The horse- and rider-training handbook of an internationally renowned master horseman.
This book offers a structured approach that people find comfortable but I would recommend that if you do buy this book also buy Mark Rashid's book, "Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership," and/or Marty Marten's book "Problem Solving, Preventing and Solving Common Horse Problems" and/or "True Horsemanship Through Feel" by Leslie Desmond and Bill Dorrance.
I found Parelli's book to be the best help - it started out with more specific exercises and details on how to applied what I'd learned. In one year working with Parelli book techniques a few times a week my horse went from green broke to "too well trained" to be enough of a challenge for me. I have since attended Parelli seminars and bought the "system" to start my new horse. I disagree with the reviewer that said some of Parelli is untrue or unsafe - that some horses cannot be ridden bareback. Parelli has a very detailed system with very specific pre-flight checks that guarentee your horse will be safe before you get on. If the horse is not safe to get on bareback, then he is not really mentally ready to get on with saddle & bridle either! It's all about preparing his mind and starting a relationship - and it does take patience & lots of work (DON'T try to rush it or shortcut). If you are looking for a quick way to make your green broke horse into an old trail horse, this book is not for you. But then again, you probably will get sick of trying to "train" your horse and be like the 80% of new horse owners that quite before the 1st year is up.
In Parelli training with Teri Palmer, I saw some "un-sane" horses with terrible relationships with their owners being ridden by the last day with a lead rope and halter. My new horse was on the other end - terribly confident and walking all over me.Read more ›
This book is an introduction. It tries to cover all the principles of Natural Horsemanship (PP style), introduce the Parelli philosophy, give you a couple of exercises to start out with, talk about the gear and discuss PP's life and experiences. Covering such a wide range of topics, it is easy to complain that it covers none in depth - but it was never intended to.
What I particularly like about the book is that, if you are willing to read it (perhaps several times), in its entireity you get a much better picture of what Pat Parelli is really all about. Here is a man with an understanding of the horse as a complex being in its own right - not a big dog or a cow or a surrogate baby or a tractor. He explains equine motivation, and needs and how understanding and working within those boundaries will make your relationship with your horse much more satisfying (for both of you).