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In a message dated 2/20/00 12:58:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< You are too kind, Heidi.. I have seen, and know, riders who may not be
 "stupid" but are so driven that they will "win at all cost" and if the vet
 gets in their way there will be hell to pay for the vet. (bad mouthing,
 arguing, protesting.....) and so it seems that these types are sometimes
 allowed a little more latitude just to save the hassle. (or so it seems to
 Then there are the plain stupid ones who don't know and don't know that they
 don't know and will push their horses far beyond their conditioning level or
 miles on the horses legs should dictate. For them, finishing in the top five
 proves what a wonderful horse they have or what wonderful horsemen they are. 

Well, thanks Pat, for thinking I'm kind.  But seriously, the "driven" 
competitors that know better will still often make the right decisions if one 
simply gets them slowed down a little and truly looking at their horses, and 
a fair number of the uneducated ones will respond positively to attempts to 
educate.  As I said in a different post, I've only encountered 8 riders in 
nearly 20 years to whom I've simply had to say, "Hey, that's it, you're 
pulled."  There've been some who've had to go back to their camps to have 
their horses eat longer, or have been sent back to try to "warm out" of 
something they don't think is much, or whatever, but they invariably come 
back and say, hey, this horse does not need to go on.  And--having done that, 
they tend NOT to be mad about the situation or upset with the ride vet, and 
they DO tend to learn to pay more attention to their horse next time.  And 
really, Pat, you'd be amazed at how many WILL come up to the ride vet and 
say, "Hey, doc, you know, I thought something was a little funny out there on 
the trail, mighta been the right hind, tell me if you see the same thing," 
and when the horse trots off uneven, we both say, "Yep, it's there," and they 
say, "Well, we're outta here, I'll go back and untack and when you get a 
break I'll bring 'im back and we can see what we can find."  And THAT kind of 
caring about the horse is why I truly appreciate this sport.


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