly went the distance, and it’s a memory Jack and Pat would share eternally.

Jack’s general character, sense of family, and ability to harbor new relationships undoubtedly played defining roles in Pat’s dreams as a young boy. Dreams that became the reality of a storybook career as a true grit cowboy and horse aficionado. Jack’s influence on Pat shines through every day when Pat wakes up, takes a good look around, and says to himself, “Good morning, it’s time to go do what I love today.” This has inspired Pat to not only train championship riders, but teach the psychology behind horses and build spiritual connections between horses and humans. In the end, Pat hopes he has the influence on horses and humans alike…just as his father, Jack, had on him.


Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Ihre E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.