Parelli Horsemanship Fund

From their website….

Milestone & Pledge

Tell Your Friends About Parelli and the
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Help Us Grow by 10,000 Members and

in educational materials
to four main equine causes.

The Community votes and chooses who benefits worldwide.

You Spread the Word. We Donate.

If you could change a friend’s life by sharing the story of your horsemanship journey and inviting
them to take the first step of their own journey for FREE and for a good cause, why wouldn’t you?!

Here’s how you can help support horses and humans in need:

Helping change the world for horses and humans is as simple as….
telling three people about how Parelli has worked for you and your horse.

1. Encourage your friends to signup for the FREE 30 Day Trial Membership on

2. As soon as they sign on, your friends will have FREE streaming access to the complete Level 1
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3. Together, we’ll be one step closer to this amazing Educational Giveaway and YOU will be helping
to create better world for horses and humans alike..

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1st cutting of hay in the barn!

Emily putting the cutter up after finishing cutting the hay fields

We had a great first hay cutting this year with 38 bales in the barn. At 1000lbs each thats 38,000lbs of hay! Second cutting is normally better than the first and we’ve been getting rain so should be good. One year we had 4 cuttings! I’ve never had enough to sell some on the side but if things keep up like they are it could happen ;-)

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English hunt seat 16.2 Thoroughbred Mare Free to the right person

This is a special horse and her owner Julee has asked me to help find someone to take over her care. Here’s Julee’s email to me and the story of the precious thoroughbred mare that she rescued. If you have any questions feel free to email me at or post here….I know this horse personally as she has been at Avalon Farms the last few years. You can come out to the farm and see her if she catches your eye…if you’re not careful she’ll she’ll capture your heart too ;-)
This was Baby before…

This is Baby after…

This is the Story of how Julee found Baby and rescued her…

Dept: Horse Sense
Title: BABY

EDS: 3 photos w/cuts: photos by Vic Scoggin

1: juleebabymeet
2: onemonthlater
3: dreamtime

“Life holds on given the slightest chance…” Beth Nielson Chapman

Rescue. It’s a story we rarely tire of hearing. The awareness that something made of flesh and blood is hurting, not getting enough to eat or drink, or perhaps neglected in other ways, stirs our sense of right and wrong – moves us beyond pity to compassion. If only someone would come to the rescue.
‘Need’ can be a hard thing to look upon. It cries out from sunken eye sockets, sallow cheeks, and bony ribcages to interrupt our day. It shatters the mundane with its urgency. “This creature needs help now!”
But we’re all so busy. We don’t know what to do. Should we stop to help or just keep going? We live in a culture that struggles to care. Non-profit organizations spring up to help those, who aren’t paying attention, realize where the needs for rescue are. Help! Over here! Food! Shelter! Yet whatever provision is most appropriate to the presenting “need”, the underlying crucial ingredient necessary to fully impact the victim is… love.
Every now and then an opportunity comes along that matches ‘a creature in need’ with another who needs to help save something worth saving. This is such a story, told mostly in these pictures and with a large brushstroke of an interview. This is a short, true story of how Julee and Baby rescued each other.

“Everything just want to be loved.” Celie from The Color Purple

It was about a year ago when Leipers Fork pilates instructor/business owner, Julee Jones, realized she’d been thinking about having a horse again. Having shown hunter/jumpers earlier in her career, she had always loved the equestrian sports. Though her musings had less to do with competitive performance than they did with just “having a horse”, she dismissed them as not currently realistic.
Sure enough, not long after that, a pilates client and friend arrived for a session with this question on her lips, “Can anyone take another horse?” Seems there was a mare on her road near the dead end that had that hollowed out look in the eyes, down the back, into the ribs, through the flanks…and before Jones knew what was happening they were in the car together driving to take a look. Julee remembers the thought that played through her mind, “Oh, if this is a sorrel thoroughbred, I’ll be hooked.”
Hooked she was! The horse was a sorrel thoroughbred mare named Baby. However, the playing out of this mare’s rescue was difficult, taking many twists and turns that involved media attention as well as animal control issues before it was settled. Jones had to die to the desire to somehow ‘make this horse her own’ many times. After all, Baby had begun a relationship with her over the fence sharing nose kisses! Finally, after all attempts by authorities to trailer-load this horse had failed, stillness settled in. Like the breath of God blowing these two together, Jones was granted possession for the price of one dollar.
Walking Baby down the road to her client/friend’s farm, Julee remembers the thrill as well as the reality of “what do I do now?” But the nature of a rescue like this is always apparent by the love – and that is exactly what both Julee and Baby received that day (when even the animals welcomed them) and have ever since. Friends and community members have shared feed, connected Jones to natural horsemanship trainers, helped Julee find the next right place for Baby to board and much more. (By her own admission, too many to thank by name here.)

“To lend each other a hand when we’re falling. Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end.” Frederick Buechner

All that said, the real story here is between the two of them. Baby’s need for nourishment, apparent on the outside, mirrored Julee’s, on the inside. A fence they once leaned over to get to each other has become one they look out over together. It’s enough to make you wonder if the mare deliberately refused to load because she wanted Jones to lead her home. Whatever is true only Baby knows for sure. But what is sure is the miracle awaiting when you’re willing to hang yourself out there and just “be”.
“A horse will let you know where they are,” Jones says. “This is not about making something push button for a show. It’s about relationship – such a special gift.” She and Baby are taking it slowly with solid feeding and steady ground work, building muscle and trust all the way. This 16’2” sorrel mare who weighed less than 900 pounds when rescued weighs a healthy 1200 pounds today. And though blind in one eye from the malnutrition, sees Julee clearly with her heart.
Breath-taking and simple…yet allowing something so vulnerable to ‘easter up’ from inside us is a reminder of how it feels to be saved, cause… oh, baby, it’s a Rescue of Love! It is!

Sherry Paige is an equestrian, a writer, producer, and musician. She can be reached at HYPERLINK “”

In Julee’s own words why she needs someone to step up and carry on the love and caring of this wonderful animal…

Hi Val,

I have decided to try to find Baby a new owner to love her. The financial
stresses associated with this divorce and the lack of time to come out to
see her have made it apparent to me that I need to find someone who can
spend time with her and love her. So I am attaching a couple of pictures of
Baby, before I rescued her and after, along with the article that was
written about her. If you can pass this on and help me find her a new owner
who will love and care for her, I will appreciate it. I am not asking for
any money and will gladly donate her blanket and neck cover to go with her.
Its a tough decision, but one that I need to make now. She is 16.2 hands
high, thoroughbred and guess her to be around 12 years old. She is very
nice ride, but is blind in her right eye and as you know I have ridden her
in the arena quite safely, but have not trail ridden her. She is sweet, a
cribber, and I have her cribbing collar, but hopefully someone will want her
who has an electric fence system, or best, she can stay with you.

If you could both send this information out to the folks in your network, I
would so appreciate it.



Note: Baby does not wear the cribbing collar at Avalon Farms because we have electric fences and there is nothing for her to chew on. She lost the vision in one eye from her starvation time. She is sound and she has been trimmed (barefoot) regularly.

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Trail Riding at Avalon Farms

Photo by Robyn Kevlin
Just before the trail ride on Saturday at Avalon Farms. From left to right: Deb Shoemaker & Bill, Christy Chute & JP, Valerie Reynolds & Sirocco, Terry Kevlin & Pip, Gwendy Joysen & Diosa & ponying Prima. We’ve never all ridden together, and we had a great time! Gorgeous weather and the horses were all (fairly) well-behaved.-Robyn

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Grayson online and saddle prep

Spent the morning at the feed store and stocking up on groceries. Sometimes I have to leave the horse arena and take care of household chores….it not very good weather so a good day for it. We’re under a tornado watch today and rain off and on. Gary of Sundog Solar is working on the battery box in the tack room anyway. Running water any day now!

I played with Grayson today practicing lifting all 4 feet, following the feel (leading by the front leg), 7 games including 4 laps each way at the trot and improving his yo-yo game. I took the halter off and tested his connection to me…stuck to me all over the arena! Then, I practiced throwing the 22′ rope over each side, wrapped it around him near the girth area and practiced tightening. He is really bothered by anything on his belly. Worked with that approach & retreat for several minutes. Threw the bareback pad off and on several times. Didn’t try to buckle it yet. Still too bothered when I reach for the strap. Spent a lot of time with him not asking for anything and allowing him to relax in between tasks. Gave treats a few times when he gave a good try. He did a great sideways along the fence. Offered 2 feet on the pedestal.

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More news from the trail & arena (Sirocco & Grayson)

Emily rode Blue today and we had another great trail ride with Kristy, Deb and Robyn & Terry. Sirocco did great and we covered some new trails that the Kevlins have been working on off of the bluff field going up the ridge. Narrow and windy and straight up in a few spots but I was still able to ride with a casual rein the whole time on Sirocco. He easily moved off my leg around trees and carefully (and slowly) picked his way down the steeper sections. We even cantered a few strides uphill in the hidden pasture. I must say I need work cantering…he did fine. I’ve already mentioned that to Carol Coppinger and that I want to work on my seat cantering in her clinic next month. Part of the problem is my fear and part is I’m thinking about too much instead of just relaxing and feeling it. Getting bucked off before Sirocco went to Florida over the winter didn’t help…

After our ride I put Sirocco up and brought his brother Grayson into the arena.

After running through the games on a 22′ line he offered 3 feet on the pedestal and jumped a single barrel from 22′ away. We also practiced leading from zone 3 and playing the touch it game. Then, I brought him over to the mounting block and practiced moving up to me and standing still to mount on the left side. I rubbed him and laid over his back while friends were all hanging around talking. After spending about 30 minutes putting my weight over him and moving my leg over his butt and side I quit that and circled him online around my saddle and pad on the ground. I sent him to it and let him investigate. Then, I played with the pad on his back and rubbing him all over with it. When he was calm with the pad I picked up the saddle and let him smell it. I carefully set it on his back and took it off before he seemed bothered by it. I repeated that several times. I noticed he was unconfident as soon as I reached for the girth so I rubbed his side in the girth area and when he dropped his head I took everything off and quit. Think I’ll work on the cinch problem next with a rope around him simulating and then the bareback pad before going back to the saddle. Over all it was a pretty great session with him.

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Spring is here in Tennessee

another awesome trail ride with Sirocco today. He was great and the flowers are blooming. I rode in a t-shirt for the first time this year it was so nice out. We road down one hill that had some rock and some pitch to it and I could tell he would have preferred to turn around. I barely touched the rein…eyes, belly button…leg…ok a little more leg…and yes! He followed my suggestion. What a smart boy.

Hay is getting harder to find. Spending a lot of my time either finding and/or buying it or moving fences or horses around to get to the grass. The paddocks are turning green but the grass inside most of them is still too short. On the good side our hay fields are looking great. I guess all that flooding last year fertilized everything. It’ll be nice to have our own hay again. At least I know what we’re getting. We have really good grasses, no weeds and it gets cut at the right time…when it’s ready…before it goes to seed or gets too stemy.

Our daughter Jen is in HAIRSPRAY so we came in town tonight to see her. She’s wonderful in it. If you’re in Nashville it runs through next weekend. For tickets go to:

Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva

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All 4 feet on pedestal at Liberty!

I put Sirocco in the arena for the night because after the big storm we have fence down somewhere in the back forty. He found it and came strolling up to the arena yesterday by himself. Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow…good thing it’s warm and sunny for a change. So Hudeine spent the night in the arena because I was in the city with Emily and Robyn was there to put him up.

I was picking up manure from last night in the arena this morning and Sirocco was following me through the whole process as I pull the muck bucket around and scooped. He wasn’t very helpful as he was adding to the number piles as we progressed. When I got about 10′ away from the pedestal he walked over to it and put his front feet on it and looked at me ;-) I put the rake down and pointed for him to take a few steps. He slowly picked up the hind feet one by one and stood with all 4 on the pedestal and looked at me. What a boy! We also rode for about 45 minutes in the arena today practicing follow the rail, question box, figure 8 and the yo-yo game riding. Still needs more work flexing to the right. Working on my rising trot (posting) and standing in the stirrups at the trot.
here’s a picture of me with him on the pedestal when he was in Florida at the Parelli center this winter. The difference today was he was free…no halter or lead…just me 10-15 feet away with a suggestion…

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Sirocco’s first trail ride

We ventured outside the arena for the first time since Sirocco came home. He did really great. He stayed tuned into me and when I exhaled…he relaxed and exhaled. I barely had to use the reins at all. He responded to my seat and my legs perfectly. Deb went on Bill and Robin was riding her fjord Gaven. We stayed on the road for his first time and rode up the hill turning around near the woodpile. We came back down and went to the left at the sign post and rode to Johnson Creek. I decided to stop while we were ahead and Robin followed us into the arena before going on with Deb. He’s so much better than before he went to the Parelli extern program. He’s calm and using the thinking side of his brain. We even side passed to open the gate…nice!

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Sirocco update! online & freestyle

Had a great session with Sirocco this morning. I thought maybe his yo-yo game could be better when I ran through the games so we worked on that a bit. Played with him on the 22′ line and got all 4 feet on the pedestal, jumped the barrels easily, sideways along the rail. Things were going well so I saddled him up and climbed aboard. My challenge to myself…ride without touching the reins. I was so amazed at how easy it was to communicate to him with just my legs and seat. He got it…I was doing follow the rail and half way down each side i did a circle and then continued down the rail. At the trot he did come out of track 1 so I went over to get the carrot stick. It was 5′ away leaning on the rail. I cued him forward and then cued to stop. Now we were 3′ beyond it. I crunched my belly and wagged my feet lightly tapping with my legs…he backed up to beside the stick. It was still out of reach by 3′ to my right. I put my left calf on him and pointing my left toe out. I shifted my weight to left and opened my right leg…he did a perfect sidepass over to the rail and stopped. I reached down and picked up the stick. HaHaHa this is so cool! It was a great way to spend a morning.

Dawn Darnell is a great equine dentist. This afternoon she came to the farm because I had 2 problems. One was Mr. Ed. He’s lost a lot of weight over the winter and I wanted her to check his teeth. She didn’t find anything…he a 30 year old quarter horse Palomino. I guess it’s all just part of the aging process. I’ve added beet pulp to his diet which he likes. We’ll see if between that and the spring grass he’ll rebound. Also trying to control his diarrhea. I ordered another bucket of Forco which seemed to work well in the past. I took him off of it a few months ago and just gave him some probiotics but I’m going to give it another try. Dawn said he still has a lot of life in his eye…it’s hard when they get so old…He has a pasture buddy and he loves dinner so I guess we’ll just let him tell us one day when he’s had enough.

My other dental issue was my new haflinger Pete.

I was worried he might have an abscess tooth. He had swelling on his face and was rubbing it on the pole in his pen. He had some really sharp edges and hooks on his teeth and he had stuffed a bunch of grass in there to protect his mouth. He was holding it in there like a hamster. He also had very little lateral motion because the front ones were locked. You would never know looking at his body condition. He’s been on a diet because he was overweight when I got him. I don’t think his teeth had ever been looked at by his previous owners. He’s about 12 years old. It should be easier to eat now.

My friend and sponsor Anita in Florida called and said she talked about the Parelli philosophy “Love, Language & Leadership” today in a meeting and had to call and tell me.

I saw her when I went to pick up Sirocco at the Parelli ranch. She lives near my Mom. She gave me my 20 year medallion while I was there. I tried to explain a little about what I’m doing now as a student of Parelli. She thought it sounded like a great way to live and maybe it would be good for people too. I think it does ;-)

That’s it for my day…missed watching Survivor tonight with all the weather reporting going on. Thankfully the tornados missed our area. We got some heavy rain but it passed quickly. Looks like a lot of other weren’t so fortunate. I love the spring but it can be scary.

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