bridle-less:

chase-me-charlie:

varsityrider:

bridle-less:

I don’t understand how it’s seen as cruelty to kennel a dog all of the time or not let it out of the house, etc but it’s seen as acceptable for horses to be stalled 24/7 and when people do speak against it, they get torn apart with 1000 reasons on why it’s “okay”.

I want this written across my body 

The only time it’s okay is for injuries, breeding, OR harsh weather. 

16 hours a day minimum

"But my horse loses weight when I turn him out!" Then figure out what’s making him lose weight. He’s either nervous about something or is getting bullied by other horses or something along those lines. It’s your job as his owner to make sure he’s comfortable in his environment and tailor the diet you’re giving him to fit his routine. A healthy and content adult horse does not spend his time tearing around his pasture or playing with other horses. They spend their time grazing. Walking to a new spot, then grazing some more. Maybe lay down and take a nap. If he’s cold find a blanket that keeps him warm. Figure. It. Out.

"But she’s so accident prone!" 

image

Also it’s then your job to make super sure there’s nothing for her to hurt herself on. Make sure your fences are well maintained. Make sure the ground is level (i.e. fill in holes and divots). Make sure trees are pruned. Make sure the footing of your pasture is good (i.e. block of super muddy areas, etc). Don’t leave a halter on her.

"But I ride him every day. He gets exercise." Ah, yes, sitting in his stall for 22 hours straight, getting about two hours of exercise, then sitting in his stall for another 22 hours. Such a healthy routine.

"But big show barns do it all the time!" Well big show barns are not always perfect. Plenty of big show barns do less than wonderful things to their horses, it does not mean it’s suddenly OK to do those things.

No excuses. If your horses is not injured, sick, or ready to foal, and the conditions of the turn out area are not horrendous, then your horse needs to be out in the pasture.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Bless you guys

(via scienceofcatastrophe)

Q

rainflaaash asked:

so annoyed right now with the way people are reacting to that tiny kid going over the cross rail. it is NOT cute. i just... why does nobody else seem to have a problem with it? the pony clearly isn't over-jumping, so you can't blame it on that. there's no reason for that child to be in that position other than bad instruction.

A

fivegaited:

Because there’s a really damaging and pervasive attitude out there that ponies are “brats” “monsters” “devils” etc. and somehow deserve to be treated roughly and get pulled and kicked around.  There is literally nothing inherently different about ponies and horses, save for size.  There are hot-blooded, thin skinned, sensitive ponies and there are cold blooded, heavier built, equally sensitive ponies.  Ponies are small horses, period, the end.  Pony training is no different than horse training, except that, because ponies are smaller, they are often given minimal training by adults and then passed on to kids who do not have the fine motor skills or muscle control to train them with the same sensitivity a skilled adult would have.  Often, the ponies are still very green when they’re handed over to children as competition mounts.  So you get these ponies that start to hate their jobs, because they aren’t being ridden with any sensitivity - it’s uncomfortable for the animal.  The pony starts to refuse to move forward, or starts to go too fast.  Maybe it swishes the tail, pins the ears, grinds the teeth, rears or bucks - the problems progress until it’s too much and the child falls off or gets scared, and then an adult gets on the pony and “schools” it, i.e. punishes it for the bad behavior the child has taught it.  It’s a vicious cycle that teaches kids to be tough, gutsy, and aggressive with ponies rather than prioritizing good and soft riding, and it creates uncomfortable situations for the animal and dangerous situations for the child.  Rather than keeping the child on the lunge line until they have developed a good and independent seat, and teaching them to respect and be soft with their mount, the entire lesson comes to a crashing halt because the pony isn’t going forward, and suddenly the trainer is yelling at the kid to “kick harder!  use the crop!”  Suddenly, no one is worrying about the kid’s riding at all - it’s all about how naughty the pony is.  Bit by bit you get these kids that are very aggressive, unbalanced, UGLY riders, and people think it’s cute until they’re about 14 - then suddenly it’s gross, and everyone’s just kind of at a loss.  None of this is the child’s fault, of course, but it’s extremely irresponsible on the part of the adults who are responsible for both the ponies and the children.  Ponies that are going to carry children need to be in training with adults at least part of the time, in hand if the adult is too large to ride them, so that they stay sensitive and maintain positive attitudes about their “jobs”.  Likewise, kids need to spend time on the lunge line and develop their seat and balance before they are ever given a set of reins, let alone a bit.

Here’s a cute video of a 5-year-old child getting a riding lesson on a champion stallion in Iceland - you’ll notice that the child’s only focus is on her seat and balance - the trainer is controlling the horse’s speed and direction with voice cues, and the child does not have reins to worry about.  Here is a video of the same pair, four years later - you can see what a soft and balanced rider she became (she and the stallion appear at 1:05).  A good foundation early on makes a HUGE difference in what kind of rider a child will become.

barefootdressage and thecityhorse are two tumblr users that teach children to ride and prioritize teaching good and soft riding, respect for the horse, and a solid foundation, if you’re interested in seeing kids being educated responsibly I suggest checking out those blogs.

classicalequestrian:

unhappyhorses:

fivegaited:

the-eventer:

fivegaited:

rainflaaash:

otteventer:

the-eventer:

100% not photoshopped 😂

Lol just saw this on fb

pretty sure this kid thinks s/he’s a barrel racer

everything about this is atrocious, this child’s instructors should be fired immediately.

Chill out, she’s six years old I think she can be cut a little slack

Do you really think I’m criticizing a six year old?  I’m not.  I’m criticizing whatever irresponsible adults are providing her with this disastrous foundation to her horsemanship education.  Children are never to blame for something like this, the adults in charge are to blame.

This^

like she said the instructors should be fired not “that kid shouldnt ride ever again”

classicalequestrian:

unhappyhorses:

fivegaited:

the-eventer:

fivegaited:

rainflaaash:

otteventer:

the-eventer:

100% not photoshopped 😂

Lol just saw this on fb

pretty sure this kid thinks s/he’s a barrel racer

everything about this is atrocious, this child’s instructors should be fired immediately.

Chill out, she’s six years old I think she can be cut a little slack

Do you really think I’m criticizing a six year old?  I’m not.  I’m criticizing whatever irresponsible adults are providing her with this disastrous foundation to her horsemanship education.  Children are never to blame for something like this, the adults in charge are to blame.

This^

like she said the instructors should be fired not “that kid shouldnt ride ever again”

(via scienceofcatastrophe)

sandetiger:

welcometofigtown:

Sometimes I’m kinda irritated that barefoot is almost always a “last ditch” thing in the horse world. So is ethical/+R training. Just seems silly.

It’s so fucking obnoxious and ridiculous. You’d think it’d be a primary thing, but no it’s just a fair weather add-on for some people

Q

Anonymous asked:

Damn. Trying to compliment your horse, but you respond with a sarcastic post as a jerk.

A

Wat?

fivegaited:

barefootdressage:

be-equine:

fivegaited:

nattabeest:

fivegaited:

seeing foals kept in stalls/small paddocks hurts my spirit

sometimes it’s necessary just fyi

Except in cases of very serious illness or injury (in which case the arrangement would be temporary and the foal would be returned to 24/7 outdoor time afterwards) I…

people in countries that have like bears and wolves and other larger predators wandering around. Do you take extra measures to keep foals safe from predators? Like I’d imagine this would be one of the main reasons they’d be kept in… it’d be mine if I were a breeder… not saying I disagree with letting foals be outside in large paddocks, growing and exploring both physically and mentally… I’m just curious on any techniques/ equipment/ security you’d use

I’ll chime in here since I’m in a predator heavy environment.

For the last few years in this area, the coyotes and the wolves have started interbreeding.  They’re bigger, smarter, they’re hunting in large packs and they don’t have any fear of humans on farm lands. 

I took this photo, on my own land, while standing within a stones throw from my indoor riding arena and my paddocks, in broad daylight.  They had taken down a full sized deer.  They look like a large, strong jawed coyote and all the ones I’ve seen have been a variation on this colour.  They sound like coyotes, they call around my house almost every night, especially in the winter, and will come up to the lawn.  I’ve counted and the pack is usually large, 10, 15, 20 voices depending on the time of year.

In the past few months my neighbours have lost several calves and lambs.  And about a month ago not too far from here they took down a yearling.  Predators like this are absolutely a threat to your livestock, and not one to be taken lightly.

I’m very anti-gun, anti-shooting-natural-predators whenever possible.  I make exceptions when wild animals are obviously sick or suffering, and I’ll be real with you here:  I’m a pretty tough Canadian woman and I’ve been living in the wilderness alone for the past 5 years, and these guys terrify me.  I’m seriously considering getting a rifle, for my own protection.  My friends 12-year-old children were surrounded by a pack a few winters ago and they were almost killed.  They sharpened up some sticks into spears and managed to keep the pack at bay until they made it out of the woods.  A friend of a friend of mine was on a walk by herself in Nova Scotia and she was killed by coyote.  And I just talked to another friend of mine who says her boyfriend caught a cougar on his crittercam not too far from here.  I just heard on the news the other day that wild boars were spotted east of Ottawa.  We all have stories, us Canadians living out in the middle of nowhere.

I mean, you guys don’t often hear about this stuff but it happens.  The coyote interbreeding is actually decimating the timber wolf population as well. I’m not well versed in conservation but I have friends who are and every time I talk about it with them they make it clear that it’s a real concern.

So, non-lethal alternatives.  

Keeping the young and frail in at night is a time tested and very pacifistic way of keeping them safe.  I’m an advocate for holistic management, on a PP 24/7, and I completely understand that it’s not always a manageable scenario.

Heavy duty electrified fence enclosures work well.  Even small ones that you can turn into at night instead of going the stall route.  They aren’t 100% predator proof but they’re a viable solution.  Not great for newborns, though.

Protective animals.  I keep at least three large dogs at all times, two of which are +100lbs, and a clever border collie that they take their cues from.  At least one male dog, and make sure the recall cue for all of them is very strong.  They take stupid risks when their blood is up.

I make sure that all of the herds are intermixed in terms of size/aggression.  The smaller or more frail animals are kept closer to the house, where the dogs can help raise the alarm if they hear stuff happening.

Chi is very canine aggressive.  If you have a gelding like this who will fulfill the stallion role it’s ideal.  He’ll help the mares protect the foals, and if they’re kept together he’ll teach them to protect themselves.  My own dogs aren’t even allowed in the paddocks with Chi.  He’s raised Xen to be the same.  Those two will try to kill anything smaller than them that isn’t human or equine.

A donkey!  Donkeys are very popular with cattle farmers in this area.  They’re relatively easy to keep, will move with the herd, and they can be incredibly aggressive.  Also the bray will scare the everloving bejesus out of just about any predator.  I know of a mini donkey named Murray who terrorized a fully grown black bear right off my friends property!  Clearly no one ever told him how small he was.

I keep lights on at night.  I have two big streetlights in the barn yard that are on sensors, and they’ll come on when it gets dark enough.  I also make sure it’s not too quiet, I frequently have loud music playing and there are power tools running.  This does nothing for these wolf hybrids but it keeps the bears/cougars/normal wolves at bay.

That’s all I can think of for non-lethal prevention off the top of my head.  During the summer months when foals are really small and helpless it’s usually not that bad, because the smaller animals are out of hibernation and the packs seem to break up a bit to hunt the smaller prey.  But last winter was long and harsh, and this winter is forecast to be just as bad if not worse.  That’s usually when the hybrids start grouping together to take on bigger prey, and that’s when you really need to worry.

Before the hybrids came I didn’t have any problems with the natural predators in this area.  My dogs would actually go out and play with the transient timber wolves!  And the bears would sooner race for cover than let you get a good look at them.  I only ever saw one large cat, and it raced off too quickly for me to tell you what it was.  

Now I’m too nervous to take a walk in the woods in winter by myself.  I certainly don’t blame anyone who lives in a predator heavy environment for wanting to protect their foals by bringing them in at night.

Yay I’m so glad you responded to this, because you live in a MUCH scarier predatory environment than I do.  We have coyotes and bears, but nothing the mama mares can’t fend off - the Icelandic horsepeople I’m friends with here keep the mares and foals out 24/7 in pastures that mimic Iceland as much as possible, and no one has ever had any sort of trouble - I also think there are enough small animals for the predators to eat here, as (knock on wood) they’ve never bothered my small dogs or kitties either.  But you’re in a much more rural environment with much bigger predators and in that case, of course I wouldn’t object to bringing them in at night - but I also know that you keep your horses out in enormous outdoor spaces with a lot of different kinds of challenging terrain and interesting places to explore, which keeps the horses alert and moving.  My original post was referencing people who keep foals in stalls or in flat, boring paddocks ALL THE TIME, which we all know is a thing that people do quite often (sometimes the foal only has the mare for company!) and I seriously object to that unless the mare or foal is sick or injured and MUST be confined.  For horses like yours that are outside running around and exploring all day, of course I don’t think it’s a bad thing to bring them in at night for safety.  My own horses come in at night in the summer months, because of the small biting flies that imported Icelandic horses are so often allergic to (because Iceland doesn’t have such bugs, domestic bred Icelandic horses don’t have the allergy, yadda yadda) and they LOVE running into their stalls at night - I think that, after a day of being outside and moving around, they actually like having a quiet, secure place to sleep at night, but I know that wouldn’t be the case if they were kept in a more boring environment.  Horses should be outside moving around as much as possible, especially when they are young and growing - when I breed the Queen Bee, I plan to build her a deluxe shed with fans so she has a place to get away from the flies at night, and let the horses stay out 24/7 with the foal (and hopefully a friend of mine will send her pregnant mar too so that there are two foals to play together).  But who knows, maybe I’ll chicken out about the coyotes and bring them in at night.  As long as they’re out all day running around in the big, steep pastures which loop through groves of trees and other interesting places to explore, I don’t think it matters if they come in at night.  What hurts my soul is seeing foals kept in unsuitable, confining environments all the time.  

classicalequestrian:

fivegaited:

barefootdressage:

fivegaited:

fivegaited:

greyhorsephoto:

classicaldreaming:

classicalequestrian:

greyhorsephoto:

Last weekend I was in Wellington, Florida for an international equine advocacy conference. During the course of the weekend we toured some of the most lavish, multi-million-dollar barns in the world. They were gorgeous — the best in ventilation, architecture, building materials, and extravagance money could buy. But walking through all I could think was, ‘This is still prison for a horse…’

At the end of the day they are still prey animals trapped in a solitary confinement box.

I’ve never been obsessed with barns much for this reason. Of course you want a barn that has what horses need (lighting, ventilation, etc) in case they do need to stay there and maybe a few rooms for tack or feed. But really horses shouldn’t be in barns everyday. To me it’s more important to build a safe and engaging paddock or pasture than barn.

lots of people turn their horses out during the day and keep them in boxes overnight. the stable i did work experience at took them in at 5pm, fed them, gave them another biscuit of hay and a check over at 10pm for any signs of colic or sickness, then they were let out the next day at 5am. particularly for the night check, it’s an easy way to monitor for any developing signs of laminitis, colic etc quickly and in one place. particularly in -4 temps, it’s nice for the caretakers to do things quickly, have all the rugs there, etc.

anyway, at the end of the day, we don’t know if this place has 8 boxes and 20 horses, or if horses are even in there. not defending permanent stalling at all - i hate when they’re kept in stalls 24/7 with no physical reason for them to be there.

also i hate it when they close the bars totally so they can’t poke their heads out and see what’s going on or commuicate with horses next to them.

classicaldreaming, this was an international jumper barn, 20 stalls. I’m not sure who owns it, but with horses at this level of competition it’s safe to assume the horses spend more time inside, or being ridden, than they do out. There were some very pretty little paddocks outside for turnout, but not nearly the same number as there were stalls.

We also visited two polo farms. One had 120 stalls. The polo horses’ schedule was described to us as a morning outing and an afternoon outing, one horse under saddle and up to four in-hand being ponied along, walk/trot/canter. On a competition day they would only go out once. Great that they can stretch their legs but these “top notch” horses don’t get to be real horses until they break down.

When I rode at the big name hunter jumper barn, the horses had big stalls in a beautiful barn, and one hour of turnout a day in a small paddock.  Two if they were lucky.  They could not touch other horses, in their stalls or in their paddocks.  The paddocks were not big enough for the horses to canter in, because the fear was that they would run like crazy and hurt themselves.  Horses went out for their one hour of turnout in galloping boots on all 4 feet AND bell boots.  Unsurprisingly, colic and tendon injuries were common, because jumping horses that have been standing in a box for 23 hours is a really stupid thing to do, but somehow, that’s the norm for how those horses are kept.  These were VERY expensive horses, but why fascinated me was that, even when owners watched their horses get injured/sick in this setup again and again, they never made changes to the care regimen.   The serious riders had more than one horse, so they had something to show while one horse was injured.  All of this is supposed to protect the investment they’ve made, in buying such an expensive animal, and no one wants to admit that the protective measures are quite literally killing the horses.  Bizarre.  

Another story, one year a foal was born at that barn, and the only outdoor time the poor thing ever got was in a small sand paddock.  He stood in there with his mama all day long with nothing to do and nowhere to go and then went into a box at night.  What a life.  Unsurprisingly, he was tiny for his age and narrow-chested.  I will say, though, that the foal was born there because the owner wanted it, and not because it was something the trainers recommended.  The staff was pretty appalled and weren’t too quiet about it, and the mare and foal were moved somewhere after a few months.  Still, the damage from the poor care and environment in the first few months is something that will haunt that horse for his whole life, people have got to realize that.

Reblogging for the commentary and also to add:

When I was in school the turnout schedule in my program was 4 hours a day, max. And that was in small, crowded, flat, rectangular paddocks. The horses had round the clock care with several professional horsepeople and veterinarians, daily exercise, and they were still dying of colic and had massive amounts of stall caused behavioural issues.

My roommate and I opted to keep our horses at a stable nearby that offered 24/7 turnout, even through some very cold -40 weather and blizzards. My appendix and her TB were still healthier than those stall kept horses.

If you guys ever have a change to visit and work with horses kept on a track system, or to see a horses personality change after a few months on a track… It’s really remarkable. It changes your perceptions.

I firmly believe that prolonged confinement and minimal turnout ruins horses, especially during their formative years but even just in general.

It boggles my mind that people will invest so much time, money, and effort into something and then just destroy it with husbandry practices that are ineffective.

Sing it!!

And it’s really annoying when people say it’s okay to have horses in stalls all the time because the stalls have a run. No? That’s like if you were trapped in your room and then you were allowed to walk down the hallway but nowhere else. You can’t run or play or do anything in a hallway.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI78r-xYaxs&feature=youtu.be

This is Viviane Theby, a German clicker trainer I met while at a Straightness Training clinic in Holland.  She practices Straightness Training using +R with her horses as well as working with other animals such a chickens and dogs.  

I highly recommend this video!

train-to-win:

roanappaloosa:

Well, I think I get a pretty good view from the foal watch tower.

Holy crap🙌

(via scienceofcatastrophe)

Q

Anonymous asked:

I read the story about the guy who stopped riding his hourses because it's not good for them. Can you post the link where you said why riding hourses isn't good for them? I can't find anything about that in the Internet. would be really kind!

A

animalethics:

How fit were these horses, how old were they, when did they begin under saddle work, what was their diet and general husbandry like, did they receive enough turn out in pasture daily, was the equitation of each rider equally as good or were there differences in the quality of riding of every horse? Has a study been done on horses who have never been shod, were not started before their skeletal structures fully formed, who were conditioned from the ground prior to starting under saddle work, were not trained with aversives, and have proper diets/supplements and access to pasture on a daily basis? What sort of saddles were used, how much experience did each rider have in that saddle, is there any information regarding actually properly fitted saddles, etc.?

Distortion or overexpansion from overstress and/or overstrain, causes great damage to ligaments and muscles. The cranial part of the lumbar vertebrae is often the area where much of the distortion is localized. Many factors take part in the occurrence of distortion, for example, long periods of working the horse (conventional riding).

But nothing’s been said of horses whose riders take these factors into account and micromanage the amount of under saddle work their horses receive, I’m assuming?

fightingforanimals:

Maksida Vogt has a lot of articles and references under some literature titled "The Harm of Riding": 1, 2, 3, 4

image

Here are some excerpts: 

Read More

In most cases, horses used in jumping, military and versatility sports have convergence of the spinous processes, and are more likely to develop to KSS. The main cause for development of KSS is due to the weight of the rider, on horses that are far too young and forced to carry this weight. (JEFFCOTT 1980a, 1993; v.SALIS; HUSKAMP 1978) And taking into consideration the time the spineous processes need to grow, we can then assume these are all horses ridden before at least the age of 5.

So… nothing has been done regarding proper, ethical horsemanship.

fivegaited:

mulishmusings:

fivegaited:

mulishmusings:

tauntaunrider:

fivegaited:

mulishmusings:

tauntaunrider:

This is rather interesting.

I think the same can be said for patting a dog on the head. I don’t know when it became a thing to “pat” or rather practically smack an animal to show affection, but it rarely is well received by the animals. Just because they don’t respond aggressively, doesn’t mean they like or enjoy it.

Does ANYONE enjoy pats? On the rare occasions I’ve been pat on the back or something I’ve been like um.. Can u not…

if you pat me on the back chances are i’m going to probably cry because I have a pinched nerve and hyperlordosis so yeah…i’m not sure anyone really enjoys them

Only exception is certain cats on the base of their tail. They go crazy for it. But not all cats, just some.

My dog likes pats at the base of his tail actually, but soft, silent pats.. When I reblogged this I was thinking of the loud slapping pats most people give horses and sometimes dogs (and each other - “the ol’ slap on the back!”). I think a soft noiseless pat is probably fine most of the time :)

But not on the head. Nothing likes to be patted on the head, soft or not.

Definitely not.

How do horses feel about having their manes pulled?

A brilliant recent study by MSc student Louise Nicholls found that horses are unsurprisingly pretty stressed by the process. Louise compared the heart rates and behaviour of 20 horses having their manes pulled or touched.

The results showed that the horses mean heart rates were significantly higher when they had their manes pulled than when their manes were touched. The horses also had higher mean heart rates when the mane pulling was started at the poll working down, than at the withers working up.

The horses also moved far more when their manes were pulled compared to mane touching e.g. ears back, standing alert, licking and chewing, a high neck position, head tossing, mouth tight and tail swishing and clamping - indicating they experienced discomfort or pain at the process being performed.

While the horse’s stress and discomfort may seem obvious to many horse owners, this appears to be the first time the effects of mane pulling has been studied - so a huge well done to Louise for raising awareness on this subject. I wouldn’t like to have my hair pulled out forcibly either! Time to find another way to keep manes tidy - or just leave them as nature intended.

Huge thanks to Louise for sharing her study findings.

mvlans:

when someone says something so wrong that really pisses you off but you don’t wanna start an argument so you just sit there like

image

(via scienceofcatastrophe)