I think that's exactly what the announcer meant.
MHM I have to disagree with you. My very quiet , slow off the ground, rythymic good ones did not look sluggish and dull. When you see a quality horse that is drugged or surpressed by other means it affects his whole demeanor. He is no longer himself. A very quiet horse is still himself.
I'm torn the same way. I have this fantasy that I'll keep doing what I've always done, buy the right combination of mind-and-body and then have one more nice hunter that requires my usual No Prep. But what if the trainers are right? My old skool ways just.can't.win without the truly extraordinary horse that I can't afford and wouldn't buy even if I did have the dough.... that could send a kid to Harvard, full freight.
Quite the existential crisis of getting old, eh?
I think if you had been around watching Western Pleasure as it headed towards its nadir, you would have seen the same conversations.
At least there is one person on here who understands the situation. That is reassuring. So many take one statement and react and overstate their rebuttal so simplisticly that it isn't worth trying to clarify. I want to say to these people.....come here to WEF...come down here and keep your horse on the grounds. Come to your stall at all times of the day. You will see horses being hastily returned to their stall for a timely "touch up".....you will see horses leave their stalls with their heads hanging down, eyes dull , not all, but many.....and then you take your horse out of the stall and he brightens up, looks around....he acts like an aware animal. You owners of genuinely quiet horses.....look at YOUR horse's eyes when he comes to the ring....even a dead head registers interest.
I do not see anyone here saying there are not horses that are drugged. We all know drugging happens.
It is the broad sweeping statements like "even the dead head registers interest" that are wrong and that are part of the problem, actually. People assume things that should not be assumed. People (like you) assume that the quiet (bored) horse at the in gate must be drugged.
Also would like to point out that I think part of this issue is tied to just using the word "drugging". There is a HUGE difference between trainers who offer a little ulcer guard + robaxin or a vitamin supplement at a horse show and someone who is using harsh or illegal medications to dangerously cover up behavioral or medical issues in the show ring. Referring to any substance given to horses at shows as "drugging" is confusing and detrimental to the sport.
I think sweeping people with a broad brush is ridiculous. No, not every time you see a horse go into a stall, get an oral/IM/IV injection does that mean the horse is "drugged" with a calming supplement (let's just stick with that type of drug). If you thought that, then well, you probably thought that when I gave my horse electrolytes orally I was drugging them. I could go on. There are so many reasons to not assume every horse is drugged. What about the gelding that just drops when he is relaxed? Mine did. But he wasn't drugged. Yes, it goes on. Yes it sucks and needs to STOP. But, not EVERYONE does it.
OP, you are going to have to learn a good amount of people posting on here DO show at WEF and at the big shows. They KNOW what is going on, this is not new news.
And for penalizing the brilliance? Let's not penalize it, BUT, let's keep in mind, a FIELD hunter that plays in the field after a fence? Could be dangerous- it could trip, or miss something it would have otherwise seen had it been paying attention. A playful hunter still needs to behave.
On the taking them back to the stall thing - my friend had a gelding that if he was cranky while he went around you knew he had to pee and he would not pee anywhere but his stall so more than once he was hustled back to his stall between rounds. Clearly those who assume all horses taken back to their stalls must be getting some mood altering drugs would never believe it was just to take the poor guy on a pee break.
It's worth pointing out that OP began this thread by saying:
If you will be kind enough to revisit post # 55 you will see that I posted exactly the same quote as you ( minus the bolding).
She did NOT say 'little bute' OR banamine.
Regardless, it's a vacation for meds or sedation but I'm sure you knew that ( or at least I hope so ).