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    [RC] [Guest] Long Loops... - John A. Teeter

    K S SWIGART katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Angie said:
    >>Every time I think about this it makes me sick. I was so disgusted when
      Michael Stone commented that the Pan Ams in Vermont were successful, but
      that he was concerned that the many vet checks were bad for the sport. 
      He claimed that he feared it made it possible for the riders to push
      their horses too hard since they knew there would be checks where they
      could recover and it took some of the skill out.<<
    I m;ust confess, I agree with Michael Stone on this one (assuming that
    the riders are not allowed to received assistance from their "crew"
    between the vet checks.
    I am indeed of the opinion that increasing the number of vet 
    checks reduces the endurance aspect of the sport and turns it
    into a series of sprints where an unskilled rider can take a horse
    that somebody else has prepared, gallop it from vet check to
    vet check, hand the reins to the crew to take care of the horse
    for them.
    If you reduce the number of vet checks, and make the rider
    responsible for pacing his horse perperly on a long loop and
    taking care of it himself and GASP!!! actually stopping to let
    the horse eat GASP!!! on the clock...because he can't just wait 
    until the vet check, this requires much greater horsemanship
    and much greater consideration for the horse.
    It is on the rides where it is a long way between vet checks
    and a long way to any help if the horse gets into trouble that
    I have seen the best care of horses by their RIDERS. Anything
    that improves the care of horses by the people who are actually
    riding them is something I consider to be a good thing.
    So yeah, long loops and short holds sounds like a good idea to me
    because then EVERYBODY will have to take care of their horses 
    by their riders on the trail--which is where endurance horses 
    need to be taken care of.  There will be no advantage to riders
    who have a big crew to help them at vet checks every few miles. 
    Orange County, Calif.
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