This is BBBCrone's husband so bear with my novice opinion. I've watched PP, CA, Buck Brennaman and Chris Cox. Of all of them, I would say Buck is probably my favorite and PP is my least favorite. Buck, CA and Chris all demand the respect/trust of the horse. You WILL do what I ask, your a horse if you don't you can hurt me. Parrelli to me seems more like a dog trainer in the aspect you want to the horse to be a pet. I have yet to see PP take a "hot" horse and be able to train him. I watched Buck and CA take extremely "hot" horses and within a few days have the horses respect/TRUST. Something I don't understand that I've read a few times in this thread is....what is so wrong about a horse sweating? There is nothing wrong with it. Do you not sweat when you work hard? I've watch them all ride and Parrelli struggles in certain areas. Buck, has firm approach yet is very soft spoken but still demands the respect/trust. I don't see the respect of personal space from a Parrelli trained horse that I do from a CA or Buck or Chris Cox trained horse.
From my novice eyes, Buck and CA are the methods I will be using to train Zoot. Along with what BBBCrone knows. A 1/2 Arab 1/2 Paint year and half old gelding. He will learn we are in charge. No physical abuse but a firm, clear, concise instructions and he will be expected to have respect.
As far as the "marketing" aspect. They all sell things, they all want you to use their products. Its call a free market and I cannot fault them. If something will help in training a horse...example from the post above...the tie ring...that will teach the horse not to pull and it makes my job easier...so the horse basically trains himself not to pull why not? As far as using plastic bags to throw up in the horses face its all part of desensitizing/sensitizing. I seriously doubt that he "ruined" that curious, friendly baby." Sounds like you want the "pasture pet" and not a 1200 pound horse that can hurt you or himself if he doesnt have the manners or proper training.
Completely exhausted with this horse an with her hot, spooky nature, I hauled 16 hours one way for Pat Parelli to work with her for about 2 hours and she was a totally different horse. She was so ****ed strung out on adrenaline, she ran the fence for 30 minutes, barely even acknowledging Pat existed. She was twisting her head like a crazy psycho and would NOT settle down. He kept commenting how extreme she is.
Normally he would work with a horse about 1 - 1/12 hours and then give them back to the owner after the transformation took place, but she was so hot and so difficult, he left the coliseum and worked her in the barn one on one with me and without the crowd. He did not feel she was at a good stopping point in the coliseum. I was so happy he put the horse first and did what was right by her, and me.
TODAY, she is a different horse ENTIRELY. I have used his program to get through to this mare and change her once and for all. I started her over completely from scratch at the friendly game and have been building my way up. I am now riding her bareback in a halter, or bridle, and she is doing awesome. Instead of getting strung out on adrenaline and not allowing anyone to control her feet, she is a very happy partner. I am literally thrilled every day to go out there and work and ride her whereas before I would just get frustrated and want to cry many times.
I have to disagree with you very strongly because the #1 complaint I have about my mare is how HOT she is. She is a halter bred Arabian and is prone to be a drama queen and be very difficult to handle at times. At other times she would be a puppy dog a kid could ride bareback, but if the sitaution was right, she would get very hot and spooky.
Pat nailed it down for me that the horse isn't afraid of objects. She is afraid of a human controlling her feet while she is high on adrenaline. WOW. He summed up her whole life 5 minutes after meeting her. All these years I have tried to desensitize her to STUFF. I have tried to teach her how to spook in place, etc. but it had nothing to do with the spooking. She's an adrenaline junky that gets an endorphin rush off the adrenaline release. He showed me how to control her movement and get her down OFF the adrenaline, and then further, how to never let her go to that place of adrenaline in the first place.
All my friends I ride and compete with know how difficult this horse is. She can be awesome one day but a dragon the next day. The horse that Pat Parelli worked with was the dragon. But he got through to her, and he made a transformation in her, and in me, that I can't describe.
She is also an extremely dominant, opinionated mare who has no problem kicking or running you down if she feels she needs to get on top of the human.
I have had LITERALLY ZERO PROBLEMS since we got back home from the tour stop.
Pat had his hands full with this one. There were times I was actually afraid I owned the horse that would break Pat Parelli. I sat in the stands with my hand over my mouth half the time. I was horrified, embarassed, and scared for Pat. My horse was all the talk on the Parelli forums for weeks after the event. Everybody wanted to know more about her, know her history. They were so supportive and offered advice freely.
I just got in from outside working with my mare this morning. Everything I do with her now, is with a smile on my face. She is very respectful, attentive, and she tries every time. We don't fight like we used to, although I am asking exponentially more of her than I ever have before.
So I don't mind defending the Parelli program because I have seen firsthand what it can do for a REALLY difficult horse.