Thursday, November 20, 2008

When to Say ENOUGH!!!!

Horse abuse and cruelty is something that we are all ridiculously aware of. We see the pictures and videos. Read the papers and the web. But what about when you see in front of your face?

When I was first getting into riding I remember there was these "fancy" western pleasure trainers at the barn and they always had the best trained horses, but it wasn't until I got older that I realized "at what expense?" Their horses ALWAYS were ridden in spurs and ALWAYS had bloody sides. Their mouths were swollen and sometimes you could see the cuts in them. They would ride those horses on hot summer days for 5-6 hours as 2 yr olds. They had to make to AQHA World's you know.

I remember a girl riding her 3 yr old paint in a horse show once and she had draw reins on him so tight he had no WHERE to go, but up and over. I've seen "bad" horses getting beaten for making a simple mistake. Faces being pulled on with razor sharp bits in their mouth. Kicked, punched, slapped in eyes, worked under injury, ugh, and way too much more.
But when do you say enough is enough?

As I got older and became an actual trainer, I realized that I wasn't afraid of these people anymore. I didn't and don't care how good they are or think they are. I am very well respected for getting my job done and getting it done HUMANELY! I've been to shows where everyone will stop, jaws dropped when they see some who has the audacity in PUBLIC to whip, beat, spur, hit their horse and more. Most of the people will turn their backs and cluck about it, but very few will buck up and take action. "Well it's none of our business, it's not our horses, blah blah blah." So they'd rather wait til the horse is dead. You know it's like those kids who do things to cry out for help and everyone turns a blind eye to them until it's to late.
As a trainer and person I am very easy going and mellow for the most part. At shows I will start out not knowing many people, but by the end I'll be friends with everyone. I enjoy what I do and I am a SERIOUS social butterfly. I love talking and laughing and sharing and congratulating people I've never even met! I'm loud and out going and you can usually hear me coming from miles away!! But I have a dark side too. I'm extremely aggressive when it comes to things I'm passionate about. My type 'A' Dominant personality comes ripping through when I see something I don't agree with. Like Abuse. Sometimes, it's just not enough to let "fate" or "karma" run its course. Sometimes you take it into your own hands.

I've gotten into knock-down, drag out fights with people over it. I've been applauded when I've gone after people for being cruel to their horses. I've had my ENTIRE show bill paid for by the staff for putting someone in their place! When it comes to cruelty to animals I've developed a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY! I know a lot of people actually who are becoming less shy when it comes to telling someone they're being dick faces to their horses. I've seen judges throw people out of shows for it! And I LOVE IT! I relish in their humiliation , and just HOPE that they've learned some sort of lesson. And if they have haven't, well I'm sure we'll run into each other again someday.
Sometimes sitting idly by and letting the "authorities" or the horse rescues, or the show staff, or the judges or whomever, handle the abuse situations is NOT optional. Donating your money and then walking away is not always the answer. We all applaud your efforts for the horses who've been saved, but what about helping the ones who haven't? Sometimes you have to swallow your fear and say "fuck it." And stand up for exactly what you believe in!! Even if it means getting up in someones face from time to time. Do I think I'm a bad ass? No, not really, I'm not that tough, but I will speak up for those who can not speak for themselves. You may not always get through to people or even win the battle, but as the war rages on against abuse, we can start to turn the tables.

18 comments:

2toads2luv said...

Ok, honestly, I don't hover waiting for new posts so I can be the first to comment, REALLY.

I was watching a Clinton Anderson segement on RFD. He appears to me to be a good trainer, has a lot to offer, but I was highly impressed when he apologized to the audience for something he had done the day before during a demonstration. Actually, what he hadn't done.

He was working a young horse with a long lead line on the rail, sending the horse out, asking him to turn around, pass between him and the rail, then turn around and do it again. The point was to get the horse comfortable with passing Anderson and the rail without rushing, ect.

At one point, the horse kicked out at him as he passed. Anderson stopped the horse, and apologized. He said that instead of letting the horse continue after kicking (therefore ignoring the kick), as he had done the day before, that he should have got after him, a bit forcefully, for that kind of action.

His point was that most trainers won't disipline a horse in front of the audience, but will take the horse behind the barn, repeat the procedure, and when the kick comes, punish the horse, but out of the audience's eyes.

His acknowledgement of that, and his willingness to show how he would handle a kick like that, audience or not, was good to see.

Rather than try to make things all rosy for the audience, he showed that even trainers get less than perfect results, and they have to be dealt with accordingly; not out of the public eye, behind the barn, where you know the punishment does not fit the crime. It was refreshing to see.

Amanda Nicole said...

I'm a speak-up kind of person too. And I've found no one thinks you the worse for it EVER. People always appreciate someone having the balls to stand up to those disgusting human beings that injure their horses into submission.

Trainer X said...

I love Clinton Anderson and totally agree, that there are times when we all have to school our horses even in front of people, because that's how we learn, what I don't tolerate is when the punishment doesn't fit the crime... like too much hitting, bleeding, punching, really violent actions that are intended for PAIN and Harm, and not learning.

Trainer X said...

Oh and 2toads~ I love it when you're first LOLZ!!! :):):):):):):)

2toads2luv said...

Ok, I was joking, I really do sit here all day and just hit refresh, over and over and over, until you put up a new post. ;-)

How many times have you seen the first place winner ride out the arena smiling, only to see the horse flying backwards behind the barn for not picking up the lope fast enough? (Back in my lowly showing days)

Or gals coming out of the arena after a great run, only to crank their horse's head around, put the spurs into him on the same side, to get him to "flex" and "move away from the pressure". FFS, go back to the practice pen and start over at a trot working on the basics. I CAN NOT STAND IT when riders get pissed at their horses FOR RIDER ERRORS.

I think I'd like to take the whip to them!! (the rider, that is)

Trainer X said...

Oh I so agree and 9 times out 10 they're ALWAYS rider errors. They're usually those riders who have (want,think) the "perfect" horse and when they don't get 1st they take it out on their horse. Beat 'em with the whip you say? I LOVE IT!!!!

2toads2luv said...

I just have to state, however, that I am a perfect rider, have never made a rider error, have never erroneously taken it out on my horses when I know full well it's time just to head back to the barn, call it a day, and quit being so stubborn, because we all have off days. Nope, not me.

Uh-huh...

(P.S. Being stubborn/stupid does NOT mean abusive, however.)

Trainer X said...

I know it must be hard being so perfect 2toads! J/k LOL!!!!

wolfandterriers said...

Trainer X, you are awesome. I volunteered at the local shows this summer to get some time in for my med school app, and I would just cover my face. I got tired of saying, "They are going to wreck," "That bounce is too wide," etc...At the little shows here, the horses are not adjustable, and have never jumped an entire course in their lives...oh wait, until they come to the show! I just covered my face sometimes. I really need to be waaaay more aggressive about the b.s. around here, I just can't stand to do anything else until I move. I am having enough trouble keeping my mouth shut about the place I board (self care, it's 2.5 minutes from my house, and I'm leaving in late spring--PLEASE GOD!).

Be loud so I can copy you one day. :)

Trainer X said...

Awww Schucks... Thanks Wolf! I'll be as loud as you need!! :):):)

2toads2luv said...

Full time job, my friend!

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?

Sure you've seen this before, but always a good watch...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw&feature=related

Trainer X said...

That Video is So wild!!

GoLightly said...

Oooh, Blue Hors Matiné!!
Too bad she couldn't do the Olympics. What a brilliant mare.

Saw too much abuse.
Don't like to speak of it.
Remember keeping my mouth shut once, and shouldn't have, but needed to keep my job.

That person is no longer riding. The mare sure didn't deserve it.

At the last place I tried part-boarding, I was asked, Oh so condescendingly "Do you Show?"
The condescender then whooped away on her horses' sides. Doing a turn on the forehand.... She'd been riding all of two-three years, and was so CLUEless.....
I should have called YOU, TX:)
I am too polite, I guess.
Heavy hands, oh my god, when did that become the norm?
Hmmm, I feel an actual rant coming on:)

Great, sad but true, post.

Trainer X said...

Oh I'm sure I'll get my ass kicked someday, but I have no fear only anger and swear words eh Golightly?? ;) Mwuahahaha!! Oh and I love your rants, Rant a Away!!!!! :)

kestrel said...

Once again, read your breed rulebook! I showed at a QH show, and witnesses some ugly abuse. Went up to the ring steward, told her what I saw, she went Awwwww...I told her it's rule number...and that gave her the ammo to go whack the nasty trainer. Any time you're showing make sure you've got the rules with ya.

Trainer X said...

Kestrel you are a genius!!! :):):):)

sterling said...

Uck, I don't even want to think about some of the stuff going on. Rollkur, jagged spurs, bits with cain mouthpieces, blech. I also think that draw-reigns should definately be used with caution. I have a pair because my horse was being a s#%& and wouldn't put his head down, but I had them on loosely. The same day (this was at a show) a girl in the warmup arena ran into me because her drawreigns were on so tight her horse couldn't see where she was going, much less balance (it was a green three year old) and she wasn't paying attention. Also, on the same day, someone had a QH she was spurring repeatedly in and out of the show ring, and was kicked out of the ring for making her horse canter doughnuts in the ring, instead of going into the lineup. It must have been abuse-your-horse-at-the-show day, or something...

About LOBO said...

http://www.scienceofmotion.com/Rollkur.pdf

The Science of why Rollkur is a horrible treatment of a horse.