If you’ve heard of natural horsemanship, then you’re probably familiar with Pat Parelli. He created the seven games within his program to help owners establish effective communication with their horses. You can develop a strong bond both in and out of the saddle by learning your horse’s language. Each game is different, but maintains the same overall purpose.
The Friendly Game
This first game starts your relationship with your horse by building trust. It is excellent for those with nervous or fearful horses. Throughout the games, this one can be played in-between to keep your horse relaxed.
The Porcupine Game
The next game is about getting your horse to yield to and from steady pressure. This includes when leading and backing a horse on the ground, but also in the saddle with your rein and leg cues.
The Driving Game
In this game, your horse will yield from pressure without you actually touching him. You will enter his personal space.
The Yo-Yo Game
If you want straightness, than this is your game. Your horse will engage his hindquarters and become lighter, quicker, and straighter through the use of backward and forward movement.
The Circling Game
This game teaches and tests your horse’s respect and ability to listen to you without being reminded. The horse is sent out on a circle and then asked to return to you. He must continue around the circle until asked to stop.
The Sideways Game
Teach your horse to move sideways with this game. The sideways game can develop skills that can be used for opening gates, mounting in the trails, lead changes, among other things.
The Squeeze Game
Help your horse overcome his fears of tight and small spaces. Whether for the trailer, wash stall, or a narrow walkway, your horse will feel more confident in these uncomfortable situations.
All owners and their horses can stand to gain from these seven Parelli games. They are designed to be played in order. Now that you know what they are all about, stay tuned to find out how to play them!