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Jsalem
Apr. 6, 2009, 07:42 AM
We were at a local show this weekend and I saw something that has left me disturbed and angry. I wonder how it should properly be handled?

A particular local trainer has an adult amateur client with a problem horse. I don't show at a lot of local shows, maybe 8 or 10 per year, but I know this has been going on since at least last fall. I saw this scene play out twice last fall and I've seen it now at 2 or 3 shows this spring. This horse doesn't want to play. He (she?) will not go around. At any show. Not at 2'6", not at 3'. I have no problem with discipline. The horse is being a jerk. I did see them hire a very good riding professional last fall to get this horse around. He did a great job. He used the crop effectively and sparingly. He gave an accurate, strong ride. He rewarded the horse for good behavior.

But this weekend, the lady's trainer climbed aboard to "fix" the problem. It was horrifying. She yelled "git!", spurred, cropped and then would get completely left behind over the jump. She would then haul the horse up to regain her seat- this happened over roughly half the jumps. Then I witnessed a "training" session in the schooling ring. She kicked the horse into a trot, then hauled it up. The horse stopped at a big (3'3") vertical. She beat it. It then jumped the jump. She hauled it up and beat it. It then pulled a rail. She hauled it up and beat it. Not surprisingly, the horse didn't go around for the adult. This scene is playing out at show after show.

I approached the steward of the show yesterday and pleaded my case. Nothing was said as this was the end of their day. I told the steward that we as an association have to step in and say something. I have no respect for this particular trainer. We don't care for one another. If we were friends, I would have approaced her and spoken to her myself. We've all been there, but this repeated performance has crossed the line in my book.

What do you all think our responsibilities are?

shawneeAcres
Apr. 6, 2009, 07:51 AM
I feel it is the job and responsibility of the stewards to make decisions in these types of cases. I don't agree with what the trainer was doing, but I also wasn't there. I can say that one time something I did at a show got blown WAY out of proportion on the internet (imagine that!) and by the time the story got "told" a few times I had "beat the horse on the head with a bat". That was SO FAR from the truth it is laughable, and actually myself and a client of mine was laughing about it when we heard/saw it, but at the same time stories like that, rampant on the internet can seriously impact a pro. I see abusive behavoir at MANY shows, sometimes trainers, sometimes (and more often than not) on part of the competitors. You may want to follow up with the organizxation that puts on the shows to insure that the matter is taken seriously.

Trakehner
Apr. 6, 2009, 07:56 AM
You don't school your horse to go over jumps at the show.
If you can't ride, you don't prove it to everyone at the show.
Some people can enable a horse to do wonderful things, some can't.
Some horses aren't show horses.

Some show stewards and TDs (technical delegates) suck...and really don't care about pissing off a trainer, no matter how horrid they are.

You told the steward, you went through the correct channels. Is the horse's owner that stupid or just inexperienced...and how bloody inexperienced would put up with their horse being beaten. Some horses do need a good whack with a jump bat...this rider (I wouldn't call her an instructor except for teaching poor behaviours) can't ride and shouldn't be trusted with spurs.

I used to watch a few top trainers actually polling their horses on the show grounds...I also saw them kicked out of the show. I saw an olympic rider kicked out of a show season in DC due to beating his horse in the face with his crop when she refused several jumps...people actually "Booo'd" him.

Just think how this woman "trains" the horses back home! Idiot owner...think they're glued to the trainer? Maybe they'd listen to someone they respected.

mortebella
Apr. 6, 2009, 08:05 AM
This opened with "it's a problem horse that won't go around" but it went for a decent rider. Who knows what it was like before this crap "trainer" got a hold of it? Sounds like somebody ought to do the owner a favor and just say, "Look, compare - look at how little trouble rider X had compared with trainer Z. Don't you think a change is in order?"

cloudyandcallie
Apr. 6, 2009, 08:19 AM
At the next show, videotape the action.

Keep a copy and send one to the local horse show association. If nothing is done to discipline the trainer, maybe the video needs to be posted on youtube.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 6, 2009, 08:42 AM
Check your local association's rules. You may have to submit your objection in writing. I feel bad for the horse.

Nancy
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:34 AM
Even tho' it was end of day I don't understand why steward didn't have a talk with trainer.
What reason did steward give for not addressing the issue ?

Tiffani B
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:42 AM
Videotape.

Anonymous YouTube.

Link in many forums.

Jsalem
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:44 AM
Steward's position was, "hmmm, let me think about what's the right thing to do." I can't say for sure whether she spoke to the trainer or owner. Aside from speaking up to the steward, I didn't want to be too nosy.

The reason I spoke to the steward was because this wasn't an isolated incident. It's been going on for awhile. I'm not at every single local show, but I've seen the circus every time I've seen them at a show since last fall.

The horse wasn't "good" for the good rider. He just did a good job with it and got the job done.

mvp
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:46 AM
Contact the show management and asked if the Steward did, in fact, speak with the trainer or do anything else.

It was the steward's job to handle this situation, but the Steward works for the show, and the show is responsible to the local association.

It's best to handle things personally and directly, so you may need to start small and work your way up. Ask first if and how the situation was handled, then tell higher ups. If all else fails, don't show there again and make sure everyone knows why.

There should be a clear and natural order of escalation to all this, one that gives everyone the opportunity to change their ways and do the right thing.

Let us know if you find some resolution.

DMK
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:47 AM
yes, I'm having a hard time understanding the steward's behavior. What is the steward there for if not this? Hypothetically speaking, I can see if the steward didn't agree with your assessment - that's a judgment call. But "end of the day" is not a good reason for not intervening IF the steward agreed with your assessment, right? And I get that this sort of confrontation totally sucks and makes most of us feel ill at the thought, but if you aren't willing to step up in these situations (again, assuming the steward agrees), then why do the job?

It sounds more like the association needs to reiterate their expectations with the steward, right?

shawneeAcres
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:47 AM
Videotape.

Anonymous YouTube.

Link in many forums.

I have a real problem with this line of thinking. If the OP wants to videotape and then show to STEWARDS or the ASSOCIATION fine, but to plaster stuff on the internet I think is a pretty nasty thing to do, regardless of the actions of the trainer. The situation here is to enforce policement of abusive behavoir at shows. Go to the show committee/organization, express your concerns either at a board meeting (which means it will have to go into the minutes) or send a letter in writing with a response requested. Let them know that the steward was not inclined to approach the trainer (however, it may be that the trainer in question had already left if it were the end of the day so maybe the steward could not apporach them at that time). I you launch an official protest, most organizations will take steps to follow thru. But plastering videos all over the internet doesn't accomplish anything and may make the OP a lot of enemies. I am sure that your organization has a grievance policy, find it in the rulebook and follow the policy to insure action can be taken.

Live2Jump
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:59 AM
I have a real problem with this line of thinking. If the OP wants to videotape and then show to STEWARDS or the ASSOCIATION fine, but to plaster stuff on the internet I think is a pretty nasty thing to do, regardless of the actions of the trainer. The situation here is to enforce policement of abusive behavoir at shows. Go to the show committee/organization, express your concerns either at a board meeting (which means it will have to go into the minutes) or send a letter in writing with a response requested. Let them know that the steward was not inclined to approach the trainer (however, it may be that the trainer in question had already left if it were the end of the day so maybe the steward could not apporach them at that time). I you launch an official protest, most organizations will take steps to follow thru. But plastering videos all over the internet doesn't accomplish anything and may make the OP a lot of enemies. I am sure that your organization has a grievance policy, find it in the rulebook and follow the policy to insure action can be taken.

Ditto.

magicteetango
Apr. 6, 2009, 11:21 AM
Sometimes I really wonder about people. How does that owner enjoy her riding pursuits? With a horse who won't jump and she watches get beaten. That's horrible. I am all about discipline and won't hesitate to use a crop myself to get my point across but there is a line, and its pretty obvious.

Ill never understand why people try to fit a square peg into a round hole. For the love of god do everyone a favor, give him away or sell him even at a loss and get a different horse.

Follow up with those stewarts.

findeight
Apr. 6, 2009, 11:45 AM
Was this a local show? Or a USEF rated? You say steward then you also say it was a local? And what Association offered points there...like a GA H/J or something? Around here our USEF affiliate "rated" locals, like OHJA or KHJA, have no USEF requirements (or fees) including license requirements for judges and there is no steward.

If it was a rated, you can fill out a show evaluation form and note the steward was unwilling to step in BUT it's possible the steward did not see what was going on personally and was unwilling to act without doing so.

Also possible the "steward" was seving as an unpaid volunteer, was not licensed and had no real authority to step in.

What you can do depends on the status of the show.

You can write to whatever affiliate organization that offered points for the show and which you are a member of and note what you feel is abusive behavior.

Ya' know, the owner is a fool and the "trainer person" is a jackass but unless the behavior was blatently abusive under the laws of your state or it was an actual USEF rated show with licensed officials, including a steward, there is really not too much outside that letter you can do. Think you probably just had to endure really, really bad riding thats not going to meet the law's standard of abuse.

Incidentally, 3 smacks with a stick behind the leg is the proverbial line between discipline and abuse. More then that and a licensed steward should step in and a licensed judge will have the right to excuse the exhibitor as well as call the steward. Actually seen that a few times.

Tiffani B
Apr. 6, 2009, 11:47 AM
I have a real problem with this line of thinking. If the OP wants to videotape and then show to STEWARDS or the ASSOCIATION fine, but to plaster stuff on the internet I think is a pretty nasty thing to do, regardless of the actions of the trainer. The situation here is to enforce policement of abusive behavoir at shows. Go to the show committee/organization, express your concerns either at a board meeting (which means it will have to go into the minutes) or send a letter in writing with a response requested. Let them know that the steward was not inclined to approach the trainer (however, it may be that the trainer in question had already left if it were the end of the day so maybe the steward could not apporach them at that time). I you launch an official protest, most organizations will take steps to follow thru. But plastering videos all over the internet doesn't accomplish anything and may make the OP a lot of enemies. I am sure that your organization has a grievance policy, find it in the rulebook and follow the policy to insure action can be taken.

Normally I do not advocate this tactic. However, my thinking is that if nothing was done by the steward, show management or USEF, then there really is nothing left to do except show the public what is being condoned.

I was going on the assumption that the OP already went through proper channels and nothing was done. At that point... you do what is necessary to prevent further abuse.

DMK
Apr. 6, 2009, 12:08 PM
Was this a local show? Or a USEF rated? You say steward then you also say it was a local? And what Association offered points there...like a GA H/J or something? Around here our USEF affiliate "rated" locals, like OHJA or KHJA, have no USEF requirements (or fees) including license requirements for judges and there is no steward.

Around here we say local or rated, and if it is a GHJA sanctioned show (probably 95% of the locals are such) there must be a steward in attendance. Obviously local association rules vary from state to state, but I think if a person says it is a local show and it had a steward, we might need to take them at their word that they know what they are talking about and move on from that point.

Jsalem
Apr. 6, 2009, 12:11 PM
Local H/J association which is a USEF affiliate member association. Local points. We have our own rulebook, but any issues not covered by our rules defer to USEF. A steward is required at each show.

I am in the process of writing a letter to the Board of Directors of my local association. I will be copying the Stewards Committee as well as the Show Standards Committee of which I am a member. I've decided to make this a general letter (not naming names), but I will be asking that the association handle any reports of abuse seriously. I realize that there is a fine line between discipline and abuse and if this had been an isolated incident of a horse behaving badly and receiving correction, I would not have spoken up. I hope that if I "red flag" the issue, it will be dealt with swiftly the next time it happens. It's the least we can do for that poor animal.

findeight
Apr. 6, 2009, 12:29 PM
I am in the process of writing a letter to the Board of Directors of my local association. I will be copying the Stewards Committee as well as the Show Standards Committee of which I am a member. I've decided to make this a general letter (not naming names), but I will be asking that the association handle any reports of abuse seriously. I realize that there is a fine line between discipline and abuse and if this had been an isolated incident of a horse behaving badly and receiving correction, I would not have spoken up. I hope that if I "red flag" the issue, it will be dealt with swiftly the next time it happens. It's the least we can do for that poor animal.


Very good. That does work. Even without stewards, our area affiliates have acted on letters like this and issued warnings to a few specific individuals as well as rewording the rules governing this type of display.

Dooner
Apr. 6, 2009, 01:25 PM
Very good. That does work. Even without stewards, our area affiliates have acted on letters like this and issued warnings to a few specific individuals as well as rewording the rules governing this type of display.

That absolutely sounds like the best course of action. Our local association also requires that a USEF steward be on the grounds at a show, though I would say 99.9% of their job is to measure ponies and help interpret the rules. That other .1% would be to discourage the sort of behavior described above.

I would hate to be the organization, and steward, to try to enforce any sort of disciplinary action beyond a warning without the hearing structure and legal resources of a USEF-type organization.

Best case scenario to me would be that such a warning (sent to the owner as well) would serve as a wake-up-call that a new trainer, and possibly new career for horsie, is necessary.

merrygoround
Apr. 6, 2009, 03:15 PM
Local H/J association which is a USEF affiliate member association. Local points. We have our own rulebook, but any issues not covered by our rules defer to USEF. A steward is required at each show.

I am in the process of writing a letter to the Board of Directors of my local association. I will be copying the Stewards Committee as well as the Show Standards Committee of which I am a member. I've decided to make this a general letter (not naming names), but I will be asking that the association handle any reports of abuse seriously. I realize that there is a fine line between discipline and abuse and if this had been an isolated incident of a horse behaving badly and receiving correction, I would not have spoken up. I hope that if I "red flag" the issue, it will be dealt with swiftly the next time it happens. It's the least we can do for that poor animal.

I hope that is effective. This particular person does indeed sound as though they need to be brought up short.

Shame on the "steward".

cloudyandcallie
Apr. 6, 2009, 03:19 PM
Or you could film it and then post it here on coth, and everyone could argue over whether or not it is abuse or training.

Stewards need to see the acts in question.

dags
Apr. 6, 2009, 03:34 PM
Incidentally, 3 smacks with a stick behind the leg is the proverbial line between discipline and abuse. More then that and a licensed steward should step in and a licensed judge will have the right to excuse the exhibitor as well as call the steward. Actually seen that a few times.

That's what I wondered about . . . it certainly sounds as if there were more than 3 smacks of the bat per each beating incidence, which leaves no question for the steward to answer- 4 smacks, you're out. Though 3 smacks every 4 strides, or before and after every fence, easily evades the letter of this rule, and maybe that is what happened?

Regardless, it seems a lightbulb needs to go on for someone in this poor horse's life.

superpony123
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:16 PM
have you tried approaching the horses OWNER? she must be pretty naive if shes letting such a trainer run around and beat her horse senseless for no good reason. best to inform the owner of what errors the trainer is making and how it crosses the line to abuse, and suggest to find a new trainer.

Paragon
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:22 PM
This sounds like the style of a trainer I know in the midwest. I think it's abuse. I warn people away from them privately.

So upsetting.

NSCA
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:30 PM
I think the sooner the USHJA, USEF and it's affiliates start certifying their 'trainers', the better. I live in this area as well, and can only comment that there is a fair amount of uneducated people trying to be local trainers, that really don't know what they're doing.

englishivy
Apr. 6, 2009, 09:43 PM
I am sad to hear of such a situation in my neck of the woods. :( It is possible that the steward has addressed the situation with said trainer, and except for giving a non-specific letter of concern to the local H/J association and appropriate subcommittees, I don't think there is much more you can do there.

BUT, I have been chewing it over and think you may have an additional avenue to get the ball rolling here.

I feel that show management has a responsibility to provide a safe show environment for their exhibitors. And it sounds like this trainer, in a small warm up ring with other riders, was not only showing a poor demonstration of riding and horsemanship, but she was also creating a dangerous situation for other exhibitors. It's gone from a situation of questionable training techniques to a safety concern for other horses & humans.

So, if I were you (and what I saw offended me as much as it seems to have you) I would contact the show management and tell them exactly what you've shared with us (the exact seen offense, talking to the steward with no absolute resolution, plans to write a letter, etc). I'd let them know that the next time you see specific trainer doing inappropriate riding at their show, you are going to contact the steward AND show management to do something about it. Your reason for getting involved: you don't want your riders seeing such behaivor and thinking it is acceptable to ride in such a manner. You don't want your more educated riders to learn that it's ok to turn a blind eye to those who treat their horses in such a manner. And above all else, you don't want one of your clients or horses to become injured due to the actions of a careless and reckless rider. :no:

And I'd make clear that should management do nothing in future issues, you and your clients will no longer attend their show series. We have so many local shows, I'm sure you can find a substitute for your local riders. And do I dare say that with the number of horses you take to shows, losing your patronage will probably hurt the show's bottome line a lot more than losing said trainer. ;)

Just my 2 cents.

Aeternitee
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:44 AM
I have a real problem with this line of thinking. If the OP wants to videotape and then show to STEWARDS or the ASSOCIATION fine, but to plaster stuff on the internet I think is a pretty nasty thing to do, regardless of the actions of the trainer. The situation here is to enforce policement of abusive behavoir at shows. Go to the show committee/organization, express your concerns either at a board meeting (which means it will have to go into the minutes) or send a letter in writing with a response requested. Let them know that the steward was not inclined to approach the trainer (however, it may be that the trainer in question had already left if it were the end of the day so maybe the steward could not apporach them at that time). I you launch an official protest, most organizations will take steps to follow thru. But plastering videos all over the internet doesn't accomplish anything and may make the OP a lot of enemies. I am sure that your organization has a grievance policy, find it in the rulebook and follow the policy to insure action can be taken.

By all means, if going through proper channels works, do that. But if it doesn't work...I disagree that 'plastering videos all over the internet doesn't accomplish anything'.

Just this week there was an article about behavioral economics in Time magazine. The gist of it was: the greatest single motivator of people's behavior is to stay in step with the majority of their peers in terms of behavior.

So it follows that exposure of abusive behavior to the public might very effectively quell that activity - and it might also make it next to impossible for the organization to continue ignoring the situation for, say, political reasons.

People who don't act abusively don't object to having their activities videotaped. People who have nothing to hide, and everything to gain by getting more publicity/clients, would be glad to have their training sessions shown publicly.

People who can be proud of their training methods won't try to keep those methods hidden. The instinct to hide, or cry 'privacy', implies guilt in this situation. Exposure is only unwelcome to those who have something to hide.

findeight
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:54 AM
But posting on the net is not going to stop these people as they obviously don't see a thing wrong with this behavior or they would not do it in public. Fact if you said anything to them? Bet they'd argue or tell you to MYOB.

Heck, they may even enjoy the notoriety. Certainly plenty that take a perverse pleasure in attracting any kind of attention.

Only a set down thru proper channels can get them to stop doing it at a show. That's why we have rules and the USHJA affiliate is in a position to act on a proper complaint.

Parker_Rider
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:12 PM
I am a huge fan of Englishivy's proposal. In addition to this sounding like completely unacceptable behavior, it creates a dangerous situation in the warm-up ring. What if she was doing this while the ponies were getting ready to go (in the future, because this "trainer" doesn't sound like she has any common sense)? That could incite a catastrophe. If the abuse line of action doesn't work, then the show has a responsibility to keep the warm-up rings safe for all competitors and if this is recurring behavior it's only a matter of time before this horse and rider hurt someone.
It's like my professor is currently saying: "If the human rights aspect doesn't work, make it a security issue."

On a side note... what an ignorant owner! Yes, because teaching a horse that he'll get beat before the jump, blasted in the mouth over the jump and stopped and beat after the jump is going to teach him that jumping is an ok job to have. ugh. :rolleyes: Not to mention there's no other course of action like vet checks or job change to make this horse less of a pig. (saying that tongue in cheek.) Lord... some of the people who are allowed to own horses....

magnolia73
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:19 PM
It's interesting. I think when people act like that in public.... I shudder to imagine them at home. It sounds like the trainer has an issue with temper. In a way, good that she acts like an ass in public so that people know to stay away.

The steward is there as a disinterested third party and should be speaking up. But nobody ever wants to speak up, it would seem. Poor horse.

You know, next time you see that, maybe go ahead and make a scene. Say "Hey, you are being a bully, stop beating the horse and move down to the 2'".

I have dealt with horse abusers twice. Once I walked away wordlessly as a poor horse was beaten for not bending. Just walked out, with a disgusted look. That was useless. Once I actually did voice concern to an owner of the beeting her horse had received. The horse (without the owner seeing)had been spurred, tied up, put away with raw welts, sweat. Nasty business. I was informed that "that is what they do with the fancy cutting horses in Texas." I was dumbfounded.

Not sure what you can do but work to make sure that trainer never gets any clients. Don't sell horses to her, avoid her horse shows, don't refer people to her, warn people about her. If you host shows, exclude her if you can.....

Mara
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:23 PM
One doesn't need to be an expert to understand that these tactics aren't going to suddenly make the horse into a willing, compliant jumper. Sounds as if the poor animal is already at the point where it will take eons of schooling and retraining to undo the damage, if it isn't too late already. Why can't the owner see this? Surely it's no fun for her either. . .

This trainer has no business working with horses, IMO. Too bad that Jsalem has to be the one to point out something that stewards ought to be able to see for themselves.

saultgirl
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:25 PM
I'm not familiar with the rules and procedures, but if the steward did in fact follow up on the complaint, would the person who filed the complaint even be entitled to know that?

Summit Springs Farm
Apr. 7, 2009, 12:29 PM
Frankly, the local show management could give a rats a$$, what goes on around here.That's been my observation, flame suit zipped up.

Especially if said trainer frequents said horse show management shows.

Hi Jsalem, Jsalem being a well respected trainer could have walked up to bad trainer and offered Jsalems help, Can I help you with this horse, he seems to be giving you a hard time?

Not saying you should have just pondering the thought.

We need to stick together as help each other, cause I think reporting her will just make her mad and not stop doing what she has been doing, just not in plain sight.

Education is key to our locals, I'm sorry this happened but here in Ga we have the resources to help this person.

Jsalem
Apr. 7, 2009, 01:23 PM
The sad thing about this particular trainer is that she isn't really losing her temper. That's just how she trains. I would call her a very "confrontational" trainer. That's her style. I would hate to be a horse in her program. She's actually very sweet to her students. She does have long term, loyal clients that think she's a great trainer.

If we were friends, I would have had no problem taking her aside and letting her know that she was making a spectacle of herself. We're not friends. I don't think it's my place to speak to the owner. I don't think it would be well recieved. Posting on the internet really isn't my style either. I'm interested in helping this horse and upping the horsemanship at the local level, not in causing a war.

I've drafted my letter to the organization without naming names. I have asked the Board of Directors to check the Steward's report and insure that my complaint was noted and that appropriate action is taken if the Steward feels that the situation, indeed, constituted abuse. I've just posed the question, "What is the appropriate course of action and is our association prepared to act to promote horsemanship and to defend the humane treatment of the horses?"

I can't imagine such a circus occurring at a USEF show without swift and sure action. I think that the grassroots level needs to hold itself to the same standard. Thanks everyone for the ideas and the discussion.

danceronice
Apr. 7, 2009, 02:19 PM
This sounds like the style of a trainer I know in the midwest. I think it's abuse. I warn people away from them privately.

So upsetting.

I was going to say, did this woman move from Michigan? Because I think I rode with her philosophical twin.

Scott Free
Apr. 7, 2009, 03:02 PM
you know, I can understand everyone's reluctance to pillory this so-called trainer without having been witness to this event, but...

If what you think you are witnessing is abuse SAY SOMETHING! DO SOMETHING! SPEAK UP! Not just to the steward, which you should do, but to the "trainer". This stupid, selfish, idiot needs a wake-up call. You said if you were her friend you would say something - why do you have to be her friend? Here are some options for you:

"Hey there, hold on a minute. You look like you need to take a breath. Can I help?" or,

"Stop it right now or I'm reporting you to the steward" or,

"I just videotaped this on my cell phone. I'm showing it to the steward, and if I ever see you do anything like that again to a horse I'm plastering it all over the internet."

Videos don't lie. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to plaster that sucker everywhere. Anyone who would treat a horse like that should be in jail. If she treated a child like that she WOULD be in jail. It wouldn't hurt to call the SPCA either. An investigation - even just a phone call - could make her think twice. YOU saying something to her could make her think twice. SAY SOMETHING!!!

meupatdoes
Apr. 7, 2009, 03:07 PM
I was going to say, did this woman move from Michigan? Because I think I rode with her philosophical twin.

The trainer has a philosophical triplet in central NY.

I left.

JSalem, kudos to you.
I think your handling of the situation is admirable.

Summit Springs Farm
Apr. 7, 2009, 04:06 PM
Well I'm glad you wrote the letter, its a good way to go, I'm sorry to hear its the trainers style, not just an "incident".

There will always as we all know be a bad apple in the bunch, I just feel that we have enough good apples here in Ga to help the bad ones.

After all not everyone grew up in a well established horse area with exceptional horsemen.
And no I don't think it would go unnoticed at a USEF show, I know of one person who was set down for excessive longing last yr.

englishivy
Apr. 7, 2009, 05:24 PM
Frankly, the local show management could give a rats a$$, what goes on around here.That's been my observation, flame suit zipped up.

Especially if said trainer frequents said horse show management shows.


We need to stick together as help each other, cause I think reporting her will just make her mad and not stop doing what she has been doing, just not in plain sight.

Education is key to our locals, I'm sorry this happened but here in Ga we have the resources to help this person.

I agree and disagree here. Yes, there are certainly some show management teams that don't care about the health and welfare of their exhibitors (when management overbooks a show to the point that Jr/Sr starts at 8 pm and must be post-poned to the next morning b/c they weren't able to run the show past 10:30....yeah, they are D-bags and won't care.:rolleyes:)

But I know some show managers that actually care about their shows and want them to run well. They try to make good when they screw up, or move classes to other ring if it means letting everyone ride at a decent time, etc. What my riders and I decided is that we would support those shows and not ones where we are simply an entry fee. Maybe the jumps aren't as nice, or the exhibitor parties aren't held, but it's worth it to be where you know your opinion of the show matters. :yes:

But I totally agree that GA has a great local association that wants and has the ability to educate the grassroots trainers. Problem is, you can only educate those that WANT to be educated. Betcha said trainer isn't in that group... :sigh:

cssutton
Apr. 7, 2009, 05:59 PM
A couple of comments.

I would be careful about putting a video on the internet. If the rider is recognizable she might have grounds to sue in some jurisdictions.

Show management should be advised and pushed into taking action. Show management is a business. Regardless of whether they actually like or know horses, they would be sensitive to the suggerstion that this behavior is very bad for business as the public is not tolerant of abuse.

If the HSUS or any local AR happened to see this behaviour, that show would have a very hard time continuing.

The busy body AR's are watching. That should be enough to get show management off their behinds. It should also make all riders and traines more concious of their behavior.

CSSJR

ThatScaryChick
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:16 PM
A couple of comments.

I would be careful about putting a video on the internet. If the rider is recognizable she might have grounds to sue in some jurisdictions.

CSSJR

For what though? Have you checked out TMZ and other bloggers videos of people. The trainer was on public ground where people are free to take photos and videos. And people upload images and videos of other all the time. Unless the video tape is stolen or taken on private property or of a minor, I don't see how one could sue. But I guess it depends on each state and their laws about filming.

Tiffani B
Apr. 7, 2009, 11:17 PM
I would think if you post a video, with no commentary or names attached, there's nothing to sue you for. Who knows WHY you posted the video! Maybe you think she's a great trainer and you're showing the proper way to get a horse over a jump. :confused:

arbor hill
Apr. 8, 2009, 12:50 AM
After reading through these posts, it's disconcerting that this behavior has gone on not once but multiple times from the same trainer at a rated GHJA Horse Show. Hats off to JSalem for trying to put an end to it. The trainer in question should be put on notice by show management, the steward and the association.

As past President of the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association, one of our main missions was to raise the level of the local horse show on two key issues; education and safety, not just trainers but the exhibitors and the parents, as well. The USHJA with the support of the USEF is in the process of offering 3 levels of certification to the trainers, covering beginners through the top levels. They've been great about hosting symposiums and clinics for trainers to gain more knowledge from the best in our sport. Although still voluntary, I think that anyone calling themselves a trainer has a responsibility to get certified by our federation.

The GHJA has worked tirelessly to try to raise the bar for their standards of local horseshowing. We need more JSalem's to speak up when this behavior is exhibited, so we can put an end to poor horsemanship.

Sorry for the diatribe, I just feel strongly about someone exhibiting poor horsemanship, and probably getting paid for it!


www.arborhillfarmllc.com

Jsalem
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:54 AM
The current president of the association called me last night and we had a great conversation. She's on it. She asked my opinion on what I thought should happen. Here's what I suggested: Check the Steward's report and see whether my complaint was noted and/or whether action was taken. Even if the Steward didn't agree with me that these actions constituted "abuse", make all the Stewards aware of the particulars so that they can watch closely at the next shows. Any abuse at our shows needs to addressed. The Steward needs to issue warnings/pink slips/whatever. Our local shows need to stop being such a "training" free for all.

I have a feeling that a very productive discussion will occur at the next board meeting and that our association will act to "up our game". Excessive use of the crop, excessive use of a spur, abusive use of the bit, continuing to show a horse that is obviously lame or exhausted- in my opinion these are all abusive. The Steward needs to be prepared to step in and put a stop to it.

englishivy
Apr. 8, 2009, 09:14 AM
To me, this situation is similar to all the shamature threads....until people know their complaints will be taken seriously, other trainers and exhibitors will continue to turn a blind eye. Until offenders know that they will be scrutinized and punished, trainers are going to continue acting as they see fit, regardless of public perception.

I applaud Jsalem for saying something and getting the GHJA involved. But I think that is where the problem starts....local organizations not stepping up when people speak out about problems they witness. I know I've brought things to the board's attention to no avail (although the circumstances were very different so perhaps not considered high priority). But until members and trainers know their organization takes all complaints seriously, and will follow through when necessary, nothing is going to change. :(

I know GHJA is trying to become an even greater local organization and offer much more to members than it has in the past. I am very excited to see what they can do not only for this situation, but for all aspects of the sport.

arbor hill
Apr. 8, 2009, 11:38 AM
That sounds like a great solution. I'm glad it will be addressed through the GHJA.





The current president of the association called me last night and we had a great conversation. She's on it. She asked my opinion on what I thought should happen. Here's what I suggested: Check the Steward's report and see whether my complaint was noted and/or whether action was taken. Even if the Steward didn't agree with me that these actions constituted "abuse", make all the Stewards aware of the particulars so that they can watch closely at the next shows. Any abuse at our shows needs to addressed. The Steward needs to issue warnings/pink slips/whatever. Our local shows need to stop being such a "training" free for all.

I have a feeling that a very productive discussion will occur at the next board meeting and that our association will act to "up our game". Excessive use of the crop, excessive use of a spur, abusive use of the bit, continuing to show a horse that is obviously lame or exhausted- in my opinion these are all abusive. The Steward needs to be prepared to step in and put a stop to it.

Aeternitee
Apr. 8, 2009, 02:32 PM
Glad to hear the Association may be stepping up to the plate to deal with this. I hope there is good followthrough and a substantive improvement of the situation!

:yes:

ThatScaryChick
Apr. 8, 2009, 06:29 PM
The current president of the association called me last night and we had a great conversation. She's on it. She asked my opinion on what I thought should happen. Here's what I suggested: Check the Steward's report and see whether my complaint was noted and/or whether action was taken. Even if the Steward didn't agree with me that these actions constituted "abuse", make all the Stewards aware of the particulars so that they can watch closely at the next shows. Any abuse at our shows needs to addressed. The Steward needs to issue warnings/pink slips/whatever. Our local shows need to stop being such a "training" free for all.

I have a feeling that a very productive discussion will occur at the next board meeting and that our association will act to "up our game". Excessive use of the crop, excessive use of a spur, abusive use of the bit, continuing to show a horse that is obviously lame or exhausted- in my opinion these are all abusive. The Steward needs to be prepared to step in and put a stop to it.

I agree that it's good to hear that your concerns are going to be addressed and not just brushed aside.

gottagrey
Apr. 8, 2009, 09:53 PM
Your show has a steward and I would think that somewhere in your shows prizelist there would be something about abusive behavior. I am also assuming your association follows USEF guidelines about abuse (as most local, unrated shows do) so that should have taken care of. Since the show was over - if your organization has a board of directors or volunteer board - assuming again this is a show series then perhaps a letter to the president /head of that board might be in order to lodge a complaint about this trainer/owner & treatment of horse.

The thing about a horse like this is 1) it would be just a pill of a horse or 2) not every horse likes the job as a hunter - the owner and/or trainer should, if the horse is fairly decent otherwise like at home, fiddle around w/ it to see if it might be happier at another job. Maybe it's not cut out to be a hunter but would be a fabulous dressage horse, maybe it would love low level eventing (nothing above novice), or perhaps a foxhunter or even western pleasure horse.

we have a horse at our barn - purchased to be a hunter - owner having a heck of a time w/ it as a hunter so she and trainer decided to sell him. Brought in an event rider to school him and perhaps sell him as an event horse - turns out loves his job as a jumper. Owner switched to jumpers and now they are both happy.

too bad this trainer does not seem to realize that maybe the horse might just not like this job... they owe it to the horse (and the owner) to see if this might be the case - or as I say he could just be a bad horse