chezz perlini, head trainer and founder

Chezz has been working with horses since childhood, starting with hunters and jumpers from the age of five. After high school, Chezz and his brother began working on cattle ranches across the US, including California, Montana, New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida. They trained and used horses in all aspects of ranch work, with an emphasis placed on ensuring the horses were safe for riding and working life. During this time, Chezz gained a wealth of experience working with horses of varied breeds, ages and temperaments. He also trained as a farrier and veterinary technician, all of which has improved his work as a trainer.

For over eighteen years Chezz has been working with clients of all ages and backgrounds, including individuals, charitable organizations, show barns and other trainers and professional riders. Chezz has always enjoyed working with students who share his passion for learning and growing as a rider and horseman. He has extensive experience with international - particularly European - students who want to participate in the American tradition of Western riding.

Chezz has worked with many breeds and types of horses including rescue horses, high-performance competition horses, wild mustangs, Warm-Bloods, Arabians, Paso-Finos and more. Horses that Chezz has trained have found homes as far away as France and Germany. 

Chezz is passionate about all aspects of riding - when he is not on a horse, you will find him in the leather room making and repairing, bridles, halters, and other assorted tack. He continues furthering his education by attending horsemanship seminars and visiting other trainers.


nicole perlini, business manager and co-founder

Nicole is the co-owner and business manager of Rafter P Ranch. As an experienced yoga teacher, Nicole enjoys working with students of all levels and hopes to share the practice with interested students as part of the Rescue Horse Training Program, as yoga strengthens your core and improves flexibility, which can greatly improve riding. 

Nicole also loves to travel and hike. She has hiked part of the Appalachian trail and has visited Cambodia to complete a yoga and meditation retreat. She is deciding where to go next and is always looking for new travel buddies.


wesley, twilight and jax

Wesley is a six year old Westphalian stallion who came to Rafter P in 2014. He was born premature and is small for his breed. His smaller stature coupled with a damaged eye rendered him less desirable to many people, but not to Chezz. He and Chezz work together training horses, giving lessons and demonstrations, working livestock and learning dressage. He is extremely gentle and a phenomenal athlete and friend. 

Twilight is a fourteen year old mare who came to Rafter P in 2011. She is a Trakahner/Thoroughbred cross who started life as a jumping horse. She fractured her front leg unbeknownst to her owner, and as a result began refusing jumps, rearing and bucking. Even after the injured leg was identified and had healed, she had no desire to continue as a jumper. Twilight has become an indispensable part of our program. She does everything from taking care of beginner riders to helping Chezz work with difficult horses. 

Jax is a new addition to Rafter P. He is a five year old who joined the family in May 2017, having spent several months in training with Chezz. He is set to become a fantastic and very athletic training horse.

We couldn't be happier that these wonderful horses call Rafter P Ranch home. 


rafter p dogs

Gus, a border collie, was Chezz's right hand dog when he worked cattle out west. He enjoyed a long retirement while at Rafter P Ranch, watching from the shade while Chezz worked horses. Gus passed away peacefully in May 2017 at over fifteen years of age. RIP, buddy, you will be missed!

Lucy, a pitbull with a heart of gold, was rescued along with her brother from a cage in the woods where they were left to starve. Now she hangs out on the couch, rides with Chezz on the tractor and tries to catch lizards that aren't really there. 

Judson, a chi-weenie (cross between a chihuahua and a dachshund) was rescued from owners who were planning on putting him down because they "didn't need him". Well, Chezz definitely needs him. He is Chezz's constant companion, resident champion, watchdog and napping companion. There are more pictures of Chezz and Judson napping together than is reasonable. 

All the dogs are very friendly and enjoy playing, walks and cuddles in any order.


ruby, blueberry and barnaby

Despite being different species, Blueberry (potbelly pig) and Ruby (Zebu, mini cow) have become firm friends, sleeping, eating and playing together. They are very friendly and enjoy treats. Blueberry's favorite is watermelon and Ruby loves strawberries.

Barnaby (a large potbelly pig) is a very gentle soul, and another Rafter P rescue. He was found roaming the woods alone and has several scars to show for it. He loves human company, especially if you are willing to rub his belly, and is one of the sweetest animals you will ever meet!



Bodhi and Jaya joined us in April 2017 and settled in right away. They are very friendly pygmy goats who love to climb, play and chew your clothing if you aren’t careful!



Students and visitors are welcome to spend time feeding and playing with all the animals at Rafter P Ranch.