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About EllaM

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  1. Obviously the daily care in Anky and Sjef's barn is going to be top notch--just like the care in both of the Olympic eventer barns I worked in were top notch and they were pretty top notch guys too--they didn't have controversial training methods either! My problem with Anky and Sjef aren't about the care they give their horses on a daily basis, and of course they love their horses, but what they do is also a business. Unfortunately, their business is to win medals and they have found a short cut method to win medals which although it is not hard and fast, research is starting to show and common sense certainly shows that it is detrimental to a horse. Take a look at the following: http://nicholnl.wcp.muohio.edu/DingosBreak...honthebit3.html Maybe you have seen things that are worse in the hunter, eventing, quarter horse world--does that make them right? And before you single out eventers, and of course there are people of every sport that do things incorrectly and wrong, eventers are probably the last people you want to single out because their horses have to last--at least the serious people. When I worked for Denny, everything was top notch and run by the book with the horses first and no shortcuts. I can think of at least a half dozen other big and smaller name eventers who are all the same way, so again my experience and yours are probably different, but in my experience event horses are not disposable and generally aren't treated that way. And I have first hand knowledge of that which I'm willing to share. While I certainly have never worked with Anky or Sjef, nor do I know them personally, that does not mean that I cannot read the research and determine that it is not good for the horse and that the end result does not justify a gold medal or changing the guard in training techniques or even judging. A horse that doesn't halt is still incorrect and should be marked according. And again I have to disagree with you to a degree Remmie--at least the Tennessee judgement against Sjef causes me to view Sjef as a pretty unethical individual, and I read the court documents, so that combined with the whole training technique does not put him in the "good" person category for me. I just don't see how what they do is much different than what some QH people do, and quite honestly one of my favorite horses is Weltall, and I know he is also ridden this way which just makes me ill. What makes this completely worse is the fact that these people are such excellent riders. This is what I miss about Klimke and Walter Christensen who was so phenomenal. Of course everyday people, including myself, are going to make mistakes with their horses. I'll be the first to say that I am not an international rider and I am not a pro--by choice, but it is all to easy to hide behind a persona on a bb and spout anything--there is someone on COTH who is like that that goes on and on and on, lol. But, the fact that I am an amateur does not make me ignorant or uneducated in this sport. Before I came to dressage, I was a B level pony clubber, evented through Preliminary, worked with Denny Emerson, Harriet Peterson, got dual Masters of Arts degrees, decided I hated jumping, and switched to dressage. I then took my TB through 3rd/4th level with Australian rider Tina Wommelsdorf, first rider to be nominated to the World Championships, although he was not a great mover, he could do the movements. His changes were never good. I got my current horses and also became ill with migraines, and eventually found a cure for them through Botox and after going through a horrible ordeal with a psychotic FEI trainer with supposedly a great reputation, found my current coach who is a godsend! I love her to death and she is just great. She rides FEI and is a judge so I am very happy. Her coach who comes and gives clinic, although I'm not riding with him this time is Gunnar Ostergaard, and I've ridden with him twice before about two years ago--he's great too! But my point is this, I have very competent instruction, and beyond that, before I made a choice about rolkur and what I thought about it, I read about what it does to the horse--not just that one article I posted but others, and I can't find the one by the massage therapist that I post previously but it was one that really moved me. Anyone can have an opinion and is entitled to one. I've read the opinions that "you don't know what is going on in A & J's barn" and "your opinion doesn't really count because you don't ride at such and such a level" or "You just don't understand because you aren't a professional." Well, that is just condescending and we all have places that we start riding from and everyone, including professionals can get better, but when it comes to the welfare of a horse, people have the right to make up their own mind as to what is right and wrong. Horses, and really all animals, are put in our charge and we are to take care of them. Yes, we can be extreme and say a bit is abuse, but that isn't was this is about. This is about an extreme way of riding that people at the top of our sport are basically saying we can do this and it is okay, even if it is not in the best interest of the horse--it isn't in my mind even if Anky, Sjef, Martin, Isabelle, or whomever do it. And the rules should not be changed to reflect that it is okay. We can pick on any sport and find things that are wrong and things that should be changed, but we have to start with our own. Remmie, I know you said you had some inside information, it would be insightful if you could share some of it to maybe change the viewpoint? [ 09-19-2005, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: EllaM ]
  2. Saw it on the other BB. I think they--Anky and Sjef--are getting a bit over the top. If you don't have anything to hide, what is the problem? If how you ride and train is so good for the horse, then what is the problem? I have absolutely no respect for them and only wish the judges would score Anky according to her performance, although her Special placing was more in line with what they actually did--don't think it should have scored in the 70's . When a horse does not halt, it should not be scored a 5 or 6 just because of who is riding it. And why do you think they have warm ups behind closed doors?
  3. ya'll like cowboy dressage

    I've never seen Roy Yates. There is an Eitiene somebody, and he is quite popular. I'm not personally crazy about him just because of his training techniques though. He has a device that he uses to tie a horses head to his tail and you leave the horse that way, which is not cool for me. He markets it on his web site. For me, that just will never be dressage in any shape or form if you have to use something like that to get a performance out of a horse, but I don't care for Sjef and Anky either. I did like the reining and dressage comparison that Dressage Today did a few years ago. It was pretty neat.
  4. While it is great if you can be friends with your coach, it is also good when you run into a situation like this that you are paying them, or in your case, you are working for her, so she is your boss. As such, she has a professional responsibility to treat you with respect because she has put herself forth as a professional trainer . Now, it seems more like she is just a backyard trainer who does not have control of her temper and is a yahoo because she does not want what is wrong with Gastby to be fully explored and some of her training techniques are well, interesting. This being said, the bottom line is that you are not primarily friends and that is not the basis of your relationship and it would do you good to keep that in mind. As your boss, she is getting something from you. If you pay her for lessons, or if your mom does, she is your employee and has ZERO right to act the way she did. Loss of professional attitude is as bad as incompetence and now she is batting 1000%.
  5. The Nature of Dressage Lessons

    I've never taken anything but private lessons, so that's very interesting. Don't think I'd like a group lesson unless it were a clinic setting.
  6. It's hard when you have to find a place to work off board, but not impossible. I had to do the same thing when I was in college, and what you may have to do is find something that isn't dressage--but the cool thing is that you have a trailer!!! Call around. The place I kept my event horse was actually a QH show barn, so she really didn't fit in; however, they let me set up a dressage arena in a field and I hauled to lessons. The main thing I am thinking of here is that your very unprofessional trainer really overstepped her bounds and to be honest if she is willing to do that, I would worry about what she wouldn't do. You treat clients with respect. If you have a friendship bond with them, you treat them with sympathy in a situation like this; however, this person has done neither for no apparent reason other than she lost control of a situation that was none of her business.
  7. degree of contact on young horse, ottb

    You shouldn't throw away your contact, and if you are having a training disagreement with your trainer, that in general doesn't end up working because somebody general gets tired of taking/give advice and it being ignored, so I think I agree with your trainer in that he is working your horse on steady contact even when the horse "walks on eggshells" which will actually steady the horse. I think your issue is more of an issue with your trainer and you are either going to 1) take what he has to offer and try it 2) do what you think is in your best interest and go seperate ways 3) find a new trainer with a different insight 4) continue to work with current trainer and do your own thing which will probably frustrate you both. The thing he seems to have some pretty good insights on your horse, so if you give it X amount of time, what would it hurt because she is young and still pretty fresh off the track. What you are doing right now is going to have an effect on her dressage career for the rest of her life. Sometimes with a hot horse, stepping back and giving them time to take a deep breath can make a big difference, and she is young. On the other hand, you seem to be pretty determined, and strong minded--in a good way--, very self-confident, so I don't know if your mind is made up that your way is better. For me, I would tend to agree with instructor and due to her age, her being hot, and from her reactions, I would just go back to basics as he suggested--but then again, I've spent the better part of a year getting a better, slower canter on a very hot horse before we went back out to show--it just may be that there is too much information coming at her right now. We don't think of bending, leg yeilding, change of direction, contact, w-t-c, on contact as much, but in coming from a totally different field, like racing she is having to reconform her body, her social skills, rider weight, balance, and maybe breaking things down more slowly will help her to relax and not react and be so tense. Good luck with your decision.
  8. I do agree with Remmie that a teaching hospital is generally cheaper, but if your mother is happy with the general price that isn't my business. I will say that my mother ran into her vet hospital charging more because they had to pay for their big nice equiptment which you don't find at a University etc. but if the place is close, it is just a trade off. You both realize that this can be the starting point with tests etc., so be up front with yourself, your mother, so you can both be up front with the vets with how far you are willing to go with the money. Often, it is best to have these discussions ahead of time. We never want bad things to happen, and pray they won't, but it is also best to discuss all options. It would probably be a good thing to call the other vet, and if you do not have a copy of the pre-purchase, ask nicely for one, or even better have your mother do it. In general, it would be very hard to sue over a pre-purchase unless it was very blatent because a pre-purchase is not a black and white issue. Many people think horses "pass" a vet exam, but no horse is going to actually vet sound. There are going to be physical things that happen with them and it is an accessment at a period of time. His work load is different from what you were doing, and depending on what the bump on his back is, it could have developed there. You seem to be in an unfortunate situation with your trainer that seems to have reached a major negative. A professional would not talk to someone in such a way, and to be certain would not talk to me or if I had a child my child in that way--teenager or otherwise. You are in a very stressful situation and she did not make it better. Praying for you both.
  9. I thought the same Remmie did but am glad it isn't that much. Stay calm, which is hard to do and know that you have so many people praying for you and Gatsby!
  10. I'll be thinking about you tomorrow and keeping my fingers crossed. And the good thing about going ahead and going is that you will be on the path to knowing what is going on, and that it very well may be something simple--and we all hope it is. Stay strong!
  11. Show Photos

    Those are lovely photos!
  12. Gatsbys gone from bad to worse!

    He is pretty young, isn't he? The three that we had that had to be injected were: Murphy 13; Ceile 12; Electra 12. Murphy was competing Preliminary at the time; Ceile was showing hunters and jumping 3'6 regularly; Electra was going 2nd level and older. Murphy and Electra had raced, but had also been on joint suppliments since I had them--we do that as a matter of course although scienctifically it is up in the air about the usefulness of it. Ceile was not mine and the girl that owned her tried suppliments for a while but them decided she was missing too much riding time and just injected her. I hope that you find out what is going on with you guy soon since it is never fun to not know.
  13. New To Dressage

    One of the best places to start is to go to the USDF and look for a Group Member Organization which will be a local organization. That should be able to help you find a local instructor. Many instructors in the USDF are certified either through second level or through fourth level. My own instructor is an FEI rider and a judge so that works pretty well also . Here are some links that should help you. http://www.usdf.org/Menu/index.asp This is for Region 1 which is where New Jersey is: http://www.usdf.org/Regions/GroupRoster.asp?RegionPass=1 East Coast Regional Dressage in NJ http://www.ecrda.com/ Contact information for Garden State Dressage Jennifer Allen - President Windfall Farm 23 Lebanon Road Bridgeton, NJ 08302 856-453-2866
  14. Getting a horse to second level

    Second level is attainable with consistant work (solid 4-5 days a week) and a knowledgeable trainer who has trained horses at least to this level successfully. I would not waste time with a trainer who has not especially if you are a green rider in term of if you have not trained a horse to this level. You are taking a horse that does not know the dressage work and you do not know, so it is better if you have a trainer who does know--preferably one who knows FEI or better, but that is the combination that I have found that works best. The consistant work is important because the horse develops the correct muscles for collection and carrying himself, so if you only work a day here or a day there, you have no continuity and no mucsle memory.
  15. Gatsbys gone from bad to worse!

    Sore hocks actually can cause a horse to have pain in their backs, so I am going to have to disagree with you Remmie. We've have an event horse who's initial symptoms were a sore back and his problems were in his hocks and another dressage horse that was also the same way, and acutally a frinds hunter who she thought had saddle problems. Change in movement from what my vet said can cause the muscular system to lock up and cause soreness, but I'm not the vet so I just have to listen to what he says. Our experiences I guess are just different I guess. As to giving the horse bute, that is a good idea, but it will hinder the vet in knowing what is going on, so if you are planning on the vet looking at your horse, you may want to advise the vet that you have given the horse X amount of bute X times a day for X days and have them tell you whether or not they want you to pull the horse off the bute before they see Gatsby. It is kind of a waste of your time and money if the vet has to do guess work because the pain is masked because of bute. Having a steady relationship with a vet will be a good thing because you will be able to call and set things up and get feedback from them, as well as to ask things like "what do I do." I know that's what I can do with my clinic and I would reccommend you and your mom choosing a vet clinic and go ahead set up an initial consult and establish a relationship so if you have a true emergency you have someplace to turn.