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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Blog Carousel #2

Welcome to the second blog carousel!  I forgot to post on facebook/twitter earlier this week so we only have two participants this week.  (more next week? hint hint!).  For other great horsey blogs for your reading pleasure, check out last week’s carousel, here.

This first blog has been featured over on Fugly, most recently this past Wednesdayhttp://mytevisjourney.blogspot.ca I really like this blog – she has a great level of snark and does some personal posts as well.  I kind of like getting to know (silently stalk) other bloggers – especially since I find it so hard to keep myself anonymous (I still have to remind myself to sign all my emails as DE lol).

Next, we have Empowered Horsemanship.  http://annamaegold.blogspot.ca/  I went to this blog, recommended to me on facebook the other day, and read the first post I saw – it was on licking and chewing.  I know, it’s something we’ve all seen our horses do, but how many really understand those simple actions for what they are?  This blog provided a good reminder of that, as well as mentioning how beneficial it can be to spend some “undemanding” time with our horses.

To participate in next weeks blog carousel, email me at snarkyriderblog@gmail.com!

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Please sir, can I have some more… bullshit?

“2 registered TB stallions, Great bloodlines! They are both available for stud service until they are sold call for any info you need and for pricing. 231-709-5719 for sale or trade.”

Please sir, allow me to take you at your word on the value and “great bloodlines” these 2 TB studs undoubtedly have.  You seem a trustworthy sort of gent and as such I wouldn’t dare impune your character by asking you to provide any sort of information whatsoever on the 2 offered at stud.  In fact, you’re doing this world such a service by making these “great bloodlines” available that I salute you.  Good job, you.   Thank the almighty fuzzy that upstanding citizens such as yourself are around and well to keep the craptacular horses a-flowing.

WHAT IS SO GODDAMNED SPECIAL ABOUT THESE TWO THOROUGHBREDS?

I can tell you one thing; if they did, in fact, have outstanding genetics, they wouldn’t be listed on craigslist!

Does anyone else think they look like YEARLINGS?!  Underdeveloped, unmuscled, short, yearling-like tails… Obviously none of that is conclusive proof, but nor is it condemning evidence to the contrary.

The photos are shite so it’s hard to offer up a legit conformation analysis.  Plus, if they are yearlings (and the more I look at their builds and the tails, the more I lean towards that clinical assessment), their conformation is going to change a bit over the next two years.

Speaking of shite pictures, why, oh dear gawd why, are they posting a picture in which the horse is spooking (best case scenario) or trying to get away from its handler (not the worst case scenario).  Hold on, I know what they’re trying to do!  They’re trying to set up the horse similar to these ones!  Bravo, sir!  Bra-frakking-vo.  How lazy do you have to be to not feel the need to snap another pic to replace that one.  Perhaps, in the second attempt they could have cut out the gray’s feet, like they did the bay’s, so we can’t see what looks to be fairly long toes on that poor horse.

If they are yearlings, WHY ARE YOU OFFERING THEM AS STUDS?!?!?!?!?!!? *headdesk* (for when a *facepalm* just won’t do)

White Bird: Ulysses

We missed posting a horse for White Bird last week, so this week we’re presenting two!

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You’ve finished painting the barn, you’re done upgrading and painting the fence and that grass you planted in the pasture has assumed a brilliant shade of emerald green. In your dreams. Because no one is ever really caught up on all that stuff. But in reality, the barn is actually pretty serviceable, the fence safe and there is enough decent grass for reasonable forage. You even have a quiet little pasture puff out there that you can see from your window. One that you no longer ride, but who is perfectly happy out there by himself.

Except for the giant “I AM LONELY” that he has grazed in letters visible from 10,000 feet, hoping to attract your attention.

Being the observant horse owner that you are, you think this might mean something. Horses are herd animals, after all, and it isn’t out of the question to think that he might actually need a buddy. But where would you find such a horse friend? One that will get along with your guy (or gal) and brighten up your backyard at the same time?

To help you with this pressing question, we’d like to introduce you to Ulysses. Ulysses is a really attractive 21-year old, 16+ H  black blanket Appaloosa gelding with a sparkling personality. He’s a horse with not only flash, but presence and he would look fantastic in your pasture. Ulysses is personable and energetic, but not sound to ride. He has an old knee break that that did not heal correctly. As a result, he forms bone spurs at the joint that, during his occasional periods of exuberance, break off. This really hurts, and he goes from mildly lame to very ouchy lame. As soon as the spur starts to heal, he starts feeling rambunctious again and then re-injures himself, starting the cycle over again. For that reason, our veterinarian has suggested that his best buddy be a quiet, low energy horse that will not encourage him to overexert himeself. Steroid injections have not helped his condition and it is a problem that is best managed in a quiet environment. Other than that, he is a very healthy boy. And really, handsome. These pictures do not do him justice. If you are ever going to get a pasture buddy, why not one that looks like this?

Ulysses is available for adoption at the White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue, at www.whitebirdapps.com

Why confused people shouldn’t “train” horses

(And here I’m using the word “train” in the sense that each and every time you work with a horse, you’re training it.)

More Photo & Video available at http://www.photobucket.com/BRSCarmaq

Extremely FLASHY & Eye Catching gelding.  Handsome, tall and lengthy boy with PRESENCE!  Lots of leg.  Beautiful mover with natural flowing strides. Very comfortable ride.

Well trained hunter with previous Show experience!  Eager to please and LOVES to work!  Knows lead changes, moves off leg easily.  Will take a rider to the top! Always collected and with his beautiful strides would make a great Dressage prospect.  Could also go Western Pleasure easily, already demonstrates a beautiful slow collected trot & canter for it!  May be a good addition to a lesson program for Intermediate to Advanced riders interested in showing.

Magnificent gelding, Loves attention and has a level head with a cute affectionate little boy personality.  Will always greet you at the gate. Very sweet & curious! Great head on his shoulders.

DOUBLE Registered with HAHR and NSHR.  Great bloodlines! Saddlebred/Arab cross.  Sire is Dream Quest, multi Champion & Dam is proven producer of Show winners.

Needs a home where he has a job and is worked on a regular basis. 

Special consideration for Show home!”

There seems to be some confusion here.  I have NO CLUE what the lunger is trying to achieve with the lungee.  Are those side reins? Draw reins? Long lines? or some perversion of some other training tool?  Because to me, and believe me I stared at these photos and videos for quite some time, it looks like the two lines are on either side of the horse, hooked to the surcingle, looped through the bit and then looped through an upper link on the surcingle, bringing the line back to the lunger.  Effectively creating some sort of lunging draw reins.

NO! THAT IS WRONG!

First off, when using draw reins while riding, you don’t ride off the damn draw reins, they’re secondary to the reins.  They’re a training tool to back up your aids when asking your horse to move forward and remain light on the bit.  Typically, draw reins are used under saddle and side reins are used for lunging.  And yet, these aren’t draw reins and they definitely are not side reins!  Side reins are a set length to provide a (for lack of a better word) wall for your horse to hit – the more your horse pulls the more he creates his own bit pressure, and then when he yields, so do the side reins.  They can be a great tool to help your horse engage his topline muscles when not being worked under saddle, provided you’re using them properly.  But this is not what we’re seeing here.  (For a good overview on the proper usage and purpose of draw and side reins, check out this article on Equisearch.com)

The next option is some type of long line.  There are a few different purposes of long lining; ranging from starting a horse to working on collection.  Yeah… I don’t see that here either.

Would you like to know why, in my opinion, what the lunger is doing is fundamentally wrong?  They’re holding that inside “rein” taught, and yet it is impossible for them to give the horse a steady contact.  THAT’S WRONG!  When riding, you want your elbow to be elastic, to move with the horse, in order to provide steady communication through contact.  I have no idea what the lunger is attempting to communicate but it sure ain’t steady or elastic!  And why is that horse’s nose pulled to his chest? Some sort of lunging rollkur?  That can’t be right, the horse isn’t tracking up at all,indicating the horse isn’t generating energy from behind (impulsion) nor using its back muscles (topline) properly.  Bad, bad and more bad!

In a recent study published on TheHorse.com scientists are questioning the physiological harm purportedly done by rollkur.  That’s all well and good.  It may be that hyperflexion, when done for short periods of time (3 second rule!) is beneficial.  But there’s um, one key difference between achieving rollkur and what this person is doing – rollkur has the leg and body cues of the rider to back it up, whatever this is doesn’t!

And the biggest concern of all?  Aside from not knowing what the hell they’re trying to accomplish?  SAFETY!!!  What happens if that horse spooks or trips?  Somehow gets away from the lunger?  It may not be as bad as lunging with draw reins, but it sure ain’t foolproof!  Which, given who’s lunging the horse, it may just need to be.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Did I just go too far?

PS.  You need more than a slow canter for western pleasure… even I know that! 😉

You wouldn’t butcher a teacup pig for bacon

So why are you using a miniature horse for riding?

Here’s a hint, if your legs are dragging on the ground, not unlike the knuckles of cavemen past, you shouldn’t be riding it.

There are some people who hold to the school of thought that mini horses aren’t for riding, period.  Others believe the generalized 20% rule applies.  The latter has since been confirmed by the good people of the Canadian Miniature Horse Association.  The American one never did get back to me.  I sometimes wonder if the name of the blog throws people off when we’re contacting them for legit info.  Meh.

So, if we’re adhering to the 20% rule (the weight on the horse’s back shouldn’t be more than 20% of the horse’s own weight) then a miniature horse should never carry more than a small child.  Which begs the question, who’s going to break it?  Perhaps leading us back to the former group believing minis aren’t for riding.

Assuming you have a fairly docile mini and decide to throw your small child up for a ride, it likely doesn’t look like this:

Nor this:

I would love to know what the hell is going through these people’s heads that they think it’s so freaking cool to ride a horse with shorter legs than they have.

What? Tired of using the frakking mounting block?!  Too much effort to climb up those two short steps, so instead you’d rather just swing your leg over the horse’s back without your other foot ever leaving the safety of the ground?

Now, I know that some pony breeds are known for being stout little troopers who are able to pack around significantly more than 20% of their weight.  But I think some people are mistaking Shetlands for miniatures! Either that or they don’t care at all what they’re doing to that poor horse.

A while back we noted a child on a miniature horse that was clearly too big for it (see here).  Now, after seeing the above two photos, we’re *facepalming* even harder.  THE ABSOLUTE IDIOCY AND DISREGARD OF THE PHYSICAL COMFORT OF THE HORSE THAT HAS TO CART YOUR ASS AROUND IS ASTOUNDING!

Grrrrrrrrrr.

Just because it’s an equid doesn’t mean you can ride it.

White Bird: Fancy

Now, why on earth would anyone want to adopt this horse? She’s opinionated. She will occasionally rear up when she doesn’t trust what you are doing. She gains too much weight on lush pasture and she will try hard to convince you that she is the boss of YOU.

Sometimes that has worked for her, as she did indeed convince her previous owners that she was the boss of THEM. As a result, she was left to blow up like a tick on their pasture. And when we asked them if she’d ever worn a muzzle, they told us in hushed tones that they could “never, ever do that.” She would “just go crazy” if they tried that. But none of this was really their fault. She was sold to them as a beginner’s horse by someone who found her already loaded in the trailer they’d parked empty at a sales lot. She is many things, but a beginner’s horse is not one of them.

But this is what else we know about her: This is a really cute, halter type, foundation style Appy mare, about 15H and in her early to mid-teens. She has a surprisingly fluid, extended trot, especially given her body type. She is sound and has no health issues that we are aware of. She does respect the people who earn it. And even better, when worked with on a regular basis by someone who is firm and fair, she loses the old stink eye and begins to enjoy her job. The rearing seems to be idiosyncratic. She goes up, we just pull her back down and then she looks apologetic. She has never done this under saddle, rather it’s when you doing something else, like trimming her. She has no other vices, other than a skeptical view of the world (and hey, who doesn’t these days?).

Fancy is  just longing for consistency in her life with someone she can bond with. She is not mean or rebellious, just untrusting of your opinion. We really think this mare has a lot of potential but she needs a home with someone who has a little experience and who will take the time to explain things to her.

She also needs some dietary control. When we put a muzzle on her for the first time, she went screaming around the pasture like a banshee for twenty minutes or so. I don’t remember what we did. I think we might have yawned and then gone in for dinner. But she learned quickly that “going crazy” didn’t impress us. Today, she is just super about wearing that muzzle. With a little time, we think she’ll be super at a lot of other things, too.

WDC: Bambis!

Snarky Rider’s First Blog Carousel

As you all know, I’ve been kind of lax with my weekend posting lately.  I’ve (hopefully temporarily) lost my writing partner (have you seen her?! I’m going to post missing posters soon!) and have been going INSANE with all of this writing.  Anywho, I came across a blog post a while back about blog carousels and it stuck with me.  Not only do I not have to create original content (a huge personal benefit) but I get to increase the sense of community amongst horse bloggers (an even bigger benefit that benefits everyone!).  So, without further adieu, I get you Snarky Rider’s first blog carousel!

Oh wait, for those of you not in the know, a blog carousel is where, instead of sharing new content created by yours truly, we share in the genius that is our fellow (horsey) bloggers.

First up is Helpful Horse Hints: They recently did a post on parrot mouth and reminded us to look all horses, gift or otherwise, in the mouth.

Next we have Adventures with Shyloh, a fellow ESMA nominee in the Best Blog category, the link is to a previous post that I think is a pretty good example of the awesome cuteness that you can expect from Shy 🙂

And then there’s the good people at Guiding Starbuck, a blog on a (former) beginner and the training of herself and her horse.

Be sure to stop in and check out 36 and Single – a blog on the single life with a side order of 3 horses and 2 dogs!  I’ve linked to a recent post on feeding and supplements, touching on a subject that most, if not all, concerned horse owners have stressed about at one point or another!

To wrap up this weeks Blog Carousel, we have Horse Listening.  She didn’t email us her link but she did feature one of our posts on her blog last year, which meant so so much to us!  This most recent post of hers gives some good, and timely, tips for ramping up to show season.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed the first blog carousel.  I’d like to continue to do this once a week, or once a month, depending on the response.  Blogging for the horse world is such a unique niche – it’s hard to write for specific demographics because we really are across the board, the only think linking us all, really, is the horses. I thought it’d be nice if we could encourage a sense of community and develop some relationships – maybe even some online friendships outside of horses (wait, is there such a thing?).

Why people are stupid

Seriously, watch the video and then tell me you don’t think most of those people were taking more than their fair share of the stupids and depriving others of the world theirs.

Let’s see how many idiotic, stupid, completely fucking brainless moronic things we can point out in that video, shall we? FUN!

  1. The audiuence; no screaming at a horseshow!  I know it may be difficult to contain yourselves in the presence of such awesomeness, but calm the frak down.  Be respectful.  You wouldn’t hoot and holler at the Queen of England, now would you?  Welllll!
  2. Do not attempt to grab the reins of a panicking horse.  Even if you manage to get hold of them, you’re not going to be able to keep hold of them!  You’re going to freak the horse out even more and likely hurt yourself while doing so.
  3. Do not run anywhere near a spooking horse.  If you can see a spooking horse, it can likely see you – in which case you shouldn’t be doing anything but moving slowly and methodically, if you must move at all.
  4. I find it surprising that the announcer had to tell people to take the horses to the inside of the arena – I’d have already been there and off my little buggy.  But, then again, this is a video, things happen faster in real life (although, I can dismount pretty damn fast when needs be! Just sayin’…)
  5. Yelling “whoa” has never, ever, in the history of all that is horse, done a goddamned thing.  What horses respond to is the soothing tone that typically accompanies words like “whoa”.  Those western movies you idolized as a child were NOT based on reality.  Did anyone learn how to saw or drill from Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor?  I didn’t think so.
  6. Waving your arms also doesn’t work.  You’re not communicating with a freaking seagull.  This is a horse and that shit is scary!
  7. Goddamit you morons! Keep the horse out of the middle of the arena.  They’re only job was to keep the horse on the outside of the arena at that point, not stopping it.
  8. Yes, run at it with a saddle pad flapping in your arm.  Good decision making skills, you.

You know what, that’s enough from me.  Time for some audience participation.  I dare you to watch this video and NOT have something to say afterwards!

Mix n Match

Today, I’d like to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was an asshole who thought he was smarter than genetics.  He bred two horses with cute ears and out popped his little miracle baby.  The baby that was going to save his farm and put food in his 10 illegitimate children’s bellies.  Unfortunately, true to its nature, genetics produced this regrettably  fugly creature.  The asshole backyard breeder realized this horse wasn’t going to be a goldmine after the first prospective buyer came by and promptly turned around, making a hasty retreat, laughing so hard he almost drove off the road.  Fancying himself a cunning businessman, he dumped the now yearling off at auction and skipped merrily away with his shiny new $5 bill in hand.

I desperately want to find this little guy and hug him and never let go.  He is just about the epitome of fugly and gawd awful breeding, but… he’s so gosh darned ugly, he’s cute!

This little guy is obviously going through an awkward phase, and it doesn’t help that he’s standing on a hill.  He’s not unlike the skinny, pimply, snot-nosed boy we all had in our class at one time or another.  However, unlike that kid, this ugly duckling has no hope of ever turning into a handsome swan.  He looks like at least three different breeds all mashed together!

The head: Draft.  That one’s pretty obvious.  The roman nose is a dead giveaway.

The skinny neck reminds me of the Thoroughbred babies I used to work with.  We know that neck isn’t from a QH because they’d have already been fitting him! (Similarly, we know the hind legs aren’t QH because they’re not posty nor screaming “we’ll be useless past age 3!”) -although those are some upright pasterns!

You may find this shocking, but I kind of like his bum (not the first time I’ve said that today, although that is the first time to a non-human).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not great, it just seems to be the best least horribly put together part of him.  Which is almost horrifying as the point of hip, point of buttocks and stifle don’t form that equilateral triangle that the proverbial “they” tell us non-experts to look for.  Furthermore, the stifle looks like it’s sitting pretty high, which could affect the range of motion of his hing legs.  Keeping in mind, of course, that this is a young, still-growing boy.  Some calcium, vitamins and protein shakes and he might just grow up to be a strapping young lad!

I can hope, right?

Here’s a link to a decent overview on conformation.  It’s pretty rudimentary, but it’s always good to review the basics once in a while!

Perhaps the most concerning issue we can see in this picture, is the line on his gut – indicating heaves (aka COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

So, asshat breeders, as per usual, we’d like to thank you for continuing to cause horses undue pain and suffering, for helping to populate the clearly struggling auction houses, and for putting food on the plates of rich Belgians.  Because without you, it would be nearly impossible to sustain these practices.

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