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  • #21
    Bertie, you're so right! This is a riot. Hoooeee! It's 1:30 Saturday night, I'm up waiting for a mare to foal and actually couldn't resist coming online to see who dug up what about the latest HOT TOPIC.

    But, folks, do remember that rules aren't established arbitrarily. I'm actually quite gratified that someone somewhere in the history of the sport saw that it was necessary to draw the line somewhere. For example, how do you know that some enterprising trainer hasn't invented a type of ear plug that is 95% effective? Has anyone tested just how "benign" they are?

    And, yes, it seems so very, very minor, especially since so many use them. Then, too, what's an extra inch or two, an extra ounce or so, etc., etc. on a gaited horse's feet? Such a minor thing.

    This will actually be an interesting test. Jumphigh, you've gotten so worked up over several issues, here's one for you to use to test the system: protest the next time the hunter winner has earplugs in. You know what I think will happen: the "new" generation of powerul trainers will get together, like they did with the drugs and meds situation, and have an emergency rule change passed.

    Devildog, I'm so relieved that you, too, see the parallel to the drugs and meds issue. Thanks so much for the follow-through!
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.


    • #22
      Well, it WAS funny....

      I'm sorry, Pwynnorman, I can't get worked up into a debate over the moralities of earbunny use.


      • #23
        Devildog, THANK YOU for taking the time to call someone at the AHSA yourself and ask the earplug question! Why does it NOT surprise me that we can count on a Marine to find out the rules & regs? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] (My husband was in the Marine Corps for 10 years, and now he's a civilian employee at Quantico.)

        Thanks again for confirming what I was told, and I'll be interested to see the answers that everyone else who calls or writes the AHSA gets!
        Jennifer Thomas Alcott
        Culpeper, VA


        • Original Poster

          Ok, I just recieved this e-mail, so it looks like we may need to dig a little further!

          I understand that you put on the Chron. board that I made a ruling on ear
          plugs. This is not the case. You should get a ruling from the
          Hunter/Jumper council or the AHSA office. What I told you was my
          impression. I expect you to post this message on the board. Judy Werner

          So now I will e-mail the H/J council and see what they have to say. I seriously thought this person knew for sure, but I was wrong. But she was very nice and I appologize to her for the confusion!
          Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
          An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


          • #25
            Well, I think it's great that Mrs. Werner responded to us so quickly and during a weekend.

            She wrote a similar message to me: "...I could find nothing in the rule book regarding "ear plugs" but I wanted her to check with an AHSA Steward. My remarks can not be taken as final and there should be a ruling from the AHSA Hunter
            Council regarding this matter."


            • Original Poster

              Thanks Bertie! Now, I have looked all over the NHJC website and I can't find anywhere that has someone's e-mail address, does anyone know how to contact them? I asked the people from zone 10, which is my zone, and I will post their response when I get it!
              Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
              An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


              • #27
                Maybe on the AHSA website there's a way to contact the Hunter Council or a Steward?

                [This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 04-16-2000).]


                • Original Poster

                  That's where I am right now e-mailing everyone on the NHJC that has an address LOL!
                  Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                  An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                  • #29
                    If this wasn't so funny it would be tragic! What about bits? They are an artificail appliance. As is a saddle, martingale, SHOES, pads, gel pads, ear nets, stockings on the muzzle, draw reins, nose reins, bell boots, splint boots, caulks, belly pads.....is any of this sinking in??? Until we can ride a horse bareback and without a headpiece of some type, we are using "artificial appliances"! I bet Mrs. Werner would like to dissappear at this point..she will print a retraction wait and see..she will say that she isn't in the position to interpret the rules of the AHSA that can only be done through a protest and gearing situation! It will happen..I'm having a "vision" !!!
                    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                    • #30
                      oops..I meant *hearing!
                      The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                      • #31
                        I know someone who is on the Boad for the NHJA council thingy, and as soon as I here back from him I will let you guys know what he said.
                        I think it is ridiculouse that you guys are making such a big deal about it. It happens, there are way to many other things that you could be fussing over than 2 little pieces of cotton that help the HORSE feel more comfortable!!
                        Ear plugs might be illegal, and im not totally bashing you guys, but we will find out soon......


                        • #32
                          I agree, Jumphigh -- is a gel pad an appliance??? Our 18 yr old, super-sensitive TB jumper won't want to hear that one!!! He's been happy with his gel pad for over a decade. We can't take it from him now!

                          I can totally relate to Mrs. Werner's situation --- Working for a governing organization, you can never know all the regulations by heart.-- You're asked a casual question that you think you know the answer to, and so you give what you think is the right answer. Trying to be helpful.

                          Then you look a bit deeper, and realize that the answer is not as clear as you thought, and the question was not just a casual one. She did the right thing to contact Devildog and myself to let us know that more steps must be taken before we get the real answer.

                          [This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 04-16-2000).]


                          • Original Poster

                            I see where you guys are coming from, but I still believe that taking the time to train your horse is a better way and that ear plugs are just a "quick fix". My point is, if the rest of the horse world can live without them, why is it SUCH a nessessity in the Hunter World? If you have ever been to a rodeo, or any other western event, you would notice that there is A LOT more commotion and things going on and none of those horses wear ear plugs! Add to the loudspeaker the sound of cattle and people whooping from the audience and all that stuff and it gets nuts! Yet those horses sit there calm and cool like nothings going on. THAT is my point!
                            Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                            An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                            • #34
                              Also, look at what those rodeo horses do!! THey RUN, TURN, or BUCK!!!!! yes they are great at their job, but they dont have to look like a million bucks doing.
                              The hunter world is judged on looks and perfromance, yes they may play favorites, and most of the time you must have the "in" look, but thats Hunters. If you love the sport, you grow with it, and hope if grows the right way. If it doesnt, you play along....or move on.
                              Dont take this offencivly, its just MOP


                              • #35
                                Folks, I'm willing to accept whatever the "ruling" is on the issue, but I will yet again repeat why, IMO, this is important: WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?????

                                Those of you in favor of ear plugs being legal, tell me how you would guide an organization with policing responsibilities when it comes to what, exactly, is an "artificial device"? What would you include, what would you exclude?

                                It isn't the plugs themselves--indeed, to focus on that only is to belittle what, for some, especially trainers trying to make their way and not knowing what they can or can't do (like the herbal thing, too, perhaps?)--and maybe as a result not being able to be as competitive as those who do know where the lines are (or dare to step over regardless).

                                Or are the lines *meant* to be invisible, so they can be placed hither and yon at will, depending on the group in power?
                                Sportponies Unlimited
                                Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.


                                • #36
                                  And ear plugs arent neccessarily a "quick fix" my horse goes with them and without them. At WEF there was so much going on, between the tralier parked by the ring being walked in and out of, the houses less then 2000 feet aways getting roofs put on, I used them. It depends on how my horse feels. I do it because it makes him FEEL better. He can still hear, its not like we make then deaf or anything!!!


                                  • #37
                                    Devildog, it's not that important to use them. But if they are allowed, I think many of the posters have explained why they're used. Here's an example...

                                    Suppose you have worked very hard to qualify for indoors. You took time off from work/school to be there. Your family scrimped and saved to pay for the showing/traveling/lodging/etc. all year and now they're still paying. Your horse is a good boy, but he's young and green. He's never been to a big indoor show. He just has a couple of classes at this show and this is what you've been working for. You want him to have a good experience.

                                    You go into the ring and it's big, bright and quiet in there. Your horse is being good, and suddenly some kids come flying/clamoring down the stairs at you as you lope up the line along the rail. Or a big ol' balloon drifts up to the lights and goes POP!!!! Or a dog starts yapping and it's magnified and echoed by the cavernous arena. If you were allowed to stuff your horses ears with something soft and benign, that MIGHT muffle these sounds a little, would you? If not, would you condemn someone who does?

                                    [This message has been edited by Bertie (edited 04-16-2000).]


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Honestly, I would not. I would have never in a million years even thought of doing such a thing. I use only basic tack on my horse, a dee ring snaffle, a bridle and a loose flash cavesson, a well fitting dressage saddle, a PC dressage girth and a regular square pad. She has plain shoes on the front only. I put bell boots on for trailering and PC boots on when trail riding so that she doesn't get scratches on her legs. Maybe they should try and prove that ear plugs can help save the horses hearing, and then it should be adopted into all disciplines and people should be required to wear them too. And I wouldn't take a horse into a major competition until they were seasoned and ready. I would take them TO the competition to get them used to the environment, but if they were not ready, they would not show. Ad in Cutting, the performance and quality of the horse IS tested, as is with pleasure and trail classes. It is not all running around and bucking, although these shows have multi-disciplines going on at the same show, and those pleasure and trail horses look about as dead if not deader than some of the hunters with ear plugs! Trail is a lot like Hunters, they have obsticles and the horses have to look like they are dead quiet and just doing it like it's no big deal. And they even have a jump or two in the ring! It kind of started out as the same concept as hunters as well, encountering what obsticles you would see out in the field. Just like reining is a cousin to dressage, trail is a cousin to hunters. I am with Pwynn, where is this line? I too think it is a moveable one!
                                      Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                                      An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                                      • #39
                                        Devildog, its time to step up and be the bigger person. You would not work all year to qualify and jsut take the horse and let it look. Thats ridiculouse, and you said that you wouldnt take a green horse there if it wasnt ready! PLEASE! Indoors cost a lot of money, and there HAS to be a first time! GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE! The horse will NEVER be ready unless you take it!! IT WILL NEVER BE A SEASONED HORSE UNTIL IT IS THERE AND SHOWS, and GETS USED TO THAT PLACE!!! This thread is getting to be outragiouse!!

                                        [This message has been edited by Melissa (edited 04-16-2000).]

                                        [This message has been edited by Melissa (edited 04-16-2000).]


                                        • #40
                                          If only earbunnies were the "quick fix"...