Parelli 7 Games with an Iberian horse named Brego
Brego is my soul mate, he found me and I helped him recover from abuse, malnutrition and injuries from a car accident. Read more about him in Our Horses pages. This is Brego today, 2 years after he came to us.
It has been so busy over the Christmas season at the hotel and festivities that we haven't had much time together. So today we had a big bath, I am sure I get more wet than he does!
To check out his mood today we played a few Parelli Games. A little rusty and he tried to avoid me at first. I never pressured him. With Brego its all about asking and taking your time, then he will give you the world! If you try to pressure too fast, you are in for trouble and the battle begins. He was used to a lot of force and brutality and at many times he felt his life depended on his fighting back. With time and patience I have earned his trust and he doesn't give it easily. Still to this day there are few people he will let ride him, if any at all, except me. He has thrown them off, bitten them and kicked them, if felt threatened in anyway.
But if he feels secure and knows that you honour and respect him, he too will respect you. He is very proud, big and powerful. He has never tried to hurt me in anyway. This amazes me, to see how truly forgiving the horse is to humans, when they have been so abused by them.
We started with a little Friendly Game, Brego wanted to play with the carrot stick first!
After checking to see if he was okay with being touched all over with the carrot stick, we moved on to the Porcupine Game.
With the carrot stick I applied light pressure on his hind quarters and asked him to move over. Hair,skin, muscle,bone! At skin he was moving, gooood boy!
Here I prepared him to move his forequarters over, (a turn on the haunches) by asking him with the lead to back up a little, just a touch, this throws his weight to his hindquarters and makes it easier for him to move his forefeet over.
As you can see here.
A little relax time, to take a breath and absorb what we've done...
Now I ask him to lower his head by gently putting pressure on the lead in a downwards motion.
A little more, and his muzzle is touching the ground. He is soooo good and I so happy.
Now for a little back up. With the carrot stick I apply light pressure on his chest, (remember, hair,skin,muscle,bone!) and give him the hard focused look, you can't see my face ,but I have the scary evil look! You can see Brego is petrified of me, LOL! In the photo it looks like he doesn't have much room to back up in, but its misleading as there actually was. You want to be careful of this when you are starting with the backing up, you have to give your horse lots of space behind for him to have somewhere to go to, otherwise he is going to feel trapped, which makes him insecure which will then either make him nervous or defensive. Give your horse lots of space to back up.
Brego really wants to play with the stick, he is mouthy and loves to have things in his mouth ,just to feel them, lick them and then throw them out, even stones, he will play with them like marbles in his mouth. Funny dude.
"Okay, I'll back up some more, if you really want."
"Alright, that's enough for today, what about that walk you promised me and some nice grass to graze on, remember?" I do, and so to finish our games we'll take a late afternoon walk down the road.
and get some of that Promised Grass!
Back home as the sunsets starts to set...
Terry, Kindred Spirits, Cahuita, CR