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    [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
    exerting themselves.
    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
    of conditioning.
    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.
    Linda Cowles
    Horse 'N Hound
    New, Consigned & Used Tack
    9155 North State St.,  Redwood Valley, CA 95470
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