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Firerider88
Sep. 12, 2000, 10:00 PM
OK, I posted a similar message on the towerheads website and it was removed because it was "too personal." In the hunter-jumper world, there are professionals who use narcotics. It's a much "overlooked" problem, due mainly to people like the ones that removed my original post. This is not gossip. One of these trainers was found unconcious under the bleachers of the arena. She had overdosed on heroin. That's not an isolated problem, either. I've been to the parties in Gulfport, and I've seen what goes on. I'm just constantly amazed at the fact that people KNOW that this is a issue and don't do anything about it- mainly because it would cast a very grim shadow over the beautiful world of the showgrounds.

Firerider88
Sep. 12, 2000, 10:00 PM
OK, I posted a similar message on the towerheads website and it was removed because it was "too personal." In the hunter-jumper world, there are professionals who use narcotics. It's a much "overlooked" problem, due mainly to people like the ones that removed my original post. This is not gossip. One of these trainers was found unconcious under the bleachers of the arena. She had overdosed on heroin. That's not an isolated problem, either. I've been to the parties in Gulfport, and I've seen what goes on. I'm just constantly amazed at the fact that people KNOW that this is a issue and don't do anything about it- mainly because it would cast a very grim shadow over the beautiful world of the showgrounds.

Weatherford
Sep. 12, 2000, 11:12 PM
Oh, Firerider, you are absolutely right!

It goes right along with the other abuses - including aneorexia, alcoholism, physical, and sexual abuse. All of which have been discussed at length here and will certainly CONTINUE to be discussed!

Here are some of those threads (but ONLY some - aneorexia alone has at least five threads with many horror tales of the other abuses thrown in!)
http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000581.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001146.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001486.html http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001569.html

Addiction is not a simple problem, whatever the substance. True addicts are really, really good at hiding or denying their addiction(s), saying things like, "I only do it one weekends, do how can I be an addict" or going to recovery groups such as AA while still drinking/ doing drugs. (My father used to say, champagne or wine wasn't alcohol!)

Addiction includes behaviours, as well as substance.

Denial is a serious part of the problem, and that denial occurs on the part of us on the outside as well as those in the throes of the addiction.

Someone elsewhere, in a now deleted thread, used the expression "rose coloured glasses" to chide the moderator who doesn't believe there is an equine drug problem.

Lovely expression. True of most of us when we look at the horse world and our heros and heroines in it.

I find it very, very sad.

And, contrary to what has been reported, the drug testers CAN tell the difference between the amount of cocaine that might have come from the hands of someone unsuspectingly passing cocaine tainted dollar bills, and the amount that would have to be given to a horse to be detectable!

creseida
Sep. 12, 2000, 11:44 PM
Well, look at what just happened with Eric Lamaze on the Canadian Team. The bloody fool KNEW he would have to pass a whiz quiz, I mean sheesh! This is The Olympics we're talking about. Yet, he had to (ahem) blow /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gifthis wonderful opportunity because he couldn't (ahem) keep his nose /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif clean for 3 lousy months. He was selected for the highest honour in sports, and he ruined it for some nose candy. http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/mad.gif

Then the final coup de gras was his ultra-lame explanation; "Oh I only use it recreationally, not as a performance enhancer." Like the drug test can differentiate between the two uses! Puh-leeze! This is his SECOND offense. Must they really allow him all three strikes before booting him out for good? http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/confused.gif

Magnolia
Sep. 13, 2000, 08:36 AM
In my opinion, if you are over 18 you can do whatever you want, but don't cry about the consequences!
That canadian obviously valued his drugs over his sport (you only need to be clean 1 week from coke to pass a drug test!). That is pretty sad if you ask me.
I can understand why people with drudgery jobs and bad lives might turn to drugs as an escape, but I just don't comprehend people at the top of their game, living a life most of us dream of throwing it all away for a few minutes of high.
Professionals can do what they want, but they are fools to waste their time and money on drugs.
To any children on this board who are even thinking that drugs might be fun to try please read this part of my message and remember it:
I had a friend that used pot, LSD, and mushrooms. He was a great athlete, artisit and musician. His parents had $$$$. Basically, he was set up for a very good life. He could have traveled, been a musician, artist, etc. He did not have to worry about a dull job. Well, too much LSD and tripping, and he is now basically a homeless psycho. He thinks the aliens are after him, and basically travels from town to town in an altered state of mind. He lives out of dumpsters. And, yes, he is clean now (no $$ for drugs). Occasionally he calls collect to ask for $. He blew a $40,000 trust gambling. He is now a loser.
No, this doesn't happen to everyone, but would you want it to happen to you? And don't think that there aren't any former horse people that got into drugs leading this life...

Kryswyn
Sep. 13, 2000, 08:54 AM
In fact, there is a very couragous young woman who was on top of the game as a junior (who I believe became a user as a junior), then got into real trouble with her addiction when she moved into the ammys. She pretty much disappeared from the scene. It took years, but with support of loving family and friends she is clean and back on top. The Chronicle ran an article on her. It was very inspiring, even to a non-drug addict like myself because I have other (slightly)less harmful addictions.

hoopoe
Sep. 13, 2000, 10:45 AM
Well not to worry, Eric is gone. Certainly proof of how powerful the lure of drug addiction is. He knew he would be tested and he knew that because of his past offense he could be called any time, day or night. So too his horses.

I worked many years for a drug addict. I saw what it does to a life ( if you call it that)and denial by the user is the hardest thing to overcome. Chemical addiction is not as easy as the Just Say No people would have you believe.

Recent research shows that cigarrette addiction may be triggered by the first cig, not by repeated use. It is a brain /chemical issue, not a habit issue. The more we learn about the brain, the more complex these issues become.

Speaking out is vital. Tell management that you do not want to support these people. Tell management that you do not want your children in these environments. Speak with you lack of suport. In the end it is up to you to decide what is more important, going in that ring or endorseing the behavior.

In the end the AHSA is going to have to become involved. Many professional organizations (AMA, ABA etc) have departments that deal with addicted members. The AHSA is the closest thing we have to a professional organization.

There are rules on the AHSA books about "intemperance". For those of you who do not know that means 'habitual or excessive drinking of intoxicants" Perhaps the rule needs to be enforced or modified for other forms of chemical abuse.

Coreene
Sep. 13, 2000, 02:46 PM
Hoopoe, very well put.

I'm wondering if those who are with a winning yet addicted trainer have the Rocky Mountain Oysters to yank their horse out and move to another non-addicted one?

Magnolia
Sep. 13, 2000, 03:31 PM
enevtually that winning yet addicted trainer will be either a winning and recovered trainer or a washed up addict.

Firerider88
Sep. 13, 2000, 04:13 PM
I'm SO glad that I'm getting good responses for this, and NOT just accusations for starting rumors. I think that the comment about having the "rocky mountain oysters" (hehehe) to get away from a winning but addicted trainer was very good. Sadly, at least in my area, when a trainer is successful, addictions are conveiently "overlooked," even though everyone knows that it's there.

hoopoe
Sep. 13, 2000, 04:24 PM
This is just so removed from where I am at. It really bothers me that folks are reporting some of these behaviors. As an owner I would be so worried about what is going on at the barn when I am not there. Who keeps watch at night? Are the extras I am paying for being carried out ( vitamines, treatments, training) or is the money going to something else?

Colin
Sep. 13, 2000, 04:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hoopoe:
This is just so removed from where I am at. It really bothers me that folks are reporting some of these behaviors. As an owner I would be so worried about what is going on at the barn when I am not there. Who keeps watch at night? Are the extras I am paying for being carried out ( vitamines, treatments, training) or is the money going to something else?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have NEVER been able to "board" my horse and be relaxed. I have either kept them in my back yard where I am solely responsible for them, or on "self care" at a reputable barn. I don't do well on vacations because I worry about my horses -- except for my Virginia trip next week where I have a trusted friend staying at the house.

I have heard way too many horror stories -- drugs, alcohol, irresponsibility .... whatever. I just won't tolerate it with my "children"....NOT a chance! Expecially in the "horse business" it can be pretty bad. Quite a shame, I agree.

hoopoe
Sep. 13, 2000, 05:04 PM
I guess I have been dumb lucky on the trainers I have been with.

Perhaps growing up in the inner city taught me more than I thought. I guess I have a good sense of who to avoid.

Portia
Sep. 13, 2000, 05:16 PM
I'm with you Hoopoe. But then, coming from a family that suffers from addiction, I have a very high sensitivity to detecting it, and a very, very short tolerance for it around me. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Snowbird
Sep. 13, 2000, 05:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I can understand why people with drudgery jobs and bad lives might turn to drugs as an
escape, but I just don't comprehend people at the top of their game, living a life most of
us dream of throwing it all away for a few minutes of high.
Professionals can do what they want, but they are fools to waste their time and money
on drugs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
What we might justify as "drudgery jobs" and bad lives may not be all that bad, just different. There are people who simply do not have aspirations and who are delighted to have a 9-5 so they get home on time, enjoy the family barbeque and just spending time with friends.

While those who have aspired may discover how lonely it is, how few friends you can have if you hop around from motel to motel, show after show, year after year. Addiction takes the place of that missing family and friends some of the time.

I think this is a symptom of what have been discussing so many times in so many ways. It's what happens when winning is not only everything but the only thing.

The past interview on Towerheads, I think it was Peter Wilde talked about how different it was in Europe. While he tried to be diplomatically correct about the huge extravaganza horse shows which have become a catch-all for all riders at all levels with all kinds of horses he certainly made the point for the European shows. Limited entries by invitation only, and a time schedule designed to give the riders and the horses a chance to behave normally.

These "stars" of our sport are actually just as deprived of good social contact as their horses. The horses are "campaigned" to produce income for the owners. The more clients the more difficult the job to be successful. Do you really think it is easy to get off at the end of the day and try and explain to an owner why you didn't win, why you weren't first?

As I said before in Europe the arenas are financed by the seat holders. The show manager is their employee. Yes, in order to make sure that the best will attend they don't charge entry fees. Their interest is in selling seats. They will bribe the best riders and the best horses to compete because it is a show. No different than when we pay entertainers to sing to us on broadway.

You see it is our perspective which has caused the drugging and abuse of both the horses and the riders. If we who are the 98% who should be buying the seats don't let ourselves be heard, then we are culpable for the distruction of the very people and horses we want to admire.

Push the envelope back a slot, let's not condemn but inspect and analyze the system we have permitted to be created in our name.

My daughter competed in a Jumper Derby in Canada, there was one class in the morning which had entries limited so as to time out the class for a luxurious lunch break. A buffet with music and dancing for two hours before an afternoon competition. A Show Manager can't do that without a generous sponsor. In that case it was Coca-Cola, you can't get a generous sponsor with out spectators.

So long as we feel that we must also compete instead of spectating it is an endless cycle of abuses of all kinds. The show managers in charge of our association have tremendous debts they need a huge income from the show just to service their loans. Sponsors might be found for the classes but not for the bills.

The way the system works now everyone is stressed, over loaded and in debt and no one is really enjoying what they do.

lillian
Sep. 13, 2000, 06:20 PM
Coreene: I had the "oysters." After putting up with on- and off-again rehab, abuse, irresponsbility and just plain being a jerk, I removed my winning hunter from a cocaine-addicted trainer over a year ago. I believe this is one of the central issues surrounding drug abuse in the professional horse world. We, as owners, seem willing to tolerate the addiction and resulting behavior if the trainer is winning on our horses. The trainer I left continues, much like Eric does, to have a barn full of customers who choose not to acknowledge the drug use. That is their right, but I, for one, refused to be a party to supporting such illegal and destructive behavior.

pwynnnorman
Sep. 13, 2000, 07:13 PM
Kryswyn, that was Frncine Steinwedell Carver (or something similar), wasn't it? She came back so far that she very nearly made the team, right? And didn't she do quite well at the World Cup, too?

Magnolia
Sep. 14, 2000, 08:20 AM
Snowbird-
That makes me sad. Riding should be fun! Perhaps it is too much of a business now. Is there really that much $$ to be made that it needs to be a business? Or is it about prestige, much like a political campaign?
At any rate, it is sad that the pro's push themselves to the point they need drugs.
Maybe customers need to be more understanding and put up with doing fewer shows? But then it seems like customer's complain about having to do all these shows, every weekend.
A limit on showing seems to be the most humane thing to do for the pros, horses, owners, and grooms.

CAH
Sep. 14, 2000, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by magnolia:

That makes me sad. Riding should be fun! Perhaps it is too much of a business now. Is there really that much $$ to be made that it needs to be a business? Or is it about prestige, much like a political campaign?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, Magnolia it seems you have hit one of the major issues here. YES, for many trainers this is a business...and the key factor is earning the buck. I see it all the time in the racing industry. A horse is not your "pet" - it is an object that is used to reach an end...the end being a piece of the purse. Owner receives check, trainer receives percentage, and horse continues to run. Now before everyone gets in an uproar, understand that this is the way it is. No matter what discipline in the equine field we are talking about, there are owners and trainers that put the animal's welfare before the money...and those that don't. The price of success at any cost.

Canter
Sep. 14, 2000, 10:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lillian:
Coreene: I had the "oysters." After putting up with on- and off-again rehab, abuse, irresponsbility and just plain being a jerk, I removed my winning hunter from a cocaine-addicted trainer over a year ago. I believe this is one of the central issues surrounding drug abuse in the professional horse world. We, as owners, seem willing to tolerate the addiction and resulting behavior if the trainer is winning on our horses. The trainer I left continues, much like Eric does, to have a barn full of customers who choose not to acknowledge the drug use. That is their right, but I, for one, refused to be a party to supporting such illegal and destructive behavior.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Isn't this the point? Here we all are talking "around" the subject of drugs - isn't the biggest problem both in the US and Canada that we TOLERATE it and LOOK THE OTHER WAY?

Not naming names but at least four of your top riders (we already know about ours) are known blowheads - I've been hearing about them for years. (and I'm thousands of miles away!)

Yet nobody does anything about it. Why? If I saw someone breaking into a car I would call the police. If I saw someone acting suspiciously on a bridge, I would call the police. Believe me, if I ever see someone doing illegal drugs in a public place - ie barn or horse show, I will call the police. I don't care who they are. And I would NEVER board with someone whom I suspect has an alchol or drug problem. I love my horses way too much and winning a stupid class at a horse show with someone of such questionable moral fibre frankly isn't worth it.

Magnolia
Sep. 14, 2000, 10:53 AM
CAH - Yeah, riding is definitely a business to make money!
I think one of the big problems is that in America, wealth=happiness, and people are so damn competetive, but to get wealth, you have to put up with a lot of crap, and spend a lot of time doing what you don't want to do. The trainer on the road is no different than the marketing guy working 80 hours a week to afford the SUV and house in the suburbs that he can't enjoy!
Something breaking down in our society right now. People are too stressed out and becoming lunatics - road rage, rudeness to store clerks, neglect of children, drug use - it permeates all classes.
The same thing that has happened in business is apparently happening in horse industry. You have to work 80 hours a week to be a success.
Who knows, maybe trainers and grooms should unionize - I certainly wish designers would.
For myself, I take it easy, leave by 5, enjoy riding for what it is... Will I ever make $100,000 - no, will I ever be in a Grand Prix - no. Do I feel the need to use drugs? Never
Probably if we let the trainers have more normal lives, and let the horses be horses, we could reduce the drugs used for both, and have a better environment for everyone involved. And I bet you'd still be making money (although maybe not as much) - but how do you put a price on your sanity and happiness?

ponyesq
Sep. 14, 2000, 12:06 PM
Just a thought on the "why" drug use may be endemic in the horse community -- it seems to me that the horse show world attracts a lot of obsessive compulsive people, with addictive personalities. (I know even I, a mere pony mom, am "addicted" to horse shows, and ponies in generally, spending all of my disposable income on the little varmints and their rider, and that, almost by defnition, a hunter/equitation rider has to be be pretty obsessive to achieve.) Maybe that's why you see so many cigarette smokers and heavy drinkers in the horse world, and why drugs seem to have taken such a strong hold. The tendency toward addiction is already there and, it appears, so are the opportunities.

Colin
Sep. 14, 2000, 12:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ponyesq:
Just a thought on the "why" drug use may be endemic in the horse community -- it seems to me that the horse show world attracts a lot of obsessive compulsive people, with addictive personalities. (I know even I, a mere pony mom, am "addicted" to horse shows, and ponies in generally, spending all of my disposable income on the little varmints and their rider, and that, almost by defnition, a hunter/equitation rider has to be be pretty obsessive to achieve.) Maybe that's why you see so many cigarette smokers and heavy drinkers in the horse world, and why drugs seem to have taken such a strong hold. The tendency toward addiction is already there and, it appears, so are the opportunities.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree completely! I KNOW I am obsessive-compulsive....smoke/drink, etc. Fortunately, have never had any use for the drug thing. Refused to take pain killers when I broke my ankle because made me feel too "weird". I suppose I can thank God for that!

It is interesting to see the personality type that the horses attract....great point!

Jumphigh83
Sep. 14, 2000, 02:08 PM
Too much money and not enough to do.

Canter
Sep. 14, 2000, 02:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida:
Well, look at what just happened with Eric Lamaze on the Canadian Team. The bloody fool KNEW he would have to pass a whiz quiz, I mean sheesh! This is The Olympics we're talking about. Yet, he had to (ahem) blow /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gifthis wonderful opportunity because he couldn't (ahem) keep his nose /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif clean for 3 lousy months. He was selected for the highest honour in sports, and he ruined it for some nose candy. http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/mad.gif

Then the final coup de gras was his ultra-lame explanation; "Oh I only use it recreationally, not as a performance enhancer." Like the drug test can differentiate between the two uses! Puh-leeze! This is his SECOND offense. Must they really allow him all three strikes before booting him out for good? http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/confused.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Breaking News...

According to Eric's lawyer, Eric's ban shouldn't be upheld. Why? Because he tested positive for a banned substance (an herbal diet remedy) and had already recieved a lifetime ban on August 18th. The lawyer goes on to say that Eric was so distraught he participated in a "one-time only" coke binge shortly thereafter. Upon apeal (this herbal diet remedy was improperly packaged) Eric was re-instated...only to TEST POSITIVE FOR THE COKE on August 28th. The lawyer says that since Eric was already under suspension he is exempt from any drug testing results based on his being (at the time of the coke use) outside IOC drug policy.

I shake my head.

[This message has been edited by Canter (edited 09-14-2000).]

Snowbird
Sep. 14, 2000, 02:57 PM
It is the system that creates the problem. It isn't the anxiety to make a buck, it's the anxiety to pay the bills.

It's the points system and rating definitions that instigated the changes we see today. The fact is that too many trainers are not happy to be horsemen they want to live the same lifestyle as their clients who can afford the life style.

I keep asking you all to look at the old rule books and you will see the difference between now and then. When trainers have to up at 4 AM to start packing and shipping, and they don't get home until midnight day after day they like the horses need "pain" killers.

If shows were organized differently, if the goals were different that would be the biggest possible benefit. Let's face it no little kid says I want to grow up and be a "druggy". Certainly no athlete, but the circumstances of competition when big money is at stake creates the stress and pressures. That's why we need to look at the causes, the drugs are a symptom of a much more serious disease.

I think it is possible that those who choose horses as a recreational activity or as a profession are obsessive compulsive personalities. My question then is why? Why are these the ones attracted to our sport? Why do we not change the answer to that question.

lillian
Sep. 14, 2000, 06:00 PM
Snowbird: no offense intended, but come on. There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc. Not to mention just us regular guys. We all want to make a buck, some of us want to make more than others. And, very few of us need a crutch to do so. It's easy to blame the "system," the "rules," "people being mean to me," "I had it tough growing up," etc. While I agree with the theory of addiction being a disease, placing the blame on a stressful life, paying the bills, etc. oversimplifies the problem. The minute you put something like cocaine up your nose, you have made a decision to cop out. This is Eric's (and other trainers in the same boat) wakeup call. Get some help and get it now. And come to the realization that you WILL lose everything if you don't come to terms with your addictive and criminal behavior. I apologize if this post has come on strong, but I lost a dear friend to cocaine nearly a year ago, dead at the age of 45 -- a total waste of a promising life.

gymnastic
Sep. 14, 2000, 06:15 PM
All this is well and good. But remember the humans choose their poison. The horses do NOT.

I always wondered what the purpose might be to dose a horse with cocaine, and just read Dr. Mayline's comments on the AHSA website. How do you suppose a horse might feel on it, and then OFF IT. I for one (and maybe I'm the only one) am sick and tired of some people trying to bash the AHSA zero tolerance policy on these drugs.

I hope the bashers are few even if they are prominent and loud. After reading the AHSA report, I hate to think what we might be up against if someway a few trainers can undo the AHSA drug rules.

Bethe Mounce
Sep. 14, 2000, 06:18 PM
lillian said:
There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc.

What about Daryl Strawberry? I believe he has or had a cocaine habit and even now he is battling colon cancer. I saw on the news where he was arrested in a traffic accident in Florida......so sad for one so talented.

Justbay
Sep. 14, 2000, 06:20 PM
There was a medical study done on the addictive nature of cocaine with lab rats.

The rats would rather indulge themselves on cocaine then food or water. They ate the cocaine until they died. They preferred Cocaine to life!

This is a real study! UGH!

[This message has been edited by Justbay (edited 09-14-2000).]

gymnastic
Sep. 14, 2000, 06:27 PM
Okay, now just stop a minute and think about HORSES getting it. Nuff said.

yellowhorse
Sep. 14, 2000, 09:34 PM
QUOTED>""Snowbird: no offense intended, but come on. There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc""

Don't get me wrong I am not JUSTIFYING cocaine use among profs.(even though I have seen enough of it), but the distinction between the pro NFL, NBA, etc. plaers and horse pros is $$$$! NFL players are making millions of dollars (and still snorting coke!) many trainers, have to scrape by to pay their rent, even with a large succesful barn. Just playing devil's advocate...

Twister
Sep. 15, 2000, 08:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by yellowhorse:
QUOTED>"
Don't get me wrong I am not JUSTIFYING cocaine use among profs.(even though I have seen enough of it), but the distinction between the pro NFL, NBA, etc. plaers and horse pros is $$$$! NFL players are making millions of dollars (and still snorting coke!) many trainers, have to scrape by to pay their rent, even with a large succesful barn. Just playing devil's advocate...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

These arguments are somehow taking the stand that trainers with drug problems are different than anyone else with a drug problem. Most people have stress in their lives, no matter how much money you make. I would hate to be the guy with a multi-million dollar contract who dropped a couple passes. Or the financial planner who lead his customers to a losing stock proposition, or the doctor who took out the wrong organ, or misdiagnosed a patient, or the cashier at McDonalds who just packed one of the above people the wrong lunch... Horse people are not a special case.

Magnolia
Sep. 15, 2000, 08:17 AM
Sometimes all these people need is a stint in prison, but it seems like only the poor go to prison for this type of thing. My half brother, after 10 years of using coke, went to jail for possesion and theft or something, well three years later, he gets out and cleans up his act, gets away from the coke environment, not so much because of the coke, but because he didn't want to back to jail. These trainers need to hit bottom before coming back up, but as long as the money keeps coming, they'll never hit bottom...

Snowbird
Sep. 15, 2000, 12:55 PM
Yellowhorse I have to say you are 100% right. There are no real excuses, we are all masters of ourselves if nothing else. And, yes I do agree that examples should be made of the ones who violate the principles of fair play with any chemical intervention.

We are or should be all sophisticated enough to know that our "role models" should be just that, and they are required to set a good example. I also agree while we can make compassionate excuses for the reason they took the wrong road that isn't an excuse.

It's a lot like the people who sit around getting drunk, because when they're drunk they can imagine they are as wonderful as they would like everyone to think.

Weatherford
Oct. 28, 2000, 09:49 AM
The question still arises, what can we do and what are we doing about it? Are the people drugging themselves, the same ones who are drugging their horses? Do we just continue to ignore it? Can we blow the whistle and not fear for our personal and equine safety? Do we dare?

This is serious stuff, and these are very serious questions.

B.G.M. heidi
Oct. 28, 2000, 10:18 AM
As many of you may know, Ron Southern, the chair of Spruce Meadows threatened, after the second positive test for cocaine, that Eric Lamaze would be banned from competition at Spruce Meadows. As a private facility, they are within legal right to do so. Here's his strategy, one which begs a few questions: should the Canadian selection committee select Eric for the Nation's Cup class at Spruce Meadows, Ron would dis-invite the entire Canadian team. The head of the CEF has been quoted in a newspaper that they would look into the legal issues and questioned whether 'teams should be selected by the committe or by private facilities'.

Personally, I think Ron Southern is reacting to one very specific incident (the second positive test) and not grandstanding on a larger platform. He does not wish to select Nation's Cup teams; he is, however, assuming a moral position which as a private facility he is fully entitled to make. Secondly, given his investment and efforts on behalf of Spruce Meadows and the sport in general, can't help but respect him for being among the first to take a very strong (and probably necessary) stand on the issue of drug use among the pros.

Many, of course, have questioned whether the CEF should impose a restriction on Eric Lamaze's competitive future, with rehab a condition of reinstatement. I don't believe the CEF should assume the role of moral guide but do wonder whether they can quietly urge Eric Lamaze to take a year's leave of absence from competition. BTW, a sponsor at the Royal Horse Show (which opens this week) has already pulled out because of Eric Lamaze's entry in various open jumper classes and it is rumoured that he will ride on the Canadian Nation's Cup team. Legally, he is 'cleared' to compete for Canada - morally, however, I am concerned that greater damage will be done to a sport which is already plagued with so many difficulties.

[This message has been edited by heidi (edited 10-28-2000).]

JRG
Oct. 28, 2000, 10:21 AM
The thing that gets me is all the talk about it like its a new thing.
It is not a new thing it has been around ever since I can remember (over 20yrs ago). Not just with riding but everywhere. The media talking like it just entered the schools. Well wake up!! It is out there, it always has been and probably always will. As long as people have an independant (or not so) thought process it will prevail

The difference is teaching people that they do indeed have the right and the strength to say no thank you.

Portia
Oct. 28, 2000, 01:40 PM
Bravo to Ron Southern, the Southern family, and Spruce Meadows. Those are the kind of postive stands that will make a difference, and will give others the courage to also take such stands.

I personally do not wish to ban Eric Lamaze or any other athlete permanently for personal drug use, but I do believe the athlete should be required to prove they've attended a stint in rehab and be subject to random drug testing thereafter. I imagine that if Mr. Lamaze proves he is drug free and remains drug free, and thereby establishes a positive image for the sport, then he will be allowed once again to compete at Spruce Meadows. But for now at least, he is going to have to earn that privilege that he threw away. I do wish him success in his recovery.

Snowbird
Oct. 28, 2000, 09:09 PM
I must brag a little about New Jersey, our equine activity law does permit us to refuse entries and the right to compete from anyone we feel in under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability. And, without the right to sue us!

B.G.M. heidi
Oct. 28, 2000, 09:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I must brag a little about New Jersey, our equine activity law does permit us to refuse entries and the right to compete from anyone we feel in under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability. And, without the right to sue us!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Snowbird, is this clause actually exercised by show managers?

I also believe that most venues in Canada share the similar right to decline entries. The reality is that few will assume the stance that the Southerns have, with respect to Eric Lamaze. He has powerful and important clients, partners, a high profile lawyer, and owners who will, if they haven't already, intervene on his behalf. And legally speaking, following his reinstatement hearing, he does have the legal right to compete.

Perhaps I'm naive in the belief that it would be best if he voluntarily stepped aside from competition for a year, and in the interim allow sponsors, his fellow competitors, and Joe Q. Public, to forgive and forget the debacle and shame of a second positive drug test. Perhaps I am just giving him too much credit.

jch
Oct. 28, 2000, 09:35 PM
Why use drugs? To be cool. To fit in. Peer Pressure. Those are the reasons kids give when asked why they think people do drugs. I think that in some ways the horse show world is a little like the closed society of a school, so maybe those reasons still fit. How do we stop it? Make it cool not to use drugs. Include everyone so they fit in. Use peer pressure to influence people to do the right thing. Simplistic? I know, but if everyone really did it, it would work!!!

Firerider88
Oct. 29, 2000, 09:21 AM
I'm glad to see that a lot of you are addressing this issue rather than "ignoring" it. I'm interested in hearing frmo the other side of the proverbial fence, though. If you are a drug-using pro and you are reading this, let us know your opinion. I know it makes some of you mad to sit and read everyones remarks about your addiction. If you want to keep your anonymity, just e-mail me. I thought that I'd get some more response than just the "anti-drug" posts, and I'd like to see what you have to say.

Kelsy
Oct. 29, 2000, 01:35 PM
Personally, I have never really had a problem with people doing drugs because I think it's their personal choice because all the trainers do such a good job and I don't think it seems to get in the way of doing what they're doing.

As a junior, I know how much drug/alchohol is used on the circuit but my knowledge is mostly with the juniors. I think that the juniors use of "substances" has come from knowing their trainers do that and it influences them alot. I'm only 14 (it's strange to say you're 14 and an ex-smoker, lol) and the only reason I started smoking was because my trainer did. I don't really smoke anymore but I have gone to the parties with the juniors and I think that the wealthier you are the more prone you are to drugs/alchohol as weird as it sounds. And then we juniors grow up and we're the trainers and some of the juniors take their drug/alchohol use to the next level and it's an addiction whereas some of us just do it socially.

Allyson
Oct. 29, 2000, 02:14 PM
I saw this post and I have been riding along and keeping quiet, but now I want to tell my story:

I'm 18 and this is my last junior year. I work with and live with my trainer Debra, and plan to continue to work for her as a professional after I am done my junior years. I lurk here alot and occasionally post a question (sometimes I post things for Debra as she's computer illiterate so if you thought I was older that's probably why /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I've been on the circuit on and off since I was seven. My mom used to be a top A circuit trainer - this winter she committed suicide after a battle with drugs, anorexia, alcohol, and spousal abuse ruined her life. Growing up, my mom and I traveled to shows all over with her students - she did drugs often during this time and lost many students over it. She would get stoned and forget to show up for lessons or pass out during shows. It was horrible.

A horse died of colic once and it was kind of her fault - she was supposed to do night check everynight and she was stoned and forgot - I used to try and cover for her but I was staying at a friends. She didn't go down to the barn for evening shift, and then slept through her morning shift. When a student finally arrived at the barn she found the horse down and in severe pain - he had twisted a gut and was put down hours later. Had he been walked and treated he may have lived - we'll never know. This was five years ago. After this incident, one of my mom's students decided to intervene and get us help - Debra was only 22 at the time but she was wise beyond her years. She would let me stay at her house to be away from my mom, and she would take my mom to meetings and help her try and stay clean- but it never worked and my mom soon stopped letting me stay with her, becuase she said it was ruining our lives and that Debra was stealing our clients away. In fact she was trying to save us.

When I was fourteen my mom went clean for awhile and we spent the summer showing and I did all the parties - my mom and I fought 24/7 so I was always out at the barn or with friends - I would drink, smoke, anything to forget my problems - the same cycle that sucked my mom in pulled me in as well - for months that was my life. One night when I was almost 15, Debra found me passed out from cocaine in the barn. I was almost unconcious. She saved my life - and made me promise I would keep it.

I turned my life around, I moved in with Debra for good shortly afterwards. I tried to stay in touch with my mom but it hurt to much - after she lost the horses and I left her life fell apart. She passed away New Year's Eve last year.

Drugs are a problem on the circuit and people turn a blind eye to it. When my mom was wining no one care what she was doing, except for a few loyal friends like Deb. And then when things fell apart, she was a hasbeen and no one noticed. Even among juniors drugs are an issue I think. But all we want is victory.

I admit my story is extreme, but drugs are an on going issue and problem on the circuit as well as in life. If we don't face this problems many lives - horse and human - will continuely be at risk.

Allyson

heelsdown
Oct. 29, 2000, 02:38 PM
Oh Allyson,

I read this thread when it first began and had to see what had been restarted. My deepest sympathies to you and your family over the loss of your of your mother. It will be a pain that will never go away.

I have a lot of respect for your ability to cope and kudos to Debra for being there for you.

Thank you for speaking out. It is never easy to do that, on a subject like this, especially when it is so personal. Thank you for sharing.

Portia
Oct. 29, 2000, 04:50 PM
Allyson, thank you for posting your story again. It is terribly sad, but ultimately triumphant because you have overcome a situation that could have destroyed you. Thank God Debra was there for you.

It is tragic that your mother could not recognize the help that was being offered, but that is part of the nature of addiction. Please, I know it is difficult, but try not to feel guilty -- You did what you could, and you never should have been placed in such a situation to begin with. You were a child, and it was terribly unfair of your mother to put such a burden on you. Believe me, even as an adult we cannot make our loved ones clean up if they don't want to -- a fact I know all too well.

I hope others will read your story and know that there is a terrible downside to drug use, even if it may appear on the surface as if those who are using are functioning "OK."

How many others are there like Allyson's mother who have just "disappeared" from the circuit without people speaking of the reasons why? There must be a counterpoint to the perception that "it's OK, because he/she seems to be doing all right." How will the kids and juniors know the terrible reality and the terrible consequences if people don't discuss it?

Bertie
Oct. 29, 2000, 05:22 PM
Allyson, you tell a powerful story. Thank you for sharing. Maybe your story will help others struggling to overcome similar issues.

Do you or Debra have any ideas about what can be done to help people in the horse community with addictions, and those trying to help them? Some professions have organizations that provide and encourage counseling and professional help. Should the AHSA or some other horse related group make help available? Would that have helped you in your struggle?

I think of my job, where professional confidential counseling is available at no cost to people who need help with emotional problems, addictions, or even less serious life issues. Unfortunately, most people working in the horse world don't have services like that at their fingertips. Most are either self employed or working for small businesses and really have to seek out help for themselves, on their own, with little encouragement or monetary help.

Debra C
Oct. 29, 2000, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bertie:
Allyson, you tell a powerful story. Thank you for sharing. Maybe your story will help others struggling to overcome similar issues.

Do you or Debra have any ideas about what can be done to help people in the horse community with addictions, and those trying to help them? Some professions have organizations that provide and encourage counseling and professional help. Should the AHSA or some other horse related group make help available? Would that have helped you in your struggle?

I think of my job, where professional confidential counseling is available at no cost to people who need help with emotional problems, addictions, or even less serious life issues. Unfortunately, most people working in the horse world don't have services like that at their fingertips. Most are either self employed or working for small businesses and really have to seek out help for themselves, on their own, with little encouragement or monetary help.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When Allyson told me about this thread I decided I should join and post.

Yes, drugs are a growing issue in the horseworld, one I have lost many dear friends to. I also know people who suffer with it still. But what can we do? I have taken action on our local show circuits to raize awareness - one local show ground has brocheures and numbers of intervention/drug help programs posted. I have attended numerous discussions on the topic and here is some of what has come up:

~random drug testing at shows for humans, similiar to that we do now on horses.
DRAWBACKS: many legal substances test as illegal and there are sometimes legitimate reasons for someone being on certain drugs (IE morphine) which could be considered illegal. Thus you might suspend someone from a show only to find out they had a legit reason for that they did and that now they are angry b/c they missed a chance to point etc etc.

~strict (AHSA related) penalities for drug involvement/conviction. IE if a trainer was caught by law enforcement doing drugs they would be barred from the AHSA shows for X period of time.
DRAWBACKS - may keep trainers off the circuit but they are still training - and realistically how many people get caught anyway?

~Increased drug awareness education - maybe if people knew more they'd do less drugs. Idealistic and hard to impliment.

In the ideal world I'd like to see some sort of outreach and support group. Training is a high stress job and we as trainers as in a position where we can influence not only the well being of a horse but also of our students (especially juniors). I'd like to see a way for trainers to come together and share ideas, strategy and information - to brainstorm and solve and dicuss problems in the industry. Something to facilitate communication - perhaps in the ideal world the AHSA could sponser some sort of trainer's conference.

I would also like to see stricter supervision of juniors on the circuit - to eliminate the drugs and alcohol they may partake in at unsuperised parties.

We know that the problem is and we know what our goal is - a clean drug free horse world. But the steps in between are muddy - I know from first hand experience. I don't know what the answer is but I have ideas and I am looking for it - let's get together and get constructive to try and tackle this problem.

Debra Charing
dcharing@yahoo.com

Blue Devil
Oct. 29, 2000, 06:03 PM
Firerider, I have shown at Gulfport for the past 2 years. I know the same people.
I am sure you will remember if you are from Memphis when a trainer from my hometown (Jackson) ODed on cocaine in the parking lot during a horse show last year at Germantown. She trains primarily junior riders. The cops took her away but their parents still let them train with her. She deals them. I know because I am a junior rider too. She still trains, she still does coke. Remember this 2 years ago?

B.G.M. heidi
Oct. 29, 2000, 06:45 PM
Allyson, I also thank you for sharing your story. You are clearly a strong young woman who has overcome tragedies many of us could never fathom, nor recover from. I applaud your strength. Debra, your compassion is heartening and I am so glad that there are coaches like you training our children.

We too have dealt with a close friend suffering through, not terribly successfully, a cocaine addiction. I think the best explanation was that the first time you take a drug you do so to quell spiritual pain, by the fourth time the drug becomes a physical need.

Also from experience, addicts are typically manipulative liars. They lie, deny, cheat, and manipulate. They also have moments of great shame, regret and clarity - which lasts until their next fix.

Having said all this, I have found it helpful to confront the addiction honestly. Our friend disappears for a couple of weeks, skips a dinner party - we confront him, calmly albeit, and ask ' so how much did you do and how much do you want to die?' Harsh but we're hopeful that eventually he'll give us the correct answers. Secondly, as much as we may want, we do not cast moral judgements. It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness; and every time he disappears, he breaks my heart all over again. As terrible as it is, and as helpless as it makes me feel, I suspect he won't kick his addiction until and unless he hits rock bottom. I hope.

Ideally, the governing sports bodies (the CEF in Canada nationally) will institute an awareness campaign and program to deal with the very real addictions which confront many in the sport - from the juniors through to the pro ranks. In reality, I suspect that those of us who are concerned will have to look outside the sport to publicly funded programs to deal with the issue on a case by case (or rider by rider) basis, ad hoc and piecemeal without the benefit of funds or infrastructural support. It really is a shame isn't it when a governing body functions solely to oversee shows and adminster rules but not to truly serve those who pay the levies and are in need.

Bertie
Oct. 29, 2000, 07:56 PM
Debra, thanks for posting. You have so much to offer on this subject. Some people (myself included) might have been afraid that this thread would turn into name-bashing and gossip. But if people with real concern and real ideas for solutions get involved, maybe some positive outcomes can be accomplished, or at least maybe it'll get the ball rolling in that direction.

I'm probably naive, but I don't think any good ideas are out of reach...I think the ideas expressed on this board are seen by many eyes. Even if an idea seems too expensive, or too difficult to organize, please post it. You never know what might come of it!

Debra mentioned brochures and contact numbers for intervention/drug help programs that she's been promoting on her local circuit. What about the AHSA affiliated shows and circuits taking steps like this? Maybe the AHSA could even offer support groups/counseling at the circuit shows.

B.G.M. heidi
Oct. 29, 2000, 08:01 PM
I think on-site counselling may be difficult as addicts typically hide, and deny, their addiction. The annonymity of a 1-800 counselling service, or at least a referral service, that the AHSA could underwrite, might be easier for some addicts to accept. Perhaps the AHSA could initiate a fund raising drive, or designate a portion of their annual budget, to underwrite such a service.

Debra C
Oct. 29, 2000, 08:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bertie:
Debra, thanks for posting. You have so much to offer on this subject. Some people (myself included) might have been afraid that this thread would turn into name-bashing and gossip. But if people with real concern and real ideas for solutions get involved, maybe some positive outcomes can be accomplished, or at least maybe it'll get the ball rolling in that direction.

I'm probably naive, but I don't think any good ideas are out of reach...I think the ideas expressed on this board are seen by many eyes. Even if an idea seems too expensive, or too difficult to organize, please post it. You never know what might come of it!

Debra mentioned brochures and contact numbers for intervention/drug help programs that she's been promoting on her local circuit. What about the AHSA affiliated shows and circuits taking steps like this? Maybe the AHSA could even offer support groups/counseling at the circuit shows. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bertie we need people like you who are willing to discuss the issue and not the names - there are top trainers who are on drugs and there are people you will never know - what we need to do is find a way to reach them and make them stop.

Something else I think might be good for the kids is programs through Pony Club or similiar organizations - like drug education in school - only relate it to their lives - tell them stories of how it effects horses and riders and have people speak from experience. Also we need to make the resources avalible.

Above all we need to stop turning a blind eye to this. Just because someone seems find doesn't mean they are. Just b/c they won't let you help doesn't mean they don't need it. If you know someone who has a problem tell them "Look this can mess your life up and I know it is hard and I know I cannot tell you what to do but look at your life and how much you have to lose - people love you and care about you and maybe you need to stop and look at what you are doing to yourself. If you want help I will be there but you have to make the choice to stop" and tell them youare there for them but you want them to seek help very much and tell them where help is avalible. Don't think jsut b/c you are not involved it is not your problem...

And parents watch over your kids!!! Don't assume they are immune to this - someone here mentioned she started smoking b/c her trainer did - well there are many worse things kids can learn from trainers as well! Make sure you know where your children are and what they are doing and if something is wrong get them help. IF their trainer is doing drugs - at the very least try to remove them from the sitution. TALK to your kids about this and make them aware of it - this is a problem w/ younger and younger kids now!!!

I wish I had all the answers - or even something more concrete. But I am greatly heartened by your kind words and your inspirations.

Debra

jch
Oct. 29, 2000, 09:41 PM
Allyson, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. But, congratulations to you for the a very mature and responsible attitude you have developed. You are also very lucky to have Debra to guide you and stand by you. Thank God for her and those like her.

The thing I find the hardest to understand in all this is the attitude of some parents. How can a parent allow their child to spend time in the company of known drug users/dealers? What does this teach a kid? It's more important to win or be cool than to live a morally responsible life. That's not a horse show problem - that's a problem that's 100 times bigger than any sport!

RuralRider
Oct. 29, 2000, 09:42 PM
"If their trainer is doing drugs... at the very least TRY to remove them from the situation" I know I'm way out of the loop of what's happening on the A circuit, but I have 3 kids, the youngest is 13, and I can't imagine knowingly putting her under the supervision of an adult who was a substance abuser, or leaving her in that situation if I became aware of it after the fact, we'd be gone immediately!!!

Kelsy
Oct. 29, 2000, 09:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jch:
Allyson, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. But, congratulations to you for the a very mature and responsible attitude you have developed. You are also very lucky to have Debra to guide you and stand by you. Thank God for her and those like her.

The thing I find the hardest to understand in all this is the attitude of some parents. How can a parent allow their child to spend time in the company of known drug users/dealers? What does this teach a kid? It's more important to win or be cool than to live a morally responsible life. That's not a horse show problem - that's a problem that's 100 times bigger than any sport!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I dont know any treainers who are drug dealers.

Snowbird
Oct. 29, 2000, 10:08 PM
Allyson you are very fortunate to have learned that chemicals can make you think your are happy when your are really miserable.

I think two things, one I sense that somewhere down deep Allyson feels guilty that she couldn't help her mother. Allyson you were not her keeper. You had every right to find the truth for yourself. That is free will and you can be very proud that you did not go down in the quicksand with your mother. I think you must be a very strong and beautiful person who will become a very self confident role model for others.

Second I would like to push this issue back a step. While I agree with everything above what bothers me is what has failed that peer pressure becomes so important? What is there in this sport that we can change the creates an atmosphere of dependency?

Right now we cannot talk about how to fix it, unless we can identify the root causes. The goals, should they be changed? Is it the winning or the money or the respect from peers?

I am very concerned because as I have said my generation was not so much a victim of peer pressure. We found something we loved to do and then hoped we could keep a roof over our heads and do it. Doctors were doctors because they really wanted to cure sick people. Teachers were teachers because they really enjoyed teaching other people. I hope to survive on my farm because I really love horses and what they can do for children and adults.

So it disturbs me that this sport which I believed to be a safe haven that generated high self esteem and achievement of goals with a personal best has some how changed and is responsible for the opposite.

We know that the horses are medicated to enhance their performance, we are discussing medicating with chemicals people. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT PURPOSE? Is it to enhance performance? Is it to escape a lack of ability to perform? Is it to pretend that this world is the best of all times and places? Is life so futile that they cannot face it and WHY?

We have some who are killing themselves with eating disorders. Why do so many have this perception of an image to which they do not match? Why is "individualism" being sacrificed to the "herd mentality?

What can we do to change these perceptions and illusions?

jch
Oct. 29, 2000, 10:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kelsy:
I dont know any treainers who are drug dealers.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did not say any trainers are drug dealers. I asked was how could a parent allow their child to spend time in the company of known drug users/dealers. If a child is around someone who is using drugs, or going places with that person, they are likely to be exposed to others involved with drug use as well. This is simply not a safe situation for anyone, but especially not for an child who may be impressed by behavior they think is cool because they are with their trainer.

[This message has been edited by jch (edited 10-29-2000).]

J. Turner
Oct. 29, 2000, 10:38 PM
Sometimes I think the horse show world is a parallel universe in which the same moral standards the alternate must abide by do not apply. <very large sigh>

Kelsy
Oct. 29, 2000, 10:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jch:
I did not say any trainers are drug dealers. I asked was how could a parent allow their child to spend time in the company of known drug users/dealers. If a child is around someone who is using drugs, or going places with that person, they are likely to be exposed to others involved with drug use as well. This is simply not a safe situation for anyone, but especially not for an child who may be impressed by behavior they think is cool because they are with their trainer.

[This message has been edited by jch (edited 10-29-2000).]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry for the confusion... I know what you mean about being impressed... my old trainer's the reason I started smoking and a different trainer (a well known pony trainer so I won't say their name) would give my friends and I alchohol whenever we wanted it at shows.

Bertie
Oct. 29, 2000, 10:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by heidi:
I think on-site counselling may be difficult as addicts typically hide, and deny, their addiction. The annonymity of a 1-800 counselling service, or at least a referral service, that the AHSA could underwrite, might be easier for some addicts to accept. Perhaps the AHSA could initiate a fund raising drive, or designate a portion of their annual budget, to underwrite such a service.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Excellent thoughts Heidi. The services would have to be confidential, and at the same time, accessible. There are probably some good models for these types of services already in place in other sports and professional organizations.

CTT
Oct. 30, 2000, 12:32 AM
In only 6 months this board has taken a massive turn of attitude. The begining for this was the weight issue thread. But only till someone spoke up the ones who had been inflicted felt too timid to post. You could read threw the lines and point out the ones who were inflicted. Its very hard to come foward and say HEY WORLD WAKE UP CAUSE HERE IS MY STORY. A year ago I would have never poured out my past on the boards to let a large audiene read. But something triggerd inside. I don't know if it was anger that people were acting like this was a new fad or the fact that hearing what that judge said triggerd many years of hate from what my ears heard. All I know is some thing inside triggerd and without thinking there was my story writen with my own angry fealings.

For a day there I felt that I had made a tramedous mistake cause I crossed that line of personal experiences. But as the emails from other people poured in that day I relizes that that mistake was the best mistake I made. I seriously was skaired that people would lose respect for me. I lived a horable life but that fear is no longer with me. Im not happy with my mistakes but To be the person I am at this very moment Is a wondres gift. I still don't know how I did it by myself with no help but I did. I got well and went on with life.

What's wierd is looking back on those years and remebering how bad I just wanted to die. Only till you feal your sole actualy lifting from your body is when it realy hits you. Now I wonder what i was thinking.

What realy made it worth wiled was getting leters from people saying help I think I have a problem. You can't save everyone but you can reach out your hand.

During that time I met a very special girl well not a girl anymore but a wonderful young lady with so much to live for. She steped over that threashhold and said I need someone to talk with. With just that she has gone from a timid girl to a powerful young lady who has so much wisdom its skairy to talk to her now. but once in a while she will slip but she reaches out and we bounce back together. This young lady just needed someone to tell her she was important. Kind words can go such a long way. you know who you are. This is for you. she is not the only one who has handed their hand to me but she has been the bigest chalenge. Im proud of her cause she has now had the privalege to experience the joy she has brought me. I wrote a letter to someone that took about 4 months to write, One evening I sent her a copy and It was a huge impact on her. Such a big impact that she took the letter and printed 2 copys and gave them to 2 dear friends who would not admit they had a problem. with that small act she whitnesed her own revolution. IM VERY PROUD OF YOU!

There is so much that can impact someone with the simple act of writen words. This young lady and I would like to reach out to the comunity of all levals. A mystery of storys writen by many riders is what her and i would like to ask from all of you. There are so many things we can do to reach out to others.

We would like to put together a book of stories of riders who have whitnesed or been personaly inflicted by any of the things parents wish we never had to deal with. I have stories of riders with anorexia, drug abuse, alchal abuse, and even a rider who cut themselves to relieve the stress. All very pourfull stories but the more the stronger of a book we have and a grater impact.

All I ask is to sit and write what comes from the heart nomater how grafic it is. its not going to just be a book of the evil but also a book of triumph cause these people are alowing others to read their words and feal what they felt.

Please everone ho want to make an impact help me achieve this goal. No names will be mentiond and frankly I think the book will be writen By Anonomous. so all who are reading this weather a member or not please help me and my friend have the ability to use your stories to touch even just one more person.


[This message has been edited by CTT (edited 10-30-2000).]

JRG
Oct. 30, 2000, 05:58 AM
Just know Allyson that what your mom was going through, was none of your fault. Although extremely difficult and I am terribly sorry for your loss, you can't help someone that doesn't want the help. No matter what you try.

As a recovering alchoholic myself, know one could help me untill I got my head out of the bag, so to speak. It is an awful cycle to break.

We always wonder what could have or should have been done in situations like this, but hind sight is always 20/20. Try and look foward and savor the friendships you have.

CAH
Oct. 30, 2000, 01:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Debra C:


~random drug testing at shows for humans, similiar to that we do now on horses.
DRAWBACKS: many legal substances test as illegal and there are sometimes legitimate reasons for someone being on certain drugs (IE morphine) which could be considered illegal. Thus you might suspend someone from a show only to find out they had a legit reason for that they did and that now they are angry b/c they missed a chance to point etc etc.

~strict (AHSA related) penalities for drug involvement/conviction. IE if a trainer was caught by law enforcement doing drugs they would be barred from the AHSA shows for X period of time.
DRAWBACKS - may keep trainers off the circuit but they are still training - and realistically how many people get caught anyway?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Debra - kudos to you for your support, generousity and willingness to help.

Your suggestions above are indeed good, with many other drawbacks that would cause quite a debate in the industry. To be successful, it would require a zero tolerence policy from an agency - in this case the AHSA. And to enforce the policy, it would take big $$$$$$.
Perhaps a way to enforce the policy would be to require a yearly license fee for trainers.
This could cover random drug testing costs - at least for illegal drugs.

That is just one part of it. It would also require the MAJORITY of all trainers SUPPORTING the concept - not arguing or complaining about additional fees.

I remember several years ago, the Racing Commission posted a notice that all trainers at a local track would be subject to random drug testing if they entered a horse. Very interesting. But I think right on the money. Trainers, owners and staff undergo an application process, criminal background check and fingerprinting in order to work/ride/train. Maybe we should take a lesson from the racing industry.

But again, this zero tolence concept must be supported by the majority. Cries of "invasion of privacy", "its nobody's business", etc. would end it before it started.

And you are absolutely right about the supervision of juniors. I can't say any more. Any trainer (or adult, for that matter) that supplies his/her underage students with illegal drugs or alcohol better ealize that they are looking a 1) the possibility of criminal charges and 2) the possibility of child abuse allegations filed against them.

peepie
Dec. 4, 2002, 08:45 AM
It's nice to want to reach out to those who are addicted, but we must remember that the ONLY way help can be utilized is when the addicted person honestly WANTS help. Only then can the recovery process begin.
Therein lies the problem...it's a vicious circle...when addicted and in denial, do you want help? Sometimes having another person point it out can make a little bell-in-the-head go off...sometimes it drives one further into the abyss...


My horse bucked off your honor student!

Founder: LOFL (lawn ornaments for life) clique

[This message was edited by gambit on Dec. 04, 2002 at 11:55 AM.]

Weatherford
Dec. 4, 2002, 01:09 PM
This is an old thread and should have been closed before.

This discussion can continue on the new thread:

Illegal drugs (http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=6656094911&f=7076024331&m=9346031671&p=1)

It's OUT! Linda Allen's 101 Exercises for Jumping co-authored by MOI!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif