Wednesday, August 29, 2007

29th August, 2007 Parellified

I think it's probably time I stated how I feel about Parelli. I have just finished watching their new DVD on Horse Behaviour and whilst there is a great deal of sense in what they say (very little of which is new to me after my IH courses) I still don't like the way that the system is used on horses; for many horses the seven games do indeed become the seven tortures that Pat Parelli warns against. I've met horses that are switched off, turned off and angry following the Parelli treatment.On the theoretical side, I agree that there are confident and unconfident (sic) horses but worry about right brain/ left brain labels when there is no scientific certainty that horses, or even people, do operate in this way. It's a useful vehicle to explain that switch from relaxed to flight and for horses having a tendency to be one way or the other. I believe that all the techniques under the natural horsemanship banner or "church" will benefit horses if they persuade owners to see things from the horse's perspective and I think it's important that the practitioners don't fall out with one another, however, I cannot countenance a system that uses violence even to reinforce a command. In the first DVD a horse called George is clearly hit with the carrot stick when he doesn't walk forward the instant that Pat Parelli walks forward - are horses to be allowed no reaction time? I still can't forget a very early video showing Pat Parelli loading a horse into a broken trailer - the horse is stressed and sweating and has no idea what he is being asked to do. I also have strong reservations about the process of imprinting where the normal bonding process between a foal and it's mother is interrupted by human intervention within the first two hours following birth and involves pretty intense touching and probing of the foal's body. The reason I love Intelligent Horsemanship is because it does what is says on the label, it encourages people to use the most intelligent way of working with their horse based on the horse's psychology. There is no set system so that it is tailor made to the needs of the horse.