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When people reach a good to top level of competition, does that give them the right to abuse horses and get away with it under the guise of being experts? Should the associations manage these competitors more closely instead of only making rules whilst in the actual show pen. Go to the website and see what really goes on with reining performance horses and how the association fails them. Home - Reining Trainers.

The desire to win overrides any care of the animal. We are looking for change and hope you support the change happening to improve the welfare of these competition horses.
 

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I suspect a lot of competitions have ugliness behind the scenes, and sometimes up front. I'm not sure reining is any different. There are things reining does that I dislike, but that is true of most horse sports. Humans will always have a tendency to overdue things in the interest of winning.

"What those trainers and riders fail to understand is that people do understand and the pain and suffering caused when >100 pounds of pressure being applied to a horse mouth through reins being jerked or sawn through a mouth, or spurring that leaves dents on their sides like pulverized steak."

You could find abuse of the bit or excessive spurring in a lot of sports. Or outside. This is how one of our horses arrived here, and he was never used in competition:



However, I doubt many reiners are using 100+ lbs of force on the bit. Not on a normal basis.

But, as an example, the website attacks Clinton Anderson for saying to use whatever force is necessary to do the job. That isn't bad training advice. Beats the tar out of nagging. And some horses DO need more than just a gentle 'leg aid' or "a well-regulated tap with a dressage whip" (to quote the site) to be effective.

I don't think I'm Mr Brutality as a rider. My journal thread is here:

http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/bandit-cowboy-bsms-muddling-through-together-622121/

But not every moment of my riding is gentleness, sweetness and joy. I've tried to darn near tear Bandit's head off when he started bucking, and I'm sure I've used at least 100 lbs of pressure on the bit a few years back to jerk Mia out of a bolt. I know it was every bit of pressure I could apply, because we were about to go full speed into the desert cactus. I try to keep just a few rules in riding, but I'll enforce those boundaries by whatever it takes.

Apart from criticizing, what are y'all actually trying to do?
 

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I suspect a lot of competitions have ugliness behind the scenes, and sometimes up front. I'm not sure reining is any different. There are things reining does that I dislike, but that is true of most horse sports. Humans will always have a tendency to overdue things in the interest of winning.
Agreed.
 

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Also agree.
I have been to many horse seminars, where ethics and horse showing have been a topic, and the fact remains, there will always be those that do anything to win,esp when major money or recognition is at stake, which in turn, means money, either in breeding fees, or demand as atrainer
Heck, show venues are in the public eye, thus the abuse more obvious, but see what goes on in some recreational type activities also. How is that all going to be regulated?
 

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Also agree.
I have been to many horse seminars, where ethics and horse showing have been a topic, and the fact remains, there will always be those that do anything to win,esp when major money or recognition is at stake, which in turn, means money, either in breeding fees, or demand as atrainer
Heck, show venues are in the public eye, thus the abuse more obvious, but see what goes on in some recreational type activities also. How is that all going to be regulated?
Could you give me an example of typical abuse during recreational type activities? I'm unfamiliar with that, except what pertains to simple ignorance and neglect. Which would come under general animal welfare statutes I would think.
 

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So because abuse happens in all horse sports we should ignore it, brush it under the carpet...
No, but I also think the linked web site adds more to the confusion than the solution. I don't like the overflexing at least some reiners do, and I dislike the emphasis on lowered heads that seems prevalent in many western competitions. I also find it hard to believe the spins and sliding stops don't damage a horse's legs.

But asking if folks believe Clinton Anderson beats his kids takes what he said out of context and makes the web site look stupid.

They get upset over this:

"The modern reining horse trainer demands the horse submits 100% to their control at all times. The horses are purposefully bred to be horses that are most likely to be dominated.

Clinton Anderson, a well-known clinician and reining trainer-competitor, states in his video on reining training that “reining horses need to be dumb and lazy talented horses. A reining horse is one that has to be dictated to. He has to let you take control of him. Smart horses can use their intelligence against you, so an athletic horse intelligence horse can work against you. Reining horses cannot be hypersensitive.”"

About This Blog - Reining Trainers

But Clinton Anderson is right. A horse like Mia, who would do maybe 2 figure 8s before looking back at me and asking me if I was lost, would not make it as a reiner. Bandit and Cowboy are both less inclined to question than Mia, but they both thrive where they can use their minds and initiative. A horse who actively wants to be part of the decision-making process may be fun for me on the trail (at times!), but that isn't ideal for a reining horse - or a dressage horse. You don't want a reiner or dressage horse, halfway thru the test, stopping to stare at someone in the stands, wondering what that stale hot dog smell is and if the person selling them is dangerous.

When Cowboy was a lesson horse, people brought their own saddles to ride him - and there was at least one 200 lb woman who regularly rode 13.0 hand Cowboy. I'd bet many of those saddles were FQHB saddles, far too wide for Cowboy. When he was given to us, free, he was extremely arena sour and very mistrustful of people. Almost 4 years later, he is doing a great job of teaching my wife how to ride on the trails. As far as I'm concerned, he was an abused lesson horse...but a lot of lesson horses are like him, at least where I live.

I don't like how Clinton Anderson rides, and I'm not fond of him as a trainer - although he has helped a lot of people. I've given up watching western pleasure, reining and dressage because I don't enjoy seeing how the horses are ridden. But not everyone likes the way I keep and ride horses, either.

And regardless, no one in reining (or dressage, or western pleasure) cares about my opinion.

I don't like how CA rides Titan, but I don't consider it abuse. My corral has enough glass, so to speak, that I cannot afford to cast stones...
 

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Could you give me an example of typical abuse during recreational type activities? I'm unfamiliar with that, except what pertains to simple ignorance and neglect. Which would come under general animal welfare statutes I would think.
Sure, know an outfitter that used a running W to teach horses to stop, and some of the pack saddles he used on those horses was plain abuse
Know many recreational riders, that happen to ride in a western saddle, who use curbs that should never be in their hands, jerking on those horses mouths, riding with tight contact,two hands, often adding a tied down
In fact, one trail rider rode his Arabian stallion always with a tie down, and heavy handed. Once, riding along a bank, after a flood, that bank gave way, and that horse drowned, as he could not get his head up.
Just a few examples, but no one polices recreational horses, nor drug test them
How about recreational horses, that I reported, driving by, as they were in a corral, with only a moldy bale of hay to eat
In no way am I saying abuse should be tolerated, but look closely at ALL horse venues, even where major bucks are not at play, and you will see abuse
 

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So because abuse happens in all horse sports we should ignore it, brush it under the carpet, bury our heads in the sand because its just too much hassle to actually make some noise about it and at least try to make a difference albeit a very small one?

Definitely not, BUT everyone in any horse industry has to look into their own discipline, before taking a broad judgmental stance, and then come up with a working solution as how to monitor things, and not just in the warm up, although , any associations jurisdiction, ends outside of their sanctioned shows
Drug testing, on humans or otherwise, often becomes a race of new drugs to foil the drug test, or many trainers become 'chemists'
For instance, and this is coming from avet, whose position to to enforce, monitor drug rules at many venues
Often one drug is used to mask the drug that the drug test is able to detect. Some dressage horses are given cocaine, so that they are on a downer, by the time of the test
Common for even geldings on the hunter jumper circuit to be on regulmate
All an organization can do, is also enforce standards in the warm up, and in fact, I saw one reiner disqualified at the Canadian Supreme, for hitting his horse with a bat between the ears, to get that sliding stop, rewarded by a low head set
There is an effective due process, if you think rules are not followed at a show, either on the grounds or in the show pen. You put your money up, with a written formal protest. The bigger shows have video reviews, and if your observations have merit, you will have your money returned
Posting on internet sites, does not get anything done
I saw one dressage show clip, in the warm up, with horses being warmed up in Rolkur-and the question, where are the ring stewarts?"
Far as that abusive reining trainer that I posted about, whop crippled a horse of mine, and who taught at the local college, I took him before the college board.
Sitting back, doing nothing, just posting bad examples, does zero!
 

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Sadly abuse is prevalent in virtually all equine disciplines. Big Lick in TWH's, rollkur in dressage, poling jumpers and hunters, spurring WP horses so their sides are bloody, jerking reins connected to harsh bits, using bicycle chain bits, running W's to teach stop, tying up a horse's head so high he's almost standing on tip toes, etc. Even pleasure riders are guilty--I've seen horses brought in after a challenging ride on a 100* day left tied in the sun with no water, skinny, old horses asked to canter up steep buttes carrying a rider flopping around like a sack of potatoes, harsh bits with constant jerking at every step, horses race to camp and tied up without loosening the saddle or cooling out, etc. What I've seen after hours behind barns at shows is disgusting, such as blood letting, chasing a horse around on a lunge line for hours, beatings, and other horrors


Thankfully our trail club is proactive of abusive riders and the state itself has made animal abuse a felony.
 

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I think a lot of the problems come in when the Unicorn F*rt and Rainbow Stew Club try to get involved in sports where they have no knowledge and no experience. They don't have the horses to compete, let alone compete at that level, and a lot of the time they don't even ride. Things do need to be cleaned up but they need to be cleaned up by people with knowledge and experience at the level the clean up occurs. Bashing individual trainers, whose clients are not going to pay the least bit of heed to a rabid website is useless.

The website is poorly written, twists comments and takes things out of context. I can't get past barely skimming the first 2 articles before quitting in disgust. Yellow Journalism is not the way to effect change in a certain discipline.
 

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Agreed Dreamcatcher. I was reading the comments on that site thinking to myself, "Jeez, this feels just like watching a YouTube video on x training technique and all the people who know nothing about horses come racing in all 'OMG, that poor horsie shouldn't have to load in a trailer, he should be in a field eating grass!'" It's hard to take the web site seriously when so much is taken out of context there, even if I think the material is *kinda* legit.

-- Kai
 

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I do not think this was the response the OP was hoping for. She/ he dies not know Horseforum. We are a sensible bunch.

A discussion on reining training and what is done and what isn't good might have gone a long ways (because personally, I really dislike watching the training , what little I've seen is harsh ). But the website does nothing more than try to whip up frenzied gossip. Not cool here.
 

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I do not think this was the response the OP was hoping for. She/ he dies not know Horseforum. We are a sensible bunch.

A discussion on reining training and what is done and what isn't good might have gone a long ways (because personally, I really dislike watching the training , what little I've seen is harsh ). But the website does nothing more than try to whip up frenzied gossip. Not cool here.

I think most show training is pretty harsh by necessity. Most of the time the trainer is given a green, untrained in just about everything, horse and has 90-120 days to turn out a darn near finished horse that can go and be competitive at upper levels of competition.
 

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I think most show training is pretty harsh by necessity. Most of the time the trainer is given a green, untrained in just about everything, horse and has 90-120 days to turn out a darn near finished horse that can go and be competitive at upper levels of competition.
I blame some of that on the emphasis on very young horses carrying the sport at the highest levels.

In Cutting terminology I think an 8 year old 75 horse is a lot more impressive than a 3 year old 73 horse. But the industry and money says differently.
 

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yes, that has been an endless 'chicken and egg scenario, with cries,rightfully so, to take the money of the young horses=does not matter if it is reining, cutting or racing, the big purses are on the young horses.
It has then been argued, would that prevent the pushing of two and three year olds, often started as long yearlings, or just give those same people more time to push those young horses?
I have seen a reined cowhorse, disqualified, because wiping a rag over his flank, showed some blood, where he had been accidentally hooked, turning a cow on the fence
At our breed show, a roper, was disqualified from the rest of the show, as he was abusive in the warm up pen
These incidents all happened because people in that industry policed what was wrong, with rules enforced, regardless of excuse, as a horse showing some blood in his mouth, because he stepped on a rein, still DQed.

At the NRHA 3 year old futurity, there is no doubt those horses have been pushed, as they are up in the bridle, doing spins, flying changes and sliding stops
So, take that 150,000 purse away, as a start. How about two and three year old
It is abunch of bunk that race horses are carefully monitored, as many here in North America are run on lasix, being bleeders, due to the way they are managed and conditioned
In Japan and Europe, I believe, horses can't run on lasix, so have lung conditioning by some exercise besides those short track training sessions
The horse people that I truly admire, are the ones that compete at upper end, yet do not surcome to the mindset of doing anything to win
Very easy to say, 'not I', if, never in that position of pressure or temptation, where perhaps even your livelihood depends on you producing winners. Does not make it right, but does question someone's self righteous stance.
How about the infamous horse murders, where highly insured jumpers, no longer winning, were killed, by a hitman, hired by those owners, so that owner could collect on the insurance, and buy another horse that would maybe take him to fame and glory??
 

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You will never stop the abuse of animals. it will never happen.
People are cruel. There are many people whom pay the trainer and want the result and they want the result Now. They do not want it in a year or two which would give a trainer more time to teach the horses. A lot of cutting reining horses are half crippled by the time they are 8 yrs old. They have bred them down to pony size , tiny legs, tiny feet. They are down in their hocks.
It is not just the reiners and cutters. Look at all the Halter bred horses. The TWH.
The over collected dressage horses. The dancing horses. Racing horses of any breed .
The bottom line is Money.
 
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