One thing I have witnessed lately that kind of gets under my skin is when you mention “natural horsemanship” people automaticlly assume you mean Parelli.
Parelli may have made the term become active in the national natural horsemanship world but it doesn’t mean that everyone that practices it is a Parelli follower.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against Parelli. It IS what started me off in my new horse Journey. It gets a bad rap though because just like everything else it has it’s extremists, it also has people who misunderstand the message isn’t love, love, love and let your horse walk all over you. It has a lot of misunderstandings and I personally think that’s the problem with a program that can be taught over the internet or thru video’s, the message is right but how people take it and use it can be wrong because there’s nothing to reinforce YOU having to do it right.
I beleive in the benifit of having a trainer watch you and make sure all your parts are moving correctly or you are softening when you need to, make sure your timing is getting better, that you are following up correctly etc.
Many things I thought I was doing correctly in the beginning were wrong because I didn’t have a trainer present at my training events with my horse. Even though I had the message correct, I wasn’t able to really get it without that hands on training with someone knowledgeable.
I reached out…friends, friends that were trainers, thier friends…I’ve paid a lot of money for training but it’s paying me back tenfold. Reached out to different methods. Taking what I beleived to be the best out of those different methods and meshing it together. Just like the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that’s so popular now, it came about by taking the best out of different forms and mashing it together to form a new style.
Just like Martial arts, natural horsemanship isn’t new either….it’s instead, very very old this was how it was done correctly in the beginning before we changed things the wrong way for our conveniance, realizing now that it wasn’t a conveniance to cut corners….nothing new to us humans right? So we are backtracking.
Going back to the Martial art’s analogy if you do mixed martial arts, you don’t assume they follow only the Gracies or if you do a specific form like Kung Fu, you don’t automaticlly assume Bruce Lee was the teacher. It’s all different parts of the umbrella of the term Martial Arts.
Let’s let Natural Horsemanship just be what it is as an umbrella term without associating the most advertised form and making assumptions of the form or forms people study. That would make it a lot easier and we wouldn’t have to launch into a speech right after we tell someone we follow Natural Horsmanship techniques and they ask the next enevitable question which always seems to have Parelli connected to it as they feel us out.