Hmm, I see no gimmick here......Parelli works, you can't deny that. Plain and simple. And Pat is a master horseman. Anyone who wants to debate that, well, I think that person needs to pay a little closer attention to how horses respond to Pat.
I won't argue that Pat is one hell of a horseman. However, he learned that from a lifetime of working with horses and learning from THEM, not a DVD set. Contrary to what you may believe, he was not always the fluffy training version that he is today. He simply found out what the public is willing to pay big bucks for and started selling it (whether it makes sense or not). Many of his "minions" so often discussed create the problems because they are so focused on progressing to the next game or next savvy level or whatever that they don't actually watch and learn from the horse. That creates unhappy, sour, or bored horses. Then the people don't understand why the horse has so many issues with other things i.e. grooming, shoeing, etc. Plus, what is the reason for jacking up the prices of everything so much? I can go to my local tack store and get a halter/lead for $30 less than he sells his for. Why would I spend $60 for a orange stick with a string hooked to the end of it when I can use a twig from a tree with baling twing? At least if mine breaks, I am not out $125 (cost of the first one then having to get another). And $106 for a "hackamore" that is not even a real hackamore? No thanks. I have got a $5 rope halter and $25 mecate rein that works just fine.
Perhaps you would be interested to hear what Karen Rohlf has to say about Parelli. Or to read her book. Karen, who is VERY well decorated in dressage, is a Level 3 graduate and incorporates Parelli into her dressage training. She takes the horse through the program before she ever starts any real dressage training. As she puts it, from what I can remember from her book, "I call what I do Dressage, Naturally, because I'm trying to fill in the gap where NH ends and dressage begins. NH teaches you a lot about the mental and emotional aspects of the horse, and some, but not as much, physical aspects. Dressage can teach you a lot about the physical aspects of the horse, but not as much about the mental and emotional aspects. If we combine these two things, then we have it all.....we have Dressage, done Naturally."
Well that says it right there. In order to get a finished horse, you must incorporate other methods. Some
of Pat's methods are excellent as a beginning base but you need to take in every bit of information you can in order to get a finished horse in any or all disciplines. No one training method works for all horses!!! What is really scary is before long, he will start selling DVDs specialized for training your horse in reining, barrels, cutting, dressage, jumping, WP, HUS, etc, etc. All in the name of money.
I am sorry for the super long rant and I am not ragging on you, Spirit, but it just frustrates me to hear people say that "insertmethodhere" is the only way to train to get good horses and every other method is either ineffective, cruel, or ignorant. There are just as many horses, if not more, that are screwed up by NH followers as there are with any other method of training. The whole reason for that is because they teach people tricks instead of understanding. People who don't watch the horse get confused and frustrated when their horse reacts differently than the one on the DVD. DVD's don't make horsemen, watching and learning from HORSES makes horsemen.
Anyway, no offense to the OP, but to avoid starting a fight, this will be my last post in this thread.