Hi all


I was just wondering what kind of natural horsemanship is better for a begginer like me. I don't know if I should do the Parelli way or the Monty Roberts way.


I have no idea what to choose because I think they are both great ways. I would love to do it before my horse goes to a trainer, but maybe she would get confused????


So could someone please lend me a hand and tell which is better for me as a begginer ??


Sorry if I have confused you lol.......


Thanx have a great day :)

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Just listen to your horse, they are the best teacher. Personally I would not send my horse to a trainer. If you have a specific problem get the trainer to teach you, the horse already knows how to be a horse, you just have to figure out how to work with that. From starting with practically no idea how to ride, I learned a lot from a two year old filly that no one wanted to ride because she dumped them (I guess they weren't listening to her, lol). I was so green I didn't even know a two year old was too young to ride. The vet just said, go ride this horse, none of the other kids can stay on her. I learned even more from a six year old already trained horse. People can give you pointers, but any method which does not listen to the horse (and in my opinion the Parellis have demonstrated they don't) is going to take you in the wrong direction.
You might want to look at some of the videos on youtube and see what looks most interesting to you.
Personally I really like the Parelli program. Apparently not everyone feels the same but no one is liked by everyone. That's what is nice about having many options for good training....you just need to do a little homework to see what appeals to you. I don't know where u can get much on Monty Roberts but Parelli's have oodles under Parellitube. or regular youtube.
Parelli's teach ALOT on how to listen to the horse and what different horse behavior translates to for us humans.
Hi Krystal,

I've had my first horse for about two and a half years now. I am a "mature" age (aka "old" LOL). I grew up around horses, but never had my own until now.

Before I got my horse, I decided that I would go the "natural" way as much as I could. A few years before I got my mare, I found out about Monty Roberts. I have all his books, and loved the fact that he is against using force on a horse, but to study its body language instead. I started using his methods on my horse when I got her, but didn't know where to go once I achieved "Join-Up". Monty mentored a lady in the UK (I think that's where she's from) named Kelly Marks. She wrote books based on Monty's training methods, to help people like you and I. She developed something called "Intelligent Horsemanship" which is a teaching system of Monty's methods. I have one of her books, which I got after I bought my horse.

Just before I got my horse, I was introduced to the world of Parelli. I took lessons with an instructor nearby for six months, most of those were before I got my own horse.

So I've dabbled in both of those methods. I can't say that I religiously follow either. Both gave me insight, but both also confused me.

The confusion for me, with Monty, is that he is totally against using force on a horse...and yet there are times where he's pulling on a lead and jerking a horse's head. I suppose it depends on each of our interpretations of "force". There is no question that his horses are well trained and choose to be with him.

Parelli confused me too because they use force. There are the four levels of pressure, snapping the lead which causes the lead snap to hit the horse under the chin, etc.. I know the goal is to teach the horse to do what you ask by using the least amount of pressure, but to get there you do end up using quite a bit (depends on the horse and the handler, I suppose). Again, it all depends on your interpretation of what force is. I know a lot of people who swear by Parelli's methods, and those who prefer Monty's.

Most natural horsemanship professionals use the pressure and release method, but fine-tune it to their own special way. I've heard good things about Chris Irwin, Mark Rashid, Clinton Anderson, Ed Dabney, etc.. There are lots to choose from - some are more commercial and flashy, while others are more down to earth and simple.

There are also some really neat trainers out there who use quite a "hands off" approach. People like Cynthia Royal who is the trainer of Blanco, also known as Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings movies. She does amazing things with her horses! I also admire Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling who specializes in "borderline" (aggressive) horses. He is amazing to watch (lots of videos on YouTube). I have a few of his books. He is an artistic person, so his books may be hard for some to understand. Some people think he's too flowery. But everyone is different and has their own opinion :o) Another neat thing is clicker training your horse.

There is a lot out there to learn and a lot of people to learn from. As Marlene said, the best to learn from is your own horse. Some horses respond better to some methods than others, so get to know your horse and discover what it responds best to. My mare does not enjoy the Parelli stuff much at all, and even a beginner like me could see that.

As much as I'd love to just get on my horse and ride into the sunset, we have a long way to go in developing our relationship on the ground first. I am trying to be patient, because I know it'll be worth it. A lot of emphasis these days is put on getting your horse to respect you and so on, but we also have to be listening to our horses and respecting them and their opinions too.

There is a group in here called "body language" that I have found to be very helpful in making me more aware of what my horse is trying to tell me.

I hope I didn't just confuse you more, and I apologize for the long reply :o)
I think this is a great answer! Well rounded viewThis is a youtube video of my horse and myself. We usually have a little more energy when we play but this was a lazy day for us. But still having fun. I love my relationship with my horse. We are working on riding around the farm and going to trail riding campgrounds and still sticking with Parelli ideas to stay safe and advance as my horse and I are ready.
Love this answer... Its nice to see a sensitivity toward the horse! Also thanks for the references..... I see new books arriving in my library soon!
I am an older, old fashioned horsewoman. When I started the NH didn't exist.
From what I've read and seen, if I was approaching the horses as a beginning trainer, I would probably investigate clicker training first. The clicker training has two main benefits--each click trains both the horse and the person clicking, and you learn from the beginning the proper timing of the release (immediately.)
When I started I was taught to praise the horse with my voice immediately when the horse did what I wanted. I guess I was using my voice as a clicker signal. This worked very well for me.
Wow so many ideas, that is great thank you everyone you have helped me heaps now I just have to do some homework and get started :)
I actually take different methods from different people, and create more 'intelligent horsemanship' way of being. Your horse is the teacher, let him decide. All horses are different and respond differently to different treatment. My clicker has worked wonders on my newest horse as she did not have the understanding of 'right' or 'wrong try again' i used clicker training to get her into the concept of allowing me to pick her feet up, and being rewarded for cooperating rather than being yelled at or someone yanking at her legs, we have now moved on to teaching more complex things with the clicker, like spanish Walk, half pass, bowing, fetching and jumping at liberty. It really helps to break through the communication barrier to allow the horse to know when they are doing the right thing rather than guessing.
Personally I dislike Parelli methods, but that is just me, there seems to be too much 'prodding' your horse into submission and when I saw him work his 'magic' live I saw nothing more than a bunch of bored zombie horses. Look at a parelli trained zombie then look at Jean Francois Pignons horses, they are incredible, not ropes, they are fully 'alive' and still bicker like horses do between themselves but their bond is incredible and out of this world. I also believe Parelli now he has a name has become more about money making, charging ridiculous amounts of money for items that you do not need, with any horsemanship the only tools you need are your heart, and soul. Sticks with funny names and special ropes do not make you a good horseman/woman. Its how you are with the horse.
I like Monty Roberts and have seen him many times, adopted some of his methods such as join up and have helped many mentally damged/abused horses become better, feel more positive and start to trust again. I admire the likes of Nevzerov for his heartfelt horsemanship, his heart and soul goes into his horses.
A lot of people could spend a lifetime searching for the 'right' technique but I believe there are some people that no matter how hard they want to get their horses to do tricks, or ride tackless, they do not have the horses welfare at heart, its about showing off, and their horse never truly get the concept as it is usually rushed or forced upon them.

Any form of Natural horsemanship should be heart felt, enjoyable and done at liberty and we should respect when the horse walks off and says 'thats enough for one day' we should leave them to it. Bonding with a horse is about listening, not prodding, poking, dragging, or following courses to be 'qualified' at horsemanship. The depths of bonding have no levels, or limits that you could learn from doing a set course, it is for you to discover your own way with your horse. Find the understanding and open up a whole new world.

I hope you find your way!

wow, if you weren't confused before ... you must be now with all these answers! The thing that I really love about the coach I have been working with is that she has an open mind, and takes the best from all the big trainers, using what makes sense to her, or what works with her horses. No one trainer is the sole answer in her mind. She decides for herself.
Personally I like Chris Erwin, who has a blog on Barnmice. He also has free videos online, so you can see for yourself what he is all about.
I wouldn't discount your own instincts. Let your horse be your guide. And don't be in any hurry.
Most of all, enjoy your time with your horse :)
Deborah, I appreciate your reply. The lady that I take lessons with now is alot like the coach you describe. She has a huge of amount of knowledge from many sources and an open mind and mostly uses all of this and her instincts to know what to do in each situation. I respect her a great deal
I appreciate that you promote with the positive.
Have a great day!
I have been to many Parelli shows and have never once seen a zombie horse.
Parelli items do sell for good money but 1) you can use any equipment most horse
people have if they have horses. 2) They just put out a new line of less expensive ropes etc.
that still appear to be of good quality.
Pat's "Magic" is an awesome horse that is vibrant and talented. When Pat got him he was thought to
be a crazy out of control horse but you must see this horse today.
There are many people out there that have a minimum amount of information on Parell but seem to think they know his program when they have no clue all that is involved. I suppose some of that attitude is human nature.
Take a look at HSUS (Humane Society of US) where they are learning Pat's techniques and passing the training on to others to help rescued horses to become adoptable. And some of the mounted police departments are going to his methods also. This year in each of theParelli clinic stops across the US the HSUS brought in a problem horse for Pat to help. Parelli's were invited to do demonstrations each day at the World Equestrian Show in Kentucky. That's quite an accomplishment and an honor.
What some people call tricks is really just a proof of communication between horse and human.
I noticed one person commented on here that tricks are just a way of showing off and then was advertising that they themselves teach horses to do tricks. Seems to me that most any form of horse training is a bit of a trick. Even dressage.... We teach a horse to make moves they'd rarely or never use in nature by teaching a cue. Even the most basic riding skills are teaching a horse to respond to cues.
Well I kinda got going here. I just don't get some of the negative comments. Pat has the largest group of horse people in the world and has now started several schools to teach people to train others. I've watched many other famous trainers and have incorportated some of their great ideas into what I like to do.
Again, look at some things on You Tube or any videos or books you can get ahold of and decide for yourself what path looks best for you. From what others are saying it seems many are having good outcomes with clicker training. I think I use my voice and enthusiastic energy in a similar way.
Best wishes for success with finding progress and fun for you and your horses.
Some animals like horses, dog, dolphins, have personalities that lend themselves to training in tricks. A really good trainer can make a series of tricks look like a magical communication (not naming any names here). Here's what I learned from dog training and I think it applies very well to horse behavior. I trained my first German Shepherd at first in the traditional methods, and she could do a number of things, but her heart wasn't in it and she was supremely bored. Then I learned of a different approach which used the natural motivational drives in a German Shepherd. What she accomplished then, which is nothing unusual for a police dog, was beyond what training can accomplish. She worked with gusto, even corrected my mistakes during trials, and would have layed down her life to protect me. Yet she was a perfect lady in any home or school circumstance, I could have taken her in a church and no one would have known her capabilities (as long as no one tried to steal the donation plate). I think you can see this in some horses. Look at the video of the vaqueros whose lives depend on their horses, look at the Dressage Cowboy, look at Klaus Hempfling with "borderline" (deeply troubled) horses. There are different ways, gentle ways, and there are methods that use force. A person can use one of several methods, or maybe different degrees of "force". But the result will always show in the horse. Confusion reigns in the horse world. You can pick any topic and get at least three different opinions. Do you ride bitless, treeless, shoeless, or not. Do you feed grain or not, doesn't matter what. If a newby isn't confused, they aren't doing their homework, exploring all possibilities. Fortunately the horse is rarely confused, unless they are forced into some unnatural behavior, or more often, the handler is confused. As long as a person respects the horse, they will find out which methods just aren't right for them or their horse. This is not always easy, it means looking inside yourself for why your horse didn't see things your way today. It means being fair and honest in your dealings with your horse. It means not beating yourself up if progress is not as fast as you'd like, and not blaming your horse either. Have fun, if you are (or if you are not) enjoying the activity, or the challenge or a new goal, your horse is going to feel about the same way. If you are irritated or annoyed with your horse, he cannot help but feel the same way. If you are happy and appreciative of his efforts, he will be the same with you, and be willing to try again, and forgive you your faults.


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