Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bryna Helle, Paying it Forward, through the Parelli Education Institute

When Minnesotan Bryna Helle accepted her 2013 Internship Scholarship from the Parelli Education Institute, she promised that she would NOT pay it back. She would, instead, Pay it Forward. She promised that she would use her Parelli Education to help the world become a better place for horses and humans.

And so, on Oct. 4, 2013, just a couple of weeks after completing her Internship, Bryna arrived at DoubleHP Horse Sanctuary & Learning Center near Sioux Falls, SD. To Pay it Forward.
DoubleHP (Horse Help Providers, Inc.) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization for equine welfare; and Bryna spent 9 days there, nurturing natural horsemanship relationships between some of the sanctuary horses who live there and the human rescuers and sponsors who now love and care for these horses. Bryna did not charge a fee for this education. She Paid it Forward.

Bryna’s Parelli Natural Horsemanship Mastery / Internship Program lasted for 6 weeks in August and September 2013, at the Parelli Center in Pagosa Springs, CO.  Not just anyone gets in to this Internship program. There were six Interns, and how interesting that they are from six different countries: Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States (Minnesota, Bryna’s home state).  The six Interns concentrated on their own horsemanship and teaching theories the first and last weeks of the program. Their lead instructor was 4 Star Senior Instructor Kristi Smith from Iowa; they also got to ride directly under Linda and Pat Parelli! During the four middle weeks, the Interns served as Coaches for a group of 34 pre-professional Parelli students in the Fast Track.
The Interns were also selected to be the opening Savvy Team demo for the 2013 Parelli Performance Summit. One of their goals was to show what they can do as horsemen and performers, but Bryna says it’s much more than that. “It’s about the desire to inspire others; and it’s about the ability to function in a group, to be cohesive as a team 100% of the time, to know when to take the spotlight and when to give it to another team member. The team mentality among us (the Interns) was incredible, and I felt close to all of them after just one day.”
Bryna believes that the horses who come into our lives, come into our lives for a reason. Horses teach us life lessons, if we will stay open to learning from them. “Learning to Trust” is a life lesson that became a theme for Bryna during her 6-week Parelli Internship.  Trusting that her students would accept and explore the seeds of learning to further develop their horsemanship. Trusting that the Internship group would always function as a team. Trusting in her horse, in her horsemanship, in herself.
“Trust is what allows us to not micromanage our horses, to not micromanage our students, to not micromanage ourselves,” she says.
Aside from all of the lessons, tests, scores, auditions, statistics, theories, levels, etc., that help prepare Parelli Professionals for success, what does it really take to get along and get ahead? Here’s what Bryna suggests: “As Pat says, ‘Get up early, stay up late, and act like a partner.’ Be ready to shake hands with any opportunity that comes your way, because you never know what is possible and what might happen on the ranch. Plans change, sometimes spur of the moment, so be ready to stay on your balance point!”

So what’s next for Bryna? Education and more education! She recently graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, with a Degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Psychology. She will soon apply to advance as a 3 Star Parelli Instructor. Currently she offers lessons and workshops both at home in Minnesota and away. (Maybe near you!)  During the Summer of 2014 she will ride under Pat Parelli in a Colt Start Course and a Western Performance Course. But on her way to Colorado for those courses, she plans to stop again at DoubleHP in South Dakota, for about a week, to Pay it Forward some more. To Pay it Forward to the sanctuary horses who live there (most were rescued from starvation) and to the humans who now love and care for these very special horses. These very special teachers of life lessons. These horses, who Pay it Forward every single day as they help humans figure things out. 

Bryna Helle’s website

Parelli Natural Horsemanship website
The #1 Horsemanship Program in the World
Parelli Natural Horsemanship's goal is to help raise the level of horsemanship worldwide for the benefit of horses and the people who love them. By practicing the Parelli program to gain an understanding of horse behavior and effective communication skills, horsemen of all disciplines and skill levels are able to build solid, reliable foundations with their horses.
Founded by Pat and Linda Parelli, Parelli Natural Horsemanship is now the world's most popular horsemanship education program, with campuses in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, and hundreds of thousands of students in dozens of countries around the world.

Parelli Education Institute
(including Pay it Forward Program info.)

Dedicated to youth horsemanship, therapeutic horsemanship, and equine welfare. The Pay it Forward programs help the Parelli Professionals grow in their own horsemanship through real-world experience with a variety of horses and humans. Pay It Forward is a promise that you will use your education from the Parelli Education Institute to help the world become a better place for horses and humans.