The Seven Games

07Jan13

My trainer teaches natural horsemanship which is a concept developed by Pat Parelli. The premise is to think like the horse so you know how to calm his fears and make him feel confident. It’s built on relationship, understanding, communication and trust.

When my trainer comes here, we’ve been starting with groundwork (training from the ground, not on the horse). Summit’s personality is that of a pack leader, so it’s only natural that he wants to lead. He can be a bit pushy sometimes, so we’ve had to teach him to follow our lead, keep his distance and mind his manners. Someone has let him get away with it his whole life.

He has picked up quickly on games 1, 2, and 4. Tomorrow we will do 3, The Driving Game.

  1. The Friendly Game – approaching, retreating, and desensitization in a friendly, relaxed manner. Teaching the horse to respond to touch, noises, and other distractions.
  2. The Porcupine Game – teaching the horse to move away from points of pressure
  3. The Driving Game – teaching the horse to respond to implied pressure
  4. The Yo-Yo Game – teaching the horse by sending him backwards, away from you, and bringing him forwards, towards you.
  5. The Circling Game – getting the horse to circle without moving your feet
  6. The Sideways Game – teaching the horse to go sideways equally right and left
  7. The Squeeze Game – teaching the horse to squeeze through narrow spaces while being brave and calm

I am encouraged. We have gotten Summit to back up into his stall and into his wash room (which steps up). This took some encouragement and repeating (The Yo-Yo Exercise) a few times. It’s amazing how quickly he picks up on the exercises. He didn’t know how to backup until we taught him.

It’s so cute how he chews and licks his lips. He actually ponders on what he’s just accomplished.

I am excited to see how he does tomorrow. His lesson will be, “The Driving Game”.

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2 Responses to “The Seven Games”

  1. 1 lavi

    Cute good boy

  2. 2 Carol

    You have a way, Michelle, to always do the right thing, you are so cool!


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