There may be a lot of people who will disagree with me but some of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard regarding horse training and behavior has come from the Parellis. I don't understand how anyone so far off base on a number of accounts can become so popular.
"Some horse owners think it's a sign of affection and companionship when their horse is "in their pocket". They like the fact that that he wants to be close and think this means they've earned his trust and companionship.....Ironically, in equine body language, being this close to a human is actually a sign of disrespect and dominance."
Wrong. It's the body language of the horse as he enters a human's personal space, not the space, that determines whether it's disrespect and dominance. Horses are social animals and it's normal for them to seek out companionship with other horses and humans that they know and trust. It's comforting for them to be in close physical contact. It's how they show affection for one another. Know your horse and use your own judgment. If he's showing you signs of what you believe is trust and companionship, in the only way he knows how, you are very likely correct. Accept it for what it is.
"The next time you're grooming your horse and he swings his body towards you, flap your arms dramatically or do jumping jacks. He will respond immediately by getting out of your space."
FIRST, pay close attention to your horse's body language. If you see him shifting his weight, get his attention NOW. Chances are he's either distracted or fidgeting. Flailing one's arms and doing jumping jacks after he's swung into you is no way to correct a horse. He won't understand what it was for and it will only agitate him. Even the most alpha horses are capable of understanding and reacting to the slightest nuances of body language.
The Perellis continually contradict themselves by asking that you communicate to your horse as another horse would (which is their explanation for the flailing arms and jumping jacks) but in turn expect your horse to not treat you as another herd member. And training has absolutely nothing to do with diet. A domestic horse will never perceive his owner or trainer as a predator no matter how he or she behaves around him.
Edited by Redcatcher - 6/30/12 at 4:46pm