Who else is typically a skeptic to the point that you might even talk badly about something without ever having tried it? I certainly am when it comes to anything in the horse world that has been commercialized, BUT I have changed my mind about Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Why?
Thanks to my visit to Karen's Kourse I was introduced to some neighbors who also believe in building a strong relationship with their horses from the ground. Brian and Marianne take their horses on trail rides all over the country, and no matter where they go, their horses are simply ground tied. When it's time to leave, Brian simply waves his hat and the horses come running to self-load into the trailer.
Brian is not a full-time horse professional, as a matter of fact he didn't start working with horses at all until a few years ago, but when he started he studied the Parelli methods with full dedication. He's humble and a self-proclaimed amateur, but when I saw him work with Q a few weeks ago I was amazed at how quickly he built rapport and trust with her.
As you may know, I have done a lot of work from the ground with Q, and she has grown to fully trust me - over a course of MONTHS. Brian had her following him around in a new environment within the first 30 minutes of meeting her. And all he did was start by playing the Parelli "friendly game" with her.
After seeing Brian work with Q and his and Marianne's horses, I quickly realized that the Parelli method wasn't just some scam to suck money out of people with problem horses, it may just be the real deal. So the next day I spent over $200 on equipment (the carrot stick, savvy string, 12' and 22' lines, and 2 rope halters), and I joined the Parelli Savvy Club online for only $19.99 per month (https://www.parellisavvyclub.com/)
I quickly "devoured" the first online courses in preparation for my new equipment to arrive, and I have LOVED every word spoken by Pat Parelli and Linda Parelli. The videos make sense and even better yet the methods focused on horse psychology are spot on.
I am NOT a certified Parelli trainer, but I definitely intend to pursue that course now that I've had the opportunity to open my mind. True, much of what I do is Parelli-esque, but the Parelli method apply 30 years of refinement and clarity by providing a structure and system designed around partnership more than training. I do think Q and I will progress quickly through the levels because of the relationship we've already developed, but we're starting at the beginning.
Please comment if you have had experience using the Parelli method and stay tuned as I continue to recalculate my training route. It wouldn't be a journey if you didn't try some new things along the way.
By Kyle Rothfus
This blog is dedicated to providing insight about OTTB re-training, Thoroughbred pedigrees and general equine care. You can also track the progress of horses I have for sale through posts here.