Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mugwump chronicles

I am a horse trainer. I am jaded, wind burned, mentally fried and broke. My skin looks like an old boot, and my butt, although muscled, can easily accommodate a 16 inch cutter. Every day I remind myself more and more of Ma in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, The Yearling. Big, solid, slow and steady, plodding through every day, head down, continually in motion.
As the years go by I find myself on the side of the horse more often, and on the side of the owner less. I hate what we do to horses in order to meet industry standards. I can't make myself push the babies hard enough to be showable by three. I have seen so many mentally and physically crippled horses. All of them beautiful, well bred, and willing. I can't tell you, (oops I guess I am) how many are left shattered; to stand abandoned in a back pen somewhere until they're shipped off to a sale.
On the other hand, I have no time for bleeding heart horse collectors that call themselves rescuers. Horses that are injured, dangerous, or have health issues that can never be overcome and are kept jammed in stripped lots with no shelter, little food, are no better off than if they did end up at a killers. "Rehoming" these animals to good hearted but uneducated people only ends up in disaster for the horse and heart break for the people who own it.
Believe me, there are true rescuers out there that are my heros. My hat is off to them.
I don't have an answer for these problems; I'd sure like to fire up some discussion though.
I love horses. I have a taste for well bred ones. There is nothing more satisfying to me than riding a finished bridle horse. I go crazy at the abuse I see all around me. I still seek becoming a better trainer every day. If you ever wave a carrot stick at me I will bite you. So I guess I am truly a mugwump. Stuck on the fence with my mug on one side and my wump on the other.
Let's rock.


  1. You sound grumpy... Anyway, my mare wasn't started until 4, and since then had about 3 owners. She's 6 now, and despite what our current trainer calls "baby problems"- that is, balking, temper tantrums, bucks, etc.... I'm happy, because even though we are the dreaded "green+green" combination, I think with professional help we'll be ok, and as a bonus, - figure by age 10 she ought to be perfect, and sound, and I'll hopefully have many more sound years with her. Sorry to ramble, and sorry for whatever it was to cause the rant. I think it's wrong to compete babies so hard.

  2. I just found your blog and I'm hooked. I'm going back to the very beginning to catch up. Thanks!