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

~Anna Sewell

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goofy show trends that I don't understand.

When it comes to showing (and horses in general), I'm all old school. In my opinion, classical and traditional is the best way to go. That's why it annoys me when people come up with these ridiculous gimmicks to "improve" (and I use the term lightly) their horses and their chances of winning. I don't understand how anyone can think that these things look good. You might get a good laugh out of some of this stuff. I did.

First on my list is the infamous grease. A very, very conservative amount can look nice on certain horses, like Arabians, but nowadays people like to just slather it on.

This horse looks like plastic. It's like the groom took a big gob of the stuff and smeared it all over. It's not like there's goo on the horse; the horse is inside the goo. Gross.

Which brings us to the second subject: clipping. Again, clipping can make or break a horse's appearance. Clipping the whiskers and the fuzzies under the jaw makes the horse look tidy and well kept. But when you completely shave off everything on the horse's face, it starts to look goofy. That combined with the grease makes the horse look like a Breyer model. You gotta have some hair or else it looks fake. I like to see natural ears as well. It looks nice when the ear fur is just trimmed, not completely shaved. But that's just my personal preference and I also think it depends on the horse.

Next, we have the lovely tail extensions. I went to a few shows last year and I kid you not, almost all of the horses had fake tails and all of them looked like the one in the picture. It was terrible. It was like the exhibitors all had brain farts. What the hell were they thinking? I don't even know how you can't realize how yucky that looks. Ye gods.

Some of the extensions didn't even match the real color and you could see where the real hair ended and the fake stuff started. It just hung there and didn't move with the real tail. To be honest, I've never personally seen a fake tail that wasn't obvious. And trust me, most judges don't go for gadgets like that any more than I do. At least in open shows they don't.

Another thing people will do is if their horse has a clubbed foot, they'll epoxy the hoof and cover it with polish. Why??? So your horse has a minor flaw. So what? Every horse has some kind of imperfection. Everybody knows that. You should be proud of your horse, flaws and all. Don't try to cover up every little detail you don't like. It turns the judges off.

Now this last one is the only thing that actually makes me angry. Look closely at this horse's feet.

You see those huge, square shoes that make his feet look twice as big as they should be? They do that so they can have as big and heavy a shoe as possible so the horse lifts his feet higher. The horse in the photo doesn't look at bad as a lot of the ones in my area. I should get pictures sometime. Most of them have flat, cracked hooves and are long overdue for a trim. They also have no heel whatsoever. If you've gone to any draft shows, you've probably seen it. They even shoe baby ones like that. They often have arthritis before they even reach the double digits, which is why you never see any older horses at the fair and whatnot. You won't see any working plow horses shod like that.

What's weird is that most of the draft people I've talked to are pretty decent and they seem to love their horses. It's like it just doesn't register with them that they're damaging their horses. A lot of show abuse cases are like that. Most owners are probably raised using certain methods and they think it's just the way things are done. Sad.

Friday, January 15, 2010

This will make you grind your teeth.

Youtube is polluted with retina-burning images of horsemanship FAIL. I particularly have a problem with the so-called "dancing horses", where a horse is tied between two posts and some asswipe stands to the side and flicks its legs with a whip until it's too freaked out to stand still. That's how they get that awkward, grotesque version of the piaffe. If you can call it that at all.

I love how this little horse is tied up and hobbled while that POS is going to town with the whip.

caballo azteca

Another SOB who has no scruples about using a whip. Sure, it's easy to hit a horse that's totally confined and helpless, the coward. Did you see the horse try to kick out at him?

Patron dancing

And isn't this one charming? A kid riding a foal.

"Caballito Bailador" 2

Look at those hooves.

El Duende

I love it when they disable comments. Chickenshits.

Dancing Horse

I could keep posting these all day.

Napolian dancing horse

villa juarez navolato

Yegua Bailando




Caballo Azteca "El Conquistador" en venta

caballo bailador


caballo bailador

caballo bailador el R15

If the sheer amount of dumbass-ery doesn't make you sick, the horrible music will. The crow-hopping, pinned ears, thrashing tails, head tossing, and striking out should be obvious to anyone. I don't want to hear the "cultural tradition" excuse. Live sacrifices were a cultural tradition in a lot of ancient civilizations and there's a reason people don't do it anymore.

And there is a huge difference between that garbage and Alta Escuela.

I want to know why those horses are always on hard surfaces. Would it kill them to at least let them do it in sand or grass? Many of them had horrible feet. A few were underfed. All of them were stressed out and angry.

Why don't those whip-happy morons take up something else, like goat herding or something? That hideous trotting-in-place thing is not a piaffe, it's not dressage, and it's definitely not High School. Notice the utter lack of cadence or rhythm, and almost all of the horses were heavy on the forehand. I have no idea how one could consider it High School. All it is is the product of some inbred Sasquatches having too much time on their hands. They think they can skip the years of schooling and imitate the real dressage riders. It's nothing but a mockery of the real thing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I'm back!

And I'm scared.

BLUE is a 9 year old registered paint gelding with aexceptional mind great attitude quite he does it all he has many high points &reserve high points I'm away at college he has been retired for 2 years he has a lot of life left he does have some arthritis in his hocks but is very manageable he will ONLY be sold to a good home call xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx

She's talking about this horse like he's freakin thirty!

He still has a lot of life in him? I would hope so! He's nine! That's not even half of a normal horse's lifespan! Why does he have arthritis at the ripe old age of nine? I get the feeling that she probably broke and showed him as a two year old. I would bet money on it. Those kinds of equestrians think it's normal for a horse to retire at nine. *facepalm*

*sigh* A nine year old horse should normally be perfectly sound, assuming he doesn't have any hereditary problems or was mistreated. And yes, I consider backing two years old to be mistreatment. It's never a good idea and there's nothing in it for the horse.

I don't know this horse's story, I'm just going on a hunch. It just bothers me the way she's talking about him.

Missy is my trainer's horse. She's 32 years young and still sound, healthy, and ride-able. She was a Western Pleasure horse in her day, and the photo was taken during a showmanship class last spring.

It is possible for a horse to be show-worthy past the age of ten. There's nothing wrong with waiting three or four years before backing your youngster. It's just one thing you can do to ensure that the horse will be a sound riding partner for the next 20+ years.

Judgment is seventeen years old in this photo. He put the eight year olds to shame! If you watched the 2008 Sporthorse Cup, you'll know that he and Beezie kicked butt! I believe he retired just recently. That's a damn good career. A lot of people should learn something from the two of them.

Besides the fact that riding babies is wrong, there are so many other things you should be doing with them in the mean time. Ground manners, loading, ponying on trails, long reining, standing for the farrier, desensitizing to things like cars, kids, water, etc. Teaching things like yielding the fore and hindquarters will make riding them a lot easier.