Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More on Hercules

Two readers were kind enough to up date us on Hercules:
"Hercules has 1000+ fans now on his Facebook page. Cathy is suggesting every one of them send in $5.oo a month to sponsor him. This will add up to, let's see... $5,000 a month or $60,000 a year." Note: allabouthorses.com estimates the annual cost to keep a horse at home is $3,728.50.

"Yep 1000 fans and 5.00 each is EXACTLY why Fugs likes the celebrity rescues....In Hercules case she made him the celebrity but still it shows she is all about the money."

Hercules facebook page can be found at:

What troubles me is that Fugs didn't asked, in the midst of a fundraising frenzy, when Herc will get his joint lubrication. You'd think that someone who was concerned about the horse would ask this question. After all wouldn't you think that getting Herc sound would be high on Fugs agenda. At least, purporting to be the shining example of how to do rescues right she should have lead by example. Would a sound horse take away from her attention and fundraising?
These are quotes from Herc's facebook page:

Hercules the horse 1,100 fans who love me! ♥ ♥ ♥ Love you too!
February 5 at 10:15pm

"Hercules the horse (katie here) Thank you Mike and Cathy ;-) We have had two SCR volunteers sign up for the $5/month and one Fan from this page. SCR depends on the kindness and generosity of the public to help horses like Hercules. The barn is full, grants and donations are down. I know it seems that $5 wouldn't make a difference, but it does if everyone participates. We very much appreciate your support, and so do the horses!

Donate button is on the homepage of the SCR website; www.secondchanceranch.org"

Barbara Greene-Whitener WOW.......NEW fans! Since yesterday, FOUR more people have become FANS of Hercules! Donate.........donate..........donate. Do you really need ONE more cup of drive-through coffee this month? Send that $5 to Second Chance Ranch. I didn't need it and sent my $$ in. There are more "Wendys" out there and more gentle "used up" horses to rescue. All together we can make a BIG difference!
~ Barbara Greene-Whitener


  1. Can someone rescue me ? $5000.00 a month would kick the crap out of my problems! I am lame, Lupus ,Fibromyalgia ,to many Horse initiated flights over the years.I am an easy keeper ,and gentle with kids. Rarely bite strike or kick. Infertile so I would be a poor choice for a BYB.Damn! I am almost a perfect candidate for the next high profile rescue... Oh right, I am not a horse...sigh

  2. Help! Fern just bit and kicked me!

  3. Alright, what the heck are those critters, Madame?
    I say sheep, husband says cows.
    Maybe Shows, or Ceeps?

    I could use some monthly help too, my husband receives no pensions or EI for farming all of his life. He grew the food y'all have eaten in CanaDa. Watched it turn to dust more than not.
    Let's support another lame horse, instead. It's not so hard to ask for money apparently, as long as it's nicely dun.

    Dang, I do things so very the wrong way.
    Nothing new there.

    BHM, as long as FV keeps the branding iron hidden, you're alright.

  4. They are telephone-sheep as in "online sheep".

    I think someone needs to steal Ferns branding iron. You know how she gets when she's out of control.

  5. From his FB page

    Hercules the horse (Katie) I actually tried to get customized candy made but they were out of stock. Might still do it! Stay tuned this weekend for a possible valentine video.

    Customized candy and begging for money and foster homes? Bad as fugs and her cat coats and ebay addiction LOL

  6. Didnt Cathy blog that Wendy did not tell Ron to no sale him?? Ron did that after he bit him. Oh I believe I have that copied too. Thanks Katie for digging your hole

    Katie on FB

    Hercules the horse
    SCR is a Thoroughbred rescue - I wasn't at the sale that day, but I received several calls that there was a beautiful TB there with a damaged foot. I believe people recognized Wendy and heard her converstaion with the feed lot owner.

    I asked them to get the tattoo for me so I could see who he was. Often times I can find a previous owner/trainer ... See Moreto help or take them back. I didn't know how old, or anything about him.

    A few minutes later I received MANY calls from people saying "HE BIT RON". At that point, I didn't care who he was I said "I love this horse"! I knew he had to get out of there quick! Ron was insistant at first that this horse go to slaughter per the owner - someone was able to reason with him and I offered a lot of money... bingo!

    Hercules the horse
    not just sent him... witnesses saw her deliver him, and instruct the feed lot owner to make sure he was not put in the auction ring for sale to the crowd. He was sold FOR slaughter and put in the kill pen. And now he's famous for biting that SOB! He should have bit her.

    I would love to hear her explanation of how she could be so clueless and ... See Moreviscious - after training and showing this magnificent athelete for 13 years. He's not crippled mentally or physically - what an amazing survivor.

    I hope everyone at her barn knows the truth - I was told that Wendy told everyone she put him down at the vet's office.

  7. I think the problem with experienced horse owners and auctions is that they don't completely comprehend that the horse will not end up in a good home. The other misconception that they have is that slaughter is humane euthenasia. I've had a number of conversations with experienced owners where it was hard to convey to them the problems with slaughter. They believe that trucking a horse to the slaughter plant is the same as trailering a horse to the vet to be euthed. They believe that slaughter plant is humane.

    I think that Wendy is one of these people. I'm not convinced that she callously threw her horse away. Until I find out other wise I believe that she thought she got her horse humanely euthenised.

  8. Soooo, let me try to get this straight. For some reason this horse was specifically scheduled for the slaughter truck. That usually doesn't happen unless there is a serious and dangerous problem with the horse's behavior. Which usually doesn't show up until you ask the horse to do something useful. They paid a 'lot of money' to rescue a crippled horse? I figure they can do it on their own dime. It will be interesting to see what will happen when the horse bites someone else. Maybe Ron will be the one laughing after all!

    I'm with you FV. We're both rescue worthy!

  9. GL, we'll establish a sanctuary for humans and their horses! And farmers.

  10. "Help! Fern just bit and kicked me!"
    And that makes me a better rescue acording to some! add to that the super (not so secret ) weapon the Branding Iron , I could be the next rescue featured on Oprah!

  11. Someone help me round up Kes and Fern so I can put them on the next trailer to the Farmers' sanctuary. We need to save these over-worked, crippled farmer now.

  12. Kes,
    I can understand it if a sanctuary receives crippled horses from the AC, but why go out to deliberately by a crippled horse. It makes no sense except as a fundraising ploy. Isn't this something that Fugs rants about all the time.

  13. I just went and read "Training the VLC" blog. First time she has posted there since August, 2009. Any how, I know little about showing quarter horses. In the saddlebred world halter showing is step one on the performance ladder. Just because your horse does well or poorly in hand,doesn't mean the horse is washed up. But it is a first step to a show career. Next is driving, then under saddle. By the time a horse gets to five, they could (should) have been showing for awhile. I understand aabout not wanting to stress the horse while growing, not wanting to over use a horse, etc. But is there a rational for not showing a future HUS or WP at all?

    " A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party...

    When one person does agree to act for another in a fiduciary relationship, the law forbids the fiduciary from acting in any manner adverse or contrary to the interests of the client, or from acting for his own benefit in relation to the subject matter...

    A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure in regard to the client and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client."

    from http://definitions.uslegal.com/b/breach-of-fiduciary-duty

    Now the fiduciary (Cathy or HFH ) must know they are being asked to be the fiduciary. I believe she has already entered into that agreement if she is soliciting funds for the horse or rescue. Not all contracts are written contracts.
    Soo, $60,000 or $15,000 is plenty to be accountable for. She is being asked to account for the $$. Is she guilty of breach of fiduciary duty?

    Cathy is a paralegal she knows this.

    Is this why were are so often not sure who has the money/horse? Proof please about where the money is going. All the Herc dollars need to be accounted for. if the dollars are not going to Herc but to the rescue is that clear? The rescue has a fiduciary duty also. If Herc is made sound and then sold, is the money going back to the donors or is it going to the rescue? Answers please.

  15. *gags* I think I have her figured out on the VLC now.

    She says he is going to be featured in HI in her columns coming up. She's using the magazine for her gain, to promote a horse who hasn't been doing anything but suck feed up and do some training for 4 years.

    Hopefully the readers of HI can see through it. I doubt it, as they have their blinkers on and see through as narrow a tunnel as her. But goodness, how tacky of her! I mean, really? Is this what HI has come down to? A sleazy way for a sleaze to advertise her no name, do nothing horse backhandedly? TACKY all around.


    And she (the rescuer) admitted to paying a lot of money for a clearly lame horse that wasn't even offered up for sale to the public? In most, if not all, places we call that stupidity. Then they go about begging for donations for his care, knowing they were purchasing a lame horse? Umm, no. Sorry. You walked into that fire pit, and nobody should be drug down into it with you.

  16. Kaede-It goes back to the uber-specialization that has become the norm in the AQHA that prevents a lot of us from showing our young-not "halter" stock before they are of riding age.

    I sure don't mind hauling one of my youngsters to an open show to show in halter, but would never waste my money bothering with a breed show. I like to keep my young horses "fit" looking...as in healthy, but not fat. They would never in a million years place at an AQHA breed show.

    I also am not interested in showing in the longe-line classes. In my humble opinion...training for that is putting way too much stress on young joints(all the circling).

    The only time I might consider showing a 2y/o is if they happen to be supremely naturally talented and just didn't happen to need a lot of training to do WP or HUS.

    If I can fit a young horse into my schedule, I don't mind trying to get them ready to show as 3y/os. But it's been a long time since I have had that luxury. I've been working on finishing out older horses(8-12y/os) for years now. Which is not a big deal to me, as I primarily do barrel racing these days. I don't even bother thinking about competition on those guys until they are at least 5y/os.

  17. Thanks BEC. I knew that some QH are just halter horses, kind of like big dogs I guess.
    In the SB world the young horses are shown in halter so as everyone can get a early look at what the breeders hope will be the next world champ. Doesn't always work out that way. I haven't heard of many horses that came totally out of the blue. Not all horses are gone to do all the "steps". Some trainers don't like halter, some babies do well in halter and never like to drive. You are suppose to to the best by your horse in campaigning him/her. Too many losses look bad, as does not showing at all. Campaigning a show horse is EXPENSIVE and time consuming. Not only the time it takes at the show, but deciding which shows to go to, which judges like your type of saddlebred, who is horse competition likely to be, can the horse "recover" from the last show in time for the next, how long a season, what have the rings been like etc etc etc. Not much like the field hunters I grew up with.

  18. This "rescue" of Herc kinda sounds like ABR forum, doesn't it?

    I hope the donators read here and ask Fugs for the accounting of the $$$ that went to Champ.

  19. I looked up the rescue, and once again it's 'adopt a horse for 1000 to 3500 dollars...' Hell, am I in the wrong business or what!?! And almost all of their horses appear to be donated to them, except for the expensive lame poster child! May I reiterate, I am in the wrong business!

    And training expenses? Huh. Can't they find a trainer to donate some time? I want to train for a rescue! A lame horse that I'd never even have to ride, and get paid, too. And I could ask for upgrades to my facilities with a straight face on top of it.

    TV evangelists, eat your hearts out, there's an easier way to fleece the public, and apparently less scrutiny.

    I honestly used to think that horse rescues were somehow helping, but fugs has sure opened my eyes to the fact that the majority of them are indulging their sentiments at other people's expense, and making a good living by using crippled horses for poster children.

    What ever happened to the horse who had it's ear torn off? There's another one that sure disappeared. It is the internet...

  20. OT But I hope this is a case of Dena buying a stolen saddle not pulling a Fugly and stealing tack to sell like she did at YHI


  21. Anon, I agree with you, and am astounded at the meanness shown her. I never did see any evidence that her horses were mistreated, and isn't that the rescue issue? I believe the whole hooorah started when she asked for help with an electric bill because she had put her money into hay, yet a rescue that cannot afford a shot of Legend that is needed is given a pass...

    I am so sick of rescue drama, greed, backbiting and spiteful behavior that I will never donate to a rescue again. I will continue to do what I always have. I take on horses that have a chance to be retrained and upgraded, on my own dime and time, and maintain my old soldiers myself. That's my donation.

    I also refuse to feel guilty for producing a very few well chosen horses that are kind, sound, and beautiful enough to show, but trained as family horses. Top show horses rarely make good family horses because they are too specialized, and most have never been out of an arena and will blow up on the trail. A good safe family horse will usually always find a forever home, where an event specific horse will be discarded as soon as they can't perform.

    Sticking amateurs with lame sour unsafe rescues with monstrously expensive health issues is a great way to kill the family horse market. I know of 3 different families that have members that were injured by rescue horses. You can bet they will never own another horse. Thanks rescue.

    The demographics of today's horse market are such that the biggest horse buying group is 35 and up reriders, usually with kids or grandkids that they would like to introduce to the joys of riding. A safe ride that has the potential to do some showing but is trail safe is most likely to sell, and most likely to be treasured to the end of it's days.

  22. hls,
    I read Behind the Bit, Classical Dressage, and Shire Horse on egroups.

  23. A bit off topic, but I read that Hercules is at Cathy's trainer's. I rode with her trainer several years ago and she and her husband and her parents are great people and she's a wonderful trainer.
    I find it really sad she's gotten involved with Cathy. I just hope she didn't know who she was when she first brought BYC (or VLC) to her and now Crystal doesn't want to get bad mouthed and attacked and is sticking with the training for the horse's sake.

  24. "The demographics of today's horse market are such that the biggest horse buying group is 35 and up reriders, usually with kids or grandkids that they would like to introduce to the joys of riding. A safe ride that has the potential to do some showing but is trail safe is most likely to sell, and most likely to be treasured to the end of it's days."

    My first horse as a 35+ re-rider has been a disaster. I have found a second horse, a kind-hearted, sweet QH gelding who doesn't have much in the way of bloodlines but who is steady, sane and forgiving. He'll try anything I ask him to do, and he tries with a joyful heart. I'm totally in love with this horse, and I never want another head-case rescue horse again.

    Case in point: I wormed my gelding in the field today. He made a face and pretended he was going to spit the wormer out, but he didn't behave badly or otherwise try to hurt me. My other horse? She charged me in the field a few weeks ago with her teeth bared, and I had to clobber her in the head with a bucket to get her to back off.

  25. I wanted to bring this up to the current post, so everyone got a chance to read it. It is a very well-thought out, non-bashing older post in regards to Cathy's "plan" for the VLC. Take the time to read it as SITSP outlines what exactly it takes to make a "worthy" stallion and that does not include a couple of seasons in the show ring and a mere ROM.

    Thanks Anon for sharing this link;

    A great post about the VLC from Success in the Show Pen:


    My feeling is that it is not necessary to bash on the VLC. He is what he is. I have never seen any very flattering pictures of him, nor seen him move. I have seen other people make World Champions and Supreme Champions out of lesser horses. Hell guys, all it takes is $$.

    Myself, I really do not get that excited about what a stallion has accomplished himself, but rather what his get are accomplishing.

    I do believe Cathy is in for a rude awakening. There's a lot of decent to nice stallions out there that have accomplished what she wants the VLC accomplish, so what she is doing is not ground-breaking or original...except to her.

  26. Standing ovation for kestrel, as usual.

    Well said, y'all.

    When I read about the statistics found in my horsie mag, I could have screamed. Almost 70% of people will now think about purchasing a rescue.
    Bye-Bye, horse market.
    Oh, right, that's already happened.
    fugs is shocked by how low prices are at the auctions.
    Well, heck, it's a bull market, now isn't it?
    Buy low, sell high. KB's are doing great now, betcha.

    Doesn't Hercules' story sound familiar, hmmm?

    Good luck to the real deal horse people out there, man, do you need it! Maybe you could have a feature of good available horses for SALE, as well?

    Well-brought up, safe/sane horses, selling at prices that will actually encourage the breeder/trainer to do it again?

    If this type of attitude keeps up, it just won't happen, in this Wal-Mart world.

  27. Golightly, that's a legit idea. I'll look out for sale horses next time as well!

  28. The problem is that worthless horses keep getting recycled instead of put down. Katie could have saved one that has a future and put some work on the horse and turned it but instead has chosen to save one that will pull the heart strings, possibly hurt someone, and be expensive to maintain. Think about it Fugly, people like the previous owner of this horse do not get rid of good horses. There is more to this story.

  29. "The demographics of today's horse market are such that the biggest horse buying group is 35 and up reriders, usually with kids or grandkids that they would like to introduce to the joys of riding. A safe ride that has the potential to do some showing but is trail safe is most likely to sell, and most likely to be treasured to the end of it's days."

    I'm in this market, too. I got hurt badly a number of years ago, and today, I have been screwed over three times trying to find that safe, sound horse that will help me build my confidence. Add to the fact that I am a heavy rider, and it's insane. The only horses that are out of my price range are the ones who would help me build my confidence, everything else is 10-100 dollars. Aaaargh! LOL

    ~DK too lazy to sign in, but not lazy enough to type all this out.

  30. DK,
    You might what to look at mature draft horse. Almost all drafts are trained to ride and the carriage horses have seen it all and done it all. You could also find a good draft that rides trail for a reasonable price. I wish someone would have told me about riding draft decades ago as it would have saved a lot of trouble. I find that as riders mature they want a horse that suits them and one that isn't a pain to work with.

  31. I'm trying to find the comment Fugs made about Dena's charges, but I'm not having any luck. Do you know which post the comment was in?

  32. I have considered that, Bhm, but I think I need something stocky and gaited and a little closer to the ground. LoL I'm still getting over my fears of hitting the ground, and now that I'm 34, I know I don't bounce as well as I did at 19. (My problem is purely psychological, thankfully) That, and a gaited horse would be a lot easier on the ole airbags, if you know what I mean. *Laughs*


  33. BHM Its under the Voodoo thread
    February 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

  34. http://kduz.com/page/news

    Tack Theft Arrest

    February 16, 2010

  35. I am going to address the Dena Issue.

    I consider myself a friend of hers and I consider myself a supporter of hers.

    This is addressed to all of the carrion-eating buzzards on the various forums and blogs who are enjoying the predicament that Dena is involved in, you know FSH, HD, FHOTD and all of the other similar ones that I also don't give a rat's ass about either.

    No, the ones who have supported her for so long are not all over the place making excuses. I can only speak for myself (Charlescitycat and Hounddogsrule), but that is because I am waiting for more information.

    I do know that there are many of her supporters, including myself, who are worried about her son and her animals and that is what is being focused on.

    What is being spewed about on the internet is of no importance except to those low-minded individuals who enjoy the misfortunes of other people.

    At this point, I don't know whether Dena is guilty or not, but I do believe that you don't condemn someone without solid proof. Comments made on blogs, forums or whatever on the internet do not constitute admissable evidence in a court of law, and those who spew it and those who accept it are, in my opinion, idiots.

  36. Thanks CCC. I had wondered if anyone knew what was happening to her family and farm.

    After reading some comments about VLC/BYC on the Success in the show pen blog, I started to wonder what a top QH stallion would bring in for stud fees. The top fee was for "Gunner" @ $8,500.00

    Here is his record:

    Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner)

    Stallion Show Record for Colonels Smoking Gun

    Hall of Fame
    World Champion
    NRHA Futurity
    Superior Performance
    NRHA money-earner
    Performance Point Earner
    NRHA Breeders Classic
    ROM Performance

    Stallion Offspring Record for Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner)
    World Champion Offspring
    ROM Performance Offspring
    NRHA Money-earners
    NRCHA Money-earners
    Halter Point Earners

    Granted "Gunner" is "just" a chestnut with lots of chrome and deaf to boot, but I'd still rather part with my dollars to go with him and his performance record.

    How much could Cathy make breeding BYC? If all she wants is a ROM then she is looking at less then a $1000.00 for a GLF. That is about what one weekend worth of "A" rated showing costs. We are talking lots of mares if she wants to make money off of BYC.
    B&W adds in "The Show Ring Times" cost about $500.00 for one month.

    If I had to choose between BYC and a ROM at $850.00 and Radical Rodder $1,500.00. I'd be saving my pennies to get Radical Rodder. I tried to find a QH stallion that would be marketed to the same HUS/WP folks that Cathy is aiming for. Granted RR is not a buckskin, but what is Cathy always saying about Krazy Kolor Breeders?

    How low does a stud fee have to go before it is a BYB?

  37. GoLightly wrote: When I read about the statistics found in my horsie mag, I could have screamed. Almost 70% of people will now think about purchasing a rescue.
    Bye-Bye, horse market.
    Oh, right, that's already happened.

    I think this reflects a larger problem in the US (and other highly industrialised nations): there's no respect and therefore no value assigned to labour.

    It takes a lot of work to produce a trail-safe horse that can also show a little (in other words, a horse with more than one string to its bow). It takes a lot more work to turn out such a horse than it does to produce a cute weanling.

    This is analogous to the situation in jewelry making these days: there is no profit to be made in creating pieces of fine jewelry. Jewelry is valued at the worth of the stones and metal that goes into it (raw materials, like a weanling is basically raw materials). There's no real profit in creating the sort of fabulous brooches that were made 100 years ago or more. Those brooches were heavy on workmanship (like training time) and not necessarily so valuable in terms of carats. So what we have ended up with is basically blah fine jewelry, jewelry that is stunning merely for the number of stones or the size of the stones but not for the workmanship in it. Faberge is spinning in his grave.

    The US is in deep trouble now because we value labour so little that we basically import it from overseas. We're not adding value to raw materials. So now we have an economy based on high technology but what we're selling is raw materials. This is not sustainable.

    A different example of the same problem. I am a handspinner and knitter. It took me about a year to spin the yarn for and then knit a lace wedding shawl, one of those shawls that can be pulled through a size 6 wedding band. If I had been working on it full time, I could probably have gotten it done in 3 months. The most I could possibly sell it for would be approximately $1500. That sounds like a lot of money but it works out to $500/month.

    So handspinning and knitting are turning into labours of love rather than being viable sources of income.

    I think that reflects what is going on in the horse market. There is not enough profit to be made in training a horse and there are not enough people willing to pay a fair price for the hours of training it takes.

  38. GD,
    I think it depends on the type of training that is done.

  39. GD said: "I think that reflects what is going on in the horse market. There is not enough profit to be made in training a horse and there are not enough people willing to pay a fair price for the hours of training it takes."

    I tend to agree with this assessment, GD, and most people think a rescue is cheaper because the initial fee is usually under $1,000. What people don't take into account is whether the horse is safe and sound and trained. Let's face it, most responsible people with that kind of horse don't dump their horse onto the auction market (a huge source for most rescues) or on the doorsteps of rescues. They advertise and sell their best horses or more often place them through word of mouth or lesson students.

    Or as our beloved farrier recently said "In this horse market, people are hanging onto their best horses because no one wants to pay what their worth." Amen, brother. That pretty much sums up the whole dismal situation.

  40. Let me try to re-state what I see the problem in the horse market is right now. I got rambling all over the place the first time I tried, so I'm going to try for a do-over.

    People are valuing the raw material more than they value the workmanship that goes into it.

    If someone has $1000 to spend on a horse, they are tending to look for the best conformation and appearance they can get for that price, with training their secondary priority.

    Someone with $1000 to spend would rather divide that sum to go $900 into the horse itself and $100 into the amount of training that horse has had.

    If people were valuing labour more, they would divide that sum to go $100 into the horse itself and $900 into the amount of training that horse has had.

    In other words, they'd find a horse that would be worth around $100 at auction but had enough good training to be a well trained, nicely mannered trail horse.

    What they are actually doing these days is finding horses that would be worth around $900 at auction and has had enough good training to lead well on the ground, stand for grooming and cooperate with the farrier/vet.

    In that sense, FHOTD is actually failing horses. The vast majority of horses in this country never see a competition, they spend their lives being trail ridden. I see nothing wrong with this, I think it's a lovely life for most horses that have such homes.

    Such horses are not working hard, are not being subjected to high impact activities and can stay sound well into old age with significant conformation flaws. Long, weak loin? Big problem for a horse that is engaged in competition but a lightly ridden trail horse with the same back probably won't ever even need to see a horse chiro! Posty hind legs? Big problem for a competition horse, probably not a problem for a lightly ridden horse.

    While conformation critiques are essential for intelligent breeders and for anyone who competes in any event, the truth is that for the average rider's needs, they're an intellectual curiosity rather than an absolute necessity.

    People make fun of Parelli and they should, he's a snake oil salesman. But he's a snake oil salesman who has grabbed onto an essential truth: what the vast majority of horse owners want and need is a horse that is bombproof rather than trained for any competitive endeavour.

    By picking on conformation, FHOTD is actually contributing to the widespread problem of horse owners who have horses they cannot ride, cannot ride safely or are afraid to ride. And those horses are the ones that are at high risk of neglect or ending up at auction, even if they have a gorgeous shoulder matched by the best hip in the world on top of ideal legs.

  41. GD,
    I whole heartedly agree with your statement. The show world often neglects the basics of handling. I've met a ton of WB and TB that can't be ridden out side of an arena and/or kick and bite.

    This is why I appreciate the draft horse world. The halter shows have a conformation evaluation that is based in function. The other aspects of the halter show is a healthy mind. By the time they are showing in harness they have been mentally trained as well to handle difficult situations calmly.

  42. bhm, I suspect there's something about those GREAT BIG HOOVES and the ton of horse next to you that tends to focus draft horse handlers on the essentials!

    Maybe there's a blog entry in the question of how much training a hypothetical average rider would want on a new horse and how many hours of training time it takes to get a hypothetical average horse there?

  43. GD,
    Could you write up the entry? I like you points.

    The draft breeds are not something that you want to mess with lightly. They are extremely intelligent and tough as nails. I you start to get on their bad side they'll take you down a few notches. You definitely have to be consistent with them and work with them so they are happy. If you do they'll give you their heart and soul like no other breed.

    Unfortunately, there are people who do stupid thing with their drafts like not train them until they are too big to handle. That's how I got Trooper and Pat got Spencer. The two reasons that drafts go to slaughter is bad training and physical damage from over work.

  44. Having nerver worked with drafts, but owning St. Bernards, I have a question.
    St. Bernards have the reputation as being dumb, easygoing and lovable. Which they can be, especially if they are well trained. But, because they are so big, they learn they can get what they want just by shoving and reaching. A 33' dog who weighs 225 CAN just stand up on their hind legs and turn on the water (they never turn if off though) They CAN shove you out of your chair and eat your dinner, They CAN jump over baby gates to get to your shoes. St. Bernards aren't dumb, they just don't have to figure out tricky ways to do things when they can just use their size to get what they want.
    Are Drafts this way? I've always wanted a dapple grey Percheron.

  45. Kaede,
    Yes, kind of like what you described. The difference is that they love doing things with you and getting attention so as long as they are in that mode they are truly amazing. Generally, they are willing to tolerate your blunders, but if you get them disgusted with you they'll walk away muttering to themselves and dragging you behind them on the lead line. Sometimes if you push them too much they will stop and refuse to work. I like the draft breeds for this because they are clear, direct signals that you have done something wrong. They won't freak like some breeds, but rather refuse to work with you.

    I think you'd be quite happy with a purebred Percheron. They are loving and expressive and you can do any activity with them. They truly are a great companion. You can check out the Eventing Percheron and the Jumping Percheron blogs. Also, my other blog, Trooper and Sarah, is about drafts, their history, sports with drafts, and classical dressage with drafts.

  46. Thanks BHM, they really do sound like Saints. More then one time I've seen my teens get dragged because they didn't ask the Saints in the "right way". Saints weren't originally rescue dogs, they were guard dogs. Occasionally you will still find one who still is quite dominate and WILL protect you from joggers, small cars, mice, (great mousers, St Bernards) repair people, folk you are dancing with .... Saints are great companions, you just need to be aware of what they think a situation is and know every minute that the Saint could knock down a friendly visitor.
    I'm going to start reading Trooper and Sarah now...

  47. Many years ago, I read a great story about a Saint called Judge Benjamin. It was more of a kids story (as I was a kid at the time), but it still sticks with me.

  48. bhm, I'd be glad to try to write up a blog entry but I'm not sure how to do it. Do you have an email address that I could send it to?

  49. bhm@sympatico.ca

    Anyone else who wants to write please email me your posts.

  50. Kaede,
    You can ride drafts saddle seat. Also, ask CCC about here grey Percheron, Buck. He's adorable.

    You raised a good point about Fugs not understanding disciplines like saddle seat. I tried to address this by writing about saddle seat. Of course, it's from a layman's perspective so I'd appreciate your input. If you want to contribute by writing about saddle seat I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to correct my errors.

  51. Kaede,

    I love my big ole draftie Buck. He is a full Perch grey gelding. I call him Big Un. He is very smart and so loveable but quite lazy.

    He was in a bit of a precarious situation about 2.5 years ago but through fate, he was given to me. He is mainly a pasture mate to my old show hunter Spunky who is 28 now, and they are the bestest of buds. It is too funny watching them groom each other, Buck is 17.2 and goes about 1800-1900 lbs and Spunky is 15.3 and is about 1100 lbs, it is one of the cutest things ever.

    He has done many things, including low level eventing. Even though he is really large, he is very easy to work with because he knows I mean what I say, but, I could see that he could be pushy with someone he doesn't respect.

    He is quite fun to ride, even though it is a long way down, he is so wide, that it would take alot for me to fall off. LOL!

    **Drafties and Hounddogs RULE**