How to Play the Seven Games of Parelli

Training a horse can be very difficult at times considering the fact that horses can be distrustful and stubborn at times. The seven games of Parelli were developed by Pat Parelli, a famous rodeo rider and horse trainer. These games will help you improve friendship with your horse which means that you will be able to train your horse more easily. Play these games as frequently as your schedule permits in order to gain the complete trust of your horse.


  • 1

    The Friendly Game

    Bring your horse into an open and fairly large area. Approach your horse with an open posture and with a smile on your face.

    Gently, place your hand on the neck of your horse. Make sure that your touch is gentle otherwise you will scare off the horse. Start moving your hand over the horse’s body in random motions. If the horse shows signs of being irritated when you touch it at a certain area, avoid touching that area and move your hand elsewhere.

    Continue to practice these steps at least once every day. Eventually, you will be able to tame the horse to your touch.

  • 2

    The Porcupine Game

    Press firmly against the horse’s body to make your horse move. Increase the pressure if the horse does not move. Remember to praise the horse when it finally does move.

    Continue this practice until your horse moves at your slightest touch.

  • 3

    The Driving Game

    Stand at a point which falls within the eyesight of the horse. Make your horse move forward by pointing your finger in a certain direction and giving a verbal command at the same time. At the start, you may have to tap the horse’s back to make it move.

    Gradually reduce the pressure that you apply while tapping the horse. Continue this practice until your horse moves forward without you tapping its back.

  • 4

    The Yo-Yo Game

    Hold a rope attached to the horse’s harness and stand directly in front of the horse. Verbally command your horse to move backward. Praise it if it does. However, you will have to shake the rope if your horse does not move backward at your command.

    Try commanding the horse to move forward in a similar manner. Continue this practice until your horse moves in either direction just at the sound of your command.

  • 5

    The Circling Game

    Make your horse go in wide circle with the help of a rope attached to the horse’s harness.

    Give the horse a verbal command to start circling.

    Let the horse complete about four to five circles and try to make it stop with a verbal command. Continue this practice until you can get your horse to start and stop circling without the rope attached to its harness.

  • 6

    The Sideways Game

    Loosen the rope around the horse’s neck in order to give the rope a little slack. To make sure that your horse does not move forward, simply position it in front of a solid, stationary object.

    Make the horse move to its side by pushing at the horse’s shoulder while you verbally command the horse to move sideways. Continue this practice until you have taught the horse to move sideways by giving it only the verbal command.

    Make sure that you encourage the horse each time it moves at your sideways push and verbal command to speed up the learning process.

  • 7

    The Squeezing Game

    Stand approximately 5 feet away from an object placed in front of your horse and signal your horse to move in the middle of you and the object.

    Gradually decrease the distance between you and the object, commanding the horse to move in the middle of you and the object each time you reduce the distance. Make sure that you praise the horse each time it obeys your command. Continue this game until will move in between you and the object even if it has to touch you and the object at the same time.

    This game will help you gain the trust of your horse in claustrophobic situations.

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