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Dressagenut18
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:50 PM
A fellow professional trainer friend of mine just returned from a clinic being given by an International Author and Certified German Instructor who "claims" to be a proponent of Classical Dressage, per his website. My friend phoned me to warn me not to go and watch. She said the horse he was riding was being ridden in TWO nosebands, a lunging caveson and DRAW REINS and was being whipped excessivley! The owner/rider, who herself is also a professional trainer/coach had no concerns with his training methods nor did the people watching. This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common! I walked out of the last clinic I went to 1/2 way thru day one even though I had paid for 2 days (for similar reasons)!What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...

Tamara in TN
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:53 PM
This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common! I walked out of the last clinic I went to 1/2 way thru day one even though I had paid for 2 days (for similar reasons)!What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...

it would seem only you know the names involved...

slc2
Aug. 7, 2009, 05:59 PM
It's not 'common' in any clinics, lessons or barns I go to. Maybe pick a little more carefully who you go to see or work with.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 7, 2009, 06:12 PM
How does that help the horses involved?

goeslikestink
Aug. 7, 2009, 06:23 PM
thats abusive and should be reported its not the way to treat an animal

fatorangehorse
Aug. 7, 2009, 06:28 PM
Did you do anything to help the horses involved? We can't. We don't know anything. I have on occasion witnessed training methods I thought were abusive. I have never not voiced my concern to either the abuser or the owner. In one very extreme case, I involved the authorities.

Of course the definition of abuse is all relative. I have natural horsemanship friends who think shoeing my horse and keeping him in a barn is abusive.

If YOU felt it was abusive. YOU should have done something.

SGray
Aug. 7, 2009, 06:30 PM
video - post to utube without comment - public can see and decide what they think of the methods

Alagirl
Aug. 7, 2009, 07:04 PM
In many cases it's like the elefant in the middle of the room..everybody sees it, nobody says a word...

narcisco
Aug. 7, 2009, 07:55 PM
Private emails are a wonderful tool. Still, once you put it in writing, someone can always print your email, so be careful how you word things. Remember, nothing is libel unless it is not true. So, to avoid a slander (spoken) or libel suit, simply report and do not draw judgments. "She hit the horse 57 times in one hour, loud enough to hear it, she wore two cavessons, etc."

Of course nothing protects your from a lawsuit, as anyone can sue. Just protect yourself by staying to the truth and not stating an opinion, only the facts. Don't report heresay, "my friend saw this," if possible.

slc2
Aug. 7, 2009, 08:21 PM
'how does it help the horses involved'

It doesn't, but talking about it anonymously here isn't going to do anything either. No one has any idea who she's talking about.

There isn't any other way to help them either. There are no abuse laws in America that pertain to rough training, or using two cavesons. There isn't any way to prosecute anyone for doing that. Complaints to the management can be tried or to the owner, but they usually fall on deaf ears. Something that bothers you, someone else may think is 'just fine'.

My point was not how to deal with abuse, but how to not spend all of one's time going around complaining about what 'everyone else' is doing.

I am not sure what 'two cavesons' a person would use. A bridle caveson and a longeing caveson over it? Or are we talking about a regular caveson with a flash attachment?

Truthiness
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:10 PM
so you created an alter to post potentially libelous statements about training you didn't even see?

two nosebands and a longeing cavesson? highly doubtful. have you ever seen or read about the classical use of draw reins? the horse wears a longeing cavesson and the reins are run through the cavesson so that the rider, in essence, rides the set up like a double, except there are reins to one bit and reins to one cavesson. my guess is that you are not familiar with this technique. please search for karl mikolka's rather famous article on the proper application of draw reins. as to excessive whipping... well, i've seen whip tapping techniques called "whipping" by those who don't know what they're seeing.

frankly, the entire story is suspect. if you're so confident in your outrage, why the alter? why the secrecy? put it out there and defend it.

slc2
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:35 PM
Maybe just got an axe to grind with the clinician. Jilted paramour perhaps.

Nojacketrequired
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:43 PM
Or maybe it's entirely true. Just because you, SLC, has not personally seen it during your extensive travels, does not make it false and beyond the realm of possibility.


NJR

FancyFree
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:50 PM
Or maybe it's entirely true. Just because you, SLC, has not personally seen it during your extensive travels, does not make it false and beyond the realm of possibility.


NJR

Very true.

A friend of mine was riding in the ring while a no name trainer was taking a lesson with a BNT. No name whipped her horse so excessively that his skin was split and bleeding. I wasn't there that day, but heard the same account from other people. My friend screamed at the rider, then reported her to the office. Surprisingly BNT said nothing to the abusive rider. My friend was harassed for months by the no name trainer. So I can understand the OP's anonymity.

If it's any consolation, word gets around. The abusive trainer I referred to already had a bad rep that was made much worse by this incident. I think she's down to one student now, if that. I don't think people would want to post abuse accounts on a website that could potentially bring on a lawsuit. Word of mouth is very effective. I'm sure you'll get some PMs asking you for details.

slc2
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:56 PM
Quite so. And I still don't see why post here anonymously about some nameless person, unless the PM's are flying.

TKR
Aug. 7, 2009, 10:58 PM
Personally, I don't give a fat rat's a$$ what any "bnt" or "no-name" trainer or any of the rest think of me -- I hope I will always have the courage to speak up and defend the horse against abusive acts. No one deserves any respect or even the title of "trainer" if they resort to such disgusting methods. I realize "outing" someone on a public board can have legal ramifications, however, unless at least one individual protests when the abuse is going on, the horse has no defense. I don't care who it is -- they should be called down and challenged. JMHO --
PennyG

Velvet
Aug. 8, 2009, 10:33 PM
Um, well, even with proof and a ton of witnesses I know of one eventing trainer who even got a major award from the USOC. And people still think the trainer is the best thing since sliced bread. People will still go out and use these bad trainers and will still support them if they think it helps them achieve their goals. And many others will remain quiet because they are afraid to speak up. The world is imperfect. (I did post the person's name and my account, and they did allow me to have it up on this site. Because this is a dressage related thread, and I was using it as an illustration for a point, I'm not going to repeat the name again out here.)

I do believe the video idea is the best. If you have something to show, get a video of it and then don't just post it. Report them to the USEF and back it up with video.

Karoline
Aug. 8, 2009, 11:18 PM
video - post to utube without comment - public can see and decide what they think of the methods

Absolutely. the Flip is your best friend - small handy camera. Dont videotape a minute, try for long segments so the escuse it was just a moment in time cannot be used.

Dressage Art
Aug. 8, 2009, 11:51 PM
the horse he was riding was being ridden in TWO nosebands, a lunging caveson and DRAW REINS and was being whipped excessivley! The owner/rider, who herself is also a professional trainer/coach had no concerns with his training methods nor did the people watching. This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common!
...
What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...

I care and my heart bleeds for those horses and I am also amazed how many people as you say have "no concerns with his training methods". Sometimes I watch the warm up arenas and cringe at riding, yet some people next to me would be loving the riding and aplauding it!

I just don't get it at time, I really don't...

Dressage Art
Aug. 9, 2009, 12:05 AM
It's not 'common' in any clinics, lessons or barns I go to.or may be those methods are acceptable to you and you are just one of the people who were watching those clinics and not concerned with methods since you don't consider them harsh?...who knows how you ride at home and what you would call "normal" or "harsh" or "borderline abusive". The only thing that is clear is a blunt abuse with visible blood. If there is no blood = it's not considered abuse, so many people don't give another thought until the blood is drawn.

Let's face it, there are many, many dressage riders who use harsh methods and who are OK with those methods and who don't think that those methods are even harsh = it's just part of their daily routine = and nothing, NOTHING can change their minds about that. Their idea of what kind of pain level horse has and comfort level is simply different. Look at Coby with her supper tight side reins who didn't even think anything of it until the uproar. And even then, she tried to brush off the whole story. That was a perfect example of the harsh training methods and how acceptable it was for the trainer and her students and probably many, many people in her barn as well on daily basis. ( http://www.rider2day.de/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/m_39960521_0.jpg + http://imagebank.ipcmedia.com/imageBank/p/Powerandpaintlarge.jpg )

Dressage Art
Aug. 9, 2009, 12:08 AM
even with proof and a ton of witnesses I know of one eventing trainer who even got a major award from the USOC. And people still think the trainer is the best thing since sliced bread. People will still go out and use these bad trainers and will still support them if they think it helps them achieve their goals. And many others will remain quiet because they are afraid to speak up. The world is imperfect.ditto.

LarkspurCO
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:04 AM
What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people?

It isn't just dressage community that "looks the other way." It happens throughout the horse community. It happens throughout the human race. People stand by while innocents are abused. I just rode in a clinic and during lunch the instructor was relaying some of what she's seen and heard in her travels: Reiners tying horses' heads to their tails for hours at time. Untie head, lather, rinse, repeat on other side. A vaquero who tied his stallion's bit to his testicles. Years ago I watched John Lions spur the living shit out of a horse in a demonstration ride. I wanted to puke. I regret not standing up and screaming at him.


Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...

I don't think that would make much of a difference. Leading by example is probably the best way to influence others.

Ambrey
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:16 AM
There are abusive trainers in every discipline. I don't see why it would be different for dressage?

slc2
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:11 AM
"Or maybe it's ok with you"

Or maybe you are making things up.

Dune
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:57 AM
Ok, OP, let's do something to help the horses. Name the trainers you're talking about. :yes:

Koniucha
Aug. 9, 2009, 12:04 PM
"Or maybe it's ok with you"

Or maybe you are making things up.

Or maybe you know exactly what she is talking about...

Alagirl
Aug. 9, 2009, 12:17 PM
I have been thinking.... (great shock here, I know)

But sometimes things that are not common to us are weird or simply misunderstood.

I am not saying that the trainer had no idea in terms of horse training, or is a tree hugger, blown in by the East winds...

I remember seeing old pictures from the SRS in Vienna. They had so much tack on the stallion for in-hand work, you could hardly see horse underneath. Lungeing caveson, sidereins and whatnot. And of course whips.

So, here is how it could look to the lay person: They tie the horse together and beat it into submission.

There is of course the other side of the medal. I have heard of veteran horsemen, by no means tree huggers or feint of heart, leave a training session of a highly regarded Iberian training/performance group because the repeated whipping resulted in bloody legs.

So, without knowing more about the original observer, and the trainer in question, it's not really possible to make up an informed opinion.

slc2
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:18 PM
"Or maybe you know exactly what she's talking about"

Or maybe not. I know what she's talking about, but I don't condone it. However, in all my life, I've never heard of anyone getting arrested for being a lousy horse trainer. All people can do is vote with their wallet.....and name names....which the OP is not going to do. Unless the PM's are flying, which I don't doubt.

What people don't get is that if a statement is actionable, it is just as actionable in a PM as it is in a public post. This business of getting on a bb, stating you saw an abusive trainer, then naming him or her only in a PM 'to avoid trouble' is absurd. It's just as likely to get you in trouble with a PM as it is any other way of communication. Most of the 'trouble' people get is empty threats and loud talk, anyway.

Foxtrot's
Aug. 9, 2009, 01:54 PM
That is what Stewards are paid for - to decide whether it is an actioinable treatment of a horse. That is if they have any gumption. Then it is up to us to complain to their federation if we are not satisfied. Been there.

Bellfleur
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:08 PM
Post video. New Iphone S takes super clear videos and you can look like you are talking on the phone the entire time.

TKR
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:10 PM
The time to speak up was DURING the abusive session instead of a message board afterwards. So many are intimidated or awed by a BNT for whatever reason. However, if you watch and remain silent, you are condoning the methods. No one should be abusive or forceful and consider it "training" for any discipline. If you care about the horses and the discipline, speak up for the horses' sake, they sure can't and who cares if the BNT gets mad or the others "flock together" against you -- they all know it's the right thing to do and it might make a difference!
PennyG

Koniucha
Aug. 9, 2009, 02:38 PM
"Or maybe you know exactly what she's talking about"

Or maybe not. I know what she's talking about, but I don't condone it. However, in all my life, I've never heard of anyone getting arrested for being a lousy horse trainer. All people can do is vote with their wallet.....and name names....which the OP is not going to do. Unless the PM's are flying, which I don't doubt.

What people don't get is that if a statement is actionable, it is just as actionable in a PM as it is in a public post. This business of getting on a bb, stating you saw an abusive trainer, then naming him or her only in a PM 'to avoid trouble' is absurd. It's just as likely to get you in trouble with a PM as it is any other way of communication. Most of the 'trouble' people get is empty threats and loud talk, anyway.

You seem to be contradicting yourself a bit. First you said that maybe the OP is making this up and now you are saying that you know what she is talking about. Also, I don't recall anyone talking about arresting anyone. Did I miss something here?

Dressage Art
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:21 PM
It's not 'common' in any clinics, lessons or barns I go to.


or may be those methods are acceptable to you and you are just one of the people who were watching those clinics and not concerned with methods since you don't consider them harsh?

That was actually a question that you SLC choose not to answer ;) hmmm...

Your statement that you didn't see much harsh riding during your long, very long life prompted my question. Since I also know people who are using harsh training, gag bits, 25 pounds pressure in their reins, RK, draw reins every ride, yanking on horse’s mouth, supper tight nosebands, crank and spank with whips and spurs = yet they do not consider themselves as harsh trainers.. Oh no, no, no… they would be offended even at the hint that those things are considered to be “harsh”. They truly believe they are "nice". If you are one of them, of course riders like that will fail to see other harsh riding around them - it is a norm to them. Some of them are very knowledgeable even elegant riders/trainers.

And you are correct; nobody can be arrested for the harsh riding. Heck, nobody can be arrested for even abusive riding that draws blood. To be arrested for the animal abuse you really need to be a horrible monster. So all of the harsh riding methods are OK with you as long as they don't require "arrests"?

Dressage Art
Aug. 9, 2009, 03:31 PM
But sometimes things that are not common to us are weird or simply misunderstood.Yes and a great example of that would be "leg boxing" ;)

The harsh riding for me is when any form of force is used excessively on daily or almost daily bases or overused during the riding session. Yes, all horses need a stern hand at times, but that stern hand needs to be used rarely and with a very cold head with no anger or frustration emotions attached to it.

It's very difficult to speak up against the harsh riding that you can't "arrest" people for. You can state you’re not approving opinion, but be prepared to get a wrath of belittling diarrhea from them. For some people it's just not worth it and they simply walk away. I think we should speak up and educate dressage riders what is harsh and then let them decide if they want to use those methods. I think we saw a great example with Coby how the whole world spoke against that harsh method that she wasn’t arrested for.

slc2
Aug. 9, 2009, 06:50 PM
I did anwer. You're not getting my point...rather deliberately, in order to imply that I condone improper methods of training that involve harsh treatment of horses.

My point is this - either say who it is, openly, publicly, or don't post. That's my point. What in the WORLD good does it do if you don't tell anyone who it is?

I also said that if you think you have some special safety by PM'ing, think again. You're just ask likely to get a 'helpful, concerned' PM from the trainer's buddy in an effort to find out what you're saying and get after you, and all the accompanying threats of legal action as well.

The fact about that is, that if a person is saying things that are untrue, it can be actionable - if you are saying FACTS (horse was worked for 50 minutes at a gallop in deep footing in 110 degree weather, trainer has been arrested for animal cruelty six times, etc) - you cannot be sued for libel, slander, or anything else, for that matter. Even then, the person has to prove you actually affected their business in a measurable way and the burden of proving that is on him. With the amount of natural fluctuation in horse business it would be difficult to prove sufficiently, especially since most horse people keep such poor records.

If you say, 'I don't like how Bill trains. I feel that the whip is used too much. He was carded at a show I was at. I wouldn't train with him', you have just stated a bunch of facts. It's a fact you don't like how Bill trains, he was carded, your opinion about use of the whip, that you wouldn't use him, and you're quite welcome to say so and no court in the land would convict you of anything - in other words, people are far more free to speak than they imagine. If you told everyone that Bill was a convicted pedophile and his business dropped to nothing, and he was not, you could be sued or even charged.

There is only ONE way people can control what gets done to horses, by speaking openly so people vote with their wallet. Someone who's out of business gets very few horses to train. As I pointed out, no one has ever been arrested for being rough, unfair, impatient and nasty with a horse. The law covers only the most horrible forms of abuse - horses down and dying. Even being crippled from laminitis doesn't bring abused animals relief. So if you don't have the guts to name names, what exact good does your post do for anyone?

Kyzteke
Aug. 9, 2009, 09:27 PM
It isn't just dressage community that "looks the other way." It happens throughout the horse community. It happens throughout the human race. People stand by while innocents are abused. I just rode in a clinic and during lunch the instructor was relaying some of what she's seen and heard in her travels: Reiners tying horses' heads to their tails for hours at time. Untie head, lather, rinse, repeat on other side. A vaquero who tied his stallion's bit to his testicles. Years ago I watched John Lions spur the living shit out of a horse in a demonstration ride. I wanted to puke. I regret not standing up and screaming at him.

I don't think that would make much of a difference. Leading by example is probably the best way to influence others.

Again, I think in most cases the idea of "abuse" varies widely. I think Anky, Sjef and their ilk are abusive as hell, but I doubt I'd get that many people to agree with me.

I remember hearing a woman who claimed to have been at the LA Olympics and watch Reiner Klimeke "beat the crap," o/o Alhrich. Sounds unlikely, but maybe her idea of "beating the crap" o/o a horse is striking it with a whip 2-3 times.

I almost got "abusive" with a card-carrying member of PETA over the Central Park carriage horses -- my friend's and I had just finished doing the tourist thing and taking a rider through CP (I could NOT convince the cabbie to let me drive ;):winkgrin:) and we had just finished up and was feeding said carriage horse probably his 150th carrot of the day. Said horse was well-fed, well-groomed, well-shod and had a bright, alert appearance. And here was this total idiot who didn't know diddly about horses trying to convince me this horse was "abused."

Oh, big WAH, 'cause he had to work for a living:no:???? Don't we all?

But as far as she was concerned, the cabbie was Simon LaGree and we all were party to this outrageous cruelty. We were seeing very different things.

Without a visual, some names & background info and ALOT more information, I can't say that what the OP is are describing is "abuse."

Sounds like he/she just wants to stir a pot.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:09 PM
I posted here (first time ever) looking for input and direction...not attack and insult. The person who reported it to me was extremely upset and I suggested she call the authorities. Had I seen it with my own eyes and did nothing I would deserve attack and insult...sadly I did not see it. But for the people attacking me...I have been riding, showing, training and coaching for 30 years in both the U.S. and Canada. I am WELL versed in the PROPER and HUMANE use of cavesons, whips and drawreins (i.e. Karl Makolka) although I CHOOSE not to use draw reins in my training. There is no replacement for good riding! I also research EVERY clinician I ever watch or learn from to be sure I don't expose my horse to these situations (hence, why I was getting a report before I attended this clinic). I find it sad that I went to the dressage community looking for help and some found it an opening to attack and insult. THANK YOU to those of you who showed care and gave constructive input and advise.

Coppers mom
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:13 PM
For college professors, there is a website called "Rate My Professor" where you can go on and give them 1-5 stars for different things like how much work they give, how hard they are, how fair they are, etc. All posts are anonymous, but do require that you say what grade you get, just so people see that the person with a huge axe to grind got an F.

Is there anything like this for instructors? If not, would anyone know how to make one? You could indicate how you used them (lessons, clinic, audit, etc), for how long, how many people were there, etc. We have stuff like this (at least in eventing) for shows, and have evaluation forms to fill out for all recognized shows, I think it'd be a good idea to have a rating system for instructors.

As far as the OT, I'm sorry it happened. It's hard to stand up and say something with the initial shock and disgust, but at least you can (privately) put the word out to people you know and on here.

ToN Farm
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:19 PM
Am I the only one who is curious to know who this clinician is?
How many clincians are male, German certified, an international author, have a website, and advertise to be classical??? Two would be Zettl and possibly Gerd H., both were giving clinics recently. Surely it couldn't be either of them. I would suspect Belasik to use some interesting lunging apparatus, but he isn't German certified, although he meets the other criteria.
The OP won't accept PM's, so I can't ask her.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:23 PM
For college professors, there is a website called "Rate My Professor" where you can go on and give them 1-5 stars for different things like how much work they give, how hard they are, how fair they are, etc. All posts are anonymous, but do require that you say what grade you get, just so people see that the person with a huge axe to grind got an F.

Is there anything like this for instructors? If not, would anyone know how to make one? You could indicate how you used them (lessons, clinic, audit, etc), for how long, how many people were there, etc. We have stuff like this (at least in eventing) for shows, and have evaluation forms to fill out for all recognized shows, I think it'd be a good idea to have a rating system for instructors.

As far as the OT, I'm sorry it happened. It's hard to stand up and say something with the initial shock and disgust, but at least you can (privately) put the word out to people you know and on here.


I think this is a great idea...my concern would be that people who DON'T think CRANKED cavesons and draw reins are abusive would give those clinicians a good rating...

Dressagenut18
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:27 PM
Am I the only one who is curious to know who this clinician is?
How many clincians are male, German certified, an international author, have a website, and advertise to be classical??? Two would be Zettl and possibly Gerd H., both were giving clinics recently. Surely it couldn't be either of them. I would suspect Belasik to use some interesting lunging apparatus, but he isn't German certified, although he meets the other criteria.
The OP won't accept PM's, so I can't ask her.

I've hosted Walter Zettl TWICE and spent time with him at the World Cup in Las Vegas. He is abhorantly AGAINST the use of drawreins or riding a horse in rolkur position. He is a wonderful loving horseman in my opinion. I have never seen Gerd H instruct. Again, my concern about naming names is that I didn't see it myself...but email me if you want to know who I HEARD it was.

slc2
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:36 PM
Your account is set up so that you can't receive private messages, so no one can do that.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:42 PM
Your account is set up so that you can't receive private messages, so no one can do that.

Sorry, I'm new at this (I'm usually out riding/teaching). Someone sent me an email yesterday so I assumed it was!

ThreeFigs
Aug. 10, 2009, 01:56 AM
Heck, I'm sitting here wondering how on earth someone PUTS two nosebands AND a lungeing cavesson on a horse. I want to see photos to believe it!

There seem to be a lot of threads lately accusing dressage riders of cruelty/abuse. What's up with that? Cruelty and abuse is possible (and an unfortunate reality) in every discipline and should not be condoned. I know this has been said before, and is likely to start a catfight, but among the dressage people I know and RESPECT, abuse is NOT in the training program.

I know others whom I do NOT respect, who use questionable training techniques. The abusers in any discipline, not just dressage probably don't see themselves as such, and will eventually reap the whirlwind. Too bad for the horses, though.

Coppers mom
Aug. 10, 2009, 02:54 AM
I think this is a great idea...my concern would be that people who DON'T think CRANKED cavesons and draw reins are abusive would give those clinicians a good rating...
True. I think this is definitely a lot more subjective than whether or not the teacher wrote unfair tests.

As for the person who has a hard time believing you can get all that on a single horse's face, I know it's crazy, but it's true. You can just put one noseband up higher, and one lower, then the lunge cavesson over it. Sometimes you can go to a hunter show and they'll have a horse schooling with a figure 8 and a regular noseband under it so that they can just whip the figure 8 off.

EiRide
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:37 AM
Again, I think in most cases the idea of "abuse" varies widely. I think Anky, Sjef and their ilk are abusive as hell, but I doubt I'd get that many people to agree with me.

Oh, I don't know about that. Try hanging out on an all discipline newsgroup and start a conversation about dressage--that group is what most people picture, and the conversation sure ain't pretty.

EiRide
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:47 AM
For college professors, there is a website called "Rate My Professor" where you can go on and give them 1-5 stars for different things like how much work they give, how hard they are, how fair they are, etc. All posts are anonymous, but do require that you say what grade you get, just so people see that the person with a huge axe to grind got an F.

Is there anything like this for instructors? If not, would anyone know how to make one?

Well, the problem with anonymous polls that are voluntary and have no quality control is that even if someone says they got a B or something they could have flunked. When you compare the kinds of comments and ratings from RMP.com to the Student Response Teaching Effectiveness surveys given to all students at the end of the semester (also anon., a bubble sheet with a 1 to 7 scale), you'll see while some extreme cases match up, most of the time there is quite a disparity between what is said on RMP and the SRTE.

I think sites like that are an invitation to either gush or axe grind, neither of which really gives a good and honest picture of the person so evaluated.

twofatponies
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:08 AM
so you created an alter to post potentially libelous statements about training you didn't even see?

two nosebands and a longeing cavesson? highly doubtful. have you ever seen or read about the classical use of draw reins? the horse wears a longeing cavesson and the reins are run through the cavesson so that the rider, in essence, rides the set up like a double, except there are reins to one bit and reins to one cavesson. my guess is that you are not familiar with this technique. please search for karl mikolka's rather famous article on the proper application of draw reins. as to excessive whipping... well, i've seen whip tapping techniques called "whipping" by those who don't know what they're seeing.

frankly, the entire story is suspect. if you're so confident in your outrage, why the alter? why the secrecy? put it out there and defend it.

I do wonder - there is nothing inherently abusive about having "two cavessons" on a horse, and it can be for reasons of convenience, not to add to the training. For example having the bridle on, then putting a lunging cavesson over, so you can just remove the latter when you are done lunging or alternate lunging and riding conveniently throughout the session, or do in hand work of some sort? just as people sometimes have a halter and bridle on at the same time.

It's really common to tap a horse frequently with a whip when teaching the piaffe, which to someone unfamiliar with it would just fall into the category of "whipping the horse" without distinguishing the use of the whip as an aid vs. punishment.

I HAVE seen horses whipped excessively at dressage clinics, but rarely. I have seen flash nosebands too tight, but rarely. I have seen spur cuts on a horse (dressage or otherwise), but rarely. I have seen quite a bit of use of draw reins. I think using draw reins falls in the realm of "desperation" or "poor method" or "shortcut" but not abuse, unless you are using them in anger to punish the horse.

So it could be either - the person who saw didn't understand what they saw, or they did, and it was punitive and shouldn't have been done that way. Doesn't for a minute imply anything about the training of dressage horses in general.

Alagirl
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:18 AM
http://www.waldfriese.de/Bilder/Aktuelles/in-den-Pilaren.jpg

not the picture I had in mind, but close.

freestyle2music
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:26 AM
I've hosted Walter Zettl TWICE and spent time with him at the World Cup in Las Vegas. He is abhorantly AGAINST the use of drawreins or riding a horse in rolkur position. He is a wonderful loving horseman in my opinion. I have never seen Gerd H instruct. Again, my concern about naming names is that I didn't see it myself...but email me if you want to know who I HEARD it was.


:lol::lol::lol::lol:

The next time you speak to him, ask him what gadgets he used when he was at the Rehbeins in the mid 80's .

RougeEmpire
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:57 AM
I saw Joseph Nip whip the snot out a young horse back in about 2001. The horse deserved it, it was a real wake up call for the owner. It was clinic and he was riding a horse about 6 years old, of course imported fanciest in style blood lines and moved like a million bucks. But par for the course with a lot of YOUNG import horses bought my AMMYs he was spoiled rotten and all but ruined only a few months after she bought him because she did not ride well herself. After ten whole minutes he said, ' no Im done, Im gonna run out the ring now'. The horse "quit" at the gait to the barn (indoor arena) and when Dr. Nip nugged him forward the horse through his head and popped up in the front. Dr. Nip DROPPED HIS REINS and snapped the horse behind his leg with the whip, SHARP. The rude young horse pinned he ears and popped up a hair in the front in defiance. Dr. Nip unloaded about about 10 quick , sharp snaps of the whip behind his leg in a row. At every strike the young horse threatened to rear but did not, at every strike he defiantly refused to move away from the gait. Finally the young horse lept forward and cantered down the rail. Dr. Nip never lost his patients, never picked up the rein until the horse moved away and he went right back to working without skipping a beat. Lord only knows how long that young horse had been "getting away with murder" but on that day he not only got in trouble for his behavior, he FINISHED the session.

The whip snaps were loud and crisp and to anyone just walking in it may have looked harsh. To anyone who is NOT a horseman it may have looked abusive, but it was not at all. The whip never came above his knee, he never put spur to the horse and the horse always has the "correct option" available to him. He said nothing bad about the horse and didn't seem bothered at all about the little episode. I wonder now many in the crowd thought he was being "abusive" when he made throwing a temper tantrum and not going forward very uncomfortable for the snotty young horse, because in reality thats ALL he did. Im sure their are those who thought his actions abusive while somehow ignoring how bad and dangerous the spoiled young horse was. I also wonder how many self described "dressage riders" or "classic" riders would have let the horse get away with his tantrum and put him for lack of knowing how to handle the situation correction or unwillingness to use a whip properly.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:08 PM
Heck, I'm sitting here wondering how on earth someone PUTS two nosebands AND a lungeing cavesson on a horse. I want to see photos to believe it!

There seem to be a lot of threads lately accusing dressage riders of cruelty/abuse. What's up with that? Cruelty and abuse is possible (and an unfortunate reality) in every discipline and should not be condoned. I know this has been said before, and is likely to start a catfight, but among the dressage people I know and RESPECT, abuse is NOT in the training program.

I know others whom I do NOT respect, who use questionable training techniques. The abusers in any discipline, not just dressage probably don't see themselves as such, and will eventually reap the whirlwind. Too bad for the horses, though.

It's quite simple...one caveson is fitted higher then the other so that the user can tighten them BOTH enough to insist the horse keep his mouth shut so he cannot protest. The lunging caveson would go on over the bridle...although, I don't know what the purpose would be (it could be tighted to help control the opening of the mouth as well)...but, probably because the horse was going to to be worked in pillars that day...

Dressagenut18
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:17 PM
I saw Joseph Nip whip the snot out a young horse back in about 2001. The horse deserved it, it was a real wake up call for the owner. It was clinic and he was riding a horse about 6 years old, of course imported fanciest in style blood lines and moved like a million bucks. But par for the course with a lot of YOUNG import horses bought my AMMYs he was spoiled rotten and all but ruined only a few months after she bought him because she did not ride well herself. After ten whole minutes he said, ' no Im done, Im gonna run out the ring now'. The horse "quit" at the gait to the barn (indoor arena) and when Dr. Nip nugged him forward the horse through his head and popped up in the front. Dr. Nip DROPPED HIS REINS and snapped the horse behind his leg with the whip, SHARP. The rude young horse pinned he ears and popped up a hair in the front in defiance. Dr. Nip unloaded about about 10 quick , sharp snaps of the whip behind his leg in a row. At every strike the young horse threatened to rear but did not, at every strike he defiantly refused to move away from the gait. Finally the young horse lept forward and cantered down the rail. Dr. Nip never lost his patients, never picked up the rein until the horse moved away and he went right back to working without skipping a beat. Lord only knows how long that young horse had been "getting away with murder" but on that day he not only got in trouble for his behavior, he FINISHED the session.

The whip snaps were loud and crisp and to anyone just walking in it may have looked harsh. To anyone who is NOT a horseman it may have looked abusive, but it was not at all. The whip never came above his knee, he never put spur to the horse and the horse always has the "correct option" available to him. He said nothing bad about the horse and didn't seem bothered at all about the little episode. I wonder now many in the crowd thought he was being "abusive" when he made throwing a temper tantrum and not going forward very uncomfortable for the snotty young horse, because in reality thats ALL he did. Im sure their are those who thought his actions abusive while somehow ignoring how bad and dangerous the spoiled young horse was. I also wonder how many self described "dressage riders" or "classic" riders would have let the horse get away with his tantrum and put him for lack of knowing how to handle the situation correction or unwillingness to use a whip properly.

NO HORSE DESERVES to be whipped (the snot out of)!! A human may think its necessary for safety/survival...but the OWNER clearly created the situation by spoiling the horse (your words) to begin with...not giving him/her clear boundaries. I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE...I have a very large/tall warmblood mare that has been unruly from the moment she was born. And yes, at one time she reared over people's heads when she didn't want to do things...HOWEVER; SHE WAS NEVER WHIPPED to correct the behavior!!! She was carefully retrained using natural horsemanship techniques and clicker training! I don't disagree that a whip has it's time and place...but did he explain to his spectators why/how he used it???

Dressagenut18
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:24 PM
:lol::lol::lol::lol:

The next time you speak to him, ask him what gadgets he used when he was at the Rehbeins in the mid 80's .

We have ALL made mistakes in the past and learned from them. Especially if you were trained in Europe, you may not have known any better. But, what was acceptable 30 years ago, is not now! We know more about the horse's brain, body and spirit. It is probably Walter's mistakes/experience that has SHAPED how he trains/instructs now (just like the rest of us).

RougeEmpire
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:31 PM
This horse wasnt rearing on the ground, it was doing it under saddle. Apparently you didn't read my whole post because nothing he did was abusive. Like many NH/clicker people wannabees you are MISSING THE POINT. The horse quit working he tried to run out the gait because he was spoiled and had gotten away with it to many times. He was whipped behind the leg until he took the ONLY option he has which was to GO FORWARD. The "go away from my leg" command was made stronger and more clear by the use of the whip. He whipped the horse behind-his-leg to reinforce the go forward aid until the horse MOVED FORWARD, then the rider did not touch him again with the whip. READ THE ENTIRE POST before screaming that so-called "natural horsemanship" and "clicker training" is the answer. For the record have first hand seen MORE ABUSE by people using NH "training" (and I use the term loosely) than any other kind of training.

He didnt need to explain ANYTHING, people were there to learn and observe. There were multiple comments from EDUCATED horsemen on how he handled the situation 100% CORRECTLY. Which he did, but its likely that there was at least one NH-Wannabee around that was confused by his so called "abuse". Of course Im sure he/she would have been DUMPED by that horse in a heartbeat! Dr.Nip ride the horse with the utmost SKILL and talent and the issue was RESOLVED in a matter of moments, the horse did not give him any trouble after that and was calm and relaxed. The man has ridden and TRAINED hundreds of horses, not just"trained ONE warmblood with a clicker once".

Dressagenut18
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:31 PM
http://www.waldfriese.de/Bilder/Aktuelles/in-den-Pilaren.jpg

not the picture I had in mind, but close.

Hard to tell from this picture, the difference I see is
1. the horse's head isn't being forced down by drawreins
2. it APPEARS the horse's topline is soft and relaxed
3. it APPEARS his mouth is not being forced shut by TWO cavesons...his mouth APPEARS to be relaxed.
4. the horse APPEARS to be happy and comfortable in his work not obviously stressed and ready to kill someone.

Dressagenut18
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:38 PM
This horse wasnt rearing on the ground, it was doing it under saddle. Apparently you didn't read my whole post because nothing he did was abusive. Like many NH/clicker people wannabees you are MISSING THE POINT. The horse quit working he tried to run out the gait because he was spoiled and had gotten away with it to many times. He was whipped behind the leg until he took the ONLY option he has which was to GO FORWARD. The "go away from my leg" command was made stronger and more clear by the use of the whip. He whipped the horse behind-his-leg to reinforce the go forward aid until the horse MOVED FORWARD, then the rider did not touch him again with the whip. READ THE ENTIRE POST before screaming that so-called "natural horsemanship" and "clicker training" is the answer. For the record have first hand seen MORE ABUSE by people using NH "training" (and I use the term loosely) than any other kind of training.

No, I didn't miss your point. I said a whip has a time and place. I wanted to know if he EXPLAINED to his spectators how and why it was used!? We have a responsibility as instructors to be sure IF a person uses it, it is used properly and the audiance UNDERSTANDS WHEN AND HOW to use it! I never said NH was the answer...I suggested from expericence, it can be used on a violent horse and that we SHOULD be educating the owner/handlers that their lack of boundaries leads the horse to such behavior...the HORSE does not DESERVE it. It's unfortunate that so many of you on COTH feel it necessary to INSULT people you know NOTHING about instead of having a civilized discussion...

freestyle2music
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:41 PM
We have ALL made mistakes in the past and learned from them. Especially if you were trained in Europe, you may not have known any better. But, what was acceptable 30 years ago, is not now! We know more about the horse's brain, body and spirit. It is probably Walter's mistakes/experience that has SHAPED how he trains/instructs now (just like the rest of us).

This is the first time I get a true and rational answer. Bravo :yes:

RougeEmpire
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:52 PM
The auditors and riders weren't idiots, they KNEW the meaning of "off the leg" and they KNEW that the whip can REINFORCE the LEG AID. This was not a "beginners riding clinic", he was not there to teach total beginners. If you are riding or training with a man of that level you KNOW how to use your leg aids and how and when to use a whip. There was no need to explain the "use of the whip behind the leg", again NOT BEGINNERS. He doesn't teach beginners who don't know what a leg aid is or the proper way to use a whip.

Infact he took whips away from several riders because they were constantly nagging at their horses. So much so that the horses no longer responded to the whip and were also dead to the sides. These are common Ammy mistakes to over use the AIDS. The endless tap-tap-tap-tap of the whip and spur makes a horse ignore it entirely, far from abusively whipping a horse! Again this was NOT a "Beginners Learning how to ride and use the Aids and use the Equipment Clinic". These were EDUCATED people, some of which had gotten into a bad spot with a willful horse. The owner of the Young horse was a decent enough rider but NEW to training a YOUNG HORSE. It was her first young import and she made some mistakes that had to be corrected. She learned A LOT in that clinic and its likely she sent the horse for training rather than trying to train him herself after seeing the kind skill and CORRECT APPLICATION that was needed to fix him.

twofatponies
Aug. 10, 2009, 12:56 PM
We have ALL made mistakes in the past and learned from them. Especially if you were trained in Europe, you may not have known any better. But, what was acceptable 30 years ago, is not now! We know more about the horse's brain, body and spirit. It is probably Walter's mistakes/experience that has SHAPED how he trains/instructs now (just like the rest of us).

This is an interesting thought, though: on the one hand there are people who say "the way it was done in the old days is classical, and true (SRS, Xenophon, and more)" vs "what was acceptable 30 years ago is not now" - an interesting contrast.

I don't think one or the other is true. I think some people are impatient and mean, and some are patient and kind, and in every era you will find therefore good animal trainers and bad ones.

Alagirl
Aug. 10, 2009, 01:54 PM
NO HORSE DESERVES to be whipped (the snot out of)!! A human may think its necessary for safety/survival...but the OWNER clearly created the situation by spoiling the horse (your words) to begin with...not giving him/her clear boundaries. I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE...I have a very large/tall warmblood mare that has been unruly from the moment she was born. And yes, at one time she reared over people's heads when she didn't want to do things...HOWEVER; SHE WAS NEVER WHIPPED to correct the behavior!!! She was carefully retrained using natural horsemanship techniques and clicker training! I don't disagree that a whip has it's time and place...but did he explain to his spectators why/how he used it???


I am making popcorn now....who has the beer?

mickeydoodle
Aug. 10, 2009, 01:55 PM
choo, choo, choo goes the train, I'll bring the beer

ThreeFigs
Aug. 10, 2009, 02:42 PM
I'm with RougeEmpire on this one. A few quick snaps with a whip can clear the air and put a naughty horse back on the straight and narrow far more quickly and kindly than whispy little tap-taps.

Horsemen with knowledge understand this.

I've got chips and dip. Hand me a beer.

Ambrey
Aug. 10, 2009, 03:12 PM
Hmmm, interesting that all these threads are popping up now.

My barn has all disciplines, and a range of trainers from mild mannered to heavy handed. Every trainer has fans and detractors. I'm sure I could find someone that would tell a story about any one of them "abusing" a horse, and yet all of them have steady happy clients.

I have seen horses with spur marks and riders happily applying salve to them saying "wow, he must have been bad for trainer today." Not a dressage horse :) I've seen training methods that shocked me, and the owner watching and saying "what a great job s/he is doing!" Not dressage horses. And yet, a dressage trainer did once say "sometimes horse training ain't pretty." (the training method in question at the time didn't seem harsh at all to me, though).

So I'm just gonna go with "some dressage trainers" probably are more heavy handed than I'd approve of. Some aren't. And I could say exactly the same thing about hunter/jumper, eventing, western, saddleseat, and whatever other discipline you'd like to throw in there. And some top riders/trainers in every discipline probably fall into that definition, and some don't. I probably wouldn't agree with everything everyone posting on this thread is doing with their horses. Such is life.

Gloria
Aug. 10, 2009, 03:16 PM
NO HORSE DESERVES to be whipped (the snot out of)!! A human may think its necessary for safety/survival...but the OWNER clearly created the situation by spoiling the horse (your words) to begin with...not giving him/her clear boundaries. I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE...I have a very large/tall warmblood mare that has been unruly from the moment she was born. And yes, at one time she reared over people's heads when she didn't want to do things...HOWEVER; SHE WAS NEVER WHIPPED to correct the behavior!!! She was carefully retrained using natural horsemanship techniques and clicker training! I don't disagree that a whip has it's time and place...but did he explain to his spectators why/how he used it???

What do you think it mean when you ask the horse to go, he refuses, and you touch him with the stick and string? So touching the horse with a stick is not abusive but touching a horse with a whip is? You may need to talk to your NH instructor to clarify what training mean. Or do you even have someone to guide you?

The whip or stick are simply tools, nothing more and nothing less. It is the hand and mind behind them that have meaning. If you touch your horse with anger or frustration, you ARE abusing your horse. If you touch your horse with fair and clear mind and goal, you are discipling your horse. If you truly are following NH, you will know that they remind you repeatedly how HARD an alpha horse will touch an disobedient subordinate.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 10, 2009, 03:17 PM
Yup. Must be Dresssage Forum Train-Wreck Month.

buck22
Aug. 10, 2009, 03:57 PM
If you truly are following NH, you will know that they remind you repeatedly how HARD an alpha horse will touch an disobedient subordinate.
if you're following one of the big-name NH'ers, maybe so. But, in my travels, its the very notion of subordination that one is trying to rise above.

I've got the beer. :) Hope Guiness works for all?

cheval convert
Aug. 10, 2009, 04:15 PM
If I bring the Smithwick's can we make Black and Tans?

buck22
Aug. 10, 2009, 04:29 PM
ooooh, read my mind:lol: though I have Harps with mine right now. :lol:

Auventera Two
Aug. 10, 2009, 05:07 PM
In every discipline there are good trainers and riders, and bad ones. There are some dressage riders I admire very much, and enjoy watching. And then others who are heavy handed and hard on horses. I grew up taking dressage lessons and I got tired of the instruction "Leg! Leg! Leg! Seat! More left hand! Seat! Seat! Drive! Come on, LEG!!!" There were many lessons where my legs were like spaghetti from the constant squeezing and kicking to get the horse motivated. I had to ride in gloves because I got callouses on my palms from hanging on the reins so heavily. This was on a combination of lesson horses and our own private horses that were in training. I guess I just got tired of it. I switched disciplines but still use dressage basics with my horses.

One instructor I had told me to use an exercise ball to strengthen my legs from hip to ankle so I could "squeeze with authority."

I do ocassional lessons with my endurance horse but the instructor knows my goals and knows I don't aspire to show. The goal is to teach my horse to use herself more correctly so the lesson is geared toward softening her back. She is a sensitve horse who is VERY responsive to aids. You don't really "squeeze" her but just think about squeezing and you get a response. Looking back at all those dressage horses I've ridden, they must have gotten that way through heavy application of the aids.

I recently watched this upper level, imported dressage warmblood being worked. The ride consisted of constant, heavy spurring to get the horse in front of the leg and up in the bridle. The rider gave a sharp whip crack behind the leg every 5 minutes or so to reinforce the cues. I snapped these photos when the horse was in the ties about to be tacked up. I tried to crop them as close as possible to eliminate identifying factors.

Nothing about the ride was pleasant to watch. Clearly this is an ongoing ritual with this horse, given the lack of hair on both sides.

http://www.hphoofcare.com/spur%20marks.jpg
http://www.hphoofcare.com/spur%20marks%202.jpg

alicen
Aug. 10, 2009, 05:51 PM
Not quite 2 nosebands and a longeing cavesson, but close. Click to enlarge: http://toffi-images.de/index.php/foto/content/view/thumbnail/248/offset/132

dilligaff2
Aug. 10, 2009, 05:58 PM
OK--That is just :confused:

ThreeFigs
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:15 PM
Yeah, what dilligaff2 said!

I'll bring the Fat Tire...

LarkspurCO
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:21 PM
Why do I find it funny that horse's mouth is STILL open?

ThreeFigs
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:27 PM
They could try Crazy Glue!

LarkspurCO
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:34 PM
I was going to say duct tape but someone probably already did that.

Tallac
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:44 PM
a flash, a figure 8, and a drop noseband, and his mouth is still open. WOW I would not want to ride that horse.:D

Ambrey
Aug. 10, 2009, 06:46 PM
Not quite 2 nosebands and a longeing cavesson, but close. Click to enlarge: http://toffi-images.de/index.php/foto/content/view/thumbnail/248/offset/132

That horse doesn't look abused, though... just baffled and annoyed.

Spyder
Aug. 10, 2009, 07:01 PM
This topic comes around from time to time about clinicians and how they can not be named. Back in March, on a forum that I started and has mostly been dormant, I started a forum to discuss clinicians. The idea was that people could name names and honestly evaluate and report on the good and the, uh, less good ones. No one posted any reports. The forum is still there, if anyone has the interest in talking about specifics. http://saddlesforsale49976.yuku.com/forums/11

Truthiness
Aug. 10, 2009, 07:28 PM
ok, it's clear now. the natural horsemanship student has no idea what it looks like to work a horse in pillars. there are multiple whips involved (for TOUCHING, not for whipping) and there is a bridle with cavesson over (so that the mouth is not attached to an immobile object--the pillars); there are side reins attached to the either the bit or the cavesson; and, finally, there are lines attached from the cavesson to the pillars. to the uneducated eye, the horse may appear to be trussed up like a turkey. but let's be clear: if the horse is too pressurized in pillar work, things go south quickly and in a big, ugly way. it takes a great deal of skill and tact to work a horse correctly in the pillars. your colleague saw an excellent in-hand clinician. too bad she didn't recognize that. :no:

woodcat
Aug. 10, 2009, 07:32 PM
Is leaving a horse with nothing but a lean-to when it's 30 degrees (or colder) outside abuse?
Is leaving your horse in his stall for days on end without a TO abuse?

I'm going with abuse as something that actually hurts the horse for more than a second or two. Not discomfort, hurt. That would include anything that leaves a wound.

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:10 PM
Is there some kind of rule about not opening your mouth and asking questions at these "international trainer' clinics? Because that's certainly what I would have done.

You'll either learn something new, or open other people's eyes to what might be some heavy-handed training.

slc2
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:24 PM
Not too many people in the USA today are familiar with how to use the pillars...

mp
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:30 PM
Good point, hitch. But the OP didn't see what actually happened at the "International Author and Certified German Instructor's" clinic.

OP was warned not to go, and so is speaking up here. Bravely lodging a protest about what he/she didn't see. Anonymously. On a BB. Where it will do the most good, dontcha know.

slc2
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:33 PM
WELL, when you put it that way....it really doesn't sound too hot, LOL :lol:

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:34 PM
I hear you MP. But she also wrote this:


This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common! I walked out of the last clinic I went to 1/2 way thru day one even though I had paid for 2 days (for similar reasons)

A lot of statements lose all credibility when they start out with "I heard from...."

slc2
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:40 PM
It just doesn't mean anything till you get more familiar with her standards for what exactly 'cruel' means to her. 'Cruel' is just too general and means too many different things to too many different people.

I have with my very own little eyes heard the following from someone attending a clinic and having the unbearable need to tell me their thoughts or other various informative situations:

That a perfectly sound horse doing a collected canter, was dead lame. Later told me it was indeed the first time she had seen a dressage canter.

That horses all learn the extended trot from having surgical tubing strapped to their legs.

That leg yields are 'cruel'

That being on the bit is 'cruel'. That dressage, in and of itself, is cruel.

That cantering for more than two minutes is 'cruel'.

That braiding the mane is 'torture'.

That all show riders are 'cruel'.

That leaving a fly mask on a horse in the fall is 'cruel' (horse has moon blindness and is under vet's orders to wear fly mask).

The list goes on.

I have ALSO been told that the following are NOT cruel.

Extreme rollkur.

Not turning out. Ever.

Keeping a horse in a stall for 2 years without going out.

Riding a horse on a paved road at a gallop for hours.

Riding a horse when it has a huge saddle sore.

Drilling over and over and over one exercise, while the horse is freakiing out and the rider is screaming and beating the horse, because horses have no emotions and they need to know who's boss, even if they can't actually tell what they're being punished for.

Whipping the snot out of a horse.

I don't just accept when someone says someone is or isn't 'cruel'. I need to see what they're referring to as I have just way too many times, been told that things that I cannot imagine are cruel, are and things I cannot even begin to excuse, aren't.

mp
Aug. 10, 2009, 08:59 PM
A lot of statements lose all credibility when they start out with "I heard from...."

Yup. I haven't witnessed abuse at clinics, but I've gone for the show steward to break up schooling sessions that were taking place behind the barn, so to speak. If you see it happening, do something. Speak up, ask a question, tell the clinic organizer what you think, produce a firsthand account, photos or something. But this handwringing over something that you heard took place is what my dear grandma used to call stirring the sh!t just to make it stink.

buck22
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:05 PM
Not too many people in the USA today are familiar with how to use the pillars...
I actually was recently wondering why this is, why work in the pillars is virtually never discussed or explored here (US) :confused:

slc2
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:53 PM
It's not never. But even at the Spanish Riding School, they now emphasize how difficult pillar work is and how hard it is on the horses, even when done well.

I don't think it's ever been any different, to be honest. For hundreds of years it has been something that was used only very carefully, and only a relatively few knew how to do. I have Noel Jackson's book that shows a bucking horse named Catayo that was trained to buck in the pillars at the cavalry school at Mafra, Portugal. Evidently, the horse was trained to buck on cue, and even to do a lesser....or greater...buck as requested. Jackson wrote that very few people could sit a ten buck from Catayo, LOL.

So I do think pillar work has more of a past than a present. I would be EXTREMELY leery of anyone here who insisted they knew how to do it unless they clearly were trained by experts for a good long time and had a ton of guidance in it. I also can't think of a single darn thing that HAS to be taught with pillars. It requires a very high level of submissiveness, otherwise the animal is going to panic when he hits those side reins.

Truthiness
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:01 PM
I actually was recently wondering why this is, why work in the pillars is virtually never discussed or explored here (US) :confused:
VERY few trainers in the US actually work in pillars. it's probably a dying art. pillar work is quite astonishing but it takes a careful and deft hand as well as an ability to read the emotional and physical limits of the horse. further, many horse are not suitable for pillar work. i have seen only two american arenas with pillars installed. there are ways to do pillar work without a permanent installation but this is probably rarer still.

buck22
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:10 PM
it's probably a dying art.
you read my mind :(


I also can't think of a single darn thing that HAS to be taught with pillars.
and I guess that is why... it is art simply for the sake of doing it I guess, and the devotion to reach such a level of understanding of a largely useless endeavor just isn't there... I guess.

Alagirl
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:21 PM
This topic comes around from time to time about clinicians and how they can not be named. Back in March, on a forum that I started and has mostly been dormant, I started a forum to discuss clinicians. The idea was that people could name names and honestly evaluate and report on the good and the, uh, less good ones. No one posted any reports. The forum is still there, if anyone has the interest in talking about specifics. http://saddlesforsale49976.yuku.com/forums/11

There is a difference discussing clinicians and having the 'ZMOG IT'S ABUSE' type of deals.

You can say the trainer X is a bit too rough for your taste, but calling it anything stronger gets you into hot water, especially if you have not seen it in person.

It can be done but it takes a lot of self discipline on account of all posters.

Truthiness
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:28 PM
... it is art simply for the sake of doing it I guess, and the devotion to reach such a level of understanding of a largely useless endeavor just isn't there...
i guess my concept of useless is different than yours. pillars are an excellent tool for teaching and perfecting piaffe--both in hand and under saddle; if one teaches the high school dressage, they are most useful.

buck22
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:32 PM
i guess my concept of useless is different than yours. pillars are an excellent tool for teaching and perfecting piaffe--both in hand and under saddle; if one teaches the high school dressage, they are most useful.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply its useless as in without value, I guess I was responding to the previous mentions of it not being necessary and worded it wrong.

I really hope it finds a resurgence. I think its an important aspect of high school. Its a shame its not explored here in the usa. I guess my real question is then, why are more people not interested in reaching this level of work.......

caddym
Aug. 10, 2009, 10:45 PM
Not quite 2 nosebands and a longeing cavesson, but close. Click to enlarge: http://toffi-images.de/index.php/foto/content/view/thumbnail/248/offset/132

this horse, clearly should be a foundation sire in the WTF registry...as in WTF are they doing to me....and he still looks sooooo cute:)

meupatdoes
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:22 PM
VERY few trainers in the US actually work in pillars. it's probably a dying art. pillar work is quite astonishing but it takes a careful and deft hand as well as an ability to read the emotional and physical limits of the horse. further, many horse are not suitable for pillar work. i have seen only two american arenas with pillars installed. there are ways to do pillar work without a permanent installation but this is probably rarer still.

Mine does.
They are permanently installed with their own special footing in the center of the circular driveway.

He teaches long-lining lessons with his Grand Prix horse if anyone is interested.

twofatponies
Aug. 10, 2009, 11:43 PM
It just doesn't mean anything till you get more familiar with her standards for what exactly 'cruel' means to her. 'Cruel' is just too general and means too many different things to too many different people.

I have with my very own little eyes heard the following from someone attending a clinic and having the unbearable need to tell me their thoughts or other various informative situations:

That a perfectly sound horse doing a collected canter, was dead lame. Later told me it was indeed the first time she had seen a dressage canter.

That horses all learn the extended trot from having surgical tubing strapped to their legs.

That leg yields are 'cruel'

That being on the bit is 'cruel'. That dressage, in and of itself, is cruel.

That cantering for more than two minutes is 'cruel'.

That braiding the mane is 'torture'.

That all show riders are 'cruel'.

That leaving a fly mask on a horse in the fall is 'cruel' (horse has moon blindness and is under vet's orders to wear fly mask).

The list goes on.

I have ALSO been told that the following are NOT cruel.

Extreme rollkur.

Not turning out. Ever.

Keeping a horse in a stall for 2 years without going out.

Riding a horse on a paved road at a gallop for hours.

Riding a horse when it has a huge saddle sore.

Drilling over and over and over one exercise, while the horse is freakiing out and the rider is screaming and beating the horse, because horses have no emotions and they need to know who's boss, even if they can't actually tell what they're being punished for.

Whipping the snot out of a horse.

I don't just accept when someone says someone is or isn't 'cruel'. I need to see what they're referring to as I have just way too many times, been told that things that I cannot imagine are cruel, are and things I cannot even begin to excuse, aren't.

This is so true.

Hawkridge
Aug. 11, 2009, 12:25 PM
NO HORSE DESERVES to be whipped (the snot out of)!! A human may think its necessary for safety/survival...but the OWNER clearly created the situation by spoiling the horse (your words) to begin with...not giving him/her clear boundaries. I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE...I have a very large/tall warmblood mare that has been unruly from the moment she was born. And yes, at one time she reared over people's heads when she didn't want to do things...HOWEVER; SHE WAS NEVER WHIPPED to correct the behavior!!! She was carefully retrained using natural horsemanship techniques and clicker training! I don't disagree that a whip has it's time and place...but did he explain to his spectators why/how he used it???

I'm sorry, but I would much rather see a horse get a sharp reprimand (and I assume the whole situation lasted less than 30 seconds) and get the horse going forward rather then spend....what.....weeks or months doing the NH and clicker training method. Bad behaviour should be dealt with swiftly, on the spot and it should be made pretty darn clear to the horse what needs to be done (in this case, MOVE FORWARD). Just my personal opinion.

Gloria
Aug. 11, 2009, 01:56 PM
Years ago when I was attending Parelli clinics about every other month and going to a certified instructor's place for play day every week, one thing I got corrected repeatedly was, "STOP NAGGING at that horse!", "Give him a big whack, quite tapping him without getting a response", "You are boring him to death" lol.

It is hard for some people to grasp the concept that one big whack is much kinder to the horse than 100 little bittie taps. It's even harder for some people to grasp the concept that horses like it when you are assertive, assertive but fair, and get it over.

I remember at one clinic, there was this mare that was quite nippy. The mare pushed her gentle owner everywhere. When this mare attempted to get a bite of me and "accidently" got bumped at the nose with my elbow, this woman almost cried. She looked at me like I had just killed that mare. lol. I guess she did not see how this mare looked at me with that new found interest afterward.

stryder
Aug. 11, 2009, 02:41 PM
I saw Joseph Nip whip the snot out a young horse back in about 2001. .

In my mind, "whip the snot out of" implies anger or frustration on the part of the clinician. The ensuing description does not support this lead-in sentence. But for those who are challenged in reading for understanding, or don't read the entire description, the take-away will be "Joseph Nip whips young horses." How unfortunate, because it seems the punishment fit the needs of this particular spoiled horse.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 11, 2009, 02:47 PM
Yup!

EqTrainer
Aug. 11, 2009, 03:02 PM
Years ago when I was attending Parelli clinics about every other month and going to a certified instructor's place for play day every week, one thing I got corrected repeatedly was, "STOP NAGGING at that horse!", "Give him a big whack, quite tapping him without getting a response", "You are boring him to death" lol.

It is hard for some people to grasp the concept that one big whack is much kinder to the horse than 100 little bittie taps. It's even harder for some people to grasp the concept that horses like it when you are assertive, assertive but fair, and get it over.

I remember at one clinic, there was this mare that was quite nippy. The mare pushed her gentle owner everywhere. When this mare attempted to get a bite of me and "accidently" got bumped at the nose with my elbow, this woman almost cried. She looked at me like I had just killed that mare. lol. I guess she did not see how this mare looked at me with that new found interest afterward.

This is so true. People will tell you how smart and amazing horses are and then treat them like idiots, who require a million repetitions to learn something. Get a clue, folks... if it takes a million reps YOU are not being clear. If you were clear the first time, for most horses there would never be a second rep required and if so, it would not be soon.

EqTrainer
Aug. 11, 2009, 03:06 PM
I'm sorry, but I would much rather see a horse get a sharp reprimand (and I assume the whole situation lasted less than 30 seconds) and get the horse going forward rather then spend....what.....weeks or months doing the NH and clicker training method. Bad behaviour should be dealt with swiftly, on the spot and it should be made pretty darn clear to the horse what needs to be done (in this case, MOVE FORWARD). Just my personal opinion.

:yes: it appears that many people taking great pleasure in making something simple, long and difficult.

Obviously Oblivious
Aug. 11, 2009, 04:03 PM
Am I the only one who is curious to know who this clinician is?
How many clincians are male, German certified, an international author, have a website, and advertise to be classical??? Two would be Zettl and possibly Gerd H., both were giving clinics recently. Surely it couldn't be either of them. I would suspect Belasik to use some interesting lunging apparatus, but he isn't German certified, although he meets the other criteria.
The OP won't accept PM's, so I can't ask her.

Just a slightly off-topic aside, but in the week I spent at Belasik's farm, and in the many days and weeks my good friend has spent there, we have never seen any 'lunging aparatus' other than a surcingle over the saddle, non-elastic sidereins, a bridle and occasionally a cavesson. He likes a certain surcingle made by some local Amish folks. He seems to really like certain types of equipment, none of it exotic, and he really sticks with those basics.

Now as to the whip and abuse...well, I have a story similar tot he one about the spoiled fancy horse getting a whipping at the gate. ;) My coming 4 yo had started getting balky balky and giving me 'lip' whenever I put leg on him. Kicking at my leg, swishing tail, bucking into canter. He even tried backing out of the arena on me.... My wonderful instructor told me no more tappity tappity tappity with the whip....one (one handed) WHACK and *intend to leave a welt.* It really didn't take too many REAL reinforcements of the leg aids for him to GET IT. He's a sassy pushy naughty thing, but now he moves FOWARD nicely and safely from leg, no balking no bucking, no complaining.

These lessons were down at her farm, and I explained that it was hard for me to bring myself to do the big one-handed whack in the busy arena at my boarding barn, for fear of what 'people would think' of me 'beating my horse.' :eek: She assured me that if applied correctly as intended, I would not have to do it often (at all anymore, really) and it peobably looked a lot better than ineffectively annoying him (or pissing him off) with the whip ad infinitum... She was so right.

twofatponies
Aug. 11, 2009, 04:11 PM
My German trained DH's trail horse (ex dressage, etc lesson horse) is a pretty funny case of "well trained to the whip". DH carries a jumping bat in his boot. We call it the "stick shift". If he just sets his hand on the handle of it she quietly picks up the next gear. No need to ever pull it out, and I can't recall the last time (in years!!!) we've ever even tapped her with a whip (except to kill flies, see below). But she's not afraid of whips - you can ride her while someone is cracking a lunge whip, you can even use the jumping bat as a fly swatter to kill flies on her! You can reach up and scratch her ears with a dressage whip. Somehow she knows exactly what is intended.

MyReality
Aug. 11, 2009, 06:39 PM
I also want to know who he is. Couldn't imagine it is Zettl. I have indeed went to many clinic to his.

I know of many trainers of various discipline to use abusive techniques. It is not about dressage, it is about crazy people.

I also know of even more people, who are even more crazy, who think a horse is a big baby, or the other way around, thought a horse is this supreme intelligent zen master.

This one is funny... I know somebody who has an OTTB. He said the horse loves to be ridden bareback. But when the horse sees the saddle, the horse is reminded of the racing days and become frightened. :lol: Goodness, never crossed his mind the saddle is hurting the poor horse. This is just abuse. (He is indeed a Paralli student.)

slc2
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:29 PM
"it is an art"...."the devotion to the art just isn't there"

I don't think that is it at all. I think it is related to changes in horse breeding. The type of horse is lighter, hotter and these horses react very differently to pillar work.

Legend goes that pillars were NOT invented as art, but to exercise war horses trapped in a fort at the top of a mountain, where there was no room to work them.

Mikolka and others with a more accurate education in equestrian art staunchly maintain that very little of what we see in schools like the Spanish Riding School, was ever done on the battlefield, so who knows if the legend about the mountain top are true.

It's the kind of thing that just gets repeated over and over til people just assume it's true(that dressage movements such as piaffe, passage, capriole are from the battle field). You can say that they have a vested interest in separating themselves from the battlefield to make theirs more of a courtly art. And that's possible. But after actually studying it, especially studying the cavalry itself and the manouvers they taught and used in battle, I agree with Mikolka and others who very firmly maintain dressage grew mostly out of the courtly art, not the battlefield.

meupatdoes
Aug. 11, 2009, 11:36 PM
Legend goes that pillars were NOT invented as art, but to exercise war horses trapped in a fort at the top of a mountain, where there was no room to work them.

omfg


(ETA: Initial response submitted before addition of subsequent paragraphs. Upon reading of subsequent paragraphs, response remains.)

Dressage Art
Aug. 12, 2009, 01:36 AM
It's very important to recognize the difference between the abusive whipping --- from --- "clear, strong whip/spur aid/whack"

"Clear, strong whip/spur aid/whack" should not be an everyday norm - your should be able to teach your horse how to go forward in less than 1 month = and then not much reasons for "clear, strong whip/spur aid/whack" at every ride!

I see riders whacking hard their horses with whips handful/dozen+ times per each ride, HARD... day after day after day after day... it's no longer considered a "clear, strong whip/spur aid/whack" - there is a line when that stops being a sharp correction aid and it becomes HARSH, painful nagging. The same nagging, just with more pain.

Painful nagging is worse than useless nagging.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:18 AM
Well, if that's true, they've been taught wrong, haven't they?

My guess is, they ARE doing a lot of "useless nagging" and are unaware of it. Their instructors need to point the fault out to them, videotaping a ride or two to pinpoint the problem. Once they can control the "useless nagging", the need for frequent hard smacks goes away as the horse relearns a more sensitive response to the aids and the riders learn to make aids that actually MEAN something to the horse, not just flapping legs and hands...

Dressage Art
Aug. 12, 2009, 02:30 AM
Well, if that's true, they've been taught wrong, haven't they?

Don't forget that they CAN be taught "painful nagging" as well ;) if it's repeted too often = it's nagging! Regardless the power/pain level of the aid. Some horses are beaten so often, that they can’t feel it/respond to it anymore.

Solero
Aug. 12, 2009, 05:58 AM
Not quite 2 nosebands and a longeing cavesson, but close. Click to enlarge: http://toffi-images.de/index.php/foto/content/view/thumbnail/248/offset/132

These photos were taken by Mr. Toffi for the German magazine St. Georg, when they printed an article about different nosebands, so this is just a "model" photo and nobody rides the horse like this. At least I hope.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 12, 2009, 01:18 PM
Ah! Thanks for the explanation!

Arizona DQ
Aug. 12, 2009, 05:06 PM
My German trained DH's trail horse (ex dressage, etc lesson horse) is a pretty funny case of "well trained to the whip". DH carries a jumping bat in his boot. We call it the "stick shift". If he just sets his hand on the handle of it she quietly picks up the next gear. No need to ever pull it out, and I can't recall the last time (in years!!!) we've ever even tapped her with a whip (except to kill flies, see below). But she's not afraid of whips - you can ride her while someone is cracking a lunge whip, you can even use the jumping bat as a fly swatter to kill flies on her! You can reach up and scratch her ears with a dressage whip. Somehow she knows exactly what is intended.

At my barn, we call it the "Gas Pedal"...:D Just carrying it gives the one lesson horse some added incentive to be more forward. ;)

I do use my whip to reinforce my leg, when my mare wants to blow me off.... But I also use it to get the flies off her ears, with no problem. The whip can be used in an abusive way as can any other piece of equipment we use on the horse. But in and of itself, it is nothing more than a training aid, IMO.:yes: