"Blessed is he who carries within himself a God,
an ideal, and obeys it."
an ideal, and obeys it."
-- Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
Yesterday was Pat & Linda Parelli at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. This was the day open to the general public, for which I had scored free tickets at a local equine supply store. Mr. Fry and I were joined by Heather and her parents, Nita and Jim. Jason stayed home, ostensibly to fix one of their trucks that had broken down, but I suspect it might also have been to have a bit of alone time. I half expected the guys to bail on us (we took 2 vehicles), but they stayed for the whole day, God bless 'em.
Today (Sunday) is for Savvy Club members only. Naturally, the big pitch yesterday was to get you to become a member of the club so you could come back today. At each break, they had drawings for prizes, including gear and course packages. Alas, the stars were aligned for others.
Regardless of what you may think of their methods, the corporate presence and merchandising machine they have formed is pretty darned impressive. Although their training aids and such appear to be of good quality, in my opinion, the stuff is way overpriced. I mean, $93.27 ($79.95 for Savvy Club members) for a 22-foot snap-line? C'mon, it's boat rope! Heather and I looked at those giant green play balls, which look like they could be a lot of fun, then looked at each other in bewilderment at the $75 price tag. I did succumb to a $20 Horsenality T-shirt featuring a cartoon horse sticking his tongue out, saying, "What's in it for me?" My Pokey pony could be the poster child for Left Brain Introvert.
They gave us little Parelli rubber bracelets as we entered. On the way home, I put Mr. Fry's on my wrist along with my own. Mike started laughing and said, "WWPPD -- What Would Pat Parelli Do?" I cracked up. We talked about it and our opinion is, "more power to them." Hell, if we could think of an angle as successful as theirs, we'd be on it like white on rice and y'all would be paying us $20 a month to be a member of our club, sporting T-shirts with our picture. I'd be telling corporate America to kiss my tattooed ass so fast, it'd make your head spin.
Someone left a comment on this blog that we shouldn't miss their entrance, which was actually pretty mundane. They just ran in, with their horses on lead ropes. Pat talked for about 15 minutes, then turned it over to Linda and her beautiful Dutch Warmblood, Rimmer. I wonder if he's named after the character on the Britcom, Red Dwarf? (edit added after the fact: the horse's name is actually Remmer) Mike and I were also musing on the way home about how, if we had been the person to sell her that horse, described as a man-killing nightmare, we sure wouldn't be inclined to admit it now. But, I digress. Linda demonstrated the 7 Games. I liked her relaxed presence and her passion. Forget all the things her horse can do and her skills on the ground and in the saddle. What I admire and envy is her obvious connection with that horse. I want the grace, comfort, ease -- the trust -- of that relationship.
The slowest and least theatrical part of the show was the part I enjoyed most, which was Pat working with a local woman's problem horse, a lovely grey TB mare called Emma.
I listened intently as Pat pointed out the subtle (to me, anyway) signals this horse was sending. That is the other thing I want: to be able to recognize and interpret those signs and behaviors as what they are: my horse attempting to communicate.
I could have done without the 15 minutes (or longer) of Savvy students working their horses. I'm not saying they weren't good, it just seemed long to me.
Afterward, we all had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant -- oh yeah, give me an excuse to eat fajitas -- then parted ways.
I'm really glad we went. I'm grateful for what I learned. Would I spend the money for their aids or tack? Prolly not. Would I like to own their DVD library? If I had the money, which I don't at the moment, I sure would. I may have to check Craig's List and eBay. Am I likely to become a cult follower of their methods to the exclusion of all others? Nope. That's not how I roll.