Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I really stopped caring what most people think. If someone thinks I'm abusive for elbowing my horse in the chest or giving a few good yanks to gain his/her attention, it isn't someone I'd want to be associated with anyway. There's a colossal difference between taking a Dressage whip to your horse in the middle of the showgrounds and disciplining a blatantly dangerous animal who's only concern is trampling you.
I think it's wrong to just assume that every horse can be 110% foolproof trained for a show. You simply don't know how they're going to react before they get there - a LOT of people don't think their calm and well behaved horse will turn into a monster at a show. We just went through this with Justus - she's a well behaved pony, she's hacked out alone with no problems, she's been taken off the property before and gone for a trail ride with other horses. But when we took her to the charity ride in May, the sheer volume of it overwhelmed her. She was screaming almost the entire time, and ignoring who was around her. Obviously Shay-la got in her face about it, and spent some time lunging her to get her focused, which worked, but we were quite surprised that she acted that way. She was a doll once the ride got underway and completed it in fine style, but how exactly do you prepare a young horse for being suddenly surrounded by hundreds of strange horses and people?
We set her up for success by making her training solid enough that it only took a few exercises to bring her attention back to us, but that doesn't necessarily stop a horse from being momentarily distracted.
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.