If as an organization you promote completions as
success, then it is only logical to believe that getting pulled is a
failure. In my opinion, a RO, FTC, (Ride Option, Fit to Continue) option
would lessen the negativity attached to voluntary pulls on horses that are
"fit to continue".
I really like this idea. First of
all, it says plain and simple...the horse was declared “fit to continue”
by the vet. For whatever reason, the rider decides not to push the horse
and *they* choose not to continue with the ride.
When I see something listed as a
Lameness pull, to me that say the horse was a definite 3 on the lameness
chart...not a 1 and the rider didn’t want it to go to a 3...the horse WAS
A 3!! I think listing something as RO, FTC would encourage more riders to
pull their horses before they get worse (considering that the problem may or
may not get to that point of having the vet pull the horse.)
And yes...there is definitely a stigma
attached to the vet pulls, whether people want to believe it or not...and
people do talk. I personally don’t have an ego that would get
terribly damaged by an honest pull (horse found rock with his name on it, and
so on) since those who know me know I am probably one of the most conservative
riders out there and sometimes sh** happens. I *do* have a problem with a
rider pulling my horse (that he is riding) when it’s a grade 1 (and we
don’t want it to become a grade 3) and having it labeled as a Lameness
(Grade 3 cuz that’s what you’ve got if the vet pulls you) Pull.
If a Grade 1 lameness is enough for the horse to get a Lameness Pull categorization
and the rider not be able to take an RO (when clearly it *is* the rider who is
making that decision -- taking that OPTION), then how can they honestly give
completions to horses who have more than a Grade 1?? Calling a Grade 1
lameness that a rider opts to quit with a “Lameness” (hence, Grade
3) is doing more to skew the statistics than just calling it a RO.
So I’ll have to vote in with the
RO, FTC. And...another suggestion here...ROs (when they concern a horse
related issue) should only be allowed *if and when* the horse has been cleared
by the vet as FTC FIRST! None of this coming in with a grade 3 lameness
and saying “Pull” before the vet does (so that the rider chose
first.) The horse would have to be declared FTC and *then* the rider
could use the RO, FTC option (or RO,L...or even just RO.)
as you will have wished to have lived when you are dying."
Furchtegott Gellert, German Poet and Writer
ARICP Certified Riding
Recreational Riding and