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On The Fence With Carol

Filed under: Current Articles,Editorial,Featured |     

 

Click Here To Read The Complete Article From The Equine Chronicle July/August 2013 Issue

 ©Carol_Harris

On The Fence With Carol

Greetings to all, and many thanks for your unbelievable number of responses to my ON THE FENCE articles. It’s comforting to see so many of us are thinking alike. It would be nice if AQHA leadership would try to understand that our concerns for our industry are only meant to be helpful. My criticisms are not pleasant for me to have to express publicly, but no one is giving me a choice. Our past AQHA President, Gene Graves, wrote some great words of advice on page 42 in the May Quarter Horse Journal. Yesterday I read everything he said and thought seriously about his important words of wisdom, “Stand up for what you believe.” This is exactly what I’m trying to do, especially because I know so many others feel the same way. I only wish our friends at AQHA would try to be more respectful and listen to what we are attempting to tell them. A little horse sense should make our Quarter Horse activities and rules more functional and popular so that members could discuss important matters openly with leadership without fear of being labeled “troublemakers”. Many of the letters I have received in response to my articles seem to confirm members frustrations of not being listened to or appreciated. Is it possible that our Executive Committee doesn’t hear what membership is wanting? It appears that too many decisions are being made without the experience and wisdom of our directors and membership. My column is only an attempt to communicate openly with everyone, leadership and members, who desire to move forward. I positively feel that I have too many wonderful years invested in the American Quarter Horse to simply say “adios” and be expected to silently walk away when a few words might help.

Frankly, even though many of us believe that our country is not being run correctly, we do feel our association is such a gem that it deserves some serious adjustments to help simplify the decision making processes which might eliminate so many mindboggling activities. There is no reason why our leadership, staff, directors and members working together should not be able to unify the entire membership. We all realize that show activities represent income for our association, but simplicity would certainly save costs and very likely create increased growth and membership without so many expensive complications. Wouldn’t it be nice if our exhibitors were given some simple opportunities to better understand how to enter their competitions, count their points, have a little fun and occasionally find time to go out to dinner with each other at a horse show? Too many classes with questionable judging and long days and nights have a great deal to do with fading owners and exhausted youth and horses.

In closing, let me say thanks to everybody for your over whelming response and thoughts regarding these concerns. My advice to you all is to also address your serious thoughts to the AQHA Executive Committee, Johne Dobbs – President, John Trotter, George Phillips, Glen Blodgett and Sandy Arledge, P.O. Box 200, Amarillo, Texas 79168. On top of this, it might be wise to log onto your AQHA Director’s List and contact your State Directors for more assistance – – – your Director’s job is to help you enjoy your membership.

I’m sorry I can only print a few of last month’s responses to ny ON THE FENCE with Carol column, BUT please take time to read them while I try hard to balance myself on this “shaky ole fence”.

Please let me know what you think:

Carol Harris

charris75@aol.com

7255 W. Hwy. 329 · Reddick, FL 32686

A FEW RESPONSES

FROM LAST MONTH’S COLUMN

“Judges should give up showing and being show horse trainers while actively judging. It is a distinct conflict of interest (and) why problems have gone unchecked for so long – – decades. The priority needs to be the horse and not the rider/trainer. Just paging through The Equine Chronicle to find an article makes me realize what a mess things have become.“

“Oh my, it appears that my friends and I are not the only “negative nellies” when it comes to AQHA recent changes. When a legend like Carol Harris is willing to speak out and her opinions tend to align perfectly with what I hear so many of my flesh and blood friends saying, that speaks volumes. Surprise! Surprise! I am not the only one who sees so many negative impacts these changes have had on growth.”

“Way to go Carol. She wrote exactly what I was thinking. They should scrap all that leveling stuff and get back to basics. Novices are supposed to be beginners. We don’t need to be “re-virginated” novices every 3 years. AQHA has made things all too complicated. Usually I would be attending the first show of the season this weekend, but not this year. The first time in 16 years and I’m not missing it, missing the people yes, but not the shows.”

“As a newbie, I am befuddled by some of AQHA’s changes. The “born again” novice strikes this newbie as ridiculous. The whole leveling program can probably be explained “factually” by only a handful of people. Also, her comments on judges not placing horses according to the rules is spot on. We should stop pinning over-canted, troping (sic) Western Pleasure horses, if not we will likely go to less competitive/expensive shows or go back to the open ones.”

“I read and appreciated your articles in The Equine Chronicle May/June Issue. I’ve met you before but don’t expect you to remember me. I’ve played and coached a lot of sports in my life and I’ve watched World Champions pinned in Oklahoma City that according to the rules should have been penalized or disqualified. How do I explain that blatant disregard to kids in our youth program? I just can’t tell someone to bend or break rules in order to win.”

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