Saturday, June 4, 2011

not quite buying it

Parelli, that is. I mean, I'm downright hostile to their trademarking everything under the sun, and their aggressive marketing. But I'm willing to learn anything that will prove helpful and a number of things that will not. So I audited the clinic since it was free to do so.

And I'm interested in the techniques, but again find myself hostile to the insider lingo, and to useless and (worse) meaningless platitudes like "you have a 50-50 chance of being right."

Ah, but I was impressed with the clinician's handling of one unruly horse. While it may be a Parelli euphemism that the horse is never wrong, he just is, I can tell you right now that when a horse tries to bite me or strike me or otherwise attack me (which that particular horse has), that is the wrong answer and I don't give a darn what else is going on in his life right then, it is still the wrong answer. And my response to him would likely be hell no. I'll tell you, even upon reflection, I believe that horses, dogs, children, friends, bosses, even chickens, occasionally need a hell no! I sometimes need a hell no. But I willing to listen, and I'm willing to learn to say hell no in a different way too. I was impressed that Richard's response to the horse did not raise the volume but did suppress the behavior. Some. I'm not convinced. Yet.

My biggest question about the whole thing is, what the heck is the purpose? I know, I know, the relationship. That's like the NPR sponsor who is promoting a more peaceful and verdant world -- who isn't doing that? Of course it is about relationship. A plethora of insider lingo and dance steps does not a relationship facilitate or a purpose make. The purpose that I can see is the enrichment of the Parelli's and the people willing to jump through their hoops to do these clinics. I certainly would have felt ripped off if I'd paid $75 to be in the beginner "clinic". The afternoon individual sessions were much more worthwhile to the participants from my perspective. But dressage is not an end, it is a means, an improvement to the horse and the way he goes. I don't have any real interest in getting my horse to do figure eights in front of me, or in riding bridle-less. I don't care about that. I care about performance, whether that is dressage, cross country, barrel racing, or cutting. That's what I like, being good.

Another thing I was impressed with was the last lady in the afternoon and how she danced with her horse. Not that it sold me on Parelli but it reminds me of how sensitive to pressure horses, indeed, pretty much all animals, can be. Of course, they must be sensitized and not desensitized to it to actually be that way. Like mindfulness, it is a natural state but not a common one. But that lady and her horse definitely knew their Parelli dance. There are also dressage dances and cuttin' dances and lots of other dances and, as Corinthians might say, none is without signification. Which also means there is no more signification to Parelli than Parelli. I think that's what it means anyway.

Lisa had the chance today to describe all the stuff going on around JEF to several different people. I was not included in any of it. As a Parelli clinician would say, information, neither right nor wrong just is.


clairesgarden said...

'parelli connect' has a free 30 day trial available.

CG said...

so, do you do Parelli? And what do you think? I'm, at least at this point, not even willing to do a "free" 30 day trial.

I have thought more about it (and watched a couple of the videos that folks got from the intro clinic). I dislike his "partnership" paradigm -- horses are herd, and hierarchical, creatures, not partners even with their buddy horses. I want a good and kind *relationship* with my horses but I'm not thinking the partnership paradigm works for me.

CG said...

I also meant to say, in watching the videos of what is possible with Parelli, what I see are people and horses who have been working together for 10 to 20 years on, essentially, circus tricks, and I find it no surprise that they could be good at circus tricks after 10 or 20 years of working on such. I don't find myself interested in learning to train my horse to do circus tricks, much less to pay thousands of dollars to do circus tricks.

But I am still watching the videos. And if I get the chance to observe more, I will. Etc.

clairesgarden said...

the dressage queen in me held out long against it but yes now 'I am Parelli'
I started out with Quantum Savvy which is more affordable and doesn't have the relationship slant.
bear in mind these programmes are designed to take you from 'first contact' with a horse right up to high performance, I do remember being insulted that the very first thing you have to do is 'put the headcollar on correctly'. but the beginning is where you start.
like to point out that I have not been doing this for 20/30 years, and our circus tricks are just fine and dandy, please note I say this with a smile!!