Something to ponder - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Something to ponder

A Parelli devotee has a horse that will circle him and circle and circle. Isn't this just really a circus trick. Does one really need a horse to go in circles for no reason other than to impress?
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post #2 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 08:27 PM
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tackless vaulting?
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post #3 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 08:29 PM
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My horses will do that. For me, I'm not there to impress, but the idea is if I can move their feet without effort I have their respect.

Does that mean I sit in my arena having them lope in circles around me to show off? Uh, no thanks...

I don't even like Parelli but a lot of trainers will do that just to prove a point. It's not like it's a practical thing.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 08:32 PM
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Most circus tricks - the good circus trainers - use NH techniques. The point of circling isnt just to "show off" it can have a purpose if you make it have a purpose.
The way the Parelli's teach circling encourages the horse to pay specific attention to the handler and use the thinking side of their head and not the instictual side which just runs from pressure (which is what longing usually does, when the handler follows the horse around, encouraring it constantly from behind).
You teach them that they have to maintain gait, maintain direction and watch where they are going, all the while keeping the rest of their attention on you and waiting for your signal for when/what to do next.
If you just want to demonstrate their "obediance" by simply letting them circle, then that's the handler's decision, but you can use this "game" for many different purposes.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 08:40 PM
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that is one place where Parelli differs quite markedly from most of the other NH trainers/clinicians. He has student teach a horse to go in circles around the human, while the human stands still. The idea being that the hrose should take the gait the handler tells him to, and keep at it until told to change.

My trainer, who would be closer to the Branaman/Dorrance camp , feels that this is rather pointless. She has us lunge in a way that our body is always riding the horse. So, if the horse is walking, our body reflects the energy of a walk, and we circle in a very small circle, always facing the horse, always watching t see the horse's mental focus and his manner of walking, not just that he stays in that gait. If we want a trot, we get his attention (like a halfhalt) an with the increase of energy in our own bodies, we ask the hrose to match us and thus trot off. To bring him back to walk, again, get his attention, decrease the energy in our body and expect him to slow to match it. If we stop "riding", it means we stop walking and stand. That means the horse should also stop , to match the stillness in our bodies.
So, having the horse circle around where our body is the same stillness that it would be if we wanted them to stand still,makes no sense, to me.
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post #6 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 09:01 PM
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That’s odd, Parelli states clearly in his book that you shouldn’t have the horse circle you more than maybe three times (I decided to pull it out and read it again the other day). He then says that once the horse is doing this fine that you should go off and find interesting things to do with the horse, not just to have it run around you in mindless circles. Probably yet another example of a self-proclaimed Parelli drone completely misinterpreting what the guy actually said.
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post #7 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 09:47 PM
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For the record, I've never got in a Clint Anderson horse, Ponyboy horse, or any other natural horsemanship trained horse in for any retraining, but I have retrained more screwed up Parelli horses than I could count on my fingers.

If the program was as right as its supposed to be, I wouldn't have seen any.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #8 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 10:42 PM
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I think the purpose of it is to move the horses feet while you stand still. Sort of a leadership & respect thing. But Andrew is right, you are suposed to limit the number of circles, unless you are doing something else interesting at the same time, like *circling* them over a jump or whatever to stop them from getting bored and Zombie-like.

Aother than that, It probably has the same purposes as lunging. Parellistyle.
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post #9 of 46 Old 02-10-2013, 10:51 PM
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Yeah, it is multifaceted in that it will, if done right, teach the horse respect, while at the same time teaching it to do the kind of stuff you will do on its back, and in the day to day of dealing with a horse, like loading on and of trailers or trucks, going in and out of stalls, jumping over stuff, whatever.
I learned the Parelli way, but ****, the more I hear and see of the self proclaimed Parelli crowd the more I wonder about it. Not the methods, they have worked for me for years working with and training my own horses, and plenty of others, for cattle work. What I wonder about is the mindset of the average type of person Parelli seems to attract, they seem to ignore important parts of what he actually says, in black and white, about training horses, and just go for all the “nice” “fluffy” stuff. Then they end up with horses that walk all over them.
Boggles the mind.
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post #10 of 46 Old 02-11-2013, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I brought this up is I've started and restarted horses doing little groundwork and the horses trained up fine. One day in the pasture I asked one horse to circle me, totally at liberty. He did. I stopped him during the second one. I see no need to repeat this and for the life of me I can't see the benefit. It does impress the novice. Carolyn Resnick strengthens the bond by having the horse move away at the trot, and then invites it back. Horses do this to each other all the time, not the circling.
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