Lately I have been struggling with my horse Dez when I'm riding her. So I was thinking I should go back to groundwork. I've read about Parelli games and natural horsemanship, but never actually done it. And I think she would be great at it because once she trusts you, she can be a really nice horse. There's lot's of people on barnmice that do games and stuff, so please, if anybody wants to offer any tips or activities that I can do with my horse. =) Thanks!

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Hey Jenna.... I've worked on myself as a new rider and tried learning from alot of various trainers...... right now I am working on a project of just spending time with my horses.... I don't even necessarily have an agenda..... I just watch and observe them and then try and talk to them like they talk to each other...... I put up two videos under Parelli of things I am working on with my horses...... but one of the easiest things to practice is to see if Dez is willing to follow you...... then once she is following, try and get circles out of her, soft patterns..... I feel like once I've accomplished some stuff on the ground with my horse then riding is going to seem like the obvious next thing to do...I've not ridden him.. he's 4..... so I've worked with the bay horse in my video for a year... now he is a wild horse so he might be different than Dez, but he was running me out of the pen and stuff a year ago...... but patterns patterns patterns helps me..... good luck with her... :) and tell her we said Hi.... I'm not an expert on Parelli but I do belong to the Saavy club which you can join for $20 a month, get in the club, and then they have a web site and a forum like this where they just talk Parelli.....
okay well I worked with her today, and I did "the friendly game." Then I just put her lead line over her neck and walked away and... she followed me! I didn't think she would, because lately we've been having some arguments, but she did! Then I did patterns, sharp, quick turns and little circles around things. She followed me for that too! But one question..: should I be giving her treats as rewards? Or is it some "affection" thing?
Even a native american trainer that probably doesn't believe much in treats says yes, if you think she did a good job, give her a treat.... in my video too you'll see I treat Oliver... by putting the item in a bucket..... I also click at him when he does the desired behavior as a release... or I just move away from him so that he knows that he did the right thing... you can also stroke the front or side of your horses head and neck without even touching her and all these things she will know she is making you happy... I loved reading about her following..... woohoo!!
There are many opinions out there about giving treats. Parelli's say if you have a food oriented horse to go ahead and give treats. They are clear that there is a difference between giving a treat as a reward rather then as a bribe. Bribing is not okay with their program. Rewarding with a treat is fine.
I give my guy plenty of treats and it does make a big difference in how much he enjoys playing. But I do find as time goes by and he gets more expeirnece he is less concerned about the treat. He will do the same things for me with or without the treat but I might not get the same excited look in his eye or perk in his ears.
Jenna the best way to get information on the Parelli games etc. is to buy their level 1 kit or take lessons from a Parelli certified instructor. You can also get alot of information if you join the Savvy Club. You'd get a DVD or Savvy Times magazine each month and connection to their web-site where there is all kinds of information and a great chat group. If none of those is an option on your budget I'd suggest you go to Youtube and watch some of the many videos on there from people that have taped their version of the 7 games to get officially passed on to the next level. It might be difficult to see how they started learning and teaching the 7 games and if you have questions I'd be glad to try to help. The program is a step by step way of doing things that gets people progressing with their horse connecton right away.
Some people will watch a little of this and think they understand it so be careful that someone is really showing you Parelli methods. Doing it right is important.
I have and study Level 1, and the old and new level 2 and the Horse Behavior Packet. I am taking lessons from a certified Parelli trainer. My horse comes to me at the gate when I arrive. We have advanced to the point that he will lunge around me in a circle without a lead-rope or round-pen...he is loose except for the mental connection we have developed and cues he has learned. Off-line he will circle at a walk, trot and canter, do transitions and change direction which is so exciting to me. He'll back-up and return to me with the wiggle of a finger for several feet with enthusiasm. ...Sometimes he's great and other days he will just take off and ignore me but it's a progressive thing as is any thing that you need to work at to get good. I've taken videos so I can observe our progress. Lots of fun!!! I'm going to send on some links to you that I think you'll enjoy.
I'd be glad to answer questons.
Keep horsen around!
Jenna what things do you do to play the parelli friendly game?

Great example of completing Level 1 on the ground.
OMG, what a fantastic video.. I'm gonna do ALL that stuff with my OLIVER!! WOOHOO!! I can't wait to watch it over and over.. I must be level... .008 not even up to 1 yet..... :)
I'm sorry this is level 3 not level 1. It does show many ideas of things you can do to increase the communicaton and relationship with our horses.
i used approach and retreat until she has accpepted me to touch her all over. I don't know if I'm doing it right (and I would'nt want to do it wrong), but it seemed to work. Going to a clinic would be great for me, but i don't know of any in my area.
Jenna, if you tell me what city and state you live in I can look up what is available in your area .
Hope you enjoy looking at the different links I sent for you.
Going to a Parelli clinic would be so wonderful. I've been able to get to two of their tour stops and their Celebration in Flo. last fall. Never get enough. Their levels packages is like being in a class in a way. They've taped actual class sessions so you can see what went on. It's step by step and you can see different types of people and horses being instructed and working things out. Fun!! We are having a playday here this week-end and I hope to be able to make it to that. If it's all I expect it to be I'm hoping Cash can go next time when I know better what's going on. So you have the friendly game and some idea how to use approach and retreat ? Do you know how to do Porcupine or Driving games? So often when I watch a training DVD a second or third or fourth time, I catch something I didn't see the previous times. It's so easy to fast forward over the stuff I don't need to view again.
I haven't had a chance to look to see what might be available in your area yet but I havent' forgotten.
If you look at, you might find some answers. Hope you'll let me know what you think about the YOUTube links I sent.
Keep Horsen Around!


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