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The Horse magazine/my rant

> This month's issue of The Horse magazine has some wonderful
articles,dehydration and thumps

WARNING:  You struck a chord, and this is a rant.  
I disagree on the thumps article.  It sounded like a 17 year old's
research paper where they're regurgitating a lot of info that they don't
understand either.  If I'd never heard of thumps, I still wouldn't have a was full of technical info, but not much useful on the
homefront.  I was tempted to write a letter to the editor.  I was
offended that they used examples of horses run into the ground during
endurance events years ago, described a mare "standing with her head down
and legs splayed out" if I didn't do endurance I would have gotten an
awful impression of the sport.  Their other example was of a rider who'd
been released from the last checkpoint "only if he'd promise to walk" and
he'd gone back to galloping as soon as he was out of sight. They did
point out that they'd learned to add more checks, etc., they even...get
this...decided not to let horses younger than 5 compete in a 50 the next

One problem was that they kept describing it as if every horse that had
thumps had been run to exhaustion.  Every case I've seen was caught when
the horse looked darned good. (and I've seen more cases than their vet
had) They described the diaphram "slamming" up against the lungs the
mental image was of something traumatic.  You'd have pictured a horse in
seizures!  Even the cover said, "Thumps is an obvious symptom" Hey, it's
not that have to sort of stare at that flank but you'd have
never known it reading his description.  I could go on and on. 

 The vet they interviewed said he'd only seen 3 cases in his life, all
endurance horses, (Duh!  How many pleasure horses do they see *while*
they're being ridden hard?) 
"and fortunately all three of them recovered"  Horses die of thumps? 
Isn't that like saying, my car quit running because the light on the dash
came on?  

It said, "The condition when it does occur normally appears in a horse
that has not been properly conditioned for an endurance race or one which
has refused to ingest sufficient quantities of water during the
competition on a hot day"  My experience has been that it's more likely a
problem adjusting that horse's calcium intake.  Some really good
endurance horses are chronic thumpers until their owners come up with
their own custom mixture. No change in training.

They said, "The thumping horse breaths in time with its heartbeat"  LOTS
of horses do that unless at total rest.  How many newbies are going to
panic when their blowing horse is breathing along with his heartbeat now?

 They spent time pointing out that endurance horses burn a different fuel
than say, Thoroughbred racers, but when they talked about replinishing
electrolytes they never pointed out that TBs get acidic and endurance
horses get alkaline...that's important!  They don't need the same
electrolytes replinished and they use the term "electrolytes" referring
to what both need.  Who would know not to use the ones that are in every
catalog for  the type thumps which they went into such detail to describe
at an endurance event?  Wouldn't that be like trying to put out a fire
with gasoline?  The only case of thumps I've ever been pulled for was
when I gave the non-endurance electrolytes. I've often wondered if he'd
have gotten thumps if he'd had no electrolytes at all that day. (Thank
goodness he lived through it...actually grazed through it while dragging
me around neighing at other horses leaving the vet check)

So what was their suggestion? 

 "Nutritional fitness means that the horse is ingesting the appropriate
amounts of energy in its diet and, if it is to be competing in something
like an endurance race, that it is receiving additional electrolytes.
This might involve supplementing them in the horse's drinking water" 

 Puleeeeeezzzz!  Did this guy uses a 1970 Encyclopedia for his research?

I got Equus Magazine for the first 20 years or so, read every one cover
to cover, then a friend started subscribing me to the Horse as a
Christmas gift. Said she liked it better.  I have yet to make it through
an article that really taught me anything.  I'm resubscribing to Equus.

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