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What's your view on Parelli / natural horsemanship?

(61 Posts)
Frangipan1979 Mon 17-Dec-12 12:34:40

Been offered a loan where the owner does a lot of this. Some people are telling me to run a mile / others are saying give it a go.

Any views?

NotGoodNotBad Mon 17-Dec-12 12:52:26

Depends on the methods they use really (some nice, some not so nice), and like any branch of horsemanship some people are fanatics... But basically the idea behind it is about improving manners and improving your relationship with the horse, so what's not to like?

Mirage Mon 17-Dec-12 13:40:59

I don't know about Parelli,but I had an Intelligent Horsemanship lady out to help with dpony's longstanding leading problems and she was fantastic,we've never looked back and it completely changed our relationship.

Frangipan1979 Mon 17-Dec-12 14:01:42

Thanks. I just need some reassurance as a few people have said not to go there.....

I do need to see whether the owner is a fanatic or not and what the horse is like

horseylady Mon 17-Dec-12 15:22:44

Some of it works. Some of it I don't like.

I had a parelli lady out to help me my mare. After 3.5 hours I had to tell her stop. No one was getting anywhere. I hated every second and was annoyed at myself for letting it go on so long. IMO it was bullying and completely made no sense to me. I could have had one bad experience though.

Frangipan1979 Mon 17-Dec-12 16:09:09

Yes a lot of people have said its bullying or that it makes the horses out of control. I guess I'll just have to see for myself exactly how far she takes the Parelli and see how well behaved the horse seems

rogersmellyonthetelly Mon 17-Dec-12 16:31:27

Wafty woo bollocks and very commercial. Most if not all their results can be achieved with common sense, patience, kindness and carrots.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Mon 17-Dec-12 22:25:25

All of these gimmicks are ok, to a certain degree. They all have their uses. There is no replacement for good old fashioned discipline, mutual respect and boundaries. And nothing is more important than just spending time together.

Zazzles007 Mon 17-Dec-12 23:16:16

Agree with horselady and CatPuss. Some of it is good old fashioned horse-sense, packaged up in a marketing gimmick. Some of it is just baloney, and should be thrown out with the garbage. You need to have some common sense to decide which is which. Or alternatively you can spill to us on here and we'll tell you grin.

Frangipan1979 Tue 18-Dec-12 08:04:27

Great thanks.
I need to establish to what extent she practices the NH stuff, if it's just a bit that's fine but if she's a fanatic I might get my doubts! Also I need to see what the horse's behaviour is actually like......!

Callisto Tue 18-Dec-12 08:16:42

I am really dubious about some of Parelli's methods, and you just have to vsit their shop to see that it is less about the horses and more about making money.

When I was young and learning about horses I was taught that kindness, firmness and patience where all you needed to train even the bolshiest or most nervous horse. I haven't yet come across a horse that didn't respond to these things. I think that the rise and rise of all of this natural horsemanship bull is due to more and more people coming to horses as complete novices so when things go wrong they turn to the latest training method/gadget rather than using common sense and going back to basics.

I don' know if it would put me off seeing a horse trained in this way, but I would probably assume that I would need to do some retraining and that the owner was a bit barmy.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 18-Dec-12 09:35:25

There is a reason that horse training and breaking has been done the same way for millennia! All this new stuff is ok, but if standing waving a stick and a bit of string at a horse was actually really useful, people woul have done it years ago!
These natural things like join up, shoul be used as an aid to good old fashioned horsemanship. A horse is not a person. The last thing humans need is horses who think they are our equals!

dappleton Tue 18-Dec-12 09:48:26

I actually attended a lecture by Linda Parelli a few weeks back, just to get the concept 'from the horses mouth' as it were. Went in thinking it was commercial hogwash and came out thinking it was commercial hogwash. The bits that made sense were just old fashioned 'horse sense' and other bits were rather odd. When everyone in the room was asked if they came to Parelli as a last resort with a 'difficult' horse half the room put up their hand, making me think they have a target market of over-horsed people.

Now, would I loan a horse that had a lot of this done - probably not for 3 reasons:
1) there is a good chance the horse has some 'issues' that NI is trying to solve and do you really want a horse with 'issues'
2) some of NI teaches odd training, so very much a legs off approach to riding which makes the horses confused when ridden classically
3) anyone really into NI would expect you to adopt the same principles when you are with the horse or it undoes the training you will probably be told everything you do is wrong which would annoy most people!

horseylady Tue 18-Dec-12 14:57:40

What I hated, and looking back now should have refused her help straight away, was how she walked in, spent 5minutes with my mare (who is lovely btw) and said 'mo wonder you're having issues she's a right sided extrovert' wtf??!!

Anyway, apparently creating chaos outside the trailer and a calm quiet environment inside the trailer was the way forward. As I said, she got her on, but after two hours I asked how much longer, she said not too much and after three I asked the same question and was told 'when she backs down'. The horse was tired so I said we were to stop now. The horse was as 'backed down' as she was ever going to be.

She's still difficult to load, but it's nothing that a smack on the backside and a carrot doesn't resolve. Oh and away from home, she loads herself.

Ver dangerous when people project human emotions onto animals.

horseylady Tue 18-Dec-12 14:59:33

I should add, I didn't know she used parelli when she came, I was just told she would help with our loading issues. Only after researching did I realise it was parelli she was using.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Tue 18-Dec-12 15:37:06

That just seems wrong to me! A horse is a flight animal. In chaos it will run. A confined space would be its last choice, it would be cornered !

Frangipan1979 Tue 18-Dec-12 15:50:37

Thanks for all the comments.
Do you think I should give the part loan a trial period and as long as the horse is well behaved and the owner not a fanatic stick with it?
I don't really mind being guided by the owner on how ro handle the horse, as long as its not anything really controversial........

Pixel Tue 18-Dec-12 17:08:56

The last thing humans need is horses who think they are our equals!

This is what has happened with my cob. I only found out after I'd got him that he'd been started with Parelli methods. He has no respect for anyone's space, even our vet describes him as a 'bully' and the thing that constantly annoys me is that he's been taught to come in to the person who is lunging him, whereas I've always taught them to stand nicely out on the circle and wait for me to go to them. He now knows he can intimidate me by coming at me and I'm having a difficult job not getting killed convincing him to stay on the circle.

Some other things have put me off. We saw a Parelli display at Windsor which I did try to watch with an open mind. We were disgusted to see they were working an obviously lame horse and even my friend (who does use some NH methods successfully) was unimpressed by the horses' unhappy expressions. Another thing was spending a week camping next door to their headquarters while a training course for future instructors was going on. The ladies (I didn't see any men at all) taking the course were lovely but I had to bite my tongue when we were chatting in the loos as they were being taught what I thought was dodgy nonsense, some of it dangerous.

Anyway, I don't think it would put me off having a trial period to see what's what. It may be fine if the owner is sensible. As I say my friend uses some of the techniques and her horses are well-mannered and responsive. I just think you need enough knowledge before you start to be able to pick out the useful from the not so useful. It's when people are indoctrinated to think Parelli is the only possible way to train horses that the trouble starts IMO.

horseylady Tue 18-Dec-12 20:25:46

catpuss exactly. As I said I'm annoyed at myself. I know all this. Ive had horses from a child and yet i was just desperate to get the horse to load and not bolt off the trailer. I'd not dealt with anything so extreme and my previous instructor said to try her. I did, I regretted it. As I said after this I got her to load (maybe she did help in a way?!) but she still ran off the trailer. My current instructor has helped.

Butkin Tue 18-Dec-12 21:54:40

Couldn't have put it better than Callisto...

Zazzles007 Wed 19-Dec-12 03:14:29

Frangipan, yes I would give the trial 1-3 months, but only if you like the horse and the people to begin with. If you don't like them, then keep on searching. Something will come up, it always does in the horse world.

However, if you do decide to try the horse and you get the sense that they are 'Parelli-ites', then I would run a mile. If they ask you to 'take weekly lessons with our Parelli instructor' I would run a mile. And if they ask you to do things in a way that puts you or the horse in clear danger, I would also run a mile. In fact, don't hesitate to say 'thanks, but no thanks' to these people if you get a sense of this in the first couple of weeks even. No harm in checking them out, just filter out the loonies, as you usually would grin.

Hope this helps.

Frangipan1979 Wed 19-Dec-12 09:08:41

Hi thanks for all the views
I get some of the criticisms of Parelli that it's Mumbo-jumbo, nothing new, a money making scheme etc and I know some people see some aspects as cruel, but as I am a mere novice can anyone spell out to me exactly why it's sooooooo bad and to be avoided like the plague.

But can anyone be really specific, and spell out to me precisely what harm riding and handling this Parelli trained horse twice a week will have on me. Is the horse more likely to be dangerous or bad mannered?

I know I may have to adjust my riding style a bit, and handle the horse in the same way as the owner, but that doesn't bother me as long as I'm not putting myself or the horse in any danger - would I be?

As long as I keep my wits about me and don't let the owner brainwash me should I not be ok?!

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 19-Dec-12 09:38:46

The thing I find worst about nh is this ridiculous notion that you need to spend £££ on, for example a stick with a piece of string attached to it, in order to achieve the right results. Personally I use a lead rope when I want to teach a horse to move its quarters over, just gently swinging the end and knocking it into the horses side with the command, and the reward (pat, good boy/girl) works perfectly well. As I said, it's very commercial and homes in on people who are usually already having difficulties with their horse, which makes them vulnerable to spending more than they should, in desperation.
I did know one person who had a beautifully well mannered horse who did parelli, thing is, I knew the horse before she bought it, and it was beautifully well mannered then too!

dappleton Wed 19-Dec-12 09:40:54

Frangipan - it sounds like you really want this horse, the general consensus on here is don't get involved but you still seem keen.
If you go ahead just handle the horse like you would any other - kindly and confidently (and firmly if required) and see how you get on.
To be honest it's not the horse you have to worry about, more the owners! grin

dappleton Wed 19-Dec-12 09:45:08

ah but roger in Parelli they tell you off for patting the horse - apparently it scares the horse! grin judge from that what you will.....

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