"A horse is like a mirror, and it's reflecting what and who you are."

This is just a little diary of my horse life. I teach natural horsemanship and dressage. I am currently working on getting back to L4 Parelli after a car accident and surgery.

I suffered from a fear of failure, as things had not gone according to planned after my time off from my injuries. It had been an paralyzing disability (fear) but my healing is coming along nicely, and I hope to pass my level 4 before the end of 2011.

I don't know where I am going, but I am NOT lost!

I am now reviewing dvd's and books, and blogging my reviews. The link on the left in the categories (DVD Clinician Reviews)will take you straight to it. You will find links to the websites of all dvd clinicians I review and they are located on the left hand side bottom of page of the page. None of the clinicians or trainers I am reviewing, sponsor, endorse or authorize this site. For more info about them please click on thier link.

I hope you enjoy!

Savvy On,

I will be giving Savvy Star Ratings based soley on my opinion of it's value to a parelli student as such

***** Must own

**** Must watch

*** Worth watching, but you won't die without it

** Eh' take it with a grain of salt, you will have to filter alot

* OK, but there is better stuff out there to spend your time and money on

0 stars....skip it, it just isn't worth your time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Considering the Horse: #3 Unfixable Horses

Oh dear, this one educated me...BIG time.  Please read the whole thing, as the end will likely educate YOU big time too.  I guess with my success rescuing, rehabing and rehoming horses...via my success in the parelli program (and my previous knowlege) I just kinda assumed that all horses are 'fixable' by the right person.  That somewhere in the world there would someone with the right skill and personality to match each horse and could fix it, and that too many horses never have the good fortune of meeting that person.  Same theory on horses with hoof problems.  So this chapter and having just seen a few of Pete Ramey's dvds.....both Mark and Pete talk about the ones they couldn't save.  Both describe the account as VERY humbling.  We are not gods, no farrier or clinician is a god....we cannot save them all.  Some are just too far gone, and some the owner get in thier own way.  But some, a small number here, but some......no one can save.  He wrote some things in this chapter that literally made me cry, and all of this pain is man made. 

One of the causes is severe long time abuse....some horses just can't recover no matter how good you are.  you can help them, but you can't cure them.  Another is undiagnosed serious physical issues, such as ulcers.  But the one I had no idea about is in breeding.  I knew genetically you could have some huge problems......but I never really put much thought into it.  I know of MANY big time QH/Paint breeders who do what is called 'line breeding'....and have heard a few breeders state...."if the colt comes out great...I'm a genious....If it is messed up....I'm a moron".....

WTF???  What on earth could cause a person not to hear how incredibly stupid that is?  Maybe they were line bred?  I dunno....but the whole thing sounds REALLY stupid to me.  There are so many great horses to choose from, why on earth would you choose to breed in a way that could seriously comprimise your end product? One of the great phonoms that has always plagued me, is the breeding of Impressive lines.  So many horses have suffered the fate of death due to this human selfishness.  It is one of the reasons I will never buy or rescue a 'grade' quarter horse.  Too easy for someone to take a 'well bred' hypp positive horse to a 'sale' and not tell anyone of his breeding or his genetic problems, and just say it is 'grade'.  They buyer thinks they are getting a great deal, and when they get home, the horse has a siezure....hopefully not while riding, and is ultimately put down.  Pitifully sad and is a fault that only humans can claim. Selfish....and usually for the dream of some stupid ribon at some stupid show.  Thank god the AQHA has finally recognised this via the genetic testing discovered, and is no longer letting them be registered.  But it has not stopped people from breeding them.  IF the colt turns out hypp negative...they register it.....if not....it is sold as 'grade'.  I think they have now made a ruling that if one of the parents is hypp positive the foal CANNOT be registered, but dont quote me on that as I just don't follow QH news.  So to sum up, line breeding is only slightly less risky than in-breeding....which I hope we all know is BAD!!!

So apparently, what can happen is that horses just don't have the genetic make up, that makes them 'normal'.  They can display behavior that is highly dangerous to them selves for no apparent reasons. I have once seen a horse like this, but I don't believe it was the breeding, I believe it was from an accident that the foal suffered at one day old. The filly had run into the stall wall pretty hard head first and she was just never 'right'.  She had an infection that needed 3x daily care, and it took two of us to get the job done.  One to hold her, one to treat her.  One day I thought she was doing well, one arm wrapped around her chest, the other around her rump.  She was about 5dys old.  She leaped straight up and head butted me.  I saw stars and then everything went black....and then a thud as I hit the ground.  When I awoke, I was certain my nose was broken, though it wasn't, and I had two black eyes.  I became more than a little determined to help this filly. I spent several sessions a day with her for a month.  I did TTouch massages with her and every NH technique I knew of.  Every session ended very well, and every session began as though she had never seen me before.  it was the saddest thing I ever saw.  I was then, and still am, convinced something was not right with this filly and never would be.  Not long after that I wasn't working at that farm due to getting my furrent job with the government.  But I worried about her fate, and if I had to lay money on it.....I would bet she is no longer alive.  She, as with all TB's, was destined for the race track, and I can't imagine her 'fitting' in very well there, and if still alive, she would be about 6ys old now.  I think I will pay Donna a visit and see if she can remember this filly and knows what became of her.

Anyhoo, I need to quote something from the book because I swear it ripped my heart out.  It sent chills thru my whole body.  Through some of the things that have happened to me in my life, I can feel the pain of the horse in his story, and of her desperate cry for help.  Basically it is about this mare who was given to him by the owner with the stipulation he would try to help her before putting her down.  Her name was dusty....

"What I soon came to find out, was that Dusty had some problems that were bigger than both of us"
She was very unpredictable, some days she was great, others she would....."pull away, rearing and shaking her head violently".....after getting away, "she would spin and buck in place" and then "stop and look at me. The look of terror that was on her face slowly dissipated into one I can only call helplessness"

One day "at the end of the tantrum, she ran directly into the side of the nearby barn, scraping her head and shoulder before stopping.  To this day, it's hard to explain the feeling I got when she looked at me.  I swear that she was saying, "can you please help me?"......"I felt the mare was trying to tell me something"

"Less than week later, while grazing with another horse in a 5 acre pasture, the mare suddenly panicked for no apparent reason......she turned and began running as fast as she could.  When she came upon a 4 strand barbed wire fence that enclosed the pasture, she never slowed a beat and hit it full speed.
By the time I got there, she was standing quietly about a quarter mile away, being tended to by susie.  The injuries she sustained when she went thru the fence were so severe that there was no question that she'd have to be put down. I immediatly went to the truck and returned with my rifle.  As I approached, she nickered as if to say,

"There...that's what I've been trying to tell you all along.  Finally, now you understand"

One of my best friends has just such a horse.  She and I have talked at great lengths over the years about him, and last year he did something like this to himself.  He was retired in a 1000 acre pasture with a couple dozen other retirees, and for some reason also went thru a fence.  It cost her about a few thousand dollars to save his life, but I had let her know then, horses just don't do the things he does, and maybe she should seriouisly consider puttin him out of his mental misery.  He is over twenty now, and has been like this since she got him as a yearling! She has decided, if he ever again does ANY thing to himself, she will give the nod for the vet to grant is life long request.  Reading this chapter confirmed to me, that we have been right all along suspecting that he just isn't 'right' and never will be.  Is it fair to make a horse continue to suffer this way?

I hope all of you reading this will read the book and story in it's full and original form, as i just can't retype the whole thing for you and Mark of course tells it better than I do.

Please consider that when your horse acts out, he may not need more leadership, he may be trying to tell you something very important and as his friend you should at least try to figure out what it is.

Savvy On

Considering the horse: Mark Rashid 2nd edition with updates.

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