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    Re: [RC] Comments on LD - Heidi Smith

    > IMO-that would eliminate other breeds.
    Why would it eliminate other breeds?  This is a "life sport" and they have
    many later years in which to be ridden.
    >Others breeds are fully grown and
    > mature at age 4
    I have yet to meet a horse of ANY breed that is "fully grown and mature at
    age 4...."
    >  I've known Arabs that grew another 1/2"
    > in their 5th year.
    I've known Arabs to grow until they are 8.  I'd say their average age of
    maturity is around 7.
    >We would have to have a "minimum age" for every breed
    > out there
    Why?  The main thing is to see that the majority have reached a suitable
    level of maturity before being asked to compete.  Most Arabs are ready to
    start at age 4, even though they have much longer until maturity.  One would
    hope that any horses being used would have at least SOME time under saddle
    before being asked to compete.  There is no evidence that completing LD's at
    age 4 does any harm to a 4-year-old, if he doesn't mature for a few more
    years.  The concern is whether 4-year-olds will be asked to do LD's at
    speed--the speed is the issue.
    Personally, I don't see any problems with the rule as it exists.  Somebody
    suggested that we be "proactive" instead of "reactive".  That can be good
    advice, up to a point--but we can't think up every situation in which some
    idiot might go out and hurt a horse at some point in the future, and make a
    rule to cover it.  I suppose somebody, somewhere, has run a 4-year-old at
    speed on LD's.  In the thousands of LD entries I've seen over the years,
    I've never seen it to be an issue.  One CAN be so "proactive" that one
    becomes downright reactionary--kind of a full circle.  I don't have any
    objection to raising the horse age for LD's to 5, but I haven't seen a need
    for it, either.
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    [RC] Comments on LD, Stephanie_D_Adair