THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN’T DO WHEN YOUR HORSE BECOMES A PART OF YOU!

TRANSFORM YOUR HORSE WITH NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP

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The Savvy Station

What in the world is a pasture potato? Well, I see them all over the world. Driving down the road, I’ll look over to my side, and—behold—I spot one or two horses just standing in the pasture. From human standards, the pasture looks big. But from horse standards, that same pasture is minuscule compared to what's in their heart—what’s in their DNA—which is to be out in the wild, running and roaming free.
  • 4 min read

“Foundation Before Specialization” is a very interesting catch phrase that reminds us that our horses may have a very difficult time trying to do something specific if they have not yet learned the value of following simple requests. 

Imagine being asked to dance a ballroom dance before you’ve even learned which foot is your left foot and which is your right foot.  Or perhaps being asked to construct a box before you know what tools will be needed. 

What is the difference between playing and training? Well, to me, if I go back to the first weekend of March 1982, I was putting on my first seminar. My opening statement was: “Horsemanship can be obtained naturally through communication, understanding, and psychology versus mechanics, fear, and intimidation."

The Parelli Program has become the world's largest train-your-horse-at-home, web-based program with over 200,000 students. Parelli students apply the principles of communication, understanding, and psychology versus mechanics, fear, and intimidation. If I look at the “traditional” training tactics, and see where they get overdone, I can easily see how it’s perceived by the horse as torture. On the other hand, the word “play” indicates a joyful experience that creates behavior that is positive and highly functional.

  • 4 min read
In 1990, I wrote a book for Western Horseman entitled Natural Horse-Man-Ship, which outlined the Six Keys of Success. The Six Keys were simple: Attitude, Knowledge, Tools, Techniques, Time, and Imagination. These Six Keys still exist (and at the end of the article, I will tell you about the seventh that I discovered after I wrote the book).
  • 4 min read

What is the difference between natural and normal horsemanship?

Firstly, I’d like to start with synonyms of the word “normal”: conventional, common, average, or accepted. All of these words can certainly lead us to the heights of mediocrity, but not far beyond.

Now, let us look at the synonyms of “natural”: there are no known synonyms. But, according to Merriam-Webster, Inc., “natural applies to what conforms to a things essential nature, function, or mode of being.”  The reason Pat Parelli coined the term Natural Horsemanship was because it is natural to horses and their way of learning and being. Using these methods, we can influence horses’ behavior in the way that we want them to behave by using the laws of nature.

  • 3 min read

There are only two kinds of people in the whole wide world: Horse-Lovers and… the other kind.

However, there are seven different types of horse-lovers, and they are start with ‘N’. There are Naturals, Normals, Nuts, Nuisances, Nerds, Nervous—and finally—the Negative Knockers.

We all have our own personalities based on four things: innate characteristics, environmental influences, learned behavior, and spirit. Winston Churchill rightfully said, “There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

  • 5 min read

Every little cowboy wants to wear a pair of spurs. . .

In my opinion, spurs are one of the most misunderstood and misused pieces of real horsemanship equipment. Why do I say that? Because spurs are not really designed to make horses go faster: their real use is to go sideways and up and down.

If used artfully, spurs can help you obtain a higher level of communication with your horse. To do so, we need to develop the philosophy, concept, and skills needed.

  • 3 min read
So, what is the difference between and English and Western riding foundations with horses? Well, I have been saying for the last four decades that the only real difference between English and Western riding done naturally is the same difference between a fiddle and a violin. In other words, horsemanship is a foundation based on psychology. It’s based on more scope than depth—more lateral thinking and less linear thinking. Regardless of whether we have a horse that is bred to be English or Western, we give them the same foundation. The Seven Games in the Four Savvys to Level Four is a great start for a horse.
Spooking is a common occurrence among horses because they are prey animals wired to flee from danger. But the mere thought of being on or around your horse when it happens can be scary for us, too. Find out how you can help your horse manage a spook using equine psychology and leadership, as well as how to handle your own emotions through the things that often trigger your horse.
  • 4 min read
As a horse enthusiast, you probably care a lot about how your horse feels about you. If you’ve been wondering whether you can tell if your horse is connected, you can! And if you don’t think that your horse is connected to you yet, don’t fret. Horses are relationally dynamic animals, and we will share what you can do to start building your connection today.
  • 3 min read

Horse lunging is simply the practice of moving your horse around you in a circle at a walk, trot, or canter. Typically, it is used to burn off excess energy before riding your horse or to do some structured exercise between riding sessions. Horse trainers will also use it to develop a horse’s balance at different gaits or to teach new riders who aren’t ready to go out on their own in the arena yet. 


But there are so many more benefits, particularly if you don’t limit your horse to just running around in circles, but instead use the Circling Game. The Circling Game is one of the Seven Games used to build a partnership with your horse and is the best way to develop mutual responsibilities of the partnership. Contrary to the potentially mindless work of lunging, this game stimulates your horse mentally, emotionally, and physically and teaches him to stay connected to you. It keeps a softness in the line between you and your horse, and develops your horse’s lateral muscles while establishing your leadership dynamic.

  • 5 min read

Parelli Natural Horsemanship is celebrating 40 years of teaching the Parelli Method with a live, three-day event at the new state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center in Ocala, FL on March 4 – 6, 2022.

Most lifelong horse enthusiasts cannot remember a time when Natural Horsemanship didn’t exist. The simple systems of equine partnership helped shape the way that equestrians approach their relationship with their horse in every riding discipline imaginable. This year marks 40 years since the father of Natural Horsemanship, Pat Parelli, gave his very first clinic.

  • 4 min read

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