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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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(Revised 5/9/18)
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Diann Langer's Between Rounds #MeToo #ChangeTheCulture

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  • Diann Langer's Between Rounds #MeToo #ChangeTheCulture

    In the July 2-16 issue of print COTH, Diann Langer shares some of the responses she got to her story of abuse published in COTH in April.

    I'm saddened and appalled to hear that someone so brave and so respected would be attacked by her friends and colleagues for reporting abuse she received at age 13.

    Even some of my friends of nearly 50 years tell me they no longer want to talk to me, to go away, that they are disgusted with what I have said, or it is wrong to have said anything at all. Worse even, the insistence that it isn't true.
    She follows with some very ugly details of the views expressed to her.

    No, they seem to think it will be bad for business and bad for the sport.
    Can I just say, to anyone who said this to Ms. Langer: it is obvious that this has happened and been happening in our sport. It is obvious to anyone who has seen scandals unfold in gymnastics and swimming, and it is obvious to anyone who observes how many veteran 40+ male trainers marry (or have obvious sexual relationships with) their former junior freshly of age 18 year old students... and sometimes more than once.

    That we are finally acknowledging this not only lets us ferret out the predators, but also highlight that it doesn't happen to everyone, that there are good honorable trainers and always have been; that abuse whether sexual or not of students is no more appropriate or effective than abuse of the horses.

    If you, my old friends, continue to put your head in the sand and pretend it is still the good old days and this #MeToo movement will pass, you are so very, very wrong. And if you feel the need to get out of this business because the light is just too bright for you, you should get going with much haste because it is only going to get much brighter.
    So thank you Ms. Langer. My voice is small and you don't know me, but as a rider who grew up in the LAHSA shows as a junior back in the dark ages, thank you so much for your leadership on this and so much else.

    Her original article is here:


    The Between Rounds for this month is not online as far as I can tell, but I encourage you to seek it out.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

  • #2
    If anyone wants to scan and send, I want to read. Thanks for the heads up poltroon, her original article was horrifying, but it surprises me not at all that she has received blowback from those who would have us all shut up and sit in the corner, or just kill ourselves before "embarrassing the sport."
    Let me apologize in advance.


    • Original Poster

      Also in this issue, Beth Raisin makes Langer's Between Rounds the topic of her Commentary and includes a bit of commentary on whispernet* warnings she received when she started working at the Chronicle.

      *Whispernet: the quiet, unofficial comments that go on behind the scenes, of "I don't let my friends be alone with that person."
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        After the cowardly statements to this brave woman, and the others who have come forward, does anyone question why others don't make public statements?
        You can't fix stupid-Ron White


        • #5
          poltroon, thanks for posting that link to her story in the April issues. I remember her well, she had a different last name but used to idolize her and her what would now be referred to as Grand Prix Jumper, Fleet Apple. Glad to read she has forgiven herself and found some peace in speaking out.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


          • #6
            No, you have not overstepped despite getting a little aggravated at somebody who instigated that aggravation. As we all do sometimes. Stop doubting yourself.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              Originally posted by fair judy
              SO>>>>>> guys. I rely on this community to (gently) tell me when I am out at the end of this pendulum. NOT a whiner. Worried I am being a saboteur without seeing myself in the mirror. I am SHREDDED at the comments Langer has endured..........
              Never stop talking. Never stop warning. Never stop encouraging others to come forward.
              You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Midge View Post

                Never stop talking. Never stop warning. Never stop encouraging others to come forward.
                This is too important to just second or hit like. I'd just add that your needs are as important as anyone else's, so do what helps you in this process.

                And promise that if I ever think you're going too far, I'll tell you, privately and with the greatest respect. For whatever it's worth, you're not even close.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by fair judy
                  Every time someone denies I worry that those who are still not ready will think, oh HECK no I'm keeping my mouth shut.......
                  Fair Judy, IMHO your contributions have always been a welcome contribution to the threads.

                  Everyone's afraid to speak out. When people like Diann Langer and Anne Kursinski (and you) have to face this kind of blowback even over extremely credible allegations against people who are dead, and from friends!... It kills me.

                  I can't imagine how soul-crushing it is for y'all. But I think the example you're setting is that you're emerging strong and solid on the other side, and maybe this is how we all learn who our friends... and enemies... really are.

                  As a community, we've gotten much better about speaking out against abuse of the horses. We need to also prevent abuse of the riders. We want our sport to be a place that's a healthy part of growing up.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fair judy
                    I posted this on the Steege thread. "I have to admit I had a Very Bad Night. Serves me right for "celebrating" three months into this process. I worry that I am too shrill, that I am beating the proverbial dead horse. I'm honestly having some serious self doubt as to whether I should try to step away from the boards for a while ( not sure that I CAN) . Am I using this effective conversation for selfish purposes? Is it becoming a negative for the REST who are still standing in the shadows? Every time someone denies I worry that those who are still not ready will think, oh HECK no I'm keeping my mouth shut.......I've told my story. Maybe some of the criticism is valid...... and I am not seeing the forest for the trees?"

                    SO>>>>>> guys. I rely on this community to (gently) tell me when I am out at the end of this pendulum. NOT a whiner. Worried I am being a saboteur without seeing myself in the mirror. I am SHREDDED at the comments Langer has endured..........
                    I think that it is extremely important to keep the dialogue going. I also think it is important that people are aware of the lack of support in cases where victims are speaking out, even if some decades have passed since the assault occurred. One of the biggest issues with the #metoo movement has been the lack of male support and even admission - even when everyone knew is was happening. It took a lot of women to speak up before any men stepped up in support of them.

                    In several of these cases, people have admitted to knowing that young girls and young women were being victimized, yet said nothing. That is not and never was acceptable. I think highlighting the lack of support from people when the assault is formally acknowledged and the assaulting party appropriately sanctioned shows 1. that there is still a long way to go in the Equestrian world before we get where we need to be 2. that people are often left in denial when atrocities occur and 3. that a lot of people have not yet taken the three-part SafeSport training. Any one of these people who were aware that assaults were taking place is responsible for reporting them.

                    I think one of the biggest mistakes that women often make is that we compete against each other instead of standing together in support of one another. Whether that competition happens at work, in the ring, in our personal lives, or even in forums where people often try to one-up each other or argue over different opinions. Women could be so much powerful if we stand in support of each other. I think it is helpful that you share the lack of support you are receiving, along with your frustrations, as it serves as a reminder to the rest of us to stand behind you and other victims. Imagine so many of us on this forum standing behind you like those Verizon network commercials. We may not be there in person but are there in spirit. And it's time to turn the shame away from the victim and back to where it belongs - on the assaulting party and the people who continue to defend that party.

                    I do not think you are doing any victims a disservice. I think if you gave up it might send the message that the battle isn't worth fighting when you know in your heart it is. You have a voice and you weren't able to use that voice as a child - you were restrained. But you have a voice now, and many of us are listening. You are being heard and we support you!


                    • #11
                      I just read Langer's article and searched the forum to see if anyone had addressed this appalling situation. Thank you, poltroon. Langer says that the critical reactions from some of her friends and acquaintances has made her sad. Well, I guess so; being told angrily, "I was raised better," by a critical friend would be a shocker at the very least, and I'm sure I'm not the only one whose lip curled a bit when I read that. How disturbing and unfair and ridiculous and... words fail.

                      So poltroon, thanks for starting this thread, and Diann Langer, thank you for telling your story, and the story of the aftermath of that telling. It shouldn't have to be a brave thing to do, but it is.
                      "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                      • #12
                        If that article alerts just one parent, encourages one friend to give support, or emboldens one rider to speak out. It has done its job.

                        Many thanks to Kursinski & co. and Diann.

                        And Diann's critics are not friends, they should be categorized as former acquaintances.
                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                        • #13
                          I recently had to write USEF regarding a conversation between two judges that my teens overheard while waiting for a class to start. The judges felt the #metoo movement was bogus and if you wore a short skirt, you were asking for it. Officials, on the clock. My kids were pretty upset. I wish I had heard the conversation first-hand but I'd trust these kids with my life so I trust what they said.