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.