Amazing Grace: The Star of the 2013 Parelli Summit

by ScottTeigen on September 16, 2013

The 2013 Parelli Summit took place September 6-8 at the Parelli campus in Pagosa Springs, and suffice it to say, it was a memorable three days. Pat and Linda Parelli, Nate Bowers, Colleen Kelly, Parelli Professionals, a surprise guest turn from world-class cutting horse rider Doug Jordan… it had it all. But arguably the star of the entire weekend was a little horse named Grace.

Grace and her owner, Tamara Tate, took part in Pat’s three-day Problem Horse Makeover sessions, and the progress she made between Friday morning and Sunday evening was, to put it mildly, stunning. As the Summit came to a close, Pat announced that he would like Grace to return to the Parelli campus next year to spend time with him and his students!

Here’s Tamara herself, with Grace’s story:

“Grace was born in 2005. Before she was a year old, she and three other fillies from the same Quarter Horse farm ended up at a feedlot to be sold for slaughter.  Hytyme Equine Rescue of Eagle Creek Oregon heard about the fillies and had to pay to rescue them. Before they came to the rescue, they all came down with severe cases of strangles. They spent a month or so in quarantine at the feedlot then another month in quarantine at the rescue. For the next three years or so, Grace was at the rescue, but no one worked with her. In 2009 I started volunteering at the rescue and she was assigned to me the first day. I quickly realized she had some trust issues. Eventually she came to my house and has never left.

Grace, when I first saw her at the rescue.

Grace, when I first saw her at the rescue.

The first two years I worked a lot with Grace, and believe it or not, she made a lot of positive changes. I got to a point with her where we could do a lot of things together as long as we both remained calm. The next step was to start riding, and although my husband has ridden her bareback at a walk, we both knew it was not safe since the slightest thing could potentially cause her to blow. I was at the end of my skill level and still had not gotten her past her deeply rooted fear of people. So for the last two years I have just loved and taken care of her.

The opportunity to bring Grace to the Summit was like a dream come true. I knew Grace was an amazing horse, because she would slip up and let me see it sometimes. So, to me, she was worth the long trip from Oregon. I learned that I had made one of the best decisions of my life while I watched Pat work with her. I could have never gotten her to that first big release. I know now that although I did quite often take her out of her comfort zone, I did not do enough or for long enough. I was constantly questioning what I was doing.

The offer to bring Grace back to Pat for the summer was more than I could have ever hoped for her. She is finally going to learn how to be the calm, smart, amazing mare that has been locked up inside for all these years. I cannot wait to make the long trip back to Pagosa in the spring, because Grace deserves this!”

As you can see from the photo below, Grace (who was quickly dubbed “Amazing Grace” by Pat) is a beautiful horse. We look forward to sharing her journey with you for the next year.

To keep up with Grace’s progress, keep an eye on Pat Parelli’s Facebook Fan Page as well as the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Facebook Page. Grace’s partnership with Tamara is an inspiration to anyone with a difficult or distrustful horse; with the right support system, the impossible is truly possible.

Grace, responding well to Pat at the Summit.

Grace, responding well to Pat at the Summit.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacque' Thaxton October 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

My hope is the Parelli team will put all the footage of Pat and Slider playing with Grace on CDs so everyone can see the amazing transformation in this horse. The lessons to be learned from watching Pat’s feel, timing, and balance are absolutely priceless. On Sunday as Pat, Slider, and Grace were taking their “victory” laps around the arena to a beautiful arrangement of “Amazing Grace,” a dove flew into the peak of the tent and rested there as Pat handed Grace off to Dave Ellis. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place!


Melissa Kellams September 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

What an awesome story! Cannot wait to read more about her journey and progress!


Tamara Tate September 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Thank you all for your support and kind words. This has all been overwhelming and heart warming to say the least!


Christine September 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m so full of admiration for Tamara who kept Grace despite her overwhelming issues. We all know that most of these horses typically move on to unpleasant ends. That level of commitment and continual search for help and answers has saved this mare’s life, given her the chance for quality of life and will be a “happily ever after” story that we all want to see. Tamara, you have my greatest respect and admiration. People like you make the world a better place!


Rhonda Johnson September 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I’m a friend of Tammy and John Tates I have been there to see the beginning With Amazing Grace. I can’ tell you how happy I am that she will be given the chance to grow.
Thank you from Oregon


BetsyKoncerak September 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

What an AMAZING story! Can’t wait to see her next year : )


Alison Parker-Jervis September 17, 2013 at 3:55 am

“I know now that although I did quite often take her out of her comfort zone, I did not do enough or for long enough. I was constantly questioning what I was doing.”…… Hmmm licking and chewing on this one. . . this could be me.


Maureen September 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I look forward to following Amazing Grace’s progress. And, bless you for believing in her!


DeeDee September 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

So glad I was there to see this transfrmation. Seeing here next year at the Summit is part of the reason I bought my tickets for next year.
Thank you Tamara for taking this horse on and bringing her to the Summit. We all learned so much, watching Pat and Slider with Grace. I think we saw the essential Pat Parelli in those interactions. Thank you, again.


Sharon Fells September 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Love this story and can’t wait to follow Grace’s progress!!


DeeDee McMillan September 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I have happy tears in my eyes all over again Tammy. It was INCREDIBLE to witness Grace and Pat and the shifts he was able to tease forth from her at Summit. It was a stunning ending to Summit and a beautiful beginning for both you and Amazing Grace! I can’t wait to see/hear how things progress.


Marilee Donovan September 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I was there and it was fantastic to watch. Tamara, thanking you for sharing Grace with us and I look forward to updates over the next months and to seeing her at the 2014 Summit.


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