If there were some crazed law that every rider had to choose a big name trainer to follow (come heck or high water), I would probably pick Clinton Anderson. My horses respond really well to the techniques, especially the groundwork. They are calm, respectful, friendly, safe, and easy to handle. That's awesome, Whispering Meadows, that you may have to opportunity to participate in his Apprenticeship program! I personally use a lot more of a classical dressage based riding program, but, for my new horse (basically green) I started off going through the motions of CA's gaining respect/control exercises to be sure that I stood on level ground, so to speak. A lot of the commercial NH trainers focus on building a foundation, and to have a complete picture different concepts need to come in to play (hence my classical dressage after control).
That's interesting, Spirithorse, I didn't know that CA was once a Parelli student! Wow! Although he doesn't say much about partnership in his videos, etc. (at least from what I've seen), to do the liberty work and bridleless riding that he performs at exhibitions, there is a great degree of partnership that has been attained, and that I am sure he must acknowledge and be working toward. Just my opinion, as always, but all of my experience of the Parelli system is talking about partnership, very little "this is how it's done", lots of "this is what you will get to." Granted, this is the free TV show, not watching a DVD set.
Kudos on the wonderful opportunity, Whispering Meadows!