December Newsletter

Greetings and well wishes for this festive season.

I am enjoying being back in NZ after four weeks in Australia.  To read about my trip to Australia click on my logo link below and see the post written on 9th December.

Due to a technical error the November newsletter didn’t go out.  I had promised to reveal something exciting in that newsletter so here it is now;  All clinics on my schedule will be with two instructors from now on.  I have been joined by 3* instructor Ruth Carlyle from the UK who will be assisting me during clinics and courses.  This has been a huge benefit to clinic participants as I’m sure some of you will find out for yourselves.  Here is Ruth to Introduce herself:


Hi everyone.  Russell has asked me to write a few words about myself for his newsletter. It’s always hard to know where to begin, so I’ll keep it short. I am a 3-star Parelli Instructor and have been a student of the programme for about ten years; in fact, Russell was one of my first instructors over in the UK and I never imagined then that I would end up joining him out here!

I completed all my Parelli training out on the ranch in Colorado, going through the Extern and Intern Programmes and I was awarded my third teaching star in 2012.  Before giving it all up to teach full-time, I was an aviation security consultant who specialised in the opening of new airports. It was an interesting job and allowed me to experience working in unusual places like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Istanbul and India, but I was happy to eventually trade that life for one of full-time teaching and horses.  I have taught a lot with Russell this year in the UK and on our tour of South Africa and think that we make a great team.  I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in the coming months as we travel around New Zealand.  In the meantime I am trying to adjust to having a warm and sunshine-filled Christmas on this side of the world.

Wishing you a happy Christmas and exciting 2014

This month we visited Karioitahi Beach in the Franklin District on the west coast of the North Island.

This is a lovely west coast, black sand beach with access at one end to the Waiuku Forest.  We arrived two hours before high tide and virtually had it to ourselves apart from a few paragliders.  The water was shallow for a good distance, but the waves meant that it was easy to get “sea-sick” if you looked down for too long.  It was a great beach for trotting and cantering for miles without worrying about running out of sand.

Access:   near Waiuku, about 45 minutes trailer drive from the Bombay Hills service junction on SH1.  The access is good and is a tarmac road all the way to the beach.

Parking: dedicated horse unloading/parking on the beach.

Facilities: nice toilet block next to the parking area; hitching rail;

Sand quality: nice firm sand at low tide with some deeper areas, but good for cantering

Restrictions: no permit is needed to ride here; there are rules about riding on the beach which are posted in the car park (walking only at the entrance area, walking only within 10 m of the surf for 1 km either side of the entrance)

All in all we give this 8/10 as a location for a natural trail ride.  If you have any suggestions for trail rides that we could check out please drop us an email at

This month we are bringing you an article by Linda Parelli, click on the link below to read.
How to Improve Horse Behavior at Feeding Time

Confidence and control on the trail:
This special course will be held over three days at River Valley near Taihape
25 – 27 January 2014 and will be limited to 12 riders,
This course will be run by myself and  3* instructor Ruth Carlyle.
Two instructors, three days, maximum 12 riders, great riding and scenery.
Early Bird pricing $690 for those who register and pay a deposit of $345 before 25th December.  This price includes all meals, accommodation for both horse and humans, venue and tuition.

Super Camp 2014:
THIS CAMP IS NOW FULL (we are starting a wait list so first on the list will be given first preference if someone pulls out)
Five days with two Senior 4* Instructors, combined 32 years of experience, at Kihikihi domain 17 – 21 March.
Russell and Senior instructor Chris Corbidge from Australia together with assisting instructors advancing students to Level 4
Early bird pricing $1290 for those that register and pay a deposit of $500 before 20th December. Limited to 16 Participants.
Pre-requisite self assessed Level 2 Savvy

Northland Natural Horsemanship Games 2013


So exciting. Great day at the Northland Natural Horsemanship Games. Sarah Olney, 1 Star Parelli instructor judged ‘the Obstacle’ course yesterday. Beautiful weather and scenery. It was a pleasure to see so many happy faces and great efforts from horses and humans.

Cow Camp with David Grace in New Zealand


What an amazing week we’ve all had! So much progress made in such a short time frame, completely reiterates how much a great foundation puts you and your horse in the right place once you start putting “principles to purpose”. Horsemanship, stockmanship, purpose and then sport/competition in that order. Thanks to everyone who helped make this camp happen and thanks to the students who took time out of their lives and made the commitment to never ending self improvement.

Oscar and Russell playing at Liberty