horses head shot

Reining Trainer Gunner Trash

He was standing shivering in the auction pen. Fine coated from being in a barn and still had his sliders on his back feet. The temperature was down in low forties, and this horse was doing it hard.

That is what Matt was confronted with as he walked along the yards. The horse was panicked and becoming a danger to himself. Matt describes “I walked over to the rail and started talking to him to calm him down and he just ignored me. A beautiful paint horse with a bold white face. I could not understand why he was there. As I looked him over, he had great conformation and seemed like he was a well-bred horse.”

Matt is not a horse rescuer nor a person that typically would purchase a horse. A long history of ranching he was there to help out a friend who was selling some gear that day.

Matt when on to say ‘I was there for about ½ hour and it was playing on my mind. I kept looking over at him, and that horse was suffering real bad. I went back to my truck and had an old rug in the back, so I went over to hook him up and put the rug on him. No horse deserved this treatment.’ The yards were busy, so no-one was going to be too bothered. As I approached him, the horse spun around in shock, and I noticed he had a slightly loped ear. I walked over quietly, and he dropped his head. He was a kind soul. He appeared relieved as I slipped the rug on him’. I checked him over, and there was no apparent damage that I could see, but he must have a story. His sides were hardened from spurs, and he was compliant with every move as I walked around doing up the rug. Checking his teeth, he appeared to only about three years old. Why was he here?”

The sale started, and I wandered along with the crowd. When we got near his pen, this horse began to bounce on the fences he was petrified. Someone in the crowd yelled out ‘that’s one of them deaf Gunner horses. Some reining guy dumped him here this morning and said he was useless. He was as mad as hell with the horse. I’ve seen him a few times down here.’

Matt goes on ‘Not knowing what a Gunner horse was I was a little lost, but the deafness became clear. That poor animal was as deaf as a doornail. Before I knew it, my hand shot in the air and I had purchased him for kill prices. I could not leave him, and the last thing I needed was a deaf horse.’ There was something about him.

I found a guy that was heading back out our way, and he agreed to trailer him to my place. When the horse arrived, he immediately looked at the old barn as much to say that is where I am supposed to be. My wife came over and had a fair bit to say about arriving home with deaf horse. We gave him a good feed and let him relax in a stall for the night. The next day we brought him out and turned him out in a yard. He trotted around and seemed okay. We pulled his shoes off, and they were one big set of metal under him.

The next day we saddled him, and he was fine. After a couple of days we hoped on, and he was dead quiet. He immediately dropped his head down behind the bit the moment we touched his face. He reacted to your leg as though he was expecting pain. With all the spur damage to his sides, we knew what had happened. He was nervous and desperately wanted to avoid pain.

We headed out the gate, and he was worried but kept trying to go forward. After a few hours, he relaxed and let his neck go natural, and the rigidness started to go away. We rode him for a few days just jogging along; then he went lame. His stifles were sore as was his back.

A friend dropped over that had a bit to do with reiners and confirmed he was most like a Gunner and out of a nice mare. The way he rode, he was out of one of those big trainer barns.

To make a long story short, we got the vet over, and the report was his hock joints were damaged, and the back soreness was from trying to protect his back legs. He was probably getting his hocks injected by the trainer to keep him going. The horse had been trashed.

The vet said it not uncommon, and they chatted about what happens to these horses. From a prized horse probably sold for a fine price as a yearling to end up trash in an auction pen and only just 3. The can start a few hundred horses and only a handful make it through.

Matt learned a new thing about horse people. It was Reining Trainer Trash. Young horses pushed too hard and broken down at 3. Owners that only care about winning prize money at any cost.

Matt closed our conversation with ‘the horse deserved better.’ ‘We put him in a pasture near the house with another old horse. A good rug for warmth and a shed for shelter. He had a few nice months in life before we do what a responsible owner or trainer should have done. We euthanized him respectfully.’

My wife said it right, how could a person call themselves a horseman, trainer or care for horses when this is the product of their effort.

RIP Chappy.

Only Old Women Care About Horse Welfare?

We sat and listened to a high profile NRHA judge & former western sport board member at a judging seminar state “only old women are really concerned about animal welfare”. Probably the most honest and discriminatory statement made when you see most abusers charged are men. But does it reflect the priorities of NRHA or just the opinion of a rambling old fool?

What we do know is there is no place on earth for that mentality toward any breed of horse (or animal). God help the horses.

Some high profile horse owners and breeders have also been battling hard to protect the horses, the AQHA 2015 Protect Them Coalition. As one of the highest profile women in quarter horse, Carol Harris and Kathi Hansen lead a group of 20 women to change the welfare of the quarter horse.

This applies to any quarter horses in general and those horses that compete at shows. The NRHA is not excluded from being considered in these remarks.

“We who love Quarter Horses have allowed too many inhumane trainers to become judges who continually reward each other when they judge or show in our competitions.

These trainer/judges have been permitted by our Association to badly hurt our favorite sport by participating in conflicts of interest positions at our Quarter Horse shows and by refusing to listen to valuable advice and criticism that have been given to them for years.

If our leadership and our members do not know the difference between right and wrong, they should try to remember that there is “NO RIGHT WAY TO DO ALL THE WRONG THINGS THEY ARE DOING”. That is exactly what they have been continuing to force on our horses, our membership and our Association for countless years. They never seem to think it is necessary to improve or correct the continual mistakes.”

Carol Haris of AQHA 2015 Protect Them Coalition writes: This email was sent to me a couple days ago by two Quarter Horse lovers, Betty Marshall and Liz Hickling. For some reason, it made me ashamed that I was not helping them like I used to try to, but a year and a half ago I was more or less asked not to write anymore “On The Fence” articles because it disturbed the halter horse people too much. No telling who I will disturb this time, but the fact that people who don’t know the difference between right and wrong are still bothering me and should be bothering others the same way.

To read the rest of the article from AQHA 2015 Protect Them Coalition

Vote now for change

 

Top 20 NRHA Reining Professional Busted for Horse Abuse at Show

This is a story that just keeps on giving. It starts as horse abuse protests and allegations, owners pulling horses and ends up with the trainer saying he is unfairly treated and should be compensated. What about the horse Mr Reining Trainer should he be compensated for being in your barn?

It all starts with this:

Imagine seeing your horse in a stall at a reining show. At first it may seem normal and then you realize, your horse breaks out in sweat and becomes distressed after being hung high for punishment for hours. Is this unusual for reining training?

The world is a buzz with the story of a reining horse suffered this torturous treatment of being hung, while at NRBC  (National Reining Breeders Classic) annual show in April 2017. One of the largest shows on the NRHA circuit.

To assist you understand how it can all turn out for the horse, the image below is a recent snap taken at western trainer C. T. Bryant’s barn displaying what a horse can suffer when it ges hung and loses its footing after attempting to get free. Now back to the reining trainer.

The sound of a thrashing horse could be heard across the facility. The thrashing noise unbearable to listen to and many thinking at first it was a cast horse. People talk about seeing others racing to where all the sound was coming from, ending up at a stall covered in curtains blocking any view inside. The curtains were pulled aside, and there is a horse that has been tied high now in deep distress and potentially could permanently harm or kill itself trying to get loose.

The allegations are the colt was hung by a Top 20 NRHA Professional trainer, but no-one wants to speak of his name as he is one of the worshiped Top 20. Its all hush hush unless you are in the inner circle, until now after his name has been finally published.

Questions are being asked “If this is what he does at a show, imagine what he does back home in the barn?”

Reining trainers, like some others, are renowned for tying horses with their head and neck up to an awkward level; leaving the horse to appear to be on its tiptoes. A mindless method used by many reining trainers to punish horses in an attempt tame those that show any sign of resistance to their dominate training regimes that demand the control of every move the horse makes. Some horses are tied like this, away from food and water, all night. In severe cases, the horses will be left like this for 23+ hours. Some hang them on high walls, others from rafters in stalls and arenas. It is the secret that no-one in the inner circle talks about.

The suffering horses pull against the restraint, half-rearing and shuffling their feet, trying to ease their pain and suffering. The muscle cramps and tearing of muscles and ligaments relentless on them. All the horse wants to do is drop its head down to relax the muscles. These horses are bred to have a low head carriage hung well outside their bearable comfort zone even for a few minutes.

Attempting to escape, the horse can lose its footing and then they are in serious trouble. Others just quit and submit to the helplessness in agony and silent distress. To move around can mean breaking their neck, others kill themselves with a severe hit to the poll while reefing on the tie-up. They can break legs, hips and even smash teeth with the halter pulled through their mouth.

Some clandestine trainers, and their bamboozled owners call it a necessary part of training. Most enlightened people call it abuse. The horse would call it hell.

Unlike the horse in the photo, not all horses reached the point of complete exhaustion and hang themselves, but many suffer severe muscle pain and muscle tearing and are expected to work as performance horses the next day. The trainer is believing they have dominated the horse sufficiently that it will do what is demanded of it instantly to avoid another tie-up session or further pain inflicted.

Most trainers using this technique also have a bag full of other torturous methods they apply to dominate the horse to the point of learned helplessness. Submissive and robotic fulfilling the trainers aim for a winning ride.

This clandestine trainer thinking occurs when the desire to win–or otherwise achieve training goals, overcomes the humane treatment of the horse. When they run out of intelligence and patience and their repressed anger takes over. The trainers in some cases resent the horse will not do as it is told and become aggressive toward the animal. As the futurity season is well underway, horses are exposed to bizarre and oppressive training practices to force the final performance in the hope of winning.

The horses owner has pulled all her horses from the Top 20 NRHA Professional barn and moved them to other locations. It is unknown if a protest has been filed as the NRHA lives in a world of secrecy when it comes to complaints and how they are handled.

What has the NRHA done about the incident and what standard did they set?  What did the stewards on the day do about this incident?

It has been a long wait. On a review of the disciplinary list for May 2017 through to August 2017, the trainer has not been mentioned. The September list was not published even though referenced in the index. However, the NRHA is renowned for not releasing all suspensions and revoked memberships. It often seems that just the occasional one makes it to the list; the ones that they cannot keep undercover.

Update: In the October 2017 disciplinary list, an alleged trainer, Arno Honstetter is finally published with a just a minor three-month suspension. Did they charge him for hanging a horse or was this for another offense, as it has taken so long to appear on the list?

Well the lawsuit that follows shows us that Honstetter is actually reported for another incident in January 2017 by Leading AQHA Horsewoman and NRHA Trainer, Karen McCuistion. A person competent in defining abuse of horses. It is alleged that he was caught bitting up/checking a horse in the barn at a show. The same practice that killed Bella Gunnabe Gifted at the hands of Mark Arballo – who was banned for life, only after the courts found him guilty of abuse. Read the full article here.

Honstetter denies abuse and believes he did not get fair process in how the NRHA handled the protest so he wants it overturned and a payment of $100,000 for his suffering. If only the reining horses could get as good a legal representation as trainers!

No longer is the matter about horse abuse – its all about the trainer being treated unfairly – the culture of reining shining through.

Arno Honstetter continues to market himself as a NRHA Professional which again questions the value of the NRHA Professional program. His lawyer has advised that Biting up horses is a standard practice in NRHA – so all reiners are being abused?

arno honsetter biting up horse

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) has a zero-tolerance policy on horse abuse, recently immediately (within days) suspended a well-known high profile trainer for abuse of a horse at a show, even though the SPCA laid no charges. AQHA is reported to have a life ban on bitting up horses.

Vote for change in animal welfare regulations for reining horses by clicking here.

© 2017 reiningtrainers.com All rights reserved.

Do the NRHA Enforce Medication Rules?

With a massive 94% of the weighting for welfare and medications clauses sitting squarely on medications, not abuse, in the National Reining Horse Association Handbook, the questions need to be asked: “Have you had your horse tested at an official NRHA event anywhere in the world?” and “How often are they testing at official events?”

The National Reining Horse Association as gone to great lengths in their handbook to define their Animal Welfare and Medications Rules and Regulations within their Handbook. As we mentioned in a recent article “NRHA turns back on horses again in 2017” the reference to welfare is weighted heavily to medications, not abuse.

In fact, there are:

• Seven sections with 35 clauses and 36 sub-clauses for medications being 71 points, whereas
• Only two sections with mentions in four clauses for abuse outside of the actual show pen

That is a weighted ratio of just 6% emphasis on abuse and the balance on medications. Many would say that is just not good enough to manage and stop the abuse of horses that people write about observing in warm-up pens of NRHA shows across the globe.

Many questions can be asked about the medication rules.

The rule book states the testing can include physical examination, obtaining urine samples, blood testing or any other tests that an approved veterinarian considers necessary. All except the physical examination would have results post the horse competing in its classes. It raises the question does the horse still competes medicated or do they have on-site rush service for testing?

Some of the prohibited drugs can take effect in a matter of minutes or within the hour before a person enters the ring. How is that tested? The horse is being warmed-up ready to show, a quick trip back to the stable and they are ready to go with it looking like it was just a quick slick up ready to show. Those that use medications would be swift and secretive in how they give them.

The test of whether the NRHA enforces the medications rules would be in the rulings. How often are people seeing someone’s placing withdrawn after an NRHA event as they were found to be in breach of the medication rules? Do they discipline the person but the horse keeps its placing at the event even though it had an unfair advantage?

The big question is, has anyone been disciplined for breach of the NRHA Medication Rules? Surely they did not write all those rules because the problem does not exist?

Keeping it positive, if there were no convictions and the testing is happening, then there are the costs associated. The NRHA funds the medications testing and the costs should appear on the annual financial report to all the members. Are any members aware of the cost of testing in the last fiscal year (2015) or have an indication of what the costs were in 2016?

Reading the NRHA Handbook is an education in the application of drugs in the equine sport today. With the listing of drugs available in the handbook, some may see this an instructional guide more than a set of rules if they are not consistently testing.

Let us know your thoughts?

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NRHA turns back on horses again in 2017

The new 2017 National Reining Horse Association – NRHA Handbook is now available online

Unfortunately, they have let the horses down once again with their lackluster approach to animal welfare and no changes being made from 2016.

The Animal Welfare and Medications Provisions is focused on medications demonstrating they believe they have a greater drug problem than abuse. All we can say is the drug problem must be astronomical as the abuse is extremely noticeable in warm-up pens across the globe.

Some interesting extracts from the handbook are:

  1. The Show Steward should be knowledgeable of accepted reining schooling practices and should take necessary action should he/she witness or be made aware of misconduct or abuse on the show grounds.

There remains no documented standards that need to be abided to as like in the American Quarter Horse Association rule book. If the Show Steward accepts that excessive jerking, spurring, fencing and over spinning is all part of the training process, then they immediately condone the behavior and set a self-belief standard at any event.

  1. The Show Manager is required to receive complaints from NRHA members related to cruel, abusive, or inhumane treatment of horses on show grounds.

Once again, nothing is documented so how is cruel, abusive or inhumane substantiated. A knowledgeable person does not mean they are sufficiently emotionally intelligent enough determine this. A quick look back over some training videos by the greats stands testament to that with wire nosebands, tie arounds and many other barbaric methods. It is an ambiguous statement that is open to interpretation to benefit trainers, not horses.

  1. New Professionals members must complete a Code of Conduct and submit it with the membership form and fee.

There is no other mention of the Code of Conduct, and it remains totally unenforceable as they only take action on what is set out in the Handbook.

 

The questions need to be asked:

Q1:  Is the National Reining Horse Association tolerant of abuse?

!2:  Is the National Reining Horse Association reluctant to make changes as they may upset their primary money-making source – trainers bringing horses to shows?

The American Quarter Horse Association are able to define more about welfare of reiners than the reining association itself. Extract below.

Please vote on our pole for change located on the website.

aqha-rules

 

Who is protecting the reining horse’s welfare?

“Unfortunately we do have our share of abusive trainers in our industry that I consider a minority, and when identified, they should be removed, period. It is these individuals that attach a bad stigma to the industry” says Rick Dennis of Wind River in May 2015. A highly respected quarter horse performance breeder and competitor and author of many articles on horse abuse.

You do not need to look too far to find examples of extreme reining horse abuse. In 2013 reining horse trainer Kyle Ronald Weston, from Alberta, CA was charged with horse abuse. The photo on this page is the result of his excessive spurring of a horse at home in his barn. The mares mouth was reported to also bleeding badly.  The NRHA did not take any action against him until after he was charged by the law-courts.

There are extremists everywhere in both the level of abuse and the animal rights advocates who don’t even want horses ridden. In the middle ground of treating a horse respectfully, there is a place for sound and logical welfare of the horses. Would you do it to a child? Then you should not be doing it to an animal is a constant measure. The over sight of horse abuse should not just be in the show arenas and warm-up pens, but back home at the barns. That is where the most of the abuse actually occurs and where people have the most direct experience with reining trainers.

For their welfare, a middle ground must be struck where horseman from other disciplines can evaluate and define what is reasonable, not just people that are indoctrinated into a way of thinking like the culture of the reining horse industry.

The problem is that the public, newcomers, and members are wooed by the photos of expensive barns of the extensive breeding and training facilities and horses presented like rock stars. The glitz of the show entertainment, expensive advertising campaigns and the lure of big prize money. This glamourous image is a far cry from how most of the horses live and are trained by the hundreds of people across the world proclaiming themselves as reining horse trainers. Behind this glamour are many tales of physical and mental abuse of horses. It is not just limited to the horse under saddle, but how they are treated in their day to day lives. What happens away from the spotlight and public eye and seen only by people investing in having horses trained, whether they are NRHA members or not.

The truth of what happens can be seen with horses like trainers Weston’s and Arballo.

bella-wider-shot

 

 

Reining horse trainer Mark Arballo, a repeat offender of being charged for horse abuse, in 2015 was charged again over the horrific death of Bella. Again, with full awareness of the matter, the NRHA is reported to have not taken any action against this person until after he was charged by the law courts.
The shocking attack at the major show, Reining by the Bay, in 2015 where three of Andrea Frappani’s horses were poisoned, and one had a U-Shape nail driven into his foot.staple-in-foot Horses at the top of the game that were targeted by someone who was most likely more motivated to win than care for the well-being of horses. A person that was either personally motivated or paid to commit extreme acts of cruelty against those innocent horses; evidencing a potentially highly competitive ‘at all costs’ culture within reining.

 

For many people reporting horse abuse can mean the end of their involvement in an association.

An association they have invested heavily in, both in money and emotion. The few that stand up for the horses are quickly finding there are few avenues for complaints that are not met with criticism and denigration by trainers and their friends. For some complaints, they are pushed toward the courts as the only option, where outcomes of such matters are reported to be unlikely to succeed due to the lack of knowledge and priority of animal abuse in the court system. Westons case giving measure of extreme abuse and getting just a $4,000 fine.

For a complainant, trainers are often victimizing the person for speaking out as they see the person as turning in one of their own. Many trainers are quickly justifying their actions by saying the person knows nothing and vilifying the person relying on the cult-like behavior of their followers to support them. You will see many social media posts where they victimize the person who dares to stand up for horse’s welfare.

Unfortunately and very real is the fact that many people reluctantly condone the abuse, by remaining silent, as the fear of being ostracized for speaking out against someone is more penetrating on them personally than living with the knowledge of a horse suffering out of sight. They attempt to reconcile the abuse through closing their minds or moving to another trainer. They fear becoming a victim of social media keyboard warriors as uninformed, often very ignorant and closed minded people make wild and often threatening statements against the abuse reporter. People who quickly protect the abuser due to their public persona and their desire to stay in the group, with little to no regard to the horse. The more the celebrity status of the trainer, the more likely this will occur.

Could all of that really happen to someone reporting horse abuse? Sure, it could, and it does and anyone active on social media will most likely have seen it first hand.

People are reaching out to Reiningtrainers.com, sending shocking stories of horse abuse and how they became the victim for attempting to help the animal. Some have just walked away from the reining industry, others have paid the price for speaking out and been pushed out. Moreover, an appalling outcome is the people that are attempting to live with the knowledge they let the horse (and more in the same barn) down by not speaking out.

However, what would happen if you all would send a loud and clear message to the reining horse industry that you will not tolerate horse abuse at any cost?

Consider the famous quote of Albert Einstein, who once said,

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Think about it and reflect on the horses.

It is the responsibility of the National Reining Horse Association and its affiliates to provide the tools and mechanisms to permanently weed out the abusive trainers and give members and the reining horse enthusiast public the confidence to report their concerns. Set a standard by removing peer reviews of complaints where subjectivity is rife and, agendas can be at play. Install independence to ensure complaints receive the balanced hearing they deserve. A place where the horse becomes the priority and actions are taken to filter out those that are abusing the animals and setting a underlying standard of acceptance in the market.

What do you think?

Are you concerned over a reining horses welfare  – send us the details via our contact page.

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© 2016 reiningtrainers.com  All rights reserved.

Does self-regulation of animal welfare and abuse work?

Many associations, like the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), take an approach to managing animal welfare through self-regulation by trainers and the case study of the Tennessee Walking Horse tells everyone, that it fails.

soringOver the past half-century, the treatment of the Tennessee walking horse has increasingly become more inhumane as they attempt to achieve higher stepping horses known as the ‘big lick’. The trainers and owners have reached a point where now, these poor animals endure vile practices in which caustic chemicals, chains, hard objects, cutting, and other gruesome techniques are used to injure the horses’ front legs and hooves and force them to perform an artificially high-stepping gait known as the “big lick.” This sort of calculated, appalling cruelty should never be tolerated. The trainers self-regulate and the outcome is horrendous.

Like the NRHA, the Tennessee walking horse has a welfare statement within its rules, but that has certainly not protected these beautiful animals from barbaric treatment easily identified on horses attending a competition.

In competition, trainers are looking for that winning edge and across all disciplines you see people stretch the boundaries of welfare with the desire to win; some becoming animal abusers as they justify their actions to themselves. The horse no longer a priority as winning has become their image, their livelihood and there is always another horse waiting to enter the barn.

In reining warm-up pens across the globe, you can watch trainers as they push the boundaries and subject the horses to unnecessary pressure and pain in preparation for that moment of winning. Often sanctioned by others around them and creating a benchmark for other trainers also to push their horses to the limits at all cost to the animal. With medical evidence of the damage being caused by some practices, the trainers are defiant and attempt counter arguments against scientific facts.

Owners may lack the knowledge, and some the heart, to understand the pain and suffering of their horse as they buy into the story promoted by the trainer as ‘how things are done to train show horses.’ The trainer, a perceived expert, using their position of influence on the owners to their own gain in justifying their conduct. Trainers, farriers and owners are indoctrinated into the idea that those is how you must treat the animal to achieve a high level competition horse.

Is reining heading in the direction of the Tennessee walking horse?

Are the boundaries now being pushed with the increasing rise of excessive spurring, jerking of reins, more aggressive bits and rollkur increase in the show pen? The wastage of reining horses increasing as animals are quickly thrown aside that will not submit to the excessive demands of the trainers techniques. The videos of the European FEI and just recently a video taken in the US demonstrate that it is becoming more epidemic and accepted.

For the Tennessee walking horse, mainstream horse industry groups and veterinary organizations such as the American Horse Council, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and American Veterinary Medical Association have

tried to work with and encourage the walking horse crowd to bring about change from within – but more than a few stubborn horse owners and trainers continue to think they are above the law.

The US lawmakers now state the current system of self-regulation is still hopelessly broken, and nothing short of significant reforms will fulfill the intent of Congress and break the cycle of cruelty that is so endemic to the big lick walking horse circuit.

With the awareness of the Tennessee walking horse plight and how they got there, is the NRHA going to move from self-regulation to a system of transparency and improvement that ensures the reining horse does not follow in their path?

What actions are considered horse abuse? Click here to find out more.

Have some news or video of reining horse abuse? We are building a case for reform on trainers and your contribution can assist. Click here to send us information.

Sound familiar – the reining horse is bred for his natural athleticism and shown willingly guided:

The Tennessee walking horse is bred for its smooth, natural gait—the running walk—and The HSUS supports the many owners and trainers who use humane training methods to showcase this natural gait, while also working to end the abusive practices often used to create the exaggerated high-stepping gait that has long been associated with soring. 

 

Martin Muehlstaetter demonstrates he can abuse a horse

At the FEI World Reining final warm-up, Martin Muehlstaetter took to this horse in full public viewing with his spurring, sawing and gouging like a possessed man. The excitement of a major show, the overwhelming desire to win at all costs, sees the horse suffer to a level that should have demanded his immediate dismounting of the animal and removal from the show. Cleary unable to rationalize right from wrong, this man now travels the world giving clinics on reining horse training and is upheld by the NRHA as one of the Top 20 Trainers in the world.

Is this what it takes to train a reiner or is this a person that is incapable of controlling his emotions? Is this an association that condones horse abuse to keep the entertainment rolling and trainers flowing the cash through their tills?

It would seem that at these FEI world championships the world became aware of the horse abuse that has been occuring hidden away in niche show pens and barns for many a long year.

What actions are considered horse abuse? Click here to find out more.

Have some news or video of reining horse abuse? We are building a case for reform on trainers and your contribution can assist. Click here to send us information.

 

 

Nico Hörmann matches the US in horse abuse methods

Not to be outdone by his American competitors, Nico Hörmann demonstrates his talent in gaining total submission during the warm up of the FEI World Reining Final Warm-up. In relentless style, this man abuses this horse under the guise of professional training talent and a standard that is accepted industry wide. Working amidst the other horses it seems to be an accepted practice that you cannot achieve ‘willing guided’ without excessive spurring, sawing of mouths, full strength jerking of reins in a spoon or port bit. The horse must give-in and be dictated to as if it is a robot there to serve the whim of the rider. Clearly the interpretation of willing guided has shifted from graceful to absolute submission; a sad fact for the horse.

Top competition and huge prize money is seeing massive changes in how reining horse are being trained as trainers and owners demand faster results and look for shortcuts; and its only getting worse. Review the video from 2016 that shows a warm-up pen that you would see at any weekend show or major event.

What actions are considered horse abuse? Click here to find out more.

Have some news or video of reining horse abuse? We are building a case for reform on trainers and your contribution can assist. Click here to send us information.

Behind the Scenes of Reining Horse Fencing

Reining Horse Fencing

Have you ever wondered how they train horses to get that big sliding stop? Simple – run it flat out at a wall and if it hits it, that is okay.  That is called Reining Horse Fencing. This video shows reining trainers working their horses to build the stop on their horses. At some point in time, someone many years ago, decided that running into walls was a good idea. I remember seeing this for the first time at a futurity warm-up pen with a top trainer running his horse at a wall. The horse finally decided what he wanted and ran into the wall head first with his butt buried in the ground. The trainer patted him and sent the message ‘that’s it – hit the wall’. Now in any warm-up pen or at home on the ranch trainers use this technique.

Applying logic to the method would only get in the way of what is clearly a ridiculous training technique that is suffered by these magnificient animals. Only a reining horse would have the mind and lack of fight in it to accept this continuous training and become a submissive and robotic animal willing to do anything to avoid further abuse; no matter how much pain it suffers.

What actions are considered horse abuse? Click here to find out more.

Have some news or video of reining horse abuse? We are building a case for reform on trainers and your contribution can assist. Click here to send us information.