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"Cult of personality"-- guru-like trainers in WesternWorld

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  • Foxtrot's
    replied
    Wirt - I gave your post a thumbs up - not because I read all of it, but because it seemed to be making sense. There were just no paragraphs, and my eyes hurt!

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    I wouldn't say you're a misogynist because of that statement - it is true.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pocket Pony
    replied
    Originally posted by Wirt View Post
    Who are they. You are going to charge me being a misogynist, but they are middle age or older women, for the most partn, who rode when they were kids, or this is their first horse, or they have horses at home as pets, or rescues, but can't ride them cause of this or that. But this guy is just one of hundreds of these people that teach useless crap to people,who take a perfectly broke horse in this case and turn him into a nervous wreck. I blame Parelli for starting this mess. It is like a spreading disease of endless ground work, worthless riding exercises, worthless pablum of slogans and buzz words that just make these people's eyes glaze over. A few demonstrations of doing some trick with a horse, and they are sold! These people will eventually need twelve step program to get rid of all this crap in their head, and actually learn to ride! And learn what a good horse is!
    I wouldn't say you're a misogynist because of that statement - it is true. While I don't fit that category, I can't deny that most of the people who go this way do so because of fear. And most of these clinician people feed off of it. When I was selling my old horse trailer, a lady came out to look at it. We were making small talk and I asked her what she did with her horse and she said "Parelli." Not "I trail ride" or "just pleasure" or whatever . . . Just. Parelli. Ummmm...okay.

    If you were in my area, I'd say I know whom you're talking about based on your description (especially the "herd of two"), but I guess that's the point - they all use the right buzzwords and the clients come. I had the local guy out to help me with trailer loading a few years ago (before I had met anyone who fit the NH description) and he did more to rile up my horse and get him all lathered and in a tizzy that it just left me scratching my head, like "THIS is what it is all about?" I'm not the only person who had such an encounter with him, yet he has his own following.

    I will say, it is hard to be a horse person who wants to get a good education. More often than not we all start out with the wrong person because we don't know any better. It is only through trial and error and learning what we don't like that we find out what we do like.

    It is a lifelong learning process and my hope is to always do better by my horse. I look back at how far we've come and I'm pleased on many levels and I can only hope that we continue to progress throughout our time together.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wirt
    replied
    Here's a story, and a rant. He's not a BNT, but a local "clinician trainer, natural horsemanship guy. Not mentioning his name. It is just an example. He has a really nice web site. Pages of his philosophy. Have a better understanding of your horse. Have a better relationship through communication, leadership, harmony, seek to understand the language of the horse through energy and body language and physical contact, become a herd of two,willing partner, guiding your horse, a true partnership, achieve more than you could ever imagine. Through ground work exercises, you will learn how to connect with your horse, and on and on. Sounds just wonderful, doesn't it?
    Back story: I rode friends horse for a year whenever we went trail riding. 10 year old gelding previously just arena broke western pleasure stuff. Amateur trained, but a good guy, just a coward outside. I never lounged him to speak of, I just rode him. He learned to high line, learned what hills were, went to the ocean, went to the mountains, went into lakes, crossed a small river. Climbed over rocks. I could rope a bush or a log and drag it. This guy who didn't even load in a trailer very well, would just jump in a trailer, even when it was on a hill. In the end of a year, there was no place I wouldn't take this horse. If you pointed him there, that is where he was going.
    So goes up for sale, and I was asked to meet this lady at the barn to show her the horse. She wants to come back with her trainer, but couldn't wait to see him. She was very nice, walked him around on the ground, wiggled the rope. I could tell she was learning all that ground work stuff, but whatever works for her. She didn't really know very much. She just wanted a safe horse. The horse was comfortable with her. She wasn't going to ride without her trainer, but after watching me ride him, she wanted to, and had a great ride, in the round pen anyway. I have to tell her how to use her reins, etc. My trainer says do this and that, she would say. I politely told her she didn't need to do all that. Just ride him, and here is how, etc...But it was all good.
    So a few days later she comes out with said trainer. A combination of Parellie, Anderson, Dennis Reis, Monty Roberts, whatever. He proceeded to lounge this horse in the round pen with his little stick with the tail on it, and put the horse through all his special techniques. Must apply techniques. Long story short, in the end this horse was nervous, sweating, confused, irritated. he was looking for all the things the horse didn't know, and I'm sure he felt the horse should know, to be a really good "partner", in his world. But all he did was jack him up. The owner was just about ready to kick him off her property! The poor lady was now scared of this horse, who was jumpier than he ever was. But his was the ground work that must be applied! This is the crap that this "natural horsemanship" teaches these people, and they in turn feel empowered with this knowledge of how to train a horse. They can't even ride a horse well, but they can pull the head around. They don't even know why they are doing anything. But they are so impressed with this guy! An many other guys or gals like him.
    Who are they. You are going to charge me being a misogynist, but they are middle age or older women, for the most partn, who rode when they were kids, or this is their first horse, or they have horses at home as pets, or rescues, but can't ride them cause of this or that. But this guy is just one of hundreds of these people that teach useless crap to people,who take a perfectly broke horse in this case and turn him into a nervous wreck. I blame Parelli for starting this mess. It is like a spreading disease of endless ground work, worthless riding exercises, worthless pablum of slogans and buzz words that just make these people's eyes glaze over. A few demonstrations of doing some trick with a horse, and they are sold! These people will eventually need twelve step program to get rid of all this crap in their head, and actually learn to ride! And learn what a good horse is!

    Leave a comment:


  • RPM
    replied
    I was reminded of this thread the other night when I saw a TV commercial that said something like 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. I felt insulted that any company would try to sell anything to any group of adults by implying they're too stupid to buy clothes that fit. I never see commercials telling men they're wearing the wrong size jock straps (or other support garments)! I don't think guys would stand for that; they'd laugh that company out of the market!

    It's just the old idea of women as second-class citizens, coming back to haunt us with idea that we "have" to look perfect but we're too stupid to dress ourselves to look great.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghazzu
    replied
    Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
    I agree to a certain extent. However, I see no reason to reinvent the wheel. If someone did a lot of experimenting with a lot of horses and identified some common patterns, then my preference would be to start with those common patterns rather than have to re-discover them through my own trial and error. Personally, I'm of the "watch and listen, then take what makes sense and adapt it to meet my own needs" school of thought.
    Ah. I see you've read Xenophon.

    Leave a comment:


  • mrs.smith
    replied
    Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
    OMG, that song! I had to stop the video because I couldn't take the Parelli "horse-anality" educational music!
    Gak! I watched it with the sound off and had no idea. No idea, I tell you. Sorry!

    Leave a comment:


  • airhorse
    replied
    If they have a show on RFD, stay away.

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
    I will put this out there first...I think Cowboy/Western Dressage is a bunch of hooey....there already IS something called "western dressage" and it's making a bridle horse!

    I just think it's yet another thing to part people from their $$.

    That being said (and I know I'm going to regret asking this) what is the difference between "Western" dressage and "Cowboy" dressage?
    bona fide credibility with some non-sucker horses) via competition or efficacy with training horses where there is not show ring to enter. (I'll leave the folks who created fame via a DVD campaign out of it).

    So what about all the colt starters or even the bridle-horse makers who are great at what they do an don't have ribbons to show for it?

    Along these lines, you point out that WD isn't needed: After all the discipline exists in the form of the making of the bridle horse. But until recently, there were very few places to go show that skill to enough people to allow a great vaquero-type trainer to make a living.

    So this brings up back to the age-old question of credentialing in American horse training.

    Personally, I have gone to watch clinicians who attend to the vaquero's project. Or rather, I have wanted the part of the vaquero's project that relates to making a balanced, uphill, symmetrical, light horse who understands and likes his job. I'll never have the skill or money to do a lot with working cattle, so I can't "purchase" that part of vaquero-ing. But I'm open to the idea that actually moving cattle or roping them on horseback might improve a horse I merely wanted to be a great riding animal. And I'd do it to the extent I could if I were taught.

    So that rather "dressagy-sounding goal" animates my consumption of these clinics and gurus. The guys who just want to get horses safe or gentle or respectful (as so many of my co-consumers seem to need)? Meh. I got that, by and large. I'm happy to add a new technique (like waiting for a dull horse rather than getting louder, or feel as a product of timing) that aren't the rule in the EnglishWorld disciplines where I have spent the most time.

    And it's rare that I find some anecdote about treating people like horses or such is incredibly novel. I guess I have been around horses and other people telling me those long enough that it's not new to me.

    I must confess that I'm not sophisticated enough or old enough (or haven't' damaged enough horses badly enough) to want to really chase the idea that I make a horse desperately *want* to do a job for me under saddle. I know I have ridden horses who have done me favors, given me better than I deserved. I have ridden ones who like the attention. But I believe that most horses are those mild, good willed employees who punch a time clock but don't live to do that. I can accept that as being the rule for most horses, most of the time. Perhaps I'm missing something.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pocket Pony
    replied
    Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
    Here's a video of him and Eitan doing basic dressage. For some reason, I still think he's cute

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XihCp1pg9I

    and now back to your regularly scheduled thread
    OMG, that song! I had to stop the video because I couldn't take the Parelli "horse-anality" educational music!

    Leave a comment:


  • Wirt
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
    I think they are human, that's all.

    What is not right is that, when some points that they do have failings, their followers have a cow and become enemies of those just stating a fact.

    Followers of gurus, relax, tell your story and realize that, in this world, even the best idol will have feet of clay and some emperors have no clothes on and that is OK.
    I think it's interesting. People who want to be popular, end up being controlled by the very populous they are trying to impress. Pat has created a following by people who buy the love, language, leadership line, and understanding, versus mechanics and fear, and all the rest of Pat-isms. So, by gawd, he better not let them down! So in Europe, when he came across the horse that couldn't be bridled, the real Pat emerged, because the real Pat is going to get that horse bridled today, now, regardless of what he needs to do, however hard it gets, whatever he has to put the horse through. But his fans were outraged, because he sold them on softness and understanding, and never using force, or upsetting the horse, etc.etc. Their hero showed his true colors.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluey
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
    You know, why do these guys have to sling such BS? I know that BB mentioned playing polo in FL and riding his horses in just a plain snaffle. In his book he tells this big story about how the Ref. tried to stop him because he just didn't believe anyone could play polo in a plain snaffle, but BB showed him!

    Now, I was a polo groom for 3 yrs. including working for some pros, and NOBODY plays in a snaffle....you just don't have the brakes needed. Then a (non-polo-playing) person showed me a pic and said "See, there's Buck!"

    And the horse was wearing the typical gag bit w/draw reins. Sigh....
    I think they are human, that's all.

    What is not right is that, when some points that they do have failings, their followers have a cow and become enemies of those just stating a fact.

    Followers of gurus, relax, tell your story and realize that, in this world, even the best idol will have feet of clay and some emperors have no clothes on and that is OK.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyzteke
    replied
    Originally posted by Wirt View Post
    As to the scoring in the wild bunch, the scoring was also wild. They gave scores of 80 a lot, just for fun. Sometimes it was the applause that got the score higher.
    I knew the mule Thumper then. I also rode Sissy. Thumper was pretty good. Pat had bridl-less training tricks figured out then.I knew Pat pretty good in those days. I watched him show most of those horses. They were pretty poor.Dropped leads, no stop, low scoring horses. Pat was a sloppy rider, flapped his arms like a chicken, leaned all over the place. Other cow horse trainers tried to help him, but he would have none of it. The mule was the best he hd. He told me then his goal was to be a household name. I told him that Jeffrey Dahmer is a houshold name.Big deal.
    You know, why do these guys have to sling such BS? I know that BB mentioned playing polo in FL and riding his horses in just a plain snaffle. In his book he tells this big story about how the Ref. tried to stop him because he just didn't believe anyone could play polo in a plain snaffle, but BB showed him!

    Now, I was a polo groom for 3 yrs. including working for some pros, and NOBODY plays in a snaffle....you just don't have the brakes needed. Then a (non-polo-playing) person showed me a pic and said "See, there's Buck!"

    And the horse was wearing the typical gag bit w/draw reins. Sigh....

    Leave a comment:


  • Wirt
    replied
    Originally posted by katarine View Post
    pat and the Mule - the back story...
    Here are the facts as I know them:
    Pat's claim on his website:
    "He nearly won the 1983 Snaffle Bit futurity on a mule (Cissy) and this resulted not only in a training career boost but a rule change banning mules from the competition! Pat was invited back the next year to give a demonstration with a mule doing the same reining pattern but this time without a bridle!" http://www.parelli.com/info_page.php...relli&t=OnePic

    From the Western States Horse Expo Hall of Fame website where Pat was inducted in 2006:
    "Pat came very close to winning the 1981 NRCHA Snaffle Bit futurity on a mule named Thumper, which resulted not only in a training career\ boost but a rule change banning mules from the competition. Pat was invited back the next year to give a demonstration with a mule doing the same reining pattern, but this time without a bridle!"
    http://www.horsexpo.com/html/abouthall.html

    Note the discrepancy in years competed and mule names.

    Some interested parties on the rec.equestrian newsgroup report:

    "A call to the NRCHA offices led to the following information from their records:
    Pat Parelli competed in the SW Futurity in 1982 and in another event in 1978. In 1982 he entered Doc N Chex in the SBF and also rode King Gary Linx at that event (both are horses). In 1983 (the year in question and as cited on his website), he rode a QH named King's
    Dynamae in the SBF.

    From 1974 to 1983 Pat Parelli did not finish in the top 5, 10 or 15 of the Snaffle Bit Futurity of the NRCHA according to published and
    computerized results per their staff."


    "Lyn Anderson (NRCHA competitior and Big Hat) says Parelli competing on a mule at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity is "an urban legend" and
    totally false. He did compete on a QH in 1983, but was no where near "almost won" placings."

    Please resolve this discrepancy. It is a major concern for integrity that this claim is made so blatantly when it appears from available data that it is untrue.

    I invite you to either respond to this email or get online with the rec.equestrian newsgroup to clarify your claims. At minimum, please delete this claim from your website until such time as a verifiable claim can be made.

    I look forward to hearing from you with a clarification.
    Thanks,

    Dan Hogg
    Response from parellis crew about the untruth....

    edited down response....
    quote: was pleased and surprised to receive, just now, a reply, repeated
    below in its entirety:

    Dan,

    Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us! I was unsure of the answer to your question so it was forwarded to Pat and Linda's assistant who ran it by Pat and here is the response:

    'Hi all,

    I spoke to Pat about this and he directed me to the paragraph in his book where this misinformation may have stemmed from. I will include the quote and I'm hoping that it will be directed where it needs to go so that this can all be cleared up. I will put in caps the specific section that is important to note.

    Thank you [Smile]

    "One of the interesting things I did around this time was compete in a demonstration event called The Wild Bunch, at the 1978 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, NV. This was a fun class where contestants dressed up as different characters and did wild things. The advertised prize was a million dollars cash. I entered as the Clovis Mule Days Queen - Pat Parelli in drag. RIDING THUMPER, THE MULE, I WON THE CLASS AND ACTUALLY MARKED THE THIRD- HIGHEST SCORE OF THE ENTIRE SHOW, EVEN BETTER THAN THE HORSES IN THE FUTURITY AND OPEN BRIDLE CLASSES. The crowd went nuts. The Wild Bunch WASN'T ONE OF THE NRCHA'S SANCTIONED CLASSES, BUT IT WAS ONE OF THE SNAFFLE BIT fUTURITY SHOW'S FAVORITE SPECTATOR CLASSES AT THE TIME." '


    Read more: http://forums.horsecity.com/index.ph...#ixzz2lnFqhWAv

    As to the scoring in the wild bunch, the scoring was also wild. They gave scores of 80 a lot, just for fun. Sometimes it was the applause that got the score higher.
    I knew the mule Thumper then. I also rode Sissy. Thumper was pretty good. Pat had bridl-less training tricks figured out then.I knew Pat pretty good in those days. I watched him show most of those horses. They were pretty poor.Dropped leads, no stop, low scoring horses. Pat was a sloppy rider, flapped his arms like a chicken, leaned all over the place. Other cow horse trainers tried to help him, but he would have none of it. The mule was the best he hd. He told me then his goal was to be a household name. I told him that Jeffrey Dahmer is a houshold name.Big deal.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shermy
    replied
    In my case, I have taken clinics or audited the same people several times, so have gotten to know them somewhat. Most of time, we would all go out to eat, and typically sat next to them at least once, so was in a more personal situation.

    The only exception was when I audited Buck's clinic in WI, I dont know him at all. Prob why I refer to him as Buck, is because of the movie and I am too lazy to type out his last name.

    That said, when I refer to him as Buck, I in now way am stating that I actually know him.

    I like going to watch good people work horses. We make a girls weekend, and do several a year. Mostly I ride, the only normal exception is w/Martin Black. He is kinda expensive and I learn a LOT when I audit. I have a friend that did one and will do more, so it makes auditing even more fun when you know someone riding. They include us in the dinners and Martin (Black) makes a big point in asking the auditors if we have any questions, so I still feel somewhat involved.

    I think there are a LOT of people in the horse world that look to whoever as their problem savior and tend to idolize them. I think that is a bad thing when people just follow ONE person. It tends to close their minds to other ideas that may work better and really, stops them from learning.

    I try to learn from everyone.

    Also, I take lessons from a lady that is one heck of a horsewoman, so while most of the "clinics" I seem to go to are men, I get most of my learning from her, but she has ridden w/most of the same guys as I like their clinics, so is a big circle of knowledge.

    PS, I did go audit a clinic (?) of Dennis Reis once, we were meeting a friend later that afternoon, or I would have left! He is an asshole! Was being so disrespectful to his wife and staff, even yelled at the audience because we were NOT BUYING enough his training stuff. I did not learn anything horse related from him, he just became the butt of all of our jokes. He did tape an episode for his RDF show, of course, once the camera's were on, he was a totally different person, but really, he is the biggest jerk I have evern seen, horse related or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyzteke
    replied
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    I believe you are thinking of Eitan Beth-Halachmy. And he created- plus trademarked Cowboy Dressage. He's down in California and, IIRC, was aligned with the Western Dressage folks for a minute a while back. The two groups have since split.

    I have met one trainer who does both WD and CD. I think Beth-Halachmy has some kind of trainer certification process. But otherwise, my vague sense is that the WD folks focus on their own discipline's development and tactfully omit reference to CD.

    I will put this out there first...I think Cowboy/Western Dressage is a bunch of hooey....there already IS something called "western dressage" and it's making a bridle horse!

    I just think it's yet another thing to part people from their $$.

    That being said (and I know I'm going to regret asking this) what is the difference between "Western" dressage and "Cowboy" dressage?

    Leave a comment:


  • Eventer13
    replied
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XihCp1pg9I

    The background music-- someone actually wrote a song about the Parelli's "horsealities"? Wow, their control goes even further than I thought.

    Leave a comment:


  • GottaQHFilly
    replied
    Stacy! Stacy! Stacy!

    Leave a comment:


  • mvp
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
    I just read somewhere that Eitan (using his first name to be cool...but also because I can't spell that last name...) trademarked the term "Western Dressage."
    I believe you are thinking of Eitan Beth-Halachmy. And he created- plus trademarked Cowboy Dressage. He's down in California and, IIRC, was aligned with the Western Dressage folks for a minute a while back. The two groups have since split.

    I have met one trainer who does both WD and CD. I think Beth-Halachmy has some kind of trainer certification process. But otherwise, my vague sense is that the WD folks focus on their own discipline's development and tactfully omit reference to CD.

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  • katarine
    replied
    pat and the Mule - the back story...
    Here are the facts as I know them:
    Pat's claim on his website:
    "He nearly won the 1983 Snaffle Bit futurity on a mule (Cissy) and this resulted not only in a training career boost but a rule change banning mules from the competition! Pat was invited back the next year to give a demonstration with a mule doing the same reining pattern but this time without a bridle!" http://www.parelli.com/info_page.php...relli&t=OnePic

    From the Western States Horse Expo Hall of Fame website where Pat was inducted in 2006:
    "Pat came very close to winning the 1981 NRCHA Snaffle Bit futurity on a mule named Thumper, which resulted not only in a training career\ boost but a rule change banning mules from the competition. Pat was invited back the next year to give a demonstration with a mule doing the same reining pattern, but this time without a bridle!"
    http://www.horsexpo.com/html/abouthall.html

    Note the discrepancy in years competed and mule names.

    Some interested parties on the rec.equestrian newsgroup report:

    "A call to the NRCHA offices led to the following information from their records:
    Pat Parelli competed in the SW Futurity in 1982 and in another event in 1978. In 1982 he entered Doc N Chex in the SBF and also rode King Gary Linx at that event (both are horses). In 1983 (the year in question and as cited on his website), he rode a QH named King's
    Dynamae in the SBF.

    From 1974 to 1983 Pat Parelli did not finish in the top 5, 10 or 15 of the Snaffle Bit Futurity of the NRCHA according to published and
    computerized results per their staff."


    "Lyn Anderson (NRCHA competitior and Big Hat) says Parelli competing on a mule at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity is "an urban legend" and
    totally false. He did compete on a QH in 1983, but was no where near "almost won" placings."

    Please resolve this discrepancy. It is a major concern for integrity that this claim is made so blatantly when it appears from available data that it is untrue.

    I invite you to either respond to this email or get online with the rec.equestrian newsgroup to clarify your claims. At minimum, please delete this claim from your website until such time as a verifiable claim can be made.

    I look forward to hearing from you with a clarification.
    Thanks,

    Dan Hogg
    Response from parellis crew about the untruth....

    edited down response....
    quote: was pleased and surprised to receive, just now, a reply, repeated
    below in its entirety:

    Dan,

    Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us! I was unsure of the answer to your question so it was forwarded to Pat and Linda's assistant who ran it by Pat and here is the response:

    'Hi all,

    I spoke to Pat about this and he directed me to the paragraph in his book where this misinformation may have stemmed from. I will include the quote and I'm hoping that it will be directed where it needs to go so that this can all be cleared up. I will put in caps the specific section that is important to note.

    Thank you [Smile]

    "One of the interesting things I did around this time was compete in a demonstration event called The Wild Bunch, at the 1978 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, NV. This was a fun class where contestants dressed up as different characters and did wild things. The advertised prize was a million dollars cash. I entered as the Clovis Mule Days Queen - Pat Parelli in drag. RIDING THUMPER, THE MULE, I WON THE CLASS AND ACTUALLY MARKED THE THIRD- HIGHEST SCORE OF THE ENTIRE SHOW, EVEN BETTER THAN THE HORSES IN THE FUTURITY AND OPEN BRIDLE CLASSES. The crowd went nuts. The Wild Bunch WASN'T ONE OF THE NRCHA'S SANCTIONED CLASSES, BUT IT WAS ONE OF THE SNAFFLE BIT fUTURITY SHOW'S FAVORITE SPECTATOR CLASSES AT THE TIME." '


    Read more: http://forums.horsecity.com/index.ph...#ixzz2lnFqhWAv

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