Tuesday, April 06, 2010

the latest in hideous equipment for horses

Marian, a new commenter who just posted on the Lifestyle of Totilas post I wrote a few weeks ago, pointed me to this torture device called the Kick-Stop, produced and sold by a company called Quiet Stable (interesting choice of name, imo):

The kick plate measures 58 cm x 58 cm and is equipped with an aluminium band for hanging.
The plate is easily adapted to different needs; it can be cut in to smaller pieces with a small knife just as it can be made to cover a larger area by connecting the plates.
The kick plate is delivered with an energizer (power supply), an earth rod and cords - ready to be put up.
"Kick-Stop" is a unique product that has been patented.

The idea that we can lock animals in 12' x 12' boxes, put up bars so they can't stick their heads out, and install rubber plates that shock them if they kick the walls makes me ill.

Wouldn't it be simpler, more humane, and in all ways just a BETTER IDEA to allow horses to live as horses? 

Or if a horse is a chronic stall kicker,  look at the reasons BEHIND the kicking and alleviate them.



Dougie Donk said...

I've said for many years that humans are the cruelest species & this just confirms my thinking.

Why not let them be horses, roll in the mud & come in with the occassional cut or bruise? I think their performance is always much better if they are balanced in their minds.

Anonymous said...

Chronic stall kicking, particularly at feeding time, is often a sign of pain from ulcers - but I guess it's just easier for some people to punish the horse instead of figuring out what is wrong - bad neighbor, pain and just plain crazy from being locked in a cell.

Michelle said...

Huh. Sounds like a great idea to me. First, you create an unnatural environment that causes these behaviors to surface, then you sell devices to people to "fix" the problem, which incidentally causes other behaviors as a result of the anxiety from being shocked, then you can sell something else to solve that. Didn't you go to business school, Billie?
In case you didn't catch my thinly veiled sarcasm, I abhor shock devices as training tools in almost any case (the exception being snake training dogs, I'm not sure which is worse in that case). I've never heard of this crazy solution to kicking, and I hope I never come across one. Yuck. On a positive note, nice redesign on the site!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well that's a new one. I knew about kicking chains and have seen them used by the owner of one barn I boarded at. I thought it was cruel but there was nothing I could do about it. This takes it to another level with the power surge. Nice.

People are cruel and maybe some are just stupid and lazy. If you can just do a little research you may find out what's wrong with your horse and fix it before it gets to this shocking stage.

billie said...

Dougie, I'm not sure why people often miss the connection between happy horses and healthy horses. With very little invasive veterinary intervention needed.

I am beginning to have a lot of issue with the whole "be a doctor, make a lot of money" idea that is so prominent in our society.

(that's another tangent, so I won't go off on it further than that!)

billie said...

Kate, I can't imagine using this device for any reason, but as you say, especially when there are so many common issues that can result in this behavior.

It's a vicious circle in some ways. Very little turn-out plus stress equals ulcers plus torture devices equals more stress equals more behaviors that need addressing.

At some point the horses shut down. I think of dissociate identity disorders (previously known as multiple personality disorders) in people and one has to wonder when you come across horses that seem completely off the wall what it was that pushed them to that point.

billie said...

Arlene, lazy is probably one motivator for relying on something like this. Cruelty is another, as you say.

If you read the Quiet Stable page on how this product came to be developed, it goes into this being "better for the horse" - I think we might need to add delusional and bizarre rationalization to the list.

billie said...

Michelle, me too. It's just crazy-making to lock a prey animal up and then shock it for responding the only way it can to pain, fear, boredom, or righteous anger.

Thanks wrt the site - Blogger deserves the credit. I am grateful for this free service!

ponymaid said...

Billie.....Oh Lord. This way lies insanity. I've heard of humans using those electrified dog collars on horses' legs to stop them pawing and on their necks to stop cribbing. It's a case of treating symptoms and not trying to understand the underlying problem - which would be imprisonment,boredom and frustration.

billie said...

It boggles the mind, doesn't it? The idea that this device is the way to address the problem is... barbaric.

jme said...

that is horrible!

at first i thought, ah, that's not so bad - the horse kicks it and the rubber swings back and whacks him in the butt. not ideal, but hardly torture. i've heard of that sort of thing used before (though none of mine have ever needed anything like that... we usually try to find the SOURCE of the problem, not just treat the symptoms, so to speak.)

but... electrified? really? who would use such a thing? who would even dream it up but a sadist?

billie said...

LOL - see! It's so sadistic your horse-loving mind couldn't even IMAGINE it!

Marian said...

jme: It doesn't need to be a sadist. All it needs is a narcissist, someone who doesn't love - unconditionally, seeing and respecting the other, horse or whoever else, as the other s/he is - but needs the other to be nothing but an object to satisfy their ego's insatiable needs with. For instance the need to be the best, to win each and every show jumping contest you participate in.

I watched a clip on TV the other day featuring Tina Lund, internationally renowned showjumper. A day at her stable: 7am: the horses are fed, until noon: training, noon: the horses are fed again, until 6pm: training, 6pm: the horses are fed the last time, and the stable is closed for the day. No mention that the horses were turned out at any time of the day, and no sign of it either, a horse in each box as far as the camera caught the scene.

Some 10, 15 years back, when Tina and her sister Charlotte still were in the pony-business, they were coached by their father. He used to punish the girls each time they didn't win. And I mean win. Second place was not good enough. The safest way to have someone develop a narcissistic disturbance, if you ask me. And I wouldn't be surprized to find Kick Stop in Tina Lund's stable. - Quite revealing, btw, that at some point, when asked if it is possible to tell something about the state of mind a horse is in, Tina answers that this is not possible unless you've had daily contact with the particular horse for a long time in advance.

You can watch the clip here , scroll down and click on "6/4" (the one with the grey pony in front) at "Tirsdag med dyr".

billie said...

Marian, I don't know if you read any of the posts (or comments) where I said that I'm reminded of the Alice Miller books focusing on children and parenting practices.

It's uncanny how much of what I have read and studied and seen wrt children and the harsher end of the spectrum with parenting methods mirrors what I see with horses and their owner/riders these days.

Marian said...

Alice Miller comes to mind, yes. Violence begets violence. Tina Lund has repeatedly been accused of mistreatment, among other things she's been rapping her horses and spurred Lanthanid, her favorite horse (in her own words), at the Danish championships in 2005 so he bled from the wounds.

billie said...

Thanks for the red flag on Tina Lund.