I am not unfamiliar with exertion...my thing was ultra-triathlons. I loved running, biking and swimming...the longer the distance, the better.
Now, I am able to run a bit, until the chronic conditions present in my feet flare up, then even walking without pain can be a challenge for me.
But, when I competed, between pursuing my goals, endorphin-licks and the sheer JOY of participating in a competitive arena, I hardly ever felt any pain.
Now, well, suffice it to say I would have, should have listened to my body more when I was in the middle of my competitive fervor and not ignored the things it was trying to relate to me.
There are many horses, at many levels, who participate in our sport...whether they are "completion only" or aspirants to Pan Am or Worlds.
Each horse that participates on behalf of the owners/riders, (whether they are "mediocre" endurance horses or horses who don't know the word "quit"), is entitled to perform "their job" without jeopardizing their present or their future, when, for the most part, serious injury or death is avoidable.
And for the record, I have no opinion on the Fort Howes ride (except that I sure enjoyed it when I rode the 100 there) as I was not there this year.
Off my soapbox.....gotta cook.....bye.