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View Full Version : OMG!! O'Connor/Parelli stuff



tle
Apr. 26, 2002, 08:44 AM
A friend just forwarded me a note that said to take a look at the event schedule on Parelli's website. It includes a couple seminar's that Karen & David are doing at Parelli's Colorado ranch (a 2 week session with David or 2 1-week sessions with Karen). The best emotional description I can come up with is "sad bordering on p*ssed". A single one week session with Karen is $4000!!! Yes, it includes lodging and boarding, but gimme a break! The 2 week session wtih David is $8000!! ***AND*** participants must already be Parelli Level 1 certified (from what I can see, basically having already gone through the program to the tune of over $1500).

So I ask you, my fellow BB denisons... is it me and my personal "cheapness" (not cheap per se, just broke trying to do everything I want) that thinks this is the marketing plan from h#ll for us riders and "ordinary folks"? Or am I not alone in an overall feeling of being "let down" by 2 of eventing's greatest... not to mention people I look(ed) up to??

http://www.parelli.com/Main%20Pages/ISC%20Folder/kdisc.htm

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

tle
Apr. 26, 2002, 08:44 AM
A friend just forwarded me a note that said to take a look at the event schedule on Parelli's website. It includes a couple seminar's that Karen & David are doing at Parelli's Colorado ranch (a 2 week session with David or 2 1-week sessions with Karen). The best emotional description I can come up with is "sad bordering on p*ssed". A single one week session with Karen is $4000!!! Yes, it includes lodging and boarding, but gimme a break! The 2 week session wtih David is $8000!! ***AND*** participants must already be Parelli Level 1 certified (from what I can see, basically having already gone through the program to the tune of over $1500).

So I ask you, my fellow BB denisons... is it me and my personal "cheapness" (not cheap per se, just broke trying to do everything I want) that thinks this is the marketing plan from h#ll for us riders and "ordinary folks"? Or am I not alone in an overall feeling of being "let down" by 2 of eventing's greatest... not to mention people I look(ed) up to??

http://www.parelli.com/Main%20Pages/ISC%20Folder/kdisc.htm

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

drifting cloud
Apr. 26, 2002, 09:01 AM
tle -- yeah, it pretty much smacks of capitalism. I don't know enough about these kinds of programs to know if the cost is really worth it. I guess if you want to be a horse trainer, it could be your equivalent of going to college and paying tuition? On the other hand, it is a butt load of money to pay for only 1 or 2 weeks. Are these seminars more for people wanting to become trainers or just ordinary folks who ride?

This is no excuse, but Parelli and the O'Connors aren't the only ones doing this. I think it also takes several thousands of dollars (maybe even tens of thousands??) to become a John Lyons-certified trainer. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

[This message was edited by drifting cloud on Apr. 26, 2002 at 12:19 PM.]

shr
Apr. 26, 2002, 10:04 AM
I heard that tonights seminar at the KHP is already sold out, so those expecting to purchase tickets at the door are going to disappointed.

I'm looking forward to hearing feedback from those who are lucky enough to attend.

Hope to see you Saturday tle /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PMJ
Apr. 26, 2002, 10:06 AM
I agree. I know that this will probably annoy some people, but I do like more tried and true methods and haven't really found for lack of a better word "gimicky" type training things to be something I am personally interested in doing or subscribing to in terms of methodology. I'm sure many people have success with it, but especially when it comes with such a hefty price tag I'm afraid I will pass. In all honesty, I am surprised at the pricing, not to mention the connection. I guess I feel let down also. I don't think training is exclusive to anyone, but I would much rather spend that kind of money focusing on my dressage, cross country, or stadium.

Hilary
Apr. 26, 2002, 10:23 AM
$8000 - you've got to be kidding!! Does that include airfare for me AND my horse? As well as **** accommodations? And about 25 follow-up lessons?

I learned just as much from sitting in the stands at Equine Affaire WATCHING what John Lyons did as I would have if it had been my horse in the ring with him. Basically the man is patient, quiet, and consistent, consistent, consistent.

There - for free - the basic horse training ideas that most of these guys base their programs on.

I'm appalled. And I won't be going, that's for sure.

I saw the ads in one of the magazines I got recently, but didn't pick up on the price tag.

tle
Apr. 26, 2002, 10:34 AM
Yes, the thing tonight at KHP is sold out (according to the Parelli website). The website lists tonights thing as

"The first ever event of its kind. Karen, David, Pat and Linda will explain and demonstrate how training with natural communication allows your horse to become calmer, smarter, braver and more athletic in everything he does."

It's supposed to be from 6-9, so I guess in that respect, $30 isn't a terrible price (plus of course the price tag to get into Rolex itself for the day), but I wonder how much "show" is going to be part of it... meaning I spent 2 hours (?) watching one of his things at Equine Affaire and came away with some knowledge that could have been passed on in 20-30 minutes.. the rest was a good "show" (complete with music, lights, etc.).

The weeklong things with Karen & David are listed as "includes cabin accommodations and horse board and feed."... so on top of the $4k or $8k price-tag it sounds like you also have to supply your own food (in addition to getting yourself and your horse out there).

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

AllyCat
Apr. 26, 2002, 11:10 AM
Pat Parelli is a good horseman and teacher. He is also real good at marketing. One of the things that has always gotten me going about this system is that it's nothing a hundred other horse trainers haven't been doing for a very long time.

When I was having some dominance problems with my mare, a friend suggested a Parelli clinic in my town that weekend. It was $150 just to go watch. Then you were supposed to buy all this stuff (rope halter and special lead for another $150). Then you had to have a carrot stick for another $50 (apparently, not just any old whip will do). There was so much apparatus you had to have, it just seemed a bit odd to me.

Then I saw a Frank Bell video. The man does EXACTLY the same thing. But he makes a point of stating how you can get the equipment for a lot cheaper (like at a junk yard for 5 bucks). It was one 45 minute video and it completely changed how I work with my horse and our relationship.

I think all this work on getting the horses trust is humane and admirable. The marketing ploys are not. As Frank Bell would say, $4000 would be a lot to pay.

Hilary
Apr. 26, 2002, 11:25 AM
Well I just checked the site and the do provide some food for you (as well as campfires and singalongs - oh, gee, there's the dealbreaker...) but the horsefeed is hay CUBES and grain, no hay in the pens. Whatever that means.

And you have to have all the requisite Parelli equipment.

I'm a bit surprised at the suddenness of this - the O'Connors have been touting their Parelli stuff only this year (as far as I've noticed) and it really seems they've jumped on board. It's not like they weren't doing well before they met this man.

How much would it cost to be a student at the VA farm for a week? - as an eventer I'd rather do that.

PMJ
Apr. 26, 2002, 11:37 AM
Gee the George Morris clinic near me was only $50.00 to audit and I have much more respect for him and am more impressed with his credentials.

DebS
Apr. 26, 2002, 12:50 PM
but perhaps a conversation went something like this:

Parelli: David, how much would you want to give a 2 week eventing clinic at my place?

David: Oh, 40K.

Parelli: NONSENSE!! you're worth at least $60K and I'll double that and keep half.

OlmosHeaven
Apr. 26, 2002, 02:00 PM
I'm not choosing sides, but here's something to ponder:

My husband took a Parelli clinic in February with Parelli's right-hand man (or one of), Dave Ellis. It cost $435, ran three days, 7-8 hours a day. For that time, he and 15-19 other rider/horse pairs were in an arena working under the supervision of Ellis or an assistant. There were breaks.

Two weeks later, our trainer brought in Karen for her annual clinic. Cost was $325. That was for a two-day clinic, two hours per day.

If you break that down on a cost per hour basis, the Parelli clinic was a bit over $20 and the O'Connor clinic was a bit over $80. (I won't go into the equipment issue.)

Both clinics had organizers, who, I'm sure, were getting something out of it -- maybe a ride or two, maybe real money. I don't know.

I'm not trying to imply that one is better than the other for the money. But when I looked at the Parelli schedule, it was easier to justify the cost of the clinic my husband signed up for. Unfortunately, we both had to pass on Karen this year. 'Course, I might not have been too happy if he had signed up for both. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Sannois
Apr. 26, 2002, 02:30 PM
wonder why the O'connors felt the need to jump on the Parrelli band wagon now!? Gold medal winner? Gee could they have done better with Pat before? I'm truly not into this Gotta buy all my stuff natural horsemanship way! Wonder how the other big time eventers feel about this?? I'm bewildered! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755

BarbB
Apr. 26, 2002, 06:35 PM
I know quite a few people who, when it comes to animals, have more money than sense.
They are doing well in their careers and bought the house with small acreage and the horse that they always wanted. They know nothing about horses, but this one is a member of the family, like the dog, and they would like to take good care of it and not be afraid of it. (It seems really big sometimes!)
They are the perfect atttendees at a clinic like this. They have no contacts in the competitive horse world, the only people they know that have horses are just like them. They want to understand a little about the horse and it is much more important that it be docile and trustworthy than that it be able and willing to gallop fast and leap tall buildings.
They won't go to the local free/cheap clinic sponsored by a vet or a feed store because they firmly believe that the more you pay for something - the better it is.
They would be more than willing to spend this amount to hear Olympic gold medal winners tell them how to take care of the horse, even if they are not exactly sure what the gold medals were for.
David and Karen may just be trying to make a living - they may be trying to reach a wider audience, who knows. But there is a market for it.
I would hope that eventers wouldn't waste their time or money.
If I attend a clinic with either of the O'Connors (and I have audited Karen's clinic several times) it will be an eventing clinic, which costs hundreds, not thousands, of dollars and it will be to hear them tell me how to ride a sport horse better.
I think that many people in the sport horse world work long hours and eat Campbell's soup to support a horse that is worth more than the car or even the house and who lives better than the owner.
We forget that there are other kinds of horse owners and lots of them have money - and I'm not talking about the hunter world. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

PMJ
Apr. 26, 2002, 06:52 PM
As far as the costs go, I think that is pretty well straight forward in that you are paying more for the experience and information. My big gripe with the joint clinic venture and a reason I would not want to go is that if I cliniced with the O'Connors, I would expect and want to learn about eventing--not natural horsemanship. I am willing to pay for that. From how I see it, Parelli has gotten the endorsement of a gold medalist and that will bring in the bucks.

malarkey
Apr. 27, 2002, 10:36 AM
I am a little surprised that the O'Connors chose to associate themselves with Parelli, who is known as more of a marketer than anything else within NH circles. His program is, as someone else pointed out, designed for people who have $$$$ and who are fairly new to the horsey world, or are unaware (or don't care) that there are cheaper ways of getting the same results.

deltawave
Apr. 27, 2002, 11:49 AM
Several people wondered why all of a sudden the O'Connors--arguably at the pinnacle of the sport--are aligning themselves with Parelli. You'd think the successes they've had to date would qualify them to teach anyone just about ANYTHING without needing another "name" to latch onto. Looks like they're trying to cash in on that Gold Medal, but why use another "name"?

It's gross.

TopBritYR
Apr. 27, 2002, 07:30 PM
I went to the parelli thing on friday! i was w/ Linda Wachtmestier and she oringally called up and they were sold out. But she went and talked to karen and she got us VIP tickets. so we had a great view. Personally i thought it was great in the beginning but 3hours was just way too long and thoose uncomfotable seats. and there were no breaks at all, the actual parrelli stuff wasr great but then they started telling their life storys and it was like okay to much! 1 hour all about linda's crazy aus TB! I think it was great at parts but had to much promotion of their products and other semniars. basicly it was just a preview and a way to sell you, to fly out to colorado for 4,000 and see them do it four 2 weeks. uhhh noo to much for me. I went to another o'connor clinic parrelli thing last june at the VA horse center "An Eevning w/the O'Connor's" i thought that was alot better, small more intresting and interactive.

but it was still a great evening, i only fell asleep twice during it! 40 winks!

PRAY FOR KIM! HOLD THE RAIN!DANANIMALS IN 1ST!
TopBritYR /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

17 days and counting until Virginia CCI* starts for me......ahhh!

LAZ
Apr. 27, 2002, 07:40 PM
We thought it was a 3 hour infomercial--and we never got any information! Very disappointing! We kept getting told how it was going to benefit our horses but they never demonstrated what their techniques really were nor how they worked. It was fun to see Karen and David do a line in a decreasing number of strides, and to see David jump around with just a saddle and neck rope, but I'm still not just real sure how that is supposed to benefit MY horse.

I was appalled to see Linda and Pat Parelli jumping their horses with no helmets or any type of safety equipment (especially at a demonstration/clinic associated with the Rolex International 3 Day event). I was appalled to see them demonstrate jumping over a folding, unreinforced picnic table. Linda very nearly fell off twice while jumping bareback with a halter and no protective headgear whatsoever. They were working closely up behind their hores, flapping sticks and ropes and pulling on their horse's tails with never a remark that it shouldn't just be tried at home. What sort of example were they trying to set for the general public, many of whom look up to the Parelli name? *UGH*

I'm not arguing that the things they can get the horses to do were cool, but we never got any info as to how they did it, or why they did it, or how to avoid getting your teeth kicked down your throat while working in close quarters with the horse.

The eight of us were not at all impressed, nor were we pleased to have paid $30 apiece. We guessed there were at least 200 people in attendence, and at $30/head---that's a pretty fair chunk of change!

lilblackhorse
Apr. 27, 2002, 10:38 PM
is that waving of the plastic bag attached to a whip a Parelli thing? Oh god, I can't believe that karen and david have gotten themselves tied into that crap!

I, as a PC alum went to our local pc to help one day-watched from the sidelines as some Parelli moron was teaching these kids to whap a carrot bag attached to a dressage whip in their horse's faces! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif OK, I give up, what's the point of this exercise? To make the horse headshy? It worked. Then they had the kids facing their horses and shaking the hell out of the lead ropes, making these poor freaked out old troopers raise their heads wondering WHAT they had done...then they backed up all worried looking. Ok, what's the point of THAT??? Later I saw a PC kid in our barn do the shaking thing to a young mare who was being ignored, so moved a few steps, and this kid started shaking like mad....I told her she was NOT to use that EVER....pay attention to your horse, expect behavior, but don't punish them when you ignore them.

Back to the O'C thing, I am saddened to see them get involved with that. I worked for karen many years ago, and she is full of common sense and good basic riding skills which stand the test of time. I don't get the tie in to the commercialism. Went and saw Linda T-J and Gowani PonyBoy and Clinton Anderson at an expo, and they all are into the "buy my gimmicks", they will help you the fastest. Why are the O'C's who KNOW how long it takes to properly bring along a good horse buying into the quick and dirty training schemes??? I just don't get it. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

Magnolia
Apr. 28, 2002, 11:33 AM
It seems like most horses that have been well treated (not abused, not spoiled), that get enough work and are in a calm environment have good barn manners. Horses are animals and will do the unexpected - I don't like the whole submission aspect of these people. Yes, I agree a horse should be obedient under saddle, and shouldn't be a holy terror, but do we really need horses that jump picnic tables without any tack? Or something that will stand next to a bear and not run off?

It seems like a lot of novices get involved with this stuff. Probably if they invested their money in a good suitable horse and some lessons and took a class or 2 in stable management, they'd have the same results. Well, just my 2 cents...

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

AM
Apr. 28, 2002, 06:49 PM
Have any of you read David's article in the May Practical Horseman? David says, "Karen and I have been working our horses in the round pen for the last decade or so, borrowing ideas from horsemen like Gene Lewis (USA Equestrian's 2001 Pegasus Medal of Honor recipient, an Idaho cowboy-cum-jumper-rider who spent time with famed horseman Ray Hunt), experimenting, and developing our own system. Gene taught horses to jump on a longe line, believeing they'd learn more quickly and figure things out for themselves without the interference of a rider, and he had great success with that system. He was the person who really opened my eyes to what could be accomplished from the ground, and to the pure horsemanship - asking what a horse is thinking, rather than simply controlling what he's doing - that we were missing by jumping straight into the saddle."

Most of the article is devoted to how he used round pen work with E.T. (The Native)to establish communication and teach him his job. It's only part of his program but something he uses regularly with most of his horses.

PMJ
Apr. 28, 2002, 07:26 PM
Notice too, though, I belive they did not do that with ET while he was a sale horse. I was quite turned off by the article because it seemed more like an infomercial unlike the article on David "Trying and Buying the British Stystem" several years ago. Personally, I don't quite see the relevence of jumping your horse, or just riding it without any equiptment.

hitchinmygetalong
Apr. 29, 2002, 08:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AM:
Have any of you read David's article in the May Practical Horseman? David says, "Karen and I have been working our horses in the round pen for the last decade or so, borrowing ideas from horsemen like Gene Lewis (USA Equestrian's 2001 Pegasus Medal of Honor recipient, an Idaho cowboy-cum-jumper-rider who spent time with famed horseman Ray Hunt), experimenting, and developing our own system. Gene taught horses to jump on a longe line, believeing they'd learn more quickly and figure things out for themselves without the interference of a rider, and he had great success with that system. He was the person who really opened my eyes to what could be accomplished from the ground, and to the pure horsemanship - asking what a horse is thinking, rather than simply controlling what he's doing - that we were missing by jumping straight into the saddle."

Most of the article is devoted to how he used round pen work with E.T. (The Native)to establish communication and teach him his job. It's only part of his program but something he uses regularly with most of his horses.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I read this article with great interest, but finally tossed the magazine down in total disgust when I got to the photos of David (does he wear glasses?) working ET using the "Parelli Carrot Stick" and the "Parelli Rope Halter".

Please note: There is also a LARGE ad in this magazine for the clinic mentioned earlier in this thread. So when PH takes the $ for the ad, maybe there is a deal going on where Mr. O'Connor is allowed to push a "product" in his article???

Nothing but marketing. I hope the O'Connor's understand that they are LOSING many admirers with this move. But then again, maybe someone is "laughing all the way to the bank?"

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Janeway
Apr. 29, 2002, 10:17 AM
I agree with the majority here that this "teaming" of the two parties seems more like an effort to make money.

One thing that caught my eye was a quote by Cathy Wieschoff where she talks about Parelli:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Wieschhoff said she has also been applying the Parelli training in her program, and has noticed a difference in her horses.

"I like the program because it's step-by-step," she said, noting, "If you don't buy a video or work with someone there every step of the way it can go very wrong." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Doesn't that seem to be counter productive, that you can only progress with your horse if you buy the video? That really jumped out at me; anyone else think that is odd? She almost sounds like she is pushing the system....

I'm also wondering after having read the reports of the 3-hour long "clinic" on the friday, if that long session in fact interfered with Karen and David's performance on the Saturday (aside from weather conditions I mean) ie. that David was too tired and therefore missed that flag with Tigger Too?

You would think Karen would have wanted a quiet, early night on friday with 4 horses the next day eh? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

malarkey
Apr. 29, 2002, 11:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janeway:
I agree with the majority here that this "teaming" of the two parties seems more like an effort to make money.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> You know what I wonder.. Just how long can one stay at the top of this sport with all its demands? Granted, quite awhile (think Mike Plumb) BUT, perhaps the O'Connor's are thinking they'd like to retire from competition before they 'break down' too much themselves. I mean, how many spills can you take, especially as you get older and already have old injuries and bones that have had to heal up more than once? I'm thinking they might want to set themselves up in clinic-world for added income.

tle
Apr. 29, 2002, 11:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'm thinking they might want to set themselves up in clinic-world for added income.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

AH HA HA HA HA!! Sorry, Margie.. I'm really not laughing at you, but as someone who has been "pestering" Karen for a clinic date this year for several months now (I've hosted a clinic with her for 5-6 years now so it's not a "first time" deal), this comment just struck me as really funny. I've also been trying to get a date with BOTH of them for the past 3 years, with no luck. They are both in VERY high demand (remember David also does course design) and Karen told me last year that starting this year they will be raising their per-day clinic fee. Oh, they also had 60-some horses with them in Florida this winter.

Something tells me that their "retirement" is probably already set.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

GO-dog-GO
Apr. 29, 2002, 12:19 PM
Lets see.... I can take lessons from my trainer for about $50 an hour. I wonder where I'd learn more, 2 weeks with the O'Conners or taking between 80 and 160 lessons from her? Hummmmm...2 lessons a day, 5 days a week for 16 weeks...

The math looks pretty easy to me.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif


Trying to set up a week at Denny's this June and I don't think it'll cost 2k either /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

AllyCat
Apr. 29, 2002, 12:41 PM
Someone mentioned that Cathy W. might be jumping on the PP bandwagon also. Actually, Cathy has been working with Peggy Cummings for quite some time. Peggy also has a system, but advocates techniques from lots of people (Linda T-J and some NH people). I have taken a few clinics with Peggy and one with Cathy and found them very helpful.

That said, the last time Peggy was at our barn, she had a whole trunk full of stuff to buy for working with your horse. I was really turned off as soon as I saw that. I still like some of her ideas, but I won't buy any of this stuff. If I can't do what they teach in the equipment I have, then I don't think it's a very good technique.

Interesting reports from those of you who were there on Friday night at Rolex. Guess I'm not surprised and I'm sorry you feel you lost your $30. Hopefully, there was something you could take away from it!

Backstage
Apr. 29, 2002, 01:12 PM
All right, here's my take: (keep in mind that before Friday evening I had little to no idea who Pat Parelli was and that I am a fan of the O'Connors, but then being a writer their whole situation appeals to the fairy tale side of me...)
This may or may not be terribly organized, but I just got into work this afternoon after being bumped from my flight last night, staying in Detroit and getting up for the flight this morning....
General impression: Pat and Linda Parelli and their group (for lack of a better word) have absolutely mastered the marketing side of this industry. They know how to package and how to sell. Right or wrong this is how you make money in this industry and any other.

Their "product" seems to work (I could elaborate here and go on about a conspiracy theory that has their results being a scam or something as I have heard others say, no on this board...but I don't have any knowledge in this area, any comments are based on my impressions and what I have seen). Of course, as their "product" isn't a new gimmick in the sense of claiming that a new bit will magically enlightening your horse on how to perform lead changes, but rather a style of interacting with horses, it is difficult to measure this success. All things considered, I imagine that, at the very least, this system may change the way some people approach their horses and work with them.

I do not doubt that many of their methods work OR that these methods are in fact in use all over the world, by all kind of riders and trainers. But they have found a way to make this approach more accessible, and if someone is willing to pay, they may find that they reap enormous rewards. However, they are shamelessly promoting their "product" and its results and in terms of the actual value of the presentation at the KHP, it gave me no insight into what the seven games really are...of course, the reason for this is that they just want to whet you appetite and entice you into buying their package...

However, some of the things said did make a great deal of sense and many of the exercises touched on (and that is my biggest complaint was that their was no substance, it certainly didn't have me pulling out my credit card) are things that I do around home. I believe that having a good relationship with your horse is important...I do jump on my horse bareback and halter less and wander around the arena, trying to steer...my horse will follow my over jumps, and I can lead her up to them, and she'll jump them this way too (although this could be related to the fact that she adores jumping and is no reflection on her love for me!), she will follow me into scary corners...so maybe if I didn't do these things instinctively in order to build a relationship, Parelli videos (etc) would help? Having never seen the video or read "instruction" I don't know.

On to the O'Connors! My father, who is not at all horsey and who attended the Rolex and Parelli/O'Connor thing with me said the following, that while the Parellis' shamelessle advertised, the O'Connor seemed to want to forget (read: almost embarrassed) that that was the "true" reason for being there. I don't remember them pushing the Parelli merchandise at all. All they really said was that they have had success with similar approaches. Never once did they brandish a carrot stick!
Many of the things they talked about made sense, and I really did enjoy listening to their view and experiences. We often forget that horses don't KNOW what we want of them. They emphasized making it into a puzzle that the horse will be eager to solve, something that can be developed through groundwork. They want a xc horse to not boldly go and be impulsive (read: dangerous) but to listen, to perform each task and then ask what next. Listening to them, I had some insight into my own horse and her behaviour. This would be different for everyone, however, and I don't think the words would have had the same impact on me two years ago when I was showing an experienced horse. Now, with my poorly started and confused mare, what was said (what I have typed and more) has given me, as I said earlier, insight.
A few other passing comments that struck me: we learn to show before we learn to ride, to ride before we learn to speak "horse", which whether you like the wording or not, is often true. Also, in regards to the horse knowing its job and what is expected of it, they gave the example of a cutting horse that meanders slowly down the field, mingling with the cows, until its riders singles out the wanted one. Then the horse comes alive and is totally focused on his job. Once done, he goes back to meandering. And as David or Karen put it (don't remember which): "We can't even get our horses to halt at X!"

As for why they have aligned themselves with the Parellis, I really cannot say. I esp. don't know why they have bought a property in California with them (except as I understand it, their farm in The Plains in not actually theirs but belongs to one of their owners, therefore should they retire...). In terms of retiring, I really don't know, however, I do remember something about starting a family...so, that would mean, Karen, for one, would be off for a year, at least (unless of course they want to adopt me, but as my father pointed out, not many people want to adopt a 19 year old and her horse!)

Finally, in regards to the "camps", I don't know the details (re: extent of Parelli belief required) but $4000 does seem like a big pricetag, but then you have to consider that it does include board for your horse and yourself plus instruction with one of the O'Connors for a week (8000 for two weeks with David), I'm sure if you break down the hourly rate plus whatever time you spend with whatever Parelli activities are involved plus the campfires that it isn't that outrageous...what would Wayne Gretsky get for the same type of attention? I really don't know...but when you are dealing with athletes of that caliber, and with 42 spots in a country of how many million people? (I am Canadian, so I don't know the figures) esp. considering that there seem to be a lot of people willing and able to shell out big money for imported horses, or high-calibre made horses or even those that spend millions on homes...essentially, in this world where you charge what people will pay...basically all this to say that would it matter if it were $2000? It still means taking time off work and trailering you horse and yourself....I couldn't afford it if it were free (though I would try real hard) and I would prefer the O'Connors sans Parelli (I was in the Parelli booth and they have merchandise with Parelli logos and Parelli and O'Connor logos...I asked if they had anything just with O'Connor and you would have thought I had suggested something grotesque! I ended up with a hat from a tent that says Equine Beauty Consultant...probably more accurate than O'Connor Event Team!)

Anyway, hopefully what I have said is clear and has not offended anybody, if it has I am sorry and please ask for clarification because it may not be clear due to my very tired state...

Backstage
Apr. 29, 2002, 01:27 PM
Oh, in regards to them being tired. I cold imagine that being a definite possibility! They walked the course at lightning speed on Friday night (I don't know if it was the first time) and didn't necessarily walk every part (i.e. they knew where the jumps were so for the Hammock, they cut across a field and went straight for the mushrooms), but I imagine that they had walked it before that. That said, they rode 7 horses between them, then did the demo...all before XC? Its quite probable that that had an impact! (They went straight from course walk to demo, did they eat?)...All I know, is that I wouldn't have done it, but they may not have had a choice, they couldn't do it Thursday (not enough people) and Saturday would have been silly (Karen, for one, would have ridden 44 miles!) Plus the risk of if they hurt themselves...and Sunday wouldn't make sense either! It will be interesting to see whether they choose to do it again next year or not.

Heather
Apr. 29, 2002, 05:09 PM
I went to this thing too, and all I can say is Jim and Tammy Faye got nothing on these folks.

It was evangalism at its finest ("train your horses in seven easy steps, can I get a halleluiah! WHo here loves more safety for the kids--can I get an amen!)

On the plus side, I think what I saw the sutdents doing with their horses was impressive. There is clearly something to the method.

HOWEVER,

1) SO david and karen rode their two most experienced four star horses without bridles, and did two tracks and jumped small fences. OK, nice, but you know, I would have been dissapointed if two such horses had needed hand aids to begin with. I've always been taught that if you are rel;ying on your hands to get the job done in any phase then you are doing it wrong. I figure with a little parctice (say, a few days) I could do the same with my novice and pre-novice level horses--because I don't rely on my hands, reins, or bits anyway for my flatwork or steering.

2) I agree with the sentiment that we sat there for three freakin' hours and heard a lot of stories, and saw a lot of horses running in small circles, backing up, and being ridden without a bridle, but I didn't hear one single thing about HOW its done. I wasn't expecting them to spill all the secrets for $30, but heck, I'd like to at least have some idea of what were talking about? Dangling dead chickens off that orange stick? Singing to your horse? WHat?

3) I have SERIOUS concerns about the amount of backing up and running in teensy circles involved--two vets I have spoken to since have sarcastically suggest that people involving themselves in the technique buy some stock in Adequan or Cosequin because of the amount of wear and tear that puts on the hocks and stifles. And frankly, a lot of the Parelli students horses looked lame or at least sore behind to me.

4) WHile I'll concede that this may be very helpful for starting youngsters or helping horses who have been mishandled and have lost their trust of people, I never heard one bit about how it makes you a better rider, or your horse a better eventer. And, frankly, given some of the results of people involved in this throughout the spring season (not just ROlex and FOxhall)I hardly think its a miracle cure. The message seemed to be that with right communication, a horse and rider can achieve anything. Well, sorry, but some horses don't want to be eventers, or dressage horses, or hunters, or what have you, and I could spend that 8,000 bucks and I promise you you won't suddenly be reading my name in the CHronicle results next to karen and David.

4a) on a similar note, there were several moments when this much vaunted communication seemed to not be what was claimed--like when this adorable little chestnut pony, who definately was loved by and loved back his owner/rider, was asked to jump jumps that were over his head. He refused multiple times, and at some point I was like Jeez, let it go, leave him alone, he can't do it. Similarly, the wife's horse was clearly green and confused in the jumping part, how about not worrying about putting on a show, and letting the horse quit?

5) I have heard that to board at DAvid and Karen's next year in FLroida, you must be Parelli certified through at least level 3. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.

There is no question that Pat himself has a masterful marekting plan, and I can understand two people who have worked long and hard to pull themselves up by their bootstraps wanting to be a part of it. It is true that you can't ride forever (although Bruce was so amazing this weekend, he may be the first to give it a shot) and maybe this will help give them the sort of comfortable retirement they deserve.

I just wish it wasn't so blatantly uckie--I can't think of another word. It just seems so cheap, and slick and silly and . . . I don't know--it was just cringe worthy.

His Greyness
Apr. 29, 2002, 07:01 PM
What's with all this whining? This is America. Anybody can sell anybody anything. There's a long and glorious history of snake oil salesmen here. Until its recent come-uppance the high-tech industry has been selling vaporware for years.

Some people are prone to looking for that magic gadget, the silver bullet to solve all their problems. The fact that none exist hasn't stopped others from catering to these "needs".

The fact that some folk will drop $4000 for a week with Karen and David, when they could learn basically the same stuff for free, simply means these folk have a lot of disposable income. May be the aura of associating with Karen and David is what they want to buy.

In the days before circuses became politically incorrect, liberty horse were trained to perform all kinds of maneuvers without direct contact. There are no long lost secrets of old masters waiting to be rediscovered. The tide of quick fixes, wonder treatments, "natural" methods never obscures what the basics of good horsemanship are.

PMJ
Apr. 29, 2002, 07:28 PM
I think it is disappointment that people who are heros have seemingly sold out. Personally, after reading the article in PH, my comment is

nullThe whole thing would have been much more credible, if it had not read like a complete informercial.

BarbB
Apr. 29, 2002, 07:45 PM
halleluiah!

amen!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
*snorting coffee across the room*

BarbB
ps
also a 'well said' to His Greyness!
/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

norlibl
Apr. 30, 2002, 05:06 AM
I agree with all that has been said about the marketing aspect of all this. It turned me off as well, and yet it IS the America way.

That said, did anyone consider that perhaps the O'Connors actually believe in the veracity of the Parelli system? In order for them to have jumped on the bandwagon, they must believe it to be effective.

Perhaps we would be wise to look at the parts of the system a bit more objectively and not bad mouth it simply because of the obnoxious marketing involved.

hitchinmygetalong
Apr. 30, 2002, 06:36 AM
Heather, you go girl!

Stay inside in inclement weather, you are prime to be hit by lightning!

"THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!"

I have a video at home about (now, stay with me here) circus ponies and their training regime. It focuses on a family in Switzerland who have a circus that centers on their horse act. Watching that was one of the more eye-opening moments in my short horse-owning career.

They have STALLIONS in their act. The horses are all relaxed and free moving. They perform in a fenceless arena. They are completely focused on the trainer. I resisted watching this video for the longest time thinking, "Circus ponies? YUCK!" but it was fascinating.

I would put this family up against all these new-age trainers anyday...

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Magnolia
Apr. 30, 2002, 06:48 AM
I can see it in 10 years.... on OLN at 3am...

For only 3 easy installments of 69.95 you get the de-lux video, special training halter and our innovative Ron Popeil round pen!

WOW David! I can't believe how good Flossy is behaving! And sooooooooooooooo easy!

But, Karen, that's not it, not only do you get the de-lux video, special training halter and our innovative Ron Popeil round pen, but if you act now, you get this ABSOLUTELY FREE SPACE AGE Hoof Pick!

Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooohhhhhhhh wow Davod, HOW could you not take advantage of this great offer!

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

AM
Apr. 30, 2002, 07:15 AM
About twenty years ago, Practical Horseman ran a series by a trainer at the University of Maryland called Tackless Training. He used a round pen but no other special gimmicks that I recall. He communicated with the horse primarily through his own body language.

HelenD
Apr. 30, 2002, 07:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heather:
5) I have heard that to board at DAvid and Karen's next year in FLroida, you must be Parelli certified through at least level 3. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Okay, you all can NOT even begin to imagine how much I hate/loathe/despise the Pat Parelli Pavement of Perfect Pony Products yours for a Princely Price Please (If you've been to one of his shows, you KNOW why I call it exactly that). I think that those "shows" (please, let's not call them clinics) are the indirect cause of more injuries to horse and handler at home later then most any other "show" you see at horse expos. I just LOATHE whole Pat Parelli thing. Jez, read a Mark Rashid book then see if you can stomach a PP rhyming syllable.

But....

As MelanieV pointed out to me recently, you'd be amazed how few people that consider themselves real "horseman/horsewomen" could pass even a few elements of Level 1. And while those tests include a LOT of the PP hokery, there are some valuable basic skills that the handler must have to pass. I can absolutely see why the O'Connors would only want (and they can have) people/horses that have proven they can perform to level 3.

<EGADS, I'VE BROKEN OUT INTO RED ITCHY SPOTS ALL OVER FROM ADMITTING THAT, EEEKKKKKKKK...>

I guess it's their way of weeding out the people with more money then usable experience. Even as much as I hate the PP stuff, if they get students with a level 3 relationship with their horses, they stand a much better chance of getting some pretty durn successful teams riding under their tutelage. And these folks will have proved, by being certified to that level, by default of the whole stupid PP system, that they have the money as well as the commitment to be there. Think of it as the pony club levels for adults with more money then horsesense. Not so stupid after all if you want to turn out batches and batches of successful students.

Obviously, they believe in the system. I personally don't understand why they picked this yahoo out of all the others out there, but, they did. <retch> Time will tell how the partnership plays out.

And truth be told, it wouldn't hurt most, if not all the dressage/ hunter/ jumper/ eventing/ reining/ WP/ hunting/ <insert your sport here> riders out there to read a decent NH book or two. (May I suggest Ray Hunt or Mark Rashid? Heck, even Mary Twelveponies has some really good concepts although not considered strictly NH)

For those of you who paid the money for the seminar, please tell your friends/acquaintances what you DIDN'T learn there - that's the only way we'll get the numbers attending to start falling. When I went to one, eons ago at a barn near Deep Run in Goochland, VA., I walked out next to some newbies that thought they'd just seen the key to the horse universe. They were going to go home and start right away. But what did they really know from that show?

And they went home and used all of it. <shaking head> What they happened to hear from his presentation is "Dominate". Let you imagination run on to what happened from there.

A lot of horses in the sales are petrified of the round pen. A lot of newbie type folks that have used the PP method come across horses too stupid to figure the games out. There's a connection there.

Well, I could go on and on and...

Save the Horses from Natural Horsemenship FORCES...

<grin>

HelenD

OH, and if you want to look at the Levels, here's the link;

http://www.parelli.com/main%20pages/Savvy%20System/awards.htm

Try and look beyond the PP Hokery and see the skills the levels address.

In riding a horse we borrow freedom.
~Helen Thomson

AllyCat
Apr. 30, 2002, 07:53 AM
I have to agree with the comment about Mark Rashid. I've only read a chapter or two of his book, though. Seemed reasonable and didn't ask you to buy anything.

Part of my frustration with the PP thing is the yahoo factor. Like many of you have posted here, there are people who, with a little bit of knowledge (if you can call it that), go out and try to train a youngster. It scares me all the people who don't do enough investigation into the techniques and then hurt themselves or their horses. If they remain safe in their efforts, it never goes beyond that. There is no reason why one cannot go from groundwork with your horse to eventing or whatever. The O'Connors have done it. They don't ride XC in their PP halters. It is not an end, but a means and few people involved in it seem to see that.

I do think the NH approaches (of MANY walks of life) are right in their theories, and I have to say this includes Parelli. What bothers me about PNH is the gimmicks. People want a quick fix for everything from childrearing to medicine. Horsemanship is no different. Most humans are not patient and think they can buy their way to horsemanship. Parelli knows this and uses it to his advantage in his marketing scheme. That's too bad. The horses he is trying to protect are not going to get the right treatment or training. But it is the almighty dollar that runs it and horses just don't seem to care about dollars.

We have a strong contingent of PNH people at our barn and after a number of incidences, they are now relegated to one arena only. After riding with them for a short period of time, one can see why. The stuff that turns up at some unexpected time is enough to send most of the non-PNH (PNH people call them flighty horses) horses through the ceiling. It's all what they are used to, however. My horse might be terrified of their hula hoops, but if I run the clippers in the barn, the PH horses are beside themselves with fright.

Some of the people at our barn have a nice balance to the approach. They will use the techniques enough to get their horses interested in the work and focused on the trainer. Then they put a BRIDLE WITH A TRADITIONAL BIT on them and go for a hack or school! I've only used the techniques to get my horse to stop pushing me around and to move her while grooming, tacking, mounting, etc. She moves off slight pressure and body cues. She now has good ground manners and that is all I really wanted. I'm not sure the waving the stuff in her face thing would have accomplished anything (mostly because she is just too stoic to worry about a silly thing like that /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif )

SLW
Apr. 30, 2002, 07:54 AM
HelenD- very, very well said.

To me, the things PP teaches under the *realm* of *Savvy* is VERY reachable for anyone who is committed to improving their riding/horsemastership skills.

On the other hand, or hoof /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif , what the O'Conners do is remarkable and at a level VERY few of us will ever reach.

When I see PP ride at Rolex or Badminton I'll spring for his *carrot stick*. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

SLW
"It is I."

subk
Apr. 30, 2002, 07:55 AM
Has anybody else realized that Sally O'Connor (David's mom) has an entire chapter in her book "Practical Dressage" on working the horse in hand? This is not a new concept.

mvoght
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:11 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HelenD:
Originally posted by Heather:
5) I have heard that to board at DAvid and Karen's next year in FLroida, you must be Parelli certified through at least level 3. Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.



As MelanieV pointed out to me recently, you'd be amazed how few people that consider themselves real "horseman/horsewomen" could pass even a few elements of Level 1. And while those tests include a LOT of the PP hokery, there are some valuable basic skills that the handler must have to pass. I can absolutely see why the O'Connors would only want (and they can have) people/horses that have proven they can perform to level 3.
<snip>

OH, and if you want to look at the Levels, here's the link;

http://www.parelli.com/main%20pages/Savvy%20System/awards.htm

Try and look beyond the PP Hokery and see the skills the levels address.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whoa! And, obviously, they have changed a LOT. You used to have to PAY for an annual membership, couldn't even READ what was required for the next "Level" until you'd passed the prior.

I'm now going to download Level 2 and 3 and see what the "tests" are....and be humbled when I cannot go out and perform them all....after 20+ years of horses.

No, I don't "do" the Parelli stuff, but you know what, I'm SO sick of people suggesting that all of what he teaches could be learned for free. Please tell me, where are all these free educators?

Mel

Janeway
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:24 AM
Alright, I went and read the requirements for the various levels, but still don't understand how the majority of it would help a top-flight competition horse. Some of it just seems silly.

and would someone please explain to me the importance of teaching your horse to canter into the trailer? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif I would hate to be the poor person who bought a 3rd level trained parelli horse without knowing it and then tried to load it /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Heather
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:27 AM
I don't mean in anyway to suggest that people should give away knowledge for free--everybody needs to make a living.

I just question whether you are really getting your money's worth in this circumstance.

My husband and I walked away from this demo wondering how PNH might help our monster-spook boy, Merlin. And what we decided is that although it might help him, I don't believe a horse that sees a monster in every shadow and is afraid of brids and bunnies is going to undergo a complete change. He's been this way his whole life. We might make the spooks less violent, but we aren't going to "cure" him.

But that's what I mean abou tmy complaint of the demo--before I drop hundreds of dollars on a special kit, I'd like to know what they propose to be able to help me with with our horses. Not the end "show" product, but what they can do in between.

cjmicro
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:27 AM
I have to laugh at horse people complaining that they have to BUY something for their horses. Before you balk at buying a carrot stick, or a parelli halter, or lead, or whatever, take a quick stock in what is ALREADY out in your tack trunk that you don't use EVER. :-)

No you don't have to buy a parelli halter or lead. But once you use one you won't want the regular kind or the cheap imitations. I know this because I have done both.

No, you don't need a carrot stick. No, you don't need a parelli halter....as a matter of fact, No, you don't need Pat Parelli.

If you want to get technical, you don't need a saddle or bridle or breeches or anything else to ride either. Some things just make it easier and help along the way.

I agree that Parelli has his marketing down to a science. Maybe people think that's a bad thing, but I do know that learning his "program" and methods (because his really is the only one that HAS a step-by-step program) helped me immensely with my horse, and with any other horses I've had to deal with.

AND FWIW, I don't go out there and spin my horses around in tiny circles and make them back up a hundred times a day. The problem may lie in those drawin in seeking a "quick fix" because, as horse people, we all know there just aren't any.

Like anything else that any horse people tell you, take it all in, and do what works for YOUR horse and you.

Cheryl

mvoght
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cjmicro:
No you don't have to buy a parelli halter or lead. But once you use one you won't want the regular kind or the cheap imitations. I know this because I have done both.

No, you don't need a carrot stick. No, you don't need a parelli halter....as a matter of fact, No, you don't need Pat Parelli.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I sold almost all of my PNH stuff...tried it and my mare is too sensitive for the rope halter. It was fine on the rest of the horses, but I didn't really care for it.

The carrot stick...I wish he'd make a lighter/shorter version. I found it too cumbersome and heavy and not balanced for me.

Now, I WANT that bareback pad though.

I'm actually GIVING the tasks to my husband, he is a newbie with horses and they give him something concrete and measurable to work towards.

Will we say, "x task is stupid, not doing that one" perhaps, but most of them are decent tests of your ability to communicate with your horse. He can use the extra halter/lead I have hanging in the horse trailer for his horse if he wants. Or he can do it in the standard halter, makes no difference to me.

My biggest beef with PNH is that I don't think the equipment is as necessary as they make it sound.

Mel

drifting cloud
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Alright, I went and read the requirements for the various levels, but still don't understand how the majority of it would help a top-flight competition horse. Some of it just seems silly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Janeway, I agree with you. What is the point of leading your horse by his lips or his tail or his hocks?? These were requirements on a page I read. As long as my horses are well-behaved when I lead them with a halter or bridle, that's good enough for me. How many ways does your horse have to be submissive? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Pixie Dust
Apr. 30, 2002, 11:50 AM
I watched a Parelli show a couple of times and found it very entertaining.....I guess I'm a total suckaAAAAAh, LOL, but anyway, I like to be open minded about training, well really, about everything. But regarding the whole marketing thing, he said that before he met his hottie wife, he didn't do any marketing at all and he credits the entire "system" with all the packages, videos, cards, etc. to his wife's savy marketing skills. That's what he said. And he also said "there are no quick fixes in training" and he said "I did not invent this stuff" and "you have to spend MANY hours with your horse if you want to get anywhere." And many other things along those lines.

I really don't understand why people are so hostile to this stuff. And I don't understand why horse people can't make big bucks like basketball stars can. As far as I'm concerned Karen & David have worked their tails off and deserve the big bucks. I just don't see what the big deal is.....why get your panties in a bind???


It is very curious that Karen & David are requiring new boarders to be certified...I wonder what that is all about......anyhoo, I have an immense respect for Karen & David and will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

Robby Johnson
Apr. 30, 2002, 12:17 PM
and I'm with the other skeptics, but I do think that there are a LOT of people out there who don't know about horses who have a go at it anyway and often do more damage than good. If a Garanimals approach is enough for them to stay safe and sane, more power to them. I just cannot abide by any Disciple mentality.

I believe horses are entirely creatures of habit and instinct, and only so much of that can be rehabituated. If you understand how to condition a response, you can train your horse to do just about anything. But that really depends (as demonstrated on this thread) on what you hope to accomplish.

For example, I like a horse who will ground tie, give me his feet, allow me to tack him up, etc. I don't necessarily want one that I can lead around by the lips.

Robby

Badger
Apr. 30, 2002, 12:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I don't necessarily want one that I can lead around by the lips.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


What's the big deal here, people? I have been using a carrot stick to lead horses around by the lips since I was 5 years old!!! Of course, I use a natural carrot stick, not a Parelli NH carrot stick. But in my experience, if you put a carrot in front ot the lips, then move the carrot, the lips and horse will follow.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

wanderlust
Apr. 30, 2002, 12:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>AND FWIW, I don't go out there and spin my horses around in tiny circles and make them back up a hundred times a day. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am glad to hear it, but I think you are in a very small minority who practice "NH." We have a couple of people at our barn who buy into the NH philosophy. One of them comes out twice a week, throws a parelli halter on him, shakes/flings the leadrope at him constantly, and then chases him around in hundreds of little circles. This is, of course, when she can actually catch him. I can't even claim to understand what she is trying to do, other than get him quite upset, and in turn upset the other horses around him. I'm not sure what else she does with him, I have never seen him being riddent, but I certainly don't blame him for not wanting to be caught. The scary thing is that she's had him for 9 years.

The other one is a woman who tries to mix NH with dressage. She also has the halter with the leadrope that she flings/flips at him constantly. I don't think it does much good, because he is atrociously behaved on the ground, and doesn't appear to be so wonderful under saddle, either.

When someone can show me proof positive that NH gets consistently better results than common sense and methodical handling/training (think pony club), I may consider changing my opinion.

I'm not holding my breath.

Portia
Apr. 30, 2002, 12:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heather:
I went to this thing too, and all I can say is Jim and Tammy Faye got nothing on these folks.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh Heather, there's no question why Robby Johnson loves you! (Not to mention Mr. Heather.) I'm sorry I couldn't make it to Rolex and meet you in person! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

******
"I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing..." Thomas Jefferson

Tootsie
Apr. 30, 2002, 03:13 PM
I have no doubt in my mind that the Parelli system helps a lot of horses, but the marketing makes promises that it cannot keep. By the O'Connors attaching their names to it implies that their suscesses are entirly a result of this type of training. I dont think that David won the gold by doing Parelli, I think he won the gold by falling off a thousand times. Working your horse on the ground is all nice and peachy but, like lunging, it only impacts the undersaddle work of the horse to a certain extent.

Also I did notice that the O'Connors did not do so well at Rolex this weekend. The parelli method did not stop Tigger Too from freaking on phase C, or Regal Scott at the Head of the Lake. On the other hand Bruce Davidson jumped clean on three different horses in three different weather conditions. Makes you wonder....

"The Assyrian program of exterminating various ethnic groups generally failed to promote cultural diversity."-- Non Campus Mentis

mbp
Apr. 30, 2002, 05:50 PM
ROFLMAO!!!!

Cantering into the trailer.....
Leading by the lips.........
Leading by the hocks?!?!(wait - shouldn't you be in front to lead??????? so the trick here is to learn to lead bass ackwards?)

Practical skills we should all know and work with daily.

I will say, having had a tack store for awhile and being generally appalled at the things people do to horses, that the Parellis and Lyons et al are fairly innocuous and have the redeeming feature of convincing the cowboys and dr jeckel/mr. dressages out there that actually spending time with your horse and interacting with it will produce better benefits than, oh, say tieing said horse to your tractor and dragging it around the field or shooting it with a bb gun (both remedies espoused by some of the trail riders who came into the store).

(uh, can I hear an AMEN?)

I scratch my head though, that so many people who will not spend moderate or even small $ for regular horse training or instruction, will pluck down big bucks for these sessions.

Forget the carrot sticks, for $4000 I want carrot cake - on a silver platter please.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

tle
May. 1, 2002, 05:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Forget the carrot sticks, for $4000 I want carrot cake - on a silver platter please. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

...served by Russell Crowe... in his BVDs!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

monstrpony
May. 1, 2002, 06:45 AM
and read the PH article after reading this thread yesterday. I found the article very innocuous and, well, practical. I wonder if some of the reaction to it isn't human nature when presented with something new to learn, when we think we don't need to learn, and are resisting the effort to learn something new because we believe we know enough already.

I admit, $4K seems a bit much, but people will charge what the market will bear. Given how often I've seen people with more $$ than sense go out and "get into horses" just because they can, money-wise, and see the horses suffer for it--I'm glad they'll be inclined to do one of these clinics just because of the names, or because of the $$ it costs, and be held captive for a week or two, till they learn something useful.

I know there's a lot of almost embarassing glitz and marketing by some of these natural horsemanship practitioners, but I'm still happy to see good publicity and sales by these folks as long as it kills the image/perceptions that horses must be "broken" and that riding young horses must be or should be violent, and that horsewomen must be some kind of dominatrix types and horsemen must be real machos. I say, more power to people who are changing these missperceptions, and my mind will remain open to what they have to teach.

Bumpkin
May. 1, 2002, 07:28 AM
I finally got to sit down last night and read my Rolex COTH issue.
Was it me, or were 99% of the full page coloured advertisements the O'Conners touting this or that product?

No flaming, just an observation.
Anyone is free to use their name to advertise whatever and make money at it.

This issue in my mind with the many ads and the cover of David is etched in my mind as the O'Conner issue, LOL /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

findeight
May. 1, 2002, 08:12 AM
As an older person I can truthfully say that nothing is new here except the marketing.
These techniques have been used by everybody from liberty and circus horse trainers in the 1800s to Native Americans who had never seen a horse before and, presumably, some charioteer of ancient times who won the Sumarian Derby. All without the aid of fancy videos or tack.
Kids with a horse in their backyard figure out how to ride without a bridle. The Trail class still popular requires this kind of trust and manueverability.
If a novice can get that out of these programs it is good for all concerned but they are not the shortcut and miracle answer to all horse problems many think they are.
I still remember the Three Masters video as Buck Branamen worked with a problem horse. He got it straightened out but said "What's the point? The owner will take it home and undo it all".
None of these methods get to the root of many problems, like an owner who is scared to canter, jump or work a cow. An owner who isn't willing to spend the time to learn to ride and handle the horse. An owner who bought a bad horse or an unsuitable one.
It takes a long time, good horses and good instruction on a regular basis to learn to work with a horse not a pricey, gimmick laden seminar.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

mbp
May. 1, 2002, 10:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...served by Russell Crowe... in his BVDs!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

coming soon to a theater near you

Charioteer, the sequel to Gladiator.

Featuring, Russell Crowe, as an Au Naturel Horseman (we don't need no BVD's.....!)

Marketing to be handled Parelli Productions /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

PMJ
May. 1, 2002, 11:09 AM
Actually though, wouldn't you think that these people are doing the scared/ignorant/over-horsed people a disservice. It struck me in an article that Denny wrote one time about being overmounted that we needed trainers who were honest with their students. If "trainers" are selling a special halter or numerous other gadgets and saying if you follow this you will learn how without addressing other issues, then what exactly are they teaching?? or are they just in it for the money? I think this is what bothers me about the attitude of this is the "RIGHT" way to do it. It reminds me too much of cults and backyard religions that tell everyone who does not belong to their specific genere that they are "going to hell." While they have some good ideas, I think I will stick with what I feel comfortable, which is more traditional.

Bensmom
May. 1, 2002, 11:20 AM
This is a very interesting topic and to add another layer to it -- did y'all notice that in The Captain's ( /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) column on the winter training sessions in the USEventing magazine that he had Parelli come in and do demonstrations at night during the training sessions. And, he gave the website for anyone interested in more info.

Interesting.

tle
May. 1, 2002, 11:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It reminds me too much of cults and backyard religions that tell everyone who does not belong to their specific genere that they are "going to hell."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

hmmm... unfortunately, it sounds pretty "mainstream religion" to me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif but I do get your point (and agree with it).

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 9 recap ... Sean definitely needs riding lessons. Buh-Bye Zoe you manly-girl you.

GO RED WINGS!!!

RumoursFollow
May. 1, 2002, 11:25 AM
and I've never posted on this board before, but..

when I think of Pat Parelli or someone mentions his name I have to fight back the urge to roll my eyes. To people who actually want to ride, I think getting out the rope halter and teaching your horse to lay down is, well, ridiculous.

For those of you truly interested in learning non-invasive training methods from a well known trainer, I'm going to suggest mine. I have been riding with Richard Shrake for a while now, and I cannot say enough good things about him. He has trained many world champions (ridden them, trained them.. etc) including his daughter, Jill. He teaches what he calls Resistance Free Ridng & Training. Its none of that lay down on the ground sit on your horse and teach him to bow hullaballoo... he teaches you how to handle a problem horse in real situations and then teaches you how to ride better.

He is EXCELLENT. He is not to be lumped into the Lyons, Parelli category.. as they teach very different things.

Anyway, he does clinics in EVERY part of the country (he calls Oregon home) and his clinics are MUCH less expensive than the prices mantioned here. He also does exhibits @ Expos and Fairs and the like.

I would reccomend him to anyone for any discipline. I have seen him help hunter/jumper, western, eventing, dressage, and gaited people as well as people who have only trail ridden all in one session. I have learned so much from him.

Anyway- now that I have rambled on, if you are truly interested in this kind of thing and really wnat to get your money's worth, check out Richard's site...

Richard Shrake (http://www.richardshrake.com)

And no, he didnt pay me to post this. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

-----------------------------
RumoursFollow
Ten Oaks Farm (http://www.geocities.com/tenoakssc/index.html)
-----------------------------

NeverTime
May. 1, 2002, 11:53 AM
Perhaps they've made a serious lapse in judgement, but I think that along with the chance to make some money (which I really can't hold against them unless I plan to be morally outraged with every other professional athlete's sponorship deals) they believe this system is a good one for teaching basic horsemanship through groundwork. (I didn't see either of them ask their horses to lie down, or do reining spins, or Spanish walk in Lexington, but I did see them demonstrating the basic groundwork--you *can* decide just how far you want to carry this stuff.)
I don't think anyone can argue that being a good horseman certainly helps your riding, and everyone needs to start learning somewhere. Where exactly that "somewhere" is is debatable, but apparently the O'Connors think Parelli's easy-to-follow, step-by-step program is a good jumping-off point for the masses. And they're making a buck in the process.
Yes, the heavy-handedness of the sales pitch at Kentucky really turned me off, but I'm trying to separate that from my evaluation of the techniques themselves (hard to do since little of the actual techniques were discussed in that circus show). The PH article goes into more depth about how, exactly, the O'Connors apply this stuff to their horses.
I think it's important to note again that they've been doing groundwork with their horses long before they developed this marketing partnership with Parelli, which I think speaks to the stock the O'Connors put in what they do on the ground. Can you argue that it works? At Radnor last year, the winner Clark Montgomery, who is one of the O'Connors students, credited them with helping his horse overcome jumping problems by working with him on a line, and teaching him that he could figure out the jumps by himself.

mbp
May. 1, 2002, 12:02 PM
that at all the 4 stars it will now be a requirement to lead the horses by the lips through the vet check???

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Dezi
May. 1, 2002, 12:36 PM
Ok, I'll jump into the conversation...

I'll admit that I only read the requirements for Level 1 (too much real work to do), but I had a OTTB we taught to do alot of "circus" tricks (Chuck Grant - USDF Hall of Famer called them "High School").

Anyway, he could bow, kneel, Spanish walk, lay down, climb on the stool, and was the nicest horse to handle on the ground that you would want to be with. He loved the high school stuff, and took to it like a duck to water.

Unfortunately, he was a complete lunatic in either the dressage ring or jumping. I cannot tell you the number of times I left the show ring in tears because he just could not handle the atmosphere. Now granted I was probably a bit more nervous and he probably fed on that, but he would also act the same almost anytime he was working in the ring, either in a lesson or just by himself. Take him on the trails and as long as there was no water to cross, he could go all day, but don't ask him to do any real work. So, he could have done all of the PNH "stuff", and would still not have been worth a cent in the "show" world.

OTOH, my Grade 2 Intermediate horse wouldn't do any of the tricks, but would have jumped off of the edge of the earth if I asked, so go figure!

I too think that most of th PH stuff is common sense, and lord knows that is a feature not everyone is blessed with. If the OCET and Parelli's can get enough fools to part with their money, good for them - I know I will not be one of them (nor would I even if I had the disposable income).

HeyYouNags
May. 1, 2002, 12:57 PM
How about some unsolicited comments from a demi-DQ who has no business posting on this board? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Is it possible the O'Connors think pairing with Parelli might be a way of exposing a wider audience to Eventing? NH seems to be getting a lot of attention, and perhaps they're hoping to persuade new horsepeople or timid riders that with good basic horse skills, they might be able to try Eventing?

And... association with NH concepts might also serve to deflect criticism of eventing as cruel. "See, the horses aren't *forced* to jump, we teach them slowly and gently."

I'm not a devil's advocate, but I play one on the BB.

deltawave
May. 1, 2002, 12:58 PM
When someone pointed out that the Level I requirements were something any decent horseman should be able to do, I figured "sure, sounds reasonable"...so I went and looked. Come on! You can "fail" their level I evaluation if you don't lay the halter and rope down the right way? Why lay it down at all? I walk up to my horse with the halter sticking out, and she sticks her face in. If she doesn't, and isn't in the mood to be caught, I heave a big sigh and plod after her. She gets bored after 2-3 minutes and sticks her face in. I'm too old to get excited over this...if she doesn't feel like getting caught I figure she has her reasons. If I'm in a tremendous hurry I take a carrot with me. Why turn this all into a big psychoanalysis?

Second, several folks have mentioned how "overhorsed" people flock to these clinics. I watch the "DownUnder Horsemanship" show on Horse TV now and then, and it has always amazed me how incredibly TIMID most of his students seem around their horses! And the horses are usually quiet, little QH's. He even commented on it once, how many riders are just truly way too timid and passive with their horses. He mentioned it was mostly women, indicating in his experience men tended to be too aggressive. That's an interesting insight in itself, but that's not the point I wish to make. My point is that it *does* ring true that lots and LOTS of novice horse owners are WAAAAY too non-demanding of their horses for things like basic ground manners and respect.

If these $$$$$$ clinics get them there, great, but for me I'll stick with a loud growl and an occasional slap on the neck. It's all in the body language, which if you boil down all these "methods" I think that's what you get as a message, anyhow. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

HelenD
May. 1, 2002, 01:03 PM
Do ya'll think that if you can lead your horse around by the lips, you STILL have to buy the halter?

Yes? <sigh> I guess you do have to march down the PP parade of products even if your horse follows you willingly anyway.

Helen

In riding a horse we borrow freedom.
~Helen Thomson

Magnolia
May. 1, 2002, 02:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I walk up to my horse with the halter sticking out, and she sticks her face in. If she doesn't, and isn't in the mood to be caught, I heave a big sigh and plod after her. She gets bored after 2-3 minutes and sticks her face in. I'm too old to get excited over this...if she doesn't feel like getting caught I figure she has her reasons. If I'm in a tremendous hurry I take a carrot with me. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

heeheee, so true!

I guess the natural horsemanship has done some good - it made people rethink beating the crap out of horses to accomplish things. And it is kind of neat and probably something to do with your horse outside of riding. But I don't know, maybe the horse would rather just be groomed or eat his grass instead of being hit with a carrot.

I suppose we have a choice not to buy the PP merchandise, and is having the PP hackamore any sillier than needing a Butet saddle or a pair of tailored sportsman breeches? Guess not... it's just kind of funny how marketing controls some peoples minds. Do you suppose, just like there are those that call themselves hunters because they have TS breeches, a Butet and a warmblood that there are people who call themselves Parelli Certified horseman because they bought the De-Lux kit?

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

GO-dog-GO
May. 1, 2002, 02:22 PM
No, no, no!! It's all very important! I heard next years dressage tests for eventing will include sitting on your horse while he's laying down, doing 10m circles around a bear and bowing at the end of the test.

Oh yes, the XC fences will all be 18" high and the riders will ride enclosed in a protective bubble wearing football pads and a full-face auto racing helmet.

Reminds me of the guy selling drift wood on the side of the road... The top shelf had wood that was marked $50 and the bottom shelf had wood that looked the same but was marked $10. When asked why the difference in price for wood that looked the same he said, "some people would rather own a $50 piece or wood".

I guess some people would rather spend 8K on lessons......

I know someone that grooms for the O'C's and they say that their [the O'C's] life is such a whirl wind of strange/clueless/rich/spoiled people pulling them in differend directions, they don't see how they handle it.

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

jodyjumper
May. 1, 2002, 02:34 PM
Love these posts!
Both the O'Connors' and Parellis' are welcome to make $$$ with horses, especially the O'Connors, from the high risk, money poor sport of eventing.
Marketing is a bit much for me- as evidenced by the sale of a John Lyons tape of his church service for $10. But I won't tell you that he can't sell it and you can't buy it.
I find it difficult to believe that any one system with work with every horse, without modifications. Every trainer/ride would have to be a clone of the original trainer. Not every horse reacts the same to an identical stimulus. (Tell me why I have to break apart the sawdust bale from its square shape, so my horse doesn't freak when she sees it in her stall, but she can jump a pine tree being towed by a backhoe?)
I think I will stick to my "if one idea doesn't work, try something else" and keep my mind open for the "something else", trying not to pay $8000 for it.

JER
May. 1, 2002, 04:47 PM
Very interesting reading through this thread. I get the sense that most eventers here find the Parelli-O'C alliance somewhat embarrassing. I agree. It feels funny, sort of like celebrities and Scientology.

I find it strange that experienced horsepeople like the OCs are endorsing a 'product' like PNH. It's one thing to incorporate NH techniques into your training program but this sort of product placement -- as in requiring their students be Parelli certified -- is a real turn off. It makes me think the OCs don't know horses as well as I thought. Are they really that impressed by Parelli? Were they so completely unable to teach their horses ground manners and basic respect for their handlers that Parelli has changed their lives?

I like a lot of aspects of NH. I used Brannaman-style NH groundwork with my mare when I first got her, then modified the Mecate rein as I moved over to more standard English stuff. It was great as a transitional phase in training a green horse. But not every horse needs it -- particularly those that are well-mannered and well-broke. They don't need tiny circles, carrot sticks, and plastic flags. Kind of like how I don't need finger puppets and potato prints at this point in my life.

I hope my horses never canter into any trailer. It's dangerous and stupid. Nor will I ever put a halter or bridle on a horse from a kneeling position. You should never kneel down that close to a horse; it's just too vulnerable a posture if something goes awry (a branch drops from a tree, for example).

As for 'skills and tasks' like the 'Porcupine Game', the 'Friendly Game' or -- please explain this one -- 'Controlled Catastrophe' (this sounds like a description of a recent dressage test), I'll stick to plain old riding.

magnum
May. 1, 2002, 05:08 PM
Thought you guys might like seeing what PRICES are involved with the Parelli system:

http://www.parelli.com/isc/course_schedule.htm

"A society's values are reflected in the way it treats its animals."

findeight
May. 1, 2002, 05:12 PM
I will repeat my "lineage". I learned in LA back in the late 50s early 60s from movie stuntmen, many were Ft Riley products. I thought nothing of making the horse do as I wanted it to do, at the tender age of 12.
Later I encountered a wonderful trainer, friend of my trainer at the time. Harold Farren. His step dad was a European trained liberty and circus horse trainer. Harold was the wierdest and most drop dead horseman I ever met. Teach a horse to do your bidding. Period.
Harold's best horse was the quirky mare Alisa Lark. I am proud to have hot walked and groomed this one, a beautiful golden dappled bay....a bit hard to brush, iffy in the cross ties.
You all may have heard of Alisa Lark's son Rugged Lark. Two time AQHA Super Horse, sire of Lt Lark and heart of Lynn Palm's program.
I am proud to have "argued" with Alisa Lark.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

kt
May. 1, 2002, 05:31 PM
Delta Wave-- Amen.

I have been following this discussion with great interest. I knew it was just a matter of time before it came up here.

I felt funny the first time I saw their big spread in PH (muttering "what the heck??..."). It just seemed so out of place and character for the O'Connors. It became increasingly annoying to see that ad (in addition to all of their other endorsements) in every magazine I got before Rolex.

When I saw the recent article in PH about David and E.T., I had the same sentiments that Delta Wave referred to. Isn't it all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T? There's trust too, but so much of this is just asking that a horse move away from pressure, yield to pressure, not invade your space, look to you for direction, etc, etc. These are things you almost naturally learn on your own so that you don't have a horse who tramples you to death! I think (or at least I HOPE) that it is a given that when dealing with horses, body language is extremely important. Maybe this is for beginners (or overhorsed individuals) who need to learn this language?

At any rate, whoever said that the world of sponsorship cab be a strange and twisted one, I think they are right. I know that for myself, I feel disappointed in what David and Karen have done. But we do not really know the whole story of what is going on here.

drifting cloud
May. 2, 2002, 06:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>this sort of product placement -- as in requiring their students be Parelli certified -- is a real turn off.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
There needs to be a fine line. It doesn't bother me to see riders endorsing products in magazines. Equestrian athletes are not paid nearly as well as other athletes and I'm sure the endorsement contracts are very helpful. But it should NOT be a requirement to have a certain product or a certrain certification to be able to take lessons from someone. Where does it stop? Will you not be able to ride in Karen or David eventing clinics in the future if you're not Parelli certified?? I don't have the interest or the time (or the money) to get certified and there are plenty of other big-name event riders who accept students and who don't require you to be in the "Parelli club."

I wonder if requiring their students to be Parelli certified was part of the O'Connor's contract with Parelli? Parelli stands to gain the most from it.

BarbB
May. 2, 2002, 06:43 AM
Deltawave writes:
"I walk up to my horse with the halter sticking out, and she sticks her face in. If she doesn't, and isn't in the mood to be caught, I heave a big sigh and plod after her. She gets bored after 2-3 minutes and sticks her face in. I'm too old to get excited over this...if she doesn't feel like getting caught I figure she has her reasons. If I'm in a tremendous hurry I take a carrot with me. Why turn this all into a big psychoanalysis?"

OMG, Lynn, I am laughing so hard I can't see!
*wipes tears from eyes*
THAT is MUCH too practical and real life. YOU are obviously never going to get rich running a training clinic.

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

poltroon
May. 2, 2002, 12:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hitchinmygetalong:
I have a video at home about (now, stay with me here) circus ponies and their training regime. It focuses on a family in Switzerland who have a circus that centers on their horse act. Watching that was one of the more eye-opening moments in my short horse-owning career.

They have STALLIONS in their act. The horses are all relaxed and free moving. They perform in a fenceless arena. They are completely focused on the trainer. I resisted watching this video for the longest time thinking, "Circus ponies? YUCK!" but it was fascinating.

I would put this family up against all these new-age trainers anyday...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have seen this video, of the Circus Knie, and it is an amazing display of horsemanship. To have so many horses, all going different directions, COMPLETELY FOCUSED on one person, who could convey his desires so accurately ... most of us wish for such rapport with just one horse at a time!

I believe that Christine Stuckleberger (with Granat) rode with them for a while.... she was scorned for associating with the circus but her results showed the wisdom of it.

There are many "NH" trained people out there, many of whom are very good and give clinics at typical clinic going rates. Ride or audit. There may even be some local to you. It really all just is horsemanship, which is about being consistent and clear with your expectations and responses - ALWAYS releasing/rewarding when the right thing is done. It is easy to say and hard to do. Clicker training is another variation. Sometimes it's easier for a person to catch on when they make an audible click - your brain may be better able to see that your click was late or missing than that your rein release was late or missing.

If you want to learn more "for free" - go to your library and look for books by Tom Dorrance, Mark Rashid, and Karen Pryor's dolphin training book "Lads Before the Wind."

It is sadly true that a lot of the disciples of NH are wannabe basket cases. But the best ones are impressive, and they're doing their best to teach people who will put the time and effort into learning, just like equestrian masters in any discipline.

Parelli is known for being pricey, but I certainly don't begrudge David & Karen any money they can get for clinics or endorsements. Eventing is an expensive sport, and I'm pleased that they're making a living from it. And hey - I like the idea of any good press eventing gets from the association. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

deltawave
May. 2, 2002, 01:30 PM
Barb, you're right--you won't see disciples lining up to hear *my* training methods...I've had the same horse for 9 years and we're still doing Novice! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I will admit to occasionally using some psychological subterfuge on the mare, though--if she's in a "don't wanna be caught" mood I'll sometimes go smooch the sweetie pie gelding or pony mare she's turned out with. THAT gets her every time: "why are you talking to THEM???"

Maybe when the "pendulum" of "natural" stuff (horsemanship, herbs-n-spices, healing, etc.) swings the other way, then I will have my turn, and write my book: "Better Horsemanship Through A Sharp Slap On The Butt" (BHTASSOTB)

No, wait, I can make that acronym better (medical research is ALL about a catchy acronym...)

Better Animal Discipline--A Sharp Slap Rids Insufferable Dominant Equines of Rudeness (BADASSRIDER)

/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

drifting cloud
May. 2, 2002, 01:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maybe when the "pendulum" of "natural" stuff (horsemanship, herbs-n-spices, healing, etc.) swings the other way, then I will have my turn, and write my book: "Better Horsemanship Through A Sharp Slap On The Butt"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif deltawave, you are a riot!! When you write your book and develop your training program, you will have to sell your patented buttslapper for $49.95. It works better than your hand, all the whips in your barn, or the end of your lead shank. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

JER
May. 2, 2002, 01:53 PM
One of the greatest trainers ever, Francois Baucher, became a circus trainer after being kicked out of the French army for being too critical of their training methods. Baucher believed in 'balance before movement' -- the idea was if you sit in the center of the horse, you can teach him to do anything. Like canter backwards or do a circle on three legs, just to mention two of the things he could teach a horse. Chuck Grant, who someone mentioned on this thread as a trainer of 'circus tricks', brought Baucher's idea of lightness and balance to the US. This is the antithesis of German dressage.

I've seen that video of the Swiss group, and I've also spent some time with the trainers at Ringling Bros. Circus people are quite interesting in their approach to training, perhaps because the focus is not on 'riding' but on the animal's performance. Interestingly, the first thing a circus trainer will teach an animal is to come to the center of the ring when his name is called. And 'called' means whispered. As the Ringling trainer said to me, "For all those animal rights people who criticize us, I wonder how many of them have pets who come to them when their name is whispered?" And this guy could free lunge six Friesians, eight Arabs and four zebras, all of them stallions, in concentric circles moving in opposite directions.

Now if the O'Connors were running a clinic with ciruc folk, I might be interested, but I'll pass on Parelli.

Sandy M
May. 2, 2002, 02:07 PM
Haven't read all this, but here's my take. A friend of mine who has always been a dressage/Semi-NH/eventing person had the opportunity to have her horse worked with my a Parelli trainer... but the minute she asked any QUESTIONS about the levels and how some of it would apply to her horses ultimate career - dressage, the guy totally backed off. It was PP's way or NOTHING, no other systems but Parelli, no equipment but Parelli, and the basic attitude was "you don't understand" and once you DO understand PP's godlike pronouncements, you won't WANT to do dressage "or even ride". So much for that. Someone once said that a lot of the PP/NH types like to talk about methods and chase their horses around round pens, but they don't RIDE them. A "paralysis of analysis" in other words.

Now, how often these days, do you think the O'Connors take on a totally green horse - the type that would most likely benefit from the PP stuff? I doubt they even handle horses much below Training/ready to go Prelim level these days. They don't need to. People are BEGGING for them to ride their horses.

Also, level one PP - big deal. My horse has NEVER had any PP type training, but could easily handle level 1 just from his conventional training. Round penning is not going to teach half-pass. PP and his wife denigrate dressage and as someone mentioned, hold forth that if your horse is properly PP trained, you don't NEED a helmet when jumping or riding at all! The pictures I've seen of Mrs. Parelli "doing dressage" appear to be a horse with a headset, unengaged behind. Right. Lunging presented as if it's a new revelation from PP. Uh-huh.

I don't know what the O'Connors are doing this for except $$$$ (more power to them, I suppose), but I just have the damndest image of someone who's done only Parelli training, or has a major problem horse, asking the O'Connors to teach it to event. THe mind boggles. Especially with the Anti-dressage or "what we do IS dressage" attitude that PP espouses.

I could ride my Prelim event horse bridleless over a course of jumps. I could trail ride him bareback in a halter. Did he ever have PP/NH training? No. I do not say that there's NO merit to NH - but I seriously doubt that the O'Connors are REALLY Parelli converts - just that PP has presented to them a money-making opportunity exhibiting methods they and experienced horseman who have never considered themselves "NH" have used for years, but PP has now put a label on and claimed as his own.

hitchinmygetalong
May. 3, 2002, 06:27 AM
Posted by Deltawave:

"Better Animal Discipline--A Sharp Slap Rids Insufferable Dominant Equines of Rudeness (BADASSRIDER)"

OMG that is PERFECT! Please design a tee shirt!

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Inverness
May. 3, 2002, 11:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janeway:
. . .and would someone please explain to me the importance of teaching your horse to _canter_ into the trailer? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL. My Billy already does that on his own; he
loves to go to new places. I'm curious, when did the "trend" re "natural" horsemanship begin? By this I mean the marketing trend, not the actual training methods used. It reminds me of Mobil Oil's bid a few years ago to convince the public that "colorless" gasoline was somehow less toxic than its yellow-tinted counterpart. Amazing what people will buy into.

"Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.
Luckily, this is not difficult."
-- Charlotte Whitton

AM
May. 3, 2002, 12:14 PM
I wonder if this marketing didn't take off with the advent of the various state and regional/national equine expos. What a wonderful opportunity to show off and sell your wares. I've noticed that the same names seem to show up all over the country. Now folks who are seriously training, teaching, and competing don't have time to write books, create sales objects, make videos, and travel the country demonstrating and selling them.

Dandy's Mom
May. 3, 2002, 12:30 PM
I am going to stick my neck out. Please be kind!

I don't know why you all are so critical of Parelli and what he is teaching. He is the FIRST one to say he didn't invent any of this. His wife, Linda, helped him put together a package to teach people about horses.

Yes it is basic. Many don't need it. I for one have benefitted a lot. I spent thousands of $$'s on dressage lessons - special bits, other equipment. I never got past 1st level over 5 years. Maybe it was me, maybe it was my horse, maybe it was the trainers I took lessons from.

2 years ago I took a Parelli Level 1 course. I was disgusted - so simple, I knew this stuff, my horse didn't need to learn how to walk backwards and sideways from a cue. I thought I blew a couple hundred bucks on the weekend.

Hmmmmm - I started noticing a change in my horse though. It turned out I had some holes in my horse knowledge. Not to bore you with the details of my voyage... buy I am now riding the same horse in a Level 3 test next month! I expect to do well! Parelli helped ME learn what I couldn't 'get' before.

I assume the O'Connor's saw the benefit of how Parelli teaches the basics to people (like me) that conventional training didn't get through to.
Its not about training the horse - there isn't much done in a round pen - it is about training the people to understand their horse.

Rather than critisize, please be a bit more positive, or just observe - I won't critisize you for finding what works for you. I have spent less collectively on PNH than I did on the conventional training I did for years - and hey I am having lots of fun. I welcome the 'fun' coming back into my horseback riding experience.

Sandy M
May. 3, 2002, 01:09 PM
Quote: "He's the first one to say he didn't invent all of this..."

Then why does the Parelli Code for its instructors require that they use ONLY Parelli methods, ONLY Parelli equipment, and that methods from other disciplines are taboo? If he doesn't consider his method "original and patented" exclusively to him and his instructors, that would seem to belie any attitude of "I didn't invent this."

I also see no need for my horse to gallop into the trailer (although I used to have one that would have, given half the chance.) My present horse likes his trailer rides and loads easily and quietly, from the walk thank you.

I attended a Mark Rashid clinic, and what he "taught" was mostly commonsense, non-abusive horsemanship and it didn't require any special halter, stick, baggy, or whatever. Now I will say this: Almost every - heck, say it - EVERY person who attended even the Rashid clinic would be considered a RANK beginner by my standards and I'll bet that's common to most NH devotees, at least at the start. These people were NOT to be believed. One woman outlined the problems she had been having with her horse. When Mr. Rashid asked her how often she rode the horse, she stated that she had ridden it TWICE in FIVE YEARS! Another couldn't even lead her horse. It wasn't crazy, it just went where IT wanted and she didn't even try to stop it. Another brought forth a horse that she had on trial and didn't even know it was LAME. When Rashid pointed it out, she didn't want to believe him. Then asked what to do. He looked at the horse and said that while veterinary medicine and chiropractic could probably get the horse sound, its conformation was so poor, it would probably be off and on lame if it were ridden regularly.

I'm not saying Parelli's methods are WRONG, just that most educated horsepeople DON'T need them, or already do THEIR version, from long experience or from READING respected authorities of long-standing (something that I find many horse people do not do!), or working with traditional trainers who have LONG done a version of what Parelli does with green horses. It appears to be to be Horses 101, or Horses for Dummies, and for some people, no doubt, it is great thing, and better they work with Parelli than try to do it on their own working from ignorance.

It is the exclusivity and over-marketing that strikes a false note.

drifting cloud
May. 3, 2002, 01:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>One woman outlined the problems she had been having with her horse. When Mr. Rashid asked her how often she rode the horse, she stated that she had ridden it TWICE in FIVE YEARS!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I recently rode a horse 3 times for his owner. The horse was absolutely HORRIBLE the first time I rode him. He was improving with each ride, but he was pretty explosive and inconsistent each time. I found out (after the fact) that the horse had not been ridden at all since last March (14 months ago). When I told the owner the horse was a handful, she was shocked and she said "But he was good when I bought him!" She really expected him to act exactly the same even though he hadn't been ridden in over a year. People amaze me.

How did Mark Rashid deal with these people? Was he able to help some of them?

[This message was edited by drifting cloud on May. 03, 2002 at 05:56 PM.]

Janeway
May. 3, 2002, 01:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dandy's Mom:
Rather than critisize, please be a bit more positive, or just observe <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just obvserve the BB? Not a chance! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Everyone here has their own opinion which they want to share. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I don't see anything here as really negative either; critical yes, but not really negative. But then most things do get criticized at some point, and that is often how people learn.

I'm glad you have enjoyed the Parelli methods and that they work for you, but I have noted interestingly enough that the majority of the posters on this thread, like me, have found something unsettling about the evangilistic treaming approach that Parelli has with the O'Connors.

Which I think seems to be the fruit of this thread, rather than just bashing Parelli himself. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PMJ
May. 3, 2002, 02:11 PM
"Rather than critisize, please be a bit more positive, or just observe "

My "problem" that may lead to critisism with the Parelli method is the be all and end all attitude that they have all the answers and only the answers which can only be achieved by the special--expensive--halter and carrot stick provided by them. I would be much more open to people who present an idea without the costly gadgets with an open mind. My way or the highway is not exactly the way to go with horses, and quite honestly, at the prices they charge and from what I have seen of the average "target" market, I really think they are taking advantage of people who want the best for their horses but do not have sufficent knowledge to be open to other ideas.

Sandy M
May. 3, 2002, 03:23 PM
Drifting Cloud - he helped pretty much everyone EXCEPT the woman with the lame horse (she had two and they BOTH were lame - they were pretty colors though LOL).

I mean, it's pretty scarey/sad when a noted clinician has to spend his time teaching someone who already owns a horse how to lead it. It took him perhaps 10 minutes of being firm with the horse to get it to lead properly. Then he handed the lead back to the owner and the horse promptly took off for the nearest grasspatch, dragging its owner behind. At the end of 30 mins, she was handling the horse properly, but you had to wonder how long she would retain what she had been taught.

He dealt well with the undersaddle problems, but firmly informed the lady who had ridden twice in five years that she could not expect her horse to behave like a trained horse with so little exercise and direction.

Since Mr. Rashid comes from a general western/trail/pleasure horse/working stock horse point of view, it was interesting that the person he probably helped the most was a beginner hunt seat rider with a spooky horse. He got her to the point where the horse stayed on the aids (oncontact, not on the bid) and obeyed her, eeven when a freight train went by the arena, not even 100 feet away! That WAS impressive.

I was just disappointed simply from the point of view that these people had problems that even an intermediate rider with some proper instruction would never have had. They were all looking for some "magic wand" or "method" that would cure their horses' misbehaviors that they themselves had created through lack of knowledge and proper instruction. Most of the casual amateur riders I know could have "fixed" these horses. To me it seems a waste of Mr. Rashid's expertise, but he was polite and helpful, to the extent he could be, with all of them. Still, as Mr. Rashid says, you can't help someone if they don't want to be helped, and at least these people DID want to be helped.

The one other clinic participant he really helped was a pleasure rider who was concerned about her saddle fit (which was fine), and about some of her horse's under saddle behavior. He adjusted her position and basic use of the aids, and in 30 minutes the horse was doing quiet, precise stops, turns and rollbacks. The owner was delighted and I think SHE really took something away from the clinic that helped her.

Dandy's Mom
May. 3, 2002, 04:07 PM
As stated above, Parelli methods have helped me A LOT. I also agree, I don't have any desire - nor will I ever ask my horse to canter into a trailer. Parelli doesn't expect that either, he just likes to show off. I don't like the 'show off' aspects - nor do I agree with the bad safety role-modeling (lack of helmets etc).

That being said - the basics he teaches teach a lot. For those who do not know the Parelli program and react to the hearsay - read the article in "The Horse"
www.thehorse.com/news.asp?fid=3449 (http://www.thehorse.com/news.asp?fid=3449)

FlightCheck
May. 3, 2002, 06:24 PM
I have attended a few "NH" clinics in my area with Harry Whitney (a client sponsors the clinics and wanted my input).

As Sandy wrote, most of the 25 persons at the clinic had bought a horse without haveing ANY instruction...several of them had purchased yearlings, etc... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Mr. Whitney was very common sense oriented (for example, when a horse was running after his owner and trying to bite her while leading, he took the lead rope, allowed the horse to try it with him, and then chased the horse backwards with a plastic grocery bag...very effective. He then taught the owner how to discipline her horse, giving the "respect" speech.


He was Very Gracious to me; at the time I had never "round penned" a horse, and so brought my event horse - a QH gelding (who did longe and free longe). AFter about 10 minutes of watching me w/t/c/reverse etc...he said "you don't need me, you are doing it already...we just call it something different" Later I rode my OTTB (who was having a GoodBoy day thank god)and Mr. Whitney pointed out to everyone that I had years of instruction, but I still wore my helmet - and asked them why they weren't!

There were no sales, no pitches, just horsemanship in a different language. But as Sandy pointed out, so many of these people could have benefitted from weekly instruction of ANY kind - which is what Harry told them at the end of the clinic.

Any time someone tells me their way is the ONLY WAY (shades of Jim and Tammy Faye!), I'm pretty sure it's not my way!!!

Sannois
May. 3, 2002, 09:50 PM
the whole thing. I have such mixed feelings about the O'connors. How can anyone who has accomplished so much with horses go along with a program that says there IS no other way! Please... Carrot stick??? Wow thats original, Even Monty Roberts never says you HAVE to buy his Dually Halter! He doesn't say his is the only way. Delta Wave, we are from the Same old school! Hope to get to see you more and Chat this summer! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755

pinkhorse
May. 4, 2002, 05:22 AM
Fascinating topic!!! So much to think about.

First, I'd like to refute the notion that the NH (for the sake of abbreviation I'll just call it that) is just for beginners. I took my horse to a trainer who uses these methods a few years ago because we were having problems. I've been riding for a long time and I'm pretty good - not great, but good. I've spent a fair amount of time with youngish horses and working/training greenies. (I can tell if a horse is lame or not /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) I've done A shows, a couple of area championships in eventing.... You get the picture.

But, I was having trouble with my mare so I went to this guy on the recommendation of a friend who is a massage therapist. We boarded at his barn for 6 weeks. I spent 4 of them without even riding her. I just learned the basics of ground work. (Looking at the Parelli stuff it's equal to level 1 and maybe part of 2 - hard to tell what his stuff is since he gives it "game" names.) But what I really did was spend 4 uninterupted weeks paying attention to and studying how my horse reacts to things. Without riding her I could see her face, watch her littlest body movements, see just how she reacted to my movements. The most important thing, no matter what we were doing that Joe instilled in me was consistency. I've always known this about horses but tend to get a little lazy if I'm in a hurry or if she's being fairly agreeable, etc. With Joe hammering me on it every day I was able to see how much it makes a difference.

I use the techniques now to "warm up her mind" just as I warm up her body before I ride.

Anyway, I remember looking at a Parelli book when I was at Joes and thinking, "This is the exact same stuff only with silly names."

Second, the O'Connor/Parelli connection, I agree gives me a really yucky feeling. Do I think that this NH stuff is useful? YES. Do I think everyone would benefit from doing it? YES. Is the thing that I hate about it the marketing and the message that they (Parelli, Roberts, Lyons) put across that the only way to learn it is to spend a lot of money and do it their way? A resounding YES. Does it upset me that the O'Connors - who are the first true representatives into the "outside" world about eventing, who carry themselves well in interviews (the only one I've heard was the one with Terry Gross) - are getting into this "only way" marketing scheme? A YES heard 'round the world.

P.S., I have a friend who went to the demo who said it looked "very cool" and didn't feel it was an infomercial - in fact, when I told her about this discussion said, "Oh, yeah, they did mention something about something coming up in Colorado."

Jaksemas
May. 4, 2002, 08:40 AM
A few comments,

I think it is wonderful that the O'Connor's incorporate PNH techniques to help them communicate with their horses better. I believe they see the value of this practice in the long run of fine tuning their preformance horses, ie better communication results in better safety of both horse & rider, better evaulation of health concerns because of a better developed feel of their horses (is a situation happening because of the horses mental state or is it a physical state or maybe both?), better evaulation of themselves as riders and horsemen (are they helping their horse or are they hindering the horse and being consciously aware of the difference in an instant). Good for them that their egos were not so inflated that they would not deny the opportunity to educate themselves to become better horsemen! The O'Connors saw something in the PNH program that they knew would help them with their horses. I think you all will see some big successful changes for the O'Connor's and their horses in eventing in the years to come. I truly wish them all the best success.
Here's some bottom line facts about the PNH program:

1. The PNH program is a horsemanship teaching program for teaching YOU!! All of the task in levels 1-3 are things your horse ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO DO! PNH teaches YOU how to ask your horse in the most understandable manner to fulfil these task. Through PNH you will show your horse that you really do know how to communicate and build a great relationship.

2. The PNH program is a home study program that you can do at YOUR OWN PACE. You take the time it takes to build steps on truly understanding your horse, learning how to really read your horse fast and being there for support and leadership. And because you can offer that support and leadership at the correct moment you will build your horse's trust in you and willingness to preform 100%!

3. You can go as far as you would like in the program, if that means just doing level 1, terrific! Believe me, it takes a very committed and humble person to complete PNH level 3. There just aren't very many conventional horse people who are up to that challenge, it truly is beyond them mentally & emotionally. At whatever level you take yourself through PNH you and your horse will have a better understanding of each other.

4. The only time you are required to use PNH equipment is if you are being officially asessed or you are in a PNH clinic. You can use the home study kits to teach yourself through levels 1-3 without official instructorship if you choose. The PNH tools just help make your communication easier and that helps make things safer. (I personally know of people in PNH who use NON-PNH equipment and get things accomplished as well).

*******

Personal comments:
I find it fascinating that some people become so threatened by Pat and his PNH presentation. I realize that most horsepeople are in a state of "unconscious incompentence", hey I was there too for many years until I began to mature and realize that I needed more help with my Horsemanship period before I could expect myself or my horse to preform better! And I needed it to be taught to me in a commansense, logical and FUN manner. PNH fits the bill perfectly, for me.

Pat & Linda Parelli have a sincere and ernst desire to help as many people as possible develop the best relationship they can with their horse. I've had enough exposure to Pat & Linda to really feel this way. This is what you need to see beyond the marketing tactics (FYI, Pat does not do all the marketing by himself, he has plenty of help. Sure he wants to make a living, but he would and has done demonstrations for FREE and has taught people at no charge before!) Also, did you know that Pat guarantees lessons with the three star certified PNH instructors?! How many top level instructors that you know will guarantee your satisfaction in a lesson or your money back!!!!

I feel the O'Connors, with all their experience and expertise are setting a very good example. I think they know the risk they are taking by associating with Pat Parelli & PNH and presenting that to the eventing world, and sure they will probably put some people off because of it. But I know that this association will bring forth and develop some great horsemen & women who are up to the challenge from the fold in eventing for the future! I look forward to seeing these eventers developed with the O'Connor/Parelli leadership!

Now, go out and PLAY with your horse!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary!

alpha
May. 4, 2002, 09:58 AM
i do agree with giving the parelli methods (or what ever natural horsemanship method) you perfer a try.

I have seen the results of some of these Parelli methods used on horses that already had a great line of communication with their riders. It is not pretty. In many cases, the horses quit jumping xc fences that they had been jumping with no problems at that level for years. It is happening to many upper level horse and rider combinations that I know have been using these techniques.

Is it just a phase, or is it permanent? In many cases, I think the horse gets confused because the communication changes too much from what they already understand. A HUGE step back for some...

JER
May. 4, 2002, 10:25 AM
According to savvyquest:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I find it fascinating that some people become so threatened by Pat and his PNH presentation. I realize that most horsepeople are in a state of "unconscious incompentence"... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you really think people on this thread feel 'threatened' by Parelli? I think the overwhelming consensus is that NH/PHN is a useful tool to have in your horse-training kit, but that we object to having to participate in a multi-level marketing scheme, which is what the business of Parelli is, with 'distributors' and 'certified instructors' who sell PNH gear.

Eventers tend to be individualists. Our sport is more DIY than trainer/barn/group-driven. We actually braid our own horses. We can make just about anything out of duct tape and baling twine. And so the marketing side of PNH just doesn't sit well with us.

Put another way: In PNH, you pay to attain the next Level of competence. In Scientology, you pay to attain the next Level of clarity. Yes, it's your choice to do so, but when you're desperate for answers and someone is telling you that 'you will not be successful with your horse or with yourself unless you do x, y and z', you can be pretty vulnerable to a marketing strategy.

So then I see in The Horse a photo of Parelli and his instructors and their horses all sitting on a low stone wall -- the horses are sitting down like dogs. Parelli is 'showing how they can relax with their horses...'. I don't believe most horses relax by sitting down in this fashion, although I have heard of a few oddballs who do, and I cannot imagine that these horses are truly relaxed, they're just doing as told. I should think they'd rather be standing up and grazing -- isn't this more NATURAL? But the implication is: if my horse was truly relaxed, he'd plop down next to me like Fido, so maybe I'd better high-tail it to a PNH clinic.

I'd call it an unrealistic expectation.

tle
May. 4, 2002, 06:31 PM
among many other (rather .... well... not rude, but not exactly nice things), savvyquest wrote:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Now, go out and PLAY with your horse!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In other words... "end of commercial... we now return you to your regularaly scheduled program". /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

savvy... you're obviously 1) new to the board (ie: 1 post) and 2) a PNH disciple. Thanks for the commercial... heard it all before. I don't remember anyone saying that NH of some kind isn't necessarily not a benefit. Just that we're not going to blindly follow the leader, spending our money along the way. Some choose Lyons... some choose Brannaman... some choose a combination of whatever works for their horse. It's the pushy, in-your-face, cult-like message (this way or the highway) that we really object to. And with Karen & David getting involved... well... we're just not sure what's going on (again, the anti-lemming approach of ask questions and think for yourself and adapt what works for YOUR situation).

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 10 recap ... Episode 10 recap ... Swim Pappy Swim!! Poor Tammy... I could do better than 7th.

GO RED WINGS!!!

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
May. 5, 2002, 03:34 AM
Yay, a clique for me!!
And ditto to what all the folks said who like having a varied "bag of tricks" at our disposal, but not one emblazened with one man's logo on it! Respect and two way communication with horses is great, but there are many roads to Rome!

member, BADASSRIDER clique - pardon the language, but finally, a clique to belong to!

BarbB
May. 5, 2002, 08:31 AM
I am not trying to insult anyone here, just throwing this out for thought.
If you do not know how to work a horse on the ground, if you are not aware of a horse's body language or of their reactions to your body language - then you ARE a novice/beginner in terms of being a horseman.
You may have owned a dozen horses, ridden successfully at shows for years and be competent on the back of a horse - but if you don't understand why the horse reacts the way it does - then you are still a beginner.
I think this is more proof of the correctness of the opinion of many people that too many people show/compete without learning the basics first.
There are show barns FULL of people who win ribbons but are beginners in terms of having any knowledge about their horse.
And there are WAY too many people who buy a nice backyard horse without bothering to find out ANYTHING about the behavior or care of this animal.
That said - I stand by my opinion that the NH methods appeal to beginners and inexperienced horse owners. If more people would learn ABOUT horses as they learn to ride or before they buy a horse, there would be no market for expensive training toys and $8,000 clinics.
I think the cause can be equally divided between trainers who don't take the time to teach what they know about WHY you do certain things to train a horse and avoid other things, and the 'riders' who just want to know where the 'go' and 'stop' buttons are and when the next horse show is.
I see the NH instructors as taking advantage of a situation where people buy/ride horses and are shocked and surprised when nasty things happen.

I take issue much more with the marketing and circus tricks than with their knowledge of horses.

As P.T. Barnum said "...there's one born every minute and two to take him..."

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

piaffeprincess98
May. 5, 2002, 09:36 AM
david's trying to be pat parelli....i mean, sure it's great, and he says him and karen have been using the round pen for years, but he was talking about how the horse he was demonstrating with (ET aka The Native)was wearing the Parelli special rope halter and he was using not a whip but a Carrot Stick and it all kinda seemed like a big promotion to me...i don't know, i think the o'connors were fine w/o parelli personally.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~*Lindsay*~
A proud co-owner of CorLin PROductions. Watch out horseworld, here we come!

**Back from Rolex sunburned, tired, yet happy. Pics are now posted**

Ghazzu
May. 5, 2002, 09:36 AM
BarbB, I think you are on to something.
I never had my own horse as a kid, so spent alot of time as a barn rat, mucking stalls, and grooming, etc.Worker on a breeding farm, worked with different breeds of horses, etc.

When I got out of vet school, I was amazed at the number of people who can ride the pants off me who don't know the most basic things about management and general horse handling.

I think a lot of this is due to the shift towards boarding as opposed to having horses in the barn at home.Years ago, it was far more common to keep your stock at home than to board at a facility with an indoor--heck, I can remember whan an indoor was a relative rarity.

There seems to be a widening gap between riding and horsemanship.

wanderlust
May. 5, 2002, 03:59 PM
originally posted by savvyquest:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I think you all will see some big successful changes for the O'Connor's and their horses in eventing in the years to come. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

like winning an olympic gold medal???

/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

dear lord.

After reading savvyquest's post, one word comes to mind.

Brainwashed.

Proof positive that PT Barnum's theory is, in fact, correct.

[This message was edited by master_tally on May. 05, 2002 at 09:11 PM.]

Lisamarie8
May. 5, 2002, 05:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by savvyquest:
Personal comments:
I realize that most horsepeople are in a state of "unconscious incompentence", hey I was there too for many years until I began to mature and realize that I needed more help with my Horsemanship period before I could expect myself or my horse to preform better! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

How much of thier Kool-Aid did you DRINK?!?!?

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Jaksemas
May. 6, 2002, 06:48 AM
OH my sweet Lord,........

You know what, I just tried to write an honest & thoughtful commentary to express support for the O'Connor's and to try to clarify a few misconceptions that I had read in this thread regarding the PNH program.

I had been warned about posting on this BB regarding this thread, but I wanted to believe the best in horse people and at least try to appeal to someone who would find some useful and encouraging information that I shared from experience.

Of course, that doesn't seem to be the case here, really quite sad....

IF you feel better by calling me brainwashed, a disciple, a novice/begininer etc. then go ahead. I understand why you all would do those things to me, lashing out or making fun of me regarding PNH because either you aren't willing to understand or are too rebellious/prideful to TRY to understand. It's tough to really look at ourselves and admit maybe someone else has a valid point. I'm a forgiving person, so I will do just that.

And if I am "brainwashed" then I am in great company with my other "brainwashed" friends. I have met some terrfic horsemen through this program, people who are willing to help you anyway they can, not only with your horsemanship but in "real" world situations too.

After over 20 years of hands-on horse world experience that spans many different areas and formal education (Masters in Animal Science, published nutritional research), it's so peaceful to be around like-minded horsepeople who know how to get along and progress with their horses without resorting to a bigger bit, smacking with a whip, yanking the horse in the mouth constantly, putting chains and lip chains on to "control" the horse, riding with gags, twisted wires, martingales,draw reins, side reins and any of the other number of stupid gagdets out there! So making fun of me because I'm learning how to be better with and for my horse (without using fear, force and imtimidation tactics) is kinda dumb, but hey, to each his own, right?

I love helping people to help understand their horses better using PNH techniques. I have been able to help many non-PNH regular horsefolk using these techniques and I welcome anyone who wants help. If I am so much of a disciple then why do people so easily approach me to ask for help and I have not spoken A WORD of PNH to them! Because they see the results and the commonsense logic behind the philosophy and techniques and how easy it is to UNDERSTAND! And once I help someone, if they want more help then I will, otherwise if that's all they wanted help with, I leave them alone. I try to respect their wishes, even though I know they need lots more help, I wait to be asked.

So that's that. OK, cats, let the fur fly if you want. I'll turn the other cheek ......

Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary!

Ghazzu
May. 6, 2002, 07:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by savvyquest:

I
IF you feel better by calling me brainwashed, a disciple, a novice/begininer etc. then go ahead.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, I'll bite.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>


After over 20 years of hands-on horse world experience that spans many different areas and formal education (Masters in Animal Science, published nutritional research), it's so peaceful to be around like-minded horsepeople who know how to get along and progress with their horses without resorting to a bigger bit, smacking with a whip, yanking the horse in the mouth constantly, putting chains and lip chains on to "control" the horse, riding with gags, twisted wires, martingales,draw reins, side reins and any of the other number of stupid gagdets out there!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is, in a nutshell, the main issue I have with "Alternative horsemanship" of most of thecurrently available flavors. The implication that if you are not using their method, then you must be one of those people who is using hardware or violence to get the job done.

Get a grip. There are just as many, if not more, people using basic commonsense horsemanship and reasonable and humane training methods who aren't boranagain natural horemanship gurus. Plain fact.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
So making fun of me because I'm learning how to be better with and for my horse (without using fear, force and imtimidation tactics) is kinda dumb, but hey, to each his own, right?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Precisely. If you need to pay $$$ in order to learn to pay attention to your horse, fine. Some of us don't need to do it your way, or PP's way, or, gawdhelpus, Monty's way.



FWIW, I vetted a distance ride this past weekend, and the person who had the most difficulty in getting her horse to trot two circles and two straight lines in hand was the one with the PP baseball cap, rope halter, and special rope.

BarbB
May. 6, 2002, 07:47 AM
is it Monty or PP who has the special twirly-flicky rope for 'roundpenning' that you can get (today only) for the bargain price of $59.99+tax??
/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
BarbB
(ok, so it's early and I need another cup of coffee /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif )

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

PMJ
May. 6, 2002, 08:07 AM
Wow, go to a show and miss out on the fun.

Actually, I think it is the attitude of--and I am going by my reaction here, not a preconceived notion of Parelli--"I am so much better because I am in tune to my horse and take the time unlike you 'traditional' IGNORANT people who do not CARE enough to take the time to know your horse" that I find completely offensive. The next item categorizing everyone who does not agree as advocating and employing

"bigger bit[s], smacking with a whip, yanking the horse in the mouth constantly, putting chains and lip chains on to "control" the horse, riding with gags, twisted wires, martingales,draw reins, side reins and any of the other number of stupid gagdets out there!"

is yet another slap in the face--gee when did you spend a day at my barn or anyone else's on this board when you came to this opinion? My horses may not do dressage in their halters, but each one goes in a french link snaffle. Yes, there are people who trade up for no reason, but to imply that trading up in a bit is done because they do not care enough and it is due to their lack of desire/knowledge/initiative to spend quality time with their horses is both incorrect and rude. As far as riding with gags go, ever ridden a Prelim horse who loves his job, and also loves to run? My gag had the snaffle reins on to use, but I wanted the insurance of being able to rate and stop if he got too strong. And I guess Denny Emerson, who I admire as one hell of a horseman, must be just awful since he is the one who helped me put Murphy in the bit and gasp--reccommended it. Sorry, I guess I am a complete failure since I could not ride and jump him in a halter. I guess that is what we will see David and Karen doing next. I wonder if when they began this relationship with Parelli if they "saw the light" and threw out all of their so call offensive equiptment--anyone know if they have any gags or other "harsh" bits in their horse's mouths. Did they throw out their side reins?

It is precisely this attitude of both superiority and "you poor ignorant gits don't even know what your problem is" that slays me. I am not thick, and certainly not thick enough to see that while NH--including Parelli--does have good attributes and does encourage interaction with the horse, it is not the be all and end all solution to every single problem between horse and human. Nothing is. Yes, you are intitled to your opinion and will get some ribbing about them, but cut the holier than thou attitude and please don't assume that just because we disagree with some of the Parelli stuff (message of my way is the only way, cost, marketing, etc., but rarely the system itself)we are thugs to our horses and do the things you stated.

What is scary about this for me is that it is almost the same thing as some people and their religion. Just as I don't think God chose one religion and said to one person do it this way and everyone else goes to hell, there are many definitions of Christian (and yes many religions but since I don't know details about others I will go with what I know) just as there are many definitions of "good horsemen" both of whom subscribe to different doctrines but are good people. I find in both that trying to cram what is the "best and only way about mine you poor uninlightend shmuck" offensive and don't see the place for it. Yes, there is a place for Parelli, I don't happen to agree with the extremity of it nor to I buy into the fact that I need to acheive the levels of horsemanship required by paying him $$$$ (after all who certified him?) to be a good horseperson. I find it interesting that the Pony Club--and they do advocate the least "stuff" as possible or did when I was in it--encourages and builds on the knowledge but I don't know of any PCers who have ever said "If you weren't in PC and didn't acheive your "A" then you do not understand horses and need to have some insight in humility so that you can actually become a horseman since without doing our program you certainly are not."

Sorry for the rant, but the implication that people who do not subscribe to one way as the be all and end all really rubbed me the wrong way.

Janet
May. 6, 2002, 08:10 AM
I'm with Ghazzu on this.

The ability to "think horse", and understand how horses respond to body langage is invaluable. I learned it from a variety of horsemen and women, from the horse itself, and from reading about animal psychology. And I am sure I have more to learn.

BUT-
A It doesn't require particular equipment, or a particular brand name.

AND
B A big part of that is timing, and that is something you can only learn by doing, not by watching a clinic.

There are many many true horsemen who understand this and use it, who don't use a lot of artificial deveices, OR "NH special equipment".

These horsemen are not "unconsciously incompetent" whether or not they have ever heard of PP or equivalent. Quite the contrary, they take so much of what the NH people teach as "just plain old horse sense", that they fail to see the need to present it as "something special".

Those of us who are sceptical do not, for the most part, object to the NH approach, but to the amrketing, and the implication that it is some sort of "secret" that you need to be initiated into. From all I have heard, PP is indeed a great horseman. But he doesn't have the key to any "secrets".

Many new horse owners may indeed be "unconsciously incompetent", and if a NH clinic opens their eyes, so much the better. But any clinic can only open your eyes to a new way of looking at things. Learning technique and timing takes time and practice.

tle
May. 6, 2002, 08:14 AM
Great post Ghazzu. I think savvyquest missed the point that many of us tried to make. Whatever works for one person (savvy in this case) is fine, but that may not work (in its entirety or by itself) for another. But THAT is my "problem' with it all. Why? Because the more I hear about PNH (and others, just htat PNH was the founding topic here), the more I think it resembles a cult-like group. Seriously! Perhaps not to the extent of the David Koresh's or Charles Manson's of the world, but still.... (bold items are my thoughts as related to what I know to date of PNH)..

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Mind-Manipulating Groups:
Are you or a Family Member a Victim?

The following statements, compiled by Dr. Michael Langone, editor of Cultic Studies Journal, often characterize manipulative groups. Comparing these statements to the group with which you or a family member is involved may help you determine if this involvement is cause for concern. Place a checkmark beside all items that characterize the group in question. If you check many of these items, and particularly if you check most of them, you might consider examining the group more closely.

Keep in mind that this checklist is meant to stimulate thought, not "diagnose" groups.

We suggest that you check all characteristics that apply to your or your loved one's group, then print this browser page for future reference. You may find that your assessment changes over time, with further reading and research.

The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment. hmmm... yep!

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members. this one I guess is only so-so, although if there are more people around like our savvyquest, then the answer would be yes

The group is preoccupied with making money. OH YEA!

Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. well, he does take away certification if one uses something nonPNH, right?

Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s). heehee... I wonder if PNHisms fall into this category ie: savvy, carrotstick, "7 games", etc. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth). not to that extent, but definitely when it relates to relating to horses

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity). you decide

The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society. just look what has happened on this thread!

The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations). IRS? BBB? anyone?

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities). asking $49.99 for a "special" stick or halter?

The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them. hmmm... I think savvyquests word of "unconscious incompentence" and the like ARE meant (consciously by savvyquest or not) to guilt us into PNH

Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group. dunno on this one

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group. probably

Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members dunno

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now that I've made what will probably be viewed as a very nasty post by some people, let me explain. Any time you get a "this way is the only way" mentality, it can become almost a cult like group. Please keep in mind that I'm using the word "cult" as in Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing (according to Dictionary.com). Tell me that doesn't ring true?? And as someone who practices a minority religion anyway, the "one way"-isms have a tendency to set off TONS of warning sirens in my head and make me want to investigate further before I give it my full support. I've seen PNH demos and think that there IS some merit to them. I think savvyquest missed that part of my earlier post. I just don't think it's the be-all, end-all of training techniques.

Oh and BTW, "disciple" is defined as One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. An active adherent, as of a movement or philosophy. Ok savvyquest, tell me that doesn't describe you with regard to your posts on this subject. It wasn't meant as a jab, a joke, or making fun of you in any way. If it's not true, please explain it to me.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 11... Why the tears? I think it's "Message from Home" time... Neleh or Robert gets the axe.

GO RED WINGS!!!

Janet
May. 6, 2002, 08:17 AM
As an example, we (my sister and I) taught a basically unhandled yearling TB stud colt (who had been LED for the first time 2 days earlier) to load on a step up trailer in all of 15 minutes.

No special equipment, no gimmicks, no secrets, just patience, consitency, timing, confidence, the ability to read the horse's body language, and to use our own body language.

So, yes, I deeply resent being called "unconscioulsy incompetent".

Sandy M
May. 6, 2002, 08:24 AM
Okay, so I read the O'Connor/Parelli article in the latest issue of Practical Horseman. And what are we talking about: The Native was a horse already competing, but which had been improperly started and let get away with a lot that made him difficult to ride and control, etc. AND IF THIS HORSE HAD BEEN PROPERLY STARTED, as O'Connor no doubt would have done if he had had the horse from the beginning, would the necessity for this work have existed. Well, yes and no: He would no doubt have done free lunging or BASIC round pen work with a green horse, and presumably the problems would have been solved or never allowed to develop. Would he have needed/used "Parelli" equipment and methods. Probably not. He would have probably used methods that he has used for years with green horses that parallel Parelli or any NH guru's round pen work, but are hardly original. Is Parelli's way and Parelli equipment the only way - obviously not or ALL of the O'Connor's horses would have been problem horses form day one!

In a local freebie magazine there are monthly Parelli articles. One shows the results of Parelli training, and the horse is "so responsive" that it is doing a bridleless, bareback "piaffe." (per Parelli) Uh-huh. It is hollow backed, the haunches are raised, and the hind legs are out behind it. It may be trotting sorta in place, but it ain't no correct piaffe! But that's the thing isn't it: According to the Parelli trainer who wanted to work with a friend's horse (but not HER!), once she learned Parelli methods (which she obviously didn't "understand" because she dared to ask QUESTIONS about its applicability to dressage), she wouldn't WANT to do dressage, and yet, per this article Parelli does IS dressage according to him. I think NOT. LOL (well yes, of course "dressage" literally means training - but you guys know what I mean!)

There's probably nothing wrong with Parelli methods but the annoying and crass marketing, but I think most of it is a source for equine basics or for helping problem horses. After those issues are addressed, specialized training can go forward, whether it is WP, dressage, eventing, whatever. Parelli-type NH as an end it itself - which what I see a lot of people doing, or Parelli-type NH DENYING that ANY OTHER TRAINING is worthwhile, and that those of us who do not worship at Pat's feet are deluded.... well, HOMEY DON'T DO THAT!

[This message was edited by Sandy M on May. 06, 2002 at 11:33 AM.]

GO-dog-GO
May. 6, 2002, 08:45 AM
Watch this, I'm going to answer tle's first post questions.... Yes, I looks like big time marketing [$$$$$] to me. And yes I have lost "respect" for the OC's.

Seeing as I�m definitely one of the �unconscious incompetents� would some NH person please tell me how NH would improve our XC skills?

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

wanderlust
May. 6, 2002, 11:07 AM
All quotes originally posted by savvyquest:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>it's so peaceful to be around like-minded horsepeople who know how to get along and progress with their horses without resorting to a bigger bit, smacking with a whip, yanking the horse in the mouth constantly, putting chains and lip chains on to "control" the horse, riding with gags, twisted wires, martingales,draw reins, side reins and any of the other number of stupid gagdets out there! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmmm... so in other words, those of us who don't prescribe to PNH practice all of the "horrible" things you listed above? And if we do practice or use any of the above items, even if it is in a consistent and kind manner, then we are unenlightened and abusive heathens? I dare you to go tell Karen and David that, because they most certainly use martingales, whips and leadshanks with chains. I can assure you that were I to constantly "yank my horse in the mouth" and "smack him with a whip", I would be spending far more time flying through the air and landing in the dirt than I would sitting on my horse's back. I am well aware that the only reason I do sit on his back rather than on the ground is through his cooperation.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I understand why you all would do those things to me, lashing out or making fun of me regarding PNH because either you aren't willing to understand or are too rebellious/prideful to TRY to understand. It's tough to really look at ourselves and admit maybe someone else has a valid point. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most of us are perfectly willing to learn and understand. In fact, many of us are saying that NH has some valid practices, although I believe that they simply align with the good, solid, traditional horsemanship that has been practiced for years. What we are not willing to do is believe wholeheartedly that PNH is the be-all and end-all of horsekeeping and horsetraining. If you know anything about horses, you know that there is not one single formula that works for every one of them. Sorry to say it, but that includes PNH. And to the last line of the above quote- you go about calling us hard-headed and inflexible, yet you seem to embody that more than anyone else with the holier-than-thou PNH rhetoric.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I find it fascinating that some people become so threatened by Pat and his PNH presentation. I realize that most horsepeople are in a state of "unconscious incompentence", <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Please. I am most certainly not threatened by anyone who subscribes to PNH. Why? Because I've seen people who subscribe to it handle their horses. My horse, with whom I have never used any "PNH" techniques, is far more pleasant on the ground than theirs are. He is certainly more pleasant to ride. He is, in fact, a very happy little horse. All of this without PNH and despite the fact that he is off the track. Yet I am incompetent and threatened? Don't think so.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Believe me, it takes a very committed and humble person to complete PNH level 3. There just aren't very many conventional horse people who are up to that challenge, it truly is beyond them mentally & emotionally. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ummm... I think most "conventional" horse people don't feel the need for a "paint by numbers" course in basic horsemanship. I prefer to spend my time with my horse learning skills more practical to my sport, not how to get him to sit down like a dog. And trust me, if I can muster up the courage to get a good ride down to a 3'9" ditch and wall, there is nothing Parelli could think up that is beyond me "mentally and emotionally."

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Good for them that their egos were not so inflated that they would not deny the opportunity to educate themselves to become better horsemen! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Although evidently PNH followers' egos are so inflated that they are convinced their way is the only way to enlightenment. Did you ever stop to think that maybe there are things that Parelli can learn from the O'Connors or other successful horsemen in tradition equestrian sports? Or that PNH *isn't* the only way to success with a horse? It sure doesn't seem like it.

All of the name-calling you have done in your posts ("incompentent", "stupid gadgets", "truly beyond them mentally and emotionally", etc) has only served to further alienate us. Congratulations.

Pixie Dust
May. 6, 2002, 11:52 AM
It appears to me that there are really several issues here.

The original post was basically lamenting the high expense of the clinics in Colorado at the Parelli ranch with the O'Connors. What I say to that is: how much would one pay to train with John McEnroe for two weeks? When you add up room & board and all the hours spent on training...it didn't sound unreasonable to me, but of course that's my opinion. I can't afford it so it's moot.

NOW the other issues which have cropped up seem to be:

NH is complete bunk (I disagree)

NH is nothing more than common sense (I disagree)

NH is okay, but PNH is bunk (I disagree)

PNH is God's way (I disagree)

PNH is the ONLY way (I disagree)

There are some things to learn from NH (I agree)

There are some things to learn from PNH (I agree)

NH is okay, but PNH marketing is disgusting (I agree somewhat, though it doesn't really bother me that much)

The O'Connors have sold their souls to the devil (I disagree)

The O'Connors think that PNH is the only way (I don't think so!!!)

The O'Connors have been using some NH methods and want to share them with others and think that PNH is a user friendly system that is easy to understand and that *some* PNH methods incorporated into traditional training methods can be useful to eventers (I agree)

The O'Connors say that you MUST use PNH equipment (I disagree)

The O'Connors love horses, riding and eventing and want to share their knowledge with others, yet want to be paid (I agree)

AND I also gather that people who know very little of PHN are highly critical of it and PHN "disciples" are highly critical of everything else and I think both are wrong for it, or at least they are just being narrow minded. I also find it amusing that people are SO incedibly offended by the PNH equipment when horse people are SO brand conscious and are SUCH consumers. It's only a couple of items, yet we have no problem spending $40 on a "Poly Pad" because Mary King uses one $200 on "Rambo" blankets because the O'Connors use them, what about the bit collections?? or any of the seemingly infinite pieces of equipment that we "need". We can't wait to get the new catalogs to see if there is anything new that we "need". [I don't understand why any other companies don't make carrot sticks, because I really do prefer them for longing. All it is is a 5' stick. (I just use a piece of bamboo, but I'd rather have a proper one- I would only pay 10 bucks for one, so I make do with the bamboo stick)]

I'm still very surprised that the O'Connors chose to work with the Parelli's. Is anyone friends with them; have a better idea as to why they did this? I'm just curious, not judgemental.

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

Janeway
May. 6, 2002, 12:06 PM
There have been some great posts over the weekend, especially Ela, Master-Tally and TLE.

I tend to agree with them.

My one question which I am still waiting to have answered (perhapy Savvy can answer) is why a horseman would want their horse to be able to canter into the trailer or sit like a dog? Why? Seriously, why?

And as Go-Dog-Go also asked, how does the PNH apply to cross-country jumping? Like BGoosey above I'd also like to know the rationale behind the O'Connor's decision to embrace this method.

Anyone? anyone? (Bueller? Bueller? aka Ferris Bueller's Day Off /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Ghazzu
May. 6, 2002, 12:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bgoosewood:

I also find it amusing that people are SO incedibly offended by the PNH equipment when horse people are SO brand conscious and are SUCH consumers. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry, but I don't fit into this category, either.
Don't own a single pair of TS breeches, haven't got a clue what that saddle pad you mentioned was, and ride in an ancient Passier jumping saddle because that's what fits me and my horse.

I will confess to lusting after a friend's brand new Kubota, though...

baymare
May. 6, 2002, 12:29 PM
I have always wondered about the advantage of all the bitless stuff and "tricks". It seems to me like so many parlor tricks without much practical application; and it seems that prolonged or serious work in the front-end-loaded outline that these horses seem to go in would be really hard on the horse in the long run.

To me the real challenge lies in getting the horse to accept the bit, not to simply bypass the whole issue by not using one. In fact, the first thing that crosses my mind when I see a bitless demonstration is not "wow, how incredible" but, "gee, too bad the rider isn't good enough to be allowed to use reins."

GO-dog-GO
May. 6, 2002, 02:23 PM
GDG..<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Seeing as I'm definitely one of the "unconscious incompetents" would some NH person please tell me how NH would improve our XC skills?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



Baymare...<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have always wondered about the advantage of all the bitless stuff and "tricks". It seems to me like so many parlor tricks without much practical application; and it seems that prolonged or serious work in the front-end-loaded outline that these horses seem to go in would be really hard on the horse in the long run.

To me the real challenge lies in getting the horse to accept the bit, not to simply bypass the whole issue by not using one. In fact, the first thing that crosses my mind when I see a bitless demonstration is not "wow, how incredible" but, "gee, too bad the rider isn't good enough to be allowed to use reins." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Damm Vermonters, the nerve!!

We got the OC's 3 video set this winter and I'm sorry but I didn't get the conection between the ground/pen work and the XC jumping in the third video. Seems like "normal" training addresses the XC training issues as well/better then the ground/pen stuff.

Can someone enlighten me? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

findeight
May. 6, 2002, 03:08 PM
What a good and thought provoking thread this has turned into. An enjoyable read.
For those newbies who have posted here welcome to an honest discussion of differing opinions. Please do not be afraid of expressing a differing opinion...whoever posted they were "warned" about posting an idea here missed the point. Argument and discussion are healthy and we welcome you, even if some disagree.
I take a bit of issue here with owning a Butet being lumped in with gimmick training items though. If it fits me, my Hunter and most of the other horses I ride impeccably and I can afford it so what?????????????
It does not improve my performance nor do my TS breeches nor does anybody claim they will.

For tle who is an active eventer...you all should listen to her. I have seen her and her mare in the alien world of show jumping in a spooky indoor arena against some equally well trained and ridden imports and she excelled.

Nobody has ever sold anything that solved every problem for every horse and all the NH techniques can be learned for free by hanging around any successful barn from the race track to the cutting pen to the circus. Problem is so many do not want to find the time to do that and want to throw money at it.
My problem is with the idea that time, patience, observation, proper instruction and a suitable horse-the time honored way to sucess-can be shortcutted with "special" videos, techniques and equipment.
According to some of these gurus it is amazing that anybody ever got on a horse before the advent of videos, seminars and their special equipment.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

tle
May. 7, 2002, 07:25 AM
Awww... /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif findeight, I'm blushing! Thank you for the compliment. Hopefully we'll be able to get down there again soon.

Again, not that NH in any (well... most) form is a bad thing... and not even that I know everything (which I am FAAAAAAR from)... I just don't think it's "healthy" to stick to one method for everything. Nothing is 100% guaranteed (unless of course you're talking about Madonna causing some controversy, Liz Taylor getting divorced, or some people having more $$ than sense). /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 11... Why the tears? I think it's "Message from Home" time... Neleh or Robert gets the axe.

GO RED WINGS!!!

Pixie Dust
May. 7, 2002, 07:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
I just don't think it's "healthy" to stick to one method for everything. Nothing is 100% guaranteed (unless of course you're talking about Madonna causing some controversy, Liz Taylor getting divorced, or some people having more $$ than sense). /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

_<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now I agree with that 100%

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

Robby Johnson
May. 7, 2002, 08:10 AM
mainly because I agree that master_tally came off a bit lofty in the post that intimated that anyone who uses a gag or a martingale or a chain over the nose is a bad horseman.

Witness what I witnessed at Rolex 2000 CCI****.

Regal Scot (being ridden by KOC) comes into the 10-minute box at D and has his halter, with lead chain over nose, put on. Groom immediately gives him 3 or 4 "wake up and listen" tugs. I assumed this would be because he might be a little tough in the box. As someone who has been in the box at a three-day, and as someone whose friend got her leg sliced by a horse last year while trying to change out his studs, I agree that some semblance of manners are important in the vet box, as humans can be hurt if there aren't.

KOC, who has been going in an eggbutt gag, sends a mignon scuffling off to the trade fair between B and D to purchase a slow-twist eggbutt gag, which she would later write about in Practical Horseman as "the same bit, but with an extra degree of control, so I don't exert as much energy."

This year at Rolex I saw at least 3 OCET horses going in gags. And running martingales.

Do I think this is a bad thing? No, not really. I don't think their horses are abused or mistreated whatsoever. In fact, all of them look quite happy and content, and they are always given a fair shake by their riders.

Because I think the issue with OCET is instilling a higher level of comfort and control with their horses. Being able to up the ante and have your horse do more things on command allows you, intrinsicly (sp?), to be more of a leader to your horse. Horses are herd animals who look to an alpha figure for leadership. This is what makes them feel safe. A horse who feels secure with his rider, is a more rideable horse. A more rideable horse answers technical questions like the sunken road at Rolex better and safer, is capable of relaxing and winning the dressage phase, has the footwork for adding strides in the s/j.

I don't think the idea of PNH is to teach people to ride bridleless or with zero gadgets. So much of that depends on the horse's temperament and, more importantly, their physical appropriateness for the job they've been assigned. I think any form of NH is intended to increase the communication channels between horse and rider.

Robby

gahawkeye
May. 7, 2002, 08:34 AM
Did anyone notice the bridleless "pony horse" at the Kentucky Derby sat? Don't recall his escort. Had only the line around the neck (of course decorated with Roses!)

With all of this PNH stuff going on, I thought it was interesting.

wanderlust
May. 7, 2002, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by Robby Johnson:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> mainly because I agree that master_tally came off a bit lofty in the post that intimated that anyone who uses a gag or a martingale or a chain over the nose is a bad horseman. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Robby, did you mean savvyquest? I certainly didn't intimate anything of that sort... else I'd be intimating that *I* am a bad horseman.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

cweimer
May. 7, 2002, 11:06 AM
I've been dying to chime in, but wanted to wait until I had my thoughts clear - Robby, thanks for the last post, it really clarified what I was thinking!

First, background: not a fan of the big name Natural Horsemen (BNNH?) because of all of the issues listed above (too much about marketing, too much about one size fits all, too much risk of neophytes going to one clinic and assuming that they "get it"). But - I have used a few of the NH techniques, and have worked with some local folks using NH methods (although he didn't call it that back in 1988, and he had a special rope, but didn't try to get me to buy it ;^) ), particularly when challenging issues came up like trying to get Pete in the trailer when he wasn't having any of it and at the same time disagreeing with my helper (who happened to also be my mother) about method and process. Immensely helpful, and I still use what he taught me today.

I think what Robby was getting to was that there are basic concepts involved w/ NH that have nothing to do with special equipment or tricks. These concepts (listening to what your horse is trying to tell you, establishing respect with the horse in horse language, and making it very easy for the horse to do the "right" thing) that have all sorts of implications for eventers and all phases of the competition.

I DO find it distressing that the OCET has chosen to adopt a particular brand name, but perhaps if we look at it that way, it makes more sense - they are endorsing PP, in the same way that they endorse any number of other products. Their contract with Rambo, I can only assume, says that they cannot represent any other blanket manufacturer. Well, if PNH is a product, then they certainly can't endorse any other "brand" of NH. That part of it makes sense to me.

What DOESN'T make sense is that they would endorse a training method (read "product") other than their own. And that's what I've been puzzling over.

Forgive me, I've forgotten who posted this, but there was a comment about PR, and that NH is perceived by the public at large as more humane, etc. - and is there any chance that this "endorsement" is a very shrewd way of bringing eventing to a more general public, and giving it the "endorsement" of NH? Interesting thought . . . not sure about it, but it's interesting.

And, if it is true that I must be PNH certified to ride with the OCET now, then I guess I've missed my chance. And, to be fair, though I have the utmost admiration and respect for everything they have done and achieved both personally and for our sport, I think we need to be careful about putting them on the same pedestal that the NH crowd has put the Parelli's (as in "this is the only way to be a successful eventer"). For all of the same reasons.

alpha
May. 7, 2002, 11:16 AM
i heard it through the grapevine that the O'Connor's and the Parelli's are buying a farm together in FL

Robby Johnson
May. 7, 2002, 11:24 AM
I just saw it quoted above! I'm with you on the self-critical side of the fence!!!!

Robby

NeverTime
May. 7, 2002, 11:26 AM
Yes, they are buying a farm together. They announced that at the Rolex demo that started this whole thread.
Robby--just curious about your observations of OCET bitting choices at this year's Rolex. In the Practical Horseman (too much PNH, NH, PH to abbreviate anymore!) article, David talks about how the Native used to go in a gag, but now only needs a snaffle (the cover picture is a gag, but it is a '99 shot) and I know for sure that he *was* riding the horse XC in a snaffle at Fair Hill. So, did you happen to notice whether that horse was back in a gag, or still in the snaffle? Just curious.

baymare
May. 7, 2002, 11:34 AM
Go to Off Course.

Janeway
May. 7, 2002, 12:08 PM
You are a clever girl Baymare /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Though I doubt I'll sign up for your "natural" horsemanship lessons anytime soon /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Robby Johnson
May. 7, 2002, 02:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NeverTime:
Yes, they are buying a farm together. They announced that at the Rolex demo that started this whole thread.
Robby--just curious about your observations of OCET bitting choices at this year's Rolex. In the Practical Horseman (too much PNH, NH, PH to abbreviate anymore!) article, David talks about how the Native used to go in a gag, but now only needs a snaffle (the cover picture is a gag, but it is a '99 shot) and I know for sure that he *was* riding the horse XC in a snaffle at Fair Hill. So, did you happen to notice whether that horse was back in a gag, or still in the snaffle? Just curious.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Native went in a Pessoa 3-ring (gag) at Kentucky.

Robby

Robby Johnson
May. 7, 2002, 03:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cweimer:

Forgive me, I've forgotten who posted this, but there was a comment about PR, and that NH is perceived by the public at large as more humane, etc. - and is there any chance that this "endorsement" is a very shrewd way of bringing eventing to a more general public, and giving it the "endorsement" of NH? Interesting thought . . . not sure about it, but it's interesting.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I actually sit on the USEA PR Committee and, to my knowledge, this is NOT a PR strategy in place with the USEA.

Though your thinking is creative!!!

Robby

AW
May. 7, 2002, 09:45 PM
Okay - I have to post. I won't go into why on earth I would want my horse sitting next to me, or cantering into the trailer, or letting me trail ride him without a bridle (okay, he's a horse, stuff happens, they spook, who doesn't want emergency brakes??), or trotting over flimsy PVC cavaletti that could flip over & impale him(anyone see that ad???), or how exactly PNH will help my hunter jump & move better, but I do have a couple of things to mention.

Did anyone see the freebie demo on Friday afternoon at KHP? It was supposed to send you running to buy tickets to Saturday night's show, I think. I saw about 5 minutes of it from the trade fair. He had 2 or 3 horse cantering a circle around another horse. Apparently it was supposed to amaze us (so much that we'd never question when most of us could actually use this skill!) that they weren't wearing halters, only I never go to the amazed part. I stopped watching as soon as I saw that the horses all had their ears pinned flat back on their heads and were wring their tails. So much for happy willing partnership.

Anyone ever count the ER visits after one of these NH guys leave town? I heard one last year. He actually said "Now don't go home, round pen your unbroke two-year-old for a few minutes and then climb on. It's okay if it takes you 6 months to get on him." But he said that one time in about 4 hours. And how responsible was it for Pat & Linda to ride, much less jump, without helmets when they should know that roughly half the PCers in the country were watching? Maybe the O'Connors are supposed to educate them about targeting that market, only they haven't reached that level of refinement yet!

If you don't get Horse Illustrated, it's worth it to pick up this month's issue for Pat's
"limerick".

This is not to say that I think what he does with horses is bad - not at all. Anything you can do to get along better with your horse is wonderful, be it PNH, Monty, psychics, TTouch, whatever. I'm just almost positive that you don't need to buy a big orange stick to do it. My problem is with what he does with people. All the true-believery stuff smacks of bad-hunter-trainer (or bad-dressage-trainer or whatever). You know the ones - "You will not clinic, you will not read, you wil not, god forbid, go to a show without me - you could take a lesson from someone else! And don't you dare ever think of riding your own horse without me in the ring." What trainer worth a dime wouldn't want their students learning as much as possible? Maybe the ones who have something to hide?

Pixie Dust
May. 8, 2002, 06:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AW:
I saw about 5 minutes of it from the trade fair. He had 2 or 3 horse cantering a circle around another horse.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is this what people are basing their opinions on? 5 minutes?

Anyway, in reference to the original question, I got out my calculator and decided, YES, indeed I agree, this clinic thing is wildly expensive. Definitely overpriced in my opinion.

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

tle
May. 8, 2002, 07:12 AM
bgoosewood... I didn't see anything at Rolex. My opinions are based on a 2 hour exhibition at Equine Affaire, yet had the same reaction as AW did for her 5 minutes.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 11... Why the tears? I think it's "Message from Home" time... Neleh or Robert gets the axe.

GO RED WINGS!!!

AW
May. 8, 2002, 07:59 AM
I'm not basing my opinion on those 5 minutes, but I thought it was interesting to see just how unhappy those horses were, especially in light of the fact that the whole point of NH is to form such a happy, willing horse that he will "enjoy doing whatever you ask of him." That is a direct quote, I just can't remember which one it was from - PP, Monty, or John Lyons. But then, maybe that's not Pat's plan.

Jaksemas
May. 8, 2002, 09:28 AM
These post since my last writing have become a great exercise in emotional fitness. Thanks everyone. I'd like to clear up a few points:

Ghazzu - I can assure you that I am not paying money to specifically just learn to pay attention to my horse, no more than anyone else who takes lessons, buys books, or buys a computer and internet service to read BB's! My post is taken out of context. Please, I am well aware of the existance and I know many non-PNH people who I respect and are good and kind to their horses. I would never be so unrealistic to think that just because someone is non-PNH that they are abusing their horse with whatever. I have a good grip on this situation. Also, FYI, I recently participated in a 25 mile AERC ride and in trotting through the vetchecks, I did not have to put ANY PRESSURE on the lead to have my mare trot or turn or stop beside me. In fact I was complimented on how nicely this was done.

Ela, Janet and anyone else who feels like them - I certainly apoligize for any offense taken from my earlier post. I do not believe that every horse person should be involved in PNH. I have known for a long time that PNH is just not for everyone involved with horses. But, PNH has been proven to help MANY, from seasoned professionals to the rank begininer, develop a safer and more harmonious relationship.

Yes, I am VERY anti-gadget! I was this way long before my involvement in PNH. I feel that using mechanical gadgets puts a goal infront of the principle, you just cheat yourself & your horse in the long run. Here's a quote from the Harmony theory book in PNH level 2 study "Resistance is so common in horse sports that it is considered to be normal, and is expected in the course of training. That's why there are so many artificial aids like martingales, tie downs, nosebands and harsh bits around. A lot of good horses are wasted, ruined, sold or destroyed because they can't put up with the force and lack of understanding they are subjected to just because savvy is not a common thing. A great many horses competing at high levels would be in mental hospitals if they were people, they are that mentally and emotionally distraught."

I see that many are unclear with the term "unconscious incompentent". This is a term that applies to progressive learning systems. There are 4 levels of awareness:
1.unconscious incompentent - you don't know what you don't know about the subject.
2. conscious incompentent - you realize that you don't know what you don't know about the subject and seek steps to learn more.
3. conscious compentent - after realizing the first two levels, through learning you are aware of what steps to take and apply what you've learned in an effective manner.
4. unconscious compentent - a true natural, when you are effective and profecient without ever thinking about what you are doing.

tle- Wow, I'm almost flattered that you went to so much effort re your "cult" essay. You assume too much from a little information you know about the PNH organzation. And proclaiming that PNH is a "cult" is kinda ole hat, in fact Pat has been heard to say that when doing a young horse starting demo "Look, I'm a cult-starter!"

Sandy M - In PNH, it is highly recommened that after level 3 to further study with a discipline trainer of your choice. Level 4 PNH students are strongly urged to clinic with other NH professionals (Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman) in order to complete a level 4 certification. Pat also really wants you to participate in multi-disciplines as well.

Master-tally - So sorry I gave you all of those impressions - was not ment to come accross that way. I was just trying to give food for thought, maybe too much too soon. However, the principles of the seven games apply TO EVERY HORSE because they are based on horses behaviour developed over thousands of years! (not something Pat dreamed up in his head and stuck a price tag on.) You may have only seen level 1 pnhers in action, go watch level 3 pnh and you will see a big difference. And yes, Pat has plenty to learn from the O'Connors, in fact, Pat is the first to tell you that he learns from other non-PNH professionals all the time!

bgoosewood - Thanks for trying to bring some balance to this thread.

Janeway - You asked why someone whould want certain task done?, Well, wouldn't you say that those task are pretty imaginative? Now, if you aren't interested to do that, then don't! But understand that people have the right to make the choice to be imaginative and creative with horses or not. What's wrong with someone exploring what their horse can really do in a trained and responsible manner?

Baymare - I feel you are a bit mis-informed about bridleless riding. Bridleless riding is just the opposite of what you think - it's not that you aren't good enough to be allowed to use the reins, it's the fact that bridleless riding is PROOF of the QUALITY of the RELATIONSHIP. It develops and test self-carriage and control in the horse, and the independent seat of the rider.

Findeight - I had a friend of mine read the thread before my first post and she told me that if I posted anything pro-Parelli, I would get chewed up and spit out,not worth my time. HOwever, I posted knowing full well what the reply's would be, and I have to say nothing has really surprised me. I agree with your definition of the time honored way to success with horses, but you know that "proper instruction" is a BIG< BIG, factor in that success.

Everyone else, if you have or are going to be offended by what I have to say in my posts, well, I'm sorry you feel that way. My understanding that I am welcome (as indicated by findeight) to express my opinion which is based on hands-on experience and facts just as the rest of us. I just hope that someone finds this infomation as food for thought, and if it helps you to help your horse, then that's all I want.

I am also going to post some interesting comments regarding Pat's visit with Capt. Mark Phillips and the USET eventing team on another post.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary!

tle
May. 8, 2002, 10:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>tle- Wow, I'm almost flattered that you went to so much effort re your "cult" essay. You assume too much from a little information you know about the PNH organzation. And proclaiming that PNH is a "cult" is kinda ole hat, in fact Pat has been heard to say that when doing a young horse starting demo "Look, I'm a cult-starter!"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't be flattered. It wasn't that much work as it's something I've been thinking of long before this discussion started. And I really don't care if the comparison is "old hat", you read through that list and tell me exactly where those items AREN'T found in the Parelli organization.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>In PNH, it is highly recommened that after level 3 to further study with a discipline trainer of your choice. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Does this mean he DIScourages people from doing specific discipline work prior to level 3 certification??

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You asked why someone whould want certain task done?, Well, wouldn't you say that those task are pretty imaginative? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But you missed the point. Perhaps she (or me or anyone else) isn't overly imaginative. But by Pat showing us those odd exercises (like cantering into a trailer)... well, that's all fine and good, but show (or better yet explain) how that kind of work relates into exercises that WILL help in our discipline specific study. By not giving the explanations, you end up with a lot of people just like you have here... serious horse people who wonder why on earth you'd have a horse do something like that.

and finally, yes, your opinions ARE welcome here. But just as with anything where you can't see the expressions of the person behind the opinions, the way you write something needs to be taken into consideration. Yes, in your first post (and pretty much through the second one although not quite to the same degree) you did come off as a closed-minded, brainwashed, preachy fanatic. Thank you for offering more explanations. I still don't agree with many of them and still hold to my original position -- that NH in any form is not necessarily a bad thing and can do some good but it doesn't take special sticks & halters, much less massive amounts of $$ and marketing to get good and positive results with any horse..... as well as there is no single "right" method that fits all horses --- but I appreciate the time you took to write what you have.

BTW, Parelli was evidently featured in The Horse magazine this month. Here's a link to the online article. Interesting... it also explains a bit more about the 7 Games.

http://www.thehorse.com/qf.asp?fid=3449

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 11... Why the tears? I think it's "Message from Home" time... Neleh or Robert gets the axe.

GO RED WINGS!!!

Paula
May. 8, 2002, 10:35 AM
Can anybody name a Parelli student who has gone through the certification program then used these tools to develop a horse to compete at the highest levels of their sport with success? The O'Connors don't count because they were a success long before the present "partnership".

Janeway
May. 8, 2002, 10:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by savvyquest:
Janeway - You asked why someone whould want certain task done?, Well, wouldn't you say that those task are pretty imaginative? Now, if you aren't interested to do that, then don't! But understand that people have the right to make the choice to be imaginative and creative with horses or not. What's wrong with someone exploring what their horse can really do in a trained and responsible manner?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh they are imaginative alright! and lord knows I've done some odd things with my old horse. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif But the question I really was hoping you would answer is why any horseman would want their horse to canter into a trailer. As TLE mentioned above, its hard to see any benefit from that or even that it bears any relevance to what a rider would expect from their competition horse at an event.

In my opinion, that particular exercise is dangerous and stupid. I have seen too many accidents happen to horses while being loaded even calmly at the walk (i.e slipping and falling off ramp, breaking neck etc.) There are even instances of people being severely hurt during loading accidents; why would you want to compound that by teaching a horse to canter up the ramp? How do you know that the next person to handle that horse has no knowledge whatsoever of Parelli, and trys to load it onto a trailer only to be trampled by it as it canters into it?

For me, that particular exercise goes beyond any creativity or imagination and into stupidity.

I would really like to know what the rationale behind that exercise is, if you don't mind explaining it. I imagine there must be a reason why Parelli thinks that it is a positve thing for a horse to learn /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

As for the sitting down like a dog; well, for a "natural" horsemanship exercise, you've got to admit that is a pretty unnatural position for a horse /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

baymare
May. 8, 2002, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the articulate and rational replies.

I'll respond in kind, I hope. Though I often sound facetious and have a tendency to resort to poking fun, there is a legitimate question beneath the teasing.

"...bridleless riding is proof of the quality of relationship. It develops self-carriage and control in the horse, and the independent seat of the rider."

I don't disagree, but it still seems limiting. In educated riding in any discipline, the independent seat is developed before the rider ever picks up the reins. Riding bareback and being lunged without reins and/or stirrups are great tools, but they are no means the end of the story. I suspect the same is true for
bridleless riding: that it is a useful tool with limited application.

The "self-carriage" I have seen demonstrated in bridleless rides is simply the natural balance of the horse, the same that I see every day when I watch my guys cavort up and down the small bank in their turn-out area in all kinds of conditions. Nothing wrong with that...BUT it does not compare to the "educated" self-carriage of a horse that is fully on the aids of an educated rider. The power, sensitivity, springiness, responsiveness, roundness, and above all the nearly psychic level of horse-rider communication that occur then really make a jog around the woodlot (or even in the Derby Post Parade!) with a string around your horses neck seem pretty pale in comparison.

HelenD
May. 8, 2002, 10:42 AM
Yes, a front cover article on PP on his games in _The Horse_.

My head exploded when I saw it. _The Horse_ is supposed to be about health/fitness/sports medicine topics. How in the h - e - double hockey sticks did THAT get in there. I tried to see if anyone else found it odd, (by posting to Off Course) but alas, all for naught.

I do however have to congratulate and MARVEL as to how many horse related magazines articles about PPNH have appeared in the last 2-3 months. It's absolutely amazing. Kudos to his agent/wife/marketing expert. She needs to go work for P&G or something.

Helen

In riding a horse we borrow freedom.
~Helen Thomson

Sandy M
May. 8, 2002, 10:50 AM
Savvyquest, your experience regarding the issues I raised seems to be contrary to what Parelli certified people have told me and friends of mine who were interested in PNH. One was totally rejected by a Parelli instructor because she DARED to ask questions about how the various Levels applied to her ultimate goal for her horse, dressage, and when she asked to be PART of the training, expressing to the PNH instructor that she felt it was necessary that she be included and understand WHAT he was doing, or the training he was doing would be waster since SHE would lack the understanding of what he was doing, he said he could not train her horse. He only wanted her to "visit" it if he trained it.

Everyone I have talked to who has been seriously involved in PNH has expressed an anti-dressage attitude, and total rejection of any BUT PNH methods, or expressed the idea that what PNH is IS dressage, or alternatively, as one stated, after PNH training "you won't WANT to do dressage." Hardly what you are stating is the Parelli attitude encouraging "multi-discipline" training. It's fund to do things without a bridle, but it is not dressage unless you wish to go by the literal meaning of "training," in which case horse racing is dressage.

I still see NO explanation of the benefit of all the "tricks." My horse yield to pressure, loads and rides quietly, is an excellent trail horse (competitively and for pleasure riding). He ties and waits quietly, he was a hunter/jumper, he went cross-country (quietly and calmly at speed); he will gallop quietly outdoors and across-country alone or in a group; I acquired him as a barely started coming five year old; I am an amateur of no particular exceptional talent and I have done all of his instruction per traditional non-abusive methods. Last night, he stood quietly on a loose lead for over 40 minutes while he was ultra sounded after I told the vet that he did NOT need to be tranq'd - her usual procedure when ultrasounding horses that are not confined by stocks. I've never had the need or opportunity to work him in a round pen. Lunging, taught by traditional methods (two people - one to walk the horse until it understands the circle, the other holding the lunge line) was the initial work I did with him and he will walk trot canter, reverse and/or halt on the lunge on voice commands. I started him in a rubber snaffle, then a HSS medium mouth, and now ride in a french mouth snaffle, slightly thinner than the HSS to accommodate his shallow jaw/big palate. Hardly abusive bits or methods. He's currently showing 2nd level, schoolikng 3rd.

I just see no point or need to PNH except for totally green horses or horses with problems or horses with incompetent handlers/riders who need to learn how to work with their horses. I am at a loss as to why my dressage horse (whom I CAN ride bareback without a bridle) NEEDS to do any of these PNH things, and resent those PNH people who acts a though those of us who DON'T want to do PNH are ignorant and unenlightened. Or indeed, the attitude expressed by Mrs. P at a clinic where she said that she did not need to wear a hard-hard jumping or at any other time, because, unlike other horses, a properly PNH trained horse would never do anything necessitating wearing a hard hat! Incredible arrogance!!

In all your answers, I see nothing that truly addresses any of the issues raised by the postd of tle and others of like mind.

I am not saying there is not point or practicality or use to PNH. Just that it is not the be-all and end-all that many devotees seem to think, that the commercialism is crass and annoying, and that there DOES appear to be a cult-like attitude among many PNH devotees, whether Mr. Parelli himself intended it or not, though the rejection of any non-Parelli methods (or perhaps more correctly, methods that Mr. Parelli has co-opted and appropriated as his own) would see to indicate that he DID intend this attitude.

Pixie Dust
May. 8, 2002, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sandy M:
Everyone I have talked to who has been seriously involved in PNH has expressed an anti-dressage attitude, and total rejection of any BUT PNH methods, or expressed the idea that what PNH is IS dressage, or alternatively, as one stated, after PNH training "you won't WANT to do dressage." Hardly what you are stating is the Parelli attitude encouraging "multi-discipline" training. It's fund to do things without a bridle, but it is not dressage unless you wish to go by the literal meaning of "training," in which case horse racing is dressage.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Are people worried that the O'Connors are headed in that direction?

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

GO-dog-GO
May. 8, 2002, 12:39 PM
I could care less where they go. It looks like the majority of people who have posted think it may not be a step in the right direction for them though.

I wish some of the thousands of lurkers on this thread would express an opinion though. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

MKM
May. 8, 2002, 12:47 PM
Okay, I am one of those lurkers on this thread. The reason I haven't posted an opinion is b/c I know practically NOTHING about the Parelli system. Although this cantering into the trailer stuff, etc seems weird. I can understand how doing something like this can just show how much more authority you have over your horse, but I don't see how making him be able to do stuff like that could help you in eventing.

Anyways, I think the O'Connors association with it is interesting. If it is purely a money-making thing, more power to them. They are some of the (if not THE) best in our sport, and the best in other sports have been making money by endorsing products for YEARS. So, whether or not I like the product, that is their prerogative to endorse it from a money standpoint.

I find it interesting outside the money aspect (like requiring students to be certified) b/c I have a few friends who train with the O'Connors. One of them is David's "prodigy student" of the moment thinks the system is "wacked" (in his punk teenage words) and doesn't have anything to do with it. But I have heard that the O'Connors do free demonstrations/lessons to their friends and fellow riders/students in the Middleburg area, so they must believe in it to a point and not be purely in it for the money.

Like I said, being very uneducated on the subject, I don't feel entitled to a strong opinion about it, so I don't really have one.

Dementia 13
May. 8, 2002, 01:52 PM
I agree with you MKM. I am enjoying just reading the responses. I don't feel a need to be part of the discussion.



"What lamp has destiny to guide her little children stumbling in the dark?"

Therese
May. 8, 2002, 01:54 PM
From another of the thousands of lurkers. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Being new to eventing, I know OF the O'Connors, but don't know them if you know what I mean.

As for Parelli, I have seen it work wonders in problem horses, but for the well mannered horse it really doesn't improve anything that I can see. At the stable I am at there are a number of devotees. Most of their horses are, IMHO, unsafe to be around. One is constantly running off with the rider, another bucks for no apparent reason (all medical avenues checked) and another gets loose from the handler when they are doing their "games" and gallops all over the arena with that long rope attached, scaring all of us. These people range from beginners to level 2 (I think that is what they told me, may have been 3) certified Parelli.

How their horses were before PNH ? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif I don't know.

Anyone who tells me that a rope halter is less aggressive than a normal leather one is kidding themselves. The whole marketing scheme, though admirable from a financial standpoint, sickens me from a moral one.

Before I rant too long (hey, GO-Dog-GO you asked for it!) /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Let me say this:

I do believe in many of the methods of NH. I subscribe to John Lyon's magazine, and use much of his methodology when needed (trailer training, tying, sacking out/spook in place, body language...) However I can never imagine a situation where I need my horse to sit next to me, or canter into a trailer, or some of the other items mentioned.

...of course I'm also one of those people who won't do hunters because I believe that my horse is mine and I can ride when I want to, train with whomever I wish, and wear what I want... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I'm starting to sound like a real eventer! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

--Therese

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe'

MKM
May. 8, 2002, 02:11 PM
Also, I'd be curious to know whether the O'Connors use these techniques on THEIR current big-time horses, and if they used anything like it with their past big-time horses. I'll ask my friend who trains with them and get back on that one if he thinks it's okay for me to post info about them publicly.

canyonoak
May. 8, 2002, 02:27 PM
I didnt respond to this thread before this either here or on Off Course..because this thread is repeated on nearly every board I look at/lurk/on particpate in.

Seven Games?
Level 3?
Carrot stick?

Hello.
A fable.
Once upon a time, there was EST.
Once upon a time, there was Scientology.
Once upon a time, there were 'horse whisperers'......
Once upon a time, there were real cowboys.And real horsemen.
Once upon a time, Madison Avenue went from being an address to A Place in our pocketbooks, if not hearts.

Shake it all up in a cocktail, and you have the current interest/fad/whathaveyou, called "NH".

Now--I like cowboys. I love,respect and admire real horsemen.And I admire any ad campaign that succeeds beyond its wildest expectation: Kleenex, for example, where the name of A product has become synonymous with THE product.

Add Parelli.

I like Kleenex, I use Kleenex, I dont necessarily buy Kleenex when looking for facial tissue--but I darn well call the other brands Kleenex when writing my shopping list.

I do not, however, when searching for a trainer or horseman, refer to them as Parellis.

We would not be discussing any of this on this particular forum if not for the involvement of the O'Connors, a name synonymous with successful, proper eventing.

Is there anyone here who can say WHY and HOW the O'Connors actually came to decide to promote Parelli ideas/process?

I can guess why, for myself, but am wondering if either O'C has said anything.

FWIW,my position is the same as that of several others: I think Parelli has codified and cobbled together what used to be conventional horse sense.
And for that--more power to him. And all the others doing the same.

As I have been fortunate enough to be involved with horses for a good part of my life, I do not find anything at the clinics (and I have spectated at several over the years) particularly memorable or outstanding.
I do find it interesting that it all started out helping mostly first-time horse owners, and now has gone high-powered into helping to improve--somehow--or offering to improve--those who are already involved in equine competition of ANY sort. One size fits all.

On another note, I had the good fortune to talk with Olympic golde medalist Dr. Reiner Klimke on several occasions, the last one a few weeks before he had his heart attack.

He was involved in trying to put together a clinic for the German dressage team riders/grooms with Linda Tellington-Jones.

He felt that too much emphasis was put on the horse's 'well-being' under saddle--and not nearly enough time spent on the horse's general well-being the rest of the time.
He wanted the grooms to learn to recognize signs of their horses good or not-so-good condition. And he wanted the riders to learn to recognize and acknowledge the contribution of the grooms.

And he wanted all of them to consider the horse, as opposed to their own needs.

yes, easier to do when one is a statesman and no longer competing.

I do think the O'Connors are looking for better ways to communicate with their horses--to save valuable time, energy and stress for both themselves and the horses.
I do think that, if they did not know such techniqies before Parelli, that some of that stuff has probably proven helpful--at least in the perception of the reality if not the actual moment-to-moement reality.

I just lose interest, myself, when we start codifying everything to EST-like levels of awareness.

cheers,

DizzyMagic
May. 8, 2002, 02:28 PM
O'Connor/Parelli generally:

I'm definitely interested and I want to see where this goes. I watch Karen and David at local horse trials all the time, and while eventing is a sport that continually makes one humble, I've been amazed with their consistency over the 4 years or so that I've been into it. If they see something in Parelli's stuff that they want to expand on and promote, I'm interested in finding out what that is.

Cantering into the trailer:

I don't think this is an end of itself, or that it's supposed to be a conditioned response whenever a horse sees a trailer. At O'Connor demonstrations I've seen, they talk a lot about pressure, release of pressure, getting the horse to react well to pressure, and David talks about puzzles and getting the horse to understand and solve the puzzle. At one show he demonstrated this by circling Rattle and Hum between himself and the crowd, closing the distance and explaining that that narrowing distance was an increasing pressure to the horse. The horse continued to circle willingly between David and the crowd even when the gap was very small, and David explained that was because he had the horse's attention, and because he had the horse's attention, he could ask him to solve the puzzle.

My own personal extrapolation to the trailer thing is this: The trailer is an obstacle or a puzzle to solve, and because it will enclose the horse, it represents pressure on all sides. You put the horse on a canter circle. The horse has instruction to canter, so he canters because the lines of communication are open. You point him at the trailer, ask him to solve the puzzle. That he canters right up to the trailer, and then goes onto it while his handler is communicating with him from a few feet away, expresses a willingness to approach an obstacle at whatever pace is requested and solve the problem.

Anyway, the way I've got it figured in my mind, I could definitely use those sorts of tools to get my horse confidently listening to me through water, ditches, narrows, whatever. I'm sure I could have explained myself better, and I could be wrong in the whole thing, but that's how I see it right now. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Emily

The best way to predict the future is to create it!

Seven
May. 8, 2002, 02:39 PM
I just have nothing to add (because I don't particularly care either way) but find the discussion interesting.

Others have already done the typing for me:

I find some aspects of NH interesting but not really any different from what we already do.

I think some of the cult-ish behavior I've witnessed from 'followers' to be disturbing...but again, I'm too busy to care.

I have no opinion of Parrelli (other than if he's found a way to get rich playing with horses, then I wish I'd thought of it first). /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I'd never pay that much to attend a clinic WITH ANYONE even if you were to re-incarnate every great horseman since Alexander the Great and hold one gigantic clinic-o-rama.

I admire and respect the O'Connors and if they think they can get something out of this relationship...even if that's only money...then they are free to pursue it. I'm also free to ignore whatever comes of it. Or not. I just don't know and don't care enough about it. Yet.

Only thing I'd really like to know at this point is WHAT are the Seven Games?

=^+^=

/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I just haven't been the same since that house fell on my sister. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

MKM
May. 8, 2002, 02:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I have no opinion of Parrelli (other than if he's found a way to get rich playing with horses, then I wish I'd thought of it first). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
no kidding!

terry
May. 8, 2002, 03:05 PM
Ok, here is another lurker coming out of the woodwork per Go-dog-go's request.
Watch out, once I am unleashed, it can go on for quite a while.

I have very little experience with Pat Parelli stuff. I have heard some rumors about its negative effect on one event horse and there is a Parelli devotee at my daughter's barn who is not very horse savy but is very found of the Parellis and their system.

I believe that it should be treated like any other training system, as a supply of tools to be applied in appropriate situations. As you all know, horses are individuals who come out of the womb with their own little darling personalities which are then further shaped by their lifetime of experiences. People, of course, likewise. So in any horse-human interaction you have these two individuals interacting and communicating to the best of their ability.

I believe it is the person's responsibility to use the horse interaction/communication tools that they have gained through education and experience to maximize their chances of success in achieveing whatever goals they might have. I don't think there is any one system that is the solution for all horses and humans. The best trainers I have seen are those that are the best observers and can chose the correct methods and apply them with the right timing (timing, I believe is everything)to get the desired effect. From what I have seen, trainers who have had the most experience, either by being older or having worked an extrodinary number of horses have an advantage of experiencing more situations and learned what worked and what didn't. I really don't like systems that claim to be "the answer" and am immediately suspicious of any system that seems to proclaim that it is all you will ever need for any situation or discipline. From what I have seen there are often many approachs that will work for any given situation and the best trainers use the ones that are best suited to the horse and their style. I think that implying that any one system will get anyone, anywhere they want to go is misleading and dangerous and I am concerned about the less experienced folks who forgo working regularly with a good trainer because they think they are all set because they have gone through the Parelli system.

Something, that I believe the Parelli's system, or Lyons or any of these programs have going for them is the "Name Brand" appeal. I believe it is bringing people into the horse industry that may not have known how to join in before. It is very hard for someone without any horse experience to successfully go out and get "into" horses all on their own. I have personally known many examples of people who wanted a horse and just went out and bought one with varying results from ok(got lucky) to disastrous. I am sure you all know many examples yourselves. Here is a name brand program someone can join that they think will tell them what they need to know without the risk of picking an individual trainer who may be a bad one or rip them off. Its like buying an IBM PC, its a big name brand so it must be safe.

Perhaps this is the appeal for the O'Connors, who are very interested in united marketing of Equine Sports and reaching out to the general public. Here is a program that succeeds in doing that, and maybe they want to learn about the marketing side in their quest to grow equine sports into a major public sport.

Well I have gone on long enough.

GO-dog-GO
May. 8, 2002, 03:14 PM
I have a good friend that use to work for........uh....some 'big name' event riders. She has told me that one of them 'has always played' around on 'the ground/round pen' with their horses. They said that they'd watch them chase horses around the round pen and laugh their a$$es off. They never saw any relationship between RP/ground work and "real" riding. In fact they thought it had actually messed up a 'big time' horse you'd all know of.

Don't know, it's just what someone that was there told me.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Now I'm not saying that NH is BS but I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how it will help a well adjusted horse go better in dressage, XC or jumping those pretty colored. fences... /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

We may all look pretty silly if horses trained through NH take over the eventing world soon...

/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Sandy M
May. 8, 2002, 03:36 PM
I appreciate the thought that went into your analysis of the "canter into the trailer" bit, but frankly, while I want (and HAVE) and obedient horse, I do not want an automaton that never thinks for itself. Therefore, I STILL don't think I want a horse that (stupidly) canters into a trailer - an unsafe thing to do - simply because I say so.

Similarly, I prefer a horse that gives a wary eye to uncertain footing, but goes on when I ask it to, rather than a robot who goes forward without thought into/through anything and may get itself hurt as a consequence. Sort of like the trail trials judge who placed first a horse that non-violently hesitated to cross a bridge, underneath which someone was making "rattlesnake" sounds and with a raw snakeskin lying on the bridge. The organizers were upset that he didn't place the horses that walked across the bridge like they were braindead, but the judge replied that he did NOT want a horse that walked on rattlesnakes!

Obedience, calmness, yes. Robots, no. Cantering into trailers remains in my mind just plain dumb.

Jupes
May. 8, 2002, 03:41 PM
I, like MKM and others, haven't posted because I don't know enough about PNH/NH, etc. but have enjoyed reading the discussion, for the most part. My take on the situation is like that of some of the other posters: certainly there is something to learn from the philosophy of NH, how much you chose to take away from it is purely individual. My only experience is from 2 years of horse ownership and 5 years of riding, and based on that experience, it is my opinion that safe exercises that define the horse/human relationship, and that develop mutual respect and submissiveness of the horse are good things. I would venture to say that all successful horsepeople believe this to some degree as well. How one spends one's money accomplish this is also purely individual.

I have no opinion on the marketing end of it because frankly, I haven't felt bombarded by it. I subscribe to one or two horse magazines, that I usually just skim over. I was at Rolex, but didn't attend the demonstration, and didn't really hear a lot of talk about it. I don't hear any talk of this stuff going on at my barn either, which has a pretty diverse ridership in a large market (Chicagoland).

One last thing: I said that I've enjoyed this discussion "for the most part." I'm all for healthy, vigorous discussion, and very much appreciate people's convictions, but it makes me NUTS when people jump to conclusions and make invalid assumptions. Yuk.

Other than that, party on.

lawgrl
May. 8, 2002, 03:42 PM
I'm a little loathe to reply based on the general feelings about Parelli but here it goes. (BTW, my interest is local showing in H/J and dressage. I have regular lessons with a H/J trainer and a dressage trainer.)

My experience with Parelli over the past year--watched a 2 day event of the man himself, did a 2 day clinic with a level 4 student and half a dozen individual lessons with a local Parelli trainer. Passed level one, not interested in going higher at this point.

Why? Hmmm, I was curious. My horse was well behaved but I was sometimes nervous while riding (my problem, not his). I thought I'd try something different and add some variety to my training. I realized that it was slick packaging for some basic groundwork but it made it easy to learn and a lot of the basic premises are sound.

Did I become I'm a cult member--No. Do I believe everything he says/teaches--No. Did I quit lunging because it was "dangerous" to the horse--No. Do I believe his method is better than other methods--No. Did I start ignoring my regular trainers--No.

But do I think he has something to add to my knowledge base--Yes.

What I liked--the whole idea of not using force but partnership, the idea of becoming more interesting to my horse, the idea that my horse is capable of much more than I think.

I definitely find some of the "cult" aspects of Parelli annoying but I see this much more in his followers than in the man himself. But, as with any method, I took the pieces that fit with my experience and beliefs and disregarded the stuff I didn't believe or like.

I really have no investment in whether people like or follow the man--my quest to be the best equestrian I can is personal and I have no desire to point out which path others should take (and I think it is different for everyone). However, I am a little overwhelmed by the number of people who have such strong negative feelings about the program with little personal knowledge or experience.

rhymeswithfizz
May. 8, 2002, 04:39 PM
I haven't posted because I really don't know squat about NH or even PNH, other than what I've read from the links posted here. So as an outsider, not having participated or witnessed one of these clincs, I have a somewhat more open mind about PNH itself, so I won't address that specifically. SO here goes.

First of all, I dislike the "cult" reference that people have made to this system.

I love my trainer. I adore her. I recommend to her everyone and rave about her to anyone who pretends to listen. In fact, I believe that all of her students feel that way. We agree that if she moved to North Dakota, we'd start packing. She has done so many wonderful things for me and my horse, made so many improvements, diagnosed problems that had baffled other trainers, that I can't imagine training with anyone else. She, and her training methods, are fabulous.

Does this mean that her students make up a cult of some kind because we think she is the best eventing trainer around? Puh-leeez. Is it really any different from the Parelli "disciples" adoring their trainer and wanting to recommend him to everyone?

I could also care less if the O'Conners want to make some money. It doesn't seem any different to me than seeing Michael Jordan advertising Nike shoes, or Tiger Woods endorsing a particular type of golf ball. Does Tiger Woods really use that ball? Probably, only partly because it's a good ball, but mostly because the makers of the golf ball pay him a LOT of money.

So do the O'Conners really use PNH? Probably, only partly because there are some good points to this system (a good partnership with your horse is vital, IMO), but mostly because they are being paid A LOT OF MONEY.

Does this make either Michael or Tiger or the O'Cs BAD PEOPLE for capitalizing on their success? Should we be disappointed in them for "selling out"?

I'm not going to run off to a PNH clinic just because the O'Conners are there, nor am I going to run out and buy a $150 pair of shoes just because Michael Jordan endorses them and says they are the best shoes ever. Nikes don't fit my feet, and I can't afford them anyways. PNH doesn't fit my lifestyle (I too do not want my horse to canter into the trailer, stepping up and down quietly and willingly is just fine for me), and can't afford that either.

I don't feel "let down" by this at all. Bravo to the O'Conner's for being able to make some money in the eventing world -- not too many who get to do that.

Anyway, sorry for the long "de-lurk" -- hope it makes sense.....

Sully's Brag Page (http://theamazingliz.hypermart.net/sully.htm)

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

GO-dog-GO
May. 8, 2002, 04:44 PM
I have a lot on my mind today and when I do I tend to post a lot, it helps me think.

I train dogs for a living. I've trained retrievers that were successful at the highest level of AKC field trial competition. In the dog training world there is always some "new", great, gizmo or gadget to train with coming along. If not that it's some "revolutionary" new way of training.

Over 25 years owning retrievers and 10 training professionally has proven to me that training is evolutionary not revolutionary. The latest great "new" thing/way of training is rarely that.

I don't know much about horses but I know enough to be wary of training an animal with methods that have not been proven to consistently produce results, in animals with a variety of temperaments, in relationship to the discipline I aspire to.

Call me conservative [that will be a first!!] but it will take more then the a couple event riders endorsing a technique for me to embrace it.

I guess that's why I'm a little leery of the benefits of NH for myself.
/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Lisa Cook
May. 8, 2002, 06:31 PM
This thread has been fascinating, and it is the first one I read now when coming to this BB.

I have not posted earlier on the topic because I have never witnessed a Parelli clinic, watched any of their videos, or even been around any of their followers.

In terms of the O'Connors "joining-up" with the Parellis...well, fine...everyone needs to make a living somehow, and if this is the route the O'Connors want to take to earn money, than so be it. Maybe it's more than money to them - maybe th NH system is one they believe in strongly enough that they think it needs to be publicized so that more people are aware of it...

In terms of NH in general...for a long time I had a negative view. Several years ago, a big name NH person came to this area and was looking for problem horses to use in a demonstration. I had a problem horse - a barn sour mare with rearing issues - so I served her up for a demo. After watching her chased around a round pen for 3-4 hours on a hot summer day, absolutely nothing was accomplished (glad I didn't actually pay money to this guy to work with her!). And, the students/fans/followers of this person were...different. They reminded me of Grateful Dead groupies, in that they drove all around the country, following this guy to his clinics & demonstrations.

However...last fall I sent my horse to a 4*, past Olympian event trainer. When I went to watch my horse worked, I was taken aback when the first thing that was done with my horse after he was tacked up was some bending/flexing exercises that this event trainer said they had learned from a big-name NH instructor. This event rider went on to say that the NH folks had a lot to offer if event people would pay attention to them. I have since noticed that my horse *does go better* when I take the time to do the NH bending/flexing stuff with him before I ride him. My horse came back a completely changed (for the better!) animal - not sure how much of it is attributable to NH practices used by the event trainer, or by plain ole' good riding daily, exclusive of the NH stuff.

So, I guess to summarize - the O'Connors aren't the only 4* riders to decide that NH has benefits. And if that's how they want to train themselves and their students in the future, then they must think there is some merit. I just won't pay the $8k to learn it from them, but I'm sure that there are others who will!

His Greyness
May. 8, 2002, 07:10 PM
The Parelli Natural Horsemanship program is all about human behaviour modification to get everybody to lighten their wallets. As their own material admits, there's nothing new in what they are preaching. The problem is that converts are always the worst. All the gadget freaks to whom this stuff is a divine revelation get contemptuous of all us plain horse folk who have understood the underlying principles for years and didn't need to be "born again". Being gadget freaks I am sure all this PNH paraphernalia appeals to them.

Many years ago I suggested on a different BB that a goal of training was to gain the horse's cooperation in whatever we were doing. I was severely berated by a command and control type for such wimpish thoughts. If Parelli can get these C&C people to see the light at their expense, I will tolerate his marketing hype.

Magnolia
May. 8, 2002, 07:29 PM
I admit, this is cheeesy, and I think NH is cheesy and the people that do it are funny, but

Maybe the O'Connors are well, bored with eventing and expoloring some new "horse stuff". I mean, they've won everything, and well, maybe eventing has lost it's spark for them. They are not exactly beginners that are excited about jumping a new kind of jump or experiencing a perfect lead change. While I realize no one is ever a perfect rider, perhaps they've gotten to a point where that pursuit of perfection in the classical sense is getting stale. Perhaps NH is a new thing to try out - something kind of fresh and new working with a new aspect of horsemanship unrelated to eventing (Ie, not focusing on conditioning, dressage etc.). I mean, what if instead of Parelli, they went and trained with some reining instructor, or got into endurance riding?

Boy, this is one looooooooooong topic.

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

canyonoak
May. 8, 2002, 07:31 PM
"Only thing I'd really like to know at this point is WHAT are the Seven Games?"



repeating the link offered a few pages ago...


http://www.thehorse.com/qf.asp?fid=3449

GO-dog-GO
May. 8, 2002, 07:52 PM
PP quote as seen on above link..."longeing is totally mindless"... my respect for PP drops another notch..

Seems like PP and the OC's were in cahoots for the OC's videos.......Many of the "7 games" of PP are seen in the OC's video set.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

BarbB
May. 8, 2002, 08:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisa Cook:
I have since noticed that my horse *does go better* when I take the time to do the NH bending/flexing stuff with him before I ride him.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not picking on you, and if you learned about bending and flexing from a NH instructor then I am glad you learned it somewhere.

I have been doing bending, flexing, stretching exercises as part of my warm up for as long as I have been riding. As time has passed and I have worked with different instructors and clinicians I have learned different ways to do this.
EVERY serious rider that I know does a lot of bending, flexing, stretching as part of their warm up and most of them wouldn't be caught dead at a NH clinic.
This is one of my complaints - the NH instructors didn't invent this stuff, but they would like you to believe that they did.
The good instructors I have worked with, on the other hand, make it clear that they did NOT invent anything, they learned it thru trial and error and from better riders than themselves.
Good horsemen haven't changed much since the Greeks.

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

Hopeful Hunter
May. 8, 2002, 09:13 PM
Lurker #4006 checking in....

Well.....I'm rather surprised, ok, shocked, to hear the O'Connors are teaming up with PP. I've always rather thought of them as top-rank eventers who work their butts off to produce fine horses. To hear them associated with PP just seems odd to me, since I tend to think of him as being more appealing to the backyard horseperson.

AS to PP himself -- I've seen him live at the MD Horse Expo. I know someone who spent big bucks to go to his clinic. And while I believe there are some aspects of his program that are very good, overall I'm bemused and not impressed.

When he did his bit at the Horse Expo, I was appalled at the lack of safety savvy shown. No helmets, riders with questionable balance, "stunts" that had little "value" to my mind than to show off his way. The word that came to mind to sum up his presentation was "grandstanding."

I also noticed his rig in the parking lot. Lots of endorsements and logos on it -- and that I give him credit for. Frankly, I'd like to see MORE of the horse people developing sponsor relationships and being more marketing savvy, but that's another topic. However, at his booth (actually half the display hall) the atmosphere reminded me of nothing so much as a call and response revival meeting. PP's WAY was the salvation, and all who heeded the call would find pony paradise. I noted wryly that the heaping piles of Krispy Kreme donuts for free didn't hurt in luring in the masses, either.

I don't mind that PP markets himself. I DO mind that he doesn't seem to deliver on the promise -- at least not in the tons of basic sessions that he and his gurus give around the country. Those basic sessions are eerily reminscent IMO of those "buy a million dollar mansion for a nickel" type of sessions -- promising a lot, but mainly devoted to getting you to buy the book/tape/next seminar to learn the "Secret." And the vast number of "tricks" don't impress me -- especially when they're done with a wanton disregard for basic safety.

Were PP to stress safety and proper saftey equipment, deliver clear results with OR without his gadgets, and focus more on the benefits to RIDING the horse that his methods bring, I'd respect him more. As it is, I find him as disagreeable as fake cherry flavoring -- something a lot of people love, but which bears no resemblance to the original organic produce and which I can't stand.

Atypical
May. 8, 2002, 09:16 PM
OKay, I am entirely likely to get flamed here, but oh well, into the fire I go.

While I have no experiance personally with pat Parelli, I have worked with NH people before, with wonderful results. My horse, who I am convinced is part mule (not possible I know, lol), was a horrible, horrible animal to load into a trailer, any trailer, even those he liked. Two hours with a big name NH guy and he walks in, and know what? I can load all the problem horses at my farm too. It's a great technique to know when you want to go horse show and your horse doesn't. (IE last weekend)

Second of all, I've been working with a chronic bolter the past few months. Couldn't pull him back, couldn't one rein stop etc etc. We'd been reduced to running him into wall's when, not if he bolted. We'd had an entire set of experianced, well intentioned riders and trainers on him and nothing. So his owner found an NH woman, not a big name, but still. ALl his issues were helped by specific things she had us do on the ground, especially working on breaking over his hind end, a particularly handy device when one needs to STOP.

Am I a mindless drone? No. Do I take everything these people say as absolute truth? Of course not. I do like to round pen my horse every once in a while to get him focused on me. I'm a h/j rider with more than 13 years experience. Adn before anyone says anything about money, she did the job with the bolter in exchange for massage work on her horse. So in some cases, not all necessarliy, but some, there is method behind the madness. You may not necessarily like the package, but don't dismiss the idea before you even take the chance to learn about it firsthand.

PS: It strikes me PP may not be the best example of NH. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

And darn it, I'm not some backyard horseman either!

GO-dog-GO
May. 9, 2002, 05:31 AM
Atypical, I'll bet no one flames you. In fact I bet most are happy someone helped you, NH or not. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I think the point of many posts is some NH and their followers would have you think that only through NH can you become a 'true' horseman or 'fix' problem horses.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Lisa Cook
May. 9, 2002, 05:47 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by BarbB:
"Not picking on you, and if you learned about bending and flexing from a NH instructor then I am glad you learned it somewhere.

I have been doing bending, flexing, stretching exercises as part of my warm up for as long as I have been riding"

[end of quote]

I guess I should have made myself more clear...the bending/flexing exercises that this event trainer showed me are done on the ground, before getting on the horse. Of course I do & have done for years bending/flexing/stretching exercises on my horse as part of my riding warm-up...working them on the ground first before getting on the horse was the new point.

AND - to clarify - it was an event trainer who introduced these exercises to me & my horse. The event trainer learned it originally from a NH person.

FlightCheck
May. 9, 2002, 05:53 AM
is that the "converts" come home and want to convert everyone.

As formerly stated, I've done a few NH clinics, and I believe that much of it has value.

However, as others have more eloquently stated, many of the persons at these clinics shouldn't have bought the horse they have without some type of lessons or instruction before and after.

So the person who went to the clinic comes home full of enthusiasm and wants to share their breakthroughs with everyone - but instead of "I learned so much - would you like to see?" it comes out as "You are all doing it WRONG; I have been Shown the Path of Righteousness and I will Convert You!"

At one NH clinic I audited, the clinician confided that he was becoming uncomfortable with doing clinics because most persons would not do follow up work with ANY instructor, thus losing the chance to go forward.

Oh, and one of my students who IS a NH and DOES go to many clinics yearly went to the Parelli/O'Connor "show" down in south Fla a month or 2 ago. She came home appalled.

I'm done rambling now.

Ghazzu
May. 9, 2002, 05:55 AM
I learned my groundwork exercises on bending and stepping under, etc. from a dressage trainer.
It really is basic stuff.

And I was at a client's recently, watching her work with a horse she had in training. She was doing some basic bending and flexion exercises and explaining them to the owner. She's a Paint/Pinto person who doesn't describe herself as NH or anything other than simply a trainer.

Seven
May. 9, 2002, 06:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisa Cook:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by BarbB:
"Not picking on you, and if you learned about bending and flexing from a NH instructor then I am glad you learned it somewhere.

I have been doing bending, flexing, stretching exercises as part of my warm up for as long as I have been riding"

[end of quote]

I guess I should have made myself more clear...the bending/flexing exercises that this event trainer showed me are done on the ground, before getting on the horse. Of course I do & have done for years bending/flexing/stretching exercises on my horse as part of my riding warm-up...working them on the ground first before getting on the horse was the new point.

AND - to clarify - it was an event trainer who introduced these exercises to me & my horse. The event trainer learned it originally from a NH person.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I understand that you (Lisa) learned this from an eventing trainer....but this information should *not* have been new to the eventing trainer. Sally O'Connors book Practical Eventing (the first edition...circa late 1970?) described bending and supplying exercises, on the ground, on the lunge, AND under saddle for starting a young horse. I've been using them as a warm up tool since I first used that book as a bible to start my DWB mare in the mid 80s. Having no other outside help, that book was an excellent reference (and I was duly appreciative of it in true cult member fashion /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ), providing me with nearly every tool I needed. (I understand that the newest edition is not as comprehensive for training an eventer, but appears more focused on training the rider.)

I still use the same exercises when I'm working on a greenie or re-schooling project. I think that's part of the NH equation that aggravates folks...that all this stuff really isn't new or magical...just newly packaged with some slick marketing.

=^+^=

/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I just haven't been the same since that house fell on my sister. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BarbB
May. 9, 2002, 06:29 AM
then I am going to try to shutup
/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I have the duct tape ready

It strikes me that "Natural Horsemanship" is very much like "New Age" music.
A lot of it is the oldest music on this planet, handed down from generation to generation but never recorded before and now marketed with new shiny labels and wrappings. Some of it is just noise, also in a slick package. It is marketed with the assumption that the average consumer can't tell the difference.

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

pinkhorse
May. 9, 2002, 07:00 AM
Savvy, I know you're trying and I appreciate what you've offered to this discussion. The problem is that you sound too much like a convert. "I was just trying to give food for thought, maybe too much too soon."

That said, this is, I think, what part of this discussion has been about: "However, the principles
of the seven games apply TO EVERY HORSE because they are based on horses behaviour
developed over thousands of years! (not something Pat dreamed up in his head and stuck a
price tag on.)" The thing is, he did! And a big price tag at that, and the concept that his way is the only way.

As I said before, when I worked with the trainer that taught me this stuff I looked at a PP book and said, "that's the same stuff only with silly names." I guess that makes it "accessible" so that's good. And, I can't complain with anyone that buys a book and learns from it. It's the certification and the paraphenalia that goes with it that bugs me.

The other book I looked at during that time was Sally O'Connor's book. Gotta say, the PP book was a lot easier to follow. The SO book had the same stuff in it but it was hard to figure out what exactly she was doing. I think she was trying to continue with the mystique of dressage training idea back then. (She struck me like that when I met her too, but that was a quick thing.)

Something people might want to check out is a magazine/web site called The Trail Less Traveled. (www.ttlt.com (http://www.ttlt.com)) They've become more commercial, I think they take advertisements now, but they have a pretty balanced and useful viewpoint about this stuff. There's usually articles about dressage and jumping stuff along with the more overweighted western stuff. Now, I'm remembering they had an interview with the O'Connors a couple of years ago. I'll have to go back and find it.

I hope that people don't come out of this thread thinking that all these techniques are in cahoots with PP or any of the other over-marketed people. There really is a lot of good stuff about it. Even if it doesn't help you jump a big drop it'll help you get back on if you fall off down the drop if your horse stops!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif There really are some good and honest people who feel that helping horses and riders is more important than a marketing/money making blitz. Would the trainer I worked with like to be making more money? Probably, but he's got more work than he can handle and he's not into multi-level marketing.

Pixie Dust
May. 9, 2002, 07:29 AM
New Age Music!! (hehee, but I like it)

Anyway, I'm not real familiar with the system, but one of the 7 games is called the squeeze (I think) and it involves directing the horse to a place that would normally be uncomfortable for the horse like a narrow passage, a trailer or a jump. So this game involves jumping your horse as a game. [Maybe the cutting horse people are whining; why should I jump my horse??] I think this may be what attracted the O'Connors and maybe some other eventers. They teach jumping as a game, so it's fun for the horse. Of course lots of horses think it's a game anyway, but you know how very competitive people like an edge. Any edge. You can be successful without nasal strips, but if it gives you a miniscule edge, why not?

Anyway, I'm not *real* familiar with the system. I spent 16 bucks on one of his books and used some of the methods on my horse because he was all "in my space" and found it to be helpful. No it wasn't rocket science! I also saw Parelli at the MD expo (any trial lawyer will tell you 5 witnesses = 5 stories) and my take was different than those already mentioned. I was impressed with how the horses focused on their "human". I liked Parelli's repeated message that riding is supposed to be FUN. I think many people forget that. And yes, I was impressed when one of the trainers pointed to an upright barrel and her horse jumped it (naked!) I *really* like the idea of learning NH principles from the O'Connors because they would be able to weed out the helpful exersizes from the dumb ones.

I think the whole riding without a bridle thing is not meant an end all, but as an exersize. Maybe if you can canter your horse over a course of jumps without a bridle, you will have much better control in your regular tack over a cross country course.

While I have no plans of asking my horse to canter onto the trailer (though he has done that before..oops) I don't see it as a horse going blindly. I see it as a horse trusting his trainer. (So it's the trainer's job to ask for only safe games.)

Yes, all this can be acquired without a NH trainer. I did most of this stuff with my Jr. Hunter as a kid. Safety? Never heard of it, I rode bareback, helmetless, shoeless; you name it. Some alcoholics can quit drinking without AA and some can't. Some people can decorate their house and get it in Metropolitan Home and some people need a designer. I've never had the need to see a therapist, while all of my friend/relatives have. If you don't need help, why critisize those who do???

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

JAGold
May. 9, 2002, 08:17 AM
I've stayed out of this thread so far mostly because I just don't think the Parelli stuff warrants all the attention it has recently received, both on the BB and elsewhere. Like most trainers and training techniques, the Parelli methods have something to offer but are not the end-all-be-all of horsemanship.

I've attended a two-hour Parelli demonstration, but my greater level of familiarity with the system comes from my cousin, a PhD marine biologist who is now studying the applications of marine mammal training techniques to other animals. (Clicker training, for example, was originated by marine biologists.) She is working on her Parelli level 3 at the moment, not because she is a Parelli disciple, but because she wants to understand how other professionals are using non-traditional training techniques. I've worked with her around her horse and my horses. Her main objection to the way animals are traditionally trained is that they are punished for mistakes, and that they perform or react to avoid punishment. With marine mammals, she teaches them to offer behaviors on command -- to become willing participants in the excercise.

Honestly, this wasn't earth shattering to me. So, her emphasis on horses paying attention to their handlers and responding to cues, as opposed to reacting to reprimands, wasn't either. After all, as long as I can remember I've been taught to "make my horse pay attention" by using changes of bend, direction, or gait. Lunging, used as a training techinque, is not mindless; it should incorporate transitions that hone the horse's attentiveness as well as muscle development. For as long as I have been responsible for planning training programs for my own and other people's horses, I have incorporated trail rides into the routine, both to test and improve the horse's trust in me the rider, and to break up the monotony of the training routine. I believe in wading through water, crossing bridges, and addressing other natural and man-made obstacles both to increase the horse's trust in and responsiveness to me, and just for the sake of doing something new. When I ride very young horses (3 year olds) I do very little ring work and a lot of trail riding to expose them to new situations. I understand the difference between a cue (slight pressure and release of the outside leg to ask for the canter, for example) and nagging, demanding, or otherwise failing to communicate (repeated or prolonged squeezing or kicking, with no response from the horse.)

Are there Parelli-specific things that my cousin does? Sure. Some of them make sense, but they are mostly just alternative ways of asking for things that most good horsemen already do. Believe me, every horse I worked with picked up his feet upon request without the help of natural horsemanship. So does my cousin's horse, and she taught him a different way. So what?

I have no trouble handling my cousin's Parelli-trained horse. He is well trained, and while I don't know all of his specific buttons or tricks, I know enough about horses to work with him sucessfully. My cousin expressed suprise, in fact, at how well he went for me. The moral? You don't need to know anyone's specific system to handle a well-trained horse; you just need to know horses.

I think that there are some basics that all performance horses need. Respect for people is one of them. Paying attention, responding to aids, leading and loading are others. And before they are trained for specific diciplines, I do think that all horses need to learn to go forward off of the leg, to come back to a combination of seat and hand, to turn and bend in both directions, and to do basic lateral movement. And, frankly, I don't care how they learn to do these things. You can teach them with flash cards for all I care. The Parelli method is not a bad way of teaching these basics, but it is not the only way.

I do think, though, that after mastering these basics and on their ways to becoming performance horses, horses need to be exposed to other training. And that is where I find that I clash with natural horsemanship people. I'm willing to incorporate their techniques, but not to be limmited by them. If I only wanted a responsive, well trained trail or pleasure horse, fine, Parelli or other natural horsemanship techniques might be sufficient. And they can be an asset, one of many building blocks in training a performance horse. But so far as I know, neither the O'Connors nor any other top event riders credit natural horsemanship EXCLUSIVELY for training their performance horses. Which is as it should be. My only objection to natural horsemanship is when its followers attempt to impose their methods upon the rest of us. I think natural horsemanship has its limits and its places. --Jess

Janet
May. 9, 2002, 08:22 AM
Some of these exercises are not as irrelevant as they seem at first glance.

What happens if you break a rein on cross country? I bet the person who has practiced riding without a bridle (whether as part of NH or otherwise) will do much better than the person who has never tried it.

Trust- If you horse trusts you enough to go somewhere scary in response to your body language on the ground, that will be a BIG help when you come across a scary looking jump on cross country.

tle
May. 9, 2002, 08:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The moral? You don't need to know anyone's specific system to handle a well-trained horse; you just need to know horses.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jess... I think you put it wonderfully!! I think you could say "handle or train a horse" in that statement and it would fit just as well. Thanks.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Episode 11... Why the tears? I think it's "Message from Home" time... Neleh or Robert gets the axe.

GO RED WINGS!!!

Sandy M
May. 9, 2002, 09:06 AM
Mark Todd rode 2/3rd of Badminton with no stirrups. Fred Winter, a noted British Steeplechase rider in the 50s and 60s, won the Auteil Steeplechase with his horse, Mandarin, bridless after the bit broke. Pat Parelli had not yet been born, I believe. I broke a stirrup leather AND rein half-way through a cross-country (Prelim), and so rode the rest of the way with no stirrups and one rein looped through the bit rings. I did not require Parelli training in order to do so, and believe me, I am no O'Connor, just an amateur rider of moderate income, who persists in riding Appaloosas *G*. Most moderately accomplished riders and trainers, professional or amateur, can do these things because they are examples of good horsemanship, which has existed long before Mr. Parelli put a price tag and patented "sticks" and "bags" and "ropes" on it. Hey, he's got a good thing going $$$$-speaking, but I don't NEED that type of guru. For those who do, fine, but please don't insult me by telling me that I don't know what I'm doing because I don't do "Level Whatever" of Parelli-dom.

JAGold
May. 9, 2002, 09:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
Some of these exercises are not as irrelevant as they seem at first glance.

What happens if you break a rein on cross country? I bet the person who has practiced riding without a bridle (whether as part of NH or otherwise) will do much better than the person who has never tried it.

Trust- If you horse trusts you enough to go somewhere scary in response to your body language on the ground, that will be a BIG help when you come across a scary looking jump on cross country.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perhaps. But I think that there are other ways to teach your horse to stop in an emergency or to jump a cross country fence. I'm not saying that the Parelli method doesn't work, I'm just saying that it is not the only way, and it is not failproof. Case in point: Tigger Too, who David does do Parelli work with, absolutely freaked out on roads and tracks in Kentucky! The Parelli training didn't prevent him from spooking, bucking, and shying at the horses on steeplechase, and it wasn't Parelli methodology that kept David in the saddle through the horse's antics. --Jess

mvoght
May. 9, 2002, 09:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GO-dog-GO:
PP quote as seen on above link..."longeing is totally mindless"... my respect for PP drops another notch..

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

GDG,

In my years of horses (nearly 20), I've seen the non-mindless variety of lunging happen very few times.

That GOOD lunging just isn't that common from my own personal observations.

Most lunging that I've seen is only to burn energy....

I know that there are people who do it correctly, and I know that there are people who like to think they are doing it correctly, and then there are the people who really don't care, and are just running the horse around for x minutes on the orders of their trainer.

I happen to be on the PNH mailing list from several years ago and I will say that they are changing, evolving and growing as an organization. Do I do their stuff? no, but I'm tempted to try it again as many of the things that bothered me do seem to be changing...will I canter my horse into a trailer? Not any time soon....if ever.

Mel

Janeway
May. 9, 2002, 09:51 AM
I read that article from The Horse website that TLE posted, and while I too found it sort of out of place there, it was interesting. I didn't agree with most of it, but some of his games did make sense.

However, would someone care to explain to me the relevance of this comment under the circling game:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Disengagement of the hindquarters is very important. It's what you do when you bring him back. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm wondering if Parelli is using the wrong word in this sentence, because otherwise its ludicrous. Engagment of the quarters is paramount to all three Olympic disciplines, and I dare say to some of the others. Why would he advocate otherwise? An "engaged" horse is going to be more balanced and quick to react than one that isn't /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Perhaps he was trying to explain that the horse needed to be relaxed and "swinging" through the back and in the hind end?

GO-dog-GO
May. 9, 2002, 10:17 AM
Mel, I'm with you. I to have seen the "to scared to ride till he�s lunged" windmill and other incorrect ideas of what lunging can be. My point was how someone in PP position could label lunging [not just bad lounging] as "mindless". That�s about as smart as me labeling all NH as stupid. It's not and would just prove I don't know what I'm talking about, does he? I'm sure he knows a lot but statements like that will only endear him to those that want to love him.

Like I said, PP drops another notch lower in my book.

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Hilary
May. 9, 2002, 10:36 AM
I have to do this all the time with my event horse. I think it's a very confusing term, but once you understand the goals it does make sense.

What it means is that you get the horse to give to you with his whole body - if the horse is "locked" from poll to tail, he can't do much except bull through your aids. By "disengaging" his hindquarters, you get him to give through his whole body and voila, soft, supple horse you can work with.

We do this through turns and "giving" like John Lyons - I can't speak to Parelli b/c I haven't seen or read anything of his, but JL uses this term a lot and basically it means to "give" with the body part in question.

A disengaged horse is ready to really "engage" his hindquarters and work.

and G-D-G I posted earlier, but keep adding to the viewers to see what happens!

I don't have much to add that I didn't say in the first place, but I will go ahead since I'm posting -

I was pretty skeptical the first few times I read/saw John Lyons work with horses. His ideas made all kinds of sense, but he always seemed to work with fairly complacent animals. I wanted to see him work with a horse like MINE - a flighty TB, or a really stubborn warmblood. What happens when the horse doesn't come around in a 20 minute demo.

I got my answer at Equine Affaire a couple of years ago - the guinea pig horse was a little Arabian mare who didn't have a quiet cell in her entire body. She fidgeted constantly, spooked, barged, quivered and just never let up. Her owners were a bit inexperienced, and the poor thing had been raced around trails her whole life and they'd bought her at an auction b/c she was pretty and they felt sorry for her. She was in a lather just standing in the ring for 3 minutes.

Now I have to say that JL is one of those charismatic speakers - like Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton or Jesse Jackson. He talks and people just can't stop listening. For 90 minutes he was in the ring with this mare, basically talking to the audience about everything under the sun - horses, religion, kids - you name it, but he also never stopped asking this horse to walk with him, stop, turn, back, walk, stop, turn, back walk,stopturnbackwalkstopturnback = you get the idea.

He was patient and consistent. The horse began to trust him, but then would blow up again. Not once did he raise his voice to her, or be anything but a solid center that she began to look to for guidance.

He talked about patience = he said "people tell me I am patient b/c I can do this (meaning this repetitive exercise with this horse) for hours. I'm not patient. YOU are patient if you let your horse walk all over you day after day after day. I don't have time for that."

He also talked a lot about safety. While he does do the "breaking in 15 minutes routine" he did a lot more with making your horse safer to be around and safer to ride which I really thought was impressive.

Maybe people will think I've bought into his plan, but I never felt that I had to do it his way or no way (and I did not attend his church services....) but his groundwork really does work.

He demo'd (with a different horse) "cantering in hand". I have no use, but it looked cool.

Back to the flighty mare - at the end of the 90 minutes she was better. He told the owners that they had a long road ahead of them, and what she learned today was only the beginning of re-establishing trust and that they would have to continue to work like this at home.

That, for me, was the lightbulb moment - he showed how to work with a horse with a lot of problems in a practical, safe way.

If Parelli also does that, more power to them, but I'd rather they did it without the stupid names like Carrot Stick. Maybe they think that the games will get people to watch? That that's his hook?

lawgrl
May. 9, 2002, 12:00 PM
As a side note, I have never heard Parelli claim to have invented this stuff. In fact, he often credits such old timers as Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, and others in his lectures and materials.

He also acknowledges that these "techniques" have been around for a long time. What he did do is create slick packaging and somewhat over the top marketing.

It seems that the slightly obnoxious zealous converts (of which there are many)and Pat's ego/personality create more of the bad feelings than the methods themselves.

Please remember though, that not all people who are familiar with his methods and/or use his methods are such converts! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Robby Johnson
May. 9, 2002, 12:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sandy M:
I am no O'Connor, just an amateur rider of moderate income, who persists in riding Appaloosas *G*. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You masochist! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I really appreciated your post. Through these 10 pages, what I see is what I've seen for years on rec.equestrian ... "there is more than one way to skin a cat."

The NH crowd has done a good job packaging a concept, and some have done even better branding themselves. If the programs prevent an uneducated rider (I used to think these types didn't exist, until I met a man and his daughter at the little barn where I had Rhodey when I first got him, who had a little mare and didn't even own a brush ... quite literally knew nothing and, of course, they were hoping to breed her) from doing something harsh or irrational, then I think it's the lesser of two evils.

But I'm with everyone else ... I'd rather be in the tack than on the ground in a round pen.

Oh, and for JAGold, I *thought* the same thing at Rolex. I was like, "oh, how untimely!"

Robby

GO-dog-GO
May. 9, 2002, 01:12 PM
Why did the indians ride Appaloosas in to battle? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

mwalshe
May. 9, 2002, 01:59 PM
So they'd be good and mad when they got there /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Sandy M
May. 9, 2002, 03:06 PM
Q: Why do some people insist upon riding Appaloosas?

A: Too poor to buy a horse, too proud to ride a cow.

Q: Why did the Indians ride Appaloosas.

A: Only ones they could catch on foot.

Q: What is the smallest building in the world.

A: The Appaloosa Hall of Fame.

ROFLOL.

Sandy M. and Viking Grog (ApHC/APSHA registered). After 25 years and three Appies, one right after another. Some people NEVER learn. *G*

GO-dog-GO
May. 9, 2002, 04:03 PM
Holy horse poop tle, 7000+ views. You're my hero!!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Heather
May. 9, 2002, 05:02 PM
What's a Hanoverian?

Nazi Appaloosa!

From Heather who has owned and ridden both Appaloosas AND Hanoverians, LOL.

JDufort
May. 9, 2002, 05:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
Some of these exercises are not as irrelevant as they seem at first glance.

What happens if you break a rein on cross country? I bet the person who has practiced riding without a bridle (whether as part of NH or otherwise) will do much better than the person who has never tried it.

Trust- If you horse trusts you enough to go somewhere scary in response to your body language on the ground, that will be a BIG help when you come across a scary looking jump on cross country.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Hey ya'll...I've been trying to follow along with all the comments about the Pat Parelli stuff and I finally decided to add something in!

First off...I saw someone also made a similar comment to what I am about to say....but I'll go ahead and say it anyhow..

I am an upper level eventer (I compete intermediate and will be moving up to advanced in the spring)and I can tell you from personal experience that no matter what kind of training you've done with your horse (PP or otherwise), a broken rain or srirrup causes its own problems.......However...By the time you make it to the upper levels (such as the O'Connors)hopefully you've had enough training and are a secure enough rider that such a problem would be easily handled. I have jumped entire cross country courses without a stirrup (it got snagged on a fence and came off completely) and have been just fine...by the time you make it this far, if jumping without stirrups is a problem....you've got something else commin to ya! Also, anyone who doens't event could not possibly know how strong the relationships are between the event horse and rider without all the Natural horsemanship stuff.
Our horses are so in tuned to what we are feeling and what we want that, for the average upper level horse, NH training is nothing but a supplement (and I stress that)to the horses everyday training schedule. Upper level horses should not need to be "calmed down" or "re-trained" if you've made it this far without NH, why start now unles you've got areal problem....

I also do know the O'Connors, and many of their students...and them (the O'Connors) and most of their students use PP as a method to create a more obedient relationship with heir horses. They us it to get the horses to resect their space and to get them more in tune to their aids. However....PP DOES NOT BUILD TRUST TOTAL IN THE EVENT HORSE! Long hours of training and care do that! Upper level riders spend so much time getting to know their horses that by the time they need them to respond in an emergency or a sticky situation, no Pat Parelli stuff is gonna make the difference in weather they respond or not!

This whole thing is something that the event world love to joke about...
"It seems you can't get anywhere in this sport (eventing) unless you wear a red coat or shake a rope!"

Sorry if I offended anyone, but some of y'all have got to understand that its not the PP or other NH that make the trusting event horse....its time and time...and more time and all the traning that goes into making a upper level event horse that does it! PP and other NH can help...I'm not saying it can't, but they are not substitues nor do they help when you're out on cross country when adrenalin is pumpin! All that can save you thn if something happens s long hours of training and your natural instinct!

Sorry that was soooooo long...I had a lot to
say....(you guys got the shortened version!)

~JD
*three-day can be described in four words.....
High, Wide, Fast, and Dangerous

JDufort
May. 9, 2002, 05:21 PM
QUOTE~

Trust- If you horse trusts you enough to go somewhere scary in response to your body language on the ground, that will be a BIG help when you come across a scary looking jump on cross country.

end quote~

Sorry...i meant to say something about this as well....Getting your horse to respond to you on the ground is gonna be absolutly no help when your gallping don to a "scary fence" on Cross country.....Kicking might.......but getting them to go someplace scary because of your body language won't....A ditch and wall is a ditch and wall.....if your horse thinks its scary looking, your screwed anyways....some of those feces are way worse looking to a horse than anything you might ever ask them to do with you "body language" I had a QH that I competed Preliminary that would follow me like a uppy and do absolutly whatever I asked him to do, but no matter what Iwould do on cross country....that "body language" from the groud work was no help....He trusted me competely, bt in no way shape or form did he want to jump that "scary fence"

sorry guys...once again if I offendedanyone...i just feel very strongly about this stuff and some o these things were botherin me.....

Thanx

JD

Atypical
May. 9, 2002, 05:40 PM
Okay, just for laughs now, how many people responding to NH as a gimmick and slick marketing, have actually tried some of these excersises, and I'm not talking necessarily about PP.

ONe person mentioned a horse trained to a certain level won't need NH, which I happen to agree with. BUt then I don't think any of the NH people I have ever met have recomended knocking back to square one on a Grand Prix jumper or what not. I like the NH method for horses with specific issues that can be dealt with first from the ground, because the behavioral problems are just that, behavioral problems, disrespectful on the ground, invading space etc.

I think people also tend to misinterpret the Round penning techniques. These people aren't saying you should never ride your horse, but what's the harm in supplementing training in the saddle with training on the ground.

And okay, no, these guys didn't invent these techniques, but I for one am not about to crucify some horse people for finally becoming market savvy. Don't we want our sport to be more out there? And come on, you can't really blame the clinicians for the zealots that preach their ideas.

NH isn't the only way to do things, but it's not the Wrong way, or even a bad way. OUr friend the bolter has gone from being almost completely unrideable to being tolerably sane. but then, I don't think it's going to magically transform my trained 3'6" jumper into a grand prix horse either.

OH, and as for the special halters, uh they're pretty cheap if you buy them elsewhere, plus they do give you more leverage. A horse and I had issue about turning right to go into a trailer, and my oh my did I love my rope halter just then!

[This message was edited by Atypical on May. 10, 2002 at 01:26 AM.]

AllyCat
May. 9, 2002, 09:21 PM
I don't have an answer to the question, but maybe some of you know? I have a student who has one. He's just discovered XC and we have found a calling for the spotted beast. Loves it. They are doing their first event next weekend.

I posted way back on page 1 or 2. I'm definitely about 200 of the views. Interesting thread, but I guess I haven't changed my mind about any of it, so I have been a lurker.

I think the NH techniques are valid. The marketing is not. Cantering into a trailer just sounds stupid and unsafe as do some of the other things. Getting your horse to stop walking all over you is a necessity. NH can certainly do that. Not sure it can help in the saddle all that much. Interesting ideas, but I will shy away from the marketeers and stick with the basics (Frank Bell, Mark Rashid, etc.). You should be able to do these techniques in any tack, any halter, any situation, even none at all. No special stuff required.

Thanks for an interesting read I check many times daily! The different viewpoints are what this is all about.

cweimer
May. 10, 2002, 06:09 AM
If you flip back through, I think you'll find that a lot of people who are reacting to SPECIFICALLY Pat Parelli Brand Natural Horsemanship as slick marketing / gimmicks have tried some of the NH techniques, and several incorporate them into their training and work, whether they call it NH or just plain common sense.

Sandman
May. 10, 2002, 07:00 AM
Reactions to what the Parellis show in their shows seem to be divided into two camps:

1. What's the big deal, I can do *that*! (applied to round pen work, longeing, teaching ground manners, etc.) and
2. Why the he** would I want to do *that*?! (applied to cantering into a trailer, sitting like a dog, etc.)

Well, I would guess (only a guess) that the activities falling into category 2 are simply things that PP does to prove the extent to which the training that falls into category 1 works. Proving a point; advertising... Apparently he's losing a lot of credibility (if he would otherwise have it) for chosing to go down that road, but if my assumption here is correct, I can see why he's doing it. As someone trying to sell a service, I think that if he just went out there and did the basic NH groundwork people would say--as many are here--ho hum, it's just longing. The way he's chosen to go about it well, hey, he's obviously getting clients and he's obviously got people talking...

Sandy M
May. 10, 2002, 07:44 AM
Why, obviously you call a Hanoverian/Appaloosa and Appavarian! Hanaloosa just doesn't work for me. LOL

Swedish WB/App: Swappaloosa

DWB/APP: Dutchaloosa

Trakhener/App: Trakaloosa (or Appahkener?)

Holstein/App: Appasteiner

Danish/App: Danaloosa

HeyYouNags
May. 10, 2002, 07:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JDufort:
....some of those feces are way worse looking to a horse....
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, my goofy TBs are just the type to spook at horse poo! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Sorry to pick on you - I know it's an innocent typo, but it was funny! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

GO-dog-GO
May. 10, 2002, 08:29 AM
I guess I'd be a lot more impressed if instead of sitting like a dog or cantering into a trailer they'd go PROVE their horses and themselves in cmpetition. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Yes, the OC's have and I watched the video series but I don't see the connection between much of the ground work and riding. /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

You never know where the edge is till you step over it. The trick is to scramble back up before it's to late.

* Charter member, saftey is overated clique.*

Ninja
May. 10, 2002, 08:44 AM
Monty made a bundle of $$ brainwashing us and telling us how cruel we are to take 3 months to train and back a horse versus his 30 minute fiasco and now PP and the O'Connors are doing the same. It's all about the $$$$$$. Just my opinion.

Pixie Dust
May. 10, 2002, 12:47 PM
Some people are saying that groundwork and jumping are not all that related and some people are saying that we english riders have always done groundwork and that it's nothing new.......I'm so confused...... /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Anyway, the folks here who have known about groundwork for eons, I think you are lucky. I have only heard about it in the last couple of years. Sure I knew how to longe and I did use longing for practicing transitions, which I find to be
valuble longing, and not "mindless" longing, but I didn't know about anything else. I never had an instructor or trainer ever whisper a word on groundwork. I knew they did groundwork with the Lippizaners, but I never thought it applied to me. Until a couple years ago, I thought that anything Western was useless to me. I saw that article in PH where Jane Smiley sent her filly to a western NH trainer because she was having problems, and I thought "ew...why a Western trainer?" I come from the school of "get mad at him" form of riding....how many times did I hear an instructor bark those orders? So anyway, for me, these NH methods are new and interesting and I like to use *some* of them and would like to learn more, though that doesn't mean I'd EVER throw everything else I know out the window.

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

Sandy M
May. 10, 2002, 01:17 PM
bgoosewood: Two of my always reliable references on basic training and schooling have been John Richard Young's "The Schooling of the Horse" (originally "Schooling the Western Horse") and "Schooling for Young Riders." These two books are replete with instructions and examples of "groundwork" and both books were published in the 1950s, when Mr. Young was appalled by the ignorance among the average backyard "western" rider. Though the one book was originally entitled "Schooling the Western Horse" and does have a chapter called "What is a Western Horse", it is a basic training manual and pre-dates Parelli by a quite a long way. Of course, experienced horsemen have always done these things, but in view of the current vogue for a patented method, a guru to follow, etc. I am amazed of how few people (not you pt, I know you know!) are aware of Mr. Young and these books. Mr. Young, who passed away a year or two ago, in his 80s, did extensive ground work, lunging, ground-driving, etc. with green horses, and the info is right there in his books, from teaching foals to lead to (in the "young Riders book) jumping. I recommend anyone get their hands on these two books by a man who's main advice to prospective riders/trainers was "THINK!" and never accept ANYONE's word as bible: ASK QUESTIONS. (Something of which Parelli instuctors seem not to approve)

They are both out of print, but easily available used through sites like abe.com.

Pixie Dust
May. 10, 2002, 01:31 PM
OH, well no wonder I never heard of them! I never picked up anything that looked "Western"....I used to read PH religiously though, in the 70's and if they ever had any articles on groundwork, I must have not read them.

Superheroes of the universe, unite!

http://hometown.aol.com/bgoosewood/index.html

Sandy M
May. 10, 2002, 01:44 PM
Well, now you SHOULD have looked at Schooling for Young Riders, because it shows Mr. Young's daughter in an English saddle trotting over cavaletti (and looking down, for which he criticizes her in the book *G*).

Most of the illustrations in the "Young Riders" book are in a general purpose saddle, and others show him reschooling an ASB gelding that had been essentially ruined. He had a saddler build him a western saddle to his specifications, that permitted him to sit more as if he were in a dressage saddle, without all the built-up bulk of then (and often present day) wesetern saddles. I believe he came more out of the calvalry tradition than western. His personal favorite breed was the TB. In both books he speaks to "making a mouth" and proper use of hands (something of a Baucherist), the effect of saddles on seats (particulary because of the detrimental effect of most western saddles of that era), and at one point states that he considers a "basically" schooled horse one that can work on a loose rein, on contact, or in collection, i.e., "on the bit," in all gaits, and jump a 3'6" course. After THAT, you specialize. ROFLOL.

The books are a fun read, and I refer back to them frequently.

Sannois
May. 11, 2002, 06:15 AM
eleven pages of posts?? What works for some, may not for others. No one way is the right or wrong way. Theres more than one way to skin a cat.. Train a horse?? I personally have little interest in the PP method. I did go to a monty Roberts clinic several years ago, after reading his book, and found it made alot of sense. I had a students horse who was an absolute rogue.. No respect for anyone. Half Lippizaner half QH.. Did the round pen join up thing with her, it took 50 minutes, and both of us exhausted, but that mare followed me around like a puppy afterwards, no halter or rope. I had no trouble with her afterwards, her owner was rather timid, and the mare still took advantage of her. But it does work. I think some folks feel like they can only acomplish some things if it is a big marketed method, they are very affected by the advertising. They figure it must work or how else would these folks have so many followers. Whatever works for everyone is fine by me. I've played around with clicker training, for fun, And the only thing I managed to teach my horse is how to look away from me when he wants a treat.. Pavlovs dogs! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Now if I ignore him he keeps turning his head. LOL I think we have gotten to the beating the dead horse phase of this thread! Some like it and some think its all a scam, and some are just indifferent, and some think some of it works! As long as our horses are happy and progressing the way we like, Its all good! There are lots of roads to Rome!

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755

pinkhorse
May. 12, 2002, 02:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sandy M:
Why, obviously you call a Hanoverian/Appaloosa and Appavarian! Hanaloosa just doesn't work for me. LOL

Swedish WB/App: Swappaloosa

DWB/APP: Dutchaloosa

Trakhener/App: Trakaloosa (or Appahkener?)

Holstein/App: Appasteiner

Danish/App: Danaloosa<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And then there's my friend's Fjorgan (Fjord/Morgan) - pony would jump the moon if he could. And, come to think of it....

findeight
May. 13, 2002, 07:59 AM
Why do Appaloosa's have such thin tails?
Even the flies won't ride them...........sorry couldn't resist.

Anyway two thoughts here.

This stuff has picked up the tag non traditional while it really should be non mainstream. Maybe they were untried by marine animal handlers and for sure too many horse "trainers" don't use these techniques but they are oh so traditional.

This lunging stuff? What is wrong with a controlled "energy burn" prior to a session? I have seen several NH clinics and they also start by working the horse around a round pen and, as a previous poster remarked about her problem horse, getting them tired (she used the term exhausted) seems to be part of the program whatever they choose to call it. Remember the MR "taming the wild mustang" PBS aired a few years back. Yes he "tamed' it....after running it into the ground for 2 days and it still fought the lasso dramatically, reduced to panting.

Horsemanship is a never ending quest for knowledge from any and all sources. We all need to seek it out. If some find it in NH that is wonderful. But minds need to stay open because it is not the solution to all problems.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Smart Alec
May. 18, 2002, 10:58 AM
"Horsemanship is a never ending quest for knowledge from any and all sources. We all need to seek it out. If some find it in NH that is wonderful. But minds need to stay open because it is not the solution to all problems."

Very well said, I think natural horsemanship/groundwork are great for most people and horses. We all work with horses more on the ground than in saddle. I agree that a lot of it is common sense...if you know horses or are at least pretty familiar with them. I think these marketed types of NH such as Parelli ect. are particularly good for people who don't know horses or don't have access to a trainer on a regular basis. It is a good jumping off point.
However, I think they need to stress the importance of working with pro's or others who know what they are doing. I have seen firsthand someone who is a beginner adult, bought a tough 'problem' horse after riding for a year and for over 3 years now...has gone absolutely nowhere. He has used Lyons methods since day one and while I think they could work for most horses...here is an exception. Problem is, because Lyons says 'there are no bad horses" ect. this rider will not give up and will probably get hurt eventually. Many of the trainers at this barn have offered help and he does take regular lessons...but when this horse rears as the rider mounts....everytime I am holding my breath with fear.
Sorry to keep this going but just wanted to add that in. thanks.

Celtic Witch
May. 18, 2002, 01:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Horsemanship is a never ending quest for knowledge from any and all sources. We all need to seek it out. If some find it in NH that is wonderful. But minds need to stay open because it is not the solution to all problems.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well said!

Horses for courses applies to approaches to training as much as anything.

Whether or not I use Parelli's games depends upon the individual animal. However, for me, groundwork is a godsend.

Case in point: I did extensive groundwork with my stallion when he was young and thus have his complete respect (it helps that there is mutual adoration!). Before he covers any mare, we do a bit of groundwork so that I know I have his mind. Therefore, in his halter he knows that "come forward" means that he may approach and tease the mare; "okay" means that he may cover the mare; and "Away" means that he must come to me immediately no ifs ands or buts about it. And he always does as shown today.

I had him in the grooming stall and went to check if one of the grooms had finished washing the indoor school's walls so that I could school Monty. Normally, I would have shut the door behind me but for some reason, I didn't today. Monty proceeded to untie himself and go visiting. Unfortunately, he choose the Andalusian stallion (hideous, spoilt beast). As soon as Monty got within reach, the Andy latched onto his nostril and all hell broke out with one of the grooms trying to get in between and having no luck. When I came around the corner and saw this, all I had to say was "Monty, away" firmly and Monty immediately came to me.

If that isn't a testimony to making the best of groundwork, I don't know what is.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Upper level horses should not need to be "calmed down" or "re-trained" if you've made it this far without NH, why start now unles you've got areal problem....
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its a good idea to "start over" (which doesn't apply to the riding, simply to the approach on the ground) when the rider realises that they'd like a little bit of respect on the ground or that horse is sold to amateur who needs some help handling the horse.

If simply making it to the upper levels means having great manners, I would have a barnful of angels.

Yes, hours and years of working together will go a long way to getting that horse to jump around Badminton. But only if that time is spent properly and the rider/handler remembers that every second of every minute spent with the horse is training. All Parelli and crew are doing is simplifying this with a system (and making a living out of it. Why crucify them for that if you're not going to tar all pro's with the same brush? Am I evil for getting that horse over a liverpool today and :::gasp::: the owner now thinking that she can do the same?)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> also do know the O'Connors, and many of their students...and them (the O'Connors) and most of their students use PP as a method to create a more obedient relationship with heir horses. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which is all PP/JL et al is intended to do...

I fail to see where the O'Connors (or Parelli's) are claiming that following PNH will earn you an Olympic medal. All I see stated is that it will make your life on the ground and in the saddle easier (if you haven't got respect on the ground, I guarantee you do not have it in the saddle).

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> PP DOES NOT BUILD TRUST TOTAL IN THE EVENT HORSE! Long hours of training and care do that! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And groundwork of any sort is simply another type of training and care. I rarely go out and do just Parelli type training, but in some form or another, I use it whenever I am around my horses. That is what it is all about and neither Pat nor John Lyons nor GaWaNi Pony Boy will tell you different.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Getting your horse to respond to you on the ground is gonna be absolutly no help when your gallping don to a "scary fence" on Cross country.....Kicking might....... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I disagree. Otherwise, why will my horses jump scary fences if I'm up and yet be willing to refuse with our coach (who is a team member)? I'm good, but I'm not as good as her so it has to be down to simple trust.

Cheers,
Susie

Starbucks
May. 20, 2002, 08:03 PM
Karen O'Connor and David O'Connor are coming to my barn sometime next year for a 3-day clinic, and since I work there as a groom and a rider, they've already booked me to go, and I don't have to pay anything. I'm very happy. ;D

Carol Ames
Aug. 8, 2005, 03:38 PM
ve a session duringthe WEF, and, Anne Kursinski jumped /cannonball with a neck rope, the idea being to show the tpyoe of
trusting relationship they had, also, what is possible when e "let go"

Windline
Aug. 8, 2005, 04:38 PM
Oh My goodness a three year old thread! How did that crop up. Maybe from the absence of the one on the Dressage board?? I do hope not!

NeverTime
Aug. 9, 2005, 08:57 AM
Well, I can't resist posting on a three-year-old thread! Even if just to ask: This whole Parelli/O'Connor partnership is well and truly dead, is it not?

Mariequi
Aug. 9, 2005, 12:26 PM
Interesting. I was wondering about that relationship recently.

Evalee Hunter
Aug. 10, 2005, 02:42 AM
According to the 32 pages of this thread:

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/5986094911/m/715201007

The O'Connor/Parelli thing is still a go.

Lisa Cook
Aug. 10, 2005, 04:58 AM
In a quick review of the O'Connor web site, there is no mention of a Parelli connection anywhere. Not on the clinics/demos page. Not in the list of links page that has a lot of references. No mention on the news page. Nothing on the library page. And definitely not on the online store page.

If there's a relationship, it is not something the O'Connors are publicizing anymore.

sic transit
Aug. 12, 2005, 04:11 PM
Check out previous thread on this topic 1/19/04.

Carol Ames
Aug. 12, 2005, 06:54 PM
Karen & David are good horsemen, also very diplomatic, and knmow thete "facts$ of life inthe horse world. With a chance to hook onto the pasrelli marketingtrain, they jumped atthe chance; I zsdmit that that given the lack of "class" in some of their work, especially Linda, is that her name? they are both intersted in learning everything they can about horses, and, horsemanship, and, are far above the knowledge of most of thee Parelli followers.

Carol Ames
Aug. 12, 2005, 07:00 PM
:
Karen & David are good horsemen, also very diplomatic, and know the "facts$ of life in the horse world. With a chance to hook onto the pasrelli marketingtrain, they jumped at the chance; I zsdmit that that given the lack of "class" in some of their, the Parellis' work, especially Linda, is that her name? they are both intersted in learning everything they can about horses, and, horsemanship, and, are far above the knowledge, and, riding level of most of the Parelli followers. but, perhaps they can plant a seed of doubt in their minds regarding dressage

horseguy
Aug. 15, 2005, 10:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">the "facts$ of life </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, there once was an equestrian community. Now we have an industry. That's progre$$.