Saddleseat- How has this not been outlawed? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 0
First off, let me say Welcome to HF! What a post to start off with.

I will first address the Tail Sets and the issue of Cutting Tails.

Saddlebred girl, I believe you are mistaking cutting tails with the docking of tails. I don't know about the draft breeds or pony breeds that actually dock tails, but in dogs, the tails are docked at a very young age.

Tail cutting is a whole different thing altogether. It is most definitely NOT done as foals, for many reasons. One being, is they cannot as foals be evaluated for thier future division. It just can't be done. My father has been working with American Saddlebred Show Horses for over fifty years. He always says, "Never judge one until you put the tack on them." Babies least of all.

It is most commonly done at the very earliest at two, and more commonly between then and five.

Yes the op is correct. The tendons on the bottom of the tail are nicked, and they are put in a tail set so that when they heal, the tendons heal in a more stretched out, loose position than they were in. They do NOT lose the use of thier tail, nor are thier tails broken.

After the procedure is done, the horse is required to have stall rest and limited work, so as not to screw up the purely cosmetic procedure. The tail must be cut by a professional who is experienced in such procedures and the after care is MOST important. For the first week or so after the procedure the horse should be watched carefully, and his tail cared for. His tail set(harness thing) must fit him correctly so as to reduce discomfort. The tail set is there to keep the tail as limber and straight as possible. There is a penalty in the shows for horses with crooked tails, so care must be taken to make sure the outcome is as perfect as possible.

The cutting of tails is not necessary for a show horse, it is merely a cosmetic thing, that many believe "completes" the look of the show horse. Your horse is not penalized in any class for having an unset tail.

They cannot be cut as foals, for one reason being you don't want to limit what you can do with them, and another thing, is that they take so much time to care for, that your foal would never be allowed to be a foal. They would have to be kept in the tail set through thier childhood, which is totally unpractical, especially when you have no idea where they will excell. With less hair weighing down the tail, foals(even through adultood) will throw thier tail over thier back and prance around when they are feeling good.

It is NOT done as a foal.

There are some trainers who will have every horse in the barn in tail sets, because they believe that people will pay more or will think a horse is worth more when he is wearing one.

The more experienced and more knowledgeable professionals in the breed know better, and will evaluate each horse's potential before spending thier money(which often comes FROM the horses believe it or not), on a procedure that will limit the hrose or will be unneccessary for horses destined for some divisions.

Don't get me wrong, I have seen my fair share of HORRIBLE tail jobs, either because of an inexperienced practitioner, or from lack of care and attention on the owners part. Each case is inexcuseable, and could have been easily avoided. If you aren't going to take the time to do it right, don't do it at all.

The issue of tail cutting is a much debated and much discussed issue among the professionals in the industry, and will be settled by the professionals in the industry. Not to sound rude at all, but we do not need people who are not of the industry to become involved. It is being taken care of, I assure you, by the people who know the breed and have first hand experience in the issue.

Ginger has nothing do do with how a horse moves. It is there as encouragement for a VERY small number or horses to hold thier tails up when not braced(a brace is something used in the showring, to help hold the tail upright and straight. I can get into that more if you would like).

On ^ that note, nothing we ever train for in Saddleseat will ever help a horse piaffe or side pass or do any dressage maneuver, because they are two totally separate diciplines. We want different things, so we train for different things. The two cannot be compared.

Next will be bits and shoes.

In EVERY professional trainer's barn I have been in, they have always had a special section, be it a wall, a room, or various trunks, for a WIDE collection of shoes and bits.

Any devoted trainer knows the importance of finding the RIGHT bit that fits the horse and the horse is comfortable with. Unless the bit cannot be replaced, often times, it will go with a horse we personally sell, so that the new owner will know that that is what we got along with.

The same goes with shoes. The majority of Saddlebreds do not have horrendous shoes nor do they weigh "a ton". The pads we put on the shoes(not allowed in some divisions), are mostly there for shock absorption. With the horse stepping higher(which is completely natural, but I'll get to that in a moment), the foot strikes the ground with more force. The pad comforts and absorbs that shock, which in turn makes the horse more comfortable. Adding slight height(not to the extent of padded TWHs which I am learning more about, and can clearly explain the differences for you if you need me to) following the wall of the hoof, gives the foot a wider base and thus more stability.

Shoes come in all kinds of styles, each for a different purpose. With slight corrections in shoeing you can correct unevenness in the stride, winging(when they pick thier front feet up they angle out), you can help create or support the gait(if gaited, not all are), and MANY other things. I also live with an accomplished ASB farrier.(along with two trainers, two instructors, all our friends and myself). Many trainers are shoe collectors as well, so that they will have as many options in finding the right shoe for each individual horse's needs.

CH My-My's shoes were actually 12oz half rounds. She would often break them they were so light. We are fortunate enough to have a pair of that magnificent mare's shoes above our tack room door.

I will take a break now, and come back with more in a bit.

I would be MORE than happy to help answer anyone's questions they have on the issue. I want nothing more than for myths to be dispelled or miscommunications to be sorted out.
LadyDreamer is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Tn
Posts: 212
• Horses: 0
saddlebred issues

WOW ladydreamer That was good no that was great you do know the saddlebreds i see that . Now i feel stupid for even opening my big mouth and saying all i did . hecks i dont know saddlebreds at all with the exception of my late Broadway big Red , and really feel bad about running off the mouth . i do appolige to everyone on here for my rant as i was yaking and didnt know really how to explain what i did know about them i need to learn to shut up and leave this type issue to the people that are trely in to the breeds and know just what all happens. Thankyou for the information on the tail sets i didnt know how they did that , i knew it was a thing of large debate in the saddlebred world. And the shoes i did know from different people at several different places talking about it and my blacksmith (OLD SCHOOL) talk we had discussed it as he was fixing Reds front as well as his back feet since he was a road horse the angle was way off from what i wanted so steve and i had a good talk as to whayt was best for him . again thanks and i do appolige to all for my big mouth here DAVE
Dave is offline  
post #13 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 0
Oh dave, you are alright! From what you have said elsewhere, I know you are going to be a good ambassador for the breed. I do my best to educate people on our breed and trust me, I have had lots of practice and coaching.

You mentioned Saddlebred rescue. A lot of those horses actually come from the Amish after being on the road. You'd think for how much the Amish deal in the breed and how much they use them, they would know thier feet a little better(some do, but not all). Check out the feet on some of the early pictures of some of the rescues. Some are in awful condition. But that is not from any show barn. That is from the hard life of a buggy horse. That is something I am very against. It makes me ill to see one of ours fall through the cracks and end up on the road.
LadyDreamer is offline  
post #14 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 12
• Horses: 0

Thank you for the welcome, this place is new to me, and let me make it clear that I do not mean to stir up trouble of any kind, or to make people angry. If this is not the place for civilized debate on a hot issue, i will take down the post and move on. However, your well written and logical response to my posting makes me think civilized debate is possible here, but I assure you i don't mean to put anyone down, although i have very strong opinions with regard to this topic. i will never be vulgar or insulting.

I am aware of the similar treatment of morgans, arabs, national show horses, and tennessee walkers, but i have first hand experience with saddlebreds. my horse came from a barn where all of these practices occurred, and after seeing the state of their horses(their mental conditions as well as physical), i could not sit by and ignore the implications. let me make it clear that i am not targeting the discipline or the breed, but the ACTIONS taken by the riders to achieve the desired result and the state of their horses.

I am clear, however, on the difference between docking and nicking, and my comment above was with regard to the person who said they dock at a young age. i rather thought they did it quite later. that aside, i think the practice of tail setting is barbaric, unnecessary, and in a word, cruel (please don't get upset, i know its harsh, but reflect the open mind you asked of me in your answer). To force a horse to wear a harness to keep his tail in a set position, a large, uncomfortable harness at that, 24/7 is just wrong. We had a beautiful saddlebred mare named fancy who had her tail nicked, and because she didn't wear a tail set, he tail was crooked and wasn't as useful as an unnicked tail. she was euthanized of complications from ulcers at a young age, in my opinion a direct result of the stress from her saddleseat past. anyway, a line needs to be drawn in the horse community as to where we will stop "modifying" our horses at their expense. i appreciate that i am not a saddlebred rider and so it may seem like none of my business, but i cannot stand by and look the other way while horses are forced to wear tail sets. I propose the human who sets the tail of his/her horse must wear a leather harness holding their foot or maybe a finger in a set position 24/7 and see how long it lasts.

as for the comment i made about ginger being used to perform a piaffe or jump an oxer, i did not mean that literally, but as a comparision between saddleseat and the traditional sport horse disciplines. I'm very clear that saddleseat and dressage are separate things, and have very different theories and methods of training. I meant it to be taken slightly ironically, and to counter the claims that dressage and hunter/jumper riders also use inhumane methods with their horses, but that they do not take it to the same extremes as in saddleseat.

i was not aware that the shoes served as shock absorbers, and because of that i can understand why they are shod that way, but i still am unhappy with the idea of horses not being turned out because of their shoes. Horses NEED to be outside moving about freely. i think it really can detract from their sanity and happiness if they are locked in their stalls. The barns i was at never turned their horses out because of the fear that they would throw their expensive shoes. In dressage and jumping, our horses can loose their shoes too, but the risks are worth the rewards as our horses are more sane, focused, and healthy when they are allowed to move freely, run if they want, and just smell fresh air and taste grass. Horses are meant to be in wide open spaces not confided to a 12x12 stall for 23 hours a day. research has shown that being able to roll, stretch their legs, and run without the weight of a rider or under the constraints of a frame relieved tension and made for healthier, happier horses. Horse illustrated ran an article on it a few years ago. i felt bad for my boy being locked in his entire adult life before i bought him, and he goes out for at least a few hours everyday and i swear he appreciates that more than his carrots, and he REALLY loves his carrots. that concern is the main one for me. Shoes can be useful to prevent soundness issues in performance horses, believe me i know, we have a horse who is basically 100% lame without his eggbars. but they cannot take away from the horse's lifestyle, just like the tail sets. doing so denies their very existence as horses.

thanks to everyone who responded to this post, and i'm sorry for naming it like i did. i realize its offensive, but i truly believe some of these things should be outlawed, but not necessarily saddleseat itself.
Katz1411 and Fimargue like this.
thepie24 is offline  
post #15 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 0
Attagirl! By all means, keep posting your concerns. It is good for people to see both sides of an issue, and you seem capable of intelligent debate(a lot of folks who start out with threads like these are just trolls, which is why I was worried). Let's just not get into the "Nuh uh!" name calling.

My remarks about docking were to Saddlebred girl, who mentioned the foals.

By all means, stick around and keep posting. You are not alone. There are many proffessionals in the breed who share the same thoughts.
LadyDreamer is offline  
post #16 of 164 Old 04-23-2008, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Tn
Posts: 212
• Horses: 0

Ladydreamer i use the saddlebred rescue because i joined there site because of how and what they do for the saddlebreds that are comeing from the amish . they do a great job thats for sure , all ive done is read the site and see how the horses are being treated and loved . im not involved in any other way with them or any other rescue or breed group . MY big red was ex amish buggy horse for sure there
Dave is offline  
post #17 of 164 Old 04-24-2008, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,475
• Horses: 0
Dave, I've seen you on there. Doesn't it kill you to not be able to do more. I am slowly trying to build up a decent donation for them. Lots of "If onlys" with that. It sucks. They are really behind this year in donations, so I am trying to come up with promotional material to have available at horse shows.

Okay... lets see if I can make some of this slightly better.

Well, in a lot of cases, especially during show season it is merely for the convenience of the trainer who may have 20-30 head to work a day. One of our friends actually works on average 27 a day(insert jaw dropping smiley here). Personally we don't have a many places to turn out our horses for a large chunk of the day. We do that mainly for the younger horses. We try to alternate groups every few days, and bring them in at night. For a show horse though, despite the shoes(not hard to replace if you have a farrier on hand), some are on schedule for the show season. We try to keep the lessons interesting and varying so long as it helps them to thier ultimate goal. We also try to provide as many toys as we can(usually milk jugs on strings work great) for them if they are going to be in thier stalls. Our current show prospect LOVES those apple lick toys. Also, all of our horses are allowed to see and touch and smell thier neighbor. Dad is always instilled that in us, that they are herd animals and NEED to see another.

For Saddlebreds, it is really hard to find a decent shoer who can shoe our horses RIGHT. It is a science. Our shoer actually travels to barns in Ohio down to Alabama, and many places in between(lives in KY). Luckily for us, my dad is an accomplished shoer himself, and we don't have to rely on someone who may not even be in the state if one of ours loses a shoe. Does it make it any better? Not really, but makes sad sense.

A lot of successful AOTs with lower numbers actually do do daily turnout, as it is more convenient for them.

Then on the other hand, I did know of a trainer who would only allow the only contact with the horse to be only that which was necessary to get them ready. That is absurd to me. They ARE thinking animals. They DO respond to your voice and your touch. Why do that to them. I only know one like that.

I really don't know how it is with other diciplines, but we as a general whole are very connected to our roots. We are all about the history and the past(and forgetting about the present it seems to me) and with that comes the teaching of some of the great trainers of the breed. People that revolutionized the breeding and devoted thier lives to the development of the breed.

Here are some quotes that I think should be listened to more closely by everyone in the breed and from other breeds.

"Have a heart that never hardens and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." -Marty Mueller

"Everyone is trying to do the same thing, just in different ways." -Redd Crabtree

"You must first capture a horse's mind if you expect to capture the rest of his body. Set goals for yourself and your horse, but remember, never fight him. If you do, your I.Q. becomes lower than that of your horse; and if you pick a fight, you'll lose, because you are fighting out of your weight division." -Jimmy Williams

"Always train the horse's attitude. Don't overtrain a horse or you'll lose his show horse attitude." -Redd Crabtree

"It's what you learn after you think you know it all that counts." -Jimmy Williams


If you would like I could try to explain the reason behind things such as stretchies, chains, and "entertainment"(plastic bags, streamers, talcum powder, cans, and yes, even firecrackers, etc.) I'll do my best to explain our motives.
LadyDreamer is offline  
post #18 of 164 Old 04-24-2008, 02:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tampa, Fl
Posts: 110
• Horses: 0
You have to remember a good show horse is a happy show horse. An annoyed, lame, uncared for horse is not worth the money to show. We love our horses and most of them love their job. A good trainer can see a horse is unhappy and either try to cater to the horse (you will see many a horse with a friend, toys, walked a few times a day, etc) or will find a new home for them that can suit to their needs. Sadly there are some trainers that try to force a square peg into a round hole and thats when you get unhappy, ruined horses. It hurts my feels when I see someone saying that the disipline I love (I have ridden huntseat and western and nothing compares to a great saddleseat horse) should be outlawed for a few bad apples or misunderstood training practices that where developed to enhance our breeds talents which are much different than other breeds when there are really awful things in the horse world that should be taken care of (starving horses, real abused horses and a abandoned horses). I too would be happy to explain our practices if you would like.

LadyDreamer I too wish there was more I could do. Sadly I can barely feed myself haha.

edited to remove swearing. please refrain from using any swear words om the forum
Jrchloe is offline  
post #19 of 164 Old 04-24-2008, 04:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 48
• Horses: 0

Hi i just want to say im sorry for making a mistake in saying foals have their tails nicked.i dont own a saddlebred but i ride them and a friend of mine who own saddlebreds told me their tails are nicked as foals.she was really sorry i posted wrong information.but saddlebreds are an amazing breed here in South Africa horses are disqualified in a show if their tail sets are not neat or if their false tails falls off.i am very proud to ride saddlebreds they are very intelligent and they have taught me lots about have to have very gentle hands if you ride saddlebreds.thanks for teaching me more about saddlebreds

I love saddlebreds they make dreams come true
Saddlebred girl is offline  
post #20 of 164 Old 04-24-2008, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 10,620
• Horses: 5
I'm so proud of you all
When I saw this topic come up again I thought 'uh-oh here we go again'. Thank you for being intellegent adults in your posts. Please remember the conscientious etiquette policy for any future input.
Vidaloco is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome