Parelli, Your Thoughts? - Page 13 - The Horse Forum
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post #121 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Horsey, what do you call 'exuberance'? If the horse has pinned ears and is giving you death looks, that's not exuberance, that's annoyance. I've seen far too many skeeved off 'Parelli-fried' horses than not, because they're bored and simply just TIRED of doing the same, repetitive stuff over and over again.
At what point did I say my horse has pinned ears? Just because some of your parelli friends bore their horses doesn't mean we all so. Thanks for tarring us all with the same brush

When I play with Border, his ears are pricked & his eyes are bright. He'll do everything I ask or suggest with gusto, tucking his legs right up over a jump or offering a canter to our circling game
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post #122 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
What makes you think the 'games' you play with your horse are something he/she considers fun? As far as the horse is concerned it's all work, regardless of what the clueless predator on the other side of the round pen thinks!

I do not ask my horse's permission to ride him, just as my supervisor doesn't ask my permission to do work for pay. Oh, no thank you, boss! I'd rather just sit here and play on the interwebz all day! KThnx!!!

My horses do not get to choose what we do or don't do, I do. I'm the herd leader, and what I say goes. My relationship with each of them is just fine, because I find that horses are MORE willing when they have a strong, confident leader.

You can and should be friends with your horses, but being someone the animals can look up to is much more important. Respect is mandatory; friendship is optional. I'd much rather my horses respected me than 'lurved' me, because with respect they're less likely to try and walk all over me.

Sidebar-this just reminded me of how we raised our kids.

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post #123 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 04:27 PM
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I think some of the problem is with the use of the word "games" to describe the different actions that are used in Parelli training. Those same actions are used in pretty much all natural horsemanship training, but not called games. Once you use the word Game, it comes off as silly, not training.
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post #124 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 04:33 PM
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Good input tinyliny! The term "playing" will appeal to some, but come off as a "gimmick" to others. But at the end of the day the games are still excercises :)

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post #125 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 04:38 PM
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Parelli himself chose the word "Games".

My horse's idea of a "game" is to stand in the barn and slurp any bare patch of my skin he can get to. When I'm really good and soggy, he then would like me to take him back to turnout and serve up a huge bucket of the "good" hay.

Doesn't mean he hates working, he got a month off for various reasons and yesterday when he realized I was taking him to the cross ties to tack him up, he about dragged me there in excitement. He was an awesome little guy and worked hard for me, so in return I kinda played his game. IE I dodged his slurping as much as possible (which I think he finds more fun than if I just stood there ) but still ended up pretty soggy and gave him lots of the "good" hay in his turnout.
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post #126 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 05:51 PM
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Hmm, I guess the reason I see no purpose behind the "games" is that I just don't need them. My horses are easy to catch, easy to handle, they never sull up or act pissy when I ask them to do something. I don't peck at them, I ask them to do something when it needs done and I leave them alone when I don't need something.

I think it was this thread but I don't remember so I may be repeating myself. I had a pony in for training this summer/fall. After the first few days, I never did any groundwork with him at all. I used him for daywork in a local feedlot where we normally hit a long trot as soon as it was light enough to see the cattle in the morning. We kept that same pace or faster for an entire day. When we got home in the evening, he was worn completely out.

The next morning when I approached him with a halter in the dark, he would walk right up to me and stick his own head in the halter, he would jump in the trailer when it was time to go with no encouragement from me, when we got to the 'lot and went to work, he always had a happy expression and was excited to get going. Every single day I rode him over there, he offered more and more of himself, tried harder and harder to get things right, was more and more willing, and faster to respond to every cue.

He had a grand total of about 20 rides on him, he'd had the rope swung off his back once, but when the need to rope a cow came up, he handled it like a horse that had done it a million times. That's because he respected me and trusted me enough to do something that he had never done before...and do it confidently. We didn't need games, we didn't need gimmicks or speshul sticks.

If you handle the horse with the respect that they deserve and demand the respect that you deserve, the "love" and loyalty will just come, you don't have to work for it.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #127 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 06:09 PM
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I can't quite get my head around what the OP is saying.... that she needs to chase her horse around a round pen or an arena until it "decides" it wants to be ridden? Really? I just show up at the barn, brush the horse, put a saddle and bridle on, and away we go.

Both the horse and I have been trained using natural-horsemanship style groundwork, but to be honest, we never "practice" the exercises unless I am demonstrating it to someone else. There's no need to. The horse knows what is expected of her and is respectful and soft when handled. I use the groundwork to establish boundaries with a horse but once the boundaries are there, I have more interesting things to do.
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post #128 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 07:06 PM
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First off, I didn't read all the replies, and I'm all for using whatever training system works for hypothetical-you and your horse. Whether its sticking to a brand-name trainer-in-a-box or drawing on a hodgepodge of accumulated wisdom from many sources, if you're getting the results you want, I say run with it.

The majority of the problem I have with the Parelli system is that I honestly do not understand it. I can read a Parelli description of something very simple, say, driving a horse forward on a lungeline, that I and my horses know and can do as automatically as anything can be with a horse, and I literally have to read it 2-3 times before I can sort out what on earth is going on. They've truly reinvented the wheel. Dealing with horses is not rocket science, and they are not that complicated. That being said, I'm sure there are people for whom the Parelli explanations make more sense and clarifies the task, so that all evens out in the grand scheme of things. Just because I personally understand other BNT systems or non-BNT explanations easier does not make Parelli "bad." It just makes the system "not for me." My horses and I get on fine and dandy.

I think the overall problem is bigger than any one tv trainer or boxed system. The problem is the widespread idea that any joe can learn horsemanship out of a box. I'm a huge fan of horsemanship tv shows, books, and DVDs - they are a fantastic resource, and as riders, owners, and trainers, we're lucky to have these things available. But the issue is that they are a resource, not a substitute for in-person guidance by someone with experience doing what you want to do.

Trainer-in-a-box systems, no matter who's logo is embossed on the packaging, gives the impression that anyone, at any time, can do anything, with any horse, as long as you follow the recipe. The best a box system can do to rectify that is a trouble shooting section, essentially equating to a high-altitude variation on a cookie mix packet. Lots of people understand the importance of feel and experience, and compensate for these shortcomings of box systems, but at the same time there are a lot of people who do run into problems, and are left wondering why their souffle fell in when they followed the recipe to the letter.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. A little common sense and perspective can be invaluable, whether your horsemanship knowledge is based on a BNT boxed method or a less systematized collection of exercises and concepts.
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A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #129 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 07:38 PM
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I find the lingo hard to follow too. But any language is just gobledy gook until you learn it. You have to want to learn it.

But, I do want to add , since the title of this thread is Parelli, Your Thoughts? that the thing that I see that troubles me about people working with Parelli system is that they are focussing too much on the "system" and the steps andlosing sight of the horse. Working with a horse (in saddle or on ground, but especailly on ground where you have no actual physical touch with them) depends on having some "feel" with the horse. "Feel" requires an open communication loop with the horse. YOu feel him, you put pressure on him, he feels you , he moves/responds and you feel his response and on. If you are spending too much energy and focus on how you hold the carrot stick or how many steps he takes or which level of wiggle you put in the line, you will be missing the "feel" that is radiating out of your horse, consquently, you will not be able to respond accurately. The loop is broken.

I see sometimes, Parelli people working with the horse and the horse is doing the work ok, but the handler has not noticed that though the horse is doing the work, he is NOT there mentally . OR, he's doing it with real drag in his feet, or resentment/sass or he's scared or . . . They are satisfied and go on to the next step because, afterall, he DID the back up. But it's HOW he did the backup that matters.

Now, this isnt' saying that that is a fault of the system, and that a Parelli person is not capable of using "feel" when working with their horse. Just that because there is so much focus on it being a step by step system that it's easy for the practitioner to not realize what or why they are doing what they are, and whether or not the horse's doing it by rote or is really "there" by the quality of his doing the steps.
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post #130 of 159 Old 01-05-2012, 10:56 PM
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my whole problem with parellii is that it gives people the idea that natural horsemanship means your asking the horse to do something. You never have to be firm with the horse etc. While on SOME horses this type of training might work. ... there is NO cookie cutter training method for every horse. Any training program needs to be tailored to the horse.

I'm probably more online with Clinton Andersons methods. Only because to me they are practical... and make sense as to the reasons you are doing them. I hate when people call me up wanting natural horsemanship because they dont want their horses "abused". These people usually believe a whip is considered abuse and dont want anything to do with it.

Horses are 1000-1200 lb animals. Respect is never optional and the day that people start asking their horses instead of telling them what to do is the day they become a very dangerous liability.
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