The Comeback Kid [Parelli Style]
By Brooke Turner, Australia
Lindy Turner sent us this thank you note, and we loved her daughter’s dedication to her horses so much that we decided to contact Brooke for the full story.“This is my [now] 14 year old daughter Brooke Turner. She came off the same horse in the jumping photo [at the top of the page] and ended up in a hospital about 18 months ago. I refused to sell the horse, and she wouldn’t ride her after that, so I got her the Parelli Program DVDs for her for Christmas a year ago.
“Brooke then set out on a beautiful journey through the Parelli Program to the point where she could ride without a saddle or bridle, cantering all around the arena, and jumping everything in sight on the same horse that she was injured on.
“Thank you Pat and Linda for giving my daughter the skills she needed to be able to help her horses and help her ride better.
“Brooke now wants to go to the Olympics and has set her goals on being a Parelli Instructor when she is old enough. She is so determined; she lives and breathes horses every day. She idolizes Pat and Linda, and I just wanted to get a message back to them just to say thank you.”
When I first got my Right Brain Introvert/Left Brain Introvert horse Cinder, she had just been started, and she had white spots on her back from the saddle they had broken her with. She would try to bite when you put the saddle on and girth it. Not to mention that she had a huge bucking problem.
At one of her first shows, there were over 100 horses, so it was a bit overwhelming for her. When I started to warm up for our jumping round, I walked her over a jump to start with, and she was snorting a lot. My mistake was not walking her over it until she was calm. Instead, I trotted her over, and according to my mum, she jumped about 2 meters (6.5 feet) into the air. Then, she had the biggest bucking fit ever on the other side. When I fell off, I somehow managed to land underneath her, and then she trampled me—her back legs both landed on my knee and ankle.
Actually, the same thing had happened about 6 months before that accident when I was jumping her at home, and then she had stepped on my thigh. Needless to say, I didn’t ride her for a really long time after the accident at the show because I was scared.
I didn’t take lessons, but I watched the Parelli DVDs my mum got me for Christmas on repeat. Once I became more advanced, I had a Parelli lesson with Susan Castel (2-Star Parelli Professional). I played with Cinder on the ground for about 3 months before I was able to ride her again, and 5 months after that I was riding her bareback and bridleless! The most difficult part was getting her to stop bucking as well as working out what she was thinking.Parelli has taught me to love the relationship with horses. Cinder has learned to be calmer and much less reactive. She’s such a great pony and just loves to please. For my other horse Bonnie, who is an Right Brain Extrovert, Parelli has given her a lot more whoa. Before we started Parelli, we couldn’t stop her. Now, we can stop her from any gait, jump her, and back her up all without a bridle.
I love that horses all have their own Horsenality and that they have individual opinions on different things. I love the way horses move and that they can be used in so many different ways from harness to barrel racing to dressage. My favorite kind of horse is a dapple grey horse that’s tall—about 17 hands—with big movement and an Left Brain Extrovert Horsenality. My favorite breeds are Andalusian, Warmblood, Irish sport horse, and Clydesdale horses.
I love trail riding, galloping through open field, and jumping. Sometimes, though, I like riding in the arena so I can do some slower things. It’s also fun to play on the ground with my horses because I can be imaginative and find different ways to do things.
My favorite memory is the journey that Parelli has taken me on. I am proud of myself for how far I have come in my natural horsemanship, and I’m especially proud of how far Cinder has come, too. Currently, I’m playing in Level 4 On Line and FreeStyle, Level 2-3 Liberty, and not much Finesse yet.
I will keep all that I have learned through Parelli with me forever. I would love to become a Parelli Instructor and maybe one day go to the Olympics for Dressage. I want to train horses—from brumbies to hopefully FEI Dressage horses one day. I am very dedicated, and hopefully if I want it badly enough, it will happen.
Follow Brooke’s journey with her horses on Instagram, @brooke__turner.
Susan Castel, 2-Star Parelli Professional, said, “From our one meeting, my impression was that Brooke is a super keen, very enthusiastic girl. I loved her ability to go out and get what she needs to succeed. When I met her, she already had a good relationship with Cinder. I simply encouraged her to hold her yields a little longer until Cinder was more relaxed. She is a determined young lady with a very supportive Mum. I wish her all the best in her future!”