Is horse showing fine with you?
March 6, 2008 2:00pm CST
Some people view showing horses as animal abuse, but others find it to just be a sport. I have friends who show their horses and have no problem with it at all. While others I know think it is wrong to put aniamls on display for peoples entertanment. I was wanted to know how everyone else felt about it. Do you think it is wrong or ok? Also can you explaine why you feel this way?
• United States
7 Mar 08
Showing horses is not abuse. I am not a trainer or breeder but I have seen horses that love being in the ring. You can see their personality change the minute they go through the gate. They perk up and seem to say "look at me". I once had a horse that was a jumper and he loved to jump so much that if I could not ride him for a day or two would turn him out in the arena and he would actually run, buck, and go over some of the jumps himself. I do have to say that I don't agree with the TWH shows due to the way they train them to get the horses to pick up their feet. That I consider abuse. I have a walker and she is a dream to ride but her gait is natural, not the high stepping one you see in the shows. It seems that some people have to have something to complain about and animal lovers really go overboard about abuse. I live in an area where there are a lot of Amish and I can't tell you how many times I hear people complain about how the Amish treat their animals, and yes, some of them don't treat them as they should but most of them do. There is good and bad in everything such as how the Amish treat their horses and how show people treat their horses but one should not judge a whole class of people by just a few.
6 Mar 08
Believe it or not, many horses love to show! I am a horse breeder and many of my horses show - it is what they are bred to do. My stallion is a jumper and jumping is in his blood. There is nothing he enjoys more than leaping over obstacles as he makes his way around the ring (well, he enjoys pleasure rides and going swimming too *LOL* but jumping is still his passion). Every time the horse trailer pulls out the driveway without him he races to the gate calling because he wants to be on it. If his rider doesn't work him for a couple of days he actually sulks. As long as a horse is treated humanely and enjoys the discipline it is being trained it I don't see a problem with showing horses. Horses have been bred for riding/driving/showing for so many years that the very thought of them going back to the wild state where they do nothing is unthinkable. Humans are such a part of their lives tht without us they wouldn't survive.
• United States
11 May 08
Why would it be abusive? A horse show is just a way for a horse to have fun and show off. Of course, not all horses and enjoy, and not all are born to show. But many do love to show, and it is a good way to learn what people think of you as a rider or what they think of your horse. Every show will help a horse a rider improve.
• United States
21 Mar 08
Excellent discussion here! I have to agree with Enigma. I wouldn't have shown horses for 14 years if my horses didn't like it, or if I felt like it was abuse. My horses always enjoyed showing and would have periods of both nervousness and excitement, just like me. But like humans, horses have their own individual personalities and therefore different preferences for what they like to do. I had one horse, a Connemara/Arab who loved English Equitation and won a lot of shows because she was so calm and collected. My Thoroughbred, on the other hand, hated arena work, and thus did not do well at Dressage when I switched to 3-day. He did, however, absolutely love the cross-country portion of the trials, though could be a little reckless at stadium-jumping. You could just tell that the sure freedom of the sport and power with which he could move lifted his spirits and truly made him happy. As far as it being cruel to put horses on display, the riders are on display as much as the horses, though more people notice the horses because they're so beautiful. Most mistakes that horses make are because of something the rider did wrong, though this is not always the case. Horse and rider have to work as a team, and how well they work together and communicate with each other will determine a great deal of their future in an equine sport. I love my horses dearly and would never make them do anything that they didn't want to do. One of my horses couldn't compete because it was too emotionally trying for him, and that was fine. I didn't force him to. He ended up being the perfect trail horse for a nextdoor neighbor instead. There is so much that goes into horse riding that it can be looked at as abusive if a horse has a medical condition or something and is being forced to perform. But horses are a lot like people when it comes to conveying their broad range of emotions, and many, many of them like a good competition as much as their human counterparts. We have but only to listen to hear what they're saying. Ride on!
• United States
11 Mar 08
I love watching people show their horses. Its something to be proud of. It lets you know how dedicated people are to their horses and how much time they have put into training them. I guess you just have to have the love for the horse to understand the concept of a show horse.