I was watching a western intercollegiate show this weekend; one of the ponies that was put in the lineup was DEAD LAME (I would say at least a 4 out of 5). Instead of being pulled, the pony was used in several classes. When some of the coaches complained, host school says that horse is severely arthritic, and isn't going to get worse or better by being ridden, so they aren't going to pull him. Pony continues to limp through four or five classes before finally being pulled in the second to last class of the day. Someone overheard someone from the host school saying "Oh, he's dead lame, but we just bute the hell out of him and he just keeps trucking!"
As a horseperson and a spectator of the event (not a coach, or even one of the team-members competing) I was actually OFFENDED that they would use this pony. I am considering writing a letter to the IHSA, including a video that I took of the pony in one of his classes. (That I will not hesitate to post once I upload it onto my desktop)
"My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton
I don't get why any horse show regulations permit showing a lame animal. IMHO, all horse show judges should be required to immediately disqualify a lame horse, as is the case in dog shows. (And any pain-reliever or other medication that would cover up a limp is illegal in dog shows, although it's difficult to catch, of course.)
Don't any horse show associations address in their regulations showing a lame horse? Do any of them disqualify lame animals?
Please note that I certainly dont think it is right to compete a horse that is in pain, but I would have to ask myself what kind of future this horse has if it does not work.
Would it be retired to a nice pasture? Or will it be sent to the killers?
Remember that light to moderate work is GOOD for arthritis, though i don't know if an occasional lower level competition would be considered moderate work. Probably not.
Could you tell if the horse was resistant to jump? Was there horrendous ear pinning or tail wringing?
I am dealing with a beloved arthritic, navicular horse right now. More than one vet has told me to keep him in work. I am dealing with my own arthritis. My doctor is insistant that i do weight bearing exercise, even if there are days when i REALLY dont want to.
I am not surprised. The IHSA team at my college ran horses into the ground. And then dumped them at the auction or gave them to the research unit. The team would go to a show and not have anyone run by the barn to refill water buckets in 100+ heat. They also had riders who would jump the crap out of a horse and toss him sweaty into his corral and not make sure that he had water. (We would often come across these horses later in the day with bone-dry water buckets.) They rode a horse who was suffering from laminitis, and when the rest of the barn staff pointed it out to them they just commented "oh thats why she looked so off".
The quality of each IHSA program and the quality of care the horses get depends on how responsible the current student president unless they have a really involved advisor.
As a horseman, I am appalled..as a parent of a daughter who is considering joining the IHSA next year, it makes me want to reconsider her doing so. I am also angry that the rider would continue to ride this poor horse..she should have gotten off and refused to ride him.
IHSA stands for Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. The colleges who have riding teams belong to it...for students to ride and show during college.
I've been to a few local ones in CT....and the horses were usually split half and half: Half of the horses should have been retired due to lameness, the other half needed serious training and more experienced riders and better fitting tack. Half would be limping badly...the other half would be zooming around head held high giving their white knuckled riders the ride of their lives.
I do give credit to some of the IHSA riders who are getting on a plethora of unknown and usually nutty-acting horses, especially considering the low quality of trainers/coaches and the apparent lack of experience many of the riders have. My middle daughter went to Fairfield U...one of her dorm-mates joined the riding team. Great kid...she loved horses and riding but was a rank greenie at it. I can't believe some of the horses they blithely stuck this child on! I've trained on and off for years and there were horses I would get on without a suit of armor. That she survived was a miracle. And I cringed all through the classes full of heab bobbing lame horses...and I made sure it was known that these horses were dead lame. The judges didn't care...the coaches didn't care...most of the students didn't know any better or were just relieved not to be on any fire-breathing lunatic horses, so were glad to get a lame one.
It's true though, what else are these horses going to do? The previous owners never came to see how their horses were doing...more than one coach told me that the horses they get donated were almost all either lame, had health issues or were difficult rides. And the coaches never even got calls or e-mails from the owners who donated them to see how the horses were doing.
Around here...saying you're donating your horse to a college isn't much better than saying you're taking it to auction. I'd euth any of my own horses before I'd donate one to a college. Even at UCONN I've seen horses stalled with "standing wraps" that looked like a 3 year old wrapped them. One was probably in danger of losing it's hoof...it was that tight and wrapped not only backwards but had packing tape wrapped around it so tight from hoof to body that it couldn't bend it's knee. I have no idea who they used to allow to do the wrapping there...it was scary.
That horse in that video is *way* too lame to be ridden.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
[QUOTE=LearnToFly;2965716]"Oh, he's dead lame, but we just bute the hell out of him and he just keeps trucking!" QUOTE]
If he was heavily buted when the video was shot and still limped that profoundly one has to wonder how sore he is today. What a stoic horse to silently carry his pain- no tail wringing, no head tossing, no bucking.