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Re: RC: You just can't legislate everything . . . !

In a message dated Mon, 25 Jun 2001  3:43:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Jennifer Layman <> writes:

<< I too would love to keep the rules simple.  The problem is that that
ONE stupid person may spoil it for all of us.  This is why the
article was written.  There are many people out there that would love
the excuse to shut us down.  This is what we are being asked to think

If we wait until horses are critically injured or ill to "not" reward
their riders, we have already drawn too much attention to our sport
from the outside world.  >>

The point is, we already HAVE the rules in place to shut such people down BEFORE they do damage--we just have to have the guts to use them!

Regarding illness and injury to the horse, our sport is one of the most proactive among equine sports out there.  I'm not saying there aren't times we could do better--there are--but the mechanisms ARE in place for veterinarians to pull horses when they need to be pulled, and to even disqualify people if they are abusive or rude.  Hey, I've DQ'ed a couple myself for poor sportsmanship and/or abuse, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!  We had one rider at a ride that I vetted a few years ago who repeatedly kicked and beat his horse on his way into camp because the horse had let others get by him.  This outrageous episode was witnessed not only by fellow riders, but by USFS officials and other park users.  Ride manager and I conferred, and I asked that nothing be done until after the horse was presented for the post-ride exam, as I felt the horse deserved to be examined--which I did, and then informed the rider that I was DQ'ing him for horse abuse and poor sportsmanship, with t!
he RM and the park ranger standi
ng not far behind me with arms crossed, looking on--not to mention the fact that some of the passers-by had also stayed to see how it was handled, as did SEVERAL of the riders.  I think all parties left the scene with the impression that hey, these endurance folks don't tolerate any abuse!

Also, with issues such as the Malibu ride, where riders endanger us with the public--the best defense is to have already policed our own, and to have DQ'ed such people ourselves!  Then ride management can go back to the agency, or whatever, and say, "Hey, we had this problem, and we handled it, and the perpetrator won't be back!"

We don't need rule changes to be able to do that--we need to be able to have the courage of our convictions, and stand up for what needs to be done!


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