ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Sending our horse to a trainer - our story

Re: Sending our horse to a trainer - our story

Linda Cowles (linda_cowles@MENTORG.COM)
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 13:33:45 -0700

Another perspective. Two sides to every story, right?

I had Deb train one difficult and sensitive horse, and have another
horse there now, a 5YO that I raised from a yearling and that I'm very
close to. I recommended Deb to Liz. Deb's not perfect, she's a typical

She doesn't deserve the public whipping she got here. She's a good
trainer, and turns out good horses and riders.

> I am writing to share our experience about sending our mare to a trainer and
> to ask for advice.
> approximately 20 horses in the arena and Deb proceeded to teach the "games".
> At one time, she hit a horse on the head with her "carrot stick" (a stiff
> fiberglass bat) and one could hear a loud inhalation from the crowd - the

Liz, you said she hit the horse on the head with a "stiff fiberglass
bat". Was this a "bat" as in baseball bat? No, it's like a crop, the
diameter of my little finger. Was she beating the horse? That's the way
you made it sound. She gave the horse a rap on the nose. I have
personally been "rapped" with a carrot stick on the inside of my arm, as
hard as Deb hit that horse, and (I'm a redhead) it didn't leave a red
mark. It's loud. Stings momentarily. She rapped the horse on the tip of
it's nose to get it to back off. Once.

> ... Deb then said
> matter-of-factly how she had personally witnessed Pat Parelli taking a
> horse's eye out that way. You could feel everyone's horror.

... and her point was???

She said something along the line of 'you gotta be careful with this
stuff'; she sure as hell wasn't advocating wholesale beating horses over
the head and removing eyes. She didn't want it happening in her arena;
be careful around their head, was the point. Maybe you didn't get it.

I was in that clinic. The parelli stuff can be misused and
misinterpreted, which is why Deb's first two clinics are a lot of
preaching about being careful, and meaning what you say and saying what
you mean. Parelli methods stir up controversy. If applied correctly, it
works great for *both* the horse and rider. The horse that didn't know
how to respect it's handlers space got rapped - once - on the tip of
it's nose. These things are done only *if* needed to reinforce a
request. The PP methods teach horses to respect a request to react, and
have a sharp and immediate penalty for not obeying. Most horses only
need one reinforcement, many don't need any.

Most folks would rather lovingly nag the hell out of their horses with
spurs and whips and strong bits.

> yesterday, Saturday. We arrived to the horror of finding huge gouges on both
> her hind legs,
> one portion was scraped to the bone and there was nothing on the wounds but
> flies.

Let me understand this, your horses leg was scraped to the bone on
Friday, you saw it Saturday yet you waited until Monday to have it seen
by the vet? Huge gouges out of her legs, and you didn't call the vet
immediately? Now, maybe there is a bit of exaggeration here? Or neglect?
Which is it?


Most full care *board-only* places in the Bay Area charge what Deb
charges for full care training. I *asked* who her riders were, assumed
that, at that price, she used them. I gave her everything that I wanted
her to have in the way of information. I checked her riders out. They
are damned good. I personally have known very few professional trainers
who haven't used riders for some of their work. You get what you pay
for. $500 a month for a box stall, paddock and clean shavings every day,
full feed (good hay) including pellets and/or all-in-one if needed, plus
4 days of riding and one or two lessons a week on your horse. In this
area, that is dirt cheap. Many trainers are $45 an hour for their time.
I guess I wonder what you thought you were getting.

I like to stay out of these cat fights, and frankly hate these "plea for
advise about what to do with old rotten so and so...". Particularly from
someone with so little horse moxie as to walk straight into someone's
canter lunge circle in fromnt of their horse!

Deb does good work, and is much less abusive than any of the better
english or dressage trainers I've worked with. She can swear, she can be
dramatic, she IS a cowgirl to the bones. She's done a better job with my
two (totally different) horses than anyone else I know locally could
have done, and they've both stayed happy, fat and healthy while at her
place. I know of many other horses that she's done a good job with.

She's human.

This list should not be used to publicly embarrass or get even with

Sorry I took up everyones time with this, but Deb has friends on this
list, and other customers, and the other side needed telling.


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