- The Four Savvys – Becoming Horse Savvy The Natural Horsemanship Way
For you and your horse to really enjoy each other and work together in ways that are joyful, fun, seamless, safe and natural, the Parelli program focuses on helping students become truly horse savvy. Rather than using artificial aids or quick fixes for your horse problems, Parelli natural horsemanship helps students develop true understanding and expertise by teaching these Four Savvys:
- On Line – groundwork
- At liberty – the horse is free of physical restraint
- FreeStyle - riding without contact, either a loose rein, or bridle-less and bareback – the ultimate FreeStyle!
- Finesse – riding with contact, refinement and precision
Level 1 : Online
Level 2 : Online and Freestyle
Level 3 : Online, Liberty and Freestyle
Level 4 : Online, Liberty, Freestyle and Finesse.
Note there are two levels of Freestyle before riding with a contact in Finesse. Mostly folks ride freestyle either in a hackemore or bridle-less. Once you are used to seeing horses ridden bridle-less it ceases to be something exceptional, it is just a different style.
My wife, Ritchie, and I attended a weekend clinic at James Roberts yard 2 summers ago. It was a charity event so there were lots of riders and horses there. The focus of the exercise was herding a cow, bridle-less. Little did I know that I was to be one of the "cows" as real cow work is actually frowned upon in the UK. Silly I know.
By the middle of day 2 there were 20 + horses being ridden around the outdoor arena bridle-less all at the same time.
I then found myself being herded by my wife riding our horse bridle-less from one end of the school to the other. The first time she had ridden bridle-less.
For a while we were at an all NH yard with lots of teenagers on it. They were amazing riders. They would just play with horses as kids do and I swear they rode bridle-less more than with a bridle (mainly because as kids they were too lazy to put a bridle or indeed saddle on), including jumping. Unfortunately the yard went bankrupt and we had to move.
A last thought. During an interview after winning the Beijing Paralympics Lauren Barwick was asked "You must have really thought outside the box to win here". She replied "Box, what Box ?". This has become one of my favourite thoughts, and not just for riding.