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  1. #1
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    Default What did people do in the days before all these chemicals?

    Do you think perhaps they trained their horses for optimal fitness and gave them time off? Or were the horses just cast off onto the tallow truck when they couldn't keep up anymore?

    When there were no joint injections how did all those horses stay sound?

    Could it have been that horse trainers understood how to muscle up a horse correctly. How to not over use it? How to train it to do it's job correctly and happily? Were they better able to pick the correct horses for the job?

    I am so deeply saddened for all the horses who are subjected to endless injections, either in the neck or in their joints, or the endless shoeing changes to keep one jumping who really just needs a few months off to get over her sore feet.

    It's just sad.

    I wish H/J trainers put as much thought into how to train a horse and strengthen his / her weaknesses as they put into what NSAID can be stacked on another.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 21, 2008
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    Horses careers were short, people didn't live as long, and there was most likely a way to "chemically alter". (Bleeding, withholding water, etc)
    Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA



  3. #3
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    luvs2ridewbs,

    Sure. If you say so.



  4. #4
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    Just like many advances in medicine that were originally intended to HELP, they are often abused and turned into something that can harm. I am quite thankful that there are chemicals that can be used to help horses feel better and recover from injuries but it is very sad that many people now rely on these for day to day stuff.



  5. #5
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    Nov. 21, 2008
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    What I mean is that people didn't just wake up this year and decide to cheat. There have always been cheaters and there were always people who play it straight. I don't think that changes from the 1950s to now.
    Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA



  6. #6
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    May. 11, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvs2ridewbs View Post
    Horses careers were short, people didn't live as long, and there was most likely a way to "chemically alter". (Bleeding, withholding water, etc)
    there are so many fun threads today I really need to get off the computer. But please someone educate me as to how bleeding and withholding water "chemically alter" a horse in any way that would improve their career longevity



  7. #7
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    Oct. 5, 2007
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    I hear you. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a horse mentor who feels the same way. All of our horses are started slowly, given plenty of turnout, and time off to match the training they do. Of 11 horses in the barn, only one is on any kind of medication, and he is a complete pasture ornament, having been tangled in barbed wire as a 3 year old and subsequently kept in a mudhole for several years (note: before he came our way!) He gets anti-inflammatories for pain management, and special shoeing.

    Three of our guys get a liquid joint supplement; but aside from that, the only real maintenance is exercise. We are all religious about proper warm-up and cool-down routines; they get liniment rubs after a hard effort in the summer; they get hand-walked endlessly in various stages of blanketing after a hard effort in the winter; their legs are wrapped if need be. Really, nothing that seems like rocket science-- just good management. I think perhaps the most important part of everything we do is allow for time off if they are sore. It doesn't matter what plans were in place, if carrying through with them is going to be to the detriment of the horse, the plans are cancelled, the horse gets carrots and some R&R.

    Our eldest will turn 30 in April 2011, and he's ridden 4x weekly, jumps 2'6 regularly (limited by his rider's ambition/ability-- not his soundness) and is barefoot to boot.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 26, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvs2ridewbs View Post
    What I mean is that people didn't just wake up this year and decide to cheat. There have always been cheaters and there were always people who play it straight. I don't think that changes from the 1950s to now.
    I'm just curious. How are maintanence joint injections cheating? Please, enlighten me.

    And, for the record, bute (one of the most common NSAIDS) has been in use in horses since at least the 1960s. I would love to know what quality horses from "back in the day" that showed without EVER recieving ANY chemicals EVER that the OP is referring to?



  9. #9
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    yeah, to be fair, ace and bute have been around for a long time, it's just the testing and the rules that are different.

    Bu that said, turning your horse out 12-24 hours was the rule, not the exception for most horses, they did get part of the year off, on average I would say more horses saw more work out of the ring - there's a lot to be said for a 5-10 mile hack over varied terrain with a lot of walking and some trotting/cantering. It does a lot more for a horse than pounding around the ring for 45 minutes - mentally and physically. Butmost of all we were used to a horse that might have some age on it. It's not like you ever felt that marvelous feeling of a horse whose hocks feel brand new thanks to legend/adequan/joint injections. You just felt the same old horse with maybe a lot of training and a little hitch in his gitalong as you (and everybody else) felt. It's its own level playing field.

    Also the courses didn't play into that old horse weakness. Think about it - galloping up to unrelated fences is somethig even an older hocky horse can do in style. Manufacturing a 13 foot step at a glorified crawl? That's a bit harder on the feet and hocks. Doing all that while stalled 19 hours a day? Harder yet.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.



  10. #10
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    Nov. 11, 2001
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    Pennsylvania,Zone ll
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    Well, for one thing, judging criteria was very different. Horses were allowed to be different from one another...so there wasn't the cookie cutter Knocked out,dead quiet standard. Some were a little hot, some a little quick....some went with one hip off to the side, some went with really tight martingales. Some "played" on the turn and still were ribbon worthy. With all these, and more, variations acceptable, there wasn't the LTD that is the norm today. Lead changes were not the be all and end all that they are today. Swapping in front of the jump was not penalized as it is today. LEAVING OUT A STRIDE in a line was REWARDED if done well!!!! Can you imagine?? 40 years ago one of the leading working horses in Zone 2 (long before there WAS a 'zone') was a briliant jumper that chipped when necessary and won regardless!!! Our judging criteria has determined that our horses look and act as much alike as possible....and that standard is requiring excessive lungeing, which leads to aches and pains and subsequent medications. We now require such "perfection" in our horses. That is the path we have gone down, to the detriment of our beloved horses.
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt



  11. #11
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    Jan. 7, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum81 View Post
    there are so many fun threads today I really need to get off the computer.
    Agreed. But I saw this one and put my bag of popcorn in the microwave.



  12. #12
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    Aug. 31, 2004
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    I don't know about prior to when ace existed, but several older horsemen I know say they didn't inject joints because there was no test for ace and thus no lunging.
    -Grace



  13. #13
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    Nov. 21, 2008
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    Maybe I misunderstood the first post, but it sounded as though the OP was being critical of those who walk on the unethical side of USEF's drug rules particularly to keep horses sound.
    Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA



  14. #14
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    Mar. 18, 2000
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    From what I understand, a lot of horses showing had other jobs as well. I'm not sure how prevalent it was in the H/J scene, but I just finished reading a book on Badminton - a lot of the early winners were also hunt horses. Sure, the caveat is that the competition was much different in it's inception, but it is neat to see the number of horses that both competed and won who had other jobs.



  15. #15
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    Aug. 16, 2009
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    Next time I have a chance to talk to a long-term career equestrian, I'll ask and find out what they used to do. I haven't been in the sport that long relatively speaking so all I can do is conjecture.

    I'm going to venture to guess, however, that the sport has evolved to a degree where we continue to ask more and more of the horses, while at the same time the training is getting less and less. We're breeding for giant warmbloods on long stick legs, breaking them at 2.5 and then campaigning them by 5. AND we need those horses to look like fancy hunters - canter around on their front end and leap over 3'-4' oxers...Oh and we need those horses to accrue massive amounts of points so we have to go to lots of shows. (Although I hear of possible positive changes on that front.)

    Just judging from photos I've seen from the 50's and 60's, the horses had a different jumping form, were mostly thoroughbreds, and the courses were probably a bit simpler. I think too horses were probably 'weeded out' more in the sense that if they couldn't do the job, they didn't, whereas now we can make something jump harder or work harder than it's really capable of doing. I remember hearing a trainer talk about how most horses went in all three rings because you just had one horse to do it on...

    Almost everyone's nostalgia paints a prettier picture than the reality at the time. We are better equipped now than ever to handle injuries with Tildren, MRIs, Stem cell, injections, etc. than what anyone had years ago. The only problem is because of these things we can push the horses harder and to the breaking point.

    But like I said, it's only a guess. Next time I have a chance to speak to a 60+ yr old veteran, I'll ask.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrakeGirl View Post
    Agreed. But I saw this one and put my bag of popcorn in the microwave.

    I'm waiting until 2:30 for popcorn.

    what other shenanigans can I get into between now and then...

    it's so easy....



  17. #17
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    Apr. 12, 2002
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    Nerving was quite common. Not many quieted horses in the day, we wanted a forward horse and it was quite common to give B12 shots to keep a jumper on edge. Also a lot of cold hosing, politicing, and liniments were employeed. Turnout was essential but lunging was rarely employed, we also did alot of cross country and trails, very little jumping inbetween shows and most shows were 1 day for the big jumpers. Horses were also feed alot more with simple feeds , they didn't have as many specialty processed feeds back than. It is true when a horse wasn't sound enough anymore the meaters came to you to buy and it was Bye Bye. And as cruel as some practices seem today , riders would be appalled at the frequent and highly touted use of tack poles . More than anything though, riders rode, many hunted in the winter and spent hours on the trails. You learned fast how to handle a horse that spooked at a barking dog with out missing a beat. Now your lucky if the kids ride more than a couple times a week.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    Also the courses didn't play into that old horse weakness. Think about it - galloping up to unrelated fences is somethig even an older hocky horse can do in style. Manufacturing a 13 foot step at a glorified crawl? That's a bit harder on the feet and hocks. Doing all that while stalled 19 hours a day? Harder yet.
    While I will freely admit to not having been around to witness the days of yore personally, I instinctively agree with this.

    Think also about lead changes. People have mentioned on this forum that back in the 70's a lead change was a plus at the bigger shows, instead of the requirement it now is even at the local shows. Again, I wasn't around to see it personally but I believe them. Now you can't even show in the local schooling hunters for a ribbon if you can't do a clean lead change both ways.

    I agree with DMK that probably the lifestyle (lots of turnout) and the less 'manufactured' showing standard would be far more forgiving to a horse with a few creaks.



  19. #19
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    Seriously??

    The poster has an INCREDIBLY valid point.

    Anyone who thinks that horsemanship from a care perspective is on par with the past is delusional!

    One cannot compare bute(aspirin) with the assortment of drugs that are used today.

    "Horses careers were short, people didn't live as long, and there was most likely a way to "chemically alter". (Bleeding, withholding water, etc)"

    What???

    I could write a lists as tall as I am representing horses that performed deep into their twenties, at the upper levels of competition, and now what is the FEI limit...18!

    What does the life expectancy of humans have to do with horses? If a parallel of equine care, I think it may be a very poor analogy. Equine health care development is based on performance, not on quality of life, the later is a secondary benefit of the former.

    I don't know but.. the egg, the chicken thing. Necessity, once drugs became more available, and became constituted a greater advantage to the users testing for drugs became important. You cannot develop an effective drug without being able to determine the value of it's presence. Who cares about bute, when was the last time an athlete was banned for using Advil??

    "Do you think perhaps they trained their horses for optimal fitness and gave them time off? Or were the horses just cast off onto the tallow truck when they couldn't keep up anymore?

    When there were no joint injections how did all those horses stay sound?

    Could it have been that horse trainers understood how to muscle up a horse correctly. How to not over use it? How to train it to do it's job correctly and happily? Were they better able to pick the correct horses for the job?"

    YES!!



  20. #20
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    Hauwse gets it. YES!

    Now, off to raise more contentious topics as they come to mind!



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