Thursday, April 22, 2010

NOT Again! & The Big Lick Ad

I just *HAD* to post this right away. 

I get home from work... which by the way had a bit of a eye opener for me, but more on that later... and did the normal take shoes off - feed screaming thinks shes going to starve to death kitty - scrub off dirty from day - sit down check email routine. 

And found this email sent to me from Indi Randol (is that a canadian email btw? If it is... how cool is that I have Canadian readers!!!). 

She sent me an ad that... well... I thought the lovely image of the gelding this morning was bad enough. This one takes the "bad picture to sell your horse" cake!

I have to tread somewhat lightly here with what words I use - again. Google's bots are indiscriminate, and I don't want to get found by the p0rn bots.

So, the ad. 

I'm gonna make it nice and big for you all today. 

By the way, the translation for "carta" is apparently "paper" - so its "he has paper". 


Thats not the worst part of this ad. 

THIS is the worst part of this ad. 

Yes, the picture to the left is the stallion getting good and ready to service that... um.... mare? 

At least I *THINK* its a mare?  Its rather hard to tell though, because that mare hit the 100 foot fugly tree on every single branch coming down. 

I'll let the words of Indi 'spew' forth here... 

We had to do a little translation since it appears that Spanglish is the poster’s native language and spelling isn’t their strong suit – “he has carta” = he has papers.  Wish someone would let these folks know that showing the stallion’s penIs is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to selling the mare.  Maybe horse p0rn works for selling over-priced, under-accomplished horses in Norco. 

(please note that I had to make a few minor edits to two of the words to avoid this blog appearing on key word searches for those particular words.)

I will whole heartedly agree with Indi on this one... 

There is absolutely NO need to actually show your horse being bred, or your stallion getting ready to service a mare publicly. This is gross and nasty, and quite frankly, just attracts those that get personal enjoyment out of watching it... which in itself is gross and nasty. 

I personally think this is so far the worst ad I've ever seen. 


I mentioned at the start that I came across something at work to day that really opened up my eyes. 

I work retail... mundane, boring, migraine inducing retail. (In this economy, its a paycheck. So I'm not really complaining that much.) The store I work for has made me sign some sort of agreement that says I will not talk about the company in any way on the net, in a blog, website, or other such public forum online. 

In reality... I could care less. I work for Babies "R" Us. 

Part of my job is running the baby registry desk. That was where I was today. We got in one of the thrice weekly trucks in today, and I was given a bunch of boxes of 'stuff' to replenish the new registry goodie bags. One of these boxes was the new May 2010 Baby Talk Magazine, a free mag that is one of the items included in the goodie bags. 

I took one look at the cover, and literally froze in my chair. 

Now, it can't just be me that immediately see's a HUGE problem with this cover. In case you DON'T see the huge jaw dropping problem with this very very cute kid I'll spell it out very clearly for you. 


This company obviously prides itself on selling organic, earth friendly products. THAT I don't have any issues with at all. Its their choice of image for the HORSE I have a MAJOR MAJOR ISSUE WITH.

From their front page: welcome to speesees. we believe in being fun, fair, and organic in the products we make, the way we conduct business, and the baby steps we take towards creating a more sustainble future for the animal, plant, and humanspeesees on our children's planet.

Some how, somebody didn't exactly get the message that selling a t-shirt made from organic materials that has the silhouette of a type of horse that can't GET that nice, big "pretty" Look without things like PAIN, ABUSE, AND HORRIFIC TRAINING PRACTICES.

That doesn't exactly fit with their nice 'earth friendly' image, now does it? I'd say their research department SUCKS. 

I've NEVER been one to write letters to companies. However, this just really Pissed. Me. Off

Would any of you like to assist me in contacting the company to let them know how hypocritical this is? 

Not only are they showcasing that t-shirt on the front cover of a magazine that is handed out to literally hundreds of expectant women monthly, I seriously doubt that they'd want to be associated even by IMAGE with one of the BIGGEST Embarrassments in the entire Horse Industry. Do you really think they know that the "Big Lick" horses suffer abuses and atrocities that NO animal should ever suffer? I seriously doubt it. 

Their website even has a small version of the same picture as the logo placed next to their name at the top of the web page tab!!! 

The other thing that I was thinking about on the way home, was all those women will look at that shirt and see nothing but a 'pretty horse'. They won't understand what that image symbolizes to all of us. 

And THATS the sad part in all of this. Its a case of "you don't know what you don't know".  

The inside cover of the magazine, the little blurb that lists who the cover model is, what the label on the clothes is, etc., also states that the clothing line is sold through select Whole Foods Market Stores. There just happens to be one across the street from BRU, so I went in and checked out the store after work. I'd never been in one before, and while it certainly is impressive, its a little to pricey for my budget. I checked out the clothing section of the store, and while they carried the line of clothing, didn't have that exact t-shirt. Which was good. Cause I would have blasted THEM too. 

Contact Info from the speesees website: 

speesees hq

2475 third street suite 252
san francisco ca 94107
toll free: 877 552 5808
line 2: 415 552 5808
fax: 415 552 5809
 Remember to play nice, no nasty language is needed, facts and professionalism gets more flies than anger and attitude does. :P


  1. My letter to them:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    My name is Beth Cain. I have been a life long horse person, active in a number of different breeds. Most of my time has been spent in the gaited horse industry, working with such breeds as the Tennessee Walking Horse.

    I also happen to work at a retail store that carries the magazine, Baby Talk.

    I was at work today, and unpacked a box with the Baby Talk May 2010 issue in it, and was absolutely horrified to see the cover of the magazine.

    The cover depicts one of your t-shirts being modeled by a child. The T-shirt has your ‘Prance’ image on it, and its that image that made me so sick that I nearly was sick.

    You see, I seriously doubt that your research and marketing department fully understood what that image IS.

    Your ‘Prance’ image/logo is that of a typical “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse. The “Big Lick” horses are a sub-group of show horses within the Tennessee Walking Horse breed that are forced into some of the most horrific, abusive, torturous, and evil training practices known in the entire show horse industry.

    I suggest that whomever approved that design do some research into what a “Big Lick” horse goes through under ‘training’ to achieve that huge stride, and that “look” that you have used in your “Prance” design.

    Big Lick horses are always a victim of something called soring, which is the practice of making the horses’s front hooves sore, or painful, so they lift their hooves/legs up high and wide – and they do this to avoid the pain in their hooves and legs. People in the industry that perform these horrendous acts use things like golf balls cut in half and placed round side up against the bottom of a horse’s hoof, with pads of hard rubber placed against the flat side of the golf ball to hold it into place, with the shoe finally being attached on the outside of the pad. Other methods include chemical concoctions placed both on the bottom of the hoof, inside the hoof, and behind the horse’s hoof at its heels to create a slow and long lasting burn.

    Other methods I’ve seen used include stacking several pads up together, creating a hollow hole in the center, and filling that hole with wonderful things like nails, screws, and other bits and pieces – anything to create the soreness desired to create the gait.

    This is not an industry or image that your organic, ‘save the earth’, and animal/child friendly wants to be associated with, I’m sure. The Big Lick Industry is chock full of corruption, abuse, and cruelty.

    Why ANYONE at your company chose to use that particular image / silhouette is BEYOND me.

    I would strongly recommend that anyone that had anything to do with the approval of that image search out “Big Lick” horses on google… or at the very least go to this website,, and educate yourselves on what you have inadvertently associated your company with.

    I do not think that using that image is cute, adorable, or any other word applicable. Instead it makes me sick to my stomach, disgusted, and angry. Somehow I don’t think that’s a reaction you want your potential customers to have.

    I hope that in the future, any pending designs will be FULLY researched out.

    Oh, and by the way, I also write a blog – – and have blogged about the design there. I am also sending the info to several other blog writers that have rather large groups of horse people that read daily, and recommending that they mention this on their blogs as well.

    As a matter of fact, I invite a representative to come out publicly and defend or explain why your company chose this particular design. I don’t censor, I don’t moderate, and I certainly will repost any response I get should you choose to respond.

    Good day,

    Beth Cain.

  2. I also wrote a similar email to the editor in chief of baby talk magazine, but the email was too long to publish here lol. If anyone wants to see it, I'll more than happily forward it on.

  3. Anxiously awaiting the response you get!

  4. You may consider editing your OP to remove the part about signing anything stating you will or won't do this that or whatever. Grounds for your termination right there. I would just say you were in _____ store and seen the magazine...

    And you can delete this comment too when you do if need be. I understand. so I will post another in a moment.

  5. I will email this post on to blogger Katphoti. She is involved with gaited horses and the fight to end soring.

    She may be able to circulate it within her group and add a ton of more names to the list of those writing.

    Great letter by the way. I will be composing mine soon.

  6. I emailed to the address,got a very nice email back--lady said she was unaware of the "big lick" and was horrified..Be nice please..not all people are as informed about the dark side as we are. Educate not intimadate

  7. Although I am a longtime admirer of horses it has only recently that I've become aware of practices such as soring. (Thanks Fugly) And even now, with my limited awareness, would not have yet connected that picture of a prancing horse to soring. Therefore, I would not be surprised if the "average Joe" was completely and totally naive about soring and how it made that horse "prance" in the picture. People just don't know! The fantasy horse of story books prances and tosses its head to the wonderment of the starstruck wannabe horseperson. Any correspondence must keep this in mind and be written in such a way as to educate, not castigate.