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Anyone see 'Horse Torture' Letter in COTH?

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  • #41
    I don't pull either, and I wouldn't do a lip chain, twitch, or blanket clip to the skin to get it done even if I had to. Drugs, sure, because then they are blissfully unaware of the entire process. But really, I find that pulling is way more of a hassle than I want to deal with, so I just don't. I use scissors to trim it, and when I am done it looks pulled.

    But I do have one with a long, thick mane that looks wonderful, and she's out 24/7. The ends get bleached a bit, so those get trimmed off. I just wash and condition it maybe once a month or so (she's only 2). If it's a bit tangled, it gets doused in Show Sheen or something similar. No biggie.

    Comment


    • #42
      I was the braider originally interviewed for the article. We covered a lot of ground that day and I was frankly amazed at the size of the whole article. I find it unfortunate that the restraint portion was so prominent as the number of horses I actually have to twitch in order to pull the mane is quite small. I have probably pulled the manes on 25 horses since I have been here and haven't had to twitch any.

      Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
      Didn't see all the posts on this, but I agree with the letter-writer. It's shocking to discover how few people, it seems, know the potential for pain that a lip-chain provides. <snip>
      The lip chain was never mentioned in the article so I don't know why it has become a focus of the discussion. You did touch on the main point of any of these methods and that is the potential for pain. Bottom line: a horse in a lot of pain rarely stands still so for my purposes, creating a lot of pain would be counterproductive.

      Just my 2 cents about what I think the author was trying to get across:
      1) That there are lines that are being crossed in the article.
      Maybe not for the ego-centric who think it's totally OK to do whatever to the horse, since it's your need for a completely fabricated mane style that's center stage -- and the horse better comply. But, the letter probably rang a bell for those who think that caring for and riding horses are about the best interests of the horse. A short mane? In who's interest is that? Doubtful that it's the horse's...
      Almost nothing we as humans do with horses is in their interest, especially compared to our own. Horses are designed to spend all day walking around with their head's down. They weren't designed to be ridden or to pull a cart or stand in a stall.

      2) That the horse is being restrained/made to hurt (whatever choice of words you'd like) b/c we want something from the horse, and we're going to get it from it no matter the cost.<snip>
      Any good horseman knows that the horse should be approached with integrity and with a win/win attitude. Don't know if that mane-pulling article would make the "good horsemanship" cut
      A bit of drama in the first part here, don't you think? Mane pulling is just like any other training. Make the appropriate response the easiest option.
      I do think it is good for a horse th know, just like other pets or children for that matter, there is a leader and that leader's wishes should be followed. My horses stands to be tacked and have his feet picked. He is at my shoulder when being led and waits for the butt bar to come down before he backs up off the trailer. These are not optional behaviors and my horse does not get an opinion about any of them. There are many paths to God and a good horse person finds the best way to get what they want at the least cost to the horse.

      While horses all have varying degrees of pain threshhold, it's a rare horse that does not learn to stand quietly to have it's mane pulled. As an above poster mentioned, horses who throw a fit about mane pulling are often the same ones who don't stand well and don't respect the personal space of his human.

      I thought the section on 'restraint' did a good job of indicating that there is only a certain point to which you can go before the whole situation is counter productive. As an fyi, I have pinched my arm skin with the clamp because when a friend first showed me the clamp, I didn't imagine it would be all that useful. It's a good pinch, but not intolerable.

      I will note there were three pictures in the article that were not among the ones taken that day and the clamp picture is one of them. My clamp is smaller and not blue, not that that matters particularly. Another was the bungy cord photo, although everything looked completely accurate there, and the clipper blade photo, because they used the wrong half of the blade.

      As was also mentioned in the article, there are horses for whom it is clearly a traumatizing experience and it's best if you plan on pulling the mane while the horse is tranquilized.

      Teaching the horse to have his mane pulled is something best done at home, just like all training. If a horse is having his mane pulled for the first time at a horse show the night before he makes his pre green debut by a braider with ten others to get to, his first experience is not going to be ideal. That said, most braiders are good at pulling the manes in these circumstances because we want to be able to approach the horse on a daily basis and have him stand quietly to be braided. If Al Queda is standing on the ladder, the horse isn't going to care that you just want to braid. He is going to remember his previous negative experience with you.

      If there is anything else anyone wishes to ask me about the article, I'll be happy to respond but I am without regular internet access so it may not be timely.

      Comment


      • #43
        My TB seems OK with mane pulling. I'm sure it's not his favorite pass time (it's not mine either, he has a very thick mane) but he behaves. When I go to pull the mane out he'll pull against me a little bit to try and help the process move faster lol.

        I hate long manes to be honest. I actually just cut his (shh, don't tell) the other day. It'll be halfway down his neck by April (grows like a weed! just like everything else on him) and then I'll pull it so it looks proper and is easier to braid.

        Although, if I pull it or cut it (which, I've only done in the winter out of cold hands and desperation) it stands up and goes every which way so you can't really tell what's going on.


        I have heard of some horses that really detest the process. In that case I don't see why sedation or other methods can't be used.

        Comment


        • #44
          D'n' confused: No kidding that there are certain turnout customs as well as trends and styles in each breed and discipline for the show ring. (And there was no need to imply I don't know how to turn out a horse for the show ring.) But, I think the point is: is the custom and trend/style more important than the horse's wellbeing? What is THE priority? That is the question.

          The horse is shaking his head or slamming back against the x-ties when he sees the mane comb for a reason. That must be registering with you and anyone with horses. How else can he communicate with you? Would you prefer learned helplessness as a response?

          That's OK you don't want to start a new trend. But there is a difference between trend and doing the right thing. I'm sure you can do the right thing. There are ways to get a mane looking very nice. I'm a scissor fan, personally, and those combs with the razor are great. I simply won't get my horse to fit a man-made, trendy look at any cost. Doing it otherwise is ego, not horsemanship.

          NancyHenson: Well, I can't agree that what humans do with horses much of the time is against their interests. To use your own analogy, few 6 year old children want to go to school, but they are made to go, and no one can say that an education (methods aside) is against their interests. But, there is no physical PAIN involved. I happen to believe that correct riding, moderate levels of competition or extra activity in addition to that, and stabling/care that is as close to M. Nature ARE better for the horse than a feral or wild lifestyle. It's a balance, otherwise it tips into exploitation. It's a daily question and consideration.

          Unfortunately, as you indicated, the article was more about restraint methods. You mentioned that a horse can learn to stand for mane pulling. But there was little info on how to teach a horse to do that. Too bad that info wasn't in there (or, maybe it was, and I didn't see it). As well, the examples of what a well-behaved horse should be able to do I agree with. But, remember, putting on a saddle doesn't cause pain (and I hope that if your docile horse suddenly starts fussing when the saddle is lowered, you'll take note) nor does waiting for the butt-bar to be lowered.

          Whether or not pulling a few hairs at a time out of the mane causes pain or not is debatable -- we all know this. Grabbing a big hunk of mane pretty clearly does not hurt (but for horses who fuss at mane on their crest being grabbed, that is a sensitive area and the area where stallions bite in aggression, so that may explain some horses' extreme head-nodding.).

          Not sure about "the drama." I was simply offering an interpretation of the letter-writer's intent. So, maybe it's best to take up this issue of 'drama' with her. Not sure how a fantasy figure got into this discussion, either. Did you mean 'all roads ... to Rome'?

          Also, as someone who works in the media, you as the interview subject have the right to see copy before it goes to print. Otherwise, decline the interview. Any writer with any integrity would want the interviewee on a 'how to' -style article to read the copy, just to ensure accuracy.

          Another tip to what other posters have added: pull fewer hairs, and pull straight up from the neck, toward the ceiling. That seems to keep horses comfortable (well, some, not all).

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
            NancyHenson: Well, I can't agree that what humans do with horses much of the time is against their interests. To use your own analogy, few 6 year old children want to go to school, but they are made to go, and no one can say that an education (methods aside) is against their interests.
            Horses following both their nature and their physiology should spend the day grazing in a herd. Being a beast of burden is putting our own spin on it. Horses in the wild didn't want to be dragged down by wolves either, but it was part of the deal. If one really wants to do right by their horses, they would be pasture puffs 24/7. As far as six year old chldren go, what they want has absolutely nothing to do with what is in their best interests.

            Unfortunately, as you indicated, the article was more about restraint methods.
            Actually, it wasn't more about restraint methods, nor did I say it was. It was a four page article with six pictures. One page and two pictures talked about restraint.

            Not sure about "the drama." I was simply offering an interpretation of the letter-writer's intent. So, maybe it's best to take up this issue of 'drama' with her.

            "That the horse is being restrained/made to hurt (whatever choice of words you'd like) b/c we want something from the horse, and we're going to get it from it no matter the cost."
            This, being your interpretation, I found dramatic. Nowhere has anyone mentioned 'no matter what' and in fact 'no matter what' was indicated in the article as something to be avoided.

            Not sure how a fantasy figure got into this discussion, either. Did you mean 'all roads ... to Rome'?
            No, I meant 'there are many paths to God'. Not sure how an Italian city got into the discusion.


            Also, as someone who works in the media, you as the interview subject have the right to see copy before it goes to print. Otherwise, decline the interview. Any writer with any integrity would want the interviewee on a 'how to' -style article to read the copy, just to ensure accuracy.
            I don't work in the media, I am a braider. If you think the Chronicle handled it incorrectly, perhaps it's best to take it up with them.

            Comment


            • #46
              1) OK... You and I will disagree about what's best for horses. Pasture puffs, I'm assuming with modern veterinary care and care standards, b/c I'm sure you know well the life of a wild horse. I think you are still not understanding what I'm trying to say, I guess, or maybe you are: best interests and what a creature, human or otherwise, wants are often not one and the same.

              2) Sorry, misunderstood. I thought you said in your own post "...I find it unfortunate that the restraint portion was so prominent as the number of horses I actually have to twitch in order to pull the mane is quite small." I thought I was simply reflecting what you had to say yourself. You seemed to be expressing dismay that such a large portion of the article was given over to the restraint methods.

              3) To reply to your comment above: "This, being your interpretation, I found dramatic. Nowhere has anyone mentioned 'no matter what' and in fact 'no matter what' was indicated in the article." Again, Nancy, I was giving what I thought was possible clarity to what the letter-writer was writing, not what I thought YOU were saying.

              4) I leave the paths to God comment to another day...
              5) I never said YOU were part of the media, It was a piece of friendly advice, that bit about the media, and since the article, per your own quote, didn't quite take the angle you maybe wanted, that's all it was.

              I never critiqued the article. I got involved in this post to address whatseemed to be the lack of understanding surrounding the letter-writer's intent, as that was the OP's initial direction with this thread, wasn't it? It was simply an intent to shed some light on the letter writer. It isn't about supporting one POV or another. Please, remember that, Nancy.

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by NancyHenson View Post
                Almost nothing we as humans do with horses is in their interest, especially compared to our own. Horses are designed to spend all day walking around with their head's down. They weren't designed to be ridden or to pull a cart or stand in a stall.
                I'll never understand this counter-argument to saying a particular activity is not in a horse's interest, upping the ante and saying not only is that one activity not in their interest, but it's much worse than you even suggest, with nothing being in their interest.

                Not sure how an Italian city got into the discusion
                .
                It's a common, well-known phrase. Your choice isn't.

                As to being a pasture puff the 'best' thing we could do for a horse, not hardly. That is not in their natures at all.

                Comment


                • #48
                  I wonder what the author thinks of roaching manes?

                  No - never mind. I don't want to know.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Nancy, there ARE many paths to God (a saying even this not particularly religious person is familiar with, but I guess not everyone is) and apparently one of them is through Nutterville.

                    OK... You and I will disagree about what's best for horses. Pasture puffs, I'm assuming with modern veterinary care and care standards, b/c I'm sure you know well the life of a wild horse. I think you are still not understanding what I'm trying to say, I guess, or maybe you are: best interests and what a creature, human or otherwise, wants are often not one and the same.
                    You assume a lot that was never written or implied. I'm quite certain Nancy was bringing up the reasonably well agreed upon point that horses evolved to walk, graze and reproduce. As a perk (not for them of course), they are something that takes a relatively undigestible form of energy (grasses) and turn it into another form of digestable energy (meat) and along the way they are a cog in the wheel of grassland life cycles with roaming grazers. I don't know that there is a lot more to their evolutionary purpose. They did not evolve with much of any of our needs in mind. They didn't evolve to wear a saddle and bridle, carry a pack or human, pull a weight, travel in a collected frame, jump an obstacle, wear shoes, blankets or boots, travel in a trailer for 10 minutes or 10 hours, eat concentrated sources of energy rich food, get tied to anything, or have short manes. Every last one of those things is our choice and let's face it, the horse would probably have been extinct if it was not so useful to us. So you apparently draw a line at restraint for mane pulling. Someone else may draw it at a long trailer trips or stalling a horse for more than 8 hours or a collected frame or wearing shoes and blankets or using rollkur or poling or draw reins. It's all a line and it's all subjective and apparently you are happy with yours. That's all fine and wonderful, but why do you sound like your line is morally superior?
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      The neck clamp turned me off. If a horse doesn't like mane pulling that much I'll just use thinning shears.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        DMK - please remember, I was just trying to shed light on what I think the letter-writer was trying to say. That's all.

                        Don't jump to conclusions about what you think my line is, although I think "at any cost" is a good guideline in life... There is no moral superiority in there. Just a guideline.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Keep in mind that Nancy is often at the showgrounds in the middle of the night, dealing with horses she may or may not know at all, much less well. A certain measure of self defense is necessary in that position. Also, Nancy braids at the country's largest horse shows. Like it or not, appearance matters at that level of the game. This is not the local 4H circuit, or a backyard show. Unconventional alternatives end up looking just like that.

                          I'm a veterinarian with a special interest in anesthesia and analgesia in all species. I braided my way through undergrad and veterinary school. The 3 year old, unsocialized, intact pinto warmblood colt who repeatedly bit my arm and pulled back hard enough to break his shank remains a "favorite". I have always pulled manes, and have encountered very few horses in 25 years of horsemanship for whom mane pulling was intolerable. I don't think it's cruel. As far as how to teach a horse to stand still, there are several ways to do that, and I don't think that necessitates an article. You can have a come to Jesus meeting and declare yourself the boss, or you can use a carrot stick and treats and a clicker if that floats your boat.

                          DMK, I shared your mental image of what must have happened in Middleburg when that letter arrived.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
                            1) I think you are still not understanding what I'm trying to say, I guess, or maybe you are: best interests and what a creature, human or otherwise, wants are often not one and the same.
                            I absulutely agree. However, since horses did not evolve with the purpose of becoming our beasts of burden, their interactions with us are almost all 'unnatural.' The fact that wild horses have a hard life does not change that.

                            2) Sorry, misunderstood. I thought you said in your own post "...I find it unfortunate that the restraint portion was so prominent as the number of horses I actually have to twitch in order to pull the mane is quite small."
                            I did, but for you to then state that more of the article was about restraint is not accurate.

                            3) To reply to your comment above: "This, being your interpretation, I found dramatic. Nowhere has anyone mentioned 'no matter what' and in fact 'no matter what' was indicated in the article." Again, Nancy, I was giving what I thought was possible clarity to what the letter-writer was writing, not what I thought YOU were saying.
                            And since neither one of us is the letter writer...oh, unless you are?, both of our opinions are equally valid.

                            4) I leave the paths to God comment to another day...
                            Google is your friend. It is a rather well known 'saying' that means pretty much the same as 'All roads lead to Rome.'


                            5) I never said YOU were part of the media, It was a piece of friendly advice, that bit about the media, and since the article, per your own quote, didn't quite take the angle you maybe wanted, that's all it was.

                            Here's your quote, which pretty much sounds like you thought I was in the media. Also, as someone who works in the media, you as the interview subject have the right to see copy before it goes to print.

                            I was not in control of the article. I was interviewed. The interviewer asked questions and I answered them. Nothing in the article was incorrect. There was also an entire page about managing thin manes and we spent about five minutes on that area. I would not have expected a full page there, either. I guess that is why I am a braider and not a media person.

                            I never critiqued the article.
                            You didn't?

                            1) That there are lines that are being crossed in the article

                            Don't know if that mane-pulling article would make the "good horsemanship" cut...
                            Nope. No critiquing there.

                            I got involved in this post to address whatseemed to be the lack of understanding surrounding the letter-writer's intent, as that was the OP's initial direction with this thread, wasn't it? It was simply an intent to shed some light on the letter writer. It isn't about supporting one POV or another. Please, remember that, Nancy.
                            And once again, unless you are the letter writer, you have no more knowledge of that intent than anyone else responding here. So your responses, while interesting, do not rise to a higher level of accuracy.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by ddashaq View Post
                              I don't pull either of my horses manes, but not because I think that it is cruel. I think that it is a pain in the @ss so I use scissors, thinning shears, etc to imitate the pulled look. The arab does not like to be pulled, so this works for him and the TB could not care less either way.
                              This is us... I don't have the friggin patience nor time to pull a mane. The Mare hardly has a mane so it's a non issue but the paint has freaked out (she hates the curry too) I typically just roach her mane as she is large pony/ cob beefy build and it suits her. I had a leasee who tried a few times to pull her mane. Peeling the leasee off the roof rafters was not fun. The other 2 get scissors nowadays.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I use a mane rake rather than pulling. I hate pulling manes- never mind the horse, my fingers get really sore!

                                http://www.clippersharp.com/equine/s...ium_slash_fine
                                Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  This is turning into a tit-for-tat; actually it did awhile ago. Again, I was giving an interpretation, not an opinion.

                                  And, yes, I thought the article went where it shouldn't have, but I believe those commments are mostly separate from the 'interpretation of letter' comments.

                                  I am not sure why you are on my case so much, when maybe you should take your comments to the veterinarian(?) who wrote that letter. If you can recall, she was the one who said what she said. I simply offered an interpretation. You may not like it, but it's a free world, and so on.

                                  Yes, I should have included "...coming from a member of the media" or something like that to make that sentence more clear. I apologize. But, again, could you have taken a moment to seek some clarity before assuming all comments are unfriendly? Wouldn't have that saved some effort for everyone?

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by NancyHenson View Post
                                    Google is your friend. It is a rather well known 'saying' that means pretty much the same as 'All roads lead to Rome.'
                                    If you say so. If you have to google something, by definition it's not commonplace.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                                      If you say so. If you have to google something, by definition it's not commonplace.
                                      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No. Perhaps you are just not very well read?

                                      Try this quote on for size, see if it fits:

                                      There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
                                      You can be Horatio, just this once.
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by DMK View Post
                                        BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No. Perhaps you are just not very well read?
                                        No, I don't think so, rather lacd of familiarity with one book in particular that is at 'fault' here. In fact I took the poster's advice and googled the phrase, and lo and behold every reference is to religion, what do you know!

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Oh, for Pete's sake! Get over yourselves! If you don't want to pull your horses' manes, then don't! But don't get all judgey and finger pointy at us that do. I've probably pulled more manes than most anyone here, except for Nancy, and the VAST majority of them don't mind, some only mind because they don't like having ANYTHING done to them other than be fed, and a tiny fraction really object. Well, TS. They have to deal with it if they are going to be hunters. Period. There is no CUTTING of manes you want to braid. There is a method using scissors that is appropriate on a THIN mane that works but it is NOT cutting. If a mane is to be braided, it has to have tapered ends, and you CANNOT get that by cutting, and razoring doesn't work on a thick mane.

                                          Also, why do you complainers think that all manners of restraint HURT? The fact is that they redirect the horses' attention, but not necessarily through pain. That is YOUR interpretation. But again, if you don't want to upset your precious pony, then don't. But there are those of us, like me, who are getting pretty tired of being accused of abuse, or not loving horses, because we want or need our horses to look a certain way. Even if my horses NEVER went to a show, they would have pulled manes, because I like them. They are impeccably cared for, fed, and all of their needs are met. If I want to pull their manes, and it distresses them for 15 minutes 6 times a year or so, too bad.
                                          Laurie

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