What Is WRONG With People?

If you show in the Big Time, and you have a trainer who does everything with your horse except sit on his back in the ring, please, please click on this link. Even if you don't show and/or have a trainer, please check this out anyway. I thought the physical hazards - not to mention ethical considerations - of tail blocking were well known, but I guess not...

The Horse: Tail Blocking Gone Wrong

Okay, did you read the article? Those people were paying the trainer to do that to their horse without having a clue as to what it actually involved. My God! There is no excuse. And how about that brat of a kid who was pissed off because she "worked so hard" to get where she was and it was all "taken from her." Taken from her? What about her horse? He's lucky to be alive and not permanently paralyzed. Does this kid give a shit? NO. It's all about her. If she were my kid, she'd never have another living thing to abuse and neglect, but the parents don't have a clue either. GEEZ!

Okay, say you don't show Quarter Horses where the tails have to hang like they were dead to get pinned. How about Tennessee Walkers that do the "Big Lick"? Want to make a little wager as to how many of those horses are doing this grotesque gait because they're sore? What say? Soring doesn't go on any more? Why then at a recent show where USDA inspectors were on hand with sophisticated equipment to test for soring, did so many exhibitors leave without even unloading their horses? So many left that they hardly had enough to go on with a show. What would you do if your trainer elected to not show your horse rather than submit him to a USDA check? Would you do anything?

As a Morgan owner myself, I know how most Morgans carry their tails - jaunty and away from their body, even at the walk. But, that's not good enough for Big Time Showing. Oh no, you need to stick some ginger up their butts so they'll really high tail it. And this is legal! If you think this practice is okay, drop by sometime and I'll teach you first hand how it feels.

I'm only hitting the high (!) spots in regards to what goes on in the world of Big Time Showing. Of course there's all the infamous politics that's always present. But, you know what? I don't give a damn about all that. If the exhibitors feel abused, stop showing. They have that choice. The horses have no choice, and the abuse that they are forced to endure is all that concerns me.

But, "everybody's doing it" and "that's what it takes to win" Holy CRAP! What kind of reasons are those? If you think winning is an excuse for abuse, you don't deserve to own a pet rock, let alone a horse. What is WRONG with people?!

Oh yeah - it's the trainer's fault for doing anything that they believe will give them an advantage.. It's the judge's fault for pinning such ridiculous idiocy. It's, it's - YOUR fault. If you own such a horse, the buck stops with you.

There is plenty of culpability to go around in this sorry mess -

Why would any judge even consider, let alone prefer, a horse that was doing things so unnatural as to virtually require artificial/abusive "training" methods. These horses should be dismissed from the ring, not pinned for God's sake!

Why would a trainer do these things - other than to win at all costs of course. Oh, but they have to to win, and they are paid to win by owners like the ones in the story - ignoramuses who don't care enough to educate themselves about what their trainers are doing to their horses in order to give them those wins.

My greatest Why however - and my greatest contempt - is directed at the owners of these horses. Why would an owner allow this to happen? Why would they not educate themselves about what their trainers are really doing to their horses and what the consequences might be? And, most importantly, why would they put the glory of winning ahead of the welfare of their horse? At least the trainers can claim economic necessity, weak argument though that is. The owners are willing to sacrifice their horse's well being and possibly his very life, for a worthless ribbon!

You know who you are. What the freaking hell is WRONG with you?


Animal Welfare Institute and National Black Farmers Association Launch “Project Wanted Horse”

In response to the current unwanted horses discussion, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) recently launched a national partnership aimed at helping American horses in need by finding them homes on farms operated by NBFA members.
The “Project Wanted Horse” partnership comes as Congress considers the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The project, say the organizers, disproves bill opponents’ arguments that the campaign to end horse slaughter has resulted in a glut of unwanted horses in the United States and that slaughter is therefore necessary.

“One of the horse slaughter industry’s main arguments is that these horses are unwanted and have no homes to go to. Today, we’re standing up and standing together to demonstrate that this is simply untrue,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute, in a press release. “The coming together of our national organizations sends a significant message that these horses are valued and wanted.”

“Project Wanted Horse” places horses that would ordinarily go to slaughter on the farms operated by NBFA’s 94,000 members. The Animal Welfare Institute will oversee the placement of horses with NBFA members. Each placed animal will be accompanied by a legally binding contract ensuring quality lifetime care and that they will not be resold to slaughter. However, the organizers note that “Project Wanted Horse” is not intended to be a dumping ground for those horses.

Congress is currently considering the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/ H.R. 503), which would outlaw the transportation of horses either domestically or internationally for slaughter. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.).

The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit, community organization founded in February of 1995, by John Boyd, Jr., of Baskerville, Virginia, a third generation farmer. The organization represents African American farmers in regulatory and legal matters.
Zemanta Pixie


Severe Congenital Reactive Equine Abscence Melancholia

If you're a horse person, you know this dreadful disease all too well. And here I am, a week and a half since my tumble, and talk about suffering! This has to be the worst case of SCREAM I've ever had. To say I'm miserable would be a serious understatement...

Not only am I in constant physical pain, I'm in even worse psychological pain due to this dreaded affliction. It doesn't help matters that it's been almost impossible for me to get any sleep because of the excruciating muscle spasms in my ribs. I haven 't dared even try to visit the barn for fear of something happening that will prolong this agony and keep me away from my horses even longer.

In fact, today is the first day I've felt significantly better - not great or normal, but at least better. That makes me feel a little more optimistic, because believe me, I'm ready to totally freak.

I am lucky that I can see Indy and Ami out the kitchen window, and that's certainly better than nothing, but it's not enough. As I'm sure my fellow SCREAM suffers know, seeing is just not enough. You gotta touch and smell. You gotta have horse hair and horse sweat all over you. You gotta have green slime on your shoulder... I have to stop - I'm driving myself crazy! I need and Indy-hug. I need to be snorted on..... Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Please excuse that outburst. I better stop now...
Zemanta Pixie


On Great Horses Saddled With Lop-Sided Riders

I did it again. After a lovely half hour ride last Sunday afternoon - with an equally super half hour on Saturday - Indy was standing quietly while I thought about what to do in the last couple of minutes before I went back in, when he got stung on the belly by something and bounced once - mostly out of sheer surprise - I and went sliding off to the left, as usual, bruising my ribs, as usual. Heck, Indy didn't even go anywhere. He was just a few feet away, nibbling grass while he waited to see what I wanted to do next. He looked pretty puzzled, and I don't blame him.

This is a problem that has dogged me from the first day I ever rode down to this. I'm lop-sided. Of course, most people - and horses - are to a certain degree. With people, the right side is usually a bit larger than the left. So it is with me - except it's more than a "bit." It's not the first thing that strikes people about me, certainly - well, unless they glance at my feet and notice that my right pants leg just touches the top on my foot, while the left is sprawled all over my foot to the point of dragging the ground at the heel. Yeah, more than a bit. Even though I'm left handed, my entire right side has always been much larger and stronger than my left. If I wore anything with straps, I was constantly fighting the left one to keep it up on my shoulder.

I just took all this for granted - like, what was I gonna do anyway? - until I started riding, and began noticing the problems my conformation was causing. By the time I realized that, in order to make my stirrups feel even, I was not only sitting off to the left, I was also carrying my right leg ahead of the left one. Beautiful!

To make matters even worse, my right ankle is stiff from a sports injury in high school. It won't flex as much as my left, so that pushes me even more toward the left. I've been riding for over 30 years now, and I can't remember even one spill that wasn't sideways and to the left. No wonder my ribs are fed up to the point of having even a relatively easy fall making them scream bloody murder for days. My body has always insisted - much to my disgust - on carrying 99% of my weight on my hips and thighs, so my ribs have no padding - skin over bone.

Maybe if I'd been working under an instructor instead of basically teaching myself to ride, I could have overcome this - somehow - before it became so ingrained, but then again, I've had years of dressage lessons since those early days they haven't helped one iota. In fact, I don't remember anyone else ever even noticing.

Anyway... it seemed to me even the last few years with DJ that the thing was somehow getting worse. In fact, I was now getting the saddle off the the left - not much, you understand, but enough that I was constantly "hitching" it back to the center of DJ's back. He didn't seem to care, but it was extremely frustrating to me, not to mention making it even easier for me to lose my balance to the left and not be able to recover.

Indy's saddle was a touch off to the left Sunday, but I can't "hitch" it over on him like I did on DJ. Firstly, Indy hates that, and besides, with the Tacky stuff pad liner I use under his saddle, once you have the cinch properly tightened, that sucker ain't gonna hitch over anyway. You get it right the first time, or you get off, loosen the cinch and straighten it - Indy doesn't mind this at all. And, that's exactly what I should have done, but I didn't. Next time...

All this post mortem soul searching can't alter the fact that I'm here at the computer instead of out riding right now, but, I have thought of some things to do that possibly can prevent - or at least tip the odds - this from happening again.

Number one thing is to get some protection for my ribs. I tried a regular "body protector" earlier, and not only did I feel like a was wearing the top half of a space suit, it was catching on my cantle. That darn thing would make me fall. Scratch that. What I have come up with is high impact foam. I was able to get some rectangular pieces which I can make into a rib protector which will be quite comfortable I think, and be quite adequate for the type of riding I do. I have no plans to be taking 5'6" jumps at full gallop.

Also, I'm going to put just a little extra padding on my left stirrup. My stirrups have removable hook/loop pads on them already, and I think I can add just a little more under the left one. It doesn't need much - nothing like a hole or even half a hole on the leathers. That's why I've never been able to adjust my stirrups. Never found anything that wasn't over kill. It's funny how something so small - 1/4 inch, probably even less - can make such a huge difference. Anyone who's ever ridden knows that it sure does though.

What's especially frustrating to me this moment is that Indy was doing so super. Saturday he didn't even think about giving me any static when it came time to come back in the paddock. He just strolled in, stopped where I told him and stood perfectly still while I dismounted. I even closed the gate myself with him standing beside me. He never seemed to consider making a break for the field. He just stood there.

He is also becoming lighter and more responsive to the bridle every ride. He just gets better and better. So, now I don't know how long it will be before the next ride. My ribs are sure not ready yet, and even when they are, there's always the weather. I know Indy won't forget, but I want to RIDE!!!!!!!!!!

Oops, sorry about that... Guess I'd better close for now. My ribs hurt.


Walking Horse Exhibitors Withdraw from Show

I tried and tried to come up with an appropriate comment for this, but words fail me...

clipped from www.thehorse.com

Hundreds of trainers withdrew their horses from competition at a major Tennessee Walking Horse show last weekend after USDA inspectors arrived on the scene to examine horses for violations of the Horse Protection Act.

According to Earl Rogers Jr., president of the Kentucky Walking Horse Association, the four-day Owingsville Lions Club Horse Show drew more than 500 Tennessee Walking Horses, many of them contenders for the breed's championship title at the upcoming National Celebration in August. But the prospect of failing USDA testing brought the competition down to just 40 horses in the show's final two days.

"If they had been found in violation, they would not be able to show at the Celebration," said Rogers, who also manages the Owingsville show.

Zemanta Pixie
"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra