Parelli and their view on helmets

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by bubblez, Oct 10, 2009.

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  1. Cassy Horse

    Cassy Horse Well-known Member

    Just from an observant POV, I have noticed people following the naturally horseman way tend to wear helmets a lot less than the english way, if that is what it is called (I have no idea!). What bothers me is when the kids that do this sort of natural way think it is ok to wear no helmet, and the adults around do not think to correct them. I am not saying that this happens everywhere, I do not know and cannot say, but I have seen it happen. I think if you go to pony club etc that sort of safety stuff is made paramount and gives a good base to things :)
  2. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    Yeah I think it is mainly because at pony club and traditional type riding lessons helmets are compulsory. Agreed it gives a good grounding for getting into the habit of helmet wearing.

    It got me into the habit plus the fact that when i was a kid my parents went spare if i even tried to get on without one LOL! In fact if my mum saw me get on a horse without one now at the age of 36 she would still say something!!!

    Many a time my helmet has saved my head from overhanging branches on a trail ride hahaha! And if thats all it does for me i'll take that!
  3. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    I am amazed that ANY good riding coach would advocate not wearing a helmet. The fact they choose not to wear one shouldn't matter.....because they are holding themselves up to be 'educators' and 'instructors' I believe they should be holding to the value of safety in every respect. To overlook or play down this vital aspect of safety shows that they care little about your wellbeing and care more about what you money can do for them and their enterprise.

    It is "law" in many disciplines now (including campdrafting) to wear helmets. WHY?........because the powers that be know they save heads!

    Insurance companies would have a field day after an accident knowing that an injury or its complications could have been prevented if the person was wearing a helmet. How the Parelli's get away with it in the very litigious USA I am further amazed!

    If the Parelli's are interested at all in having horse owners safe they would advocate helmets.....they would start their "training" right at the very beginning and demand helmets!

    What makes them think that their techniques are 100% effective on every horse on the planet? Just a little bit too much self indulgence and ego stroking for my liking.

    Would be nice to see these clinicians actually give a toss about the clients AND the horses.......

  4. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    I think the figures of accidents among natural horsemanship trained riders tends to be a lot lower because we tend to get off at the first sign of a horse going right brained (ie mental!).

    There are many signs a horse gives before totally losing the plot. Unfortunately some people don't have the training to acknowledge it and just say after the incident ' wow, that came out of no where'.

    I'm not saying that NH is the be all end all it is a person's personal decision on what they decide is right for them and their horses.

    And as i said in an earlier post, accidents still happen to the best of riders and horses when it is least expected ie a trip across a flat surfaced arena. For that reason i choose to protect my noggin!

    But i do think that there are many mismatches of people vs horse personalities out there and some relationships are an accident waiting to happen, so yes best be prepared.

    Riding is the mere act of not falling off LOL!!
  5. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    Well...I really don't want to open up a big debate about Natural Horsemandship vs English,...and I am having trouble putting this into words here as it is a HUGE topic - the basis of NHship to learn and understand horse behaviour...horses very very rarely do anything without warning, in some horses that warning may be VERY minimal and not observant to the casual eye - facial softness/breathing/tail swishing/tenseness/ear set etc.

    Good Horsemen (western/NH/English) can sense/see/feel these slight changes in the horse as they happen and move to correct it which usually prevents the kick/bite/rear in most horses. Most also work with at least a 12" lead rope and rope halter - and DON'T lead/hold a horse right at the halter. These two little things alone prevent so many situations from escalating like you see at Pony Club quite regularly;)

    As for riding without helmets NH/Western - well most western/stock/half breed saddles provide a *far* securer seat than self ejecting english saddles:)*

    Not defending not using helmets *AT ALL* I wear one riding and insist my kids wear them even while doing groundwork- just suggesting that maybe there is less risk for experienced horsemen to get kicked in the head - compared to BHS trained/english saddle riding not-so-horse-savvy people?

    Sh*t still happens though, and I have no doubt that non-english trained riders still get injuries that could have been prevented with the use of a helmet. But it has always made me wonder why in the US where millions more people ride than here in Aust - and most ride in safer western saddles that so few wear helmets.
  6. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    LOL Faxie - I think we were typing at the same time - but I am a slower typer than you. Or just talk to much:p
  7. islabee

    islabee New Member

    Just wanted to say here here!:) to Faxie and Painter

    You guys have taken the time to write some excellent points, Im especially glad you mentioned observing your horse and dismounting before things go awall! Like you said Horses never do anything narly without warning.

    If this thread does anything it would be great if even just one person out there goes out and learns a little more about how horse's tic, and the signs they tell there humans when there not happy.

    Without even having a Parelli or NH thought.*#) But ofcourse that would be great too(HA HA-take it lightly LOL:eek:)
  8. ASH lover

    ASH lover Well-known Member

    HAHAHAHAHA.....Had a good laugh at this one!

    I must remember that next time....
    a) Ignore any signs of tension or worry in my horse, because we haven't done the 7 games so we don't have 'savvy' to work THAT out.... :eek: then,
    b) Bail at the first sign of trouble!*#)

    Sorry for the sarcasm ( I am the first person to think every trainer has something valuable to offer) - but your comments are exactly the sort of patronising twaddle that gets everyone elses back up... which was what andhi tried to point out politley before

    Do you honestly think that we do not care, or understand, about our horses and their responses to stimuli? pffft!
  9. Siren

    Siren Well-known Member

    This letter has nothing to do with the training methods of PNH, its the helmets!

    Of course Pat and Lynda, and experienced horse people are better at reading and training horses, and have a lower accident rate. There is no point going into particular methods of any trainer regarding this.
    The point is that there are young/and older inexperienced people that idolise these "super" trainers, and they are setting a bad example....... then write such a ridiculous reply letter when someone raises a concern.

    Kind of the same as the pop singers that kick around in next to nothing, acting like total s^%&s, and cant see the impact they are having on very young impressionable girls.
    The only reason this PNH has copped the wrath of this subject is because, thats who the letter was addressed to.
  10. Midas

    Midas Well-known Member

    wow, That letter (if true) is terribly irresponsible , rude and stupid.

    I would think people of their notoriety would be advocating safe riding, not condeming it!
  11. islabee

    islabee New Member

    Hi ASH Lover:))so glad you had a good chuckle, laughing is so good for the soul!
    I did say take it lightly, No need to attack! :(
    I was under the impression that we all love and care for our horses and thats why we are on this sight, looking for more knowledge and information, to be better equine owners. Rememeber the members range on this site from beginners to advanced.
    I really just wanted to complement painter and faxie for taking the time to write a great thread.
    Are we not meant to banter around different ideas and consider different thoughts :confused:
    I dont want to offend anyone but maybe someone who doesnt wear helmets will now REALLY reconsider why they don't, especially with so many good points been made. :)
  12. painter

    painter Well-known Member

    Sigh. Responses like this just widen the gap unnecessarily:( I clearly stated
    " 'horsemen' (western/NH/English)" . You DON'T have to be a western, parelli, john lyons, monty roberts, natural horsemanship disciple to have good HORSEMANSHIP skills.

    Horsemanship skills and being horse 'savy' has got nothing to do with the discipline that you choose to ride in - its just that a few "western" people have capitalised on teaching it because horsemanship is rarely taught to beginers learning the majority of english disciplines.

    Personally I couldn't even name the 7 parelli games. And while I didn't say 'bail at the first sign of trouble', if you are not experienced enough to deal with it and your horse starts doing something dangerous, then getting off safely and getting an experienced person to assess and sort out the problem is the smartest thing to do and it could very well save your life - helmet or no helmet!
  13. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    here here painter! thanks islabee! And yes sigh, its a real shame that some posters are taking NH supporters comments out of context.

    We are not saying that if you don't do NH that it means you cannot read your horse. Please don't take comments out of context and think we are having a go at other methods of horsemanship.

    I was just trying to perhaps provide one reason for horse related accidents related to the original topic - helmets.

    Off topic again, personally i have found it easier by learning an easy to follow program such as the one developed by the Parelli's it has helped me more than I could ever have imagined in my life with horses (& without). I was on a road to getting out of horses completely when i discovered it. I am not trying to sell anything here, i do not know any other trainers program this is all i know. Parelli has helped me in my life as it is also a personal development program as well as a horsemanship program. But as i have said each to their own, i never bag other trrainers methods or what people choose to follow, i respect that people make their own choices. I find it easier to just follow one training program as my brain cannot stretch that far to learn several LOL!!

    I think everyone has something to offer, even if it is to learn what not to do LOL!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  14. ASH lover

    ASH lover Well-known Member

    Islabee, Faxie and Painter - Each to their own...:D

    As you say this forum is for everyone to be able to voice and exchange their views - sorry that mine don't fit with yours...and as I have re iterated this thread would be pretty damning to anyone that had written that letter...parelli or anyone else....
  15. SassyTiff

    SassyTiff Guest

    Hmmm all I'm going to say after reading this whole thread is that even though some people may be really good horsemen/women and may be able to predict when a horse is going to go bonkers or a bad situation may arise so can get off and be safe in time, I still think they should wear helmets because inexperienced people and kids are looking up to them and will follow what they do.

    Now ignoring the fact its a law but for the sake of example (since Im tired and cant think of anything better) if your in a car and dont wear your seatbelt and have a child with you your are telling that child with your actions that hey its okay not to wear a seatbelt (and even worse hey its okay to break the law)

    hope that makes some sense but yeah I think that for the public eye they should wear a helmet just so they are giving the right safety message.
  16. mod 6

    mod 6 Moderator

    Please keep this thread on topic and not let it turn into an argument.
  17. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    Totally agree SassyTiff, i certainly will continue wearing my helmet as i have a son that might choose to ride one day. Do as others do and all that...

    ASHLover, you don't need to agree with us, we are voicing our opinion as to why NH trainers/followers may not wear helmets. I do totally agree that the letter is damning if it is actually written by the Parellis. Anyway even if it is, it is just their opinion not everyone has to agree with it. It is damning because they are in the public eye, but at the end of the day if we are talking about kids and mentoring i think their greatest mentor should be their parents first then outsiders. Mind you ask me that again in about 12 years time when my 4 month old son hits his teens PMSL!!! (ps lets not turn this into a thread on parenting now LOL!!)

    I will have a look in the parelli vault and let you know if there is anything about helmets - lets get it straight from the source 'eh,.. be back soon
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  18. Roodog

    Roodog Active Member

    Parelli and helmets

    While I'm a fan of parelli and natural horsemanship, I don't get too heavily bogged down in it. I understand that working with the horse make it more accepting and prepared for the unusual.. No amount of training is going to prevent a fall if the horse is injured or completely unbalanced, horses can have clumsy moments too! (seen it in the paddock).. My helmet saved my life when my horse had a spontanous fracture of the front leg and we hit the dirt at full speed...We were doing a calm, controlled gallop and he was completely responsive. My helmet that was normally a dome shape had been totally flattened on top.. The unexpected can happen, if you value what's between your ears then protect it!!....
  19. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Personally I couldn't give a fig who wrote the letter...NH patriot or not. I'd feel the same way if it was written by ANY horse person who held themselves up as a teacher and clinician.

    I think the point has been missed here (in the race to defend the Parelli's and their methods)....that horsemanship is all about "safety working with horses". No different to "safety in the workplace" or "safety behind the wheel".

    Ever wondered why lots of accidents happen to very experienced horse people...those who ride competitively or everyday?
    Did they miss something in the horse/human translation?
    No. The horse got the benefit in the 1/100th of a second reaction and the rider/handler copped it.

    Does that make them less capable or observant?
    No. The horse again got the upper hand and the rider/handler paid for it.

    In this instance the wearing of helmets is what protects from injury or greater impact. Not the handlers experience, skill, time in the saddle or anything else.
    If length of time in the saddle, experience with horse numbers, skill or profile were barriers to getting hurt there would be alot of UNinjured riders!

    Seeing as wearing a helmet does not hamper working with, or riding would expect that people like the Parelli's (high profile) would think it appropriate to lead by example...?
    I wonder whether they care more for the welfare of the horse than they do for the welfare of the horse owner?

    Maybe people getting hurt or having problems actually adds to their media campaign....the more accidents/dramas the more these clinicians can say "You need me & my methods"? :confused:

    Now thats a scarey thought!
  20. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    I too seriously doubt that the injury stats for parelli followers is better than for normal horse riders. Bailing out when the crap is hitting the fan is a great way to get yourself killed especially if your not wearing a helmet.
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