Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What happens then?

We have all seen the atrocities in the show ring lately. The blocked tails, over bridled horses, four beating, spur stops, reiners scotching in their rundowns, head sets, non-collection, soreness, defeated looks, the single footed walk and the list goes on.

And on, and on, and on.

We all know too well about all the Bad things happening to Good horses, to get them there. (Sounds like a great title to a tell all book, doesn't it?) The injecting, the whipping, starting them too soon, jerking on the reins, constant jabbing with spurs, gimmicky equipment to push the horses into a false frame, dumping the horse onto their leads and this list goes on just as long as the first one. Maybe this list is longer since there are usually three or four crappy ways to get each result listed above.

But what would happen if the judging took a sudden curve and actually pinned the horses who show natural movement? The horses with balance and collection, free flowing strides, self carriage, willingness and get this, a perky "I LOVE MY JOB!" expression.

Chances are, there may be fewer people in the ring showing their horses! This would likely be because of a huge WTH? moment in barns across the country. We know how to beat them down, but how do you bring them back up? And what is all this talk about collection and impulsion? A few more foreign terms to the crowd may be contact, lightness and forward.

I can hear it now. "Forget suppleness we just got them rigid, abrasive and resistant! I just got my horse to give in and he completely gave up. Why and how do we undo all of that? And what does it feel like to ride them then?"

Just like the way things are going now though, what is seen in the upper levels is mimicked all the way down the line. And this will be no different. People will come up with new ways of trying to do things, cheating their way through instead of learning how to train their horse. There will still be those rushing their way through and expecting immediate results. Instant gratification instead of waiting for the correct responses.

It would be nice to see the change though. I may doubt it will happen, but at least one can always hope.


maiden53 said...

Do you mean like when my grandpa showed his Arabs back in the 60's? I remember when he wanted all the "LOVE MY JOB" expressions... from the rider and the horse..

I will be with you with crossed fingers, too :-)

fernvalley01 said...

Wouldn't that truly define a "pleasure horse"
Its a great dream JR, maybe someday. And btw about that book???

GoLightly said...

One Tin Solider
Ran Away..

Sorry, old song.

We should have a parade...
To Happier Horses.

horspoor said...

Hmmm....we could have our own association. 'The Alternative'. Sick of sore horses? Tired of injections? Want horses that move like horses, not caricatures of horses? Join our association and never four beat again.

I bet we could find some judges in most disciplines that would be behind it and support it. Hillary Clayton would probably support it. I bet there are trainers like us that would get behind it.

HA! We could be the "Alternative Association"...AA. lmao

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- would that include a 12 step program?

Over blingage to be penalized
poor movement to be critcisized

Anyone else care to jump in and add to the list. Anyone?

horspoor said...

Hey, some of the practioners of bad horsemanship seriously need a 12 step program. lol

Admitted we our powerless over gimmick training, the latest slick guru, and winning at all cost.

JohnieRotten said...

Fv. The book is in progress at the moment.

Maiden. The Arabs really have changed since the 60s. I saw pictures at Al Marah when I apprenticed there in 1980

rosesr4evr said...

Well Folks, it looks like the newest addition should be on her way to the training barn by mid-February!! Yeah for Miss Lily!

Hopefully, we are going to be competing in the American Ranch Horse shows and perhaps dabbling in the WP at the local level or open shows. I promise not to four beat, peanut roll, trope, or wog, etc. Hell, I might just get a bug up my ass and let her lope like she means it and pass every friggin body in the class, MULTIPLE times with our heads up, just to see the looks on their faces! LOL!! Maybe I shouldn't do that, I could possibly fall right off my horse, from laughing hard enough to piss my pants. *overhead loudspeaker, "Cut N Jump, your presence is requested at ringside, Rosesr4evr needs a dry pair of pants and a dusting off."

What is happening to our show horses is awful. I can remember sitting at the Coliseum ALL day just watching when I was younger. Now it's really hard to even sit through a class without wanting to vomit. And don't get me started on the warm up rings. I went to a reining show when I was pregnant with Rowan and saw a really nice Palomino there who was actually very talented. I saw his rider working him in the warm up ring and I happened to notice that the poor horse had blood dripping from his sides from excessive spurring.

I asked a friend of mine who was there with one of her horses, how he was going to be able to show that horse with bloody spur marks on it's sides. She told me that they would take the horse back to the barn, wash him up and put some baby powder on it and no one in the ring would even notice. Such a disgrace and it made me sick to my stomach.

JohnieRotten said...

congrats on the new horse Roses

Cut-N-Jump said...

Roses- congrats on the new horse!

I have yet to see grooms on the rail with a pair of pants. Most of them carry their usual rag, a bucket, a brush or two, maybe a spare chain, can of spray something, maybe a bridle... But not pants. That could be interesting???

cattypex said...

In showing, it will take someone with a LOT of clout, a LOT of moolah, and a LOT of nice horses trained the "right" way to put a dent in the current sad trends in the stock horse breeds and even Arabs.

Too bad this won't happen.

WTF is wrong with all the trainer/judges, esp. the ones who apprenticed with The Best back in the day, who should KNOW better?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!

When peanut rolling first started back in the 80s, why the heck didn't some influential old timer on the national board or whatever stand up and say, "this is a JOKE, my friends. What part of 'proud American cowboy' does this illustrate?"

AQHA used to make fun of Arabs all the time because they were sooo "artificial."

At least Arabs don't do fake tails!!

rosesr4evr said...

Would anyone like for me to post a pic of the new equine?? Her name is Miss Lily and I think that goes well with my dusty Rose!

See CnJ? It was fate! You have a Lily and a Rose and now, so do I!!

kestrel said...

A good friend of mine said about the western pleasure show circuit... "you gits out your fanciest horse, train it to go to sleep on it's feet, git a saddle and bridle with at least 30 or 40 pounds of silver onit, then ride into the showring with your checkbook on the saddle horn and the person with the fattest checkbook wins!"

The friend's wife is a top notch barrel racer, and loves the fact that it's just her and the clock. She's not above studying everything from dressage to jumping to improve her time, rides quiet and true, and wins a bunch.

I love Quarterhorses, but cannot respect a registry that allows a dominant lethal gene to be registered, when a small patch of white in the wrong spot can't be.

Today's halter arabs...don't get me started, I'm warnin' ya...

horspoor said...


Halter Arabs...hell that is a whole other post. GEEAAAWWWDDD!

We could go for days on that. Well, pretty much halter anything, I could go for days on. lol

horsndogluvr said...

This is gonna be a long one...

"And what is all this talk about collection and impulsion? A few more foreign terms to the crowd may be contact, lightness and forward."

Don't worry, Johnny, I'm sure the terms will be deformed the same way "in the frame" and "head set" have been. ((sigh))

I'm a bit ignorant; please, Johnny or someone tell me what "reiners scotching in their rundowns" and "single footed walk" mean?

Cattypex said, "WTF is wrong with all the trainer/judges, esp. the ones who apprenticed with The Best back in the day?"

I've got an idea - a fantasy, actually. Force each judge to spend two weeks riding at a working cattle ranch to remind them what a stock horse should be. Then have each one "judge" the ranch remuda in WP and halter. Last, have one of the *real* cowboys judge a typical AQHA WP and halter class.

CnJ had these excellent judging criteria: "Over blingage to be penalized, poor movement to be criticized"

Here are a couple of my ideas:

The horse that kicks up the least dust/dirt to be rewarded. Most dust: not placed.

Get an actual H/J rider or judge to judge the HUS class.

Change the rules, if necessary, and educate the judges: ribbons may be withheld for lack of quality.

Have "secret shoppers" evaluate each judge, and report bad placements.

Idea for penalizing bling: total weight of tack (including blanket) not to exceed 50 lbs, or some other arbitrary figure.

Going into teacher mode for a second. Johnny, "wreak of show sheen" is slightly incorrect. "Wreak" is a verb; the word you want is "reek."

"Wreak" is a darn good verb for this post, though. It means, "exact as a punishment," and/or "to give freee scope and rein to."

Wouldn't we just love to wreak havoc on all the judges who place this ugliness?