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Sick horses at rides

Since this issue seems to be current on RC, here is what happened this past 
After over 10 years competing multiple horses of my own and coaching and 
crewing a fair
number of clients through various rides all over the country with their own 
horses without
a horse IV'd, two clients ended up with horses on IV's at the conclusion of 
the Oakland
Hills ride.  How did it happen?  Both horses were experienced campaigners.  
One horse was
being ridden at a top ten pace ( 7 to 11th position), however, he had top 
tenned a ride just
4 weeks earlier with no problems (looked fine post ride and later at home).  
The other
horse finished "middle of the pack" was slowed down on the second half of the 
ride when he
appeared a little less than bright at the lunch check.  Both horses got 
mostly A's on their
vet scores with the lowest score being one B-.  The first horse 
finished but showed some discomfort, wanting to roll.  Since I know the 
horse, I knew 
he sometimes has mild bouts of gas colic after a ride.  We took him to the 
and drenched him with water, then walked him, and did some TTEAM work to see 
if we could
help alleviate his symptomes.  At 20 minutes after finish, he was still 
"border line" in my
opinion, so we brought him to a ride vet, who, after examining him, told us to
 continue to walk him for another 10 minutes, (his heart rate was in the 
50's) then bring
him back again.  Which we did.  Since he did not improve, it was decided to 
treat him and
he was given fluids, as well as a pain medication and some tranqualizer.  The 
recovered without further incident.  The second horse finished the ride, 
completed the 
final vet exam with no problem, was eating and drinking normally for almost 
hours before suddenly showing severe colic symptoms.  Different owners, 
stables, different feeding programs, different training programs, etc.  I 
sent someone for
the vet immediately on this horse, as I felt his symptoms were more severe 
and the
sudden onset was very suspicious, especially 2 hours post ride.  He
too was treated successfully with fluids, however the vets felt he had a 
severe calcium
imbalance due to an irregular heart rate, which was uncharastically low, even 
though the
horse was in obvious pain when the situation commenced.  The single 
connecting factor
between these horses was an uncharacterist heat wave with temperatures over 
the 100 
degree mark for several days during the week prior to the ride, however 
on ride day were mild, only in the low 80's.  Good: the excellent attitude
of the ride vets who stepped in without any hint of blame, and the good 
outcome to a
VERY undesirable situation.  Bad: one observer on the side lines with a frown 
accusatory looks, determined, apparently to view the events with suspicion, 
making his way around the edges of our camp site trying to see what was being 
done to
the horse to become uncomfortable, but without the courtsey of stepping 
forward to ask
for information about his condition or any offer of assistance.  DSS

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