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7 Parelli Games?

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  • Definitions of the 7 parelli games

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    12-03-2012, 02:53 PM
  #61
Showing
The word work and play with a horse has more to do with mood, which the horse picks up on. For years I trained horses "my way" which without violence. Then a horse came to live with me that was a great teacher, which I was blind to at first. He gave the impression of being strong and independant and cantankerous and it took a long time to realize he wanted me to be his alpha. Once this realization came about our relationship began to blossom to the point it felt like we could read each others mind. When he knew how to do something, god forbid I should help him (read interfere). He's gone now and another horse, one with major fear issues arrived. Silly me, I thought I was teaching him and one day it dawned on me, I was the one being taught. We have a relationship now that I never thought possible with a horse and I know there is so much more. He will show me when I am ready.
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    12-03-2012, 03:02 PM
  #62
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
The word work and play with a horse has more to do with mood, which the horse picks up on. For years I trained horses "my way" which without violence. Then a horse came to live with me that was a great teacher, which I was blind to at first. He gave the impression of being strong and independant and cantankerous and it took a long time to realize he wanted me to be his alpha. Once this realization came about our relationship began to blossom to the point it felt like we could read each others mind. When he knew how to do something, god forbid I should help him (read interfere). He's gone now and another horse, one with major fear issues arrived. Silly me, I thought I was teaching him and one day it dawned on me, I was the one being taught. We have a relationship now that I never thought possible with a horse and I know there is so much more. He will show me when I am ready.
Parelli is a principle, rather than technique based program. James once said to me that in fact "all great horsemen are Principle based", and the more of them I watch the more I understand this idea.
Pat has listed his most important principles. There are 8 of them. Principle #7 "Horse teach humans, and humans teach horses". The sentence is in that order on purpose. Until a horse has taught you what you need to know you cannot understand or feel what the goal you are striving for is. Once you understand that goal then you can go ahead and teach a new horse to get him to the same place as your teacher.
     
    12-03-2012, 03:22 PM
  #63
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus1    
2Practice moving the rump before mounting". Did you use rhythmic pressure to achieve this or steady pressure ? Did you just ask the rump to move over or was it essential that the hind legs crossed over. It's a yield, so was it done with softness or with attitude?
I know Parelli speak can be irritating to those who have not studied it, but, for me, it is more concise and precise...
Yes, of course it is more 'concise and precise': TO A PARELLI FOLLOWER.

He could list a set of conditions and call it "Condition T", and then Condition T would be more concise - to those who follow his training. So if the purpose is to 'lock' people into Parelli, then it makes sense. But if the point is communication, then all it takes is to say, "Practice moving the rear before mounting". Most would understand that means cuing as close as you can to how you would in the saddle, and most would guess it means disengaging the rear - another standard horse term recognized by most riders. The only reason to say, "My 'prepare to ride session' today involves playing the hind quarter porcupine game on the ground" is to make it intelligible only to a fellow Parelli acolyte.

"The word work and play with a horse has more to do with mood, which the horse picks up on."

I suspect you are very correct. Work is serious. Play is not. If I don't succeed at work, I try to figure out a way to succeed. If it is play, then we will just play again another day. And play, and play, and play...which in turn has become a stereotype of Parelli followers - always playing with their horse, and never riding. Like a lot of stereotypes, there is at least some truth to it.

My horses don't want me to play with them. They want me to direct them. They want certainty. They don't want "liberty". Liberty scares the hell out of them. They prefer the safety of knowing someone smarter and tougher is taking care of them. Turn them at liberty in my yard, and they will eat their way back to captivity in the corral, and wait for more food and water to be delivered to them. To them, the corral is not a prison. It is a place of safety, their "happy place". My mare is pretty vocal, but I doubt she'll ever start bellowing out "Born Free"!

     
    12-03-2012, 03:46 PM
  #64
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargosgirl    
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.
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    12-03-2012, 04:40 PM
  #65
Trained
So just because people are too dumb to use it correctly means it has little or no value ?

I'm too dumb to understand chemistry, does that mean it has no value or can't be important or useful to other people ?
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    12-03-2012, 05:18 PM
  #66
Foal
Why is there this assumption that when I "play" with my horse I am not in the saddle ?
I reckon that around 80% of my playtime I am riding.
Many folks seem to think that "playing" cannot be anything but frivolous waste of time, and time spent with horses had better be serious. That is not how I see playing at all. I am serious about playing with horses, but the emphasis of the word is to ensure that I am not a direct line thinker.
And just because I am playing why would I not wish to improve and succeed in my ambitions in the game. Other games are played where success seems to be important, the Olympic Games for example.
It's a shame that it seems that many are put off a very good training program because they don't like the language. Surely a program should be rated on content as well.
I have also looked at other programs and clinicians, they all have their own language. Mark Cox talks of "softness". What on earth does that mean ? Until I suddenly realised that it was the removal of "brace" (the term used in Parelli) from the horses mind and body it made no sense to me. Brace does make sense, as I feel it in my own body when I get tense and feel opposition reflex kicking in. Dentist chair springs to mind
"Bending your horse around your leg" made little sense given that the thoracic vertebrae can hardly move laterally. "Inside leg isolations", the term James Roberts taught me, made way more sense to me and I could then access the information that talked about "bending around the leg" in other publications.
How about "Collection". Collect what ? It's just a term that everybody thinks they know what it means because it has been around so long. Why not just say "weight the hind legs". That seems to be the upshot of the wikipedia explanation. This article seems to imply that many don't understand that term either Collection, balance & energy of the riding horse
Let's not get so hung up on words, or we'll get nowhere. If I use a term you don't understand just ask politely, I'll try to explain. If the explanation is not satisfactory ask for more clarification.
If your not actually interested in trying to understand the language then maybe don't read a thread that makes it clear in its' title that it is asking for an explanation of the Parelli terms.
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    12-05-2012, 07:21 PM
  #67
Super Moderator
It's not the words that I was commenting on. Due to the step by step nature of the Parelli program, the nomenclature given to each step and the way that participants have levels with set goals (regardless of the horse they have in front of them) , that this problem I was talking about where the handler cannot see the forest for the trees, so to speak. The very thing that makes the Parelli program so accessable to so many people, especially newbies, and helps get them started into understanding hroses (a good thing), is at the same time the reason that participants become more likely to be overly focussed on that, and loose sight of the horse itself, and how it is in THAT moment.

The language used could be either helpful for those on the inside, or alienating for those on the outside. But, it isn't the reason that I have seen such negative results on Parelliized horses and thus have a less than positive opinon of the Seven Games.
     
    12-05-2012, 08:12 PM
  #68
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Due to the step by step nature of the Parelli program, the nomenclature given to each step and the way that participants have levels with set goals (regardless of the horse they have in front of them) , that this problem I was talking about where the handler cannot see the forest for the trees, so to speak. The very thing that makes the Parelli program so accessable to so many people, especially newbies, and helps get them started into understanding horses (a good thing), is at the same time the reason that participants become more likely to be overly focused on that, and loose sight of the horse itself, and how it is in THAT moment.

The language used could be either helpful for those on the inside, or alienating for those on the outside. But, it isn't the reason that I have seen such negative results on Parelliized horses and thus have a less than positive opinion of the Seven Games.
I have to agree that people see "Parelli training" and "seven games" as the end of their education. They get stuck in a spot and do not progress, but again that is not PP's fault.

You mentioned above that you see horses, tuned out, stressed out and traveling badly during the circling game. I agree I have seen all of that too from parelli students. To start out in the program all of that is acceptable, as the horse or human is learning, but in order to progress you have to begin to differentiate between, doing something, and doing it right.

Pat puts emphasis on not just "playing" the game but "winning" the game, which means the horse is performing the task with a positive, responsive attitude and in a properly balanced body position. Too many just play and never look for quality or learn how to ask for quality. I've also seen that same scenario with other trainer's students(notably the afore mentioned Cathy's students) Is it fair to judge their teaching technique or terminology based on the student's lack of dedication or understanding?
     
    12-05-2012, 08:53 PM
  #69
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegasus1    
...How about "Collection". Collect what ? It's just a term that everybody thinks they know what it means because it has been around so long. Why not just say "weight the hind legs". That seems to be the upshot of the wikipedia explanation. This article seems to imply that many don't understand that term either Collection, balance & energy of the riding horse
Let's not get so hung up on words...
Words are all we have to communicate with on the Internet. If used vaguely, our ideas will be vaguely understood, if at all.

Collection has an FEI approved definition - at least collected gaits have one - and it has been in use by the FEI for over 100 years. That is as standard as you can get. It is much more standard than terms used by an individual trainer.

My point was that when a trainer uses words with definitions that only he and his followers know, it locks his followers into his training, and it makes it sound like he is offering something unique. As a marketing technique, it is outstanding. As a way of communicating with as many as possible, it is not.

If Parelli helps you figure out your horse and progress as a rider, then great! You have said yourself that at some point, maybe soon, you'll need to leave Parelli and begin more specialized training. Only you can decide if that means starting to convert what you learned from Parelli into a more commonly used framework of language. But I know what it is like to get a very late start in life in understanding horses, so I'll wish you well and think good thoughts about Parelli for helping you to progress.

I also thank you for the effort you have made to translate some of this into threads outsiders can read and think about. The stereotype of a Parelli student is someone who plays ground games because she is afraid to actually ride her horse. Most stereotypes have some truth in them, but the always have a lot of falsehood mixed in. I'm glad to see that Parelli is helping some, at least, to learn and adapt and expand as riders and maybe even, eventually, as horsemen.

Oh - and while Horsemanpro equine articles, photos and videos can be entertaining reading, I'd suggest taking it with a big grain of salt. The horse poop to pony ratio is rather high...
     
    12-06-2012, 05:38 PM
  #70
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargosgirl    
I have to agree that people see "Parelli training" and "seven games" as the end of their education. They get stuck in a spot and do not progress, but again that is not PP's fault.

You mentioned above that you see horses, tuned out, stressed out and traveling badly during the circling game. I agree I have seen all of that too from parelli students. To start out in the program all of that is acceptable, as the horse or human is learning, but in order to progress you have to begin to differentiate between, doing something, and doing it right.
Snp, snip.
Too often both, horse and human are "learning" at the same time.
With only dvds as "tutor"
     

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