Cyndi Plasch beating horse with plastic bat at Midwest Horse Fair

At the Midwest Horse Fair this year, video taped "professional" horse trainer Cyndi Plasch (confirmed by herself as being the woman in the video with the bat), strikes the horse 20-some times with a plastic bat.

Madison Animal Services is planning to issue a cruelty citation against Cyndi as a result of the video.

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Comment by Marlene Thoms on May 4, 2012 at 9:33pm

I wonder if this is a quote from yours truly, kind of ironic if it is:


IName: Cyndi M. Plasch.

Job: Horse trainer and Mary Kay consultant (going on 23 years).

What I like best about my job: As a horse trainer, the challenge of figuring out each horse and building a relationship with it; then training it to be an incredible horse for someone else to enjoy.

What I like least about it: There's never enough time in a day to accomplish as much as I would like.

My best boss taught me: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

My worst boss taught me: That I needed to be my own boss.

I work best when: I have a specific goal, with a deadline, that I am working to achieve.

Comment by Mackenzie Brown on May 4, 2012 at 7:47pm

That woman is stupid for thinking that that "technique" would work. Now that horse is only going to be scared he will get beat at the sight of a trailer, and will refuse every time.


Comment by Barbara F. on May 4, 2012 at 5:51pm

Lol, at least someone can find humor in all this. Thanks for the giggle, Marlene!

Comment by Marlene Thoms on May 4, 2012 at 5:35pm

Can you imagine the owner of this horse trying to sell him to a customer? Oh yeah, he trailer loads great. And the price includes the bat you have to beat him with to do it.

Comment by wildehex on May 3, 2012 at 9:20pm

People often wrap the line behind the butt and pull or trap the horse.  They try to go backward, feel the trap, and go up.  That's the good part of using driving lines onto the trailer.  No trapping, just touch/touch/touch, and they choose forward.  

The simplest though is to put the food/water/hay in the trailer with youngsters and let them go in and out on their own when they are youngsters. It is much easier to have horses that 'self load'.

And interestingly enough ALL horses will walk onto a van with ease w/o drama (imho because of the walls on the ramp).

Comment by Barbara F. on May 3, 2012 at 9:02pm

I've had lots of success with treats and patience, along with encouragement and coaxing from front and/or behind.

 I'm not sure how the lunge line would have the horse flipping over backward unless it were attached to something.



Comment by wildehex on May 3, 2012 at 6:15pm

Tapping behind is one way to get the horse to load.  Giving them treats is absolutely useless.  And a lunge line should NOT be used to PREVENT backing (a good way to have them go over backwards) as is trying to 'hold' the front end in (which causes them to back up).  By using driving lines and swinging them into the horse alternately, the horse can choose forward in which case the touching stops, or they can stand there while the tapping continues. I have yet to have one back up and the good thing is that the person with the lines is out of the way of any kicking (they are attached to the metal of the trailer (not the horse).  It should NEVER take an hour, that is merely teaching the horse to say no to the handler.  Equally the handler MUST face forward, not look at the horse.  Ususally this is an issue of a horse not leading well.  It is rarely because of fear that they will not load.

I don't see frustration here, i see if the horse backs up and the whack continues.  But perhaps it is because I have played with those bats with my kids.  If it were a whip being used that way I would understand the outrage completely.

 And I have used a broom brush a couple of times, applied at the proper time they jump in.

Comment by Marlene Thoms on May 3, 2012 at 4:47pm

How does anyone teach any horse that doesn't do something because they are afraid? You have to remove the fear, break the job down into small steps and reward even the smallest effort, and most of all stay calm, because as soon as the handler is angry the horse adrenalin starts pumping because they believe with all their heart that the upset human knows there is something bad about to happen. Once the human;s adrenaline starts going, the horse can't help himself, his instincts tell him this very powerful person is afraid or upset about something and he wants to be somewhere else when the Gods descend to punish. One small example. My "sensitive" arab (translation can't function if he's afraid), could not go through a step through gate.  I hadn't met one before, but it's a gate that you can step through the middle part without opening the gate to keep out motorcyclists but allow horses(who are brave enough) and foot traffic. I tried all the usual approaches at length, but he was not going through that gate (and I was too lazy to get off and open it). I even tried at home, putting him in his paddock, with a very low board across the opening, and his favorite pasture pal on the other side, he wouldn't go through. But he sure threw a fit that I had set him up in such a torturous way, bucking and screaming. What finally worked, and in pretty short order (of 15-30 min. of training) was to stay on him or get off in front of the gate, and boringly tap very lightly on him with my crop. If he took even the slightest movement toward the gate I stopped tapping. Eventually he stepped through, and you bet I had a couple of carrot pieces and lots of praise for him as soon as he went through. But I can gurantee you if I had gotten angry and beat on him, he would have had a melt down, but not gone through the gate (and i might have permanently damaged his faith in me for future episodes). Because you can't train with fear and then expect the horse to act nicely the next time around. I have to ride this guy, sometimes alone, sometimes through tricky thickets and bush and I can't afford to have a horse who loses it because his rider loses it.

Comment by LC on May 3, 2012 at 4:17pm

This is a clear case of someone who has lost their temper.

I have dealt with many hard loaders and it has taken me up to an hour to get a horse onto a trailer. It takes patience and determination to get a horse that's difficult to load onto a trailer. Hitting it will not do much good. Using lunge lines behind the horse's legs to prevent the horse backing up, maybe opening the other door and taking the middle out if that's an option, letting the horse look into the trailer and take it's TIME.

I wish more 'professionals' thought about it from the horse's perspective. How would you like to be put in a dark room where you could hardly see and go somewhere you had no idea where you were going? 

There is a gentle tap to encourage forward movement with a whip or such to get a horse to step forwards. That is not what I see here. At all.

I hope this is followed up with the correct reprimand because this woman was doing this because she was obviously frustrated, fed up and just thought about her needs, not the animal's needs.

Comment by Barbara F. on May 3, 2012 at 3:42pm

I would try having him follow another horse on.

 I would try bribery. Step - mint- step - mint/apple/banana/orange or some other VERY fragrant treat.

 I would try loading without the middle partition. I would try the lungelines. I would try loading in the direction the horse wants to go. These are just off the top of my head.


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