"Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it."

~Anna Sewell

Friday, October 23, 2009

How important are bloodlines?

It always amuses me when people brag about their horse's pedigree, especially when the horse is less than impressive. It's even more hilarious when people say, "He goes back to the Bedouin Turk!" or, "He's a great-great-great grandson of Man O' War!"

Ha. Victor is from the Man O' War line, and that's not something I'm particularly proud of. Man O' War was a nasty son of a gun and horses from his line have a tendency to be quirky and high-strung (Vic's living proof!). Granted, knowing a horse's pedigree is nice and it's even nicer when it's a good pedigree. I like to know that my horses have good health and soundness in their family.

On the other hand, it won't turn me off when I'm looking at a horse that has a not-so-famous pedigree or no papers at all. Bloodlines mean next to nothing to me, unless he has an ancestor like Impressive. I care about the animal I'm seeing in front of me. I couldn't care less if he's sired by Doc O' Lena if he has nothing to show for it.

I was at an auction a while back and this snooty girl rides in on a skewbald gelding. The horse is cute, but not gorgeous. She's all cocky and starts spouting off about the horse's incredible pedigree and apparently famous roping stallions that he's descended from (I don't know much about stock breed pedigrees, so I don't remember exactly what she said). But ummm... the only reason I would care about bloodlines is if the horse actually inherited the traits that made its ancestors famous. Or if I was going to do breed circuits. Which I don't and I don't plan to, so I rest my case.

The primary things that I care about are level of training, conformation, and temperament. I know some people who don't care as much about temperament, but to me it's just as important as good conformation. If our personalities clash, it sucks the fun right out of it and it's not even worth it.

One more thing I look for is a "perfect face". It's not as important and I try not to be too picky, but I'm a sucker for horses with perfect necks and faces. I can't get past jug-heads, knife-necks, or ewe-necks. I like curvy, muscular, well-shaped necks that tie in nicely to the shoulders and head. I especially like faces with sharp, chiseled features and gentle eyes. That's just my personal preference. Some people like the softer, cuter look. And some people don't care either way. ;D

I'm not sure how we got on the subject of faces... hehe.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stop abusing your horse and use a bitless bridle!

Re: A bit is not horse abuse

That video is extremely biased and one-sided. Not to mention utterly uneducated. This is just one of the many anti-bit videos that I've come across. Reasonably knowledgeable horse people see right through it, but beginners probably soak in every word. I can see how it would make a newbie think that anyone who uses bits is a horrible animal abuser.

Here are my two cents. With the exception of things like gags, bike chains, twisted wire leverage bits, etc., the bit itself has nothing to do with abuse. There are some monstrosities out there that are designed to cause pain and those ones should all be melted down and prohibited. However, generally speaking, bits don't hurt horses. People hurt horses. Allow me to illustrate.

On the left, we have a horse in a double bridle. He's slightly ahead of the vertical, as he should be, and he appears relaxed and comfortable. Eyes bright and calm, ears pricked and alert. I don't see anything in his body language that would suggest that he's in pain. I also like the slack on the curb rein. This is the way the equipment should be used.

Now on the right, we have a Rollkur picture, otherwise known as "how NOT to use a bit and bridle".

Are we seeing the difference? Both have essentially the same equipment, but the look on this horse's face is heartbreaking. His mouth is open, despite the crank noseband, his tongue is lolling, his eyes are rolled back. Look at the taught reins and the angle of the leverage bit. This horse's head is in a vice grip, and it must be miserable.

The one factor that determines whether or not a bit is cruel is the rider. Instead of blaming a piece of metal, we need to look to the real source of cruelty: the hands on the other end of the reins. Even something as simple as a halter can turn into a torture device in the hands of a thoughtless rider. The same could be said for any piece of equipment, including hackamores and bitless bridles. It's not what you put in the horses mouth, it's the skill and knowledge of the person using the equipment.

Choose your weapon Pt. 1

I like this guy. He explains bits very well and I think he does a good job of getting his point across.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is this even healthy?

I was watching Truth Be Told: I'm Obsessed With My Pet the other night, and I was appalled. It's one thing to love your pet, but it's quite another to treat that pet like a human child. Animals are not humans, and they should never be treated like humans. Now, before the sensitive people (and I am one of those sensitive people as well!) flame me, I want to clarify something.

Animals should not be treated like humans because it just doesn't work for them. However, pets should be valued like any other member of the family. That doesn't mean you put sneakers and a sundress on your Yorkie and walk her around in a baby stroller. That's a little creepy.

The lady that had the Italian Greyhound ticked me off for several reasons. She seemed completely convinced that the dog was a little human and enjoyed being treated like a child. She spent thousands of dollars on designer dog outfits because she put the dog in beauty pageants all the time. She kept a record of every time she fed her, groomed her, and even every time the dog peed or pooped. Who does that? And who the hell spends 300 bucks on a doggie outfit? The only "clothes" I would buy for a dog would be a jacket/sweater if he or she needed one. It's just like blanketing a horse in the winter. Dogs are dogs. They don't need shoes or T-shirts. I hardly believe that they like wearing clothes. It's a huge waste of money, besides that.

And then there was the lady with 11 cats. At first I thought, well, that's not that strange. I would have 11 cats too, if I could afford it. But then she had a birthday party for one of the cats. Is it any wonder why she only had one guest? The lady was nuts, and not just crazy-cat-lady nuts. She was fostering that cat named James Bond, who ran away and she was looking for him for like a month. She kept setting a trap up every day for weeks on end, trying to catch a cat that wasn't even hers. If the cat didn't come back after about 2 weeks, I would assume he either found a home or doesn't want to be caught. The cat could have been in the next city for all she knew. I just found it really strange that she was convinced that it couldn't possibly be raccoons or stray cats eating the food in the trap. She just knew it was James Bond. *facepalm*

Finally, there was the lady with the monkey. She dressed the monkey up in little T-shirts and pants every day and took him everywhere she went. She claimed he was a service animal, but I personally don't buy it. You'd think she was caring for a baby, the way she treated him. Her entire life was the monkey. She claims he would never show any aggression to anyone, and that proves how much of a naive fool she is. Monkeys are wild animals. There is no such thing as a "tame" wild animal. Remember the lady with the chimpanzee that attacked her friend? I'm sure the lady never would have thought the chimp would attack anyone. She treated him like a human, and I'm sure she trusted him 100%. And look what happened.

When you bring a wild animal into your house and expect it to act like a domesticated house pet, you're asking for trouble. You can never entirely trust an animal like that. They don't belong in houses. I think that lady will get a rude awakening if and when her monkey turns on someone. It can happen at any time with little to no warning. It's like the people who buy illegal exotics (i.e., tiger and lion cubs) and think they're going to make great pets. Then said tiger cubs grow up and become unmanageable and they end up being taken away by the SPCA and either put in zoos/sanctuaries or euthanized. Wild animals are not pets. Period.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I love this article

The Perfect Horse

Is that cute or what? It pretty much hits the nail on the head. Everyone needs a Perfect Horse in their life at some point. :D

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My mouth hurts.

There's a really good article about Wonder Bits that y'all might be interested in.

The "Wonder" Bit.

Why anyone would use something like that is beyond me. Using one sends out the message to the rest of the horse world that you are a moronic excuse for an equestrian.

I cried a little bit on the inside when I came across these bits.

Shame on you, Valley Vet. I would have thought better of you, but now I see that I was naive. Listen to the description:

(Charmayne James) This is a good beginner bit for young horses. Good transition from the D-ring snaffle, allowing more stop and control. An excellent bit for introducing the curb strap. Mouth 5 ½”, shank 6”.

I'm sure your three-year-olds will be thrilled to go from a snaffle to a twisted-wire gag. It's great for introducing the curb strap? That's news to me. I bet it makes a great first impression when this piece of shit has a horse in a headlock.

(Charmayne James) Designed for better turns and stops. Triple jointed mouthpiece is comfortable and will not pinch. Works well on all types of horses. Lifetime guarantee.

You are a dickweed if you think this bit is comfortable. Gags are designed to cause pain. And with that sliding action and the length of the shank, the amount of leverage you can exert on a horse's mouth is pretty much limitless. But hey, it can be yours for the low, low price of $59.95.

Furthermore, Miss James is now added to my Hall of Infamy. Go to her bits page and all you see are thin, twisted-wire leverage bits. All but one of them are leverage bits. Gag, gag, gag, curb, gag, wire, chain, gag. That's all it is.

She and people like her barrel race in these things. Awesome.

And what's more, all three of the stallions on her website are extremely downhill. I find this really irritating:

Clayton is Scamper's clone. Okay, so they're rich enough to clone a horse. Lots of BNT's are. He is horribly downhill and small and his stud fee is a whopping $4,000. He was also broken as a two-year-old and was standing at stud that early as well. This proves the greed of the BNT's. They break out their horses way too early and pimp them out as soon as it's physically possible for them to reproduce. Who cares if the horse is lame by the age of nine when you can still profit off of his stud fees, right?

Off topic, but that is the reason I was suspicious of the Jackson's motives when they put so much money into trying to save Barbaro. I have a hard time believing that any big time racing owners/trainers truly care about the horses. Even if he couldn't have raced again, his stud fees would have been sky high and everyone with a fertile mare would have been lining up to have a few minutes in his breeding shed. I believe that if big name Thoroughbred owners care at all about their horses, they care about their money even more. Do you really think any one of them would give up their class and social status if it meant saving a horse's life? I don't think so. People who have the horses' best interests at heart do not break and race them at two or flog them 30 times in two minutes or dope them up on steroids and/or bute.

[/end rant]

Back on topic. I know not all barrel racers ride like Neanderthals. But enough of them do to give the sport a bad reputation. The bad riders usually ride is some kind of leverage bit and would go flying off the horse if they weren't clinging to the horn for dear life. They do nothing but yank the reins and bludgeon the horse with their legs and reins all the way through the pattern. The horses are running out of the chute like banshees and crash through the pattern looking totally sloppy and out of control.

And Charmayne is marketing her very own signature torture devices for any greenie to purchase. I have no respect for anyone who endorses equipment like that. Like every other BNT website I've seen, there are no warnings about the harsh equipment they sell. Any beginner who has no understanding of bit mechanics can purchase these items under the false pretense that they work magic on problem horses. I know many horses who would flip over backwards with the slightest pressure from a gag. I would too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Equitation FAIL.

When your horse is on the vertical all throughout the jump, you know something is wrong with your hands. That should be one of the first things a rider learns when beginning to jump.

And yet we have people that are competing with that kind of flaw. Contrary to popular belief, I do not have a problem with beginner riders, or even not-so-great riders (as I am one myself). However I DO have issues with riders who think they need to rush and do things they're not ready for. Even worse is when those riders are completely blind to their lack of skill and continue to move on to more advanced levels before they've mastered the one they're at. The first rider looks really good except for the absence of any kind of release, but that's an important factor. You can hurt your horse if you yank his mouth over jumps.

My trainer had me release over TROT POLES. She would screech at me until she turned red and veins popped in her neck if I didn't get it right. That's when her devil horns come out and she threatens violence against me if I continue to screw up. Not really, but she gets scary as hell. So does Victor, and he's even scarier than Lorena when he's pissed off. Heehee...

Anyway... How much are you willing to bet that none of the riders like the one up top have ever ridden anything but schoolmasters? Their horses must have the temperaments of puppy dogs and about $10,000 worth of professional training.
This rider is another ballgame. There aren't many good things about this photo other than the gorgeous, saintly pinto. I think you can pick out the issues for yourselves.

Again, the horse's nose is cranked in because the rider is leaning on the reins. Bet that hollow back feels real good during landing. The whole thing just looks tense and unbalanced. Horses should look natural over jumps. Not like a 15th century painting of Pegasus leaping into the air. Your horse is not a magical pony. He has a wind pipe and vertebrae that can easily be damaged in the hands of a careless or unskilled rider.

This one isn't all that bad, but it made me laugh. I'm not sure why her stirrups are so short, but that's probably why she's stuck in the chair position. This ended up on the blog because they used it as a sale photo. All they had to do was look at this to realize that it looks goofy and maybe they should have fixed her leathers and taken another picture. Oy.

Okay, last one. I didn't think much of this at first, just one of the thousands of fuglies for sale. I figured the sellers were typical fugly owners because the poor mare's name is Silly. And because she appears to be underweight. But that's to be expected from fugly owners.

But then I saw that they're asking $3000 for her.

Okay. You do not ask a small fortune for a horse that looks like that. No one with a decent head on their shoulders is going to fork over that kind of money for weak, ugly hindquarters and an ewe neck. Her coloring is stunning, but that means nothing to anyone who knows anything about conformation. She will never be athletic, so how do they figure she's worth three grand? There are better horses in auctions that are going for 18 cents a pound as I write this. It makes no sense.

Monday, September 14, 2009

No wonder Arabians are loony.

Not all of them, but most of them. Just look what they're subjected to.

I'm especially cringing at the crown piece. That's one of the most vulnerable areas on a horse and Schneider Saddlery is marketing this thing.

Ever met a horse who didn't like his ears touched? It's probably a trust issue. A horse's cervical vertebrae are pretty well protected until you get to the top of the neck, which is where the bones have the least protection. So if your horse lets you touch his ears and the area behind his skull, that says he trusts you.

This piece of shit would most definitely make a horse headshy. I can just see that curb strap pinching the hell out of there jaws.

Arabs are hot blooded anyway, so why add fuel to the fire? You KNOW any horse would be extremely upset if this was on his head. Imagine a flaky, two-year-old Arab colt. Yikes.

If you can't train a horse to square up and stand with a plain halter, you need to step back and reevaluate your skill level. And question whether or not you should even have horses. It doesn't take long for anyone who knows anything about horses to figure out who knows what. In the horse world, you can't hide incompetence or lack of knowledge. Everyone is gonna know, and you'll look like that much more of a fool if you try to deny it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Your opinions on dog aggression?

This is a very controversial subject. There are a lot of people who would put a dog down the first time it bit/nipped/snapped at someone, no questions asked.

The only way that I would put a dog to sleep because of aggression is if it came to the point where I didn't trust the dog at all. Meaning, if it became a frequent occurrence, if he injured someone enough to be life threatening, or in the rare case that it was unprovoked.

When I was little, we had a Chow Chow and a Shar Pei. The Chow frequently growled at me because I would crawl on her and pull her fur and whatnot. Then one day she bit a delivery guy and the shitstick neighbor lady almost had a pulmonary and long story short, my parents had to put her down. I don't remember her, but I still feel bad about it. The Shar Pei snapped at me a couple times too, so they gave him to a home with no kids. In the case of both dogs, their growling and snapping was my fault.

Case in point, dogs rarely attack without a reason and it's almost always the person's fault. Our second Shar Pei turned on my dad and actually drew blood, but we didn't put him down. It only happened once and it wasn't very serious. He was a good dog otherwise. That kind of thing is to be expected from Shar Pei, seeing as they were initially bred as fighting and guard dogs. All three of our Shar Pei had strong resource guarding instincts as well.

I grew up with food aggressive dogs, and I'm still alive. That's one thing I don't like about most shelters and rescues. They usually don't adopt out food aggressive dogs. And it's really not a major issue.

You know how you solve that problem?

You stay the hell away from them while they're eating. I would bite too if someone tried to take my Doritos away from me. I understand how they feel. I learned at a very young age that you don't bother dogs when they have food in front of them. Shelters should put regulations on them and only allow them to go to homes with no or older kids. Make the adopters sign an agreement that clearly states that they understand that the dog has resource guarding issues. I do not believe that it's the shelter's fault, either. I do not pity the moron that gets his fingers bitten off when he touches the dog's food. And if a dog bites a kid, it's the parents' fault for not teaching the kid any better. If a child is old enough to walk, it's old enough to understand not to bother the dog. Either that or feed the dog in a separate room and close the door.

Furthermore, if you tease a dog, you deserve to get bitten. Do not whine and cry like a baby when it happens because everyone with a decent head will know that it was your own fault.

I also hate it when people (mainly solicitors) carelessly walk right up to houses with BEWARE OF DOG signs. Do you know what that sign means? That is a clear warning to anyone who does not live in that household that there is a dog there that will attack a stranger if given half a chance. They're called guard dogs, and that's exactly what they do. I do not want to hear about boneheads that get bitten after they went and did something stupid.

So. Any thoughts?

Does anyone else think this ad is really bizarre?

giant white mushroom.... could be dried out for decoration...... not for food, could be poisonous....$5 ..... still growing........

That is one big 'shroom. I can picture what the sellers where thinking...

"Hey mama, did you see how big that there mushroom's gettin'?"

"What'd y'all reckon we should do with it?"

"Dun sell it is what we gon' do!"

Why would you sell a random plant that's growing in your yard? I would just as soon throw it away if it's bothering you that much. It seems like this could be a situation where the people are really hard up for money and are selling everything they can possibly live without.

Furthermore, they don't even seem to know what species it is, since they said it could be poisonous. Like anyone would buy that thing to eat...

That would be the ugliest decoration in the world. This ad made me giggle.

This made me so angry.

Shame in the Horse Show Ring posted this, and I'm dumbfounded yet again by the stupidity of some people.

Harry Meade rides an exhausted horse.

Doesn't that make you sick?

You know what I don't get? Meade is competing at pretty high level events and he's either too stupid to realize when his horse is about to drop dead or he just doesn't care. Or both. You could see poor Dunauger was starting to lag and get clumsy and he barely made it over the last few jumps before he got caught. You'd think it would be a huge clue to stop when your horse is stumbling over jumps and heaving like a half-dead moose.

Guess what Harry. You're fucking stupid. Dickweed. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who would like to wring your neck, too. Do the world a favor and pull your head out of your ass before you swing your leg over another horse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yet another annoying sale ad.


As if they think no one can read the details they filled out on Equinehits. And the caps lock. And the bear-like man sitting on the horse like a rank beginner. I hope that's not his usual riding position. Their website is... well, obnoxious.

Nothing like showing off a sales horse by standing up on his back while he's in the pasture with at least one other loose horse. All I think about when I look at pictures like this is how much of a moron the seller is. Not how patient or quiet the horse is.

You know how people like that try to tell you that vaulters do the same thing and nobody bashes them for standing on horses' backs? That's a bunch of bullpoop because there are several differences between vaulters and backyard nincompoops who think it's kewl to stand on horse's backs.

Number one, vaulting horses are massive. Usually some kind of draft or draft cross.

Two, they have a vaulting pad to cushion their backs.

And three, vaulters are stick-skinny. They're light as a feather compared to the above individual who looks suspiciously like a steroid-loving beefhead. That and the fact that said beefhead is being an ass and standing right on the poor horse's kidneys. These guys would be classified as dickweeds. Definitely.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New blog!

Yep. I've finally made the What Not To Wear Blog that I've been wanting to do for a long time.

Check it out if you have time. I think you guys will like it (or at least have a good laugh. Either way, as long as you're amused). I'm in the process of making a banner.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Silly hunters, shows are for good riders!

As you know, I ride huntseat and soon to be hunter/jumper. And I'm really starting to question whether or not I want to be involved in this discipline, simply because of the majority of the people involved in it. Especially in the schooling shows. It's all just bratty little whiners who have mommy and daddy to buy them $50,000 ponies when they can't even ride.

I was at a hunter show a few years back and my mom got talking to a horse show dad. He was telling her how his daughter just upgraded from her pony and her new horse was imported from Belgium. O_o Cha-ching. $$$

This photograph was taken at a very prestigious show barn in my area, and I am appalled. Someone has a major ducking problem.

Notice the rider laying across the horse's neck and her ass sticking out in the air. And she's looking down as if to say, "What a lovely fence. Looks like cedar, doesn't it, Breezie?"

Now, a lot of the photos are actually very impressive. But the ones that aren't are just as glorified as the good ones. The picture above is what people today consider "great riding". Even in equitation classes.

Click for larger view. It's enough to make your eyeballs bleed. The caption for this one is, "OMG this new mane conditioner smells sooo perdy!"

Y'know, I'd be willing to bet money that 90% of these riders have ridden nothing but schoolmasters their entire lives. If you put them up on a less-than-perfectly-schooled horse, they would not know what to do. That's why they get away with their scary equitation. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that great of a rider, and I would scarcely even qualify as a "decent" or "pretty" rider for that matter. But you will never see me flopping through courses or doing anything else that's above my level and I would certainly never go to shows looking like that. And I don't have a good ole' schooling horse to take lessons on. I'm stuck with my knuckleheaded (but lovable) lunatic who thinks trot poles bite. I'm sure most of you can relate at least a little bit.

This is a direct shout out to all the hunters in the world:


And on a side note, if you can pull off an automatic release, good for you. But you do not have to reach for the horse's elbows. You will look like a moron (i.e., the ass sticking out again). Mkay? So don't exaggerate it.

I know not all hunters ride like this, but enough of them do to make the rest of us look bad.

This one's the same horse and rider. So you know the last one wasn't just a bad moment. Gorgeous horse, but don't you just wanna crack the rider over the head with a two-by-four? I'm going to have an aneurysm one of these days from looking at all these riders.

What is with the ducking and looking down. Seriously. How are you going to plan the next fence? For those of you who ride English (and probably western, too), I bet your instructors are constantly shouting, "EYES UP! Where's the next jump?!" Eyes are extremely important. And I'm sure many of your instructors would be dragging you off the horse by your shirt collars if they caught you staring down at every fence you jumped. The thing is, it's really not that hard to fix. It's a bad habit, not something more complex like having something wrong with your seat. You just keep reminding yourself to keep your eyes up, and eventually it'll be second nature. But you have to keep your eyes up or your seat won't do any good because the horse won't know where to go. It's like a domino effect.

I also think people are confused about what makes someone a good rider. The truth is (and I've said it before), it's not what you do, it's how well you do it. A person that can clear a 12' cross rail with perfect form is a better rider than someone who can launch over a 5" oxer with chicken wings and a floppy seat.

Hear that, hunters? No matter what you jump, you are only impressive if you do it right. If you don't, you look like a total dickweed. That means you need to be solid in one level before moving on to more advanced things.

That goes out to parents and instructors, too. Do not put a kid on a horse that he or she can't control, and do NOT make that kid do things that are way above their skill level. Take it slow. Make sure you do it right. OK? OK.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Folks, we have a new winner.

I thought TWH bits were as nasty as they come. But I think this monstrosity takes the cake. Click for a larger view.

What. The fuck. Is that. Look at the mouthpiece on that motherfucker.

This thing makes it a cinch to slice your horse's mouth to ribbons. It's called a Large Screw Offset D-Ring Snaffle.

Anyone who would use this on a horse needs to have this bit shoved into their mouth while someone yanks and saws away on the reins.

It looks a lot like something Cleve Wells would invent.

This one isn't much better. A bike chain mouthpiece on a gag. Again, you could shred your horse's mouth with one pinkie finger.

It's called a Showman Stainless Steel Wonder Bit.

Yeah, I bet it keeps a horse's face cranked in whether they want to or not. Awesome.

I cannot even imagine how fucked up you'd have to be to use one of these. It's probably people with the mentality of Big Lick Dickheads who don't give two shits about the well being of their horses. People are unbelievable.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More on the performance TWH industry.

I'd like to say a huge thanks to MissMellyMel for giving me a link to a very interesting article regarding the big lick industry.


Very interesting. And profoundly disturbing. I'm officially boycotting the words "discipline" and "sport" in instances in which they are used in the same sentence as "big lick" or "performance Tennessee Walking Horses". Instead, I will be replacing those words with "activity".

The lengths people will go to in order to achieve a despicably horrendous and unnatural gait. I'm sure most of us are aware of the cruelty involved with the big lick practice, but seeing it in writing really makes it sink in.

Big lick people have actually issued death threats to advocates of sound horses. Some have even had their barns burned down (with horses inside???). Just to give you an insight on what big lick people are generally like. Don't they sound like a jolly bunch? Just the kind of people every equestrian aspires to be like.

If they would issue death threats to people who stand up for sound, healthy horses, can you imagine what they must do to their own horses? What are you so afraid of, big lick people? What do you have to hide? Why so defensive? You guys must know you're doing something wrong, or else you wouldn't be going to so much trouble trying to sweep your dirty little secrets under the rug.

As we all know, soring is only a small tidbit of the rest of the picture. Stacks, chains, 10" shanks, tail sets, blinders, training shackles, stewarding, the list goes on. These cretins put an unbelievable amount of effort into making their horses miserable. Human beings (women in particular) are willing to torture themselves for the sake of beauty, but apparently that isn't enough for some people. They have to force their foolishness onto voiceless animals that have no choice in the matter and have to bare their agony in silence. If those horses could talk, what would they say about their owners? Nothing nice, I'm sure.

If there was nothing wrong with the TWH industry, this controversy wouldn't exist. I think big lick people are so set in their ways because a lot of them honestly (or at least outwardly) believe there's nothing wrong with what they're doing. Why? Because they come from long lines of big lick people. It's been hard wired into their brains that either 1) all the fancy artificial gadgets don't hurt the horse at all or 2) it's completely ethical to cause your horse discomfort in order to win. Children are being taught how to sore horses. Young riders are discouraged or even reprimanded for asking too many questions concerning big lick horses. Just goes to show what a sneaky and slimy industry it is.

It's no wonder 99% of the rest of the equestrian world has zero respect for this activity. Not only is it completely devoid of any taste, talent, or artistry, but abuse is so rampant that the government has to step in! That fact, if nothing else, should slap people in the face and make them open their eyes.

Another point I'm sure we can all agree on is that the consequences for soring or other abusive practices are way too lenient. Anyone found soring a horse should have all their horses taken away and be banned from owning ANY animal ever again. See it Through My Eyes is a really good video. It reignites your resentment for this activity every time you watch it. At about 5:10, that footage almost kills me. Can you imagine that horse's agony as he stumbles under the pain of first or second degree burns on his legs, coupled with the weight of a rider and chains around his ankles that only aggravate it more? If that pain was inflicted on a human being, they'd be on the ground, writhing and screaming. But the horses are too saintly to offer an iota of protest.

Wrapping up, if you guys get the chance, visit these links. They have a lot of info on the gaited industries and they're just plain awesome.

Friends of Sound Horses

Sound Horse Conference

Stop Soring

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tell me something, big lick people.

Most of you claim that big lick riding isn't uncomfortable or unnatural for the horse at all.

If that's true, why on God's green earth would you need bits like these?

You would have to be the biggest piece of shit in the world to put something like that in a horse's mouth. Most of these are advertised as training bits. What a way to introduce a young horse to riding, right? God forbid that anybody start a horse in a snaffle.

I don't know what's worse: The pads and chains, or the scary-ass bits that resemble medieval torture devices. And FYI, comparing pads to high heel shoes only proves my point because ladies, you know that heels are murder on your feet/knees/back after about an hour. I can only imagine how they feel to horses that wear them all throughout their show career. I've never once seen a big lick horse that looked happy or comfortable.

Big lick people also seem to believe in riding and competing on two year olds. Let me clarify that for you. Not sitting on, not going for a walk around the arena on, but seriously riding two year olds as if they're already professional athletes. The notion that Walkers (or any other horses) are full grown at two is nothing short of outrageous and as far from the truth as you can get. No horse on earth, regardless of breed, has ever been fully mature before the age of five and a half, give or take six months. Some horses are engineered or bred to appear full grown on the outside, but the inside is still just like every other horse in the world. So just because a horse's "knees are closed" does not mean it's OK to start riding them. There are growth plates on every bone behind the skull, and they aren't done fusing until at least five years of age. The bones in the spine and base of the neck are the last to mature. And you know how big lick horses always have their heads cranked back and their cheeks ripped up to their ears? Bet that feels real good on a baby horse's growing bones.

This video says coming two year old. I'm afraid that means they've been riding him since he was a yearling. That would be extremely disturbing. The fact that the whole thing looks disgusting and unnatural and the rider is slumped over like a sack of feed is beside the point.

I used to think there was no such thing as an ugly show horse. But big lick people have managed to turn beautiful animals into hideous critters that don't even look equine. What's up with that canter? Even a Western Pleasure horse would be marked down for having a four-beat lope. Why is it acceptable in the TWH ring? And did you see her pulling on her horse's mouth with that ginormous shank? Just looking at it makes you want to bang your head into a wall. I will never ever ever change my outlook on this discipline. It's just sick.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Animal Planet's Untamed & Uncut: Morons On National Television.

I have a love-hate relationship with this show. Sometimes there are freak accidents, but there are endless videos showing "accidents" that were caused by human stupidity and could have easily been avoided.

This video in particular pisses me off to no end. Most of you have probably seen it. There's just nothing right with any part of it, other than the fact that the dickweed rider got what was coming to her.

Woman Crushed By Horse.

That was completely, one-hundred percent her fault. Number one: she neglected to keep her horse's teeth floated. Those sharp edges wouldn't have been there in the first place if her teeth were floated. That whole thing would have never happened if she'd taken proper care of her poor mare. Number two: she KNEW beforehand that her horse wasn't acting right. That should have been a huge red flag. But instead, she ignored her horse's warning and overlooked her welfare for the sake of a fancy belt buckle. There's a saying that I absolutely love: a good rider can hear his horse speak, a great rider can hear his horse whisper, but a bad rider won't hear his horse even if it screams at him. And it couldn't be more true.

The narrator cracks me up. "Barrel horses are specifically trained not to spook. So what scared Bee-Bee?"

The horse wasn't scared, you dolt. She was pissed and in pain. She never spooked.

And finally, there's the fact that Miss Natalie was hauling back on the reins like a banshee once Bee-Bee really started tossing her head. That is one of the last things you want to do in a situation like that. It would have been obvious to an educated horse person that the horse's mouth was hurting. So what does Natalie do? She goes a-yankin' away, trying to stop her horse from going crazy. Does that seem counterproductive to anyone else? I would have flipped over too, if I was Bee-Bee! No freaking wonder. Thank God the horse wasn't seriously injured.

You now what, Natalie? Whatever pain you caused your horse, I hope she paid it back tenfold. It was your fault and it could have been avoided if you weren't such a moron.

I love how he says, "she's now a calm and happy trail horse," right when it shows her tossing her head and chewing at the bit. That's calm and happy? In what universe? And it's no wonder. Did you see that leverage bit and the short reins?

One last thing. At the end, Natalie says, "Horses are animals, and animals do things sometimes that you just don't expect."

After all that, she doesn't learn a thing. That fiasco should have been a major learning experience. She honestly didn't expect anything to go wrong when she knew there was something wrong with her horse? She shouldn't have been surprised at all. She deserved every one of those 400 stitches, and she doesn't seem to realize it. HELL-O! Stupidity at it's finest. Way to go, Natalie. You made an ass of yourself on national television.

Moving on. This one I find just plain hysterical. This guy could be a Darwin Award candidate.

Crocodile Death Roll.

The part I don't understand? Everybody is shocked. No one can figure out why the croc clamped down on the dude's arm (you'll know if you've seen the rest of the show). Hey dude, I'm no genius, but I can tell you that the croc bit you because you stuck your arm in his mouth.

You could see the croc was sitting there with his mouth wide open thinking, "I'm just waiting for this shnuck to do something stupid..." Sure enough, WHAM. He gets nailed and almost gets his arm torqued off. Well, I'll be damned.

Serves you right, you idiot.

OK, one more just for giggles.

Shark Bites Diver.

I have one thing to say: What the fuck were you thinking? A three year old could have told you that kissing a shark is a bad idea. You are just stuck on stupid, aren't you?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Idiotic color breeders abound.

And where there are imbecilic color breeders, there are fugly horses. I swear I'm never going to run out of material.

I don't know what's worse: Their fugly stallions or their half-assed website.

Looky here at this critter. Yes, his coloring is quite flashy, but that can't mask his camped-out hind end, short bull neck, crappy pasterns, and his nonexistent hip. There is nothing on this horse that's worth replicating. I would not want to pass on a single one of his traits to another horse. Period. He needs to be a gelding. But oh, he's a proven sire because he's fathered several fugly (but perdy colored!) foals. Awesome.

They're also very proud of their tri-colored stallion. And yes, he is a stallion, not a colt. Again with the crappy neck and feet. This one even has a shitty topline and tiny, itsy- bisty feet. Along with no muscle tone to speak of, which seems to be the norm for horses at this breeding farm. My geldings have more muscle than their stallions. There's something wrong with that.

But hey, it's got four legs and a heartbeat, so let's breed it! He's not athletic and hasn't accomplished anything and never will, but he's sure a bee-yoo-tee-ful color!

Let's all give a round of applause to these morons for further enabling kill buyers, auctions, and slaughterhouses! Thanks so much for contributing to the number of slaughter-bound horses!

Yeah. Fantastic.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What is up with this cross?

This is a cross between an Arabian and and registered Tennessee Walker. He has a gentle nature and is ready for training. Has had saddle on him but no one has ridden him yet. I am selling him to make room for the new colt born June 1, 2007, which is a registered Tennessee Walker. I am not sure of height. He has turned out to be a very pretty horse. Samson had the fluvac Innovator 5, shot last year. Horse is located near Troy, NC. He was made into a gelding on May 30, 2007 and is doing fine.

I will never understand why people cross gaited horses with non-gaited horses. It does not have a good outcome. I can honestly say that I have never once seen an impressive gaited/non-gaited cross. So why is this an Arab/ Walker cross? Who knows!

I found this ad really amusing. She's getting rid of one fugly to make room for the next one! At least her new one is purebred. This homely critter can be yours for a whoppin' $850. Frankly, I don't think this horse is worth half that, but who knows what kind of newbies will come along and think he's amazing? You never know.

And the phrase "made into a gelding"? Priceless. I lol'd at that one.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sad News.

First of all, I have to apologize for the majorly belated post. My computer crapped out on me and we ended up having to get a new tower. But it's fixed now, so we're good to go.

Second of all, I regret to say that our baby raccoon had to be put down about a week ago. He just wasn't responding and the vet tried everything, but his kidneys were starting to shut down. I still call it a partial success because he would have otherwise died of exposure and/or dehydration. I don't even want to think about that.

So, he's buried out in the garden in the back yard. I miss the little guy... Rest in peace, little dude.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The show industry is in need of some modern pioneers.

If you've been to any kind of horse show, you've probably seen horses that resemble dolled up robots. Meaning, they seem to have no mind of their own and they have so much makeup and fake accessories that it makes you wonder if the horse would even be recognizable without them.

Tail extensions, overdone grease, shoes that are a size too small. And the more evasive things like tail blocking, gingering, wiring their mouths shut, drugging them, soring, pads, chains, and all other manners of torture that people come up with. And for what? A piece of plastic and maybe a little money? Come on.

As for me, I'm bringing back oldschool. You know, the good ol' days when pleasure horses actually had a pulse and fake tails hadn't been invented yet?

I braid Vic's tail into a dozen little braids the night before a show and take them all out and brush it before the class. It looks great, it adds volume, and I don't need any cheesy artificial enhancers. That's how my trainer did it, and her trainer before that. Tail extensions are hideous and unnecessary. Take some time to do it right. End of story.

Generally speaking, show horses are naturally beautiful. If you take the time to groom them to perfection and get them looking gorgeous, you do not need fake crap to get the judge's attention. Judges even favor natural horses. It's true. I've talked to many judges and most of them aren't fond of fake accesories.

And like I've said before, your attitude is everything. Even if your horse isn't the most over-the-top stunning example in the class, your attitude can win it for you. If you walk into that ring like you know what you're doing and present your horse in a way that screams "Look at us and give us first place because I worked for this and I am DAMN proud of my horse", you will get the judge's attention and you will stand out. This is what the industry needs. Exhibitors that win with nothing but skill, attitude, and a good horse. It would only take a few to make a difference. People would see that fake theatrics aren't what wins it, and they'd start to rethink it. The honest exhibitors could be the new trend setters, and it would actually be a good trend for a change.

Showing used to be about exhibiting your horse's natural beauty. Makeup does not enhance a horse's beauty, 1) because they're made perfect already and 2) it looks like absolute shit and gives the impression that you're trying to hide something or you're trying too hard or you're not confident in your horse. Or all of the above. Which is pretty sad.

Put a little effort and elbow grease into your horse instead of going the easy way around and buying fancy gadgets that look like shit. Your horse will thank you, and you will be a better all around exhibitor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We have a little coony crisis.

A couple officers found a baby raccoon that allegedly fell off a two story roof. So, they brought him to my mom and I and now we have a little coony to take care of. If my username doesn't give it away, raccoons are one of my favorite animals. :)

He has a brain injury and the vet gave him a shot of steroids to help reduce the swelling. He's also on antibiotics and I'm giving him water every hour or so, along with kitten milk. He was bleeding from his right ear when we first got him and he's still really lethargic. But he purrs when I rub his tummy and he can swallow. He can move everything, too, so we know his spine is intact. The steroids should kick in soon, but it's touch and go for a while. If he doesn't respond within 24 hours, he's probably not going to. We're keeping our fingers crossed. Poor little guy.

This incident has brought to light another issue, however. We were calling a bunch of wildlife rehabilitators and none of them had any room for our little guy. One rescue has about a hundred raccoons that are due to be released right now. But there's a lot of opposition. People just want them all to be killed because "they're pests that get in the way".

What a horrible attitude. It's the same with just about any native wildlife around here. Rabbits, foxes, coyotes, you name it. People want them gone. It's disgusting. Take one look at that sweet little face and tell me how anyone can go out and shoot them. People with that mentality are nothing but soulless monsters. If you're not intelligent and caring enough to at least try to get along with the local critters, you have no business taking up space and oxygen. The critters were here long before people were and they have just as much - if not more - right to be here as we do.

Tell me, what makes an animal unworthy of being saved? What makes you so much more important? If you see an animal that needs help, what would possibly possess you to just walk away? That's just unthinkable. What if you were in the situation of our poor raccoon, and you had taken a bad fall and were seriously hurt? I bet it would be pretty horrible if everyone just said to do away with you because you were "in the way", or nobody cared. You know what? If you're ever in a situation like that, don't ever expect help from me if you have that view. Maybe I'll just shoot you and put you out of your misery, because you seem to think that's the right thing to do for a living being that's hurt.

I think it's our obligation to make room for these animals because we take so much from them and give little to nothing back. These morons think raccoons and rabbits are so overpopulated? Ha. Have they taken a look around recently? Look how overpopulated humans are. We crawl out the of woodwork like cockroaches, therefor we're taking land and resources that the animals need. It's our own fault that the wildlife has nowhere else to go, so it's our job to take care of them. Would it kill people to at least try to get along with the animals? It's not hard.

I measure intelligence by an individual's ability to adapt and live alongside other species, and by that criteria, raccoons and other critters are a lot more intelligent than most humans. It's disgusting how people in this area just want to do away with them. Those kinds of people can all get rabies and die. They do nothing but suck oxygen and have no heart or conscience. Society would be vastly improved without them.

As for right now, I'm really hoping the little coony pulls through. There's a perfect, safe place near my house to release him if he makes it. *keeps fingers crossed*

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Found another one, dammit.

I really need to stop lurking the classifieds. This guy looks awesome. The back legs look a little camped out, but the rest of him is gorgeous. And he's got stunning color to boot. I hope he finds a fantastic home. =D

Am I cinvinced yet?

I do not need another Thoroughbred. I do not need another Thoroughbred. I do not need another Thoroughbred. I do not need another Thoroughbred.

Seriously. What a perfect horse. He's sooo handsome. It's a good thing he's a thousand miles away, because I'd steal him away in a heartbeat. Someone buy this horse and spoil him rotten for me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Extremely obnoxious sale ad.

GO LQQK AT THE REST THEN COME BUY THE BEST & YOU WILL KNOW WHY OUR HORSES MAY BE A LITTLE HIGHER / CAUSE THERE BETTER !!! HER PEDIGREE LINK ---------------------------------------------------- http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/red+bucks+wendy ---------------WENDY IS REALLY GENTLE , WELL BRED MARE , IN FOAL TO ZANS TOUCHDOWN SON , FOR AN 2009 FOAL / SEE STALLIONS INFO ON OUR WEB SITE AT htt://www.sldavidsonfarms.com She has been ridden by all ages , she is a great trail horse now will lead or follow , she only plow reins at this time , but is coming along on her training Quite well , This mare is the kind , sweet type that will make a great lesson mare for many years to come , she is super easy to catch and puts her own head in halter or hackamore , doesn't move when getting in the saddle or out , We haven't used a bit on her she never need one. you can ride her bare back with just a lead rope a halter , Wendy loves being groomed and not bad about baths or her feet at all . This is one that want get children hurt . We have never tried her on cattle but she is bred to know what one is , She has been jumping 12" in hand . and lead over wood platforms , tarps etc.. We are a breeding training farm and She is truly a good one , We offer a 10 day money back Guarantee Contract on all horses we sale , try asking someone else for one . we also have a half sister to her that is sorrel and is just as gentle for 900.00 her name is HOLLYS SUPER JACKIE

Wow. Read that and tell me that didn't grind your gears. First with the annoying caps, them bragging about a horse that hasn't accomplished anything and never will, and has nothing to show for her supposedly great pedigree. She's ribby and wormy-looking on top of that, not to mention the lead rope that's dragging on the ground.

It just annoys me to no end the way they claim that their horses are the best. Oh, and did I mention they claim that that mare is brindle? Yep. What a laugh. Check out their other ads. It's pretty scary.

They move like that naturally? Bagh!

I'm sure you've heard WP people claim that the slow, pitter-patter gaits are completely natural and you can allegedly see them doing it out in the pasture on their own. Well, I've never seen a horse with no rider move like that (except in stock breed shows, which I won't even go into). This video is proof. You see the stallion running around his pasture like a normal horse at a normal speed (with his head up!), and then they show him under saddle and moving like a 35 year old cart horse with his nose down to his knees.

The WP gaits are not natural. They've taken natural gaits and ruined them. Show horses are supposed to embody the vision of a proud, strong, and alert horse, but WP horses don't convey any of those. The slow gaits are nothing but a hideous, tasteless trend. The whole point of WP is to show a horse that is a pleasure to ride, but these horses don't look very nice to ride at all.

In the last quarter of the video, it shows the lady riding him bareback and he's moving with a lot more energy. So he can move normally. Plus it looked a lot better to ride. Notice also that there were of couple of HUS pics, and the horse had the same frame as a western horse and the rider had the reins draping. That should never be acceptable in an English discipline. It's bad enough that western horses are so messed up. English horses (and horses in general) are suppsed to have elasticity and freedom of movement, and you see none of that in the HUS ring. And, like WP, it didn't start out like that. It's all a trend. As obsessed as equestrians are with tradition, you'd think we'd want to go back to the way things were, when the horses were actually not stick-legged robots.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I thought I'd seen all the crap NH has to offer.

But Deb Bennet's Horse Training Commandments has just proved me wrong. To me, the list sounds like the writer's head is up in the clouds. There are some good points like the "Thou shalt learn to use the outside rein well" part, but some of it was just goofy.

Like the "Thou shalt not render thy horse's body hard". WTF? Fantastic muscle tone inhibits a horse's range of motion? I suppose that would be possible if it was like a QH stallion on steroids, but that's not going to happen realistically. Muscle supports the horse's structure, as do strong and conditioned tendons and ligaments. And working them strengthens their hearts for high level competing and whatnot. Keeping them fit and muscular throughout their lived is soo important. They tend to live and be healthier longer. They'll be in much better shape when they're old. You cannot put too much muscle on a horse, especially just by working them.

In fact, my trainer's old OTTB was absolutely massive. Just a freakin powerhouse. People always thought he was a QH. She was barrel racing him well into his 20's, and he only died because of colic at 29. Don't tell me having tons of muscle isn't good for a horse.

Maybe that's the excuse NH people use to explain why a lot of their horses aren't the fittest horses ever. They don't want to work them on a lunge line or anything because being super fit is bad for them. Is that right? It impedes their range of motion, right?

These Quarter Horses look totally stiff and uncomfortable, right? Yeah, cuz they have too much muscle. Shame on the owners for keeping them in such awesome condition. Yep. It really screws them up.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Talk about an extavagant ad for a dime-a-dozen horse.

This mare is true royalty, and would be a rare diamond in the crown of any Arabian breeder. Gorgeous, sweet and affectionate Princess Aliahmah. Great- granddaughter of both the sensational half-brothers Shaikh Al Badi and The Egyptian Prince. Her grand-sires are the beautiful and talented Ruminaja Ali AND the amazing *Fol Yasmeen. Her pedigree runs back four hundred years to the very sands of the desert. What fantastic babies she would produce when bred to a stallion worthy of her bloodline. Expanded pedigree and more photos upon request.

This ad made me lol.

First of all, what Arabian's ancestry doesn't go back four hundred years? They're one of the oldest domesticated breeds out there. I would hope their pedigrees go back a few hundred years.
I thought she was going to start boasting that the horse went back to the Byerley Turk or something. That would have been the icing on the cake.

If your mare has such great breeding and is so amazing and would be the envy of all the Arabian breeders out there, wouldn't it make sense to get some good conformation shots of her when she's shed out? Nothing screams "I don't know what I'm doing" like a bunch of cruddy pasture shots. The ad says nothing about any show records or level of training, either. She doesn't even have a bridle path.

If this mare is all that they claim (which she is certainly not), she should be clipped or shed out, squared up, have a nice long bridle path, and maybe even be in a show halter. That's how you advertise a quality horse, and convey to potential buyers that you know what you're doing.

I don't know why they think they're going to get $8,000 for a dinky little Arab mare that hasn't accomplished shit and may not even be trained to ride. I just get the impression that the seller is a little loony. Oh, well.

If I wanted a horse with a skinny neck I would have gotten an Arab x Akhal Teke cross.

I understand that in many disciplines such as Western Pleasure, pencil necks are desirable. Why?

It looks disproportionate, unbalanced, and ugly, particularly on bulldog-like quarter horses. Stock breeds are generally muscle on top of muscle. Just massive. And then they have a skinny little neck. I don't see the appeal.

Where do you draw the line between a pencil neck and a knife neck? They both look scrawny and shapeless to me.

I will say, one thing I absolutely love about Victor is his big ol' muscley neck. Not thin, but not too cresty, and very curvy and solid. Thoroughbreds are notorious for having knife necks. I think we owe a big thanks to the racing industry for that one. Them and their careless breeding.

I can't stand it when a horse doesn't have a nice substantial neck. Horses I buy must have a nice neck and a nice ass. Those are my biggest peeves.

Does this not look a bit ridiculous? This big, massively muscled QH with that little bitty neck?

How does having no neck affect a horse's performance?

This sad little bay horse has a knife neck. The only difference I see is that he has no muscle whereas the other two have sufficient muscle and still have skinny necks.
Neither are pretty.

Now compare this one. Yes it's an Andalusian and crestiness is what they're famous for, but still. It looks a lot better and in proportion. Baroque horses are usually pretty bulky too, and their necks actually match the rest of their bodies.

I'm not saying horses should be bull necked or too cresty, but pencil/knife necks are a bit ridiculous.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who cares about conformation when a horse has beyootiful spots???

The "Pintaloosa" has been added to the branches of the International Spotted Horse Registry. There are more and more of these "double spotted" equines coming into view everyday and ISHR has recognized the need for these beautiful equines to have a place where they will be noticed and recognized for their extra beauty and spots! The Pintaloosa pictured is of "EASY TO SPOT" just one of the Pintaloosas registered with ISHR. The owner is Irene Wiederhold of Ft. Myers, Florida.

HA! XD "These beautiful equines"? Don't make me wretch up my Ovaltine. I know the spots are a bit mesmerizing, but they can't hide the faults in these horses. Could you imagine this horse if he was a solid color and had no pretty coat patterns to mask the fugliness? Ouch. There's nothing pretty about this horse, and certainly nothing worth replicating.

You are absolutely bat-fucking crazy if you think this horse is stallion material. Jesus tap dancing Christ.

In my futile search for decent quality pintaloosas, walkaloosas, and other "new breeds", I cam across this wall of fugly. Be warned, there are some hideous horses in that link.

I'm not even going to go into the problems this "hunter-type" critter has. Suffice it to say that he has utterly disgusting conformation. Poor guy.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't even ride a horse that is as badly put together as this guy. Not just because it would mostly likely be incredibly uncomfortable. Major fuglies look fragile to me. I don't know why. I'm just scared that he'd fall apart or something the second I swung my leg over him. Maybe I'm weird.

I don't know where these people get the idea that he'd make a good hunter. He'd probably fall on his face and break his neck the first time he went over a vertical.

These photos pretty much speak for themselves. I can honestly say that these are some of the worst quality horses I've seen in a long time. And probably the most I've seen on one website.
Most of these horses are mixed breeds, some don't even have know parantage. Almost all of them look wormy.

It cracks me up how they're described as "lovely" or "stunning" or "great show prospect". On what planet are these horses worth a bucket of spit? These people must be blind. I think we should strap them into a chair in a slaughterhouse, tape their eyes open and make them watch all day. I can guarantee you that there are horses being killed right this instant that are ten times better than the critters that are being mass- produced here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why settle for normal gear when you can have sooper speshul Parelli tack?!

I could not believe my eyes when I was looking up the Parelli merchandise. Not that I would ever buy anything from them anyway because I think they're all a bunch of loonies, but this was insane.

$92 for a 22 foot lead rope. $40 for a rope halter that you could buy for ten bucks at Farm & Fleet.

And y'know that plastic orange stick that NH people can't go without? $62.67!!! For a damn carrot stick! Unbelievable. And there are actually people who fork over the cash for these things. Why on earth would you want to pay these outrageous prices? Because Pat and Linda said so, of course!

But that's not all, folks. Their saddles start at - are you ready? $4,000! Like we all have four grand to blow off on a Parelli saddle, right?

This particular saddle sells for over $7,000. Yep. Who the fuck has money for that? The saddle's more expensive than my horse!

What about this chunk of leather is so special that makes it worth $7,000? I've seen prettier saddles go for half that price.

Linda's stirrup irons are going for $239, by the way. When you can get brand new ones at any tack store for 20 bucks. Absolutely insane.

Now let's have a look at this chart that supposedly shows what conventional (aka anything not sold by Parelli) saddles do to your horse.

There is no way in hell that any saddle will give a horse a downhill build or a "prolapsed belly".

The saddle has nothing to do with the horse's muscle tone. That's all reflected by the rider. Unless the saddle is so badly fitted that the horse can't do anything. Any poorly fitted saddle will hurt a horse. A well fitted saddle will not.

No saddle is going to cause a horse to have a bad topline. It's not the saddle, it's the rider.

And a "rotated shoulder"? WTF is that? A straight shoulder? All the faults stated in this chart are not the result of a saddle, but of naturally poor conformation. They're basically saying that buying a Parelli saddle will make your fugly into a gorgeous, well- conformed horse. Please, don't fall victim to the Parelli Propaganda. It's the biggest load of shit I've ever heard.

I find it amusing when Parelli people accuse non-Parelli people of being narrow-minded. I tried Parelli once and got nowhere. Victor didn't like it. He stared at me like I was crazy. So I stopped and I'm never going back to it. He also had no balance or muscle tone when I got him, which had a lot to do with the fact that he was with a Parelli worshiper before. I've notice more than a few Parelli horses who have no muscle. That running-around-in-circles thing doesn't do a damn thing for them. Since lunging is so horrible and it's taboo to NH people.

I will never understand the appeal.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Parenting FAIL.

Warning: Tiny little kid on a ginormous horse.

I wouldn't have a problem with this at all if the kid had boots and a helmet, they were in an enclosed area with no loose horses, the Belgian had a halter and lead rope on, and the kid had at least one adult holding on to him.

But nooo. The horse is loose out in the pasture with no one holding on to him, and the kid is sitting there bareback with no helmet or boots. Plus the loose horses, particularly the foal and what looks like a yearling. It only takes once for a seemingly dead broke horse to spook and end up mangling somebody. I don't care how quiet he is, and I understand that he is a draft. He looks like a real sweetheart, but he's still a 1900 pound prey animal with big, sharp hoofies the size of hub caps. He may be as close to bombproof as horses come, but I guarantee you that all the other horses there are not. If one spooks, they all spook, including the one that your kid is sitting on.

Do they think that horse is just a big puppy? These people need a reality check. That animal is the equivalent of a frieght train with a mind of its own and is more than capable of killing a human, especially a child with no safety gear. Sure, 99 out of 100 times, nothing happens. But it is possible, and it does happen. What are you planning to do when your luck runs out? There's sure as hell nothing you can do if and when that horse spooks while your kid is on him. And that's a long way for anyone to fall. Then you have those feet to worry about.

Lord have mercy.

There's something wrong here.

Yes, that's Rachel Alexandra.

Why is she lip chained? Who knows!

What does it say about her trainer when it takes 2 men to lead a lip chained filly? The thing that baffles me is that Rachel doesn't look spooky or out of control in this picture at all. She's just walking like any normal horse. I think her lolling tongue says it all.

So is the chain really necessary? I think not. Is it just for show, because I highly doubt that she enjoys having her gums ripped up to her eyeballs. I'm sure she's very comfortable. They must be proud.

My farrier makes fun of Vic because he's a Thoroughbred. Well, my farrier is a bull rider and seems to only approve of roping bred stock horses. He was telling me how he shoes racehorses (two year olds that don't know anything) and that they have to sedate a lot of them before he can even go near their feet. He thinks SB's and TB's are just batshit crazy because of that.

But think about how those horses are treated. They have little if any turn out time, they're run down to nothing, they're in their stalls if they're not on the track, and they're doped up with God knows what. Plus most of them are no older than 3.

They train those horses to race, and that's it. They don't train them to stand for the farrier or anything else. Race horses can run fast and turn left, and that's about it. They're treated like machines, not actual living animals. So I don't blame them for being loony. They're also bred purely for speed, and they don't give a shit what they look like as long as they're fast. Can anyone really blame that on the horses? Furthermore, a lot of OT horses go on to have successful second careers. You just have to put them out to pasture for a while so they can learn how to be a horse and get their brains back in their heads.

Anyway, if the dickweed trainers would actually take the time to teach these horses to lead nicely (and without a stud chain), that would make a big difference. And train them to stand still while they're being shod while they're at it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where is the horse industry going?

It scares me, how low the standards have become for just about everything in regards to horses. Especially riding. I'm tired of seeing twelve year olds who have been riding for six months start jumping 2 foot verticals (and being allowed and even encouraged to do so by their instructors). It never ends. Riders with no seat, flopping legs, and never do so much as a low crest release while going over fences and think there's nothing wrong with that. Riders with little or no lesson time with a good instructor- particularly the haughty ones with huge egos. In today's world, as long as you get over the jump or around the barrel or even just stay on, it's considered "great riding".

I've talked to many people like this. And one thing I've learned is that you can't tell them anything. They're so set in their ways that they don't want to hear what others have to say, and they hate criticism, even from more experienced horse people. Cynthia is a perfect example (see other blog). Lorena has tried to give her advice, and she just blows her off every single time. It's like talking to a brick wall.

I talked to one girl recently who never released when she jumped. Her basic response was, "If I was doing something wrong, don't you think my horse just wouldn't jump?"

To me, she was basically saying, "Why should I try to jump correctly when my horse jumps just fine already?" All I have to say is she's damn lucky she has such a well schooled horse, otherwise he wouldn't put up with her. Honey, your horse is still jumping in spite of you because he's too well trained and patient to flat out refuse.

The philosophy seems to be this: Why learn to ride when you can just buy a dead broke lesson horse that will jump anything and go anywhere no matter what the rider is like? Why put more effort into it than you need to to get by?

What kind of mentality is that?

It's disgusting how low the standards of riding have become. The sad truth is, you can buy your way to the top in this sport. You don't necessarily have to be an exceptionally talented rider.

Another thing is the trainers and instructors that are happy to take your money and tell you to sit up and kick, and that you look great. This is what creates more mediocre riders. The more poor instructors I meet, the more I love my trainer. She's more in-depth than any other instructor I've had, and she accepts nothing less than 100% from me and my horse in every single lesson. If she sees that I'm doing something wrong, she's brutally honest about it. She's not afraid to tell me that I'm not a strong enough rider yet and that I need a lot of improvement. Every instructor should be like that, but unfortunately, most of them are not.

If you go on youtube, you can find endless videos of riders that are doing way more advanced things than what they're ready for, and they think they're great riders because of that. But the reality is, it's not what you're doing, it's how well you do it. I don't care if you can jump a 4 foot oxer if you can't do it correctly.

The philosophy should be: Why settle for "decent" when you can be an excellent rider?

It really worries me when I see so many people in the wrong mindset.

How do you know if you're a dickweed in the horse world?

I've compiled a list of criteria that one could relate to in order to be classified as a Class A Dickweed of the horse world.


dick.weed [dik-weed] n. 1. An utterly senseless, foolish or stupid person 2. A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below twelve years old and an intelligence quotient under 25. 3. An insufferable moron who does nothing to contribute to equine society and only leaches on the rest of us.

1) If you have ever ridden a horse that's under three years of age, you may be a dickweed.

2) If you have ever cranked a horse's head back so that his chin touches his chest and he's wheezing like a moose with pneumonia, you may be a dickweed.

3) If you have ever used a bit like this:
You may be a dickweed.

4) If you have ever tied a horse with the reins and/or tethered a horse to a t-post or other obscene object not intended for horses, you may be a dickweed.

5) If you think pretty spots or a long mane and tail make a horse breeding quality by default, you may be a dickweed.

6) If your horses are contained in a chain-link fence, you may be a dickweed.

7) If you can't recognize when a horse has major conformational faults, you may be a dickweed.

8) If you breed mustangs, you may be a dickweed.

9) If you have ever named a horse "Penelope", "Butchie", "Doug", "Taco", or "Peggy Sue", you may be a dickweed.

10) If you have never sold a horse you bred for over $500, you may be a dickweed.

11) If you have ever advertised a stud on craigslist, you may be a dickweed.

12) If you have ever bought a horse because "junior wanted one", you may be a dickweed.

13) If you have ever spelled "gelding" as "gilding", "mare" as "mar", or "breeding" as "breading" or "bredding", you may be a dickweed.

14) If you have ever ridden in booty shorts and/or flip flops, you may be a dickweed.

15) If you have ever used your kids as marketing tools to sell your "calm, gentle, kitten-like" stud colt, you may be a dickweed.

16) If you have ever allowed children under your responsibility to use a horse as a jungle gym, you may be a dickweed.

17) If you have ever hopped on a miniature horse because you think it's "cute" or "funny", you may be a dickweed.

18) If you ride a horse who's girth is smaller than the circumference of your waist, you may be a dickweed.

19) If you think the term "pony" reffers to a baby horse, you may be a dickweed.

20) If you can't tell the difference between a foal and a Shetland pony, you may be a dickweed.

21) If you have ever been around or ridden a horse while drunk, you may be a dickweed.

22) If you think the term "stallion" reffers to a breed of horse, you may be a dickweed.

23) If you breed your walkaloosarabian mare to your neighbor's grade stud, you may be a dickweed.

24) If you breed any horse because you think it would be a good experience for the kids, you want to witness the "miracle of life", or because you think you can create a sooper speshul new breed, you may be a dickweed.

25) If you breed exclusively for perty colors, you may be a dickweed.

26) If you buy your twelve year old kid a three year old colt so he/she can "beak him out him/her self", you may be a dickweed.

28) If you put bits, blankets, boots, or any other tack on backwards or use them for anything other than their intended purpose, you may be a dickweed.

29) If you think launching over fences and running barrels without ever taking lessons is a good thing or somehow earns you bragging rights, you may be a dickweed.

30) If you hang miscellanious objects (i.e., lawn furniture, lariats, children) on your horse as a method of desensitization or to show potential buyers how "quiet" the horse is, you may be a dickweed.

31) If you have ever hopped on a horse just to show off to your boy/girlfriend that you rode a "big scary horsey", you may be a dickweed.

32) If you have ever used the phrases "you'd never know he was a stud" or "he's a stallion but doesn't act like it" in a sale or stud ad, you may be a dickweed.

33) If you are not a farrier and you have tried to trim a horse's hooves yourself, you may be a dickweed.

34) If you have ever trotted/cantered/galloped a horse on asphalt, concrete, or gravel, you may be a dickweed.

35) If you blame your horse every time you fall off or the horse bucks, rears, shies, etc., you may be a dickweed.

If you can relate to any of these, you could probably be a major dickweed. If this is the case, you need to get out of the horse business and seek alternative occupations.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Are Irish Draughts the new favorite of BYB's?

I think we need a lesson on what an Irish Draught Horse is (or draft, however you want to spell it). Because nobody seems to know anymore. Breeding your Thoroughbredraftrakehner mare to an ID stallion does not make the baby an ID, or even necessarily an Irish sporthorse. It's definitely a mutt. Whether or not it ends up being a sporthorse prospect is anybody's guess until it's actually born.

This critter's from the same breeder/website as that bay colt (which was also a mutt that was advertised as an Irish SH).
This one is supposed to be a Thoroughbred/ Irish SH mix. I still have no clue what breeds consist of an ISH, so if anyone can shed some light on that, it would be much appreciated. They claim his registration is pending, but how can they register him when he's a mixed breed? Anyway, they have him listed as an Irish Draught, even though he's clearly not even close to purebred. Get a load of those pasturns and the nonexistent heel. Ew.
I know dinky little Arabians that have more of an ass than he does. He looks wormy, too.

I'm kind of confused because on the website, those horses are pretty decent, to say the least. Most of them are TB's, too, so I'm not sure what the deal is there. Well, until you get to the Irish SH page and there's a big bay fugly. Half their pages don't even work, so I don't know.

Furthermore, why would you combine all those breeds? More often than not, the offspring tend to inherit the bad traits of all the breeds. I can understand crossing two really nice purebred horses, but don't let the offspring reproduce. You don't know which genes could end up where. As seen with this colt. What cracks me up is how much they're asking for him. $15,000! He's a fugly three year old who has next to no saddle time and they're asking a fortune for him.

Aaandd we have another gem from the same people. This one's a filly going for $14,000. She's got better feet and hindquarters than the other two, but has a bad shoulder and a knife neck. Again, listed as an ID, but has mixed breeding. She has no saddle time, since she's only two, but she's still $14,000. This makes no sense. Maybe, in a good economy ten years down the road, if she's dead broke and has actually accomplished something or has some kind of show record, maybe $14,000 would be reasonable.

In the ad, they talk a lot more about her ancestor's accomplishments than about her. As if having accomplished ancestors makes the filly more valuable by default. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If the filly isn't sporthorse calliber, she's not worth all that much, regardless of who she has in her pedigree. What do you think an offspring of Secretariat is worth if he/she can't run worth shit? Absolutely nothing. At least as far as the racing industry is concerned. It's the same in the sporthorse world. They're proudly rambling on about her bloodlines because they have nothing to say about the actual horse they're selling. Very good marketing technique, right? Awesome.
Well, this mediocre fugly that hasn't done shit can be yours for the low, low price of 14 grand. Whip out that checkbook, eventers.

Slightly OT, but I have a serious question:
A draft cross isn't a warmblood, is it? Like if you breed a Thoroughbred to a Belgian, would the baby be considered a warmblood? I don't think that would be the correct term.
I was always taught that a warmblood is a pure breed. Swedish Warmblood, Danish Warmblood, Hanoverian, Oldenburg, etc. The purebred sporthorses that originated mainly from Europe and have prominent Thoroughbred ancestry. I understand that the term "warmblood" refers to horses with mixed hot-blooded and cold-blooded horses in thier ancestry. They're the result of generations of selective breeding and the warmbloods we have today are the final result of that. Well, I've been seeing a lot of dime-a-dozen draft crosses listed as "warmbloods". Can you just cross a draft with a hot-blooded horse and call it a warmblood? The offspring isn't a new breed or anything, just a half breed. Would "warmblood" still be the correct term for those horses are are those people confused?