Natural Horsemanship vs Traditional methods

TicTac

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I am interested to know what people really think of 'Parelli' style horse training or are you a staunch traditionalist? I really enjoy watching Pat and Linda Parelli at work and can see totally how their methods work. I admire Richard Maxwell and enjoy his lecture/demos as he combines both natural and tradional methods with great sucess. What is it about 'Parelli' that seems to get people's backs up?

I can honestly say that I am achieving very good results by combining both methods of training with my horse. She has most definitely benefited and improved from Parelli style ground work.

I do believe that any method of training a horse not carried out correctly will have a detramental effect on it and have seen it with 'Natural' training as well as traditional.

Would be interested to hear your views as I find it quite an emotive subject!
 
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Rachel_M

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I am not going to put myself into either boxes.

Basic horsemanship is what Parelli is a mutant of- Just without the price tag attached and I try and practice the best horsemanship that I know.


Parelli fans may see me as more traditional but, I want to say, that traditional isn't always bad.
 

Rachel_M

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[ QUOTE ]
All horse training comes with a price tag!

[/ QUOTE ]

Very true but some price tags are far more than the actual thing is worth.
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EDITED TO SAY- Basic horsemanship doesn't need to have a price tag. By watching and learning from other horseman, which doesn't cost a thing, you can start to pick up the basics. Learning to understand your horse shouldn't cost money. It just takes effort on your part to listen to what your horse thrives on. Without the need of a 'carrot stick'.
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Smurphy

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There is nothing new about Pat Parelli's technique, I hate the term "natural". It is good horsemanship not natural.

Parelli is a money making invention, who needs a carrot stick and a rope haltler at £90 a set, a carrot stick is an orange lunge whip ffs.


What gets my back up is ppl that are into the whole parelli thing cant see past it, and anything else is wrong, I get dirty looks for carrying a whip and riding in spurs (my horses have manners and respect for ppl, I don’t need carrot stick or a 10ft line to handle my horses)
 

MooMoo

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How about Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks? I'm not against Parelli - i find it really interesting. Although i can see why people would be put off by the expense.
Has anyone read Kelly's 'Perfect Manners' book? I thought it was really good. Its a mix of natural horsemanship and applying it in a practical way. Plus you dont have to fork out lots of money.
Traditional methods are good to - unless they cause uneccessary stress or pain to the horse.

Whatever works best for you i suppose
 

MooMoo

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[ QUOTE ]

What gets my back up is ppl that are into the whole parelli thing cant see past it, and anything else is wrong,

[/ QUOTE ]

To be fair though it wouldnt just be people who do parelli that are like that. I see your point though, i thinks its best to just be open minded and use a combination of different methods that work best for the particular horse.
 

Rachel_M

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I agree, what ever works best.
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I said originally that I wouldn't put myself in the box because I try to do what is best for the horse and me. Some of those techniques are "traditional", others are more modern. I just go with the flow, if you will!

If I do something resembling what you call "natural horsemanship", it is because I am practising basic horsemanship.
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JM07

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[ QUOTE ]
All horse training comes with a price tag!

[/ QUOTE ]

watch and learn common (horse) sense costs nothing....

definition of carrot/stick........offer of incentive to do something combined with the threat of punishment.....

just about sums it up to me......
 

Leah3horses

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Can I just say that there is a huge choice of methods and practioners in Natural Horsemanship, just as there are a huge choice of trainers in Traditional methods.Parelli for me and a lot of other educated NH advocates is not typical of modern NH and there is a huge difference between Parelli and more low key,individual ways of practising NH.

If Parelli works for your horse and you 'buy into' their ethos (literally) then that's great,each to their own. However I for one don't like Parelli to be held up as the only or main NH way,and I don't want people to put NH wrongly under the Parelli unbrella.The terminology here is important as Parelli has developed a reputation as a very commercial exercise and their methods are very specific with little room for using other methods ,which may be much more suitable. I don't blame staunch tradionalists for being against Parelli, and it's important to stress the difference between Parelli and general NH.Using NH should not cost not a penny, it comes from the respect and love we have for horses and how we relate to them.

A lot of people prefer a structured 'club' type way of learning, where initiative,research and other experience isn't encouraged or accepted as being important.This is the Parelli way, imo.

NH has been around since horses were domesticated, Parelli is a very recent development and is a very specific 'programme'.I've reared, backed and trained horses for 30 years using NH,just that it used to be called 'common sense and kindness'
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Parelli is very far removed from how Richard Maxwell works, and is very far removed from everyday NH practice that I and many others use.In fact I use what works for my horses,as Tic Tac is saying,using NH and Traditional, as they can compliment each other well when both are used with respect for horses, knowledge and experience.

It's a shame we have to divide horsemanship into so many different 'camps' but this is how it seems to be. The Parellis have seen an opportunity to create a 'business' based very loosely on original NH principles.NH should simplify handling and training horses well,and encourage initiative and horse -sense and in many cases it upholds this spirit as it's common-sense based. Unfortunately the same can't be said for Parelli, again, only imo.

Funnily enough I'd probably agree more with a staunch tradionalist than a Parelli convert, in the way that there is no replacement for experience with horses, or a way to 'buy' this.

Let the games begin?
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Rachel_M

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I think what they mean when they say "natural" is that they try to get the best out of the horse without using too many "artificial" aids and devices. I think that is what they mean but I have been wrong before!
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Pretty much basic horsemanship, I agree, but it just highlights that there are other ways than using every gadget under the sun to get results!
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xnaughtybutnicex

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Pat and linda parelli do basically the same thing that monty roberts, richard maxwell, kelly marks ect. all do and it really is just basic horsemanship, it is human talking horses language not horse talking human language, you dont need anything that costs £90 you just need to watch how the horses 'talk' to each other and their body language, which is exactly what monty roberts did. There is nothing that they can teach you that you cant learn from years of hard work and 'listening' to your horse carefully. Although saying that i do like watching what they can get their horses to do, but def. wouldnt pay £90 for a lunge whip and halter. I would pay to watch them though lol so im kind of in the middle.

Sorry about the essay lol
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MooMoo

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I dont think its fair to class all the natural horsemanship as the same, for example i think Parelli and Kelly Marks are very different. Most obvious thing beingthe absence of carrot stickswith K.M. You dont really need specialist equipment but string halters seem to be quite popular. (Which you can make yourself)
 

xnaughtybutnicex

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yes, BC you would

I'm all for 'natural'(proper) horsemanship and for traditional as long as they are both done properly e.g traditional-not horse standing for hours with side-reins on like at some dealers or being thrashed around and whipped constantly but getting a smack when it need it e.g trying to throw you off for no reason at all except it didnt want to do what you asked it. 'natural horsemanship'- done 'properly' in the sense that you dont need to be told how to do things you just understand your horses body language and horse does yours.
 

xnaughtybutnicex

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[ QUOTE ]
I dont think its fair to class all the natural horsemanship as the same, for example i think Parelli and Kelly Marks are very different. Most obvious thing beingthe absence of carrot stickswith

[/ QUOTE ]

I wasnt classing it all as the same just saying they all use the same 'basics', being that they use the horses own language by studying it and simply repeat it back to them(if that makes sense) IMHO they are all variations of the same thing.
 

Rachel_M

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[ QUOTE ]
would you not class a 10ft rope, a carrot stick and a knotted halter as atificial aids.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes but I am not from the Parelli or the NH camp, so you'll have to ask them as to their views
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I am just for basic horsemanship.
 

Flame_

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[ QUOTE ]
why do your refer to it as "Natural" Horsemanship?, surely it is simply good horsemanship.

[/ QUOTE ]

Good point. I just think its a label that's somehow been adopted by all the Monty Roberts wannabes.
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Everyone understands that it refers to this "new" club of "only ever nice" horse fixers. Works for me... but means sweet F A
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TarrSteps

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Random thoughts on the subject . . .

It's the commercialism that most people claim to object to about Parelli, although I wonder how many of those people wish they'd thought it up first.
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"Natural" is a marketing term and originally was supposed to be an reaction to some of the harsher "cowboy" models (which is why it makes me laugh that "cowboy" has somehow become a compliment now). Since I suspect no one here has ever seen these practices in action in the modern age the "reaction" is all a bit suspect now.

Very little of what we want from horses is "natural" its just a way of selling training to people who are ethically questioning their "right" to tell horses what to do. Personally, I don't think we have the "right" to make animals suffer so if we are going to use them for our purposes - which means keep them at all - then we owe it to them to look after and educate them in the best manner we can. Mistakes will be made but learn from them and make the next horse's life better. How the horse gets educated depends a lot on what people want from the situation and what they're willing to put in, far less on the actual methods used. Many people think that asking less is "better" but that defines the situation very narrowly and ignores some fundamental truths about horses . . . and people.

There have been "horse whisperers" since there have been horses - trainers who advocated a "horse friendly" approach to training based on the natural reactions of the horse and on making the right things easy and the wrong things hard. No new news there.

How many people who decry "natural" horsemanship have bothered to read Dorrance or even Tom Roberts - men who used similar methods nearly a century ago now?

The purpose of training is to produce a useful horse for what you want.

Calm

Forward

Straight

Anything else, whatever box it comes in or hat you wear, is not good training even by practical let alone ethical standards.

If your goal is to produce a good riding horse and the ones you are producing aren't good to ride then you're failing. If you want a pet and your horse tries to kill you on a daily basis you're not succeeding. Different systems put emphasis on different things but that doesn't necessarily mean they are "wrong" or "right" merely that they have a different emphasis.

So many people seem to judge systems by the people who do them badly. And, to be fair, some systems seem to attract people who don't want to put the time and effort in to learn them properly but I don't think that's limited to current or fashionable methods. There are a lot of people riding dressage badly . . . does that mean all dressage riders are suspect? Or that what we call commonly call dressage (which is actually a very narrow school of the discipline) is inherently cruel/stupid/useless?

My own personal reservation about some of the systems heavily invested in groundwork is they attract some people who, for whatever reason, don't really want to ride but won't simply admit this and move on. They imply that doing the ground work will solve the ridden issues even if the ridden problems have more to do with the rider than the horse. Yes, having the horse properly prepared is important - a horse can't do a halfpass properly if it can't cross both sets of legs both ways WITHOUT a rider - but it's only part of it. In order for horses to go well people have to ride well and I'm suspicious of any system that seems to ignore or downplay that essential truth.

But then again, I don't have a problem with people having horses and NOT riding them, so long as everyone - including the horse - is content with the situation.
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By the same token, I don't think it's fair to tell people who have a horse whose "problem" is simply that it is unsuited for the situation that a few exercises will make everything okay. There have been some VERY "traditional" systems that relied heavily on working horses in hand, even to the point of exhibition. Right or wrong?

The goal is to produce a mentally compliant, willing, supple horse which assumes a relaxed but toned posture, uses it's body properly and enthusiastically, stays sound, sane and safe, and gives the rider/handler enjoyment. Anyone getting that done can have a definitive opinion but the rest of us are merely struggling towards it and would do better to at least keep our options open and use EVERYTHING we can towards to goal.

All a bit hippy, dippy? Yup.

But I always think it's such a shame that people who say they have the same goals spend more time slagging each other off for going about it differently instead of proving they've got the "right" solution.
 

YorksG

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To all those who believe that good horsemanship is a new phenomena, read Xenaphon. The fact that the Parelli's etc are all from America suggests to me that this is a reaction to harsh breaking methods and rodeo style horse 'training'. There are bad horse keepers and trainers the world over, as there are good ones the world over. I do feel though that this 'Natural' horsemanship is merely branding and cashing in on methods of working which have been in place for nearly as long as people have worked horses. It does seem to be a niche for adult novices, from what I have seen.
 

ddd

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I am into dressage but dont try to convince everyone i come into contact with that they should train there horse in dressage, the same can usually be said for Show jumping and eventing. My problem with Parelli people is they want to tell everyone it should be done their way and there is no other way, Monty Roberts comes across the same, I do not have a problem with people doing Parelli if that is their choice but then get on with it and leave the rest of us alone.

Natural Horsemanship IMO is only of use if it leads to being able to ride the horse afterwards in a traditional way. Not sure that Parelli does this but Richard Maxwell certainly does.
 

Natch

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For me natural horsemanship is one of several tools in my toolkit, and it happens to work very well and compliment the other stuff I do too. I even ride with a saddle and bridle and everything
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I call it natural horsemanship because I am striving to keep and treat the horse in the most natural way as is practical, because I believe that to be the kindest to him, and happily it is also the most effective with F. Domesticating horses is not natural, but everything is a compromise on a sliding scale... it is more natural to keep him living out 24/7, than in a stable at night. To intereact with him as best I can in a way that suits his logic is more natural than to make him learn my language according to my logic... does that make sense?

Of course it has been around for donkeys years, and any person who tries to tell you otherwise is making a pratt out of themselves.
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It is not mutually exclusive to most other schools of thought and methods, because most schools of thought treat a horse with kindness and know that getting the horse's co-operation not fear ultimately makes for a better horse.
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I also happen to believe that if I can convince a horse to do something because he wants to and doesn't have to (see the flexion in the 2nd picture in on my siggy) then that makes me a better horse person than if the only way I could achieve that was by making it uncomfortable for him otherwise. If I can achieve that with a headcollar great, if it takes a bridle, that's fine too.
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I do wish people wouldn't think that NH is VERSUS Traditional methods. Not many people consider traditional methods to mean beating the sh*t out of a horse and getting its fear (although some do).

Sits back and waits for her slating...
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Araminta

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[ QUOTE ]
would you not class a 10ft rope, a carrot stick and a knotted halter as atificial aids.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think no more so than headcollars 6' ropes and lungewhips!

I for one always use a 12' rope when leading for 2 reasons -

1. My horse is huge and if he were to put his head right up I would be off the ground!

2. If a horse is going to mess about I want it to be 12' away from me rather than on top!!!!
 
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