Will the "kicker, beware" red tail ribbon hurt our placing in the hack?
I'll start off by saying I'm an occasional visitor here from the Eventing forum...so my knowledge of all things hunter-related is pretty rusty and from back in the dark ages...but I have a horse who's coming back from an injury and needs to get out and about this winter - so we're planning to spend some time in the H/J world. Although he's a great event horse, he's much more suited to the hunter ring than jumpers (for many reasons...most of which are unrelated to my question.)
He's a lovely horse and quite a nice mover with a big step (he's 18h, so he'd better have a big step, right?)...but he's been known to kick on occasion if someone comes right up on his butt, especially in upwards transitions to the canter. I'm planning to be aware of where I am in the ring during flat classes...but I feel like he may warrant a red tail ribbon. Have people found that this negatively affects your placings in the hack?
I've never had a kicker so I can't say it from personal experience but from what i've watched they seem to have been placed fairly. If your just looking to get out and some experience I wouldn't worry about it really and just show him with the ribbon.
I don't think this is even done any more. I've seen it done, badly, at IHSA shows (10 years ago). Don't advertise. keep to yourself, and if someone gets to close, say "he kicks" over your shoulder. Haven't seen ribbons in tails.... ever at a rated, reputable show. If he's really a bad one, why would you put him in a flat class any way?
I have permanent discoloration, scaring and barely any feeling on my right leg below my knee from getting kicked at a horse show 8 years ago. Horse didn't have a ribbon in his tail and I didn't even get that close (prob would have hurt less if he didn't have such a huge firing range) but he nailed me. If you have a known kicker, I feel like its only fair to warn others in the ring with you regardless of how it may affect your placings.
"I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"
I think you should put a ribbon on his tale. While it would be nice to place well (and I'm not saying that it will or not effect your placing), but if you know he's a kicker, then it's the responsible and moral thing to do. Yes, there may be "those" types of people who will ride up behind you just to have you place lower, but I would like to think that people who "play by the rules" still exist. Accidents happen, but this way others will be aware of a potential problem and try to steer clear of you if they can.
if he's really a major kicker then don't hack. too risky to other riders and horses imho. And I agree with the observations of Glorybee that I haven't seen this done in years and years at rated shows. Unrated is a different story.
"ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."
I have seen this done at rated shows and feel that it is extremely irresponsible NOT to do so. In fact there are a couple very prominent GP horses I have seen in the last couple years w/ a red ribbon in the tail. I can't remember but I think one belonged to Laura Kraut? Not sure.
Also, what kind of complete retard would purposefully ride up on a horse with a red ribbon to get the horse to kick? Obviously a person more worried about a ribbon then their own and their horse's well-being.
I would certainly use it if you intend to hack, and since you aren't exactly after points, just want to get him back in the ring, who cares if it affects his placings? It's still good experience.
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan
I really hate the fact that "the look" takes precedence over all else in the show ring, to the point that people would gasp in horror if someone even -suggested- they put a red ribbon in their kicker's tail, because it would ruin "the look."
And that idiotic attitude, ladies and gentlemen, leads to situations like what happened to Jersey Fresh.
I don't understand the disconnect that goes on between "zomg SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY!!!!11eleventy!!," the drugging childrens' ponies for lessons at home just so they'll be quieter and safer... and the show ring, when suddenly no one thinks about anything other than that 75-cent ribbon (and maybe a $2 mug or some candles or a picture frame or what-have-you, yay!). As long as this is classed as an "other people's problem," your precious child whose pony you medicate could be injured.
Anyway. Rant over! OP, I have the utmost respect for you for taking the time to consider this issue. If I were you, I would absolutely use a red ribbon - but yes, I'm bitter enough to believe that it will probably hurt your chances if you do so. It's just not the done thing. I've never seen one used in a current, rated show (despite personally knowing several horses who DEFINITELY do kick, and go to the majority of the shows on this circuit - somehow, the rationale seems to be, "Oh, everyone knows my horse, because it's always the same people at the shows and we all know each other! They just know to keep away, so it's okay! Tee-hee, Poopsie's so cute and naughty!").
Definitely add the ribbon! Your eventer isn't competing for a birth in the Hack Olympics, so the ribbons can't be as important to you as is someone else's knee cap staying in one piece.
Oh wait, I see some nearby stumps I'd like to climb up on.
First, you kicker-owners-- train your beasts! I know they can be quick or kick unpredictably from fear, but I think they can be taught to leave their cotton pickin' feet on the ground in most situations. Even kickers usually use body language to warn the offender that they are armed.
Second, when a judge can choose between a good-moving but safe horse (and the "He's so incorrigibly bad that all I can do is warn you about it" is unsafe) and the great-moving dangerous sort, I think he or she *should* pin the horse less likely to hurt someone.
The whole hunter division was built to reward the horse you'd ride slightly drunk on a Sunday over uneven terrain in company. It's not about pretty so much as safety. The good-moving horse is a bonus because he is an efficient and comfortably traveller, but fox hunting is dangerous, so the good jump, quiet, tractable personality and other features were honest-to-God about keeping everyone safe.
It would be careless and irresponsible NOT to put a red ribbon in his tail. If your horse is not uncontrolable, then it's certainly ridiculous to avoid the hack all together. If your horse has a pleasant demeanor, great mover, big presence, then I can't imagine how a ribbon in his tail is going to affect his placings.
On the one hand, put the ribbon in if you know he will kick if he gets crowded. It should not hurt in anything above the 2' beginner levels in small classes where safety trumps anything else.
On the other hand, as a long time exhibitor...and you will not like this...do NOT put responsibilty for your problems with your horse on me. Especially in big classes or crowded warm up rings. I can steer and my horse is well broke but I can get crowded into you by somebody else or you can circle or cut the ring and end up smack in front of me-and then turn and tell me it kicks and to stay away.
Or expect me to perfom all kinds of advanced manuevers to get away from you with noplace to go in a crowded ring just because you have that red ribbon.
If you have a known kicker, it is your responsibility to keep it out of situations like big flat classes in small rings or crowded warm up rings with some working over warm up jumps. The ribbon does not relieve you of that responsibility or liability if somebody is kicked by your known kicker.
Honestly, get the horse more used to close quarters by working with others at home. Stay out of crowded classes with narrow paths between jump standards and the rail.
As I get older, I find I am less forgiving of known misbehavior in horses that end up in crowded show rings. Seen too many wrecks and bad injuries...usually the injured did nothing to cause them other then being forced too close by ring traffic.
In my wreck, I was along on the long side of the rail at the canter with a horse about 2 lengths behind me. Horse spooked on the opposite side and sent another horse cutting across the ring for room...with a red ribbon. She came alongside me with nose at about the girth, that horse sucked back and kicked the crap out of the horse behind me. I got slammed into the indoor ring wall as the kicker sort of fell sideways to get a better aim. That kicker did end up slamming into a jump standard being too concerned with kicking and not watching where they were going.
Whole thing was basically nobody's fault, the kicker had no room when cut off by the spooker and had to cut the ring. Victim was a good distance behind me, I was fine and bothering nobody. But look what happened-3 vet bills. If that kicker had not been in the mix? Nothing would have happened. You cannot assume the situation will not provoke bad manners in a show ring and if you know they exsist?
Last edited by findeight; Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.