Okay so this may be controversial, but I need to vent.
I am new to the forum, but I have noticed a couple of threads that say something about how a horse is being treated horribly or "how could someone do that?!" I then open the thread thinking oh no a poor horse got hurt, only to find someone overreacting.
Thus I am going to attempt to define horse abuse, or abuse in general.
Abuse, in my opinion, is a willingly harmful act done by a person to (in this case) a horse.
So this is a vague definition, but it does rule out a couple of things.
In most cases, You cannot say something is abuse by watching a 2 minute clip or analyzing pictures of someone training a horse that looks otherwise healthy.
You cannot use abuse in place of the word "mistreated." In my opinion, there is a big difference between a lapse of judgement (an accident, or an uneducated person) and a person who really just doesn't care or those who want to hurt the horse.
For example: Using a whip is NOT always abuse (although a whip can be a tool for abuse, it is not always abuse), same with spurs. If the owner or trainer misuses the tool, but then realizes their mistake and corrects it, once again, not abuse.
Just because you wouldn't train a horse the way someone else would does not mean that it is abuse either. The horse is fed, kept warm, worked with, watered, kept clean, had regular care, ect., and some complain because the horse is "jabbed in the flanks" with spurs (or something along that line, you get my point).
One examples of the difference between ABUSE and other cases, just to try to make my point clear(mistreatment, uneducated handler, ACCIDENT, mistake, old horse, ect.)
The first, definitely abusive. The second is INCONCLUSIVE (you never know, could be an old horse that the owner is struggling to get weight on). You just can't tell from the picture. (so it cannot be accurately labeled abuse)
Im not saying don't post on what your opinions are on certain matters.Just try to stay away from lumping everything as abusive. Everyone has a different way to train, everyone makes mistakes and accidents happen.
Okay I feel better now