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  1. #1
    Weatherford is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Holly Hays over on the TH.com site wanted a little controversy - so a professional "koolaid" posted the following. Figuring that we here at the CHTHBB's are not adverse to controversy (and Erin & I WILL keep the lid on it - the standard rules apply!), I thought I'd copy it here (with the pro's OK, of course).

    I happen to agree with the poster. As I see it, there are several issues:

    1) Professionals who do not know, or prefer not to know, the long and short term side effects of the drugs they are administering.

    2) Owners who do not KNOW what their trainers are giving their horses.

    3) Owners who know but do not care, either because they do not KNOW the tremendously detrimental side effects of such meds or because they simply believe it is necessary to WIN.

    Of course, as has been discussed ad infinititum, our current system of judging hunters adds to and aggrevates the problem by not allowing any deviations from "perfection". God forbid your hunter shake its head on course!

    So, I am posting this to ask people to consider what the poster is saying and comment - positively or negatively. Some of this has been discussed in other threads, but perhaps we need to put the thoughts all in one place.

    Also, more suggestions of HOW we can CHANGE the system...

    Thanks.


    [b]OK Holly, how about talking about the over use and MISUSE of drug on the A circuit? I mean Equine drugs, not people drugs.

    Like, for example, Azium (aka Dex or Dexamethadone) - which, according to some people I know & trust, is the drug of choice - especially when mixed on one of those coctails - for calming hunters & eq horses.

    Don't deny it! I am out there, too, and have seen WAAAYYY too many horse PERMANANTELY ruined (to the point of having to be put down) by the overuse and abuse of AZIUM. (And the other drugs.)

    This has been noticed by the D&M committee - who proposed last year to regulate the use of Azium (Dexamethazone) by making trainers get a VET signed certificate when it is used on a horse during a horse show. Gee, how difficult is that? If your horse has hives, get the vet to sign and OK it - after all is IS a regulated drug.

    No, this couldn't happen. Nope, the TRAINERS didn't want to hae to justify all the DEX they are giving their horses. And they CERTAINLY don't want the owners knowing about this!!!! So the H/J committee canned the rule proposal and made the D&M committee withdraw it.

    Oh, no, just a little packet nor a shot of azium won't do much ...

    Let's see, what was the hunter last year who "foundered for unknown reasons" was sent to New Bolton and discovered to also have auto immune problems???? (It was put down, much to the owner's heartbreak.)

    Or what about the very very expensive 5 yr old whose sale was botched because the x-rays weren't perfect - gee, rotated coffin bones, anyone???

    Or the freebie I got once who had foundered, had lymph problems, thyroid problems, and God knows what else. Gee, I wonder why?

    Or the GREAT Jumper that was leased as a Big Eq horse - after a few months disappeared from sight. Owner went to the barn to which it had been leased, and the horse was BROKE - very broke. Rotated coffin bones AND auto immune problems....

    Isn't there something WRONG with this picture? HEY you out there in big A circuit barns - is YOUR horse going to be NEXT???? Is the reason s/he is sore and you can't figure it out? Or do you just give him MORE drugs to feel better? When the problem is actually because of the drugs? Or the combination of the drugs? Has that coffin bone started it's little movement?

    I'm not even going to don a flame proof suit, because I KNOW I am right - actually, I believe the American Horse Shows Association would do very well to ban the use of ALL drugs - and keep in line the the FEI and the rest of the WORLD!!!

    Anyone else?[b]

    I repeat - [b]standard rules apply.[b] Let's see how people really feel, and what we can do to change the system.
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  2. #2
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    Holly Hays over on the TH.com site wanted a little controversy - so a professional "koolaid" posted the following. Figuring that we here at the CHTHBB's are not adverse to controversy (and Erin & I WILL keep the lid on it - the standard rules apply!), I thought I'd copy it here (with the pro's OK, of course).

    I happen to agree with the poster. As I see it, there are several issues:

    1) Professionals who do not know, or prefer not to know, the long and short term side effects of the drugs they are administering.

    2) Owners who do not KNOW what their trainers are giving their horses.

    3) Owners who know but do not care, either because they do not KNOW the tremendously detrimental side effects of such meds or because they simply believe it is necessary to WIN.

    Of course, as has been discussed ad infinititum, our current system of judging hunters adds to and aggrevates the problem by not allowing any deviations from "perfection". God forbid your hunter shake its head on course!

    So, I am posting this to ask people to consider what the poster is saying and comment - positively or negatively. Some of this has been discussed in other threads, but perhaps we need to put the thoughts all in one place.

    Also, more suggestions of HOW we can CHANGE the system...

    Thanks.


    [b]OK Holly, how about talking about the over use and MISUSE of drug on the A circuit? I mean Equine drugs, not people drugs.

    Like, for example, Azium (aka Dex or Dexamethadone) - which, according to some people I know & trust, is the drug of choice - especially when mixed on one of those coctails - for calming hunters & eq horses.

    Don't deny it! I am out there, too, and have seen WAAAYYY too many horse PERMANANTELY ruined (to the point of having to be put down) by the overuse and abuse of AZIUM. (And the other drugs.)

    This has been noticed by the D&M committee - who proposed last year to regulate the use of Azium (Dexamethazone) by making trainers get a VET signed certificate when it is used on a horse during a horse show. Gee, how difficult is that? If your horse has hives, get the vet to sign and OK it - after all is IS a regulated drug.

    No, this couldn't happen. Nope, the TRAINERS didn't want to hae to justify all the DEX they are giving their horses. And they CERTAINLY don't want the owners knowing about this!!!! So the H/J committee canned the rule proposal and made the D&M committee withdraw it.

    Oh, no, just a little packet nor a shot of azium won't do much ...

    Let's see, what was the hunter last year who "foundered for unknown reasons" was sent to New Bolton and discovered to also have auto immune problems???? (It was put down, much to the owner's heartbreak.)

    Or what about the very very expensive 5 yr old whose sale was botched because the x-rays weren't perfect - gee, rotated coffin bones, anyone???

    Or the freebie I got once who had foundered, had lymph problems, thyroid problems, and God knows what else. Gee, I wonder why?

    Or the GREAT Jumper that was leased as a Big Eq horse - after a few months disappeared from sight. Owner went to the barn to which it had been leased, and the horse was BROKE - very broke. Rotated coffin bones AND auto immune problems....

    Isn't there something WRONG with this picture? HEY you out there in big A circuit barns - is YOUR horse going to be NEXT???? Is the reason s/he is sore and you can't figure it out? Or do you just give him MORE drugs to feel better? When the problem is actually because of the drugs? Or the combination of the drugs? Has that coffin bone started it's little movement?

    I'm not even going to don a flame proof suit, because I KNOW I am right - actually, I believe the American Horse Shows Association would do very well to ban the use of ALL drugs - and keep in line the the FEI and the rest of the WORLD!!!

    Anyone else?[b]

    I repeat - [b]standard rules apply.[b] Let's see how people really feel, and what we can do to change the system.
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  3. #3
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    I for one wouldn't ride a horse on the flat that had been drugged, never mind over fences. I want to know that the horse has all its faculties about it. I have allergies and the days when they are bad I don't ride.

    If people are giving a horse drugs to calm it then maybe the horse needs more trainig or maybe they need to get a horse they can handle.



  4. #4
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    OUCH...sadly the case!



  5. #5
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    I haven't heard of people giving Azium up here...most drugs are banned by the CEF (I think).

    The alternative? Let's lunge and/or ride our horses for 6 or 7 hours before their class at the Royal, not give them any feed or water the night before, and then they can perform great "naturally"! There has been at least one horse up here who colicked before their class at the Royal (he showed anyway, 3 hours after it happened) and I'm willing to bet it was because he wasn't watered the night before. What happened to training riders and horses to compete their best?!? Oh, I forgot...people with too much money, not enough knowledge, and no way of handling the expensive hunter they have bought. (Sorry, I know this is off the topic of drugs, but the problem has the same reasoning behind it as the drug issue...anything to win).

    I am not saying that everyone on "A" circuit is rich, or can't ride, or that everyone with money treats their horses like this, but the number of those who do is horrifying!



  6. #6
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    I worked at a vet clinic that treated COUNTLESS cases of overmedication disasters. It is baffling to me how many really nice horses are either dead or ruined from something so rediculous. I don't care what everybody else is doing, if you care about the health and well-being of your horses, you will make sure that medications are given 1) for legitimate reasons (not training issues), and 2) under the supervision of an ethical, trustworthy veterinarian (just one vet at a time, please). The "everyday" drugs that are used so freely can and will cause major problems. Trainers are rarely properly knowledgable in pharmacy or chemistry.

    Most of the owners of these horses were nowhere to be found (and I assume some were unaware of the truth of the situation), on a rare occasion, a nervous trainer or veterinarian would appear (mostly to figure out who else to blame). In most cases, the horses were dropped off and left with us to sort out the problems (if possible). It was very rare for anybody to come just for a visit. Guess how many owners want to pay to help fix these problems on a horse that may not be able to jump anymore? I've known of one. Guess how many vet techs own washed-up victims of the show world and care for them for years? A lot!



  7. #7
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    It is so sad that we have come to this point in our sport. I don't thnk totally banning the use of meds will do the trick though. I have very bad knee problems that have turned into arthritus. There are days when I need a little something to get me going in the morning. The sad thing is that it has come to such a point where the answer to every problem is "O I have something that will fix that" they then go and mix some awful chemical cocktail an send the animal on it's way. It is just too bad that people are so driven by winning this or winning that. That they would ruin shuch wonderful animals in the process. Something needs to be done and done fast.



  8. #8
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    Please post these replies on the Towerheads board under Holly Hayes' forum Controversal Topic.



  9. #9
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    I'm not saying I'm for or against the use of drugs as I believe that is very dependent upon the situation, the horse, the drug used, the frequency with which its use, the amount, etc, etc, etc. I like to give my horse a gram or two of bute after a hard day, but I also don't show her into the ground so I'm not trying to hide weeks of point chasing, just making her more comforable after a long day. I know my back appreciates a couple of Motrin after a long horse show too! However, the use of Dex concerns me. I have recently heard of more and more use of Dex and even if you don't know it, it's definitely out there. Can someone tell me the real use of Dex for medical purposes and why the use (or is it just overuse) of it results in immune problems and coffin bone issues? Can dex be used occationally without issue? And please don't get me wrong, I'm not asking because I want to use it, but I'd like to know to make a better judgement as to whether others should or shouldn't.



  10. #10
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    Azium/Dexamethasone is indicated for use as an anti-inflammatory. Often given in small animal medicine for cases of asthma, trauma, etc. It is usually used for Hives. But the reason most of the hunter people are using it I have been told is because it works so that the horse doesn't produce adrenaline . The are using it in much higher than recommended quantities.


    [This message has been edited by MB Stark (edited 09-04-2000).]



  11. #11
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    I feel very lucky to know that i come from a barn where the only drugs that our horses get is so I can pull their manes! I come from a smaller A barn in Ontario, and honest to god, not one of our horses has ever shown on any drugs. I work really closely with the trainer, I'm a groom, braider, rider etc. It makes me really happy to know that my trainer has never succumbed to doing this to try and make our horses win.



  12. #12
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    Generally, you can tell which horses are run into the ground and medicated to get them there, and which ones are ridden with the horse's well-being in mind. You can usually tell by how long they are a presence in the show ring.

    It is really sad when horses are "retired" at 10 because they are used up. Even the really good ones. And in many cases, they needed "pharmaceutical help" to get them to age 10! http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/eek.gif

    Then there are horses who are competitive into their early twenties because their owners/trainers didn't have them relentlessly doing the 3' courses at age 3, and schooling them over jumps 6 days a week and showing every weekend. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    These are the trainers who wait until their horses are physically mature enough to do the job. Who wait until age 3 or 4 before even breaking their horses, and not jumping until age 5 or 6. Once their horses understand the concept of jumping, schooling sessions over fences are limited to 1-2x per week.

    Yes, these trainers "miss out" on two years of showing over fences at the front end, but their patience pays of as they gain 10 years of showing on the back end. To me the choice is a "no brainer", which makes me wonder about those who chose the other route.... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]



  13. #13
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    As I posted on another thread, the belief that Azium has a calmative (tranquilizing) affect is a PERCEPTION and is not a proven clinical effect AFAIK.

    I believe that the perception is due to the suppressive action that long-term use of Azium has upon the hormone ACTH. ACTH is the hormone that regulates the activity of the adrenal glands. When a horse has elevated blood plasma levels of cortisol due to the long-term administration of corticosteroids. the pituitary gland decreases or ceases its production of ACTH. As a result, the adrenal glands decrease or no longer produce corticosteroids.

    However, there should be no effect on the production of adrenaline. This is because adrenaline is produced by the adrenal medulla (the "interior" of the adrenal gland). OTOH, the corticosteroids are produced by the adrenal cortex (the "outside" of the adrenal gland). The adrenal medulla is essentially a part of the autonomic nervous system and, for reasons much too complex to go into here, is not under the "control" of the pituitary gland.

    Side effects of long-term Azium use include depressed immune response, demineralization of the bone, suppression of the natural production of ACTH and laminitis, which is unique in hooved animals.

    Even if the AHSA regulates the administration of Azium a determined person could increase serum cortisol levels through the administration of ACTH. As it is impossible to differentiate between natually occurring ACTH and that which is administered you would be unable to develop a test for this hormone. I believe that ACTH is used on show circuits that test for Azium.

    IMO, the best thing we could do for our equine athletes is to educate the people who break the rules. Rather than fining a first time offender maybe the AHSA should implement a policy where the offender would have to attend a lecture on the interaction of different drugs with the equine's physiology.
    I just wonder how many trainers and/or owners would risk the side effects of the administration of Azium when there is no evidence that they will receive any benefits from its administration.

    Nina

    [This message has been edited by Chrissy (edited 09-04-2000).]



  14. #14
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    Creseida-
    I agree with you and somewhat off the subject. How about the trainers that do take their time, not use drugs and only do a limited amount of showing (like 6 shows, not all "A") to find out now certain states only want one year of pregreen with really no other divisions at three foot for the trainers to show in.



  15. #15
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    mileroni- I agree with you(THis is the person formerly known as cozmojumps)It is almost impossible to bring youngsters alongwith the limited showing I can do. I guess I am lucky that the horse complex is only 10 miles from the barn.Plus I can go to Triton for a show & be back home before dark- I can even take ponies there in the AM & take them home & get horses for the afternoon, since there is a schooling session during lunch break!

    As far as the drug thing, MAny people have told me to find a cocktail for my horse- well guess what? 3 1/2 years of true grit, blood, sweat & tears & I now have a really nice horse, that I feel confident to put a new person on. I can represent my horse as he is. The only special thing they need to know, is that he has a REALLY low palate, so I show him in a KK. Oh yes, they might want to keep the dogs out of his stall! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
    It\'s a pity life ain\'t got no warranty for times like now...



  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mileroni:
    Creseida-
    I agree with you and somewhat off the subject. How about the trainers that do take their time, not use drugs and only do a limited amount of showing (like 6 shows, not all "A") to find out now certain states only want one year of pregreen with really no other divisions at three foot for the trainers to show in.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think it would encourage show managers to make sure there is an unrestricted 3 foot division on pro days.

    On the drug issue, I think it almost needs to be an all or nothing situation. If any sort of drugging is to be allowed, it ought to be a regulated amount of, for example, ace. Simpler and safer than the questionable cocktails and kinder than LTD. Otherwise, it should be nothing at all. Of course, either rule would put a whole bunch of vets out of work.



  17. #17
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    Does anyone know if the same kind of thing goes on in the dressage world?

    I'm curious, because there was a dressage-related article in the COTH a while ago that mentioned a couple of dressage horses (or was it one horse on two occasions?) who foundered...and I thought that seemed kind of odd for relatively young horses in the care of a knowledgeable horseperson.

    I'm not implying that drug abuse occurred in this particular case; it just made me wonder whether the Azium-related tragedies of the hunter world also occur in the dressage world.



  18. #18
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    Maybe the AHSA needs to look at it's system of penalties for the use of equine drugs. Maybe $$$ fines are not enough. Here in France, like in the U.S., there is a l-o-n-g list of forbidden drugs. But here, if the horse tests positive for ANY of these, the horse is BANNED FROM SHOWING FOR FIVE YEARS! (and I think there's a fine, too).



  19. #19
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    The drug problem is almost nonexistant in dressage as far as I know.



  20. #20
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    Drugging our equines in order to keep them showing is a very sad state of affairs.
    I can't tell you the number of top hunter/jumper barns that I've been at where it's never questioned. I am against the use of drugs unless prescribed to heal an injury and administed by a qualified vet. Way too many uneducated horsepeople run around training barns waving cortesone, steriods, anti-inflamatories and the like "prescribing" treatment. Got a hot horse? Just give 'em a couple of cc's to calm him down. Got a funky stifle? Give 'em injections. IMO it's up to the horses owners to be aware of what is going on and to put their horses before shows &ribbons.



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