Horse racing news, horse rescue, animal welfare
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thanks for all the feedback, so far.
i will try to stay as quiet as I can on this thread, while encouraging more to speak out and share their thoughts. that being said i wanted to share a few things to help with those discussions:
1. i don't think pre-screening ppl before joining is workable. it would require significant additional work on the moderators, and i am also assuming it would require some change in technology
2. i am not prepared to change technology for the discussion board (re: from prospero) or the main site. it would require too much upheavel and learning curve and so forth. i will, however, talk with prospero about the option to ban by ip address.
3. the idea for the wiki is to be a place for rescues to post additional information. it seems this is a requirement that is not particularly followed by many rescues and private individuals who fundraise. we need to be more rigorous in this requirement and what needs to be posted to wiki pages that support fundraising.
4. we have four moderators if you include me, which you should coz i am basically the guy who is overall responsible for any of our actions. i trust my 3 co-moderators. we work well together and i am not prepared to expand the group of moderators.
5. we do encourage discussion, dissent and discourse. we do however have site rules which we _try_ to adhere to in a fair manner. are we perfect ? no, we are human and we have only so much time to try to moderate in a fair fashion. but we do take this notion seriously.
I think the discussion board is the heart of ABR.
Alex, I think it would be useful for you to join in on key issues. To explain the site rules in more detail for instance. But what you just did is very helpful. Thanks.
Alex, maybe you can clear something up for me. I my limited experience, I find that Trainers typically leave the medicating to assistants. Is that correct in your experiences? I only know this from personal knowledge and experience, so maybe not all trainers do so. But a vet administers the meds typically, and the assistant usually oversees the vet. So why are the head trainers held responsible for dosage errors if they were not involved in the giving of meds?
Slightly off topic, I know, but it may clear up some of the misinformation that has been bantered about in the past.
I do agree about a waiting period for people to sign up though. That may discourage some from wanting to sign up just to jump in and bash. It may also discourage people from creating another identity just to gang up on another so that there are "two" in the battle so to speak.
I am trying to think of other ideas and sadly I am drawing a blank. I know nothing of the rescue operations, only that I have been had. :( We definitely need a disclaimer for that.....
I do agree that people tend to need to read their posts twice before actually posting. I have done it and accidentally posted some STOOPID comments. Only to go back and edit or delete after all was cleared up. Some people just won't apologize when they are wrong though and that leads to bad situations.
We are all adults here, or we should be, and we should act like it. I visit every thread here and at least look at them, although I tend to lurk the most in the racing section and I do avoid the vigils section usually. I just think that people need to think twice and ask for clarification in many instances.
I had a "fight" where I missunderstood someones comments and called them on it. After the comment was clarified, i apologized. I think that is what being an adult is about. People need to do the same as me. (not that I am some kind of saint, but) It is about respect for others and I feel that many hide behind annonymity to spout passive aggressive comments without consequences.
I think you and the other mods do a pretty good job, maybe you just need more help. There are a few others I can think of who would make great moderators IMO.
I will shut up now....:D
You have some great ideas here, and after reading through the thread, there are many other positive ideas from other posters too. I like your #4, because I think sometimes in the heat of the moment, we say things without thinking them through, and it's so hard when we can't see the other person or their body language. What one person deems an innocent comment, another may take it as a harsh comment, and this snowballs into a "battle of words" and ultimately we forget why the thread was initially started. If one finds themselves starting to veer off course of a certain topic because of someone's post, try one of these opening lines, I find them helpful;
"I want to understand what you're saying, could you clearify a particular statement"
"I feel hurt by some stuff that you said. I want to talk about it in a way that we both feel heard and understood."
"I want to find a way to work this out. I know we don't agree about everything and that's okay. I'd like to talk with you about how I felt reading your post."
"I hope we can talk this through because I really like you. I don't want to be argumentative or blaming."
If we are well armed with the skills we need to positively communicate online, we'll be able to effectively keep the gist of the thread going and that serves a huge purpose, the purpose of animal welfare. I also believe it's vital that legitimate questions are answered, we need that information to make an educated decision, no doubt about it, but of course, you know there will be people that no matter how polite you are, they will relentlessly degrade, belittle, or disrespect you and the site rules, this is where the moderators can step in and handle the situation as they see fit. As far as donating to a horse rescue or any other rescue thread, you could follow these tips;
1. First and for most. Background checks. Make sure that the rescue has a way to be
contacted. A valid email address, phone number or contact form on their website.
Just because you see one there, doesn't mean it works.
2. Send a test email and ask them a specific question about the rescue, call a
number if they have one or send a letter through the contact form. If they do not
send a reply then don't even bother going any further with them. If they do reply,
make sure it is an actual human talking to you and not some type of auto response.
3. Talk to someone who is acquainted with the rescue or has previously donated. You should find plenty of information about a rescue that way, good or bad. It's simple and it's fast.
4. Look at their reply email and make sure it's not a generic one like yahoo or
gmail. A legit rescue should use the actual domain e-mails for contact. It just
looks suspicious when they use other types of emails.
5. Check to see how long they have been in business. A lot of scam artists
will keep opening new websites because the old ones get a bad rep for scamming so
many people, so they'll ditch the old domain for a new one and they'll just keep
6. When there is a new user in the ABR community and he/she opens a new thread that needs immediate attention (funds), to ensure that an animal isn't put in harm's way, make sure you have an opportunity to view their wiki, which should contain as much information as possible about the rescue (or person) doing the asking, then it will be at the discretion of each poster to decide if they do/do not decide to contribute. If time permits, you can always follow the above mentioned tips.
These are just a few tips when donating.
As far as the horseracing industry goes? Let's choose to focus on all the good that has come from our hard work at creating awareness thus far. All the dirty little secrets that have been swept under the carpet for years are now being exposed and dealt with in a way that positively affects the safeness and well being of the race horse. Horse racing is here to stay and there will always be owners or trainers that have a negative mindset about their horse and the industry. But more and more, we are seeing owners and trainers stepping up to the plate and ensuring their horse has a secured second career, a life beyond the race track. Good for them, we need more people like that. Same rings true for the standardbred industry, they are stepping up and getting them a second home. I've learned that by educating, creating awareness and offering alternative solutions, we can broaden the spectrum of how to create second chances for these animals. I am currently waiting on a standardbred that is literally getting "kicked out" of the Ontario Racing Commission because he will turn 14 years old in January and that is the age limit for racing. He placed second in his race two months ago and apparently he loves carrot juice, nope, won't touch a carrot, just the juice.......
I believe you are going to have conflict. People should be adults and express themselves appropriately.
My concern is, I have personally received feedback from others on this forum that are concerned to express their true feelings if they feel it is "Contradictory" to you or the moderators because they feel they will get the "Gavel." I'm sure this is not your intent. Please CLARIFY specific examples of banning offenses, because at times they might appear to be contradictory. It could be perceived, what is good for one is not good for another. I think the warnings and bannings ought to be more out in the open. When people just disappear instantly, it leads to speculation, dissention and a negative perception to you and your moderators. I think the term "Dictatorship" was mentioned to me. People felt this was punishment for expressing their feelings. I'm sure this is not the intent.
Just my thoughts.
If possible, when people join I would have them read the site rules and select an I agree button before they can post anything. I would then repost the rules semi-annually to help everyone remember.
Not allowing people to have more than one board name would really help.
Personally, the only changes I would make to the rules is to be more specific about what people can not say about horse racing. As the start page states, this is a horse racing site and I think we need to stay true to Barbaro who inspired us. During the time he was in New Bolton, we learned about slaughter, horse rescues and racing.
I also suggest you add something that tells members what they can do to appeal a ban.
Other than that, I think all of you do an extraordinary job keeping a group with so many different opinions happy.
I appreciated your post, you have some good ideas.
I also do believe people should reveal their real name. That way they are more apt to mind their manners I think. The last sentence, btw, was not directed at you but rather as something I think is important for all of us.
Thank you for this line from your vet "there's only one way out of here for all of us, and there are a lot of things that are worse than death".
For a long time I have tried to say this to all the FOB's. Death is a natural part of life. Personally I believe in the everlasting existence of the soul. So for me death is not the end.
Sorry Alex, I strayed there!
Yes, that's what I was trying to convey. To simply make blanket statements without first hand knowledge is irresponsible. But if trusted people like you and Paulette, for example, were to witness abuse or neglect, well, that's good enough for me.
Kathy : )
I am in total agreement with your post #4. I too, would be very saddened to lose ABR. I haven't been able to post as often as I'd like lately, but will soon be in my new house, with my internet up and running as soon as I can find a good provider in the county with HIGH SPEED INTERNET! (Gosh, it would hard to go back to dial up! LOL!)
I don't even know what has happened to cause all of this, but to me, there is nothing so bad that we can't all pledge to "get along" and continue working for the good of all horses everywhere, especially our gallant thoroughbreds.
I am with you; ABR totally ROCKS and I would miss it terribly if it came to an end. More importantly, how many horses would lose their chance at a good life if we let petty problems get in our way.
Cheers my friend, Judy :)