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Re: RC: Re: CRI

In a message dated 2/20/00 10:10:27 AM Pacific Standard Time, CMKSAGEHIL 

<< The point is to STOP the driver before he kills himself or others.  THAT 
is the job of the ride vet.>

Is it? That's the underlying question. If the vets take their function that 
seriously, which I think goes a bit beyond the pale, then they'd better get 
serious about the tools they're using. 

>  We frequently do not have the tools in the field to make a definitive 
diagnosis as to WHY the horse needs to be stopped, but we can, to a great 
degree of accuracy, determine that he DOES need to be stopped!>

Not logical. You know better than the rider? Via what means? At the racetrack 
there are many vets who supposedly can detect a lameness from 50 yards away. 
When I encounter one of these I make a mental note never to let him, or his 
needles close to my horses.  

 > The vets in the treatment barn or back at the rider's home clinic can do a 
more complete workup and decide if this a serious situation or not, and quite 
frankly, the goal on the course is to stop the horse BEFORE the situation 
becomes so serious that the horse either becomes worthless (or dead) or has 
to undergo a long layoff time. >

I'm trying to think of specific examples of lamenesses or illnesses where 
this would actually be true. I'm hard pressed to do so. Give me some examples 
where the rider wouldn't know that he was killing the horse or ruining its 
career, but the vet at the vet check would. I mean, the melody of this tune 
sounds great, but the orchestration seems thin.

> This is akin to your investigations of race horses that break down, and 
very much like your own admitted efforts to minimize that from happening. >

There are two primary reasons why racehorses break down and/or die on the 
racetrack: lack of fitness and veterinary "coverrup" medication--called 
"normalization" by the AAEP. The track vets are just as full of homilies as 
Heidi, with words that are just as lofty and meaningless. While it is true 
that offtrack vets have a lot more integrity, you still run into similar 
posturing. Once in a while, in both venues, you run into a genuine 
practitioner of medicine.  
>When one is having to make a split-second decision at Vet Check 3 as to 
whether this horse can or cannot go on, it is immaterial to the immediate 
decision whether the metabolic upset is a colic, a tie-up, or simply an 
overridden horse.  The important thing is to decide whether or not this horse 
can go on. >

Colic can be diagnosed. Tie-up can be diagnosed. Overridden? Maybe. As soon 
as you delve into something subjective like that, you introduce the 
possibility of personality, politics, or plain stupidity taking over where 
good medicine leaves off. 
> And no, we are not out to "save" the horses from the "stupid" people.  This 
sport is sufficiently time intensive and complex that we really don't meet 
very many "stupid" people out there--some that don't know much yet, sure, but 
even most of those are striving to learn.  Most actively participate in the 
evaluations of their horses and in the decisions to pull them.  However, like 
most focused, driven athletes, sometimes even the most conscientious and 
intelligent of endurance riders needs a little tap on the shoulder and a 
suggestion to step back and look at the "big picture" regarding their horse.>

Again, via what criteria? Here on ridecamp you have a couple of religions at 
play--witness the win vs finish controversy. And clearly, these religions are 
worshipped by the vets in attendance in this group as well. Religion is not 
science. Fantasy is not science. 
 >>Your comments on this subject further underscore your need to come out and 
actually see what DOES happen at most of the rides.
 Heidi >>

If your comments are indicative of the knowledge gained from such experience, 
maybe it's better that I don't get too close. As it is, I have no vested 
interest in any of the politics of the game. 


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