Horse ABUSE or horse discipline?

In Training by HorseMom Mary29 Comments

OK so which is it really?

Here’s the youtube video so:

You can see what actually happened and…
You can make your own decision

Did these little foals really get slammed and taken advantage of or is the story posted by about Their Commitment to Animal Care  really the truth?

Here’s how Cheyenne Frontier Days starts…

“As the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration, at Cheyenne Frontier Days we take our commitment to animal care seriously. Out of the hundreds of animals that participate in our rodeo events each year, only a very small percentage ever suffer an injury. Most injuries are minor and life-threatening injuries are extremely rare.”


Then there’s this video

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So which side it right?

Click to tweet

Horse Abuse OR Horse Discipline?

I’ve got my own opinion on this and I’m hoping by posting this here I can get yours.

Please add your comments below. 


  1. Well I don’t know that this is actually cruelty or not but the fact that they are using these colts to amuse them and making them run like that at their age to get to their mommy is wrong. If they are running like that and acting like that at the starting line they are clearly scared. I think this should be re-thought out because it shouldn’t be done for amusement.

  2. I don’t see anything about discipline going on here because this is not natural for these babies to do this, they are scared and they don’t know why they are doing this, they don’t understand. And it is just out of entertainment that they do this. I don’t think it is abuse but it isn’t right that’s for sure. Thank you for posting this I will pass it on.

  3. I don’t think these guys were meaning to be mean to them I just don’t think the colt was doing what they wanted them to do. But they have to remember that these little guys don’t understand what is going on. This is kind of like pig racing or frog races the animal is unpredictable because this is not what they normally do.

  4. This is just terrible, I can’t believe they would act like that to these little guys. They don’t know what you have them there for and why they are separated from their mommy. Wouldn’t it be fun to line those guys up and make them race for something that means that much to them? That isn’t discipline that I know.

  5. Did anyone ever go check on the little horse that hit the rail? You could clearly see that these little guys were just scared beyond belief. I would say that this is definitely cruelty, why would they need to discipline them at this age? I don’t think you can train a horse like you do a dog. And I am in no way saying that you should treat your dog this way even.

  6. I am so glad that I was not there for that I would have come down out of those stand swinging a stick that is for sure. Those poor horses are scared and that is the only reason they took off running like that so they could get to their mom and have some comfort, so the little guy that fell and got confused was even twice as bad.

  7. It would not cross my mind that a rodeo would be cruel to its animal participants, although sometimes, it looks like the young calf that get rustled and tied up may look a bit scared, but ultimately, they are just being wrestled. A circus is known to be cruel to its animals because those animals must be disciplined in order to be trained.

  8. This looks like animal cruelty to me. It is appauling to see this kind of treatment of innocent, baby animals. The only thing they can do worse is slaughter the horses for their meat. I don’t like the whold culture of the rodeo or that of bull fighting in Spain and in South America. I hope this site brings much more awareness to what goes on in this Cheyenne Rodeo.

  9. This is almost as bad as what has been going on here in South West Miami Dade County. There have been repeated cases of horses being slaughtered for their horse meat and their carcasses get left behind. It is really a cruel and sad sight and as far as I am concerned, it is also a sign of the times.

  10. I felt so sorry for that little guy that ran into that rail I just wanted to reach through the screen and grab that guy by his hair and run him into the rail. They do know that these are only babies and they are not going to cooperate like the adult horses do when they are running in a race. And to have their mommy down there to run to would only scare them.

  11. I had no idea that they did this, I can’t believe that someone would take these little guys and scare them into racing like this. You have done a great job putting this out here but what are you going to do about this? I am sure you will get more comments about how terrible it is rather than any saying it is ok. If you start a petition or anything let us know.

  12. This rodeo is nothing compared to the horrifying undercover video the Human Society smuggled. Large numbers of the famed Tennessee Walking Horses have been tortured and beaten in order to make them produce the high-stepping gait that wins championships. I saw this in an ABC TV News investigation,. All too often, you have to cheat to win in this sport, said Keith Dane of the Humane Society. All for a blue ribbon that costs $5.

  13. I thought it was just as cruel a story when I heard a Rugby woman in court over pony cruelty charges. Charges relate to failures to provide adequate nutrition, failure to prevent lice infestation, failure to provide the necessary veterinary care, failure to provide worm control and bad practice leading to pain, suffering and disease. She pleaded guilty to the lice infestation and worm control charges but not guilty to the other allegations.

  14. A well-known Tennessee Walking Horse trainer caught on-camera torturing horses gets probation and a fine after entering a plea agreement with U.S. Attorneys. Jackie McConnell gets three years probation, a $75,000 fine to be paid over nine months and some restrictions on future ownership and handling of horses. U.S. District Court Judge “Sandy” Mattice approved the agreement which also drops dozens of criminal counts in a federal indictment.

  15. In yet another case of abuse, 1 horse was euthanized and six others were taken to veterinary clinics for treatment after Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies found them to be severely underweight in a Scottsdale-area boarding stable. MCSO deputies believe Michelle Salazar is the owner of the horses and 20 others that are being kept at the stable. Deputies have been unable to locate Salazar, who likely faces animal cruelty charges,

  16. Thanks for providing a forum for sharing stories of cruelty. A woman found guilty of neglecting more than 20 horses on her Aberdeenshire farm has been banned from keeping animals for life. That wretched woman’s name is Valerie Pritchard and she has also been given 200 hours of community service. It follows what animal charity World Horse Welfare has described as the worst example of horse cruelty for more than two decades.

  17. It is a sign of the times how much animal cruelty is going on in the world, not just with horses and ponies, but dogs and even the animals we breed as food sources. The Holy Scriptures prophesied about this sort of abuse. And as the scriptures say, soon God will ruin those persons who are ruining the Earth.’ Thank God for that.

  18. I read a headline in the New York Daily News last May which made me angry. New York City papers covered this shocking story of an abusive man who took revenge on his ex-girlfriend by throwing her beloved little dog out the window of her high-rise apartment building. Unfortunately, this story and others like it are neither shocking nor news to the ASPCA and its Humane Law Enforcement officers.

  19. I saw a news story of a horse that had been put in a stall with several other mares in an effort to breed them. Fortunately, she did not become pregnant. Penelope is what I would consider a feral horse with human issues. I don’t know what happened to this horse in her previous life, but it has left a lasting negative impression on her. It just goes to show how much personality horses have.

  20. You know what they say, sometimes you are the bird, other times you are the windshield. It’s sad to see these innocent horses suffer from abuse at the hands of callous humans, sometimes it is the animals who do the abusing. Such was the case today in a Pittsburg zoo when a 3 year old boy fell off the railing and into a pit of wild African dogs. 7 of them mauled the boy’s body.

  21. Animals can’t speak up when they are being abused, so when you see something, for God’s sake say something. If you witness an act of animal cruelty in your neighborhood, you should contact the authorities immediately. Report the incident to your local police department, animal control or humane society. Animal cruelty, neglect and abuse are illegal in every state in the nation under the Animal Welfare Act.

  22. The Hawaii Attorney General is re-prosecuting a case that charges 16 counts of animal cruelty involving horses. A Special Deputy Attorney General was in 5th Circuit Court to re-indict 16 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty against Lara Butler-Brady, who operated the 165-acre Keapana Horsemanship riding stable in Hanamaulu. Several horses were declared emaciated following a Kauai Humane Society investigation. It led to an indictment..thank God for that.

  23. The timing of the domestication of the horse is still being debated, partly because the evidence for domestication itself is debatable. Unlike other animals, criteria such as changes in body morphology (horses are extremely diverse) or the location of a particular horse outside of its “normal range” (horses are very widespread) are not useful in helping resolve the question. One thing that is sure, is that this footage is abuse.

  24. in the most infamous case of equine abuse in Tennessee history, I read with horror about a foal that had to be carried to salvation. The colt could barely stand, was too weak to walk and likely hadn’t eaten since birth. His mother had no milk to feed him. The starving colt was among 84 horses rescued from a farm in Cannon County. Why is legislation that would stop the abuse meeting so much resistance?

  25. The lack of compassion for innocent horses in this video made me cringe. But it certainly didn’t surprise me nearly as much as the early reports just before midnight on Tuesday that Obama had been reelected to a second term based on winning the majority of the electoral college votes. At least those who work in the morning got to go to bed early.

  26. Yes I believe this is cruelty to these little horses and the man hitting the one on the video needs to be shot. To take them and make them run like that is just ridiculous especially using their mom to get them to run it is almost like you are saying the mom ran from them. I know they are just horses but you know they are intelligent animals.

  27. Ok, watched the video and everyone being up in arms over the man slapping the baby on the butt, get real. It’s not that bad. As for the baby that ran into the fence, it was a hard hit, someone should be checking on that baby. But did you see the man that got ran over by one of the babies at the end. Probably not, I didn’t at first. I was looking at the baby. And while I don’t believe it was fast enough, if you watch closely, there is someone trying to get the baby at the end. Also, the announcer may have been talking about the man being alright, not the baby. I DO NOT ENDORSE ANIMAL CRUELTY. But I also do not endorse taking things out of context. To some people riding a horse is cruel. We put a saddle on them, but a piece of iron in their mouth and make them do what we want them to. Is this cruel, to some yes it is, to others it is not. Let’s concentrate on real cruelty, not perceived and taken out of context.

    1. Author

      Hi Sandy, I know sometimes it difficult to see in videos or sometimes in pictures (to really see). That’s why I put the video up and asked for people to have a look and voice their opinions. So thank you for taking the time to have your voice heard 🙂

      Here’s to keeping our horses safe!


  28. This looked fairly pointless to me. I don’t know if these foals were traumatized or not- but I certainly would not do this with any baby of mine. I did not like watching this video and I would certainly not be interested in visiting Cheyenne any time soon. Why don’t they race those little Jack Russell Terriers? They seem to enjoy that kind of treachery.

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