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.