I'd like to add to the topic of using the 7 games as a diagnostic tool.
I worked for a very talented show horse trainer for 3 years, periodically her students would come saying "my horse won't....." or "my mare started doing.....at shows" and expect the trainer to "fix" their horse. I would watch as Cathy would work on the horse, she had decades of experience, and absolutely no background in NH, but what she did with her riding, a Parelli student would call "testing the 7 games".
First she would be sure the horse was not in any pain, was confident, and not fearful. In Parelli speak, "winning the friendly game"
Then she would be sure that the horse was responding properly to rein and leg cues, which is the same as checking how well your horse "plays the porcupine and driving games".
Next she would see how well the horse would "rate itself" being sure it was maintaining gait, straightness, and direction, with equally light cues and without "babysitting". which are aspects of yo-yo and circling game.
She worked "sideways game" right away if the horse was having problems with lead changes, diagonals, or any lateral movements. Problems with "the sideways game" usually also involved a "porcupine game" problem too, meaning the horse was not responding to leg cues for some reason.
She usually only worked on "squeeze game" if the horse was having problems over jumps, or obstacles in trail work, testing to see if the horse was becoming impulsive or fearful around jumps and arena decor.
After a lesson or two, the horse would be performing wonderfully and her students would say she was a genius, because even though they had ridden with her for years, they didn't know the how or why of what she was doing. My Parelli background helped me to realize she had a mental check list of things the horse needed to do well in order for each task to be performed properly, and she could find any disfunction in communication quickly and remedy it.
The 7 games provides that checklist to help diagnose and correct problems at the root cause. The "games" format makes it easy for anyone to learn, what it would take decades of experience to learn otherwise. It's been said before, but the only thing "new" about 7 games is the way they are labeled and presented. Some think it is a mistake to make anyone think they can train their own horse, but I disagree, I thought I could train my own horse long before I'd ever heard of Parelli. Because or being a Parelli student, now I have a formula that is simple enough that even I can follow it and really can train my own horse. I can also watch other people train with the eyes of understanding, because I have had it broken down into layman's terms for me, with the 7 games.
Done correctly, this could work. However, so many people just do the check list, and the horse knows the check list ,too. He goes through the motions (wanting to please, as most horses do) but he may never really check in with the human, and he may never really let loose. He may be holding back a lot of stress or anxiety, and moving him along from step A to B you might not notice that he is still back in A, in the sense that , for example, you touched him all over, and he "took" it, but he really didn't feel ok about it , as evidenced by his facial expression and tight jaw and skin.
Or, in the circling game; the hrose goes around, same speed , but he's ambling along, heavy on his inside shoulder, looking outside the pen and tuned out. Rider doesn't see THAT because horse went around and rated his speed just fine. OK, on to step C.
This is what I see a lot of with Parelli people and horses. I know, this is not what Pat intended, but just by having such ornate steps and categories and such , it throws emphasis on the superficial appearance , rather than on the correctness of the horse's actions or movements or relationship to his leader.