Wow, I've just caught up on this thread and all I can say is....Holy Shinoly!
Unfortunately, folks who think that loping their horse along in a straight line down a beach is something that's impressive and exhibits phenomenal training if they can do it with nothing more than a string around their neck don't expect much of their horses.
Sure, the horse may (or may not) be perfectly content to plod around with zero expectations put on them, but that doesn't mean that everyone who actually uses their horse is mistreating them.
I can take any one of my broke horses and lope them around with a string around their neck...no problem at all. THEN, I can take any one of them and go accomplish something and do it at mach 3 if needed.
That little girl in the video of the horse on the beach looks like she's having fun, but can she stop that horse, spin him around, and ask for a lope the other direction and get it accomplished in less than 3 strides? I seriously doubt it.
Anyway, I could comment on a couple hundred posts in this thread, but this one really kind of stuck in my craw so I felt the need to address it.
- why your horses look like robots (I understand that's for security)
Actually, no real
cowboy wants a horse that is a robot. Around cattle or riding in rough country, a robotic horse will get you killed. Do not mistake willingness and obedience in a horse as being robotic.
Folks who do actual
work with their horses need a horse with a mind of it's own that is capable (and can be trusted) to make their own decisions regarding a lot of stuff. I require my horses to pick their own way across a pasture if I'm looking at cattle, even if we're running full out. If I'm working the rope, I need the horse to know where they need to be so that I don't have to take the time to tell them and break my concentration.
If you're running as fast as a horse can run behind a cow and trying to rope it, you need a horse that will stay on that cow's hip on their own with no input from you. It makes the whole thing harder on everyone involved; horses, cattle, and riders, if the cowboy has to actually cue the horse to stay on the cow's hip.
Dame, unfortunately, Hollywood does a very poor job of copying the actual life of a cowboy. I can watch any movie or TV show, no matter how great and "factual" the general public thinks it is, and pick it completely apart and point out about a million things that they are doing wrong. That, to me, is a true tragedy because much of the rest of the world bases their "knowledge" of the western way of life on what they see in movies.
Unless you've lived in the cowboy lifestyle or ridden a vaquero bridle horse, then you really have no idea about much of anything
regarding that subject and are in no position to judge.
However, many of us have watched enough of Parelli and his teachings (or, in some cases, handled enough Parelli trained horses) to have enough of an idea to make an educated judgment on that subject. Thankfully, I've only had 3 horses come through my barn whose owners were Parelli "followers". All 3 of them were ill-mannered, sour, and spiteful horses who were supremely unhappy when they arrived. However, when they left, they were very nice, responsive, and HAPPY.
The amazing thing is, all 3 of them were ridden in bits while they were here, they were used to work cattle, and they enjoyed their jobs so much that they would stick their own head in the halter when I would go to catch them in the dark mornings where their owner had to crowd them into a small pen just to catch them before.
Where they had to be herded into the trailer with fence panels or have whips/ropes used on them to get them loaded when they came here, by the time they left, they would eagerly jump into the trailer because they knew that they had a day of work ahead of them.
Yet, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, you believe that those horses were being abused because they were ridden in a bit and actually had responsibilities to live up to.