Dealing With Other People's Disrespectful Horses at Events

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Go the Distance, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I spend some of my equestrian time being a helper ie I am a Temperature, Pulse and Respiration Steward at endurance and also occasionally do gear checking or volunteering at other events.

    I have to say at endurance it is rare to get a badly behaved horse and if one is badly behaved you are well supported by ride organisers and committee members when you refuse to deal with it or demand that the owner sort it out. I also must point out that it is very rare to get an under worked and over fed horse at an endurance event. As a TPR steward at endurance I have never been trampled on or injured. I cannot say the same for other events.

    I have to say as a helper/volunteer I see far too many over fed, under worked, disrespectful horses. So when, as a helper, you go to do something such as check its gear and the horse tramples over the top of you what do you do??

    I always verbally request that they make the horse stand up and ensure that I stay safe however I often get riders that tell me, 'He is always like this.' 'It is because he is excited.' etc etc. I am sorry but it is not a good enough excuse. So are there any other helpers, gear checkers, stewards out there who have a way of dealing with this??
  2. Lucksta

    Lucksta Well-known Member

    I gear checked yesterday, lucky at an EFA event where there is very few rules (body protector, medical arm band, number on you & the horse), couldn't get near half of them. Actually gear checked a few whilst they were cantering around me.

    Didn't bother me, I'd prefer to do that than have someone fall off or get hurt because their horses have reared whilst they're trying to make them stand for gear check.
  3. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    At my TB's first ODE he was on his back legs for most of the warm up. It's not because he is ill mannered, nor is he over fed.

    He is very, very green and was freaking out due to not being used to the atmosphere at an ODE which is completely different to the racetrack or anything else he has experienced before, which is fine as that is why I took him to an ODE, for experience. He was also wanting to go back to the float to be with my other horse who is his paddock buddy and he is with him pretty much 24/7.

    In saying that, I anticipated having a problem with him and I asked a friend to lead us up to gear check, just in case. She ended up having to hold him while the gear checker was doing their job. My horse stood still, was polite and we were gear checked without a problem. I don't like people who's horses are so keyed up that they can't/won't stand still and won't get someone to hold their horse while gear checked. Gear checking is there for a reason.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  4. magic_impact

    magic_impact Well-known Member

    I was going to say - gear check for EA events only, and you don't have to touch the horse, can do it from a nice safe distance like Lauren did :D

    The purpose of the EA gear check is to check that you are not doing anything 'illegal', not to check whether the gear is actually safe, maintained or well fitting, like it is in pony club events. So you dont lift saddle flaps to check stirrup/girth mounts, you don't check girths and only check in the mouth if you think the bit may be illegal from what you can see on the outside of the mouth.

    I think also, to compare with endurance vet checking is a bit harsh - endurance vet checks are unmounted and in my experience, held with each individual horse being taken aside, and not held in a big wide open area with a million horses galloping around the place. Gear checking for eventing has none of that controlled atmosphere!
  5. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    At PC level, the horse needs to stand for the Gear Checker - you'd think that's not too much to ask, right? Horse - stand still, horses love to do that!!

    Recently I refused to gearcheck a horse. Sorry, if you can't still (hand galloping around me :blink:), then you don't pass the first step of GearCheck - stand still. Someone else checked them (EA style as described above), and not long after, before entering the warmup (did it need warming up after all the galloping to get to GearCheck :blink:), it bucked both rider and saddle off :blink: Gear went back on, EA-style GearCheck again (different person), and off it went to compete ';'

    Not aproaching an animal you are GearChecking? That is just mind-boggling. How do you know if the girth is secure? That the points aren't worn? That day I had too-small bit, way too many loose girths, boots on backwards, spurs upside down, too many narrow stirrups, girth points that wouldn't fit into their keepers....shall I go on? I let most of them through with adjustments and warnings. The snotty ones I definitely let go through - hoping I would get banned from ever being a Gear Checker again :D
  6. Lucksta

    Lucksta Well-known Member

    Because none of that is required for EFA ';'
    I was told not to touch horses unless asked (one person did ask for help doing up a girth). I asked them all are THEY happy with the girth, so they all checked their own girths.

    Check out the EFA ''rule book''... consists of one page.

    At PC level I would ask the rider to jump off for a second if I couldn't safely get close to them, but PC has a million rules, a lot which require you to be able to touch the horse.

    XC warm ups can be completely chaotic, add green horses, horses that know they're about to go xc, green riders, young riders etc and it's little wonder a number of horses get a bit fizzy and don't want to stand still :eek:
  7. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    ^^^ This :)

    Ohh Lucksta were you gear checking at around 3pm? If so it was nice to meet you. lol GK and I were 326 - small grey, black bonnet. I had a blue shirt & BP with a green helmet cover.
  8. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I didn't realise this topic was restriced to EA eventing Gear Checking only :rolleyes: I was not Gear Checking for XC either ';'

    I shall re-read my signature now :))
  9. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    I think it's Gear checking in general.... It's just hard because there are different rules for different organisers. :)
  10. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Oh, I understand that completely. I just think as a horse Owner/rider/breeder that there is no way I'd take my horse anywhere if it couldn't be handled by the people on the other end, as it needs to be. I don't think it's fair on the stewards, organisers or other competitors. Bit self-indulgent really, to think that your own horse should be allowed to get away with these misdemeanours - possibly injuring others that are already under pressure.

    I should add, I think an outing to a Show is the whole of the event. being a pleasure to be camped next to, tied next to, standing next to, being Gear Checked, stabled next to, etc. I remember at the Royal, the little pony I was with was doing lovely acrobatics next to a Stockies horse in the stables :eek:
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  11. Lucksta

    Lucksta Well-known Member

    Wattle, you said ''Not aproaching an animal you are GearChecking? That is just mind-boggling''. Clearly you could not do that at a PC event, as you have to measure stirrups etc..

    Nope only did the big grades NaeNae.. possibly why so many were pumped up *#) They all certainly knew what phase was next (and it was rather chilly at 7:30).
  12. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Wattle your story had me in fits.....:lol: especially when the horse bucked the rider off....:blink: I too cannot get over the amount of loose girths you find among the other things.

    It is also rider etiquette not to let your horse nearly kill someone..... I can understand why a lot of equestrian events have trouble getting volunteers..... Maybe I should offer to do the canteen next time and someone else can get thier head nearly knocked off which is what happened to me yesterday......:(
  13. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    I completely agree. I don't care if it is a 4* horse, a winner of the Quilty or a PC pony, my horses do learn to behave. If I suspect they may not, I get someone to lead me. Either way they are controlled and their behaviour is not dangerous to themselves or other people/horses on the grounds.

    Although (going a bit off topic here too) When I have had a horse that has been playing up, I take it as far away as possible from the majority of people and work with it til it calms down... Some people must be bleeding blind because even though there is rearing and rocking horse-ing as well a tail swishing going on with me off in a corner... Some still see it as an acceptable practice to ride really close to my horses backside, which as you can imagine would upset him more.

    People's attitudes need to change more. They need to be held accountable for their horses actions and rude behaviour. Red ribbons mean keep away from the horse... walk gives way to everything, trot gives way to canter, don't walk on the outside track in the warm up, If someone is doing more advanced moves than you are at that present moment then give way. Not many people know warm up ettiquette any more. Riding lessons, Riding Schools, Pony club, ARC etc should do quick lessons on ettiquette for rider & horse as a surprising amout of people seem to have forgotten these basics.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  14. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    I too don't understand all the hype and drama in the warm up arena before the cross country...... Seriously wouldn't you want your horses head in a better place before you flog it around a cross country course. Maybe that is why I should stick to endurance......
  15. needanswers

    needanswers Well-known Member

    GTD I'd say yes - most of us what their horse to be concentrating on the task at hand warming up for XC. HOWEVER many horses LOVE XC and get super excited.... also I guess a lot of the are X race horses - probably see it as 'race day'.
  16. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Or they're just not trained ;) Racehorses, even those that "love it" are not allowed to behave in a dangerous manner at a race day. They'd be sent away for further training, or banned. Same as the trainer or a jockey that rode dangerously. Any jockey worth their salt wouldn't accept the ride on that sort of horse anyway.

    Misdemeanours at events, shows, pony club, or even the humble Social Ride is "allowed" #(
  17. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    I am the owner of a very lovely well mannered mare and we event. Although EA gear checks do not require a lot of work on behalf of the gear checker many will want to check my girth.

    My girl is not the kind of horse you can just walk up to and grab her girth. She needs a formal introduction... hand shake and all *#)

    Every single gear check I go to with her I declare my name / number / horse and as they approach EVERY gear checker is warned that she's touchy and my girth is fine but if you'd like to check it please let her meet you first.

    Fortunately most of the gear checkers at the EA ODEs know her now and just go "Hey Fidge" (stroke nose) ask me if I'm happy with girth "Yep" all good **)

    Horses are as individual as people and some people have a really big personal space barrier so do some horses ;)
  18. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Yes agreed Little Bean. I've had plenty of people warn me about girthiness. Quite often cause by people who don't pause to do the introduction/handshake (which only needs seconds really!). One lady even warned me that her gelding would try and bite me (cos that's "what he does"), but I'd met him with a previous Owner, so we were more acquainted than me saying Hi to his rider lol, and he didn't try and bite :wub: He just needs acknowledgment of his awesomeness that one :D (truly :rolleyes:)
  19. South Boulder Boy

    South Boulder Boy Well-known Member

    Um lol. No offence but you obviously haven't been attending the same races as me. Race day is all about misbehaved over excited horses left right and centre. They calm down slightly once in the parade ring and the best thing you can do is get a rider on board as quick as possible. Once that jockey hits the saddle the horse immediatly fires up though ready to go. But out the back? It can be absolute chaos. You have horses snapping chains, kicking out, occasionally even getting lose. How do we deal with it? Experienced strappers, stable hands, barrier attendants etc. If you can't handle an over excited hot headed horse than you shouldn't be near it. Sorry but maybe that needs to be the case for shows too? I really really can not see how show horses can be harder to deal with than racehorses. Alot of people just don't see what's going on behind the scenes. Maybe you have been lucky and had some pretty cruisey race days? Because realistically the norm is hyped up misbehaving horses.

    And as for jockeys not taking the ride well. If they refused every ride because the horse might be dangerous they'd never have rides. Racing is dangerous, you can still have a fall off a nice horse it all comes down to luck. One of our horses was known by everyone (including stewards) to be a leaping bucking bronc. Jockeys still happily rode him because non of that matters once you get the horse moving forward enough. No rider or handler every ended up injured by him but plenty of 'quiet well behaved' horses have ditched their jockeys.
  20. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I don't really care about "out the back", nor at any other horse show. I mean I care, but we're discussing having strangers/volunteers mostly, handling the horses. Are you trying to tell me that if a Jockey mounted a horse in the parade ring, and it bucked to the point of him being ditched (and the gear coming off), or it wouldn't go into the gates with experienced staff, that that horse would not be sent back to trials? Or that if the Jockey couldn't hold the horse, because, oh...whatever reason (not being the horse), that he wouldn't be called in?

    If a horse did get loose in the stalls, and ran about the place, isn't there a fine for the horse not being attended? A horse at a horse show that regularly gets loose should also be penalised IMO.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

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