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New York Times article - USEF and Humble

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  • Zero tolerance will send a lot of horses prematurely to pasture or worst case, the killers.

    The experienced show horse with mild arthritis that can show effectively on prescribed doses of NSAIDs is worth it's weight in gold to the right rider. FEI rules are great for high performance, but unnecessary for the 3ft hunter. Particularly now that we have meds that are kinder to the stomach in consistent use.

    I think we need to focus our efforts on the policing illegal quieting agents. USEF has it right on the other substances.

    Trainers need to be free to adminster IV meds...the horse that needs to be clipped, the horse that has colic and the vet is delayed, etc. so outlawing needles on the show grounds is out.

    we need penalties that make it too painful to break the rule, along with more enlightened judging. Perhaps first infraction 6 months, 2nd infraction 1 year, and 3rd you are out....and should include owners and riders.... And maybe In Stride should refrain from promoting those trainers just off suspension....


    • Take photos of horses getting injected of you see it. I course circumstantial evidence would not be enough.

      Sorry but I can't believe anyone could think that buting a horse so it can compete is ok. No wonder you guys have a doping problem over there.


      • Didn't read all the replies, but maybe the pony had emerging lung because of all the drugs he was getting?


        • 1 gram of bute equals doping? You are welcome to your opinion, but as a 50 year old woman, I can say that I'm a little off some days until I have my aleve. I'm not ready to be retired yet either! You are nuts! Horses are expensive. Horses that are no longer useful can wind up in a bad place. I think it's kinder to prolong a show career responsibly under the care of a vet, than many of the other choices that face these horses.

          I love the black and white thinkers... You get to feel righteous and turn a blind eye to the real consequences. There is no perfect solution here, but a gram of brute is not doping ethically, morally, or by usef rules.


          • See you get the choice though. You know that even though you get the pain relief it will be fine for now but when it wears off and you realise that your even more sore then at least you know that was your choice. Not the horses he doesn't realise that over exerting him when he has had bute is going to make him more sore the next day.

            I'm very black and white about drug use because it is black and white here in Australia. Bute is on the prohibited list as is many of your other "acceptable" drugs.

            If you've got a horse with arthritis then you can try pentosan and a joint supplement but if that doesn't work anymore then retire the poor thing. If you can't offer a horse a home forever then why do you own a horse. I had to retire my amazing junior jumper at 12yrs old. I'm not about to pump it full of drugs just do I can keep competing, he never asked me to compete but he gave me some of the most amazing years doing it so now it's my turn to give him some amazing years back, living the paddock life with the occasional trail ride to keep thing fun.


            • I worked in the past as the manager of a h/j show barn, and the drugging and other nefarious practices I saw, and wasn't comfortable with, are a big part of the reason I decided to leave the industry. But I'm not sure there's an easy answer for how the USEF can deal with it.

              No injections prior to showing is unenforceable, with most local shows being ship-ins, and even at WEF most horses live off grounds. Going to FEI stabling requirements for all horses would raise costs astronomically, and even then people find a way to sneak shots in and give them when no one is looking.

              Cracking down with drug penalties would be a big step forward, but there's still no test for magnesium or several other favorite cocktails. Even if the drugging stops, then these people will shift towards other means, like lunging/riding till dead and witholding water. With those as the other options, better living through chemistry might be kinder to the horses. And again, with so many shows being ship-ins, it's hard to police these practices.

              Changing the judging standards would certainly help a lot, but with so few shows having the space to put on courses that truly reward brillance, it's going to be tough. When it's side-diagonal-side-diagonal, and one horse plays and the other doesn't, it's tough to pin the one that does play higher.

              I do think the huge money, especially at the upper levels of the H/J world, is a big part of the problem. It's hard to make a living in this business and most clients are clueless about what goes on behind the scenes and just care about their enjoyment and success, and I don't see the level of client involvement changing anytime soon. With huge commissions to be made buying and selling horses, trainers are going to do what it takes to get people to be happy and staying with them. I just don't see any easy answer to the problem.


              • Sorry, but you sound like you have limited life experience. Sounds like you have the benefit of lots of resources...not all horses are so lucky to have such an owner.

                Using bute on a horse does not necessarily mean that you will be making them sorer post competition. In fact, keeping them in a regular program with periodic use of bute can actually improve conditions, not exacerbate them.

                I too have retired horses in my care. Not an inexpensive proposition. Your ivory tower not withstanding, under a vets care, many horses benefit from the right amount of work and med under a vets care.


                • I only wish I had the resources to call a vet for every shot of bute or banamine needed by my horses. A little NSAID can prolong the useful life of many horses! If trainers and owners had integrity there would be no need to make a "rule" for every possible scenario. How to complicate going to the bathroom!
                  The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                  • Yea, I have a lot of resources… not, I am at university working three jobs to support my horse habit. I train at 4-5am every morning. So my resources are I work my arse off to compete.

                    My limited life experiences have seen me compete and win at national level in two different disciplines on self made horses without the need to ride them on bute. But that's just me.


                    • Originally posted by jr View Post
                      Trainers need to be free to adminster IV meds...the horse that needs to be clipped, the horse that has colic and the vet is delayed, etc. so outlawing needles on the show grounds is out.
                      Disagree, you can give ace IM or orally and some other sedatives IM. Also banamine can be given orally as well. I do not think anyone should be allowed to give IV injection other than a vet or vet tech working with a vet.
                      Pro Slaughter
                      Anti Parelli


                      • So, these people who hint about BNTs that drug their horses... why don't you out them? Aren't you perpetuating the problem? Maybe if these BNTs were publicly shunned they might be less likely to drug their horses?


                        • Originally posted by juststartingout View Post
                          Agreed.... but knowing that the information is being tracked and is available might just prompt vets to act more cautiously
                          the current NYT article is an offshoot of the ongoing series on the state of racing. And drugs in racing. Where vets are required to give pre race meds. I don't know if you could find a better test case to showcase the complete and abject failure of a rule intended to protect the animal and not the financial interests of the human, so thanks but no thanks. As rules go, that would do zero for the horses but it could definitely pay of some Vet school loans quicker...
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                          • Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                            A medication like an NSAID for an arthritic horse allows him to work which in many cases is actually beneficial to his long term health, just like it's beneficial for your grandmother to go out walking. A medication like Adequan which is meant to prevent arthritic changes in the first place is beneficial.

                            I don't believe Robaxin for sore muscles is a beneficial use for a show horse. If the muscles are that sore, the horse needs time off. IMHO.
                            Very much a side point, but when I was rehabbing my horse after a suspensory injury, Robaxin helped relax her muscles so she could move out better. She became muscle-sore because she hadn't been moving out during the earlier stall rest/hand walk part of the rehab. I don't see what the difference between that and using Bute on a stiff horse is...

                            (And for the record, I wouldn't use either of these medications in a non-sanctioned way for a show horse...)
                            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                            • Originally posted by aucowwy View Post
                              Disagree, you can give ace IM or orally and some other sedatives IM. Also banamine can be given orally as well. I do not think anyone should be allowed to give IV injection other than a vet or vet tech working with a vet.
                              Alternatively, you might actually try training a horse to tolerate clippers.
                              It ain't rocket surgery.

                              PS. Haven't yet seen a horse die from Banamine deficiency.
                              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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


                              • Originally posted by annaelizabeth View Post
                                Well here would be my plan of attack.
                                No drugs (any at all) to be injected 12-24 hours before a show. If you horse needs anything between that time and competing then why the eff are you competing it.The answer is zero tollerance during that period. ZERO.
                                Now of course this isn't the easiest to enforce but this is we're YOU come in. You all have mobile phones attached to you, take a photo or video if you see something dodgy
                                Harsher penelties for those who break the rules, for everyone, owner, rider and trainer. Starting at $2000 then I would double it for each time caught so 4000, 8000, 16000. If one of those claims ignorance, well that's your own fault. You should know what is happening with your horse. I don't care if you trainer told you it was fine, educate yourself!!! I can't go Kill someone and claim its ok because I was ignorant of the law. It's your own responsibility.
                                Any positive tests, horse, rider and trainer unable to compete for 3 months, then 6, 9, 12, your out for good.
                                I don't think $2,000 for the first infraction is enough. I think it needs to hurt, as in at least $15,000 for each person; owner, rider and trainer, and suspension for a year. Then make it progressively more if there are successive incidents. That way people will think twice before violating the rules. And they will take a lot more responsibility for the horses they ride, train, and own.

                                The USEF needs to be an organization that is standing up for the horses and the fairness of competition. Right now they are just an "ol' boys club."
                                "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                                • Originally posted by Jumper221 View Post
                                  . Even if the drugging stops, then these people will still shift towards other means, like lunging/riding till dead and witholding water. With those as the other options,better living through chemistry might be kinder to the horse. .......I just don't see any easy answer to the problem.
                                  Jumper221 - Def not picking on you, and I get your point, but I found this so ironic.
                                  "Better living through chemistry".

                                  Well, sometimes chemistry kills.

                                  Some of these horses receive a ridiculous amount of 'medication' . 'Medication' not necc to treat a specific disease, but to make them more compliant. Whatever that is.


                                  • Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                                    So, these people who hint about BNTs that drug their horses... why don't you out them? Aren't you perpetuating the problem? Maybe if these BNTs were publicly shunned they might be less likely to drug their horses?
                                    Well, maybe because if the protest is disallowed (and with no supeona power or law enforcement authority that can happen) you lose the fee (500 isn't it) and get slapped with a civil suit you have to hire a lawyer to defend a la EM and Ms Williams.

                                    USEF has to take the onus off protesting and can do so and still protect against frivoulous protests if they rethink the fees and processes that follow the protest. Right now, saying something can be a career ender for a groom or braider, there is nobody to say it to and they don't have 500 even if they are USEF members, and many are not so have no standing to protest.

                                    And USEF HAS to adjust the fines for repeat offenders and even tighten up on first timers no more censure and fine, they get a few months off. If it's just over the limit or too close to the competition? Tough, stop throwing drugs around like candy and treat them like...drugs with well known limits on amount and time frame. The infamous and overused wrong bucket defense? Get better barn help and stop ignoring your (overpriced) on the road barn management.

                                    Clients have to option of pulling the plug and leaving a trainer if they don't like what's going on...but they don't know, get snowed into thinking it's ok everybody does it or choose to ignore it. OWNERS provide the horses and the financing that allows trainers to keep on overmedicating...they need more then a wrist slap. If they get a substantial fine and all horses owned/leased by them are suspended for 6 months? Or a year for repeat offenses? That will get their attention. Potentially make the needle happy trainers clean up their act or lose the client.

                                    The argument that it might drive the unethical to more and more "untestables" is really no reason not to get tougher with what can be regulated.

                                    Oh...who was saying Bute is a drug and they don't use it but Pentosan is OK???? Huh?

                                    Hmmmm...Scott Stewart on the cover of PH???? Interesting.
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                    • Originally posted by aucowwy View Post
                                      Disagree, you can give ace IM or orally and some other sedatives IM. Also banamine can be given orally as well. I do not think anyone should be allowed to give IV injection other than a vet or vet tech working with a vet.
                                      Giving drugs IM is fine if it isn't an emergency, but if a horse is colicking badly, or hurt badly, you want to get those drugs in the bloodstream as quickly as possible. Orally is the SLOWEST way and I would never rely on that for a bad colic.. IV injections aren't rocket science if you learn the technique correctly. I have seen MANY vets who suck at IV injections and have turned my previously easy to inject horses into fearful jerks. Any trainer or barn manger should be competent in giving an IV shot. Which has NOTHING to do with the problem of drugging horses.


                                      • Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                        PS. Haven't yet seen a horse die from Banamine deficiency.
                                        And I haven't yet seen a child die from blue ribbon deficiency


                                        • Originally posted by Discobold View Post
                                          And I haven't yet seen a child die from blue ribbon deficiency
                                          Maybe not die but massive temper tantrum.