The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default What is Robert Dover talking about?

    Over on the dressage forum there is a thread about a recent Dressage Today article critical of Rollkur. The thread includes a link to Robert Dover's blog, in which he launches a polemic against other forms of "abusive training." This includes the following statement:

    "Let’s not even mention Driving in which horses are tied into both a frame and a harness by straps and made to pull carts cross-country through sometimes very harsh hazards."

    Okay, so my head is still snapping back from its double take. And I'm kind of speechless. How does the driving world respond to this? Or do we let it just lie quivering on the floor?

    Link to his blog:

    http://doversworld.com/blog/2010/01/...orms/#comments

    The sentence in question is about 3/4 of the way down the third paragraph.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,698

    Default

    Ignore and walk away?

    I am assuming that with the exception of the hardcore Amish population the average non driving horse person has no idea what is involved in driving.

    I know my Dad drove as a kid as means of transportation but neither of the following generation has ever bothered with it, not even played with the idea. And my Dad's generation of all around horse people is slowly dieing out.

    Best you could do is to invite him to a training session, but closed minded people are not able to pick up new ideas.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    Yes, that was my first response. And I know that RD is just trying to demonstrate what he believes to be the exaggerations relative to rollkur by committing the same against other disciplines.

    But I was pointed to this information by a non-driver who wanted to know how we "strap" our horses into a frame, and how they can negotiate a cross-country course with their heads strapped up.

    Dover did not make clear that while there are certain driving disciplines in which overchecks are used, they are not used in cross-country, dressage or cones -- or at least I have never seen them used, have you?

    In fact, Dover deliberately conflated the two ideas to create one horrific image. And he managed to convince at least my acquaintance that this is how we do things.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    Well I don't know about Robert Dover's world.... more like Wayne's World! What a moron!

    I've posted a comment:

    I can only presume from the comments you posted regarding driving that you’ve actually got NO experience with regard to this sport.

    Driving horses are NEITHER tied nor pulled into a frame.

    It might have slipped your notice but not since Black Beauty was written by Anna Sewell has the practice you’re suggesting actually happened.

    Even in those days it was absolutely detested by the mainstream carriage driving fraternity.

    You need to get out more and look and learn.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MySparrow View Post
    Yes, that was my first response. And I know that RD is just trying to demonstrate what he believes to be the exaggerations relative to rollkur by committing the same against other disciplines.

    But I was pointed to this information by a non-driver who wanted to know how we "strap" our horses into a frame, and how they can negotiate a cross-country course with their heads strapped up.

    Dover did not make clear that while there are certain driving disciplines in which overchecks are used, they are not used in cross-country, dressage or cones -- or at least I have never seen them used, have you?

    In fact, Dover deliberately conflated the two ideas to create one horrific image. And he managed to convince at least my acquaintance that this is how we do things.

    Ouch, in that case....

    I don't drive, played with the idea a few times, but it's more than one person can do on her own and you really NEED a teacher..

    But I am under the impression that overchecks are only used in harness racing - most of the time and that the side checks are indeed a safety feature.

    So yes, the Black beauty response is on the spot.
    As for RD...I am just left wondering why oh why driving would even come to play in his adventures. I mean, from what I have gathered over the years, driving still applies the same principles of training and movement as ridden disciplines. And like Eventing, Xcountry driving does not seem to be the place to tie stuff together...

    so color me

    (media attention grabbing?)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006
    Posts
    425

    Default

    I think you've taken one sentence in a long blog out of its context.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    ^I think I understand the context. My point was that I was told about his blog by another equestrian but non-driver who did NOT take it in context, but read it literally.

    Sigh. Probably letting it lie and sizzle is the best bet.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    7,471

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    But I am under the impression that overchecks are only used in harness racing - most of the time and that the side checks are indeed a safety feature.

    So yes, the Black beauty response is on the spot.
    I believe they are also used in breed shows (i.e. Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian, etc.)

    Alagirl, you must get into driving! It is totally addictive!
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,260

    Default

    Read the blog... just another "we aren't so bad... look at these other sports, they are probably worse than us". Comment on each of the sports shouldn't have been mentioned as it didn't help make his point at all but...

    That said Robert has at least some familiarity with driving. For one, I believe he was in one of the Festival of Champions at Gladstone when they made of teams from various disciplines and then competed in teams NOT in their discipline - i.e. if you were a driver, you had to jump and ride dressage. If you were a dressage rider, you had to drive and jump etc.

    FUN competition with top level people coaching and loaning horses to the various competitors (NOT the horses in actual competition).

    Robert is also lives in Chester Weber's area and was involved along with Chester in helping keep that eventer's barn going while he was out with injuries a year or so ago.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2006
    Location
    Little Rhody
    Posts
    3,465

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hitchinmygetalong View Post
    I believe they are also used in breed shows (i.e. Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian, etc.)
    True. I've seen plenty of driving horses outfitted with overchecks. You know, the type that connect from the bit, over the poll to the saddle to keep a horse from lowering its head? Not so different from Black Beauty's dreaded "bearing rein" after all.

    Many places sell them. Here's one:

    http://www.fourwinds.net/accessor/jt746917.html

    Maybe RD's not such an idjit.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2007
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    2,349

    Default

    Robert Dover is addressing international equestrian competitions at the highest level. Would anyone here deny the inherent dangers (oops, almost said hazards) of those driving competitions?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,115

    Default

    Not sure when the Festival Champion Teams took place, but if he has not been near competitive driving in a long time, things have changed over the years and he doesn't know it.

    There was a lot of crashing and bashing taking place in early CDE activities. The Era of BIG HORSES who could literally smash their way thru a course with an indestructible vehicle behind. Almost anything was legal, just so you made time and less penalties. Pretty much no finesse to handling hazards at the higher levels. Rules were invoked to change that kind of driving, with knockdown balls, sticks, added for penalties to rough driving. Better Hazard design, not "how tight can we get it", with technical routes. Add in breed driving with the check reins of both descriptions, Coaching that often has sidechecks on the Fours, and his distorted view could be arrived at fairly easily.

    Maybe he know some bad apples or heard of them, using questionable training ideas, as any equine activity will have. If you only meet or know a few folks in that activity, it will give you a skewed veiwpoint.

    Without more information, we don't know what made him give this statement. Interesting to find it buried in the other information at his site. Not a place I would ever visit in daily life.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hitchinmygetalong View Post
    I believe they are also used in breed shows (i.e. Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian, etc.)

    Alagirl, you must get into driving! It is totally addictive!

    EEEWWWW BREED SHOWS!!!



    I forgot about that animal all together!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,115

    Default

    Just got my new Driving Digest with an article about Driving Survivors and a HUGE role that Robert Dover played in helping one of their kids. Extremely nice article about Robert's large part in helping a special kid, as well as the group.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,260

    Default

    Robert drove in Festivals in the late 80s early 90s - long after the war wagons turned into marathon vehicle so I don't think its that

    Realistically I think he is just thinking in terms of asking his dressage horses to work while pulling a carriage and wearing all those straps. I'm guessing that in itself seems incredibly restrictive.

    Its the throw 'them' under the bus to get the attention off me I don't like to see. I object to someone saying X isn't so bad look at what they do in that other sport, like endurance, driving, etc. especially since I don't compete in those sports and therefore do not have a good way to judge if they are always dangerous and risky to the horse or only really dangerous to bad horsemen of any sport.
    Last edited by Drive NJ; Jan. 12, 2010 at 10:58 PM. Reason: another way of saying same



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2007
    Location
    Wedge seat, Windsor SC
    Posts
    124

    Default

    I don't think we should over react quite yet. I asked RD on Facebook what he meant by saying that & I'm waiting for his responce. RD has done some driving & was just looking for a driving pony for a friend! I'm not sure if he was talking about overchecks on breed or Amish horses? But it's the "hazards" that has thrown me & many other people.

    I have alot of respect for Robert, so I'll wait for his responce to explain it a bit further.

    Robert
    Tandem Hill Farm
    www.tandemhillfarm.com

    Robert j Chambers on Facebook



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Central Mississippi
    Posts
    2,271

    Default

    Thanks, Robert Tandem Hill, for contacting Robert Dover on our behalf.

    I'm sure that he said it for effect, but read by folks outside the community it's too easy to take as "you think I'm bad? look at them!"

    My initial response was to just ignore it. But too often things that are just let drop have a way of jumping out of the shrubbery when least expected. A couple of years from now somebody looking for a reason to condemn driving could easily come across that comment and say "here's a condemnation from one of our top equestrians!" That happens far too often.

    It doesn't help that the responders to his blog were full of bravos for his stand. Implicitly that means they're agreeing with his driving comments, and his driving comments were such a mashed up conflation of thoughts that ... well, it's a little crazy in a not nice way.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006
    Posts
    425

    Default

    Or where are their chants against Endurance which calls for a horse to go 100 exhausting miles?
    Dover also said this, as well as mentioning racing two-year-olds & Western Pleasure.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    He's offered an apology.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 1999
    Posts
    17,599

    Default

    It's rather odd that Dover would vocally disparage another discipline that one of his biggest sponsors, Jane Forbes Clark, also has a huge hand in as well.

    She owned the entire team - save for Larredo - that James Faircloth had for the 2008 Four In Hand Driving World Driving Championships in The Netherlands.

    It is never a smart move to cast stones



Similar Threads

  1. Robert Dover vs EN
    By eponacowgirl in forum Eventing
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: Dec. 21, 2010, 06:39 PM
  2. Robert Dover Is Out As Coach!
    By Amaranth in forum Off Course
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Nov. 1, 2010, 07:09 PM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Aug. 6, 2009, 04:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness