Horse racing news, horse rescue, animal welfare
Latest 12/22/09 by sylversky47
Latest 4:08 AM by Saratustra
Latest Jun-21 by Amy (1pony)
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Problems and Solutions
1) Picking on the Favorites.
It's obvious to nearly everyone that certain people/rescues are considered the best regardless of numerous problems that others have pointed out. Whenever someone asks a question of the Favorite, it is seen as a personal attack and the ban paddle comes out. Stop assuming that reasonable questions are personal attacks.
2) Answer the Question
When an individual or a rescue is asked to provide information, require that such information is to be available within a certain time frame. If you must ban, then ban those who refuse to answer for their actions.
3) It's NOT All About You
Sorry Alex, but banning everyone who has a problem with the racing industry isn't the way to elicit change in an industry that injures and kills horses on a daily basis. I understand that the industry pays your way, but you need to accept and address the harsh reality of racing. You are in a unique position that could be used to change the standard operating procedures used in this industry but you choose not to. The day you started allowing rescues to fund raise and save horses, this site became less about racing and more about saving lives. Other than a brief statement about what you did or which horses you rode on a particular morning, very little else on this site is racing oriented - it's about the aftermath.
Maybe you need to spend more time on this side of the fence to truly understand the position of those who are no longer race fans. We are not attacking you, we are attacking an industry that has done great harm to the creatures we love. Dealing with the injured and discarded horses on a daily basis forces one to take a stand. How can anyone expect a person who holds the lead line while a horse is euthanized due to being used up and thrown away to still be a fan of the industry which caused this to happen?
4) Stop the Blame Game
Enough with the evil ICERS crap. What happens on THIS board is self perpetuating, not the fault of another message board. The world is not all sunshine and glitter. If people aren't allowed to speak freely here, they will find somewhere else to go. Now, here's the part that gets me banned - one of your very own moderators once started a private message board for this very reason - to speak freely about what was going on on the TWR board. Remember MAM???
5) Stop the Threats
Either continue on or shut it down. Every so often the Play Nice Or Else message is posted. Alex, everyone knows you're not going to shut down this board. There's no way that you'll let this board leave the spot light. Post your rules, get involved in the discussions and be honest about who you ban and why you've banned them. Maybe start a Banned thread so the rest of us can understand your rationale.
5) I have other thoughts and suggestions, but I'm sure that after reading the above, this post will be deleted and I will be banned, so what's the point of continuing....
I love this site and have a great deal of respect for you and what you do. I do not have time to read everything all the time so I miss some of what goes on.
I do think there is often a lack of information regarding the rescuing process. I think it would help people if posts contained more information and were more clear about where in the country the horse is, what kind of horse, how old, how tall, what are the details as to it needing to be rescued, what its health situation is and ability to be ridden and the people involved. Whenever there is a lack of this kind of information I think it puts people off. They wonder if someone isn't hiding something! The same goes for rescues. People talk about all these rescues all day long but never say where in the world they are located! So maybe with every post there must be some required information given. So when you do post somthing about a horse needing help and people start asking questions about the horse, answer the questions!! We want to help, but need more information.
Also, it seems threads get hijacked by a different subject and people go off topic and start swapping recipes and the like. If you want to go off topic, it should be done in a private e-mail and not hijacking a thread.
I think there should be a section where "the letter" lives along with information on refeeding and other important information so people can just go there and not have to ask everyone for this information. Maybe an articles section or links to this kind of information.
Should there be a links section just for FOBs with web sites? Certainly one for the rescues but others as well?
I think just rearranging some of what is on this site or going to another format (I know nothing about creating or formatting a site such as this) would help. Maybe tighten or broaden your focus. Should you drop certain sections and add others? I really don't know where you want to go. I just know you should not go away!
Alex, with winter coming those of us who care about the rescue side of this board should be very busy, hopefully all will be doing what they can for the horses and using their energy accordingly despite their issues with others. I you are not part of the solution in your own way, be it what it may, then you are part of the problem. If you want to help and can help a horse or rescue, then do so. If you don't want to help a horse or a rescue, then don't. Everybody knows somebody that knows firsthand goings on at every rescue, do your own homework before you donate or volunteer, if you don't know or like what is going on then do not contribute and if you feel the need to warn people then do it private email, if they do not do homework after that, shame on them. Please people, the horses are going to be dumped in fields and backyards at record numbers this winter, please use your energy to help them in any way you can, not destroy each other. Remember a few dollars buys a horse a bail of hay and you can deliver it yourselves to see it eaten before your eyes.They need our help more than ever, not just from slaughter but from starving to death in the fields.
Alex, another suggestion (your head must be swirling by now): if someone is banned, tell us who it is and why. Also, please e/mail the person who is banned and tell them why. From my own personal experience, that does not happen. (And I am grateful I was reinstated, but I could only guess why I was banned). And just perhaps ~ instead of immediately hitting the "ban button", give that person a chance to make amends (deleting, editing posts) before they are banned.
You did tell us that Dawn M. was banned but not exactly why. Whatever it was, like others, I have to say that the rescue of darling Willie (and Snickers) was a pivotal point here on this forum as far as many of us becoming involved in horse rescue and warriors against horse slaughter. That story was the foundation of many of our efforts to stop the slaughter. It breaks my heart that Dawn is banned. Those photos of baby Willie in his green jacket completely blew the doors off our hearts, and I do believe they may have also opened some hearts of elected officials - hearts that were cold and dark before that. I ask you to reconsider this action against Dawn. She and her horses were representative of the good work we do here - the rescue of Wille was one of the most important events and success stories for and of the FOBs.
Many of us have been on here for way over three years now, and many of us are very close friends, even if it's via cyberspace. When someone is banned ~ unless we somehow communicate privately via cyberspace and start guessing why, we never know. For all we know, they're dead. I'm serious. Even the person banned often has to "assume" why. This to me is just flat out wrong and so unfair to the rest of us - and to the person who doesn't know exactly why they were banned. We used to call banning "the gavel" - I'm not sure why that little phrase went away, but it seems to fit. When someone is banned it is abrupt and a quick slice (a stroke on the keyboard; I know; I tried my own forum so I know how easy it is to ban someone). I think all of us who participate in this forum would appreciate a note from you when someone is shut out. Otherwise we have to wonder - and wondering means guessing - and guessing means a certain air of discontent and discomfort sets in.
It seems that some are permitted to "bash" while others are not. It seems that those "in the business" or having shown that they know a lot about it are given a lot more room as far as what they may write. The rest of us are seen as making "assumptions". I could give examples but will refrain because this is already a typical long e/mail from me.
Thanks for listening.
edit ~ sorry, I had not read "betonbill"'s comment before I wrote, but it's exactly what I was "talking" about, with the caveat that IF they end up banned, please let us know:
As far as the banning goes, I would favor a 3-4 strikes and you're out policy or something along similar lines. First offense a warning, second offense you are forbidden to post for a week or 10 days or so, third offense you are not to post for a month or so, fourth time out. If someone is banned or suspended, they should be notifed just what they did wrong. There are specific rules as to decorum on board so everything should fall within those rules.
Your post makes more sense then anything else I've read on this entire thread. Kudos for "telling it like it is".
Joyce - you have written what I have been thinking for a very long time. Hope your post stays up.
I would hate to leave this group, as I have made many good friends, and I think much good work has been accomplished. My main concern is people not answering reasonable questions about their rescue credentials and practices, and the capricious banning policy which has caused so many qualified, experienced, and passionate people to leave this group effort. Of course, they can continue to work on their own, as many of us have shared e-mail addresses, and phone number these past several years, but by working together, we have a greater impact.
I am thinking hard about my future participation on ABR - something needs to change. I want all of us to be able to politely express differences of opinion without fear of retribution, and that includes questions about the racing industry. I would also hope that rescues would be held more accountable, and people asking questions that are reasonable not be attacked for asking those questions. Then, we can all make informed decisions about who we are comfortable donating to.