Is ethical rodeo possible? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 40 Old 11-09-2018, 08:04 PM
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I like "sustainable" when it comes to an individual horse. Is what the person doing with this particular horse something the horse can sustain long term, or will the horse end up damaged physically or mentally?

That is why I don't think you can apply ethics as a set of rules to follow, but rather people must use their own good ethics toward each individual horse. Some things are obvious, but some are tricky.

Such as, what if this is the best the horse can get from you, but the horse would do much better in another situation? I think you can make a case for treating a horse in a way that is less than ideal, if this is what is available for horses in the area, and there isn't any way to improve it. However, if the horse is only being treated this way because it is what you personally can give, that seems less ethical.

An example would be if horses are kept in dry lots and fed a certain diet because in a certain environment this is all that is available, I don't think a horse owner would need to feel that they should sell the horse and ship it out to Kentucky where it can live on pasture. However, if a person keeps a horse inside a stall because they only have a half acre and can't afford to board, then I believe that person is not treating the horse ethically. Just because you want to have a horse, that doesn't give you the right to keep a horse in poor circumstances.

To me this is where I agree very much with "The horse should be BETTER OFF for being with humans."
Where it gets tricky is with the OTTBs - as mentioned, some have serious problems coming off the track. However, often this is not even from the way they were treated, but rather from the serious inbreeding and over breeding that creates a horse that needs injections and has hoof issues and other physical or mental issues.

I don't think I need to say that an entire discipline is wrong or unethical, such as rodeo, but I can say that individuals within it are treating horses poorly or well. I've seen good and bad in every discipline I've observed.
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post #32 of 40 Old 11-09-2018, 10:42 PM
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Whole lot of disagreement happening on this thread, and yet I do believe that each of us knows deep down, that the other posters are all trying to do the best we can for the creatures that are in our care.

Ethics is a never-ending topic. However, if at the end of the day you can look at yourself in the mirror and honestly state that you did the best you could that day, that is all one needs.

The horses and all other critters know when they are being treated well, and respond kindly in return.

Without a human caretaker, horses as they exist today would likely not be here. So even if humans can really mess things up at times, we do provide some quality of life to those that may not exist without us.

An ethical owner/handler to me is one that strives to do the best they can every day to make the horse's life happy. Horses know when someone cares, and if you spend the time to listen, they will tell you what in their world makes life just a little better
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post #33 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
...Horses know when someone cares, and if you spend the time to listen, they will tell you what in their world makes life just a little better


I find horses very forgiving. They usually judge me on my intentions instead of my performance. They notice the difference between someone trying and someone who just doesn't care about them! And they WILL talk if they think you are willing to listen!

As for rodeo...a friend once pointed out a bunch of horses grazing in a field. He said the owner used them for bucking in rodeos & hauled them all over the place. He also said they were good riding horses & knew when it was time to work cattle and when it was time to buck in a rodeo. "Just don't **** one off while working cattle..."

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #34 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 12:20 PM
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Interesting thread. My only comment on rodeos is I don't care for the calf roping, for obvious reasons.


What really has me concerned is all those freed animal crackers thanks to PETA. Where are they? That's free snacks on the loose!
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post #35 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 01:40 PM
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What is considered Ethical or not changes from person to person. Some may consider hitting a horse with a crop unethical while others may consider that even riding a horse is cruel.



A good thing for me to remember is that the lives of wild horse's aren't all glamorous and I'm sure that the rodeo horses have way easier lives than the horses that are running free.

I haven't spent much time at rodeos myself just because of a lack of time, however, from everything I have heard rodeo animals are extremely pampered most of the time and only have to do a few minutes of work at each rodeo. Overall they I think they have pretty easy lives.


Every discipline has those that mistreat their animals, as every discipline has people that take animal rights way too far.
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post #36 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 05:07 PM
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Hey, guys!

Super interesting thread. I actually have some questions in regard to rodeo stock, if anyone can answer them.

Obviously there is no sector of the horse industry where every person in the industry has the same standards for livestock care. There is abuse in every industry and there are great, thorough horsemen in every industry.

Keeping that in mind, my questions are as follows:

1) I understand that rodeo stock is bred to be rodeo stock. That being said- how do they train bucking broncs/bulls? I've heard they are bred to love it, so is training pretty minimal? Additionally, what generally happens to them after they retire? How long is the average career?

2) I have heard that calf roping is quite hard on the calves. I've heard they can bruise so badly their skin separates from their fat/muscle and they end up with air pockets. I HAVE NEVER ASSUMED THIS TO BE TRUE as I understand that I am not educated on this subject and thus would have no way of knowing what is and isn't true. Does anyone have experience in this area? What are the consequences of the sport like for the average calf used for roping?

If anyone can answer these questions for me, I'd love to get a bit more educated!

Thank you

Robyn

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post #37 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AndalusianRobyn View Post
Hey, guys!

Super interesting thread. I actually have some questions in regard to rodeo stock, if anyone can answer them.

Obviously there is no sector of the horse industry where every person in the industry has the same standards for livestock care. There is abuse in every industry and there are great, thorough horsemen in every industry.

Keeping that in mind, my questions are as follows:

1) I understand that rodeo stock is bred to be rodeo stock. That being said- how do they train bucking broncs/bulls? I've heard they are bred to love it, so is training pretty minimal? Additionally, what generally happens to them after they retire? How long is the average career?

2) I have heard that calf roping is quite hard on the calves. I've heard they can bruise so badly their skin separates from their fat/muscle and they end up with air pockets. I HAVE NEVER ASSUMED THIS TO BE TRUE as I understand that I am not educated on this subject and thus would have no way of knowing what is and isn't true. Does anyone have experience in this area? What are the consequences of the sport like for the average calf used for roping?

If anyone can answer these questions for me, I'd love to get a bit more educated!

Thank you

Robyn



To answer question 1:
Yes, a lot of stock contractors also have breeding programs or buy stock from breeders who breed for the sole purpose of bucking horses and bulls. No different than any other discipline.
However some horses who were intended as riding horses for whatever discipline but ended up not fit for the general public to ride will get sent to a stock contractor.(example, a horse who bucks consistently and has hurt their riders) Some will eventually quit bucking and go back to being saddle horses some end up being career bucking horses.


There is training involved. The horses do not buck out of pain or fear like PETA would like you to believe. Training bucking horses is conditioning a horse's natural instincts. A horse naturally wants to buck when saddled. Where as most of us condition a horse to NOT buck, bucking horses are rewarded when bucking, conditioned to do so.
They use a remote control dummy box, when the horse bucks the horse is rewarded by the dummy being released off of his back along with the flank. No different than how we teach a horse to do what we want by pressure and release.
Careers are lengthy as they don't really work that hard. Good stock end up being breeding stock. Older horses that may not buck as hard anymore might be better suited for jr. or high school rodeos. Or they may get turned out for retirement. Some horses end up being saddle horses or pickup horses. My husbands pickup horse was a flunked out bucking horse.
I also owned a retired bucking horse who anyone could ride, pack in to the mountain and hunt off of. Just don't try to lope him...LOL.. found out the hard way. If you didn't try to lope him a toddler could ride him.



Question 2:
I have never heard of their skin separating from their muscle. I have roped a lot of calves in my life and never recall anything like this happening. Roping, like anything, if done well is perfectly safe. We rope calves to brand, vaccinate and castrate. It has been proven that roping, again if done correctly, is less stressful than running them through a chute or a calf table. From a sporting perspective, I take very good care of my roping cattle. Being abusive to them does no one any favors. If they sour because they are sore or hurt I can't use them. The heifers I have now once they are big will probably go to breed more or go to the feedlot like any other bovine. Size and breed are crucial to sport cattle as far as roping goes. Not too many will want to come to your jackpot team roping if your steers/heifers weigh 900 lbs. Or your calf roping if you have 600 lb calves. And depending on what you're doing certain breeds are better suited.For example, Corrientes are the breed of choice for team roping cattle and you have to be using some dairy breeds for calf roping due to how they carry their tail when running due to the possibility of catching it in your loop and breaking it.



There is always the possibility of things going wrong but you take that chance every time you are around live animals. I think for the most part most people try to minimize the wrecks and the casualties. Those who don't are the ones that make the rest of us look bad.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #38 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 06:51 PM
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COWCHICK77 thank you for the reply! Definitely makes me feel better to know a bit more about it.
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post #39 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndalusianRobyn View Post
COWCHICK77 thank you for the reply! Definitely makes me feel better to know a bit more about it.
You're welcome:)
I am trying to find the fatality statistics on livestock in professional rodeo. If I remember it's pretty low.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #40 of 40 Old 11-10-2018, 07:33 PM
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Also the cervical spine of cattle/calves does not for the skin on the top of the neck. The spine curves downward, so when a call gets roped there is little risk of breaking their neck. Injuring calves would be just stupid.

On the bucking horses, I've sent a couple who buck nicely (high kicks, good rhythm, kind of easy to stay on) to schools. Put them in a chute, they'd buck out. Saddle them at home ( once we got them trained) they were good partners. They seemed to enjoy the outings at rodeo school. A bucking strap does more to get good rhythm than make a horse buck.

A buddy ran a dude string at a resort. He "trained" some of the dude horses to buck the way @COWCHICK77 describes and used them in the resort's Friday night rodeos. Sunday they'd be back hauling dudes around.
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