The Meaning Behind the Name
The name ReeLee comes from the combination of Kelsey's grandparents names. Marie and Leo Parisi were married for over 50 years, and the name ReeLee was on their license plate, email, and any other thing that they shared. Leo passed away in 2011, and was a long time lover of horses, specifically racing. ReeLee has always been a symbol of love and strength for Kelsey. So when starting her business, it was an easy choice to use the name to represent her training style that sets her apart from other trainers.
About Trainer Kelsey Parisi
Kelsey began taking english riding lessons at the age of 6. She stuck with the hunter jumper show scene as a kid, and loved the riding but was not a fan of the politics, even at that early age. Kelsey began working for a local trail riding business, the Red Buffalo Ranch, in high school. She worked as a trail guide, riding instructor, and camp counselor in exchange for board of a shared horse for her sister and herself. While working there, Kelsey took up Endurance and Barrel Racing. She continued to compete in AERC and NBHA sanctioned events through her college career.
Kelsey first became exposed to training and starting horses while working at the Red Buffalo Ranch. The first horse she ever started there is now her go to pony horse for her training projects. She also started Arabian endurance prospects, and her first of what would become many wild mustangs. Back in those days, Kelsey learned from trial and error on how to train and start horses. If the horse was lost, and she was lost on how to help him, she stopped. She would sit and think, and if she couldn't come up with a solution, she found someone who had one. From a book, a video or an article somewhere. To this day, she still prides herself on open mindedness and continuing her education in behavior and training.
When Kelsey went on to Colorado State University to study equine science she finally had the opportunity to learn from true horsemen. Through the colt starting program at CSU she was introduced to horsemen that have greatly influenced her techniques. Horsemen such as Kevin Meyer, Dick Pieper, Bobbie Walton, Tom Faul, Bill Smith, Terry Crofoot, and Thomas Saunders; they all train in a way that makes the right thing easy, and the wrong thing difficult, yet also had their own touch that made their training their own. They taught her how to recognize the natural behaviors of a horse, and utilize them to accomplish your goal. They taught her how to establish a relationship that builds trust and leads to a successful horse and rider team. The lasting connections she made with those trainers allows her to still refer back to them and continue to excel and hone her training skills. She also broadened her scope of disciplines in playing for CSU's Polo Team, participating in the schools Ranch Horse Versatility Club, and interning under top Endurance riders and Working Cattle/Dude Ranches.
In addition to her focus on behavior and training at CSU, Kelsey also specialized in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She studied under some of the most reputable professors in the industry, and uses the knowledge gained from those courses to create training programs that are balanced both physically and mentally for each horse.
When Kelsey graduated from CSU, she traveled the world and worked for as many trainers as she could. She spent 9 months working for two of the top racehorse trainers in Australia, Jake Stephens and Gai Waterhouse. When she returned to the states, she was an assistant trainer and rider at Parx Racing for over two years under Robert E Reid, Jr. While working at Parx she would help re-home horses who retired, got hurt, or weren't fast enough from her barn. She even kept one for herself. To this day she is still involved with Turning For Home, the Parx thoroughbred aftercare program. When Kelsey left Parx it was to broaden her knowledge even further. So, she moved to Texas to explore the cutting horse industry.
When Kelsey got to Texas she thought she would be working under a horsemen whose reputation preceded him as impeccable. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that he was just another trainer on a time crunch trying to earn the big checks. She loved the sport, but was not a fan of the way this trainer got to his finished product. She tried to tough it out, and learn what she could. She figured, at least the horses she worked with would be a little better off in her hands. But soon she had to choose between sympathizing with horses whose circumstances she could not change, and moving on so she could make a difference in the equine industry.
Within a year of returning to Pennsylvania, Kelsey started ReeLee Restarting and Training and won the 2015 East Coast Equine Comeback Challenge.
Since her win in the 2015 Equine Comeback Challenge ReeLee has grown to be one of Pennsylvania’s go to options for physical or mental equine rehabilitation, along with starting and gentling horses across all breeds and disciplines. Kelsey also holds a Pennsylvania State Thoroughbred Trainers license.
Starting in 2019, Kelsey added more equine experience to her resume, including working as a wrangler with her own horses, and client horses, on various entertainment projects including the feature film Concrete Cowboy, Live with Kelly and Ryan's Halloween mock Old Town Road music video, a Martel Cognac Commercial, 2022 Lauren by Ralph Lauren spring collection shoot, and the Netflix film, Things Heard and Seen.
In addition to our work with horses, it is the goal of ReeLee Restarting and Training to use our platform of success to give back to causes that have effected us and those close to us, such as destigmatization of mental health conditions and suicide awareness. All the while providing ethical top level care for every equine that comes into our program,