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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined!
— Thoreau

Hello!  My name is Samantha and I am a Licensed 2-Star Parelli Professional based out of western Washington.

My passions in life include writing, veganism, my dogs (Spartagus, a Border Collie X, and Oliver, a Pomeranian), and, of course, horses!  I have a beautiful Thoroughbred mare, Aspen, that I have passed Level 4 with.  As we journey into Level 5 I am focused on further developing our Liberty and FreeStyle Savvys as well as studying jumping and eventing.

In 2010 I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Montana-Western with two bachelor degrees, the first in business and the second in natural horsemanship.  In 2012 and 2013 I spent a combined total of 16 course weeks on the Parelli ranch in Colorado riding with some of Parelli's top instructors.  From 2014 - 2017 I worked at the Parelli corporate office in social media, marketing, and education development for the Savvy Club.  During that time I had the opportunity to study and ride with both Linda and Pat Parelli as well as participated in several projects that are now on DVD and in the Savvy Club (Level 3 Finesse Savvy Pack Student Lesson, Horsenality DVD, several Savvy Club monthly videos).    

To see what Aspen and I are up to in our day to day lives, check us out on Facebook and on Instagram (@pnwhorsemanship).

I'd love to hear from you!  Call or text 425 346 0082 or shoot me an email at smthorning@gmail.com

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 My fur kiddos! 

My fur kiddos! 

 

You might recognize Oliver from this little Parelli blooper video when he got loose on set during a commercial we were filming! 


and the little girl fell in love with a horse...

The rest of the story... I was introduced to horses when I was just 2 1/2 years old as part of the physical therapy I required at that time.  I had trouble balancing to walk and sit, as well as had a slew of sensory perception issues.  Over the next four years, the therapy horses helped connect me back to my body; they also ignited a lifelong passion for anything equine.

Just a few sessions into therapy my Mom said I started asking for my own horse.  This continued for several years.  Finally, my parents agreed to let me have one as soon as I could financially support it on my own.  At 14, after years of saving all my birthday money, collecting aluminum cans, countless hours on news paper routes, and dog walking, I finally had enough money!  I presented my parents a spreadsheet with a budget for a horse and then crossed my fingers.  True to their word, after I had my finances organized and could answer all of their questions about "how" and "what if," they agreed to let me buy a horse.  

I chose a 6-year old Morgan mare who had never been ridden and could barely be led in a halter.  She was beautiful and I was in love, I considered myself the luckiest person on the planet.  Neither my parents or I realized what a bad choice an un-started horse was for a first-time horse owner.  Thankfully, I didn't get scared, hurt, or killed in the process of starting her.  To me, everything was perfect.   

As a teenager I had the opportunity to spend several summers with an off-track Thoroughbred adoption and retraining center.  In exchange for barn work and horse care I was able to bring my Morgan and take hunter-jumper lessons on her and the Thoroughbreds.  That started a second lifelong passion for me - jumping!

I was introduced to Parelli Natural Horsemanship in 2005.  I was just out of high school and attending a community college, trying to decide what to major in at University.  I knew I wanted to become a Parelli Instructor but I also wanted a college education.  I found a compromise and attended the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, Montana.  They had a unique, first of it's kind, program where students could earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship.  It seemed like the perfect fit.

I attended their University, graduating with honors and double majoring, earning a bachelors degree in Business with a minor in Equine Science and a second bachelors degree in Natural Horsemanship with a minor in Equine Business Management.  Although I felt accomplished I wanted more.

In 2012 I attended my first 4-week course, the Fast Track, at the Parelli Campus in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  At the end of the course I qualified to attend the 12-week Externship that would prepare me to become an instructor.  I came back in 2013 for the Externship, graduating with a 2-Star recommendation upon completing the horsemanship requirement of Level 4.

In 2015 I completed Level 4 and became a Licensed 2-Star Parelli Instructor!  I am based out of western Washington and am happy to travel for teaching opportunities.

I am passionate about helping people feel successful with their horses!  I especially enjoy teaching children the wonders of natural horsemanship. 

Overview—

  • New Life Thoroughbred Adoption (retraining, rehoming), 2000, 2001
  • Barn Employment (facility maintenance, horse management, etc), 2000 - 2006
  • Bachelor Degree - Business, 2010
  • Bachelor Degree - Natural Horsemanship, 2010
  • Fast Track Parelli Course, 2012
  • Externship Parelli Course, 2013
  • Various opportunities to ride with Linda and Pat Parelli, 2014 - 2017
  • Licensed 2-Star Parelli Instructor, 2015 - Present