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Current to Wed Jul 23 17:39:26 GMT 2003
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  • - Laurie Durgin
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  • - Linda Cowles

    [RC] Pull codes--and attitudes - terre

    First off, I have no objection to the pull codes being reported but not published. The downside to this is that it deprives other riders of some information about the conditions of a ride they may be planning on attending, and the rider may never know how their pull was recorded; but basically, I don't care whether the reasons for pulls are made public or not.
    It is more important that the reason for the pulls be accurately reported. We are trying to amass statistics on WHY horses 'fail'; given a body of data we can begin to dig deeper in an attempt to analyse it. This has led to some discussion of 'bad' data; and pulls recorded wrongly, or the severity of the problem not addressed (ie Grade I vs Grade 3 lame).

    1) "bad" data--First of all, we are hearing incidents of 'erroneous' pull codes (like the rider who was injured, but her horse was given an L). You must realize that while this happens, for every incident of this kind there are 100 that are recorded accurately. So the degree to which this kind of this will skew the data is questionable. The plan is for pulls to be 'followed up'--this will allow the rider opportunity to correct the bad info ("no, the horse wasn't lame, I was! He didn't need treatment, I did!")
    2)"gradation of problem"--ie grade of lameness, etc. IMO, it is a BIG error to focus on grade of lameness as having ANY significance. A horse can be G3 lame with a stone bruise, or G4 lame with an abscess and be in no danger whatsoever. It can be less than Grade I lame with a suspensory or tendon injury and staring in the face of a career ending injury (or even life-ending, but that really IS RO). If my horse is sound, but the vet detects heat/swelling in the suspensory, you can bet I'm gonna pull--and I have no problem with calling it L, and I don't care who knows it! Which brings me to:
    3)attitude. People are getting way too bent out of shape over this issue. Maryanne is right--we are taking ourselves too seriously! Guess what--mostly, nobody else cares why you pulled! I will agree it would irritating to see an L or M after your name if the pull was for some other reason; but other than the problem with skewing the statistics as above, why do you really care so much? A 'blot' on your horses' record? I've tried discussing this with my horse, and gotten pretty much the same glassy stare I get when I try to explain why he should jog the first few miles of a ride--as far as I can tell, he doesn't much care. You complete or you don't; you learn from your errors; you come back and try again. Other peoples' opinions (if they even have one) have little or no impact on your life!
    Ah, but wait--you say these codes may affect the horse's price if you want to sell it? OK, now we're talking about something else. If your horse has been lame, or had a metabolic problem, and you don't want it reported because it will lower his resale value---well, how does that differ from, say, selling a tranquilized horse as quiet? The horse did what he did. If a seller wants to cover up some aspects of his career, well--that's another ball game, isn't it? The horse started the ride. If he failed to complete for any reason other than true RO (rider unable or unwilling to continue for non-horse related reason), then any attempt to report it at as otherwise amounts to setting the odometer back.

    Terre (seem to be copping a few attitudes of my own these days!)

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