1. Friendly Game
The Friendly Game is the first of the Seven Games because nothing beats a good first impression. When you want to meet someone, how would you first approach him? I like to think about introducing myself to a horse as positively as I would to another person.
I start by rubbing the horse in a pleasurable way wherever he will allow me. I begin with these areas and gradually move to the ones he feels more defensive about. When the horse is no longer defensive, he is telling me that he trusts his body in my hands. From there, I increase the stimulus to see how much the horse can stand. I swing ropes. I skip around. I jump up and down. I stagger around until the horse gets desensitized. All the while I have a smile on my face and a non-threatening, relaxed body language. I persist through the process until the horse becomes confident and relaxed. To leave the horse feeling scared is just not fair.
(NOTE: The Friendly Game can also refer to using the method of approach and retreat.)
Click here to watch a video of Pat Parelli demonstrating how he works with a new horse.
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