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This is a discussion on Parelli within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    09-08-2011, 02:56 PM
Green Broke
Well, I guess I'll continue to think in my triangle and if I, myself, can't fix the problem out I'll ask a trainer and if one trainer's advice doesn't work I'll ask another until something works. People were riding and training horses a looong time before PP decided to put a name on it. There are many things that people were already doing before NH was even an acknowledged way to train a horse. PP didn't just pop out of no where with this new fantastic idea that was different from everyone else's.
tempest and Alwaysbehind like this.
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    09-09-2011, 03:32 PM
Green Broke
Well everyone knows that but the OP wanted to know what people who have used the system thought of it, not what others thought of the man himself. If you follow it and it works for you then who cares about the man's ego or how much money he's making?
I've gotten awesome results using the tips he and other NH trainers have given and that's what I believe the OP wanted to know.
HorseyyGal likes this.
    09-09-2011, 04:32 PM
Originally Posted by lilruffian    
If you understand the method then go for it. Parelli himself says it's not for everyone because not everyone can comprehend how a horse's mind works, nor do some have a big enough scope of imagination which plays a key role in NH.
No one can truly comprehend how a horse's mind works. Imagination only helps you come up with possibilities. It can't pinpoint anything for you. All of our knowledge of horse behavior is based off of observation. To say that Parelli (or anyone) can predict behavior based off of prior observed behavior is fine, but unless you're a horse, there's no way to know how horses' minds "work," that is, a horse can rear and you can go: "That's its fight instinct." But do you know what is actually going on in its brain (not chemically) when its fight instinct is activated? No. You can sure imagine you do though.
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christopher likes this.
    09-12-2011, 04:33 PM
Parelli has many theories that are sound, and has developed many exercises that work. I think what turns many people off his methods is the marketing that's attached to them. There are a lot of other wonderful trainers out there who use the same or similar methods to Parelli, but they haven't stamped those methods with their own name--they simply call it natural horsemanship. IMHO, the best trainers are the ones who use methods/tips/tricks from a wide variety of trainers, and who never stop learning. My trainer has been riding and training horses for over 60 years, and she still attends clinics to learn more. You can never stop learning how to work with horses, and you can never find ONE right method that will work for every horse you'll ever own.

What I do like are Parelli's seven games. You can call them whatever you like, but the exercises do provide an excellent groundwork foundation.

My favorite trainers to watch and learn from are Jonathan Field and Stacy Westfall. Jonathan did spend time training under Parelli, and has adapted a lot of his methods, but is far more personable, and is arguably a better teacher than Pat. I find Stacy's exercises more methodic, but she explains them with such clarity, they're very easy to understand and try yourself.

DVDs are certainly not a replacement for in-person training, but can be an excellent supplementary tool as long as you're willing to look at videos from a variety of trainers so you don't become closed to using only one style. No one trainer's word is gospel.
    09-12-2011, 05:37 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Fancy14    
IMHO, the best trainers are the ones who use methods/tips/tricks from a wide variety of trainers, and who never stop learning. My trainer has been riding and training horses for over 60 years, and she still attends clinics to learn more. You can never stop learning how to work with horses, and you can never find ONE right method that will work for every horse you'll ever own.

DVDs are certainly not a replacement for in-person training, but can be an excellent supplementary tool as long as you're willing to look at videos from a variety of trainers so you don't become closed to using only one style. No one trainer's word is gospel.
Yes, I couldn't agree with you more.
    09-20-2011, 11:01 AM
While I don't follow Parelli he has some good methods. One method I think every rider and horse should know is the Seven games. I learned this from my trainer when I was 10 because I had major trust issues with my horse. Eight years later, I still make sure every horse, I own knows the games and all the young riders I teach. I can't really say I used any of this other methods but I do know people who has.
    09-22-2011, 01:55 PM
I'm a huge follower of Parelli & use their methods with my own horses & horses I work with. But I am in NO WAY a Parelli-Zombie, not every bit is going to suit your horse & you may find some techniques from others that will help. By all means go with what works for you best! ParelliConnect is fantastic, around 5 dollars a month membership. You get all the level 1 DVD streamed online and there is tonnes of information & tasks on it :)

The only downfall about Parelli (well for me anyway!) is the price. But if theres a will, there is ALWAYS a way You can use a cattle prod as a carrot stick (about a tenner cheaper), even stick some rope to the end of it to add the string! This is what I did until I saved up enough for the real McCoy. The halters are the same as a normal rope halter, which you can make yourself or get in a tack shop without the "brand name". For the big green ball, I use a pilates ball! Exactly the same thing, but around 40 quid cheaper.

Hope I've shed a little insight :)
    09-24-2011, 11:56 AM
Unlike a lot of people who have replied, I actually am a Parelli student and have been for awhile now. I'm currently playing in Level 4 and will be attending the Instructor Course at the end of January :)

The horse I have now was going to be put down due to his extreme aggression issues. When I say extreme I mean trying to kill people extreme. He was a labeled biter, kicker, man hater and was said to be dangerous, vicious and unpredictable. He would lunge at anyone who walked by his stall with ears back, teeth bared. Multiple trainers, who are VERY well known in the Dressage and Eventing world, tried to train him and said he "didn't have the heart" or was just trash and untrainable. Not the case at all, my horse just has zero tolorance for ignorance and forceful techniques.

I ride this horse bridleless, jump bridleless, and next year will hopefully start showing in the Dressage world. He is a phenominal partner with a beautiful mind. There has to be something to the Parelli program if a normal, every day girl like me can achieve spectacular results with this horse where professionals who have been in the business for years and years couldn't do a darn thing with him :) I love the program and believe in it 100%.
HorseyyGal likes this.
    09-24-2011, 12:24 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by lilruffian    
That's actually not true. It's in step-by-step format to break it down so that it's easier to understand but you do not have "pass all the tests" for it to work or for you to move on. The idea is to take the pointers and apply them as needed.
This is why NH doesn't work for everyone because there are individuals who cannot think outside the box. They believe they have to follow everything in the exact order it's shown and when it doesn't work they get frustrated.
These are the people who need a trainer's advice all the time. And ALL trainers make money this way. I've met regular horse trainers in the area who insist that you learn their way of doing things because they know you and your horse better than anyone else. It's nice to have advice but it's better to be able to take that advice and do things yourself in the long run.
And as for selling carrot sticks - every single NH trainers out there has their own line of products they promote. They all insist that you use a stick (and they're all the same, just with different names). But they don't say "if you don't us MY products then it won't work."
Of course Parelli isn't going to tell you to follow his program but go and buy Clinton Anderson's handy stick or Stacy Westfall's halters.
It's up to YOU what you want to use and it's your own fault if you fall for the marketing sceme that ALL business's use.
I don't know the trainers in your area... But my trainer encourages me constantly to do things for myself, we have conversations in lessons because I ask questions and test things out. I don't know how many trainers you've met, but I can assure you I bet less than 50% of the trainers all over the world do that. I have only ever met trainers who insisted I go to other clinics and learn from everyone possible... And they come too!
Every business is in the marketing scheme, but parelli took it to another degree... Maybe my trainers crazy but she's recommended I get a few lessons from other trainers aswell... I guess she's not in on the marketing scheme?
I am not that against parelli,if he wants to sell, and people want to buy, well then they can just be happy. I'm happy here with our local NH trainers and me learning groundwork by observing the horses... Isn't that what NH is? Just understanding horses minds? Well everyone, here's a cheap lesson to get your NH fix... Watch a bunch of horses in a field together for 2 hours, garenteed you'll learn something about how they think.
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Scoutrider and beforetomorrow like this.
    09-24-2011, 06:34 PM
Parelli frustrates me now. So many contradictions. And the emphasis on bridleless and liberty also annoys me. Sure it's nice and it looks pretty etc. and I can and have done it, but in the end if the sequence goes "eyes, bellybutton, leg, rein" then the whole setup relies on the reins. Even when your horse does respond to "eyes, bellybutton, leg", it's only because you've conditioned it to believe those 3 things = rein. In the same way clicker trained horses get happy when they hear a click, even if they don't get food. It's nothing more than an association. It may be a usefull association to make, but it certainly is not a bond or a relationship in the context they use the term, and people certainly aren't "better" horsemen because they can do it.

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