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Halter Abuse


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#11 SandStone

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:58 PM

The fact that Boggs is still out there showing and is still prominent in our industry - well, to me it just doesn't speak well of OUR industry in general. IMO. He ought to have been black balled, tarred and feathered, or required to wear a scarlet letter or sign on his back stating "I CHEAT".
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#12 lunalisa

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

I don't show halter. I do own an ex halter trained horse. It's taken me nearly three years to overcome his halter training. Scold him he'd fly backwards. Stop too fast while hand walking he'd toss head up fly backwards. Show him a whip of any kind he would fly backwards, rip the rope out of your hands and head for the hills. Put a regular halter on him and take him into an arena and ask him to trot by your side he'd pin his ears, bunch his tail and try to bite, think better of it and then...fly backwards. If you took him anywhere but an arena he'd be as gentle as a lamb. Try to load him in a trailer by applying pressure on the halter to come forward and he'd stop dead, quasi pose and fly backwards. I swear to God I'd like to meet the person who made every little thing such a huge ordeal by training him this way! He has come around and will load no problem, you can do a corrective shank and he won't lose his mind, ignores all whips, and is ho-hum about the lunge whip while lunging instead of running the Indy 500 in a circle to get away. He has learned to be a normal horse. So you can imagine my opinion on halter. If other people love halter that's fine. Far be it for me to spit in their corn flakes.

Here's a thread on the subject and you can form your own opinions.

http://www.discussio...eyond-the-hype/

KL, thanks for that link. It has a excellent discription on how and why it got this way, as well as what might be able to be done about it.
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#13 ladycascabel

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:45 PM

The fact that Boggs is still out there showing and is still prominent in our industry - well, to me it just doesn't speak well of OUR industry in general. IMO. He ought to have been black balled, tarred and feathered, or required to wear a scarlet letter or sign on his back stating "I CHEAT".


Fully understanding that some ABN members admire and stick up for Mr. Boggs, I still say: :bigemo_harabe_net-117:

And if you have to show a Quarter Horse with a lip chain, good grief, how far has THAT breed fallen???

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#14 windridge

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:51 PM

Fully understanding that some ABN members admire and stick up for Mr. Boggs, I still say: :bigemo_harabe_net-117:

And if you have to show a Quarter Horse with a lip chain, good grief, how far has THAT breed fallen???

Mary


They also show Appys and Paints with lip chains and several English breeds show halter with a SS curb bridle- some complete with second handler to bag during the class.

If you are refering to me standing up for him- I would hardly say I admire him but he does do some things right despite the fact that he does other things wrong.
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#15 Reflection SA

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:44 PM

Number two, according to many people I've spoken to in the Arabian community, it is quite common for a "big-name" halter trainer to whip the crap out of a horse IN the show ring. I've never seen a national-level halter class, so if this is a stupid statement you will have to forgive me. I've never seen this done on the Regional level at a show, but I'm sure it happens behind the scenes. If this is the case, why is it allowed??? It boggles my mind to think that judges can watch this kind of treatment and not care, so what's the bottom line?



They pretend they dont see it. When I was in AHA's judging school, I asked Bill Melendez, who judged 2008 US Nationals. At this show, DA Valentino bared his teeth and struck out to David Boggs to bite him. I wanted to know why he didnt excuse the exhibitor, as an aggressive horse is grounds for automatic dismissal. He said "I didnt see it". Im not sure how the whole panel "didnt see it". DA Valentino was rewarded for trying to aggressively attack his handler with a National Championship.
I see ring stewards "not see" things too. The video of this incident is somewhere on YouTube although i cannot locate it now. Only one of the five judges in the panel "awarded" a penalty point, and only 1 point for this horrid behavior from a horse that was clearly unhappy with his situation. Happens all the time and at every show I go to, except Regionals since there's only 3 horses in the classes now! AHA will wake up someday.

I was in Las Vegas this year holding a plastic bag to chase my friend's horse into the ring before his class. The bag was taken away from me by the steward, however, less than 15 minutes later and standing directly in front of him was another exhibitor slapping the front legs of his stallion with his whip. I learned in Las Vegas that you're not allowed to bag, but you're allowed to whip the front legs.

It will never stop until people stop being afraid to take video and post it on line and give it to USEF. AHA wants you to pay $100 complaint fee, but that's a load of crap. If someone's abusing a horse, post it to the internet. USEF took a photo that I have of a horse, KJR Lexington, with a 3" diameter pvc pipe in her mouth at 2009 US Nationals and didnt charge me $100. Its my understanding that they are dealing with this issue now, however, on that day, the mare was rewarded with a US National Reserve Champion in Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 18-35. Not the judge's fault on this one, though, because the judge had no idea that the horse suffered needlessly hours of torture just prior to the class. They just judged the horse in front of them.

The bottom line is that these "trainers" bring big show strings, and without those show strings to pay the bill at the show, AHA just wouldnt know what to do. So they continue to lose onsey twosie support over having a bunch of cheaters in the ring, all in the name of money, money, money.

If they had more harsh penalties for CHEATERS, like a complete BAN on accepting ANY entries from a cheater barn for a year, AHA would get it's shows cleaned up pretty ###### quickly and people would flock to show their horses on the new level playing field. But, that is a fantasy right now.
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#16 Timberlace

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:51 PM

There is a big difference between the horses being stood up by kids and the horses that come out of big halter barns. I have several horses that I trained to stand up so the kids could show them at open shows and some class A, but these horses would never cut it at big shows. They don't do a hard stance and don't look terrified. After the last couple of halter horses I purchased for clients I will never purchase a horse that has been shown on the big stage again. There are just too many issues that will pop their heads up at the most inconvenient times, that were directly resulting from their halter training. It is also incredibly difficult to get a horse to move away from a whip after someone has ingrained in their brain that you must stop, look and freeze when you see a whip. And I am not the only amateur based barn that feels this way.
I have also had the luck to be stalled near several "halter" barns at shows including the Boggs. My horses were basket cases after listening to the whips going all night long. I don't think a pat on the neck and a "good boy" can quite make up for being terrorized for hours. No wonder these horses have ulcers and want nothing to do with horse shows. And if you think your horses aren't getting this treatment try getting out of your bed and sneaking out to the stalls in the night, you might be surprised.
I will say that I have one halter trainer I respect and it is Kim Morgan, I have watched her spend hours training halter horses, boy she has a lot of patience. There may be some others but I don't know them personally.
If you want a general consensus of the feelings on main ring halter. Just look at the numbers, some of the shows in our area are actually starting to drop halter, and most shows don't have a total of 10-15 horses show. I also noticed that at youth nationals there weren't even enough horses in some classes for a Top Ten. Every amateur I know that wants to show halter has switched to Sport Horse.
I will have to admit that I have never cared much for showing halter. I live under the theory that if God had wanted me to lead a horse he would have given my 4 legs and the horse 2, but I used to love watching Nationals classes and respected the National Champions, now I don't even know who the current National Champion is. In my world of performance horses it just doesn't matter anymore. I only care which stallions are producing athletic, good minded, trainable foals. And I want horses that will hold up for more than one season.
In short, yes there is abuse but halter is a very small part of our industry now and getting smaller. It will either change or disappear. The only thing keeping it alive now is AHA insistence on having giant payouts for baby horses, while taking away payout for mature riding horses. They seem to have no thought about what happens to horses after the age of 4 or 5. (isn't that what is killing the thoroughbred industry)
Oops sorry, I will step off of my soap box and go kiss my big trotting ponies good night before the storms hit here.

#17 WanderingStar

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:19 AM

Sandee - I'm a little slow, what's the "purpose" of the 3" PVC pipe on a western horse?
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#18 Chile

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:52 AM

My guess would be to make the jaw so tired that the horse won't mouth/play with the bit.
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#19 spiritthyme

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:27 AM

As I've said in other posts I've made, I am fairly new to the Arabian world, and I certainly don't know a lot about halter...other than it seems to be one of the biggest issues of our breed. I have some questions that I would love for someone to answer, because quite frankly, it is embarrassing to me to be part of an organization that would allow the kind of the abuse I've been told goes on in this particular discipline. Other friends I have in the equestrian community outside of the Arabian industry are appalled when I tell them that I belong to AHA, and they always bring up halter. In fact, a friend sent me the article on Fugly about the gingering incident at Scottsdale, and said, "Just in case you were wondering why your breed has such a bad reputation...". It has happened so much lately that I feel I am in definite need of education. Before I begin, I want to post a disclaimer: it's going to seem like I'm picking on David Boggs in particular. I'm not necessarily trying to, I just happen to have heard more about him than anyone else.

Here goes:

Number one, it is my understanding that once upon a time, David Boggs was suspended by USEF for five years for having cosmetic procedures done on horses, specifically to lengthen their necks. If this is true, was he suspended by USEF or AHA? Was any other action against him?

Number two, according to many people I've spoken to in the Arabian community, it is quite common for a "big-name" halter trainer to whip the crap out of a horse IN the show ring. I've never seen a national-level halter class, so if this is a stupid statement you will have to forgive me. I've never seen this done on the Regional level at a show, but I'm sure it happens behind the scenes. If this is the case, why is it allowed??? It boggles my mind to think that judges can watch this kind of treatment and not care, so what's the bottom line?

Number three, I have done my research on this topic. There are very few opinions in the middle. People either think David Boggs and other halter trainers have literally MADE the Arabian breed, or they think they will be eternally damned for what they do to get their results. In 2008 someone began a thread on ABH praising Midwest for how successful they've been, saying that they are one of the only barns that achieved crazy celebrity status in the 80's and retain it through today. One person said, "I have a hard time with how unwilling many of us are to forgive and move on. Most of you know that I am the biggest loudmouth in the world about horse abuse. I just cannot stomach it any way shape or form. I have no doubt that David was a monster at one point in his career - but that is not the person I see today. People make mistakes. Some are terrible, and some are just stupid, but we all make them. I don't know if David has publicly spoken out about his past and made a statement about his reformation, but I don't think it's necessary anyway. His past misdeads are between him and his horses and God, and to continuously throw up the past is not helping anyone." Considering more abuse has occurred since this post and several Scottsdale halter horses are losing titles, how many times will the Arabian community as a whole "forgive and move on"? I've even heard horrible abuse stories about Michael Byatt, and he was up for Equestrian of the Year!

Number four, if all of this is truly as bad as it has been made out to be, what can be done to stop it? I realize that is a terribly idealistic question, but in all seriousness, what would happen if people who vehemently disagree with this type of treatment actually did something about it that caused uncomfortable consequences for AHA?

Forgive me if I've asked any ignorant questions. I'm just getting more and more of these types of comments about the breed I adore, and it's getting downright frustrating.


Not for "lengthening their necks", it was for having liposuction performed on their croups to help flatten them( and yes he WAS suspended ) I believe, anyway I know it had nothing to do with the surgery on Magnum, that had to do with his "cribbing" problem... I read thru the reports, unless I am totally off then someone can correct me.

I show & enjoy Halter, it can be like a Dance between Horse & handler, every discipline has it's dirty secrets sadly, because so many will do whatever it takes to win, besides the "abuse" the Politics are killer too...

My guess would be to make the jaw so tired that the horse won't mouth/play with the bit.


YUP that's what I've heard from western trainers....

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#20 Gogetter

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:39 AM

They pretend they dont see it. When I was in AHA's judging school, I asked Bill Melendez, who judged 2008 US Nationals. At this show, DA Valentino bared his teeth and struck out to David Boggs to bite him. I wanted to know why he didnt excuse the exhibitor, as an aggressive horse is grounds for automatic dismissal. He said "I didnt see it". Im not sure how the whole panel "didnt see it". DA Valentino was rewarded for trying to aggressively attack his handler with a National Championship.
I see ring stewards "not see" things too. The video of this incident is somewhere on YouTube although i cannot locate it now. Only one of the five judges in the panel "awarded" a penalty point, and only 1 point for this horrid behavior from a horse that was clearly unhappy with his situation. Happens all the time and at every show I go to, except Regionals since there's only 3 horses in the classes now! AHA will wake up someday.

I was in Las Vegas this year holding a plastic bag to chase my friend's horse into the ring before his class. The bag was taken away from me by the steward, however, less than 15 minutes later and standing directly in front of him was another exhibitor slapping the front legs of his stallion with his whip. I learned in Las Vegas that you're not allowed to bag, but you're allowed to whip the front legs.

It will never stop until people stop being afraid to take video and post it on line and give it to USEF. AHA wants you to pay $100 complaint fee, but that's a load of crap. If someone's abusing a horse, post it to the internet. USEF took a photo that I have of a horse, KJR Lexington, with a 3" diameter pvc pipe in her mouth at 2009 US Nationals and didnt charge me $100. Its my understanding that they are dealing with this issue now, however, on that day, the mare was rewarded with a US National Reserve Champion in Arabian Western Pleasure AAOTR 18-35. Not the judge's fault on this one, though, because the judge had no idea that the horse suffered needlessly hours of torture just prior to the class. They just judged the horse in front of them.

The bottom line is that these "trainers" bring big show strings, and without those show strings to pay the bill at the show, AHA just wouldnt know what to do. So they continue to lose onsey twosie support over having a bunch of cheaters in the ring, all in the name of money, money, money.

If they had more harsh penalties for CHEATERS, like a complete BAN on accepting ANY entries from a cheater barn for a year, AHA would get it's shows cleaned up pretty ###### quickly and people would flock to show their horses on the new level playing field. But, that is a fantasy right now.


Sure wish you could make it to region 1 as this "onesie twosie" girl needs all the support she can get! And you know I agree with you.

There is a big difference between the horses being stood up by kids and the horses that come out of big halter barns. I have several horses that I trained to stand up so the kids could show them at open shows and some class A, but these horses would never cut it at big shows. They don't do a hard stance and don't look terrified. After the last couple of halter horses I purchased for clients I will never purchase a horse that has been shown on the big stage again. There are just too many issues that will pop their heads up at the most inconvenient times, that were directly resulting from their halter training. It is also incredibly difficult to get a horse to move away from a whip after someone has ingrained in their brain that you must stop, look and freeze when you see a whip. And I am not the only amateur based barn that feels this way.
I have also had the luck to be stalled near several "halter" barns at shows including the Boggs. My horses were basket cases after listening to the whips going all night long. I don't think a pat on the neck and a "good boy" can quite make up for being terrorized for hours. No wonder these horses have ulcers and want nothing to do with horse shows. And if you think your horses aren't getting this treatment try getting out of your bed and sneaking out to the stalls in the night, you might be surprised.
I will say that I have one halter trainer I respect and it is Kim Morgan, I have watched her spend hours training halter horses, boy she has a lot of patience. There may be some others but I don't know them personally.
If you want a general consensus of the feelings on main ring halter. Just look at the numbers, some of the shows in our area are actually starting to drop halter, and most shows don't have a total of 10-15 horses show. I also noticed that at youth nationals there weren't even enough horses in some classes for a Top Ten. Every amateur I know that wants to show halter has switched to Sport Horse.
I will have to admit that I have never cared much for showing halter. I live under the theory that if God had wanted me to lead a horse he would have given my 4 legs and the horse 2, but I used to love watching Nationals classes and respected the National Champions, now I don't even know who the current National Champion is. In my world of performance horses it just doesn't matter anymore. I only care which stallions are producing athletic, good minded, trainable foals. And I want horses that will hold up for more than one season.
In short, yes there is abuse but halter is a very small part of our industry now and getting smaller. It will either change or disappear. The only thing keeping it alive now is AHA insistence on having giant payouts for baby horses, while taking away payout for mature riding horses. They seem to have no thought about what happens to horses after the age of 4 or 5. (isn't that what is killing the thoroughbred industry)
Oops sorry, I will step off of my soap box and go kiss my big trotting ponies good night before the storms hit here.


This is a pretty common experience from a lot of performance riders/trainers.

Sandee - I'm a little slow, what's the "purpose" of the 3" PVC pipe on a western horse?


My understanding is to "soften" the jaw.

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