All the things I mention below are easily fixed by taking the time to understanding the horse. Treat the horse the way you would want to be treated and take the time it takes, to teach the horse without fear and abuse. Anything I promote is because I believe it is best for the horse. Try and stay open and do your own research to prove or disprove, but remember, if you were a horse, how would you want to be treated?
Keeping a horse alone. One of the saddest things in the world to see is a lone horse standing alone. They will stand in the corner with their head hung low and a blank lost look on their face. Their spirit is stolen by their owner. Horses are one of the most social animals on the earth. Separating them from their pasture mates, buddies and friends is as cruel as abusing them in other ways. There are so many horses that need a home and because they were seized from an abusive owner or were rescued for some other reason. Surely a owner of a horse could find it in their heart, to at least give your horse a pasture buddy rather than sentence him to a life of loneliness and solitude.
Another story where a horse pays for careless humans
Tuolumne County woman drags horse nearly 4 miles
The Associated Press
SONORA, Calif. -- Authorities say a Tuolumne County woman likely will not face animal cruelty charges after she accidentally dragged a horse behind a trailer for almost four miles.
Margaret Whitelaw said she discovered her daughter's horse dead Monday night after she saw in her right mirror that the trailer's right door was open.
Sonora police Chief Mark Stinson said officials found streaks of blood along roads for about 3 3/4 miles.
Whitelaw said she did not notice the horse falling out because she was driving on a bumpy dirt road. The 55-year-old Jamestown resident said it was too dark to see the door was open until she drove into downtown Sonora. This was the second time this woman as done this.
The lady that is mentioned in this news article contacted me and called me an "asshole" for putting this on my site. After I asked her to explain what the problem was and that calling me names did not help. She went on to try and justify these accidents with lots of excuses and blamed it on kids and said she should have checked but didn't. No kidding, your are the adult and it is your responsibility. I told her that I would attach her explanation so the readers could decide for themselves. She did not want her long list of excuses posted and did not want this article posted. This story was posted in two different papers that I know of. Although I could post her emails to me, as stated in my release of liability, I have decided not to post it since I don't think it changes what happened to the horses. This site is for learning, so I hope people learn from this and take responsibility for what happens to their horses under their control.
The bottom line as I see it, and I was not there and don't know this lady except from her constant crazy emails that threatens to sue me and her telling me of her "life long" experience and how she is so upset about her name being in the paper. Dealing with this woman is not much different than a lot of horse women that want to make everything about them and not the horse. Had this happened to a child this woman would be charged with crimes and be in jail, since it was only a helpless horse, nothing happens but her name is put in the paper. One article said she was not charged since "she did not appear to have acted maliciously", it may not be malicious but it damn sure appears negligent and not responsible. Perhaps if the laws held people responsible for killing their animals, it would not go on so much. If this woman would have to pay a fine of 10 thousand dollars or more and faced possible jail time, I would bet she would be more careful and more responsible, she would not have excuses since she would have probably checked and made sure her horses were safe. But since she gets off with nothing but her poor name in paper, she wants to demand protection, claim to be the victim and threaten to sue me. Who gets to sue on the behalf of the horse? Not once, but twice. Who is looking out for them? Who is protecting their life and safety? It should have been her and now she wants sympathy from me. Sorry, this site is about helping horses, not some crying horse killer that is sad her name was put in the paper.
I continue to get harassing and threatening emails from this person. So I am posting a way to contact this person and if anyone wants to hear her "side" of the story, feel free to contact her. Maybe she will stop emailing me. *Contact this Responsible Horse Owner by Clicking Here
In the video below it shows a horse (pony) being transported in the backseat of a car. This is so dangerous I can't cover all the things that could go wrong. The tires could blow out from the extra weight shift, the axle could break due to load, the horse could spook, if the car gets cut off and has to brake, the horse will end up in the front seat, could knock out the driver, could bread a window, could panick and try to get out, could start kicking, could get hung up in the seat belt, could bite the driver, the list could on and on and all would end with bad results for the horse. But here we are again a woman buys a horse, no truck, no trailer, no sense and then she will be crying and feeling bad when someone or the horse is dead, and then people will feel sorry for this poor lady. I have zero tolerace for Ignorance that forces a horse to pay. Some may find this video cute, I find it abusive, dangerous and ignorant.
The term "respect my space". This is the most over used and abused term in the horse world. This was started as a safety issue. It has evolved into a sad situation for the horse. If you want a relationship with your horse, stop pushing it away from you, stop backing it up for getting close to you and stop treating it worse than you would treat your dog or kids. Respecting space is an awareness issue. You want a horse to be aware of you, not to step on you or run you over. You will not do this by constantly nagging, popping it with a lead buckle and pushing your horse away.
Popping your horse with a lead buckle, using a stud chain, a gum line and snapping it to hurt and scare your horse is just mean. Anyone that thinks this is the way you have a relationship and build trust is sadly mistaken. I see people spoil their horse with food, carrots, treats, grooming, feet care and then they hurt, snap and scare their horse every time they lead them. Chains across the nose, over the gum line or under the chin is just plain mean. Popping the lead rope so the bucket hits the horse under his sensitive chin is dumb! If you do these things, stop it. Learn how to communicate with your horse without fear or pain!
Blanketing a horse and then leaving it on all day. I live in California, it barely gets to freezing at night and rarely during the day. Yet I see horses with blankets left on all day and all night. And these are horses with covered shelters and not exposed to elements. (I just shake my head and think, poor horse) People do more damage than good when you leave blankets on the horse all the time. If you feel you must blanket your horse, at least make sure you take it off during the day or when it gets warm. If your horse sweats during the day, he will be colder at night than if you had never blanketed him. And lets not forget all those horse lovers that are too lazy to groom their horse so they leave a blanket on their horse all day when it it hot, so it will make the horse sweat and lose their hair faster.
People walking into a herd of horses with a grain bucket. Any five year old with just a little bit of horse sense knows that this will cause trouble. Yet I see grown adults, that claim to be horse people, continue to do this. Then they blame the other horses for coming over and wanting some grain. Learn to catch your horse a better way and not the lazy way, that sets up other horses to get blamed for wanting some food, starts fights, and gets horses into trouble.
A horse is killed during a bull fighting event. This is routine at all bull fighting events, but cruel and evil people still attend and pay money to watch this sad and appalling treatment of these defenseless animals who are being forced to be in danger.
Shoeing horses that are ridden twice a week. The hoof wall is a sealed capsule to prevent infection. Hammering nails into the wall compromises the hoof and makes it much more likely to get an infection or abscess. Shoes prevent the hoof from expanding and contracting when the horse walks to adsorb his weight. Shoes prevents the hoof from growing naturally and stops the sole from becoming tough to protect the inner hoof. Shoes became popular when castles came along and horses were required to be kept in stalls and walked on stone roads. If you shoe your horse, do some research, ask your farrier and ask other farriers about making your horse barefoot. You will be doing your horse a favor and saving money. Unless you do lots of riding on rough terrain, your horse normally does not need shoes. Never ask a barber if you need a haircut and be careful if you ask a farrier if your horse needs shoes.
Branding horses was a long and old tradition. Burning the skin and flesh with a fire hot
iron was an accepted way to mark your stock. Cowhide is much tougher than horse hide, but I'm thinking it hurts just as much. A horse has very sensitive skin. Remember a horse can feel and shake a fly off his hip. This video shows a horse react to the burn of a brand. The horse's reaction is fast it is hard to see. Today most horses that require branding are freeze branded. This a much more humane way to mark a horse.
Here is an old picture of a horse thief hanging, back in the day justice was swift. The language attached to this picture was: Bill Green stole a horse this morning and now Bill Green is dead.
Stalling your horse.
From a horse's point of view, stalls are small, confining, dark, and lonely. A horse in a stall has to smell and stand in his own urine and feces. He cannot walk, he cannot breath fresh air, he can't lie down in a clean spot and he cannot see or play with his friends. I know some don't have the option, but if you have a choice, try and think like your horse. If you decide to keep your horse out of a stall, then you truly understand the horse. If you don't understand horses, you will justify this by saying, my horse has horses next to him, my horse can walk out into his turnout, my horse likes his stall and so on. If you really believe this, leave your stall door open and see if your horse stays or leaves. Short periods in a stall with lots of turnout and exercise may be nice, but too many people use a stall as a easy way out, it is easy to catch their horse, it is easy to put up, it is easy to keep if from getting dirty, and so on. More hours in a stall than out is a very sad life for a horse. They get little mental stimulation and have lots of excess energy that will end up coming out is other ways.
Twitching a nose, using a gum line, or ear twisting are all forms of fear, pain and intimidation. Using these methods destroy trust and make the horse more fearful than he was before you started hurting him. These can have a place if done right and with care. I did an article on this if you want to read more, Twitching. Don't use them inappropriately and don't let other use them on your horse. Look at the eyes of this horse with the lion, how do you think they got this horse to do this trick? Pain, fear, intimidation and meanness. This horse is not happy, is not enjoying his job and is scared to death, but something is overriding his fear of being eaten by this lion???? Fear of the person making him do this, what a sad life for this horse.
Forcing a horse into a trailer. This always amazes me. I see horses get pushed, dragged, beat, shocked, whipped and crammed into trailers. These poor horses rear and cut their heads, flip over in complete panic, kick, scream and literally fear for their life. Why do people do this? Because people don't understand the horse. A trailer is about the scariest place in the world for a horse. It is dark, confined, no way out and totally unknown to a horse. I would love to take these people that do this, blindfold them, shove them in a dark room and tell them, there is an alligator, a 50 foot hole, a live electrical wire, a man with a gun and a man with a knife all in this dark room, now get in! And then if they resist in the least bit, just do to them what they do to a horse. Please don't beat, scare or force your horse into a trailer. This is mainly for first timers, once a horse knows how to load and is just being disrespectful, then being more forceful may be necessary. Look at the pain in this horse while he over flexes.
HORSE SLAUGHTER: This link is disturbing and shows horses being led to slaughter. The gun used by the killer is shooting a steel rod into the horse. **Viewer Warning** If you view this, you will see horses actually being killed and skinned at a slaughter house. I don't like this video and think it is horrible. However, until you see it, it is hard to believe this actually goes on everyday. Click here to see Horse Slaughter Video
The picture below is another example of the cruel people that do horse slaughter and the disrespect shown to the amazing creatures "the Horse"
Big bits! Again, if you were a horse, would want metal in your mouth. Not to mention, the person holding the reins tight and pulling on the mouth, popping the bit, is not much a horseman. Some people need a bit to feel in control, this is normally a lack of confidence and knowledge about the horse. I am a big believer in halter or bit less riding. A lot of people who don't understand the horse think that a metal bit will give them control over the horse. These people have never ridden a runaway or they would know it just ain't so. If you cannot ride a horse in it's halter, you need work on yourself and your horse needs work. Most good horsemen will always ride new horses with just a halter for their first few rides. If the horse has the proper foundation, no bit will ever be needed. Bit less bridles are more natural and kinder to the horse. I like the bosal, also known as a hackamore. There are others, such as the side pull, mechanical hackamore or halter hackamore. This next statement may upset some people, but "metal in the mouth = less horsemanship." I assure you, any good, knowledgeable trainer can get most any horse out of a bit and into a bitless bridle in less than a week. One week for a lifetime of happiness for your horse. Tough decision.... The bit pictured above is called a "Spade Bit". Notice the point in the middle that digs into the roof of the horse's mouth. Some would sharpen that point like a knife to show that it would cut the horse. And still today, real cowboys will tell you the bit is only as severe as the hands that hold it. (Poor Horse) Horses don't respect bits, whips or spurs. They fear them and associate them with pain. With proper horsemanship, a horse will respect you (see you as his leader) as a herd member and leader. There is a need for bits and spurs but not for most weekend or monthly riders.
Horse Abuse is so uncalled for. It comes in many different forms. Any form cannot be justified. I have attached some links to some good sites that try and prevent Abuse. Some pictures are graphic, but if you don't see it, it is hard to believe it is out there. Some of there sites are non-profit and some get money from sponsors for getting their site viewed. I am providing this for the information and to help The Horse.
This video is how to train a horse to buck. From watching this you see the guy is too big for the horse, the horse is too young, the horse is scared and confused, the horse is getting kicked (maybe spurred? can't see) and the horse has not been set up for success. This rider is basically teaching this horse how to buck, so the horse will get better at bucking.
Gingering: More brutal methods used to win points, prizes and medals. Gingering is the process used to make a horse consistently hold his tail in a high position, primarily for the show arena. Ginger or ginger extract is inserted into the rectum, causing a burning sensation that makes it uncomfortable for the horse to lower his tail. The procedure has become less common since animal protection groups began policing competitive horse events. Damn those pesky animal protection groups..... Perhaps shoving some crushed red pepper up the butts of the jerks doing this would impress the judges.
In the picture below is a poor neglected little horse that does not have a chance since it is so neglected and abused. How can anyone do this to poor defenseless animal? I hope there is a special place in hell for these people.
Obsession with Hot Wires: Hot wires may have a place, but they are used far too often and for the ignorant, too many people seem to see them as the ultimate easy way to fix a horse of anything. People use them for leaning on a fence, prevent playing by horses in stalls, to stop other horses from biting, to keep horses off the gates, to keep horses penned up, to keep horses away from hoses, to teach horses a lesson, to show them who is boss and a hundred other reasons. If someone would make it, there are lots of people who wear an hot wire body suit to teach a horse to "respect their space". Electricity falls into the same category as Chains. Both are bad for horses and do not train horses, they just hurt horses and increase fear. Both show an incredible lack of knowledge about horses the laziness of the owners that use them. There are many different options to prevent things that people use hot wires for. So when some "I have owned horses my entire life" type person tells you that a hot wire is what you need, know that this person obviously does not understand a horse. This person may have also owned a car their entire life, it does not mean they know how to fix your transmission.
Scaring Horses in Pasture is Dangerous: Another horse suffers from bad decision from life long horse owners. A person decided to drive a small 4X4 out into pasture with 20 horses. It was cute to see the horses run in a panic. Guess what, it spooked the horses so bad, the herd panicked, ran wildly and one horse was badly hurt. Since the horse was running full speed, scared and in a panic, probably from a strange, new sound and fast moving vehicle, the horse lost a leg. Horses do not run full speed blindly for no reason. Horses in a herd environment, who may be nice and calm alone will become a wild herd when only one horse gets scared and runs from fear and then may cause a chain reaction for the entire herd, much like "stampedes". Never scare horses in herd, they will run blindly and the likelihood of one getting hurt increased significantly.
Over Feeding Abuse: Some people still believe that by feeding a horse they think they are taking care of him and doing him a favor. How much is too much? At what point do people realize that an over weight horse is unhealthy and not good for the horse's legs, internal system and will make the horse live a painful and unhappy life.
Abuse comes in many forms: This is a picture of a horse so under fed that it died and no had the decency to bury it or even cover it up. During WWI, when horses were killed, people would come over and cut off the best parts of the horse for meat. Horses have been treasured and have always been used for man best use.
I always you can get a horse to do most anything if you use a enough force and fear. In the picture below this horse is forced to jump from a ramp and fall over 50 to 100 feet before hitting water. This goes against every instinct a horse has, not to mention the pain of the water shooting up his nose, eyes and ears. How cruel this is and people paid to see this.
Horse Racing: This is a horrible sport for horses. Horses are bred, started and worked too early, they locked in stalls, fed high energy foods and grains, worked very hard, then put back in their stalls (cells). Horses are worked so hard they routinely get injured and are forced to continue their training, of course with the use of drugs, shots, shock therapy and medications. It is not a good life for horse. And then they are tossed out to slaughter houses if they are not fast enough. This is the same old humans using horses to make money with no regard for the horse's welfare. Another horrible reality is "Horse Insurance". This is one the biggest scams and danger to horses. It is very common horse owners to take out insurance on a horse knowing the horse is injured and will probably break a leg of die in training or over worked until death. Of course then the greedy owners get paid thousands or millions for their insured horse. If horses were not able to be insured then there would be no benefit to killing them for the pay off.
Nothing good about horse racing and I would hope any horse lover would not help, assist or be involved in promoting or supporting any horse racing events.
Crazy Horse Stories:
I see and hear some crazy things from people who claim to be horse experts, horse people, horse trainers and my favorite "I have owned horses all my life" people. I decided to start documenting these to share and educate people on rumors and crazy talk that goes around the horse community. Feel free me email me your crazy advice you were given or stories stupid training you have seen done.
DON'T DO ANY OF THESE!
Two horses panicked or were being chased by coyotes, spooked or lost their night vision and ran into each other. Both horses hit head on at what appeared to be a full run and both horses died. Someone that has owned horses all their life, said that since one of the horses had grass in it's mouth, they could not have run into each other. According to this life long horse owner, a horse cannot run with grass in it's mouth. Please don't believe this. Another life long horse owner said two horse never run into each other so the horses must have been shot.
To break a horse from rearing, take a glass bottle with ketchup and hit the horse in the head when he rears. The horse will think he busted his head and is bleeding so he will never rear again. Idiots!
To make your horse dance and walk like he is dancing place marbles in his frog so the horse will pop his feet up and will walk pretty. This hurts and bruises the horses feet. This is stupidity at its best.
To stop a horse from pawing, tie a chain and tire to his leg so he will get tired of pulling up his foot and he will stop pawing. He will stop walking too if he damages his nerves, bones or coronary bands.
To stop a horse from pulling his head up when you are putting on a bit, park a tractor where you tie the horse and lift the metal bucket on top of the horse. Then when the horse lifts his head to get away from the bit, he will smash his head into the metal scoop and will learn not to raise his head. Idiots!
To get a horse into a trailer, hit him with a whip to show him who is boss or tie him to a big pole and run the rope in the front of the trailer and drive forward. The car will pull the horse into the trailer. Buffoons!
To teach a horse to respect you, tie the horse down to the ground, cover him with a tarp and beat the tarp. Then leave the horse there for hours without water. Then when you bring him water, he will know you saved him and will love and respect you. I would like to put a tarp on the one that came up with this one.
To teach a horse to keep his head down, tie a rope to his bit and then tie it to his cinch so he cannot lift his head and then run him and lunge him so he has to run with his head down or be in pain from the bit. This is sure way to teach a horse to rear and flip backwards. This is dumb and anyone who does this has no horse sense.
To teach a horse to keep his back feet planted so he can turn faster, put a piece of barbed wire inside a rear shipping boot and tie a rope to it. Then when the horse picks up or moves his back leg, you pull and yank on the string to hurt the horse and it will make him plant his foot. Then he will learn to keep his foot planted.
To show a horse who is boss, tie up one foot and make him run around on three legs, then when he is tired, pull his head around and throw him to the ground. Then he will know you are boss. He will also know you are cruel and he should never trust you.
To teach a horse how to lead and not pull, tie him to the back of a truck and drag him around a few miles, he will learn not to pull. This is from a life long horse owner that knows horses.
The bigger the bit, the more control you have over the horse. This is from a horse trainer who charges people to "train" their horses.
To teach a horse not to pull on the bit, grind and pull the bit on each side alternately, with the reins, real hard so you make the gum's and lips sore, then the horse will feel the bit better and not pull. Another life long horse owner that understands horses.
To make a horse hang is head lower so it looks cooler and may win you a belt buckle, tie his head high from a tree, he will get tired and his muscles will get sore so he will hang his head lower when you untie him. The other idiot way is to tie a horse's head low with a rope to his cinch so he has to walk with his head to his knees.
If two horses don't get along, tie them together so they can kick each other all day. They will get tired of kicking and will stop fighting.
Chain a horses back legs together after you trailer him to stop him from kicking the trailer. Brilliant!
To teach a horse not to kick, take a broom stick and stand behind the horse and rub and poke his back legs. Soon he will stop kicking. Not only will this not work, but as one gentleman can tell you, if the horse kicks the stick, you will be impelled with the broom stick.
Four horses die in a horse trailer. The story goes that a person driving with four horses in cold land and winter, closes all the windows and air vents to keep the horses warm. He stops and goes in to eat and when he comes out all four horses are dead. Horses take a lot of air, four horses take a lot of air fast. I do care for drop down windows for this reason, I like air flow. Just another incident where people try to help a horse (because they care) and end up doing more harm and the horse pays!
Never, NEVER, ride a horse without seeing your trainer, the owner or someone (with same skill level as you) ride it first. I just watched an "life long horse owner" put a small child on a horse that is not only an unsafe horse, but the owner has never ridden the horse, and someone let this person put their child on this horse. If that is not bad enough, the owner then led the horse with this child still in the saddle through a barn door where the kid had to lay over the saddle horn to prevent from hitting her head. This is just criminal. Horses are flight animals that react, if something scared this horse and it reared while going through a door that child would be dead or living with a broken neck or back. Don't let someone put you or your child in a life threatening situation with a horse.
Horse shows make people do stupid things. I continue to hear crazy things that people do just to win a belt, saddle or ribbon. I just heard that some shows think a horse is relaxed if the ears flop back and forward, so in order to get more points some owners cut the nerve on the ears so they always flop. What a shame, a horse needs his ears to talk and communicate with horses. There are cases where a horse was has lost his ability to move his ears and he gets beat up in a herd since the other horses can't understand him and don't know what he is saying. Another show driven idea is to put red pepper or other irritating herd under the horse's tail. The will cause the horse to hold their tail up in the air and will gain points in some shows. It is a no wonder most show horses hate their jobs and act out in arenas.
If a horse runs from you, you should chase it, make it run, throw rocks at it and "show it who is boss". This will ensure that your horse learns how to run from, how not to trust you and that you are a predator.
I watched a kid take a motorcycle out to a pasture and chase horses around. The kid thought it was fun and was laughing and having a good time. The horses were running and in a panic with fear, snorting and panic running. This not only set up ever owner of ever horse later, but it increased the chance of one of the horses kicking another horse, running into a fence or getting hurt. When horses run in a herd from a predator or fear or something chasing them, they go into survival mode, so if another horse gets too close, horses are more likely to kick to keep other horses from getting in there way, which might get them eaten or they may not even recognize the horse and be so scared will kick at anything close. So from this kids good time, the next time a owner of one of the horses rides near a motorcycle, the horse will bolt, rear, or throw the rider and run off. And of course the horse will get blamed for being stupid and spooky, since the owner will never know that their horse was being scared and chased by a motorcycle while in pasture. So now the next time someone rides this horse and a motorcycle drives by, the horse will freak, get spooked and remember this pasture stupidity. Then the owner will get hurt or blame the horse for being stupid or spooky.
A "trainer" at a well known horse medical center, University of California Davis, California, was "training" a horse to keep his head down. So a tie down was applied. The horse was yelling and trying to tell the "trainer" that it could not handle this pressure and was not ready to be trapped. The "trainer" did not or could not listen and the horse ended up flipping over and killing itself. The trainer and all who watched felt so sorry for the horse and "trainer". No one wanted this to happen, everyone was sorry and the horse was dead. Like always, a horse has to pay for his mistakes and for yours.