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"...compiling the 8 p.m. medication list for 30 horses is a task in itself."

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  • "...compiling the 8 p.m. medication list for 30 horses is a task in itself."

    WHY?!?!?!?!

    (This is a "Suspension List" related post.)

    I have NOTHING whatsoever against the BNT who stated this (published in COTH a while back). Indeed, so COMMON is this "dilemma" that I'm sure he felt no hesitation in uttering that statement.

    BUT can you IMAGINE what someone OUTSIDE the horse industry would think--or, worse still, a PETA person?

    That the industry is so far gone on drugs and medications (and, granted, he MAY have been refering to supplements as well, but the fact is that he actually chose to USE the word "medications") demonstrates that winning "at cost" is a truly pervasive (and sad) MINDSET in our industry, not just a somewhat pervasive "practice."

    Just wanted to say that.

    Sportponies Unlimited
    Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
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    Sportponies Unlimited
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  • Original Poster

    #2
    WHY?!?!?!?!

    (This is a "Suspension List" related post.)

    I have NOTHING whatsoever against the BNT who stated this (published in COTH a while back). Indeed, so COMMON is this "dilemma" that I'm sure he felt no hesitation in uttering that statement.

    BUT can you IMAGINE what someone OUTSIDE the horse industry would think--or, worse still, a PETA person?

    That the industry is so far gone on drugs and medications (and, granted, he MAY have been refering to supplements as well, but the fact is that he actually chose to USE the word "medications") demonstrates that winning "at cost" is a truly pervasive (and sad) MINDSET in our industry, not just a somewhat pervasive "practice."

    Just wanted to say that.

    Sportponies Unlimited
    Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
    http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com
    http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com/...stallions.html
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't see that statement as a reflection on winning. I see it as a reflection of a conscientious trainer who takes the time to sit down and decide what each horse requires to be at its optimum best. I actually didn't see the quote, so I have no idea which trainer you are referring to. However, I would much rather hear someone say that their med list took them a long time, rather than hearing them exclaim on their way to the car "give them all x ccs of y and y ccs of Z and six tabs of xyz". That's much quicker, and a heck of a lot less effective and humane.

      I would not take a quote like this to mean that each and every one of his horses are loaded up with four different meds. I would assume he's taking the time to figure out which medication, and how much of it, is right for which horse on which particular day, or if they need something at all. For 30 horses that IS quite a task. One has to remember that there are a lot of legal drugs, and they are useful in keeping our horses from experiencing ill effects from the things we ask them to do. These drugs are all made to do different things, and have different effects on different horses, and a trainer has to be educated and thoughtful to use them in the most productive manner.

      http://community.webshots.com/user/anallie

      Comment


      • #4
        Good post, C. Boylen.

        Comment


        • #5
          C.Boylen - Pardon me for saying so, but you seem to take the loading of meds/supplements with a "business as usual" attitude. It worries me when I see intelligent people take medicating horses as part of the process of showing.

          I agree that SOME horses need a bit of help to stay sound and happy. But really, in a barn of 30 horses, how many should be on regular meds?!?!?!?! 25%? Half of them? All of them?!?!?!?

          Comment


          • #6
            The horse industry is no more "far gone" on drugs and meds than human medicine is. Doctors over prescribe and needlessly prescribe drugs, right off the bat, rather than try alternatives such as diet, exercise, therapy. They are in bed with the pharmaceutical companies just as much as the insurance companies are, and our health is suffering for it.

            Animal medicine is often a reflection of human medicine, sometimes for the good, sometimes not.
            But vets seem to be falling into this trap, too.

            And Chanda, you go girl! I know how much thought RESPONSIBLE trainers give to the meds/supplements program and it takes an enormous amount of time. It is too easy to take a comment out of context and go on the attack.

            Laurie
            Laurie

            Comment


            • #7
              Medications are everywhere now. I don't think the trainer was insinuating that each horse gets his resperine / bute and whatever altering drug cocktail.

              It seems like most people do some form of supplement, be it glucosumine, something for the hooves or a dash of corn oil for the coat! I used to ride at a barn with no show horses, and 90% of the horses got some form of supplement or meds. I think it makes us feel better to give our horse a supplement that might keep them sounder or make their coat softer. I know I feel good when I give my dog his joint supplemend and my cat her cod liver oil! Perhaps the author should have swapped the word supplements with medication.

              That said, if you are a trainer and your whole barn is on serious meds, you have some issues!

              The witchy witch witch of south central NC.
              The witchy witch witch of south central NC.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's important to remember that the horses who show a lot are really the professional athletes of our sport, and are treated as such.

                You might have two guys who play baseball, but one of them plays once a month in the park with his buddies, and the other is a NY Yankee. The average guy may need nothing, or may take an aspirin on the day after he plays, but Derek Jeter (mmm, Derek!) has a whole staff of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, etc., to help him perform at peak capacity.

                The horses are the same. A horse that shows for 2-3 months straight in Florida will need more maintenance than a horse that shows 2-3 times a year.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm in agreement on the need for a team of specialists for our horses - my horses have theirs. But what drug(s) is Derek taking in addition? Percodan (sp?)? Cocaine? Steriods? Or just OTC pain relievers?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Believe me, I wish I had first-hand knowledge with Derek!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      C. Bolen makes an excellent point (when doesn't she?). Lets suppose for a moment that we are talking about a trainer that has a barn full of horses that show three weeks each month (I didn't read the article so I don't know who the original poster is referring to). Let's also suppose that none of them are younger than 6 years old and that they are doing rated divisions, so 3'6" and higher.

                      Now suppose that each one gets bute the evening before they show. The simple thing to do is to give them all one 1 gram tablet/scoop in their evening dinner. Now for the average 1100-1200 pound TB, that would be right. Now to get the same effect on the 1800 pound warmblood would require more and for the small pony (ok, not showing 3'6", but whatever height regular small ponies do) you would get set down for that much, so it must be half a gram.

                      In my example, the thoughtful trainer would have quite a lot of prep on their hands and all the horses would be getting would be bute. Now add that some horses get Isox because their feet are too damn small, some get ulcer meds because they have tummy troubles (not necessarily because they show), some get supplements that their owners want them to have and pay big bucks for, and it just gets more complicated from there.

                      I am not defending anyone who breaks the rules, but rather understand that it can get complicated even when it might seem simple.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can someone post a link to the article......

                        http://www.foxpointefarm.com
                        http://www.go-sho.org
                        [url]http://www.horseshowbiz.com
                        [url]http://www.ijumpsports.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by khobstetter:
                          Can someone post a link to the article......

                          <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                          I don't seem to see it in the Archives, but I *believe* it was Peter Pletcher's fairly recent column singing the praises of assistants in the horse business- managers, assistant trainers, etc.

                          Maybe somebody can locate it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by larosa90:
                            ...Lets suppose for a moment that we are talking about a trainer that has a barn full of horses that show three weeks each month ... Let's also suppose that none of them are younger than 6 years old and that they are doing rated divisions, so 3'6" and higher.

                            Now suppose that each one gets bute the evening before they show. The simple thing to do is to give them all one 1 gram tablet/scoop in their evening dinner. Now for the average 1100-1200 pound TB, that would be right. Now to get the same effect on the 1800 pound warmblood would require more and for the small pony (ok, not showing 3'6", but whatever height regular small ponies do) you would get set down for that much, so it must be half a gram.

                            In my example, the thoughtful trainer would have quite a lot of prep on their hands and all the horses would be getting would be bute. Now add that some horses get Isox because their feet are too damn small, some get ulcer meds because they have tummy troubles (not necessarily because they show), some get supplements that their owners want them to have and pay big bucks for, and it just gets more complicated from there.

                            I am not defending anyone who breaks the rules, but rather understand that it can get complicated even when it might seem simple.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


                            In my faantasy wworld, people would have some clue as to the limitations of flesh and bone, and wouldn't expect an animal to show 3'6" and higher 3 weeks out of 4.

                            IMHO, a large part of the "problem" is that too many owners and trainers, despite the lip service to "caring" about their horses, nevertheless have unrealistic expectations of what they can comfortably do, or expect that simply because the owners/trainers have some "need" to show extensively, that the horses ought to. They are living creatures, not a piece of athletic equipment.

                            If you "need" to show 3 weeks a month, get a stable full of horses. Don't expect one or two to be up to it without drugging them.
                            Can't afford that?
                            Then scale back. Don't use up more horse than you have.

                            Unashamed member of the Arab clique...just settin' on the Group W bench.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Somehow, I have a hard time believing that this many horses in any barn needs meds/supps/etc., unless the horse is being pushed too hard physically in the greedy pursuit of points. It isn't the well-being of the horse that is of concern, but whether or not the horse will survive the show season and make it to finals and not be an absolute cripple.

                              In every barn I've been at or worked at, less than 5% of the horses are on any kind of medicine or supplement. Then again, those horses aren't pounded into the ground either. They are also turned out 8-14 hours a day and don't spend their lives living in 8x8 portable stalls or on the road.

                              I have an older gelding, now 19, who I foxhunt. Foxhunting is far more grueling than endless (boring) trips around a manicured ring, and I've been hunting this same horse for 12 years. He's not on any supplement or medicine, and still going sound and jumping 3'+ coops in the field. But I also monitor his condition and if I feel he's not in his usually form, I'll go 2nd flight and skip jumping. I don't stick him with a needle or pump him up at breakfast so that I can go 1st flight and jump. At most, when we get back to the barn, I'll give him a gram of bute, and skip the next fixture. Because of my care and attention to HIS needs, when we do head out, he is always fresh, sound and ready to go, without chemical assistance.

                              As much as I enjoy hunting, my horse's happiness is FAR more important to me than going to every single hunt.

                              We're a team, and both members of the team need to be in top UNMEDICATED form. In the hunt field, to do otherwise could literally get you killed.

                              Too bad genuine care and well being of the horse never makes it past the lip service. While they espouse otherwise, it is all too obvious that owners and trainers will sacrifice anything, including their horse's well-being, to win. That is just pathetic.
                              ~*~Tally Hoooooooo!~*~

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                OK, it was Peter Pletcher's Between Rounds column from September 19th, 2003, entitled "Trainers Like Me Wouldn't Be Able To Function Without Our Wonderful Assistants."

                                The sentence in question is used in the context of, Wow, my assistant has a lot of duties to juggle.

                                Found it in my magazine, but I don't see it online. Sorry, my linkage skills are, um, minimal.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Excellent post Ghazzu! The horse show world has unfortunately devolved to the point that you *have* to show 3 out of those 4 weeks to be a *top* rider, trainer, horse, etc. There's a big difference between supplements for hoof, coat, deworming, and drugs to "keep them going". And no, the stream of drugs is NOT because of vets prescribing drugs for every little problem, but because of the clients who overuse them, or even obtain them 3rd party. There are high level horses at the barn where I ride, and they are NOT on a constant schedule of drugs. They go around sound, willing and calm, because of good husbandry practices and training.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with Ghazzu!

                                    I sometimes tag along to shows with BNT's and they always ask me what my horse gets for meds. To see the look on their face when I say "nothing" is shocking! I bet they think I am a country bumpkin!

                                    The over-showing of horses in this counrty is rediculous. It would be one thing if you could replicate the home-life of a horse at shows (i.e. big comfy box stall, turn-out, etc.) IMO - that is the hardest thing on the horse, not the actual jumping and showing part.

                                    Come and visit the horses at: http://www.crosscreek.tk

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      How's about PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE? I know there are horses that can go their entire lives without supplements of any kind. But, I have to think that the majority are happy to get the extras some of us give them to keep them as happy with their jobs as possible.

                                      Geesh!

                                      Excellent post, CBoylen.

                                      "B***h in training"
                                      \"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.\" -- Ralph Waldo E

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Duffy,

                                        I don't know about you, but in order for me to do my job, I don't need Isox, Dex, Reserpine or anything else to effectively do my job, which is actually rather physical itself. Drugs are not "preventative maintenance".

                                        How about simply not overworking the horse to begin with? Oh, wait, that would mean...gasp...not showing every weekend. Heaven forbid we let THAT happen.

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