WHW and BHS

Downton Dame

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 August 2015
Messages
2,065
Location
Albion
I have recently cancelled my BHS membership. It was only for the insurance that I was a member. WHW also do insurance and its with SEIB and is cheaper than the BHS. . Am disheartened at the accusations of bullying and the buying of that horse box so have voted with my feet and have left.
 

PeterNatt

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 July 2003
Messages
3,581
Location
London and Hertfordshire
I am very sorry indeed that you have left the British Horse Society. I have been a volunteer Bridleways officer for them for over 40 years and the work I and the rest of my small team has done has benefitted numerous horse riders in the area we cover in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage. The higher the BHS membership the more clout we have when negotiating with local authorities and government. I very much hope you will re-join because the BHS H.Q. and the many volunteers spread throughout every county of Great Britain do a lot of good work for horse riders and carriage drivers.
 

Snowfilly

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2012
Messages
582
My mum left the BHS last autumn after 30 years and a lot of qualifications as an instructor. I did the same; we don't feel the BHS represents us any more. There's hardly any training or events in our county, money is spend without sense or forethought and there's some horrible accusations of bullying that I don't feel comfortable supporting a charity being run like this.

WHW cover us for insurance.
 

whiteflower

Active Member
Joined
30 December 2009
Messages
611
It was the non sense purchase of the horsebox and what comes across as shambles at the top that did it for me I'm afraid. I've been a member for many many years but with the way it's being run I don't see how the bridleway officers and other volunteers out there can do the fantastic job they do. I also don't feel they are fighting for us as riders, rather fighting amoungst themselves. I've only formed my opinion on what has been put on social media (and my own viewing of the horsebox) but I've seen enough
 

Rosiejazzandpia

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Joined
1 December 2012
Messages
2,012
I am very sorry indeed that you have left the British Horse Society. I have been a volunteer Bridleways officer for them for over 40 years and the work I and the rest of my small team has done has benefitted numerous horse riders in the area we cover in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage. The higher the BHS membership the more clout we have when negotiating with local authorities and government. I very much hope you will re-join because the BHS H.Q. and the many volunteers spread throughout every county of Great Britain do a lot of good work for horse riders and carriage drivers.
Thank you for your work as a volunteer. However I wont be coming back to the BHS anytime soon. The lack of thought behind the way money is spent is offputting enough and I don't want to waste my money anymore.
There are others who offer the insurance I need so I will be going elsewhere and hope that BHS sort themselves out.
When I called today they seemed very panicked that I wanted to leave and said their site was in meltdown.
 

Velcrobum

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2016
Messages
801
OK I went to both 5.1.19 and 11.6.19 meetings neither were conducted well. On Tuesday the Chairman was not in control and made no real effort either. He allowed one of his mates to talk over Islay Auty who was speaking and who stated there are real problems within BHS. There was a denial that bullying had taken place at HQ - the solicitor who held the enquiry stated he had interviewed all concerned but an ex-member of staff pointed out she was one of the complainants and that he had not spoken/interviewed her. Volunteers present stated they had been bullied and "sacked". One lady who stood up to speak was physically pushed back into her seat by a man sitting behind her - the Chairman said nothing. Lady Anne Vestey who is a vice president spoke and stated that the BHS is "fractured". The responses from the chair and trustees were disappointing with no acknowledgement that there are any problems or issues within BHS. The Chair shut the meeting on a lady who tried to bring up the whistleblowing and subsequent sacking of the person who raised concerns about the ex-CEO Lyn Peterson being banned from driving but was still claiming car allowance. The issues of expenditure on the "big red bus" and puppet never got raised neither was the issue of China as only 1 hour had been allocated for discussion. As it was the discussion went on for about 1hr 40mins. I hope that helps!!
 

honetpot

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 July 2010
Messages
4,344
Location
Cambridgeshire
I am very sorry indeed that you have left the British Horse Society. I have been a volunteer Bridleways officer for them for over 40 years and the work I and the rest of my small team has done has benefitted numerous horse riders in the area we cover in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage. The higher the BHS membership the more clout we have when negotiating with local authorities and government. I very much hope you will re-join because the BHS H.Q. and the many volunteers spread throughout every county of Great Britain do a lot of good work for horse riders and carriage drivers.
I think you summed it up in a nutshell, small team, and 'many volenteers'
The Access volenteers in comparison to the ACP's have little support. The education department that supports ACP's has more staff than Access, Welfare and Safety put all together. I sat and watched as volenteers stood up as said how badly they had been treated, not pleasent, and it took great courage from them when there was a 'cheer led ' group at the back of the room.
So just imagine how much more you could do with a bit more help, access and saftey affect every rider as soon as they walk off their yard, and horse welfare, every horse carer.
The BHS needs to be honest in how it is spending its money, if you are supporting the horse, in practice if it is not ridden its virtually ignored . So if you are buying for insurance, remember its the insurance of last resort, the extra they charge, about £52 could be given to something you care about. WHW, NPS, ..... or a bridleways group to pay for their insurance. Its strange the BHS can subsidise hospitality for few members at the RIHS in the BHS box, but are asking for money for bridleways groups insurance.
 

AFB

Active Member
Joined
28 February 2017
Messages
881
I'm torn - I'd like to move away from BHS but the PL cover is 3x the amount of WHW/HH.
 

Surbie

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 July 2017
Messages
768
I am very sorry indeed that you have left the British Horse Society. I have been a volunteer Bridleways officer for them for over 40 years and the work I and the rest of my small team has done has benefitted numerous horse riders in the area we cover in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage. The higher the BHS membership the more clout we have when negotiating with local authorities and government. I very much hope you will re-join because the BHS H.Q. and the many volunteers spread throughout every county of Great Britain do a lot of good work for horse riders and carriage drivers.
I really value the work that the Bridleways and access people do. My local yard is trying to get a footpath redesignated for shared use so that we don't have to use a bridleway that exits onto a blind corner on a fast road. I appreciate the help offered.

I only joined the BHS for the insurance. I've just got my DD letter and am actively shopping for alternatives as I don't really like how HQ has acted in response to people's concerns.
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
9,821
The whole point of the BHS is that it should represent the whole of the nation's riders and horse owners, and horses as well of course.
What other organisation can represent the whole particularly when talking to Government. If the BHS loose so many members and end up with half the current ones, horse owners are not going to be taken seriously as a force to be reckoned with by anyone.

I know there has been a lot of discontent, but I still think there is a lot of good thinking and good people working for the BHS - in welfare, bridleways (thank you Mark Weston for massive help locally), the recent education for trouble young people, and the examination system, approvals. I know, I know, I have done my share of moaning, but the real problem for the BHS is that not every horse owner and rider is a member. If everyone was think how much power there would be. How many Rambers are in the RA, how many cyclists are in a national organisation. Numbers count - rushing out of the door in pique is not going to help horse owners as a body at all.
 

turkana

Active Member
Joined
2 July 2009
Messages
912
Whilst I share the concerns people are having I will continue with my membership for now, I had a very serious accident a year ago at a dangerous gate, I contacted the BHS who were ever so helpful, the end result was that the gate has been removed & the other gates on that estate are being made safer. The person who dealt with me was lovely & acted quickly, I don't know if she is a volunteer or not.
I saw that the BHS tent at Windsor was opposite the ring where morbidly obese cobs were being shown - I really, really hope that somebody stepped outside & spoke to the judge, to me those horses weren't far from being welfare cases.
 

onemoretime

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 April 2008
Messages
1,660
Yes really MoC. They had a meeting on Tuesday evening and it was dreadful apparently. If you use Facebook and join the BHS members group you can read all about it. Also there is a thread on here about the bullying and harrassment of staff, abuse of members money etc. etc.
 

onemoretime

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 April 2008
Messages
1,660
It was the non sense purchase of the horsebox and what comes across as shambles at the top that did it for me I'm afraid. I've been a member for many many years but with the way it's being run I don't see how the bridleway officers and other volunteers out there can do the fantastic job they do. I also don't feel they are fighting for us as riders, rather fighting amoungst themselves. I've only formed my opinion on what has been put on social media (and my own viewing of the horsebox) but I've seen enough
Dont forget the 25k waste of money on the puppet.
 

onemoretime

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 April 2008
Messages
1,660
OK I went to both 5.1.19 and 11.6.19 meetings neither were conducted well. On Tuesday the Chairman was not in control and made no real effort either. He allowed one of his mates to talk over Islay Auty who was speaking and who stated there are real problems within BHS. There was a denial that bullying had taken place at HQ - the solicitor who held the enquiry stated he had interviewed all concerned but an ex-member of staff pointed out she was one of the complainants and that he had not spoken/interviewed her. Volunteers present stated they had been bullied and "sacked". One lady who stood up to speak was physically pushed back into her seat by a man sitting behind her - the Chairman said nothing. Lady Anne Vestey who is a vice president spoke and stated that the BHS is "fractured". The responses from the chair and trustees were disappointing with no acknowledgement that there are any problems or issues within BHS. The Chair shut the meeting on a lady who tried to bring up the whistleblowing and subsequent sacking of the person who raised concerns about the ex-CEO Lyn Peterson being banned from driving but was still claiming car allowance. The issues of expenditure on the "big red bus" and puppet never got raised neither was the issue of China as only 1 hour had been allocated for discussion. As it was the discussion went on for about 1hr 40mins. I hope that helps!!

Yes that's it all 25k of it!
 
Joined
19 July 2010
Messages
18,871
I wonder how much of the 25k the puppet maker actually got? I feel very strongly that artists and crafts people should be paid fairly for their time, but even with a very generous hourly wage and material costs, it's just not a 25k puppet IMO.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Joined
16 February 2009
Messages
8,678
Location
Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Well I took up BHS Gold membership purely because - as a happy hacker - I NEED some form of insurance, and theirs fits the bill.

Am hearing what people are saying about the BHS; but others have expressed very well what I (think) I feel: that if everyone deserts the sinking ship then we could all end up in the creek without a paddle.

We as equestrians need to have a proper "official" organisation who can represent our views, concerns, etc. The Ramblers have a huge amount of clout when it comes to ROW's etc., as do Cyclists; they get what they want precisely because they are organised and have vocal individuals running right through the organisation! Whereas horse riders are consistently ignored and pushed to the back - there needs to be a strong voice!

In my view, the BHS have not been vocal enough, or appeared to be half as determined and tenacious as the two organisations I have mentioned. To me, historically and currently, I've always perceived (possibly incorrectly) that they've always seemed to have bigger fish to fry and look down with disdain on "hobby riders" like me who don't compete and don't go for their exams - to my shame, I'll admit it); I've never felt they've really had much to offer me - and as far as ROW issues are concerned they never seem to have enough people to adequately put forward a "voice". Currently, and very sadly, they are obviously far more concerned with other issues like squabbling amongst themselves right now, and that has weakened their profile and reputation immensely.

But does it help for everyone to jump ship now?? Let's face it, there isn't anyone else out there who can immediately jump into their shoes is there?? And herein lies the problem, because yes, the BHS situation is disappointing (and that's putting it mildly), but one could argue that at least a weak voice is better than no voice at all???

Perhaps we all need to get involved with BHS, take an interest at local level, and chivvy them and pester them if we don't like what's happening?? Because somehow the organisation has got itself into the state its currently in - and we the "membership" perhaps should have made the paid executives and everyone involved, way more accountable??

My Gold membership doesn't expire till the Autumn: will think about what I'm going to do - yes PL insurance IS cheaper elsewhere - BUT perhaps there's more involved than just what is cheaper or not: maybe we should all be prepared to change our thinking from "what can we get out of the BHS" (i.e. insurance/legal helpline); to "how might we make the organisation better??".

Just some musings, for what they're worth...........

The whole situation is very saddening TBH.
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
6,808
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
It's been a ver bad week for everyone involved. Of course theconcern started here - on HHO - last September. The thread is now huge - it brought people together and made sure the attempt to change the AoA to give yet MORE power to selected (not elected) Trustees and Chairman. The former CEO was a large part of the problem, but she was ably assisted by Trustees with their own agenda, or asleep, or whatever. A good turnout on 5th January (which theyhad definitely tried to avoid!) led to the FB Group being formed - ad finally the requisition fr a Vote of No Confidence in the Chairman, Chief Executive and the Board. The Chief Executive resigned, the meeting was notified and members were kept in the dark about the reason the Vote of No Confidence had been requisitioned. The meeting was a shambles - a supposedly independent Adjudicator had worked for the BHS before, when a member questioned this before the meeting had begun, he was insulted and shouted down by another Trustee in front of the Chairman. When a rather loud mouthed member who is a friend of the Chairman's - started shouting down Islay Auty - a well respected FBHS, the Chairman did noting, when that person and his 'group' started shouting and heckling over anyone speaking who they disagreed with, the Chairman did nothing. The first report on the meeting given by H&H, who were there, gives a very 'mild' description of the meeting! Elections are coming up for the new Trustees - obviously the FB Group is researching to find the best candidates, also information on alternatives for those who don't want to hang on in there and fight for change.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/membersBHS/
 
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