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The Parelli 7 Keys To Success: Equine Bodywork Strategies For Your Horse

May 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

At a Level 2/3 Parelli Natural Horsemanship Clinic this past weekend, I was reminded of the importance of understanding and applying Pat's 7 Keys To Success with your horsemanship. I often find so much of the Parelli philosophy and training bleeds over into my profession of equine bodywork. I realized this weekend how much these keys could help my clients, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on successfully applying them as a strategy for meeting your equine bodywork goals.

#1 Attitude - Horses are very sensitive to the energy we put forth. If you have a positive energy and attitude going into a therapy or exercise session with your horse, your chances of success will greatly improve. You must go into every session with your horse knowing that you will have a positive outcome. Positive visualization is very powerful. Have in your mind's eye what you would like your end result to look like and your horse will pick up on that mental picture, or at least perhaps your signals will be clearer and your horse will have a better understanding of what you are asking.

#2 Knowledge - Knowledge is power! Whatever problem you are trying to overcome with your horse, be it recovering from a recent injury or overcoming a long-term lameness, gather as much information as you can so you can make informed choices for your horse and your situation. Don't just accept the first thing someone tells you with regard to your horse's recovery plan. Get information from multiple sources. Don't feel bad about getting a second, or even third, opinion if necessary. There is often more than one way to skin a cat so to speak and each has its pros and cons.

#3 Tools - Make sure you have whatever tools are necessary to complete your equine bodywork goals. This could mean having the necessary tack, homeopathy supplies, "how to" videos, etc. You don't want to be in the situation where you are making progress with your horse, you come to a critical junction in your therapy, and you don't have what you need to finish the job. Take the information you gathered from Key #2 and make a list of what you are going to need to implement your program.

#4 Technique - Remember that there are many different avenues available these days when it comes to both traditional and alternative therapies for your horse. Sometimes it may be feasible for you to use several different therapies together. You may wish to combine equine massage and chiropractic, or chiropractic combined with a therapeutic exercise program. Know your options and pick what best suits your particular financial and philosophical situation.

#5 Time - Once you've decided on a bodywork program for your horse, one of the most important keys is to make sure you set aside the time to implement it. I have seen the failure to implement this one key bring down an entire therapy program. As with all things, you get out of something what you put into it.

#6 Imagination - This is one of the most difficult of the keys to implement. If you can think of fun and unique ways to incorporate your therapy program into your daily routine, you will increase your chances of success by leaps and bounds. If it feels like a chore to you, it probably feels like a chore to your horse too, and you will be less likely to follow through with what you need to do to succeed. Think outside the box whenever you can. My Prescription For Parelli Series is a good example of finding ways to implement therapeutic exercises into your training sessions with your horse.

#7 Support - One of the keys that makes the Parelli program so successful and popular is the support you receive. You know that there is always somewhere you can go for an answer or help with something you are struggling with, whether that be your Parelli instructor, the Parelli Connect website, or playday friends. Take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of your veterinarian, equine massage therapist and friends that may have encountered similar problems with their horses. You don't have to deal with the problem alone.

Putting these 7 keys to a purpose when deciding on and implementing your horse's therapeutic bodywork program will hopefully help improve your chances of success. If you have found this article useful or would like to share your own experiences, please feel free to share your story. We would love to hear from you.

About The Author:

Lisa Carter is a Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT/LAMP) and small animal veterinary technician with a mixed practice veterinary clinic in North Texas. She has helped numerous horses return to a state of balance and improved performance. Get Lisa's free report "Achieving Balance In The Horse Through Teamwork" by clicking here. Just type in the words "Free Report" in the subject line of the contact form.

Find other helpful horse health and equine massage tips by visiting

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