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Hi,
Does anyone have any Natural Horsemanship groundwork exercises I can do with my horse, whilst I can't ride due to the ice and the ground being rock solid :-(. I have a dually halter and 30ft long lines and I only have a smallish paddock to work him in. Hes getting bored with long lining and basic groundwork exercises so I don't have a clue what to do. Any ideas?
Thanks,
PinkPonies
 

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Oh yes, the seven games are a thrill, and they work WONDERS.

I was going to reccomend that off the bat, but I see Spirithorse beat me to it.
 

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What are the 7 games? x
The 7 Games are sort of the jumping off point into the Parelli Natural Horsemanship system. Each one builds on the ones before it, and they can be a good tool for establishing trust and respect.

Friendly Game - similar to desensitization. Basically, touch the horse all over with the stick or hand, goal being complete relaxation and acceptance of the stick (and later, any "questionable" object) at any point in or on the horse's personal space.

Porcupine Game - yielding to "touch" pressure, and moving the horse forward, backward, left, right, up, and down off of the lightest application of pressure.

Driving Game - yielding to pressure without touch, moving the horse forward, backward, left, right, up, and down using body language alone.

Yo-yo Game - handler stands still, facing horse, horse facing handler with 2 eyes. Handler shakes rope and horse backs away, handler uses gently increasing pressure on rope to bring the horse back.

Circle Game - I call this and variations on it NH lunging. Drive horse onto a circle, and essentially put him in the gait and direction you want him, and let him alone until he changes something before you've asked.

Sideways Game - driving forward and hindquarters sideways, using either touch (porcupine) or body language alone (driving game).

Squeeze Game - sending the horse into potentially claustrophobic places. For example, send horse between you and the arena rail with willingness, relaxation, and rhythm.

That's a really simplified overview, I know there are Parelli trainers on this forum who might explain the brand-specific nuances and philosophy much better than I can in a single post. This web page has a bit more detail about "playing" and understanding the "whys" of each Game: The Seven (7) Games of Parelli Natural Horsemanship


To the OP: The 7 games are pretty good, but I might also recommend some of Dennis Reis' groundschool tasks, and Clinton Anderson's exercises as well. Different horses respond to different things, and there are almost always multiple ways to skin cats. Good luck!
 
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