Sunday, March 07, 2010

Linda Parelli teaches a one-eyed horse a "lesson"

This came in to my inbox a bit ago and I am appalled. I've never been a Parelli fan, but mostly because of what I've read and heard - I've never seen any of their "work."

This is a horse with one eye, and watching the video, I am most struck by the fact that I can make no sense at all of what Linda might be asking this horse to do. It's clear the poor horse doesn't know either.

I only wish I had a video of Marlis Amato working in a clinic we hosted here a few years ago, with our one-eyed goddess, Salina, to show an alternative of what one can do softly, quietly, and with utmost respect to the horse.

I'm told this is from a Parelli Level 1 DVD. If this is basic, I have no desire at all to see what they do in advanced work, and as much as I adore Walter Zettl, I can't imagine what he is doing working with the Parellis, unless it's to try and get them to stop doing THIS:

Note to everyone who doesn't know: this is terrible horsemanship. I'm so tired of so-called "professionals" treating horses badly and earning money for it.

Here's an alternative with Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling:


jme said...

wow, my mom and i watched that together in horror. i could fill pages and pages with everything i think is wrong with that but, i'll keep it short and simple: in the vast realm of horrible and ridiculous training, i think that was the worst i've seen so far - and that's saying something.

Grey Horse Matters said...

That video was unbelievable! I'm not a big fan of the natural horsemanship gurus. I'm always of the opinion they are trying to make a buck feeding into the fears and lack of education of some horse people.

She should be brought up on animal abuse charges. The poor thing was petrified and she just kept hitting him in the face and body and jerking him around. If he was trying to look at something it was most likely because he is blind in one eye. Now if she would have got herself positioned by his shoulder where he could see her, he might have understood what the hell she was trying to get accomplished.Although he'd have to be a genius for that because I still can't figure out what she was doing except maybe putting on a show to let everyone know what a great innovative 'trainer ' she is.

I'd never put my horse in the hands of idiots like this, but unfortunately once you've made a name for yourself, seems you can get away with any behavior, even if it's unacceptable behavior.

Máire said...

Ouch! I have done some Parelli, but get bored quickly and I have always, always decided to ignore the 'yo-yo' game. That is, I think, what she is doing when she is sweeping the rope around.

I actually could not watch all this video.

I love Hempfling's approach, by the way, even if it seems way beyond my reach. Although, a few years ago I came across his Dancing with Horses book and used his approach to leading with my mare, Mali. It worked a treat. She was completely tuned in to my body languae.


CharlieHorse said...

ya know, I use to be a big Parelli fan for a time...but something was missing - while they called it "natural" and talked about "love, language and leadership" - it still ~felt~ mechanical, programmed, an un-natural in the sense that I wanted a WILLING relationship with my Cookie, with any horse in my handling. This video of Linda Parelli distresses me no end. I seriously feel like MY trust has been busted, betrayed !! At this point, I feel a shame for having been sucked in by my nativity !! I shudder to think how easily I was "took" and I think, too, of how Hitler was a master at mesmorizing the masses. Gosh, human nature is so scary !! Makes me thing of the Eagles song "Learn to be Still" and the verse:

"We are like sheep without a shepherd
We don’t know how to be alone
So we wander ‘round this desert
And wind up following the wrong God’s home"

I did leave the Parelli "cult" and have found a new way, a new teacher that speaks more to the my heart and love of horses. She's been, actually similar to you, billie, a quiet, calm, proactive voice in the maddness of horse use and abuse and the hyped issue of "rollkur/hyperflexion" - I'm sure you know of whom I speak - Carolyn Resnick. However, I am trying to keep to this saying attributed to Budda:

"Believe nothing no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have sait it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

And, I like to think that when I know better, I do better.

billie said...

j, I would have to agree. I don't think I've ever seen something so useless being done with a horse, particularly in the guise of "teaching."

It made me want to jerk Linda Parelli's head around a few times and see if that helped HER to focus. Geez.

billie said...

Arlene, I agree - the thought of her doing that to Salina made me physically ill. There is just no way. When she told the guy to go over by the tree so she could "deal with this" I wanted him to grab the lead rope and say NO THANK YOU.

billie said...

Maire, I don't think Hempfling's approach is beyond your reach at all - I wouldn't attempt to use it with damaged or aggressive stallions, personally, but like you, I've tried it with my own horses and had very good results. I think his work is intuitive and makes sense to the horses, and his quiet demeanor makes it easy for the horse to match his body.

billie said...

Beth, I have not had any real experience with the Parelli methods, and don't know much about them, but when someone sent me this link I was so mortified I couldn't let it pass without comment.

The fact that you encountered Parelli and moved on when you decided it wasn't working for your relationship with your horses is proof that you were no cult member!

Rising Rainbow said...

I've never been into Parelli. I know people who have jumped in with both feet but have seen nothing that shows they've learned anything useful.

I haven't watched the video yet, but I will. Would like to see what is setting everyone here off.

billie said...

MiKael, I'd be surprised if it doesn't set you off as well - knowing your work with horses.

ponymaid said...

Billie, the woman and I couldn't watch the abuse film - too close to what some of our equine friends have received as "training". When money and ego walk in, common sense flies out the window. Jack says it's just a modern version of snake oil and I have to agree.

billie said...

Sheaffer, my husband literally ran from the room, shrieking. There are things I can't watch (the footage inside the veal processing plant that was shut down by the Humane Society a few months back is one of them) but sometimes I force myself to watch something even when I know it will upset/anger me. On some level it fires me up to speak out, I think.

When a horse trainer of any kind becomes more attached to the "method" than to the good of the horse, it's bad news. Sadly, many of them do, in an effort to sell that "method."

Jane said...

Billie I am so glad you found and posted this Parelli video. It is completely unbelievable, and I feel, abusive. Her body language was all over the place just like the rope. Was she even paying attention to the horse?

Lest anyone thing Hempfling idea is out of their reach, I have inadvertently taught all the horses I handle on the lunge, to trot/canter/walk off my body cues. I use verbal commands, but at times, the noise level due to rain or teaching prevents the horse from hearing well, so I began to trot a few steps when I said "trot" and simulate canter steps when I said "canter". Pretty soon didn't need to say anything.

One trainer laughed at me (not meanly) for "trotting" then she realized I didn't need a lunge whip, etc. Now I'm playing with extending and coming back within the gaits. Really interesting. Not perfect, not anywhere near Hempling, but a whole lot of fun!

billie said...

Exactly, Jane, re: the Hempfling work. They seem to be drawn to sync up with what we're doing - which is why Linda Parelli is so unsuccessful in that video. She's acting like a maniac, and the horse is simply scrambling around trying to follow, since she won't allow it to look away.

It deeply bothers me that these horses being trained this way are forced to give attention to the handlers - shouldn't the attention be given b/c the handler is worthy of it? Via trust and consistency of behavior and kindness?

CharlieHorse said...

billie, may I have your permission to use and attribute this quote of yours?

When a horse trainer of any kind becomes more attached to the "method" than to the good of the horse, it's bad news. Sadly, many of them do, in an effort to sell that "method." -billie hinton

in Virginia

billie said...

Sure, Beth - I wish I had stated it more elegantly! :)

Jhinnua said...

It's my personal opinion that Parelli is bullshit. Maybe not completely in some aspects, but... even after watching the entire Lvl 1 Parelli dvd, I still don't understand what she's trying to achieve in this clip.

I learned a totally different way and psychology from various horsemen (Monty Roberts, GaWani Pony Boy, the guy who trained my mare, various books) and life experience. The best advice and best training method I've seen is definitely 'do things like you've done them 100x with the horse before... even if it's only the 1st' that and... treat them like a freakin' horse.

Oh, and I prefer "Respect your horse, and it will respect you", rather than "Love your horse and it will love you", because... if you love something, it doesn't mean it will love you back. Respect on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the 'odd man out' as I see no difference in Linda's video and Klaus's, (except perhaps the high level of expert choreography in Klaus's).

And the fact that poor Barney was blind in one eye.

Wanda Lyon said...

Parelli or QS (off shoot) have never day with me, nor any og the other wwrll knows who use NH. NH is well worded by these people to hide bullying. Simple! These are sll people wth huge egos that like to see the money keep coming. I started NH but didnt get far as perdonally it was not correct. They talk respect frm the horse but you never see respect gven or any love within. These days it is all quick fix, ego driven, look at me treatment I will fix your horse. Within my search for a better way to have a relationship with my horsed I came across Friendship Trsining, where it is based on peer atachment. You build s relationship wth your horse frm respect and love. YES LOVE. It is not a quick fix, but a lifestyle program where your horse does have a voice. Please hve a look at Friendship Training ~ and help the horses by letting owners know there is a kind and loving method of training your horse. I sm a student of thid wonderful program. Stop the abusive training methods now ... Please!

Wanda Lyon said...

I hve just come across this blog and would like to add that I feel the NH trainers like Parelli QS (off shoot) plus all the others hve not improved but maybe become worse. In real life terms they are nothing but bullies wth huge egos plus want the dollars. Was a student of QS but not for long as there method just did not sit wth me. I am now a student of Friendship Training to which is a lifestyle program of trust and love. Please look at the program based on peer attachment and lets give the horses a new kind loving way to learn, where they too have a voice ~