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!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Arabian crowd really knows how to DRAW you in

I usually don’t have a beef with the Arab performance crowd. They don’t block tails and their horses usually don’t drag their heads around like zombies. Also the WP riders know at least a modicum of equitation and don’t lean back like they are about to tip off over the ass of the horse. But photos from the 2011 Scottsdale Arab show really got my blood boiling and confirmed why drawing and quartering is an acceptable form of punishment.

Let’s talk about horse training for a second. Horse training is such a simple process. You make the horse do what you want him to do, by making him think he wants to do it in the first place. Let’s face it, unless you’re dealing with miniature horses you are at the mercy of an animal that is much bigger and stronger. A person can equalize the relationship with talent and training, or, as the dickheads in the below photos show, with cruel equipment and harsh methods. It never ceases to amazes me how people can take something as simple as a snaffle or bosal and turn it into a torture device, yet it gets done at every show, in every warm up pen.
The Arabian is a gorgeous animal. He is intelligent, dynamic and spirited. An Arabian running across a grassy meadow is proof that the hand of God has touched this world, even if only briefly. To take such an animal and subject it to harsh methods is a crime.

My first example is how a good piece of equipment can be bastardized to become something abusive. A bosal is about as gentle a piece of horse gear as you can find. It’s a simple loop of braided rawhide with a heel button. Fitted correctly and used properly it is the first stage to creating a “bridled” horse. Made out of other material it can become a tortuous device as shown below.

A bent metal bosal? This thin? You can see the mark on the horse’s jaw where this thing has created a pressure point. And the damn thing is riding too low on the nose too. Is this the kind of thing you want on your young horse? Is this acceptable as a training measure? Hell no! This sucks and it should never be allowed on a show grounds

The next most basic piece of equipment is a snaffle. Most snaffles are fairly benign bits. They usually have a regular jointed mouthpiece and work by direct pull. It’s pretty hard to mess up a horse with a regular snaffle, so the trainwhores have figured out how to make this seemingly innocuous bit into a torture device.

What’s wrong with this picture? Where do we start? Some asshole stuff a thin twisted wire snaffle on a horse and cranked it until the horse’s lips are screaming at the seams and he’s foaming. Then they added a running martingale and draw reins. Really? Like one of those wasn’t enough to slow your horse down? You’re in a warm up pen, just how much crank control do you need? I wish this poor horse had flipped over on your dumb ass like you deserved. This is the kind of shit that makes people want to sit in the stands with a deer rifle and pick idiots off.

A step up from the snaffle is a curb bit. Curbs are leverage bits. They produce poll, mouth, tongue, and chin pressure. The standard curb bit has a 1½" cheek and a 4½" lower shank, thus producing a 1:3 ratio of cheek to lower shank, a 1:4 ratio of cheek to full shank, thus producing 3 lbs of pressure on the chin groove and 4 lbs of pressure on the horse's mouth for every 1 lb placed on the reins. In other words, keep your fricking hands light and stay off the bit. The standard rule of thumb that any GOOD trainer uses is that you don’t use leverage devices with a leverage bit. No martingales or draw reins on anything with a shank, it’s simply too much pressure.

The person below missed that lesson and decided to add even more leverage and use a German martingale with the curb bit because ten pounds of pressure across his horse’s tongue just wasn’t enough!

Can you say “Asshat”? I can. Are you really so incompetent that you can’t train without cranking your horse’s head to his chest with 15 pounds of leather? How would you like to try to work with this much crap on your head?

For some reason in history people decided that one bit wasn’t enough and created the Weymouth. I know people use them in upper level dressage and saddleseat, but really the point escapes me. However, when used properly they probably don’t do too much damaged. The problem with them is that you don’t have to pass a test before using such equipment, so these bits end up in the hands of people that aren’t qualified to pick their own noses, such as the dimwit below.

A martingale on the curb and the snaffle rein? What a complete dick you are! And that’s an illegal bit for dressage anyway, so why are you training in it? You horse sure looks unhappy! How would you like to have two bits pressing down on your tongue and the bars of your mouth? I can’t stand to have a fricking hair lay across my tongue; I can’t imagine how this shit feels.

Sadly it’s not only the English riders that do this stupid shit. For a long time western trainers didn’t use shit like draw reins and martingales, especially not with a shanked bit. Looks like times have changed and now every trainwhore in the country is using draw reins to take shortcuts in training.

Doesn’t this look wonderful? Don’t you wish that the judges could see this shit and rate it? Nothing like an 8 inch shank bit with a set of draw reins on it. Maybe we should just throw out all the show rules and let people ride in classes like this so everyone could see up close how sucky these trainers are. Think about it, isn’t this shit in the warm-up pen kind of like models who get their photos airbrushed to cover up crows feet and cellulite? Ten minutes after this photo you expect us to believe that your horse is trained perfectly and will make a balanced consistent ride? Liar!

Once thing that is consistent in all of these photos is the whole tight nostril-tense lip look that every one of these horses display. They are in pain and they are frustrated. These are not happy horses; they are pissed off and fearful. They should be allowed to buck these idiots off and then stomp their heads.

Shame on the trainers that perpetrated these abuses and shame on the show management that allowed this kind of abuse in the warm up pen! Where the hell is the oversight that would have prevented this crap? The AHA needs to step up and put a stop to this kind of thing!


Tuffy Horse said...

You nailed it!

GeniusisFarAway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheHorseInTheGarage said...

But, but, the horses LIKE it!! C'mon now!
Oh, and p.s. Why have you NEVER mentioned this travesty of horsemanshit? It's the number one reason western riders cannot be taken seriously, in my opinion.


Just curious.

singingcowgirl said...

Great blog! Just more examples of poor horsemanship that need to be exposed to the world. So many that go to the shows are numb to this sort of riding, and won't speak up.

TankDiveGirl said...

Okay, just a quick thing -- the bridle in the pic with the long shank weymouth and the tiny bradoon with the running martingale? Thats either a show hack or saddleseat bridle, NOT a dressage bridle.

That being said -- the reason that nothing is done about this is because the trainers you see doing this are the same trainers that are either a.) judges in their own right, or b.) have the officials in their pocket. or c.) both. These people spend BIG MONEY with the AHS, and the AHS isn't going to do anything about it until people pull their horses from the abusing trainers or stop going to their $$$$ horse shows. It's really that simple.

Yes, it sucks completely, and yes, it's completely unfair to the horses, but until people put their money where their mouths are, nothing will change.

Trojan Mouse said...

Tank Dive Girl,
On the bit you describe the whole picture shows the horse braided and saddled for dressage, he's not going in saddleseat or show hack with a running braid and a Georges St Prix saddle. So someone was in the warmup ring using a bridle that was illegal for dressage.
And I agree that the reason it continues is because trainers are judges and judges are trainers. But it also happens because show management does not police the warm up ring and say: You cannot ride in here with that set-up! If they banned leverage equipment with leverage bits then half of this crap would stop.

Mary said...

TheHorseInTheGarage: I hate those wild horse races too. They're an utterly shameful spectacle: a bunch of grown men terrorizing some scared animals for the sake of entertainment.

All those bits show in today's blog are terrible. If you can't train a horse without things like that, then you can't train.

Wrangler Jayne said...

Opinions aside about horsemanship methods, these examples represent cruelty to horses, which, is Unacceptable. Period. There ARE other ways to create a willing partnership with a horse, and to be in harmony with them. Thank you for posting this ... hopefully awareness will help bring about Big Changes.

Alcippe said...

I do believe the horse with the "dressage" bit was warming up for English show hack. It is shown in full braids and a dressage saddle, usually complete with a shadbelly. Which of course is nothing like the show hack of tradition. It is saddleseat hores that just happen to beable to hold it together well enough to do the collected gaits. Another reason these training methods are used...they get ribbons! If these judges would quit placing these horses, people would quit using these means to make them look the way the judges are placing. I am an Arab owner and I remember when a hunter horse won because it looked like it could be put on a hunt course and jump. Now the hunter horses in arabs are the reject saddleseat horses. High necks and lots of knee, and of course would never make it over a fence. That is why they had to create the sport horse division, because the true athletes of the breed were worthless after they started placing the reject country pleasure horses. :-/

Anonymous said...

@ HorseInTheGarage-thanks for the crappy link-what a shame for those horses-someone needs to tie those wannabe cowboys up to a big rig and floor it!

MissStandardbred said...

With an exracehorse of my own (no, standardbred), I completely disagree with everything that's been going on in the competitive horse fields. Even after 2 years of work, he's still petrified of the whip, still thinks he won't be fed (after starving for 2 years), still worries whenever he canters or gallops, and still worries about contact with a bit in his mouth (harmless french snaffles--the right ones--are still monsters).

The arabs are just as bad. And did you know that if a horse is overflexed at the C4 vertebrae for too long, it cuts off some of the blood supply to their brain and makes them less reactive and intelligent during and after. Maybe that's why these people do it? Because they can't outsmart the horses?

I wanted to give you fellow natural horsemanship people a name that hopefully you all have heard of:

Jean Luc Cornille


He is the natural, classical style frenchman who rode in the Cadre Noir, and who backs up his findings with scientific proof. Measurable, tested proof. And explains the anatomical science of why something happens and how to fix it. This man is a genius.

Sam said...

Shame on you for being so quick to write something off as cruel when you have no idea what is going on in these photos nor are you apart of the horse world. Don't like the horse show world? Don't fucking go. I'll admit - acts of unfairness and things that aren't right have occurred in the horse industry but not everywhere. An avid animal lover and horse rider I compete at this show every year. I would never put my horses through something cruel. I recognize some of my horses who are all happy and healthy in these pictures. Delete them and this article or I will take legal action.

Sam said...

By the way, I'm the kid that you wished the horse flipped over on asshole

Emma Dickinson-Gater said...

From some one on the other side of the Atlantic (who can ride properly) do me a favour, stop ruining breeds and LEARN TO RIDE BEFORE YOU GO IN THE RING! Seen bester riding in beginners lessons here tan in american showrings! Jeez guys, you give us a bad name!

Global said...

Maybe it will knock some sense into you! Your an abuser! If this was a child you'd get the chair!

Global said...

Ya they look happy! Hahahaha you have no business owning animals!

Global said...

You need to go find another way to feel good about yourself....like oh I don't know THERAPY!!!

barrelracer95 said...

because youre a sorry ass excuse for a rider...and no, this does not need to be taken down. legal action, my ass....the ones who need legal action taken against them are you and the others who do this shit. you all need to be taken down for animal cruelty. also, those horses are far from happy. happy horses do not look miserable as those do. oh and hey asshole....yes, sam, i am talking to you...hope the horse does flip backwards on you, injuring you just enough that you can never ride again, thus removing one abusive rider from the equation.

Allison.Lowe said...

Actually that's how Arabian Show Hack horses are tacked and braided. Riders are also outfitted in Dressage attire.

Samantha A said...

I strongly suggest legal action as some of those horses I recognize as well, she can't show the WHOLE picture of non terrified horses just horses working and she snapped a picture at the right time of their mouths open.

Samantha A said...

This from a head jerker aka Barrel racer...how many aides do you use? Quirts, spurs, running reins, tie downs, bading your feet?? The AHA Main ring is 1000% better and more humane then those hick town barrel races.

Samantha A said...

This from a head jerker aka Barrel racer...how many aides do you use? Quirts, spurs, running reins, tie downs, bading your feet?? The AHA Main ring is 1000% better and more humane then those hick town barrel races.

Samantha A said...

I strongly suggest legal action as some of those horses I recognize as well, she can't show the WHOLE picture of non terrified horses just horses working and she snapped a picture at the right time of their mouths open.