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From: David BagotSent: Sunday, October 07, 2001 5:37 PMTo: Ridecamp@endurance.netSubject: RC: Rule clarification
My mentally young 7 year old gelding was having a hard time getting his heart rate down after an LD this past weekend. When he completed the ride he had a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step, however, he was completely stressed out that his stable mate, who had finished the ride earlier, was back at the trailer. There was a lot of hollering going on between the horses and every time something moved he had to take a look, shooting his heart rate back up.
By AERC rules, could I have brought over the other horse so the gelding could have settled down? I read through the rules this morning and could not find any reference to this but I had one competitor tell me it was not allowed and others have told me it would have been okay.
PS The gelding received all A's on his post ride checkout 1/2 hour later.
I have found that separating horses at a ride will cause you so many problems, so much grief, that the only answer is to not separate them. If you bring two, three or even 4 horses to a ride, it's in your best interests to keep them together as much as possible.
Otherwise, you will have problems. If you bring along another horse who is not riding, just going to hang around inside your portable corral while you ride, I think you've bought along additional problems and should have left the nonriding horse at home.
The bonding between the horses is unbreakable. I don't think anyone can train their horse to overcome this bond and separation anxiety. Separating horses that you bring together to a ride is just not a good idea. Our family rule is if you bring the horse to a ride, you ride together in the same event, with the other horses. And all riders stay together during the race.
Anything else just isn't a smart thing to do. To finish is to win. The goal is to get the completion. To get pulled cause your horse's heart rate won't come down, because of separation from "his buddy", can really put a damper on the week-end. I've done this and knew my mistake immediately when it happened. Stick together and your group will finish together.
Howard (most vets I've seen at rides seem to understand this bonding thing quite well)
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