Lets take this blog to the next level

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

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

Wednesday, August 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.


EveryoneThinksThey'reGoodDrivers said...

I love the happy endings the best - they are too few and far between.

Sally said...

Thanks for the positive note!

WildCaballo said...

How cool is that?! Kudos. May lots of good karma be headed to the person who saw the potential of this mare.

SFTS said...

Great story ~ thanks for posting!!

Here is the thing that gets me: Why do so many people believe it's okay to abuse horses, especially people paid to "train" them?

autumnblaze said...

Good job, Poppy's newest set of people. Good post, TM.

It's good to have a happy ending every now and again amdist the swarm of horses that aren't so lucky these days.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Woot to Poppy and the people who have done right by her!

The others... well I am still wondering what a "a horse of hungry javelinas" looks like? Love it TJM. Maybe that was meant to be horde? lol

I know. When we get riled up, the brain and typing is the first thing to go. Myself- guilty as charged!

Mikolaj said...

Thank you for posting this. It gets depressing reading story after story about total fucknuts. Obviously a huge kudos to you because it HAS to be done, but a success story every now and then makes the pain a little bit easier.

I rehabilitated an Arab mare that shocked me to my core. I have no idea what was done to her, only that it caused her to be completely abandoned. She was a joy to be around - IN her own paddock. The first time I took her for a walk, as soon as we hit the end of the driveway, she was shaking so violently, she couldn't even eat a carrot chunk from my hand without knocking it off. She almost fell several times. I've never been scared of horses before, but when we turned back down the drivway, she reacted so violently, in such a state of uncontrolled panic to be back in her paddock, I actually contemplated dropping the lead rope. Thankfully, I managed to bring us through it.

Where is Szerina today? Being doted and loved on by a novice family. All she needed was some time and affection, and the trust she gave you in return was unbelieveable. The family has not had a single incident with her in a year of owning her and are tickled pink with her.

photogchic said...

Yeah for Poppy! What a great horse/human partnership.

cattypex said...

That IS a very happy ending!! :D

Thanks TJM!!!

I was talking to someone yesterday who grew up doing saddlebred stuff on the east coast, and who won't have much to do with the local horse scene here outside the campus barn, because of how violent so many redneck "trainers" are.

I was like, DUDE, it happens EVERYwhere..... you were just plugged into the very high end where it's either not obvious, or you hung out with mostly similar-thinking people, so it wasn't done in your circle.

I prefer to be aware, and to work with 4-H kids so that they learn early on what is NOT okay.

Which is tough when their own parents think that some really bad stuff is OK.

iluvmygiraffe said...

Thanks TJM for this inspiring note!! Its great to see past abused horses blossom and shine when given TLC :]

katana77 said...

This girl did so much for this mare and really made her into a star. Kudos to her for what she's done with this horse and many others.

TheHorseGirl said...

That's such a great story! Well the beginning was a bit disturbing, but I loved the ending!

It's nice to hear that she's doing well :)


Wildcat said...

I love it when a horse gets to do a job they really seem to like.

I also love the look on the girl's face. "Don't slide off. Don't slide off . . . "

Golden Girl said...

Awesome story, just the thing that makes life in the horse world worth living!

I acquired an unwanted rescue from a client, a 2yo mini filly. My client is a novice and didn't know how to deal with such a nervous, skittish animal. She purchased the filly from her trainer for 'a deal'. LOL
Apparently said trainer couldn't be bothered to work with her own animals. From what I can tell the filly was never imprinted. I was told the when weaned, she was just thrown out in the pasture on her own with the herd! The only handling she probably got was at hoof trimming and worming time, how terrifying for her. I guess since her conformation is less than prefect, she was just a cull...

Anyway, I've had her 9 months and she trusts us pretty good, but out in the pasture she is still suspicious & nervous at times when approached. So I consider her a permanent pasture ornament. I named her Penny because she is small and the color of a new penny.

Jennifer said...

Actually, Golden Girl, there is more and more evidence that imprinting is *bad* for a horse, rather than good, and that foals learn more and better from watching their dam being handled.

I see nothing wrong with leaving a young horse with the herd, although I agree that making sure they have positive experiences associated with being caught up is important.

But imprinting is as likely to make a human-aggressive horse as a good horse. Probably more.

autumnblaze said...

Jennifer - SO very glad to hear someone else saying that about imprinting. I've read some of the research as well and it make sense.

Tuffy Horse said...

I think Poppy's story is great! There are so many horses that can succeed if given a second chance.

Tracy M

Jennifer said...

I actually know a pony mare. Her history is unknown and uncertain, but it definitely wasn't a good life at some point. This mare shows all the signs of actual mal-imprinting. She makes sexual overtures towards humans when in heat! No kidding. And guess what? She's human-aggressive to the point of sometimes requiring a muzzle for grooming. She treats humans like other horses.

I want my horse to remember I'm a human and its a horse, thank you very much. Blurring the line strikes me as dangerous, and thus I'm against both imprinting and some (not all) 'natural horsemanship' practices.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I don't know Jennifer-I've imprinted as many of my foals as I can in the last decade. My first imprinted foals are now 11y/o's.

I've never had any problems with them. But, it was never my goal to turn them into pets when they were babies either.

Like so many things, done correctly, it can be a benefit to the horse all his life. Done wrong and you definitely create a problem.

I have an old mare who is a flighty old rip. When I bred her, I was adament that I was going to imprint her foal. I did. It made a huge difference in that filly's temperment. I imprinted this mare's other two foals as well and they are all much more accepting and willing.

Some people may argue that I shouldn't have bred her in the first place, because she doesn't have the greatest of temperments. But imprinting made all the difference in her foals' temperments and they are kind, honest and gentle horses, who are a lot less inclined to react as violently to situational activities than their momma.

I do hate it when I see people turning their foals into pets and teaching them stupid tricks though. They aren't a dog for crying out loud. They grow up. Once that lack of respect is developed, it's almost impossible to fix.

horsndogluvr said...

I worry about the whole "respect" thing. In some cases, it is as misused as the "alpha dog" thing has been.

My horses are my friends. I don't mind having them "in my space," because they give me enough respect. It's also a matter of trust, which is a two-way street. I doubt they would trust me as much, if I didn't trust them. (No, you'll never see me standing on them, or lying underneath them. Duh!)

I also don't mind tricks, as long as they aren't dangerous. Teaching tricks is training, after all. "Put your feet on this circus stand" is fine. "Put your feet on my shoulders" - stoopid!

Opinionatedly, Ruthie

cattypex said...

Imprinting, "alpha dog" stuff and "natural horsemanship" as originally conceptualized as adjunct training methods ALL had some merit, as ways to actually communicate with animals on their own terms.

BUT.... when people take it to the nth degree, they're just stupid.

Jennifer said...

I'm citing recent studies done that indicate imprinting is not beneficial and is often harmful.

I am not saying don't handle a foal, I have an issue with the entire 'make it bond more with humans than horses' attitude.

They are horses.

And I have no problem with most of the animals I deal with 'in my space' as long as they get out of my space when I tell them to. But I sure as heck expect them to respect me, because I am that much smaller than they are and I don't enjoy having my feet stepped on.

horsndogluvr said...

Oh, yeah, Cattypex and Jennifer.

When I first heard about imprinting, it sounded good - but it wasn't about bonding. It was about the foal learning that it is OK for a human to touch it anywhere. Great idea to do that while the horse is still smaller and weaker than you!

I think all of this can be blamed on two illogical thoughts:

"If it worked for her, it will work for me," and

"If a little is good, a lot is better."

Add in "If it's on TV, it must be good," and we get the current mess.

Logically, Ruthie

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