I don’t care what discipline you ride in. If you are naïve enough to believe that nowhere in the world does someone in your discipline partake in illegal medicating (or other abusive behavior for that matter) then you just might live under a rock. Now before you get your panties in a wad I want you to really think about it. Even if you haven’t witnessed this behavior first hand you have most likely heard about it or read about it.
By making these statements I am in no way saying that everyone does it or even that everyone in x discipline is guilty. I think when looking at your primary English disciplines the likely hood of finding a doped horse probably ranks hunter/jumper, dressage, then eventing. Yes, I realize that I am making generalizations but I really just haven’t seen as much blatant disregard for the (medication) rules in any discipline the way you see it in HJ land. This is my opinion based on my direct experiences. Instead of being saddened by all of the people that seem to have no respect for a level playing field I am frankly disgusted.
I have limited experience in each area and am in no way claiming to be an expert of anything. I would say that I grew up in HJ land and then landed in eventing as a young adult and now dabble a bit between both worlds doing low level eventing and jumpers. My adolescence probably would have involved quite a few less tears if my trainers had lacked more morals and been okay with doping the sometimes difficult horses that I rode back then. But he wasn’t and while I think we all walk away with different things from each trainer that trainer in particular taught me that the horse ALWAYS comes first. If you can’t achieve the desired result naturally than there is a different part of the equation that needs to be evaluated.
Unfortunately you don’t see all trainers these days taking that route. I think that in part this is due to the way that these disciplines have evolved and the unrealistic expectations in some areas for the demeanor of the horse. What happened to a horse being able to enjoy its work? Have a little more spirit?
Today the Chronicle Of The Horse published an article about the suspensions of Larry Glefke and Kelley Farmer. Now you might somehow believe that this was an error and how could they… but people don’t get suspended for 2 years and fined without some evidence and it honestly makes me lose a lot of respect for said professionals. What is more upsetting is that the chronicle has no issues flaming this “unseen abuse” but when there is obvious mistreatment or pain being inflicted on a horse (aka bloody mouths – multiple times) their take is that we (the outspoken amateurs) are just having fun shaming a specific individual. Witch hunts are in style apparently.
Rant over… What is your take on these developments? Do you find yourself angered as I am? Do you think we are all a bunch of sensitive ninnies and need to accept that this is the way it is? I am truly intrigued to see where everyone falls. Blogging lends us a truly diverse group of people to bounce ideas off of and I can’t wait to see where you all fall on this subject.