Hi All! As I already said, great thread!
Firstly, Ray, great photo, is that you?! could teach Monty Roberts/ Pat Parelli a few tricks?! I love it
I have to agree with some of the above comments - if you stop going to the shows, and showing as it should be done, all that is left is 'the bad and the ugly'. It is not always about winning that blue/red ribbon ( though of coourse we all like to be judged fairly). If the people who are kind to their horses and show with patience and take the time it takes to train their horses are not there to show new poeple what can be achieved, then some poeple will believe that the 'other' way is the only way.
I have been training and showing horses all my life (well, since I was about 8!). yes, I have learnt alot, but I have never resorted to whipping, shanking terrorizing the horses and ponies that I work with. EVER. I have been told I will never win at 'the big shows' with a softer stand up, and had owners take horses away when they havent won, because to them, the ribbon is more than the horse. but for each one of them, I have been fortunate to meet an arabian lover, who wants to support how I train and show, and are willing to persist even against the tide, so they can see a truly happy horse, who knows their job, go out and perform and hopefully be judged fairly. On top of this, the horses go home the the owners at the end of the season happy, educated, easy to handle, not stressed or with stable vices through been shut in stables 24/7.
I guess my point is that now, my yard is full, and I have a waiting list! So maybe the tide is turning a little? I appreciate I am in the UK, and by the looks of it the US scene is hell of a lot worse than it is here, but you have just got to keep doing what you believe in, and spreading the word as much as possible. It aint always easy, but its the only way.
I am also holding a training clinic, so new people can come and learn and see how we do things, and I congratulate Talaria on again holding their Spring seminar, with kind and knowledgeable horse trainers. Spreading the word..
I dont know how to do it, but in the International section, UKIAHS last year, there is a photo of me with the mare Euza, WINNING the senior mare class. This is the biggest international show on the UK calender, and to win was amazing, but we did it all WITHOUT a whip, and I recieved alot of comments on how beautifully the mare stood, she is a timid soul, and was a little worried about the surroundings, but she has complete trust in me, and becuase of that she was able to perform her best. I am not trying to blow my own trumpet here, just to say yes you can change things, so lets keep this thread running please.