Your opinion on Parelli - Page 31 - The Horse Forum
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post #301 of 402 Old 01-25-2013, 11:23 PM
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I'd rather try to train a cow to ride than a PP horse. No way in heck I would ever buy something that had been PP trained.

It's just not common sense to desensitize a horse to a whip, how does that even make sense? And then the further you delve, the more bizarre it gets.

Do as you please with your own horses, I won't be buying them.
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post #302 of 402 Old 01-25-2013, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
that's a thought. but, that rule doesn't really hold for the whole forum. However, it does serve to remind folks that if you think Natural horsemanship is hogwash, then perhaps you are in the wrong place. Or at least you should tone it down a bit, since this place is meant for folks involved in NH to have a place that they feel "safe" in, just like the Plus Sized forum.
I've had a few NH followers come attack me on my threads.. If they need to feel safe about the training methods, then there's something wrong there. This is a public forum..

~Started young horses in Bosca te Ador, unto the two rein the old Spanish spade, brought them along with two hands that were gentle. Some fine reining horses as ever were made~
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post #303 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Northern View Post
The mods created a separate NH forum due to the threads-that-turn-trainwrecks. Everyone, I think, has been really happy about that. Now: OP posted PP question IN the NH forum, & the non-NH'ers posted in it. So, it's same as before the separate NH forum. Seems the NH forum should be only for NHers, those who'd describe themselves as NHers, with a given list of the well-known NH trainers which these members study under/agree with. The OP's who want to hear from NHers only can post in NH forum, otherwise can start threads elsewhere.
Using your logic...then the same can be said about the WP section, where many WP bashing threads are. Non-WP people and people with absolutely no experience in it...come in and bash the hell out of it.
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post #304 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 07:30 AM
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If we all demanded that no one who had an opposing viewpoint from our own be allowed to post, how would any of us learn new things? May as well just start a private blog, and only invite those whose opinions dovetail with your own.

Just because there’s a section for NH doesn't make it sacred or inviolate from those who don't buy into any of the marketing gimmicks, and whose experiences with horses trained by those methods is less than pleasant.

If all you want is total agreement, then a public forum is the wrong place for you.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #305 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 07:45 AM
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I just don't understand how a person can say "all PP horses are bored, angry, teeth grinding, ear pinning and running away from their owners." There are so many levels of Parelli training, and everybody from the very novice beginner to the trained 5 star instructors..... This is like saying all dressage horses hate their jobs and are angry, ear pinning monsters. Or all Arabians are psycho, wild nut bags. Or all Quarter Horses are post legged christmas hams that can't trot their way out of a paper bag.

Why would anyone make those kind of claims? None of that can possibly apply to all horses within that discipline or type.

I watched a Savvy club DVD yesterday, in which Linda Parelli was doing a demo with Remmer. She wanted to see at which point he noticed her. Someone put him in the round pen for her, and Linda snuck in a back way. She walked around the crowd, blending in, then started talking to him. "Remmer! Remmmmm...." His head snapped up, ears popped forward, and he started searching the crowd looking for her. He looked like a horse who just viewed his pasture mate across the parking lot. She stepped out of the crowd and walked toward the round pen, and he marched right up to the fence toward her with his ears pricked forward and greeted her with his head jammed up in her hands/chest. She rubbed him and greeted him, and he was clearly VERY happy to see her!

That's not me making up some story. That's a publically verifiable fact. Anybody can view Savvy Club DVD #14, December 2005, and see if for themselves.

The Parellis teach explicitly that the 7 Games should not be the 7 Jobs, the 7 Tortures, the 7 Tasks, or similar. They should be fun, provocative, interesting, always switched up and changing so the horse doesn't feel he's being drilled endlessly. You can run through the 7 games in a matter of a few minutes and the horse doesn't even realize you're doing it.

Just like ANYTHING - HUMANS have the ability to screw things up. Anybody can latch onto 7 tasks they feel they have to do with their horse every day, and drill it and kill it until the horse resents it. But riders of any training style can do the same thing.

Pat and Linda Parelli don't make horsemen. True horsemen are born with a sense of feeling, intuition, and timing. They have true compassion for the animals and almost a sixth sense when it comes to horses. A non-horsemen can take a program that was meant as a general overall guide, and drill it until a horse resents them.

Every day I "do Parelli" with my Arabs, but I have the timing, the feel, and the compassion to know what their mental state is that day, and what should be done and not done. I never do the same stuff in the same order. I never go to the barn with a mental checklist and plan according to the DVDs. That's insane!

I will tell you this - and you can choose to not believe it if you wish, but it's true. The one very difficult Arabian mare that I took to Pat Parelli for him to personally work, had changed like you would not believe. She was always a very dominant, opinionated horse who often resented any leadership I tried to give her. If I asked her to step over out of my space, I would gently touch a finger on her side, or cluck my tongue, and she'd move instantly. But she'd pin her ears and swish her tail at me. Everything was done with such ATTITUDE! Ugh it would get exhausting at times.

Well, she's still the same strong willed, opinated mare of course, but she's looking at me with ears up and forward, both eyes on me, in a questioning type expression now..."What do you want me to do?" Instead of "I'll do it but I'm pissed off about it."

Her expression, her demeanor, her attitude, and her general interest and spirit have changed for the BETTER. I love what Buck Brannaman says "Change the intention in your heart and you change the outcome." Through watching Buck, and Parelli, I have learned how to not be so direct line...("I will go out today and work on XYZ.") In thinking that way, I would get too focused on the outcome instead of the relationship. Anything the horse did that wasn't falling in line with my intended outcome would make me slightly annoyed or frustrated. NOT enough to physically harm the horse, or get rough on her, etc. but it was just my own mental and emotional state of being that the horse picked up on.

Since I now have the attitude of having fun, playing with my girl, putting the relationship first, we are actually making FAR MORE progress a whole lot quicker than we used to!

I attached a picture from a couple of days ago. We had already worked (played) for about an hour doing all sorts of fun things, but making a LOT of forward progress at the same time. This horse has come farther in a few months than she did in a few years. I can ride her bareback in a neck string out in the wide open and do poles, small jumps, transitions, halts, backups, rollbacks off the fence. Sure she still has the firery Arabian temperament but she is connected to me so much tighter now, that she feels she can truly get leadership from me, so she is so much happier, relaxed, and more easy going.

Yes I always had "leadership" of her, but it was more about "Do this. Do that. Go there. Stay here. Move your feet." Those things are all important, but I was lacking that deeper, emotional connection to her, like a foal has to its dam upon birth. That connection where the foal follows mamma and does what she does, doesn't spook or panic, or look to anyone else for answers. THAT kind of a connection is what we need with our horses. It's not an alpha horse/subordinant horse relationship. That's what I always thougth being the leader meant. But it's not. Not at ALL.

This horse is looking to me in a different way now. She is connecting with me more as if she was a foal and I was the mamma horse, than I'm her alpha leader that tells her what to do. Hard to explain, but in fact TOTALLY different. She is always looking to me, looking at me, ears up, expression soft and questioning. She used to enjoy being around me, and we had a great relationship, and clearly a good bond, but she an I really butted heads. It was always my will against her will. It's just different now.

No I'm not a kool aid drinker. I'm not a PP worshipper. But I do think that the lynch mob mentality regarding Parelli on the internet is a bit much. It's taken on a life of its own and most people who fight against it so hard probably don't know the first thing about Parelli in reality. They only know what they've read on the internet or been told by others.
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post #306 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 07:51 AM
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Northern- You are 100% WRONG! I DO Consider myself a trainer that has used 'natural Horsemanship' for over 50 years. I think I train as naturally as anyone can train. I think I train -- or actually TEACH -- a horse in the same way way he would learn what it takes to get along with the herd. I punish one the same way horses punish each other. I reward one the same way a herd rewards an obedient member -- by leaving him alone and letting him interact in a positive way. I see the people who think NH means you never discipline a horse as 'lost souls' that will never understand how a horse learns and will never have a very well trained one. On the other hand, I have trained many horses from start to a finished horse that I never 'got after' in any way. They just never did anything wrong enough to need more than being interrupted while giving the wrong response.

I think I do a LOT better job of teaching a horse in a way he understands (using Natural Horsemanship) than PP does. I never see a herd of horses 'micro-manageing' every little move a horse makes like PP followers are taught to torture and not accept what they should from a horse. I am convinced that is why so many of them are 'ill' and hate people and that opinion seems to be well validated here.

This is a section called 'Natural Horsemanship' and the OP asked for opinions on PP. I think that is exactly what people have done. I do not think it is a 'train wreck' at all. They have answered that question to the best of their ability and knowledge and understanding. That is what I have done. It is not a section titled "For PP devotees only' or 'PP students only'. I think everyone did exactly what was asked in the heading. I would think that someone trying to decide if they want into a program or not should know the opinions of people that have had good results with it and people that have had horrible results with the horses trained this way and they can make up their minds if they want to get into this program or some other one. They are also better equipped to analyze results with their own horse if they get into the program. If their horse starts getting resentful and 'pinny eared' that can say to themselves "Whoops. This is turning my horse into an ill-tempered monster. This is not what I wanted from it."

I'm afraid I just cannot see anything wrong with people actually answering the question asked. JMHO

Cherie -- as a learner and teacher of Natural horsemanship and not as a Mod.

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Last edited by Cherie; 01-26-2013 at 08:17 AM.
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post #307 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 07:56 AM
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I have learned how to think in a "we" frame of mind instead of an "I tell you, and you respond accordingly." NO, it's not spoiling the horse, or allowing them to control and run over you. But it's more of a positive way to think and direct the horse. "Let's do this together." "Why don't we try this." Instead of "Move your feet over there because I told you to do it." The latter isn't abuse. It's not harsh training. But it's the way 99% of us deal with our horses. We think that to be an alpha over them, we have to dictate things to them like alpha her members do. But that's not actually what we want. We need the leadership position, but it has to be a TEAM mentality. Dam and foal going to water tank or hay pile.....dam makes the decsions. Dam says "We will go now." Foal says "Ok, I'm coming with you!" Sure dam administers discipline when needed. She might nip the foal or physically force him out of the way if he ignores her. A good dam always has leadership but she's doing what she's doing FOR her baby, and not TO her baby. She's not viewing her foal as a subordinant herd member to be moved around at will. She is viewing him as her prize possession to protect, to teach, to move in unison with.

And please don't misconstru this and say "Horses aren't fur children." No, they're not! They should not be treated as children, pets, or dogs. They shouldn't be coddled and cooed over. That is not helpful or safe for you or the horse! You have to have that strong leadership role and be ready to correct as needed. But just changing what's in your heart changes the outcome.
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post #308 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 08:11 AM
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Padrona, if I had time to respond I would, however I'm off to work, have 28 horses to deal with, all of them from differing backgrounds. Only one of which has been touched by the 'magic hand' of a Parelli person, he's two, he bites, he pins his ears and charges people in the arena.....he's a real peach. I'm not his 'momma' and he's not my 'foal'.....I am human and I will leave a stripe on his ass.......
I could pick your story apart like a thanksgivng turkey....
I know what I know from hands on experience, NOT from what I've read on a forum........
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post #309 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Muppetgirl View Post
Padrona, if I had time to respond I would, however I'm off to work, have 28 horses to deal with, all of them from differing backgrounds. Only one of which has been touched by the 'magic hand' of a Parelli person, he's two, he bites, he pins his ears and charges people in the arena.....he's a real peach. I'm not his 'momma' and he's not my 'foal'.....I am human and I will leave a stripe on his ass.......
I could pick your story apart like a thanksgivng turkey....
I know what I know from hands on experience, NOT from what I've read on a forum........
Well I'm sorry that you have such a negative, hateful view of your horse. Even when Buck Brannaman dealt with the aggressive stallion that was ravaging people and trying to kill them, he never once got emotional, angry, or personal against the horse. He acted and spoke with compassion and true leadership. That is the mark of a true horseman in my opinion. The minute you let negative, hateful emotion rule what we do with a horse (stripe across his ass), you just lost. Buck didn't stripe the stallion's ass. He roped a hind leg from another horse and stayed in the safe zone. For the first time in that stallion's life, he gave him real leadership. Not love, not hate. Just leadership. He established boundaries. He used flagging to defend his own space and allow the stallion to deal with his emotions out there in his own space. The stallion was euthanized because he was so far gone, but the time Buck spent with him was a shining example of what a horseman really is. No emotion. No anger. No blame. Nothing personal. He showed compassion on that stallion and leadership in a way that boy had never known.

And there's no need to "pick my story apart." There's nothing to pick apart. It is what it is. My entire relationship with this mare has improved 10 fold. I actually have far MORE of her respect now than I did before. Again, sorry that you feel you have to be so negative. Life is too short for that.

Last edited by Padrona; 01-26-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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post #310 of 402 Old 01-26-2013, 08:48 AM
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I say to each their own, if it works for you great - whatever "it" may be.

That being said and as the title asks for opinions here is mine solely based on what I've experienced first hand. The horses I've dealt with that have been trained via PP methods I've found a lot to be lacking, generally pushy and disrespectful (that's why they ended up with me to fix). Same with a couple of my students who started out with PP methods and came to me to fix the respect problems they had with their horses. I don't care if your horse is a left/right/upside down/inside out introvert/extrovert they still need to have manners, period. I don't know that it's the program itself or how the people that are into the program are interpreting it. However, somewhere along the line the message is not clear (or maybe it is?) on how a horse should behave when with humans.

I hate to play into stereotypes but both students of mine fit the stereotype we often hear of Parelli fans, middle aged women, wanted to love them into behaving and playing games appealed to that side of them. The first lesson with one of them, mare that was utterly disrespectful, pushy, just general ill mannered. Owner asks after I'd worked with the mare for a few minutes "What game are we going to play for our lesson?" I was kind of taken aback as playing games seems to have gotten her in trouble in the first place, my answer was "The get the heck out of my space game." Both students and their horses are on a much more clear path, doing some competitive trail riding and generally enjoying their well mannered, respectful horses.

So from what I've seen & experienced, I am not a fan. Maybe one day I will meet a PP horse/human in person that could change that opinion but until that day comes I can't feel any other way than what experience has shown me.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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