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Re: finish criteria. and comment on Lake Sonoma ride

----- Original Message -----
From: "C. Eyler" <>
 The mare just
> wouldn't eat or drink much of anything until halfway through the ride, and
> by then she was in too much deficit.  She made criteria at all the vet
> checks during the ride without difficulty, and the rider slowed down (from
> middle-of-the-pack to waaay-back-in-the-pack) during the second half of
> ride, but that last leg of the course was just too much for that horse on
> that day.
> The rider told the vets at the finish check that she was concerned about
> horse, that it had taken the full hour to get her pulse down.  An hour or
> later, when the horse was still not recovering well, one of the vets tubed
> her.  And we got a number to call in case she got worse later in the
> evening.  Which she did.  Hope I never have to spend another night in a
> barn, swapping IV bags as they are used up.  Very scary.
> This horse actually got a completion for the ride, which would not have
> the case with a 30 minute cut-off.  You can be sure that the rider is not
> happy about, or proud of, that completion.
> Cindy

Hi Cindy,

Interesting, since I just came back from Lake Sonoma ride, which was VERY
hot.  We MIGHT have been in this situation with my daughers horse, but she
pulled at lunch.  I knew the trail, and had no concerns that our horses were
not fit enough for that course....but you are dealing with hauling the day
before; how they eat and drink the day before, etc and the heat with the
beginnings of winter coats.  We took the first two loops VERY slow and easy,
and both horses walked into the vet checks below criteria, and had mostly
At the lunch check, it was the same.  My daughters horse was alert and going
well, and eveyrthing looked very good, but minimal gut sounds.  We were to
recheck at end of hold.....even after she had drank at the creek, and
nibbled hay and green grass, still minimal gut sounds.  Dr. Schuler felt
that worse-looking horses had continued on, and after explaining things to
my daughter, and telling her it was a really grey area...she left the
decision to my daughter.  It would have been at least 3 more hours just
walking to complete, and my daugther felt it would be in the best interests
of her horse to that point the horse probably wasn't in
danger.....but the bottom line was that three more hours on the trail would
not have there was an extra place in the trailer and she went
back to camp-where her horse drank and ate well.  I went on and
finished......on the middle of THAT loop, my horse lost her eagerness, and I
got off and walked for another hour; feeding her grass by hand.  Last bit
she really perked up and trotted and cantered in, back to her very strong
self.  But I know we had never been out riding that far on that hot a
day.....the last loop you are on your own, no way to get a  distressed horse
out, but by walking, so that was a concern too.  Chancy finished with A's
and B's, but with sore girth area on right, so I have to check that out.

Brenna was naturally disappointed she didn't finish the ride, but would have
felt horrible if her horse had developed problems out on the trail....I am
proud she made the decision to quit.  Other thing that kept going through my
THANK YOU, Susan Garlinghouse, was her studies on electrolyte levels, that
showed even horses with great criteria could have dangerously low
levels.....anyway, got home in an hour and half; both horses looked good and
drank a lot, ate all night and my daughters horse cantering around and
flipping her head.  Anyone want to talk to her about her decision to pull,
her email is   I think she would appreciate some
comments.  She is only 14, and this was the second ride with this horse. We
approached this ride as only wanting to complete, more like a pleasure
ride....and all along the way tried to be really careful to warm up, get off
and jog down the long hills with the horses, and do everything we could to
come into the vet checks with them looking good.
I did NOT want us to look back and think that we should have gone slower at
some point, etc.  I wanted us to work together (my daughter and I), in the
best interests of the horses and be able to say later....there wasn't
anything else we could have done differently......

Almost forgot to mention.....Jennifer and Jon Neihaus put on a terrific
ride, assisted by a great crew of volunteers and supported by the
Waltenspeils and Joyce and Dennis could the ride not be great!.
Sitting out in the evening before the ride with Pat and Renee from Eureka
chatting, and looking at an incredible clear sky, stars and milky way, is
the best of times!

Karen Sullivan

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