Wednesday, October 26, 2011

good bye Fugly

I have read Fugly Horse of the Day for years, off and on.  It can go for months without me and then I will follow daily for a while.  While I think that some of the criticisms were mean spirited enough to make you blink, once you heard more it was impossible to not feel that it was justified.

After years of documenting and raging against the stupidity in the horse world the originator of the blog turned it over to a new writer. 

I tried to keep an open mind and read and give the new writer a chance to make her own points in her own way, but I have had enough.

On her personal blog she stood up for the abusive riders in the reining competition in Stockholm that drew the ire of the world.  She didn't say it was good, but maintained that it was the way things are *shrug* and explained that the horses were not actually being hurt.

There have been several digs at training and disciplines other than her own.  Today was the last straw.  Publishing a photo of a horse with a flash noseband so tight that it was an instrument of torture she proceeded to blast the use of any 'noseband' as cruel, lumping them all together and making no distinction about proper use vs. abuse and why there are so many different ones. 
Since I use a "caveson" (or noseband to Western riders) and I have even recommended a figure-8 to a student or two and I have and have not used a flash...... since I understand the use of these pieces of tack and understand how they can also be used to abuse, since I ride in the English disciplines where they are traditional, I think I have had enough of her anti-English riding and have crossed her off my blog list. 

She is entitled to her opinions, I just don't have to support a blog anymore that I have previously promoted to friends and horse lovers.   I wish she had just stuck to her own blog and her own opinions (which I probably would have continued to read, I am not afraid to disagree with someone) and left the famous (or infamous) Fugly blog alone.


  1. I was s little disappointed in today post. But I do understand where she is coming from. I participated in an event where a caveson was a part of the turn out. I never used it to crank his mouth closed, it was worn with his show bridle during shows, kept relatively lose, and unbuckle after classes(often before loosening the girth). We never wore one for training.

    The problem with the fugly blog, and this is not something the was exclusive to "Mugly", is that they tend to only focus on the extreme. Fugly did it too. None of the photos showed a properly used nose band. Nose bands get a bad rap just like correction collar(choke chains) on dogs. Each is a tool and can be very useful. But what happens is that people who don't understand the tool or the animal get a hold of these things and that is when it can become abuse.

    I believe that they have their purposes, and for horses that don't need them they shouldn't be worn. When used wrong I'd definitely share in Mugly's sentiment, but that being said I'd rather see a horse in an nose band than a gaping, bracing horse running away with a child.

  2. Barbara, I too, am feeling disappointed in Mugly. I am an uber-faithful Fugly reader who hasn't missed a post in at least four years (the day she announced her "retirement" I cried and cried). Mugs sure is different... but I haven't quit reading, despite the anti-English bias, because I do still feel like I'm learning something. Even today I chose to look at it as "Hmm, that's an interesting take on nosebands," and brushed aside the wholesale condemnation of them.

    However, if Mugly did indeed defend the Stockholm trainers over on her blog (I don't read it, too much of a Western slant to interest me) that is truly upsetting. Those videos alone changed my opinion of the reining world and certainly not for the better. To shrug and say, "Oh, well, that's what everyone does," is supporting all the things that are messed up in the horse world today. Let's drug our horse because So-and-so does and he wins EVERYTHING. Let's use this bit. Let's ride our 1 1/2 year old. Let's cut this, trim that, apply this... etc. etc. Very, very upsetting. I see why you are giving up.

  3. When I was first starting to look for my horse 3 years ago, Fugly was one of the first sites that popped up when I enquired about conformation. I believed in her original goal of educating people on the horrors of slaughter and I will admit that I followed for a while, hooked on her outing of bad people and I did actually learn something. But eventually I came to realize that it was just so negative...all the time... Even the comments were b**chy. There wasn't a balance of good/bad and it was same old, same old. I occasionally check in, but not very often.

  4. Guess I am an ignorant horse abuser. I rode all my horses - especially the young, green ones - in flash nosebands. *shurg*

  5. I don't read Fugly so nothing to add there but just wanted to say, Karen you are so wicked! hehehe

  6. I'll admit it, I miss Cathy, the original Fugly, a whole lot. I didn't agree with everything she said, but she was smart as a whip and always entertaining. Unfortunately, Mugly had huge shoes to fill and got in over her head, I think. I think it's kinda sad all around.

  7. You stuck with that blog a lot longer than I did.

  8. Yeah... I can't bear to read any more.

  9. Well that was a relief. I saw 8 comments on this post and thought I was about to be fried. Guess I am not the only one who ended up disappointed in the changes.

  10. Barbara, I can't agree more. My last straw started with her defense of Craig Schmersal on her own blog, and ended with her post about helmets a few weeks ago on Fugly. And even without those two posts, I have found her opinions while writing on Fugly to be muddy at the best of times, which just makes for strange reading. I liked her old blog where she mostly just told stories. No opinions, just stories. This, however, is not working for me. Thank you for the excellent post and saying what I think many have been thinking for a while now!

  11. I agree, I think it's sort of bizarre to defend one harsh practice and condemn another... I do maintain what I said on the reining post, that being commonplace doesn't make something acceptable -- whether it's ripping off a horse's face in warm-up, or lashing the jaw shut in the show ring. But it would be ignorant to paint either discipline with such broad strokes.

    To be frank, FHOTD has long been a blog that I only skim in Reader. Occasionally I pass along something poignant if I know someone who could do to read it, and a rare handful of times I've actually been inspired to comment. I feel like it is slightly missing the mark so far with the new author, but I've felt like it missed the mark plenty of times with the old one, too.

    It's still worth a glance. Sometimes you can learn the most from the people you don't see level with!

  12. I'm with you. Healthy debate is one thing. Biased, uninformed grandstanding is quite another. Mugly ain't no Fugly. Cathy's background was more diverse, which was reflected in her posts. It's too bad. I miss Cathy's spirit.

  13. I had to race over here to quote this comment I just found from Mugly, in her response to a reader comment on the latest post:

    "I already know what kind of abusive crap is involved in creating the unnatural carriage of Olympic reining horses, don’t hold these riders up as ideals. They are as prone to using abusive practices to succeed as anybody else."

    Isn't that interesting??? I guess I'm going over to Mugwump to find her post on Schmersal, et. al., to see what she actually said.


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