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  1. #1
    h_alter_horse Guest

    Default WWYD: boarder who "trains" in a way that makes you sick

    I love my barn. My horses are happy. Well fed, needs met. Get along great with the owner. Quiet barn, many horses, few boarders (each of us seem to have multiples). We all generally get along well. All of varied disciplines, and all respectful.

    However we have a newish boarder. And his methods of horse training are making me ill. why must he tie up his horse in his stall for 5 hours, 5 days a week, with tack on (bridle, bosal, saddle), and then come out and ride it? he tries to make it dance to music, and the poor horse gets hit a lot. granted, he does not run it to death. but the horse is so nervous and jittery, that he sweats up a storm, and is exhausted.

    He is of a different culture, and i've been told he doesn't know any better, it is just what he knows.

    So yesterday I had a chance to talk to him. I wasn't wanting to be mean, but really, I wanted to understand the reasoning behind the method. Basically, he told me as best he could (language barrier) that he feels that it is good for the stomach, the horse doesn't bloat on too much hay and water, and that he (the horse) has to know he's working during the day. And plus, after being tied up he's tired and works better in the arena.

    So this guy is not intentionally being cruel- he really thinks what he's doing is OK.

    All other things- the horse is pretty well fed when not tied up, stall always kept nice and neat. He is a self care boarder. the horse also gets 2 days off a week. So all is not wrong. The guy told me he has to sell the horse, not to get another- he said he loves his horse but he's too expensive. And when looking at the full picture- he does seem to really care for the horse.

    But do I just turn a blind eye and go about my business? I'm not the only one who feels this way- as boarders, we've all spoken to barn owner about it.

    I know there are people who teach horses how to wear tack in their stalls, or how to tie- or whatever. I'm ok with that as long as it is done correctly. But this schedule seems over the top, plus the horse is quivering. Doesn't seem right.

    if you are a barn owner- would you just kick the person out? what if you needed the board? but what if the "good" boarders felt the need to leave because they couldn't stomach it anymore?

    and if you are a boarder, would you just turn a blind eye and go about your business? would it compel you to find another barn?



  2. #2
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    May. 13, 2008
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    How soon is he planning on selling the horse? It might be helpful to go about it as wanting to help him sell the horse - I'd gently suggest that most potential buyers in our society might not understand his methods, and he would have a better chance of selling the horse if he used more "conventional" training methods? I'm not sure if that would help at all... but it's one angle to take.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 1, 2005
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    maryland
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    Here is the reality:

    Unless he is doing something that is clearly illegal in your state, nobody can make him stop. The best you might be able to do is get the BO to ask him to leave (and the BO may not). You might be able to aruge a safety angle, sharing your concerns with the BO about a tacked up horse who can get tangled up when left in his stall all day?

    To some people, horses are just objects. They're property. They a means to an end. But to these people the horses aren't capable of suffering or perhaps the suffering is simply inconsequential. You're not going to get someone like that to change if he doesn't want to.



  4. #4
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    What do you mean he is tied up during the day? Do you mean he is just tacked up and tied at a normal length rope (by the way trail horses do this all the time is really doesn't hurt them) or do you mean he is tied up, as in his head is tied at an unnaturally high position (like what some of the bad western trainers do so their pleasure horses will trot around with their nose on the ground). There is a huge difference! And while I don't tie my horses tacked up for extended periods of time, it really doesn't hurt the horse either. As for the hitting while ridden and other things can't say much there as I've never seen it. Does the horse come in marked up daily (if so AC can investigate) or does he just use the whip more then you. There can be variations, it sounds like he genuinely cares about the horse so if you feel compelled to confront him I would use the since you are selling him angle and not ridicule how he does things.



  5. #5
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    Jan. 16, 2007
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    Interesting situation. Since the guy does take care of the horse's basic needs, and he is from a different culture, as you mention--ie, he's not just uncaring, ignorant or abusive, then what you really have here is a strong difference of opinion on what is right for the horse.

    The question arises how much we know about horses in our culture vs how much some other cultures know or have retained of centuries of horsemanship. We do have the benefit of science, but science is a moving target and things we have thought were right have turned out to be incorrect when investigated thoroughly.

    People have been working with horses for a long long time, and there is a wealth of accumulated wisdom--some of it is right and some is wrong. The question is always what's what, and we can only do our best to educate ourselves and yet question too.

    I guess what I'm saying is, there are people who think many things that are done to horses in other disciplines are cruel or harmful things. An argument can be made against common practices in almost every horse sport, from eventing to dressage to racing to you name it.

    I think the thing to do is keep discussion open and respectful, and be aware that while he may learn from you, it's possible you might also learn from him and his culture.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 28, 2006
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    What type of horse is it? I think this probably should be in the MYOB area of things. Certain breeds have different training standards- and just because you do not agree with it, does not make it wrong.He may think people who body clip are crazy and that it is not a nice thing to do with the horse. I know alot of the columbian and hispanic based gaited breeds follow a whole different regime than what we do here.... in my opinion tyeing a horse up in its stall for several hours a ay tacked up is not abusive. Quarter horse halter breeders do it all the time-in fact those horses rarely get out of their stalls other than to be ran on the longe line for about 20 minutes a couple times a day- then they are tied in their stalls with neoprene sweat bands on to make them sweat out certain areas- they are tied for hours, then groomed, and put back in the stalls...People seem to think that is ok....



  7. #7
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    Jun. 29, 2005
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    Sounds like a MYOB situation to me, though I wouldn't like seeing the poor, nervous horse treated that way, either.

    I don't know why you'd consider finding another barn. Doing so wouldn't help the other guy's horse, and it might hurt yours.
    Training and campaigning Barb endurance horses at The Barb Wire.



  8. #8
    h_alter_horse Guest

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    I hear you all- and I am appreciative of your view points. And i'm not here to make it sound like this guy is evil. The guy is nice, and yes, he does like his horse, and he does meet its basic needs. I am here to figure out what i do...either a combination of myob and coping mechanisms or leave.

    I was doing ok dealing with the situation and i can respectfully have a conversation with him. I think what is bringing this up for me is that a friend came out to the barn yesterday and saw the horse tied up. I explained to her what I knew, and she looked at me, appalled that I'd keep a horse in a barn who was treated in such a manner. So i guess I'm feeling a little hurt, because I too, don't agree with the practices going on.

    To answer some questions:

    There is a high line in the stall from one corner to the other (front left back right) (very high- 10-14 ft up. The horse is tied from the knot under the bosal to the line. the line tied to the high line cannot move, so the horse cannot move around his stall or anything. his rear is facing the front of the stall, in the front right corner.

    He's that way 5 days a week for 5-6 hours a day. he's then taken out and ridden for a half an hour.

    Regarding the smacking. its a pretty loud smack, on the neck it sounds like, with the crop. No, he does not leave marks. but yes, the horse is exhausted and nervous trying to learn this dancing thing.

    The horse is a quarter horse. He just turned 3.



  9. #9
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    Well personally I have more issue with him doing that much with a 3 year old then any of the training practices you mentioned.



  10. #10
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    I know plenty of people of my very own culture who think leaving a horse tacked in a stall for hours with his head tied to his saddle so that he's looking backwards is a great way to train a horse. In fact, I know people who will pay other people to do this to their horses and call it "training" with a straight face.

    Do I think it's counter-productive and abusive? Yep. But can I do anything about it? Well, no, not unless they try doing it at my barn. Then I would boot their @$$ off the place so fast their head would spin.

    My point being, I think when you board you have to leave decisions on what's allowed at the barn to the BO. Otherwise you'll drive yourself nuts. But if it gets to the point where you dread going to the barn because you have to watch something that upsets you, then I suppose you have to move. In that case, I think you should tell the BO why you're going.
    Analytical thinking is the first casualty when opposing sides polarize, and that shows lack of common sense on both sides.
    Denny Emerson



  11. #11
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    This sounds like typical Mexican cowboy training. It goes on all the time in every Mexican cowboy barn in my area. I don't like it, it's not my cup of tea, I would not allow it in my barn, but...it really is a M.Y.O.B = sorry dear



  12. #12
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    Horses stand tied in straight stalls for far longer than 5 hours a day. If his head is allowed to be at a natural angle, and is allowed some movement the high line is actually safer than something he might get a leg over.

    No, it's not ideal, but is it harder/crueler/whatever than a horse who works for a living on a farm pulling a wagon for several hours at day?

    He rides his horse for half an hour, it is tied in the stall for 6 hours, it has 17.5 hours in a day to do as it likes.

    My horses spend most of their "free" time standing in one place. They aren't tied there but they don't move around a whole lot.

    I think you might find plenty of "smacking" going on in all kinds of disciplines (dressage comes to mind - lots of use of the whip teaching a horse to piaffe and not light tapping) under the guise of training.

    It sounds like he actualy does have the horse's best interest in mind if he keeps it at a nice barn, keeps the stall clean and knows he may not be able to afford it in the future.



  13. #13
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    I would agree this is not your business.



  14. #14
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    I've known people who think that riding in just draw reins [read: no other reins] with their horse's head cranked into their chest is good training. I don't agree with it, but I wouldn't have moved barns just because of it, either. Another person at the same barn had taught his crazy-a$$ TB how to rear and asked it to rear frequently.
    Yet another person wore big spurs and used them a little harshly IMO. And yet another would smack their horse for twitching in the cross ties.
    I did end up leaving that boarding barn because I was unhappy with the arena maintenance and general facilities. What other people did with their horses was none of my business. I didn't agree with pretty much anything that they did, but I kept my mouth shut and focused on my own horses, not theirs.

    People may think that body clipping is cruel, or that the fact that my pony doesn't get turn out is cruel, or they may not agree with how I disipline her, but the bottom line is that it is not their business what I do with her, especially since she is well cared for. And it is not my business what they do with their horses. With that said, if the horse is being physically abused [and I mean actual abuse, not just some training method you don't like] or neglected, then someone needs to put their foot down. If not, then it's not your problem.
    Rebel Without Cash!



  15. #15
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    As someone else stated. Horses in straight/standing stalls are tied this way all night/day.

    I guess it is a matter as what you find abusive. I find leaving a show horse in its stall 24/7 far more abusive. And I could go on to mention other disciplines, but won't.

    As long as the horse has food, water, shelter and is not beaten to the point of bleeding...I think it is a matter to each his own.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilary View Post
    My horses spend most of their "free" time standing in one place. They aren't tied there but they don't move around a whole lot.
    I don't know many horses who prefer to stand in a stall with their head in the back corner. Horses are social and prey animals, they need to see what's going on and who's around. This horse is mentally abused.



  17. #17
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    Moreso than a horse who is stalled 24/7? The OP doesn't mention if this horse is ever turned out.

    Horses in straight stalls are not reallly allowed to socialize either.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaltagor View Post
    I don't know many horses who prefer to stand in a stall with their head in the back corner. Horses are social and prey animals, they need to see what's going on and who's around. This horse is mentally abused.
    Good thing you haven't met my horse. He gets ample turn out (goes out all night), gets ridden about an hour a day, but if he's in his stall he stands in almost the exact position the OP stated his horse is tied. I never thought Tango was mentally abused, I always thought he preferred to stand like that. He would rather not socialize with his neighbors (he is the king of the barn after all and has no use socializing with the peasants), actually most of the horses stand like that to rest come to think of it. Tieing the horse like that for 5 hours is hardly abusive in itself.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    I would MYOB. While you or I may not agree, IMO it doesn't sound like he is neglecting or abusing his horse and I'd let it go. This might be the common training method where he's from or something and is probally all he knows.
    Last edited by Milocalwinnings; Nov. 13, 2008 at 06:33 PM.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  20. #20
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    I am on the board of directors for an organization that works with Animal Control on horse neglect/abuse cases. What you are describing is common. It goes on where I live all the time and keeps Animal Control very busy responding to complaints. Please check with local AC and find out what, if any, ordinances or laws apply to this. For example, here in CA, four charreada events (including tripping and horse dancing) are illegal.

    As others have pointed out, there are many abusive practices out there that are commonly accepted, like cranking a horse round with draw reins for an hour straight (just saw that done by a BN dressage trainer -- made me ill) or keeping a horse in a box stall 24/7 without turnout.

    Best bet is to educate your fellow boarder as best you can. Meantime, don't MYOB. Here is an example of a situation where too many people looked the other way:

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article...NEWS/810240316
    Bloomfield couple on trial for abuse in horse's death | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA



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