I was at an equestrian event with various demonstrations varying from dressage to carriage horses to parelli. An accomplished dressage rider gave her demo with a handful of people watching. She was well spoken, explaining the importance of what she was doing, answering questions, and clearly working well with her horse.
Then there were several Parelli demonstrations, one by a local barn, and one by a certified trainer. People lined up along the fences in crowds to watch cranky horses stand on podiums and push around a ball. They applauded as a horse clumsily popped over some barrels and ooed and ahhhed at the clunky horse with a braced everything cantering around without a bridle. I saw horses that were unfit to ride being ridden, jumped, doing sloppy lateral movement, and being covered up by tarps in the rather hot sun (applause again as the horse takes off, jerks the rope out of the persons hand and continues to the gate solo). I saw horses that I've known for years whose bodies have gone to sh*t with overly tight muscles in all the wrong places, heavy front ends and legs that trail out behind them in all gaits. I saw horses with ears pinned and heads shaking aggressively (and I know the difference between a horse that's paying attention and a horse that's completely PO'd) as they were forced to canter (tightly bucking in many cases) in small circles. All of this as uknowing horse owners watch googley eyed at the people who say that they have learned to speak the "language of the horse". If they truly could speak the language of the horse, they could see that every horse out there was saying F you!
I know this has been done to death, but it really bothers me how an accomplished athlete of a horse can be ignored and sloppy mediocrity can be awarded by the masses. Will people ever see that there is a difference between obedience and correctness? I have seen many horses physically crippled through that program, made insecure in everything but their methods, yet the people keep coming in force.
I know, everyone must be commended for trying, but what I saw yesterday (by people carrying the official Parelli name) was not what was best for the horse.
And no, I'm not posting this trying to slam Parelli, I'm posting this trying to open some eyes and maybe help out a few horses.