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View Poll Results: Horse abuse in RIDDEN dressageoes it happen & by whom

Voters
59. You may not vote on this poll
  • Clueless ammies just doing their thing

    2 3.39%
  • Driven ammies trying to go up the levels before ready

    17 28.81%
  • Pro's trying to demonstrate performane before a horse is ready

    26 44.07%
  • Have not seen riding that would merit being called abuse; Bad riding yes, Abuse no

    13 22.03%
  • Have no opinion on this subject

    1 1.69%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2001
    Posts
    327

    Default Horse Abuse in Dressage-Does it happen & where?

    Since the proposed qualification rule is supposed to save our horses from ourselves, perhaps the collective wisdom of the COTH BB readers can provide insight

    So does it happen
    1-By clueless ammies riding low levels who really don't know better
    2-By "driven" ammies who want to move up the levels but just don't have it
    3-By "pros" eg., anyone riding someone else's horse, perhaps trying to justify their training fees by forcing the horse to do something beyond its abilities
    4-Haven't see horse abuse...bad riding yes, abuse no
    5-I have no opinion on this



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2004
    Location
    Milton, Ontario
    Posts
    1,441

    Default

    I'm not a big fan or the wording of this pole. Just because you're an ammie doesn't mean you don't know. Many ammies dedicate a significant amount of time to learning.
    Same goes for professionals. Abuse IMHO should be looked at case by case and is more likely to happen because the person has a short fuse in all areas of their life.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Posts
    1,391

    Default

    I don't think this can be generalized. It happens for so many reasons. When I've seen "abuse" it is overuse of the whip/spur and hanging on the reins. Typically it has been by a professional trying to get results or instructing riders in a clinic/lesson to do the same. It seems there is a lot of misuse of the aids, either not asking enough forward or overdoing it. I don't think many riders intentionally want to harm the animals. When people start to push the horse and get emotionally involved I think that is when things start to "heat up".

    On the flip side, I commend many dressage owners who are aggressive about the soundness issues and get on top of the treatments. I don't want to bash others, but I can count on my hand the sound western horses I know personally. Riding with navicular? I have two friends that do it regularly and bute the horses every day.

    Every discipline is prone to abuse, it just takes different forms due to the underlying philosophies. The horse MUST come first, and all I can do is ride as best as I know how. I've made plenty of mistakes. Bashing others is not productive and dwelling on the issue where you can not influence the other riders is a recipe for sadness and frustration. Lead by example is all you can do.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    7,394

    Default

    I've seen both #2 (horse may have the potential, but rider becomes frustrated and impatient about the loooong journey of dressage, then takes it out on the horse) and, #3 (trainer may be a good rider, but lousy with bringing a younger horse along and pushes for quick results to please the owner, who probably doesn't know that's not correct).

    In both cases the whip, spur and draw reins become the weapons. I've seen this more times than I wish over the years and avoid association with these types like the plague.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2007
    Posts
    392

    Default

    Ammie or pro....if a rider has left deep ingrained whip marks or there is blood in the area where the spur meets the skin of the horses barrel...it is abuse.
    Both of these situations, which I have witnessed on a competeing horse, is not tolerable to myself.
    Nor can a rider feign ignorance when the horses' body displays "wounds" from such action.

    I was told by the rider of a horse who had spur marks that the horse was ultra sensitive in the skinWTFIf he was that sensitive....then back off the overuse of the spur or remove them all together.

    Thankfully most people are not abusive...but this is one reason why I am now finnishing my Canadian Stewardship. I will not care who the person is...if I see a horse being abused by a rider at the show....bye-bye.....I will have you outed and fined.

    As cuatx55 said...it happens in every discipline under different forms BUT the horse should always come first.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2000
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Yes, I have seen it -- by aggressive professionals and frustrated / clueless ammies.

    But I do not believe it is so pervasive that all of us should be 'punished' with the implementation of a performance standard system when the crime is committed by relatively few and there are mechanisms in place to address the issue (TDs and judges scoring with conviction).

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2002
    Posts
    1,291

    Default

    *star*

    Just noticed your signature!
    Very apt, considering the Performance Standards "discussion".

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" Benjamin Franklin
    To the original question...I have seen both aggressive Pros and clueless Ammies (perhaps following their Pro's example?)

    I think the Pros are the biggest problem for me, in that, they KNOW what they were doing and don't care about the horse.
    The clueless Ammies (for the most part) either, did not realize what they were doing or were frustrated. For the most part, their trainer was present and addressed the situation.

    The former was warned by the judge (who alerted the TD to watch him) and was later eliminated by the TD for abuse.

    The latter, have been warned by Trainers/Judges/TDs. One trainer, quit the rider right there, in public, at the event: "That's it. Find another trainer. I am off to find the TD."

    I don't think there is a need for a new "Rule" that will be costly to administrate and have many unintended consequences.

    We need a culture where Judges/TDs/Trainers/Riders are enabled and rewarded (not penalized) for having the courage to follow the rules preventing abuse.

    Actually, the officials ARE enabled to report and it is their duty to report abuse according to USEF Rule GR302.

    So, why do we need another rule?


    GR302 Cruelty to and Abuse of a Horse.
    1. Cruelty to or the abuse of a horse by any person at a Licensed Competition is forbidden, constitutes a violation under Chapter 7, and renders the offender subject to penalty. The Show Committee must bar violators from further participation for the remainder of the competition. It is the duty of the competition officials and any properly constituted
    humane organization to report to the Federation any person who indulges in this practice for such further action as may be deemed appropriate.

    5. Any action(s) against a horse by a competitor or an exhibitor, which are deemed excessive by a judge, Federation steward, technical delegate or competition veterinarian, in the competition ring or anywhere on the competition grounds may be punished by official warning, elimination, or other sanctions which may be deemed appropriate by the Show Committee.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    13,117

    Default

    I would have voted, but there didn't seem to be an option for more than one of your choices.
    No one has a corner on abusive riding.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2001
    Posts
    327

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by claire View Post
    We need a culture where Judges/TDs/Trainers/Riders are enabled and rewarded (not penalized) for having the courage to follow the rules preventing abuse.

    Actually, the officials ARE enabled to report and it is their duty to report abuse according to USEF Rule GR302.

    GR302 Cruelty to and Abuse of a Horse.
    1. Cruelty to or the abuse of a horse by any person at a Licensed Competition is forbidden, constitutes a violation under Chapter 7, and renders the offender subject to penalty. The Show Committee must bar violators from further participation for the remainder of the competition. It is the duty of the competition officials and any properly constituted humane organization to report to the Federation any person who indulges in this practice for such further action as may be deemed appropriate.

    5. Any action(s) against a horse by a competitor or an exhibitor, which are deemed excessive by a judge, Federation steward, technical delegate or competition veterinarian, in the competition ring or anywhere on the competition grounds may be punished by official warning, elimination, or other sanctions which may be deemed appropriate by the Show Committee.

    So, why do we need another rule?
    Actually, that is exactly the question I have. Where are the TD's and judges if the USEF DC thinks the riding is so abominable to institute the qualifying rule?

    It would seem that the dressage TD's and judges are asleep at the wheel? Are the TD's and judges not wanting to be "mean" and disqualify people?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2002
    Posts
    1,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rosinante View Post
    It would seem that the dressage TD's and judges are asleep at the wheel? Are the TD's and judges not wanting to be "mean" and disqualify people?
    More than likely, they are concerned that the show committee will not ask them back to judge or steward.

    In a sport that is subjectively judged it is easier to rationalize what they see and not go up against the PTB/BNRs/BNTs.

    Kudos to those "flinty" Judges/TDs/Trainers with the courage to speak up for the horse no matter the personal ramifications.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2007
    Posts
    392

    Default

    [QUOTE=claire;3045088]More than likely, they are concerned that the show committee will not ask them back to judge or steward.

    I figure I will have one or two shots at a show where abuse is witnessed since I will be more concerned about the horses' welfare rather than if they will ask me back.

    We have an FEI judge named Sandra Silcox who I have shadowed....an absolutely no-nonsense steward who cares little "who" you are when it comes to the treatment of horses or breaking of rules. Since we have few stewards at this level, she is often brought into the shows. Riders are very respectful when she is around



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
    Posts
    1,396

    Default

    I cannot really say that I have witnessed much along the lines of what most people would consider abuse. However, the riding that I have seen which puts the horse at greatest risk of damage is mostly being done in the upper levels. There is way too much riding on the curb bit happening. This puts the horse at risk, not only in front, but also behind. More and more we are seeing horses that have navicular in front, or need hock injections behind. In the extreme, we are seeing those cases of rear suspensory damage as well. These are direct products of the horse not being ridden through correctly from the rider's seat, but instead, being held into position with the rider's hands. The more extravagant the horse's natural motion, the greater the risk of damage occuring when ridden in such a fashion.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2000
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    2,933

    Default

    First, you have to define what is abuse. Believe me, whip marks and spur marks are the obvious forms of abuse. What about horses that are not properly fed under the belief that if fed less, they will be easier to handle. Sure, they are being fed, but if the horse is underweight then at that point, is that abuse?

    How about the trainers who were lovely riders but don't have a clue as to how to properly leg a horse up and get the horse physically and mentally fit for the work that will be asked of them. Is that abuse?

    How about the trainer that thinks "injecting" a horse several times as year is OK, rather than possibly looking in the mirror at what they aren't doing that would would contribute to a horse being sore or stiff. Is that abuse?

    Is general ignorance of the fact that they are ignorant, is that abuse?

    I'm going to be honest, while so many show horse people, backyard horse owners, pleasure riders, etc. love to jump on the beat up the racetrack people as being abusive, there is truly (in my mind) far less abuse happening there (with the exclusive of the yahoos at the fair meets and such) than in many of the show barns of all disciplines..



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    7,394

    Default

    This stuff is seldom seen at shows...just at the training rings/homes where horses are being "trained"...mostly owned by neophytes who think anyone who hangs their shingle out as "a dressage trainer" actually knows what they are doing.



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