I've heard lots on how the Parelli methods are no good, but I want to know exactly how. What do they do that's wrong? Why are they disliked so much? (I am not trying to stand up for them, I really have no clue about any of this and I'm just curious.)
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That could take some time. You can do a search on here and get loads of information and examples. There's not shortage of threads addressing PP and LP.
But, just to give you a relatively short answer (i.e. it won't be short or nearly all inclusive).
PP preaches/teaches that his methods work with all horses (I have some dear friends who are huge fans, have hosted him and had me watch some of his training DVD's). Even when watching the DVD there was a case where a horse did not respond well to his technique for teaching a horse to back up and LP made the matter worse by doing (of course) what they preach which is to do it more vigorously, which made the situation even worse. That horse and owner where not in the following portion of the video since it was a "problem horse" that needed to be worked with more.
Actually my older mare was the same way when my friend was going to show me how to train her to backup using the PP way. She wasn't happy about it at first and behaved worse as it was continued. I stopped it. Took the halter off, spent 10 minutes with her to calm her down and took less than 5 minutes to get her to back up a couple of steps with no halter or lead. Just my hands and voice. In 10 minutes she was backing up all the way across the paddock with just a hand motion and voice command. She didn't get nervous and behaved very nicely, but was nervous and agitated when the PP method was used.
Of course there are cases where he's messed up in front of audiences. In one case with another "difficult" horse he couldn't get it to accept the bridle. Ended up putting a line under the lip and another under the leg in an effort to force compliance. Failed all around, but did manage to injure the horses gum sufficiently that the vet on hand restricted that horse from being used in the next days demonstration.
Of course it was the horse's fault and people who didn't think he was still wonderful just "didn't understand what they were seeing" and didn't understand the situation
. It's almost to funny to be sad, since many of use were working with horses before Pat and are very much aware of what we are seeing.
Bottom line is that there is NO technique, system or whatever you want to call it that works with all horses. Any of these trainers that tells you they have one is full of it. Just like people, every horse is an individual. Something that worked with one might not work with another so they better have more than one way of doing things available. The only thing that is always true is the correct philosophy about training, but that can't be marketed. You can't claim ownership of that.
People who are "in love" with PP are the ones who might have had some success with what he sells, bought into the hype and have never seen or are unaware of the utter failures and don't know any better.
Being a truly great horse person is not about following or developing a series of "canned" techniques or system. It's about a philosophy that allows you to take each horse as an individual, understand what will work for that horse, teach it in the manner that works for that horse. If what you're doing isn't working, then you do something else. Success isn't about making the horse learn your way. It's teaching the horse to do what you want using a method that works for that horse.