Ladd and Ree are idiots

by PWSux on May 28, 2011

The following post was published on thepioneerwoman.com May 12, 2009 titled “Something’s Wrong, Part 2” categorized in Horses and The Kids and can be found here.  I have copied the entire post and photos here because it is so disturbing and I wanted to point things out to those who may be unaware of natural horse behaviors.  I’ve also taken screenshots of the entire post because as we’ve seen in the past, Ree may delete the entire thing soon.  If so, I’ll update and edit this post.  My comments are in colored, italic text and the rest is all Ree.

I was going to put the link in the previous post about the Drummond’s treatment of their horses but you’ll see why this made it to a post in itself.  This will be very long and maybe even mind-numbingly boring to some of you but for those who understand horses or learn something from it, you’ll probably be as outraged as I was after viewing it.

First, an aside…..

– This post was published 2 years ago about her 4 year old and there’s no doubt that her baby has grown up a little and probably rides better.  I get that.

– I’ve NO DOUBT that Ree and Ladd love their children and their hearts race at the thought of their children being in danger.  I GET that.

-I do NOT believe that children should be wrapped in bubble wrapped at all times and be protected from every possible danger in life.  That said, I do think it’s parents’ responsible to at least take normal precautions to keep them safe and blatant disregard for that is seriously FUCKED UP.

– Ask any horse trainer or anyone who rides regularly and understands horses, they will ALL tell you that MOST, and yes I mean MOST, wrecks on horses are the direct fault of the rider.  THE HORSE NEVER LIES.  And I’m not bullshitting you at all, call around and ask for yourself.  This is COMMON KNOWLEDGE in the horse world.  There is nothing more demoralizing than having a wreck and the person who witnessed it telling you that it was completely your own fault – THEY’RE USUALLY RIGHT.

– Although horses weigh on average 1200 lbs. they are the BIGGEST cowards and scarady cats around.  They are TERRIFIED of many things and look to their rider to lead them through these scary situations which can range from a scary tree, another animal, bag, mailbox, bird, and even their own tail or shadow.  NO, I AM NOT JOKING OR MAKING THIS UP, do a google search and you’ll see for yourself.  When a horse is scared they will automatically act on instinct and many times that instinct is to get that damn human off their back so they can run to a safe zone, usually their barn or their herd leader.  During this time it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the rider to get the horse through their panic by calming them down and remaining calm themselves.  If you can’t do that then you have no business riding the fucking horse and you better learn to fall well.

– Speaking of which, part of learning to ride is learning to fall, I shit you not.  I remember well my own trainer making me gallop bareback in the corral with my eyes closed and arms straight out.  The ultimate goal of this exercise was to learn balance and get my *seat* on horseback but this also taught me how to fall because rest assured I spent MONTHS falling off the damn horse before learning to do it.  Then and ONLY then was I allowed to actually ride the damn horse.  Bottom line is, you’re going to fall off a horse.  You’re going to have a wreck.  You’re going to have a horse panic on you when you’re all alone and no one’s there to save your ass.  So you damn well BETTER know how to keep yourself safe (by properly riding, proper training, and proper safety) and keep that animal safe as well – he fucking DESERVES it.

– During a wreck (actually all the damn time) it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that horses *feed* off their riders.  A horse can feel fear in a rider, they can feel your heart rate, hear your breathing, feel your hands shake and YOU the rider will cause your own fucking wreck if you aren’t calm and relaxed.  If you doubt this, go to You Tube and watch Dressage or videos of bridle-less riding.  You will hardly see foot or rein movements from the riders because they’re giving most of their requests to the horse through the tiniest of signals with their inside leg muscles or even their butt muscles.  My best horse will turn right when I simply squeeze my left butt cheek and LOOK to the right.  He’ll also stop on a dime from a gallop when I barely tilt my pelvis up and let out a deep breath.  This is why those horses used by the public on trail rides are specially trained to nearly completely ignore their riders and just follow the horse in front of them.

– Maybe I’m in the minority of normal people but I can’t for the life of me wrap my brain around thinking it’s perfectly safe to put a four year old on horseback in the middle of a herd of 700 steers.  Picture that for a moment people – SEVEN HUNDRED LARGE STEERS moving around being herded in a huge several hundred acre pasture and a horse carrying a small FOUR YEAR OLD without any adults around, the mother is 50 yards away and the others are concentrating on, you know, the 700 FUCKING STEERS!  Do YA THINK it might not be the best idea?

So with all that, let’s begin looking at her post.

=====================================================================

I hardly knew what hit me. I was over fifty yards away, taking photos of my baby (okay, so he’ll be five in two weeks) riding in on his horse.

REE_5704Everyone else was quite a ways ahead of him; normally, one of his sisters would have stayed behind and walked him in, but there was a snag with the cattle and they had to ride up and help.

They had to leave their wingman.

You never, EVER leave your wingman.

OK, let’s begin with what he’s doing.  Do you see how he’s holding those reins way up in the air like that?  That tells the horse one of two things ….. 1.  The rider is in a panic and doesn’t know what to do with their hands/reins — CLEARLY this will cause the horse to lose confidence in his rider, possibly even panic himself.  2.  When a rider does that in a more controlled manner it gives the command to drop their chin, break at the pole, and collect themselves – arching their backs just a little and getting their back feet under them.  This is what gives that beautiful trot and is called “collection”.

You can also clearly see that his knees and feet are pressing into the horse which is telling Jack to GO.

So at this point Jack is given a choice – listen to his rider’s requests or assume his rider is panicking.  What does Jack do?


REE_5705Right about here, I realized he was crying. “Aww, poor baby,” I thought. “I wonder what’s wrong?”

Well looky there!  Jack dropped his chin, collected nicely – he gave the rider the benefit of the doubt, that’s a good horse right there. But look, he’s STILL giving him the signal to GO, he’s still squeezing, he’s still crying (which you KNOW is making his heart race which means he’s going to panic).  At this point Jack is probably getting nervous because he’s confused and all he can think of is that he’s alone back here with an unskilled rider and all of his herd is WAY UP THERE

And let’s just talk about Ree’s text with this photo.  “I wonder what’s wrong?”  ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?????  Your 4 yr. old is on a 1200 lb animal THAT CAN KILL and that HE CAN’T CONTROL and he’s on this animal ALONE because you’re the closest person and you’re 50 YARDS AWAY!  He’s in the middle of hundreds of acres and not only is his horse getting ready to wreck but over “there” is a herd of 700 steers and who the hell knows just what THEY’RE going to do!

Bitch, just what the hell do you THINK is wrong with the poor kid?  OMG!

REE_5706Several things crossed my mind: he’s hungry (only had nineteen doughnuts instead of twenty), he’s sleepy, he didn’t want his sister to ride off and leave him.

But he’s fallen back and ridden alone before,” I thought. “He wouldn’t be crying about that.”

It’s like that lady in the movie “Airplane” who thinks to herself. “Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home” and “Jim never vomits at home.”

(Sorry. But I’m obsessed with movie lines. It’s how I work through stressful situations.)

So many things here…….. first of all, Jack has moved to a trot now, EXACTLY AS HIS RIDER ASKED HIM TO, as evidenced by his front and opposite back feet lifting at the same time and just look how deep his chin is along with how tight his back leg is collected.  Jack is confused and terrified all alone out there but he is giving this human everything he has and fighting his natural instinct as best he can.  At this point the kid’s got a few seconds to prove he’s the leader or Jack is going to lose it, he can’t keep fighting his instinct much longer.

Then there’s that fucking huge shank curb bit in his mouth.  Curb bits HURT a horse and they hurt badly.  They’re designed for very VERY well-trained horses so that just the SLIGHTEST and I mean SLIGHTEST bit of one-reined pressure to the mouth will cause that horse to react because he KNOWS that if he doesn’t then the rider will pull a little more and that will cause more PAIN to his mouth.  It’s a simple arrangement — do what I ask quickly, efficiently, the first time and I’ll leave your mouth alone but if you don’t (or if the rider panics and pulls back!) then you will feel PAIN.

And then there’s Ree.  Mama.  The person who’s supposed to keep this kid safe.  She got the kid up at, what?, 5:30 or so, loaded him up on doughnuts which, as everyone knows, is just what a hardworking person NEEDS before several hours of labor, and she wonders if maybe he’s upset because he didn’t want his sister to ride off and leave him.

Ya think?

Then, like every good mother watching her baby about to get into a wreck on a horse, she starts quoting movies in her head and then POSTS THAT SHE DOES THAT ON THE INTERNET.


REE_5707And then I heard him. He was really, really crying.

This is virtually identical to the picture above so there’s not much else to say except OMG is she STILL taking pictures of him!

REE_5708And Jack the horse…wasn’t acting right.

Well Ree, you dumbass, the horse was doing EXACTLY what the kid asked him to do and fighting all his natural instincts but it was clearly a losing battle.  The horse was, wait for it….. ACTING LIKE A HORSE!  He’s a 1200 lb baby and was scared out of his fucking mind with a tiny little thing on his back that is SUPPOSED to save him and instead is causing him to panic so after doing the best he could he figured that in order to live he needed run to safety!

REE_5709I was so far away. And the whole thing happened so fast.

Do you see how the kid released a bit of his reins here, relieving the pressure to Jack’s mouth?  See how then Jack relaxed his chin and stretched his neck out a little?  THAT’S A GOOD HORSE!

REE_5710

See, look at the loose rein.  Jack’s relaxed now that he’s got his mouth back and there’s a break in pain.  He’s still freaking out and needs to get to safety before that kid does something else to him though!

REE_5711

And BAM! there it is! See how he’s pulled UP and HARD, look at that shank pulled back on Jack’s mouth – that’s PAIN!  Right here, THIS is where Jack gave up and bolted.  I don’t blame him a bit.  This is not Jack’s fault – it’s the rider’s but since this is just a four year old then it’s his PARENT’s fault.

REE_5712

REE_5713By now I was starting to get concerned. I felt a little frozen, like it was all happening in slow motion.

You are STARTING to get concerned??? You are still taking pictures????? Unfuckingbelievable.

REE_5715

REE_5718And then Jack really started taking off.

I honestly don’t know what to say here.  Ree Drummond watched this wreck happening and, granted she’s admitted to knowing anything about horses, but her instinct was to quote movies and CONTINUE TAKING PICTURES.

What. The. Fuck.

So Jack has realized that this particular human is NOT going to protect him and he starts a bolt.  He’s been told the whole time to GO so he finally gives in and does it.

REE_5719

I quickly used my lens to look for help.

REE_5720But everyone was so far away, and the sound of the cattle was drowning out his cries.

That’s when Ree uses her lens to find help.  Cause that’s what you’d do in this situation.

That’s when I threw down my camera and started running. Jack was loping…and jerking…and acting strangely. My baby was hanging onto the saddle horn with all his might, pulling back on the reins as hard as he could. But it was out of his control. It was a terrible sight.

“Jack was loping…and jerking…”   He was “GOING” and panicking because that’s what this FOUR YEAR OLD BOY told him to do Ree!

“…..pulling back on the reins as hard as he could.”  No he wasn’t Ree!  Most of the time he was RAISING THE REINS up to and over his head while squeezing his legs which scared the living shit out of that poor horse and told him to GO!

Ree, I’ve no DOUBT it was a terrible sight!  But it was one that NEVER should have happened and that is absolutely 100% NOT Jack’s fault.  Up to this point he did everything he could, everything AGAINST his natural instinct to protect your kid.  YOU and LADD put that boy on that horse, this was YOUR fault.

Instinctively, I started waving my arms and yelling for someone, anyone—but they were all up ahead with the cattle, unaware of what was happening.

For the love of God, you did WHAT?  Granted you were 50 yards away but still!  You NEVER EVER EVER wave your arms and yell when a horse is bolting!  That is SCARY to a horse and guess what they do when they’re scared?

Exactly.

I saw Jack buck a little; my stomach fell to my feet. My feet started moving faster than they’d moved since I first became a mother twelve years ago. Then finally, I heard one of my girls scream my baby’s name.

In an instant, Josh rode up on his horse and stopped short, jumping off so as not to startle Jack further. I watched as Jack’s front feet began to leave the ground; my baby leaned forward to keep from falling off the back. And the second the horse came back down to the ground, Josh ran around to the side and grabbed him, whisking him away to safety.

Josh ran up to a rearing horse and grabbed your kid?  All I can say is that Josh deserves your blog income for a year.  Maybe more.  They BOTH could have been killed and that he would do that without hesitation….. WOW!

Then my knees turned to viscous slime and my stomach slithered down my knees and became a pool of exhausted desperation on the grassy ground below. I went back to my vehicle and drove to my baby, who fell into my arms and sobbed. Then he told me he wanted to be an accountant when he grows up.

REE_5735Normally it’s best for the punks to get right back on the horse when something like this happens, but since the rest of the group was trying to herd 700 steers through a six-foot gate, there was no time for meaningful life lessons. So Josh immediately hopped onto Jack’s back and rode him hard, turning him in circles and showing him who’s boss. He was kind but firm—it’s important for the horses to know that we—not they—are in charge, particularly when it comes to the kids they’re carrying on their backs.

This is where I part ways with Josh – or maybe Ree misunderstood, or maybe even Josh knows better and just told her what she needed to hear.  Let’s break this down….

“Josh immediately hopped onto Jack’s back…….showing him who’s boss.”  First of all, can you imagine how comfortable that was for Josh in that kid’s saddle?  And yes, he was showing him who’s boss but, more importantly, HE WAS ESTABLISHING HIS LEADERSHIP and calming Jack down.  A panicked horse in a herd of 700 steers isn’t going to help anyone.  Good for Josh.

“It’s important for the horses to know that we – not they – are in charge…..”  Holy fucking shit woman, are you that stupid?  This is true for Josh, for Ladd, for Cowboy Tim, even for your oldest daughter but this IS NOT TRUE FOR A FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD!  When you put a four year old on a 1200 lb horse, GUESS WHO’S IN CHARGE LADY?

Yes, the horse should be trained.  Yes, he should obey requests, but the bottom line is that should that horse panic and try to find a leader in his rider to help him…… a four year old IS NOT going to be that leader and the horse will do what a horse does.  Bolt.  Run to safety.

You are an IDIOT if you believe that a horse, ANY HORSE, will believe a four year old panicking, crying, leg-squeezing, rein pulling kid is in charge of them!  This is like getting into an argument on the road with a semi – you MAY be right but no matter WHAT that driver of a semi does, get the hell out of his way because EVEN IF YOU’RE RIGHT, you could wind up DEAD RIGHT.

You Drummonds might like to fool yourselves into believing that a trained horse should let a panicked four year old lead them and you MIGHT be right, but you also might be dead right.


REE_5736In the horse’s defense, Marlboro Man later pointed out that while normally sweet and gentle, Jack, more than any of the ranch horses, doesn’t like falling behind when his equine brothers are up ahead of him. Normally, he’ll trot or lope gently to catch up. But on this morning, our baby didn’t feel like trotting and kept pulling back on Jack’s reins, trying to get him to stop. A vicious cycle ensued: the more my baby pulled back, the more agitated Jack became since he couldn’t catch up to the other horses, and the faster he went forward. Before long, Jack had had it…and he started protesting.

Well gee, look at that!  Ladd KNEW this horse had a riding issue that just might not be compatible with a child and put him on Jack anyway.  FUCKING DUMBASS!  The ONLY way to fix that is for a well trained rider to stay on Jack far behind the herd and KEEP him calm back there.  Then do it again.  Then do it again.  Then do it about 30 more times.  I’m thinking a 4 year old isn’t capable of doing that.

“A vicious cycle ensued: the more my baby pulled back, the more agitated Jack became since he couldn’t catch up to the other horses, and the faster he went forward.”

No Ree, your baby told him to collect and go forward, which is exactly what Jack did.  Jack protested because he was getting mixed signals AND PAIN from an inexperienced child rider and had a HUGE disservice done to him.  He did the best he could.  This was NOT Jack’s fault, he’s a DAMN SAINT!  This was Ladd’s fault.

My baby said that next time, he thinks he’d like to ride Snip instead.

And to that I say this: at least he’s willing to get back on.

This is also the child that Ladd put on horseback herding cattle and he threw up all day?Is this the one that grabbed the branding iron while working calves?  I’m all for ranching and kids helping around the farm but I have to say, you guys are fucking idiots.  Really truly, just dumbasses. Thank God nothing more serious has happened to your kids.

 

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