Please remember!

The information presented on this blog represents "learning in progress" on my part, a horse owner, who was not satisfied with professional farriers and took matters in my own hands. As far as I am aware at the time of the post, the information presented is correct, but may change with me understanding more about hooves, in which case I will edit or remove the post. In order to follow my learning and understand everything about Molly's hoof, you need to start reading at the bottom.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I have never studied Parelli. I don't quite know why. Somehow I find him weird. But I have always wanted to learn more about Horsenalities, pretty much because I have had a tough time understanding my gelding Gus. He has challenged me more than any other horse I have ever dealt with. Not because he wants to be bad or unpleasant, lazy or anything, rather the opposite, he wants to please and do everything right, but he can blow up in a matter of a millisecond at unpredictable moments and at unpredictable violence.

Today, the Parelli Newsletter published an interesting article and a short version of the different horsenalities and I did recognize my Gus: he is a Right-Brain Introvert. 

The Artice describes right-brain introverts the following way:

"Right-Brain Introverts can be hard to read because they appear calm on the outside, but on the inside their emotions can be running in high gear; you just can’t see it. They are highly emotional but really want to please, so they hide their feelings and do their best until all of a sudden the pressure becomes overwhelming and they blow up. This is why Right-Brain Introverts are often hard to read and therefore seem rather unpredictable.
Here’s what makes Right-Brain Introverts run away inside themselves:

  • Asking too quickly and rushing them
  • Carrying on even though they tense up or make a negative gesture (ears back, tail swish, etc.)
  • Asking for more and more, which comes across as demanding
  • Being rough – having quick hands, quick legs, quick demands
Right-Brain Introverts will teach you to really think about things from the horse’s perspective; you know, how Pat says it: “Walk a mile or a minute in your horse’s horseshoes.” The more opposite your Humanality is from your horse’s Horsenality, the harder that is to do. Their t-shirt would say “Don’t rush me!”
So how do you get that trust? Slow down, feel more, ask for and wait for permission. A good way to think about it is “red light, green light.” When your horse gives you a red light (ears back, tail swish, tension), don’t speed through it. Stop or back off for a moment. When you get the green light (licking lips, blinking eyes, deep sigh, lowered neck, regular breathing), you can continue until the next red light. The key is to watch for those red lights and respond accordingly. When your horse realizes you are actually listening to him and honoring his reactions or opinion, you’ll be amazed at how that will change his perception of you and earn you a lot more trust."

Intuitively, I have started treating Gus the way one is supposed to treat a RBI. At least to an approximation. I did sometimes push him through red lights and I can say pretty much every time I did this has resulted in a disaster. I had quite a few disasters with Gus. But at least those disasters helped me understanding when Gus' red lights go on and his blowing up does not catch me by surprise anymore.

So maybe I should become a Parelli student. Mainly in order to find ways to know how to get him and me safely out of those red light situations. I have developed some mechanisms such as trying to refocus him on some exercises that he knows really well, keeping a completely cool attitude. Also I found it is important for me to not look directly at him when the red light goes on, but pretend I am focused on something very different. This has helped him relaxing too.

Here is the whole Parelli Article:

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