"Horses don't care how much you know before they know how much you care." Pat Parelli
Anyone can make a horse do something but can your relationship be so good that your horse offers to do things for you? You know you are putting your relationship first when rapport, connection, trust and confidence are more important than achieving the task or goal itself. When you learn to put your relationship first everything else will follow.
I have been a Parelli Instructor since 1997 so now 23 years of coaching people through Levels 1 to 4 in all four savvys. This has provided me with a diverse and thorough understanding of what it takes to achieve an ever more meaningful and dependable partnership with a horse. From my experiences I know the Parelli program to be an outstanding, first of its kind home study program offering people from all horse pursuits a solid foundation from which they can then specialise.
I now live in Carlsruhe between Woodend and Kyneton in the Macedon Ranges region of Victoria just 1 hour north of the city centre of Melbourne with easy access from the Calder Hwy. I share my home with my husband Rob and son Stuart along with 4 horses (Annie, Taci, Maggie and Honey Bear), 1 dog (Missy - a Kelpie x Border Collie), guinea fowl, several sheep and the various Australian wildlife that live around our property "Seven Keys".
For those new to Parelli who are researching my role as a Parelli Professional please see my journey as both a student and an Instructor through the Parelli levels program, along with some of the experiences it has opened up for me along the way:
Disillusioned with my Hannoverian warmblood mare Kes's responses to the methods of dressage training and coaching I was receiving as we progressed through the ranks to Medium competition level I had ceased competition and lost direction and motivation.
My first taste of all that the Parelli program has to offer came when I attended my first Partnership course in September 1995 with Maddie, my newly started young mare and Kes's daughter, thinking that this would be a good outing for her. WOW! This course opened up a whole new world of learning based on life from a horse's perspective and it was organised in such a way that I felt empowered in the process. I was so excited by the possibilities that lay ahead!
With a Science Degree majoring in Zoology and a Diploma of Education from Monash University Clayton Victoria my career had taken me down the pathway of secondary school teaching for many years. It was upon reflection soon after my first Parelli course that I could see a way to incorporate my love of being involved with people in a learning environment, the study of animal behaviour and my childhood dream of having a career with horses.
At this course it was advised to me by the Course Instructor that the best way to make progress through the Parelli levels program was to start with your easiest horse. With this in mind over the months that followed I decided it would be best to bring Kes out of the paddock, after 5 years as a brood mare, to be my first horse to take to Level 4.
In July 1997 I studied at the Colorado ISC and headed back to Australia as a student Instructor. An exciting time as I began to live my dream career!
Gaining coaching experience around Australia and in the UK and making return trips to both the Colorado and Florida International Study Centres with Linda and Pat Parelli as well as ongoing teaching experience and further training and assisting at courses first at the mecca for Parelli in Australia Braidwood NSW and then at the Parelli Wilton centre NSW resulted in my achievement of 3*Star Instructor status in Feb 2003 and 4 *Star Senior Instructor status in Feb 2014. Over the years I have returned to the USA 10 times to study with Pat and Linda Parelli in a commitment to never ending self-improvement and to keep up to date with the latest innovations and developments in the Parelli Program.
As a Parelli Professional I have had many wonderful opportunities to travel around Australia as far north as Darwin and Pine Creek with nearby Kakadu in NT, Kununurra by the absolutely huge Lake Argyle and gateway to the Kimberleys in WA, Cairns by the Great Barrier Reef in Qld and south to Riddells Creek and the Mornington Peninsula around Melbourne Vic - to name a few with many fabulous places and people in between!
I have been very fortunate to spend time teaching courses in places not visited by many Australians but deeply embedded in our Australian psyche such as Monkira Station a cattle station just under 1 million acres on the Diamantina River in outback Qld. I love to meet so many students all with their own inspiring stories of their life journeys to tell and enthusiastic to learn and progress in their horsemanship by following the Parelli foundation levels program.
With my son Stuart now 22, I understand well the challenges faced by many students I meet in juggling family life, career and personal horsemanship. It is important to me that students can strive for their horsemanship dreams and goals by having accessibility to lessons, workshops, weekend clinics and home based multi-day intensive study modules, the first 3 styles of events both at my home base and other locations as organised by interested individuals and groups.
Both video coaching and virtual live lessons for private one on one progress and my recently released Seven Keys Virtual Home Study Group Experiences are all alternative ways of learning when face to face lesson sessions are not possible or practical.
I am dedicated to creating opportunities for both children and adults to learn more about their horses and themselves in their progress through the Parelli foundation levels program.
Now at my new 40 acre property "Seven Keys" Carlsruhe Victoria I have set up 2 play paddocks, one with undulating terrain, obstacles, a 20m metal round yard and a honey comb, the other with a fenced 60 x 30 m all weather sand arena, marked out Question Box and Cloverleaf Patterns and 6 spacious and safely fenced guest horse yards.
To educate, challenge and inspire are key to what I have to offer as an experienced Senior Parelli Instructor in supporting students of the Parelli program with their horsemanship dreams and goals for sport, work or recreation.
In closing my thanks go to the students it has been my privilege to teach so far. The enthusiasm and dedication of students I teach is my inspiration to be the best Instructor I can be!
I look forward to meeting up with you and your horse at future learning opportunities both around Australia and at home Seven Keys.
My best Fiona