Have you seen Planet of the Apes? It's a great movie. I want to teleport some people into that world... except it would be Planet of the Equines. Intelligent horses would subject former horse-abusing humans to the most awful, ridiculous and painful crap in the name of fashion or sport or whatever. It would be only justice. Today I'm particularly pissed at those who use awful tack.
(Oh, and by "Planet of the Apes" I mean the old one, with smoking hot Charlton Heston in a loincloth, not the crappy remake.)
Without further ado, here is today's What the Fuck Tack:
Does your horse rear? You can totally fix that by jerking really, really hard on his mouth and poll using the Beery Pulley Bridle! The inventor claims you can "control any horse in 3 minutes!" But don't worry, it won't hurt your horse. "It works due to the nerves exposed just behind the ears and is not harmful to the horse." Yeah, uh huh, that sounds super believable. Only $75.00 AND it comes with a twelve page instruction manual! If your horse hasn't yet experienced rope burns on his tongue, order today!
Are you tired of straining your arms as you force your horse's head into an unnatural position behind the vertical? Try the de Gogue Training Aid! Now you can practice rolkur and induce fake collection without any effort on your part.
Would you like a real training shortcut? You need the Harold Watkin's Anti-bucking Trainer. Now instead of teaching your horse what to do and praising him for success, you can just continually torture him with electric shocks! This system places electrodes in the rear girth and reins to administer any level of pain you desire. Guaranteed to reduce even the naughtiest horse to a whimpering puddle. You don't even have to be on his back! "It may be activated manually, remotely, or automatically by means of an inertia switch." And this device isn't just for bucking horses. Nope, you can train a horse to neck rein, go faster or slower, anything you want! Your every command will be instantly obeyed once it's, "enhanced by the reinforcing mild electrical shock." Don't believe it? Well they tested it on at least one real live horse!
"It has been determined that the strongest impression upon an animal's
mind is made as a result of a terrifying experience. This apparatus that
is to be delineated in the following specification utilizes electric
shock to provide such an experience. A nine-year-old horse that had been
retired from saddle service because of his bucking was conditioned with
this device. Within one hour he refused to buck even with the
provocation used in rodeos to produce bucking."
Do you just fucking hate your horse? Try one of these bicycle chain bits. Seriously, there's no other reason you would use one.
Teaching a foal to lead is so boring and time-consuming. Why not just tie him to a similar-sized animal and let them roam? Jo Marie Prukop of Prukop Quarter Horses and Andalusians, Texas, says it works like a charm! "This is how halter-breaking was done on ranches here in Texas back
in the good ol' days. It still works and is very entertaining to watch!
Miniature Sicilian burro and a 2 month old Azteca colt."
So watching them wrap themselves around trees, trip each other up and strangle each other is entertaining? Must be that "I like to watch cockfights" kind of entertaining.
Well heck, you don't even need to spend any money on this "tack," you can use your existing halters, a dog collar and a piece of clothesline! Classy!
The most depressing part about all of these devices is that somewhere, some people believe they are totally normal and acceptable. And so far, the things I've shown here are been somewhat uncommon. There is a ton more awful tack out there that's very common. Take, for instance, the "easy stop," often used by reining trainers:
This thing doesn't go in the horse's mouth, it sits under the jaw. When the reins are pulled, the shanks act as a lever, forcing the "spoon" of the easy stop up into the underside of the jaw. Is often used in addition to a regular bridle and regular bit in the mouth, though some easy stops do combine the jaw mechanism with a bit for an all-in-one package:
Some easy stops are massively heavy. This is one way abused horses end up with broken jaws.
Is an easy stop always a cruel device? No, I can see times where using a mild one would be fine in the right hands. The problem is, all too often it's not the mild ones being used or the right hands using them.
I'm counting on YOU to speak up when you see WTF tack, so that more people become educated, or at least ashamed enough to stop doing what they're doing.