CA - Parelli Differences, Need Help

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CA - Parelli Differences, Need Help

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    06-29-2011, 02:02 PM
CA - Parelli Differences, Need Help

I started natural horsemanship a couple of years ago and have used the Parelli methods. Due to having to take time off for a pregnancy, I am almost done with level one with my gaited mare (I'll call her my Parelli mare).

I recently bought a grade QH mare that was a CA level two trained to add to our family (I'll call her my CA mare). Here's a link to her video in case anyone wants to see (it's a little long - 5 mins) but fun to watch.

YouTube - ‪Flashy Palomino Trail Horse With Flaxen Mane And Tail‬‏

I thought the methods would be relatively interchangeable but the differences between my two mares are significant. If you watch the video of my CA mare and know about both methods (I know nothing really of CA so can only speak in Parelli terms), you'll see in backing my CA mare that it's on what I'd call a Phase 4 under the Parelli methods.

Her phases are different depending on which game or exercise I'm doing, but nothing is what I would call a Phase 1.

My question is, how can she really be level two completed if she's not responding to Phase 1? I believe this is where the difference in the methods may come into play, and I am ignorant to that.

I worked with my Parelli mare until she consistently responded to Phase 1. She's now push button at the seven games. With a point, a figer wiggle, or a look, I can basically send her anywhere I want her to go. I also worked with a mentor who was more advanced than me, and I know that we're not supposed to "perfect" level one before we move on lol.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I wasn't really wanting to go through the CA DVD's as well to adapt to that method. Surely they can't be that different, but I feel that I will need to retrain my CA mare based on what I know (the method I'm familiar with). For those of you familiar with both, should I try to adapt her more to Parelli, or should I learn more about the CA methods and use what works best for us all from both?

Suggestions, input please

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    06-29-2011, 03:11 PM
I don't know the specifics of either course. It sounds so complicated I wonder how you have time to ride after you learn all that. She is a beautiful mare and I think from her point of view there are no levels or methods other than human puts pressure on, I move away from pressure, human takes pressure off. Stick to that and she'll be fine. She is a doll baby!
    06-30-2011, 12:20 PM
As a Level 4 Parelli student, the biggest difference between CA and PP I see is that CA's approach is very aggressive. He teaches you how to get stuff done with your horse and if the horse doesn't do it, well put more pressure on until the horse responds. I personally do not like that approach and find it very unnecessary. I have seen him in person work with horses, one was a right brain extrovert and the other a left brained introvert, slightly on adrenaline. He made the RBE even more of a RBE, running it aroung the round pen until it could hardly breath, and he turned the LBI into a RBE who left the arena prancing, tail in the air and almost ran him over (the horse had walked in just fine before CA took hold of him).

Sometimes you do have to be firm with a horse. I won't hesitate to be firm when it's needed. There is a difference between firm and aggressive. I think that's the biggest difference between the two programs.
    06-30-2011, 12:56 PM
Thank you for your responses. Doe gave me some good insight on this as well yesterday in her comparison thread.

From what I've learned, I do like PNH focus on finesse versus the "get it done" attitude. I'm going to stick with what I know, even if that means reconditioning my CA mare to what I know.

I don't think it will be a very hard transition. To me it just doesn't make sense to have to be that forward with a horse all the time. I really like the calm relationship between me and my PNH mare. It's almost like a mind meld, I think it and she does it lol.
    06-30-2011, 02:07 PM
I wouldn't think it would be a hard transition at all. Your CA horse just needs to see you aren't going to get after it, and that you will offer softness and allow him the time if he needs it. It's supossed to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. If you offer your horse softness, he will offer you softness. As John Baar, 5 star Instructor said, "There can not be a brace unless you push back."

It definitely is a "mind meld" thing as you put it. There are times I am blown away at the lightness from my horse, I think something and he responds...even though I am well aware that he saw SOMETHING in my body, or felt something from me, that tipped him off but the fact that he's that connected to respond to that slightest thought and suggestion is amazing.
    06-30-2011, 02:20 PM
I feel all warm & fuzzy that OP's seen the difference between these two teachers & has made the right choice! :) :) :) Horse will be very happy, too!
    06-30-2011, 03:01 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I don't know the specifics of either course. It sounds so complicated I wonder how you have time to ride after you learn all that. She is a beautiful mare and I think from her point of view there are no levels or methods other than human puts pressure on, I move away from pressure, human takes pressure off. Stick to that and she'll be fine. She is a doll baby!
Agreed completely. The horse doesn't care what logo is on the box, only that whoever is handling her knows when to apply and when to release the pressure.

I borrow bits and pieces from everyone, but I am much more familiar with CA's exercises and philosophy than PP's. All I can say about the sensitivity issue, Phase 1 vs Phase 4 and whatnot, is it all depends on the feel of the handler. I've seen CA-methoded horses who were light as feathers, and CA-methoded horses who were downright disrespectful in spite of the goals outlined by the program. Same goes for PP; I've seen them light and responsive, and I've seen them pushy and slow to respond to cues. Any method, no matter who authored it, is only a tool. It's the way the tool is put to use that makes or breaks a good horse.

In short, how light the horse is to cues depends on the skill and feel of the trainer, not what book the trainer read. Just use whatever training style you feel the most comfortable with (both operate on the principles of pressure and release, so there should be minimal conflict there), and enjoy your pretty new girl!!
    07-01-2011, 07:13 PM
Green Broke
I don't have any advice, but I do want to say Star is LOVELY.
    07-01-2011, 10:24 PM
After watching part of your video I think you could lighten up on your cues a little and still get a good response. No need to bend to move her even tho Parellians do this. Just pointing your stick toward her hip and looking at it will likely move her.
    07-01-2011, 11:39 PM
Originally Posted by spookychick13    
I don't have any advice, but I do want to say Star is LOVELY.
Thank you :)

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