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  1. #101
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    May. 11, 2004
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    but as a hunter person fron the 80's ...
    go back and read my post my post on page 2 i think it was. excuse all the typos they come and go.
    hunter then were more exressive , less dull, less meh... less boring less wp actualy wp is.
    i keep going to back to watch to see if there is a hint of a even and nota hint.. so there leaves 2 disipines left think im going to dressage ring the lower levels are not as boring...
    Friend of bar .ka


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  2. #102
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    Aug. 5, 2003
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    Are there really show venues that a barn would ship into for 5 months? How do the horses manage? There has to be turnout somewhere. Yes? No? .



  3. #103
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    Apr. 27, 2009
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    Plenty of people ship into Wellington in December and leave late April. Land is in very, very limited supply around the show grounds and most of it is spent on barns, human housing and rings. Turnout is extremely limited, even for those with unlimited resources - the GP village farms have paddocks, but they are usually just big enough for a good roll or a sun bath.

    That said, with good management, the horses shouldn't be in their stalls 23 hours a day. Maybe they are out and showing for an hour - they should be getting handwalked or on a "trail" ride for at least another hour once or twice a day (or getting more work if they are fresh). Is it ideal? No. Does it work? For the right horse, yes - there is always a lot going on in the barns and plenty for them to see. If they are bedded correctly and getting enough forage, it can work and they'll be content. Between grooming, hacking/walking and showing, they should be out of their stalls about 3-4 hours daily, which is the same amount many would be turned out at home.


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  4. #104
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    It starts with the trainers and HOs who don't pay them enough.

    You can tell us-- HOs (horse owners), parents of kids, people taking lessons or leasing their first one while getting their feet wet, or even trainers that we need to Stay Home And Learn To Ride. You'd be right.

    But no one wants to pay for that.

    We haven't paid a living wage for training and boarding in a long time. We did become willing, however, to pay a lot for horses (and therefore commissions) and to got to horse shows.

    So trainers felt pressed to get every rider in the barn out there. I think, too, that this started with trainers chasing the well-heeled client. Then some "new money/doesn't ride" folks showed up, and trainer opened a spot for them, too. So those guys not only wanted to hurry up and show, but the trainer had to get that done for financial reasons, too.

    You may think this is a mistaken analysis of the problem, but ask yourself this: How many times have you heard a pro glad-handing a new rider who misses badly a. lot. and makes you think that the horse is a saint, or the rider really should move down a level for her own safety? How many times have you heard a pro say "OMG, where am I going to find the horse that will tolerate X's 3 horrendous habits?"

    These trainers could, in theory, refuse to take their clients to shows, stay home and give the lessons. But in practice, they can't afford it.


    In most barns I have been around, the best clients are:

    The kid whose parents are willing to spend all sorts of time and money for a short but glorious show career.

    The well-off ammy who doesn't, in fact, ride really well but signs up for the long-game with a horse found for her, training and lessons.

    People like me-- a little more independent and fun to teach-- aren't the best clients. We don't want to pay for hand-holding and we think we don't have to because we can put in good rides ourselves. We might be wrong! In this case, the pro is frustrated because he/she knows the horse would progress faster if we'd just put the horse in full training. They'd certainly make more money.

    They'd really like us to go out and buy the more competitive horse-- that would let everyone shine. But those horses often blow up the ammy's budget and it doesn't happen. Again, we aren't the best clients because, while we may be the best riders and horsemen, we can't afford to keep progressing. We do things like buy the horse who is cheaper because he mental hole in him and work around it... with less glory and money for everyone.

    So the pro is back to cultivating the newbie well-heeled client. They are his bread and butter.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  5. #105
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    Aug. 30, 2009
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    Xanthoria does bring up a good point though. The greatest abuse of chemical calming agents (that I have seen) occurs when there is limited access to turnout. If horses are turned out more, there is much less need for this stuff.

    If installation of turn-out paddocks isn't going to happen, then maybe put in hot-walkers (like they do on the track). Just getting out for a couple hours a day might help.


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  6. #106
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    Sep. 18, 2006
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    Mooonie a lot of barns at WEF have walkers, and yes the horses do go out on them, but not practical at a horse show.



  7. #107
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    Dec. 22, 2005
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    Treadmills & euro-walkers have been put in place by many trainers I know with programs I highly respect, and I suspect this is why. And KY Spring (which has more than enough space to hack around) had a vendor that sold access to their mobile treadmill thingy, but I doubt the horse show did anything to provide that other than accept the vendor's check.

    Horse shows are not in the business of making sure trainers manage their horses properly. They could never install enough hotwalkers or paddocks to accommodate 500-700-1000 horses. "Shows", I am beginning to think, are much bigger than "events". And if stall prices are high now, I can only imagine what they would be to cover the cost of a new 200 acre show ground (likely not near a single hotel or decent place to eat).

    My answers include things like smaller, more personalized shows and circuits.

    Trainers managing fewer horses and clients so they don't feel forced to cut corners when there's simply not enough hours in the day to get 50 horses show hunter calm.

    Back to tiered C > B > A > AA showing instead of slicing our traditional divisions 6 ways so everyone gets a ribbon. Everyone got ribbons back when B horses showed at B shows.

    Assistant trainers getting their feet wet by managing riders and riding young horses on their own at the C & B shows, not by helping an already overpressured & overworked pro get 25 stalled horses through the hunter ring by 9am.

    Drug penalties that actually have teeth (is that an echo I hear?)

    Re-evaluate WHO we are testing. If it costs SO much to test then we really need to think about who we are testing. Is "random" really the most efficient of our testing dollars?

    And a true Performance or true Working Hunter division, one that really asks some questions of the horse and rider. We could call it Throwback Hunters and it can be the cheapest class to run at the show: Post & rails strewn willy-nilly wherever it's remotely flat Nah, but in all seriousness, I LOVE a beautiful SHOW hunter and I will never knock it, but I do see another type of Hunter out there that I also adore and think it's time we seriously consider a break out idea in this sport, not just change another entry restriction, add a catch-y new name, and print said random new division on the show schedule.
    ExchangeHunterJumper.com
    Shop our 50+ sale horses available at 2014 WEF, Thermal, Ocala & Gulfport here.


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  8. #108
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    Feb. 6, 2000
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    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by dags View Post

    My answers include things like smaller, more personalized shows and circuits.

    Trainers managing fewer horses and clients so they don't feel forced to cut corners when there's simply not enough hours in the day to get 50 horses show hunter calm.

    Back to tiered C > B > A > AA showing instead of slicing our traditional divisions 6 ways so everyone gets a ribbon. Everyone got ribbons back when B horses showed at B shows.

    Assistant trainers getting their feet wet by managing riders and riding young horses on their own at the C & B shows, not by helping an already overpressured & overworked pro get 25 stalled horses through the hunter ring by 9am.

    Drug penalties that actually have teeth (is that an echo I hear?)

    Re-evaluate WHO we are testing. If it costs SO much to test then we really need to think about who we are testing. Is "random" really the most efficient of our testing dollars?

    And a true Performance or true Working Hunter division, one that really asks some questions of the horse and rider. We could call it Throwback Hunters and it can be the cheapest class to run at the show: Post & rails strewn willy-nilly wherever it's remotely flat Nah, but in all seriousness, I LOVE a beautiful SHOW hunter and I will never knock it, but I do see another type of Hunter out there that I also adore and think it's time we seriously consider a break out idea in this sport, not just change another entry restriction, add a catch-y new name, and print said random new division on the show schedule.
    Oh, dags.
    What a nice dream!
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  9. #109
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    Hah! The title of this thread is so insane. It's like, "Would loosening handgun regulations cut down on stabbings?"



    Y'all are nuts. But it's interesting reading, for sure.



  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
    What you people are not understanding is that with the judging as it is, there aren't ENOUGH "horses more suited for the job" to go around. And the elephant in the room is the fact that the RIDERS don't want to ride a horse that may pull a little. It is not just the judging that drives this bus.

    The good jumping, good moving horse that takes zero prep to get to the ring, under today's judging, are almost non-existant. And horrendously expensive when they are found. So now, what?
    What there is a lack of is skilled riders who can actually handle a horse who is NOT under the influence. To get a horse broke, able and trained to do his job takes time, time, time and many miles under the saddle. That is true for any discipline. People want instant results without having to put the time into it.


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  11. #111
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    Jul. 28, 2004
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    Just chiming in to say that I find some of these "it's all a matter of training" posts a bit naive and annoying. It is not. Some horses are simply more reactive than others no matter how well they are trained. Some are born with great brains (defined by my elderly self as "quiet") and some are born more fearful. Their personalities are as great a factor as their training. I have one that is born broke and his "training" involved asking him what to do. The horse never puts a foot wrong, which is not something I can take credit for. I've had others with years of training that will always have a reactive side.

    Someday maybe we will better understand horse personalities, and if there is ever a prozac or the like for troubled horses, I am all for it. I would not criticize people for using such drugs, and when that day comes, nor would I criticize someone for using it for their horse. We are not now anywhere near evolved enough to think we have all the answers for what makes a horse tick.
    Last edited by ToTheNines; Jun. 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM.
    friend of bar.ka


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  12. #112
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by candyappy View Post
    That is true for any discipline. People want instant results without having to put the time into it.
    Meh, they can't afford it.

    Last time I did some costing for my gelding-- kept in middle-of-the-market boarding barns on a Coast, not near a major metropolis, I found that he cost about $8k/year.

    That was without new equipment, injury/sickness. That was just feed/farrier/flyspray minimalism. That was with No lessons or training. No shows or adventures. I didn't amortize his purchase price here; He was "free" for these calculations.

    Take that $8k/year and remember that that's after tax income. So raise the number by your tax bracket. It's after you pay the necessary bills for the rest of your life.

    So the person who wants to learn to ride and is at the Virgin HO state is looking a whole lot of money and lots of time before they got their first bit of help from a pro.

    Now ask them to spend all that, stay home for 5 years while the trainer and barnmates go to shows?

    Put it this way-- you spent $40K before you got any public glory. And you spent more by the time you bought the horse, the lessons, the equipment the training.

    Would you do it? Would you spend, say, $70K in post-tax dollars up front because you got a cheap horse, cheap equipment but lessons?

    Dang, that's a lot of money and self-discipline to ask of a newb.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  13. #113
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    Sep. 14, 2000
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    To The Nines, thank you! Well said and so true.

    Nothing in this problem is just black and white. It just isn't. How we got here is subject to lots of speculation and criticism, but we are now HERE and have to figure out what to do NOW.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
    www.juniorjohnsontrainingandsales.com



  14. #114
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    Burbank, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Meh, they can't afford it.

    Last time I did some costing for my gelding-- kept in middle-of-the-market boarding barns on a Coast, not near a major metropolis, I found that he cost about $8k/year.

    That was without new equipment, injury/sickness. That was just feed/farrier/flyspray minimalism. That was with No lessons or training. No shows or adventures. I didn't amortize his purchase price here; He was "free" for these calculations.

    Take that $8k/year and remember that that's after tax income. So raise the number by your tax bracket. It's after you pay the necessary bills for the rest of your life.

    So the person who wants to learn to ride and is at the Virgin HO state is looking a whole lot of money and lots of time before they got their first bit of help from a pro.

    Now ask them to spend all that, stay home for 5 years while the trainer and barnmates go to shows?

    Put it this way-- you spent $40K before you got any public glory. And you spent more by the time you bought the horse, the lessons, the equipment the training.

    Would you do it? Would you spend, say, $70K in post-tax dollars up front because you got a cheap horse, cheap equipment but lessons?

    Dang, that's a lot of money and self-discipline to ask of a newb.
    Short answer - yes! But figure with full training, it costs about $20k for just training and boarding and lessons (not including the horse or tack!) per year. That's with no showing. Add in $3k a year for farrier and vet, if all is normal. I think, in a reasonable training program your average rider on a halfway decent horse should be able to get out and at least do some flat classes, or a walk/trot or a x-rail class within 15 months or so. By reasonable training I mean lessons at least 3-4 times a week, with many on the lunge line or without stirrups. So 30k in training + the cost of your horse/tack...I hope no one is spending $40k for their first "learning" horse...not an unreasonable amount of money to invest to get to the show ring, I don't think.

    I did this. Heck, I'm doing it again now as a sacrafice for buying a greenie. It's an expensive sport. So is sailing. So is flying. You don't get your pilot's license until you've put in the hours/training. Most people don't buy a boat and take off around the world without the same.

    Also, what's wrong with taking the green rider and letting them go around in a flat class (if their steering is ready)? I think that's a great way to get their feet wet, get them used to shows, and have them watch the better riders. Have them come early and warm their horse up by hacking around the show grounds (again, if they're ready). That's what I did. I know, I know, I live in idealistic hunter land.

    That's what it takes to show.

    Wait. I'm on to something. Anyone catch that "you're not special" commencement speech? That's what it boils down to. It's a sport, dang it, and you wouldn't expect to buy a pair of ice skates and be Brian Boitano in a year, would you? So why does everyone expect to be [fill in amazing rider + horse team here, not starting THAT debate] after spending 1 year, or 2 or even 3, riding?

    Well that got us even more off track, didn't it? Sorry

    We were talking about legalizing Ace...on that topic, I feel about it the way I feel about all chemical compounds. Most of them have a time and a place, and it is the mistakes in human judgment that make the use of a substance wrong, not the substance itself.

    [personal note, I'm just now into year 4 of being in a real training program, and I just now feel like I'm 'getting' it. The biggest I have ever jumped was 2'9", I think, and not consistantly. Maybe I'm a slow learner, and that is totally anecdotal evidence, but there it is! I'm in no hurry. I don't want to embarrass myself or my trainer at a show, although lord knows my faulty memory has done just that a time or two!]
    "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)



  15. #115
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    Dec. 22, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghazzu View Post
    Oh, dags.
    What a nice dream!
    I know. Despite being infinitely more doable, it is only slightly more likely to occur than GPV being plowed down to make room for some West Palm Beach pasture space. Yet I'll keep spewing it
    ExchangeHunterJumper.com
    Shop our 50+ sale horses available at 2014 WEF, Thermal, Ocala & Gulfport here.



  16. #116
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    Jun. 15, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arelle View Post
    The million dollar question here seems to be what is the bigger evil and how do we fix it?

    We've got a mess of problems - does anyone have a legitimate solution for solving them? If not, can you figure out a way to solve most of them?

    Problem: "Exhibitors can't ride."
    -Most people can't afford to be on a horse every single day, whether it's financial or time. Do you really want to drive off those that are interested but maybe can't commit 110%?

    Problem: "We're losing numbers each year because more people are quitting the sport."
    -See the first problem. Do you want to kvetch about people not being the next equestrian superstar or do you want the industry to die?

    Problem: "We don't have enough horses that are the 'total' package."
    -Brains AND beauty. When you've got a limited budget for a horse and for a show, I assume the average person would rather be on a horse that *can* win versus one that is dead broke.
    Personally, I had both. I had my big TB that was an A mover but required me to be on my best game to ride the sucker. I also have my paint mare that will jump anything, anytime and has a great mind, but a 10.5' stride and places last in every class against the big, pretty movers. It's a real downer to pay money to take her out and exhibit knowing that even if we have a fantastic round, we're going to either have to have everyone else make huge mistakes or end up in the bottom of the class. I preferred to take out my big guy and at least have a chance, despite the prep time he required.


    Drugs are *not* the answer, at least for a permanent solution. But if anyone has any idea on getting breeders to produce quality, competitive horses at reasonable prices, mandating trainers produce competent riders with what the client provides them in terms of budget for lessons, and keeping this fun for everyone involved - I would love to hear it. It seems to me that until that can be done, more kvetching isn't going to solve anything - and I'd rather see 1cc of Ace on board than a rider being carted off on a stretcher. IMO, it's the lesser of the evils, even though I don't agree with it.
    Amen!
    Nobody puts baby in a corner



  17. #117
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    May. 19, 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I would be ashamed to use personality-altering drugs on any of my show horses.

    *Ashamed as a rider... as a competitor... and as a trainer.*

    You know, in my world, which seems to have considerably more available common sense in it, horses are trained without lunging. Without drugs. They are expected to behave themselves as soon as a halter touches their head until the moment the halter comes off (and even then... they're expected to behave.)

    Even my barrel horses aren't as "psychotic" as people are making out a hunter to be. LOL. Even when they're stalled for a week or two at national shows. I'm not a person who tolerates my horses being silly or acting up. I train hunter under saddle, dressage-principle-everything to death, and have owned a phenomenal WP mare (RIP). They have successfully crossed over into other types of competition with the basics of being good-minded, responsive and quiet in the show ring--- without performance-altering drugs. My barrel horses show hunt seat. My WP mare did low hunters. My HUS horse... well, he trail rides real good. LMAO.

    I can take a horse who's bred to be highly athletic, hot-minded, and pumped up, who are used to having 10 hours a day of turnout or more, under the age of 6 even--- put 'em in a stall for two weeks and have zero behavior changes under saddle OR on the halter.

    Drug-free. I know, I must be like, some kind of horse-training GOD, or something... and hey, I'm only in my late 20's.

    I think you guys are seriously underestimating the suitability of AQHA/APHA hunt seat-bred horses. I have two. They are excellent movers with World Champ parents on both sides that have jumping bred into them. Chocolua x Shes Another Hour (TB by Another Hour) and Luke At Me x Quit Staring (TB by Racey Remarque). Chocolua was a successful working hunter (AQHA style). Another Hour was a RWF champ on the line... Luke At Me is a producer of big, smooth movers who are quite athletic due to his strong racing background on both AQHA and JC sides... Quit Staring is just awesome as a producer and apparently used to do hunters herself before becoming a broodmare who's weanlings sell for 30,000+ out of the field. lol

    My two are about as bombproof as it gets. My mature gelding is as consistent as it gets in the show ring, my young gelding probably has a secret stash somewhere that I don't know about. I had dreams to turn the the mature gelding into my next hunter, but he didn't even have enough "go" to make it OVER small jumps. His APHA half-brother, Roses N Chocolate, got the good genes and has several APHA world championships in working hunter as a junior horse. Daaaarn.

    The young one may become a dream hunter... he is far more athletic and coordinated. Has been unflappable since he was a yearling. Training so far has been literally tacking up and getting on. No broncs, no spooks, rides like he already knows what he's doing. He is not an exception--- many, many other high-end HUS-bred horses are the same, and they do have the movement and stride and height to do well for amateurs.

    Anyone advocating drug use over breeding better horses... you really need to get out more. The barrel racers have their share of mind-altering drugs--- cocaine, nitro, gods know what else--- and many say they can't win races without 'em.

    They also said no barrel horse would ever win a major race barefoot either... but then Cody's Curiosity walked in and won Ontario a few times at different events, AQHA Congress a few times... with no shoes. Many horses go to run there and never win a dang thing... and the 14.3hh barefoot horse goes and wins two championships and five Top Tens.

    Didn't have to drug him up for that or use NSAIDs either. I feel the same about NSAID use as I do about mind-altering drugs. I'm kinda paranoid about wrecking my horses digestive systems... being the one obsessed with raising awareness about hindgut acidosis, after all. Raving about Equishure and then giving my Turbo a bute/banamine cocktail because "oh baby had a long trailer ride for the last two days, he might be stiff..."

    To heck with that. I'll break out the GameReady and the Niagara Equissage machines with magnetics and acupressure massage therapies before I reach for a syringe. I've been accused that my "horses are better equipped than most grand prix horses!" LOL You're darn right they are! They have better hoofcare, too!

    Cody's Curiosity won Polebending, which is actually tougher and more strenuous work on a horse than barrels due to the increased length of pattern and multiple lead changes with three turns that are sharper turns than barrel racing pattern requires. He had the benefit of non-invasive, low-risk, little-or-no-contraindication sports therapies every day that he was stalled. We had thick yoga mats in his stall under a 5 inch layer of wood shavings. He went for handwalks three times a day.

    It's so much more satisfying to win big stuff on a drug-free, barefoot horse (who has never been joint-injected, did I mention that? Shocking, right...?)

    Easier on the pocketbook, too, when you do things in a way that promotes horse health by using what training, sports therapy and nutrition resources are available to you.

    I wonder what your clients would say if they ever figured out that by doing things the sketchy, unsportsmanlike way, you're costing them more money? Tsk tsk.

    If you do have an anxious horse at shows, use oral 100% legal supplements like Omega Alpha Chill. I have never used it on any of my guys, but had a sample bottle in the house... during a panic attack after a concussion, I took some myself. It brought me back to "normal", I had no side effects, no dulled mental or physical state, nothing. Just from "OMGOMGOMG!!!" to "Hey what's up?" in 20 minutes. That is a VERY different result than tranquilizers or gods know what else.

    Granted if your horse just has bad training period, it won't fix the fact that you suck at training. And it won't make some novice look like a super star. But if you have a team who work great at home and get show jitters really bad... Chill is the safest way to go. I believe Perfect Prep is similar to Chill, as well. Or so say my A circuit buddies who will be seeing yall in Wellington soon.

    *Off soapbox* You can debate in my general direction if you like, but I often forget COTH exists unless JB reminds me it does, so... I just felt like providing additional information that YES, there ARE better ways to accomplish the same goal without making yourself look like an unclassy lowlife!


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  18. #118
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    So are you going to deny that there are unethical things going on in the AQHA world - like tying horses for hours in their stalls, tying their heads to their saddles, various tie-down contraptions, crazy bits, excessive lunging, nerving tails, and all the other things that go into making a broke-to-death two-year-old ready to go in a HUS class with their noses on the ground?

    Many disciplines have ethical problems. Hunters are not alone in the horse world in this regard.

    Not saying that you are guilty of any of these things.



  19. #119
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    Nov. 30, 2008
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    I haven't read every single post. So to chim in... In my opinion this wont ever be fixed unless someone at shows are not affraid to say something!! I DONT teach or train anymore because of this(only my own child). The whole drugging thing has taken an effect on my daughter, because her friends that can afford to buy the pricey drugged horses and have no education will get the better ribbons. She is on her young derby prospect in the division hunters with "too much personality". Good thing the derbies came around, gives her something to ride for.

    I for one am not affraid. At our back gates i see horses mouths tied shut with fishing string, horses penises hanging out and eye swollen... Ok so where are the stewarts??? I come from a long line of horsemens, I mean real horsemen. My dad trained spade bit working cow horses and my mom grew up on the hunters. Not every horse is made for every rider or division. I have a jumper mare that doesnt like to have pressure in the mouth, she has sent " professioanls" crying because they cant ride with out thier hands pulling... She does better with SMart Clam and Cool Cals... Thinking outside the box is good... Being uneducated and putting kids and adults in dangerous sisuations is NOT good for human or horse, never mind what it does for our world of show horses.

    If you see something SAY SOMETHING, or at least give the trainer the eveil eye... Then they know you know.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Gates Equestrian
    National Champion Dan Patch sire of USEF/USHJA winning ponies!
    [url]www.gateseqsmfponies.webs.com/


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  20. #120
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    Feb. 5, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
    First of all, I am not advocating this change, just presenting some arguments on the pro side.

    The hunter world today IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN a place where trainers all know what they are doing, kids hang out with their ponies/horses that they keep at home, and adults ride five a day. That is not the hunter world, no matter how we wish it was. The judges demand, or at least the trainers believe they do, robotic quietness, and most amateur riders do not want to ride a playful horse through it. So PLEASE stop saying get a different horse or learn to ride. It is just not the situation as it is TODAY.

    So, dealing with reality, and wanting to 1) rid the sport of dangerous drugs and practices and 2) keep the horses as sound as possible for as long as possible, and knowing that the next "it" drug is just around the bend, what can be done?

    Up the punishments with each offense and make them really hurt the pocketbook. Do more testing. Incentivize clean sport. Insist that judges be lenient with behavior (how lenient)? Let everyone show on up to 1cc of Ace. Longe longer and harder. What else???
    This is absolutely true. Also horse shows will not hire judges who do not pin the top riders and hunters.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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