Dollars & Cents


Looking at what we spend on our horses, most of us don't look too far. If we think about it, the cost is far greater than what most of us believe is within an acceptable amount. I believe this to be true in just about everything except our personal education.

When I first started my natural horsemanship journey I was 40 years old and had been training horses most of my life. I figured I had a good handle on how to go about most things dealing with horses. It wasn't until I was given two FREE tickets to a Parelli Natural Horsemanship clinic that I even knew that something like this existed. I attended the first day of the clinic and was so impressed and learned so much from the sidelines that I did not go back for the second day as I could not wait to try the NEW WAY OF THINKING on my own horses.

The first few things that I tried based on Parelli's Seven Games were successful that I was sold. It was from this moment and for the next ten years, I could not get enough of this new way of doing things.

I attended every Parelli clinic that was in my area which added up to one a month either watching or riding. When I got past basic level one I signed up for three weeks with Pat Parelli himself at his ranch in Colorado for level two.

Imagin three weeks, immersed in something you are very passionate about with no outside distractions. That's no tv, radio, or phones, just like-minded people. You talk about learning, it goes so fast, that three weeks, but the learning was even faster. When I got home my wife saw the changes in me and said sign up for the next one, whatever it is it's good.

So I continued learning, attending clinics and waiting to go back to Colorado for Level Three, which I did the following year. I followed that up the next year with a Colt Starting clinic with all instructors and upper-level students. There is nothing like learning from people that have been at this for a while. It was here at the colt start that the wheels started for my wife and me to start working for the Parelli brand.

I spent 18 months working for the brand and enjoyed every minute of it. There is no way to replace that full-time hands-on experience of doing and being there when it all happens. Life changes and circumstances do as well.

New Zealand came calling and I went, and am still here, 19 years later. I returned back to the Parelli Ranch from 03-05, three times to continue my education, mostly in the area of teaching the concept that I was so passionate about. Lots of things change over time as we grow and for me, it was time to develop my own brand and I've been doing it since.

Nowadays I learn from the horses I meet, the human/horse combinations I encounter and the life I live. The cost of my education would be someplace over $70 k NZD or more, and I'm being conservative. What I want you to know, it is not the money spent, or who I spent it on, but the value I place on what I gained in my knowledge and skills. These are the basics of good horsemanship and key components for FEEL, TIMING AND BALANCE.

Feel, Timing and Balance are what give you the confidence to do everything you want with your horse. Once you have those, you will have the answers that you have always been looking for.

Enjoy The Ride

Chip Johnson

Lockdown Sept 2021

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