Once upon a time ago, the difference between Classical and Competitive Dressage seemed synonymous with the distance between the walls of the Grand Canyon (which happens to be up to 18 miles wide!). Whether it is merely my perception, or the reality, which has changed I have yet to determine. Nonetheless there is still a measure of awe inspired in people when they hear that “so and so” does Classical Dressage. It has a note of magic attached to it, even if it is a tradition based on a bunch of dead guys; or maybe it is because of those dead guys.
In The Media
“Improperly trimmed barefoot horses have helped to perpetuate a number of myths. Among them are notions that going barefoot puts the horse at greater risk of bruises, concussion, cracks, weak hooves, white line disease, thrush and absesses. Shoeing the horse and poor barefoot trimming are the culprits of many of these myths.”
It’s done all the time by Para-Equestrians. To be one with your horse does not require that you climb inside it’s recently gutted abdominal cavity, or that you tread the line of morality. Still, it happens that this is forgotten. An Oregon woman, claiming she wanted to be one with her horse, first shot it in the head with a high powered rifle then proceeded to gut it, undress and have photos taken of her laying inside its carcass. You can view the uncensored photos here.
They do not seem to care that they are yanking on the horse’s most sensitive mouth with a leverage bit. They do not seem to care that they are spurring the horse carelessly and excessively. They do not seem to care that the horse is willing to accept these abuses without striking out violently.
Barrel racing is a high speed event, and when speed is added to any activity the difficulty level increases as do the potential errors. Let’s also add to the mix the fact that it is a competition sport and involves money, and as demonstrated in Dressage, Jumping and Reining, to name a few competitive sports; money affects motivate. So, does that mean that Barrel Racing, fueled by speed and competitive cash, is subject to horse abuse the same as other sports?
There is a painful truth – horses are abused every day. Equestrians at every level, in every discipline, at every age level, skill level, and popularity level are involved in some form of abuse. That is not to say that all equestrians period abuse their horses, but rather to say that abuse does not discriminate. They come from every country and not all of them are obvious.
And, we have all witnessed some form of abuse against horses.
I’ve received several requests to write about my impressions of Clinton Anderson and his Down Under Horsemanship… but the truth is that if I were asked to give my impression about every clinician out there my blog would be full of the same repetitious posts warning of salesmen. In my mind, not only Clinton Anderson but, almost every clinician out there is little more than a salesman working away to sell a product and turn a buck.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many who are good-hearted and honestly believe in what they are selling, and then there are others who know that what they are selling is a pile of rubbish but continue selling it anyhow.
It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to go to a screening of Disney’s new movie, “Secretariat“. Keeping in mind that I am not at all a fan of horse racing, I have to counter my initial reservations about this film and say that I am thoroughly impressed with how it was presented. Horse…
Yes, American-based slaughter plants have been closed and horse slaughter ruled illegal in the states. But… horses are still being sold to kill buyers in the US and then transported across the border to both Canada and Mexico where horse slaughter continues. And… the same issues exist in those plants as did American plants of inhumane slaughter practices.
Despite the FEI’s ruling that Rollkur is a banned practice, and instead has favored the use of LDR (Low, Deep, Round), there is plenty of evidence to the contrary that hyperflexion is a norm for competitors. The World Equestrian Games, hosted in Kentucky this year is already proving the perfect grounds to spot the practice in person.
Pat Parelli recently ruffled feathers when he presented a demonstration at the Royal Festival of the Horse in England while working with the eventer Robert Whittaker’s horse Catwalk. Apparently it was offensive enough to cause people to walk out in disgust, as well as confront Parelli directly and post video on Youtube. That isn’t the whole of the problems Parelli may be facing however.
There are promotional videos explaining the benefits and application of EndoTapping, but I thought perhaps I would give some input from the position of a Massage Therapist on how EndoTapping affects the horse and why it is effective.
Despite my initial “wow, I like this guy” reaction to seeing photos of him riding, reading about clinic experiences and even tracking down videos of him riding and working horses at clinics, I haven’t been able to dig up enough dirt to discredit my positive thoughts about this man. Unusual, I know.
One of the most difficult things for a rider to learn is how to use their hands properly. Wait, no. Let me restate that. THE most difficult thing for a rider to learn is how to use their hands properly. Why you may ask.. because the hands are connected to the wrist bone, the wrist bone is connected to the arm bone… and so on right down to your ten little piggies and the hair on your chinny chin chin.
What I found fascinating in particular was the history lesson on the Lusitano breed, how it came to be developed in the manner it has (with bulls, etc) as well as how he contrasts their speed/flexibility to other breeds and what that means in their training and handling.
I’m not sure if it is common knowledge that actor William Shatner, known best for his role in Star Trek and as the Priceline.com Price Defender, is also an avid horseman. I happened upon this interesting article just today that goes into detail about how Shatner came to acting at an early age, grew, stalled, resurged and so on.
Click to read “The Many Iterations of William Shatner” on the NY Times website.
And just for fun, one of my favorite roles Shatner was cast in…