I remember the day I got my first horse, I was 12 years old, he was tall, had four legs and a tail, a black gelding with a white blaze – he was perfect – as every little girls first horse is! Everyone often asks where did I get my love of horses from, as no one else in my family is ‘horsey’. I often say it was my Nanna…..when I was born she saw a large framed picture of a little black horse with a big white blaze that reminded her of me. I still have that photo and I still have my first horse….. ‘King’ he is still enjoying life at 32!
I attended Pony Club for several years around the Cairns area, where most of my weekends were spent playing with friends and horses, sharing picnic lunches & trail rides. A few years into high school my herd of horses grew to three as I gained two TB horses from the race track. Through my pony club years, I had often wondered how would I ‘train’ a horse if I had the opportunity. Now the opportunity presented itself and I went in search of ‘something’. I tried a few things here & there, but it wasn’t the ‘something’ I was looking for.
I was on holiday’s at the time I came across Pat’s book ‘Natural Horsemanship’ in a saddlery store in 1995, I was hooked, couldn’t put the book down & read it from cover to cover. I rang the Parelli office in Sydney to see what else I could learn.
Carmen & her first horse King
After high school, I worked for my parents in our local real estate office in Cairns for 6 years whilst progressing through my Parelli Levels in my spare time! I would organize Parelli Instructors such as David Grace & Kaffa Martignier to hold clinics in the area. My passion was continuing to grow in wanting to do something with horses....
In 2001 I went onto attend the University of Queensland in Gatton to study Equine Studies and Business Management. Then in 2003 I made my first trip over to Pat & Linda's home in Colorado for their annual Savvy Conference. WOW my imagination grew even more as to truly what is possible with horses.
In 2004 I went back to Colorado to study for 6 months in the Parelli School & University Program and ended up staying for the next 5 years!. I had the opportunity to ride with Pat in a Level 4 and a Cow working course, study with Karen Rohlf (Dressage Naturally) then went onto work as part of the Parelli Tour Team in 2005 & 2006 - traveling around the USA sharing Pat & Linda's message. What an adventure!
In 2006 I joined the Parelli Faculty, being able to teach Parelli Courses in Florida & Colorado. What a dream come true...... being able to meet & help the hundreds of horses and students wanting to have that special relationship with their equine friend. It was also a special highlight being able to spend quality time with Pat & Linda on my horsemanship & teachermanship.
In 2008 I was based at the UK Parelli Center in Stoneleigh Park managed by Rob McAuliffe. Here I had the opportunity to lead our Parelli Courses and assist at Events with presenting at demo's and chatting with spectators.
In 2010 I returned home to Australia with a a goal to travel around as much of Australia as I had of America. I spent the next 10 years doing exactly that. Me my horses and dog travelled from Sydney to Cairns, to Adelaide to Tasmania. We had a ball, learnt oodles about traveling with horses and the stressors and met so many wonderful students.
2020 sees me say goodbye to the Parelli brand, I am sad at where this has gone for Australia and our loyalty to an amazing horsemanship program over the last 4 years, but I just want to provide for students a good experience and customer service. I wish them well on building their business back to where they want it to be, but for now I'm taking control back of my own business & my students experiences.
I'm looking forward to meeting you & your horse soon.