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I'm still crying over Howards story.  But it rang a bell with me.  I did
my first 50 of the season at Alpine in Oct 99 with my arab Mac.  We had
been doing LD's and CTR's for over 3 years and I was finally ready for
this physically - the horse had been ready for quite some time but the
rider needed work.  He only nibbled at his hay the night before which is
unusual for him but he looked and felt good so I didn't pay any
attention.  At the first vet check his scores were good but he didn't
want to eat anything.  We rested a little longer than usual but I got
restless so we went on.  Finished the second loop.  The vet still says
all signs look great but he still isn't eating.  Now I'm starting to get
worried.  We started out on the third loop slowly while I thought this
over.  There's an intersection coming up - one way goes on the third
loop and one way goes back to camp.  Mac's moving strongly, anxious to
go but I just feel something has to be wrong.  At the last minute I opt
to go home.  As much as I want this 50 miler, it isn't worth it to risk
my horse for a finish.   It's 10 miles back to camp and he breaks into a
gallop.  He's moving out so strongly and smoothly, fighting me if I try
to slow him down.  He's throwing his head around like he does when he's
feeling good.  He galloped across the finish line, looking beautiful.
Again the vets said he looked great.  I took him back to the trailer and
he stood there for 3 hours without eating a bite.  I took him back to
the vet twice during this period because I was really worried.  This
horse doesn't stop eating for anything.  But they couldnt' find any
signs of a problem.  He finally started eating and was perfectly fine.
But I'm not sorry that we pulled.  Looking back, he had eaten 2 flakes
of hay in 36 hours...he should have eaten 6-8.  I don;t know what was
wrong...I don't really know if anything at all was wrong.  But it felt
wrong to me and I still think I did the best thing for us.
Just wanted to share this with everyone.
Barb & Mac

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