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Giving Ace before a horse show??

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by TBnut, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. TBnut

    TBnut Full Member

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    I made a comment to a friend of mine who is a trainer (who has had the "pleasure" of riding my very energetic and at times high strung OTTB) that I was going to expose my gelding in March to 3 schooling shows in hopes that he'll settle down. Last year I took him to his first schooling show and he was explosive to say the least. We flew through 2 dressage tests at top speed and sideways. When we were ready to jump a very small crossrail course he started jumping up and down in place almost knocking my husband over. We decided to go home and scratched the jumping. Anyhow, she said she has given 1 cc of Ace to these types of guys and it really takes the edge off and helps them get through the experience "safely"? Is this really safe??:confused: Has anyone done this??
     
  2. Chester

    Chester Senior Member

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    It isn't safe and neither is it legal in most places.

    Try taking him out and about more to get him use to it all. Play loud music to him at home, have lots of flappy things around for him to see, get your mates to hoon around whilst you keep him sane.
     
  3. AllAroundRdr

    AllAroundRdr Senior Member+

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    I completely agree with SL -- I do NOT think a horse should be ACE'd in order to get through a show. Infact, if your horse proves dangerous, ACE *can* send him over the edge and make the situation even more dangerous for not just you and your horse but all other exhibitors and spectators on the show grounds.

    Along with what was suggested above, haul him to shows but let him hang out. I don't think it's fair to expect a horse who's never been hauled to shows and accustomed to what goes on, to be expected to focus and perform right off the trailer -- some can handle that mental stress and others can't.

    Exposure is the best and safest way to get your horse used to the show environment.
     
  4. tbtrainer

    tbtrainer Senior Member

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    It isnt legal, but there is no testing done at small schooling shows.

    Most trainers do this, so I'm not surprised.

    However, 1cc of ace probably wont work if your horse is that worked up, anything else above that could put the both of you in danger (stumbling, etc)...

    I would just school as much as you can away from home, take him to shows just for schooling untill he learns that it's no big deal.
     
    DunsNPallys likes this.
  5. Faith04

    Faith04 Senior Member+

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    Apart from not being at all legal as others have posted, I have had experiences with extremely aggitated horse hyping themselves out of the effects of ACE (not in the riding area) these horses still retained their excited/hot/freaked out nervousness but lost their coordination slightly.

    Would you really want to ride a horse that is not in complete control of its body movements?:no:
     
  6. TBnut

    TBnut Full Member

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    I was kind of wondering about him not being in full control of his legs which is far worse than bunny hopping. (He did this so well he could pose as the Easter Bunny with some long floppy ears!)

    Thanks everyone--I was thinking it was definitely NOT a good idea as well!:no:
     
  7. AllAroundRdr

    AllAroundRdr Senior Member+

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    I would truly question the ethics of whoever told you this as well.
     
  8. dressage_divaa

    dressage_divaa Senior Member

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    be careful depending on the show...schooling shows they won't test but anything recognized there is a chance for drug testing.
     
  9. stephanie

    stephanie Senior Member

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    I agree with everyone else. Even if it wasn't illegal, I still wouldn't do it. When I go to an event, I want to know my horse is "all there" if that makes any sense. I do not want to be on a cross country course with my horse stumbling because their in a bit of a fog
     
  10. JKetsche

    JKetsche Senior Member

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    Ace is not a "safe" drug that should be administered without a vet's oversight. It can interact in weird ways with body chemistry (particularly adrenaline), and as people have pointed out, it can make the horse lose coordination. It's also illegal, though at schooling shows that won't matter as much.

    With time and patience most horses can learn to show. My sister's chestnut TB gelding would wig out big time at shows (under saddle, not on the ground). She started taking him to as many schooling shows as possible--all ones with big grounds, ample warm-up space, big fields, etc. Often she wouldn't enter--she'd just go and ride around the grounds until he was able to go forward instead of backward, etc. She learned what he needed and he figured out his job. It took a few months, but they're competing at recognized events and doing well now.

    I'm not opposed to ace. This same horse injured a tendon, and during the hand-walking rehab phase he got so tired of being cooped up he exploded re-injured. Vets told my sister to Ace him lightly for hand walking (and the first few weeks of under-saddle riding) to keep him from exploding and subsequently re-injuring the leg (and injuring my sister--he bucked her off and nearly broke her arm during the rehab "walking" phase before that). She weaned him off the Ace pretty quickly--certainly before going anywhere--and always kept in contact with her vet regarding dosage, frequency, etc.
     
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