The Disgusting – Criolla Week In Montevideo

I try to be careful to not wish ill on my fellow man, as a little thing known as ‘Karma’ works both ways.  I have to say, though, while the photography for this short article is mucho caliente (a lot hot – as in very good), my heart hurts for every horse.  The body contortions and inner stresses being put on them is through the roof, making it very hard for me to think anything but exceedingly nasty thoughts about every single human involved.

18 thoughts on “The Disgusting – Criolla Week In Montevideo

  1. It’s hard to pick the worst thing about it…..the rawhide through the mouth…..the heavy quirt, the sharpness of those spurs….geeeez. American rodeo is bad enough, but at least riders don’t get sharp spurs, quirts, or “bits” to hang onto. I’ve seen some rodeo horses that actually seemed to be enjoying their job, with ears forward and a relaxed expression on their face, but none of these are even remotely at ease.

  2. I have been accused of not being at zero tolerance for any kind of abuse, so I am going to play devil’s advocate here. I would like to see the entire ride before passing judgement. The rope around the jaw looks like it could break the jaw, but I would be interested to know if any of the horses were injured, beyond the obvious abrasions that would likely occur. The horses look very fit to me, and not much sweat, no froth, how long were they ridden? What happens to them after the ride? Are any of the horses that are used for the rides ever hurt? OK, if horses are routinely injured, I will cry foul also. But I believe in gradations of evil. I would like to look into this further.

    • Fair enough, Devil’s Advocate3. But why would you believe the horses aren’t hurt? How could horses contorted and twisted in the manner evidenced in the photos not be injured? Just because there’s no obvious blood gushing or exposed wounds, doesn’t mean they aren’t hurt. And even if by some miracle they aren’t experiencing bruising, hyper extensions and tears of soft tissue, what of their mental and emotional states? Do they look like they are having a good time? Do they look relaxed? Happy? Content in their work?

      • Horse #4, the Paint…do you see where his head is? Now look at his left front leg.
        Horse #6, the one rearing and twisted to the left, the riding hanging all of his weight off the horse’s lower jaw, the horse’s tongue fully extended out. Do you think that horse actually landed nice and squarely on its feet, with its body straight?
        Horse #7, the one already on the ground…that didn’t hurt the horse at all, eh?

        I can assure you, ever single one of these horses had not only soft tissue damage done to it, but also skeletal damage. How do I know? Because that’s what I do. I identify issues in people’s horses that they (and many times their healthcare professionals) didn’t know existed, and horses get hurt by people who do nothing more than meander down the trail now and again. So I know for a fact these horses got injured. Just because the horse is a big animal, doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Indeed, the horse is a rather fragile creature despite its size and what we ask it to do.

        • I expected to get slammed. I have a lot of thoughts, but don’t want to give a lecture here. Actually, I don’t have much faith in our fellow man and this is most likely a horrible thing going on here, but I am not going to blindly follow the herd and condemn this over some spectacular photos and no other information.

          • I’ve no problem with anyone playing Devil’s Advocate. It’s a good exercise. How much more evidence do you require? Do you honestly believe that other than this handful of select moments, that every other moment (including the ones before these photos, the ones after) were sunshine, rainbows and unicorns?

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but the impression I’m getting is that moments like these can be dismissed, ignored or acceptable if the rest of the moments (or the majority of the rest of the moments) were ‘okay’ for the horse. If that’s so, then I call BS.

            It is never okay for a horse to be treated in this manner for one second. That’s like saying, if I treat my horse well 6 days of the week, then I can do whatever I want with him on the 7th day because I’ve been good all week. That might work for a diet, but it doesn’t hold for the treatment of animals in our care.

            If the rest of Criolla Week is an example of high regard for the horse and horsemanship then this specific event needs to stop. I’m just not understanding your position of requiring more information, even as a Devil’s Advocate. I can’t wrap my brain around a knowledgeable horseman who would require more than what’s been presented before coming to, what I consider, is the obvious conclusion: abuse.

          • I think I know where you’re going….like the still photo of the horse falling over a solid cross country obstacle, body contorted in reverse angles. Do we ban all eventing? Probably not, though it is very dangerous for both horse and rider. Difference between the two that I find is that nobodyon the course is clapping or happy when the horse goes down over a fence. These pricks think it’s manly.

          • I don’t see the two examples as parallels. Besides what you’ve already stated, the point of eventing isn’t to dominate the horse through cohersion. A horse falling on cross country is an ‘accident’. None of *this* depicted is accidental.

          • Do a Google image search on “Gaucho rodeo”, and you’ll find tons more “spectacular” photos, and not just of horses. You’ll also see some photos of horrendous spurs. This kind of abusive “sport” is not only about “gauchos” trying to dominate horses, but it’s a spectator sport, too, for those who enjoy watching this kind of thing.

  3. Some more Spanish horse ‘tradition’ – which seems to be more about machismo than horsemanship. This roundup happens every year and the horses have their tails and manes and the tips of their ears cut off.
    As far as I have been able to figure out, there seems no practical reason for this any more than there is for bull-fighting – and I think all these ‘sports’ are disgusting. I’m no particular fan of rodeo for the same reasons but it for sure pales in comparison to this kind of brutality.

  4. Oh, those poor horses. 😦 Chances are they’ll end up at the slaughter house since they’ll be useless as riding horses after this experience. Did anyone else notice it was all mares? I wonder what the significance of that is?

  5. not the best examples of Spanish horsemanship, probably on a level of the Calgary stampede chuch wagon event for stupid things to do to horses, and of course, thoroughbred racing of two year olds and , and , and , and nobody who actually likes horses would do it, totally different than the Shire horse race in effect on the horses.

  6. I call neanderthal, look at the smiles on the faces – I’d expect the same savage smirks at dog fights. Men seriously need to finish evolving and find something better to do with their energy and misguided instincts. Yea, there are good ones, I know, but see any women’s faces in these pics?

    • I couldn’t get through all of the photos, but I do believe I saw one woman holding the head of a young horse (could have just been an ugly man, who knows). So my question is “why?” Why do they hold these rodeos? Beyond tradition, what is their goal?
      I happen to like rodeos having grown up in the Roundup city of Pendleton, Or. Overall, the rough stock is well cared for and emergency staff is always quick to jump on any rare (and they are fairly rare) mishaps involving the animals.
      Obviously, MOST rodeo events stem from traditional cowboy way and life.
      This Spanish rodeo seems nothing more than a macho right of passage.
      Beyond the extreme physical contortions all of the above mentioned horses are twisted into, it is the emotional damage that I most abhor. Most physical damage can heal with time, but the emotional side is much more delicate and challenging to heal.

  7. This would be hard to put an end to with 200 000 visitors to Criolla week, its noe big business. Man’s pathetic self glorification at being able dominate a beautiful wild animal with violence and total lack of respect for another creatures wellbeing. I too hope dearly that karma will keep the balance here as I am nauseated at the suffering of the equine species at the hand of man, century after century.

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