Friday, September 7, 2012

Parelli Natural Horsemanship, and volunteering at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

I had vertigo for a couple of days; I hope I didn't get any on you. There's no good way to spin vertigo. Just call me Eddy. Because I was feeling around the weather, we postponed our volunteer orientation until today. I feel like my normal self again, so we thought we'd catch the Parelli Natural Horsemanship demo before lunch.

Not around in circles, please.
Chuck was wild-born, captured from the range and turned over to Best Friends, and Ann warned us that he is not tame. However, she demonstrated the Parelli technique on him, and we were stunned at how quickly he learned behaviors. Here's a for instance:

Ann tickled Chuck's front inner knee, which made him lift his leg. Next, she snapped her fingers, then tickled; he raised his leg. Next, she just snapped, and he lifted. Everyone was impressed, including Ann. You can't even get a pig to learn that fast.

I resent your specist remarks.
I'm going to confess to you that I have always suspected horses of being stupid. Chuck is not stupid. In fact, I have completely revised my opinion of horses after this morning. Chuck is a fine ambassador for his species, stomping out prejudice and voting "Neigh!" on bigotry.
Ann confirmed that learning the Parelli method is a prerequisite to adopting riding horses. It is so gentle and horse-friendly that you'll understand why. No kicking, no whipping, no yelling. You ask the horse to move using your body language and very subtle cues. It's not about "breaking" a horse, it's about cultivating a relationship with him. It trains the rider to lead in a way the horse understands and can respect.


Annie led me toward lunch in a way I could understand and respect.

The café-teria is a marvel. Annie thinks they keep the price very low so they don't accidentally make a profit. I don't know how that works. Anyway, vegetarian lunches are served six days a week - $3 for the all-you-can-cram salad bar, and $5 for the full buffet. Tea and coffee is included. Have I said this before? I must be hungry again.
"One Little Indian" set
The horse is not blindfolded. She is wearing gnat mesh, and she can see through it.

Annie does fine with her mesh, as well.

Let's go this way! I suggest that way! Quack! Crazy ducks.

We've gone through our volunteer orientation, and we'll report to our separate assignments tomorrow morning. I was a little nervous, and decided to stay closer to my comfort zone with Cat World this time. Annie will help at Dogtown. Then we will eat-all-we-can at Angel Village.

I see that Annie is browsing dogs, so I need to go distract her. 

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Teri said...

Should the blogging community be starting a pool to see what kind of animal you go home with.

Teri said...

Horses are very smart and several organizations use horses for therapy for children and adults.

Kimbopolo said...

Love you guys!

The Good Luck Duck said...

LOL, Teri!

I believe it, now that I have been enlightened.

We love you back, Kim! ♥

Donna K said...

Thanks for the link to the Parelli method...very interesting. I think I'll try it on Russ, although he might be a little long in the tooth for learning any actual new behaviors!! Seriously, that's kinda how we treated and trained our dogs and they were the best ever...Poppy still is. Am anxiously awaiting your posts on Cat World and Dog Town. Now if I could just get that burr out from under Russ's saddle...

Sherry said...

Love that hole in the wall shot. Clearly we should have done more than take the tour....we missed the great priced eats. So now you have to eat our share so get busy.

Gaelyn said...

Pet every cat and dog for me please, with photos. ;)

Russ Krecklow said...

Donna will never be able to get a bit in my mouth, because my mouth is so big it would take a lot more than a bit to get my attention. Spurs might work, but then there's that "burr under the saddle" thing. No wonder I'm so hard to train, and she's been working on me for a long, long, time.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Dog browsing. Could get interesting. And dangerous. I don't dare volunteer at a shelter. I can resist anything but temptation.

What a beautiful place. I can clearly see I need another trip to Utah.

So, are those Mormon ducks? It's a breed I'm unfamiliar with.

The Odd Essay said...

I could have used the Parelli method when my kids were little.... hmmmmm.... Bill just keeps on reading when I snap my fingers.... That aside, I especially like the shot through the window.. very nice!

Joe Barker said...

Try the leg lift with the cats.

Renee said...

For years, I've told my kids that if I'm left alone, I'm moving the 5th wheel to Best Friends & making that my home. They think I'm kidding...

I love reading your posts; you make me laugh every time!

Anonymous said...

Would love to visit this sanctuary but for now will have to see it through your eyes. Thanks!

Rubye Jack said...

What a great special place this looks to me. You guys are so lucky getting to go all these wonderful places.

sierrasue said...

Yae ! You are at best friends. There is a movie called " BUCK " and he is a man who goes around the country teaching people how to train their horses in a gentle way. Such as what you describe here. Very good documentary!!!
You are making me hungry too . I know how good the lunches are at Best friends !! Cats, dogs?? Well, I have volunteered at both. I guess I prefer cats but seeing all the dogs is fun too and walking them. Watch out! They can be crazy. But, you can allways walk the ones at Old friends. The old ones. They are super mellow. Cant wait to hear how your day in Cats and Dogs goes!!!

Anonymous said...

I resent you specist remarks. Now that I totally get. ~Mary

TexCyn said...

Oh, I want to come work with the dogs too. Parelli is really cool isnt it! My typing> not so mcuh...

¡Vizcacha! said...

Cyn, I've never been a horse person (duh), but I was impressed by the Parelli method. And, by Chuck.

LOL Mary.

Sue, i didn't know about Old Friends - I like that idea. I was with the Fat Cats today, but I'll say more about them later.

RJ, it is a wonderful place. I know how lucky we are, and I try not to forget.

Paint, I will try to make my eyes as interesting as possible.

Thanks, Renee! You know, since we got here I've been trying to figure out how to stay. :D This is a volunteer situation I could get into.

HA! Joe. Snapping at cats is highly effective.

Sharon, when my son was born I was instantly and permanently confused. Gave orders to the kid, and reasoned with the dog. Might as well have been snapping at Bill.

Teresa, the couple had a large, healthy brood, so it's entirely possible. We got through the first volunteer session without a new Duck member, so temptation was far.

Russ, Donna doesn't need to bit you, she needs to bite you. And, Donna, Annie Parelli'd me back to the car and I responded, so don't discount the old dogs!

Gaelyn, done!

Thanks, Sherry. Mission Accomplished!