Saturday, July 17, 2010

More of Same

Heat, That Is

I admit, I did wake up a bit late this morning, but already by 8:30-9:00 AM, it was hot. It never really did cool off last night, not at least so you'd notice. I fed the Boys, sat for a while with Patches and then came back inside to watch the Tour de France--my July ritual.

I'm not too sure where the rest of day went, actually. I did some cleaning inside, made some edamame salad and just kind of surfed around the Internet.  One story that has caught my attention is the Pat Parelli demonstration in Britain, where he used some strong arm tactics to cure Robert Whittaker's stallion, Catwalk, of a bridling issue.

If you haven't followed any of this controversy, there are discussions all over the Internet horse forums, including one at Horse and Hound, Pat Parelli Controversy.  I only refer you there because a few of the posters were actually at the demonstration and have some good insights.

It's hard to fairly judge everything that happened, but from what I saw in the video of part of the session, Parelli resorted to some pretty harsh techniques to work this horse. From everything I have ever read and heard about Mr. Parelli's claims, his "natural horsemanship" methods are all about being kind and gentle with a horse, seeking not to dominate but rather to inspire the horse to cooperate.  What I saw--a rope to tie up the horse's leg and a line on the horse's gum to "twitch" him--was certainly not "natural." 

I think it's fair to say I did not see the entire demonstration, but what I did see totally contradicts everything Mr. Parelli has said about how to train a horse. Was it abuse? Catwalk apparently did suffer some injury to his gums--enough to make at least one vet concerned. Was the horse "fixed?"  Supposedly he is no longer a problem to bridle. Was there another way to cure the problem? Hard to say, but I'd like to think so. The key, I think, would have been in time and patience--the horseman's best friends.  We'll never know for sure, but as far as I am concerned, Mr. Parelli proved himself more of a hypocrite than a horse trainer in my eyes.

That being said, I did manage some outside chores including cleaning the run in shed on the west side of the barn and then I went for a nice swim. 

There are some perks to summer--like a pool less than four miles away.  Not bad, not bad at all.


  1. Glad you got in a swim in this heat. That's a plus.

    As far as Parelli is concerned. I agree with you and most of the internet chatter. There is always a better way. I've never liked him or his wife and think they are hypocrites with enormous egos and feel they are people who found a way to promote themselves and make lots of money with unsuspecting victims. I have some very definite opinions about all the 'natural horsemanship' gurus and I'm afraid most of it isn't fit to print. I'll leave it at that.

    Stay cool.

  2. I don't know much about Parelli, I don't really keep up with celebrities *G*. Sounds like he was trying to wow the crowd with a quick fix. Too bad he doesn't have a quick fix for the heat, now that I would pay to see!

  3. Years ago, in Colorado, I saw Pat Parelli in person. My overwhelming impression was of a man with an oversized ego. Now that I look at your comments, I see that some others agree with me.