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HUGE VENT: BAD HORSE SHOW PARENT INJURES KIDS!

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  • Originally posted by PRS View Post
    I've never been to a show where that kind of behavior was tolerated. WTH is wrong with the show staff?
    Or the judge. He/she should have stopped the class and had the woman taken care of before resuming. Unreal.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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    • Originally posted by msj View Post
      Moesha, I agree with what you say, but keep in mind, the OP, and most of the other people responding, are NOT attacking the kids but the parents, those in charge of running the 4-H programs, and the show officials(organizers, stewards, and judges).

      When I think of 4-H, I also have a bad taste in my mouth but I've only got 3 actual experiences and 2 were not good. The only good one was judging a 4-H show and the kids were pretty darn good.

      The bad experiences:
      1. As a teen, I boarded my horse and the local 4-H club AT THAT TIME, did not allow people to join if you boarded your horse and therefore you couldn't show in the 4-H classes in open shows and 4-H shows. Keep in mind this was in the '60's. By the time I turned 19, the local club did relax the rules and allowed people who boarded to join.

      2. I was boarding at a barn in the mid 70's and the barn owner was asked if the local 4-H could do a judging clinic at the farm. The judging included confirmation etc. Barn owner then asked us boarders to participate. The horse I had at that time had sidebone, ringbone, and navicular and had bouts of soundness with corrective shoeing. I said I'd be glad to participate and would braid my horse to make him look super and for him to be considered a 'ringer'. When we did show them, I intentionally left the horse 'pointing' (obviously indicating navicular). The 4-H leader was going through telling all the kids the good and bad points and grading the horses on their confirmation. Keep in mind my horse was 'pointing', and the horse also was U-necked in that the lower portion of neck was quite pronounced. Basically the neck on up-side-down so he was anything but a confirmation prospect in the first place. When the leader came to my horse he basically said what good confirmation my horse had and how clean his legs were and he should be considered the 'best' horse there! We did have a number of successful and sound show horses in the group.

      I simply could NOT keep my mouth shut and IMMEDIATELY pointed out the 'pointing' and corrective shoeing (with wedge pads no less) indicating navicular and you could see the sidebone as well as the U neck. I didn't give a damn if the leader was embarrassed or not but those kids sure didn't have to be subjected to poor training.
      Glad you corrected that leader...you may have saved the horse world from a whole group of people striving to breed for navicular horses.
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      • Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
        Checking in again. MSJ is correct that there is no kid bashing and I am a former 4-Her with very positive experiences. This particular state horse show is the show I had attended at the dawn of time when I was a child. I always had safety driven into my head, so I was astounded at this turn of events at a 4-H show.

        To clarify matters for those who have not read the entire thread. My boarders' child was injured first. She was stepped on by her horse when she fell off and was carted away in an ambulance because the EMT suspected she had a broken leg. Both parents were in shock, one getting the horse and the other going in the ambulance to the hospital. The other parent went immediately after putting the horse away. I don't think either of them were focused on the parent who caused the disturbance. The good news is their daughter has a bone bruise, not a break. She is taped up and limping, but has a really good attitude about the experience.

        I am surprised that nothing was done after this first fall. The parent in question was rather loud and obvious based on the video I saw. Apparently nobody spoke to her. The class continued. The class wasn't broken up into smaller groups to reduce the chance of crowding and accidents. Not long after the first fall, a more terrible fall of several riders occurred in close proximity to this parent, including one child being face planted into the fence. The injured child had to leave by helicopter. I'm not sure how the other child got to the hospital.

        At this point, if I were the judge or steward, I would have stopped the class and taken some action. There was a safety problem here. Instead, they went on with the class and pinned it. I've never been in a flat class of any kind where so many kids were injured.

        I wish I had the video to post, but I don't. I am just appalled by the lack of common sense in handling a problem. I'm even willing to accept the premise that the fishwife parent had nothing to do with it. You still have 4 kids who fell off in two separate incidents, 3 of whom are off to the hospital. It's time to do something, like split the class, make kids ride individually, tell the spectators to be silent, whatever. Apparently it was business as usual and this class was more of a demolition derby than a hunter hack class.

        Once again, I was not there, so I couldn't do a thing. I heard this story from my boarders upon their return home and saw the video of their DD's fall.
        I don't think I've heard of a class ANYWHERE that had that many serious injuries, but my memory may be foggy. Anyone? This sounds more like a pileup at a racetrack than a 4H class for kids.
        America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

        Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Emily&Jake View Post
          I did 4-H for 5 years and loved it. Both counties I showed in (and State) ran things very well. I did rabbits for 5 years and about the only thing we had to worry about were ARA's and the one time a mom came in and took a rabbit from it's cage for the market sale without letting the superintendent know. I was on herds duty with several kids from my group and we all split up searching the fair for that rabbit. Good memory, actually. I can laugh about it now! lol.
          A couple of kids in our club who show both poultry and rabbits have been enjoying the practical joke of moving eggs that the hens lay at the fair into other settings... like the rabbit cages.
          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


          • Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
            Unfortunately 4H seems to be dependent on the quality of their volunteers, and the kids depend on the quality of their parents. In this situation both were severely lacking. The question is - what are they/you going to do about it?
            Yes! I find it sorely disappointing to find 4-H painted with so broad a brush as some here do. I'm sure there are badly-run clubs. Perhaps the VOLUNTEERS (key word; leaders are not paid!) running them aren't horse pros or even really horse people...maybe they run them because the kids wanted to have a horse club and there was no horse pro who could or would step up and do it. And shame on any pro who does have a club and condones unsafe behavior by anyone.

            Yes, there are counties with badly-run programs...mine is one of them, so our club is affiliated with the next county over.

            Finally, many 4-H kids are not show riders the way many PC kids are. The 4-H shows might be the only time they show. They might be Western (still barely tolerated in PC) or even "just" trail riders who want to have some fun with their horses. Many can't afford the type of horse or pony that could take them to bigger shows. Heck, most of my kids don't have their own horses. They take school horses. My schoolies are kind, wonderful teachers...but they are not fancy show horses. My kids still work hard on their riding skills. They don't show if they can't safely handle the horse in that type of situation. A-circuit riders they are not, but safe, conscientious riders they are learning to be. They are expected to display excellent sportsmanship at all times, to be safe and to be kind to each other and their horses. I would be proud to take my 4-H'ers anywhere.

            4-H isn't like PC and it's wrong to compare the two, IMHO. PC is a wonderful program, but it's not for everyone, especially kids who are lesson riders or ride Western, etc. 4-H is inclusive of all disciplines, but it's meant to teach skills outside of horsemanship. Yes, the lessons learned in PC can be applied to lots of other areas, but in PC, horses are it, where in 4-H, they are one part.

            I can't do anything about the parents in my club as far as what they do at home...but when they are representing our club, they are expected to act with the same level of sportsmanship as the kids. Luckily, I have excellent families who are supportive of our club and our kids. I give a LOT of time to 4-H--it's not something you can do for an hour a month and be done with it. But I agree with hat some have said-if you don't like the quality of the program in your area, instead of bashing it, contact your county extension and volunteer to help make it better! Believe me, volunteers are in short supply and any help is welcome. But don't lump all programs into one (unfair and incorrect) assumption, and don't simply bash if you aren't willing to help make a change!

            Comment


            • You really ought not to pontificate on matters of which you are completely ignorant, Lex.
              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

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

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              • I'm sorry, but I'm having a really hard time believing the rest of this story (i.e., after 1st kid fell and went to hospital).
                Barn rat for life

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                • Originally posted by wcporter View Post
                  I'm sorry, but I'm having a really hard time believing the rest of this story (i.e., after 1st kid fell and went to hospital).
                  So was I, but in one of the OP's subsequent posts, she detailed that the first incident was a freak spook (her client) and the rest of the injuries were from a second incident where more than one rider fell off.

                  Unlikely, but not unbelieveable IMO...especially in a class with a lot of inexperienced riders. I've had moments of claustrophobic panic in big flat classes, and sometimes there's an intimidating/scary enough pair that I've been worried about accidents. It takes experience to make the call to pick a new path and proactively avoid a pile-up. A good horse will try and avoid hitting other horses, but quick action from the horse can often result in unseating an inexperienced/scared rider. Also, resuming a class where one of your fellow competitors (or friends) taken to hospital doesn't exactly make a nervous rider MORE confident and able to make good decisions. My old coach "pulled" me from a class once after I witnessed a bad crash. My horse and I were kind of borderline-ready for the level anyway...and the crash rattled me. She was probably right to pull us, I likely would have crashed too, just out of worry.

                  I've never seen anything like this incident...the closest is in one of those tiny-kid undersaddles, one kid's pony was kind of being naughty, so the kid broke down crying, at which point ALL of the kids started to cry. Hot, long day, lots of in-gate waiting...sort of a frustrated children's show of solidarity.
                  Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Burbank View Post
                    I thought that at 4-H shows there was no ringside coaching allowed, especially at regional and state shows
                    so there goes her having to coach poopsie
                    I hate to tell you, but when I was in 4-H and showing back in the early 1980's kids had professional trainers who would hang over the rails and coach them the whole class. The parents also did it too. This is nothing new.

                    Comment


                    • 4-H can be so WEIRD. One group I know of in Louisiana would not allow participation unless the kids had QHs. No Arabs, no Apps, no Pintos or Paints (bef. AQHA allowed reg. of horses with "excessive" white), no TBs, no ponies. QH ONLY! (One wondered if AQHA was funding them. LOL)

                      Comment


                      • Any media coverage? I can't find anything googling such things as "Lexington child injured helicopter Virginia horse center blah blah blah" nor is there anything in the online News-Gazette. I would think a helicopter transport might make the local news. Of course, Rockbridge County is neither here nor there, so larger media markets (like Staunton or Roanoke) might not have covered it.

                        Also, when helicopter transport is requested, they don't just land the helicopter right next to an injured person. I don't know exactly what Rockbridge EMS' policy is, but often there is a designated regional helicopter landing area for all serious injuries in that area. The injured person might be loaded into an ambulance at the first location, then transported to the helicopter which might be a few miles away. The helicopter landing site isn't a formal "helipad;" in the suburb where I used to work, it was a local soccer/baseball field(s). The Virginia Horse Center would probably be a great location for a helicopter landing site == except when a horse show was going on. So the fact that the other mom who was there didn't see a helicopter isn't necessarily here or there. I'm surprised no other witnesses have commented here.
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                        • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                          4H Horse Clubs are separate from the 4H chapters and they are often little fiefdoms of families where outsiders are not welcome to bring change and things are run like a HS clique.
                          Was this your experience as a 4H member? I've found, across several states, the 4H Horse Clubs to be inclusive of all types of children-- including those that don't ride but just want to learn all about horses.

                          I'm a little surprised that no one else on the rail said anything to the pink wearing fishwife-- most horse people I know aren't that reticent if they see something that just isn't right. Shame on the steward too-- the ring isn't big enough to hide someone flapping stuff on the rail-- it should have been noticed and dealt with immediately. Does anyone know if the incident was reported to the show management? Hope all involved heal quickly.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                            You really ought not to pontificate on matters of which you are completely ignorant, Lex.
                            How am I completely ignorant in this matter? I've seen how bad the local 4H horse club is with my own eyes - it's a joke and a racket run by the same two families for at least a decade and their kids are the appointed instructors - and we've had discussions on this forum about how bad 4H can be on numerous occasions when there's no real standard for it. Perhaps it is you who needs to get some real perspective.
                            Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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                            • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                              How am I completely ignorant in this matter? I've seen how bad the local 4H horse club is with my own eyes - it's a joke and a racket run by the same two families for at least a decade and their kids are the appointed instructors - and we've had discussions on this forum about how bad 4H can be on numerous occasions when there's no real standard for it. Perhaps it is you who needs to get some real perspective.
                              Sounds like your experience with 4-H is about the same as your experience with "pasture land" and the cattle industry in Fauquier County.

                              Are you actively involved with this particular 4H Project Club you're bashing, or is it another drive-by observation? And what do you mean by "no real standard" for 4-H? 4-H always has provided a huge resource for training, information and yes, standards. Just like any volunteer staffed organization (like Scouts) you'll find variation in the levels of commitment and ability throughout the leadership. Parents and/or interested parties need to step up and into volunteering if they are not happy with the way a club is run-- or they can start their own Project or Community Club.

                              I think anyone (Ghazzu) who has been actively involved in a volunteer organization, has been greatly impacted by that organization (Ghazzu) and has gone on to give back to the community because of their initial participation (Ghazzu), gets a little tired of non-participant pontification (Lexinva), as do many of us who just.... Do.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                OP, are you a trainer with clients at this show?

                                If so, I think the solution is to stop patronizing the show.

                                The parents of the broken child, complete with medical bills and video tape, need to make some noise about suing the rowdy spectator and perhaps the show.

                                How is it that a class continued and a winner was pinned after everyone pulled over for one kid to leave in an ambulance and another to leave in a helicopter? WTF?

                                I hadn't been around 4-H up close until I moved to Oregon. I have not been impressed. There are no stewards at 4-H shows, by the way.
                                How long did this class take?

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by goodlife View Post
                                  What I find the most appalling and puzzling is that this class allegedly just continued on, incident after incident, for what would be hours. I work for an air ambulance company, so I have some experience with the timeframe that exists around EMS transport.

                                  So the class has been underway for about 10 minutes and OP's boarder's kid falls off, everyone else stops. Horse is caught, arena is probably cleared out, kid is stabilized, and then everyone waits for the ground ambulance to arrive. That's gotta be running you close to a half-hour. Even if it was onsite, it's probably at least 15-20 minutes before the ambulance is actually driving away from the show. Now all of the kids have to remount, judge has to reorganize his or herself, onward we go.

                                  Let's say non-air-ambulance kid falls off next. Again, everyone stops while kid gathers herself, everyone probably remains in the arena, while halted. Another 10 minutes.

                                  Let's say it's another 5-10 before kid smokes her face on the rail, like OP said. Doesn't get up. Horse is caught, everyone stops again. Judge now wants/needs a stiff drink. If there was an ambulance on site, it's now gone, as OP's kid used it just a short while ago. Most often, the first responders on site (ground ambulance) are the ones to indicate that air transport is required. It's going to take about an hour for ground EMS to respond, air ambulance to be dispatched, suitable landing site cleared, kid to be assessed, loaded and helicopter to take off.

                                  We're looking at a good two-hour flat class here. Did they really carry it on that long and have the audacity to pin the class after that class alone required the use of probably half the county's EMS?
                                  I feel like some sort of clarification is in order because that doesn't add up at all.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    As much as I write in my job, I am not a fiction writer nor am I a private detective. I am sorry that some posters don't believe this turn of events. As I have said all along, I don't have the video and I am repeating what my boarders said about the show. In fairness to my boarders, I have known them for years and would not characterize them as a hysterical people prone to fantasies about shows.

                                    I do not expect to see news stories about helicopter flights from the Virginia Horse Center. I think that happens often enough given the number of shows held there. People get injured at horse shows. I also understand the local hospital is limited in what kinds of trauma it can treat. My boarders commented that the radiologic equipment was old and they were advised to go see their own physician as the hospital wasn't sure about the DD's leg.

                                    I have promised to provide more information when I can get it. I also agree that it is shocking to have so many kids injured in a flat class. I have never been in or seen a flat class of any kind where that happened. I am surprised that the class was pinned, but it was. If you look at the results EVERY class is pinned. I can say that my boarders reported their results accurately and I can identify the fishwife's DD from the results.

                                    I would have thought the time constraints in removing the injured would have at least suspended the class. Please remember that my boarders weren't there for the aftermath, so they were not witnesses.

                                    And one more time. I spent 10 happy years in 4-H. I agree that it is a volunteer run program. I happened to be in a good program; good enough that one of the kids who rode in it went on the represent the US in the Olympics. I consider my 4-H experience to be the foundation of what I know about horses and I am grateful for the time the leaders spent teaching us. I also support 4-H programs as I can; most recently I brought a bunch of Fjords to a judging clinic for the kids. So no 4-H bashing here. I just don't understand why anyone -- parent, trainer, whatever -- would be allowed to create such a disturbance as to cause injuries to riders in the ring.
                                    Last edited by IronwoodFarm; Sep. 20, 2013, 08:51 AM. Reason: adding more clarity
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                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by LexInVA View Post
                                      How am I completely ignorant in this matter? I've seen how bad the local 4H horse club is with my own eyes - it's a joke and a racket run by the same two families for at least a decade and their kids are the appointed instructors .
                                      I'm aware of the players within the local 4-H. It is not a "joke", nor is it a "racket run by the same two families."

                                      I don't know where you are getting your information and sudden expertise on agriculture in this region, but I suggest you move on to another subject. You're making a fool of yourself on this one.

                                      Just like any other club or organization, the composition and quality of its members can vary widely. But I can assure COTH members that in this region, 4-H is an active and healthy organization that is turning out productive members of society. One of the local kids is taking a leadership role in expanding the 4-H swine projects for the local chapter - with strong support from the farming community and local businesses.

                                      I just don't see any virtue in bashing an exceptional organization whose mission is to turn out responsible, productive, and service oriented members of society. Their youth development programs emphasize engineering, science, and technology as well as community service and animal husbandry.

                                      Bad behavior or unresponsive show organizers happen in all kinds of horse shows. If people were injured at this show because of the bad behavior or ONE railbird - it is not evidence that a century old organization is a "joke".
                                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                      -Rudyard Kipling

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                                      • Wait. Lex, are you saying you were in 4-H? Or have a kid in 4-H now?
                                        "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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                                        • I’ve been following this thread with interest since I’ve over the past 30 + years have attended the state show, and would like to add some comments.

                                          First and foremost, at times this thread has diverged into bashing 4-H, which is rather sad. 4-H differs from state to state and for that matter, from county to county. It is simply what you make and put into it. We have been lucky enough here to have been a part of wonderful clubs, both when my sister and I were growing up (she participated and I was her handy helper), and then when my niece and daughter participated. I cannot begin to say how much my own daughter benefited from her participation. She had a club with good leadership and a good base of parent volunteers. And quite frankly I do know that a couple of times in years past parents (and I think a coach) were booted out of the show for acting out.

                                          From what I have seen in the past, the folks who run this show do a good job, move a lot of kids and classes through a very busy schedule.

                                          While I did not attend this year, I will say that in years past it seems like some years everything went smoothly with not a lot of splats and some years it seems like kids were falling off right and left. I do note the show was moved up a weekend and at home all of our mares are in heat and most of the horses on the farm have been rather nutty. My daughter was there with her student, riding my grandhorse. What I have heard is that this was one of those years where there seemed to be a lot of spooking horses and riders falling off this year. But three wrecks in one class does seem to be a bit much, so I will be waiting to see Ironwood Farm finds out.
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