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Funny Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry comedy sketch! 'Your name, sir?' - BBC comedy
Video downloaded from YouTube
So what did you think about the video? I think it is funny but then again, I've always enjoyed humor from across the pond. The point is, these two characters were talking in the same language but not really communicating, not well anyway.
Are you speaking the same language as your horse? Does he seem to understand you? Do you understand him? Are you in sync or just occupying each other's time with little communication? Are you hearing or actually listening to each other?
As Parelli students and practitioners (not we all know that our common language with our horse is the 7 games. If you've been studying, you know that the games are ways horses communicate with each other and that games 1-3 are principle games (a foundation of your language) whereas games 4-7 are purpose games (the language expanded for higher levels of communication). You also know that these games can be played using thousands of variations, while on the ground or mounted, and that your creativity is the only limitation (which is in-part why Pat released Parelli Patterns.)
To be certain I am communicating to you, and if you need a refresher, here are the seven games, listed and briefly explained:
Game #1 The Friendly Game
"This game proves to your horse you will not act like a predator, that you are friendly and can be trusted."
Game #2 The Porcupine Game
"This game is called "porcupine" as a reminder that the horse should not lean against a point of pressure but learn to move away from it."
Game #3 The Driving Game
"This game teaches the horse to respond to implied pressure, where you suggest to the horse to move and he moves without you touching him."
Game #4 The Yo-Yo Game
"The object is to get backward and forward movements equal and light."
Game #5 The Circling Game
"Do not confuse this with mindless lunging! The Circling Game develops a horse mentally, emotionally and physically. It teaches him to stay connected to you and get the tension out of the line between you while maintaining his gait and direction."
Game #6 The Sideways Game
"This is teaching the horse to go sideways equally as well to the right and left, with ease."
Game #7 The Squeeze Game
"Horses, by nature, are claustrophobic. They are afraid of any small or tight space. The Squeeze Game teaches your horse to become braver and calmer, to squeeze through narrow spots without concern."
To learn more, consider reading Pat Parelli's article, "Understanding the Language of Horses by Pat Parelli" (Courtesy of Natural Horse Magazine).
OK, so what language are you using? To know and understand the games and that they are your language does not mean you are "speaking" correctly and actually getting through. Technique is as important as knowledge. The tools are another issue--what are you using anyway? So, do you remember the 7 keys to success? Can you recite them? Here you go if you are having trouble:
Attitude, Knowledge, Tools, Technique, Time, Imagination, and Support
For an explanation of the 7 keys, consider reading this article, "The 7 keys explained," by Parelli Professional, Geneviève Benoit.
How is your technique? I cannot tell you how many times I've seen people doing things to their horses that drove me nuts! (Although to be fair, I've seen much more good than bad.) Anyhow, those doing bad, wrong, inaccurate, or otherwise incompetent things made me want to take their horses away from them and tell their horse that not all humans are this way. Now, I am far from perfect so please don't misunderstand me. I know I have plenty of room for improvement, tons to learn, don't we all? But, keep reading to learn why I have felt this way--I think you will agree.
Examples of human incompetence! (Why people should actually study and learn, then go practice instead of just using their horse as something for their own entertainment.) *Note some of this is Parelli people and other instances are that of others not on a natural path.
Case #1- Talking the Talk
Imagine this, you know that the person you are observing has been studying Parelli for at least a year (or claims they have) but still cannot recite the 7 games nor do they understand what the point of each one is. Are you kidding me? It is not rocket science folks! How can this be? I am baffled and speechless. (Well not speechless.)
Case #2- Walking the Walk
The definition of the Porcupine Game (game #2) is to use applied pressure, using the appropriate phases, to move your horse around, you are teaching them to move off of pressure rather than into pressure. I witnessed, on more than one occasion, a woman using her carrot stick like a stabbing implement in order to get her horse to move. The woman looked like a fool, the horse looked at her like she was nuts, and I was going out of my head about it! I even gave this person several lessons on proper technique (and was asked to do so). When I played with the horse, she moved around as asked, no trouble. This horse person has viewed this game being done on several videos by Pat, Linda, their students, etc., and still, stabbing at the horse! Good grief (to put it politely). I don't even want to discuss the other 6 games oye vey!
Case #3- Horses are Servants to Humans--What?
When I lived in Virginia, my husband and I were camp hosts on Flat-Top mountain for the National Forest. I cannot even count how many walking/gaited horses I saw with riders flopping around on their backs, huge bits for breaks, spurs, yelling and absolutely cruel and ridiculous behavior by their owners. Talk about needing the ASPCA! I mean what the heck is wrong with people, the horse is not a motor vehicle, it is a living creature and these poor horses, in my humble opinion (if it were ever really humble) is that they were being tortured for the enjoyment of their riders (knowingly or not). I have friends with walking/gaited horses and they are natural, one does PNH and the other Clinton Anderson, their horses are happy and willing partners.
Case #4-Fear, Fear, Fear = Failure
Fear is a genuine thing and I understand it. I had a terrible jumping accident prior to PNH and was told never ride again--and I gave up horses for several years (as per my Orthopedic Surgeon). Well, you can't take the horse out of a born horse nut! So, years later, I bought Fosse (a youngster--probably inappropriate at the time--all well). But, I sought out a better way to be with my horses looking for not only technique but a philosophy that adhered to my personal beliefs (thanks Pat Parelli) and worked through any fear issues (thanks Stephanie Burns and Linda Parelli). It took time and persistence, support, but I did it and so can you!
Please be brave, learn, get support, and enjoy your horses. You can do it and can be successful. You can play on the ground, ride, and even compete if you want to! You don't need to have a pasture ornament (unless that is what you want anyway). Contact me for help with fear!
For more on the comfort zone, see my blog post, "Move Your Comfort Zone Challenge," Monday, June 16, 2008.
Finally, tools--what the heck do you have on your horse and in your hand? Once again, my personal preference but, I prefer the genuine, Parelli items. That said, I wanted to make a natural halter into a costume class halter for a fun show and bought the supplies at a company (now seemingly closed), Natural Horse Supply to make my own fancy halter with beads, tassels, etc while still maintaining communication with my horse. It served the purpose very nicely (we won the blue). People have preferences but I've tried many knock-offs with friend's horses and did not like the stuff--it usually lacks true feel (if that makes sense). So, now, if I am playing with someone else's horse, I bring my genuine equipment, always.
I guess the post rambles quite a bit and I do apologize. My point is, if you are communicating with your horse, please be sure he understands you and that you have taken the time to improve your technique, are using the right tools, that you do your homework and know the language (terminology, purpose, psychology, etc). Be kind to yourself and your horse and you'll be happier for it (and so will they).
I was recently asked advice about feeding hay. There are so many choices and of course, it all also depends on your region. Here are some articles that may be helpful. We only use square bales and free feed feed timothy/orchard grass and use alfalfa as a treat.
The temperatures were in the high 40's Fahrenheit today and the sun was shining. I could not have asked for a nicer day. The snow is melting quickly and the robins were out.
I had a lovely consultation with new clients in the morning and met another new one later in the day. It is fun and rewarding meeting people and matching their needs with our services. With the variety we offer, sometimes an in-person initial consultation is the best path forward.
I then enjoyed undemanding time with all of the horses and worked with my Arabian Whiskey on being mentally aware, calm, and responsive (despite being away from the herd), trimmed his hooves, and groomed him while watching/listening to a Parelli DVD on safety. I really love Whiskey. As an extreme right-brained introvert, I have to use a lot of communication and regulated energy exchange to engage with him in a manner that he can be responsive to rather than catatonic or explosive. He is a very special and unique horse who takes patience and love.
I am now enjoying quiet time on the couch with the dogs. Later, a Beachbody workout and dinner. Rick is making a lovely quiche with our farm fresh eggs, with a side of roasted asparagus and salad.
Life on the farm is magical.
For those of you interested in checking out Beachbody, you can do so for FREE! You can sign up for a free account and I will be your assigned coach, no obligation to buy anything unless you choose to. This free sign-up option is a great way to just look around and assess the site and resources. There is a robust online community, goal tracker, online tips, recipes and more. CLICK HERE FOR A FREE ACCOUNT!
I have news! After years of thinking about it, I finally dove in two feet first and became a Beachbody Coach! My target audience is fellow horsewomen who have found themselves overweight and out of shape. However I am here to help everyone who may be interested! In the past and I have lost significant weight successfully. A few years ago I was at the top of my game but things happened and I fell apart I find myself needing to lose it all over again. It is a quite a frustrating situation but I am ready to take charge, again.I know that others have been in this situation. Therefore, I became a Beachbody Coach with the idea to help others. Weight loss and better health is a work and support is needed to be successful. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!
Whether it is a visit from the veterinarian, your farrier, a ride on the trailer, or any other important event in your horse's life, he or she needs to be physically, mentally, and emotionally ready. It is your job as your horse's person to help them prepare.
So what does this mean exactly? Believe it or not, every interaction you have with your horse will do one of two things. Teach them and help them be smarter, braver, and trust in your leadership or the opposite, they stop trusting you and become more fearful, have difficulty doing what is asked of them, and more. All of this is important because what happens on the ground translates to what happens at liberty which translates to the saddle, and eventually refinement in the saddle. Everything matters.
In order to teach your horse, you need to remember some key points:
Putting theory to practice. Is your horse ready for the farrier? What about being tangled in a fence? Here are some exercises to help with feet and legs--be creative:
More to come in future posts. Stay tuned -- and feel free to make requests.
Each FREE ticket is for one person and one dog to enter the obstacle and costume contests. Entrants also need a Winter Carnival button for entry (purchased separately). Buttons will be available on site for $2 each and at other carnival locations.
***PLEASE READ ALL FAQs AND LIABILITY RELEASE BELOW BEFORE ORDERING YOUR TICKET***
This event is a no experience required, fun event put together to celebrate the Tri-Town Winter Carnival. If you'd like to arrive early and warm up, you may do so. Please arrive no earlier than 12:30pm. After warm-up time, the event will begin promptly at 1:00pm. Each contestant will complete the course while being timed on how fast they can do the course with their canine companion. The fastest contestants in the small, medium, and large categories win a prize! The time limit for the course is 5 minutes. Be sure to bring treats for your dog as a reward for successful obstacles!
This contest will immediately follow the obstacle course competition. Contestants will have 15 minutes to get ready. Dress up your beloved canine in your favorite costume and parade around the arena. The judge's favorite will win a prize.
Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Participants under the age of 18 shoud be accompanied by an adult.
How many dogs may I bring to the event?
One ticket is for one person with one dog. People should only bring one dog per person. There will not be additional volunteers to handle extra dogs.
Are there requirements for my dog?
All owners must bring a copy of their dog's written proof of vaccination from the veterinarian indicating that the dog has a current rabies, distemper, and kennel cough vaccination. This document will be kept and filed at NHLF.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Please bring your ticket and Winter Carnival button to the event. We will have buttons available for purchase ($2) if you do not have one.
Is there anything else I should bring to the event?
Bring dog treats and a chair.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Michelle Young, Owner Natural Horse Lover Farm, LLC.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY -- BY REQUESTING A TICKET FOR THIS EVENT AND PARTICIPATING YOU AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING:
I understand that obstacle training (agility) is an activity that is held in the presence of other dogs and their owners/handlers. I also understand that the participation of my dog and myself in the event will require some physical activity on my part and on the part of my dog. I also understand that this activity will involve running among obstacles on my part, and running, jumping, and the use of obstacles such as tunnels, scaling planks and walls, teeter totters, jumps, tires, and other obstacles which could result in injury to me, to my dog, or to others. I agree, represent, and warrant:
1) That I am in good health and can perform the physical activities necessary.
2) That my dog is in good health and can perform the physical activities necessary.
3) That my dog and I are both in physical condition to participate in the sport of dog agility.
4) That I further represent that my dog is friendly and not a hazard to persons or other dogs. I agree to take any steps requested by my instructor, the class coordinator, or the training/event director if they feel that my dog is a hazard to persons or other dogs.
5) That I further agree to keep my dog under control at all times, to carefully watch him at all times when he is not confined to a crate or other similar device, and not to allow him to interfere with the participation of others in these activities.
6) That I understand that my dog and I are participating at my own risk, and that Natural Horse Lover Farm, LLC. cannot in any way assume any responsibility for the health or safety or myself or my dog(s).
7) That I will not hold Natural Horse Lover Farm, LLC, the Owner(s) of the training sites, the staff, or any other persons or entities associated with this event and business liable for any loss, injury, illness, expense or other incident or hardship that may arise in connection with my participation and/or my dog’s participation in the activity.
8) That I further agree to assume full responsibility and liability for any and all injury or damage caused in any way by my dog(s) or myself. That I further agree to reimburse any person for any damage that I or my dog does or cause to another person, dog, equipment, or personal or business property.
Okay, so not a beach on water but for us, our arena is like a beautiful beach. We enjoy this zen-filled space year round with our horses and dogs. It has lots of natural light and amazing, professional arena lighting for the evening hours. We maintain this chemical free, caustic free, dust free, masonry sand arena and just love it. So, our "beach" escape is here on the farm. We have all kinds of obstacles and puzzles too making it a creative space! Come visit Natural Horse Lover Farm and experience an entirely new kind of playtime on this beach fantasy. ❤️ We cater to the needs of horse lovers wanting to improve with their horses and horsemanship, people wanting horses to help them heal through horse therapy, and naturopathic healing methods for the mental, emotional , and physics healing of animals and people.
Farm Fresh, Live Mealworms - Grown on our farm in a small, closed environment, not from a large commercial producer. Great for feeding your chickens, wild birds, and even yourselves if you are brave enough (I'm not.) Size Medium/Large (0.75"-1.00"), 1 gram=8 mealworms.
250 (31.25 grams) $6.50
500 (64.5 grams) $12.00 (10% savings)
1000 (129 grams) $21.00 (20% savings)
Learn more on our website:
Here is a task challenge! If you don't know what to do, have little time, or are just feeling stuck, try a task challenge (we post them all of the time) as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.) Here are some fun ideas from the Parelli Level 3 Assessment (9/18/2007 version)
Send horse into a horse trailer at the trot or canter and bring back to you.
• Student at least 30 feet away.
• Little or no tension in the rope. The belly of the rope may be dragging.
• Horse enters trailer at the trot as minimum. If it breaks from canter to trot as it reaches the ramp or trailer door, this is acceptable.
• Horse stays in trailer until asked out.
Lead horse backwards by tail
• Tail only is used for this task (no additional ropes on hocks or halter).
• Horse shows no resistance, but it could be a little slow.
• Tapping horse or ground with Carrot Stick is acceptable.
Climb all over horse, rub his rump with your legs and feet, stand on his back.
• Student proves the horse is confident by not sneaking. Climbs around confidently.
• Horse stands still, relaxed.
• Student shows enough balance to be able to stand up.
Ride from a back up into a canter and back down to a back up three times: Canter Yo-Yo.
• Horse goes from back up directly into a canter, no walk or trot steps.
• Reins are in concentrated position throughout exercise.
• Transition to back up is smooth, one or two trot or walk steps permissible.
• Straight lines.
• Vertical flexion an advantage but not essential for a pass.
• Student focuses straight ahead.
*Tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.
Feeding your horse treats in moderation is okay but what is safe? Here is an excellent info-graphic to help you decide. (Posted by permission from Ride-Away Equestrian.)
We are booking appointments for holistic healing, naturopathic classes, equestrian lessons, workshops, and clinics for 2017 with discounted pricing! We have options addressing the needs of horses, pets, and people. Details are on our website.
Questions? Just ask!
Michelle Young is a horse lover, animal advocate, Reiki Master Teacher, holistic healer, Parelli Savvy Club Gold Member and Level 3 Student, academic library director, professor, and more. Contact Michelle.
This blog was created to share my life-long journey with horses and holistic health. I write about horsemanship, healthy, holistic living, and just about anything else that passes through my mind. Enjoy!
NHLF Blog Archives
To read all of our blog posts, be sure to visit our previous blog, Natural Horse Lover by Savvy Horse Girl (RSS feed below)
Any topics, teachings, services, or recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, ailment, injury, or the like. Anyone suffering from, or having a pet suffering from any issue should consult with a physician, veterinarian, naturopath, herbalist, or other health care professional. Any services here are offered are not a replacement for a veterinarian or other medical care. Please always seek medical attention or veterinary attention whenever deemed necessary and appropriate.