What Game is the Piaffe?

What Game is the Piaffe?

What Game is the Piaffe?
By Klaudia Duif, 3-Star Parelli Professional

When setting up the theory for Level 1** clinics for students, I always try to give wow examples for each game in order to help students to think big about their own horsemanship journey with their horses. In addition, it is easier to understand concepts with an extreme or more obvious example. For the Yo-Yo Game*, my favorite example is the Piaffe regardless of Savvy. Technically, it is a quick change of back and forth with tiny steps. These tiny steps will lift the movement of the horse up and voilà: a Piaffe.

As Pat says, “It’s simple but not easy.” What Game is the Piaffe? 1

Thanks to Vareto’s Horsenality**—he’s a Right Brain Extrovert—and his Lusitano breed, he is well built to put his principles to purpose with tasks such as Airs About the Ground (Haute Ecole). This comes easily to him. The challenges are calmness and confidence, which we need to have in place first. I need to address those first to help him manage his energy without becoming emotional. We had and still have a long journey to canalize his energy—which he has a lot of—for a purpose, and Airs Above the Ground is just the right purposes for him.

The Yo-Yo Game is a great game to test and establish emotional fitness. It’s all about balancing the whoa and go, which is also known as impulsion, for right brain horses. We were able to manage the impulsion pretty solidly on the ground On Line* and at Liberty*. It’s still a challenge in the saddle since he tends to be overly impulsive.

To this day, the Yo-Yo Game is one of the keys that helps Vareto’s “butterflies fly in formation” rather than in chaos. His challenge is all about emotional fitness, which is about “I can.” His mental fitness, which is about “I want,” is very solid. I know that once we are able to balance the mental and emotional fitness, we will achieve physical fitness. Mental, emotional, and physical fitness are the ingredients to an exceptional athlete.


In other words, the physical aspect—or the result—is the Piaffe. It helps him focus on the emotional part to let his butterflies fly in formation. It’s not whether he wants them to fly in formation but rather whether can he make them fly in formation.

Klaudia and Verto’s Level 4 On Line Audition.  Watch at 6m 30s for her Piaffe, Levade, and Terre a Terre.

*If you want to learn more about the following topics that Klaudia mentioned in this blog and you are already a Savvy Club member, then sign in to find these lessons by going to your Dashboard and then following this pathway:

Level 1: The essential communication skills for you and your horse.  Level 1 On Line Theory: Keys to Success

Yo-Yo Game: The balance of forward and backward, whoa and go, for the horse. Level 1 On Line Yo-Yo Game #4: Yo-Yo Game; Level 2 Liberty Yo-Yo Game: Yo-Yo Game; Level 3 FreeStyle Patterns for Impulsion: Transitions Savvy; Level 4 Finesse Refine the Yo-Yo Game: All Lessons

Horsenality: The study of a horse’s individual personality traits. Level 2 On Line Theory: Horsenality; Level 3 On Line Theory: Horsenality

On Line: Playing on the ground with varying lengths of rope.  Level 1 On Line Theory: All Lessons; Level 2 On Line Theory: All Lessons; Level 3 On Line Theory: All Lessons; Level 4 On Line Theory: All Lessons.

Liberty: Playing on the ground with no ropes attached.  Level 2 Liberty Theory: All Lessons; Level 3 Liberty Theory: All Lessons; Level 4 Liberty Theory: All Lessons

If you are not a Savvy Club member yet and would like to be a part of the world’s leading horsemanship education community CLICK HERE to sign up!  Need a little more information?  Visit SavvyClubInfo.com to learn about member benefits and features within the Savvy Club then come back here and use Klaudia’s link to sign up!

*Want to own this information on DVD?  Use Klaudia’s shop link to purchase the Parelli Levels Program and Horsenality DVDs.


  1. well done Claudia, i enjoyed watching that and shared it with proud on my FB profile.

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