physically responds, but soon you learn to
release when the horse mentally, emotionally
and physically responds.
Your release can be minimal or
how do you know your
timing is good, or even
The quality of response
increases, and the horse learns
quickly with a minimum of
You release after the
horse has tried to respond; a
second or two is way too late.
Release needs to be instant.
You release before
the horse tries something.
The horse never finds
When Pat says, "It's the release
that teaches," this means that
when you release is critical.
how do you know if your timing was
The quality of the response decreases. It
takes longer to teach something, and the horse
progressively feels more dull or heavy.
how do we release? let me count the
"Release" basically means you remove the
advancing pressure, but there are different ways
to do that.
Micro-release: a momentary relaxation
or reduction of the pressure. This could mean
taking your leg pressure
down a notch or opening
your little fingers slightly
on the reins for a moment
before reapplying pressure.
N e u t r a l :
maintaining Phase 1 to let
the horse know heneeds to
complete release of the
reins or cessation of all
leg and seat pressure for
several seconds or more.
Ways to improve
Improving your "feel"
is actually what improves
your timing. And the way to improve your feel
is to slow way, way down. Go slower than slow.
Going slowly increases your sensitivity. Not only
that, but your feel becomes much more polite
and well received by the horse. For example,
light, quick hands on the reins are actually more
disturbing for the horse than firm pressure applied
very slowly. The difference is that your horse can
mentally tune in to what is happening; it gives him
time to think and interpret your message.
Better feel and timing improve the quality
of response and speed of learning
When teaching horses, pressure motivates
and release teaches. Remember this as you
teach your horse anything you want him to do. As
you learn to do this appropriately and exquisitely,
start to notice how much more quickly your horse
learns and how confidently and calmly he begins
to respond. Even better, you and your horse will
start to perform with a whole new level of grace
and harmony at which your "aids" are virtually
imperceptible. And that will be because you and
your horse are feeling of each other and for each
other so you can feel together.
Improving your "feel" is
actually what improves
your timing. And the way to
improve your feel is to slow
way, way down.
Pat Parelli, coiner of the term
"natural horsemanship", founded his program
based on a foundation of love, language and
leadership. Parelli Natural Horsemanship allows
horse owners at all levels of experience to
achieve success with their at-home educational
program. Together with his wife Linda, Pat has
spread PNH across the globe with campuses in
the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
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