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!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tails up or tails down?

One thing I’ve noticed in the last 20 years is the problem with the horse’s tail. Seems like ti would be a rather moot point. All horses have tails. Flies are a problem. Tails are pretty and reflect the horse’s mood. Some breeds want it up, like Saddlebred and Tennessee Walker and some want it down, like AQHA and the rest of the stock breeds. WTF is the problem with letting the horse carry it naturally? And what is going on with still docking draft horses and some pony breeds’ tails?

Let’s take a look at the tail up issue first. Seriously, what is the appeal? It looks fake, it looks like shit and it has got to be painful to wear that metal thing stuck up your ass when you’re not in the showring. http://www.american-saddlebred.com/equipment/tailset.jpg Does that look comfortable? Hell no! It looks like the horse can’t even crap without wrenching his spine. Just how early do they start this torturous stuff? Here’s a young horse that has obviously had her tail done and it’s just a baby.

Sorry, but this isn’t okay. It isn’t cute and it isn’t something any good horseman would do to a horse. If you want a nice floaty, airy tail then take a tack from the Arab horse world and let it flow naturally. Here’s another thing that pisses me off about the whole tail nicking/setting thing: It’s permanent, but those horses don’t stay permanently in the show ring. One day they retire and then they are stuck with a tail that doesn’t function normally. Thankfully this stupid, and cruel, shit is restricted to the gaited horse world, which seems to earn first place in cruel and ignorant horse treatment.

Now for docking. Didn’t you idiots that practice this crap read Black Beauty? Docking is not a good idea. I don’t want to hear all the stupid arguments about it keeping the tail out of harness. Bullshit! I watch Standardbred racing and those horses have long tails. If you can’t figure out how to braid, or tie a decent mud knot, in order to keep a horse’s tail contained, then you have no business owning a harness horse. It is ridiculous that we have reached the Millennium and people are still finding excuses to cut off horses’ tails. WTF is wrong with you people? There doesn’t need to be a hackney pony out there with a docked tail. And shame on those damn beer pimping pigs the Budweiser people for still docking their iconic Clydesdales’ tails. http://www.sunnyfortuna.com/festivals/clydesdales_apr_03/DCP_8588_small.JPG.
Once again this is something done for a period of a horse’s life that is relatively short, yet the effects are long lasting and permanently damaging. I think we need to dock the balls of the people that still do this crap to horses.

Tails down. Blocked tails are a touchy subject. Pros love them, people that actually know how to train, and care for a horse, hate them. Say what you like about the Arab show world, you’ll never walk the grounds and find a blocked or dead tail. For some reason the stock horse industry has embraced this harmful practice like rednecks have embraced Nascar. Tail blocking hides the poor training practices that are epidemic in western pleasure, reining, cutting and halter. Tail blocking covers up spur stops, over cuing, exhaustion, bad tempers, being lip chained until your gums bleed and reactions to abuse. Unfortunately it can also add to real problems; creating spinal displacement, impactions, fecal dribbling and problems with foaling. It does not always “wear off” correctly and repeated injections can cause long-term damage. I have seen some severe wry tails created by improper injections.

Seems like this stupid practice has even spread to the sport of dressage, which used to be about harmony and is now about brute force. Once more it is an indicator of poor training and abuse. It’s disgraceful that it has found it’s way into the USEF world. You sorry assed bunch of no-training idiots should be kicked out.

On the surface AQHA does have a no tail blocking policy, but we all know that it is not enforced at a regional level. It sure as hell isn’t enforced in NSBA or the Congress. I have no idea what the policy is for APHA, but looking at show photos pretty much says that tail blocking is done, a lot. ApHC has a no blocking policy, but it has never been enforced at any show that I know of. I know that some of their BOD have spoken out against it, but nothing is done because the show manager and CEO don’t want to ruffle feathers. So go show ApHC with a blocked tail, because you’ll never be punished. They seem to like adding injections to the show game and just recently welcomed a lot of drug rules. Way to go guys!

NRHA and NCHA don’t appear to do anything about it either. Tail blocking a reining horse is the absolute cruelest thing you can do. Horses do use their tails to balance and flex. Asking a horse to spin, slide and rollback with a dead tail is like asking someone to run a race with a damaged tailbone. It fucks with your perceptions of what is happening in your rear end.

I know the little reiner trainer brutes are going to be outraged and scream that I have no idea what I’m talking about. Like all assholes, they try to shout down anyone that points out their cruelty. If they think that blocking a tail covers up the fact they suck as trainers and have no idea how to actually get the best of an animal they are wrong. A reiner with a dead tail is a big advertisement for your incompetence. By doing nothing about it NRHA, ApHC, NCHA and USEF are telling the public just how loaded with jerk-offs their organizations are.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Truth in advertising

One of the biggest problems I see in the horse show world today is the dishonestly of people trying to promote their horses.

I see stallions advertised as 16 hands that you can tell are barely pushing 14.2.

I see 3 year olds advertised as "finished". Which could be true, as in: "we rode this baby too young and now he's finished as a show horse."

How about this one: "mare is a babysitter, guaranteed walk/trot winner" Read: " we showed this one too young too and now she can't go faster than a trot, so she damn sure can't run off with your kid."

And here's my favorite: "Unshown due to injury." Yeah, he was injured by a feed bucket that had too much high protein feed in it and now he can't show because his epiphysitis crippled him.

And lest we forget: The "color" factor. How many horses have you seen advertised as some "rare, special, unique" color that in reality is just a sunburned version of bay or dun?

My sister has rather a snippy wit and a few years back she composed this list of advertising “warnings” and after massive begging, as well as an entire bag of cherry cordial Hershey Kisses, she has allowed me to reprint it here. See if you recognize any of these “warnings” from ads you have read in the past.

16 hands ( in any non-draft or warmblood breed) = 14 hands, with shoes, standing on a 2X8.
18 hands ( in the draft and warmbloods)= 16 hands
Finished= crippled
Babysitter= crippled
Guaranteed to win= runs over all the other horses in the class and is the only one left standing.
Judges love this horse= It makes it easier to place a class with such an obviously low scoring animal.
The real thing= Except for the fake tail, mane add-ons, dyed legs, water hydrated muscles and cosmetically trimmed ears.
Champion sire/dam= they were the only horse in the class.
Bridle wise= You won’t catch this horse, EVER.
Great mover= Away from you, as you try to catch it. See above.
Homo-zygous sire= likes other stallions.
Homozygous sire= we will breed ANYTHING in order to collect a stud fee.
HYPP negative= We’ve heard all the negative press so we’re going to deny our horse has HYPP.
HYPP positive= We’re positive you should buy our HYPP horses so we can continue to breed this defect.
Halter winner= Not trained to be ridden
Versatile= Flunked out of halter, so had to be trained to be ridden.
Judges love this color= The horse’s markings make it easy to remember as the horse to dump in the class
Trained by a pro= Get a blood test for drugs
Ridden by a child= Time-outs just weren’t punishment enough, so we put the kid on this horse
Not ring sour= YET!
Goes English or western= sucks at both

Of course the list is tongue in cheek, but I think we all get the point. Within the last few years I have seen one of the most blatant forms of false advertising in the Appaloosa Journal breed magazine. There was a farm advertising horses that been obviously photo shopped, to the point that the blanket hipped mare had two dorsal stripes. The muscles had been pumped, the necks and heads reduced. It was just awful. The horses looked outright deformed. Why would someone use such hideous ads for months? And why would any self respecting breed magazine let them?

My next favorite fraudulent ad was in the Equine Chronicle. It had everything: fake back ground, cropping, reducing, photo shopping and ridiculous claims. There is no “real thing” with that much crap in the ad.

So tell us about an obvious fraud you encountered, and how it made you feel about the people committing the fraud.