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  • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post
    ...............
    At what point are we ready to decide that our sport and community at large is better off if we just support and encourage coaches to be good, professional coaches, and stop lionizing this extra special, extra curricular aspect of it all, which turns the coach into a mentor/close friend/confidant of the minor athlete? Because it’s really only one more step to go from that sort of relationship, to an emotionally and sexually inappropriate relationship.

    And yes... I am aware of the benefits of barn rat and working student positions. I think these positions and situations can continue... coaches should simply follow MAAP guidelines, and be professional. It’s not complicated. Coaches who choose not to, and who continue to have these intense, mentoring, extra close relationships with students? People really need to pause and ask themselves why an adult is doing that. Good professionals should be far too busy for that sort of thing, and should be primarily interested in spending free personal time related to friendships and romantic relationships with their own adult peers. Not minors who are also students.
    THIS. Every word. ^^^^^^^^

    I'm all for healthy mentoring relationships. They are invaluable life experience. They capture knowledge and learning that is never scribed into any book.

    But when did horse trainers come to be seen as providers of supplemental parenting? How are they qualified to fulfill that role? Just from questions trainers have posted on COTH about this or that issue with a child student, it's not a default assumption that trainers have the background and child-teacher education to guide children through life in a way that a child would understand.

    One of the best role-model examples a pro trainer can offer to their young students is professional behavior and standards. Including appropriate professional relationships and boundaries with each type of client they have in their program. And conducting themselves professionally at shows, organizational gatherings, and other contacts with the horse community while the student/client is present.

    That would be a good thing to be promoting and encouraging in the horse world. Hopefully it's not a stretch.

    Comment


    • All of this fundraising and the accusations of unfairness seem to me to be in anticipation of trouble, coming for either the people involved or for their friends.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
        Heard something today that offers a little more clarity, to me, anyway ...

        It's the difference between asking the accuser:

        "How did you come to be in a relationship with GM when you were so young?"
        vs. asking
        "What did GM do to encourage and develop this relationship with you when you were so young?"

        Even those skeptics / deniers who admit there was a relationship do not seem to want to ask the second question.

        That's a problem. Because it is the adult who has to take the responsibility for a relationship with a minor.

        An insistence on putting even part of the onus for the relationship onto the minor is a major gap in their discussion. A gap that they seem to have no intention of trying to bridge. That is stopping any meaningful reconciliation of the two sides, no matter what is done with SafeSport.
        To me, these questions are not necessary. The question to the accused, "Did you have a relationship with this minor?" If the answer is yes. End of story. The other questions are great for gathering information on the tactics used to manipulate or groom the minor, but the reasons are not necessary to determine if the accusations are valid.

        I agree the adult is the one to take responsibility. I don't care how much a minor flirts or "throws themselves" at an adult. The answer is no. If married and someone throws themselves at you, the answer is no. If you are a trainer and your student pursues you, then answer is No. If your employee comes on to you, the answer is No. If your employer comes on to you, the answer is No.
        Last edited by Keep it Simple; Dec. 6, 2019, 09:47 PM.

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        • I had an AA show judge take me to his hotel room when I was 16. At that point in my life I thought that was AWESOME. I now know it was not ok on so many levels. I never told anyone until after he died in a car crash because, yes, I still think it was my fault. I am 53 now fwiw
          "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
          carolprudm

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          • Oh, and for those that are going to say :where were your parents??" My widowed mom was working 24/7 so I could afford to show
            "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
            carolprudm

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            • Originally posted by mroades View Post
              Oh, and for those that are going to say :where were your parents??" My widowed mom was working 24/7 so I could afford to show
              Indeed. And it bums me out that we want to find someone else to blame-- if not the trashy victim then his or her trashy parents, but never the perp.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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              • Originally posted by mroades View Post
                I had an AA show judge take me to his hotel room when I was 16. At that point in my life I thought that was AWESOME. I now know it was not ok on so many levels. I never told anyone until after he died in a car crash because, yes, I still think it was my fault. I am 53 now fwiw
                It is NEVER your fault. I think that is another way predators assault their victims. They put the blame on the victims. I am so sorry you went through this.

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                • Originally posted by mroades View Post
                  I had an AA show judge take me to his hotel room when I was 16. At that point in my life I thought that was AWESOME. I now know it was not ok on so many levels. I never told anyone until after he died in a car crash because, yes, I still think it was my fault. I am 53 now fwiw
                  It wouldn't be your fault if you stripped down naked, broke into the room and put the adult's hands on you. It is ALWAYS on the adult's hands to stop an inappropriate situation or relationship from developing.

                  I have seen the victim blaming over and over that these teens are really going to go off and try to get the adult trainers caught up in these situations. It's bullshit. The adult is the one with the responsibility to not allow any inappropriate situation with a minor. Period. Full stop. The adult is to blame. End of story.

                  What part of don't be alone with a minor is so difficult? I was a full on barn rat from the mid 80s to early 90s. I slept over at another student's house. I was in my trainers house, went out to eat with my trainer, and went to shows with my trainer. I was never ALONE. There was always either another student, or a boarder, or another trainer, or SOMEBODY there. I was very close to my trainer and her husband. I spent more time there than waking hours at home probably, but even back in that time.... there was never a clandestine private relationship of any kind that could have happened. I don't think they were even trying to guard against it, they just weren't pedophiles, they were running a business and even though I was close to them, they treated our relationship appropriately as a minor student.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jenerationx View Post

                    It wouldn't be your fault if you stripped down naked, broke into the room and put the adult's hands on you. It is ALWAYS on the adult's hands to stop an inappropriate situation or relationship from developing.

                    I have seen the victim blaming over and over that these teens are really going to go off and try to get the adult trainers caught up in these situations. It's bullshit. The adult is the one with the responsibility to not allow any inappropriate situation with a minor. Period. Full stop. The adult is to blame. End of story.

                    What part of don't be alone with a minor is so difficult? I was a full on barn rat from the mid 80s to early 90s. I slept over at another student's house. I was in my trainers house, went out to eat with my trainer, and went to shows with my trainer. I was never ALONE. There was always either another student, or a boarder, or another trainer, or SOMEBODY there. I was very close to my trainer and her husband. I spent more time there than waking hours at home probably, but even back in that time.... there was never a clandestine private relationship of any kind that could have happened. I don't think they were even trying to guard against it, they just weren't pedophiles, they were running a business and even though I was close to them, they treated our relationship appropriately as a minor student.
                    I could not have said it better myself

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                    • I'm guessing that these groups issue is the fact that Safe Sport is hearing from people that have been molested in the past. It's unfortunate that I have to guess but there it is. They will not give specifics.

                      The only thing I hear is "it happened a long time ago", which leads me to believe that they are very worried about the past catching up to them and/or their friends.

                      The people that are so vehemently opposed to Safe Sport really can't come right out and say that they think adults behaving inappropriately with minors is OK, but they really are saying that as long as you molested a kid a long time ago it's OK now.

                      I wonder if any of them realize how truly awful they look.

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                      • What is quite interesting is the comment that one trainer said to me "the way these kids act and dress; they just throw themselves at the trainers. They ask for it" . These trainers are fathers, brothers sons and above all adults. If they do not know how to defuse the situation then they best get help. Letting the situation escalate is just a joke.

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                        • Originally posted by Dinah-do View Post
                          What is quite interesting is the comment that one trainer said to me "the way these kids act and dress; they just throw themselves at the trainers. They ask for it" . These trainers are fathers, brothers sons and above all adults. If they do not know how to defuse the situation then they best get help. Letting the situation escalate is just a joke.
                          In other words the trainers in question are the kind of people who only need someone to suggest they break a rule or commit a crime, and they are helpless to resist. Great.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by skydy View Post

                            In other words the trainers in question are the kind of people who only need someone to suggest they break a rule or commit a crime, and they are helpless to resist. Great.
                            I have interviewed a number of well-known riders / trainers on the topic of SafeSport. Imagine my shock when of them told me the issue was not with trainers, but with parents who didn’t teach their daughters not to be “little Lolitas who showed up at the barn half dressed.” I told them my daughter could show up at the barn stark naked, and it still wouldn’t give her adult trainer (or anyone) the right to sexually assault her.

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                            • How horrible that adult males are having to start behaving like ADULTS and show restraint. Men are not helpless animals who lack any and all control when it comes to a teenager coming onto them. Grow up and keep your pants on it's not that difficult. The time has passed where men can claim that they are helpless to the wiles of teenagers whether or not they "dress like Lolitas and throw themselves" at them.
                              Last edited by Capall; Dec. 8, 2019, 12:16 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dinah-do View Post
                                What is quite interesting is the comment that one trainer said to me "the way these kids act and dress; they just throw themselves at the trainers. They ask for it" . These trainers are fathers, brothers sons and above all adults. If they do not know how to defuse the situation then they best get help. Letting the situation escalate is just a joke.
                                THIS. Although it was some years ago, I remember being a teenaged girl quite well. Teenagers generally want nothing more than to be seen as "grown-ups" with all that entails. They sometimes do things that they don't quite grasp the significance/danger of, which is why the legal onus of not having sex with teenagers is ON ADULTS. The very law recognizes that teenagers don't always make good decisions and adults should know better.

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                                • Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                  I'm guessing that these groups issue is the fact that Safe Sport is hearing from people that have been molested in the past. It's unfortunate that I have to guess but there it is. They will not give specifics.

                                  The only thing I hear is "it happened a long time ago", which leads me to believe that they are very worried about the past catching up to them and/or their friends.

                                  The people that are so vehemently opposed to Safe Sport really can't come right out and say that they think adults behaving inappropriately with minors is OK, but they really are saying that as long as you molested a kid a long time ago it's OK now.

                                  I wonder if any of them realize how truly awful they look.
                                  I agree. With RG they tried to say that it was a 17 year old girlfriend when he was 18. Nope. 5 women went public debunking that. Hilary Ridland was13 when he was in his mid 20’s. The four other women were 14-16 as he was approaching 30. Someone who does that has a serious problem. It’s not something they ”grow out of”. The likelihood that a trainer had one single “relationship” with an underage girl and never did it again, while not impossible, is unlikely. By the way, if it was only one and 40 years ago, it’s not likely to result in a Safesport ban.

                                  In the case with which I have first hand experience, the trainer was involved with multiple underage students in the past. No one wanted to believe they were still at it. Then I came across a recent photo of the trainer having inappropriate contact with a 14 year old. A number of people, including me, had seen this photo without really seeing it. It was shocking. The really bad actors, don’t stop at one and they don’t change.

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                                  • Originally posted by oneequestrienne View Post
                                    The really bad actors, don’t stop at one and they don’t change.
                                    Exactly. The only way it stops is to completely remove them from any situation where they have access to their preferred pool of victims. THAT is why we need Safe Sport. The sport has been unwilling or unable to eradicate the monsters without it.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by BigMama1 View Post

                                      I have interviewed a number of well-known riders / trainers on the topic of SafeSport. Imagine my shock when of them told me the issue was not with trainers, but with parents who didn’t teach their daughters not to be “little Lolitas who showed up at the barn half dressed.” I told them my daughter could show up at the barn stark naked, and it still wouldn’t give her adult trainer (or anyone) the right to sexually assault her.
                                      Wow. Your response was perfect! I have yet to see a company market riding bikinis, but even if that were the case.... there is no excuse whatsoever for an adult to engage in sexual activity of any kind with a minor. It disgusts me to know that there are trainers who would put that onus on the children.

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                                      • Originally posted by Keep it Simple View Post

                                        To me, these questions are not necessary. The question to the accused, "Did you have a relationship with this minor?" If the answer is yes. End of story. The other questions are great for gathering information on the tactics used to manipulate or groom the minor, but the reasons are not necessary to determine if the accusations are valid.

                                        I agree the adult is the one to take responsibility. I don't care how much a minor flirts or "throws themselves" at an adult. The answer is no. If married and someone throws themselves at you, the answer is no. If you are a trainer and your student pursues you, then answer is No. If your employee comes on to you, the answer is No. If your employer comes on to you, the answer is No.
                                        Your points are good, other than that they misinterpreted the point that I was making.

                                        As I noted in my post, it is the skeptics/deniers who are challenging the accusers with Question #1. They ask the question that assumes the minor is a significant part of developing the relationship. But Question #2 is what they should be asking - how did GM invite, encourage and develop this relationship?

                                        You are right that it shouldn't be necessary to ask any of that. But when they get the chance they are asking nonetheless - if they acknowledge there is a relationship at all.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Jenerationx View Post

                                          Exactly. The only way it stops is to completely remove them from any situation where they have access to their preferred pool of victims. THAT is why we need Safe Sport. The sport has been unwilling or unable to eradicate the monsters without it.
                                          Yep, and a further question just for thought ...

                                          Context of question: Larry Nasser was involved with gymnastics not because he loved gymnastics, but because of the opportunity it gave him to access many victims over many years. Once the investigation was really underway Larry Nasser didn't always have correct answers to the technical/medical questions posed by those who were truly experts in the field. Larry Nasser was never the person he pretended to be to the gymnastics community. He was just a good self-promoter and groomer.

                                          So, for at least some of the horse professionals being outed ...
                                          -- Did they molest young students because they are horse trainers with a problem of inappropriate relationships?
                                          -- Or are they pedophiles who found that being good with horses gave them access to vulnerable youngsters, within a community that preferred denial? (re gymnastics)

                                          What's important about the question for a suspicious situation that comes up at some future time ...
                                          -- Should we try to school said adult (trainer or otherwise) on showing more restraint and professionalism, and stop there?
                                          -- Or should we recognize a pedophile for what they are and go from there?

                                          Some people ask about the old cases, "why didn't LE and the courts take action when this inappropriate/illegal relationship happened 20-30 years ago?" Aside from LE/courts not being very available for such issues at the time, it could also be that no one thought in terms of "pedophile", or that there might have been more than one situation like this one. They just wanted the trainer to keep their hands to themselves and everyone carry on showing horses as before. They never identified the big picture (re the shock at generations of victims coming forward).

                                          I think any time we are aware of an inappropriate relationship between an adult and a minor, we need to consider that possibly this is not the only one that has occurred over the adult's history. It may not be a matter of doing what we can to fix this one situation. It may well be in order to have the appropriate authority conduct a wider investigation.

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