It is not uncommon for the attention of the Australian Ranch Horse (ARH) to be drawn to posts on social media. Recently, the ARH has been disappointed with some posts on social media concerning the ARH and its members. In particular, members are using social media to remark on ARH events, including the conduct of other members of the ARH.

Used responsibly, social media can be a valuable tool for communicating to the ranch horse community. However, social media can also be used in ways that can cause great offence. For  example, derogatory remarks about ARH members that are posted on social media networks can have a harmful impact on those involved, as well as reflect unfavourably on the ranch horse industry in Australia. Derogatory remarks can be insulting or disrespectful. They are usually based on an individual’s view or judgment, but these can be formed about something not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. The result is often unflattering, unkind, or demeaning.

Members should be aware that the ARH Rule Book states and this applies to the use of social media:
“Establishing and maintaining public confidence in the professionalism, honesty, ability and integrity of the Australian Ranch Horse is fundamental to the future success of ARH. As a condition of ARH membership, all involved, agree to conduct themselves in a honourable and professional level and to abide by rules and regulations of this Company. ”

“Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Conduct by ARH members, non-members, exhibitors, trainers, owners, owner’s representatives, spectators, and all other persons present on ARH event grounds of facilities shall be orderly, responsible, sportsmanlike, and humane in the treatment of horses. Any of these violations will be subject to disciplinary procedures. Unsportsmanlike conduct or any other form of misconduct that is irresponsible, illegal, indecent, profane, intimidating, threatening, or abusive will not be tolerated.”

Members are asked to use social media for collegiate purposes – to keep in touch with friends and family – and not as a forum for derogatory remarks and opinions about another person or their horse.

All members should be aware that the ARH Rule Book states that a member can be suspended or expelled for Conduct Unbecoming of a Member.