Monday, January 24, 2011


I went to a Parelli clinic tonight. I'm not going to turn into a Parelli zealot or anything like that, but I am always looking for ways to improve my relationship (or lack there of) with Denali. It was a new experience for me. For one, I was the only person there without a horse. I watched the trainer, Michael something or another working with two horses and their owners (that's the part I liked, the owner did the work.) It was way above my head and I was clueless as to what they were doing or why. They were on level 4 or something like that. I can't even get to Level 4 in Mario Brothers, not sure how you do it with horses.

During a break he came up to talk to me. I gave him a brief run-down of Denali and what we've been through. It's always fun for me to watch their expression. I don't know if most people would believe our story, but hell, that's what makes us fun. I explained to him that I want her to know that she can trust me and that for two years I've given her mixed signals that she can't. I don't want to be the reason my horse is messed up.

He asked one of the ladies to borrow her horse and he quickly showed me the 7 games. There are a few I think Denali knows, and then a few that I'm going to try with her. He was very nice and gave me a CD to watch along with his card.

We'll see. I think in the end I will come up with my own form of training from taking in everything I'm learning. We'll call it Denalism and it will require special treats.

I would also like to announce that regardless of anything I do in life I EXCEL at procrastination!! EXCEL!


Lisa said...

I think that your attitude to training is perfect. I'm very skeptical of a person who only subscribes to one training 'style' and doesn't take in anything from any other 'style'. Getting out there and seeing a bajillion trainers and ther techniques then taking what you like from each of them and applying it to your situation in a flexible manner is the only 'right' way to train.. What ever is 'right' for you and your horse. Hope all goes well in your next training session!

Barbara said...

It was a very long road for Nina to begin to trust me. She had no use for people. I could be a treat dispenser all day long and it didn't change anything. Being very very very (did I say, 'very') consistent is what worked. And tiny baby steps toward ground manners and then riding manners. Horses are very consistent with each other, they understand boundaries and rules that don't change day to day. Of course treats don't hurt, especially Denali treats. Be fair (another concept that horses seem to understand) and it will work out.

wendyu said...

I've never been a huge fan of "Parelli." It's simply natural horsemanship and a method to teach people to communicate your wants/wishes better to your horse. What I really don't like about Parelli is the marketing of the method. That I MUST use Parelli because it's the only way blah blah blah... The good thing about Parelli is that it helps large numbers of horse owners learn to better communicate with their animal. So in that respect it does a lot of good for the horses. I commend you on checking it out and I think you have the right idea to keeping an open mind and seeing what you can pick out and use with your own horse. There can never be one simple recipe to horse training.

spotteddrafter said...

I snorted at "I can't get to level 4 of Mario" as my 6yo son and I have been challenging each other at MarioKarts the past couple of days. lol!

I'm so glad to see Denali doing so well! What a complete turnaround, I'm so completely amazed.

I think you're definitely onto something with her busting through that stall like that, and having something to do with her neck. That would be enough to hurt any horse, but perhaps she already had prior issues in there?

Good luck!

Sarah said...

I like Denalism! Hell, the Parellis are rich, and so is Anderson, Cox and the rest of them. Why shouldn't you cash in? :)

Seriously though, I always think that if someone that was really good at marketing (and obviously had a method that worked) a training program geared at OTTBs, they would be rich rich rich and it would help so many OTTBs get adopted.

Then again, there are downsides when anything gets too big...there's your rambling comment for the morning:)

Dom said...

I saw Parelli in person, and while I am fearful of his diehard followers, I learned a lot, and do use the basics in my training. Ozzy and I played in his rope halter last night, doing roll backs and gait changes. It was a lot of fun :)

achieve1dream said...

Oh no! Not another procrastinator!! I am too and it makes it very difficult to get anything productive done lol. I like the idea of learning about a bunch of different training methods and mashing them all together instead of following only one like it's a cult or something. You have to be open minded and willing to experiment to find out what's right for you, your horse and your circumstances. I can't wait to hear more about Denalism. :) You could become a famous clinician and make lots of money lol!

TBA said...

I must say that I like Parelli methods for the most part, although I'm not much of a fan of Pat Parelli himself. The seven games are basically just common sense activities to teach your horse to listen to and respect you. My gelding really benefitted from the training as he is super sensitive and he tries to please you so much! The main thing to remember when using Parelli methods is feel. That's what a lot of the fanatical followers don't get which is what makes them so crazy, lol. Try to read your horse and reward her for the littlest efforts, but don't let her get away with bad things. Have fun :) Oh and just because Parelli says you must have their tools, don't listen! I am at level 2 and I don't own a Parelli carrot stick or halter - just nice quality, cheap versions of the same thing!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

As you know, I dont drink the Pat Parelli koolaide but I am a big fan of having methods to use and see how they work to build the bond w/ me and Laz. Everything in moderation.
I agree w/ Sarah-someone should market a training method for OTTB's! :) Perhaps US all! lol!