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  • #21
    I agree that it’s getting ridiculous.

    YMMV, but I don’t see the relationship between a trainer and student as being the same as a schoolteacher and student. Nor do I think it should be.

    I know that there have been some disgusting individuals in our sport that have taken advantage of their position of influence over kids, and I’m glad that we are raising awareness and taking action against those people. But to now make it a SafeSport violation for a 17-year-old kid to take a riding lesson from someone they’ve known for 10 years without a chaperone present is getting a little over the top (and frankly, would have really pissed off 17-year-old me!) Or to text the 16-year-old working student to bring Dobbin in for the farrier without also notifying her mom (although seemingly calling her is fine?)

    A few weeks ago the working student at my barn took some video and pictures of me riding at a combined test. She sent it to me later that day via text, and I replied back to her thanking her for it. She’s 16. I didn’t cc her mom. I guess I committed a SafeSport violation.

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    • #22
      Unfortunately I know three people who were abused by trainers that appeared to be caring adult role models. They gave the kids access to riding, and appeared to care: the (now adults) felt that if they said anything they would lose their ability to ride (which was likely true) and in their youth, didn't understand that the abuse would damage them into adulthood.

      If this saves someone from abuse, than I think it is worth potentially costing someone access to horses. Abuse is much worse than not being able to ride as a youth.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

      Comment


      • #23
        I’m curious how this impacts the high schoolers who have the unfortunate birthday to make them USEF adults during their senior year in high school. Do the rules stipulate anything about this or are they treated just as any USEF adult and can’t text their friends who are under 18 without cc’ing the parent? Technically they are adult members but they’re still high schoolers and their friends may be 17, 16, or younger...I read the new rules and it extends to amateur members, not just trainers.

        That seems rather silly to me. So I hope I’m wrong!

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        • #24

          I agree with the intention. I disagree with the application. I get that it wasn't too long ago that we didn't have social media or instant communication via texting. We CAN do it, but where is the balance?

          Originally posted by CHT View Post
          If this saves someone from abuse, than I think it is worth potentially costing someone access to horses. Abuse is much worse than not being able to ride as a youth.
          And riding 'saved' me from some of the torment of abuse. Gave me someplace away from it. Not all abuse happens at the barn.

          I'm starting to be weary of most things that sacrifice personal freedom in the name of 'safety', etc. When they say that these measures aren't stopping the abuse and they make a mandatory policy that you have to allow access to your email/social media and be monitored? What then?





          Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
          Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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          • #25
            Originally posted by blondewithchrome View Post
            I’m curious how this impacts the high schoolers who have the unfortunate birthday to make them USEF adults during their senior year in high school. Do the rules stipulate anything about this or are they treated just as any USEF adult and can’t text their friends who are under 18 without cc’ing the parent? Technically they are adult members but they’re still high schoolers and their friends may be 17, 16, or younger...I read the new rules and it extends to amateur members, not just trainers.

            That seems rather silly to me. So I hope I’m wrong!
            They did make an allowance of sorts for junior riders who age out, I believe they are allowed to send messages to other riders between the ages of 14-18 and those under 14 if they’re on a team together, or something along those lines, as long as they remain amateurs and aren’t in a “position of power” over the other kids.

            A Romeo and Juliet law for text messages, essentially.

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by ToughShet View Post

              The 21-17 age gap could just as easily be a recipe for trouble. In my non-horse life, when I was sexually assaulted, it was by someone I trusted who was just a few years older. So if we're able to make it more difficult for people to get into dangerous situations, why wouldn't we?

              As others have said, these rules are status quo for people who work with youth in other fields. I am a staff member at a university and we have strict rules about codes of conduct when anyone interacts with a student — and there are still problems in higher education, as I'm sure you all know.

              I'd rather err on the side of caution than set up a situation where a young person winds up becoming a victim because it's too much of a hassle to follow these guidelines.
              So a teen and a young adult can’t be friends because some people are shitty, nasty people?
              I don’t want to live in a world where we are all constantly thinking the worst of each other.

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              • #27
                I’m amazed that I was able to ride multiple ponies for my trainer as well as my own every day of the week after school and then show all of them every weekend for ten years without a single text message or Facebook IM sent between us. I was at the barn every day so we talked about it in person (there was no internet back then).

                Seriously are trainers today really spending their days sending social media/text messages to their minor clients? If that’s the case then these guidelines are clearly necessary.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
                  I’m amazed that I was able to ride multiple ponies for my trainer as well as my own every day of the week after school and then show all of them every weekend for ten years without a single text message or Facebook IM sent between us. I was at the barn every day so we talked about it in person (there was no internet back then).

                  Seriously are trainers today really spending their days sending social media/text messages to their minor clients? If that’s the case then these guidelines are clearly necessary.
                  Were you ever alone with the trainer, without a parent there? Because with the new policies, trainers shouldn’t even be talking to anyone under 18 without a parent/adult present to chaperone.

                  Yes, it’s possible to communicate without text messages and social media, but it’s a fact that that’s how many people do communicate these days. That doesn’t mean trainers are “spending their days” sending texts to minors for no good reason, it just means that for many people it’s an easy and efficient way to communicate. And I would argue that it’s a safer way to communicate because it can be documented exactly what was said.

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                  • #29
                    As neither a child or a parent or a coach, so no game in the fight, I'm a little astonished at the backlash this is getting. I even saw some comments stating that this would completely undermine the future of barn rats and horsemanship... Really? Ten, fifteen years ago there wasn't social media/texting. I highly doubt this.

                    I lean more towards agreeing with the new wave, then not. It is not saying that adults have to unfriend Facebook friends, they can't comment "Great Job" on a Photo, or even coach their kids in-person, etc. And in the grand scheme, will a coach come under fire for texting their 18yo working pupil "Bring Horse Y to the ring?" I mean, they should follow the rules, but no.

                    But, the rules do highlight the prevalent issue and harm that can come from junior riders having no supervision with one adult who has the ability to do harm. Juniors, Parents, and Trainers now have to make some effort to be more transparent with communication. I think the extra effort to be transparent to err on the side of caution isn't too much of a hassle.

                    Not even in sexual scenarios, but just in erring on transparency aren't we all more likely to use manners, hold-back frustrations, and show a better side of ourselves when we're in public? Hand raised. Just loop in another adult. That's it.

                    I can understand the frustration because we've all in some ways grown-up in this industry where as barn rats we spent our summers at the barn with our coach who could have either been our biggest hero/role model/confidant, and now SafeSport seems to be saying this type of relationship isn't right. I don't think it has to be taken that way. To me, it's more trying to direct the industry, or at least illuminate there is an adult to child relationship here, and this is significantly different and should be than an adult to adult relationship as one, the minor, can be easily influenced/not legal to make decisions/etc.

                    Think of any other professional in an industry. If your 4th Graders' teacher was texting your child outside of school hours about their crush, as a culture we would probably find that odd or inappropriate. But, then at 14 I was venting to my riding coach about the same thing. It certainly didn't feel harmful then, and I'm not saying it was. But, you can start to see that, "Hey, as an industry we've grown so accustom to this barn-coach-junior rider culture that is actually fairly different than a lot of other sport industries. Why is this? Is this culture completely harmless? No. Are there maybe more cases than we'd like to admit of bullying/harrassment sexual or not occuring? Probably " It's not a comfortable discussion. If we could pluck out every ill-trainer, and leave the great role-models that do make up so much of the industry that would be nice. We can't do that. We also can't keep all predators away from kids. But, I think by offering up new rules, which is now causing a greater conversation, it's opening up the communication lines that as an industry, we have some stuff to deal with.
                    Last edited by AskMyAccountant.17; May. 31, 2019, 01:17 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I saw a Facebook post today from a young rider talking about how these new rules will effect her. I feel bad for her and those like her who may no be able to ride because of this.

                      I am still a younger rider and it wasn’t that many years ago I was a junior. I just think about all the things I did as a WS that this SafeSport regulation will make ‘illegal’.
                      - My mom would have gotten really fed up with having to see every text message between me and my trainers. Yes, conversations between an adult and a teen can be totally normal and benign. Our text messages were about grain and lesson times.
                      - If my mom/dad had to be there every time I had a lesson, that would be a PITA
                      - I regularly rode in the truck with just my trainer when trailering horses. This is pretty normal for any WS.
                      - IMing trainers on Facebook is the norm now. Most of us buy horses on Facebook, and you send the trainer info on the horse through Facebook.

                      I read through the Rules going into effect on the 1st. I really urge everyone too. It goes as far as to say that we have to leave the blinds open in the tack room now

                      Now, I just want to add I do not think the previous regulations are enough. But I also don’t think this was the solution. I think this will just end up hurting those who aren’t actually doing anything wrong. We need to come up with a solution that stops the abuse without punishing the rest of the trainers out there.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        It also appears to me, any coach/trainer could just have parents sign a disclosure agreement by the guardians of their working pupils/students. This is already supposed to be done for rider liability. A YR cant sign a rider liabilty form, a guardian has to sign as well now anyways. But in a disclosure agreement have parents sign off Kid may have private lessons, may travel with coach, be contacted pertaining to Pony's well-being, etc. etc. You may find that this is the first time a parent and coach even have a discussion via, oh hey I actually do want to be cc'ed on communication, do want an adult present, etc.

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                        • #32
                          I'm worried about a new generation of 18 year old young adults who have had mom/dad included in every conversation they've ever had with an adult. From a maturity standpoint, I worry about the ability to manage their own schedule and have adult conversations. From a sexual abuse standpoint, I worry about them not being able to recognize a perfectly normal one-on-one interaction and a situation where red flags should be going up. The threat of sexual harassment doesn't go away on your 18th birthday.

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                          • #33
                            I am a parent of a teen who rides, a former pony club DC, and an active competitor who was a working student as a teen. I’m also an attorney with some experience in civil rights/employment law. I think many aspects of the Safe Sport rules are seriously problematic and unnecessary. They create potential liability where there is no real basis, limit opportunities for teens, create an atmosphere of paranoia, and infantilize teens. They don’t just apply to social media, if taken literally they mean a high school senior should never be unsupervised with an unrelated adult, even for a lesson. It seriously limits their ability to work as a working student, or take responsibility for the care of their horse. My teen is fully capable of driving themself to their lesson, and I don’t need to supervise every communication or lesson. My mother didn’t even have a car when I was a working student, and my trainer acted as a trusted mentor as well as driving me to all the shows I would have had to miss otherwise. This rule also assumes that parents don’t have jobs and don’t have anything to do except supervise and micromanage their teens, and I don’t think it will do much to increase actual safety.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Midge View Post

                              The parent is preferred but It can be any other adult. So the trainer and the assistant trainer can be the group.
                              Wasn't that exactly the deal with Paterno and the assistant coach in the college sex abuse case?
                              kenyagirl

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by kenyarider View Post

                                Wasn't that exactly the deal with Paterno and the assistant coach in the college sex abuse case?
                                No.
                                *****
                                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

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                                • #36
                                  Why do trainers have to text/contact minors or any student on a regular basis? That seems odd in and of itself. Seriously, people managed to communicate with their trainers before cell phones and Facebook. I mean do you really need to be in constant communication with your coach?

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Once again we are punishing everyone else and doing nothing to actually stop predators. It's like you have 8 horses, 7 of them respond perfectly to a snaffle and one likes to bolt in a snaffle so you put a big gag on all of them and the one that bolts just learns to further evade
                                    Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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                                    • #38
                                      It’s not just about texting and social media.

                                      Minors now can’t be with unrelated adults without supervision ... so a 17-year-old needs a chaperone in order to have a riding lesson, a 16-year-old working student can’t work in the barn with the trainer or ride in the truck with them to horse shows, unless another adult (preferably parent) is there.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                                        Why do trainers have to text/contact minors or any student on a regular basis? That seems odd in and of itself. Seriously, people managed to communicate with their trainers before cell phones and Facebook. I mean do you really need to be in constant communication with your coach?
                                        I am old and very much remember a time before cell phones, internet and most certainly social media. But even I can totally see that texting and social media are a plus in the relationship between a trainer and their students (of all ages).

                                        Saying we managed to communicate before these things does not change the fact that these things are how people communicate now.

                                        And heck, being able to text Suzy-Junior Working Student up at the barn that things are running ahead of schedule so please bring Dobbin to the ring now instead of having to send someone up to the barn to verbally tell Suzy is a good thing. Suzy can easily text back "dressage saddle today or jumping?".




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                                        • #40
                                          I was a working student for my entire junior career. With these new SafeSport rules, I never would have been able to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities that I had.

                                          I support the premise of SafeSport, but IMO, these latest rules are just another example of how rules that may be applicable to team sports (like lacrosse, hockey, really anything where your teammates are just other people and not a living, breathing animal that depends on you) do not translate well to this sport.
                                          https://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628

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