Monday, March 9, 2009

The Mountain Top Can Be a Lonely Place

So I've ruffled a few feathers lately for refusing to admit horseshoes are okay in some situations. For some reason, when people say we are all entitle to our opinions. I think they mean as long as we add lame statements like, "...but whatever works for you and your horses is okay."

There was a time when I would say whatever it took to get along, but I'm getting too old to be diplomatic anymore. Not only will I not give in just to get along. If my feelings on the subject of shoes: "No horse - is better off - wearing horseshoes!" seems a bit confrontational to anyone...well, TS.

When people don’t want to hear what I have to say, rather than try to get me to admit I'm wrong, maybe they would do well to review their own values on the subject.

I was invited to the thread to speak to the hoof issues of Remmer, which I did, but since hooves are my specialty, I continued responding to questions and comments about hooves- not necessarily Remmer's hooves. and was finally admonished for perpetually taking the thread off-topic. Oops!

This forum was started by an awesome group of people who came from the Parelli Savvy Club Forum. They left and started their own forum where they could speak freely, without the censorship they were experiencing on the Savvy Club forum whenever they were in disagreement on things Parelli's stand for and teach. Such as their choice in hoofcare. WHICH IS OUTRAGIOUS!

They call themselves Bad Apples, because that's how they were treated on the SC forum. I thought I might be a bad apple also, but I've come to realize that I don’t believe I’m truly “A Bad Apple.”

I personally admire Pat Parelli, always have, probably always will. For living out his dream. Has he made some mistakes? Yes, we all do, just not as publicly.

Has he been screwing up with their horses' hooves? Yes, and it's becoming obvious to everyone, but them - seemingly.

Is he arrogant? Yes, but you’d almost have to be to continue going out in front of millions of people and shouting from the mountaintops that you disagree with the majority. You step on peoples’ toes when you refuse to admit “they” are right and you are wrong, and that takes guts!

Just ask Dr. Robert Bowker and Pete Ramey and those who came before them, just how much determination and fortitude it takes to continue on when you are confronted by the entire horse community to admit you are wrong, when you know in your heart you are right and you just want to help the horses who are being tortured, maimed, and killed by what others are doing to them. I'm also accustomed to being out-numbered in my philosophy and teaching, so it never comes as a surprise when people react negatively to my statements.

I compare the logic of horseshoes today to the logic people had regarding smoking in back in the 40’s and 50’s. Everyone did it. No one recognized that it wasn’t healthy and there were few outward signs that smoking was slowly killing people.

When a few scientists began to realize the harmful affects of smoking spoke out to the masses, the tobacco companies lowered the boom on them. They were sent back into their labs likely threaten with slander suits, paid off to shut up or publicly admit they were mistaken. Smoking was socially acceptable and those who smoked outnumbered those who didn't. After all, our own government had been purchasing cigarettes by the truckloads to distribute to our military personnel for years!

Later, as people were getting sick and dying from lung cancer and other smoking related illnesses, it became clear that the tobacco companies had ulterior motives for quieting their adversaries.

Then, when science and the medical field jumped on the anti-smoking band wagon, we learned that not only was smoking shortening lives, second-hand smoke was even worse.

Smokers were not only killing themselves they were killing the non-smokers around them. Kind of like getting kicked in the head by a horse with shoes on!


Jeanne said...

Oh, good grief. It's bad enough that happens on the official PNH forum, but on a forum that is for the ones who feel "suppressed"?

I agree with you. Shoes suck. Barefoot works. I disagree on the Parelli's policy to shoe their horses; but as Pat and Linda often say, "you don't know what you don't know". They're focusing on horsemanship and haven't had to focus on hoof health (yet) like we have. Perhaps one day, the Parellis themselves will change their shoeing mindset and come over to the iron-free side. Won't that be interesting?

It is hard to maintain your convictions. I moved my horses from a barn I loved when the issue of "to shoe or not to shoe" became a monumental problem. My lame mare was doing better with a sugar-free diet and no shoes, yet some chose to chastise me for "not caring for my horse properly" because the improvement was "too slow". One of them threatened to report me to the Humane Society for mistreating my horse, despite the support our treatment regimen had from a well-respected vet AND my AANHCP trimmer.

It's funny that the very people complaining about censorship and being ostracized are the ones doing it to others now. Apparently, horses aren't the only mirror.


DraftCrossFool said...

Did they actually pull all your posts, Pat? I read through what I *thought* was the right thread, but didn't find you.

PS The link on your blog entry only goes to a generic page on that forum, not to the Remmer posts.

firecoach said...

I stopped my Savvy club membership. I was tired of paying 20.00 a month for CD's that I never had time to sit and watch. When I went to the forum to ask questions, the question was never really answered. No one could answer it either, which I thought was weird, since they may have had the same problem and handled it successfully. I am not surprised that there is an alternative list. What does surprise me is how they embrace natural horsemanship, yet do not consider barefoot trimming. Even Clinton Anderson, who IMHO has improved immensly, embraces barefoot trimming and has had Pete Ramey on his program.
It can be hard to stand on your convictions and go against the tide.

FrozenPony said...

I hope you feel differently now Pat! You found the rest of us barefooters. Believe me, you are a BAD APPLE! Your help is so wonderful.

Just for the record No posts heve ever been deleted from the forum of which she speaks.
Pat is a very welcome and needed member and I hope you will all come check us out. We are really a very nice, if outspoken bunch!

Pat said...

Hey Pony gal! Yes, my feelings have changed since finding the barefooters!

Your kind welcome is very appreciated and yes, there is lots of interesting stuff to learn on that forum!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hear!! Hear!! Completely agree with this post and subject.

Thanks for being opinionated....and not being afraid of stepping on some toes in the process!

New Mexico

Flying Cowgirl said...


I'm no Parelli fan. I'm thankful they have encouraged some people to get out there and DO something with their horse, but I hate all their doo-dads and whos-its that are too much money.

You are more than welcome to join in on my forum. It's a group of wonderful ladies from WA/ID/OR... We've been together for years and meet up a couple times a year at least.

A fellow barefooter,