Friday, February 13, 2015

WTFriday. Nope.

This is a more serious installment of my WTF or "What The Friday." I usually make a funny, point out a wacky product or otherwise guffaw-worthy horsey related visual.

This one's a little different.  But I had to vent about what I saw on my local Craigslist this week.  This really isn't like me, but this one made me sad and angry.

I suppose this is my homage to Friday the 13th.

I have eliminated the face of the rider because she's under 18.  Her MOM posted it on the internet.... I'm uncomfortable showing you something that a parent thought was okay to post on the internet. Maybe I'm being too judgy but...

Here is the ad, copied and pasted:

"I'm looking for a horse for my 17 year old daughter she is not a beginner rider and has been riding for around 6 years now. We're looking for a young horse all around for show including pleasure, contesting, and for fun that is road safe and has no bad vices. If you could contact me at
that would be great just ask for XXXXXX our price range is under 1000 because we're not looking to compete just to start off showing for the first time. The best time to contact me is in between 10 and 1 pm on weekdays or after 5 an anytime on the weekends thanks:)"

Where do I begin?  Let's go straight past the fact that they're asking for  a
"young all around" that is versatile enough to do pleasure and contesting for under 1K, because I have my doubts that that exists, at least not one that is "road safe" and is miraculously vice free.  Might as well be out Unicorn shopping.

Let's also go straight past the safety feature of riding without shoes or a helmet when cantering a horse BAREBACK in a field.  Because hey, if you want to let your 17 year old daughter do that, that's your business... except that nearly every respectable equestrian organization requires helmets for riders under 18. But what do they know?

Now let's look at the real issue.  LOOK AT THE POOR HORSE. Shank Bit.  Noseband. Reins are completely tight, the bit and curb are as engaged as possible. No wonder the horse's neck is inverted and his nostrils and lips are clearly unhappy.  The rider is actually SMILING in the photo, so she thinks everything is just peachy. Knowing that that is a leverage bit makes me cringe.  I thought perhaps maybe we might get lucky and that there wasn't a curb strap, but with the reins that tight the angle of the shank proves it's got a proper strap.  And there a noseband which gives that horse ZERO option for a release of pressure. NOTHING that horse can do will ease the pain she's causing.  Can the horse handle it?  He's probably so hopped up on endorphins he can handle it, but why WHY would you do that!?!?!

So the answer is NO.  I am NOT going to put ANY horse in the hands of your "not a beginner rider" until she understands just what she's doing to that horse's mouth.  If you cannot balance on a horse without using the reins you should not be riding bareback.  And if she's lacking in this foundational training of DON'T DO STUFF THAT HURTS THE HORSE, then there are a few other lessons she needs to learn. 

Ugh.  Rant over.   Am I being too judgy?   Discuss.


    1. I wouldn't sell them my horse, even if a all rounder show ready road safe horse existed under $1,000.

    2. Having been bashed on the internet very publicly after a photo was posted of me, I'm going to side with the "you can't ever know whats happening in a 1 second snapshot", unless you were there.
      Though I do have to agree, the reins are tight and she IS helmetless, but then again, the horses could've JUST spooked or made a big stride and the girl got unbalanced. It happens. We've all snagged a mouth by accident. I also think judging the tack of any rider without knowing the backstory on the horse is a bit presumptuous. My saintly OTTB goes in a leverage bit on XC, but I'm not abusive.
      Second, helmets are usually a choice. THAT being said, its pretty smart to wear one, but its her choice. And its just what you said, her business.
      Lastly, I do agree the fundamentals should be learned before barebacking around a field. Again, though we don't know what was happening in this millisecond in time. Perhaps the girl is quite good for her age/experience and was just caught in a bad moment. Though the horse they are looking for sounds like a unicorn so good luck to them, haha!

      1. I totally agree with your first statement. I'm sure in the wrong moment I have balanced myself on the reins as this girl has. The thing is, this is the photo THEY CHOSE to advertise what a good rider the kid is, and her smile in the photo (which I have blurred out for anonymity) is so sweet and genuine that it's clear she has no idea this is bad. I think I even own the same bit she's using and at least it's not a Tom Thumb. Any bit in the right hands is fine, any bit in the wrong hands is potentially bad.

      2. True, if they chose this photo to demo her skills, probably not a great choice.

        And absolutely any bit in the wrong hands can be potentially harmful. Even a snaffle!

    3. Love your comparison to a unicorn :) I agree with you that shoes, helmet, safety situation is probably a poor choice. That being said I am gonna play a bit devils advocate on the bit part (haha so punny) some horses will look like that in certain situations, they are not automatically upset and the aids (like a noseband) are not always horrible or used to create a horse in pain. For instance during flag/queen runs with my mare she looks very similar to that, I keep a close contact with her face and she has a larger bit, that being said she LOVES queen runs, returns to sanity quickly and is a very soft responsive reiner when she's in another/situation. Just remember everyone does things a little different, its not our job to judge, but to support each other cause we are all crazy for the same silly animals!

      1. I agree with all your statements, and as I replied to Checkmark115, this doesn't look like an off moment and any equipment in the right hands can be positive, but even a simple snaffle can be bad in the wrong hands. I appreciate your last statement. We are all doing the best we can. :)

    4. Ignorance is bliss. While I don't want to speculate about why this photo is the way it is, I do wish that the girl would wear some shoes and a helmet.