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Abusive Training of Dressage Horses

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  • Abusive Training of Dressage Horses

    A fellow professional trainer friend of mine just returned from a clinic being given by an International Author and Certified German Instructor who "claims" to be a proponent of Classical Dressage, per his website. My friend phoned me to warn me not to go and watch. She said the horse he was riding was being ridden in TWO nosebands, a lunging caveson and DRAW REINS and was being whipped excessivley! The owner/rider, who herself is also a professional trainer/coach had no concerns with his training methods nor did the people watching. This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common! I walked out of the last clinic I went to 1/2 way thru day one even though I had paid for 2 days (for similar reasons)!What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dressagenut18 View Post
    This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common! I walked out of the last clinic I went to 1/2 way thru day one even though I had paid for 2 days (for similar reasons)!What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...
    it would seem only you know the names involved...
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not 'common' in any clinics, lessons or barns I go to. Maybe pick a little more carefully who you go to see or work with.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        How does that help the horses involved?

        Comment


        • #5
          thats abusive and should be reported its not the way to treat an animal

          Comment


          • #6
            What did you do?

            Did you do anything to help the horses involved? We can't. We don't know anything. I have on occasion witnessed training methods I thought were abusive. I have never not voiced my concern to either the abuser or the owner. In one very extreme case, I involved the authorities.

            Of course the definition of abuse is all relative. I have natural horsemanship friends who think shoeing my horse and keeping him in a barn is abusive.

            If YOU felt it was abusive. YOU should have done something.

            Comment


            • #7
              video - post to utube without comment - public can see and decide what they think of the methods
              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

              The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

              Comment


              • #8
                In many cases it's like the elefant in the middle of the room..everybody sees it, nobody says a word...
                Originally posted by BigMama1
                Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                GNU Terry Prachett

                Comment


                • #9
                  Private emails are a wonderful tool. Still, once you put it in writing, someone can always print your email, so be careful how you word things. Remember, nothing is libel unless it is not true. So, to avoid a slander (spoken) or libel suit, simply report and do not draw judgments. "She hit the horse 57 times in one hour, loud enough to hear it, she wore two cavessons, etc."

                  Of course nothing protects your from a lawsuit, as anyone can sue. Just protect yourself by staying to the truth and not stating an opinion, only the facts. Don't report heresay, "my friend saw this," if possible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    'how does it help the horses involved'

                    It doesn't, but talking about it anonymously here isn't going to do anything either. No one has any idea who she's talking about.

                    There isn't any other way to help them either. There are no abuse laws in America that pertain to rough training, or using two cavesons. There isn't any way to prosecute anyone for doing that. Complaints to the management can be tried or to the owner, but they usually fall on deaf ears. Something that bothers you, someone else may think is 'just fine'.

                    My point was not how to deal with abuse, but how to not spend all of one's time going around complaining about what 'everyone else' is doing.

                    I am not sure what 'two cavesons' a person would use. A bridle caveson and a longeing caveson over it? Or are we talking about a regular caveson with a flash attachment?
                    Last edited by slc2; Aug. 7, 2009, 08:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      so you created an alter to post potentially libelous statements about training you didn't even see?

                      two nosebands and a longeing cavesson? highly doubtful. have you ever seen or read about the classical use of draw reins? the horse wears a longeing cavesson and the reins are run through the cavesson so that the rider, in essence, rides the set up like a double, except there are reins to one bit and reins to one cavesson. my guess is that you are not familiar with this technique. please search for karl mikolka's rather famous article on the proper application of draw reins. as to excessive whipping... well, i've seen whip tapping techniques called "whipping" by those who don't know what they're seeing.

                      frankly, the entire story is suspect. if you're so confident in your outrage, why the alter? why the secrecy? put it out there and defend it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe just got an axe to grind with the clinician. Jilted paramour perhaps.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Or maybe it's entirely true. Just because you, SLC, has not personally seen it during your extensive travels, does not make it false and beyond the realm of possibility.


                          NJR
                          Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nojacketrequired View Post
                            Or maybe it's entirely true. Just because you, SLC, has not personally seen it during your extensive travels, does not make it false and beyond the realm of possibility.


                            NJR
                            Very true.

                            A friend of mine was riding in the ring while a no name trainer was taking a lesson with a BNT. No name whipped her horse so excessively that his skin was split and bleeding. I wasn't there that day, but heard the same account from other people. My friend screamed at the rider, then reported her to the office. Surprisingly BNT said nothing to the abusive rider. My friend was harassed for months by the no name trainer. So I can understand the OP's anonymity.

                            If it's any consolation, word gets around. The abusive trainer I referred to already had a bad rep that was made much worse by this incident. I think she's down to one student now, if that. I don't think people would want to post abuse accounts on a website that could potentially bring on a lawsuit. Word of mouth is very effective. I'm sure you'll get some PMs asking you for details.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Quite so. And I still don't see why post here anonymously about some nameless person, unless the PM's are flying.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Personally, I don't give a fat rat's a$$ what any "bnt" or "no-name" trainer or any of the rest think of me -- I hope I will always have the courage to speak up and defend the horse against abusive acts. No one deserves any respect or even the title of "trainer" if they resort to such disgusting methods. I realize "outing" someone on a public board can have legal ramifications, however, unless at least one individual protests when the abuse is going on, the horse has no defense. I don't care who it is -- they should be called down and challenged. JMHO --
                                PennyG

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Um, well, even with proof and a ton of witnesses I know of one eventing trainer who even got a major award from the USOC. And people still think the trainer is the best thing since sliced bread. People will still go out and use these bad trainers and will still support them if they think it helps them achieve their goals. And many others will remain quiet because they are afraid to speak up. The world is imperfect. (I did post the person's name and my account, and they did allow me to have it up on this site. Because this is a dressage related thread, and I was using it as an illustration for a point, I'm not going to repeat the name again out here.)

                                  I do believe the video idea is the best. If you have something to show, get a video of it and then don't just post it. Report them to the USEF and back it up with video.
                                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SGray View Post
                                    video - post to utube without comment - public can see and decide what they think of the methods
                                    Absolutely. the Flip is your best friend - small handy camera. Dont videotape a minute, try for long segments so the escuse it was just a moment in time cannot be used.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Dressagenut18 View Post
                                      the horse he was riding was being ridden in TWO nosebands, a lunging caveson and DRAW REINS and was being whipped excessivley! The owner/rider, who herself is also a professional trainer/coach had no concerns with his training methods nor did the people watching. This is the not the first time I've heard of this happening or witnessed it myself. Unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common!
                                      ...
                                      What is wrong with the dressage community that this is acceptable??? Why do we not feel we cannot stand up and say "this is not right" or report these people? Should we start a website and start naming names? Does anyone care? I would love to hear your thoughts...
                                      I care and my heart bleeds for those horses and I am also amazed how many people as you say have "no concerns with his training methods". Sometimes I watch the warm up arenas and cringe at riding, yet some people next to me would be loving the riding and aplauding it!

                                      I just don't get it at time, I really don't...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                        It's not 'common' in any clinics, lessons or barns I go to.
                                        or may be those methods are acceptable to you and you are just one of the people who were watching those clinics and not concerned with methods since you don't consider them harsh?...who knows how you ride at home and what you would call "normal" or "harsh" or "borderline abusive". The only thing that is clear is a blunt abuse with visible blood. If there is no blood = it's not considered abuse, so many people don't give another thought until the blood is drawn.

                                        Let's face it, there are many, many dressage riders who use harsh methods and who are OK with those methods and who don't think that those methods are even harsh = it's just part of their daily routine = and nothing, NOTHING can change their minds about that. Their idea of what kind of pain level horse has and comfort level is simply different. Look at Coby with her supper tight side reins who didn't even think anything of it until the uproar. And even then, she tried to brush off the whole story. That was a perfect example of the harsh training methods and how acceptable it was for the trainer and her students and probably many, many people in her barn as well on daily basis. ( http://www.rider2day.de/wp-content/u...39960521_0.jpg + http://imagebank.ipcmedia.com/imageB...paintlarge.jpg )

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