"Inside every wild horse is a gentle
horse. And inside every gentle or
domesticated horse is a wild horse. Never,
ever, forget this. You can't change millions
of years of nature's programming. You can't
force a horse to like you, you have to
convince him that you are his friend, his
leader, and a part of his herd, even though
you look like a predator." Pat
understand the psychology of the horse
you need to understand his perspective
on survival. Almost every reaction is
based on this need to survive. ..there
are only four things that are
important to horses: 1. safety, 2.
comfort, 3. play, and 4. food.
Once a horse
knows he is safe, he will put effort
into staying comfortable. If he feels
both safe and comfortable, then he
will play. Horses are extremely
playful, social animals. " Pat
She joined our family on October 15th,
2005. he has established
her place in our hearts.
you're on candid camera! Sorry, too busy
are right! Grass is more important!
could get used to this, Lady.
umm, um. What's that? What did you
enough hours in the day! Just keep chewing!
to go in already? Yep, keep moving.
this horse heaven?
got it, right thru this gate. Head for the
barn. Dinner is almost ready!
just want to check out the grass over here
me. I'm going in.
where is dinner? Yum, there is hay out here.
I'll munch while you wait!
isn't ready yet. No sense wasting time
waiting. Let's eat more grass!
this grass is making me thirsty! Water
tub is at the barn.
see it, thanks.
so where did you say dinner would be served?
we are getting tired of waiting for dinner!
Let's get some more grass, more grass, yea!
Sometimes they are so slow!
I get some help here? I can't reach the
This is what we call
pampering! Get used to it Rose!
yeah, right there, no, a little to the
right, that's it! Aaaah! I could get used to
this. Every day?
did you say?
is that you're doing?
this is something new coming from a human.
not so bad, actually. Actually, it's
kinda nice. I think I like this!
you see that? Did you get that on
film? Tell me you got it!
more time. Your last chance to capture the
moment! Got it?
go back to the schmoozing!
a week later! Losing the winter fuzz and
putting on some weight!
"A word about punishment: Horses do not
respond to punishment. They don't understand
anything that happens later than the instant they
acted, and will become fearful of emotionally
based actions from a predator. Reinforcement
is the key...Punishment is an aggressive act, a
predatorial act, and often involves anger.
Reinforcement is without emotion, is delivered as
if the horse did it to himself (like running into
your elbow when he tries to bite you!), and it is
instant. It happens as a consequence of the
horse's action rather than at our discretion.
Punishment is delivered too late. Unless the
reinforcement is instant, the horse will find it
hard to associate it with his actions. As long as
the human punishes a horse, shows anger or
aggression, the horse will always perceive him as
a predator, not to be trusted. It will affect the
relationship." Pat Parelli
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Last update: 02/16/2012
don't think like people. That's why so
many people have problems with horses.
To get along with horses, be safer,
and achieve personal excellence, we
need to learn to think like a horse.
Put yourself in the horse's shoes. You
are a prey animal. Your whole life is
spent trying to avoid ending up as
somebody's lunch. Your eyes are set on
the side of your head so you have
almost 360 degree vision...You can see
potential predators approaching from
just about any direction, and you're
always on the alert for them. You also
have acute hearing and any rustle or
unusual noise could signal the
approach of a predator (things like
rustling plastic can sound just like
this!) For a prey animal like you, one
second's hesitation could mean the
difference between life and death.
horse, are the supreme athlete. With
your primary means of survival being
escape, the first thought is always
going to be to run. You make sure you
are never in a confined or narrow
space where one or more of your escape
routes might be blocked. Your speed is
all you've got, but if you are
cornered you have one other option:
fight for your life.
lightening quick reflexes, can strike,
wheel and kick in almost a single
move. You are not usually aggressive,
will choose flight rather than fight,
but if you have no option you will do
whatever it takes to defend
(humans) are easy to identify.
Predators have eyes at the front of
their head, and walk boldly and
directly straight up to things they
want. They smell like what they eat
(meat). They focus hard on you when,
they're trying to catch and kill you
but most of them can't run very fast.
It's only when they catch you by
surprise or gang up on you that you
haven't a chance." Pat Parelli.