Acing a horse for training by owners...without telling the trainer.
Friend of mine was recently hired to work with a young horse for the owners and do training rides at their small farm. Horse has been ridden before and from what I understand she was hired to put some time/miles on him.
Friend works with the horse on the ground for a few sessions, then climbed on board last evening (in the round pen). She'd barely gotten her other foot in the stirrup when he started spinning, bucking.. reared (she smashed her head on the high r.p. door gate) and he spins her off.
She's suffered a concussion and an injured tailbone.
The owners (who were there) came rushing in to help her saying..."I can't believe he did that. We even aced him." What on earth?
My friend is obviously livid not being told they aced the horse...and may have been all along with her earlier sessions. (She has a small boarding and training farm and is now layed up for awhile, but now considers herself lucky she wasn't more seriously injured).
Shame, shame, shame on them.
PSA: Wonder how many others with a "problem" horse don't fully disclose?
Last edited by sid; Oct. 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM.
Ok, horses can learn through Ace. It is sometimes used to show a horse that they can get through a scary situation. Studies at Auburn proved this to be true.
No one should Ace a horse without the consent and agreement of whomever is riding the horse. That should be common sense.
And yes, I nearly got killed last Summer when I was asked to ride a young mule who had (unbeknownst to me) been rudely and cruelly ridden by the guy hired to put miles on her. Owner started and rode her just fine in the arena, but wanted someone younger and spryer to put the outside miles on her. He rode her "like a drunk monkey tee hee hee"....which I only learned after she bolted with me, ducked her shoulder, and slung me into the arena fence. My face missed a 4X4 by maybe 6". Road rash down my back, a concussion that caused my vision to slide off the screen two days later, and a terribly strained hamstring later, I was OK. That mule was fine for her owner to ride, but she was completely terrified of strangers on her back. The owner had sold her out of state, broken her arm slipping on a curb...and asked me to ride her just one time beforoe the shippers picked her up.
Imagine if you unloaded said mule at your place and climbed aboard? God Love Her, she was flattly terrified.
I have seen horses have some pretty bad reactions to ace, meaning it made them as high as a kite! If some aced a horse I was going to ride and not tell me and the horse did somethings like that I woul be suing as well!
~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~
You know, I think the thing that disturbs me the most (besides this lovely gal being possibly killed or permanently disabled) is the fact that she is no stoopid-head.
She walked into a situation as a professional, keen to her new clients' needs, wanting to do a good job (she's very experienced) and got nailed because of this non-disclosure.
She or others might pass this off as "they were stupid". It's not that.
It is willingly and knowingly drug a horse without disclosing that...which says to me the horses "problems" were way beyond what she was told.
Perhaps the horse has Lyme or some other physical issue (which would be my guess as he's not a rank, meanie on the ground).
What these folks did wasn't stupid, it was selfish...very selfish. No excuses for anything like this ever, without complete disclosure.
Poor gal...she runs her own place and now is having to pay for others to do her barn/farm stuff while she's laid up. So it is costing her much much more economically -- makes the training fee (by the hour) seem very measly in the scheme of things.
I've be around a LONG time in horses and training. First I've heard of this and I think I'm madder than she is. But then, her head is all messed up and not thinking clearly.
Trainers out there...never thought in a million years one would have to ask...is your horse drugged when I come? Geez.
This was an accident that did not have to happen ~
Jingles for the injured rider ~
The owners should be taken to task legally !!!
Yay! Your colors are back!
This is a situation where she really should sue for loss of earining power and her medical bills. I don't know if she has a case without having had a drug test run on the horse or witnesses to the statement about the horse being on Ace, but this is right up there with renting a defective rental car and getting into a wreck.
I don't normally advocate litigation because it's such a hairy mess but I'd be livid if it were me or a family member. "Oh oops, the last time he was out he ran away with his rider isn't it cute" BS.
This thread has really bothered me ! ~ back to say Owners were careless , selfish, ignorant, and totally IRRESPONSIBLE !!!!NO EXCUSE on earth for not disclosing the administration of ACE ! and jeopardizing someone's / anyone's life !
Yeah, this sounds like it needs a lawyer to take the owners to court. At the very least, they need to pay her medical bills and whatever it costs her to keep her business running, and probably something for lost wages from being IN THE HOSPITAL with a CONCUSSION. They as much as admitted they were at fault by exclaiming "We even aced him" after the horse freaked out, probably because it was on Ace (or because it was too dangerous to get on even with the Ace).
*headdesk* Those owners need to know exactly what they cost your friend, and that their behavior is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Taking them to court will get the message through, if they don't offer to pay for her injuries themselves.
Well, there are places out there that ace horses routinely prior to riding/training. A certain number of people routinely give ace to foxhunters prior to foxhunting, and to racehorses and young horses in training. Some people even use it on lesson horses. I'm not condoning it, nor am I suggesting it's okay to not mention that kind of information to the rider. I'm simply pointing out that many horse professionals consider ace safe to give to horses prior to being ridden, trained, and jumped.
It's my opinion that the undisclosed administration of ace most likely was not a contributing factor in this accident. If someone told me a story about an accident related to a very green horse going nuts after being mounted for the first time after some time off, the first thing I'd think was that that is a very common time to have troubles if you are going to have them. Then I would think, did they jump it enough? Did they lay over it enough? Did the owner fail to mention that there had been issues with mounting the horse in the past? If the horse was nervous about being jumped/laid over did they use a ground person to help? Did the owner fail to disclose any health/pain/neuro/dental/behavioral issues the horse had? I would not be blaming a dose of ace the horse had ahead of time.
Other people may feel differently, but I feel that getting horses to accept mounting can be one of the most potentially dangerous times in breaking a horse. It can be a common trouble spot, and issues can easily crop back up with mounting in horses that have had a few months under saddle but have had some time off. It's not that unusual to have a horse that quietly accepts bridling, saddling and groundwork but that reacts very differently to being mounted.
I feel very badly for the injured person in question, and I hope she makes a speedy recovery.
ETA, sid, I read your second post more closely and I agree that it is VERY possible that the horse's issues were much worse than disclosed, which is a terrible shame if true.
Sid, my post was reacting to the responses of those who seemed to be shocked at the idea of a horse being aced for riding/training, and who seemed to be blaming the accident on the ace itself.
Just to confirm, I do not think that it is okay to ace a horse (or give a horse any other tranquilizer) without informing the rider. The rider should have been informed that the horse had been given some ace, but more importantly she should have been informed as to why the horse needed ace to begin with.
I apologize for not being clear and for taking the discussion off track. Believe me, I have a lot of sympathy (and respect) for riders who start young horses and find it upsetting to hear about situations where owners or employers are thoughtless (or deceitful) when the safety of others is at stake.
I think people are referring to the idea that some horses have bad reactions to medications, and that when they are tranq'd, the rider treats them a little differently. I know that when I gave my horse tranqs so I could safely rehab him after a bad injury without further injuring him, I kept a closer eye on him. I went slower, did a few more repetitions, kept in mind that he processed a little slower, and kept my sessions shorter. He did very well and progressed past it all, but if I hadn't known to be more careful with him, I could very well see having gotten into trouble with him. No, it might not be the Ace that's the problem, but I bet that trainers who Ace their horses pay really close attention to how they're handling it the first few times. I would be furious if that had happened to me the way the OP described.
Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay
This should never have happened! I am so sorry your friend has been injured due to someone else's problem.
I really just can't imagine drugging - chemical or natural, for riding, but especially not for a green horse. A rider/trainer really, REALLY needs to be able to evaluate where their brain "is" before taking the next step in any green horse training situation.
We start lots of youngsters here, and not once have we ever used any drugs, or even calming supplements. Occasionally we have a horse that just needs a lot more ground work before climbing on. You just do it.
Mad jingles for your friend in hopes of a speedy recovery!
I wonder if they thought she wouldn't want to ride the horse if they told her they had tranq'd him?
I paid someone to put 60 days on my horse and he can be a bit of a handful at times. I think I gave the girl *too* much information, but I wanted her to be fully armed and prepared for any of the crap he'd pull. It's one thing if I get hurt on him; it's a totally separate matter if he hurts someone else.