Monday, February 2, 2009

High and Mighty Parelli-ites and stereotypes!

Volunteering at CANTER is nice, but some of the people drive me nuts. People for some reason, keep acting like I know nothing about horses. Its pretty frustrating, considering I explained to them my horse experience on Saturday. I think part of it, is I'm up against the usual (at least for me its usual), "she rides Western, I ride English. Western people don't know how to ride, particularly barrel racers." First off, I'm not saying that all English riders think that, but I've ran across quite a few that do, and it drives me nuts. Also, I've also ran across enough Western people not knowing how to ride, particularly in barrels. But, I'd be lying if I said I haven't seen English riders that knew nothing. And honestly, I ride both! Yeah, most of my gear is Western and I find it more comfortable to wear my western boots and jeans to horse functions if I have an option, so all you see is Western-y stuff. Today, I combined that with my barrel racing sweatshirt, which made it even better. I hate stereotypes. Honestly, I wish we could just all look at each other as a "horseman" or "horsewoman." Sure, if the person proves to you that he or she is completely incompetent, that's fine, but seriously, give people a chance. People at CANTER let some of the volunteers ride, and I can't wait until I get to get on a horse and show them that I know how to ride English, in fact I have taken lots of jumping and dressage lessons.

I get that a lot of local barrel racers and some of the pros do things that are construed as cruel, whether or not they really are. I also get that, for some reason, a lot of people think that you don't have to have a good seat or posture to ride the barrels. These people do not represent the whole of barrel racers! I know there are stereotypes for pretty much every discipline, and all I can say is, "BOOOO!"

The other issue I had today was people touting the wisdom of Parelli. Parelli bothers me a little, sure, I like his 7 games and some of his ground work and he definitely has some sound advice, but I hate how much money he's making off of some techniques that you can find in books from several older trainers, Tom Dorrance, for example. The person touting the Parelli wisdom was discussing something he had said on his show or whatever, that if your horse gets anxious about a hanging girth you use your arm to add the feel of the girth all the way around. This, to me, is common sense.

I also found it funny because she walked up to a horse who was blocking the pathway by standing lopsided and looked her in the eye and said, "Move" and pointed at her butt. The horse blatantly ignored her. People for some reason think that because the Parelli's can do it, they probably can too. Right, because the Parelli's don't spend tons of time working with the horses they do their demonstrations with. Parelli even says, "If you take the time you need, you'll find it takes less time." Something of that sort anyway. I find that pretty true, but for some reason, many Parelli followers don't get it.

Look, I'm not just a Parelli hater, I got his level 1 dvds and I read his book. I'd say, I've done my research and I find him nothing more than a good horse trainer that has amazing marketing abilities.

OK, I will step off my soap box now. I hope I haven't offended anyone, honestly, I have no problem with people who like Parelli, as long as they're reasonable.

Alright, I have to go feed the bird, go to town, and probably head to the gym!


backattheranch said...

I know exactly what you are saying and you sure havent offended me. I have had that same type of people around me but in reality they are the ones that are ignorant on horsemanship and its horsemanship they need to learn. :)

Nightshade said...

I know! Usually the people who don't stereotype people can see good horsemanship better. The people that do stereotype usually just see the type of event or discipline the person rides in and assume they know how that person rides. We are all students of horses. It shouldn't matter if you team pen, barrel race, do western pleasure, event, do dressage, endurance, etc etc.

Goodness, I'm going to start ranting again!

Jessica said...

Great post!

I think there are definately a hundred different ways to train a horse, and as long as it's successful and non-abusive, it's correct. Variations in training is what makes training such an addictive hobby.

Donna E said...

Just wanted to say that I feel ya! I get your meaning,and a bit of advice on dealing with such folks is don't talk so much to them,let them hang themselves when you show them what you know! I'm a doer myself,and have learned that those people can't hear you above themselves,and they like their own voices.Hang tough and just show'em what you've got. like your post

Anonymous said...

I think that if you had read a bit more of Parelli or been to one of his clinics you would find that he always gives credit to the true horsemen who came before him, including Tom Dorrance,(who he studied under, by the way). He admits to not being the first to do what he does. The fact that he and his wife and staff have had the brains and skill to market the knowledge he has gleaned through the years is something that I would think anyone would be proud to accomplish. Why would you hate someone for their success? I would say congratulations for a job well done. Hard work has its reward.

Nightshade said...


I don't hate Parelli for his success. I seriously dislike the cost of his training tools and Dvds. I'm aware that many of the big named trainers now charge too much for all their stuff, I don't support them either. Why should anyone have to pay $40 for a rope halter that cost Parelli probably $5 to have made? I read his book in entirety and I've even been to one of his clinics, yes he mentions those people in passing and gives them credit, but what I'm saying is several people that follow him ignore this stuff and think Parelli is horse-god. Parelli would have much more of my respect if he would explain the levels fully in his book rather than forcing people to attend clinics upward of $1000 or buy $300 dvd sets. I'm sure many people would still go to clinics and buy dvds, but he'd probably have more people that weren't disgusted by the amount of money he asks for his wisdom. Personally, I'd rather stay away from him and keep more of my money in my own pocket and not his.

The other thing I don't like is that for some reason most of the Parelli-followers I meet don't listen to his words fully. They do the whole start out really light and then ask with more intensity until a certain point and stop. They're horses are often walking all over them and they're trying to do Parelli techniques that they haven't put time into teaching their horse. I know this isn't his fault as he explains what happens when you don't use enough intensity, etc. But, I just don't get how so many of them just don't listen to everything he says. This is my biggest problem with a lot of the people that spout his training techniques, and of course not all of them do it. The ones that listen to everything tend to be good riders and horsemen, but its not for me. That's all I'm saying.

Phil said...

"I find him nothing more than a good horse trainer that has amazing marketing abilities."

Well said. Thank you.