Posted: Thursday 12 August, 2004

by Rosemary at 8:18pm in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

Smokey and I have begun a journey together. We have started to learn to communicate using natural horsemanship. Parelli Natural Horsemanship or PNH. If it all sounds a bit weird and touchy feely, believe me it's not.

Some folk at the yard had a session with a horse whisperer recently. Now that, to me, is pure mumbo jumbo and shouldn't be linked with PNH. The horse whisperer told one of the owners that her horse liked being owned by her because "she bought her comfy boots". What a load of piffle.

My view is that many of the problems we horse owners experience are caused by us treating our horses like humans. They aren't human and they can't communicate on a human level. What PNH tries to do is help us understand the language that horses use and to use it to work better with our horses.

Two friends and I went to Wyoming a few years ago for a working holiday on a cattle ranch. The wranglers were brilliant horsemen and treated their horses with respect and affection. But they didn't expect them to behave like humans and they didn't treat them as pets.

Anyway, i'm in no way setting myself up as an expert. I saw a Parelli demonstration a couple of years ago, just after I bought Smokey and was quite interested. It's been on the back burner - I've read the books and watched the videos but never really got started on the programme.

However, for my birthday, Dan bought me a one day course with an Australian instructor called Kaye Thomas. It was brilliant but really hard work. There were five people on the course. Smokey and I were the least experienced but we made reasonable progress. Since we came back, we've been working away on the seven games. Already, he's becoming more responsive. Smokey's not the most sensitive of horses - he's quite laid back and very strong willed. A trait in natives and particularly Highland ponies.

If you're interested, have a look on the Parelli website I'll keep you posted of developments.



Thursday 26 August, 2004 at 8:19pm

I like the "horse whisperer", however, like all things comercial it has now been taken to extremes and is giving itself a bad name. who remembers Barbara Woodhouse and her training tips!! Marvellous woman! Mad, arent we all!

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