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mclainward
May. 23, 2001, 02:43 PM
I am glad to see that some of you were willing to read my post with an open mind. I hope that it will bring further posts. I am not sure whether I will continue to join in at these boards or not but I want to talk about one issue on my mind before leaving. After reading many of the threads here in paticular the ones concerning GP riders I feel that many comments are well intended yet lacking facts or knowledge as it pertains to showjumping. I can promise you that every major GP rider here and in Europe care deeply for horses in general and have high moral standerds they stick to. There is no chance to make it to the top of this sport without the sympathy needed to compete under high pressure and have feeling between you and your horse. As I am sure many of you know horses have a strong mind of their own and have to want to be good and have to love competing to be GP level. I can tell you whether it is Twist or any other GP horse I have had the chance to ride they love the sport, the competition and perform because they want to, not because of some cruel and unorthodox training method. The more orthodox the training the better the performance is a standard rule. That does not mean that as time goes on we learn different methods an use them in our systems. The horsmanship ways of the cavalry are still the base for how we ride and teach today but we must stay current and realize that such things as draw riens used properly and converters on pelhems are tools that can improve the performance of our horses. Many of the greatest jumpers have been of diffacult charecter and if we only stick to hardenfast rules and never try knew ways then many of those horse would have never reached their top level performances. To name a few Diester, Touch of Class, Baluobet, Idile Dice, Albany, and Ratina. All of these horse have been ridden in or used some kind of modern training tool that may not have come from a George Morris book or the cavalry method. I am also sure that horseman such as George Morris will tell that even though his method may not use one paticlular piece of tack such as draw riens that in the right hands, Rodney Jenkins, They can be highly effective. Preperation or tooning is another hot topic. Yes every Gp rider in the world has tuned their horse, everyone. Any rider who says different is lying and you should question their honesty. I can say this because I grew up in this sport, I know all the players and have since I was born. Tuning stories are like rumors though they grow and become grander with every telling. Every rider and trainer has their own limit to what they will do and I have never found anyone at the top level to be cruel or abusive. Even the riders that I consider tougher than most will never put a horse in danger or use a training method that risked injury or pain that is avoidable. Saying that accidents do happen whether it be in the hunt field or in the showring they are a realality. There is risk in showjumping and we all are aware of it but the best horses I have ridden still go wild in their stalls when the truck starts up. I believe they love it. For the record this is MW not an imposter!
McLain Ward

mclainward
May. 23, 2001, 02:43 PM
I am glad to see that some of you were willing to read my post with an open mind. I hope that it will bring further posts. I am not sure whether I will continue to join in at these boards or not but I want to talk about one issue on my mind before leaving. After reading many of the threads here in paticular the ones concerning GP riders I feel that many comments are well intended yet lacking facts or knowledge as it pertains to showjumping. I can promise you that every major GP rider here and in Europe care deeply for horses in general and have high moral standerds they stick to. There is no chance to make it to the top of this sport without the sympathy needed to compete under high pressure and have feeling between you and your horse. As I am sure many of you know horses have a strong mind of their own and have to want to be good and have to love competing to be GP level. I can tell you whether it is Twist or any other GP horse I have had the chance to ride they love the sport, the competition and perform because they want to, not because of some cruel and unorthodox training method. The more orthodox the training the better the performance is a standard rule. That does not mean that as time goes on we learn different methods an use them in our systems. The horsmanship ways of the cavalry are still the base for how we ride and teach today but we must stay current and realize that such things as draw riens used properly and converters on pelhems are tools that can improve the performance of our horses. Many of the greatest jumpers have been of diffacult charecter and if we only stick to hardenfast rules and never try knew ways then many of those horse would have never reached their top level performances. To name a few Diester, Touch of Class, Baluobet, Idile Dice, Albany, and Ratina. All of these horse have been ridden in or used some kind of modern training tool that may not have come from a George Morris book or the cavalry method. I am also sure that horseman such as George Morris will tell that even though his method may not use one paticlular piece of tack such as draw riens that in the right hands, Rodney Jenkins, They can be highly effective. Preperation or tooning is another hot topic. Yes every Gp rider in the world has tuned their horse, everyone. Any rider who says different is lying and you should question their honesty. I can say this because I grew up in this sport, I know all the players and have since I was born. Tuning stories are like rumors though they grow and become grander with every telling. Every rider and trainer has their own limit to what they will do and I have never found anyone at the top level to be cruel or abusive. Even the riders that I consider tougher than most will never put a horse in danger or use a training method that risked injury or pain that is avoidable. Saying that accidents do happen whether it be in the hunt field or in the showring they are a realality. There is risk in showjumping and we all are aware of it but the best horses I have ridden still go wild in their stalls when the truck starts up. I believe they love it. For the record this is MW not an imposter!
McLain Ward

Triple Crown
May. 23, 2001, 02:51 PM
Thanks for your post, McLain! That was exactly what I was trying to get at with my "where do you draw the line" thread. I hope you continue posting here! Not everybody's a critic! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Trooper
May. 23, 2001, 02:52 PM
Thanks for your insight - I for one always like to hear from the real deal.

There has been some discussion on the board in the past as to whether our GP's ought to run under FEI rules (no meds etc.) vs. the more permissive AHSA rules.

From the perspective of one who competes at the highest level, what do you think?

Sarah

Jair
May. 23, 2001, 03:11 PM
You raise some interesting points Maclain. Thank you for taking the time to give us your input. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

One thing though that I'd like to point out, which is in reference to this statement of yours:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Every rider and trainer has their own limit to what they will do and I have never found anyone at the top level to be cruel or abusive. Even the riders that I consider tougher than most will never put a horse in danger or use a training method that risked injury or pain that is avoidable. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You talk of "limits" that riders will go too, but I think you need to take a step back and appreciate that not everybody's "limit" is the same. What YOU or other riders might think is acceptable, will not be to others here, or in the real world. One thing about this board is the tremendous diversity it offers in terms of experience, personality, views and emotions - so while you may be disagreeing with some of what has been posted, please consider that there are people here from all walks of life - no matter what you say, people will think what they want.

Another point that comes up here I think, is the difference between what is perceived and what is reality. One person does not see the same as another. This will follow with the idea of "percieved cruelty" - some people are kinder hearted souls, and will jump at ANY sign of what THEY consider harsh or cruel methods, so while you may say that a certain "tune-up" method it is not intended to be painful or cruel, others will see it differently.

Like others here, I have seen some instances of what I would consider "over doing it" or even abuse by recognized GP riders in their schooling. I grew up down the road from Spruce Meadows and have spent many many hours there. Thankfully, these instances were far and long between. But I did witness them. That being said, I have no doubt that many would think what I saw was "normal" whiles others may run screaming to PETA! Unfortunately, not everyone in the equestrian world, or outside it, is "in the know" as you say.

Basically, I think what I'm trying to say, after much rambling, is read the BB with a salt shaker beside you, /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif and consider how those of us who are not privy to the upper echelons of our sport may think of some of these more heated issues.

and please continue to give us your input, as hearing opinions from an experienced rider, is one of the ways of learning. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

[This message was edited by Jair on May. 23, 2001 at 06:19 PM.]

FatLilPony
May. 23, 2001, 03:32 PM
Thanks Mclain, love having you around, heck, stick around! You've but some very flammable wood into the fire! I mean...oh forget it, I'm having speech-I mean, typing problems right now /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

*Callin me mam' is like puttin' an elevator in an outhouse....it just don't belong.

B.G.M. heidi
May. 23, 2001, 03:34 PM
Id agree that there isn't a singular GP rider out there who'd willingly hurt or cripple their horse -- especially if one considers their value and the fact it is in the best interest of the pro to turn in consistently competitive rounds.

I would question, though, the assertion that:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Every rider and trainer has their own limit to what they will do and I have never found anyone at the top level to be cruel or abusive. Even the riders that I consider tougher than most will never put a horse in danger or use a training method that risked injury or pain that is avoidable. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If training and tuning methods are to be left to the discretion of each trainer/rider, what remains is a wide range of subjective practises -- some of which will err on the side of caution, others which will prove, over the long haul, to be detrimental to the horse's health and sanity.

And while it's often true that, 'unless you've walked a mile in these Ariats, you can't know what I've experienced and gained in knowledge', there are enough of us who have been around the pro barns and show circuit long enough to have witnessed unquestionably cruel training and tuning techniques.

I'd also offer that some of us care more about the health and welfare of the horse over that of the pro; and thus much of what you responding to is the expressed concern of people who'd rather see a happy, sound and sane horse jump around a horse than one who does so out of fear.

As an owner, and this will sound mercenary, but I can replace a pro; but a good, honest, healthy, competitive horse is harder to find.

mclainward
May. 23, 2001, 03:38 PM
Jair, you make a great point.We all see life through different color glasses. I am sure there have been cases of abuse in regards to horse training over the years but in todays top level show world the horses are so good and the riders so perfesional that it is very tame. I have heard many stories of the old days when training was quite a bit harsher but times have changed. Certainly for the diehard riding itself could be considered cruel but then again I do believe it is PETA who blows up whole clinics with hundred of animals in them not to mention humans to prove a point. Who is the worse offender the testing clinic or the bomb maker? Do I consider a bamboo poll used properly cruel, no I don't and it does fall within my limits. I believe I can only state my opinion and back it up with as much knowledge as I can. Matters that I am not knowledgable in, not to worry I wont comment.
McLain Ward

jetsmom
May. 23, 2001, 03:43 PM
I am suprised to find you posting here, and find the wide range of experience from posters on this BB appealing. I enjoyed your input.

While I have seen you ride and doing it well, and never heard anything bad about YOU, I can't help but admit to feeling a little sqeamish when I think of your close ties to some very unsavory dealings regarding horses. I may get flamed for saying that, but I am sure that I am not the only one thinking that that kind of stuff does not occur under a family member's nose, and the other family member's aren't aware of it. I don't really want this to turn into that kind of discussion, so while I welcome your input on this board and admire your riding ability, and can learn from your posts, I on the other hand would love to have seen your dad and his friend's treated the same way the horses were. I am sorry but I can't read the name Ward and not think of that and feel phsically ill. I bear no ill will towards you and hope that you'll continue to post, but I can't get over the sqeamish factor. My reaction to this is my problem I know, but I will really try to view your posts not thinking about the above mentioned items.

Moderators- I truly did TRY to be diplomatic and hope that this came thru that way. But I am sure that I am not the only one to have these thoughts.

s

(Edited para marks � W.)

[This message was edited by Weatherford on May. 23, 2001 at 07:06 PM.]

Ruby G. Weber
May. 23, 2001, 03:45 PM
That's what it takes to ride in GP after GP and that's what it took for MW to stand up and be heard.
Jair brings up the issue of definition in a recent post. To some tuning is cruel. To others missing distances, hanging the horse in the mouth over the jump and other novice rider mistakes are cruel.
In either case, as long as the horse continues to HAPPILY do it's job, I would have to say no cruelty exsists.
By the way, the horses that come out of MW's stable ALWAYS look among the shiniest, healthiest and best presented. They do not look like uphappy or worried horses.

Lily
May. 23, 2001, 03:51 PM
I'm so glad to see that a thread which could have turned very nasty in the past has instead sparked a thought-provoking discussion about the lines we all draw in the sand.

We all have our own limits- in the way we deal with our horses as well as in everything else. Jair and Heidi made great points about the different experiences and viewpoints of people here on the BB.

Everyone is naturally going to believe they use the best training methods for their horses, because of our great love for our horses and the sport in general. This means we may- and in all honesty probably will- get defensive when our methods are called into question. But, hopefully we can keep away from the backbiting and learn something from each other- isn't that part of the point of us all being here? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

So, pick up that salt shaker Jair was talking about and stick around, McLain- it'll be fun having you around. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Coreene
May. 23, 2001, 03:52 PM
Jetsmom, if a child's mother was released from prison, having done their time, would you condemn the child a few years later? Just a thought. JMHO, but it probably would have been just as easy to have refrained from sharing your opinion.

Lily
May. 23, 2001, 03:57 PM
Jetsmom, I certainly think you could have been more diplomatic in your post. Personal attacks are not allowed.

Smiles
May. 23, 2001, 04:14 PM
This is a great dicussion and we have the professionals point of view too.

I think that you have to train the horse the way you see fit. If your going to use draw reins or a gag then do it. If it works great for that horse then why should other people think different or question it! I hate it when people say things about what people use on their horse and they think it's wrong. "Well have you ever sat on the horse? Do you know how he/she rides?" They don't and they shouldn't make opinions until then. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif When will you be showing next M.W.?

dbtoo
May. 23, 2001, 04:19 PM
I just have to take the opportunity to say that I hope you'll stay and chime in occasionally with your ideas, insights, jokes, etc.

Hopefully after your initial post you won't have to explain yourself again. Pretty soon you'll just be one of the gang and everyone will be disagreeing with you over all sorts of things, just like they do with everyone else here.

Miniwelsh
May. 23, 2001, 04:52 PM
I thought you handled saying what some of us were thinking very diplomatically - I'm sure if McLain has read other posts on this board, he has seen it said much more harshly. And I agree with you wholeheartedly that I, for one, could definately benefit from McLain's wisdom on this board and would love to see him chime in on many, many more threads.

Lily, I didn't see any personal attacks in jetsmom's post. I thought she said what she had to say with quite a bit of tact and it probably took some guts to bring it up. If that was a personal attack, I'm wondering why some of the other threads that broached this same topic with much less tact remain unmodified.

doubletake
May. 23, 2001, 04:56 PM
Yeah, I feel as though I just have to thank you! You brought up some really good points, some that I never even thought about. And I second what dbtoo said-- I hope you'll stick around becuase you obviously have a lot of information, wisdom, and point of views to share! It really takes guts for somebody to just come out and 'speak' for themself like you did, and for that I thank you! Keep up the good work. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

CBoylen
May. 23, 2001, 05:09 PM
Miniwelsh, I wonder if you would still think that was tactful if it were directed towards you. I usually try to stay out of conflicts, but I find that difficult when comments are directed against people I like and respect. Jetsmom is certainly welcome to her opinion, but I really question her judgment in expressing her thoughts when the object of her criticism has absolutely no way of changing the circumstances to which she refers. Guts is posting one's personal thoughts under one's own name. Can we give McLain some credit for doing that, and focus on what he has to say? The rest of the posters are judged by what they have to say, not who they are, nothing makes McLain any different.

eventer4
May. 23, 2001, 05:10 PM
I agree with Jair and the fact that different people view cruel treatment differently. I event my horses and I know many people who believe that eventing is mean and cruel to horses. Many people believe think that making a horse go though phases A, B, C, and D on endurance day is very cruel to horses.

And I think what Jetsmom said was rude. What happened in someones family's past is the past, even if something horrible did happen. I'm sure Mclain has very good horsemanship. There is no way his horses would perform the way they do without completely trusting him. I just hope people could learn to judge people for who THEY are and not what they have heard about them.

[This message was edited by eventer4 on May. 23, 2001 at 08:32 PM.]

Coreene
May. 23, 2001, 05:12 PM
I thought both of his posts were very informative and hope to see more in the future.

Miniwelsh
May. 23, 2001, 05:36 PM
Perhaps I arrved late and after her post had been modified, because Is till don't see anything rude or offensive in it.

I respect McLain's riding as much as the nest person..as I stated on another thread, I saw him in the puissance this past October and was full of admiration both for his riding ability and his ability to rise above some of the idiots in the crowd.

However, I have seen some much more hateful things posted than what is in Jetsmom's current post and I think you say it best in "The rest of the posters are judged by what they have to say, not who they are, nothing makes McLain any different. " TeriKessler has had some truly hateful things thrown her way that have never been deleted as it was someone's "opinion". Perhaps I feel this way simply because I did not see what was originally posted.

Back to the topic at hand, I guess my question is at what point should an amateur such as myself should become concerned over a trainer's method of training. How would I know when a trainer has crossed the line between a training method and abuse? What training methods utilized by the pros should amatears avoid?

Weatherford
May. 23, 2001, 05:42 PM
As I stated at the bottom of Jetsmom's post, the ONLY thing edited was her paragraphs - she had mistakenly put carriage returns in rather than letting word wrap do its job, thus the post was difficult to read.

It was NOT edited for CONTENT.

[This message was edited by Weatherford on May. 23, 2001 at 09:33 PM.]

mclainward
May. 23, 2001, 06:12 PM
I decided that I would have a look after dinner since there seemed to be so much interest in this post, wow! I am truly glad to see that so many people from different walks of life can come together and have an open minded chat. As to Jetsmom's post, I have heard far worse here on these boards and elsewere. I may not agree with ones opinion but it is their right to have it. I will not discuss the topic of my father other than questions related to our personal relationship. My father and I are very close and I support him wholeheartly. I stand behind him with waivering as he does for me, that is the way it is whether people agree or not. I owe my career and life to my father, he has tought me more given me more and shown me more than any father I have seen do for their children. I think that the comments made about happy, healthy horses are on target. In todays show world the horse care is firstclass all the way. I wish I were pampered the way my horses are. I am lucky to have the best people in world take care of my horses, this is the main reason for my success. As greatful as I am to be surrounded by the people I am sure my horses enjoy the bennefits the most.
McLain Ward

TeriKessler
May. 23, 2001, 06:20 PM
I made it onto McLain's thread! Talk about 6 degrees of separation! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TeriKessler
May. 23, 2001, 06:27 PM
...that I really AM the center of the universe! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

CTT
May. 23, 2001, 06:40 PM
Welcome McLain! I hope you do stay here. It can be very addicting trust me. In this BB we have people of all levals who have one thing in common the love of horses. We range all levals of the spectrum from people like me who use these boards to pass all the months of no riding to the active compedators. We are a large family here that take pride in our bond. I think over time you will notice we have a excentric flare compared to others. We do our best to meet each other and get to know everyone possible. We take pride in the victories of others weather a first time show or a special classic.

I myself came here a year ago and since that day have called this place my home. I come as often as I can and in that time to many I have become a special person. When I dissapear I get nasties to come back. When someone leaves we notice and we hate to loose people. We all get our bad emails once in a while but we don't hold grudges. Im telling you this so you can understand our little comunity of friends weather young or old. So how about it why not park your bench here for a while and give this quaint comunity a try. Trust me if you stay long enough and then leave you will miss it here. Its just something none of us can explain that makes this board so unique.

Mazzy
May. 23, 2001, 06:42 PM
As I was lucky enough to hang around the in-gate as my boys went in the Low Preliminaries at OSF (small boast for proud Mommy), I can honestly attest that your fan club far outnumbers those that criticize. Its just unfortunate in life that those that criticize often do so with the loudest voice. It was fabulous to watch you ride all week and listen to your fellow professionals admire your stylish rounds.

Most people would be well advised to shut their collective traps when it comes to commenting on issues when they lack the full story and all of the facts. Best of luck this year....just leave a little room for my boys in the ribbons /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (shameless begging here... /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif )


Teri - you crack me up!

Miniwelsh
May. 23, 2001, 06:44 PM
TeriK...as your personal bb secretary, you know I bring you up whenever possible....I just don't always remember the one "r" /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

McLain, I have to say that after reading your posts my admiration for you has grown. From what I have seen, you seem to handle both horses and controversy with tact and courage. I hope to read more of your opinions and advice in the future.

CTT
May. 23, 2001, 06:44 PM
TK don't make me chase you with a baseball bat! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Oh wait I can't do that incase I need a favor in 20 years. Darn /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

jetsmom
May. 23, 2001, 06:44 PM
To those who were offended by my post, I will only state that what prompted it was the comment that He has never seen any cruelty or abuse at the upper levels....

To the comment about guts, I noticed that the majority of the posters that complained (except for Mr Ward), don't include any email icon so I might email them privately. I'd sign my name, but
none of you would recognize me by it anyways, since I've always been "Jetsmom" to the posters.

To Mr Ward- That you have a good relationship with your Dad is great. I don't think I mentioned anything that wasn't public record, and I did try to avoid going into any depth on the matter. The mention from you about not ever seeing any cruelty or abuse in the upper levels,
gave me pause, precisely, because of your close
relationship with the people involved in the events. I am not saying you were involved or should be condemned for the acts of others, but if
you re-read your post you might understand why I posted what I did. I did not intend to criticize you personally, but expressed my reaction to that comment, coming from someone so close to the individuals involved.
To Coreene- To answer your question, I'll compare it to a more fitting situation... if a young adult's mom, killed each man she dated, and went to jail, would I condemn the young adult if he said he's never seen a mother be violent? I might not condemn him, but I would probably post something similar to what I did. (Again, no problem with the person...just that comment on abuse coming from that person.). I would have emailed you, but you don't have that option on your posts. Thankfully it's a free country and we can respectfully disagree with someone's position.
To all- I did not post this just to attack Mr Ward. I do admire his riding, and did not ever suggest he participated in any cruelty. please re-read both of our posts and maybe my reason will be more clear.
Linda McDaniel
ps-Miniwelsh-thanks for seeing it the way I intended it!

[This message was edited by jetsmom on May. 23, 2001 at 09:56 PM.]

Erin
May. 23, 2001, 06:51 PM
Just one quick reminder... everyone is welcome to their opinions, but please remember that we're here to discuss what's posted, not the people posting. It's a well-known fact that not everyone on the BB gets along... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif However, anyone who follows the rules is welcome to post.

Jetsmom is entitled to her opinion, but I don't really want to see this topic turn into a discussion of personalities. Let's try to keep the thread about issues, not individuals, please. Thanks! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

mclainward
May. 23, 2001, 06:56 PM
I first would like to say that commend you for sticking to your guns. Honest opinions are fine by me. To answer you though without getting into a debate regarding my father I would like to point out a few things. Even if you find my father guilty without question, he was never accused of animal abuse or any harmful act against a horse with his hands. So in that case, no even if that is how you feel about him I have never seen horse abuse in our stable or at gp level showing in my years in the sport.
Mclain Ward

May. 23, 2001, 06:56 PM
When he was a little brat on ponies--telling his father off!!!!!!! (LAUGHING!!!!)

Stick around McLain, we don't bite (hard), and would definately appreciate your input.

SupaGoo
May. 23, 2001, 07:00 PM
McLain I think it's great that you are here and everyone can hold an intelligent conversation. I must say I admire your riding greatly and judging from your posts you have a high standard of professionalism which I find very admirable. As a college student and a rider I am greatful to be able to learn from those at the top. I hope you stick around or atleast stop by once in awhile /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~*~Kris~*~

Dee
May. 23, 2001, 07:01 PM
This is off the subject, but McLain, I've got to ask, what is going through your mind and what are you looking at three strides out from a puissance wall? I've seen one puissance and I was awestruck.

Oh, and by the way, welcome. It was a nice treat to come in from the barn and see this thread. Your posts are very well written and thought-provoking. It's good to share different "glasses"--nothing's ever black and white! /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Snidgie5
May. 23, 2001, 07:04 PM
Ok, I can speak again. I think you (Maclain) are an amazing rider! And your input is wonderful! Now that I have finished gushing at you I'll say welcome to the board. Good luck this year, hopefully I'll get to see you ride somewhere soon!

Black Market Radio
May. 23, 2001, 07:15 PM
Welcome Mclain! I hope you stick around! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Queen Marine

Snowbird
May. 23, 2001, 07:23 PM
I believe you have proved to me that you have great courage and I respect you more for being willing to have an open debate than even for your winning and riding. Truth is all that can survive in sunshine.

It is very important to have a dialog and for people to be able to understand that what might seem like cruelty to one is actually good horsemanship to another. A tolerance for differeance is the only thing that can spare this sport from extinction. Just as we consider the horses welfare in our keeping the animal rights extremists condemn us all and want horses freed from our work.

To have a value and to be able to do a job gives every living thing worth and joy. To feel useless and purposeless is to feel worthless. So, to the extent that you have expressed a kindness and consideration for the horse I offer you my respect and welcome you to these debates. Certainly, no one expects a parent to condemn their child nor a child to condemn a parent.

Tin
May. 23, 2001, 07:27 PM
MW> I'm very glad to see you here and must admit your were a hero of mine. Please stick around we have many good topics here and the more "points of view" given out the better and wider spectrum we can get of this whole horse world.

I must also add though my little comment, take it as you will and I remind everyone that this is not ment as harsh or negative words. Take it with a grain of salt as always /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Just because someone thinks a training method is acceptable doesn't mean it is. Of couse who sets the rules? Do our famous high and mighty GP riders/trainers set the rules? We hold them up on huge pedistals but should we rest the whole horse well being in their hands. Perhaps to some, but I would rather euthinize my horse then send him to certain riders. Why? Because to me, they draw the line. And that is the whole kitten-cabbodle, the key word is ME right now. What I think, what I practise and what I believe crosses. Of course that still doesn't prove that I am right.
We need to get rid of the me and the I , we need to decide once and for all where the heck that line is and I don't think that will ever happen.

And this makes me laugh, for some reason it does. It makes me think of way back when someone said "if you see a pro post on the wrong diagnol; it's to benifit the horse. If you see anyone else do it; they are just stupid."

I don't know if this all will make sense to everyone but it does to me at this moment. I'm now going to bed and will read this again in the morning to either delete or edit to better state what I mean /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Triple Crown
May. 23, 2001, 07:36 PM
Ha, Silly Mommy - I remember McLain kicking my butt when I/we were juniors! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Miniwelsh
May. 23, 2001, 07:40 PM
I think I get what you are saying and it raised another issue for me.

Example...Double Decker trailers were recently outlawed for the transport of horses. The majority of the horse community was relieved. The transporters couldn't understand what all the fuss was about...we transport other slaughter animals in these trailers all the time...why not horses?

Since I have in no way, shape or form ever trained a jumper, I can't say for a fact whether I believe that "rapping" or the use of bamboo poles is either beneficial or abuse. Were I going around a course of fences taller than me on a 1500 to 2000 pound animal, I may want to use those practices in training to ensure that whatever I'm on knows that he better pick his feet up over the fences for the safety of both myself and the horse.

As Tin averted to, the question lies in whose standards are being applied. As in the case of double decker trailers, some people thought that they were a means to an end..they got the horses where they needed to go, and had been used forever for the transport of other animals. other thought they were a cruel and unusual means to an end. How do we decide who is right and who is wrong in any situation?

JustJump
May. 24, 2001, 04:29 AM
Erin,

Can the COTH spring for a hat for McLain?

Sannois
May. 24, 2001, 04:47 AM
I felt the exact same way. What you said was not rude it was a FACT. Why do people always want to push the Bad stuff under the carpet, and sugar coat it. I will stay off of this one for sure.

Lord Helpus
May. 24, 2001, 05:22 AM
with memories of McLain, I helped him put his shoes and socks on in the mornings when he was about 2 or 3. I parked my camper next to his at Ocala and he liked playing with my two cocker spaniels (Emily and Charlotte -- the Bronte sisters) so much that Barney parked next to me at the Jacksonville and Tampa shows.

Glad you finaly got the hang of it on your own, Cain. LOLOL

You wuz a real cute kid! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif It sure makes me feel old to see all you guys grow up. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Whistlejacket
May. 24, 2001, 05:53 AM
Mr. Ward,

(Sorry to sound so formal, but I was raised to address people as "sir" and "ma'am". Old habits die hard, and to this day I have difficulty addressing people immediately by their first name, as is customary in the horseworld. Obviously I need to loosen up! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

First of all, welcome!

I was wondering if you could comment on the use (or possible abuse) of drugs administered to the horses at the top level of competition. Judging from the active discussion and level of concern about the topic voiced on this board before, I am sure that your input and observations would be of interest to many BB'er's. Myself included!

Thanks!

jumpsalot
May. 24, 2001, 05:54 AM
First, I want to say "welcome" and next Thank you.
I think it is wonderful that you have posted here under your real name. Geez-look at all of the posts!!!!!!
I have been around the level at which you compete-not as competitor , but as wife - of a former CET GP rider. I have seen McLain for a while & remember 11 years ago in Tampa, being amazed at his abilities. I knew who he was because of who his father was. This did not , and still does not influence my opinion of MW.
The ways in which GP horses are treated, leaves me wishing that I was one. The training and schooling that is done at that level is of the utmost importance to the well being of the horses. The tricks and gimmicks only work for a VERY short while, and if that is the only way of insuring clear rounds, then it WILL catch up with those people who use them as a replacement for good old fasioned training , and conditioning.
my husband and I were with Ian Millar for 2 years. My hubby had been there before, but it was my first exposure to that level of riding. I was and still remain in awe of the training methods and the paradox that I found . The training goes back to the basics- read George Morris' Teaching Beginners to Ride, yet pays attention to the most minute detail & intricacies of the horses' gaits & form over EVERY jump.
Yes, poling is used at that level, BUT only in a manner which will enhance the horses' jump- not scare it or hurt it. AND it is not used on all horses.AND it is not used often. When you are competing for $100,000, you want to go out there KNOWING that you CAN win on that day.
Anyone can enter these classes, but it quickly becomes apparent who should be there. These people will be the ones whose rounds are (for the most part) ridden like a modified eq round. Watch McLain, Ian Millar, Joe Fargis and the like. They are riding very technically correct rounds. Yes, form gets lost on occasion, but usually in the jump off. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Sorry if it seems like I am rambling, but here in NC, there seems to be a whloe contingency who think jumpers are dangerous and cruel.
Done correctly, they are neither. I personally find it MORE cruel to LTD (lunge to death)and to founder horse for the sake of "quietness". I think that hunters showing witbeing ridden by inexperienced riders probably have more frequent contact with inanimate objects than any Grand Prix horse. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Again, thank you McLain for posting here & I look forward to your input on many subjects in the future!!!

Gnarly
May. 24, 2001, 06:00 AM
You're only as good as your barn help.
And yours is the best! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

DarkenStormy
May. 24, 2001, 06:27 AM
McClain,

Welcome to the BB's - I don't post much, but I read a lot and have been a fan of yours for a long time.

Thanks for speaking up and entering in this debate with an open mind.

lauriep
May. 24, 2001, 06:27 AM
It is great to have "the real deal" here, and your courage in standing up to the negatives, and stating your views is admirable.

Wendy speaks very highly of you, and her word is law with me!

Laurie

M. O'Connor
May. 24, 2001, 06:28 AM
someone when the judgement is based on the actions of another. To judge McLain for his father's actions (and to further insinuate that he should in some way be held accountable for them, particularly when one considers McLain's age when these events were transpiring) is doubly unfair. Standing by a family member through hardship is a commendable act, and a courageous one on McLain's part, and should certainly be praised rather than criticised.

Maria
May. 24, 2001, 06:44 AM
jumpsalot, thank you. I am only a dressage rider. As you mentioned there is a different way of thinking in NC. Not only in GP jumping but in Competitive dressage as well.

I have been lucky to ride with a big name. Believe me, my big name trainer has the BEST interest in mind of the horses in his care. If not, they would not be as good nor as happy.

It is a different world at the top. It is easy to be an armchair critic, and easy to dis or critisize that which is not understood or even really known. These big names put themselves out there. They are in the publics view, it's easy to be harsh with them and about them.

These professionals such as McLain are so much better riders, for the most part, than the average joe. Their response time is quicker, they are sharper, they have had hours of the best instruction, they have riden probably 1000's of horses and many I would guess are naturals. They can think like horses. They may know what the horse is going to do before the horse.

I guess with all this rambling, I think everyone has to find what works best for them. It never hurts to learn of other training techniques and if they don't work for you, fine, file them away, there may come a time when you may need or want to try that techique. It's Knowledge.

McLain, Thank you for your honesty and bravery.

stephanie
May. 24, 2001, 07:20 AM
I, for one, am very impressed with both McLain and the rest of the posters for demonstrating that we _can_ discuss a controversial topic civilly, and hopefully educate one another a little bit in the process.

I think what this thread hits on better than any other, and what is the crux of so much disagreement, is that I really believe that everyone believes they have the horse's health and well being in mind. (The same way that pretty much everyone believes they are a good driver). This is why it is so hard to have a conversation about this sort of thing. There are no clear lines that everyone can agree on about what is abusive or cruel treatment... it's like pornography... people say they recognize it when they see it.

I recently read a book which disturbed me, and I've been meaning to post about it for a while. It's called "Dark Horses and Black Beauties" and purports to be an exploration of the passion people, especially women, have for horses and riding. There are parts that are very good, but the author's fundamental point, which I don't agree with, is that having sport horses at all--riding them, keeping them in stalls, forcing them to jump over artificial obstacles--is cruel and unnatural. I don't agree with this, but it made me think about how arbitrary the lines are that we draw to determine what is cruel and what is not.

All that is not to say that I have not witnessed training methods that I thought were cruel, perpetrated both by high level riders whom I respect, and by others of lesser caliber. I walked out of a barn where I had started to take lessons because the "professional" was treating the horses in a way that turned by stomach.

I guess all I'm trying to get at is that at the end of the day, as McLain says, every rider and trainer has to decide for themselves what methods they are comfortable with that will let them sleep at night, with the understanding that it is very likely that there are many people who may disagree with their decisions. For the amateur, I think the trick is to respect those with more experience at the higher levels while also keeping their own counsel about what lines they want to draw in terms of the treatment of their own horses.

And to McLain: I had pretty much reserved judgment on the controversy surrounding you, but your posts here definitely gained my respect. You have had a hard road to travel, and I am impressed with your determination and poise. Best of luck to you.

coco
May. 24, 2001, 08:33 AM
Bravo Jetsmom for having the courage to find the words that many keep silent, for fear of the backlash (which you've obviously taken).

EquiMom
May. 24, 2001, 08:41 AM
Just a few thoughts to add, along with a greeting!

Many of us have witnessed the brilliance, talent and poise demonstrated in your competition--but few have had the opportunity of hearing your "voice"--which now reveals the poise, self-realization--and the personal identity to which you are entitled. It is this personal identity to which I am drawn, as it is indicative of a caring, dedicated and self-possessed idividual, quietly confident within himself.

It is evident that you have learned to achieve what many may spend a lifetime searching to attain--the ability to know who and what you are, in your own right, regardless of whatever storms may swirl about you. It is a credit to anyone--let alone one of so tender an age--to be able to keep their spirit inviolate from the outside forces that seek to diminish us.

Your strength of spirit is admirable. Please continue to let your "voice" be heard here, as it is a voice that rings true of the man behind it.

Blinky
May. 24, 2001, 10:15 AM
I must say you have guts-to not only post here under your real name but to jump the huge fences!
Welcome to the BB. This site will make you laugh, cry, get angry, and make you say "I didn't know that!"

Hope you stay.

mclainward
May. 24, 2001, 10:59 AM
I would like to thank the many of you who have had such kind words to say. I understand that some of you have mixed feeling regarding me and that is your choice but I am glad to see all are able to keep an open mind.

To respond to checkers I can only say that I am truly sorry that your views of me are so strong. I respect you for having your own opinion but it is wise to back your opinion's up with knowledge or if possible facts. The horse rider combo's you mentioned like Big Ben and Ian and Milton and John were great and lasted for a long time that is true but did you know that Ian started with BB when he five, John with milton when he was seven, Peter (a dear friend) with Legato when he was a yearling and so on. In till Rio the youngest Gp horse I started was twelve so for their careers with me to last five or six years was quite a long time. I am also a horse dealer first not a rider, which means often I have to sell my horses in the middle of their career's. Crazy you by the way was always a great jumper in Europe but her riders were haveing trouble getting between the fences because she was bucking so often. That is how I was able to buy her. If you watched me ride her than you surely realized that I did not even use spurs with her to try and keep her calm. She bucks and rings her tail because she is hot and marish not because of a "red flag" showing unorthodox training.She has been sold back to Europe so it is true Checkers you won't be seeing her again, but don't worry she is in good hands.

To answre one question put forward by Whistle Jacket I do have views on drug use in horses. I believe strongly that the regulated use of Bute, and Banamine in horses is not only safe for the horses but is also keeping our sport in this country much cleaner than the no tolerance drug testing in Europe. We know the side effects of these drugs, it is similar to us using asprin or a mild pain killer. After a hard workout how many of us take a few Advil with no long term damage, Basically all of us. These drugs used in regulated amounts certainly help a horse but will in no way mask major injury or pain. They help a horse who has had a paticularly hard workout or compition and will prolong the career of an older horse so that many of us including myself have a chance to compete at showjumping even though we may not be able to afford that great seven year old who vets without problem. In Europe today the sport has a dark side because of no tolerance. Horse trainers are using drugs which give the desired effect yet are untested and little is known about their side effects. The reason they are using these drugs is because they don't test! To be honest with you this situation in Europe is touching the abuse line for me and many riders here and abroad are pushing for the F.E.I. to look at these problems and allow regulated use of known meds so that the use of exsperimental drugs is stoped.
McLain Ward

CTT
May. 24, 2001, 11:13 AM
A quick question do you think that even if the FEI allows regulated meds back in the euro market, knowing what the euros know about drugs do you think that they will switch over to the testable or continue useing the black lable drugs since they know that they can use it with good effects. Just curious to know what you think.

backinthesaddle
May. 24, 2001, 11:21 AM
Hi Maclain,

Welcome to the board from a sometimes lurker, sometimes poster. I admire your honesty as much as I admire your riding ability.

Anyway, I don't think you ever answered the question about what goes through your mind when approaching a puissance wall. I'm dieing to hear it straight from the rider's mouth. How 'bout it?

Coreene
May. 24, 2001, 11:41 AM
Interesting observations regarding experimental drugs. What is your opinion on the nutraceuticals such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine?

Little side note: remember when it came out about eight years ago? I think Springtime Feed Company was one of the first selling it. It worked great, and I looked forward to it coming into the "people market" for those with arthritis. Then joint injections, especially the hocks, were big, then Adequan and Legend. So now, guess what, they are doing "hock injections" for people in the knees. And it works great!

Sorry to sidetrack, but I thought it was nice to see nutraceuticals having a strong plus in at least one type of ailment.

Sandy M
May. 24, 2001, 12:04 PM
probably about your father's age! *G*) You echo a sentiment expressed by a friend of my who has competed at high levels of dressage (not GP jumping), who once said, "I think they must have drugs in Europe we've never even thought of...."

That said, I think it's one thing to liken bute and other NSAIDS as the equivalent of aspirin after a strenuous effort, another to so medicate a horse IN ORDER TO COMPETE. Regulation is, indeed, the question, because my attitude has always been (and I've been primarily an eventer in the past, and done some H/J up to 4'6") if my horse cannot compete WITHOUT bute - then I don't compete him. Then again, my horse is not my "business," but I am uncomfortable with the idea of medicating in order to ride/compete. It's one thing to lightly bute a slightly arthritic hunter pony or A/A 3" horse, another to do it in order to do a GP class. That is why, I am sure, there is the controversy regarding NSAIDS, and why under FEI rules they are not permitted.

Thank you for participating in these discussions.

Flash44
May. 24, 2001, 12:35 PM
I was just wondering the other day why it is that few top level pros don't post here, then decided that it is because they are probably in the barn riding or on the road showing!!!!! Most of us are taking a few too many breaks at work. Slow day, Mclain?

Checkers324
May. 24, 2001, 01:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>To respond to checkers I can only say that I am truly sorry that your views of me are so strong. I respect you for having your own opinion but it is wise to back your opinion's up with knowledge or if possible facts. The horse rider combo's you mentioned like Big Ben and Ian and Milton and John were great and lasted for a long time that is true but did you know that Ian started with BB when he five, John with milton when he was seven, Peter (a dear friend) with Legato when he was a yearling and so on. In till Rio the youngest Gp horse I started was twelve so for their careers with me to last five or six years was quite a long time. I am also a horse dealer first not a rider, which means often I have to sell my horses in the middle of their career's. Crazy you by the way was always a great jumper in Europe but her riders were haveing trouble getting between the fences because she was bucking so often. That is how I was able to buy her. If you watched me ride her than you surely realized that I did not even use spurs with her to try and keep her calm. She bucks and rings her tail because she is hot and marish not because of a "red flag" showing unorthodox training.She has been sold back to Europe so it is true Checkers you won't be seeing her again, but don't worry she is in good hands.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Again, I apologize for having been so harsh in my posts on the "Favorite Grand Prix riders" thread. We all make mistakes, and in a way I'm glad I made this one, because now I know the real story behind all the horses you (I'm starting to believe now that you might really be McLain Ward) have ridden.

Since this is on a similar topic to what I had commented about, does anyone know if Rene Tebbel really DID put chemicals on his horse's legs? Except for the fact that he sometimes overbends his horses (I have seen first-hand what riding a horse overbent can do to him... /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif), he's another quite controversial rider I have been quite pleasantly surprised with. Can anyone fill me in?

Sorry guys, for all the trouble I've caused!

HeyYouNags
May. 24, 2001, 02:12 PM
I, too, have serious questions about this statement:

"Every rider and trainer has their own limit to what they will do and I have never found anyone at the top level to be cruel or abusive. Even the riders that I consider tougher than most will never put a horse in danger or use a training method that risked injury or pain that is avoidable."

If professionals never were abusive, AHSA wouldn't need rules about poling or illegal tack. The abuses are real, they're present in most equestrian sports, and the prospect of making lots of money with horses just increases the temptation.

Whenever the question is raised about whether or not a practice is abusive, the proponents of said practice argue that "We wouldn't do it if it were harmful to the animals. We value these animals, we rely on them to earn our living." The folks that sore Tennessee Walking Horses say the same thing, and despite a federal law designed to end soring, it still happens. I have never heard any horseperson say, "Yes, it's cruel, but I have to do it to win."

I used to work at the TB racetrack. I did what everyone else did, and thought what they thought - the horses look happy, I don't think I'm doing anything bad. (Caveat: there were things that I refused to do, despite their being common practice.) I'm not in that business anymore, and I view things differently from the outside. I now think much of it is inappropriate (referring primarily to medication use). I probably wouldn't have any questions if I still relied on the racetrack to earn a living!

The racing industry is embroiled in debate about the appropriate use of medications, and no one who's medicating horses to the hilt thinks it harmful.

I also have more respect than ever for questions raised by people outside a given industry. I think it's important to step back, and try to understand what the sport looks like to people who "just don't understand" because they're not part of it. We tend to have blinders on when it's our hobby or worse, our livelihood.

Miniwelsh mentioned a federal ban on tranporting horses via double deck trailers. Sad to say, this law has never been enacted, although about four states have their own laws that prohibit it. And guess what transporters say? "Double deck trailers aren't harmful. Slaughter horses are our livelihood, and we wouldn't use the trailers if it were harmful to horses - we lose money on damaged carcasses!"

I'm curious about what unidentified, untestable meds are used in FEI horses, because meds don't stay a secret for very long. Chances are, if they're being used in Europe, they're being used here. U.S. trainers, even under AHSA rules, are constantly on the lookout for anything that doesn't test. (As an aside, if you think FEI rules result in even more medication abuse, then doesn't that mean you know of professionals who abuse their horses, via medication if not by physical means?)

Times change and our beliefs about what is appropriate change. The trend for the last 100 years or so has been, overall, towards less cruel or abusive techniques. But don't think that everything we do today is fine, because we may have a better way to do things tomorrow. We still haven't finished cleaning our own houses.

Disclaimer: this rant is not directed at any individual. The ranter does not believe that all, or even a majority of, riders/trainers are abusive. The ranter simply believes that anyone who insists that everything is just perfect simply hasn't looked objectively. Unless, of course, you're looking at my nags!
/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Miniwelsh
May. 24, 2001, 02:20 PM
Thanks for correcting my post....I just got another e-mail from the Equine Protection League regarding the double deckers and haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet.

Great points in your post too...you said it much better than I did /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

mclainward
May. 24, 2001, 02:30 PM
A quick response to some of these post: Yes a slow day for whomever asked. Some of our horses are resting for a week or two and the rest have gone to either Devon or Catskills, we are doing both at the same time.

Is using meds that don't test as they are in Europe a abuse? In a way yes but I have not seen it place horses in pain of any sort it just causes an unfair playing field with the risk of major problems if one of these drugs backfires.

As I sit here I am trying not to put this the wrong way but come on checkers! You must be overflowing with knowledge to have so many opinions about so many parts of the horse world and so many top pro's who have spent lifetimes learning their trade. I have been given one piece of advice in my life which holds true to anything I do: Someone always knows more than you so keep an open mind so that you are able to keep learning. Checkers you seem to have all the answers and from what I hear your still quite young, amazing! I will tell you what, I am going to exstend an invatation to you. Any time you like you more than welcome to come and spend a day or two at our stable. After that you make your own judgments on how we do things here and by the sounds of it we can learn a thing or two from you. How about it!
McLain Ward

MHM
May. 24, 2001, 02:35 PM
LOL!!! Too funny! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SGray
May. 24, 2001, 02:45 PM
I haven't read the thread yet (printing to read tonight) but I must say that it is way cool that an honest-to-god equestrian *star* is joining in on the boards

and with a sense of humour

thanks MW

jetsmom
May. 24, 2001, 02:47 PM
Hey You Nags- Great post!

Medievalist
May. 24, 2001, 02:53 PM
lol. Good reply MW /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Better than I would have done!

HuntJumpSC
May. 24, 2001, 02:58 PM
Welcome to the board, McLain...hope you stick around...I must say that I am really enjoying (& learning quite a lot) from this thread! /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif SUZ

~~~Takeoffs are optional~ Landings are mandatory!~~~

nutmeg
May. 24, 2001, 03:14 PM
I must say I found it rather scary while the Europeans were fine-tuning their off label answers to bute and banamine. Remember the year seven grand prix horses died? All patients of the same vet or his assistant? I believe it was the same year Jus de Pommes left the building, although in his case its because they didn't let him pee between receiving his medal and boarding the flight home. Fortunately they seem to have the hang of it now. (or unfortunately). But let me get to my point: the vast majority of the Dutch, Belgian and French riders I have met in my travels would MUCH rather be dealing with the old FEI drug rules than with some unidentified substance in a bottle. The vast amount of cheating that goes on leaves them with almost no choice: if they want to be competitive, they have to cheat like everyone else.

Coreene
May. 24, 2001, 03:20 PM
Nutmeg, I thought it was colic with Jus de Pommes? Didn't he have to pee right after the event to be drug tested?

On a side note re that horse, I know they had a lot of frozen semen for him. I know his "family members" are doing very well in the show ring - would be interesting to know how the progeny fares.

CTT
May. 24, 2001, 03:32 PM
SGray Of course he has a sence of humor. I think Im the only one on this board with out one. Heck I even went to Mexico this morning to try to buy one and had no luck. The man said the french had just bought him out. Guess that means Ill half to wait another week before I get a new humor box. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Coreene
May. 24, 2001, 03:34 PM
CTT, buy I think the guy at the place next door might have it! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

nutmeg
May. 24, 2001, 03:37 PM
To clarify what I understood from the Dutch grooms, the flight home for the German horses was scheduled so closely to the conclusion of the medal ceremony that the poor horse didn't get a minute to relax after all the excitement... whoosh, wraps on and on the truck we go! So his death is not literally due to having to pee, but most likely due to exhaustion/dehydration and stress in the Atlanta heat before embarking on a strenuous trip. Had someone only said, wait a sec, let's go tomorrow!

invisible
May. 24, 2001, 03:46 PM
being the "new kid on the block"

can someone please explain to me why we should medicate horses before a performance in any way. Seems to me that pain occurs for a reason, to tell the body to slow down and heal. Masking any sort of discomfort must cause prolonged pain and worsen injury. I understand that to some, this is a business, but these are also living and feeling being that are involved (without choice).

Please excuse ignorance. Any justifications welcome.

JustJumpIt19
May. 24, 2001, 03:58 PM
*Wishes she were Checkers* I'd take up MW's invitiation if I were you /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

****Courtney****

Coreene
May. 24, 2001, 04:02 PM
Nutmeg, thanks for clarifying. Had no idea, but it makes sense. I know they all went home pretty fast. Too bad the poor guy didn't want to pee on the plane (and I'm sure this is a problem with more than we'd think).

NinaL aka Chrissy
May. 24, 2001, 04:32 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bute and Banamine (and other NSAIDs) when administered in accordance with the label directions ARE NOT, in the strictest sense of the word, pain masking. Rather, they indirectly decrease pain by decreasing inflammation and prostaglandin production. That is why the AHSA's limitations are considered therapeutic not analgesic.

I will grant that there is some painkilling effect when the blood plasma level is at its highest (although I will still differentiate that from a very potent painkiller such as the morphine based drugs). However, the AHSA withdrawal times are based upon studies done that show levels at which the plasma level is low enough that any effect more than anti-inflammatory is gone.

One of the reasons the anti-stacking rule was enacted was because research showed that when multiple NSAIDs were administered at the same time their effect became analgesic.

I know it sounds like I'm nit-picking but, at least to me, there is a big, big difference between a substance that masks pain (analgesic) and one that indirectly relieves pain (therapeutic). If you have ever had an injection of Demoral (one of the true painkillers out there) you know what I mean.

Certainly, when I had a broken collarbone overdosing Advil (1200 mg at a time)did not do a thing other than to cause an intense ringing in my ears. OTOH, I found that Vicoprofin was a wonderful thing although not nearly as good as Percocet /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

I honestly do not believe that controlled administration of an NSAID is in anyway performance enhancing. Indeed, I find the difference between a gram of Bute and an injection of Legend or Adequan very small indeed since these pharmaceuticals are also concerned anti-inflammatory.

There is probably more off-label use of substances than we are aware of. They are not all necessarily harmful to the horse but, as McLain suggests, they do give an edge to those that are clever enough to make use of them.

I won't go into neurectomies and the like but I have no reason to NOT believe that they are used by some FEI competitors to get their horses past the jog.

Nina

JumpTheMoon
May. 24, 2001, 04:48 PM
Aw Checkers - can I come with you? Please?! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Welcome to the board McLain! Being a Canadianite, and not too big into jumpers (You wouldn't catch me jumping ANYTHING over 3'6" while still breathing! I'll stick to Childrens thank-you-very-much) i'm not too familiar with your background, training techniques etc, so I must say i'm learning a ton about you from this thread, which is great! But I have seen you ride, plenty of times, and I must say you are quite amazing! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Then again, I commend anyone who willingly jumps 4 feet, let alone 6!

I, also, would love to hear what goes through your mind while jumping a puissance wall!

bronwyn
May. 24, 2001, 04:56 PM
as a severe chronic pain sufferer i feel the need to make a few points on the whole meds/cruelty issue. i broke my and dislocated my neck at 18. i rode and worked professionally as a groom /rider for 10 years with a fused neck ,degenarative disk disease, neuropathy and arthritis. i had pain. i took meds. i worked and rode happily, joyfully.(not just tritting on trails but galloping polo ponies, race horses,event horses, starting young horses, jumping and dressage on made and green horses in addition to barn work ,haying, grooming ect.it hurt-but not doing it hurt more. horses love what they do too. they also have an entirely different relationship to pain then do humans. i remember feeling upset to see the great abdullah standing with his nebulizer on-thinking he's 18 he should be retired-but come the in-gate moment his expression revealed why he wasn't ready. proper and judicious management of equine athletes require a variety of modalities used intelligently and compassionatly. to say a horse should not compete at all if he reguires nsaids or analgesics in order to do so is extreme. there is no med or nutraceutical that can give a horse heart-and nothing is more cruel than to deny those with heart what they love.

AWIP
May. 24, 2001, 05:08 PM
for providing a GP perspective on the issues we regularly discuss (debate, bicker over).

Especially in regards to tuning horses, I believe you are correct and as a rule horses are treated much gentler these days than in the past and also that tuning is necessary. A reminder to the correct behavior, in a controlled situation to PREVENT anyone getting hurt. Just like a smack on the muzzle can remind a nippy horse that biting is unacceptable, a bamboo pole can help remind a horse that is being ho-hum about jumping to be tight so that legs aren't hung. I know that I can't imagine how confidence-draining it would be to ride a horse towards a 5' fence and not be sure it wouldn't hang a leg. But just like anything, tuning can be misused and the lower the level, the more likely the misuse ...

Besides GP horses, just like any elite athlete, often have an enormous ammount of 'attitude' and it takes a hell of a rider be able to not only get over those enormous fences but to tactfully and respectfully convince these horses to work with you instead of doing what ever they please.

Respect to you McLain for having the courage to do both ...

Nikki^
May. 24, 2001, 05:43 PM
WOW! I don't want to sound like I'm star stuck, but It's kinda cool that you post messages! Everyone at my barn likes your riding a lot! I agree what you posted too!
I would love to see you compete and I would like to know if you are showing anywhere near Alabama or Georgia. I've only seen you on TV. They way you ride is just awesome! I taped a Grand PRix on TV years ago and when you were riding the commintator said that you rode that Grand Prix couse like a Hunter rider! I ride Hunter/Jumper but College keeps me away from riding a lot(not to mention my horse is lame due to a deep heal bruise).
Well, I just wanted to say HI to you. I'm Nikki Torchia and I hope the very best for you and your horses!!!!!

http://www.dmtc.com/dmtc98/Pedigree/ you can look up you Thoroughbred's Pedigree with photos 9 Genrations back!
Men come and go, but my horse will always love me!

mcgoo
May. 24, 2001, 05:48 PM
AMEN!

Finzean
May. 24, 2001, 07:27 PM
By definition a professional is someone who receives payment for services....that doesn't mean the services are appropriate or done with any degree of knowledge. Come spend a couple of days with me and we can visit a few "non-professional" professionals.

I've seen some of the so-called local pro's beat very limited horses over 2'6 fences at a local show just for the rosette. What the h*!! is that all about? I think there should be 2 definitions of professionals just for clarity.

The international competitors that I've been fortunate enough to train with, work for, etc. have all exhibited a high degree of REAL professionalism. They cared for the horses, their wellbeing, their mental state, etc. And while I'm sure they didn't always make the best decisions (they're only human after all) they always thought they were doing the best thing at the time. You don't get to that level of competition in a house built on sand....you've got to be doing something right. Even the world's most talented horse won't be stellar in the hands of a sadistic @$$ who approaches training with a Machiavellian attitude.

BUT, perception is reality and if all a person has been exposed to are non-professional professionals and all they hear about are the inappropriate goings on within the industry, why should we expect their perceptions to be otherwise? Just a thought... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There is no crying in baseball!

daytimedrama
May. 24, 2001, 07:57 PM
Bronwyn> this has nothing to do with your post, but I just wanted to comment that my best friend's name is Bronwyn, how interesting? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~Christina~
"Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, Darling!" JD;Heathers

Gayle
May. 25, 2001, 05:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I, also, would love to hear what goes through your mind while jumping a puissance wall!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I saw McClain's attempt at the record at WIHS last year and was sitting on the landing side of the wall. You couldn't see his final approach to the wall! One of the best parts (other than the actual attempt) was Aaron Vale up in the stands while he tried to clear it in the round before the record yelling "don't do it!!" in a teasing manner.

I can't speak for McClain but I know what would be going through my mind: /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif aaaaaggggghhhh!

halfhalt
May. 25, 2001, 06:58 AM
I was told by a breeder that in fact there is no frozen semen available from Jus de Pommes...?

Flash44
May. 25, 2001, 07:01 AM
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - Chrissy, I was told about 10 months ago by an orthopedic surgeon (Robert Bright) that ibuprophen SLOWS fracture healing, and you should never take it when a fracture is suspected or known. Next time get a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Also, many painkillers and anti inflammatories tend to "bind up" the digestive system, which can lead to gas, discomfort, pain, etc. Every drug has side effects.

MW - please oh please can I come to your barn too? I have about 120 hours vacation time saved up and I work really hard! I promise I won't chat too much.

Eglinton
May. 25, 2001, 07:33 AM
halfhalt I am almost 100% sure that the frozen semen is available form Jus de Pommes, but I could be wrong! I think someone I know has some but I will check with my source! I know of someone who has a few of his babies. OK I just checked, you're right it doesn't look like frozen semen is available, but I do know of someone who has some...anyway his offspring are very successful.

Moesha
May. 25, 2001, 08:28 AM
Hi Gayle,
That night was so crazy. I was at the ingate and the landings were awesome!! I think Mclain and Aaron both made that night so much fun and exciting for everyone watching. Mclain you are an awesome rider, make sure Slugger's trainer comes to Upperville so she can as well!

halfhalt
May. 25, 2001, 08:56 AM
that any of his stallion offspring will be in high demand...i believe (have to check) Novalis (standing in Canada) is sired by him..great personality and a really nice jump.

Cinnybren
May. 25, 2001, 08:56 AM
Enjoying your posts. I'll also admit to being an admirer of your style on a horse. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I also want to know what is going through your mind riding up to a pruissance wall!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Come on, tell us what it's like!

B.G.M. heidi
May. 25, 2001, 09:00 AM
Halfhalt, yes, Novalis is a Jus de Pommes baby. Last I heard, the Dorschs have him in your neck of the woods.

halfhalt
May. 25, 2001, 09:06 AM
in those CT jumper development classes at two horse shows in Winnipeg last summer - guess what, Novalis won, lol! but it was really exciting to be in the same class and hey, Rocky went clean so that was nice too...Donny Dorsch is a really nice rider and Novalis is very well behaved for a stallion of his age (6 this year)

FirstCry
May. 25, 2001, 09:10 AM
I too would like to know what goes thru your mind when approaching the wall.

My thoughts would be "oh my God, please God, Oh my God - ahhhhhhhhhhhhh" /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

When I was younger I used to jump 5ft and over, now I'm very proud of myself just to get over a 3ft and continue to breath. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Checkers324
May. 25, 2001, 09:56 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As I sit here I am trying not to put this the wrong way but come on checkers! You must be overflowing with knowledge to have so many opinions about so many parts of the horse world and so many top pro's who have spent lifetimes learning their trade. I have been given one piece of advice in my life which holds true to anything I do: Someone always knows more than you so keep an open mind so that you are able to keep learning. Checkers you seem to have all the answers and from what I hear your still quite young, amazing! I will tell you what, I am going to exstend an invatation to you. Any time you like you more than welcome to come and spend a day or two at our stable. After that you make your own judgments on how we do things here and by the sounds of it we can learn a thing or two from you. How about it!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I have tried to learn as much as possible, and having read many books by many great classical horsemen; watched many top-class riders; compared good riders to not-so-good riders; and learned things through trial-and-error; I would say I do have a good understanding of some areas of riding and horsemanship. Though I admit, I know very little about jumping! Most of what I have learned is about dressage. But still, I doubt there's anything I could teach you! I thank you very much for your offer, and I wish I could take you up on it, but it is just not feasible right now. I would be very happy, though, to have discussions with you via this message board!

By the way, how are Rio and Twist du Valon (and any other horses that are currently in your stable) doing today? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Dry Clean Only
May. 25, 2001, 11:26 AM
Checkers, until you can do what they do on a horse don't argue with pros!

I too have read and watched and learned as much as a could, but can't even haul my sorry butt around an AA jumper course!

KNOWING is one thing, beign able to actually DO it is often completely different. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Until I can become green with envy watching you ride a GP course like the eq, maybe you should tone down the comentary.

NinaL aka Chrissy
May. 25, 2001, 11:55 AM
You wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - Chrissy, I was told about 10 months ago by an orthopedic surgeon (Robert Bright) that ibuprophen SLOWS fracture healing, and you should never take it when a fracture is suspected or known. Next time get a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, that's good to know with my propensity for breaking bones /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. Maybe that explains why it took so long for my fracture to heal /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif !

I'd love to kill pain with Tylenol and codeine but codeine makes me itch, especially my face. A couple of tablets is usually good for a face peel (takes years off, ya know).

So, I guess it's straight Tylenol for me next time I break a bone. Either that or double up on the Calcium!

My last orthopedic surgeon was cool - he wanted to market calcium fortified beer /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. Bet I could really up my calcium intake with that /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif .

Thanks,
Nina

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 12:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> KNOWING is one thing, beign able to actually DO it is often completely different. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely. Heh, I know more "schtuff" in four years of riding than some people do in eight- who was the top large pony hunter for every zone (well, I knew it last year), the name of Georgina Bloomberg's not-yet-released-to-the-public junior jumper, Missy Clark's address and phone number (muhahahaha), what a rollback turn was and how to execute one, and how to do a bounce line;
BUT- I've never actually had a pony, never met Georgina Bloomberg, could never train with Missy Clark, can't do a decent rollback to save my life, and chicken out when confronted with a bounce line over 18". /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Now Checkers, you may be completely different. Even if you can ride a 5'6 bounce line (yee-ikes, can anyone do that?!), know Georgina personally and have dinner with her every other Sunday, and can ride a rollback that could beat Sarah Willeman in an eq class, you're still not old enough and experienced enough to know 1/1000th of what certain people (like McLain Ward or Peter Wylde) know. It's hardly your fault, just like it's hardly my fault. We haven't been riding that long.
But I just hope you realize, in the years to come you're going to learn a lot about what you don't know. Like for example, remember your past thread where you said something to the effect of "... Maybe I shouldn't have opened my mouth at you folks until I experienced that kind of ride for myself!" (about fast horses)

Exactly exactly. Until you can truly say you understand the situation, withold judgement. That's not to say you can't offer opinion , but don't be critical of top riders until you have the experience to back you up. They must have done something right to get to the level they're at.

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes!"

DMK
May. 25, 2001, 01:16 PM
Well said ErinB, but I bet McLain feels rather old at this moment /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Miniwelsh
May. 25, 2001, 01:19 PM
if he is feeling old he should just head over to the "Hottie" post in his honor....if we could all be so lucky!

BTW, if I pretend that I know it all, do you think I could get an invite /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 01:35 PM
Nah DMK. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Hehe I was just thinking of the "hottie" post, Miniwelsh. Anyone care to direct him? LOL! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes!"

May. 25, 2001, 01:40 PM
I recall reminiscing about him being a brat on a pony. I take that back--I was a brat when I was on a pony too, but he's WAY too young for me--go girls!!!

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 01:47 PM
In a few years and after a few drinks, the age difference wouldn't seem so significant to the UJUMPers and Jr. Cliquers anymore!

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

Miniwelsh
May. 25, 2001, 01:48 PM
Hey I'm 24, cute and first in line (fiancee be damned) /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

HeyYouNags
May. 25, 2001, 01:49 PM
that the only people who can criticize are those who can compete at the top level?

Granted, critiqueing technical riding skills may require someone who's achieved a high level of riding ability, but critiqueing what constitutes cruel or abusive training, or appropriate use of medications, certainly does not.

My experience in a number of situations (professional and horse-related) is that the closer people are to the top, the less willing they are to criticize. Usually it's someone with less at stake who's standing on the sidelines saying, "The emperor has no clothes."

Again, I'm not accusing anyone of abusive training, but there seem to be a lot of posters saying others aren't qualified or don't have the experience necessary to form an opinion.

I have well-informed opinions on medication use, horse racing issues, Tennessee Walking horses, etc., but I've never ridden or trained a racehorse, or TWH, or any high-level competing horse, or confronted medication issues with a horse of my own. Suffice it to say, there are many ways of learning.

And, bristling a little at a previous post that implied one would only see questionable practices at less elite levels, or by watching low-class trainers - perhaps you see it there more often, but unfortunately, "bad stuff" happens at all levels. In fact, people who have seen it all, good and bad, may be in a better position to tell the difference.

Rules aren't written just to get the little people to behave.

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 01:50 PM
Then you'll have to hand your fiance over to us, my dear. That and some money. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

MHM
May. 25, 2001, 01:52 PM
I remember being in Culpeper in '83 when
McLain was starting to do the Grand Prix
as a VERY young kid, and Molly Ashe was
dividing her time between the pony ring
and the Ms. Pac-man game by the
foodstand!

Ouch! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 01:54 PM
HeyYouNags, were you refering to my post to Checkers324? If so, I wasn't saying that only people at the top can form opinions. I was pointing out to Checkers that unless you're somewhere near the level of the people she's been pretty harshly opinionated about, that she should tone it down a little because frankly it's hard to form legitimate criticizm from something you know little about.

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

Miniwelsh
May. 25, 2001, 02:07 PM
Erin B....are you saying I can't have both /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Actually, maybe if I inject my man with a little McLain DNA to get the love of horses flowing, I could get him close to perfect....

Jair
May. 25, 2001, 02:15 PM
I agree with you HeyYouNags, well put.

ErinB wrote:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>frankly it's hard to form legitimate criticizm from something you know little about. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's a bit of a sweeping statement ErinB. As was your first post.

While I do agree somewhat in principle that often one has to "walk a mile" in another's shoes to appreciate them, please remember that many of the top trainers in the world were at best mediocre riders themselves. Sometimes a person's inate intelligent, and an eye for things works just as well as experience.

Please give a little more credit to some of the people posting here. Telling Checker's to "withhold judgment" until she knows better is pretty rude and childish. Did it occur to you (and which is evident to me from her posting during this thread) that she has already learned from this experience? In fact, if Checker's hadn't broached her opinions, would Maclain even have joined the conversation?

Think about that one. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 02:37 PM
I knew this would happen. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Sorry, I'm a bit rusty at this controversy thing, that's why you'll mostly find me hanging around the juniors clique. I thrive on my own stupidity. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Okay, well what I'm trying to say isn't rude nor childish (I don't think), but I'm not quite sure how to say it without appearing so. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Oh well, at least I tried. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

CTT
May. 25, 2001, 02:43 PM
I can see McLain's expression as he reads this. Compleatly red in the face I bet and laughing up a storm.

Reality check came in motion for me today. Hey it only seams like a short time since I moved here to texas and its been almost 8 years. Then it dawned on me that Im getting old quick. Holey somkes am I 21 now! Oh no that means when Im 30 it will seam like im in a 22yo loop hole. I can't even belive a year has already passed. Ugh do the clocks ever slow back down?

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 02:47 PM
Miniwelsh- Ah, then that leaves McLain for the Jr. Clique once again. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Score. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif J/K.

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

Miniwelsh
May. 25, 2001, 02:49 PM
Yes, yes Erin B because I'm sure I was the only reason he wasn't yours before /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Shorty
May. 25, 2001, 06:32 PM
Wouldn't it be great if McLain had an open house day at his farm ? It would be fun to meet him and especially Lee !!

Spunky
May. 25, 2001, 06:36 PM
ErinB, you are such a sweetheart! You never take offense to anything!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif That will get you very far, my dear!

Jari, leave her alone!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif I think she was perfectly right to say what she did!! Checkers does need to learn to tone it down, which she hasn't so far . . . /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Checkers, try counting to 10 next time, and look at it from someone else's point of view first!!!

Spunky
May. 25, 2001, 06:43 PM
P.S. McLain, I'll take a couple days at your place!

You know, I credit Kenny Kraus & his interview forum at Towerheads for bringing a lot of the top riders to us. It's very hard to know personalities just from watching the classes on TV. Though I haven't bought into the TH subscription plan, your interview was one of my favorites. Best of luck to you! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ErinB
May. 25, 2001, 07:01 PM
Aw, thanks Spunky! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I can't say I never get offended, I just go outside and pet my horses before I reply to certain things. Many benefits, this home horsekeeping thing. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I don't know, maybe what I said was wrong. Geez I hate opening my mouth sometimes because I really believe what I said, about not being judgemental until you really know what you're talking about. Problem is, I never know what I'm talking about. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif But if I believe what I don't know what I'm talking about, does that make it okay?
Ah, sometimes I feel like a caterpillar trying to use a hamster's exercise wheel. I've got the technique, but I'm not going anywhere. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif So I'll just stop now...

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

Spunky
May. 25, 2001, 07:14 PM
You do just fine, Erin! Jair is an equal opportunity critic /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif and never holds a grudge. So go ahead and disagree with him, he won't mind a bit! Right, Jari?! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

MAD
May. 26, 2001, 04:27 AM
Who feels old?

I rode with Barney and worked for him for a couple of years.

The first winter I rode with Barney (at Shannon Stables, pre-Castle hill, even) was the winter that McLain learned to post! Now who feels old?

Keep writing on the board McLain!

Marie

wileycoyote
May. 26, 2001, 05:29 AM
Just got on and read this post last night and decided that since I am probably the oldest professional on the BB I would put in my two cents.
I started with the Tennessee Walking Horses in the 50's and saw it all, but didn't realize until I was 12 and went to the barn to take my friends to see the pony I was riding the really cruel stuff. He was standing (before that night's competition) with both front feet in a bucket of dry ice and the frogs were bleeding and gone. I threw such a tantrum (1955) about not riding again that ended up being my last night of showing. I then went on to Hunters/Jumpers/Pony Club and have probably seen it all - including hot poling in the middle of the night at the Armory with the hot pole wire hooked to the cigarette lighter to "tune" the horses over a jump.
The point I am trying to make is that the system is no different today than it was 50 years ago, only much bigger with many more owners, trainers, etc. and with much more communication and networking. The goal has always been to win at whatever cost in many instances.
I would much rather have my horses with a noted grand prix rider like McLain Ward than a bunch of the hunter trainers who get on to "tune" with long spurs and heavy hands and gallop up to everything until the horses and yes, ponies too will just jump at everything. This is far more abusive to my mind to the horse than a bamboo pole or some hot stuff on a leg. (Shave the hair on the lower leg with a surgical blade, put some Sloane's liniment on and watch them not want to hit anything.)
Yes, McLain, I have watched you since you were a kid and your horses go happy and love their job and you have "finesse" first. I know what it means to ride a happy, free-moving horse that loves its job down to a big fence and I would much rather be on one like that. All athletes take something to take the edge off the aches. Without Aleve and Chondroitin/Glucosamine, I would have never ridden again because of busted knees. It does not mask the pain, it just allows more mobility of movement.
For those of you who have taken the time to judge, I hope that you will always remember what my mother told me as a young person and that was "don't judge someone until you have walked in their shoes down their path."

Sannois
May. 26, 2001, 06:54 AM
Your post just sums up why I went to Eventing. Whatever happened to if the horse has the Heart and talent, he wont touch the jumps, Geeze! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Flash44
May. 26, 2001, 07:05 AM
Wow, wileycoyote, some people go to such trouble! My trainer just kicks my horse in the leg a few times before we go into the ring to get him to pick his feet up. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

skysmom
May. 26, 2001, 09:07 AM
I don't go back quite as far as you do, but comming thru the ranks in the 60-70"s, I also have first hand knowledge of those practices. It scares me think that when I was young I thought that was how to train horses!!! Luckily in my teens I went on to much better places & learned another way.. But like it's been stated here those "quik-fixes" don't last at the upper levels quality of training,caring & breeding will always shine through. But I'm afraid, in the real world, there will always be someone looking for short-cuts<LI>PS ..this is a good thread,,I like that so many are participating ( go us!!) welcome Mclain

RolexH
May. 26, 2001, 09:58 AM
okay forget this "controversy", I have a question for McLain. I have an opportunity to get an opinion from somone who has seen it all...

If there is one thing you could change in the horse world, what would it be? (ie-polotics, costs, horses, people, drugs, water jumps... whatever!)

I am very curious what your opinion is. Thanks!

~~Lisa~~

Lamanda
May. 26, 2001, 11:37 AM
Quote: "don't judge someone until you have walked in their shoes down their path."

Thank you for saying that, wileycoyote! This thread has gotten kind of crazy, though it's certainly been interesting to read. I can't say I've always been a huge MW supporter, but there are times in your life when you realize you really need to grow up. I've decided my entire 17th year was one of those times /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Now that I've turned 18 and had some harsh encounters with reality, I feel the need to apologize. (I sure do seem to spend a lot of time apologizing on this board...)

Anyway, I have no idea what really happened with anything, and was wrong to judge based on biased articles in magazines. Having grown up in Chicago and living through all the horse related legal stuff there (I rode at the barns of both Eunice Bailey AND Frank Jayne Jr.) it was just easier to believe the negative stuff. Some awful things have happened in the horse world, but it's time to forget about them and move on. McLain, I've always greatly admired your riding, and I truly hope you're as honest and open-minded as you've appeared on this board. Thanks for posting and arguing with a bunch of kids and amateurs.

Later /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Chris

Squirt
May. 26, 2001, 01:07 PM
Hey, Mclain! Thanks for coming around! Since Checkers doesn't want to come, can I? Please?

I do have to admit, it's been about 6 years since I've been over anything over 3'6". I too would like to know what's going through your head when you go over the Puissance...or going through a REALLY big, tight combination? Inquiring minds want to know!

Hattie
May. 26, 2001, 01:29 PM
The more I read of ErinB's posts the more I admire her. I've had to bite my tongue on some of these posts. It's great to have a differing opinion, but PLEASE know what you are talking about before posting.

BTW - I had the pleasure of watching McLain Ward show at Washington. One word - WOW!

Applesauce
May. 26, 2001, 01:55 PM
As it's gotten me in trouble in the past. I at times tend to speak before thinking but I will say this much.

Experience=knowledge

I can agree that while reading books and watching great riders do their thing, and it does enhance your general knowledge, it does not equate to "all knowing". As stated before, until you've walked in those shoes, I believe personal opinions should be left personal and attacks should not be made at all...besides it's against the rules.
/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I would like to personally welcome you, Mr. Ward, to our board and while many of us may be a bit star struck, I hope it doesn't scare you off and you continue to share you knowledge comments with us.

~Courtney~

Sparticus
May. 26, 2001, 02:28 PM
I grew up in Westchester and I remember you riding pony hunters and you father and WOW. Going back a long way - Yes! I know that everyone can sit on the rail and talk - but let um get out there and put on the miles with more then there mouth and let um take the falls, crashes and school of hard knocks best teacher... You keep up the good work - Sparticus

ErinB
May. 26, 2001, 04:06 PM
Thank you, Hattie and Spunky. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I appreciate the nice comments!

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

DMK
May. 26, 2001, 06:41 PM
Oh that's it ErinB - forget all about your first complimentor /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif And never mind the grief Becca will give me for complimenting a member of UJUMP /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

ErinB
May. 26, 2001, 06:46 PM
Oh sorry DMK, I'm going senile like old Becca! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Pssst.. it's okay, by the way. I've still got my chains, locks and moldy cheese, even if she is loose on probation! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

~Erin Lizzy
Visit my Website (http://www.virtue.nu/sugabebe/)!
"If money could talk, it would say goodbye."

ProzacPuppy
May. 27, 2001, 06:02 PM
for the incredible expenses I have incurred owning a jumper. My daughter decided she HAD to ride jumpers when she saw Mclain and Lost at Upperville a few years back. I own an awesome grey jumper (like Lost) and it is all Mclain Ward's fault. Thanks- it's been a huge expense but a ton of fun.