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Depo Deaths - Chronicle Article

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  • I’m amused how depo to help a dangerous mare is okay but not a gelding when it appears it has no effect on estrus and acts more like Xanax.

    While I disagree with giving it to a horse so it can win rather than just pin, it has its uses for those horses who clearly can live a happier, less stressful, existence.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post


      Edit: Actually, this brings up a point. Do people disclose the horse is on medroxy in a sales ad, or to a potential buyer? That would be a huge red flag for me.
      In a sales ad? No. But certainly it would/should come up during a trial/vetting. We don't use it but we would disclose if we did along with anything else. People also pull blood during vettings. You also need to disclose to the USEF if you're showing a horse while using it. I don't think people are "hiding" anything. Some people use it and are comfortable with it. Some people don't. All good either way as long as everyone is aware.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

        Derail time, which is my specialty...

        Largely, I think this is the case for WP, because I don't think it looks or even is natural. That said, about a year and a half ago I broke out a 3 year old that was WP bred, got him going ok, then passed him back off to his owner (boards at the same barn). He's a great rider, very versed in the show ring for WP, hunt seat, and showmanship. I *know* this horse isn't drugged, and I *know* he hasn't been hobbled to go that way, and lo and behold... that horse just moves in that slo-mo way the WP horses go.

        I didn't even explore it while I was breaking him. He was a sensitive, off balance, easily offended dude, so I just focused on forward forward forward. Once he was over the silly baby crap and they moved out of the sidepull into the bosal - fast forward 1.5 years and that little guy is winning local everything. I just rode him again the other night - pulled him out of the stall, saddled, got on - no lunging or anything. Not my cup of tea, but it can be done with pure training. (WAY too much work to go so SLOW, haha)

        I've broken out my fair share, but to be honest, this was the first purely WP bred horse I broke out. I don't know if that is normal for them to go like that when bred correctly or not.

        It did, however, open my eyes that not all of them are drugged into oblivion to move and act that way. And this horse is a rising 5 year old! Can't imagine what he will be like when he's finished.

        As an aside, it's fun to try showmanship with my hot TB mare, with this guy's instruction. "wait, which side should I be on again?" My mare thinks it's the dumbest thing ever.
        I, too, have met a few of these purpose-bred WP horses. Yes, much of that super-slo mo is natural. It surprised me.

        But that doesn't quite touch the point. The point is that for everyone one of these superb, natural WP horses or "WP over fences" lovely, lovely hunters, there are many that are those horses "getting B+s and knocking on the door of an A-." They are a little cheaper than those really top horses, but someone is still spending *significant* money to purchase, show and complete those guys. And they want a piece of the action. If you were "knocking on the door" of winning among the really big dogs, and you were already spending more than many people earn in a year on your sport, wouldn't you be tempted to use what was legal or didn't test to help get you there? After all, you paid in plenty of time, money and effort to get there. You love your horse and really don't want to lunge him to death, so the chemical path looks appealing.

        I don't know if the WP horse you rode was one of those Exceedingly Good horses whose selective breeding alone got him to the show ring ideal, or whether he's a Pretty Good version. But I'm willing to bet that there are way, way more horses and people in that "pretty good... have put in a lot.... want to be competitive.... can't afford to buy the natural-born winner" out there. And I think those folks are probably the majority of the people using non-testable quieting aids in the hunter ring.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
          I’m amused how depo to help a dangerous mare is okay but not a gelding when it appears it has no effect on estrus and acts more like Xanax.

          While I disagree with giving it to a horse so it can win rather than just pin, it has its uses for those horses who clearly can live a happier, less stressful, existence.
          I'll leave the non-showing horse issue alone, but I can see why the USEF can't allow better rounds through chemistry.

          I can accept the explanation offered for marginall, the owner of the dangerous mare. But that's not one I'd own, ride or breed. I don't think that marginall has said she'd breed this one, rather she's riding what she's got and trying to be as safe as she can about that. But I'd argue against the notion of making "ride it... with drugs" into an acceptable cultural norm precisely so that we do insist on breeding better-minded horses. You have to keep that bar high because there are a lot of people with lovely, well-pedigreed horses who don't have what the market needs between the ears. The offspring of those horses have a hard, hard time in this world and, IMO, should not be created.

          But to get back to the show world for a minute.... Lots of owners and trainers who really do like their horses also use chemistry with the intention of helping their horses live "happier, less stressful" lives..... while on the circuit. And the circuit has become a hard place for a campaigner to live, let alone perform in the focused, relaxed way we want the hunters to go. But I don't see anyone suggesting that we ease back on that throttle, rather than expecting trainers to just "do what it takes" to keep these horses going and winning.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • Bingo mvp. And I don’t mean the troll kind
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

            Comment


            • Oh, and a PS. This might not just be about Millionaires trying to win against Billionaires.

              I can count a few trainers with clients who "just want to go to the show with the rest of the barn" and not need to win. Sometimes, this means going down to WEF and sometimes this means going to a HITS or even more local show. Either way, those shows are akin to a bucket list item and a bit of a reach for the client and her horse. She does not expect to win or to ribbon. But she just wants to go a fancy show or two.

              The hard part is that that show is A Lot for her horse and, most likely, for her. Have y'all seen the schooling rings at WEF? That seems the hardest part of the whole damn horse show to me.

              So *this* client needs to be managed in this "big step up" environment, If she's not the kind of rider who has the mind and experience to be able to Man Up and really own her ride in these battle field conditions, she's going to need her horse to help her out and be just as rideable as he is at home or at a quieter show. And where would he get that? I can see why a trainer would want to "intervene" with whatever tool she has left in her tool box, even if that's chemical, because she has gotten to the bottom of what the horse and rider can do to step up.... and the client still wants to go.... and this is how the pro makes her living... and this is how modern showing is going because there aren't credible, fun B and C circuits to attend anymore.... and even if there were, the pro can't have two strings of show horses to go the big- and little showing that her array of clients need.

              I think this happens all.the.time.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                Oh, and a PS. This might not just be about Millionaires trying to win against Billionaires.

                I can count a few trainers with clients who "just want to go to the show with the rest of the barn" and not need to win. Sometimes, this means going down to WEF and sometimes this means going to a HITS or even more local show. Either way, those shows are akin to a bucket list item and a bit of a reach for the client and her horse. She does not expect to win or to ribbon. But she just wants to go a fancy show or two.

                The hard part is that that show is A Lot for her horse and, most likely, for her. Have y'all seen the schooling rings at WEF? That seems the hardest part of the whole damn horse show to me.

                So *this* client needs to be managed in this "big step up" environment, If she's not the kind of rider who has the mind and experience to be able to Man Up and really own her ride in these battle field conditions, she's going to need her horse to help her out and be just as rideable as he is at home or at a quieter show. And where would he get that? I can see why a trainer would want to "intervene" with whatever tool she has left in her tool box, even if that's chemical, because she has gotten to the bottom of what the horse and rider can do to step up.... and the client still wants to go.... and this is how the pro makes her living... and this is how modern showing is going because there aren't credible, fun B and C circuits to attend anymore.... and even if there were, the pro can't have two strings of show horses to go the big- and little showing that her array of clients need.

                I think this happens all.the.time.
                I agree with this, and hadn't worded it (internally or externally) as eloquently as you did.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                  I, too, have met a few of these purpose-bred WP horses. Yes, much of that super-slo mo is natural. It surprised me.

                  But that doesn't quite touch the point. The point is that for everyone one of these superb, natural WP horses or "WP over fences" lovely, lovely hunters, there are many that are those horses "getting B+s and knocking on the door of an A-." They are a little cheaper than those really top horses, but someone is still spending *significant* money to purchase, show and complete those guys. And they want a piece of the action. If you were "knocking on the door" of winning among the really big dogs, and you were already spending more than many people earn in a year on your sport, wouldn't you be tempted to use what was legal or didn't test to help get you there? After all, you paid in plenty of time, money and effort to get there. You love your horse and really don't want to lunge him to death, so the chemical path looks appealing.

                  I don't know if the WP horse you rode was one of those Exceedingly Good horses whose selective breeding alone got him to the show ring ideal, or whether he's a Pretty Good version. But I'm willing to bet that there are way, way more horses and people in that "pretty good... have put in a lot.... want to be competitive.... can't afford to buy the natural-born winner" out there. And I think those folks are probably the majority of the people using non-testable quieting aids in the hunter ring.
                  I have no idea whether I was on a good or bad one. I was primarily focused on getting him moving forward because he was balky and not the easiest fella I've broken out. (He also had this bizarro issue where if he had to poop he would get extra nasty - I hope he worked that out by now because it wasn't fully resolved when I handed him back over haha). I know he looks the part, and was never mistreated to get him to move in that strange way the WP horses do.

                  Comment


                  • So instead of using compounded injectable Medroxyprogesterone ...can’t Regumate be used instead? Can Regumate be used on geldings for the same reason/purpose as the medroxyprogesferone?? Injectable Altrenogest ..is that Safe?? ...or what about those implants from back in the day ?? ...anyone have experience with Positude from the makers of Ulceeraser ?? It’s labeled as a safe alternative to Depo??
                    R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ladipus View Post
                      So instead of using compounded injectable Medroxyprogesterone ...can’t Regumate be used instead? Can Regumate be used on geldings for the same reason/purpose as the medroxyprogesferone?? Injectable Altrenogest ..is that Safe?? ...or what about those implants from back in the day ?? ...anyone have experience with Positude from the makers of Ulceeraser ?? It’s labeled as a safe alternative to Depo??
                      I have all of these same questions.

                      And come on you guys, Depo doesn’t make the horse a doped up zombie. It just doesn’t. My horse still has plenty of personality and opinions and temper tantrums. It does keep him from feeling the need to go teeth bared and front feet flailing at other horses. It might make him less reactive to some things because he is not obsessing about protecting the herd so much but I don’t know, I have put many many hours of training into him on the spooky reactiveness before using Depo. It might help an already naturally quiet horse deal with certain issues. Hormones are complicated but this is not a sedative.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                        I'll leave the non-showing horse issue alone, but I can see why the USEF can't allow better rounds through chemistry.

                        I can accept the explanation offered for marginall, the owner of the dangerous mare. But that's not one I'd own, ride or breed. I don't think that marginall has said she'd breed this one, rather she's riding what she's got and trying to be as safe as she can about that. But I'd argue against the notion of making "ride it... with drugs" into an acceptable cultural norm precisely so that we do insist on breeding better-minded horses. You have to keep that bar high because there are a lot of people with lovely, well-pedigreed horses who don't have what the market needs between the ears. The offspring of those horses have a hard, hard time in this world and, IMO, should not be created.

                        But to get back to the show world for a minute.... Lots of owners and trainers who really do like their horses also use chemistry with the intention of helping their horses live "happier, less stressful" lives..... while on the circuit. And the circuit has become a hard place for a campaigner to live, let alone perform in the focused, relaxed way we want the hunters to go. But I don't see anyone suggesting that we ease back on that throttle, rather than expecting trainers to just "do what it takes" to keep these horses going and winning.

                        Completely agree. I was speaking about horses with legitimate issues and don’t think it should be mares vs geldings. I’m also not speaking to horses needing it to show, just horses that need may need it in everyday life.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ladipus View Post
                          So instead of using compounded injectable Medroxyprogesterone ...can’t Regumate be used instead? Can Regumate be used on geldings for the same reason/purpose as the medroxyprogesferone?? Injectable Altrenogest ..is that Safe?? ...or what about those implants from back in the day ?? ...anyone have experience with Positude from the makers of Ulceeraser ?? It’s labeled as a safe alternative to Depo??
                          It is illegal to use Altrenogest in geldings or stallions.

                          Comment


                          • The idea of correct breeding, starting, riding, and showng every horse so that it has no quirks or potentially dangerous issues is nonsense. Every horse trainer knows that some horses just aren't going to "make it". Square peg in round hole. Some of those horses do get closer to fitting in the round hole with chemical help. And some owners won't or can't go through the mental and financial trauma of finding another mount until…so unfortunately folks are put in the position of what to do.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post


                              Completely agree. I was speaking about horses with legitimate issues and don’t think it should be mares vs geldings. I’m also not speaking to horses needing it to show, just horses that need may need it in everyday life.
                              I’m just asking about geldings because that’s what I was giving Depo to ...my mares don’t need anything luckily ...but I’ve got 2 geldings ...one exhibits stallion like behavior and can be spooky...the other is extremely herd bound ...the Depo takes the edge off both and they seem to have less stress and anxiety overall in genaral daily life
                              R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Tackpud View Post

                                It is illegal to use Altrenogest in geldings or stallions.
                                So regumate then is illegal ?? I thought it has been used in stallions?
                                R.I.P. "Henry" 4/22/05 - 3/26/2010 We loved you so much....gone but NEVER FORGOTTEN...i hope we meet again

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                                  I have been around numerous geldings that were gelded late, some even after being breeding stallions. Funny how in the western world they all seem to stop their stallion-like behavior without the need of Depo...
                                  Coming out of the AQHA world in my late teens I used to think the differences in behaviour between the western and English worlds were all due expectations and consistent discipline. Then I got a stereotypical hot, anxious OTTB who also met aggression with aggression. After several years I finally accepted there was more to it than tough love training, and there can be a big difference between horses bred to be quiet and those bred for other qualities.

                                  Some ofthese horses may just need an attitude adjustment. Some are fundamentally hotter, more aggressive horses.

                                  FTR, I personally think the answer for those horses is an appropriate job and living conditions, not drugs.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    And the circuit has become a hard place for a campaigner to live, let alone perform in the focused, relaxed way we want the hunters to go. But I don't see anyone suggesting that we ease back on that throttle, rather than expecting trainers to just "do what it takes" to keep these horses going and winning.
                                    I've been saying it for eons. Might as well shout at clouds. It's an established "industry" with too much $$$ at stake for all the pros involved (from trainers to show franchises).
                                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by ladipus View Post

                                      I’m just asking about geldings because that’s what I was giving Depo to ...my mares don’t need anything luckily ...but I’ve got 2 geldings ...one exhibits stallion like behavior and can be spooky...the other is extremely herd bound ...the Depo takes the edge off both and they seem to have less stress and anxiety overall in genaral daily life
                                      I would be way more understanding of the use if it was always to correct unusual aggression, but if it subdues spookiness, herdbound behavior, anxiety - how are people arguing this isn't a sedative?

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Classic View Post
                                        The idea of correct breeding, starting, riding, and showng every horse so that it has no quirks or potentially dangerous issues is nonsense. Every horse trainer knows that some horses just aren't going to "make it". Square peg in round hole. Some of those horses do get closer to fitting in the round hole with chemical help. And some owners won't or can't go through the mental and financial trauma of finding another mount until…so unfortunately folks are put in the position of what to do.
                                        It is not "nonsense." Rather, it is very difficult and very expensive. But that doesn't make it wrong nor impossible to do. Or rather, I don't see how the USEF can make the reverse argument that, I take it, you would. To wit: "We have made it so, so hard for the majority of horses to be competitive and owners to be able to afford those rare horses that we are just going to "widen the field" by allowing drugged horses to compete.

                                        If you look at what is happening in racing right now and watch what the non-riding public has to say about that, I think you can see why the USEF can't take a single step toward this "Well.... some degree of performance-enhancing drugging has to be OK, for economic reasons" attitude. It's just not going to fly in the world at large.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

                                        Comment


                                        • if there was one thing I've learned in the past 5-10 years on COTH, it is that the Hunters will use anything and everything to try and gain and advantage over their competition. Whether its legal, illegal, good for the horse or not; it will be used. My mind wanders back to the numerous tubes of perfect prep routinely given to the top hunters in one shot to make them robots. What a sick, sick world it's become.

                                          As with any concerns about any medication given to your horse; your veterinarian is the first person you should ask and get honest feedback from. I am lucky; my veterinarian is well versed and heavily involved in current studies in equine veterinary medicine. He is a very interesting and informative person to talk to; even if certain studies are not conclusive yet; its still very fun to ask questions and hear his thoughts. I fully understand that not all Vet's have this advantage but they should still be consulted.

                                          As for Depo, like most drugs, each animals' reaction to said drug is entirely individual. Yes, a horse can go into anaphylaxis and die. A horse can also go into anaphylaxis and die from a dose of banamine as well. There are inherent risks associated with certain medications; some far more dangerous than others. Those dosing and administering Depo for show advantages with little knowledge of the drug deserve what could potential come to them.

                                          I have zero issue with those using Depo on dangerous mares who have a serious attitude problem. But those regularly administering this product as a sedative to win at shows; these people are dirtbags.

                                          USEF has been considering a Ban on Depo for quite a few years now. The drug has been whispered about at the show season for years as well. Regumate is another drug administered to geldings and stallions for the same effect

                                          the fact of the matter is that 99% of people using this product are not using to help mares with bad heats and behavioral issues. If this wasn't the case; we wouldn't be having this discussion. It's being used just as perfect-prep tubes are being used in the show barn. To drug horses into an anti-anxiety state for the sake of winning in the hunters.

                                          The hunter world has themselves to blame for creating the current environment expected in the show ring. lethargic, robotic-like rides with not so much as a tail flick...perfection. a hunter is meant to be out in the hunt field chasing fox; not loping around the arena like a half drunk WP horse with a dead brain and a dead tail. Until this environment and expectation changes, people will continue to risk their horses lives, sometimes kill them, and act likes its OK for the sake of a 10cent ribbon

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