Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another day, another Darwin nominee on Youtube

Kids, don't try this at home!

I just don't know how many times I have to review the same topics:

1. A horse is an unpredictable prey animal. No matter how well trained it is, the day will come when it does something you do not expect, something that could get someone hurt. I have told the story before about my friend's 25 year old seen-it-all-done-it-all who saw a balloon inflated from a helium tank and flipped right the hell over while he was on mounted patrol at a fair. Thank heavens no one was hurt that time but it is a great example. I rode that horse many times in a halter and would have called him "bomb proof" but the truth is, nothing is 100%.

2. Little kids riding? Fine! Little kids riding in a field with no tack? Little kids on a rearer? What are you smoking? Trained or not, intentional action or not, horses do not balance well on just their hind feet. That is a fact. There is a reason the levade is a highly advanced maneuver in dressage. Taking a horse up on two legs safely requires a great deal of skill and a highly advanced rider. No one is that rider at three years of age.

3. I think bridleless riding is very impressive and admirable but I do not think it's ever appropriate for small children. Even a tiny child has at least a chance to stop a spook/bolt/buck and stay on if they have reins. Even if it's just that instinct causes them to snatch their hands back to the saddle horn or pommel, that action may stop/slow the horse allowing the parent or instructor to intervene. If something spooks this pony, that kid has no chance. None at all. There won't even be a trailing rope that the parent could catch the pony with! What is the parent going to do, grab it by the fricken' tail and go pasture skiing?

4. I'm almost more disturbed by the pics of pony rearing while the child stands in front of it. There's just not much margin of error there between a hoof and her face.

It's not adorable. It's a pony, with hard, sharp feet. It weighs at least 600 lbs. It's not a snuggly stuffed toy. It's a bad accident waiting to happen and while I am glad she is wearing some kind of helmet, it's only a bike helmet and it sure as hell doesn't keep you from a broken neck, back or pelvis. She is three years old. Doesn't she deserve the best possible chance at growing to adulthood in full working order?

No, you can't bubble-wrap your kids but this is just stupid. This is all about trying to look cool on the Internet and using your small child as a prop to do so. It needs to be submitted to this site. (Warning: rude but deserved language)