Saddleseat- How has this not been outlawed? - Page 11

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Saddleseat- How has this not been outlawed?

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    01-17-2012, 07:33 PM
I will state from 40 years of experience with horses and being around horse shows & competitions - you want to be the best of the best? You are going to have to do things to that horse/horses that are against the manufacturer's specs. Is this cruel? To the horse, yes, to a certain degree. Reason why I never wanted to show western pleasure at the World's, I couldn't do what I needed to do to a horse in order to stand a chance. I do not condemn others if they can, as stated, there are way worse cruelty issues.
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    01-17-2012, 07:37 PM
Sometimes it's not the people after all, it's the system. All disciplines in which a horse is judged solely on its gaits and appearance are bound to become twisted to the point that they are not good for the horse. That's because there's only so much a trainer can do to improve the way a horse looks or moves naturally. To really stand out from the crowd, they have to go to extreme lengths. Suddenly it's not enough that a horse is carrying its head lower than usual (as in WP), they have to be practically dragging it on the ground if they want to win. Over time, the modifications to natural movement needed to win increase to the point where they cannot be achieved by natural means. Judging a horse based on its appearance simply leaves too much room for things to go off the rails.

All disciplines are not created equal. There's showing (judging based on appearance) and then there are actual sports, where the horse must learn a skill that is relatively easy to measure. Did the horse clear the fence or not? Was it the first to finish or not? Did it change its lead or not? Disciplines in which the winners are chosen based on substantive elements are much less prone to problems.
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    01-19-2012, 04:28 AM
Originally Posted by thepie24    
I don't mean to offend, but how can the discipline of Saddleseat be accepted as a legitimate equestrian sport? The horses, mostly Saddlebreds, are locked their stalls most of the time, ridden for 15-20 minutes a day and shod in ridiculous shoes. They have no to time to just be horses, and in the less reputable barns have ginger put in their rectums, chains around their ankles, their tails "nicked"(the nerves cut so that they can hold the tail unnaturally high) and put in tail sets which look suspiciously like torture devices, and sharp bits put in their mouths, all to enhance their "natural" gaits. Natural saddlebreds are sweet, intelligent, beautiful horses who have been enslaved by their riders. In my personal experience, I came across a saddlebred so destroyed by Saddleseat that he was unrideable, sore and his spirit broken. Rumors came in with his owners that firecrackers had been thrown at him to excite him to perform his gaits more extravagantly. People compare it to show jumping and dressage, saying they also use harsh bits and force horses to do things, which may be true, but the real issue is how an entire breed is being exploited, treated as though they are just gaits, not living breathing animals who need to be respected and allowed to act as their instincts dictate, not left in a stall for hours on end wearing a tail set to force them to carry their tail high and shoes that make them snap their feet up. How can the equestrian community ignore this obviously inhumane discipline?
People like you ^ really grind my gears.
You don't mean to offend? 99% of the people who start a sentence with "No Offense, But" are really just trying to defend themselves from the backlash they know they will receive from saying something ignorant.

Saddleseat is a legitimate equestrian sport, I have never shown in it but I have taken lessons. I ride Morgans, so I'm sure there are some differences in training techniques.. but, I must say that I have never seen a horse with a tail set (I do not personally agree with them either) nor have I ever seen a horse being "sored" nor would I EVER CONDONE it.

Our horses are only in when they have shoes on, they get handgrazed for a couple hours or turned out in SMALL paddocks within sight distance of the barn (so they cannot pull shoes) for a few hours. The main reason to keep them in, is so they don't pull shoes. Open your eyes, "thepie" there are plenty of other disciplines which practice 24/7 turn-in. Do you think Olympic caliber horses are turned out all day? So they can bow a tendon running in the field? Our horses get regular turnout when not in competition training (so from October to Aprilish) and if they are not competing, they do not wear "ridiculous" shoes and get regular turnout all year long. They are actually probably some of the most spoiled horses in the whole equine industry..
They also get more than 15-20 minutes of exercise.. usually anywhere between 45mins to an hour.. sometimes a tad more. They may only get 10-15 minutes with the "hideous devices" on their feet, but anymore than that and I might agree with you- it is abusive.

Sharp Bits? I'm assuming you've never ridden in a double bridle. They are also in dressage. (A big shock, I know) Yes, the curbs are longer and the bradoons a bit smaller.. but the horses are most often schooled in a plain snaffle with a running martingale (and work fine in it). Have you ever heard of the phrase.. "A bit is only as harsh as the hands who hold it"? Most of the horses I have ridden (that competed in Saddleseat) have the lightest mouths of any horses I've ridden- including your typical H/Js/TBs/QHs that like to dive onto the forehand and annihilate rider's hands to avoid real work.

I'm sorry about your "personal experience" but I can tell you plenty of my own "personal" experiences with Hunter/Jumper barns, Thoroughbreds, QHs, all run down by INDIVIDUALS (who I understand don't make up the breed or sport as a WHOLE).

Rumors.. are just that.

These horses are not forced to "snap their feet" up. If you took your time to educate yourself on the breed (youtube), you would find plenty of videos of mares and foals (with no shoes on... BIG SHOCKER, I know!) TURNED OUT IN PASTURES (omg! They must have devilish owners) "snapping their feet up" just the same.

The training methods are used to keep the horses in shape.. so they don't injure themselves at shows, so they are used to the weight of the shoes..

I cannot speak for the saddlebred industry, but I'm 90% certain that the MAJORITY of the breed enthusiasts (including saddleseat riders and trainers) care very much for their animals and would do nothing to hurt them, and are probably more spoiled than your horse.

Keep your rash generalizations to yourself and maybe you won't offend anyone. Next time, instead of blaming the breed/sport enthusiasts- try blaming that individual for ABUSE (if it even occurred). It happens in all disciplines. Saddleseat gets a bad rep from people like you who find that ONE horse who fell into a bunch of wrong hands, and the rumor mill starts up, and the ignorance spreads.

Thoroughly offended.
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    01-19-2012, 04:34 AM
Just realized this thread was 3 years old.. but all the same, I'm offended. LOL
    01-19-2012, 12:06 PM
Originally Posted by thepie24    
i acknowledge that all disciplines have their issues, but most of these are the result of bad riding, ignorance, or incompetence. A large number of saddleseat riders voluntarily make their horses uncomfortable on a regular basis for appearance, and its not just one or two things, its the horses' entire lifestyle. My saddlebred still won't take a bit, even a soft snaffle, without resistance because of the bicycle chain bits used on him when he was young. I'm not trying to offend, but there is no defending some of the things they do to their horses, they're beyond reason. If I piss off someone who puts a tail set on their horse, then so be it. What I have seen in the past seven years makes me sick, and I live near Wellington Florida, an area with a very high concentration professional barns and riders of all kinds
Tennesee walking horses also go through similar torture, but in the larger shows where this goes on they have what they call "the government" the show horses have to pass an inspection before they can be shown. If they find that a horse has been sored up or anything like that they fine the owner and trainer and they also get banned for a certain ammount of time. I have a tennesse walker that I show in pleasure classes and ride on trails, I have never done anything to make him sore so he will step higher, but some trainers put halved golf balls under the horses thick pads on their feet and they also strap chains on their feet. I have never seen a horse that could naturally do what padded walking horses do, its not possible.
    01-20-2012, 09:57 AM
Originally Posted by waresbear    
I will state from 40 years of experience with horses and being around horse shows & competitions - you want to be the best of the best? You are going to have to do things to that horse/horses that are against the manufacturer's specs. Is this cruel? To the horse, yes, to a certain degree. Reason why I never wanted to show western pleasure at the World's, I couldn't do what I needed to do to a horse in order to stand a chance. I do not condemn others if they can, as stated, there are way worse cruelty issues.
Huh??? Showing at the top doesn't mean the horse needs to be abused. I'm a little offended by it's a generalization that lumps everyone in together. My horse is an AQHA World Show Qualifier in WP and he certainly was not abused or tortured to get that status. It comes down to the quality of the animal; horse power. If the horse is a mediocre mover, no training in the world either good or bad is going to make it World Show competitive.
    01-20-2012, 06:55 PM
Yes, why don't we go ahead and ban all equestrian activities? :roll: Because honestly, as said repeatedly before and by many - there is good horsemanship and bad horsemanship, in EVERY SINGLE equestrian sport. And I think it's about time everyone got over that.
Golden Horse likes this.
    01-20-2012, 07:07 PM
Good and bad relative to others in the sport, you mean. That doesn't count for much.
    01-20-2012, 07:26 PM
Abused I suppose in the opinion of the abuser? Whatever, these animals are not being used to manufacturers specs, period! This is why it's rare to see aged champions unless they were retired early & put out to the breeding shed. They don't have long careers in said disciplines.
    01-20-2012, 07:32 PM
Didn't read all the posts so forgive me.

To the OP -

I'm sorry you seem to think all this cruelty is present in every single saddle seat barn. But perhaps you should expand your view.

If I listened to all the people I know about dressage, I would think all of them had metal poles placed in their spine to keep the in a "rollkur" position and that all barrel racers bloodied their horses sides and rode with bicycle chains in their horses mouths.

Are there people in the saddle seat discipline who have done the things you have listed? Yes. Do the majority of them do it? No.

I'll tell you right now, you walk into any barn breeding saddlebreds in my area and you will find these horse being treated better than the barn owner's children.

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