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bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:52 AM
ok, so here is your new post to post yoru arguements... "honor the horse and rider..."

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:52 AM
ok, so here is your new post to post yoru arguements... "honor the horse and rider..."

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

Pixie Dust
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:58 AM
I think the people who think it is not safe, don't actually event.

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

Elghund2
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:59 AM
I think you would have to define safe. It is a high-risk sport in which accidents can and do happen. It is also a sport that seems to be continually trying to improve the safety factor.

Riding on the flat can get you or your horse hurt, we can all attest to that. Getting them airborne increases the odds. I think as horseman it is up to us to find ways to mitigate the risk for both horse and rider.

"Mooses look into your window at night,
They look to the left and they look to the right,
The mooses are smiling they think its a zoo,
and thats why the mooses like looking at you."

CoolMeadows
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:03 AM
Honestly, Advanced eventing has always made my skin crawl. I'm sure several of you have walked Rolex. Did you imagine asking your horse who loves and trusts you to go over some of those jumps? Did you stand at the bottom of Lynch's Leap and look up? Eeek, made me feel guilty just thinking about it. I know the horses love it, but I don't believe they do know that they could die.

Eventing is a blast up to a certain level, but my opinion is that Advanced eventing leaves no room for mistakes. And since the sport doesn't involve machines, mistakes are going to happen. And be paid for with lives. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I know a horse can break it's leg in the field and people can get hurt in other disciplines but it just seems that Advanced eventing is asking for it. And if the animal rights people get up in arms again, well I personally think they should. Honestly, we are talking about at least 3 horses dead so far this year. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Pixie Dust
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:06 AM
I guess people don't like statistics, but I think it would be helpful to have a chart showing how every horse eventually dies.

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

wendy
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:09 AM
no, it's not safe. Neither is driving your car to the barn, cleaning your house, eating at McDonalds, or mowing your lawn. Stupid question. What you need to ask "Is the risk of injury/death too high for me to feel comfortable doing this?" which of course is a very personal question. People, and horses, all have different levels of risk that they feel comfortable with.

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:15 AM
And c'mon Wendy---It's unsafe to walk around your house, too, but there are degrees. I'd love to see data, as bgoosewood suggests, on eventing, racing and steeplechasing horse deaths. I have the impression there are few horse deaths/injuries in stadium jumping or dressage, but a higher percent in eventing and steeplechasing. I've been at Virginia's Gold Cup when a horse fell, they drew a curtain around it and put it to sleep with thousands of spectators watching. In fact, one time that happened twice in one day!! Also, if you go on the Associated Press' website (ap.org) and index for "euthanization" you'll see horses are put down at the track with a frightening degree of regularity.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:17 AM
we all KNOW this. So then why do we keep doing it? We LOVE IT. it is one of the oldest sports, done in military to test the horse, yadda yadda, i'm sure we all know the history (and if not go search the web and find out). It is the ultimate test of horse and rider... it is a thrill. The horses qualify, and the riders must qualify. Safety measures have been made, and are still being made... Which is why i beleive we NEED these "breakable" jumps. Had the jump been collapseable, then it would have fallen and Bruce's horse wouldn't have flipped... but no what if's.

I LOVE eventing. It is my passion, and My goal is the Olympics. I know the risk, and i will do what i will to prepare my horses for this. By the time I get there tho (like, 2040! lol) will eventing even be the same???

Wasn't the point of eventing to see how a horse would do jumping natural obstacles? Ok, so they arent "natural", but it's not like your going to go somewhere and find a million thigns you can jump in a set pattern, yadda yadda. That's why we have course designers. I don't remember where I saw it, but at Rolex a picture of the course designer showed him looking skeptical... I beleive he should have known better then to let horses ride that course. They should've held the course, done more to prepare the footing... But then that wouldn't be too natural either?? We aren't psychic...

GRR!! I keep typing to try and justify to myself what to think... but I keep contradicting myself. There is RISK. you can't make eventing %100 safe... maybe not even %85, or even %50. All i know is i love the sport.... you guys go ahead and argue it out... maybe I'll figure things out for myself eventually.
~laura~

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

Cruising
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:17 AM
Nope, sure it's not safe. It's unatural for horses to be leaping of cliffs, into water, etc, lol. But are hunters and dressage safe? Nope, not at all. Any equine sport is definitly VERY high risk. Now, I don't know which is MORE or LESS safe, but none of them are actually SAFE.

*Belen*
Proud Stalker of Reiners, Cutters, any hot cowboy with a cute horse /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Proud Member (Cult-like follower?) of the AQHA Clique / Founder of the Plain Bay TB Clique!
If riding were all bright lights, big arenas and blue ribbons, I would have quit a long time ago." -George Morris

BarbB
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:26 AM
is eventing "safe" - no.

Neither is baseball, football, tennis, gymnastics, soccer, skating or even golf.
These are sports. Sports involve physical activity, conditioning, competition, adrenaline rush and sometimes injuries.

I think it is important for participants in any sport to help ensure than injuries do not happen because of carelessness, poor planning, negligence or lack of concern for mitigating factors - such as weather.

Our sport is complex because it involves two athletes with very different physical and mental makeup, acting in tandem and only communicating thru learned, conditioned, physical cues.
This is the very thing that also makes it fascinating to the participants - not only the riders either.

My feeling on any sport is, other than ensuring that carelessness, negligence etc are not a factor, either choose to accept the risk involved or choose not to participate. Don't try to dictate to others how their sport should be run.
I wouldn't take up figure skating and lobby that some jumps are too dangerous and require too much speed and shouldn't be allowed.

A little sarcasm here, but if being "safe" is your major concern, then stay on the porch.

Please refrain from twisting this around to read that I think that 'anything goes' in eventing, or that I think that accidents should be ignored - I do not. However, I also do not think that the sport can be made "safe." Safe being a relative term.

I have heard concerns about everything from the danger of horses being killed to the fear a spectator feels looking at a fence - how can the sport possibly address the issue of safety to the extent that some people seem to want? It must be risk free and LOOK risk free to spectators?
How do you do that?

I think that people in this sport are spending a lot of time seriously reviewing any accident and carefully weighing making changes vs. changing the sport.
I think this is exactly what should be done.

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

JAGold
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Do you actually believe your signature line? That quote certainly advocates embracing risk and uncertainty as a growing or liberating experience. I've posted my views of acceptable risk before (http://chronofhorse.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=691099205&f=702099205&m=8103039264&r=5803043464#5803043464) -- I think eventers have come to terms with that concept in their own lives. The Nietzsche quote you use as your signature implies that danger and risk have their place in personal development. Perhaps you don't believe that eventing falls into that category, but I do. If you advocate the concept, is it such a stretch to see how eventing can fit into it? --Jess

STF
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:30 AM
than people get killed in horse related accidents per year.

I have argued this point over and over and over....yes, it can be dangerous, but when ridden right it can be safe. I am not picking on the Hunter/Jumper people here (I play in that area too), but most of bad accidents I have seen are those coming into the event world that are still doing what I call the "hunter duck" and falling one their horses neck to hold themself up. The horses front legs hit the fence (which does not fall) and sent the girl flying....
then I saw the SAME thing again about 5 riders later. Both of these girls (I knew) were very accomplished hunter riders. But....you cant go gallop and keep throwing yourself on the horses sholders every jump.
My point...the accidents I have seen could have been avoided with correct riding and training...its stuff like this that gives our sport a bad name!!
ELJ

bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:35 AM
eventing isn't safe. and neither is life in itself. and i love eventing... it is my life... and if i die doing it, that so be it! It's my life! I think i would rather die on horse back then any other way. If I couldn't ride, then i wouldn't want to live anyways. I accept this risk. We accept risk simply by getting on a horses back... that's why there's so much liability in relation to horses. Some people don't accept this risk. so go play cards or something and leave us the heck alone.

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

Ridge Runner
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bgoosewood:
I think the people who think it is not safe, don't actually event.

__<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's true to a point, but lower level eventing is much, much less dangerous than the upper levels. I've been plugging around for over 20 years at Novice and Training, and other than hurting myself once, none of my horses have ever been injured during competition. Not a bad safety record I think. Also I've been known to scratch if I don't like the footing or the course...common sense goes a long way as well as learning by the school of hard knocks.

Personally, I don't have the guts to move up much beyond prelim. I love watching the upper level horses go around the big courses, but it will never be for me. I'm becoming more and more of a DQ every day. I could not risk my horses knowingly in that way.

I do not think it is acceptable to have so many fatalities both equine and human at the upper levels. People get to choose the risks though and horses don't, thus we are responsible for them and for their trust. I don't know what the answer is...break away fences, lowering of speeds and jumps, restricting the number or rides... whatever...but my personal beliefs are that we don't have the right put horses at such high risk for the sake of sport and entertainment. I feel the same about steeplechasing and racing and feel that the losses in those sports are too great as well. I don't know where to draw the line at what is acceptable or not but I know my own heart in this matter.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Pixie Dust
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:37 AM
It's been said before, but, geeze, my 45 year old boss (a very dynamic and vigorous lady) broke her arm, REALLY badly (she had to wear the kookiest cast for months) when she slipped on her stoop, reaching for the mail.

Very, very small sample group. My friend events and has had many horses. In the 5 he had when I rode with him, one died of EPM/neck fracture (they weren't sure which) and one died of cancer (a gray). They all evented at various levels, novice through 2-star. Two were sold because they didn't want to event. (The other 2 are going strong, one of which is 14 now)

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

HonorsGlory
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:44 AM
Yes it is dangerous. And yes horses and people have died. But there is more of a chance that you would be driving your car and a train hit you as you were passing over the tracks than there is that you would die on your horse. And it is more likely for your barn to catch on fire or for your horse to get poisoned or something than there is for your horse to die eventing! But I do agree with some of you that eventing could be made more safe. I don't think that they should make the fences nock down when they are hit though. I have seen some combinations on the cross country courses that are just asking for it!! Some things are rediculous!!!! I pesonally love eventing! And those of you who don't want to do eventing that is great! But every sport has it's risks!!! Even if you just trail ride you are putting yourself at risk. I do think that there should be some changes in advanced eventing!!!

tle
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:48 AM
Please see my (various) posts on the other 2 threads regarding this for not only my opinion but all the multitude of things that have been VOLUNTARILY done to increase the safety aspect of eventing in the last 8 years alone!

http://chronofhorse.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=691099205&f=702099205&m=1763064046

earthquake... I'm still waiting to hear of your vast XC Design experience. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

************
YEA RED WINGS!!! 2002 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!! HOCKEYTOWN FOREVER!!

If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Thailand here we come. BTW PICK ME FOR S6!!

bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:49 AM
make collapseable jumps, couldn't that be a hazard in itself? the rails could get tangled up in a horses leg in a combination, and cause even more of a problem. and over drop fences horses naturally hang their legs... how would they be able to compensate for that??? There is so much technicality! perhaps they could do this on certain jumps, but not all. I'll have to go look into this...
~laura~

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

tle
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:57 AM
bigdreamer... please check out the other thread on the breakable jumps being tested in teh UK. Not all fences are going to be able to be that type and they are currently testing the design that essentially only "drops" when the horse has "begun" an accident... hopefully to end the accident a bit better.

************
YEA RED WINGS!!! 2002 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!! HOCKEYTOWN FOREVER!!

If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!

Survivor thoughts -- Thailand here we come. BTW PICK ME FOR S6!!

JER
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:09 AM
Working with horses in any capacity is not safe.

We understand that when we choose to work with them and we try to minimize the risks.

Then there is the concept of PERCEIVED safety vs. ACTUAL safety and we need statistics to back this up. I read ER stats (I can't remember where) a few years ago that said that most riding accidents (resulting in ER visits) occurred when the rider was 'riding on a long rein'. This does not sound like upper-level eventing to me.

I have read about a few deaths this year in the UK and NZ in which someone was found dead in the field -- they apparently got kicked while turning horses out or bringing them in. Walking into a group of loose horses is, it would seem, a high-risk activity, but we think of it as 'safer' than riding X-C. Again, without statistics, we're making assumptions based on what we observe and imagine.

Magnolia
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:12 AM
I think dressage riders are the tennis players of the world - always perfecting form.

Hunters :-) are the golfers of the world - always seeking the perfect course....

Eventers are those crazy guys that mountain bike down cliffs and do extreme sports. I think that the fruitloop that mountain bikes down a steep hill is a lot like the horse galloping to the huge solid jump - the have the same brave mind set and probably would be happier dying doing what they love than spending their life on a golf course or at the tennis court.

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:15 AM
Hiding behind the curtain of "earthquake" is Mike Etherington-Smith, the designer for the Olympic Three Day Event course for Sydney in 2000. Well, OK, maybe that's not true, but let's chill a bit. I think you were gettin' a bit intense there, and I thought this was supposed to be about fun (with a bit of venting, but no ad hominems.)

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

BarbB
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:25 AM
you may learn that on these forums reaching out and slapping someone in the face and then hiding behind "I thought this was supposed to be fun" is not a well regarded tactic.

and BTW, tle stands for training level eventer, long past as she moved into the 3-day arena this year - or was it last year?

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

RAyers
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:27 AM
I think it is a good thing that every time a horse or rider is injured eventing we ask our selves, "Is it safe?" It means that, as eventers, we are continually evaluating the conditions of our sport, hopefully leading to better, more effective safety processes that will not hinder the true nature of eventing. I believe we can always make the sport better and that change can be for the better, but the very nature of eventing is that it is high risk. Remember the original idea of the militare is to test horses for war (hardly a safe thing). To remove the idea of risk is to turn eventing into h/j in an open field. That does not mean we cannot make this sport safer. The idea of frangible fences, breakaway cups, C holds and reduced speeds at 3-days to increase a horse's recovery all indicate the push within the eventing community to make the sport safer. Improved fence construction, course design, competition and veterinary oversight also add to the safety. The steps being taken now are slow and deliberate without compromising the spirit of the competition.

To all of the nay sayers and those that feel animal rights organizations are justified in their attacks, I will ask, why is the safety issue only focused on eventers? Look at the h/j BB and see how many threads that discuss the apparent excess of drugs used to keep horses going. Working at a large animal hospital gave me a chance to detox numerous h/j horses from the drugs used to keep them going in their "career." I think this is even more reckless than jumping a horse over a large oxer or off of a bank. The horse didn't ask to be treated that way and didn't understand the risks. I can't tell you how many horses have died at h/j shows as a result of mismanagement.

Why is it that dressage horses have higher incidents of ligament and tendon injury in the stifle leading to loss of use of the horse? Isn't that reckless? The horse becomes useless to the owner and is cast off.

Now, hopefully I have gotten a few people inflamed and worked up about stereotypes. You see, the same arguments used to attack eventing and question its safety, can also be applied to h/j, dressage, rodeo, reining, and so forth. It comes down to glass houses. Those that feel eventing is unnecessarily dangerous had better make sure their own affairs are in order before accusing others of being reckless. Because once any external entity, such as animal rights groups, gains control in one discipline, all others become suspect. As an industry, horsepeople SHOULD be critical of each other and push ourselves to ensure the safety of horses and riders, but we also need to constructively SUPPORT the other disciplines and promote the equine industry to the general public.

Reed

tle
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:28 AM
*I* was getting a bit intense? You were the one spouting that all course designers put forth courses INTENDED to kill!! You, not me. I'm simply trying to correct misinformation that seems to flow from people who don't event (which, coincidentally is what I've always done since my very first ever Internet BB posting... thus the name "TLE - Training Level Eventer" which was to put some kind of qualification behind my opinions... ie: I ride those courses and know my rulebook... do you?). Unless you've been in a secret council with ME-S, Mark Phillips, Tremain Cooper, Ritch Temple, David O'Connor, John Williams, and a couple others whose names escape me, I'll calm down a bit when you stop spewing statements like you have.

All in fun is one thing. Slaming a discipline and the good people who try to make it safe for those involved is NOT "all in fun".... isn't not even venting.

... and people wonder why I get not under hte collar and defensive! sheesh!

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

HonorsGlory
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:32 AM
Amen to that BarB!!!!

BarbB
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


OMG!!! I love it /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

xcjumper
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:45 AM
Great post Reed, couldn't have said it better myself. Maybe that will give some people that are quick to condem something to think about!

tle-I guess it's time to change your name to ple!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

HonorsGlory
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:47 AM
Magnolia I think that you need to realize that everyone has a different opinion on other equestrian sports. And you can have your opinion and we can have ours! And niether of us is going to change anyones mind! We enjoy the speed and the high jumps and the risk that goes along with eventing! If you do dressage, hunter or the jumpers or any other sport that is fine with me! I think that they are all great! But you should not sit here and call eventers crazy! We love our sport and you love yours! If any of us made a bigger deal out of this than you wanted or you meant something different let us know! if this is what you intended to happen that is your problem not ours!

Badger
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:47 AM
There are a lot of comments being thrown around (on this and the other threads) about how dangerous it is to drive a car to work or walk across a kitchen floor or keeping a horse in a stall etc and comparing that to the dangers of eventing.

I don't think this comparison is accurate, and here is why:

We need to look at the percentages of outcome of the activity, i.e. for every 5 million times a car is driven across a railroad track in one year's time in the U.S., there are 3 deadly accidents, or something like that (obviously, I am making up the numbers). And then you calculate that this activity is deadly in a very, very, very small percentage of the cases. Something like .0000006 chance of dying when you drive over a track. For people who cross a track going to work (twice a day, five times a week, for a year), figure they cross it 520 times and that increases their odds to .003120, still very small.

To compare it to the risk of jumping an advanced x-c course in competition, you would need to find out how many advanced courses are in the U.S. in a given time period (say the year 2002), how many jumps were on each course, and how many starters left the start box. And the number that died on course. For example, if there are a total of 15 advanced horse trials, 3-star, and 4-star events in the U.S. in 2002 (just pulling #s out of my head) with an average of 30 jumping efforts per course and an average of 40 entries each, then we are looking at about 450 jumps and 600 starters for a total of 270,000 advanced jumping efforts. If three horses die jumping these jumps in 2002, then the risk of death for EACH jump in competition is only about .0001 percent. The odds of the horse surviving jumping a single advanced fence in competition are excellent. However, the horse doesn't jump just one fence, he jumps the full course of 30, raising the odds of finishing the course to .003, still not bad odds. However, these horses jumps several advanced courses in a year. For a horse that does four advanced courses in a year, the odds are .012 (1.2%) of dying. They are getting slimmer. And if you look at the elite group of actively competing four-star American horses in 2002, of about 50, 2 have died in less than four months. That's 4% (.04) dead in four months.

This is what I feel is unreasonable risk, and I'm glad changes are being made to make the sport safer for horses and riders alike.

TLE said on another thread that we need to look at all starts across the board, but the Novice eventers are not asking their horses to jump the Advanced jumps, so adding the Novice starts into the equation does NOT help us evaluate the risk taken by the advance horse and rider. The risk of death at the lower levels or driving a car across a railroad track is much SMALLER than it is going on and advance course.

We cannot totally prevent risk in any activity, whether crossing the street on foot or jumping the hanging bridge at Rolex, but we CAN minimize risk. Obviously, most people find the risk of crossing the street "acceptable" and some find the risk of upper level eventing "acceptable" but some do not. I applaud the changes that have been made to the sport, and I applaud the research into the collapsable fencing, but to me the numbers show that we need to do more. And arguments that you can die slipping in your own kitchen are totally missing the point. Every horse and rider WILL die at somepoint, as will every person whose most excitement is knitting pot holders. We cannot eliminate risk, but we can work to make the risk reasonable.

And we can allow for a margin of error. If a horse can't put one foot wrong at an advanced fence without dying, then I suggest there is not enough margin for error. If a parachuter jumps out of a plane with no parachute, he is suicidal. If he jumps out with one parachute he is in a high risk sport with no margin for error (if that parachute doesn't open, he will die). If he jumps out of the plane with a main parachute and a back-up parachute, he has just reduced his risk tremendously and greatly increased his margin for error (in the unlikely event the first chute doesn't open, he has a second one that is unlikely to fail at the same time). There is still risk (both chutes could fail), but it has been greatly reduced.

That's what I argue is needed for eventing, a wider marging of error. Horses and riders will make mistakes, but they shouldn't pay for it with there lives.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

[This message was edited by Badger on Aug. 08, 2002 at 10:34 AM.]

HonorsGlory
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:49 AM
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

CoolMeadows
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:52 AM
Yes, if animal rights people get involved with one discipline, it opens the door to all disciplines.

I'm not afraid. I know my horses are never drugged. I am opposed to abusive training methods and drugging found in all disciplines, be they Tennessee Walkers, hunters, jumpers, dressage, eventing or reining. I know very well first hand the kind of agonizing lives and deaths some of those horses have.

I say bring them on. FORCE the horse world to change. Change the face of showing in all disciplines, so what? Because tradition says it's been this way and this is the way it's staying? Because too many people make too much money the way it is right now and know they'd be screwed if things changed? Piffle.

I still believe that Advanced eventing puts the horse at more risk than necessary. The rider, I'm not so concerned about. It's their choice - they're well aware of every single risk. The horse does it for us. I hate that sometimes their generousity is what kills them.

I've evented to Preliminary and enjoyed it, accident free. I made a conscious decision to never go beyond that level. That's my choice and I'm sticking to it.

Meshach
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:55 AM
Someone mentioned Badminton and Burghley. I spectated at Badminton this year and found that the course was very safe. A lot of the fences tested the bravery of the horse and rider and were extremely techical while minimizing the amount of stress to the horse's legs.

For example, there was a bank up with a jump at the top and upon approach it looked like there was going to be a *giant* drop afterwards but in actuality the back side of the jump (which the horse could not see) was a slope down, no drop at all. So, course designers *are* thinking of ways to test the horse and rider while reducing danger.

tle
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:56 AM
Badger... you misinterpreted me. "stats across the board" meant for everything at that level (where you had posted the schpiel about only 4-star horses who are "going"... a bogus stat if I've ever seen one).

In addition everyone keeps calling for "something to be done". THINGS **ARE** BEING DONE!! Good grief people... please reread my posts, as well as posts on the various threads by people like RAyers, subk, JAGold, and many other eventers. Things ARE being done, they ARE getting safer... but we know our sport and we aren't going to go into Knee-Jerk reaction time.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Albion
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:00 AM
Amen.

Thank you for your beautifully worded post - those are my feelings exactly, but I can never put what I feel into words when it comes to posting on this BB!

And I just had to respond to this one post by earthquake:


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I've been at Virginia's Gold Cup when a horse fell, they drew a curtain around it and put it to sleep with thousands of spectators watching. In fact, one time that happened twice in one day!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hello, what did you want them to do? Let the horse lay there while they tried to haul it into the equine ambulance? Sorry, that's just not feasible. You sound like this is *absolutely shocking* to you. Anyone who works with race horses knows that yeah, it's dangerous. My friend watched a horse she exercise-rode every morning break his shoulder over fences in a race. Was it upsetting to her? Yes, yes it was. Did she stop riding race horses? No. Because she knows that sometimes accidents happen, and frankly, if a horse falls wrong going over a fence, there's really not much you can do about it, nor is there much you can do to prevent it. Sort of like Christopher Reeves' fall - it wasn't the fault of the fence, it was a freak accident.

Racing is a BUSINESS. These horses are not pets, they're not your average amateur saddle horse. They are expensive INVESTMENTS for a lot of people. While I don't neccessarily agree with this, I recognize the fact that there are many people who make their living off of having winners. Sometimes that means running a horse that shouldn't be run that day. That's the nature of the game. If you can't deal with that fact, don't patronize the events.

Sorry to bring this off topic!

-Albion

JDufort
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:04 AM
try to kill herself eventing...

or so it would seem from the questions posed.

Here's my philosophy.

1) any life well lived includes some measure of risk. How much and when is up to each of us to determine.

2) better to die doing what you love, then live in mediocrity and in a self-imposed cave.

3) practice may not make perfect, but it makes you better and reduces your risks. so practice often and seriously.

4) surround yourself with experts, and follow their counsel. this improves your chances of success, and (if you've chosen your experts well) may also reduce your risk.

My heart thumped the first time Johanna and her horse crashed a fence. She was 11, and it was in a field at her training barn, and the fence was about 2'6". She got up first, and later told me that while they were both laid flat out, she looked Dream in the eye and saw that the horse was more scared then her. So she got up to be sure that Dream knew they were both okay.

When she and Northlight moved up to intermediate this winter at Rocking Horse, we were much calmer walking cross country than we had been at any "move up" previously. Why? Because they had prepared so well, and they were ready. And it went smoothly.

When they move to Advanced, they will be equally prepared. The professionals around her are drilling the mantra:
its not possible to move up a day too late, but moving up a day too early you may regret forever.

Will all this care and preparation guarantee that no harm will come to her and her horse? Of course not. But it makes the risk reasonable, to us.

And the joy of flying around a big course for a skilled rider on a trained horse - priceless...

Jeanne

BarbB
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:07 AM
that was wonderful.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

Badger
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
Badger... you misinterpreted me. "stats across the board" meant for everything at that level (where you had posted the schpiel about only 4-star horses who are "going"... a bogus stat if I've ever seen one).

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Glad you were talking about stats across the level, I do think that is a very legit way to look at safety for that level. We are on the same wavelength. But I personally don't think it is bogus to look at deaths among 4-star horses who are "going." These are the horses whose rider's feel they are fit enough, trained enough, talented enough and completely ready to do what they ask of them jumping the top x-c courses. And too many horses for my tastes have said that we have asked too much and have paid with there lives.

I am learning a lot from these threads and appreciate everyone who is posting tactfully with there thoughts. I think we share a goal of happy, healthy, safe, sound horses and by discussing and questioning we can grow as horsemen/women.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

deltawave
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:14 AM
I couldn't have said it better myself. And to paraphrase TLE..."good grief, people!" /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

This topic is done over and over and OVER every time something terrible happens. With the same range of opinions and points, some of which we agree with and some of which we don't. Seems to me like all it does is get everybody p*ssed off at one another... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

If this is truly something that interests one to the point that one thinks they need to DO something, then get involved at the local level, where I think you will find out that things ARE being done, and not just after a fatality happens. These solutions take place slowly and painfully, if at all, in part due to the emotional nature of the topic. Look at the helmet laws...I think most eventers would say "DUH!" to the wearing of approved helmets in competition, but you can't BELIEVE the ruckus from the H/J world when this was pushed to be implemented.

My point is, that debate is wonderful, but if you really want to effect a change in the sport, you have to find out the facts, be able to discuss the topic DISPASSIONATELY and most of all get involved and find out what's ACTUALLY going on so that you can be counted among the informed and logical, not the uninformed and hysterical.

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

Caramal Candy
Aug. 6, 2002, 01:22 PM
Any sport involving a 1,200lb mass of muscel, with a mind of its own is dangerous. Yea eventing is one of the more dangerous horse sports, but the horse aint gonna jump a 5 ft sold fence if he doest want to. The horses who succeed in eventing live for it. If u keep them at a lower level they get bored. I had to skip BN al together with Candy because he would get bored on course and think up new tricks to pull.

~Kate

"Whats scarier when mad, a 300lb. lineman or a 1,200lb. mare?"

CluesGirl
Aug. 6, 2002, 01:31 PM
As soon as you begin a relationship with a live breathing horse, you can expect the word "safe" to drop from the vocabulary. I would never push myself or my horse to do anything "unsafe", i.e. pushing him to a limit I know he cannot perform at comfortably.

There are freak accidents in every sport....and it wouldn't be "sporting" if there were no risks involved.

I can say I've jumped at a height and jumped things that made me nervous, but then again the first time I jumped a 2' vertical I was scared too. I am also nervous about public speaking, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't -- or CAN'T -- do it!! (I wish I didn't HAVE to, but that's a different subject altogether!).

Setting and staying within comfortable boundaries, and here again, everyone has different boundaries, should be what works for everyone. People who push themselves or their horses further than reasonable for their respective abilities are obviously asking for trouble.

And then you have Bruce Davidson, who is comfortable at any level, and the fabulous horse who was also comfortable there...that was just a freak, unfortunate accident from all angles that I've seen and heard.

And this is not to say that we don't all like a challenge...but I know my limits! I have a sinking suspicion that Clue's are much higher than mine, but we may never know... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

43% of all statistics are useless.

Pat Ness
Aug. 6, 2002, 01:47 PM
I have come up with the following formula:

If I lose my horse because of _______, will I be able to live with myself?

I then fill in the blank with:
Jumpers, eventing, dressage, turnout, racing, vaccinations, penicilin, you name it...

Eventing has lost too many horses in comparison with how many compete at the jumpers and racing. For the way the sport stands right now, I don't believe I will be eventing above Training Level as I feel it is unsafe for my horse.

It's a guide for myself and it's something I can live with.

2Dogs
Aug. 6, 2002, 02:46 PM
can I ask a question?: as a life long hunter/jumper rider and fox hunter who has done NO eventing but may soon, I would like to understand the following:

someone mentioned that eventing is very old (historically) - did the x-c phase grow out of steeplechasing? Or fox hunting? Or? I ask because I know that what I used to show over in hunters has changed and the change has been to (no mud here) "dull" it down: no more outside courses, the now universal counted strides and pretty tedious outside-diagonal-outside-diagonal courses. Nevertheless, I still ride hunters and enjoy. But what I guess I don't get is that eventing x-c courses seem to have gone the other way, getting more and more "formidable" (at the uppermost levels). Like an extreme sport! I am a bit confused at the rationale of making the upper level x-c courses bizarre and scary in the types of jumps being created. Why has the bar been pushed so far? These courses no longer seem to resemble anything "natural", but look like the "extreme sport" mentality has taken over. Is there another origin that I am unaware of?

Janeway
Aug. 6, 2002, 02:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pat on the back:
Eventing has lost too many horses in comparison with how many compete at the jumpers and racing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But where are these stats PatOnTheBack? How do you know that more have died? As someone earlier said, many hunters/jumpers have died due to mismanagement (i.e drug abuse). How is that different? Heck, I can think of more showjumpers that have died of drug related problems then I can event horses that have died on course.

If someone is compiling stats on horse deaths at the upper level, then all 3 and 4 star events around the world should be included in order to get a proper result. Just looking at the US based ones wouldn't be accurate as there are only 3, compared to the dozen or so in Europe.

Oh, and for the poster above who doesn't think that the lower levels of Eventing are as risky, well, the last few serious rider injuries and horse injuries that I've read about in Horse and Hound show that they were incurred at those same lower levels that you speak of. Accidents happen at all levels; they are not just reserved for the Advanced. I think its just the higher-profile of the big events that make people more aware when a tragedy occurs.

canyonoak
Aug. 6, 2002, 03:16 PM
QUOTE:<<someone mentioned that eventing is very old [historically) - did the x-c phase grow out of steeplechasing? Or fox hunting? Or? I ask because I know that what I used to show over in hunters has changed and the change has been to [no mud here) "dull" it down... But what I guess I don't get is that eventing x-c courses seem to have gone the other way, getting more and more "formidable" [at the uppermost levels). Like an extreme sport! I am a bit confused at the rationale of making the upper level x-c courses bizarre and scary in the types of jumps being created. Why has the bar been pushed so far? These courses no longer seem to resemble anything "natural", but look like the "extreme sport" mentality has taken over. >>


Eventing certainly comes from a cross of steeplechasing/foxhunting/existence of the cavlary...which is why in some countries, it is referred to as "the Military' discipline.

I do not believe the bar has nbeen pushed to make competition more extreme. In fact, the apex of danger was in the late 60s, when you went as FAST as you could as HIGH as you could.

These days, the course desgners (rightly) put the emphasis on the th chnical aspects of a copurse, as well as the 'mind' questions; uie, fences that are no so difficult for the horse but appear very challenging to the rider.

These fences 'ask a question' and the riders try to answer.

This is a sport that consistently and continually self-polices and tries to improve itself.

If anyone out there decided the sport isnot for them--so be it.
I doubnt there is a rider alive more experiences than bruce davidson.

Not only has he been World Champion in his chosen sport, etc etc etc, he spends off-time foxhunting, galloping racehorses, steeplechasing--making sure he has created as much of a margin for safety as 'perfect practice' will allow.

Statistics?
Statistically, if one rides a lotta horse a lotta years, one is gonna part company with a horse now and then.

If one jumps a lotta horses over a lotta jumps, statistically one is gonna miss a jump now and then.

before the Internet, before TV...horses died. A lot.
Got killed, actually.
Owners put a bullet between the eyes of who knows how many. That is still legal in most places.
Riders flogged 'em to death, ran 'em to death,drove 'em to death.
And riders died too.

it is just that now we KNOW each and every time it happens.
Our PERCEPTION has altered, not the reality.

I dont event any longer.

My reflexes and courage are not up to the challenge.

But my daughter does event. ** and ***.
My heart is in my mouth each and every time.

The other daughter plays serious polo.
Ditto about my heart.

I admire both girls. I admire their heart, their care of the horses, their love of their chosen game.
Neither of them has EVER consciously askeddo something in competition the horse was not a willing partner to.

We have all agreed: so long as they can look in the mirror and believe that they gave it the best shot; that the horse was willing and a partner; why then: let life play out as it is going to.

Cheap words.

-if anything serious happens, I will be beyond broken=hearted, beyond comfort, beyond reason.

But then..I willremember we CHOSE all this.

And I do believe that each and every serious eventer has made some kind of similar contract.

I believe each and every horseman has made some kind of similar contract.

all the best,

free
Aug. 6, 2002, 03:19 PM
our horses for Eventing, but with eyes wide open. Like several said earlier,it is a high risk sport but you try and do everything to minimize the risks.

Life is risky, but common sense tells you that you have to travel in a car and occasionally cross a railroad track, but you do not have to Event. This is a life-style choice and I do not feel like we have to defend it to anyone.

We have observed that some of our horses love x-country but I also know that horses have very limited power of logic or reason. They cannot figure the odds or think ahead that doing this thing that I enjoy may cripple me. Children also desire to do a lot of things that parents must prohibit them from. We are making this decision. But again I say that we are making the decision to Event our horses with our eyes open, not sugar-coating it, accepting responcibility for it, but trying to do our utmost to keep their risk minimal and giving them the best care and affection that we can.

Janeway
Aug. 6, 2002, 03:35 PM
That is an awesome movie RAyers! And it stars the cutey Tom Burlinson aka the man from snowy river. as well as a host of other good Aussie actors. Well worth watching /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Whistlejacket
Aug. 6, 2002, 03:42 PM
Reed - A minor point here, but regarding the origins of foxhunting...it did not originate at the level of the aristocracy. It started out by the farmers as a very practical and utilitarian activity to control the fox population that was negatively impacting the local farm animals (e.g. sheep, chicken).

Only later was it adopted by the aristocracy, with all the associated trappings. But similar to many horse activities (I imagine including eventing), which are misperceived as playthings exclusively for the wealthy, most people who foxhunt today are "working stiffs" like me! Aristocracy...hmmph...I wish! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Pat Ness
Aug. 6, 2002, 03:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janeway:

But where are these stats PatOnTheBack? How do you know that more have died? As someone earlier said, many hunters/jumpers have died due to mismanagement (i.e drug abuse). How is that different? Heck, I can think of more showjumpers that have died of drug related problems then I can event horses that have died on course. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Janeway,
As a competitor and the person in charge of the health of the horses at my home, I have control over them not getting drugs, being poled, being forced into frames for their flat work. I have no control over the oxers that don't come down for cross country. Do you need stats on how many jumpers died on course due to the obstacles verses how many event horses did? I don't think so. The insurance companies charge more to insure event horses... they have the stats.

I truly believe that event horses have the most interesting training schedules, are probably the least drugged of all the sport horses, but, when it comes to jumping fixed obstacles at speed, they are in the most danger.
Pat Ness

Pat Ness
Aug. 6, 2002, 04:48 PM
I have a history on this board of speaking negatively about eventing. The truth is, I used to love this sport and I have competed through prelim on 4 different horses.

It is not the banks, water or ditches that are killing horses Reed. Titleist died over the fence, not the ditch in front of it. I was at the brush (fence 9) and saw Titleist hesitate big time there. I was standing in the rain next to the jump judge for this jump. He then jumped through the infield water fine, only to die at the next SOLID OBSTACLE. I do not blame Mark W. I do not want to blame anyone. I do wonder why they did not respect the death of that horse by taking that obstacle out of the track at Rolex. One year at Badminton it took 3 horse deaths before the fence was taken off the course.

I don't know the answer, but I'm starting to not want to attend Rolex as a spectator as I do not want to let dying horses become a part of the sport for me. I have been to Rolex at least 9 times since 1983 and I made it to Badminton one year as well.

At Spruce Meadows, many more horses have jumped over the banks, down the banks and through the devil's dike without the fatalities. The horses are still at risk there, but the risk is not as great. I am wishing we could find a way to make eventing not so risky.

I don't want to dumb down eventing. Heck, we've already done that at Novice and Training with all ramped faces on the jumps. Some on this board do not agree with me, but I would love to see some verticals put back into lower level eventing so we learn how to ride to that type of face.

I agree with canyonoak's assessment from above.

Also, I don't understand why some of you are so worried about change. Tradition is not always the correct way.
Pat Ness

JAGold
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pat on the back:

It is not the banks, water or ditches that are killing horses Reed. Titleist died over the fence, not the ditch in front of it. I was at the brush (fence 9) and saw Titleist hesitate big time there. I was standing in the rain next to the jump judge for this jump. He then jumped through the infield water fine, only to die at the next SOLID OBSTACLE. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Titleist died at the coffin, fence 10/11ab. (http://www.rk3de.org/Course_List.cfm?ID=53) (The Keeper's Brush to which you refer was fence 8 and the water numbered 9abc.) He died when he flipped over the vertical and broke his neck on the incline on the far side of the ditch. Please click on the link to see the fence and refresh your memory; I don't consider a coffin, with a vertical in, a "solid obstacle." Coffins are generally considered technical, rather than solid, obstacles. The two terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive, I suppose.

I just want to keep all of the information straight here.

(As for why the fence wasn't removed from the course, after Titleist's fall two additional riders had single refusals at the in of the coffin, and one had a stop at either the ditch or the second element. I know one of the riders personally and she blamed her refusal on a steering error, and re-presented to no problems at the option. That means that three of the 20 riders who attempted that fence after Titleist's fall (many riders retired before D and Peter Green retired on course before reaching fence 10) had single refusals, and none had multiple or serious problems. It's hard to make a case that the fence needed to be removed based on those numbers. Also, remember that there was an option available.) --Jess

Pat Ness
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:10 PM
I was off one number and I apologize.

Pat Ness

Magnolia
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:10 PM
I think you entirely misinterpreted my post! I have absolutley nothing against eventers or eventing! Sorry to use the word crazy! What I meant was that just like some of those "extreme" athletes could never be happy only golfing or playing tennis, some horses and riders would never be happy without galloping cross country jumps!
Sorry if I upset you!

The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

Janeway
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pat on the back:
I'm starting to not want to attend Rolex as a spectator as I do not want to let dying horses become a part of the sport for me.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

and you think others do? /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif You make it sound like the rest of the eventers out there don't care about their horses. I would say everbody in the eventing world is affected when a horse dies on course and nobody wants to see it happen.

Are you sure you got the facts right about Badminton? I do remember one year when 3 horses died as a result of being injured on course, but I seem to recall that none of the accidents were related. TLE or JAGold do you guys remember? Perhaps one horse died at the fence and another one was injured and put down later, but if two in a row died AT THE JUMP I severely doubt it would have been left in for a third to die, and I definitely don't remember reading it that way either at the time.

Horses have died in showjumping rings too you know. Lord knows many of them have broken bones there only to be put down later. Its a sad fact of all equestrian sports. But obviously the more instant death of a horse on x-country seems to come out looking much worse than the showjumper who got caught up in the rails and landed awkwardely, only to be put down later out of sight. Its the same end result though.

Someone will have to show me exact stats before I beleive that more horses die out on x-country then they do in other discplines. I still think its just that its more "recordable news".

Badger
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janeway:

Someone will have to show me exact stats before I beleive that more horses die out on x-country then they do in other discplines. I still think its just that its more "recordable news".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


We'd all love to see exact stats. I hope they are gathered and shared some day soon. But I agree with Pat on the Back's post, and I've got to say there are A LOT more horses show jumping than eventing, so we would expect there to be a corresponding larger number of deaths happening in that sport than in eventing if the risk was the same. And I do believe that is NOT the case.

Any one have #s on how many horses compete as jumpers vs. eventers?

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

JER
Aug. 6, 2002, 05:45 PM
Three horses died at Badminton in 1992, including Mark Todd's Face the Music and Karen OC's Mr. Maxwell, but they all occurred at different fences.

The weather -- rain, rain, rain -- and conditions -- mud, mud, mud -- were terrible.

Mark Todd's horse broke the fence up badly when he fell and the fence was removed from the course immediately, although as it was the direct option for that obstacle, subsequent riders jumped the option.

2Dogs
Aug. 6, 2002, 06:11 PM
I thank all of you, and particularly RAyers, for giving me a better understanding of the origins of the x-c portion of eventing. It has certainly helped put some of the courses in perspective, however lethal some fences may or may not be.
I will comment that I have been watching jumpers for a long time and have not been present to any fatalities in that sport yet (thank goodness). I will not attend TB racing of 2 year olds....I feel that it just too damn young to put such stress on youngsters - and I have trouble at steeplechases. Call me a softie, but I hate to see horses put down on any infield in any sport.

But still, I think of horses like I think of kids: I, as an adult, can choose my risks and that is my right and choice, but to put the beings that cannot make their own decisions into situations where the odds for serious injury or death are higher than is tolerable,we adults must think long and hard about the value of the being against the risk.
What I read, though, is that the assessment of the risk for upper level eventing has not been done. We respond to the horror stories, but true risk assessment would mean that for x number of horses competing at x level per year, the injury and death rate is known. And maybe we will all decide that more than 1 death is unacceptable....2? 3? It is a moral ethical decision.

lmlacross
Aug. 6, 2002, 07:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:

I've been at Virginia's Gold Cup when a horse fell, they drew a curtain around it and put it to sleep with thousands of spectators watching. In fact, one time that happened twice in one day!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've seen the same at the Breeder's Cup, the year of the terribly sad Bayakoa/Go For Wand stretch duel at Belmont. That was flat racing. We could really go 'round and 'round on this one...

It depends on how each of us quantifies "safe" or "unsafe". Do we react personally, in our gut, or do we need to see clear ratios of injury to safe course completion? As for me, I am not sure. I have neither the skill nor bravery to compete at Advanced. Do I think it posed greater risks than hunters? Yes. Do I think those who compete at Advanced have evaluated the risk with regard to their AND their horses skill? Absolutely. Riders like Bruce wouldn't go if they weren't comfortable with the degree of risk they were assuming.

That being said, I think collapsalbe fences are an excellent innovation, but would hate to see the rigors of the sport be watered down due to the clamoring of the uninvolved.

LML

*MidWest/Chicago Clique*
*Cripple Clique*

tle
Aug. 6, 2002, 07:29 PM
Geez... I go to meet my vet and you people post almost 2 full pages without me! What were you thinking?! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But still, I think of horses like I think of kids: I, as an adult, can choose my risks and that is my right and choice, but to put the beings that cannot make their own decisions into situations where the odds for serious injury or death are higher than is tolerable,we adults must think long and hard about the value of the being against the risk. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But who's to say what risk is acceptable? Some parents think allowing their drugs into the house is an acceptable risk for their kids. Others won't even allow their 16yo to date or watch R rated movies. some people think it's ok to have a 60 pound 2yo... others don't think any vaccinations are good for their kids. Who is right?

I have a friend who is a sweetheart but her comfort level tops out at cantering in a clinic with the occassional small BN fence. Mine is currently eye-balling Intermediate. Is she right or am I? Obviously, the way your statement is written we both can't be right... can we?

Taking risks and risk assessment is such a personal thing. Do you want YOUR comfort level determined by someone else? I certainly don't.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What I read, though, is that the assessment of the risk for upper level eventing has not been done. We respond to the horror stories, but true risk assessment would mean that for x number of horses competing at x level per year, the injury and death rate is known. And maybe we will all decide that more than 1 death is unacceptable....2? 3? It is a moral ethical decision.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I already addressed the moral ethical stuff (again... do you want someone else telling you want is right?), but as far as the injuries to/per horse, I haven't seen any statistics. What I do remember from one of the Annual Meetings I attended (at LEAST 5 years ago if not 6) was the safety committee's report on rider injuries. I swear the number of serious/fatal injuries was reported as being really low, but I can't remember the exact number. For some reason .05% or .02% seems to come to mind. At any rate, that was for the entire year prior to their report and covered all sanctioned events in the us. And that was before a lot of hte more recent changes to the sport like course inspections at the upper levels, C-Halts, etc. Honestly, I'd expect that number to have dropped since then.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

MsRidiculous
Aug. 6, 2002, 07:52 PM
For my opinion, see my sig line.

Life's too short to spend it not doing something just because you might die. HELLO... We're born dying! Enjoy life while you have it, you never know which day might be your last.

As far as my horse goes... I know he loves it. If he didn't love it, he wouldnt do it. There's a sparkle in his eye when he's standing in the start box of XC that I don't see any other time. And honestly, if I had to lose my horse, I would rather lose him doing something I know he loved than to something horrid like colic or laminitis. Cross country makes him happy. The horse I have the rest of the time is NOTHING compared to the one I have out on the xc course. He morphes into some kind of Super Charlie. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I would feel like a worse person taking that away from him than I would if something happened to him out there.

-Amanda

As soon as you're born you start dying, so you might as well have a good time -Cake

DMK
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> That being said, I think collapsalbe fences are an excellent innovation, but would hate to see the rigors of the sport be watered down due to the clamoring of the uninvolved.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When I read about Bruce's crash with an experienced horse, my knee jerk reaction is that when what is arguably one of the finest riders on the planet has a lethal crash with an experienced horse, something is wrong...

But I can accept that freak accidents DO happen. I was once cantering a horse across a perfectly level surface, and he stepped wrong and fractured his femur. Nothing could be done to foresee, prevent or change things, it was a freak accident. And this may be too.

But welcome to the world of Limited Choices. Like it or not, the "uninvolved" ARE looking at the sport of eventing, and what eventers think should happen to the sport may not have a whole lot to do with what WILL happen, unless they stop acting like their head is in the sand and address the concerns of the uninvolved.

Every person who gets on the defensive and says it is a high risk sport and this was just a freak accident, or worse yet says you are more likely to die in a car accident (no duh - statistically how many more people are in cars every day?) runs the risk of alienating those who might want to accept that this is an acceptable sport, but are undecided about the risk element. Instead, tell people what has been done to improve safety, and why the new fence design is a great idea, but let them know that more research needs to be done to ensure that they are safer than the current obstacles. In short, educate - don't alienate.

Eventers did a great job promoting the sport, they get huge crowds at the Rolex, are improving sponsorship and TV coverage. Well, this is the other side of that coin, folks.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein (1878-1955)

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:11 PM
It's reaffirming to connect with all of you who value horses as individuals and truly care about their well-being. It's quite amusing to listen to those who flip out over the mere suggestion that upper-level eventing purposely places horses in harm's way----when it's so obvious its truth cannot be denied. Their indignation only reconfirms that people will yell and scream about individual rights when what they're really concerned about is egotistical satisfaction (i.e. winning) or money (i.e. the cost of a dead or injured horse.) Making such people steam at least makes them think about the harm they know they're causing.

Please see:
www.equus.remus.com/eventing/070999-01.htm (http://www.equus.remus.com/eventing/070999-01.htm)

Cheers to all!

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

Pat Ness
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:13 PM
OK, I was going to quote your statement, but I guess I'll just try to answer as I go along. I have been into eventing since 1976. I competed starting in 1980 and took 4 different horses from Novice (pre training back then) through prelim. I have not done a 3-day. I am not saying I did prelim successfully with all 4 horses, but I did have some success. I've been to Rolex, Badminton and I own about 40 different eventing competition videos which I have watched numerous times.

I know eventing. I know about frangible pins. I know we have not started using them here yet. I feel that is a shame.

I also agreed with canyonoaks and I thought I stated that in my first post, but as usual, I came across different than I expected.

I don't expect you all to quit eventing. I am stating my opinion. The opinion of a person that has been into the sport for a long time. I also value the opinion of those who have not been in the sport for a long time, or have just begun in the sport.

I'm not saying that those of you who find my opinion irritating want to see horses die at the sport. I am saying that I can no longer face myself in the mirror (as stated by canyonoaks) after a horse dies an untimely death at a fixed obstacle. It happens too often for my conscious. It may or may not happen too often for others. I DON'T KNOW. I only know myself and I like to express what I feel on the board.

What are some of you afraid of?

My friends horse flipped at Wayne over the corner going intermediate. She was talking about showing us the tape as it was an incredibly dramatic fall. I don't want to watch a horse flip anymore. I've seen it too many times eventing.

Well, I'm off to watch THE LORD OF THE RINGS on my new DVD player.

Pat Ness

mytimeandtide
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:46 PM
It would be better to have more technical delegates inspect the cross country course and have more fences that are technical rather than dangerous. I guess another course designer should also critique a course. This is not golf course design... afterall...

Albion
Aug. 6, 2002, 08:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It's quite amusing to listen to those who flip out over the mere suggestion that upper-level eventing purposely places horses in harm's way----when it's so obvious its truth cannot be denied. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

THIS is why people are flipping out. I'm not even an eventer, and this statement offends ME. By saying that upper-level eventing is PURPOSELY putting horses in harm's way, you are effectively saying that course designers, organizers, owners, and riders WANT horses to get injured. And I cannot believe that is true - people don't dedicate ridiculous amounts of their time & money to a sport so they can see the equine competitors die.

Give me a break.

-Albion

Sannois
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:00 PM
with comments like that! OMG. Those statements could not be further from the truth, On what do you base your observations?? And would you please change your signature, you obviously dont feel that way at all.

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

bigdreamer
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:06 PM
i was going to start this as "there are 2 types of people, those who take risks, and those who don't", but then i realized how wrong that is.

EVERY ONE HAS THEIR OWN FLIPPIN COMFORT LEVEL.

EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN OPINION.

STOP making your seems like the ONLY ONE.

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO KILL OUR HORSES. NO ONE IS. why would we spend every last penny on them for their health, condition them, ride them... heck, do u use spurs? maybe you are trying to kill them with them!!! You make it seem like we are "out to get them". trust me, if we were i'd pick up a shot gun and shoot it.

would we make safety laws if we wanted to kill them?

maybe we should ban all extreme sports b/c spectators get killed sometimes. mayeb we should ban life! Since people die everyday...

What kind of riding do you do, earthquake??? i am interested to know. Maybe you are trying to kill your horse too.

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own clique~*~ and the *~*Michigan clique*~* and the ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

There is something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. ~William Faulkner

wondering
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:06 PM
I feel I need to step in and defend Pat. She is one of the most encouraging, enthusiastic people you would ever want to meet. She always has a smile and a kind word for everyone. For those who question her dedication to eventing have never had the pleasure of meeting her. You wont see her with a picket sign protesting an event. She will be inside coarse designing.
When I die I want to come back as one of Pat's horse's.
colleen

SaddleFitterVA
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JER:
Three horses died at Badminton in 1992, including Mark Todd's Face the Music and Karen OC's Mr. Maxwell, but they all occurred at different fences.

The weather -- rain, rain, rain -- and conditions -- mud, mud, mud -- were terrible.

Mark Todd's horse broke the fence up badly when he fell and the fence was removed from the course immediately, although as it was the direct option for that obstacle, subsequent riders jumped the option.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of my biggest questions is why do organizers and riders insist upon continuing in vile weather and conditions?

NASCAR cancels races, Major League baseball cancels games, many other sporting events cancel or postpone events in the case of weather which increases the risk to the participants and the audience.

WHY don't event organizers do the same thing? Because, there are going to be lots of competitors who will not scratch, no way, no how, at least not on their own decision.

AND, what is worse IMO, is the way that people use a single clear round by a rider as justification for continuing in those conditions.

I adore riding and schooling XC, I love jumping, I know there are great risks in riding (heck, I broke both of my arms in 1994), BUT, I just watched the 2000 Olympics 3day video and pretty much was horrified at how many horse falls and utterly scary jumps I saw on that video.

I don't want eventing to go away, I don't want to make eventers quit their sport. I do want to see the risk of death to these fine horses reduced.

I ride with event riders, over at an eventing barn. Take my lessons out in a XC field, I will undoubtedly end up going to a horse trials in the forseeable future, but at this point, I don't know that I'll ever want to go above Prelim, if that. Show jumping fences hold a lot of appeal to me personally. I love the concept of those breakable jump cups too. I love riding, I love jumping, I'd rather not die from a potentially preventable accident, and if a safety feature is available to help prevent a certain type of accident/injury, I'd like to see it used. And, I do not want to kill my horses either.

I wear a helmet when riding, and I wear a seatbelt when driving. I try to take reasonable precautions, but know that accidents do happen. I also don't consider the horse/rider deaths in upper level eventing to be "freak" accidents. They happen too often to be freak. Just like a horse snapping a leg while racing is not a freak accident. To me, a freak accident is when the horse dies of heart failure while on course or an aneurism or when a truck drives across the XC course and nails the horse and rider.

JMO.

Mel

Sannois
Aug. 6, 2002, 09:58 PM
Might as well just regulate life, cause its far too risky! Excuse the pun but this topic is like beating a dead horse! It will solve nothing but get a few people steamed and we will have this conversation again when something else happens down the road. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

BarbB
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:32 PM
I find it interesting that everytime we have this type of discussion the 'risk takers' do not expect others to change their views and to be like them; but the 'non-risk takers' do seem to expect everyone else to see that taking risks is wrong and they should change.
/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif
Perhaps a very fundamental difference in the way risk-takers and non-risk-takers see the world. (overly simplistic, I know)
Is this learned behavior or are we genetically hard-wired to think one way or the other?

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

[This message was edited by BarbB on Aug. 07, 2002 at 01:29 AM.]

xcjumper
Aug. 6, 2002, 10:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mytimeandtide:
It would be better to have more technical delegates inspect the cross country course and have more fences that are technical rather than dangerous. I guess another course designer should also critique a course. This is not golf course design... afterall...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have been eventing for quite some time and do event at the "upper levels" although not advanced. I am also by career an ER nurse. I have seen my share of accidents, and yes, deaths too.
Both of the people that I've seen die and tried to save were both negotiating "technical" fences. One at Adv. and one at Int. Both riders made terrible, tragic mistakes in their rides that unfortunatly resulted in their deaths. These were not big fences, just technical questions appropriate to the level. Most people have trouble at the technical fences, not the straighforward ones, so how is making it more technical going to help!!!??? The horse deaths I have witnessed were also at technical fences. No designer sets out to make "dangerous fences" and at the ones I've seen they will take out or improve upon the fence if it is deemed "dangerous"!! These deaths witnessed first hand have effected me more than anyone will ever know, but I have come to the conclusion that ACCIDENTS do happen and thats just what they are! No one meant for it to happen it just did even though the fences had beeen jumped literally thousands of times without incident. And, take Christopher Reeves for example, he was by no means jumping a "technical" or "dangerous" fence.

Take what you will from this. Minds are made up and I've found it very difficult to change someone else's mind!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

creseida
Aug. 6, 2002, 11:44 PM
Okay, just want to throw in my $0.02...it's a bit long, sorry.

I have gone through training level, and felt secure and confident in what I was doing and what I was asking of my horse. I have no desire to go Prelim or above; some of the fences scare me. Me, not my horse. I have watched the higher levels compete and they (the riders) don't look scared. They look as comfortable and confident as I feel at Training level. The horses attack the fences, so I imagine they don't seem to mind either.

I'm sure we've all encountered a horse that just doesn't want to do something, and no matter what, you just couldn't make them. If these horses *really* didn't want to do this, they wouldn't. I wish I coud remember the exact quote and who said it, but someone well-placed in the eventing world said that a good XC horse has to be trusting and ever so slightly crazy. He has to trust his rider to get him around a course that involves blind jumps, and crazy enough to throw himself "off the cliff" so to speak. Not every horse has the gall to do the advanced stuff, but those that are just crazy enough really seem to enjoy it.

There are arguements both ways about collapsible fences. Fences that collapse can tangle up a horse; they can also reduce injury as a result of a direct fall upon them. Solid fences the horse slides across without tripping them up; they can also cause a horse to flip.

I'm not quoting statistics; only my personal experiences here: I have never flipped over an XC fence, but I have had my horse flip after having a pole get tangled in her landing gear.

Is eventing dangerous? Yes. Anything relating to horses is dangerous to both horse and rider. Are there improvements to be made with regards to safety? Absolutely, and those in the industry strive to make those improvements. But you need to make sure that the safety innovation doesn't pose even greater inherent risks than the risks they were trying to reduce.

An example would be NASCAR after the death of Dale Earnhardt. They have come up with several restraining devices (the HANS and Hutchins, and new style head rests built into the seats) to prevent the driver's head from whiplashing forward creating the type of head injury that killed Dale. Although the drivers have taken to using these devices, thier biggest concern is being able to get out of the car in a hurry, like if it is on fire. Steve Park, who drives for Earnhardt's widow, was involved in a terrible crash two weeks ago. His car flipped over several times and came to rest angled on its side but more over on its roof. Because of the restraints and the headrest, Park was trapped. Fortunately, the car did not catch fire, but if it had....Park could not get out. You could see that this *really* bothered him after the wreck. He kept repeating, "I was trapped. I was trapped." BTW, IMO it takes the same type of courage and bravado to drive a race car at the Winston Cup level as it does to pilot a horse around an XC course. It isn't for everyone, because the risk will always be there.

My point is, the break away fences may do some good with regards to certain types of falls, but will their breaking away in other circumstances cause other falls to occur that wouldn't otherwise, or make the injuries suffered in still other falls even worse? They need to be tested.

~<>~ Remember, the Ark was built by a rank amateur; the Titanic was built by a team of experts~<>~

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 05:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DMK:

But welcome to the world of Limited Choices. Like it or not, the "uninvolved" ARE looking at the sport of eventing, and what eventers think should happen to the sport may not have a whole lot to do with what WILL happen, unless they stop acting like their head is in the sand and address the concerns of the uninvolved.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've more or less stayed out of this thread up to now as I felt like I was pi$$ing into the wind the other day on a different thread trying to reason with some of you die hards who reject any more change or think it's wrong that someone should dictate anything to you or criticize your precious God given right to do whatever you want with the horses you own regardless of the ethics. Dear God...everytime you drive a car you follow a mandated speed limit and laws apply to all aspects of life. I hate to say it but your "comfort level" is already dictated to you in our society in many many ways and at the rate things are going in eventing, things are going to get worse in that regards. I loved DMK's post...it says it just the way I see it and have tried to say it again and again. Whether you all like it or not or think it's fair, uninvolved people are looking at eventing and aren't just going to go away and leave us alone, and it will be uninvolved people who will probably end up changing the face of eventing beyond recognition..at least at the upper levels. Most people don't understand the issue that these horses love their jobs and I agree that they do...although I strongly doubt horses have the capacity to truly understand risk in the manner we do. They trust us and for that reason we are obligated to protect them as much as possible. Too many horses have died at the upper levels in just this year to attibute the fatalities to freak accidents. God help us if another horse dies at the WEG in eventing or any of the Fall events in the US as I think it will heat up the negative public opinion even more. I mean just listen to what some of these hunter, jumper and dressage people are saying...if they don't "understand" how it's OK to risk horses like this how can you expect Joe Average on the street to do so? Please don't try and counter that there's no more risk at the upper levels of eventing than standing in the pasture, doing Novice/Training or jumping stadium fences at hunters and jumpers as that's a ridiculous argument. I think it's time some of you start to accept that change is coming either voluntary or unvoluntary. If we make changes on our own willingly, we will be able to direct the future of our sport. Yes, I know that many changes for safety have already been implemented and appreciate that as a positive move, but more need to be made and somehow we've got to greatly reduce the equine fatalities in our sport.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

BarbB
Aug. 7, 2002, 06:32 AM
There have been a lot of very general comments about making the sport safer. I think some of the resistance, including mine, comes from wondering exactly what would have to change.
Other than break-away fences, which might be helpful in some situations, but would not be feasible in other, exactly what sort of changes do you envision that would make the sport safer?

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 06:55 AM
Good question Barb...I think you have to ask what is it about upper level courses that causes these sort of accidents so much more often than the lower levels. Speed comes to mind right off. Those riders are in a real hurry to make time... optimum times can be reduced without changing the face of the sport much at all. Reducing the optimum times would encourage more riders to take alternative routes too where they might feel pressured to go the fast route otherwise.

The break away fences are an obvious solution to wrecks like Bruce, Mark and Dianne had. They might have made a real difference in the outcomes of their falls if the pegged fences were in use.

It may be my imagination, but it seems to me like every year the courses get more and more challenging asking ever more difficult questions. I think this is a trend at all levels in eventing as well as advanced but as the smaller fences at the lower levels are more forgiving, you see less bad wrecks. Why do the courses have to continually get tougher and tougher? Is that necessary?

One person suggested cancelling events when bad weather and footing are factors such as Kentucky this year and Badminton several years ago. That would save a lot of horses wouldn't it? I've had XC cancelled on me before at Beg. Novice at a horse trial...why not upper level events too. I was glad they cancelled XC as I was planning to scratch my "baby" due to the horrendous footing conditions anyway. That way, I at least got to jump stadium the next day and didn't have to risk my youngster just to go XC and stay in the competition. The competition I'm referring to was Millbrook in NY in 2000. Probably the worst conditions I've ever competed in. They made a good decision I think to scratch the babies' XC that day. Of course it would be dissappointing for XC to be cancelled at Kentucky but think of the lives it would have saved just this year or at Badminton a few years ago.

Others have suggested limiting the number of rides by an upper level rider to limit accidents due to rider fatigue. I've been informed when I argued this point before that it is no harder to do 4 or 5 XC rides in 95 degree heat in one day than your average advanced rider does in one day training...but I doubt they ride their horses in the heat of the day usually. Those vests we all wear for XC are truly terrible to wear when it's that hot too and can lead to heat injuries as well. I just think some common sense could be applied here as well.

That's all the ideas I have for now and need to get back to work. I'm sure some others can come up with some good ideas too.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

GotSpots
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Their indignation only reconfirms that people will yell and scream about individual rights when what they're really concerned about is egotistical satisfaction (i.e. winning) or money (i.e. the cost of a dead or injured horse.) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Earthquake, I'm not sure what kind of trolling this statement was meant as, but I would hope that it was only your overwhelming compassion for animals which temporarily blinded you to the feelings of those who may disagree with you on this issue.

Have you ever had to call a horse's owner and tell them that their horse has died or been seriously injured? I have. More than once, when horses broke their legs out in pasture, fractured a hock on a hack, and through colic. Not one of those owners gave a darn about the cost of the dead or injured horse.

Do some eventers like to win? Sure. But if all I ever wanted was the "egotistical" buzz off of a blue ribbon, I would stay at BN or N for the rest of my life, and finesse that level to a point where I could always, or almost always, be in the ribbons.

Most of us do this sport because we love it: we love knowing everything there is to know about our horses (unlike other equine sports, eventers are far less likely to have grooms, many have grown up with pony club or other serious training in taking care of horses, and there's an established hands-on culture among most riders). We love the challenge of the triathalon -- being able to tackle three completely different tests over a short period of time. We love the training: the balance of obediance and technique needed for dressage; the speed, bravery, and quick reactions necessary for x-c; and the eye, precision, and endurance to jump a clean stadium round. We love the adrenaline high after x-c, our horses puffed up with pride: I dare anyone to tell me that my horse doesn't strut as he cools out. We love the nurturing our horses get in the late night walks and the early morning cold hosing, the emphasis on turn-out, and the general reluctance to rely on gadgets in place of training. We love the people we compete with, the friendships we make out schooling or as we're cooling out, and we rely on those people in the times when things didn't got as planned.

We love this sport. We also want to make it better, but we don't want to lose its essential character. Changes to the sport have increased the safety of horse and rider (black-flag rule, safety vests, move-up requirements, course-building inspections and seminars, rider representative rule) immensely in the last 25 years. Look at some of the videos and old pictures and see what folks used to jump in their courses (false groundlines, horrible footing, rickety jumps which could trap a horse) and then see the difference in the courses of today.

Are we perfect? No, but good people who know alot about this sport, who have been in it, and around horses, for long enough to have an established base of knowledge and experience, are trying like heck to make it better. They are not going out and rubbing their hands together ogling prize money and dreaming of all the horses and humans they can kill off in their nefarious course design.

xcjumper
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:46 AM
Well said, GotSpots!!!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

tle
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:54 AM
GotSpots... *snif* very well said, my friend!

earthquake... bugger off!! Back to troll-land with you!!

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

austin
Aug. 7, 2002, 09:04 AM
Back to your posts. Couldn't have said it better myself. I also think "Earthquake" has some good points.

Wasn't it Bruce who at Foxhall year before last, withdrew his horses and said "I'm not in this to just get my name in the paper."

Love Bruce!

arnika
Aug. 7, 2002, 09:13 AM
I haven't posted anything on this topic although I've been following it with great interest. I just want to express my opinion now, not anger anyone or preach (I hope).

First, thank you DMK, Daydream believer and Pat. I think you are trying to discuss this very painful and emotional issue calmly, not that you are the only ones, just who I can think of off the top of my head.

I love eventing both as a rider and a spectator and want it to be available to all in the future. But as the mother of a new eventer i find myself questioning whether I would allow her to continue at any level above training unless I could see a marked improvement in the design of both individual fences and courses in this country. I understand that studies are ongoing and I hope this is resolved by the time she is ready to advance.

I feel that the courses have changed immensely over the past 5-8 years and not always for the better. In trying to reduce the "run and jump like hell" mentality and place all fences in sight for easier spectating, the designers have basically created an extra long showjumping course with solid fences. By making them so technical, with tight related distances and bending lines that have to be jumped just so, the degree of difficulty has increased exponentially.

I really would be interested to know the % of severe injury/death of horse or rider 20-30 years ago as opposed to the past 10 years to see if there has been an improvement or not.

I also want to mention that it appears to me that a large number of deaths, both here and in England, occurred following the change in course design, thus requiring the need for the frangible fences. Again, note the similarity to showjumping! It pleases me to see the success of these fences in England and I firmly believe they should be implemented immediately as new fences are built and added onto existing fences wherever feasible.

Saddlefitter, you're right, these are not freak accidents, they are mistakes by either horse or rider. Unfortunately one small misstep frequently results in serious injury or death.

Daydream believer I think all your points were well made and I agree mostly with them. I know so many others do not want more regulation of their sport and I can understand and sympathise to some degree, however I think anything we can do to improve survival of the participants both human and equine without destroying the fun and excitement is justified.

Last but not least, I do want to say that I've ridden h/j, dressage, xc, foxhunted, trail ridden all my life. I live on a farm and breed and raise my own horses and will as long as I can move. When I can no longer ride I will drive! My daughters both love the sport and one is only two! I am not an animal rights fanatic nor do I agree with them. I really do think I'm similar to your average horse person and just want to do what is best for the animals and the sport so we can continue to ride and enjoy them.

Thanks for listening, Terry

[This message was edited by arnika on Aug. 07, 2002 at 11:37 AM.]

Pixie Dust
Aug. 7, 2002, 09:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daydream Believer:


I've more or less stayed out of this thread up to now as I felt like I was pi$$ing into the wind the other day on a different thread trying to reason with some of you die hards who reject any more change or think it's wrong that someone should dictate anything to you or criticize your precious God given right to do whatever you want with the horses you own regardless of the ethics<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


again: "trying to reason with some of you die hards who reject any more change"

I think this kind of statement is making people crazy. Who exactly are you refering to as a die hard who rejects change. I am seeing people who want to make things safer without ruining the sport. They want change to be made from within, not by outsiders. Is that wrong? When you accuse people of being incapable of having any ethics....well the discussion goes NO where fast.

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 7, 2002, 09:55 AM
Good question. I leave it to the rational experts in the sport(as opposed to speed junky, thrill-seeking non-experts) to make those decisions and hope they would have the common sense to stop designing courses that cause horses to break necks, break legs, etc. on a regular or repeat basis. I do not and would not seek to impose my views on others---as I surely do not want others' views imposed on me. But I reserve my 1st Amendment rights to chastise people for stupidity.
And when I cause the radical among us to become so angy as to launch into immature ad hominems, I sit back and laugh as I have done my job!!!!!

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

Pixie Dust
Aug. 7, 2002, 09:57 AM
Earthquake.....somehow I don't think you are what you say you are.

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

JAGold
Aug. 7, 2002, 10:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
Good question. I leave it to the rational experts in the sport(as opposed to speed junky, thrill-seeking non-experts) to make those decisions and hope they would have the common sense to stop designing courses that cause horses to break necks, break legs, etc. on a regular or repeat basis. I do not and would not seek to impose my views on others---as I surely do not want others' views imposed on me. But I reserve my 1st Amendment rights to chastise people for stupidity.
And when I cause the radical among us to become so angy as to launch into immature ad hominems, I sit back and laugh as I have done my job!!!!!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Earthquake, I'm repeating my post from a the previous BD thread, because I think you either didn't read it or refuse to acknowledge what it says. I'm not sure what you consider "your job," but if it involves insulting knowledgeble participants about a sport you don't even understand the scoring of, I sure wouldn't want it!

XC courses are designed to educate and challenge horses and riders. At the upper levels, designers specifically talk about creating courses that separate the best from the rest without putting less prepared riders in danger. (Read articles about the Rolex course design.) Course design guidelines are specifically intended to promote safety.

Course designers have to be certified. They attend, and many give, clinics, where a frequent topic is how to build safe courses that test the best and keep others safe. Safety is a constant theme. Do you know who Nick Holmes-Smith, Tommy Brennan, and Michael Etherington-Smith are? They are amongst the best course designers in the business. Please do not insult them by implying that they build courses that are intended to kill a predetermined number of horses.

There have been numerous rule changes and new trends designed to increase safety without undermining sport. In the mid 1990s, for example, adding a lip to the back of table fences became a requirement. Fences are designed to be taken apart very quickly to free a trapped horse. Designers are experimenting with new materials. Courses are becoming more technical and less physically demanding -- horses and riders are not likely to be injured by having an error at a narrow fence, for example -- they will just have a run out. Also, the increased use of options means that riders don't have to tackle the difficult questions they are not up to. Instead, they can take a longer, easier route.

There is a fairly widespread consensus that eventing increasingly emphasizes dressage and show jumping where as in the past XC was the determining factor. There is a move towards precision over brute strength.

I don't know where you get your information and on what you base your opinions, but you are kidding yourself if you think for one minute that event riders do not care tremendously about the safety of their horses and that safety is not a prime concern of officials in our sport. --Jess

deltawave
Aug. 7, 2002, 10:11 AM
You "laugh" at those who are strident and happen to disagree with you, but then you get pretty strident yourself...can you take it as well as you dish it out?

As a neurosurgeon, perhaps you could share some data from the neurosurgical literature on riding-related injuries to humans? Have you any ideas on course design that would lessen THAT particular risk? I'll admit it's my greatest fear--having had one CHI I'm horrified at the thought of another.

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

tle
Aug. 7, 2002, 10:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>And when I cause the radical among us to become so angy as to launch into immature ad hominems, I sit back and laugh as I have done my job!!!!!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is it me or isn't that the classic definition of a troll? Erin??? Help please.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bgoosewood:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daydream Believer:


I've more or less stayed out of this thread up to now as I felt like I was pi$$ing into the wind the other day on a different thread trying to reason with some of you die hards who reject any more change or think it's wrong that someone should dictate anything to you or criticize your precious God given right to do whatever you want with the horses you own regardless of the ethics<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


again: "trying to reason with some of you die hards who reject any more change"

I think this kind of statement is making people crazy. Who exactly are you refering to as a die hard who rejects change. I am seeing people who want to make things safer without ruining the sport. They want change to be made from within, not by outsiders. Is that wrong? When you accuse people of being incapable of having any ethics....well the discussion goes NO where fast.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you have read anything that I have posted you know that I also favor change from within and don't want to see outsiders ruining eventing either...just that I think it's inevitable if we don't act proactively and do something before it's too late.

I do see an awful lot of very rude posts where some people have been jumped on because they dared to come to the event page and post their opinion on our sport. Thus my comment about ethics. Sorry if my post was offensive to anybody, but you read a bit too much into it. I did not intend the comment to mean that some people here did not have or were incapable of ethics...just that they were being overly harsh to people who criticized and questioned their beliefs and ethics. The point I was really trying to make was that we cannot chase outsiders away when we don't want to hear what they have to say or because we don't like it or agree with it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right to express it. I also don't think someone should be called a troll just because their opinion differs or their posts lack tact. Some people are just very direct...that's how I read Earthquake.

I think if you go back and read the thread and several of the others, you will be able to figure out who the "diehards" are without too much trouble.

Cheers!

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

tle
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:15 AM
Daydream... since I am one of the ones calling Earthquake a troll.. I guess I should respond.

I have no problem with people asking question, searching for solutions, etc. But the manner in which earthquake has presented his/her arguments has gotten under my skin. I'll admit it. And acutally, your post referring to ethics, did the same. Why should we (the insiders) have to be open to outside criticism, when they (the outsiders) aren't even going to listen to what we ARE trying to do?? If they won't even listen, they are trying to change the sport from outside and don't give a rats butt about those inside the sport... they just want to affect change to ease their minds (for whatever reason). Yeah, that kind of thinking pisses me off. But to have earthquake ADMIT to "doing her job" by pissing people off and then laughing about it... sorry, but that IS a troll.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Pixie Dust
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:15 AM
Okay, DayDB, that's different. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

lmlacross
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
I reserve my 1st Amendment rights to chastise people for stupidity.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Unfortunately, Earthquake, you're not allowed to chastize people for "stupidity" here- violation of the BB rules. Why don't you ATTEMPT to stop being so inflammatory, and settle for presenting CONSTRUCTIVE arguments? Perhaps then those who event on this BB will willingly lend you their ear, instead of turning their back on you in exasperation.

When you can get people to give some creedence to what you're saying, then you've truly "done your job"-- it isn't helping equine athletes in the least to have offended/frustrated/angered their owners so much that they've become unwilling to listen to your point of view which may, under the venom, have some worth.

LML

*MidWest/Chicago Clique*
*Cripple Clique*

bigdreamer
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:27 AM
everyone is being a little *tizzied* here... cuz they all want everyone to see form their point of view... Some people DON'T want to see the other side... But I beleive all of us stated we understand the risk and the chances we take... but we also realize *changes* are being made TO MAKE THINGS SAFER. We understand that people think we are "killing our horses", and that is b/c some have died. *No one* has yet shown any statistics. But as we all now, 43% of statistics are useless (who was that? cluesgirl?). People die, horses die, other animals die everyday. Grey Hounds die in racing, half the animals we own would be dead if they were in the wild. We take them in, and take care of them. We ride them, feed them, give them meds. We spend this money on them...

We are NOT trying to kill them!! You make us seem like murderers, and that offends ME! and EVERYONE else who is trying to shed light on our POV. Do you see our POV at all w/o seeing through murderous eyes? Have you seen an event horse out on course? Have you seen them? Do you think we would make them do something we didn't think they could? Do you think all that qualifying to go to the upper levels went to crap? Do you think all the $$ spent on safety equipment is for nothing? To aid in murdering them??

Please, take your time and write out, and EXPLAIN your POV... and why can't u see ours through our eyes and not murderous ones?

~laura~

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own~*~ clique, ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

Theres something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes u feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need~ W. Faulkner

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:35 AM
Again, I'm not trying to make my friends here on this board angry with me with my posts but emotions and tempers are running high right now. bgoosewood, I'm glad you're OK with my post. I honestly meant nothing personal to anyone with it.

tle,

I think most people are open to what you are saying...several expressed positive sentiments about safety measures in place as well as the break away fences. They just see more horses dying despite what we we've already done to improve our sport. It is hard to take criticism especially when you believe in your heart that you are right and they are wrong. Irregardless, we can't ignore them or chase them away...I think we'll regret it later if we do. Earthquake is being abrasive intentionally...maybe you should just ignore the posts? If you don't respond, maybe he/she will go away. Just a suggestion.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Erin
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:46 AM
If it looks like a troll, talks like a troll, and walks like a troll... don't feed it. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

tle
Aug. 7, 2002, 11:47 AM
Daydream... thanks. Actually that is my new tactic... poo on the trolls! No food for you!

Erin... LOL.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

wendy
Aug. 7, 2002, 12:37 PM
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/current/ffull/jjy20023-2.html


I thought this article might be of interest regarding this topic-- it is a reprint of an editorial written in 1902 in a leading medical journal about fatalities in football (before helmets, pads, and strict rules about unnecessary roughness). Apparently a dozen athletes died and about 80 were permanently crippled/disabled playing college football that year (1902). The editorial discusses whether the game is worth the risk etc. and interestingly never once touches on how the game might possibly be made safer by protective gear or rules changes.

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 7, 2002, 12:49 PM
The people who care about horse's welfare more than they care about their own pleasure need to be spoken for and recognized. That ain't changin'

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

JAGold
Aug. 7, 2002, 12:59 PM
And deliberately poor grammar is never compelling, and you continue to ignore well reasoned responses to your statements. Glad you've learned as much as you've "taught." --Jess

poltroon
Aug. 7, 2002, 01:32 PM
No eventer wants their horse to die.

The amount of money, care, time, effort, caring we invest in these beasts is enormously greater than any $$ amount we will be returned.

There is hardly any prize money in eventing (except at the highest levels, and I think it should stay that way). Event horses are worth far less than their dressage and jumper counterparts.

So, why do we do this? We do it because we enjoy spending time with our horses, we enjoy the galloping, and we enjoy the challenge. We convince ourselves that the horses like it too. Are we delusional? Maybe. But hardly any event horses I know are reluctant to load on a trailer. And if you've ever worked with a horse that doesn't want to event, you'll know that in fact they do have choices and know it.

We want to have our fun and we want it to be as safe as possible, for us as well as our partners, but without removing the challenge.

I am pleased about the research into frangible fences, but I reserve judgement until we get more data. Is it because I don't want to see the sport changed? No, it's because the most serious jumping accident I had involved a horse landing on stadium rails that got tangled in his legs.

Hunters and jumpers jump solid obstacles too: coops, roll tops, walls, etc. They are no more and no less dangerous. As a hunter rider, I grew up with the idea that falling rails are always safer, but as I've experienced eventing, I am no longer as sure - a big solid log, very scary to me when I started - is probably among the safest things I've jumped.

It's important to me to jump safe, well-built and designed obstacles on good footing. I put my money where my mouth is on that - it is how I select events. It is important to me to get the best coaching I can - because good teaching makes an accident less likely.

I would tend to agree that if the footing is getting unsafe, cancelling or postponing the event should be an option used more often. Not only is it important for the safety of the horses, but truthfully, it is also important in order to keep the competition fair to all competitors. But, rescheduling is a HUGE undertaking, perhaps impossible. For a HT it is no big deal to make it a combined test, but what do you do at the WEG? (How do events like skiing championships handle it?) Maybe options and contingencies for this can be developed.

RAyers
Aug. 7, 2002, 01:34 PM
Anyway, to get back onto DayDB's original intent of the topic, now that we recognize 2 camps of opinions, I still would like to hear if anybody has ideas that they truly feel will help the safety of the sport.

I know tle, subk, JaGold, xcjumper, Pat, all have experience and I'm sure good ideas. BarB and Mytimeandtide have both put forth interesting thoughts. Other than outright banning of the sport or complete dumbing down of the competition, what other ways (beyond what tle and other have listed) could things be improved?

Would high lubricity thin coatings (e.g. teflon) on the fences be an improvement? They would remove edges and cracks that hook tack and skin, and will allow the animal to slide over the fence.

What about high visibility ground lines and top rails/edges (e.g. white painted) at all fences?

High density foamed backed revetments in coffins and banks, similar to crash walls in auto racing?

We are all aware of the ideas about rider certification, trainer certification, medical checks, etc.

Like many of you, I'm tired of the infighting so let's try something constructive What about some new ideas?

Reed

deltawave
Aug. 7, 2002, 01:50 PM
Earthquake posted here recently:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'm about to do my first CT test in September. I know very little about this sport, having spent the last 6 years as a hunter/jumper. A friend explained that you are basically judged on your dressage score, and can only lose points in the jumper round. Is that right? Please advise and thanks!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, so the facts will show that

a) you know "very little about this sport" (unless you care to refute your OWN statements?)
and

b) you've never competed in eventing before
and

c) you're PLANNING on starting out in eventing in September.

May I, very seriously, ask WHY you want to compete in this sport if you're so convinced that its aficionados and competitors are "more interested in their own pleasure than their horses' welfare"?

Whatever your style of communicating is, that's cool...it appears to me that you seem to "escalate" when people fire off at you. That's great...but how did you EVER survive a surgical residency and neurosurgical fellowship with such a thin skin? /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I think a considered, dispassionate response to those who are "attacking" you might go far towards making people actually LISTEN to your point of view, which is certainly as valid as anyone else's, if made politely. If, however, your goal is to stir up tempers and get your jollies, then, well, I suppose there's not much point in trying to deal with you, is there?

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 02:12 PM
Reed,

Great idea with the high density foam. It would look solid and the horses would respect it but it would be more forgiving and give in a wreck.

The teflon or some sort of lubricant might also be useful. It sounds like someone would have to reapply it occasionally as he day goes on.

Could solid obstacles like tables be designed somehow to come apart like a wall in a puissance class and maybe be designed out of materials that look and feel solid and be fairly strong but are light weight such as some sort of thick plastic (thinking like playground equipment)? Not that it would come down so easily that a rub would take it down, but a real impact would make it fall apart. It would be a pain in the neck to put back together and would hold the course up, but I'd rather wait for that than to know someone had been seriously injured in a fall ahead of me. I guess pieces coming apart could be dangerous too if a horse stepped on them.

I remember seeing an advanced fence years ago at a selection trial at Little River in NC (an event no longer run) that was a drawbridge. It had a drop of about 3 feet to a platform to land on. If you missed the platform, you fell about 10 feet to a rocky creekbed. They had a ridiculous long route that many took that day due to the formidable, unforgiving fence, but many took the drawbridge. If someone missed that platform or tipped over off that drawbridge, it would have been an awful wreck, probably fatal for somebody. Should fences like that one maybe be reconsidered as unacceptably dangerous? I can't think of any on existing courses right now, but you know what I'm talking about I think. Would that be "dumbing down" or would it be considered a reasonable safety measure to remove or rebuild an obstacle like that?

I think you're on the right track Reed with your post. Thanks for your calm, constructive approach to pulling us back together to help solve some problems instead of just arguing! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Joanne
Aug. 7, 2002, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by RandomTexasHunter:
But are hunters and dressage safe? Nope, not at all.


I haven't heard of any hunt or dressage horses dying during competition lately (schooling maybe with that George Morris incident)

deltawave
Aug. 7, 2002, 02:33 PM
Thought about deleting my above post, 'cause I'm embarrassed to say I actually bought part of the earthquake story. Look through his/her posts on other threads and this is an animal-rights/PETA-type fanatic in a horseman's/neurosurgeon's clothing (scrubs and paddock boots, I guess?). /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Damn, I'm a sucker and troll bait! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

JER
Aug. 7, 2002, 02:41 PM
Reed suggested:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What about high visibility ground lines and top rails/edges (e.g. white painted) at all fences?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The idea here is a good one; however, I'm not sure that 'high-visibility' and 'white painted' are the same thing for a horse.

Tests have shown that horses do not see color the same way as humans. When moving, horses appear to see 'natural' colors, like brown and green, first. White comes up as a surprise for them -- it might be that they can't discern a white object from a distance as well as something that's green or brown. Or maybe it's a depth perception issue. It does make sense that horses, who run from predators in nature, would evolve to see brown and green better than less natural colors.

My point is: before we go Tom Sawyering the fences, let's make sure we're not making it harder for them to see what they're jumping.

Other suggestions:

All-weather footing in front of fences (including drops) and combinations, and time-outs when necessary to fix footing. This is mostly an upper-level thing, you don't need to be quite as concerned at the lower levels and this might be quite time-consuming and expensive.

A standard for poor and deteriorating conditions -- i.e., when this happens, you cancel the event. This might take away the pressure to keep a big event on in unsafe conditions.

A mandatory retirement when shoes are lost on course. This applies to the horse, not the rider, who is already bound to wear boots by the rulebook. Losing one shoe might be ok, but two shoes, especially two rear shoes as with Titleist, this is very dangerous. Moreover, while the people on the ground might know the horse is missing shoes(the fence judges often find shoes and report them), the rider may not know and probably would not choose to continue half-barefoot.

deltawave
Aug. 7, 2002, 02:47 PM
I remember discussing this a while back, and the topic of modifying the optimum time based on weather/footing conditions came up. How about if the times were adjusted based on these factors, to give competitors a little more breathing room? I heartily agree with canceling XC if the conditions are truly horrible, but can just imagine the fuss some might raise...still, a fuss is better than a badly hurt horse or rider! If the footing is not awful, though, maybe some allowance for a slower (safer?) pace would help.

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
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RAyers
Aug. 7, 2002, 03:13 PM
Yes! This is what we need, ideas, not fighting using the same time worn arguments.

Deltawave and JER, great insight and ideas. I like the idea of having the optimum time adjusted based upon starting conditions. It is somewhat similar to adjusting the time allowed in jumpers based on course difficulty.

A friend of mine once said before my first lecture, listen to your students, they may know much more about something than you even though you are supposed to be the teacher. Among all of us eventers there are enough experts that I suspect we can come up with some innovative safety measures that do not destroy the spirit of the discipline and that the experts may over look. For instance I am familiar with materials that could be used to coat fences or even be used to make fences that are still solid, but will not be as likely to catch a horse, and you will not have to recoat or repair the material during the day (to answer your concern DayDB).
:-)

It is this sort of cohesive action that shuts critics such as Earthquack up. :-)

Reed

Sandy M
Aug. 7, 2002, 03:21 PM
weather/footing is bad) is a major factor.

What I have NOT seen addressed, not here, but in articles discussing changes/possible changes in eventing to make it safer, fairer, etc. is this:

Back in the '60s, at the highest levels, you could get BONUS points for going fast. When the Australians did very well at the Rome Olympics (1960) the finished on a PLUS score, because they found shortcuts and went very fast. A couple of horses suffered badly at the Rome Olympics, although I don't know that any died. It was hot, people went for the bonus points, horses were over-stressed and collasped (though they survived, I believe), etc. This caused much concern.

So, people were going TOO fast, so BONUS points were eliminated, but then they set the optimum speed for advanced at 570 mpm, which is the SPEED THAT PEOPLE WERE GOING TO GET THE BONUS POINTS! Is this not STILL the speed at which Advanced courses are measured? This seems "highly illogical" to quote Mr. Spock, and it seems to be that a slow down from this rate would be No. 1 on a list of things to do to lessen the risks inherent in high level eventing.

I haven't evented (I did through Prelim) since 1987 - so if this has changed, I am not aware of that change, but I thought Advanced was still set at that speed. Am I incorrect?

JAGold
Aug. 7, 2002, 03:31 PM
Reed, you have a great goal and very interesting ideas. I'm looking forward to the research surrounding frangible fences and new building materials.

I'm not sure if a teflon or lubricating coat on fences would prevent the sort of tragic accident that killed High Scope and Titleist. Lubricants, like the Burghley Cream or other grease that many riders apply to their horses, help a horse slide over when he might otherwise have been caught. I wonder, though, if they are enough to prevent serious "flips" as opposed to minimizing cuts and scrapes. A horse could certainly still flip over a well lubricated fence. It is those sorts of accidents that are most dangerous to horse and rider.

Similarly, I'm not sure about mandating ground lines. I do think that a fence with no groundline is sometimes a legitimate question. Lips on the backs of fences with width, and requiring that the back of a fence be not lower than the front, are important measures that are already in place.

I think that the biggest danger to horse and rider is impact. My concern with frangible fences is that they break if, for example, a horse attempts to bounce them (I've been on a horse who bounced a corner. I was darn glad it was solid.) Also, as someone else posted, I don't want to see horses learn to rub XC fences the way some have learned to be a bit careless in the stadium arena. Could we design fences that would come apart with the force of a horse hanging a leg and flipping, or crashing into the base perhaps, but not break if the horse stepped on or rubbed it?

I wholeheartedly support adjusting the optimum time for the weather conditions, however. We know that bad weather necessarily slows horses, so let's both be fair and encourage safe riding by adjusting the time for, say, each 10 riders after the TD determines weather is bad. (Much as time allowed is sometimes adjusted after the first 3 if they do not make the time.)

Ultimately, though, I think the key is preparation of horse and rider. So my biggest suggestion may be controversial: I think that to keep the sport safe at the top, lower level courses must not be dumbed down. Questions should be introduced at novice and training so that horse and rider are prepared to move up to prelim. Prelim must be demanding and technical enough that horse and rider have been exposed to a variety of technical fences to be approached at speed before riding intermediate. Courses must not become easier to accomodate the admittedly overwhelmingly large population of amateur and beginner riders. Instead, those riders should be accomadated by either running and recognizing Beginner Novice divisions, or developing and supporting an organized but unrecognized schooling circut, perhaps like the B and C h/j shows. Such shows could be run under USEA and USAE rules, but have lower divisions. The regular n/t/p/i/a divisions would remain challanging, and there would be a place to introduce newcomers.

I think it is important that the whole sport be considered a training grounds. Lower level courses should be designed as a way to educate and prepare riders for more challanging courses. While I do not agree with the requirement of four trainings within 24 months to ride prelim (I think riders who have competed prelim sucessfully in the past should be granfathered), I do think that building lower level courses with a plan towards the upper levels fits with this preparation mentality.

I'd also be interested in people's reactions to running stadium BEFORE XC at either novice and training, or at all horse trials at all levels. That way, people who are not prepared or whose horses really don't want to play on a given weekend are eliminated in the ring, where chance of injury is lower. By the time horse and rider qualify for a 3-day, they have proven their capability and preparation and don't need to be "screened out" by running stadium first. --Jess

2Dogs
Aug. 7, 2002, 03:54 PM
Bravo to entertaining ideas and RAyers, thanks for bringing the point back around....since I haven't tried eventing, the thoughts I have are created in the vacuum of only having watched. Now that I understand the origins of the X-C phase, the first thing that comes to mind is that since the horse is no longer fleeing enemy fire or charging into battle, the mandate of speed could it be modified? Someone mentioned that above, right? And any kind of breakaway fence too. You all have commented on such improvements.
The only additional point to be made is the following: someone has stated that it is good to get discussions going because one can be assured the press and animal right activists will pick up on the news of more injuries and fatalities, so a good offense makes a good defense. With that in mind, outright dimissal of dissenting voices, however shrill, may not help the cause. I subscribe to good manners too, but then I live in the South where it is mandatory!!! (LOL)

I am off soon to learn all about this discipline for a goal for my appendix 3.5 year old (ahh, just trotting for the next 6 months) - then I am sure I will have to call on all of you for lots of help!

lmlacross
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:02 PM
A narrow optimum time "window", with riders being penalized for being unduly over OR under the time? Kind of along the lines of lower-level, unrated jumpers? That might alleviate the fear of horses having to run off their feet in order to make the time without penalties.

This coming from a non-eventer, wondering how the eventing purists would feel about the idea.

LML

*MidWest/Chicago Clique*
*Cripple Clique*

rolexdreamer
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:10 PM
It can be debated and debated, but the people who love the sport and the horses they ride and love are GOING TO KEEP DOING IT!! You sit all day and say that you would never knowingly risk your horses that way, so don't. If it's not in your comfort level, don't do it. Nothing any of us will say, no stats or arguments, is going to change your mind or your morals. But some people love the sport and will keep riding at any level. The upper levels arn't for everyone, and they certaintly arn't for every horse.
One way to make it "safer" would be to ensure that the only people competing were the good riders. This can be acheived at the lower levels, by requiring a course ridden without stirrups, or not allowing a watch for cross-country at novice/training levels. I think the really dangerous and scary people to watch are the amateurs who had a great horse at training level, think they can ride, and go Prelim, completely unready for the new demands.
I'm not saying everyone is like this (most people arn't!) or that i think everyone should have to ride without stirrups before going prelim. But I do believe that the upper levels aren't for everyone, and that you can't stop people from doing what they love. Eventing is one of the world's most dangerous sports, but everything involving an unpredicable, living creature is going to be dangerous. If that is not a risk you want to take, then don't. But don't try to stop others from pursuing their dreams.

Let us look beyond the ears of our own horses so that we may see the good in one anothers.
-old equine expression

Badger
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:14 PM
I have always thought that stadium should be the height of next higher x-c course. I.E. a training level division now jumps 3'3" in both x-c and stadium, but I think it makes sense that they instead jump the prelim height in stadium (3'7") and continue to jump the 3'3" cross country. Why? Because this would test the scope and jumping ability over safer fences that knock down. If the horses are safely jumping the stadium jumps a level higher than their x-c, then I think they are more likely to have the scope and technique to be safer on the x-c dourse over slightly smaller solid obstacles.

The x-c day is a test of speed and endurance, and right now it is tested by penalty points for going slower than a certain pace on x-c. We could test it in other ways, for example give a more generous time-allowed on x-c, and then have a timed sprint added at the end of the x-c course. And/or we could follow the lead of the endurance riders and add a score for how long it takes the horses to recover after x-c (i.e. vital status return to a certain level). I helped in the 10 minute box at Rolex last year and was amazed with how hard the horses were breathing and how quickly some of them recovered. Others seemed much more tired and their breathing was labored longer. Maybe a recovery score 15 minutes after cross country with penalties for a horse that is not recovering as well would make riders easy up on course if the horses are laboring, and the hopeful outcome would be a safer round as the horse is not as likely to be pushed beyond it's safe limit.

Perhaps a good way to brainstorm improvements that might make the sport safer for horses would be to start with a definition of what is being tested and come up with ways that test each characteristic. I think we can test the bravery, scope, speed, technique, and training without putting so many horses and riders lives on the line.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

poltroon
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lmlacross:
A narrow optimum time "window", with riders being penalized for being unduly over OR under the time? Kind of along the lines of lower-level, unrated jumpers? That might alleviate the fear of horses having to run off their feet in order to make the time without penalties.

This coming from a non-eventer, wondering how the eventing purists would feel about the idea.

LML

*MidWest/Chicago Clique*
*Cripple Clique*<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This has already been instituted at the lower levels.
At Advanced, I don't generally see people coming in way under the time. At most, I've seen maybe 30 seconds at Badminton, which is an 11 minute course? And those were very successful rounds.

I think the idea of a window is a good one, but I think a window smaller than 20 seconds is difficult to target over such a long distance.

Elghund2
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:23 PM
Badger, I think the height differential is a good idea. If it were combined with running stadium ahead of XC at the lower levels you could move to the next logical step which would be eliminating unprepared riders from XC. Obviously a rider who DQ in stadium would be DQ'd anyway. But what if there was a maximum number of allowable penalities in stadium that also resulted in disqualification. Doing something like that would keep the unprepared off of XC and from moving up to higher levels.

"Mooses look into your window at night,
They look to the left and they look to the right,
The mooses are smiling they think its a zoo,
and thats why the mooses like looking at you."

poltroon
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daydream Believer:

Could solid obstacles like tables be designed somehow to come apart like a wall in a puissance class and maybe be designed out of materials that look and feel solid and be fairly strong but are light weight such as some sort of thick plastic (thinking like playground equipment)? Not that it would come down so easily that a rub would take it down, but a real impact would make it fall apart. It would be a pain in the neck to put back together and would hold the course up, but I'd rather wait for that than to know someone had been seriously injured in a fall ahead of me. I guess pieces coming apart could be dangerous too if a horse stepped on them.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The move has been to stop making oxers out of telephone poles and instead fill in the spread between the two parts of the element as a table, so that if the horse gets in trouble with the spread, he can touch down on the obstacle and slide off the other side instead of catching legs in the middle. I think breakaway tables out of lightweight blocks would be less safe.

The two kinds of accidents that I think have been problems are:
- horse doesn't jump high enough, catches forearms or chest and flips - usually the top of the obstacle
- horse stumbles or tries to stop, ends up mashing head into the base of a solid obstacle and breaking neck.

For the first, I wonder if captured elements that would pivot out of the way might be a solution? For example, if you had a solid vertical wall (say), with a hinge at the bottom, and some mechanism holding it upright that would break under the right impact. You might be able to make tables this way too, so they would collapse/fold after an impact parallel to the ground but hold a horse's weight if he tried to bank off the top.

Before anyone freaks, we're doing an engineering brainstorm here. The cost/practicality factor comes later. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Another note: jumping a sponsor's car has been an obstacle, but the riders felt it was dangerous and had this kind of fence outlawed last year.

GotSpots
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:37 PM
The next higher level stadium is already in place: there are now several events which offer a P/T or I/P division. These are divisions in which you ride the dressage and stadium tests of the higher level, but do x-c at the lower level. Good tool in your progression towards moving up. I wouldn't mind seeing more of these divisions.

On the safer jumps, what about making sure there isn't a change in the color of footing in the last stride before an obstacle? Often, I'll see sand or dirt strewn in front of an obstacle, ostensibly to make the footing better, but it seems to often encourage green or overly brave horses to leave a stride out. Since the long spot is usually the most dangerous option on an x-c course (how often have I had JG glare at me for taking one out?) this might improve safety a bit. Also, I like courses which build on themselves: they start by asking a little question and then the question becomes more technical and bigger later in the course. A lovely example of this is the banks at Pine Top's P course this spring: the 4th fence is a bank up one stride to a ditch, and one stride to a log drop, and then the 15th fence is a bank up, bounce and log drop off. The horse becomes educated throughout the course.

RAyers
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:45 PM
Adjustment of the optimum time is a common theme here and in all of the published reports from the various FEI and national governing bodies. I agree that this is the most immediate and beneficial thing that may be modified for safety. I believe that all of the governing bodies are already considering modifications.

One thing I noticed - and this is why I think we, as people knowledgeable in a variety of fields have the chance for significant input - is that the safety committees do not necessarily have people with intimate understanding what happens during the course of those fractions of a second during a crash in their make up (e.g. along with riders and trainers and course designers, I would include veterinarians, physicians, physicists, biomechanisists, materials scientists).

For instance, to answer JAGold's reply to my idea of having high lubricity surfaces, has anybody considered the physics of why a horse flips? The primary reason is that the friction between the animal and the fence is so great as to hold the limb in contact with the fence. The kinetic energy, as a result of having no place to go, goes into a torque/applied moment about the caught limb, thus causing the horse to rotate up and over the fence. It is similar to catching your toe on a lip in the sidewalk. If the frictional force is reduced, either via a slippery coating, beveled edge, a breakaway piece, or a combination of all of these, the limb is freed and the kinetic energy is dissapated back into forward motion.

The reason things such as Burghley Cream are not effective is because the friction of rough wood (wood is "rough" even sanded) is MUCH greater than the lubricity of grease on hair. I feel that things such as grease are old traditions, true they are effective at times, but there are newer, better ways to reduce the chance for a horse to hang up on a fence.

As for having raised lips, ground lines, and increasing the visibility of fences, are we sure that current efforts are truely effective? JER brought up a good point about the color spectra a horse percieves. It is NOT equivalent to humans. Perhaps their depth perception is not as we currently believe? This is new understanding about horses that can be used to increase eventings safety without killing the sport.

In other words, have the safety committees actually considered the physics and physiology involved with crashes, e.g. Hillary Clayton and the physics of horses jumping across water fences.

The reason other sports such as football (refer to Wendy's previous post) have increased their safety over the years is that humans have set about in a controlled and systematic manner to understand the mechanisms of injury and failure. It seems that, many times in the horse world (eventing or otherwise) safety measures (e.g. adding a lip to the back of a fence) are implemented without really understanding how they directly affect the horse's perception of the obstical. Yes, we will never really know a horse's mind, but our understanding of it is changing everyday.

Whew!

Reed

xcjumper
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:51 PM
Reed has posted some very good ideas to think about. I like the high density foam for coffins, etc. I'm still undecided on the breakaway fences. I still need to give it some thought or actually see how it works first. The accidents I've seen would not have been helped by breakaway fences.

My number one concern is that people get proper instruction. I am astounded at the number of upper level riders that have absoulutely NO instruction. And if people witness someone that is looking dangerous in the warmup arena or a horse is jumping badly that day then someone needs to speak up before the person is out on course. Some accidents are fluks(ie, Bruce-High Scope), others you can see coming from a mile away. Both of the deaths I've seen, I heard later from people that saw them warming up, that they were having difficulties in warm up and probably never should have went out.

Another example was at Southern Pines this year. My friend was riding with Jimmy W. and was instructed not to go straight at a particular fence, use the option. Well, the people that didn't have an instructor or had enough experience at this level were going straight and crashing all over the place.

Another biggie is footing. The west coast is notoriously bad for footing, but efforts are being made to fix this problem at the nicer events. I like the idea of adjusting the time if the footing gets unridable like at Rolex this year. We are eventers and people will argue that we have to ride in all sorts of bad weather, but where do we draw the line. It was just plain 'ol unsafe at Rolex. An overall optimum time adjustment may help some, but most of the accidents are not speed accidents and at the higher levels the fences are designed to be jumped at higher speeds to be jumped safely. It's almost more unsafe to jump too slowly! IMO. So, again we come back to instruction. Riders need to know when and where speed or slowing are necessary.

One more thing that can be done to prevent accidents and has been done more and more at the nicer events, is to fill in the wide oxers and especially corners or narrow obstacles. I've seen many a horse flip by hanging a leg, when they could've banked it and been on there merry way. My friend flipped at Camino** because the corner was open and the back rail was slightly lower than the front. The poor guy thought he was jumping a vertical went to land and realized it was an oxer too late!

Does any of this help? Keep the ideas coming!!!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

Pat Ness
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:55 PM
of raising the level of stadium up to the next level. They have started this at Advanced already, by mandating that some of the stadium be higher then 3'11". A few years back they actually made the width of a stadium obstacle smaller then cross country as a recommendation from the jumpers.

For the stadium course, I love Linda Allen's idea of breakaway pins on all the oxers. I would like to incorporate that with eventing stadium. One year I tried to put a flat cup on one side of the back rail on each of the oxers, so the horses would not have such a hard rap. The TD would not let me keep them there. I was not trying for cheap rails, but I was trying to be kinder to the horses.

Back to cross country. What could have saved the horses that were lost? At KY, the first element at the sunken road (fence 23a) had a small barrel under it. I watched almost all the morning horses at this jump. I was petrified as I watched several of the riders going very fast at this vertical. NOT ONE HORSE TOOK A MISTEP at the jump. Not One and there were so many that I had my heart in my throat about. The barrel took care of the problem. http://www.rk3de.org/Course_List.cfm?ID=170
I was needless to say, feeling pretty comfortable about eventing once again. Then came the afternoon.

The fence that Titleist died at was the one that Kim Vinoski had a rough fall at last year. I did not watch how it rode in the morning as I was out in the other field. Maybe we need to dumb down the Advanced/Intermediate levels and not dumb down the Novice/Training levels.

You know honestly, I don't have any good ideas and as I have said before and I am drifting away from eventing and the ideas just don't flow so good for the cross country anymore.

Well, I get to go home and ride and finish watching TLOR for the 5th time!
Pat Ness

subk
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:56 PM
I suppose it's time for me to chime in here... For those of you who don't know me I suppose I'm an "upper level" eventer as I completed a CCI** last fall. I'm not couragous, brave, crazy, extreme, a speed demon, a dare-devel, an adrinaline addict or any like thing. I don't particularly care to sterotyped as that way--I believe those sterotypes are the results of ignorance. What I am is someone he gets great pleasure from the combination of the cerebral and physical in partnership with a brain that doesn't think at all like mine and a body that doesn't work like mine.

The risk to my person is mine and I am comfortable with it.

Here's where I'm going to give some people heart palpatations: I don't beleive that animals have "rights," either morally or legally. HOWEVER, I do believe that we have serious responsibilities, both morally and with limits legally. Without "rights" I don't think it's significant if a horse "chooses" to run XC or not.

My horse has a JOB; his value both in terms of dollars and intrinticlly are based on his ability to do his job. I'm sorry if that sounds cold, but how many of you would sell your horse if he could not perform the job you bought him to do? Does selling him because of his failure make you "bad?" Personally, I don't think so.

I love my horse. I make alot of sacrifices to see to his well being. Most humans in this world do not get as good management and maintance as he gets. If horses can be "happy," I am sure he is. If horses can "love" their jobs, I am sure he does. I would never put him in a situation that we weren't both trained and well prepared to negotiate successfully. I will make the best decisions that I can knowing that I am as a human falable. I believe this is a high enough moral standard, and I am comfortable with the risk.

If something were to happen to Simon I would be crushed. I would mourn him and miss him. I would eventually get over it and buy a new horse. I think as a society we have over anthropomoraphized our animals so much that we have lost perspective on reality. We've allowed ourselves to be "Disneyized." They are NOT humans.

I think having children has alot to do with getting me to this place. I love my horse, but compared to those little humans that share my life, he pales...

Please don't misunderstand me--when a horse dies in competition I find it very, very upsetting. Those that know me, know I fully support CONTUNUED reasearch and experimentation that will reduce the risk of tragadies to both human and horses. I also think we should recognize that eventing has an excellent recent history in its efforts and research in improving the welfare of horses across many disiplines. We have alot more to be proud of than ashamed of.


By the way the answer to the question, "Is eventing safe?" is No. If it were noone would do it.

Flamesuit is now securely zipped...

[This message was edited by subk on Aug. 07, 2002 at 07:04 PM.]

Janeway
Aug. 7, 2002, 04:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAyers:
One thing I noticed - and this is why I think we, as people knowledgeable in a variety of fields have the chance for significant input - is that the safety committees do not necessarily have people with intimate understanding what happens during the course of those fractions of a second during a crash in their make up (e.g. along with riders and trainers and course designers, I would include veterinarians, physicians, physicists, biomechanisists, materials scientists). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Correct me if I'm wrong RAyers, but didn't the Hartington Report include input from Vets, Trauma Doctors etc? I'm pretty sure it did. Although the idea of chatting to physicists and biomechanics about horse jumping is a rather fascinating idea. I wonder what sort of things they would come up with?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It is similar to catching your toe on a lip in the sidewalk. If the frictional force is reduced, either via a slippery coating, beveled edge, a breakaway piece, or a combination of all of these, the limb is freed and the kinetic energy is dissapated back into forward motion. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good analogy! My father was the poor guinea pig for that particular analogy: his toe caught on the pavement and unfortunately he couldn't get his legs underneath him again and crash down he went and broke his wrist /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
I wonder if he was going too fast? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

This a a good discussion now! oh, and thanks JER for remembering the earlier stats on Badminton; that confirms what I remembered.

xcjumper
Aug. 7, 2002, 05:02 PM
subk-You can take off your flamesuit as far as I'm concerned. Two thumbs up!! You stated your position eloquently and with out hostility and have VERY valid points to consider!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

Sannois
Aug. 7, 2002, 05:08 PM
3 pages at 6 am. Wowser! And I KNEW there was something PETA like about our friend earthQuake, Neuro surgeon??? Oh really! And I knew she wasn't an eventer. I wonder dear earthQuake if you realize that your wish may come true some day and all your animal rights friends will regulate you right out of pet ownership, and Horse ownership??? That is what they truly want! And not because they love animals, but they wish to control everyone! Dear please as I said if you are so against this wonderful sport of ours, kindly do not participate in it! I can guarantee you that the eventers of this world treat there equine partners better than they treat themselves! And you were a hunter rider??? Dont get me started about abuse, and using the animal for wealth and personal gain! Bravo TLE and Barb, and many others! I knew there were a bunch of great horseman on this board! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

RAyers
Aug. 7, 2002, 05:42 PM
Janeway,

The Hartington committee was primarily focused on the issue of safety for the RIDERS after 5 riders were killed in the U.K. in 1999. Thus the makeup of the committee was saftey experts from the automotive industry, trauma physicians, and 1 vet.
Here is the website for the final report:
http://www.equestria.net/reference/Riding/03.htm

Most of what is being discussed here has been taken into consideration in the report, including course designer review and oversight, reduced speeds, adjustment of the optimum time on XC. They also stressed rider RESPONSIBILITY, but remember, this report only applies to 3-star and 4-star competitions.

Now it comes time to consider the safety of the horse, which, in my pea brain means looking at the very specifics as to why a horse does what it does on XC. I could be wrong and I'm sure there are those out there that would be happy to correct me. ;-)

Poltron and xcjumper have also made some great observations. Yes, a lot of this in not feasible right now, but as time goes on, some things may be incorporated.

I find this thread interesting and it is wonderful to see that us "common" eventers have really taken to heart what happens out on XC and have thought how we can improve the sport without killing it.

Reed

Ridge Runner
Aug. 7, 2002, 06:11 PM
Some really good ideas since I last posted. I'm glad to see us working together again. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I think the Badger's stadium idea is a very good one. My coach does that to us in our lessons. If we're going training level, she has us schooling at 3'6" in our lessons. DQ's do that as well usually. They school a level higher than they compete. A bigger, tougher stadium would certainly weed out a lot of unprepared riders although I've sat there at watched horses do horrifically in stadium that go out and ace XC. It's a very different test in many ways.

I've also seen very competent horse and rider teams get eliminated in stadium due to the arena such as the big colisium at Virginia Horse Center. This spring a friend of mine who won a division of Longleaf (the new beefed up course at 5 points) got eliminated at Virginia in the indoor. Her pony was terrified in the arena (had never been in one before) and had 3 refusals. They wouldn't allow her to ride XC. Is this right even at novice and BN considering the greenness of horses? I think in cases like that there should be some consideration. Maybe the stadium elimination rule should apply mainly to training level and up where the fences start getting serious.

Reed,

I like your idea of the slippery coating on fences even better after you explained it more.

Someone suggested hinged, collapsible "solid" obstacles in response to my idea on break apart solid obstacles. I think that is brilliant if it could be made to work somehow!

It sounds like there is a concensus that speed is a problem at that level as well as footing/weather conditions.

What about the idea of limiting the number of rides an upper level rider can have in one day? It's been done apparently in the UK, why not here? Will it make a difference?

Should events be run differently in hot weather? It's my impression that it was very hot at OTW this past weekend but it's always hot here so I'm not certain of this. I know years ago, Rolex was run at the end of May and that was changed to the end of April because of the effects of the heat and humidity as well as the fallout from collapsing horses at the WEG that was held there. I'm not saying that this is a problem now, but rather to point out that the heat index is a big factor in how our horses perform. Should there be adjustments to speed/course length and difficulty if the weather turns out hotter than expected?

What about several posts, including one of mine, that the increase in the technicality of courses may be causing accidents. Are courses getting tougher every year? Should they be dumbed down a bit? I'm curious to hear more opinions on that other than one or two.

Have a good evening folks!

Sharon

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 7, 2002, 06:52 PM
I appreciate your post and differ with you, but appreciate your sane, non-vituperative approach.
I agree with the earlier BB'er who compared his view of kids to how he views animals. I'm sorry your having children makes your horse's value "pale" in comparison. In my view, they're quite different, but neither one makes the other more or less important in my life.
It strikes me as non-productive to get into whether animals have rights or not. No closed minds will be changed on that subject---kind of like God or abortion, or any hot-button issue. But I do believe, and so do more and more Americans, that we have a duty to protect animals from harm and not put them into situations where we know the risk of physical harm is great. They are not machines---they are individual creatures with personalities and emotions, etc.
Take off the jumpsuit. Your thoughts are appreciated. Cheers to you and all!

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

tle
Aug. 7, 2002, 07:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Ultimately, though, I think the key is preparation of horse and rider. So my biggest suggestion may be controversial: I think that to keep the sport safe at the top, lower level courses must not be dumbed down. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMG... someone said it before I got to. This happens to be a major peeve of mine. It seems over the last 4 years, every year something gets done to the Novice and Training levels to dumb them down. The reason? Problems at those levels. But in the meantime, Prelim (the first "international" level) hasn't budged... making that leap from Training to Prelim even bigger than it was in the past (which was often referred to as THE hardest move in eventing other than Horse Trial to 3-day, by some of the best event riders in the country).

I realize we're all focusing on ways to make it safer, but this will! Not everyone is cut out to compete at FEI levels, just as not everyone is cut out to compete at the NBA level in basketball or NHL level in hockey. So why dumb down the levels of progression to make it so easy but yet have a "gap" that has the major potential to cause tons of problems!? One of my favorite quotes is "you can't strengthen the weak by weakening the strong".

I also like the idea of increasing the height of SJ (they recently added the single 4'3"? fence at Advanced, why not do this to the rest of the levels?). I would also like to see bounces added IN SJ ONLY as low as Training. If you can't negotiate a bounce in a SJ round, why do people think they can do one on XC??

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:34 PM
I'm ignoring disrespectful posts or ad hominems, but yours was reasoned. If you look at my own quote, which you pasted in, I say I'm starting in CT in the fall, NOT eventing. Why are you including XC in CT?? CT is dressage and jumpers and does not include the XC phase. At least that's the way it's done in Va. and England.
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, however, I'm specifically avoiding XC or fixed fences, after having shown h/j on the schooling and A circuits for six years. I've also trained with three Olympians----one American and two British.

I don't think it takes an Ivy League degree (of which I have three) to determine that upper-level XC courses are extremely dangerous. That's been demonstrated and quantified many times on this and other sites, in the equestrian media and even the mainstream media. It seems the height of silliness to presume that just because you haven't tried to jump a 4' or 4'6" fixed oxer, you are incapable of determining that it's dangerous.
Cheers!

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

Eventer Pony Princess
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:34 PM
EVENTING IS COOL. AND ITS SAFE IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~*Tiffany*~
<3Stormy>3

***Founder of the Appaloosa Clique!***

DMK
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:45 PM
subk, you stated your positon eloquently and it happens to coincide with my views and probably the majority of people out there who show or compete with their horses.

But here is where life ain't fair... Your (or my view) doesn't matter. Unless the sport addresses that (like it or not) there is a significant group of people that feels that eventing is not safe to the person or horse, eventing will be in deep $h*t. Unless the sport changes itself to adress their concerns, these people may very well change the sport for you. You still have a choice. Will you do it in a way that meets YOUR needs, or will you have it done for you by people who are clueless?

What helps your case even less is that a not insignificant group of people who are riders and risk takers (such as the jumper crowd) are not entirely sure that eventing is justifiably safe either. Being horse people, they aren't out there actively advocating to change/end your sport (for the most part), but they ain't in your corner either.

And this is absolutely, unequivocally grossly unfair. But since life ain't fair, you get no brownie points. Just an opportunity to have some say in your destiny.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein (1878-1955)

EventGurlie
Aug. 7, 2002, 08:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
The people who care about horse's welfare more than they care about their own pleasure need to be spoken for and recognized. That ain't changin'

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Did you ever stop to think that the horses ACTUALLY yes actually have pleasure in this sport too, and if they didnt than there would not be a way to make them....I just had to jump in here..you just don't seem to get it...it doesnt seem like you've been listening to anything anyone has said. We DO care for our horses safety and you cant obviously be an eventer if you didnt even know THAT much...

~Nicole~

Chaser
Aug. 8, 2002, 04:19 AM
Earthquake, you are correct that in the UK CT only includes jumping and dressage phases. In most of the US however, the term Combined Training is used for eventing, and includes all three phases. Until very recently, the eventing organisation in the US was known as USCTA. Have you had a look at their website yet?

USEA (http://www.eventingusa.com/)

The maximum height for a cross country obstacle (not a brush fence) in a *** or **** event is 1.20 metres, which is about 3 feet 11 inches I believe. Not all fences are built to the maximum dimensions of course, and the people and horses who compete at these levels are the elite.

You might be interested in the FEI Rulebook at

FEI Eventing Rules (http://www.horsesport.org/fei/pdfs/reference/03_02/tde-20th-e.PDF)

(There is a 14.2 hh pony at our yard who will regularly jump fences by himself when turned out, including the 4 foot fences between the paddocks! He certainly adores it, both XC and sj).

[This message was edited by Chaser on Aug. 08, 2002 at 06:28 AM.]

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 8, 2002, 04:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ELJ:
More people get killed driving home from work every day
than people get killed in horse related accidents per year.
ELJ<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This sounds impressive, but it lacks true statistical evidence. You have to put the figures into perspective in order to validate the argument you are making.

What PERCENTAGE of DRIVERS/PASSENGERS are killed "driving home from work every day" versus what PERCENTAGE of riders are killed eventing?

There are many, many, many more people flying around in cars than there are those flying around on horses. Now, if someone wanted to work out the percentages, I am certain Eventing will prove to be a much more dangerous venture than driving. (Though using "injuries resulting in death" figures might swing the pendulum towards motor vehicle accidents.)

Personally, I could never event. But I love watching it done well. Do I think it is dangerous? Absolutely.

emartell93
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:10 AM
I just started coming to this board and quickly scanned through this thread... read some messages off of the first page, read some off of the last.. there's probably too much crap inbetween to wade through (although there are probably lots of valid points which I already know).. I PERSONALLY think eventing is NOT cruel.. nothing bothers me more than people who think it is.. I don't think dressage or sj are cruel or dangerous either but, if you think about the stresses that get put on those horses legs and how many dressage horses injure themselves and sj too.. how many of them have short careers.. Sure, tragedies happen in eventing too.. it's not a sport like motocross where you're on a dirt bike.. this "dirt bike" has a mind of it's own and if it doesn't want to work, you'll know it!!! There is no way ANY person can make a horse do something it doesn't want to do.. I sold a horse for that reason.. I couldn't get her to jump under saddle (but, she'd free jump) so, she was sold to some one who better suited her.. why would I risk myself and my horse because I WANT to do something?!? I'm not and most people wouldn't do that.. that's why it's so hard to find a good event horse!! NOT ALL WANT TO DO IT!! I had a horse who got so excited to go sc when he stood in the startbox, he would start to twitch and shake of excitement.. how do I know it was excitement? Well, it got to the point when the person counting down would hit 3-2-1... my horse would spin (I always keep my horses pointed to the back of the box) on his own and take off out of the box.. we were too fast numerous times as he would just go go go and I had a hard time keeping him regulated so, numerous times I'd come in too fast or trot the latter parts of the course.. now, he LOVED eventing.. he LOVED xc (not bad for an ex barrel horse).. all the horses you find at the 3-day level love it.. they're there because they love it! Why would a rider waste their time and money (and possibly risk injury to themself or their horse) to compete on a horse who didn't love it!? Please.. some one tell me! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif All things in life are dangerous.. throw a horse in the equation and the stakes are raised (as there's a second mind in the equation). Part of the thrill is the danger factor.. I will admit! Part of it is it's such a demanding sport and so hard! Takes a special horse and a special rider to compete.. even at the lower levels!!!

Evalee Hunter
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:28 AM
I do think there are statistics around that cover such things as injury/jumps jumped or injury/mile ridden xc. I am thinking that Denis Glaucum had assembled some of these kinds of numbers when Fair Hill Equestrian Events was at Fair Hill & running recognized (& unrecognized) horse trials. I couldn't find what I was looking for a few minutes ago, but I do think there are some statistics & that eventing has been amazingly safe. (I might add that Amanda Warrington was killed at an advanced horse trial at Fair Hill, jumping the 1st fence that she had already jumped on several other horses that day right smack in front of the ambulance parked just a few feet from the jump.)

I guess the one thing I would like to see before we attempt to make any changes to cross country fences is a real effort to video EVERY ride over EVERY fence at prelim or above at EVERY horse trial in the US for 6 months or so. It would be a huge volunteer effort, requiring multiple volunteers for each course (because one volunteer could only tape 1-4 fences) & I know volunteers are already in short supply, but I think the first step in inproving things is REALLY KNOWING what happened. EARTHQUAKE, would you lead this effort?

Eyewitness accounts are important but there can be significant differences of memory as to what happened between various people who viewed an accident. I don't think we will be able to start making things safer until we have an impartial, second-by-second, frame-by-frame record of "what happened" not just in falls but also in refusals & runouts.

Once we have tapes of EVERY jump by a particular horse-rider team at a particular horse trial, we could study the jumps BEFORE the fall as well as the fall to analyze what happened & what led up to the problem.

I would also like to mention a course design change which has been proposed (not by me) which I think might help. This design change is to include an arrowhead fence early in the course (maybe 3rd jump) to encourage horses that aren't confident (& riders who don't have the horse perfectly between the legs) to be eliminated on runouts before they get to the tougher parts of the course. (With an arrowhead the horse has to jump the narrow face with the long sides trailing back so it is a test of confidence & accurate riding). Obviously this would not have done the job in the particular accident discussed here, but it might help in some cases.

I also proposed a change on another thread after Southern Pines--that horses be tracked & that after a certain number of falls (falls related to jumping) in a certain period of time (example, 3 falls in any 12 month period) that the horse would have to be vetted & pronounced ready to continue competition or required to compete at a lower level for a while. This was not a popular suggestion, although someone indicated that this has also been put into effect in Great Britain.

www.rougelandfarm.com (http://www.rougelandfarm.com) Home of TB stallion Alae Rouge, sire of our filly Rose, ribbon-winner on the line at Dressage at Devon.

Rouge's quote: "To err is human, to forgive, equine" (from a Pony Club refrigerator magnet)

Ridge Runner
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:35 AM
Earthquake,

Your last two posts are much more in line with the norm here and I think if you keep that approach and avoid inflammatory comments, you will be well received here. I'm not one to preach as my flame suit has been a bit scorched at times, but I just wanted to point out that your last two posts were good. The people who post on this board are caring horsemen and women and take offense to people shouting in their faces, if you will. Can you think of anything that might help improve the safety of the sport without radically changing it? If you can help us come up with working solutions, I think that would do more to help event horses than anything else.

To the other folks who have just joined this thread and posted your opinions, can you help us come up with constructive ideas to reduce the number of terrible accidents and injuries to our event horses? Someone commented that you hadn't read the whole thread...understandibly as it is long...so I thought I'd fill you in on Reed's plan to work together to find solutions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and the right to express it, but we are hoping to come up with some viable solutions and would appreciate your help.

Thanks! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Ridge Runner
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:49 AM
Evalee,

We must have posted simultaneously so I didn't get a chance to read your thread before posting mine.

I want to point out something about what happened to Amanda. She was an friend of mine. I took lessons from her in the winters in So. Pines when I lived there and groomed for her at a couple of events. I was shocked and devastated by her death. I remembered though that she used to wear a Caliente helment instead of an ASTM on a regular basis. When I inquired of someone who was present at her fall, I was told that she had been wearing the old-style helmet when she fell. She died as a result of head injuries and was in a coma on life support for weeks before they decided that she would not make it back and let her go. Knowing Amanda, she would not have wanted to exist that way, so I feel like they did the right thing. The sad truth is that an ASTM helmet might have saved her life. I read something that suggested that the protection of one inch of styrofoam is equivalent to a foot of the padding in one of the old helmets. Hands down the new ones are safer. My memory fails me at the moment if they are still not required in eventing. The last I remember reading the rules...they were recommended rather than required. I can't imagine why they aren't required, if so, since they have been proven so much better. For riders, that is one safety measure that can be taken into effect immediately.

Your other ideas are excellent as well especially the videoing. I'd volunteer in a heartbeat to video. I like the arrowhead fence idea too as well as the vet checks for horses that have fallen.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

AM
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:54 AM
Who is taking responsibility for getting the ideas generated in this thread to the USEA Safety Committee?

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 8, 2002, 06:23 AM
but what is it?
Also, Daydream Believer: I was wearing a non-reg helmet in Jan when I knocked myself unconscious and had a brain seizure at a stadium jumping show. It was my show helmet and a mere vanity-thing. Now I have a GPA and will never wear a non-reg. helmet again. Terribly sorry about Ms. Warrington.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

tle
Aug. 8, 2002, 06:39 AM
Daydream... ASTM/SEI helmets are not required for eventing. They are highly recommended, per the rules. What is required is a safety helmet designed for equestrian use that has a harness permanently afixed at more than 2 points and fastened throughout jumping (we eliminated a rider recently at a local event because her harness came unfastened and she jumped a fence that way... I think someone was e'd at a major 3-day for that in Britian one year also but can't remember who at the moment).

I think the largest group of dissenters for having ASTM/SEI helmets required are those who cannot find an ASTM/SEI helmet **that fits**. What is worse, a BHS tested and approved helmet that fits... or an ASTM/SEI helmet that doesn't?

Not saying that I think one is better than the other... just posting for information purposes only.

However, and please correct me if my memory is off, I believe almost all the deaths in eventing in the past 5 years or so have only had one thing in common... the horse has somehow landed on the rider (aka sumersaulted over the fences). This is why things like the frangible fences that will drop during the pressure of a possible flip are being tested... at least that was my understanding. The levels, the experience of the horse, experience of the rider, type of fence, etc... nothing else was really being found "in common" throughout the rider deaths. Tying this in with the information above, there isn't a helmet or vest made that will protect the human body from 1200 pounds fall on it. I doubt even a suit of armor would do it. So then it gets back to preventing it... IMHO, education is the key!!

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Ridge Runner
Aug. 8, 2002, 07:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
I think the largest group of dissenters for having ASTM/SEI helmets required are those who cannot find an ASTM/SEI helmet **that fits**. What is worse, a BHS tested and approved helmet that fits... or an ASTM/SEI helmet that doesn't?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've got to be kidding! As many choices as there are out there now and they can't get a fit? What I heard was that riders didn't like them because they were bulkier. Particularly, in H/J riders, they aren't as "attractive" and have a higher profile although those striped ones they're all wearing now aren't very attractive in my opinion either. I have to pad the edges of my current helmet with little foam pieces that came with it and it stays on well enough. I'm one of those people who probably owe my life or my brains anyway to an ASTM helmet...read my post on the rearing thread about the wreck I had. In my opinion, as long as you can get one to stay in place on your head and not shift around, you are far better off in one of these than a BHS approved one.

I think you are right that most accidents involve crushing...I think Amanda's was the only severe head injury if memory serves. One point I'd like to make on the vests is that there is no standard for them currently and no testing like there is for helmets. I don't understand why they are required when the ASTM helmets are not. Seems like backwards thinking to me. A lot of people have died that were wearing the vests and in my opinion, their value in that sort of fall is very questionable. Like you said, they can't protect you from that sort of crushing weight. I also think that they are so hot to wear that they can cause heat stress problems for riders in hot weather. The helmets on the other hand have saved many people and are obviously a very important safety tool. I think statistically the number one injury from horseback riding accidents overall is a head injury and the type of rider most likely to suffer a head injury is a trail rider. That's logical when you realize how many trail and pleasure riders don't wear any sort of helmet at all. Those are real stats I remember hearing or reading a few years ago but I can't remember where...Equus magazine probably.

I can't argue that education is not important as well as someone else commented about good coaching especially at that level. Can you think of a way to measure "education" or how to require a certain amount of education prior to competing at the upper levels? Maybe some sort of riding test? This is not unheard of either. In Germany, you have to pass a riding test to compete at the lower levels. Their test includes both dressage and jumping a 3 ft. course. I'm not knocking your idea but trying to think of a way to quantify it and still trying to figure out how to make upper level eventing safer for both horse and rider.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

SaddleFitterVA
Aug. 8, 2002, 07:38 AM
OK, finally starting to get some productive posts here, Reed especially is posting things that make me have more confidence in eventing.

Now, put aside tradition for a moment...

What would the impact be if they swapped the order of the steeplechase portion and the XC portion? It seems to me that fatigue of horse is partially an issue in the upper levels, and if XC was moved earlier, then perhaps they would have a bit more gas to negotiate the course safely.

Then, in the steeplechase portion, where the fences aren't as large (I think....I am waiting for TLE to correct me on this one if I'm wrong) fatigue would hopefully just lead to more speed penalites, not as many crashes.

Mel

tle
Aug. 8, 2002, 08:11 AM
Daydream... I believe most of the arguments I've heard against the ASTM helmets were prior to the "round" models coming out. Eventers don't usually have issues with "fashion" ... at least not NEARLY to the extent of the H/J crowd, so looks isn't as much of a concern. If a helmet doesn't fit, you won't get the proper protection... and you risk the possibility of it interferring, for example, iwth your vision (as it slips down over your eyes as you approach the 2nd or 3rd element of the combination. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Vest are required, but not the ASTM tested ones. I have an older BHS tested vest and I **LOVE** it.

Saddlefitter... heehee... moi? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Actually, according to the FEI rulebook, the heights for steeplechase are bigger... kinda... sorta...not really:

(from Appendix 4 of the FEI Eventing Rulebook)
Level -- Fixed/Brush for ST -- Fixed/Brush for XC

CCI* -- 1.0m/1.4m -- 1.1m/1.3m
CCI** -- 1.0m/1.4m -- 1.15m/1.35m
CCI***/**** -- 1.0m/1.4m -- 1.2m/1.4m

Spreads for the fences are the same. Remember though that every ST fence I've ever seen has been a brush fence... AND **VERY** inviting to jump (although my mare still wanted to look at them even the 2nd time around the track /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif ) not to mention designed specifically to be taken at a gallop.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Badger
Aug. 8, 2002, 08:17 AM
I've talked to **** riders that think the steeplechase is an important aspect in getting the horse revved up and forward thinking before going out on the x-c course. They say they need it before x-c.

That doesn't explain why horses in horse trials don't seem to need it....

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

tle
Aug. 8, 2002, 08:22 AM
Horse Trials and 3-day are NOT the same sport really. They are related obviously, but there is definitely something different about the two. Perhaps I'm not the best one to be saying this, having only competed (and not completed) one, and I can't quite put it into the right words... sorry... I thought when I started this post, I'd be able to explain what I was feeling, but I'm at a loss. Maybe Reed or subk or someone can help out here.

Along those lines though, remember that conditioning plays a MUCH more important role in 3-day. Not only do you have phases A,B, and C but D is also a lot longer than your typical horse trial XC. However, with the addition of the C halt and the new SLOWER time on C (you can now practically walk half of it), I know a lot of people are saying that their horses are starting XC like they were fresh coming out of their stalls (I think that was also a comment by one of the O'Connors or even Bruce at the Atlanta Olympics).

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

JAGold
Aug. 8, 2002, 08:24 AM
Reed, wouldn't the usefulness of a slippery coating on a fence depend on where/how much of the leg is hung in accidents where the horse flips? For example, if we believe that most flips are caused by hanging a back leg slightly, then the coating you've described should be very effective. But if the horse catches a front leg, and therefore can't get it's hindquarters up out of the way, or catches a larger portion of a hind leg, the slippery coating can't lift the limb over the fence. I'm having trouble verbalizing this. But I guess I understand how the coating would work if the limb is in a position where it could slide over, but when I think of flips, I think of accidents where a limb is too low to slide over. Is this correct according to the laws of physics and your understanding of falls where the horse flips? --Jess

AM
Aug. 8, 2002, 08:26 AM
Horses in horse trials have an opportunity to jump warm up fences before their cross country round. In a three day event, there is no warm up in the ten minute box. So the steeplechase fences serve as the jumping warmup.

PMJ
Aug. 8, 2002, 09:22 AM
Not meaning to be blythe or uncaring because I do think that researching and making eventing as safe as possible is a top priority, but in life, accidents happen. I have groomed for a few top riders and held some horses in the starting box because they were so keyed up to do their job. Sorry, they did love it. Chances are if you drive a car you will be in an accident, same with riding. I am currently nursing my dressage horse because she stepped on a fencing staple. We think she will be okay and no surgery was needed. The fences are horse safe and were put in before we purchased the property. Evidently, this staple has been in the ground for quite a time due to the condition. It was an accident plain and simple. It does not make this easier, any less worrisome, or the seriousness of it less, but it was random. I think horse people have to be careful for several reasons, but one is that there are people who truly believe horses should not be ridden because it is not natural. I understand those who oppose eventing because of the danger and the fact that asking horses to jump those obsticles is not natural; however, be careful with that argument. People have the right to do what they want with their property (and trust me it kills me to lump my horses in that category as my mom and I are having a tiff about the fact that my horse is as important to me as my sister's kid is to her) as long as they are being responsible--and actually the bounds of responsiblity are long esp. if you have been to an auction. Yes, safety first, but we need to be careful about what we legislate because eventually it could come back to haunt us all as riders. Ultimately, the care I have seen in event barns is top rate. I event and choose not to anymore because I don't like jumping Prelim size fences and felt stagnated at Novice and Training. My knowledge base needed a great deal more work to ride at the upper levels, but I was scared of falling and did not feel it right to ask that of myself or my horse. I'm not about to tell someone who works at this sport and is dedicated that they are wrong or cruel. I can see the point of those who think it is asking too much, but don't agree with it.

I'm rambling--guess this doctoring of several horses plus stress is getting to me. Good points all around. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Pixie Dust
Aug. 8, 2002, 09:37 AM
I think I have a diffent take on animal rights than most horse people. I do think that animals should have certain inalieanable rights. The right to get up, lay down, roll in the dirt, see daylight, feel the sun and the rain and not be forced to lead a miserable life.

I still don't think eventing is cruel, nor does it infringe on these rights. Event trainers just don't waste their time on a horse who is not interested in eventing. Trainers/riders are SO much in tune with their animals, SO attentive to their needs, SO attentive to their happiness. No one wants a horse to die; it is NOT a goal of eventing. But death is not the worse thing that can happen to an animal. It's going to happen. This lovely stallion died at 13; not unreasonably short IMO. He lived a glorious life. He was a happy horse. That's more important to me.

This being said, the eventing community should still always be working to keep the sport as fair and safe as possible. Which they are doing!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

Evalee Hunter
Aug. 8, 2002, 09:46 AM
I requested that you head the committee to recruit volunteers to see that every xc jump of every round of prelim/intermediate/advanced horse trials in this country for the next 6 - 12 months is videotaped. The videotapes can then be studied to learn what leads up to falls (either rider, horse or both), how falls happen & (hopefully) how to prevent or ameliorate them.

All volunteers will also need to be equipped with still cameras so that following a fall they can quickly photograph the jump from several angles, including the footing on takeoff & landing, with a special note to be sure to show whether there was a ground line, etc.

I think if we could do this, we really could improve safety. Think about all the millions spent crashing cars with crash dummies inside!! Since I don't want to purposely crash horses or people, we need to film the real life happenings & go from there.

www.rougelandfarm.com (http://www.rougelandfarm.com) Home of TB stallion Alae Rouge, sire of our filly Rose, ribbon-winner on the line at Dressage at Devon.

Rouge's quote: "To err is human, to forgive, equine" (from a Pony Club refrigerator magnet)

asterix
Aug. 8, 2002, 09:58 AM
This is from a mini-discussion a few pages back, but I'm just catching up on this thread after, er, schooling yesterday (if you could see the video of my horse, basically grinning from ear to ear after an 8 month layup away from xc, "cruelty to animals" wouldn't be the first phrase to mind)...
Anyway, I would love it if SJ was used, at least at lower levels, to help determine whether someone could go XC, but there are serious limitations to this approach. As someone new to eventing last year, I was surprised at the number of scary/ugly SJ rounds (this is at BN, N, T only; no experience beyond that!). These are "clear" rounds, but ones where you gasp and cringe watching each fence (you all know what I'm talking about)...
There's no good way to evaluate these rounds and somehow extrapolate to XC...in fact, sometimes horses that squeak by SJ are real trucks XC. I am also reminded of a novice SJ course last year that included a slightly tight in-and-out. Several riders, bombing around absolutely flat and unbalanced, actually BOUNCED this thing, to the consternation of spectators.
Could we have said that if you couldn't manage to fit a stride in that combination, you couldn't go out on a XC course with a one stride distance?
Including more technical combos, higher/wider fences at SJ, and running SJ before XC at horse trials, probably will weed out a couple of borderline riders at each event, and it seems like a good suggestion, but it certainly won't change the upper level accidents we've been discussing, which often involve horse/rider combos who are veterans at their level.

deltawave
Aug. 8, 2002, 10:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
I say I'm starting in CT in the fall, NOT eventing. Why are you including XC in CT?? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I *did* realize you were referring to a combined test, just thought you wouldn't want to get involved in eventing in ANY form with your feelings about XC fences, that's all. Plus a combined test sometimes (though not often, that's for sure) is dressage + XC. But 'nuff said...I apologize if I got offensive with my posts...frustration got the better of me and it's MUCH nicer to be doing constructive things, eh?

subk, I can't put 2 quotes into one post, but your comment about how having children changes one's viewpoint on horses rings VERY true with me. I love my horses NO less than I did before I became a mom, and motherhood hasn't changed my own personal ethic on our responsibility to animals (which is right in line with yours) but WOW, horses just AREN'T kids, period. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

Starbucks
Aug. 8, 2002, 10:10 AM
The overall question; Is Eventing Dangerous?

There is no real answer to this question- everyone who you ask will have a different opinion. Yes, there have been horses killed-- and yet, no more so than flat racing or steeplechasing, I'd be willing to bet. Any horse sport anyone partakes in is dangerous. I've seen barrel horses fall going around barrels. One I saw pinched his sciatic nerve upon twisting going down, and was paralyzed and eventually had to be put down. A judge I scribed for not too long ago told me the only fatal accident she's ever witnessed has been during dressage.

Accidents happen. And yet, people still tend to judge us morally- accuse us of 'wanting' to kill our horses and 'putting them in the face of danger'. We love our horses. Even moreso I think than some people on the other show circuits do-- I mean, I could never even imagine nerve blocking my horse's tail so it can't swish during Western Pleasure, or drugging my horse so he could have a clean round in the hunters. In eventing, horses HAVE to pass a vet check- I don't see this in any other venue aside from racing. If the horse doesn't pass the jog, he can't compete. If any sign of lameness is shown at any point, he is pulled and not allowed to go further.

You know, I'd hate to think that the reason my horses are lazy and dull on flatwork and excited and ready-to-go out in the stadium ring and out on XC is because they hate jumping. Both the horses I ride, Dumas and Sebastion, are incredibly lazy on the flat, and you have to push everything out of them. But, as soon as you take them out of the arena, even if it's just for a hack, they immediately perk up. I've had both of them on loose reins, just sitting and walking, and had them pick up a trot and pop over a log-- all on their own.

Yes, they absolutely loathe XC, don't you think?

Sebastion is a notorious stopper in stadium. If you don't present him and ride him correctly to the jump, he'll stop. But, on XC, you point and hang on!

Also, argueing and debating is not going to get us any further-- the people who've made up their minds have made up their minds. I've found my true love in eventing, and even though right now I'm only riding Novice, I plan on going as high a level as I can physically achieve- whether it be prelim, intermediate, or even advanced. This is the sport we love- don't bash it, for you don't see us coming to you and bashing yours.

Jupes
Aug. 8, 2002, 10:50 AM
Directly addressing the question in the original post, I thought this quote was interesting...


"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no
safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
- - Helen Keller

Pixie Dust
Aug. 8, 2002, 11:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by asterix:
I am also reminded of a novice SJ course last year that included a slightly tight in-and-out. Several riders, bombing around absolutely flat and unbalanced, actually BOUNCED this thing, to the consternation of spectators.
.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



Hahahaaaa, to this I say tough cookies!!! All the more reason to make SJ more difficult. I think it's an excellent idea!!
/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 8, 2002, 12:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I requested that you head the committee to recruit volunteers to see that every xc jump of every round of prelim/intermediate/advanced horse trials in this country for the next 6 - 12 months is videotaped. The videotapes can then be studied to learn what leads up to falls (either rider, horse or both), how falls happen & (hopefully) how to prevent or ameliorate them.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think it's a great idea, assuming a lot of other experts concur, and the data would be used to help eliminate dangerous fences. Personally, I wouldn't have the time to organize such a complex venture, but I would be happy to contribute money to a 501-c-3 that could be formed to set up a volunteer system such as you propose.
I'd also like to clarify---there's a lot of talk about 'eventing being dangerous' or questioning whether eventing is dangerous. That's too fuzzy a question. IMO only parts of courses that repeatedly (more than one freak accident) cause falls that result in injury or death to riders/horses should be eliminated. But the cynic in me believes course designers have a pretty good idea in advance of which fences are predatory in nature.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

JER
Aug. 8, 2002, 12:10 PM
earthquake and evalee, the Hartington group, as well as the frangible pin researchers, reviewed videotape of over 100 falls. This is how they arrived at their conclusions about what types of falls were most dangerous.

artienallie
Aug. 8, 2002, 12:43 PM
Well, I've only competed through Novice, but I've got enough experience at this level (and schooling above it) to think I've got something to add to this topic.

I've brought along two inexperienced horses to the BN level - a 9 yo OTTB ex-polopony and a 7 yo Clyde cross ex-Amish cart horse.

The Clyde cross stops at least once on every XC course (his little brain can't handle these fences in the fields, I think), but has the nicest, smoothest SJ rounds out there, including smooth doubles, triples and bounces. The TB had the kind of SJ round that would put your heart in your throat, but XC was like riding a machine - every fence was smooth as silk, as long as you stayed out of her way.

Now, if SJ went first, and was a qualifier to XC, my mare would've been pulled at every event, but Artie would've been sent on, to pull his stunts over on XC.

I guess I'm just saying that the two phases are different, and performance in one can be an indicator of performance in the other, but aren't failproof in that role.

Clear as mud? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

tle
Aug. 8, 2002, 12:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But the cynic in me believes course designers have a pretty good idea in advance of which fences are predatory in nature.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

that's a pretty severe case of cynicism!! As a potential course designer (I've helped, had ideas bounced off me, helped build, taken several courses and one day hope to have my CD license), it is statements like this that make your posts hard to handle. No one is out ot hurt horses... or riders! That's why, after research, designers design courses that ask the right questions IN THE RIGHT WAY. ie: putting bounces after turns instead of after long straight gallops. I can't believe such a cynic exists that would honestly believe people who are supported BY the sport would intentionally hurt people IN the sport?! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Pretty d@mn sad point of view.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Pixie Dust
Aug. 8, 2002, 01:16 PM
I'm not saying making SJ as a qualifier perse, just making it more difficult at the lower levels. Making the SJ higher than the CC jumps. To do the opposite of dumbing down.

It's not foolproof in any way, but I think it would help to make better riders and better trained horses.

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 8, 2002, 01:46 PM
Please do tell what the results were of the survey of videos????

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

artienallie
Aug. 8, 2002, 01:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bgoosewood:
I'm not saying making SJ as a qualifier perse, just making it more difficult at the lower levels. Making the SJ higher than the CC jumps. To do the opposite of dumbing down.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I understand what you're saying and agree to a point! Overall, I think both of us agree that better training and knowledge for the riders will help the lower levels so much.

I was just pointing out that the three phases in eventing are so very distinct of one another, and just because a horse/rider combo does well in one, doesn't mean they'll do well in the others.

And now for something completely different:

ETBW sent me a video of my two horses running in the big paddock yesterday, and Artie (he who stops XC with me at least ONCE every time) free jumped a log right out of stride! It was beautiful, and he looked like he was having a BLAST! Who says horses don't love what they do? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Pixie Dust
Aug. 8, 2002, 02:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by artienallie:
ETBW sent me a video of my two horses running in the big paddock yesterday, and Artie (he who stops XC with me at least ONCE every time) free jumped a log right out of stride! It was beautiful, and he looked like he was having a BLAST! Who says horses don't love what they do? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Awwwwww, must be great having wings around to take pictures of your ponies!!!! I love it! This morning, they were ALL fired up. I think they were having a "who can buck higher" competition. (Courtesy of the nice weather!). I've seen them jump things a few times (and always perfectly in stride). Hektor has jumped the electric tape fence, logs, a single, solitary 2'9" vertical (with plenty of room on both sides to go around) and they have also GALLOPED down the steepest banks (like that one at Fair Hill ***) and Pixie has done an in & out (it was a two strider for her). Boy, was that cute (she's just a yearling!

It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate; it takes guts to be gentle and kind.... The Smiths

retreadeventer
Aug. 8, 2002, 03:17 PM
Earlier in this thread someone asked for stats. In 1999-2000, the first year I had a computer that could get me easily on the internet, I had a search thing going that gave me news around the world of any horse deaths. I think I collected about 55 horses over one year, on a special webpage I kept, where the horses were posted with a memorial in their honor. This was only news reports -- so only from recognized activities, such as steeplechases, racing, events, shows, and traffic accidents. Over 20 horses died in traffic accidents in the US and Canada. When you consider that over 300,000 horses made pari-mutuel racing starts in America (only US, only pari-mutuel, that doesn't include most steeplechase meets or fair racing) that percentage of around 33 reported deaths due to activity is pretty low. I think it speaks for itself that traffic accidents killed just about as many as rider/driver-directed activities. Statistically speaking, these numbers are of course, unverified -- but they serve to show that horse deaths due to organized activities are a tiny fraction of horses that die each year. When you consider that two hundred horses start in each event, and one horse dies per season, (per area?) that would be about 12 horses for several thousands of starts -- which seems about right when you lay it up against the worldwide, all-activity percentage. So if I can extrapolate, eventing doesn't have any more than it's share of deaths altho it may not seem so -- statistically, it's absolutely within parameters. And of course doesn't make any death any less tragic. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JER
Aug. 8, 2002, 04:49 PM
earthquake, the video analysis showed that most of the fatal accidents occurred when the horse somersaults over the fence and lands on the rider. Hence the conclusions of the various safety panels which have been cited several times on this thread by previous posters.

If you want more details, the research was done by the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK, and RAyers posted the web address for the Hartington Report elsewhere in this thread.

Sannois
Aug. 8, 2002, 05:38 PM
What would possibly make one think that these course designers are out to harm either horse or rider. Boy I would love to Hear M. E. Smiths take on that!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

BarbB
Aug. 8, 2002, 06:33 PM
Col. Frank Weldon (himself):

"The difficulty.....is to try to make the obstacles so that the best will be tested and the best will come out top, but the less good will not be eliminated and it be a waste of time in having come."

'nuff said.

BarbB

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

BarbB
Aug. 8, 2002, 06:38 PM
to get all wound up in debates about break-away fences and the difficulty of show jumping or dressage or cross country and arguing that the horses like the sport etc etc. and trying to defend the sport to people who want to find fault.

Take a deep breath and remember why you devote so much of your life to your horse and to eventing.

This quote is from a BBC special on eventing that aired years ago:

Eventing is the ultimate test of all around horsemanship, of the partnership between horse and rider that comes alive galloping and jumping at speed across country.

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

Arcadien
Aug. 9, 2002, 02:32 AM
Decided to try to see if dropping a few thoughts here will help me get back to sleep. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I think I feel most along the lines of the experienced 3 day rider here (sorry, I forget your name) who stated that eventing is her horse's "job". Just like racing is a racehorse's job, and cutting cows is a cutting horse's job. She does everything she can to make the job as doable and comfortable as possible, but she expects the horse to do it's job.

A couple lines of thought here have bugged me a bit. I'm uncomfortable with the declarations that horses "love" eventing or they wouldn't do it. Every jumper is taught early on, they must jump, or be punished. They must learn this lesson for the safety of the rider and themselves. A whack with a stick, a kick with a spur, or a loud shout, this punishment is what they meet with if they decide not to jump. Hopefully, this is taught in a straightforward, compassionate way, and the horse given time over progressively higher jumps to learn how to use itself and jump properly. But that early lesson is always the most important - "horse, you must jump what I point you at, don't think twice about not doing it".

Even Bruce expressed this philosophy, early on (this is from the old "champions way with horses" tapes he did in the 70's - great viewing if you can get your hands on them) by saying, "the horse must jump, or fall down - it must learn it has no other option".

My theory is that the horses we say "love XC" are the ones that learned this lesson most firmly and never think of not doing their jobs. They express a willingness and a comfort with, but I wouldn't say "love" for their jobs. Then there are the one's that aren't quite totally comfortable with it, but they do it because good rider's carry a whip and know how to use it and wear spurs and know how to use them too - the horse learns this rider is capable of just & timely punishment, and behaves to avoid receiving any. I believe there's a whole legion of event horses in this category - some need to be driven over one or two fences, some over almost the whole course. The better the rider, the harder it will be for an onlooker to see this "jump or else" attitude in the rider.

I disagree that horses who don't want to do it, just won't. Maybe a few get away with that, but most meet a rider who can make them jump. Maybe not at the upper levels, and the jump may not be pretty, but the horse will be put over that fence. You will see a lot of horses that have to be "urged" with sound kicks and whip hovering or in action at almost every jump on an XC course. This horse knows this "encouragement" is only the tip of the iceberg - if it stops, more kicks and whips will follow. So it jumps, though it doesn't really want to. This horse doesn't make it to the top, but I see a lot of rides like this as far as Prelim level, at least. I believe the best riders can coerce a horse to jump without it even being obvious. Not many horses even dare to attempt a refusal or runout with the likes of Bruce D on their backs - they know instinctively or from experience that he can make them jump - "they have two choices - jump, or fall down - and horses don't like to fall down", his own words again from those old tapes. By the time he get's them to the upper levels, they know this lesson full well. I don't believe his thinking is cruel, I think it's the safest way to approach this sport, especially at his level. There must be every expectation that the horse will at least attempt to jump.

Another thing that bothers me, I don't believe the horses that are pulling and dancing at the start are expressing 'love' for what's ahead, IMO. At best, I think they know they will soon be expected to gallop and jump, and any horse, even in a paddock, get's excited about galloping (and rip snort bucking, in that case). They may like the physical exertion and take pride in pleasing their riders. Afterward they may express satisfaction in having done their job well, and having had a nice good gallop. At worst, I think they are expressing some anxiety in the start box, knowing they may not want to run and jump this course, but they will certainly have to, or be punished. At worst I think if they feel anything at the end of a course, it's relief that it's over.

I feel my basic premise here applies to other horse sports, not just eventing. Horses must be taught various jobs, and to accept that they have to do them. The are rewarded with positive reinforcement when they please us, punished when they don't. It's basically the way we train horses to do anything.

Just because I don't believe horses 'love' to jump and run XC, doesn't mean I don't continue train them to jump and enjoy competing in this sport. I just hope to keep a realistic perspective on my horse's role in this. I go to an event with a healthy horse and take every step I can to make them comfortable and safe through the event. I aspire to make them as well trained and fit as possible to do it. I like to think they feel satisfied in accomplishment when I tell them they did a good job.

But I don't expect them to 'love' it. I try not to anthropomophise them that way. I believe horses are horses, and they think like horses, not like people. I thrill in the cross species relationship we develop. They can't talk, so I have to use my intellect and experience to try to figure out what they think. The older I get, the more time I've spent around them, the better I'm able to understand their body language. I feel it's doing them a disservice to interpret their behavior based on how "we would feel if we were they".

In return for expecting them to do their job, I take the best possible care of them, to the point of pampering, as I'm sure most of us do. And I assess the risk I ask them to take in the name of sport, and keep the level of difficulty in the realm of my comfort level - for myself and for them. For me, that's reached as far as Prelim. It might reach further or lower on different horses.

Which brings me (finally!) to the question heading this thread - yes I think eventing is dangerous. Most things worth doing are at least a little dangerous. The alternative is to live wrapped in "bubble wrap", lol - not much fun there. I like the Helen Keller quote floating around. Here's another one: "As they say, A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for."

I believe all horses in sport are exposed to some amount of danger, not just eventing. I don't think this means we shouldn't event them. I think if horses weren't utilized for sport this last century, their current population would be minimal. Equestrian sport is their ticket to survival, without it, there would be a lot less horses around! I applaud all efforts to minimize risk in eventing. I think this will have to be an ongoing project.

Well, hopefully I can go back to sleep now that I'm dumped my thoughts on this. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Hug your horses. I welcome comments, supportive or otherwise, of my ideas - just please be civil! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Arcadien

Evalee Hunter
Aug. 9, 2002, 04:40 AM
I think my proposal is different & will yield additional information for the following reasons:

1. My proposal will allow the study of the horse & rider at all fences BEFORE the fall as well as the fall. (The prior study involved the fall only.)

2. My proposal will allow the study of random falls, since every fence of every round of every trial in this country would be taped over a certain period of time (6 months or whatever). (The prior study used falls that were on videotape which means that this was not a random sample--for whatever reason [famous rider, beautiful fence or setting, TV cameras at event, etc.] these rides at these fences happened to be already taped.)

3. My proposal would relate to what happens in the US not what happens in another country. The US is different--different fences, in some cases different course designers, different materials used, different weather in some parts of the US, competitors of a different nationality so perhaps a different mind set--I could go on & on but these factors could influence what is happening & we will not know without studying.

4. My proposal is different because the video people would also be equipped with still cameras to record the appearance of the fence (shadows, ground line, etc.) as well as the material used & condition of takeoff & landing points. The still camera would provide additional recording of the weather, also.

For the above reasons, I think my proposal bears little resemblance to what has already been done!

Arcadien: I think some horses DO show an incredible eagerness for xc which goes beyond their training but I will have to take that up another time!

www.rougelandfarm.com (http://www.rougelandfarm.com) Home of TB stallion Alae Rouge, sire of our filly Rose, ribbon-winner on the line at Dressage at Devon.

Rouge's quote: "To err is human, to forgive, equine" (from a Pony Club refrigerator magnet)

Kaori
Aug. 9, 2002, 09:32 AM
Our troll has morphed. *points* *snickers*

I'm soooo not impressed. Nice try though. I epecially like the quote thrown in from Bruce. Nice touch.

If you think force is the only way to make horses jump.... well, your ignorance speaks for itself.

*puts troll treats back into pocket*

*walks away bored*

TLE, subk, and everyone else, nice job in articulating thoughts!

**Spel chekers, hoo neeeds 'em? Alan James Bean**

CoolMeadows
Aug. 9, 2002, 09:38 AM
Kaori.... that wasn't nice.

deltawave
Aug. 9, 2002, 09:47 AM
What troll? I thought Arcadien's points were pretty carefully thought out and not the least bit inflammatory. Just goes to show, we all react differently to different styles and opinions. I hope as a new poster he/she isn't chased away by being called a troll on day one! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Surely you don't mean to imply that his/her opinions aren't welcome? Part of our freedom to express ourselves is the understanding that OTHERS also have that freedom, as long as it's not hurtful or hateful. I didn't see either in Arcadien's post, myself. What gives?

PS...I own one of those horses that has to be "encouraged" to jump XC after she developed some stopping "issues" during my long hiatus from riding. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I honestly don't know if she "loves" or "hates" jumping, and I try desperately not to anthropomorphize animals in any case. It's her job (as others have said) and in return for a very nice life, this is what I ask her to do. She shows no obvious signs of "hating" jumping, so on we go trying to retrain her to where she was before she got wrecked. In fact, figuring out her "issues" and trying to overcome them is a source of weird satisfaction for me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ANYWAY, my point is, I have to give her a little tap on the shoulder sometimes when we start out XC, and other times I don't. She does the jig in the start box, but does it equally on days when she's spooky and sticky as on days when she's all gung-ho and eating up the fences. I'm not going to psychoanalyze her, I'm going to try and RIDE her as best I can. I measure her well-being in the ways that are tangible: looking at her overall attitude and health, providing good feed, turnout, vet care, etc...not in whether she "acts happy" when she's working. Probably clear as mud, eh? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Arcadien, stick with us...we're nice folks, really! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

Pixie Dust
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by deltawave:

Surely you don't mean to imply that his/her opinions aren't welcome? Part of our freedom to express ourselves is the understanding that OTHERS also have that freedom, as long as it's not hurtful or hateful. I didn't see either in Arcadien's post, myself. What gives?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Yeah!!!!! It's called a
discussion

From the little experience I have had with advanced level horses/rider, I have found that the riders/trainers REALLY do not want to waste their time with a horse who needs encouragement. Am I wrong??

My horse is a clever guy who enjoys a puzzle. I can watch his little brain tick and it really is a joy. Well, he looks happy to me! We had our first bank experience during a lesson last week. Yes, he needed some encouragement to get started (little taps, clucks and squeezes) but once he understood the puzzle, he "took ME" to the jump....no encouragement needed and he "took me" to several more banks, site unseen. Perhaps I'm anthropomorphizing, shamelessly BTW, but I can tell when he doesn't want to do something. His hot little sides can become dead to the world. I can see happiness/contentment in his face when he's being groomed or eating hay, and I can tell when he is eager to do somthing. I happen to think that animals do feel emotions and are not machines. If that's anthropomorphizing....oh, well, then that's what I do. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

What's wrong with sexy??

tle
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:03 AM
FWIW, I think Kaori was referring to earthquake.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:03 AM
Said more articulately and fairly than I could have and I applaud you for it.
Whoever the person was who called Arcadien a troll (I won't waste my time dignifying that person by citing its monicker) is exemplifying A-a very immature high school attitude or B-a lack of control of his/her anger and a lashing out in a feckless attempt to stifle free speech and debate.
Most of y'all on this site seem like genuine, intelligent, caring human beings. But there are a couple who are into name-calling and ad hominems, which is A-ineffective and B-only makes the name-caller look foolish.
It's sad that such clearly inelegant persons would participate in horsemanship---an elegant sport.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

JenL
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:13 AM
I've been following this discussion all the way along. I finally decided what my thoughts are on the issue of whether eventing is safe or not.

To be honest, I don't think it is. But I aspire to event and rise to the higher levels because I love eventing.

Many issues have been swirling around: how can we change it to make it safer, how many horses should be killed before we take notice etc etc.

I believe that eventing already is as safe as a sport (essentially) as we can make it. Most of the accidents that occurred, happened to seasoned pairs that were basically totally freak accidents. *But* some of the accidents happened because the pair was *not* ready to compete at that level.

I think instead of making the sport safer (which in fact we have already done) we should come up with a way to evaluate performance during moveups, before and after. This way we will not "dumb down" eventing, (which I am strongly against)but we will attempt to try to eliminate some of the fatal accidents that occur.

Just my .02 cents.

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
Dune

tle
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:16 AM
Oh... I had decided not to feed the troll... but I... can't... help... myself....

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But there are a couple who are into name-calling and ad hominems, which is A-ineffective and B-only makes the name-caller look foolish. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

hmmm... methinks this is the pot calling the kettle black....


...and I wish people would refrain from the sick urge to make courses so difficult that horses die with more regularity than any of us can imagine.

People who lack compassion for animals shouldn't be in the sport.

But we kid ourselves if we ignore the fact upper-level XC courses are made purposefully so difficult that a predictable number of horses (and sometimes humans) will die or sustain serious injuries trying to get through them.



Do I need to post more? /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif


BTW, CrazyEventer... I love your sig!!!



************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Ridge Runner
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:37 AM
I think Arcadian's post was fine...actually more thoughtful than most. I agree with a lot of his/her points especially about whether horses love to jump or not. I have one horse, my mustang, who will free jump occasionally but he's the only one I've ever had that would. He's also a genius for a horse...very smart. Bob, my TBX would never jump if I weren't up there telling him to. I also have to ride very convincingly around XC or he will think I'm not serious, and be naughty. He doesn't like water jumps and I do use my stick or he won't go. I have started a few event horses that didn't have the heart for it that went on to be good dressage horses. On the other hand, I saw someone fall off once 4 jumps for home and the riderless horse continued and finished the course on his own. He looked for the flagged fences and jumped them and stopped at the finish line. I think some of them really do love it.

I also agree with bgoosewood that horses have emotions. I think intellectually they are about where a very small child is but with a better memory than a child. They can reason to a degree but are not "mature" enough mentally for concepts such as "I might die if I go out and jump XC." Few small children can conceptualize the results of their actions that way either such as "if I launch myself off these stairs, I might break my neck." Every parent knows that's true. Of course, as children grow and learn to communicate they quickly pass up horses intellectually.

Am I humanizing them? I don't think so...I think the gap between humans and animals is much smaller than we think. Everytime an old truism such as only people can have language is proven wrong, we realize that animals are so much like us. Incidentally, whales, dolphins, prairie dogs, and chimps/gorillas have been proven to have the capacity for "language" or have a spoken language that's meaningful to them. Prairie dogs have a squeak they use to signal a wolf and a different one for an eagle. If that isn't language, what is it? Of course the great apes have learned our sign language. I think horses have a language both verbal and visual based on body language. Many books out there discuss this.

The concept of whether animals have rights was brought up by someone earlier. I don't believe they have rights the same as a person does but I do believe that all animals have the right to be treated humanely and not to be starved or abused in any way by people. Hand in hand with this is that I don't believe we have the right to use their trust in us resulting from their training to subject them to unneccessary high risks...thus my feelings already posted on this thread. An exception to this would be life and death situation such as Search and Rescue dogs going into rubble to look for survivors or cavalry horses in wars. That's different. We give domesticated animals these rights because of the way our society views animals...particularly companion animals. Many places in the world, animals are not treated very well but if you look at the cultures, people usually aren't treated very well either.

Anyway, sorry for the long speech, but several of the recents posts have gotten me thinking and soul searching...

Kaori was out of line and I think she was refering to Arcadian's post not Earthquake's. JMO.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

Kaori
Aug. 9, 2002, 11:59 AM
if she/he is in fact a legit poster. Truly, truly sorry. I don't want to chase away smart, articulate people from this board. No no no, definately not.

I looked at your registered date and the nature of both your second and first postings and decided you are a troll. Often trolls take a couple forms like that. Besides, you're writing style is very similar to Earthquakes, when he/she decides to be articulate.

I found the post very provacative, but that's obviously just me. Even though I disagree with most of what you said, you did it in a very fine manner. If it wasn't for the registration date, I wouldn't have called you a troll. My sincere apologies if in fact you are legit.

I've read this thread and have really enjoyed it, except for the trolling. But even that has really helped people put their thoughts together and really produce some incredible ideas.

Thanks CoolMeadows for calling me on being out of line. Thanks TLE for giving me the benefit of the doubt. The people here are always great--thanks.

**Spel chekers, hoo neeeds 'em? Alan James Bean**

Kaori
Aug. 9, 2002, 12:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I'm uncomfortable with the declarations that horses "love" eventing or they wouldn't do it. Every jumper is taught early on, they must jump, or be punished. They must learn this lesson for the safety of the rider and themselves. A whack with a stick, a kick with a spur, or a loud shout, this punishment is what they meet with if they decide not to jump. Hopefully, this is taught in a straightforward, compassionate way, and the horse given time over progressively higher jumps to learn how to use itself and jump properly. But that early lesson is always the most important - "horse, you must jump what I point you at, don't think twice about not doing it". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think people use the word "love" because they are trying to describe the enthusiasm that the horses do their job. Eventers/jumpers do enjoy jumping--they approach the jump with their ears pricked and alert. Yes, bad rides happen and sometimes horses get competed a level above where they should--but never for long. That does happen, but I wouldn't confidently say for 97% of the Advanced level horses are quite happy to jump what they are presented.

When you say the horse has to "jump or be punished" I think you are overlooking another very critical aspect of training. In fact, it's the most important aspect--reward. Because the absence of reward is punishment (thanks Savoie!). When my horse jumps, I'm always telling him good boy! Great boy! Awesome! *pat pat pat pat* He know he's awesome. He is without a doubt in mind the best eventer in the world, and I make sure I let him know it. I honestly believe the great jumpers and eventers are systematically and campassionately schooled and are REWARDED for their jumping efforts, and that is what makes them "love" it.

Let me give you a example from a period when I was a working student quite a few years ago. Another student had a horrible attitude about jumping. Hit a rail, knocked it, or had an imperfect distance, she'd be angry. The horse jumped worse and worse through the summer, and then started to chronically refuse. The rider tried on several occasions to get the horse around beginner novice competitions, and the horse refused every jump. Finally, the trainer said quite bluntly during a schooling session. "If my attitude sucked as bad as yours, even my advanced horses wouldn't go for me. You need to give that horse some credit for trying. No wonder he goes so badly, he never hears he does anything right. He doesn't see the point of trying anymore because you are always telling him he is wrong."

Point of the story--schooling isn't about "do it or be punished"... but more like "do it this way and have this reward." Voice and pats act twice as well as reward than they do punishment.

Another point--no way in heck that horse is going to jump around if he doesn't love it! She couldn't get that horse around a 2'6" course--forget about Advanced! And despite her skill--and she was a good rider--that horse wasn't going no matter how much she tried to force him.

Ok.. moving onto next point...


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Even Bruce expressed this philosophy, early on (this is from the old "champions way with horses" tapes he did in the 70's - great viewing if you can get your hands on them) by saying, "the horse must jump, or fall down - it must learn it has no other option". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

First of all, I have no idea if what is quoted is true. I wouldn't be surprised if it is. I've never worked with him, but I've heard rumours that he can be rather "make them or break them" in his approach. I'm sure it's quite false, because a person with an attitude like that can't have as many lovely winners as he has had.

Next point...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Then there are the one's that aren't quite totally comfortable with it, but they do it because good rider's carry a whip and know how to use it and wear spurs and know how to use them too - the horse learns this rider is capable of just & timely punishment, and behaves to avoid receiving any. I believe there's a whole legion of event horses in this category - some need to be driven over one or two fences, some over almost the whole course. The better the rider, the harder it will be for an onlooker to see this "jump or else" attitude in the rider. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd like to know what courses you are watching. Yes this happens, bad riders, horses at levels they aren't ready for.. it's a darned shame. It doesn't last for long, because in situations of brute force like this, the 1000 plus animal always wins. I've gone to Rolex many many times, and I've yet to see "legions" of horses being driven over the fences. Most of the time, it's the riders trying to hold the horse back from the jump with everything they have.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> At worst, I think they are expressing some anxiety in the start box, knowing they may not want to run and jump this course, but they will certainly have to, or be punished. At worst I think if they feel anything at the end of a course, it's relief that it's over.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree, I think the horses are expressing anxiety. Since I've groomed alot, I think it's because they are so fit and they know what they are about to do, they can't wait to get down to it.

The idea that the horse feels "relief that it's all over" makes my stomach churn. That's such a sickening thought to me. If a horse of mine had such an attitude like that, he would be sold to home where he was better fit for the job.

Ok, that was just a brief touching on the my objections to Arcadian's post. I don't have time to write everything I'm thinking.

That's it... for now! *I think*

*edited repeatedly for gross typing errors; sorry folks*

**Spel chekers, hoo neeeds 'em? Alan James Bean**

[This message was edited by Kaori on Aug. 09, 2002 at 02:54 PM.]

[This message was edited by Kaori on Aug. 09, 2002 at 02:56 PM.]

[This message was edited by Kaori on Aug. 09, 2002 at 02:57 PM.]

[This message was edited by Kaori on Aug. 09, 2002 at 03:01 PM.]

poltroon
Aug. 9, 2002, 01:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by xcjumper:

Another biggie is footing. The west coast is notoriously bad for footing, but efforts are being made to fix this problem at the nicer events. I like the idea of adjusting the time if the footing gets unridable like at Rolex this year.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just to clarify - in California the footing problem is that it is generally too hard, not slippery or unsafe. We run on sand/dirt, mostly.

Yes, it's an issue for long term soundness, but not for the same-day injuries we're discussing here.

poltroon
Aug. 9, 2002, 01:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Evalee Hunter:
I would also like to mention a course design change which has been proposed (not by me) which I think might help. This design change is to include an arrowhead fence early in the course (maybe 3rd jump) to encourage horses that aren't confident (& riders who don't have the horse perfectly between the legs) to be eliminated on runouts before they get to the tougher parts of the course. (With an arrowhead the horse has to jump the narrow face with the long sides trailing back so it is a test of confidence & accurate riding).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would love to see the rules changed so that arrowhead fences, and skinny fences, were legal at Training and perhaps even Novice level, so that riders could get experience with them at lower heights. I also think it would improve the standard of riding somewhat.

subk
Aug. 9, 2002, 01:48 PM
Very interesting observations Arcadian--I hope we see more of your well articulated posts.

I certainly see your point on horses jumping because of training that is based on reward and punishment. However, you base your arguement on the concept that a horse knows if he doesn't jump he gets punished.

How then do you explain my upper level horse who I've only used a crop on maybe 2 times ever and 1 of those incidents did not involve a refusal to jump? The first time I wore spurs on XC was his first 3-day and only because my trainer made me. (I'm responsible for his early training as well, so can attest to the consistancy of his willingness.)

Yes, Simon has had a few stops in schooling, but only because of my mistakes and therefor he was not punished. In all honesty, I do not believe in the least that he has any concept that if he were to refuse to jump he would be punished. In fact I feel safer because I beleive he thinks he can stop if he finds himself in an untenable situation. While I realize his extreme willingnes is somewhat unusal among horses in general I don't think that willingness is unusal in upper level horses.

I tend to agree with you that horses probably don't "love" jumping, but I do believe they must get some significant positive satisfaction from the experience.

[This message was edited by subk on Aug. 09, 2002 at 04:18 PM.]

xcjumper
Aug. 9, 2002, 02:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by poltroon:

Just to clarify - in California the footing problem is that it is generally too hard, not slippery or unsafe. We run on sand/dirt, mostly.

Yes, it's an issue for long term soundness, but not for the same-day injuries we're discussing here.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'm sorry Poltroon, I'm going to have to partially disagree with this statement. I spend most of my time eventing in CA. There have been several occasions where the rain at Ram Tap have made the going dangerous to the point I was slipping and sliding around at Training level!

Then there was the problem at Galway where the footing for steeplechase on the track was unbelievably deep and scary to watch people run on at speed and there were several parts of the course that had dangerously deep footing also where riders later in the day had to alter their plan to avoid a possible fall. Add a little rain to this and it would have made a huge potential for falling and flipping problems.

Then there is other events, such as Trojan. You add some rain to the footing (that is usually hard with deep washes) and it is slippery as heck!!!

Now, for the most part the footing is hard I agree and there has been a good effort on the organizers part to fix the above mentioned problems. IMO there is just more that can be done to help the footing issues here and everywhere. That is what I was just trying to point out. I didn't mean to offend a fellow west coast eventer by any means!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

JER
Aug. 9, 2002, 03:29 PM
Following up on Arcadien's BD quote re: 'the horse must jump or fall down' and Kaori's remark about being told BD has a '"make them or break them"' attitude...

In my very limited personal experience with BD, which consists of a couple of clinics, I would say that he does have a 'jump at all costs' training philosophy. I personally do not believe it is safe for a horse to jump out of fear and therefore do not teach my horses this way.

However, Bruce has a right to his beliefs. As a horseman at the upper levels of eventing, he has to find the horses that work for him. Yes, there is a weeding-out process at Chesterland and I'm sure there's a big reject pile. But this is true of most, if not all, professionals. They sell horses on to less competitive homes or to disciplines to which they are better suited. And they compete at the top levels only on horses they believe in and feel comfortable with. Much to his credit, BD has an outstanding record in our sport and he has ridden and trained some wonderful horses that he speaks about with great pride and caring.

That said, I want to relate something I observed at a BD clinic that I think would lead to a very unsafe situation in XC.

There was a 5 yr-old TB in the clinic who REPEATEDLY (at least half a dozen times in an hour or so in a clnic with a big group) knocked his right stifle on the fences (these were showjumps with standards pushed in tight to prevent easy knockdowns). These knocks were hard enough and loud enough to be captured on the audio of a video of the clinic. The knocks started at 3' and continued up to about 4'. My first thought was, "Does that horse not have nerve endings in his stifle?" My second thought was, "Someone's gonna get hurt on that horse someday." Meanwhile, the horse kept jumping, often badly, but he never stopped or hesitated. Nor did he ever use himself any better over the fences. IME, banging a stifle hurts a horse but apprently not this one.

As the session wound down, BD turned to the audience to talk about that horse's ability and breeding. BD bred and trained the horse and sold it to the current owner (who was riding it in the clinic)! I'm not so cynical as to think that BD was praising the horse to butter up the owner who clearly had spend some money on this animal. I really think he thought this was a good horse, in part because he always jumped, from whatever distance and in whatever form.

As for me, I would be afraid to take this horse over anything solid and I certainly would never take him out foxhunting. If he came to me, I'd try to fix the stifle-knocking problem (after his soundness was evaluated) and if the horse ultimately didn't care what body parts hit the fences, I would find him a place in life that did not involve jumping, because someday, the body parts that take the hit will be the rider's.

I want to emphatically say that I am NOT linking this to his accident with High-Scope. I have said before that I believe it was an accident and I'm sure Bruce is grieving for the horse.

But I do want to make the case that, up to a point at least, a certain type of horse CAN be trained to jump out of fear of the consequences of not jumping.

Arcadien
Aug. 9, 2002, 06:19 PM
I even read my post over 3 times or so, trying to remove or smooth down what might be considered inflammatory. I'm not usually the sort that even risks being accused of trolling! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I'm not even sure what trolling really is; my understanding though is it's someone who posts something just meant to rile up the group, and takes pleasure in upsetting people - that is definitely not me! I only sent it because, as I wrote, I really was up that night mulling over it, it is an issue evidently high in importance on my mind, and I had these thoughts and theories that I hadn't seen reflected here yet, and wanted to bounce them off you all.

I struggled a bit with my own morals the last two seasons eventing, as I was asking my best horse to tackle these Prelim courses. It was the highest I'd ever jumped, and she as well - we came up through the levels together. At times when I felt her waver, asking me on the approach to a jump, 'do you really think I can do this?' - at the moment, I "answered" emphatically, yes, you can, go on! with my aids. And she would. In the heat of the moment, seconds count, and indecision on my part helps niether of us. But after, I would think, what if I asked her to go on, and she 'couldn't'? What if she crashed? It tore at me. So several times, I retreated in our training, solidified our basics, schooled Training, Novice, trained with the best... and returned to ask her the questions again. Back at Prelim, she would run few courses confidently, then maybe a certain jump would worry her, I'm not sure what it was, as we never did actually crash. But I'm close enough to her that I would feel her asking me again, "can I really do this?" Not by sucking back, not by trying to refuse, she's too obedient to try that.... it's something very subtle you feel in a horse you're very close too. You've known them confident and assertive under you... you know this is something different. Anyway, when I would get that feeling out on course, I would ride on - "kick on!" is the advice that vibrates through the air at the Prelim trials I've been too. And she would respond, because she's trained to obey me. From back in our baby schools when she stopped at a water and a ditch, and I spanked her with a crop, my sensitive mare learned that she must go on, that I expect her to answer my forward aids or they will be reinforced.

That, I guess, was the gist of what I was trying to get to in my previous post. I know my horse, with all our history together (8 years) and I knew she would try, if I asked, even if she wasn't sure. I wondered how many other horses are like that, and then I had to think it was a lot of them - they would all try, if asked - that's the first lesson they are taught under a rider, to go forward from light aids, or the light aid will be reinforced. That was what kept me up at night - how much do I have a right to ask? Where is my comfort level in asking her to do something, when I know she can possibly get hurt?

I only just found your bulletin boards a week ago, silly me for taking that long to find out they were here. I just don't have as much time to be on the internet as much as I'd like to! But as soon as I found this group, I searched your archives and felt I'd found a good group of people - people I can bounce these ideas and concerns of mine off of, and get experienced, thoughtful responses from fellow eventers. I feel like I know a lot of you, and maybe I do - I've been on Eventers-L forever! I'm sure I've warmed up beside those of you who compete in Area II. Those of you from the eventers-list know me as Sheri, and my Prelim mare is "Princess Fireheart" or Bonnie. I should've disclosed earlier, then maybe I wouldn't have been accused of being a troll! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif But you're totally forgiven, I don't blame you at all - heck, you don't get as old and battle worn as I am without developing a thick skin, lol. I understand how easily people can be misinterpreted on a forum like this. But I truly meant no harm, I am a serious eventer of 8 years, and mean to continue. Its just that I have to continue to think and seek to understand our sport and its inherant risks so I can decide my own comfort level. Incidents like Bruce's on HS always make me think deeper and want to get in touch with my fellow eventers on what they are thinking too.

Anyway, to continue "decloaking" myself, the name I chose, "Arcadien", is from the name of my small farm in Hammonton, NJ, named "Arcadia", where I keep my own eventers and teach a few lessons, as well as take in OTTB's for reschooling. I work mornings on the track (currenly Del Pk, soon to be Phila Pk) as an exercise rider. My full name is Sherrill Keith (nickname, Sheri).

That's the true me, and thank you to those of you who welcomed me here! I'm glad I found you (finally) /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Sheri, aka "Arcadien"

Sannois
Aug. 9, 2002, 07:01 PM
I cant help but wonder how many pages this will take up before it is finally over?? And what will we have acomplished. I personally thought Arcadian was no more Troll like than me. Heck How can I be a troll no one ever responds to me. But I have to say she was so very close to the truth in her observations. And I think this really goes so much deeper than just eventing, but the nature of owning and riding a horse for a long time. My husband says to me hey you haven't ridden in a few day, Truman will miss you! I really dont believe horses have any of the emotions that we delight in giving them, and I have been guilty of it to. Dont get me wrong, I'm the biggest sap when it comes to these beasts, But I do believe they do the things for us not out of love but out of the reward and punishment system that we teach. Jump the jump, a pat a praise, dont jump, a swat a spur or a stern voice. So I have to say arcadian was right on for me! I would say if any horse really loves there job it would be a race horse, Horses by nature are runners not jumpers. And to answer the original question, is eventing safe? Personally I never think about it! and thats the truth. I marvel at the upper level riders and there horses, and am in awe of the power and speed. I will most likely never get beyond training level, which is fine for me. My guy is getting up there! But my personal opinion is that if you have to ask is anything safe.. then you probably shouldn't be doing it, it will compromise your proformance. I was a skydiver for several years, my husband still is, and that question never crossed my mind. you respect the sport you dont fear it! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

Ridge Runner
Aug. 9, 2002, 07:19 PM
Welcome Sheri/Arcadian,

Nice to have you here on the board with us. For the most part we get along...this thread is the most heated I've seen since I started posting here a few months ago. Just a newbie too I guess.

A lot of what your original post said rang true with me as well. I too have been asking myself the same questions. Either way, don't use this thread to judge the folks here as tempers have worn a bit thin at times, and I think we've all been upset and grieving over the loss of a fine horse in our sport.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

EventerAJ
Aug. 9, 2002, 07:23 PM
Your previous post was very thought provoking. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but I can definitely see your point of view.

I moved up to prelim this year and have met new challenges. But I feel these new challenges were well within my and my horse's capabilities. In my limited experience, I have yet to come across a "dangerous" prelim course... though ANY course is potentially fatal. I realize this. But I have faith in my skills and I trust my horse that he will do his best to keep us safe, while having fun!

When I was trying my horse, he was a barrel racer. His only jumping experience was being "free jumped" (haphazardly chased) over whatever was around a western barn (barrels, pole-bending poles... /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif ) I took him over a few low jumps, and schooled some easy BN fences. He did them all willingly enough. This wasn't enough for me though... was he jumping XC because I *asked* him to, or did he really like it? If he only jumped because I ask him to, well what if one day he decides that he won't respond to my request? What if he just doesn't feel like listening to me? Then I don't have an event horse.

A few weeks after that mini-schooling, we went out and did some "real" XC (Mostly BN, but maybe a Novice fence or two). That day I decided to buy him- he was having a blast! (and no, to that point I had never punished him for stopping...he'd never actually stopped with me at that point). His ears prick forward and he gets an eager stride when we come to a jump; I interpret this as enjoyment.

I've also been thinking about the argument of "Well if horses like jumping so much, why don't they jump out of paddocks?" My horse really *respects* boundaries. Many horses on the farm here walk right thru/under the (usually unelectrified) electric tape fence. Mack does not do this; one wimpy string is enough to prevent him from joining his buddies on the other side. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

~AJ~
"Got no excuses for the things that we've done; we were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly young." K.C.

xcjumper
Aug. 9, 2002, 08:51 PM
Well, there you have it! I burned my d@mned dinner AGAIN. I keep reading and forget what I'm doing.

Sannois-I love what you said "you respect the sport, not fear it"!! Well said /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif And, can be applied to any sport that has an element of danger!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

xcjumper
Aug. 9, 2002, 08:52 PM
And welcome Sheri!!!!

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

tle
Aug. 9, 2002, 08:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Arcadien:

I've been on Eventers-L forever! I'm sure I've warmed up beside those of you who compete in Area II. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or competed WITH some of us ... say, at ATC in Virginia. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Hi Sheri!!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That was what kept me up at night - how much do I have a right to ask? Where is my comfort level in asking her to do something, when I know she can possibly get hurt?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My only thought here is Good For You!! Actually this is something that all eventers should do. If you're not confident at the level or competition you're about to do, then you shouldn't do it. This is something that every human should do when engaging in any kind of (relatively) dangerous endeavor. It's called having a sense of self-preservation. This is something that you find most horses have as well... at least those that *I* want to ride. Anyone who doesn't have or ignores their sense of self-preservation tend to end up as Darwin Award winners. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Sannois
Aug. 9, 2002, 09:03 PM
Its not having a fear of the sport its having respect for the sport. Hey is it too late to join the invisible posters clique??? /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

xcjumper
Aug. 9, 2002, 09:15 PM
You can not join "invisible posters clique" because I saw it AND responded to it!! Maybe I need to join the Clique instead of you /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~Run fast, Jump high. What else is there?~

Sannois
Aug. 9, 2002, 10:48 PM
OK well then how about the BBers who need glasses clique??? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

GotSpots
Aug. 12, 2002, 07:22 AM
I hate to be the one to bring this back to the original subject, but I'm afraid that the events at Young Riders this weekend will engender another wave of discussion. As some of you know, one of the two star horses, about halfway through the cross-country course, broke his shoulder after landing badly off of a table. My understanding is that due to the severity of the break, the horse was humanely euthanized that afternoon at a local veterinary clinic. The rider was in a sling on Sunday and understandably devastated.

I post this, not to flame up further animosity towards the sport, but to encourage all of us who care about and believe in eventing to reassess our responsibilities towards our horses and our sport. I do not believe that we can, or should, hide this under a carpet or pretend that it didn't happen. I believe that the proper response, which may, in fact, be happening now, is to investigate the cause of the accident, review videotape (I know the videographers were taping that jump), and attempt to determine what happened.

My condolences to the rider, family, and the horse's caretakers.

Badger
Aug. 12, 2002, 07:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GotSpots:

I post this, not to flame up further animosity towards the sport, but to encourage all of us who care about and believe in eventing to reassess our responsibilities towards our horses and our sport. I do not believe that we can, or should, hide this under a carpet or pretend that it didn't happen. I believe that the proper response, which may, in fact, be happening now, is to investigate the cause of the accident, review videotape (I know the videographers were taping that jump), and attempt to determine what happened.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very well put, GotSpots. This brings the count to 5 Intermediate or Advanced horses to die on x-c courses in the US in five months. We need to make this sport less risky to our equine partners.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

tle
Aug. 12, 2002, 08:32 AM
But Badger, is this death *really* related to eventing in the same way as the others? The other recent deaths were caused because of the fences, either flipping or running into... correct? This one was similar to Bermuda's Gold (at least it sounds like it) back at the Sydney Olympics... some kind of wrong landing or even physiological issue going on that caused the pressure of landing to shatter the bone.

As tragic as it is (and my heart goes out to all involved), when these fences are less than 4', can one *really* point the finger at eventing for a loss such as this?

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

samie
Aug. 12, 2002, 08:35 AM
I have been thinking alot of this latley as I am just now getting into it. I am doing it for the fun of it not the pompetition of , though I love to compete. I do believe that the risk go up as you move up . I believe that BN through T are ment to be very inviting fences with out extensive challenge to them .
However I have seen a pony flip in a low hunter class due to a mis step . sure the risk of death or injury is lower. I myself broke my tail bone doing hunters. At least in eventing we wear protection to help reduce injury.
I don't see myself going above training , and would be satisfied just doing novice. but who knows I once said I wouldn't see myself jumping over 3 feet and that changed as I got better.

Happy riding

Ride your horse calm , strait and forward. - Walter Zettl

LAZ
Aug. 12, 2002, 08:49 AM
Do you know which fence the horse landed badly off of? I was in the process of cooling out our horse when the hold occurred & I didn't hear any of the details. There was a oxery kind of big drop on the course that I thought was very punishing to the horses on landing--was that where it happened?

austin
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:17 AM
??? What rider, what horse?

Ridge Runner
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
But Badger, is this death *really* related to eventing in the same way as the others? The other recent deaths were caused because of the fences, either flipping or running into... correct? This one was similar to Bermuda's Gold (at least it sounds like it) back at the Sydney Olympics... some kind of wrong landing or even physiological issue going on that caused the pressure of landing to shatter the bone.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Does it really matter if he landed badly or flipped in order to be eventing related? The horse died in eventing competition, in particular, in the upper levels regardless of how it happened. If you told me he fell over dead from a heart attack or tripped in the middle of a field than I would say "freak accident." If a fence was involved in any way such as a "bad landing" which can be anything from falling or slipping or twisting on landing after hitting the fence, whatever, then I say that it's another fatality related to the inherent danger of jumping large, solid, unforgiving fences.

I hate to imagine the uproar when folks find out that yet another horse has died.

GotSpots has the right attitude...we need to find out what happened and regroup and reassess our responsibilties to our horses. We haven't even had the WEG yet or any of the big fall events and we've lost five horses so far.

My condolences as well to the owners. What a shame.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:35 AM
I think GotSpots pretty much put into words what I have been thinking about all of this throughout these 11 pages, but in response to this question...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Does it really matter if he landed badly or flipped in order to be eventing related? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
My answer would be: yes, it does matter. If he simply landed badly, then it would not have been an injury only sustained on a ** Cross-Country course. A horse could land badly in the Regular Working Hunters where the fences are 4' as well. I agree that the accident needs to be studied and see what really happened. But just b/c it happened during an event, doesn't make the sport of eventing to blame for the accident.

tle
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:45 AM
Daydream, I hope you in no way think that I don't firmly stand behind GotSpots in that we need to look at the tape and assess what happened?!! I hope you don't htink I'm trying to sweep this under the rug!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif that is NOT my intention.

However, I do disagree that an issue like this is a "problem" with eventing. Somersaulting over fences.. yeah, but landing? Nope. That is a "problem" inherent with JUMPING period. Unfortunate (especially for us who still *believe* in Eventing) that it happened at an event and will add fuel to the fire for "anti's", but I do not believe it should automatically be lumped in with the same issue as High Scope and Titleist's accidents. not... repeat NOT saying that it shouldn't be looked at and if things can be improved, then it should be done. I would also argue for an autopsy to be done to make sure the shoulder wasn't under any kind of pre-existing condition... that that particular jump wasn't simply "the straw that broke the camel's back", so to speak.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Badger
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:59 AM
We need a lot more information before dismissing the latest death as something that could happen at any jump. With the sort of drops involved in Intermediate courses, a hairline fracture could weaken the horse at a drop and have devastating consequences at the next fence.

In my book it is ANOTHER equine fatality on x-c and more needs to be done to understand what is happening and how it could be prevented.

How many of you go to a big event like a 3-day are relieved when there are no bad crashes or deaths to horse and rider? It is becoming common among my eventer friends to say: "we went to xxx and had a great time, the course was a blast, and luckily no horses got badly hurt" or "luckily no one died." You just don't have that at h/j or dressage shows because the occurence is so much less.

For the people who argue that eventing is as safe as other sports, we have had 5 horses die on x-c in five months. Can you name 5 eventers EVER that died in dressage or stadium? X-C is more dangerous than other sports, we are taking and educated risk with ourselves and our horses when we point them at solid obstacles, and the bigger and tougher the obstacle the great the risk. People can make informed decisions about how much risk they are willing to subject themselves to, and they are making the same decisions for their horses. I do believe that eventers feel the risk they take themselves is no more than the risk they ask their horse to share, and that the people believe the risk worth taking. But I also believe the horses can't evaluate the risk and we as riders are responsible as a group to mimimize the consequences to the horses.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 10:00 AM
it was not just a "bad landing." the horse failed to clear fence #13, a picnic table, and flipped over. the horse suffered multiple fractures in his left shoulder joint and was euthanized, though not immediately.

i am sure that the fall is being looked into as to what the cause was and if its something that could have been avoided.

GotSpots
Aug. 12, 2002, 10:22 AM
It was fence 13, a big table in the middle of a long gallop. There was no discernable drop that I saw when I walked past the course earlier in the day. The jump came after the water complex and before they went up a hill and around to a brush bounce. I have to say that the fence looked inviting, well-designed, and without any substantial technical component. The sun was not particularly low, and there were not (to my eye) shadows anywhere near the fence. The left-hand side of the fence was on the one star course, and I saw many horses jump it without question.

I know that USEventhorse says the horse flipped, but immediately afterwards the horse was lying on the ground on the backside of the fence. The horse appeared to be lying as though he had landed and kept going down, and another spectator told me that that is what she believed happened (sheer hearsay, though possibly a contemporary sense impression or excited utterance). I suspect that we won't know more until the videotape is reviewed.

JDufort
Aug. 12, 2002, 10:45 AM
Last night I spoke with someone who witnessed the fall at NAYRC. She's an experienced horsewoman. She watched the horse through several fences before the table, and was of the opinion that the horse was game, but tired. She felt that the horse simply could not get her legs up over the table. As a result, the horse landed on her shoulder coming over the table.

Ridge Runner
Aug. 12, 2002, 11:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MKM:
it was not just a "bad landing." the horse failed to clear fence #13, a picnic table, and flipped over. the horse suffered multiple fractures in his left shoulder joint and was euthanized, though not immediately.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In this case, than the original report of a "bad landing" was an understatement. I guess this does put this horse in the same category as the others.

"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence

austin
Aug. 12, 2002, 11:59 AM
I'm going to.

I love eventing, but I love horses more.

tle
Aug. 12, 2002, 12:25 PM
To say what?? That they investigate? They are. That they work to solve the problems... they are. Exactly what are you going to say?

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 12:43 PM
I agree with TLE. I'm not going to discourage you from writing the USEA. I work in close conjunction with many senate and congressional offices and the best way to get things done truly is to write your senator or congressman. Every letter is truly read (at least at the offices i work closely with) and your voice really is heard. So, yes, write them, maybe they will listen, particularly if you have some genius idea that they haven't thought of yet.

HOWEVER, I guarantee you that they are investigating and trying to do something. The big people in eventing are not just sitting aside "letting" these things happen and not doing anything about it hoping that these accidents will stop happening or saying that it is "all a part of the sport." I am by no means in the "inner circle" of eventing, so I don't KNOW exactly what they're doing, but I'm sure they're doing all that can be done at the moment without cancelling all events above prelim.

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 12, 2002, 12:55 PM
Austin, I'm following in your footsteps, but I also think we should all write to our Congressmen/women/Senators, who are woefully unaware of the problem. State lawmakers, too.

Badger----that's wonderfully honest and candid of you and the horses would love it if all eventers would be as open and honest, instead of trying to minimize the dangers.
Cheers to all!

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:06 PM
I was NOT suggesting that you write senators and congressmen about this. I think right now that we need to leave the situation in the hands of knowledgeable horsemen and women. They care for the safety and well-being of the horse as much, if not more, than your average politician. Politicians will not know the correct way to go about solving this problem as they have no knowledge of the sport, and, in my opinion, have other things they need to be worrying about (defending our country, education, poverty, and so on). The BEST thing that I can imagine that they would possibly do would be to establish a committee to review the sport and reccommend changes. And in a best-case scenario, the people on that committee would be the people that are already involved and studying the incedents. So, honestly, it would be getting politicians involved for no-reason at all, other than to give it publicity. And while I don't think we need to "hide" what's happening, we don't need to let the world know, as that would cause PETA and other animal rights groups to jump on it and before you know it, eventing will no longer exist.

Don't get people involved who are not going to be of help to the situation.

JAGold
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
Austin, I'm following in your footsteps, but I also think we should all write to our Congressmen/women/Senators, who are woefully unaware of the problem. State lawmakers, too.

Badger----that's wonderfully honest and candid of you and the horses would love it if all eventers would be as open and honest, instead of trying to minimize the dangers.
Cheers to all!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Earthquake, I know you've made a habit of ignoring my posts (though reviewing them, yet again, I see no legitimate reason for this, beyond your right to reply or not reply to whomever you choose). However, I hope that you are not implying that eventers besides Badger try to "minimize the dangers" of our sport. I try to minimize the dangers in the sense that I get the best instruction I can, I make sure my horses are sound, well schooled, and properly prepared and conditioned for the tasks I ask of them, and I wear proper safety equiptment every time I ride. I do not try to ignore or belittle the dangers. I am well aware, as I walk a course, sit on my horse in a start box listening to the starter count down, or give a rider a leg up in the 10-minute box at a major three-day event, of the dangers. Since you don't participate in the sport of eventing yourself, I don't think you realize that we who do compete must face these dangers personally, and come to terms with them individually. I think I speak for many of us on this count.

Also, do I understand correctly that you are encouraging horse people to write to politicians who likely know very little about equestrian sports in general, in order to ask said politicians to take action on an issue that the equestrian community is currently addressing, very seriously, internally? I have a huge amount of possibly misplaced faith in the American government. I work very closely with the federal government in my position at a think-tank in DC. I see absolutely no role for the government in this situation, and am frankly offended and irritated that you, a fellow equestrian, seek to undermine a sport in which you do not participate, in such a manner. My only consolation is that with the plethora of economic, security, and budgetary issues facing Congress in this election year, they are likely to pay such letters as you may send very little attention. --Jess

Badger
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:10 PM
I DON'T think we should be writing to senators and congressment and state lawmakers. I think the people who love eventing and are familiar with the sport should be talking and brainstorming as we are doing here, and that our governing bodies should be making changes (as they have been doing with changes to the course speeds and collapsible fences) and we should be responsibly policing ourselves and improving the sport we love ourselves, NOT bringing in legistlation. Change can and should come from within and we are capable of doing so without bringing in outside legistlation. The first step is looking an issue in the eye (and as was said, not sweeping it under the carpet), deciding whether or not there is a problem (as this thread is sorting out), and coming up with solutions.

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:20 PM
MKM---I know that's not what you said, and didn't attribute the suggestion to you.
jaGold---I haven't been purposefully ignoring you but I didn't think you wanted an individualized response to each message.
As to not bringing in outsiders to resolve the problem, I have a hard time believing the "special interests" who control the sport will do a thorough job of ending unnecessary horse deaths. After all, "change" has been attempted for years now, and Bruce Davidson's horse (the one whose death was the genesis of this thread) was put down less than two weeks ago. As long as those who have an economic incentive to make the sport difficult continue to have that economic interest, money will prevail (to wit, Enron, Global Crossing, MCI Worldcom, etc.) I hate cliches but the cliche, "fox guarding the henhouse" comes to mind here. Prove me wrong and I'm happy to listen.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:24 PM
Describe this
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> economic incentive to make the sport difficult <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I'm curious as to what exactly you mean by that.

JER
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:27 PM
earthquake -- please explain what you mean when you refer to 'those who have an economic incentive to make eventing difficult'?

Who would have an economic incentive to make eventing difficult?

Could you please elaborate on this 'economic incentive'?

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:28 PM
view the sport, televise it, etc. Why do you think people watch death-defying sports. Not because they're safe.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

tle
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:30 PM
earthquake... like JaGold, I know you've been selectively ignoring my posts. That's fine. Whatever. But I have to ask you something based on your last post and I hope to get an answer.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As long as those who have an economic incentive to make the sport difficult continue to have that economic interest, money will prevail (to wit, Enron, Global Crossing, MCI Worldcom, etc.) I hate cliches but the cliche, "fox guarding the henhouse" comes to mind here. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't understand your logic. Exactly why is there incentive to make courses more difficult? Who is doing this? Where is the money in this sport as relative to said "incentive"? How does that fit with the ongoing research for safety improvement? Can you explain why you think Eventing is so "corrupt"? Please explain why, as someone who has never evented before, you seem so intent on making those who have been in teh sport for 30 or more years out to be the bad guys and why you think they are doing such a horrible job? Do you have the facts/figures to back up your assumptions (and in fact, IMHO, borderline slanderous comments)?

I really want to know. I disagree with quite a few posts on this thread... for anyone who has read it, that's no mystery. But some of your statements, I really have taken offense to. I would like to understand your position, but the comments seem to keep coming with no mention of the "whys" involved in making such determinations/accusation.

You'll probably end up ignoring this post too, but I had to try. I am really asking this in a very civil tone of voice and demeanor. I would appreciate an appropriate response.

Thank you.

Oh... one more thing...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Prove me wrong and I'm happy to listen.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In this country, aren't people innocent until proven guilty? Again, please let me know how you came to such a conclusion, as well as the facts/figures to back it up and I will be the first to stand in line to volunteer for the firing squad.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

tle
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>view the sport, televise it, etc. Why do you think people watch death-defying sports. Not because they're safe.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So all the economic backing for programs such as Young Riders, Adult Riders, the new Course Designer Licensing Program, the Course Advisor's Program, the new Instructor Certification Program, Developing Rider sessions, as well as backing for things at the local levels like the Eventing 101 clinic I've given for the past 2 years, etc... the incentive for programs such as these, given your logic, would be.... ???? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

GotSpots
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:34 PM
Earthquake, if you only knew how little profit there is in eventing! There is precious little television, most events are free to all spectators (when there are any beyond families and friends), and there is hardly any prize money available.

I know a number of people at the top level of this sport (coaches, course designers, judges, competitors) and have discussed these issues with them. I can guarantee you that none of them, not one, has any interest in putting horses in danger for financial benefit, or sees economic profit stemming from such an effort.

JAGold
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:38 PM
To add to TLE's and GotSpots's posts, what little profit margin there is in eventing is at the lower levels! Simply, it is less expensive to run a novice or training horse trials than a prelim, intermediate, or advanced horse trials. Also, there are far more lower-level riders than upper level riders. In fact, economics are frequently blamed for the "dumbing down" of the sport -- making courses less demanding and dressage tests easier so that more can participate! Making a course, a whole level, or the sport in general harder reduces participants and increases costs. --Jess

JER
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:41 PM
earthquake writes:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That would include attracting more people to participate,

view the sport, televise it, etc. Why do you think people watch death-defying sports. Not because they're safe.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Can you substantiate the above claims with FACTS?

And please tell me: why do people watch death-defying sports?

Once again, I'd like to see some facts and statistics, not simply a restatement of your opinion. But you should know that already, seeing as you have 3 Ivy League degrees.

MKM
Aug. 12, 2002, 01:45 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> view the sport, televise it, etc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I honestly don't even know what to say to that.
I don't know what horse crowd you've been hanging with, but I can tell you that money is NOT much of a motivating factor in the eventing world. And making the sport more dangerous is not going to make it any more appealing on television. Grand Prix jumping is the only equestrian sport that's consistently on TV, and it's not more dangerous than eventing.

Where on earth are you getting these ideas?

subk
Aug. 12, 2002, 02:32 PM
Oh For Crying Out Loud! Earthquake, bless your heart--and I mean that in the true Southern tradition--you need to get a life.

There are others things in this world that you obviously know more about in which your informed opinions could actually be helpful in affecting the lives of others. Go find them.

The perceived problems in eventing WILL NOT be solved by people ignorant of the issues spewing their misinformation in public forums.

I for one am tired of your insults.

I know, I know, do NOT feed the trolls, do NOT feed the trolls, do NOT feed the trolls...

Pixie Dust
Aug. 12, 2002, 03:46 PM
this thread is going round and round in circles. Most of the comments seem to be based on perceptions rather than facts.

I was thinking about who would be most interested in collecting data on horse mortality and that would be the insurance companies. There is a good reason that my auto insurance costs less then a 16 year old boy's!!

Are event horses more expensive to insure than other sport horses (of the same level)? Are their rates based on risk determined by real data? Do the insurance companies have any data they can share regarding horse deaths and horse health issues?

What's wrong with sexy??

JenL
Aug. 12, 2002, 05:19 PM
Alright I'm a lil' confused. O.K. We are talking about accidents in eventing and how to make the "courses" safer for the riders. Did we ever stop to consider, that maybe we need to take a look at our *riders* before jumping to immediete conclusions that the sport itself is what is dangerous and needs to be changed. ( I am definitely not saying the those who had the accidents are to blame, I am simply saying we should evaluate the situation and circumstances.)

Just a lil common sense, if the majority of riders are navigating the fence/question without difficulty, then A: It was a total freak accident which we cannot control at all anyway, or B: something occurred in between the horse and rider to possibly cause the accident or C: Im just full of sh*t and don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

So If they're freak accidents then there is nothing we can really do. hmm. I know it seems kinda harsh, but many things have already been done to make our sport safer. Sooo, I think we should evaluate the horse and rider combinations that the accident occurred to and the circumstances under which they occurred instead of immedietly accusing our sport of being unsafe.

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear's path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
Dune

JAM
Aug. 12, 2002, 06:07 PM
I've been concerned about this issue for the last three or so years, when there were also several horse and rider fatalities in a relatively short period of time. There are a few particularly troublesome aspects to the recent events:

1) The incidents 2-3 years ago were geographically spread out. Some were here, some in Europe, and one or two in Australia. The recent tragedies have all been here. At least I haven't heard of any fatalities abroad this year. If this is true, why are the tragedies only occurring in the U.S.? I don't know the answer, but if this observation is true, then maybe there IS some difference in the fences, the riders or the conditions that is leading
to more tragedies here.

2) It also seems, though I haven't done the analysis, that more of the incidents are taking place at intermediate or prelim rather than advanced. I know there have been isolated incidents in the past of deadly accidents at
prelim, but it seems that more of the recent tragedies are taking place at "lower" levels. IF this is true, it is a bad trend and it would be worth examining why it is so.

3) What was the weather like at NAYRC? Was it really hot and humid? I ask this because of the indication in one of the previous posts that the horse in question was tired by fence 13. Note that Bruce Davidson's recent accident was apparently on a really hot day, as were all the accidents at last year's Over The Walls Horse Trials. Perhaps some sort of consistent program needs to be put in place to deal with hot, humid weather, which seems to be more a U.S. than European issue. Lower the optimum speed by x meters/minute when the heat plus humidity index is y over 150? Have misting fans at all intermediate and advanced events held during the summer months? Rearrange the schedule so that there are fewer upper level events in the middle of summer? Again, I don't know, but it appears that something should be done.

4) I think the USEA needs to do a much better job than it has so far in communicating exactly what and how much it has been doing in the safety area. Many posters here say that the USEA is doing a lot in this area, but specifics seem harder to come by and, in any event, whatever has been done so far seems to be nibbling around the edges; it doesn't seem to have had a tangible effect, so far at any rate. But I do think that the "anti-eventing" sentiment that has surfaced could be defused or at least partially mollified if people had comfort that the USEA is REALLY doing something, walking the walk and not just talking the talk.

Sannois
Aug. 12, 2002, 07:53 PM
And dont tell me its your love of horses. Why are you trying so hard to regulate us right out of this sport?? Congressman, Senators?? I SWEAR I smell PETA /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

"Those who would give up
essential Liberty, to
purchase a little temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin
Franklin, 1755
Founding member of The Fossils over Fences Clique!

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 12, 2002, 08:31 PM
re: gays, so you clearly need to be more circumspect. How come y'all get so defensive about someone performing a perfectly legal and constitutionally protected activity? Why are you so closed-minded and convinced there's only one side to this story??? I've never seen a more improperly righteous crowd.
Badger said earlier there's "relief" in the upper level event crowd when an event is completed and no horse dies. Most people in h/j see upper-level eventers as thrill seekers (I didn't make that up.) It's fine if you want to do something dangerous and injure or kill yourself. People are allowed to believe that it's not OK if you injure or kill an animal along with you. Horses are not machines.
If you didn't have something to hide, you wouldn't hit the skids at the mere suggestion of contacting lawmakers (think about it!!!!!) The more y'all get upset, the more you make the public (and the public's reading this BB, believe me) think you "doth protest too much."

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

Albion
Aug. 12, 2002, 09:51 PM
I do hesitate on the idea that Congress & the Senate need to get involved.

I mean, they're just taking on the whole approved helmet thing & people who have been involved in testing, writing standards, etc. DON'T think it's a great idea. I can't find the actual COTH synopsis, but here's a post by Erin on the subject (full text of synopsis is in there, I believe) Helmets & Congress (http://chronofhorse.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=691099205&f=1970907951&m=4273011246) If they can't even get a rule for HELMETS right, something that the horse industry has been working on for YEARS, how do you expect them to regulate an entire sport?

In any case, I think everyone has made it perfectly clear that something needs to be changed. Frankly, I don't think that the best people to initiate change are the congressman & senators who, for all you know, have never sat on a horse in their life. YES, we all know things have GOT to change. Do you really think the USEA is going to turn a blind eye to this?

And if people DO start writing to their congressmen & senators, I hope they'll take on ALL aspects of horse sports, not just eventing. If you want a great example of intentional cruelty to horses, don't look at eventers, go to one of the "big lick" Tennesee Walking Horse barns. Frankly, I think not being able to be turned out due to the "stacks", the caustic liquids painted on the coronet bands, the chains, etc etc etc is a hell of a lot more cruel than a XC course.

And while we're at it, why don't they just regulate ALL sports? After all, there's plenty of horrible things that go on in, say, gymnastics & figure skating at the *elite* levels. Ever read "Little Girls In Pretty Boxes"? It's an eye-opener.

-Albion

LAZ
Aug. 12, 2002, 10:18 PM
The ** horses ran first on Saturday, and it was not all that hot at the time the Argentinian horse went. We were still in the vet box cooling out so it was before 10 AM. I'd guess it was about 80 degrees, the humidity hadn't picked up yet.

The NAYRC crew did a wonderful job providing supplies to get the horses cooled off and ready for D. They had enormous quantities of ice available (from 7:30 AM until 11 PM) and large misting fans set up in the shade to walk the horses by. Many of the horses came in early from C as the time allowed was very generous, giving valuable extra minutes to get the T/P/R down. I know our horse came down to a temp of 100.4 and pulse of 40 before he went out on D.

I can't imagine weather was all that much a factor, although the ground was hard due to the lack of rain. It's hard to much about lack of rainfall.

Earthquake--I think you're trolling and being extremely unctuous here. Those of us that love eventing and have been doing it for a while are well aware of the risks inherent to the sport. There have been many changes evolve over the past 20 years to make the sport safer and, at the same time, preserve the flavor of the intial test. It has been stated many times throughout this thread that we, as members of the eventing fraternity, are concerned with the rash of fatalites and injuries that have occurred to our fellow eventers and to our horses. I have seen more changes with safety in mind in the eventing fraternity that I have in any of the other disciplines, and the very good news is that no one still considers the evolution to be complete.

If you want to talk about risky propositions with horses, let's look at breeding. I have personally seen more mares die in foaling than in any sort of mounted activity. I don't see anyone saying we should ban the procreation of horses due to the risk to broodmares...

bigdreamer
Aug. 12, 2002, 11:00 PM
sh*t happens. 5 in 2 days- racing (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sport/705790.stm)
barn fire (http://www.freep.com/news/locway/dbarn17_20020417.htm)
horse racing kills (http://www.animalaid.org.uk/news/2002/0203stat.htm)
people kill their own f*ckin horses for $$ (http://cbc.ca/cgi-bin/newsworld/viewer.cgi?FILE=SJ20020627.html&TEMPLATE=sports.ssi&SC=SJ)
trailers/campers kill more (http://www.northernhorsereview.com/readers/questions/question14a.html)

steeplchasing kills (http://www.animalsaustralia.org/facts/jumpsrace.htm)
girl dies while riding in pasture (http://www.law.utexas.edu/dawson/cases/car/oct98ns1.htm)even paranormal things are killing our horses... ehhh it was catapillar poop! (http://www.cosmiverse.com/paranormal05140101.html)

so here we go- some EVENTING RELATED news. (http://www.efavic.com.au/pages/media/010423.html) but i can't find the "follow up"

I searched and searched for "horse deaths"+eventing, and came up with 1 site. I searched 6 different search engines. Everything was about WNV, or horse racing, or dumb things where random horses dying. If you take "statistics" from that... what does that say? Eventing deaths of horses are not common- not nearly as common as other day-to-day things.

here's a site on the "new" XC jumps (http://www.equestrian.co.uk/eventing/130300-01.htm)
and one about making safer courses (http://www.clipclop.com/info/featuresreviews/featuredarticles/safercrosscountryjump_p1.shtml)
and another (http://cortaflx.horsecity.com/stories/062701/eve_crosscountry_ABM.shtml)

need i look up more???
eventing causes many LESS deaths then racing. I read acticles about people in the hunter world that died b/c of dumb things -i.e. forgetting to tighten their girth due to riding many horses and not checking. Things are being done to make it safer for horse and rider. What else do you want us to do? honestly, tell me. You want us to stop eventing? You want us to get rid of all XC courses??? please, i am interested.
Go search for horse deaths on-line, go look for articles... and when you find them, prove to me that eventing is horrible. O ya, and while your looking it up, look at the other articles about how horses die from diseases, poor treament, etc. etc. which is more painful then dying eventing. Then go look up safer XC jumps, and find out what they are doing about those... and how in general eventing is being made safer.
~laura~

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own~*~ clique, ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

Theres something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes u feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need~ W. Faulkner

BarbB
Aug. 12, 2002, 11:05 PM
This seems like a good place to list a little information about the animal rights movement.

1. PETA and HSUS have very active, well funded lobbyists on both the local and national level and involved in nearly any sort of legislation, zoning etc. The more radical groups, such as ALF do also, but not openly.

2. The public tactic to gain support for the movement is to create an "us" vs. "them" mentality.
"US" are single pet owners, if the animal is a rescue then we are really good people.
"THEM" are people who raise, breed and/or show any animals, because in order to do any of these things you must be very unfeeling toward animals and have no regard for their welfare.

3. The behind-the-scenes tactic to control animal owners is the constant bombardment of any and all political entities with a non-stop barrage of "information" about the abuse of animals and the support that can be gained with the voters by taking on a humane cause.

Not that any of this has anything to do with anything. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Just random trivia.

BarbB
ps
what is that saying of Erin's?....DO NOT FEED......what was it???? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

...virtue shall be bound into the hair of thy forelock... I have given thee the power of flight without wings. - The Koran

BarbB
Aug. 13, 2002, 06:53 AM
when you are confronted by an animal rights activist it is NOT a good idea to attempt to defend your sport by giving them ammunition to use against other sports.
They don't care which sport they take down FIRST -they will get around to all of us eventually. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

(BTW, this is why dog show people work hard to stop ANY breed specific anti-dog legislation, no matter which breed - they will target yours sooner or later /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif )

BarbB
charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

...virtue shall be bound into the hair of thy forelock... I have given thee the power of flight without wings. - The Koran

tle
Aug. 13, 2002, 07:35 AM
earthquake... thanks for answering my questions. i really appreciate it.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 13, 2002, 07:48 AM
and if you wish to continue to make a fool of yourself in public, that's your right, but I'm no kind of "animal rights activist." I do not belong to PETA nor have I ever attended an animal rights march, nor gotten involved with animal rights activists in any way. Your continued use of the term makes me believe how anti-animal you are, that you would slur a normal person who just loves horses and doesn't want to see them needlessly injured or killed by calling them an "animal rights activist."

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

tle
Aug. 13, 2002, 07:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by earthquake:
and if you wish to continue to make a fool of yourself in public, that's your right, but I'm no kind of "animal rights activist." I do not belong to PETA nor have I ever attended an animal rights march, nor gotten involved with animal rights activists in any way. Your continued use of the term makes me believe how anti-animal you are, that you would slur a normal person who just loves horses and doesn't want to see them needlessly injured or killed by calling them an "animal rights activist."

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMG!!! Isn't that EXACTLY what *YOU'RE* doing?? Sluring normal people (those involved with eventing), making a fool of yourself in public, etc.?

I guess i'll second subk... dahlin'.. you need a life.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Heather
Aug. 13, 2002, 08:14 AM
I've stayed away from this thread as best I could, but I'm a-wading in now.

I was at NAYRC, at the fence right before the horse fell. The pair jumped the water beautifully, and in fact I have a picture to prove it (won't post out of respect for the owner and rider). I can't say what caused the fall, i didn't see it, but in talking to people who did, it seemed like a piece of odd, bad luck--they just missed, and hit the fence in just the wrong way.

It was (what's the word, odd, interesting?) that this horse and rider had trouble, because frankly, at the water, they looked to be one of the strongest pairs of the day. I saw a lot of scary rides at the water in the CCI**, and most of them went on and finished in fine form. THis pair was one of the best I saw all morning--horse jumping beautifully, rider in good position and balance, etc.

I think part of the trouble with the issue here, is that while i think we can come up with a lot of factors that may be contributing to these tragedies, there will always be accidents. TO a certain extent, Bruce and High Scope "throw off the curve".

IMVHO, I think that people are moving up too fast, relying on their horses too much, don't have enough of a base as a rider and competitor to be doing what they are doing, and that because of a lack of truly good trainers in this country, the horse who "jumps no matter what" has become to preferred mount, or "the only real event horse". SOmetimes folks, the stop is better--but time and again I see trainers calling horses who stop for self-preservation resons being labeelled as "cheap" or "chicken" and the ones who go no matter what being called "bold."

However, that being said, I think that these are issues are nearly impossible to legislate in any meaningful way, AND, as mentioned before, Bruce and High Scope certainly don't suffer from any of these problems. If you could somehow force the above issues to somehow be regulated, you are still going to be left with the occaisional day when an incredibly expereinced horse and rider are going to have a terrible, tragic day.

I agree with those that say the USEA is investigating and doing everything they can to get to the bottom of things. I also agree with whoever said they don't publicize their actions or findings well enough.

The only way to solve this, is to give officials, organizers, etc. the power to pull people who are riding in an unsafe manner, and the SUPPORT to feel empowered to do it (in theory they have the power now, but hardly ever use it for fear of reprisals). But, in sue-happy USA, I can't imagine such a thing could be made legally defensible, and that the USEA cann afford to help defend such a suit. And, it still wouldn't have prevented the accident of Bruce and High Scope.

Also, someone asked about insurance? Well, event horses do get mor expensive to insure as they move of the levels, however I was told last year by and insurance person that the two sets of horses that are most frequently paid out on insurance are Arab show horses and broodstock (mares and stallions actively breeding). Event horses actually fall, statistically, pretty low on the pay out scale, and are usually insured for a greater number of years before pay out (this is for both mortality and/or loss of use)than almost any other group (in other words, in general they have more career longevity, from an insurance standpoint). I can't proivde you with detailed facts on this, it's just what an equine insurance agent told me.

And finally, Miss Earthquake. Bless your heart. It's clear you love horses. So do I. So do all the eventers I know. I would imagine to you it looks like we don't care, because we aren't willing to give up our sport and do something else at the first whiff of danger. Believe me, we care. I cry every time something like this happens. I pray every day that something like this won't happen to one of my horses. Of course, I also pray everytime I turn them out, and every time I put them in the trailer--which are, statistically, the two most dangerous things I do with my horses.

I lost one of my best horses to a pasture accident--somehow, he severed all the tendons in his front leg, damamged them so badly it was doubted he would ever even be pasture sound. SO, we put him down. However the next morning, I led all my other horses down to their fields and turned them out. By your logic, I shouldn't have done that. But for me, I don't see a point in having horses if they aren't going to have a life they enjoy. THey enjoy being turned out, and they enjoy eventing. So, I continue to put them at risk, by turning them out, by trailering them to competitions, and yes, by eventing them. If, god forbid, I ever find myself in Bruce or the poor Argentinian boy's position, my only consolation will be that I gave my horses the best life possible, and they enjoyed every day of their life. It's the best I can do. If it doesn't live up to your standards, will, there's not much I can say or do to change it. We all come to our own peace with this earthquake. I've found mine--and you, by choosing not to event, have found yours. I respect your choice, now, please, respect mine.

Badger
Aug. 13, 2002, 08:30 AM
Just throwing an idea out for discussion for brainstorming purposes: the dressage phase is judged, but the jumping phases are less subjective: the jump is either cleared on the first approach, or not.

What if:

Some sort of judged jumping competition were instigated, and riders who scored poorly were not allowed on x-c? I.E. A phase of arena jumping that included both solid and stadium fencing.

I think having someone "pulled" from competion because of the decision of the TD makes the sport ripe for lawsuits: is someone is "allowed" to ride by the TD and then gets hurt, you bet the TD is going to get sued.

However, if the sport is changed so only the top percentage or anyone with a qualifying score on a jumping test gets to ride the x-c test, would it eliminate dangerous pairs without subjecting the TD to risk of lawsuits?

Don't take life so seriously...it's not permanent.

tle
Aug. 13, 2002, 08:40 AM
Badger, that's an interesting suggestion. My only comment would be "how would it be judged"? Most top eventers agree that jumping SJ and jumping XC are 2 different animals (I saw only a couple of the GP riders at a recent GP that I would say could "survive" a solid XC round without getting dumped because they were too far ahead in the air IMHO). In addition, I know a couple VERY good XC horses that could care less about SJ (they always have at least 2 rails but are usually fast & clean on XC and look good too). Plus any time you get subjective judging involved you get politics. *blech!!* I know a lot of H/J converts to eventing that left H/J for that precise reason.

I'm not saying it isn't worth exploring as a possible suggestion... just pointing out a few things that would need to be worked out first. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 13, 2002, 08:41 AM
attitude and right to event. I'm not for banning eventing or anything of the sort. But clearly there's some way to make it safer.

As to true accidents, or just plain bad luck, of course stuff happens.
You note your pasture accident. That was a true accident and not avoidable, so no, you misjudge me---I would not disagree with you there. If this is at all comparable, I had to put my beloved dog of 11 years down not too long ago because he had a degenerative spinal abnormality that (after involved surgery) came back and cost him the use of his back legs and control over his bodily functions. My whole family is still in mourning, way later.
But these situations are different from predictably dangerous courses/fences, etc. which may be where we differ and IMO should be eliminated. But I agree, the rare, occasional accident should be tolerated. I believe and hope you understand the difference.
I also believe there are different degrees of "loving" one's animal/s. There have been people who while being carted off to jail by officials for rank neglect/abuse, vow and swear they love their animals and would never abuse them. I have a friend who rescues dogs, cats & horses and who could fill your ear with such stories. I also have a friend who's a lawyer with APHIS who witnesses all sorts of cruelty on the part of people who claim to "love" their animals.
But thanks again for your post and your articulation of your feelings.

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

Geroni-mo-oh-oh
Aug. 13, 2002, 08:44 AM
saved High Scope? It's a good idea, however my question is how effective would it be?
Cheers

"Everything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Nietzsche

JER
Aug. 13, 2002, 09:00 AM
earthquake, yesterday you made several unsubstantiated statements about the 'economic incentive to make courses more difficult', the reasons why people watch death-defying stunts and how making courses more difficult and dangerous would 'attract more people to participate.'

MKM, tle and I all asked you to explain your statements and back them up with evidence and facts. You have not answered any of these questions.

I am personally irritated because several pages ago, you asked me to give more evidence/facts on the videotape analysis of falls. I answered promptly and also gave several further references so that you could do more research. Could you please extend the same courtesy to me?

bigdreamer
Aug. 13, 2002, 09:10 AM
by doing a simple course, he would make it look effortless. He used to jump 5' in jumper classes and KICKED butt. go look on his web page. It must've been soo nice when the jumps went down a foot- he probably said "wohoo!, this is easy!"

accidents are not preventable- and by doing a jumping round b4 hand wouldn't help too much- IMHO. Some horses jump perfectly one day and crappy another. You can't judge it precisely- in a 3-day anyways. It'd just make things soo much more complicated.

I completely agree with heather- our horses are more at risk doing day-to-day things then they are out on course.

~laura~

member of the ~*~leasing a horse b/c i can't afford my own~*~ clique, ~*~BBers at night clique~*~

Theres something about jumping a horse over a fence,
something that makes u feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need~ W. Faulkner