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Big mistakes (LONG)

Just had to confess to the big mistakes I made this last weekend 
I have not been participating in endurance rides for 18 months due to
conditioning a new young horse and was very excited about our first ride
this weekend - let me tell you about the list of errors I made so maybe we
all learn from them. Rasheed had done 2 CTR of 40km and handled everything
well with good pulses and calm attitude except for being extremely keen and
forward going and not drinking too well on the first legs, but we were ready
for a slow 60km now. 
1 Due to a roadblock on the highway I arrived 2, 5 hours late at home to
leave for the ride.(Should of cancelled then and there!)
2. Hit major traffic on highway and storms so arrived only 10:30 PM and too
late to enter, vet and hear course discussion so did not realise this ride
legs were 35 km each( too long for us really)
3 Entered in big rush next morning with horse out of his skin and too
excited to even stand still for vet( Didn't realise then that it was really
too much for a youngster to arrive at night, be put in a camp next to
strange horses and wake up to find 200 surrounding him all hyped up)
4. Warmed up a terribly excited horse but set out at the back and sooned
joined up with 2 calm youngsters and we were going at out normal speed of 14
km/h and all seemed well. But no drinking at stops!! Also 5 kms of the leg
was through thick sand- something we have no experience at. We walked these
sections and I was a little worried about the lack of drinking, but put it
up to nerves.(Hindsight- should of pulled!)
5.Vetted in with a pulse of 48- a bit high- but very hot(35 degrees) , sand
and excitement were contributing, so worried but not thinking!!!! 
6. Drank a little, nibbled at some grass - Another clue missed.
7 Left with same two riders, one pulled 5 kms into leg with lameness,
carried on with extremely novice rider who promptly fell off twice and
needed help. Started drinking at 45 km's , but at 57 hit a wall. It was now
12 PM and VERY hot.Rasheed carried on drinking well ,but was very sluggish
and wouldn't do more than a slow trot. Still had other rider with us - who
was lagging behind and in bad pain and very very tired.
8. Came into vet with pulse of 50 , trotted out fine, little bit dehydrated,
but passed check.
9. Now I had finished I started adding up the clues I had missed- almost too
late!!! Still not eating, very tired and lethargic, no gut sounds and
started looking colicky.He did pass manure , but dry looking. Rushed off to
vet who confirmed gut sounds and slight dehydration and cramps.Half dose of
colic injection, rest and 30 min's later Rasheed started eating and drinking
, and did not stop for 12 hours!! So all is well, but no thanks too me!!
Lessons learnt - do not get so stressed out about external things that you
neglect to add up little clues as too your horses wellbeing. When you are
experiencing stress and rushing around to do things - rather cancel the ride
- there maybe a disappointed family, an upset rider - BUT there are more
rides and your horse will not suffer.
I am so amazed at a horse who, even when not well gave his all for me and
nearly did some serious damage due to my pre-occupation with my stress
Cindy Budler
Tel : 011 876 1179
Cell : 0824641809
E Mail :

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