I was at a local poultry show yesterday and there happened to be a horse show. My friend and I stopped by for a little while to watch the horses. Its been along time since I've ridden in a show, but yesterday reminded me why I hated it so much So many people were tugging on the horses' mouths, whacking them like crazy, kicking, smacking with whips...you name it and people were doing it to their horses. I saw only a very small handful of people actually riding a horse like a horse should be ridden. One girl completed a reining pattern and her horse didn't quite turn in circles as fast as it should have. As soon as this young girl exited the arena, her trainer or mom came over and instead of saying how well she did (because she really did very well for being young and doing such a complicated pattern!) she lectured her on everything she did wrong. SO this girl goes over into the training arena and starts whacking and tugging on the horse to get it into a spin faster. I don't get it...You did the pattern, saw that your horse didn't do something as well as you would like and instead of going home and working on that shortcoming, they have to whack their horse out at the show. What is that teaching the horse?? So many people were frustrated and taking it out on the horse. There was a day where I would have done some of the same things, but my attitude towards training horses has changed so much during the past 15 years I've spent working with them. There's no room for frustration in the saddle. A show is meant to showcase the training you've done at home with your horse, but it is also a learning experience. If your horse does not perform something right, bring it home and work on that. Once it knows what you are asking, bring it back to a show and try again! One girl was having trouble with her horse and you could see the horse had no idea what she was asking. After a few minutes the horse said enough, and threw the girl. She then spent five minutes yanking on the horses bit and screaming at it. That horse had no idea what it was getting yelled at for. It just kept getting more and more frustrated! Honestly, horses already know how to do most of the things we want them to do. The way in which we ask for an action is the important part. I understand horses will sometimes just act up, but there are very few, if any times that a horse should be hit or abused in such a way. Sorry about the rant! I had to walk away from the horse show after watching these people for just a short time! It certainly was refreshing to see one cowboy training his horse in a gentle but firm way. Being firm with a horse does not mean you have to be nasty!