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!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Show RIng Heroes

Calling all readers:

Send me your stories about the oldest, sound, show horse you know.
And the oldest person you know still showing.
Pictures would be appreciated.

I want to showcase some of the good things in the show ring and not give all the press to the BNT trainers, who seem to believe any press is good press.

Send stories and photos to tjamouse@yahoo.com

Thank you,

T Jean Maus

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fuckheads of the week! Big Lick Torture!!!!!!!

I'll be nice and post a warning right now for those of you sensitive readers that don't like to read cuss words: Put your sunglasses on now, the venom will be at toxic levels!

This site was sent to me by a reader and I have to say that other than watching the youtube videos of Abu Gharaib I have never seen such a bunch of inhuman torture inflicted on another living being.

This horrible site is called "Freak of the Week". It is part of the Tennessee Walking Horse forum, which you can't get on unless you're thoroughly vetted and can prove you condone horse torture and won't spout off about anything sensible like good riding practices or taking care of your horse.

Freak of the Week
( you'll need windows media player to view most of these videos.

Watching these videos will make you puke your fucking guts out. The first thing you'll note is that the horses are mostly young, mostly ridden by big hairy neaderthals and in pain every second of every video. The bits are huge and severe, there are more blinker hoods than you'll find at the Santa Anita meet, and the riding is appalling.
Who the fuck are these people? Why as a society haven't we evolved past this point of blatant vanity based abuse? Seriously, we have congressman worried about gay marriage and they don't give a shit about these poor horses being tortured?

Scroll through the list of horses and look at A Vision of Jose. How the fuck can anyone justify riding a horse in that manner? The hind legs look like they are about to disconnect and fall off!
This is a two year old for fucks sake! At two years old most horses are still growing and thinking about frolicking around the pasture. They aren't bitted up like some sex fetishist and being ridden by some huge bent backed cave dweller!

Scroll down some more and look at I'm Just a Ritz. Yes, that is a wonder gag in that poor colt's mouth. Yes, he looks sore and yes is rider is a bobbleheaded asshole. Most of the videos look like they are taking place at a sale review, but there are a few shot at home. I swear, watching some of them almost made me throw up. I cannot believe that every one of these assholes isn't in jail for abuse. The state of Tennessee has a lot to answer for by allowing, and promoting, this type of crap. I think the US government should put a stop to all funding to Tennessee until they ban the big lick shit permanently!

Once you're done washing out your mouth from puking over the last video scroll down to this the horse called Electrifying Hearbeat. He's about a 1/3 of the way down the page. A Dr. Dale Cannon just bought him and I hope every single one of this guy's patients quit going to him and write him up to the AMA for condoning horse abuse. Watch the video and prepare to be sickened. This colt is unhappy and you can tell that every second of his short life has been miserable. WTF is up with the blinker hoods again? Isn't it bad enough that you keep these horse stalled unless you're torturing them, but then when they are out you restrict their vision? How on earth can anyone justify riding a two year old in that kind of bit? You can see where he falls apart in the video several times and the camera person conveniently quits filming. It's just sickening. Dr. Cannon you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a disgrace to the Hippocratic Oath for buying this colt and giving profit to the people that abuse and degrade horses in this manner.

There are hundreds of videos on this site, each worse than the last. This one site composites everything that is terrible about the walking horse industry. It showcases the abuse, apathy and ignorance that keeps the Big Lick method of showing alive. I recommend that readers take note of the names of the trainers and farms. They aren't an integral part of the horse industry, instead they are all that is bad about it.

I'm sickened by this site, truly sickened. I'm ashamed that the horse industry as a whole has ignored and swept under the rug the abuse in the Big Lick Show Ring. Those of you in the stock breeds, as well as the English disciplines are guilty of agreement by your silence. You refuse to make a concentrated effort to speak out about this abuse because you fear that the abuses in your own industries will be examined more closely. Grow some fucking balls and get together and put a stop to this crap. All of the Natural Horsemanship gurus, Pat Parelli, John Lyons, Monty Roberts, Clinton Anderson and others should all be taking a break from shilling their mystic sticks and dvds and get their asses before congress and tell them to STOP this fucking abuse. A little celebrity goes a long way towards getting a cause recognized. Paris Hilton and the rest of the "I'll show my hoo-hoo if I want too" group need to get off their collective useless asses and put some of their money into stopping this shit!

Let's get this shit banned, there is no excuse for it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No wonder horses burn out!: Updated

This photo was sent to me by a reader. It's an item she found at a rather prominent tack store in north Texas.

Before I say what it is I'd like to see some guess as to what the blog readers think these two devices are and what purposes they serve. They are training devices and not allowed in the show ring, but they are definitely used to create competition horses.

The readers are on the ball! These are indeed gag bit headstalls The metal crown pieces are thin and in the case of the one to the left it is a twisted wire. Hanging above these little gems were the various gag bits you could use with them, most of them twisted wire, all of them public indicators of how sorry-assed a lot of trainers are. My niece said the gadgets were hanging on a wall of "bits for people that have no clue how to train horses", which the store proprietor was not happy to hear. These two items can be purchased at Dennards in Aubrey, Tx, which is pretty much the horse capitol of Texas. Glad to know that the BNTs there have access to such crappy equipment and can use it on client horses. I wonder if Cleve, Scott or Becky shop there?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

More to follow

Sorry about the delay in posting. Work has been killing me. My sister has forwarded me some photos from her travels and as soon as I get the time to format a post around them I'll put them up.

The Appaloosa World Show finished today and the Paint Worlds starts Monday. Lip Chains are in every halter class, regardless of whether it's a weanling or an aged stallion. What better way to advertise how inappropriate your breed is for kids?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not horse show related, but a sure sign of the times:

I was fucking horrified when the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick. Are they crazy? Like I want to see his dog-killing ass handling any balls but his own, and then only to put them on the chopping block.

But it gets worse. Now the worthless piece of shit has been re-signed by NIKE.


Are you fucking kidding me? You can almost get that some sports team would pay for his sorry ass, because, face it, the IQ level in professional sports is in the double digits.

But NIKE? NIKE, signing this douchbag? NIKE, the sports item that kids want as a status simple? NIKE, the same company that endorses the Olympics?

They should be fucking killed. I hope every dog owner in America sends NIKE a nasty letter and boycotts their sweatshop-produced, over-priced, not worth a shit on a horse farm, sneakers.

NIKE, the worst ass lappers in America

I'm sure all the music stars that have let NIKE use their music for their fucked up commercials are pissed. I can't see Sir Paul McCartney going along with this crap.

BOYCOTT NIKE and the EAGLES. Do not give either of these franchises a single dime as long as they keep Vick on the payroll!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stupid bait.... don't get caught with it

(Note: All images in today’s blog are linked to the actual image on the website that market’s the POS. I didn’t scan or copy anything.)

As previously mentioned on this blog there is a lot of horse equipment out there that just advertises how incompetent is the trainer. Most of it is expensive, most of it is dangerous and none of it is pleasant for the horse. Sadly, a big name trainer endorses most of it

I wandered over to my sister’s today and in a fit of boredom ( well truthfully I was watching her work on her mower and saying nasty things about the inventor’s family), I browsed through several horse catalogs she had sitting around. The Schneiders and Horse.com catalogs were loaded with blog material. WTF are these people thinking selling some of this shit?

So let’s take some of the places that sell this stuff to task and point out how they are all about the dollar, and not about the animal their industry is built on.

Schneiders, you’re a bunch of guilty as hell shits.

Here’s our first entry in the “Absolutely Worst Stupid Bait On The Market” entry, and you guessed it, it’s endorsed by a BNT that felt putting his name on this torture device was a good idea.

So Bob Hart Jr., exactly what were you thinking when you decided it was okay to put a chain over the top of a horse’s head and a thin leverage chin strap that would tighten things to such a degree that there would be pressure points from the top of the head to the nose and sides of the face? I grew up surrounded by Arabians and good Arabian trainers. I’m trying to figure out at what point it became acceptable to openly advertise that you’re such an incompetent jerk that you can’t teach a horse to stand for halter without jerking the shit out of his head and making it painful?
Keep pimping this crap Bob and you’re going to make my Trainwhore of the Year list.

Here’s some more stupid bait from Schneiders.

I think that in order to buy crap like this you should have to take a mandated written test and also have to be licensed by a professional horsemens’ group that will attest you have the knowledge and light hands necessary to ride in such a bit. Yet, I have seen kids riding with these bits. I’ve seen young horses that are barely out of bosals being tortured with these things. And I’ve seen some nasty flip-overs in the line up when ZippoCrackBars decides he’s not going to back and instead goes up and over.

I saw this and my jaw dropped in horror. At first glance it’s just a caveson. But read the fine print and you realize that this piece of stupid bait has a really nasty purpose.

This horrible thing is by Billy Royal ® and it’s a royal piece of shit. That black piece on the chin is metal. It connects to not one, but two, crank straps. That’s right, it’s a double crank noseband with metal lying against the sensitive jawbone! WTF are they thinking marketing this damn thing? I hope some novice doesn’t buy this thing and use it with a curb bit! I can just see the huge bloodstain after the horse flips over on some newbies!

There was a lot more in the Schnieders catalog, but these three items caught my attention the most.

Then I looked at the Horse.Com catalog and realized that the presence of stupid bait has infiltrated even the most basic of horse merchandisers.

How’d you like to wear this bit?

Not only is this high port, but it has chain link bars that are narrow and just waiting to pinch the hell out of the horse’s lip edges. Add to that aspect the fact that it’s a wide palate bit with a very narrow curb chain. I can just see this thing folding around a horse’s jaw and the curb digging into the skin. Makes me wince! People that ride with this kind of crap deserve to be bucked off. Mike Beers, shame on you for promoting this kind of crap! At least have the decency to demand that a warning be placed on this bit that it is not for novice riders!

This bit is pimped by universal Trainwhore Sharon Camarillo. It pisses me off for all kinds of reasons. 1) It’s a gag bit 2) It’s twisted wire 3) It’s a curb on top of being a gag 4) It has those squared off cheek piece holders that add to the poll pressure. This bit is prime stupid bait. Putting it on your horse is like a flashing neon sign that you’re a complete idiot where horses are concerned.

Just where to even fucking start? This POS by Mikmar just screams “I don’t have a clue!” Come on people, since when is some travesty like this necessary to train a horse? It’s obvious Frank Evans is not testing these things out on himself before putting them in a horse’s mouth. I have to say I’m not a big fan of most of the Myler bits, but after perusing the Mikmar website Myler looks almost normal. If someone had shown up with one of these things back where I grew up they would have been dismembered and buried in an old mine shaft.

After making my eyebrows cross the top of my skull I then picked up the Stateline Tack catalog. I have to say I love the cover with the lead line class photo. The pony is awesome and his little rider is so cute. I’m not jiving on mom’s shoes, but if she wants her pedi ruined by a sharp pony hoof then so be it.
I usually get along with Stateline, but I did find some nasty stuff in there that caused me some dismay.

WTF is this thing being pimped by Pessoa? I remember when Pelhams were frowned on as being suitable for kids or novices that couldn’t handle a real double bridle. This thing looks like the illegitimate child of a nasty western correction bit, and a set of thunder beads. My old horse would have learned to climb trees rather than let me put this in his mouth. Pessoa, when did you become such a Trainwhore? Your saddles are great, but this thing…not so much.

Again with the Mikmar junk!

First off, if you add a curb strap this bit ceases to be a snaffle. It becomes a short-shanked, flat- cannoned, poll pressure inducing, piece of junk. Why on earth would you inflict this on a horse?
Are the Mikmar people stoned or just stupid? Can you imagine what Louis Ortega or Colonel Podhajsky would say if someone showed up with one of these? If it takes this kind of crap to get your horse to pay attention then he's missing some basics, and you're missing $169.00 for something that shouldn't be used for any purpose other than a paperweight.

What has the industry come too? Other industries usually get simpler as they evolve. Not the horse industry. We've gone back to the dark ages. Can you imagine what horsemen in the future will say when they dig this crap up? They'll think it's the Equine Inquisition. Sad, sad, sad!

Remember, all of the above are prime stupid bait! Get caught with it and you could end up being featured as a poster child here!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knowing the limits, means knowing your horse! Updated

Great Britain's Harry Meade was disqualified should have been killed from the Burghley Horse Trials. The competition's ground jury ruled that the complete asshole he was competing an exhausted horse. Meade was barred from riding abusing his second mount in the competition.

The FEI released the following:

"Harry Meade (GBR) was awarded a red card and disqualified from the competition for his riding of Dunauger No. 14, who fell at fence 19. Meade was not allowed to ride his second horse, Midnight Dazzler. The Ground Jury, in consultation with the Appeal Committee, awarded the red card under Art 520 of the 2009 Rules of Eventing: "Abuse of Horse and Dangerous Riding," namely 'riding an exhausted horse' and 'excessive pressing of a tired horse."

Dunauger became stuck on a fence, requiring a delay of about 20 minutes while a crew removed him from the jump. It is reported the horse was uninjured.

The show organizers said Meade accepted the ruling and agreed he should have stopped the horse earlier on the course.

Really Harry? You should have quit pushing the horse past his limits and not over ridden him? You decide this in retrospect? You're supposed to be a horseman Harry. You should be able to tell when a horse is tired. Is that fricking ribbon so important that you'd endanger another living being's life? Guess so.

Next time you want to over ride a horse why don't you go run the course first and see how tired you are. Do it naked, covered in sweat and carrying a heavy weight on your back, see how it feels.

I've watched the Video and all I can say is it's even worse that I thought. The horse is sweaty and strung out just going into the course. Toward the end the horse has a classic case of floppy ears and he's even dropping to a trot, trying to tell his resident fuckstick rider that he's exhausted. Does Harry listen? Hell no. Instead he TROTS his horse at a fence that most horses couldn't get over without a spring board and a 12 pack of Red Bull in their system. Wonder of wonders poor Dunauger gets hung on the fence like a chicken carcass laid over a grill. It's disgusting that Harry asshelmet didn't stop before this last fence. I don't think they banned harry for long enough. He needs to be out of the biz for a few years, maybe then he'll learn to think about the horse instead of his ego.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don't Mess With Magnum P.I.

Looks like a local trainwhore got her ass handed to her in court for selling Tom Selleck a defective horse.

Tom Selleck took Dolores Cuenca to court because the horse she sold him was constantly lame and couldn't compete. The jury awarded more than $187,000 when they found the actor was duped into buying a defective horse.

Del Mar equestrian Dolores Cuenca is accused of trying to pass off a show horse with a medical condition as fit to ride in competitions. Selleck's 20 year old daughter was unable to show the animal at the level promised.

The Ms Cuenca's attorneys argued that the purchaser didn't check the medical records of the 10-year-old gelding, Zorro.

Most of the jury's award is for the price of the horse, the rest is to cover stabling costs. Another trial next week will set the amount that Selleck should be paid in punitive damages.

If this is the same Zorro Show results then the horse was obviously in training for jumping at an early age. If he's ten in 2009 then he was six in 2005. Figure two years of training to make him that level of jumper and it's obvious why he's chronically lame. Most of the information I've pulled up on Ms. Cuenco is that she' an amateur/owner rider. So even the non-pros are getting in the bilking game.

The horse industry has a history of Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware. We all know of a horse trader or two that has shafted someone with a horse that wasn't the age, training level, or pedigree that was claimed. Now with the onset of two year old futurities in just about every sport, except jumping and dressage, purchasing a sound well trained show horse is a crap shoot. If the horse has a few major wins before he's three then you're probably looking at a short career and a second mortgage worth of hock injections. Mr. Selleck seems to have actually gotten mad at the fact that someone banked on him being too dumb, or embarrassed, to call them out for selling a horse that had obvious problems. I can understand why. If I paid $1,800.00 for a horse that ended up being defective then I'd be pissed. If I paid $120,000.00 I'd expect the horse to shit gold pellets and translate the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as predict the next several sets of lottery numbers. Trying to screw a person over at that level of purchasing power is just plain stupid.

So let's examine the horse industry and some key indicators that there's a problem with buying and selling horses.

1) Too many futurities. This is the biggest red flag that the horse you're buying has already done too much. Unless you're purchasing a broodmare or stallion prospect then forget about the World Champion Futurity winner as a long term investment, unless you also own stock in Fort Dodge or Merial, in which case you'll get dividends back on every hock injection you buy. If the horse you're looking at has already racked up a shit load of points in under saddle classes and he'd barely past his third birthday then he's going to be a vet's wet dream as he racks up farm calls, injections, lay-ups etc. We've all seen what happens to those cute little gymnasts and skaters that compete in the Olympics. Once they hit their late teens they are wearing braces on their knees and ankles and popping Advil like it's a daily vitamin.

2) Trainwhores build their early reputations on being "just one of the guys", so you learn to trust them, but they build their marketability on the "mystic guru" crap to set themselves apart from us unwashed, shit shoveling heathens. Being a mystic is a tough line of work. It requires props, gimmicks and the ability to do things to horses that you know are morally wrong. There's a level of "turning a blind eye" that makes the bounced check scandal in the US Senate look paltry. If you're looking at a horse that is supposedly trained by a major trainwhore then be aware it's on a first name basis with its vet, was probably started and handled most of the time by an "apprentice" and has seen more gimmicks and gadgets than a Las Vegas hooker.

3) Those papers don't mean shit if you're buying a stock breed. AQHA, APHA and ApHC now have innocent third party rules that excuse poor and downright illegal breeding practices and allows a horse that doesn't match the DNA of the parents listed on its papers to produce progeny that retain breeding and show rights. So registration papers don't really mean shit in the stock breeds. If you're looking for pedigree integrity then go with a registry that requires DNA parentage verification upon registration. The stock breeds, which are by far the most populous breeds are also the last to require parentage verification for every single registration. So unless you saw the stallion breed the mare and you've seen the foal actually spit out from its mother's womb then don't count on those AQHA or ApHC papers being correct.

4) Genetic defects are becoming more prevalent. Unless you see them pull the samples that prove the horse is defect free then request new tests before shelling out huge sums of money on a horse. This is particularly true if you're buying a stock breed. People who breed those defective HYPP horses to win halter championships also have a hard time explaining to JQP as to why the horse they're looking at falls over when stressed out. HERDA is something that drives the cutting and reining horse breeders crazy. Pesky little life threatening skin condition makes it hard to inbreed, and actually keep the horse alive once the lesions start. A little less inbreeding would be a good thing, but unfortunately all those spins have made it too hard for the stock horse breeds to grasp that good husbandry means more than 25 crosses to Doc O'Lena.

How to avoid getting screwed when purchasing a show horse:

1) Check the show record. If the horse is registered then call the breed association and ask for his point record. If he's racked up the points in any under saddle classes before he was three then take a pass on him.

2) Request pedigree and genetic information. Really check the pedigree, go back six and seven generations, not just the standard three that come on the papers. Do internet searches on horses in the pedigree and see if any of them have HERDA, HYPP, SCID or any other nasty item.

3) Get a vet check. And don't use a vet that routinely comes to that barn. Get a vet from out of the area. Demand X-rays on knees, ankles and hocks. Have a spinal check done and definitely get a flexion test. Be specific about how you want to use the horse. A suitable walk-trot horse is not the same as a suitable upper level jumper.

4) Since most registries require photos or drawings on the papers check them against the markings on the horse. Horses rarely change face and leg markings, although sometimes scarring or roaning can make them look less defined. Check the parents' colors and make sure it's genetically possible for their colors to produce the color of the foal.

So even though as a potential show horse buyer you need to beware, you also need to be aware that many states now have "lemon laws" that cover horse purchases. Be sure to keep documentation on everything to do with your purchase. Don't assume that just because the seller is a BNT that you won't end up getting screwed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

With a Knick-Knack, Gimmick Tack, the trainer is a bone...head: Updated

We’ve all got equine icons we admire. Trainers and breeders we grew up worshiping and following their every word. We read every article about them, loved their horses as much as our own and tried to ride, dress and train just like them.

Sometimes our icons remained icons our entire lives and sometimes they take hard falls and became the worst of the worst. Recently Cleve Wells lost a lot of starry-eyed hanger-ons ( he also kept of bunch of “completely in denial” idiots too). An even earlier and much harsher fall from grace was Barney Ward, who decided that electrocuting the Olympic winner, Charisma, was more profitable than giving the great horse his well deserved retirement. My family has never forgiven Barney for Charisma’s death. To speak his name is to then spit in disgust. Thankfully the USEF put a lifetime ban on the SOB so he can never compete again.

There are several other big trainers that a lot of us grew up trying to emulate. Who remembers Buster Welch and his balanced bits and how he broke reining patterns down into separate components so any good-riding kid could teach his grade gelding to spin like a tornado? How about Martha Josey and her awesome barrel times and spirited gelding, Sonny Bit o’Both? They were awe-inspiring. No one that has ever watched dressage can forget Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich or Hilda Gurney and Keen. We even got to see Rodney Jenkins jump out at the Pima Fairgrounds, and until Joe Fargis came along Rodney was the hot thing on a horse!

One thing I’ve noticed about the big trainers is that nowadays it seems they are more into merchandising than they used to be. Buster Welch sold a few models of bits, and the Foremans endorsed cutting saddles. Beyond that there wasn’t the wholesale merchandising that you see today. With this new merchandising has come the proof that big name trainers (BNTs) aren’t about the horse anymore. They are about the money. In essence they are market whores, selling their name to pimp a product, regardless of how harmful that product would be in the hands of a beginner. Let’s give these people a new name; let’s call them Trainwhores.

I won’t even go into one of the early Trainwhores, Monty Roberts. He wrote a book and sold a whole lot of lunge ropes and halters to gullible people that had no idea what to do with the horse after they “joined” up with it. Real horseman already knew about working a horse within a space and treating it like the prey animal it started out as. P.T. Barnum had nothing on Monty, except maybe his circus was a bit bigger, but the shit smell was the same.

I’m going to list some of the industry Trainwhores, ones that I respected at one time and now think they are less about the horse and more about the money.

1)Pat Parelli . I apologize to readers for not including this biggest of Trainwhores the first time. Pat, where did you go wrong? Before the mysticism and the communal carrot stick you actually made some sense. Then somewhere in the mix you developed a mysticism that made Gawani Pony Boy look like a complete stiff. ( Thank God you never opted for the loin cloth!) Now you're cradling horse heads and acting like an equine Dr. Phil. WTF? We've got Horsenality, rope "hackamores", ( when I was growing up we called those rope halters, but to each his own), and probably the most expensive reins ever made from leadropes. Your DVD collection prices rival the stuff sold in the back of Hustler, although they probably do have better dialog and plot, but still, education should not be just for the rich. $999.00 for a boxed set? I may be an old horse gal, but for that much I want naked cowboys, lots of chocolate, the finest wine in a box money can buy, and that damn carrot stick better not be the longest, stiffest thing in the video. Do I need to head over to Gawani's site to get my money's worth? Pat, you've got a following of middle-aged, starry-eyed, my-daddy-never-bought-me-a-pony women that would rival Englebert Humperdink's groupies. You've got to quit stroking their egos and teach them how to actually manage a horse in real life situations, in acceptable regulation equipment.

2)Richard Shrake . I used to love to read Richard’s articles. Then I saw an ad for this little gimmick and knew Richard had turned to the dark side. Torture Device He calls his methods “Resistance Free” but it amounts to nothing more than making it painful for the horse to move out of the frame. The war bridle restraint device is nothing new. I’m just surprised that any decent trainer would recommend this product to new horse owners. Anyone that has had a horse flip over in front of them knows how dangerous these things can be. And what is with the bits? Bits that suck . Wouldn’t you think that the higher level the trainer, the less severe the bits? That’s the mantra we were raised on. Good western horsemen knew bosals, snaffles, a mild curb, and if they were creating an equine aristocrat they could work in a spade, but that was just for showing off, it wasn’t the every day bit. It was for the ballet sessions. English people used snaffles and either a short shanked Weymouth with a plain snaffle bridoon or if you have a low palate horse a short shanked Pelham. Twisted mouthpieces, or weird ports, were for abusers and idiots. Looks like that line has blurred now. Rule of thumb for anyone selling stuff like this to the open and unregulated horse world: At some point your crap will fall into the hands of a newbie and make some horse’s life miserable. Unless you want to start a fund to start a retirement house all the horses ruined by this crap then don’t sell this shit under your name.

3)The Camarillos. When I was growing up the Camarillos were GODS. Whether it was Roping or Barrel Racingall of us speed junkies followed their every move and read every word written about them. Sharon and Leo article from 1975
So WTF happened? What the hell is this shit and why is it being marketed to an industry that has one of the worst levels of incompetence and abuse?
Black Beauty chain gag curb This is the bit of the month? Ironic label, since a month is all you’d need with this bit to totally fuck up your horse for all time. Seriously, look at this crap! How did the early cowgirls even survive without all this junk? Totally screwed up bits. The elevated ring snaffle is just a travesty. It not only has a rough mouthpiece, it has a donut ring joiner and if you slap a curb chain on it ceases to be a true snaffle and becomes a curb/gag cross. I can just see horses with their noses poked out, shoulders disengaged, concave backs and hocks popping as they evade all collection with this piece of shit. The hack-a-gags are just a sign that a Trainwhore is in the house. Anyone pimping these useless pieces of shit isn’t concerned with producing a long term, sound minded horse. They are all about the act of compelling a horse to work through pain. Seriously Sharon, why did you go down this trail?

4)Anky Van Grunsven I could spend an entire blog on Anky just for the rolkur shit. But let’s ignore that for now and talk about how Anky has gone from being a dressage ring innovator to a Trainwhore. Anky likes to use “crank” nosebands.
For those of you unfamiliar with dressage equipment a crank noseband doesn’t just fasten like a regular one. It fasten by means of a strap that flips back through a ring and allows you to leverage the noseband to hitherto unknown degrees of tightness. Imagine a set of handcuffs clipped over your horse’s nose. He’s not going to be evading that bit wearing one of these gizmos. Crank nosebands are notorious for causing mouth sores as the tender inner cheek it pressed against the teeth the whole time the horse wears the noseband. They also create resentment and with a severe bit you could find yourself between the horse and the ground, wondering how come you suddenly know exactly how much your horse weighs and how sharp his withers are. Anky also has a clothing store. Really Expensive Crap to Wear to the Barn Yep, because I want to spend $150 bucks for a vest I can get at Wal-mart for $30.00. Anky’s heavy hands and crappy lower leg already piss me off, but her pimping of equipment that tortures a horse just makes her a huge Trainwhore.

5)Cleve Wells . Aside from the fact he got suspended for his part in the abuse of Slow Lopin Scotch Cleve is a major Trainwhore. He pimps a group of bits that should never see the inside of a horse’s mouth. These bits should serve no other purpose than to be used as
toilet paper hangers in a bunk house. Totally Fucked Up Curb Bits Do we really want to see these bits in the hands of some starry-eyed neophyte? How about a youth class? No? Because I really think any parent letting their kid ride with one of these pieces of shit is simply insane. Here’s a clue Cleve: If you’re such a good trainer you could get great results without these gimmick bits. I don’t care how many championships a trainer has, if they got them using these bits then they won by intimidation. Anyone that has ever worn a retainer knows how aggravating having a something stuck in your palate is. It aggravates you all day, and unlike a bit a retainer doesn’t move back and forth. And if you think we hate high port bits then you should know we despise twisted wire snaffles. Snaffles for Dickheads Cleve doesn’t seem to share our view, because he has several nasty models for sale, with the implication that they are great colt starting bits. Cleve, you’re not a horseman anymore. You’re a certified Trainwhore.

There are more Trainwhores out there, selling everything from bits to riding underwear. For the most part their items don’t cause a great deal of harm and may even help prevent wedgies during that extended trot. But there is definitely a group that promotes bits and gimmicks that cause a great deal of trauma to a horse, and potentially harm to a new rider that doesn’t understand the mechanics of a bit, martingale or surcingle. Certain items should require some kind of test before you can even buy them. And other items, such as hack-a-gags and really thin twisted wire mouthpieces should get you thrown into jail for animal abuse if you attempt to buy them. Let’s call these items “stupid bait”. Catalogs could show these items and if you click the shopping cart symbol the company knows you’re stupid and sends a notification to the authorities to pick you up and haul you to jail. You obviously can’t be trusted to own an animal or be around matches or sharp objects. You fell for the bait, and another horse’s life is saved!

Now that I’ve vented about the worst Trainwhores I can think of tell me about the ones that really piss you off!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What a REAL winner looks like!

After all of the bitching about BNTs, horse abusers and just dumbbutts in general I thought it would be nice to post about a horse and rider that are real winners. All strikethroughs and red words are mine.

Meet Poppy. Poppy is a mare that has a sad story behind her, but a glowing future in front of her. Poppy made it out of AssHat Hell and into a loving home.

A blog reader writes: I bought her from a complete fricking idiot wannabe "Cowboy". She had previously been seized from another fucktard idiot after a halter had been allowed to grow into her face.

Who the hell lets a halter grow into a horse's face? People that do stupid crap like that should be run over by a horse of hungry javelinas, and whatever is left throw in the manure spreader.

She continues:
When I went to go see the mare, I stood with my mouth open as he put cruel piece of equipment after cruel piece of equipment on her. Then asshat "Cowboy" decides he is going to show me what she can do. So, I watch as he gets on, spurs her and takes off at a dead run. Then he pulls. All 200 lbs of the man braced on 8 inches of penile compensation shank trying to stop an already terrified horse. I handed him my money and told him to get off my horse.

Bravo for you! Pity you couldn't have stuck a spur up his butt!

Only after I got her home did I find out just how badly this dickhead wannabe had hurt her. I, without thinking, threw her some hay. The mare shot to the back her her stall and was shaking so badly I wasn't sure what to do to calm her down. The next few months revealed even more. She would randomly flip over backwards. It wasn't unusual for her to come at me.

Call we just kill people that make a horse this afraid? Shouldn't there be something in the Constituation that allows the immediate dismemberment of people that beat up a horse so bad it freaks when you try to feed it? When an animal spooks away from food there is some human that needs to be removed from the gene pool.

With a lot of patience and love that she had never before experienced, she transformed into an incredible contesting horse. Her talent for pole bending took us to winning a Grand Champion in pole bending in 2008. Not only was she good at speed events, but she was a good jumper and wasn't a half bad showmanship horse.

Way to go girl!

She was bought by a woman in spring of '09 who had to retire her barrel horse due to heart problems. The woman's husband, who is in a wheelchair, has been brought so much joy by Poppy. Poppy has already taken the woman to a 2d win at a local rodeo.

So there she is. The mare no one wanted. The mare that was never good enough

Wow and look at her now:

Turning that barrel like she's on rails. No hack-a-gag-a-gimmick. Rider nice and straight, legs hanging long and low. A picture to make any horse person happy. Wow, she's not getting her ass beat all the way around the barrel too! Good on you!

Congratulations Poppy and thanks to the person that saw the good horse in you and saved you from the stupidity of a person that should never be allowed to have another horse.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reichert Celebration...er Free For All

Let’s talk a bit about Western Pleasure, again. When I was starting out WP was a class you did to get your young horses acclimated to the arena and noise at a show. WP was always the start of a career that included cattle, reining or speed events. No one really took it seriously and BNTs didn’t exist for that particular event. In fact it was considered kind of “girly” for the guys to go in a pleasure class.

That’s all changed now. WP is a huge industry. It has purses that beckon like tales of lost gold mines. The horses are priced in the upper levels and the accoutrements will mean a second or third mortgage on your house. A simple class with three gaits and no pattern or interaction with cows has now become the top draw at the stock horse shows. Why? I have a few theories about this phenomenon.

1)It doesn’t take as much time, training, or work to produce a WP horse as it does a reiner/barrel horse/cattle horse. Say what you like but all stock horses can walk/jog/canter naturally. It’s the artificial shit that has to be created through endless circling and canting.

2)Trainers can turn out a WP prospect pretty quick and even manage to make their “mid life crisis” client look good at a slow jog. Trainers dislike having to train the horse and the client at the same time, because criticizing the one that writes the checks is not a good idea.

3)Trainers can get a bigger name faster with WP than they can with events that require real training and skill.

4)People are naturally attracted to sparkly things. Face it, add some silver and sequins and we all end up drooling and speaking in one-syllable words.

5)Trainers perversely enjoy screwing up what nature created. There is nothing natural about the gaits used in WP. Nature created the perfect biomechanical machine and BNTs weren’t happy so they altered the natural gaits in such a way as to make the horses look crippled.

6)It keeps the veterinary pharmaceutical industry flourishing. Those hock injections for two year olds aren’t cheap. Neither are the anti-psychotic drugs and syringes.

7)It keeps the tack industry going. Face it, without all the new fangled training gadgets getting pimped by some BNT there would be no reason for Myler to produce the same bit with 15 mouthpieces. There would be no need for head setters, draw reins, ball spurs and all the other torture equipment that real horsemen did without for centuries.

8)There is no better way to bring up the next generation of riders than to subject them to silver, sequins, riding horses too young, with equipment that is too harsh, and teach them horrible sportsmanship.

Case in point:

The Reichert Celebration is one of the biggest Western Pleasure shows in the world. It brings in stock horses from all over and offers purses that equal major horse races. It’s had its share of criticism for offering classes that promote the abuse of young horses, but on the whole I think the idea was founded with good intent. They do drug test, they do ban blocked tails and they don’t tolerate abuse. Unfortunately they don’t ban stupidity or poor sportsmanship.

This is a tale of two trainers, one of which allowed something to happen that no self-respecting horseman would ever allow to occur.

Meet Keith Whistle and Ty Hornik. Both were showing in a Western Pleasure class at this year’s Reichert. Well really not A WP class, they were showing in THE Western Pleasure Class; Reichert’s $250,000 Challenge 2 Year Old Western Pleasure Class Both were riding horses that were nice examples of the discipline. Both had made a name for themselves within the Western Pleasure industry. Now they’ve made a name for themselves in the Poor Sportsman Hall of Shame.

Ty’s horse, a young stallion, decided that Keith’s horse, a young filly, was quite the fetching thing and mounted her while they were going around the rail. Say what? Yep, evidently all that training to create unnatural gaits didn’t override the natural urges of a young stallion. Testosterone poisoning kicked in and during a pass the stallion jumped on the filly. The rider of the filly had to deal with a horny stallion in his back and his mount (no pun intended) suddenly acting like a Mesquite Rodeo bronc. She bucked off the stud and then bucked out her fake tail. Guess what the judges saw? Her bucking AFTER the stud was down. So guess who gets marked down? The filly that was just minding her business until she found Mr. Horny Hoofs on her back. A few things should have happened at that point.

1)Mr. Horny Hoofs should have had his ass beat until his penis retreated inside and would not come out again until he was at least 5 years old. I don’t advocate horse abuse, but a stallion acting that way in the ring is UNACCEPTABLE in any situation.

2)Mr. Hornik should have recused himself to the center of the ring and thereby taken the option of placing him out of the judges’ hands. A true sportsman would acknowledge his major screw up and make a public display of remorse. Instead Mr. Hornik accepts his 11th place award and acts like nothing happened.

3)One of the judges should have seen it. With four judges in the ring, as well as ring stewards, SOMEONE should have seen this horse mount another horse. It’s a fricking show ring. There is only so much space that has to be eyeballed at any given time. The filly should have been given a pass on bucking because of the attack by the stallion. Instead the stallion places in the class. WTF? So Steve Lackey, Beckey Schooler, John Tuckey and Chris Jones I hold you responsible for not seeing this crap. If you’re so blinded by sequins and silver, or trying to decide which BNT will benefit the most from your inattention to the class then you don’t need to be judging. There were 22 horses in the ring, that means that you all had to watch 4.5 horses at any given time. It is not that big a chore.

None of these things happened so the saddle soap opera gets worse.

After leaving the ring Mr. Hornik encounters a disgruntled spectator, the owner of the filly, and gets popped upside the head. Not very sportsmanlike, but understandable because the guy was pissed that his filly might have been hurt and she blew the class after Mr. Horny Hoofs jumped her. Then a brawl happens and everyone is pissed and yelling, police and some EMTs were called. The mother of one of the trainers thinks she’s having a heart attack and a big fistfight ensues. Come on people; is this the image you want the horse loving public to see? Do we need to change it to WWF Western Pleasure? Who the hell does this shit?

I grew up around the Arabian industry in southern Arizona. I cannot recall a single instance of a stallion mounting a mare in an under saddle class, and this includes the classes where kids were showing stallions. It may have happened, but I never saw or heard about it. Brawling? Are you kidding me? Even after years of rodeo, both adult and high school, I’ve only ever seen and heard of a few brawls, and most of them had copious amounts of alcohol in the mix. Western Pleasure brawling? It sounds like a cat fight at the Radio City Music Hall amongst the sequin covered Rockettes.

What has become of this industry? A discipline that encourages low and slow has spawned more high-end drama. A sport with three gaits and no pattern skills has turned into something where even basic manners aren’t put on a stallion so he can show safely.

Here’s what would have happened had it been my mare. I would have pulled her off the rail and immediately ridden to a steward and reported severe interference, meaning he would have had to request the class be stopped. I would have requested the removal of the stallion and the replacement of my horse’s tail. Any decent set of judges would comply. This wasn’t an “oh these things happen” sort of occurrence like throwing a shoe, or a number coming off. This was a physical attack by another horse. Stop the fricking class!

Then later I’d have found the stallion’s rider at the barn and beat the shit out of him with a lead lined tail bag, just because no one that irresponsible needs to be in the show ring. I hope some good comes out of this fiasco. I hope NSBA, AQHA, APHA and ApHC will learn a lesson from this and require more training and more skills from their BNT trainers. I hope they will crack down on the back scratching, drugging, abuse and poor sportsmanship. I hope it, but I doubt they will do it.

Western Pleasure, bring your draw reins, and your boxing gloves.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Question for readers:

After all the bitching about forums and how stupid some of them are I've decided to ask the readers here if I should add a forum to this blog that would pretty much be no holds barred and open season on the blissfully ignorant.
A simple yes or no post to answer will let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Online learning: Updated Again

Online forums are a curse and a blessing. First they spread a lot of information quickly to a wide range of horse people. Second they spread a lot of information quickly to a wide range of horse people. I have seen some brilliant tips on horse forums, but I've also seen some of the most blatant stupidity imaginable. Since horse show people are found on just about every equine related forum out there it stands to reason that some of the information passed around an cause problems.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and got to visit some forums that made my eyebrows leap off my head with the rampant ignorance. It’s a wonder that some of these people’s horses survive a day, much less a lifetime of incompetent care.

I’ll list the top five good forums first. These forums actually provide good solid information and don’t cater to the hearts, flowers and unicorns crowd. They are for the horse, not for the ego.

1) Chronicle of the Horse

Geared mainly toward English but does have some western conversations. Good information on feeding, foot care, veterinary treatments and riding. Has a good reputation for getting “endangered horses” rescued.

2)Dr. Deb Bennett’s Equine Studies Forum

Absolutely the best place to learn about the mechanic’s of the horse. You will rarely see Western or English Pleasure or halter people posting here, because they can’t justify working their horses so young to Dr. Bennett. Also has great sections on bitting, handling and arena exercises.

3)Allbreed pedigree Forum

This is a great place to expand pedigree knowledge for all breeds. There are several prominent equine historians that participate and offer their knowledge for free. Being able to fill in the holes in a horse’s pedigree can help prevent genetic defects from being spread.

4) The Appaloosa Project

There is no equal to the equine color genetics knowledge that this forum provides. They have gone beyond looking at base colors and take you into learning about patterns, modifiers, genetic links to defects and other great stuff that anyone planning to breed horses needs to know.

5) Just Horsin

Normally I avoid anything to do with the pleasure horse industry. But I started reading this forum and was impressed that they were willing to crack down on BNT abuse and people that breed for horses that aren’t sound. Definitely more about riding and showing than the other forums and does have a lot of snark factor, but over all the equine advice is sound.

I got several emails about the collective dipshit equine forums and if I included them all here I would have a list the size of War and Peace. I’ve never seen such a morass of stupidity in my life!

In order to cut down the list to a reasonable size I had to set some criteria:
How harmful was the information being passed around?
How stupid were the majority of members?
How high was the whining level?
How pathetic were the justifications for doing shit wrong?
How fricking psycho I perceive the moderators to be?
How useless the existence of the forum is?
Even with this stringent culling method I still had to pick through quite a list, so I went for the ones that just pissed me off personally.

1)Horse Topia

Who the fuck are these people and what planet did they come from? Seriously do they have real horses or just Breyer Models and a crack pipe to make it all seem real? Why is anyone asking what to feed a baby mini after they already have the horse? Find that shit out before you get a baby. What is with asking if you should breed your grade pintawalkaloosian? Are you fucking kidding? Oh and let’s not forget that the stallion must be either grade too, or a registered horse with a proven genetic defect. My eyes almost bled from the color genetics thread. If these stupid fucks actually succeed in crossing those horses they are going to get something lime green and plaid. Unless you’re into pre-death penance or just a masochist avoid this place. Rating 5 Horse Apples

2)Baywind Farm Horse Forum

Let’s just say I could blog for a year and a day just on the crappy photos I saw posted here. The yellow lines of dooms would look like that big monkey drawing on the plateau in Peru. I could start my own version of the Nazca Lines all over their ass.

I added this photo because the forum evidently didn't understand what lining a photo means. Yellow is bad, blue is correct.
Can these people not ride? Is it something in the water? It’s obvious the moderator has her panties in a twist because she’s never going to be anything but some backyard local show fixture, but seriously, when did hosting a forum mean that zero common sense was required? This forum alone would make me avoid buying anything from Baywind Farm. It's like if Exxon used pictures of the Exxon Valdez spewing oil in order to sell gas shares.
One thing I saw here that pissed me off was the mention of this blog, but given under another person’s name. Hey you stupid fucks, this is my blog, my name is all over it and I don’t appreciate you giving my hard work to someone else just because you’re too stupid or lazy to read the big words posted here. I think most of us here appreciate humor and sarcasm, but people trying to be funny and snarky, while just coming off lame and ignorant, give me a pain in my ass. Rating 4 ¾ Horse Apples

3)Lil Beginnings Miniature Horse Forum

There literally are no words to describe this bunch, although complete stupid fucks would work in a pinch. Breeding and getting dwarves is just part of the business, right? Dwarf Threads, You can't post replies on the dwarfism threads. They don't want discussion, they want their "experts" to have the last words. Dwarves are to be accepted and expected. Promoting smaller horses over quality horses is okay. And let's not forget that breeding for color as the most important trait is just sooooo the right thing to do. Having photos of some tiny mini hauling around a fricking moose in a flowered dress is just wrong. Get a bigger horse or carry the mini. He is not supposed to be hauling around twice his weight. And the feeding misinformation! How there is a single mini out there that isn’t foundered I’ll never know. This is another group that sets the whine level to ten and feels that others “owe” them respect instead of them earning it. They also can’t read for shit. They assigned my blog to another author because my fucking name on the front page is just a joke, right? I type my fingers to the bone so these no-reading asswipes can give someone else credit? I don’t think so! It’s obvious that this bunch sits around all day with nothing better to do but post about their whines, grips and frustrations, while denouncing anyone that offers a differing opinion. Their attack on a newbie for telling them something they did was fucked up was priceless. Driving people out of the horse industry is just what we need to be doing. Rating 4 ½ Horses Apples

4)Free Speech Horse Forum

I hate to add this one, because I really enjoy the parent blog. However, the desire to be associated with a straight talking, controversial blog has attracted a myriad of dumbasses, dweebs and dorks. I've traveled over there in the past and a few of the uppity bad asses tried to get tough until they found themselves featured here and at that point they whined, pulled their hair and threatened me. Big whoop! A forum member sent me nasty emails. Like I’ve never dealt with that before. They also seem inclined to bite the hand that feeds them and criticize the creator of the forum, although never to her face on her blog. I hate chickenshits. I really hate ignorant chickenshits. Despite the attachment to a blog that denounces irresponsible breeding there seems to be a plethora of morons on here asking if they should breed their grade mare to Joe Bob’s grade stallion. I don’t get it. Rating 4 Horse Apples.

5)Horse Dopia

The name says it all. This place is populated by the people too dumb to make it on the Horse Topia or Free Speech forums. Scary thought huh? Believe me, that isn’t teen spirit you’re smelling. This place should almost be mandatory as a test in order to own a horse. If you get accepted to post here then you don’t get to have one! Only when you’re regarded as too smart to be on this forum can you again apply to get a horse, and only then if you’re not a member of any of the other top five piece of shit forums. Rating 3 Horse Apples.

Ironically, when you read the above bad forums you will almost always find a thread bitching about the Fugly Horse forum, or this one, or any other forum where the bullshit gets called out and the "pretty princess pony" people get told to get their heads out of their asses and back into reality. I don't know about Fugs, but I consider it an honor when the dipshits hate this blog, it means I'm doing something right. And I also love it when I google search their sites and this blog pops up as the first listing under their name. That way people can get the information on the stupid aspects of these sites first, before wading into the cesspools of stupidity they share.

I also like this blog Horse Common Sense by Sue, that features some of the dumbest damn forum posts I’ve ever read. If horses really had access to computers, and could read the stupid shit their owners think, they would all gather together and run off the edge of the Grand Canyon, with the gaited horses leading the way.

From the stat tacker it's easy to see the Baywind and Miniature Horse Forum have found my blog and are having a fit. Too fricking bad. If they'd shown any sense in the first place and not posted bullshit about who owns this blog, as well as the stupid posts that endanger horses then they wouldn't be here.

Leaving threads up that people can find when they search the name of this blog just leads me right to the places where the stupidity festers in the horse world. It's easy to see why I got so many emails about these forums as being bad places.

T Jean Maus, blog owner

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

You can't out run stupid

Just when I think it might be safe to venture onto Youtube again I find these links. Barrel racing is one event I truly have a love hate relationship with. I love doing it myself. We grew up doing high school and Little Britches Rodeos and had a blast. A good barrel horse is a tremendous athlete and a poorly trained one is a catastrophic wreck waiting to happen. I hate seeing what the sport has become. It's less and less about riding and more and more about ruining good horses.

My first question about modern barrel racers is: When did knowing how to ride quit being a requirement of the sport? I’m not asking for stellar equitation, but I would like to see your ass in the saddle more than it is out of it. I’d like to see someone riding with their seat and quit hanging onto the reins like they’re a ski rope. HINT: If you keep pulling the reins it slows your horse down.

I’d also like to see horses rate without wearing bits that could be used to torture secrets out of a hardened spy. Whatever happened to running in snaffles? Or mild hackamores? Why these hack-a-gag-a-piece-of-shit bits?

Flog, flog, jerk, drag, flail, kick, jerk, bounce, bounce, flog some more, jerk and spur, turn too late, horse is a maniac in the aisle.

Yep, looks professional to me…not.

More of the same. The slow motion only accentuates the crappy hands and flogging feet. Does no one know how to sit quietly? I remember watching Wendy Newman set the world record in pole bending and she barely moved the entire ride. I don’t think her ass ever left the saddle and her horse, Cyclone, simply melted through the poles. She barrel raced much the same way.
What happened to quiet hands= quiet horse?

Here’s another hint for the can chasers: When your horse keeps plowing barrels because he’s dropping his shoulder in and pointing his nose out he’s telling you a few things: your hands suck, your seat sucks and you’ve over schooled the shit out of him.

Here’s another tip: If your boot toes are pointing at the ground then your ass is usually out of the saddle. Can no one run a horse and keep their heels down? I see ten year old pony club riders jumping courses and doing hunt paces and they never lift their heels. Yet mature “cowgirls” can’t make it to the first barrel without slamming their foot through the stirrup, dropping their toe and choking that horn like a 17 year old boy that has just discovered masturbation and online porn at the same time. It makes no sense at all.

And this kind of shit just pisses me off. If your horse is so burnt out that he does not want to go in the area then get him another job and be done with it. You haven’t handled him right or he wouldn’t be so fucked up. A good horse with a solid foundation can do speed events for years, provided you don’t beat the hell out of him at every run, or jerk his head off or hurt his back by bouncing around like a fat ass sack of meal. Your horse is refusing because you cause him pain every time you take him in the arena.

WTF is with all the bucking? Don’t you train your horse before actually running it in an event?
Most of these people deserve to be bucked off because they ride like shit and they’re stupid.

How can this sport gain respect when you have a section of participation that rides worse than Barbie on a Breyer and creates horses that become mentally unstable?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's talk terminology...

So let’s discuss some screwed up stuff:

I apologize for the delay in posting, the real world has intruded into my online life in an annoying way and I had to boot reality out the door in order to get back to wasting time on the internet.

I received some suggestions via email that led to research, which made my hair stand on end. I’ve developed a rather jaded view of the horse industry, after 30 years the sparkle is off the sequins and the leather is starting to crack, but even I’m shocked at some of the new fangled ways to torture a horse that people are coming up with. There were also a few that made me whack my forehead and feel shame that I hadn’t covered them already. I’m going to start with some of those and then develop the others for later blogs.

Let’s look at how the show ring makes us think and talk. I don’t think horse people realize how odd we sound until a non-horse person points it out to us. My life is compartmentalized into horse and non-horse people. The non-horse people are more prone to giving me odd looks and asking “What do you mean?” And I don’t think we realize that some times terminology gets misused to a huge degree and propagates the misuse of equipment and training methods.

I’ll start with a simple one that has endured massive misuse, both as an equine term, and a training method.

I’m talking about the dread SPUR STOP. A Spur Stop is just that, it’s stopping your horse by applying your heel or spur to his side. It’s a cue used to avoid touching the horse’s face. Now generally I’m all in favor of a cue that means there is less pressure on the mouth. The problem is that this little cue creates all kinds of other problems when you try to use a horse in other disciplines. Touch a Spur Stop trained horse with your heel going over a fence and you’ll find yourself flying through the air like Peter Pan. Hit a barrel horse with a Spur Stop and you’ll lose time, and money. Outside of western/english pleasure it serves no purpose and most good judges will mark you down for it.

This leads to another problem. People use, or rather misuse, the term Spur Stop and don’t know what it means. It’s a simple concept, made harder by ignorance. I once argued for several posts about Spur Stops with a woman that was describing a regular stop. She engaged her seat, then her upper leg and finally lightly touched the reins. Well fucking duh, that’s how you stop a horse. That’s not a Spur Stop, that’s a regular stop. She was arguing in favor of a term, yet she didn’t know what the term actually meant. Most good WP horses I’ve seen are not trained to actually Spur Stop. Instead they work mainly off a shift of the seat and upper leg. Well hello people, classical riding as been doing that for centuries. A true Spur Stop means you poke the horse with your foot and he stops. End of story! No seat, no upper leg, no bit. Even the illustrious Pleasure Horse Forum argues the merit of this ultimately stupid cue, and half the people arguing in favor of it don’t know that what they’re describing isn’t a Spur Stop. If you’re going to fight about something then at least know what you’re arguing about.

Let’s look at another term: Headset
I fricking hate this word. I hate what it implies and I hate how people abuse the hell out of horses to get it. Headset seems to mean that your horse sets his head in one spot and never moves it again. I’ve seen people with draw reins, rubber reins, martingales, and every other gadget on the planet, struggling to create a headset. If you want to know what your horse’s headset is then wait until he’s in a relaxed trot, on loose rein and see where his head goes. That’s his natural headset and one you should not be struggling to alter.

Back when horsemen actually trained horses for longer than 90 days and made sure a horse was solid on each gait and maneuver before moving on to the next one, it was accepted for a horse to reposition his head at different levels when changing gaits or maneuvers. Anyone that has ever ridden a big jumper or good cowhorse knows that an athletic animal is going to re-adjust his body for the optimum range of motion and the most efficient way to get the job done. This will involve moving his fricking head, up and down, side to side. I am so sick of seeing pleasure horses whose heads never move even as they change speeds, stop and turn. I say “never move” in the context of they don’t go up at the shoulder to actually collect, since they can’t collect because the rider is constantly plucking and twanging on the reins in order to maintain the “headset”.

This brings us to our next word of the day: Collection
I don’t hate collection; I hate the fact that even big name trainers don’t know what the fuck it is. In simplistic terms collection is when the rear end of the horse is engaged, the neck lifts from the shoulder and the horse is rounded. A flat top-lined horse is not collected. A drop headed, behind the vertical horse is not collected. A horse may be heeding your every cue. He may be slow, cadenced and quiet but he is not collected if his back is convex and his rear isn’t engaged. And you cannot engage the rear and shoulders if the head is dragging in the dirt. It is physically impossible. Simply yielding to the bit is not collection, it’s giving to pressure. And knowing some of the mouthpieces the BNTs use I’d yield too, rather than get my palate torn to shreds. So all of the little show monkeys sitting on their head dragging horses at the Reichert have no clue what collection is. This term has been so abused by the pleasure horse industry that the government should fine them a dime for each misuse of the term and they could build sanctuary to care for used up old pleasure horses.

After collection comes another term that just sets my teeth to grinding: Frame

I’m sure the first trainer to use the term frame had a clear vision of a flexible, freely striding horse that stayed in a nice rounded, collected form, moving lightly and well within its physical abilities. Then some other less talented, and more gimmick driven, trainer got a hold of the term and used it to mean a stiff, robotic moving horse, over-flexed and frustrated by heavy hands and a leaden seat.

The term frame now implies a rigid, square, heavy, over-gilded form, much like the average pleasure horse with his flat back, stiff movement and silver encrusted saddle. Let’s banish that term to a softer, and more visually pleasing one.

Here’s another term that just makes me want to force my head to meet my desk: Lope with a forward motion.

The AQHA came up with this little ditty because they were too chickenshit to tell their judges to only place horses to could actually canter with the proper number of beats. How the hell else do you canter? Is there a canter with backward motion? Canter with upside down motion? Come on people! When an organization as big as the AQHA makes this kind of statement, showing the equine world that their judges and exhibiters have to be told how to properly canter a horse, it tells you have far down the slippery slope of stupidity we’ve gone. Lope with a forward motion? Pleeeaaassseeee! And to add to the morass of stupidity the ApHC and APHA both adopted the term for their own rulebooks. Hmmm lets tell the whole world the entire stock horse industry can’t figure out how to canter their horses.

Okay share the terms that piss you off. I know I can’t be the only one frustrated with this crap.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pick a topic

I've covered a lot of topics in the past year and most of them have been controversal.
Now I'm going to let the readers pick the next topic:

email me at tjamouse@yahoo.com and let me know what you'd like to read about on this blog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Swaying public opinion

I was sent this photo of an ASB gelding that was taken at a show in Arizona. This horse competed in classes at the show.

I have to wonder WTF anyone was thinking to put a saddle on a horse with a sway back that is this bad? Then I question the parent that would let their kid ride a horse in this condition. I also have to wonder at the absolute lack of consideration that show management and the judges had for the animal by allowing it to be shown. The is positively no upside to riding or showing a horse with a back that is this swayed. It should be retired as it deserves, or euthanised if it is in pain. It should never feel a rider's weight again.

Is the ASB association going to take a stand against this kind of abuse?
I can't imagine that any sane person would see this horse on the showgrounds and not want to stick a foot in someone's ass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

" Model Citizens of the Horse World"

Let’s talk a little bit about egos in the horse world. Ego is what the entire show system is about. Let’s be truthful here: The horse doesn’t give a crap whether it is ever shown or not. He doesn’t care if he ever rides in a trailer, or gets his feet polished, or carries around a fake tail. The horse exists to eat, shit, possibly make babies and enjoy being worshipped as the extraordinary animal he is. He has no use for ribbons, trophies or full-page ads. However, the horse is rarely asked for his opinion, and because of this he is subjected to one of the most horrible things on the planet: The human ego.

What does the ego do? Webster defines the ego as: the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.

One might also define the ego as: The psychic apparatus that compels some sorry piece of shit trainer to drug, beat and harass a horse into a completely artificial frame in the pursuit of a small piece of satin.

We see this a lot, in every breed and every discipline. There is not a single show system in the world that is not governed by ego. From guppies to draft horses it takes someone with a will to win to subject an animal to the processes of showing. The difference is that if you beat a guppy or a gerbil it would die. Horses, unfortunately, can take a lot of abuse before succumbing and they are usually silent about it.

Do horses enjoy human companionship? Certainly. Horses even, in some cases, enjoy the work that goes along with being ridden. I’ve seen horses jump for fun, or cut cattle with no rider on them. I’ve seen horses interact with humans in a way that makes dogs seem like pikers. Horses can love their people. However, they need people that love them back to care for them. This is usually not the case with Big Name Trainers. I’ll state right now that I’m not remotely jealous or concerned about winning anything, I have an entire king sized bed quilt that is made out of sewing together my horse show ribbons, complete with rosettes. At my age I’m happy to report and observe. I appreciate a well-trained horse. I appreciate a skilled and empathetic rider. I rarely see either in the show ring today. What I do see are horses that are bent, spurred, starved, worn-out and tortured into frames and robotic mindsets.

The hardships forced upon horses in the show ring are appalling, but what is even more ridiculous is that after being caught, suspended and/or fined for their actions the BNTs think that a few months or years after their indiscretion everyone should forgive them and they become “model citizens”, never to be sneered at or avoided again.

Here’s my take on it: Horse abusers, like child molesters, can never, ever, reform. They may not get caught doing it in public, but they are still doing it. Anyone suspended for physically abusing a horse should be banned for life. One strike and you’re out. I’m not talking about an accidental spur mark, or making a raw spot on the corner of the mouth. I’m talking about welts, edema, ripped lips, bleeding tongues, you know, like the horse, Slow Lopin Scotch, that was abused to a horrific degree while residing at Cleve Wells’ ranch. This fiasco cost Mr. Wells his Professional Horsemans’ Association card as well as a one-year suspension from AQHA and a $10,000.00 fine.

And even after all this there are still dumbasses on the Pleasure Horse Forum that are defending him. Why? Because he’s won sooooo much. I don’t give a shit if he wins the Nobel Peace Prize he’s still a complete fucktard for having a horse come off of his ranch in that condition. I suspect that in a few years the AQHA show world and all the wannabes and “excusestrians” will be lined up behind him again, worshipping his winning ways and trying to be just like him.

After physical abuse comes drugging to win. Drugging a horse with fluphenizine or reserpine in order to show it is extreme abuse. It is the ultimate in poor sportsmanship and it is a crime that should never, ever, be forgiven. If you use an anti-psychotic in order to try to win then you are a piece of shit. You have no consideration for your horse or fellow exhibitors. If you are a trainer that puts a kid on a horse that has been drugged with one of these two then you should be charged with child endangerment and sentenced to jail. You do not get a free pass back to being a “model citizen” after serving your suspension and paying your fines. You are forever a POS BNT.

The two forms of abuse are not mutually exclusive. One particular BNT trainer in the ApHC show world (think serious “Drequitation”) was busted for fluphenizine in 2003 and was also caught riding his WP horse in the warm up pen, the horse wearing a racing blinker hood, and popping the horse in the head with a stick to make it lower its head. This is a witnessed event and a complaint was filed, but subsequently shoved under the rug.

Abuse breeds abuse. Don’t ever think it doesn’t. On the days the horses aren’t getting stuck in the vein then they are getting the physical ill treatment. The constant spurring, plucking and checking show such a lack of skill it’s a wonder that real horsemen don’t run these assholes out with pitchforks and torches. We know the judges don’t have the balls to do it, especially in the ApHC, because they ride the same fricking way.

The other effect of the abuse is that the instigators of it get all offended when someone points out their past and doesn’t buy the “born again” non-horse abuser act. I really don’t care if you haven’t been busted for a few years, we all know of the back scratching and fear of retaliation that pervades the industry. Anyone with common sense knows that you haven’t changed you ways. You’re still in it for the money and the bragging rights. You’re still catering to clients and trying to sell horses. Anyone of you could be caught in the warm up pen late at night thrashing some horse. This is where video cameras and cell phone cameras are going to start catching up with you. And we all know that with the exception of a few very high end shows not every horse in every class gets drug tested. A respectable Top Ten win, on a reserpine horse, is just as good an advertisement, and less likely to get you tested, as winning. And by the way, when two BNT decided to start brawling outside the main show ring at the Reichert, because one of them is a whiney ass because the other took his client, then don't be surprised if people dump your ass because you have the maturity of a toddler. Maybe that video will make it to youtube one day.

I can already hear the Pleasure Horse Forum screeching about “forgiveness” once the suspension is over. Bullshit! There is no forgiveness for a person that abuses or drugs a harmless animal. The fact that most of the people on the forum have a moral compass that endorses and even supports this attitude tells you how sorry-assed the pleasure horse industry is. They even came out in support of a trainer that used fluphenizine on a horse because “he’d done his time” and he’s an “angel” now. Then they started trashing a person that spoke out against his past actions and started trashing her facility even though none of the sorry wannabes had ever personally seen it. I found this ironic since the one wannabe is nothing more than an ex-groom and has never shown a high level winner in her life. Perhaps she’s dreaming of the day she too can jab a needle in a vein and compete with the rest of the incompetents. Nothing like ass-kissing with the PHF to make your career. Oh, and according to the PHF denizens the poor horse-abusing trainer just had his poor wittle reputation ruined because someone brought up his past behavior. What a crock of shit! He ruined his own reputation by drugging the horse with an anti-psychotic. I’d barf, but I’d hate to replace this laptop.

Here’s the deal: There is no forgiveness for abuse or drugging. You do not get a free pass back into being a reputable trainer. And even more to the point: You stupidly brought it on yourself and can’t blame anyone for being such a fucking moron. Here’s another clue: No one that discusses your past is the bad guy! You are!

Let’s put public recognition and abominable behavior in perspective: In 1938 Adolf Hitler was voted Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. Yeah, we all know what he went on to do. And we all know that there are a bunch of sheet-wearing dumb asses out there that still condone his actions, because his goals and theirs are the same: to win at all costs, no matter whom you hurt or kill. Some show people are the exact same way. They want to win, no matter how many horses they go through while reaching for that worthless piece of satin.

I’ll end this blog with one of my favorite quotes by Thomas C. Haliburton:

The only way to reform some people is to chloroform them.

I couldn’t agree more.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PETA at work

This is not exactly show ring related, but could have an effect on the people that raise, sell and make their living off of producing pedigreed animals.

H.R. 669 is a bill that bans possession, import or export to the United States, transport between states or breeding of nonnative animal species in the United States.
H.R. 669 excludes some animals from this possible ban, including dogs, cats, horses, goldfish, domestic rabbits and some farm animals.
The bill also notes that the Secretary of the Interior can exclude other animal species that are deemed common and clearly domesticated. Any species not excluded must go through an assessment process to determine its possible negative impact to the economy, environment, other animal species and human health.
Supporters of H.R. 669 believe it prevents harm to these areas from nonnative, invasive species.


What this means is that those of you the like exotic birds, ferrets, chinchillas, constrictors and pythons, zebras, and other animals not native to the USA will find yourselves with animals that are banned by this bill.
PETA is one a roll. How long until they get the government to ban the importation of all animal species? Horses and cattle are not native to the USA, even though they've been here for centuries. The majority of dog breeds aren't native either. They are talking exclusions now, that would allow common animals to stay, but that doesn't mean they won't block importation of new breeds.

Madeline Bordallo is the sponsor for this bill and in my opinion she needs her fricking head examined. She's a pawn for PETA and the people that want animals set "free".
Does this stupid woman not realize the impact of shutting down a huge section of the animal industry? The makers of pet products will have to close their plants. People will lose jobs, animals will be abandoned and neglected, veterinarians that have specialized in these species will no longer practice. It makes *no* fricking sense. She's a delegate from Guam and here's her official website: http://www.house.gov/bordallo/
You can contact here here: http://www.house.gov/bordallo/IMA/issue.htm

Step on it people and let this idiot know that she's messing with something she has no clue about. Or the next thing that may be legislated is your ability to keep a horse.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Make Mine A Draft

The topic of the blog today is by request from several people bemoaning how their section of the horse industry has taken a wrong turn.

I think secretly all horsemen love the sight of a draft horse. Not only are they the embodiment of power, but also they represent a time when simply being a good horseman gave you cachet within society. Most honorific titles in ages from Alexander the Great to pre World War II spring from the respect due a good horseman: Chevalier, Cavalier, Caballero, Sir (knighthood), Ritter etc.

Sadly the draft horse went through a down period that started right after World War II and continued for almost 50 years. Other than pastoral societies, such as the Amish, Mennonites and Third World Countries, the draft horse fell out of use due to mechanization. Once tractors appeared on the scene a good draft horse was worth a quarter of what he’d previously been valued. Some breeds survived the down turn and some didn’t. The group that monitors rare and exotic breeds has speculated that almost half of the world’s breeds of draft horses have disappeared or have been absorbed into other breeds.

Thankfully, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in drafts and many breeds are now growing. The ever-popular Clydesdale sells us Budweiser, while the striking black team of Percherons that Southern States owns tries to sell us farm supplies. In the east a drive through Amish country will reveal teams of Belgians and half drafts plowing the fields. Fox hunting country will yield more half drafts, which are prized for their size and ability, as well as their steadfast temperaments. The draft is at least holding steady, but there are some blotches on the horizon.
Let’s discuss something that is going to really piss some people off: Gypsy Vanner Horses. I’ve seen them at fairs and expos and can’t say that I’m impressed. They don’t have the size of the big drafts, nor the elegance of the small draft. In fact some of them are hideous. And I do mean hideous! In a breed where a roman nose is accepted and even adored they go way beyond the norm and have ugly heads.

Let’s get real here. Horses like this aren’t worth ten grand. They aren’t worth five grand. Mostly they are worth carcass weight unless you can get them trained to be the quietest, most ridable/drivable horse out there. We can forgive ugly if the horse is at least useful.

Really, I’m serious. Even if the horse is puurrttyyy colored, and a draft, it’s not worth shit unless it has all the other components of a good horse. This horse is not a good example of conformation, draft or otherwise, and certainly isn’t worth the $10,000 he’s listed for on dreamhorse. The Gypsy Vanner trend has revealed several things to me.

1) Americans will pay money to import anything, even if it is a piece of shit
2) The Irish and English have a great sense of humor in regards to selling Americans low quality horses for outrageous sums of money. Perhaps they are getting back at us about that tea party thing in Boston.
3) Color is still a primary consideration over conformation, doesn’t matter which breed, how big or small.

Yes, someone paid money to import this mare. 100 like her could be found at any Saturday livestock auction, with the exception that the auction horses would probably actually be trained.

I expect this kind of shit in the stock horse industry. I find it impossible to comprehend in a division of the horse world where rare breeds outnumber the regular ones. Why would you reproduce crap when there are only 500 horses of that breed in the world? It makes no sense at all. Look at what happened to the Friesian. They pop into public consciousness in LadyHawke, get another boost in Zorro (although how the movie makers made the leap from Dutch Carriage horse to Andalusian I will never know.) Next a few people really get on the importation bandwagon and a short ten years later we’ve got crappy Friesian everywhere, crappy Friesian crossbreds everywhere and the breed is littered with breeders going bust because they invested high and sold low. Why is it that horse people are always the last ones to understand “Supply and Demand”?

This is not the best of both worlds here. A Friesian/Percheron cross that embodies the worst traits of each breed is not helping the industry. $4,500.00? For what?

I know, I can already hear it: But they make great Dressage horses! Some of them do, after several years of intensive training. But Joe Bob with the backyard Vanner or Friesian cross isn’t going to put that training on them. You’ll be lucky if he halter breaks the damn thing. No, he wants to produce the horse, expects you to bail him out of his bad judgement with a hefty price and then you get to train his low end horse so it has a job which will hopefully keep it out of the slaughterhouse. I’ve been to plenty of Dressage shows and I have yet to see anyone competing at high levels with a Vanner. And the Friesians I see in the upper levels don’t look anything like the ones you see on dreamhorse. Just because something comes from an exotic breed does not mean it merits reproduction. Even rare breeds have poor examples!

If all drafts looked like this I’d have a few myself, but most don’t. Instead they are bred to either look like plow horses, and all the faults that brings to mind, or they are bred so stylized that the traits that make them desirable have been bred out in the quest for typeyness.

The draft people are also hiding a naughty secret. Seems like owning a huge, pulling machine isn’t enough. Now the drafters are going the way the stock horse halter industry is and using the needle to put the “muscle” on their horses. They are also using more gimmicky methods to make their show horses more showy. Why is it that in hand classes always go corrupt so quickly? It’s the least useful thing you can do with a horse and harbors the worst offenders. Is there really going to be a time when draft horse stallions need to be shown in lip chains? When horses on “roids” are the norm in the in hand classes? Why is the draft horse industry going down the trail that ruined the halter industry?

Let's hope the people involved with these horses wake up and protect the good ones before the poor breeders, and bad trainers, ruin even this small section of the horse world.