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Animals don’t belong in the Olympics

(250 Posts)
vegansrock Sat 07-Aug-21 17:24:37

Given that the Olympics are supposed to be about human athleticism, I fail to see why events such as dressage and showjumping are allowed. Dressage is basically the horses’ achievement. The horses are basically performing tricks. I know the rider needs skill and there’s lots of training involved, but if there must be stress involved for the animal . Horses don’t like being transported either and they are flown thousands of miles to these events, I’m sure the top horses are well looked after, but I don’t believe they aren’t stressed at any time. As for that coach punching a horses in the modern pentathlon, if they do that in the ring how must the horses be treated behind the scenes? Don’t tell me they have a long history, so does dog fighting and bull fighting, a long history doesn’t make them good.

MaizieD Sat 07-Aug-21 17:55:31

I won't tell you anything, vegansrock because you won't actually believe it.

Have you ever had much to do with horses?

Deedaa Sat 07-Aug-21 18:07:20

Horses are transported round the world all the time for shows or races. They seem to survive pretty well judging by their performances. I would hardly call top level dressage "performing tricks". There was a lovely video of Charlotte Du Jardin turning Pumpkin out when they got home from Tokyo. Straight back into bouncy horse mode.

The coach punching the horse in the pentathlon is a different matter. Absolutely disgusting. It isn't the horse's fault if the rider can't cope. The way the rider was behaving the horse didn't know if he was coming or going. She should have realised he was going to be difficult after his first outing and she could have opted for the reserve horse. This animal belongs to someone who is now going to have to get him over this and back to normal.

M0nica Sat 07-Aug-21 18:13:26

coaches are known to punch and abuse althletes, but we haven't banned humans from the Opympic Games.

In any walk of life, in any situation there will be people who behave physically badly to other people, to pets, farm animals and horses in their many uses.

We delpore it when it happens, but dressage and show jumping depend on the very good relationship between horse and rider, so visible in the British team, and that is why we do so well.

Septimia Sat 07-Aug-21 18:28:25

Ill-treating any animal is unforgivable. But if a horse doesn't want to do something it won't and you can't make it. It won't jump fences if it's really unwilling - and some seem to actually enjoy it - it will simply refuse. That's why appropriate horses have to be carefully chosen. Riders in such events don't use whips and spurs like they did in the past and many use bitless bridles. It is the relationship between horse and rider that makes the difference.

The German rider allowed her problems to get the better of her and her mount picked up on her distress. The coach was well out of order.

Kim19 Sat 07-Aug-21 18:38:18

I've been thinking a lot about this recently as I watched the dressage. My thoughts were mainly on the stress these procedures must cause the horses but I am consoled by the fact that apparently they simply refuse if they don't want to do a jump. That calms me considerably.

MaizieD Sat 07-Aug-21 18:55:44

Kim19

I've been thinking a lot about this recently as I watched the dressage. My thoughts were mainly on the stress these procedures must cause the horses but I am consoled by the fact that apparently they simply refuse if they don't want to do a jump. That calms me considerably.

Why would you think that dressage stresses a horse?

I have seen horses turned out in their field do better 'dressage' than most horse/rider partnerships can achieve. Dressage is based on their natural paces and movements. There is very little that they are asked to do that they can't achieve when running free.

vegansrock Sat 07-Aug-21 19:00:46

But no one has questioned the fact that these events are about the horses as much , or more than, the riders, so not really sole human achievement. Plus the horse doesn’t even get a medal!

valdali Sat 07-Aug-21 19:08:08

The horse knows- they are like dogs in that they pick up on human emotions really well, they know when they've won, they're elated. It is a partnership - amazing, traditional, evolved down the centuries - why shouldn't it be part of the Olympics . Didn't the Ancient Greeks do chariot racing as part of the Olympics and they had the original idea? There's no point giving a horse a gold medal, what does gold mean to a horse? They have more sense.

MaizieD Sat 07-Aug-21 19:11:29

I'd also point out that it takes a very high level of fitness to ride a horse to the level demanded in top level competitions.

That dressage rider isn't just sitting there..

Kim19 Sat 07-Aug-21 19:16:39

MD my ignorance knows no bounds but my thinking is there is little 'natural' in a horse doing complicated foot arrangements and moving at 45 degrees etc. Your aggro is coming through. Please don't let it in my case. I watch in awe and admiration.

MaizieD Sat 07-Aug-21 19:21:10

Kim19

MD my ignorance knows no bounds but my thinking is there is little 'natural' in a horse doing complicated foot arrangements and moving at 45 degrees etc. Your aggro is coming through. Please don't let it in my case. I watch in awe and admiration.

And I am telling you that the dressage movements are based on what horses can do naturally... They can't be made to do something that is physically impossible for them to do.

I'm not trying to be aggressive. Just speaking from a position of knowledge.

Savvy Sat 07-Aug-21 19:21:49

M0nica

coaches are known to punch and abuse althletes, but we haven't banned humans from the Opympic Games.

In any walk of life, in any situation there will be people who behave physically badly to other people, to pets, farm animals and horses in their many uses.

We delpore it when it happens, but dressage and show jumping depend on the very good relationship between horse and rider, so visible in the British team, and that is why we do so well.

But the difference is that athletes choose to participate, the horses have no say in it.

Callistemon Sat 07-Aug-21 19:45:40

MaizieD

I won't tell you anything, vegansrock because you won't actually believe it.

Have you ever had much to do with horses?

👍

Flipping heck, MaizieD that's twice I've agreed with you today.
I'm going for a lie down.

dressage and show jumping depend on the very good relationship between horse and rider, so visible in the British team, and that is why we do so well.

Plus the horse doesn’t even get a medal!
Horse and rider are a team. The medal is for both.

And I've seen a sheep on a podium but never a horse

Silverbridge Sat 07-Aug-21 20:01:32

A couple of interesting links - at least I think so:

One is to an Open University page about the Ancient Olympics which was a lot about animal sacrifice and feasting so we've moved on from that:

www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/health/sport-and-fitness/the-ancient-olympics-bridging-past-and-present/content-section-7

The second is a feature in The Independent explaining how horses are transported by air to international events and shows just how much care is taken including different take-off and landing procedures:

www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/how-do-horses-get-to-olympics-b1892542.html

MrsPickle Sat 07-Aug-21 20:04:45

In that case, ban dog agility, obedience, dancing from Crufts.
It's the symbiosis of man and animal and neither would do it if not mutually rewarding

nightowl Sat 07-Aug-21 20:12:51

vegansrock I think you make some interesting points. As a horse person I think it never does any harm to question our relationships with these trusting and amenable creatures. I am full of admiration for what top competitors can achieve but this incident shows all too well that even at the top levels, horses are subject to the whims of humans and things can go badly wrong when they become simply tools for human achievement rather than true partners in a team sport. The horse was very distressed and should clearly have been withdrawn before things ever got to that stage.

vegansrock Sat 07-Aug-21 20:29:38

Things have moved on since Ancient Greece. Some of the riders in the dressage are in their 60s, so I think they probably aren’t at the peak of athletic ability which is what the Olympics is all about . Dogs aren’t in the Olympics, so what they do at Crufts or horse trials is irrelevant. I was discussing the Olympics which is supposed to be about human ability, not equines.

MawBe Sat 07-Aug-21 20:54:01

Oh dear, I don’t think the show jumping would be nearly as exciting, a bit more like Monty Python, perhaps.

vegansrock Sat 07-Aug-21 21:20:28

It’s called the hurdles.

Platypus Sat 07-Aug-21 21:28:45

Some of the riders in the dressage are in their 60s, so I think they probably aren’t at the peak of athletic ability which is what the Olympics is all about

Andrew Hoy from Australia is 62 - he just won Bronze - as a team with his horse. How is he not in peak athletic ability if he can win a medal? Where does it say in the rules that the Olympics are only about “young” athletes? It’s about matching it with the best in the world - and if you can continue to do that in your 60s then go for it.

As far as the horses go, I think riding crops and spurs, which are really a bit archaic, need to be phased out, I don’t think a horse needs to be poked and prodded to work as part of a team. I don’t poke and prod my dog to go for a walk, he’s happy to go.

The pentathlon was just distressing for anyone to watch.

Allsorts Sat 07-Aug-21 21:31:03

I don’t know anything much about horses except that people that ride and care for horses would go without themselves rather than let the horse suffer. I hadn’t heard that a coach punched a horse, absolutely shameful and disgusting, how could someone working with these beautiful animals do that? Poor horse and rider not their fault, you get awful people in all walks of life.

MayBee70 Sat 07-Aug-21 21:41:29

Horses travel incredibly well: probably because they can sleep standing up. When you think about it they’ve been transported round the world for centuries. Out of interest, if people think horses shouldn’t do sport of any kind what do people think they should do. I’m actually more concerned about the beautiful wild mustangs that are being culled in America at the moment than I am about horses taking part in the Olympics. There’s a really interesting BBC Sounds In Our Time that talks about the evolution of the horse and it’s relationship with man. Along with dogs they’re probably the animal that has been most closely linked with humans and their history than any other. In fact they’ve shaped our history more than the dog has.

MawBe Sat 07-Aug-21 22:00:16

vegansrock

It’s called the hurdles.

And booooooooooring

vegansrock Sun 08-Aug-21 00:46:39

Horses don’t sleep standing up, they rest and doze standing up. They only sleep deeply when lying down which probably about 2 hours a day. They can lock their back leg when standing so they don’t fall down when dozing - they can’t do this when they are being transported in a horse box as they have to shift their weight around with the movement. I heard an equine scientist talk about this on the radio. She said there was a limit to how long a horse should be transported.