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Would you support consideration of a 'wicket' as an official miniature horse measurement device

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Margo_C-T

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There has been an interesting and informative thread ongoing regarding the use of a 'Wicket' as a measurement device for miniatures. I volunteered to post an FYI to everyone reading that C.A.R.E. has been, and is, working to craft a proposal for the acceptance and use of just such a device. Our proposal will be 'aimed' toward AMHA, as that is our emphasis...but I think many would agree that ACCURATE and HONEST measurement has been and is, a serious issue with BOTH the registries, and therefore a subject of interest to all serious breeders, owners, and exhibitors.

Please remember...all votes are anonymous, but please feel free to add your well-considered comments or proposals; we would truly like to know how people look at this issue!
 
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Minimor

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I know a wicket will prevent things such as tilting the measure stick to make the horse seem smaller, but how is bringing in a wicket as the official measure device going to stop other problems, such as stretching the horse, standing him spraddle legged, giving a sedative to make the horse a little more relaxed & "saggy" in stance, not to mention the practice of measuring at the lowest point of the back in the cases where creative clipping makes it appear (apparently to some at least) that the last mane hair is at the lowest point of the back....etc etc etc ??

As far as I can see, if the horse isn't stood up and measured at the proper spot, a different measuring device isn't going to help a whole lot.
 

JMS Miniatures

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I see good and bad sides to this.

The good side is I think it is a better tool then what we have now.

Bad side of it, the same old stuff is going is still going to happen and I don't see alot of horses liking this new device.
 

Margo_C-T

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I'm working on the poll thing....!

I probably should add that I ABSOLUTELY believe that JOB ONE is to hold the anyone and everyone associated with any approved show FULLY responsible for following the registry's--whether it be AMHA OR AMHR--RULEBOOK as to how measuring is done!! It is CLEARLY spelled out that horses are to stand up squarely, NOT stretched, heads NOT elevated, and the like....Protest per se should NOT be needed to take care of this issue; just observant, rulebook-knowledgeable members, watching--and 'reminding' officials of WHAT IT STATES IN THE RULES! It makes NO sense to me to say that these kinds of violations 'can't' be stopped, when the power of the association's OWN rules is behind compliance, NOT violation!!

Now, perhaps there DOES need to be some refinement of, and even, some additional wording of, existing rules. Here's one example that occurs to me...(and as always, my 'first' reference is to AMHA, because I am most familiar with their Rulebook--but I suspect many of the same issues arise)--I believe that there should be rulebook language crafted stating that if a horse 'shrinks' from a measuring device, OR, misbehaves, in ways that hinder the measurer's ability to properly determine a height measurement, they simply won't be eligible for measurement, and therefore, for exhibition, on that occasion. I believe that IF a horse is to be exhibited, it by golly better have been trained to have enough manners to accept the kind of handling that goes along with 'qualifying for exhibition' in the show world 'circle' it is to operate within....no excuses. By the same token, 'training' a horse in a manner to try to defeat such handling, would mean disqualification...no ifs, ands, or buts.

Margo
 

ruffian

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I went to one show where the steward had a wicket type stick. It terrified the horses. They didn't like it coming at them, and really didn't like it coming up behind them. Even my quiet little gelding had issue with it.

I believe we need stock height sticks, but just the L shape. The problem is having the horse set up correctly.
 

Sue_C.

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Most show horses are used to being hooded, blanketed, sleezies on-n-off etc... I think that any horse will get used to these if we know that we need to desentitize them to the wicket. Heck, many minis are used as driving horses at one time or another, and I don't see this wicket much different than a back saddle and hanging girth, as far as coming "down" over their backs.
 

kaykay

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I have had many of my horses measured with a wicket. IMO this will make no difference in the current problems. It doesnt matter what you measure WITH there will always be a way to cheat. The real problem is there are no consequences to people measuring or the person putting the too big horse in front of the steward. As long as no one is held responsible the problem will continue no matter what you measure with
 

Minimor

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Personally I think the first order of business is to get the current rules enforced. If people aren't playing by the rules now then how is it going to magically change once the measure stick is traded for a wicket? If rules as they stand now cannot be enforced then I personally do not believe that changing/adding another rule (specifically, type of measure stick) is going to make any difference at all.

There's nothing at all wrong with the measure stick currently being used IF PEOPLE WOULD USE IT PROPERLY.
 

Margo_C-T

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Maybe I am not making my own position clear....Kaykay, Minimor---I certainly do NOT disagree with your assessments...FIRST, enforce existing rules; EQUALLY IMPORTANT, do so with some "teeth"; there should BE reparcussions for cheating/attempting to do so, and penalties MUST BE both assessed AND carried out! I think about everyone involved with showing would agree; certainly, these observations have been made, again and again, on this subject---and, they are CORRECT!

However, instead of just making pronouncements that virtually ALL could agree with, why not be proactive to TRY to improve the situation?? Sure(and sad to say, IMO, for I go back to a time when there were demonstrably LESS people who were inclined to cheat--not 'none', but LESS...I was there), there probably WILL 'always' be those who put more effort into cheating than into doing a GOOD job(and how PITIFULLY SAD is that??)--but, are we then to just take the attitude that we might as well 'throw up our hands', because it is felt we can't 'stop' the cheats entirely? I believe it better to try to craft 'better' ways to make it more difficult to be a cheater...even if we can't 'stop them all'. I also believe that much of the current problems arose from the MINIATURE REGISTRIES' governing bodies' lack of will, NOT just from the memberships' lack of same...when you are 'afraid' to stand up for your stated principles, apparently for fear of 'losing' the participation of those with money and/or power, you have sounded your own death knell, IMO.

BTW, I want to make it clear that I am speaking FOR MYSELF in stating these views, NOT for C.A.R.E. ...however, I am a participant in C.A.R.E. largely BECAUSE it is a group who had the gumption to try to take action, using facts, to require a registry to LIVE UP TO ITS OWN RULES--in lieu of just grumbling about it--AND is also attempting, in the same manner, to effect more democratic practices on the part of said registry.

Minimor, I agree that there is really nothing 'wrong' with the current measuring 'sticks', but I do feel that a properly designed and 'built' wicket, used to determine what height 'range' a horse falls within,could work 'better'. Of course it would need to be well and properly designed and built, checked for accuracy(same as what's currently in use!), and with proper training in its use, might well 'improve' the process. Consider, for instance:not having to take the time to try to determine an 'exact' height in miniscule detail(after all, you have, in most cases, 2" increments, so what matters is determining on which side of the incremental 'break' a horse rightly belongs, at least for the show ring).

I enjoy 'constructing' things, and planning the construction thereof; I do NOT think I could construct a 'pipe' wicket such as those pictured on the other thread, made by a Canadian, I believe....but I'd bet a good machine shop, with a pipe bender and accurate measurment devices, surely could! Certainly, the 'reviews' by users of such(see the other thread) are excellent....why should we not seriously consider such a device? Instead of negatism, how about some 'positivism'??

Margo
 

Minimor

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I'm sorry if you think I sound negative, Margo, I'm not really, I just honestly think it is pointless to try and pass a rule about a new measurement device when there are so many other things that need fixing first. I think you would be better advised to work on rule amendments for those other things first.

And yes, I have been thinking about possible fixes for the measuring problem, but my thinking tends to go in circles. I agree that people should be held accountable...owners, trainers, stewards...but how can you reprimand (or fine) a steward for measuring in a horse that is too tall when maybe, just maybe, when that horse was presented for measuring it was drugged to make it more relaxed. There is no way a steward can look at a horse and determine that it is drugged. Sometimes, if the dosage is small, it might not be so obvious. If the dosage is high it might be obvious, but how can the steward prove it? There is no provision for the steward to call for a drug test before he measures that horse. So, the groggy horse measures in because he's somewhat saggy from drugs...or perhaps some tiring work in the sand??...but the steward measures him in properly. Next morning the horse is fresh and looking taller, gets protested and measures too tall and so gets DQ'd. Is it fair to fine the steward in that case? I don't think so. Maybe make a rule to require a blood test on every horse that gets protested? Depending on the drug used it may no longer test after 12 or 24 hours--I don't know enough about drug testing to know the time frame for each drug. I do know some clear the system quickly; others take longer.

That is just one aspect of it that I have been thinking about; there's plenty more thoughts where those came from, but I'm going to shut up for now.
 

kaykay

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I hope Im not coming off as negative either. My fear is we could get to where no one will be a steward. We have already seen protesting does not work because people are way to scared to protest. I have thought about this for years and just dont know how you can ever stop it. I do believe measuring to the WITHERS would help as that is a fixed place on teh horse unlike the last hair of the mane.

Putting in a rule change is a ton of work. I just hate to see anyone spend a lot of time putting this change in for a wicket because it just wont make any difference. We measure ours in with wickets every show season and people still complain about too tall horses showing. I would rather see the time and effort put in to change the rule to measuring to the withers vs measuring with a wicket.
 

Margo_C-T

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I will try to answer your questions, at least, partly.

I can't speak for AMHR, as I do not have much of a 'history' with them( I was a member for some years, but showed R only once; there were few shows near enough to me to attend, and those only began about the time I had to 'drop out' of most breed showing). So--I don't know if such a device was EVER 'officially' used by AMHR, and if so, why it is no longer being used 'officially'(that is, as the designated device to use at approved shows.)

I don't recall ever hearing of a 'hoop'(and I take that to mean a kind of 'wicket'--see the photo on the thread about wickets began by LaVern) being used, at least not 'officially', to measure at AMHA shows; certainly, I never saw anything but a one-legged stick w/ a crossbar and a level bubble, being used at ANY approved AMHA show i ever participated in, including the National(now called World)show. I began showing in 1986, and attended Nationals between 1991 and 2002.

Hope this sheds a little bit of light...

Margo
 

Sandee

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I voted no and no. I've seen horses that won't stand still for a measuring stick let alone something that would have to go on both sides. Can they be trained for it - of course but how many halter people do you think will bother?

I also think that devices such as this and the second part "determining only the height category" leads to sloppy work on the part of those measuring. Now isn't that the cruix of the problem already?
 

Mona

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Can they be trained for it - of course but how many halter people do you think will bother?
Well they may reconsider "bothering" if they are excused from the ring because they have not trained their horse to stand correctly to be measured.


I also think that devices such as this and the second part "determining only the height category" leads to sloppy work on the part of those measuring.
I don't see how it would lead to sloppy work. It is for show class height dertermination only, so only those fitting into that class should be there. For example. If the horse is entered in a 30"-32" clas, it does not need to be recorded that that horse actually measures in at 30.75"...it only needs to be within that 2" height range. It would actually SPEED UP the entire meauring process at a show, in my opinion.


Now isn't that the cruix of the problem already?
No, I don't feel this is the current problem really. I feel the current problem is the ENFORCEMENT of the CURRENT rules.(or lack thereof) WHY have rule if there is no enforcement? It is like saying DUI is against the law, but if you get caught, we won't enforce it anyway, so please feel free to drink and drive again, and hey, while you're at it, be sure to tell all your friends so that they can do it too!
 
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