On Line Patterns: Not Your Average Exercise Program
A Priceless Blueprint
Chris Ward, Nottinghamshire
I understood the concept of the new Parelli Patterns when they were outlined at the conference in August. What I didn’t realize was how much of an asset they would turn out to be. I have just taken on a young horse. She has, fortunately, had a beginning using the Parelli method. When Bea had been with me for only a matter of weeks I noticed a worrying habit beginning to develop. At times she would head shake—more of a twitch, really. Just to be sure it wasn’t any- thing physical, I had the usual checks done, and all came back clear. I had the feeling that she had been pushed too far too soon. When we played she would go introverted before my eyes, almost catatonic, but not quite. Having put the head shaking down to stress, I began to formulate a plan to deal with it. I realized that Bea is a Right-Brain Introvert. With that in mind, I knew that the twitch could be her safe place, the place she goes when it all becomes too much.
I had to create a place of safety that would replace that behavior. The ideal scenario will be that she sees me as her place of safety ... but how to accomplish that? I am using Patterns, not only the Touch It on different obstacles, but a few of my own. I would say that the use of a pattern—not only the ones that Pat shows us, but any pattern— builds confidence in the horse and therefore the horse’s confidence in you. Pat has given me a blueprint, a map. That is, for me and for Bea, who is just starting out, priceless.
I Was Stuck in Level 2
Bianca Boluda de Vlas, Madrid, Spain
Oh, my gosh, the Patterns! I remember asking Pat at the NEC this August, “I already have the Level 1, 2 and 3 packs, Success Series and Liberty and Horse Behavior. Do you think I should get the Patterns DVDs?” He said, “Yes, I think you should.” So I bought them that same day. Boy, was he right! Once again you have pinned it down. This is a great way to see where the holes in the communication with my horse are, since I don’t have easy access to instructors. I find it a great help to get through the final part of Level 2. I felt I was kind of stuck there, and the Patterns are very helpful. They rapidly and very clearly showed me on which areas I have to work more. Thank you once again for the new, marvelous info on this set of DVDs.
Something to Focus On
Debi Peterson, California
I have had the Patterns for about a month and have been playing every day. Since I started to play with my horse seven months ago, she is making major changes in her emotions. She was a Right-Brain Introvert when we began. Now she seems Left-Brain Introvert most of the time. She still has her moments of unconfidence, but they are becoming less and less frequent. We are able to expand out of our comfort zones more easily together, and if things fall apart, we regroup and try again. The Patterns really give me something to focus on and a guide to advancing. My skills are improving also; my handling of the 22-foot Line and the Carrot Stick is getting better and better. I am finding that being outside the arena in the field with more room is doing wonders for the both of us. I am having more fun and getting results!
My Horse Doesn’t Even Want to Graze Now
Valerie Creveling, Texas
My horse and I had officially passed Level 1 and were nearly through Level 2 when I purchased the Patterns at the Ft. Worth tour stop. I decided to start at the beginning of the On Line tasks and see if we had any “holes.” I have discovered that by starting with the Level 1 tasks, we were able to solidify tasks that we could sort-of do before, and now the Level 2 and 3 tasks are becoming really easy. The biggest change has been in how much I enjoy playing with my horse. Before the Patterns I tended to look for an excuse to stay in the house. I was bored doing the same things over and over with sometimes limited success. My horse is a Left-Brain Introvert and would try to graze his way through a session as though I didn’t exist.
Obviously, neither of us was really having fun. Now I can’t wait to play, and though I still use a lot of treats as rewards, my horse doesn’t even want to graze. On Line, instead of pushing my horse to weave barrels or do what- ever the task at hand is, I just suggest that he might try, and he is actually enthusiastic! When we are through with the Patterns we are playing with, and I take off his halter, he stays with me and we play at Liberty. My horse, that could barely complete a task at a walk and didn’t want to even try a trot, is now cantering with me at Liberty. Thanks for making this available to everyone.
Finally I’m Provocative Enough!
Joy Bolt, Tennessee
Finally, with the Patterns, my Left-Brain Extrovert Haflinger finds me provocative enough, fun enough, interesting enough to pay me 100% of his attention during our On Line sessions! The best ta-da moment came at the National Drive at Kentucky Horse Park last week, when I took him to be weighed on the portable scale. We walked up with him in halter and lead, and he put his nose on the scale, stepped on with both front feet, stood a second or two while it moved under him, stepped up with both rear feet, stood quietly for the tech to read his weight, and stepped off. He was 998 pounds of calm and happy Parelli-fied Haflinger on a loose line. I was so proud of him!
No More Micromanagement
Paige Kochan, Oregon
I have been doing the Patterns On Line with my twelve-year-old Quarter horse gelding. The biggest change I have noticed in my relationship with him since starting is that I tend not to micromanage him as I used to. I give him the task he is responsible for and leave him alone. My horse seems to be much happier and having fun, and I am, too. I also find myself doing more preparation for Liberty while On Line now. The Patterns have given me a focus, and now I am getting lots of quality time with my horse.
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