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!)
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.........