Parelli level 1 problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Parelli level 1 problems

Hi everybody!
I'm new to this forum and just wanted to get some advice.
I've been starting the level 1 Parelli with my newly adopted OTTB mare (I've had her 3 weeks today). So far everything is going great, but I'm hitting a serious bump in the road with the porcupine game.
She absolutely completely and utterly Ignores the heck out of me until I've reached phase 3-4 in the porcupine game. Phase 1 (hair), phase 2( skin), she either stares blankly past me or just focuses on everything else. She isn't defiant, she isn't running from it, she isn't pushing back. She's just.....not moving until phase 3-4. Mostly backing from the chest. Moving the forequarters I can get her on phase 2, hindquarters I can move her simply by basically using driving game techniques.

Does anybody have any advice or troubleshooting for this? I'd like to move past the porcupine game but if I can't get her attention on me or get her more sensitive to phase 1-2, the driving game is not going to go well at all!
Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 06:47 PM
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I am not a Parelli person, but I would say that you need to up the steps, faster, so you do have her attention. I think you are taking too long, going through each step. if you do not get improvement (getting the horse to respond at a lower step) you shoudl go bigger, faster, to "wake " her up.

you can wake up a horse with increaased steps on the Parelli scale (which I don't know) or just make any kind of commotion with the leadline or actually anything that gets the hrose to look at you with real curiousity and attention. THEN ask for move,ment of the feet.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 08:03 PM
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Hi, I"m a Level 1 grad: Not to worry, this is normal. The horse is dull to your first two phases because she figures, "Why should I, it's so little pressure as to not bother me, so I'll wait for 3 or 4." That's a left-brain response: calm "What's in it for me?"

Of course, it depends upon what works for your unique horse, but it's a long phase 1 (as long as you can stand it) & a quick 2,3,4. When you do this, she'll shorten the phase 1 to avoid the quick 2.3.4, which she'll have learned are on their way.

Another savvy strategy is to do something very small but annoying which gets the horse's attention & causes it to want to keep an eye on you & do what you say pronto: a tickle of its ear hair, a touch on its sheath. Linda tells the story of the appy who needed this in the blue Level 2 pack - very funny!

Also, remember to be provocative for the horse: mix it up, make it fun for her, so she's asking, "What's next?"

Good Luck!

Last edited by Northern; 08-23-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-24-2013, 02:47 PM
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Totally agree with advice given.

I've only attended clinics, and frankly, anything past Level I seems...well, drawn-out and not effective (to me.) But I REALLY like the initial approach.

What I want to add is this: you never get "past" a Game. The Porcupine is second because it's fundamental---to yield to touch. Many horses will go on to Driving, which is yielding without touching. My friend's horse was like this but he "forget" the touch-yield, and actually became hard to handle. He'd just walk all over you.

Keep at it! And as Northern said, have fun!
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-28-2013, 09:30 AM
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I've used the whip/stick to do annoying taps to get the horse to yield.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-10-2013, 12:27 PM
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Another trick that will help you is to try to release the pressure faster. The faster you release the faster she will learn.

I always start out with the very smallest indication that she/he has acknowledges my cue. This may be a little as her dropping her head, turning to look at you, or just shifting her weight. And remember you are looking for the SLIGHTEST movement... Once you are getting a response of any kind then ask for more.

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-13-2013, 06:10 PM
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You need to adjust your patience level. When it comes to training take the time it takes and don't try to hurry it. One day she will surprise you and move when you point your finger toward her hip. Be sure you are looking at her hip as you ask her and shorten the lead a little to encourage her to move her hindquarters.
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