Lets take this blog to the next level

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

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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

OF COURSE, that ribbon is way more important than my kid's safety!!!!

I grew up with horses and probably did things that should have gotten me killed. As teenagers my sister and I would ride anything with hooves, sometimes just to prove we could. But our mother, who was a horsewoman and competed along side of us, never, ever let us put our safety aside to get a ribbon. It just didn't happen. So while we swam the horses in ponds that the ecoli bacteria would probably avoid, and rode bareback until the flesh rubbed off of our butts, we were never put in an unsafe position in an arena. We wore helmets when jumping, we used tack that was age, and experience, appropriate and we never had a parent breathing down our neck to "win".

For some reason a lot of horse parents see their little darlings as ego extensions and no matter how dangerous the horse, or the event, they want the kid to ride to win. I've seen this taken to the extreme in just about every discipline, but it usually pops up in three majors events: Jumping, barrel racing and gaited horses.

Let's look at a few barrel racing videos that just piss me off. Where is the fricking helmet? There is not a youth organization out there that doesn't allow, and in some cases require, helmets.

This is a prime example of a stupid parent with a cute kid and show off aspirations.
No helmet, no stirrups, carrying a whip, holding the leadline too long, jittery gelding, wearing inappropriate clothing ( the thought of sand rash just makes me cringe). It's like a billboard for bad choices made in the shortest amount of time.

This one really outrages me! I've shown it before, and it showcases the point that some parents should be banned from having horses and kids at the same time:

No helmet, horse is too big, feet are banded in the stirrups, no control. WTF? 5 year olds running barrels are not cute, unless they are doing it on size appropriate horses with proper equipment. My niece used to jog her welsh pony around the barrels when she was five, wearing her helmet, no whip, never had her feet tied in the stirrups. 5 year olds on huge horses, jerking the mouth at every stride, carrying a whip and wearing no protective headgear are just advertisments for how screwed up their parents are. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Now on to jumping. Jumping is an expensive sport. Those USEF and Pony Club fees are nothing to sneeze at and to really rig out a kid on a good hunter or jumper is going to cost you an average of five figures. But for some reason jumping, which is one of the most dangerous equine sports, makes the ego driven parents lose what little minds they have. It's as if they want to prove how brave they are by sacrificing their child. I have seen 7 year olds on 16 hand fire breathing jumpers, faces pale, fists locked around the reins, take courses that I wouldn't take a horse over without a parachute and mattresses beside every fence. These kids, as a whole, ride biting their lower lip, eyes cast down, a dull sheen on their sweaty frightened faces, and meanwhile mom and pop walk about in their "tweeds" sipping iced tea and bragging about how much they paid for "Fencebreaker the Wonder Horse". It's enough to make you puke. WTF are these parents thinking? We know what they trainers are thinking. They are getting paid, no matter if the kid survives the ride or not. But the parents really have to be crazy to put their kids through this shit.

The explanation on this video just screams out how stupid the parents are. New horse, check. Horse reacts badly to new home, check. Horse clearly not a finished animal, check. Recipe for disaster. I have to give the kid credit because she sticks the bucks far longer than I thought she would. But even so her parents were beyond stupid to take a fearful pony they'd had less than a week to a show. It's clear the pony is freaked from the first moment they start filming. Here's what you do dipshits, you untack the pony and spend the day leading her around the show until she calms down. IF, and only IF she calms down you tack her back up and let your kid mount up, while you hold a leadrope, and lead the pony around in a controlled situation. You don't not throw your child on the pony's back and let her pretend to be a rodeo bronc during a class. In the one scene it is very clear that the pony messed up another competitor's ride and had the horse not skittered out of the way there might have been a bad wreck.

Of course on the other end of the spectrum is this child, his clearly pissed off pony and his parents that allowed him to ride the pony with a whip, a second set of reins attached to his saddle and stupidly tried to get him to take the pony over fences. It's been on facebook and fugly, but I thought it was applicable here because it showcases how stupid some parents are, even when they do put some safety measures in place.

Another pony wreck. The kid clearly hits the rail. Do they get an EMT in there? NOPE! They "man" the kid up and walk him out of the arena. Why? Because you "gotta get right back on". Bullshit! If the kid hits the jump get him checked by a doctor. The pony was too hard for the child to rate and clearly had his mind set of not taking the fence before they even got there. I have seen more promising riders ruined by jumping too soon on inppropriate horses than I can count. Back the hell up and take it slow. Five to seven year olds do not need to be battling their way around jump courses, I don't care how cute those fricking Thelwell cartoons are.

I freaking hate padded up horses. But I really hate parents that perpetuate the abuse, poor riding and bad ring manners that are rampant in this discipline. So let's teach our kids to ride with hands so heavy they numb a horse's mouth. Let's teach them to ride in bits that are illegal in just about every other equine event. Let's teach them that screwing up a horses back and legs is just fine, because that fricking blue ribbon means so much more than the horse being comfortable and pain free. You might as well put out a sign that says: I'm raising a child with no morals, no feelings for other living things, and I don't care if he gets hurt, or hurts the horse in the process.

And just because I think it's funny as shit a video about Paris Hilton getting dumped off a horse. Her parents weren't after ribbons, but despite all their money they can't seem to buy this dipshit any common sense. No helmet, no brains, no ability. Perhaps if she'd practiced riding more horses than sleezy porn movie directors she could have stayed on.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Use it on yourself first, asshat!

Just WTF is this thing and what is it doing in a horse's mouth?

A curb prong bit? Are you kidding me? Just the leverage on the shanks alone makes this bit a potential killer and then add PRONGS! And it's endorsed by Tim McQuay? Seriously, Tim McQuay, whom I used to respect as a trainer? Well buddy, you are now in the Cleve Wells Hall of Idiots. I am staggered that any self respecting horseman would put his name on such a piece of shit. It's obviously illegal to show in. The ONLY objective of this bit is to cause pain and you ENDORSE it? I think that any equine organization that even allows these bits in the warm up pen should be blacklisted!

Here's another one of the damned thing! Who is James Morris and why is he stupidly endorsing this bit?

I seriously hope that your punishment in hell is to wear one of these things for all eternity with some ham-handed asshole constantly plucking the reins to reset your head! Are you kidding me? You're such a poor trainer that you have to prong your horse's mouth? I can set a horse's head with a fricking bosal and you need a PRONG bit? You should be fired from ever training a horse again.

And this is the WORST one yet. Prongs above and below! Who the hell is Flaharty and why in heavens name can someone sell this shit and not get arrested?

The place selling these travesties is KO Trading in Ft Worth and they should be blackballed. Do not shop at a store that promotes abuse and cruelty. These bits are unethical in the extreme. They do not give the horse a fair chance and they can cause terrible damage to the tongue surface and nerves. It is a disgrace to the industry that these things even exist and the fact that top trainers endorse them just shows how low things have sunk. If this is what pleasure and reining have sunk to then they need to start getting looked at by the USDA just like the walking horse shows do. No horse should ever have one of these pieces of junk in their mouth.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Transitions are important, but you need to actually change speed in order to make one...

I did one of my least favorite things tonight and that was watch WP videos on youtube. Seriously, the only thing that pisses me off worse is watching old MASH re-runs while tied to a chair. I found the "official" AQHA video to show how a WP horse should move.

Evidently my definitions of the terms "softness, cadence, and collection" are wildly different from the AQHA. While watching this video I could only think that the AQHA needs to re-label their gaits to trip, stumble, and stagger instead of walk, trot and canter. I'm mortified that this "professional" stood there and tried to bluff his way through the fact that the horse moved like shit. And WP is absolutely *NOT* the foundation of a working western horse. Modern WP goes against every standard a good working horse needs to meet. I almost spit out my tongue when he said English Pleasure is the foundation for working hunter and hunter hack. What fricking planet are you on Mister? I've never seen a horse jump a fence with his head at his knees and a two foot stride. Every single horse in the video looked sore, tired and unhappy. Is this really what the AQHA wants to promote? I thought the registry was named because Qhs were the fastest at a quarter mile, not because they move slower than a snail with an anchor on his ass. ( Assuming snails have asses)

And what about that rule in the AQHA handook that says the horse is penalized if his ears are below wither level for three strides? Every horse in the class should have had the gate for breaking that rule! The riding is terrible too. What is with the leaning back, forward feet and crappy arms. It looked like a class full of drunken floppy stick figures. Like Barbie and Ken Western Pleasure without the cool outfits and long manes on the horses. I am like so totally grossed out! <----- sarcasm

It's obvious that AQHA has no intention of "fixing" western pleasure, because if they did a lot of incompetant trainers and poorly conformed horses would be out of jobs. But they really shouldn't advertise their stupidity with videos like the one above. It's like an infomercial for how not to ride, train your horse or produce a long term, sound animal.

So let's hear some assessments, and make them good! We have to keep this blog as the number one most hated on the Delphi Pleasure forum and with the Equine Chronicle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to blogging and a great re-hab story..

Sometimes real life gets in the way of the fun stuff and I've had to take some time away from blogging to deal with family, health and work issues. This doesn't mean I don't check in and read comments, or visit the other horse related sites. I am especially happy that Fugly outed supreme trainwhore Pat Parelli and his idiot wife, as well as USEF taking a hardline stance on abuse! Just goes to prove that even without me blogging the assholes will get outed, and it's not just me making this crap up.

Now to clear a few things up:

This blog is not anti-show. It is anti-abuse. So the saddlebred rider that whines about it over on COTH is just another one of the people that got her ass handed to her because she wouldn't admit the abuse that goes on in the ASB industry. I love good show horses. I love watching good shows, good trainers and the excitement that people feel when a rider/horse combination just nails it. What I don't like is the rampant abuse that pervades the industry. Denying it exists and accusing us watch dogs about being anti-show just indicated how stupid some of the people in the industry are. Getting pissed at some big trainer whipping a horse over fences does not mean I think show jumping should be banned. It means that I think the trainer should be suspended and get his ass bet with a baseball bat for senselessly beating his horse. Being pissed about soring does not mean I'm anti TWH or ASB. I'm anti-soring and abuse, which are rampant in both sectors. Keep denying it AMWrider, but the truth is out there on video and in photos. ( And speaking of photos: I don't think you need to be pointing fingers at anyone, I've seen yours)

I was extremely gratified when the Equine Chronicle had a poll and this blog was rated one of the worst for the WP industry! Alright! I'm so glad that the WP people know I will be riding their asses, complete with constant checking and suprring, until they clean up the abuse that is so apparent. Right now when I watch the Reichert videos on youtube all I can think of is a field of oil pumpers bobbing up and done in unison, except the pumpers have a lot more expression and cadence than the WP horses do.

But enough about addressing the whiners ( you know who you are, and so do we)

Here's a rehab/success story sent to me by Kristen and how she and her sisters took a sad, traumatized WP horse and turned her into the ultimate can chaser! Looks like Jazz has gotten over being abuse and now enjoys her job.

( Wow, look kids, a nicely tucked barrel horse, no tie down, no whip, cute expression, enjoying the job. It's almost like sighting Bigfoot it's so rare to see)

Jazz and Kristen
Five years ago we bought a 4-year-old western pleasure/halter mare. Jazz was spoiled, angry and prone to amazing temper tantrums. She had been pulled from an abusive barn and trainer by the owners as a three-year-old (Was started at a year and half) and was sitting in the pasture eating hay. Jazz is double Impressive bred and Mr. Conclusion bred, has splints in both her front legs, and would be well behaved for about three minutes at a time, with ten minute spooking, bolting, bucking and rearing episodes thrown in there. She had been shown halter, lunge line and western pleasure and had went to AQHA Nationals(?) as a weanling.
My sisters and I had just lost a leased horse (We had taken care of him for almost two years, and went to the barn one day to find him traded for a car by his irresponsible, dishonest owner) Needless to say we were heart broken, he had taught us a lot, and was a truly amazing little horse.

Our family couldn't afford a horse and so since we were young my sisters and I would climb up on just about anything we could hoist ourselves on to. We had started barrel racing with our leased horse, Curly, and were completely hooked on it, sticking our nose into any NFR riders book and teaching each other on the lawn, horseless, pretending to make our pocket and rate our horse.

Jazz's owners loved her, but the girl was getting out of horses and showing and Jazz was wasting away. We told my dad about her and we convinced him that if we could buy her, we could show halter or breed her to sell the baby for money to buy a real barrel horse. We ate our words. When my dad went to go and meet Jazz for the first time, she looked at him, looked back at her food, and lunged at him, teeth bared ears pinned. The girls and I were shocked...almost in tears, but my dad just looked at her and said “At least she has character". I had to get a job at McDonalds (I applied two months before my 15th birthday) and me, Jus, Em and my Mom took 5 months to pay off the $1500.00 fee, then we took Jazz home.

Our first horse!
For a year I took Jazz on trail rides, her chronic bolting didn't scare me and I just ignored her bucking and rearing until she eventually grew out of it, Jazz was just a lost soul that needed to find something she loved, she wasn't bad, she just hated pleasure and needed to be treated like a horse again.

When I started Jazz on barrels she couldn't run to save her life. She could only do a weird three-beated lope/gallop nasty gait that made people laugh at her and ALMOST every barrel racer in the area tell me that she could never be a barrel horse. Negative people constantly surrounded us, but we ignored them, took care of our horses and always put Jazz first.

8 months after I started her on barrels she won the 1D at a local jackpot, against seasoned rodeo winning horses. I do not consider myself by any means an excellent trainer and I am still learning so much, always trying to improve myself, but Jazz was just such a special horse that she found something she loved and she excelled at it, teaching me and my sisters along the way. By the end of the summer she was winning jackpots and solidly placing in the 1D, and MAN could our mare run poles. She won the all around at the local LBR just by winning poles both days with Jus, and then she won it again the next year (As a 7 year old) by winning poles one day (20.40) and placing top 5 in barrels both days (She knocked a pole to be a 20.41 the first day) By now, our parents realized that this horse deserved more than local events.

(Oh look, a polebending horse with no tiedown, not getting its ass beat with every stride! Ears up, mouth closed, looks like a winner!)

Justine started to compete in high school rodeo. We pulled up to our first rodeo with a twenty-five year old, two- horse bumper pull, Jazz very well wrapped and 6 of us crammed in our truck, our camper tottering on the back. Justine won the poles both days and was 2nd and 4th in the barrels. Her and Jazz went into the BC finals 5th in barrels and 4th in poles, with 3 missed rodeos, unfortunately Jazz hurt herself that weekend and they left 11 and 10th. She still squeezed into the Canadian Finals in poles and won a go-round there.

This year they went to Alberta for the high school rodeos, and she won 7/8 go-rounds in the barrels. In three years of Rodeo (One year of solid rodeo) Jazz has made cheques in LBR, HSR and in the Amateur rodeos with me and ran 14th/200 girls at the Canadian Barrel Racing Finals, with a slip on third (Rider error, got caught up in the moment forgot to RIDE my horse ;) ). Jazz has truly been a miracle to our family, and to her own history, everyone said she couldn't and then darn it, she did. Jazz is still grumpy, cannot be caught by anyone but us sisters, is spooky as hell still, but she when its time for her job, she gives 120% and our family and I are eternally grateful to her. She is my best friend. She will be 9 this year, she is perfectly sound, being conditioned right now, and is going to a pole-bending clinic in three weeks.

Congratulations Kristen, Justine and Em! Jazz looks happy and has definitely overcome her early abuse as a western pleasure horse! Good luck to all of you!

And now onward to search out more abuse, to boldly go where no blogger has gone before.........