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The other Eventing disconnect

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  • The other Eventing disconnect

    I know there have been multiple threads about big time riders losing horses lately, and I don't really want to rehash who/what/when/where/how, but on one of those threads an "ULR" posted the following which I am editing to remove any names.

    I think that your situation is most unfortunate! I am an upper level rider that has competed against your [ULH] with the rider you speak about! How lucky you have been to have such a talented, generous, sweet, caring, and concientous rider on your horses back. To take him out of her care is just criminal. Your rider treats all of her horses in her program like they are her own children and cares for them deeply. When they are hurt, she hurts, when they are happy, she is happy. Every move and decision she makes is directly related to the animals well being and care! She has put more energy and emotion into that animal than it sounds like you are capable of outputting.

    I have had horses in my own care custody and control where the selfish owner have decided that they wanted their horse to come home to be a pet in their back yard. Too often owners don't understand what it takes emotionally and finacially to make an upper level horse, and sadly not every horse makes it to the top level of competition like your horse has. To take him away from her now, before he has even peaked in his career is sickening. Your horse has the potential and capability to be a successful 4 star horse but I say that if he were to stay in her program. Not every horse thrives and prospers with all riders. Horses pick their partner and [ULH] has chosen [ULR]. For the interest of the horse I strongly hope that you change your position. It would be disheartening to see that horse end up in the wrong hands!
    The author of that post later goes on to compare this to someone coming and taking your pet dog away.

    Seriously? Is this the attitude of riders today? No wonder no one wants to own a horse for you. ULRs may take wonderful care of their horses in their care, but if you didn't buy the horse and it wasn't given to you (with a written contract in place), guess what, it's not yours. Taking the horse away from you is not a shame or sickening or criminal, even if it is before the horse has even peaked in his career. He doesnt' care. He wants food, water, shelter. I'm sure running a 4 star course is somewhere well below finding just the right place to poop on a horse's todo list.

    Is this just the spoiled brat mentality that has been spilling over into society for a while now rearing it's ugly head in the Eventing world or has it always been there with certain individuals? I say certain individuals because I would like to believe that the view of the person who wrote that is not the view of most ULRs.

    Also, to comment on the comparison with the dog thing. I own the dog. You come and take my dog, I have you arrested. I own the horse, I can come and take him any time I want. The only parallel to be drawn there is that I own both and I ultimately have control over both. I'm not sure that supports the other argument the poster was making.

    I would like to hear from people who have had horses provided for them and their feelings on the subject. Even though you are emotionally attached at some point, do you really forget who owns the horse and think it would be criminal for the person who owns the horse to take it back from you? Do you do anything different with the horse to help remind your subconscious that it is someone else's horse? Why is it that people who lease horses don't feel they own the horse even though the setup is pretty similar? Should people who supply ULHs for ULRs set it up as a lease situation? Would that help avoid some of these situations?
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

  • #2
    Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
    I'm sure running a 4 star course is somewhere well below finding just the right place to poop on a horse's todo list.


    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! So true.

    Comment


    • #3
      In the racing world you will see Champion/Stakes winning horses being removed from their trainers..after winning World Class races....albeit those owners do pay the bills...

      Comment


      • #4
        I am NOT an UL rider by any stretch of the imagination, however, I do not own a horse currently but instead ride a variety of horses that are for sale or are in for training.

        Last year, I was riding a OTTB that I loved, but he was very hot and not many others really liked him. I rode him several times a week for 6 months. One day, I came in, and one of the trainers said "Oh, *horse's name* is gone, didn't you know?" Well, no, I didn't know, the owner didn't tell me she had found a potential home. Was I a bit sad? YES! I really liked the horse and he liked me. Was I upset/ mad at owner? NO NO NO! Owner was gracious enough to let me ride the horse, it was HER horse, she found a home and went for it. I did not have the means to keep said horse, or she would have given him to me- but that is my problem, not hers.

        I have a lot of respect for ULRs, but I wonder if the entitlement feeling is just so common in our culture now that it is seeping into eventing land too. The harsh reality is that if you don't own the horse, and you don't have a contract leaving him in your care for x amount of time, you don't have a leg to stand on. I hope all owners and riders are learning from these sad situations and will not make the same mistakes in the future. I also hope that the best interest of the horse is being considered in every situation.

        You know, I'm too poor to own a horse for myself, let alone for someone else to ride. It is infuriating in a way to see these complaints. We all make our own choices in life and if your chosen path is not perfect, you are free to try something else. Its not anyone else's fault that I don't make a lot of money- its MINE. When I get tired of it, I will try something else. But blaming the world/ etc for your situation just bugs the crap out of me. If you don't want a horse taken away from you, or don't want that risk, don't ride any but your own horses.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was listening to a book on theoretical physics (multiverse, inflation model, 11 dimension membranes, etc.) and this passage was presented:

          A man told the universe, "I exist!"

          To which the universe replied, "And yet I feel no obligation."


          Reed

          Comment


          • #6
            It would be nice if the horse/human relationship were respected in these situations. It seems, often, that it is ... until it isn't, until business or money gets in the way.

            It's such a special thing. What a shame, what a shame.

            I keep thinking of Edward Gal, what a graceful gentleman and professional he's been. But perhaps it was made "easier" for him by knowing that it was business, from the beginning.

            Doesn't keep it from breaking your heart to see that bond torn apart, tho.
            "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

            Spay and neuter. Please.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have not owned or been provided an upper level horse, but I have been in an ULR's barn who has. I spent a lot of time years ago in this barn, and I saw how she treated her owners. Like they were royalty. She has the utmost respect for her owners and... she was grateful for their support.

              The horses received wonderful care, and without question, the horse was always put first.

              However.

              I have heard of other ULR's that don't behave in that manner. Now the above person is certainly of what is now considered "the old school".

              I don't know whether it's the attitude today which is markedly different, but the sense of entitlement is huge. Many ULR's today are so completely disconnected from the majority of the sport (read- those competing below prelim), and it seems to me, they really aren't interested in changing that. Unless it affects their wallet.

              Sorry to sound so jaded, but after being away from the sport from a number of years, and then coming back into the sport in the last few years, I am continually astonished and saddened at the change in the sport, the people, etc.

              Now I am generalizing - there are still many wonderful people in the sport, but there is a pervasive, pronounced difference in the "new" eventing crowd.

              This story seems to be a sad illustration.

              Postscript- have a friend who has a wonderful horse, and is not terribly poor, and has said to me on more than one occassion that he will not give horse to any ULR (yes, a few have expressed interest) because he doesn't want the horse killed at Rolex or somewhere on these "crazy solid show jumping courses they call xc now". This is not a person without fairly extensive experience, either.
              My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
              You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

              Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.

              Comment


              • #8
                I do not think this is new in Eventing or anywhere else and I think it depends on a lot of factors.

                1-if rider pays a 'lease' fee (expenses on the horse, actual fee to lease the horse, etc.), they seem more likely to feel some sort of entitlement as far as decisions for the horse go. You will see this in off course as well - upset feelings about a leased horse suddenly being gone.

                2-length of time of agreement. If a horse is with a rider for a few years, often the idea that someone else actually owns the horse gets pushed further and further back into the rider's mind. So, when the owner 'suddenly' wants something else, the rider is surprised.

                3- open ended agreements. In one thread, the deal was verbalized similar to 'ride and compete horse and see how far he can go and go from there'. Well, the farthest a horse can go is the Olympics. Is this what owner had in mind? Or did owner just want to see horse go around Rolex once, or did owner just want to see horse get to Advanced? What was rider thinking? Lack of communication can lead to two parties' thoughts going in different directions.

                4- Of course some people think that they have more entitlement than they do.

                5- Personal Experience. Some people who have had their parents buy horses for them and/or sponsors buy horses for them and give them carte blanche to do what they want with it may be taken aback by a new owner wanting more of a hand in the decision making process.

                Personally, I think there are a lot of factors in play and each situation is different. While I have no stories from past decades, I am reasonably certain that this is not a new phenomenon.

                Personally speaking, I am well aware of who owns the horses that I ride. Perhaps that comes from the fact that I rode school horses and sale horse all through high school and did not own a horse until I was in college and bought my own with my own money. Currently I ride a sale horse that my trainer owns. She is great and I am learning a lot. In trade, when I take her to shows, the trainer gets to say the horse did well with an adult amateur rather than a pro. It looks better on the horse's resume. I have no illusions about what is going on. There is no agreement that I get any commission from the sale. The trainer is in no hurry to sell the horse since she is earning her keep with me, but the horse will likely sell eventually.

                The fact that the horse is a sale horse is always in a part of my mind. I love her, I love riding her, but I can not afford to buy and keep her, so someone else will get her eventually. Some people may lose sight of that when they start getting attached to a horse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Reed: hahahaha - Yes, exactly. BTW, is that physics book someone with a science but not physics background could understand? I must admit a fascination with cosmology/ theoretical physics, dating back to 8th grade or so.

                  Ajierene: Yes, your sentiments echo mine as well. And your statement about 'personal experience' says what I was thinking but couldn't think of a nice way to say.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                    I was listening to a book on theoretical physics (multiverse, inflation model, 11 dimension membranes, etc.) and this passage was presented:

                    A man told the universe, "I exist!"

                    To which the universe replied, "And yet I feel no obligation."


                    Reed
                    This is a paraphrase of a poem by Stephen Crane. One of my favorites.

                    A man said to the universe:
                    "Sir I exist!"
                    "However," replied the universe,
                    "The fact has not created in me
                    A sense of obligation."
                    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                    Thread killer Extraordinaire

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ROFLMAO...thank you for giving me the opportunity to clean coffee off of my computer screen.


                      Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                      I was listening to a book on theoretical physics (multiverse, inflation model, 11 dimension membranes, etc.) and this passage was presented:

                      A man told the universe, "I exist!"

                      To which the universe replied, "And yet I feel no obligation."


                      Reed

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've noticed a common thread in several of the problem owner/rider situations. In each case the owner decided at some point to give a fractional ownership of the horse to the rider (or the rider believes they did). I can understand that riders heading for major competitions want some sort of assurance that a horse they are putting major time into will not be pulled from them unexpectedly. I can see that owners want to find some way to encourage a rider to put as much effort as possible into a promising horse. But it seems like a very bad way to do that by having joint ownership; it leads to problems.

                        Imagine the dog scenario. Suppose your parents bought a dog for you and your sister. You jointly "own" the dog and jointly care for and train it. Then your sister goes off to college and you take over all dog responsibilities. Time passes and your sister sets up her own household. She decides that the dog is just what she needs now to protect her home and be her companion. So she says she wants the dog; after all, it is half hers. Do you have the right to say NO just because it has been with you now for some time? You had exclusive use of the dog for sister's college years, why shouldn't she have use of it now?

                        I am not sure what sort of arrangement an owner and an ULR should make, but it appears that an owner would not be well-advised to transfer part ownership to the rider.
                        Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                        Elmwood, Wisconsin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          This is a paraphrase of a poem by Stephen Crane. One of my favorites.

                          Thanks!

                          It was used in the context of observer/occurrence and the collapsing of the wave probability equation. Given that quantum probability accounts for all occurrences, just because you claim to exist in the universe, does not make it an actual reality under the laws of physics.

                          I figured it is just a good recognition of the need for humility and the hubris that exists at the upper levels of this sport.

                          Reed

                          P.S. the book is Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. 2005.

                          I also highly recommend Brian Greene's books on M-theory for background.

                          To keep this horse related, I LOVE listening to these when hauling long distances. Another reason nobody will EVER ride with me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                            I was listening to a book on theoretical physics (multiverse, inflation model, 11 dimension membranes, etc.) and this passage was presented:

                            A man told the universe, "I exist!"

                            To which the universe replied, "And yet I feel no obligation."


                            Reed
                            Reed, you are the best!


                            ETA: Stephen Crane - always a favorite.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Robin@DHH View Post
                              I've noticed a common thread in several of the problem owner/rider situations. In each case the owner decided at some point to give a fractional ownership of the horse to the rider (or the rider believes they did). I can understand that riders heading for major competitions want some sort of assurance that a horse they are putting major time into will not be pulled from them unexpectedly. I can see that owners want to find some way to encourage a rider to put as much effort as possible into a promising horse. But it seems like a very bad way to do that by having joint ownership; it leads to problems.

                              Imagine the dog scenario. Suppose your parents bought a dog for you and your sister. You jointly "own" the dog and jointly care for and train it. Then your sister goes off to college and you take over all dog responsibilities. Time passes and your sister sets up her own household. She decides that the dog is just what she needs now to protect her home and be her companion. So she says she wants the dog; after all, it is half hers. Do you have the right to say NO just because it has been with you now for some time? You had exclusive use of the dog for sister's college years, why shouldn't she have use of it now?

                              I am not sure what sort of arrangement an owner and an ULR should make, but it appears that an owner would not be well-advised to transfer part ownership to the rider.
                              FWIW, fractional ownership with out a very explicitly spelled out exit strategy for all parties is a BEAST regardless of the nature of the "thing" that is owned.

                              Sixteen years ago, my father became suddenly and gravely ill. He made a few changes to his estate plan in haste. My sister and I have been battling it out ever since. She can't buy me out and won't sell to me and I can't force her to without getting into a legal battle. Add to that, my sister can't afford to pay the expenses. If this were an animal instead of land, it would be tragic.

                              Handshake deals are fine, but you have to know what you are shaking on. I have had several horse deals fall through when my expectations were laid out in writing and both parties are blessed that they did.

                              Which leads to my thoughts on the OP's question. The deals that I have had trouble with are the ones where the parties have different ideas about who is getting the benefit of the relationship. For example, I think I am giving you a great horse to ride that is going to further your career. Rider thinks they are giving me the benefit of experience and training. If we think that is an equal trade, life is good. As soon as one of the parties thinks they are giving more than they are getting, things start to get touchy. Horse starts to look like a contender, I think I have provided rider a superstar horse, she should be grateful for the great horse. Rider thinks her training has made the horse a superstar. She has nothing to be grateful for, in fact, I should be grateful to her for turning my nothing horse into a superstar.

                              Suddenly, expectations about something as simple as gratitude cause a downward spiral in the relationship as neither party feels appreciated.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                To keep this horse related, I LOVE listening to these when hauling long distances. Another reason nobody will EVER ride with me.
                                <monstrpony waves raised hand> I will, I will!! Sounds like interesting stuff!
                                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                Spay and neuter. Please.

                                Comment


                                • #17

                                  Excellent post.


                                  Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                                  FWIW, fractional ownership with out a very explicitly spelled out exit strategy for all parties is a BEAST regardless of the nature of the "thing" that is owned.

                                  Sixteen years ago, my father became suddenly and gravely ill. He made a few changes to his estate plan in haste. My sister and I have been battling it out ever since. She can't buy me out and won't sell to me and I can't force her to without getting into a legal battle. Add to that, my sister can't afford to pay the expenses. If this were an animal instead of land, it would be tragic.

                                  Handshake deals are fine, but you have to know what you are shaking on. I have had several horse deals fall through when my expectations were laid out in writing and both parties are blessed that they did.

                                  Which leads to my thoughts on the OP's question. The deals that I have had trouble with are the ones where the parties have different ideas about who is getting the benefit of the relationship. For example, I think I am giving you a great horse to ride that is going to further your career. Rider thinks they are giving me the benefit of experience and training. If we think that is an equal trade, life is good. As soon as one of the parties thinks they are giving more than they are getting, things start to get touchy. Horse starts to look like a contender, I think I have provided rider a superstar horse, she should be grateful for the great horse. Rider thinks her training has made the horse a superstar. She has nothing to be grateful for, in fact, I should be grateful to her for turning my nothing horse into a superstar.

                                  Suddenly, expectations about something as simple as gratitude cause a downward spiral in the relationship as neither party feels appreciated.
                                  "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                  Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                    To keep this horse related, I LOVE listening to these when hauling long distances. Another reason nobody will EVER ride with me.
                                    My SO likes this stuff too. And you really can learn from it. He's a non-finisher of high school yet has a consulting gig at NASA.

                                    (Unlike me. With my fancy education, I muck stalls and fix fences.)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      RR,
                                      That post struck me exactly the same way. Good to know it's not selfish to buy a horse and give it to someone to ride but it is selfish to take it back. Pardon?
                                      You phrased it better than I could have, right down to where eventing falls on a horse's priority list.
                                      I evented just for the Halibut.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by RAyers View Post

                                        P.S. the book is Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku. 2005.

                                        I also highly recommend Brian Greene's books on M-theory for background.

                                        To keep this horse related, I LOVE listening to these when hauling long distances. Another reason nobody will EVER ride with me.
                                        Thanks, I'll probably get it on my kindle next time I get books. And, I'll join monstrpony in offering to ride with you; though see above post about not owning a horse atm.

                                        Comment

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