Gretchen Arndt



I am a Licensed Instructor of Parelli Natural Horsemanship and am based out of The Horse First Farm in Madison, WI. I am also the Equine Specialist on the Triquestrian team which provides EAGALA model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning. My background includes riding and horse keeping as a youth, competing in Arabian performance as a youth in dressage and hunt, and participating in the Truman State Equestrian Team throughout college. While at Truman State University in MO, I completed a B.S in Agriculture with a minor in Equine Science. During college, I began to work as an assistant trainer in performance barns, and this ledme into a career helping horses and humans have fun and achieve their goals together.

In the early stages of my career, I found myself unfulfilled by my focus on competition. When I attended a Parelli event in 2003, it became apparent that the connection between horses and humans could be much stronger than I had ever imagined. My pursuit was now to have horses connect with me, truly choose to be with me, and to experience partnership with my horses. As I explored these types of relationships with horses, the fun and fulfillment returned for me. Of course, there was much to be learned, so I began to study the program at home, attend clinics with Parelli Instructors, and attend courses at the Parelli Ranch. To date, I have attended 16 weeks at the Parelli Ranch as a student and 6 months in Professional training as an Instructor. I am currently working towards passing my Level 4 in my horsemanship, and am a 2 Star Junior Instructor since 2010.

The things I enjoy about being an Instructor is helping students understand the deeper nature of their horses and uncover new awareness of themselves within the relationship with their horses. Watching happy horses and happy people together just never gets old!  I also have a growing youth program at The Horse First Farm.  We are fortunate to have a great group of advanced Parelli trained horses for kids to spend time with and learn from.  Supporting enthusiastic students is one of my favorite things, so in addition to getting horse-crazy kids as much horse time as possible, I also volunteer as a coach for the Madison Mounted Police, and offer monthly workshops for the volunteers at Lifestriders Therapeutic Riding Center in Waukesha, WI.  

I currently live in Madison, WI with my husband and yellow lab, Jackson.  We enjoy the outdoors together through hiking, cross country skiing, and camping.  I also love trail running and it helps me stay strong in my body and mind.  When we are inside the home, I love cooking, reading, and listening to or playing music with my husband.


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