Sickening: even sicker the reiners that justify this as all good

Be warned: some people may find this distressing to watch, and its just a sample of what goes on. Are they drugged? Tired? It sure is not normal – or is it?

Are the rule makers are creating an epidemic of this style of training and showing? It happens that often now they had to add a clause in the rule book – a 5 point penalty for that single run. Reining people have no issue with this – this is what showing reiners is all about.

The horses in the video are ridden by top riders and million dollar trainers. The last horse is interesting too.

This maybe a training video for NRHA judges and members to understand what the penalty is applied for, and it was published to the public.

A penalty score of 5 points is applied for this conduct. They may be out of the money on that run, but they are back in the next round pushing the horse to the extreme.

A well managed association would be taking a more serious approach to rule making and the enforcement of rules. But maybe if the rules were enforced as members say ”there would be no-one left showing”.

Should collapsing on their knees be a suspension for six months and banned for it happening twice for over-riding or over-pushing the horse? Should it be an instant drug test? (These horses may not have been in the tiny sample of horses tested at the show that day. If they do test positive they usually get a smack on the hand. Trainers gamble their number will not come up. Reiners have the highest positive drug test results in FEI competition.)

Also, watch their tails and you can see which horses are using their tail to stop and those that lay flat looking a lot like a tail block has been done.

If you care for the Welfare of Horses please vote on our poll now for change.

Footnote: When Casey Deary’s horse went down he was applauded as a hero by the NRHA Marketing Machine as they moved quickly to respond to the claims of abuse. Deary himself releasing an NRHA PR styled response as the equine public reeled from what they saw.

The NRHA video has been wiped off the internet but the remaining image says a thousand words.
21 replies
    • Michael Notting
      Michael Notting says:

      You nailed it Sally. The horses have stopped momentum then collapse. Backing up on its knees and that paint horse is spaced out of its brain.

    • Gerard Reynolds
      Gerard Reynolds says:

      They want to be a big time sport. Then drug test before the shows – at the shows EVERY HORSE. If they cant afford it then get a new sport but this shit has to stop. Even the tails are drugged they are that desperate.

    • Gareth Winder
      Gareth Winder says:

      Hey here’s a thought – why don’t the reined cow horses have this problem – they rein – do tougher patterns spinning straight after a slide, you don’t see it happen !! Reined Cow Horse are the triathlete with the highest level of training, speed and athleticism, that makes reining look tame. Stop drugging the reiners and learn to cowboy up and ride you low lifes.

      • Audrey Wood
        Audrey Wood says:

        Gareth, I agree with you. There has been an every increasing exodus out of the NRHA, and this year may mark a turning point, as many choose to transition into different arenas of competition. The big money is weighted in the higher level 4 at the NRHA Futurity. Yet everyone, even me as a Level 1 Non Pro, pays the same $2,500. nomination fee. Owning horses is a privilege, and I believe that treating our equine partners fairly and with respect, is mandatory. When money becomes the ultimate goal, some people will stop at nothing to win. Many people have decided that they want to enjoy their chosen sport as well as have some reasonable expectation of covering at least some of the expenses. A winner in the NRHA NP Level 1, stated that he didn’t even cover his expenses, and has not rejoined the Association since. The Ranch Horse competition is growing, as it more closely resembles the actual tasks on a working Ranch. It speaks to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse and the other Stock Breeds. NRCHA is indeed the triathalon of Performance Horses. When you add the unpredictable element of live cattle into the competition, is is truly a challenge. I predict that the new filmed for TV ‘Run for the Millions’ NRHA Show, where the top 20 Open Riders were invited, may not prove to be the promotional platform that they anticipate. Do the Show promoters expect that an audience of tourists and gamblers in their Los Vegas venue will be automatically drawn to become involved in Reining? Will the general public watching the show on TV jump off their sofas and Google the nearest Reining horse trainer? Somehow, I don’t think so. Reining is already considered somewhat of an elitist sport, Some Affiliate Clubs are struggling to keep going, other Regional shows are seeing fewer entries and costs especially the ‘extras,’ keep going up. Many NRHA members, especially the Non Pros who make up the highest percentage of the membership, are voicing their disappointment at being hampered by prohibitive costs which exceed their budget. The times they are a changing.

  1. Andrew Owen
    Andrew Owen says:

    Ridden into the ground. This never used to happen so I call ‘drugged!!!’ as that never used to happen either. Horses kneeling down after the momentum of the maneuver is completed. Get off cowboys and hang your head in shame. (#2 horse excluded – that was the only real misfooting) A ranch would sack you for treating a horse like that.

    • Marianne Clifford
      Marianne Clifford says:

      Well I just read a comment on the Facebook post by one of the drug testing guys. THEY SEDATE THEM, YES SEDATE THEM, TO SHOW THEM. He states it is happening in the alleys at all the major shows and everyone is just going – yep that’s right. Trainers need the horse dictated to completely !!! They have problems when the horses are a little hot (their excuse) so they are hitting them up with elephant juice. Learn to ride you PREDATORS> Your a disgrace and as John B Clarke says – GRUBS. This was a wonderful sport now being wrecked by money hungry ego centric predators.

  2. Charissa Schmidt
    Charissa Schmidt says:

    I left the sport of reining about 15 years ago due to the pervasive use of inhumane practices in the show circut. I saw too many horses break down and injur. I couldn’t bring myself to push my horses to the point of injury just to stay competitive. It is sad to see that a sport has a history rooted in solid horsemanship has devolved into something so unnatural.

    • Jordan Michaels
      Jordan Michaels says:

      Reining is like Western Pleasure. Those doing are saying its perfect. Those looking over the fence are cringing. Both spurring, jerking, drugging and blocking tails cause its so natural. Both could not ride to save themselves but think mastering a pattern or rail class it the top of the world in equine. The old timers that did the sport are crying out for change and stop the crap with the horses and the young ones are saying ”go away you don’t know what you are talking about’. The entitled are ruining both

  3. LeeAnne Tomlinson
    LeeAnne Tomlinson says:

    This is a crime against these horses and just one of the many punishments they are subjected to. This sport is putrid and run by money hungry b*&^D*# with no care factor.

  4. Lynda Lafontaine
    Lynda Lafontaine says:

    So many of us who have been away from the horse world for awhile thought this cruelty was diminished but as we become more involved it seems to have gotten much worse. The saddlebred world was terrible but other breeds/disciplines are just as bad. Money has taken the place of caring and real pleasure with our horses. The show pen is such a bad place and the blame all falls on the shoulders of the judges, rule makers and the big money. More of this should go public. Spectators just have no clue what happens outside the show arena. They only see the placings and are led in the wrong direction. Sure hope something is done about this abuse and cruelty.

  5. Leon Powers
    Leon Powers says:

    I have watched the video and quietly read all the Facebook comments including the shares – I am concerned. I am a third generation rancher and started-trained many horses including competition reiners. You sort get to know a bit over time. My concern is the people that cannot see what is going on here with these horses. They are fatigued and some drugged. Their blindly attacking everyone with stupidity and inexperience with horses. It is sad that they feel the need to be Tough on the Horse and don’t put the horse first and consider why does an animal quit and get dragged back to its feet. Some stupidly comment as they only watched the first horse (benefit of doubt) others are either stupid or numb and have just not been around enough to know. Facebook certainly gives inexperience a loud voice. This association needs to get some horseman at the top that are not directly involved for the money and glory and clean this sport up. As to your question on scoring – Zero – 3 strikes and your out for 12 months. Pretty simple really.

  6. Jean Maloney
    Jean Maloney says:

    What you don’t see are the horses that never make it to the show ring, because they have suffered serious injury during training. I was given a mare sired by Top Sail Whiz whose career never got off the ground due to a stifle injury. They take two year olds, work the hell out of them, then mourn the fact that their well bred prospect broke down. Learn to take your time with these horses. Otherwise you’re going to lose some good ones.

    • Audrey Wood
      Audrey Wood says:

      Jean, and many other concerned horsemen/woman commenting here, make very valid points. You are correct about the huge number of horses that aren’t seen in the Show pen. I am an Equine Welfare advocate and work, pro bono, to help rehome and transition horses, that through no fault of their own, find themselves in the feed lots and k-pens. This year has been particularly overwhelming, with the high number of horses being sold off and too often sh[pped. There was a group of 2 dozen Thoroughbred Yearling shipped by a Breeder to a TX feedlot, headed for their ‘end game’. There have been all ages and Breeds of horses, Thoroughbred race horses off the track, OTTB’s, BLM branded Mustangs and Burros, Minis, experienced riding horses, old and young, injured and healthy; even Registered Quarter Horse broodmares, heavy in foal. One gelding even had his custom halter with the name Letano on it. I bought one of the neglected mares in foal myself. This side of the industry is heartbreaking. The incentives for big prize money and fame, have encouraged overbreeding and too often horses that don’t meet the Owner or Trainer’s expectations, are sold off, as there are always more. I have seen horses in feed lots that I even recognised by known Sires, and some that had competed at Shows. The Performance horse industry is at a tipping point. With the devastation of crops and major flooding in the Heartland of the Country, potential shortages of feed and hay can only make this situation worse. I truly hope that horse Breeders will consider this reality.

  7. Genevieve Marshall
    Genevieve Marshall says:

    This is not pushing to the extreme or misfooting – they collapse to their knees because of the predator on their backs that is relentless in attacking them. The damage was done over months and they have quit under show pressure. The horse is quitting. My family has ranched & rodeo’d for 2 generations and worked some of the harshest ranches – never had a horse quit like this. If we did we would have got a whoppin. Drugged or predator – either way I would like my husband to have 3 minutes with these scum riders out the back of the barn.

  8. Clay
    Clay says:

    Them horses are giving there all and trying there hardest I’m not gonna say they ain’t drugged but some times a horse gets so wired up and trying they fall and slip and stumble it happens it’s nobodys fault things just happen get over yourselves you freaking crybabies.

  9. Ginger
    Ginger says:

    Let me tell you that all reining trainers are NOT abusive. There are some out there that are and most of those pictures posted are from the abuse of Mark Arballo who killed a horse and ended up paying for it in the long run (not as much as I believe he should as he only got a year or so in jail and house arrest after)) but he will never be a horse trainer again. The good trainers in the reining industry are not abusive to a horse that KNOW what they are doing. It’s mostly the ones that don’t know how to train a Reiner. I’ve had several good reining horses, and in training with several different trainers through the years – there are some that are pretty rough but for the most part most of my experience over 25 years of showing reiners I seldomly saw abuse. Those pictures are from a horse that Mark Arballo killed a while ago and he is banned from ever stepping foot on NRHA grounds or any NRHA approved events. And it’s always pointed towards the reiners – no one seems to see that dressage, jumping, cutting, reined cow horse, eventing, etc. has abusive ways within the disciplines- always blaming the reining industry instead. Why??

    • Animal Welfare
      Animal Welfare says:

      Ginger – it is an epidemic of abuse in reining with blocked tails as standard procedure to hide spurring and pen sour horses, drugging them to get them shown so they can be controlled in every move – and the NRHA members talk openly about that happening in reining specific forums. Hardly call that non-abusive – y’all just so used to it you don’t even know where the abuse line is – your conditioned to accept it. Time for Change.


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