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

~Anna Sewell

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To all you people who want to buy a baby horse for your kids...


You'll regret it. Trust me, I've been there. I know it seems like a good idea to a lot of parents to have their kid "grow up with" their horse, but it doesn't work like that in the real world.

It's cute for about two weeks and then the novelty wears off and you're left with a really big problem. Why? Because baby horses are naughty, uneducated little accidents waiting to happen if you don't know how to train them. They're a massive investment of time and money and should only be taken on by experienced horsemen. They are NOT safe for children. And it isn't fun anymore after your kid gets kicked or run over by a belligerent colt. Foals are frisky, mischievous little buggers. They like to roughhouse. They don't understand that children are delicate and that they have to be on their best behavior around them. Even though foals are small and cute, they are still strong and dangerous. And it gets worse when they're one and two years old. It's like trying to control an 800 pound teenager with an attention span of three seconds!

Furthermore, your kid is not going to want to wait three years to be able to ride their horse. Actually, scratch that. No greenbroke three year old is kid safe. You'd have to put a lot of miles on the horse before you even think of putting kids on it.

Can you afford a trainer for all those years to teach the thing to load, tie, bathe, clip, lift his feet, pony, and all that good stuff you should teach a horse before you ever put a saddle on him? Then you need the trainer to break the horse and get him trained enough for beginner riders, and who knows how long that would take. At this point, your kids are probably getting impatient and losing interest.

My parents bought me an unbroke 2 year old for my first horse, with the intention of us "growing up together". Of course, I didn't know any better either, and it soon turned out to be a huge mess. The horse was sedated when we went to look at him and when we brought him home, he was a nightmare. He was pushy, rude, obnoxious, and dangerous. I sure as hell couldn't handle him. The only thing I could do was sit in his stall and brush him. He eventually turned out to be a wonderful horse with several years of maturing, a couple of good trainers, an emotional roller coaster ride, and a huge chunk out of my mother's wallet (can you guess who it was? It was Norman!). Would I go through that fiasco all over again? Probably not, and I would advise anyone else to make a wise, clearheaded decision when purchasing a horse. ESPECIALLY if you're getting one for your children. Go for a good 'ole, middle-aged, dead broke, babysitter-type horse. It doesn't have to look like a perfect little show pony, either. ALL horses are beautiful to kids, and they're just happy to have one.

Raising a foal can be a wonderful and extremely rewarding experience, IF you know what you're doing. But don't even think about it if you're a non-horsey mom or dad who wants to get your kiddie a horse. Mkay? Don't.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some people need to chill out.

Is there really any reason for some people to be so uptight about their horses? The stable is supposed to be a fun place. If you make it miserable, then what's the point of even being there? You're supposed to have fun with your horses, not get worked up over every little minor detail.

For instance, there was this stallion at my old barn who was kept in his stall 24-7-365. He wasn't even allowed to go out into a paddock by himself, even though the BO offered the owner a separate turnout area. The owner claimed that she didn't want to risk him getting nicked up or injured and he had special shoes on and she didn't want them to get ruined. She kept him blanketed and hooded even in 50 degree weather and put chains around his ankles. She also frequently tied him up so he couldn't reach his food or water. And she was adamant that no one was to go near him or pay any kind of attention to him, EVER. Never gave anyone a reason, but the horse was to be locked up and isolated at all times. The owner would absolutely go through the roof if she even suspected that anything near his stall had been touched. Although, oddly enough, the owner boasted all day long about his outstanding temperament and that he was so well-behaved that you wouldn't even know he was a stud. Which was true.

This stallion was one of the most polite and gentlemanly horses I've ever known. Whenever I was alone at the barn, I'd open his stall door and pet him and give him a few treats. He seemed grateful for the attention and never once did anything wrong. How he was so friendly despite the way he was treated, I will never know. You could tell that he was going loopy from being locked up. He would just stand in the corner and stare off into space like a zombie. He had no muscle tone and his tail was falling out, just from deteriorating in that stall. It was so sad.

And then you have people who flip their lid if someone pets their horse. I mean, is that really necessary? I understand if the horse is dangerous, but if that's the case, you should have a sign posted on his stall. I know that lots of non-horse people like to go to the stables and visit the horses. Is it going to kill your horse to have someone pat him on the neck? I think not. Count to ten and take a chill pill. Not everyone is fortunate enough to own a horse, so would it be so much trouble to let them visit with yours? Like I said, barns are supposed to be fun. Don't be such a poophead. Life is too short to be getting your panties in a bunch because someone gave your horse a carrot.

A lot of people at the Midwest Horse Fair are like that. It's a shame.

Be nice and post a note if your horse isn't safe. You don't need to go batshit every time a little kid walks up to your horse and pets him on the nose. It's okay. Horses don't often have allergic reactions to children and keel over, I promise.

And you don't need to call the vet every time your horse sneezes.

It's also okay for your horse to have shavings stuck in his mane and tail. Because you see, horses like to lay down in their stalls. They make these nifty little things called combs, and it takes all of five minutes to have your horse looking as good as new.

I promise that your horse won't die if he gets bitten by another horse. It's perfectly normal for them to nip each other once in a while, and it heals right up in a couple of weeks!

And lastly, horses are outdoor animals. They're a lot tougher than humans and they don't need to be rugged whenever it's less than 80 degrees outside. A little bit of rain never hurt a horse, either.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm sure most of you have heard about this...


The teenage girl and her mother who are trying to get rid of their dying horse. This situation makes me so angry that I can barely type. I understand that the girl is young and probably doesn't have the emotional maturity to look at her situation with a clear mind. But her mother needs to step up to the plate and teach her the meaning of responsibility. Of course, that probably won't happen.

What really irks me is that the girl is whining and crying like a spoiled little toddler. A 14 year old should know better than that. If you scroll down the page you'll see that she says putting the horse down would be too painful for her.

Here are my two cents.

She claims she loves this horse, and I say bullshit. Putting an animal down is never easy. But it comes with the territory. You have to deal with it. Furthermore, your own emotions should never cloud your judgment when considering having an animal euthed. Your feelings mean nothing and it doesn't matter one damn bit what YOU want. You have to put your emotions aside and think about what's best for your animal. How DARE you say that you love this horse so much, but in the same breath you say you can't bear to give him a quick and painless death because it's just too painful for you. That is not love. There's a word for what you're feeling. It's called selfishness.

She has some nerve complaining about her feelings being hurt when her horse is terminally ill. She's not the one that's dying. Where the hell does she get off crying because her wittle feewings were hurt? What a spoiled little brat.

I don't buy it when she says they can't afford this horse. She shows in Hunter/Jumpers for crying out loud. Either give him a retirement or put him to sleep. The money you would have spent showing this season could easily pay for that.

It makes me want to gag, the way she tried to guilt trip everybody with her "woe is me" bullshit. This isn't about her, it's about her horse. But she's making it about her. Someone needs to bitchslap her idiot mother into next week for allowing this to happen. All I can say is that I hope this mess ends well and someone knocks some sense into those two. The girl has to have a trainer or some other peers who can talk her into doing the right thing. I would hope. I know she's been getting her ass chewed on the internet. And I'm glad, because someone needs to wake her up because her mother obviously isn't teaching her any better.


Excuse me while I go cool off.