Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why do things right when you can intimidate with pain?

I was watching RFD-TV the other night, not that I do this often, but my roommate and I were flipping channels and were struck dumb in horror watching hideous jumping form at the AQHA World Show, so there you go. Does no one at those shows know how to do a proper release? And you know, your heels need to be DOWN over the top of the fence. Your horse does not appreciate you biffing into his neck on the landings. Seriously painful.

Anyway, the commercial break came and we were quickly even more horrified to see a commercial for a contraption called the "No Buck Trainer." This is a leather headpiece with pulleys that put severe pressure on the poll. It's all rigged up so that when the horse throws his head down to buck, it hurts like a mofo and he stops. Hey, why waste time actually training the horse? Why waste time only putting experienced riders on green horses? Now you can skip all of those steps and go straight to the pain and intimidation method, which will allow you to put beginners on broncs! (This guy brags on his site that his device is perfect for trail string places. Awesome.)

Check out the commercials. Should any of these people be riding off the longe line and on anything more spirited than a 20 year old school horse? NO! NO! NO! They are bouncing, flapping beginners and ANY horse with half a brain would ditch them as you see here...except these poor critters are being tortured into submission with this lovely device so they're stuck with the bouncing on their kidneys and the yanking on their mouths.

Of course, they claim pain isn't involved. They claim cranking on the poll like that releases "calming endorphins." WTF? Yeah, I'm sure that's why making a war bridle out of baling twine is effective, too. We've all done that sort of stuff for years when something gets loose and we can't find a halter fast enough, and let me tell you, it doesn't work because it releases calming endorphins. It works because poll pressure is fucking painful and gets a horse's attention quickly.

"It was an especially challenging, very spoiled barrel horse a woman brought to him a couple of years ago that made Barnes design this special bridle. "It kept fighting me," he said. "I weaved up some baling wire and put it on. He calmed right down." " BALING WIRE? You wrapped baling WIRE around a horse's head? OMG.

And I must apologize to the Christians again for making this last point, but I gotta make it:

""I was saved in 1997. I truly believe my whole life has changed since then," Barnes said. "I believe this (ideas for inventions) comes from Him." "

Oh, yes. Jesus wants you to use abusive horse training shortcuts based upon pain and intimidation. I think that was in Matthew, wasn't it?

Again, for anyone who is new here and has not yet heard me rant on these topics:

1. Learning to ride is hard and takes many years! A good instructor is your friend. No one is so good that they "do not need lessons." In fact, saying you don't need lessons is usually a sign you need them something awful.

2. Riding badly is not OK. No horse enjoys a bad rider bouncing and flapping all over them. If you love your horse, improve your riding to where you have a quiet seat and soft hands. If you just want to bomb around like a monkey on crack, buy a quad.

3. Training horses is a skill acquired over many years of riding many, many, many different horses. Doing it right does not involve gadgets, tranquilizers, carrot sticks, special supercalifragilistic ropes, videos, tarps, or games. No, you cannot train your own horse if you are a beginner rider. You can't. You will F it up but good and I don't care if you go to every clinic in the world, buy every piece of Parelli swag on earth and drop $200 on the No Buck Trainer - it won't make a difference. You will F it up but good, and you will either pay a lot of money for someone who really is a trainer to fix the horse, or more likely, you will dump the horse at a sale and he will wind up a steak in France. Needless to say, I am not OK with that!
*sigh* I'm sure Mr. No Buck Trainer is laughing all the way to the bank...