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Pull Codes/food for thought

Lisa Jordan
I've just returned from the NC ride in KY - beautiful country! Checked RC
upon returning home to find this thread. I didn't read every post, so -
sorry if this is a reiteration. While in KY this very discussion (RO vs
L/M) came up and continued in snippets throughout the weekend amongst a
few people. After observing the passionate opinions and reasons that
people made clear, and then trying to work out solutions (as RCers were
doing here)I had a [small] epiphany.... Dangerous I know. Using myself as
an example I thought - why do we all feel the need to have RO as our code
rather than lame or metabolic? Because we want everyone to KNOW that we
put our horses first! Even if the horse is lame, or has a metabolic
issue - if I noticed it and did my best to get the horse to the vet safely
I need people to KNOW that I was NOT oblivious to, and ignoring my horses
The unfortunate part in my mind is that RO doesn't cover this. I believe
(IMO) RO means that the horse is fit to continue according to the Vet, but
the rider chooses not to for whatever the reason.
Now here comes the twist.  I tried to think of why we don't as fellow
riders give each other the benefit of the doubt? Lameness is a pretty
obvious potential problem when riding over rocky/sandy/muddy/hardpacked
trail for 50 to 100 miles! Why is it a dirty word? And the big M....
metabolic issues can happen for a LARGE variety of reasons - only one of
them being riding an underconditioned/conditioned horse too fast. Before
the flaming starts; I'm not suggesting that we take these things lightly,
but they do happen in this sport.
If I sit back and think about it, I can't think of anyone with a heart's
desire to ride a horse to sickness or lameness. I see that we do have
different ideas of what riding competitively is and different levels of
knowledge which strongly form our personal opinions.
Instead of having AERC administration track numerous codes that basically
serve to BEST COMMUNICATE the riders intention with the horse - why not
breath deep and assume that any rider in question did the best to care for
their horse with the knowledge that they had at the time. For the extreme
minority that act out of neglegence there are Vets, Ride Management,
protests and good old peer pressure (not to be confused with guilt by
association) to deal with them.  For the rest - (this is the turning over
a new leaf part) I'm going to try to sit on my judgement, share compassion
and offer any experience I can share that may help to avoid future
heartache; if enough people try this with me maybe we can feel understood
with only the current three codes.
Append: For those of you that know me - you can remind me that I said this
when you see me at the next ride!;-))

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