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  • Original Poster

    Melissa, BEFORE YOU GO YELLING AT ME AND TELLING ME TO STEP OFF MY HIGH HORSE AND GET REAL go and read my other posts on the first ear plug post. I take my horse EVERYWHERE to get her used to show environments, and you better believe my horse will be darn seasoned at other events and exposed to lot's of stuff BEFORE she goes to a major show. I would not even ATTEMPT to qualify my horse for indoors UNTIL she was ready and not so easily distracted by everything. You TOTALLY missed my point that why is it Hunters that need ear plugs but everyone else who has just as much rucous going on at their shows doesn't? Why is it that a pleasure or trail horse can work quietly in a ring when nearby there are cattle going nuts and barrel racers running and people whooping and yelling and everything else? My point is, THEY ARE NOT A NESSCESITY. IF THE REST OF US CAN DO IT THAT WHY CAN'T YOU? THAT is what I am asking. I use no gadgets not even the smallest one on my horse. Why? Because I want to have a properly trained horse that can go quietly anywhere at any time when whatever is going on. So my answer to that question is still no. I would not stuff my horses ears because my horse would be exposed to it all BEFORE showing in the big time. That is MY opinion and if you don't like it or think I am on a high horse, then oh well. You can't argue and tell me that I would stuff my horses ears if I had scrimped and saved or whatever because my horse would not even start to show at major shows until she was ready to go WITHOUT anything but the basic tack that I ride her in everyday. THAT is why I take my horse to penning competitions and hunter/jumper and other schooling shows. So that she will be ready and know what is going on and already be used to the noise and surroundings when I start to show her in recognized shows. But then again, I am in no big hurry to win. I will not do whatever it takes to win. Can you fault me for that?
    Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
    An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


    • #42
      We use ear plugs for some of our horses. It is not a quick fix. We don't do it to hurt our horses, rather we use the ear plugs to help the horses filter out what is unimportant so they can concentrate on what is essential. As the people in charge, we have to make decisions about what is good for our animals. We have to help them learn and adjust. Not every animal needs ear plugs, but for those that are more comfortable with them, it seems a disservice to refuse to allow your horse to have them. I would love to think that each owner knows what best serves the needs of their individual animal, and I would like to respect their decisions.


      • #43
        Just asking, Devildog, by your last response, you are very emphatic that stuffing ears with cotton is BAD and you seem to be attacking the hunters.

        Do you show in the hunters? If not, why is this so important to you? I show hunters and I could care less who stuffs ears with cotton. Some win, some don't. I do not think it is the cotton.



        • #44
          Wow... this is so rediculous. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

          But those of you who criticize the use of earplugs - have you ever had that particular horse that is jumpy and spooks at every little thing? Those horses are darn hard rides, and scary sounds aren't going to make it any easier. What's wrong w/ earplugs then? They are not a quick fix at all. If I had a horse that got startled by loud sounds sometimes, he would have earplugs in right away. Like someone else said... you wouldn't want your horse to spook at indoors or Devon (where there is a fair going on right by the ring), would you?
          "would you give nothing to be sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free?" -dmb-



          • #45
            Also... those of you criticizing the people who use earplugs... what *exactly* do you have against these people? Earplugs don't give you a jump on the competition or anything. Its fine to have your opinions, but why criticize someone unless you know the specific facts of why the horse has earplugs in?
            "would you give nothing to be sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free?" -dmb-



            • #46
              To use a platform of the use of "Quick Fix Ear Bunny Appliances/Devices" as a testament and example of "short cut" versus "real training" is IMO, absurd.


              • #47
                Farmgate, I love it..."Quick Fix Earbunny Appliances.."

                I can't stop laughing!!!


                • #48
                  I must say I am torn between utter amusement that so many folks are horrified that earplugs might be illegal (guess it depends o whose ox is being gored whether we want the rule strictly enforced,eh?) and sadness that so many people seem to find them an indespensible device.

                  These days, I ride Arabs mainly. A breed stereotyped as being hot and easily spooked.

                  A few years back, we showed dressage at an Arab show at a facility where, unbeknownst to the organizers, the day of the dressage, a tool and die makers trade fair was being torn down and packed up immedicately adjacent to the (outdoor) arena. There were forklifts beeping, large objects on pallets covered with plastic blowing in the wind, semi rigs blowing their airbrakes, etc. None of the horses seemed particularly interested, and one (mine, being ridden by a friend) was chased down the long side during his canter lengthening by a loose Doberman. (He didn't spook, possibly because he regularly hunted with hounds, and won the class.)
                  A week later, I attended an Irish cultural festival, and, being a horseperson, naturally gravitated towards the Connemara Pony booth. As I approached, who should I hear but the judge from the dressage telling the Connemara folks about the show --"There were things beeping, and plastic blowing, and all kinds of stuff.And you know those little Arabs didn't look left or right; they just went right along and did their jobs. They'd have been peeling Warmbloods out of the trees."

                  What's the point of all this? If our little hotbloods can do it, so can your horses. It's called training.
                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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


                  • #49
                    Devildog, what do you show in anyway, and besides, why is such a big deal to you wether people have them or not?!? If you train your horse so well, not saying you dotn just restating what you said, you dont have to worry, cause your horse will be listening to you. If your horse is going to be so well trained, it shouldnt matter whether the competition has them on or not, you should be good enough to beet that horse that has them!


                    • #50
                      Another thing....you might not be in a hurry to sell your horse, but some of us kinda are. We dont have years to take our horses everywhere before we actually show, we have to expose them as quick as they can. Many trainers make the horses good the first year...so they have 1 year of spooks and earplugs, and can show the rest of their lifes...unlike haveing to take years to actually get used to it!!!


                      • #51
                        Farmgate! "Quick Fix Ear Bunny Appliances/Devices"

                        I love it!!! All these years I thought you actually had to train a horse, and now I find out that all you have to do is stuff in a couple of ear bunnies and you're good to go!


                        • #52
                          So if earplugs are illegal, and they made the ruling retroactive, they may as well send out the directory instead of listing disciplined names in Horse Show since that many people would be affected! Including me, but I had no idea ear bunnies may be illegal.
                          Man plans. God laughs.


                          • Original Poster

                            I mainly show dressage but I will take my mare to Hunter shows as well for the experience. But I think that a horse who wins with ear plugs in over a horse without is not fair, I am sorry, that is my opinion. And yes, I did have a horse that was jumpy and spooked at every little thing. It does not take years and years, but it does take a little longer. I guess I am just of the classical mindset. There are MANY things that some dressage riders do/use that I do not agree with. I am not condemning you guys for using them if they are legal, heck it is your choice I guess, but I don't understand it and I would never use them. But what if they ARE illegal? Then what are you going to think. Here's the thing that I personally do not get so PLEASE do not flame me for not understanding. In some instances you guys are saying that they work wonders on certain horses and in others you guys say they barley do anything. If they hardley have an effect, then why use them at all? You guys totally miss my point and I say it over and over and over again that there are young horses in Western Events, at age 3 and 4 that are doing trail and pleasure classes without ear plugs. I just don't understand why you guys say that you HAVE to have them. Why do I classify them as a quick fix? Because of earlier posts that state that these horses are bothered by the sounds and so stuffing their ears helps calm them down. Well, so does giving them Ace. THAT is why I think of them as a quick fix. But that is MY opinion and it doesn't seem to be a popular one at that, but that does not mean that I am going to change it. I personally feel that no amount of equipment no matter how minute can replace real and thorough training. I don't think it is cruel and never did I say I thought that it hurt them, I just do not agree with them. Sorry if you all hate me now because I have a differing opinion from the rest of the crowd, I don't hate any of you for using ear plugs, but you seem to get on the defensive about them rather quickly and are quick to condemn me for not advocating their use! And so I have had to defend myself and my personal beliefs. I have not once personally attacked any individual on this board, but I have been personally attacked several times because heaven forbid I should not agree with a certain device. It's rather sad, I really enjoy some of the topics and the people on this board, I don't always agree with what happens on the board but whoa, watch out when you don't agree, because then people will personally jab at you and criticize you for having a different opinion. And the thing that gets me is, how many of you took the time to ask the AHSA about ear plugs? I did and then get criticized for it. I may take a break from this board for awhile because quite frankly I find it quite disturbing that a few of you personally attack me for standing up for what I believe in. I know you believe whole heartedly in using ear plugs as I believe whole heartedly in exposure instead! But I have not ONCE personally attacked a person and told them they were crack heads for using ear plugs. But I was basically told I was a crack head for even SUGGESTING that exposure would be an alternative.
                            Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                            An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                            • #54
                              LoL, I guess I was mean, but I dont understand, if you dont show hunters, why is it such a big deal to you? And besides, its not hurting anyone, let the people who get placed 2nd to a hrose with earplugs post, dotn worry about it.


                              • #55
                                I have stuffed ears on many of my horses and as a groom stuffed those that I took to the ring.

                                I have also forgotten to do it. Except for one occation, you would never have know the stuffing was missing.

                                Personally, I think the stuffing if for the rider. They think the horse can't hear, pleeeaaasse. It sticks cotton in a horses ears will stop them from hearing, why do we still cluck?


                                • #56
                                  Well, I equate ear plugs to something like fly spray. Fly spray doesn't always do that much, IMO, but we use it anyway, in the hopes that maybe it'll help the horse's comfort, at least a little.


                                  • #57
                                    THey may not work for your horse, but my Trainers PreLem jumper cant go out of his stall without them, he gets so nervouse. you put them in and he is perfect! And we know that they can still hear...duh!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Melissa, I plan on showing Hunters. THAT is why I worry about it. And if I DO place second to a horse with ear plugs then I WILL protest it. Your post about your trainers horse not being able to function properly without earplugs proves my point. Obviously they do something or no one would use them. As Pwynn stated before, suitability comes to mind. But that is MY opinion. And funny how no one has a viable come back for why other horses in all other disciplines can live without ear plugs and not have nervous breakdowns. But that Hunters just can't do without them because they will be bothered by the noise. That is what I am curious about, I have tried to understand it but my trainers whom I have worked with in the past and present have taught me hard work with no gimmicks, and it can and does work. That is why I just can't for the life of me justify it, and I am sorry for that! I am a firm believer in the least amount of gimmicks possible. The only thing I have ever used was a running martengale on my TB who would throw his head back and almost hit me in the face. But that was for MY saftey. My saddle is properly fit to my horse, so there is no need for other padding. Besides that, a gel pad does not affect a horses senses. Again, sorry if I do not have the popular opinion. I know where you guys are coming from, I just don't agree with it!
                                      Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                                      An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .


                                      • #59
                                        Devildog, if and when you do show in the hunters, I'd wait on protesting a horse with earplugs until we hear a more definitive answer as to their legality.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          That is why I have been in contact with members of the AHSA and NHJC. I am trying to find out. Tomorrow I will call the AHSA and talk to a person whom a member of the AHSA committee suggested talking to. And also a member of the NHJC committee will bring it up in the next conference call. I guess ear plugs fall under the "grey area" of the rules, and no one really knows what to do with them!
                                          Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall cumasach
                                          An awkward colt often becomes a beautiful horse .