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Tennessee Walking Horse Soring Issue *Update post 1*

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  • Not Roy, but article in Chattanoogan. I couldn't get it to copy, but link below.

    http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/8/6...-To-Write.aspx

    Comment


    • Historically, we let our lawmakers generate and enact social; change in our country, we usually sit on the fringes to either agree or disagree. Now think about this next questions,

      In your lifetime how many things have you actually be involved with that demands social change?

      I am here today to say, each one of you that shared n item, commented and even further wrote an email to Judge Mattice in re; Jackie McConnell ~~~~ has effected change.
      ...
      This article is your conformation! I want you to read Judge Mattice’s statements, weigh his resolve and then do something nice for yourself as you have impacted his decisions. Go buy yourself and ice cream cone.

      Now we are going to do it ONE MORE TIME!

      I want you to once again write Judge Mattice and once again tell him what you think….

      On your email in the subject line, whatever you place in that box add #2 after the subject~~~or the number of times you have written him.

      Trial is coming and we want to renew our resolve.

      I called and talked to the very pleasant Judge’s Clerk to ask her how many emails the judge may have gotten, she said thousands; I asked about countries, she said several even letters.

      And here’s the neat thing I found out from her, she said the judges reads each and every one, and sends a copy to every defendants lawyer and the prosecution, and it becomes a part of their official file.

      So please, one more pus, share this, ask your group of friends to send in an email.

      Remember, be polite, address him as Honorable Sir; try not to use profanity, speak clear and concise, try not to be angry, rather strong in your resolve of what you feel and think., let’s not alienate him, praise himd and the legal system in Chattanooga for taking the lead in sending the message that if you Abuse or Sore horses, you will be talking to a judge.

      Might I suggest using the word deterrent as to why you would like to see whatever sentencing you deem necessary.

      Pat yourself on the back folks, youo done did good!

      Harry S. Mattice, Jr., United States District Judge
      900 Georgia Avenue, Room 104
      Chattanooga TN 37402
      Phone: (423)752-5184
      mattice_chambers@tned.uscourts.gov

      From Champayne Watchout's Facebook page

      Comment


      • More from the Chattanoogan:

        http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/8/7...anges-For.aspx

        Comment


        • Copied it for you:

          http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/8/6...-To-Write.aspx

          Judge Orders Defendant To Write Newspaper Article About Horse Soring; Mays Released After Serving 4 Months
          Monday, August 06, 2012

          Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday morning ordered a man caught horse "soring" to write a newspaper article about the topic as part of his probation.

          Judge Mattice directed John Mays to "describe the different types and the immediate and long-term effects it brings on the horses."

          He said he also should report "who seeks out" the practice of applying caustic agents and other methods to the feet of Tennessee Walking Horses so they will walk with an exaggerated gait at horse shows - mainly held at Shelbyville, Tn.


          The judge said Mays should tell "how widespread" a practice is horse soring.

          Mays was arrested along with several others, including Jackie McConnell - West Tennessee horse trainer who was caught abusing a horse on a secretly-taped video that got widespread publicity.

          Mays served almost four months in jail, though it was mainly because he earlier violated the terms of his probation. His sentencing range was zero-6 months. Prosecutors had recommended a "downward departure" for him as part of his cooperation in the case.

          Judge Mattice allowed him to be released on time served. He lives in Mississippi and was awaiting a ride home from his aunt, who did not arrive in time for the sentencing. Mays will be on probation for a year.

          Mays had little to say at the hearing. Asked by Judge Mattice if he was surprised to be caught up in such a situation, he said, "It kind of surprised me too. I never thought it would be like this." Judge Mattice said, "That's an understatement."

          Prosecutor Steve Neff noted that the federal Horse Protection Act has been on the books since 1970, but no one had been charged under it until a year and a half ago.

          He said that prosecution out of Chattanooga "has created a domino effect in all sorts of avenues."

          Due to national publicity, he said there had been cries for reform of the walking horse industry, "and hopefully it will continue."

          Prosecutor Neff said he had heard from numerous horse lovers on the topic, and "I'm sure the court has too."

          Judge Mattice said, "I've heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of people. I hope they understand that the court doesn't make the laws. That happens in the large building with the dome on it."

          He and prosecutor Neff both noted that the current federal horse protection law carries little prison time.

          But they said that new attention to the law has brought a major focus on treatment of horses and "hopefully will start creating a change in the culture."
          from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

          Comment


          • Originally posted by walknsound View Post
            Humane Society Asks Changes For Upcoming Walking Horse Celebration
            Tuesday, August 07, 2012

            With just weeks left before the 2012 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, Tn., The Humane Society of the United States said it is calling on industry organizers "to implement five key changes that would help protect horses and restore the credibility of the walking horse industry," officials said Tuesday.

            Humane Society officials said, "The sport continues to be undermined by the illegal practice of 'soring'—the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated high-stepping gait to gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. In a letter to the Celebration’s board of directors, The HSUS offered to work alongside them to curb horse abuse and ensure that the show competition could continue in a way that dramatically improved the public transparency and the welfare of horses."


            “The Celebration’s board has the authority to set appropriately high standards and policies to protect the welfare of the horses and turn the Tennessee walking horse competition into something worth celebrating,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States stands ready and willing to monitor and support the Celebration if the board implements changes. The public will not accept rampant cruelty to show horses, and it’s time for the show’s organizers and community to kick out the scofflaws and adopt meaningful reforms.”

            Humane Society officials said, "The need for change, and for the Celebration to take an unequivocal stand against soring, has never been more urgent. The HSUS’ undercover investigation earlier this year of well-known trainer Jackie McConnell revealed that trainers can continue to sore horses and enter them into shows undetected, even though McConnell has been issued a federal disqualification. The HSUS investigator documented McConnell soring Moody Star, the winner of the 2010 Celebration Reserve World Grand Champion. The investigation drew national attention and led to public outrage over the continued practice of soring despite the practice being outlawed for more than 40 years by the federal Horse Protection Act."

            In its letter, The HSUS called for the following five reforms "which would return the reputation of this magnificent animal and this sport to one of reverence and respect":

            FOR THE HORSE: Eliminate horses from competition, and from any property owned, leased or used by Celebration, Inc. if there is evidence of the application of one of several common soring techniques, including the use of all stacks, action devices or bands; the use of shoes weighing more than two pounds; the use of tail braces which require the tail to be cut; and the riding of two year olds under saddle.
            FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROCESS: Exclude any show officials from participation (including judges, DQPs, veterinarians, farriers) who have personally been cited for an HPA violation within the past five years.
            FOR THE HONOR OF THE SPORT: Rescind the title, prizes and other awards of any entry that has been found to be in violation of the HPA (including the use of prohibited foreign substances) following his/her performance.
            FOR THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PUBLIC: In addition to the inspection procedures required by USDA regulations, randomly pull the shoes of at least 20 percent of all entries throughout the show, and of the top two placing horses in every championship class, examine the horses’ hooves for evidence of intentional soring. This examination should be overseen by a licensed veterinarian recommended by AAEP and a farrier recommended by the American Farriers Association, neither of whom have any ties to the Tennessee walking horse industry nor any history of HPA violations. In any case in which soring of the hoof is suspected, disqualify the horse, rider and trainer until such time as a final determination is made as to whether the HPA has been violated.
            FOR TRANSPARENCY of CHANGE: Prohibit the use of all stall drapes, or other materials designed to prevent visual inspection of property owned, leased or used by Celebration, Inc. on which horses or other personal property are held or kept during the event.

            The HSUS sent the list of "key needed reforms" in a letter to the Celebration’s board of directors nearly one month ago, and the board has not yet responded, it was stated.
            from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

            Comment


            • The info on Judge Mattice is incrediblle.

              Preacher man: More than anyone else involved in this - I really want this to happen in your lifetime. You and your family really stood up when there was little to no support for it. History will remember you kindly and with high honor. I am sure of it.
              from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

              Comment


              • Originally posted by hurleycane View Post
                Copied it for you:

                http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/8/6...-To-Write.aspx

                Judge Orders Defendant To Write Newspaper Article About Horse Soring; Mays Released After Serving 4 Months
                Monday, August 06, 2012

                Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday morning ordered a man caught horse "soring" to write a newspaper article about the topic as part of his probation.

                Judge Mattice directed John Mays to "describe the different types and the immediate and long-term effects it brings on the horses."

                He said he also should report "who seeks out" the practice of applying caustic agents and other methods to the feet of Tennessee Walking Horses so they will walk with an exaggerated gait at horse shows - mainly held at Shelbyville, Tn.


                The judge said Mays should tell "how widespread" a practice is horse soring.

                Mays was arrested along with several others, including Jackie McConnell - West Tennessee horse trainer who was caught abusing a horse on a secretly-taped video that got widespread publicity.

                Mays served almost four months in jail, though it was mainly because he earlier violated the terms of his probation. His sentencing range was zero-6 months. Prosecutors had recommended a "downward departure" for him as part of his cooperation in the case.

                Judge Mattice allowed him to be released on time served. He lives in Mississippi and was awaiting a ride home from his aunt, who did not arrive in time for the sentencing. Mays will be on probation for a year.

                Mays had little to say at the hearing. Asked by Judge Mattice if he was surprised to be caught up in such a situation, he said, "It kind of surprised me too. I never thought it would be like this." Judge Mattice said, "That's an understatement."

                Prosecutor Steve Neff noted that the federal Horse Protection Act has been on the books since 1970, but no one had been charged under it until a year and a half ago.

                He said that prosecution out of Chattanooga "has created a domino effect in all sorts of avenues."

                Due to national publicity, he said there had been cries for reform of the walking horse industry, "and hopefully it will continue."

                Prosecutor Neff said he had heard from numerous horse lovers on the topic, and "I'm sure the court has too."

                Judge Mattice said, "I've heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of people. I hope they understand that the court doesn't make the laws. That happens in the large building with the dome on it."

                He and prosecutor Neff both noted that the current federal horse protection law carries little prison time.

                But they said that new attention to the law has brought a major focus on treatment of horses and "hopefully will start creating a change in the culture."
                Thanks.

                Comment


                • Federal Prosecutor Steve Neff:
                  Department of Justice
                  US Attorney's Office, EDTN
                  1110 Market Street, Suite 301
                  Chattanooga, TN 37402
                  Office: 423-752-5380

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    That request from HSUS to the Celebration for change summed it up nicely. A clear way out of this quagmire. Lets see if they listen to good advice. Happy that they mentioned no saddles on 2 year olds also !
                    from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                    Comment


                    • and the riding of two year olds under saddle.

                      if you like horse racing, or any number of breed shows or competitions or breed evaluations...(including showing and evaluating 3 YOs under saddle)....fair warning.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        Banning working 2 yr olds of any breed that strenuously doesnt bother me a bit. I have always thought it was wrong. I have to admit i rode my horse as a 2 yr old about 15 times for under a half hour each time. That was eight years ago. I dont think i hurt him - we mostly just walked in the woods. He gaited a tiny bit and cantered slowly up a couple hills but just walked 98% of the time.

                        But the honing a 2 yr old goes thru to get them ready for the ring or the race track is a bit much. It all depends on how heavy a rider is and if the horse is ridden into the dirt.

                        If i had it to do over, i may still have ridden him lightly at that age.

                        But the breeders who want to break them young, work them hard, get them showing or racing just to peddle them often are not the ones who have to deal with the problems that develop. Nor do they seem to care. JMO
                        from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                        Comment


                        • Today's Chattanoogan:

                          Horrible Court Outcomes For John Mays - Cruelty To Horses - And Richard Batson - Foster Child Rape
                          Tuesday, August 07, 2012
                          One gets off writing a newspaper article about soring? The other gets probation? No wonder the world is so messed up.

                          Those horse abuse videos make me ill and I cannot imagine such torture. A 16-year-old child preyed upon by her foster parent and coerced into a threesome with a neighbor? How much more deviant and sordid does it have to be?

                          Child abusers and animal abusers are the lowest life form on the planet, and should not be unleashed upon society. The law bungled these two sentences to the max. Unbelievable. Horrible.

                          Veronica Madaris

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                            Banning working 2 yr olds of any breed that strenuously doesnt bother me a bit. I have always thought it was wrong. I have to admit i rode my horse as a 2 yr old about 15 times for under a half hour each time. That was eight years ago. I dont think i hurt him - we mostly just walked in the woods. He gaited a tiny bit and cantered slowly up a couple hills but just walked 98% of the time.

                            But the honing a 2 yr old goes thru to get them ready for the ring or the race track is a bit much. It all depends on how heavy a rider is and if the horse is ridden into the dirt.

                            If i had it to do over, i may still have ridden him lightly at that age.

                            But the breeders who want to break them young, work them hard, get them showing or racing just to peddle them often are not the ones who have to deal with the problems that develop. Nor do they seem to care. JMO
                            Originally posted by walknsound View Post
                            Today's Chattanoogan:

                            Horrible Court Outcomes For John Mays - Cruelty To Horses - And Richard Batson - Foster Child Rape
                            Tuesday, August 07, 2012
                            One gets off writing a newspaper article about soring? The other gets probation? No wonder the world is so messed up.

                            Those horse abuse videos make me ill and I cannot imagine such torture. A 16-year-old child preyed upon by her foster parent and coerced into a threesome with a neighbor? How much more deviant and sordid does it have to be?

                            Child abusers and animal abusers are the lowest life form on the planet, and should not be unleashed upon society. The law bungled these two sentences to the max. Unbelievable. Horrible.

                            Veronica Madaris
                            Originally posted by katarine View Post
                            and the riding of two year olds under saddle.

                            if you like horse racing, or any number of breed shows or competitions or breed evaluations...(including showing and evaluating 3 YOs under saddle)....fair warning.
                            Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                            That request from HSUS to the Celebration for change summed it up nicely. A clear way out of this quagmire. Lets see if they listen to good advice. Happy that they mentioned no saddles on 2 year olds also !
                            The HSUS, remember, is nor for the animals themselves, but trying to eliminate all uses of animals, one at the time.

                            They don't want resolutions, they want the controversies and exposing the abuses to get the general public to see owning animals as unsavory and cruel by all and any that own them.
                            They are slowly making second citizens of anyone having anything to do with animals, that is their goal.
                            We need to be careful who we align with, as their goals may not always be ours in VERY important ways.

                            As for riding two year olds, most anyone can tell you that a blanket statement against that is absurd, too many studies and any old timer can tell you that horses started early in their path to be whatever they will be when adults are better at it and stay more sound mentally and physically than those started later.
                            You would not keep kids by themselves playing unsupervised and not taught anything until they are in their late teens and mature?
                            You would expect any animal, including humans and horses, to learn about the world around them and what their lives will be from the time they are able to.

                            I think what some don't want is any abuses while that handling and riding is happening.
                            I have handled too many horses over their lifetime and can definitely say those started very early and properly lived sound and heathy lives, just as good and probably better suited for their lives than those started later.
                            I have right now a 15 year old, started as a four year old in a ranch, that still has his moments, is watchy and will only trust the world around him so far, something you don't find in horses started very early and right, that consider the world their oyster.
                            He is also not as soft and athletic as a horse started younger, just as a gymnast or basket ball player that starts training in his late teens/early twenties would not be competitive with one that started learning the right motor memory and game plan when a kid.

                            Always remember, whatever you do with horses, it is not when you do it, but HOW you do it that will make what you do right, or wrong.

                            That 15 year old had a late start in life, but if he had been handled right, knowing that he was behind already, he would not still at 15 and, being fairly bombproof otherwise, still have his bad, scared of the world moments and less than graceful performances.
                            He is harder on his body because doing what he does was not taught to him well and early, but manhandled into doing it without those important years of the right preparation for it, that he is finally learning now.

                            When we hear any statement, like "starting two year olds is too early", we really owe it to our horses to study this carefully and listen to all sides, consider that there is so much more out there than a blanket statement can determine is right or wrong, because "it depends" comes into play.

                            I do think it is shameful that the abusers are not being hung up to dry, put in jail for a while, fined out of their pants.
                            I am not sure it is because we need more laws and regulations, or because the ones enforcing them are lacking.
                            I definitely will say, be careful what more rules and regulations we ask for and where those ideas come from, because not all playing this game are quite honest with what they want out of this:


                            ---
                            HSUS Criticized For Minimal Donations To Pet Shelters
                            Aug. 8, 2012 2:40am by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily
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                            COMMENTS 0
                            Full-page ad blasts the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) for paltry donations to America’s pet shelters.
                            If you want to line your pockets, go work for the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). But, if you want to help animals, you might want to seek work elsewhere. A watchdog group, Humane Watch, recently released a full-page ad in USA Today blasting HSUS for its minimal effort to support hands-on pet shelters.

                            HumaneWatch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, used the advertisement to warn Americans that only a tiny fraction of their contributions to HSUS actually goes to pet shelters.

                            With a multi-million-dollar budget, less than 1% of it actually goes to helping animal shelters. In my home state of South Dakota, for example, only $15,000 was given to help local shelters, leaving many, including one shelter in Sioux Falls, our largest city, barely able to scrape together enough money to keep its doors open.

                            “Despite most Americans’ belief to the contrary, HSUS is not a national umbrella group that represents community-based humane societies, and it shares just 1% of its income with underfunded pet shelters at the local level,” says Humane Watch.

                            “The ad features a statement from HSUS President Wayne Pacelle: ‘We never said we funded animal shelters.’ Yet the animal rights group continues to largely rely on the images of sad-looking cats and dogs to tug at the heartstrings and, most importantly, to HSUS, the wallets of America’s pet lovers. The ad goes on to explain where HSUS’s money is going: Millions into its executive pension fund, $32 million stuffed in hedge funds, and for its defense against charges of corruption in federal court.

                            “A new HumaneWatch study finds HSUS’s direct mail, telemarketing, and television appeals actively perpetuate the misperception that HSUS’s primary focus is to care for abandoned and abused cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and local shelters aren’t seeing much of HSUS’s donations, with several local organizations across America going so far as to change their names in order to prevent donor confusion.”

                            Do you think most Americans are aware of how HSUS uses its money? How many people do you know who have unknowingly donated to HSUS because they want to help animals?

                            By the way, if you are in Fayetteville, AR, on Aug. 9, join me at a University of Arkansas symposium sponsored by the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing, for a discussion on food animal welfare. I will be one of the speakers featured at the symposium, and I would love to visit with you at the event."---

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              Of course there is grey area in the issue of riding 2 yr olds. I read a study that it is indeed good to start using a 2 yr old in the way it will be used. What i object to is the honing it takes to get a 2 yr old show ring or race ready. And of course the the starter packages of increasingly tall stacks that are put on TWH yearlings.

                              Harness horses who do not carry weight on their backs kind of fall into the grey area although if i owned one, i would break and train it as a 2 yr old and not race til it was 3. That would mean missing out on all the stake races for 2 yr olds. Most people just wont sacrifice a yr of making money off a baby horse. There is a movement towards eliminating racing 2 yr olds. HSUS didnt make up the concept.

                              Bluey i hear you and respect your thoughts on this. I just wish the idiots within the TWH industry would have cleaned up their own mess. Since the haven't and won't i appreciate all that the HSUS, under Keith Dane's leadership has done. Ditto to the government on this particular issue.

                              I am not ready to get in bed with HSUS but i will take a little nap with them until the existence of Big Lick is eradicated. I still have not ever sent them one dollar and warn others of their agenda.
                              from sunridge1 Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by WalkInTheWoods View Post
                                Of course there is grey area in the issue of riding 2 yr olds. I read a study that it is indeed good to start using a 2 yr old in the way it will be used. What i object to is the honing it takes to get a 2 yr old show ring or race ready. And of course the the starter packages of increasingly tall stacks that are put on TWH yearlings.

                                Harness horses who do not carry weight on their backs kind of fall into the grey area although if i owned one, i would break and train it as a 2 yr old and not race til it was 3. That would mean missing out on all the stake races for 2 yr olds. Most people just wont sacrifice a yr of making money off a baby horse. There is a movement towards eliminating racing 2 yr olds. HSUS didnt make up the concept.

                                Bluey i hear you and respect your thoughts on this. I just wish the idiots within the TWH industry would have cleaned up their own mess. Since the haven't and won't i appreciate all that the HSUS, under Keith Dane's leadership has done. Ditto to the government on this particular issue.

                                I am not ready to get in bed with HSUS but i will take a little nap with them until the existence of Big Lick is eradicated. I still have not ever sent them one dollar and warn others of their agenda.
                                I do respect everyone's opinions, but may not always agree with them.
                                That said, I will always think it is absurd to put "stacks" on a horse's feet.
                                I will respect your right to do so if that is what you want to do, regardless of my opinion.

                                As for "race colts being run early", when we were training, some we ran as twos, some we waited to start them later.
                                It depends on how each horse is training, not what the calendar may say.
                                You don't just run a horse in an unsuitable race if you want to stay in business.

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                                • as i have read these opinions of starting or riding a 2 yr old i can't help but think of Colonel Louis Podhajsky,the beautiful Lipizzanners of the Spanish Riding School,their training does not begin until they are late 3 or early 4 yrs old and then its always just ground work this is done for a yr,basic movements,extensions,all on longe and long rein,the trainer walking behind. it is not until they have learned all of these things and to change them on voice command is the horse mounted at that time this STALLION could be 5 to 6 yrs old.than and only than does the light contact work begin, with NO effort on collection,on straight lines and on large circles at the end of a yr he will begin the more advanced work. so if my math is correct these horses are not worked hard until 6/7 yrs.

                                  So should we question our training method.maybe at least give it some thought.

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                                  • Originally posted by aarpaso View Post
                                    So should we question our training method.maybe at least give it some thought.
                                    Yes. Especially after reading The Ranger Article.

                                    Let the spine finish!
                                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                                    • Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                                      Yes. Especially after reading The Ranger Article.

                                      Let the spine finish!
                                      That is like waiting to start a tennis, golf, gymnast, basket ball player when they are 21, when they will be about physically mature.

                                      Just because we finally mature at certain ages, humans early 20's, horses 7-8 years old, doesn't mean we have to sit on our hands before that.

                                      No one organism does, would not make sense not to use your body from the time you can to do it's best, especially as it is maturing into the purposed task.

                                      Do you see, say, a lion cub waiting to learn to hunt until it is an adult?

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                                      • No where did I say "sit on our hands," nor did I say don't ride until they're 5. Driving, ground manners, loading, clipping, voice commands, desensitizing, bridling, saddling, lunging, initial backing, a few light rides, etc. etc. etc. all can be done through their 4th year and then move on to bigger/better, longer/harder later.
                                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                                          No where did I say "sit on our hands," nor did I say don't ride until they're 5. Driving, ground manners, loading, clipping, voice commands, desensitizing, bridling, saddling, lunging, initial backing, a few light rides, etc. etc. etc. all can be done through their 4th year and then move on to bigger/better, longer/harder later.
                                          That is true and works well today for some we do with horses.
                                          Is the way I learned to do it in Europe many years ago and was right for those horses, that kind of use we made of them.

                                          I thought it was wonderful when, once in the USA, I got to work with horses that had been started early, how much easier it was to work with them, how much better they were all around mentally and physically, as they had matured already into their jobs.
                                          Many OTTBs made excellent jumpers because they had already learned to go forward and work hard.
                                          The new western horses, not started at 4-5 from wild and wooly and done by 10, as the old ranchers did, but as twos and worked with lightly until at 4-5 finally asked to do more, a tremendous difference in them as how well and long they worked.
                                          Then, there have always been some that worked with their colts earlier, if they had time.

                                          All I say is that there are good reasons for what we do sometimes.
                                          When we start a colt, depending on the colt and how we go about it, as you say, is not that cut and dried.

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