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View Full Version : Horses LIKE Barrel-Racing???



Owlish
Apr 3rd, 2011, 03:15 PM
For those of you who don't know, barrel-racing is a sport in which there are three or so barrels placed out into a rodeo arena, and a horse and rider pair shoot out and wind around those barrels before shooting back into the gate - and all of this is done as fast as possible.
While I can agree that running is in a horse's nature, I cannot agree with the omni who suggested that horses like this stupid sport. Who the hell would like to be ridden, bit cutting the mouth, head being yanked around, kicked in the sides, and being hit with a rope so that one would go faster???
:mad:
Anyway, the back-story behind this is: I went to the South Texas State Fair yesterday, wasted a bunch of money on stupid rides, followed my friends into a building, and what did I discover? A rodeo arena. And no one made us pay to get in, which meant the cost was included in the entrance fee to the fair. I was quite furious. I still am.
So anyway, my friends and boyfriend decide to go in and sit down and drag me along with them, and I sit there for about forty-five minutes in horror. I have seen rodeos before, but that was when I was detached and with blinders. It's much different seeing it as a vegan. I posted a picture on Facebook of some horses crowded in an enclosure so small, that if one wants to move, they all have to.

I wrote: "The calf-roping was awful to watch, and so was the barrel-racing, but that was mostly painful for other reasons. And I totally cheered for the bulls and not the cowboys. I've become a true vegan. XD"

She wrote: "Without commenting on anything else...horses generally *like* barrel-racing, just like dogs enjoy agility course training and human athletes compete in sports that they enjoy."

I wanted to say, how the hell do you know horses like barrel-racing? :mad::mad::mad:

Assaye
Apr 3rd, 2011, 05:41 PM
I think some horses do like these 'high octane' sports. They get that feeling of adrenaline in the same way that people do. However, the fact that it is possible to have a horse that loves to race, run, spin, etc even at the bidding of a human, and because it is possible to ride a horse in a kind manner that observes the moods and needs of a horse (or as kind as possible given that they are still being ridden) and because it is possible that the horse is in the right mood on the day of the rodeo (etc) doesn't make the whole sport defendable. Horses will generally 'accept their lot in life' and many have freedom beaten out of them, especially in the equine sports industry where it's all about performance, money, sponsors, etc and not about what the horses enjoy or want.

I hope this is not taken to defend rodeos. I do think that the claim that horses hate being ridden or worked is false, simply because it over-humanises them and ignores the wealth of evidence of individual horses who (even if it is a product of acceptance) do enjoy being ridden, worked and even competed. I think what people miss is the fact that most horses are effectively beaten into submission when it comes to equine sports and even if some individuals actually like what they are doing, that doesn't excuse the practice.

It's easy to say "how do we know" that some horses like to be worked, but how do we know that horses have minds at all or that they don't like certain things? Anyone who has been around horses for a long time starts to know these things, in the same way that someone who lives with cats starts to know whether their cats like to be picked up or not.

As I said, I'm not defending rodeos and other equine sports. The conditions and risks involved are not acceptable, and I'm open to the idea that even those horses who like to be trained and ridden do so because they've been conditioned to accept that treatment. I have my own horses and although I don't live with and ride them at the moment (as I am away at university), I have to think hard about what I want to do with them when I get home. My parents pay for them and only want to keep them around if they're 'being used'. I may have to choose between riding them or losing them. If I lose them, they'll be sold to someone who wants to ride them. If we keep them, we can handle their retirement as well and make sure they are looked after in their old age. Another owner might just choose to have them put down once they can't be ridden anymore.

As for calf roping . . . that makes me want to be sick.

Owlish
Apr 3rd, 2011, 06:10 PM
I think some horses do like these 'high octane' sports. They get that feeling of adrenaline in the same way that people do. However, the fact that it is possible to have a horse that loves to race, run, spin, etc even at the bidding of a human, and because it is possible to ride a horse in a kind manner that observes the moods and needs of a horse (or as kind as possible given that they are still being ridden) and because it is possible that the horse is in the right mood on the day of the rodeo (etc) doesn't make the whole sport defendable. Horses will generally 'accept their lot in life' and many have freedom beaten out of them, especially in the equine sports industry where it's all about performance, money, sponsors, etc and not about what the horses enjoy or want.

I hope this is not taken to defend rodeos. I do think that the claim that horses hate being ridden or worked is false, simply because it over-humanises them and ignores the wealth of evidence of individual horses who (even if it is a product of acceptance) do enjoy being ridden, worked and even competed. I think what people miss is the fact that most horses are effectively beaten into submission when it comes to equine sports and even if some individuals actually like what they are doing, that doesn't excuse the practice.

It's easy to say "how do we know" that some horses like to be worked, but how do we know that horses have minds at all or that they don't like certain things? Anyone who has been around horses for a long time starts to know these things, in the same way that someone who lives with cats starts to know whether their cats like to be picked up or not.

As I said, I'm not defending rodeos and other equine sports. The conditions and risks involved are not acceptable, and I'm open to the idea that even those horses who like to be trained and ridden do so because they've been conditioned to accept that treatment. I have my own horses and although I don't live with and ride them at the moment (as I am away at university), I have to think hard about what I want to do with them when I get home. My parents pay for them and only want to keep them around if they're 'being used'. I may have to choose between riding them or losing them. If I lose them, they'll be sold to someone who wants to ride them. If we keep them, we can handle their retirement as well and make sure they are looked after in their old age. Another owner might just choose to have them put down once they can't be ridden anymore.

As for calf roping . . . that makes me want to be sick.


I've ridden horses too and I've enjoyed myself quite a bit doing it. I haven't ridden since I've been vegan (haven't had the chance/been on the fence about it), and I wouldn't buy a horse or pay to ride, but my parents have horses that never get any exercise. They have about two acres to roam, and a little more if my parents close the front gate and let them go around the house, but if I had an opportunity to take them out for a ride I probably would. I like to think I can ride well enough to not hurt the horse - I'm usually pretty good about letting them have their heads (and of course, spurs are completely out of the question). I've never ridden a horse with a hackamore, but I think that would be the best alternative to the bit - unless one could make it work out with a halter.

I kind of equivocate riding a horse (for exercise purposes only) to walking with a dog. I'm still on the fence about all horse-riding though. Any advice?

I don't approve of riding for money, obviously.

And the calf roping - oh my God. I was seriously holding back tears and about to leave - just completely leave my friends/boyfriend there, but then the calves started to get away from the ropers. The last four calves didn't get caught. I was completely cheering (inwardly) for the babies.

Also we found a bunch of show animals on another part of the fair grounds and I was very tempted to free them. I didn't, because I'm scared to be sued, and also there was no fence or gate to block the animals from going to the main grounds - where there are loud noises, whirly rides, and small children. 600lb animals + fear = very bad situation for crowds.

Didn't wanna kill anyone. O_O

Andy_T
Apr 3rd, 2011, 09:30 PM
I was told that horses are perfectly capable of running around by themselves whithout 150 lb of human weight on their back ;-)

Best regards,
Andy

Assaye
Apr 3rd, 2011, 09:31 PM
Indeed. That doesn't mean some horses don't enjoy being ridden, though.

Mymblesdaughter
Apr 3rd, 2011, 10:00 PM
My sister has three horses two of them she rescued after their owners found them too difficult and were going to have them put down. She uses a system called Parelli and it does sound like a good way to train horses, she rides with a bitless bridle and doesn't shoe the horses as it's not necessary now horses are ridden so little. She often asks me to ride with her but I'm not sure I like the idea, when I've ridden in the past I've always felt a bit cruel.

LuvAllLife
Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:00 PM
I have been involved with horses for 20 years, having owned horses for 12 years. I have competed in barrel racing, among other 'rodeo' sports.

First let me say I do not advocate rodeo. The last one I was at, 3 years ago, one of the bucking horses came out intact and finshed with a broken hind leg. The rodeo I was at years before that one; the horses feet were severely neglected, the rodeo owners claimed this was normal for bucking horses as it makes them buck higher (thats a load of BS. If they are bucking higher it's always due to pain).

As with most examples of domesticated animals, horses more or less can 'enjoy' their work based on one thing: The person who has bought them. I would say that it is a rare thing for a horse owner to have a truly harmonious relationship with their horse. Horses respond to pressure, and when done correctly trainig can mimic how they communicate with each other naturally.

Anyway, back to the point: Barrel Racing. In my experiance, most horses just run their hearts out to avoid the jab of a spur and the sting of an over-under (like a long whip). I have seen horses that have to be dragged into the start gate. I always swore, if my horse EVER refused to enter the start gate, we were done. He would be telling me 'NO!'.

I confess I did not start out with such compassion and respect for my horse. I grew up around whips, spurs, harsh bits. Before my horse passed away last year, he wore a bitless bridle and never felt a spur on his side. But it was process to break away from what was considered normal useage of horses.

I think it is possible for horses to be quite content with barrel racing if trained compassinately, and many do look forward to going for a ride (I had an Arabian who would coming trotting up to me in the field when he saw I had the halter and lead rope). Unfortunately, I think too many horses are subjected to intense and often cruel methods of training. Please note this applys to all disciplines. Dressage, Jumping, Western Pleasure, Saddleseat, Reining... there are countless horses suffering on the dark side of all these sports.

Assaye
Apr 3rd, 2011, 11:00 PM
Aye, I've considered Parelli and similar systems with my own horses. We ride the mare in a bitless bridle called a hackamore and she only has shoes on her front feet because she has a medical condition that requires the extra structure shoes give. I want to introduce the gelding to a hackamore if I carry on riding and he is also totally unshod, using instead natural barefoot trimming techniques to keep his feet healthy.

Owlish
Apr 4th, 2011, 02:05 AM
I think everyone who has ever been around/grew up with horses kind of feels like I do. I love riding, but I also don't want to make the horse do anything against his/her will.
This might start needing to belong in the "Animals" section. :meow:

Clueless Git
Apr 9th, 2011, 04:44 AM
I was told that horses are perfectly capable of running around by themselves whithout 150 lb of human weight on their back ;-)

Best regards,
Andy

^ lol

And slightly linked to the OP in as much as it is to do with the bizarre minds of the horsey people; A freind at the place I work from was telling me that one his horsey pals paid over 2000 each for two of her horses to go and watch some horsey event that they werent going to compete in.

The icing on the cake was the bit where he was explaining how no one at the stables he goes to had the foggiest idea at all why anyone would think that was weird.