Why do people hate Parelli?

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Tam, Sep 15, 2003.

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  1. Tam

    Tam Well-known Member

    I have recently mentioned to a few people- both friends and people i don't know well- that i do some Parelli with Kobie after having lessons with Louise Atkinson. I have been amazed at the responses i get! People think we do some of the weirdest stuff- some things i have never heard of and would never do, that certainly aren't part of parelli. Why do people think that we do this kind of thing? Why are there so many misconceptions about parelli to the point where Parelli is becoming a bad word? What do you think and why?
  2. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Some people (like myself) just don't train the parelli way and prefer to train their own way. Although I'm not saying that either wrong or right. I have tried Parelli yes and I found it pointless...it didn't work with Arnie and I. I doesn't work with everyone but its a miricle to others...

  3. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Too many people do it WRONG!
    I have seen far too many horses that are ruined by people who have trained there horse ''The Parelli Way'' by themself. I say leave it to the professionals...
  4. Val Perkins

    Val Perkins New Member

    I think it's the IMAGE of PNH.

    They really preach their training by way of books, videos and training sessions.

    It's not that I hate the method, it is just the way they go about it, basically telling people that their way of educating a horse is the only way - which is of course total rubbish.
  5. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    this questiong will open a few sore spots, from both sides.

    i see parelli as almost like a cult, people following it like the bible and mr pat himself is standing next to jesus. lots of parelli followers believe 'its the only way'.

    these days most of parelli is translated from washed down word of mouth so lots of the excersizes become pointless with little understanding why they do it. unfortunately lots of horses that are trained 'parelli' ways, can only be worked parelli ways. (try getting a parellied-to-death horse on a float.... where you can not stand infront, at shoulder or even lead properlly...cause the horse has worked out how to get out of it....good luck)

    if his training methods left a horse that could be lead by a child... great. but most have to be lead and handled by well educated followers. and half educated followers usually end up with a horse that has worked out how to be even naughtier. i believe this is where most bad wrap comes from, as this is what most non parelli people see.

    natural horse mastership usually works better with horses that have all their senses 'alive' like in the wild (mabey from fear or fright of something). horses in domestic life have almost lost/dorment a lot of their natural sense. they do not have to be on alert 24x7 and run as soon as something looks a bit scarey. they do not understand about preditors looking at the hocks. teaching natural horse mastership confuses the quiet domestic types.

    if you said you trained 'natural horse mastership' with your horse, you will cop less abuse than if you say you practice parelli. (even though you may be doing exactly the same thing)

    i have never once seen a horse trained parelli, that i can honestly look at and say "he's well trained". or 'i wonder how he got that good'.

  6. Belinda

    Belinda Well-known Member

    I know what you mean Tam. I've had a lot of negative feedback from people too - comments such as "it's a waste of time" and "all that wiggling of ropes can send a sensitive horse nuts"!! I did a 3 day workshop in Natural Horsemanship with a friend recently and have to admit that afterwards I wasn't all that sure about it all. I couldn't see how it wold benefit me and my horse, plus I am low on patience. So I didn't persevere with it, while my friend did. My friend is now making baby steps forward with her young horse, whilst my horse has starting misbehaving, so I've decided to give it another go and see what happens!! I agree with what someone else said about needing to know what you are doing, otherwise it just becomes confusing for both horse and rider, although I guess that applys to all kinds of training methods.

  7. icebabie296

    icebabie296 New Member

    I would have to agree with Beccy, Parelli is liek a horsey . Have you ever noticed that when you do parelli you have to have the parelli halter and lead rope and carrot stick (What the hell is a carrot stick) And every time you progress you can buy your self something new, but it has to be parelli. As far as I can see he is in it for the money, If he truely thought that his way of doing things was the only way to go he would not make you buy everything of his and wouldnt mind people making copies of his vidoes. (He has something at the begining of his videos telling people dont make copies and dont lend them to friends)
    Barry Bennet, who is a man that beleives his way of teaching children in schools is the best way actually went to a country and left two copies of his file that he gives to teachers. Now all most of the teachers in that country have a copy of that file, because he says you can make copies of the file either in whole or part form.
    And like others have said, if your horse is 'trained' parelli i dont believe it is actually trained.
  8. TB4Me

    TB4Me Well-known Member

    It's all about what works for you, I guess......in some ways I think the bad response to Parelli comes from the fanatical devotion of some people to it and the attitude that 'if you're not doing it this way, you must be wrong and your horse is suffering' (Yes I have encountered that attitude). Although they still have many instincts and behaviour still ingrained, horses as we know them are nothing like true wild horses, and they are not treated anything like wild horses, so 'natural' can be a bit of a misleading term (if you really want to go 'natural', stick your horse out on a plain where it might be eaten, cos that's natural!). If you have a good realationship with your horse, who is in good health and well cared for, and you are achieving your goals, then it seems that whatever training methods you use are fine. But. Firstly, people like Pat Parelli and Monty Roberts are obviously hugely talented with horses. Some people have a gift, but sometimes the message seems to get lost in the marketing. And secondly, there are some very troubled horses out there, and if PNH allows them to be effectively trained and handled, then great. Just do what works for you, I think it's the attitude of some PNH devotees that 'I'm right and everyone else is wrong' that p****s people off......sorry for the long post........
  9. Val Perkins

    Val Perkins New Member

    I'd like to ask a question if I could.

    Has anyone ever seen a PNH clinic with a totally unhandled horse (which they claim they do) or a horse that has so many problems that it can't be fixed by anyone else?

    Do you ever see them working with fizzy Thoroughbreds?

    They all seem to work with quarter horses or crossbreds.
  10. TB4Me

    TB4Me Well-known Member

    I went to see Pat Parelli when he was in Perth in about 1997. The horse he was working with was a 3 year old TB (I think) who was apparently halter-broken but that was it. At the end of the night he did get on it (stood on it's back). I came away from it thinking 'well that was impressive but he's a very talented trainer'. I was happy with how my horse was going (still am), so I saw no reason to fix something that wasn't broken. I think PNH could be useful if you ever run into real problems, because at least it encourages you to think about why your horse is doing what it does, rather than just getting angry. But I find the approach 'this is how you should train every horse' annoying, there are some very good non-PNH riders and trainers out there with happy, successful horses, so yeah.....just do what works for you......
  11. Murray

    Murray Well-known Member Staff Member

    I don't hate the man, far from it, I think he has passed on a wealth of valuable information and he should be congratulated for this. The only thing I want to say about PNH is that horse people should be very careful in accepting that his methods are the best for the average horse person. For example, riding a green horse with one rein is not for the rider who lacks confidence. Remember that this fella besides being a big fit male (sorry ladies) has ridden in the rodeo arenas and mixed it with some of the best horsemen in the world. As a consequence he has gained a considerable amount of self confidence and "feel" (or savy as he would put it) when climbing on the back of most horses.

    <font face="Brush Script MT"><span style="font-size:18pt;">Murray</span></font>
  12. The Old Grey Mare

    The Old Grey Mare Active Member

    I totally agree with Murray. this guy has done lots & is very confident about his handling of horses. i am confident about the way i handle horses but would not put out videos saying, hey everyone, this is the only way to train horses. Pat Parelli is a very "savvy" man, he made lots of money from selling videos & very expensive equipment that people really don't need. a carrot stick, WHAT THE?????

    all this stuff about giving the horse an option, rubbish. no horse wants to be saddled & ridden/trained upon.

    it would be really interesting to see if his natural horse man ship would cross over to working with dogs or other trained animals.

    but i must admit, i borrowed the videos from a friend, watched them & did find one thing i would use, so it was not total rubbish, but you need to be open minded.


    i am not bagging anyone who uses this method, just that they also need to accept that other people don't use this method.
  13. kp

    kp Well-known Member

    I think that the biggest problem with pareli is that there are a lot of people out there practising it badly. When done well it works as good as any other traiing system. I think more people notice bad parelli because it has such a tag attached to it. You notice these horses more than a horse that is badly trained in the traditional way. What it all comes down to is that no matter what training method, if it is done badly then it is bad. Parelli is no different. There are badly trained horses every where and most times this is the fault of the person that did the handling not the method that was used to train the horse. All training systems are based on the same principles, that is pressure and release, to a certain extent we all practice "natural" horsemanship, if that is what you want to call it. I am not an advocate of parelli, however I will never dismiss any method of training, just because of the name attached to it.
  14. Belinda

    Belinda Well-known Member

    This is a pretty controversial subject isn't it? Just look at the response!! I would have to agree with it being overmarketed and expensive. When I dabbled in it the training and equipment for a total beginner was very costly. $20 odd bucks for a bit of rope to hang off a long stick!! The other thing is that it requires is an awful lot of time & patience to make progress, and not many of us have that!

  15. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    as the overall apperance of parelli clinics are very romantic and fairy, it really appeals to novices. a lot of the techniques require advanced-well developed horsemanship, skills and reflexes from the rider.
    for the more experienced people, can learn tips and tricks to develop, for the inexperienced people, it is a disaster just waiting to happen, especially when immitating some of the moves.

  16. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    I agree with kp on this one and with Murray. I think that too many people without the natural touch and experience of Pat Parelli have tried to teach his methods. This has led to a downfall in the quality of what has been taught , as you are now only receiving the interpretation of the people who are trying to teach it.
    I have found that no two horses are really the same , and what will work for one doesn't always work for another.
    I must admit that I have never actually been to one of the Parelli schools , but on watching a few videos , have found that we have been using some of these methods for years. For example using the horses natural curiosity. My mother used to use this method to catch her mare 60yrs ago , so that is certainly not new in the horse world.
    I also agree that if you go an purchase anything to do with the Parelli method , you are paying for the name as well.

  17. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Yes i agree there Jo, it is like paying for a Name Brand (kindof like Black&Gold Tea to Lipton Tea!!) <- when most the time the B&G is better!! haha

    I dont think that Pat Parelli's methods are wrong, there is quite a lot of logic in what he does with a horse, but what I am against is the PNH schools and courses, teaching people through books and speaches, occasionally demonstrations, and then saying hey this person watched me do this, now they are a professional... (ok i know thats not exactly true, but its not half wrong...). The only way to truly learn is by experience, learning your OWN way, help is nice but do things YOUR way not the way some-one tells you it SHOULD be done.
    Too many people only pick up a smidgen of what Pat is really trying to teach him, and I think if the man had any sense he would give up trying to teach people HIS way, as they are all giving him a BAD name!
  18. kt

    kt Active Member

    i know a few ppl who have done parrelli and I think it can be really good but they tend to get a bad name coz they take unneccessary risks with their horses ...thats just my opinion but.....I had a few parrelli lessons and found the "carrot stick" and the idea of the horse "eating humble pie" very amusing although I have seen sum good results from it.....I think there are sum other natural horsemanship methods that r a bit cheaper and easier to understand and also get more results on the ridden side as well as the handling.

  19. Veronika

    Veronika Active Member

    I think you've hit the nail on the head, kt.
    I've been doing parelli for 2 year now. I've passed my level 1 and am working on my level 2, in a way. I've sort of gone off the 'Parelli' side of it, because it is soooo marketed and I was having problems with my horse that I couldn't find answers for in the parelli program.
    Then I went to a clinic with Ken Faulkner. Ken use to do the parelli program, but has now gone off on his own with the Aust Natural Horsemanship. WOW. We moved forwards in leaps and bounds and for some reason, the problem i was having with my horse, was solved. Sounds like a fairy tale. It was.
    Ken also didn't work solely on quarter horses. He did quite a bit of stuff on this green 6 year old warmblood, who was pushing his owner around with his size (because he could!). He also had a lot of emotional issues, which became apparent when Ken was starting to work him and he was a different horse after about 30 mins. His owner couldn't believe it. That was very interesting for me, because I have sinced used this knowledge of recognising emotional problems and doing something about the situation before i'm flat on my back.
    I have to agree that some of the parelli things are absolutely dangerous. My worst fall was while i was doing the Passenger Game. I was told that this would fix heaps of my problems by teaching my horse to be more balanced etc. I'm sure it does. BUT, a safety warning should also go with that. Interestingly, PNH used to say, don't correct your horse until it's changed gait, ie from trot to canter...now, they say, correct the horse whenever you're not feeling safe. That would have helped me. I came off my horse because I had to wait till he changed gait before i could correct, then while arguing with him we didn't see the fence and he ran straight into it. Wire fence. He jumped back while i was trying to do a fast dismount to stop him which hurdled me even higher and further. You know that saying in Hoofbeats about its not the falling that hurts...I remember the flying and then the landing. I spent 8 weeks out of action, still have a dinky hip and my beloved horse did not have a scratch on him (lucky bugger!)
    I'm rambling.
    Anyway, I agree that there are some really good methods of training out there, and PNH is not the only way. It's got some great things in it and it wasn't until I did the clinic with Ken that i got the understanding of why they want to do some of the things they get you to do. I guess in that case, it comes down to the teacher. Get Proffessional help if you have a serious problem. It's the only way of doing it safely.
    My suggestion is always keep an open mind. Try as many different things with as many different people as you can because you never know when you can pick up something that brings the whole equine world together for you.
  20. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    The fact that you can always learn something from someone else is why I say that if someone tells you they know all about it , take the statement with a huge grain of salt.
    Methods and applications in the horse world are changing all the time , so it surely does help to keep an open mind and treat each horse according to their temperement.
    Try to show confidence to your horse , as if he doesn't know you , this will help to instill confidence in him that you aren't going to hurt him.
    I think that it is amazing the way that a horse can pick up on your vibes and will also become nervous if you show that you are as well. This especially applies to a new horse or and youngster that hasn't had much in the way of handling. They are like a little baby. The more relaxed you are with them, the happier they are.

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