Lisa Perrotta Enjoys Learning From Jon Ingram


Originally from Connecticut, Lisa Perrotta moved to South Florida in 1979.

“My dad wanted to get out of the cold,” she recalled. “So we moved to Coral Springs. I bought two acres in The Acreage in 2001, because it was affordable.”

Perrotta, always interested in horses, started volunteering at Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue.

“That was in 2006,” she said. “I started out doing it part-time, but it turned into a job. I started bringing some of them home. Then I worked with Debbie McBride, who also runs a small horse rescue operation from her home in Deer Run. We rescued some horses from the Sugar Creek Horse Auction, buying a few and finding them homes.”

The experience did not go as planned.

“It was pretty expensive, plus we ran out of room, so sometimes we’d supply the hay and feed for people to keep horses at their places while we tried to place them,” Perrotta said. “That kind of backfired, when some people sold the horses themselves and kept the money.”

Eventually, she ended up with eight rescue horses of her own. Not that she rode them.

“I never rode horses at all,” she smiled. “I did groundwork, a lot of groundwork and Parelli-type training with them. Not riding. None of them were stable enough to be ridden. I realized they needed riding. Every horse needs a job, plus it’s easier to find them good homes that way. A friend was over and said one of my horses had reining skills and recommended I bring him out to Jon.”

Jon is Jon Ingram, owner and founder of Ingram Performance Horses. He has shown working cow horses, cutting horses and reining horses successfully for more than 30 years, and has earned nine world and national titles, training non-pro riders and their horses to become competitive partners at National Reining Horse Association shows.

And so, in 2010, Perrotta brought Scout, one of her rescue horses, out to Ingram’s ranch. Scout had been a nurse-mare foal. Perrotta adopted him from Pure Thoughts when he was only five weeks old.

“Jon taught me how to communicate with a horse, how to read him, how to become one with the horse, how to apply all those things I’d been teaching him in groundwork from his back,” Perrotta said. “Scout is really good at reining and enjoys it, so now I’m showing him in reining and also barrel racing. I love reining, that full-out gallop to the slide, feeling the horse’s legs underneath you — it’s incredible, really fun. I get dizzy doing spins, but the slide is great.”

She enjoys her time at the ranch.

“I love coming here and learning to be a better rider. Jon has got a lot of knowledge. I’m here to soak up as much as I can. It improves me and Scout together,” Perrotta said. “For me, the hardest thing is having patience. I want everything to happen yesterday. It’s difficult to step back, take a breath and start over when the horse doesn’t get something. I get so caught up in the moment, I want success so badly. I tend to rush to get things done instead of collecting my thoughts and trying something a different way.”

Perrotta said Ingram has really helped her sculpt her abilities. “Jon has taught me to be not just a better rider, but to stop and look inside and see what part of me connects with my horse,” she said. “He gives me lots of tools that work. He explains things and goes into the details of why different techniques are effective. He has a lot to offer anyone in any discipline. He can help you get results.”

Ingram also enjoys the experience.

“I enjoy working with Lisa,” he said. “And Scout is a beautiful horse. They’ve come along nicely, especially considering she was new to riding a couple of years ago. Scout is doing really well, too. He’s a pretty horse to watch. The judges like him.”

Ingram said he gets the most satisfaction from training horses and watching them get very good at what they do.

“I’ve trained nine world champions. I’m 70. I’d like to make one more before I croak. I still work at it 12 to 14 hours a day,” he said. “With horses, there’s no end to learning. You never know it all. Nobody ever will.”

For more information, call Ingram at (561) 234-5910 or visit