Foundation Two: The Porcupine Game (moving away from physical pressure)
This game is about teaching the horse to move away from physical pressure. This is how the horse is taught to move any part of it's body during riding and handling. This is essential when maneuvering around anything. The porcupine game mimics the ground work with turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches along with simple backing.
Foundation Three: The Driving Game (moving away from psychological pressure)
This game is an advancement of the porcupine game. This game makes ground handling easier and safer. Imagine being able to move your horses' haunches over a step from 22ft away! This game makes lunging easy to learn. This technique is used in classical training when moving on to using the thin dressage whip. This tool has a tiny string attached to the end of it and is used to lightly touch the horse to signal which area you are focusing on.
Foundation Four: The Sideways Game (side stepping, shoulder in, travere, renvere, half pass, full pass, leg yielding)
Once finessed this game encompasses many of the required classical movements. This game uses the driving and porcupine games' principles and combines them to move the horse sideways in either direction. Refining the movement into the classical movements listed in the beginning of this paragraph is easy once this basic concept is taught. Side passing is extremely useful in maneuvering your horse through spatial problems such as opening and closing swinging gates while mounted or getting out of a tight situation safely.
Foundation Five: The Circle Game (lunging)
The circle game is very much lunging. Using the driving game the trainer sends the horse out on to the circle and the horse goes around until he is signaled in. Lunging a horse works the horse aerobically without the need of a rider. The trainer can also assess the soundness of the horse from a distance while lunging, work closely on collection by moving the horse in and out of a smaller circle along with many other benefits.
Foundation Six: The Yo-yo game
This game seems to be unique to the Parelli horsemanship system. This is extremely useful in teaching horses who crowd your space to better respect you. It seems like it would make the horse head shy when you see it done but in training many horses with this technique I have never seen it create head shyness. In fact it seems to challenge the horse by giving it a problem to solve and much of the time I see the horse setting himself up for the next try to figure it out. This is not needed in horses who have been in classical training from weaning due to the constant and consistent training the horse receives. But it is always useful to teach the horse to back in or out of somewhere with just the shake of a finger.
Foundation Seven: The Squeeze Game (sending)
This game is the act of sending the horse through, on, over or under something. Combining the driving and circle games the trainer sends the horse to something possibly frightening; this will help the trainer and the horse to bond and develop trust and confidence. This helps when riding and sending him to something different.
All of these principles are also used while riding and expand when specializing into a discipline. This is why foundation training is so essential. It's the elementary school of horse training. Without it you cannot expect him to be capable of high school and college level education.
Age can be factors in training as well. The young horse can be developed through growing years and groomed into an excellent performer. But the second hand aged horse over the age of 8 needs a more specialized approach. A green broken 15 year old horse who has a good walk, fast canter and choppy trot needs something special. Narrowing down possibilities due to the fact that she doesn't have time to develop her trot for two years (a trot she's been comfortable with for 15 years...not happening) so I need to find her a place with what she has now. Good walk with reluctance to break into her choppy trot makes for a great hobby trail horse. Her excellent stop and fast canter are great for barrel racing. At those times she would just need to learn movements while building muscle for those things without needing to take years relearning her own gaits.
Using this process is also good for finding injury. Horses are prey animals, so they hide injury and pain to prevent predators from singling them out as weak. So when you see obvious pain and lameness in a horse it is then beyond what he can reasonably handle and more serious. The earlier you can spot lameness and injury the faster and more likely he will recover completely.
Being able to create a specialized learning environment for every horse within a couple hours session is a true art needing apprenticeship to truly learn. Much can be learned in the classroom and theory techniques can be taught in a group. But the feel, balance and listening to the horse must be learned with someone who has been doing it for years. I do not claim to be a master; I have not yet finished a horse to relative perfection, But I have studied with them. I have completed my apprenticeships and have moved on to making my own experiences; a journeyman.