Dressage is complicated that is for sure. I think sometimes we lose track of the basic knowledge we expect from our horses and people just getting started.
Last weekend, we had a Parelli Ground games day at Hay River Equestrian. We raised $150 for the Dunn County Humane Society and had a great time.
Ground games seem like a simple concept - but it sure did bring some things to light. Watching people play ground games with their horses is like a window to their personality. You can really see how people think and learn.
Parelli games are a process learning games that teach horse owners feel. The people that had the hardest time with the games were the feel based learners. The ones that learn through feel and develop their process from there. The folks that had the easiest time were the ones that lean through process and develop their feel from the process. Neither learning style is wrong, just different. Then of course there were the lucky folks who learn easily through process or feel. Those folks seem to be able to adapt to anything.
Learning style aside, it is just good horsemanship to have more influence on the ground. It is really quite helpful to be able to place the horse where you want it. The other thing you can learn from ground games is where your horse is stiff or stuck before you ever ride him. The porcupine game and the driving game really can illuminate a part of the horse that is tight or stuck.
Anyone who is handling horses can benefit from having more influence on the ground. It makes the interaction more interesting, fun and safe.