I was reading a thread about soring of TWH and the conversation had changed to the abuse in showing in general. I took it upon myself to start a topic on this considering the treatment of show horses is an important topic to me as well.
I experienced horse abuse blatantly in my face when I showed the paint breed show circuit. I saw every single trainer ripping and jerking on faces, my fellow youth competitors calling their mounts "it", and people hanging heads and tying them down. The problem with abuse is that whether someone's training is abusive is very subjective. Anyway, how do you guys think showing abuse should be monitored? What bothers you? I say vent here, I know I need to and I will later on.
First, "abuse" seems to be a new "fad" word of sorts. It is being WAY overused. Yes, the soring of the TWH and the video was blatant abuse. I don't hink you will find ANYONE to disagree with you there. However, you need to be really careful generalizing and saying "every" anything does.....XYZ. THat is NEVER the case, and will not gain you credibility for sure. Yes, training abuse IS subjective. I just got my horse back from reining training. I will guarantee you that some would consider it abusive. After all, I ride my horse (which PETA considers abuse), I use spurs **gasp** and my horse WILL do what he is told. Period. It bothers me to constantly have to wonder who is watching me as I warm up at a show(like last weekend).....and worry the some do-gooder will tape it and have my face on youtube without knowing the story. I happen to have one of those horses who will take the mile every time, if you give an inch. I am his 6th owner, and he is 7. One of his previous owners came to see him at the show last weekend. She made excuses for every bad behavior I corrected. She contributed to him being the monster he is today. I love him dearly, but he is lucky. He has a stubborn streak, will turn his butt to you if you let him (yes, he has kicked her in the past, because she made excuses that he was looking at something.....)She thinks I am "too hard on him.".....when I smack him for doing that.
He will be loping around (after thousands of $$ in reining training) and just stop. Will NOT move. I have the job of getting him to go forward. Yes, it takes spurs, reins, whatever, but he MUST go forward. His mind is his own worst enemy. I am doing my best to make a good horse out of him so that nothing bad happens to him should I have to sell, but at some point he has to help a little.
And yes, there are times I will "yank" on him. If he knows better and need to pay attention and everything else fails, Hell yeah!
Bottom line is that every horse is different. You cannot judge what is abusive by just looking in every case. THe word is overused. Be very very careful who you accuse. You may just end up with a lawsuit.