Thanks to Nancy Gage from Las Lunas, New Mexico, for this story from my Parelli days:
I met Peggy Gurnett twenty years ago at Pat Parelli’s ranch in Colorado.
I was a middle-aged beginner with a history of falls and injuries, a very timid rider. I was happy at the walk, okay at the trot, kind of scared at the canter. But looming ahead of me on the task list was the impossible: the gallop.
Peggy was an apprentice that summer, helping individuals or small groups in our work. She was athletic, fearless, a bold rider. I would have been intimidated by her if she hadn’t been so open, real, and nice.
Peggy knew I was afraid, but she never scolded or condescended, never dismissed my feelings. Never said, “Get over it,” or “Cowboy up.”
One day we were in the big pasture, I on my mellow leopard Appaloosa, Peggy on her big bay gelding. She suggested that we gallop up a hill.
Uphill would be a little taxing for my horse, she said, and at the top he would be only too happy to stop. And she’d be right beside me.
I trusted her, I agreed to try, and I did it. That simple. I did it.
I’ve never forgotten Peggy’s kindness and wisdom and support. Galloping up a hill may seem like no big deal. But to me, it was huge. It was huge!