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Incident at the barn last night.....

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  • Incident at the barn last night.....

    I'll try to be as factual as I can without emotion:

    I and another rider enter the indoor arena to ride. Western Pleasure trainer who has been hanging around for about 2 months is riding BO's QH.

    Western Pleasure trainer is riding 2 of BO's horses to keep them tuned/conditioned thru the winter. In exchange I believe he is allowed to bring some of his training horses to her nice indoor arena. Barn he currently boards/trains at does not have an indoor.

    The QH the trainer is riding is a 5 year old 17.2 QH. BO got this horse about 6 months ago and was barely halter broke. Still very green. QH is a bit spooky - spooks when other horses enter arena - even after announcement. Looks to me like he sometimes spooks/refuses when trainer tries to put him in an unnatural frame with his head well below his withers.

    We had been riding about 20 minutes when 2 more horse/riders enter arena - with annoucement - and QH spooks again. Trainer jumps off horse and quickly ties head to ribcage. QH is fully tacked and bridled with I believe a curb bit.

    Then he walked away.

    Left the arena.

    Okay - I had heard something about this before being used as a correction. I figured he walked outside to cool off and collect his thoughts for a few minutes.

    5 minutes pass and trainer does not return.

    Also in the arena are 3 other riders and myself - all mounted and riding - one rider is 5 months pregnant.

    QH is left at the far end of the arena tied to nothing but himself. QH is in great discomfort - full body sweat with steam rising from head, neck, back and between foamy back legs (it was 30 degrees out last night). Front legs are shaking and he's trying to cock his one front leg to relieve pressure. QH is pulling on rein to get relief but only ends up circling and probably damaging his mouth.

    Another 5-8 minutes pass and trainer is no where in sight.

    I called a girl over from the back stalls to hold my horse and I released the QH. I then used another riders phone to call the BO while trying to walk out the QH. Phone was breaking up but I did get thru to her that horse had been left tied to himself and trainer had disappeared. BO was not onsite, was at a 4H meeting. Trainer then came back to the arena with another horse that he had fully tacked up (gone for approximately 25 minutes). I hung up with the BO.

    Trainer walks in and sees that I have released QH. "Oh, was he bad?" he asks. Was basically all I had to hear...

    "Well do you consider sweating, steaming and shaking being bad? Just how is this teaching this horse not to spook?"

    "He needs this" trainer says.

    "You need your foot tied behind your head for 25 minutes - what do you think that would teach you?"

    I threw the reins at him and walked to the end of the arena to collect my horse from the girl who had been holding him. When I turned back around he was walking both horses out the door and back to their barn.

    So my problem? Is BO aware of how her horses are being "trained"? Is she aware of trainer's (abusive) methods?

    I did not receive a call from BO after her meeting was over. I did not sleep more than 3 hours last night.

    FYI - I do not own a QH or ride a QH. I ride gaited and do not have experience with QH's or their training. I firmly believe this was cruel and abusive.

  • #2
    As someone who currently rides and boards her Event horse at a WP barn.... these are the things I've learned about WP.

    -Not all trainers do that sort of thing. Mine doesn't. She's very good and patient and not in a hurry to achieve results.

    -The overall CULTURE (again not everyone) of the WP world is to get results, and get them fast. This often comes at the expense of the horse. Behavior like you describe in the post above is fairly common in the QH/WP world, and generally accepted in the privacy of home. Certainly how you described the incident is cruel and abusive.

    -The barn owner not calling you back or not coming home to deal w/the issue... that suggests to me that BO knows what is going on and is OK with it. OR is at least not going to say 'boo' to the trainer and piss him off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bless you for being there and for being brave enough to take action. I don't care if the BO thinks it's cruel or knows what is happening to the horse, you took action. Reading your post just made me so angry.

      What the heck's wrong with people!

      Paula
      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

      Comment


      • #4
        It is not a technique I would ever use, but it was commonly used by the WP trainers I knew 10+ years ago. That, of course, does not make it right. As Regent Lion said, WP trainers (in my experience) are very much results driven and do what they need to do to get into the show ring and win. You will find all sorts in all disciplines and if you don't like it, I guess don't ride with him? Move barns? Whatever you feel like you need to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          You did the right thing.

          And leaving a horse tied, unattended in an arena full of riders is dangerous; for the horse and the other riders.

          People are cruel and stupid.
          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

          Originally posted by LauraKY
          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
          HORSING mobile training app

          Comment


          • #6
            Regardless of the method, whether you agree with it or not, to leave the horse alone like that, with other riders in the ring, is irresponsible and dangerous. Period. And to get no response from the BO? Sure looks like the BO has no concerns for the welfare of her boarders.
            Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
            www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

            Comment


            • #7
              There's not really anything you can do about how the BO chooses to have her horses trained.

              For the circumstances given, I agree, you did the right thing, both for the horse's well-being and the safety of the other riders.

              And I would raise the latter point with the BO. It is UNSAFE to have a horse left in the ring w/o human control where others are riding. What if he'd really flipped out? Yes, I saw that happen once ... very scary and totally out of control. THAT is the issue I would raise with the BO. There should be a rule forbidding the leaving of horses unsupervised (i.e., attached to a human in some way) in the ring while others are riding.
              Equinox Equine Massage

              In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
              -Albert Camus

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ddashaq View Post
                ... but it was commonly used by the WP trainers I knew 10+ years ago. That, of course, does not make it right. As Regent Lion said, WP trainers (in my experience) are very much results driven and do what they need to do to get into the show ring and win. ...
                This - as well as other atrocious so-called *training* methods are still used to this day in my county.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Regardless of the method, whether you agree with it or not, to leave the horse alone like that, with other riders in the ring, is irresponsible and dangerous. Period.
                  I have to agree about leaving the horse in the ring. I just do not get that mentality. How could he think it is fair/right to leave a loose horse in the ring while you and others are riding?

                  I would not panic about the barn owner not showing up or calling. If she was in the middle of a 4-h meeting she could not just drop what she was doing and run back to the barn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You did the right thing by releasing the horse. The BO may not have even been able to speak freely if in a meeting, but I'd send a follow-up email with details & concern that a horse was left unattended in the arena where there were mounted riders. That was not only inconsiderate, it was dangerous.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kudos to you for doing the right thing. Let the pieces fall where they may and do not give it a second thought.

                      We should all be so willing to step in.
                      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


                      • #12
                        You did the right thing first by calling the barn owner to let her know about the situation. While this is very common practice in WP training it is NOT ok to turn a horse like this loose in a big indoor arena especially with other riders in it. This is typically something done in an enclosed round pen and the person doesn't leave the horse unattended. Sounds like the BO needs to have a talk about the safety of her boarders with this guy!!!
                        RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                        May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                        RIP San Lena Peppy
                        May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While I do understand (and agree) very much that this method of "training" is cruel, I think you should emphasize the fact that it was unsafe for other riders if/when you speak to the BO. They might know about it and be totally fine with it, so I'd go at it from the standpoint of "What if he had panicked and crashed into other horses?" and how dangerous it was for everyone involved to have this horse loose in the arena.
                          Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hate to say it is very common around here. One WP trainer explained to me that "it is much kinder to let the horse fight them self and learn to give to the bit than have the rider rip their face off to teach the same thing". I couldn't bear watching it but this trainer would tie them like this and leave them unattended in the indoor for over an hour at a time. I have since come to find that many QH trainers around here do the same. I had to leave that barn, the dead look in those horses eyes just killed me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Exactly why WP horses look broken! What horse loving glory is there in owning and riding a horse with a broken spirit????

                              Good on you for stepping up. Makes my heart heavy for this horse and many others. It broke my heart to see a girl at 4-H school at big 3 yr old baby, large very growthy in tiny collected circles, grinding her seat into his back and his head to his chest with adraw reins of course.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Exactly why WP horses look broken! What horse loving glory is there in owning and riding a horse with a broken spirit????

                                Good on you for stepping up. Makes my heart heavy for this horse and many others. It broke my heart to see a girl at 4-H schooling a big 3 yr old baby, large very growthy, in tiny collected circles, grinding her seat into his back and his head to his chest with draw reins of course.

                                Isn't this situation leaving this horse alone in an arena with boarders riding a huge liability for the BO?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think its great you were there and took care of things, and I agree about both the "technique" and the safety issues!

                                  I don't do WP but when I was in CO plenty of folks near my barn did. I wasnt' aware of this kind of thing but I guess that can happen in any discipline (a former partner of mine has a new wife who uses what she calls the "old methods", lots of ropes and "tying down" including-what she had suggested to me-shorttying my horse alone way out in the pasture for 24 hours as a cure for shying- no idea how that relates to shying, obviously took a different approach!!) This whole approach (which, admittedly I know nothing about and have no interest in) just does not appeal to me at all.

                                  I would certainly talk with your BO about the safety issues, and that is probably where my focus would be. Can't have a horse wandering around an arena with others working and no supervision, and she should appreciate the risks that poses. If the others in the arena could talk to her as well that might help,so its not just you.

                                  On the (very understandable) discomfort with these "methods" (I use that term snidely, just seems very abusive to me), depending on my relationship with her I'd share my feelings- just that I was concerned about inflicting so much pain on an animal (that would certainly get my attention). you could ask what the "theory" behind that is (nicely). Maybe she hasn't thought about it? I would certainly be very uncomfortable around anything like that....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think it is fairly common, not only with western trainers. A south american ( yes i am staying broad so as not to implicate anyone) was recommended to me to start my andulusian cross. I drove up to their barn, and there was no human in sight, anywhere. There were five horses tacked up, some in an outdoor arena, and one in a round pen, with their heads tied, in various forms. one tied around side, two tied down to the girth through the front legs, and two in a rather short side rein type. The dogs barked and alerted the trainer, who came out, spoke to me, and causally walked over to one of the horses, loosened the rein, jerke the mouth a couple of time, and then tied the horse in another configuration.

                                    all of the horses were stressed. their neck muscles were sore, you could tell, they were trying to shift to relieve the strain. The "theory"? if the horses neck is tired enought they drop them down and do not try to raise them when you use the rein, and... they should work in a head set all the time, so it is getting them used to it. I was shocked but i have seen a vaquero work, with no hands , with his pole, and the horses neck tied in an extreme head set, and all kinds of dressage riders were saying how marvellous and fabulous the rider was. puke

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think it is fairly common, not only with western trainers. A south american ( yes i am staying broad so as not to implicate anyone) was recommended to me to start my andulusian cross. I drove up to their barn, and there was no human in sight, anywhere. There were five horses tacked up, some in an outdoor arena, and one in a round pen, with their heads tied, in various forms. one tied around side, two tied down to the girth through the front legs, and two in a rather short side rein type. The dogs barked and alerted the trainer, who came out, spoke to me, and causally walked over to one of the horses, loosened the rein, jerke the mouth a couple of time, and then tied the horse in another configuration.

                                      all of the horses were stressed. their neck muscles were sore, you could tell, they were trying to shift to relieve the strain. The "theory"? if the horses neck is tired enought they drop them down and do not try to raise them when you use the rein, and... they should work in a head set all the time, so it is getting them used to it. I was shocked but i have seen a vaquero work, with no hands , with his pole, and the horses neck tied in an extreme head set, and all kinds of dressage riders were saying how marvellous and fabulous the rider was. puke

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        OP: you did what I would have done, do not beat yourself up.
                                        Hopefully BO will realize a loose horse where others are riding is never a good idea.

                                        As an English rider new to observing WP I have seen:
                                        *Horses tied in their stalls w/head above level for at least an hour
                                        (ignorant owner in this case told me "pro" had done this to "teach him a lesson" Huh?)
                                        *Horses longed in endless circles with no apparent relaxation displayed
                                        *18mo long yearling U/S with less-than-lightweight (200#+) rider, ridden in tight circles with reinbacks
                                        *spur stops < can anyone explain this to me - how is spurring a horse in the shoulder useful in stopping him? Unless a reaction to pain is a useful training tool, I don;t see it working well.
                                        *jerking shanked bits < again: explanation please

                                        I realize any discipline has wingnut trainers - but excess is excess no matter what tack it appears under.
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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