So I've devoted much of the past seven years to learning about horses and their behavior. I have seen snippets of Monty, Pat, Clint, etc but have never followed or really "looked into" a certain trainer or used their methods as the foundation for what I do. In the snippets I've seen, much of what they do is pretty self-explanatory and doesn't really give me a "wow" factor because I already understand what they're trying to do. From a horse-savvy person's standpoint, it's pretty common sense. It mostly boils down to patience, gaining trust/respect, being the leader, timing, body language, and understanding of the horse's natural instincts. I've learned all that from my experiences with actual horses - not from sitting at home watching these trainers on TV.
Right now I'm keeping my horses with friends that are fairly new to the horse world. They're great people, but can be a bit misconstrued when it comes to horses and how they learn, behave, etc. That's to be expected, but they really challenge my teaching abilities sometimes... lol. I tell my friends "be assertive, not aggressive", don't get frustrated, don't be forceful. They will watch me work with my horses, who are very green, and when they watch me getting after a horse for plowing into me or being disrespectful (which the horses do in ways my friends can't really identify yet, if that makes sense), they get confused. "Get after" is just me using a lot of enthusiastic body language and making noise with the whip (hitting the ground, hitting my boot, etc) on most occasions. I'm just being assertive, being a "strict parent", and making the horse follow through with something. But I can see why beginners might interpret it as aggression. I try my best to explain everything I'm doing but another thing I emphasize is the importance of focusing on your horse when you're working with them, so looking away from my horse to explain what's going on is, in most situations, counterproductive.
Like I said before, I tell them things I've learned through experience. So, things like "never" and "always" don't apply in horses. Timing is important. Be assertive not aggressive. Gain leadership. Gain respect. Gain trust. Keep them out of your space. Get their attention on you. Expose them to things (don't babysit them). These are just a few examples of things I've told them in some shape or form.
Okay... I encourage them to watch lots of trainers, have others come out to the farm, and research as much as they can because nobody knows everything and even I'M still learning.
So, they found Parelli.
Now, in Parelli's videos, he doesn't really show the nitty-gritty that you have to get down to when a disrespectful or dangerous horse comes your way. So I hear a lot of "Well, in this Parelli stuff we've been watching..." and they'll tell me how they like how calm Pat is, how he doesn't use force, how he does this and that blah blah blah. So I took the initiative to go through some of his videos and I found that he is saying a lot of the exact same things as me - which makes me wonder if my friends think I am just regurgitating his teachings and don't know as much as they thought I did.
I think they really like him because they are lovey-touchy-feely people that give lots of treats and think their horses love or hate them. From what I've watched, Pat gives that vibe off.
I've told my friends numerous times if they want to learn about horse behavior, pull up a chair and watch them out in the field. And I mean really WATCH. That's what I've been doing for so many years and that's how I've learned what I'm doing - by paying attention to the horse's actions and reactions. I'm still young and have lots to learn yet.
I'm not a teacher. I'm not a trainer. I'm helping friends out and working with my own horses. They are more than welcome to watch me but I am afraid to do anything that might be misinterpreted by them and might make me look like a doofus. Does that make sense?
Okay, off the soapbox now.
Does this ever happen to you?