CAH - Yeah, riding is definitely a business to make money!
I think one of the big problems is that in America, wealth=happiness, and people are so damn competetive, but to get wealth, you have to put up with a lot of crap, and spend a lot of time doing what you don't want to do. The trainer on the road is no different than the marketing guy working 80 hours a week to afford the SUV and house in the suburbs that he can't enjoy!
Something breaking down in our society right now. People are too stressed out and becoming lunatics - road rage, rudeness to store clerks, neglect of children, drug use - it permeates all classes.
The same thing that has happened in business is apparently happening in horse industry. You have to work 80 hours a week to be a success.
Who knows, maybe trainers and grooms should unionize - I certainly wish designers would.
For myself, I take it easy, leave by 5, enjoy riding for what it is... Will I ever make $100,000 - no, will I ever be in a Grand Prix - no. Do I feel the need to use drugs? Never
Probably if we let the trainers have more normal lives, and let the horses be horses, we could reduce the drugs used for both, and have a better environment for everyone involved. And I bet you'd still be making money (although maybe not as much) - but how do you put a price on your sanity and happiness?
Just a thought on the "why" drug use may be endemic in the horse community -- it seems to me that the horse show world attracts a lot of obsessive compulsive people, with addictive personalities. (I know even I, a mere pony mom, am "addicted" to horse shows, and ponies in generally, spending all of my disposable income on the little varmints and their rider, and that, almost by defnition, a hunter/equitation rider has to be be pretty obsessive to achieve.) Maybe that's why you see so many cigarette smokers and heavy drinkers in the horse world, and why drugs seem to have taken such a strong hold. The tendency toward addiction is already there and, it appears, so are the opportunities.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ponyesq: Just a thought on the "why" drug use may be endemic in the horse community -- it seems to me that the horse show world attracts a lot of obsessive compulsive people, with addictive personalities. (I know even I, a mere pony mom, am "addicted" to horse shows, and ponies in generally, spending all of my disposable income on the little varmints and their rider, and that, almost by defnition, a hunter/equitation rider has to be be pretty obsessive to achieve.) Maybe that's why you see so many cigarette smokers and heavy drinkers in the horse world, and why drugs seem to have taken such a strong hold. The tendency toward addiction is already there and, it appears, so are the opportunities.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree completely! I KNOW I am obsessive-compulsive....smoke/drink, etc. Fortunately, have never had any use for the drug thing. Refused to take pain killers when I broke my ankle because made me feel too "weird". I suppose I can thank God for that!
It is interesting to see the personality type that the horses attract....great point!
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by creseida: Well, look at what just happened with Eric Lamaze on the Canadian Team. The bloody fool KNEW he would have to pass a whiz quiz, I mean sheesh! This is The Olympics we're talking about. Yet, he had to (ahem) blow [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]this wonderful opportunity because he couldn't (ahem) keep his nose [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] clean for 3 lousy months. He was selected for the highest honour in sports, and he ruined it for some nose candy. http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/mad.gif
Then the final coup de gras was his ultra-lame explanation; "Oh I only use it recreationally, not as a performance enhancer." Like the drug test can differentiate between the two uses! Puh-leeze! This is his SECOND offense. Must they really allow him all three strikes before booting him out for good? http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/confused.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
According to Eric's lawyer, Eric's ban shouldn't be upheld. Why? Because he tested positive for a banned substance (an herbal diet remedy) and had already recieved a lifetime ban on August 18th. The lawyer goes on to say that Eric was so distraught he participated in a "one-time only" coke binge shortly thereafter. Upon apeal (this herbal diet remedy was improperly packaged) Eric was re-instated...only to TEST POSITIVE FOR THE COKE on August 28th. The lawyer says that since Eric was already under suspension he is exempt from any drug testing results based on his being (at the time of the coke use) outside IOC drug policy.
I shake my head.
[This message has been edited by Canter (edited 09-14-2000).]
It is the system that creates the problem. It isn't the anxiety to make a buck, it's the anxiety to pay the bills.
It's the points system and rating definitions that instigated the changes we see today. The fact is that too many trainers are not happy to be horsemen they want to live the same lifestyle as their clients who can afford the life style.
I keep asking you all to look at the old rule books and you will see the difference between now and then. When trainers have to up at 4 AM to start packing and shipping, and they don't get home until midnight day after day they like the horses need "pain" killers.
If shows were organized differently, if the goals were different that would be the biggest possible benefit. Let's face it no little kid says I want to grow up and be a "druggy". Certainly no athlete, but the circumstances of competition when big money is at stake creates the stress and pressures. That's why we need to look at the causes, the drugs are a symptom of a much more serious disease.
I think it is possible that those who choose horses as a recreational activity or as a profession are obsessive compulsive personalities. My question then is why? Why are these the ones attracted to our sport? Why do we not change the answer to that question.
Snowbird: no offense intended, but come on. There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc. Not to mention just us regular guys. We all want to make a buck, some of us want to make more than others. And, very few of us need a crutch to do so. It's easy to blame the "system," the "rules," "people being mean to me," "I had it tough growing up," etc. While I agree with the theory of addiction being a disease, placing the blame on a stressful life, paying the bills, etc. oversimplifies the problem. The minute you put something like cocaine up your nose, you have made a decision to cop out. This is Eric's (and other trainers in the same boat) wakeup call. Get some help and get it now. And come to the realization that you WILL lose everything if you don't come to terms with your addictive and criminal behavior. I apologize if this post has come on strong, but I lost a dear friend to cocaine nearly a year ago, dead at the age of 45 -- a total waste of a promising life.
All this is well and good. But remember the humans choose their poison. The horses do NOT.
I always wondered what the purpose might be to dose a horse with cocaine, and just read Dr. Mayline's comments on the AHSA website. How do you suppose a horse might feel on it, and then OFF IT. I for one (and maybe I'm the only one) am sick and tired of some people trying to bash the AHSA zero tolerance policy on these drugs.
I hope the bashers are few even if they are prominent and loud. After reading the AHSA report, I hate to think what we might be up against if someway a few trainers can undo the AHSA drug rules.
There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc.
What about Daryl Strawberry? I believe he has or had a cocaine habit and even now he is battling colon cancer. I saw on the news where he was arrested in a traffic accident in Florida......so sad for one so talented.
QUOTED>""Snowbird: no offense intended, but come on. There are thousands of athletes who are under the same sort of stress who do not resort to drugs -- professional NFL, NBA, Baseball, Hockey, etc""
Don't get me wrong I am not JUSTIFYING cocaine use among profs.(even though I have seen enough of it), but the distinction between the pro NFL, NBA, etc. plaers and horse pros is $$$$! NFL players are making millions of dollars (and still snorting coke!) many trainers, have to scrape by to pay their rent, even with a large succesful barn. Just playing devil's advocate...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by yellowhorse: QUOTED>"
Don't get me wrong I am not JUSTIFYING cocaine use among profs.(even though I have seen enough of it), but the distinction between the pro NFL, NBA, etc. plaers and horse pros is $$$$! NFL players are making millions of dollars (and still snorting coke!) many trainers, have to scrape by to pay their rent, even with a large succesful barn. Just playing devil's advocate...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
These arguments are somehow taking the stand that trainers with drug problems are different than anyone else with a drug problem. Most people have stress in their lives, no matter how much money you make. I would hate to be the guy with a multi-million dollar contract who dropped a couple passes. Or the financial planner who lead his customers to a losing stock proposition, or the doctor who took out the wrong organ, or misdiagnosed a patient, or the cashier at McDonalds who just packed one of the above people the wrong lunch... Horse people are not a special case.
Sometimes all these people need is a stint in prison, but it seems like only the poor go to prison for this type of thing. My half brother, after 10 years of using coke, went to jail for possesion and theft or something, well three years later, he gets out and cleans up his act, gets away from the coke environment, not so much because of the coke, but because he didn't want to back to jail. These trainers need to hit bottom before coming back up, but as long as the money keeps coming, they'll never hit bottom...
Yellowhorse I have to say you are 100% right. There are no real excuses, we are all masters of ourselves if nothing else. And, yes I do agree that examples should be made of the ones who violate the principles of fair play with any chemical intervention.
We are or should be all sophisticated enough to know that our "role models" should be just that, and they are required to set a good example. I also agree while we can make compassionate excuses for the reason they took the wrong road that isn't an excuse.
It's a lot like the people who sit around getting drunk, because when they're drunk they can imagine they are as wonderful as they would like everyone to think.
The question still arises, what can we do and what are we doing about it? Are the people drugging themselves, the same ones who are drugging their horses? Do we just continue to ignore it? Can we blow the whistle and not fear for our personal and equine safety? Do we dare?
This is serious stuff, and these are very serious questions.
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!
Toronto, a city that\'s not won a Stanley Cup in my damned lifetime
As many of you may know, Ron Southern, the chair of Spruce Meadows threatened, after the second positive test for cocaine, that Eric Lamaze would be banned from competition at Spruce Meadows. As a private facility, they are within legal right to do so. Here's his strategy, one which begs a few questions: should the Canadian selection committee select Eric for the Nation's Cup class at Spruce Meadows, Ron would dis-invite the entire Canadian team. The head of the CEF has been quoted in a newspaper that they would look into the legal issues and questioned whether 'teams should be selected by the committe or by private facilities'.
Personally, I think Ron Southern is reacting to one very specific incident (the second positive test) and not grandstanding on a larger platform. He does not wish to select Nation's Cup teams; he is, however, assuming a moral position which as a private facility he is fully entitled to make. Secondly, given his investment and efforts on behalf of Spruce Meadows and the sport in general, can't help but respect him for being among the first to take a very strong (and probably necessary) stand on the issue of drug use among the pros.
Many, of course, have questioned whether the CEF should impose a restriction on Eric Lamaze's competitive future, with rehab a condition of reinstatement. I don't believe the CEF should assume the role of moral guide but do wonder whether they can quietly urge Eric Lamaze to take a year's leave of absence from competition. BTW, a sponsor at the Royal Horse Show (which opens this week) has already pulled out because of Eric Lamaze's entry in various open jumper classes and it is rumoured that he will ride on the Canadian Nation's Cup team. Legally, he is 'cleared' to compete for Canada - morally, however, I am concerned that greater damage will be done to a sport which is already plagued with so many difficulties.
[This message has been edited by heidi (edited 10-28-2000).]
The thing that gets me is all the talk about it like its a new thing.
It is not a new thing it has been around ever since I can remember (over 20yrs ago). Not just with riding but everywhere. The media talking like it just entered the schools. Well wake up!! It is out there, it always has been and probably always will. As long as people have an independant (or not so) thought process it will prevail
The difference is teaching people that they do indeed have the right and the strength to say no thank you.
Bravo to Ron Southern, the Southern family, and Spruce Meadows. Those are the kind of postive stands that will make a difference, and will give others the courage to also take such stands.
I personally do not wish to ban Eric Lamaze or any other athlete permanently for personal drug use, but I do believe the athlete should be required to prove they've attended a stint in rehab and be subject to random drug testing thereafter. I imagine that if Mr. Lamaze proves he is drug free and remains drug free, and thereby establishes a positive image for the sport, then he will be allowed once again to compete at Spruce Meadows. But for now at least, he is going to have to earn that privilege that he threw away. I do wish him success in his recovery.
"I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry
I must brag a little about New Jersey, our equine activity law does permit us to refuse entries and the right to compete from anyone we feel in under the influence of any substance that impairs their ability. And, without the right to sue us!