The Road to the Horse


I just watched a DVD of the Road to the Horse. A revolution in horse training it isn’t. At the end of the event, not one of the horses could even walk a circle in a confident and relaxed manner. There was an obsession with harassing horses with tarps, flags and ropes. It went on and on to the point where the horses were dripping with sweat and very confused.

Horses were continually terrorised with flags and tarps. No matter what the poor horses did, they couldn’t win. If they moved, they were chased until they stood still. When they stood still, they were chased until they moved. One trainer even tied a tarp to the horse’s tail. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it.

It’s time everyone started to think about every horse’s wellbeing at every stage of his training. It’s time for all horses to be trained without chasing, bucking, fighting or being harassed with flags and tarps. Horses should never be chased to the point where they’re distressed and dripping with sweat. There’s absolutely no need for this to happen to any horse at any stage. It’s just cruel and unnecessary.

And for the record, there’s no such thing as desensitisation. Frightening horses will never get them ‘used to’ anything. Horses must be taught to accept new things without being frightened. Understanding this is the biggest breakthrough any horseperson can make.


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Agree 100% with your view on RTTH. Those comps make me feel ill. Its amazing how we ignore the evidence in the horse's behaviour during those comps and swallow the crap that's its been done kindly and humanely because none of the big hats are physically hitting the horses. If instead of a big hat chasing the horse it was a helicopter we'd recognise the terror experienced by the horses. For the horses the big hats may as well be a helicopter.

Charlotte August 16th, 2014

Great to hear from you again Neil! Again, you are pointing out some fundamental flaws in the horse world.

The Road to the Horse is so commercialized it’s crazy. It’s about insane gimmicks to make a trainer look flashy and impressive.

Somewhere along the way the “good of the horse” got lost! It’s a very sad day in horsemanship when horses take a back seat to fame and egos!

And what of these poor horses afterward? You never hear about that….

Pam Luettich December 11th, 2013

Thanks for your thoughts Pam. Yes, it’s time the horse’s welfare was put front and centre. It’s never important how much seems to be achieved in a few days. Entertainment should never be at the expense of any horse.

Neil Davies December 11th, 2013

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