Every time we do anything together, the bond gets stronger …

By David Ellis, 5 Star Instructor

When Pat Parelli began exploring the idea of working with the Atwood Ranch, I was very interested.  First off, because they’re near to my ranch and secondly, because their reputation in the horse industry is superb.  After the liaison with Atwood Ranch Naturally was in place, I expressed my interest to Catherine and Mike in a horse that exemplified more of
the original Californios style.  They brought to Pagosa Springs some fine quarter horse yearlings, a two-year-old, and a thoroughbred filly for me to look at.  The thoroughbred, while quite nice, just didn’t register with me.  As I watched the yearlings, I didn’t see quite the look I was seeking.

As chance would have it, I happened to observe Kalley playing with a special horse … special from my perspective.  He had elevation in his gait, a presence that was extraordinary, and the movements of a bridle horse.  I walked out to visit with Kalley about this horse and discovered that he was the two-year-old designated for the saddling & colt start  demo at the conference.  She and I both agreed that he should develop into a fine bridle horse.  His movements were just what I was looking for in my next prospect.  Kalley even remarked that when she played with him, she could see me in the picture.

I spoke with Catherine and Mike about my interest in this nice, sorrel gelding.  All that was left was to determine if Pat Parelli had any plans in mind for this horse.  To my delight, he did not, and I decided to buy him.  Kalley had nick named him “Handsome Dan”, so it stuck.  Dan and I have not looked back.  He is everything I hoped for.  We have several rides together, have moved out among cattle where his breeding soon bubbled to the surface, and he has helped me with lessons by transporting me around while teaching.

Every time we do anything together, the bond gets stronger, and he shows more and more the value in the horses being raised by the Atwood Ranch.

Thanks much to the Atwoods, Pat Parelli, Mike and Catherine, and Kalley for making such a find possible.

David Ellis
5 Star Instructor

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