“Revolutionary New Aid!”

Indeed! Now, instead of training yourself and your horse, you can just buy this simple gizmo and be done with that pesky learning!  No more need to understand why your horse throws his nose in the air and inverts his back.  Who cares?  All you need to know is how much to saw at his mouth until the magical wheel atop his head shows all white!  Hooray!

What am I talking about? you may ask.  Why, the new “On the Vertical Training Aid”!  Sure, they call it an aid, but it’s so much more!  Who needs an instructor when you’ve got this baby!

(Images from the website selling this fabulous new device, Chick’s Discount Saddlery)

“This innovative device  enables you to constantly monitor and maintain the desired  head position.” – this is where intelligent and correct training goes to die.  Shit like this helps create stupid, lazy riders who can’t be bothered to learn to ride properly and understand the all important, existentially based concept of “why”.  Why the horse does what he does.  Why your horse should be on the vertical and what his going that way indicates.  How you should achieve it.  (I’m pretty sure I’m talking out of my ass in this paragraph.  Did anyone understand what I was babbling about?  I really just wanted to get “existential” in there somehow.  Need to regroup.)

“Eliminates the need for mirrored walls.” = Eliminates the need for feel…

“Monitor & maintain head position from the saddle.”  Umm, I do that now.  Without this Vertical wingnut thing.  By using my legs, seat and hands; properly.  By using the “feel” that I’ve learned over 17 years of riding.  Frak! I could have saved a lot of time (and money) if I had just had this thingamabob from the beginning!

GOOD GAWD HOW LAZY CAN YOU GET?!!  Yes you want your horse to go on the vertical – but because he’s moving properly and that is the natural head carriage that results from good riding.  Not because you’ve sawed at your horse’s mouth so much that he’s dropped his head until you cease and desist – at the same time he’s also dropped his impulsion and energy generated from his once powerful hindquarters, but you don’t care because you have the “correct” headset!

Excuse me, I have to go crawl into a hole before I commence murdering people.


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Posted on April 2, 2012, in Misc Horsies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I don’t have mirrors where I ride any more. I really wish I *did* and we keep talking about putting some up, but there’s no spare money for it…there are more important things like the fact that we right now have one saddle that’s the best fit for three horses (we really need to fix that).

    But…this thing…it’s so ridiculous I looked at the site to see if I could see a posting date.

  2. That is stupid. No other word for it. I mean really, if you saw someone riding around with that poking out between their horse’s ears… wouldn’t you laugh?

    Also, check out this winners they have for sale.

    They actually mass produce THIS? Really?

    Am I the only one who can picture someone tottering around the ring with all three of these gadgets? LOL!

    • I not only would laugh, I would take pics and video and upload to you tube, facebook, twitter, and anything else I could think of. With the rider and trainers name plastered all over it as a warning to stay away from this special type of stupid.

    • Lol, the egg & spoon contraption reminds me of those antique cup & ball toys.

  3. Yes, makes sense because a horse can’t possibly learn to evade the aids by setting his head but moving with zero impulsion and no hind end engagement. haha Really? I’d prefer to see a control panel that lights up and flashes to show the difference between hind end engagement and just going faster!

  4. Well hell! How did ANYONE ever get through 1 lesson with out all this shit? I mean really?! WTF?! With all these “aids” it is a wonder anyone can ride anymore! (Seriously laiden with sarcasm here) How is it that the Native Americans ever learned to ride…with out a bit or anything…how? Oh that is right…they learned to ride with their legs and their seat and engaged their brain, and did this little trick of earning a horses trust and spending time with it! But who has time for all that nonsense these days right? Good god, this is just utterly dissapointing that someone even saw a need for such a thing. I guess the silver lining is that at least it isnt a pully with a weight attached to it running through a standing martingale and draw reins…Though, I am sure this will be something to hit the blog in the future. Folks, if you see a person or see a trainer suggesting or using one of these, get your horse away from them as fast as possible. They are idiots and should be put back in the round pen for further foundation ground work until they learn to engaged their brains, legs, and seat before being allowed back on a horse in a more open area.

    I wonder if you could put it on a persons helmet so that the trainer suggesting this contraption can see when their student is sitting correctly? I mean it is basically the same thing right? that way the trainer doesnt actually have to look at horse and rider, but just the little white squares on the circle…

  5. I’d be a bit concerned about the sharp edge on the thing. Looks like it would dig into your horse’s head. Or, I wonder if it makes any noise as it changes position. I know why my horse would do if she heard a weird sound, practically inside her ears, and it “chased after” her if she tried to get away from it.

    Concernign the egg and spoon link. I actually saw that at Congress last year and was nearly tempted to buy it. One of my kids practices alot for that class and it would be handy for kids.

  6. All the while, you can train yourself to keep looking down too! And that’s going to do so much good for the rider’s balance.


  7. After seeing the picture I thought it was a joke and that you were a day late for April Fool’s day. I mean seriously. I wonder if they have sold any, but then I probably know some people that would by it….Ackk!

  8. Jesus christ its an animal, not a fucking piece of machinery that you have to lever to the right angle! get a motorbike!

    and hah. so sotrue about training yourself to look down . and digging into the horse, i was wondering myself is that metal or what. there is a reason we dont have metal bridles, sheesh.

    no yeah i ghink the essential problem here is just that someone put the supplies for the robot horses in the wrong place. just a misunderstanding folks!

  9. Dear Gods… why … and WHO designed that tripe!!..
    Wait Tripe is too good a word.. some people actually eat that, because they want to!
    ack.. now I need to find some mind bleach!! to get this crud from my brain..
    Thanks Snarky!

  10. It’s like a little billboard that let’s you instantly recognize stupidity from a distance. This gadget is fantastic!

    It says on the site, “Advance training for 4H, open and breed shows.”. Haha!

  11. I want to add a little propeller on the top with bright neon colored fan blades then charge an extra $50.00 for ” may result in a positive downplacement of air thus causing the forehand to lighten”. (results are not in any way typical. The manufactuor can not be held liable for any harm, injury, loss of life or limb, decapitataion, spontanious combustion, mass ridicule, public shaming, embarrasment, taunts, videos appearing on U-tube, loss of family, friends or coaches, removal from shows or excommunication from USDF.)

  12. “Jesus christ its an animal, not a fucking piece of machinery that you have to lever to the right angle! get a motorbike!”

    YES. I am SOOOOOOO SOOOOOO SOOOO over the whole “headset” mentality!! And this “vertical nose” thing just has to STOP.

    Whatever happened to… oh… “on the bit,” “engaged hindquarters,” “impulsion,” “the horse is a rear-engine mover”? The entire Western Pleasure industry – I don’t care what breed, but stock horses and Arabs are the worst offenders – has created several generations now of incorrectly-moving horses, and ignorant trainers and riders.

    I see all these 4H kids who show a lot of WP at bigger shows, and they know NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING beyond “low and slow.” I haven’t seen a circuit-showing WP horse in over 20 years that I’d actually like to ride. I feel like we’re sinking down hill and I’m about to topple over the saddle horn. “Hunter” under saddle is just as bad, and the riders all look like they have scoliosis and a bad yeast infection.

    That stupid gizmo made me think of the movie Tin Cup, when Renee Russo comes out for her first golf lesson with a whole bunch of gadgets like that. The funny thing is, I bet the producers found every single one of them in various golfing catalogs.

    • Yes! I know a retired show hunter now being used as a schoolmaster. He apparently won a fair bit. Very nice tempered horse who’s only fault is that he gets strong…especially when he sees a jump. I can see why he was used for jumping…put a jump in front of him and he’s all ‘let’s go let’s go let’s GO’ with pricked ears and a big smile on his face.

      He’s also, at a guess, SIX INCHES DOWNHILL. I hate riding him…I feel, like you said, that I’m going to topple out of the front of the saddle. He’s a great horse, but why the heck was he being pinned in hunters with such a blatant fault?

      You guessed it: It’s fashionable for hunters to be downhill.


    • The hunter under saddle is western with different tack. They still drag their heads in the sand while their back legs are flapping way behind them. I don’t understand why they bother changing tack. I wouldn’t trust jumping a horse who held its head on the ground. Thats just suicide. I don’t understand these people and I have to board with them! Aaarrrgggghhh.

  13. Actually *cringe* as an instructor I kind of think this isn’t a half bad idea… One of the hardest things to teach is how to get a horse properly collected. Lots of people either understand the split second timing involved or they just… don’t. LOTS of people are visual learners, which makes it difficult for them to sense when to give and when to hold. 99% of people learning how to ride a horse “on the bit” tend to want to over bend them past the vertical. If they had something (like this do hicky thingamajig) that clearly indicated when they were asking for too much, it might help them learn what “too much” feels like.

    Just a thought.

    • Moonbrained Mare

      That’s a good point! I know I’ve found it hard to know when the horse’s neck is right – however, that was in an environment when the focus was overly on the neck being bent and nothing was being said about impulsion from behind or whatever. So I do associate a gadget like this with an over-focus on the neck/headset at the expense of getting the horse moving nicely all round. But, now you mention it, I could see the value of an instructor being able to whip this out to help a student wanting to over-bend their horse.

    • I was thinking something like this, me myself having a horse who’s been taught to go past the vertical earlier and still sometimes does it when he’s not in the mood for working, it might be a good tool for those kind of horses to prevent that from happening. I myself can feel when he goes to far but many people don’t.

  1. Pingback: Another training aid that made me cringe « snarkyrider

  2. Pingback: Another training aid that made me cringe

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