Dr. Cesar Parra is a man of many passions. One that few know about is his ongoin commitment to mentoring troops in the Colombian Cavalry. Once a quarter, Cesar makes the flight down to Colombia to spend time with these officers, offering lessons in the saddle as well as out of the saddle about life, heart, team building, loyalty and courage. This service has earned him the prestigious medals like the Saint George medal, giving to him in the 250 Year Celebration of the Cavalry and the Pantano De Vargas medal. “I feel a bit humbled with gratitude towards the officers of the Colombian Cavalry for the privilege of working with them over the past year.
I am so proud of the progress that each of them has made and look forward to continuing our work together, we have made a wonderful Team. Team work is everything.
My special thanks to Colonel David Rodriguez for his trust and support.”
Cesar has also received the title of instructor by the Colombian Army.
Though he has enjoyed countless successes competitively with his horses over the years, Cesar feels that the most important key to his success is the relationship & trust that he builds with each horse. He feels that this mutual respect and trust as a horse and rider team is essential to dressage and can be applied to so many other life skills that he teaches as he works with these troops.
He feels that giving back to the members of the armed forces in the ways that he does is very necessary and also a rewarding experience for him. “I want my life to be about more than our accomplishments. I recognize that I have a very unique set of skills in addition to years of gleaned wisdom to share with others and feel so thankful to be able to serve and give back while being about to share the knowledge I have attained through a career both as a horse trainer and in service to the Columbian armed forces as well as to many riders around the world.
I feel that I have learned so many important character traits that I strive to live out everyday while in the Cavalry. Traits such as patience, commitment, determination, courage & loyalty. It is so rewarding to spend time with the troops I work with and see their progress both as officers and most importantly, as men personally.”
Cesar is not alone in his positive feelings about the experience. Speaking with the troops, it’s clear how grateful they feel to have the opportunity to be under his tutelage. “When we work with Cesar, we learn the “why’s” about what we. Are trying to accomplish with the horses. He is very clear with explaining the fundamentals of classical dressage and how they apply to our work in the Cavalry. When one considers that dressage was originally developed for use in war, it is humbling to have the opportunity to continue this long standing tradition of excellence. Cesar always advocates for our horses first and encourages us to place the main importance on respecting our horses and cultivating relationships with them because they are our team mates in the event of a combat situation. He stresses the importance of always being patient and fair with the horses so they in turn will be there for us when we need them the most. He is a wonderful teacher and we feel so fortunate to be able to learn from him.”
Besides Cesar’s work in Colombia, the officers have the opportunity to come and spend time at Piaffe Performance centers in Florida and New Jersey. Capitan Diego Toledo and Captain Harold Forero have been the first one to obtain this honor as a scholarship.
Cesar returns to Columbia to continue his work with the Cavalry Officers in late January.