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  1. #1
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    Apr. 3, 2007
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    Hudson Valley (New York)
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    Question What's so bad about Parelli? (innocent bystander - not Parelli follower)

    NO FLAMING! I'm just playing devil's advocate.

    I've seen a lot of Parelli references in threads during the past month or two that I've been reading the boards -- the references are usually mentioned in a "ha ha ha, what a bunch of kooks" kind of way, but I don't know exactly what is so objectionable about Parelli. Please educate me! What is wrong with this method? Is it mainly misinterpreted followers 'gunking up' the real methods, or is the whole concept off the wall?

    Related . . . are other NH methods suspect? (Monty Roberts, John Lyons, etc.)

    What about TTeam/TTouch? Centered Riding? Others?

    Just curious!

    Again, I am NOT defending Parelli NH . . .



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 1999
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    Holland Township, NJ
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    Default

    Oh, sweetie, you don't actually think you can start a thread that has Parelli in the title, and not get a train wreck?

    If you'd like to avoid a train wreck then it would be better to just do a search on the topic. These things always end badly.

    Not that I can remember any one going after TTouch lately, but yeah, I think she's a bit of a kook to. And I even have the book. Ah, there's an item for eBay... Centered Riding? Don't know enough about it to comment, but I don't think there's much about it to qualify it as NH.

    You will find with some research that Monty is a bit of a scammer.

    JL is ok, I guess, tho some of his followers are maybe not great representatives. Atleast he doesn't tell you that you must buy his carefully marketed 'super special' videos and equipment.

    The



  3. #3
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    Sep. 21, 2005
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    Crestwood, KY
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    Default I like NH, but....

    train wreck on it's way... grab the popcorn!

    Seriously though, I actually DO like the NH stuff for relationship/respect building. I don't use much of it under saddle, but I do like the ground work. With that being said, I DON'T like Parelli. I like some of his methods and ideas, but I cannot stand his instructional methods. I find him to be obnoxious, annoying, and intolerable. Here are some of my issues with him:

    * He is too much of a salesman/showman. He is constantly going on about buying his program and equipment, when in reality you don't need that crap. You just need to understand the language of the horse (which most of his audience does not, I suppose...)

    * He makes things look easy and tells beginners to try methods themselves (sans trainer) that are downright dangerous. Sure, the methods work FOR HIM or other experienced horsemen, but geez, as I said his audience is primarily idiots who have no clue about horses/training. It is like an accident waiting to happen.

    * The obnoxious, irritating, dumbed down approach he takes when explaining things. The bad jokes don't help either.

    * Done incorrectly, his methods (and other NH) can REALLY screw a horse up. Again with the beginner target audience-- not good.

    I'm sure I'll think of some more, but that's all that's coming to me right now... need sleep...


    edited to add--
    as far as the other trainers go, I find that Monty Roberts and the whole TTouch stuff is a bit too fluffy... I really like John Lyons and Clinton Anderson though, as they seem to tell it how it is, and actually let you see the ugly stuff that occurs before the "miracles" happen. I also have a lot more respect for someone who is promoting IDEAS/methods rather than products. I went to a couple clinics with a local NH guy, and thought it was great when he said "grab a stick, golf club, dressage whip, broom handle-- whatever is going to work for you-- no need to spend $50 on my carrot stick!"



  4. #4
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    Feb. 17, 2000
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    Berlin, CT
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    Default

    I will refrain from commenting on the Parelli stuff expect to say from what I have seen, I have not been impressed.

    Centered Riding has nothing to do with natural horsemanship. Centered riding is about the rider and balance. The women who started Centered Riding developed it out of the need to overcome physical problems that affected her riding. Her first book is fantastic and has many wonderful exercized in it to help you be a more balanced rider.

    I know I got a lot out of reading that book!
    "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
    ignorance!" Officer Beck



  5. #5
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    Aug. 23, 2002
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    Prospect, ME
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    Default

    *I've seen him beat horses when he didn't know anyone was watching.

    'Nuff said.


    I've got no problem with NH itself (it is, afterall just common sense), but would love to take a wack at PP with one of his carrot sticks myself! (preferably while he's tied to the snubbing post he's so fond of using at his place in Ocala).
    -Jessica



  6. #6
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    Oct. 15, 2005
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    Default

    spiderbelle....you need to do a search and read all the other threads!!

    *RNB runs to kitchen to get a refill on the popcorn*



  7. #7
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    Aug. 25, 1999
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    Holland Township, NJ
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    Default

    OOps, hit enter or something. SOmetimes I don't like this BB's software...

    As I was saying... The problem, my dear is method, as well as the madness. That is, they hyper marketing, the crazy stunts, the 'fake dressage', the jumping barrels from crap distances. And so much more. My fav. video of Linda on You Tube (I think, it was posted here) Included what was dubbed "bad spot bingo", in which Linda galloped madly around and jumped very badly, whilst flapping her arms like a chicken. Then she finished up with a crap @$$ed passage with no rthym, balance or cadence, to which the audience applauded. No doubt they all jumped up and RAN out to buy the videos, rope halters and carrot stick. Hey, Linda just did "dressage" without a bridle, maybe I can too!! Urgh.

    It's all crap, seriously... These people are often novices with no guidence and they buy the schtick hook, line and sinker. Half of them probably have genuine 'problem' horses back home, and that video and a pig sorting stick, oops, sorry, "carrot stick" isn't going to be a magic potion. They are just as clueless as they were BEFORE that demo, and that scares me!

    There is no magic pill but that idea is what they put in peoples heads. They are so desparate for thier Pookie to be thier friend and partner, they will 'buy' anything. A good bit of NH is just common sense. But it's wrapped in so much razzle dazzle, it's hard to see.

    Once on RFD, Linda had some girl on who essentially couldn't rate her horse. At a trot, it just zipped around at mach 10. It was so painfully obvious that the girl just needed some decent lessons. Even ding-dong Linda saw it. To fix the problem, she taught the girl to post. WOW. Once she stopped bouncing around like a rag doll, the horse slowed down. Now, she didn't fix her sloppy position or terrible hands, but the poor horse did get some relief I suppose.

    My point? Uh, yeah, if the girl just went out and LEARNED TO RIDE, this wouldn't have even been an issue!!

    Honestly, its all crap. Take a look at the "real" horsemen today. Olympic team members past and present, and I know there are plenty of reining and roping guys without the schtick. NONE of them rely on fancy videos or teaser demos or 'extra special' made for them tack to get the point across. They DO use conventional, time tested, non-abusive methods to get results for horse and rider. No carrot sticks are ever harmed!!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2007
    Location
    Hudson Valley (New York)
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    115

    Default Allow me to clarify . . . .

    OK . . . I knew that the title to this topic would be controversial. Just getting people's attention!

    Seriously, though . . . I've done searches on Parelli and mainly what I have learned is that a lot of people don't care for his methods. I realize that he sells his stuff for big bucks, but I figured that there would be more to it than that. I must be missing something . . . I'll go back and do another search . . . .

    Also, I have garnered that lots of people try to implement it without knowing what they are doing -- I myself am a beginner and I would have no idea how to train a horse, and the thought of people at my experience level (or below!) trying to train a horse is scary.

    Generally, I have found disparaging/tongue-in-cheek remarks alluding to problems with Parelli, but not actually saying WHAT it is that's the problem.

    I'm honestly not trying to start fights or evade research. The post from mgfpaints was helpful because it specified reasons why Parelli isn't held in high regard on this board, and other posters have given helpful reasons too.

    Well, maybe I should go get my own popcorn. LOL

    PS -- I was wrong to include Centered Riding as NH. I know it's not NH in terms of horse training. I have Sally Swift's books and DVDs (and I'm going to a CR clinic in a few weeks -- woo hoo!) so I understand that it is about the rider's position and movement. I guess I would be more correct to ask about it as an example of alternative teaching method for riders.



  9. #9
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    May. 31, 2007
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    Aiken, SC
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    Default

    I like the methods, don't like the marketing, but mostly it just doesn't work for his major intended audiences. They go from Method to Method like something but nerve and hard work and time will fix all their problems.
    Then they hire one of us to fix the mess and train the horse and when we are done, who gets the credit? Parelli.
    They say "See? I told you his methods work"!
    I do some NH methods and some others, but I have never used any training method that makes a timid rider want to mount a horse thats not suited for them. They spend months doing all the Parelli stuff on the ground and never get on the horse!
    Thats Ok with me becuase it keeps them safe, but no matter how long they go on about how great Parrelli clinics were, it never really gets them anywhere.
    Its not the methods that dont work--its the horse wonders who think they dont have to and a magical wand will replace years of experience and learning.
    I use themethods with success after 20 years of background experience and no fear of horse on the ground, but I still wont get on a 2yr old that has ony been around the round pen for a week. I'm too chicken and thehorse will know it. No amount of magic methods will ever change that and I'd just get hurt.
    Its the moment you go to throw your leg over and leave the ground that you realize maybe this just isn't something I hsould be doing no matter what Parelli thinks? Of course Parelli isn't there and by the time the next clinic rolls around the cast might be off:>
    Parelli says anyone can do it, but there are just some people who should have bought a Bike.



  10. #10
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    Aug. 30, 2005
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    Up and down the west coast!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spiderbelle View Post
    Also, I have garnered that lots of people try to implement it without knowing what they are doing -- I myself am a beginner and I would have no idea how to train a horse, and the thought of people at my experience level (or below!) trying to train a horse is scary.
    What you just said is about 99% of the problem. The reason you see so much anti-Parelli sentiment here is that many here have been involved in cleaning up the aftermath - spoiled or hopelessly confused horses and riders who have spent thousands of dollars on clinics, videos, carrot sticks and various accoutrements (google Parelli on ebay for a sampling) and still cannot control their horse at a walk and trot.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 19, 2007
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    238

    Default

    Wow, this thread has been very nicely done! Of the several Parelli threads I have briefly scanned I never saw much past the snide personal attacks. Except for one person, these responses have been clear and objective. I am not a Parelli fan but this thread has finally made some "mature" sense as to why others are not fans as well. Finally. Hopefully it will not denegrate...
    Per Equus Ad Astra
    (through horses to the stars)



  12. #12
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    May. 3, 2006
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    Default

    Generally, I have found disparaging/tongue-in-cheek remarks alluding to problems with Parelli, but not actually saying WHAT it is that's the problem.
    o.k. I'll say how I find it:

    I found PP incredibly boring lack lustre, basic, devoid of inspiration or passion. Then somewhere along the way, PP discovered what a whip can do and his favorite it seems became the carrot stick/whatever. He discovered that if you torment, taunt, threaten a horse relentlessly it will finally succumb to pressure.

    I've got to confess to Parelli being the subject of great laughter at the coffee table here and I will never forget the day I first saw someone with her "carrot stick" and then doing the "shake" "shake" "shake" of the lunge line oft described. Well I'm not sure if that was the funniest thing or if it was my grooms hiding behind the horse box watching and trying not to wet themselves with laughter!

    To be slightly more positive though I guess anything that gets a horse owner interested in spending time and doing something with their horse can't be a bad thing.

    However from what I understand of it, its a series of very basic steps that teaches PEOPLE how to interact with and communicate with their horses. Incredibly some folks own horses for years and never actually learn this at all and some folks buy horses without learning first.

    However I don't like the fact that its step by step linear training - people might read the book, but horses don't! And I personally think that horse training is more integrated and by a 'feel' for each individual horse and not as simple as a prescribed route.

    However some folks think that if a horse does something bad then you whip it or spur it or jerk it and Parelli gives another way but it doesn't float my boat.

    It does absolutely nothing re encouraging good riding - and indeed I'd say it encourages poor riding practice. There's a quantum leap from communication on the ground to higher level equitation and PP makes no attempt at all at that jump. I'm of the view that training should be focussed on bringing person and horse together as a partnership on the ground and in ridden/driven activity.

    But then I would think that as I am a Classical Riding Instructor and Trainer

    I'm NEVER going to be even moderately impressed when someone who has swallowed Parelli hook, line and sinker waffles on about implicitly trusting their horse or riding bareback etc.

    I'm of the view that good horse training means that your horse implicitly trusts you - not the other way round. And my 3, 5 and year old grandchildren can do the latter!

    Parelli is attractive to novice owners and non competitive riders and he's turned from horse trainer to people trainer and hooked that market. What he's doing is nothing new and nothing special and it explains simple 'stuff' to people who haven't figured it for themselves or previously been interested.

    He has targeted a certain type of owner who previously was not spending money on training within the equine industry. For that I'd say he's done a good job.

    For me personally the crux of the problem is Folks who "totally buy in" and 'swallow whole' training programmes such as Parelli. Too often they seem to think they have the monopoly on working with empathy and understanding of the horse. In fact its what good old fashioned equitation is about. The only difference is that didn't come with a shiny covered easy to read book, a bunch of videos and DVD's and someone's name plastered all over it.

    So really rather than getting excited about Parelli I regret that such as it has taken the place of good old fashioned horsemanship and skillful equitation.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
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    Default not a devote parrilite

    BUT... I do like his bareback pad.... even though I don't have one... because it has a cinch tightening on it and I can get it tight enought that it stays on... unlike traditional bare back pads.

    I don't own any... if I ride bareback... it's just that.. bareback... but I just had to throw that out there.

    Good horsemanship is good horsemanship... I think his intention is good.... but no one can develop the timing and feel it takes to work with a horse well if they are overfaced, and their horse is already working against them. I think a lot of his failures with people are where you have a green rider/handler and a green horse or one that has already learned how big and strong it is. His program tries to break it down and give people some structure of learning to work with thier horse. Too bad most people that try it can't follow through, or they don't learn something and move on anyways. It's a lot about holes in basic training. Somone who can't ride isn't going to be able to fix it.

    A good friend of mine is a "NH" trainer... he's studied with PP... he's studied with Ray Hunt, blah blah blah... He is amazing with horses. He has developed into such a good trainer over years of learning. Not from ONE PP clinic. The basic is- good horsemanship is good horsemanship.It takes TIME. We are all just sick of seeing BAD horsemanship from people who swear by PP.
    Last edited by Catersun; Jun. 4, 2007 at 06:36 AM. Reason: it was 4 am and I couldn't sleep.... gimme a break ;-)
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    Default

    Well...I will brave a post since the thread IS going in an abnormally civil direction

    I actually love Parelli....yes he markets...yes he markets again...and when he is finished he markets some more.

    Yes there are kooks that make cult membership and kool-aid look mild mannered.

    I don't have to deal with that so I could care less

    I think Pat's jokes are funny-at least the first and second time around...but admittedly he needs some new material

    But I am a sucker-I love the program, I love the ideas it has given me...I love the confidence it has given my horses.

    I love that it taught me to think outside the box in my riding and in my interaction with my horses...

    Could I have learned all of this elsewhere? Yes, but I didn't so for me it was a great program.

    Others can bash up all they want-I actually agree with most of the criticism that is well founded-especially that is gives beginners an insane amount of unwarranted confidence in dealing with horses...

    BUT I have had nothing but positive results using the program so there you have it.



  15. #15
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    Question Did pat put ypu up to this?

    Quote Originally Posted by spiderbelle View Post
    NO FLAMING! I'm just playing devil's advocate.

    I've seen a lot of Parelli references in threads during the past month or two that I've been reading the boards -- the references are usually mentioned in a "ha ha ha, what a bunch of kooks" kind of way, but I don't know exactly what is so objectionable about Parelli. Please educate me! What is wrong with this method? Is it mainly misinterpreted followers 'gunking up' the real methods, or is the whole concept off the wall?

    Related . . . are other NH methods suspect? (Monty Roberts, John Lyons, etc.)

    What about TTeam/TTouch? Centered Riding? Others?

    Just curious!

    Again, I am NOT defending Parelli NH . . .
    Did Pat put you up to this?????



  16. #16
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    May. 21, 2004
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    Default

    I won't read the other probably ridiculous replies, but suffice to say-

    The 'problem' with Parelli is he is not 'traditional' and doesn't train horses on a longe line for hours, doesn't do 'up down' lessons for 5 years before you're allowed to ride your OWN horse alone, and actually presents a written down program to help you understand how and WHY you're doing the training methods he presents, unlike your typical H/J or Dressage trainer, who just craks their whip at YOU and demands you stay mindless and helpless.

    For horsepeople, change is BAD. Anything that bucks the traditional systems and WORKS (doesn't work for everyone until 'everyone' learns a bit more horse sense, which oddly this program DOES help you learn) is evil.

    There's NOTHING wrong with it. Different methods of learning work for different people but most traditional horsepeople close their eyes and eares, going "LA LALALALALALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" so they can't hear what they can't accept.

    Bottom line, don't let anyone else influence your thoughts of considering other methods to help you and your horse communicate.
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Melelio View Post
    I won't read the other probably ridiculous replies, but suffice to say-

    The 'problem' with Parelli is he is not 'traditional' and doesn't train horses on a longe line for hours, doesn't do 'up down' lessons for 5 years before you're allowed to ride your OWN horse alone, and actually presents a written down program to help you understand how and WHY you're doing the training methods he presents, unlike your typical H/J or Dressage trainer, who just craks their whip at YOU and demands you stay mindless and helpless.

    For horsepeople, change is BAD. Anything that bucks the traditional systems and WORKS (doesn't work for everyone until 'everyone' learns a bit more horse sense, which oddly this program DOES help you learn) is evil.

    There's NOTHING wrong with it. Different methods of learning work for different people but most traditional horsepeople close their eyes and eares, going "LA LALALALALALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" so they can't hear what they can't accept.

    Bottom line, don't let anyone else influence your thoughts of considering other methods to help you and your horse communicate.
    Reading your post, I think that maybe you are the one that needs to consider what REAL traditional instruction is.
    Your caricature explanation there is right out of the PP's book, par for the course.

    Just as many people dismiss PP as irrelevant and misguided, so are you doing with traditional instruction.
    Remember, bad instruction is bad in any system, traditional or PP, but that doesn't make any method bad in itself.
    It is the way any method is applied that makes it good or bad.

    To dismiss other off hand as you do there happens when you drink the Kool-aid.



  18. #18
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    Default

    There are many ways to train a horse... not all are equal... but it is nice to have tools in your belt, even if they are not of the "traditional" methods. There are a couple of things I have learned being around horses... you should never put a cap on your learning and there is something to be learned one way or another when it comes to alternative training methods (the key is to be confident in your own commonsense to know what is good and what is crap).

    The whole NH movement has helped many owners AND trainers open their eyes to the psychology behind equine behavior. In some cases implementing a little JL, Parelli etc. on occasion can help a lesson along. However, going overboard and subscribing entirely to the NH program can be overkill.


    \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-



  19. #19
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Catersun View Post
    BUT... I do like his bareback pad.... even though I don't have one... because it has a cinch tightening on it and I can get it tight enought that it stays on... unlike traditional bare back pads.
    I found one very similar to the parelli pad for about half the price. pm me if you want the website.

    Most of the pp people around me are rank beginners with horses that are way too much for them. Because of this they spend years doing nothing but groundwork, so I am not sure why "5 years of up/down lessons" is a bad thing? At least you are ON a horse for those!

    Those people who are not beginners and get into the program seem to do very well. Whatever floats their boat.



  20. #20
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    Default

    What I see with Parelli to the Nth Degree Followers is a strong sense of denial. Denial that some horses are plain dangerous; denial that some horses and owners are not a good match.



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