The new 2017 National Reining Horse Association – NRHA Handbook is now available online
Unfortunately, they have let the horses down once again with their lackluster approach to animal welfare and no changes being made from 2016.
The Animal Welfare and Medications Provisions is focused on medications demonstrating they believe they have a greater drug problem than abuse. All we can say is the drug problem must be astronomical as the abuse is extremely noticeable in warm-up pens across the globe.
Some interesting extracts from the handbook are:
- The Show Steward should be knowledgeable of accepted reining schooling practices and should take necessary action should he/she witness or be made aware of misconduct or abuse on the show grounds.
There remains no documented standards that need to be abided to as like in the American Quarter Horse Association rule book. If the Show Steward accepts that excessive jerking, spurring, fencing and over spinning is all part of the training process, then they immediately condone the behavior and set a self-belief standard at any event.
- The Show Manager is required to receive complaints from NRHA members related to cruel, abusive, or inhumane treatment of horses on show grounds.
Once again, nothing is documented so how is cruel, abusive or inhumane substantiated. A knowledgeable person does not mean they are sufficiently emotionally intelligent enough determine this. A quick look back over some training videos by the greats stands testament to that with wire nosebands, tie arounds and many other barbaric methods. It is an ambiguous statement that is open to interpretation to benefit trainers, not horses.
- New Professionals members must complete a Code of Conduct and submit it with the membership form and fee.
There is no other mention of the Code of Conduct, and it remains totally unenforceable as they only take action on what is set out in the Handbook.
The questions need to be asked:
Q1: Is the National Reining Horse Association tolerant of abuse?
!2: Is the National Reining Horse Association reluctant to make changes as they may upset their primary money-making source – trainers bringing horses to shows?
The American Quarter Horse Association are able to define more about welfare of reiners than the reining association itself. Extract below.
Please vote on our pole for change located on the website.