Controversial subject // abuse in the western Pleasure industry - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 58 Old 02-12-2017, 08:04 PM
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Well . . . there you have the rub. Are extremes in competition a good thing because the level of attainment needed to win is constantly increasing so the horses now have to be specially bred and then trained by specialized professionals to a high degree of finesse, or are they a bad thing because, well, because of the same reasons?

In my experience, the people who are the most likely think it is a good thing are the trainers, breeders, judges, and competitors invested in that particular form of competition.

Those who are not participants are free to have their own opinions and they often differ, often strongly. But if they pipe up with their own views and observations, the first group is invariably going to point out that those opinions are based in ignorance and hence have no value.

This is why these kinds of threads more often than not don't seem to go anywhere very useful.

JMO . . .
I think it just depends.

Picking on Cutters, they've bred all the size out of them. The good ones want to eat a cow, but they are too small to do much with a rope. They make great turn back horses which is at least still useful for a "j-o-b" and other disciplines involving chasing cows if they flunk out of high dollar Cutter stuff.

I think the other side of it is that people in these disciplines commonly don't do anything with them but Arena work for a specific purpose. We don't really know what the average [discipline here] horse can do, because all they do is their discipline. That horse might get well into their teens before someone just rides them for fun.

The Mare I'm having trained up right now is with a trainer that takes a long time but the point is get the horse a lot of miles and exposure, not just the nice handle.

I picked her because this horse will do a lot outside, be exposed to cattle by being used to sort, move and maybe some roping before she starts on focused Reining specific training. My intention with this horse is to do Ranch Versatility, Ranch Pleasure and possibly some EXCA type stuff so that is exactly what I wanted.

The WP horses I've seen seem like normal horses when not being ridden. I think they probably could do a lot, if they were asked.
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Last edited by jgnmoose; 02-12-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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post #52 of 58 Old 02-12-2017, 08:57 PM
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It is very simple, if you don't like certain disciplines, and as long as no abuse is involved, then stay away from them, do your own thing, versus bashing
I don't happen to like gymkana, even though I have run games, and recognize there are horses that are run on light contact and body control, versus the 'jerk and spur' often seen
How many people watch gymkana, see horses needing to be led in , to run, as they assocaiytae running with pain, then run with two hands on a curb, bat and spurs used. Yup, they are moving what most people recognize as 'natural', so it must be beyond reproach
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post #53 of 58 Old 02-12-2017, 09:16 PM
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Personally I'd pick WP over gymkhana any day of the week. But nobody asked me . . . (like that stops me).

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post #54 of 58 Old 02-12-2017, 09:46 PM
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Just to clarify, I do not wish to get into defending one discipline, picking on another, but rather just used an example,as there is no discipline or even horse activity beyond reproach
It is the individual in each of those disciplines, that sets the bar, based on their own moral choice, as to when they enter the grey zone, where anything to win is justified
It is also by working from within, that true change occurs.
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post #55 of 58 Old 02-17-2017, 04:26 AM
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Well . . . there you have the rub. Are extremes in competition a good thing because the level of attainment needed to win is constantly increasing so the horses now have to be specially bred and then trained by specialized professionals to a high degree of finesse, or are they a bad thing because, well, because of the same reasons?
I happened across this article on a reining blog and it made me think of this thread.
Reining horses hardly stand a chance - Reining Trainers

It used to be that I loved to compete and thought horse shows and dog shows were going to be a serious hobby for life. But I became so disillusioned by the selfishness of it all that was so detrimental to the animals. Although I've heard it argued that people spend money for vets and good nutrition for their show horses, the happiest and healthiest horses I've seen belong to people who value their animals as friends and think of them as feeling, living beings rather than as a way to make money or fulfill their goals and dreams. Some of these good horse people do compete, but they usually don't make it very high up the food chain because they pull horses out rather than drug them and lose money rather than win it at all costs.

I don't need to be critical of what is done to horses by shouting about it publicly, but I have every right to be critical and judgmental on a personal and ethical level. Saying, "If you don't like what people do to animals, just close your eyes and don't show" is like saying we should pretend animals aren't poached for parts or tortured in 3rd world countries. I may personally not be able to change anything, but I can tell those within my own sphere that I disagree with it.

It's every bit as revolting to see horses moving so disjointed they appear lame, or with hugely developed shoulder muscles from being trained to move unnaturally as it is to see the German Shepherd dogs at the shows creeping along on their super angulated hocks. What humans do to animals for money and prestige is disgusting. But I will never agree that hugely muscular horses standing on tiny little hooves are beautiful, or that dogs with skin folds covering their eyes so they can't see and snouts so short they can't breathe properly are adorable.
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post #56 of 58 Old 02-17-2017, 09:03 AM
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It is very simple, if you don't like certain disciplines, and as long as no abuse is involved, then stay away from them, do your own thing, versus bashing
This right here sums up how I feel. And I feel like this should be in all caps, underline, italicized, whatever it takes to get people to see it: AS LONG AS NO ABUSE IS INVOLVED . No one is saying to turn a blind eye and ignore abuse, but make sure you know what constitutes abuse before going off half cocked.

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post #57 of 58 Old 02-17-2017, 10:40 AM
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the reining article has no actual facts to back up their conclusion. I personally do not agree with starting 2 yr olds, but they are presenting a lot of suppositions as facts - there is no evidence ie x no of futurity horses are lame by x , x% of futurity horses are kept this way or x% of horses are showing on x drug. It is an opinion piece which is fine but I would like to see some supporting facts before getting out my tar and feathers.
This was an interesting study done on pleasure horses in 2010, would be interesting to see it repeated as a benchmark of how much change has actually occured in the pleasure class standards, and would be especially interesting if they included video of the horses used with their assesment by a judge to see how what the judge sees compares to the gait analysis. https://etd.auburn.edu/handle/10415/2421?show=full
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post #58 of 58 Old 02-17-2017, 12:49 PM
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the reining article has no actual facts to back up their conclusion. I personally do not agree with starting 2 yr olds, but they are presenting a lot of suppositions as facts - there is no evidence ie x no of futurity horses are lame by x , x% of futurity horses are kept this way or x% of horses are showing on x drug. It is an opinion piece which is fine but I would like to see some supporting facts before getting out my tar and feathers.
This was an interesting study done on pleasure horses in 2010, would be interesting to see it repeated as a benchmark of how much change has actually occured in the pleasure class standards, and would be especially interesting if they included video of the horses used with their assesment by a judge to see how what the judge sees compares to the gait analysis. https://etd.auburn.edu/handle/10415/2421?show=full
Check the AQHA video which shows good movement, and also one on judging criteria, using leg raps to see the movement. They are posted in the last tedious thread on western pl,, so am not going to look it up again
Since I showed reiners ,and bred them,way before I ever started with all around/western pl horses, I am neither blind nor narrow minded, as to what is good and what is bad in either discipline
Anyone here can apply a microscope to every discipline out there, and find negatives, but I have found it counter productive long ago to go down that route, and western pl just seems like good open bashing grounds, as anyone can judge a rail class-right, esp if they have tried to show in that event, and were unsuccessful in such an 'easy' event.
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