Thursday, 28 May 2009

Negligent and AbusiveTraining

Lets talk about negligent training accidents.

I was reading a thread on the pleasure horse forum. A lady stated she sent her two year-old to a trainer in Whitesboro. She called the trainer to see if she could come watch and evaluate her horse's progress. The trainer stated it wasn't a good idea. The trainer further stated the horse was "off" and needed a farrier. The lady insisted the trainer call the vet. The lady ended up calling the vet. The horse is in surgery for torn ligaments and a broken pelvis.

Come on trainers... I know horses can injure themselves. I know accidents happen. I know some horses that wig out to the slightest of pressures and flip themselves over. It can happen to anyone. My question about this particular horse and trainer is how could you ascertain the horse needed a farrier rather than a vet? Are some trainers just really that poor at evaluating the proper way of going? A broken pelvis and a hoof issue are not going to present the same issues and ways of going.

My second question would be why the hell was the owner not called when the trainer noticed the horse was off? Come on guys. Are your britches really so big that you think you are the end all be all, or do you really just think of yourselves.

Guys, this is the main reason my horses do not fall into the hands of trainers... no matter how good of a reputation the trainer has. Anymore, it seems all about the money. If you can't have compassion or run your business to where it serves the client rather than yourself, you should find another venue to pursue. Training horses isn't just about training horses. It's also about people skills. I think some trainers need to polish those up a bit.

I tell you what else... if I get one more goddamn dirty look from a hoity toity, stick up his ass trainer that lopes his horse crooked as shit down the rail as I pass them at the lope, I'm going to lope by so damn fast and smack you upside the head so you have a reason to give me a dirty look. I obviously have the same right to be at the show as you do. I obviously paid my dues and my horse is winning so get over yourself. I'm tired of you pretentious bastards. You put on your pants the same way I do. Only difference is I look better in my jeans.

Sorry for that end rant, but it was on my mind and it really bugs be. Not all trainers are pretentious bastards. Just one guy in particular.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Hard Work Pays Off!

Well, I'm back from the Memorial Day Classic in Waco and I wanted to take the time to say hard work pays off. We did awesome, walked away circuit champions of our class, picked up 29 points, and secured ourselves a position on the APHA honor roll (which we were not expecting). Of course, the honor roll standings will not be updated until the results of the show are posted but I am tickled to death none the less.

So what is the lesson learned here? Hard work pays off. I'm not talking working your horse hard, yanking his face off right before the class, drilling him on the back-ups and pivots. I'm talking short practices each day BEFORE the show. It just doesn't pay off to drill your horse right before the class. This is how patterns are lost; not won. A small, short practice is fine... drilling... no. The other lesson learned... you don't need a trainer to do well. Happy Memorial Day everybody! Hope your weekend was as good as mine.

Monday, 18 May 2009

So What Pisses You Off in the Show Pen?

I want to know what things, other than abuse or drugging, etc, piss you off when you walk into the show pen or make up pen. I think I could actually write a book on things that piss me off. Maybe I just hold really high standards?

Some things that irk me really badly:

1). Exhibitors not bothering to clean their horse for a showmanship or halter class... seriously... points are awarded for grooming you know. And why the hell would you not want your horse to look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine?

2). Ring masters ushering you in to start your pattern before ALL the judges are paying attention. Do they have any idea how badly they screw some of the exhibitors by rushing them before the judge is ready? At the 07 World, I was ushered in so fast 3 of the judges didn't watch my pattern until I was halfway done. I pay just as much money as everyone else and I expect to be judged. Don't rush my ass!

3). Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves... placing horses is a halter class that can't even lock in their knees. Come on guys... you know better than this shit. If my horse can stand, and the one next to me looks like she could drop on her face at any minute, she doesn't deserve to win. I don't care how "balanced" you think her body is. She obviously can't even stand still properly. WTF?

4). Rude people. This is a biggie for me. I am nice to everyone I meet. I'm always willing to help someone. But damnit, I'm tired of moving my horse out of the way so you can come through (even when my horse is out of the way); but when I need to get by you and politely say "excuse me" you give me a shitty attitude. This will get someone smacked one day I'm afraid. At the very least I will unleash my frustrations and a string of foul language. I know I look like I'm twelve and I'm only 4'11", but I'm not a child and don't talk to me or treat me like I am a child. I'm just tired of it. If you can't be nice go home please.

5). Please don't run your horse's nose up my horse's ass. She really doesn't like it. I promise. Just because she doesn't kick does not mean you are entitled to "see how close you can get." I make a conscious effort to stay out of people's way. Do me the same courtesy please. If you see me working on a pivot, that does not mean trot your horse to my horse's ass and give me attitude that "I'm in your way."

6). Screaming babies when the rest of the onlookers are silent and you are running a pattern. I don't have kids. Enough said.

7). Screaming parents or trainers. Please, get some couth.

8). Animals that don't belong on the show grounds. Why can't they be left at the trailer or at home? Some horses are not as dead-headed as others. Granted, my mare is pretty good, but I think if she sees an exotic animal at a show while I'm in a class, it may just cost me the class. Not fair at all. Maybe I should run along the rail with a shaking plastic bag and see if you like it.

9). Divas... AKA... Princesses. You are not a princess or a diva. The world does not revolve around you. Contrary to your belief, you need to be nice to other people to get their respect. Not order them around like dogs. And by the way, do you know how to tack up your own horse yet? And you've been showing for how many years? Yes, sadly this happens.

10). The longing for hours to wear the horse out. You do know that if your horse takes forever to get to the point where you can show him (and he's supposedly dead broke), you are making the problem worse by longing his ass off. You are creating a fitter horse that will take longer to calm down in the future. Do you even think about this? Furthermore, if your horse is "finished" WTF do you need to longe him for an hour before you ride him for six hours? And you wonder why his attitude sucks and you are spending a fortune on injections.

I have plenty more, but I want to know what pisses you off. Have at it!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Showmanship Q & A

Lately I have had a lot of requests for the showmanship series and even more questions about training, fitting, showing and more. So, I figured I would make an entry dedicated to questions and answers. So lets have em! You ask and I'll do my best to answer. I do have the capability to take video as well if you are more of a visual learner.
Ask away!

Thursday, 07 May 2009

STALLYUNS!!!! Let's go judging! Placings are updated!

Well, It seems people really enjoyed the last confo exercise so I am going to go ahead and post another one. Same deal as last time. Let's try to get more in depth with our reasons for placing one horse above or below another. Keep in mind the Quarter Horse's and Paint's foundation uses such as ranch work, racing, etc. Now, these are all halter stallions, but let's see if you can look past the weight and place the horses form to function. Also, if any of you have good confo shots of your horses (like the one I have of my pally mare) please email them to me at I will make classes of more "everyday" type horses rather than the horses we all see in the magazines.

Ok, I placed these stallyuns D,B,A,C

When you get to horse C, click the gadget in the upper right hand corner of this blog. They made this song for this horse!
Horse D won this class because to me, he exhibits the best overall balance. He has a lot of scope to his neck. It's neither too long nor too short. I would like to see a better wither. In the photo, he appears to have a mutton wither. He is also not very deep through the heart girth. His croup has a bit too much slope for my taste and I'd like to see a bit more carry down through his hip. Some of you my be going, "why the hell did you place him first?" LEGS, my dear Watson... LEGS. This horse has a very nice gaskin with great angle. His hocks are very well set. He does seem to have the slightest bit of set to his hocks but he is less posty than B,A, or C. He also has quite a bit more bone to him. His stifle is strong and well developed. He has a fantastic underline. His front legs appear clean and straight, with good bone. However, his RF pastern seems a bit too steep. I'd like to see a more laid back shoulder on this guy as well. His neck ties in nicely. He appears a bit thick through the throatlatch,but overall, is a nicely balanced horse with decent enough angles and good bone.

Horse B takes a close second to horse D. I actually like the shoulder, wither and hip of B better than D, but the posty hocks and slight bone were the deal breaker for me. Look at those withers! they extend well into his back and overall he has a fairly short back. While his croup is kind of angular (a little rough couped), he has nice length to his hip and decent carry down. His gaskins are short and well muscled, but they could stand to be a bit longer. He is post hocked which I can't stand and he has teeny tiny upright pasterns. He is also deeper through the heart girth than horse D. He has a decent enough shoulder but it is slightly upright. I would like to see it a hair more laid back. Front legs look nice and straight, but are light of bone and those damn pasterns are killing me. If he just had a bit more angle... His neck ties in very well but, like D, he is thick through the throatlatch. But hey, these are aged stallions.

Horse A takes third. I really like this horse's shoulder. He has the best hip of all the horses but he is really downhill. He is also post hocked, which we all know, I don't like. Other than that,his assessment reads just like horse B, except he appears to be back at the knee and he's practically vertical through his pasterns.

Horse C... Hmmm. I always wanted a J-Lo butt... Do you know what it is like to go through life with no ass at all? I was born with a back with a crack. Do you think CK could give me some of that junk to put in my trunk? Anyway...beautiful neck, decent wither that extends well into his back (although the fat cover doesn't make it appear to be very prominent). His back is rather long as well. I love his shoulder. He has the best shoulder of all the horses so far. Other than that, that's all I like. His hip looks like gelatin jigglers. He is goose rumped and has extreme "hip hang." Furthermore, not only is he post hocked, he has some set to his hocks as well. Anyone want to start a pool on how long before he gets his first hock injection? He is very upright through his pasterns and in this photo, he appears to be back at the knee. His throatlatch is pretty clean though!

I know I didn't get extremely detailed this time around but you get the general idea. In case no one has noticed, I am a leg girl. A horse can have all the balance in the world but if his legs are shit, he's not going to hold up very long.

Sunday, 03 May 2009

Place This Halter Class of Mares (UPDATED with analysis and placings)




Please place these horses in the order YOU think they should be placed. Do not base your opinion on what you think a judge would place them. Please give a rationale as to why you chose the order in the way you did. Please also include conformational points as to why you did or did not like a horse compared to another. After some participation, I will post my views along with my assessment.

Ok, here we go. I placed the horses in the following order: 1,2,4,3. Please see photos.

Horse 1: While this mare is not up to halter weight, she exhibits the best balance and angles of the four mares. Her neck is neither too long, nor too short and her withers extend well into her back. Her heartgirth is also ideal. Her back is relatively short with a strong loin. The length of her hip is longer than horse 2, and 3. She has more carry down through the hip than horse 2 and 3 as well. Her gaskins are neither too short, nor too long and she has good muscle. Now down to the nitty gritty. I placed this mare over mare 2 because she has a better set of hocks. In the picture she is standing a little under herself, in both the front and back (I set her up this way on purpose to get pictures I could fool people with on confo) but you can literally draw a plumb line down this horses rump and hocks. Mare 2, has a bit of set to her hocks and looks to be a little finer boned than mare 1. Mare 1 has excellent slope to her pasterns , is straight through the front legs with no deviation. Her shoulder is very laid back affording her extreme reach. Her neck ties into her shoulder a little higher than what I typically like, but it ties in nicely. I fault this mare on her throatlatch and head. Her throatlatch could be a little more refined and her head could be more feminine; however, her head is not too large for her body. Overall, this mare has excellent bone, and is the most balanced of the four mares.

Horse 2: A very nice mare that is nicely fit for halter. However, on first glance, this mare's shoulder is a tad heavier than her hip. Her balance is better than that of horse 3 and 4, but she is longer through the back than horse 1. She has good definition of the withers but I would like to see them extend into her back a little farther. Her heartgirth is about the same as mare 1's, but not as good as mare 4. Her hip is shaped nicely but I would like to see a little more carry down in order to balance out her shoulder. She could also have a bit more length of hip. While this mare is not sickle hocked, she does have a touch of "set" to her hocks, meaning you could not drop a plumb line down her backside. However, the amount of set is not bad enough to warrant her placing under mare 3 or 4. She has more bone than horse 4, about the same as horse 3 and a tad less than horse 1. Again, not too big of a deal, but she is a bit finer looking for the amount of weight she is carrying. Her pastern angles have nice slope and length, but her feet appear to be smaller than mare 1. However, they are larger than mare 4 and appear to be the same size as mare 3. She has a very nicely angled shoulder, however, her neck is a little heavier than I'd like to see it. Her throatlatch could use some refining; however, her head is feminine and matches the rest of her body. If this mare had a little more carry down through the hip and a hair shorter back she would have been placed first.

Horse 3: While I don't much care for the looks of this mare or the way she is set up, she places over mare 4 for the following reasons: balance and bone. While she is not at all (to me) pleasing to look at, she has more bone to support her body weight than mare 4 and her body proportions are better balanced as well. This mare is mutton withered and lacks depth through the heartgirth. Her withers also do not extend as far into her back due to a more upright shoulder. However, her back is short and she has decent length of hip. While she, like horse 2, could use a bit more carry down through the hip, horse 4 is goose rumped. Her gaskins are of good length but could use a bit more muscle. This mare's hocks are deceiving. While she looks as though you could drop a plumb line behind her, she is actually camped out a bit. (Look at her point of hip in relation to her stifle joint). If she were stood up properly, she would be a little sickle hocked (about like mare 2). Her pastern angles are great and she has nice length to her pasterns. Front legs appear straight with no deviation. Her shoulder is a bit upright (which is why her withers do not extend well into her back). Her neck ties in much lower than what I like (giving her that nest appearance); however, her throatlatch is surprisingly nice. While her head is kind of plain, it is better than mare 1 and 4 but not as nice as mare 2. I placed this mare over 4 because this mare will hold up to a riding career while mare 4 likely will not.

Horse 4: What an impressive looking mare... till ya get to her head! But... Daddy always said "you don't ride the head." This is true, but her head isn't even big enough to act as a proper pendulum. I really like the shape of this mare's neck and the way it ties into to her chest, but it's just not big enough for her body. It needs to be a little thicker to match the rest of her mass. Her withers are better than mare 3, but do not extend into the back as well as mare 1 or 2. Her back is nice and short; but her croup is not ideal. She is goose rumped as all get out. She has great carry down through the hip; but it's even more exaggerated due to her being so goose rumped. If this mare had mare 1's hip and bone she'd be a hell of a halter contender. The thing I like best about this mare is her gaskin and hock. She has beautiful, low set hocks and very nice length to her gaskin, as well as muscle. Her hind pasterns match the angle of her shoulder, but the angle of her front pasterns is more upright than her shoulder. These un-matching angles can cause future soundness problems. If you look very closely at the picture she also appears to toe out slightly in the front. This will cause her to rotate her knee during movement. While this makes for a "flat kneed mover, her sheer mass will cause her to break down due to her minimal bone. Her shoulder is nice, better than mare 3, but not quite as laid back as mare 1 or 2. Her neck could use a little more depth and her throatlatch could be a little more refined. her head, well... it's just too damn small. It reminds me of the guy that had his head shrunk at the end of the movie "Beetle Juice." Where the hell is her jowl? This mare placed last because she lacks balance and bone. Her shoulder is a bit heavier than her hip. Her heartgirth is wonderful but she is supporting about 12-1300 lbs on bone that could be no more than 5 inches in diameter. It's just not enough bone to support her body. If her hip was a bit longer, her head a bit bigger, her front pasterns at a better angle, and her bone a bit larger, this mare would be one hell of a riding horse (structural wise). Of course, the weight would have to come off first!

Saturday, 02 May 2009

How Bout that Derby!!

A big congratulations to Mine that Bird, his jockey, owner and trainer. What a race! That gelding completely blew the rest of the pack away. I was a bit disappointed with the call, the annoncer didn't even acknowledge the horse until it damn near crossed the line.

There is nothing better than seeing an owner care for his horse so much he drove the horse there himself. His owner knew that horse was special. And what great riding by the jockey. He was in tears at the end of the race. Now that was a well derserved victory and a much appreciated victory as well.

Not to mention the horse is a gelding without the chance of ever reproducing(obviously). From what I have seen of the owner, he looks like a man that is in it for the joy and he takes his horse seriously. This was by far one of the best derbys ever in my book. What did you guys think?

Friday, 01 May 2009

So Who's Going?

This is just going to be a quick little post. I was wanting to know if anyone else was going to go to the APHA Memorial Day Spectacular in Waco? I and several others from the free speech board will be there, but I was interested to see who else might be going. I think it would be a great opportunity to meet some of you if you are going, sit back and have a good time. So who's going?