Friday, January 30, 2009

What's your learning style?

I was just talking about this with a friend.

Everybody has different learning styles. I learn by doing, which traditionally has made me an underachieving student. I can't sit in a lecture for two hours and pay attention, but I can do things like teach myself CGI by looking at it and experimenting.

This has carried over to riding. I read Mugwump's wonderful descriptions of how to do certain things, and I think that I will try some of them, but in reality I can't imagine how I'd remember what she said without notes in front of my face while I'm actually on the horse! For me, books or videos could never be a great teaching tool - I need to learn in a very hands-on way, with someone telling me when it looks right so that I learn to recognize the feeling. (I also love riding with mirrors - what a great and helpful idea, especially for people like me who feel correct when they're doing it wrong - i.e. leaning too far forward instead of sitting upright!)

Sometimes I think an instructor has to play around with different methods to figure out a student. I've had people where I had to get on the horse and show them, and voila, they caught on. I've had others where the right analogy worked wonders (imagine an invisible cord hanging you from the ceiling to the top of your hunt cap - that's how straight your back should feel) or really simple ones for kids ("noodle" arms that are soft and give, not stiff like an uncooked macaroni).

Sometimes you really need to feel things. I still remember the instructor who finally fixed my inability to get the better of the school horse who "rooted." She stood in front of me and pulled on my reins, hard. I flopped forward. Then she went to the side and gently pushed my shoulders back until they were behind my hip bones, and repeated the exercise. Amazing! I didn't get pulled forward. From that moment on, I "got it" and was able to correct the rooter and keep him on the rail.

So what's your learning style? What has created the a-ha moment for you?

I hate to waste much space when a simple spritz of Troll-B-Gone will do, but all of the Troll Questions have been covered before: (a) the whole point of this blog was to address that many people can and do ride with fear and that it shouldn't stop you from reaching your goals, nor should it be an embarrassment or something that you have to hide from everybody. If not for that whole point, it would honestly not be all that interesting to read a simple training log about a colt who quite frankly has been so fricken' easy that it's sometimes hard to figure out what to write about. Mugwump's hot-headed cowhorse mare makes for a MUCH better story! (b) I have never bred the VLC and certainly cannot be held responsible for the fencing he was turned out on prior to my ownership. (c) I don't believe in riding 2 year olds anymore - yes I used to do it - and will never do it again or pay for it to be done (d) if the VLC does not prove himself in the show ring, he will become a VLG. He doesn't have forever to do this. One show season should suffice. He is either going to be competitive, or not and the only opinions I care about are those of the AQHA judges since those are the opinions that determine whether or not any future foals would be marketable. (e) If you think a coming 4 year old is over the hill and it's "too late" for him to have a successful show career, our opinions on working young horses are so diametrically opposed that we're destined to think the other is an idiot no matter what other discussion takes place. If you think a 4 year old is done growing, you need to read more of Deb Bennett's work. (f) the VLC is a grandson of a Superior Halter Horse/World Show Top Ten/High Point Halter Horse and his dam is a mare who is a full sibling to an AQHA Versatility Horse of the Year with over 2000 points in a wide variety of events - from halter to barrel racing to WP. If that isn't good enough breeding for you, ok, we have different standards but I certainly haven't contradicted myself and my previously stated standards. I have said that I like to see some kind of significant accomplishment in the first three generations - not further back. I have that. End of discussion, at least on my end. I could buy Indian Artifacts or Invitation Only tomorrow and there are people who would say they were POS's because they don't like the Fugly blog. That's why I'm happy to let the judges decide - they're the only opinions that matter. (And now I can link back to this blog entry the next time people bring up the same half-dozen questions that have already been answered...)


Ellie said...

I need to watch someone else do the movement first and talk my way thorough it. I had an instructor who got mad for talking, she thought I was disrespecting her by not listening, but saying the steps helps me process how to did. When I show hunters, I always need to watch one or two rounds before I go in so I can see how the course rides, even if the course is usually the regular old quarter line, outside, diagonal, outside, diagonal. In my dressage lessons I have been working on shoulder in and I have to Werther's neck straight while still maintaining plenty of angle. I'm starting to feel what my instructor means, and I can see a little when I ride by the mirror, but I really want to find a good video of a shoulder in online so I can study it.

Ellie and Werther Bog

CinammonSwirl said...

But you bought from breeders whom you'd even throw a kanipshit fit over. Color breeeeeeeeeeeders. Hell, even the color baby popper that pooped out the blah looking colored stallion you own is for sale. Not ridden, not shown, not proven in anything. Yeah, being a sister is real speshul. That unproven dam is just super. But she can ride on relative coat tails! She hasn't done shit. How do you know she even got any winning traits? Wait, you don't. But she makes pretty and rank ass babies! So it's OK! And it's OK for them to sell rank ass dam, even though she's a baby popper for the breeders for an outrageous price (cause she has a vajayjay!) Nevermind she popped babies for them as a business! Hell, she wasn't at a forever home! Wait, shame on breeders! They should keep her forever and ever and ever in cute widdle Cathy land! Don't you preach about that, too?

Let's not forget the sire! Same unproven little thing with balls. Another thing you preach against! So that' coat tail to ride on. You're striking out reaaaaaaally quickly.

Same breeders somehow couldn't contain him and he bred something. Wow, he's from an epic win breeding facility, yeah?

But wait! Cover your coat tails! Quick! I've been called out! Someone things my perty color stal-yun isn't anything speshul! I mean, do you really thing that plain looking thing is going to just wow judges and mare owners (except for more byb 'must haz color' producers?) I know performance plays a good part, but if you have something as unspectacular as the stallion (cause, ya know, he outgrew colt status when he hit 3 at most)he isn't going to be as well received as his, you know, pretty looking competitors who have the exact same color.

Better yet, he was started by someone scared of his height. I didn't realize the grim reapers perched up on anything above 15hh and chanted death wishes. Gods, how do those other riders live longer than 8 seconds? He's a horse regardless, at least have a rational fear like possibly reacting in a more extreme than normal fashion. If you fear height, go face it on something that is already trained and get over it that way. Why buy something you'd know you are scared of?

Yeah, he was a real great purchase from a real great breeder. Keep supportin' those purdy colors. He must be the only buckskin out there who has balls and, they're everywhere, and we already have them producing. Shocking. The world doesn't need another one!

Wait, you can't do wrong. I forgot. Anything you do is next to god. *chokesonvomit*

CinammonSwirl said...

"All about training a three year old stallion the size of the Sears Tower as a scaredy cat, 40 year old re-rider. If you feel like I do, you are not alone!"

You also just congrats on contradicting yourself. All about that stallion in training. Huh, nothing there about about anything else...

jess said...

I'm a learn-by-doing person too, but I so desperately want to be able to learn from reading and watching videos! There's so much information to be had in that kind of format. Once, I had a trainer who was always comparing the amount of contact we should have to "a stick of butter in each hand." I could never get that AT ALL, and only got it when she pulled on my reins while I was holding them so I could feel. I read a ton of stuff about how to train for certain things, how to ride, etc. but in the end I have to do it myself, and have somebody actually show me.

I think it's time for the Troll-B-Gone.

green_knight said...

I'm a kinesthetic learner. For many years - admittedly I have other issues, too - I felt that I was pretty hopeless as a rider because I did not learn either by watching, or by listening, or by reading up on things.

Then I found a teacher who was able to teach me through feel, who could talk me through minute steps (a little leg here, that exercise there) to achieve a certain result, and then say 'this is how it should feel like' so I got both a metal shape of what I was trying to reach and the tools to get there.

She also started with me on the standing horse, modelling my seat - *this* is where your leg needs to be, remember that feel.

And I did. My riding came on in leaps and bounds, and since then, I have learnt how to get what I need from other teachers by asking them for specific feedback and feedback at specific points.

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying your posts - he is really big, but very beautiful! I have a 16'2" mare, but he looks even bigger!

Char said...

Isn't it amazing that the more it posts, the dumber it sounds? Wow....

Anyways, I usually have to combine mental images and feel to REALLY 'get it'. If the picture that I get in my head from what was explained to me ends up being the same as what's shown to me, it's golden knowledge that I'll never forget. lol!

Another fairly effective approach for me is intimidation.....
I was once riding my instructor's horse and I was still in the process of learning how to have soft, forgiving hands. Finally fed up with all of the pulling and such on her mare's mouth, she said, "If you pull on that horse's mouth one more time I'm going to come over there, jerk you off, and go put her away while you lay in the dirt!"

Yeap, pretty much cured me almost INSTANTLY! :D

SillyPony said...

I am a visual learner. I didn't really realize this until I started teaching college and learning about how students learn. I was studying the learning styles and when I came to visual learners I had my Ah Ha! moment. It all made sense. Since then I have found it easier to learn because I know what to ask teachers for. I love watching videos of my lessons because if I can SEE what I'm doing when KAT tells me to do something then it starts to make more sense to me.

I have the same "problem" with Mugwump's beautiful lesson on cantering in a circle. I admit I was totally lost because I couldn't visualize what she was doing. I would LOVE to try that because I think that's totally what KAT has been trying to get me to understand, but I think I'd need a video to watch.

Oh, and:

Dear CinnamonSwirl,

If you don't like the blog, don't read it and and just go away. If you have such a desire to knock other people down (and make your profile unavailable because you are passive-aggressive) perhaps you should seek counseling. Your comments are not constructive, or useful, they are just rude and immature. If you like to spout this much internet nonsense, go start your own blog.

Have a nice day.....somewhere else.

Happy weekend everyone!

Ponyice said...

I am a visual learner also. I like to watch trainer (when he was in training) ride first and try to have the same soft hands and posture. Now I am all alone in the arena so yesterday I made my mom come video our work as I wanted a sort of before video, and wow it helped me so much self critiquing. I am still leaning forward when collecting the reins but my posture looks better than I thought it did and my horse, while his head is still cockeyed and all over the place (operator error) his body looks soft, collected and fantastic at the jog. He even had a little hissy fit (butt buck) which I just rode thru (as I used to stop and give up blame it on tack etc)and continued asking for what I wanted. I even told my husband I am finally getting my confidence back as a rider and not putting up with my horses temper but making him work thru it and rely on me. The other day he did want to turn right so he sidepassed all the way across the arena into to pressure and then oh he got it.

Deer Run Stables said...

Learning... I'm crap at taking lessons with a live instructor, because it's pointless for me to try to learn a new skill if I haven't internalized all the steps that come before. Not *understood* them, but *internalized* them.

I have to learn theory first, preferably either by reading or video, then practice at my own pace, preferably without someone watching me and making me tense and self conscious about my inevitable mistakes. When I think it's right, then I'll let someone else watch (my kingdom for mirrors!), or better yet, video me, and point out anything that needs to be tweaked.

This is why I have been able to progress so rapidly using the Parelli Levels program (that you love so much!), after two decades of stagnation on the weekly "heels down, thumbs up, drive that horse into your hand!!!" regimen.

You can try until you're blue in the face to position my hands, legs, body, and head to cue a half-pass, but it's not going to teach me how to teach my horse to do one anytime before my 70th birthday.

However, it makes total sense with my learning style to say, "Okay-- Level One. learn how to move your horses haunches (direct rein, inside leg), shoulders (indirect rein, outside leg), and sidepass along a fence (shoulders, haunches, shoulders, haunches, shoulders, haunches). Now go practice for 3-6 months, and when it feels really good and easy, send me a video of it, and if it looks good, you can start on the next step."

"Level Two: Take what you've learned, and refine it. Learn to sidepass without a fence, and control the number of steps your horse takes during a turn around the forehand or haunches. Get precise enough that you can keep the feet that aren't supposed to be moving inside of a hula hoop or other marker, and eventually pivot on the spot. Learn to feel when a particular foot hits the ground, until you can walk, trot, or canter along, saying "now, now, now" every time the left hind hits. Practice for a year, video it, and we'll move on."

"Level Three: Use your new found feel for when the feet are on the ground to influence a particular foot by giving your leg aid just as it's poised to leave the ground. Learn to position your torso the way you want your horse's torso positioned; hips pointing forward and shoulders twisted a few degrees for shoulder-in... shoulders pointed forward and hips twisted a few degrees out for haunches in. Now, do haunches in on a diagonal line-- congratulations, you just taught your horse to do a half pass!"

Can I do it yet? No. But, the difference is, I know precisely which step is missing before I *can* do it-- I can only do haunches in at the walk, and it doesn't feel effortless yet. As soon as it is effortless at the walk, trot, and canter, I'll be able to do half-pass and flying changes that very day, though they will lack refinement at first.

But, the point is, the half pass no longer feels in any way mysterious and complicated, and for me, I'd never be able to learn it while it did.

moosefied said...

With riding and/or working with horses, if it's something I've never done, I need to watch someone do it, try it myself, and hear them tell me what looked good and what didn't. Guess you'd call that multi-modal. That's how I teach others things I know well, too. Books and videos can give me an overview, but I need live demonstrations to really learn it.

After practicing a skill this way and getting verbal feedback, I develop a feel. I'm an observant person, but it's better if I can put my observations together with someone else's (experienced) demo and comments.

CinammonSwirl said...

"If you have such a desire to knock other people down (and make your profile unavailable because you are passive-aggressive) perhaps you should seek counseling. Your comments are not constructive, or useful, they are just rude and immature. If you like to spout this much internet nonsense, go start your own blog."

You mean like FHotD blog that does the same thing and had a notorious history of being mean and nasty? Yeah, time to treat her as she deserves to be treated.

Let's not forget the dam's chronic stifle issues...and she hasn't had anything done with her. Great genes.

littlebouv said...

"Multi-modal" I love it! I too learn by "feel", although I do my homework first. Lots of reading, watching, and even interviewing. Then I practice. But Cathy, I know what you mean...I almost need NOTES in front of me...and it's hard to do circles with a large sheet of paper in one hand!

I hope to work with someone who has the same teaching style as Green Knight's instructor. One who understands the differences in learning.

Can't come soon enough for me!

moosefied said...

Deer Run Stables: I think I understand what you're saying about needing to internalize something. I took a few lessons from a very, very knowledgeable instructor--but he would walk alongside me lecturing while I rode. I just could not absorb a lot of new, complex material about riding, which is a physical art, as if I were in a university lecture class. I needed to hear one skill explained, then do it, watch it, do it again, and get feedback. And really internalize it, body and mind.

moosefied said...

Also to Deer Run Stables: I like how you described the steps of learning/cueing a half-pass and how you think about/progress towards it, how you would gradually shape yourself into it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry gals. I get a little carried away sometimes, you know, with having a big ego and all. I'm just a self conscious puke who has no self esteem and can only try to get some by trolling other people's blogs and trying to get them riled up by attempting to sound like I'm somewhat knowledgable when really deep down, I know I'm not. So from now on, please ignore any of my future comments. I admit that I may relapse in my judgment and spout off some more nonsense. I appologize in advance and urge you to laugh at my shortcomings and ignore me.

Thank you.

Shinenstarlight said...

You're in for a rude initiation in the world of the AQHA show pen. If you truly believe your stud will be competitive there, then, more power to you. A "novice" assumption.

You're LATE getting this horse out into the show world and you'll be out against proven horses in the Performance Halter Classes to say nothing of the English classes. You've a lot to overcome. Many of the horses out there will already have been qualified for our AQHA world show. These horses are also carrying current popular bloodlines and have the "look". You can't get around that. They also receive the absolute best of care and are in training with nationally known trainers. Like it or not, they'll stand in better stead than an unknown horse without a show record. So much for starting your horse it "shooting yourself in the foot". You've beaten yourself before you hit the in gate.

Politics, the dirty word, raises it's head in the pen and yes, the judges know the backgrounds of many of the horses being shown to them if they've seen them previously and they've placed them. You'll also have that to get around.

I find it highly amusing that you "believe" you could "buy" Indian Artifacts, or you're throwing this idea out for "giggles"...he isn't for sale, AND he's currently in quarantine in Kentucky as he has been diagnosed with CEM....obvioulsy you're not aware of infected AQHA stallions. By the way, he isn't any POS. He has an hugely enviable sire record with successful offspring.

Don't assume that those of us who are critical of your blog would say nasties about nationally known stallions with successfull show and sire records...wrong number. Those studs have proven themselves.

You've made the novice assumption that because your horse is by "such and such" stud and out of a mediocre mare and will amount to anything is a mistake. There are NO guarantees in the show pen.
Not only should the sire have points but ALSO the dam. And, I'm NOT talking about successful siblings of the dam.....I mean the dam's successes in the pen. Not some sibling or shirt tail relative.....

Yes, your standards are different then the majority of those individuals currently promoting stallions in this highly competitive AQHA market.

Perhaps a little "heart to heart" with a nationally known breeder and or trainer will enlighten you as to the burdens and frustrations of your upcoming journey into the highly competitive world of AQHA stallions and the showpen.

BuckdOff said...

Wow, another coward? Just filled with hatred...I guess trolls are too lazy, or maybe too busy? to create their own blogs...

JNH214 said...

Cinammon Swirl,

You hold a lot of very valid points.

I am not a troll or hater. I enjoy some of the fugly blog (far, far less than in the past mind you...find myself rolling my eyes a lot while reading) but I too have noticed a lot of contradictions.

Just because you speak your mind (and what I and I'm sure many others feel, the truth) you are a "troll".
The answered questions in this blog were hardly answered... danced around, lightly touched on perhaps, but not answered.
CBER, Dean, this group... it's all the same. The "following" does not see past their own nose.
Not everyone is perfect, I know... but don't say one thing and do the other.

JNH214 said...

Just wanted to add, I don't agree with EVERYTHING Cinammon said... you did go overboard on a few things, grasping at straws perhaps, but for the most part the statements are accurate.

CinammonSwirl said...

Damn, sore behinds are trying to imitate my name. I'm not sorry for calling her out for the hypocrite she is and the shit stallion she owns and refuses to geld, even though he's only seen the inside of a converted dairy barn. But for some reason, she thinks he's going to be SPESHUL!

The Wenchster said...

Buckdoff- You saying that other people are filled with hatred! Have you actually read FHotD and her other avid followers blogs? And I guess anyone who doesn't agree with Cathy is a troll. How exactly does that work? I guess you're a troll because you don't agree with me then.

BTW- I do have a blog. Maybe it would enlighten you a bit.

CinammonSwirl said...

^--- Agreed. Remember when FHotD was good and not smash it all with a hammer? Remember the lack of money mooching ads, too? Gods, remember when you could actually learn something? Now it's a media outlet...

GoLightly said...

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything, at all.

Toronto is shocked and appalled.

It works when teaching people, why shouldn't it work in all facets of life?

Works when training horses, too. Be fair, be nice. Be calm.
If the horse is suffering, you're an idiot.

There are great books out there. People just don't seem to care to read anymore. Saying you can't just "tell" someone how to do something is true, to a point, depends on the telling, and the listener. And the desire to learn.
I learned all kinds of stuff by reading, and watching. All I could ever really afford anyway.

George's "Only perfect practice makes perfect" is perfectly true. Practice it wrong all you like, but nothing will ever get accomplished.
Baby steps, always baby steps. Small victories build to big accomplishments.

I'll shaddup now.

Just thought a breath of
might help.

Karen V said...

I have to learn by doing with an instructor talking me through least when it comes to posture. otherwise, I looks like a moron! Like you "felt right" but good Lord, what a mess! Looks like a rubber chicken strapped to the back of a greyhound! YUCK!

One "troll" question you didn't answer....

WHEN do you sleep???

valueofaloonie said...

I have to see it done before I can figure it out. Today we worked on softening and bending at the poll, and I could only do it 'right' after my instructor hopped on and showed me what she was doing. After that, it all sort of clicked.

Of course, this was after I fell off for, oh, the billionth time. *sigh*

JNH214 said...

CinammonSwirl said...
^--- Agreed. Remember when FHotD was good and not smash it all with a hammer? Remember the lack of money mooching ads, too? Gods, remember when you could actually learn something? Now it's a media outlet...


BehindTheBarn said...

Wow. Just wow. Methinks some people really have an axe to grind.

I'm all for outing horse abusers, horse starvers, and the people littering the planet with the fruits of their breeding program. I can get on board with a good rant about those kinds jerkoffs as much as the next person.

This, however, seems a lot more personal.

So, let's assume Fugs is naive, and her horse isn't made of the uberspecial shit today's pleasure horses are positively filled to the brim with. Let's say, for argument's sake, VLC might not have that modern EP profile, or the hopalong gaits that make judges orgasmic. (Quite frankly, I don't see the hopalong gaits as good thing, or a goal I would work towards, but I digress.)

Worse case scenario: she gelds him. She's already said she will do this if he's not a performer, and I'm sure she probably will. So, what's the harm in putting him out there in open competition to see how he stacks up? What unspoken rule has she violated that deems what amounts to an online evisceration?

I don't get where the hostility is coming from, unless the Doubting Thomases are afraid VLC may actually prove himself, leaving them nothing to do but chew rawhide and spit nails.

Okay, the trolls and Doubting Thomases are probably right. VLC is probably just another VNC (Very Nice Colt) that will make a VNG (Very Nice Gelding). Fugs will find out soon enough what a bullshit, dog-eat-dog, world the AQHA pleasure ring is, I have no doubt.

But, you know what? For once, I'd like to see the little guy (or gal) take on these pretentious MFs - on their own terms - and have some success. Yeah, someone delusional enough to think her four year old, not-by-a-PHJ-sponsored-stallion (and you're bitching about ads?!) stud horse, that hangs out in a freakin' dairy barn in the middle of Bumfuck, Washington, could get some professional saddle time, have his mane pulled, and hit the show ring with a bang. Then again, I'm a sucker for the Rocky movies and Forrest Gump.

Again, what's the harm in proving a stallion in open competition? Isn't that the goal? None of this precludes gelding him next year, next month, or ever. Do you lose sleep at night, every night VLC has two balls between his legs? If so, I suggest you get some hobbies.

And, one last little thing; I can't blame someone who tries to support their online habit, who is providing an online entertainment venue/community, and investing a significant amount of their own time, with placing industry-specific ads on their site.

It ain't ads for Viagra, folks. Get over it. If you think working for free pays the bills, I'm all ears.

Shinenstarlight said...

Behind the "axe to grind" IS the way it is...its called "REALITY". If you truly believe this horse will deal effectively with horses valued in the six figures, and proven in the show pen, and are, no doubt, already qualified for the world show, then more power to you.

Continue on in your denial. And your delusions which you share with the Fugly.

You may want to see "the little guy" win but if you haven't a track record, have no prior experience how would you propose to accomplish this? Don't believe for a minute you'll walk in the pen and sweep everyone off their feet...won't happen.

You speak of "open" competition...would you encourage this person to swim with the sharks(pro trainers)in the open classes when other classes are available? Apparently so. Enlighten yourelf to the classes made available to AQHA exhibitors.

By the way, the "MF" of which you speak are quite decent people, hard working people....quit with the trollish name calling. You DO apparently lay awake at night in complete envy of equine balls....haven't found yours yet? Keep looking. The Viagra is where you left it.

In the interim, avail yourself of a few AQHA English classes and realise the EP'ers aren't the ones with the "head bobbin'" problem..

Wax poetic on another blog...your lofty wordsmithing is quite revealing.

la mexicana said...

Agreed that horses who are started and worked at two are not ready. The owners are just looking for problems down the road. My poor broken down gelding is 7 and just now recuperated from injuries he had as a youngster because he was started too young.

Fugs is having a great time with this experiment of sorts. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't. A lot of us have accomplished things that others said could never be done. At least fugs is having a lot of fun trying to meet her goals. Life would be terribly boring if we were all the same and did everything like everyone else.

People ask me all the time why TBs are raced so hard at 2 and 3 years old when they are still babies (especially after what happened to Eight Belles, Barbaro and Big Brown). What can I say? I hope we see this modified in the near future.

la mexicana said...

I am a visual learner 100%. A lot of us are visual learners. I have to wonder, though, if we were born this way or if we were taught to do this in school.

Traditionally schools focused activitites around visual learning. In the 1990s this all started to change to "accomodate" all the other learning styles. Variety is good as long as it is effective for someone.

For a period of time in the past I had to learn things by listening. After a while I figured it out, but it wasn't as efficient. It took about a year for my brain to be able to do auditory learning well. I'd just prefer to learn something by see it or reading it.

BehindTheBarn said...


I'm not defending anything about Fugly's stallion, other than she has said she plans to have him shown by a trainer and prove himself in the ring before she makes any decision to geld him. I still fail to understand how that evokes such a violent reaction from people like you.

By open competition, I would assume that with a trainer riding, that means he will be competing against other horses in his age group (junior), rather than being shown in amateur classes, or novice amateur. Open to mean 'riding against other professionals i.e. all comers', which is usually regarded as the most competitive AQHA classes.

You've only underscored your MF label, by assuming I don't know what I'm talking about. But, really, that's perfectly all right, since it matters not what you and the rest of the elitist, hoplalong, puppy-dog hands, violently posting, heels-up, pretend, AQHA EP riders think. I mean, if you truly are in the 'in crowd' of AQHA EP, I can already picture your equitation in my mind.

FWIW - I was an AQHA steward and show manager. 'Seen a lot of you from the middle of the ring ;-)

The proof will be in the pudding when VLC makes his show debut. He'll sink or swim - those are the only two outcomes. Where I'm wishing Fugs and her VLC the best of luck, you can only cling to your bitterness and negativity, a heckler from the rail that can't wait to shriek "I told you so!"

Must suck to be you. Yes, you do suck, along with the rest of the nasty little MFs that are dreaming of Fugs' failure.

The Wenchster said...

Behind the Barn- No axe to grind here either. Just sick of Cathy being such a hypocrite. She preaches day in day out about over breeding, mediorce horses breeding, and critiques other stallion owners. But no one is allowed to critique her own.
Half of what Cathy says is hog wash and with as advanced as the internet is and how much you can find in a simple google search you would think that she wouldn't be spewing so much at the mouth.

But silly me, when I think high class stallion I think Shining Spark or Zips Chocolate Chip. Perhaps you and Cathy both should watch them under saddle and learn what a real stallion and winner looks like.

Shinenstarlight said...

Behind the Barn...well well now; keep your temper. As a show steward, let alone a manager, you should know better. Would love to evaluate a show of yours and send the report to committee in Amarillo. With the heading, "Can't keep his/her cool".

Violent, wanna see violent, how about some gang members wanting some revenge on the unsuspecting public in a hospital ER ain't pretty.

You, a show manager? Were the rest of your show committee aware that you take very little prodding to lose it? That your emotions rule you? Maybe we should notify the AQHA Show and Judges Committee in Amarillo.

"Bitterness"...LMAO Reality sucks doesn't it....."Dreaming of Failure"...god are you pathetic. You promulgate the nastiest, dirtiest horse blog and can't figure why anyone would disagree with your delusional thinking. As they say, "Birds of a Feather Flock" and boy do you.

Just keep riding that steward clipboard of yours and dream of the day you'll progress beyond a stick horse.

You would be fubah for sure.

Sweet dreams puppy. And tah tah...

Anonymous said...

OMG. I HATE eating ocra. So do I still eat it just to prove a point to someone that I will eat it just because I CAN?? Ummm, no. So why do you still read and comment on blogs that you don't like and don't agree with? You people are idiots bashing someone on their own blog. DON'T READ IT. Let her do what you want her to do and fall on her face. Does bashing and wishing ill someone you have never met, probably never will and don't know give you great pleasure?? Then you're a loser with no life. Who cares if she has no f'ing clue of what a real show world supposedly is?? Is that YOUR problem? Are YOU losing time and money on her doing it? Or are you just afraid she will succeed. Guaranteed if she does, this blog will never see your name congratulating her or expressing your conceed, will it? Nope. Didn't think so. So why stick around?

Go ahead and critique. But critique what's true, not just what you don't like. She's not breeding her horse. She's doing exactly as she preaches, seeing if it's worth a damn in the arena, etc. If it's not, she's gelding. Did you miss that part? Were the words too big?

I can't stand all the snooty WP show people. In all the shows I've been too, I wouldn't show if I were paid to having to deal with the pompous, self appreciative, egotistical, wish they were as rich as they act idiots. Why don't you just sum it up to say anyone who hasn't shown never should and their horse is worthless. I personally don't care about breeding. What can YOUR horse actually DO?? That's what matters. Not the name. Grow up.

Shinenstarlight said...

Hey Mz Swirl...keep it cool, huh?
Tsk. Have a better day.

JNH214 said...

Ahh, it's so funny to watch the fugly-ites latch hold of one tiny point made out of a large paragraph of points and defend it to death, ignoring the many other questions/comments brought up by the "trolls".
Anyone with half a brain can see the truth.
If it isn't true, then answer ALL questions, defend ALL statements... not just one itty bitty bit.
It's like the slaughter debate all over again... round and round we go, repeating ourselves in vain and ignoring the facts.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the one throwing hissy fits on someone else's blog about how stupid I think they are :)

I'm bored and trolling a troll, what's your excuse?

CinammonSwirl said...

Last two posts not by me. Just a silly true troll who literally is a poor pathetic soul. Just because I call Cathy out on her bullshit (she'd make the show.)

Bisky said...

I find it highly amusing that you "believe" you could "buy" Indian Artifacts, or you're throwing this idea out for "giggles"...he isn't for sale,

Reading comprehension.

ur doin it wrong.

BehindTheBarn said...


I don't see where, even to a narcissistic troll like yourself, there's any evidence of me losing my temper. In fact, it seems any comments send you into orbit, because you have some agenda that could only be explained as obsessive. Truly, I don't understand this obsession you guys have with this VLC blog, where you chase each other's tails around, atta-girling each other about who posts the snottiest comments.

(FWIW - I already know The Wench is fat. Not the 'fat, but a good personality' kind of fat, just garden variety fat and bitter. 'Nuf said.)

And who says you're even qualified to critique my work in the arena? Why, because you throw hissy fits all over the internet about things that honestly don't matter in the real world - that makes you some kind of expert? Because you basically stalk someone online (Fugs, for example), that makes you an authority of all things equestrian? That one made me laugh out loud. Maybe Amarillo should know about your psycho/obsessive online behavior, as long as you feel you're wielding some imaginary clout in the Tattletale Club.

JFC, grow up.

Would it be better if I signed my name PlaygunSomethingOrOther? Does that make us buddies, now, since we can both lay down 11s?

I mean, like another freakin' shirttail Shining Spark / Grays Starlight is anything to get excited over. (Darling, I hate to break it to you, but they're as rare as cubic zirconia.)

JNH214 said...

The only one throwing hissy fits are the idiots scrambling to cover Cathys ass.

brat_and_a_half said...

I'm a very visual learner. If I can see it done, I can usually figure it out. When I was first learning to ride, when I was learning to canter, I couldn't firgure it out the first day, so I watched my coach teach her next lesson and watched the girl cantering, and I got it. Analogies don't work at all for me, but I use them a lot when I teach, and I've found it works well for most younger kids. After I've firgured out something, I like looking at pictures and talking about what's wrong and right. I find it much easier to fix after that than having someone describe what Im doing wrong while Im riding.

clara said...

i am a huge daydreamer so if i get bored i immediantly space out. i learn by watching and then doing it right away. i always space out in my ASL class because we never sign my teacher just signs to us. so boring!

CinammonSwirl said...

How is us showing her scrutiny any different than anything else she does? Her, "Do as I say, not as I do," sort of makes her less credible.

Maybe it is her that needs the wake up call. Does she really think she can pull off a no name stallion with no name parents?

Does she know that having a dam full sister to brother means nothing? Not only does that damn only have half the same chromosomes and genetic information that made the brother great, the VLS will only contain 25% of those genes from the super amazing grandparent, if even that. Same with the brother. She's saying 25% genes that this horse MAY have is going to make him successful? That doesn't make much sense...

BuckdOff said...

I've heard of your blog, "Fugly Wench of the day" cute name and oh, so original...Toronto, Toronto!

The Wenchster said...

Oh behindthebarn-
Fat and bitter- your definition of fat makes no sense, but bitter- yeah, a fews battle with Breast Cancer will do that to you. But as far as this just being about Cathy- if it was someone other than Cathy I'd still be saying the same things. I have my opinions of her and her beliefs and if that makes me a stalker then I guess Cathy sure does love stalking CBER, Dean Solomon, and Sam(not sure what last name here).
You've given me my laugh today. Go check out NRHA and NRBC and you'll see those "shirt tail" and anything but ordinary offspring of Shining Spark, Topsail Whiz, and Smart Little Lena are winning the big money. Come back to me when you're better educated.

Shinenstarlight said...

Behind the Barn...quit whining and grow some would you.....? God you can throw insults around like Don Rickles..too bad you don't understand half of what you say.

Keep that temper under control.....I have to say you've provided the best entertainment I've had for the I've been "all over the internet", I'm "a stalker" and on it goes....such an imagination. If you had a clue, you'd keep your mouth shut and do the rest of us a favor.

Yes I'm qualified to critique your work in the pen but I'll leave it to those that you work with, the judges, considering they're the ones who do so. Maybe a little "word to the wise", or dropping a dime on you would give them a more realistic picture of your inability to do your job.

By the way, don't sign your name "Playgun" as it only suggests you wish for something that you don't have.

Have a better day, give your mouth and imagination a rest....libelous and slanderous statements are difficult to prove...

BuckdOff said...

Wenchster, You do realize, no one would look twice at your blog if you hadn't copied Cathy's name. You have balls to spare, LOL!, riding Cathy's coat tails...Gotta love it. Read the definition of's great you'll love it.. Are you really fat and unattractive? maybe that's the reason you're haunting this blog? Well, sit back down on the sofa with all of your snacks, and prepare to be endlessly entertained..If we cared at all about your opinions, we would be there reading your blog, and we're NOT.

Shinenstarlight said...

BuckdOFF...hey, you're good for something...a laugh. Stay on the "Fugly" blog with the rest of the rejects. No doubt you feel right at home.

BuckdOff said...

No can do, I'm not fat and unattractive, so I do have places to go and people to see, unlike you apparently...

BuckdOff said...

Does the term Battle Axe ring a bell with you at all? It's a term used for people like you, bitchy with absolutely no social skills.

Shinenstarlight said...

Oh now Miss "Buck" you've NO sense of humor at all...."Battle Axe" my, that would be your middle name..right!!! You "have places to go"? Then why waste your precious time on this blog?


JNH214 said...

Buckdoff, you sound like such an idiot.
Nice one.

BuckdOff said...

Actually, If I had multiple personalities like you all, I could stay here and spar with you, talk with my friends on FHOTD, and still go out tonight. Sadly, I'm normal and that is impossible, Battle Axe! And to tell you the truth, I find you just as entertaining, albeit lame.

Shinenstarlight said...

Miss "Battle Axe", or "Miss Buck", is that with a "B" or "F"? off to your adventures with others of your ilk... take YOUR six personalities, all of which are losers, with you.....tah tah darling.....such fun...YA..LMAO


Shinenstarlight said...

"Biskey" baby, you're over your head..take it back to class...

BuckdOff said...

How charming, trolling on a horse blog, chanting "BITE ME." Do you actually have a "real job"? All three of you? Do you show up together or just pop up, one by one, periodically? Tell us, really,it's fascinating.

robyn said...

Lots of repetition, from my trainer, every time I have a lesson. It generally takes a couple lessons at least for me to "get" a concept. The only fault I find w/ my trainer is that she has so much knowledge to impart, that I can't possibly absorb everything she says to me during a lesson.
One thing that I love is that while we are working on a concept, she is following me around the arena, continuing to coach, rather than screaming directions from the middle.

I take notes after each lesson, which helps, but I still don't get it all.

Shinenstarlight said...

Ahhh Miss "F" you're such a crashing bore...your bon mots and words of wisdom are such that I wait in breathless anticipation of the next one. KISS KISS, later.

robyn said...

Fugs will find out soon enough what a bullshit, dog-eat-dog, world the AQHA pleasure ring is, I have no doubt.

Aaaand it's the politics that causes me NOT to show, either dogs or horses. But I suspect that Cathy is laughing her ass off at all the trolling, and the singular blogspot that exists JUST to bitch about ONE person? That is hilarious! Fuglywenchoftheday? And each day is a new entry bitching about FHOTD? Oookay. I'm sure that one will go up for the best blog award... 9_9

JNH214 said...

Yep... trolls... right.
I can't imagine being either so naive, stupid, or a combination of the two to be able to blindly agree with everything that Cathy says.
I for one (mostly) like the fugly blog. It has a lot of great points, highlights awesome rescues, and stands for some great stuff. I think Cathy is an intelligent woman. I have no quams with her character.
That being said... when she says something that is total bullshit, hypocritical, WHATEVER, I realize it!
You don't have to hate someone to see that they are talking out of their ass, being a hypocrite, again... whatever the case may be!
If my mom, dad, best friend, said something and did the other I would call them out.
THAT is what my "bone to pick" is here.
The other "trolls"... maybe not.
Grow up. I think the main reason there has been such an outbreak of "alternative thinkers" is because lately, there is something negative posted over on fugly and that very same thing being practiced over here on VLC. it is all coming to light now.
Stop for a moment and use some sense instead of just going on a blind rampage. The maturity of this conversation (was it ever really a conversation?) is going downhill FAST on both sides...

AlmightyMarshmellow said...


lol FHotD is its own blog. If you don't like it and its ways, start your OWN blog about how much you hate FHotD rather than trolling the comments and making a complete idiot of yourself.

Because all you are going to accomplish is burning yourself into our memories as just another annoying troll.

And we will look back on you and laaaaugh and laaaugh.

Don't worry, we aren't laughing with you.

AlmightyMarshmellow said...


My head is spinning with the whole web of SNs. Want to slap me with the whole list of CopySams?

Just so I can torch them. And I believe you dropped this :hands your tinfoil hat over:.

GoLightly said...

Grow up. I think the main reason there has been such an outbreak of "alternative thinkers" is because lately, there is something negative posted over on fugly and that very same thing being practiced over here on VLC."

Whoa. You make no sense at all now. Not that much was made before.

Maybe it's all the English you're trying to transcribe so quickly?

AMM, all of ya, I saw that too. Pretty pathetically lame, but notice the commenters.
Vewy, vewy familiar. I know several have already commented on Fugs, and are feeling left out of things. Poor lost souls.

I think TORONTO doesn't work here, kids. Different blog entirely. It's a re-rider training blog.

RIGHT, I forgot. When fugs is bitching about BN western trainers breaking horses jaws, she's then whipping over here to practice on her old red mares! Of course!
Duh, right. I think Fugs is going for the emaciated look in the VLC, too, huh? And, I am pretty sure she's been planning a pack trip into the frickin' mountains, so she can STARVE HER HORSES TO EXHAUSTION. Silly, huh?
I so agree with all that Fugs is doing.
Keep up that abuse and neglect, FUGS, we're ALL behind ya.

Let's Try

I think I smell some sulfur.
Wait, a lot of sulfur!!!

Smells like the dark side in here.

I know what type of saddles 89.987% of them are using, too.

My style of learning is to never, ever stop. And to keep an open honest mind about the horse industry. What WE've done to the horse's conformation and soundness, by our styles and fads and BULLshit training methods.

Our quest for the biggest bang, for the shortest buck.

I agree, the VLC looks like a prime-peanut-pusher. BREEDERS BRED FOR THAT, for some unknown, untold, sooperseekret reason. VLC, from his limited pictures, seems to have some angles in his legs, thank goodness. This probably will prevent him from pinning.

Maybe this blog will answer my question, asked again, ever and always respectfully.
Why are their heads held so low, and why is such slow, stilted motion, with no flexion in the joints, considered good? Still waiting on the answer to that question, mugs. I mean, fugs. Maybe you can give a straight answer to that one.

I've read on mugs they are supposed to be "seeking the ground", which shows their relaxation. That their hind end comes under to meet the front end. But when they're MOVING? How can the thinking, "I will drive his head into the ground, while moving" make any sense?
Right, it doesn't. But nobody wants to admit it.

The QH of my youth is missing. And he needs to come back, for the good of the breed itself.

Wouldn't it be funny if VLC does do well in the ring?
It's the chance you take when you buy a horse with a goal in your mind. May work, may not.


good night and good luck.

JNH214 said...


OF COURSE I meant literally every single thing that is brought up on the fugly blog is done over here. Yeah. You got it pinned.

Another perfect example of grasping at straws trying to hold an argument.
And, like many other times I have tried to state an alternate opinion on either blog, I am done. It's like talking to a brick wall with these idiots.

Becky said...

JNH214 -
you've stated your opinion. I read it a couple of times, as you posted it a few times. You don't believe that everything on this or the FHOTD blog is accurate, you believe that some of what Cathy says isn't what she does, and you feel everyone has a right to be criticized without being attacked by that person's buddies.

You're right on some of those, wrong on others (the buddy one). point made, move on.

I guess I don't get why you having a different opinion means that I never disagree with these blogs.
I disagree with a lot, but I also learn a lot because I don't know everything, and I learn things.
Some things I learn are things I do wrong. Some things I learn are that other people do wrong. Sometimes I just learn things I didn't know I didn't know.

Mostly I learn that for every horse question there's 10 more answers than people in the room, and that loyalty is often mistaken for minion-itis, and vice versa.

I just want you to know I read your opinion, I learned some things. One is that I don't care to join the AQHA show world for anything, ever.

Another is that you are having trouble understanding the difference between "expressing an opinion" and "changing someone's mind."
I have learned that you (and I!) will not be changing anyone's mind (or each others!), and in fact taking a strong, heavy handed stance on your opinion increases the chance that you won't have a salubrious effect on readers. But I know you know that.

So I wanted to let you know I read you, I got you, I disagree with your points, but ultimately it doesn't really matter because there isn't a hypocrisy police (thank the gods!) and if Cathy can't walk the walk, well I'm having fun watching all the talk.

Also, I'm a multi-modal learner, I was taught by the "read it, write it, say it" method of brain washing. Which is probably why I'm so hard to brain wash.

Becky said...

so while I'm hard to brainwash, I'm also hard to teach, apparently. that should read
"i disagree with *some of* your points"

Serendipity said...

At least this troll (these trolls?) can use paragraph breaks. Guess we should be grateful for that.

Time to break out the tinfoil hats!

AlmightyMarshmellow said...

I've got them here, Serendipity! I picked them up off the floor after the planning fail thread.



Not as great as Toronto...


I think Regina is more suited.

Serendipity said...

Almost forgot, I think I'd be classified as a visual learner. I can remember something from seeing it written once, and I copy movements unconsciously. I once got into a bad habit of jumping up my horse's neck because I'd been watching XC jumpers that really need to rise out of the saddle.

That's not the only way it's hindered me. I have another bad habit of glancing down, because I rely so much on my sight that it takes me longer to 'feel' things like balance, lead changes, lameness, etc.

And yet I still cannot judge line distance for shiiite.

Mikolaj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GoLightly said...

AMM, BuckedOff, Robyn, etc.:
What I find fascinating is that it's on this blog.
Too skeered to come out from under the bridge for the other blog?
I don't often read this one.

Pretty funny, AMM, pretty frickin' funny.

I wonder what part they don't get?
By the way, we do get it.


We really do.

Put down the fad barbie, and get a real life. Maybe learn something, or WAIT, HERE's an idea!
Contribute some information, OR, wow, try THIS!
Get a real life.
Read a book, or something.

Hysterical how you just glossed over the point I was making. I got your point, too bad I couldn't come up with more.
Betcha we got us some pareallies here.
Give us an example, UEUH.
A good one.


I love the smell of bullshit in the morning:)

AlmightyMarshmellow said...


Do you feel comfortable in your sanity right now? Go check out The Wenchster's blog for more major LULz at people's anger and stupidity.

Well, at least we can say that toll up and made their own blog to whine about it. But the way they jump on the stupidest things without a single thought on whether what their saying contains an ounce of sense just makes me collapse into helpless laughter that people actually believe what they type for the sake of trying to pick at someone.

It's horrible that people feel that horrible about themselves.

But sadly, I'm amused by it.

Art said...

Almighty Marshamallow said: ":Well, at least we can say that toll up and made their own blog to whine about it. But the way they jump on the stupidest things without a single thought on whether what their saying contains an ounce of sense just makes me collapse into helpless laughter that people actually believe what they type for the sake of trying to pick at someone.

It's horrible that people feel that horrible about themselves. "

How on earth is a different opinion indicative of low self-esteem?

...Or could you just not think of anything more clever to say?

You're displaying the FHOTD mentality at its best, I'm afraid.

GoLightly said...

Hey Art, I didn't know you rode. You sure can sing. I think blogs are on this planet so that intelligent discussions can take place.
Of course, depends on the blog you choose to visit.
Check out what AMM is laughing about, you MIGHT see what I mean.
Who would have THOUGHT that people differ in their beliefs? And that people of like beliefs would have similar views?
Shucks, Wow, I can't believe it. Really? People have differing opinions about horses? About life, art, politics, music?? Euthanasia? Capital Punishment?

C'mon, give us one.

Now, please, give me that one differing opinion again?
I didn't hear it.

AMM, that's what I was talking about. I went, I saw, I laughed.

Have a great day!
Say hi to Mr. Wells.

ezra_pandora said...

Wow. I logged on thinking I'd hear some intelligent conversation about people and their learning style. Wasn't that was the blog about? I'm afraid my comment wouldn't make sense after all this incessant bantering about commentor's differences of opinions, so I guess I will not bother as my comment would not be nearly as annoying.

JNH214 said...

See, you had an intelligent response. Why couldn't everyone do that?
All other responses I got were people grasping at a small portion of something I said, blowing it out of proportion, and going off on an immature tangent (in true fugly form).
I repeated myself because clearly, some members did not understand what I was getting at.
You have brought up the intelligence average, and I do appreciate your response. Clearly you do not suffer from the "sheep"
mentality that most on these two blogs do... and that is probably why you were able to actually READ what I said and take it into consideration rather than just blasting off a bunch of nonsense.

And to whoever brought it up... This was started here, not on fugly. Which is why I didn't take it over there. That would make zero sense.
Also, I rarely read the comments over there because it's just a bunch of yes-men and brown nosers. Not usually much intelligence happening in those comments. Here, at least once in awhile, something worth reading training-wise is posted.

verylargecolt said...

>>I was once riding my instructor's horse and I was still in the process of learning how to have soft, forgiving hands. Finally fed up with all of the pulling and such on her mare's mouth, she said, "If you pull on that horse's mouth one more time I'm going to come over there, jerk you off, and go put her away while you lay in the dirt!"<<

LOL! OK, not tactful but you got the point!

When I was teaching lessons, I was very horse-centric too...the kids would whine about not being allowed their reins at the trot (I taught them on a longe until they could post consistently well and keep their hands quiet) but I used to tell them to imagine someone attaching ropes to their braces and then losing their balance and pulling - then they'd know how the horse felt with beginner hands at the trot!

It works. My school horses stayed fresh and the kids learned to post.

verylargecolt said...

>>But I suspect that Cathy is laughing her ass off at all the trolling, and the singular blogspot that exists JUST to bitch about ONE person? That is hilarious! <<

It is and I am laughing. I feel like Paris Hilton!

Also, the more drama, the more traffic, the more ad revenue in my pocket. So keep on trollin' - full training and heading to the shows isn't cheap!

(For those of you annoyed, all you have to do is click on a user name and their post disappears so you can read past it to get to what we are actually discussing)

Char said...

verylargecolt said...
"When I was teaching lessons, I was very horse-centric too...the kids would whine about not being allowed their reins at the trot (I taught them on a longe until they could post consistently well and keep their hands quiet)"

Yeap. The same instructor once had me do an entire one hour lesson in two-point because I had such a horrible riding posture that would make me slap around on the horses back while trotting. She said that I wansn't allowed to sit on her horse because I had no seat! lol. I learned alot from her, and am grateful for everything.

After that, I did ALOT of sitting trot without stirups, or reins in a small arena. Now I can sit pretty much ANY trot! :D

Erin said...

Just because an is counter intuitive doesn't make it wrong. So many horse people assume starting horses early leads to injuries; it's one of Cathy's main premises. People believe that's why racehorses are so often injured.

However, that's been proven wrong, without question, by science. Without listing references to studies themselves, consider this transcript from a Talkin' Horses session with Larry Bramlage, DVM.

"Thank you for taking our questions, Dr. Bramlage. Mine relate to what can be done to minimize injury to the racehorse. Also, more specifically, given finances aren't a factor, what is the ideal age to place a racehorse in training? For example, is there an optimal age wherein appropriate remodeling must occur? Can they still adequately remodel if serious training is withheld until a later age?


This answer is easy, and well documented by science. The best age to train a horse is to start right at the end of growth and maintain the bone formation mechanism that has been doing the growing, and just shift it to responding to training. So, late yearlings and early two year olds train better, last longer, and make more starts than horses that wait until later to start training."

Yet misinformation reigns...and gets repeated ad nauseum here, on FHotD, and elsewhere.
Information is power!

Char said...

Really? Starting yearlings is better for long-term soundness than starting them after growing is complete? I've never heard of such a thing before. Sounds like raceing industry propoganda to me but, what do I know...?

Erin said...

"Charge number one: The training and racing of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds is predisposing these horses to accelerated rates of injury and prematurely shortened careers.

This charge is leveled by some people in and out of the horse industry, especially people outside of racing. It is a very popular theme with animal welfare organizations that are ill informed on the topic of racing and the horse; it is also parroted frequently in the popular press.

To examine these data The Jockey Club Information Systems extracted one-year windows at five-year intervals, using the years 1975 through 2000 as data sets. Horses were divided into the categories "raced as two-year-olds" and "raced, but not as two-year-olds." The data shows a definitive answer to this charge.

The first category of data examined was average starts per starter lifetime. The data shows that horses that raced as 2-year-olds raced many more times in their lifetime in each of the years examined when compared to horses that did not race until after their 2-year-old season. Some of these starts were made in the 2-year-old year for the horses that raced at 2, but the difference was more marked than the 2-year-old year alone would account for.

Average lifetime earnings per starter for horses that raced as 2-year-olds are almost twice the amount earned by horses that did not race as 2-year-olds.

Career average earnings per start for horses that raced as 2-year-olds exceeded average earnings per start for horses that did not race as 2-year-olds in every one of the years from 1975 to 2000 examined.

Lastly, the percent stakes winners in horses that raced as 2-year-olds is nearly three times higher than in horses that did not race until their 3-year-old year or later.

This data is definitive. It shows that horses that began racing as 2-year-olds are much more successful, have much longer careers, and, by extrapolation, show less predisposition to injury than horses that did not begin racing until their 3-year-old year. It is absolute on all the data sets that the training and racing of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds has no ill effect on the horses' race-career longevity or quality. In fact, the data would indicate that the ability to make at least one start as a 2-year-old has a very strong positive affect on the longevity and success of a racehorse. This strong positive effect on the quality and quantity of performance would make it impossible to argue that these horses that race as 2-year-olds are compromised.

These data strongly support the physiologic premise that it is easier for a horse to adapt to training when training begins at the end of skeletal growth. Initiation of training at the end of growth takes advantage of the established blood supply and cell populations that are then converted from growth to the adaptation to training. It is much more difficult for a horse to adapt to training after the musculoskeletal system is allowed to atrophy at the end of growth because the bone formation support system that is still present in the adolescent horse must be re-created in the skeletally mature horse that initiates training."

-Dr. Larry Bramlage, DVM, on his credibility:

excerpt from

Char said...

Ugh. Aparently my finger-eye coordination is lacking today. You get my drift, despite the typos. :)

Erin said...

"In contrast, the tendons of young horses (less than two years) strengthen in response to training. Thus, contrary to the common belief that exercise training of immature horses is detrimental, the results of these recent studies raise the possibility that early training might enhance development of the supporting structures of the limbs and perhaps reduce the incidence of injury during training and competition. "

-Ray Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM

excerpt from

Char said...

Did the study that you reffered to, or any of the other studies that you know of, record the numbers of raced-as-two-year olds that are still being ridden/competed on at the ages of 10, 15 and 20, as opposed to the others that started later?

It makes sense that horses raced as two year olds will have more starts and more earnings simply because of hitting the track earlier. But what about after thier racing careers are over?

Patches said...

Wow. Some people crack me UP! Thanks for the tid bit on how to skip thru all the stupid comments that I don't care to read! And I do hope that all the trollin' pays for your shows. Wouldn't that be karmic justice?!

Anyways, back to the main topic of the post (and smacking myself in the forehead for getting involved)...I'm totally a visual learner. I can't read things and apply them to my riding to save my life. When I first started what I refer to as my grown up riding life (ie - not tearing around on my horse being a typical know-it-all teenager) I put my horse in training for a couple months. I would go out and watch the trainer work with my horse while I took lessons on other more finished horses. She put me on the barn owners 16 something hand WP horse and told me that I have to have soft hands with him or he'll buck me off, like he's done to the last couple people that rode him. WTF?!? I didn't know what the heck soft hands were, but after a few moments of panic and watching the trainer with my horse I learned real fast and have since received numerous comments on how soft my hands are with horses. I also find mirrors and video of myself very helpful.

Since I'm having a hard time finding any trainers that I want to work with in my area, I find the best way for me to learn on my own is to watch the pro's do it and then (unfortunately for my horse!) fumble my way around until I think I've got it, using mirrors, video and whoever may be watching to help me.

Certainly not the best or most effective way of learning, but it's what I've got right now so I'm doing what I can with it. I sure do wish I could learn just by reading stuff though! It would make things so much easier!

Erin said...

Char, I haven't seen any studies on how these early-trained horses hold up as riding horses at age 10, 15, etc. Studies, unfortunately, aren't often undertaken for philanthropic reasons; it is the financial interests involved in the racing years that leads to funding of studies such as these (and the reason why Thoroughbreds are so often the subject, because the racing industry has the most money tied up in it). I would love to see such a study, of course.

Until then, personally, I'm much more comfortable acting on the scientific evidence that does exist and what it says about how two year old training affects a horse's durability in the years that have been studied.

However, what the scientific evidence that does exist tells us is that bone remodeling done at that young age does not get "unbuilt" later in that horse's life. The bone built by stress stays that way - "Once a horse's bone had remodeled appropriately--yielding a shape adapted for the stresses placed upon it--it would actually stay that way for life." (see

"It sounds completely backwards, the idea that you might actually increase health risks by postponing training and competition until a horse is four or older. It goes against the ages-old and widely held belief that you cause damage by initiating work before a horse's skeleton matures. Yet research conducted from the 1980s through the present day has steadily been debunking the old theories, replacing supposition and circumstantial evidence with hard scientific fact.

In short, the newly understood reality is that done correctly, exercising and even competing a 2-year-old horse could be beneficial by strengthening the horse's musculoskeletal system and decreasing his long-term risk of injury. We'll look at the research supporting this theory (most of which relates to racehorses), discuss how the information might apply to other types of riding, and touch on the unknowns that still remain." (also from

robyn said...

The best age to train a horse is to start right at the end of growth and maintain the bone formation mechanism that has been doing the growing

If you're following this theory, then you shouldn't be starting a horse until they are past age 7, as this is the time when the spine finally finishes its growth, according to Dr. Deb Bennett, whom I trust more than some vet whose name I've never heard before.

I've never heard of anyone else saying that the end of a horse's growth is at 1 1/2-2 years of age.

But you go right ahead and start your horses at that age. I'll do it my own way, thanks.

CinammonSwirl said...

The fad barbie? No, sorry. Saying she's a fad is lulz worthy at best. Now, having a lot of influence on people and saying that all these things are wrong, then going and practicing said wrong things? No, sorry, that's not playing with the fad barbie, it's dumping a bucket of cold water on her head. She needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe when QH's were a new breed she could have had a no special name stallion and all would have been dandy! This is 2009, it doesn't work like that anymore.

Oh, but his grand sire won points in all these events!!! Doesn't that make your very ugly colt speshul! Well rounded horses are rare, and only having a shot at 25% of those genes makes her chances even worse! Sorry, but if it isn't out of a good competing horse from a good competing horse, I'm willing to make my bet he isn't going to do great competing. Let's not forget the dam's stifle and hock issues that already have reared the ugly head in the VLC from just fiddle farting around in a pasture. If he can't stay sound buckfarting, what makes her think he'll stay sound trudging himself in an arena with the big dogs?

Let's not forget she hasn't covered herself from buying from a color breeder. I'm shocked she doesn't answer those questions. Heck, she already bought a crossbreed COLT off of them (and it's labeled so plainly on their website.) Tell me, is she going to not geld this one, too? It's grade with a pretty color! That's the ultimate sire in byb land, and I have no doubt that is exactly where she is heading.

Let's not forget she's trying to promote a no name, nothing special stallion in a recession that has raped the horse industry. If you're not a proven bloodline, you might as well just snip your own balls off and save face instead of wasting time and money.

CinammonSwirl said...

"Also, the more drama, the more traffic, the more ad revenue in my pocket. So keep on trollin' - full training and heading to the shows isn't cheap!"

Proving once again you've become a media outlet, and a person who doesn't like to see anyone say anything against your "Oh so wonderful perfect" ways. You're so full of BS. Paralegal who believes in free speech my ass.

Erin said...

"I've never heard of anyone else saying that the end of a horse's growth is at 1 1/2-2 years of age."

No one said this. If you read any vet pub med article on bone modeling and remodeling, you'll understand what the different authors I've linked to are referring to.

GoLightly said...

Oooh, I see. Well, I knew that already.

The "if you're right, we can't be wrong" crowd.
Nothing better to do?

Argue points that still haven't be researched by non-partisan opinions? By your own admission? Contrasting vet theories on bone re-modeling during growth?
The type of re-modeling you speak of happens if the young horse is left to run and grow on his own, too. With much less risk of catastrophic breakdown. Less arthritic changes. Horses need to find those legs, first. Hmm, maybe THAT's why jumpers are started so ridiculously late? And why they last a very long time?
Why young TWH's, started right sharp early, have truly amazing soundness issues as they age?

They start the TB's young for the money they make. It's simple really.


Watching the great riders ride is always a learning experience.

Here's another comment, fugs, for your media frenzy.
That you're going commercial, is not a crime, either.
GASP, make Money!
How gauche.

sonic1015 said...

Well, as it's her choice to compete her stallion, C. Swirl and NOT yours, and she didn't buy horse from a place filled with neglect, and has yet to actually breed it, I don't see how she has contradicted herself to the point where what she says no longer has relevance. You can pick and pick all you want, but you have yet to actually take a serious chunk out of Cathy's credibility.

It's almost as if you were expecting her to be a goddess and was disappointed when your realized she was...dare I say it...flawed. Gosh, don't you just hate it when humans are not perfect? Maybe she decided to look only at the horse instead of the parents, and thought it was an added bonus that he had relatives with points. Perhaps (and this is speculation) she had a moment of poor judgment. Why do you care so much that she bought a horse? Do you think her buying a horse ludicrous? that her fight for animal welfare is less effective? Is she banned from buying a horse and showing it? Is it cruel? What am I missing here? For Pete's sake, you haven't even seen the horse jog and you've already condemned it as unable to compete.

I personally couldn't care what the horse's breeding was. I've myself had great success with horses that had no special breeding and weren't even that great to look at (yes, higher then schooling level). But then again, my discipline is free of bias (jumpers) and the results do the talking, not the politics.

As for the people blindly pulling reports off the racing industry site, three words: conflict of interest.

Colleensinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2bayponies said...

The name starts with the individual... I think it would be really cool if some no name horse came from nowhere and stirred things up at the AQHA shows. Don't think there's a snowballs chance in hell that it will be this horse, but if she's having fun trying, more power to her.
I used to know an APHA stallion that had points in everything, was at pretty much every west coast show held and was a great campaigner. He had a really great personality on top of all of it. He might have bred 1 or 2 outside mares a year and I don't ever remember seeing any of his offspring showing. The judges awarded the points, but that didn't really prove his suitability as a breeding stallion.
The blog is pretty mean spirited at times, but I always thought that what snarky commentary was all about. The biggest problem I have is stupid people who take Cathys word as gospel, read the blog and then follow the link to some unknowing persons site and flame them. This is (imo) why it is said that Cathy has minions. She may not want them, but they are so stupid and unthinking that they rush to do what they perceive as her "bidding" in the exact same tone the blog is written in.

appywoman said...

Well said 2bay. I think that really sums up my opinion of this blog as well. You definately have to sift through a lot of the information and the comments and look at it all objectively but there are gems of wisdom throughout as well as bullshit.

I am a horsewoman of 30+ years and worked, as it seems Cathy has, through much of my younger years by trading sweat for knowledge. I have learned a lot and can identify with a lot of her experiences. Even so I still have picked up new ideas, asked a question on this blog (got no answer but maybe it was because too many readers were arguing about Cathy's alleged hypocrisy), and had my point of view adjusted concerning the problems contributing to the overbreeding of inferior individuals who most of the time end up on a dinner plate. Hell, I have chosen not to breed my very good App mare with not a little influence from FHOTD. By the, I was not brainwashed, I sat up and payed attention to the state of the economy and the industry. That was the basis for my decision, but admittedly it was an awakening from reading FHOTD.

This blog and FHOTD are informative, controversial at times, definately entertaining, and most of all responsible for making us pay closer attention to the plight of abused animals.

Bottom line, I think Cathy (with her "warts") is really doing a good thing with her blogs. I have been a reader since its inception, I read it daily, but I certainly do not consider myself a "minion." I suspect I am no different than MOST of the readership.

sholmes said...

I haven't commented on this blog before, but I read it most days, and reading the comments on here finally inspired me to write, as they are so infuriating to read (the negative ones).
First of all, blogs can be a great learning tool.. I think anyone with half a brain can take what they want from information that they read, and then use it in a way that suits them. This in reference to the pointless bitching back and forth about the VLC and various blogs (yes I also read the Fugly blog). There is an sad trend in the 'horse world' where people are afraid to ask for help because they know they will be mocked, ridiculed, laughed at, told they are wrong, told they are mistreating their horse, told they are fools. As long as the horse is healthy, fed and fit, does it matter? All this back and forth 'you're an idiot', 'no, you're an idiot' is tiresome to read and I like to skip to the parts where people share their ideas about training/riding etc. This actually improves the horse's experience with their rider - not telling someone their colt is a piece of shit who won't win anything in the ring. What's it to you?
On to learning style, I like to learn by knowing exactly why and how I am (supposed to be) doing something. My last proper riding instructor (from a riding school) would just shout out commands - which I didn't understand - and it was very frustrating. I found riding with a friend who would explain by showing me a lot easier, and I gradually picked up the lingo. Watching videos of your riding is invaluable.. amazing what a difference it makes to your understanding of how your body is moving on a horse.

2bayponies said...

It;s funny how your learning style can influence your teaching style. I learn by doing best, but I also need someone to show me how sometimes. So when I am trying to teach someone that's how I teach. I show them, let them try and then offer corrections. SO far it has stood me in good stead.
I do find I get a lot out of reading if the style of writing suites my style of learning. Step by step with explanations as to why you are doing what you are doing, how it's going to help you in future training, etc... My favorite book on training is still "Schooling for Young Riders" by John Richard Young. It's long out of print, but can still be found on Amazon. If you followed the lessons outlined in that book you could produce a pretty well rounded horse. I throw in things I have learned over the years on my own, and from other people, but it still outlines a pretty straight forward way to start and get near the end of finishing a horse, and can be easily adapted to any riding style.

2bayponies said...

Also, let me clarify, I don't think the majority of people who read the fugly blog are stupid and "miniony". In fact, most of the horse people I know and respect read the blog at least sporadically. They, like me, read it for it's entertainment value and are capable of forming their own opinions about any comment they read.

appywoman said...

2bayponies...I don't think you are implying that the majority of the readers are minions at all. There are those who blindly take what is written as gospel and then act in a mindless manner. That is their problem. I believe that most of us are able to read the blog and use our own filters to sort through the information and take it for what it is worth.