[RC] Pre-Ride VC Issues and a few others - Roger Rittenhouse
FROM Roger Rittenhouse
I noted TWO posts from riders about the pre-ride VC procedures and
the issue with 'strange or inconsistent way of going; NOT a real
issue with lamness.
This problem appears to be an issue at more and more rides.
It tends to be more prevalent with 'big time' rides with more then one
vet doing the trot evaluation - the sort of gang up vetting.
It occurs at the OD every year and other bigger rides as a few riders have
Part of this situation is caused by ' the top vet I see something
and you dont' syndrome.
IF one top vet 'sees' something ALL the other have to go along to
not appear as they dont know what they are doing, sort of a group
hysteria thing, one sees 'something' and all the others - say 'yeah
maybe so'. Just to be on the same team and all of one common mind set.
Its mostly bunk as far as I am concerned. IF the horse is REALLY LAME
that is, which means the AERC RULES definition of lameness are
applied , then there is
no question, but this sort of uneven crap and missed ONE step that is
ONE head nod -inconsistent - that is, is baloney. I see too much of
To be pulled you have to show a consistent uneven gait in ALL
directions of the trot out - out back and circles. The old policy was
IF the horse took a few bad steps the condition was noted as 'G1
inconsistent LF - or what ever.
NOT this stuff we are seeing today.
Some of this made up criteria is getting out of control.
One up mans-ship vetting. Why ?? to prevent a problem later?
Well I believe someone quoted a vet at the OD saying Lame horses generally do NOT die
- but metabolic problems will kill.?? I think I have that right.
Then we have the other end of the spectrum where tired horses are
chased - hazed - to make them trot- they may be sound but are dead
tired - fatigue? .. this has been one of may major bitches.
Talk about inconsistent vetting. a little bobble at vet in gets you a
no start- but having to chase - smack- hit - whapping with crop at every
step - yelling- dragging - what ever to get the
tired, but maybe sound horse, to trot out at the end gets you
a completion?? go figure. It is NOT a training issue.
I actually thought the idea with undefined motion gait issues,was to let you start then REALLY look hard
at the horse at the FIRST VC. This assumes the horses is NOT
indicating an abnormal gait that causes NOTED irregular motion- head
bob or hip hikes etc WITH EVERY STEP.
I would of course NOT like to see a G2,(almost every step) start or
But not this minor uneven gait - as in 'we dont really know but
there is something there' , so your out thing, this is improper.
Sort of like the pull for 'he dont look right' no real issue found
just the vet does not like the way horse is looking. There are
standards on what constitutes a not fit to continue horse. Not self defined -
The ONLY time this really means anything is when YOU the rider thinks
something is wrong AND the vet supports your 'feeling' THEN YOU the
ride should re-evaluate and either adjust your ride or withdrawal.
Far too many times I see or hear of riders getting pulled for in-vaild
reasons. Of course the vet can 'make something up' then you get
pulled for a 'real reason' and we are not allowed to object.
Seems horses are not being allowed to start for LESSOR inconstant
gaits then would be allowed to continue on trail or at the finish.
Let me toss this one out - Does anyone other then ME think all this
excessive picky nondescript vetting have anything to do with the influence of FEI
and a transference of mind sets from the FEI vets?
I have complained about this 'do it your self' vetting rules
interpretation to a few vets - defined what I thought was improper and
suggested we have rules to follow. IF we do not care for these rules
and want stricter standards THEN we should make the changes to
conform with new standards.
Since I was NOT at the OD - let me ask this one - DID ALL the horses
get the CRI done at ALL VC- AND - at the FINISH - was it used as a
finishing criteria? COULD you have been pulled for a 'failed' CRI at
the finish?? Need to define that one?
I have ranted on this before- I would like to know, How many other
rides (riders) have noted this? Is it being done at more rides. It
sure is NOT consistent at the rides I went to last year.
I have brought these issues(and others) and lack of consistent vetting and
following the rules, up to the BOD and vets both on the BOD and the Vet
committee. I have gotten no where expect - ridicule - no action and told by the vets
that they will do as they please - what ever the vet of the day wants to do - even
outside the rules and guide lines of AERC.
So after reading this stuff from two rides (riders) I now take it public.
Should we make the rules of starting and fit to continue as well as
completion stricter, do we need to codify the policy and vetting
standards to insure ALL the vets perform the process the same way at
ALL rides? Do we want to develop standards as done in Australia and
other places. Logs books all that which goes long with that?
OR do we just ask - demand- the rules, policy, and guidelines we
currently have in place be followed?
I believe our current rules and vet procedures are for the most part- adequate.
I would like to see a few changes but overall the rules and
procedures are acceptable for the protection of the horse.
OK now that you asked ?? WHAT would I change ?
1. CRI at all rides at all Vet Checks NOT AT THE FINISH.
2. NO chasing hazing of horses by anyone at the VC to obtain a trot. Crops for
unruly horses only, NOT to make a horse trot.
3. Fix COMPLETION PULSE to 64 for 50 miles and up (NO more lower 60 pulse for completion).
4. Completion time at finish LEFT as is at one hour - incudes pulse recovery
and vet out process. (NOT the 30 minute pulse recovery I have seen at
a few rides)
5. More then ONE VC on 50 milers and above. Some standard on the
number of VC per mileage and conditions- yes within reason- may not apply to ALL
Just a few to get the flames up to temp
I dont really expect any changes to anything- though. No one wants to
go on the hot plate- as many of you will take exception to most of my
I suggest YOU run for the BOD this time with all the DAL seats open.
OF course we can do it the way Dr Matthew wants to go,
Get rid of the hard ball rules and 'racing'
Say just how did THAT work out the OD?
Guess the 50 would be more valid then the 100 miler.
I really dont see that going anywhere either.
Roger Rittenhouse AERC #8263
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