Horsenality


Horsenality helps students quickly identify a horse’s innate character. Students can then create instant rapport and achieve great results by knowing what’s uniquely important to that individual horse.”

Link to Parelli Horsenality page to read more

Our Review of Horsenality

By Maddy Butcher

Pat and Linda Parelli have introduced millions to safe and effective methods for working with horses. Their clinics and DVDs have given us easy-to-grasp tools for better horse-human relationships and horse handling.

Their marketing is slicker than their skills, but who cares as long as the horse isn’t hurt.

It’s when they start talking nonsense that I take issue.

And Horsenality is pure nonsense.

Horsenality is the element of the Parelli program devoted to divulging a horse’s personality. The system “helps students quickly identify a horse’s innate character. Students can then create instant rapport and achieve great results by knowing what’s uniquely important to that individual horse.”

I watched the DVD in which Linda discusses extroverts, introverts, left-brained, and right-brained horses. She refers to a complicated, multi-colored, cylindrical chart. She encourages us to map our horses.

It was confusing as heck.

Research her terms and you will quickly discover that Parelli has horse-ified the popular Myers Briggs Personality Indicator. The MBPI is a pop psychology test for humans, used for decades to determine how you might fit into a workplace or behave in a team environment, etc., etc.

The women who developed it were not scientists. It has no scientific basis and has been widely critiqued as an ineffective testing tool. Read more about MBPI here.

Now comes Linda Parelli and the Parelli School of Horsemanship. Parelli converts a bogus people-personality test for use on horses.

I suppose Horsenality might have some traction if horses had human brains. But really.

Horses are no more capable of being “introverted” than we are capable of grazing on grass all day.

In essence, the Parellis are encouraging us to relate to horses as we would other humans. “This approach to understanding horses helps horses – and their humans – become more balanced, centered and confident.”

But horses are by nature balanced and centered.

Considering horses as horses is what we need to do.

First. Last. Always.

I love science and I would welcome a real science-based horse training by the Parellis.

Addendum:

Clinton Anderson is equally guilty of presenting false science in his program. He refers to “the thinking side of the brain” versus “the reactive side of the brain.”

He might have the right idea – horses have a flight instinct when their sympathetic nervous system is engaged. That’s ‘reactive’ alright. Alternatively, they may appear to be ‘thinking’ when they’re relaxed and their parasympathetic nervous system takes over.

But introducing terms like ‘thinking side’ and ‘reactive side’ is flat out wrong. If Clinton studied the Autonomic Nervous System of the horse, he could present a more accurate picture.

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