Friday, November 27, 2009

Brooke Animal Hospital

Firstly, visit the Brooke Animal Hospital website in English. Great cause!

Secondly, how do you like the new design? Once I get some newer pictures those will be included too!

Now, the last posting went on to be a mini-discussion of modern dressage, because sadly Mythilus was deeply submerged in those methods. I am dissapointed. But now that I think about it, also with help of Jolanda Adelaar, in the broad spectrum of equine abuse and neglect, these $20K horses subject to such training methods have it better off than most other abused and neglected horses. My comment from the last post, edited:

My theory behind all of this is "Time is money." If it takes longer for a horse to be properly trained that means the owners of the horse will be spending more money getting the horse to where he should be before he can compete, whereas it's cheaper for the horse to be shoddily trained because it's quicker and thus cheaper.

But hey, it looks flashier to the uneducated eye (which is a lot of eyes)! It's quicker to teach the horse to look flashy than it is learn how to properly use its body and become a better and more beautiful athlete.

But I have to agree with the Behind the Bit author: though the practices seen in modern dressage are not usually correct nor good for the horse, in comparison to horse cruelty in general, these horses have it much better off than say, and overworked and neglected pack horse in Peru or a emaciated horse living in a junk yard in the back of somebody's trailer lot in Bodunkville, USA.

Almost all of these dressage horses are 20K+ horses who live in very lovely facilities and thousands of dollars poured into their care. They compete internationally and live in absolutely stunning conditions. (Heated barns and misting fans and padded stalls on air trips, to name a few.) True, they are usually subject to performance enhancing drugs and abusive training methods (WHICH ARE WRONG!) but at the end of the day they get fed with the finest quality grain and hay. Oh, and again in the morning and at noon. Oh, and they are groomed spotless. Most abused horses are far from "not as fortunate."

Rollkur and some other practices in modern dressage (a lot of upper level riders I've seen, almost always the ones not making bukoo$ of money and being shown on TV, actually ride pretty nice but that is ALL another blog post for another day folks) are wrong, very wrong, and give the sport a bad name. But in the broad spectrum of horse abuse, sadly, it doesn't top my list. But because I'm no longer involved heavily in the horse rehab world, then I can devote my attention to people who call themselves "equestrians" and their "modern methods". Yeah, here's to you, fakers :)

I still love dressage. I won't be shaken off yet, if ever. When I become a vet and have a professional career of treating messed-up horses backing me up, I will become the horse right advocate from hell and hopefully help to stop some of this mayhem and foolishness. Needless shoeing, rollkur, slaughter, the lot of it!

Once again, let's look at it this way: at least Mythilus was well-fed for his entire life, not underfed and worked to death by poor and/or misinformed owners (well, that's subject to view hehe). Here is a wonderful group endorsed by a favorite equestrian of mine, Jolanda Adelaar, called Brooke Animal Hospital who help owners care for their animals in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world. Great cause, and something I would love to help out with as a vet in the future. The video is all in Dutch (I'm learning :D ) but you can get the idea. GRAPHIC IMAGES // I WAS ON THE VERGE OF TEARS!


  1. Oh, yes, I agree that dressage horses are quite pampered when they are "off duty". Of course, a lot of them don't get enough turnout in the name of "He could hurt himself running around, and he's worth too much to risk that". I feel bad for horses that don't get to be horses, and I also feel bad when I see humans (clueless novices and big name riders alike) ruining what could be a very special relationship between horse and rider. But yes, it is not the evil that slaughter is, or serious neglect. It is just unfortunate that the sport has strayed so far from what it ought to be. Good dressage is not a "spectacle". It can (and should) be absolutely beautiful, but low-key.

    Wanted to add that I love the new layout. Very nice.

    Off to go update my blog...

  2. Exactly, it's not a spectacle!! It's classy, cool, calm, and collected, not "let's see whose horse can kick itself in the head at the extended trot first!"

    Thank you for commenting.


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