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From Marion Taylor - 4 Apr 2005

As a girl who grew up in a family that raises bucking horses and who has been around rodeo her whole life I was upset to see "bronc abuse" addition on your page. I have visited your page in the past and didnt see this addition before. Here is my knowledge on the situation: rodeo bronc events are not a form of abuse to horses. First of address your "chute fighting" pictures, the horses do not put up a fuss in the chute because they are being mistreated or because they dont enjoy it in there...they are simly being naughty. Only once in a blue moon does a horse do this, and yes accidents do happen when they go up in the air, but its no different than a horse hurting himself anyother way. Before my horses make their barrel racing runs they go into the entrance to the arena called the alley, once in the alley they know they will be running soon so they get jumpy and excited, sometimes just plain goofy...I do not see a difference between these two scenarios. There is no difference between standing in the chute or standing in a horse trailer. They know that in a few moments they will be able to blow out of the chute and explode and buck until their hearts content. Yes, they do LOVE to buck...some of our horses want to get on the liner and go to a rodeo SO bad...even when its not their turn. Bucking is in their blood...they're grandparents and parents loved bucking. Some of our colts are bucking when they are only a few hours old. One more thing...the flank strap isn't is looser than a cinch on a regular saddle. It does usually make them buck harder...but even if you dont put one on and the chute opens they buck. only stays on for at the most a minute...the picture of that sore on the flank is not from a flank strap...all rodeo people would garauntee that...that horse could have gotten that wound from tons of things...horses are very accident prone, and what looks like a bad wound to us is really nothing to them...I freak out when my horse gets a bump or scratch..but it looks way worse than it is. It would be abuse however to put a flank strap over that wound. Trust me, bucking horses are the stock contractors family...they get treated just as good as a showjumper or dressage mount. If you want to pick on real competition horse abuse research the issue on tennesse walking horses and the special weights placed on their feet to make them walk "prettier". Check out those wounds. It is called the "soring debate".

Reply from Frank and Mary

Dear Marion:

Thank you for writing.

We have seen some of the injuries and abuse, and it differs greatly from your explanations. We agree that some horses may be treated better than others, but there still is a lot of abuse, and from everything we've learned, the flank strap does cause pain.

We have also talked to rodeo people who have told us about some of the abuse, and from veterinarians who have witnessed the physical injuries of rodeo animals sent to slaughter following an event.

We also agree that other forms of horse entertainment have abusive components. That's why were against any form of exploitation; there just seems to be no way to separate the good from the bad.

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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