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Has anyone ever accused you of "horse abuse" just for being an eventer?

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  • Has anyone ever accused you of "horse abuse" just for being an eventer?

    I posted a picture of a horse jumping an huge Advanced ditch with a high brush, he has beautiful form and is obviously in the middle of clearing it with ease.

    My roommate, who doesn't know much about horses other than riding them on ranches occasionally posted, "Not to get all PC on everyone, but seriously how is this not animal cruelty?"

    When I read that my heckles got raised and I wanted to immediately write a response, but she's the kind of person that judges something and its almost impossible to change her mind. I'm not going to get sucked into fighting with her over the Internet. But I'm not really sure how to talk to her about it in person...I feel really offended. On the one hand, how dare she call my Sport & Passion (and she KNOWS that Eventing is my passion) abuse so casually? On the other, Eventing IS dangerous for both horse and rider. I can't exactly try to tell her that it isn't. I have a feeling if it was a picture of a lower level fence she wouldn't have been so alarmed as to call it "abuse".

    Has anyone ever made a comment like this to you? What did you say?

  • #2
    One of the reasons I deleted my facebook...drama.

    Walk away. It's not worth even the energy you've already put into it.

    Comment


    • #3
      So you show her a picture of a horse hanging from a meat hook (you can find them on the web) and you tell her if not for the people who love horses, like you, more would end up there. Then you tell her how there is no way you could force a horse to jump cross country fences (they can stop you know!) And you tell her how your horse nickers at you when he sees you and how happy and excited he gets when jumping and especially at the start box and how he actually drags you to the trailer when you go for jumping lessons or the like.

      Then you explain to her how any horse could die on any day of colic, a broken limb an accident or of neglect and how few horses ever die on the cross country course. Explain to her the hours you spend taking care of your horse, making sure he is healthy, well-shod, and wears tack that fits and all the things you do that really do make your horse happy (even if the non-horse person can't see that) Yes, horses and other animals really do have these emotions!

      Then explain to her how horses have been bred for this sport and others and that if no one cared enough about horses to want to ride them and have them as companions and such most would end their lives hanging from meat hooks.

      I could go on but I have to go feed my horses. I am feeding and turning out late because the bugs are bad and I don't want them to get too bitten up.

      I live for them. Don't you?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
        One of the reasons I deleted my facebook...drama.

        Walk away. It's not worth even the energy you've already put into it.
        Its true. I only have around 20 horsey people and 500+ non horsey folk. I think most of my posts make little to no sense to the majority of my friends...

        I didn't respond because I don't want to get roped into an argument when she's likely already decided in her mind that jumping something that high IS horse abuse. But, she might bring it up to me (she lives with me, and I think she loves a "debate"). To not discuss it with her will just reinforce that she's right, especially since every other thing we've ever disagreed about I've debated quite strongly with her.

        I'm way too sensitive, I can't stop thinking about it! Part of me doesn't even want to be friends with someone who thinks the thing I revolve around my life around is horse abuse- but maybe that's silly, since I've known her/lived with her for years. I'll probably calm down about it given time. Really glad that I'm leaving at 5:30am for Inavale and will be surrounded by eventers the whole weekend.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, I was at a conference and started talking to a fellow delegate who asked me what I did in my spare time. I told him I rode horses. He gave me a really funny look then told me he was a vegetarian who believed in animal rights (as opposed to 'welfare') and thought that there should be no ownership of animals at all. He believed they should be set free!! Needless to say this conversation did not go far at all!
          Blugal

          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post

            I live for them. Don't you?
            I do, yes. I know she hasn't felt/experienced those things and she knows nothing about horses. It's sad, really, to let her go on feeling that some of the most loved, doted on, happy animals are being "abused" while she seems to idealize ranch horses. If some QH on a farm somewhere didn't have proper vet care, exercise, or attention, she'd probably not think it was abuse at all. Really, big jump doesn't = horse abuse. Improper training techniques or care does, regardless of the discipline.

            Part of the problem has to do with this particular girl and her personality. But unfortunately she's not the only one with her opinion. I usually try not to think about it and stay in my Happy Eventing Bubble.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by solstince View Post
              To not discuss it with her will just reinforce that she's right, especially since every other thing we've ever disagreed about I've debated quite strongly with her.
              Nah. It just reinforces that it isn't even worth discussing.

              If it's really that big of an issue, I can't imagine how you've been living with her. She can't argue if you don't engage, so... don't.

              Or b!tch her out and get a new room mate.


              I'll be hauling down to Inavale tomorrow after I get off work.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                Nah. It just reinforces that it isn't even worth discussing.

                If it's really that big of an issue, I can't imagine how you've been living with her. She can't argue if you don't engage, so... don't.

                Or b!tch her out and get a new room mate.


                I'll be hauling down to Inavale tomorrow after I get off work.
                She's never said anything before! I think she's just simple-minded about it. Like, when I talk about riding my horse and jumping him she's like "oh cool that sounds fun". But when she sees and Advanced horse doing its thing, all the sudden she has decided its horse abuse because the jump looks Really Big.

                Fortunately, I'm moving to England at the end of August. I'll start moving my stuff out and spending less and less time there soon. I'm rather tired of living with this roommate for other, non-related issues- mostly her general negative attitude. She's really funny/fun, but deep down seems to be angry about everything.

                Yay, Inavale! If you see a black blur with a 5'10 20something on it, it's probably me and my OTTB.

                Comment


                • #9
                  She sounds like an ignorant asshat with no manners. Must be one helluva roommate.

                  Make it known her politics are not welcome on your page. Unfriend or block her as necessary.

                  Life is too short to waste time defending your sport on FB. Really. It is.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nobody that I'd bother continuing a conversation with.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would delete her comment and leave it at that.
                      Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My SO knows how I keep my horses. He knows they are doted upon and loved. He knows how much time and money I dump into them, and I think he feels that they are happy. He still cringes when he sees me ride. He makes horrid faces he thinks I don't see when I put a bit in a mouth. He doesn't seem too thrilled to hear about galloping up and down hill and dale, or jumping fences, or even asking for a proper frame. He has said before that he's not entirely comfortable with people riding horses, although he does see the need for them to do something other than be giant, expensive pets. He doesn't really talk about his feelings much, and frankly, I don't think he even knows what to make of it all. I think some people are just put off at the notion of "making" and animal do anything they don't want to do, especially if that something may be dangerous.
                        "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                        http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by solstince View Post
                          I'm rather tired of living with this roommate for other, non-related issues- mostly her general negative attitude. She's really funny/fun, but deep down seems to be angry about everything.
                          Ughhk, don't roommates like that suck? I'm sorry you have to deal with her insecurities.

                          Don't let her sour attitude impact you too much. Good luck with your upcoming move!
                          Every one of them had that look of a girl infatuated with horses, the happy, fated look of a passenger setting sail on the Titanic.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Kinnip,
                            I hope your SO has many, many, many other redeeming qualities.

                            Or perhaps he is just naive about what true abuse is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by solstince View Post
                              Yay, Inavale! If you see a black blur with a 5'10 20something on it, it's probably me and my OTTB.

                              Bahaha! As I mentioned on the Inavale thread, if you need someone to video just let me know your ride times and what ring you'll be in for dressage - our times should be far enough apart that it won't cross my schedule.

                              Just watch for the redheaded jekyll-&-hyde with extra chrome!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If it makes you feel better, when I was showing Morgans, I took my gelding (who could grow tail like no other) to a 4-H show. His tail dragged the ground at this point, and I got screamed at, literally screamed at, by a parent about how I was abusing my horse because he had a long tail. My response was, "Let me guess, you're stuck with a horse that can't grow a tail?" That ended that right then and there. People need to mind their own business. My gelding had been wormed, seen regular farrier/vet work, well fed (spoiled), and the tail was abuse to her. Not the underweight horse eight feed away who desperately needed a farrier.
                                Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  [QUOTE=Blugal;5678298]Yes, I was at a conference and started talking to a fellow delegate who asked me what I did in my spare time. I told him I rode horses. He gave me a really funny look then told me he was a vegetarian who believed in animal rights (as opposed to 'welfare') and thought that there should be no ownership of animals at all. He believed they should be set free!! QUOTE]

                                  BTDT, and I'm not an eventer. One of my good friends in law school was a vegan and had a former career as a "human circus" performer, i.e. a circus that only included people as a political statement. She did not think it was appropriate to domesticate animals.

                                  We were good pals, she was used to people not agreeing with her and I liked her for her dedication and her sense of humor. I try not to let politics get in the way of friendships -- I don't like it when people judge me for my views and try to do the same for others. Good people come with all sorts of weird beliefs.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by FlightCheck View Post
                                    Kinnip,
                                    I hope your SO has many, many, many other redeeming qualities.

                                    Or perhaps he is just naive about what true abuse is.
                                    He does. He's just a soft touch with the critters. He can deal with it all conceptually, but when the rubber hits the road, he just can't tough it out. He was all on board for breeding and slaughtering our own heritage poultry...until it came time for the slaughtering part.
                                    He's getting better though. He used to be really put off when I took the spank stick to my main ride, an OTTB with Halo a little too close. Since then, said OTTB has taught him just what horses are capable of when they decide to act out. He's all for the spank stick now, as long as I'm the one using it. He was tossed, with teeth, clean across the barn aisle, and didn't raise a hand to that horse. I didn't arrive until it was too late to make a point.
                                    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                                    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I've said this before and I'll say it again and probably again and again. People who are arrogant enough to assume that they have the right to set standards of behavior for others and then walk around as self -appointed judges aren't worth my time. In fact, they really kind of piss me off. I'm not saying there isn't right or wrong or that they aren't entitled to their opinions, but automatically assuming the moral high ground is pretty slippery stuff. Abuse? For crying out loud, that's ridiculous. I want to be reincarnated as an event horse with owners like me and my wife. Some people can be educated, I like to think a lot of hostility and prejudice is just plain ignorance.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        solstince: First off- Let's see the pic. Not because any of us here are going to think it's horse abuse, but because we all love eventing pics!

                                        Secondly- I have had reasonable discussions about the difficulty of eventing being on par with horse racing as far as potential abuse. I think that your room mate's equestrian education is seriously lacking, and a conversation about it will likely leave you feeling nothing but frustrated.

                                        I think horses that are not properly conditioned and/or have not been given adequate time at lower levels gaining confidence and the ability to judge different kinds of challenging fences/terrain are arguably 'abused'..

                                        Comment

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