Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Number #1 Pet Peeve.

I have been saving this post for some time, and collecting 'things' for it. I've discussed it before on this post and again on this post. See, I'm a parent too, and I also taught riding lessons to kids that had never once been on a horse before. So this topic is rather important to me. 

I'll start off with a bit of my personal life. 

This is my son, who was 8 at the time, riding our family mare for the first time. I would like to point out several things. 1) He's WEARING A HELMET. 2) He's WEARING A HELMET. 3) HE'S WEARING A HELMET. 

Yes, he's also riding in shorts, and a pair of tennis shoes. The saddle is too big for him, but we made do. This particular ride was not planned, and we were a bit unprepared. It was more of a photo shoot than an actual lesson, but he did master turning right and left that particular day in about 30 minutes. She never went faster than what I would call a bumbling walk, and every time he'd sway off to the side she'd move herself under him, and re-balance him. It was also around noon on a July Arizona Summer day, and it was already nearly 105 in the shade. 

Let me direct your attention back to the helmet, please. Why is this such a difficult thing for parents to do? 

Just one search on youtube will reveal a myriad of horse riding accidents... ranging from serious to stupid. We've all had them, heck I am sitting here remembering when I tried to get on the same 15.2 hand mare pictured above bareback from a mounting block, and WAY over did the jump up. I slid onto her back on my belly... and kept on going. I somehow landed on my hind end and was laughing before I hit the ground. My friend, already on her 14.1 hand pony (she was 5'9" - all she had to do was swing her leg on over to get on him bareback) laughed at me for weeks after that dumbness. 

All joking aside, why do parents think its acceptable to allow their children to sit on a horse like the three kids above? Would they allow those same kids to get on an ATV without helmet, elbow and knee pads? Or one of those kid sized dirt bikes? Ok, maybe a few would... but the majority wouldn't. So why is an ATV or bike, which DOESN'T have a mind of its own, more helmet worthy than a horse? 

Living out here in the Arizona desert in spring, when the weather is sunny, no clouds, and in the mid 80's brings all the outdoor lovers out. Driving through the desert you'll see families everywhere enjoying themselves with ATV's and the like. 

I saw one family yesterday that had a 4-5 year old sitting on his own pint sized 4 wheel ATV going 30 miles an hour, dressed in a t-shirt and shorts. 

I'm just dumbfuckfounded at the absolute IGNORANCE of these parents! Do they just not THINK about the dangers involved? Do they just not THINK at all??? 

Its not just young kids either. This very annoying picture of the two teen girls is on the ad for the bay horse in the back. I know most of you will say, they are teenagers, they don't need to ride with helmets, they 'know' better. To that I call BULLSHIT. 

The very ad that horse is being sold in is a perfect example as to why at the minimum, that young lady in the orange shirt NEEDS to be wearing a helmet. 

You really wanna know what it says? 

Only selling to a good home!
Also taking TRADES!!
Smokey is a bay QH/TB (appendix). 15'2 hands. Turning 3 in July.
Great Family horse, no bite, buck, or kick.
Has been ridin across 6-Lane highways, through lakes, and up to Mcdonalds!
Still needs to finish training.
Sometimes rears when ridden, but nothing you cant get out of him in no time.
UTD on coggins, shots, hoofs, etc.

Serious offers only please.

Did you catch that? No Bite, buck, or kick....they scream three times he's BOMBPROOF! but SOMETIMES REARS WHEN RIDDEN

Those two girls are riding down a residential street with concrete and asphalt under them. 

I agree that ad is a clusterfuck of a blog post in of itself. 

What if that green broke 2 year old got freaked out by a neighbors dog suddenly charging at them? A very reasonable situation to play what if in... cause we all have that one neighbor that just never can manage to keep his/her dogs kept off the streets. 

She's an awful pretty girl, the one in the orange shirt. Wouldn't it be such a shame if she were to go splat on the concrete under her because her parents didn't make a rule that said she had to wear a helmet when riding? 

I cannot beat this subject into people enough. I am even considering writing an article to see if the state horse newspaper will publish it. 

PEOPLE DIE falling off horses without helmets on. Children become brain dead for the rest of their lives because of falls off of horses without helmets on. 

This is such a simple fix!!!!!!! Why can't we get it right!?


I nearly forgot. The blurb on the little Miniature pinto stallion that was born last friday as the unofficial worlds smallest foal, has a video. I can't decide whether he's so ugly he's cute, or if he's just ugly. Can't figure out if he has the dwarfism gene either.   

So the video doesn't play every time you hit this page, here is the link to the video.

Thoughts on this? 


And as always, cause I forget, thank you to the readers that send me this stuff daily. You make my job so much easier, and I'm really bad about naming the people that send me stuff. Just know, if you send something into me, and I use it, but forget to mention you... It's totally MY BAD!  :D


  1. People don't think. About anything. Until it has already happened and it's too late for could've, should've, would've... And "Thought be shit himself" is a phrase my mom used a lot. Never quite understood it to the fullest, but it seems to apply somehow.

    It's like I posted on NPD. People have no sense of commitment, accountability or at the slightest- manners. Not just on a personal level, nope. Corporate too... For the most part- Customer service in America sucks!

  2. My only comment about the miniature Pinto "Stallion"....it's NOT a STALLION at 3 days old...a COLT yes. Tweaks me to no end to see that now immortalized on the Web.

  3. It is a sad commentary on the state of personal responsibility in this country. Why do you think we have so many stupid warning labels? Why do you think we have so many lawsuits? People do stupid shit, then creatively (or not so creatively) blame someone else -- preferably someone (individual or corporation) with bucks.

    I knew of a case where a woman -- despite the well known fact that airbags and car seats do not go together -- put her child in a rear-facing seat in the front of her minican. And then gets into a car accident. And the infant is paralyzed from the waist down. For life. She sues -- and settles -- with the car manufacturer because of the airbag caused the damage.

    Idiots abound, horse world or no ...

  4. My niece wears a helmet, my extra. However, last weekend when riding she had the helmet on but not strapped to her stupid head. If I'd have seen it earlier, I'd of jerked her off that pony so fast her head would have spun. I made her strap it on.

  5. The foal isn't a full day old in the vidios I've seen,so I'm gonna wait untill he unfolds a bit more before I comment too much..I think he's cute as a bug,but will wait to see if he's worthy of being a stallion.

  6. On the subject of helmets:
    I would be dead if I wasn't wearing a helmet and fell directly on my head when I was 13.

    On the foal:
    May have to wait till he's older but he looks like he may have the form of dwarfism called diastrophia.

    Taken from

    "Diastrophia: Literally meaning “twisted limb”, these types of horse dwarfs are characterized by a roached-back with protruding spine, deformed leg bones, cow hocks and leg ligament anomalies."

    At first glance this foal looks like he may be a candidate for this form. Sadly no one in the miniature horse world is doing any studies into developing a gene test for the multiple forms of equine dwarfism, but Friesian breeders are.

    Dwarfism tests could help prevent so many horses from suffering since all forms of equine dwarfism appear to be recessive and carriers appear normal. The only way to tell if they carry dwarfism is if they produce a dwarf foal.

    If he is identified to be a Diastrophic dwarf I hope the owners will be responsible enough to geld him, and his father and retire his mother from breeding so that they don't spread the genetic disorder.

    Compared to Thumbellina he looks more normal because she is a severe Brachiocephalic dwarf. Diastrophia is considered "Type 2" in severity while Brachiocephalia is "Type 3".

    Thumbellina's owners did geld her father and retire her mother from breeding, which I think is an amazing and responsible example for other miniature horse breeders. Genetic disorders should not be encouraged.

  7. Well shoot. I experimented a bit today with the comments and while it was really cool to get them real time on my crackberry, and I was responding to them...


    Apparently I was answering you all directly via email.... and not posting here like I *thought* I was lol.

    Oh well. I'll get this figured out, eventually.

    As for the foal...

    since this video was taken the day he was born, I'm not going to hold the pasterns against him just yet. I've seen many a brand new foal with dropped pasterns like that, and usually within a few days of walking, they get strong and straighten up.

    I have the website bookmarked, so I'll keep checking back, as I do with Comet and Valora :)

  8. Don't be too hard on the tiny foal. He could be a dwarf, or just super tiny, I've seen them really tiny myself and they were not a dwarf. While I hope people DO NOT want to start breeding dwarf horses on purpose, people have been breeding dwarves for many years, two examples are Dachshunds and Basset Hounds. If you see enough of them, you will notice the horrible distorted fronts on these dogs.
    It would be nice if they found a genetic marker for it in the minis, but you can bet if they did only a few responsiable people would test for it.

  9. No, I don't plan on being hard on the foal, or the breeders. But the pictures that first came out were a bit worry some in that the foal wasn't standing up correctly.

    And yes, my grandmother most of her life had Dachshunds, and yes, they are very ill formed on their front ends. Didn't ever STOP them from doing anything they put their very determined minds to though! LMAO. Some of the most characteristic dogs I've ever known.

  10. As far as the foal is concerned- so he was born sooper, teeny, tiny. Big deal! He may be a dwarf, he may have limb deformities or he could grow into a full sizzed mini- who's to say?

    Gelding a stallion because it produces one dwarf is a bit extreme. If the mini people would push for dwarf genetics testing- a lab somewhere will oblige them and come out with one. Look at the color tests available through UC Davis.

    Test the parents and breed accodingly, would be the responsible thing to do... But people don't always and aren't always responsible for their actions or the problems they cause.

  11. sizzed = sized. spell check is my friend...

  12. yep. I have to spend at least 2-3 minutes after typing out every post just fixing the spelling mistakes... but most of them are from typing, not because I don't know how to spell the world. My fingers just don't always hit the letters in the order my brain tells them too... but considering I type around 75 words a minute, accidents happen :)

    But hey - at least I USE spell check!!!!

  13. Gelding a stallion that produces dwarf offspring is actually the responsible action to take. Sadly most breeders do not do this because they want their stallion to continue producing. It is a sad fact but true.

    There is a good reason why dwarf producers should, and sometimes are, prevented from breeding again.

    If a stallion OR mare produce a dwarf foal they will continue to pass on the defective gene 50% of the time. This produces more carriers or dwarfs.

    If two carriers are bred they will produce 50% carriers, 25% normal and 25% dwarves. That is 75% of their offspring carrying the affected gene and spreading it even more into the population.

    Gelding/retiring them prevents the defective gene from spreading. Its responsible breeding, but very rarely people care enough to be responsible if it affects their bottom line. I'm not trying to be mean but it is a part of human nature and I don’t have to like it.

    It does look troubling that little Einstein has some hind end issues. And I'm not saying that he IS a Diastrophic foal or not, it is way too early to be definitive about it. He could just be a tiny foal with contracted tendons. (I am also not saying that his owners are irresponsible breeders) But dwarfism IS a concern that should be taken more seriously than it often is.

    Just offering my two cents and hopefully spreading some random knowledge that may help someone. ^_^

  14. The original link YOU posted about Einstein clearly stated that "unlike Thumbelina, Einstein shows NO signs of dwarfism - he is just a tiny horse". Did you post that link without even reading it yourself? And for goodness sake, he's only a day old in many of the pictures and the video so of course his form is going to being funky. But then again you probably couldn't help but bash him since he isn't a solid colored horse and it's irrational to breed horses for color...