Are there any equestrian disciplines you dislike/disagree with?

How often do you hunt a season?


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Safina

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None so long as the horses welfare remains paramount. I also prefer not to tar a whole sport/discipline following bad media* reports from one or two representatives
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*I've never met anyone who could not give me anything other than hearsay tales about the usual disliked disciplines (polo, racing & showing spring to mind)
 

MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
ps - do you want a bowl to go with that wooden spoon
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[/ QUOTE ]

yes, please...if I stir much harder it might slop on the floor!
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From my POV, I dislike Polo immensely; I'm not going to go into a description of why I think it is cruel, but I have seen enough to know I will never, ever support the sport.

That said, Jilly Cooper's 'Polo' is a stunning book....
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amandathepanda

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I disagree with flat racing as they break horses in when they are barely 12 months old to get them ready to go on the track at 2. If they could leave them until they were at least 3 I wouldn't have a problem with this sport.

i've worked a polo groom and seen how it is from the inside. Horses get turfed out into the field over winter without rugs, then dragged back in for the summer & have heavy winter weight rugs piled on them. The polo players often have little respect for their horses and jab them in the mouth with gags etc, there is equally as much if not more horse wastage as racing due to fratures and tendon issues and I don't like seeing polo ponies being whacked with polo sticks (admittedly unitentionally most of the time). What really upset me as was the reason I left an egnlish polo yard was when one of the polo ponies got kicked and I wasn't allowed to call the vet - 3 days later they gave only to discover the poor mare had been suffereing with an open frature - which was getting infected after 2 days without anti-biotics. Argentinean polo players more often than not are just damn cruel. I'm now waiting for people to start shouting at me!!!

And yes, I loved Jilly Coopers Polo too! But Jilly's main characters all loved their horses so I don't think they count
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MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
I disagree with flat racing as they break horses in when they are barely 12 months old to get them ready to go on the track at 2. If they could leave them until they were at least 3 I wouldn't have a problem with this sport.

i've worked a polo groom and seen how it is from the inside. Horses get turfed out into the field over winter without rugs, then dragged back in for the summer & have heavy winter weight rugs piled on them. The polo players often have little respect for their horses and jab them in the mouth with gags etc, there is equally as much if not horse wastage as racing due to fratures and tendon issues and I don't like seeing polo ponies being whacked with polo sticks (admittedly unitentionally most of the time). What really upset me as was the reason I left an egnlish polo yard was when one of the polo ponies got kicked and I wasn't allowed to call the vet - 3 days later they gave onlyt o discover the poor mare had been suffereing with an open frature - which was getting infected after 2 days without anti-biotics. Argentinean polo players more often than not are just damn cruel. I'm now waiting for people to start shouting at me!!!

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I'm certainly not going to shout at you - I share your view entirely, and anyone who tries to claim that the situation is not that bad has obviously not had the traumatic experiences you have!
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siennamum

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I wholeheartedly agree and I'm sure it will be contentious, but I hate seeing pictures in H&H etc of big men hauling ponies about with absolutely ferocious bits. Don't like it, though I'm sure plenty are treated wondefully.
I agree about flat recing and think it's a great shame there aren't more older horses racing, as soon as they are 4 they seem to go on the scrap heap if they don't do to stud or jump.
 

jenbleep

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i dont dislike any disciplines.......as long as the horses in question are healthy!

i dont like showing......unless its hunter classes (spesh working hunter!) or if i know someone who is competing. i find it a bit boring. i used to love it, (i used to ride out with a show rider, and groom for her - general dogsbody) but not anymore. local level is ok, but when there are 30 horses in a show it gets a bit tedious!
 

soph21

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Whatever floats your boat!!
I enjoy showing but love watching SJ, XC and Dressage but i cant really enjoy it physically doing it myself if that makes sense?!
 

cazza

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MizElz and Panda2007 how about you get your bums over to our polo yard, we breed and play as well. Not all polo yards are the same! I could say a lot about SJ yards but I know as in all sports you get one that is not run properly and then it brings the whole sport down. Our ponies come into work in Feb/March time to start off with walk hacks, so by the time we get to April/May they are then fit to play. Then again in September they are let down slowly so by October they are then out in the field 24/7 allowed to be horses again and are not touched other than daily checks, feeding, worming and having their feet done. This way we have a very happy balanced polo pony that actually want's to work. Not all polo players jab their horses in the mouths and they are ridden with two reigns not just a reign on the gag. It is very rare a polo pony is "Whacked with a polo stick" as this will make it stick shy and no good for playing on. You guys are more than welcome to come down and visit me and see how we treat our horses so you can see that not all "POLO" people are cruel, uncaring and can't ride!
 

Stoxx

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As much as there are no disciplines that I completely disagree with, there are certain aspects to a few that I don't like.
Having been brought up around racing, the fact that they are raced so young never occurred to me until I got older. This is obviously the reason so many retire due to injury - too much stress at a young age. However I would like to add that there are a few good guys in racing. I know one particularly good owner, who when the horse has done him proud he rehomes them to people that will reschool them and give them hope in another life. And always visits/ stays in contact. A proper horse person rather than your average racehorse owner that expects the horse to behave like a machine!
 

MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
MizElz and Panda2007 how about you get your bums over to our polo yard, we breed and play as well. Not all polo yards are the same! I could say a lot about SJ yards but I know as in all sports you get one that is not run properly and then it brings the whole sport down. Our ponies come into work in Feb/March time to start off with walk hacks, so by the time we get to April/May they are then fit to play. Then again in September they are let down slowly so by October they are then out in the field 24/7 allowed to be horses again and are not touched other than daily checks, feeding, worming and having their feet done. This way we have a very happy balanced polo pony that actually want's to work. Not all polo players jab their horses in the mouths and they are ridden with two reigns not just a reign on the gag. It is very rare a polo pony is "Whacked with a polo stick" as this will make it stick shy and no good for playing on. You guys are more than welcome to come down and visit me and see how we treat our horses so you can see that not all "POLO" people are cruel, uncaring and can't ride!

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I don't wish to tar anyone with the same brush; your yard sounds lovely, Cazza, and I'm sorry if I caused you any offence. It's one of those things that I think you don't forget a bad experience, no matter how much that is counteracted by good. I too know of some awful SJ yards and practices, which, if I am honest, have altered my opinion of that sport.
I dont think it is purely the treatment of polo ponies that I find hard to agree with - it's the principles of the game. The rough'n'tumble environment and relentlessness. Nothing is going to change my opinion on that, but as I say, your yard sounds lovely, and I mean no-one involved in polo any personal offence!
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amandathepanda

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Cazza, I don't dispute the fact that there are some polo people out there who really do care about their horses, some people that do understand how to use double reins and don't jab the ponies in the mouth. I have seen how Prince Charles grooms looked after his ponies at matches and they were fantastic. All three princes ride beautifully and I haven't seen them sock their ponies in the mouth. What I dislike are the people who only ride because they are playing polo, they have no interest in the horses themselves as they are just the means to which they play polo, as a result these people are usually bad riders that sadly do haul their horses around by their mouths or aren't so careful with their polo sticks.

I am sure you look after your polo ponies beautifully and they get ridden well, I have simply commented on what I have seen at so called professional polo matches whilst I was working as a polo groom.
 

Zebedee

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So your objections to polo are more to do with some of the people involved with the game rather than to the sport itself?
 

trundle

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Talk about stirring, of course slagging off any discipline on the basis of one bad experience is going to upset people who love that sport.

Coming from YOU, MizElz, who spends a lot of time whining aobut how people judge you endlessly on the basis of one rather juvenile post, I would have thought you'd know a bit more about the folly of snap decisions.

I agree with safina - I like all horse sports, as long as the horse's welfare remains paramount. Polo ponies are hardly disposable commodities, they are extremely valuable animals and as such, they get treated very well. I suspect the people you encountered were just morons, sadly they are not exclusive to the polo world.

Jilly Cooper writes shite books.
 

cazza

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I will agree to disagree with you, if the horse didn't want to play it won't and since we breed polo ponies yes there are some that go on to do different jobs as they don't enjoy the game, the ones that do actually chase the ball all by themselves you just need to stay on board. There are so many rules to polo that the horse is very well covered to keep it safe on the pitch. Also a horse is a herd animal which if watched in the field they do barge each other out the way and play, polo just uses the horses natural instincts within the game. If you have a dominant mare in the field it is usually one of the better one's on the pitch. All the polo matches I have been to (and I've been to loads, I have never seen any bad treatment of the ponies in the lines at all). At least in polo there is a vet standing on the side of the pitch at all times ready incase there is a problem. How often do you see that at a SJ comp or at Dressage. It think that in itself shows that within the polo community there is the most utmost respect for the horse and it's wellbeing.
I know there are some people who are not sympathetic towards their horses and treat them as machines but I think these people are being dealt with.
 

MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
Talk about stirring, of course slagging off any discipline on the basis of one bad experience is going to upset people who love that sport.

Coming from YOU, MizElz, who spends a lot of time whining aobut how people judge you endlessly on the basis of one rather juvenile post, I would have thought you'd know a bit more about the folly of snap decisions.

I agree with safina - I like all horse sports, as long as the horse's welfare remains paramount. Polo ponies are hardly disposable commodities, they are extremely valuable animals and as such, they get treated very well. I suspect the people you encountered were just morons, sadly they are not exclusive to the polo world.

Jilly Cooper writes shite books.

[/ QUOTE ]

Grow up, Trundle. This isnt a thread for 'slagging off' anybody or anything; I know it may be controversial, but apart from your few immature comments, it has been a good discursive thread so far. Nobody has taken offence at anything, everyone has been willing to discuss their views and standing on the matter.
 

amandathepanda

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If it is played fairly with consideration for the horses, then I have no objection in principle to polo. Unfortunately I have seen many people ride in a way that can only be considered as cruel. I don't dispute that other disciplines have people that are cruel to their horses - we have all seen the rollkur debate regarding a certain junior german team member with the pony's nose practically touching its chest and SJ & eventing aren't immune either, however polo is the one sport that I have seen regular occurences of people being extremely rough with their horses (both on and off the polo ground) where it seems to be accepted as the normal way in which to treat polo ponies. If people did in dressage or SJ what seems to be acceptable in polo, they would be made outcasts. And yes, I know that I am generalising and no, I don't mean to cause offence to the people out there who play polo who genuinely DO care about their polo ponies and I know there are some out there! (waiting for more shouting now!!!)
 

cazza

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Panda2007, if you have such issues with Polo and the people treating their horses badly and you have as you said worked on a polo yard then you will know you can complain to the HPA about the said person, they will investigate and will also suspend the player pending investigation. Obviously you didn't either know this and haven't spent as much time in the industry as most of us.
 

seche

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I had the pleasure of working with some of the best "horse men" on earth in New Zealand, the polo ponies weren’t touched till they were 3, and were broken with the utmost kindness and patience(mainly via what i used to think was hokuspokus "natural horsemanship" in a round yard away from everyone else. )
They lived out all yr round - and yes they were "nude" over there winter but winter is cold YES but in my experience - rarely wet - they were fed up to the gunnels and looked to be honest really brilliant. the older high goals were in rugs at night. They all loved people - played to the crowd and were even easy to catch - we used to tie them to the back of a large quad - (recipe for disaster i hear you say) but they all were settled and well behaved even in a field of 20!!!
Ones that didn’t want to play polo we sold onto to pony club kids and farms - where they dint need to jump/race etc of course all good loving homes. one had a fantastic jump and is now eventing with a young man up too novice!
We sometimes got ones in off the track (flat racing) that yes looked appalling - rainscald / lean / no mouths and wild etc etc - some came right - others were too mentally defected - so were PTS, kindest and safest for all involved but at least they had the chance!
In Australia I was privileged to work at a ranch 2nd biggest to Ellerston (kerry packers place) 400 ponies - all lived” rough" on the homestead - and yes it was very much the 'live stock/dead stock' attitude, and yeah they were rougher with their ponies, but not unkind. (no jilly cooper reverse teaching techniques!!Though I suspect it does happen in SA) They were much hardier and more "feral" than the lot in NZ - who are some of the best looked after and performance horses i have come across.
I adore NH racing - I know and understand how much the lads and lasses love their string and its always the worst thing on earth to go racing and come back with one less on the lorry - but just as many accidents happen in Flat racing - on gallops, 2yr olds bones are still soft etc - and at the end of the day 8 stone or 11 stone of man is never ever going to make 500 KGs . half a tonn of racehorse do something it doesnt want too - regardless how much you beat whip spur thrash it. ive met people who have tried. Those horses either now have different jobs, or are grazing in the sky.
 

Tia

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No I don't have any issues with any discipline providing the animals are not cruelly treated. Of course my definition of "cruel" may well be quite different from some of HHO peoples opinions.
 

cazza

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MizElz I think you should come up and visit me and come to a couple of arena polo matches with me and see for yourself. The door is open and you are most welcome, just because I don't agree with you on some of your points doesn't mean that I don't like you as a person. I do think sometimes you can post some contreversial points which will tend to get you a back bite but then these things happen I would just advise maybe agree to disagree. I have seen far worse treatment of a horse/pony at local shows yet we still all go. I just think that pointing out any particular horse sport in general when horse ownership within the poplulation is a minority is a rediculous thing to do and does not hold our particulary leisure/pasttime/job a very adult or progressive way to look at things.
 

SJFAN

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I'm in complete agreement with you concerning flat racing because of the physical and mental immaturity of the horses which race as 2 and 3 year-olds, though TBs do mature physically more quickly than other breeds. I'd not thought about polo, only ever having seen indoor polo demonstrated at shows.

As others have commented, there are good and bad owners, trainers and riders in all the disciplines, and of course in the non-sports world e.g. animals with very overgrown hooves, laminitis etc.
 

MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
MizElz I think you should come up and visit me and come to a couple of arena polo matches with me and see for yourself. The door is open and you are most welcome, just because I don't agree with you on some of your points doesn't mean that I don't like you as a person. I do think sometimes you can post some contreversial points which will tend to get you a back bite but then these things happen I would just advise maybe agree to disagree. I have seen far worse treatment of a horse/pony at local shows yet we still all go. I just think that pointing out any particular horse sport in general when horse ownership within the poplulation is a minority is a rediculous thing to do and does not hold our particulary leisure/pasttime/job a very adult or progressive way to look at things.

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Cazza, again, I'm sorry if I have upset you in any way; however I'm a little confused about your above post; I thought we had already agreed to disagree? I'm not saying by any means that polo players/trainers/breeders are cruel; in fact, far from it. Some SJers have the finger pointed at them for cruelty - rapping, electric spurs, whipping etc. The dressage world is currently 'dealing' with the issue of rollkur. Racing will ALWAYS be controversial in various ways. But just because each discipline has areas where opinions may vary doesnt mean that one should label an entire sport as 'cruel'. I wouldnt honestly go as far as to say I think Polo is cruel, I just don't like or appreciate the concepts. In the same way, I am against Boxing in the human world!
I havent written this thread so that anyone is made to feel bad about what they do, believe or think - again, far from it! We all do things that others find controversial in some way, and I know I for one feel that this has actually been a very mature, worthwhile and interesting discussion!
 

MizElz

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[ QUOTE ]
Since "western" riding isn't on your list - what do people think of it?
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I dont have a problem with it!
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Though I tried it this summer and HATED it! Probably something to do with a 300 year old saddle (well, it looked it, anyway!) and the fact I was riding a shire x who was more shire than anything else!
 

cazza

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Hi Christiamas, I have no problem with Western as all of our polo ponies are trained western style. The only difference is all of ours are in snaffles.

MizElz I did agree to disagree but I find it difficult that you are so set in your ways but dont take an offer of seeing things from a first hand experience. I will always have an open mind if I disagree with something and give someone the benefit of the doubt to convince me otherwise. Obviously I was wrong and have to admit that there are far more people out there with tunnel vision. I am saying this as by the way the thread has gone it seems to be that the majority of polo people can't or don't, either care for their horses properly and or can't ride. Well I can assure you that infact it is the minority and it might be nice to see it from a different view. I have never booted one in the gut, but you have, and I don't tar every other rider out there with the same brush. As you said it was a one off and at the time you didn't know any different, but had I been a witness to your actions at the time I may then presume that is a way all horse people treated their animals and would not like it. So do you see where I am coming from.
 
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