Category Archives: Misc Horsies

Email Subscription updated

For all y’all that had subscribed to Snarky Rider before we switched off WordPress hosting, I thought I’d throw up a quick post to let you know I have (finally) figured out how to enable subscriptions once again with the new hosting!  Please visit, check out the right sidebar and sign up for email subscriptions!  Pretty please? Me love you long time? 😉

Ow my legs… and a few other posts

Yup, forgot to “post” here soooo here’s to catch y’all up 🙂

Ow my legs

Hates banana smells… don’t we all

MiniSnark: Jump Standards or Chairs

What do Starbucks, my ankle and Chubby Checker have in common?

Really Really Really Bum HIGH!

I really hope these links are working! I’m trying to get a new email subscription service up on the website!

Buck Buck Buck GOOSE!

No idea if this will work for you guys, but here is the link to today’s post!


Disco. Disco Duck

Hello subscribers! My apologies for not sending this out this morning.  🙂

Check out Discotheque, the beautiful 3 year old Lusitano stallion with babies on the ground and an owner who has graciously helped to remind us all that grammar is important in business – and that even the horse world needs some business sense.


Hola Subscribers!

It looks like, since we’ve moved the hosting of the blog off of wordpress, the subscription service no longer works.  I’m looking into getting a new one set up and until then (now that I know this) will continue to post links here so you still get your daily snarky on 😉  Sorry for the inconvenience!  I’ll keep y’all posted! 😀

For today’s dose of snark, check out Home, home on the rangeeeee

Wiffle bats: Not just for school gym class anymore

Well, I was FINALLY going to comment about that video that has been making the rounds recently.  The one where trainer Cyndi Plasch is trying to load her horse after a show and beats it with a wiffle bat?  People come over, presumably trying to help, and flap their arms at the horse to encourage it to load.  All the while, someone is videotaping this inordinate amount of stupidity.

I know you’re all going to expect me to go after the person beating the horse the wiffle bat – and believe you me, she deserves it, but I do so hate to be predictable and honestly feel that given the virality of the video, maybe my comments aren’t required.  However, what I am concerned about is the person standing around taking the video.  The one that recognized something bad was happening, that something needed to be done about it, and proceeded to passively condone the abusers actions by allowing the behavior to continue without even trying to stop it.

Why did NO ONE step in and take the wiffle bat from her!?  Oh wait, people did step in… and waived their arms around like it was greenhorn cattle drive!

There are certainly times when it is better to video and not risk your own health and safety – I get that, more so than most.  However, in a crowded area, in broad daylight, the risk was greatly reduced.  What could your justification be for NOT stepping in?  I’m sorry, but I just can’t imagine a scenario where they couldn’t have at least gone over there and said “hey, stop that” in a stern tone.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to get up in someone else’s grill, but I just cannot comprehend a situation wherein you can idly stand by.  -that’s most likely a statement on me and my understanding of human nature because I can tell you right now that I have next to none (understanding that is, I have some human nature).

For an update on this story and a few more details, check out this article. BTW this article contains the videographers defense as to why she chose to videotape rather than help the horse.  To sum up: it was for the greater good.

Guest Post: ESP: Equines, Suckers & Psychics at the Midwest Horse Fair

I do believe animals and people can, through intuition and body language, communicate with each other in significant ways.

I do believe that animals are reasonably intelligent, and feel complex emotions like sadness, jealousy and happiness.

I don’t believe that animals are just furry versions of human beings,with the associated mental capacity that entails.

I don’t believe that a horse can psychically tell you “I have an abscess in my hoof.”

I don’t believe that you can change a horse’s behavior by just talking to it.

…but that’s what Asia Voight wants you to believe.

Asia Voight is an “animal communicator” who claims to be able to psychically talk with animals (and rocks and trees and ghosts) through feelings, words and pictures. I attended her seminar “7 Steps to Communicating With Your Horse” during the Midwest Horse Fair. It was her tenth year appearing at the fair, and it seems as though everyone in the audience loved her. Why wouldn’t they? She tells people they can easily achieve their ultimate dreams.

Asia told us we could become “horse whisperers,” on par with top trainers, in minutes. She said we could all learn to fix our horses’ behavioral problems, including bucking, biting, rearing, kicking, jigging and bolting, in an hour or two. Asia even said what we wanted most to hear: that if we simply learned how, we could hear our horses say, “I love you.”

How, you ask? Why, simply by tuning into the “morphic field” that everything gives off. This allows a transference of energy between beings that can result in true communication. To prove this, Asia put up a group of pictures on her Power Point display, including a radio dial, a tuning fork diagram, a television set with “rabbit ear” antennae, and a diagram of a sound wave. “This isn’t just some woo-woo stuff,” she said, “it’s all been scientifically proven!”

Asia then told a story about how one of her horses had come up lame, and when the vet came out, said vet couldn’t find the problem. He recommended that Asia trailer her horse into a vet clinic and get some more extensive tests done.Asia, of course, thought this was just silly: “I’ll just talk to my horse and find out what the matter is!” So she did (I’m not sure why she didn’t do this in the first place), and the horse clearly told her, “I have an abscess.” (Gosh, I wish my horse was smart enough to understand complex concepts like “abscess,” and “get in the damn trailer so we can go home now.”) The horse went on to describe exactly where it was by psychically projecting pressure onto the appropriate part of Asia’s hand.Sure enough, the vet checked more thoroughly and found the abscess, making further tests unnecessary. “I’ve saved thousands of dollars in vet bills,” Asia claims, “and you can too!”

It’s every horse-lover’s dream: a quick-fix for all training problems, fewer vet bills, and the ability to really talk to your fuzzy buddy, just like in all the Disney movies.

Uh huh. Riiiiiight.

I am not calling Asia Voight a scam artist, or a fake. Doing so would open me up to defamation lawsuits. Besides, I can’t say she doesn’t talk to animals. Hey, I’m a believer in weird stuff. Not necessarily her weird shit, but whatever.

No, what I’m doing is calling Asia a jerk, an asshole, a bitch. Regardless of whether she has psychic powers or not, she’s encouraging people to take dangerous shortcuts. She tells people that they can magically learn in minutes what professionals take years to understand. She doesn’t say don’t take your horse to the trainer or vet, but strongly implies that it’s usually unnecessary– those people are only there to help you out with the technical details if you want, after you’ve figured out the source of your problems yourself with psychic voodoo. Asia also anthropomorphizes animals to a dangerous degree. Most rational people know that horses get grabby about food and treats because they’re designed by nature to snatch as many calories as possible for survival, and that this trait can be exaggerated when horses are spoiled, i.e. allowed to chew on your coat pockets and knock feed buckets out of your hands. However, at last weekend’s seminar, Asia explained to one lady that her horse was constantly mugging her for food because of “emotional issues,” like maybe a lack of one-on-one attention. This woman didn’t need to do any actual work, like improve the horse’s possibly dangerous ground manners– no, all she needed to do was find out exactly what “emotional issue” it was via psychic communication, then reassure the horse. And remember, Asia tells people that all behavioral problems can be solved this way! Bucking, biting, kicking– all you need is to chat with your horse,then fix their emotional problems! Because we all know, don’t we, that horses can be reasoned with, just like people!

Of course, not everyone can communicate with animals as well as Asia Voight can. Which is why, throughout her entire hour-long seminar, Asia Voight tries to sell you her services. If you’re having trouble connecting with the “morphic field” around your animal, you can pay here a mere $150 for a half-hour phone call, during which she will psychically connect with your critter via a photograph (actual contact with the animal is apparently unnecessary). You can also buy her books, make personal guidance appointments, take her classes, participate in group phone calls, download mp3s, go on dolphin bonding trips, etc.  etc. etc. During the seminar, after she had passed out signup sheets for some of her services, she said, and I swear this is an exact quote: “If you act NOW, I’ll give you this FREE eco-friendly tote bag, a gorgeous bottle of essential oil, AND a free group phone session!!”

What’s truly amazing is how good Asia Voight is at what she does.  Thousands of rational, intelligent people pay for her services every year. In fact, at the seminar I attended, she was introduced by the University of Wisconsin Madison Dean of Admissions. The Dean has a lot of Siamese cats, and explained that Asia had talked to them, and in doing so, gotten the Dean to open up about a whole bunch of personal problems (which the cats apparently knew about). This is where Asia is a genius. If you just say you’re talking to animals, a la Doctor Doolittle, people will call you nuts. Asia Voight is successful because she asks the right questions, gets people to open up, validates their feelings, and then tells them how special their relationships are with their animals. It’s not really about the actual talking-to-animals thing at all; it’s about selling the empathy, the emotion, the idea that humans and animals can connect intimately in way they’ve only dreamed about. People want to buy that so badly.

In fact, people want to buy that idea so badly that nearly everyone I spoke to about Asia Voight defended her. Well, not Asia precisely; what they were defending was the ideal in their heads. I guarantee you, among the first dozen commenters here will be several that are angry because I’m somehow demeaning their connections with their animals, or demeaning their animals’ abilities.  No. Wrong. I said it at the beginning, and I’ll say it again; I have no trouble believing that animals are emotional, reasonably intelligent beings that we can have some significant communication with. I don’t even care if you want to talk to your pet Mr. Fluffybutt like a person, throw him birthday parties and over-analyze why he pooped over there instead of his usual place.

What I object to is people like Asia Voight, who take advantage of our emotional needs in order to sell us high-priced psychic visions that may even endanger those who listen to them.  I call bullshit, dangerous bullshit, on the idea that psychic conversation, not hard work, training, and vet visits, is the best basis for fixing things. I object to the idea that animals are humans in fur suits, and find it frightening that some people really do believe Mr. Fluffybutt is biting you because of daddy issues.

Asia has an answer for doubters like me. She says that if non-believers don’t want to have the kind of intimate relationship psychic connections can provide, then that’s fine– but we should leave her followers alone to harmlessly commune with God’s creatures. I wish that was all that’s involved. Lord knows this is America, where we all have the right to throw our money at whatever we damn well please. But what happens when Mr. Fluffybutt never does get properly trained, because his owner is convinced more talk therapy is the solution? Will someone get hurt? Will he bite a vet, or a bystander? Will he be surrendered to a rescue because the day comes when no one can deal with him? Will he ever be happy, having few or no boundaries, rules or leaders in his life? Will he ever be taught to do a job that will make him feel like he has a purpose in life?


Guest post by the North Horse!

*cough* sick. enjoy.

I’m feeling less than 100% and have a bad case of the stupids, sooooooooooooooo… hope these make you laugh! 🙂

Happy Friday!

Don’t ask me how, but I have a squirrel in my backpack and I don’t know what to do with it.

Another training aid that made me cringe

Am I dense?  A little thick in the skull? Problems comprehending? Wait, don’t answer that if it’s too mean 😛

The reason I ask is because I don’t understand the point of yet another riding gimmick (sent in by a lovely reader). [Remeber this “Revolutionary New Aid“?]

From the website: “Are your Hands soft and steady? Did you ever wonder how your hands are and how you could increase the sensitivity of and mental awareness for your hands?

This new training tool will help you to find out and work towards an even, soft and elastic rein hand.

“Start with the black 15 kg sensor and ride your usual routine. If this does not break, work with the next, more sensitive stripe (10 kg, red). Continue to work step for step towards the more sensitive stripes until you break one.  This reflects the education level of your hands (and also that of your horse). Work for a couple of rides at this level, then work gradually towards the next, until no sensor stripes break anymore. Replacement sensors can be ordered separately for $7.00 (shipping & handling included).

You will have developed a new awareness for your hands and you will learn to keep the reins in a more steady and soft contact to the bit. The sensitive mouth of your horse will thank you!

Please take note: This is not a training tool for the horse. On the contrary, the horse you use for this exercise should be well educated. Nevertheless, most horses will noticeably appreciate your effort to have extra soft hands.”

So basically, you want me to buy this thing so I can know almost exactly, within +/-5 pounds, how much pressure I’m putting on my horse’s mouth?


Every horse is different!  Some horses need less contact, others more.  You, as a rider, should not be riding each and every horse with 2lbs of pressure (which is as low as this product goes so I assume they deem that to be optimal). Some horse’s like more contact.  The thing that the rider really needs to pay attention is whether they are pulling vs. whether the horse is steady in the contact (and past that, if the horse is leaning on your hands).  Both create pressure, and likely enough to break most of these “sensor strips”, but for two very, very different reasons.  One is wrong, and the other is correct.  BUT THE “SENSOR STRIPS” CAN’T TELL YOU WHICH ONE YOU’RE DOING! They just break.  All they can tell you is that you’ve exceeded their tensile strength limit.  Whoopty-freakin-do!

I despise, loathe, detest and find despicable these quick fix type gimmicks. They are most emphatically NOT a solution to a problem.  There are certain situations where they may be beneficial in helping someone become aware of, and work towards fixing, a problem – but the gimmick itself is NOT the solution.  Hard work, practice and the help of a good, qualified instructur are what fixes problems.

The only thing that can really, truly, “help you to find out and work towards an even, soft and elastic rein hand” is practice and lessons with a good, qualified instructor (mentioned twice and close together for repetitious benefit – ride with a good, qualified instructor! – especially if you have trouble with pulling on your horse’s mouth!).

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