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

~Anna Sewell

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.


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