Treats!

One of Parelli’s ideas that I find really helpful is the Horsenality chart. He puts horses into four main categories, a combo of either Left or Right Brain and Introvert or Extrovert. Once you figure out your horse’s horsenality it’s easier to determine how to motivate them and how to gain their trust.
Here is the chart:
Parelli's Horsenality Chart

 Originally I thought Baron was a Left Brain Extrovert because he is happy and carefree, loves to be naughty and is very mouthy. For example, if I’m grooming him he loves to knock over the bucket of grooming tools. Or if I’m saddling him, he likes to bite the saddle and try to pull it off the rack. But when I do ground work with him, he turns very Left Brain Introvert, as in bored, non-responsive, would clearly rather be back in the pasture with his friends. He’s still sweet, but you can tell he’s skeptical about the point of what I’m trying to get him to do. One characteristic of Left Brain Introverts (LBI)  is that they ask, “What’s in it for me?” That is so Baron. I know for a fact that he knows how to back up, move forward, step left and right, lunge, change gaits, etc… He simply chooses not to, because he doesn’t see the point and it’s much easier to just stand there and look at me.

Another characteristic of LBI’s is that they are very motivated by food. Sometimes that’s the only way to motivate them. There has to be some kind of reward, something in it for them. So yesterday I picked up some apple treats at the feed store when I bought my grain. Last night when I went to do my barn chores, I took Baron out of his stall into the barn aisle for a little ground work. It was dark and cold, so there was no going outside to the round pen.

Well, I started by asking him to come forward and back up. He sluggishly did both after a lot of effort in the asking. Then I got out the treats. All of a sudden before me appeared a brand new horse, one with enthusiasm and pep! He backed up six or seven steps when I asked. What a difference! So I’m definitely going to incorporate some treats into the ground work. It was great to see him so enthusiastic!

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