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!






Thursday, December 11, 2008

Made in America

There is no doubt America is a great country. There is no doubt that the history of this country is very closely tied with the horse. Without the horse westward expansion would have taken twice as long, forests wouldn’t have been cleared, prairies plowed, cities developed. Of course, without the horse, wars would have been more difficult to fight and just maybe if our growth hadn’t have been so spectacular we might not have had the energy and vanity to destroy one of the things that helped us build this country: the working horse.

After World War II the horse experienced a decline of epic proportions. Farms were being modernized, automobiles were more affordable, and most cities were running out of spaces to keep a horse. The workhorse was on the way out, and horses as a mode of transportation were swiftly being replaced. However, America was not about to end its love affair with the horse. Racing was growing in popularity, as were polo, rodeo and showing. Equestrian sports replaced equine related work and the horse ended by being saved by the popularity of equine hobbyists. This is both a good, and a bad, thing.

There is no doubt that when an animal is bred to work he has a more balanced, mechanically sound conformation. You can’t plow with a horse that has a weak rear end. You can’t herd cattle for hundreds of miles with some muscle bound, tiny footed head case. You can’t deliver mail across 1100 miles on a horse that’s going to have a stress attack that’s been genetically bred into it. We all know that a true working horse is usually bred for soundness. This is where nature is our best friend, and we are her worst enemy.

What the American horse loving public has done to one of the most incredible biomechanical creations is a travesty. We should be ashamed of ourselves, really ashamed. We took an animal that could pull more than 3 times its own weight, carry 1/3 of its own body weight on its back, live on grass and water, give us affection and trust and we turned it into either a head dragging, short stepping, no impulsion pleasure horse, a bulky muscled, no brained, falling over halter horse, or some high stepping, artificial, head case. We haven’t improved on nature one single bit. We’ve created types based on aesthetics, without ever considering morphology or basic mechanics. Our vanity dictates the uselessness of our animals. And because we create such biomechanically unsound animals we then torture them to make them perform as we feel they should.

Let’s look at one of the “Made in America” breeds and examine what human vanity has done to a perfectly good horse.

The American Saddlebred comes from stock brought over from Europe. Its ancestors were originally pacing stock. They were crossed on English Thoroughbreds and the long production line that resulted in the ASB was started. Several prominent sires, including imported Messenger (Whom was also responsible for the Standardbred and some lines of TWH) Other sires that impacted the ASB are Gaine’s Denmark, Harrison Chief and during this century Rex McDonald. When you look at portraits of these horses you see balance, good legs, nice neck sets and feet that will actually support a horse.

In fact up until the 1900s a good ASB looked much like a nice TB in conformation: not as lean as the race type, but not as heavy as the hunt field type. The ASB was a working horse. It was a horse that carried generals through the Civil War and Plains Wars. It was a horse that traveled endless miles on plantations and farms, or down American roads to market. It had normal shaped feet, a natural tail and was ridden in the same manner just about every other horse was. What happened? Where did the ASB show ring go wrong and why?

I’m sure the Modern Saddlebred Breeder’s forum is going to go all freaky here, just like they did when they reviewed my blog before. According to them everyone that disagrees with their methods is a hater and just “doesn’t understand the ASB”. Seriously people, we get it. We understand exactly what you’re doing because we own horses too. We ride too. We care for horses too. And we know without a shadow of doubt that what you do to your show ASB’s is a complete and utter load of shit.




1) Why the set tails? There is no reason on this earth to break a horse’s tail, or nick the tendons. It doesn’t serve any purpose. It is vanity on your part and it subjects the horse to lifelong disfigurement. I think every exhibitor that subjects their horse to set tails needs to have their middle finger broken and tied back to the top of their hand. That way they can flip themselves off all day long for being such idiots. They should also get daily ginger enemas, just to make sure they step lightly and enjoy the day like their horses have to. Vanity and cruelty.








How would you like to sleep wearing this crap?


2)What is the deal with the long feet? Don’t try to bullshit us that it serves a purpose. Has no one in the ASB industry read a shoeing manual? Do you not understand the pressure put on the phalangeal levers by leaving that toe so long? Do you not get that creating tubed feet is just a quick trip to navicular disease? The hoof angle also impacts the knees, elbows, hocks and stifles. Poor feet can screw up the whole leg. Why don’t you shoe the horse correctly for a working horse and leaving the long toes to ballerinas?



3) What is the deal with your tack? Can you not handle your horses without bits that look like murder weapons? Don’t give me endless crap about “any bit can be cruel in the wrong hands”. Trust me, you guys are the wrong hands everyone talks about. There is no reason for a 9 inch shank on a double bridle. None. Ever. You have two bits at the end of the reins. The snaffle should be the one getting the majority of cues. I have seen ASBs shown where the curb is working almost parallel to the ground. WTF is up with that? Here’s a hint, when the horse does the thing with his chin and lower lip where he has it all wrinkled up it is because the bit and curb chain is hurting him! He’s not making faces to try to score a laugh out of the judges. He’s in pain.



10 inch shank Weymouth




And the bridoons you people use are just ludicrous. Can you not use a plain smooth mouth bridoon? Must you train with things that are better suited to sawing logs in half than being in a horse’s mouth?





4. Most of us understand the principals of saddleseat. Several breeds utilize the form and do so without making their horses look like strung out torture victims. Why can’t the ASB crowd?

5. Why do we do this to a breed we created? Other than the Icelandic Horse people, there is no European counterpart to a tail set, hyperflexed, torture gaited creature. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60DFjMenFNI&feature=related
Scuttling movement, bad hands, horse is winging like crazy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4srDmPwQ-dw&feature=related
Looks like shit. The horse is hyper reflexed. He is wearing a bit that any non-tortured horse would flip over with. Don’t try to tell me that rider isn’t heavy handing that horse, I can see the strain in his arms. I can also see the hocks and stifles locking every few steps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXeVQKfKM5g

If this is the best of the best at DC then the ASB is in trouble. I saw the chestnut horse lose his stifle about five times in one circle. The western horse looks like crap. I can’t figure out why the horses can’t move in a straight line. I get on WP people all the time about the canted moving, but this is way worse.
This is a weanling in a bitting rig, being lunged in a small circle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N_JNVqFsEI&feature=related
WTF is up with that?
Here's a yearling in a bitting rig being lunged in a small circle.
These horses are babies! They shouldn't know what bits are for another few years. A weanling should not know what lunging is.
Oh, but this kind of abuse doesn't happen, we've been told so by ASB riders that have been in the business for years.
Evidently the same people that denied this crap happens in the ASB industry went over and chewed the ass of the video owner so he removed the videos. So for those of you that didn't get to see the videos here's a recap"
Bay ASB weanling in a full bitting and stretchies on his legs. He's being lunged in about a 20 foot circle, while a man with a whip/plastic bag thing chases him. His movment is jerky and stiff and his head is cranked in way to tight.
Chestnut ASB yearling in a full bitting rig. Same size circle. He moves better but is still way to tight and looks off on the outside hind leg. Asshole still has the whip/plastci bag thing.
Both these colts are verified as ASB registered.
And just because people whine that I never show the good stuff, here’s a saddlebred doing dressage. He’s relaxed, his tail is natural, he’s wearing snaffle, he’s got normal feet and a happy expression. He’s getting to do what every saddlebred should be allowed to do: show off what a horse can do without being tortured.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRpjVbiUIAA

I’ve seen good saddlebreds do everything from dressage to jumping to western pleasure to barrel racing. In 1984 an ASB won the Battle of the Breeds by competing in multiple disciplines and placing well in all of them. These horses can do just about anything you set them at, as long as they aren’t hampered by a vanity monkey on their back.

Look at these little training gadgets to keep the ASB on his toes:











The black rubber boot with the chain around the ankle is called a Ticky Tack Spat. Doesn't that look like fun to wear? The silver thing is a caulking boot! So much for the natural moving ASB.
Here’s my personal opinion: The American Saddlebred is a great horse. They have a level of tolerance that is found in very few animals. I don’t think any stock breed, Arab or TB would put up with the shit an ASB puts up with and not kill someone. I know my old horse would have dumped me and left home if I had even hinted that I was going to make him sleep all night with his tail crammed up his butt, in a harness to hold it straight. Had I used one of those shoddy bits he would have flipped over and refused to get up again. I think the ASB show industry has taken a naturally dynamic animal and turned it into a characticture of a show horse. By doing so they have earned the disdain of the horse industry. We know how talented the horse is, it’s the people we despise. When is the ASB show world going to throw off its cruel trappings and let the beautiful horse it tortures show its natural abilities? And to the saddlebred people that are going to label me a “hater”: You’re wrong. I love the horse, just despise the idiots it attracts.
And the trot.org people need to just save their breath. I'm not talking bad about the Saddlebred, it's a nice horse. I'm talking bad about the scum in your industry that you should have had the balls to get rid of years ago. I at least have the balls to speak out, which is more than you're doing. You're wasting time bitching about me when you should be kicking your breed organization in the ass and getting the cruel stuff banned.
A lot of different people contribute information to this blog. Some of the saddlebred stuff came from people within the ASB industry, so calling the blog ignorant means you're labeling part of the ASB industry ignorant.

530 comments:

1 – 200 of 530   Newer›   Newest»
GoLightly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarnBabe said...

Personally, I think you're terribly misinformed and you're spreading information that is simply not true. I have been involved with Saddlebreds for nearly ten years, and I have NEVER seen either one of those contraptions that you showcased on today's blog. A "Ticky Tack Spat"? What is that? Caulking boots? Please... I'm sorry, but torture? I own six ASBs. Two of which are at a large show barn. They get the royal treatment. Saddlebreds thrive only when treated with respect in training, kindness, and understanding. For an ASB to perform at top level, that horse must be happy and healthy. If these saddlebreds are so abused, why do so many thrive in such an atmosphere? Is it, infact, that abuse is few and far between? Just as it is in every other discipline?

Yes, the ASB community has some things that need changing. The issue of tail-setting has been a major one. No ASB class requires a set tail. It does seem to have become a vanity issue. I'm not saying the ASB industry is perfect.

Try featuring horses that represent what the breed really is...


http://tinylink.com/?9Bxy0jjOoQ
USEF Medal Winner. Exquisite form on a lovely mount.

http://tinylink.com/?PPdSxp7FDV
Honestly, does this pony look like she does anything BUT enjoy her work?

http://tinylink.com/?UfO07ppumJ
A flat-shod country pleasure horse. Engaging himself behind, looking through his bridle. Funny, he's not doing anything odd with his lips. Must be he enjoys torture, right?


http://tinylink.com/?9ewgvOmvlc
This is probley more to your liking... snaffle bit only, no cut tail. Funny, he looks as happy as the horses wearing full bridles. Hmm...

http://tinylink.com/?oH3XZKMsjX
This horse has set himself up nicely and his trainer rewards him with lightened tension. Go figure

"Looks like shit. The horse is hyper reflexed. He is wearing a bit that any non-tortured horse would flip over with. Don’t try to tell me that rider isn’t heavy handing that horse, I can see the strain in his arms. I can also see the hocks and stifles locking every few steps."
...If that video really showed enough for you to see his hocks and stifles locking and the strain in the rider's arms, you should have noticed that the rider was infact a woman. An amateur woman, to be precise. That video was much too short and from too strange an angle to make an accurate judgement on anything definitively.

For anyone who would like to learn a few things about Saddlebreds, and the "myths" that surround them, here's a few older articles that I found that are pretty good...

http://www.american-saddlebred.com/protean/myths.htm

http://www.american-saddlebred.com/protean/myths2.htm

Trojan Mouse said...

Barn babe,

You're typical of the "enablers". Deny, deny, deny. You call me misinformed, but the videos and photos are labeled at their origins as being ASB. Who created them? People with ASBs.
Do you endorse the poor riding in the videos? Do you agree that bridoons with chain mouth pieces are good?
Are you saying that a tail set is comfortable?

The other pictures you cite are the aspects of the ASB that the public rarely sees, because it is not the image the breed organization promotes.
I can find upteen photos of flat shod TWHs, non WP Qh's, non racing TBs all having a good time. This doesn't mean that their breed organization show and racing industries aren't full of abusers.

I've seen the "myth disabusing" website you posted and it's as big a joke as the one the big lick people have. The writer doesn't address any of the major issues and skirts around the big ones. She's trying to put chocolate sauce on shit and call it a sundae.

Why are ASBs started so young? I see the local trainers on them at 18 months.

Why use the nasty bits. She says the horses don't need them, so why use them? Why not showcase a horse with "natural" ability in a nice pelham or shorter weymouth and plain bridoon. If you can do it, then why don't you?

If show ASBs aren't abused then *why* do the USDA inspectors show up at the shows? Why are there several ASB rescue organizations that tout the abuse in their own industry? Why are you denying something that has had federal officials cracking down on it?

There is *no* measure of respect from an owner that keeps his horse in a tail set. None. Why don't you stick a shoe horn up your butt for 24 hours and see how you like it.

If your justification is that the horses seem to thrive then you are even more stupid than I thought. Horses are one of the most pain tolerant creatures ever. As a prey animal they can endure horrible injuries and never make a sound. It is because of this ability to remain quiet in the face of pain that allows people like you to callously abuse them for the desipicable stroking of your ego. Had you placed such equipment on a dog he'd howl and alert the world as to what a cruel person you were.

I live less than thirty minutes from two huge saddlebred barns. Seeing them ride horses that aren't even two years old made me sick. Seeing the damage on the legs of their show horses enraged me. And the "dark" stall issue isn't a myth at all. These horses are kept in windowless stalls, in dim light. They come out *only* to be ridden. They are never turned out in the pasture, they never frolic and play with other horses. If they leave the stall they are either in harness or under saddle. Their lives are nothing but an endless round of cruel bits, training and being kept in a prison cell.

Pity the same thing can't happen to the people that handle them.


And if you can't tell a locking stifle from that video then you don't need to have any horse in your care. I spotted it ten seconds into the clip.


Now go stand in front of the mirror and repeat this while looking at yourself: I am an abuse enabler and I'm in complete denial about ASB abuse. And then stick some ginger up your ass and enjoy how "showy" it makes you feel.


TJM

Amanda Nicole said...

My mom and I were down at the State Fairgrounds for a carpentry competition my brother was involved in. Turns out that on the same day there was a huge ASB show going on. Neither of us have any experience with ASBs or know anything about them but after watching the warm up arena we were literally crying. The chains and bits are ridiculous. At least TWH people don't feel the need to ride in double bridles.
Then we wandered through the barns because we thought we would just be able to enjoy the horses. Well, we were quite horrified to find them staring puppy eyed out of their stalls all strapped up in those ridiculous harnesses. Some of them were limping to just walk up to us.
We then moved on to try to watch a class but we were so horrified we just left.

The ASB industry is probably the worst of the worst. It's ridiculous. Not saying anything about the breed because I'm sure they make great trail mounts, pleasure horses, pasture ornaments etc. I'm talking the ASB show world.

Disgusting.

Long Island Five said...

Ugh! Thanks for explaining the "ginger" thing. I heard about it, but never imagined how it was used.

gabriella said...

What's just as shocking as their training methods is their apparent lack of riding skill - I mean seriously - leaning forward on the poor horse's shoulders, inability to move with the horse (hence the butts bobbing away in the saddle) and using the horse's mouth for balance.

Oh, and BarnBabe -the 'looks like shit' video? 50 seconds is PLENTY long enough for a horseman or horsewoman worth their salt to see the problems with both horse & rider. And if the rider is such an amateur, why is she showing a horse she can barely keep between herself & the ground??? Please - don't answer -you're clearly on the 'eat butterflies -poop rainbows' diet.

Blatant Animal-Related Idiocy said...

I know it's a little different, but I worked (briefly) at a saddleseat show barn that showed Morgans. I LOVE Morgans, but these were not the beautiful, sturdy horses a la Justin Morgan. These things were bred and trained to look and move like Saddlebreds.

The horses that were in training there (or that were show horses) were kept in their stalls 24/7 unless they were being worked. They lived their lives in those stalls with a jowl-sweating contraption and a tail set on at all times. There was no time for them to "be horses."

The trainer can only be described as a douchebag. Total dick to everyone, staff, horses, wife, child, etc. He got results from his horses because they were terrified of him. I remember one day he handed me a young horse that he had just finished working, and the more thing was bleeding from the corners of its mouth. I asked Mr. Overcompensating-For-Something Trainer if there was something he wanted me to put on the lacerations, and his response was, "No, leave it, I like it like that."

So yes, while there are some excellent Saddlebred and Morgan riders, trainers, and breeders, many of the ones that are finding success on a national level do so with ever-present tail sets, chains, whips, and fear. It's absolutely sick.

When I was growing up my mom leased a gorgeous old-style Morgan gelding, and he was the most wonderful, calm, versatile, sweet horse. The giraffe-necked, high-stepping, white-rimmed-eyed, batshit examples at the place I worked at left a lot to be desired, and so did their trainer, may he rot in hell.

Blatant Animal-Related Idiocy said...

Ugh. Typo. Too early. Third paragraph should be "poor thing" instead of "more thing".

GoLightly said...

BarnBabe
yeah, maybe you need to open your eyes a smitchen WIDER.
None of those pictures, NONE, showed a happy comfortable horse. None. ZERO, nada.
The black horse wearing a snaffle? Can't you see how tight the martingale (or whatever the hell your breed calls it) is, such that the action of the bit is hard down on the bars of the horses mouth?
No?
Too bad for your horses.
Just toooo bad.

Poor critters.
You should look up Andalusians of Grandeurs post on this blog. She groomed for a show barn like yours. Lovely stuff, if you're into S&M.

get a reality check.
Listen to the kindess in your heart that probably, you don't have anyway. They look sooooo purty.
Purty awful.

Leslie said...

"If show ASBs aren't abused then *why* do the USDA inspectors show up at the shows?"

They don't. That's TWH you're thinking of.

ignoramus said...

Re: Caulking boots

Why are protective shipping cuffs that are essentially extra sturdy bell boots considered abusive?

They are called Caulking boots because they protect a horse that might step on his opposite pastern/coronet area while wearing a shoe, causing damage.

What did you think they were used for?

Trojan Mouse said...

ignoramous,

(showing that some people name themselves correctly)

>They are called Caulking boots because they protect a horse that might step on his opposite pastern/coronet area while wearing a shoe, causing damage.


Because the ASB trainers around here use them while riding so their too young, uncoordinated, and carrying too much weight babies won't step on themselves. I know what their intent is, but I've seen them used on saddlebreds while under saddle.

And Leslie, the USDA inspectors do show up at ASB shows here in Virginia.

CutNJump said...

I only have one point to disagree on- the plowing comment.

A plow horse or draft horse, generally doesn't use their rear end as much. Most of the pulling comes from putting their head down and pushing into the collar, pulling with the front legs. They do use the rear end, but not as much as a dressage or riding horse, that has been properly tained. That is why a lot of the draft breeds often have such massive fronts, and not so much behind. Carriage and driving horses, often the same. The good driver and trainer, knows how to acheive the balanced look and move the horse off the rear. Not many farmers do or care.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now as for the Saddlebreds or 'Seahorses' as my friend calls them, the Arabian, H/A, NSH- English Pleasure horse industry is a close rival as far as the abusive bullshit goes. Sans the tail setting rig and overly long feet, they ginger, use chains, hobbles with surgical tubing and all sorts of shit to get that movement.

Kudos to the show rules for Arabs, the shoes can only be a certain weight or less. The tails are not to be gingered, but it is still a practice in full swing, just not spoken of. Speaking of ginger- Schneiders Saddlery (SSTack.com) used to still carry the ginger, just called it tail set, or salve to make it sound less than what it was. I think they have pulled it off line, but I bet if you ask, you shall receive.

The same crappy bits- twisted wire, bicycle chain, gags, triangular mouthpieces- all used on them too, long shanks as well. As for the bradoons- Schneiders also has "trainers tips" which state "The fishback mouthpeice and thinner mouthpeices provide more 'bite' and give better control." Thank you, Assholes!


Draw reins, martingales, everything to get that head UP! and the chin to the chest, then spur the shit out of them and force them forward. I can go through my "Modern Arabian Horse" magazine, mailed out monthly by AHA, and name names- trainers- PICTURED with all that shit going on... Disgusting!

I actually learned to team rope on a saddlebred. When I mentioned this to a SB trainer I knew, they said he mustn't have very good breeding. I think he was a Wing Commander g'son. (I agree, there are a lot of those out there as WC is as common, as *Bask in Arabs)


ASB's can be decent horses, but with all the BS surrounding them, it is no wonder so many aren't.

Great post and again- spot on.

CutNJump said...

TJM-
She's trying to put chocolate sauce on shit and call it a sundae.


Thank You! My monitor is now covered in coffe that came through my nose.

I am toatally going to use that line. I love you!

CutNJump said...

Sorry.

coffe = coffee.

Apparently I need more...

CutNJump said...

TJM-
They are never turned out in the pasture, they never frolic and play with other horses. If they leave the stall they are either in harness or under saddle. Their lives are nothing but an endless round of cruel bits, training and being kept in a prison cell.


YES! YES! YES!

Heaven forbid they get turned out and get to run around. They might break a hoof! Then they would certainly be lopsided and out of showing until it grew back!

This is why the ASB horses I knew had to also wear kicking chains. They were soo fucking stir crazy they kicked the walls to shitfor somthing to do. As well as cribbing weaving and many other vices.

Not so much 'thriving' going on there unless of course you are sadistic.

BarnBabe- maybe Your horses are well treated and thriving, if so, you are in the minority. As for the rest of the breed out there- I call bullshit.

CutNJump said...

TJM-
And then stick some ginger up your ass and enjoy how "showy" it makes you feel.


Weasel did a blog on this very thing. (Why Women Hate Men) It's called Figging

SuzyQ said...

If barn babe is an “enabler”, then so am I. Yes, the featured videos are not the best that the Saddlebreds has to offer. I can point out to you hundreds of youtube videos with equally poor Quarter horses, Warmbloods, Arabians, Draft breeds, you name it. I think perhaps the posted pictures were an attempt to give you an example of current and proper saddleseat riding. By showcasing some of the worst that you could find online, you represent these few snippets as the whole of the breed as presented in the showring. That is misleading.

A tailset is designed to achieve its desired effect with minimalist damage. No, it is not the most comfortable piece of tack ever created; I do agree with you on that aspect. But I also do not believe that bras are comfortable. Often, tailsets are used only a few days to a week or so prior to a horse show. They are fitted meticulously, so as to decrease any discomfort. If the weather is too warm, they are taken off. Many horses do not require a tailset at all. In this day, when horses are being exported by the thousands to international slaughterhouses and our own economy cannot support many of the horses that do manage to stay here—should you really concern your time and effort with no more than minor discomfort from a tailset left on a Saddlebred? Once again, I do agree that this practice needs to stop...if for no other reason than it misleads people into thinking that the saddlebred industry thrives on abuse. But the practice in and of itself does not involve a large amount of discomfort for the horse. Have you ever observed one on a horse? The set itself resembles a loose driving harness, lined with fleece at any area that might uncomfortably rub the horse. The tail set crupper is lined with soft fabric (I have even seen diapers used), and the horse’s tail bone is laid into it. It is then wrapped again with fabric, and tied up into a tail sack. The ginger? Yes, it is uncomfortable, and yes—I do totally disagree with it. But it is not so uncomfortable that horses kick out or pin their ears. If it was, it would be more detrimental than beneficial. Saddlebreds who exude extreme personality and enthusiasm for their jobs win. Why would you want to do something to your horse that made him look sour? Again, I’m all for it being discontinued, and it somewhat IS being discontinued. It does provide a minimal level of discomfort or it would achieve its desired effect. That to me is not humane, whether or not it is a minor offense. I don’t like it any more than you do.

Some saddlebreds are infact started young. So are many, many other horses used in a variety of disciplines. Most trainers worth their salt realize that by starting a horse so young you blow your chances of having a star athlete for a decade or more. Few trainers that I know would risk that. This argument should be applied as a universal horse argument, not specifically Saddlebreds. I personally plan to have my weanling started under saddle as a three year old.

My show horse receives his winters off to romp and play outside as any other horse would. He has a large window at the back of his stall to look outside, and the front of his stall is open to look down the barn hall and watch his friends. He gets turnout time, and I am positive that he enjoys his work. He routinely gets worked outside. In fact, my trainer’s wife tells me that she jogs him down on the trails with the wild turkeys. All of the show horses in the barn are treated this way.

As far as the bits go, a happy-mouthed horse tends to be a happy horse. I am fortunate to have a trainer who is wonderful with a horse’s mouth. I don’t think I have ever seen a 10 inch shank curb bit on a Saddlebred. I certainly have never seen a horse with his curb bit cranked parallel to the ground. We don’t want our horses to be unhappy. Horses have needs and comforts—if they are not met they are not happy. An instinctively high pain tolerance might be a herd animal instinct, but I know when my horse is unhappy. Wild predatory tigers might not understand horse body language—but anyone who pays attention to their horse’s psychology can. It’s called being a good horse owner, Saddlebred or not. Full bridles are used to fully utilize the horse’s unique abilities. The snaffle bit is used, at its most basic level, for both vertical and lateral work, as well as finessed control. I do not mean, “WHOA, HE’S RUNNING AWAY!” control either. Top notch Saddlebreds exhibit effortless transitions, employing incredible communication between horse and rider. Saddlebreds are introduced to the snaffle bit first. As the horse becomes finished and increasingly ready for the show ring, his movements and his responsiveness become heightened. This is when the full bridle is introduced. The curb is used to engage the horse’s skeleton, achieve appropriate flexion, etc. A full bridle in a master’s hand is the ultimate show bridle, like a Steinway Piano played by practiced hands. Similarly, (I will continue using my piano metaphor) sometimes said piano is banged-on by a child with no musical aptitude. Full bridles should be used only when a rider can appropriately use its features.

This won’t change your mind about Saddlebred people, I’m sure. And I most likely did not articulate myself very well—I am very passionate about these animals and I tend to get myself worked-up about them. I have been around and ridden a variety of breeds – Several draft breeds, Quarter Horses, trail TWHs, warmblood Dressage competitors, and others. Saddlebreds are intelligent and they enjoy what they do; be it dressage, trail-riding, or saddleseat competition. The Saddlebred industry has its sour apples and skeletons in its closet. But point out an industry to me that doesn’t.

Trojan Mouse said...

Suzy Q,

>If barn babe is an “enabler”, then so am I. Yes, the featured videos are not the best that the Saddlebreds has to offer. I can point out to you hundreds of youtube videos with equally poor Quarter horses, Warmbloods, Arabians, Draft breeds, you name it.

I have only one major rule here (besides the ban on posting any photos of Ann Coulter) and that is that no one can try to excuse the poor behavior in their industry by citing the poor behavior in another section of the horse industry. I don't care if you can find shitty WP, EP, dressage videos. I can find them too, and I've probably already posted them. Today the subject is ASBs, so let's get some focus here.


>I think perhaps the posted pictures were an attempt to give you an example of current and proper saddleseat riding.

I lived in Phoenix for 25 years and spent a lot of time at the horse park. I know what proper saddleseat riding is, the photos don't qualify.


>By showcasing some of the worst that you could find online, you represent these few snippets as the whole of the breed as presented in the showring. That is misleading.

No, I represent those snippets as jerk-offs tht are ruining a good breed of horse. Did you not read my last statement about liking the ASB?


>A tailset is designed to achieve its desired effect with minimalist damage. No, it is not the most comfortable piece of tack ever created; I do agree with you on that aspect. But I also do not believe that bras are comfortable. Often, tailsets are used only a few days to a week or so prior to a horse show. They are fitted meticulously, so as to decrease any discomfort. If the weather is too warm, they are taken off. Many horses do not require a tailset at all.


OK, now you're on crack. Do not even compare a tailset to a bra. Here's the first major difference: You can choose to wear a bra. If you don't want to wear a ba then your boobies can flop around like a hacky sack at a pre-soccer game warm-up and the rest of the world cares not a bit. The horse never gets the choice of whether he's going to wear a tail set or not. You sound like those stupid big lick people trying to excuse padding by saying that women wear high heels all the time. True, women do wear high heels, but they take the fricking things off at night and they can choose not to wear them.


>In this day, when horses are being exported by the thousands to international slaughterhouses and our own economy cannot support many of the horses that do manage to stay here—should you really concern your time and effort with no more than minor discomfort from a tailset left on a Saddlebred?

No, and I'll tell you why. Because the vanity aspect of showing is what causes perfectly good horses to be tossed out into the system as disposable. A horse that was given a "normal" upbringing and not subjected to the torture, harsh bits, bad training practices etc could have made a nice kid's horse and lived a boring, but painless life in someone's back pasture. Once a horse has been through the show monster making machine he usually has head issues, soundness issues and a market value less than a used piece of gum. I'm bitching about the disposable aspect of the showring because it creates a lot of the slaughter problems.

>Once again, I do agree that this practice needs to stop...if for no other reason than it misleads people into thinking that the saddlebred industry thrives on abuse. But the practice in and of itself does not involve a large amount of discomfort for the horse. Have you ever observed one on a horse?

I'll relate something that every women over the age of 16 can agree with: I've never worn a tail set, but I have encountered a speculum stuck in just about the same place and after 15 seconds I wanted to kill someone and shove the damn thing down their throat. If I had to wear one for 24 hours I'd go postal. Mild discomfort can become torturous pain after 24 hours. Just ask anyone that's had the water treatment done to them.


>Yes, it is uncomfortable, and yes—I do totally disagree with it. But it is not so uncomfortable that horses kick out or pin their ears.

You're dropping lower in my estimation with each statement. A horse will tolerate extreme amounts of pain and discomfort. It's been proven. If this wasn't the case then the Big Lick industry would have folded 50 years ago. Horses are rarely vocal about pain and will "live with" something that is agonizing. Ever watch a mare foal? You usually hear nary a peep. I've seen enough human birth videos to know that having a baby hurts like a MF. So for a horse to do it quietly says a lot for their tolerance of pain.

>Some saddlebreds are infact started young. So are many, many other horses used in a variety of disciplines.

You're back to breaking the rules again. We've already ragged the stock horse industry for starting horses too young, now it's the ASBs turn.


> All of the show horses in the barn are treated this way.


But that isn't typical. You act like none of the rest of us have been to an ASB barn or show. Like we haven't seen with our own eyes the things I'm blogging about.

>As far as the bits go, a happy-mouthed horse tends to be a happy horse.

I don't think I've ever seen a horse with bike chain in his mouth act happy, unless he just pitched his rider and is running madly about the arena enjoying a few minutes of well deserved freedom.


> I don’t think I have ever seen a 10 inch shank curb bit on a Saddlebred.

Well guess where I got that photo toots, right off a website that specializes in ASB equipment.

>I certainly have never seen a horse with his curb bit cranked parallel to the ground. We don’t want our horses to be unhappy.


So don't train them to show like nut bags.

>Wild predatory tigers might not understand horse body language—but anyone who pays attention to their horse’s psychology can. It’s called being a good horse owner, Saddlebred or not.

This is true, which is why we can look at those videos and see unhappy, strung out horses getting chucked in the mouth every stride.


>Full bridles are used to fully utilize the horse’s unique abilities. The snaffle bit is used, at its most basic level, for both vertical and lateral work, as well as finessed control. I do not mean, “WHOA, HE’S RUNNING AWAY!” control either. Top notch Saddlebreds exhibit effortless transitions, employing incredible communication between horse and rider.

Bullshit. If the horse was trained properly he would be shown in a 4 inch shank with a plain bridoon, instead of 8 inchs with a twisted wire bridoon. I can arch a horse up with a bosal and let him go, there isn't any reason for the heavy hands and bits.



>A full bridle in a master’s hand is the ultimate show bridle, like a Steinway Piano played by practiced hands. Similarly, (I will continue using my piano metaphor) sometimes said piano is banged-on by a child with no musical aptitude. Full bridles should be used only when a rider can appropriately use its features.

Pianos don't have a sense of pain, nor do they have twisted wire keys. So let's take your analogy further. Let's say the steinway has keys that are smoot on one end and keys that have twisted wire over them on the other. And you are commanded to play for 24 hourse straight. Which keys are you going to touch more? Which keys would you choose to place your poor, tender, over worked hands on?

>Saddlebreds are intelligent and they enjoy what they do; be it dressage, trail-riding, or saddleseat competition. The Saddlebred industry has its sour apples and skeletons in its closet. But point out an industry to me that doesn’t.

No one is dissing the horse. We're dissing the people like you that try to condone the abuse with silly statements about a "little" discomfort not hurting the horse, and other industries do it too, so why can't we?

It's abuse. You do the horse a disservice. You do responsible horse owners a disservice and you expect other people to clean up your messes when one of your show horses created by Dr. Frankentrainer needs a new home.


TJM

mickeyd said...

TM - I appreciate your opinion. Could you please provide some facts on the USDA shows in VA? Here is a list of the shows that the USDA went to last year:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/hp_test_results.shtml

None are Saddlebred shows. Dr. Todd Behre, Horse Protection Coordinator, for the USDA has on multiple occasions stated that while the USDA has gone and observed a few ASB shows (including Louisville), that there is no reason for them to go on an official basis for enforcement of the HPA.

Also, who are these "multiple" Saddlebred rescue organizations? To the best of my knowledge, there is only one rescue organization that is aligned solely with the Saddlebred, and that is Saddlebred Rescue. Interestingly enough, they are also a Saddlebred show barn. That grey Western horse that you pointed out in your blog is one of theirs. Now, they DO discuss the mistreatment of Saddlebreds on the road (particularly in PA and OH), but since they end up selling and placing these horses back into Saddlebred show barns, I hardly think that they are discussing abuse in the Saddlebred industry.

Training devices that you showed? Hmm. In 40 years of being around ASBs, never seen those used on them. Doesn't mean they aren't, just haven't seen them - so it's probably not common.

Tailsets? Not required. Now, if you don't like them, that's fine - but let's at least get it correct.
#1 - tails are not broken.
#2 - ginger is not used on a daily basis. Not excusing the usage thereof in the least, but at least if you are going to go off about it, please do so in a knowledgeable fashion.

Second video you posted - with the amateur woman rider. Yep, she always rides her horses with tension in her arms. That stud has been well debated as well. He was not a unanimous choice for victory in that class precisely because of the items you pointed out regarding his gait. He's really hocky and they have difficulty shoeing him so that he can do all 5 gaits appropriately. Basically, he can either trot well, or he can rack well, but not both. However, that horse also runs free in a paddock and goes trail riding both in the local canyons in San Diego as well as on the beach. Hardly a hothouse flower that is kept inside all of the time.

As to the double bridle and the bits. Well, for years, all English disciplines rode with double bridles. However, the infusion of amateurs and bad hands led to the elimination of the double bridle in the hunter and jumper fields, as well as lower level dressage. To read about the story of the long shanked bit and how it came about, go here:

http://www.horseconnection.com/site/story-nov08.html

This bit was developed in response to the cruelty that Tom Bass saw with folks yanking on the short shanked bits. Interestingly enough, the man who invented the bit was also the trainer of Rex McDonald, who you point out as being such a lovely representative of the breed (and he was).

As to what type of horses the breed association promotes - on the home page of the breed association is a rolling set of photos submitted by association members. You will find Saddlebreds doing all sorts of things. Some you will like and some you won't, but the ASHA by no means only shows the saddle seat show horse only.

www.asha.net

Trojan Mouse said...

MickeyD,
>TM - I appreciate your opinion. Could you please provide some facts on the USDA shows in VA? Here is a list of the shows that the USDA went to last year:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/hp_test_results.shtml

The link you provided comes up as a dead link, so I don't know what list you're referreing to.


>None are Saddlebred shows. Dr. Todd Behre, Horse Protection Coordinator, for the USDA has on multiple occasions stated that while the USDA has gone and observed a few ASB shows (including Louisville), that there is no reason for them to go on an official basis for enforcement of the HPA.

You seem to be forgetting that here in the east many open shows host both ASB and TWH classes, as well as WP, EP and games all at one show. The USDA inspectors do show up at these open venues and inspect horses. I know for a fact that USDA inspectors have been at the Gretna and New London shows in the past, which host several different varieties of gaited horse classes.

>Also, who are these "multiple" Saddlebred rescue organizations? To the best of my knowledge, there is only one rescue organization that is aligned solely with the Saddlebred, and that is Saddlebred Rescue.

Well let me re-phrase that statement then: Several ex-show horse rescue organizations. And here in the east there are a lot of gaited horses that end up in rescues.


>Training devices that you showed? Hmm. In 40 years of being around ASBs, never seen those used on them. Doesn't mean they aren't, just haven't seen them - so it's probably not common.


Depends on the area that you live in. In southern AZ where I grew up we never saw the wretched WP abuse that you could find in CA and TX. I"m sure that it's spread there now, but in my youth the peanut roller look was not acceptable in an area with working ranches.

>Tailsets? Not required. Now, if you don't like them, that's fine - but let's at least get it correct.
#1 - tails are not broken.
#2 - ginger is not used on a daily basis. Not excusing the usage thereof in the least, but at least if you are going to go off about it, please do so in a knowledgeable fashion.


Let's just put this ball back in your court. Ginger should never be used in any circumstances. The fact that the ASB association doesn't permanently ban people that use it says that they are a bunch of fucksticks. Using ginger on a horse's rectum one time is too many times.
The tail tendons are usually nicked, however in extreme circumstances the tail base is indeed broken and the tail tied until it heals in that manner. I have seen x-rays of broken tails, one where the healing area calcified and caused damage to the spinal column. I have also see necrotic sores from tail set use.

>Second video you posted - with the amateur woman rider. Yep, she always rides her horses with tension in her arms. That stud has been well debated as well. He was not a unanimous choice for victory in that class precisely because of the items you pointed out regarding his gait. He's really hocky and they have difficulty shoeing him so that he can do all 5 gaits appropriately. Basically, he can either trot well, or he can rack well, but not both. However, that horse also runs free in a paddock and goes trail riding both in the local canyons in San Diego as well as on the beach. Hardly a hothouse flower that is kept inside all of the time.

Hardly an example of a good moving horse. It's obvious his problems are conformation, so why is he still a stallion? Why breed to produce such poor movement?

>As to the double bridle and the bits. Well, for years, all English disciplines rode with double bridles. However, the infusion of amateurs and bad hands led to the elimination of the double bridle in the hunter and jumper fields, as well as lower level dressage. To read about the story of the long shanked bit and how it came about, go here:

http://www.horseconnection.com/site/story-nov08.html

This bit was developed in response to the cruelty that Tom Bass saw with folks yanking on the short shanked bits.

So let me get this straight: He decided that short shanks being jerked on was bad, so he creatd a really severe bit so you wouldn't have to yank as hard in order to create twice the pain. Was this guy an Inquisator in his past life?
You don't increase severity due to lack of skill, you decrease it. And typical of most people that advocae short cuts in favor of ability he promoted a method that has the ASB second only to the TWH in lack of riding skill.

>Interestingly enough, the man who invented the bit was also the trainer of Rex McDonald, who you point out as being such a lovely representative of the breed (and he was).

Sad that some great horses have such dickheads for people.

>As to what type of horses the breed association promotes - on the home page of the breed association is a rolling set of photos submitted by association members. You will find Saddlebreds doing all sorts of things. Some you will like and some you won't, but the ASHA by no means only shows the saddle seat show horse only.


The TWHBEA also tries to show TWHs doing things other than Big Lick torture. But until they clean up the abuse the public perception will be that the horses they represent are tortured into showing.

Vanity, pure vanity. And stupidity.

TJM

Tiffani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mickeyd said...

Sorry for the partial link:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/hp_test_results.shtml

The USDA went to 12 shows. The ones you list are not USEF rated, nor are they Saddlebred shows. If the USDA goes to them, they are there to test the TWH, not the ASB, so, as you pointed out to someone else, please stick to the horse breed being discussed.

Also, the Tacky-tack whatevers are for TWH - again, WRONG breed.

Didn't argue with you about the ginger being wrong, merely asked you to correctly state it.

And boy, you sure sound like a friend that I have who loves to pass on the urban legends - she'll pass on the one about cars blowing up at gas stations from cell phone usage, or the chloroform/perfume hijacking in parking lots, and if you call her on it, she'll then state, "well I know someone it happened to."

So, now you've seen these x-rays of broken tails done deliberately in order to set tails.. Well, I have seen one broken tail - from a trailering accident. Wasn't pretty and it sure as heck wasn't something that would be done to get the horse into a tailset.

Also, when you refer to "gaited horses," typically that EXcludes the Saddlebred as they are a trotting breed. So, once again, comparing a gaited horse rescue and talking about the abuses (usually soring) found in the gaited (not Saddlebred) world is not staying on the topic that you are discussing, which is Saddlebreds; a trotting breed, of which some members have a genetic predisposition to gait. The majority of Saddlebreds do not gait.

You contradict yourself by discussing Rex McDonald and the horses of his day and how the training has gone downhill since then (so obviously he was with a true horseman); yet when confronted with the fact that the Tom Bass bit (long shanked bits) were developed and used on Rex that his trainer is now a dickhead.

And no, you missed the point entirely regarding the bit. People were hauling on bits and damaging the horses. Provided with a bit more leverage, a very slight touch could effect change with no need to haul on the bit.

Quite often I will see short shanked double bridle bits at a far more severe angle than I see the long shanked bit.

However, I do realize that there is no discussion with you as you are as set in your ways as others are in theirs. Perhaps by posting some of the factual links (such as the 12 shows that the USDA actually attended) those who stumble upon and read can see that the truth probably lies not in the extremists of either side - but somewhere in the middle.

ASB said...

I do agree that there are MANY inhumane practices in the horse world, some of which are unfortunately practiced in my seat of choice. All I can do is make sure my horse is happy, healthy and comfortable in his life.

That said, you have several facts very wrong and I'd like to assist you in fixing those errors so readers don't come to the conclusion that this is a site for misinformation.

First of all, tailsets and tail braces do not go INSIDE the animal. Comparing these devices to a speculum is as far from accurate as you can get. They are worn on the outside of the body, just like the crupper on a driving harness. The long "spoon" of the crupper is padded for the tail to rest on. A similar high-tail crupper is used in England for showing the Dutch Harness Horse.

The two boots you pictured are not used in the Saddlebred world. They are most likely used for the TWH, but I can't say that for a fact as I've never set foot in a TWH training barn. (Unfortunately, most of the catalogs that sell ASB training equipment also sell TWH equipment, so I can see how confusion might occur to someone not familiar with the breeds or riding style.)

And third, there are NO curb bits used for Saddle Seat with 10" shanks. The longest shank I can find for a Weymouth curb, at any of the catalogs online, is 9", and that is for the type of bit where the shanks are interchangeable. 9" is considered EXTREMELY excessive in our world - it is just not used on a regular basis. Normal curb shanks are 7". They don't even MAKE a curb with shanks longer than that! Please take a peek at the Saddle Seat catalogs online to see for yourself - we use a Weymouth bit. Again, I believe this is a case of mixing the TWH world with the ASB world.

Edit - I just saw your post where you said you got that photo right from a catalog site online. Please post the link to the catalog so I can see for myself that it's being sold with a 10" shank. I thought I knew all of the sources for Saddle Seat gear but if there's one I'm missing, I'd love to know about it!

Trojan Mouse said...

Micky D,

>Sorry for the partial link:

>http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/hp_test_results.shtml

>The USDA went to 12 shows. The ones you list are not USEF rated, nor are they Saddlebred shows. If the USDA goes to them, they are there to test the TWH, not the ASB, so, as you pointed out to someone else, please stick to the horse breed being discussed.


As I pointed out before, trying to use one breed to condone abuse in another is not allowed. The inspectors at open shows can test *any* breed of horse. They have even pulled in the occasional WP horse if things look off. I have seen ASBs tested by USDA inspectors. So you can continue to deny, deny, deny, but it doesn't change the fact that ASBs are also watched for cruel treatment.

>Also, the Tacky-tack whatevers are for TWH - again, WRONG breed.

Oh Jesus, you seriously aren't that dumb are you? You can use any type of equipment on any breed of horse as long as it fits. The gaited horse trainers all swap crap back and forth, as long as it produces the type of movement they want.


>So, now you've seen these x-rays of broken tails done deliberately in order to set tails.. Well, I have seen one broken tail - from a trailering accident. Wasn't pretty and it sure as heck wasn't something that would be done to get the horse into a tailset.

Yes I've seen the x-rays. It's one benefit of having an sister that was a vet tech for 16 years.

>Also, when you refer to "gaited horses," typically that EXcludes the Saddlebred as they are a trotting breed. So, once again, comparing a gaited horse rescue and talking about the abuses (usually soring) found in the gaited (not Saddlebred) world is not staying on the topic that you are discussing, which is Saddlebreds; a trotting breed, of which some members have a genetic predisposition to gait. The majority of Saddlebreds do not gait.

Oh pleeeeasssseee! For the majority of the horse world the saddlebred is considered gaited because is does more than the regular three gaits. And most of the ones I saw in the video looked pretty damn pacey.


>You contradict yourself by discussing Rex McDonald and the horses of his day and how the training has gone downhill since then (so obviously he was with a true horseman); yet when confronted with the fact that the Tom Bass bit (long shanked bits) were developed and used on Rex that his trainer is now a dickhead.

I didn't contradict myself at all.
Can you not read? I described the balance, legs and movement of the older horses, I said nothing about training. And if his trainer is the one that developed the long shanked bit then he is a dickhead. The horse didn't need it, the rider did.

>And no, you missed the point entirely regarding the bit. People were hauling on bits and damaging the horses. Provided with a bit more leverage, a very slight touch could effect change with no need to haul on the bit.

But they don't use a light touch. In fact if anything the "touch" has gotten heavier and heavier. And instead of jerking they now apply a hard steady pressure. Don't try to fricking justify bit abuse to me. I grew up riding "bridled" horses that were started in bosals and finished in curb bits. Where any pressure harder than a pinky twitch would get your ass dragged of the horse and kicked by the trainer.

>Quite often I will see short shanked double bridle bits at a far more severe angle than I see the long shanked bit.

And quite often I've seen junior riders on ASB looping the arena like run away trains, saws on a heavy curb bit and still not having any control.

Shakertail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trojan Mouse said...

ASB,

( I can think of several words that would adequatly fit these initials)


>First of all, tailsets and tail braces do not go INSIDE the animal. Comparing these devices to a speculum is as far from accurate as you can get. They are worn on the outside of the body, just like the crupper on a driving harness. The long "spoon" of the crupper is padded for the tail to rest on. A similar high-tail crupper is used in England for showing the Dutch Harness Horse.

The discussion was the discomfort, not the area. Seems like the ASB people feel a little discomfort is okay, as long as it's the horse that suffers it, and not the rider. So my analogy was correct. That kind of discomfort for any period of time isn't acceptable. There is no way to justify it. Tell you what. Take a metal shoe horn and stick it in your butt crack, and then go run a mile and tell me how it feels. I get pretty mad if I have a pebble in amy shoe when I walk, so having something in such a thin skinned and nervy area has got to be excruciating.

>The two boots you pictured are not used in the Saddlebred world. They are most likely used for the TWH, but I can't say that for a fact as I've never set foot in a TWH training barn.

Gosh, really? Have you been to every single ASB barn in America? Because should you want to bring yourself down here I'd be happy to drive you over to two notorious ones and the boots I posted would be the *most* humane things they put on their horses.

>And third, there are NO curb bits used for Saddle Seat with 10" shanks. The longest shank I can find for a Weymouth curb, at any of the catalogs online, is 9", and that is for the type of bit where the shanks are interchangeable. 9" is considered EXTREMELY excessive in our world - it is just not used on a regular basis. Normal curb shanks are 7". They don't even MAKE a curb with shanks longer than that!


Well holy shit on toast, looks like you don't know shit from shinola. (Hint shinola is the brown stuff on your shoe that doesn't smell like ass)

http://ehorseequipment.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=305&Page=2

Looks like a set of 10 inch interchangable Weymouth shanks right there on the page. Oh wait, is that the fabled loch ness monster bit? Because you said they didn't exist.
And look at those interchangable mouthpieces, can you imagine those ten inch shakes and that high port? Poor Nessie must be frothing at the mouth just thinking about it.

Looks like your research skills are a bit rusty.

TJM

LF Lavery said...

I absoloutely cannot believe someone who doesn't know the difference between a Walking horse bit and others or does not even know that a caulking boot is not a training device could conceive of writting such drivel and then think anyone could believe it. But then I have always been wary of anyone not brave enough to sign their own name. It is truly sad when someone promises what might be a very beneficial site and then drops the ball because of ignorance of the subject.

Trojan Mouse said...

Shakertail,

Please, why come on here and blatantly show your ignorance.

Horse's do get ridden in caulking boots. It's a metal bell boot and makes a nice "thunking" noise when the horse goes striding by.

And you need to click the link I posted that shows a 10 inch straight shank weymouth, which is *not* a walking horse bit.


And for someone berating me for *hiding* my name it seems you left yours off of your post.

My name is T Jean Maus, I have never hidden it.


TJM

mickeyd said...

Ah, so what's good for the goose:

"As I pointed out before, trying to use one breed to condone abuse in another is not allowed. "

Ain't good for the gander?

The USDA shows that they went to were TWH shows, NOT ASB shows. Your blog inferred that the USDA was watching the ASBs regularly and going to their shows regularly. They aren't. Yes, on occasion, there may be an ASB at a show that the USDA is at, but not once has an ASB ever been cited for violation of the HPA. So, wouldn't worry too much about the USDA "watching." Call the vet in charge. Go to one of their information sessions. Get informed on this, because on this point, you are wrong.

And, while you could use the Tacky-tack stuff on any breed - including a QH if you wanted, once again, you are trying to shoehorn a device that isn't used onto the wrong breed (just like the 10" shanks on a Weymouth bridle - you could use those on any breed as well, but just as you don't see Tacky-tack things on QH or Pasos (a true gaited breed), you don't see them on Saddlebreds). Your own arguments are fallacious, and when you get caught out, you descend into name calling.

And, while I certainly can read, I guess you have a problem with understanding that training helps bring about the movement and balance in those older horses that you were so enthused about (but remember, you weren't talking about training, right???). The same trainer who broke color barriers, trained Columbus, taught a mule to canter backwards, and was regarded as the finest horseman of his day now has been relegated to "dickhead" status because he invented a finesse bit. Ah, the irony when confronted with information that doesn't fit into your blinkers-on paradigm.

And gosh, I know a man who makes California Bridle horses and have ridden them, so know what a finely tuned bosal to truly severe bit horse is like.

No argument regarding junior riders careening about. Overmounted and undereducated. However, once again, that statement is unfair because it could be said of any discipline ... but I forget, only you, the blog queen are allowed to fallaciously associate tack from other breeds and disciplines while the rest of us must stay on topic.

Apologies my liege.

mickeyd said...

Oh, and sorry, to the vast majority of the educated horse world, Saddlebreds are not considered to be a gaited breed.

The examples you cited were gaited Saddlebreds and there is great discussion within the ASB world currently that the "gait" is being lost (aka pacey) due to a variety of factors.

BTW, I notice that on your home page you want to feature those of us who have rescued horses and turned them into show horses. I have one.

Also have a coming 4 year old who has yet to have anyone on her back. She's not ready.

Trojan Mouse said...

Mr Lavery,

I visited your website and have to congratulate you for giving me the best laugh of the day.

You're a horse consultant, right. You website states that some of your proceedures are only to be done by professionals.

I love it that you recommend chains, straps or heavier boots to correct a canter. How about looking at the horse's skeletal structure and seeing what is causing the problem, instead of loading him with asshat gimmicks?

I love it that most of your "ask the trainer" recommendations involve more severe bits, heavier things on his feet and then this travesty for a horse that is mouthy:

Quote from Mr. Lavery's website:

Tie his tongue for the 20- 30 minutes it takes to get him ready then take it off when you bridle. This sometimes makes it easy to do away with the tongue tie when working
Let him virtually live with a thick, smooth bit in his halter, eating, drinking, sleeping etc. for several days. Do not"gag" him with it as to "bark" the corners of his mouth but not too low either. He will become more at home with his tongue in the correct position thus being no need to tie his tongue.
For an hour or so before you work him, put a very thick rubber, straight bar bit in his halter. This should be placed high in the mouth. Again, no tongue tie.This usually has the effect of keeping the horse's mouth closed when you then bridle.

So Mr. Lavery, have you ever lived for 24/7 hours with a big rubber bit in your mouth? This is the stupidest shit I've ever read. I can't imagine any trainer that produces a truly bridled horse thinking that tying one's tongue down is going to cure mouthiness.

And you're a judge? You one of the reasons the ASB show ring has such a bad reputation. Tying a horse's tongue down for extended periods of time doesn't teach his anything but resentment.

I positively *love* this comment on your webpage:

>Although, we had better luck with his taste for Mexicans after they got tired of wearing heavy leather and down jackets in July, at age 29, he is still into customizing his new blankets

So you're not only a crappy horse trainer you're condoning your horse biting Hispanic people, like it's some kind of joke. What a racist piece of shit you are.

I simply can't say enough bad things about your website, in fact I wish I had found it before posting the blog because it really does deserve a front and center feature about it. You epitomize everything people hate about the ASB industry, and you're a racist jerk to boot.


TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

Micky D,

>The USDA shows that they went to were TWH shows, NOT ASB shows.


No, they were open shows with all breeds.

>Your blog inferred that the USDA was watching the ASBs regularly and going to their shows regularly.

No it didn't. It said ASBs have been inspected.


And, while you could use the Tacky-tack stuff on any breed - including a QH if you wanted, once again, you are trying to shoehorn a device that isn't used onto the wrong breed (just like the 10" shanks on a Weymouth bridle - you could use those on any breed as well,


You're missing the point that I have seen them used on ASBs, that's how I knew to go find pictures of them. And the straight shanked Weymouth is *not* a TWH bit. They use bits with swept shanks, not straight up and down ones. They also do not use bridoons.

>but just as you don't see Tacky-tack things on QH or Pasos (a true gaited breed), you don't see them on Saddlebreds).

Seen them, got shown how they worked. Even saw a type of rubber splint boot that had "tacks" on the inside. Also got to see the "special" rubber bell boots with blunt brass tacks in the back. And when I asked if I could take a picture of them I was told no.


>And, while I certainly can read, I guess you have a problem with understanding that training helps bring about the movement and balance in those older horses that you were so enthused about

A horse is born with balance. He has a leg at each corner, a neck set and a natural movement. While training can create fluidity, it cannot change conformation.

>(but remember, you weren't talking about training, right???). The same trainer who broke color barriers, trained Columbus, taught a mule to canter backwards, and was regarded as the finest horseman of his day now has been relegated to "dickhead" status because he invented a finesse bit.

No, he's a dickhead because he put a bit that should *never* be in the hands of an amatuer out into the horse owning public and thinks he solved the problem of poorly trained horses and poorly trained riders. I have the same disdain for him that I do the Myler people that keep coming up with all their gimmick bits so people don't have to actually learn to train well.

>And gosh, I know a man who makes California Bridle horses and have ridden them, so know what a finely tuned bosal to truly severe bit horse is like.

Then you know that there is no reason for twisted bridoons and long shanked curbs on anything.

What next Mickey, you going to tell me that Mr. Lavery's method of fixing a canter with heavy chains, straps and heavier shoes is how to fix a conformational fault?


TJM

mickeyd said...

Actually, this is what you said regarding the USDA:

"If show ASBs aren't abused then *why* do the USDA inspectors show up at the shows? Why are there several ASB rescue organizations that tout the abuse in their own industry? Why are you denying something that has had federal officials cracking down on it?"

And, in offering a website that shows the only shows that the USDA went to last year were TWH shows, I guess that's why we're denying that the federal officials are cracking down on it. They just aren't there.

You ask "if show ASBs aren't abused then *why* do the USDA inspectors show up at shows?" That would infer that they are showing up at ASB shows - NOT the all breed, gaited shows as you are now stating.

The USDA inspectors show up at shows, but they do not show up at shows where the *primary* breed it the ASB. Why? Because there's no point to it. They've stated it, point blank. You can find it over and over in their presentations, yet you refuse to admit that maybe, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, just might be wrong.

And training, is there to enhance movement and balance. Obviously, the raw materials were there as they are now, but Tom Bass brought them out in multiple horses that were celebrated across the U.S.

And, since you yourself seemingly understand a finesse bit, why the problem with using one correctly? I use one for my Western horse, why not use one for my Saddle Seat horse?

mickeyd said...

I also find it very interesting that in other blog postings, you have no problem in naming names, yet you have yet to provide the names of these barns where you have witnessed calking boots being used on working horses, Tacky-Tack boots, tacks inside of boots, etc.

JohnieRotten said...

Barnbabie said
Personally, I think you're terribly misinformed and you're spreading information that is simply not true.
------------------------

Yah yah yah!

And bears shit in the woods, so I guess its true. They are abused by the trainers as well as the owners that allow the trainers to use those contraptions!

ASBfan said...

TJM - Right on!!!! The saddlebred industry needs to seriously open their eyes and look at what they are doing. I love saddlebreds and I have one that I consider a rescue due to how she was treated by the standard training practices of the saddleseat world before I got her.

Tuffy Horse said...

MickyD

I really wasn't going to get into this one, but this wholescale denial stuff just irks me.

I judge open shows. A lot of open shows, probably 30+ a year. In this area, as well as NC and WV, there are mixed classes with ASBs and Walkers, as well as classes that are specific to both breeds. The things I have seen while judging would make your hair fall out. You can't discount what happens at open shows, because this is where a lot of trainers go to acclimate and test out their young stock, or fix problems on older stock.

I have seen both Walkers and ASB's in caulking boots, under saddle. Why use the caulking boots? Because the rigid form makes the tacks stay where you rivet them. Rubber and leather crumple up, they aren't as effective.
I have seen store bought and homemade tack boots. I have watched horses unloaded from trailers and they are done up in bitting rigs and leg straps that made my mouth fall open.

I have DQ'd injured horses and turned abuse in to show officials. I actually got bitched out by a show manager because the person I DQ'd was one of her trainer's other clients. The horse was lame and had open sores. He was an older ASB and his condition was deplorable. He also came out of a barn I'd call "upper echelon". I have DQ'd illegal length bits, one even a homemade travesty that the trainer SWORE had been okayed at official shows.

There are a lot of ASB barns around here and to visit them always takes serious intestinal fortitude. I deplore any breed being ridden before it is at least mid 3 years old, but according to the ASB trainers I'm wasting the prime training years. I dislike severe bits, but I've seen babies in bits I wouldn't risk on a finished horse. I actually had one chowder head trainer try to swtich his colt back and forth between snaffle bit classes and curb bit classes, thinking I wouldn't notice it was the same horse.


I grew up in the stock breeds, but also dressage, and did saddleseat with my Arab. I know what it takes to make a kind, focused and lively show horse without all the abuse.

I've have personally seen and helped treat horses with damaged tails. I vet teched 16 years and can attest to the damage done to show horse tails, blocking them down or sticking them up. I have helped X-ray and treat tail injuries, leg and foot injuries and even a broken jaw when a horse flipped over in a bitting rig and smashed into a wall.

Now if you want to check an ASB show schedule you'll see that there is a big one down in Raleigh. We've attended this show and saw some horrifying stuff. A horse was being backed out of a semi-trailer rig, wearing a bitting rig, and he fell of the ramp. He not only ripped the hell out of his mouth, but the tail set he was wearing twisted when he landed and cut under the tail. The horse also injured his stifle. We thought for sure he was going to be taken out of the show. Not a chance. He spent the rest of the evening in the bitting rig, then showed the next day, obviously on pain killers. He placed in several classes, which pissed me off because I could see that he was lame from clear up in the stands.
I don't remember the name of the farm, but they have a dark navy blue rig with gold script writing on it and blue and gold stall drapes.

And what the heck is the deal with hauling horses in a bitting rig? I have never seen that done with any other breed of horse.


I was down there with several students and they got to take in this shining example of the ASB industry.

If the ASB people really cared they'd quit defending the bad practices and work hard to remove the people that cause the abuse from the show ring. I'm going to keep DQ'ing anything I think is abused and I'm also going to report any wrong doings I see in the barn.


Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

mickeyd said...

Where I'm at, there are breed shows and the open shows don't have gaited horses, so I don't see what it is that you are talking about.

Have talked to plenty of DQPs on our circuit and they too don't see the need for checking on ASBs (and they don't). I've offered to run my own horses through a DQP and been laughed at that it wasn't necessary.

I've attended the sessions held by the USDA to inform the public. I've listened to them - so I'm not in denial about them not being at our breed shows.

As to what you witnessed at Raleigh. That's a rated show with a USEF steward. You should have been in the show office filing a formal complaint. That's how things change. The steward has to investigate.

And no, a horse shouldn't be shipped in a bitting rig, nor in a tailset. And, since I do my own hauling, I know exactly how my horses are shipped (in box stalls with water available at all times).

Tuffy Horse said...

MickyD wrote:

>Where I'm at, there are breed shows and the open shows don't have gaited horses, so I don't see what it is that you are talking about.

Regional differences mean that you can't make a blanket statement about what happens at shows. When I lived in Texas we never saw gaited classes at shows. Now I see them at every open show I attend. ASBs are considered part ot the gaited horse industry here, in fact NCSU considers them as such when you take their judging courses.

>As to what you witnessed at Raleigh. That's a rated show with a USEF steward. You should have been in the show office filing a formal complaint. That's how things change. The steward has to investigate.

We informed the show management, and since we admitted that we didn't show ASB's and were in fact there for the ApHC show that was running concurrently we were completely disregarded. The point you're missing is that the horse still showed the next day, obviously lame, and the judges, ring stewards and management did NOTHING. They saw the same thing I saw and because the handler was a big wig they let the issue slide. The horse had an open sore under his tail where the tail set cut him. I could see it from the stands, so I know the judges could see it. He carried his tail wry the entire class.

>And no, a horse shouldn't be shipped in a bitting rig, nor in a tailset.

Of course he shouldn't have, but he wasn't the only one we saw unloaded in a rig and tail set. We also saw yearlings done up in very tight rigs and being lunged. This alarmed me because I had never seen a yearling in a bitting rig!

If we go to the show this coming year I'm going to film it and post it on youtube. I think the only way for this crap to be stopped is public outrage.

Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

amwrider said...

I have been riding and training Saddlebreds and Morgans for close to 20 years now, prior to this I rode hunters for 15 years with a little dabbling in Dressage.

If you put these bits in the hands of a typical hunter rider, yes they would be cruel. Saddle seat riders do not want the horse to be "on the bit" in the same way that a hunter or dressage rider would want their horse. I agree that they are big, intimidating bits, but they are correctly used very lightly.

The typical shank is 7 or 8 inches. Just because you see a 10 inch bit in a catalog (a multi-breed catalog such as Ehorseequipment) doesn't mean it is mainstream.

Yes, there are a variety of bridoon bits out there. Smooth, twisted, thick, thin, single jointed, multi-jointed, chain mouthed, etc. This allows for a variety of customization to find what the horse is happier with.

I have had several horses that are happier in thinner bits, horses that are happier in Dr. Bristols and French link bits and yes, some that seem to prefer the chain bits...I suspect because of the multiple bends that conform to the horse's mouth no matter what shape the mouth is. Low palate...no problem with a chain type bit.

Some horses don't want pressure on the bars of their mouths, some horses don't want a snaffle gouging the palate, some horses don't want to feel a big honkin bar of metal on their lips. Some horses want lightweight bits, others prefer heavier bits that don't "move around" in the mouth as much as a lighter bit.

The variety of curbs and bridoons allow us to customize what we put in the horse's mouth.

Performance is wanted, but so is a bright, happy expression. A horse that wears a pair of sour ears is not going to do well in competition so why would we want our bits to inflict pain?

As for the shoeing. I have seen more lameness issues in my years with the hunters than I have seen in my years with the saddlebreds.

We do like a longer foot. We may put one or sometimes two wedges made of lightweight plastic are put on for a couple of purposes: 1)to maintain the angles of the hoof so that the hoof angle matches the pastern angle, thus eliminating undue stress on the phalanges. 2)to maintain frog contact for the health of the hoof. A long foot without a pad makes no ground contact, so the pads are used and are filled with a silicone based substance, or the old fibrous oakum packing.

These plastic pads weigh next to nothing and when the shoeing package is finished, the heel has been stacked up an inch, maybe an inch and a half maximum - again, to keep the hoof/pastern angles.

We have all heard the saying "no hoof, no horse" well we believe in it also. Our horses in rated ASB competition are all required to trot. A poorly shod horse or sore horse would not trot sound.

As for the tail sets, external. Nothing internal so I have to laugh at the speculum reference. The tail does not touch the metal, the metal is a frame that is lined with soft padding and baby powder to prefent any chafing. Most horses don't seem to mind wearing the set for a couple of days before a show. In my experience the horses that do mind wearing a set are usually the same horses that don't want to wear their blankets.

As for the "training devices" indicated, caulking boots are not an action device. ~~~They are not listed as action devices in the catalogs.~~~ so I am sure the blogger had to scour the catalog in order to find them because they are NOT listed with action devices.

Our action devices are weighted bell boots, chains and stretchies (leather pastern cuffs with rubber tubing attached).

We do not sore the horses to increase action (the scum of the walking horse world do that), and the rubber stretchies are similar to workout bands for humans - they offer slightly more resistance than simple gravity. When adjusted properly the horse pulls the rubber at the top of his trot. We do not resort to making horses sore or lame to enhance the horses' movement.

Now, from time to time there are "natural gaited" saddlebreds born. These are horses that do not want to trot, or just cannot trot. They gait from the time they are born (not usual for a saddlebred baby). These horses often end up in walking horse barns for the "racking horse" classes. I suspect that this is where the blogger sees ASBs being checked by DQPs and possibly where the blogger sees soring, tacked splint boots, etc. being used.

I want to point out that this is NOT the mainstream of the ASB industry. It is not even part of the ASB industry. Our show horses have to trot, our shows are run by the rules set forth by the United States Equestrian Federation.

There are shoeing regulations, equipment regulations and medication regulations.

So, this blogger has seen shanks pulled all the way back on bits, this blogger has seen 10 inch bits, this blogger has seen horses ridden in tacked splint boots, tacked caulking boots, has seen horses trailered in bitting rigs ( ?!?!?WTF?!?!?!). Exactly what kind of company does this blogger keep if he/she seems to only have experienced the slimy underbelly of industry scum?

Just how "real" is your "vast knowledge" of saddle seat experience if you couldn't even recognize Michelle McFarlane in the video you posted? She has been at the top of the industry (creme of la creme)for decades with her multiple world champions, her top of the industry breeding studs (Chubasco, Buck Rogers, Skywatch ...just to name a few - go ahead and Google them if you don't believe she is a major player in the showing and breeding of ASBs).

You supposedly have "great knowlege" yet you cannot recognize a MAJOR PLAYER in the industry? I have never met her, but you can't pick up a saddlebred publication without seeing her name or her horses in it. Her picture is plastered all over the show mags, breeding mags and other assorted industry mags.

How well can we trust your saddle seat "experience" if you couldn't even recognize that the person in your link was a female in female riding attire? Do you know the differences in male and female riding attire?...no....and you think caulking boots are action devices too...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, I have to laugh, because this reminds me of a situation a few years ago where a professed "saddlebred expert" was touting abuses in the industry.

This person went to the ehorseequipment catalog also and had everyone "oohhing" and "aaahhhing" and cursing the ASB industry over a strap with a triangular piece of leather with spikes imbedded in it.

He claimed it was strapped to the horse's back under the saddle and the spikes would cause the horse such great pain that the horse would sink his back down and jerk his legs up.

What was this torture device?.................. It was a stud gaurd used to keep stallions from masturbating. It was in the "breeding equipment" part o the catalog. Apparently he saw it and incorrectly assumed its intended use.

Be careful of your internet experts. I am sure those of you who are "bloggers little followers" will not change your mind from what blogger has already told you is his/her "expertise" but I am posting this for the readers that are are unsure.

The blogger has an agenda here, a good intentioned agenda, but an extremest one.

amwrider said...

TuffyHorse, the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh doesn't have yearling classes for saddlebreds, and saddlebred trainers don't normally lunge horses. We are big on long-lining and will often long-line at shows to give the horses light workouts.

Could these have perhaps been Hackney ponies being longlined?

amwrider said...

Tuffyhorse, I went anc checked out the Raleigh State Fair.

ApHA horses show on the same date as Walking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.

These are NOT Saddlebreds.

This is what gets the ASB people all riled up, when people lump us in with walking horses and their like.

Apples and Oranges.

amwrider said...

Tuffyhorse, you said -"I was down there with several students and they got to take in this shining example of the ASB industry. "

I hope you will be explaining to the students that these were not ASBs.

They may look and move somewhat similar to an ASB, but this would be like mistaking a solid Appy for a QH.

cattypex said...

oooooo k.... even if tjm and th had only 24% of this abuse documented correctly, its still too much. Sorry, tail sets and bitting rigs SHOULD NOT EXIST. PERIOD. They are just ... wrong. What kind of wackjob came up with tail set surgeries and devices in the first place anyway!?!?! Get a freakin' Barbie or My Little Pony if you're obsessed with hair. Or hire a dominatrix if you're obsessed with superflous harnessy things.

I'm sure gingering still happens.

As for the bits, well, I DO agree with the poster who talked about different bits working for diff. horses, and that any bit is abusive in the wrong hands.

BUT WTF !!! A high-end trainer advocating tying down a horse's tongue???

A girl... I mean, WOMAN, we're all over 30 now... I went thru 4H with, and who's shown Arabs & NSH's at the regional (if not national, I'm not sure, though her Mom always volunteers at Scottsdale) well anyway she's helping a young 4Her with the most BEAUTIFUL NSH. I want her to take him dressage!!! The suspension!! The grace! The gorgeousness!!!

Well... Britney just snorts and says she really doesn't want to put ANY horse thru the crap "needed" to show successfully beyond the 4H/local open show level.

I think that TJM has been a little heavy handed, and maybe she has a few things wrong, but she is TOTALLY on target in pointing out the abuses including zero turnout, trussed up horses in kick chains, and terrible riding.

I say, TJM....forthewin on this round.

At the risk of invoking the Ann Coulter Clause.... is there ANY mainstream breed organization that tirelessly guards its horses' welfare?

amwrider said...

OK, since you asked.....

The tail set "surgery" consists of a 1/4 inch incision on each side of the base of the tail. It is done with local anesthetic. The origins were to keep the horse from "clamping" the tail down on the driving lines for horses rented out of livery stables.

The livery stable was the equivalent of a Hertz or Enterprise rent-a-car and not everyone renting a horse and carriage was a good driver. If the driver was inattentive or timid, a tail over the lines would have been possible and could have resulted in accidents.

Tails were often docked on liveried horses, then came about the ligament cutting.

It was noticed that horses who had their tails cut, could carry their tail higher so it started to become fashionable.

The horse still retains full use of its tail, it can still swat flies, wring its tail in anger, etc. Nothing has been taken away from the horse.

I have old schoolies in my barn with formerly cut tails and you wouldn't kno it. My beginner up-down horse is very quick to smack a kid across the face if picking hind feet take too long.

Gingering still takes place. I don't like it, I have done it when I worked for other barns but don't do it at my barn. A tiny nickle sized dab is used. If the horse puts his tail down, it will warm up so the horse keeps his tail up. I don't agree with it, but I also don't see it as a horrible abuse (I know...bad me) it does no damage, causes no pain and the effects are very temporary.

The horses do not live in their tail sets. Sets are put on after a tail cut so the ligament heals longer and to keep the site clean while the cut heals. Then the sets are used again a few days before the show to stretch and limber the tail. Depending on the breed and division, some horses can wear sets at shows, others cannot. There are regulations concerning the use of sets and of ginger at shows.

Any horse, not just saddlebreds, can be subject to wearing kicking chains. Stall kickers com in all shapes, sizes, breeds and disciplines.

I don't have any in my barn wearing kicking chains, I do have one horse that paws like a madman at 3am if he runs out of hay.

Ti is true that the horses don't often get much turnout while they have their show shoes on, especially if they have padded shoes. Shoes are typically pulled off after the show season and the horses get to romp and play.

My horses are all barefoot right now except for two lesson horses: a navicular lesson horse (short upright pasterns, not because of heavy duty training - he wasn't a prior show horse), and an Amish rescue saddlebred who has two old bows. Those are my only shod horses right now.

I also take umbrage to the "poor riding form" that is pointed out. Saddle seat riding, when ridden correctly, it very elegant. When riding for performance, sometimes riders don't use the best form in order to get a bit more athletic performance out of their horse.

You can see the same thing in hunters, the equitation kids have perfect form but once they get into the jumpers you see a lot of incorrect legs - legs swung back over jumps, pinched knees, etc. Just look at some of our own Olympic rider's photos, you don't see George Morris textbook legs on them and you wonder how in the
h3ll did they stay in the saddle with their legs like that over a triple-bar oxer.

Again, This blogger is dredging up a lot of crap that might go on with a few of the "bottom feeders" of the industry...the people that will try to cut corners on training to win at all costs. She is also dredging up stuff that comes from other industries (Tacky Tac Spat? never in my life have I even seen it until this blog).

I have worked with small trainers, big-name trainers, organized "A" circuit shows for the breed for over a decade and I have never seen or heard of some of the crap that is being spewed here...lunging yearlings? Shipping with bitting rigs? Riding 15 month old colts (wrong industry - that is the walking horse industry - ASB people longline and drive our older yearlings).

This blogger uses bullying, name calling and obscene language to try to get her point across. This is not someone I would take seriously.

The next time you go to a show and witness what you claim to have witnessed here....go to the people involved and ask questions. Hopefully you will find someone knowledgeable that will happily explain things to you (not Bubba's Back 40 Training) and don't take angry cursing bloggers for "face value" as these are the people that we call "trolls" on discussion forums. The people that go out looking to create a fight so they can feel self-important.

mickeyd said...

>>I think that TJM has been a little heavy handed, and maybe she has a few things wrong, but she is TOTALLY on target in pointing out the abuses including zero turnout, trussed up horses in kick chains, and terrible riding.<<

Zero turnout? Well - I know quite a few of the posters on here and the horses get turnout. I also know that horses in Southern California, by virtue of geography get very little turnout - and that is ALL disciplines, so let's negate that point as well. Even the horses at the "big" show barns that don't get turnout in the show season are entirely let down for the winter and usually spend a few months off entirely, so the no turnout argument doesn't fly.

Kick chains can be seen on horses of all disciplines. See them in my boarding barn. Do I like 'em? NO. Does every Saddlebred in a show barn wear them? NO. Do the majority wear them? NO. Should the trainers that resort to that and have the majority of their horses in kicking chains be strung up? YES. Do I personally stay away from those trainers? Yes. Had an opportunity to sell my horses for great money into a barn that I knew was like that. Didn't sell the horse.

Terrible riding? Again, that can be found anywhere. Is it the majority of the riders? Debateable depending on your background. But, go to a dressage barn and ask an honest question about which other seat prepares a student to have the most balanced seat coming into a dressage barn and you just might be surprised. Takes a lot of effort to ride with no rolls to hold your thighs, knees, calves or backside in place. It is the original "balanced seat."

As to bouncing on kidneys, that is so anatomically impossible it's laughable. If you take all the different seats (stock, hunt, dressage, saddle seat and yes, side saddle), I can guarantee you that you will sit furthest back on the horse on a side saddle. The rest are very close to the same spot and are based on the CG of the horse. The upheadedness can give an illusion of that much further back, and, yes, there are *some* riders who will sit at the back of the cantle, but there are riders in all disciplines who sit the seat erroneously. You won't find the eq riders there.

tunagirll said...

All I will add is that to readers of this blog, it's easy to make judgements and harder to learn understanding. Go out and see a Saddlebred barn in your area. Book for a Saddleseat leasson. Ride a Saddlebred horse. Talk to a Saddlebred owner. Then make your OWN decision on how you feel about these horses and about Saddleseat.

You'll find that even if it isn't your cup of tea, that the reality of a Saddlebred barn is nowhere near as sensational as it's being made out to be on this blog. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Saddlebred horses trained to Saddleseat are still horses, and are still owned by people like you or me who are horsepeople and own, respect and love their own horses.

Are there abusers? Yes of course, like any other breed or discipline, and like any other breed or discipline they are in the minority.

I own a Saddlebred stud and enjoy them. I have been involved with horses for 20 years, I breed, start, train, break and enjoy pleasure riding. I study books on dressage, horsemanship, anything I can get my hands on. So I am not so naive as to think all is perfect, but I am old enough to realise that things are not always as bad as they appear.

Granted, I do not show Saddleseat and initially I was VERY against Saddleseat, but over the years TALKING and LEARNING about this discipline, I am comfortable with it. And only because I took the time to learn about it instead of pointing the finger.

How about instead of pointing the finger, go out and see and learn for yourself. At least then, you can vilify Saddlebred and Saddleseat people in an educated way - although somehow I feel instead it will have a positive effect on how you feel about the sport.

Happy trails
Sil

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW,

>Tuffyhorse, I went anc checked out the Raleigh State Fair.

>ApHA horses show on the same date as Walking Horses and Spotted Saddle Horses.

These are NOT Saddlebreds.

You're making a huge assumption.

1) I never said it was the state fair, which it wasn't. It was a spring show a few years ago.

2) If you weren't there then you don't know what I saw, so your statement is ludicrous.


Tracy M

http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider,

>The tail set "surgery" consists of a 1/4 inch incision on each side of the base of the tail. It is done with local anesthetic. The origins were to keep the horse from "clamping" the tail down on the driving lines for horses rented out of livery stables.

Complete and utter poppycock. If you seriously believe this drivel then you think the easter bunny exists. Tail nicking is a human vanity issue. It has nothing to do with clamping the tail down on the lines, otherwise racing trotters would have it done, sine they are the one breed where the driver actually sits lower than the tail of the horse.
Tail docking was used in the past to keep the tail out of the reins and harness when driving teams, but tail nicking was merely to show your otherr ego driven friends how spirited your horse was.
Tail nicking is an invasive proceedure and it does NOTHING for the horse. People that do it to their animals are abusers.


>If you put these bits in the hands of a typical hunter rider, yes they would be cruel. Saddle seat riders do not want the horse to be "on the bit" in the same way that a hunter or dressage rider would want their horse. I agree that they are big, intimidating bits, but they are correctly used very lightly.

Poppycock again. I give clinics on bits, write articles on bit history and consult on proper bitting. I have yet to see any ASB rider that I would let handle the reins on one of my retired broodmares. The heavy hands are epidemic in the ASB ring. And I watched a clinic given by Ann Judd and there wasn't a single rider there, including her, that used the curb lightly.


> have worked with small trainers, big-name trainers, organized "A" circuit shows for the breed for over a decade and I have never seen or heard of some of the crap that is being spewed here...lunging yearlings? Shipping with bitting rigs? Riding 15 month old colts (wrong industry - that is the walking horse industry - ASB people longline and drive our older yearlings).

I'm not the blog owner but you serious need to get out more. I suspect if you haven't seen this stuff it's because you've spent your time with blinders on. I have personally seen horses shipped and unloaded wearing bitting rigs and tail sets. I have seen an ASB trainer riding a 15 month old ASB colt. If you want to remain in denial then go ahead, but I've decided I'm going to start filming this stuff and posting it on youtube, complete with saddlebred abuse in the tags. If you don't want to admit the abuse it out there then I guess it's going to really have to come out into the public eye via youtube.



Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

Tuffy Horse said...

Ya you, all the "we've never seen this stuff so it must not exist" crap really hacks me off.

So just for giggles I searched youtube and found this little ditty.

This is a WEANLING, in a bitting rig and oh look at that he's got gaiting lines on his legs being pulled on every stride. He's being chased in a small circle, when any real horseman knows that the smaller the circle the more damage to young bones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N_JNVqFsEI&feature=related

So don't try to tell the rest of us that this crap doesn't happen. It's all right there for everyone to see.
Try to explain to us why anyone would put a bit on a WEANLING?

Oh and look, a yearlig in the same rig, hyperflexed and look at those preposterous boots. A fricking YEARLING!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTgLnM9S388&feature=related



So AMW rider, there's your yearlings and weanlings in bitting rigs, being lunged, which you steadfastly denied EVER happened because you hadn't seen it. Well now you've seen it, still going to claim it doesn't exist?

Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

Trojan Mouse said...

Tuffy,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N_JNVqFsEI&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTgLnM9S388&feature=related

Thank you for the links, these are SOOOO going on the front page of the blog!

I'm sure the deniers will claim it's another breed of horse, or it's a joke or someone held a gun on the poor trainer to make him put a weanling in a bitting rig.


Yeah, we believe that.

TJM

MKrause said...

I was starting to think maybe the blogger was too harsh and that all the saddlebred people that stopped by had a point, but after seeing that poor colt with his head cranked in, circling while someone popped a whip at him I have to side with the blogger. The saddlebred industry is hard on young horses, and they are abusive in the extreme. After looking at the two videos posted here I also searched youtube and I found more examples of horrible treatment. You people should be ashamed.

I'm going to stick with dressage.

Madgelyn

amwrider said...

They are bottom feeders in the industry. Feel free to rip those people a new asshole. Rest assured that they ARE NOT THE NORM. I have never heard of that farm or those people before. YouTube is full of idiots.

I personally know Anne Judd and have served on the board of the Tampa Horse Show Association with her for several years after her return from South Africa and I have never known her to condone abuse with bits or bridle.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW,

>They are bottom feeders in the industry. Feel free to rip those people a new asshole. Rest assured that they ARE NOT THE NORM.

But you said people NEVER did that. I found even more videos, some from farms that are highly thought of; training videos, sales videos, and show videos.

It's like Trojan Mouse said about Mr. Lavery's page. Supposedly he's some hot shot trainer in the industry. But I read his page and I was horrified. Racist comments, poor training tips, examples of riding that show heavy hands. I write educational articles too. I judge and give clinics, I would never condone the kind of things described on his page, but the ASB people think he's a top trainer. He's a carded judge for heaven's sake, why are there racist comments on his page?

>I personally know Anne Judd and have served on the board of the Tampa Horse Show Association with her for several years after her return from South Africa and I have never known her to condone abuse with bits or bridle.


As a saddleseat rider she's fine and she gives a good clinic. But there is no doubt that even on their best day the average saddleseat rider exerts more pull on a bit than the average reining trainer. I know, I've ridden saddleseat and done reining.
I used to do a SS demo with my horse in a bosal, so I know you can achieve that headset without any bit at all, if the horse is trained properly first.



Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

Breeze said...

An avid supporter of this wonderful breed, who has seen many sides of the breed- the horses kept as home, the wonderful Saddlebreds who carry around little children, and the snorty, wild eyed show horses- I have also been the customer, the colt breaker, the instructor, and the groom for a big name Saddlebred trainer.
I am flat out ashamed that someone in our industry is ignorant and stupid enough to do something as rediculous as bitting up a weanling and putting stretchies on him- too short stretchies, I will add, as you can see the colt jerk and stagger.
That is not the norm. I've been involved with this breed for over a dozen years- from the top show barns in the country, to some pretty low backyard 'trainers' and I can honestly say, I've never seen such a thing. Disgusting. And obviously, purely an ignorant person who simply does not know any better. If someone recognized what they were doing was clearly abuse- which I agree, it obviously is- then I highly doubt they'd be posting it to youtube. A search of the Saddlebred database does show that these horses exist and are Saddlebreds. I won't deny that either. A thorough search also shows that the owner/'trainer' of these horses has no record in the show ring- not that I am surprised, as that kind of crap obviously gets you no where. Goes to show that- as stated before- the majority of this crap does not occur with knowledgeable trainers, but with backyard people who think its efficient to put action devices on young horses to 'make them look good.' This is a shame, and I hate that there are uneducated breeders and 'trainers' out there who think this will gain them anything. They need to go BE educated, as obviously, all it takes is a couple of idiots to ruin a breed's reputation.

I've remained quiet and rolled my eyes as the majority of this crap on here is just that- a load of crap- and my fellow Saddlebred lovers have done an adequate job of reminding the public of what needs said. That being said, it was the words of Madgelyn that made me stand up and post. I figured this blog consisted of the regulars who like to trash all breeds, and yes, all breeds have their own 'sins.' But Madgelyn shows there is hope, people lurking, people reading, whos minds are not as closed as mouse man.

Yes, set tails are controversial. No one one here is trying to deny that, it is an issue that our industry faces and debates all the time. It is a vain tradition, we all recognize that- but it is a tradition that is thoroughly tied in with the breed's history, and history is hard to change. Especially when it is a history that while yes, is uncomfortable to the horse for a week or two (thats why bute and banamine exist though, to help a horse who is uncomfortable), the rest of their lives, it will never bother them.
And I ask you, mousey- since your such an expert, do you personally like it when a horse swishes its tail, the tail falls over the line, and suddenly you have no control on one side of th bridle? pulling the line will usually result in kicking. Not much fun. Leaving it there? Results in not a whole lot of control. And yes, when you are sitting behind a horse and are lower to the ground- aka standardbred racing- its a WHOLE lot easier to just drop the line down past the tail bone and then pull clear. You can't do that very well when you are sitting higher, unless you want to jump out of the cart to get low enough. Yes, its a vainity thing, but it originated as a safety precaution, and still is. I've had a horse clamp its tail on a line. Some of the scariest moments of my life. My gaited horse swishes his tail over the line all the time- but because his tail is up (even in the winter when he hasn't seen his tailset in months and months), all I have to do is drop my hand a few inches until it is clear of the tailbone and then my line is free. Much more plesant. And the tail bone is never broken- I don't care what you have to say. One could stick a tailset on a quarter horse and get the same effect- and no, the tail is not even always nicked- some horses just need to wear a set to limber up their natural tail.
And yes, I think a tailset compared to a bra is a fairly accurate analogy. No, its not the most comfortable thing in the world. No, if I had a choice, I'd probly skip on it. Yes, it a cultural thing. But its not unbearable, it DOES come off if a sore were to develop in any way, and yes, believe me, a horse is perfectly capable of taking off the set if they don't like it- its not that hard to do. Just push your butt against a wall or a corner- make sure the crupper will stay- give a quick twist, and off it goes! Horses take them off all the time, just like a blanket. Others could care less and never so much as undo a single strap. When a horse takes them off often, we get the message. The horse is usually then put in a division where a set tail is forbidden.

A point of amusion for me since the start oif this was the 'curb shank pulled back parallel to the ground comment.' For a shank to go back parallel to the ground... the curb chain would have to be very loose. The curb chain is the main point of pressure on a properly adjusted curb bit. The horse knows to drop off the curb when he feels pressure under his chin. So actually, when a shank is allowed to swing all the way back like that... the curb chain is very loose, and you have little pressure on the curb. Much less severe than a tight curb chain. It is physically impossible to for a shank to swing back that far if the curb chain is tight.

Good job, you proved that 10 inch shanks exist. If you really wanted, we could email World Champion and have them tell us the percentages of sales for each inch shank. You'd find that 95% are for 6 or 7 inch shanks, and the other 4.999%, maybe 8 inch. No one uses 10 inch shanks in the ring, that just announces 'hey, I don't know what I'm doing!'
I have a 13 year old 5-gaited horse that exemplifies the American Saddlebred when they are well taken care of... and yes, my horse has been with several big name trainers in his life, and is a show horse in training now. He is 'old' for a 5-gaited horse- yet, when the vets examined him and took x-rays, they said he has amazingly clean joints and bones- like those of a 2 or 3 year old. And yes, this is with carrying a longer than average foot and pads his entire show career. He goes in a curb bit with a probably 6 or 7 inch shank- I don't make it a practice to measure it. His snaffle bit is a fat twisted wire snaffle. He goes on a light rein, very little contact. A jiggle or bump is all that is needed. To jog or long line, he goes in a smooth snaffle and no cavesson. I take him trail riding, I jog him down the road, we go play in the fields, he goes out to eat grass, and I ride him bareback around the farm. My trainer has even taken him- show shoes and all- into a field and 'herded' horses, and has taught him basic reining moves. When he sees a crowd, he lights up and raises up in the bridle, puts his tail up ON HIS OWN, and goes forward showing off like he was bred to do. He loves the show ring, as many do. Recently, a time out was called at a show. He stopped on the rail, and was soon surrounded by a few dozen fairgoing children who wanted to pet him. You know what my 'wild eyed tiny fried brained abused and neglected show horse' did? He stretched his head over the rail, closed his eyes, and leaned into all those little hands. Cameras flashing, kids grabbing him and slapping his neck, he never moved. We have the pictures to prove this. When the time out was over, I gathered my reins, and away he went- just as wound up and snorty as ever- to finish his class. Still think hes crazy? I guess thats why we trust him over the old Arab in the barn to sit little kids on his back when they want to ride a horse.
And I'm sure he hates his 'prison cell' of a stall- with a large window to hang his head out of, with an open half door so he can beg for treats from people walking through, slats on the front so he doesn't miss a thing going on, and wide spaces boards on the walls so he can see and sniff the other horses. Not to mention the stalls cleaned twice daily and his every need attended to. Horrid life, you know.

I think the fact that the USDA inspectors don't test Saddlebreds has been established- but I have volunteered to have all of mine tested and multiple breed shows- and they laugh at me, wave me off, and say it isn't necessary.

And as for Lavery's instructions about tounge tieing? He is trying to teach people who to let their horses realize they don't NEED their tounges tied- something that yes, a lot of big name trainers do... As do all racehorses. He tells them to let the horse basically FIGURE IT OUT for themselves that they do not NEED to have their tounge tied, as under the bit is the most comfortable place for it. He's trying to undo something that is potentially uncomfortable for the horse- not encourage people to tie a horses tounge for the rest of his life.

As to the judge of ASBs in WV and the Carolinas... Really? I spent several years working in WV, and have in fact seen and observed all but maybe one or two NEW trainers in that area. And no one partakes in any of the practices you talk of.

And mousey, I am sure you'll resort to your usual name calling and throw a fit and try to disprove everything I've said. I don't really care. Those who read my post, I hope you take my words to heart- if mousey doesn't delete my post first like several others have been. And like other people said- why don't you go try it out before you knock it? Most big name trainers are MORE than happy to show you around their farms, let you watch them work horses, and explain any questions you have.
There are bad apples in every bunch, but it doesn't mean the breed as a whole is full of idiotic trainers.

amwrider said...

I never said that this stuff does not happen, I stated that the bottom feeders of the industry resort to it. It is not the norm.

I went to the Saddle Horse Report which has results from the rated shows datign back to 2002. There are no horses with a Kiuka prefix on any horse in their database, there is no horse shown since 2002 owned by Kiuka Farm, there is no horse shown since 2002 ridden or owned by Bobby, Robert or Matthew Sullivan.

They do not show the ASB circuit.

They do have ads on Agdirect and a couple of the ads make reference to showing in racking classes. I suspect that these people are part of the Walking Horse industry that are getting saddlebreds to breed speed racking horses.

They are not on the saddlebred circuit.

I also searched Youtube and only saw this one wanling video from the Kiuka Farm.

For yearlings, I found Kiuka, and I think two other videos with yearlings being longlined or bitted and they were recent videos so they are yearlings that are approaching their two year old and I would expect some work to have been started to prep the horses for harness. Nothing shocking though like the Kiuka clips.

Trojan Mouse said...

Breeze,

>I am flat out ashamed that someone in our industry is ignorant and stupid enough to do something as rediculous as bitting up a weanling and putting stretchies on him- too short stretchies, I will add, as you can see the colt jerk and stagger.
That is not the norm.

It doesn't matter if it's not the norm. The fact it occurs, and people feel confident about it enough to post a video, tells me that it happens more than a little.
Where do you think these people got the idea to treat their horses like this? They learned from watching other trainers.
And you and your trot.org buddies are over there trashing me for pointing out this kind of abuse, while completely *missing* the point of the blog. I have not said a single bad word about the breed, or the responsible people in it. I have only described the asshats. Yet you and your cronies called me ignorant and said none of the stuff I stated existed. Well here is proof that it does.

Now what are you going to do about it?

>Goes to show that- as stated before- the majority of this crap does not occur with knowledgeable trainers,

You're wrong there. The BYBs pick this kind of crap up by watching the big fellows. They didn't wake up one day and decide to buy a bitting rig and stretchies. They saw it on a horse at a show and decided to give it a try. Or they got into the business working with a trainer and learned this crap right from the source. If the BYB was doing something stupid with homemade crap, barefeet and a beer hat I'd agree with you, but he's got the professional gear, he knows what he's asking for out of the horse, and he know's how to get it. He learned it somewhere, and it wasn't from a book.

>They need to go BE educated, as obviously, all it takes is a couple of idiots to ruin a breed's reputation.

I'll clue you into to something else: It isn't the BYBs that ruin a breed's reputation. It's almost always the shenanighans of a professional trainer. The BYBs aren't in the public eye. They aren't at the shows, clinics and expos. It's the big name trainer caught abusing his horse in the barn by some horse crazy person that is just walking through that causes the public outrage. It happens at every show, in every breed and every discipline. It's just that this is the ASB industry's turn to be showcased here. I'm a non-partisan asshat hater


>I've remained quiet and rolled my eyes as the majority of this crap on here is just that- a load of crap- and my fellow Saddlebred lovers have done an adequate job of reminding the public of what needs said. That being said, it was the words of Madgelyn that made me stand up and post. I figured this blog consisted of the regulars who like to trash all breeds, and yes, all breeds have their own 'sins.' But Madgelyn shows there is hope, people lurking, people reading, whos minds are not as closed as mouse man.

I'm not a man, and I've got the D cup to prove it.

The problem you need to look at is your trot.org buddies are in full denial mode, and now owe me and Tuffy an apology for calling us liars about this crap being out in the public eye. You're in a full denial mode that makes the Catholic Church seem upfront about the molestation issue. The abuse exists at all levels.

>Yes, set tails are controversial. No one one here is trying to deny that, it is an issue that our industry faces and debates all the time. It is a vain tradition, we all recognize that- but it is a tradition that is thoroughly tied in with the breed's history, and history is hard to change.

Traditions are so easy to change. All it takes is people with the balls to do it. Every single one of you self-righteous blog bashers better be writing a letter to the editor against it every month. You need to be starting petitions that go to USEF to ban it. Because if you *really* cared about the horse you'd do it, and tradition be damned. But you don't care enough to rock the boat and help the horse, because it will bring down the wrath of the big trainers and you don't want to risk that. You trotters are calling me ignorant and other names, but you're the one letting your breed and your reputations be damaged because you will not put a stop to the abuse.
I'm the observer, I only report what I see. I'm not the policeman, you are, so start policing and quit bitching at me.

>Especially when it is a history that while yes, is uncomfortable to the horse for a week or two (thats why bute and banamine exist though, to help a horse who is uncomfortable),

So first you make the horse uncomfortable and then you drug them. Do you not know the hazards from bute and banamine use? Bute can cause ulcers, founder, and mask other injuries or illnesses. So for the sake of vanity you're going to let a horse suffer "discomfort" and then drug him to salve your conscience. Do you realize blog readers see this and they understand how shameful the show industry is?
And you call me ignorant?

>And I ask you, mousey- since your such an expert, do you personally like it when a horse swishes its tail, the tail falls over the line, and suddenly you have no control on one side of th bridle?

I'm not the one that drives. that would be Tuffy Horse. You need to get your posters correct. I think she pointed out that thousands of STDs race every year and not a single one has a nicked tail.

>One could stick a tailset on a quarter horse and get the same effect- and no, the tail is not even always nicked- some horses just need to wear a set to limber up their natural tail.

So explain how *all* the other breeds that having driving classes at their shows don't allow tail nicking if it's such a safety issue. We've got thousands of Qhs, Apps, Paints, POAs, Arabs, Morgans, ponies of every shape, size and color, and no one else nicks tails because it's a safety issue. Every watched combined training? No nicked tails.

>And yes, I think a tailset compared to a bra is a fairly accurate analogy.

Then we'll have to agree to disagree, because you have a choice and the horse doesn't. If you had to take two grams of bute to wear a bra then maybe you'd see the difference.

>The curb chain is the main point of pressure on a properly adjusted curb bit. The horse knows to drop off the curb when he feels pressure under his chin.

No, you're incorrect. A curb bit is a fulcrum. In a properly set curb bit the curb chain is the *last* thing to engage. The pressure points are:
1) tongue
2) bars of mouth
3) edges of lips
4) Crown piece of bridle
5) curb chain

This is basic bit knowledge 101. Read Dr. Deb Bennett's wonderful articles on bitting and you'll understand why the combinations used by most ASB trainers are the least effective for creating collection, impulsion and most importantly, not hurting the horse.

>So actually, when a shank is allowed to swing all the way back like that... the curb chain is very loose, and you have little pressure on the curb. Much less severe than a tight curb chain.

Actually a loose curb chain allows the bit to create a gag action wherein the cannons of the bit are pulled higher into the horse's mouth, also increasing lip and poll pressure, which in some cases causes the horse to drop at the poll and tuck. There's a reason for a loose curb chain. It can increase the severity of the bit's response since it allows more movement of the cannons and more leverage at the poll. A tight curb chain blocks the cannons from shoving the lips upwards and also limits the pressure on the poll.

>And as for Lavery's instructions about tounge tieing? He is trying to teach people who to let their horses realize they don't NEED their tounges tied- something that yes, a lot of big name trainers do...

No, he's telling enexperienced people to use something that they have no business using. Tongue tying should only be done by very experienced people. He doesn't say how tight to tie it, what to use, how long you can safely leave a tie on or any of the other important things someone should know. And tongue tying can backfire and create a horse that is very resentful and even more mouth.

>Those who read my post, I hope you take my words to heart- if mousey doesn't delete my post first like several others have been.

I have not deleted a single post. Any comments removed have been taken down by whomever wrote them. All of them say "comment deleted by author"


>And like other people said- why don't you go try it out before you knock it? Most big name trainers are MORE than happy to show you around their farms, let you watch them work horses, and explain any questions you have.

You must have missed the part where I said I lived in Phoenix, near the horse park. I've seen a veritable shitload of SS classes. I've seen the few good riders and the many bad riders. And other people see it too. We've toured the ASB farms around here and I have no liked what I've seen.

>There are bad apples in every bunch, but it doesn't mean the breed as a whole is full of idiotic trainers.

But the idiots are the ones I'm talking about, which is another point you and your trot buddies have missed. I haven't denounced a single *good* ASB handler. I've only denounced the jerks and idiots, but you keep denying they exist. You haven't seen them, you haven't heard of them, it's a myth.
Bullshit! You better believe the rest of the horse world sees them and hears of them.


The non ASB people reporting on the issues aren't the problem, the people who deny the issues exist are the problem.
And the non ASB people can't fix the problem, we can only bitch about it and hope one of you will finally be honest enough and brave enough to take on the industry and make the changes.

We're the messenger, you need to quit wasting time trying to kill us and go after the bad guys that drag the ASB down.

TJM

amwrider said...

Just to clarify, I searched for weanling and yearling saddlebred clips and there were I think 10 weanling clips and about 50 yearling clips. The only abusiveness I found were the Kiuka clips.

amwrider said...

>>It doesn't matter if it's not the norm. The fact it occurs, and people feel confident about it enough to post a video, tells me that it happens more than a little.
Where do you think these people got the idea to treat their horses like this? They learned from watching other trainers.<<

No, they misapply what they see educated trainers do and are too stupid to know that they are idiots and that is why they post it on Youtube.

They are back yard breeders that are trying to compete with the "big names" so they start doing this crap to babies in order to "outsell" or win.

Any trainer worth his beans can look at that BYB on the Youtube videos and know he is an amateur. It is in the way he holds the lines, they way he holds the whip, the way he has the babies set up....

I wouldn't even work an adult horse bitted that tightly, it just teaches the horse to lean on the bit because the horse gets no relief.

By all means, go after the idiots like this, but don't lump a whole industry in with him.

I would like to see an example of a 10 inch curb bit pulled all the way back on a saddlebred. How about you search Doug Shiflet's photos from the show circuit and give me an example? I would think that would make a horse flip over on it's rider.

Hmmm, Mouse. Methinks you and I have butted heads before on COTH.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider,

I found these videos that IMHO show the ASB in a bad light

Mare looks almost lordosis. Lead in says she's wearig chains. You can see them in the video. Her feet are too long. She's bitted way to tightly for a young horse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aidH4AlpsDs

Yearling in a bitting rig with stretchies. He's clearly too tight, he's resentful and he's hanging on the left stifle, so he should even be lunged.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAgc7x6Z37E&NR=1

You can't tell me that this riding gives SS or the ASB a good name:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86aoqOADsUI

Those are just a few that I found with one search. I haven't even tried the searchs is various misspellings, hyphens and such.

Other than the dressage ASB I didn't see a single video that would convince me to get into ASB showing. It all looks rough, choppy and heavy handed.
You can SAY what you think it's like all you want, it still looks harsh to the general public, and those are the people that have a problem with several aspects of the breed shows.


Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

Trojan Mouse said...

AWM,

I have never posted on COTH. What is it?


TJM

Tuffy Horse said...

Jean,

It's the Chronicle of the Horse Forum, you can find it from the magazine's website.
Mostly H/J and dressage people.


I read it daily, you've never posted there that I've seen.

Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

amwrider said...

Tuffy, I have much more respect for you than for Mouse. You don't resort to bullying, name calling or cursing. But I have to scratch my head at this coment:

"As a saddleseat rider she's fine and she gives a good clinic. But there is no doubt that even on their best day the average saddleseat rider exerts more pull on a bit than the average reining trainer. I know, I've ridden saddleseat and done reining.
I used to do a SS demo with my horse in a bosal, so I know you can achieve that headset without any bit at all, if the horse is trained properly first."

Reining horses are not asked to carry themselves like a saddle seat horse. They neckrein for steering and they stop off of the rider's body weight. There is also bridle-less reining.

Of course a saddle seat rider exerts more pressure on the bits than a reining rider does. We don't neckrein, we don't do sliding stops, we also don't use the same classes of curb bits that reining riders do.

Bosals operate by pressure on the nasal bones and can cause just as much damage to a horse as a bit can if used improperly.

Your SS demonstration of achieving a headset with a bosal is really not much different than achieving the same headset with bits. The horse is ridden forward by the rider's leg into contact (bit or bosal) and then asked to "come off" of the contact. It is the same concept that we use. The difference is that you have the mecate and/or jaquima to keep the bosal from moving around unnecessarily.

We don't have anything like that so we need to keep just enough contact on the rein to keep the curb bit from swinging in the horse's mouth. We ask the horse to back off of the bit, yet we still have to maintain enough contact to keep the bit steady.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW,

>Reining horses are not asked to carry themselves like a saddle seat horse. They neckrein for steering and they stop off of the rider's body weight. There is also bridle-less reining.

Yes I know.

>Of course a saddle seat rider exerts more pressure on the bits than a reining rider does. We don't neckrein, we don't do sliding stops, we also don't use the same classes of curb bits that reining riders do.

So why are you exerting more pressure on the reins? You're not asking the horse to stop. You're not doing anything intricate. In fact the method of riding used contradicts all other forms of riding. You apply pressure and push the horse forward into the pressure. It makes no sense. It's like driving a car with the parking brake on. I showed my Arab in SS, reining, western riding, trail etc. He was an all around horse and he could jack up just about like an NSH. He was also started in a bosal and had a mouth like silk. Had I apllied the pressure to him that most SS riders do I would have found myself flying backwards. He learned to arch from leg pressure and proper seat. He collected from the shoulder, which created a natural roundness, allowing the forelegs to come up and foreward. This hypeflexing back actually drops the shoulders and blocks the extension of the foreleg. Trainers that haul their horse's heads back so far are actually inhibiting good movment.

>Bosals operate by pressure on the nasal bones and can cause just as much damage to a horse as a bit can if used improperly.


Poppycock. I've ridden in bosals for 30 years and I've never seen a horse's nose cut off. I have seen horses with their lower tongue missing from bit abuse. And a properly used bosal creates perfect collection, lifts and opens the should and rounds the back and hip.

>Your SS demonstration of achieving a headset with a bosal is really not much different than achieving the same headset with bits. The horse is ridden forward by the rider's leg into contact (bit or bosal) and then asked to "come off" of the contact. It is the same concept that we use.

Except the bosal horse isn't bobbing his head to avoid the bit, nor are his lips clenched in discomfort.

>The difference is that you have the mecate and/or jaquima to keep the bosal from moving around unnecessarily.

A jaquima and a bosal are one in the same. The mecate is the extra rein and the fiador is the bosal "hanger" or throatlatch. When we move to the second stage of bosal training the fiador and mecate come off, so the only thing that keeps the bosal from rotating is having good hands.

>We don't have anything like that so we need to keep just enough contact on the rein to keep the curb bit from swinging in the horse's mouth. We ask the horse to back off of the bit, yet we still have to maintain enough contact to keep the bit steady.

But that's not what I'm seeing at shows. I seeing heavy hands the whole class, at all levels.


And a properly fitted and comfortably carried curb bit isn't going to shift in the mouth. The horse will "seat" the bit with his tongue and carry it wear it is most comfortable. At that point your seat, legs and shoulders cue the horse, and lastly your hands add the finesse. The reins are the last thing to be touched and they should ONLY be used to create brilliance, not discomfort.

I looked at the big ASB show videos on youtube, and the hands are terrible. You can tell people are balancing with the reins and the horses are just going along with it because it's all they know.

I'd almost love to get an ASB project horse and train it up like a "bridled" horse to show how one could move without all the gimmicks.

Tracy M
http://thehorsediary.blogspot.com/

amwrider said...

"Mare looks almost lordosis. Lead in says she's wearig chains. You can see them in the video. Her feet are too long. She's bitted way to tightly for a young horse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aidH4AlpsDs "

Lordotic, yes, but she is not bitted too tightly for a five year old horse. At the end of the video, you see her relaxed and there is a drape in the siderein, it is not too tight. I do not see a long foot on her.


"Yearling in a bitting rig with stretchies. He's clearly too tight, he's resentful and he's hanging on the left stifle, so he should even be lunged.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAgc7x6Z37E&NR=1"

He is almost two, he is not in stretchies. If he were mine, I would not bit him that tightly, but I don't think it is *that bad* and honestly the video is way to dark to get a good idea of his movement behind. Usually if a horse has a white leg and a dark leg, the movement can sometimes seem "off" or uneven, but I will refrain from commenting on whether this boy is lame or not, the video isn't good enough to say. I should be talking to Denise Vespa this week regarding a horse, I can ask her the story on this boy if you like.

"You can't tell me that this riding gives SS or the ASB a good name:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86aoqOADsUI"

No, I won't tell you that this riding gives SS or the ASB a good name....I will tell you that he is probably not the only bad rider on You tube.

lshiely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lshiely said...

I was always taught to ride saddlebreds as if the reins were like harpstrings. I have ridden them since I was 7 years old, took 15 years off due to marriage, children, etc, and when I came back to riding nothing had changed. Ride light and ride right. Pulling on them would NEVER work, I don't get what you are referring to. I have ridden horses in many different parts of the country and was never told to "pull harder" ever. I am a tiny woman and never had that experience riding Saddleseat, and have ridden "big time" show horses. Contact yes, pulling and fighting no.


Those caulking boots I have never seen used, and no 10 inch shanks either, and I was involved with training ASBs for a number of years. As a teenager I trained my own ASB and we played the entire winter, trail riding, racing my friend's eventers, etc, and managed to win english and western pleasure championships as well as equitation the following season. We ended that season with a National Championship. He was the most spoiled, happy animal I have ever known.

There are issues, but don't trash the entire industry off of things you find on youtube or a few things you viewed. Get to know more about the good people in the industry (such as saddlebred rescue) and work from there. There are so many good, honest horse people out there.

CutNJump said...

AMWRider-
Gingering still takes place. I don't like it, I have done it when I worked for other barns but don't do it at my barn. A tiny nickle sized dab is used. If the horse puts his tail down, it will warm up so the horse keeps his tail up. I don't agree with it, but I also don't see it as a horrible abuse (I know...bad me) it does no damage, causes no pain and the effects are very temporary.


I don't condone gingering either and since getting away from the halter horses in the Arab industry, I no longer am a part of the practice, but, yes, it does still exist.

I beg to differ on the amount used. The barn I worked at, back in the day, would use a fair amount of the goop. Quantity depended on the horse. There was one gelding to whom the ginger was applied with a toothbrush, bristle end. Otherwise you got 'no tail' from him. The bristles irritated the tender skin in his anus, the ginger burned and up went the tail. No warming effect there, they were intentionally going for the burn. The girl who introduced them to this application method came from several of the big farms where they routinely used toothbrushes.

~~~~~~~~~~

As from my own experience with ASB's, when the NSH first started to rise in popularity, the farm owner sought out ASB mares to use in her breeding program. She bought a few horses who had won numerous championships at fairs and breed shows throughout the midwest. She also brought in the ASB trainer and their entourage. (Thank fucking Gawd! At least I didn't have to handle them.)

These horses often arrived after being shipped straight through from point A to point B. No unloading, just keep going, however long it took to get them here. She wanted to turn them out upon arrival to let them stretch their legs, roll and just unwind from the journey.

"Oh hells to the NO! Absolutely NOT!" I believe those were the words out of the ASB trainers mouth. When they explained about the feet breaking off it seemed to make sense.

They decided to show the horses locally before breeding them, so the excessive length of their hooves remained, as did the shoes & pads. These horses never got turned out as long as I was there. They also never had any 'down time' in the off season. Their hooves remained long, year round as it would take too long to grow them back.

From day one they continually kicked the shit out of the stalls, day and night, for no other reason than boredom. Kicking chains were purchased to put an end to it as they began destroying the barn.

Cross ties and tie rings were purchased so they could be handled in the stall for everything. The chains were among the last thing to come off before they left the stall, otherwise they risked getting kicked. The only time they ever went into the normal crosstie area was to be rinsed. This was done quickly as they figited and would try to pin their handler against the wall. So then they just stood off to the side and sprayed from the front what the water would reach. Often just the saddle area.

Then they were hand walked until dry, but only in the barn aisle. They always had a chain over their nose for added control, because "If they misbehave, they won't wait for you to readjust the chain so you can discipline them."

This was a miserable, wretched, ill tempered group of horses if I ever seen one. Reading back over this post, it's no wonder as to why. It's amazing that they could even get on these horses and ride them with as sour as their attitudes were. And they rode with draw reins, martingales and heavy hands. I found it equally as amazing, or maybe rather sick and twisted, was that they claimed they 'loved these horses' and 'loved the breed!' yet they treated them like this and thought nothing of it.

I left before they finally bred the mares. I can only hope they would have pulled the shoes and trimmed the feet back to normal and turned them out, but who knows. With the horses' shitty attitudes I can only guess how the breeding went and how many people were involved trying to handle the mares. I wonder how many of them were injured in the process? I also wonder if the horses knew what it was to graze, let alone be out in the open without the confines of stall walls, without going neurotic and blasting through fences.


I would also like to say, I wish this were the only ASB folks I knew of that treated their horses this way, but it isn't. Not around here.

A good friend of mine attended the community college courses for equine massage therapy as part of an ongoing education and refresher for her own skills.

The barn where the college held class was an ASB barn. Before they went to the barn for the first session, the instructor gave the class a lecture which consisted of "No matter what you see, keep your damned mouth shut! They allow us to work on the horses and the horses benifit. You speak up, we get kicked out- the horses lose."

They worked on the horses in the stalls. She told of horses who from one week to the next were so sore they got progressively nastier to be around. One horse the trainer had to catch and hold so they could work on him. He was so stiff and sore and in such pain he lashed out in many ways when they touched him. By the end of the session he was more relaxed but they couldn't get everything worked out in the short amount of time they had. By the following week, he was just as bad if not worse than before.

So I ask you all. If this is not the 'norm', why is it so prevelant? Why is it tolerated on such a wide scale? How come there are so many more places like these? How do they continue to operate? If the horses were so happy in their work, why would the college instructor have to give such a speach?

I know the horse world seems to draw more than it's fair share of fruit cakes and asshats, but Holy Cow Batman!

CutNJump said...

As for the bitting rigs on the babies and 'stretchies' and all the other shit these people do in public...

People! Wake UP!

They are doing this in public and think nothing of it. Obviously they aren't worried about being seen, getting caught in the act or busted and reprimanded. This is a blatent display how acceptable it is perceived among their peers.

It makes me shudder to think what they do at home when nobody is around to watch!

Their poor horses!

CutNJump said...

AMW-
Reining horses are not asked to carry themselves like a saddle seat horse. They neckrein for steering and they stop off of the rider's body weight. There is also bridle-less reining.

Of course a saddle seat rider exerts more pressure on the bits than a reining rider does. We don't neckrein, we don't do sliding stops, we also don't use the same classes of curb bits that reining riders do.



We don't have anything like that (speaking of the bosal) so we need to keep just enough contact on the rein to keep the curb bit from swinging in the horse's mouth. We ask the horse to back off of the bit, yet we still have to maintain enough contact to keep the bit steady.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I feel the need to correct you on a few things.

Reiners do not typically neck rein only, for steering. Reiners use their seat and legs to set the horses body position up, so that when a movement, turn or transition is asked for, it is easy for the horse to achieve it correctly. The stop is asked for with a whoa, sitting deep and taking your legs off the horse as you 'quit riding'.

At least that is how we do it around here. A lot of the reiners I have seen in the ring, they adhere to the long droopy reins and the hand that never moves, school of riding. But then they aren't asking for the same 'frame' or way of going, as what is seen in the WP classes either.

The curb bits are essentially the same with the only exception being in the shape of the shanks. Whereas the saddle seatcurbs have straight shanks, the curbs used for western are often curved in appearrance, yet a straight line can be drawn from the top ring, past the mouthpiece to the lower ring.

Regardless of the shape or design of the shank, the bit should be balanced enough on its own, so as not to require the rider to maintain contact to keep the bit steady. A balanced bit, on a properly adjusted headstall should not require the rider to hold it steady whether you are riding western, saddleseat or upper level dressage. Instead the ideal of soft, following, steady contact is maintained so as small adjustments can be made as needed without having to adjust rein length before contact is achieved, even when the horse is moving forward freely in balanced self carriage.

tunagirll said...

"You apply pressure and push the horse forward into the pressure. It makes no sense. It's like driving a car with the parking brake on."

The horse travels basically 'backed off the bit'. In normal transit, where a dressage horse is expected to ride forward into contact, the saddleseat horse rides forward into non contact. Also a Saddleseat horse rarely needs to be pushed along; they tend to go forwards quite willingly without needing encouragement until asked to stop.

The closest approximation I can give you, is that if it were dressage, it is more the French style of dressage than the German, where the French style is very light and the German more commonplace system is the firm hand to bit contact and pushing the horse along.

A Saddleseat horse is to be ridden with minimal leg and minimal hand - he travels and carries himself willingly. The rider does not wear a spur; the whip is to show the steadiness of your hands not for use on the horse; the curb is there to tip the head.

If you rode a Saddleseat horse in the manner you described, it would go right over. It's not a dressage horse or a western horse, so it travels different and the rider is light and off the horse's mouth.

The very best show horses are being ridden right on the edge of their capacity to show themselves off like they do in a paddock. It's important to realise they are TRAINED to do this. This is not some rough shove them into a frame discipline. It's been around for some time, the trainers know how to teach a horse without abuse.

Like any discipline there are plenty of poor trainers who resort to unkindness and there are even more amateurs (not including the accomplished ones) who 'monkey see monkey do' with equipment.

I'm not sure what you expect to happen here. Legally you can't stop trainers training badly. You can report them to the SPCA, you can file complaints at a show. Same with bad amateurs. The issue as you've already seen - people who do these unthinking things to Saddlebreds but becuase of their inadequacies never make it to show, becuase they just don't get that there is nothing pretty about a whipped dancer.

Who suffers in the end? The horses, of course. How to save them from cruelty like this? I don't know the answer. How about some suggestions now you have brought this to light - to help the horses at least you have shown on youtube.

Helen said...

hey i dont care about this whole blog thing but i do care that u are commenting on casey's final countdown. That is the NICEST horse in the show world and i have personaly met that horse. The owner/rider, Michele Macfarlane, and she treats her horses like roalty!
And all those videos of the baby horses being lunged is not bad. They beging traning without the bitting rigs so the horse can learn how to lunge. The "babies" in the videos are like 2 years old. The only reason that they are being lungged in small circles if for the trainer and the horses saftey. Imagine if you lunged one of those babies in 50 foot radius circle... that could hurt you or break the horses neck. Most of the stuff you are say is wrong. People in the sasddlebred horse world treat their horses like their own children. If you think this is what saddleseat and saddlebreds are all about than I think people should write blogs about hating you becasuse YOU abviously hang out with thoses trainers you are tlking about that torture animals. :)

GoLightly said...

This was written to me, on my blog, by Andalusians of Grandeur.
She has given permission for me to copy/paste it here. I think it needs reading.
"Oh, yes! I had those days and nights when I groomed for a saddlebred and morgan barn. I slept in freezing weather wrapped in wool coolers in the tack stall. I ate sweetfeed mixed with hot water at one show, because I didn't get paid till it was over. The most humiliating part was that I never realized that the new groom I was working with, who never really clipped the problem horses or took apart the harness or anything demanding, was getting tipped. I never received any tips from the rich owners, because the barn owner told them that i would keep quiet since blind people were greatful for any job they could get. Well, I quit the next week after I found out. They acted crushed to see me go, and promptly got busted for excessive drugging at a show because none of them could clip 3 of the horses. I remember the trainer had a whole separate set of tack that the students weren't allowed to see. This included sharply spiked cavesons, bits made from sections of chainsaw chain, baling wire curb straps, and stirrup irons with a small sharp spike soldered to the side nearest to the horse's side. One of my jobs used to be getting all horses groomed and strapped into bitting rigs as early as possible so no one would see them braced and suffering for the minimum 3 hours they were confined. These rigs all consisted of a regular roller and crupper. The bridle was either a single twisted wire snaffle or a double with a curb boasting straight, 5-inch shanks. The curbchain was to be adjusted so that it was tight against the horses chin even when the reins were slack. These horses were forced into a very exagerated frame with their heads far behind the verticle. They were stuck in the stall with nowhere to go and left. Needless to say, all had very well developed muscles under their necks and traveled like upsidedown bananas.
Yikes!! This is getting too long, and I must work on a research project about "fair trade" coffee."

(shudders) The High-Stepping World is psychotic.
I am so glad I was in the Hunter/Jumper World. Abuse happens there, but not like this SHIT. Gah.

Thanks to Andalusians for letting me put it here.


Yeah. I guess this shit never happens. Guess we're all just "seeing things". Even a blind person can see abuse.

To Horses.

Trojan Mouse said...

Ishiely,
>I have ridden horses in many different parts of the country and was never told to "pull harder" ever.

Go read Mr "super trainer" Lavery's page and see what he says about the "pull harder" aspect. Evidently this stellar ASB trainer thinks pulling harder is a good idea.

TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

tunagirl,

>The horse travels basically 'backed off the bit'. In normal transit, where a dressage horse is expected to ride forward into contact, the saddleseat horse rides forward into non contact. Also a Saddleseat horse rarely needs to be pushed along; they tend to go forwards quite willingly without needing encouragement until asked to stop.


*Come on!* These horses are not off the bit. They are right up into the curb, the chain is engaged and the lip edges are pulled *back* We can see it in every video including the DC one. You can describe how the horse is *supposed* to be ridden all you want, but that isn't how it's being done.

I can describe doing a triple axel in skating, but I damn sure couldn't do it without busting my ass.


>A Saddleseat horse is to be ridden with minimal leg and minimal hand - he travels and carries himself willingly. The rider does not wear a spur; the whip is to show the steadiness of your hands not for use on the horse; the curb is there to tip the head.

Oh please. No leg, no seat and more hand than a chicken choker.



>If you rode a Saddleseat horse in the manner you described, it would go right over.

You mean like they do in the warm up pen? Oh my favorite was the ASB that came trotting into the ring like all pistons are churning and then got to the first curve and went right up and over. He looked like he had a rocket launcher in his ass. He hit the crowd, his rider rolled free and when he got up she remounted and continued the class. From listening to surrounding comments I got the gist that this manuever was considered "normal".

TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

Helen,

>And all those videos of the baby horses being lunged is not bad. They beging traning without the bitting rigs so the horse can learn how to lunge. The "babies" in the videos are like 2 years old. The only reason that they are being lungged in small circles if for the trainer and the horses saftey. Imagine if you lunged one of those babies in 50 foot radius circle... that could hurt you or break the horses neck

The sheer ignorance of this entire post just brings the ASB support group down to knuckle dragger level. Even the good ASB people were outraged at the babies being bitted and lunged, as they should be.


TJM

KC said...

*NOT an ASB expert here, just a few observations...*

I'm a judge in H/J and EQ so I always find the rule book is your friend.

From the USEF rulebook regarding ASB's: "Horses may be shown with unset tails in any class without penalty.".

But then goes on to say: "Inconspicuously
applied hair in mane or tail, a tail brace and mouth controls are permitted.".

Am I wrong, or did the freakin' USEF just condone the tail-set contraption (or is a tail brace different? I'm going with no)?? I personally think they should be banned and then you ASB show-people just DEAL.WITH.IT! It's pure aesthetics and if your horse happens to NOT carry his tail up on his back, then so be it. All horses are different, so WHY did it become a breed "standard"??

And the whole bitting thing (shanks, curbs, crazy tight "harp string" contact), as a whole, is just fishy to me.
If I can get my high-strung OTTB to listen to me, have the proper carriage and know the difference between "forward" and "fast" via a plain egg-butt snaffle then we're doing it right. I feel no need to shove a literal spade in his mouth to get me there. But then again, in my discipline we ride from the seat and into the hand, and I fail to see the "seat" in saddleseat...

Maybe if your horse HAS TO HAVE these contraptions to acheive the "required" look to show under ASB standards, you should pick another discipline! I've seen ASB's doing jumpers and dressage (even eventing!) and they do very well...I'd say it's a pretty versatile breed. Even in a plain snaffle, how weird.

And to those who are all, "yeah, there's abuse, but it's in EVERY discipline!!", um I think you've missed the point of this blog, 'cause that's kinda what it's all about.

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KC said...

OK so here's what I got:
"The tail of a performance saddlebred is often put into a tail set several days or weeks before a show. A tail set is used to train the muscles in the croup and tail to accept a tail brace. The ligaments under the tails of these horses has been surgically nipped so that the tail can move freely. This in no way hampers or limits the use of the tail, in fact, the horse will have more use of it's tail after the procedure. For the comfort of the horse, a tail set must fit properly and kept meticulously clean"

Either/or. Still NOT.GOOD.

amwrider said...

KC >From the USEF rulebook regarding ASB's: "Horses may be shown with unset tails in any class without penalty.".

But then goes on to say: "Inconspicuously
applied hair in mane or tail, a tail brace and mouth controls are permitted.".

Am I wrong, or did the freakin' USEF just condone the tail-set contraption (or is a tail brace different? I'm going with no)?? <

Yes, the USEF allows use of tail sets at shows for performance horses, and allows the use of tail braces in the show classes for the performance horses.

The USEF rule book also indicates shoeing limits/regulations.

The mouth control devices such as tongue ties and lip chains are allowed.

GoLightly>I remember the trainer had a whole separate set of tack that the students weren't allowed to see. This included sharply spiked cavesons, bits made from sections of chainsaw chain, baling wire curb straps, and stirrup irons with a small sharp spike soldered to the side nearest to the horse's side.<

Never heard of the spiked stirrup, why not just use a spur I wonder? I have seen people use studded or "button" cavesons before. I have never seen one use one with a spike in it. The bit you are referring to is a "Mule bit" and they are not made from chainsaw blades, they kinda look like one the way the mouth piece is put together. There is a harsh side and a mild side to the bit and it works similar to a Waterford bit in that if the horse tries to lean on it, it bends away.

amwrider said...

TrojanMouse >Go read Mr "super trainer" Lavery's page and see what he says about the "pull harder" aspect. Evidently this stellar ASB trainer thinks pulling harder is a good idea.<

This is what he says in one of his training responses:
.... From the description you first gave me of his neck I would have thought you were riding some discipline where you took a very strong hold of his mouth thus making him fight to raise up and therefore develop these muscles. But, that is not part of Saddle Seat Riding and I cannot imagine anyone pulling hard enough on a double bridle to cause such a change.....My advice to you would be to soften your horse's mouth and your hands. You can accomplish this with hours of biting rig, long lines and snaffle bit work. When the mouth is finally soft and supple, you will no longer encouraging those lower muscles to develop and you will be encouraging the crest to become more prominent

GoLightly said...

AMWrider:
I was merely posting what a blind groom saw. With her own heart.
Please, read posts carefully.

Oh, and "hours of bitting rig" sounds like a lot of fun for a horse, whose mouth you're trying to soften. Can you understand the difference between "soften" and "deaden"?

I had a lovely old ASB schoolie once. They do indeed travel differently from the "norm" (for me, Hunter/Jumper was the norm). They have a naturally high head carriage. To send old Beau onto the bit, and to soften, took the exact same aids, as any other horse ridden in my barn. If I'd drilled him for hours...
Gah.
Let the horses be what they are, not some psychedelic travesty of what you want.

vlayne said...

For those who are unaware, the ASHA is working towards a change regarding set tails. It is happening slowly, for a variety of reasons, but it IS happening.

It began with the association changing the rules regarding tails to include a statement that UNSET TAILS WILL NOT BE PENALIZED in ANY division. While this might seem a small step, there was much resistance. So starting here was a very visible way for the association to make the statement that unset tails are acceptable in ALL classes, performance and pleasure, and prepare everyone for what was to come. Believe it or not, changing the verbiage to include this set of a hailstorm of debate.

But that was nothing compared to what came next. Our World's Championship show added a class for two year olds specifically with unset tails. That polarized the breed. Old timers thought it would kill the Saddlebred. We'd lose our "uniqueness". Others thought it would invigorate the breed. People like me in the middle thought it certainly wouldn't do any harm, but that the World's was the wrong place for such a class, and it was a symbolic move only. But the class was added, and now after two years, people are more accepting, and I'm starting to hear of trainers preparing their horses specifically for this class. IT IS A START!

Now the association wants to add another class, for junior horses (age 4 and under), with unset tails. The snowball is beginning to gather more snow, and momentum, as it moves down the hill.

I understand to everyone outside of the ASB world, a set tail is an outrage, cruel and unnecessary. Believe it or not, there are MANY of us who agree! Until recently we have been a silent faction, just going along with the status quo so as not to lose out on our investment of a show horse. (As in, if we're different, we don't place in the class, our horses' value goes down, on and on...).

People like myself, who have spent a lifetime in the breed, who know it is not necessarily CRUEL but is certainly painful for a small handful, unpleasant for a few, uncomfortable for some, and unnecessary for most, have decided that taking the CHANCE of sacrificing the comfort of our horses means more than fashion.

I used to spout all the traditional answers (safety for driving, tradition, helps loosen the hind end, etc) but after doing some serious thinking, I realized that was all BS. Tradition be damned. My horse deserves better. I have sworn never to cut a tail again, and no colt I ever own in the future will undergo the surgery. I believe there are much more humane ways to get the tail "up", including the way it was done decades ago - stretching the tail by hand, loosening any tightness with a few minutes a day of stretching instead of cutting and bracing.

Fortunately, I'm no longer in the silent minority. The tide is turning. The voices speaking out against cutting tails are getting louder, and people like me who were once solidly in the camp of "keep the set tails or bust" are now at least opening their minds to the possibilities out there. They aren't as quick to cut a tail, and I'm hoping someday one of these big name owners or trainers will take the step of showing a performance horse (performance is the division in which ALL tails are set) with an UNSET tail.

It will take one person. One very brave, groundbreaking person, to do it. But I think once it's done, it'll be the start of something wonderful.

If I had the money to own a performance horse, I would take that step. Unfortunately I do not, nor am I a big enough name to make a difference, even if I had such a horse. As it is, I show a pleasure horse, a division where tails are traditionally "natural" (although they can be set and many are). My horse wears his tail down, no set, no ginger (actually, ginger in the pleasure division is against the rules, although I'd have to say that rule is easily broken).

Changing something like this takes time. I know to outsiders, it shouldn't, but it does. The association is taking steps to see it done, and I firmly believe within the next decade we'll see more tails "au naturale" than not.

As to the other "travesties" that are allegedly observed, such as long shanks with lots of bit pressure, tacks under bell boots or saddles - if you actually see things like this, take that up with the trainer or rider! Don't make the assumption that all horses are ridden this way. I know for a fact that they are not. And before you ask, of course I have not been in every Saddlebred barn in the country. But I have been in enough to get a good sampling of how it's REALLY done, at least at the top levels. I have NEVER in my LIFE seen tacks in bell boots, painful things under saddles, nothing. I'm sure there are a few idiots out there who have TRIED these things, maybe even gotten a desired result for a short time, but it is NOT the norm.

What the "wannabes" do is not the true picture of how reputable show barns and amateurs work their horses. Yes, you will find a bad egg in the bunch here and there, just like in ALL aspects of life. And those eggs need to be exposed and thrown away, immediately.

All I can do is ask those of you who are reading this blog to go to the ASHA website, type in your zip code, and find a Saddlebred barn near you. Go take a riding lesson. Talk to the trainer. Hang out for a Saturday afternoon. Watch the horses work. Inspect the animals and equipment. And most importantly - ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!

I board at an all breed/all seat barn, and I am the only Saddle Seat person there. The band of DQ's regarded me and my horse with derision - until they started asking questions. No, they did not agree with everything I do (just as I don't agree with everything THEY do!). They're never going to try any of it on their horse, and they're never going to switch seats - but they walked away with their fears of abuse allayed. They watched me work the bridle, a few of them even hopped on and took a spin and got off finally understanding the difference in how our (properly trained) horses are bitted up. They talked to my farrier and watched the shoeing, discussing the angles and weight and coming to the realization that, even though they don't LIKE the long foot, after becoming educated on the steps we take to make sure the horse is on proper angles, has support under his leg, and inspecting his hoof without the shoe and seeing it is HEALTHY, they understood. They didn't LIKE it, but they understood. (And for the record, my horse is turned out daily, even during show season, WITH his "long" foot, weighted shoes and pads). I am not the norm, but I am also not the exception. Lots of show horses are turned out.

Yes, there is shame in the show ring. But it is not a regular occurrence, and when it happens, they are usually not rewarded with a ribbon. Yes, there are exceptions. It happens.

But please try to keep things separate - the things you don't "like" such as the headset or bits or shoes, and the things that are true abuse. I do not LIKE peanut rollers or race horses. But I don't sit on the rail and cry ABUSE at every turn. Everyone has their own taste, likes and dislikes. That does not mean something is wrong just because you don't like it.

And if you DO think it is wrong, for God's sake, at least EDUCATE yourself, not through a blog or the internet, but by going TO a Saddlebred barn. That is REAL education. Reading it online or watching videos will not give you an understanding of what's happening. You will be applying the logic of what you know to something you don't understand and most likely will arrive at an incorrect conclusion, just as many people I've encountered in boarding barns my whole life.

I LOVE Saddle Seat. I love a vertical neckset, tucked back head, high, marching trot. To me, it is one of the most beautiful sights to behold. It is not gotten through ill means, but with hard work and a talented animal. It stirs my soul, just as something YOU love stirs yours. I'm certainly not expecting, or even ASKING, you to love Saddle Seat, but I am asking you to give it an honest chance.

vlayne said...

GoLightly said "Oh, and "hours of bitting rig" sounds like a lot of fun for a horse, whose mouth you're trying to soften. Can you understand the difference between "soften" and "deaden"?"

He is not talking about hours at a time! He is saying the horse needs to do this type of work on a regular basis (10-15 minutes at a time) for many many many many weeks, even months, along with long lining and work WITHOUT THE CURB, before the owner can expect to see a softening.

It's like warming a horse up in side reins before you ride - that's what he's suggesting, just different terminology. Of course you are going to see some idiots with the reins too tight, or leaving it on too long, or using an inappropriate bit. All they need is some education (after a slap upside the head).

GoLightly said...

Lavery said:
"My advice to you would be to soften your horse's mouth and your hands. You can accomplish this with hours of biting rig, long lines and snaffle bit work."

Vlayne, sorry I just read what was said. Silly me.
I have no problem with the "look" of a saddle-seat horse. When it's well-done, it is beautiful. I am not against good riding, kind training practices, thoughtful care.
I am against cruelty. I am against abuse, whether it comes in the form of OVER-training, which is what a lot of this sounds like, or artificial means to accomplish goals. In a lot of the videos I've seen of ASB's, the horses look lame. Not a little lame, a lot lame.
Dressage horses, western horses, Jumper Horses etc. etc. do NOT benefit from hours of drilling. How could they enjoy the work? ASB's I've seen look bug-eyed, lame and over-done. If that's what you want to preserve, and I don't think you do, god help those horses.

The Lavery comment was plain silly. How can a rider improve her hands by drilling her horse for hours?
Riding is about partnership. Love for the horse. At least, it is for me.
To Horses.

vlayne said...

Mr. Lavery is a great trainer. He is not the greatest writer. To those of us who know what he's talking about, his message is crystal clear. I'm sorry semantics are getting in the way of understanding what he means.

He is not advocating drilling the horse, anymore than a Dressage horse or reining horse is drilled. He is recommending some exercises to help soften and supple the animal. Is this not the goal of ALL good riding? Saddlebreds are NEVER drilled. They are far too easily bored and will try to find ways to entertain themselves. :)

As for the "bug eyes", we hear that all the time and it usually makes us giggle. We BREED for that feature in our horses! My horse has bug eyes standing in cross ties enjoying a nice curry! We want them to LOOK hyper-alert, but not actually BE that way.

Here again - I invite you to visit a Saddlebred barn with an open mind. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

jenimomof3 said...

TJM,

I live and show in VA (and am responsible for putting on two horse shows a year - one in Lexington, and one in Amherst County), and the only time I've seen USDA inspectors at a show that has ASB classes is when there are also TWH classes. The inspectors have never inspected the ASB's at any of the shows I've been to.

I'm not going to get into arguing about who's right and who's wrong - everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It would be nice if everyone in the horse industry pulled together rather than pointing fingers and calling names, but unfortunately, I don't know that that is going to happen anytime soon.

Happy Holidays.

GoLightly said...

Vlayne/jenimomof3
It's not about finger pointing, IMO.
It's about what is right for the horses.
Interesting that you only pointed out the bug eyes. No comments on lameness. Or is obvious unevenness also bred into ASB's?
Also, no comments on the rider's hands and how important a rider's seat and leg and balance are, to the horse's balance.
Communication begets evolution.
(ducking)

vlayne said...

I cannot comment on lameness or other rider's seats and hands, only my own horse and my own riding abilities.

Lameness is not prevalent in the show ring. What you interpret as lameness is probably poor riding throwing the horse off. Yes, it is there. It is USUALLY not rewarded unless the horse is so spectacular that it outweighs the negatives. Also, since you do not spend your DAYS immersed in the breed, the movement of a horse might appear "scuttling" (to borrow from Mouse) or "wrong" but in reality, that might be what we WANT! You are not familiar enough with the breed and our judging standards to make that judgment yourself. Again, it's an example of something you do not LIKE, framed in the reference of what you KNOW.

Our sport is based on subjective judging. The judge awards what he feels is the best horse in the ring, at that moment. We do not judge our riders (unless it's an equitation class) so HOW they ride is completely irrelevant. If the horse is performing, that is rewarded. If the rider has to sit on the horses' tail, or crawl up its neck, to get the performance, that's what they do. I can't help it. We judge the HORSE, that is all. If you don't like it, please write a rule change proposal for the USEF and ASHA. We'd be happy to vote on it.

Since you are only seeing select videos of ONE horse, not the whole class, and you do not really know what criteria the judge is using to pick his winners, you cannot say WHY an "off" horse might place over another that appears sound. Perhaps the other horses lacked manners, conformation, other gaits... I don't know. I don't waste my time trying to figure out judges - I spend my time trying to get the best out of my horse and myself. Ribbons are secondary.

One thing I have found, though... the more extreme a horse moves, the more exaggerated every little bobble becomes. Just like a horse might be a fabulous 3' jumper, try sending it over a 5' rail and suddenly, every fault it can "get away with" on the lower jumps is magnified and VERY visible, even to the uninitiated.

If a horse had the same conformation or balance defect but was a daisy-cutting Quarter Horse, you may never see the bobble. Get that horse trotting to the moon, and suddenly every fault is magnified. But, since our horses already move like this on their own, we can't make them into daisy cutters to hide flaws (wouldn't that be the poster child for animal cruelty?). We do our best with what we have. Some horses wing, some have weak hind ends, some have low back. We do our best to train them to the highest level they can achieve, and let the ribbons fall where they may.

Leslie said...

Trojan Mouse, you've said that you like the Saddlebred breed and just hate the training methods used, but I haven't been able to discern your opinion of saddle seat in general. Do you believe that it's an inherently cruel discipline? There are definitely plenty of unenlightened saddle seat riders and trainers out there and I realize the whole point of this blog is to out the scum of any and all horse show disciplines, but I haven't seen you say anything conceding that there are good, responsible horsepeople out there who happen to ride saddle seat.

I'm not picking a fight since I agree with a lot of your points, I'm just curious. I'm in between sides on this issue. I ride saddle seat, but I also agree that it's time for the Saddlebred industry to do away with those archaic tailsets and braces. I wouldn't touch ginger salve with a ten-foot pole. And I would never keep my horse's feet in such a condition that he couldn't be turned out. I happen to know lots of other saddle seat riders who feel the same way I do and keep their horses accordingly, so I can promise you that not all saddle seat riders are like the "trainers" you're describing.

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Run4TheBorder said...

Alright I was NOT going to comment on this blog at all but I have heard enough of the Bullshit. Pardon my french. My mother always said that people who cussed weren't educated enough to say anything else but I have learned that sometimes that is the only thing you can say. That is the perfect word for what this discussion has become.
I have been in the Saddlebred Industry for 15 years now and I absolutely love my horses. I am a very proud person and I love a proud horse. BUT surely you people aren't so uneducated to honestly think that this kind of CRAP (that's exactly what it is) is done by everyone in our industry? I train horses and personally dont like tailsets because honestly they are a pain to deal with. I have maybe one horse that will wear a set a day before we leave for the show. I WILL NOT ginger my horses EVER.
Yeah, there are people who will do whatever it takes to win because they dont care about the horses anymore. It's not about the love of the sport its about making money. Thats all they see. BUT like everyone before me has already stated... Name one freaking breed it isnt like that in.
I have never in my life seen a caulking boot used on ANY horse. That is not by any means saying that it doesnt exist, I'm just saying that I have yet to see it be used by any of the trainers I have been around.
Now, there are some things that are done in our breed that I am not happy with like "hyping a horse up". Yeah, it happens and I can name trainers that do it. Do I agree with it? No. Can I personally do anything? NO. Everytime I disagree with something I turn into the black sheep of the bunch. Do I care? No. But still nothing can be done by ME personally. It takes more than just me.
Like I said, I have been a part of this industry for quite some time now and I have seen a lot of bad trainers in my eyes but damn if I haven't seen some amazing ones too.
I do everything I can to ensure that my horses are happy and healthy but any trainer that reads this will assume that you are bashing all ASB trainers. And as an ASB trainer I have to say How dare YOU judge ME for what you have supposedly seen someone else do. There are bad apples in our industry just like there are bad apples in every industry. If your going to write about how bad ASB trainers are and how we abuse our horses and such why dont you write about EVERY breed. Dont just down ours, get everyone.
The one major thing I disagree with in the ASB business is how trainers take a horse and drop it down in a different division just to win a class. Now thats pitiful.
I dont condone any of what goes on but it is not half as bad as what some make it out to be. Remember, people exaggerate. I invite anyone who wants to see happy horses to come to my barn and take a tour.
I'm sure i'll get bashed for everything I have said but oh well. Do I care? No.

Run4TheBorder said...

Oh and on another note... I have a horse that I use in my lesson program that is my personal trail horse and I rode him on a 10 mile trail one weekend and the next weekend he was taking a victory pass in a show class. All of my horses are let down in the winter and put in pastures to be horses. Plus, in the summer when its show season they are let out in the round pen (outside) to run and play. I have one horse who probably needs pawing chains but i dont have them on him. He paws at the stall until someone comes and loves on him but he is what we like to consider an attention hog. but he is my baby and he can have all the attention that he wants as far as im concerned because he is HAPPY.

Andrea said...

amwbreed said: "The tail set "surgery" consists of a 1/4 inch incision on each side of the base of the tail. It is done with local anesthetic. The origins were to keep the horse from "clamping" the tail down on the driving lines for horses rented out of livery stables."

And livery stables no longer exist and horses are not rented for driving. SO WHY DO THEY STILL CUT TAILS????? FOR FASHION ONLY.

Medically defined, surgery is anytime an incision is made into the exterior skin layer for purposes of changing what's underneath. So no need to use quotes to pretend it's not surgery--IT IS.

To those of you bitching about TJM's video choices: folks, those videos are of CHAMPION horses. If you are saying that she picked poor videos, then why are they up on YouTube for God and all his children to see as examples of CHAMPION horses? Obviously the bad riding is okay to judges if they crown that horse a champion.

I am a TWH owner and sound horse advocate. The only gaited horse shows out here in AZ are geared toward the ASB people because the show managers want money, so they cater to where the money is. WE WATCH THESE HORSES GO AROUND AND AROUND IN THE WARMUP RING WITH FULL BLINDERS ON, TAIL BRACES ON, THE BUNGEE CORD THINGIES TO GET THEIR FEET TO LIFT HIGHER, ETC. ETC. I have been to a large Saddlebred barn here in AZ as I used to be on the Carousel Charity Horse Show show committee and that's where the meetings were. I've toured the barn and asked all kinds of questions. I won't name who because I don't need them to be after me again after the soring horse debacle I went through with them (nevermind that they were stealing money from the Carousel....but that's another story.) ALL OF THE HORSES ARE LIVING IN THEIR BODY BRACES IN THEIR STALLS. I was told by the barn manager that they are not turned out because they would lose their show ring shape.

I watch horses that are hyperflexed with swan-shaped necks and bodies that are literally curved upside down with deep swaybacks being ridden by CHILDREN, for God's sake. So now the kids are being taught that this is an okay way to train and ride horses. And these are NOT old horses in their 20s--they are anywhere from 8 years old to in their teens. These kids are barely in control of these animals. As soon as they stop, the instructor is right there next to them to hold the horse because she knows the child can't control the horse herself.

I will give one of our AZ ASB barns out here this: they have a very good instructor who makes her students learn how to ride bareback first before they are allowed a saddle and bridle. However, the other instructor I see on a regular basis does nothing but tell the students to snatch their hands, smack the horses with the whip and use their spurs to get the horse to move. These children are not learning how to ride--they're learning how to hang on for dear life.

Saddleseat is very beautiful when it's done right. There is no reason why a saddleseat horse (ASB, Arab, TWH, etc.) cannot carry itself in a relaxed and easy frame. I am SO tired of the obvious and confirmed fact that these horses are NOT trained. They are manipulated into these horrible forms through mechanical means. THAT is not training, and those of you who believe otherwise are obviously wearing the same blinders that you put on your horses.


For the Tennessee Walking Horse


When the Rain Horse Comes


The Murder of the English Language

Andrea said...

Run4theBorder,

"I train horses and personally dont like tailsets because honestly they are a pain to deal with. I have maybe one horse that will wear a set a day before we leave for the show."

WTF????? You just said they are pain to deal with YET YOU USE THEM ANYWAY. What's up with that????? There is no requirement in any rulebook used by the ASB industry to use a tail set. If it's such a pain and you are bitching about others complaining about it, then why not set an example and NOT use them? Oh wait, you might not win that coveted championship if you don't because the judges want to see it.

ASB owners, it's this kind of stupid same-sentence contradictions that makes you look like idiots. I hear it ALL THE TIME in the TWH industry. "No, I don't like it, but I do it anyway because the judge likes to see it." If you don't like it, set an example and don't do it, and let the judges and associations know you won't tolerate it anymore. Get your friends to do the same. This way you won't have to worry about your breed being trashed by outsiders. WHAT A CONCEPT!

Andrea said...

vlayne,

YOU GO for supporting no tail sets in the industry. I am happy to hear that the movement is being made. Unfortunately, with the soring of TWHs being so prevalent now, the ASBs are going to see some of that blacklash, so it's very smart of them to make changes before it becomes really bad for their industry.

TJM,

THANK YOU for getting my blood to boil! I am happily heading through another dreary Monday now that I am pumped up! ("Dreary" as in literally as well as figuratively--we have clouds today, rare in AZ!)

chelsea05 said...

That's it. I can't be quiet anymore. You want to talk about horses in pain. Fine. My first ASB was 10 when we bought him. Mean as anything. He would nip and bit anyone or anything he could get his teeth on including my sister. I found out recently that he had been started as a five-gaited horse, what caused his problems, but I'll get into that a little on down.

He came to us from a small, cramped barn in Iowa that looked like he would bang his head on a beam if he held it up like a normal ASB show horse. When he got down here, he had considerably more room and he was still crabby. He had lamness issues every so often and the vet did very thorough x-rays of legs. Never found a thing. A year later, the barn closed due to property leasing issues. He went to a breeding farm close by for some R&R. Within months he was a very happy horse spending all of his time in a large, covered roundpen with open sides. He was essentially "reprogrammed" and sent home to us. He still nipped if given a chance, but only in play. Nothing mean spirited about it. He never wore a tailset again after he came home. His tail had always been plenty flexible and never crooked or immobile like some of you seem to think. I have never personally seen or heard of a horse who had to have it's tail broken inorder to wear a set. Many are turning to stretching the tail using bustles and increasing amounts of lift rather than the "invasiveness" of surgery, as it has been desribed here. The sets are left very loose. Loose enough that it doesn't apply pressure, more support, but tight enought that it doesn't just fall off at regular movement. Sometimes a set is used with a bustle and tail guard to protect the tail from rubbing. No high-tail crupper used there. My boy was content to live the rest of his life as a pleasure horse. He needed his padding and such due to his tendency to stomp and he did it without the shoes on as well so don't tell me it is caused by the shoes. He was a happy camper even when he was sold and moved to another stable where he is currently ridden and shown by a small girl where as he once required a stronger rider for control.

Now I'll explain about his background. He was trained in the gaited discipline as I was informed by another who had seen him as a colt. He did well even as an unfinished horse. The girl's mother then decided to finish him when the girl went to college. He has since never moved more than a slow shuffle in the way of being gaited. I was also informed that the attitude problems emmanated from his back (which we had already known) not because of his tailset directly, but beause of pinched nerves after an accident as a young horse. Supossedly, he decided to be steeple chaser and escaped his stall before jumping into the back of manure spreader which tore his back up causing the pinch. Think about this. The tail cutting loosened the ligaments surrounding his tailbone thereby adding dexterity and easier movement. The tailset, while it did cause pinching that we were unaware of at the time, helped keep those ligaments from healing tight again. With the removal of the set from his life, he then had full use of his tail with minimal to no back pain. You claim that tail cutting is wrong, but sometimes it is necessary to free up a horses tail should there be tightness problems.

TJM-
You claim that conformational faults are what should be taken into account. They are. Sometimes, there is nothing else you can do except teach the horse how to work around those faults. Some horses require a rider to ride useing a single diagonal even though we are taught young that this is wrong and can set the horse off balance. Certain horses, due to training error or conformational faults, need to be ridden this way because they can't keep their balance the correct way. Do you fault the horse for not being able to do something you think is right, when your wrong is right for him?

amwrider said...

Mr. Lavery's comments - he says hours of bitting rig work - again, not the greatest writer. He is indicating hours stretched out over time, not all at once. If you read any more of his training information he does not advocate rushing training. He repeatedly indicates that shorter workouts and excersizes are better for the horse.

I see good hands and bad hands in saddle seat riders, just as in any discipline. I teach both saddle seat and hunt seat. At hunter shows I see riders that have sloppy releases.

I, however am not an internet bully who jets her jollies from poking fun at them and stating they have no business on a horse and claiming that their industry is crap because of those riders.

Riders hands evolve with practice and experience and good training.

Riders with bad hands get put in milder bits and bits with latex wrap so as not to abuse the horse's mouth.

Yes, there are some photos of horses with their mouths open, we don't use flash cavesons, drop nosebands or figure 8 nosebands to keep mouths losed and lips shut. I had one Morgan mare who would go around "popping" her lips (we called her Bongo Lips) in her stall, in the crossties and in the show ring. Every photo I have of that mare shows her "smiling."

Check out these videos from Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ymHYup3hQ&feature=related

Want to see exactly what a posting trot on a big strided horse looks like, check out the slow motion portion of this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ef1Udc3WTQ

at the 2:37 and 3:22 mark. It is Amy Haller on the pinto saddlebred stud Monaco. You can see the strength and velocity of the push from the horse's back end which launches a rider up and forward at a the trot. The horse pushes off the ground and there is a LONG moment of airtime suspension before the horse touches ground again. How many of you people think you can sit or post to that? It takes a great deal of abdominal control to manage this type of trot. A dressage rider would drive her seat into the saddle and come back with the shoulders slightly behind the hip and would open up the hip angle and push the horse into a strong contact on the bridle (with some balancing on the bridle occuring most likely).

We do not want the same look on a saddle seat horse, we post, we don't grab the horse with our lower legs at all we do not let our shoulders drop behind the vertical because this would send the rider's lower leg forward and result in hanging on the mouth. We let our shoulders come forward a bit (if needed) might widen our hand position on the bridle (if needed - sometimes it is a matter of the rider's personal style : Mitch Clark style vs. Tom Moore or Don Harris style) Mitch Clark is on the above video at the 1:15 mark and Don Harris is at the 1:18 mark.

For another video of the "sloppy haha *female* rider posted on the original blog, Michelle McFarlane...she is pictured from a much better angle (video at ground level) riding CH SkyWatch who after his stud career lived out his life at the KY Horse Park Hall of Champions. She is at the 1:31 mark

A yearling is shown in hand at the 1:47 mark and a weanling at the 2:15, you can see how they are presented and also notice that working them in a bitting rig and stretchies would not create the desired look in the show ring....again, the cruel video is a BYB trying to take a "shortcut" with inferior stock.

Here is a nice video with alot of closeups, I don't see people hanging on bridles here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT53t_a3O5Y&feature=related

These videos are more representative of what you see in mainstream saddlebred/saddle seat riding.

vlayne said...

Stretchies are NOT harmful to the horse. Here again is a case of people jumping to conclusions without education. You may not LIKE how it looks, but it does not hurt the horse any more than a good long trail ride hurts your horse.

Properly adjusted (and properly is the key word here), stretchies build muscle and increase a horses' range of motion. Other disciplines use other ways of doing this exact same thing (cavaletti, gymnastic work, etc). Why gymnastics isn't as prevalent in our breed is something I don't know - different origins I guess, but there are lots of trainers including myself who DO use those methods as well. My horses all work over cavs, do trail rides, hill work, but they also work in the more traditional gear.

The stretchies are good for warming a horse up, getting him into the full range of motion his shoulders are capable of. They also build up the muscles in the chest and forearms.

THEY DO NOT CAUSE HARM.

On a weanling or yearling? Only a moron would put them on a colt. Yes, you can do damage using them on a young horse, or for too long on any horse, or if the tubing is too short. You can cause strain and injury. But, you could strain your horses' muscles by going on a too-long trail ride, or jumping one jump too many, or any number of activities we humans enjoy. It takes common sense. Unfortunately no amount of blogging will give that to some people!

Chains are the same way. They are lightweight bracelets, about 8 ounces or so, loosely buckled around the ankle. What do they do? They help a horse develop a cadence and good timing. Yes, I know, there are other ways to do the same thing. But again - there is no harm to the horse, so why does it matter which way we choose to do it? Personally, I think working a horse in circles, repetitively drilling him over and over to create a tempo, is MENTAL abuse. Me? I'd rather buckle on a set of chains, have the horse find his stride in five minutes, and be done with that aspect of his workout. I'm fairly certain my horse would agree... :)

Unlike the TWH world, where painful blistering and soring agents are applied under the chains to make them hurt, in the ASB world, there is no such treatment. The chains make a horse more aware of their feet, their stride and their tempo. We don't use them with the same purpose the TWH people do (to get the horse to "throw" their foot out or to "step out of" the chain because it hurts).

I can totally understand - to people unfamiliar with this, it is STRANGE! And when you read and hear muddled murky stories about abuse, soring, etc. and the stories are lumping the breeds together, suddenly ASBs appear to be undergoing the same treatment. They are not.

Really - if I can educate a barnful of DQs that the chains and stretchies are actually just OUR way of getting the same thing THEY want with their Dressage horses (flexibility, better stride, even tempo)... different methodology, not as bad as they thought. Not their cup o' tea, but not abuse.

Run4TheBorder said...

I said I dont like to take them on and off. I really cant think of a horse in my barn that will have a tailset on them next year thank you. I had a gaited horse that i only put it on him for about 2 hours and after that he looked like he was braced. LOOKED.
Too many people (in every breed) will do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means taking a horse that should be in the open division with a trainer on its back and stick it in the 13 and under division just to win because the poor childs parents would hate to see them get second.
I have two horses with show shoes on and it is only one pad. Nothing really built up at all. If a horse cant show his natural abilities with anything less than a pad and a wedge then it doesnt need to be showing in that divison.
I remember when the horses showing in Academy classes now would have been considered top Show pleasure Horses. NOT Country Pleasure. And for christs sake why in the hell would you want to put show shoes on a lesson horse? I want to be able to take my lesson horses on trails with the kids not be cooped up in a stall constantly. I can name WAY too many people who do this. It even says they arent supposed to but their little loop hole is that it says that academy horses can be shown in country pleasure and show pleasure. Well why would you say this if you dont want them to have shoes on but yet you know good and dang well that show pleasure horses wear pads.
What kills me is that I have some good horses that are RIGHT for their division and yet they get beat by a horse that has NO BUSINESS being in the class.
Things like that should be addressed before we go into all the other things. I did see one judge this year who didnt care who you were and if your horse was right for the division you placed good. I sure wish there were more judges who didnt let friends cash in on favors. But thats politics for you.

chelsea05 said...

About the show horses being/not being let down in the off season, not all horses can do it. My current show horse came to us with a wedge on one foot because he had heel development problems. It took a few years to get his heels to grow out correctly so we could let him down for the winter. Even then, he wears a smaller wedge because he simply can't grow the heel right. It doesn't effect his performance any, but it does throw off his stride if you aren't careful, hence the wedge for correction. Without it, we would be paying a king's ransom in shoeing fees just to keep him sound. As he has aged, hte problem has gotten better and he is currently going down for another rest period. This same horse hasn't worn a tail set since he was 4 with the exception of the the rare occasion when it goes on to maintain a straight and flexible tail. You can find bad examples for anything if you look hard enough. But you shouldn't drag an entire industry down because of a few meatheads who decide to take short cuts without full knowledge of how and why the devices are used.

amwrider said...

Just want to add for Trojan Mouse, you are soliciting photos and stories of rescue horses that are going on to be show horses. I have one for you. A 14 year old Saddlebred gelding that was sold at auction and bought by the Amish as a 4 year old. He spent 10 years with the Amish and was sold at New Holland in August 2007 to the kill buyer. He was rescued by Saddlebred Rescue and adopted by me.

Since October 2007 he has been in my lesson program taking children around at Academy shows. He has turned from a grouchy hollow, empty shell of a horse into a goofy comedian who loves the kids and absolutely LOVES the show ring.

sidenote- yes horses can and do love the show ring, at the FL state fairgrounds our warmup ring is attached to the show ring with a chute, I had a mare that would try to leave the warmup ring and take the chute. She would hear the music and crowd in the arena and go for it! She carried a lot of kids into the ring for their first show and I always had to tell them to "pay attention" by the chute.

Back to the gelding, he and one of my younger riders will be leaving Academy for 2009 and will be going in the Country Pleasure classes. As a "broken down" Amish horse I don't think he will be very competetive, but we might surprise ourselves. He will be an ambassador for Saddlebred Rescue which has been the recipient of the 2006 Heroes for Horses award by the USEF and Saddlebred Rescue has also been greatly hearlded by your pal FuglyHorse.

As for the tail stretching, yes. More and more people are turning to this over the tail nicking, matter of fact a customer recently bought Vlayne's former horse who has not had her tail nicked, but rather stretched.

* glad to see you join in on this vlayne*

As for the headers in the lineup on kids classes, yes it is true. For safety reasons headers are allowed in youth classes in case a horse doesn't want to stand in the lineup. Accidents are not common at all (if they were, helmets would be a requirement, not just an option).

Leslie said...

I forgot to comment on this:

"I ate sweetfeed mixed with hot water at one show, because I didn't get paid till it was over."

And none of the horse owners had moral qualms with not tipping one of the grooms?

Where was this barn? 1872?

If this is all true, I feel like it's a case where you can and should name names so that people don't give them their business. But I have to say I'm skeptical.

amwrider said...

Amwrider> sidenote- yes horses can and do love the show ring, at the FL state fairgrounds our warmup ring is attached to the show ring with a chute, I had a mare that would try to leave the warmup ring and take the chute. She would hear the music and crowd in the arena and go for it! She carried a lot of kids into the ring for their first show and I always had to tell them to "pay attention" by the chute.<

also adding this same mare did saddle seat, would jump crossrails, would trail ride and swim creeks, climb embankments, my 10 year old niece would ride her bareback with halter and lead in an open field and take small jumps this way, I later trained her to neckrein and we rode her western, and she also drove (but driving was not her favorite).

I owned her from age 3 until she coliced and died on the surgical table at age 15. She never took a lame step up front, she did have a stifle issue after a slip and fall however. She was shod with an even weight shoe with a 3 degree plastic wedge and leather pad on one foot and a 3degree plastic wedge and two leather pads on the other foot. She was clubby footed so this allowed us to keep a longer foot on her and maintain her angles. Because of the clubbiness of her foot she would have uneven motion so we had a 4 oz lead on the toe of her clubby foot to make that foot reach more rather than curl more so it would even out her stride.

Again, this mare never took a lame step in the 12 years I had her in which she was a show horse, trail horse and lesson horse.

amwrider said...

Chelsea, I haev one like this in my barn also, a 17 year old gelding who we have to keep a pad on one foot. He gets turned out anyways in the dirt turnout paddocks with his buddy. We keep some heavy duty bell boots on him but still manages to rip his shoe off every once in a while.

cattypex said...

"after doing some serious thinking, I realized that was all BS. Tradition be damned. My horse deserves better."

That's awesome. I wish that could be the mantra of all showpeople in all disciplines. KUDOS to you for that!!!

I still don't understand why bitting rigs exist anymore. I mean, a living breathing horse shouldn't be "set" like a beehive with Aquanet, he should be organically flowing and moving like... like.... like......... Daniel Day-Lewis' hair in Last of the Mohicans.

Side reins, too. Pffft.

As for bits... there are so many theories and magical spells surrounding bits!!! A spade bit horse is (properly, anyway) the result of years of hands-on training. I'd think a good Saddleseat horse would be a product of the same theory. I hope so.

Some of the ASB owners' comments have really given me hope. I hate it when people lose sight of the fact that when all is said and done, their super fancy expensive investment of a show horse is... a living, breathing, feeling animal.

vlayne said...

Cattypex, I have to respectfully disagree with your conclusions about bitting rigs and side reins.

They are wonderful instructional tools for a horse. The caveat is - when used correctly! Just binding a horse up into a "frame" and then expecting them to stay that way is NOT how they're intended! Sadly, there are people who do use them that way. Again, slap them upside the head and then education education education! :)

For example, my new horse spent over a year on vacation, hanging around in a pasture. Upon purchasing him and putting him back to work, we discovered he was VERY VERY VERY heavy in the bridle. Now, whether this was from poor prior training or having a year off, I do not know. But, I did not want to ride him in that state - it would just be a tug of war between us, (with him most likely winning due to the sheer STRENGTH this boy has), and if I actually was able to work him through it, he'd most likely have a sore mouth and my arms wouldn't work for a week!

So, he got to wear a bitting rig, daily, for about 15 minutes per day, for a few weeks. Most days he was turned loose in a large round pen to "work it out himself", other days he wore it in his stall as a "warm up" to being ridden or driven. But - it taught him something. It taught him that, if he pulled, yanked, whatever - there was NO give. Guess what he learned?

To stay SOFT! Not to BOTHER with yanking on the reins or trying to pull his rider over his head.

No, it was not the be all end all of his rehab - but it was a START. It "rewired" him and I was then able to start fixing him. From that point, he relearned how to wear his bits, quietly. It took months of getting him back into shape, getting his mind back into the right mindset "I'm not on vacation anymore" and getting him limber and flexible. He is STILL a work in progress - we ended our show season MUCH improved but still with a ways to go.

Bitting rigs are very helpful training devices. They teach a horse something, and they learn on their OWN about cause and effect. There is no rider, with an ill-timed or ineffective cue, to mess it up.

And once in awhile, he wears it before we ride, just as a reminder. Horses always need refresher courses.

amwrider said...

Cattypex>I still don't understand why bitting rigs exist anymore. I mean, a living breathing horse shouldn't be "set" like a beehive with Aquanet,<

Sidereins and bitting rigs are used in the saddle seat industry to work horses from the ground. Rather than just lunging, we set the horse up to carry himself as if he were being ridden, but by long-lining we give the horse a break from undersaddle work. A horse should not be pulled in with the side reins, the horse should be set in a way to where he has room to come back off of any bit pressure.

When starting out in training, the lines are typically longer and the horse being long-lined is bumped back off of contact with the bit. As the horse developes the musculature and strength, the reins are gradually tightened. It is about development of the shoulder and crest, relaxing and softening the jaw and poll, and developing athleticism with a nice, easy workout. The undersaddle work mirrors this same desire. A light contact with many litle bumps, squeezes or half-halts to bring the horse back off of the bit and carry his own head.

Leaving the bitting rig on for too long or bitting too tightly too quickly will result in a horse whose neck will tire and will learn to lean on the bit for support. This is not something that we want or desire.

What is desired is a horse that will pick up in the bridle, tuck in the nose with minimal touch, look through the bridle with happy ears.

Check the videos I posted a couple of posts ago. This is the mainstream saddlebred world, not the idiots with the weanling and yearling. Those are the exception, the bottom feeders that try to "win at all costs" but the apparently are not winning because they are not in any of the posted show results going back to 2002.

cattypex said...

Hmmm.... I appreciate developing neck muscles, but what about back muscles? I've seen a LOT of old saddleseat Arabs with pretty, archy necks - and the swayingiest backs you could imagine!

I'll go look at the videos, but a lot of the EP/Park/firebreathing SS horses I've witnessed travel with intensely upside down, "braced" postures. This bothers me. A horse's mouth meeting with NO resistance bothers me A LOT. It goes against every other discipline. Using contraptions to acheive this... freaks me out.

Understand, though, I don't know your horse personally, or how extreme his heaviness was. In theory I really hate draw reins, side reins, bitting rigs, and those rubber tubing thingies to pull babies' feet up. But maybe your horse was a desperate case, dangerous to you and himself, and so desperate measures were in order.

But all these contraptions are weird and silly, and I think people like them because - like home "chefs" with $10,000 stoves - it makes them LOOK like experts. To make the extremely artificial gaits and movements the norm... well, human vanity knows no bounds.

I'd not compare a tailset to a bra... more like a forced boob job done at gunpoint.

If you have read any of my comments from previous posts, you will see that I'm really weirded out by the concept of "Frame" and "Headset," which in my mind also translate to the WP "Peanut Roller" crap, dressage Rolkur, etc.

"Attractive, forward way of going" - now THAT is something to see. Maximizing a talented horse's true beauty using minimum interference - now THAT is a great thing to watch. You see it from time to time, I've seen great examples in many disciplines, saddle seat included.

I just don't get why so much weird artificial stuff is standard training equipment. I don't get why a winging, paddling gait is desirable. I don't get why a bugeyed horse is flashier than one who merely has the "snob" look that certain stallions do so well.

cattypex said...

PS: Can male SS riders PLEASE sit up straight!?! And no more lipstick on 10 year olds.

I saw some really nice equitation on a lot of the woman/girl riders on those videos, thanks for reminding me what a GOOD saddleseat rider can look like, esp. the ones with forgiving hands.

But the guys are all hunched over in their pimp hats, looking like they're up to no good. What is UP with that!?!?!

And I still HATE that tail nicking!!! Why not unilaterally ban it, grandfather all the older horses, and be done with it?!?! The wacky long feet, too.

The state of Ohio banned smoking in restaurants, so many people got their panties in a tangle over it, but y'know what? Life went on, people still eat out, and it's a lot healthier for everyone. Too bad a lot of breed registries don't have the same cajones.

tunagirll said...

"I'll go look at the videos, but a lot of the EP/Park/firebreathing SS horses I've witnessed travel with intensely upside down, "braced" postures. This bothers me. A horse's mouth meeting with NO resistance bothers me A LOT. It goes against every other discipline. Using contraptions to acheive this... freaks me out."

That's becuase it's a different discipline with different goals.

It would make as much sense to state that becuase a jumper is not going like a hack, there is a problem.

tunagirll said...

Anyhow I notice that while the OP is happy to argue semantics with resondants all day, it appears that on the issue of what to actually do about it, the silence is profound.

vlayne said...

It's almost like the old timer's techniques were lost in the fog of gimmicks and toys that came out over the years, and now people are rediscovering the old ways and putting them to use. It's an exciting time to be in the SS industry! I'm learning so many new things almost every day about how to get the best results from my horse NATURALLY, and these tidbits are coming from the TOP of the industry!

The word is, work your horse DOWN. Meaning, long and low. Not long and low in dressage terms (that's a bit TOO long and low for us LOL) but NOT checked up and squeezed into a frame! Me, ever the skeptic, who learned at the hands of the gimmick lovers, tried it. I love my horse, so why the heck not... Guess what?! Gasp! It works! As well as or better than any trappings, toys and gear out of the funbag. Woohoo!

As I said, the tide is turning... people are rediscovering what the old timers from the early days knew. There are ways to get the motion and headset we desire, without the crap.

Now, that's not to say there's no place for the "toys". When used judiciously, there IS a time and place for them. But not for a trainer to RELY on (or make himself "feel" like a trainer), but as a temporary aid to "break through" to the horse when nothing else is working. Once the horse "gets it" then it's time to put the shortcuts away and go back to work.

Lookie here: http://www.breedersguide.com/images/SkyWatch.jpg

This is CH Sky Watch, one of the greatest Saddlebreds ever to grace the earth. I know it's hard to see, but that horse has a TINY foot and a regular ol' keg shoe on, no pad. His boots are simple leather, no weights added. His trainer is Mitch Clark, one of our greats, who understands how to get the most out of a horse without resorting to gimmicks.

This horse is not FORCED into that frame - his conformation lends itself naturally to it. You can see the IMPULSION in his trot. You can see him looking through his bridle without any stress in his neck or jaw. Nice squatty rear end. No dropped back - it is level and working. And look at the RIDER... classic line - bit to hand to elbow, well balanced center of gravity. This is EXTREME to the max... and just about as perfect as one can ever get on a Saddlebred.

I'm sure some of you don't like it. But hey, that's the great thing about life - we all LIKE different things. It keeps the world interesting!

But assuming this was achieved with torture devices and unnatural training is not fair.

Just like a GOOD Quarter Horse will know how to chase cows, and a GOOD Tbred can run like the wind or jump fences, and a GOOD Arab can go on a 100 mile ride without breaking a sweat or a fingernail, and a GOOD Warmblood can piaffe - so too a GOOD Saddlebred can assume this attitude, this "frame", without much effort other than a general daily workout. You'll see them as colts doing this EXACT same thing trotting in the field. That's how we pick a good one.

Poor or uneducated trainers take their horse, strap it into this frame, slap some heavy shoes and stretchies on it and chase it around. You know what? They are only fooling the uneducated. Those in the know, we ain't fooled one bit. They don't win in the ring, their "efforts" are not rewarded, and they fade away.

There are no enablers. People who misuse their tools and mistreat their horses do not last long.

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GoLightly said...

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw

"Uhm no lameness issues in any other breed? Pleeeeasssee!"

I never said that. Please read carefully.

Trojan Mouse said...

Vlayne,

Thank you for the very clear explanatory post. If more people were like you then their wouldn't be a blog post about the ASB. I also appreciate you admitting that you had to change *your* opnions about the abuse issues first, before working to get changes made.



I'll disagree with you about Mr. Lavery. He's still setting tails, advocating more severe bits and enjoying it when horses by his "mexicans". I have no use for racist horse abusers.


TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

Chelsea,

>You claim that conformational faults are what should be taken into account. They are. Sometimes, there is nothing else you can do except teach the horse how to work around those faults. Some horses require a rider to ride useing a single diagonal even though we are taught young that this is wrong and can set the horse off balance.

Let me clarify something: Showing is where the *best* of a breed are brought to perform. If a horse has such bad conformational flaws that he can't even be ridden on both diagonals then he needs to stay home and be a trail horse. To continue to abuse him by trying to force him into a mold he will never fit is disgusting.


And I'm glad you brought up the diagonals issue, because WTF wis wrong that the top level gaited horses can be ridden an entire class on the wrong diagonal or wrong lead and still win the class? Do you understand how much this makes the ASB look like a laughingstock? How much it makes top ASB trainers look like idiots to the rest of the horse world. I bitch about the stock breed riders all the time, but at least they get their diagonals and leads.

TJM
TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

Vlayne,

>There are no enablers. People who misuse their tools and mistreat their horses do not last long.

I disagree. People who do not stand up against even one case of abuse are enablers. The people that wasted time bitching about this blog when they should have been ripping the USEF a new one about allowing ginger and tail sets are enablers. If as much energy had been put into bitching at the industry, as the trot.org people put into bitching about me then there wouldn't be any need for me to blog about the ASB show industry.

I've gotten almost as much email about this blog post as I did about the Icelandics. The majority of the mail has been very anti-tailsets, leg chains, harsh bits and poor riding. People don't like it. So either clean it up, or face the public derision.

TJM

Trojan Mouse said...

In answer to the question of whether I like saddleseat or not:

I love seeing a good saddleseat horse. I think they are elegant and flashy. I love the clothes, especially evening formal wear. There is nothing more delicate or beautiful then a high stepping filly with fire in her eyes trotting around the ring like she's barely touching the ground.

Sadly this image is almost aways over shadowed by a trip through the barn where the same filly is found miserable in a bitting rig and tail set, her feet too long for good leg and back health and her lack of social skills very apparent.


I got to watch my niece compete in saddleseat last year. It was a trip watching her wear her mother's old saddlesuit and setting her gelding into a high flashy trot. Pretty little girls in pinstriped suits, with formal hair styles and snappy hats are wonderful to behold.


TJM

amwrider said...

I didn't find Mr. Lavery's comments racist. He was laughing at the situation, not making fun of them.

amwrider said...

Incorrect diagonals will count off in an Equitation class where the rider is being judged. It does not count off in a performance class where the horse is being judged.

Incorrect leads will be counted off against and will bring a top horse down in close competition, but usually what I have seen is that if the lead is corrected and the horse is *clearly* that much better than the rest of the competition, then sometimes the horse with the mistake can and does win.

Conformation counts the most in, what else, halter classes. Just like in other breeds.

When in doubt, go to the rule book. There is judging criteria indicating how much performance is weighed vs. conformation, manners, appointments, etc.

Tuffy Horse said...

Vlayne wrote:
>Chains are the same way. They are lightweight bracelets, about 8 ounces or so, loosely buckled around the ankle. What do they do?

They smack against one of the major soft tissue of a horse's foot and cause thickening of the coronary band. I have seen chain damage up close and helped treat it. It is not just a case of a bracelet on their ankle. I have seen horses with the hair removed from their pasterns after so much use. I have seen keloid scarring after chain use. I have seen cystic heel bulbs after chain use.
Chains belong on the trainer, not the horse.

>They help a horse develop a cadence and good timing. - there is no harm to the horse, so why does it matter which way we choose to do it?

Tell you what. Go get an 8 ounce big link chain and put it around your ankle, right above the bone. Then go jog for a few miles with it against your bare skin. Do that several days a week and then come back and tell us how your ankle feels.

>Me? I'd rather buckle on a set of chains, have the horse find his stride in five minutes, and be done with that aspect of his workout. I'm fairly certain my horse would agree... :)


The chain doesn't create balance, it creates speed and pain. Texas A and M did an infrared heat study on various bell boots, gaiters, ankle chains etc, this was about 15 years ago. They proved conclusively that the chain smacking against the heel and front of the foot created heat, as well as damage to the subdermal blood vessels. The heat took a long time to disapate after the exercise was stopped, mainly due to the fac the blood vessels would engorge from the constant damage. It also showed that horses with normal chain and boot use had more constriction in their lower leg blood vessels, which could result in greater instances of laminitis and founder.

Anything that HITS the skin is causing subdermal damage. If you horse needs cadence then work him over cavaletties until he learns stride length and meter. Don't beat his legs up with a chain.

Tuffy Horse said...

AWM rider,

>When in doubt, go to the rule book. There is judging criteria indicating how much performance is weighed vs. conformation, manners, appointments, etc.


I'm sorry, but as a judge I find it offensive that anyone would place a horse ridden on the wrong diagonal or lead over a horse that is ridden correctly.
There is NO other equine discipline, barring timed events, where this is allowed. Leads and diagonals are a basic precept of proper riding and training. The horse isn't the best if he can't perform basic functions on cue.
If the issue was just about how the horse looked, and not the rider, then all ASB shows would be nothing but liberty classes where the horse ran free and showed what he could do without some incompetant oaf on his back.

Tracy M

amwrider said...

Trojan Mouse>And I'm glad you brought up the diagonals issue, because WTF wis wrong that the top level gaited horses can be ridden an entire class on the wrong diagonal or wrong lead and still win the class? Do you understand how much this makes the ASB look like a laughingstock? How much it makes top ASB trainers look like idiots to the rest of the horse world. <

You exaggerate, they would only be on the incorrect diagonal for half of the class....

ASB trainers look like idiots to the rest of the world? Wow, I wonder how we end up with so many USEF Horseperson of the year awards. Michelle McFarlane should give hers back.

Leslie said...

"If as much energy had been put into bitching at the industry, as the trot.org people put into bitching about me then there wouldn't be any need for me to blog about the ASB show industry."

Meh, the tailset issue has been discussed (and bitched about) ad nauseum on the trot.org forums long before you ever wrote this charming piece. It's a very divisive issue in the breed. Frankly, I suspect tailsets will go out of fashion as the old timers gradually shuffle off the mortal coil and more trainers and owners are willing to go the natural route. That's already happening, but these things take time.

As for convincing the USEF to put in a ginger rule, it's unlikely. There used to be a no ginger rule in Morgans, but they got rid of it because there was no practical way to test for it. The AMHA insisted it wasn't condoning the use of ginger by nixing the rule, just getting rid of a rule that was unenforceable. I'm not positive, but I think the same is true of Arabs. I don't think you can get rid of something like that through rules. That just sends the practice behind the barn. I think it's up to the BNTs to take a stand and say no, they're not going to put irritants in sensitive places for something as asinine as tail carriage. Then the kids who learn from them will follow suit.

And then sunshine and happiness will ensue.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:

>I didn't find Mr. Lavery's comments racist. He was laughing at the situation, not making fun of them.

Having grown up in the southwest, in a large Hispanic community, I found his comments very racist. He had to apply a label to the people that his horses are biting.
And evidently he got the hint that his page was not PC because he changed the wording from Mexicans to Caretakers in the one story, although he forgot to change it in the one where the pony bites the Mexicans in the field. If he's not throwing racist labels then why not just call the barn help by a generic term, such as hmmm "barn help" instead of pointing out they were Hispanic? He makes the point that the horses bite the Mexicans, as if they'd never dare bite a white person.

Tracy M

cattypex said...

" tunagirll said...

That's becuase it's a different discipline with different goals.

It would make as much sense to state that becuase a jumper is not going like a hack, there is a problem."

Fair enough, I don't know a whole awful lot about the 2,639 different divisions! ; ) It would be super confusing to me, starting out showing!

Vlayne, I'm GLAD to hear that ASB people are getting more into the real training and less into the "toys." That is always good for the horses. The horse that you posted still looks stressed to me, but for all I know it's at the end of a long photo shoot on a warm day. That dude on his back still hunches like a hippie driving a VW bus though!! ; ) The girl riders still look better in all the stuff I looked at today. Ha ha, are we surprised? nah.

All this nonsense with tails will always be very strange to me - as strange as the weirdness that surrounds stock breeds' tail obsessions. It's so very superficial.

Glad to hear from people like you and AMRider, who explain things clearly. I'll probably never be a saddleseat rider myself, any more than I enjoy riding in most Western saddles, because the leg and hand positions would make me feel odd and perched. But that's just ME. Other people switch disciplines just fine.

I'll never like tailsets & altered tails, I'll never like stretchies, I'll never like bitting rigs... I can sometimes understand side reins or draw reins, I guess, in the RIGHT HANDS, as a temporary aid, but not as a primary schooling tool.

I can CERTAINLY appreciate the true finesse and hours of patient work that it takes to turn out a really good show horse, when it's done within the realm of "normal" equipment.... that is, stuff that enhances desired natural traits without being damaging to a horse's physical or menal well-being. I suppose it boils down to that.

If a rider is listening and learning, and if the horse is happy (and there are MANY prima donna ponies who LOVE to show!!), then I'm happy. It takes me a lot of blahblahblah to get there, eh?

amwrider said...

Tuffy>They smack against one of the major soft tissue of a horse's foot and cause thickening of the coronary band. I have seen chain damage up close and helped treat it. It is not just a case of a bracelet on their ankle. I have seen horses with the hair removed from their pasterns after so much use. I have seen keloid scarring after chain use. I have seen cystic heel bulbs after chain use.
Chains belong on the trainer, not the horse.<

I have never in my 20 years with the industry seen hair removed, keloid scarring or cystic heel bulbs. This is with Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, Hackneys and Standardbreds. I also have NEVER had a founder or laminitic episode in any horse in my care or under my training.

What you have seen is common in walking horses and comes from the application of caustic substances to the skin to cause irritation when the chain hits the leg.

>Tell you what. Go get an 8 ounce big link chain and put it around your ankle, right above the bone. Then go jog for a few miles with it against your bare skin. Do that several days a week and then come back and tell us how your ankle feels.<

I came from the hunter world and when I moved to my current city I rode at a barn where the trainer had hunters and saddlebreds. I saw the trainer working a saddlebred with chains on and made a comment. My trainer asked me to take off my boots, she then took the chains off the horse and told me to put them on and run around the stable yard with them and tell her if they hurt. They did not.

>The chain doesn't create balance, it creates speed and pain.<

It does not increase speed. Chains used to be used on standardbred trotters to help with cadence at the trot. While they did help with cadence, their repeated use caused too much knee action which slowed the horse down.

Chains do not cause pain, they improve cadence and timing more than anything else. My favorite chains are aluminum and jangle nicely.


>Texas A and M did an infrared heat study on various bell boots, gaiters, ankle chains etc, this was about 15 years ago. They proved conclusively that the chain smacking against the heel and front of the foot created heat, as well as damage to the subdermal blood vessels. The heat took a long time to disapate after the exercise was stopped, mainly due to the fac the blood vessels would engorge from the constant damage. It also showed that horses with normal chain and boot use had more constriction in their lower leg blood vessels, which could result in greater instances of laminitis and founder.<

A study done on walking horses. I remember participating on a discussion on this on COTH. I will have to see if I can find it. I do remember that there were some important questions that came up regarding the study and its validity. This on a Hunter/dressage forum, not a saddle seat forum.

amwrider said...

TuffyHorse>Having grown up in the southwest, in a large Hispanic community, I found his comments very racist. He had to apply a label to the people that his horses are biting. <

ummm....well I grew up in a Hispanic household....being that I am Hispanic.

Yes, he could have called them caretakers but he didn't. Some people just are not as PC as others.

He called them by what their nationality is. If he had called them "fence jumpers" or "wetbacks" then that would have been a racist comment.

amwrider said...

*The Auburn study summary of the research done from Sept. 1978 - Dec. 1982 reports, "Thermography was very effective in the diagnosis of inflammatory responses and healing processes." (They found that the use of thermography was effective in detecting inflammation caused by certain training techniques use by some Tennessee Walking Horse trainers.)

*Determination of Theraputic Patterns in Response to 10 oz. Chains:
- Three horses (#s 3, 4, and 6) were fitted with 10 oz. chains according to the USDA, APHIS, Veterinary
Services regulations. "Results of this study provided that by day 7 of exercise with chains, lesions can
be produced on a horse's legs." "Thermographically, horses exhibited altered thermal patterns as early as day 2 of exercise with chains. These altered thermal patterns persisted as long as chains were used."

"It took about 20 days in recovery to obtain normal thermal patterns."

*"Thermograms and pressure readings readily distinguish a normal, unsore horse from one being treated WITH CHEMICALS on the pastern and exercised in chains."
*A stallion was "exercised and monitored nine times 9/22 - 10/3 in 8oz. chains for 15 minutes each exercise period. Vaseline was used as a lubricant." Results of this study showed that the stallion developed raw, bleeding lesions on the SCARRED pasterns when exercised in action devices and lubricant.
"Abnormal thermal patterns developed on the pasterns of the horses during the period of exercise in
action devices and the drop in pressure readings occurred."
*"14oz. rollers and 8 and 10oz. chains will cause raw lesions on SCARRED pasterns of horses when the
horses are exercised 15-30 minutes per day in action devices. Lesions occur in less than 2 weeks, even
when the horses are not exercised on weekends. The actions devices cause irregular thermal patterns
detectable by thermovision, increased sensativity to pressure on the pastterns, and discomfort and
altered gaits visible to observers."
-------------------

Note that this was a study on Walking horses. Their gait is vastly different than a trot and because of the arc of the footfal, a chain does sling around and slap the pastern more heavily than a chain would at a trot.

Note that I have capitalized a few words here. The lesions were produced on horses that already had scars. The study was done on horses that were chemically treated. The exact agent appears to have been Absorbine linament because not long after the study released it's thermal imaging, Absorbine used the SAME thermal images from the study in their advertising campaign.

amwrider said...

Forgot to add that the Auburn study also showed that working horses in chains that were 6 oz or lighter did not cause any changes.

Again, pointing out that walking horses have a completely different "flight-path" of their hoof than a horse at the trot has, even a high-stepping trot where the chain hits the hoof with the greatest velocity, not the pastern.

amwrider said...

Also, throwing this in for measure. This supports what I have said about pads maintaining the proper angles when we grow the toe out to make a better trot.

This is a letter from the American Farrier Association to the USEF
****************


January 10, 2006
Mr. John Long
CEO
United States Equestrian Federation
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511

Dear Mr. Long:
As the premier farrier organization in the world, we were recently asked to offer our opinion on a proposed
rule change relating to the shoeing of the Morgan horse.
In general terms, we have no issue with the proposed changes and will continue to support the humane
treatment of the horse and the horse's feet.
Specifically, pads do not hide a sore foot, nor can they. If a horse is being sold and a pre-purchase examination
is done the shoes will be pulled. When showing a horse then we acknowledge that weight and length
give us animation. If we leave a toe long to obtain length we lose hoof pastern axis. This is why they are
then wedged up to maintain a proper angle. Adding the pads also adds the weight to accentuate the animation
and also protects the sole and frog of the hoof.
Sixteen ounces is certainly not excessive shoe weight. A keg plate will often weigh 12 or 14 ounces. This
weight is definitely needed if we are going to shoe them like a show horse and provide adequate posterior
support.
Toe clips and bands are not detrimental to a hoof. In fact they help alleviate the stress on the nails and
minimize the chances of throwing a shoe and breaking the wall of the hoof off. Bands should only be
tightened up when the horse is being worked or shown and then they should be immediately loosened.
If additional information is needed, please feel free to contact us directly.
Most respectfully,
Bryan Quinsey
Bryan J. Quinsey
Executive Director

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWRider wrote:
>I have never in my 20 years with the industry seen hair removed, keloid scarring or cystic heel bulbs. This is with Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, Hackneys and Standardbreds.

Then you seriously are NOT looking for it. Or, like the person that admitted they used to buy into the whole "discomfort for showing" thing, you're ignoring it.

I've seen cystic heel bulbs on polo ponies from wearing bell boots too much, so there is no doubt it can happen on any horse wearing chains. When I showed my Arab in saddle seat I had a trainer try to convince me that chains would improve him. We went for two rides with 6 ounce chains and my horse ended up with red sore spots on his heels. He also moved like a piston, instead of his usually nice long floating gait. It was awful. You'd think that after all his years in SS Alfredo Ortega would know how chains should be set, so I'm sure his application wasn't trainer error.

>I also have NEVER had a founder or laminitic episode in any horse in my care or under my training.

So what? I've never had one either, but I'm not denying it happens simply because it hasn't happened to my horses.

>What you have seen is common in walking horses and comes from the application of caustic substances to the skin to cause irritation when the chain hits the leg.

It's also common in any breed that works in chains. I was immersed in the Arabian horse industry in Scottsdale during the late 70s early 80s, I know what chains, rattlers, stretchies, running W's and such can do to a horse. I was there when the NSH made its debut and the ASB trainers jumped right into the mix to help promote this "new" breed of horse. They brought all their toys with them, much to the disgust of the good trainers.

>My trainer asked me to take off my boots, she then took the chains off the horse and told me to put them on and run around the stable yard with them and tell her if they hurt. They did not.

Oh to be sure. Did you wear them at a fast jog every day for a weak with already sore skin under them? You sound just like the TWH people trying to excuse their chain use.
"It's just like a woman wearing a watch." Well I wear a watch every day and when I jog with it and the band is loose it drives me fricking nuts and rubs a sore spot on my wrist. And it has a flat leathe band and rounded edged watch casing.


>The chain doesn't create balance, it creates speed and pain.<

>It does not increase speed.

Sure it does. The horses pick up and put down their feet a lot faster.

>Chains do not cause pain,

Here you go again. Are you saying that in every single instance on every single horse in the history of ASB showing no horse has ever been injured with a chain? Poppycock.


>The Auburn study summary of the research done from Sept. 1978 - Dec. 1982 reports, "Thermography was very effective in the diagnosis of inflammatory responses and healing processes."

That study is 30 years out of date. Ultrasounds and infrared have replaced that study. You might as well compare x-rays with MRIS.

>Services regulations. "Results of this study provided that by day 7 of exercise with chains, lesions can be produced on a horse's legs." "Thermographically, horses exhibited altered thermal patterns as early as day 2 of exercise with chains. These altered thermal patterns persisted as long as chains were used."

"It took about 20 days in recovery to obtain normal thermal patterns."


Well there you go, sounds like the chains HURT the horses.

>A stallion was "exercised and monitored nine times 9/22 - 10/3 in 8oz. chains for 15 minutes each exercise period. Vaseline was used as a lubricant." Results of this study showed that the stallion developed raw, bleeding lesions on the SCARRED pasterns when exercised in action devices and lubricant.


WHOOPS, another horse hurt with chains.


>Note that this was a study on Walking horses. Their gait is vastly different than a trot and because of the arc of the footfal, a chain does sling around and slap the pastern more heavily than a chain would at a trot.


Ok, get a grip. The percussion from a trot is way more than from a pace, this is a known and proven scientific fact. More percussion means more damage. If the chains are doing that kind of damage to a horse at a running walk then they will do double the damage to a horse at a trot. Why? Because a pace stride swings mainly from front to back with maximum lift coming at the end of the stride. A trot stride goes up and down with maximum lift in the middle of the stride. More percussion.

>Also, throwing this in for measure. This supports what I have said about pads maintaining the proper angles when we grow the toe out to make a better trot.

You completely MISSED the point of the letter you posted.

>If we leave a toe long to obtain length we lose hoof pastern axis.

He's saying right here that long toes are BAD. In other words DON'T grow out the toe, instead pad it to create the desired angle.

Seriously every argument you posted simply verified what I said before. Chains cause damage that is detectable by scanning. Long toes are bad.


I'm still mystified as to why you keep arguing these points when there is NO justification for using chains, growing long toes or having tail sets. Clean up the fricking industry and people will quit bitching. Quit taking the side of the abusers.
And if you're mad about having your show industry knocked on then imagine how mad the rest of us are having to watch you defend inhumane practices. It's sick.
We're not stupid. We know what a horse in pain looks like. You're not talking to the rainbow and unicorn crowd here. Readers are judges, trainers, breeders, veterinary workers. Readers have multiple breed back grounds, we KNOW the limitations on what a horse can and can't do.

I have to go back to what Trojan said: Enough with the chocolate sauce, we know it's not a sundae under it.


Tracy M

MKrause said...

AWMRIDER,

You're really not helping. In fact, some of your statements make it even more convincing that there is a lot of denial and covering up of abuse from Saddle Bred trainers.

I have looked at this issue for a few days, doing my own research, and trying to keep an open mind, but I keep coming back to some of the things the blogger posted and I end up having to agree with her. The abuse is out there, it's much more prevalent than most ASB people admit, and the horses are the ones suffering for it.

I'm also finding things she didn't mention on this blog. Why are people breeding for such soft backs? I know Saddle Breds have a flatter croup and more upright neck, but no horse needs to be standing stretched out and still have a deep dip in its back. Even babies are showing this unsound conformation. There is a lot more out there that I have seen on Saddle Bred farm websites that disturbs me greatly. I think the blogger did a disservice to the horse in not drawing our attention to these things and only focusing on the show ring.
I think there are big problems with the people that run this lovely breed, and they are ignoring abuse and instead closing ranks to protect their traditions, instead of protecting their horses.

Madgelyn

amwrider said...

Tuffy, yes it is a 30 year old study but *I* am not the one that brought up the study, someone else did and incorrectly stated the findings. I merely posted some of the actual findings. I am familiar with the study and can post the ENTIRE document here if neede. It is 13 pages.

AGAIN THESE WERE FINDINGS ON SORED HORSES - on TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES not saddlebreds

These horses were CHEMICALLY ALTERED PRIOR TO USING CHAINS

So yes. the chains were bad in this study.

There may be more percussion to the sole of the hoof at the trot, but we are talking about the swinging of chains on a pastern. Again, I will state that the Running Walk of the TWH is vastly different than the trot or rack of a saddlebred. The chains on a TWH are slung around and smack the pasterns to a MUCH greater degree than it does on a trotting saddlebred. Percussion at the time the hoof hits the ground has very little if anything to do with the matter.

Unlike some people who keep bell boots on their horses 24/7, chains are used for the 20-30 minute workout then removed.

This is an example of what the Auburn study was researching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWM-VCCS09g&feature=related

So your chain experience on your one horse makes you an expert. That is very nice to know.

amwrider said...

Mkrause, the American Saddlebred Horse Association is helping out (and funding also I am pretty sure)with a University of KY research project regarding lordosis in Saddlebreds. We don't like to see it either but it does crop up in some bloodlines but the specific gene or the specifics of inheritance (if any) hasn't been found yet to my knowledge.

It is a deformity in the shape of the vertebrae, instead of being "boxy" they are somewhat triangular.

I attended a session at the United Professional Horsemen's Association back in 2003 or 2004 in which the topic was brought up. This is a concern in the industry and it is still one of the reasons why in our championship performance classes the horses are stipped of tack in the lineup.

I suppose the trainers could take the horses out back and shoot them, but they make pleasure horses and equitation horses out of them instead.

amwrider said...

MKrause>"You're really not helping. In fact, some of your statements make it even more convincing that there is a lot of denial and covering up of abuse from Saddle Bred trainers."<

Be specific, what statements? I am not denying the use of ginger, tailsets, chains, padded shoes, etc.

I am stating that there are idiots and abusers out there but they are not the norm.

Regarding the AFA letter I posted, I never denied that long toes are detrimental. They ARE detrimental if the angles are not maintained by pads. Did the fact that the USEF asked the AFA if the shoeing was cruel and the AFA said it was not cruel or detrimental not register?

The post has been full of inaccuracies and outright lies for the point of sensationalism.

Hmmm, if not for Vlayne and I and a couple of others, people would think the following:

*that tailsets are speculums (Trojan Mouse)
*Caulking Boots are action devices (Trojan Mouse)
*Michelle McFarlane is a bad ...male...rider (Trojan Mouse)that can hardly keep a horse between herself and the ground (Gabriella)
*all weanlings are bitted and lunged (Tuffy)
*all saddlebred riders hunch over their horses shoulders (Gabriella)
*saddlebreds never get turned out or see the light of day (gee, Trojan again)
*tail bones are broken (Trojan)

MOST IMPORTANTLY
*saddlebreds are inspected by the USDA (Trojan Mouse)

^
|
|

That right there tells me that Trojan has our breed confused with the Tennessee Walking Horse. That right there tells me she doesn't know what she is talking about.

Her specific comment:
If show ASBs aren't abused then *why* do the USDA inspectors show up at the shows? Why are there several ASB rescue organizations that tout the abuse in their own industry? Why are you denying something that has had federal officials cracking down on it?

No USDA inspections, no "several rescue organizations" as we pointed out (I support and promote the ONLY ASB rescue in the country and KNOW this to be a false statement), no federal officials cracking down on us.

The list goes on and on of the inaccuracies, falsehoods, bad research on the part of the blogger, etc.

I am here to denounce the inaccuracies, falsehoods and lies.

Beckz said...

What I fail to understand is that, if as a reader from NZ who has barely heard of saddleseat, I can understand that she is talking about some individuals in the SS world, then why can the people in the SS world see that she is saying that.

It is the responisibility of all people in a sport to to stand up and say when something is wrong, however, and this is the point being made.

AWR if you are going to quote studies, why not use something from the last decade or so. Science is a changing and evolving world and information from 30 years ago is not valid.

tunagirll said...

Come on now AMWrider, you know nothing sells as much as scandalous sensationalism LOL

It's MUCH more exciting than plain old boring facts ;)

amwrider said...

Sigh -

BeckZ. I am only bringing up this study because someone else brought it up and mis-quoted it.

TUFFY said
The chain doesn't create balance, it creates speed and pain. Texas A and M did an infrared heat study on various bell boots, gaiters, ankle chains etc, this was about 15 years ago. They proved conclusively that the chain smacking against the heel and front of the foot created heat, as well as damage to the subdermal blood vessels. The heat took a long time to disapate after the exercise was stopped, mainly due to the fac the blood vessels would engorge from the constant damage. It also showed that horses with normal chain and boot use had more constriction in their lower leg blood vessels, which could result in greater instances of laminitis and founder.

Anything that HITS the skin is causing subdermal damage. If you horse needs cadence then work him over cavaletties until he learns stride length and meter. Don't beat his legs up with a chain.
-----------

BeckZ, I know of no other studies. I would love to have my hands on a more recent study on the matter but there isn't one. This is THE study that is ALWAYS quoted even to this day.

I quoted the study to indicate that the study was done on already sored animals that were already scarred, the study showed that chains of 6oz or less showed no indication of pain, heat or tenderness, thestudy was NOT about 15 years ago and was not by Texas A&M. She had a lot of facts wrong and was passing on a lot of misinformatino from a study she has probably never even read, just *heard* about.

GoLightly said...

So, I guess that heartbreaking "Harley" TWH video (dreams come true), looking for all the world like a distorted, deformed camel, is the "ultimate" in what the various SS breeds are trying to emulate?
Did you see how that horse was moving?
Pardon me while I puke.
Sorry.
I don't think anyone wants horses to go like that?
Oh, wait, right, they do.

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GoLightly said...

What on earth do credentials have to do with this discussion? I have eyes, I can look at horses with my own eyes.
It's about abuses in the show ring. I have an opinion, I am allowed to voice it, or is that also illegal in your world?

asb
You sound like a changing force. Keep it up, your horses need you.

I have 43 years experience in horses. I have clearly stated "where" I come from. Is that not enough?
Can't we look honestly at the abuses, without worrying about who is doing the criticizing?
There are abuses in my own H/J industry. It is no worse, no better.
There is shame in all show rings. This blog, I thought, was to try to help change that.

I have no doubt you love and care for your horses. I comment on what I see.

TJM has posted videos that any horse person can see is abusive. I'm glad it isn't everywhere. I don't believe that it doesn't happen at all though.

"Penalization for lordosis, penalization for horses being lame while showing, and a knowledgeable way to approach this is what is needed. Again I request we focus on that."

enough said.

GoLightly said...

Oh, and "Not another word until we "see" your credentials?"
I call freedom of speech. It's legal. Deal with it.
I'll continue to comment as I see fit.
Thank you, TJM.

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

OMG, I LOVE it when ASB people try to use the Auburn study to back up their claims.

1. The Auburn study was bought and paid for by the TWH sore horse industry. People I know who were showing at the time told me that the data was manipulated to make the TWH trainers look good.

2. TWH people still go against the HPA and use heavier chains than what is legallly allowed in the show ring. The heavier chains HAVE been proven to cause ringbone when used for extended periods of time.

3. NO ONE who uses the Auburn study to back up their claims mentions the fact that the study found that the long toes and short heels of the TWH causes more cases of laminitis and the wedge shoes cause more cases of thrush than in any other breed. I think the same can be applied to the ASB.

I appreciate the education of those of you who are ASB trainers on here. The problem that I think you are missing is that the horse community overall is changing. True horsemen no longer use double bits, gadgets, and gimmicks to supposedly train horses. It's only very high levels of training of horses that are in their teens that learn about double bits (see the Vienna Riding School), and even then it's all done through years of careful training. All you guys are doing is manipulating the horse into doing something you want the judges to see. You are NOT putting in years of quality training to get a horse fine-tuned under saddle like a high level dressage horse. I cannot believe that 2 and 3 yos in the ring are that fine-tuned--it's not possible.

No, stretchies don't hurt a horse. Neither do full blinders or wedge pads. But they look awful and freak out people who don't know anything about the breed. Do you realize that when your horse is carrying all that gear in the warmup ring that it causes people to go WTF is wrong with those people that they treat their horse like that? Outsiders see it as abuse. They're not going to walk up to you and ask about it--they're going to walk away shaking their heads and go tell their buddies how horrible it looks. I've heard it myself and said it myself. Sure, I understand now why they do it, but it's still looks horrible.

I watched some awesome dressage riders this weekend. The horses were second and third level and were soft in the bit, carrying themselves gorgeously with natural impulsion and quality muscle tone, and moving per the slightest touch by the riders. The riders even demonstrated throwing away the reins to show how well balanced these horses were and how they stayed in their frames of their own accord. These were horses that were close to 10 years old.

Then I watched a woman ride a 3 yo Gypsy Vanner stallion in "hunt seat." She was hauling on his mouth, causing him to overflex, and kicking him hard in the sides with heavy spurs to get movement out of him. It was awful. The poor horse was being forced into frame and was obviously upset. I heard the owner/trainer say outloud that he's a stallion, so you need to haul on him and you have to expect this resistance. The poor animal was resisting because he was in pain, NOT because he was a stallion. I was NOT impressed.

So when we hear ASB people saying the same types of things to their riders and see the horses overflexed and with swaybacks and bug eyes (even if they're bred for it), what are we supposed to think? To an outsider, they look like they're in pain, NOT like they're having fun.

Do you see what's going on here? People no longer tolerate gadgets and gimmicks to get a horse to ride a certain way. They want to see horses moving naturally, just like in their dreams of the Black Stallion and watching Cloud on PBS. Whether ASB people like or it not, the resistance free approach is the new horse community, and they'd better get used to being bashed if they want to continue as is.

GoLightly said...

asb today
"I’m just looking for a collective way to present this to the associations to create a direction in which we want to go, i.e. “I was at a horse show and observed a gentleman riding a lame horse in the warm-up ring, he continued on to show the horse and took a second place. Is that an acceptable practice in your discipline?” Those letters would raise eyebrows... Not, you are just so mean to your horses! See where I am going here?"

Absolutely.
Good luck.
I firmly believe that coherent, calm, non-mud-slinging discussions will help facilitate change. Change is needed. Keep it up.
The horses need you.

I do apologize for my opening post.
In that sense, I was doing exactly what isn't needed. But, you must agree, the videos can be painful to watch, and I react in kind.
My opening post was indeed inflammatory. But I must say, watching some of the other videos TJM has also posted, I do usually react straight from my heart. If it looks painful, it usually is.
I have watched and enjoyed watching the good horses, in any discipline.
The abuses need to stop, in all disciplines.
I also agree with Andrea vis-a-vis her comments on 2&3 years olds being "trained" to this degree. I understand it is economics. It is still wrong, from the stand point of asking the next to impossible from a very young, immature animal.
You'll notice the yearling & weanling videos have been taken down by the video producer. Those videos were truly appalling.

To All Horses.
We need to watch out for them, and all critters.

chelsea05 said...

GoLightly said...
>So, I guess that heartbreaking "Harley" TWH video (dreams come true), looking for all the world like a distorted, deformed camel, is the "ultimate" in what the various SS breeds are trying to emulate?
Did you see how that horse was moving?
Pardon me while I puke.
Sorry.
I don't think anyone wants horses to go like that?
Oh, wait, right, they do.

*****************
That is NOT what we want our ASB to look like. That is a TWH and they are an entirely different industry. The photo Vlayne posted of Skywatch is the look we go for in the ASB industry. Impulsion coming from the hind end thereby free up the front to move with more action. We use certain devices to educate the horse. We don't leave them on for hours at a time and they always have supervision. Chains, stretchies, leather bands (used like chains), and other such action devices are taken off about half way through a workout. They are only used for the trot while chains are used in teaching the slow gait and rack so the horse can hear his cadence. These action devices are all taken off before cantering and the workout usually ends with a second trot in one or both directions to reinforce what we are teaching. This second trot is done without action devices. We don't force things on our horses. If a horse doesn't show some talent for the rack, he doesn't learn it. If they are having too much dificulty picking up a certain gait, we try to end a training session with something they are good at and try again another day. Many times, these young horses are taken away from the training just ridden out and about on trails or on a short tour around the farm. We take the conformation into account for our biggest shows, but there will always be those who feel that they can get away with bad conformation. And you know what? Sometimes the horse with a lower back is just that much better than the other horses in the ring.
The diagonal issue is only a factor for equitation. Having shown in equitation for about 12-13 years, I know correct form and proper cues. Some horses have such a square balance on their own, that you can't feel any difference between diagonals. Others, changing diagonals is like riding a jackhammer. A good equiation rider can ride what ever they are presented with and make it look easy no matter what the horse is doing. Been there, done that. My first show horse was stubborn as a mule and cantered like a freight train if you didn't have your hands set just so. He had a tendency to grab the bit or run through it if you were heavy handed. Some of the best mounts for young kids have been firey, leg-waving fools, but they would never take a single misstep, back an ear, or misbehave. One of the best at this was a horse by the name of Oh So Elegant. Equitation perfect, but still showy enough for a performance class if you asked him. Our big performance horses can usually (I say usually because there will always be exceptions) canter on cue for the correct lead AT HOME. Shows are a completely different ball game. They get wound up and anticipate the nest step. The noises and flashes all around end up causing them to jump sideways. The riders get in a rush and don't set up properly. I've done it, I've seen it, and many of us have. It happens and the rider does their best to correct the mistake in the time allowed.
BYB and the scum who have their heads so far up their sphyncter that they can't tell their nose from their gallbladder are the ones who see equipment used and missinterpret what they see. They fail to ask questions, just monkey see monkey do. They take a useful aid that can be helpful in the right hands and they twist into a torture device. These are the people who turn out the horses that end up needing rehab before anyone else will dare get on. Our horses generally get at least one day off, 2-3 thorough workouts a week, and the rest is just light work maybe hand walking. Many horses, like my current ASB, cannot be turned out due to shoeing issues. As I have previously stated, he wears a wedge due to heel development problems. We cannot take it off until his heel grows out correctly. As it is, he wears a smaller wedge and plain kegs during his down time. The shoeing issue that some of you seem to have sounds like you simply misunderstand. The long toe is trimmed on a regular basis and angles are caluclated every time. pads and wedges are used to keep those angles correct. Small amounts of lead or weighted rubber are used to correct a horse's tendency to step on their toes or heels-natural problem not caused by shoeing.
Tailsets-I personally see no use for them outside of the few weeks it takes for the ligaments to heal after a cutting and maybe once or twice a year to keep the tail straight and flexible. Tail cutting is still precticed and I have no problem with it, but I also support the use of stretching instead. However, stretching the tail doe not mean the tail can just stay out of a set the moment you get it where you want it. These horses have to wear the sets more often than those with (properly) cut tails. I've been in the industry since I was 5. I've seen it and I may not agree with all of the uses, but it does serve a purpose that is far from torture. Tails are kept in the best condition possible and excessive rubbing is dicouraged by use of tail boards and guards. Before you get all outraged on me, the tail boards are boards set on the perimeter of the stall low enough that the horse cannot rub on them, but high enough that they are not a safety issue. The tail guard is a metal frame that sits around the tail while in a set attached on either side of the crupper or bustle. It isn't heavy and many just use a bucket to achieve the same the same goal. Again, the moment any irritation is detected from the set, it is removed and any sores are treated with great care.
We pamper our show horses to a high degree. We are even doing as much as we can to prevent their hooves from getting too dry. Stalls are cleaned at least twice a day and bedding changed every week. Tack is selected to have the most comfortable fit we can manage. Bridles are fitted meticulously and bits are chosen by which one the horse responds to in the most desirable way. That is with a soft supple mouth not requiring a heavy hand and without trying to spit the bit or run through it. Adjustments are made as needed should a horse require a shorter/longer curb chain or a tighter/looser/no caveson on a given day. Work bridles are used as often as possible to not sour the horse to his full bridle. Once a horse learns how to wear it, the full bridle is then taken out of the picture until a few weeks prior to show time.
To clarify on the ginger issue as I can't recall if someone has already said this, it has a use for horses who like to tuck their tails and hunch up. It is a last resort for when all else fails to discourage this behavior. Unfortunately, it does get used in the show ring for those horses whose trainers think they need a high tail carriage in a PLEASRE CLASS. I get so irked at this use. I've seen a horse come into the warm up wearing a brace and not enter with the other horses who were wearing them (the only class left was a pleasure class). When told that braces weren't allowed in pleasure classes, they promptly went back to their stalls, removed the brace, and slathered on the ginger. I was siting astride my own pleasure horse at the time with my trainer standing at my knee. He said exactly what I was thinking. That those people would do anything to get ahead of their competition even though the horse wasn't all that good. I know that some of the BNT's take short cuts, but they make the mistakes, try to correct it, and move on. Go ahead an tear my words apart. Twist them into what you think they should mean. It doesn't change the truth of what you are turning a blind eye to.

asb today said...

Well I must say if you see this there is a email address on the ASHA website. Use it...

Now we are on the same side of the fence.

ASBs are trained at 2. They typically mature at 4. Their show career typically ends by 12. Sometimes they show on to 18 but typically 12.

The last couple of years the winning 5 gaited Grand Champion of the World's Championship has been 10. So it is of note that the older horses do better.

Past that letter writing is needed. I don't believe bungies on a weanling is necessary. But that was not my weanling.

I agree some videos are painful to watch but many things are painful. Dwarf minis are very painful to see. Reining horses so stiff in their back legs that they "need" their injections. I just know that I have heard comments such as, "I don't want to take the saddle off with that back." Whereas before there were no concerns. So progress is being made.

Write your emails, voice your concerns, don't loose sight of the natural course. The different disciplines will adapt to what is desired.

amwrider said...

ANDREA said
OMG, I LOVE it when ASB people try to use the Auburn study to back up their claims.

1. The Auburn study was bought and paid for by the TWH sore horse industry. People I know who were showing at the time told me that the data was manipulated to make the TWH trainers look good.

3. NO ONE who uses the Auburn study to back up their claims mentions the fact that the study found that the long toes and short heels of the TWH causes more cases of laminitis and the wedge shoes cause more cases of thrush than in any other breed. I think the same can be applied to the ASB.

----------------------

Hello Andrea, I am an Andrea also. I understand that you have your own little anti-soring blog. Kudos for you, but you are not working with accurate facts. From what you have posted you have not read the study, you are only going off of hearsay and propaganda.

The study does not mention anything about thrush or laminitis. The study is very detrimental to the walking horse injustry and the only good thing that has come about it is that is shows the 6 oz chains are not harmful and that when horses are built up (the study uses an 8 degree built up which is typically more angle than would be used on an ASB) the study shows that there is some inflamation when the horse is put immediately to work but it is temporary. It also shows that there is inflamation when the horse is brought back down off of wedges and the angle is decreased by 12 degrees. Any horseman worth his salt can tell you the same thing.

The study was not paid for by the TWH industry and it paints the industry in a VERY BAD light.

I an email you the entire 13 page study, I have it in a word document.

Clayton, Katie & Calloway said...

Ignorance breeds more ignorance.

I hope to everything good in this world, TJM, that you don't take it upon yourself to procreate and spread your ignorance and lack of education into children.

I've said this in every single debate I've ever gotten involved in: educate yourself before you open your mouth. You never know who'll take ridiculous bullshit and spread it around.

amwrider said...

I am VERY ANTI SORING and more power to you on your blog Andrea.

amwrider said...

Just want to clarify a statement

------
ASBs are trained at 2. They typically mature at 4. Their show career typically ends by 12. Sometimes they show on to 18 but typically 12.
----------

Their Performance show carerr typically ends at 12 but they often move on to the pleasure horse ranks, junior exhibitor ranks, equitation or the breeding shed.

I have known many horses competing at the World that have been in their late teens and early 20s.

amwrider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kross said...

One of the things I have caught is that many seem to be getting their ASB info from the ASB's in AZ. I recognize exactly what trainers are being sited as the examples being given. Unfortunately like everywhere there are shining examples and "I hung my shingle therefore I am" examples. But you don't have too many of either out here to make such gross generalizations regarding saddleseat riding, ASB soundness, etc.
While I agree it is gross to see young horses be worked too young the ASB is not the only breed... just treated a bowed tendon on well broke yearling reiner w/a well known reining trainer. (who has more young horses w/soundness issue than I have ever found in ASB show barn). I can tell you of horror story after horror story of soundness issues from "natural horsmenship", from back yard trail riding, etc.
My purpose isn't to compare the ASB
to any of these but if the intent of this blog is to "clean up" "create change" would you not be better served to point out the what is wrong in the entire horse industy than picking a breed/style for the week?
Yes let's talk about young horses being pushed before they are ready. Yes let's talk about horses not suitable for a discipline being pushed for that discipline.
All attacking one breed/style/etc., as shown here, does is allow those that don't participate in that breed or style to carry-on in a holier than thou attitude and put us breed/discipline supporters on defense.
For those of you in AZ that would like to learn about the American Saddlebred and try riding one, I invite you to Scottsdale Saddlebreds.
For the rest of you in other parts of the country I am sure we will see many more offers being posted. We have nothing to hide and nothing that we are ashamed of regarding the care and the behavior of our ASB's.

Kathleen

Ps. Mr. Lavery and Mr. Millet are fabulous trainers that I would put a horse w/out fear of abuse of my animals. Michele McFarlane is spectacular horsewoman. They were poor choices to use for attack. On the other hand I would absolutely agree on several for the other examples sited.

amwrider said...

TMJ has a young daughter and she wrote a wonderful piece that made the internet buzz not too long ago, I can't remember right off hand.

my mistake, Jean M (Tuffy) I think is the one that wrote the poem. I also think that maybe Tuffy and Trojan are related.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMwRider,

I wrote the piece Because My Daughter Grew Up With Horses. Not Trojan.


>I still think you either were not looking at an ASB competition, or you were watchnig someone bitting and long-lineing hackney ponies which can look like little saddlebreds.

Hackney ponies aren't 15 hands tall. I also never stated that we saw the young horses being show, I said we saw them being lunged. For all we know they were merely there to get experience being hauled and staying at the show. I do that with young horses, so I imagine other trainers do too.

And there were no breeds on the grounds other than the ASBs and Appaloosas. The Hunt facility does not have the capacity to run more than two breed shows at once.

And yes Trojan is my sister, as anyone that has read this blog or fugly well knows.

Tracy M

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:
>You exaggerate, they would only be on the incorrect diagonal for half of the class....


No, she's not exaggerating. I dumped a trainer that was on the wrong diagonal the entire class and he was pissed about it. I asked him why he rode that way and he said he rode on the wrong diagonal to make his horse balance TOWARD the rail, so it wouldn't pull into the centere of the ring so far on the curves. I told him if his horse couldn't balance on a curve then it definitely wasn't the best horse in the class, regardless of how high it stepped and I would continue to dump him if he used the wrong diagonal.


>ASB trainers look like idiots to the rest of the world?

Yes. Attend any of the big multi breed horse expos and you'll hear the derision.


Tracy M

Tuffy Horse said...

Leslie wrote:
>As for convincing the USEF to put in a ginger rule, it's unlikely. There used to be a no ginger rule in Morgans, but they got rid of it because there was no practical way to test for it. The AMHA insisted it wasn't condoning the use of ginger by nixing the rule, just getting rid of a rule that was unenforceable.

Poppycock. Ginger is a caustic. A simple wipe with a PH strip would detect it.

Tracy M

amwrider said...

Tuffy>
Poppycock. Ginger is a caustic. A simple wipe with a PH strip would detect it.<

So, have you suggested this little tidbit of information to the USEF? To the AMHA? To the AHA?


15 hand yearlings in the spring? Well we must grow them real big then. I wonder how big they would be in the fall?

OK, so they were not Hackneys, at 15 hands in the spring I'll bet they were not yearlings either. Shall we now call them 2 year olds?

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW wrote:

>There may be more percussion to the sole of the hoof at the trot, but we are talking about the swinging of chains on a pastern. Again, I will state that the Running Walk of the TWH is vastly different than the trot or rack of a saddlebred. The chains on a TWH are slung around and smack the pasterns to a MUCH greater degree than it does on a trotting saddlebred. Percussion at the time the hoof hits the ground has very little if anything to do with the matter.



Seriously, I know you're trying to discuss this reasonably but you are saying things that directly contradict the biomechanics of the horse. When the hoof hits the ground anything around the top of the hoof HITS the top of the hoofs, does a percussion bounce and hits the hoof again. This is split second action. Then add in the motion of the hoof being drawn up and flung foreward again and you've got the chain rapping the top of the hoof at least four times during ONE stride. Stick some ankle rattlers on and do jumping jacks and try to count how many times the rattlers go up and down during each jump, it's more than once.

Newton's Theory backs me up, The laws of physics back me up. The chain doesn't just drop and stick to the hoof until the next stride ends. It is in constant movement, just like the leg is, during the course of the stride.

Tracy M.

amwrider said...

Tuffy, you also judge Open shows, you are not carded for ASBs.

Your quote:

"I judge open shows. A lot of open shows, probably 30+ a year. In this area, as well as NC and WV, there are mixed classes with ASBs and Walkers, as well as classes that are specific to both breeds. The things I have seen while judging would make your hair fall out. You can't discount what happens at open shows, because this is where a lot of trainers go to acclimate and test out their young stock, or fix problems on older stock."
-----------

That is exactly the point. To ACCLIMATE AND TEST OUT and to FIX PROBLEMS. If the horse is going to blow a class, better it be at a little inexpensive show than to spend hundreds going to a rated show to have the horse be an idiot.

You are villifying an entire industry based on what you see at an open show where the above goes on and also where the BYB and POS trainers compete because they can't be competetive elsewhere.

Your trainer that you elimiated for the wrong diagonal could very well have been a POS trainer or BYB. A person who shows on the ASB circuit usually doesn't go to an open show for the ribbons. The big barns go for the practice and ring-time.

Tuffy Horse said...

AWM rider wrote:
About supposed inaccuracies:

*that tailsets are speculums (Trojan Mouse)
*Caulking Boots are action devices (Trojan Mouse)
*Michelle McFarlane is a bad ...male...rider (Trojan Mouse)that can hardly keep a horse between herself and the ground (Gabriella)
*all weanlings are bitted and lunged (Tuffy)
*all saddlebred riders hunch over their horses shoulders (Gabriella)
*saddlebreds never get turned out or see the light of day (gee, Trojan again)
*tail bones are broken (Trojan)

MOST IMPORTANTLY
*saddlebreds are inspected by the USDA (Trojan Mouse)

You haven't disproved a thing. Most of the above are analogies so your argument is specious at best, full scale denial at worst.
Tails ARE broken in some cases, I've seen them. You can deny it all you want but I have seen the tails and seen the X-rays. As a vet tech I've seen some pretty horrible stuff done to show horses.

USDA inspectors have inspected ASBs at open shows in Virginia, I have had to stop judging because of the huge blow ups when the inspectors show up and trainers start scrambling to get their horses in the trailer before the inspector can see them. It's not just walking horses either. The whole gaited crowd scrambles when the inspectors show up.

No one ever said ALL weanlings and yearlings were bitted and lunged. Instead YOU denied that it EVER happened and I found a video that proved it did.

I have personally been in the dark and horrific ASB barns and they are common in this area. We looked at 43 horse properties prior to moving to VA. Three of the barns were gaited horse barns, one specifically an ASB barn. I gave up trying to find a decent barn because they were all dark, gloomy and unsuited to raising happy healthy horses. So we built our own barn with open work stalls and indoor/outdoor access runs.


Furthermore you continually harped on the trot.org board that you PROVED I couldn't have seen saddlebreds at the Raleigh show and then NEVER retracted your statements when I corrected you here. The horses we saw in the barn, the horse that fell out of the trailer and the yearlings we saw being lunged WERE ASB's. It was a show run concurrently with an ApHC show at the same grounds.

I'd say the greatest amount of misinformation has come from the ASB people.

And I don't care how much the trainers you keep citing here have won, when someone looks at the videos, or reads the websites, of these people, they come off as being the low end of the training industry. They put the videos out there and websites on the internet for people to see, so they can't blame anyone of themselves for the poor public perception.

You're pulling the "not my kid" denial method and all it does is show that you'll try to excuse abuse by pointing fingers at everyone but the problem causers.

Tracy M

amwrider said...

Tuffy, YOU are the one that keeps changing your story.

You originally said that

"Anything that HITS the skin is causing subdermal damage. If you horse needs cadence then work him over cavaletties until he learns stride length and meter. Don't beat his legs up with a chain."

you also said
"They smack against one of the major soft tissue of a horse's foot and cause thickening of the coronary band. I have seen chain damage up close and helped treat it. It is not just a case of a bracelet on their ankle. I have seen horses with the hair removed from their pasterns after so much use. I have seen keloid scarring after chain use. I have seen cystic heel bulbs after chain use.
"

I pointed out the differernt foot flight paths and said that the chain/skin issue is harder on the TWH because of the differnece in gait at a TWH big-lick vs. an ASB trot.

You are the one that misquoted a study that I am correcting on here. Why are you trying to change the story?

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW wrote:

>15 hand yearlings in the spring? Well we must grow them real big then. I wonder how big they would be in the fall?

>OK, so they were not Hackneys, at 15 hands in the spring I'll bet they were not yearlings either. Shall we now call them 2 year olds?


Again, you are trying to come off as reasonable, but you're really an enabler. There are certainly ASB yearlings that are 15 hands in the spring of their yearling year. There are Appaloosas that reach that height, so it's not a stretch to see a big strapping ASB at that height.

Here are some over 15 hand yearlings that have late spring birthdays, so they won't really be two for another 6 months.


http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php?form_horse_id=1336439

http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php?form_horse_id=1334340

http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php?form_horse_id=1323800

I found those with barely any effort.

You're just going to have to face the fact I saw big yearlings in bitting rigs, being lunged while at an ASB show.

Tracy M

amwrider said...

I have personally been in the dark and horrific ASB barns and they are common in this area. We looked at 43 horse properties prior to moving to VA. Three of the barns were gaited horse barns, one specifically an ASB barn. I gave up trying to find a decent barn because they were all dark, gloomy and unsuited to raising happy healthy horses. So we built our own barn with open work stalls and indoor/outdoor access runs.


So, out of 43 barns they were all dark but only 3 of them were gaited on only one of which was ASB. Sounds like a regional occurrence, not an ASB occurrence.

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:

>I pointed out the differernt foot flight paths and said that the chain/skin issue is harder on the TWH because of the differnece in gait at a TWH big-lick vs. an ASB trot.

>You are the one that misquoted a study that I am correcting on here. Why are you trying to change the story?

I didn't change anything. I have never changed my point that chains CAUSE DAMAGE. You misquoted the Auburn study. You even used the farrier's letter out of context. You haven't corrected anything and in fact you're digging yourself in deeper by showing your lack of knowledge on how a horse's leg and foot work.

You still aren't getting the fat that a trot creates MORE percussion than a pace. This is a proven fact. And ASB will strike the ground harder than a TWH. The swinging motion of the TWH's stride will created LESS percussion with a chain than the up and down motion of the ASB.

I mean, come on now, this is basic horsemanship here.



Tracy M

grace_morgan15 said...

"Tails ARE broken in some cases, I've seen them. You can deny it all you want but I have seen the tails and seen the X-rays. As a vet tech I've seen some pretty horrible stuff done to show horses."

Everytime this part of the topic is discussed, a question comes to mind. Are you sure that the broken tails are the result of a tail set? If so, how do you know? Do the owners state that the horse was in a tail set and broke their tail?

I am not taking a stance on tail cutting, just simply asking for clarification.

*ASHLEY*

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:

>So, out of 43 barns they were all dark but only 3 of them were gaited on only one of which was ASB. Sounds like a regional occurrence, not an ASB occurrence.

They were too dark for my standards. But in proper context, the bigger barns we looked at were show barns and the majority of "horse properties" we saw were in reality hobby farms, something our realtor didn't understand the distrinction of.
However the bigger show barns, which had the stall numbers I wanted, also would have cost me a fortune in remodeling.

If you want to keep arguing semantics then go ahead, it's not doing anything but exercising your fingers.

None of you posts have helped the cause of the ASB, they've only shown how willing the people in the breed are to misquote and misdirect in order to protect their torturous traditions.

Tracy M

Tuffy Horse said...

grace wrote:

>Everytime this part of the topic is discussed, a question comes to mind. Are you sure that the broken tails are the result of a tail set? If so, how do you know? Do the owners state that the horse was in a tail set and broke their tail?

The reason I was given was that the tail "nicking" procedure didn't have the desired effect, so the tail base was broken and then left in the set until it healed in the "correct" position. It is probably not a common occurence, but to my way of thinking even one deliberately broken tail is too much.

Tracy M

Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:
>Your trainer that you elimiated for the wrong diagonal could very well have been a POS trainer or BYB. A person who shows on the ASB circuit usually doesn't go to an open show for the ribbons. The big barns go for the practice and ring-time.

I'll agree that he was a POS, but he's also a big name around here. I've seen him show at Lexington, VA and in NC.
A lot of big trainers regard open shows as training grounds for their young horses or problem horses. I've judged horses at open shows that are regional and national champions in various breeds and disciplines. Open shows are a good way to tune up without the expense of a big show, or long distance hauling. So don't discount the level of expertise at an open show.

Tracy M

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuffy Horse said...

AMWrider wrote:

>>Poppycock. Ginger is a caustic. A simple wipe with a PH strip would detect it.<

>So, have you suggested this little tidbit of information to the USEF? To the AMHA? To the AHA?

Let me ask you something: Why is it that the ASB people want the outsiders to make the noise? I just gave you the information so you can research it and do something about protecting your breed. It's not MY job to fix the public image of YOUR breed.


If I can find the information out, mainly through self education and research, then ANY horse person can too. I CHOSE to learn about equine bioomechanics, it didn't take a college course to get the information. I CHOSE to learn about drugs, caustics, bits, morphology and all the other stuff ANY good horsemen should know. The first thing I do when I research a breed is throw out the trappings and mythology and get to the basics of what the horse is conformed like and how he is affected by the various agents and leverages used against him. If more people would view horses in this manner there would be a lot less abuse.


I find it amazing that people spend less time learning about their horse than they do about the contestant's on Survivor each week. READ for chrissake.
Read about ALL breeds. Read about ALL methods of riding. Read about the hoof, legs, mechnical joint structure. Fricking educate yourselfs.

Because here's what is going to happen if you don't:
The PETA and HSUS people are going to READ and they are going to formulate an outstanding campaign against your section of the horse industry. And if all you have in your armory is some misquoted articles, breed mythology and a scorching case of denial, they are going to construct a case of public outrage against you that will dismantle your breed.
They've been focusing on racing and rodeo for now, but make no mistake that they will turn their eye to the show industry and put more pressure on us. It is imperative that we have legitimate abuse studies, that we have harsh punishments for abusers and that we can counter any attack with valid scientific studies, as well as visual proof. It is mandatory that we remove any of the trappings that give the perception of abuse to the public from the show industry. This includes tail sets, padded hoofs, bitting rigs, breeding for genetic defects, two year old futurities, deaths from extreme jumping courses and other things that get the public worked up. If we don't gt rid of these things you can bet that PETA will make sure they not only get rid of them, but the show industry as a whole.


Be non-reactive at your peril.

Tracy M.

Tuffy Horse said...

I decided to look up the caustic agents in ginger and found this on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figging

So don't try to tell me that ginger doesn't hurt the horse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenylpropanoid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerol

So don't tell me that the show management can't do a swab test and detect it.


READ people. Learn about this crap instead of just taking some trainer's word for it that it doesn't hurt the horse.

Look of the definition to "gingerly"
It means to move carefully, as if in pain. Such as having a piece of ginger stuck in your rectum.

All the clues are there, you just have to follow them to get the real answer.



Tracy M

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuffy Horse said...

Asb wrote:
>I didn't see the broken tail you did, I didn't hear the reasoning behind it, you did. Close your blind eye and point the blame to me? Wow... there is the pot calling the kettle black.



You're completely missing the point. Even if not everyone witnesses the extreme things, such as tack boots and broken tails, they do witness the tail sets, bitting rigs, chains, long feet and abuse at shows. Most abusers don't bring the extreme things to show, you only see those at the home barn, and then only if you catch them unawares.
It's the pulic abuses you need to be working against right now. These are the ones that PETA and HSUS are going to take on first, since they are the easiest to gather evidence of.

Delay at your peril, because you can be that the extreme animal activist groups are working on it right now. A bunch of misinformed ASB trainers testifying before congress is only going to hurt the case. All it will take is a few videos like the ones I found on youtube, a couple case studies and some horror stories from people that have rescued saddlebreds and you'll find your industry turned upside down.


And for the record I have turned in complaints, as a judge and as a an observer at a show. I've turned in complaints in the stock horse industry too, so I'm not just spouting off and not doing it myself.


Tracy M

asb today said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigdog said...

they cant even agree on the tongue tying thing. I cant believe they allow it! Thats just horrible. check out this out

http://www.trot.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1069

Trojan Mouse said...

bigdog,

The trot.org group is a committed group of enablers. They'd rathre spend their time bitching about me than cleaning up their industry.
Doesn't matter to me, it gives me stuff to blog about.

I do wish they'd take the time out to actually consider the damage that gets done to the horse, while they discuss how tongue tying, long feet and chains don't actually hurt anything.

As long as they continue to support poor training techniques I'll have stuff to write about. It's a win/win situation for me, and a lose/lose situation for the horse.


Jean

Trojan Mouse said...

Tracy,


Looks like you've been busy this afternoon, must be the rain keeping you in.

>The PETA and HSUS people are going to READ and they are going to formulate an outstanding campaign against your section of the horse industry. And if all you have in your armory is some misquoted articles, breed mythology and a scorching case of denial, they are going to construct a case of public outrage against you that will dismantle your breed.
They've been focusing on racing and rodeo for now, but make no mistake that they will turn their eye to the show industry and put more pressure on us. It is imperative that we have legitimate abuse studies, that we have harsh punishments for abusers and that we can counter any attack with valid scientific studies, as well as visual proof. It is mandatory that we remove any of the trappings that give the perception of abuse to the public from the show industry. This includes tail sets, padded hoofs, bitting rigs, breeding for genetic defects, two year old futurities, deaths from extreme jumping courses and other things that get the public worked up. If we don't gt rid of these things you can bet that PETA will make sure they not only get rid of them, but the show industry as a whole.


I think this is one of the most erudite things you've ever said. I'm going to borrow it for the front page so people will know what this blog is about, and why bitching at me is a waste of time.


Jean

GoLightly said...

bigdog
Wow, thanks for that link.
wow.
"I do wish they'd take the time out to actually consider the damage that gets done to the horse, while they discuss how tongue tying, long feet and chains don't actually hurt anything."
Um, yeah.
To Horses. What incredible patience they have with us. The perfect beast.

amwrider said...

TUFFY>Let me ask you something: Why is it that the ASB people want the outsiders to make the noise? I just gave you the information so you can research it and do something about protecting your breed. It's not MY job to fix the public image of YOUR breed.<

Excuse me, what is the purpose of this "blog" again. You "claim" to see these occurrences but then you don't do anything about it? Who exactly is the enabler?

Tuffy Horse said...

AMW rider wrote:

>Excuse me, what is the purpose of this "blog" again. You "claim" to see these occurrences but then you don't do anything about it? Who exactly is the enabler?


It's not my blog.

And when I see abuse I turn it in. You must have missed that I said we reported the horse falling out of the trailer to the show management and got ignored.
I will continue to dump poor riding, abusive handling and bad horse care in the ring every time I'm the judge. I will continue to take in rescues and help rehabilitate any horses that need it. I will continue to file formal complaints, like the one I filed against a big time WP trainer that had his horse in racing blinkers and smacked it in the head with a baton every few strides, even though it pisses the big boys off.

So don't ASSume I do nothing. I'm not the enabler, you are. I'm not the one trying to justify traditional abuse and say that discomfort is acceptable for the horse.

Now lets see if you'll step up and trot over to the trot.org forum and correct the mistatements you made about me.

Tracy M

vlayne said...

Tuffy, amwrider made only one post about this blog over on trot, and she did not mention anything ABOUT YOU. No negative comments about you were made by her. Go reread the thread.

I'm done offering my commentary; I have nothing more to say or add to this discussion. I've said my piece; take it or leave it. I just wanted to set you straight on amwrider's activity on trot.

Tuffy Horse said...

Vlayne,

Then you must have missed the post where she rants that I didn't know the difference between a hackey, spotted walking horse or a saddlebred.

Go back and re-read the thread, it's there.

Tracy M

vlayne said...

That is the post to which I'm referring. I guess you're taking it with a tablespoon of salt.

After reading this entire conversation, it appears there was, and still is, some misunderstanding regarding which show you were referring to. Perhaps the name of the show, location and dates would help? Because the information you initially provided prompted Andrea to do some research, leading her to the conclusion she arrived at.

You can't fault her for trying to find out what you were talking about. Actually researching accusations and assumptions is more than most here have done...

If anyone has said negative things about this blog and what was said here on trot, it was ME, and I stand behind every post I made. There AND here.

Tuffy Horse said...

Vlayne,

No, I'm taking in the spirit it was posted, and considering how she does not disabuse the implication of her post to the people that reply to it, ranting that I'm an idiot, it's plain that her intent was to make it seem I can't tell different breeds apart.

She also never posted to correct the fact that the ApHC and ASb shows were going on concurrently, which she finally admitted here, but not on the trot forum.

Tracy M.

vlayne said...

Everyone on trot has been reading the blog; no need to cross post.

amwrider said...

Tracy, name the show for me. Tell me what show you were at, what dates. You still haven't been able to. There are more than one or two ASB shows in the Raleigh area.

All of the shows that run concurrent with any ApHA shows don't have weanling or yearling classes and I have yet to see saddlebred trainers commonly bring yearlings to a show "just because."

So you complained to management and they did nothing about it. What did you do then? Did you complain to USEF? You could have reeled in big fish there, reporting a show Steward or a Show manager to the national horse show governing body?

There are lots of idiots in all aspects of the horse world, has a tail been broken, well, at some point I am sure someone tried it. Lunging weanlings in bitting rigs, obviously someone did. Hauling with bitting rigs on the horses...you claim to have seen it but I think I have been to a *few* more ASB shows than you have and I have never seen it. Tacks in boots? Someone somewhers has probably tried it. As I and others have said all along - BOTTOM FEEDERS and BYB and the "Bubba Back Forty" trainers are the culprits.

Is any of this mainstream? NO

Tail nicking takes place, tail sets harnesses are used, padded feet are used, chains and stretchies are used. Gingering is still practiced. Low backed horses exist. No one has denied any of this. As pointed out, there is already discussion in our own associations regarding these practices.

AS I have already pointed out, the AFA has indicated that when a toe is grown out and the hoof is padded to maintain hoof angles, there is no detrimental damage done to the internal structure of the hoof. I have also indicated that the Auburn study shows that use of light chains is NOT detrimental to the hoof or the lower leg. Another poster pulled up the USDA site to show that the USDA does NOT police ASB shows.

(hint - ASBs cannot be sored because we as an industry have kept the trotting requirement in the breed standards.)

The claims that Tuffy and Trojan have made have been full of MANY inaccuracies and generalizations that because they can find an instance of an idiot doing something stupid and cruel, that we must all be that way.


Your "claims" are full of much vagueness. You have seen x-rays of broken tails, you have treated broken jaws from horses flipped in bitting rigs, etc. You don't say that these are ASB injuries.

You claim that we keep our horses in dark prisons and claim to have looked at 43 dark prison barns but then state - haha, only 3 of them were gaited and only one was an ASB.

You claim to have seen 15 hand Yearlings in the springtime and try to back it up with Horsetopia Ads and Dreamhorse Ads (yea...we KNOW how accurate those ads are with horse hight don't we). Funny thing is that thowe ads are hights for yearlings at the END of the year, right before turning two. In the spring when the incident was supposedly taking place, those Yearlings most likeley hadn't seen their first birthday yet - but they were 15 hands....

amwrider said...

Trojan and Tuffy, can you elaborate on these comments you made?

"The tail tendons are usually nicked, however in extreme circumstances the tail base is indeed broken and the tail tied until it heals in that manner.

Yes I've seen the x-rays. It's one benefit of having an sister that was a vet tech for 16 years."

TROJAN
Please advise me on what constituted an extreme circumstance for someone to break the tail bone? An extreme circumstance of what exactly?

You are telling me that the tails were tied up to heal instead of putting in a padded metal speculum - Oh, I mean metal crupper (my bad). Please tell me how you know this. What was the tail tied up with? How exactly was it tied?

TUFFY,
did your boss know that you shared these x-rays with your sister? Isn't there some kind of breach of confidentiality issue in sharing the veterinary records and documents of another client with someone else?

With this physical evidence of horse abuse in your hands, did you report anything to the Animal Control officers of your are? How about the Humane Society? the SPCA? The media? The USEF? Anyone? If the glove don't fit you must acquit...but this looks like pretty solid physical evidence you claim to have been privy to.

I think you and your sister are just internet bullies that get your jollies out of bashing others. I have a lot of respect for Fugly. After seeing Andrea's website (silverphoenixranch.com), I have a lot of respect for her. They are not only getting the word out regarding what they believe, THEY ARE TAKING ACTION, not just talking about.

vlayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cattypex said...

Wow.... what a bloodbath this is getting to be!!

GoLightly, I love you, dude!!!

Vlayne, you have some good stuff going on.

asb today, you too!!!

Tuffy.... can we clone you to judge all the 4H shows around here???

vlayne said...

When we try to dispute the claims here, we are met with "have you been in every Saddlebred barn?", as if that negates our experience.

Yet, the people making these horrible claims have most likely never set FOOT inside a Saddlebred barn, have only observed things at shows, have only gotten second-hand accounts of "abuse", probably from some disgruntled person, and have used the internet (which we ALL know is 100% accurate and reliable!) to back up their claims. Yet, if WE ask them, not if they've set foot in every Saddlebred barn, but to name ONE Saddlebred barn they've been in...

Can ya hear the crickets? I do....

Goose, gander...

While I cannot dispute your eyewitness accounts, because as we all know, there are idiots and bad eggs everywhere, I MUST dispute your claims of industry-wide abuse and mistreatment. I also believe your accounts are possibly exaggerated, and maybe the information you got was incorrect or misunderstood. I don't know. It just seems very odd to me that a person who isn't even IN the industry would experience such a wide plethora of horrors, while someone like me with over 20 years in the industry, at several major show facilities, experienced none of it. I dunno. Something just doesn't add up for me. But hey. You claim it happened, it must be so.

How about giving ME the same benefit of the doubt and respect? You expect us to believe you, no questions, yet you don't pass on that same courtesy.

Yes, there are areas that need change and improvement. We've already touched on those issues and agreed. Can we move on already?

Harping on things you don't LIKE, and labeling it abuse, is not going to get you anywhere. It's like politics or religion - no one is right, no one is wrong. But at the same time, everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

On that note, I hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday night. I narrowly missed being killed in a car accident in the snow tonight, so I'm counting my blessings and passing on peace and goodwill to everyone.

amwrider said...

(((hugs))) Vlayne, you have said it so much more eloquently than I have.

bigdog said...

http://www.saddlebredshowcase.com/mmaot08/day1/index.html

A Mellissa Moore clinic bottom photo - teaching the "correct" way to tie a horses tongue!!!!!

what a joke!

bigdog said...

http://www.trot.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2880

Heres another link about tongue ties, and rules changes with USEF.

amwrider said...

BIGDOG> http://www.saddlebredshowcase.com/mmaot08/day1/index.html

A Mellissa Moore clinic bottom photo - teaching the "correct" way to tie a horses tongue!!!!!

what a joke!<

A joke how? She is showing a correct method for something that is allowed in competition.

Wow, look at her nice, not dark barn.

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