Pat Parelli developed a skeleton of communication that goes beyond the traditional yields and coupled them with love, language, and leadership principles. The Parelli Natural Horsemanship program works for any horse, any breed, any discipline. It works because it is NOT about the sport; it is about understanding and relating to the horse's point of view. Humans think very differently from horses, which seems obvious. Still, we try to rationalize the mistakes, bad behavior, and opposition with intellect when most of these issues are rooted in the simple emotion of fight or flight. This combination of human intelligence and rationalizing with the horse's instinctual and emotional nature can be like oil and water if you're not equipped with the right tools.
Walk a mile in your horses horseshoes is what Troy Henry and Tom Dorrance tried to get me to understand!
Showing a horse who is boss was an easy concept for me to grasp as a young man. I loved horses and I loved the notion of being a good enough cowboy to make horses do what I wanted whether it was halter breaking a young horse, riding them for the first time , getting them to stop or turn quickly, rope a cow, or any other ranch duties. I found out quickly that if I stayed focused and worked really hard I could out-fumble most any horse, this is what I now call ” Young Man’s Disease.” You may have heard me use that term a lot lately and my intention is to help other young men realize that they don’t have to go through that process like I did.
It is true, to be really good with young horses one should be as confident as a lion tamer, as good a rider as a rodeo hand, as strategic as a CEO of a corporation, as mentally aware as a psychoanalyst, but one should lead with compassion, skills and TRUE HORSEMANSHIP KNOWLEDGE!
"I found myself with a lot of ambition but no patience or principles. I also found out once I got to the show that the trainers showed their real colors in the warm up arena, this is were I found out that birds of a feather flock together. I soon started calling the warm up arena the torture pit and I was in there doing the same things."
Principles purpose and time are the tools of teaching. In other words, if the horse understands the purpose he will understand the meaning and will start putting his own thoughts and exuberance into the equation. The same applies to cows and humans!