Sunday, July 30, 2006

Natural Schisms

In a post last year concerning a bachelor of science degree in natural horsemanship, Liz Ditz asked in passing

What would happen if there was a religious schism? That is, if Pat Parelli excommunicates William Kriegel?

William Kriegel is the owner of La Cense Montana ("Natural ranching" - whatever that's supposed to mean), the outside organisation brought in to help run the course.

Well, EoR imagines excommunication would be something like the situation with Parelli UK, which has thrown off the shackles of Pat Parelli-ism and rebranded itself as Equine Ethology, following in the wake of a similar move in France, and which has resulted in dismay among the true believers such as this posting:

As a Parelli practitioner I was taken somewhat aback by the UK organization attempting to trademark "Equine Ethology", so I did some investigating. A few years ago the French arm of Parelli bolted to start their own system to avoid paying the cost of Parelli alignment and to avoid following the stict guidelines Parelli imposes. [...] The Brits are considering also leaving the Parelli system, as their franchise expires thie year.

and this one

Where it might do the most good I don't know - but societies such as the BHS (British Horse .) might be a good start. In fact I'm gobsmacked that they and a few colleges have gone for it. You would think that educators would know the meaning of the term - but either they don't - or commercial gain is more important to them and the bandwagon is just so inviting! Knowing how money oriented education is now it would not be too surprising - just very sad.

(of course, 'natural' horsemanship is even more money oriented) and this one

Out of interest, in what way are EE and Parelli different then? Because from what I have seen, the two are remarkably similar, and when EE was "launched" there were a lot of mumblings that it was just Parelli remarketed...

Equine Ethology itself claims it is the only natural horsemanship:

'Equine Ethology' is the name for Natural Horsemanship and it is the first 'method' to be registered by a national federation. [...]

In effect, it's just one more boring schism in the 'natural' horsemanship religion (note the comment above about Parelli's insistence on 'alignment' and 'strict guidelines' - this presumably makes him the Pope of 'natural' horsemanship). The same post-modernist revamp of traditional horsemanship is still there. The same marketing driven imperative is there. The same pseudo-newage mindset is there. The only thing missing now is Parelli's blessing hand. But EoR is sure Equine Ethology will shortly come up with its own guru for the devotees to worship at the feet of.

1 comment:

  1. Liz here from I Speak of Dreams-- thanks for the link and I just knew there'd be a schism.

    What a laugh. Well, it would be laughable if so many weren't being fleeced so thoroughly.

    I hadn't heard of Lucy Rees--the downside of being American I suppose.


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