I have read so many comments about Parelli, mostly about it being expensive, taking too long, dangerous, good for beginners etc etc. Well, the truth is far deeper than anything I have read. I have spent the past 8 years dedicated to this more than anything else in my life. I have spent way more than 20 hours a week, for over 8 years, studying, watching dvds, playing with my horses, taking numerous clinics, and even spending thousands more dollars to travel great distances to attend clinics in Pagosa, at the hub of Parelli. What a waste of 8 years and thousands of dollars. If I can keep at least one person from making the same mistake I made, the time and money I spent will have been worth it.
People claim that Pat and Linda have been caught up in the corporate end of things, as though they were victims, and had no say in the choices they made. WRONG! They knew who Mark Weiler was and they know who Sara Johnson is (the new Cheif Operating Officer) and they signed them up, with open eyes. Mark came to Pat and Linda with his plan, which was to go after the rich only! That was why their prices went so high. OOPS, the plan did not work and business began going badly. They had to make some drastic marketing changes, not for the good of the horse or their students, but only to convince you to buy more products and line their pockets. Mark Weiler has actually had the guts to apologize to the Parelli team and take responsibility for their initial downfall. Then, along came Sara. Sara was Clinton Anderson's marketing Guru, the one who managed all of his products. I wish I could tell you how they managed to get her, given that Pat and Clinton are enemies but I guess you should keep your enemies close, right.
Anyways, it has been said that Sara models her bad behavior after Pat. Pat treats people very badly and Sara does to. I have heard her called Bitch more times than I can count. What amazes me is that people keep tolerating it. Oh yes, that is because people don't know about it. I wonder if Sara will also model having an affair like others at Parelli. Pat and Mark, I think you know who I mean.
Parelli rules with fear. Instructors especially, are not allowed to tell the truth. I encourage you to find some ex-instructors for more information and to validate what I am telling you. Oh, buy the way, I am an ex-instructor and that is why I am free to share. What I mean about them ruling by fear is that if an instructor speaks up, their membership is terminated. No questions asked, no money returned, no thank-you's for the blood sweat and tears. Fear is a powerful motivator and rather than putting the relationship first, Parelli puts the fear of "god" into its instructors to behave.
Speaking of God, all students (future instructors), when taking the Fast Track, are expected to follow the acronym: WWPD (what would Pat do?). Pat Parelli ithinks of himself on par with Jesus. The phrase "What would Jesus do?" (often abbreviated to WWJD) became popular in the United States in the 1990s and as a personal motto for adherents of Evangelical Christianity who used the phrase as a reminder of their belief in a moral imperative to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus through the actions of the adherents. If that is not enough evidence of how egotistical this man is, I don't know what else to tell you.
Instructors are also trapped into spending more and more money, year after year. Licensing fees are now up to $1400 annually (last year it was $1100, the year before $900). When will it stop. All that gets you is the legal right to use their logo and to put your name on their website. Woo Hoo! After the licensing fees, then come the insurance fees, the continuing education fees....oh yes, instructors are obligated to put in time teaching at the campus, all at their cost, unless you are a higher level instructor, then you get some pay for it. Although you are not available for teaching your own students. Don't forget attending tour stops, Savvy Conferences, Instructor Conferences. They tell you it is voluntary, and then they have you submit all of your Parelli related activities in a monthly log....oh yes, big brother is watching. If you do not submit oodles and oodles of activities, they treat you lesser than. Good luck obtaining a scholarship, something they advertise continually. Or, unless you know someone at Corporate. I know an instructor who received a 100% scholarship because he knew Ann Kiser, not because of any qualifications. I guess the adage of "who you know" applies at Parelli as well. The unfortunate part of this is that this man could afford to pay the fees, while others, who were not given scholarships, could not.
And Ann Kiser was supposedly one of only 3 paid employees of the new Parelli Educational Institute, along with her husband, and Lori, who would run the show. How come Ann is no longer with Parelli? How come Parelli continually loses their best peolple and instructors? Did Ann too have a run in with Sara? I know of a higher level instructor who is considering leaving because of her run ins with Sara. Sara was the one who chopped me. Who else has been her victim.
Now lets talk about the Fast Track. It is 4 weeks of little instruction, that is supposed to accelerate your learning to Level 4. What a joke. The first day, is a 1/2 day, because of orientation, the next 3 days are testing, and the last day of the first week, you meet with mentors and put up a plan for the following week. The last week there are only 4 days, because one day is graduation and leaving the premises and within this four days are a couple more days of testing. The other two Fridays are also meet with mentor days and so, you get approximately 9 - 10 days of actual instruction. Hmmmm, how interesting. You should look up the cost of those 9 days.
Then there is the "Refining Level 3/4" course. That was the final straw for me as I could not take their deceptions any more. The course listed numerous tasks and concepts that we would be covering that really are a part of Level 3 and 4. I needed some official scoring to continue teaching as an instructor (more on that later) and with what they advertised, I was quite certain that the few things I needed to tweek and add would be covered. Let me see, I was after flying lead changes, positive expressions, light responses etc. What I got was, tying knots, tying the halter, throwing out the 45' line (on the ground) and winding it up again. All Level 1 and 2 tasks. We also go numerous video clips (mostly unrelated and comical), not to mention breaks that were 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. This course was run by Tina Giadano and it was run badly. There was no acceleration of Level 3 and 4. I asked for my money back, numerous times, and was flatly refused. And Parelli has a policy that all instructors are obligated to give a 100% refund if a student is dissatisfied. I was dissatisfied. Finally Sara (the COO) told me that her decision was final and that I would not get any money back and that my emails would no longer be responded to, by anybody. So I decided to post on Parelli Connect that I was dissatisfied by their decision and that Parelli did not follow their own policies. Sara cancelled my membership, right then and there. I think she was looking for an excuse to do so and she found one because the truth is not allowed to be posted.
I found out afterwards, from someone who used to work at Corporate, that it is common policy to falsely advertise so that more people would enroll. Usually the people who enroll are lower level students and so team leaders will then teach to the majority of who show up, regardless of what they are supposed to be teaching.
As I mentioned earlier, the Fast Track did little to prepare students for accelerated horsemanship or becoming an instructor, which is what you needed to pass in order to be accepted into the instructor program. And yet they eagerly took student's money, those that passed and were willing to pay the fees, allowed them into the instructor course and subsequently allowed them into the field. Well, guess what, for the first time in Parelli history, calls were coming in the the instructors were not very good. What a surprise. Parelli's plan to rectify the situation, take away the ability to teach until all 1 and 2 star instructors had achieved their Official Level 4s. There was no grand-fathering for people who had already paid and had already been teaching. And then they had the gall, to claim that WE had adopted a "Victim Mentality" because we complained about it. Parelli does not care about people, only money. I can cite so many examples of poor treatment that I would be here for days. Please believe me. There are others out there who can validate the things I say. Just ask around.
I read one post from someone who was surprised that Pat never mentioned Ray Hunt. Actually, he has, but not very often. The thing is, Ray Hunt hated Pat Parelli. There are many people who knew this and I am surprised the writer, who Ray visited, did not. I believe that Tom Dorrance also came to the end of his rope with Pat, but Tom was a gentle, quiet man, who would not publicly denounce Pat. Most respected clinicians out there today have no time for Pat Parelli and his rudeness, his constant need for attention and his greediness. These clinicians are about the horse and how you can get on the best with them. If you want some names, let me know and I can make some recommendations on where you can accelerate your horsemanship. (I will not use the term natural horsemanship anymore because it too has become overused. What is the most natural thing for a horse to do in the face of danger....to run! So what is natural about asking them to keep their feet still? What we are wanting to learn is safe and confident horsemanship, not natural horsemanship. And following the Parelli method will cost you greatly in blood, sweat and tear, and lots of money. Way too much money, for very little return.
These are comments from people that I personally know but I will not use their names for obvious reasons:
I learned more from Janiece in 3 days than in 10 years of Parelli.
I learned more from Jonathan in 5 hours than in the "4-week" Fast Track (in Pagosa)
I learned from Buck Brannaman that Parelli had taught my horse to be dull.
I learned more at McGinnis Meadows, in 5 days, than I learned with Parelli in 5 years.
My own experience, I learned more in 8 months of studying under wonderful horsepeople than I learned in 8 years of Parelli, at only a fraction of the cost.
I have heard from other people that there is more back-stabbing and criticizing in the Parelli program than anywhere else. I have experienced this first hand. 5 Star Canadian instructor Don Halladay came up to a new instructor and warned her to stay away from "his" students. How is it that he can claim ownership over people. Oh wait, isn't that what Parelli stands for, ownership of people?
So, all of that aside, what about the methods. How come when the original program was out (in VHS format) very few people completed and many dropped out. Marketing had to make changes and much was eliminated and then Linda became the central focus, and Stephanie Burns and the program became all about fear. Then the complaints came in that the program was no longer Pat, but Linda. So, marketing had to make changes again and bring Pat back. This time, they took out almost everything and have given you a very bare bones product, with a cheaper price, so that you would be convinced to buy it, perhaps actually get through it, buy more, get through more, buy more.....and on it goes.
The changes were not about what was good for the horse. The basic principals of how to deal with horses has never changed so why has the program changed so much. Not because of what they want you to know, but because of what can be sold to you. Do you not see how you are only pawns and wallets. If you want to learn about your horse, develop a relationship with your horse, and accelerate your horsemanship, please study elsewhere. You will be grateful that you did. I regret that time and money I gave to these people for they did not care about my journey.
Please, copy this entry, send it to everyone you know. I want this to go worldwide. I want people to know the truth. And this is only a fraction of what has gone on. If you have more info, add it and pass it on. Lets stop this before other people get ripped off!
There are many who are in Parelli who speak positively about it and I used to be one of those. I wore blinders and used to judge others for not "getting it" like I did, and a few Parelli friends around me. Funny thing is, these same friends are also studying under the same people that I now study under and are also finding their horsemanship accelerating. Those of you who are for Parelli, you just don't know what you don't know....Yet!
I used to be Parelli, and then my brains came in!