Classical Zettl teaching Parellis

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Classical Zettl teaching Parellis

This is a discussion on Classical Zettl teaching Parellis within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Parelli shoulders in
  • 14th vertabrae of horses back

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    12-10-2010, 11:00 PM
Classical Zettl teaching Parellis

Parelli tosses out the classical three-point seat (crotch & both seatbones) in favor of the "balance point", which is one point only, situated somewhere between the seatbones. Parelli also teaches flexing one's spine convexly backwards whilst riding, which tips the pelvis backwards, which is against classical riding, and slanting one's shoulders in certain movements, which is also anti-classical, and says nothing about the classical position of vertical ear-shoulder-hip-heel alignment. How, then, does a classical horseman such as Sir Zettl teach Parelli's? I know of no explanation from Parelli's; perhaps someone here can help me to understand this apparent contradiction. Thanks!
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    12-11-2010, 12:02 AM
Super Moderator
Where is Mr. Zettl teaching the Parellis? Could you clarify. I am a bit confused.
    12-11-2010, 06:09 AM
Walter Zettl has been giving dressage lessons to Pat & Linda I'm guesstimating for a couple of years, although Pat may have dropped out, because after the initial several lessons & disclosure to the world that they were occurring, I only heard Linda's accounts now & then of her solo lessons.
    12-11-2010, 06:49 AM
Green Broke
Sorry but IMO the parellis are arrogant and need swift kick up the arse. Thier cult like following and incredibly pushy ways have done more harm then good.

What they want you to do with horses results in confused, bargy and aggressive horses who have never been taugh basic manners. Look on project horses and the bast majority of the have been parelli-ised by people who are generaly novices, have becom entrenched in the parelli ways and not learned that with horses you can't do things in a text book way because horses don't read textbooks.

Sorry but whilst some of thier methods can be used by experianced horsepeople and used to benefit the horse, the vast majority is just junk sold to the masses to make money.

I have a very very low oppinion of the parellis themselves, perticularly after the horrificthings they did in thier display at the east of england showground!
    12-11-2010, 06:43 PM
Actually we "ride differently" in Freestyle vs. Finesse. Freestyle is more relaxed, going with the flow and flowing with the go, while in Finesse we engage our bodies and "tighten up" to help our horses do the same. I am here at the Parelli ranch in Florida right now and a few weeks ago Linda did a Game of Contact course that I was able to watch and she discussed our body positioning and how important it is. It was a phenominal 3 days.

Pat has not dropped out of lessons, Walter was just here for 3 days giving lessons to Pat, Linda, and top students each of those 3 days. It was absolutely wonderful.
    12-11-2010, 06:49 PM
So Spirithorse, can you better explain this "balance point" theory?

I have always been of the mindset that the vertical alignment and three point seat are ideal for all riding. Can you please try and explain in a very basic manner for me? I'm trying to understand and can't really wrap my head around it.
    12-11-2010, 06:59 PM
Parelli teaches you to access your balance point in order to be more balanced, have your seat be the heaviest part of you, and to make it more comfortable for your horse. If you sit on your seatbones that actually pitches your weight forward, which is why a lot of times when the horse stops suddenly the rider will fall forward. It's also uncomfortable to the horse's back. When you access your balance point, which is a spot about at the base of your tailbone, your feet feel light and your seat feels heavy. This is what you want. You are NOT slouching and you are NOT leaning back so far where you could rest your elbow on your horse's butt. Your shoulders remain up and back (no hollow back though) but all you do is rotate your pelvis. When you are on your balance point you are very much anchored to the saddle, the horse can go, stop or turn suddenly and you will remain much more balanced in comparison to if your weight was on your seatbones.

When riding with Finesse, your position changes in some ways in order to help your horse engage more. Does that help?
    12-11-2010, 07:03 PM
Sort of yeah though I thought one of the points of the seat bone and crotch was for balance.

Does anyone other than the Parellis teach this? I've never heard of this before.

Could you show me a picture of someone riding to this ideal, I'd like to be able to compare it to the more classical seat I am used to so maybe I can get a visual to better understand.
    12-11-2010, 07:05 PM
I would love a picture too. This is the first I've heard of it, though I'm definitely not up on all the newest learnings/techniques.
    12-11-2010, 09:57 PM
Spirithorse, I was hoping you'd offer feedback here; thanks for what you've said so far. From your words, the first clue for me is that Parelli goes to a more vertical position for "proper" dressage riding. It has to be that way, because it seems to me that so much of dressage would be impossible (pirouettes come to mind) with rider in balance point seat.

To clarify further, classical seat is atop the 14th vertebrae, which puts the rider up at the wither. The 14th vertebrae is the strongest point of the horse's back, & behind it the back gets progressively weaker. Having learned this, I'm concerned that the balance point seat, which not only tilts the pelvis back but is situated behind the 14th vertebrae, is hard on the horse. Any thoughts, Spirithorse?

Oh, yes: the concentration of weight in the seat is the third thing that is of concern to me; classical riding doesn't agree with this, to my knowledge, but rather puts weight onto thighs & the torso is to be in an upwards energy flow & vertical position.

Any help on these issues is greatly appreciated!

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