Every day I work the Parelli program and watch a video, I learn something new. I will not call it life changing, but it is horse changing. I know, I know, it is cult like in people's passion for it. I get that, but if it makes me better with my horses, than what does that matter? Here is my story for yesterday:
Pam gave me some barrels she had laying around her place and we had bought a 3" 8 foot fence post when making fencing choices, so I decided to use that as a rail to practice along with my other obstacles. I was struggling to get Precious to yo-yo over it. For those not familiar with Parelli, the Yo-Yo game is the 4th game which basically asks a horse to come forward and go backwards off of your line with you standing in the same place. It has many excellent purposes including teaching your horse NOT to run out of his/her stall. Very effective for horses like Precious.
Rather than forcing her to go forward and backward (my way), I started thinking about how I could make it easier for her to be successful and not so scared. So I took the pole and put one end against the wall. OK, first step solved, but she kept going around the end, so I put a barrel against the end of the pole (long ways).
After playing the squeeze game (#7), which is asking the horse to go through a small space, turning them and asking them to face the small space, over the pole, I was able to get a couple of feet over it and lots of back and forth. Precious eventually offered to go sideways, so I accepted and shortly thereafter, she sidepassed over the barrel.
Six months ago I could have gotten Precious to do the same thing, but we both would have been tired, frustrated and upset. Instead, I was elated, happy, she was calm and relaxed and she let me give her a big hug and happily accepted a carrot. Parelli doesn't change your horse, it changes you. How can you argue with that?