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

~Anna Sewell

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.