Originally Posted by EquestrianCowgirl4 View Post
I like them because I have seen what they can do. There is a parellier at my barn and I never seen anything like what they can do. So I do them but I am not a strict parellier I like to mix methods from alot of people.
I do consider myself to be a follower of Parelli. Think of the analogy of a tree. Parelli is the roots and trunk BUT the branches, leaves and flowers are provided by both Parelli and many others. On my shelf I have books by Gwani, Mark Rashid, Dr Robert Miller, Chris Cox, Karen Rolf (admittedly she is heavily Parelli oriented), Paul McGreevy and Andrew Mclean plus many others. I also have videos from at least 5 other clinicians, though I am top heavy in the Parelli department there, mainly because they have produced so many !
At present when I look for an instructor I mainly go to a Parelli professional, but as time goes by I will look to specialists in the fields I wish to specialise in. Dave Stewart for colt starting and David Deptford for western riding spring to mind.
Having, basically, learned the Parelli program since I have come back to horses I do mainly "speak" Parelli, but I have little trouble translating others ideas into Parelli speak and actions.
As I have repeatedly said on this forum even Pat says that his program is not all you need to know to be a horseman. He advocates getting help from instructors outside the program.
Personally I am not happy about the "Game of Contact" that Linda is promoting for riding with a contact, and I know many others in the program who think likewise. The truth is that when you see Pat advocating something you can be sure it has been tried on at least hundreds and probably thousands of horses. It is therefore probably pretty sound advice. Some of Lindas' instruction has not been tested this robustly and as a result I take ideas developed with a healthy scepticism.
I don't dismiss Lindas' instruction but I do look for other evidence that her ideas are useful. Where she has analysed and written down knowledge she has gained by interrogating Pat then I do take that seriously, but that is actually just Pat translated so I can understand it. Horsenality is a prime example of this. Pat knew this stuff, but didn't know how to put it into words and explain it. Linda managed to tease this information from his mind, so that others could start to get an insight as to how he reads a horse. It's certainly not the whole story but it at least gives folks like me starting out the alphabet of the concept. As we build in experience we can take that alphabet and build it into words and sentences of understanding.
Some dismiss Linda and Pat because they feel that they don't ride very well. That may be true as I don't know enough about good riding position to comment. However the Parelli program is not about correct riding position, its about horsemanship which is the other 90% of being a good horseman. Even the video they have produced on it involves bringing in an instructor from outside the program to help present the video.
If want information of riding position I go to a BHS instructor. In fact I spent some time on a mechanical horse for just this purpose. Useful but not like the real thing. For advanced information I would probably look to the likes of Karl Hester whom James (my Parelli instructor) thinks very very highly of.
Parelli is not, and never will be, a comprehensive riding program. What it is good at is putting a foundation on new horsemen from which they can move forwards into the specialisation they wish to follow.