Saturday, April 20, 2013

Amy Miller at Midwest Horse Fair + Pretty Pictures

Why do I deliberately make myself angry? I'll probably develop ulcers or something. Maybe I shouldn't even talk about Amy Miller. We could just look at pretty pictures from the Fair instead. Like this gorgeous Arabian that was in the fashion show:

Aw shit, look at that awful thin wire noseband. And upon closer inspection, I saw that under the headstall was a nasty halter and stud chain combo. Goddamit.

*sigh* Okay okay, since apparently I'm in a mood again, let's talk Amy Miller.

Amy Miller is a psychic. Ahem, excuse, me, a "clairsentient animal communicator." She claims to be able to talk to talk to any animal, dead or alive. She can do people too, but prefers not to. She further claims:
  • She can tell you where an animal is hurting, what kind of pain it is, and how long it's been going on
  • She can train animals using only psychic messages
  • She can communicate with an animal using only a picture
Now before I go on, let me make it clear: I'm a believer. I believe in God (or at least some kind of higher cosmic power), intuition, the forces of evil, etc. I get nervous walking through a crossroads after dark. I pray. I don't allow Ouija boards in my home. I firmly believe some people are just a little better at knowing things than can easily be explained by our normal five senses. But under no circumstances would I ever pay $95 an hour (or $25 per 15 minutes) to ask fucking Amy Miller to send my horse psychic messages.

Amy Miller. If I had no morals, I would be doing exactly the same thing. Cha-CHING baby, money money money!

Amy Miller preys upon people (usually women over 30) who want comfort. What they need is A) a psychologist or B) a best friend to open up to. These women want to hear certain things: their horse loves them; their horse's bad behavior can be easily corrected by gently talking to it; their dead horse is happy and in a better place; they don't have to feel guilty for putting it down; training is as simple as sending psychic messages. Amy Miller is more than happy to deliver those messages in a sweet little package in exchange for the aforementioned cash.

Miller uses the classic approach every "psychic" has: she gets you to tell her as much as possible, feeling out what you want to hear. Then she tells you what you want to hear. Penn and Teller did a fantastic documentary about this. Here's the video. It's incredibly well-done, so I won't re-hash it here. Go watch.

Hey, if you want to pay Miller to hear what you want to hear, fine by me. It's a free country. Here's the dangerous bullshit part: sometimes what you want to hear is completely wrong, and acting on it could kill you. Here's a quote from Amy Miller:

"[Training solutions] can be as simple as someone like me coming in and telling your horse, 'wait for the cue, slow down,' or, 'when her left leg kicks you here, you go there.'" Wow. Pretty damn convenient. No hours of groundwork, no wet saddle blankets, no muscle-aching work.

I approached Amy Miller and asked her, "Have you ever trained an animal purely by using psychic messages?" Yes, she said, at least one dog. "Isn't it dangerous to tell people you can fix a horse that rears just by sending psychic messages?"

"Yes," she said.

Oh. Wow. That was fucking easy. Convicted from her own mouth!

"I do hope you're working with a trainer too," she added. Nice save... sort of. She went on to say that her job is also to point out what the underlying causes of the rearing are. Does she really know what those are? Probably not. You see, Amy Miller doesn't own horses, and her horse knowledge is limited to a brief period of her childhood when her family owned horses. She actually said this: "...sometimes I don't even know the names of the parts of the [horse's] body..." When talking about a colicing horse, she said, "...they gave him a shot of Banamine... I really don't know what that is..."

Fucking terrific. I can only conclude that those people who hand Amy Miller money want to be ripped off so badly, they're going to ignore any kind of logic or reason. My job here is done.

Let's look at pretty pictures now, shall we?!


  1. Just enjoying perusing your blog and found the photo of the first Arabian. He is an Arabian stallion, fyi, if you didn't realize it then. Not justifying anything, but as a four year old stallion, perhaps they were being cautious.

    1. Oh, I was aware.

      This particular stallion stood incredibly calmly, despite the gawking crowds, noisy kids, nearby mares, etc etc. So why the nasty stuff on his nose? If the answer is "just in case," well... I guess it's OK, but...

      I just don't like the idea that every stallion "needs" nasty chains and nosebands. Many studs don't really need them. As for studs that "need" them, why not just train them well enough not to have to have them? And if a stud "can't" be taught to remain obedient, why is he allowed to continue making babies who will inherent his temperament?

  2. His temperament is excellent. Not my thing in Arabs but I have met him several times and he has an excellent work ethic.

    My feeling is that the barn he is with has a cya type of attitude and perhaps we all should with so many crazies. :)

  3. Not sure if my post was eaten by my phone last night...really should not try and post from it.

    But I have met the horse a couple times and he's a good natured young stallion and easily handled by anyone on the farm, at least. Knowing the farm, I'd guess it's a CYA type a thing, which is probably not a bad idea in this kind of environment. I have absolutely no qualms about his temperament, even if he's my cuppa to breed to.

    Plus side, he's proven in halter and performance. Better than most with jewels. :)