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Re: where to get ex-racehorse arabs?

> But that's not my point (nor is Susan G's right-on post about money what
> I'm aiming at here).  My point is that if AERC, looking to a horse's best
> interests, says they shouldn't be stressed to do even LDs until they're 4
> years old, why would horses that have been stressed mightily as 2 year
> (and in the case of non-Arabs, probably 18 month old horses) make good
> endurance prospects?

OK, you're right, that's a different point.  IMO, the refugees from the
track physiologically might make good prospects *if* they survived the early
race training without injury to bone, tendon or ligament.  From the data
I've seen, I think those individuals are fairly few and far between.  Now,
before I started get buried in emails telling me about the wonderful horses
they've gotten off the track, keep in mind that I'm only talking about those
horses that came off totally without blemish, strain, fracture or arthritic
changes, all of which may or may NOT affect future endurance performance.  A
tendon tear that heals well on a horse that will only do slow LDs with a Fwt
forevermore is probably insignificant.  The same potential weak spot on a
horse destined to gallop his way through 100s carrying a Hwt might very well
break down again and again.  Those types of injuries can heal, but they also
leave behind fibrosis at the original site of injury and are less elastic at
that spot, thus more easily strained in the future.

The same concept applies to some extent or another with muscle tears,
tie-ups, etc.  Once a muscle cell is lysed and totally destroyed, you can't
get it back, it's history.  In its place, you often get more fibrotic scar
tissue, which may or may not be significant, but its there.  Where muscle,
tendon and ligament tissue are concerned, there really isn't any such thing
as true 100% healing, there is always a compensatory and permanant response
left behind in the form of scar tissue.  You just have to decide on an
individual basis whether that damage is significant based on what you want
to do with the horse and what his future stressors will be.

Susan G

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