Lets take this blog to the next level

If you have a photo of crappy show riding, know of a jerkwad trainer or judge, or someone in the show world that is an abusive piece of shit then send the info to me. This blog is not anti-showing, it's anti-abuse. So there is no truth to the claims from the TWH, ASB, western pleasure and dressage zombies that I'm trying to shut showing down. Instead I'm trying to make showing more honest and to get abusive practices out of the showring! Email me at shameinthehorseshowring@gmail.com

I have a request for my readers: If you have successfully rehabbed a show horse, or gotten a rescue and taken it on to a show career then let me know, I'd love to feature you here!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Associations that don't protect the horse: tail blocking gone wild

One of my biggest complaints with breed registries is how they ignore, and in some cases promote, abusive methods. The TWHBEA is a classic example, and they provide a whole lot of fodder for those of us that hate animal abuse. I’m not really fond of the saddlebred or other gaited horse associations either. They all suck; they all promote unnatural and unhealthy methods. And don’t come ranting to me about the Rocky Mountain and Kentucky Saddlers or Pasos, you’ve got your share of abusers too.

The stock horse industry isn’t far behind the gaited horse abusers. Training methods are just as remedial and abusive and the drugs use is rampant. Look at any stock horse breed rulebook and the list of drugs allowed in the show ring would make a New York City crack whore swoon with delight. I’m personally surprised more crack whores don’t get into showing horses, just because of the ease of acquiring high end drugs that would make your average smack trip seem like a day of sniffing Sharpies.

But, this isn’t a post about the drug abuse, this is a post returning to one of my earlier statements: WTF is going on with the tail blocking? Why isn’t every single horse organization out there banning this shit and then fining into penury every asshole trainer caught doing it?
It serves *no* purpose except to harm the horse. It can cause extensive scarring and injury, as well as making it impossible for the horse to poop or switch flies. It is such a vanity operation and merely outlines how morally bankrupt the horse industry has become.

Now I have to do something I hate to do, and I rarely do: I have to commend the AQHA for taking action against tail blocking and checking for it at their major shows. Just pisses me off to admit they do something right, because they are the leader in the drug/poor riding/bad trends/over-breeding/genetic defects races. I scrolled through all the online rulebooks I could find and none of the other stock breeds specifically ban tail blocking, although they do have sections about cosmetic alteration.

I have personal knowledge that the ApHC will not do anything about tail blocking. Neither the CEO (who isn’t about to piss off his big trainer buddies) nor the show manager (who isn’t about to do any extra work) are *ever* going to do shit about it. The big trainers need their blocked tails, drugs and shitty equipment so they can pretend they know how to work a horse. Here’s a hint: if you didn’t squeeze your horse into such artificial frames and start them so young you wouldn’t need the drugs, tail blocks and gimmicks. From what I can tell the NCHA, NRHA, PHBA, ABHA, POA and the rest of the stock breeds have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy on tail blocking. Don’t ask us if our sorry assed trainers break rules and abuse their horses and we’ll pretend that the breed we were formed to protect is actually being taken care of properly.

The Horse.com had a great article on tail blocking a few months back and it showcased the hazards of doing blocking, even if a vet does it. http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12310

The photos are graphic, so I suggest you don’t eat while reading it. I guess the big question is *why* most breed organizations won’t take action. This is such a simple thing to fix. It requires no major changes that affect the majority of members. It helps the horse. And it shows the public that they organization actually cares about the horse. Of course I doubt the ApHC will ever do anything, at least while they have the current CEO in office, but I’d think that NCHA and NRHA, as bastions of AQHA supporters would step up and enforce a ban on it. This industry is about the horse right, not just the dumb ass trainers that like to cheat?


Carrie Giannandrea said...

Isn't doing ANYTHING artificial to an animal just about vanity and greed??

The lengths people go just to "win" are incredible.

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

Tuffy Horse said...

Tail blocking is nothing more than a public exhibition of how poor a trainer a person is.
I can watch a class of dead tailed horses and start checking off the trainers I will never send a horse to or refer a client to.
If people want to know why the WP and halter indutries are so hard it then all they have to do is look at all the public advertising trainers do that promotes their criminal methods.

Tracy Meisenbach

WendyNRags said...

I agree tuffy. I was at the Tom Powers and you could see the dead tails dangling there like brooms, and the judges ignoring it.

I wouldn't let one of those abusive trainers touch my horse.


noWPforme said...

some of them are proud of it. they brag about the methods they use and how long it works. i wouldn't show aqha if you gave me the horse and paid my entry fees.

Anonymous said...

i blame the rulebooks...in some, it actually states that "tail swishing" will be cause to take off points!

HuntNJump said...

I agree that the rulebooks should not penalize for switching. Usually if it has reached the point that a horse is doing excessive switching the judge is going to bust them for something else anyhow.

cattypex said...

I agree.

I just watched a YouTube video of Dr Reiner Klimke and his great horse Ahlerich, and that horse's tail was going the WHOLE time. It looked like his tail was keeping time and helping him balance. Duuuuh.....

Fake tails are silly, too. Esp. when hanging off a dead tailbone. GOD I hate that.

Anonymous said...

you now what pisses me off?
people like ya'll that come on this stupid "shame in the show ring". you guys dont have any fricken idea about horseshows and what it takes to be the best!!!!
so just shut the hell up! there is no point in bashing horseshows and when its ur supposed "passion" why the fuck does it matter what other people look like who ARE WINNING!
if you haven't been to a horseshow ever, go get yourself educated and look at the winners!
they are the fucking winners for a REASON!
because they are amazing horses, trained by exceptional individuals, in order to compete at the TOP level of horse showing.
and by the way your "horsemanship discipline" is fucking retarded and so untrue considering there are multiple horses and different types of riding to enhance yourself or horses movement. just please educate yourself before you talk shit about the most amazing sport on the planet. and yes its a SPORT! because i know i train just as fucking hard as an olympian.... so shut up!!!!!

cattypex said...

Um.... whatever, anon.

I will ALWAYS be against tail blocking, peanut rolling "headsets," lunge-in-contraptions-till-dead so-called training, and other FAKEY FAKE hokum pokum.

Also, if you need to medically alter your animal to perform, you're just as guilty as steroid pushing/using human coaches and athletes, if not worse, since the horse has NO say in the matter.

I've been to many horse shows. I've been to Congress every year for... oh.... 15-20 years, and I REALLY DO love Quarter Horses.

But all that crap I just mentioned does NOTHING POSITIVE for the breed. Those western pleasure/wenglish horses move like they're lame, and they look really sad.

Give me reining or cutting any day. Those sports have their own issues, but if done right and with an eye to preserving soundness and sanity, they're super cool.

Or a really good trail horse. As in, a horse who gets to go somewhere besides circles. And can brush its own flies off with a tail that works.

You sound young, as if you've never watched other equine disciplines - because maybe you think YOUR breed/discipline is the best. Check out Arabian and Morgan western pleasure. Or REAL hunter/jumpers.

Or even endurance horses or ranch horses who have to think about where they're going. I guaran-DAMN-tee you that THEIR heads will be up & looking around.

Youtube is a great place to start.

Jordan said...

So why can we block tails but not use artificial weighted tails? Fake tails seem more natural to me then a crooked tail stuck up some horses butt!

cattypex said...

Oh, and anon.

Just in case your parents didn't learn you no good lessons....


Carrie Giannandrea said...

cattypex said:


oh so very true!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms

cattypex said...

I think that fake tails look silly.

I guess if your horse had chemo and lost all his hair.... *snark*

Heh, remember when you used to get marked DOWN for having your hunt seat horse's tail all level at the bottom??? ("banged," I think is the term)