Thursday, June 11, 2009

Don't confuse me with your common sense advice, damn it!

Ah, Internet message boards, you never fail to remind me why this country is in the mess it is in...because we're populated by people who, if what they ought to do involves getting off the couch and putting in some effort, stick their fingers in their ears and go la-la-la!

Today we have a young lady who posted pictures of her horses running around. Very pretty, well cared for horses, except one of them was wearing a rope halter and a very long rope. When the other posters on her forum pointed out that this was extremely dangerous and could even result in the mare's death, she came up with the following excuses.

"actually the sorrel is barely halter broke and when we finally caught her (4 months later) we left it on so i can go out and work with her. And since we dont have any extra fence or anything i cannot put her in a smaller pen which would make catching her easy"

Because the vet bill is going to be SO MUCH CHEAPER than another two dozen t-posts and some electric tape. And when did this four months happen, since you posted pictures in April where she is not wearing a halter?

You know what else can make catching her easy? Taking treats with you when you go out there and actually working with her. My 23 year old was really hard to catch when I got her. Now she comes right up to me. They're called CARROTS and they are 99 cents at the grocery store!
It is a very rare horse who is not food motivated.

The posters on this forum are an intelligent bunch, and they all point out that convenience is no excuse, and that what she is doing is a bad idea no matter what. So then she gets offended:

"well if you guys are such know it alls, you come down her and try to catch her"

Send me a plane ticket. I'll catch her. I'll catch her every day for a week and it won't take leaving ten feet of drag rope on her. She's on THREE ACRES, not 100! You just walk them down, which in my experience works 100 percent of the time. Yes, it may take you an hour or two at first. Think of it as good exercise!

"maybe you all forgot what im going to school for. i pretty much know what im doing. some top horseman told me to leave it on her once i caught her."

So I had to look this up and see just what she is going to school for that makes her such an equine management expert. Unfortunately I couldn't find that information, although I did encounter her opinion that, and I quote, "alalfa cannot make a horse lame, especialy not their back (which is where he is)" Lame in the back, huh?

This led to the grand finale? Are you ready?

"you can say what you all want but its my horse and im going to do things the way i was taught and the way i tihnk is best for my horse."

I can't top one poster's comeback:

"As Aldous Huxley said...'Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.' "

Touche! Let's just hope her next post is not about how she found her mare with two broken legs. Gonna be hard to barrel race her then. If you don't want to walk her down,
start ringing a bell and throwing out some grain in pans...that's how we used to run the polo ponies in off of eighty acres. They'd hear the bell and come running. There are many ways to make horses easy to catch that are far less likely to result in a crippling or life-ending injury.

I don't like drag ropes in general but if you must use them, please pair them with a breakaway halter and never use one so long that the horse could get all tangled up in it. Better to put in the time and effort and fix the problem. It's not going to get easier a year from now.