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It's Official Melanie Smith Taylor splits from EAP

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  • It's Official Melanie Smith Taylor splits from EAP

    This is not a shock but it is such a loss.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...ower-split-eap
    Justice will only be achieved when those who are not injured by crime feel as indignant as those who are. - King Soloman (970-928 B.C.)

  • #2
    A real shame.
    Inner Bay Equestrian
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    KERx

    Comment


    • #3
      That is regrettable. Close minded people can ruin it for many...seems to be a common occurrance lately even on this little bb.

      Comment


      • #4
        So we give up Melanie and Mindy for an emphasis on stable management that includes how to take a bridle apart and put it back together?!? Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.
        The Evil Chem Prof

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Peggy View Post
          Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.
          Although the program, for the kids competing, will not be the same without her, it's actually really nice to see someone taking a stand for what (and who) they believe in. Tough decision, but good for her.

          Comment


          • #6
            From what I understand,this article accurately portrays the outcome of several months of discussions.

            Of course, in any situation like this, there are a lot of back room poilitcs going on -- but they were not appropriate for a COTH article.

            The saddest part is that the people making this decision had never come out to a clinic to see the horsemanship section. They had never talked to any of the kids or their parents about the benefit and knowledge gained from this portion of their learning curve.

            I know that Melanie feels very strongly about this program and I bet she will find a way to make it available to kids who can use it to round out their equine education.

            -- As an aside --Does the USHJA EAP really need to spend its money having a clinician teach kids how to put a bridle together? I learned that in Pony Club. We were given all the pieces and told to put it back together. So we did.
            Last edited by Lord Helpus; Nov. 22, 2011, 10:18 AM.
            "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

            Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

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            • #7
              I think it is telling that the members of the committee could not be persuaded to WATCH one of the sessions to decide the value of the clinicians. I would love to soundly thrash everyone who chose to eliminate the fundamentals of horsemanship that this program spearheaded. What a waste of money and energy .... back to your regular programming of mediocrity and compartmentalizing American riders as unskilled, pampered by-products of the "system".

              Comment


              • #8
                very sad

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is unbelievable! Tragic!! I have watched these clinics at Westbrook Hunt Club and know many of the kids who make it to the finals... We are all in awe of the top-notch training methods.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is no surprise. Nothing like a good relationship being sabotaged by glaring egos of the USHJA all wanting a tap of the glory without one iota of effort. They banked on all MST's drive and hard work and throw away what defined the program from all else. Took from what Mindy Bower brought to the table because they simply don't understand that you can toss away drugs for good horsemanship. Good job William Moroney in tossing away something special for USHJA. I love the quote of Sally Ike saying they will get the "best of the best" clinicians when they had the best a GOLD medalist and her great team of affiliates like Allen, Alfano, Shuford and the gang!!!!!. What a slap in the face to MST for what she gave to the program emotionally, financially and physically. She was way too good for that group of ego thrillers. They were lucky to have her and I hope she is glad to look at them in the rearview mirror. Let them have it and the program. They can't take away from the experiences that have already occurred but I highly doubt 2012 or thereafter will have any resemblance to the past.

                    Someone please tell me where MST and Mindy Bower will be next because that is where I want to be and I am sure I speak for many others.
                    Anthony 'Tony' Soprano Sr.: If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This annoys me. The USHJA is basically saying that since their participants don't know to look for heat or swelling in a leg or how to put a bridle back together that they now need to dumb down their program.

                      There is an easier solution...take more qualified applicants! It would be a strong move for a "grassroots" programs to say okay, we know you can all jump 3'6'', but we want people who have the horsemanship to back it up.

                      Not sure how you would test for that on an application though. I think its embarrassing that there are 3'6'' and 4' riders out there who can't put their horses bridle back together.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                        So we give up Melanie and Mindy for an emphasis on stable management that includes how to take a bridle apart and put it back together?!? Nice to see that others on the committee also resigned in support.
                        This makes no sense to me. If this is a serious concern, the answer is easy: add it as one of the equitation tests judges can choose from. Certainly there is no shortage of expertise in every backwater of our nation (including my own!) on this particular topic.

                        I promise you that within a week, every American child rider on the circuit will be able to do it.

                        That a committee would cut a clinician that Taylor obviously advocated for with great vehemence without even bothering to go observe is shameful.
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jesus Christ.

                          If these kids can't figure out how to put a bridle together from, I don't know, looking at the Dover catalog and putting two and two together, ...I don't even.

                          I always thought it was ridiculous that the stewardess on the plane shows everyone how to fasten and unfasten the seatbelt but apparently some people need help with buckles.


                          Probably advanced concepts like, 'leading,' 'respect for space,' 'teaching emotional control,' 'timing,' and 'feel' are waaayy over doing it. No wonder half the hunter world thinks "trailer loading" is some mysterious skill you need a really special trainer for, and having a horse stand in the grooming stall with no halter never fails to have someone ask "HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!" Magic!

                          Better to just ace it and use a lip chain if necessary.
                          If they can figure out how to snap the shank to the halter.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                            Not sure how you would test for that on an application though. I think its embarrassing that there are 3'6'' and 4' riders out there who can't put their horses bridle back together.
                            Have the applicant send in a 10 minute video.
                            Including:

                            -haltering horse in stall (with horse coming to handler and not the other way around)
                            -groundtying horse in aisle or grooming stall
                            -basic demonstration on ground tied horse of curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, rag and hoof pick inclusive of polite foot lifting behavior and horse holding the tie and foor-footed no matter if handler is brushing a hind leg or an ear
                            -putting saddle on horse while horse holds ground tie
                            -putting a bridle together (horse can wait politely on ground tie in the meantime)
                            -then putting bridle on horse (including polite head lowering)

                            I think the above would already severely limit the applicant pool (after all, it's tricky putting them bridles together), but if you want to get really hilarious, add a requirement that the applicant demonstrate the proper application of polo wraps and standing wraps. Video judges can keep an eye out to see if the applicant performs the simple, instinctive task of slip-knotting the tail to get it out of the way before reaching down to do the back legs -if they are sitting there clumsily moving the tail out of the way with each wrap or fumble around with the slip knot you know they don't actually do this too often.

                            Demonstration of IV injections, making and applying a sugardine hoof pack to a hypothetical abscess, and self loading onto the trailer mean you get to go straight to teaching the clinic since USHJA has decided to make everyone else throw up their hands and leave.
                            Last edited by meupatdoes; Nov. 22, 2011, 07:19 AM.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                              Have the applicant send in a 10 minute video.
                              Including:

                              -haltering horse in stall (with horse coming to handler and not the other way around)
                              -groundtying horse in aisle or grooming stall
                              -basic demonstration on ground tied horse of curry comb, stiff brush, soft brush, rag and hoof pick inclusive of polite foot lifting behavior and horse holding the tie and foor-footed no matter if handler is brushing a hind leg or an ear
                              -putting saddle on horse while horse holds ground tie
                              -putting a bridle together (horse can wait politely on ground tie in the meantime)
                              -then putting bridle on horse (including polite head lowering)

                              I think the above would already severely limit the applicant pool (after all, it's tricky putting them bridles together), but if you want to get really hilarious, add a requirement that the applicant demonstrate the proper application of polo wraps and standing wraps. Video judges can keep an eye out to see if the applicant performs the simple, instinctive task of slip-knotting the tail to get it out of the way before reaching down to do the back legs -if they are sitting there clumsily moving the tail out of the way with each wrap or fumble around with the slip knot you know they don't actually do this too often.

                              Demonstration of IV injections, making and applying a sugardine hoof pack to a hypothetical abscess, and self loading onto the trailer mean you get to go straight to teaching the clinic since USHJA has decided to make everyone else throw up their hands and leave.
                              This would be all well and good except I know several 8-10yr olds who would be teaching this part of the clinic ( not sure they are jumping 3'6" -4' lol) and I doubt anyone would listen to them!!!

                              ETA: my point being that kids who are really truly going to be the next trainers in our sport are learning and doing these things from the time they are LITTLE! They seek out the knowledge, they bug trainers or grooms to teach them, they spend hours being a "barn rat" soaking up knowledge like a bucket of beet pulp ( and know they what beet pulp is and what its used for) adding this to the EAP program does just what another poster suggests, it dumbs down the program and then you are no longer getting the applicants who this program was designed for! It is just an extended form of Pony Club ( I have nothing against pony club I think they do an excellent job of teaching horsemanship/stable management to younger kids). Its sad, IMO USHJA serves very little purpose expect to charge us higher fees.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just another example of how F'd up the USHJA is.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Something tells me this is *not* at all the full story. This must be the "approved for public consumption" version.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Let's get down to brass tacks. I am taking the following from various private messages I received and other chatter at horse shows. If I am wrong I am certain someone will correct me.

                                    First, let me qualify that I am a big MST fan after watching her ride during her career, auditing clinics and some EAP sessions. How about that? I actually audited EAP sessions and I had no kids participating but the committee members never found their way to watch in three years. I have also studied what Mindy Bower teaches and I believe it works. Bill Moroney has not been to ONE session EVER!!!!

                                    From what I understand, it was MST this year who suggested to USHJA to merge levels 1 and 2 into one 4 day program to allow the riders more time with the clinicians and increase the horsemanship component. She wanted 240 kids to get the benefit of groundwork as opposed to just 60-70 riders at level 2. She didn't like the winners and losers concept. By doing this the riders would get more time meeting each other; more time in the saddle and with horsemanship/groundwork (and some real stable management sans bridle making 101). By doing so the cost to the USHJA would have decreased and the cost to riders paying for one weekend as opposed to two would have decreased considerably.

                                    Then someone stepped up and offered their facility to host training camps with a 4 days on and one day off rotation for kids to fly into one place with just their saddles and have the horses already there for use as approved by MST and other professionals for the 3'6". This meant the kids could concentrate on learning new horses and riding. The cost to the kids for EVERYTHING (entry fee, horse, supplies, stalls, feed for horses, food, etc) would have been about $1,500 for 4 days WITHOUT a contribution from the USHJA and before sponsors were sought. That means with sponsors the price would have only gone down. Zones could have sponsored some riders with the Zone money that is up for grabs. How about that for making the program pay for itself.

                                    But the USHJA said NO to that proposal because they felt the USHJA needed presence in different zones to get the USHJA name out to the horse community.....(Hello USHJA everyone has to be a member so how is that for name recognition, but whatever). Yes there was some concern about kids riding their own horses but truth is at that level they should be able to learn and take back to their horses the concepts. They could have gone to different locations each year for the training camp if they wanted movement.

                                    So despite saying NO they managed to take from the suggestion and call it their own.

                                    So the USHJA will charge kids $100 for the application, $600 or so for the entry fee, kids pay host site $300-$400 for a stall and shavings, pay to trailer their horses 5 plus hours if not more (or lease a horse) plus all the supplies to get there. The USHJA still has a shortage and must contribute to the clinician costs and other fees. So kids will pay more than the $1,500 to get there and the USHJA contributing more (although the overall cost of the program would go down from previous years). But they said no to the other suggestions for the program to actually pay for itself.

                                    So as a big thank you for MST providing an option for the program to pay for itself, they drop horsemanship, add stupid parts of stable management and tell her we are getting new clinicians. As Ike said in her quote they will get "the best of the best" and now they have a "real" curriculum. Well if she attended the last three years she would have seen the real curriculum hard at work not what someone wrote sitting at her desk.

                                    Last week the USHJA Shelby French posted minutes thanking Sally Ike for HER hard work and the new clinicians will be Karen Healey (an EAP committee member who did nothing all these years), Chris Kappler, Anne Kursinski, and Candace King. Stable managers Carol Thompson and Karen Golding.

                                    Good luck to the USHJA in their future efforts and the rubber boot mentality.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't have a dog in the fight but wanted to thank Melanie for all her hard work and dedication trying to better our sport. It's heartbreaking to see a volunteer (never mind a volunteer with a gold medal) be so underappreciated.
                                      It's 2016. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Although I am sure there is more to this than what we are reading, its still a great loss to the program without MST. Interesting to see if those others, who claim they will resign in support of Melanie, actually do so.

                                        How can kids at this level not know how to put a bridle together?

                                        I guess since this is USHJA we shouldn't be surprised that no one even bothered to watch one of the horsemanship ground sessions before cutting it from the program.

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