Tag Archives: Parelli Parade of Preposterousness
Courtney King-Dye and the Lesson of Groundlessness

Courtney King-Dye and the Lesson of Groundlessness

Superstar dressage riders don’t often wear helmets. I don’t know, but I am guessing that Courtney King-Dye was not wearing one while training the young horse who tripped and caused her to hit her head.

This is not a wear your helmet diatribe. I wish it could be, but there have been enough “message” posts here for a while. I guess this is as much a self-reminder post as anything. I find that if I write something down, I tend to remember it, to consider it for a while.

The illusion that a skilled dressage rider will not fall, would not be injured in a fall, is just that. An illusion, created by the human mind. We actively push away the chaos that is the world we live in. Our inner lives are often crazed efforts to bring order to random possibility even when the order is a figment of our perception or ends up as a poor or self-destructive coping mechanism.

Bad riding habits don’t develop for no reason. These coping mechanisms, habits, develop as responses to our interactions with our horses in the saddle. Unconsciously, we deal with what we are given. That’s how we end up with one stirrup that’s two inches longer than the other.

Likewise, bad mental habits don’t develop for no reason. The Parelli insanity of choosing to go helmetless because their horses are trained to a point where they feel secure without helmets is a case in point, similar to the illusion that may have caused Ms. King-Dye to ride the young horse without one, if indeed that’s what she did.

We cannot create order. As I wrote in Embracing Groundlessness,

Things happen. The world is a seemingly chaotic place. We can never predict. All the planning in the world can never indemnify us from the unsecured dog, the friend who turns on us, the reality of life with 1000+ pound equine partners.

Courtney and her dogs, from www.courtneykingdressage.com

The purpose of this post is a reminder.

Hello Groundlessness! Let’s make friends. I respectfully acknowledge you. I will wear a helmet out of respect for you. In return, I hope and ask that you acknowledge me.

Over at Regarding Horses, there is a great post with lots of details and links to the SUCCEED eBay Store, where purchases go toward the shocking medical expenses, and Facebook Page where you can show your support.

Having personal experience with head trauma and coma, I know how hard this is. The love actually helps. Show it!

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Enlightened Horsemanship’s Favorite Posts of 2009

If you blog, what was your favorite post from last year? I’d love it if you posted it here in the comments, so we can all go and read it.
If you have a favorite from EHTT in the past year, let me now what it was.

January 2009

Mindful Monday: On Mistakes

February 2009

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor: The Missing Disclaimer
Verse Thursday + Completely Un-Horse-Related Ramblings of a Buddhist Nature

March 2009

How and Why Did Popular Natural Horsemanship Get So Far From Its Roots?
Handler Independence and Calm, Secure Learning in T.T.E.A.M.
Ray Hunt, Rest In Peace
Just Hold Your Horses!

April 2009

Horses, Shamans and Autism in Mongolia
The Mindlessness of Equestrian Vanity
Sally Swift, Godmother of Mindful Horsemanship, Dies At Age 95

May 2009

Another Bridleless Riding and Communication Tool: The Tellington TTouch Balance Rein
Ever Thought Something Was Too Good To Be True?
Guest Blog Contest Winner: Lost Trail Ranch’s High Mountain Muse
You Asked For It, You Got It: The Liberty Neck Ring

June 2009

The Nose Knows
Toward An Equine Bill of Rights
Embracing Groundlessness

July, 2009

Petition to Allow Bitless Bridles in USEF Rated Competitions
The Dominance Model and Horsemanship by Equine Ethology Are Dead
I Need Your Help and I Need It Fast! (Mongol Derby Animal Welfare Violations)
Affirmations of Awareness for Horsepeople: On Perception
Another Post About Demanding Your Horse’s Attention
Do You Demand Your Horse’s Complete Attention?
The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare A Solid Foundation For An Equine Bill of Rights

August 2009

What can I say? Some months, you just don’t hit your stride. I should have gone on vacation. Go back to July. It was a good month. Or check out September.

September 2009

Styles in the Horse World: Trailer Loading
Parelli Parade of Preposterousness
Science Friday: Heart Rate & Heart Rate Variability And Emotionality in Horses
Verse Thursday: Puerhan on Hurt
Unprecedented BLM Mustang Roundup Hearing Tomorrow: Please Make Your Voice Heard

October, 2009

Eye Contact: Necessary for Catching Your Horse?
Reader Dilemma: Catching A Horse In The Field
Backing Up; The Holy Grail of Horsemanshp?
Parelli Natural Horsemanship Cake Recipe

November 2009

Mindful Monday: Don’t Just Do Something–Sit There!
Interpretations of “Pressure”
Routine Tasks With No Inherent Meaning Diminish the Spirit of the Horse
From Gallop to Freedom: Do we REALLY Know What We Do?
Horses In Transition: A Call To Action

December 2009

We Are All Made of Stars
Sage By Nature: Horses Drawing Out Our Goddess Force
I Ride/A Simple Statement
Dressage Derailed at Horses for Life
Another Brick In the Wall: Trainers Eschewing Rope Halters

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Parelli Natural HorseManShip Cake Recipe

Parelli Natural HorseManShip Cake Recipe

I have never posted a recipe or a photograph of food here on EHTT before. I just love blogs where people post colorful photos of their beautifully-prepared meals and recipes to go along. On the rare occasion when I have time I read them with with delight. So I thought I’d make an effort today to join in the fun with this recipe and photo. It’s important to note that this is not intended to be snarky or mean. My daughter, who loves that kind of blog, found this recipe for a Jonestown Kool-Aid Cake at and forwarded it to me, where I saw the potential, and (if you ignore the sadness, which is hard to do but play along with me) decided to share it with you. What inspired this departure from my usual format?

Responses to the Parelli Parade of Preposterousness!

Unlike certification in Parelli NH or a trip to the ER for a cracked skull, it only costs about $3 to bake this cake. photo courtesy apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com


I think it needs a little crash helmet ornament on top.

The most thoughtful response to the Parelli Parade of Preposterousness! was by Kerry of Hoofbeats, who said,

In martial arts the one thing I did learn is that you take what is good and useful for yourself from every disipline. One should never ever ever stop thinking for oneself. Does it make sense to you? Does it work for you? If it does, use it. If it doesn’t, discard it. You are just as smart as everyone else. You are just as smart as Linda or Pat.

Sometimes we get “in the thrall” of trainers, especially those who are really good at promoting themselves. This is one situation where cherrypicking is a great idea. Before you take a bite of that cake, think for yourself.


© 2009 enlightened horsemanship through touch and Kim Cox Carneal

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