I would like to point out that I post with not only my name (& an unusual name it is) but also the city & state where I live & my email address posted.
I think perhaps if one posts with less than full disclosure of who one is, that opens the poster up to charges of "bashing" or whatever. As I said before, I express what I express out of sincere concern & I tell everyone who I am & I stand behind what I say & believe, although I may be mistaken.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Evalee Hunter:
BECAUSE I THINK WHEN A HORSE FALLS MORE THAN ONCE IN A PERIOD OF A YEAR OR TWO IT BECOMES EVERYONE'S BUSINESS. Obviously many of you do not agree which is your right & I respect you for disagreeing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I respect your thoughts here, but I think it's important to realize that what appears to be an obvious pattern to us monday-morning quarterbacks is not necessarily so. For example, the first fall may have been at a water fence, where there was an inapparent hole and other horses also stumbled. Perhaps the second fall was on unexpected wet grass where the rider unfortunately chose the wrong studs. To the rider and trainer these are unrelated events, not an indication that something is seriously wrong.
Of course it might be that something is seriously wrong - but because of the different circumstances it will not appear so without further data.
Not to say that a fall is common, or that it is not serious, just that most horse falls I've seen (and not all involved eventing or even jumping) are more unlucky than a lack of skill or ability.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
Since we are so concerned with the welfare of horses, why not mandate this concern for all events. Unfortunately, accidents do happen for a MULTITUDE of reasons. What happened was a tragedy without a doubt, but conversations legislating when and how you can ride your horse play right into the hands of those who claim riding horses at all is wrong. Sorry if I offend anyone here, and I know that some of those complaining have observed, helped, and done all the stuff--except do what it take to get a horse ready with a vet and coach to run a horse at this level, much less competed at this level. I really don't understand the thinking projected on the riders that the horses are "expendable" because I have never ever come across that in upper level eventing. I simply takes too long and the horses are too valuable to have that attitude. Truly, eventing is one sport that really promotes and encourages horsemanship.
Wow, I've missed a great deal while my husband has been in an opera and I've been chief gopher to the org. I read this thread and I have to say that I am amazed. Accidents happen in every part of life--including some recent accidents in the H/J world, but I don't find the same thread going on over there. I did event through Prelim, and there is risk. Personally, I hold my life as well as my horse's in such esteem that I would not venture to an upper level without proper preperation. I have seen much, MUCH scarier riding at lower levels. I think unless you actually know, and not knocking anyone's opinion, what it takes to prepare a horse and ride it over such obsticles then you really don't have room to talk. Not trying to be rude about it, but watching is much easier and totally different from having "hands on" experience. I would no more try and tell a hunter rider how to ride a course or fix their sport just because I haul my friend to shows and watch her--although actually having set times would be a plus [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
which is why I made it clear where I was coming from & my experience.
At the same time, although I have not ridden in an event, I have been a little more closely involved than just volunteering & watching--my daughter has competed through one star & over the last ten years or so I have helped her get a number of horses ready to compete at various levels, mostly BN through training.
No, I haven't ridden in an event but I have been the eyes on the ground, the stall mucker, the feed horses before work person, the sleep in the barn when foals are coming person, the help with conditioning plans person, the groom at events person, tack the horse, help select studs person, the meet the vet for a sick/injured horse person, etc. etc. Our horses are in self care & I have a whole lot more involvement than just driving the trailer.
My daughter has been very fortunate to have had instruction from some of the top event riders in the world. I have watched clinics & lessons & talked with many of these people & learned from them. Still, we have been able to afford lessons & clinics only intermittently. So when push came to shove, the person who was beside her every day, every step was me.
I agree wholeheartedly: it is almost impossible to imagine what can happen in a classroom if you have not been a teacher. I prepare taxes for a living & it is probably not possible for most people to begin to imagine how complex taxes can be. Still & all, each of us has some experience related to these areas & we are each entitled to express our opinions about these areas & others.
Although I have not ridden in an event, I think when you combine my (Western) competition & riding experience, my day in & day out horse experience, & my observations, I do have a basis for expressing my opinions.
Everyone has a right to an opinion, and yours are quite well articulated. It is fantastic that your daughter, and yourself, have had both the experiences and opportunities to compete to a certain level. That being said, it is very different to compete level to level at the upper levels and while you state one star experience you also stated that the majority was lower level and that the coaching was not, heck, I don't know if it would be right to say regular or not since you brought up the fact that it was intermittant. That is not taking anything away from the value of your opinion; however, that being said, I would weight the opinions of say, Denny Emerson, Jim Wofford, or current advanced rider of good reputation who are running their horses over such courses as being better informed because they do this on a daily basis and tend to know more. Yes, while I recognize your experience, I do take it with a grain of salt--just like I would expect someone to do of mine based on my personal experiences. I am not an expert, don't claim the experts or infallable, or defer to them because they are, but inherent risk occurs in horse sports. It is tragic that two horses did die, the causes should be studied but I don't think the sport should be thrown out, radically revamped, or severely changed because of two freak accidents.
Including the top riders. I really do not want this sport dictated by only advanced riders of the present or the past.
All opinions are important when it comes to the safety of the horse. Especially important are the opinions of the new arrivals in the sport. What do you think the general feeling was of the first time eventing spectators as they left Southern Pines after Cross Country?
Eventing is the horse sport I know the most about and up until 3 years ago, was my passion. I still love the sport, but I want changes that will protect the horses more. I have spent a lot of confusing time weighing a death in a pasture to a death at a cross country jump. If Murphy Himself had been lost at a jump and not to a broken leg in the field, I would have been inconsolable. I think many of you would have felt the same.
Robby, if you've never seen a horse or rider killed at an event, you are lucky!I started eventing in the 1970's and saw many many horses killed or severly injured. It is not something one needs to see. Eventually we accept the risks involved, select a horse who wants to do it, you can tell, prepare corectly, and be sure we,ourselves can give 100%and go to an event ready to scratch ,if conditions warrant. Live each day to the fullest, appreciate every moment you and your horse have together and remember none of us knows for sure that we will be alive in the next minute,hour,day or second. So, whatever you are doing , love it and be sure those with you, horsse and human know that you love it.and them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Thank the Universe for every moment we have with these wonderful beings, protect them through preparation and good horsemanship, so that they love it,too.!and we all know horses who truly love crosscountry!and we must have enough integrity, confidence and humility to scratch or withdraw when necssary.If it gives your and your horses' live s'purpose and direction, get help,prepare as thoroughly as possible. and go for it! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]