Saturday, March 8, 2008

Do you think Parelli even knows big words like "anthropomorphizing?"

I seem to recall someone mentioning the concept of "horseanalities" to me at one point, but no doubt it seemed so ridiculous that my mind blocked it until an alert reader sent me the latest $250 piece of Parelli crap - the Cradle Bridle.

Basically, what this does is pull the bit upwards a bit to provide tongue relief. As far as I can see, this is the exact same effect as the rubber bit holder used in racing, which as you can see, retails for $9.98.

Man, I just LOVE the cheesy cartoon horses in the drawings. What happened to the one up top? Did someone cut off his back leg? And why is this one on the right sucking on a lollipop? And did something make the one on the left smoke crack like Pete Doherty's cat or what?

Anyway, the Parelli Pony Psychology here is that horses, like people, are either left brain or right brain oriented (the mind boggles - does this mean that some of them would rather draw a picture than trot a circle?) and are introverts or extroverts. As Parelli says, "Characteristics of a "Right Brained" (RB) Extrovert include being frantic, fearful, and may have a tendency to bolt and rear." What? Just humoring you Pat, but shouldn't an extrovert be confident and outgoing? Well, no. According to Pat, if you are high energy and want to run, you are an extrovert, and if you are low energy and want to stop, you are an introvert. Say what?

Pat, it might be good to understand the original meanings of words you co-opt. Just a thought.

*snort* Love the horse ON WHEELS. I haven't seen one of those before - do you suppose they are for sale on (I do recall having a mare that we referred to as a "bitch on wheels" but I don't think that is the same thing.)

Well, anyway. I am highly amused at Pat's analysis of horses AND his far better analysis of people (after all, am I getting rich selling people $250 training bridles? Why no, I am not...If asked, I would do something idiotic like point out that most horses can be trained/schooled just fine in a $25 schooling headstall and a plain old $8 snaffle, or our friend the sidepull which has been around for years, works great on a horse that wants to put his head down and buck, and can be acquired for the princely sum of $27.) Pat knows the score though. There are just a lot of people that can't waste their money fast enough, and Pat LOVES those folks!

Now, I do think horses have personalities, so I'll tell you what I think the three types are, and you can tell me what you think of MY analysis. And no, I don't think it has anything to do with energy level - I think energy level has more to do with specific bloodlines. I met an APHA stallion today, a real sweetheart, and the owner told me he didn't do a darn thing when she first sat on him. I asked his breeding and it was Sonny Dee Bar. Not surprising. Those SDB horses wouldn't blow up if a bomb exploded at the next-door neighbor's. Good luck getting them to ever gallop, but they are not typically going to kill you.

1. Pushy. This is the foal who tries to mow you over to get to food, and has to be constantly reminded that you are not a chew toy. As an adult, he'll instantly sense weakness in a prospective rider and do something like gallop them straight to where the hay is stacked in the back of the arena and dig in. He pushes other horses around, too. He eats first, and the other horses had better not forget it. The great thing about him is he's not spooky, he's probably tough as nails in general, and he can work all day. The bad thing is, if you aren't in charge, he'll HAPPILY be in charge and his interests are probably highly diverse from your own!

2. Scaredy. OMG it's a noise. OMG it's a butterfly. OMGOMGHOLYSHIT it's a mini! *whirl, bolt* This horse will try to jump in your lap at the slightest sign of a Scary Thing. No matter how old he is, he never gets over his fear of pretty much everything in the world. Paired with a confident rider, he can be a great performer, as he draws his confidence from his rider. Paired with a scaredy rider - you have a train wreck. These horses often do very well with a job that keeps their mind busy. They are like a human being who needs to be busy all the time or they overthink everything and drive themselves nuts.

3. Sensitive. This horse isn't scared of the outside world, and he's not pushy. He's just sweet and wants to do the right thing for you, but you need to be consistent or he'll get confused. He isn't tough enough to tolerate a rough rider like the Pushy horse. He's easily traumatized by so much as a harsh word. These are the horses who are easily turned dangerous by bad handling. The good thing is, it doesn't take much to discipline him (voice is usually enough with this kind of horse), and he truly wants to please you. He may also be a wimp physically - if you want to see a (love this term!) drama llama, watch this kind of horse with a hoof abcess. You will be convinced he's dying. He thinks he's dying.

What do you think? Did I miss any major types? What type is your horse?