I keep thinking this belongs in the 'Horse Care' section, but I can't decide which board would be best, so I'm posting it under general.
I'm posting this in it's own thread, because I find the topic interesting and I'd like to see it discussed further. The post below is what has had me mulling over this subject for the better part of two days:
Originally Posted By EILEEN - Today's horses are so pampered and please their not worked harder today I know that for a fact. Now they are mostly used for show and light pleasure and I mean light. Before the motorized vehicle they were the main form of transportation, worriers and workers. Was their life span shorter yes we have vets for everything from a itch to broken legs. Even back in the 50's an 60's they worked harder. We worked our horses no less then 6 hours on SLOW day all year long no heated indoor arena with super soft ground. They built up mussel, and stamina. Today I see most horses in our area just standing in pasture turned out for a few min chased around by someone to make them move a little. Our horses years ago were ready to go when we did and were still fresh when we were through for the day be it winter or summer, today They show for a few min, train for a hour or so a day and heaven for bid even the riders can hardly take a 4 hour ride. There are exceptions, thank God that there are some riders who still do the long trail rides and still use their horses as horses and not just show pieces.
Read more: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack...#ixzz15vhv1LvM
Personally, I both agree and disagree with this statement:
The work pressures of the modern horse are completely different to the work pressures that horses had say three hundred years ago.
NOW: Horses are made to perform in high stress environments. Especially any kind of 'race' horse. Any horse that's competing at the very top of an English discipline like Dressage or Showjumping. I'll admit right off that I know very little of Western riding or the types of competition that horses are used for.
But by using the word 'competition' in conjunction with horses, automatically implies some kind of 'stress', because as far as I know, there's no such thing as relaxed competition. Not really. Not if you're absolutely serious about your sport and wanting to succeed in it.
Agreeing with the below statement:
Originially posted by FAYE - Show jumping Now is far more technical and far higher then it used to be (at top level).
Eventing has deffinately gotten harder with more strain being put on the horses.
Dressage has also moved on and more is expected of the horses then it was 20 years ago.
They may not be worked for as long but often the work that competition horses do is harder on thier legs.
I think in some ways, over the years as the owning of horses turned from a necessity to a luxury, we - as humans - have perhaps made our animals weaker. Because now, yes, many people will provide their horses with blankets in the winter, regardless of whether they're allowed to grow a coat or not. We put shoes on them if they need it and they see a vet when they need to as well. Because we love them.
Maybe we do over-pamper them sometimes. I've seen horses who have absolutely everything that opens and shuts, they bat an eyelash funny and the vet is called. They're supplemented up to their eyeballs, because the woman who owns them is a homeopath and gives them everything under the sun. These horses still get sick, and colicky and lame. They're not allowed to BE horses. And that's the kind of pampering I disagree with.
I like to think that most people provide their horses with what they need, when they need it. I had a horse with the most horrendous feet (His pedal bone had rotated slightly and this had led to dropped soles). So, he had a specialized farrier, frighteningly expensive shoes, and was on a number of hoof supplements included in his feed. Not to mention having his feet towel dried after a wet day. Maybe some people would call that excessive, but I call it keeping him comfortable.
Just some thoughts I've cobbled together, I'm sorry they're not terribly cohesive. But basically I'm interested to hear other people's opinions, but let's try to keep personal insults and flaming to a minimum. :)