Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad parents...just as prevalent as fugly horses!

Yes, every single day, there's stuff like this in my in-box. This is a two year old Appaloosa colt, and when I first clicked on the link, I thought "what's wrong? That's actually a pretty nice little guy for $600."

And then I scrolled down to see the additional pictures and found this.

I do understand that there's kind of this existing chasm between the English world, where kids learn to ride decked out in helmets with rubber-banded safety stirrups in an arena, and the Western/ranching world, where kids who don't yet know their ABCs are out there "mutton busting." But even the little mutton busters are wearing helmets and sometimes chest protectors these days! Common sense really has come to be more important than "looking cool" for most parents.

But not in Internet sale ads, where priority one is "showing how unbelievably quiet our two year old stud colt is" and "safety of the children" is way down the list. Nope, we can't show how quiet our two year old is by some sensible method like uploading a video showing that he stands tied, can be hosed off, loads in the trailer, picks up his feet, longes or long lines, etc. We have to use our children as props. Let's think about the reason this picture was used. "Our colt is SO QUIET that he DIDN'T jump to his feet, dump the kids off and run over them." So we were willing to risk that, apparently? (Well, at least he didn't do that while they were snapping the picture!)

I won't out my friend who did this, ha ha, but recently an adult friend of mine with a stunningly high IQ and plenty of higher education got the idea to sit on her mare like this while she was lying down in the pasture. ;-) She had apparently done this numerous times, just being silly and the mare had continue to lie there and ignore her. Well, on this particularly occasion her luck ran out. The mare lurched to her feet and headed for the barn at Mach 10. My friend bailed, landing in the sloppy mud near the gate. No one was hurt, except possibly the upholstery of my friend's car since she had to drive home from the barn looking and smelling like the Swamp Thing. Her kids were where kids belong, standing at the fence laughing at their mother.

Moral of the story: If you're an adult and you want to do something dumb that you darn well know may result in an unplanned mud bath, hey, go for it. Have someone video, you may be able to sell it! But as a parent, it's never acceptable to put your kids in harm's way and certainly not just to create marketing materials for your $600 colt. Do you guys not read the news? If Natasha Richardson could bump her head hard enough falling off her skis to die, I am quite sure one little hoof can cause that much damage. There are better ways to prove to the world that your two year old is quiet.