[RC] IAHA and performance analysis - Linda Cowles
" I at least watched the video before I made a decision to post to Ridecamp
saying what I thought the horses looked like in the video"
I didn't say what I thought the horses looked like in the video. I said:
"It's a good practice to raise questions when a horses welfare is at stake,
but making declarations like the ones Sandy made based on perception of a
video clip? I know Heather and Valerie, and many other top riders... like
Ken and Maryben, I took offence. ...Championship level endurance-type
exertion is rarely a pretty thing to behold in any sport ..."
and I talked about the fact that endurance athletes look like they're
What were the declarations that set this off?
" WHAT?????? Oh GOOD GOD! What idiot is riding their horse at thsi kind of
pace? If what you saw you saw - and of course, you wouldn't bring it up if
you didn't - clearly that pace was profoundly idiotic - and cruel. I cannot
imagine what I would tell MY horsey friends in that instance. 8 hours is a
respectable finishing time for a lot of 50 MILERS!!!! I don't know about
you guys but I am appalled."
We need to have different opinions, but we don't need to insult each other.
I don't watch TV, don't have cable, but Heather a respected friend who would
back off on a race long before she would hurt Red.
I balance the two sides. Sandy had an opinion based on her perception of the
video... we all have different perception, and those are good.
"What kind of idiot"... That's totally uncalled for. I respect Heathers
ethics and abilities and the same goes for Valerie's. I've heard from other
folks I respect who said that the horses looked good both on the video and
in person at the finish line. The vet scores were good.
This sport needs to police itself, and it also has to respect the integrity
of riders who make a concerted effort to ride a competitive ride while
taking good care of their horses. Heather excels because she's as sensitive
as the horses she rides... lets preserve that. Question these riders methods
and strategies? Sure. But don't insult them.
I do advocate persistent performance analysis. We need it. We need varying
opinions, to raise the thinking up a notch or two, not shut it down.
IMHO, the over ridden horse problem is more prevalent in the mid-rank to
casual riders who are more likely to ride too fast or too far for the level
One poster suggested a roving team of vets to assess horses at targeted
rides like Susan G has done. I was part of her study, and the test results
provided a unique sensitivity calibration tool. Combined with videos taken
at strategic locations and confidential rider questionnaires, this testing
would help us to recognize when our horses are being over stressed before it
becomes a problem. We could calibrate our perceptions.
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