Poor Horse Or Poor Trainer? Parelli Training – Backing Up

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This video is a clip from Parelli’s training DVD’s.  Linda Parelli is trying to show how to back a horse up.  Who do you feel sorry for – the horse or the trainer?  I know the Parelli training method has helped a lot of horse owners, but does this make sense to you?  Share this on Facebook if you think people should be aware of these training methods.

 

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45 Responses

  1. Lori

    This horse is missing an eye. Would you let someone treat your handicapped child this way? I think this is horrible. NOT a Parelli fan.

    Reply
    • 1fatmule

      i agree 100% NOT a parelli fan myself, soo many people swear by their “training” i feel sorry for that horse, and if i was the owner it would not have gone on that long!

      Reply
    • Diana

      I agree totally! This is not a correct training….The horse has no idea whats this about, poor 1 eyed horse..I have no respect for Pat Parelli at all, he should go in to a circus!

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      look at the end result !! wouldnt you rather have a horse that listened without being fearful and disrespectful instead of the one in the beginning who would of trampled right over the top of you?

      Reply
    • HorseLoverLahni

      I’ve been to a Parelli session after being forced into it with a friend. I am grateful to her for bringing me to that because I now know NEVER to participate in it. It sickens me to think that these so called horse ‘experts’ involved in Parelli think it’s okay to do this. And the fact that this horse is half-blind just makes it worse. I’ve seen another Parelli demonstration video where Pat Parelli is using his methods to get a bridle on a stallion named Catwalk. For some stupid reason he thought leading the poor thing by his tongue and using a GUMLINE on him was a good idea. I do not, and never will, support Parelli.

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    • Venice

      I have never understood Parelli and to me this is abuse , and for what purpose do they do this anyway …

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Personally I think that is just wrong I don’t agree with their methods . There is a pressure point in their chest that you can teach them to back up with out flapping a lead rope in their face. Poor horse

      Reply
    • JD Roberts

      Stupid Bitch! And where is this poor animals owner? SHAME ON THEM as well! I’d like to slap her up side the face/neck as she did this horse who is blind in one eye! She is a DISGRACE TO LEGITIMATE TRAINERS EVERYWHERE!

      Reply
  2. Deanna McHugh

    The video clip has been taken out of context with the express purpose of vilifying someone who doesn’t deserve it. Linda Parelli, whom I know personally, would never, ever be cruel to a horse or any other living being. Like Lehua, Linda has spent her entire career studying and learning the behavior of horses.The student (the man)in this video was inept –and applying Parelli methods incorrectly, without subtlety and without release. Linda was trying to be as positive as possible with him (he was there for help and trying to do what he thought was right), but finally she took the tools away from him BECA– USE he was not honoring the principles of pressure and release and he was making a bad situation worse. He was just flailing away and the horse didn’t have a clue. Unfortunately, the horse was walking all over him, and Linda, which is not safe. For most of the 10 minutes of this video, the horse was rank and disrespectful, probably as a result of the owner’s previous and ongoing ineptitude. The process of making the horse respect the space around a human was ugly, absolutely. But the horse and man were there because they had a big problem. What the video DOESN’T show is that Linda was successful in helping that man and horse to achieve a respectful partnership, and the horse now assists in a therapeutic riding program. For a slightly different perspective— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEo-_pyz-z0

    Reply
    • Bill Baehr

      That horse was not disrespectful; it was scared and confused. I don’t think that Linda is intentionally cruel, she’s just ignorant about horse behavior as you are. Pat is ignorant about horse behavior too.
      You, Pat and Linda need to be re-trained. The Parelli’s have a very poor understanding of horse behavior and behavior modification. There is absolutely no behavior modification or equine science behind the left brain/right brain theory or respect theory that they preach. Pat stumbled upon a few effective training techniques and psycobabble terms and built a business teaching them to naive people. If you want to want to really understand horse behavior and training read “Equitation Science” by Paul McGreevy. Once you read that book and understand it Pat and Linda will just be clowns to you.

      Reply
      • Maureen Tierney

        Well said. Horses do not need to be treated as though they are mere objects capable of only understanding ropes and sticks. I have owned and trained horses for over 40 years and there is no need to act like that. Show the horse what you want, don’t wave a rope and expect him to GUESS what you want.

      • Entusiasto

        You have never tried the parelli method, did you??? I am doing it with my horse, end it’s a super method, and really works! If you want proof, please look for ‘theentusiasto’ on youtube. On this video Linda is not doing things perfectly, but you can find 10 000 other videos, when you can see the behaviour change live. The Parellis do know a lot on horse behaviour, and their method is fantastic! You only have to know how to use it. You can’t show any trainer, that you can’t make a negative video of. But if this video would be the cruelest that ever happens to horses on Earth, than Eatrh would be a Horse Heaven!!!!! PEOPLE, DO NOT JUDGE LINDA ACORDING THIS VIDEO!!! SHE IS A SUPER HORSE BEHAVIOURIST, AND YOUR HORSE WILL LOOSE, IF YOU TURN AWAY FROM THE PARELLI METHOD!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Totaly agree,how the owner could allow it is not good and i should imagine the horse will be a nervous wreck.

      • Ms newham

        I ment to state i agree with bill beahers comment,and its not the first time lindas practices have rightly been questioned. been up

    • nickjames

      so u dont call smacking its face on the blind side cruel ,scary thought there , vile behaviour !!!!!!!!

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      i have trained horses for over 20 years for therapeutic riding. there is absolutely no need to treat a horse like this. many of the horses that came to me were disrespectful. but they are horses, and are perfectly willing to learn; they just need to be quietly shown what to do. this is a disgrace. i’ve yet to find a horse that can’t be taught be back up with a quiet slight pull on the rope and a gentle touch on the point of shoulder.

      Reply
    • Wayne Stack

      Deanna McHugh you are as complete a fool as Linda , of course the man in the video was inept you idiot looked who trained him . You call that a rank horse ? it was scared shitless ,what a way to fuck up a horse . Deanna perhaps you and Linda will find out what some horses can react like when they’re pissed off and you’ll both end up with matching frog prints in your ribs . The horse can teach you two to back up

      Reply
      • Deanna

        Again, I repeat ( S.L.O.W.L.Y. for remedial learners), this video is taken out of context. You can call names and personally insult me if that makes you feel big, smart, or clever, but if you are judging someone’s methodology based upon this video clip, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. It is that simple.

    • Brooke

      Lady you sure don’t have a clue about training horses and neither do these people. This behaviour is disgusting and cruel, that poor horse. How would you like to be wacked up the side of the face with a metal clip and slapped down the head because you are totally confused of what is asked of you.
      I agree with other viewers here, this horse was not being pushy, he is simply confused. This guy should not own horses if he intends to train in such a manner.
      I am disgusted by this cruel and completely unsatisfactory video. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.
      This is NOT natural horsemanship, this is stupid.

      Reply
    • Michael Loates-Taylor

      This is complete bollocks. The relationship between a horse and rider is based entirely upon love, respect and patience. If i saw someone doing this to a horse in the UK I would deck them.

      Reply
    • schumi

      this is the biggest load of bullshit i have ever seen!! natural horsemanship my ass. the horse does not respond because it understands and morons like you going oh but this is what they do in the wild NO THEY DONT!!! have you EVER seen a horse in the wild with a rope and a whip???!!!! i didnt think so! they have scientifically proven that the whole horsemanship idiocy is doing nothing but scaring your horse you can get the same thing done with something they are scared of ie. and electric car (the one with a remote control) you get exactly the same situations…

      Reply
    • Venice

      Nothing is taken out of context you can clearly see exactly what she is doing i think it is very , very wrong i see no purpose to this .

      Reply
  3. Vila

    Training ?? Seriously?? Omg, does she even knows what she’s doing? The horse is clearly in stress.

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    • Jo

      Deanna, I really disagree with you!! Maybe Linda is good to horses but this is really awfull. She praises the guy if he gets rough and if you are an animal lover you should train the owners and afterwards the horse. The poor thing is not understanding what they want from him and is calling out for help.

      I don’t like this at all and this should not be the way to train or back up a horse!

      Reply
      • Deanna

        You can rag on me and Linda all you want, but I can ride my horses bareback and bridle less and have had my Grand Prix dressage horse at the Parelli ranch in Colorado for a month and never had to put a bit in his mouth because he LOVES their methodology so much. How about you? Ever wjn anything at dressage or anything else? Ever ridden your horse in the mountains in nothing but a halter or done 1 -tempis with no saddle or bridle? How about correct and super-willing passage and piaffe with no bridle? Criticize me –and Linda–once you’ve done those things, okay? For me, it’s all about the relationship with the horse. And for Linda it is the same. If you want to suck in out-of-context videos like this one, the problem is yours, not anyone else’s. And I’d say it has more to do with lack of competence, lack of understanding, and rampant jealousy than anything else.

  4. Lauren

    And what exactly was the point of this vile display of behaviour?? Hitting a blind horse in the face to do what? go back? stand still? Because he I want my horses to do either of those things I just ask them quietly without hitting and shaking a bloody rope in there face!!!

    Reply
  5. Julie

    I’m sick and tired of the Parelli gang saying that this is ‘taken out of context’ and that only if we understood their magical and secret little world (that you too can join if you’ve got the $$$) we’d see how good it all is. In a response to this video Linda goes on and on about how spooky and dangerous this horse was and that’s why they had to treat it like this. Pat talks about all these ‘dangerous horses’ around the world that have killed people and that’s why it needs sorting out. For goodness sake, that horse is not spooky or dangerous, anyone can see that!
    I’ve seen too many horses that are miserable, confused and difficult to handle because their owners decided to invest in a set of DVDs and load of overpriced ropes. They try and ‘copy’ the DVDs and then wonder why it’s all going wrong, when they would have been better spending the money on a proper trainer who does not feel the need to be this violent. Yet I have come across hundreds of beautifully mannered horses – including my own – who have never been treated like this but trained gently with patience.
    This is a video of a horse having pain inflicted on it. No ifs, no buts, and no lame excuses for it being part of a wonderful regime that the non-Parelli mere mortals are just unable to understand

    Reply
    • Entusiasto

      The Parelli method is not expensive, I’m an average worker, and I can afford it. Yes, Linda is a bit too much on this video, BUT STILL I HAVE TO SAY, IF THIS IS WAS THE CRUELEST ACT EVER HAPPENED TO A HORSE, THAN EARTH WOULD BE HEAVEN FOR HORSES!!!!!!! Do you watch showjumping on eurosport???? You like it, don’t you! Do you have the slightest idea, how much pain those horses feel between the jumps, when the riders pull full strength on the rain? NOW TAHT’S CRELTY!!!!! Yes, this horse had a bad day, yes, he has been treated wrong, but it’s NOTHING compared to an average ride of an averidge hobby horse!!!!! The unfitting saddle, the pull of a bridle, the unbalanced rider!!!!! THAT’S CRUEL!!!!

      Reply
  6. C

    This is just sick!!!
    Poor horse and what a bunch of stupid people.. they don’t have the right to call themselfs horsemen.

    Reply
    • Okipoly

      I don’t get the point…
      The horse is fully stressed the moment Linda takes over, Why does she react to the horse like that?

      Why does nobody react from the other person?

      This horse is so stressed, why does they never get agressive? Horses are so good some moments…

      Reply
  7. Em

    I could only watch this video for about 1.5 minutes. I turned it off because it upset me. Tonight I sit here and finished off watching it. Disgusted and disappointed in everyone involved in this video. This horse showed no signs of aggression, attitude, dangerous actions towards anything. The bottom line is, this horse was scared, and felt threatened. There is absolutely no excuse for this behaviour. I’m so glad I do not do “natural horsemanship” as I would be ashamed of myself. I have been with horses over 15 years from breaking to general looking after the oldies. ALL 4 of my horses have a tonne of respect for me and my mum, (60 yrs old) and my partner. We have never beaten them, smacked them or behaved in this way. There is no excuse for anyone to treat an animal in this way and call it “helping”. My 3 yr old is the quietest out of the bunch who would be distraught if I were to ever do something like this to him. There is absolutely no need to behave like an animal and expect respect pretending to be a human. How is a horse ever to know a wiggle of a rope means back? Pressure and release is what it’s called here where I live. You ask gently and you will always get a response. No horse will guess right with a lead rope smacking him in the face – of course he’s going to go backwards! IT HURTS. How about I smack her in the face with a lead rope – pretty sure shell move back pretty quick too! It cruel, neither one knew what they were doing and they should not be near such an animal if they cannot even respect it. When she “took over” you could clearly see she was inediquite and had no idea what the hell she was doing. Waving the lead rope one second and helicoptering it in the air? ! CONFUSING MUCH?!?!?!? Never seen so many different useless attempts for the same answer. It’s a mockery to horse owners and enthusiasts. It only makes other descent horse lovers look bad because of their lack of knowledge and their in capabilities. I will never turn to “natural” what’s “natural” about spending a shit tonne of money to only confuse the poor horse down the track. Shame on everyone in the video, and shame on those who are more than ready to back them up with pathetic excuses. The video I have just seen has no cropping done. It has bought shame to the horse industry. People who are complaining about riders competing and jumping that are nasty and pull on a horses mouth – sure, that’s wrong too – stop trying to change the topic – this isn’t about the show jumpers – they arnt going unoticed either. We are talking about this video that is discusting. It makes it even worse the poor bugger is blind / has only one eye. How the hell is it suppose to see when she smacks it or whips it. Pathetic and discusting.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      This is not how we “train”horses here over in Holland.
      This is really crual. Im glad we do it different, and maybe thats
      why we have such good horses.

      Reply
      • schumi

        i totally agree with you! i currently live in africa but i also am from holland , there they taught me a nice way of training which i have applied to my very scared tb gelding (he is a bit older now we think 25 or so the passport is not correct when i bought him) he was petrified of the bit so i rode him with a hackamoor for 6 months or so we now only use that when we go out as he seems to prefer it over a bit i now ride him with a happymouth bit and he goes very well. most of the time… however i can lead my horse from A to B with just my hand resting on the top of his neck without a rope a halter or anything else…. no ffing “natural horseman crap” involved in the training, this my friends is called trust between an animal and its owner.

  8. Anonymous 2

    I have seen this video over and over again, and have read the commentaries from each camp. Each time I see it, I find more fault with the owner/trainer’s techniques. Everyone knows that horses are prey animals, and can view us as predators by interpreting our body language as threatening. The “Parelli” method used to get this horse to back up is nothing more than negative punishment (any animal behaviourist would know the effects of positive/negative reinforcement and positive/negative punishment). If you think that these so-called training techniques are beneficial to the horse, then you don’t know the meaning of “Natural Horsemanship”. The key to mutual trust and respect is to understand the language of the horse. And if Linda Parelli was at all familiar with this concept, she would notice that this horse is high headed (increased cortisol, the stress hormone) and inverted, indicating fear and stress…he is in flight mode! On the other hand, when a horse’s head is lowered, it reduces their blood pressure, thereby increasing endorphins, the “feel-good” hormone. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have my horse WANT to be with me than to flee from me. Yes, I understand that humans must establish leadership with their horses, just as a “lead” horse would with her band. And the way to achieve this is by awareness of your position around horses…we could all learn something by watching herd dynamics. Where and how we position our core is the all important factor! So, what I am seeing in this video is counterintuitive…Linda is “Pushing” at the head (the no-go zone) with her core, the horse is backing away from her push, yet she continues to whack the horse with the rope, then proceeds to hit the horse in the face!!! Where is the release of pressure (reward) when the horse takes just one step back? After all, isn’t that what they are trying to accomplish? The horse is clearly confused as to what is being asked of him, yet the punishment continues perpetuating the behaviour (fear and stress). I would think that a world renowned trainer would be able to differentiate between a horse’s fear vs. aggression…I guess I assumed wrong! Yes, I know the end results (the Parelli way) is beautiful to see and everyone wants that special “connection” with their horse, but please explain the positive in punishing a horse into submission to achieve this end result? I wish people would stop blaming the horse for “bad behaviour” and start looking at the ignorance of incompetent trainers.

    Reply
  9. kim

    Dat mens moet gestopt worden!! Iedere dollar die daar naar toe gaat is er een te veel! Gek wijf!

    Reply
  10. Abygail

    Where is the part where I have to ‘feel sorry’ for the trainer? I thought the horse was going to kick her ass or bite her or something. Disrespectful woman.

    Reply
  11. Nikki Nelisse from Holland

    i will punch him in his face… what an asshole!!!
    and i will treath her the same way!!!
    the horse is missing an eye and dont understand it… grrrr!

    Reply
  12. Fay

    What a idiot so called trainer – no consideration that the horse only has one eye and wacking the poor guy in the head and never ever gave a reward for the smallest try

    Reply
  13. anonymous

    I’m sorry but this video does nothing more than show every body how to be cruel and abuse an animal with an audience. If that were my horse I would have laid Linda Parelli out flat, and then taught her the proper way to teach a horse to back

    Reply
  14. Jesse

    That poor horse is so confused, he doesn’t know what he’s being asked most of the time. And he is scared of her! Respect the horse, and he will learn to respect you.

    Reply
  15. WishestobeAnonymous

    Fast forward to Sept 2018…I just attended 1 day of a 3-day master workshop given by Linda Parelli to a group of Parelli followers. After having been taken for thousands of dollars and many lost years of time with another trainer who practiced another natural horsemanship discipline, I have been warily evaluating the Parelli approach. I signed up for one day of the clinic because I have a friend who swears by this method and helped me find an excellent Parelli trainer who, in my opinion, actually gets Parelli better than the Parelli’s and I don’t want to lose the great coach and mentor… but I digress.

    I only paid for to audit one day and am so relieved I didn’t dump anymore $$$ into the pockets of the Parelli’s. This clinic was titled “The Happy Horse Clinic” a 3-day master class, focusing on those things a horse most values: Safety, Comfort, and Play.

    Day 1 was supposed to focus on “safety” which I interpreted as making the horse feel safe. So I was completely horrified when Linda took the handle of her carrot stick and struck a horse on the nose with it. She did this with 2 different horses.

    I turned and looked at my friend, whom I would never have guessed would approve of this, and was ignored. The next day I tried to express how wrong I thought it was to ever hit any horse in the face, especially without permission from the owner of the horse who paid somewhere between $600 and $1200 to attend the “Happy Horse Clinic”. I was shocked that my friend tried to justify this. I was met with all of the chapters and versus of the 7 games, 4 savvys, 7 of something else, 6 of another something else and 10 of yet another something else to shut me down. We had joked before about this being a cult, but I didn’t believe it was a cult until my friend tried to justify Linda hitting 2 horses she just met in the face with the handle of the carrot stick.

    I don’t know which made me more sick to my stomach: Linda smacking the horse on the nose with the handle of the carrot stick, or my friend trying to justify it.

    There have been lots of posts by the attendees about how great the clinic was and I am hiding from them because I just can’t tolerate anyone who hits a horse in the face with a hard plastic Parelli stick handle. In a life/death situation, you have to do what you have to do, but neither horse was posing a life or death situation.

    I refuse to drink the Parelli cool aid and now I am lost because I am surrounded by a lot of folks who like the Parelli’s so much that they are blind to the obvious cruelty.

    Striking a horse in the face with the handle of the Parelli stick has nothing to do with a “Happy Horse” or the Safety, Comfort, or Playfulness of horses. I am sure I will be skinned alive for pointing out the lack of clothes worn by the Empress, and also accused of taking this out of context and not understanding.

    As far as I am concerned, there is no context other than I saw this woman strike 2 horses in the face with the handle of a stick that bears her last name and neither horse was trying to bite her or kill her.

    I have concluded that there are some great trainers out there and it has everything to do with the person who trains, and absolutely nothing to do with the label on the method.

    Reply

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