The Savvy Station

Principle #3

par Parelli Professionals sur Apr 10, 2024

Principle #3

Communication is two or more individuals sharing and understanding an idea. This is way more than just talking. I remember back in about 1977, being under the tutelage of Mr. Troy Henry, who educated me about voice cues. He said, “You’ve got to be careful because a lot of people want to talk to a horse like he's a child or a human.”

How true it is. I hear many people saying things like, “Easy boy,” “Good boy,” or “Oh, that's good.” Using praise and recognition like training a dog, child, or another human. I quickly realized that real horsemen know how horses feel, think, act and play. However, learning to communicate with a horse is often hard for humans.

Why? Because horses are prey animals and we're predators and primates. We're monkey-see, monkey-do learners. We watch other people doing things with horses that are natural for humans but not for horses. And just one more “P” word to throw in there. Humans are pedestrians, and a horse is Equus. The horse has a long body. A pedestrian has a tall body. We have to learn something called long-body logic. We want to learn to share an idea and have the horse understand it through our body language. That’s communicating effectively.

What we need to be able to do as we learn to communicate with horses is first to realize that horsemanship is way more than riding. It's way more than even guiding. It's the whole relationship of the horse understanding us on the ground, whether he has a halter on or not. And then after that, having the horse understand us in the saddle, whether we have contact with the bit or not. It’s an interesting partnership dynamic in that what’s easy for horses is usually hard for humans.

My job is to help regular people get extraordinary results by learning how horses feel, think, act, and play. And I try to do all I can to share these concepts, but it's still hard for humans. This is not easy for most people, just like it’s not easy for me to learn how to use a computer.

But horses are nature in its finest form. First, we need to understand that a horse has a long body divided into five zones. The head is zone one, the neck is zone two, where we sit when we ride is zone three, the hips are zone four, and the tail is zone five. If we can learn to influence each one of these zones, whether we're on the ground or in the saddle, then this will be where true communication begins.

And you will know when your communication is starting to work when you can start timing the release, which is the reward for the horse, to your horse’s thoughts. So, keep practicing because prior and proper preparation prevents “P” poor performance, and the promise that I plan to prove is that practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make permanent, and only perfect practice makes perfect. Keep practicing your communication so that your horse will perceive you as a partner, not as a predator, as you use the Parelli Seven Games to build a relationship based on love, language, and leadership.

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