Hans, Lady Wonder and Jim Key exhibited, to an exquisite degree, the innate equine ability to observe and respond to nonverbal behaviour. "Horse whisperers" have built their fortunes on exploiting this ability as if it were a new discovery, ignoring centuries of horse training tradition which say the same thing.
Natural Horsemanship salesmen also exploit every other opportunity to sell their products. EoR recently came across this advertisement for the UK Parelli Conference (click for larger image):
Two hearts. Two minds. Two days. One vision. Linda and Pat Parelli. Live. Love, Language and Leadership and a revolution in the heart and mind of every Horse Lover.
Apart from an idiosyncratic approach to capitalisation, it's interesting that it's all about a "Vision". The tagline at the bottom conveys a religious fervour in its earnest imprecation:
Where will YOU be?
It's like Pat making his proclamation of his evangelical revivalist World Crusade in the grand tradition of Billy Graham:
Choruses! Dynamic Preaching! Instrumental Numbers! Solos!
Or the harrowing question from fundamentalist true believers who live in constant expectation of the rapture (and if Parelli's showmanship is about anything, it appears to be about engendering "rapture" in his customers while emptying their wallets). Such as tbaptist.com ("The most soul searching question that can be asked of a person is: 'Where will you be for all eternity?'"), Sword of the Lord ("Where will you be after the rapture?"), bad poets ("Where will you be, / Will you fall on your knees"), witnesses ("Where Will You Be--When the Lights Go Down?"), and many more.
The conference sounds heavy going:
You will laugh, you will cry, and you will learn
EoR is also amused to see that
International Conferences are unique opportunities to see Linda & Pat Parelli in action
EoR could understand one International Conference being unique, but not a whole series of them.
As further evidence of Parelli's cult-like status, the Parelli homepage offers, amongst other things, the "Master's Secrets Revealed" (only $450 - save $300!). It's like morsels of wisdom being dispensed (for a hefty fee, of course) from the head of millenial cult. The true acolyte, the committed devotee, must own all of the merchandise (the "special" whips (that aren't whips), the "special" halters (that aren't halters), the books, the DVDs, the manuals etc etc), attend all of the events, worship constantly at the feet of the master, or face the fear of not being considered a true follower or maybe even a heretic.
As if that's not enough to make you a super-loving-enlightened-friend-of-all-horses, then you obviously haven't also bought your paving stone in the Parelli World Center Walk of Honor. You can get one of these simply by giving Pat a "gift" of $250, $500 or $1000. Isn't Pat helpful, in even specifying exactly how much your "gift" should be? Unfortunately, that "gift" isn't actually a gift:
Not tax deductable. Please realize you will not get a donation deduction as a result of your gift. This is a true gift - out of the kindness of your heart! Please consult with your tax adviser regarding the need to file a gift tax return.
So, it's a "gift" in the sense that spending your money to buy something useless is a "gift" to the person raking in all the money. $1000 for a paving stone? So, once the bit of stone's paid for, where does the rest of that money go? What for? Who cares, it's a gift!