Wednesday, March 24, 2010
More “natural” horsemanship! Complete with shock collars!
Seriously. Are you kidding me?
In case they take the entry down, it is about a mare who beats up a gelding in the pasture (no, really?). Julie actually states:
“There is one sure-fired method of curing aggressive horses and I have used it a few times for this purpose. It is a shock collar. It straps around the horse’s neck and is operated off a remote control, issuing a mild and brief shock when you push the button on the remote. Shocking her for her two or three times for her unwarranted and dangerous behavior would probably be all it would take to permanently resolve her of the aggressiveness.”
Oh my GOD … you did NOT just tell people who sound totally like beginners (they were wondering if aggression toward a horse could develop into aggression toward humans) to use a SHOCK COLLAR on a HORSE, did you?
YES. YES, you DID.
Folks, I’m not kidding. It’s not like I’M digging the hole Natural Horsemanship is burying itself in. I’m simply repeating the stuff they put on their own websites, in their own newsletters, and on their own DVD’s. This advice could go wrong in about 16,456 ways. I cannot imagine any kind of normal traditional trainer suggesting anything like this. I mean, it sort of sounds like it belongs in some blog about Shady Halter Horse Trainers – but no, it’s right there in the “Natural” Horsemanship newsletter!
Julie goes on to explain how she has used a shock collar in the past:
“It is intended for use with extreme behavior that is harmful to horse, humans and/or property and it is highly effective. I’ve used it for stall and trailer kickers, for aggressive horses and for a tantrum throwing horse, who threw a wall-eyed destructive tantrum any time you’d take his buddy away. In most cases, one or two training sessions resolved the bad behavior; for the tantrum thrower, it took a few more”
Again, OMG. You just suggested dealing with a herd-bound, freaked out horse with a SHOCK COLLAR? You know, I don’t get why you and Linda Parelli have so much trouble dealing with a herd-bound, distracted horse. I kind of feel like someone just needs to make you both work at a Thoroughbred breeding farm for a while and deal with broodmares without your handy-dandy sticks, collars and whatever else to help you. Really, it’s amazing how the rest of us can and do deal with these behaviors without it turning into a big stupid drama. I just growl at them, back them up a few steps every time they get stupid, and they figure out that acting like a twit results in getting growled at and made to back up. As for stall and trailer kickers, there is this amazing invention called kicking chains that has been around for probably fifty years. They don’t even require you to be there watching to work – awesome huh? By the way, I’ve typically found most stall kicking can be cured with (a) enough turnout and (b) not putting the horse next to a horse they hate in the barn. You might want to try those tips first before you break out the shock collar!
Oh, and aggressive mares are often turned into sweet mares with Regumate – another totally humane method you might want to try before you start shocking them!
See, this is just another classic example of how stupid all of this is. Using an e-collar to deal with any of this is like using a nuclear bomb to weed your lawn. It’s not necessary. I guarantee you that I can fix anything a horse might do on the ground without any tools, sticks or gimmicks. So can a large percentage of my readers. It’s really not that special a gift. Beginners, there are no tricks that will give you these talents. There is only experience – and I guarantee you that you aren’t going to learn anything from putting a shock collar on a horse except how to pay vet bills and fix your fence.
Now, Natural Horsemanship Defenders – PLEASE explain to me how an e-collar is NATURAL? Is that like lightning striking from above if God sees you do something bad?
Gosh, I wish my Crabby Old Bat were still alive — ’cause she was extremely pasture aggressive to other horses and humans she did not care for and she’d have taught Julie a lesson or two about that e-collar bullshit. That would have made for one awesome pay-per-view special for our friends at Really Fucking Dumb TV!
On a more serious note, I know that you good trainers are busy with actual client horses, but could one of you PUH-LEEEEZE do a video series showing people how to effectively create ground manners, deal with bucking, deal with barn sour behavior, etc. without all of this silly nonsense? PLEASE? If you do, and it’s good, I will advertise it for free on this blog. I am freaked out at the fact that beginners do not seem to have any GOOD advice out there to go by. Why doesn’t a successful hunter/jumper or dressage trainer do a series of videos that also show ground work and creating ground manners? Or a successful reining or cutting horse person? Someone? Anyone? If it exists, tell me about it – if I watch it and I like it, you can bet I’ll plug it. I am just so sick of terrible advice being given to beginners! And the beginners are baffled about where to find good advice. Do they have videos showing the Pony Club stuff?