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Drugged lesson horses?

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  • #41
    You can but you never know how much actually gets into the system and what might get drooled or spit out.

    Rather do it right if you chose to do it and just give them a shot. One would hope there was a valid reason for it and it was needed...that as opposed to stuffing pills in their mouths in hopes some would get there to do the job because the trainer/rider couldn't...or was too lazy to do it right.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • #42
      Call me crazy...but how about learning how to ride? It's no wonder there are so many "lesson barn only" folks who are terrified of every little spook, sideways move, googly looky looky and the wide open outdoors if this drugging thing is more pervasive...(i honestly had no idea). Horses are flight animals. They spook. Learn to ride it. Learn to be confident so the horse can rely on you. And if you are trying to teach the wee ones, get an appropriate mount for the novices. Good heavens!

      I honestly cannot think of a single situation where I think that drugging is smart, safe, or appropriate for the purpose of riding. And Ace can also be dangerous for geldings and stallions--small risk, but a risk nonetheless.

      And perhaps Ghazzu can chime in on this...but um...isn't acepromazine a prescription only drug? I know it's not a controlled substance, but you can't just go out and buy it...you have to purchase through a Vet, right? Wouldn't selling copious amounts of the stuff fall into some sort of malpractice category?
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...


      • #43
        Instead of drugging their lesson horses (no less) they should have horses that meet the riders abilities.... I am totally against Aceing a horse to ride it period. Wether it be a show or a lesson... it is just not right and not fair to the horses at all! ! !


        • #44
          Is there no long term side affects of doing this on a regular basis?

          Does it do anything to the organs or have some withdrawl type thing?

          I know it is not the same as like Dex, but I hear about the problems associated with using that inappropriatly on horses long term and the results that can be associated with that- is there similar problems with Ace?

          Seems like regular dosing would cause some kind of alteration to their system?
          Sometimes going forward is as simple as never going backward.


          • #45
            Well now I'm totally gob-smacked!

            I can't believe that folks are posting as if sedating a horse for it to be ridden is acceptable or justifiable.

            For goodness sakes, its unethical. Its illegal. Its dangerous. Its damaging to the horse. Its cheating. Its unacceptable. Its taking your customers for a ride.

            What went wrong with learning to ride and training and selecting horses so they can be ridden appropriate to the competence and capability of the rider.
            Last edited by Thomas_1; Jul. 18, 2008, 01:28 PM.


            • #46
              Some Times it Helps

              We give my husband's fox hunter a low dose of Ace at the beginning of the hunt. Otherwise, a perfectly lovely horse becomes an excited accident waiting to happen. Normally the horse is a laid back guy with lovely gaits, but when he gets excited, he loses his mind. He has lots of turn out and we ride as often as we can, but he has to hunted in a double bridle to stop him. My husband is schooling him over low jumps with a snaffle this summer to see if he can work him through the problems, but until the comfort level is raised, he will be lightly Aced before hunts.


              • #47
                I can't believe that folks are posting as if sedating a horse for it to be ridden is acceptable or justifiable.
                Sometimes it is necessary. My friend's horse is recovering from a suspensory and needs to be walk ridden. Some days, a dose of ace keeps her from risking a bolting/bucking scenario that would re-injure the leg. She can't longe and he can't be running around in a paddock. So, unfortunately, ace it is. She isn't afraid or timid or worried about herself- she just knows that horses can pull crap and in the time it takes to stop them, the damage can be done.

                Now, if you have a lesson program full of lesson horses that need ace to be usable, frankly you sound like a law suit waiting to happen. I think having a program where you lack the land for turn out is probably a mistake and sounds like a miserable place to ride. I'd think that there would be alternatives- turn out in the ring, supplementing with things like smart calm etc. etc.


                • #48
                  Personally, I consider injury rehab an appropriate use of ACE for riding.
                  Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                  Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.


                  • #49
                    Gosh, some of you act like an horse with a little ace in it is in a totally unaware drunken state. I am sure most of you have been near one and not even known it.

                    On that note I think it is highly unlikely that EVERY horse is drugged for EVERY ride any where.

                    I think there is for sure a time and place for horses to be aced for being ridden. Most certainly not what is being discussed here though.


                    • #50
                      I hardly think that giving your privately owned horse a low dose of ace to get through a potentially dangerous situation is in the same category as acing every lesson horse, every lesson....You have chosen a route that you feel is in everyone's best interest, including the horse....and you KNOW about it...

                      "Horses get used usually for one lesson per day, and usually have one or two days off, so yes, it's for every lesson." For the sake of argument lets say there are 10 lesson horses ( I thought I read earlier it was more than double that figure, but I can't find it now ). How can they even break even with that many horses and so few lessons.... Or are these same horses being used in the therapeutic program as well? If I were bringing an abled bodied or disabled child to these programs and they were being put on horses that are so untrustworthy they needed to be doped up, I think I would be pretty pissed.

                      Now I am sure the argument can be made that they are safer to be doped than be themselves if they are too much horse.....But c'mon if you are going to run a lesson program SELECT horses that can do the job....And would it really be that hard to turn these horses out for a quick romp in the arena before lessons to get the sillies out?
                      Crayola Posse: Mulberry


                      • #51
                        drugging to calm them?

                        I would never drug my horses except to protect them, and I'd never ride a drugged horse, what if he fell on me?
                        I was at the barn that drugged 6 and 7 years ago, and didn't let mine get drugged for riding. however they were always drugging for the vet, for trimming ears, etc. and drugged other horses, not mine for the farrier. that BO bought Ace by the gallon when the kids got out of ponies and the Bo found tb geldings for them, the kids actually bragged that their horses would do well in shows because they were drugged.
                        If people want to drug their own horses and ride or jump, fine, then if something happens, it's their fault. but at that barn the kids' parents weren't informed as to what could happen, they thought the ace just calmed horses, and weren't horse people and didn't know that the horse could fall down. When the appendix who was always rank actually could barely trot over jumps, that was dangerous, and in a local schooling show but the 19 yr old who leased him from a boarder didn't care.
                        My tb mare and my wb were hot, but I'd never drug them. nor did I lunge them, it just made them hotter. whatever happened to warming up your horse by schooling him under saddle?


                        • #52
                          I have to agree with Thomas 1. What ever happen to working with a horse on the ground and training it to be a good horse. and if its not going to be a horse for beg. to ride then selling it to a right home or using it for a more accomplished rider? I ace my guy when its BAD BAD thunder out and he is in his stall but that is it!!! I've always taught my horses that if I wanna trim your ears or you whiskers or your whole dang body then your going to learn to like it. I guess its maybe just pure laziness of not wanting to put the work and effort and time into it. If its a dangerous situation then I understand but taking a horse to a show is far from a dangerous situation or for a lesson. If your worried give them a little calm and cool or quiet X the first couple of times until they get use to it.
                          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                          • #53
                            I worked at a barn that Aced horses constantly--both lesson and privately-owned horses. The owner was in "cahoots" with the vet so to speak, and he kept her supplied with huge bottles of Ace in pill form--which is normally given to dogs.

                            I was in my very early 20s and quickly became disgusted with this practice--I don't think I lasted there six months. It was ridiculous.

                            BUT. When I was in my teens, I worked and rode at a show/lesson barn that did Ace horses in certain situations, but certainly not daily. One horse was tranq'd every time the trainer rode it--the horse was an OTTB and the trainer was afraid of it. We would also Ace certain school horses on schooling-show days to prevent accidents. Hell, if we didn't Ace one and it bucked in a flat class or started rushing fences in an over-fences class, we'd pull the rider off, give them another horse, take the "bad" horse back to the barn and Ace it right then and there. Give it 20 mins, pull it out of the stall, and continue showing it. *rolls eyes*

                            Looking back, I generally don't agree with it. I can see it's usefulness in some situations, even with a school horse. But every day, every horse, every ride, or every lesson--completely out of control.

                            Honestly, I think I have just as big a problem with school horses being Buted up the wazoo every day so they don't know they're hurting, or de-nerving a navicular school horse multiple times so you can squeeze every last ounce of work out of it, despite the fact that it perpetually trips and has thrown practically every lesson kid when it falls on its face.


                            • #54
                              I just had my first hands-on experience with ace at the local track. It's very common there. It all comes down to money, and if you don't give a damn about the animals, it can save a lot of training time. I'm in upstate New York - the hunter world around here is definitely on the crooked side. Not everyone, but I know of several trainers who consistently ace the hell out of their horses - lesson horses and upper level JR animals. Hey- whatever gets you the ribbons and pays the bills. I ride dressage and combined, and have never run into a problem with it personally. I can't stand it, though. It really makes me crazy.


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Figment View Post
                                MANY trainers are scientists and are great at knowing what to give each horse for each occasion. Often the riders know nothing about any of it. The cost of the drugs is built into trainers' fees. In so many cases the owners expect their horses to win and the trainers are under so much pressure to make that happen as often as possible.
                                thats cheating,,, and wont get you far gets a ban and a fine when cuaght


                                • #56
                                  cor-------- acing a horse for lessons thats dangerous

                                  if a trianer has to resort to that kid of method then i dont go much on there teachings

                                  the horses and ponies should chosen and used to match the caperbilites of the rider

                                  if you cant match them then dont use the horse or pony
                                  if you havent got the means to turn out or execise the horse so that he/she isnt a numpty
                                  then dont own the horses or ponies and dont put both the horses and humans lives in danger

                                  as no doubt if a law suit the horse would be blamed for xyz but its the one that doing the drugging thats responsible for the animals in there welfare and the people that they are surposed to be triaining

                                  all i can say is the health and safety regularations full down the toilet if they
                                  arnt being adhere to or havent got any
                                  how can one be insured when one is drugging the horses to be used to earn a profit
                                  insurance s companies if clients complain whould have a feild day and boy how much one has to pay up and out and a crimnal record

                                  as what ever they saying that they have good horses is bult on a lie and frabrication
                                  as its been drugged

                                  how responsible are thses so called barn owners to be truthful if thats how they ran there ships then i would jump off if baording or clinet for lessons before something happened to me and my horse


                                  • #57
                                    To the previous poster...ace is metabolized by the liver...not the kidneys!!! Also the H/J barn my daughter rode at here in Texas called it "prepping" the pony. AKA giving a shit load of robaxin and who knows whatever else. Schooling in the am=zippy pony. Class at 2pm= pony needs spurs to get to the fence and kid gets yelled at because she cannot get it going fast enough. WTF????Ridiculous nonsense and the kid gets blamed...and pony sooo not a danger in any way...ever. Never have seen a drug tester at our A shows...but wish their number would come up...and frankly it should!!!


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by RockinHorse View Post
                                      Sorry but any show, even a small schooling show is never, IMHO, an appropriate time to drug a horse. I am not sure you taught your student the lesson you thought you did.
                                      I actually think I thought her the exact lesson I intended too. Would I routinely tranq. a horse at a show? No, but this particular kid gets so freaked it's like she has a panic attack, and I wanted both her and the horse to be safe. Which they were, and both had a great experience. Now that she is over having her freak outs, she is expected to ride the horse no matter how he acts. I too hate seeing kids ride these ponies that look like little robots, almost comatose.

                                      There was a very good - and very long - thread a few years ago about riding an Aced horse - does anyone remember that one?
                                      The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Freebird! View Post
                                        I have - so far - drugged a lesson horse one time. It was at a small schooling show, my student's very first show, and the lesson horse's first show in a looong time (he's a 25 year old saint)

                                        Before giving the shot I thoroughly explained to my student why I was giving it to him, when the appropriate times are to Tranq. a horse, and when you would not want to tranq. one. I gave only enough to take the edge off - 1 cc in the muscle, 1/2 cc in the vein - and explained that to my student as well. At the next show he didn't need anything.

                                        I just can't wrap my brain around the concept of tranqing lesson horses daily.
                                        to be honest you shouldnt drug for shows thats cheating and down right dangerous


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by equest View Post
                                          I did not know you could give tranqs in pill form - is this still done? Call me naive.
                                          I didn't know either. According to the vet who we got them from, they don't really do much of anything. 10 mg or 25 mg.