Types of Natural Horsemanship - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-03-2011, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Types of Natural Horsemanship

I am currently working with the Parelli program on level 1/2. My horse seems to enjoy the games and things but once i moved to level two, I just couldn't get her to understand the very beginning of what we were supposed to do. So I am now moving back to level one (I did the beginning of level one last winter and continued this winter, we took a break from it in the summer/spring). I was a little frustrated with the lack of results I was getting, although I am sure it is something that I am doing wrong/haven't figured out yet. Anyway, I began reading some of the posts on here about Parelli and noticed many people did not like the program. I do not know if these people tried the program and it didn't work, or if they just decided it looked stupid (which I did at first as well). I was wondering what other types of Natural Horsemanship these people recommend doing with their horse to build a relationship. I am not getting the desired results with Parelli (I am still planning to work hard with it to try and obtain the results i want because we have only worked on it for a couple months, since I can't really ride much in the winter, its good to keep her entertained :)). Thank you for your input.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-03-2011, 11:40 PM
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What were the "desired results tha you were not getting? I mean specifically?

What do you suppose you were doing wrong? I am interested, not trying to be sarcastic or anything.

I have a question for you and any other Parelli Practicioner. When you do each game, do you know WHY you do it? What is the purpose of it? I mean, in the long run for developing a good riding horse.

I think that for me, some of what I have seen with Parelli trained horses is that the horse tends to do the required movements out of rote, and once they do , the trainer moves on to the next step and the next, without really looking at their horse and saying, " does my horse need this?" or "Is my horse any different after doing these 7 games than from when I started?" "Is my horse in a frame of mind that he is ready to be ridden? Is his mind with me now"

I have seen horses worked doing Parelli and the horse is doing the movements, but his mind is not really with the trainer. He knows stuff so much by heart that he just does it half hearted , and the human is so focussed on moving on to the next step they aren't really aware that the horse is not WITH them mentally.

So, that is one thing that can happen when you go through "levels" for the sake of going through levels.

The other thing I don't care for is that the horse often becomes so desensitized to pressure that it then becomes hard to get the horse to do newthings. A horse that is sensitive enough to pressure to move off of it is necessary to do any decent trianing/riding.

That's my opinion, as it stands now, based on my limited experience. But then, aren't all opinions that way? As long as they are open to change. I would like to meet and know more horse owners that do Parelli to have more chances to mellow my opinion.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-04-2011, 07:16 AM
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I use Clinton Anderson mainly!! He's great! Check into that. It doesn't hurt to incorporate different techniques in your training. Whatever works is how I get the job done.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-04-2011, 07:26 AM
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I tend to use some techniques from many "NH" trainers. I personally like Clinton Anderson the best, but I feel they all have something to offer, and the more I learn the more "tools" I have. All horses react differently to different situations, so what works on one horse in one situation may not work on another. John Lyons, Chris Cox, Josh Lyons, Frank Bell.....I have gotten something from each.

I will say that for the winter I moved to a "Parelli" barn. I had some anxiety about totally Parelli, but have learned a lot. And yes, the 7 games are all to help you accomplish something under saddle. Most of the NH people have some variation of them.

I am also not a huge beleiver in just watching DVD's to train. Just doesn't work for me. I need someone to help me sometimes, as just a foot in the wrong place can mess with your results. I still can't do "sideways", but my horse sure can...with anyone but me! I just can't get that one!

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-04-2011, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
I tend to use some techniques from many "NH" trainers. I personally like Clinton Anderson the best, but I feel they all have something to offer, and the more I learn the more "tools" I have. All horses react differently to different situations, so what works on one horse in one situation may not work on another. John Lyons, Chris Cox, Josh Lyons, Frank Bell.....I have gotten something from each.
^^ definately agree, this is exactly what I was going to say. I have gleaned methods from Parelli, Lyons (both), Anderson, and Gawani Pony Boy, I dont believe that just one method works for every horse, so I take a mix that work with me and my horse. If one thing doesnt work then try another method, and by no means should you feel you "need" to move to level two. If you feel you have gotten good results and gotten a good relationship with your horse, maybe thats enough. I think people feel they must complete all the parelli levels, but you dont want to base your training on parelli, you want to base parelli on your training, if that makes any sense.

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post #6 of 21 Old 01-04-2011, 11:23 AM
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I admit I don't know a lot about Perrelli. I've done the 7 games & really don't see that much difference in what they teach compared to everyone else.
What is the point of the different levels?

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-04-2011, 03:18 PM
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The more I learn about the Parelli setup, the more opinionated I'm getting. The 7 Games I still feel are a brilliant introduction to handling a horse. It involves de-sensitizing, sensitizing, yielding to pressure, and yielding from a distance (NOT the same thing--many people stop the yielding to pressure, which is a close-contact thing, and wonder why their horses begin to walk all over them) and disengagement...I think that's it?

And it's fairly safe. But how many of us need more than that? I agree advanced Parelli-trained horses are trick horses, and I can't see the value in a lot of what they do, except as tricks. (Except their movements aren't cute, or particularly interesting to watch.) They also spend a lot of time doing things in "natural" frames, when, if you're aiming for a riding horse, you should be getting on with whatever sport you want. I understand Linda is only just now coming to understand what riding on contact means.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-07-2011, 07:01 PM
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I would suggest if you are having issues to contact a Parelli Instructor via e-mail. You will get some amazing help! I've been involved with the program for years and am a dedicated student, it's worked on every horse I've touched since learning it....what issues are you having specifically?
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-08-2011, 10:18 AM
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NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP IS NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP ---PERIOD. I all refers to applying pressure and releasing that pressure at the exact moment the horse offers the correct response. This is the way a horse responds to any and all pressure placed on him in his herd structure and in his environment.

It is a very simple concept but a very difficult one for humans to implement. There are a 100 different way of applying pressure and only one way to release it. But, timing is everything and being able to 'read' a horse is a necessity. Know when and how much pressure to apply are paramount as is knowing what kind of responses a horse is ready to do correctly without confusion.

1) Never ask a horse to do anything that he is not ready and able to do.

2) Ask (apply pressure) in a way that he understands and the correct response is the easiest thing for him to do.

3) Quickly interrupt unwanted responses and immediately 're-ask' in a clear and concise way. [This is NOT the time to punish the wrong response -- only interrupt it.]

4) Stay with it until you get a reasonably decent response. When you give up, he can only think that he has done the right thing because that is when you took the pressure off of him. Simply as that.

The biggest problem with NH is that many people get lost in the details and never develop good 'feel and timing' so it never works for them to advance to get a safe, ridable horse. Their timing is bad, so the horses get confused and frustrated and many of them get just plain mad and 'ill' about it. I have seen so many 'Parelli' disciples with mad (ears back all the time) sour horses, that I now, do not even go to look at one for a 4-H family or for a saddle horse for a customer or friend if it is advertised as being 'Parelli' schooled.

Of all of the clinicians I have watched on TV and the ones I have personally seen, I tend to like Clinton Anderson the best. I see him getting quick and concise responses and 'fixing' things quickly. He goes on to the next step without confusing the horse or the handler / rider. His focus on the ground is on quickly getting control and leadership going so that you can move on to training a horse to ride. He does not get lost for weeks, months or even years on playing games only to end up with a horse that cannot be ridden. To me, Parelli is marketing genius and a way for a clinician to get rich, much more than a way to teach someone how to train a really 'broke' horse in a reasonable amount of time.

I recently saw a Craig's List ad that read -- "For sale or trade -- 8 year old parelli trained gelding that knows all 7 games. Will trade for a horse that anyone can ride."

That is my opinion of playing games. If a person wants a well trained horse under saddle, find a trainer or mentor that will teach you how and when to apply pressure to a horse and how to read a horse so that you can develop timing and feel.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-08-2011, 10:31 AM
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Oh so true! I'm backing you 100%! But to incorporating the games and other techniques are beneficial. How I taught myself initially is watching herd dynamics. That's Natural Horsemanship!
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