Breaking a horse to ride is a long and arduous process that takes patience and compassion. There is a wide variety of breaking techniques, but the intended goal is to be able to safely ride. Some things to consider before breaking an equine species: they are much stronger and larger than humans, therefore the animal must be taught proper behavior. Colts and humans have different types of brain structure rendering them incapable of the ability to reason. The human breaking the animal must take control and responsibility so the colt will trust, respect, and follow its trainer. They even need to be taught to look to their human to know if it should follow the flight or fight response. However, an award-winning trainer was caught on video breaking a horse, a video that went viral, and many people are in an uproar as they are accusing him of savagely beating it, for the supposed sake of training.
The trainer was whipping the animal to make him behave but then when the horse laid down, the trainer continued to lash him. When an equine species is behaving in an aggressive manner a trainer could react in the same way toward the animal and it could stop the behavior, but it may not. It can suppress aggressive behavior, but that is not the same as a changed demeanor. The aggressiveness may even return under the right conditions. It is best, says Good Horsemanship, to have a certified equine species behavior consultant deal with the aggressive behavior.
All that being said, there are trainers that use spurs when they are in the riding phase of breaking the animal, and there are those who use a riding crop. The video of this award-winning trainer, in Argentina, breaking an equine species shows that the he is using a riding crop to get the animal to turn in the opposite direction. The trainer’s name is Paul Frassa. Sources agree that in the video Frassa does have a riding crop.
Frassa is riding an aggressive animal. When trainers are breaking a colt they lead him to make outside circles so that the horse cannot charge the trainer. When riding, Frassa does the same thing. He makes the animal turn in circles to get the horse to turn without bending his neck too far. However, that is not where the video ends. The horse falls and it does appear that Frassa, the professional trainer’s actions could lead people to accuse him of savagely beating it while he is down, just for the sake of training, but viewers who watched the viral video cannot exactly see what the animal is doing. Instead of changing direction, the obstinate animal spun faster in the other direction. The horse does fall, however, it is the honest belief of this author, that the he fell due to dizziness and exhaustion that it caused by his own actions and obstinate behavior.
Once the animal falls though, Frassa then seems to behave in an abusive manner. He begins to beat the aggressive animal, it appears, and then punches the horse to get him to stand back up again. The equine species gets up and gallops around the ring, properly at this time.
Frassa from Argentina used a riding crop to break the horse and he is being accused of savagely beating the animal for the sake of training, seen in the video that went viral, even though he is a professional trainer. Jockeys use riding crops to encourage their animals to run faster in a race. Professional trainers in America use spurs when breaking a riding horse, which is more painful.
This author watched several YouTube videos about how to break these wild and beautiful animals. The big-time named trainers all used some form of intimidation.
It is difficult to tell if the animal in the video was still being aggressive while lying on the ground. There are possibilities that could have happened that were unseen in the video. For example, the horse could have been trying to bite the trainer.
These beautiful equine creatures are very large and if they try to throw their rider off and falls on them in the process, that person could be severely injured. Trainers do have to let the animal know who the boss is and due to its size and strength, it appears that intimidation in the answer to breaking the animal.
When viewers experienced the horror of the video, they were quick to express their anger. Frassa has some supporters that believe he was using an acceptable traditional training method. The majority of the people who have seen this video believe strongly that this was unacceptable behavior. This video has 2.2 million views so far and 100,000 people have shared the video.
Note: This video contains graphic content.
By Jeanette Smith
Good Horsemanship: 5 Harsh Realities of Training The Dominant Horse
ViralSpell: An Award-Winning Trainer Caught On Video Abusing a Horse Sparks Outrage
The Daily Mail: Trainer Savagely Beating Horse in Video Sparks Worldwide Outrage
Photo Courtesy of Horses1999-Stock Deviant Art Page – C 2012-2015
Photo Courtesy of Darling Starlings’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License