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View Full Version : It's Official Melanie Smith Taylor splits from EAP



Release First
Nov. 21, 2011, 06:34 PM
This is not a shock but it is such a loss.

http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/taylor-and-bower-split-eap

M. O'Connor
Nov. 21, 2011, 08:44 PM
:no: A real shame.

Tommyknockers
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
That is regrettable. Close minded people can ruin it for many...seems to be a common occurrance lately even on this little bb.

Peggy
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
So we give up Melanie and Mindy for an emphasis on stable management that includes how to take a bridle apart and put it back together?!? Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.

forward ride
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:57 PM
Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.

Although the program, for the kids competing, will not be the same without her, it's actually really nice to see someone taking a stand for what (and who) they believe in. Tough decision, but good for her.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 21, 2011, 09:58 PM
From what I understand,this article accurately portrays the outcome of several months of discussions.

Of course, in any situation like this, there are a lot of back room poilitcs going on -- but they were not appropriate for a COTH article.

The saddest part is that the people making this decision had never come out to a clinic to see the horsemanship section. They had never talked to any of the kids or their parents about the benefit and knowledge gained from this portion of their learning curve.

I know that Melanie feels very strongly about this program and I bet she will find a way to make it available to kids who can use it to round out their equine education.

-- As an aside --Does the USHJA EAP really need to spend its money having a clinician teach kids how to put a bridle together? I learned that in Pony Club. We were given all the pieces and told to put it back together. So we did.

ALLIGORY
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:04 PM
I think it is telling that the members of the committee could not be persuaded to WATCH one of the sessions to decide the value of the clinicians. I would love to soundly thrash everyone who chose to eliminate the fundamentals of horsemanship that this program spearheaded. What a waste of money and energy .... back to your regular programming of mediocrity and compartmentalizing American riders as unskilled, pampered by-products of the "system".

justathought
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:11 PM
very sad

Atlas Shrugged
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:14 PM
This is unbelievable! Tragic!! I have watched these clinics at Westbrook Hunt Club and know many of the kids who make it to the finals... We are all in awe of the top-notch training methods.

jonesy
Nov. 22, 2011, 12:03 AM
This is no surprise. Nothing like a good relationship being sabotaged by glaring egos of the USHJA all wanting a tap of the glory without one iota of effort. They banked on all MST's drive and hard work and throw away what defined the program from all else. Took from what Mindy Bower brought to the table because they simply don't understand that you can toss away drugs for good horsemanship. Good job William Moroney in tossing away something special for USHJA. I love the quote of Sally Ike saying they will get the "best of the best" clinicians when they had the best a GOLD medalist and her great team of affiliates like Allen, Alfano, Shuford and the gang!!!!!. What a slap in the face to MST for what she gave to the program emotionally, financially and physically. She was way too good for that group of ego thrillers. They were lucky to have her and I hope she is glad to look at them in the rearview mirror. Let them have it and the program. They can't take away from the experiences that have already occurred but I highly doubt 2012 or thereafter will have any resemblance to the past.

Someone please tell me where MST and Mindy Bower will be next because that is where I want to be and I am sure I speak for many others.

Rel6
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:45 AM
This annoys me. The USHJA is basically saying that since their participants don't know to look for heat or swelling in a leg or how to put a bridle back together that they now need to dumb down their program.

There is an easier solution...take more qualified applicants! It would be a strong move for a "grassroots" programs to say okay, we know you can all jump 3'6'', but we want people who have the horsemanship to back it up.

Not sure how you would test for that on an application though. I think its embarrassing that there are 3'6'' and 4' riders out there who can't put their horses bridle back together.

poltroon
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:39 AM
So we give up Melanie and Mindy for an emphasis on stable management that includes how to take a bridle apart and put it back together?!? Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.

This makes no sense to me. If this is a serious concern, the answer is easy: add it as one of the equitation tests judges can choose from. Certainly there is no shortage of expertise in every backwater of our nation (including my own!) on this particular topic.

I promise you that within a week, every American child rider on the circuit will be able to do it.

That a committee would cut a clinician that Taylor obviously advocated for with great vehemence without even bothering to go observe is shameful.

meupatdoes
Nov. 22, 2011, 04:59 AM
Jesus Christ.

If these kids can't figure out how to put a bridle together from, I don't know, looking at the Dover catalog and putting two and two together, ...I don't even.

I always thought it was ridiculous that the stewardess on the plane shows everyone how to fasten and unfasten the seatbelt but apparently some people need help with buckles.


Probably advanced concepts like, 'leading,' 'respect for space,' 'teaching emotional control,' 'timing,' and 'feel' are waaayy over doing it. No wonder half the hunter world thinks "trailer loading" is some mysterious skill you need a really special trainer for, and having a horse stand in the grooming stall with no halter never fails to have someone ask "HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!" Magic!

Better to just ace it and use a lip chain if necessary.
If they can figure out how to snap the shank to the halter.

meupatdoes
Nov. 22, 2011, 08:02 AM
Not sure how you would test for that on an application though. I think its embarrassing that there are 3'6'' and 4' riders out there who can't put their horses bridle back together.

Have the applicant send in a 10 minute video.
Including:

-haltering horse in stall (with horse coming to handler and not the other way around)
-groundtying horse in aisle or grooming stall
-basic demonstration on ground tied horse of curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, rag and hoof pick inclusive of polite foot lifting behavior and horse holding the tie and foor-footed no matter if handler is brushing a hind leg or an ear
-putting saddle on horse while horse holds ground tie
-putting a bridle together (horse can wait politely on ground tie in the meantime)
-then putting bridle on horse (including polite head lowering)

I think the above would already severely limit the applicant pool (after all, it's tricky putting them bridles together), but if you want to get really hilarious, add a requirement that the applicant demonstrate the proper application of polo wraps and standing wraps. Video judges can keep an eye out to see if the applicant performs the simple, instinctive task of slip-knotting the tail to get it out of the way before reaching down to do the back legs -if they are sitting there clumsily moving the tail out of the way with each wrap or fumble around with the slip knot you know they don't actually do this too often.

Demonstration of IV injections, making and applying a sugardine hoof pack to a hypothetical abscess, and self loading onto the trailer mean you get to go straight to teaching the clinic since USHJA has decided to make everyone else throw up their hands and leave.

pm59
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:02 AM
Have the applicant send in a 10 minute video.
Including:

-haltering horse in stall (with horse coming to handler and not the other way around)
-groundtying horse in aisle or grooming stall
-basic demonstration on ground tied horse of curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, rag and hoof pick inclusive of polite foot lifting behavior and horse holding the tie and foor-footed no matter if handler is brushing a hind leg or an ear
-putting saddle on horse while horse holds ground tie
-putting a bridle together (horse can wait politely on ground tie in the meantime)
-then putting bridle on horse (including polite head lowering)

I think the above would already severely limit the applicant pool (after all, it's tricky putting them bridles together), but if you want to get really hilarious, add a requirement that the applicant demonstrate the proper application of polo wraps and standing wraps. Video judges can keep an eye out to see if the applicant performs the simple, instinctive task of slip-knotting the tail to get it out of the way before reaching down to do the back legs -if they are sitting there clumsily moving the tail out of the way with each wrap or fumble around with the slip knot you know they don't actually do this too often.

Demonstration of IV injections, making and applying a sugardine hoof pack to a hypothetical abscess, and self loading onto the trailer mean you get to go straight to teaching the clinic since USHJA has decided to make everyone else throw up their hands and leave.

This would be all well and good except I know several 8-10yr olds who would be teaching this part of the clinic ( not sure they are jumping 3'6" -4' lol) and I doubt anyone would listen to them!!!

ETA: my point being that kids who are really truly going to be the next trainers in our sport are learning and doing these things from the time they are LITTLE! They seek out the knowledge, they bug trainers or grooms to teach them, they spend hours being a "barn rat" soaking up knowledge like a bucket of beet pulp ( and know they what beet pulp is and what its used for) adding this to the EAP program does just what another poster suggests, it dumbs down the program and then you are no longer getting the applicants who this program was designed for! It is just an extended form of Pony Club ( I have nothing against pony club I think they do an excellent job of teaching horsemanship/stable management to younger kids). Its sad, IMO USHJA serves very little purpose expect to charge us higher fees.

pds
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:42 AM
Just another example of how F'd up the USHJA is.

fordtraktor
Nov. 22, 2011, 10:00 AM
Something tells me this is *not* at all the full story. This must be the "approved for public consumption" version.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 22, 2011, 10:04 AM
Let's get down to brass tacks. I am taking the following from various private messages I received and other chatter at horse shows. If I am wrong I am certain someone will correct me.

First, let me qualify that I am a big MST fan after watching her ride during her career, auditing clinics and some EAP sessions. How about that? I actually audited EAP sessions and I had no kids participating but the committee members never found their way to watch in three years. I have also studied what Mindy Bower teaches and I believe it works. Bill Moroney has not been to ONE session EVER!!!!

From what I understand, it was MST this year who suggested to USHJA to merge levels 1 and 2 into one 4 day program to allow the riders more time with the clinicians and increase the horsemanship component. She wanted 240 kids to get the benefit of groundwork as opposed to just 60-70 riders at level 2. She didn't like the winners and losers concept. By doing this the riders would get more time meeting each other; more time in the saddle and with horsemanship/groundwork (and some real stable management sans bridle making 101). By doing so the cost to the USHJA would have decreased and the cost to riders paying for one weekend as opposed to two would have decreased considerably.

Then someone stepped up and offered their facility to host training camps with a 4 days on and one day off rotation for kids to fly into one place with just their saddles and have the horses already there for use as approved by MST and other professionals for the 3'6". This meant the kids could concentrate on learning new horses and riding. The cost to the kids for EVERYTHING (entry fee, horse, supplies, stalls, feed for horses, food, etc) would have been about $1,500 for 4 days WITHOUT a contribution from the USHJA and before sponsors were sought. That means with sponsors the price would have only gone down. Zones could have sponsored some riders with the Zone money that is up for grabs. How about that for making the program pay for itself.

But the USHJA said NO to that proposal because they felt the USHJA needed presence in different zones to get the USHJA name out to the horse community.....(Hello USHJA everyone has to be a member so how is that for name recognition, but whatever). Yes there was some concern about kids riding their own horses but truth is at that level they should be able to learn and take back to their horses the concepts. They could have gone to different locations each year for the training camp if they wanted movement.

So despite saying NO they managed to take from the suggestion and call it their own.

So the USHJA will charge kids $100 for the application, $600 or so for the entry fee, kids pay host site $300-$400 for a stall and shavings, pay to trailer their horses 5 plus hours if not more (or lease a horse) plus all the supplies to get there. The USHJA still has a shortage and must contribute to the clinician costs and other fees. So kids will pay more than the $1,500 to get there and the USHJA contributing more (although the overall cost of the program would go down from previous years). But they said no to the other suggestions for the program to actually pay for itself.

So as a big thank you for MST providing an option for the program to pay for itself, they drop horsemanship, add stupid parts of stable management and tell her we are getting new clinicians. As Ike said in her quote they will get "the best of the best" and now they have a "real" curriculum. Well if she attended the last three years she would have seen the real curriculum hard at work not what someone wrote sitting at her desk.

Last week the USHJA Shelby French posted minutes thanking Sally Ike for HER :lol:hard work and the new clinicians will be Karen Healey :eek:(an EAP committee member who did nothing all these years), Chris Kappler, Anne Kursinski, and Candace King. Stable managers Carol Thompson and Karen Golding.

Good luck to the USHJA in their future efforts and the rubber boot mentality.

Darden
Nov. 22, 2011, 11:11 AM
I don't have a dog in the fight but wanted to thank Melanie for all her hard work and dedication trying to better our sport. It's heartbreaking to see a volunteer (never mind a volunteer with a gold medal) be so underappreciated.

BAC
Nov. 22, 2011, 12:19 PM
Although I am sure there is more to this than what we are reading, its still a great loss to the program without MST. Interesting to see if those others, who claim they will resign in support of Melanie, actually do so.

How can kids at this level not know how to put a bridle together?

I guess since this is USHJA we shouldn't be surprised that no one even bothered to watch one of the horsemanship ground sessions before cutting it from the program.

Rel6
Nov. 22, 2011, 12:34 PM
Something tells me this is *not* at all the full story. This must be the "approved for public consumption" version.

Yea, I got that feeling too.

RumoursFollow
Nov. 22, 2011, 12:59 PM
I was lucky to have a kid have the opportunity to participate in EAP this year and was able to audit for the weekend. I'm glad to have been a part of it while Melanie had a hand in it. She was a tough cookie and I'm not at all surprised that she stood up for what she thought was right. That's too bad.

trubandloki
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:26 PM
So we give up Melanie and Mindy for an emphasis on stable management that includes how to take a bridle apart and put it back together?!?

What makes this extra funny is like has been pointed out, this is the 'approved for the public' version and the best thing they could come up with as an example of what these young people needed more classes on was putting a bridle together. Really? You could not put all your brains together and think of an example that was at least believable?

Kpolistile
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:28 PM
I am new to this forum and just joined to provide a response to the Taylor/Bower article and this thread. I, like Melanie Taylor, stand up for what I believe in and support the ideals I follow. I had an exchange with Mr. Moroney back in September about EAP and some issues that creeped up. There is no reason to dwell on the factors that caused that exchange. Water under the bridge.

What is pertinent is that Mr. Moroney felt the need to send me a three page missive defending the USHJA and actions of his staff and committee and spinning the purpose of my letter. I was noting Taylor being a great influence on riders and a wonderful clinician and wanted him to know how much she was appreciated by our family and my grand-daughter.

Although I had not raised the issue, he wanted to tell me Taylor was taken from the Chair position she held for EAP since its inception in 2009 (and Mindy Bower too as a regular committee member) and made non-voting advisors because they were being paid for some of their clinician services and they viewed this as a potential conflict for a non-profit organization. (Remember I never raised this issue and found it strange he provided it). Oddly no other committee member since 2009 was moved around despite them teaching clinics for EAP and being paid (not to mention other committee members similarly situated in the USHJA unrelated to EAP). I found his logic flawed since I have numerous non-profit organizations. The writing on the wall that there was more to the story.

In the next paragraph he explains how the program will change because of financial constraints of USHJA because the program won't pay for itself but failed to mention what someone posted above about a proposed plan for the program to cover itself. Sadly I wished I knew sponsors would be sought because my company would have stepped up with a sizeable donation to support Taylor and what I perceived to be her vision. The program as she taught it was invaluable.

In light of explanations he gave me, it was evident that because Taylor and Bower didn't agree with he and Shelby French they were being written out of the program. That was my perception and my perception is my reality.

He encouraged me to wait and see the amazing improvements coming in 2012. Seriously taking a bridle apart, putting it together and making it fit properly is the new improvement? Checking legs for heat and thickness and bumps taught by a non-vet makes it stable management?

I now see months later that what I perceived to be the case came to fruition. I really wished it wasn't so.

What I want to share with each of you is that many of the committee members responded to me personally back in September and advised me that in light of Mr. Moroney's response, which they too received, and failure to stand up for Taylor and Bower, that they intended to resign after Nationals. So to the person above who questioned if they really would resign, I think so.

I hope my explanation does not confuse people but it is important to know this was a design by Moroney in my personal opinion or someone at his direction.

sunshinestate
Nov. 22, 2011, 06:37 PM
The EAP Program really was something different offered for the riders. Given what people have written above it seems the USHJA is using the program for a different agenda. Taylor, Bower, and the others who supported Taylor on the committee didn't stand a chance when the USHJA Board of Directors are placed by Bill Moroney to the EAP Committee.

Chrystine Tauber is a USHJA Board of Director and EAP Committee member

Candace King is a Board of Director and NEW 2012 Clinician

Mary Babick is a Board of Director and EAP committee member doing the horsemanship part

Julie Winkel is a Board of Director and EAP committee member and past and future EAP clinician

Karen Healey EAP Committee member and 2012 Clinician

Doesn't anyone find this a bit incestuous? Everyone knows if you do not go along with Uncle Bill you are kicked to the curb.

I hope everyone takes a moment of their day to send Bill Moroney an email to Bill2760@aol.com and share their thoughts on what is taking place. I highly doubt it will bring back Melanie Taylor and Mindy Bower and the other committee members due to resign but it will certainly send a message that the membership knows and sees what they are doing and it is inherently wrong!

Maybe Dover should consider pulling their sponsorship if this is the direction the program is going....unless of course they are donating the bridles that will be used for stable management to be taken apart and the stable bandages for wrapping lessons :lol:

Peggy
Nov. 23, 2011, 03:19 AM
What makes this extra funny is like has been pointed out, this is the 'approved for the public' version and the best thing they could come up with as an example of what these young people needed more classes on was putting a bridle together. Really? You could not put all your brains together and think of an example that was at least believable?I think this might be the same crowd that came up with the "plastic helmet and rubber boot crowd" phrase when they were trying to define grassroots for EAP so maybe this was the best they can do.

I do a dynamite take the bridle apart and put it back together session and can even throw in tack cleaning while it's apart, but I would love to see Mindy Bower in action. My trainer came back from the Level 1 EAP last summer and had me trying to move specific legs on the horse in very specific directions. I went to see the Buck movie that night and figured out where it had come from.

Thank you for posting that Kpolistile.

knowthatifly
Nov. 23, 2011, 04:16 AM
Saw Mindy Bower at work at the Young Horse Symposium in 2010 and was so pleased to see the H/J world embrace so called natural horsemanship techniques. Finally I thought. For years I heard misguided ridicule of this realm by the same folks who sent there young horses out to a "cowboy" to be started because they did not know how themselves and had no interest to learn. But not so fast. Those who do not understand the animal behaviorist approach to horse training tend to fear it. Get Moroney and company out to see Buck or Mindy ASAP. Offer them a complimentary set of lessons and then let them decide. Boycott USHJA until then.

As for bridle assembly and leg wrapping and abscess RX, etc, send them to Pony Club or 4-H. It is a heck of alot less expensive and one learns to think on his/her feet. Interesting to find a situation where affluence actually results in a deprivation of education but the H/J world (devoid of general horsemanship) is it.

jonesy
Nov. 23, 2011, 10:02 AM
I sure did miss some posts. Are you saying Twofoxfarm that there was a proposed plan to upgrade the quality of the program and allow more time with clinicians and the plan would pay for itself? I remember over the summer the USHJA folks, Britt McCormick I believe, saying the USHJA was broke and in danger of bankruptcy, and Shelby French posting her responses and minutes that a program must pay for itself to be kept. Well clearly that was put forth and it still wasn't good enough for the time being.

This just goes to show it is not about the kids for the USHJA but USHJA's name recognition throughout the country.

I would really like to know if there is validity to a program being offered months ago that would have taken this burden from the USHJA. The concept noted by TFF above sounds like what Gladstone was years ago as a training house of great talent.

sunshinestate
Nov. 23, 2011, 12:02 PM
Wanting to check facts I see the USHJA IRS form is up for 2009-2010. So they are worried about the EAP program being costly, however, the National Convention for 2009-2010 shows expenses at $326,813.00 to hold the convention; revenue at $66,000 and that the convention draws 350 USHJA members. This calculates to spending $744.00 USHJA dollars per 350 members that came to the convention. Clearly these 350 members pay to attend thus the revenue seems under-reported.

The point is if the USHJA has 40,000 members/$260,000, the USHJA is spending $6.50 of the membership money per member on the National Convention that only reaches 350 members who attend. But they won't contribute towards keeping EAP at the top level that reaches riders, trainers and owners.

How about holding the National Convention in the big empty USHJA building that can certainly hold 350 attendees and have break out sessions in available places in the KY horse park and USEF office and save 1/4 of a million dollars for better use, like EAP!

When will people wake up and start questioning how money is spent.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 23, 2011, 12:40 PM
Saw Mindy Bower at work at the Young Horse Symposium in 2010 and was so pleased to see the H/J world embrace so called natural horsemanship techniques. Finally I thought. For years I heard misguided ridicule of this realm by the same folks who sent there young horses out to a "cowboy" to be started because they did not know how themselves and had no interest to learn. But not so fast. Those who do not understand the animal behaviorist approach to horse training tend to fear it. Get Moroney and company out to see Buck or Mindy ASAP. Offer them a complimentary set of lessons and then let them decide. Boycott USHJA until then.

Aaahhhhh, but there is (one of) the rubs. Moroney (and Shelby) have never gone to an EAP session. Nope. Not even the finals. Strange that Moroney can have his picture taken at hunter finals and The National and IHSA finals. But for him to go to the EAP Finals? A program that is the centerpiece of emerging atheletes under his auspices and administration?

Boggles the mind.

Well, how about sending Shelby French, his right hand lady. No? Never been to an EAP finals either? Too busy preparing for the USHJA convention which cost the USHJA $326,813 to put on last year and had 350 attendees?' That's a lot of natural horsemanship clinics.

Merely holding it in Lexington, where they already are (and have the USEF offices nearby), instead of flying to Southern (expensive) locales and paying for conference rooms and convention facilities would have cut a sizable % off that expense.

Another example of spending money like water at the top levels while leaving the membership parched for knowledge because there is nothing left in the budget.

I think in Congress, it's called a boondoggle.:cool:


EDITED to add: Sorry SunshineState, I was writing as you were posting. I had not read your post. But, great minds and all that. Someday we must meet. -- I see we both got our numbers off their financial statement. Interesting reading if anyone else wants to take a glance.

poltroon
Nov. 23, 2011, 02:50 PM
I think some serious thought needs to go into the real purpose of those conventions. Even when they have been local to me, the cost has been too high for me to choose to attend. I suspect flying people into Lexington is cheaper, plus, people get to visit Lexington.

BeeHoney
Nov. 23, 2011, 03:56 PM
This is all very sad and I greatly appreciate those who know some details taking the time to post and share that information.

Cacique
Nov. 23, 2011, 04:24 PM
The quote about EAP kids not knowing how to take a bridle apart or run a hand down a leg as a justification for getting rid of the groundwork component is ridiculous. If that is what they need to be teaching, they aren't choosing the right riders. Groundwork is so critical and after working with a trainer who actually did it, my abilities in and out of the saddle were overwhelmingly affected. So small-minded and misguided!

Coreene
Nov. 23, 2011, 05:23 PM
Thank you everyone who took the time to explain the details. How very sad this is.

Dinah-do
Nov. 23, 2011, 05:47 PM
Wow - how times have changed. 15 to 20 years ago any one who walked into a H/J barn with a rope halter would have been run out of the barn by a pack of Jack Russell Terriers. There is no shortage of NH instructors in North America. Hop over the border to Western Canada. No shortage here. Some are good and some not so good. There are also some amazing young horse riders and generally all around horseman working horses without a lot of fanfare on farms from coast to coast. Some are wonderful working horses in long lines. Their skills are just as important as NH exercises. Many of these good horseman are getting old - their lifetime skills hopefully will be passed on to the next generation and generations after that. . What I am trying to say is that there are are others out there to learn from. When young riders reach the point in their careers where they seek out new skills they will find them. NH clinics are cheap compared to H/J clinics - let these kids get there on their own. Let them find their own niche. Horses are a lifetime of learning. I think basic stable management is pretty damned important and should be a priority. Flame away JMHO.

poltroon
Nov. 23, 2011, 06:02 PM
20 years ago, you're right, no one would have used a rope halter. We used chains.

You know what? The rope halters are better for most of the jobs that a chain is used for.

If you yet haven't stolen an idea or technique from another discipline, then you still have a lot to learn.

Dinah-do
Nov. 23, 2011, 07:08 PM
What's your point?. Everything I know I've learned from someone - including mistakes I've made myself. This AM one horse in my barn was led out with a rope halter - another with a leather halter and a chain over his nose. Very different horses. What is most important to me is what keeps them healthy, happy, sound and alive. That is management. Although I do love that more and more owners are embracing group turnout.

JustJump
Nov. 23, 2011, 07:45 PM
Absolutely mind boggling what USHJA has been able to get away with since its inception; Marony/French now at it again.

Are they both appointed for life?

What is IN that Kool-Aid and how did they get so many to drink it?

maddyh
Nov. 24, 2011, 01:41 AM
My daughter was fortunate enough to have participated in EAP for the last three years. I must note that Bill Moroney was in attendance in Middleburg in 2009.
I am completely discouraged by the resignation of Melanie Smith Taylor. She was the heart and soul of this program. I find it difficult to imagine how it can possibly survive without her.
My daughter learned so much at each and every EAP session. she couldn't believe she got to ride with Melanie and Jeff Cook and Eliza Shuford.... but she couldn't stop talking about what she learned from Mindy Bower. Daughter loves to work with young horses and Mindy's sessions taught her so much.
EAP shouldn't be like Pony Club or 4H...these riders should know how to put a bridle together...WTH?

M. O'Connor
Nov. 24, 2011, 08:50 AM
I am new to this forum and just joined to provide a response to the Taylor/Bower article and this thread. I, like Melanie Taylor, stand up for what I believe in and support the ideals I follow. I had an exchange with Mr. Moroney back in September about EAP and some issues that creeped up. There is no reason to dwell on the factors that caused that exchange. Water under the bridge.

What is pertinent is that Mr. Moroney felt the need to send me a three page missive defending the USHJA and actions of his staff and committee and spinning the purpose of my letter. I was noting Taylor being a great influence on riders and a wonderful clinician and wanted him to know how much she was appreciated by our family and my grand-daughter.

Although I had not raised the issue, he wanted to tell me Taylor was taken from the Chair position she held for EAP since its inception in 2009 (and Mindy Bower too as a regular committee member) and made non-voting advisors because they were being paid for some of their clinician services and they viewed this as a potential conflict for a non-profit organization. (Remember I never raised this issue and found it strange he provided it). Oddly no other committee member since 2009 was moved around despite them teaching clinics for EAP and being paid (not to mention other committee members similarly situated in the USHJA unrelated to EAP). I found his logic flawed since I have numerous non-profit organizations. The writing on the wall that there was more to the story.

In the next paragraph he explains how the program will change because of financial constraints of USHJA because the program won't pay for itself but failed to mention what someone posted above about a proposed plan for the program to cover itself. Sadly I wished I knew sponsors would be sought because my company would have stepped up with a sizeable donation to support Taylor and what I perceived to be her vision. The program as she taught it was invaluable.

In light of explanations he gave me, it was evident that because Taylor and Bower didn't agree with he and Shelby French they were being written out of the program. That was my perception and my perception is my reality.

He encouraged me to wait and see the amazing improvements coming in 2012. Seriously taking a bridle apart, putting it together and making it fit properly is the new improvement? Checking legs for heat and thickness and bumps taught by a non-vet makes it stable management?

I now see months later that what I perceived to be the case came to fruition. I really wished it wasn't so.

What I want to share with each of you is that many of the committee members responded to me personally back in September and advised me that in light of Mr. Moroney's response, which they too received, and failure to stand up for Taylor and Bower, that they intended to resign after Nationals. So to the person above who questioned if they really would resign, I think so.

I hope my explanation does not confuse people but it is important to know this was a design by Moroney in my personal opinion or someone at his direction.

So, as has happened before, there is the 'agenda' that we know about, and then there is the 'agenda' that we don't.

And obviously has been in the works for quite awhile in closed committee at the executive level, without any thought to enlightening those in the trenches or soliciting their input.

I am sorry that Sally Ike, whom I have the utmost respect for, is the public face of the committee's justification for a course of action that, like so many at USJHA, is cloaked in secrecy until it reaches a point of no return.

Your description of Mr. Moroney's communication is in perfect alignment with replies he has made to me concerning various matters, including several years ago, my pointed inquiry about the summary dissolution of the USHJA's original Planning Committee, which I was a member of; this took place with no advance notice whatsoever, and I have never since been invited to serve on another USHJA committee, though I have periodically expressed an interest and willingness to do so.

As a parent, I've tried to keep my eye on the criteria for acceptance to EAP (a moving target) since it's inception.

For the record, I audited the very first EAP session (Zone 3, at Fox Chase Farm, Middleburg VA); I can't remember what year it was...but I was so impressed by the enthusiasm displayed there by the participants and particularly by Melanie Smith Taylor, a clinician with a huge influence on my riding and approach to horsemanship.

I think I do recall seeing Bill Moroney at that session; in any event, I did speak to him (either during that session, or shortly after in another setting, I can't remember which) about the program in positive terms that I felt at the time weren't completely reciprocated. I found that puzzling, as I thought it was a great concept that offered a wonderful opportunity not just for the riders who moved on in the program, but across the board to every participant.

While the USJHA's stated intention is to replace Melanie Smith-Taylor with 'comparable' clinicians, it's my opinion that she is in fact not replaceable in the context that matters most to the riders whom EAP is meant to help.

The most important quality that she brings to the arena, aside from her expertise, is empathy. I mean, come on...last time I read their bios, the suggested alternate clinicians didn't start their riding careers on a pig.

S A McKee
Nov. 24, 2011, 09:04 AM
Wanting to check facts I see the USHJA IRS form is up for 2009-2010. So they are worried about the EAP program being costly, however, the National Convention for 2009-2010 shows expenses at $326,813.00 to hold the convention; revenue at $66,000 and that the convention draws 350 USHJA members. This calculates to spending $744.00 USHJA dollars per 350 members that came to the convention. Clearly these 350 members pay to attend thus the revenue seems under-reported.

The point is if the USHJA has 40,000 members/$260,000, the USHJA is spending $6.50 of the membership money per member on the National Convention that only reaches 350 members who attend. But they won't contribute towards keeping EAP at the top level that reaches riders, trainers and owners.

How about holding the National Convention in the big empty USHJA building that can certainly hold 350 attendees and have break out sessions in available places in the KY horse park and USEF office and save 1/4 of a million dollars for better use, like EAP!

When will people wake up and start questioning how money is spent.

And did you look at the amount they gave away in 'grants' and who they gave it to?

Kpolistile
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:00 AM
Someone asked that i post the exchange. Here it is. I have blocked out a few areas.....

Sent to 9/27/2011

My name is Kathryn Polistile and I am sending this email to the USHJA President, CEO and Emerging Athletes Committee. Unfortunately not the type I enjoy sending.

On Saturday and Sunday I attended the USET Talent Search West Finals at the LA Equestrian Center in Burbank, California to watch my grand-daughter ride. At some point there was a discussion that the National list of riders was posted on the internet. That led to various conversations about EAP throughout the show. I found myself behind a group of ladies that commented on the list chosen and made statements indicating their disapproval and approval of those chosen. They continued the conversation talking in the negative about Ms. Taylor and how they were designing a new program that would be done better and in the spirit of the USHJA and that Ms. Taylor was no longer involved. The one comment heard by myself and my grand-daughter was something about how Shelby masterminded getting rid of Melanie and Melanie never saw it coming. After perusing the USHJA website I came to believe they must have been referring to Shelby French. There were also comments made about Ms. Allen and her unsolicited comments about EAP in a recent Chronicle of the Horse article.

My grand-daughter was visibly upset at the disrespect and comments voiced by these ladies which contained what I perceived to be XXXXXXXXX.

You must understand that I come from a long history of riding in our sport from ponies to the small Grand Prix. West Coast and East Coast. I rode with very well-respected horsemen and women and I attended many indoor shows by invitation. Names like Melanie Smith and Linda Allen were icons to us. I was present in the audience when Ms. Smith accepted her gold medal on the podium in 1984. My grand-daughter knows the respect I hold for someone like her. My grand-daughter watched the 2009 EAP sessions and could not wait to apply. She was a participant in 2010 and 2011. While her application was probably not as strong as others, it meant everything to her that she was accepted. She would have never accomplished as much as she did without EAP and the spark Ms. Taylor provided her. She was never the rider to make Nationals and we knew that thus the announcement at the Talent Search was no disappointment to us. We were please to see XXXXXXXXX be selected. A kind, hardworking, young lady. The disappointment came when my grand-daughter witnessed the cattiness and disrespect for our Olympic Gold Medalist and her idol.

I have no idea what direction the USHJA is going and I look forward to seeing this new revelation or should I say revolution but can state with certainty that we will never participate again in the USHJA EAP or programs and I will make certain that no one from our immediate area attends. These people left me with the untenable task of explaining to my grand-daughter that people can be beyond cruel even to kind hardworking people that are simply trying to leave the horses in a better place.

As a gift we scheduled attending the National EAP session in Illinois for her to watch but have now made the family decision to cancel those plans and spend that money doing something productive and positive.

To Ms. Taylor, you will be forever my idol and hold my respect. My grand-daughter holds you in high regard and will treasure the kind moments you gave her and the endless hours of your teaching and advice. She wishes to be just like you one day and I am honored at her choice. I hope that you will find my reporting of this exchange to this group for what it is-an opportunity for the USHJA to educate its staff and committee members to look around before holding such public discussions of their personal opinions.

To the remainder of the email recipients, I do not wish to have a response. I have angst over sending this since Sunday and I am now placing this in my past. I have purposefully left off my grand-daughter’s name as she does not need any more thoughts of this moment that clouded her talent search weekend.

Kathryn Polistile
Los Angeles, California

Kpolistile
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:03 AM

Moroney response.

September 28, 2011


Ms. Kathryn Polistile
Los Angeles, CA
Email: XXXXXXXXX

Re: Email letter dated September 27, 2011.

Dear Ms. Polistile,

I am in receipt of your letter regarding the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) and the unfortunate experience you and your granddaughter recently encountered at the USEF Talent Search West Finals. You have raised several issues that, while you did not desire a response, need to be addressed.

The first topic is the amendments to the Emerging Athletes Program. The USHJA BOD gives each new program approximately three years to develop to a level where it becomes budget neutral or at the very least, operates at a deficit which is justifiable within the budget and to our membership. The EAP actually touches very few members in comparison to the total membership of over 40,000, but this is somewhat offset by the fact that it is a very visible program that serves as a step in the athlete pipeline to inspire the drive for excellence in potential future international competitors. This balance provides the Board of Directors (BOD) with a justification to approve a deficit budget for this program within a reasonable limit. The EAP budget deficit was $121,661 in 2009, $133,866 in 2010 and is projected to be $73,800 for 2011.

Following the three year analysis of the EAP, the Planning Committee and Board of Directors provided the EAP Committee with the opportunity to either rework the EAP in a manner that would still reach the desired audience and achieve its goals, while also reducing the very large program deficit, or to put the program on hiatus for 2012 to have more time to develop a future plan for the EAP. The Committee chose to investigate options for 2012 which would change the format of the training sessions while achieving the program goals. The EAP Committee returned their recommendation to the Board which has approved it for 2012.

Details of the 2012 EAP will be available on the USHJA website www.ushja.org under the Programs tab once they are finalized. The Committee is confident that, while significant changes had to be made to meet the financial parameters established by the BOD, the 2012 EAP is stronger than ever and will continue to grow and evolve.

In addition to the Committee’s amendments to the program format for 2012, the USHJA’s Independent Auditors have identified that there is a conflict of interest with regards to Ms. Taylor and Ms. Bower, who both receive compensation for their clinician services related to the program. As such, the Independent Auditors have advised the CEO that these individuals should not vote on decisions which could potentially provide them with personal gain. This is standard procedure within a not-for-profit organization and was brought to the attention of the Committee for discussion. The EAP Committee decided that the participation of Ms. Taylor and Ms. Bower has been very beneficial to the program and in order to keep them involved at every level, absent the ability to vote, their status should be amended to Committee “advisor”. Both Ms. Taylor and Ms. Bower were present for this discussion and are aware of the concerns of the Independent Auditor and the decision of the Committee. This change in their status in no way reduces their ability to participate in all aspects of the EAP. It merely provides the necessary separation due to conflict of interest and protects them as well as the organization from any accusations of misconduct.

The second topic concerns the role of Ms. French in the Committee process. The BOD has charged Ms. French, as CEO, with making sure that programs fit within the approved annual budget. In order to fulfill this duty, she informs Committees of issues with regards to their programs and assists them in creating solutions. Part of this process includes stimulating conversation and discussion within the Committee and communicating ideas from the Planning Committee and BOD to help Committees formulate their plans.

Ms. French was not employed by the USHJA when the 2011 budget was created. I personally worked with former Committee liaison Melanie Fransen and EAP Committee leaders Ms. Taylor and Ms. Sally Ike with regards to the 2011 program budget. I agreed to ask the BOD to approve a 2011 deficit budget for EAP with the understanding that the Committee would assist with fundraising efforts to help offset the deficit. While the Committee assisted with a fundraiser in Wellington this past winter, the deficit is still staggering. Sponsorship is very difficult in the current market and this program, while a very important part of our organization, does not impact a great number of our members. Sponsors are attracted to large numbers and this program does not deliver that result. Ms. French has undertaken the monumental task of working with not only the EAP Committee, but also with other Committees who have reached the three-year mark and need to become more focused on the future in order to sustain their program. Ms. French has no agenda to push anyone out of the EAP in any manner. She has followed the instructions of the BOD and facilitated the Committee in their discussions to continue this program.

The final subject is the situation you encountered at the USEF Talent Search West. Unfortunately, people often voice opinions and make comments without knowing the facts and without considering the consequences of their actions. In this case, not only have these individuals questioned the motives of Committee members and USHJA staff, they have also damaged the integrity of the program for you and your granddaughter. This type of gossip is unnecessary and often very destructive and I am disappointed that people are conducting themselves in this manner.

Again, while you did not request a response, your letter contained assumptions you made regarding the EAP, USHJA and its staff which are based on speculation following erroneous comments you overheard at a recent competition. I felt a response was necessary for you to have the correct information regarding the EAP, USHJA and staff involvement in order for you to make decisions for you and your granddaughter. The USHJA is very proud of the Emerging Athletes Program and the opportunities it is providing to young riders throughout the United States.

Sincerely,


William J. Moroney, President

Kpolistile
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:06 AM
Dear Mr. Moroney:

I truly did not want a response because in receiving one I knew it would just anger me more. You are perfect for the position as President for the USHJA as you are a wonderful spin doctor. You conveniently buried at the end of the letter the very heart of the matter with a brush stroke to the specific information provided.

Would it hurt you to add one nice comment about Ms. Taylor to the letter? You address her as if she is just another run of the mill person. You muddied the issues by raising why she and Ms. Bower are now advisors. Who cares? That was not the intended point. Why did you even bring up Ms. Bower? She was not at issue nor did I hear any reference to her at the show grounds. Your letter sounded more like a personal and defensive attack to something that appears much larger and beyond my care or knowledge.

Your response was most unhelpful. You wanted me and my grand-daughter to know Ms. Taylor and Bower get paid to be clinicians? Don’t let this come as a surprise but we certainly know that no one works for free. I guess the other clinicians worked free of charge this year so you choose to highlight these ladies? And the program clinicians next year will offer the new version of EAP free services to assist the program and the USHJA? I believe the old adage comes to mind that you get what you pay for.

May I leave you with some sound business advice. If you had used the USHJA In-Stride Magazine to advise the members that the EAP program was in need of a sponsor to continue the ongoing of the program as it stood you would have found all the sponsors you needed. Shame on you for not using the free magazine space to let members know that sponsorships were needed and why. Lord knows the magazine has been filled with senseless information that some real information might have actually stood out. Instead you wait until now, after the fact, to suggest the budget was the sole culprit of change.

You should also take the time to get to know your subscribers. It would have taken me less than seventy-two hours to cut a business check for the entire cost of the program through our very prosperous business as we are always looking for opportunities to provide charity to youths and receive a tax break. You missed an amazing opportunity because you failed to publically reach out to find those sponsors. I am certain I am not the only one touched by Ms. Taylor’s teaching style and her passion. Who wouldn’t want to sponsor anything she is affiliated with. My purse strings are forever closed to the USHJA. Please go on your way. Try your spin elsewhere because it didn't pass muster with me. Good luck with 2012 EAP.

KP

Kpolistile
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:14 AM
I have now supplied the people who requested the exchange between myself and the USHJA for what it is worth. I think it is important that people read the exchange given what another person said is Moroney's pattern in other areas.

Now that I have myself gone back to read the exchanges I see more than ever that Mr. Moroney blames his Board of Directors for the change.

And to the person that mentioned Ike, and utmost respect, it seems even though she was co-chair she was moved up to chair only position. Guess she did what the boss said and got a reward for it.

For the person who said Taylor is irreplaceable, you are 100% correct. She was so passionate about this program and what has happened is just unexplainable. This is about something bigger than money.

SA i don't know where to see who received grants but as you can see from the above letter it wasn't EAP. Can you tell us who did?

I think I might have to make an appearance at the National Convention and be sure the members present have a true understanding.

M. O'Connor
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:10 PM
The "three-year" pilot program stipulation is most interesting.

One of my exchanges with Mr. Moroney had to do with the summary cancellation of the Hunter Breeding Incentive Fund during its first few months, an action which surprised many members of the community, including some members of the Breeding Committee.

An excerpt of his reply to my letter:

In answer to your questions regarding the decision to cancel the HDIF program, first and foremost, you should clearly understand that this decision was not made by one person or by staff, but resulted from an extensive review of the program during the recent USHJA Planning Committee Retreat followed with additional review by the Officers and consultation with Legal Counsel and other professionals familiar with the administration of HDIF type programs. There was nothing arbitrary about the decision nor was it done without considerable thought and discussion.

Even with the combined experience and expertise of the members of the Breeder’s Committee involved with development of this program, there have been unintended consequences of implementing the HDIF program. Namely, in the eight months of open nominations, the HDIF program has received low subscription support by the breeding community, including a limited number of interested competitions. As a result of the low level of support, problems with the format and structure of the program have been identified which put at risk the long term success and viability of the HDIF program.

As of the date of cancellation, there were thirty-five stallions nominated and thirty-seven young horses nominated to compete in HDIF classes. There were only sixteen competitions which had expressed an interest in holding HDIF classes as part of their events

....[paragraph pertaining to our local area in Zone 2 deleted]....

In regards to HDIF program costs to the USHJA, while on the outside it may appear that some programs are self sustaining, there are costs associated with every program of the USHJA. Often members do not realize the internal program costs which include staff support, allocation of office resources, professional services, awards and much more. In the case of reviewing the HDIF, these internal costs were not a significant component in making this decision as the inherent structural problems and low subscription were of far greater concern to the long term success of the program. Several different scenarios were considered in making this decision, however, after reviewing the other options and the inherent problems with them, it was determined that the best approach was to cancel the current program and facilitate ongoing discussion with other interested parties to develop an alternative which meets the same goals.

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about breeding konws that anything to do with it is a long term proposition--the HDIF was cancelled before one breeding cycle had even elapsed, in its first year, mid-season, before breeders and owners of youngsters and show managers could even get their bearings on this new program, which was rolled out to great fanfare in IN STRIDE just a couple months prior, and without notice to the pertinent committee. So much for the policy of giving new programs 'three years.'

This thread isn't about breeding, obviously, but this example is another in which USJHA decision making has taken place at executive levels, outside the committee tasked with implementing the programs.

juststartingout
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:25 PM
Moroney, "The EAP budget deficit was $121,661 in 2009, $133,866 in 2010 and is projected to be $73,800 for 2011"

These are hardly "staggering" deficis especially for a new program....

As was already said eloquently - many many people would have gladly supported the EAP program as originally designed.

What has happened is a waste --- of talent, of time, and of USHJA credibility....

S A McKee
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:27 PM
.

SA i don't know where to see who received grants but as you can see from the above letter it wasn't EAP. Can you tell us who did?

I think I might have to make an appearance at the National Convention and be sure the members present have a true understanding.

With revenue of a little more than 6 Million they gave a grant of 1.1 Million to the USHJA Foundation. In effect,to themselves.
The 990 for the same period for the USHJA Foundation is not yet on Guidestar's website so no way to see where the money went.
For the preceeding year the Foundation had expenses of around $200K, the bulk of that going to the 'Chicago Hunter Derby' which was run for charity.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:34 PM
KP, I salute you. Last summer I started a thread called, "What has the USHJA done for you recently (or ever)?"

It garnered a lot of interest and even resulted in a Q and A session which was published in the COTH magazine. I was very frustrated because of the spin put on everything, so I started a FB page and a BB, trying to keep the wave of enthusiam for making the USHJA an open and responsive organization, going. My hope was to actually see some benefits accrue to the rank and file (in this case, the adult amateurs who are the backbone of the sport).

Sadly, such a small number of people were ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, that the effort died. But I stand ready to join you in whatever capacity I can be most helpful.

PineTreeFarm
Nov. 24, 2011, 12:36 PM
:


As of the date of cancellation, there were thirty-five stallions nominated and thirty-seven young horses nominated to compete in HDIF classes. There were only sixteen competitions which had expressed an interest in holding HDIF classes as part of their events

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge about breeding konws that anything to do with it is a long term proposition--the HDIF was cancelled before one breeding cycle had even elapsed, in its first year, mid-season, before breeders and owners of youngsters and show managers could even get their bearings on this new program, which was rolled out to great fanfare in IN STRIDE just a couple months prior, and without notice to the pertinent committee. So much for the policy of giving new programs 'three years.'

This thread isn't about breeding, obviously, but this example is another in which USJHA decision making has taken place at executive levels, outside the committee tasked with implementing the programs.

I signed up two horses and had a stallion owner interested in participation for that program and I received a similar email but I was told that the program was under review, stay tuned, there would be something different coming.
Never happened.

As far as shows holding it I think some managers wanted to understand a little more about what to expect as the rules were a bit vague.
I have input into what classes are run at one show series ( 6 shows ) and if I had been able to get real information I'm sure I could have convinced show management to run those classes.

So yes, on this one I sure agree with you. They give this program a few months, not years and didn't stay with it long enough to get an idea of the outcome.

jonesy
Nov. 24, 2011, 07:17 PM
Wow, take one day away from the COTH forum and a trainwreck is well underway. I guess Moroney has some real questions to ask at the time of the convention. Guess no one from EAP committee is getting any of those 600 awards the IRS990 form says they pay millions to provide.

S.A. nice find on granting the affiliate foundation $1.16 million and bitching over a $73,000 program.

Polistile, I think you get COTH year end award for the best call out of Moroney and his croonies. Polistile, how about Moroney steps down, the program goes back to the way it was, and you write that sponsor check. Would you?

In politics when you make an arse of yourself you are called upon to step down. I think Moroney should step down as President at the convention before he does anymore damage. Can't the Board of Directors vote him out or should I say shouldn't they vote him out!

Carry on, this can only get better.

S A McKee
Nov. 24, 2011, 08:01 PM
.

In politics when you make an arse of yourself you are called upon to step down. I think Moroney should step down as President at the convention before he does anymore damage. Can't the Board of Directors vote him out or should I say shouldn't they vote him out!

Carry on, this can only get better.

Doubt the Board of directors would vote him out.
The way their bylaws are structured the President really controls EVERYTHING.

Some examples:
"The President, at the direction of the Executive Committee, shall appoint the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Co-Chairman of all committees except for the Nominating Committee"

The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of USHJA, when it is necessary and in the best interest of USHJA, shall have the authority to act, by majority vote,
between meetings of the Board of Directors on administrative and/or operational matters related to the day to day activities of USHJA and shall act with the same authority and subject to the same limitations as the Board of Directors"

"Vacancies. Except as otherwise noted herein, a vacancy on any committee shall be filled by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee"

"The President may appoint special committees and sub-committees to address specific issues as deemed necessary"

"Following the seating of the Zone Committee, the President, at the direction of the Executive Committee and upon approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint the Chairman and Vice-Chairman from members of the committee"

"Any vacancy on a Zone Committee shall be filled by the President"

"The President may appoint seven additional Senior Active Members who have designated hunter as a primary affiliation in order to balance geographic or constituency interests within the respective task force "

The list goes on. Some of this pretty standard stuff but it makes the USHJA President "Bullet Proof". Nobody can hold any positions of authority unless he picks them. That goes for the CEO too. The USHJA President picks the CEO so no question about loyalty there.

chunky munky
Nov. 24, 2011, 08:32 PM
In politics when you make an arse of yourself you are called upon to step down.

Sorry, but if only this was true. Sometimes in politics it gets you a nomination.

Beenthere
Nov. 24, 2011, 09:08 PM
Chunky Monkey that is quite funny and your probably right but for how long can one person rule the equestrian world as SA McKee pointed out. Does anyone know when the next election is for USHJA President? And by the way, people keep pointing to Moroney as the next USEF president when O'Conner leaves, leaving someone else for USHJA. I sure hope that is not the case. We need some new blood.

YetAnotherAlter15
Nov. 24, 2011, 09:37 PM
I'm sad to say that none of what I've been reading about Bill Moroney recently surprises me. I rode with him ages ago before he was a "big name" in the horse world - I'm talking 10+ years before he first got Paige Johnson as a client. While in high school, I worked at his farm (well, it was really his girlfriend's parents farm) to work off lessons. When he showed his true colors, we parted ways.

I was working in the barn by myself one afternoon, and I went into the stall of one of his personal horses to take off its sheet. When I undid one of the belly surcingles the horse took a step and the surcingle must have swung back and wrapped around his hind leg, and the horse totally freaked out. He was bucking & rearing & striking out - to the point where he even kicked out a couple of iron bars on the front of the stall. At that point, I bailed and jumped over the back dutch door out of the stall. A few seconds later, the horse kicked out the dutch door and barrelled out of the stall. Thankfully, neither one of us was seriously injured.

About a week or so later, my mom received an invoice in the mail. The bill was for repairs to the stall and for a new sheet to replace the one his horse ripped. REALLY???!!! Needless to say, we were out of there after that!

jonesy
Nov. 24, 2011, 09:55 PM
Yetanotheralter15 maybe you can tell us what his background was in the equestrian community as an instructor because everyone I have asked says they know nothing about him until he arrived on the scene with the Johnsons. I am sure he is a competent trainer to have a client like the Johnsons.

As far as your story, that is pretty telling.

S A McKee
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:04 PM
Chunky Monkey that is quite funny and your probably right but for how long can one person rule the equestrian world as SA McKee pointed out. Does anyone know when the next election is for USHJA President? And by the way, people keep pointing to Moroney as the next USEF president when O'Conner leaves, leaving someone else for USHJA. I sure hope that is not the case. We need some new blood.

I'd have to go back to their website to check but I think the last election was in 2008 for a 4 year term for Pres, Vp and Directors.Bylaws say they can only serve 2 consecutive terms but that only starts with the 2008 election. USHJA started in 2004 and taking into consideration that the first four year period didn't count it looks like he can serve 12 years as President.
The current bylaws were just recently approved and I think there is something in there about four consecutive terms on the BOD then after a 350 day period out of office it starts all over again.

Here is a link to the USHJA Foundation:
http://www.ushjafoundation.org/

"The USHJA Foundation is Making a Difference each day as we provide:
•Scholarships for young riders looking to further their education
•Grants for individuals and organizations
•Support for horses, individuals and organizations struggling during a difficult time
•Support for educational programs
•Support for USHJA programs and development
"
I'd like to point out that the National and local PHA chapters have had similar programs for needy equestrians and educational scholarships for many years.

If you click on the last line, Support for USHJA programs and development it takes you right back to the USHJA website and the familiar list of their programs as follows:

• Affiliate Programs
• Clinics Program
• College Equestrian Lettering Program
• Dash For Cash
• Emerging Athletes Program - Donate Today!
• Equine Junior Apprentice Program
• High Performance Jumper Club – NEW
• International Hunter Derby - 2011 Finals
• Member's Choice Program
• National Hunter Classic
• Trainers Q&A
• Trainers Symposium
• Trainers Certification Program (TCP)
• Trainers Certification Program Clinic

Ok, so who's really paying for these programs, USHJA or the Foundation?

http://www.ushjafoundation.org/documents/scholarshipguide.pdf

"Introduction
Starting in 2011, the USHJA Foundation and participating USHJA Zones are joining to initiate a groundbreaking, scholarship development program. It has long been the desire of the USHJA membership to have a cohesive, easy to use scholarship system, thus enabling the zones to “give back” to their members in the form of financial assistance for education.
The 2011 distributions of zone income derived from the $2 show fees will net each zone a sizeable increase in yearly budget income. Thus, it is the ideal time to launch this initiative"

I'd had no luck finding out what the $2 a horse per show 'Zone Support fee' ( soon to be $3 a pop ). So this clears that up. The Zone Support Fee isn't doing things like supporting zone activities like finals but instead goes to the Foundation.
It's nice to do these kinds of programs but perhaps if it can't be supported through fund raising maybe a step back is in order.
Each zone posts their financial reports to the USHJA website but I don't see any recent updates so it's not clear if these funds are actually given to the zones by the Foundation to administer or if the dollars all come out of the Foundation.

In the past I've complained about the crazy amount of money Zone 2 spends on it's finals and the fact that USHJA keeps funding zones even if they haven't used up the previous yearly allotment. In some cases individual zones have accumulated a large surplus.

Perhaps with the economic situation mayabe it's not a good time to be all things to everybody and simply do a few programs that can benefit more than a few people in each zone.

Because all the data for each time period isn't available for USHJA, the Foundation and each Zone it's impossible to follow the money all the way through.

I think it would be useful if USHJA could explain the reason for the sizeable donation to their foundation and discuss the use of the Zone Support Fee. Without their explanation we are really in the dark about the funding.

chunky munky
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:16 PM
Reality is what his training past is has nothing to do with being an office holder in the USHJA. Maybe it should, but maybe it should not. Running an organization that is now becoming as large a USHJA should probably not come out of the riding/training world. Most have debatable education.
But the other part of this equation is as far as I know there is no pay to hold this position. So someone needs to be paying a salary, transport, etc. for you to hold this position, unless you are independently wealthy and doing it as a service. So go figure folks.

YetAnotherAlter15
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:26 PM
jonesy - Way back then, his barn was in the Fairfax, VA area. I did the NoVa local shows and the B/C shows at places like Frying Pan Park (do B rated shows still exist?). I seem to recall that, at the time, he had one or two clients that did some of the A shows in the NoVa/MD area.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 24, 2011, 10:52 PM
Who was the "other man" :D who tried to start an asociation at the time when it became necessary for the H/J to have its own governing body (or whatever it is that the USHJA does for us)?

I remember liking everything about that proposal more than Moroney's, but I was not actively showing then, so it didn't seem important enough to get involved.

Sure wish I had taken more of an interest.

S A McKee
Nov. 24, 2011, 11:11 PM
Who was the "other man" :D who tried to start an asociation at the time when it became necessary for the H/J to have its own governing body (or whatever it is that the USHJA does for us)?

I remember liking everything about that proposal more than Moroney's, but I was not actively showing then, so it didn't seem important enough to get involved.

Sure wish I had taken more of an interest.

The National Hunter and Jumper Association had made a bid.
They have been around since the late 1980's.

chunky munky
Nov. 24, 2011, 11:30 PM
It still exists. I am sure they would be happy to hear from you.

jonesy
Nov. 24, 2011, 11:40 PM
This article was included in the USHJA Horse Welfare Guide 2006 and written by Moroney. Wasn't the concept of Bower's groundwork and MST's teaching of groundwork a way to fix the very problem Moroney outlined in 2006? Seems so!

on LongeIng, AnD More
By Bill Moroney, The Chronicle of the Horse. www.chronofhorse.com. March 10, 2006
Joe Fargis and I were recently talking about the training of horses and their preparation for showing. Joe is disappointed by the misuse of longeing and rightly so. Longeing can be a valuable training aid when done properly, but today, for a growing number, it has simply become a way to wear a horse down to the point that he will obey the rider’s commands. This has happened for many reasons. Foremost in my mind is that we now have so many horse shows on the calendar that many trainers end up teaching students to ride in the show ring. It used to be in the good old days that you trained at home and went to the show when your instructor felt you were ready to test your abilities against yourself and others.
In a busy and hectic world where people are always looking to blame someone else for a problem, no one component can be held accountable for this situation. It is the fault of everyone involved in the hunter industry. Trainers are responding to pressure from clients to show, judging must allow for some expression within a horse’s performance and clients need to be patient when they are feeling peer pressure to wait until they are ready to se- curely negotiate classes in the performance arena. We have all seen those riders who make you gasp and hold your breath when they are going around the ring. How often when you see these riders do you comment on what a saint the horse is? How did he get to be that saint? We all hope it’s because he’s a wonderful, naturally quiet, well schooled, compliant and patient soul, but often he’s just worn out. Overlongeing horses causes them to lose their personality, spirit, character and soul.
There are all levels of longeing and virtually every trainer uses them, including myself. I learned long ago from training partner Chuck Keller, however, that even though good longeing can facilitate the training of the horse, it does not take the place of riding and having the horse understand and accept the use of the legs, seat, hands and voice. Proper longeing to let a horse warm up, cool down or play freely, to train and school a horse, is a good thing, but the infamous “longeing till death” (LTD) is not. And who are we delegat- ing the responsibility to for these horses when they are out longeing? Are we training

USHJA Horse Welfare Guide
our grooms and assistants in the proper methods of longeing horses? Just drive past any horse-show exercise arena in the early morning and you will see that many horses are not longeing in a manner that contributes to their training, but just being chased around, often on the cross-canter, until they say “uncle.” The pressure on a horse’s body and bone structure by improper longeing techniques is unnecessary and abusive. How can we ex- pect these athletes to continue performing for any length of time when they are subjected to this strain? The torque created by hours of tight circling in often less-than-adequate footing will eventually destroy the longevity of the horse.
Some of the most common results related to the stresses of improper longeing include injuries to the stifles, splints, navicular, ringbone and sidebone, as well as damaged ankles and knees from high-speed longeing and tight circles. If the horse is that wild, then he re- ally is not ready to be at the show, or perhaps he may need a change of career.
It should also be noted that one of the best creations for enhancing a horse’s condition, performance and rehabilitation, the horse walker, has now turned into all-night walk-a- thons at some barns. The horse walker was designed to help keep a horse fit and help an injured horse with its recovery. As it requires very little human interaction and is cost ef- ficient, for some barns, the horse walker has evolved into a virtual robot that performs the duty of wearing the horse out.

jonesy
Nov. 24, 2011, 11:48 PM
The Moroney Article in the Chronicle BEFORE Taylor introduced him to her vision and program. I wonder if he will reread his own words.


Published on The Chronicle of the Horse (http://64.253.103.131)
Home > We Must Prepare Our Young Horsemen For The Future
We Must Prepare Our Young Horsemen For The Future

By Bill Moroney
Created 2007-05-18 02:00
May 18, 2007
We Must Prepare Our Young Horsemen For The Future

By: Bill Moroney [1]

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The Junior & Pony issue of the Chronicle always challenges me to really think about our sport and its future. It gives me a reason to take the temperature of our sport, to examine its strengths and weaknesses and to find ways to make it better.

Recently the focus for many of us involved in equestrian sports has shifted to a concern that our future young equestrians need better horsemanship skills. Several well-known trainers have talked with me about the weakness they see among our up-and-coming riders, and the conversations inevitably find their way to horsemanship and the necessity for having this experience to create successful partnerships between horses and riders.

To truly excel in this sport at the highest levels, horses must be more than just vehicles for their riders—they must be equal partners in the equation.

So where do we go from here? What currently exists in our world to promote, encourage and enhance the values of good horsemanship? And what more can we do to make this a bigger part of our sport?
In years past, it was natural for riders to learn horsemanship. We didn’t have as many competitions, and children didn’t participate in the extensive menu of sports opportunities available today. Consequently, trainers spent considerably more one-on-one time with their students and turned out well-rounded horsemen.

Today’s reality is much different. The average show stable spends the majority of the year on the road,
moving from one competition to the next. Lessons are conducted in the schooling rings the day prior to
showing, and because of busy competition schedules, the hands-on part of the experience is drastically reduced.

There’s only so much time in each day, and after the professional spends much of the day showing and schooling, very little time is left for the lessons, let alone time in the barn teaching students how to care for their horses. This means there’s very little chance of producing a well-rounded horseman.

While there are young people who wish to learn about the horses they ride, and their care and training, for every one of these individuals, many more just want to ride in their classes and then socialize or leave.
It’s an alarming trend, and it’s taking a toll on the depth of the pool of our future riders.

As an example, a few years ago, a friend of mine judged the practicum portion of a state horse show association’s medal finals. The top-scoring participants in this portion had been in Pony Club, and the two lowest-scoring participants were well-known junior riders of national standing.

Pony Club has consistently produced equestrians with excellent knowledge of stable management and horsemanship. We’ve seen how their combination of horsemanship skills and riding skills produce excellence by the strong showing the Pony Club team has made each year at the USEF Pony Jumper Championships.

Those Pony Finals also host the Emerson Burr Horsemanship Chal-lenge, which includes a written test and a hands-on practicum test. Barbara Cherry, a former pony mom from Fairfield Hunt Club (Conn.), was instrumental in creating this extremely popular program, and the grand dame of ponies, Edna Lytle, has devoted her time for the past several years to judge the practicum.

Additionally, several opportunities have arisen to inspire and encourage riders of all ages to educate themselves about our horses. This winter in Florida, George Morris held a weeklong training and horsemanship clinic for riders, who were invited based on their results in various equitation finals and national championships.

George treated these riders to many hours of instruction. Equally importantly, they were exposed to the superb stable management of Laurie Pitts and to all-around horsemanship through the assignment of “mentors,” many of them top professionals.

Many of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association zone committees, as well as several state and regional horse show organizations, have incorporated stable-management requirements into their equitation finals. Another program combines stable management and horse-manship with the awarding of educational scholarships.

Numerous competitions and individuals are hosting clinics throughout the country to bring education to the masses. At the USHJA, we’ve seen a 46 percent rise in the number of clinics already on the schedule for 2007.

So the opportunities are available for those seeking knowledge. I just wish that more young equestrians were interested in these opportunities.

So what else can we do to help equestrians of all ages to become better horsemen? And how can we make sure we’re providing opportunities to young riders interested in representing our country in the future?

First of all, I think that parents need to ease up on their children, to quit pushing them to be involved in as many sports and events as possible. They need to stop going down the road that leads to becoming a “jack of all trades, master of none.”

If equestrian sports are their passion, let them spend the time they need to become skillful at something in which they have a passion and a desire to work. Gaining the knowledge to be a horseman requires a substantial investment of time.

Most people believe it requires a lot of money and luck to reach the top of our game. Yes, these two elements can make life easier, but take a look at our successful grand prix competitors. Those at the top have all made sacrifices to get there. Because of their hard work, diligence and overall horsemanship, they’ve made their own luck, and the money has found them.

People want to back winners, and these hardworking and dedicated athletes have proven themselves to their financial backers.

Next we need to expose our riders to as many diverse educational opportunities as possible. All too often I hear young people talk negatively about dressage, eventing and some of the other disciplines and breeds. That’s just a sign of a lack of exposure and ignorance. To be well rounded, you need to open your mind and eyes to what other horsemen are doing.

We can all learn a lot from checking in to what others are doing and why. Your teaching skills will benefit tremendously by observing other instructors, both within and outside of your own discipline or breed.

We must never stand in the way of the riders we teach furthering their education just because we’re afraid of losing them. Every instructor/ trainer learns that clients come and go. Every student will probably leave your barn eventually, so while they’re with you, do your best to make them into educated horsemen.

As trainers and instructors, we must also keep abreast of the opportunities available for our riders, while we continue educating ourselves too. We need to recognize when it’s time for a rider to go on to the next level and take the time to find the right situation.

Furthermore, we need to look into the way the European countries are educating their riders. Many enter a national training and development program and become apprentices to the top riders or trainers. Years ago, we used to see this apprenticeship situation in our country, but now it seems that you can be a groom today and grand prix trainer tomorrow. This isn’t good for our sport, and it’s caused many instances of people leaving our sport discouraged and disillusioned.

At the USHJA, we’re working toward the goal of developing a trainer-certification program, which I believe will have a positive effect on our industry and make it more legitimate. Creating this program is a long and often daunting task, but I have faith that those involved in the development will succeed.

We need to hold more clinics in horse management, selection, care and maintenance. I would like to see one of these held in each zone, for the benefit of all equestrians.

I also believe that our top riders need to open their doors and consider taking on young equestrians who need a place to learn and develop as working students and apprentices. Of course, these young people need to take advantage of these opportunities and be responsible and hardworking in return.

It’s up to all of us to be a part of ensuring and shaping the future of our sport, and horsemanship is a significant part of this effort. It’s an exercise that requires you to put aside personal agendas and to keep your eye on what’s best for our sport.

Basically, we must concentrate on advancing and improving our training and riding, not just on the dollars.

My father had a saying that I truly believe sums up the life of a successful horseman: “Work hard, live within your means and save your money.” I’ve tried to live by his words of wisdom, and they’ve served me well in my equestrian career.

Bill Moroney
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Legacy Category:
Bill Moroney
Category ID:
23007043201586
Article ID:
1291705073634965
Issue ID:
1291605070756119
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0
Article Type:
1
Weight:
14

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Source URL: http://64.253.103.131/article/we-must-prepare-our-young-horsemen-future
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[1] http://64.253.103.131/category/author-name/bill-moroney

YetAnotherAlter15
Nov. 25, 2011, 12:46 AM
As far as your story, that is pretty telling.

There's more to the story, but I don't think it's appropriate to post it on the board. Feel free to PM me with any questions.

lauriep
Nov. 25, 2011, 01:07 AM
Who was the "other man" :D who tried to start an asociation at the time when it became necessary for the H/J to have its own governing body (or whatever it is that the USHJA does for us)?

I remember liking everything about that proposal more than Moroney's, but I was not actively showing then, so it didn't seem important enough to get involved.

Sure wish I had taken more of an interest.

Gary Baker.

M. O'Connor
Nov. 25, 2011, 09:05 AM
To be fair, it does not appear that USHJA is planning on dropping the horsemanship portion of the program.

I saw Karen Golding's name in the lineup somewhere. If this is the case, the art of horsemanship will certainly not be lost on her watch.

That 2007 article on longeing mentioning Joe Fargis did indeed stem from serious concerns; I was in on one or two of those conversations, and in fact wrote an article (at COTH's request, in collaboration with Paul Cronin) that was not accepted for publication by COTH at the time, I believe because we took a different approach than COTH had anticipated, and it didn't 'fit' what they had been looking for. I spoke with BM on the matter in the course of researching my article, and his was written after COTH declined to publish mine, which is still 'in the can,' and possibly will see the light of day at some point (it long ago was given the green light by COTH to be published elsewhere), but BM's article at the time served to air very legitimate issues about longeing and general horse welfare that these three individuals rightly felt strongly about.

M. O'Connor
Nov. 25, 2011, 09:36 AM
As a parent, I'd like to see EAP succeed, and thought that its original aim had been to to discover and nurture the careers of talented riders from an early stage in their development, particularly those that would otherwise not have other avenues available to them to reach the upper levels.

So I thought what was being offered to such kids through EAP simply put, is hope that they could succeed, if they earn it.

I think the first clinics, and the excitement that pervaded the whole program at that time, were indications of how much pent up need there was for this program. It was hugely disappointing to me that they quickly abandoned the lower level training sessions.

In 20 years of holding my 'r' H/J/HEq judging licenses, I have seen the value of the little 'r' designation eroded through tweaking of the rules to the point where rated show managers see little point in hiring any but "R" judges. As a result, I spend a fair amount of my time as a little 'r' judge officiating at very nice unrated and local association shows, beautifully produced, and affordable to the entry level exhibitor. I can assure you that 'early talent' is quite obvious at the very lowest levels. I've observed firsthand that over the course of time, much of that early talent lacks proper guidance, and simply stagnates or leaves the sport altogether in favor of other sports that are more user friendly to developing athletes.

It had been my impression when EAP was first announced that USHJA organizers recognized this, and designed the EAP to address it--at every turn since that first year, however, the criteria has been gradually modified, with the section for younger riders eliminated; perhaps this is because the numbers were overwhelming, though this should also serve to highlight the need that is felt out there in the grass roots trenches. 2012 will be the first year that my daughter will be able to seriously consider participating, and it's a disappointment to me that Melanie Smith Taylor will not be involved. Whether or not this is due to back room politics, governance issues, or financial issues, and the reasons any of these factors are at play is open to discussion. I'm thankful that the program hasn't been completely tabled for 2012, and hope that USHJA it will keep it at least nominally accessible to the riders its original format was designed to help.

tori13
Nov. 25, 2011, 12:27 PM
"According to committee chairwoman Sally Ike, EAP leaders have been struggling to justify the high cost of the program, and after surveying the riders, they decided to expand the stable management component of the program and eliminate groundwork. Therefore, this year’s National Training Session, held Nov. 17-20 in Mundelein, Ill., was the last in which Bower will take part."

What riders did they survey? Level I riders did not interact with Mindy so did they survey the Level II and III riders? Several of the riders at level III have spent time with Mindy outside of EAP, at their own expense, because what she teaches is so valuable. Mindy can teach how to check a horses leg, etc. so again the veracity of the USHJA is in question. There is something rotten in this organization and using a lame excuse about Mindy and Melanie getting paid is ridiculous. We don't need the USHJA to continue this program in the direction MST and Mindy are taking it. What we need is sponsors to step up.

The USHJA needs a wake up call. The natives are restless and the sooner they hear the drumbeat of discontent the better.

JustJump
Nov. 25, 2011, 12:35 PM
IOW, get a sponsor to finance a separate endeavor, modeled after MST's program? Would MST take part?

tori13
Nov. 25, 2011, 01:04 PM
Why wouldn't MST jump at the chance to have control over her vision? It sounds like Melanie has worked out a lower cost solution already.

poltroon
Nov. 25, 2011, 02:03 PM
I wonder how much of the discomfort with the EAP is coming from perhaps some trainers who do not like the breadth of instruction offered, and what appears to be an emphasis on learning to think for yourself and perhaps ask questions rather than just doing what one is told, the "traditional" way as promulgated by the full-service A-circuit barn?

It appears that there is a lot of support for the program as it has existed. I would submit that such a program could be run as its own separate 501(c) organization (or perhaps through some other existing organization) if there's the financial support and interest to do so. I think there is value in running it under the umbrella of a governing body, but if they don't want it, so be it. It can still be prestigious and valuable. And providing goals for up and coming riders is tremendously important to our sport.

fair judy
Nov. 25, 2011, 04:40 PM
While I support Melanie to the hilt, I wonder if her reaction to our defense of her and the program would be one of dismay? I have never seen MST behave in anything but a gracious and forthright manner, but I believe that if this is a sanitized version she would act immediately to respond if it was of information she wanted made public.

It is very hard to turn back the hands of time to a state where horsemanship included more than just riding, but intestinal fortitude and a heave dose of good manners. Some people are trying. If you support them them vote with your feet and hooves. :sadsmile:

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 25, 2011, 06:59 PM
Fair Judy I am not sure I understand your post. I think you are saying MST would not like this kind of drama as she is a private person and I suspect you are right.

MST was the chair of the committee before Moroney decided she and Bower should be non-voting advisors as what is noted in his own letter above. As SA correctly pointed out, Moroney rules the roost and decides who gets to play in the sandbox. All USHJA committees are governed by committee bylaws and there is a confidentiality provision for committee members to adhere to. Thus I think MST and Bower have stayed quiet in honor of those bylaws. The information that has leaked out came as a result of other committee members and ushja folks talking where they thought no one was listening. The information was later proven when the USHJA minutes were posted last week for meetings that occurred back in September. Of course USHJA knew not to post minutes before last week because they were trying to hide what was happening. Thus the cat out of the bag. As someone else pointed out, Moroney tells people when all decisions are made and no way to backtrack.

Remember the Chronicle was at the Nationals and they get the story every year. MST provided an interview as she always does each year as expected by USHJA. Guess the USHJA is surprised by her honesty. Fair Judy did you read that article?

But notice the dates above, early september the Board of USHJA met per their minutes and voted to hiatus eap for 2012 but minutes show French wanted it to stay in some capacity so French created a program she wanted at the start of September without including MST. The lady above said she heard stuff and wrote a letter sept 27. Notice MST said nothing until after Nationals some two months later. Why? Because as Fair Judy said, she is gracious and fulfilled her commitment despite what was being done to her, Bower and others. It is important to note that many clinicians have serviced eap over the years religiously but French went and got Karen Healey, Kursiski who does GHM clinic, Chris Kappler, etc. All of which have NEVER done an EAP clinic since 2009. Why didn't French use those clinicians that have been there year after year for EAP and the USHJA. Why because French wants out with the old regime and in with the new. They have to keep Peter Wydle at the end because he is the Dover sponsor connection. No Peter, No Dover!

Whats done is done. MST, Bower and the other clinicians will reappear in a different ways elsewhere. Our area is hosting MST and Bower in the New Year and we understand many people are also securing dates for private clinics with them so all will not be lost and their vision continued.

jonesy
Nov. 25, 2011, 07:02 PM
Two Fox Farm, you are on the money. Show your support of all the clinicians that left EAP by having them do private clinics and allow them to bring their vision to your area.

lauriep
Nov. 25, 2011, 08:59 PM
I wonder how much of the discomfort with the EAP is coming from perhaps some trainers who do not like the breadth of instruction offered, and what appears to be an emphasis on learning to think for yourself and perhaps ask questions rather than just doing what one is told, the "traditional" way as promulgated by the full-service A-circuit barn?

It appears that there is a lot of support for the program as it has existed. I would submit that such a program could be run as its own separate 501(c) organization (or perhaps through some other existing organization) if there's the financial support and interest to do so. I think there is value in running it under the umbrella of a governing body, but if they don't want it, so be it. It can still be prestigious and valuable. And providing goals for up and coming riders is tremendously important to our sport.

The trainers certainly never made a stink about the GHM Horsemastership clinic taking a "think for yourself, aske questions, and if you don't get answers, change trainers" tack. George says this numerous times in his sessions, and I addressed it every year in mine. USHJA didn't have a problem with it either, to the best of my knowledge.

meupatdoes
Nov. 26, 2011, 05:11 AM
The trainers certainly never made a stink about the GHM Horsemastership clinic taking a "think for yourself, aske questions, and if you don't get answers, change trainers" tack. George says this numerous times in his sessions, and I addressed it every year in mine. USHJA didn't have a problem with it either, to the best of my knowledge.

Either way I don't think that two days of "Here's how to put a bridle together" or "You need to remember to put your horse's blanket on when it drops to twenty degrees in Florida" is going to suddenly make them into thinking horsemen.

The kids who really want to learn horsemanship are the ones who have already been showing initiative and camping out by the farrier when he comes and asking the grooms how to do x and y and asking the vet to show them how to do injections when she comes all this time. Those are the kids who will have one or two sessions with Mindy Bower, think about it, practice at home, and use it as a spring board.

The ones who come in not knowing how to blanket and unable to logically figure out how to put a bridle together and haven't shown any iniative all this time are not going to be saved by two days or one week anyway. Sorry but nobody becomes a "thinking horseman" in a week, especially when they haven't exactly demonstrated an innate propensity for thinking up to that point.
Those kids' trainers have nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately for the kids who ARE interested and DO use their brains, the whole program is now catering to the lowest common denominator that can't put bridles together, so the kids who would actually take something away from the session and run with it are stuck learning stuff they knew ten years ago.

vineyridge
Nov. 26, 2011, 02:36 PM
The federal law that was invoked in the creation of the USEF requires them to be responsible for the grassroots and the development of the next generation of athletes. Unless I'm misremembering the USHJA was delegated that duty when it was created from the USEF. The great thing about the EAP was that it really did GET to the grassroots--not just the rich, connected, point chasing bicoastal kids.

How does the USEF justifiy the money that it gets from the USOC if it and its subsidiaries (I consider the USHJA a subsidiary, given its history) have abdicated a large portion of their duties because they aren't "self supporting"?

fair judy
Nov. 26, 2011, 06:01 PM
[QUOTE=TwoFoxFarm;5983228]Fair Judy I am not sure I understand your post. I think you are saying MST would not like this kind of drama as she is a private person and I suspect you are right.

^^^^^ this .

Lucassb
Nov. 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
The federal law that was invoked in the creation of the USEF requires them to be responsible for the grassroots and the development of the next generation of athletes. Unless I'm misremembering the USHJA was delegated that duty when it was created from the USEF. The great thing about the EAP was that it really did GET to the grassroots--not just the rich, connected, point chasing bicoastal kids.

How does the USEF justifiy the money that it gets from the USOC if it and its subsidiaries (I consider the USHJA a subsidiary, given its history) have abdicated a large portion of their duties because they aren't "self supporting"?

I think you are referring to the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act. You can find the USEF's interpretation of its responsibilities under the Act in their mission statement: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/AboutUs/MissionStatement/Default.aspx.

I suppose support for the grassroots is implied, somewhat indirectly, in the statements of support for competition "at all levels" and in the language dealing with promoting the sport to the public.

The USHJA was created to create a parallel structure to what the other disciplines had, mostly to address the complaints from those other disciplines that the H/J contingent got a disproportionate share of the time, attention and other resources (of the then-AHSA) association, which was probably valid.

jonesy
Nov. 26, 2011, 09:01 PM
How is the new program proposed different from the GHM Horsemastership Clinic, except of course, without George?

First it is now 4 days, his is 4-5 days. His is USEF and USHJA supported. EAP is USHJA supported. Next his is invite only of 12-15 people one time per year but EAP is 24 kids for 4 days once a year invite only for that zone. Oh yes there is a Nationals where 2 EAP riders go to GHM clinic.

George has stable management (now EAP does too), George has vet care sessions (well so did EAP), George has Anne K, so does EAP now. George brings in professionals he has trained, now EAP is doing the same with Chris Kappler.

George worked with Buck Brannaman and MST with groundwork and left it to them to bring that to the next generation so as not to steal their vision and thunder, but now those folks are out. So his program nor EAP has that difference.

I suspect George and his clinicians are paid handsomely for the Horsemastership program and after its production you can buy the dvd's too.
Does anyone know how much the USEF and USHJA pay for his program in comparison to EAP?

It just seems GHM clinic and EAP run by MST focused on a different set and level of kids, now it all seems a blur together.

poltroon
Nov. 27, 2011, 12:29 AM
The trainers certainly never made a stink about the GHM Horsemastership clinic taking a "think for yourself, aske questions, and if you don't get answers, change trainers" tack. George says this numerous times in his sessions, and I addressed it every year in mine. USHJA didn't have a problem with it either, to the best of my knowledge.

I think, though, that the George Morris mystique is quite a bit different from the natural horsemanship ethos. Not only has Bower not been to the Olympics - she doesn't even ride in the right kind of saddle. ;)

ponyflyer
Nov. 27, 2011, 02:27 PM
This is Mary Babick. I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I'm not much of a poster on internet sites although I do read them on a regular basis. I believe that it is important to see what people are thinking all over the country.

This information was originally posted as a PM to Sunshine State in reference to her comment about USHJA Board of Directors. In my PM, I asked her if she would like me to put it on the H/J forum and Sunshine State said she thought it would be of interest. This is a longer post that gives more background and attempts to answer some of her questions.

I serve in the following capacities (I place them in order of my length of service oldest to newest):

USHJA Youth Committee, chair
USHJA Planning Committee
USHJA Emerging Athletes Committee
USHJA Board of Directors

I may be one of the people that make other people upset – I do have quite a few responsibilities. The only committee that came from a “happenstance” appointment was Youth where I started out as the smallest fish. The rest of the committee work came as a result of my speaking my opinion or because I am a hard worker. I never set out to have this much extra work to do but I am passionate about this sport and I am also a believer in the value of the puritan work ethic. These positions bring a lot of work and no money but they are jobs that need doing. And surprisingly, not many people are that interested in doing them. I understand the point of view that people are too busy with family, career and life in general but even if you can’t attend the Annual Meeting or serve on a Committee there is still time to pick up the phone or send an e mail to a Board or Committee member. And if you want to be a committee member, call or e mail Shelby French and let her know of your interest. She answers her own phone and would be glad to hear from you. I welcome input and suggestions – even if they are 180 degrees from my point of view or outside my area of committee work. I like to walk up to people at horse shows and ask their opinions about USHJA. I’ve gotten some very interesting replies. The only differences between that and these bulletin boards is that I know the person’s name, see the person’s face (which helps to add meaning to their point) and of course, these bulletin boards reach more people than I can.

I view USHJA's structure as a triangle or perhaps a pyramid. The people at the top of the triangle are the so-called "elite" and the people at the bottom are the so-called "grass roots". It is my contention that the triangle should be balanced on its base and not its tip. Balancing on its tip will cause it to fall. I think that I was appointed to the Planning Committee and elected to the Board of Directors based on my views which represent my roots at the base of the triangle. I have politely spoken my minority (grass roots origin) views in USHJA meetings on many occasions.

I find Sunshine State’s statement about the BOD and Committee members to be too broad. It is not my place to speak other Board member's views but I am not the only one who thinks in a different direction. Contrary to popular belief, not all members of the BOD act like sheep.

As far as the EAP goes, the Planning Committee did recommend that the program go on hiatus for 1 year. This was to give the EAP Committee some time to re-work the program financially. After the Planning Committee made their recommendation, the Board voted and did not want EAP to go on hiatus. They tasked the EAP Committee with re-working the program to make it more financially stable. They gave the Committee 1 month to make a plan (this was because the site applications were already out). The larger Committee asked for a sub-committee which was formed. Each and every person on the EAP Committee was asked if they were interested and 3 people volunteered. Because a 4th person could not be found, I volunteered noting to the Committee that I might not be welcome since I was part of the Planning Committee that made the original recommendation. Plus I had only been on the Committee since the beginning of 2011.

The sub-Committee looked at many different ways of structuring the EAP program, including the proposal that was mentioned in an earlier post of this thread. We looked at stable managers, natural horsemanship, EAP clinicians and the route to the EAP for the potential participants. Both Melanie and Mindy were asked for input. Unfortunately, part of the re-structuring made the clinic dates incompatible with their schedules. Melanie was asked to continue to participate and respectfully declined. Mindy was asked for input on her specialization and she also respectfully declined. Speaking on a personal level, I never felt that any committee member was pressured to choose for or against the different scenarios that were presented.

I spent 5 months in England many years ago studying for my BHSAI. We spent a large amount of time on stable management, minor ailments and horsemanship. This is after being a working student for 6 years. I learned a tremendous amount and I still use that knowledge 30+ years later. I do not feel that stable management is more valuable than natural horsemanship or vice versa. Both are important tools that true horsemen use to enhance their understanding of horses.

In answer to the many statements about EAP Committee members not attending the sessions, I can say that I have attended 1 EAP session with one of my students. This was before Mindy came on board. I have not had the pleasure of seeing her work. Had I known that I would be an EAP Committee member this year I would have arranged my schedule to make sure to watch a clinic. Unfortunately, I plan my schedule far in advance and I did not have the flexibility needed to see a clinic. I can’t speak for my fellow committee members.

If you wish to speak to me you can PM and I will give you my cell number. My business number is available on the USHJA website on the committee link.

I hope that this answered some questions. Thanks for your time and I am always open to suggestions. Lively debate is always interesting.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 27, 2011, 02:55 PM
Ponyflyer when was the subcommittee put together for the reworking and who made up that subcommittee?

poltroon
Nov. 27, 2011, 03:01 PM
Ponyflyer, thank you for taking the time to post here.


Both Melanie and Mindy were asked for input. Unfortunately, part of the re-structuring made the clinic dates incompatible with their schedules.

It's hard for me to understand this line. Melanie was your lead for EAP. It makes no sense to lock into a schedule that happens to be incompatible with hers unless the point was to push her out.

As far as I can tell, the only thing that USHJA says was 'broken' about the program was the finances. Is this how you understand it?

ponyflyer
Nov. 27, 2011, 03:53 PM
The sub-committee was formed by Sally Ike asking for volunteers. I believe that it was formed in August but without checking my e mails I'm not sure. If it is important to you I can certainly look it up.

And as far as what was broken with EAP, yes, it was the finances. The timing of the clinics was to make it easier for the kids (no school). Scheduling this kind of thing can be hard. Someone will be upset no matter how hard you try.

Keep the questions coming. I will try my best to answer or to get an answer.

HGem
Nov. 27, 2011, 04:10 PM
Oh when will adults ever stop fighting/being political and do something to actually benefit the kids :no:

ponyflyer
Nov. 27, 2011, 04:49 PM
HGem, I am in complete agreement and that is why I took the time to post. I'm not intending to be political. If my post appears political it was completely unintentional.

By George!
Nov. 27, 2011, 06:42 PM
Thank you, Mary. Not only for posting, but for your willingness to devote time, energy, and heart to the often thankless committee work on behalf of our sport.

ponyflyer
Nov. 27, 2011, 06:55 PM
Ponyflyer when was the subcommittee put together for the reworking and who made up that subcommittee?

TwoFoxFarm - I apologize that I did not respond fully to your questions - it is what happens when you do things too quickly. The sub-committee was Sally Ike, Karen Healey, Kathy Hobstetter and me. We were the four that volunteered.

ponyflyer
Nov. 27, 2011, 06:57 PM
Thank you, Mary. Not only for posting, but for your willingness to devote time, energy, and heart to the often thankless committee work on behalf of our sport.

Thank you By George! I enjoy my work but I don't like politics. :)

Lucassb
Nov. 27, 2011, 10:11 PM
Ponyflyer/Mary, thank you for posting. As a former committee member myself, I know firsthand that it can be a lot of sometimes rather thankless work to volunteer!

I will just note that it does seem odd that if the difficulties with the EAP program were entirely or even largely financial, more was not done to try to attract/secure sponsors for the program. We have heard here from one poster that they were personally prepared to underwrite the entire deficit of the program, and offered to do so... without result. The EAP was such a popular program, it is very hard to imagine that other sponsors could not have been found. Was there some huge (unsuccessful) marketing effort that we are simply unaware of?

I will also note, from personal experience, that it is not quite so easy to become a committee member as you may think. I have volunteered to serve in a number of capacities since the marketing committee and sunshine task force I participated in were disbanded quite a few years ago - and haven't even had the courtesy of a response. IRL people actually pay a considerable amount for my marketing and PR expertise and the USEF could have it for free - if they were so inclined. There is no doubt that there are similarly talented professionals throughout the membership that might also donate their time and talent to a program like the EAP, if the USEF would reach out and ask for help.

khobstetter
Nov. 27, 2011, 10:38 PM
Just saw this thread and am willing to get on here and answer questions also...however, if it becomes a fiasco I think I'll not play.

This program is very near to my heart and I have shed many many tears over it the past years!! Mostly tears of joy WITH many of the riders as their minds became aware of possibilities.

Like Mary, I am on the USHJA EAP Committee, BUT I have been there since the very beginning of it. I also am involved with USHJA as a member of the USHJA Show Standards Committee and recently as CoChair of the Zone 10 Hunter Committee. For the previous 4 years I was a jumper designated USHJA member and was only on the Hunter committee as a non voting advisor. I took that roll because I certainly believe in the governance process and I dearly love kids and young riders and could serve there.....HAVING A VOTE WAS NOT, AND I MEAN NOT, THE REASON I WAS THERE, obvious since I had no vote but stuck around!!! I was there because I felt I could offer input and balance and having a "vote" was not a make or break for me.

Without belaboring the information, we got the direction from the Planning Committee that EAP was to be put on hold through AT LEAST 2012. Being in tears and very upset about it, the discussion turned to Shelby French with the question from the Committee that would we be allowed to try to come up with something to save it. There were several of us ADAMENT that EAP simply had to go forward even if that meant changing it, EAP had come to far.

We were told we could take a shot at it but time was quickly lapsing so the suggestion of a sub-committee to look at it was put on the table. As Mary stated, every member was asked if they wanted to volunteer for the task and after much silence I volunteered and then Sally Ike volunteered. I threw out the fact I felt we really need to have 4 on the sub committee and Karen (new to the committee) stepped up...we felt she would be a good addition since she was not only new but very savy with clinic process. With no other takers, thankfully Mary added in.

Volunteering is a thankless position to be in, and no matter what the final outcome we knew it would be sensitive....but there was no choice except to find change and accept that fact if we wanted it to continue, it was really as simple as that...change.

Melanie and Mindy were both asked, and I in fact begged Melanie to PLEASE PLEASE be on the sub committee with us...she declined as did Mindy. These two women have had emense input into the EAP and Melanie especially holds it in a special place in her heart and her not participating was certainly a viod..

I also have it stored in a VERY special part of my heart and it was with that focus we set forth.

Without going into the exact process, the next month was excrusiating for the sub committee. Dozens and dozens of emails, calls and texts as we worked for a solution. Different alternatives, funding, schedules...extreme frustration...all kinds of things, BUT WE KNEW WE WOULD NOT STOP TILL WE AT LEAST COULD KEEP EAP ALIVE. At one point Sally told all of us to take a weekend and set it aside so we could get a fresh look on Monday.

While I will not apologize for the current new format, I will say how joyfully exhausting it was to finally get to the place where we knew EAP would go forward and we could all cheer. Maybe we did not come up with something that would make ALL people happy..but we accomplished what we were so personally driven to do - -save the program and NOT let it go on vacation. We felt if that were to happen we would have a tougher time getting it back into function so we decided we would NOT compromise at the expense of it shutting down!!

While there will be lots of people who don't like what the changes are, there are LOTS of people who do. At the Blenheim shows during that time I met with dozens of EAP kids and parents with their trainers who had heard EAP was under siege.......the common statement was "PLEASE DON'T LET IT GO AWAY!! CHANGE IT IF YOU NEED TO BUT PLEASE DON'T LET IT DIE."

With that in mind, and a VERY short time to come up with something I will salute the entire EAP committee for the EAP continuation!!!

Thats about all I have to say in this post, sorry if I rambled...I would be happy to try to answer questions if you have them BUT BE SURE that our entire motive was to PERSONALLY STAY INVOLVED, NOT WALK AWAY BECAUSE WE DIDN'T LIKE WHAT WAS HAPPENING, SEEK AT LEAST A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE,,,AND WE WOULD NOT quit because it wasn't perfect.

cek
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:02 PM
Okay, the bridle thing seems like a joke...something like this can be figured out with slightly above average intelligence. Is the USHJA embracing the concept of women having greater difficulty with spatial skills and assuming most participants will be female or what? This is just really strange. I have competed and won at the top A level, can put a bridle together, apply polos, standing wraps and although I'm sure my skills at feeling a leg could be more perfected given the complexity of the (horse) body- I did recently end up with close to life threatening injuries after being run into on the ground. So, speaking from experience...the groundwork is important. Even after living with horses from birth and competing etc.--I feel least proficient in this area and also find it the hardest to learn.

How to put a bridle together or the many other things are easy to learn and should be homework at most for the somewhat intelligent person.

poltroon
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:20 PM
I am really glad for the efforts of the subcommittee and would agree that saving the program is really worth it, even if it's not all that we would want it to be.

But again, it sounds like the direction from the planning committee is the puzzling part. We all understand that money is a problem, especially in lean times. But, it sounds like there were ideas to deal with the money, and money is the kind of problem that is good to put out to the world, to attract both funding and ideas.

I know committee work is often thankless and involves constraints that are known only to the committee and not always ones the committee would prefer.

But the COTH article remains pretty damning for the USHJA Planning Committee and top leadership.


Taylor, on the other hand, believes that without the groundwork seminars, the EAP misses the point of what it takes to become an all-around horseman. So when the committee confirmed that the groundwork component would be eliminated in 2012, she also ended her involvement with the program.

Taylor especially disagreed with eliminating groundwork lessons under what she sees as a guise of austerity, noting that Bower was the lowest-paid clinician. “In fact, I personally supplemented her clinician fees all year because I felt that strongly about her being there,” said Taylor.

Lucassb
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:20 PM
I do certainly appreciate the committee members participating in the discussion, truly I do... but I confess I remain confused.

Call me stupid but if the problem with the EAP was a lack of funding... why didn't the program accept the offer of funding that was detailed a few pages ago? Or if that was for some reason unacceptable, why weren't other sources of funding sought? (Or were they, but the efforts were simply unsuccessful - in which case, please see question #1.)

Hey, I'm old and I have no dog in this fight (my only kid no longer rides, *sigh*) But the program existed and ran at what has been characterized as a substantial deficit for THREE YEARS. Why did there have to be a one month fire drill to save the program?? Seems to me that there should have been some way to address the financial issues *long* before things got to a point where the crisis was so bad, the recommendation was just to shut it down.

Also seems to me that it should be possible to fund the program as it was originally constructed without all that much difficulty - if the powers that be want it to be preserved. Certainly it seems that if the association needs help in that regard, there have been a number of generous offers just in this one thread alone; putting the call out to the rest of the membership would no doubt generate a lot more.

I say this not to denigrate the efforts of the existing committee members, who I am sure put their hearts and souls into the program and work thankless hours in their volunteer capacity. But it does seem clear that some additional resources would help make and keep the EAP program viable, and I remain at a loss to understand why that assistance seems so unwelcome.

khobstetter
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:43 PM
Please rest assured that funding is indeed welcome, but I don't remember anyone walking up to any of us and trying to hand us a check. Maybe with all this discussion funding could be the good side effect. As far as the Planning Committee, THAT is a committee I would not want to be on for sure..talk about sitting in the fire!!

Please let the poster who offered the money know they can personally call any of us.....I would ask WHO they offered the check to?? Would like to know that. They can always give the check to one of the committee members!!!!!!!

Being the evervessent Pollyanna, this is what I think........the EAP program will go one and now we can all focus on what changes need to be made to insure its longivity!! In a lot of ways I am glad this all got the riles up of some people, it could be the catalyst for financial security of the program.

I also can tell you that the decisions made by the planning committee had to be painful, they are also volunteers and can only work with what they have. I personally believe that the USHJA has made enormous steps to reach the Hunter-Jumper riders BUT it cannot be all things to all people.

Lucassb
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:49 PM
Please rest assured that funding is indeed welcome, but I don't remember anyone walking up to any of us and trying to hand us a check. Maybe with all this discussion funding could be the good side effect. As far as the Planning Committee, THAT is a committee I would not want to be on for sure..talk about sitting in the fire!!

Please let the poster who offered the money know they can personally call any of us.....I would ask WHO they offered the check to?? Would like to know that. They can always give the check to one of the committee members!!!!!!!

Being the evervessent Pollyanna, this is what I think........the EAP program will go one and now we can all focus on what changes need to be made to insure its longivity!! In a lot of ways I am glad this all got the riles up of some people, it could be the catalyst for financial security of the program.

I also can tell you that the decisions made by the planning committee had to be painful, they are also volunteers and can only work with what they have. I personally believe that the USHJA has made enormous steps to reach the Hunter-Jumper riders BUT it cannot be all things to all people.

See posts 42-44.

111
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:01 AM
I believe, if you go back & reread the post about the funding, it was NOT an offer. I believe the poster said "If it had been advertised in IN STRIDE magazine & it had been put out to the general public", she would have sponsored the program. That was what she said in the email she sent to Bill Moroney AFTER he responded to her original email.
She NEVER actually offered to fund the EAP, she was stating that if a public request had been made she would have arranged for sponsorship, BUT since the USHJA NEVER made any such request, they missd out on her sponsorship.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:43 AM
It is just amazing how people can put a spin on what really happened in this process. One can read the various posts, the ushja.org minutes dating back to 2010 and re-create the timeline.

What I don't hear from Babick or Hobstetter is the fact a proposal was provided that would have secured, at least for 2012, a fully funded program with the current regime and a significant reduction in cost. If all had gone well it would have been covered fully with no USHJA contribution except for Nationals.

So lets get to the facts.

FACT: no where in the planning committee or any other minutes posted is there any mention of EAP having financial difficulties until August 2, 2011. There is 2010 April planning committee minutes that indicate changing criteria of program as 2009 was a success and a great program. If finances were an issue it would have been noted in 2010 planning committee meetings.

FACT: No one with USHJA assisted with advising sponsorships were needed.

FACT: The proposal to the EAP committee for an onsite training facility by a top notch establishment was sent to the USHJA on or about July 20, 2011. This was NOT requested by anyone at USHJA. It was created by someone pleased with EAP who saw ways to increase training for more riders for less money and this establishment was willing to sit with USHJA and provide some of her own personal funds. What she got was "thank you for sending it" and one month later "we choose not to go with it". No meetings, no personal calls to discuss NOTHING!!!!!! Truth is the EAP committee never read or considered it.

FACT: USHJA sent out survey to EAP riders from 2010 and 2011 but ONLY Level 1 so no one could discuss Bower's work because that only came to play at Level 2 and 3. Also, riders could only answer one survey even if they attended 2010 and 2011. Sent to riders and not parents who paid the bills. Apparently very few surveys were set in because of the short turn around time. How about the USHJA post the surveys for all to see.

FACT: The Planning Committee met August 2 and Moroney advised the group they needed over $800,000 for the building, etc. That is when the planning committee suggested money problems with EAP and to go on a hiatus for 2012. Planning committees members, BABICK, FRENCH, MORONEY.

FACT: Board of Directors met August 4 with Board members, BABICK, FRENCH, MORONEY and guess what, agreed with planning committee to have a hiatus.

FACT: On or about August 8, 2011, Shelby French by HERSELF and with no input from anyone on EAP created a re-working of the program HER way in a long missive, or the alternative 2012 hiatus. Sent to committee members.

FACT: EAP committee meets and is told hiatus or take what French proposes. Many had not even read the proposal. Many object and push for hiatus to get proper funding. Others want to ask planning committee and BOD to give two weeks to come up with an alternative.

FACT: At same meeting Bower and Taylor are told you have no voting power and you can just be advisors to this new program which is already on paper extracting horsemanship 100% and outing for sure Taylor who was the consistent factor to the program. Why demote them when they are written out of the program based on French's presentation. What conflict could they have if they were out? Bower and Taylor fight for the prior proposal and to not extract groundwork. Invites committee members to come to the next 5 Level 2 sessions to see the program in action. (By the way none went)

FACT: Ike wants subcommittee and wants Taylor to participate but oh yeah, you can't vote, your no longer a chair to this program YOU created and started, and we only have two weeks to create something, and by the way Taylor is doing 5 straight weeks of Level 2 EAP that she ALONE with no EAP members assist at all. Traveling in between EAP sessions. Taylor has to evaluate level 2 riders, grade horsemanship tests, etc. How much can they ask of one person?

FACT: Subcommittee as noted above by Babick: is Healey, Hobsttetter, Ike and Babick. Babick claims to have been to one level 1 session she says before Bower was involved. (Bower was always involved which means she was only at a level 1). Healey has never been to one, Ike the co-chair had NEVER been to one session, and Hobsttetter claims to have been to one EAP. So in 48 sessions over three years some came to one. None had been to one where Bower worked with the kids.

FACT: Subcommittee asked Taylor to be available for ideas, thoughts, etc. Taylor says yes, of course. NOT ONE PHONE CALL, EMAIL, NOR DISCUSSION WITH TAYLOR ON HOW EAP WAS TO ASK HER INPUT. NOT ONE CALL TO BOWER. Subcommittee did NOT include them in any fashion.

FACT: Subcommittee meets two weeks or so later with the French program in place but the only addition is clinician suggestions and selection of locations.

FACT: BOD agrees with new program.

FACT: Horsemanship was eradicated from new program. Stable management in.

FACT: Taylor was asked to teach ONE clinic so pick a date, however, no one could define the program, duration, where the locations would be, nor when. Taylor, as everyone knows, is involved in the Olympics and would be in 2012. How can you agree to do something not yet defined and eliminating what you believe in? This was clearly a gratuitous offering.

FACT: Healey the EAP committee member and sub-committee member who has never been to an eap session in three years is NOW a clinician for two dates.

FACT: January 1, 2011 in the BOD minutes the USHJA Foundation agrees to sponsor the GHM Clinic with the USEF. So the USHJA Foundation can pay towards the GHM Clinic but can't fund their own. Babick can you tell us how much the Foundation contributed its donation to GHM clinic?

FACT: Buck premiere had to have brought in at least $25,000 in donations to help the program but goes unnoticed.

FACT: Most people know that donors need more than 30-45 days to get corporate donations approved by BOD. Donors had over $45,000 of committed money so long as USHJA provided information on how to donate to EAP for Buck premiere and how it would be applied to the youth, but USHJA provided information three days before the event. To late for corporate donors to get their BOD's to agree to charitable donations. Ironically this was also the timeframe when USHJA was fundraising for the WCHR.

Ms. Hobstetter, you claim to cry tears of what EAP can give these kids but how about the sweat and tears Taylor and Bower did hands on and how much these ladies are LOVED by the riders, hosts and parents, for what they gave of themselves as educated trainers. Hobstetter did you travel all over the county and not get paid for travel days; evaluate riders on off days; read applications to choose riders; created lesson plans; courses; paperwork; talk to parents and riders before and after sessions; write college recommendations for riders taught by these ladies seeking help; or answering emails from riders needing future guidance on their careers like Bower and Taylor do in between EAP sessions.

I hope the USHJA has much success with their 2012 program and the program for years to come but not at a cost of slapping Taylor and Bower in the process. What was done was down right dirty and that my friends is MY opinion based on my research and reading the minutes. I am entitled to MY opinion...so carry on.

Babick and Hobstetter, I thank you in advance for your upcoming service and can't wait to see you at each and every EAP session, getting down in the trenches for the betterment of the kids. :cool:

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 28, 2011, 01:18 AM
To be fair to Hobstetter I do see that she posted back in January- March 2009 here on COTH her excitement for the program and some posts on how it was getting off the ground. I do note a post that she made regarding funding but made no effort to advise the COTH folks or others on how or if funding was needed and how to go about it. Given the program was new she probably didn't consider that aspect in 2009. That is understandable.

But this goes to show that a committee member uses the COTH boards and had access to advise the masses that money and funding was necessary when it became known to her. This supports my past posting that the finance issue was not an issue until August 2, 2011.

I did not see any further posts by Hobstteter after 2009 relating to EAP. Nothing moving the 2010 and 2011 year forward. Nothing supporting the EAP movement in the last two years. I think that was the point of committee members being excited ground one, year one, and getting complacent thereafter.

Regardless, I want to be fair to her 2009 involvement.

khobstetter
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:56 AM
Where ever you are getting your information, you are not getting a lot of the "facts" right. As to my involvement with EAP, just because I did not post my activities on the COTH forums does NOT mean I am not active with the program.

What you are sharing as "fact" is simply not complete in most cases. While you have chosen to single me out, I chose not to banty back and forth with the mis-information but will address one or two.

As to your statement: Ms. Hobstetter, you claim to cry tears of what EAP can give these kids but how about the sweat and tears Taylor and Bower did hands on and how much these ladies are LOVED by the riders, hosts and parents, for what they gave of themselves as educated trainers...... FOR YOUR INFORMATION I DID CRY FOR MELANIE AND MINDY OVER THEIR RESIGNATION and WAS ON THE PHONE WITH HER A TIME OR TWO DURING THE PROCESS BEFORE SHE DECIDED TO WALK. Hobstetter did you travel all over the county and not get paid for travel days ......YES - ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS UP AND DOWN THE WEST COAST- AND I DIDN'T GET PAID FOR ANY OF IT NOR ANY EXPENSES OFFSET; evaluate riders on off days ......YES, AND PAID MY OWN MONEY TO SPONSOR A COUPLE AS WELL AS BORROW HORSES FOR THEM; read applications to choose riders .....YES, I READ EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE APPLICATIONS AND CALLED REFERENCES FOR EVERY LEVEL FOR EVERY YEAR FOR EVERY RIDER APPLIED; created lesson plans; courses; paperwork; talk to parents and riders before and after sessions ...YES, AND STILL SPEND LARGE AMOUNTS OF TIME SPEAKING WITH THE RIDERS/TRAINERS/PARENTS OF THE PROGRAM - ADVISING THEM AND WORKING WITH THEM ABOUT WHAT CAN BE NEXT POSSIBILITIES FOR FAMILIES WITH LITTLE FUNDS; write college recommendations for riders taught by these ladies seeking help ......YES, I WRITE COLLEGE REFERENCE LETTERS FOR MANY OF THE JUNIOR RIDERS EACH YEAR AS WELL AS SEEKING FUNDING FOR TRAVEL TIME AND EDUCATION FOR SOME. I ALSO WORK WITH SOME OF THE FAMILIES IN SEEKING COLLEGE GRANTS OR COLLEGE FUNDING ; or answering emails from riders needing future guidance on their careers like Bower and Taylor do in between EAP sessions .......YES, I CONTINUE TO MENTOR AT LEAST A DOZEN OF THE RIDERS I HAVE COME TO KNOW OVER THE TIME OF THE PROGRAM.

YOUR REMARK: Hobsttetter claims to have been to one EAP. ..is completely wrong and whoever is telling you that is bald face lying. I HAVE NEVER MADE ANY CLAIM TO ONLY ATTENDING ONLY ONE EAP, BECAUSE I ATTENDED SEVERAL. I personally fought to have the west coast sessions be broken into two (because of the geographics) and attended both sessions, north and south, at my own expense. Also RAN the EAP program at Blenheim the Sunday when Melanie could not be there for that day. Did the rider evalations, written test grading and met with each of the riders INDIVIDUALLY about their scores...and quite MISERABLE those scores were for the most part!!!!

Not going to get into a banter about this and will only say..the "facts" you have posted are only half fact for the most part. Enough truth to them to make a great timeline, and with what is in your posts it is quite obvious where the miss-information is from.

I have always had the most respect for Melanie and admire what I have heard about Mindy...but IMHO am still very sad they chose to walk, especially before there was a chance to create something else. They were not a part of at least seeking change an options, THAT Is sad!

Your comment: Ike the co-chair had NEVER been to one session...is a complete falsehood and another bald face lie. Sally was at every one of the National sessions and others, as well as several other EAP members. To even remotely suggest that no one assisted Melanie is pure ridiculous.

Your comment: At same meeting Bower and Taylor are told you have no voting power and you can just be advisors . .......The conflict of interest discussed is no different that George Morris has with some of his activities and his declared conflict. After lengthy discussion I made the motion for ANYONE involved with EAP who is under USHJA contract and paid like George is, be under the same conflict of interest criteria as George. I don't believe George walked away from a program because of that criteria.

I will not continue with all your points and will only say at this point that I am truly sad Melanie and Mindy chose to walk, NO ONE demoted them or removed them or wrote them out of the program. They simple decided not to contribute in an advisory position. I wish they would have stayed but they chose not to and that is a loss for everyone, including THEM.

Lord Helpus
Nov. 28, 2011, 09:33 AM
Questions for both Kathy and Mary:

Could you please clarify the time line of the formation of the EAP subcommittee and its month-long endeavors vis a vis the EAP West Coast Finals which is when Mrs. K. Polistyle posted that:


At some point there was a discussion that the National list of riders was posted on the internet. That led to various conversations about EAP throughout the show. I found myself behind a group of ladies that commented on the list chosen and made statements indicating their disapproval and approval of those chosen. They continued the conversation talking in the negative about Ms. Taylor and how they were designing a new program that would be done better and in the spirit of the USHJA and that Ms. Taylor was no longer involved.

Are these the people (Sally, Karen, Kathy and Mary -- i.e. member of the subcommittee) who spoke negatively about Melanie and who were boasting about redesigning the program so it was "better" , and that Ms Taylor was no longer involved? Or would these people have been members of the larger group -- of the EAP Committee in general -- prior to the subcommittee being formed?

If news of this conversation between two committee members got back to Melanie (which it did) prior to the subcommittee being formed, then it was no wonder she declined to be part of such a group, knowing of the bias of its members.

I am also curious if the sub committee was formed after Melanie was striped of her voting rights on the EAP Committee.

If this conversation took place after the subcommittee had been formed, then I can only imagine her relief at having made the decision she did.

Melanie is one classy lady to have kept this episode under wraps, and asked K Polistyle to do the same until after Nationals and news of her resignation had been announced.

It must have been very hard for her to continue working on the EAP until finals, knowing what her felloow committee members thought of her.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:05 AM
KHobstetter you are perfect for the USHJA. People know the truth, which your post was void of. I will leave it at that with you.

sunshinestate
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:21 AM
Living and training in California, KHOBSTETTER is either known as the good soldier or the squeaky wheel that can get things done or one real PIA, whichever side of the fence you travel on. Least we forget she makes her living off of being a show manager, organizer, magazine editor, website owner of various horse related products, you name it, it involves horses and the West Coast. And for her own marketing she sits on committees and organizations to ensure her West Coast is protected. Oh I am sure she will say it is to give back to the horse community. That is what people who market themselves do to increase their business and increase their presence. That is nothing to be shameful about. It wouldn't surprise me if she was considered for the Presidency at USHJA when it opened up.

What is shameful is her posts and the apparent inconsistencies. I personally wrote many recommendation letters for EAP riders and not once did I receive a call from KHobstetter about the reference so her posting indicating that she called each one at every level is clearly erroneous. I have attended many EAP sessions in the West Coast and never saw her present and trust me, you wouldn't miss her. Always letting everyone know she is there and what she has done for you, the West Coasters. Maybe I am confused but you wouldn't check references for level 2 and 3 as those are invite only levels. I don't know who she has sponsored for EAP, although I am sure she will tell us.


I just don't believe her posts and I feel down deep that there is something very wrong with what occurred and hopefully someday the truth will come out. Because the only ones affected are the very kids Taylor and Bower were working to help, not stroking the egos of the USHJA.

jonesy
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:36 AM
Kpolistile, you have class and good for what you exposed. I hope you go to the convention and stand up in the main assembly and let it rip!

Lord Helpus, great posts.

Twofoxfarm, I think you have it all right. People just don't want to hear it.

Mary Babick, if you are who you say then run fast away from that group. Disassociate.

Khobsetter, "I ain't buying it!!!" Not a word of what you wrote. I hope they make you Chair this year. You earned it!

Sunshinestate, Khobstetter is yours, keep her over there and keep her busy.

The posters who support MST, Bower and the clinicians and committee members who supported MST, you hitched your horse to the right wagon. The wagon that cares for the riders and horses, equally and first.

To EAP 2012, best of luck.

To USHJA, can't wait to see how much is spent in 2012, and look forward to all the committee member hands that have pledged to be there in support FREE of charge.

ponyflyer
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:06 PM
Questions for both Kathy and Mary:

Could you please clarify the time line of the formation of the EAP subcommittee and its month-long endeavors vis a vis the EAP West Coast Finals which is when Mrs. K. Polistyle posted that:



Are these the people (Sally, Karen, Kathy and Mary -- i.e. member of the subcommittee) who spoke negatively about Melanie and who were boasting about redesigning the program so it was "better" , and that Ms Taylor was no longer involved? Or would these people have been members of the larger group -- of the EAP Committee in general -- prior to the subcommittee being formed?

If news of this conversation between two committee members got back to Melanie (which it did) prior to the subcommittee being formed, then it was no wonder she declined to be part of such a group, knowing of the bias of its members.

I am also curious if the sub committee was formed after Melanie was striped of her voting rights on the EAP Committee.

If this conversation took place after the subcommittee had been formed, then I can only imagine her relief at having made the decision she did.

Melanie is one classy lady to have kept this episode under wraps, and asked K Polistyle to do the same until after Nationals and news of her resignation had been announced.

It must have been very hard for her to continue working on the EAP until finals, knowing what her felloow committee members thought of her.

I was not part of the conversation that K. Polistyle was exposed to. I think that whoever said that should be ashamed of themselves and I wish I knew who they were. I received K. Polistyle's letter and I did not respond because she specifically said she did not want a response. My response would have been to apologize for what happened. I have a quote that I tell the kids: Q: What do you learn at horse shows? A: How not to act. What a shame that things had to go down this negative path. There should not be talk of better. How insulting to Melanie with all of her hard work.

The sub-committee was formed on the same call where Melanie was asked to become a non-voting adviser. I believe that the chairman of committees only votes in the case of a tie. I know that I never vote on any of the Youth calls. The K. Polistyle situation came later than that.

I have spent a small amount of time with Melanie and I find her to be a well educated person who knows what she wants. She will be missed for sure. I was looking forward to working with her because Youth Committee has a new program that links to the EAP Nationals. As I said, the situation is a crying shame.

Kpolistile
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:55 PM
To everyone, I have pledged my funds, when needed, to Melanie Taylor for whatever she deems is useful for the youth she wishes to teach. I will not provide a penny to the USHJA!!

See you all at the convention.

trubandloki
Nov. 28, 2011, 01:33 PM
Please rest assured that funding is indeed welcome, but I don't remember anyone walking up to any of us and trying to hand us a check.
Ever think that if funding for a program is truly the issue that maybe asking for it might make it appear more quickly than just wishing it would show up?

ponyflyer
Nov. 28, 2011, 01:55 PM
Lucassb – I know that you are correct in that many phone calls and e mails were not returned by USHJA in the past. This is a subject that Shelby and I have discussed and I thought that it had been addressed. Have you tried recently? If you have tried and gotten the same lack of response I would like to know. If you are not too disgusted by your previous experiences, I wish that you would try again. As I have mentioned before, Shelby answers her own phone and she would be happy to speak to you. The USHJA put out a signup sheet for potential committee members at the St. Petersburg Annual meeting. Last year it got lost in the shuffle. This year I will make sure that is out there again. I will ask Shelby if it is possible to do an online signup sheet for those who can’t be at the Annual Meeting.

TwoFox - it is interesting that you accuse me of putting spin on this situation. Any person who knows me knows that spin is not part of my personality. If anything, I get in trouble for telling the truth whether or not people want to hear it. I've given you my name and the horse world is small. Ask a few people and find people who know me. Ask about how I comport myself. I'm always open to constructive criticism and will examine your words for a few days but I pretty sure that you are barking up the wrong tree.

As Kathy Hobstetter has noted, you definitely have some of the facts correct.

Here are some clarifications:

The prior Planning Committee meetings dealt with other topics. Those meetings are hard work - you are deluged with an enormous amount of information. Each meeting deals with a certain aspect of the organization as a whole. The Planning Committee received the financials for the USHJA this summer (that is an approximate date - I am going by memory and if you want a specific date I will look it up for you). Each program was reviewed in depth from a financial perspective. From being in these meetings and from trying to keep current on the general memberships point of view, I can say that there are many people who are unhappy with how and where USHJA's funds are distributed. The Planning Committee is well aware of this. As you know, until this year the USHJA did not have a CEO and that is why many of these things did not come to light earlier. You may not like Shelby but I find her to be a tireless worker and fair minded. It will take some time for her to get to every nook and cranny of USHJA but she is trying. Part of Shelby’s responsibility is to balance the budget. Every part of the financials was examined to see how to do this. I have never found her to use personal motivations in her business dealings. There are time that I don't agree with her but that is how life is. We can't always be on the same page.

The funding offer from the person you mention did not come until after the fact. I know that USHJA has done some fundraising and it is slow going. As an aside, each new program at USHJA has to be self funded. Youth Committee is launching the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge in February and we did ask for a grant from the Foundation and I made a lot of fundraising calls. I have a GREAT committee but not one of them did anything to help with fundraising. I don't say that to slap down my committee - I say it to let you realize that committees don't always have the time or desire to fund raise. It does fall on the chairperson in the end. Fortunately, I found some great donors. I know from the Planning Committee that if a company is hired to find sponsorship, they make their money by taking a commission from the sponsorship. That isn't true when an individual brings in some kind of funding. I know that both Melanie and Sally are incredibly busy and probably did not have much time to devote to looking for funding. There is a button on the EAP website to donate (a small effort but an effort, regardless).

The proposal to run things in one place was intriguing but by my recollection, it wasn't quite as you describe. I'm not sure where you got your information. Either the person who submitted the proposal showed it to you (appropriate) or a committee member discussed it (inappropriate). I am not at liberty to discuss it because it is part of the confidentiality agreement that committee members are bound by. Here is information from the Committee Handbook which is on the USHJA website (the bold text is part of the Handbook):

“Committee Member Code of Conduct
USHJA committee members are dedicated to effective decision-making and, once a
decision has been made, speaking with one voice. To achieve this goal, committee
members will:
Speak from broad member and community interests, putting the needs of the sport
ahead of the needs of a specific group, individual or faction of the membership
and stakeholders.
Speak for themselves (“my own thinking on this is that…”) rather for than a
group of members.
Express additional or alternative points of view and invite others to do so.
Refrain from “lobbying” other committee members outside of meetings that might
have the effect of creating factions and limiting free and open discussion.
On important issues, be balanced in one’s effort to understand others and to make
oneself understood.
Once made, support, indeed defend, committee decisions, even if one’s own view
is a minority one.
Not disclose or discuss differences of opinion on the committee outside of
committee meetings, especially with staff, volunteers or clients. (For this reason
information on who votes for and against any particular motion will not be
recorded in meeting minutes unless the Chair requests it).
Respect the confidentiality of information on sensitive issues.
When a USHJA Board Member is serving on a USHJA Committee they are
serving as an individual rather than as a Board Representative/Member.
Refrain from speaking for the organization unless authorized to do so.
Disclose one’s involvement with other organizations, businesses or individuals
where such a relationship might be viewed as a conflict of interest (see Conflict of
Interest Policy) and willingly set aside the interests of those organizations,
businesses or individuals when making policies and decisions that impact the
overall sport and USHJA membership and stakeholders.
4
Conflict of Interest Statement
Committee members are expected to reveal any personal, family or business interests that
they have, that, by creating a divided loyalty, could influence their judgment and
hence the wisdom of decisions. A conflict of interest exists wherever an individual could
benefit, disproportionally from others, directly or indirectly, from access to information
or from a decision over which they might have influence, or, where someone might
reasonably perceive there to be such a benefit and influence. A perceived conflict of
interest may be just as damaging as an actual conflict of interest.
The reality is that in order to avoid all conflict in equestrian sports, you would have to go
outside of our sport to find people who have no vested interest. At that point, you end up
having a sport governed by people who have no idea of what the sport is about. We
acknowledge that everyone in this sport has an inherent conflict of interest. The
problems occur when that conflict reaches a level that compromises an individual’s
ability to objectively consider a matter and render a recommendation on the issue at hand
that first and foremost serves the needs of the organization and its stakeholders.
Examples of possible conflict of interest situations with respect to our Association
include:
A committee member has a personal or business relationship with the Association
as a supplier of goods or services.
A committee member has a personal or financial relationship with an individual
or organization or other entity which will be significantly impacted by decisions
of the Committee.
The Association is employing someone who is directly related to a committee
member.
Conflicts of interest (real and perceived) are unavoidable and should not prevent an
individual from serving as a committee member, director or staff member unless the
extent of the interest is so significant that the potential for divided loyalty is present in a
large number of situations”

In terms of your questions about the formation of the sub-committee, all members were invited and no one else wanted to participate.

You are correct that I only went to a level 1 clinic. My apologies for saying that Mindy was not involved. I truly did not know that she was involved from the first year. I beg to differ on the no contact with Mindy by the sub-committee. I personally e mailed her twice. One e mail received no reply (we will blame that one on the void in cyber space). Her response to the second e mail told me that she did not want to be involved in EAP and therefore did not want to answer my questions. What questions, you may ask? I needed to understand her part of the program. I know what I don’t know and I needed her guidance. I had to respect her decision.

The Buck premiere proceeds were clearly noted in the USHJA financials which were presented to the Planning Committee.

I find some of your post frustrating. You raise points that happened on EAP calls. If you are a Committee member then you know that we are bound by confidentiality on certain sensitive subjects. If not, where is your information coming from? Confidentiality protects people on committees and allows the free exchange of thoughts. Look at this forum – would many of these people air their views under their real name? I think not. I will have much more respect for you if you say who you are rather than posting behind a screen name. Using my name allows people to do research to validate my point of view.

As an aside, I did bring up to Sally Ike that each committee member should be required to attend at least one EAP session per year. When I joined the committee, at no time was I told that I needed to attend the training sessions and as I pointed out, I schedule my time far in advance. I do have responsibilities to my customers and they come first. USHJA, of necessity, must come second. I do plan to attend what I can for this year. I find your perceived sarcasm a bit tough to take. I think that I am down in the trenches working hard. Perhaps you don’t know that about me but again, I encourage you to do some research.

I will do some fact finding on the following subjects:

Publication of the survey data
George Morris Horsemastership clinic question
Buck donations

Thank you for your time,

Mary Babick

ponyflyer
Nov. 28, 2011, 02:37 PM
Okay TwoFox - here are the answers I said I would research. These are direct quotes from my e mail to Shelby French:

1. Posting the survey results.
SF: We did do a quick survey of EAP level 1 to about 350 riders and 92 responded. The issue was really about determining costs to the participants, not about what the program should contain in terms of sponsorships etc. I don’t see what good posting the survey would do and I did share the relative results with the committee members at the time we were having conversations about where to go with the program for 2012.

2. USHJA Foundation/George Morris
SF: The USHJA is contributing $10,000 to support the GHM next year, so that in part we can continue to send two individuals from the EAP program to attend the event.

3. Buck premiere proceeds
SF: The actual total was $22,000 give or take a little and you are right that it will be used to offset the program deficit.

4. Buck premiere corporate donors
SF: Neither Whitney or I know what they are talking about in terms of corporate donors. We had approximately 30 days from the time we were told that the premier was a possibility until the event actually happened. No one told us about any corporate donors or asked for any information about such, at least that made its way to us at the office.

I hope those answers help. Shelby IS approachable. I e mailed her the questions and she sent a reply in about 20 minutes.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 28, 2011, 02:41 PM
Mary:

I do like your tenacity and your fight. I also appreciate your willingness to point out that your own Youth committee did not help you with fundraising and left you stranded. This was a point made over the summer with too much duplication on committees and people spread way too thin. Your efforts went to your Youth committee and NOT to the EAP committee that you were also a member. This is why people should be on 1-2 committees only. Maybe even one. New active blood is needed. The USHJA needs to give incentives like hours in towards certification or other methods.

As far as confidentiality, I wish I were a committee member because many things would have gotten done, right. As far as confidentiality, that's comical when you and Kathy H are on here discussing what went on with the Planning Committee, BOD and EAP. Kathy H herself mentioned her impromptu meeting about EAP when she surveyed the riders, parents, etc when that was all supposed to be confidential. How about the USHJA staff discussing the issues at EAP sessions on the sidelines when clinicians were in the ring teaching. What about what that lady wrote to Moroney and YOU and the gang back in September about overhearing confidential matters? But things should be out in the open because if so, sponsors would have realized a problem and stepped up. When you cloak things in alleged or perceived confidentiality you get cynical responses.

As far as funding, you yourself admit the USHJA just got a CEO this year and she had to start balancing the budget. Therefore it seems true that no one knew that the program was in financial jeopardy until the August 2 planning meeting which is online with typed minutes thus not confidential. Why didn't the USHJA forego the National Convention or downsize to save money to use towards these pet projects?

But if Melanie and other EAP Clinicians were in the trenches teaching and doing other stuff, and the committee on a whole knew of financial concerns earlier, like co-chair Sally Ike, then why were they not fundraising. What about Kathy H doing some fundraising to a program so near and dear to her heart. Why? Because those financial concerns were not conveyed to the EAP committee. For certain if they were, you Mary would have kicked it in high gear and done something about it. This is how I know it wasn't discussed before because it would have been dealt with. That is an issue when it comes from left field.

We are all frustrated at the USHJA not advertising for sponsors to keep this program as is. I can't believe Moroney or someone would not have called that lady who said she would put up money and diffuse the situation and promise her Melanie, Mindy and the stars above for her sizeable donation. I find when people say no they really mean yes.....call them and draw them back in.

As far as that proposal, yes I saw it from the farm that provided it to the USHJA and that is fair game. The woman was proud of what she put together in hopes of making EAP bigger, better and off the financial books of the USHJA. The way the numbers looked it was very workable and doable. In fact, she was even willing to put in her own money to see it off the ground but no one called her or discussed this with her. She is in our Zone and I attended her EAP session which was an amazing success due to her and SCAD too. That woman did not charge auditors, donated stalls and shavings to the kids so they didnt have to pay, and so forth. She was a diamond to the EAP and you all missed her too.

As far as names, I do not chose to have the wrath of the USHJA blackballing for shared opinions because it happens and don't dare say it does not.

I thank you for your continued efforts to set the story straight and to insure I have the facts clear. Like you, if I am wrong I will admit it. But I am really done with the banter. It will not fix what has been done and the information provided just continues to support what we know.

I am still curious about the three points you are researching. Maybe you MARY will figure this all out and get it back on track with your research.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 28, 2011, 02:53 PM
Ponyflyer, sorry your responses came as I was drafting.

The survey went to Level 1, short turn around, and about 26% responded. No benefit of the survey. So I was right!

I asked how much the USHJA donated to GHM clinic and Shelby says next year, which I am assuming she means the 2012 clinic of riders picked in 2011 just recently. I consider that this years' money. So they are contributing $10,000 for two riders to be allowed spots, or $5,000 each but yet the EAP winner gets another $3,000 to train with a professional. Can you tell us what the cost is for running the GHM clinic in total? I can't say I am bothered by this because the two top riders deserve something special for their hardwork. Did USHJA donate for last year?

As far as corporate donors, there are plenty of emails reflecting the requests for information, but that now is moot. I do agree with Shelby that the premiere came up very fast but provisions should have been made to grab money.

Thank you for the responses.

ponyflyer
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
Mary:

I do like your tenacity and your fight. I also appreciate your willingness to point out that your own Youth committee did not help you with fundraising and left you stranded. This was a point made over the summer with too much duplication on committees and people spread way too thin. Your efforts went to your Youth committee and NOT to the EAP committee that you were also a member. This is why people should be on 1-2 committees only. Maybe even one. New active blood is needed. The USHJA needs to give incentives like hours in towards certification or other methods.

As far as confidentiality, I wish I were a committee member because many things would have gotten done, right. As far as confidentiality, that's comical when you and Kathy H are on here discussing what went on with the Planning Committee, BOD and EAP. Kathy H herself mentioned her impromptu meeting about EAP when she surveyed the riders, parents, etc when that was all supposed to be confidential. How about the USHJA staff discussing the issues at EAP sessions on the sidelines when clinicians were in the ring teaching. What about what that lady wrote to Moroney and YOU and the gang back in September about overhearing confidential matters? But things should be out in the open because if so, sponsors would have realized a problem and stepped up. When you cloak things in alleged or perceived confidentiality you get cynical responses.

As far as funding, you yourself admit the USHJA just got a CEO this year and she had to start balancing the budget. Therefore it seems true that no one knew that the program was in financial jeopardy until the August 2 planning meeting which is online with typed minutes thus not confidential. Why didn't the USHJA forego the National Convention or downsize to save money to use towards these pet projects?

But if Melanie and other EAP Clinicians were in the trenches teaching and doing other stuff, and the committee on a whole knew of financial concerns earlier, like co-chair Sally Ike, then why were they not fundraising. What about Kathy H doing some fundraising to a program so near and dear to her heart. Why? Because those financial concerns were not conveyed to the EAP committee. For certain if they were, you Mary would have kicked it in high gear and done something about it. This is how I know it wasn't discussed before because it would have been dealt with. That is an issue when it comes from left field.

We are all frustrated at the USHJA not advertising for sponsors to keep this program as is. I can't believe Moroney or someone would not have called that lady who said she would put up money and diffuse the situation and promise her Melanie, Mindy and the stars above for her sizeable donation. I find when people say no they really mean yes.....call them and draw them back in.

As far as that proposal, yes I saw it from the farm that provided it to the USHJA and that is fair game. The woman was proud of what she put together in hopes of making EAP bigger, better and off the financial books of the USHJA. The way the numbers looked it was very workable and doable. In fact, she was even willing to put in her own money to see it off the ground but no one called her or discussed this with her. She is in our Zone and I attended her EAP session which was an amazing success due to her and SCAD too. That woman did not charge auditors, donated stalls and shavings to the kids so they didnt have to pay, and so forth. She was a diamond to the EAP and you all missed her too.

As far as names, I do not chose to have the wrath of the USHJA blackballing for shared opinions because it happens and don't dare say it does not.

I thank you for your continued efforts to set the story straight and to insure I have the facts clear. Like you, if I am wrong I will admit it. But I am really done with the banter. It will not fix what has been done and the information provided just continues to support what we know.

I am still curious about the three points you are researching. Maybe you MARY will figure this all out and get it back on track with your research.

TwoFox,

Thanks for your words. I told you that lively debate was always interesting.

As far as the amount of committees a person can be on, I think 2 things. The first is that committee chairmen need to be effective, high level communicators. If my committee chairmen never informed me that they needed me to do anything other than read the applications and write the exams for the various levels how would I know to go to the sessions? Had I understood that I needed to go to the EAP sessions I would have tried. I'm not sure I would have been successful because of scheduling but I can't read minds. Your post is a good wake up call for all committee chairmen to be better communicators. I will remember that. Second, some people are tireless committee workers and others not so much. I think the amount of responsibility handled depends on the amount of quality output.

I spent a fairly large amount of time writing the exams. I'm not sure you can really tweak me about lack of participation.

I can't speak for Kathy Hobstetter's comments. Nothing I have said violates any part of the confidentiality guidelines. I am only responsible for myself.

Blackballing? That wouldn't be my style.

Rel6
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:22 PM
The survey went to Level 1, short turn around, and about 26% responded. No benefit of the survey. So I was right!

This is a huge shame. I participated and definitely responded to the survey because there were things about my experience with EAP that I wanted to convey. Maybe an incentive? Although that shouldn't be necessary.

Perhaps juniors who reapply for the EAP after participating the previous year MUST fill out the survey in order for their apps to be considered. I think giving feedback for new programs like this is so important.

alittlegray
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:35 PM
This is totally aside at this point, but what happened to the 3' section? Kids like my DD may never *get* to 3'6" without the exposure/opportunity to participate at the 3' level.

Icon SH
Nov. 28, 2011, 04:05 PM
As to the comments concerning a private facility offering a proposal to allow the EAP to become self-supportive….it’s true. I am the owner of Icon and I am the individual who made the proposal.

In June of this year I hosted my first Level 1 EAP clinic. I was so impressed with the teaching and the concepts being presented I thought it was important to somehow offer the entire EAP experience to all participants. As TwoFoxFarm reported my goal was to present a plan that would be self-sustaining….and I was more than willing to put my money where my mouth is!

For last June’s EAP I charged NOTHING for stalls….participants were allowed to come in a minimum of 2 days prior to the start of the program…many were traveling several hours to TN and I am ALL about the health/welfare of the horse traveling (especially in the heat of June). Participants were allowed to stay several days afterwards (again at no charge) so the horses had adequate time to rest and could possibly travel at night instead of the heat of the day.

I am appalled at the postings from what is obviously committee members at some level…..it is obvious they never read and/or were not given the opportnity to read the proposal submitted. Further, it was not the end-all proposal, but that NO ONE in the USHJA was willing to even discuss the multiple possibilities was very surprising to me and yet not. I submitted the proposal in July with an acknowledgement from USHJA in late August.

Here is Ms. Shelby’s direct response:

Dear Rhonda,

I apologize for being tardy in responding to your proposal regarding the hosting of EAP training sessions at ICON Sporthorses. The USHJA Planning Committee met in early August and made recommendations regarding the revamping of the current Emerging Athletes Program. The EAP committee has met to discuss those recommendations and will be presenting their ideas for a redesign of the program to the USHJA Board of Directors in mid-September.

At this point, it is clear that the committee is not in favor of centralizing the training sessions to one location. Therefore on behalf of the USHJA, I must decline your very generous offer to serve as a central site for the Emerging Athletes Program. You and your entire staff received rave reviews for the wonderful Level One EAP session that you hosted this year. I certainly hope that you will consider submitting an application to host an EAP training session next year. The host facility applications are available online at:
http://www.ushja.org/EAP/documents/applications/EAP_packet.pdf

The application deadline is September 1, 2011. We look forward to working with you in the future, and thank you for your support of the Emerging Athletes Program.

All the best,

Shelby

I'm with KP....my money/efforts are with MST!!!

tori13
Nov. 28, 2011, 04:33 PM
I can't believe how badly USHJA has messed this up. I responded to the survey and suggested something similar to what ICON stepped up and offered. One of my beefs with how it was run was that it wasn't necessarily a fair assessment of a kids abilities. This could be set up more like an ISHA show with the horsemanship, stable management, etc all being done. There could be East Coast and West Coast sites. Maybe Julie Winkel would be interested. Riding unfamiliar horses is a great way to see exactly what kind of rider you have.

I have found USHJA to be unresponsive and lacking in customer service. I have lost faith in the organization and wouldn't send a dime to them. They remind me of a bloated charity that only gives out 5 cents of every dollar they collect. There is an inherent arrogance that seems to be seeping into everything they do. God bless all the hardworking, honest committee members that have to work in that environment. There are many who would be willing to help but geographically are unable to make the commitment. How do you get around that? The USHJA feels like a clique run by mean girls.

ICON SH, why can't we take you up on your offer, rename it, and make it the program the kids deserve? What do you need to make it viable?

fair judy
Nov. 28, 2011, 05:14 PM
Since it has been mentioned that some here "hide" behind screen names I will say that I am Sarah Hochschwender, although many here already know that. I do understand, however, why many choose to use alters and do not discredit or discount those who make that valid choice, as long as their language is reasonable, as most here on this thread seem to be.

Hopefully my old friend and mentor, Melanie, is reading these posts. There are no superlatives which can aptly describe how important she and those of her background are to the future of this sport. Melanie is not the sort of Person who expects to have her "ring kissed" and I look for clarification of this issue once she is released from the contractual relationship which is obviously also causing others to speak with caution.

I see not a single dissenting opinion as to the completely incomprehensible path this program is taking. No one would ever accuse MST of a "my way or the highway" sort of individual. If she stuck to her guns on this issue then I can only assume that it was of vital import, and I completely trust her judgement.

Mary Babick, haven't we met along the way? Did we meet through Scott H years ago?

ponyflyer
Nov. 28, 2011, 05:19 PM
Sarah, we may have met. One of my failings is to be better at faces than names. Perhaps one day we will meet again!

jonesy
Nov. 28, 2011, 05:29 PM
Tori13, thank you for your thoughts but keep in mind that Julie Winkel is a USHJA Board of Director and EAP Committee member, therefore, she had the chance to speak up and support the proposal ICON mentions and to ensure Taylor, Bower and others stuck around. Winkel even has in her bio how much Taylor influenced her as much as GHM and her own parents. That is pretty high praise if you ask me.

According To Winkel's bio she says the following:

Julie Winkel has been a longtime equestrian, growing up out west with both of her parents largely involved in numerous equestrian disciplines. At just 15 years of age, she opened her first barn and began teaching lessons and traveling to shows. As a young rider and trainer, Winkel had a desire to gain a complete education about the hunter/jumper industry. She owes much of her knowledge and training methods to Joe Fargis, George Morris, Melanie Taylor, and her parents.

In fact, Bower if my memory serves me correctly actually was a clinician in a young horse program that she, Winkel and others did. So Winkel knows the importance of groundwork and good horsemanship. She has hired these professionals to start her horses. She of all people should have been supporting no change of horsemanship. Winkel, unlike the others, did participate in many EAP sessions including Nationals so she should be on here echoing how important these ladies are/were to the program. I would be curious what Winkel has to say about what Babick and Kathy H are saying. Did Winkel fundraise? I am sure Winkel didn't want the ICON proposal because then her farm could not be offered as it had been in the past.

I found it odd that Winkel has managed to cherry pick EAP riders each year to join her paid internship program thus she is getting a true benefit from her EAP involvement into her business. Again, that is what professionals do as someone mentioned. I am not faulting her for that. You see good talent and you go get it. Donate your time, work for free or cheap, be a clinician and get some new clients from the mix. The difference with Taylor and Bower and other clinicians used like Linda Allen, they don't take clients to the show ring so trainers don't have to worry that their good students will be cherry-picked.

The point is having a program that no one else has. IHSA has their program and so it should be theirs. George has his program which is amazing. EAP was different because of the groundwork/horsemanship for the animal and riders. It allowed riders to explore a different avenue.

Keep open the good ideas Tori but more towards the groundwork vision.

tori13
Nov. 28, 2011, 06:07 PM
Jonesy, I am all for groundwork and assumed that ICON's proposal included MST and Mindy. Mindy is a miracle worker and I have personally spent days with her at her farm. She turned around our horse and my daughter's confidence. I sought her out because of her connection with the hunter/jumper community. I was leery of a "cowboy" approach to the behavior issues we were having but figured if MST used her then she was worth trying out. Our trainer had given up and told us to sell our horse that we had just bought two months before. We don't have the money to do that so we had to fix things. Mindy is a fixer. It is very disturbing that the h/j world is so ignorant of the methods that can actually help you train your horse.

Thanks for the insight on Julie Winkel. You bring up a lot of good points to ponder. My reference to ISHA is more to do with the kids don't come with their horses, are assigned randomly, and then get down to business. However this shakes out it is a crying shame that again MST will not be associated with the program. Karen Healey is certainly a successful big eq trainer but I just don't think she will bring the same passion that MST did.

2bayboys
Nov. 28, 2011, 07:06 PM
YOUR REMARK: Hobsttetter claims to have been to one EAP. ..is completely wrong and whoever is telling you that is bald face lying. I HAVE NEVER MADE ANY CLAIM TO ONLY ATTENDING ONLY ONE EAP, BECAUSE I ATTENDED SEVERAL. I personally fought to have the west coast sessions be broken into two (because of the geographics) and attended both sessions, north and south, at my own expense. Also RAN the EAP program at Blenheim the Sunday when Melanie could not be there for that day. Did the rider evalations, written test grading and met with each of the riders INDIVIDUALLY about their scores...and quite MISERABLE those scores were for the most part!!!!
.

While this is just a small excerpt from KHobstetter's post, I grab it as an example of a tone I find offensive, especially from a committee member, and particularly the remark about the supposed lack of quality in the written tests. That is simply in poor taste and unnecessary. The remainder of the post is largely self serving and narcissistic. "LOOK AT ALL I'VE DONE" it screams. Quite an enlightening piece of writing.

lauriep
Nov. 28, 2011, 07:07 PM
How is the new program proposed different from the GHM Horsemastership Clinic, except of course, without George?

First it is now 4 days, his is 4-5 days. His is USEF and USHJA supported. EAP is USHJA supported. Next his is invite only of 12-15 people one time per year but EAP is 24 kids for 4 days once a year invite only for that zone. Oh yes there is a Nationals where 2 EAP riders go to GHM clinic.

George has stable management (now EAP does too), George has vet care sessions (well so did EAP), George has Anne K, so does EAP now. George brings in professionals he has trained, now EAP is doing the same with Chris Kappler.

George worked with Buck Brannaman and MST with groundwork and left it to them to bring that to the next generation so as not to steal their vision and thunder, but now those folks are out. So his program nor EAP has that difference.

I suspect George and his clinicians are paid handsomely for the Horsemastership program and after its production you can buy the dvd's too.
Does anyone know how much the USEF and USHJA pay for his program in comparison to EAP?

It just seems GHM clinic and EAP run by MST focused on a different set and level of kids, now it all seems a blur together.

GHM and most of his clinicians, including me, are NOT paid, at all. Just expenses.

jonesy
Nov. 28, 2011, 09:30 PM
2bayboys I really wondered if people would be fooled by Kathy H.'s post. I love all the capital letters shouting everything she has done. I am glad you too, like I, saw through the garbage she posted. I give Babick far more credit for her honesty.

lauriep, I received two PMs from people in the know that advised GHM is in fact paid for his clinic time, although some do help, like yourself for expenses. All of you deserved to be paid for the hard work that goes into that clinic and the audience it reaches. Its a great program. GHM did make over $250,000 last year for his part-time services to the USEF plus additional expenses so I think its all built in to that quarter of a million he was paid. Please don't take offense to that because I know you are a strong proponent and rightly so. I am just pointing out he is well paid for his time and his talent, both of which he should never, nor anyone else, give away for free.

Jumphigh83
Nov. 29, 2011, 12:35 AM
If Mary B says it, rest assured that it is the truth and she is not shiny and slick she is real and truthful. It is SO sad that the USHJA "seems" to be engaging in yet another self serving incestuous foray. I could be wrong. This sport CERTAINLY does NOT need more riders. They are a dime a dozen (if you have the necessary $$) It needs more horsemen (of course implied is horsewomen) It is a real shame that MST has been taken down in the fray. A real loss for the grassroots kids whose interest isnt merely earning awards and ribbons but whose hearts desire is to be better horseman! It is REALLY scary how many unqualified, under educated "trainers" with little or no resumes are putting out shingles and represent the future of the industry. Seems to me if the grooms were to disappear, so would the ability to care appropriately for the horses. tragic for the industry and for the future of horse sports in general.

khobstetter
Nov. 29, 2011, 04:21 AM
TwoFoxF...just to clarify...the meetings and discussions with parents/riders and trainers were all informal, not offical and impromptu in my vendor trailer or around the rings at the shows (and some phone calls). One of the very special parts of these programs are the friendships formed and the opportunities to meet people around the ring to keep updated. My trailer is always open, please stop by if you get a chance.

Jones...after the fact I can see where you thought I was "yelling", I did not intend that, I was only trying to make the post easier to read, my apologies.

2bayboys.....I was asked direct questions and I responded. If the extensive amount of time put into this program offends, I will aslo apologize for the offensive...BUT I was directly asked "if I had" to several questions and I responded to each, sorry about the caps.

LordHelpUS....as far as I know none of the EAP committee members on any level had a negative conversation regarding MTS at any time but I am not with most of them much of the time. We were all pretty shocked to even hear about it when it came up. From day 1 in this program Melanie has been beyond exceptional and certainly the heart beat of it, no one will ever be able to take that away. In the beginning we worked closely together but when I sold my training business and started the magazine my time availability and travel funding changed so I have not been able to get to most of them anymore. That does not mean that I am not involved or dedicated or work hard for the program, it is just now on a different - and more home - level which I kind of like since I get more discussion time with several of the riders.

Others...I will never tell the names of riders I, or anyone I know, have helped fund for either EAP or any other endeavor. That is for the families to deciced to make public if they wish. ****Also, whoever said I am a show manager and organizer has it really quite wrong, have not done that for 10 years but maybe I'll think about it again.

Thanks Mary for your comments and your time. While it bring us a bit of wrath, it is worth it.

TwoFoxF...you are absolutely right, "new active blood" is needed...are you available or interested?? With your enthuasium and interest it could help with some of the issues you bring up and address here. Not kidding, I am quite serious!! Will you be at the convention next week? I am sure Mary and I would love to get the chance to talk directly with you.

trubandloki
Nov. 29, 2011, 11:00 AM
If my committee chairmen never informed me that they needed me to do anything other than read the applications and write the exams for the various levels how would I know to go to the sessions? Had I understood that I needed to go to the EAP sessions I would have tried.

This confuses me.
You are a member of a committee that makes decisions regarding a specific program but you do not think going to watch any part of it is necessary unless your chairman tells you to go?

I would think any member of the committee would think on their own that attending to see how things are going would be step one of being an educated member of that committee.

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 29, 2011, 11:03 AM
Kathy H. - Wow what a vast and utter turn around. I appreciate the offer to think about being involved but sadly I am not made from the same ilk as the rest. I think you see I would not sit on my hands nor use my hands to cover my mouth. Probably not the best combination for the USHJA. The damage that has been done and the tainting of what occurred is like drinking spoiled milk before you knew it was spoiled. Just can't get that taste out of your mouth. Then handing it to someone else and saying, "really try it" as if the spoiled milk would change in that instant. I think you see my point.

I also appreciate the open door trailer but since I am in Aiken and your in California the chance of us passing is slim and none. But maybe others will take you up on that offer.

I wish this debate took place back in August and September when problems erupted because it seems a quick financial fix would have stopped all this. $140,000 for a program is not alot to raise. Even if the USHJA had taken $1.00 from each member, it would have been $40,000; take back the $10,000 donation to GHM clinic, up the cost to the riders a small amount; and seek $75,000 in donations. How much does Dover the sponsor contribute to the program now?

I can understand that you lack additional funding to catch up with EAP sessions yourself but you all failed to listen to the folks that did. You failed to reach out to the equestrian community nationally to see that horsemanship is so important. Heck if the Buck movie has already reached the short list for the Oscars clearly people can see there is something real to the message. I think in retrospect you would admit that the committee got side-swiped with this all and everyone rushed for a fix instead of taking a step back, you included. You failed to listen to the captain of the ship MST and her first mate, Mindy Bower and her trusty clinicians who were there. If they were advocating for a one year hiatus there was a reason. Better to take a break then compromise.

Did you look at the Anne K thread and see that people are not excited to clinic with her? Or that she already teaches for GHM so why duplicate efforts? Just some thoughts.

If MST and Bower came back to EAP I would be there in a heartbeat but it seems that may only happen when hell freezes over which won't be anytime soon.

I have pledged my full support to MST, Bower and anyone else that flows their direction. I will work hard and long to ensure their vision of horsemanship carries on. And yes, I have rope halters and pink flags for my hunters. If it is good enough for Jennifer Alfano to have Mindy train her young show horses then she is good for me too.

Kathy H. I implore you to take a better look at where EAP was and where it is going. Please tell me how it is different from any other run of the mill program?

ponyflyer
Nov. 29, 2011, 11:22 AM
Trubandloki, in retrospect, I agree with you. I wish I could change the past but since I cannot, I will work on a different behavior for the future. My father has always said I that I have to learn things the hard way!

Beenthere
Nov. 29, 2011, 12:31 PM
Just to chime in something on a more positive note, Melanie will be doing a clinic this weekend in Ocala, Florida for those of you who wish to come by and say hello and see her in action. I would love to meet any of you who also have great support for her and her methods. The information is below and you can contact Kimberden South.

I will be the one with the rope halters and colorful flags doing groundwork before my sessions. :winkgrin:


Melanie Smith - Taylor Clinic @ Kimberden South

Below you will find the session schedule for each day:

2'6 session 8:00 - 10:00

3'0 session 10:15 - 12:15

3'6 session 1:00 - 3:00


Kimberden will be hosting a Meet & Eat on Saturday evening starting @ 5:30...this should be a fun evening for everyone to get to know each other. We promise to end early so everyone gets a good nights rest.

Directions to Kimberden South....our physical address is:
5400 NW 110th Ave.
Ocala, Florida

We ask that you come in and out from our service entrance off of 464B with all vehicles. Truck & Trailer parking will through the service entrance only.

Directions to the service entrance: Coming west on Hwy 27...turn left on 464B and follow it around the curve heading west on 464B...you will pass the front of Kimberden. Continue out to the entrance of New Haven Training Center.....it will be next to a big tan building and you will come through a blue gate. Turn left into entrance and continue straight out and the road will go left up a hill....you will pass the top barn on your right and race track on the left. Follow down the hill and you will come through the service entrance .. you will see the truck & trailer parking on the right.

khobstetter
Nov. 29, 2011, 12:35 PM
TwoFoxF..thanks. Not really a turnaround at all, just listened to the posters point about caps..it was never my intention to be yelling :-)!!

As far as your comment about yourself... "I would not sit on my hands nor use my hands to cover my mouth", I can be sure you have a chair right next to mine! Sometimes it gets quite a little hot sitting here but from your posts I am assured you can handle it :-) (compliment ment!)

Sunshinestate on here said "KHOBSTETTER is either known as the good soldier or the squeaky wheel that can get things done or one real PIA.." I am not an all person to all people for sure but at least give it a shot which puts the barrells pointed right at me half the time. On occasion I can dodge the bullet but more times than not I'm not fast enough (hence the caps :-( )

As far as the EAP, I think its a really good committee and is made up of some amazing people who really have worked hard these three years with the best intentions as we have tried to keep it alive. While I am the first to say we are far from perfect, we at least get up to our necks in shi(&^^$ and get dirty trying to at least make things happen.

The thing I will say is that its a wonderful program and glad it will continue, maybe not exactly like before but at least continue which is truly what we heard out in the community. I was, and still am, terribly sad that MTS will not continue with it and will miss her calls and discussions about the project, she is truly an amazing individual!!!!

PLEASE PLEASE (yes I'm yelling) :-) don't let the milage from SoCal to Aiken seem too far! While it is difficult and uncomfortable to be on these committees, especially when it gets boiling like this one..the process can be difficult...it is well worth the time to volunteer.

My father (a wise old rancher) said in one of his little quips when I would whine or gripe as a kid..."Listen kid, if your smart enough to see a problem then you are smart enough to also see the solution..the decider of who you are is your willingness to get in there and help with the remedy or stand by and watch someone else do it. Your choice and I'm NOT going to do it for you!!" One of his several lessons in life....he was sort of a James Stewart guy (really!)

Contrary to the reasons someone on here gave about my reasons to be involved with things like USHJA, EAP, college aps and so on..the truth is I simply love horses, kids and the sport and struggled my way through alone since I was 17 with no family support and a child to raise. I always wanted 8 kids but only was blessed with the one :-( and that leaves me lots of time as I have gotten "older" to play on the sidelines now. Its a bitch getting old but all the other endeavors I am involved in have come from getting old, not being able to ride alot any more, being a physically slowed down hyperactive and what to do with the time. The good Lord has been good to me with it for sure...He (and I) certainly has a way of making it hard sometimes though :-)

While I appreciate the emotion and passion of EVERY poster who has chimed in, please all of you just know that we are volunteers trying to do the best we can with what we have to work with and are truly sorry we can't make it all perfect...your words sting and your words hurt but don't change our resolve to serve the sport in whatever way we can. Hopefully...............it passes muster when the guns get loaded.

Sorry there guys, got a little nostaligic .....

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 29, 2011, 02:33 PM
Kathy H. - I have pledged my support, interest, time and energy to Melanie, Mindy and whomever else continues horsemanship for the next generation. That is where I will be, where ever that is. So my interest and energy will not go to waste. That I assure you.

But I am honored at your suggestion and request.

Kenjackson
Nov. 29, 2011, 02:53 PM
Has anyone been to a AK clinic? If not, you are in for a rude awakening. She is mean and rude. I audited and I felt bad for the riders. A recent GM clinic had a "chubby" rider in it and GM berated her all the time she was in there. "More riding,less fork action", "what do you do for exercise?" she replied I walk/jog and he said "where do you walk to the fridge?". This girl was not grossly fat, just what I call chubby. AK in my opinion is way worse then GM, not that he is a nice walk in the park either!. They replaced Melanie with Anne? Good Lord!

Sad to see this whole thing fall apart. What a tragedy.

khobstetter
Nov. 29, 2011, 07:16 PM
TwoFoxF...I salute your loyalty and glad you are supporting her efforts and I hope she finds a path that really makes her content, she is a terrific person we all really do care for a lot....just as we care about EAP and the other programs that reach young people. There is plenty of room for these type projects and possibly whatever she steps to next will be funded and supported by you guys...she deserves that!!

Hopefully will see you down the road someday, I ocassionaly get east and in that general area , if I undrestand that location...maybe not close to you but certainly in that direction. Let's tip a cup of GOOD coffee if our paths cross and you can pound me in person. :-)

lauriep
Nov. 30, 2011, 09:44 AM
2bayboys I really wondered if people would be fooled by Kathy H.'s post. I love all the capital letters shouting everything she has done. I am glad you too, like I, saw through the garbage she posted. I give Babick far more credit for her honesty.

lauriep, I received two PMs from people in the know that advised GHM is in fact paid for his clinic time, although some do help, like yourself for expenses. All of you deserved to be paid for the hard work that goes into that clinic and the audience it reaches. Its a great program. GHM did make over $250,000 last year for his part-time services to the USEF plus additional expenses so I think its all built in to that quarter of a million he was paid. Please don't take offense to that because I know you are a strong proponent and rightly so. I am just pointing out he is well paid for his time and his talent, both of which he should never, nor anyone else, give away for free.

Sorry, but your informants are incorrect. I am only speaking to the first four years, but in those years, not one clinician or lecturer was paid. Not one, including George. That is what made our time there so special. EVERYONE gave of their time and expertise. It was John and George's vision to do it in this way. Furthermore, no actual money was donated. Sponsors only donated product or publicity. The little money that was spent on things like travel assistance for a few people, including me, came from John Madden Sales. John is who was passionate about this venture, to the point of underwriting it himself for the most part. Wellington was chosen as the venue since so many of the people they wanted to participate as clinicians were already there, keeping costs down. USEF/USHJA was only marginally involved and this certainly didn't come under any of George's mandates from them.

I was very involved in the preparations at the site, and am dear friends with the person who got every sponsor and every clinician onboard. She is the one who knows who got paid what, and that was zippo.

What the deal is now that USHJA has taken it over, I have no idea.

jonesy
Nov. 30, 2011, 10:18 AM
Lauriep the information came from within the USEF but it really is irrelevant. If someone paid me $250,000 I would probably give them a few days work for free. But it seems the GHM clinic shouldn't need to take $10,000 from the USHJA under your scenario. Don't get me wrong the GHM program is top notch and enjoyable watch and learn each year. It certainly has given back to top talent and opportunities for trainers and spectators to learn. I am sure it is much easier to get a clinician to give a day or two for the GHM program when they are already in Wellington for circuit.

Lauriep are you also involved with EAP?

M. O'Connor
Nov. 30, 2011, 10:36 AM
I will be at the USJHA meeting and hope to learn more about the direction EAP will take.

I'm also interested in finding out where MST will be headed from here.

I am always interested in serving on committees, and though have not found it to be as easy as saying so, will keep knocking at that door.

KH you have a PM.

donkeyman, you also have a PM.

ponyflyer
Nov. 30, 2011, 11:36 AM
M. O'Conner I am glad to hear you will be at the Annual Meeting. There will be a sign up sheet for people who are interested in committee service (I have verified this with Shelby French). I am going to ask her if they will have an ongoing on-line sign up sheet for those who cannot make it to the convention.

I have already passed Lucassb's name to Shelby for consideration. The answer that I got from Shelby is there are not current vacancies but there will be some re-seating in 2012. I would love to meet you at the Annual Meeting.

Mary Babick

trubandloki
Nov. 30, 2011, 12:14 PM
The answer that I got from Shelby is there are not current vacancies but there will be some re-seating in 2012.
Is this the same group that prior in this thread it was posted that it was hard to get the minimum of four people to sign up for? Now they are saying four is enough, they do not want more?

TwoFoxFarm
Nov. 30, 2011, 12:34 PM
well if bower, allen, moore, taylor, alfano, shuford hicks and solem are out there seems to be openings galore. Or has moroney already selected HIS people for those spots.

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2011, 12:43 PM
I have already passed Lucassb's name to Shelby for consideration. The answer that I got from Shelby is there are not current vacancies but there will be some re-seating in 2012.

On a PR note, a better way to say this, assuming one actually does want new people for committees, is,

"Thank you! We will be re-forming committees in 2012, and will contact you then to see if we can find a good fit for your interests."

This is a welcoming response, where the first response (unintentionally I'm sure ;) ) gives the impression that the person is a bother for asking and at best is ignorant for not knowing when volunteers might be needed and having the moxie to speak up at the wrong time.

ponyflyer
Nov. 30, 2011, 01:17 PM
Thanks for the PR lesson. It was my intention to let people know that there would not be instant action on committee appointments. It just goes to show that someone should invent a program that shows the "speaking tone" of written information. It is hard to convey that in the written word unless you are writing dialogue.

But I will work on my skills.

As an aside, I'm not the person doing the contacting. I'm just trying to facilitate the flow of information.

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2011, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the PR lesson. It was my intention to let people know that there would not be instant action on committee appointments. It just goes to show that someone should invent a program that shows the "speaking tone" of written information. It is hard to convey that in the written word unless you are writing dialogue.

But I will work on my skills.

As an aside, I'm not the person doing the contacting. I'm just trying to facilitate the flow of information.

Sorry, I really wasn't trying to be critical of you. I imagine that's how it was conveyed to you from Shelby, and it's a translation of a translation....

trubandloki
Nov. 30, 2011, 02:49 PM
O
This is a welcoming response, where the first response (unintentionally I'm sure ;) ) gives the impression that the person is a bother for asking and at best is ignorant for not knowing when volunteers might be needed and having the moxie to speak up at the wrong time.

The way I read the first response is more - Um, gee thanks, we will see if we like you enough to add you to our group, but right now we do not want to do that.

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2011, 03:03 PM
Another suggestion for committees. If you're just having people put their names on a list, then they should be called and interviewed or they should be asked for some supporting information about who they are and what their interests are.

I've run a couple of small nonprofits and I well know that some volunteers are best told, thanks but no thanks.

In a national organization with so many participants and so many truly good people who may not be A-circuit regulars, it's valuable to reach out to people who may not be known to anyone currently serving. So as an organization, it's wise to ask yourself beforehand what you'd want to know about and from those people in order to seat them, and give them the chance to get that information to you.

Beenthere
Dec. 1, 2011, 12:23 AM
Sounds like ethics and how to win and influence people ought to be added to the USHJA convention agenda. Maybe the membership should vote to put one or two members on each committee. That ought to shake it up.

M. O'Connor
Dec. 1, 2011, 09:20 AM
In reading these last few posts, I have decided to include my thoughts, already expressed in a PM to KH this morning as what I see to be the real crux of the matter.

I think part of the frustration I feel (and I'm not alone) is that for whatever reason, and I guess it could be the confidentiality provisions, there are many gaps and inconsistencies in much of the reasoning presented to its members by USHJA, not just about EAP but other things as well, some big, some small.

I think it's fair to say this has created a climate in which it's not at all clear to the membership who is making the decisions.

I know for an absolute fact it's not always the committee charged with the responsibility for making them, which makes having the voice of the membership heard very difficult, because it's not just a matter of getting in touch with a committee member and voicing one's opinion. That could be done till the cows come home, and the committee could listen, and even move to act, but then....???

And no reasoning, or, a glossy story is presented as an explanation, and the committee looks bad, with membership left wondering...???

This is at odds with what the membership is told about how easy it is to roll up one's sleeves and be part of the solution.

This is a genuine problem that USJHA does not seem to be aware of, let alone willing to address.


Certainly, it would seem that there must be vacancies on any number of committees. I have been waiting in the back row with my hand up saying "pick me, pick me" since the one I was on was disbanded years ago.

No, I have not gone to the Annual Meeting lately (though this year I will go as part of the LIPHA).

IMO, there is little point to doing that unless you are an affiliate delegate, or a committee member--yes, there are open forums, but at that point in the year, and at those points in the meeting, most of the committee actions are already a done deal, having been reached in closed sessions by the very hard at work members.

At the rule change proposal readings (these are marathons!), there is room for general membership input, and this is one important area where comment is effective. The other rooms, not so much, and it would likely be chaotic if it were otherwise.

But being 'part of the solution' is so often not just a matter of willingness to serve; it's not particularly because of one person or another, but likely just due to structural resistance, which is an inherent problem faced by large groups...if any doubt this phenomenon exists, just cast a glance at Washgington, DC! :lol:

jonesy
Dec. 1, 2011, 11:38 AM
M. O'Connor:

I love your post. I have heard from many, many committee members on various USHJA committees that despite meeting, coming up with ideas, thoughts, and suggested committee additions, they are turned down by Bill Moroney who then places his own people at his appointment on the committee. I can't imagine why someone would be a BOD and on 5+ committees. I would think a BOD would avoid any committees. One committee chair recently said "It's a one man band playing in a big empty building" (i.e Moroney) but that person trudges along because at least they get to see what is coming down the pike. It's like the devil you know versus the devil you don't. I don't believe any of these committees can do what they want to press forward and I think the upper echelon at the USHJA frustrates all their good work. It seems that is why many committee members last 3 years or so before they finally throw up their hands and run. I think the inclusion of the confidentiality provision is an attempt to keep the membership in the dark and not allow the free thought or exchange of opinions.

If I was a betting person, this convention committees will meet and pound out good ideas and suggestions and Moroney, and now French, will intervene and toss those ideas aside.

For sure they should add membership seats to every committee and allow the membership to vote on who should be placed there. Then the membership truly feels they have a voice. That are start having open wedcast meetings for people to watch.

Thankfully these chronicle forums exist becase without them the equestrian world would be left in the dark. Now Moroney and French know the membership is watching.

Jumphigh83
Dec. 1, 2011, 11:45 AM
Nepotism is alive and well at the Federation.

JustJump
Dec. 1, 2011, 12:48 PM
USEF has had the webcasts, not USJHA.

jonesy
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:41 AM
If any of the fellow COTH folks are at the Convention starting tomorrow will you find Bill Moroney and ask him what the heck is going on with EAP and why he hasn't stepped out to explain what has happened. Please come back and tell us what he has to say.

Lord Helpus
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:35 AM
MOC brought up a very valid point. You or I or Mrs. Robinson could go to the convention, but we would not be able to participate in any of the committee meetings where the real work is done. The "rule change proposal" meeting allows for open input, but, I daresay that, somewhere between the "open input" and end product, the`rule that gets passed is exactly what the inner cabal wants it to be.

However, I hear there is a lovely dinner dance tonight.... :)

jonesy
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:43 PM
The article about Mindy Bower and Melanie Taylor that someone posted above on a separate thread from the Chronicle Connection ought to really irk the USHJA folks. What great timing for the Chronicle to run such a wonderful, educating article when the USHJA wouldn't bother to listen to these ladies. Now the equestrian community can learn about their mission and thoughts and see that the USHJA are buffoons.

Lord Helpus
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:58 PM
The article about Mindy Bower and Melanie Taylor that someone posted above on a separate thread from the Chronicle Connection ought to really irk the USHJA folks. What great timing for the Chronicle to run such a wonderful, educating article when the USHJA wouldn't bother to listen to these ladies. Now the equestrian community can learn about their mission and thoughts and see that the USHJA are buffoons.

Link Please?

Can I access it even if I do not subscribe to the mag?

jonesy
Dec. 5, 2011, 01:08 PM
http://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?i=91691

Yes it can be accessed

Lord Helpus
Dec. 5, 2011, 02:00 PM
Excellent article -- Thanks for pointing it out, Jonesy.

I had a horse started by a "Natural Horsemanship" person, and I can vouch for the fact that Mindy and NH and NOT the same thing.

The NH person took 3 months ($3000) to get my horse to the point where he looked at her "out of both eyes". :eek:

Mindy is using ground work as a progression to teaching horse and rider to relate to each other under saddle. I can see now how incredibly useful this knowledge is for aspiring professionals of the future.

Beats the hell out of putting a bridle together. :yes::no::yes::no:

lauriep
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:01 PM
I had been struggling with the "NH" concept, which because of the Parelli thing, doesn't necessarily sit well with a lot of people, including me. It suddenly occurred to me that oldsters, like myself, learned all of this intrinsically, just by living with horses so much that we came to understand them and communicate with them without even thinking about it.

Now, kids don't get that kind of interaction with horses, for the most part, so they must be TAUGHT what we took for granted and never gave a name to. When you think of it this way, it makes complete sense to integrate a trainer such as Mindy with the more traditional type of clinic. THAT makes the perfect balance.

And Pam, please don't play down the stable management part with the "putting a bridle together" statement. I think that wasn't meant seriously, but I know that there are a lot of kids out there who can't do that. I saw the teaching outline for the EAP stable management piece, because I was asked to do it, and I assure you, it was pretty darn in-depth.

Dinah-do
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:16 PM
Lauriep - you are so right. Very simple is it not? When the NH scene came to town in this area about 20+ years ago some horse owners were instant addicts. Some became scary religious about all this stuff. If you did not embrace whatever flavor of NH that was in town that week you as an owner were cruel and should not be allowed to own a horse. I think we had all the big guys here over the years: from Hunt to Parrelli to Lyons and many others in between. At least Monty was free when he was in town for the TB sales. The lingo of being your horse's friend and better able to communicate etc was hard to resist. ( I always loved the term " troubled horse". We all want to be better, to be a better rider and above all to get along with our horses. Lyons made a comment years ago that if owners just made more time ( as kids did years ago) they would not be paying him to lecture. Everyone wants an instant fix. And along comes the rope halter crowd to help fix the problems real or otherwise. We are so lucky? Looking back there was a lot of BS. a few too many horses caught up in round pens and way too many way young horses bolting through rope halters. On the other hand one of the most impressive rides I have seen was a Parrelli student working cattle on a pistol hot/scared WB mare with her rope halter. She so understood what was going on with her horse. She was a H/J rider by day but did babies after hours. Fabulous job. In this little corner of Canada the NH or whatever they are calling themselves have pretty much left town. A few old horseman are left and a couple are always willing to help someone with more time than money. We lucked out.

jonesy
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:56 PM
Laurie so your doing EAP 2012 for stable management?

dags
Dec. 5, 2011, 11:23 PM
I had been struggling with the "NH" concept, which because of the Parelli thing, doesn't necessarily sit well with a lot of people, including me. It suddenly occurred to me that oldsters, like myself, learned all of this intrinsically, just by living with horses so much that we came to understand them and communicate with them without even thinking about it.

Now, kids don't get that kind of interaction with horses, for the most part, so they must be TAUGHT what we took for granted and never gave a name to. When you think of it this way, it makes complete sense to integrate a trainer such as Mindy with the more traditional type of clinic. THAT makes the perfect balance.


Precisely, and I think the Chronicle Connection article really brought that home. I wasn't exactly certain what Ms. Bower was focusing on, the NH coinage really confuses it, but the article reminded me of the few key ground lessons I've been fortunate enough to receive (my previous location near Monty's farm had a nice trickle down affect). They are invaluable tools and I don't know how I survived so long without them. I had a lot of that feel, but putting it into words and pinpointing a reciprocating action to the horse's natural responses clarified my understanding of that feel.

And the beautiful part, it's the kind of lesson that keeps on keeping on without constant oversight. When key behavioral principles are understood you are far better equipped to deal with surprises on your own, even if they're beyond your learning. You are more likely to realize your training tactic is heading down the incorrect path before it's too late. Understanding the cause is far more productive than simply learning a fix.

poltroon
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:38 AM
Some NH showmen have given a lot of the ideas a bad name, but there is a lot of good horsemanship when you peel away the marketing and the crazy followers. I love the idea that the kids going through this program may have a chance to learn to open themselves to different disciplines.

I think lauriep is right that a lot of kids today don't really have permission to just hang out with horses - they always have to be doing something. Hanging out is part of what makes you understand them.

It's all just tools. There's something to learn from every discipline.

I think my favorite application of the NH style techniques, though, is Karen Pryor's (clicker training guru), who used the idea of the round pen to work with a difficult dolphin, back in the late 1960's. :)

lauriep
Dec. 6, 2011, 09:02 AM
Laurie so your doing EAP 2012 for stable management?

No. I initially accepted, before I had this information, but after talking with Melanie, I immediately resigned.

Dinah-do
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:00 AM
In a perfect world the EAP would have several different horseman bringing different approaches to the the learning table. Just offering one person ( such as Mindy) is a perceived "this is the only way" and that is not going to help these kids in the long haul. There always has been and always will be many roads to Rome.

dags
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:40 AM
In a perfect world the EAP would have several different horseman bringing different approaches to the the learning table. Just offering one person ( such as Mindy) is a perceived "this is the only way" and that is not going to help these kids in the long haul. There always has been and always will be many roads to Rome.

Key difference, they've eliminated a basic philosophy, not just a person. I wasn't educated enough prior to the article about what this "horsemanship" section was, but having read it I am of the opinion this is a truly special section they have eliminated. These philosophies are very rare in HJ showdom, and a lot of the bitching that goes on about "today's riders" boils down to a disregard for the horse as a being. A being with, as this philosophy teaches, predictable reactions that stem from identifiable feelings.

You just can't learn this stuff in a book. You can only come to understand it with experience. And in my experience (as a trainer) a lot of riders are not blessed with an innate ability to communicate with horses. They have to be taught things that, to me, seem like basic equine sense. And it can be taught. They may never have the best "feel", but at least they are aware that feel exists, and that it is your primary teacher.

In jest or not, that bridle building line was the wrong one to use. THIS can be learned in a book (or simple trial and error, like the rest of us). I did not pay dues for a National Committee to teach a bunch of teenagers to put together bridles. I paid dues so they can sort through the myriad of talent out there, select the best among it, and hone their skills into something beyond what can be achieved in a basic barn setting.

Perhaps the selection criteria should be beyond just showing up and riding in a clinic. They should have to demonstrate some of these most basic tasks before they are allowed on the horse. Things that any truly passionate kid would have gone about learning on their own. THAT would likely weed out some of the borderline deserving ones.

sunshinestate
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:53 AM
Dinah-Do - I don't think anyone is saying that Mindy Bower is the only way. What Mindy does is groundwork that very few people are trained to do or even teach. The fact that she has worked with hunter/jumper professionals like Jennifer Alfano and Melanie Taylor in learning how her methods can blend in the hunter/jumper world is more than you can say about many people who do what she does. I think I saw where Mindy said it doesn't matter what saddle you ride in. But the key here is that kids today with dual enrollment schooling and other responsibilites of high grade point averages needed for college, have lost the chance to spend barn time with their horses and observe them in their environments. Therefore her methods are quite helpful to garner that time and connection. I would love to hear who you suggest would be worthy of teaching our young equestrians the groundwork.

As far as clinicians, sure, anyone can stand out there day after day and impart something to the kids. The question is are these people good role models who care about the riders and horses future and not just going through the motions. Are they taking the time to make good lesson plans. Have they accomplished something more than the average trainer so they can truly explain what happens in Europe or International Competitions or even top competition. Are they clinicians who worked their way up from the bottom and know what dedication, hard work and rejection feel like. Are they clinicians who won't client steal from the trainers who allow their students to enter EAP. If I were a trainer I would be weary of sending my top level rider off to EAP and chance a trainer wooing them to their barn. If the rider is doing 3'6" or better they are ripe for the picking and clients are hard to come by these days at that level.

Sadly I understand that many kids simply applied to EAP because it looked good for college riding teams. It was a way to say "hey I was accepted to this unique program" so I separate myself from some of the others.

At the end of the day, the program was pressing forward in the manner it was intended until it took a sharp turn in the other direction which was steered by people like Shelby French with her own agenda. She is turning everything into a "college" based program like where she came from in IHSA. The EAP is now just a feeder to IHSA and college programs. They are using colleges as host sites; put in stable management and "curriculums". I would like to see how they will tell some of these head strong clinicians like Anne K, and stable managers what they MUST teach versus letting them each do what they are good at doing. I am sure Anne wants to teach her way and not based on a pre-planned agenda. Any monkey can do that.

We shall see how successful EAP becomes in 2012. I have heard from many trainers and kids that they are not doing 2012 to see where it goes and how it all plays out.

I am just waiting for Mindy and Melanie's clinic dates for 2012 to come up for California because we will attend those.

Dinah-do
Dec. 6, 2011, 12:00 PM
Why is this learning not the responsibility of the trainers and coaches? Should it not be a part of the TCP? Dags has some good points...Like any clinician - investigate carefully. Many of these cowboys have odd management practices.

Dinah-do
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:14 PM
Sunshine - I am Canadian - we do not have Colleges with riding programs so the progression of young riders is different. Apples and oranges. Grade point averages are just as important now as they were when I was a kid. Nothing new about that. . In my home area Jaquie Oldham (passed away last year) mentored several young riders and was excellent at Ground work. She was Shannon Duecks's mom. A colleage of hers taught driving up and down the West Coast. Watching him work horses in long lines was great fun. He would always help if asked but remained humble about his skills. He died several years ago. The H/J world with the large factory barns is very isolated from these sort of people but I am sure there are some wonderful horseman left somewhere. If Melanie and Mindy are doing clinics on their own - you have clinicians available that you are obviously happy with. Just not my type and will leave it at that. Hope the EAP program sorts itself out and at least some people are happy.

sunshinestate
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:45 PM
Dinah-Do - okay I see you have some history with the Buck and those that like him crowd based on a post back in March on the COTH board in discussing the Buck fundraiser for EAP.....;) It puts in perspective why you feel the way you do but I will say for someone arrogant and money making, as you claim, he gave up the very PREMIERE as a fundraiser for free to USHJA and EAP thus he does give back. There are many other examples of what he has given back that is not all about the money. Your entitled to your opinion and I can see other prior posts that lead to your distain. Not going there but it puts your thoughts in perspective.

I am going to say this once and then hide under a stone... Buck is, yes, a good trainer - not so great as a horseman. They are in my opinion two very different creatures. But he is not God and can be a rude and arrogant just because he wants to. He is like many of the rope halter crowd, into making money (which he freely admits) and after the "The Horse Whisperer" he became a celebrity and made a bundle. I am surprised he ( and his game) are part of the Emerging Athlete Program.

Jumpers4life
Dec. 10, 2011, 03:02 AM
But the key here is that kids today with dual enrollment schooling and other responsibilites of high grade point averages needed for college, have lost the chance to spend barn time with their horses and observe them in their environments. Therefore her methods are quite helpful to garner that time and connection. I would love to hear who you suggest would be worthy of teaching our young equestrians the groundwork.

Here's where I disagree. I am a Junior at a very demanding high school, where I maintain over a 4.0 GPA (I'm in an AP and 3 honors classes). I have time to ride my horse 5-6x/week, and I don't ride at a facility that has grooming, so I'm there for over 2 hours each time. It's a 30 min drive both ways to the barn. So it can be done. It's just a matter of dedication (and not having a social life :winkgrin:).

Yes, Bower's programs seem AWESOME and I would jump at the change to clinic with her, but it's not the only way to learn "horse language." In fact, I would argue it is more beneficial to spend countless hours of your own time just being with or playing with your horse. I've had to rehab two horses three separate times, and my bonds with both of them grew so much spending that time together. That kind of bond can't be created in a three day clinic, no matter how good the clinician is.

Here's the thing: I'm just as upset as everyone else that MST and Bower are leaving the EAP. I have wanted to do this program since its beginning but haven't been able to because of a concussion and a soft tissue injury. It really is a shame that the committee cannot do simple things like budget accordingly and communicate with potential sponsors.

But I am also excited for this Horseman's Quiz Challenge (http://ushja.org/programs/youth/quizchallenge.aspx) program that is incorporated into the EAP. I think it's a good way to narrow applicants down to the people that know their way around a barn (although it seems quite easy to get an 80% with an open book but no one's seen the questions yet so we can't be sure) and are a little more dedicated to the program. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a trivia nerd, but I don't think stable management is less important than the types of things you would learn with Bower. They're just different.

Also, all of you are saying it should be the trainer's job to teach their students these things. I agree, but what is the USHJA supposed to do if you don't want them to do anything? You can't just leave these students in the dark about these kinds of things. Hopefully, they might see what their current trainer is doing wrong and move to a different trainer that has the right philosophy. In this way we can encourage young riders to choose capable coaches that know how to teach ground lessons/management as well as riding.

Overall, it is very disappointing that Bower's portion was eliminated, but I still want to give this new program a try. Maybe I just want to believe in it, I don't know. But I will most likely apply because no matter what I can still learn SOMETHING, and that's what matters to me. :)

M. O'Connor
Dec. 11, 2011, 11:13 AM
Well, I am back from the USHJA meeting...met up with KH, who unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time with, but as we can still be pen pals, will be able to keep on talking with. Met Mary Babick, who is one hard working individual!

Here are my comments:

Having read the COTH Connection article, my interest is piqued, but I still don't have any idea what the specifics of Mindy Bower's groundwork practices are. I wonder how they compare to really advanced longeing techniques (it was fascinating to see these practiced by the driving people at the WEG)? I'm thinking that they are likely to be very useful. But, I think it's a shame that the EAP has become a flashpoint for whether or not this particular philosophy of Mindy's that Melanie Smith Taylor thinks so highly of is valid or not. I'm thinking that like many philosophies, the answer is "yes, of course," but perhaps these might be more well-received if they were included as part of a young horse development program, rather than a young rider development program.

So from what I can tell, the question being asked is not whether this philosophy is valid, but whether it is indispensable enough to include in a program that necessarily is operating within time and resource limits--this is the crux of the problem, and is a separate issue. Even if the question of expanding the resources is a possibility (and it certainly is, IMO), there would still be the question of time management, and what is the best and highest use of instructional time made available to the participants in the program. I think when looked at in this way, the inclusion of Mindy's segment becomes a tougher sell, and it's hard to keep the discussion focused on "why/why not include it?" without having it spill over into "is it/isn't it a valid approach to training?"

Laurie is right in that the intrinsic understanding of a horse has been embedded in the education many of us received in the process of caring for our horses, and learning along the way. Sadly, loss of rural areas, elimination of horses from the suburbs and back yards, and the rising expense of horsekeeping has led to the streamlining of horse care and management to the point where it's possible for both riders and trainers to become very proficient in the saddle without advanced knowledge of horsemanship.

BUT...any one program can only do so much to remedy the situation.

I think ideally, there could be several programs operating side by side: one for riders, one for trainers, one for horsemanship, one for horses. EAP and TCP are both works in progress, the Horsemanship Quiz is ready to roll. So far so good, but speaking of Rome, it wasn't built in a day, was it?

For the time being, as a parent, I think that the specifics of how the EAP is executed don't concern me as much as its availability and accessibility to riders who otherwise might not have the opportunity to rise through the ranks and be prominent winners in the show ring. EAP is still alive, and that's good. The Horsemanship Quiz challenge that has been developed and its curriculum will be embedded in EAP. I don't know if a young horse program is even a germ of an idea yet, but it would be a shame to leave the actual horses out of the picture. For the moment, I'm going to take a deep breath and see what happens, make a point of observing Mindy's techniques first hand if the opportunity arises, and concentrate on organizing what I was able to learn about existing programs available to our riders now into a coherent presentation to parents and juniors in our local area.

khobstetter
Dec. 11, 2011, 01:57 PM
Thank you Mary. It was nice getting to meet you face to face at the convention, wish time constraints were different, when I had time you were in a meeting and vise versa...BUT lets make it a priority to keep talking, you had some great points at the convention and your input was certainly recorded and taken into account.

Thank you for your post, it is spot on and appreciated. Melanie and Mindy are amazing individuals and will be certainly greatly missed..but the EAP program will go on and touch riders in the process. Thank you for being involved and interested.

Lord Helpus
Dec. 11, 2011, 05:44 PM
Time.
Money.

That is what the USHJA is saying it comes down to, as I understand it.

The time issue, IMO, is spurious. Mindy's session fit the time constraints just fine, thank you. The issue now becomes: what is MORE inportant than the horsemanship portion, such that it should fill the time heretofore given over to Mindy's segment.

So far we have bridles 101a, and hot (and/or puffy) legs.

A hot leg is..... um, HOT. As in, the temperature at the point of strain is warmer on the celsius or fahrenheit scale than is the surrounding portion of the leg.

A puffy leg is.....um, SWOLLEN. As in, the portion of the leg in question is raised, is bigger, is rounder, is softer, than the adjacent part of the leg.

Either condition can mean that the horse has a problem in that area.

How to treat?

Ice for swelling, Heat for pain. And find someone around who knows more than you do, because it doesn't matter how many clinics you have gone to; when push comes to shove, you will want someone around who has been there/done that.

Ok. That is the Time issue. Seems like a no brainer to me (that Mindy's segment is more instructive and delivers greatewr benefit to the attendees than the alternative proposed offerings), but what do I know.

MONEY: We pay a hefty sum to the USHJA. Then we pay even more at each show. Where does it all go? I do not think we know. The scary part is the USHJA has 2 options: 1. They know where every penny goes but do not choose to open its books to let the members see where their money goes, or, 2. They do not have a clue where it goes.

Either option is scary.

The USHJA is scary. And those people who have drunk the kool aid are scary. But not as scary as those who made the kool aid in the first place.

lauriep
Dec. 11, 2011, 06:30 PM
Pam, there is ALWAYS a great benefit to learning more/better stable management. It is an area that is just as neglected as the groundwork that Mindy teaches (which is NOT "horsemanship." It is a piece of horsemanship.) I am in total agreement with Melanie/Mindy and their supporters for resigning for the reasons they did. And I turned down an opportunity to teach stable management at a regional because I believe Melanie was poorly treated and the program will not be the same without her.

But NOT because I think stable management is trivial or unnessecary. And I am kind of getting annoyed with your demeaning of it. As I mentioned earlier, I saw the agenda for the stable management piece. Some was pretty basic, but most of it was not. Certainly things to be learned there.

MHM
Dec. 11, 2011, 07:18 PM
Pam, there is ALWAYS a great benefit to learning more/better stable management. It is an area that is just as neglected as the groundwork that Mindy teaches (which is NOT "horsemanship." It is a piece of horsemanship.)... But NOT because I think stable management is trivial or unnessecary.

In my opinion, stable management is very important for any well-rounded horseman- the kind of horseman which is getting to be all too rare these days.

However, I think the average juniors who spend much time around a show barn have far more opportunities to learn about stable management than they would ever have to learn about the groundwork skills of the kind Mindy does.

Any kids who have the time and interest can ask their trainer or groom for more information and opportunities to brush up on their skills in the barn. They can also observe the vet in action, and most vets I know are happy to answer questions anytime a kid shows an interest.

I think far fewer kids would get the chance to learn about groundwork outside of a clinic setting. There are just not that many people doing it around show barns, at least as far as I know.

I don't know the solution to the EAP situation, but if Melanie thinks the groundwork is that important, I think that should count for a lot, particularly if the whole program has been Melanie's brainchild since its inception.

TwoFoxFarm
Dec. 11, 2011, 09:16 PM
Jumpers4life you seem like a smart youngster and clearly have the time and desire to spend with your horse. Why do we need to make horsemanship quizzes as contests to get youths to read and learn? Why must everything come with a reward? If you want to be a better horse person you must research and learn for yourself. An open book test teaches what?

I find stable management a hot topic like politics and religion. I can't wait for kids to come back to their home trainer and barn with their new information that will in most cases be directly contrary to what their trainer believes in. I find when you try and change the ideas of what "they know" the trainers take great offense. I agree with Laurie that there is much to learn but then you get into the great debates....wrap or don't wrap and when or when not to; turnout versus no turnout; lunging vs not lunging; the list goes on. Clearly Lauriep is a top notch stable person with a ton of knowledge but people will say what makes her ideas better then someone else's. I would follow Laurie's thoughts and ideas because she has been through trial and error but what if people were to disagree with her? Many young trainers don't even know stable management themselves and mimic others. So I find this area a bevy of turmoil later.

As far as Mindy's part of the program, it is not just for young horses. It is NOT lunging. The purpose of introducing young riders to the concept is to open their eyes and minds to different ways of doing things at an earlier stage in their lives. They may take what Mindy does and explore on her thoughts or maybe explore other trainers of similar thoughts. It is an area that is not in their home trainers comfort zone. It is a mechanism to eliminate lunging in mindless circles with non horse people spinning them in bad footing which causes stress to the horse and injuries.

To M'O'Connor it seems like they at USHJA may have gotten to you. I do hope you find what Mindy does and watch it work. You will be pleasantly surprised and see why Melanie and others support it.

Lord Helpus, you are spot on that this is not about cost given Mindy was paid almost similar to the pay of the new stable managers so how can the difference of less than $500 per weekend for 5 weekends or $2,500.00 be the difference in saving the program.

Let's put USHJA EAP 2012 kids up against those that train with Mindy and Melanie and their new program in 2012 and see which ones come out ahead of the game. I think the later group will be much more well rounded in all aspects.

Beenthere
Dec. 11, 2011, 09:39 PM
I was first introduced to Mindy's work through Melanie. I was curious watching Mindy work and seeing results. I then went to Colorado and watched days of a Buck Brannaman clinic that Mindy, her riders and some young hunter riders who came across the country participated in. I had the good fortune to watch with Melanie, Mindy and some close friends of theirs. They were able to explain concepts and areas that I may have missed or needed more explanation. It was great standing back and watching Buck, Melanie, Mindy and some others bantering various concepts in what was being seen and taught each day. It was like a whole new language to me. Everything was about the need of the horse. The horse!!!

I then read more of some books that they thought I would find of interest on the history of where Mindy's concepts and work was adopted from. I started introducing my horses to groundwork and admittedly skipped around to the stuff I found fun. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right but I felt great results in my horses so I must have been doing something right. My boarders and trainer jumped in to learn and they too felt and witnessed immediate results. I found myself not wanting to ride before my groundwork was done for 15-20 minutes. I did additional work in the saddle that I learned from Mindy and Buck. Soon the entire barn and riders were begging for attention to be taught. They were swapping my books and asking great questions.

So we brought Mindy in for a clinic. I (and all our riders and trainers) worked with Mindy for three days on many horses and watched her teach others. It was amazing to see and to feel the vast differences we reached in just a few short days. When Mindy left we kept working and she always welcomed questions or would send vital information for us to know to continue our learning. I laughed because even my head groom watched and soon every horse had a rope halter and a flag near their stalls or tack area. My groom was doing groundwork in his daily routine with walking in and out of stalls, leading, etc. My farrier commented that the work was helping better the horses for him and he was surprised to see us mastering groundwork and the differences in the horses. My farrier knows about horsemanship and found watching Melanie and Mindy work he was very supportive.

Last week we did Melanie's clinic in Ocala. Melanie mentioned that my mare was not bending through the rib cage as she should and not shaping up. The mare was a bit up. Sadly that morning I failed to do the groundwork being too busy getting my other horses ready. For that my rider suffered. But the second day I was out there early working on groundwork. Focusing on shaping the mare and having her bend through the rib cage. Melanie saw me out there working and came out to see. There were many riders and trainers watching over the fence. They were curious. Melanie handled my horse to show me some areas i was doing wrong and the mare immediately tuned up. Melanie was surprised at how much she changed in just a few weeks since Mindy's clinic. In the riding session it was obviously my mare was better and much quieter. The rider who didn't know I had done groundwork said "whatever you did this mare is so much different then yesterday". The point is 20 minutes of groundwork made for a better horse that day. When you see these kind of results without the need for lunging or doing anything more than a walk, then you know it is good stuff.

I can only hope others will take the time to explore because i have enjoyed my horses more with this new information.

GingerJumper
Dec. 11, 2011, 09:55 PM
...people who have drunk the kool aid are scary. But not as scary as those who made the kool aid in the first place.

Best quote ever. :lol: I really have nothing to add, but like the junior poster a few above me, I'm totally thrilled about the quiz challenge thing. Fun!

M. O'Connor
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:49 AM
I remain a huge Melanie fan. And as I said earlier, I'll be glad of an opportunity to observe Mindy's techniques firsthand.

I do take exception to the notion that longeing is bad practice. Proper longeing is a legitimately useful training tool, far removed from "mindless circles." Correctly done, it is practically an art form that improves a horse's suppleness, under saddle performance, and the connection between horse and rider--this is why I questioned whether Mindy Bower's methods could be compared to it. The example I gave of the longeing of the driving horses at the WEG was a far cry from the LTD method on endless display in horse show schooling areas.

Nobody has "gotten to" me! I made a point of attending the EAP Committee meeting because I am a concerned party on several fronts. Whatever form EAP takes, I am glad it is still in existence, and I will gladly take part in or audit clinics by Melanie and/or Mindy if the opportunity arises.

tori13
Dec. 12, 2011, 11:13 AM
Donkeyman has it right concerning what proper groundwork can do to transform how your horse moves. Mindy teaches you how to lead, mount, etc. and ride your horse properly. Horses trained using her techniques have energy and can use their bodies properly. I don't know of any h/j trainers that teach these concepts to their students. There are a lot of professionals that can't solve horse issues and just advise the client to sell. If you had the skills that Mindy (and others) teach, you could help your horse work through the problems.

Stable management is important but learning how to properly handle horses so that that you are safe is invaluable. How many people get kicked in the face by babies because they are ignorant on how to properly lead a horse? Wouldn't you like to know how to load and unload a horse safely? Mindy can teach all this in a day.

It seems that many of us are upset with the process used to get rid of Mindy. She brought something unique to EAP and now it is gone. The quiz can be useful but that is covered in all the pony club books. It appears that those in charge of changing the program did not bother to research in person what Mindy did at level II. I think that is disrespectful to Melanie and Mindy as well as a disservice to the kids.

Lord Helpus
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:05 PM
Pam, there is ALWAYS a great benefit to learning more/better stable management. It is an area that is just as neglected as the groundwork that Mindy teaches (which is NOT "horsemanship." It is a piece of horsemanship.) I am in total agreement with Melanie/Mindy and their supporters for resigning for the reasons they did. And I turned down an opportunity to teach stable management at a regional because I believe Melanie was poorly treated and the program will not be the same without her.

But NOT because I think stable management is trivial or unnessecary. And I am kind of getting annoyed with your demeaning of it. As I mentioned earlier, I saw the agenda for the stable management piece. Some was pretty basic, but most of it was not. Certainly things to be learned there.

Laurie,

[I prefer not to have my name used on a national BB -- thanks]

I don't disagree with anything you have said. Having been a Pony Clubber as a teenager, and having had my own barn for the past 13 years, I fully know the value of stable management. And I know full well and you are one of the very top people in the country at taking care of horses. USHJA knew what it was doing when it hired you, and I commend you for resigning on principle after you talked to Melanie.

What I am "demeaning" are the items which have been mentioned as the focus for the stable management portion. I would love to see the syllabus which you were going to teach.

However, I believe that stable management is something that can be, and will be taught to a young pro who becomes an assistant pro to a BNT. Fortunately we still have a good apprentice system in the US and stable management knowledge is handed down as part of a hands on, daily schedule and care for the horses.

Do I think that these kids should have learned it years before? Of course. But I don't think that the EAP is making the best use of its time and money by teaching it.

However, I do hear you and I can appreciate that I have become a broken record. I will get off my soapbox now.

Peggy
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:42 PM
Learning some stable management is a good thing even if there are some differences between what they learn at EAP and home. After all, there are probably differences in the riding part too. These kids should be able to process the differences and take away something new, as one does from any clinic. It's the unfortunate bridle example, especially given that they eliminated the 3' group as being too basic. IMHO getting a bridle put together is far more basic than jumping 3'.

Even at my relatively advanced age and years with horses I still learn new stuff and methods some of which I've incorporated into my horse routine.

Summit Springs Farm
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:44 PM
After reading the posts about how amazing Mindy is, I was wondering if anyone had contact information on her? I have not had the pleasure of meeting her, we do extensive ground work with our horses, but I would love to ask her to come and teach us more.
So anyone please pm me or post her contact info. TIA!

meupatdoes
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:46 PM
After reading the posts about how amazing Mindy is, I was wondering if anyone had contact information on her? I have not had the pleasure of meeting her, we do extensive ground work with our horses, but I would love to ask her to come and teach us more.
So anyone please pm me or post her contact info. TIA!

If you google her name you get her on the first hit.

Beenthere
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:58 PM
Mindy's email is: uhohranch@fairpoint.net

Melanie can be reached at: doxns@me.com

They both will be at the George Morris Horsemastership program January 2012 because George supports them and vice versa. So if you are present at that program you should introduce yourself. I for one am having Mindy work with my horses that week when the clinic is not going on. I bet she could fit some more people in during the afternoons. She is just that good!

fair judy
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:03 PM
A swift resolution to this issue would be to simply "flunk" any rider who cannot make the cut on horsemaster issues which USED to be part of our education as riders. If trainers cannot advance students without the basic skills which should be a natural part of the process then the trainers will get the hint and start re-vamping their programs so their students are competitive.

I must say that when I attended a Monty Roberts session it made me feel more than a little queasy. This was quite a while ago, and I was revolted at his claiming that he developed the program..... which was all simple horsemanship to me. It is a sad commentary on our system, and emblematic of what GM was stating at the meeting, of our short circuited methodology which rewards incorrect technique. The R W Mutch trophy was to have helped renew our basic skills, but it seems that until those who "teach" lose the money they make by coddling their riders and charging big bucks to do so this won't change.

I agree that there are more than one road to Rome, and my problem lies with the manner in which this appears to have been orchestrated.

Summit Springs Farm
Dec. 12, 2011, 02:00 PM
Thanks email sent! Merry Christmas!!

Dinah-do
Dec. 12, 2011, 08:02 PM
Curious - is basic vet care considered a part of Stable Management? More advanced care? How much knowledge do you think a young pro should know in order to run a barn? Could someone describe basic management?

Horseshowaddict
Dec. 12, 2011, 11:13 PM
Hasnt AQHA/AQHYA been running programs like these for 10+years? Why doesnt the USHJA use the framework for their programs as a model?

M. O'Connor
Dec. 13, 2011, 09:50 AM
I'm going to just point out that there are bridles, and there are bridles.

There are snaffle bridles, gag bridles, pelham bridles with little tiny annoying lipstraps that some Chinese puzzlemaker devised to make us insane, hackamore bridles, double bridles, very complicated jumper bridles with various types of nosebands, bit combinations, and martingale attachments (enter Chinese puzzlemaker again), bridles you hack in, bridles for show only, bridles for flatting, bridles for jumping. Bridles with removable or sewn in stoppers on the reins. Though thankfully I am coached by a snaffle devotee (I will refrain from discussing how many snaffles there could possibly be in the world, but just consider the options on how to setup the keepers on a full cheek snaffle). My point being that a bridle is not "just" a bridle after awhile.

But yes, it was an unfortunate example.

-----------------

Having seen the setup of many barns, I don't think we can count on the assistant trainer apprentice system to widely disperse knowledge of stable management. The AT is not always or even usually exposed to barn management practices. At many show barns where these kids come up, such knowledge is/has become the purview of specialist management teams, a great number of whom do not ride at all, and whose duties do not cross over with the 'assistant trainer's' whose duties are not necessarily in the barn aisle. 'Rider/trainer' and 'barn manager' have become different career tracks.

And, management practices diverge widely depending on whether the barn is full of national level equitation horses/hunters or jumpers governed by FEI rules. There is a rampant inject/medicate/longe/disposable-horse mentality that has fostered a different type of management than is required to properly develop horse/rider partnerships for a fairly zero-tolerance environment where the big picture is long term, not short term goals.

dags
Dec. 13, 2011, 10:20 AM
M O'Conner, all very valid, yet this isnt the Young Coaches Symposium (which clearly we are also in need of), but a program developed to produce young athletes. I feel we're putting the cart a bit before the horse. These kids are nowhere near capable of managing a stable and too young for us to assume they are the next generation of trainers. Some of them maybe, but I doubt parents would be on board with USHJA grooming their kids to become professional horse trainers.

Advanced horse & veterinary care, yes. Proper lunging techniques, yes. These are all quite necessary. But before these kids ever think of managing a stable of their own they need a better foundation of old school horsemanship. Vast experience with a variety of horses and a variety of training principles, so they can see just how much they don't know. There are too many pros out there that can "manage" horses, far fewer that can actually train them. Perhaps if we focused on a broader education from the ground to the jumps we wouldn't need the Chinese puzzle maker and his non-intuitive bridles.

I say we give them all unbroke 3 year olds for the week :D

GingerJumper
Dec. 13, 2011, 10:24 AM
I say we give them all unbroke 3 year olds for the week :D

If unbroke 3yos is part of the deal, I want to do the EAP next year! :lol: Unfortunately I'm currently using my horse management skills and knowledge to help Moose recover from his mouth ailment (and my BOs deserve a ton of credit there too!) :sigh: maybe another year.

fair judy
Dec. 13, 2011, 12:02 PM
I would also like to weigh in as someone who strenuously objects to the current trend of advocating that students spend so much time showing that they are missing out on the social skills developed by the simple act of attending high school. It also gripes me that many trainers find it perfectly sensible to completely skip college and go straight into the very narrow and insular world of showing without any further education.

I would never allow a child of mine to ride with someone who did not finish high school ( real high school, not a GED) and had at least an AA degree. There are no short cuts in life..... and education is vital to producing a well rounded personality.

jonesy
Dec. 13, 2011, 12:38 PM
Fair Judy - you are absolutely correct. Trainers either need a college education or many years of time spent in the field to be able to then teach others. Has anyone looked at the ingate of some local unrated shows? Kids that are 18-21 that have never seen a rated show are training and collecting upwards of $100 for day training. It is scary.

As far as stable management, I got egg on my face. I sent a young working student to a fairly prominent barn at WEF one year thinking she would learn better show/stable management. I would pay her food and extras and they would house her for her work time. That backfired when she called and said "did you know they inject every horse with 4 different drugs everynight and the groom that does it drinks alot and I think she confuses the syringes because the stuff is all the same color." OMG. She then calls two days later (mind you she is only 17) and tells me they want her to start administering the drugs and want her to learn how to "find the vein". Needlesstosay she was not permitted to give any medications and I had to have a stern discussion with the trainers. The information she learned over the following few weeks was just as bad and caused for a trip back home. She would explain the horses would stand in their stalls with mats and little shavings and couldn't even lay down. They were depressed and as the time went on would pin their ears and bite. She couldn't understand that with all the grooming they did why the coats of the horses started getting dull. Had to explain that when horses coats get dull and dry that is the sign of drugs being administered. So much for on the show grounds education.

The point is, there is stable management of what should be done and then there is stable management of what "everyone else does so we should do it to". If you can get to young kids before they are exposed to these other ways they can hopefully think for themselves and know what is right and wrong. Yes it is dangerous to use chain shanks over the nose of the horse; or looping the shank under the jaw where a horse can step through it when grazing; or lunging a horse in deep footing; or throwing dirt and rocks at the horse to get it to go.

If you look at page 120 of the old USHJA trainers cert manual you will see the advocating of the use of magnesium or other herbal preparations if necessary,,,how about it is illegal by USEF rules to use any calming agents. Why even have this in the manual at all. The USHJA wants to teach the "what everyone is doing" mentality not the correct way. IMHO

poltroon
Dec. 13, 2011, 12:52 PM
I'm going to just point out that there are bridles, and there are bridles.

There are snaffle bridles, gag bridles, pelham bridles with little tiny annoying lipstraps that some Chinese puzzlemaker devised to make us insane, hackamore bridles, double bridles, very complicated jumper bridles with various types of nosebands, bit combinations, and martingale attachments (enter Chinese puzzlemaker again), bridles you hack in, bridles for show only, bridles for flatting, bridles for jumping. Bridles with removable or sewn in stoppers on the reins. Though thankfully I am coached by a snaffle devotee (I will refrain from discussing how many snaffles there could possibly be in the world, but just consider the options on how to setup the keepers on a full cheek snaffle). My point being that a bridle is not "just" a bridle after awhile.

But yes, it was an unfortunate example.

Oh sure. But even here in the backwoods of Mendocino, I can teach all of that to anyone who asks, and for free. I won't even make you join my 4-H group. :D

The point is, we don't send kids halfway across the country to Melanie to learn to jump a crossrail, and we shouldn't send them to EAP learn tack assembly and care either. Even veterinary type skills are something that people can learn locally: most areas have access to some sort of skilled equine veterinarian.

It may have been a joke, but it strikes me that it's a joke that suggests the teller has completely missed the point of the program.

Saddle fitting, now that would be a worthwhile session. Experts are few and far between, and it's an underappreciated skill. Another great session would be with Dr. Hillary Clayton, for example showing her fluoroscope movies of how a bit works in a horse's mouth.

lauriep
Dec. 13, 2011, 01:14 PM
Jonesy and m. O'connor, EXACTLY. What CAN be done, what SHOULD be done and what IS done are simply mutually exclusive these days. Which is why GHM feels so strongly that teaching the BASICS is what has to be done. And the basics are not being used, or taught, in most show barns. In four years doing that clinic, I can say the kids were pretty evenly divided between knowing horse care well, and caring to do it right, and not knowing, or caring, at all. The best ones were tauht by parents who had horses at home, and doing the work was simply natural.

fair judy
Dec. 13, 2011, 04:09 PM
laurie, I always appreciate your comments. :) back in the dark ages when i rode with GM i waved off the grooming even though my parents paid for it, as did Melanie. When i worked the winter circuit with Melanie ( also in the dark ages) it was at the transition period when sticking every horse with a cc of ACE was not an option anymore. Mel had such an intimate knowlege of how her horses minds operated she Never needed those tactics, and in those years her career really soared.

Some years ago i had a long conversation with GM and RWM about how they felt somewhat responsible for the decay of real horsemanship in this country, that their methods had become short cuts for those who didn't have a real depth of experience. neither ever claimed to be saints, but they were ready to step up and try to swing the penduluum back. they both vowed to judge and design courses which would promote good riding on any quality horse, not for those who were mounted on the most scopey or talented nag. i see that promise still being pounded home by george to this day.

lauriep
Dec. 13, 2011, 07:27 PM
Fair Judy, as you know, Melanie knew every oat her jumpers ate, what they were like in the stall, what they were bandaged in, EVERYTHING. And she had one of THE best grooms EVER on her team, my dear friend Syd Eustace (Radnor, Calypso, Vivaldi, to name a few). But she believes it is her duty to know, and be able to do, these things.

She made a statement the first year she did George's clinic: I always knew EXACTLY what I was riding into the ring each day.

This is the crux of what we are trying to instill in these kids. Along with, if YOU don't know how to do these things, how can you hire/train help and make it clear what you want, and see that it is done correctly.

sunshinestate
Dec. 13, 2011, 09:00 PM
Lauriep so well said.

Maybe you have some similar thoughts and memories about when Sally Ike, Shelby French, Kathy Hobstetter and the rest of those that stuck it to Melanie were in the ring...or teaching...or riding for their gold medal that you would like to share.....oh

that's right there are no such quotes or memories because they were NO Melanie now were they?

I'm still bitter that Moroney and French did this to Melanie and Mindy and then turn around and give Hobstetter a USHJA award. What exactly did Hobstetter accomplish this year other than getting these ladies out and doing Moroney and French's dirty work?

Carry on.

MHM
Dec. 13, 2011, 09:38 PM
Along with, if YOU don't know how to do these things, how can you hire/train help and make it clear what you want, and see that it is done correctly.

I see this as a huge, scary gap in the education of many young riders.

Not to sound like my grandmother, but many of the "kids today" have no idea how to care for the horses from the ground up. If they are going to be the professionals of the next generation, they need to know the ins and outs of horse care, no matter how well they ride.

They should be taking the trouble to learn about it all along, not arriving at an advanced clinic with huge holes in their knowledge.

fair judy
Dec. 14, 2011, 08:05 AM
[QUOTE=lauriep;6020187]Fair Judy, as you know, Melanie knew every oat her jumpers ate, what they were like in the stall, what they were bandaged in, EVERYTHING. And she had one of THE best grooms EVER on her team, my dear friend Syd Eustace (Radnor, Calypso, Vivaldi, to name a few). But she believes it is her duty to know, and be able to do, these things.

SYD is the best!!! I remember Maxine Best being around a lot back then, too. I was before that era, when we used to pull up in mel's farm trailer , a ( then unheard of) gooseneck painted red white and blue emblazoned with "Hugh Frank Smith Stables". Rachael was never far away those days. I was so priveleged to even be able to travel in such vaunted company those days.

lauriep
Dec. 14, 2011, 09:17 AM
I met Melanie in 1976, when she was with the original iteration of Stillmeadow. When Maxine was teaching riding lessons, Stillmeadow had school horses and Pam was still away at school. I was working for Rick Eckhardt in Bridgehampton, and we would ship the ponies up to Stillmeadow to school in their indoor and Rick would help Greg Best on his ponies. Such a fun time!!

I had my first Dalmatian at the time, Tweed, and Max always insisted on caling her "Nibs," like the candy. Maxine adopted me as I was so far from home.

M. O'Connor
Dec. 14, 2011, 02:36 PM
Laurie, you have a pm! Now I remember that I met you that summer, in BH! No wonder we have always felt we already knew each other--we did!

ponymom64
Dec. 14, 2011, 02:53 PM
I see this as a huge, scary gap in the education of many young riders.

Not to sound like my grandmother, but many of the "kids today" have no idea how to care for the horses from the ground up. If they are going to be the professionals of the next generation, they need to know the ins and outs of horse care, no matter how well they ride.

They should be taking the trouble to learn about it all along, not arriving at an advanced clinic with huge holes in their knowledge.

Many but not all. Most of my DD's riding friends are the children of trainers and almost all of them have the kind of knowledge that is missing some of their other riding buddies. The kids who have horses at home, whether they be their own or their parent's customers tend to be much more well versed in everyday horsemanship than the kids that just show up and ride in a professionals' boarding barn....

But of course, they were not the types that the EAP program was out to capture ;)

fair judy
Dec. 14, 2011, 04:23 PM
Many but not all. Most of my DD's riding friends are the children of trainers and almost all of them have the kind of knowledge that is missing some of their other riding buddies. The kids who have horses at home, whether they be their own or their parent's customers tend to be much more well versed in everyday horsemanship than the kids that just show up and ride in a professionals' boarding barn....

But of course, they were not the types that the EAP program was out to capture ;)

interesting, and undoubtably true. my question would be why aren't the parent-trainers of these children teaching this to their students?

again, if classes had a structure built in that made it darn near impossible to be a really high achiever in the ribbons then trainers would be FORCED to go back to teaching these skills. oh..... wait.... then trainers would not be able to charge insane amounts for mandatory day care and full board where those who actually saddle their own nags are looked upon as second class citizens.

BAC
Dec. 14, 2011, 04:31 PM
. . again, if classes had a structure built in that made it darn near impossible to be a really high achiever in the ribbons then trainers would be FORCED to go back to teaching these skills. oh..... wait....

First, the trainers would have to learn these skills themselves. I have my doubts about some of them, despite the huge prices their clients pay them.

jonesy
Dec. 14, 2011, 04:47 PM
Well we know that all kids want to do is jump, jump, and jump. I watched a trainer tell his students that since it was raining he was going to work with them in the barn on horse care. One parent piped up "well we don't have to pay for that do we?" The problem is parents don't want to pay for work in the barn or horsemanship. They want lessons only in the ring. That is a huge hurdle for trainers to overcome. Trainers need to make a living. I suspect trainers could up their rates to include additional horsemanship training in the barn.

Renn/aissance
Dec. 14, 2011, 05:23 PM
Maybe you have some similar thoughts and memories about when Sally Ike, Shelby French, Kathy Hobstetter and the rest of those that stuck it to Melanie were in the ring...or teaching...or riding for their gold medal that you would like to share.....oh

that's right there are no such quotes or memories because they were NO Melanie now were they?

I had to de-lurk on this thread to respond to this. I can't speak for Sally Ike or Kathy Hobstetter, but as a former student of Shelby's at Sweet Briar, I'm actually having a bit of a hard time seeing her as being the absolute driving force behind this change. Shelby is one of the best horsewomen from whom I've had the privilege to learn and per my recollection, does/did use natural horsemanship methods (or whatever you want to call groundwork and proper longe lining. I call it "groundwork and proper longe lining." There were rope halters in the tack room.) She was a tremendous influence on my riding and while 100% honest- "This horse is not and is never going to be a hunter, and because of that, is not going to help you meet this goal"- was also education-focused- "That said, let's talk about how we can get him to go the best he can go so that you can be successful in this other goal." And that included taking a martingale off, putting a Happy Mouth french link on his bridle, and doing serious practice on correct flatwork, as well as changing his maintenance regimen to include some different fitness work and chiropractic care. So yes, I do have those memories about Shelby and credit her with a great deal of my riding ability, knowledge, and technique, as well as my horsemanship skills.

Do I agree with this change to the EAP? No. It sounds like what Mindy does is instrumental and I'm sure that the program will not be the same without her work and particularly without Melanie's, and I agree with those who have said that if this program is now teaching EAP participants how to put together a bridle and evaluate a leg for signs of lameness, that is a crying shame and a cut to the lowest common denominator. Do I agree with all of the changes that Shelby's name has been attached to, either in press releases or by word of mouth? Heck no. Am I ready to crucify Shelby in particular for this change? Absolutely not.

jonesy
Dec. 14, 2011, 05:50 PM
Renn/aissance, welcome to being the first person to stand up for French in this exchange (maybe someone else did very early in the thread). Almost 20,000 hits and whal-la, you arrive!

It is wonderful that you have great memories of what your trainer at Sweet Briar, a riding college, taught you. As a student of Shelby's you paid her for your college services and the program was 100% riding, testing, horsemanship, etc. She followed a curriculum put together by a wealth of good horse people who designed a course of information to allow students to walk out the door after 4 years more well-rounded and educated horseperson. For that you should have great memories. If a professor was not honest they wouldn't have a job. I don't think anyone questioned her ability to read a book and educate someone. You know some people can ride but can't teach and vice-versa.

Maybe you can help us on this point since you rode and trained with Shelby. No one can seem to tell us what Shelby accomplished as a RIDER. Did she win a gold medal? Did she compete Internationally? Did she ever ride a Grand Prix? Did she ever do the high jumpers or big equitation classes? How about National champions? That is what we want to know. What ARE her credentials. Why can't anyone answer these simple questions. As an ardent follower of her surely you know this background and can share it with us.

Because to me, if you have ridden with the best, proven yourself in the competition ring, and developed horses to the national champion level, like Melanie did in the hunters and jumpers and Jennifer Alfano in the Hunters, then those are the people that should be creating the protocol. French is a CEO of the USHJA. Since when did the CEO also breakdown programs and recreate them as her own.

You heard it here - Shelby French WAS the person behind the curtain. There was NEVER a problem with EAP until she arrived on the scene. Don't be fooled.

hntrjmprpro45
Dec. 14, 2011, 06:42 PM
Quite frankly, many kids are not interested in really learning anymore. Sadly, I have had some kids (but usually parents) complain about having to learn how to groom and tack their own horses. Many people now just want to get on and ride without any extra responsibilities.

Because of this, I think some trainers have removed grooming/tacking/basic horsemanship from their lesson programs to make the clients happy.

Renn/aissance
Dec. 14, 2011, 06:48 PM
Jonesy, I understand your perspective that someone without a national or international record (or a record of producing same) should not be the one who is creating a program or curriculum designed to produce riders of that level. I'm not debating that and I do agree with you in that respect. My post was in regard to that of sunshinestate, who asked if anyone had the same variety of memories of Shelby, among others, that Laurie and Fair Judy have of Melanie. My interpretation of Laurie's and Fair Judy's posts was that they were commenting on Melanie's outstanding horsemanship and how well it contributed to her great success with her horses; thus I interpreted sunshinestate as questioning whether Sally Ike, Shelby, and Kathy Hobstetter also uphold and espouse those values. Of course, if I've misinterpreted, I expect sunshinestate will correct me as to her (his? Apologies if wrong pronoun) actual intent.

To address your question, I don't know a great amount of Shelby's background other than her work as Director of Riding at Sweet Briar and as an instructor at St. Andrews prior to coming to SBC. She has been on the board of the American National Riding Commission and co-produced the American System of Forward Riding DVD's with Scot Evans. As head of SBC's program she led the ANRC team to national top-3 finishes and trained the jumper team, which competed to A-circuit success. She did not spend a great deal of time on my horse, but I would hardly classify her as someone who could not ride but who could teach; I watched her school a couple of bad actors, including my guy when he pitched a fit, and was impressed.

Again, I agree with you that the people in charge of the EAP should be people with a competition record at the national and international level. I am not debating that not having such individuals in charge of the program is likely to be detrimental and that the loss of Melanie in particular is major. (I can only hope that she'll end up working with the US Olympic team who would certainly benefit from her expertise.) I don't agree that there wasn't a problem with the EAP until Shelby's arrival (who was responsible for cutting the height options?) although it is obvious that this particular change has occurred within her stint as CEO. I don't agree that there is only one person behind the curtain. My friend Jacob won the EAP this year and has been speaking so highly of it that I think it is going to be a damned shame if the kids doing it next year don't get the same experience. In part because of what has happened with the EAP, I did not renew my membership with USHJA this year.

(By the way, as someone who transferred from SBC after they cancelled one of my majors and who spouted off at length to the dean of academics on that subject, I do resent the dig at the college as being a "riding college," which de-emphasizes the outstanding academics. As an example, at the time I applied, it had a 100% acceptance rate to vet school from those who applied. I don't remember the statistics of how many applied, but it was a decent number. I have plenty of issues with the school, but none of them include the education I got in my time there.)

Ben and Me
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:54 PM
It is wonderful that you have great memories of what your trainer at Sweet Briar, a riding college, taught you. As a student of Shelby's you paid her for your college services and the program was 100% riding, testing, horsemanship, etc. She followed a curriculum put together by a wealth of good horse people who designed a course of information to allow students to walk out the door after 4 years more well-rounded and educated horseperson. For that you should have great memories. If a professor was not honest they wouldn't have a job. I don't think anyone questioned her ability to read a book and educate someone. You know some people can ride but can't teach and vice-versa.


Not a Sweet Briar alum, but I hardly think of Sweet Briar as a "riding college." It is a liberal arts college with a well-known, well-regarded, and very successful riding program.

There are no horse-related majors.

http://sbc.edu/academics/areas-study

The "Equine Studies" listing notes that it is only a certificate program, not a major. From the website:


Women choosing to earn the certificate will do so in addition to meeting all requirements for graduation in a traditional academic major.

There is a big difference, IMHO.

sunshinestate
Dec. 15, 2011, 04:25 PM
Renn - I did encourage people to note if they had memorable moments of those folks and how good that you do.

I like the information that you gave. French is great and wonderful and you rode with her but you have little knowledge of her training and education. You based your comments on your personal experiences over a short period of time. Isnt it incumbent upon us to get facts about a trainers education and be sure they are accurate. I think I said it before, if everyone who claims to have ridden with George Morris actually did, Morris would have wored 48 hours in one day.

French was on the Board of the ANRC which is an intercollegiate program. She was because as a professor in academia you must divest yourself in various programs and boards which brings business to the school and tenure. It's an expectation of your job. That ANRC program only entertains about 10-11 schools each year (and not the NCAA or top schools either) which is not much considering all of the riding programs available nationwide. Oddly though, French has brought ANRC to the USHJA who is now, as of 2012, the primary sponsor of the championship show and if I read correctly you pay $15.00 to ushja to play in ANRC. So once again the USHJA can find money for a NEW relationship for 10-11 riding programs to have a championship show but not the funds for EAP which was established and working. If only 40or so riders compete how does that use of membership money help the entire membership. But I also note that the high scoring ANRC folks get a special auditing ticket and expenses to go audit an EAP session now in 2012. Why not let the winners go to EAP? So to say French got top 3 finishers at ANRC is not a big selling point especially since all the write ups show that Mimi Wooten was the actual coach of many of those ANRC teams for Sweet Briar.

And yes French co-produced a DVD based on the trainers and history of the forward riding system. Again a money making product for the ANRC. Its not hard to co-produce a DVD especially with the talented Scot Evans who is very media savvy and can produce something like that overnight and all the history was right there in front of you. And guess what, you have to buy the dvd and books to take the test so money money money.

Everything French does is cookie-cutter college themed as proof by the ANRC and new EAP and her college days. What French is not is an international rider or trainer. She reads books and mimics back what she learned from the professionals that did it, not just talked about it. I don't even known French but what I do know is that she poked the wrong set of people and it is not going to be ignored.

TwoFoxFarm
Dec. 16, 2011, 09:46 PM
^^^^^ This

Janet
Dec. 16, 2011, 10:25 PM
I just have to say that Sally Ike is one of the best instructors I have ridden with.

I rode with her for 2 weeks (twice a day) back in the 60s- when she was still Sally Lord. I still take advantage of the things she taught me then.

While she was not as successful as Melanie, she DID compete at the International level.

I have no idea or opinion about her role in this particular case.

jonesy
Dec. 18, 2011, 08:03 PM
Janet, it sounds like Sally Ike should have stepped up to teach for EAP as she has more credentials than some of the people chosen. Do you know why she doesn't teach for them?

I do have to chuckle that the USHJA is all about trainers being certified but yet those they have doing EAP 2012 are not even certified. Winkel is certified but she has no credentials to be teaching EAP. That should be set aside for those like Ike, AK (bless those kids for that experience but you can't take away from her the successes she has had), Kappler. I am shocked that they are using Hankins and Healey whom are more big equitation trainers and not international jumper competitors but then again, it seems the EAP program has been dummy downed on what they are really looking to accomplish.

Why didn't they ask GHM or Nona Garson or some of the international riders like Pessoa who have been successful?

S A McKee
Dec. 18, 2011, 08:15 PM
. That ANRC program only entertains about 10-11 schools each year (and not the NCAA or top schools either) which is not much considering all of the riding programs available nationwide. Oddly though, French has brought ANRC to the USHJA who is now, as of 2012, the primary sponsor of the championship show and if I read correctly you pay $15.00 to ushja to play in ANRC. So once again the USHJA can find money for a NEW relationship for 10-11 riding programs to have a championship show but not the funds for EAP which was established and working. If only 40or so riders compete how does that use of membership money help the entire membership.know is that she poked the wrong set of people and it is not going to be ignored.

USHJA requires a $15 membership fee from anyone showing in IHSA collegiate programs.

sunshinestate
Dec. 18, 2011, 08:29 PM
I found page 43 of this week's Chronicle under things we will miss quite interesting.

wanderlust
Dec. 18, 2011, 09:14 PM
Am I the only person who thinks that international riders/trainers may not necessarily be the best people to oversee major programs like the EAP? Use their input in developing/designing the program and use them to teach, yes. But it seems to me that perhaps the best people to manage the EAP program are very good program manager/business types with a strong background of riding at high levels.

I've ridden with a couple of trainers with major international wins/credentials who would not even know where to start with a program like this. They are exceptional riders/trainers/horseman who would provide amazing instruction/mentorship as part of an EAP team, but could in no way manage the multiple personalities/budget issues/politics/logistics/etc of this program. They have business managers for exactly this reason- so they can focus on what they are good at- training and riding.

As an aside, a close friend rode with Shelby at Sweet Briar for all 4 years. Shelby brought her from doing the low ch/aa to wins at level 6 (where her gelding was at the high end of his ability). She had some choice things to say about Shelby's personality ("abrasive" was one), but does credit her with their success. With a more capable horse, this friend would have had no problems at all continuing up the levels.

Not saying Shelby is the right person to be managing this (and based just on the selection of AK to teach EAP, I'd say she's completely the wrong manager), but I don't think a major rider/trainer, even retired from competing, is going to be able to pull it off.

jonesy
Dec. 18, 2011, 10:05 PM
Wanderlust I think you may have missed the point. And I don't mean that with disrespect. The USHJA as a non-profit organization that gave $1.6 million from itself to their own foundation, are the ones running EAP. That would be Moroney and his croonies (Board of Directors) who take from the Executive Committee and Planning Committee what should be done and how money is spent. There are plenty of business folks on those committees.

Sally Ike and Melanie Taylor were the co-chairs to EAP. Both educated and with sound business acumen. Both will tell you that regardless of what they suggested Moroney did what he wanted anyway, so those ladies couldn't really run the program in totality. We all know that a program was suggested for 2012 that would have paid for the entire program and the USHJA didn't even bother reading it. Oh well, water way under the bridge. When you see upwards of 6-8 committee members of EAP resign then you know there is something terribly wrong and then the ones that stayed and did no work in the past to better the program are rewarded with being PAID clinicians (i think they get like $2,000 per day for a 4 day clinic so that is $8,000) for EAP 2012, that would be Healey and Winkel.

So business people, and alot of them, have had their paws in the program and they did nothing to make it better. You can't fix big egos. Shelby is not the right person to be anywhere near EAP.

wanderlust
Dec. 18, 2011, 11:47 PM
Wanderlust I think you may have missed the point. And I don't mean that with disrespect. No disrespect taken, and a distinct possibility that I missed the point. There have been a lot of detailed posts I didn't have time to fully absorb, and some hard to read posts (khobstetter) that I didn't try to decipher.

My post was mostly aimed at sunshinestate, who has again and again insisted that the head of anything/everything run by USHJA be someone with impeccable international riding/winning and coaching credentials. I was just pointing out that in my experience, with rare exception, those skills don't usually translate.

As you rightly pointed out, when two highly experienced international competitors and industry veterans tasked to run the program (Ike and MST) hold no sway over how the program is run/financed, there is something very wrong with the organization. No arguments here.

The insane conflicts of interest and lack of voting rights of membership would NEVER fly in the corporate world, or most non-profits for that matter.

sunshinestate
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:22 AM
Wanderlust, my bad if that is the impression I was giving. I think I am more bothered by the fact Moroney is in charge of everything at USHJA and every bylaw for every decision comes back to him making the final decision. That is concerning. So committees can work diligently and go find those they feel will better the committee, including adding business sense, only to find when they ask them to be placed on the committee Moroney says no thank you, I AM PLACING these people on. Then I see more and more programs that are being started while diminishing other programs or thinning programs. The USHJA is spreading itself to thin and in some instances acting like a pyramid scheme. They start a program gung ho, find new ways to charge for it to the membership (like the college stuff), let the program flail but keep the money, only to make a new program and charge differently again.

EAP 2012 will cost participants $650.00, plus stall and shavings fee (5 days) at the host site. I am sure, although I don;t see it on the website, a small fee to do horsemanship quiz, all participants must be ushja and usef members. So the USHJA revamped a program and its going to cost a minimum of $1,000 to just get there. What contribution is the USHJA making to the program?

My strong opinions came from EAP because the purpose was to find young talent that would have otherwise gone unnoticed to develop them towards the jumper ring and international young rider competitions which would ultimately lead to more. This type of talent finding and nuturing by the International Competitors that were not only successful but had to work their way to the top, are the best to be mentoring those individuals. That would not be Winkel, Healey, Hankins, types. Sure those folks can teach and give guidance but they can't possibly determine if those riders can handle future pressures.

If you look at who Taylor found in year one, the Anthony girl who is now training and riding in the big jumper ring, but also Ricky Neal, who did travel overseas and won some smaller grand prix. Then you have Kathryn Healey who, while in college, is winning everything she touches. She is on the road to bigger successes when she completes her education. That is not to say that all finalists in each year are not successes. Many of those finalists are in fact stepping up their game and education and many have committed to staying in the horse industry.

I just think the USHJA needed to slow down and work with what they had.

jonesy
Dec. 22, 2011, 11:02 AM
The caption under Hobstetter's picture on the Chronicle of the Horse Slide show from the USHJA Annual Meeting:

Jane Dow-Burt and Kathy Hobstetter
Kathy Hobstetter (right) accepted a USHJA President's Distinguished Service Award for her tireless work in the Zone 10 hunter committee and work on the Emerging Athletes Committee from Jane Dow-Burt.

That is just amazing that they award her for screwing people over. This is proof postive to me that she was Moroney and French's do-girl. The woman did NOTHING for EAP but gets a 2011 award. What a slap in the face.

nostirrups
Dec. 26, 2011, 08:02 PM
The Virginia Horse Center is thrilled to be hosting a clinic with Melanie Smith Taylor on February 18-19, 2012. This is sure to be a great experience for Junior/Amateur/Professional riders within the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and beyond!

More information will be available soon at www.horsecenter.org or by contacting: khodgkin@horsecenter.org

jonesy
Dec. 26, 2011, 10:31 PM
nostirrups, your lucky to have her coming and how wonderful for your group and area. You should start a new thread so people will see this as this might get lost in this old thread. It is great news that deserves its own thread.

lauriep
Dec. 27, 2011, 01:12 AM
That is great news! I will definitely be in attendance. Agree on the posting it elsewhere. If I weren't already following this thread, I would have missed this.

jaysjmpr
Mar. 13, 2014, 09:53 PM
Does anyone have a list of current EAP clinic regional requirements? Am having trouble with my computer getting into the USHJA|USEF web site. Several years ago the idea was two fold. 1. Instruct young riders in barn/horse management. 2. Giving riders that do not have funds to show legit 3'6" eq and jumpers at rated shows, a place to be found. So many riders out there that are devoted, dedicated, hard working, caring and love these wonderfull animals can not afford to show at the top rated shows more than a few times a year, a way to "take a shot". Not a "gimme" but a goal to work toward and show with you can do. The info I am reading lately looks more like yet another equitation class that requires a more polished horse. The first few times that Debbie was still involved looks far different than what I see these days.

jaysjmpr
Mar. 13, 2014, 10:41 PM
Know this is old news and do not want to re-hash the issue. Very sad for the entire program. Just trying to get the new requirements for getting into a local or regional clinic. Have a 15 yr old that started woring for this when it first came out. She is doing the C/A Jumpers nicely and some of the 3'3" and 3'6" eq's. They are a military family so funds are always a part of the goals. Just hate to think that a program that four years ago looked perfect for those kids with true heart, desire and work hard. No grooms here. She even does ride alongs with local vet. Has the EAP changed its focus or is it still to give kids that may not otherwise get a shot.

hj0519
Mar. 13, 2014, 10:46 PM
Know this is old news and do not want to re-hash the issue. Very sad for the entire program. Just trying to get the new requirements for getting into a local or regional clinic. Have a 15 yr old that started woring for this when it first came out. She is doing the C/A Jumpers nicely and some of the 3'3" and 3'6" eq's. They are a military family so funds are always a part of the goals. Just hate to think that a program that four years ago looked perfect for those kids with true heart, desire and work hard. No grooms here. She even does ride alongs with local vet. Has the EAP changed its focus or is it still to give kids that may not otherwise get a shot.

If you don't want to start a rehash of old news, you're better off starting a new thread with your questions rather than adding them on to a very old one.