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Choosing A Trainer

Horse Abused at Big Name Trainer's Barn
Sometimes, the very best may not be what they appear to be

Submitted by Lil Peck, 1/2/2009 


11 Associated files:
1mb file, PDF of letter by witness page 1
1mb file, PDF of letter by witness page 2
Karen Adler DVM Sept 4 2008
Larry J McConnell DVM Aug 30 2008
Statement by Nicole Marr
Voicemail from Detective Shaw of the Johnson County Texas Sheriff Department.
"Over the years, I have watched as the AQHA shows have become more and more money driven."
Contact Information of the AQHA Executive Committee
Clinic Participant: "...horrifying experience..."
Slow Lopin Scotch (before injuries) Jan 28 2008
Slow Lopin Scotch on August 15, 2008

Bone shards removed from horse's jaw. Spur wound on horse's left side of horse's girth. Closeup: Spur wound on horse's left side of horse's girth.
Pus dripping from spur wound on horse's right side of girth. Closeup: Pus dripping from spur wound on horse's right side of girth. Taken on Cleve Wells property during a visit on April 11, 2008.  His assistant trainer is the one with the horse as Cleve was in Wisconsin putting on a clinic.

Click for video
Click for video
Click for video

The Executive Committee of the American Quarter Horse Association has revoked Cleve Wells' membership for 1 year and fined him $10,000. For the details, please see the GoHorseShow link grouped with the other links after this article.

Equine Affaire and Western Horse Expo had each scheduled Cleve Wells as a clinician, but have since removed him from their schedules. I see that Monty Roberts is scheduled to appear at Equine Affaire...he is an alleged liar (see, and also see the Feb. 1999 Horse & Rider expose of Monty Roberts), and I can't stand his smarmy voice. [Both events have so-called "animal communicator" Lydia Hilby scheduled...(me rolling eyes and sighing). People, if you find the services of a so-called "animal communicator" to be helpful, well, goodie for you. But, they ARE NOT PSYCHIC. There is nothing paranormal about what they do.]

UPDATE FEB. 26, 2009
The following quotes are from a statement that was on Cleve Wells' website as of Feb. 20, 2009:
"I want to be clear that I do not tolerate the abuse of any animal."
"I am proud to say that after 35 years of training hundreds of horses, not a single person who has put a horse in my barn has come forward with anything other than a compliment. I want to thank my clients and note that I have not lost a single client as a result of these allegations."
"And, I want everyone to know that they are welcome as always to come ride, come watch, or just come by and visit. Please call me any time that you think I may be able to assist you."
The statement was removed from the website soon thereafter. Because of copyright considerations, I am unable to post more than those snippets. In the links section below, there is a link to Jodie Ann Strait's blog, where She offers an analysis of the statement.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 18 2009 11:19 PM

The Professional Horseman's Committee has recommended to the Executive Committee that Cleve Well's membership be revoked.

Here's Rule 479 of the AQHA Rule Book:
Professional Horsemen is a privilege, not a right, application for
which shall be made by procedures prescribed by AQHA. A member
of the AQHA Professional Horseman must, at all times, act in a professional
manner and adhere to the Professional Horsemen Code of
Ethics. An individual’s conduct as a member of the AQHA Professional
Horsemen is subject to continual review by the Professional
Horsemen’s Council and/or the Executive Committee. Membership
in the Professional Horsemen may be terminated by the Professional
Horsemen’s Council and/or the Executive Committee with or
without notice and formal hearing."

The PHC's Code of Ethics (which may be seen at reads:

We, the members of American Quarter Horse Association of Professional Horsemen, in carrying out our role of
providing service to the American Quarter Horse industry, recognize the need to do so in a professional manner, and to deal
with the public and our colleagues with the highest degree of integrity. Therefore, we have set forth the following creed
which shall govern our endeavors to fulfill our obligations:

•To adhere to the professional standards of the American Quarter Horse Association and to work to further its goals and objectives.
•To ensure that the welfare of the American Quarter Horse is paramount and that every American Quarter Horse shall at all times be treated humanely and with dignity, respect and compassion.
•To conduct all business affairs with integrity, sincerity and accuracy in an open and forthright manner.
•To act with integrity in financial dealings with clients, other professionals and the public. In this regard, any horse shown by my spouse, client or child will be economically owned as prescribed by applicable rules.
•To handle our business and operations in a manner which promotes the image of the American Quarter Horse industry.
•To instill confidence among clients and the public in the American Quarter Horse industry, avoiding any action conducive to discrediting it or membership in the American Quarter Horse Association."


The original article appears below.


The owner of this horse, her father, and a trainer friend went to visit her horse, unannounced, at Big Name Trainer's barn. Big Name Trainer was away at a horse show at the time. The owner found her horse with swollen legs, swollen lacerated muzzle, broken jaw, and spur scars on his sides. The wound on one side was dripping a nasty pus.

There was water and feed in the horse's stall, but the horse was tied so that he could not reach it.

The owner's veterinarian removed a couple of bone shards from the horse's jaw.

I haved posted photos that I received from the owner, including scans of a letter written by her trainer friend.

I do not know what the Big Name Trainer's role in any of this was, and he is welcome to post his point of view here.

The owner contacted the AQHA Professional Horsemen Association, but as of this date, has not yet gotten a response from them regarding this matter.*

Edited by Lil Peck January 6, 2009 to attach the following files to this article:
Statement by Karen Adler DVM
Statement by Larry J McConnell DVM
Statement by co-owner of Slow Lopin Scoth, Nicole Marr
Picture of Slow Lopin Scotch at Cleve Well's in April 2008

If you would like to contact Nicole, you may email me at and I will forward your message to her.

Edited by Lil Peck January 10, 2009 to add more information.
(Edited again to change County Attorney to District Attorney.)

I heard from Detective Shaw of the Johnson Co TX Sherriff's Dept that there is a case concerning the trainer, that was prepared and is pending before the District Attorney.

Detective Shaw was not at liberty to give details, so we do not know if this case is the same matter as Nicole and Wayne's horse.

Because District Attorneys elsewhere sometimes think that animal abuse cases aren't worth their time, I think perhaps it would be a good idea for folks to contact the DA to let him know that nationwide, we are watching and are very interested.

I received an email Jan. 9 from Kelly Proffitt on behalf of the AQHA Professional Horsemen's Association. The content of that email:

There is an active investigation regarding Nicole's allegations. AQHA
investigates all reports received. If nobody is willing to write in and
notify us, our hands are tied. With this case, the owners wrote in and
as I mentioned, we are investigating it now.


Ms Proffitt's email address is


Here is the contact information of the District Attorney. I spoke with a receptionist at his office, and she says letters are welcome. I believe that letters would be more effective than telephone calls.

District Attorney
Honorable Dale Hanna
Phone (817) 556-6802
Fax (817) 556-6816
Guinn Justice Center
204 S. Buffalo Ave Room: 209
Cleburne, Texas 76033


I telephone the DA's office this morning and asked his receptionist if a decision has been made whether to prosecute. She said that no, a decision has not yet been made.

If you haven't yet written to, faxed, or phoned the DA's office, please do so, to let him know that you are interested in his decision regarding this matter.

I received an email from Connie Hill, President Elect of the NSBA (National Snaffle Bit Association). She said that the NSBA is also conducting an investigation.

To sum up:
1. Criminal case pending the Johnson County Texas District Attorney's decision.
2. It appears that a civil case may be filed.
3. The AQHA's Professional Horsemen group is investigating (sometimes seen as asking the fox to guard the henhouse, but there are true professionals in the group also).
4. The NSBA is conducting an investigation.

It is important that we don't let this get swept under the rug or forgotten. Let those various agencies know your opinion.

Update January 25, 2009

Found here:

In response to a reader query, Julie Thorson posted:
Thank you for your concern about the article announced in our February issue.

Please be advised that the article announced in the February issue (which went to press before Christmas) is not being published.

Horse&Rider has suspended its involvement with Mr. Wells as a member of Team Horse&Rider.

--The editors of H&R


Update February 3, 2009

I telephoned the office of the District Attorney again today and spoke with the attorney who was handling the Cleve Wells case. I am typing my report from memory, so please take into account that it is only as complete, correct, and accurate as I can make it.

The attorney said that the office has done a "discretionary rejection" of the case. She said it wasn't that they didn't think that something bad had happened (Please note that such a comment doesn't necessarily imply that Mr. Wells had anything to do with it.), but that most of the information they received was about events that happened outside their jurisdiction. She said they had been in contact with the AQHA. She said, "If anyone has any information about a crime in Johnson County, the District Attorney's office would be very interested." She commented that the office has received a large amount of correspondence from the public about the case.

Associated links:

Breaking Developments in Horse Abuse Case spoke with Nicole Marr, owner of Slow Lopin Scotch, and published text message from Cleve Wells.

Big Names Behaving Badly
The Fugly Horse of the Day blogger offers her opinion of this abuse case.

Jodie Ann Strait's Blog
Ms Strait has posted several blog entries about Slow Lopin Scotch. (There are several blogs on the web that also mention this issue, but some of them are too extremist for my taste. )

Young Garrett Meredith of Magnolia Texas Demonstrates Character Worthy of Emulation
Garrett uses sponsorship income from his site to support his horses. Seeing that some sponsors also sponsored Wells, Garrett alerted them that he would not continue accepting their funding. Note 'The Code of the American Cowboy' on his home page.

Candace Wilcox's report of Cleve Wells spurring horse at show. (See her comments below also.)
I personally have seen this man rip the hide off a black horse at an AQHA show in Belton, TX, a few years back, strips of skin hanging down the sides where his spurs were, pink/white skin just shining against that black coat...

Horse & Rider Dropped Cleve Wells
Juli Thorson: Horse&Rider has suspended its involvement with Mr. Wells as a member of Team Horse&Rider.

Transcript of phone conversation with Mr. Wells,

AQHA Releases Official Statement Regarding Meeting Between Professional Horsemen's Council and Cleve posted the official statement by the AQHA's PHC.

Former page that showed Cleve Wells as a scheduled presenter.
This is google's cache of the page that used to be on

Current listing of featured clinicians. Report of Cleve Wells' Suspension Details
This article broke the news regarding the Executive Committee Decision and contains links to their previous related stories.

Would you like to comment on this article? (opens popup)
By Rudy Brannon at 9/27/2009 11:54:39 PM
The Video...pure abuse
In watching these three videos I do not understand how anyone would take their horse to this man. It is clear he trains with fear and intimidation. He is horrible and should be banned from ever being allowed to train a horse again! He should be banned from any AQHA shows or membership...horrible on every level. Ranks right up there with Michael Vick and the dogs!
By T.F. at 9/14/2009 3:12:53 PM
Just to through out there, I am a trainer/competitor. Any-one that has done any training at all knows how easy it can be to put a mark on a horse. I where the same spurs on pretty much each horse....some leave little puffs/ some don't, even draw reins or biting and lunging will leave your horses mouth open..... I Definitely agree that no horse deserves what has happened here, and should never be tolerated! But most stable/ facility owners know there are people out there in this industry that don't understand the difference between discipline and beating!! And probably never will...
By April Reeves at 5/26/2009 9:26:23 AM
Re: Cleve Wells
While I completely disagree with any form of animal abuse, and anyone who chooses to perform the abuse, I think that AQHA has a role in this problem, and should reconsider it's views and methods in the show ring. I quit showing in western pleasure for 27 years now, as I refuse to force a horse into the over-exaggerated slow gaits required to win. While a few horses can accept this training without mechanical and abusive methods applied, most can't, and as long as the AQHA continues to accept in into the ring, judge it and award it, you won't fix the problems.
By Troy at 5/18/2009 9:50:13 PM
Press Release by NSBA Executive Committee and Board of Directors RE: AQHA Suspension of Cleve Wells under AQHA Rule 104 (a). "The two rules that would be applicable in this situation are NSBA rule 97 and NSBA rule 99. NSBA rule 97 does not have a provision to cause the NSBA member to be responsible for actions taken by his/her employee. NSBA rule 99 only allows NSBA to give reciprocity in disciplining to NSBA recognized breed associations when a “like rule” has been violated. NSBA does not have a “like rule” that provides for disciplining an NSBA member for the actions of his/her employees. Based on the current rules, NSBA will not take any action in this matter." In my opinion the following statement is a BIG ( Y ) LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! "NSBA remains committed to the welfare of the horse and the education of its members regarding humane treatment of the horse." full story here.... ------------------ E-mail from Eppers... Thank you for contacting the NSBA office regarding your concerns of animal abuse. You can be assured that the welfare of the horse is the utmost concern of the National Snaffle Bit Association and that a thorough investigation is underway for this case. The Executive Committee and Board of Directors will be monitoring the progress of this case. Ultimately the truth of the situation will come out, but it is clear that the horse will need representation. Our association will do everything to protect the well being of the horse and his future. Thank you for contacting NSBA. ----------------- E-mail from Hill..... Thank you for your email. The Executive Committee at NSBA is investigating the events at Mr... Wells facility. I appreciate the thought and time that went into your comments. I want to assure you that we are very concerned about the situation and about the welfare of the horses that we are so fortunate to be able to ride in our organization. The situation will be dealt with and at that time details will be available for public review. Please do not interpret the lack of public action by NSBA to date, to mean that we as a board and membership are not concerned (we are dealing with it at a board level know and it will be made public). Unfortunately we were notified of the events via the internet much the same way as the rest of the public. We recognize and agree that the situation is very upsetting and as such all actions surrounding this matter don't seem to happen quickly enough, even for our board. We share your frustration in this area. We appreciate your comments and it is our desire to keep everyone informed as soon as a final assessment and recommendation for action has been received. Thank you again. ----------------- FOR THE HORSE MY BUTT!!!!!!!
By pamela at 5/17/2009 5:40:54 PM
cleve wells
Know cleve wells for years and he as show same time as my self ,think on this AQHA want 2 year old looking like rocking horses have you ever taken time to see how they got that way ,owner of horses want to win that is all ,,,,feel time to take look at 2 year old not going to big show ,,,,
By Candy Wilcox at 3/4/2009 7:40:30 AM
Doesn't Condone Abuse?????
Regarding the statement "I want to be clear that I do not tolerate the abuse of any animal," and this is a quote, I am not making it up or putting words in anyone's mouth, this, in essence, is calling ME a liar in front of the entire nation, and I do NOT take that lightly!! Is this person saying that I did NOT see BNT spurring and ripping the hide off this horse as I have stated in the recent past and have stuck to my story and have not changed it one bit or EVER wavered from telling EXACTLY what I witnessed? Is this person saying I am MAKING UP THIS STORY?? EXCUSE ME???!!!! If someone is going to call me a liar, ESPECIALLY in front of millions of people, I want that someone to ALSO do it TO MY FACE! I only live a couple of hours from Burleson, and a meeting, a private one at that, can easily be set up so this can be done. I just wonder if someone is "man" enough to do that. I can be called lazy, stupid, ignorant...I can be called a LOT of names, but NO ONE calls me a LIAR unless they can do it to my face!
By Cheri Runyon at 2/21/2009 9:51:39 PM
Cleve Wells
I just sent emails to all of the EX. committee except the one without email. Marci, I used all of your example letter and added to it. Hope that is okay. Please everyone that feels very strongly about this issue, do just as I have. Let AQHA know how you feel! United , we can make a difference about ALL abuse. Thanks
By Candy Wilcox at 1/1/1970
Update on Cleve Wells
UPDATE ON CLEVE WELLS By Candy Wilcox Well, folks, seems like Cleve himself opened it up for us to discuss his membership being revoked from the Professional Horsemens Association. Please read his statement on, if you haven't seen it already. And since this is being referred on to the Executive Committee for more disciplinary action, I think I'd keep my eyes open for more to come....much, MUCH more to come! Keep checking back for more updates in the future, they will be coming!!! ((:
By BBK at 2/20/2009 3:25:16 AM
About Time
I have first hand shown the circuit and I have witnessed MANY sad tales of horse abuse. The worst one was by SD who learned just about everything he knows from Cleve. Alot of folks have been aware for years what these guys do behind the barn. But thanks to the age of cell cameras, maybe more people will have the COURAGE and the stregnth to accept what happens when they report it. BRAVO to these folks. And if you read Cleve's own words on the pleasurehorse site..well it reminds me of OJ. For once , thanks in total to the internet AND the pictures posted here, he is going to loose his card. Let's just pray that his 'wealthy' millionaire customers don't hire the laywers to get it back. I see that coming as it has many times before. It's hard to go up against guys with clients like this because they blindly use their money to defend trainers so they can still go win. I for one am going to renew my membership right now to AQHA with a note of thanks along with a new subscription to Horse and Rider! I urge all of you to back this up with your own $ and do the same. Too much bad press on this one. He can't deny the pictures no matter how badly ( sic) he tried.
By Marci at 2/19/2009 4:58:15 PM
PLEASE contact AQHA Executive Committee
If anyone would like to contact the AQHA EC and urge them to take strong disciplinary actions against Cleve Wells, here's a sample letter you can use, if you're so inclined. You can send it to Kelly Proffitt at AQHA (e-mail address in an earlier comment) and I'm sure she'll be happy to forward it. Dear Executive Committee members: Thank you for agreeing to meet next month to establish disciplinary actions against Cleve Wells for the abuse and neglect of Slow Lopin Scotch. I’m afraid that if AQHA doesn’t do something to stop abuse, outside organizations (such as PETA) are going to do it for us. I am sure you’ve received scores of letters and e-mails from individuals who have seen him abuse horses at shows and clinics. I realize nothing can be done about those specific issues now, but you can see that Cleve Wells has a long-standing, if secret, reputation for being abusive. And that behavior is completely inconsistent with AQHA’s policy statement on the Welfare of the American Quarter Horse. “…AQHA actively protects the American Quarter Horse…To that end, AQHA is committed to the following beliefs: · Every American Quarter Horse…shall…be treated humanely and with dignity, respect and compassion. · Trainers…are continually responsible for the well-being and humane treatment of any American Quarter Horse entrusted to their care. · Above all, the American Quarter Horse’s welfare is paramount to other considerations. Given the long-standing, if secret, history of abuse and repeated offenses he has committed, I urge you to expel Cleve Wells from AQHA for life. It’s the only thing that will protect Quarter Horses from abuse at his hands. Additionally, I hope you urge the other associations follow your example and suspend him for life. Thank you for your careful consideration and for taking the time to read this letter.
By Monique at 2/9/2009 10:23:44 PM
Okay Nancy
Do you seriously think it is only "one or two bad apples" Please, it is an epidemic!! My post was already edited and approved as a comment on the article at hand.. HORSE ABUSE..YOU don't have a right to tell me my opinion is wrong or imply I haven't any common sense!! So lets just agree to disagree!! Obviously you are not one of the BNT who are abusing horses and stealing people's money, but there are plenty out there who are..PLENTY!!! And FYI, if you read the other blogs on the other sites you would know she thought she was doing the right thing by sending her horse to a well known trainer and had done research.. Seems she was the only one who didn't know this trainer was abusive.. No one sends their horse knowingly to a trainer to be abused. Obviously she wasn't heavy into the horse show circuit or she would have known. In a perfect world your "written contract idea" would be great..Too bad it would never work! We all know the wanna-be trainers are the ones swinging a leg on your horse instead of the one you are paying the big buck to!! Obviously there are some good trainers out there. I NEVER said they were ALL scumbags..They know who they are..what goes around comes around..Hopefully there will be justice, but I have my doubts..
By Candy Giordano, The Healing Touch Equine Massage at 2/8/2009 4:33:39 PM
Horse Abuse
Was forwarded the email on Well's abuse of horse's in his care. As a professional in the field, I see milder forms of abuse in all disciplines and people seem to think it's ok to tie horses up all day, use roweled spurs and the like in the name of training. I have worked with horses since 1964 and cannot remember a time when there have been so many under qualified and over aggressive trainers torturing animals and justify doing it! Enough of cruelty already and call for some kind of qualifications in order to label oneself a Trainer. Candy Giordano, The Healing Touch Equine Massage
By Resa Webber at 2/6/2009 11:48:11 AM
Cleve Wells
For the better part of my life, I have owned, bred, raised, trained and sadly, buried, horses. My horses know discipline, but not torture. I have known Cleve for many years. My first intro to him was at a show in Katy, TX. I went to get show management ("Cookie")to alert her to skin hanging from a horse's chin. The "curb strap" just happened to be a piece of baling wire, wrapped, twisted and as evil as it could be made. I thought that CW had abandoned his harsh practices, but obviously not so. HE, AND ALL OTHER EVIL TRAINERS, NEED TO BE BARRED FROM THE ASSNS. THE ABUSE MUST BE STOPPED!!!!
By Marci at 2/6/2009 11:08:00 AM
PLEASE push AQHA to investigate this!
To all. I found this on a forum, and it bears posting here, too. If the DA won't prosecute this, we need to make our voices heard at AQHA and encourage them to take abuse seriously. AQHA made an example of Steve Heckaman for far less, without waiting for a court verdict, so it's clear that they do NOT have to drop this simply the initial DA assigned has chosen not to take the case. AQHA needs to take this and all abuse allegations seriously. Here is the contact info or those on the Professional Horseman's Council that Cleve will be appearing before on February 17. We have time to e-mail each member of the PHC and encourage them to NOT let Cleve Wells off the hook just because the DA did. MARGOLBALL@AOL.COM PATTICARTERPH@GMAIL.COM DALE@EQUINENETWORK.BIZ STEPHANIEANNLYNN@GMAIL.COM WFMOORMAN@AOL.COM And here is the e-mail address for Kelly Profitt at AQHA (she's the head of the Professional Horseman's Council): Here's a sample message to the Professional Horseman's Council, I'm sure ALL of you can do better but it's a starting point. Revise away, but PLEASE keep the pressure up. I would like to voice my support for AQHA Professional Horseman's Council's investigation into the current allegations against Cleve Wells for cruelty, abuse, and neglect of Slow Lopin Scotch while in his training program. I realize Cleve Wells is a prominent trainer and exhibitor within AQHA and in fact is listed as a Professional Horseman. Sadly, I've heard numerous stories of horse abuse at his hands. I don't know that anything can be done about past, hearsay situations, but the current allegations are an opportunity for AQHA to seriously investigate Cleve Wells and punish him as appropriate. This type of behavior reflects very poorly on the breed and on the association...and it breaks my heart. It's high time AQHA lets it be known that they will not allow abuse of the animals we all love, and distance itself from this type of abusive trainer. I hope you will also give the horse's owners a chance to present their documentation and statements. That seems only fair, although I realize you probably have a set procedure. Thank you for your consideration and for pursuing these allegations of cruelty, neglect, and abuse. I sincerely appreciate you taking the matter seriously now and in the future. And in case you'd like to alert the news media in hopes they're put pressure on the DA and/or AQHA, here are the major channels in that market: (Channel 5) NBC (Channel 8) ABC (Channel 4) Fox (Channel 7) CBC
By Nancy at 2/4/2009 4:09:46 PM
Okay Monique
Okay Monique, don't just attack the pleasure horse people in the Quarter Horse world. Every discipline in the horse world has its abusive trainers. I'm a trainer of AQHA and my pleasure horses go on to show at the ages of 16 and 18 because of my methods. They also have placed at the congress and the World show. One or two bad apples don't make the whole organization of pleasure horse trainers bad and abusive and the worst, horse thieves that steal money from owners with poor work ethics & that lack morals. I'm sorry that you have had a bad experience, but common sense will tell you are wrong. I'm not going to say I have not seen abuse, I have, and I have done something about it. I do stop it, and there are a lot of people out there that do stop it also. The only way to truly hurt that abusive trainer is to not send him business period. AQHA should step in and research this problem more and continue to prevent abuse. Show managements are just as responsible for the abuse at the shows, in getting it stopped. Try not to blame all trainers. There are more good ones out there then bad. There are a lot of contracts that I have seen in my day but the best one was between trainer and owner. It laid out in writing what was expected. How many days will "you" be on the horse, not the secondary trainer but the primary trainer? Expected work ethics and training methods written down. Unacceptable methods in writing, time to accomplish our goals in the training of this horse. Pictures and videos sent in a timely manner to show health and progress. If your trainer can't do that, he has too many horses and the attention to detail is too much for him. Find another trainer that has the same thought and ethics has you do. You and your trainer must be on the same page. You as an owner must to held accountable for your horses training and safely. I get that the young lady made a surprise visit to Cleve's place. Some of those sores on the sides were kind of old, wrong to have ever happened but, Cleve is gone a lot, who is riding this horse? Cleve has to take responsibility, it happen under his watch and he could have very well have done it. It should have never happened, period. But,what about the communication between owner and trainer? Could this have been avoided with a contact that would hold up in court? Once you sign something that becomes very important in the laws eyes. Would he have signed it, probably not, then you get a new trainer with the same ethics as yours. How did the owner of the above horse pick Cleve Wells to begin with? Did she not go down and view his other horses, watch him ride, and anything else that would have helped her make a decision about whether her horse would be a good match in Cleve's program. Responsibility goes both ways.
By m Thompson at 2/4/2009 3:48:44 PM
abuse and trainers
I am sickened by the abuse as seen in these photos at C Wells barn. The sad thing is that I am afraid this happens everywhere. And "horse trainers" get a terrible reputation. I am a horse trainer. I have horses in the winners circle at the World Shows, Congress and shows across the country on a regular basis. In my wildest dreams I could NEVER cause this kind of harm to an animal. I have been in this business for 30 years and I take each horse slowly and if the horse doesnt have the talent to do the job...I move on to one who does then find a "new job" for the horse who doesnt make it. People who stoop to such tactics are mechanics, and have no business working with animals of any kind. I would like to see AQHA step up and seriously punish such offences. Ban them for LIFE with no appeal! Surely we cannot condone this kind of treatment to horses!! I cant speak for Mr Wells or any of the others, but there is no amount of money, fame, or ego that would make me treat a horse this way. It is definitely not "training!"
By Monique from Texas at 2/2/2009 10:52:02 PM
I have read all the blogs here and everywhere else on line..It is so true what people say about the "quarter horse people" Cleve Wells has just added more fuel to the fire ALREADY BURNING about the abuse that goes on in the "quarter horse world" especially in the pleasure classes.. These so called TOP TRAINERS have been stealing people's money for years and will continue to.. AQHA will do nothing about this latest incident, just as they have done nothing about all the other cases that have been brought to their attention over the years..Its really just about politics and money.. Sad to think that we are actually paying these scumbag trainers BIG money to abuse our horses.. They are laughing all the way to the bank with our hard earned dollars!! They think they are untouchable, a God to be worshipped in the horse show world.. Please.. Make me puke!!.. [Webmaster removed part of post here.] So c'mon all you people with your digitals and camcorders..You have all seen what goes on at these shows.. You are just as much to blame if you see it and do nothing about it.. Stop turning the other cheek and do something to help.. If we all try to put an end to this so many horses will be saved.. Isn't that what this is all about, saving the horses?? Start the video going and take pictures when you see this kind of thing happening..You probably ALL have video capabilities and cameras on those cell phones that are ATTACHED at your hip!! Use them!!
By Concerned exhibitor at 2/2/2009 3:52:45 PM
Cleve Wells trains the young trainers to do same methods.
I stalled next to a young trainer that trained with Cleve for years...He too uses the wood in the mouth and covers the stall with curtains so no one can see what's going on. When I said something he just said don't worry about it, it's nothing. The horse was not tied but turned lose in the stall. I showed the horse to a very wealthy halter exhibitor and he got the young trainer to take it out...they don't seem to mess with the wealthy men. That gentleman, check every day for me, and late at night. So, Mr. Wells has taught them well. When AQHA went after Jerry Wells, may I remind everyone the horse that Jerry kept and reg. he gelded. What really was the harm? The rules have changed now. There was no abuse with putting papers on the foal, and it went on to win the world and that's when the other party got mad...he had the winner, they picked the mare and so the story goes. Jerry was later honored by AQHA and rightfully so. Cleve Wells has given demonstrations at the Congress, magazine articles, and many more places, we really need to rethink is selling methods...His words and actions don't match. He trains one way and sells other methods in magazines, show grounds, DVD's and numerous other outlets. If AQHA doesn't do something, their actions and words don't match..they fail as the organization that represents the America Quarter horse in all its ability to promote breeding and showing of these animal. I sure hope they don't let down their membership down because without them they have no jobs or purpose.
By MADPITO9 at 1/29/2009 6:31:36 PM
My feelings for what this owner must have gone through sending her horse to a Famous well respected trainer like Cleve I too once thought he and several western pleasure trainers were awsome.......... I too thought my trainers were the best in az only to realize something was terriable wrong she was not moving correct and she had no life in her only to realize that the reason was she had fractures in her neck due to a servere trauma God only knows the hell she endured by them , they still rode her drugged out of her mind this poor 3 yr old beautiful filly her last year was Iam sure a living hell. She came home after she was hauled to a show and we found hoof problems ,that was only the tip of the problem we then had her checked and the xrays should the fractures there was no hope left for her & she was progressively getting worse. She was put to rest before her 4th birthday. I will continue to stalk and watch those trainers whom we see abuse the horses and will tell everyone I know anout those abbusive bits , drugs and would like everyone who shows there horses or has a horse in training YES it could be your horse keep your eyes open and please speak on there behalf,,,,,, There are Good trainers out there you just have to do your research......................
By barney at 1/25/2009 4:30:59 PM
I am mortified that a trainer that I have thought to be one of the best is capable of being such a monster.

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