Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
I can't comment on this individual case but in regards to abuse in the warm up ring at shows, it happens every day at every level. Step back and observe. Why does the horse move the way it does, why does it hold it's head that way, what's will all the gadgets on the horse, why is the trainer riding like that, why does the trainer....? You see just as much with youth and amateurs than the pros.
If you look at it that way, then all training is abuse.
When my daughter uses the half-halt to check her horse's speed, is that abuse? When she gently taps with a dull spur to get her horse to side pass, is that abuse? I don't think so. She's using aids to direct the horse. We lunge our horse at shows...not to wear her out, but for a bit of exercise (she's not used to spending all day in a stall) and to help get her mentally focused on her job that day. As soon as I see her focused on me and responding to cues from the ground, we know she is ready to focus in the show ring. Are we abusing her with this ground work? I just don't think so.
We love our horse and try very hard to give her the best possible care, but she is a 1,000 lb animal that is asked to listen to and obey a 70 lb child. I have to ensure that horse has the right mindset and training to keep my child safe.
I've spent a lot of time at shows over the past two years and love to people/horse watch. Yes, I've seen things I don't like (I really hate that lame looking gait that many Western Pleasure horses are taught, but that's just my opinion. It seems to please judges.). Yes, I've seen trainers and parents lose their tempers at both horses and kids. But to call everything done in the warm up pen "abuse" seems excessive. Posted via Mobile Device