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COTH Horse Show Issue Horseman's Forum

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  • COTH Horse Show Issue Horseman's Forum

    The digital COTH hit my inbox two days ago. I don't know if I'm shocked, disappointed, or relieved at the comments made by Robin Greenwood in the Horseman's Forum about drugs and the hunter division.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Or is it just more blah blah blah drugs blah drugs blah?

    Comment


    • #3
      More excuses.
      Everyone does it so it should be allowed excuse

      Now if the hunter rules didn't score any show of expression as a major fault none of this would even be a topic..
      fix the rules so that horses in a coma are not rewarded and the problem goes away.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well said S A McKee... was going to comment, but I couldn't have said it better!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by S A McKee View Post
          More excuses.
          Everyone does it so it should be allowed excuse

          Now if the hunter rules didn't score any show of expression as a major fault none of this would even be a topic..
          fix the rules so that horses in a coma are not rewarded and the problem goes away.
          where is the like button when you need it!?

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm relieved. Instead of constant fighting and trying to do a good job I can retire and not feel guilty. It will never change in my lifetime. Reserpine came out in say - mid seventies? - down the drain ever since. Just so done with the trainer BS. How people who claim to be horsemen and love horses can accept winning under the present conditions is just not computing.

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe Robin makes a very good and realistic point.

              Yes, in a perfect world, an enthusiastic hunter would take top call and the dopey, near-dead, quiet hunter would no longer be the winner. However, i dont see that change coming about anytime soon and Robin's argument does have merit. We DO need to find a reasonable way to deal with it as the amount of scary and dangerous "un-testable" drugs being given to so many horses and ponies is rampant and horrific.

              Comment


              • #8
                So is the suggestion here that we just cede over the hunter ring to pharmacists because that is what has happened anyway?
                Inner Bay Equestrian
                Facebook
                KERx

                Comment


                • #9
                  You have a better solution???? Only slightly joking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm asking! If that's the case, I'm not sure I want to be in the judge's booth. What am I looking at? Who am I rewarding, and why?

                    Everybody likes to hit the sweet spot, but if everybody could do it all the time, guaranteed, then where is the sport in it?
                    Inner Bay Equestrian
                    Facebook
                    KERx

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HackPrize View Post
                      I believe Robin makes a very good and realistic point.

                      Yes, in a perfect world, an enthusiastic hunter would take top call and the dopey, near-dead, quiet hunter would no longer be the winner. However, i dont see that change coming about anytime soon and Robin's argument does have merit. We DO need to find a reasonable way to deal with it as the amount of scary and dangerous "un-testable" drugs being given to so many horses and ponies is rampant and horrific.
                      What do you mean "in a perfect world"? It's a sport/hobby. It's an aesthetic ideal. The whole Hunter Division is a made up world. Ergo, we can make it any way we want.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The point of my article was NOT that we cede the hunter ring to pharmaceuticals in any way. The point was that the drugs people are sticking into other people's horses are or can kill them. The drug rules as of now cannot be enforced as some things, like magnesium, cannot be tested for as they metabolize quickly and are naturally occurring in the horse. I am all for a rule that can be enforced, but the rule as written is going to make the drug users give more dangerous concoctions to the horses.

                        For those that think allowing exuberance in the ring will make it all go away are way off base. A large percentage of those who support the industry and high horse prices are Juniors and Amateurs. Many of this group cannot ride a horse that is the least bit exuberant and will find a trainer who does a "better job" training their horses if that is the way it goes in the ring. And yes, that would be the best answer.

                        I wrote that article to make people give a lot of thought to what was happening to our horses and to constructively discuss what could make it better. I knew that I would be shredded on the BBs, but I am not afraid to put my name on my opinions. The article had nothing to do with making excuses to give drugs. Any one of you can come to a venue where I am showing and bring a reputable vet and test my ponies for whatever you want. Most of the animals we show, I have bred or raised from foals and it changes one's whole outlook when you raise your own. To say that we just need to allow the horses to be fresher or crack down harder is totally unrealistic. Horses are dying because of what people are willing to do to them. something needs to change.
                        Robin B. Greenwood be MERRY, DAMMIT
                        I just see things differently
                        www.hunterponies.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hope that honest and frank discussion will result from your column, ponybreeder. I sometimes wonder how much clients know vs what they are kept in the dark on as far as what their horses 'go on.'

                          One stat I heard at the open meeting of the USEF D&M that I attended during the USEF's convention this year related to medication forms handed in to horse shows (for reportable but permissible NSAIDs):

                          "A total of 1,022 individual trainers filed at least one medication form. 84 (8.4%) of these filed 61.2% of the forms. This portion of trainers filed 11- 200+ forms, indicating use of NSAID’s as a ‘regimen’ applicable to several horses, rather than for treatment in response to a specific diagnosis."

                          These stats raise more questions in my mind...do these forms represent horses who were "the winners?" Were other horses similarly medicated, but it went unreported? Are only 8.4% of trainers honest enough to report the meds they use in horses, or does only that % medicate?

                          More questions than answers...(and that was NSAID's, not tranqs).
                          Inner Bay Equestrian
                          Facebook
                          KERx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ponybreeder View Post
                            The point of my article was NOT that we cede the hunter ring to pharmaceuticals in any way. The point was that the drugs people are sticking into other people's horses are or can kill them. The drug rules as of now cannot be enforced as some things, like magnesium, cannot be tested for as they metabolize quickly and are naturally occurring in the horse. I am all for a rule that can be enforced, but the rule as written is going to make the drug users give more dangerous concoctions to the horses.

                            For those that think allowing exuberance in the ring will make it all go away are way off base. A large percentage of those who support the industry and high horse prices are Juniors and Amateurs. Many of this group cannot ride a horse that is the least bit exuberant and will find a trainer who does a "better job" training their horses if that is the way it goes in the ring. And yes, that would be the best answer.

                            I wrote that article to make people give a lot of thought to what was happening to our horses and to constructively discuss what could make it better. I knew that I would be shredded on the BBs, but I am not afraid to put my name on my opinions. The article had nothing to do with making excuses to give drugs. Any one of you can come to a venue where I am showing and bring a reputable vet and test my ponies for whatever you want. Most of the animals we show, I have bred or raised from foals and it changes one's whole outlook when you raise your own. To say that we just need to allow the horses to be fresher or crack down harder is totally unrealistic. Horses are dying because of what people are willing to do to them. something needs to change.
                            I really appreciate your taking the time to post here. The promptness of your arrival in the COTH crucible shows a great deal of character. Good on ya! I hope you stay for the discussion, insofar as it can stay civilized and be worthy of the way you stuck your neck out there and offered an opinion.

                            But I don't agree that we need to keep going toward that Western Pleasure With Jumps In The Way picture. I know you pros involved in the financial side of things won't like it, but surely the solution cannot be "Let's create a competitive sport that involves drugging animals so that rich women and children can have some fun."

                            It's a position that is hard to defend. IMO, it will sooner or later become politically impossible to defend to the world outside ours. Therefore, I don't think anyone who has any real power or access to publicity in this sport should try to do that. To wit: Would you, Robin, really want your post above quoted back to you embedded in some PETA expose of the USEF Hunter world?

                            I bred my (now retired) show hunter and I agree that it changes things. I'm still funding him because I feel responsible for the first life I created. I also bred him and raised him in a way that placed a premium on "a good mind." That's why this horse could cruise around in the ammy divisions, made up and "prepped" by an amateur, not a needle or a lunge line.

                            Now this horse won't deliver the powerful, expressive jump that a hotter-and-drugged one will. That was the devil's bargain I accepted in producing this horse. I'd do it again for both ethical and pragmatic reasons. But it means I won't win with our current Hunter Ideal in place. And that means that, sooner or later, I'll get tired of paying to lose and I'll find another place to spend my money.

                            So I find it hard to be sympathetic to the pro who heaps blame on the wealthy, let's-get-to-the-ring-fastest, ignorant owner who, you claim, compels the pro to cheat in so many ways. The clients who aren't forced to learn to ride are getting cheated, too.

                            I wasn't around in the 1960s when hunter divisions started at 3'6". Yes, I am aware that much lunging and Ace-ing went on. But at least your Average Joe had to learn to ride a little bit better and we weren't forced to drug even nice-minded horses into their current stupor.

                            I really think we have painted ourselves into corner. I think we should be looking for a graceful way to back out of it.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Many of this group cannot ride a horse that is the least bit exuberant and will find a trainer who does a "better job" training their horses if that is the way it goes in the ring.
                              I find so much wrong with this statement that I just...it's just too far.

                              Perhaps said trainer's time might be better spent training said riders to ride an exuberant horsie. It might take longer to get said clients into the ring...but that's pretty darned important for our sport.

                              I'm an adult ammie with a green horse. Said horse leaps into the air, occasionally bucks when he's cranky or if I'm not right and can spook. I'm not a brilliant rider, in fact I'm rather old and out of shape...but somewhere along the line I was taught really really good basics and can sit in the middle of him. I'm not spectacular. I'm not particularly athletic or talented.

                              Stop chasing money, and start thinking about the RIGHT thing. THEN the sport will change. Right now you're in a Mexican standoff with everyone afraid to buck the trend. Trust me...if you stick to your ideals and teach well, you'll have clients...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I don't disagree, One Gray Pony. I don't think its always all about chasing money, though. There are a lot of adults out there who are nervous or scared. A lot of them have money to burn on an expensive horse and want to do WEF and the AA Circuit. They are weekend riders. And yes, there are a lot of trainers who want to make a quick buck on horse and won't spend the time training the horse properly. These things are not likely to change and they motivate people to do the wrong thing.

                                You can be angry about the way things are, but there is a lot of brain power out there that would be better used trying to find a solution that would actually work.

                                The new drug rules give a two year vacation to those who are caught using illegal drugs. That is a good thing. The people out there who don't want to get caught will give horrible things to the horses. That is a bad thing. What is a reasonable solution.

                                I absolutely agree that the hunters are beginning to look like they are half dead, and it is not an appealing look. I fear, rightly or wrongly, that it is because of the dreadful things going into them. California Gold was not even on my radar, and my vet told me when I asked him to read my article that he thought I was referencing it because it is so awful. he said it had ingredients that affected neurological function. Magnesium slows the heart and can kill a horse when given too quickly or too much.

                                I believe that something has to change or it will be disastrous for the horses. So yes, I would like to see a small door opened for say, a product like Perfect Prep that seems (and I may be wrong) to work well with no side effects. Then increase the penalties every year for people who are caught cheating. Of course I may be completely wrong, but I fear for the direction things are going.
                                Robin B. Greenwood be MERRY, DAMMIT
                                I just see things differently
                                www.hunterponies.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Maybe there should just be a new division of classes for drugged horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Horses are dying because of what people are willing to do to them. something needs to change.
                                    I would think equine insurers would be a good place to start. If these drugs are killing these (very much not cheap horses that are probably insured) I would think that insurers would like to know that a magnesium injection killed a horse or overuse of dex caused founder.

                                    There is just something shitty about all the drugging. It's getting old..... and it makes me really not like the personalities in the sport. I'm not zero tolerance- some bute- yeah, some help like that- no big deal. I guess the money made off commissions and clients is just too tempting.

                                    One thing that always struck me about racing was OK, cruel to horses to drug and run.... but REALLY unfair to the jockey piloting a horse ready to break down. What happens when they crash, burn and die. And maybe for HJ that is where it will end. Some horse will have too much of some drug and fall or collapse and kill some kid or ammy unfortunate enough to be in the irons. Maybe they'll sue the trainer and the USEF and the horse show.

                                    And maybe people should start suing when the $200,000 horse changes "programs" and is suddenly a $20,000 horse or perhaps a crippled horse in a new program that lacks access to ummm...veterinary wonders.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Robin
                                      I will give you points for very creative excuses for medicating.
                                      however if a rider even those inept juniors and amateurs can't stay in the tack if the Horse wiggles it ears they probably shouldn't be competing.
                                      and the current rules do penalize any expression.
                                      If you like better living through chemistry then have at it.
                                      But a real solution involves rule changes to not reward comatose horses.
                                      It would also do away with Ltd.
                                      but carry on. I can't wait to hear more justification for this mentality.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkOxWkz88Qc

                                        So that's the future of show hunters?

                                        Comment

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