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Reining Horse death caused by trainer

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  • #81
    Years ago, back when I was a brand new horseowner, I witnessed the (hunter/jumper) trainer on site at the boarding facility working with a beautiful grey thoroughbred on the lungeline. He was fully tacked up and had his face tied to his side--I don't remember exactly where, but it could have been to the girth or the stirrup. She then crack-crack-cracked the lunge whip, sending him spinning over, and over, and over again. I'm not sure if she took off the lungeline; she must have or he'd have gotten tangled in it. She cracked the whip about once a second for a few minutes, with the TB spinning in tight circles at about the same rate for the same period of time.

    As a newly minted newbie, much of the horseworld made little sense to me. Not everything that looked awful was. But in this case, I just don't know what she was trying to accomplish. I want to err on the side of "I'm not seeing the whole picture" and hope that wasn't abuse...but still, 11 years later, I have a vivid visual memory of the event and the same disquieting feeling from watching it.

    Does this sort of training make sense to anyone? Honestly, I hope I'm wrong that it's, well, not right.
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


    • #82
      More info...authorities will do a necropsy


      • #83
        Originally posted by katarine View Post
        Somewhere in my brain bank is a photo of Sharon Camarillo's horse with his head tied around to his tail, via the rein attached to his gag bit. his muzzle was about at the stirrup. She advocated this as a suppling tool pre riding, and I don't recall the specs verbatim of course, but it was something like 10 minutes per side.
        This was in an article in a magazine in the early 80s..it made an impression, obviously.
        Check out her "signature" line of bits:

        This TWISTED WIRE GAG "Its creative design offers direct control for suppling and head set" Oh, and they recomend using it with a curb chain - and goes well with a german martingale, because you know, to "supple a horse" one should use a twisted wire gag with a curb chain for leverage, and esentially draw reins for even more leverage.

        Need a curb chain? Well Sharon has designed a POWER CURB CHAIN, because your horse needs a solid bar of metal chained to its chin.

        Need a bit more? Well Sharon has also designed a 8" SHANK, TWISTED WIRE bit to help you out!

        So there you go - in my mind, the kind of "trainers" that would tie a horse's head around are same type of trainers that would reach of an incredibly harsh bit + gadgets to "supple" a horse.

        Straight bad horsemanship.
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


        • #84
          straight UP. These kind of people make me sick.


          • #85
            If you look at the picture of the dead mare, you will see that she has a curb bit on. She was tied or bitted up with a curb bit instead of a snaffle. In all my years of riding (50+) I've never seen someone bit up a horse in a curb and then leave it alone! The epitome of bad horsemanship! This was a finished reining mare. How much more bitting, more training, did it need? A shame that she wasn't in a better barn.


            • #86
              This makes me so sad. Strangely, I was interested in a horse he had for sale but did not follow through because of the shipping cost to Georgia. I later found a sales ad for the horse at a big discount. Poor guy, I hope he got a better home than what he had.


              • #87
                Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
                Check out her "signature" line of bits:

                This TWISTED WIRE GAG "Its creative design offers direct control for suppling and head set" Oh, and they recomend using it with a curb chain - and goes well with a german martingale, because you know, to "supple a horse" one should use a twisted wire gag with a curb chain for leverage, and esentially draw reins for even more leverage.

                Need a curb chain? Well Sharon has designed a POWER CURB CHAIN, because your horse needs a solid bar of metal chained to its chin.

                Need a bit more? Well Sharon has also designed a 8" SHANK, TWISTED WIRE bit to help you out!

                So there you go - in my mind, the kind of "trainers" that would tie a horse's head around are same type of trainers that would reach of an incredibly harsh bit + gadgets to "supple" a horse.

                Straight bad horsemanship.
                Or how about bicycle chain, banned in other disciplines . . . . http://www.paintedponytack.com/catal...gnature%20Bits


                • #88
                  Originally posted by Mara View Post
                  Or how about bicycle chain, banned in other disciplines . . . . http://www.paintedponytack.com/catal...gnature%20Bits
                  ^ that's a chain.

                  This is a bike chain.


                  • #89
                    Has the horses former owner spoken up or released any statements? From what it sounds like they had not had the mare all that long?
                    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                    • #90
                      I was very angry when I saw this video and read the story of this poor horse. The owner came across in this video as this not being any big deal--I would be absolutely furious if a trainer had just killed my horse.

                      Arballo worked on the ranch and two other trainers at the ranch (one still there and one left because of not being able to tolerate being around the abuse). The one still there (Bethany Wallace) was the one who witnessed the demise of Bella and responded when she heard the commotion and saw Arballo beating the horse trying to get her to rise to her feet. The video is so sad, showing the horse lying there half in a coma, head/face all scraped up and bloody, breathing rapidly. I'm glad someone got it on video so there is proof.

                      Both of the other trainers told the ranch owners about Arballo's abusive training but it fell on deaf ears or "I took care of the situation" response. I, personally, wrote a couple of emails to the owner after Bella's death, to which he responded (George Kiss, Martha Torkington-Kiss's husband) defending some of the accusations and said that they were just devastated about the horse's death. He defended what Arballo did with the exception of leaving her alone. He said they were already unhappy with Arballo, and he had already been given a 30-day notice to vacate the premises ... but I don't know if I believe that because why would they allow him to continue to train their horse if they truly thought he was abusive and wrong? I told him "Leaving your horse with him is similar to leaving a child with a known child abuser ... and then coming back and being surprised that the child was abused." He didn't respond to that.

                      I got the impression that they had suddenly decided to disassociate with him only once something horrible happened that made the news--for the second time--this one will be hard to weasel out of. The ranch owners don't want to be charged too.

                      But, the bottom line is that the ranch owners were told about and shown evidence of Arballo's abusive training repeatedly--horses that had blood on them and other problems. Ranch owner blew it off and it continued. I hope the ranch owners are charged right along with Arballo and his girlfriend (who was a partner in his abusive training practices.)

                      I encourage you to go to the facebook page of Bethany Wallace and read her account of the situation. It's a real eye opener.
                      Horse'in around in Upstate NY


                      • #91
                        Wow. I read the FB post by Bethany and it's as bad, and worse than I imagined. I'd like to tie that @$$hole up and punch him in the face a few times.


                        • #92
                          Does anyone have the link to the owners facebook page?
                          Is that who Bethany is?


                          • #93
                            Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                            my point is in a lot of reining cultures, a tie-down is the norm for training. certainly not ALL reining trainers endorse or use this aide, but it is still very common and prevalent and, to be fair, i am not surprised to hear of resulting deaths.
                            I have never heard of a Reining Trainer using a tie down. Reiners use draw reins and side reins.

                            Contest horses have tie downs, sure.

                            There is a big, big difference in the application and ways to misuse each piece of equipment.


                            • #94
                              I don't know if the owner has a facebook page. They do have a website 'River Valley Ranch' in San Diego.

                              Bethany Wallace is a trainer at that ranch who has witnessed a lot of Arballo's abusive training and was one of the people who has told the ranch owners (George Kiss and Martha Torkington-Kiss) about Arballo's abuse while he has been training there.

                              Go to facebook and do a search for Bethany Wallace (it also says something like sport horse training) and read her facebook posts about the situation.
                              Horse'in around in Upstate NY


                              • #95
                                It's not just the "tying the head around" practice that Arballo was doing to his horses--Really--check out Bethany Wallace's facebook page. Arballo was severely abusive in many other ways.
                                Horse'in around in Upstate NY


                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by Sannois View Post
                                  Does anyone have the link to the owners facebook page?
                                  Is that who Bethany is?
                                  Bethany Wallace is NOT the mare's owner and she has since moved her horses away from the facility.


                                  • #97
                                    Is this the page someone is looking for?
                                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                                    • #98
                                      Originally posted by dm View Post
                                      I don't know if the owner has a facebook page.
                                      Yes, she does. https://www.facebook.com/martha.torkington?fref=ts


                                      • #99
                                        Here is the link to Bethany Wallace's FB page:


                                        Quoted from the FB page:

                                        "Regarding the recent events surrounding The River Valley Ranch, Arballo Reining Horses, and Bella Gunnabe Gifted's recent death: I am so glad that so many care about Bella's death, I think the conversations here are very important to have to make our industry a better one. I just want to say, though, that while Bella was tied around, and I do not personally condone that technique in any bit, she was tied around in a curb bit. That is a very important fact to make clear while discussing opinions on this technique, as it makes the practice so much more painful and frightening for the horse. But even MORE IMPORTANTLY, and this is why I am posting this: I want everyone to realize that the Arballo's did not just tie their horses around in strong equipment and leave them alone. They did many more horrendous things on a DAILY BASIS. What is so awful about their program is that they would put their young and 'difficult' horse through days at a time of abuse and food/water deprivation to totally break their spirit and their bodies. An example of things I have seen them do often: they would ride a horse until it was bleeding from it's mouth and sides, then tie it to the patience pole for 12 hours or so with no water, then leave it tied around for another few hours, then ride again, then back to the patience pole, or back to the round pen to be tied around, all the while the horse has not been offered food or water and would not see it's stall for days. I saw Mark drag arenas with young horses tied around in the arena with the tractor, running scared. I saw him use one bitted/checked up youngster as a "cow" and chase it while on another horse with George and others. Much worse, I confronted him one day after he had a particularly brutal ride on a 3 or 4 year old, Two Faced Gunner, and got off him, clearly angry, and tied him really hard around to the side. He then proceeded, while this horse's mouth and sides were bleeding, to punch him in the face repeatedly while the horse was still tied around. He walked away, and then came back and did it again - punched him multiple times! Then, he sicked his dog on this poor horse and cued her with a repeated low whistle to bite this horses hind legs while it tried desperately to get away, still tied around. He and I argued over this for 30 minutes, and I finally called George and informed him of what was going on. There were many witnesses of this incident, including other trainers and children at the ranch. Not surprisingly, shortly after this that other trianer's group with the kids left RVR. This was a year ago...and George said he 'handled it'. What really happened was that Mark and Patti did all their dirty work in the walled round pens where I could not see what was going on, or after I left the ranch for the day, since they lived there. My point is, what is so morally bankrupt and monstrous here is not just the questionable technique of tying around, but an entire "training" program based on terrorizing animals for profit, and lying to their owners about what is being done while taking their money. And yes, George Kiss had knowledge of all this as he and I had many meetings about it, dating back over a year. Martha did too, but I cannot vouch for her knowledge until a few months ago - however, that would have been in time to save her mare had she cared enough to stop it."


                                        • Well done Bethany, I hope your efforts bring attention to the industry as a whole. I believe we have the same horror going on on a farm nearby.