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USEA blurb on Prologs (new 'safer' jump materials)

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  • USEA blurb on Prologs (new 'safer' jump materials)

    From the USEA website: First use of safety jump material at Wayne DuPage Horse Trials

    This is an infomercial disguised as a news article. And that's probably the most positive thing I can say about it.

    I'm all for safer jumps, safer materials, safer design, etc. But 'safety' is not using untested materials just because it sounds like a good idea or because BNRs own the company that produces it. Which is what happened at this particular venue.

    And they even admit the data isn't there just yet:
    For the competition (Figure 3) however, the TD was concerned about using an unproven technology on such a critical fence, and so I moved it from the location in the construction photos you see here to the fence just prior in a long galloping lane
    Thank you, TD, for your good sense on this matter.

    The article ends with this refreshing, yet frightening bit of honesty:
    More research is also expected as this new safety material gets wider use at other venues. So if you see a funny looking log on your next cross-country course, thank the organizer for trying innovative ideas with course construction to help make our sport as safe as possible.
    So after all those rider deaths, all those horse deaths, that so-called Safety Summit, this is what we get? First we use it, then we test it -- the ass-backward approach to safety!


  • #2
    Noooooo it'll go over GREAT guys! Despite the fact that "Prologs are more costly to replace when broken than are frangible pins." So how much will entry fees rise again?

    Oh, and that they dent when horses bump into them. And that they will "snap" when 500 lbs lands on them - and may leave bulky pieces of material for the horse to trip on (because, yanno, when an 80 lb pole goes flying, it's not dangerous at all!)

    But heck at least now we'll save countless numbers of horses and riders from the stifle injuries that are killing them! Especially over those deadly logs. Wait, that is the leading cause of death, right?

    I agree with JER. I am all about safety. I do think it is a good idea to explore options that would have less wear and tear on a horse, and hanging stifles on a drop is definitely unhappy. Yet this kind of seems like handing neosporin to someone with a severed limb - sure it'll help eventually, but the person still will die unless you stop the bleeding.

    I am dismayed at the lack of testing before implementation in a recognized event, though I do applaud the innovation and direction toward safer jumps.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am going to have to be the one to disagree....
      These have actually been around a while now. The Canadian Team's final outing had them on their course as well. I also do not agree that as ULR's they couldn't have developed a good product.....exactly the opposite. They fully understand the horses jobs out there and the risks and how rotational falls happen. As riders they have almost a better feel for what would work for a horse and how this type of a fence and this material will work with them.
      If you really knew any of these guys you wouldn't be saying these things. They are very knowledgable and have been in the sport a very long time. I personally think the logs they have developed are a great idea and a step in the right direction. Will they be "THE solution"....... no probably not...but I don't think any ONE thing is.
      "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"

      Comment


      • #4
        Why so much negativity when someone is trying to address the problems? You'd think it was some vast right-wing conspiracy. It's not. It's some riders and builders and organizers that are trying to think outside the envelope and do something horse-friendly that will help our sport. Constructive criticism is a very good thing, but belittle the effort rather than be supportive of it?

        As far as stifle injuries, I've seen what looked like a "nothing" rub as it happened to a friend's prelim horse present a career-threatening injury that took a long and expensive rehab to recover from.

        These logs look like a good step in the right direction and I'm glad organizers and designers are trying them and I look forward to seeing them on course next season.

        I am sure we see all sorts of innovations on course that were not "tested" thoroughly. For example, I've seen cars and boats as jumps on courses...I don't think those were tested first. And new shapes are created by designers all the time...they are "tested" in use, not in a lab.

        I would love to hear feedback from intermediate riders at Wayne who walked the course and saw the fence. What did you think? Did the jump concern you? If so, did you exercise your option not to run? Did anyone discuss concerns with the TD? For those that jumped it, how did it ride?
        Hindsight bad, foresight good.

        Comment


        • #5
          hmmm, I'm with BigRuss on this one. I don't think it's been widely publicized and a lot of hoopla about them but they have been around and they have been used in schooling venues as well as competition. I would test new technology in schooling venues for awhile before a competition but it was done nonetheless. Schooling venues get beat up and tested out tons more than in competition.
          But I would prefer the usea to develop guidelines and acceptance rules on new technology because hopefully, we will see a lot more of this kind of stuff in the future.
          Even duct tape can't fix stupid

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm in the camp of people who think that it is actually a step in the right direction. It's not like there are are lot of different options to make the sport safer.
            We can change the design of the fences, the design of the course and the type of material used to build the fences.
            It seems to be a clever idea and while I agree that it's always better to 'try' things in a lab or in a schooling environment, it's very hard to really reproduce all the types of situations that can happened when a horse takes a jump.

            I actually like the idea.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think what you will see is that the engineering types will tend to disagree with this "technology" while others will agree.

              As I see it, the "press release" leaves some HUGE holes in understanding. What sort of "testing" are they discussing? Actual engineering functions? Accident amelioration? Those are two very different things. This to me implies a lack of thought in design which is further exposed by their website. Their website says "highly engineered" but the company is run by "eventing professionals." Why is it that everybody thinks they can be engineers? There is a REASON engineers get licensed.

              To me, I do not think this is a good material given the environment and use would love to see the engineering design criteria used. When developing new designs for devices that affected people's lives, it has been my experience that outside of designing factors of safety at 200 times limit, extensive testing would be done PRIOR to use. Yes, it is called product liability. I can imagine a horse being injured at one of these fences and the subsequent lawsuit exposing inadequate testing.

              I have already posted my ENGINEERING design reasons for the poor design of this material and its subsequent failure mechanisms.

              mademoiselle, it actually is NOT that hard to reproduce the situations that would result in impact with a fence using good modeling. University of Bristol has done some amazing work and continues to build on their understanding.

              I am all for new materials and fence design but stop doing this old farmer method of slapping together what you have and trying it. It is time to grow up and use professionals. Just like with rules decisions, use well reasoned, logical design processes. Back up the product with actual testing. You all ask this from the folks who designed and built your car, cell phone, house, horse trailer, so why not here?

              Reed

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess have a different take. I wouldn't expect a "press release" or quick news article on the USEA web site to go into engineering details.....hell, that would put many of us to sleep! I also would not expect that information on their web site. They should be allowed to make a buck on their concept without telling all their potential competitiors exactly how to go about building competing material.

                I also don't put down a company just because it is run by riders not engineers. That is the case with most companies..it doesn't mean that they do not have a good engineer or two on the pay roll or that they have not (or are not in the processes of) having it further tested by outside engineering firms. To me, it is at least a sign of people doing something.

                To me, I just don't have enough information to put down this product or to be overly positive expect from the point of view that at least it is something that is being done, and can be evaluated.
                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                  I guess have a different take. I wouldn't expect a "press release" or quick news article on the USEA web site to go into engineering details.....hell, that would put many of us to sleep! I also would not expect that information on their web site.
                  Here's their website: Safer Building Materials

                  Not a shred of science or engineering info to be found.

                  bfne, why wouldn't you expect to see engineering details on a company's website? Wouldn't you, at the very least, expect to see a link to where you can find it? How do you make your own independent evaluation of a safety product if all you can find is a press release?

                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                  I also don't put down a company just because it is run by riders not engineers.
                  I don't care who runs a company as long as they use professionals as necessary.

                  The frangible pin technology is a good example of research informing design. This isn't. Or if it is, there isn't any evidence of it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JER View Post
                    Here's their website: Safer Building Materials

                    Not a shred of science or engineering info to be found.

                    bfne, why wouldn't you expect to see engineering details on a company's website? Wouldn't you, at the very least, expect to see a link to where you can find it? How do you make your own independent evaluation of a safety product if all you can find is a press release?



                    I don't care who runs a company as long as they use professionals as necessary.

                    The frangible pin technology is a good example of research informing design. This isn't. Or if it is, there isn't any evidence of it.

                    To me there is no requirement that they make that material easily accessable. I'm not an engineer. So having it wouldn't make a darn bit of difference to me because I would not be able to evaluate it any way. But being a lawyer....I know that they have no obligation to put that information out in the public, nor would I expect it. If you are an engineer and would like that information to make the evaluation, I would suggest contacting them directly and see if they would share it with you.

                    Maybe there is none...maybe there is...but I'm not completely surprised that it isn't out there for everyone to see. That was my point.

                    To me, this is where we need oversight from organizations such as the USEA and USEF.....before such materials are used in a rec. event, I would want the governing bodies to make sure that the proper experts have evaluated it and tested it. This may be where there is a scary hole.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                      To me, this is where we need oversight from organizations such as the USEA and USEF.....before such materials are used in a rec. event, I would want the governing bodies to make sure that the proper experts have evaluated it and tested it. This may be where there is a scary hole.
                      The Prologs people are selling SAFETY, aren't they?

                      So while maybe they aren't legally obligated to share their tech specs or engineering data or safety testing with the general public, it's not a stretch to think they might back up their claims of safety on their website or in their promotional materials. Even a FAQ would be nice.

                      What you're seeing on the USEA site is that the governing bodies are NOT doing any such oversight yet they're promoting (for free) these products on the organization website.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JER View Post
                        The Prologs people are selling SAFETY, aren't they?

                        So while maybe they aren't legally obligated to share their tech specs or engineering data or safety testing with the general public, it's not a stretch to think they might back up their claims of safety on their website or in their promotional materials. Even a FAQ would be nice.

                        What you're seeing on the USEA site is that the governing bodies are NOT doing any such oversight yet they're promoting (for free) these products on the organization website.

                        You're right.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                          I guess have a different take. I wouldn't expect a "press release" or quick news article on the USEA web site to go into engineering details.....hell, that would put many of us to sleep! I also would not expect that information on their web site. They should be allowed to make a buck on their concept without telling all their potential competitiors exactly how to go about building competing material.
                          ...


                          People ran around on the deck of the Titanic. That was also "people doing something." There is a difference between doing something and doing something correctly.

                          Here is a website for a simple safety device:

                          http://www.safewaze.com/safewaze.com...tform=HARDWARE

                          In a clear and succinct manner they convey that the device was tested and manufactured to a standard. From this I can, if I choose, investigate. Otherwise, as a layperson, I know that a SUFFICIENT amount of testing was done so I can have confidence in the product.

                          The same goes for riding helmets. By seeing that the helmet design meets ASTM F-1163 04, you can be assured that the helmet design was tested and engineered to accomplish a task.

                          Now the Pro Logs folks do not have to meet an ASTM standard (since one does not exist) so it would behoove them to present as much practical data PROVING the efficacy of safety and design as they can to justify the expense and necessity of this product.

                          This is what goes on behind the scenes in the real world every day. As an engineer/designer/materials scientist I hold them to the same standards the world holds me. That is not asking much.

                          Reed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            By the way, I know folks look at me and these posts and think "What a crabby mother.....! He isn't happy with anything!"

                            Perhaps, but if the USEF and many upper level pros are going to pin problems on amateurs (e.g. Craig Thompson's blog) and hold us to a higher, yet still UNMEASURED, standard, I sure as hell am going to reciprocate and hold them to the same standards my professional communities hold me when it comes to areas where I have a lot of understanding. I know BFNE, that you know what I speak about given your vocation. Just like you may advise us to not be our own lawyers, I advise folks not to be their own engineers, especially when other's lives come into play.

                            Is that too much to ask?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First we use it, then we test it -- the ass-backward approach to safety!
                              This is standard operating procedure in the field of horse equipment, nutraceuticals, and even a lot of modern "medical" treatments (I use the term loosely) that are not FDA regulated.

                              Sports Medicine Boots, anyone? They were sold to the tune of BILLIONS in profits for 15 years before research came out showing they did DIDDLY SQUAT. Products come along, people are eager to have "something", they buy them because they "can't hurt" and so it goes. Our desire to do something good for our horses or ourselves fuels this modern phenomenon. The also-very-human desire to make a profit drives the other side of the equation.
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                One of the problems I see, and the OP did too, in the USEA endorsing such stuff by putting "news releases" about it on the website. Tatamount to endorsement. Therein - liability.

                                Nothing wrong with innovation. Sell it if you can.

                                But associations who regulate the sport MUST regulate innovation that does/does not fall within course guidelines and to NOT do so would be negligent.

                                If a course was approved with such a fence might make the whole division legally worthless and indefensible....perhaps even the whole competition.....my goodness, the landowner should be very cautious about such things I should think. If I were the landowner or organizer, I would err on the conservative side I think.
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                  By the way, I know folks look at me and these posts and think "What a crabby mother.....! He isn't happy with anything!"

                                  Perhaps, but if the USEF and many upper level pros are going to pin problems on amateurs (e.g. Craig Thompson's blog) and hold us to a higher, yet still UNMEASURED, standard, I sure as hell am going to reciprocate and hold them to the same standards my professional communities hold me when it comes to areas where I have a lot of understanding. I know BFNE, that you know what I speak about given your vocation. Just like you may advise us to not be our own lawyers, I advise folks not to be their own engineers, especially when other's lives come into play.

                                  Is that too much to ask?

                                  hey all....let's not attack BFNE...I've already had a bad day. I wasn't supporting or being negative on this product....I know very little about it. Just saying that not putting in a lot of engineering detail in a short on line article was probably because the majority of us wouldn't understand that detail anyway. I have NO idea if there is engineering or science supporting this product. I hope that there is....but since eventing is "self-regulated" or basically unregulated....my only protection (since I'm not an engineer) would be in the USEF or USEA hopefully creating and enforcing some standards. Hopefully that has been or is being done.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                    my only protection (since I'm not an engineer) would be in the USEF or USEA hopefully creating and enforcing some standards. Hopefully that has been or is being done.
                                    Exactly! We all are on the same page just different paragraphs. Given there are no standards this product can be introduced without understanding to a potentially unsuspecting competitor. Hence, deltawave's comment.

                                    BFNE, I swear I was not attacking. I know you have your professional standards and so do engineers, doctors, vets as well as the safety industry. And it would make sense to use those systems that already exist to create a STANDARD method of approval for devices and products intended/marketed as SAFETY devices on XC.

                                    A horse that hits a stifle is not a good measure of real protection from falls/rotations. And doesn't imply anything about the safety of the product. (Did they get the vet data from the horses to see if the injury would be more severe?)

                                    Reed

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I understand your point Rayers, and I agree with you. My point is that it is positive that some people are trying to come up with a solution.
                                      From your experience it is not a good one, but it might actually to something better that works.
                                      I just don't like the 'it needs to be perfect or nothing' mentality, because it usually leads to inertia.

                                      Because of the 'press release', people can learn about this new 'product' and maybe get in touch with the company to bring some input to take the concept in the right direction ...

                                      I also understand that because it's supposed to be a safety 'device' it should be proven that it is safer before being used at shows.

                                      But I wouldn't shoot it down right away, something positive could come out of it ...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Except, we possibly have living crash test dummies (another person's comment not mine).

                                        I am not trying to shoot this porduct down but there needs to be a stringent review before use. We do this with aircraft, cars, rockets, medical devices, any product that has the potential to significantly adversely affect a person's life.

                                        I agree that positives can come from it and maybe this thread is one. Heck, I get to ramble a bit about engineering, materials selection and design as well as standards. It is almost like my undergrad class! Maybe that is not so good.

                                        I also agree that there may be subsequent incremental steps in design improvement. But if that is the case then, don't use this porduct in places where crashes are expected until they have a good idea of its response to full impact or crush, as well as environmental wear and tear (the EPS in your helmet degrades so we can expect this to do so as well), and so forth.



                                        Originally posted by mademoiselle View Post
                                        I understand your point Rayers, and I agree with you. My point is that it is positive that some people are trying to come up with a solution.
                                        From your experience it is not a good one, but it might actually to something better that works.
                                        I just don't like the 'it needs to be perfect or nothing' mentality, because it usually leads to inertia.

                                        Because of the 'press release', people can learn about this new 'product' and maybe get in touch with the company to bring some input to take the concept in the right direction ...

                                        I also understand that because it's supposed to be a safety 'device' it should be proven that it is safer before being used at shows.

                                        But I wouldn't shoot it down right away, something positive could come out of it ...

                                        Comment

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