Saturday, July 02, 2011

more on Schmersal's reining footage

Three top veterinarians have responded with concern to footage of Craig Schmersal riding his horse in warm-up in the recent reining competition in Sweden, two of them former chairmen of the FEI Veterinary Committee.[backPid]=388&cHash=2a51608d5b245572a1624b925f10a0f2

The U.S. Humane Society's response: no comment.[backPid]=388&cHash=11e728977bb21d2d5b307e65a83241f5

Although HSUS took a strong stance against Patrik Kittel and the blue tongue video that horrified many people last year, I suppose it's harder to call a spade a spade when American so-called "cowboys" are doing the riding.

Shame on you, Humane Society.  And shame on the sponsors who are waiting on the FEI to crack down on Schmersal, which we all know is like waiting for molasses to slide down a brick wall.

Take a stand based on what your own gut tells you when you watch that video.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if two American riders took a stand in reining and decided to use their status in the sport to make a difference for horses? Stop the abusive methods, use real horsemanship, and treat the horses like the incredible partners they are. Then you'd not only win the trophies and the cash, you'd be heroes, too.


Barbara said...

HSUS is a despicable organization.

I think there will be changes from the FEI - they tend to move like glaciers. The comment I have heard about curling the horses up like a hedgehog has stuck with me and I use it often. I am not anti reining - I did reining, but it was back when the horses were allowed to carry themselves naturally. The slides were longer (without sliders) and the rollbacks were better. But you couldn't train a horse for competition and then put an incompetent amateur on it and win. This curling the horse up is about taking away his vision so that you can make lots of money by NOT taking the time to train your clients to ride. Just train the horse so he can't see and can't resist bad riding and send the bills to the ribbon collector.
It's not just in reining either - look at the 'headset' on hunters who should have their nose poked out. It's the way trainers make more money, at the cost of the horses.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I think in order to change the situations we have in competition now a lot of things must happen. Sponsors need to stop sponsoring abusers, judges need to stop rewarding abusive riding practices, trainers need to stop using abusive methods to train a horse quickly for the ribbons and the glory. I also think one of the most important things that needs to happen is the clients/riders must put their foot down and refuse to have themselves or their horses trained in questionable methods.

It may take a domino effect but someone's got to start tipping the domino's for a run in the horses favor. Unfortunately, it should start at the top which is highly unlikely. Perhaps the 'little people' could make it happen if they refuse to have their horses ridden or trained by people who are less than admirable.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

The humane society has been less than (not at all) helpful with the legislative struggle to end transporting of horses to slaughter - my personal experience with the organization.

Too much politics / money raising and not enough action...

billie said...

Barbara, thanks for the insights. I don't know much about reining, for sure, but I do know when something looks like crap. It's the reining equivalent of the dressage/rollkur debacle. Gives a bad name to all who engage in the discipline from a genuine place.

billie said...

A, agree totally.

billie said...

C, I believe they did speak out against rollkur and the blue tongue incident, but of course that involved another country so it was not politically difficult to do.