“I don’t have time”

Contributed by Parelli Professional Holly Scott.

So often I hear other horse people or Parelli students say “I don’t have time to work with my horse as much as I should”. I am sure you yourself have said it once before – I have! Years ago I held myself to this impossibly high standard because I assumed that is what other great, talented horsemen and women did. I am certain many do, some probably more than others depending on how much drive they have to be the best at their craft. Me, I just want to be so good that horses enjoy being with me. That alone will allow me to feel this journey is complete; I am not there yet but one day I will be.

I believe how you get there is your choice but please know, you don’t need to spend 8 to 12 hours a day working horses nor do you need to spend an hour every day at the barn after work. Do you know how much progress I have made in just a few minutes with some things? The secret is how you teach your horse something and when you quit with what you are asking. We’ve heard people say, “play for tomorrow”. This means just that, quit when you know you are just shy of that ‘goal’ and tomorrow guess what, it will be even closer because you didn’t spend hours drilling it into your horse, causing them to check out mentally.

Just spending 5 or 15 quality minutes with your horse is enough to make progress with something. Stop causing yourself to feel guilty that you aren’t spending hours or that your horse isn’t sweating after you do something…that is conditioning, not training. If you are busy, work full time like me or live far away from your horse, please know spending just a few minutes can be meaningful to your goal achievement as all those minutes add up! Don’t let the fact that you only have a few minutes keep you from doing ANYTHING with your horse. It is enough, YOU are enough. Keep progressing, keep trying and enjoy the journey.


  1. Anne Cistoldi

    Thank you, Holly, for that encouraging blog. I am very fortunate to spend lots of time with my horse. Even though I board at an amazing family farm, I am lucky to be involved in the care and management of my own horse as well as the herd.
    My horse knows when I arrive, and when I leave. Most evenings that is close to midnight. Everything in between is just like living a dream.
    Recently however, I have been making great progress and getting great results with the short sessions you spoke of in the blog. With my dominant LBI, it’s important to have a goal, a plan, focus, destination, motivation, food , play and fun!

  2. Sabine Ewen

    Thank you ❤️
    These are the words that I needed to hear.
    As I felt kind of under pressure the last weeks because of doing only a little with my horse.

    But I came to the same conclusion: it is not important how much time we spend with the horse or the scope of the work or even WHAT we do.

    What matters is how the horse feels when we are around and to stop an exercise at the right moment.


    Yes i have taken this suggestion that.has become a fact working with my mustang…some time is better then no time …it really works…thank you ..Parelli. and Holly

  4. Holly Scott

    I am so happy so many of you found this helpful in your journey, wherever you are or however you are ❤️ It gives me hope that a lot more progress is being made out there, quietly as you all go along and honestly, that is wonderful! Our horses deserve us to be our best selves with them and we can only do that when we feel good about our time spent making progress with things.

    You all are awesome 😀

    ~Holly Scott, 2-star Parelli professional

  5. Dawn Kitzmiller

    THANK YOU!! That was so freeing to have someone else confirm this!! I am part of a family owned business so
    there is no leaving early. I try to find the quality times with my horse and this really helps my energy to hear this.