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CRI's are often used incorrectly by poorly educated veterinarians.  Except for
the vets who have "been there", most usually have no experience with horses under
stress.  Vet schools don't teach this or even expose their students to much if

The CRI, used correctly is an AID to the vet.  In itself, it is NOT a criteria to
use for elimination or even evaluation.  It MAY be an indicator of impending doom
(and often is).

Some of the "old-time" vets are on ego trips (has-beens trying to stay alive) who
still insist that their "old" way of evaluation is right, the best, or the ONLY
way to go.  Many of these vets go thru the motions of a CRI to please the
"ignorant" rider (since they are Gods anyway).

The more experienced rider (who has not been inflicted with DIMR) KNOWS his horse
and will eliminate his own horse before a vet will. Hence, the CRI is important
for new riders and is only ONE of many criteria, and, as I stated
above, is often an INDICATOR for something else wrong or going wrong....

Teddy wrote:

> 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
> faulty.
> 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.
> ti
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Teddy Lancaster
American Endurance Ride Conference # 139422
- Member since 1974
6000+ career miles

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

-- Winston Churchill

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