Skip to Content

Who Are Pat & Linda Parelli? Facts, History, Careers & FAQs

Who Are Pat & Linda Parelli? Facts, History, Careers & FAQs

This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

From training horses to traveling around the world to host clinics, Pat and Linda Parelli have become famous within the horse industry.

Pat and Linda Parelli are famous natural horsemanship trainers and authors. Together, the pair founded the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program, which is based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Their goal is for people and their horses to solve problems, improve their skills and have fun while being safe.

The Parelli method uses the principles of love, language, and leadership. Their program consists of Level One: Your Journey Begins, Level Two: Winning the Seven Games, Level Three: Harmony & Creativity, and Level Four: Refinement & Progression. Those wanting to participate in the program can learn at home, with the Parelli Savvy Club, at clinics and courses, and with a Parelli Professional.

Throughout their careers, the Parelli’s have gained students all across the world. They work with horses from both English and western disciplines.

1. Pat Grew Up Competing in Rodeos

Pat Parelli was born on March 17, 1954, in Livermore, California. As a child, he got a start in horses by working as a stablehand at a nearby barn.

In 1957, he began riding on his first pony, Brownie. As a teenager, he competed in rodeo events. At age 17, he won the 1972 Bareback Rookie of the Year title.

His career took off when he began training young horses. He first gained public recognition when he rode a mule in the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1982.

From there, Pat co-authored a three-part series in Western Horseman titled A New Look at an Old Method along with Dr. Robert M. Miller. Pat is widely credited with coming up with the term, Natural Horsemanship.

2. Linda Was Born in Singapore Before Moving to Australia

Linda Parelli was born in 1958 in Singapore. At the age of 12, she moved to Australia with her family.

When she was 13, she got her first horse. She would ride at the beach, in National Parks and at Pony Club, anywhere she could. During her youth years, she had two horses, Radar, her Arabian-cross pony, and her Quarter horse, Khani.

As an adult, Linda went on to pursue a career as an education director for an Australian skin-care company. She combined her passion for education-based business and marketing in her job.

3. Linda Parelli Was a Dressage Rider

As an adult, Linda felt there was a void in her life from not having horses. Linda and her then-husband bought a racing Thoroughbred named Siren.

They kept Siren in racing, as he was a good runner. However, Linda grew restless waiting for Siren to retire from racing, so she bought another horse, Regallo. Regallo was a Thoroughbred who was talented, but also a bit unbalanced.

Linda wanted to ride Regallo in eventing, but her trainer suggested she scale back and focus only on dressage. She was reluctant at first, saying dressage was “the most boring thing possible.” However, for Regallo’s sake, she decided to pursue training in dressage.

4. Pat Has Two Children From His Previous Marriage

Pat has two children, Caton and Marlene, with his first wife Karen Parelli Hagen. His son Caton has shown American Quarter Horses in cutting and reining as an adult.

Karen Parelli Hagen is also an equestrian herself. In fact, she is the co-author for Parelli’s first book, Natural Horse-Man-Ship. She even helped Pat with the initial formation of his natural horsemanship program.

After their divorce, she married Jim Hagen and the couple run Natural Hoofprints, a natural horsemanship program, in California.

5. Pat and Linda First Met At One of Pat’s Clinics

Continuing on in her dressage career with Regallo, Linda realized her horse needed help. Regallo was struggling mentally to perform and was becoming dangerous to work with.

Linda went out looking for ways to help her Thoroughbred. She stumbled upon a video of Pat riding a horse bridleless and was immediately intrigued. Fortunately, she was able to attend one of his clinics in Australia.

At the clinic, Linda struggled with the first assignment. During the friendly game, she was tasked with throwing a lead rope over her horse’s back. However, every time she tried, Regallo would bolt.

Noticing her struggles, Pat took Linda aside and encouraged her to be patient and keep at it. More than an hour later, Regallo was able to relax.

By the end of the day, Linda was able to ride him in just a halter while he remained calm. She left being thoroughly impressed by Pat’s teachings and continued implementing his methods with Regallo.

6. Before They Were Married, Linda Worked as Pat’s Promoter for Australian Clinics

After her first clinic, Linda was eager for more. She bought some of Pat’s videos and kept practicing his training methods.

A year later, Pat returned to Australia and Linda attended two more of his clinics. When she found out he wouldn’t be coming back to Australia because he lost his promoter, she stepped up and offered to be his new one. Pat accepted her offer and Linda became his Australian promoter.

Twice a year he would return to Australia for a month or two and host clinics Linda had set up. Though the pair tried to keep their relationship strictly business, they both couldn’t deny the feelings they had for each other. Both divorced, they began a romantic relationship with each other.

Pat invited Linda to move to the United States with him and she happily accepted. The pair then began touring the country in an RV hosting natural horsemanship clinics. Shortly after they were married in 1995.

As of 2020, Pat and Linda are now divorced after 25 years of marriage. They have gone their separate ways in both their business and personal lives.

7. Linda’s Notes From Pat’s Advice Eventually Became Manuals and Pocketbooks

When Linda first became a fan of Pat’s natural horsemanship program, she began writing in-depth notes. Whenever she was struggling with something, she’d give Pat a call and scribble down everything he was saying.

Her notes soon became 20 pages of philosophy and how-to instruction following Pat’s natural horsemanship teachings. Linda used her knowledge from her career as an education director in skincare to compose her writing.

Over time, her work became the manuals and pocket booklets for the first three levels of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Savvy System. Her writings helped many students out and let the program continue to grow.

8. Pat Has Performed In Front of Celebrity Audiences

Over the course of their career, Pat has performed in front of some celebrity guests. His skills and ability to work with horses have impressed people all over the world.

Pat has performed privately for such people as the Queen of England, President Reagan, Tony Robbins, Gene Autry, and Tom Selleck (father of horse rider Hannah Margaret Selleck). His natural horsemanship program has spread to 76 countries and over one million people.

Today, there are over 200,000 students in his online learning program called the Savvy Club and also 250 instructors worldwide in his Licensed Professionals Program.

9. Parelli Natural Horsemanship Offers Free Public Seminars to 4-H Members and Club Leaders

In order to help the future of horsemanship, Parelli Natural Horsemanship offers public seminars free to 4-H members and club leaders. This helps kids to learn and grow with their horses.

In addition, Pat and Linda also started the Parelli Foundation. The Parelli Foundation helps to provide educational grants for veterans, horse welfare, youth horsemanship, therapeutic horsemanship, and horsemanship careers. The program works to provide a bright future for both people and horses.

10. Linda Now Runs Happy Horse Happy Life

After many successful years of co-running Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Linda now runs her own program, Happy Horse Happy Life. The program is designed to create a better relationship with your horse and dramatically improve your riding skills.

Members of the program also receive exclusive access to content from Linda, along with some of the world’s top equestrians. The program provides an equestrian community of people with similar interests, dreams and goals.

There are three levels of membership, each that offer exclusive content to help people form stronger bonds with their horses.

Where is Pat Parelli Now?

Pat Parelli is based out of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where Parelli Natural Horsemanship is headquartered. He has two instructional centers, one in Pagosa Springs and another in Ocala, Florida.

Pat also spends time traveling across the world to host clinics. Much of his time is devoted to helping people and horses grow together and form solid relationships.

When Did the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Begin?

In 1982, Pat Parelli began his natural horsemanship program to improve people’s relationships with horses. By 1984, he began teaching clinics and in 1991 he coined the term Natural Horsemanship.

The program has grown to become one of the most influential horse training programs. They have worked with great equestrians like Olympic veterans David and Karen O’Connor and reining star Craig Johnson. The program has spread to over one million people worldwide.

What are the Seven Parelli Games?

The Parelli Seven Games are Friendly, Porcupine, Driving, Yo-Yo, Circling, Sideways, and Squeeze. They are part of Level Two in the Parelli Program.

The Parelli Seven Games are the basis of true communication of people and their horses, both in and out of the saddle. After learning the basic techniques of the games, Parelli encourages owners to use some imagination and expand them with a variety of obstacles.

The games should be studied and played in order, as every game builds on the one before it. Presenting the games in the correct order allows them to make sense to your horse. The better you and your horse get, the better results you will see in the games and the more fun you will have.

What is the Net Worth of Pat and Linda Parelli?

The net worth of Pat and Linda Parelli is estimated to be $10 Million – $15 Million. The majority of their income is from their natural horsemanship courses, books, events, and online store.

Carla Marshall Turk

Monday 23rd of January 2023

Anytime a couple divorces is a time of sadness for their friends and ardent admirers. I had believed their honesty and commitment with horses and followers would translate into a forever marriage for all to admire. I do not know circumstances and I wish the best for each of them professionally and privately. To me personally they were larger than life and have taught me a world of information about everything horse.

God bless each of you my friends.

Carla Marshall Turk