dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, August 24, 2014


“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche
 Unless you have been unplugged from the internet for the past few weeks you are aware of the Ice Bucket Challenge that is going on. The basic idea (as I understand it) is that a person is dared to either donate $100 to ALS or pour a bucket of ice water over their head (in some versions you donate $10 if you pour the bucket). If you pour the bucket of water you post it on social media and dare three other people to do the same. While it may be silly, it has raised an unprecedented amount of money for ALS research and that is a very good thing.

Which leads to what I saw on FB this morning. It was a shared youtube video of young girl sitting bareback on a horse. She then pours the bucket over her head completely startling her horse who bolts away. As she tries to get him under control, the horse dumps her in the grass. As he should. I'm not posting the video here because I don't want to promote further views of what was an incredibly stupid stunt (you can always google it, I'm sure terms like 'idiot, horse,  ice bucket'  should do it). Obviously the girl and her friends thought that it was funny. I believe the term they used was 'epic'.

I didn't find it funny. It actually made me angry. I actually hope that this young girl was hurt. Not seriously but enough for her to stop and think again. But I'm not angry because she could have been hurt. I'm angry because of the damage that she did to her relationship with her horse.

Riding a horse is not 'natural'. From a horse's perspective it's actually dangerous to them- that's what large predators do to bring them down. So in training we ask a horse to trust us while we do all sorts of things that should cause them to flee. I have been spending the past two years with Steele building our relationship. I can't imagine what would happen if I were to deliberately violate that.

I'm sure that the person in the video did not mean to scare her horse and I'm willing to bet she's not worried about what she's done to her relationship. But she should be. For the poor horse in the video- how can he ever trust someone on his back again? And why should he?

At its finest, rider and horse are joined not by tack, but by trust. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being.
Author Unknown


  1. I have seen a few ice water bucket challenges on horses. Not cool. And none ended with the horse being happy about it.

  2. People like that make embarrassed to share their species.

  3. Sadly I figured some would be just brainless enough to try it on a horse. Agee with you 100%

  4. I saw that video (or a similar moron) and I cringed for the horse. :(

    I love the quote at the end, it's a new one to me.

  5. Several of my friends have done this. One was dumped and thought it was entertaining. The challenge is already quite dumb, but doing it on horseback makes it even dumber. My opinions of them lowered a great deal after watching their videos.

  6. glad that I'm not the only one who is appalled.

  7. I love that quote too! I actually think the ice bucket challenge is really stupid. Or not the challenge itself, but the way that people feel like they have to one up each other. Have you seen the ice bucket challenges where they use a tractor bucket full of water or a bulldozer? One guy was put in the hospital because the bucket hit him in the head.... you should NEVER stand under the bucket of a tractor or bulldozer... Then there was one where the two girls stood on a second story deck with a bucket of water while their cousin stood on the ground. They went to pour the water, dropped the bucket, it hit the girl in the head and killed her..... because of a dumb social media challenge they killed their cousin.... can you imagine the guilt they are going to live with?? However that said I did see one video that was totally awesome. I can't find it anywhere though which makes me sad... I should have saved it.... Anyway it showed this cowboy and he walks over to sit in a chair with a bucket of water suspended above him. Then the camera moves over to show a horse standing nearby. The horse grabs a rope, pulls it and dumps water all over the guy. You could tell the horse was having fun. That video was great. The rest I've seen are dumb!


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