The Marketing Genius that is: The Horse Whisperer

Who Was the First ?
My answer, who the heck knows!!!! I am really starting to get tired of men complaining to be the true “Horse Whisperer.” Growing up I was a faithful disciple of the Monty Roberts movement, I have always seen him as the original, and I have always respected him because he seemed to not go so ‘corporate’ with all the patents and all the fluff these others put off. Now I am completely loyal to Buck Branamen. (I always spell his last name wrong, sorry Buck). I follow the same methods that these men teach, but I also believe that there is NO canned method. There is no “right way” to train a horse.

The ‘Tools’ of the Trade
A Carrot stick. A halter. A lunging system. A bit. This drives me crazy…. but also I admire it. The bottom line is that these tools that they market…. they are absolutely NOTHING more than what a gal can get in a normal tack store. Literally, exactly the same. Except perhaps for the signature on the side, oh yeah, and the price. So a carrot stick has nothing to do with anything in the training, it is simply an extension of your arm. If I could tell every parelli person that, then I would be able to save dozens of people about 50 + dollars. I am sorry, I honestly do not mean to be insulting, but this is the truth. Heck, I will make you a carrot stick for way cheaper if you feel like you really need it, but what I guess what I am saying is that basically none of the equipment that they sell is at all essential to training. It is nothing about the specific whip that you use or the halter, but it might be more about the confidence behind it, but really, nothing such as confidence is able to be bought or sold, it is just a feeling. I wish I could instill that confidence without making people spend the dollars.

People have this actual thought of bring a “horse whisperer” as being completely valid, despite the fact that they have no horse sense or experience, they believe in it, which means that there is an idealized picture in people’s heads about horse whispering. The bottom line here is that many, many people out there are just amazing horse people, they have the gift of intuition and ‘feel’, these every day people are the true horse whisperers, and maybe, yes, the people giving the free clinics are amazing horse people, but above all, they are amazing communicators.

The whole reason that I started this entry was because in my recent class someone brought in an opportunity to franchise a horse whisperer program. The included materials were the method, the name, the trademark and the equipment…. but how do you franchise something that is intangible and frankly, not learned??? madness.

My Opinion
Take it or leave it, but I think people like Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Monty Roberts and other men of the like are simply the best marketers I have ever seen. They found a market, they found a way to get people to spend their money, and be it valid or not, they figured out a way to sell an instinct. It is Genius!!! I wish I had thought of it first…. these people might not even be the best horsemen, but they for sure are the best business people ever. Natural horsemanship might be a fad, and it might be something that will be lasting, but these men have taken a very personal and talent based thing, like training horses…. and turned it into an accessible and seemingly easy thing for the horse business to do, and in this blog I will not pass judgement, only comment on the Genius of these so-called “Horse Whisperers.”


2 thoughts on “The Marketing Genius that is: The Horse Whisperer

  1. I agree that they are fabulous marketers. My problem is that they make people who have never even touched a horse, believe that they can go out and buy a horse, buy their magic tools and DVDs, and create a safe riding partner. With no help, training or learning curve. It is unfair to the people and the horses. It plays into the idea that shortcuts work, that you don’t have to do anything like actually learn to ride or learn that this 1000# animal can kill you accidentally. Too much hard work involved for most people. The horses ultimately pay the price.

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