Parelli? Your Thoughts? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 09:55 PM
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I am not a fan of Parelli. It seems to have a cult following of riding amateurs. I have a great bond with my horse and I didn't do any of that seven games crap, I actually read books by REAL horse masters on how horses think and see the world. Most world class riders do not have that place because they did the "porcupine game". I think the parelli crap can be fun for people who don't have any horse sense but I don't think it does anything that good training and an educated mind can't.
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post #22 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 09:58 PM
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Parelli. Ugh.
They are just making money by marketing techniques used by horsemen for many years. Like the "porcupine game": ask the horse to move over/back up/etc. Use pressure, if the horse doesn't move, increase pressure... pat/rub spot when the horse finally moves.

....well, DUH!!!! Parelli certainly didn't invent that one.

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post #23 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:01 PM
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IMHO, there is a major difference between taking what is helpful and relevant for a specific horse at a specific time and causing confusion. As JDI said, you can borrow specific exercises, techniques, and games, from many different trainers and have a coherent program that gets good results. For example, you could start a ride by doing a little Lunging for Respect, Friendly Game, and Grooming and Showmanship to warm up on the ground, mount up and do some lateral flexion, walk off on a loose rein, move into trot and pick up a feel on the reins, ride some 20 meter circles, change rein, do leg yields from quarterline to rail, pick up a canter, canter a figure 8, drop stirrups, transition to walk, slowly put slack in the reins and knot them out of the way over the horse's neck and ride simple figures without them to cool down... on and on. That might be similar to one of my afternoon workouts with Scout, borrowing several "name brand" exercises, plus a few figures that have been around as long as people wanted their horses to "dance."

I have a darn strong suspicion that this is how many of the Parelli's own Games and techniques were developed. Pat certainly borrowed many ideas from his mentors, and put them together, mixed, obviously, with his own ideas and spin on the base philosophy, into a system that delivers results if applied correctly (this caveat applies to every training system out there, NH, BNNH, or the guy with the roundpen down the street who saddle breaks colts for neighbors.) Every trainer stands on the shoulders of the one(s) who taught him/her.

The problem comes when you try to accomplish the same task in 2 different, potentially contradictory ways. For example, my horses learn early how to back up off of lead rope pressure backwards, like a G&S horse. Eventually, they get really sharp and will back up with my shoulder as I walk back. However, the Yo-yo Game seems to completely mystify them. Because they associate backing up with a certain feeling, and with keeping their throatlatch beside my shoulder, they don't try to back up to release the pressure, at least not before my wiggle arm is wiggled out.

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 #24 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:06 PM
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If you only learn ONE way to train a horse, you have a very limited range of resources to use.
If you can learn everything, every technique possible, then you have a huge arsenal behind you to combat any challenge that is put in front of you.

Heck, if you only learned one way to, let's say... cook dinner, you only knew how to make Italian food, then that's great, Italian is good, but you're missing out on so much other good food out there, you'll never know what else is out there that might be better, OR enhance your original recipes.

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post #25 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Spirithorse View Post
To me it seems it would confuse the horse because he wouldn't know who is coming to the barn today.....the person who acts more natural, or the person who acts completely different just because their goal for that day has changed.
It doesn't confuse a horse, it may confuse the rider if you don't know what you're doing. If you only use one method and only know one philosophy you aren't going to get very far. For me, I have feedback and ideas from multiple clinicians and trainers, as well as books by masters. The clinics I have ridden in or audited and use in my riding regularly (although I have a regular once a week lesson): Gerd Heuschmann, Jen Verharen, Ulla, and Beth Glosten. When I'm riding, I use their different techniques together to create my own. If you take a specific problem you have in your riding, let's say the horse's head comes up and braces. From Jen, I think of making sure his body is straight and isn't going out the hind or shoulder. From Gerd, I think of letting the horse flow through my seat and hold my inside hand up and out. From Ulla, I put the forward energy of his hind into my hands. From Beth, I think of making sure my elbows are relaxed and my position is correct. This creates a rainbow of things I can do and is more effective than just one method. What 'method' are you currently using?
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post #26 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:13 PM
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Oh Oh Oh! I'm also NOT a fan of how the bash (or atleast used to) dressage!
Linda goes out and tells people our sport is harmful and mean to the horses, but just recently they bought Hot Jazz by Hotline - one of the top bred foals from Yancey Farms. Why? Because apparently dressage isn't the devil's spawn now.

The cookie cutter, carrot stick waving, bag of tricks that they claim are one size fits all are just gimmicks. Good trainers do what's best for the horse on an individual basis, and if they don't "click" with a horse then hopefully they refer it to someone else.

None of their games are going to truly prepare a horse to be a successful riding horse.

I do however admire them for knowing how to make money in this economy ;)

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post #27 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:50 PM
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I think Parelli has it's place, but I don't think it's the only method you should use. I feel the same way about Clinton, Monty Roberts, etc as well.

I like the idea of working with your horse and understanding how he percieves the world and catering to that. If join-up helps me do that, great. If the seven games help me do that, awesome.

I have tried the seven games with my horse and they did not work for us however I know Spirithorse has had great success. If you take away the marketing and cult following, I think Parelli teaches the same basic horsemanship other trainers do. Parelli, to me is not special. He did not discover something new. Therefore, I can not use Parelli, and gain the same bond with my horse.

I too believe in taking ideas from various sources to create your own way to work with your horse. The seven games did not work well with Diesel, but they may work better with another horse. Same goes for any other specialized training "technique".

I think you need to find your own way to communicate with your horse.
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post #28 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 10:53 PM
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I think Parelli and "natural horsemanship" is excellent for groundwork, teaching manners and establishing respect on the ground, but that's about it. I agree with the idea of working with the horse and teaching it a way it can understand, using its own language, etc... but that's not natural horsemanship, that's just good horsemanship, and you don't have to use Parelli's methods to do that.
I also don't like how soft and "touchy-feeling" (no offence intended anyone!!!) some of it has gotten. They seem to have dismissed the idea of discipline.
I read on the FuglyHorseoftheDay blog, about how one woman wrote to Pat Parelli about her appy. The horse was quite dominant and was biting her, to the point where he was leaving big bruises on her. Parelli's answer - give him a carrot, make friends with him and then he will stop biting you.
Lost some respect for him there. The general idea of it and the principle behind it when it started I do agree with, but I think you need balance and an open mind.

Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...

Last edited by RedHawk; 09-16-2009 at 10:58 PM.
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post #29 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 11:41 PM
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at least not before my wiggle arm is wiggled out.
Just made me LOL :]

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post #30 of 292 Old 09-16-2009, 11:44 PM
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Although I do see the direction of this thread and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion I can see how using The parelli program combined with other NH training can be confusing to the horse. The Parelli games/levels build upon each other. For example the seven games are learned in an order 1-7 , you do them in order and get really good at doing them then you mix them up. Level 1 tasks are before Level 2 task etc...The exercises build upon each other until you have success in all areas-Savvys. I believe that it is the same with other programs ...( just as an example) Clinton Anderson has gaining respect on the ground 1 & 2 .You should follow the exercises in order on 1 before jumping to 2. If you pick and chose just randomly and dont have a clear outline of what it is you want to accomplish you are being confusing to the horse.

I have used Parelli with my horses, more so with my Mustang and I feel that it has done some wonderful things for our relationship. Also , SpiritHorse has done some amazing things with her horse and has great success as well.
Having a feel for the parelli program myself it is more about how you are with your horses and not putting your goals before your relationship.
I do not agree with the statement that Parelli is for amateurs with no horse sense because there has been many top riders who have used the Parelli principles with excellent results.

There is a lot of negative posts about Parelli ( to each their own) , if you have not had success with it then perhaps another series will work for you.

OR perhaps taking a few ideas from others and mixing it together is the best for you and your horse...that is great too as long as you are not flying around so much and taking the time that it takes...: )
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Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
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Last edited by RadHenry09; 09-16-2009 at 11:46 PM.
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