SOPHIE - SWEDEN
For one hundred days I had Chezz Perlini as my mentor training my very first wild horse, Viska, from start to finish. I was one of the competitors in the Extreme Mustang Makeover 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Chezz was there for me from day one as a great support, he has the ability to coach people without taking over and lets you create your own success. When I doubted myself as a trainer and teacher for my horse he was there to talk me through it. Chezz is always honest and will tell you how it is, he will let you make your own mistakes and then help you grown and learn from them. Training a wild horse from the start has forever changed me and if it wasn't for the great mentorship I got from Chezz, I know I wouldn't have placed fifth in the finals of my first Extreme Mustang Makeover competition. With his help I formed a solid horse that now lives happily in a great home.
LINDSEY - USA
It’s hard to put into words the positive and impactful experience I have had working with Chezz Perlini. Where I am with my horse - Alexia - would have been impossible without him.
Although Alexia has always had a sweet demeanor, the moment you took her out of her paddock she was out of control and I had no idea how to help her. Simply walking her to the arena was a scary and daunting task. When we would make it to the arena she would gallop and buck around, pulling on the lunge line. She would eventually tire herself out enough and I would call it a day, not knowing what else to do.
A little over a year ago we began working with Chezz and in that time Alexia and I have progressed immensely. After 30 days at Rafter P Ranch with Chezz, I was able to ride Alexia - something I never thought I would be able to do safely.
From the very beginning Chezz has always been honest. He let me know that for the particular horse Alexia was, she needed a rider that was going to be able to help her when she gets nervous and scared. My previous horse was extremely gentle and used as a therapy horse so this was a completely different experience for me. I will not say I was a great rider because that would be a complete lie. I had taken lessons from several trainers since I was 6 years old and after all that time I had never really understood how to properly ride and how to work with a horse that was not completely "broke". I had consulted with other trainers before meeting Chezz and none had ever offered help to understand what to do as a rider to help your horse, and that is where Chezz is completely different and is why we started taking weekly lessons with him.
He does not just tell you what to do, but explains the reasons why and helps you to understand the process. After watching a lesson I was having with Chezz, five other boarders at our stable signed up for lessons because they had never seen a trainer with such extensive knowledge and understanding of horses. Every lesson with Chezz helps not only Alexia, it also helps me to progress.
When I began working with Chezz I told him where I wanted to be with Alexia and he has helped make that vision a reality and continues to help me grow as a rider.
KATHY - USA
I came to riding in my late 20’s. My first horse was a wonderful little 5-year-old Morgan mare. I could not ride her at all when I bought her. I fell off a lot and she was usually in control, not me. I started riding lessons many times, but never got past 3 or 4 before I’d quit. Often the instructor would use imagery: “be a train, be a tree, ride a bicycle.” None of this was helpful, so I just learned on my own. My only guide was that I loved my horse. When she died at age 36, I was given a wonderful 14 year old Quarter Horse who had a minor stifle injury and couldn’t do “hard work”. He was perfect for me - calm and willing. There was only one problem; I still didn't know what I was doing.
The barn where I was boarding began to talk about having a trainer come to work with anyone who was interested. I was NOT interested, remembering all my failed attempts at lessons in the past. The trainer was Chezz Perlini. I began to watch my friends work with him, and thought, “they can do it, but I won’t be able to do it." Finally I realized I could not get my horse to back up. I asked Chezz for a “lesson” and I was hooked.
Chezz is an amazing teacher; he constantly asks you what you would do to get your horse to move a certain way, and then he explains how the horse’s body needs to move to do that. He manages to help you figure out what to do to help your horse. In the beginning, I learned to reward Hobo for the slightest shift in his weight in the right direction. I am not patient and couldn’t really see where this was going. But that was the foundation for me to feel where my horse’s feet and body were, and once I knew that, I could ask him for more.
Now Hobo & I both love to work on learning new things - bending, side passes, turns on the forehand and backhand, neck reining, etc. Recently, I have realized that I can do things with my horse that other, better, riders may not be able to do. I no longer hang on his mouth, and I realize that Chezz has taught me how to recognize what Hobo needs from me. Truthfully, I wish Hobo could have written this story, because it is his life that Chezz has changed the most.
WILMA - USA
I appreciate and value Chezz's training methods. He sees when I am struggling and asks why I think that is and helps me to understand the problems. It is the breakdown that helps me to stop overthinking everything. Practising to maintain and improve my horse is very important and allows me to accomplish goals that, in the past, seemed a struggle. It is an awesome feeling.
I am grateful for Chezz's teaching and feel that my horse and I are getting better with each lesson. Thank you!
ANDREA - GERMANY
Having riding lessons with Chezz is more than just taking a lesson. Chezz doesn't give riders black and white answers to their questions. He lets you find your own answers by listening to your horse and thinking about what you are doing and how you are doing it. In that way lessons are tailored to each individual, and their horse, which is something I had never experienced before.
Chezz is very patient and made me feel totally relaxed while I was learning. At the same time, he knew when to motivate me to try something more complicated, challenging me to become a better rider.
HELEN - USA
When we moved to Florida Alexia was constantly in flight mode. When we would be doing ground work we could barely hold onto her. Anything would set her off including the wind, the ducks quacking or other horses. I actually never thought we could ever ride her due to how scared I was, and how she reacted to situations. I felt like I knew nothing about horses despite all my years of owning them, and taking lessons. My daughter Lindsey and I love Alexia very much. The thought of giving up ever being able to ride her was there, but I am an optimist and hoped one day someone would be able to help us.
My daughter Lindsey told me about Chezz after meeting him at Crossfit . Chezz was so calm when meeting Alexia and said that he could help. Alexia went to Rafter P Ranch for about 7 weeks where he worked with her every day. Towards the last 3 weeks we started going to the ranch and riding Alexia; something I never thought we would be able to do! When she returned back to her stable we continued to have lessons and Chezz has been a miracle worker with Alexia, Lindsey and myself. Lindsey and I have become more confident riders and that in return calms Alexia. Whenever she starts to have a panic attack we know exactly what to do to be able to safely continue with our ride.
Chezz always thinks about the safety of the rider and also what is best for the horse. He is able to figure out why the horse is doing what they are doing and with every lesson I learn new skills and continue to improve as a rider. I have learned more about ground work and riding in this last year and a half than I have in all my years being with horses. Chezz is the greatest horse trainer and riding instructor I have had. I am so happy that he has come into our lives. We our forever grateful to him for our success and for making our dream of riding Alexia come true.