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Horsemen's experiences

From Canada:  "I had a Natural Horsemanship Trainer (that worked for me a few years ago and was excellent at that time!) out to halter break my yearlings as I didn’t want to risk anything before my trip. Long story short: he treated the yearlings so badly, dragged them on the ground (he tied them to another horse), let them rear and fall that I went over to the round pen to stop it. In that moment a yearling reared and fell and broke through the round pen board that went through my knee and caused a major knee injury that is still on the mend."

From England: "I am reeling after reading of such unbelievable horrors with Sikunder.  I had a similar experience with a woman I sent my lovely young horse to for schooling when he was young and I was away working.  I had always been impressed by her "way" with horses, but then she lost her temper with another horse she was working with at the time, pulled it over backwards on very tight side reins, and after 3 days of horrific suffering, it had to be shot after suffering a brain haemorrhage."

"The round pen can be an instrument of torture to horses and I attended - a few years ago now - several events involving 'trainers' and round pens and left early, in tears, having witnessed dreadful abuse and resolved to do something about it."

From Finland:  "Two of our horses have been abused and are - and maybe will be for the rest of their lives - recovering mental patients...  One nine year old had a broken neck, several severe injuries etc when he came to us.  Nobody bothered to tell us that he had fallen on his neck through a hurdle while being ridden, and the people kept on training him despite all the injuries.  One of the top trainers in Finland was responsible for all this. We had two different vets to check the horse out before purchasing him with no results. It was only his weird behaviour that roused my suspicions at home and the horse finally was checked properly and taken care of.  Now after three years he is a most remarkable horse, totally healed physically, but the wounds in his soul have left deep scars.  The other one subject to misuse and abuse is a nine year old we bought directly from Sweden last May.  A sad and a typical basic example of a horse trained with Join up, round pen and Natural Horsemanship.  A perfect western horse... It will take much more time for him to recover and get his soul and trust back, but we are making good progress.  It is heart-breaking to see his eyes gradually turning to life, and feel his vague trust in us growing."

From Germany:  "Almost exactly the same thing that happened to Sikunder was done to my poor horse (he nearly killed me on a couple of occasions)He was unrideable for a year while I sorted his back out. His stupid trainer had been jumping him when he was only 4, and blamed his continual bucking on me being too soft. Don't get me started on that subject - abuse through ignorance of even people with BHS qualifications is rampant, not to mention people who really don't have a clue. Try as I may, I find it very hard not to go off on rants whenever the topic of the correct treatment of horses is brought up."

From New Zealand:  “I had just such an encounter myself, with a horse, a beautiful and talented one who would not go in a horse box.   Well, he would go in but owing to his experience in the starting stalls on the track, he exploded out of it in about 3 seconds.

I took him to a chap who I was assured was ‘magic’ and would fix it.    Not to dwell on it, the end result was the horse had to be put down because of this idiot’s bad judgement.  

At the time, I was also having an issue with another horse who was very cold backed.   So at the same time as he was working with the first horse, I got him to work with the second one.  His attempts to ‘desensitise him’ left the horse a gibbering wreck and it took another 18 months of quiet and persistent handling  before I could  get on him with confidence – I still tread carefully, 2 years on.  Yet people still flock to that trainer.”

From the United States: "It has been my experience that all of these horse training gurus are nothing but people who have learned everything we have all learned about horses and then taken it, discovered how to market it and be showmen, and adapt what ever means will draw attention to them regardless of how the horses are treated."

"One problem that my horse has, which was apparently caused by a 'trainer' some time prior to my purchasing him, is that it is impossible to put on a normal headstall - he won't allow anything to pass over his head. I have spent a lot of time trying to gently undo this - but he still will not allow anything to pass over his head. I have given up long ago because he is so afraid and I want him to trust me. I have to put on a halter or a headstall by putting the strap over his neck behind his ears. Here is what we think some 'trainer' did to him during his youth: he must have been "eared" repeatedly and it must have really hurt. Horses have excellent memories."

From Wales: "I'm much intrigued about the round pen torture ring, I have always said they had all the potential to be demonic things, without doubt it is the most intimidating thing that can be inflicted on any creature, man included, since there is no chance of any kind of escape; a round-pen to my way of thinking is the ultimate tool of the ultimate bully."

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