The Four Savvys

Pat Parelli has identified four “ways” of playing with horses, four areas in which a horse and human can learn from one another. He dubbed these areas “the Four Savvys.” Together they form the blueprint for you as a horseman, and for the Parelli Program as a whole.

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ON LINE

For hundreds of thousands of students, On Line (playing on the ground with ropes of varying lengths) has proven to be the most successful entry point into the Savvys.

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LIBERTY
To quote Pat Parelli, “when you take off the halter and lead rope, you’re left with one thing: the truth.” That’s what Liberty is all about: developing a true partnership with your horse on the ground, with no strings (or lead ropes) attached.

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FREESTYLE

FreeStyle (riding on a loose rein) introduces the fundamentals of riding and sets the stage for everything from trail riding to performance sports and beyond. Simply put, riding begins with FreeStyle.

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FINESSE

Finesse is about riding with contact, precision, and vertical flexion. With Finesse, you learn how to truly become excellent as a rider. The skills you develop with Finesse directly translate to any advanced riding you do beyond the Parelli Program.

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Linda Parelli on the Four Savvys

When I go to play with my horse, sometimes I only play on the ground – mostly at Liberty these days, unless I take him jumping logs and moving out in the playground, but mostly I ride. So I’m playing in two or three Savvys sometimes. It makes it more interesting, and I tend to get more creative and thoughtful about what I’m doing and where I’m going with my horse as we advance. And now that I’m studying the art of riding with precision with dressage master Walter Zettl, I find it more important than ever to keep a balance in the Four Savvys, rather than becoming overly focused on Finesse.

Many times, people will want to start at the top with the most challenging things, but that doesn’t always lead to putting the horse first. I think Pat has organized the Savvys in such a way that it encourages people to get the fundamentals down first. Once you’ve got a solid foundation, you start making incredible progress, and that’s when the real fun begins! If you want to become a horseman, that’s the way to do it!