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NaturalAlter
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:31 PM
I am also posting under an alter to ask this question, since I am pretty shocked by the drug use I have witnessed at the top end of the hunter world. I am genuinely curious if this is common? I have witnessed wide spread use of drugs as a training tool for almost every horse in the barn. Honestly, how are they used at your barn?

LuvMyTB
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:41 PM
What types of drugs are you talking about, and in what situations?

I don't use drugs as training tools, although I spent my youth in barns that did. Ace was a VERY commonly used substance and I have seen it used in a variety of inappropriate situations--fresh school horses, fresh show horses, just to "take the edge off" a horse for a nervous rider....

I have seen Bute given damn nearly daily to some school horses who were otherwise too lame to be ridden. :mad:

Unfortunately I was young then and didn't know any better, but I do now. Most good barns will not use drugs except in certain situations--vetting, stall rest, *maybe* taking a greenie out on it's first trail or to it's first show. Bute given to an older schoolie who had a hard day (occasionally).

For every good barn out there, there are probably 5 who take the shortcuts with Ace, Bute, and god knows what else. Those are the bad barns. If you're in one, you should get out.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:43 PM
I am talking about the use of drugs as a training tool in itself, in any situation where the horse might get fresh, be strong, or misbehave outside of being a robot in any way at all. This could include using Ace or other sedatives, or the use of dex, etc.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:52 PM
This thread has been done to death. Do a search if you're that intrigued. The bottom line is, the USEF does *not* have a zero tolerance policy in regards to medications, and has developed extensive guidelines concerning acceptable theraputic levels of many commonly used medications that make competition animals more happy and healthy.

Despite the fact that most trainers use medications well within the permitted guidelines outlined by the USEF, it seems many individuals are less than educated about the proper procedures for the administration of substances, and therefore pose questions about "rampant drug use" among "top barns".

Do some trainers use illegal medications to benefit unfairly in competition settings? Yes. Are the guidelines perfect as they currently stand? No. But keep in mind when stirring the pot by posing such an open ended inquiry (I mean, really? Do you think someone is going to reply with anything other than heresay, speculation, or old news that's a matter of public record if you were to search it on your own??) that most professionals at the true "top" of our sport have made their names and reputations by following the rules as they are spelled out and obtaining a group of clients interested in doing the same. Those who haven't have been set down publicly, and as consumers of their "product", it is our responsibility to decide on our own terms whether or not they've paid their dues for their infractions.

But please, instead of asking such a silly question, why not conduct a simple search on this very board in order to inform yourself on the topic beforehand? If you've witnessed drug use at the top of the sport, are you sure what you witnessed was the administration of a banned substance? How did you come about that information? Because seeing someone enter a stall at a horse show with a syringe in hand hardly constitutes any infraction. I find that most of the "rampant drug use" people refer to on these boards is the result of gossip, second/third/fourth hand information, misinformation, and assumption.

FTR- I am aware that there are many trainers who have/do administer banned substances to their horses for the purpose of performance enhancement, but also find that the stories of such abuse become like the "big fish" stories my grandfather used to tell. Grossly bent out of shape and exaggerated to the point that little of it is true at all...

findeight
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:58 PM
It happens but...all this talk of "top" barns swimming in it risking a loss of income and being snickered at if they get caught is...well...wondering just how many "top" barns all these people have spent time in and just who they are watching openly doing it at the shows annoucing what is in that syringe to all within earshot.

And I am not naive and know this does happen. But the extent is not what some would have you believe.

And DEX in the same breath as Ace and sedatives? :rolleyes:

NaturalAlter
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:58 PM
I am talking about using drugs daily as a training tool. I am not just talking about using it in show settings and getting around the rules. I have read many threads on the subject, I am just curious via an anonymous poll how many admit that at their barn drugs are used for training regularly.

findeight
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:00 PM
So, if we do not "admit " drugs are routinely used for training at our barns are you assuming we just will not "admit" it instead of the fact we do not use drugs as a routine training tool?

Your choice of words, particularly "admit", indicates a preconceived notion drugs are heavily used as a training aid in so called "top" barns.

That would be wrong and a waste of money as you cannot show on them anyway so they need to learn sober.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:18 PM
So, if we do not "admit " drugs are routinely used for training at our barns are you assuming we just will not "admit" it instead of the fact we do not use drugs as a routine training tool?

Your choice of words, particularly "admit", indicates a preconceived notion drugs are heavily used as a training aid in so called "top" barns.

That would be wrong and a waste of money as you cannot show on them anyway so they need to learn sober.

You can twist my words to mean whatever you want. I mean just what I say, how many do admit it. There are no assumptions about those that say they do not. I worked for a trainer many years ago that had top horses and I never once saw a needle. There are also no preconceived notions, except my own shock at how wildly used drugs are at this particular barn, and the fact that no one, including the many top trainers this trainer works with, act like it's anything but normal. Maybe times have changed? Maybe it's just widespread in this area? Maybe it's just this person and others just don't care?

DMK
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:38 PM
as polls go, that one is poorly crafted.

first of all, i highly doubt any trainer is giving Rx to all horses on a regular basis, unless you mean things like legend, adequam, depo provera or regumate.

second of all, most trainers at one time or another find it useful to give a horse some medication and work it at home.

third, there is such a range of Rx that is legal, is it fair to lump someone who gives an older horse 2gr bute 2 nights a week at a show with a person who gives 20mg dex, 2 gr bute, 5000 mg of robaxin 5Xweek per show and then ketaprofen 6 hours before their daily classes? Because BOTH are equally legal in the eyes of the USEF. However giving none of that stuff, but instead giving your horse 1cc of ace to school him the first day of the show in the warmup ring will land you in usef jail if detected. So how can you ask a generic question like and expect fair answers?

last of all, if the trainer is giving rx to the horse without the owner's knowledge, how are they going to answer. And chances are if pookie needs a daily dose of ace or nsaid to get through any ride, here's betting mommykins is without a clue.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:50 PM
To answer you question, yes, sedatives are used in my barn when a horse is coming off of some type of long term stall rest situation. Usually a long term tranq that makes it safer for the horse going into turnout for the first few weeks and starting back to work after several months off. Administered by a vet on a case by case basis (some need more, some need nothing). I'm happy with this, as it can prevent injuries to both human and horse during a less-predictable period of time.

I think any trainer touting the use of sedatives as a "training aid" would have a hard time being taken seriously, and I've never heard of sedatives being referred to in this way. To sedate a horse for it's own safety or the safety of people around it is not a "training aid", it's a precaution taken (often wisely) to protect all parties.

Do you call it "training" when I sedate a nutty mare for a body clip? Because it's not my responsibility to "train" a horse to stand quietly for the clippers (not referring to my own horse who stands quietly for this procedure). But it's definitely a more pleasant experience for me (the clipper) and the mare (who would otherwise get so stressed out she risked injuring herself or others).

What about the old man who gives his horse some ace before a brisk morning's hunt? Is that drugging while "training"? Or is it taking his own experience and the experience of the rest of the field into careful consideration?

LH
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:52 PM
This poll has no context and is irrelevant.

There is nothing illegal about the use of medications within the USEF rules. In fact, the use of some medications would be very appropriate -- like the example of giving an older horse Bute at a show where the footing is different, no turnout, etc.

It is certainly safe -- and often highly recommended!!! -- to sedate a horse who is returning to work from rehab and an injury. Giving a horse who is rehabbing, and cannot be turned out, a little Ace, or a long term sedative, is a great idea and promotes safety for horse and rider under appropriate, controlled situations. You can't legally show on those substances, but I've ridden plenty of those horses at home returning to work while we're trying to keep them from playing in the rafters of the indoor arena.

Although there are certainly some examples of trainers over-medicating -- you can read about them in the USEF magazine -- some of those examples are intentional overuse, and some are unintended, particularly where there is the use of one NSAID, and the horse happens to test at the level just exceeding acceptable levels. There are a few trainers who medicate within the USEF guidelines, but the testing exceeded the limits. YES, I know this to be true - I have represented them as legal counsel.

Contrary to the OP's perception, and that of others on this thread, there are few trainers out there who would risk their entire business by intentionally medicating in a way that is prohibited by the USEF guidelines. A trainer with a string of horses, customers, riders, grooms, etc., is probably NOT going to risk having to sit out months of income and business -- while watching their clientele go elsewhere -- by using prohibited substances. Yes, there are a few bad eggs in every bunch, but it's rare.

I would also say that there are many trainers using legal medications for the benefit of their horses - look around and see what horses have been showing comfortably, happily, soundly for years and years. There are trainers with a whole barn full of older horses still going around with a smile. You can't medicate around soundness issues on a long-term basis.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:03 PM
First, I didn't mention legal or illegal, it is irrelevant to this poll. It's all about use. I made up the tern training aid to differentiate it from using medications for medical purposes. I am talking about the horse that might be thought of as too frisky, or the ammy or child rider that cannot control, or is scared of their horse.

cloudyandcallie
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:05 PM
What types of drugs are you talking about, and in what situations?

I don't use drugs as training tools, although I spent my youth in barns that did. Ace was a VERY commonly used substance and I have seen it used in a variety of inappropriate situations--fresh school horses, fresh show horses, just to "take the edge off" a horse for a nervous rider....

I have seen Bute given damn nearly daily to some school horses who were otherwise too lame to be ridden. :mad:

Unfortunately I was young then and didn't know any better, but I do now. Most good barns will not use drugs except in certain situations--vetting, stall rest, *maybe* taking a greenie out on it's first trail or to it's first show. Bute given to an older schoolie who had a hard day (occasionally).

For every good barn out there, there are probably 5 who take the shortcuts with Ace, Bute, and god knows what else. Those are the bad barns. If you're in one, you should get out.

I've seen this too, in local circuit shows.

I had my 2 horses at a local circuit show barn where ace was routinely used for everything. Horses were doped for hunter classes over fences.:eek: I would not let them dope my horses before shows, altho they had tried to ace my wb for the first show after I bought him, and without my permission. Too dangerous for horse and rider.

I once saw a horse, privately owned but 1/2 leased to a student, barely able to trot between jumps, and that horse was normally rank. The BO and her daughter said they shouldn't have given him that 2nd shot of Ace. Doping is too often used as a shortcut instead of training. And there is no drug testing down here at local shows.

I only use Bute when a horse is on stall rest, not to make him sound to ride. No drugs for riding, good grief, both horse and rider could get hurt.

Horseforthecourse
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:06 PM
You can twist my words to mean whatever you want. I mean just what I say, how many do admit it. There are no assumptions about those that say they do not. I worked for a trainer many years ago that had top horses and I never once saw a needle. There are also no preconceived notions, except my own shock at how wildly used drugs are at this particular barn, and the fact that no one, including the many top trainers this trainer works with, act like it's anything but normal. Maybe times have changed? Maybe it's just widespread in this area? Maybe it's just this person and others just don't care?

Instead of talking about it here where you will get mixed answers from those that haven't seen it, ask an equine veterinarian when she or he is out at the farm again. They generally won't disclose names unless you are friendly with them because they don't want to bite the hand that feeds, but they will probably tell you about the extensive, widespread use of drugs on a daily basis for training and showing in the horse industry.

All you can do is make sure that your own horse isn't put in that situation. I don't want my horse drugged at a show or on dex, so I picked a barn that won't do those things.

superpony123
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:07 PM
This thread isn't very specific. I marked the only for illness/injury because I assume youre referring to drugs like ace and stuff.

However, there are plenty of drugs that are for the wellness of the horse, like Adequan and stuff. That's a drug. You could say it's for both training/showing and for the horses wellness, because it keeps the horse more comfortable while riding and stuff.

ExJumper
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:25 PM
First, I didn't mention legal or illegal, it is irrelevant to this poll. It's all about use. I made up the tern training aid to differentiate it from using medications for medical purposes. I am talking about the horse that might be thought of as too frisky, or the ammy or child rider that cannot control, or is scared of their horse.

So pretty much the ONLY thing you're asking is: do people sedate their horses when they are frisky, or when they think that they are overmounted.

Am I reading you right? Is that what you're asking? In that case, it's the lesson strings, NOT the A-show barns that you would have to worry about. The A-show barn isn't going to ace your pony for you -- they're gonna longe it or have someone else ride it for you first.

And my answer would be no, at least for all the places I've been at. If my horse is fresh, I'll spin him on the line for 5 minutes or chase him around the indoor arena. But when he was on stall rest for 3 months and then finally got turned out, you better believe I aced him. And the first week of riding him after that stall rest I aced him, too. But no -- not on a regular maybe-it's-windy-and-he'll-be-fresh day. No ace then -- just hard work.

Against all Odds
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:27 PM
This thread isn't very specific. I marked the only for illness/injury because I assume youre referring to drugs like ace and stuff.

However, there are plenty of drugs that are for the wellness of the horse, like Adequan and stuff. That's a drug. You could say it's for both training/showing and for the horses wellness, because it keeps the horse more comfortable while riding and stuff.

Completely agree with superpony, it's hard to understand what you mean without being more specific.

we have my jumper on omeprazole because he is a nervous horse and when he gets ulcers he gets really sensitive and becomes a very hard ride. does putting him on the omeprazole make him easier to ride, yes, but only because he is much more comfortable and relaxed, it is by no means used as a training tool, but to allow him to be able to enjoy being ridden and not be stressed by it.

Trixie
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:33 PM
If you're asking, do y'all ace em up so Average Ammy can sit on them at home, the answer is, none of the trainers I've ridden for in recent memory do. And at home, we sure don't, there's no point.

If someone's overmounted, they get another horse.

touchstone-
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:42 PM
This thread isn't very specific. I marked the only for illness/injury because I assume youre referring to drugs like ace and stuff.

However, there are plenty of drugs that are for the wellness of the horse, like Adequan and stuff. That's a drug. You could say it's for both training/showing and for the horses wellness, because it keeps the horse more comfortable while riding and stuff.

The poll also doesn't address what is probably the most common and most problematic issue--which is barns that do medicate within legal limits but without a lot of regard for the health consequences of the horse. These are not drugs used for "training" purposes, per se, but definitely with an eye to enhancing performance, within the boundaries of the rules.

In this category, consider the trainer who uses dex to make the hunters "quiet," plus the legal stacking of two NSAIDs, plus Legend, plus Adequan, plus robaxin, plus Gastrogard, etc.

I think that the use of multiple drugs is quite common among barns, and isn't done with any malicious intent. But it's still probably lousy for a lot of show horses.

There was a really interested in op-ed in the Chronicle a few months back (I think from Dr. Mitchell) about the appropriate use of NSAIDs and the problems with stacking them. That seems like one area where USEF may want to reconsider its drug rules--it just seems like there are too many health risks to make the practice worthwhile from a therapeutic perspective.

Jsalem
Sep. 1, 2009, 04:47 PM
Seriously? You actually think Big Time Training programs are going to admit here that they routinely use drugs for training? Seriously?

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:33 PM
I'm curious as to why the OP thinks "top barns" need to participate in this type of activity, period?

NaturalAlter (not sure why you needed an alter, but whatever)- Have you ever been to one of these "top barns" that you claim to have witnessed sedating horses they deem "too fresh" for clients? Because all the "top barns" with which I'm familiar produce "top riders" as well, who are perfectly capable of riding through some friskiness. And if they aren't, the horse gets a professional ride a few times per week with some time on the lunge line in between. If the rider still can't manage, they get another horse. Plain and simple. The amount of money that gets exchanged in a "top barn" within the trainer-client relationship is too great for either party to be wasting time with a horse that cannot be managed in a set program, period. It's not smart business.

The other point to be made is that most sedatives take a reasonable amount of time to clear the horse's system, and most have no acceptable limit on tests. So if a horse is regularly attending USEF sanctioned competitions, regularly administering to it sedatives would pretty much disqualify it from showing, as it would regularly have trace amounts of banned substances in its system.

ExJumper
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:51 PM
Because all the "top barns" with which I'm familiar produce "top riders" as well, who are perfectly capable of riding through some friskiness. And if they aren't, the horse gets a professional ride a few times per week with some time on the lunge line in between. If the rider still can't manage, they get another horse.

Exactly. "Top barns" have "top trainers" who make "top commissions" when they can sell their "top clients" new horses. So they really don't have ANY incentive to make it work out by using drugs if it's not meant to be. Especially when they can charge for pro rides and longing... They'd rather sell their client a new horse than drug their current one so they can ride it.

RugBug
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:54 PM
You can twist my words to mean whatever you want. I mean just what I say, how many do admit it. There are no assumptions about those that say they do not. I worked for a trainer many years ago that had top horses and I never once saw a needle. There are also no preconceived notions, except my own shock at how wildly used drugs are at this particular barn, and the fact that no one, including the many top trainers this trainer works with, act like it's anything but normal. Maybe times have changed? Maybe it's just widespread in this area? Maybe it's just this person and others just don't care?

There is no word twisting. Look at the bolded words above. We all know what you think, whether or not you are trying to ask an objective question. You've failed miserably

FWIW, We use Ace on re-habbing horses. Some of them are given long term tranqs. I've buted a horse the day before a show...horse can perform his job at home just fine, but it makes it a little easier for him at the show.

Trainer carries Ace in the trailer to shows...not to use for classes, but if there is a loading issue, etc. There's also Banamine on the trailer in case some colics.

When I was researching long term tranq options for my horse, I had to educate my vet and my trainer on Reserpine. In some ways I find that comforting...in others, I'd like them to know about everything that's out there and the uses so they can help me make an educated decision when/if one of my horses needs the meds.

Danishwblvr
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:55 PM
Most folks do....but I personally do NOT!

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 1, 2009, 05:58 PM
Most folks do....but I personally do NOT!

WHAT??? In what realm of the stratosphere do you live??! Have you even read this thread at all???

ExJumper
Sep. 1, 2009, 06:00 PM
WHAT??? In what realm of the stratosphere do you live??! Have you even read this thread at all???

Agreed. Top trainers simply don't spend all their waking hours skulking around barn aisles with syringes of forbidden substances. THE BENEFIT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK.

findeight
Sep. 1, 2009, 07:22 PM
...tell you about the extensive, widespread use of drugs on a daily basis for training and showing in the horse industry.



Ummm...OK...if that's what you think. How this random vet would know the condition of the overall show industry in general is beyond me...unless they were personally involved.

And for the OP...so now you are stating you ARE talking about Ace and other sedatives to calm one for a timid owner/rider on a routine basis?

Um. NO. That would not solve anything other then the immediate problem of an overmounted rider. It won't train the horse. It won't teach the rider. It can result in getting caught and losing income, cutomers and a reputation so why bother. Of course some of these so called "top" barns do not show on the level where testing is possible...which would be the top level. So they really are not "top" barns at all. Just locals who cheat openly to cover their own incompetence to properly train and teach.

Why you'd want to have anything to do with or hang around at a barn routinly sedating horses so clients could ride them is beyond me anyway. I'd beat a path to the door in a hurry.

Alterrain
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:44 AM
This poll is a shallow and thinly veiled attempt to get people to say I have a bratty wealthy speshul little princess who absolutely has to feel like she is the best rider in the world! Her imported fancy 17hh warmblood is way too much horse for her, but the commissions I make are way too big for me to admit I bought the wrong horse for her. At the shows I give it banamine, dex, robaxin, isox and arquel. Then magnesium, depo amd kool in the morning. Princess wins all the classes this way! At home when she shows up unexpectedly and wants to ride I just tranq him! This way she will never know that her perfect horse actually GASP! shakes his head a little!

I highly doubt anyone is going to fall into this trap. But OP, you can just cut and paste the good parts if you want. :)

Alterrain
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:48 AM
Seriously, though, I would answer if I knew your definition of Drugs?

Sedatives, yes, you have stated.

Depo?

Legend/ Adequan?

Valerian?

GastroGard?

Surpass?

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 2, 2009, 01:00 AM
But seriously, these "anti-[insert hot button issue]" people always get me- how much do you want to bet the OP uses these responses to add fuel to the fire, stating how many people on COTH admitted to "drugging" their horses regularly? When someone's made up their mind, it's made up. Period. No need to further investigate.

Coppers mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 03:04 AM
There are two very big barns here that if you spend more than a week there, you'll probably have seen every horse in the barn drugged at least once. I've literally seen a horse drugged because it was trotting in turn out, and another because it was "going fast" on the lunge. It's sad, really.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:58 AM
There are two very big barns here that if you spend more than a week there, you'll probably have seen every horse in the barn drugged at least once. I've literally seen a horse drugged because it was trotting in turn out, and another because it was "going fast" on the lunge. It's sad, really.

Was the horse trotting in turnout recovering from an injury that required stall rest prior to this turn out episode? Are you 100% positive you know the answer that that question? As in, well-aware that your response affects the reputation of businesses that feed and clothe people?

Do these "very big barns" regularly participate at USEF recognized competitions with horses they've sedated using USEF banned substances? Again, are you 100% sure you know the answer to that question? As in, you've personally witnessed someone administer such substance to a horse that you've then seen showing a very short time later, or personally witnessed a trainer order someone else to drug a horse that would then be attending a sanctioned competition?

Do you train at these barns in any capacity? Have YOU spent more than a week at both facilities? Because last time I checked, it definitely takes more than a week to get to know a trainer's program, including the use of medications in that program. Spending 7 days or less somewhere and witnessing 2 horses get sedated does not equal dishonest practice or morally questionable dealing.

I apologize if I seem crazy about this, but I spent the week in Culpeper a few weeks back and braided over the course of 3 nights. Doing this, I saw a lot of people coming in and out of stalls after sunset with syringes in hand. Nothing new. Making assumptions about A LOT of these barns would have meant making assumptions about some of the most reputable pros in this industry. KNOWING the medication guidelines and working within them makes a trainer MORE reputable, IME, not less.

Rather than going out on some tirade assuming I knew what was in those syringes, or why those horses were getting injections, I choose to assume most professionals in this industry act in an ethically upstanding way, not the other way around. Because without true first hand knowledge of pretty much any situation, I cannot be the judge.

findeight
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:54 AM
A needle is a needle BUT that does not mean anything at all is going into that horse that is illegal at a sanctioned show where testing is always a possibility. Alot get Legend or Adequan or an NSAID in acceptable levels IM or IV when on the road.

If it's not a sanctioned show? It's not a top level show and barns that specialize in them are not "top" level barns but locals. Even if they have alot of horses there.

Far as the observations of the "big" NC barns? I can see one lunging too fast or getting too active getting something IF they were rehabbing-something a casual observer would have no information on and, really, it's the barn's business and no need to share. Nobody was riding them, not like it was a substitute for training or for a timid rider.

Many just see something and jump to all sorts of sinister conclusions based on just about no information about horse or situation. If one did have specific info about a barn routinely doing that, one should not be at that barn for any reason.

If you see all of this drug use going on all the time, why are you hanging around that barn all the time?

Fairview Horse Center
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:16 AM
I have never sedated in any way, any horse that will be ridden or longed - not even for first time breaking, or sitting on, PERIOD. If there is a rider on a horse's back, or the horse will be asked to move, I want them to have ALL of their senses - crisp and clear. I will not ever risk an injury to person or horse by using even mild sedation.

If a rider was injured, and the horse had been given even 1/4 cc of ace by a trainer, and I was on a jury, I would award a huge amount to the injured rider, as I feel it is totally negligent.

Any one that needs to use sedation is not much of a trainer or rider.

Gry2Yng
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:38 AM
KNOWING the medication guidelines and working within them makes a trainer MORE reputable, IME, not less.



I agree with most of your post, the above statement??? I have a copy of the med guidelines in my truck, in case I need to give something and think the horse can continue to show. I think SOME have way to extensive a knowledge of how to work within the rules while still administering boatloads of "stuff".

DMK
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:02 AM
honestly, a shot after sunset? NBD. First of all, due to the sensitivity of the test, a lot of folks are understandably nervous about putting meds in the feed for fear that the horse will delay finishing grain until the wee hours of the AM. They (I) prefer giving a shot or paste because you know exactly how much the horse got and when. The first time I came back in the AM and saw my horse's feed bucket with some bute in the bottom crumbs was the last time i used powder.

And the rules call for no more than 12 hours out, so 8am start shouldn't be medicated after 8PM. personally if my class is scheduled before noon, i medicate around 5pm when i feed just before i leave. But if i'm coming back for a 9pm night check and my class is going late in the day, yeah, me and most everyone else will medicate then. that's not really that big of a deal.

Also, I would be a lot less indignant about a horse getting his legal am't of an nsaid at 11PM for a late day class, and a lot more pissed off about a horse who got his legal dose of stacked nsaids at 5pm in his feed bucket. But that trainer going in the stall w/a syringe is sparking more moral outrage. funny thing, that.

Coppers mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:57 AM
Was the horse trotting in turnout recovering from an injury that required stall rest prior to this turn out episode? Are you 100% positive you know the answer that that question? As in, well-aware that your response affects the reputation of businesses that feed and clothe people?
Well, the horse had a show that weekend, so I think it's safe to assume that it wasn't being rehabbed.

Do these "very big barns" regularly participate at USEF recognized competitions with horses they've sedated using USEF banned substances? Again, are you 100% sure you know the answer to that question? As in, you've personally witnessed someone administer such substance to a horse that you've then seen showing a very short time later, or personally witnessed a trainer order someone else to drug a horse that would then be attending a sanctioned competition?
Yup, 100% sure. One travels all over the place, the other stays in NC because of other business... stuff, trying to keep it anonymous. And, if "Oh, give him a little Ace" isn't enough evidence of what the horse is being given, I don't know what is.

Do you train at these barns in any capacity? Have YOU spent more than a week at both facilities? Because last time I checked, it definitely takes more than a week to get to know a trainer's program, including the use of medications in that program. Spending 7 days or less somewhere and witnessing 2 horses get sedated does not equal dishonest practice or morally questionable dealing.
Working student for one for a massive two weeks before I quit, and my horse was a the other barn.

I apologize if I seem crazy about this, but I spent the week in Culpeper a few weeks back and braided over the course of 3 nights. Doing this, I saw a lot of people coming in and out of stalls after sunset with syringes in hand. Nothing new. Making assumptions about A LOT of these barns would have meant making assumptions about some of the most reputable pros in this industry. KNOWING the medication guidelines and working within them makes a trainer MORE reputable, IME, not less.
Completely agree, actually.

Rather than going out on some tirade assuming I knew what was in those syringes, or why those horses were getting injections, I choose to assume most professionals in this industry act in an ethically upstanding way, not the other way around. Because without true first hand knowledge of pretty much any situation, I cannot be the judge.
I don't think I exactly went on a tirade, and I do indeed know what was in 90% of the injections, as the person in charge at the barn (again, trying to keep things anonymous) had no qualms with shouting to one of the assistants "Give him a shot of X". The other one was a little sneakier, until they started asking me to do it.

These are two shady barns, I've reported them, but, hey, it's me vs. them, and not much gets done. They don't represent the grand majority of operations, but the rampant drugging rumors shouldn't be dismissed either.

Fairview Horse Center
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:25 PM
The first time I came back in the AM and saw my horse's feed bucket with some bute in the bottom crumbs was the last time i used powder.

I thought this thread was about sedation type drugs.

As far as something like Bute is concerned, I would have no problem with legal use of it, especially for an older horse. I think bute or asprin is a good option for those small arthritis type aches. I personally think the bute rule is too strict, but we have only had maybe 3 or 4 horses in the last 20 years that needed a bit of bute 3 x a week as older horses. I would not object to seeing a Bute rule that a horse could have up to 2 grams daily while showing. Riders use their Advil.

Banamine IMO will cover a lot of serious pain, but it does not last for more than 8 to 12 hours, so using it for a horse that is a bit colicky the day before a show would be fine.

I really don't know much about any other drugs that would be used while showing. If a horse needs something else, I would wait for a week or so after they got better to show.

DMK
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:37 PM
I thought this thread was about sedation type drugs.


we might think that, but with a poll/topic so ambiguously crafted...

but I guess you could substitute "robaxin powder" or "azium granules" for bute powder and the point would be neatly shifted to Rx that some believe has a sedation effect, is legal and does come in injectable form.

Ozone
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:39 PM
I can honestly admit that my barn does not, never has used ANY drugs for training purposes, for the un-laid up horses first time back undersaddle, for a nervous rider on a nervous schoolie ---- nothing.

Bute when/if some one gets hurt but never to mask an underlying issue that said horse has.

RugBug
Sep. 2, 2009, 12:56 PM
I can honestly admit that my barn does not, never has used ANY drugs for training purposes, for the un-laid up horses first time back undersaddle, for a nervous rider on a nervous schoolie ---- nothing.

Bute when/if some one gets hurt but never to mask an underlying issue that said horse has.

Deleted 'cause I was being snarky. I no longer feel the need to be snarky...for now. :D

BridalBridle
Sep. 2, 2009, 02:28 PM
Looks like u got ur answer.
The horses who show a lot. ....GET TESTED A LOT...and so far not one drug I use is "perfomance enhancing".
I'm OLD and I use more drugs than horses just to get mounted. They should test the over 50 people and see who passes.:lol::lol::D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Try this question to the riders by age group and see what happens. I've seen people taking Valium, Percocet, and a number of class 2 drugs AND A GLASS OF WINE...just to get their nerve up to go in. I can't do that. It really messes me up. If it helped me ride I probably would.

Go Fish
Sep. 2, 2009, 03:12 PM
Looks like u got ur answer.
I'm OLD and I use more drugs than horses just to get mounted. They should test the over 50 people and see who passes.:lol::lol::D:D:D:D:D:D:D

I hear ya sista! :D Excedrin and I are best friends. I do, however, reserve my cocktail for after my classes are done for the day.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 2, 2009, 04:56 PM
I do appreciate the feedback, and I am glad to see that only about 10% or so of respondents say that trainers using drugs and medications as training aids. I know it's fun to argue about the question, but you all know what the question means. I am having a hard time morally dealing with some of the things I see going on which includes routinely drugging horses for rides and lessons, and what I feel is the over use of dex and injections to keep horses jumping and showing week after week. The other end is the fact that I have never had such good lessons in my life. And for what it's worth I -am- talking about a top trainer who shows at the big shows against the best there is (and who has already been suspended).

ExJumper
Sep. 2, 2009, 05:03 PM
I know it's fun to argue about the question, but you all know what the question means.

Actually, the question was so vague and non-specific that most of us had no idea what you were asking. You seem to have narrowed it down to "tranqing horses so people can lesson on them."

I think the OTHER questions we raised are more interesting. Things like:

How much maintainance is TOO much
Should joint injections be as common as they are
The consequences of stacking NSAIDs

RugBug
Sep. 2, 2009, 05:27 PM
I am having a hard time morally dealing with some of the things I see going on which includes routinely drugging horses for rides and lessons, and what I feel is the over use of dex and injections to keep horses jumping and showing week after week. The other end is the fact that I have never had such good lessons in my life.

And the real reason for this pole comes out: you are at a barn that is more needle happy than you'd like, but you're having good rides so you are conflicted. Seems maybe you want some solidarity?

ExJumper
Sep. 2, 2009, 05:51 PM
Is there a drug that would make my horse more brave? Because he is a huge weenie. A drug for that would make MY lessons much more enjoyable :)

Coppers mom
Sep. 2, 2009, 06:48 PM
OP- For what it's worth, I thought your post was perfectly easy to understand. It's pretty obvious when someone talks about drugging to make a ride better, it's not exactly a discussion about Legend.

2boys
Sep. 2, 2009, 07:26 PM
Try this question to the riders by age group and see what happens. I've seen people taking Valium, Percocet, and a number of class 2 drugs AND A GLASS OF WINE...just to get their nerve up to go in. I can't do that. It really messes me up. If it helped me ride I probably would.

Do a lot of people really do this?:eek:

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 2, 2009, 07:52 PM
Do a lot of people really do this?:eek:

No.

magnolia73
Sep. 2, 2009, 08:28 PM
I do appreciate the feedback, and I am glad to see that only about 10% or so of respondents say that trainers using drugs and medications as training aids. I know it's fun to argue about the question, but you all know what the question means. I am having a hard time morally dealing with some of the things I see going on which includes routinely drugging horses for rides and lessons, and what I feel is the over use of dex and injections to keep horses jumping and showing week after week. The other end is the fact that I have never had such good lessons in my life. And for what it's worth I -am- talking about a top trainer who shows at the big shows against the best there is (and who has already been suspended).

Judge not.... you know what- by being OK with it, you my dear, are the problem. The trainer does what he does to make a living. His clients don't care- he has no incentive to do right by his horses. Or well, to teach his clients to ride. Or train (or manage) his horses properly.

Makes me think not as good a trainer as you think he is- just smart and apparently efficient.

Have you ever considered that a way to gain a great advantage in the hunter game is to learn to actually ride and manage an up horse around a course? To learn to coax a good trip out of a sensitive horse? My trainer rides my horse brilliantly to that effect- and I can do it on the flat- and those skills don't come from a syringe... they come from those lessons where you pushed through on a horse that didn't come to the ring with its head on straight.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:51 PM
His clients don't care- he has no incentive to do right by his horses. Or well, to teach his clients to ride. Or train (or manage) his horses properly.


No incentive to do right by the horses? Are you serious?

The INCENTIVE occurs when one becomes a PROFESSIONAL MEMBER OF THE USEF AND SIGNS THE "TRAINER" LINE ON THE ENTRY BLANK. That's it. Right there. Incentive. Don't use banned substances because eventually you will get caught, and your reputation will be tarnished forever. Yes, several successful riders/trainers have been set down in the past few years for infractions, but they SUFFERED LOSS OF INCOME, AND HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT IN PUBLIC FOR IT. The incentive not to break the rules is clear as day. I'm not going to even comment about "no incentive to teach clients to ride"...

The USEF is not the Old West. There are rules that are enforced by punishing those who break them. It's a wonder they even employ people to run the darn organization since everyone seems to think horse shows are some lawless drug-fueled playground where only the bullies can get ahead.

DancingQueen
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:59 PM
Is there a drug that would make my horse more brave? Because he is a huge weenie. A drug for that would make MY lessons much more enjoyable :)

LSD is said to make them think they can fly. :lol::lol::lol:

DMK
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:29 PM
No incentive to do right by the horses? Are you serious?

The INCENTIVE occurs when one becomes a PROFESSIONAL MEMBER OF THE USEF AND SIGNS THE "TRAINER" LINE ON THE ENTRY BLANK. That's it. Right there. Incentive. Don't use banned substances because eventually you will get caught, and your reputation will be tarnished forever. Yes, several successful riders/trainers have been set down in the past few years for infractions, but they SUFFERED LOSS OF INCOME, AND HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT IN PUBLIC FOR IT. The incentive not to break the rules is clear as day. I'm not going to even comment about "no incentive to teach clients to ride"...

The USEF is not the Old West. There are rules that are enforced by punishing those who break them. It's a wonder they even employ people to run the darn organization since everyone seems to think horse shows are some lawless drug-fueled playground where only the bullies can get ahead.

you know what? that does work for most folks - most rules are like that, but when some "successful" trainers make people start wondering if "5 strikes and you are out" might be a useful addition to the current rules and the only change you see is the rider starts signing on the trainer line and takes the usef hit (would that be 6 strikes?) ... well i think anyone whose been around the shedrow a few times knows that what you say doesn't work all the time, every time in the real world. It would be naive to think otherwise.

and magnolia is right - you do business with that sort and you do become part of the problem.

and not to put too fine a point on it, but i can't think of any major trainer caught up in the fluphen/reserpine scandal that's in any way changed the scope of his or her business now that i think of it. suffered financially? i'd argue that business still boomed.

but then again, i've been around for a while, i might be cynical due to age or something.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:56 PM
you know what? that does work for most folks - most rules are like that, but when some "successful" trainers make people start wondering if "5 strikes and you are out" might be a useful addition to the current rules and the only change you see is the rider starts signing on the trainer line and takes the usef hit (would that be 6 strikes?) ... well i think anyone whose been around the shedrow a few times knows that what you say doesn't work all the time, every time in the real world. It would be naive to think otherwise.

and magnolia is right - you do business with that sort and you do become part of the problem.

and not to put too fine a point on it, but i can't think of any major trainer caught up in the fluphen/reserpine scandal that's in any way changed the scope of his or her business now that i think of it. suffered financially? i'd argue that business still boomed.

but then again, i've been around for a while, i might be cynical due to age or something.

Please don't get me wrong- I fully, 100% agree that current medication rules, their consequences, and the enforcement of those consequences are in need of some serious examination on behalf of the USEF. I, too, understand that "5/6/10, etc strikes and you're out" is a CRAZY policy. And it makes me cringe that certain individuals' businesses have continued to thrive despite multiple violations over relatively short periods of time.

But then I also think there's a huge faction of people on this board who have no idea how a large, successful barn runs an honest operation. And instead of trying to learn about such valuable knowledge, people go with what they've read- mostly on internet BBs- and in doing so, assume that because they heard a few isolated examples of trainers who've been set down for medication violations, that it's commonplace among the "top barns".

And the fact that repeat offenders go largely unpunished IS the real world. It's what happens in the justice system every single day. Outside of this industry, though, people pack up their kids and leave when the babysitter has been convicted of drug use. Actually, they leave for a lot less.

So in the end, we agree. It's the clients that continue to pay, knowing full well their trainer has been set down FIVE, SIX times for breaking THE SAME RULES. Not only does it encourage this type of behavior from dishonest individuals, it means one of the vast amount of upstanding trainers in this industry have lost business to all of that. And we almost NEVER spend 3 pages discussing THEM.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:13 AM
This particular trainer does train amazing riders, some of the very best riders out there are in training at this barn. And the trainer can ride almost anything and make the horse look good, to the point where it seems almost other worldly. So it makes the fact that there's so much drugging going on all the more confusing.

foursocks
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:35 AM
Um, well- stop riding there. This seems pretty simple to me. If it is more important to you to ride there than the fact that (apparently) the entire barn is being fed drugs constantly, stay.

Why do you need other people to define your moral parameters for you? If it bugs you, ride elsewhere.

S A McKee
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:13 AM
No incentive to do right by the horses? Are you serious?

The INCENTIVE occurs when one becomes a PROFESSIONAL MEMBER OF THE USEF AND SIGNS THE "TRAINER" LINE ON THE ENTRY BLANK. That's it. Right there. Incentive. Don't use banned substances because eventually you will get caught, and your reputation will be tarnished forever. Yes, several successful riders/trainers have been set down in the past few years for infractions, but they SUFFERED LOSS OF INCOME, AND HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT IN PUBLIC FOR IT. The incentive not to break the rules is clear as day. I'm not going to even comment about "no incentive to teach clients to ride"...

The USEF is not the Old West. There are rules that are enforced by punishing those who break them. It's a wonder they even employ people to run the darn organization since everyone seems to think horse shows are some lawless drug-fueled playground where only the bullies can get ahead.

If they get set down they continue to train and teach.
All that happens is they aren't on any shows grounds on days when a show is in progress.
They continue to act as agent and buy/sell.
They continue to lease horses.
Someone else simply signs the entry blank at the shows.
At least one well known trainer is banned for life but still operates a successful business.
It's almost a badge of honor to get caught because the consequences are a joke.

Jsalem
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:39 AM
I would have to spread the guilt around.

Blame the trainers for overmedicating- in order to "make the customers happy and keep them 'safe'" and make them win when they should be teaching horsemanship and real riding.

Blame the trainers for sticking needles in joints excessively in order to keep a horse going so the clients are happy and continue to win and so that the trainer doesn't have to explain why that big dollar horse is now laid up in a stall or is having to skip a show in order to rest.

But blame the clients for having unrealistic expectations. When I was a kid (sorry), it was pretty much the norm for the rider to take responsibility for performance problems. We were expected to ride through and learn to deal with spooks, stops, high heads, quick feet, etc. Not now. Parents demand a perfectly "safe" horse. They want to get right to the shows. They all have "goals"- and guess what, they are competition goals, not riding goals.

Blame that pressure. The trainer is always under the gun. Kid gets hurt- trainer gets sued. Kid doesn't win- trainer loses client.

The system is messed up. The horses pay the price.

magnolia73
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:41 AM
This particular trainer does train amazing riders, some of the very best riders out there are in training at this barn. And the trainer can ride almost anything and make the horse look good, to the point where it seems almost other worldly. So it makes the fact that there's so much drugging going on all the more confusing.

This trainer- if every horse is drugged and sedated is neither a good trainer or a making good riders. Let's use a simple example- who is the best runner in a world of racing that prohibits drug use? Joe Smith who runs a 4 minute mile without using drugs or Bob Smith who uses steroids but runs it in 3:59? We actually don't know- because Bob cheats.

How do those riders do on a fresh horse? Can that trainer get a greenie to the ring without breaking the spirit of the rules? If they are so great, why do they need to drug?

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:41 PM
And for what it's worth I -am- talking about a top trainer who shows at the big shows against the best there is (and who has already been suspended).


:lol::lol::lol:

There you go. So much for morals and ethics when you pay to keep this trainer in business.

Kind of surprised, thought you were coming down on the zero tolerance side. Guess it's OK as long as you get good lessons?

And back off lumping proper use of therapeutic meds to keep a performance horse comfortable into a program of "enhancing" performance that got this trainer suspended.

Never forget s/he who lies with dogs, gets fleas. Don't kid yourself about that "top" part either-the barn may be full but...

Thoroughbred1201
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:50 PM
Please don't get me wrong- I fully, 100% agree that current medication rules, their consequences, and the enforcement of those consequences are in need of some serious examination on behalf of the USEF. . .
But then I also think there's a huge faction of people on this board who have no idea how a large, successful barn runs an honest operation. And instead of trying to learn about such valuable knowledge, people go with what they've read- mostly on internet BBs- and in doing so, assume that because they heard a few isolated examples of trainers who've been set down for medication violations, that it's commonplace among the "top barns".

I agree with this. Clients are notoriously hard to please, and in some cases, incredibly niave. Which is better? A gram of ace in the middle of winter on a windy day, or lunge the socks off of Lightening so he's ridable? A spin around the indoor can work, the can also do damage to a really fresh horse. One is considered drugging, the other destroys the joints, and the third has it's own risks to an expensive animal.

And the trainer? Dammed if they do, dammed if they don't. The client gets mad if they are told that they shouldn't ride the horse. Heaven forbid that the horse acts like a fresh horse in winter, and getting said client to actually ride twice a week. Unfortunately, the trainer always seems to be the loser. The USEF rules are very clear. The issues are in the gray area of those items that are not banned.

Drugging is not the answer, nor is excessive lunging. But safety is at the root of it all (or should be). Only the trainer who is making the living at it can make that decision. And there are more than a few clients who should be riding bikes, not horses.

It's easy for us amatuers to make blanket statements, we aren't making a living at it, and we can vote with our feet. You don't like the barn's policies, go elsewhere. But at least open your eyes to make sure you aren't part of the problem by not being fit, or willing to do the work to learn to ride an 'up' horse.

Thoroughbred1201
Sep. 3, 2009, 12:53 PM
I would have to spread the guilt around.

But blame the clients for having unrealistic expectations. When I was a kid (sorry), it was pretty much the norm for the rider to take responsibility for performance problems. We were expected to ride through and learn to deal with spooks, stops, high heads, quick feet, etc. Not now. Parents demand a perfectly "safe" horse. They want to get right to the shows. They all have "goals"- and guess what, they are competition goals, not riding goals.

Blame that pressure. The trainer is always under the gun. Kid gets hurt- trainer gets sued. Kid doesn't win- trainer loses client.

The system is messed up. The horses pay the price.


Amen!

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:03 PM
So....OP...is the lesson good because your horse is...enhanced?

Do you know? How do you know?

If trainer sneaks it at the shows to the point he got caught and suspended, he sure as the devil does not mind doing it at home. Maybe even for your lesson? Or something long acting that keeps you happy and thinking you are doing good?

NaturalAlter
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:54 PM
So....OP...is the lesson good because your horse is...enhanced?

Do you know? How do you know?

If trainer sneaks it at the shows to the point he got caught and suspended, he sure as the devil does not mind doing it at home. Maybe even for your lesson? Or something long acting that keeps you happy and thinking you are doing good?

I actually asked. It's so out in the open that's there is no sneaking going on at all. I would go into detail but I really dont want to reveal myself. My lessons are not good because they are perfect, they are good because I am able to work through difficulties I have never been able to work through. Again, why it is so confusing why so much of the drugging is going on, I don't think it's needed except for the quest for absolute perfection, or maybe because of rider fear. But I don't understand using drugs to fix either. One thing I do see is the expectation to be doing 2'6"-3'6" courses perfectly and quickly, rather than a lot of time drilling basics. Hard to do if a horse is getting playful and strong

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:10 PM
I actually asked. It's so out in the open that's there is no sneaking going on at all...One thing I do see is the expectation to be doing 2'6"-3'6" courses perfectly and quickly, rather than a lot of time drilling basics. Hard to do if a horse is getting playful and strong


First off, you think you are getting told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but?

That second part...ummm...that is called a trainer doing their job instead of tarnishing their own reputation to keep an overmounted client happy.


You may be unaware, and probably are, but some of these people have alot of trouble when they go to sell a horse. Some of their clients always get a snicker and a wink when they go in the ring and nobody buys a good trip as the result of a good ride, rather a needle. There are a couple of huge names in the business that have alot of trouble selling horses. Some have not been officially caught. Yet. But so many have had problems with horses from their barn after purchase, the word gets out.

Rubs off on the client/owners as well.

englishivy
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:23 PM
I'm not sure I understand if you are ok with all of this, appalled by it, or just fine and dandy so long as you benefit with good lessons. :confused:

And I guess I don't understand how you are able to "work through difficulties" if the horse is drugged and completely cooperative & tolerant...must not be issues with the horse, but about fixing your own issues (like jumping position, riding without stirrups, etc). Enlighten me please. :confused:

I second what Jsalem said, adding of course a bit of woe and regret that this is what the sport has become, and in a rather short period of time, no doubt.
:(

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 02:57 PM
I second what Jsalem said, adding of course a bit of woe and regret that this is what the sport has become, and in a rather short period of time, no doubt.
:(

Well, many barns can actually train and are not afraid to mount clients appropriately and not let them advance until they master the basics and learn to...actually...ride the friggen horse.

But as long as there are clients who know and continue to wink at it or look the other way because it benefits them? There will be a place for those who load 'em up in a totally different way then putting them on the trailer.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:08 PM
I'm not sure I understand if you are ok with all of this, appalled by it, or just fine and dandy so long as you benefit with good lessons. :confused:

And I guess I don't understand how you are able to "work through difficulties" if the horse is drugged and completely cooperative & tolerant...must not be issues with the horse, but about fixing your own issues (like jumping position, riding without stirrups, etc). Enlighten me please. :confused:

I second what Jsalem said, adding of course a bit of woe and regret that this is what the sport has become, and in a rather short period of time, no doubt.
:(

I am confused and a little appalled. I meant to say that I work through difficulties rather than inject them. There is that going on too, it's not like every horse is drugged every time. It's more like some will shoot them up if they are being strong rather than just work on something smaller. Or if a horse is known for being frisky or sometimes putting in a buck or spin or a spook, some riders will ace them every time they ride that horse. Or if it's a young horse geared towards doing the big shows, they get schooled on something. I have never seen the really good jr big eq riders using anything. I have seen them really ride through a lot with some tough horses.

So I guess at the end of the day I am realizing it is what the clients want, a horse that is easy to ride, or a young horse that wins.

DMK
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:12 PM
well, to be fair, some of this pressure from the client is a chicken vs. the egg situation. Trainers make this their business, and i respect that, everyone needs to make a living. But let's face it, it's a LOT more of a serious bidness than when I (and my fellow old farts) were kids. And the one thing I have seen in show barns is a serious spoken/unspoken pressure to Go To Shows, and everyone recognizes that showing and selling is the profit margin for most barns while boarding/lessons pays the bills. Like i said, some is unspoken peer pressure from other boarders, especially in the case of kids, but some of it is overt policy, such as X shows per year or different rates for showing vs. non-showing clients.

And once you are showing, yes, then there is pressure again from several places. Parents can be awful about their kids performance, we've all seen them at the ingate ... but it doesn't do a trainer's rep (and business) much good to come to the show with horses/ponies who are outclassed either, so the pressure is there on both parties.

Like i said, i get that it is necessary to make money, and trainers have to eat and pay the bills just like i do. but that component most certainly adds to the problem.

Fairview Horse Center
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:15 PM
So I guess at the end of the day I am realizing it is what the clients want, a horse that is easy to ride, or a young horse that wins.

Nope, you are missing the third choice. A horse that wins with their amateur owner without drugs.

hype
Sep. 3, 2009, 03:16 PM
What about the trainers who don't sedate the horses but rather keep them on the road 35 plus weeks a year? No need for drugging as the horses are so tired and crippled from being on the road that they no longer have a personality?

Some of these horses never see a turnout and are lunged to the point of exhaustion.

There are a lot more ways to abuse horses than slipping them a bit of Ace here and there.

I'm not for drugging a horse what I'd really like to see is good horsemanship. If the horse is tired from showing, give him a week off. If a horse is fresh turn them out or lunge them to get the bucks out. If a horse is too strong for a rider, find one that is appropriate or teach the rider how to handle it. Of course that last one would mean missing shows...

For the people in the business who truly care for horses it is frustrating to see the horses mismanaged, showing a ridiculous amount to chase points and all of the bad decisions that are made to keep wealthy clients in the show ring so they can collect show fees.

Great article about the pony who was champion at Harrisburg (I think that was the show, it was indoors.) last year. Pony came out of the field, didn't need to qualify because it had been champion the previous year and knocked everyone's socks off because he was fresh and sound. Kudos to that trainer for allowing the pony to be a pony and not be driven to chase points.

This isn't a slam on the trainers who do it right and manage their horses show schedules to allow time off. This is a slam on the trainers whose clients show the heck out of their horses, chase the points and then have horses so tired and sore that they can't perform at their best.

englishivy
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:07 PM
Well, many barns can actually train and are not afraid to mount clients appropriately and not let them advance until they master the basics and learn to...actually...ride the friggen horse.


I'd like to think I am one in this category. Unfortunately, there are far too many who don't value an education nor have the patience to master the basics. They'd rather go down the street (figuratively speaking) where the main objective is getting in the show ring, no matter the cost to the horse (or pocketbook for that matter). :no:

My morals and ethics let me sleep well at night, my checkbook...not so much. :lol:

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 3, 2009, 09:55 PM
It's the trainer's job to provide a service to the client. Under that umbrella lands the skills required of a professional in this industry. As clients, we trust our trainers to guide us in whatever direction their program is supposed to take us. We pay them for the services they provide.

However, as the clients, it is also our responsibility to do the research necessary to find a program that works for us. It's the same way in any service provider/client relationship. When I want my floors redone, I look for a good contractor with a good reputation. I do research to find the right person for the job. When I want a new car, I look for the best warranty, price, service, etc. Reputation ALWAYS counts in the "real world". So why is it that so many people don't do the same thing when forging a relationship with a trainer?

The only conclusion I can reach in the OP's situation is that she is okay with dishonest practices, and doesn't have a problem continuing to exploit her horse, and maintain an unfair advantage over those of us who follow the rules as they stand. That is the only logical conclusion that exists, really. For any client that does the research and discovers their trainer/prospective trainer has been set down for multiple medication violations, yet continues in that program, that's the writing on the wall.

Our trainers actions reflect either positively or negatively on our trainers. They gain and lose respect from others based on the decisions they make. But as clients, our actions and decisions to support a trainer when something is ethically awry also reflects poorly on us. We are responsible for our half of the trainer-client relationship. There is no blame to be given away when we are aware of irresponsible, dangerous, or dishonest practices. We own our half of the responsibility.

NaturalAlter
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:18 PM
The only conclusion I can reach in the OP's situation is that she is okay with dishonest practices, and doesn't have a problem continuing to exploit her horse, and maintain an unfair advantage over those of us who follow the rules as they stand. That is the only logical conclusion that exists, really. For any client that does the research and discovers their trainer/prospective trainer has been set down for multiple medication violations, yet continues in that program, that's the writing on the wall.

Or maybe the OP is not OK with the practices, does not agree with it or drug her own horses ever, and is trying to deal with a moral dilemma since she is personally getting the best instruction of her life (without drugs) and personally likes the people in the program?

Sometimes life is messy.

FrenchFrytheEqHorse
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:44 PM
Or maybe the OP is not OK with the practices, does not agree with it or drug her own horses ever, and is trying to deal with a moral dilemma since she is personally getting the best instruction of her life (without drugs) and personally likes the people in the program?

Sometimes life is messy.

See, to me, there's no "moral dilemma" here. By continuing to ride and train with a professional who is knowingly breaking the rules, guidelines, and tenants of our sport's governing body, you are part of the problem. It doesn't make it any better if you aren't administering to your horse forbidden substances. The trainer you pay to provide to you professional guidance is. Your teacher is breaking the rules.

I'm assuming you are looking at this as if your "moral dilemma" rests in whether you'd like to be associated with such a program. If you weigh the pros and cons, then decide that the lessons are really "that good", then (as a fellow competitor who follows the rules and pays a trainer who does the same) I get to judge you as someone who's okay with dishonest, unethical practices. If you decide to leave based on the fact that it's not okay with you to get lumped in with that group, then you've taken the higher road.

But in the end, this decision is really not all that complex. Either you're supporting someone who's breaking the rules and setting a terrible example (by paying him/her), or you're standing up to something very, very wrong in our sport and finding a more upstanding trainer.