Petra's Parelli World - Follow my Journey as a Parelli Professional Instructor

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yeah, but... Spots... How to improve your friendly game!

With the weather being wet and cold, playing friendly is something we can do even in the worst type of weather...

So, has your horse told you about "yeah, but..." spots? "Yeah, you can touch me here but NOT there!" or "Yeah, you can touch me there, but no, not really..." or the famous " Yeah, I stand still, but I HATE it when you touch me there!"...

We find those spots when we do friendly game with the goal of true acceptance not just tolerance. With my Morgan JB it was mostly his face. For the longest time he would move his head away when I tried to rub him. Putting my relationship with my horse first, I did not force the issue. He clearly told me that he wasn't ready to feel ok being touched on his forehead. After some investigating, I found out that JB enjoyed me rubbing his chin (with the backside of my hand in the beginning), it was a compromise... Now that our relationship progressed, I can touch his face, rub his forehead, and he will show me by lowering his head that he's ok with it.

So, where are your horse's "yeah, but.." spots...? By finding and eliminating these areas we solidify our friendly game and take it to the next level. Acceptance is our key! Watch out for tenseness in your horse's facial expression, in his neck, and tail. Look for a wrinkled nose and mouth that will tell you, "I really hate it when you touch me there!" As long as we overlook those, we are blowing through our horse's thresholds and that will impact our relationship negatively.

Even if the weather is bad, this is something you can do with limited time on hand. Look out for areas that your horse is not ok with being touched. Your horse might even stand still, tolerating, but not accepting. Use approach and retreat to build your friendly game in those areas. Value your horse's feedback and feelings, and he will thank you with a better attitude.

Let me know how your relationship with your horse is coming along, I'd love to hear from you!

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