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Hidden Enhancements
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Hidden Enhancements

If you stable show horses with a professional trainer more than likely there has been a line item on your show bill generically labeled "show meds."

A.C.T.H. (Adrenocorticotropic hormone) is a naturally occurring adrenaline hormone produced around the kidneys. The hormone stimulates the horse’s own adrenal gland to cause a euphoric response in the brain. A.C.T.H. can be a very effective pain reliever when administered properly.

Racehorses are often injected before training sessions and races.

Why is A.C.T.H. a popular competition drug? There is not test for it. It can not be traced if blood is drawn.

Please know that I am writing from experience and research. Here is a blanket statement: National-Level professional horse trainers will take liberties with your animals all for a blue ribbon. Regardless of their level of commitment to your animal’s well being we must accept the fact they have to make a living. To stay on the top, they must win.

A whole new dimension of the “horse business” opened up to me the day I questioned why I was charged for “show meds” when my horse wasn’t sick. The answer didn’t come immediately. The office manager wouldn’t discuss it with me. My trainer finally told me after three days of phone tag that he administered A.C.T.H. to my horse a few hours before he was to show.

Four immediate concerns became apparent: my trainer injected something without my consent, without veterinary instructions and with the intent on cheating. The fourth was what possible side-effects my horse could experience.

My trainer tried to convince me that “everyone” uses it. Nine of the top ten western horses that year were all administered A.C.T.H. Showing your horse can be great entertainment for the entire family.

The point of this blog is to open all fellow horse enthusiasts eyes to make sure that you are paying your trainer to train your horse, not drug it.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Jus Rumney
    Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. I do not show and I am not involved in showing, but I do believe that there is no substitute for good horsemanship and hard work. rewarding anything else is against the best interest of the horse and society.
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  2. Mira Clifford
    Mira Clifford
    Love this. I'm also a trainer highly active in the Arabian world. Performance enhancing drugs are everywhere, every breed, every discipline. I myself have never and will never use them with my horses or my client horses. It is very unfortunate that these things happen, but even more so that they occur without even the owner's knowledge.
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  3. julian johansen
    julian johansen
    hey. just wanna say something here... you say its to lower the pains for the horse, that people give this drug to them. but does any of them think abute to avoid pain in the first place? what im talking abute. is that in the matter of fact. those of you who use bridle with bid, does couse pain to your horse every day you ride. its tested and documented from experts fysiclolegyst and vets, and animal nurse, that the draw in the bid ekside over 300 kilogram, per skvert sentimerter. so every time to draw on the brilde to stop the horse, to turn to the left or riget, or whatever. you does in fagt (wanted or not) couse pain to your so called friend... there is allso the issue on the horses back... did you lot fx know, that after just 10-15 min, your horse get alminia, withs is complicasion of blood seculasion on the horses back, that can be compered to what you would get in your leg, if you sit on it long enoug, in a awkvard posesion... that means, that we in all these years, have been wrong, when we though, the horse did bug, or denied to taik in the bid becouse it was nutty... it was in fact becouse it was telling you that it hurts.... now let me tell ya, that im not tryin to get people to stop riding completlig. but just in the furter think more of what you really are doin to the horse... abute to be abbel to controle the horse without bid's... easy result. i expect all of you know of alexander nevzerov, klaus ferdinand hempfling, or carolyn riskneck? look those names up on youtube, and your see things you only have dreamed of to have with a horse.... its real, that you CAN have a relasionship, WITHOUT to have to couse any pain or descomforth to the horse.... i can instrugt all of you to gain that relasionship with your horse you allways have wished. but it requre, that you give up bid's, competesions, and all you though was to your horse best intrest, and open up to your horse, and find out what it trulig like to do, not what you like to do with it.... so, your question abute the horse goes from, what do i like to do with a horse thats fun, to what can i do with my horse, thats fun, and in the best health for both of us...
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