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In a message dated 2/20/00 6:44:54 AM Pacific Standard Time, Petdoc6 writes:

<< Tom,  if the CRI is not what we need to use to evaluate horses, then what 
do you propose for vets to use instead to decide who can continue?  We have 
to use something and the CRI seems to work in the field. >>

This is an interestng area for exploration--the purpose of vet checks. On the 
surface it appears to be a way of saving horses from humans. Horses shouldn't 
be run lame and they shouldn't be run into the ground, just for human sport. 
Can't argue with that.
Save horses from stupid humans. And, have vets around to aid injured 
horses--although, form stories I've heard, a horse in trouble on the trail 
may not get quick medical attention despite a swarm of vets.

Save horses from stupid people. Good concept, difficult to implement. That's 
because humans are frail, with defects, just like horses. And like horses, 
it's hard to tell the frail ones from the strong ones just bye looking at 
them--or looking at their credentials. 

The frailness of human enterprise often depends on the tools available to the 
human and the human's ability to use those tools. If the tools themselves are 
frail, then the human using them is also frail. Weak. Wrong much of the time. 
This results in the failure of the human enterprise.

In this case, we've defined the enterprise as saving horses from stupid 
humans. Those in charge of the enterprise are the vets. Frank lameness is 
easy to spot--the female lion, with not a lot of IQ and certainly no vet 
school degree, can sport lameness in a horse from a quarter mile away. A vet, 
or the rider, should have no problem detecting frank lameness, and if the 
rider refuses to stop the horse, then the vet can act as the policeman and 
stop the stupid rider. So far, so good.

But the vets have chosen to go farther witht he policing concept. They've 
instigated a system for detecting more subtle signs of animal abuse. One of 
the tools is the CRI. On the surface, the parameters of the CRI appear to 
make common sense. A deeper look, though, suggests that the parameters are 

Compare the CRI to the policeman's Drunk Driving Test parameters. A cop can 
put you in jail if you fail the drunk driver's test. Luckily, one of the 
parameters of that test, the one used in court, is blood alcohol level. 
Indisputable evidence of driving under the influence. But what if the best 
tool the police could put to use was something else--say clean fingernails? 
And what if the police stated that clean fingernails were indicative of safe 
drivers and dirty fingernails have proven, time and again, to be associated 
with drunk drivers? Would you, as a driver, care to put yourself at the mercy 
of such a criteria? And what if there was no other way to determine whether a 
driver was drunk? It would be stupid to try to enforce drunk driving laws--or 
to even have them on the books.

If CRI is a faulty tool, and it appears that it is, and if the subtleties of 
determining whether a horse is fit to continue a ride, other than evidence of 
frank lameness, are out of technological reach, then one wonders if the law 
should be on the books. It's like giving the police a reason to arrest you on 
a whim. 

And that's what I see being practiced by some vets in some rides--the 
enforcement of whims. This, to me, is evidence of human frailty. Equal, at 
least, to that of the humans who choose to continue riding a horse that is 
lame. Credentials don't prevent a human from being a moron any more than 
clean fingernails prevent one from being a drunk driver. The use of 
ineffective, or inacurate, tools in the hands of a supposed "expert" suggests 
that the whole policy needs review.



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