Parelli Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Parelli Help!

Okay, I am new to the Parelli world, and I am sure there is SOMEONE out there with a head for this stuff.

Here is my problem:

I have an Arabian. He is super smart, picks up things without a second thought, and learns things without me even trying hard to teach him. He learned the spanish walk in a matter of two hours, and to bow in two tries.

He is super smart. But he was bred/trained originally for English Pleasure. If you look up English Pleasure in the Arabian book, or "english pleasure arabian" on google... They pick up their legs.

So as you can imagine, he was insanely beaten with the whip to get those knees up. Now everytime I bring ANYTHING resembling a stick/whip, he is out of there

Now, parelli people know of the carrot stick... Looks like a whip, but is merely an extension of the arm (as it was meant to be). So when I attempt part to of the friendly game (part 1 is petting) He flips out! I have spent DAYS attempting to get him okay with it. But no matter how far I get, he looses it over night, and when I bring it up to him, he repeats this insane process.

I am not giving up Parelli, so don't even suggest it. Our relationship is terrible, and he only looks at me as a rider, and nothing more. I want to change that with parelli's system, but the weeks are ticking, and I have to be at atleast halfway through stage one before showing season, and two weeks of this insane behavior is driving me to my wits end.

Please help!

Thank you,


I would marry my horse. Yes, I just said that.
XxHunterJumperxX is offline  
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 11:47 PM
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We have a Natural Horsemanship section where you may get more positive answers.
Spyder is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 01-10-2010, 11:56 PM
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I'm not a Parelli person but I suggest leaving the stick out of it until he learns that he can trust you. If he is so focused on his fear of the stick that he doesn't (or can't) listen to you, then just get rid of the distraction. The end of your lead rope will work just as well for most things. Plus, if you terrorize him with the stick every time you work with him in hopes of "desensatizing" him, you will never earn his trust.
smrobs is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by XxHunterJumperxX;51853

I am [B
not[/B] giving up Parelli, so don't even suggest it. Our relationship is terrible, and he only looks at me as a rider, and nothing more. I want to change that with parelli's system, but the weeks are ticking, and I have to be at atleast halfway through stage one before showing season, and two weeks of this insane behavior is driving me to my wits end.

Please help!

Thank you,

Sorry, but if your at your wits ends and have a time line, then perhaps you need to rethink your approach. 2 weeks isnt a long time...and pushing a horse that clearly has issue with trust isnt going to be effective.

You can gain your horses trust and respect without using a specific training method. And I think the problem here is your not opening your mind up to allow you and your horse to achieve this together the best way that works for him, and you....IMO drop the parelli, and go back to basics.
You can achive repsect without carrot sticks, or games...that is JMHO and soory I had to suggest it

Horses are like can never just have one
Maverick101 is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 01:29 AM
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Yeah, I can't help agree - get rid of the stick. Work on what you can achieve without the stick, be more flexible and find a way that works for you. You can still work within the parameters of Parelli without having to follow EXACTLY. Try clicking your fingers as a cue instead of waving a stick, your arab would be responsive enough to work off a finger click I would imagine.
kiwigirl is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 06:49 AM
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I am not a fan of Parelli at all and it is very possible to build a relationship without Parelli. However, I am looking at your situation as a regular situation that I would with any horse that had a fear of a whip. I disagree with others, I'm not a fan of avoiding issues. I would not lose the stick, I would actually take it with me everywhere. The stick would not have a job at all. The problem with many training programs, including Parelli, is that people tend to find too much comfort in the exercises themselves, the classic "if I do this, you do that, follow step by step and I will have the perfect horsey". As you can see, this isn't the case at all. People go through the motions without the understanding, which is truly what is lacking. As you get into "the friendly game" your stick has a purpose, its asking him to do something, constantly adding pressure when he has not yet accepted the previous step. When you run into a road block, take it back a step. Carry it with you at all times, but start with it in a neutral position vertically alongside your body. Don't show it to him, don't make a big deal out of it, make it seem like it is just as you say it is, an extension of you. You don't wave new boots at him when you get them, right? This thing is coming into his life with a past. You have to make him comfortable before him before using it as a tool, and the best way to do this is by doing nothing at all. Carry it with you while grooming, leading, feeding, etc. Act like it isn't even there, and eventually he will too.

You are going into this with an agenda, a "plan" like baking cookies. Sorry to break it to you, but horses don't work like that. Slow it down, back track, find your holes in the training. Again, I am strongly against Parelli, I have dealt with far too many "failed" horses to back this training program, but what you are describing is not a Parelli issue. Good luck.
FlitterBug is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 07:10 AM
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The purpose of natural horsemanship is to work with the horse not against it. If you are too ridged in your method then you are concentrating on the method and not your horse thus making it mechanical not natural.

Secondly, you can't put things on a time table. What is more important, your horse's long term training or a show schedule? If you can accomplish something in those 2 weeks, great. If it takes 2 months, then that is what it takes. You need to be on his schedule not yours.

Forget the stick for now, you need to gain his trust. So far what you have is a circus horse when you need a partner. Drop back and work on trust not tricks.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 07:41 AM
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I don't follow Parelli too closely, aside from a working knowledge of the philosophy and techniques, but I'm kinda with Flitterbug on this one. I wouldn't lose the stick, at least not forever. Maybe work without it for a while (use a coil of rope for impulsion and fingertips for things like the Porcupine Game), and establish some trust and respect there, and reintroduce the stick at a later date, and in the way that Flitterbug has suggested. Just tote it around with you. Shoot, if it's an extension of your arm, let him think that it's really attached! I'd go so far as to leave the stick in his paddock while he's turned out, or in sight of his stall while he's in, as long as the fear isn't so bad that the presence of the stick itself puts him into a full-on flight response that doesn't abate until the stick is taken away.

Another thing that may help, and is a little more structured, is to put a halter and lead on him, carry the stick, and walk away, letting him "chase" the scary object. As he gets comfortable, up the stakes, and judiciously push his thresholds. March, waving the thing like a drum major, while he follows. Spin the string like a helicopter over your head, while he follows.

I am concerned about the timetable, as well. Horses have no concept of timetables, and if you push one to make a show or event you run a very real risk of leaving gaps in training, and rushing. Setting goals is fine, planning to go to a show is fine, but when they have a date attached by which the horse must know all, things can go south. I do believe I quote Mr. Parelli - "Take the time it takes so it takes less time."

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
Scoutrider is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 07:50 AM
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try friendly game with your hands alone. stay away from the carrot stick till he trusts you more. i myself dont like the carrot stick, i prefer to touch with my hands. the only time i really use c stick is when i give them treats. good luck. parelli is more about training the human than it is training the horse.....
aranyc123 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 01-11-2010, 10:59 AM
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I don't often use the carrot stick except when leading when my mare is in season, I don't even need to use it then, but she gets baulshy if I don't atleast bring it with me. I use it in the friendly game too, but other than that, I don't find that it's a totally necessary thing, as long as you can still apply pressure, be it physical or visual.

Like everyone else has said, the 2 week time frame, you're just setting yourself up for trouble. I'm gonna sound a bit corny now and quote monty roberts lol
If you go at something like you have 15 minutes to get it done, it's apt to take you all day. But, if you can somehow figure out your mind-set, to believe that you have all day to do a job, you might get it done in 15 minutes
Ok, so it's a little bit cheesey to quote that, but the point is if you set yourself a time limit, it's almost certainly going to take you longer, but if you give youself loads of time, it will probably take less time to acheive.

Also, I'm not saying you should quit parelli, but there are other NH methods that could suit your horse more. Or you could mix the methods together so that you get the best of the ones you choose.

Last edited by HollyLolly; 01-11-2010 at 11:01 AM.
HollyLolly is offline  

friendly game , level 1 , natural horsemanship , parelli

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