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vali
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:18 AM
So this weekend I encountered a somewhat novel situation. I was attending a two day horse trial where the day before included an optional schooling show for dressage and show jumping rounds. For the schooling show, you could only sign up after arrival and when I arrived they only had slots left to do a show jumping round followed by a dressage round. I got on my horse at 2:20, rode a nice quiet clean Training level stadium round at 2:45, then put my mare in her stall to rest with hay and water to rest while I started to unpack. I tacked her up in her dressage tack at 3:40, and was in the dressage warm-up at 3:45 for a dressage test at 4 pm. We trotted and cantered briefly, then walked around on a loose rein while I looked for the ring steward to check in. At 4 pm the T.D. comes over and says that she wants to talk to me because "someone reported I'd been on my horse for a long time." I was puzzled and said perhaps someone was confused and didn't realize that I'd put my mare away between schooling rounds. She asked me specifically how long I'd been on my mare in the dressage warmup, and I said 15 minutes. I also added that she could check with the show jumping steward or a trainer I know in the ring, and she said she might. She finally looks more closely at my obviously non-sweaty relaxed mare and says, "but she doesn't seem to be distressed." Just to be on the safe side she places her hand on my mare's chest to see if she felt sweaty, then finally leaves.

After she left I started to wonder exactly what the issue was that was potentially being reported, since I'm not sure what the problem would have been even if I had been hacking the horse about between rounds. I understand there are rules about abuse of horse, but I've never heard that hacking or being on a horses back for over an hour is a rules violation, unless there is a new rule I'm unaware of. I regularly go out on trail rides for a couple of hours, and clinics often last 1 1/2-2 hours, so I don't think there is anything abusive about being on a horse's back for over an hour. The temperature was mild, I wasn't even carrying a whip or spurs, and at this point in the season my mare is quite fit. It seems like there are enough new rules being added every year without spontaneously inventing new ones not in the rulebook, but am I missing something here?

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:23 AM
I would think, esp at a schooling show, it was a TD taking the chance for a possible "teachable moment" under the general rubric of investigating possible abuse. I'll need to look up the definition/description of abuse in the rules - think there is something about lathered and distressed horses.
I always think of the TD as the intermediary between the rules and the players (organizers and competitors). So if there is a chance when a td can help a participant understand the rules, or when she needs to investigate to see if the rules are being followed, that's what they do. You weren't anywhere close to breaking any rules, but better for her to come over and check than leave someone out there abusing their horse and not knowing they were doing wrong.

Course, maybet he reporter was a meddlesome busybody who is now trashing the td for not even doing anything.... ;)

deltawave
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:34 AM
Jeez, somebody's being a busybody!

When I was getting Gwen fit for a three day I'd do a 40 minute hack, dressage warmup, dressage, another warmup and two short, fast canters before XC at two-day Horse Trials. Oh, the horror! :lol:

saje
Oct. 5, 2009, 08:58 AM
I think that would be a really tough rule to define, never mind enforce.

I know when I was first starting showing with my guy, I'd get on at least an hour before my dressage time so that we could have a good long looky-lou session before doing any real warm up. If I was showing in a place like KHP where the rings sometimes are a long hike from the barns and there's a lot going on I'd allow even more time.

As he got more confident and fit, and thus cockier, I'd also go find a place to go for a gallop pre-stadium, and occasionally pre-dressage if he was really on the muscle. Sometimes he just needed to blow off steam after being in a stall as he lives out 24/7.

That said, I see competitors out there "warming up" for that length of time pretty frequently, but they aren't hacking. It's a solid 45min or better of real work, trot and canter (or gallop and jump) and the horses are sweaty and puffing. My only thought has been that they're using up their horse's best work before they ever get in the ring. It wouldn't occur to me to tell the TD, but then again I've not seen a horse truly distressed or overworked, just worked beyond what *I* consider sensible at that time.

As for sweaty and blowing, some horses sweat easily, some pant easily. Mine is a pant-er, but it's usually a sign of nerves or tension with him. I think he bottles it all up and it's sort of a mental overheating rather than a physical one, because the same sort of workout at home doesn't get that reaction. And I get less panting during warmup if I've been able to go somewhere and have a good canter or a brief gallop first :)

I'll be interested to see Janet and the other Rules Guru's take on this...

retreadeventer
Oct. 5, 2009, 09:06 AM
This was a schooling day prior to the actual recognized competition?

Still, there would have to be documented evidence of some kind including more than one witness who saw the horse being hacked excessively - if I were a TD I would be very sure to have witness statements from several people at different times, independently given, and a TPR reading from a vet before saying a word. Good grief, it's not an international championship or something.

Agreed on your statement about making up rules; seems like they were just looking for ways to make trouble!

You know, I don't believe sometimes these officials understand the really HUGE disconcerting effect some little sentence like this, a little action like putting the hand on the horse's chest to sort of check to see if you're lying - this sort of thing really knocks us amateur competitors for a loop in terms of our mental equilibrium. It would upset me ALL DAY (shoot, all weekend) if someone called into question wrongly anything I'd done or not done. I think this sort of thing is really REALLY bad for an official to do especially the first day of a competition.

This sort of thing ruins the sport for me, it would sure upset my horse trials. I would feel terrible the rest of the weekend, and that they would be WATCHING me, etc. This should be reported against this official and should be noted in your event evaluation. NO one has the right to touch your horse without your permission in any way. Even bit check. You can take the bridle off to let them see the bit, they don't have to put the hand in the mouth. You can say, don't touch. When you sign the entry blank you agree to allow for testing but not for some sort of non-vet examination. They need to observe, and then if it looks serious then bring in vets etc to determine condition.

We have to remember this is a sport and we do this for fun. All officials and horse trial management need to remember that, too, that we are there to have fun and not there to find rules to skirt around or break which seems to be the prevailing attitude at some events, that competitors are there to get all they can.

I think you have the right to know who accused you of this, and to confront them. They "ruined" your weekend with a false accusation, and especially one like this where your horsemanship was called into question, and you were forced to explain something you didn't do. I'd be LIVID and furious and would do a lot more than post a polite question on the COTH board! (I say "ruined" because it would ruin mine, if I were you. You sound like you are a bit better at being grounded than I would have been under the circumstances:))

I guess I am making an issue of this but darn it, sometimes I think it just gets so complicated when it doesn't need to. I want to have fun doing this stuff, not worry to death everytime I put an entry in the mail that I'm going to break some esoteric little hidden 4th paragraph/2nd sentence/footnoted/rule.

LLDM
Oct. 5, 2009, 09:18 AM
I do not think anyone could confuse what you did with an excessive warm-up. (Unless you're fibbing, of course! - But I don't think that.)

A more likely scenario is that you were confused with someone else who was either A) riding excessively, or B) riding at opposite times than you were, so it looked like excessive riding between the two of you.

Really, don't worry about it. The TD could easily see that the report did not reflect the reality and obviously did not pursue it with you. I know it was probably a little freaky. It probably confused the heck out of the TD too!

Hope the rest of your weekend went well!

SCFarm

Janet
Oct. 5, 2009, 09:24 AM
AFAIK there is no rule against "excessive hacking".

EV111 Abuse of horse DOES refer to

* Riding an exhausted horse.
* Excessive pressing of a tired horse. but you would be hard pressed to apply that to this situation, even if you HAD been "hacking" for 2 hours.

scribbles
Oct. 5, 2009, 09:35 AM
I would guess someone though you were on your horse the whole time, or confused your horse for another like LLDM said.

denny
Oct. 5, 2009, 10:13 AM
Ridiculous. But this is the 21st century, where a 3 hour ride is considered a big deal by lots of riders.

Anna Ela used to ride her Morgans from home to Rutland (or somewhere), about 40 miles, compete at the show, and ride home.

This was maybe in the early 30s.

GotSpots
Oct. 5, 2009, 10:48 AM
Maybe I'm the lone voice here, but it sounds to me like the TD handled it about right - she walked over, said hello, asked a question (and perhaps I'm reading too much friendliness into it, but it sounds like a pretty friendly tone and a quick assessment that there wasn't a situation there) and walked away. I certainly wouldn't have let this "ruin my weekend". I'd like to think that perhaps someone else mistook another horse for yours and thought you'd been out there for a long time, and put in a question to the TD to see if there was an issue or not. There was no report, no investigation, nothing official - just an informal conversation in which it was quickly determined that there wasn't any issue at all. Frankly, I'd prefer that kind of informal conversation and give/take with the officials. And as for putting a hand on a horse's neck, honestly, I know folks do that all the time to pat a horse or say hello or what-have-you. I've had officials stop by to say nice-ride and pat the horse on the neck, or just rest a hand while chatting about something else - I guess I wouldn't think twice about it.

Had it been the alternative - had you been drilling your horse for an hour and a half straight, folks here would be on the warpath (can't you see the thread "I saw someone abusing their horse by galloping it around the ring for an hour") asking why wasn't it reported to the TD to do something.

Bobthehorse
Oct. 5, 2009, 10:49 AM
My horse would be happier and feeling better if I hacked him in between than if I stuck him in a stall for a few hours after stadium. At home, to get him fit for Prelim, I hacked him for 2 hours after every ride. Jump school, 2 hour hack. Dressage school, 2 hour hack.

I could see excessive hacking to be trotting and cantering around to wear the horse down, but if the horse isnt hot I think its more than apparent that he is capable and fit enough to do whatever he is doing.

Hilary
Oct. 5, 2009, 10:51 AM
An hour and half is excessive?? This summer we did 2-3 hour rides for conditioning, and has anyone checked in with the local hunts lately?

I hope someone mixed you up with someone else - I don't think someone asking me would have ruined my weekend, but probably because I wouldn't really believe that that thought 90 minutes was excessive!

babecakes
Oct. 5, 2009, 11:05 AM
Oh I had this happen with my dog in a car!! I was traveling, needed to go to the bathroom bad -- stopped at a fast food joint, parked in the shade under the only tree in the whole lot. My car has a sun roof I left it wide open. Ran in to the bathroom and bought a cup of coffee and a cheap hamburger for the dog - with no line at the counter. I came out was sitting in the car reading a map, my dog drinking the fresh water that I had just gotten her from the bathroom and her hamburger torn into bite size pieces on the front seat and a cop pulled up. He said that there had been a complaint about a dog that was suffering in a locked car. I stuck my hand up thru the sunroof and he about fell over laughing. I figure that it was the same thing that happened to you.

poltroon
Oct. 5, 2009, 11:24 AM
I'm with GotSpots: who knows exactly what the TD was told, but she was given reason to be concerned about a horse and she checked it out quietly. That's one of the things the TD can do, and it sounds like she handled it well.

Maybe the original reporter saw someone working a horse in distress and there was a mixup. That's something I'd want the TD to do, to look out for the horses.

Still, it's confusing and distressing to have the TD come ask you such a thing!

bambam
Oct. 5, 2009, 11:36 AM
No you are not a lone voice GS- I agree with you. Yes, it was sort of an odd complaint but I think the TD handled it fine and fail to see how this would ruin a weekend.
While,as I said, I think this is a weird complaint and from the OP's description seems like a totally frivolous one, on the other hand, how often have we complained on this forum about TDs who are lax about enforcing the horse abuse rules? It is not like the TD went up, yelled at her and ordered her off her horse for horse abuse- she walked up, talked to her about a complaint that was received, discovered the complainer was smoking the wacky weed and left- done. Seems like a reasonable follow-up response to a complaint to me.

Janet
Oct. 5, 2009, 11:48 AM
I quite agree the it was right for the TD to follow up. But I didn't think that was the question.

SuperSTB
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:17 PM
Oh I had this happen with my dog in a car!! I was traveling, needed to go to the bathroom bad -- stopped at a fast food joint, parked in the shade under the only tree in the whole lot. My car has a sun roof I left it wide open. Ran in to the bathroom and bought a cup of coffee and a cheap hamburger for the dog - with no line at the counter. I came out was sitting in the car reading a map, my dog drinking the fresh water that I had just gotten her from the bathroom and her hamburger torn into bite size pieces on the front seat and a cop pulled up. He said that there had been a complaint about a dog that was suffering in a locked car. I stuck my hand up thru the sunroof and he about fell over laughing. I figure that it was the same thing that happened to you.

I'd rather a complaint be followed up on than not at all. It might have been a slight inconvenience for you but remember that there are far too many irresponsible pet owners out there who don't do the right thing.

Just recently I was going out to lunch- pulled into a pizza place and parked next to this little car. The windows were about 1-2 inches down and the sunroof half closed. Anyway I walk in thinking nothing of it except the fact that it was a very nice new BMW. Anyhoo- go in order my lunch and about 20-30 minutes later head back out to get in my car. As I'm getting in I hear whining. At first it sounded like a baby so I paused to listen then realized it was a dog. So I'm looking around the cars and see a small dog in the BMW. I just about freaked. It's almost 90 degrees in Long Beach, CA. So I walk into the now packed pizza place and ask out loud to EVERYONE "Who left their dog in a car." Various commentary is chimed back like.. is it dead? break a window... etc. A woman hops up and is "OMG what's happened" and follows me out telling me it's her car and dog. Anyway once outside I tell her that its obviously hot in the car and that it's been over 30min the dog could be in distress. She gets all defensive and angry- swearing at me. The sunroof is open- the dog is just fine she argues. Anyway I cut off her bitching and said flatly "I can call the police and animal control if you'd like". She went back in- got her stuff and her friends- came back out and left (not quietly obviously).

So maybe the dog wasn't in distress *yet* but at least she'll think twice before leaving her dog in a car. Shame on her friends for not thinking about the dog's welfare either. I'm sure inside the car was approaching if not already unbearable- it doesn't take long.

shea'smom
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:17 PM
This makes me think of a kid I know who thinks her horse is a bicycle. Rides it all day at a show. No consideration what so ever. So, I can see how someone would mention this to the TD, even though they were wrong, and I can see the TD following up. That is their job, right?
I would not let this ruin my weekend, and I will not get upset if someone touched my horse.

Mach Two
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:32 PM
Good grief, sounds like someone is a busy body. The TD was doing her job, and she is supposed to follow through, but for someone to comment that you had been on a horse for an hour and a half? I had a horse that required at least an hour of dressage warmup to settle...and after that I'd hack him around the grounds just to let him look at everything.

It would have blown my mind, too to know that someone was thinking I was mistreating my horse for RIDING him (he used to hunt for 5 or 6 hours, and the only time I was off was to get a gate to visit the ladie's room in the woods)

On the other extreme, one year at Rolex (I was in the FEI enclosure, so I was catching a lot of stuff folks outside the fence do not see) there was a well known UL rider who had been schooling a horse "excessively" for 3 or 4 hours, cantering around and yankin' and snatchin' for a lot of that time, in one of the rings. It went on and on, and the horse had bleeding spur rubs.
Finally, as it was getting dark, (and we were ALL concerned) a TD walked towards the ring, and as they did, the rider stopped, petted the horse profusely, and walked off towards the barns. Like (see? No problem here, I'm being nice to the horsey)
Don't know if the TD followed up. It's touchy.
In your case, somebody you can easily best got their thong in a wad, I think. Good for you for having a fit horse, and for being thorough in your preparation!

sch1star
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:40 PM
I have a new rule for you.

EV111-1/2 Abuse of Horse

An event official's investigation of a spurious accusation concerning a competitor will result in a fine of $100 payable to the organizer and reimbursement in full of all competitor's costs at the event, including but not limited to stabling, housing, entry fee, horse treats, and miscellaneous snacks. A written apology will also be required. Responsibility for electing retaliatory spitball attack shall rest with the unfairly accused.

:winkgrin:

vali
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:54 PM
Well, I wouldn't say it ruined my weekend, but it probably did have an adverse effect on my dressage test, because by the time the TD was done questioning me I was late for my test and couldn't warm up again. I can understand the TD coming over to check and make sure a horse doesn't look like it's in distress, but when you see a horse that is clearly not sweaty or breathing hard, or otherwise in distress, I'm not sure why you would even need to talk to the rider. The other thing that I thought was a bit strange was that she was the TD for the two day recognized horse trial, which technically starts at 3 pm the day before the event, and it was only 4 pm when she came over. There was no TD for the schooling show, which was a fairly informal affair.

My slight feeling of paranoia was enhanced later when we got picked for a random drug testing after cross country. This was my mare's second training and first clean go, and she was fabulous, no hesitation at any of the fences, including the scary drop into water. She knew she'd done good, and was very pleased with herself. I have to admit that my elation was marred slightly by being followed around by a lady with a cup on a stick for an hour. She stood around and whistled at my mare, although I pointed out that as a Connemara cross she never was on the track and taught the pee on command signal. The drug tester eventually gave up and went away to find a more cooperative horse, since my mare is a bit shy about peeing around strangers.

It was a strange weekend, and it's never a good feeling to think that people are constantly watching you for something they could potentially report you for. One of the things I have always loved about eventing is that sense of all being in it together and the willingness to help others. I remember my first prelim many years ago when I was about to go into dressage and was carrying my whip (at that point in time grounds for elimination), and the competitor before me whispered, "drop your whip." I'm not sure anyone would do that these days, or that someone wouldn't report the person who helped me out.

enjoytheride
Oct. 5, 2009, 12:59 PM
I disagree with the "new" rule because it makes people afraid of reporting people who ARE abusing their horses. I have a friend who is a steward and she is very serious about preventing abuse but at the same time owning hot horses she understands the difference between working a horse down and abusing it.

I'd be pretty upset that I missed my ride time and ask for some extra warm up, but I'd also understand that the official was doing their job.

Arcadien
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:10 PM
Echoing ridiculous.

I mean, what on good green earth is "excessive hacking"???!!! Do the people who come up with these terms actually RIDE? Have they ever been on a trail ride? Like, outside of the arena?

Are we going to try to say exactly how long an acceptable warmup is, and apply it to all horses? How the h*ll would you judge this?

I understand the concern on watching for exhausted/injured horses being pushed ON COURSE, but this is,

well, RIDICULOUS.

I think the TD should have told the complainer there is no such thing as an excessive hacking rule, and stuck to their job description. I agree with whoever said this sort of thing would ruin their day. Gives one the feeling that people who can't bear to just mind their own business are looking around trying hard as they can to find the tiniest fault with others, even outside of the rule book, anything to try to point fingers and find fault. Who needs that? Wouldn't want to live with a person like that, and I sure as h*ll wouldn't be happy having to listen to one of their nitpicking complaints second hand, either - particularly when I'm trying to focus on following the actual rules and doing my best at an event.

:(

bambam
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:25 PM
I mean, what on good green earth is "excessive hacking"???!!! Do the people who come up with these terms actually RIDE? Have they ever been on a trail ride? Like, outside of the arena?

:(
uuhhhmmmm, perhaps you should ask the OP where she came up with the terms "excessive hacking"? I saw no indication that that was what the TD said but rather what the OP said in her post. :)

Arcadien
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:39 PM
uuhhhmmmm, perhaps you should ask the OP where she came up with the terms "excessive hacking"? I saw no indication that that was what the TD said but rather what the OP said in her post. :)

Didn't indicate the TD had said "excessive hacking", my question about where it came from was generally directed to the list. Alas I did ask it with an edge of desperation, as now that the phrase has been uttered, I can just see it cropping up in some new rule, can't you? ;)

Alas, the TD did reportedly respond to some complaint about the OP that had nothing to do with anything the OP had done during a test, nor anything explicitly forbidden during warmup (i.e. gear, jumping wrong way, etc). The TD apparently responded to a complaint based on nothing more than that someone had seen the OP on her horse for a "long" time.

IMHO the TD should have left it be, without more evidence, for reasons mentioned in my first post on this thread.

Of course I wasn't there, I'm only responded to what was reported as I understood it.

Respectfully,
Arcadien

Beam Me Up
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:40 PM
I think part of our new safety and competitor responsibility focus seems to be encouraging competitors/spectators to approach the TD about possible unsafe/abusive riding.

There can be a lot of benefit to this, as no TD can be everywhere at once, and having all these additional eyes can help them double check on anything questionable.

At the same time, more reports will come in from inexperienced folks who may or may not understand the rules/customs, and it may also open the door for malicious complaints.

In this situation, if the TD received a complain that someone was riding their horse excessively (which could really happen at a HT, even though eventers/foxhunters tend to be fit and used to heavy work). I feel like they sort of have to go check it out. In your case they saw the complaint was baseless.

A "false alarm" like that definitely added stress to an already stressful sport, and it sounds like perhaps the TD could have made you feel a little better in the end, but I don't think she was wrong to check out a complaint, even a kind of strange sounding one, just to be sure.

secretariat
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:51 PM
Good grief, during summertime my kids NEVER GOT OFF their ponies; I've seen them eat lunch and then dinner on them.

Mouse is still going strong, teaching generations of new kids, at age 20+. Doesn't seem to have hurt him too much.

Arcadien
Oct. 5, 2009, 01:59 PM
Good grief, during summertime my kids NEVER GOT OFF their ponies; I've seen them eat lunch and then dinner on them.

Mouse is still going strong, teaching generations of new kids, at age 20+. Doesn't seem to have hurt him too much.

LOL, I got on my pony, headed into the woods, and wasn't expected back before sundown.

She was still sound when she passed at 38 ;)

ACMEeventing
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:03 PM
I think we're all missing the point here. Somewhere out there is a horse matching the OP's mare still being hacked excessively! Somebody do something!

Mach Two
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:34 PM
Or someone who warms up for ten minutes and then puts their horse away til the next phase has a carrot up her bum about the OP.

After all, even if the OP had been on her horse the entire time span in question, it would be nothing for a horse that is used to work to be hacked around the grounds for that length of time, even with some "work" thrown in. Know what I mean?:winkgrin:

I had a woman stand in front of my stall at at HT once, threating to complain about me because I had a twitch on my horse to braid the couple of braids where his neck was always sensitive, and he always tried to shake my hands away. Had she gone to the TD, I'd have laughed later, but it would have bothered me to be "reported"

mg
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:42 PM
It was a strange weekend, and it's never a good feeling to think that people are constantly watching you for something they could potentially report you for. One of the things I have always loved about eventing is that sense of all being in it together and the willingness to help others. I remember my first prelim many years ago when I was about to go into dressage and was carrying my whip (at that point in time grounds for elimination), and the competitor before me whispered, "drop your whip." I'm not sure anyone would do that these days, or that someone wouldn't report the person who helped me out.

I agree with this. The last event I was in, I got (very rudely) accused of breaking rules several times, none of which were valid claims. Even though I knew I was playing by the rules, it really put a damper on the entire day and made me feel very paranoid that someone was going to jump on me for something every time I got on my horse. One of the reasons I joined the eventing community (besides wanting to do XC!! ;) ) was because I was so sick and tired of the politics in the HJ world and wanted a friendlier atmosphere.


At the same time, more reports will come in from inexperienced folks who may or may not understand the rules/customs, and it may also open the door for malicious complaints.

Agreed.

LLDM
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:58 PM
Well, I have seen a situation that would clearly fall under a category called "excessive hacking" - even if it doesn't have an official rule to go with it. And if any of you guys see something like it, you will know it too. It has nothing to do with duration and everything to do with pushing a horse beyond its own mental, physical or emotional limits.

I would like to think that the eventing community (and its derivatives) would not shy away from preventing that type of abuse when it happens in our venues. I would also like to believe it would not be confused with long rides or spending a little to much time in the warm-up.

I am glad that some of you have never seen such a thing. But it doesn't mean it does not exist.

I think it is a perfectly reasonable thing for TDs to check out. Of course it can all be problematic and it would be great if all involved were open and forthcoming.

I can certain understand why the OP was concerned and came here for advice. Maybe TDs should be told to be more informative when checking out a competitor? It has to be disconcerting, even if it is a necessity. I think the OP was more concerned (and thus came here) because she didn't now what was going on.

SCFarm

vali
Oct. 5, 2009, 03:48 PM
I think we're all missing the point here. Somewhere out there is a horse matching the OP's mare still being hacked excessively! Somebody do something!

I did wonder if someone had mistaken her for another grey, but Ella's rather distinctive looking. I mean, how many rose grey overgrown Connemara crosses with a Christmas tree on their butt are there?

I think the current rule regarding abuse of horse covers situations where a horse is truly distressed and pushed beyond its limits, and while I haven't seen that at an event, I have seen situations that approach it in the warmup at dressage shows. But I guess my underlying question is what the best way to respond would be if approached by a TD for this or some other unclear situation. Ask them politely what rule is at issue? Can you ask them who reported something? If you feel the TD is being unreasonable or a complaint is malicious or unfounded, what recourse do you have? Here I had an easy answer, because my mare had been standing around in her stall, but I can easily see a situation where I would hack a young horse around for over an hour to get them used to the environment.

retreadeventer
Oct. 5, 2009, 04:09 PM
Wow, Vali, I feel for you because I think you've been wronged. I am glad you posted, because if it ever happened to me I would be instantly messed up! I love my horse and try very hard to do everything for him to make his day with me at an event good for him. What we do is hard for our horses sometimes. I know that. I am still working on how to get the best dressage warmup under his belt and I've been competing him 8 years! This is a very good warning for me, to expect a "busybody" to say something sometime and be prepared when it happens. Eventing is changing. I think what happened to you might happen again. I have lots of evidence it will.

There was NOT grounds for the official to approach you IMO based on what you've said.
HOWEVER.....This was clearly an unofficial competition so you would have to see what the rules said on whatever entry blank you filled out to compete, but guessing they'd have said, "we will follow usea rules where practical" or something along those lines, with management having final say, and if the "unofficial" TD on the grounds was acting on behalf of management, I guess your beef would be with them.
That makes whatever the TD did officially unofficial...doesn't help your feelings any, tho.

vali
Oct. 5, 2009, 04:19 PM
Well, not to exhaust an overworked thread, but the TD identified herself as the TD for the recognized horse trial, not the schooling show, and she was acting in that capacity. Officially the jurisdiction of the TD starts at 3 pm the day before the horse trials, so she had been "on duty" for an hour when she approached me. The informal schooling show had no entry forms, you just show up and sign up for a time slot, but it's run by the event organizers and on the horse trials grounds.

Falconfree
Oct. 5, 2009, 04:28 PM
I have to admit that my elation was marred slightly by being followed around by a lady with a cup on a stick for an hour. She stood around and whistled at my mare, although I pointed out that as a Connemara cross she never was on the track and taught the pee on command signal. The drug tester eventually gave up and went away to find a more cooperative horse, since my mare is a bit shy about peeing around strangers.

That gave me the most hilarious mental image of a frustrated lady whistling over and over at your horse while waving around a cup on a stick. :lol:

I agree that the TD didn't necessarily have to approach you if your horse was obviously not in distress. That would definitely not be a good feeling, but at least you can feel a little better knowing that the TD was looking out for the horses.

Janet
Oct. 5, 2009, 04:51 PM
If you feel the TD is being unreasonable or a complaint is malicious or unfounded, what recourse do you have? The USEF has an evaluation form for licensed officials. You can use it to report either something good or something bad about an official.

More immediately, you can file an appeal (obviously not needed in this case). Any actual decisions about penalties would require action by the PoGJ, not just the TD.

scubed
Oct. 6, 2009, 01:20 PM
Interestingly, I was just looking at the Warning Card Guidelines, which say this:


While not limited to the following, a Warning Card could be considered for the following circumstances. This would normally be after the alleged offender has been personally spoken to by the steward or technical delegate but repeats the violation:
• Poor sportsmanship: losing temper, being belligerent, using foul language, or acting in a rude manner towards officials, other competitors or to staff/management to a lesser degree not warranting a charge.
• Not following local rules of the competition such as smoking, leash laws, manure disposal, use of golf carts.
• Excessive schooling that is not to the point of being considered abuse; shaking of whips or other objects outside or inside the ring; electronic communication violations.
• Minor instances of illegal equipment and whips in the schooling areas.
• Minor instances of illegal schooling jumps

So, it does include excessive schooling that is not to the point of being considered abuse (though I still don't think this really appears in the rules)

LLDM
Oct. 6, 2009, 02:03 PM
Interestingly, I was just looking at the Warning Card Guidelines, which say this:


• Excessive schooling that is not to the point of being considered abuse;

So, it does include excessive schooling that is not to the point of being considered abuse (though I still don't think this really appears in the rules)

Thanks for posting this Scubed. It brings up some interesting points! It seems that Warning Cards are, among other things, a more permanent version of a verbal warning.

So, was the OP verbally warned or not? There seems to be a big difference a TD checking a situation out and actually issuing a verbal warning. Maybe I am wrong, but it doesn't sound like the TD was not particularly clear about this with the OP. How was she to know if she should immediately cease and desist her warm-up upon penalty of the Warning Card or if the TD was completely satisfied with the condition of her horse and the conduct of her riding?

I know this stuff isn't easy - on any side of it. But I do think discussions like this are valuable to sorting things out.

SCFarm

pixietrix
Oct. 6, 2009, 02:25 PM
:eek want to know your secret! We are near enough to Cornell ( 2 hours) that we get all of the Area 1 drug testing done in our back yard so that

a) they don't have to get up early, they sleep in, drive out to Geneseo, oh say, around lunchtime, descend on the lower level riders ( the upper levels are long finished) & take all their samples from those drugged-up Novice horses.

b) they don't have to go to more than 2 events, they test about 15 horses at each Horse Trial to get their quota for the year.

A little cynical, am I?? You bet, I am tired of winning the lottery & the testers wonder why my horses won't pee for them ( they like their stalls at home, what can I say, I ship in to these events). But they have never given up, either given my horses a shot of Lasix after waiting around for an hour or so for a pee that isn't going to happen & or ended up taking blood...I ride multiple horses at these events so I guess my odds are better than most that I will get the nod, but WHAT a pain. I can't believe there is not a someone supervising the system that requires a certain number of upper level horses to be tested....anyone know anything about this?

Sorry to derail the thread, just ranting.

vali
Oct. 6, 2009, 06:57 PM
No, the TD did not warn me, I think she was satisfied by both Ella's condition (not sweaty, not distressed) and my statement that she had been hanging out in her stall until 20 minutes before the test. If she had been more concerned there were other people both in the warm-up and back at the barn who could confirm that I hadn't been riding her in between the two schooling rounds, but I assume she believed me since she didn't check with any of the people I said she could check with. But that is very interesting about the warning cards, I've never heard or seen of such a thing. Where do you get copies of them, and are they posted anywhere in the rulebook or on the USEA website? I certainly have had horses that benefited from a long warm-up, although most of it would be spent walking to relax before starting to really work, but I've never heard of "excessive schooling" before. My old horse had done Intermediate and often benefited from getting worked twice before dressage, but he also was naturally very fit and keen. Is that now prohibited as well?

With respect to the drug testing, I've never gotten tested before, but I was almost wondering if I was selected because Ella is so much calmer now than she was at the beginning of the season. They claim it's random, but you never know and I've never gotten selected before. She was very green when I got her, and at Twin Rivers in April she was quite awful in the warmup, spinning, running sideways, and generally being a young mare in season who was overwhelmed with the situation. She was good in show jumping and out on the cross country course, but quite bad in both the dressage ring and the warmups. This past weekend she was very relaxed in the warm-up, although of course she got more lively and whinnied at the course as we got to the start box, which I thought was cute. I could have warned the drug tester that she's shy about peeing around people, but then they probably would have thought I was trying to discourage them.

JSwan
Oct. 6, 2009, 07:02 PM
Ridiculous. But this is the 21st century, where a 3 hour ride is considered a big deal by lots of riders.


Uh oh. We hunt up to 4 hours and my horse has plenty of gas left in the engine when hacking back to the trailers.

I hunt 2-3 days a week and we've got horses in their 20's in the field.

People need to get a freakin' grip on reality.

TXnGA
Oct. 7, 2009, 05:38 PM
The USEF has an evaluation form for licensed officials. You can use it to report either something good or something bad about an official.

More immediately, you can file an appeal (obviously not needed in this case). Any actual decisions about penalties would require action by the PoGJ, not just the TD.

You can not appeal an abuse of horse penalty, or when dangerous riding has been penalized.

GotSpots
Oct. 7, 2009, 06:45 PM
With respect to the drug testing, I've never gotten tested before, but I was almost wondering if I was selected because Ella is so much calmer now than she was at the beginning of the season. They claim it's random, but you never know and I've never gotten selected before. I can just about guarantee you that no one out there picks a horse to drug test based on how it was earlier in the season - there's just not the process in place to track whether a particular horse was calm at an earlier event or wild early in the season. (If there was, I had some who liked to show their bellybuttons to the dressage judge at various events who would have been prime candidates). Drug testing is random (they might say we'll take the horses who place 1st, 7th, and 10th, or they might say we'll take every 9th horse to go in the ring, or whatever), and sooner or later everyone gets picked.

And no, it's not prohibited to ride a horse once or twice before dressage - in fact, most folks do a "pre-ride" or two at the upper levels, particularly at a three day. Heck, at Plantation, I rode my (snorting, cantering sideways) preliminary beast down the hill and across the road, pre-rode for my dressage, hacked back up the hill (still cantering sideways), changed and braided him, got back on and went down again (now bucking in place because there were horses JUMPING near him), did my dressage test, came back up (same), put on jump tack, went down again for stadium (still bouncing up and down), and hacked back up (you guessed it). This is what happens when horses get fit. And when an experienced campaigner has to hack past the XC course. Only comment I got from an official was one who looked over and grinned at me and said "I bet you're glad you don't have to lead him."

Honestly, from everything you've posted, I think you're reading WAY too much into it. Someone, apparently wrongly, thought your horse had been being drilled too much, s/he raised a question to an official who wandered out, quickly realized that the question was based on misinformation and there wasn't an issue here and left. You got tagged for a random drug screen. Both happen. Both are in the best interest of the horse.

west5
Oct. 7, 2009, 07:08 PM
Uh oh. We hunt up to 4 hours and my horse has plenty of gas left in the engine when hacking back to the trailers.

I hunt 2-3 days a week and we've got horses in their 20's in the field.

People need to get a freakin' grip on reality.

I'm with J Swan on this one too.
My horse is a 19 year old super duper fit sound fox hunter.
If I get off after anything less than an hour of riding (which I often do) he always give me a look that expresses "Is there a problem? When are we going to do the rest of our ride?"

Heck, next thing you know they are going to come into my barn and give me some sort of violation for keeping my horse in the cross ties too long.
I'm a verrrrry slooooowww groomer.
My saint of a cranky horse will tolerate anything for "mom" as he gets fidgety after 5 minutes for any one else :)

I can't decide if this thread is funny or depressing.

wanderlust
Oct. 7, 2009, 08:27 PM
With respect to the drug testing, I've never gotten tested before, but I was almost wondering if I was selected because Ella is so much calmer now than she was at the beginning of the season. They claim it's random, but you never know and I've never gotten selected before. One of my horses was selected after nearly bucking my ass off in the show jumping. Seemed awfully random to me!

SevenDogs
Oct. 7, 2009, 11:58 PM
Honestly, from everything you've posted, I think you're reading WAY too much into it. Someone, apparently wrongly, thought your horse had been being drilled too much, s/he raised a question to an official who wandered out, quickly realized that the question was based on misinformation and there wasn't an issue here and left. You got tagged for a random drug screen. Both happen. Both are in the best interest of the horse.

Agree 110%.

Grataan
Oct. 8, 2009, 11:33 AM
Good grief, during summertime my kids NEVER GOT OFF their ponies; I've seen them eat lunch and then dinner on them.

Mouse is still going strong, teaching generations of new kids, at age 20+. Doesn't seem to have hurt him too much.
My mom packed a PBJ for me, and one for Susie. There'd be carrot sticks and pretzels for both of us too.

I disagree that there shouldn't be some sort of fine or fee for filing a protest. It doesn't have to be hundreds of dollars but it should be enough money that someone thinks "is this abuse?" before signing that check.