Friday, April 30, 2010

Yep…that’s broke

In a post titled 'Yep…that’s broke' FHOTD writes, "But putting the equivalent of an emergency brake in his mouth truly isn’t the answer. It works…for a while. And then he gets pissed and sore and starts running through it….Um, if you are THAT out of control, YOU ARE NOT READY TO JUMP!" Accompanying the article is a photo of a woman competing in jump class with a heavy bit and the horse flinging it's head in the air. The assumption of the article is that this is unnecessary and the horse can be retrained when she states, "I’ll tell you right now, there isn’t any way in the world that both you and your horse won’t get better at whatever it is you do by spending time with less artillery in his mouth." My answer to this is yes and no.

The determining factor is the level the horse is competing at as it dictates how the horse is trained, the amount of time spent in training, and the type of personality selected for training. In Grand Prix and up usually a more aggressive and hotter personality is selected for the advantages it gives to enhance the competitive edge. Often, upper level horses are shown in all types of contraptions to try to get the horse under control quickly during competition. There are horses shown in the hackamore and harsh bit combination. The reason for this isn't because the trainers and rider are incompetent or unknowledgeable, but that the horse is being trained "go for it". In most upper level competitions you could take a similar photograph of a horse flinging it's head etc. and it would not be considered an example of incompetence.

The above photo is of Eric Lamaze and Hickstead who recently won gold for Canada in the Olympics. Hickstead is wearing a strong bit, noseband, and martingale frequently found in show jumping. Hickstead, like many show jumping horses, avoids the bit by opening his mouth and tossing his head. He is by nature and training a difficult horse to slow down. At the upper levels there are no simple answers to running through the bit.

Similar situations can be found in racing and polo. A race horse is never trained to relax and have a quiet mind because it interferes with the horse's performance. Equally, polo presents the same training issues as racing and show jumping. Polo ponies wear a variety of noseband and bit combination in an attempt to control the horse and martingales are the norm. Why do polo players and upper level riders get a break for using such equipment?

A trainer of upper level horses would avoid training that would teach the horse to relax and be quiet as it would reinforce behavioural traits that are undesirable for competition. So, it depends on what your long term goals are. If you wish to have an all-around-horse then by all means train the horse to have two mind sets. The first is the quiet, in-hand mindset that is trained through classical dressage and the second is a 'go for it" mindset for competition. The earlier in the horse's life the training begins the better.

As for the woman featured on FHOTD, I'm sure she doesn't appreciate her picture plastered all over the web with an accompanying article suggesting incompetence. In truth, it's impossible to tell from the picture what is happening. The photo could be taken during an unusual hot mood for the horse or a shy where it is not a typical representation of the riders skill and the horse's training. When discussing quiet mind set training the author needs to consider all levels of competition and similar equipment used in polo. If the author suggests that this type of training is the only answer then she also needs to address how she would get horses like Hickstead over a course with a winning performance while solving the running through the bit problem. This scenario is complicated and has no easy answers.


  1. Great post, bhm. Well done.
    The first thing that came to my mind is a 3D'er.
    They need the impulsion and 'go for it' mind set for the x-c and the jumping, but that second mindset for the dressage where a quieter mind is necessary to create the balance and contact with the rider.
    I've always wondered how they can switch back and forth between the two.
    By the way, I saw a very large (huge, actually ) snaffle ring at a recent tack sale. What is the benefit of it- in that first polo photo?

    no offense to the polo fans out there, but it make me cringe to to see such a hollow back and ewe neck (horse in the red wraps).

  2. Thanks Paddy. It makes me cringe when I see the open mouths and frantic eyes. All I can think is that must hurt.

  3. Im contacting Dale Myler and pointing him to the idiots blog.

  4. Applause, BHM, so well said!

    It's always a mistake for FHOTD to try and talk knowledgeably about stuff she's never done before. Let's pop her up on ol' Hickstead, shall we? YeeeHAW.

    Her beginner training is showing, again.
    And folks that don't know enough about something will once again, think they know more.

  5. Thank you, GL. I don't think that she realizes how hot these horse become after training. It's not uncommon for them to be difficult to handle a day after a training session.

  6. I wonder if Myler advertises in HI?

  7. I'm a novice. When I'm handed a horse to ride, I trust that the owner knows what that horse goes best in. Hackamore, curb, snaffle, whatever. One of my very favorite horses to ride is a TWH mare that gets a touch ploddy and depressed on fire roads, but steps out with ears up and eyes bright on trails. She's a working horse. Her owner is an outfitter in Sultan and his horses take all levels of riders out on guided trail rides in the Cascade foothills. All of his horses are healthy and sane. Any that can't do or don't like the work are found new homes.

    He puts this particular mare in the sort of complicated looking bit that Fugly claims is totally unnecessary. That mare works several days a week and shows no signs of sourness or unwillingness. She doesn't toss her head or try in any way (that I can tell) to avoid the bit. She's happy to work and a joy to ride.

  8. Fabulously thoughtful post!

    I've used the Mylar combo and I've seen how well it works. Check out the action of it before dismissing it out of hand, the mechanics are logical and not extreme. The pressure it exerts is easily understood by the horse, making it one of the mildest bits.

  9. Well said bhm, 1 snapshot in time says nothing about the horse or rider . I hace a pic of me on my sweet quiet gelding , he is head up mouth open (doing what I have no idea)as he is also on a loose rein! And while I amnot proffessing to be the best rider out there ,I do sit on my horse not perch as though I was attmpting to hatch an egg!

  10. Padraigin
    "I've always wondered how they can switch back and forth between the two."
    Back in 1976 one of the USA Equestrian team members was being interviewed on the Today show. The question I remember was "How do you get your 3day horses to pick up the canter?" The rider responded, It's not getting them to canter that is the problem, it's getting them to slow down that is the problem."
    I think the interviewer was confusing school master horses with performance horses.

  11. BHM
    "As for the woman featured on FHOTD, I'm sure she doesn't appreciate her picture plastered all over the web with an accompanying article suggesting incompetence. In truth, it's impossible to tell from the picture what is happening. The photo could be taken during an unusual hot mood for the horse or a shy where it is not a typical representation of the riders skill and the horse's training."

    Good catch. I hadn't thought of why the photo was showing such a bad moment. Could be any number of reasons, none related to the bit or the rider.

  12. Fubbles and her merry band...Dumbing down horsemanship with every post.

  13. WARNING - exceeding blogger wordcount. Sorry in advance...!
    I played collegiate polo and I currently own a "retired" (as in, don't tell her) polo mare I've been "rehabbing" as a casual hop on and trail ride mount for my much older, much fatter, not been riding for 15 years, chicken-shit re-rider self...
    While I am far, far from an expert (my college team had no coach, a motley crew of horses, and I don't remember ever discussing the "whys" of the tack and equipment we used, it was all about "go fast and hit ball"), I have had time since having my current mare to think and consider these issues a lot.
    First of all, while I think some of the most absolutely electrifying horse and rider teams I've ever seen were good polo players and their ponies (watch a 40 goal Argentine game some day if you want to blow your mind), polo has certainly more than its fair share of really crappy riders who are into the glory of the sport and could care less about their ponies. So, you can see it all.
    But keep in mind a few things...
    First of all many non-polo riders also are horrified at how high the horses heads are. Well let me tell you, having tried to play polo on a "downhill" horse with a low head frame (like VLC, actually), there is nothing more terrifying. In polo you are constantly standing out of the stirrups, oftentimes twisting at the waist with the knee away from your hitting side literally twisted into the side of the horse to give you a "balancing point." And you are doing this while going very, very fast, oftentimes asking horse to slow down and maybe even turn at the same time. You need that horse to have a head up and balance back or yep, you go right on over.
    Of course, many horses than learn to avoid the bit, not to mention have the potential of hitting their forward leaning riders (last photo) smack in the head. So, out come the tie downs or "standing martingales." They are pretty much considered a piece of safety equipment in polo! And then many horses are also ridden in drawn reins (first photo) to get better control and frame for quick stopping and turning. You see this especially in the higher goal (i.e. better riders, better ponies, a whole lot faster...).
    Can this be awful in the wrong hands???? For sure! I remember asking an older polo player who had a string of 20 ponies and had been playing for years why they always rode with "double reins." He told me it was "in case one broke you had an extra..."
    But with the good ponies? They have super soft mouths. My OTTB mare, after just a bit of reschooling to remember her glory days, will now go from a canter to a ass under her stop with just the slightest tug. And if I ask her to turn and go? Well, I sure as heck better be ready for it! And btw, head up in the air the whole time... When I first got her, I tried trail riding without a tie-down. Well, let me just say, we are both much more comfy with a tie-down on!
    For high goal polo, there is a saying about pricing a pony based on how many tugs it takes to stop them. A one tug-pony starts at $50k (or used to! LOL!), take $10,000 off the price for every additional tug to stop them... Also, it is generally known to not put beginner riders on the really good ponies because with a heavy-handed rider they will oftentimes flip over. Polo is all about tug and release tug and release. And yes, sometimes it looks bad, at least momentarily.
    But remember, you are going FAST and then you say STOP RIGHT NOW AND TURN...And GO FAST immediately again. While standing in your stirrups and trying to hit a ball!
    Polo ponies also ride in a loose rein, more like a cutting horse in some sense, but because you are balanced forward and going so much faster and doing it one-handed, you tend to have a shorter rein because it can be hard to be shortening and lengthening your reins all the time and as quick as you need to.

  14. AND PAGE 2....
    Having gone from riding cow horses to playing polo, I can't help but watch dressage and think those riders and WAY too much into their horses mouth! LOL! But in polo you can't be having contact all the time...You are riding one handed, mostly neck reining. Tug and release, tug and release. If you are fighting with that horse all the time you definitely will not be hitting the ball. You do see horses that will shake their heads a lot "in protest", (my mare gets to doing that sometimes even though I ride her in just a snaffle now)...I don't like that and think that is training issue that should be revisited with that pony.
    The first polo picture doesn't look bad to me at all. I think that rider is asking for a stop and turn. She is setting her balance back into the saddle, she has her stick hand on the reins for a bit more control, I bet her next move would have been a sliding stop and roll back to the left in the other direction and the pony would have immediate relief. Does an out of control horse - no matter the tack - do that? Not very well for sure! This is just a momentary image, but that girl looks like she can ride to me.
    The first picture, well this one looks more suspicious to me. That rider definitely does look really short in the reins. I don't know how he would have been able to give that horse relief quickly. Perhaps. He is definitely, however, balanced forward and either just completed a shot or is just about to take one. He looks like probably a non-rider who took up polo to me and is balancing on his horses mouth to make up for his actual riding abilities. This picture also looks like his pony is "leapy." This is another "negative" you see in some ponies. They get all leapy like that, hollowed under you, trying to go, go, go. Again, bad riding, back to the training as far as I'm concerned. But it is something you will see in polo.
    And yes, these ponies are HOT! Having a polo horse you have to prod into action doesn't work so well! But...the good ones will also canter or hand-gallop smoothly at a steady pace, with a loose rein while rider is twisting all around. And when the game is done, they will walk off the field, loose rein.
    Also, keep in mind, that out of control ponies get 86ed from the game pretty fast. They are not only a liability to their riders, but also to all the other players and ponies on the field as well.
    I often consider polo ponies to be the "sports car" of the horse world. Ask them to go - THEY GO. Ask them to stop - THEY STOP. Ask them to turn - well, you better have your balance back or you'll be sitting in the air... Do they get over-revved at times and have idiot drivers who just want to see how fast they can do everything. For sure. But as I can attest, a well trained polo pony? There is hardly a more fun ride out there - you just better be ready for it!
    So, as far as giving polo riders "a break" for their sometimes heavy-duty equipment, or, conversely, for criticizing the riding or the discipline as many do...I agree with what BHM is getting at. It's a whole completely different style than, for instance, dressage. Is it better or worse riding? I don't think so...just different. To criticize the riders you have to first understand the game and what is needed to ride a polo horse. Rather than try and compare apples and oranges from one brief image in time, you have to get out there and really watch - or, better yet, try it yourself!
    (Sorry I wrote such a book...). P.S. That's my polo mare in my avatar.

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  16. Interesting insight into polo horses, PF. Also, some of the disciplines that use quick active horses may have a few ungraceful moments, but it's amazing how sound most of the polo and jumping horses stay. When western pleasure and dressage horses are chronically lamer than endurance horses, something is not right with the picture...maybe our perception of a horse's correct carriage is not always verified by the horses.

  17. I read the post you're referring to, and it's nothing but empty space taken up by empty words.

    THIS post, however, was informative, interesting and educational. Thank you for that.


  18. This is a great informative post....Awesome! Unfortunately most everything Fugs posts and uses a photo for is out of context. Just goes to show you how stupid Fugs is. This is an awesome post! Thank-you!

  19. Who hasn't seen photos of gorgeous actors snapped the second their mouth was open or their eyes half shut or just looking like a slack jawed yokel? Or driver's license photos, which often seem to be shot at just the second the victim, er, subject is blinking or glancing off to the side?

    Photographs are deceptive because they can catch those split seconds that are completely atypical. As human beings, we only see about 10% of what is actually going on in front of our eyes; our brains fill in the other 90% to make a coherent picture.

  20. PF,
    Thanks for the great insight into polo and to why's and how's of the game and the horses. This helps strengthen my point that simple, easy answers often are unhelpful and misleading.

    I've always thought that polo was fun and that I would like to try it. A friend of mine who trains polo ponies wanted to put together the first draft polo team. LOL I can just hear the thunder now...weeeeeee!

  21. I often see pelhams and long shanked bits used by police, polo, and western riding. Can some please tell me why these bits are selected and how they are used in a discipline.

  22. I dunno, I sort of agree with fugs. That bit REALLY doesn't have a place in a cross-rail class. If your horse is such a high performer, and you are such an excellent rider that you are legitimately using a Myler combination to control your exuberant both probably shouldn't be in x-rails ;) It's also unconventional tack, which in Canada would absolutely be penalized in the Hunter ring. Especially at that level!

    Also, I wouldn't get on a horse with that bit. If the owner told me that the horse needed the bit, I wouldn't get on. Same thing with big pelhams or any kind of big curb, elevator or serious gag. I don't trust my own hands in much besides a regular snaffle, especially on a new horse! I don't want to introduce myself to a new horse with an accidental LOUD check to the face. I did ride Spook in a Kimblewick from time to time, but I knew her well, and I had a very specific reason/goal for that bit.

  23. SB, that is part of the difference right there. You are not making grand assumptions about the rider , while you state your thoughts that you feel the bit is not appropriate to the class and certainly not appropriate to your personal assement of your own skills , you are not blasting off across the internet stating with absolute certainty that this individual is an idiot based on one second in time captured in a photo. BTW I watched your vids and you are developing lovely quiet hands you should be proud of yourself !


    This is the bit in question and I have one and love it

  25. I really like that you all here are taking the time to point out other possible scenarios and explanations for what may very well be one WTF!?! moment in time. That horse on x rails could have been stung in the ass by a wasp for all she knows.
    In western *think spade bits and such* the bigger and supposedly more severe bits have long denoted the skill of the rider and the extreme training of the horse.
    Not an actual need for a more severe bit.
    Some of them are built that a mere thought on the rein causes a particular response not unlike many aspects of a dressage movement.
    I saw this too and all I could think was OH Noes! She isn't planning on coming into our world to chase cowboys is she? That is a young womans game.
    And never forget that this is the woman who claimed a $1 machine press curb placed backwards in a bridle was a Tom Thumb. Stands to reason, if she will not be corrected or ever admit when she is wrong, she definitely has a learning disability.

  26. A Mylar combo is used to correct bad habits like opening it's mouth and running through the bit, and frequently bad habits only manifest in specific situations. A keen horse who knows it's job frequently just wants to get it done without the interference of having to listen to the rider! The Mylar is also used in early training to prevent the horse from developing evasions. Bill Dorrance used a similar arrangement with a bosal over a snaffle bit, so it's an old concept, but the comfort mouth snaffle is MUCH easier than a regular snaffle on a horse's mouth because it will not teepee or gouge the palate, and curves to lay flat across the tongue and bars. The horse goes from the combo directly to the comfort snaffle, which is now accepted by the dressage federation. I believe it's the first new piece of tack in a long time. Many of the traditional and accepted bits, like slow twist snaffles, are brutal. The Mylar combo is an unconventional piece of tack, so a rider using the bit would be in the class for training purposes only.

    The truly amazing thing about the combo is that it rewards the horse for responding correctly by giving at the poll by removing all pressure from the nose, while still maintaining a gentle contact with the mouth. Properly adjusted, the bit makes contact long before the bosal engages, so the horse learns to respect the rider's requests. It actually trains riders to have better hands because the 'horse yank/rider retaliation yank' sequence is changed. I have to admit, when I first saw it I was skeptical, but after watching riders of all levels at a Dale Mylar clinic, I was truly amazed at the quiet horses and hands that I saw, and had to re-evaluate my original misconceptions.

    I've retrained many horses that fire only in certain situations but are fine elsewhere, so the only thing to do is to ride in that environment. It's similar to the concept of having a lazy horse and having to carry a bat. You only use it when required. I've retrained horses that were so afraid of the bit that they were hysterically dangerous to go sanely and quietly, just by changing out to a Mylar.

    Good for you for knowing your limitations SB! Retraining a horse that has developed evasions is a job that is never easy, and getting too deep into a horse's mouth when your hand is not developed is a recipe for disaster no matter what bit you are using.

  27. I am trying to start the new youngster in a bosal. We had so much trouble getting Spooky to "give" her nose and ride into the bit...hopefully the new guy can understand if we start in sidepull, move to bosal and then introduce the bit. In typical draftie style, we are moving very slowly with lots of practice time. If it goes well, I will start Zora the same way in a few years. I read about Vaquero in some horse magazine at the airport and was intrigued. I am going to take a lesson/try a horse at a Western show barn next weekend too, hopefully can get some pointers.

  28. Good for you SB! The bosal is great for training your hands to not grab the horse's face, because it's used much differently than a snaffle. It's strictly a yes/no tool, so no contact with it (same as a curb bit) so you learn how to use your hands appropriate to the tack.
    There are many similarities to a double bridle when you use a bosal over a snaffle. The bosal, just like the curb, sets the parameters of nose extension, and the snaffle is left and right and contact, which of course you already know. From then on it's just developing muscle memory.

  29. These comments are great, you guys. Keep it up. I am pretty naive when it comes to bits, having grown up with pelhams, snaffles, and those cheap machine pressed curbs that you see on those plastic palominos outside the dimestores (with legs spread out in a non-existent gait, but implying a gallop for the kiddies).
    The polo posts from PF, too- so very interesting. Thank you for sharing w/us.
    Last summer while on a long bike ride in the Skagit flats, I rode past a polo match near LaConner. Do you happen to know the name of the club? I remember seeing a beautiful Victorian farmhouse on the property.

  30. Anybody ever use Center Revolver King Dee Bit ? I admit satan tempted me with a really great sale and I bit. It looked so cool. And it moves in the center. Around and Around and Around. So now that I have it (all sales final) what is it good for?

  31. Kes,
    Thank you for the insight on the Mylar bit. I'm a plain snaffle or French link gal myself so I tend to view more complicated bits as severe. I realize that is an incorrect assumption.

  32. What does everyone think about the Mylar bit in jumping competitions? Is it any more severe than the other bit and hackamore combinations that you see in jumping and eventing?

  33. Today Fubby is a trainer again LOL Why are you spending all that money on BYC if your such an expert?? Gah!

    People need to learn that major drama during the training process should be the exception, not the rule. If you do all the ground work sensibly and slowly and have a decent “feel” for the horse, training usually is not a huge drama.

    I mean, I’m thinking about this and I’d say that 90% of the green horses I rode first or took over within the first 30 days never acted up. Never. I mean, nothing worse than a spook at something new or being a little balky or wiggly. Most of my scary, exploding horse experiences have been on spoiled/abused older horses. And honestly, I DIDN’T do all the ground work the way I do now when I was young and stupid…but I did know enough to start slow and not push them and not scare them and to “ride quiet.”

  34. bhm, Looking at the bit I would say that the action would be very similar to the Mylar comfort snaffle. To check the action of a bit (or demonstrate it if I need to, evil chuckle...) I put the bit in the inner fold of my elbow, close inner forearm to bicep, and use binder twine to approximate a headstall and/or curb strap. Your elbow becomes the equivalent of the horse's poll. Reins are pulled away from your body. You can simulate the horse evading by opening it's mouth, check the balance of the bit, and does it ever make you aware of sharp edges and leverage! LOL! I just love raising bruises and blood blisters with the so called 'gentle' bits. I'm a very visual and tactile learner, so this works for me. It's amazing how many times the theory behind the bit is not all what it actually does mechanically.

    I would really like to see the Mylar combo accepted, and I'm sure it will be. There is a reason why the Parrelli's are using this bit. Like I said, it's the only bit I've ever found that actually trains the riders hands. Green or sour horses relax and react consistently. The comfort snaffle portion already is legal, and the extra nose band simply adds a bosal action that engages after the bit, encouraging the horse to stay within frame without having to do anything but hold your hand quiet. Once the horse stops throwing it's nose around the bosal part just lays there doing nothing. Many of my students use it at home and then just switch out for competition. I've seen students and horses both benefit in an incredibly short time.

    If a horse doesn't know how to buck or get crazed, why would I be dumb enough to teach them stuff like that?! I want that horse to like it's job. A great trainer told me years ago, "a horse that hates it's job will never be a world class competitor."

  35. I couldn't resist this one from Fugs, "...try keeping your feet out of the stirrups or just your toe in like I always do with greenies." What! She's never trained a horse in her life and now she's sounding like an old ranch hand.

  36. LOL BHM old ranch hand.... Like at 3 Strikes where she got in the way the whole time *snort*

    PS Dena Congrats on your case being dropped :)

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  38. "If you toe in, your thighs will rotate inward. Your pelvis will rock back and you'll lose your seat bones," .
    Effectively sitting perched like she does!

  39. Man-fugs is on a roll. If a person didn't know better, you would almost think she knew what the heck she was talking about. LOL-Oh the dangers of believing that just because someone can talk the talk. Sure doesn't mean they can walk the walk. Sounds to me like she is parroting everything that comes out of her 'trainer's' mouth though. I wonder how long it is going to take the trainer she has(you know the one with the 'speshuuulll' gift) to get sick of fubs stealing her limelight.

    fern-I think she meant just placing the tip of your toe in the stirrup. Which may sound alright, but really? If your horse so much as stumbles, you are going to lose your stirrup...then your balance. I kind of think most people would prefer to feel more secure by placing their foot IN THE PROPER position in the stirrup.

    But I do think you nailed the exact reason fubbles looks like a monkey humping a football when she rides with your explanation fern. I wonder if that is how she taught all of her students to ride? LMAO

  40. Where are all these fugly students?? And what the heck is with people's obsession with snaffles being the only kind and gentle bit out there? Some horses just don't like it, it restricts their tongue and putsa tremendous amount of pressure on it. I love mylar bits with the independent side movement for picking up the shoulders when you're teaching them to not just flop around a corner.
    Riding with just your toe in the stirrup? Wouldn't she say if you're that scared of coming off then you shouldn't get on the horse in the first place.
    I'd be fine with her if she was just there for a good laugh, but sadly "greenie" riders are taking her advice.

  41. When she says toe does she mean just the big toe or on the ball of the foot? I couldn't keep my foot in a stirrup with just my big toe in the stirrup.

  42. I'm sorry, Fern was quoting me, but I ended up deleting my post. It was I who thought Fugly meant turning her heels out and her toes in, with the stirrup on the ball of the foot. You guys are right, she must have meant having just a toe itself in the stirrup. That way she could pull her foot out and dismount in a hurry, in the event the greenie got a little hot.

  43. Paddy, I thought the same at first , and I thought your post was fine , which is why I quoted you . Fugly has an extremely odd way of sitting her horse so the idea of her sitting there pigeon toed made some sense . She certainly does not appear to have a secure enouf/deep enough seat to ride preparing to bail. As I said before she is perched , it looks like if the horse farted she would be history

  44. The other thing I dislike about that theory ,is why plan to bail ? You don't jump out of a perfectly good airplane or off a perfectly good horse. There are occaisions that bailing ,or choosing the exit are your only option , but more often than not sit down and ride them through it will be far more effective

  45. Also, saddles are designed (at least the good ones!) to provide maximum support to a rider who is in the correct leg and seat position. Just putting your toe in a stirrup...WILL THROW YOUR WHOLE BODY OFF!!!!! Many saddles are designed with adjustable brackets to move the stirrup strap forwards or back depending on the length of the rider's foot. If you're not sitting in the middle of the saddle tree it will rock either forwards or back, and become uncomfortable to the horse. Why would you get on a horse if you figure you'd need to bail?! I'm with S&B on that one...if you need extraordinary gear to stop a horse, why get on?
    I don't remember having any green colts that I've started actually buck. Maybe a startle or a crowhop, but all rideable. If you bail at the first sign of trouble the colt will learn to scare you enough to get you off. That's a recipe for ruining a horse.
    The tough thing about trying to explain training or riding, is that it all depends on the situation and the job. Most amateurs want hard and fast rules, and it's just not the way it works in the real world. It's situational.
    Spoiled or sour horses become a whole new ball game.

  46. Okay, had to go look at the imprinter...just another tool. I can see where it would have some advantages, and I can see where it would have some drawbacks. The man in the video would be one who would use the tool without drama. Could an amateur screw it up? Bwahahahahaha! Snork, wiping eyes... Would I use it? Well that would depend on the horse. There was this one spoiled viscous inbred mare, years ago...

  47. I agree the contraption is stupid but then again so is Fubbs and how she quotes others because we know she cant ride let alone train.

  48. I think if the Imprinter was not attached to a vehicle then it wouldn't be easy to flip and the straps would hold the horse in place.

    If your initial concerns are about safe backing of a horse then perhaps a riding dummy is the best option. You can add weight to it and stick it's butt to the saddle so it doesn't bounce around.

  49. Thanks Anon. BECs "a monkey humping a football?"
    Do you need my address that you may send me screen cleaner?
    My air passageways are now completely clear so no worries there.ROTFLMAO

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  51. Padraigin - Yes I know the polo place in LaConner! As a matter of fact, I was there watching one of the days the big tournament goes on there. You should have stopped by, it is open to the public!
    The guy who owns that place is George Dill. He and his wife and super nice folks, used to be over by Tacoma, but moved up to Skagit Valley. Made lots of money as the "Lettuce King" of the northwest. I.e...farming! (I'm inspired!). Anyways, he has been playing for years and is a muckety-muck on some of the polo boards and around. I guess there is a LaConner polo club recently formed, I believe, as well, I've thought about that as a possible place I might start playing when and if I have enough time and money to do it. The tournament you probably saw (last weekend in August) is a big tournament George holds every year and there were lots of the northwest polo people there. The Tacoma Club, the Spokane Club, The White Swan players, etc.... Saturday-Sunday deal. They had some pretty high goal games (i.e. the better players) and even some Argentine players there so there was some pretty fun polo to watch. (And lots of ridiculously drunk rich polo wives which, if you can ignore their hotly debated discussions over how the for sale $5 million ranch outside of Palm Desert isn't worth a penny over $4.5 million, are kinda amusing too).
    If I can get away this year, I'll probably go watch again. It was a lot of fun!

  52. Dena,
    Congratulations on your case!!

  53. l've been trying to find articles on three day event training, but to no avail. I can see how much of their training would be helpful to the average rider. It must depend a great deal on the personality of the horse and how they warm up.

  54. I think that it best to ride it out rather than bail. When you bail it can teach the horse bad behaviour and is more dangerous to the rider than sitting in the saddle.

  55. Rather than altering your seat position by putting your toe on the stirrup, it would be much safer to just by a tapaderos. This is the only sure way that your foot will not be caught in the stirrup.

  56. PF, thanks for the input re. polo in LaConner!
    I would love to go up someday and watch the game, having never done so. The one I saw was the last weekend of July, 2009. We were on the first half of a double day bike ride, the first on the roads of that lovely flat area between Mt Vernon and La Conner.
    btw, I worked with a ret'd Argentine polo pony at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville. He was a sweetheart.
    And btw again, I was up on Whidbey two weekends ago. live in a wonderful, beautiful area. I always feel like my blood pressure lowers the moment I get off the ferry:)
    Good idea there, bhm, I love those tapaderos on the old western saddles. Or are they something different that/Andys of Spain are ridden in in CD?
    We called them Devonshire boots or 'devs'.

  57. Doma vaquera seems to use the same stirrup hoods as western riding.

  58. I am kippen64 and I am wondering what people think of Fugly's responses to my posts as the regards the Training Wheels blog entry.

  59. Kippen,
    Can you find me the original FHOTD comment that you are referring to. Thanks, Sarah

  60. Here it is.

    Just had a quick look and have realised that her followers have tried to tear me to pieces. Just look for comments by kippen64. I don't know how to do the HTML to direct you to the exact comments.

  61. Kippen - the first post I see from you is stamped May 1, 7:48pm, and appears to be a response to someting Fugly said to you. What's missing?

  62. Kippen64 and her debate started with FHotD on the April 29 blog.

    Kippen64, have you actually looked at the photos of the riders who post pictures of themselves on her blog? Most (not all) seem to be in their tweens, teens or early 20's. One was riding sans tack and WITHOUT a helmet. If FHotD had found that photo in photobucket there would have been derision from FHotD and her followers. Not a peep from anyone. How about that kid who is jumping an OTTB and her elbows look like wings and is pulling the horses mouth? FHotD only says that sometimes horse are smarter than their owners. Agree with her and you get a free pass out of jail. Disagree... well you end up here.

  63. Yeesh. Found the start of Kippen's posts... and the pics of the young woman riding tackless, helmetless and shoeless (or wearing flip-flops). It's a lovely image, but one unexpected dog-bark and she's gonna be wearing a hell of a set of bruises, maybe nursing a concussion and/or broken bones. Yet not a word from Fugly.

    The young woman is (presumably) an adult, so it's her choice, but where is the outrage from Fugly?

    I've called Fugly out on some of her inconsistencies in the past, and either she or some of her followers rationalized them all away. Minds like steel traps, many of them.

  64. I just found this post. I wish things were that simple. If you don't know how to retrain then no amount of good riding is going to change the behaviour. Training is complicated.
    APRIL 30, 2010 AT 11:39 PM
    Yeah…someday I’m going to write the world’s shortest training book. It’s going to say:
    Having a problem with your horse?
1. Call the vet
2. Take some riding lessons from someone whose training horses look happy when they are ridden, and whose lesson students are having fun at horseshows. Any discipline or breed will do. Doesn’t really matter. Good riding is good riding.
3. Learn patience yourself
    When it gets down to it, those 3 things will fix any problem on any horse with the very rare exception of those horses who truly have a screw loose, i.e. the ones that turn out to have a brain tumor, or a horse who has been so severely abused he will never return to riding abuse (but I think that is rare indeed).

  65. Phooey. I'm a relative newbie, and even I know that being a good rider and training a horse are two entirely different things. I know very good riders who regularly turn their horses over to a trainer to solve problems and add new skills.

  66. Kippen's Posts from FHOTD Part I
    APRIL 30, 2010 AT 5:30 PM
    Hi Fugly,
    A horse can be reliable and still have a mind of it’s own and still have self initiative. For example, a cutting horse has self initiative. For me riding a horse is a partnership between the horse and I with me as the senior partner. They are not my employees. Next week I will be 46 and some years ago I decided that I would no longer get on the types of horse that I don’t like. That is mainly super quiet horses with no self initiative. Life is too short to be that bored. That said my horses must do as they are asked for the safety of both of us. Part of doing what is expected includes saving my bacon with their self initiative if I stuff up. A horse who never does anything that it is not told cannot do that. There is a huge difference in riding a horse who is keen on their job and a horse who just does it because they must and they are quiet. The former is so much more enjoyable and the latter is a drudge. May I never, ever get on one of those drudges again! Ugh!!!!

    fhotd says: 
APRIL 30, 2010 AT 11:30 PM
Heh, well, I’m turning 43 this summer and I do not have ANY desire to ride horses who want to make the decisions anymore. I like sweet, compliant horses who are willing to ask me for guidance. Extra credit if they are not dumb enough to spook at their own shadow following them down the wall (my first horse did that). They don’t have to be plugs – I still like a horse with a motor – but I don’t mind if their work ethic is the same as mine, namely, I work because I want to get paid, so if they work because they want carrots, massages and love, we understand each other just fine. 
Fortunately for horses, different people like different things so there is someone for everyone!

  67. Fugly is of the opinion that a horse should never show initiative and that is where she and I disagree.

  68. Part II
    MAY 1, 2010 AT 7:48 PM
    Hi Fugly,
    You have misunderstood me as regards a horse thinking for it’s self. If a horse stops because it can feel it’s rider in danger of sliding off, that’s a horse thinking for it’s self. If you see an almighty flier (the wrong stride) coming into a cross country fence and the horse chips in an extra stride to save the situation, that’s a horse that’s thinking for it’s self. A cutting horse works the cow with no input from the rider at all, that’s a horse that’s thinking for it’s self. When a show jumping rider charges at a gallop to the last fence in a jump off against the clock, then that horse must think for it’s self. The rider needs it to.
    As regards a horse possibly falling off a cliff because it shys at a miniature horse, please remember that it really is a case of horses for courses. The horse that you ride along the edge of cliffs is not the horse you ride around Badminton Horse Trials and vice-versa. There are super quiet and non-thinking horses for frightened riders such as yourself and thinking, keen horses for competent riders such as myself. Please stop suggesting that all riders should be on super quiet and non-thinking horses.
    Because you are such a frightened rider, what are you going to do once your stallion has covered a few mares and finally understands what his male equipment is for? Do you really have the necessary confidence and ability to own him as a stallion? I cannot believe that a person who is too scared to ride outside an arena and requires that their horses be 100% predictable can cope with a stallion. Stallions are not 100% reliable and not 100% predictable. If you think they are, then just sheer ignorance should disqualify you from riding and handling a stallion. Please get a grip on reality and not place yourself in such a dangerous situation. The world needs you. Your Quarter Horse would make a lovely gelding in your hands or maybe a decent stallion in someone else’s hands.

  69. Kippen Part III
    fhotd says:
    MAY 1, 2010 AT 9:17 PM
    Oh, give me a break. You do not know my horse, nor me, and are simply snarking at me on this blog because I happen to disagree with you, and you do not seem to be handling that well even though it was in no way a personal attack – merely a disagreement with your opinion. So now you are going to turn it into a personal attack.
    My stallion has covered mares, before I owned him. He is completely aware he is a stallion and I do not have any problem disciplining him to ensure he stays well behaved. There are people who read this blog who have met him and can vouch for the fact that he is extremely quiet and well behaved, and has the same excellent manners I’d expect of any horse. Is he 100% reliable and predictable? Nope, nor is any horse that is not on rockers. But I have been riding him for over 2 years now and he has never reared, bucked, bolted or done anything more than a little spook. That, to me, is the ideal in a horse – that is the gold standard of disposition. You may disagree, but I’m fairly sure more horsepeople want a horse like that than a horse who throws a bag of tricks at them every day.
    Where did I suggest that ALL riders should be on super quiet horses? Of course not. I believe I said in my last response to you that it’s great that different people like different things in horses – that way there is someone for everyone.
    The reason I talk so openly about fear issues is demonstrated by your post – fear is considered such an AWFUL thing in the horse world. It is assumed to equate to incompetence, and the two things have nothing to do with each other. How you respond to fear matters, but merely feeling some apprehension at certain things is only relevant if you’re riding a sensitive horse who feeds off of that and reacts to it – in which case you’re best off to let someone else take that horse into the situation first.
    You seem to have this black and white view of horses in which all well behaved horses who listen to their riders are beginner safe plugs. I don’t know where that viewpoint comes from, but I neither agree with it nor understand it. I think you will be hard pressed to find trainers in any discipline for whom the ultimate goal is not as much obedience as possible. Exactly what that entails will differ based upon breed and discipline but no one I know who is a good trainer is not trying to be the leader in the situation, and give instructions that will be followed.
    Either that or you are confusing athleticism (the ability to, for example, jump from a bad spot and still make it over clean) with thinking quickly. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m quite sure my IQ and yours are higher than that of the animals we ride, and therefore we should be the decision-making part of the team.

  70. Kippen Part IV

    MAY 1, 2010 AT 11:27 PM
    Hi Fugly,
    You have no idea what I mean. Which to me just underscores the fact that I am correct. I can only hope that it doesn’t take a major accident for you to realise that. Cheers

    Charm says:
    MAY 1, 2010 AT 9:47 PM
    Maybe you haven’t worked with very many stallions. They are the most predictable of horses. They want to breed, they want to rule, and they want order. If they can’t breed, and can’t rule, then they STILL want order. Totally predictable. That’ doesn’t make them ideal mounts for beginners, because beginners don’t know how to block a stallion’s first two urges, nor recognize the onset of the attached behavior. But predictable? I’ve never seen a stallion loose at a show that did anything that caused a trainer to say, “Wow… didn’t see that coming from him at all.”
    As for the battle of ‘who is right.”
    Does it really matter that much to you? It’s a blog. Read the comments, agree or disagree. No one is going to seize your high strung dancing horses and replace them with quiet obedient horses based upon any conversation on here. Don’t feel so threatened.
    ~ wanders off to groom her horse~

  71. Kippen,
    I agree with you because knowing when to get out the horse's way is a very important part of riding.

  72. She is getting ready to shred a TB owner ...

    When you take your horse directly from his last race to the kill lot on Kentucky Derby weekend, does it not occur to you that you’re going to become extremely well-known on my blog within hours?

    Get over yourself Fubbs. Nobody in the racing industry gives a shit about your blog. Nor do they know who you are. The horses are going straight to kill because your merry band of idiots and you flip lips and then go on a hate mail and harassing call campaign so no more Auctions they just hand them to the feedlots.

  73. This I have a real problem with, "Maybe you haven’t worked with very many stallions. They are the most predictable of horses." Jeezzz, if I had a dollar for every time someone told that their stallion is easy going and easy to handle. Just wait until the right circumstances present itself. Just add a bit too much pressure with a lunge whip and a that nice horse can quickly put you in the hospital.

  74. Hi bhm,

    Thank you for copying my posts from FHOTD. It is keenly appreciated.

  75. Anon,
    That young rider in the bad jumping position would have made FHOTD for sure. Isn't strange how the FHOTD members do a 180 when it's one of their own.

  76. Kippen,
    Your welcome. It's just my job as your humble moderator.

    What type of horses are you training and currently own?

  77. Maybe FHotD has never worked with any high performance horses. I've never ridden WP and the Hunter's under saddle I rode were field hunters, usually hacking from covert to home. Not quite the same a what she is trying to train BYC to be. I can see where you wouldn't want a horse that could think if all he was going to do was go around in a ring at a wtc. I do believe the stupider the better in that case.

  78. Hmmm...interesting stuff. I don't like riding a horse that has to be told every single move. What fun is that? Yes, I want a horse that responds to my cues, but I don't want to be the only one looking out for our mutual welfare. I'm a sort-of beginner rider with years of catch-as-catch-can saddle time, so a well-trained horse that wants to work with me and watches out for me is a joy.

    I've recently been handed the keys to a couple of nice horses that are helping me improve my riding skills. I take them out on local trails, alone. Both are very well-trained and well-behaved trail horses, and aside from sometimes arguing with me about taking the long way home, take very good care of me. I'm grateful for their ability to think for themselves. THEY can tell when my seat is off or when my request for a faster pace isn't confident, and stick to a walk even when in places where I've been told they expect to have a good canter.

    When I'm properly set in the saddle and confident in my cues, they do just what I ask.

  79. Adding on: The owners of Stillwater Ranch value horses that think in their string.

    I've ridden with them many times. They have good horses, and their best horses watch out for their riders and themselves without being dead-headed plugs.

  80. Hi bhm,

    I have a Highland Pony. Have owned him since 1996. He is a keen, strong horse who won't suffer fools. My other horse is a Thoroughbred (the chestnut in my profile picture). His name is Hank and I bought him to remove him from a bad situation. He is a confirmed rearer and a lethal weapon in the wrong hands. I find him to be sweet and a horse who loves to be loved. When Charm wrote "No one is going to seize your high strung dancing horses and replace them with quiet obedient horses based upon any conversation on here." she was spot on as regards this horse. If your idea of fun does not include massive jumps sideways (among other things), then Hank is not your cup of tea. Sadly they are both at a horse retirement facility at the moment. Kippen is 17 and Hank is 15. Because I am in the southern hemisphere, they have another birthday 1st August. My passion is for dressage and eventing. So I like clever, brave horses who can think for themselves. My competing aspirations will have to wait until these two are fully retired as neither is suitable. Kippen is brave but lacks the athletic ability needed and Hank is too gutless.

  81. Highland's are gorgeous. What are their personalities like?

  82. I must confess that I really don't know what most Highland Ponies are like as the only Highland Pony I have ever had anything to do with is Kippen. My understanding is that they are sweet, can be strong and are nearly always ridden by adults who don't want a high maintenance horse. Kippen has been called the biggest short horse you are ever likely to meet. They can be quite hefty. If you send a Thoroughbred mare to a Highland Pony stallion, you end up with a cracker of a horse.

  83. A link about Highland Ponies.

    Here is Kippen's sire.

  84. I can't get the address to work. What's the name of Kippen's sire?

  85. Hi, His name is Jagirdar. In the picture where Jagirdar is being ridden, he looks just like Kippen.

  86. I'm confused...Fugly now has a Paint project horse, that she picked up to train for low level barrel racing and pole bending?

    How many does that make now?

    Of course, fugs plays pretty free and loose with what she considers 'hers'. I wonder how many of these horses she actually paid for? And how many does she actually support?

    Kaede-I would say the closest fugs has ever come to riding a high performance horse would be those polo ponies she keeps bragging about exercising.

    Ya know, I could put a complete twit on my barrel horse if I wanted someone else to exercise him for me, but I hardly think they could run barrels on him. One thing is not like the other.

  87. Wow, Mr. Handsome, Prancey pants. Very nice looking guy. Kippen must be a real looker.


    Here are both the long address and the short one for photos of my two horses.

  89. So Fugly is going after a trainer again. Thing is that the the fool herself and people like her are single handedly responsible for sending more horses to slaughter then they will ever know because they are all going out the back door now. You stupid little woman.

  90. Kippen,
    I can't get the photos to work. I bet Kippen is handsome as well.

  91. BEC,
    I don't see Fugs as being capable of supporting all those horses. She must dump some of them at rescues. Training a barrel horse? Some of those horses get pretty darn hot and I don't see her wanting to be around them. I also don't see her as being able to ride them. She must be appropriating a friend's project horse.

  92. Kippen,
    If you want to write a review of any of the FHOTD post please do. You can email them to me at

  93. Don’t you think it might be a better business decision to pay for a few months of pasture board (about $450 in your area) and a month of training ($650) and therefore not be as famous as you’re about to be?

    Or like Fubbs does make a Facebook page and beg for the money

  94. bhm-I'd bet anything that if fugs actually has this horse trained for barrels and poles, the most she will do is get to an extended lope around the patterns. The horse will probably stay very quiet, as most horse do if they are never asked to actually run. Then fugs will be able to point to her 'several seconds off' speed event horse and say that they should all be that quiet 'when trained properly'.

  95. BEC,
    How do you train the horse to respond yet go full out for barrels? Do you select for personality? This would make a great article as I've been trying to find articles on eventing and how they solve the problem, but to no avail. If you get a chance to write up a short piece please email at Thanks, Sarah

  96. Anon,
    This has been part of an on-going discussion as how to best deal with the racing industry. It elemental to any rescue effort that the rescue be done in the most effective way. What have you seen happen in the racing industry? How are they disposing of their horses now? When did the change start happening? What are your thoughts on the best strategy for TB rescue? This is a great opportunity to gain insight into an industry that most of us would not have contact with. If you get a chance to write up a response, even if it's short, please email it to me at as I would like to post it as an article. Thanks, Sarah

  97. The best way to help the thoroughbreds is to forge relationships on the track with the trainers and owners and to have homes lined up in advance. To smear the racing industry does no good. They circle the wagons. Despite the competition, they are all friends and all protective of each other and all have very little nice to say about people who "rescue" horses because of worthless people like Fugly who does no good in the end.

  98. No problem bhm. I'll work on something for you.

  99. I will have 2 opinions emailed to you BHM one from an owner trainer and one from someone placing them directly through the owners and trainers.

    What Cathy and her mobsters have done is to murder any and all TB's on Chuck Walkers lot He will never let another be homed for Cathy and Katie to flip the lip and out the owner and trainer.

    As for the one SCR "saved" she sucked a grand off the trainer to bid on the horse? WTF? I am confused here its on her FB page!/pages/Second-Chance-Ranch-Elma-WA/67403911396?ref=ts

  100. I have owned and trained several horses off the track. They were not rescues, by any reach of the imagination, and I'm sure my trainer friend would have been as offended by someone having to "rescue a horse from his evil clutches" as any one of us would be, given the same circumstances. One was too slow, but made a fine hunter. One was blazing fast, but could not handle the stress of the gate. He was retrained as a barrel horse. One was injured, and was retrained as a saddle horse. And I helped make the decision to put another one down. A congenital nutcase with injuries, who would have never made a pet horse. The trainer was responsible enough to put the horse down rather than have his beloved running horses get a bad name as 'all nutcases.'

    Are their bad race horse trainers? You bet. However, there is no industry that doesn't have some bad apples. Targeting one industry helps no horses.

  101. SCR did make one comment that bears repeating. Most of the feedlot race horses were taken to the lot by people who were not involved in the racing industry. Trainers and owners gave the horses to the wrong people! Sigh, it's just going to lead to mass euthanizeation rather than rehoming. Dead is dead, whether you use the meat or not.

    Far too often sentimental people really want that high strung beautiful athlete, figuring 'just enough loooove' will turn the horse into a quiet pet. These horses are born and bred to run, and some will never be able to accept the disorganization of a pet horse's life. The horse gets dumped after people get hurt or finally realize out that they are unrealistic.

  102. I can't get over how much foul language spews out of the mouth of an almost-43-year old woman. Not that I don't cuss now and then under my breath, but to do so in writing with such consistency is so incredibly sophomoric and immature.
    bhm: "entimental people want that high strung athlete". Fugly gets absolutely rabid about Thoroughbreds in kill pens, yet she has a QH stallion. Does she ever mention a QH in a dire situation? The feedlot in Zillah has plenty of them. There are more QH's slaughtered each year than any other breed.
    She says stallions are the most predictable... there is always a first buck, a first rear, and a first bolt. She has never taken him out on the trails. I had a mare in season on the trail once, and a woman an Arabian stallion approached us. Let me tell you, it was not fun.

  103. Anon,
    That's true, she doesn't talk about QH rescue...hmmm?

    The thing with stallions is that you always have to be prepared. My friends Percheron stallion, after years of being mild mannered, took offence one day to being asked to 'walk on'. He turned and went after the driver. Not a pretty sight. The thing with stallions is that they are sensitive to being given a command. You always have to plan ahead. What would she do if another stallion went after her horse? There are so many scenarios that could play out. If you want predictable get a quite gelding.

  104. Kes,
    You are so right. I met a number of very nice OTTB's, but I've always wondered what happens to the rest that are more reactive. Unless someone is willing to train them for upper level sports then they will have a hard time keeping a home.

  105. Looking at the Facebook for SCR...what the heck? According to the comments, there was only one bidder - so how the heck did the price go to $1K?

    WordVerg: Dingnabl

  106. You know what I find ironic? Her saying how you don't know her or her horse, but she does that daily with people and their horses.

    Pots and kettles, my friends. Pots and kettles.

  107. Hi bhm,

    Don't click on the links. Just copy the entire address and paste it into the top of your browser. I copied and pasted both links from here to test them and they worked fine. I hope that they work for you too.

  108. Hi bhm,

    I forgot to add that after you paste them into your address bar on the top of your browser, hit enter to go where you want to go. Cheers.

  109. Kippen64 Your pictures are wonderful!

  110. Cecil is still young...I've seen a pattern with stallions. They can be just perfect while they're young, then try for herd dominance when they hit 7 to 10 years old, no matter how much training they have. You have to expect it and be prepared to deal with it when the behavior manifests. That's pretty predictable!

  111. I've always wondered what happens to the rest that are more reactive.

    -Chuckwagon strings
    -Outriders for Rodeos
    -Barrel racing (my area, not sure how common this is everywhere)
    -Popular for Eventers on a budget
    -Parents buying "spirited" mounts for Pony Club (seriously. SERIOUSLY.)

    As Fugly and Kippen illustrated, some people like a "pull" ride, some people like a "push." A high strung but sane Thoroughbred can be just fine with an energetic, experienced Pony Club kid, I think. Maybe not straight off the track, but after a few months to come down and get some w/t/c with a competent trainer, even a reactive OTTB can be a good citizen.

    I met a lady this week who loves to put 6-8 months on track rejects. She won't take anything crazy or badly injured, but the smart, nice looking, athletic ones she enjoys working with, then flipping to English riders. I really liked what she'd done with the one I tried, not the perfect fit for me, but easily an Ammy/Novice ride. She's a heck of a horsewoman, experienced in all disciplines with a focus on Reining. Because of her success it sounds like she had a good relationship with the guys around the track, and they'd try to pick out good prospects for her. Those track trainers know exactly what sells...bigger, warmblood-looking types with nice movement.

    There's a shortage of people like her though, I think. Obviously she's not eking out a living at flipping OTTBs, and it's not a zero-risk hobby. She also let me know about the whole Pony Club parents-picking up $500 "prospects" for their kids...YIKES!

    I got my OTTB from a similar situation, an excellent horsewoman taking the time to put solid basics on horses who look to have good futures (not crazy, not stupid, not wrecked.) Most of hers were trucking around lesson kids in under a year with her.


  112. All I can say about today's Fugly post (re: dumped racehorse) is that Fugly is taking on some pretty powerful people. She may think she's protected against charges of libel, but if there's no proof that the owner knew the horse was dumped at auction, she could be in trouble.

    I don't think I'm going out on a limb here when I say that a high-level Intel exec is not going to take a public "outing" the same way a backyard breeder without two nickels to rub together will.

  113. "Lorie, you selfish, cheap-ass bitch."

    Ok, call me out on this if I am wrong, but isn't that considered verbal assault if she were standing face to face with this woman? And if it is, would typing it out be any different? Just because it wasn't vocalized doesn't mean it wasn't just as... assaulting? At least when you speak it, the words don't hang around forever liked typed speech does, hanging around for any and all to see at any time.

  114. It's only assualt if there's a threat involved. Calling someone names is not necessarily assault.

  115. And calling her a selfish bitch could be construed as an opinion, so it actually could fall under protected speech. What might not fall under First Amendment protection is her assertion, as fact, that the owner knew the horse was being dumped at auction and that the owner was complicit in this act.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: libel is tough to prove. That said, it can be done, and if the pockets of the person bringing suit are deep, there's precedent that supports certain libel suits.

  116. Eh, I wouldn't worry about libel for this one. She owned the horse, she is either negligent or complicit (and yes, I do know how racehorse ownership usually works...even so, it's how the law would see it)

    OTOH, you're right about a high-level exec not being too excited about something like this EXCEPT that Fugly doesn't have the distribution or demographic to concern the exec. TERRIBLE things get said about executives all the time, by their employees and critics, economists and even just general dumbasses (witness the Tech blogs' opinions on Steve Jobs.) They are pretty much celebrities.

    Notice that the usual people who come onto Fugs' blog and threaten litigation are NOT the high profile breeders, trainers, professionals. Those people are secure in themselves and recognize that a horse bloggers' opinion is not worth a response.

  117. The racing industry and anyone involved in it does not care what Fugly blogs. That is any that have heard of her.

  118. I just did a quick check up on FHOTD, huge sigh of disappointment that there are sooooo many people in this world who are so gullible and willing to believe and act on so little concrete information.

    Sooner or later, Fugly will step across the line and get herself into some major trouble. If I remember correctly, and I do, back in the fall of 2008, she featured the young daughter of an attorney in one of her negative posts, shortly thereafter, she did change her tune about posting info and sending her slobbering horde after her targets. Eveyone needs to remember that while she is a paralegal, she is not an attorney. Eventually, she will go after the wrong person and that person will retaliate. She needs to make sure that her head does not swell so much with her "celebrity" that she loses sight of reality.

    BHM, really good post here and really good comments from everyone.

  119. Can I just say WTF!?! I pick up a Paint horse to be reprogrammed for games and now suddenly fugs has one?
    That is kind of weird. Oh well, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    She IS going cowboy chasing isn't she?
    Hey BECs! Think we can take her? Forget it I will buy my own screen cleaner this time.

    Thanks bhm. It is good to have that part over.

  120. Where is the post about her paint horse??

  121. Fugly Horse of the Day is on the sunny side of the law most of the time in regard to libel. At least so far as I understand the law (I am not a lawyer).

    Where Cathy Atkinson will eventually get into trouble is her habit of making email addresses, telephone numbers and locations available so that her readers will harass someone.

    Again, so long as she sticks to the facts and to publicly available information, she's probably on the sunny side of the law. However, FHOTD does enjoy pushing it as far as she can and that will be her downfall someday.

    I think Cathy Atkinson's downfall will be publishing mistaken information about someone. She's already done it once by suggesting that a certain rescue that just happened to share a *very* common name with a stable was part of that stable. In that particular case, she's safe; the rescue is trying to get publicity (celebrity) and organisations typically get less protection than individuals.

    I think at some point, Fugly Horse of the Day is going to publish contact information about a private citizen that turns out to be wrong and to cause a great deal of trouble for some innocent part. Such as publishing the wrong website and causing some innocent person's server to crash, which could be construed to be a Distributed Denial of Service attack.

    "Ooopsy" won't cover it then.

  122. A couple of days back someone posted a pic of a cute little horse they picked up and was asking what color it was. They thought it was a frame overo. Actually it was a tobiano. Then there was much debate over whether it was a buckskin tobiano or a dun or dunskin.

    Fugs posted a pic of another Paint horse and said it was one she just picked up to make into a low-level barrel and pole horse.

    Sorry about the screen cleaner there Dena. LOL-I guess the mail delivery is slow-hahaha.

  123. I remember the post about the child who's father turnout to be an attorney. Fugly was much more careful afterwards. If Wendy's husband happened to be an attorney they could make Fugs life miserable. Fugly would probably win in the end, but she would have to have a successful law suit against them to start to recover her losses minus the legal fees. She'd end up in serious debt. Industries and others who are not worried about legal fees do use this form legal intimidation successfully. It just depends on how determined they are, how deep their pockets are, or if their partner is a lawyer.

  124. fhotd says:
    May 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Magoo went home to Second Chance Ranch today. I hear he is adorable!

    No FUB Magoo was robbed of a home by Katie to warehouse along w/ her 46 others she is clearly hoarding them

  125. Hey Fugly, you should go to the source before you publish, because it is libel if it is not true.

  126. I am saying this with deep sincerity, not because she just ticks me off, but Cathy is not a bright person. When people disagree with her on her blog she completely misses the point the poster was trying to make. Trying to intelligently argue with a person like this is impossible. There's a Proverb that says don't argue with a fool or passersby won't know which one of you is the fool, and this is very true of her.
    Being a paralegal does not make you bright, it is actually very easy to obtain this degree. I have a relative that went to school for this, I have personal experience.
    So for those of you trying to argue with her on her blog, it's kind of fruitless, and there are just as many sheeple that will parrot her, most likely young women or teenagers with no real experience themselves.

  127. I just want to Thank Fubby RACE Equine and Second Chance Ranch for this.

    I hope the blood of the 1,000's of TB's going thru the feedlot, that now have 0 chance of being saved, will haunt your dreams.

    And turning horses out to pasture shows your ignorance Lanne. God help you all.

  128. Anonymous said...
    I can't get over how much foul language spews out of the mouth of an almost-43-year old woman.

    When you have no substance or valid opinion and are relying on shock value, foul language is all you have left.

    Anonymous said...
    I had a mare in season on the trail once, and a woman an Arabian stallion approached us. Let me tell you, it was not fun.

    No problem there. Fugly has commented quite often that she is terrifed of trail riding. Give her a safe old arena (and probably an audience) and she might ride, but never on the trail.

    Anonymous said...
    "Lorie, you selfish, cheap-ass bitch."

    This from an aged woman who has no assets, had her car repossessed, could not keep a job at an attorneys office much less Petsmart and free loaded rent for her and board for her horses. Wow, what credibilty.

    sunshine and butterflies said...
    OTOH, you're right about a high-level exec not being too excited about something like this EXCEPT that Fugly doesn't have the distribution or demographic to concern the exec.

    How correct you are. Notice how the more intelligent posters she had has moved on to more intelligent and stimulating forums and blogs? Take this one as an example. Not only has her readership numbers dropped, the quality has also.

    CharlesCityCat said...
    Sooner or later, Fugly will step across the line and get herself into some major trouble.

    Maybe. Maybe not. She is a bitter woman who has seen her ship sail. She has nothing, is nothing and will never be anything more than she is now. A self appointed savior with some questionable disciples. The funny thing is, the last two horse functions that I attended, FHOTD actually came up in conversation. Both times, the response was "Isn't that the blogger that send photos of her snatch over the phone to her best friends boyfriend?" I guess she can cross out all those rescues she has saved, events with the HSUS and reported trips to DC for this is what she is remembered for.

    Dena said...
    Can I just say WTF!?! I pick up a Paint horse to be reprogrammed for games and now suddenly fugs has one?
    That is kind of weird. Oh well, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Funny, huh, Dena? Guess we rethunk Cecils potential as that was her back up plan for him. After two mysterious lameness related to his stifles, I guess a new horse was a better choice.

    bhm said...
    I remember the post about the child who's father turnout to be an attorney. Fugly was much more careful afterwards.

    That post also cost her the job as a parpalegal in the firm she was at. In the famous words of the father- "Stand Down, Cathy Atkinson." And yes, some serious changes resulted in the following posts as a result of the father's actions. Good for him.

    Grainne Dhu said...
    I think Cathy Atkinson's downfall will be publishing mistaken information about someone.

    I think THIS is Cathy's downfall. What a pitiful, bitter old crone she is now and it will only get worse. Some people never see their comeupance is a big bang, they are just destined to be a miserable human being their entire lives.

  129. That sums it up in a nutshell Anon one last point...

    This will be the end of funding for SCR by the WA TB Breeders Fund
    Now she will be forced to pay her own way because I dont see begging from Fubbs mob or Hercs FB page covering her monthly hay bill

  130. Anon,
    Did Fugly ever mention that the attorney cost her her job?

  131. An example of a nuisance suit is the one filed by Anky against vets, trainers, writers, and anyone who questioned rollkur. It was a successful method of intimidation for many years until the public decided that it was fed up with Anky's tactics and a number of articles where published. Unless you have funds to fight the suit then it's best to retract the article and publish an apology.

  132. Grainne Dhu and Anon,

    I guess I really didn't make myself too clear in what I meant. I do think Fugs has enough legal knowledge to stay just on the inside of what is legal, but sooner or later, like you both said, she will make a mistake because she does not research her information very thoroughly. I agree with both of you that her downfall will come about because of that type of mistake.

  133. Ive been looking into this RACE Equine they seem to be involved w/ Mitch from Tractorco who has quite a reputation in the Eburg area and rumor has it it had to do w/ child porn.
    I looked at his court records and wow I cant tell what they are for but Ill bet old snatch shot paralegal can

  134. fhotd says:
    May 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    If Lorie is serious about being a good guy, I will be watching for her to file in civil court against the person who took the horse from her for fraudulent misrepresentation, for starters. If she does that, I’ll be the first one to say, yes, she got genuinely duped and is a victim. A nice donation to RACE for the cost of laying up Freebie Fritz and retraining him would also be a great show of good faith. We’ll see what she does, won’t we?

    And the begging begins......

  135. SCR, FUBBS and SOS are a bunch of lying hypocrites. They lie, speculation, thrive on drama to deflect from their own unscrupulous business ethics. From the outside world "rescue" has terrible conotations - and trainers and owners do not want to deal with rescues because of the drama - you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

  136. Child porn - lies - speculation - deflection - WOW is this about rescue or a soap opera? Obviously these people can not be "real" horse people because it is obvious that they have way too much time on their hands. Maybe they should be out grooming their horse instead of spreading hateful comments!

  137. Thank you everyone for reading what I had to write and for treating me well. I am leaving and wish you all health and happiness.

  138. I am new to this, and i have been involved with trying to save a rescue operation that Cathy has been out to destroy. She has nearly succeeded. This rescue was doing great work until Cathy began her smear campaign based on malicious rumors. The rescue was brand new and had its problems, but Cathy has made it impossible to function. I just came in to try to help save it, and I am just learning about her. I am a lawyer, btw. I am curious if anyone will share thier knowledge of her background; provide me with accurate information; and help me stop her. It seems she has a lot more influence than you would think. this rescue deserves to be saved and i need more information. If you are willing to provide me with your contact information, I would like to talk to some of you. it is worth a try.

  139. The horse will show the riding in t he same method as the horse is trained by the dictator. So according to that the horse will work.