Thursday, January 28, 2010

Horse Show

My sister, A Cowgirls Grace and I were going to ride

on Saturday, but decided to go to a horse show.

We had 5 gals from our stable showing. Sometimes we

get in a rut. Do the same thing over and over and over.

Change is good.

We really enjoyed ourselves.

The girls did awesome!

I thought I'd share this with you.

I know a lot of you have mixed feelings about this

kind of performance.

I found it interesting.

But wonder about the future health of these horses.

What do you think?

dusty devoe

19 comments:

Desert Rose said...

So...my question is what kind of concerns do YOU have for these horse's health???
I see a GATED show where the horses are doing the natural gates that they were born with. I did not see that they were put in any harms way...from the video... and I assume that the rest of the show was simular. If you have been in training with your horse and he is used to the adgenda required for this show...any horse with good health should be able to to this...no problem. The King could do this...Dusty may have issues with his hip for the lenght of time that each event is ...but my guess is that with the proper pre- training...Dusty could too!!!

Leah Fry said...

I can't help but think of all the stories I've read about how they get them to lift their feet that high. It's their natural gait, but is it natural for them to pick their feet up like that? For all I know, it might be.

jennybean79 said...

As a younger girl, I spent years going to TWH horse shows with my best friend (who showed them at a National level). I did alot of spectating and a small bit of showing with her. I have actually ridden a padded horse too, what a bizarre experience that was; but fun, I might add.

I personally would not put high pads on any horse that I owned. It puts them at such a strange angle which looks as though they have too much weight placed onto their back ends. The gaiting itself is natural - the crazy high pads? Not so much. I'm no expert on it though, so other than my personal opinion that it appears unnatural with the high pads, I got nothing.

It sounds like you had a great time though! I think the horses in your video look padded, but I can't quite tell. They've got some action but nothing crazy like some of those "big Licks".

Sydney said...

It's the ones that put pads and shoes and stilts on their horses hooves and weights to get this animated gait that need to stop. Why the heck would you show a horse with something it cannot do naturally. Especially in stallion classes like what is that supposed to prove to the world? That you can artificially alter the stallions gait to look nice but hes never gonna pass that to his foals unless they too get their gait altered.
Plus some of the stuff they do (soaring) is just inhumane. Pain should never be a part of a horses life, especially on a daily basis when there is no reason.

RiverBend Farm said...

I see nothing wrong with gaited horses..their breed is just unfamiliar to me and not what I'm accustomed to. I do not like to see the blocks put on their feet though..that is unnatural. I am familiar with the Quarter horse and sometimes it hurts me to see these horses put the rigors for some of the things they are used for but they are a working horse. It's our soft heart coming through.
Berte

fernvalley01 said...

I can't tell if they are wearing pads or weights , if not I have few concerns , they are a gaited breed ,so...
that said it is an industry that can go to extremes

Dusty Devoe said...

Yes, they were wearing pads and weights. I will post another picture for you to see. I have absolutely have no issues with naturally gaited horses.

Mama H said...

Was it a saddlebred show? I worked a saddlebred show once, and let me tell you, those horses are amazing at what they can naturally do. Seriously, that gait is natural for them. But, as is the case with ANY breed when competing at high levels, the trainers, owners and riders can use unnatural and harmful mechanisms to achieve an even higher level of performance. I think horse shows are good, they promote breeds and sportmanship and little competition never hurt anyone. Regulations just need to be enforced to ensure that the horses are treated properly on an individual level.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I don't know enough about this sort of Walking Horse, but what I have heard hasn't been very positive. I hope the rules of soring the horses' pasterns and adding thickly heeled shoes(to get them to step even higher) and breaking their tails (to keep their tails up all the time) trends will change, though. I wonder if you don't do those terrible things, if you could still be accepted into these types of conpetitions.

~Lisa

Sares said...

They look like they're prancing. Imagine the leg muscles we would have if we could gait like this for exercise! Too exhausting for me.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

I have a TWH and she does not walk like that. She does have a natural gait that comes out at times, though not that exaggerated. Of course I don't know all the ins and outs of the training, etc., but was told one time that they put blocks on their hooves to make them lift their legs so high. I don't like to think about that. When things go to extreme it seems it is just not good for the horses. Look at all these baseball players ruining their health by trying to "outperform" .... horses are also athletes. Seems like some parralells could be drawn.

Reddunappy said...

Hey I recognize that arena! Thats at Trails End in Tacoma! LOL spent two winters going to WAHSET meets there with my daughter.

I dont much care for show walkers and the unnatual gaits that they make them go through, the elevator shoes etc. They have to break down pretty quickly, it saddens me.

Reddunappy said...

OH I have to add that seeing a "naturaly" gaited TWalker on the trail is pretty darn awesome!

Pony Girl said...

It does look like those horses have some big shoes. The chains are not typically painful, they just feel funny and make them lift their hooves higher (think of a horse that hasn't worn shipping boots for a while...My Boy walks like a Saddlebred when I put them on) or a dog when you put booties on it. Soring, which is using chemical compounds, I believe is illegal in most breeds/shows but rarely enforced.
In your video, these horses are gaiting really fast, and with the upward motion, it looks more unnatural than the comfy fast Walker gait you might see on a trail ride. I have seen national level TWH videos that do make me cringe a bit, but mostly because the horses seem to be sitting back so unnaturally on their hinds/hocks and it just looks like their legs are going to break down in the back.
Regarding Saddlebred tails, I recently read (but don't quote me as an expert or this being true) that the tails are not "broken." They nip something under the tail, which is painful until it heals. It does allow a horse to have full use of their tail, and it allows the tail to go more upright (from there it is often kept up in a harness or set.) One place I read even said that horses have more use of their tail after this procedure. It does sound odd, but, it does look nice on the show horses of that breed.
Purebred Arabs and Saddlebreds, as well as gaited horses, have natural talent in their gaits. So do the top level dressage horses, reining horses, and jumpers. But it takes a lot of training, and either safe or improper gimmicks and techniques, in any industry, to get the best of the best for competition. Don't think some of those western pleasure trainers aren't tying horses head's down (or up all day in stalls, we've all heard that one) or loping them to death to get them slow. There are horror stories from every discipline out there. Some just get more attention than others.
Sorry for the long comment!
Would love to see the TWH breed shows sometime!

cdncowgirl said...

Ok JUST my opinion here... its hard to tell for sure from the video but my guess is these horses have the pads/weights/chains.

Yes gaited horses will naturally gait but usually not to the extreme that those horses were. To be that animated in the gait usually requires some artifical aids (as above with special shoes/pads/weights/chains)
Ask your farrier or vet what happens when undue strain due to excessive weight or strange angles due to to way these horses are shod will due to their future soundness. Its not pretty.
Then there is the uglier side of 'encouraging the animation' - soring. Which is illegal but still widely practiced.
There was a big TWH shoe last year or the year before. HUNDREDS of entries. When word got out that there were inspectors on site to check for soring there weren't even half the original entries.
Sad.

*soring is the application of caustic and irritating substances to the horse. The pain will cause the horse to be more animated and step higher and flashier.

Autumn Mist said...

Obviously we don't have these breeds in England, but it seems to me, you are asking the horse to do everything opposite to what we normally ask the horse to do, ie, working in self carriage, working underneath itself, propelling itself forward from it's engine,(at the back!) good top line etc. These horses have a very unnatural head carriage. We have hackneys in England that really do pick their front legs up very high, and it is natural, and it is passed on from one to another (I used to work on a hackney stud). They are always driving horses though, you wouldn't really ride one.
There is cruelty in dressage though, there is a big case going on at the moment about rollkur, where horses are tied down, strongly bitted etc, in order to achieve a certain result, but we think this is about to be banned. I certainly hope so. I have seen a tv programme recently where Emile Faurie was tapping the horses legs with a stick to get them to trot on the spot. Blow that. If my horse couldn't do it, then tough! I would never do anything like that to a horse and was very put off.

Cousin B said...

Ok, my question is about showing. they all look like they are doing about the same thing. So, how is a winner picked? By who stays on the fence the best? Who controls their horse the best? Who cues the directions the best? What??? Only difference I see, is some didn't keep pace, some were in center rather than on the fence well, How do they judge this sort of event?

Grace's Mom said...

Very interesting, cousin. I would have to go back to the thing that PonyGirl touched on - this is no worse to me than seeing a quarter horse doing a 4-beat lope.

These horses do this naturally, but have been trained to exxagerate their movements. The training methods can't be assumed based on the movements alone...but as with everything else with horses, there are a thousand ways to accomplish the same things!

Reddirt Woman said...

When I was a youngster, pre-teen and early teen we would go back to Tennessee for family reunions. One of my aunts and uncles had a Tennessee walking horse/standered bred cross that I would get to ride. They had a plantation saddle (swell in front but no horn) that they'd throw up on him and I could ride as long as I wanted. Not only was that heaven for me it was like riding in a rocking chair. Very comfortable and smooth and while he had action in front it wasn't as exaggerated as the show horses. I remember a big expose about trainers using chains under the boots to get more lift and action but that practice was outlawed forty plus years ago. Too many times you'd see a horse starting to bleed out his boots during the showing. There were a lot of horses crippled by that but while you don't see chains like back in the day they do now weight the shoes, sore them, and such. I guess the emphasized gait is very beautiful to watch to some people but to me the natural gait that many of these horses have bred into them is so much more beautiful.

Helen

Helen