Clinics days are divided into theory, simulations and practical exercices. We will take time to discuss the philosophy and concepts of natural horsemanship (as opposed to traditional horsemanship) at every level. Depending on the level, we may spend the whole clinic doing ground work (Level 1), or split the days between ground skills and riding (Level 2 and up).
This is where you can find out what is involved in a clinic and can see the progression. If you have any doubts about where you fit in, please contact the clinic coordinator or the instructor.
Clinics days are divided into theory, simulations and practical exercises. We will take time to discuss the philosophy and concepts of natural horsemanship (as opposed to traditional horsemanship) at every level. Depending on the level, we may spend the whole clinic doing ground work (Level 1), or split the days between ground skills and riding (Level 2 and up).
For all clinics, we strongly encourage you to become a Parelli Member so you can have access to continuous support from Parelli and other students as well as a comprehensive knowledge base available online. You will also greatly accelerate your learning if you take time to get acquainted with the educational material available from Parelli (DVDs and books). A list of equipment appropriate for each level is available in the Tools section of this site.
Interested in organizing an event? Check out the things you need to know and the benefits of becoming a host!
Clinics centered on the Levels Pathway
Level 1 Get Started (Safety and Communication) clinic is about understanding “Opposition Reflex” and about learning the basic language of the horse. This is where you will learn to be safe with horses and to start building a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding. You will learn to play the Seven Games with your horse, as opposed to ‘working’ him! This level teaches you the basic concepts for psychology, communication, partnership and leadership.
Once you realize that Opposition Reflex is the reason you get frustrated, disillusioned, and get mediocre results with your horses, you’ll move into a whole new level of understanding about what you need to learn to make incomparable progress … and it doesn’t matter what riding experience level you’re at now.
Some of the fundamentals for learning to communicate with your horse more naturally are: understanding prey-predator relationship, opposition reflex, Approach and Retreat, the Seven Games, the Five Zones, the Four Phases, building respect and learning to use the Parelli tools.
The L1/L2 Online (Horse Behavior and Patterns) clinic is designed to give you more information and techniques to help you advance once you have learned to communicate with your horse through the basic Seven Games. Now that you understand the primary principles and language, you can start developing your confidence and your horse’s confidence by advancing your ground skills and start having some real fun! This is also a great clinic for those of you who wish to advance past Level 1 with a horse that you are not ready to ride or you don’t want to ride.
This is a 2 day clinic on the ground. You must have attended the L1 Get Started clinic or learned to play the Seven Games at Level 1.
The clinic includes more advanced ground skills, more challenging concepts with the Seven Games and the Five Zones, the teaching and use of Patterns, Horsenality™ information to learn to read and understand your horse, recognizing and addressing thresholds, focus games, how to add purpose to the games with obstacles and the use of the 22-foot line.
Level 2 Freestyle Clinic – Confidence
Level 1 is your basic alphabet, the building blocks to start forming a partnership with your horse. Now that you have established the beginnings of a partnership and language with your horse, you are ready to learn how to improve the relationship and how to gain a safe and willing partner for riding.
The Level 2 Freestyle clinic is a full 2 days that will cover two Savvys, On Line and Freestyle. Emphasis is on confidence, on preparing your horse for safe riding, on learning to be in harmony with your horse and on how to get your partner to be in harmony with you.
Time spent in the clinic will be 1/2 groundwork and 1/2 riding each day.
Some of the things you will learn are: more details on Horsenality™ and how to get your horse to be calm, trusting, motivated and obedient, adjusting the use of phases depending on the situation, how to ask for positive reflexes, the 8 responsibilities, make vs want. The riding portion of the clinic will explore saddling and mounting like a horseman, pre-ride checks, the balance point, mounting and dismounting (including the emergency dismount), one rein emergency stops, three rein positions to move your horse, how to be a good passenger, gait transitions, and the first riding Patterns.
Riders must be proficient with the natural horsemanship philosophies taught in the Level 1/2 ground clinics and be able to complete the Level 1 self-assessment. Students must also be comfortable walking and trotting their horses in an enclosed area.
Level 2 Advanced Clinic – Fun with Patterns
Good partners share mutual responsibilities. This clinic explores those responsibilities – both for the horse and for the human. It’s about emotional development for the partnership and finding impulsion.
This is an advanced clinic that explores On Line and Freestyle with purpose. You will review on line, and be introduced to more advanced Patterns, advanced freestyle riding and the impulsion programs.
Time spent in clinic will be 1/2 on the ground and 1/2 riding.
Things you will learn: transitions on line, changes of direction on line, sideways without a fence, advancing your riding with fluidity, focus and transitions in the saddle, more impulsion programs, advanced Level 2 Patterns, riding the different gaits with fluidity, riding with a carrot stick, introducing the snaffle bit, sideways in the saddle, the 9 step backup, opening and closing gates, trail riding savvy.
Students must be proficient with the natural philosophies taught in the Level 2 Freestyle clinic, be able to complete the Level 2 Online self-assessment and must be comfortable walking and trotting their horses in an enclosed area. Space requirements for this clinic are greater and typically require a larger outdoor arena. Group and location permitting, we may also go on a walking trail ride, the Savvy way!
Level 3/4 On Line, Liberty and Freestyle – The Road to Excellence
You have a partnership going and you are ready for more excellence and refinement! This clinic explores how to build an even stronger bond and communication at greater distances and faster gaits on the ground, and how to get better responses, lightness and refinement in the saddle. You will learn the essential skills that take your horsemanship to a level of excellence most people only dream of. This is where you take a giant step towards becoming a horseman, someone who truly understands horses from the inside out and possesses significant skills.
Time spent in the clinic will be 1/4 on the ground and 3/4 riding.
Things you will learn: the use of the 45-foot line, driving in zones 4 and 5 and preparing for long lining, lead changes on line, teaching your horse to run to you, Level 3 Patterns, dynamics for canter leads, snappy transitions, bridleless riding, lateral maneuvers, teaching lightness, preparing for Liberty.
Students must be proficient with the natural philosophies taught in the Level 2 Advanced clinic, be able to complete the Level 2 Online and Freestyle self-assessments and must be comfortable walking, trotting and cantering their horses in an enclosed area. Space requirements for this clinic are greater and typically require a large outdoor arena or pasture. Facility permitting, we will also explore playing with your horse at Liberty.
Level 4 in Four Savvys – The Fundamentals of Performance
At this level, we will be reinforcing and refining the foundation and developing a even great level of lightness and feel. We will also be focusing on responsabilities, checking our foundation on the ground and developing warm-up strategies to start playing in Finesse. Our filter will be the horse’s expression, exuberance and lightness of response.
On Line will include driving with two reins, playing at the end of the 45 foot line, Patterns at the canter, flying lead changes, spins. We will explore playing at liberty as a group in a large arena, developing more strength of bond and draw. Freestyle will include impulsion at the canter and gallop, backing up and stopping with your seat, bridleless riding, sideways with no reins, flying lead changes, jumping small obstacles. Finally, Finesse: this last and most difficult savvy will be explored at length and we will cover riding with two reins, riding posture for Finesse, flexion, confidence with the bit, preparing for contact, transitions, turns on the haunches, lateral maneuvers and riding with precision.
Time spent in the clinic will be 1/4 on the ground and 3/4 riding.
Students must be proficient with the natural philosophies taught in the Level 3 clinic, be able to complete the Level 3 Online, Freestyle and Liberty self-assessments and be official L3 On Line/Liberty and L2 Freestyle graduates. They must be comfortable walking, trotting and cantering their horses as a group in an large area. Space requirements for this clinic are greater and typically require a large outdoor arena or pasture. We will also be playing at liberty as a group in a large area!
You would like to participate in an intensive advanced level clinic, in a small group, including the opportunity to receive private coaching sessions? Host us for a week long Parelli Intensive Foundation Camp, only for the most dedicated and motivated students!
Examples of Topic Specific Clinic Formats
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Circling Game (2 days) – this is for many one of the most challenging patterns to do with quality, and it often falls apart when you try to add quantity or distance. We’ll explore horse psychology, tools, techniques, simulations, strategies for different Horsenalities and problem solving. You’ll go home with the information and knowledge to up the ante and develop better rhythm, relaxation, contact and mutual responsibilities.
Trail Riding with Confidence (3 days) – prior and proper preparation for a safe and enjoyable ride out, tips and techniques for negotiating obstacles, what to do in case of trouble, group etiquette, herd dynamics, and games to play on the trail.
Horsenality in Depth (2 days) – learn to read and assess your horse, demonstrations with various Horsenalities, strategies on the ground and in the saddle to play with the horse that shows up and achieve your desired outcome!
Riding with Fluidity (2 days or more) – develop harmony in the saddle by learning how to flow with your horse at all gaits, what you need to do in your body to be in balance and to help your horse move correctly, posture analysis, timing with the foot falls, Steady Rein, adapting your posture to what you are trying to accomplish (Freestyle vs Finesse).
Learning to Jump (2 days) – as you advance in the program, you need to start learning to jump in the saddle. As a trained hunter/jumper coach and former competitor, I have years of experience to share about the art of jumping. We’ll start on the ground and help you and your horse learn to tackle small and medium obstacles with ease and confidence.
Trailer Loading Savvy (2 days) – why would a horse want to walk into a metal trap on wheels? We’ll find out how to prepare your horse for the trailer, how to build his confidence loading, unloading and staying inside the trailer, safety aspects of loading and traveling with horses, the knots to know. It’s not about the trailer; it’s about confidence, respect and winning the 7 Games without making the horse feel like a loser! Come find out how to put the relationship first to achieve one of the most challenging outcomes from the horse’s point of view.
Playing at Liberty (2 days or more) – when you take off the lead line, you are left with the TRUTH! Learn how to set yourself up for success by practicing perfectly on line and knowing when your horse is ready for Liberty; how to become irresistible and captivating for your horse; how to be accurate when addressing different zones; the geometry of the round pen; strategies according to Horsenality; the 7 Games and the Patterns at Liberty; all building to a stronger bond with your horse.
VIPP (Very Important Parelli Private) Clinics are for small groups (1 to 3 students) who wish to make a private booking for a specifically tailored clinic lasting 3 days or more, where they will partake in an intense, focused and personalized learning experience. Participants in VIP clinics will also benefit from free level assessments and a follow-up service by email and by phone.
Saddle Savvy and Makeovers (1 or 2 days) – includes theory, simulations, demonstrations, and makeovers with horses. This clinic is more than a saddle makeover. It is an in-depth study of biomechanics, posture analysis, how to make a horse happier and more comfortable, plus information on how you can protect his back when being ridden. You may bring your own horse for a test ride, or watch as we will be using demo horses to learn and demonstrate. Even if you don’t bring a horse, you should bring the saddle and pad you are currently using as we will also learn how saddles can also help or compromise you as a rider.
Geneviève is a trained Parelli Saddle Specialist and have spent extensive time training with Linda Parelli and Letitia Glenn to achieve this certification. For more information on saddle savvy, check out our partner site The Natural Horse.
Rider Biomechanics – helping riders of all levels improve their seat, posture and balance through a combination of theory, simulations and practical exercises on horseback. In RIDER Biomechanics, we don’t just look at movement, we look at WHY things happen. It’s not just “look up and get your heels down”, but WHY did your heels come up in the first place? It looks at your spine and anatomy to make sure you’re sitting in a strong, safe position. We can improve performance, help you get the competitive edge, help the beginner sit in a stronger safer position, and help prevent injury, and rehabilitate the injuries you already have – to help you to ride long hours without pain.
Other clinic formats and topics are possible to suit your group’s requirements or interests, for example, we can have a clinic focusing on patterns in one savvy at four levels, on bridleless riding, on riding dynamics and fluidity, on gaining confidence as a rider, on preparing for Finesse or just for kids. Contact us to discuss your group’s needs and wants!