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Inhuman practices at shows

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Brandi*

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I have subscribed to Equus for a few years now. Every year they have an article or two on soring in the show world. It just makes me sick to think about inflicting pain onto any animal the way some of these people do.
What other types of cruel show practices are out there? This is the only one I have heard of.

When I was younger we would show my mom's gelding in western pleasure classes. He always swished his tail so someone finally recommended that my Mom tie his tail off at the base 30 minutes before the show. Doing this cut the circulation off so that when we entered the show ring his tail would be numb and he wouldn't swish it. I asked my Mom about this recently and she said that at that time she didn't see anything wrong with it. Everybody was doing it. She said she would not think it was ok these days. I was too young to know any different.

Call me simple minded if you want but I always put myself in the animals shoes. If I wouldn't want something being done to me than I probably shouldn't be doing it to the animal. Some people say I humanize animals too much but I think it is just treating all living things in a kind, respectful manner. I just can't believe the pain people put animals through. It truly baffles my mind


What other inhuman practices have you guys seen at shows?
 

Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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I haven't been to many shows and haven't seen anything bad but my friend told me once she was at a show and there was a girl there barrel racing her horse. The horse knocked down the barrel. My friend said that she saw the girl pull on her rein to make the horse go in to the barrel. Once they left the ring the girl was smacking her horse, and the horse has no idea what it did wrong. Some people are terrible, they think that the horse is going to magically read their mind and do exacly what they want it to do. Nope, thats not the case. I agree, i would put myself in the horses shoes too.
 

mininik

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There are just as many cruel things done to pet horses as there are to show horses, in my opinion. Ribbons and trophies aren't the only things that have horses subjected to physical abuse, mental abuse, poorly fitted tack, unhealthy diets, neglect, dangerous surroundings, etc.
 
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Minimor

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mininik is right--there are many cruel & inhumane things done to horses even outside the show ring.

A neighbor here....has been known to fight with his horse for hours on a trail ride. The horse simply wouldn't give in or give up and by the end of the day her mouth was swollen from him hauling and sawing on the reins all day, and her legs were quivering with exhaustion and still he was on her, charging about & hauling on her. Had I been there I'd have been tempted to tip him off of the horse & tell him what I thought of him--well, I wouldn't have continued to ride with him all day--a person who did ride with him all day described the scene to me.

A trainer who withholds water in order to "adjust the attitude" of his training horses....

As far as show horses, nothing disgusts me more than seeing some scrawny little underfed horses at the show--they have no feed or water all day, maybe get a little bit of grain (VERY LITTLE) in mid afternoon, but that's all; no evidence of them having had water or hay even early in the morning before the show, and they're eating their shavings, soiled or not...or trying to steal straw from adjoining stalls. It was bad enough when it was chariot ponies at the local fair, but when it's high priced horses that are supposed to be royally bred and top notch show quality it's even worse. And yeah, when it comes down to it the chariot ponies were actually better fed than the little show horses.
 

Vertical Limit

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Agree with above.

To me IGNORANCE is the worst form of abuse. I've said it a million times. Poor physical condition, poorly fitted tack, horses kept in areas with garbage piled everywhere (dangerous surroundings), poor fencing, lack of proper farrier care and vet care.......just a few that just IRK me to know end. People that just should not have animals period. But just as bad are people training horses that have no idea what they are doing. There are so many cruel things done outside of the showring.

And to be honest, cruelty is a very subjective term. What you might think of as cruel may not be cruel at all to another.
 
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Windhaven

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I agree with all of you on abuse do to stupidity and lack of knowledge. But what I hate the most is the people who know what they are doing is cruel. That are your trainers, show people etc. Anybody that would intentionally make a horse sore footed to produce a higher step is insane. The walking horses, saddlebreds, hackey ponies and so on. I have read artical after artical on this. Trainers put steel balls in the soles of the feet to induce pain when moving. For a couple of years the western pleasure horses had the ligaments cut in their tails so they could not swish them (ever). The peanut rollers in the western pleasure horses, just absolutely is disgusting. I have seen mini trainers that tie their horses with their heads high for hours in their stalls (at home). I could go on but it just makes me mad to think about it. Trainers and horse people with knowledge should not do things to harm horses but they are the worse. People that don't know better, well most of them can be helped in time if someone gets to them and teaches them.
 

capall beag

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Well I didn't know what soring was, so I looked it up.

REVOLTING!

That is what I think of it.

When people put their greed and desire to win ahead of an animals wellbeing they are being cruel.

Disgusting and those that allow it or ignore it are equally vile.

Any decent person would agree.

There are all sorts of cruelty, often stemming from ignorance but I find it even more disgusting when it is a knowledgeable horseperson knowingly doing it for their own gain


Can't imagine wanting to win that badly
 

hahler

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at one show were height was becoming an issue I was asked to trim a mini as low as I could take it. I took it to the "safety" point when I looked at the trainer and said I couldn't go any lower I was told " go further cause we can give it something so you can't tell its sored" needless to say I picked up my tools and left not even collecting for the trim. not sure if it made it or not because I will not intentionally injure an animal for no reason
 

Brandi*

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I think some of you misunderstood me. I am not implying AT ALL that showing is the one and only place and that it's the worst setting for inhuman practices. That is just what I was thinking of at the time and wanted to know specifically if there were any other cruel things that people do to their horses to make them perform better. I know that there is REALLy bad stuff going on outside the show ring but that's not what I was thinking of when I started this. Sorry for the confusion


I never can understand how people expect their horses to perform well if they don't give them water throughout the day! And FOOD for that matter!
 
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The Simple Life Farm

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Anybody that does that sort of thing can not say they love the horse. I bet the owners/trainers don't go without food or water. It is a good thing I don't carry a gun.
People that abuse, neglect, or go to extremes are the lowest form of life. Can you tell I am very sensitive on this subject????
 

disneyhorse

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I don't think the trainers/exhibitors deny food or water FOREVER, just before classes. I know of a few people that won't give any hay 12 hours before halter classes, only handfuls of pellets so their horses don't look bloated.

I'm not sure this qualifies as "inhumane"... and yes, people do this in competition just like horses. People who have to "make weight" for competition do this and I am pretty sure models and such do this before their competitions or photo shoots.

I must say, I have a colt that drinks excessive amounts of water. And I do mean excessive. So, per my vet, he is only allowed to have four gallons per day (he normally will drink 9-12 gallons if you let him). I wish I could sit all day and pour little pints of water to him, but I can't... so he gets his two gallons with each meal (twice per day). Sometimes he drinks the whole two gallons in a 30 minute time frame, and then goes without water for the next 8 to 14 hours (depending on when he is fed) and although I feel bad, it is for his health. So far it doesn't seem to be affecting him negatively.

You just have to LOOK at the horse. If they are stumbling about weakly, have gaping wounds, are absolutely shaking with fear... then yes perhaps the person needs to tone down their "training practices." However, I don't believe the majority of "abuse" is truly such. A healthy, mentally sound horse will have the competitive edge so you won't ever see too much.

Andrea
 

iloveappys

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What other inhuman practices have you guys seen at shows?

This wasn't done AT the shows but in preparation FOR them.

I knew of a big time Arabian horse trainer (no names as I don't want to be deleted again
) in Salem,Oregon who used to tie their heads to the barn rafters way,way high in the air with their feet off the ground for several hours. It was known as "hanging from the rafters" It is supposed to stretch out their neck muscles and give them that super long,stretchy neck. Talk about a pain in the neck
 

Minimor

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No Andrea, in some cases--including the one I was referring to--it isn't just a matter of withholding food and water for a certain number of hours prior to showing. You only have to look at the animals in question to know that it's been a long time since they've had a decent meal--bony bodies, dull coats, listless expressions--I have no idea if it's simply a matter of the owner believing that thin = refined and they deliberately underfeed, or if they simply don't know how to feed properly to have their horses in good condition--but it is an ongoing thing for some horses.

And the mention I made of trainers who withhold water to make their horses more tractable--I'm talking about a big horse trainer who will leave a horse without water for a couple days while he works him, because if the horse gets dehydrated he will be less energetic and more easily handled--and yeah, I can name at least one person who does that, and I can name several horse owners who think this trainer is so very clever for using that method of "training". It disgusts me.
 

Charlene

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i used to love going to the state fair shows but i haven't been since i saw 2 things happen...

walking through the show barns, i watched a guy smearing something (ginger?) under his horses tail to make the horse carry his tail higher. i could not believe what i was seeing.

and i have seen quarter horse people tie their horse high in a corner for hour after endless hour, neck stretched out. by the time the horse went into the show ring, he was so exhausted, it was no problem for him to carry his head so low, he was the perfect "peanut roller". it made me sick.

on trail rides when i used to camp overnight, i have seen wanna-be-cowboys get so drunk, they didn't realize their horse that was tied to their trailer had his foot caught in a hay bag that hung too low. thankfully, somebody walked over and rescued him. i was on my way but i was glad somebody beat me to it. had i been there first, i probably would have ended up in jail. :DOH!
 

wade3504

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there are things done that I refuse to do with minis or big horses. One lady I was helping wanted me to do some of these things and I refused. She told me that "everybody does it" and that I needed to "play with the big dogs".


Well, I jumped off of that porch and never went back. There is one show that I show at that everything is all in fun and that's the only one I go to anymore. As far as every day abuse and neglect I'd avoid those people as well and turn them in if need be.

Amanda
 

ruffian

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How about elastics, chains, weights? all this to get Shetlands to have the "big lick" action. Some are so worked up their eyes are rolling around in their sockets like marbles. Tie their heads and tails to their back and wrench it down. I have a video about ponies and the guy is boasting about how this poor pony wasn't really built for the action, but "as you can see from the scars on her back" she learned and had a lot of heart. He had the elastics and gear to make her trot to the sky, the heck with what the poor pony went through. She had extremely long hooves, heavy shoes, and moved really high, but at what cost.

At the first show I held one of the then big name farms came with a little driving horse. The ring was full of big clay chunks, and was very difficult to drive in. They were working the horse the day before the show, and the poor thing couldn't back up. So the owner took a whip and severely beat the horse across the chest. So bad that they couldn't show him. I told him to stop, but by the time I saw it, it was too late.
 

disneyhorse

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Ruffian... I used to feel the same way as you about the Modern Shetlands (and Hackneys and other similar breeds) until I became more involved with them. It is easy to see a snippet of the "abuse" without getting the whole story and understanding both sides, and feel strongly against it. But it is very closed-minded.

Andrea
 

ruffian

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It is easy to see a snippet of the "abuse" without getting the whole story and understanding both sides, and feel strongly against it. But it is very closed-minded.
Andrea - I feel I am very open minded, and would be very interested to learn why it's necessary to put elastics and chains and pulleys and dumb jocks on a horse to the point of scarring and snap a whip the entire time the horse is on the way into the ring or shake cans full of rocks to improve or create action. I've also seen someone use a bicycle chain as a bit. I'm not trying to be argumentative, and would be interested in the full story from your side.

When a pony cannot stand next to a rail waiting for their class without a cloth over their head, I'm concerned about what that pony has gone through to the point.
 

Minimor

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walking through the show barns, i watched a guy smearing something (ginger?) under his horses tail to make the horse carry his tail higher. i could not believe what i was seeing.
The people that I know that use ginger actually use it in the form of suppositories--lift the tail, pop in the ginger suppository & a way you go. I've always figured that the people who ginger their horses should also ginger themselves, just to make it a little more fun for themselves.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have to say that things have become a slight bit...not completely ...better since I was a child...although I am FAR from happy with the way Minis are being shown, here, far from happy.

Even so, Hackneys are no longer tied in horse boxes or stalls with bags over their heads and their heads tied up in the air for hours before their classes, not since the RSPCA took a stand.

I even noticed the headers jumping forward to take down the check and removing it as soon as the horses were out of the ring (and remember our ponies are not checked nearly as high as yours, not by a long chalk) I know there were mutterings some years ago to stop check reins altogether so I am very glad to see the Society policing itself.

This does NOT stop cruelty, as these practises are outmoded stupid and pointless, (like tail docking!!) but not "cruel"

The real cruelty does not happen out where you can see it, unfortunately, but at home, where it is very hard to stop.

Things like a horse (this is a verified, true story) that was over height for it's class (show pony, not Mini...relax!!) and had a hunk carved out of it's whithers so it would go under the stick...where do they find the Vets?????

As was said at the start of this thread, true, down and out, evil to the horse cruelty is not rampant in the horse world...even in show horses it is still isolated and rare, it is also relative..that which one person considers "cruel" may be "accepted practise" to another...and maybe we need education rather than laws??

If you want to see real cruelty (and be prepared to cry buckets if you watch the attached video, be warned) go to

http://fuglyhorseoftheday.blogspot.com/

And look at the "bravest horse in the world" thread.

Hanging would be far too good for the unmentionable excuse for a man who did this.

I am ashamed to share my species with him!!!
 
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