Pat Parelli is a good hand with a horse. But he is first and foremost a showman. Nothing wrong with that. But selling the notion that you -- yes, YOU, Ms. first-time, middle-aged female horse owner who is scared of her horse -- can master the techniques by purchasing these DVDs and buying my equipment is just pure BS.
And as proof, I give you Mrs. Parelli as exhibit A. Despite many years with her husband as a mentor AND working with Walter Zettl AND riding very nice horses, she has improved ... about as much as I have. And I work full-time, ride a nice (but NOT particularly well-suited for dressage) horse 3Xs a week (if I'm lucky) and take lessons when I can.
skallywag, you can puff all you want about the convergence of Parelli/NH and classical dressage. But that's just what it is -- more puffery, suited only to their target audience, which I described above.