Horse People Rant

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Well-Known Member
May 26, 2010
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Something has been on my mind lately and I just cannot help but rant a little.

I've come to the conclusion that, for the most part, horse people are jerks. At least, most of the ones in Alberta. Not just a year ago I had been in horse 4-H for 2 years, I enjoyed going around and experiencing things with my horse. Ben enjoyed it as well, we always took it easy with him since he is still young and adjusting. He is an extremely spooky boy (Young Arabian, it's what you expect) and while it can be very frustrating, we're always calm and patient with him.

But we see how so many people treat their horses. I am appalled at some of the things people stick in their horses mouth to keep them "under control" (Things ranging from "gag bits" to actual chain!) and some of the teachings that 4-H shows just isn't the kind of thing we agree with, and is the reason I NEVER allow anyone else on Ben.

Ben was abused before we got him, that much we could tell even though we were lied to about his story (We were told he was a 9 year old, when instead when we got him he was more 5-6 years, making all of his backstory moot) and since no one was buying him, she was considering shipping him off for meat since she would rather get the price by the pound then sell him for cheaper to someone who may have worked with him. He was very sweet on the ground, but when you got on him he was very unsure and rather flighty, especially when you even touched his sides with your heel, we suspect spur abuse.

So instead of simply taking it easy and working with him at the slow pace Ben does need, we heard some bad stories about him, one involving a lady who was thrown off him screaming when she ran him into a bush. Getting him to the point where he was "unsellable". Ben is smart, he learns very quickly and is a good horse, but because he was/still is flighty and timid, he's something that should be shipped off to the meat packer. Thank goodness we found him first.

Then there is the mess that was our poor boy Buzz and the years of abuse he endured before we got him, that effected him to the point where we had to have him euthanized April 30th of this year from the accumulation of it all.

So anyway, leading up to this, there is a lady we board with that had two horses, one of which she had for 20+ years. She claimed to love him, he was her soul mate, a very important horse to her. She's also very into trail riding and goes on mountain trails very often. This past summer, she noticed he was having trouble going on the mountain trails, was getting tired easier, and was in other words, getting older. So what does she do with this animal that she loved and adored all these years?

Sells him. Without a second thought because he just wan't capable of doing what she wanted anymore.

Can you imagine if you treated every pet like this? People seem to think that just because you ride horses around, that makes them little more then a car. We saw it all the time in 4-H, people having a horse and using it until they move up to the next model, usually by ruining the previous ones.

We've seen people gallop horses down concrete, resulting in ruined feet and no doubt, premature arthritis.

We've seen horses, starved and terribly thin, being used as children's ponies because they don't have the energy to buck or bolt anymore.

We've seen horses that do not receive water or hay in the winter because they can eat the snow or burrow down to the already overgrazed pasture and fight for food.

We've been to places where there are pony rides, horses attached to a hot walker and forced to walk in circles for hours at a time without breaks.

We've seen horribly foundered horses being used in petting zoos, being used as a toy for children because he couldn't kick anymore.

In fact, he can hardly stand. I have seen him is MANY places, and what's worse, I even approached the Humane Society AND City Bylaw at the particular event as they had booths, and nothing is done. The poor thing was turning over on his ankles, could hardly walk, and yet it's not considered something of concern by the law. Nothing was done.

So why is it that this isn't considered cruel? Just because they are considered "livestock"?

Don't even get me started on the things I have seen done to goats, sheep and cattle.

Argh, it's just so frustrating.


Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2011
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Sacramento, California, USA
I definitely agree with you on some horse people. Really a lot of people with animals they should never have. I've wanted a horse forever now and cannot have one right now because I do not make enough money to own one. It really made me mad when my stepbrother's now ex-girl friend who rode kept getting new horses every time she outgrew her current horses. Yes not one but two. :mad: Aaah.

But not all of them are bad. The current place I ride at is a rescue/boarding place. The owner is wonderful with horses and my mom's old horse is retired there. In fact the old horse I ride his owner didn't pay her back board for him and the other horse she had there by the month she said she would, so they both turned over to the rescue. The younger of the two is going to a good home and will always have an eye out for him and the old guy I ride is almost 30 so he is staying at the rescue since it'll be hard to place him in a good home. All the better for me tho since I can say he's sort of mine :D since I could half lease him maybe soon.


Jun 21, 2012
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York, South Carolina, USA
I've been riding since I was 5 years old. I've seen some terrible things too. Its horrible what people do to horses.
Our landlords when I was a kid had horses that I would exercise for them. They got a retired race horse that was headed to slaughter, for $1. He was a purebred thoroughbred. A gorgeous horse, so sweet and easy tempered, but god forbid you got on him. He froze at the gates so he was canned early on. He was 4 I think when they got him and who knows what he went through, when they were trying to get him out of the gate. I would walk around with him and pet him and brush him and give him treats and the love he never got. Then I started to TRY to ride him. It was completely useless. I was a competent rider, so I thought that if I gained his trust he would open up with me. Nope, no such luck. He rolled over every single time I got on him. He ruined my saddle, hurt me, damaged my ankle permanently, he also broke my heart. He would roll and not get up. He would lay there for 30 minutes until he had to get up. I would take the saddle off and brush him, he was just as sweet as he could be. He was completely ruined and he never rode again. When our landlords got too old to take him, they gave him to a family that had other horses, but he would only be in a pasture. I haven't seen him in a long time, but he's probably in a pasture somewhere living a good life. They were wonderful people.

I also rode an Arabian, who was flighty and spooky. She was a spitfire. She totally clothes-lined me once, galloping through a peach orchard, I hit a low lying branch. She kept going. lol She came back to check on me though and stood there for 10 minutes while I regained breath and my head stopped spinning. lol Then she helped me up.

I've also seen completely emaciated horses near me, the authorities don't do anything about it. All the people have to say is that "they rescued it and they're rehabbing it" which is almost always a lie. I've seen some terrible things. I've even seen a rescue that was nothing but mud, I mean 6+ inches of thick mud that the horses were standing in. They had hay, but not much pasture area. It was pretty bad. I did report them.
A lot of people treat all animals like they're nothing, but a lot of times its the livestock that suffer the most. Its pretty awful. Its the downside of being around horses, sometimes you see things that you can't un-see.


Aug 13, 2012
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Houston, Texas
I haven't been on a horse in years and wouldn't choose to own one because it's too much cost and commitment for me, but I really do love them. when I was in my early teens, I would go to a 2-week horseback riding thing at girl scout camp every summer - it was the only thing that could actually motivate me to spend time in the wretched texas heat.

horses really are magnificent creatures... it always pained me to deal with ones who were "beginner" horses because that generally meant their mouth had been ruined by people yanking at the bit :(. I loved riding so much, and I hate to see horses mistreated by someone who doesn't understand or doesn't care and thinks it's about "controlling" them instead of learning how to communicate with them. my favorites were always the horses that only advanced riders were allowed on, since all it took to get them moving was a slight squeeze on their ribs and the softest touch on the reins. they could be feisty, and I was once dumped off the back of one and into a pile of horse crap, but they really were wonderful animals.

imo, horses should be given the same love and care as any household pet - given daily attention and frequent grooming, always provided with plenty of fresh water and food, and cared for until they pass away of natural causes or have to be euthanized because of serious health issues that compromise their quality of life. you don't get rid of a dog, cat or bunny "because it's old" so why should a horse be any different? if a horse spends years or even decades carting you around, doesn't it at least deserve continued care even when it can no longer be ridden?


Well-Known Member
May 16, 2010
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Aw this post made me sad. I guess I am one who chose to be ignorant to this whole ordeal. I mean, I got caught up in the whole peta movement years back and protested the one carriage guy who gave tours but he's out of business now and his horses have pasture.

More recently, my bf's mother rides and was talking about getting in fancy riding horses which they fly in from Poland (I think) to Halifax and there is someone on the plane to kill them if they wake up from their heavy sedatives during the flight over. Just killed, just like that. I understand it's dangerous to fly them over but they don't breed them in Canada from what I was told, they fly these multi-thousand dollar horses in pre-trained to ride and are instantly killed like nothing if they wake up early.

I know about their legs.. But I also heard today that tea tree oil cures their legs and they can live after surgery.

I don't know much about bits but I always see the RCMP horses frothing at their bits. Are those all bad for horses? IS there a safe bit? Or a bit-less harness?

That pic above of the deformed pony was upsetting :( Poor thing.


Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2007
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Thurston County, Washington, USA
Horses should produce some saliva when they are being ridden with a bit. ;) Bits are designed with things like copper rollers, or copper on the bars to help produce more salivation.

There are definitely harsh bits & harsh people out there, and a lot of people don't have the common sense to see what is right and what is wrong. I ride my horse either in a hackamore or a Jr. Cowhorse Bit - which IS a version of a gag bit. A bit is only as bad/good as the hands that use it - do keep that in mind. Of course there are the ones that are just downright ridiculous and painful - those should not be used at all.


Well-Known Member
Oct 14, 2008
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Clare, , Ireland
What annoys me about some horse people too is here they think they know everything and are full of it! I don't know if it's the same in other countries, but I am studying Animal Science at the moment and there are a few people in my classes who are really into horses. They always talk about horses with each other, and when they are on their own they bitch about the other horse people and what they do with their horses to us who don't know much about them. Like honestly, I don't know anything about horses and I have no idea what you're even talking about or whether it's good or bad. I don't have an opinion on it so just shut up and if you've something to say about someone's horses just say it to them. I think I'd crack up from all the bitchiness if I were in the horsey world.

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