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  • #21
    I know indigineous tribes don't like being called "Native American" or "Indian" because they are neither Americans (except by force) or Indians. Ask an individual to what tribe he or she belongs -- Cherokee, etc.

    But what is wrong with Mexican? Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a nationality. How else would one distinguish between Panamanians, Dominicans, and Cubans -- and Mexicans? Sports announcers certainly distinguish between Latinos of different national origin.
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi


    • #22
      I too found the original post somewhat offensive.

      I get the point of the post, but I think it needs to be pointed out that regardless of your groom's nationality/ethnic background, they are "grooms" - they work their a**es off for you and the least you can do is show them the respect they deserve for putting up with all the crap (and trust me, I groomed for years, most grooms take a lot of crap!) and taking care of your horses. I'm sure you would be equally offended if they showed you disrespect by asking such questions as "How many stuck up rich b****es are you grooming for today?"

      I believe the question should have been "How many GROOMS does your barn usually bring?"


      • #23
        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by J. Turner:
        I know indigineous tribes don't like being called "Native American" or "Indian" because they are neither Americans (except by force) or Indians. Ask an individual to what tribe he or she belongs -- Cherokee, etc.

        But what is wrong with Mexican? Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a nationality. How else would one distinguish between Panamanians, Dominicans, and Cubans -- and Mexicans? Sports announcers certainly distinguish between Latinos of different national origin.
        This is true J Turner except that now there are many other Latino workers out there at the horse shows. I know that the Mexicans were the first group of Latinos that started working the horse shows but Now there are many people from other Central American countries and it is Insulting to them to be all lumped together as "The Mexicans". I was recently offended when I was lessoning at a well known barn and heard one little girl say "I don't know ask one of those Mexicans " I thought why didn't she say "ask one of the guys or one of the grooms" she just made it sound so degrading. Maybe I am a little sensative since my husband is Mexican.


        • #24
          Since this topic arose, one concern I have for Hispanic grooms is their vulnerability to an employers demands. Yes, on the whole, they're a hard working group, but many lack a green card, that piece of paper allowing them to work legally, and dare I say it, safely, in the US. They don't have the 40 hour work week, more like a 60+ hour week with little or no time off, and are being paid right around minimum wage. Quitting for a better opportunity isn't an option. We need to be careful not to take advantage of them.

          Another concern I have is our language difference. Please, if you have Spanish speaking grooms, buy a Spanish/English dictionary, or better yet a Spanish/English horseman's dictionary. I found one on Amazon, unfortunately it's out of print, but am sure such things exist at tack stores as I've seen a copy at the barn where I ride. Wouldn't we all like to be able to ask questions or make comments like, "How's my horse's cough today?" or "Watch out! There's a loose horse running for the road!"

          And lastly, as the holidays near, don't forget those tip envelopes. Feliz Navidad!


          • #25
            Give Kelsy a break, guys. She's young and didn't know any better, nor did she mean any harm, I'm sure. My 16 yo stepdaughter is always asking rude questions ("How much money do you make, Rosie?")and is horrified at herself when corrected. Okay, 'nuff said...
            I use full service grooming at shows, from the night before until my division or my classes for the day are over. I usually use a kid from the barn. I am a nervous wreck at shows; having the sweet little face of my very capable groom smiling encouragingly and taking such good care of my horse makes the day go so much better. At home the barn staff feed, muck, and turn out.


            • #26
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rockstar:
              And about the whole "mexican" thing... I am a pretty politcally correct person and I would never use the word so causually outside the horse show world... but this IS the horse show world... and "mexican" is such an accepted way of referring to the hispanic immigrants that work for barns that I have no qualms using it).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

              Just because it is accepted doesn't mean it is right.


              • #27
                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jch:
                You can learn lots by taking two minutes to be polite - and believe me, your horse will get even better care [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                Yup! I second that. The groom I spoke of above was one of the few who I "practiced" my Spanish on... That was when I was in high school, and I feebily attempted to talk to him in Spanish, and he practiced his English on me... He was always so grateful to have someone to talk to, and I made a really nice friend... OMG... did I just refer to a lowly GROOM as a FRIEND?!?!?!?! Shocking. Especially since he was just a "Mexican."


                • #28
                  Grooms are professional caregivers for horses. Just like professionals in any other field, they have honed their skills to a level that can only be classified as expertise. Much like doctors, nurses, lawyers, secretaries, stockbrokers, computer programmers, etc. they have immersed themselves in learning their trade. They deserve the same respect.

                  Expertise in any field is fascinating to me. Watching a gourmet chef who loves food and preparing food make an omelet is an awesome experience. The grace and ease in which the task is handled is insiping. The same can be said of watching an excellent groom brush and tack up an easy to handle horse. The pricision and economy of movement is stunning.

                  I have been showing on the A circuit for more than 15 years. In that time, I have had the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful people who were grooms. I've learned everything sophisticated that I know about horsecare from various grooms. If you want to be good at something, learn from a professional. For example, how much corn oil should a horse get everyday for maximum benefit? Two glugs twice a day. A horses' system can't process any more than that, so additional oil is unnecessary and adds too much fat to the horse's diet.

                  Someone who spends a lot of time horse showing spends a lot of time with grooms. Many grooms are from other countries, France, Mexico, Belgium, Chile. It's interesting to learn about other countries and their cultures. More than that, show riders and grooms have one very important thing in common- they both have a love of horses and want the horse to be the absolute best he/she can be.

                  Thanks to the grooms I personally have known, I can communicate well enough in Spanish and French to be proficient. I know exactly what cualks my horse should wear instantly when I look at the footing. I know corn starch is better than baby powder for white socks in a conformation class. I know that rubbing alchohol can put more shine on your boots than any polish. I also know what it is to be a part of a "team". Riding is not a team sport per se, but competing on a horse is the culmination of your hard work riding, someone else's hard work grooming, and yet someone else' s hard work training.

                  I am still friends with many of the grooms I have worked with. We've shared some wonderful experiences, some terrible ones, and some plain old good times. The last groom who took care of my horses and I had developed such fine-tuned communication skills that we are the reigning champions of Pictionary, undefeated at Drunken Pictionary. We get together socially now because we don't see each other in the course of horse activity anymore.

                  I am genuinely grateful for the experiences I have had, and even more grateful for all that I have learned from them. It saddens me to read some of the posts above and see that many kids today are missing out on all this because of their own snobbery. If any of you kids really cared about horses and horsemanship, you would take advantage of the oppunities to learn from the grooms employed by your barn. They know more about horsecare than anyone else you could meet. The context in which "Mexicans" were discussed early on on this thread imply that "Mexicans" are nothing more than another piece of equipment your barn has to take to shows. Like a liverpool to warm-up over before a jumper class. That attitude is not only offense, it is worthy of pity and disgust.

                  I apologize for the length of this.

                  [This message has been edited by slugger (edited 10-12-2000).]

                  [This message has been edited by slugger (edited 10-12-2000).]


                  • #29
                    When I lived in England as a groom I was illegal and didn't have a "green card".
                    I was referred to as the "American", "Yank', "Yankee" sometimes with "Girl" added to that.
                    I never took offence to it.
                    I also worked long hard hours and got in return room, meals and 20 Pounds a week pay.
                    Since I wasn't legal, the "Lads" took my horses to the races, and kept any tips the owners gave them that were really for me.
                    Being a groom no matter where, is a hard but well worth it job.
                    The memories and experience of learning to cope through just about anything is something I would never trade.

                    [This message has been edited by Bumpkin (edited 10-12-2000).]
                    Starman Babies


                    • #30
                      Thankyou Slugger! From someone that groomed for over twenty years on the A circuit, I found your post really moving. I worked SO hard for so long! It's nice to see there ARE people out there who appreciate a good groom for the knowledge he or she has, not just their ability to work hard 18 hours a day...


                      • #31
                        I prefer self-care and do everything myself, but if you asked my wife she would tell you that she looks after the horses and I just jockey.

                        I suppose that's because the supply of Mexicans is non-existent in the UK and not so many Irish are getting over these days.


                        • #32
                          Slugger, thank you for your excellent post. You said the things I've been feebily attempting to say. It just amazes me that there are really people who refer to people as pieces of equipment out there... even if they are young... I was always taught to respect other people as human beings, no matter their status... This thread is just so disheartening to me.


                          • #33
                            Thanks, Slugger!

                            And, Si, the Irish economy being what it is these days, they are probably hiring you English to groom for them, right?
                            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!


                            • #34
                              Well, maybe I'm missing something, but... why is it that the majority of the grooms are "Hispanic"? I mean, if I were an outsider I would imagine a primly dressed rider preparing to mount a horse that is held by a tall, stiff, prim looking English gentleman wearing one of those tall furry hats that the castle guards wear [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] I find it hard to believe that one race of people is "better" with horses than another. So I'm confused.
                              Erin B #1


                              • #35
                                My two daughters each show two horses and we do all the care. We keep the horses at our own barn and the trainer comes to our farm or we may go to his for lessons. At home we have grooms who feed and do the stalls but all other care is done by the girls.
                                I have a fulltime job as the Accounting Manager for a large insurance firm and I could afford full care at the shows but I look forward to the weekends when I can just cruise along and take care of the horses and the girls are learning to be responsible for thier own horses. If our trainer has a large number of horses going I will even take care of a few others. I consider it my "therapy" after crunching numbers all week! It also makes all those hours waiting around go much faster!


                                • #36
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kelsy:
                                  How many Mexicans does your barn usually bring?

                                  None, we bring two Jews and a Catholic. geez, Kelsy....

                                  [This message has been edited by Anne FS (edited 10-12-2000).]


                                  • #37
                                    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JumpMerit:
                                    Has anyone else noticed how even the worst horses to bathe seem to stand stiller for the mexicans than anyone else?

                                    I'm speechless.


                                    • #38
                                      In a past life we always did the do-it-yourself method of horse showing. We were so small and at times I thought we looked a bit like The Grapes of Wrath pulling into the show grounds.

                                      My recent experience of going to a show with our local barn was interesting. They had taken a groom and when we arrived my natural instincts kicked in. I felt compelled to help clear out the stalls for bedding, unload the trailers, sweep do what ever. Pretty soon I started to get the feeling I really was in this guy's way. He had a system and an incredible sense of order. I had to FORCE myself to go sit in a chair. It was a new experience.

                                      I will say I could adjust to having someone do the prep work at a show. I have done plenty of bonding with my horse on a daily basis. It would be a treat to me.

                                      As far as our demeanor to the grooms. They abolished slavery years ago. They are employees and of course should be respected for their work.

                                      I took some "new to the horse show world" people with me to the Oaks a few weeks ago. WE spent alot of time standing at the back gate areas. And you know one of the things they were most appalled at was the way the "kids" seemed to be treating the grooms. And I know there are those of you out there that DO NOT do this, I have witnessed. However I did see a couple, walk up to their horses, say to the groom, "I am ready." or "My boots." Put their leg up for a leg, get on and walk off. Without as much as comment to the groom. I have probably mumbled more to my mounting block.

                                      Don't forget there is a universal language, everyone appreciates. That look into someones eyes, and smile. Thank you is also pretty well accepted in most languages. They are people that you trust to take care of your horse. Treat them with dignity.
                                      \"The older I get, the better I used to be, but who the heck cares!\"


                                      • #39
                                        I have to say I was rather speechless when I read the original posts and a couple of the earlier replies. I thought, "am I the only one that sees something wrong with this?". Upon further reading I am glad to say I am not.

                                        In the southern states, close to the Mexican border there is prodominatly spanish speaking communities. That is where the saying originates. However in these situations they do the jobs that Americans would not like to do in crampt accomidations and for very low money and incredibly long hours.
                                        Now before I get really flamed here for that comment, lets remember that the poster, may not realize how wrong this type of thinking is. Ignorance is not bliss, and although we should not condone this type of thinking we should educate in an adult manner.
                                        I myself would prefer "Groom" or "Hand", rather than, the Canadian, Mexican, or any other slur that is less than curtious.


                                        • #40
                                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Anne FS:
                                          None, we bring two Jews and a Catholic. geez, Kelsy....

                                          Thanks for a good tongue in cheek laugh.
                                          People can be so thoughtless. I'll never forget the first time my daughters old trainer said something to her about "get me a mexican" and here I thought she wanted a nice cold Corona with a lime slice!!I was actually shocked when I understood what she meant but kick myself to this day for not bringing it up to her.
                                          While at dressage at Devon a few weekends ago we were getting a program and the little ladies selling them leaned over and whispered "watch out for the gypsies.... your picnic basket is lovely and wont last long if you leave it" now I wasnt sure if she really meant there were gypsies at Devon or if the demonstration arab native costume class confused her.Of course she meant no harm and didnt realize her political incorrectness.Some ethnic stereotypes are just too ingrained and hard to get rid of. Our family will never take for granted the many lovely people helping in the horse world ( usually with a lot more manners than some of the so called "professionals". Of course we clean stalls, and groom to be able to afford our barn and would never be able to take advantage of having it done for us, but the closeness as a family and bond with the horse and pony definately makes up for the work.

                                          [This message has been edited by Anne FS (edited 10-12-2000).]