Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So here's an idea...

The other night after riding my mare trying to get both of us ready for an upcoming show, I was thinking about the various blogs I frequent. How could the things I am posting and others too, make a difference? Not just a difference, but a positive difference in the equine world and have a lasting effect on the horses we all hold so dear.

I am obviously posting about grooming practices. What people are doing to their horses at home and at the shows, as a way to prep them for their classes. I don't expect anyone to agree with the things I am presenting- hell, some of them I don't agree with either! I am merely trying to explain what people are doing, how they are doing it, what they hope to achieve and what it does to the horses as a result.

My husband Johnie Rotten has tackled the training aspect of it with his blog Mr Rottens Neighborhood where he helps others solve their training issues and achieve their horsemanship goals. Then he has given everyone a place to vent about the injustices in the horseworld in general on his other blog The Gloves Are Off.

Trojan Mouse has also tackled the atrocities on her blog Shame in the Horse Show Ring, as far as equine competitions are concerned. She has highlighted crappy equitation, poor sportmanship, lack of showring ettiquette, controversial politics and the serious lack of ethics as displayed by judges, show officials, exhibitors, owners and many of the other things that piss everyone off where horses in competition are concerned.

I guess it boils down to this. Someone from the breed associations or other professional organizations (such as USEF, USAE and others) needs to openly address the issues we are all so thoroughly fed up with and disgusted by. The three of us, myself, Johnie Rotten and Trojan Mouse, are all on board with this and Openly WELCOME them to come to the blogs, read about what is happening, why we are all so upset about it and discuss what can be done to change things for the better, for the horses, the breeds and the competitions themselves.

If anyone would like to contact their breed association, their show committees, the professional organizations or anyone else they can think of and invite them to any or all three of the blogs, please do so. If you would like to post their address or contact information so that a group of us can all extend the invitation- go right ahead.

This should go without saying, but if we all wish to see positive changes, it's only going to happen if we can all behave like adults and keep the discussion rational and on track. Many of us are professionals on some level in our lives- I'm sure we can behave as such.


  1. I am all for postive change. Lead on, CnJ

  2. Great idea , I hope that we can make a positive impact. I am for the most part out of the show industry , for many reasons ( some identified on these blogs )But if the positive change can be affected , hell ya I am behind you 100%

  3. Forward,

    Hup, two, t'ree, four..

    For the Horses.

  4. CNJ:

    I didn't know you had this blog. Have read through the topics but not the comments yet.

    Great idea.

    I'm right behind you!

  5. I am so there! If the people that run these organizations really set out and read what ring side viewers think they would crap in their pants.

    I'm going to try to get some emails for the various assocations and post them on the shame blog so people know who to contact.

    T Jean Maus

  6. So ... what's up with the Ammy Army?

    It sounds like such a cool grassroots thing... are they really making a big dent in things?

    AQHA needs a core group of skilled horsemen with clout & credibility to buck the trends.... and WIN. Because unfortunately, that's what gets folks attention. It floors me that there aren't more stubborn old-timey judges out there to influence the folks out there now, but then, is there really much of a conscious mentoring effort beyond "I junior judged with that guy" ??

  7. CP- while the intent of the Ammy Army may be to assist those wishing to show their own horses, possibly without sending them out to the trainers, they are an Arabian based group. It seems the focus is solely on the one specific breed.

    Here and on the other two blogs mentioned- we are not limiting ourselves to the practices, tactics or measures that only one breed adheres to as the norm or the trends that are seen in their show rings. No limits to a single discipline either...

    I welcome any of the officials to comment here as to why something such as gingering, which has not been allowed for as long as I can remember, definately is still happening and there seems to be no efforts made towards effectively putting a stop to it.

    Within the Arab halter classes, there have been changes as to how the classes are run and the horses are judged. One option involves the horses entering the ring to be judged individually. Why not have someone available to swab the horses rectum for any substances before they are permitted into the arena? Using anything = DQ'd without
    the judge even seeing your horse. Better believe the first few shows where that is done- there's going to be some serious talking sweeping through the barns and someone screaming fowl when they get caught. The more in the wrong they are, the longer & louder they scream.

    Why though? They know it is wrong, know it isn't allowed, yet go ahead and do it anyways. Why is it so tough to put a stop to what is happening? Why aren't any of the breed show committees or regulating organizations willing to step up and DO something?

  8. CnJ maybe another thought would be to invite all of those underappreciated and overworked slaves...drones...I mean grooms to share.
    What they see and where.
    I think it is a great idea to give these trendsetter folks opportunities to see what we see.
    And how.

  9. Dena- they are more than welcome to come here and spill it!

    I did that job for a number of years. Loved it for some reasons, hated it for others.

    At some point I am going to turn it over to others for 'guest posts' for an insider look at things that are happening in other breeds and disciplines which I may not have personally experienced. I plan to be just as informed by it as the rest of you guys.

  10. I've always been fascinated by the grooming practices of the drafties. Those sticking up braids, ribbons, odd shaped hooves, and MILES of leather to clean and care for!!!

  11. Okay CnJ...I watched the video of the Western Pleasure Arabs touted as so much better than AQHA Western Pleasure.
    Could you smell the ginger? too.
    Hear the muffled 4 beat jigajogalope? Me too.
    And some of those tails? Worse than a man with a 3 strand combover wrap around his whole head.
    Overflexed. Behind the vertical. Ears pinned.
    And that gait that passes for a jog?
    Slow motion piaffe gone wrong more like.
    How is any of this better than what is horrible?
    There is nothing beautiful about
    4' of tail dragging through arena dirt.
    I can't even imagine the pain of stepping on it when asking for the back.
    And did you notice that everyone was so busy circling the judges that virtually no one stayed on the damn rail!?!
    And the atypical position of head toward the rail and ass toward the inside when asking for leads.
    It was such a pleasure to watch that I lasted 3:38.
    Just as sadly grotesque as the AQHAs version.
    In a word? YUCK!!!

  12. Oh and I figured out why the judges are missing so much.

    They are losing their attention span waiting (what amounts to watching a TB run a mile) for a horse in the class to complete one full circuit of the ring.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. 14th...

    It smells so NICE here...

  15. Well, my comment is, if you and particularly the other blog seriously want to attract breed and show association people to respond to your blogs in any kind of official capacity, I'd clean up the trashy language and make a more professional presentation of what you think the problems are.

    Trashy tabloid writing only attracts those who are looking for trash.

    My two cents on that. :~)

    Otherwise, my most recent show experience was in about 1985 (lol), so showing is not really my thing, and I never traveled in circles well-heeled enough to have hired grooms, but I didn't know anyone then who gingered tails. All of mine carried their tails well without it.... anytime they are in motion, or thinking about motion ;~). I just think it's *ironic* that cheaters in various breeds can be seeking the complete opposite in effect. And I don't understand the mindset of either one. A tail is a tail. How they carry it reflects their personality and mood, but it's absolutely the last thing that should make a bit of difference in a class.

  16. So.....

    Remember what happened when the Cleve Wells thing went down, I think that all the press and comments to the AQHA might have influenced their decision.

    So............ maybe more people should go TO THEM with thoughtful, well-written concerns about how things are wrong?

    And how in the h-e-double hockeysticks did I miscomprehend the topic at hand?


  17. WB

    only certain people bring trash to the blogs. And we are working to weed them out. It does get d anthe simple reality is no one wants it.

    Otis much lime all of the forums that are out there.

  18. Hmmm? You lost me in typos on most of that.

    JR, it may be true for both you and your wife that trash is rarer and more unwanted on your blogs. I don't know, I'm only newly familiar with them. Good for you and may that remain true. But foul language and tabloid content IS the whole tone of Shame blog, it is not just incidental to occasional comments. And being closely linked with it will tend to attract the same.

    Two more cents...

  19. Wb

    sorry about the typos. I am on my Iphone and it has a mind of it's own.

    Like any blog or forum. Shame expresses an opinion that, though may not be shared by others, they have a right to it.

    It is true that the horse industry needs to change no matter what it takes. And the associations need to be made aware of the opinions of everyone and not just a few.

  20. It's not about 'rights' its about actually making a difference, I thought.

    My view, personally, is this: If you think there is cheating and rule breaking taking place at shows and you want the show committees to do something about it, then report it, when you see it, give them clear, actionable complaints to look into.

    Anonymous wailing and gnashing of teeth and general complaining about the 'state of things' isn't actionable by anyone.

    And mistaken, ill-informed and poorly researched allegations are more harmful than helpful to being taken seriously in the future.

  21. WB

    I have been training and showing horses for 30 years. I guarantee you the 'wailing' comes from the frustration that is not only felt by me but by many others. I have seen the industry change and I have see what they do to the horses to get them trained. If you don't believe what is going on, look in any tack catalog and see what crap they put on these animals just for a blue ribbon.

    The problem is, no one in the associations wants to take a side. Rather, they would prefer to play politics there again for the sake of a ribbon and not for the sake of the horses.

    And I, along with many others are not hiding behind anonimity. If you click on my profile you can email and I alway respond and sign my real name

  22. WB- the problem with filing the complaints with the asociations at the shows, how do you file one about how EVERY horse in the ring is traveling so poorly? How do you file one concerning every horse in the ring being gingered or having a blocked tail?

    With AQHA and a few of the others, there is a fee of a few hundred dollars for each complaint. Even if the complaint is found to be substantiated- the fee is not returned to the person filing. So it costs me to turn in those who aren't playing by the rules? Maybe that is where they all need to start as far as making changes.

    Within the Arabian circles, it is well known who bends the rules, who blatently breaks them and how they thumb their noses at everyone else as they do it. The officials have had a few good reasons on different occasions to kick them out for good, yet they still remain leaving a foul odor and bad taste in the mouths of many.

  23. Oh and how rude of me? Thank you WB for coming over. If any of your forum members would like to join in- they are more than welcome to do so.

    As I stated before in a few places- I may or may not agree with each of the practices I will or have posted about. I am merely trying to explain what is being done to the horses, what people hope to accomplish by doing it and the effects it has on the horses.

    I will also try to post topics of helpful things you can do for the sake or benefit of the horses. I hold their best interest at heart, many times more so than some of the humans who own them.

  24. Well thank you for the welcome, but seeing as how I don't show any more, I don't know how often I'll have anything useful to say... not that that always stops me ;~)

    I will say that even if I don't show a lot of people I know do, and without exception they are good folk doing the best they can for their well-loved horses. Perspective is everything, and it's well known that cops can become jaded and suspicious of people because all they ever see are criminals. They lose the forest for the trees, so to speak.

    Try not to paint with so broad a brush you paint 'everyone' in the horse industry as a cheater who abuses their horse. I think it's closer to the truth that the vast majority do not. And when it appears you're accusing everyone, you'll alienate those who might have been the best allies on your side by making them indignant about you.

    All the best to you.

  25. WB some of the practices seen in the ring, have been going on for quite some time. Gingering has been, as an example that I personally know of.

    I personally don't think everyone with a horse in the ring is doing it, but there are a number of barns that have and still do.

    As far as the halter classes go, there were some other things happening as well, in some of those same barns. Some of them not only not allowed in the show ring, but downright illegal no matter how or where it happened.

    Bottom line- it has to stop. For the sake of the horses- it has to stop! Where, when and how? I guess that depends on the folks involved with making, upholding and enforcing the rules.

  26. heh...

    at least the 4H'ers around here won't be gingering - they can't even work up the gumption to clean an udder or sheath!!

  27. WB, who is probably long gone..
    I agree with the trash language.
    Do I ever agree. I said that a LOT on FHOTD, and I've said it repeatedly to Trojan.

    I've given up trying to tell Trojan to tone down the cursing.
    It did work with fhotd. Not so much with a few of the commenters, but whatever.

    The language of the curse causes the message to be lost.
    My $0.25 worth, because I haven't the clout.

  28. to be a total "snark" should loop reins in front of horse. That way it doesn't pull from the shoulder.

    I know I know...

  29. GL- she has been lurking but unable to post from work. Shhh! I'm trying to get her to get an iPhone so not only can we text and email back and forth- she can post. Like before!

    Yes because so many of us are busy blogging from work. Amazing! Things get done and the world keeps on turnin'