Again, the problem seems to lie with the labelling.
'A' says she 'plays' with her horse, B says she does 'groundwork'. The purpose of both is to engage the horse's brain, get it focused on you.
Yet we are incensed at the one who plays games, because we think it sounds ridiculous.
I feel for the NHers who also have a wealth of common sense and horse sense, because they are overshadowed by the cult followers.
Ever see the Black Stallion? I liked it. So did a lot of horse people.
But the cult Believed it.
Here it is: The 'Parelli Method' is a trick. And I don't mean water into wine, That is a miracle, and pretty much what Parelli advertises. I don't mean pulling a rabbit out of your hat, either.
I mean a trick like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. Buy these dvds and you will become a horse whisperer... NOT! Your horse will ride bridleless because you have a special connection...NOT! Peaches doesn't 'want' me to ride? No prob, we will just 'play' until she does. Oh, and by play I mean relentlessly work her on repetitive actions until I force her to 'want' me to ride.
I have no problem if someone wants to mess around on the ground for 30 min before they get on, we all have different methods. I used to do it myself back when I had all day with just me and my horse and nothing to do.
I can appreciate someone who is not Joe Rodeo and wants to maybe 'get the buck out', esp if the horse has been in due to bad weather.
However, I also agree with smrobs that 'most' of us can tell in the time it takes to catch and saddle our horse if he is 'off'.
My 2 cents on Mr & Mrs Parelli. First off, I am not meaning to offend anyone on here who DOES like Parelli, and second off...I'm am not in the whole NH movement to begin and probably shouldn't be posting in the NH section. It is not my intention to come in and cause discord.
The Parelli system is flawed. For a system that is SUPPOSED to be so basic, how come people get it so wrong. On other forums, when Parelli comes up and I relate my experiences with Parelli followers and their horses, the response I get it..."well, they aren't doing Parelli correctly." Well why is that? If the majority of people are getting it "wrong"...then what does that say about his system??
As for "asking" my horse permission to ride....LOL. I tack up I ride, there is no conversation about it. Like..."gee, Sidney, would you rather hang out in your stall and eat hay today?" The whole permission thing is comical. And the "horse-anilities? LOL
The biggest thing I DO NOT like about Parelli, is that neither of them can really ride worth a lick. They DO NOT train/teach balanced/centered riding and how to get a horse to use it's body. Since Mrs Parelli has been dabbling in Dressage, she actually has the gumption to ADVERTISE and MARKET publically....that SHE has discovered the secret for getting a horse "on the bit." I mean come on!!!! I saw it with my own two eyes on a website, and if you send a gazillion dollars before midnight tonight, YOU TO can learn her secret. Laughable.
And lastly, my horse was trained the old fashioned way by a conventional trainer. I can do SMS without a halter and I ride him bridleless once a week in lessons with my trainer; walk, jog, lope, circles, 360's, back ups etc. I do the bridleless because he will perform just with seat and leg. And let's face it folks, our hands are our worst enemies. It just reinforces the OTHER two aids. He's a WP horse that has been trained to the hilt the correct way; without abuse, torture, playing "games" etc. And he does it happily. Here's pics from last week....at the jog:
It is on the smaller side, but perfectly workable with a few horses in there. No one does any jumping (my trainer has an AQHA show barn) so this size was good for the money he had available to spend. My trainer (the short guy in the middle of the arena...LOL) had one of those Coverall arenas and the thing collapsed under snow last February. This one is a Morton type building and not going anywhere....LOL.
Asking my horse permission to ride? Oh my... if I did this I don't think I'd ever ride ... or if I did manage to get to ride and let my horse have his way I'd end up seriously hurt! He is a great horse but he does not get to make the decisions.
Parelli is not marketing anything new. He just labled basic ground/handling exercises with childish names. I do believe a horse should easily yield its hind and forequarters when you step into him. I do believe he should back out of your space when asked (either by body language or on cue). I do believe a horse should be lunged with slack in the line and be responsive to your body and cues. If he can do it without a line that is awesome, you and your horse have good communication as to when to encourage him forward and when to back off. They are important training exericses for safety ... In my opinion they are good foundation exercises for any horse and handler and if you can't master them on the ground you have no business being in the saddle.
I agree that I think parelli gives those with little to no horse experience a false sense of security. He DOES put it into an easy to fallow program, but I am still not a fan of it. I see videos on youtube where the handlers look as if they have little to no confidence or they are afraid to get "loud" with their body language. The horses just look so ... dead and unresponsive. It's just not right.
I have also seen footage of Linda Parelli working with horses and it did not fallow his program what so ever. It was also a sight I do NOT agree with, nor would I ever "fallow" because it made NO sense and seemed to be accomplishing nothing except making an upset, frustrated horse ... which isn't going to get you too far. If you are doing the same thing for so long and not getting a response, maybe its time you change what your doing?
I think if I did not have access to a good trainer or experienced horse handler/riding and I wsa going to spend money on DVD's ... I would put my money into Clinton Anderson rather then Parelli. At least his information seems more realistic and correct to me. Still expensive ... but its money better spent IMO. I don't even really see it as natural horsemanship ... I just see it as basic common sense exercises to get a soft, responsive and more respectful horse. I've never deemed it into a category before. I just do things a certain way because that's what makes sense to me and because it feels right to me and as a result I have a willing, soft horse and it makes my day very pleasent. I do certain things before each ride to get a focused, soft horse. It's just how I roll.