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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

My barn is doing a Parelli clinic in the fall. They're having someone come in for a day or two, I think. They're going to be teaching those games. My question is, do I want to try this with any of my horses?

Moonshine and my daughter are already doing trick training and I'm not sure she would want to introduce anything new at this point.

Teddy has really good manners, and all of the work I've done with him has been about the two of us figuring each other out and coming to understand each other, on terms that we can both accept. He likes things to stay the same, and I see no reason to introduce something new to him.

Pony is friendly and fun, but likes to challenge. It took a long time to get him to where he (usually) does what I want. He still likes to act up every now and then. I am the leader in our relationship for sure, but he often tests me just to be certain that that's still the case. We've had our ups and downs but are generally in a good place. Still, he could be better.

I will go ahead and put it out there that I feel like some Parelli enthusiasts are a bit... enthusiastic. Which is a bit off-putting. And it does seem like sometimes people use Parelli as sort of a crutch, if that makes sense. I don't want to offend anyone by saying that, but it's how I feel. But I am the sort of person who can find value in just about anything, and there might be some value here for me. Should I register for this with Pony? I guess I'm leaning toward yes, because why not. Right? I'm not planning on embarking on a long course of Parelli training, just participating in this class and seeing how it goes.
 

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I think if you were interested and the fee was nominal - I'd look into auditing the class instead of attending. I would guess it's only $25 or around that to bring a lawn chair and watch the clinic....
 

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Audit. If you like what you see, consider attending with a horse in the future. If you don't, then you aren't out anything but a small fee and some time.

Parelli is one of those trainers that you will either love or hate. I personally wouldn't walk across the street to see him, but others really like him.
 

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Is it a clinic with Linda and Pat, or a clinic with one of their Parelli instructors? I personally like the methods that they use for certain horses, especially when they get into the right-brain/left-brain introvert/extrovert theory. A lot of people may bash this, but the way they can cater their method to a variety of horse personalities (horsenalities) is very handy. I have owned three right-brained (high fear) horses, with one being an introvert (Minnie, though occasionally extroverted) and one being an extrovert (Flicka, Flame). Methods that include a lot of pressure and pushing, i.e. Clinton Anderson and the like, just cause them to explode and you get no where.

I have not personally attended one of their clinics, but my start in horses was underneath a group of older women that followed the method and used it on their horses. One of them was very well versed in the Parelli method, and was far into the liberty work that they do (level 4) and the way she could communicate with her horse was amazing. All of their horses were a pleasure to be around, and they helped me get my previously abused mare (Flame) over a lot of her baggage.

Some Parelli followers don't use the method properly, and their horses are rude, but when you take the right stuff and apply it the right way, it works. I would go and audit, and if you are interested, Parelli has a bunch of online courses and what not.
 

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Audit...

Not knocking any of the "training methods" of any hyped trainer...
It took you a long time to build that bond between you and Pony...
I would not be happy to see it evaporate because the pony did not like the handler teaching if not you.

Audit instead...watch, learn some different technique and apply as needed, when needed and with your tweaking that fits your pony over a period of time would be more beneficial I think to you in the long-run.
Not everything any hyped trainer does works for every animal either...pick and choose for your specific animal. :smile:

Don't be so fast to separate $$ from your pocket either.
Many resell their gimmick toys cheaply soon after the fad passes at a great savings to you, or just make them yourself or improvise...
:runninghorse2:
 

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The bond (or whatever you want to call it) is not going to evaporate. You may love it.....it is more than likely not going to be Pat and Linda, but one of their students who payed big bucks to go to the school.

There is never anything wrong with teaching a horse something new or different. They will always enjoy what we enjoy.
 

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Who is the clinician? I frequently attend clinics that Pete Rodda puts on, he started out as a Parelli instructor but has developed his own spin on things, so it's Parelli but more. I really like him and I'm not a huge Parelli fan. I DO like the 7 games and find them useful, especially for young horses not under saddle yet. So I guess my vote is AUDIT.
 

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I'm not planning on embarking on a long course of Parelli training, just participating in this class and seeing how it goes.
My vote is to skip it. If you're not planning to embark on a long course of Parelli, it's pretty useless.
I was in a similar situation a few years ago, and went to the clinic because "games" sounded fun. They're not really games, and quite dissimilar to anything like trick training. Horses don't perceive the "games" as enjoyable at all.

You're just teaching an alternative method of backing, lunging, and moving away from pressure, which is fine, but if your horse already has learned the traditional way of doing those things it is quite pointless.

The idea is that you will form a bond that will help later in riding, but it takes so long to get to anything that relates to riding that many followers never ride and only do ground work. Spending time handling your horse using Parelli methods is no more likely to help make a bond with your horse than just handling your horse in general. Perhaps it encourages some to spend time handling their horse.

Understanding your horse's individual personality is emphasized, and I agree this is important. If you search online for horse personalities, you can find a lot of various information for free on how to evaluate different types of horse personalities.
 

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not that it matters, but who is the instructor ? It won't be Pat or Linda, they only do the tour stops and the advanced clinics for high level students or for instructors
at one of the centers, either Ocala, Fl or Pagosa Springs, Co. All of the instructors that I've seen or been in a clinic with are awesome. All of the clinics that I've done,
except one, have followed the same format: Begin each day with a talk. First part of the morning is what most people call Groundwork, in Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH),
it's called the Online Savvy. Mid morning-brief break for water or restroom, then either resume Online or do Liberty depending on how advanced the clinic is. Lunch break about
an hour, then riding (Freestyle Savvy) for the afternoon. There are 4 'Savvies', but unless it's a very advanced class, the advanced riding (Finesse Savvy) isn't much touched
on. Yes, you will learn 'the games', but it's so much more than that. Simply learning the games is only the tip of a very big iceberg. The first morning talk will focus on
how you were introduced to PNH, how long you've been studying PNH, where you feel you are with your horse in the journey, what you hope to get out of the clinic-whether
specific tasks such as flying lead changes-online,liberty,or freestlye.....lateral maneuvers---online,libery,or freestyle , or general goals -to be a better leader,,,to
advance your circle game, etc. The following mornings will focus on " any questions from yesterday, anything come up that you want to do today now that you found some
holes yesterday, etc. The instuctor will talk about the 8 Principles, the 7 Keys to Success and probably the 10 things to do with excellence (of course every thing should be
done with excellence..lol , but there are 10 specific things that Pat really wants to see his students do with excellence ) . You can google "Parelli Principles', or "7 keys
to success" and see what those are about. They will help the students explore how to use
the theory of the principles and keys to continually advance in their horsemanship, ie how much softer can the cue be to get the same response, then can the cue remain that
soft and get a more connected and engaged response, or how much distance can be added and still get the same response, then how much distance can be added and get a better
response. (distance of course only applies to Online and Liberty...lol...can't get a distance from your horse when you're riding, not a desired thing!..LOL!!) They will
talk about the stages of competence to help the students be aware of their own level of competence. They will talk about the stages of teaching ...teach, reinforce, refine
(I think...seems like theres a 4th) All the theory really makes you dig deeper and think. They will talk about focus and feel...a lot. As others of said, I think auditing
would be a great choice for you if you remain unsure of whether you want to be in the clinic. The instructors are very good to include the auditors. I think you will
be pleasantly surprised if you go.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kerri April is the instructor.
 

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I don't know Kerri. But, as I said, every instructor I've ever watched or lessoned with was awesome, including 1 star instructors. I see from the Parelli.com website that she is a 4 Star Instructor, so that's great!! There is only 1 6 Star instructor, only 11 5 star instructors, so a 4 star is quite high in the heirarchy of instructors. She should be excellent!! Keep us posted if you go, even to audit. Have fun!
 

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When I looked into the local parelli club, the costs were substantial. Like $15-$30 for each playday or event. Not sure what clinics cost but I'm sure they were expensive. I liked Parelli until i read his book and couldn't make heads or tails of it. So boring and repetitive. I find Clinton Anderson is a much better instructor and it is easier to adjust his methods to highly sensitive horses.
 

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@4horses, local clubs aren't directly associated with or rules set by the official Parelli Savvy Club. For example, our Middle Tn. group/club is free for membership, free for playdays and the only cost would be an event that offers lessons with an instructor. Those costs would be the actual cost of the lesson and travel fee, if any, charged by and paid directly to the instructor. Yes, the clinics are expensive, I'd say anywhere from $150 to $200 per day, but I'm not sure how that compares to clinics by non Parelli Instructors or trainers. I've read 2 of Pat's books and I enjoyed one a lot more than the other. The 'Horse-Man-Ship' book was chock full of good horsemanship information for me. I'd also tend to disagree with Anderson being better and his methods easier to adjust to highly sensitive horses, but that's just my opinion differing from yours. I think Anderson tends to use more of a cookie-cutter approach to every horse he works with , whereas the Parelli's adjust to each horse, in the MOMENT, and are constantly reading the horse for those adjustments. Again, just my opinion and experience. I do know that in lessons and clinics that I've done, reading the horse and constantly adjusting is a big part of what is taught and demostrated.
 

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Watching a Parelli clinic might be very interesting if you have never seen how 'natuaral horsemanship' type ground work is done. All of these clinicians more or less got their start from Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. Parelli and Anderson just sort of morphed it into their own approach, in order to transmit it to others, in a profitable manner.



To be profitable, it needs to have appeal of one kind or another. Parelli chose to to look at it as almost pyschotherapy; analyzing your horse, and taking movements and systematizing them it into 'games' that one would learn and then stack upon each other to reach greater goals. His use of outlines and numbers "the 7 games' the ten principles or whatever, makes me feel like I'm back in high school, trying to cram in a bunch of data so that I can pass a test. Too much analzying and memorizing for me.

It can be nice to learn how to move a horse around on the ground, in a step by step manner, and then you sort of have some 'tools', but the way things are very strictly laid out in formalized progression can lead people to focus more on that than on the horse itself.



Clinton Anderson's appeal, in my opinion, is making every person feel more powerful, like they can achieve power over their horse and get a 'better' horse than they have, one that obeys quickly and doesn't give you any trouble . . . or else. I find that this often sets people up into thinking of every interaction with a horse as potentially confrontational, so they answer everything with force and power.


But, you have to look around, watch, and question until you see something that you feel can work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone. They had a session today that we could audit, so we did. When the intructor came over to introduce herself, I got that sort of cultish feeling from her, like Parelli was THE one truth path, but watching the actual clinic, there was a lot of useful information. One thing she was really good about was getting on the students to make sure they released pressure at the right time. I think this could be useful to my daughter and Moonshine. And I think some of it might be useful for me and Pony. I'm thinking that doing a one-day or half-day clinic could be enough to give us the basic information that would help us, without having to really buy into the whole program (literally, LOL). Although I've had a lot of horse related expenses this month, so I guess we'll have to see.

One thing that was a little head spinning, sort of tracking into what @tinyliny said above, was all of the terminology. There's like four levels, and four zones, and four... something else, I already forgot what. Steps? Why are there four of everything? I kind of understand wanting to label everything so that, I don't know, maybe we can take notes and study at home, but to me a certain amount of natural horsemanship involves "feel," and having all of those levels and zones sort of detracts from that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Also, completely unrelated, but I really found this shocking.

The clinic was held at a facility that does therepeutic riding. I was told they have 10 horses on 4 acres. This place does not have a source of water! No ground water, no city water, no well water. They get their water by truck! I can't imagine having 10 horses and no water source. Maybe it's something that's not uncommon, and I just never knew?

I asked one the the volunteers if they had ever thought about drilling a well. He said they were thinking about it now, but it's about 460 feet down (must be the aquifer) and that's through solid West Texas limestone. I can't imagine how expensive that would be. But maybe eventually cheaper than having it trucked?
 

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I'm sure you can get something from watching. Do more watching of the body of the handler, and the horse, than listening to their words. You will start to see when they release, and what the horse does.

And yes, FEEL and TIMING are EVERYTHING!!!! and they can't be learned in a book. . . only by watching, and doing, over and over and over and over and . . . .
 

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The clinic was held at a facility that does therepeutic riding. I was told they have 10 horses on 4 acres. This place does not have a source of water! No ground water, no city water, no well water. They get their water by truck!
I moved my horses out of a place like that. It had about 17 horses. They had some water runoff from the barn roof, but we weren't allowed to bathe horses when the weather was hot, just use a little water with a sponge in a bucket. It was tolerable until the owner was going through a divorce in the middle of summer, and then she was too distracted to keep up with the water. I think her excuse when I complained was that even if she filled all the troughs, the horses drank it all right away. I came out twice and saw the horses waiting by their trough, and then my horses were out of there.
 
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