I absolutely CAN assess the majority - OK all - of the Parelli horses I've seen. As I said in my post, the only Parelli trainer within the county is a level 1, and I haven't seen any of her horses. I'm saying what I've seen of those who 'do' Parelli based on the DVDs. Their horses are below average.
If Parelli doesn't think people should train their horses just by watching his DVDs, then he should say so. He shouldn't market the DVDs as teaching a newbie to train their horse.
As I said at the end of my post: "I'm not sure my problem is with Pat Parelli or CA or others. It may be mostly with the idea that someone with limited experience with horses can train a horse after watching some DVDs. The exception would be if it was trained by a pro who was Parelli / CA / John Lyons certified...I would take a look then. The difference is between pro vs amateur rather than Parelli vs Lyons."
I'm sorry to hear you have only seen the bad "Parelli horses." I have seen bad, and good, and formed my own opinion based on that. But as I said, given my profession, I am around horses every day that are Clinton Anderson trained, traditional dressage, traditional western type trainers, John Lyons, Parelli, etc..... After awhile, you learn that EVERY "cult" has the beautifully and meticulously trained horses, and the rude, pushy ones that couldn't be ridden around an indoor arena without killing their rider. I've come to the conclusion that you just can't draw conclusions.
Yesterday I very successfully and easily trimmed the feet of a 4 year old rescue horse who was basically untouched before this lady took him out of the rescue. Wild, high spirit, spooky, running people over, sure couldn't touch his feet without him running away. Yesterday was our second session together and I trimmed all four feet with the horse COMPLETELY relaxed, soft, eyes half shut, head low, hind foot rested. I never chased him, in fact I never did more than move him around on the line left and right a few times at a walk. He never shed a drop of sweat. He never got upset or flustered. I used the first 4 Parelli games to assess him and build some trust. First time I met this horse, I couldn't get within 10 feet of him or he'd blow up and bolt and run. Nobody at the rescue was allowed to touch him anymore because he was so wild he was going to hurt someone.
I worked with him 1 hour the first time I met him, and 1 hour yesterday. All four feet trimmed just as easily and nicely as you could imagine. His owner has been doing the basic Parelli games with him, and he yields so beautifully to pressure now. You can move him with just a suggestion - point a finger and he backs up. He is a 1,200 lb. Fjord and weighs literally aout 2 ounces at the end of the lead rope. He is polite, respectful, and patient. The change in him is really amazing.
Could you have done that having never heard of the word "Parelli" in your life? SURE! Of course you could. You don't need a name attached to what you do in order for it to be successful. But my point is that myself and the owner only used the first 4 games to get him from wild, spazzing around, blowing up, running backward, knocking people down, to standing there gentle and quiet as a lamb.
And I do NOT believe in round penning horses, and running them to death to "wear them out." This horse was never run, chased, or even asked to trot! 80% of all the work I did with him was at a halt, just teaching him trust with the friendly game. Then some gentle yieling to direct and indirect pressure, and some circling at the walk. That was it.
I have never in my life come across a useful situation for Clinton Anderson training. I think he is harsh, abusive, crude, and he has absolutely no timing or feel whatsoever. I would rather retire my horse at the age of 5 as unrideable than let Clinton Anderson set one foot on my property to help me. But I'm not above admitting that there might be really super nice Clinton Anderson trained horses out there.
It's worth noting that the rescue that horse came from uses Clinton Anderson techniques. The owner told me that the rescue people would say "Don't you dare ever mention the word Parelli around here!!!"
Hmmmmm. So who got the horse soft, calm, relaxed, happy, gentle, and all four feet trimmed without one drop of sweat shed, and who deemed him unsafe and dangerous and nobody was allowed to touch him? Just think on that for a minute