Sunday, 24 February 2013

Why do that to your horse?

Just read this great article on the Epona TV website. Some very valid points made, such as "the problem with horse problems – the real ones that actually affect horses – is that their solutions often require us to make sacrifices that we don't really want to make. So we ignore them until they become our own problems and when they do, many of us seek to fix them with a minimum of effort and expense."
It's all about people doing things to/with their horses to stop the horse exhibiting "undesirable" behaviour or to get quick fix training results.  My personal bete noire is the bloody de Gogue (or Market Harborough, I think they are the same thing). Every riding school my kids have ever been to over here (apart from the English run one, interestingly) has at some time or other resorted to a good old Gogue. You can even stick them on your horse for some Club level dressage competitions. So much easier than actually educating the horse 'cos that takes a lot of time to do properly. I actually saw a horse at a competition last year being pulled so tightly in one of the wretched things that it felt it had no option but to rear, and of course that got it a beating.

I don't like a lot of other things people do to horses (you might have noticed). Draw reins, over-heavy contact, nosebands for strapping the horse's mouth shut, people dressing up their horses like a dolly ("but he looks soooo cute in his matching purple rug and booties"),  putting sparkly hoof varnish on them - WTF?, keeping them alone without other equines,  keeping them shut in stables for hours at a time, overrugging them, riding like a sack of shit, bouncing around all over their back and using the reins for balance then wondering why the horse tries to escape the arena ("he was sooooo naughty!"), wearing spurs with no clue how to use them properly, hitting a horse for refusing a jump when they had unbalanced it too much, and - dare I say it? - nailing bits of metal to their feet.

They always have a good reason (to them) for their actions - I'm cold so he must be cold, I don't want him to get dirty, he tanks off with me, he has to be in so the field doesn't get cut up in winter, he's being naughty on purpose (it's amazing how many people think their horse is out to give them a hard time!) - the list is endless.

People should think more about the effect their actions have on the horse, really think about it. Instead of just doing stuff 'cos the others on their yard do, or because it looks pretty, because they want to show off (just go to your average Western demo to see a bunch of blokes strutting their stuff and pretending to be John Wayne with zero regard for their horses' comfort) or because it makes life easier for them. But actually thinking about all this stuff is quite hard to do, even for those who actually possess a brain (and I've met a few who don't appear to have one), because nobody likes to think they might have to change their ways, especially if it'll be more like hard work for them......

Oops, this appears to have turned into another rant....better leave it there - for now ;-)


Diane Allen said...

Oooowwww can of worms there! LOL

I am afraid I am guilty of a couple of those! I have an allergy to the mud, so certainly the working horses do get rugged if it is muddy, and if it is chucking it down and windy, the others get rugged in winter as they are out and don't have shelters.

De Gogue is different to a MH, but extremely over used over here, and yes they can even be used on 13 year old horses with previous winnings with the rider with previous winnings in competition at Champion of France - well if it is well enough trained to be there surely it shouldn't need it?

Draw reins have used them in the past, may use them in the future, but not for creating an over bend or creating a topline as it doesn't. If not used correctly they cause pain.

You and I know that there is another way, you and I both put many hours into training our horses, and putting as many scary things in their path as possible at an early age. We have looked and found another way, but other people sometimes have no idea where to start, or just as you say go for the quickest method. But this is just delaying what will happen, because if the training issues and not dealt with, a problem will come out bigger and worse later on.

Jumping - Thor the other day, jumping brilliant, Ed confident, UNTIL I put some barrels on their sides, Ed came up to the jump saying No No, as he thought Thor was going too fast (he wasn't, and the jump was just a rider scare'r and much smaller than what he had just been jumping, the pony ran out. The pony could not have possibly have been told off as he was just picking up on what his rider was transmitting to him.

Matching kit - I would if I could afford it, I like them to look smart.

Sparkly hoof stuff, doesn't do any harm if people want to pamper - wasted in my mud though!

Metal on feet ............. ouch as always. Shoes off mainly, I have one that does need shoes due to soft flat soles, we have tried and tried and used Keratex and all the methods and she does too much road work as she is driven, one just needs them on the front - again have tried. All the others have really good feet. and Fleurs foot is much improved since her remedial shoe has been taken off. I too can not understand why people shoe when horses don't do enough road work. I wouldn't say I am a barefooter, I just use my money wisely.

I think each to their own, but people really must look into their training issues. Just look at you and Seraphina how different is that pony now!! Well done you! XX

Di said...

Rant away Helen, very enjoyable and very valid points made!!

Horse said...

I LOVE THIS! I hate bits in general, mainly because 99% of the people who use them have no clue how. Its a metal pain devise! It is in the most sensitive part of a horse, its mouth. Thats why it works! It makes the horse fear the pain so they will try to do anything not to get it. The horse world is full of these people. I am being completely honest when I say that I feel SOOOO much more comfortable and safe WITHOUT a bit than with one! People just want to use their horses for their own benefit, and don't try to look into their perspective! It's terrible! I could go on forever, but I'll end it there! XD
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I feel like I would go insane if I didn't see these kinds of posts once in awhile!

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