Sunday, September 25, 2011

A follow-up on Randy Byers

A couple of years ago I posted on Randy Byers, a Washington-area trainer who was outed by Fugly for abusing clients' horses.  My blog post, though old, has generated a lot of interest lately, so I thought I'd post an update.

Just a week ago, I received this anonymous comment on my blog:

I have no idea who "Anonymous" is but I have had a good 4 years of learning advanced riding skills with Randy both at Ron Coppels stable and at Carbon stables. I have 2 overly smart paint/mustangs and an not so intelligent appendix gelding which Randy has worked with quite extensively. He has never mistreated my horses, and has always welcomed my being there any time night or day to show up to ride and work them myself.randy has also helped my husband to learn and appreciate the finer points of horsemanship. I am very grateful for his help.

I was a little surprised to get a comment on such an old post, but in my experience controversial posts often attract comments for years after the original posting date.  However, when I received the following email, I realized something must have triggered the sudden interest:

hi. i came across your blog while doing some research on randy byers. you did a blog on him in 2009, when he got outed on the fugly blog. i thought maybe you would like an update. this is from an arabian horse blog, posted by someone in canada who is aware that he's been crossing the border there to work without proper papers.

Randy Byers is NO LONGER a Lyons Certified Trainer, due to his unscrupulous training techniques.
Randy Byers is NO LONGER a Royal Champion Supplements Endorser due to his unfair treatment of horses.
Randy Byers is in jail in Canada up on 3 counts of contravening the Immigration and Customs Act. Evading Customs, Failing to Report to Customs, and Failing to report for Examination. This IS PUBLIC INFORMATION. Call the Courthouse at 519-333-2950.
He has been incarcerated since Sept 8th. His first video court appearance was Sept. 20, his second video appearance is Sept 22 at the Sarnia Courthouse, presumably to face more charges.
Now....would you like any more proof of his horse beating????
I'll invite some of his victims on here, and you can hear their testimonies.
Fugly was right.
Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.

if you go to facebook and look up Forest Trails Horse Relief they have posted a video of him "working" a horse here in minnesota, where he's been since april. i encountered him at a clinic, and watched him whip a friend's horse because she wouldn't take one more step than he wanted.

perhaps you would find it interesting as a follow up.

I Googled the quote from a "blog" and found it on this horse forum thread.  The thread has generated 5 pages of comments in just a few days.  I'm guessing that the post(s) on the Arab board (which is either not open to the public, or the post has been removed, as it didn't come with a Google search) started the controversy up again, and that's why I got that comment on the 18th.

The thread is pretty heated, but in my opinion, I didn't need to look any further than this video:

I'm sure it'll end up being taken down, so if that happens, the video basically shows him riding a horse with its head tied down and a whip in each of his hands.  He's whipping the horse constantly throughout the entire video, even though it doesn't look to me like the horse is doing anything to deserve it — until about halfway through, when the horse starts really freaking out.  It had been clearly agitated about the whips the entire time, and boiled over about 1:10.  The video ends as the horse is getting more and more worked up, and heaven only knows how it ended.  According to the owner, it was the second day of training, and the horse is now unrideable because of how much worse the treatment got from there.

Of course, everyone got pretty worked up on the thread, calling one another names and debating whether or not the treatment in the video was "abusive" — but let me tell you, I would NEVER let anyone work with my horse if this was their approach.  Let's say Anonymous is telling the truth, and s/he is completely thrilled with Randy Byers's work.  But the second story is obviously also the truth, as we have video proof to support the owner's claims.

I don't care if Anonymous thinks Randy is the bee's knees — just having seeing his methods with the horse in the video, I can tell you I would never let him within a quarter mile of my horse.  Why would anyone?  Why take the risk with someone who has been proven as a horse abuser, even if they have a few happy clients, when you can just as easily use someone who has nothing but happy clients?



At October 7, 2011 at 12:58 AM, Blogger That's not my name said...

That Saddlebred is a nice horse. Looks like a normal hiccup in the training and no signs of abuse...just a bit of resistance that needed some work. The head is not tied down that is a'training fork' and is being used appropriate. Whips are not for punishment. Duh.

At October 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not my name: Are you blind or stupid? Are you one of Randy's kool-aid drinkers?

At October 7, 2011 at 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His heavy use of the rather large spurs is precious. Where in Natural Horsemanship do whips and spurs belong? They don't! Mr. Byers is an idiot.

At October 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM, Blogger That's not my name said...

Definitely not stupid and this is def. not natural horsemanship. I don't think this is a NH trainer at all. It mostly resembles show training methods, looks like Arabian Western Pleasure training. Wonder what Tommy Garland would say? Yes,the whip was excessive at the end and confusing to the horse who seemed to be doing as asked.I am confused at the end as well, If he wanted the horse to go forward shoulda given the horse a clearer indication by letting him out.I wouldn't choose these methods but in the show pen this is business as usual. I don't drink kool-aid and I know that training isn't all hearts & flowers. In my opinion this horse looks like a bolter and is getting the foundation to make him safer by consistently yielding his hindquarters and consistently yielding to the aids. I wonder if the owner is here to comment?
It appears that the trainer is trying to get the horse to yield his hindquarters and respond to the cue. Owner? Did you notice the horse moving 'into' the pressure on his right?? Clear refusal to respond to the 'aids'. Would love to know the history on the horse. Looked up the history of the trainer and this seems to be another case of the 'do-gooders' wreaking havoc on things they know nothing about.

At October 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM, Blogger jhk2011 said...

i used to board where randy learned his "western pleasure" techniques from. he came into our barn as a NH trainer and was taken in as an assistant by the WP trainer. the WP trainer tried to teach him how to ride correctly and he could never figure it out. It was painful to watch. Once the WP trainer figured out this guy was never going to figure it out, he was asked to leave the barn, thank goodness. so his training techniques now are a whole bunch of things put together that still dont make any sense. Hes terrible.

At October 11, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Blogger jhk2011 said...

and the horse probably looks like a bolter because any horse randy gets on is scared sh**less of him. I would run too.

At October 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM, Blogger laurie said...

I know the owner of this horse. she is not a bolter, she used to be a lesson horse, and when kids were riding and felt off balance, she would stop. randy decided to "fix" the problem.

he has, by the way, resurfaced on facebook, and this time with "religion" behind him, leaving long ranting posts on his discussions, and slamming everyone who disagrees with him.

you also might want to check out Randy Byers Under the Bus, a site that is a source for people who have had bad experiences with him to post their stories.

At October 23, 2011 at 5:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well after a month in jail, the only reading material he had was the bible so I'm not surprised.

Sad that now he will exploit religion as an attempt to market himself as an honest man....

I've found that the only loyal followers he has are people that are uneducated riders, abusive themselves or just plain stupid.

At October 31, 2011 at 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately randy byers' flock of sheep got the Under the Bus paged removed. They cited bullying. WTF was he doing to the horses he was attempting to ride?
His "Ewes" were dumb enough to keep their FB pages wide open and post back on rb's pages. So we know who did it. They had every Tom Dick and Harry report every post to FB. They got it yanked.
Everything that he posted as a lie on his pages, got shot down proving the fact that all his writings were lies by people on Under the Bus.
Well all anyone has to do is Google his name and add the word horse or abuse, and there are pages of info now.. The smart people will google. The sheep will just follow the idiot.

At November 2, 2011 at 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my channel:


From the video page:
As promised here is what turned up in a background check on RB: He has a record for assault (his former wife) THAT is why he is divorced. Following the divorce he fled to mexico as several of her relatives were ready to string him up. That is also why he did not apply for a visa to work in Canada, he knew that with his criminal record there was no way that Canadian authorities would grant one to someone with a criminal record. (It all comes out eventually)

At November 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM, Blogger jhk2011 said...

when he boarded at our barn, he brought in a bird to stay in his tackroom. he had been kicked out of his house and had nowhere to keep the bird. it was a talking bird and would have "fights" with itself. you would hear it in the tackroom in a big, strong mean voice yelling, then a small fragile voice mimicking that it was crying. i can only imagine that the bird over heard fights between randy and his wife. it was very sad to hear!


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