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[RC] dead horse - Annie George

We have seen in the past few years a division of ideals in AERC. Those of us who want to keep it simple and ride, and the ones who want to compete in bigger circles. East vs. West. And way to many strong personalities trying to do way to many different things. This 30 day rule would serve absolutely no service to the general riders or the horses. It would only create more division, more work, more expense, and will most certainly NOT produce more data.  We all already know that people that want to contribute already do so, and will continue to do so. Those that want to hide it will hide it and there will be nothing at all you can do about it.  I think the real result  would end up not so much research on horse deaths as it would be a great breeding ground for legal actions, law suits, exclusionary plots, and focus in all the wrong areas. Nobody would want to know the WHY as much as the horse owner, and making a strangling rule like this would only add a great insult to an already very hurtful occurrence. There is plenty enough hard feelings, division, suspicion, separation and all that to go around. We even have a hard time discussing it among ourselves with out hurting someone's feelings,. Think how it will be when a person is being wrung thru the ringer when their horse dies.  The riders are the AERC. I do not feel that the BOD has any rite whatsoever to pass such an arbitrary overreacting constricting rule such as this without allot of discussion, planning, goal stating, and most of all a vote from the members. AERC is to quickly becoming a "them against us" org. the BOD vs the Members. There just can not be such a void, or there will be a split, AERC will loose allot of the oldest members, there will be another endurance organization. You can smirk at that if you like, but it may be closer than you think. The sport will suffer.  And outsiders will have even more ammo against the sport. I completely understand the deep desire to find out the WHY's, and support it totally, but no rule will give a person the integrity or desire to contribute.  Like it or not, it is a persons rite whether or not to offer their private property up for public scrutiny. We, emotionally view our horses as family. They are the only family I have, but legally they are private personal property. Look how bad the abuse has to be before the Humane Society or Livestock officials step in. Our horses are SOOOO far from that stage that it is ridiculous. We are having a very hard time finding a sensible middle ground for AERC to ride in, and we will continue to wrangle our way along. But this 30/15 day rule is just sooo far over reacting in a completely wrong direction. Consider the concequences.   Annie George  
        Anne George Saddlery        www.vtc.net/~ageorge