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Re: [RC] Ride/Race After-care - Heidi Smith

Just a general response to the aftercare issue...   I'm kind of a
minimalist, I suppose--main things are food, water, and REST.  I make sure
there is easy access to anything my horse might want to eat, plenty of
opportunity to drink, and then I stay out of his face as much as I can and
let him eat, drink, snooze, poop, pee, whatever.  I do try to clean him up
if he is grubby, but I don't worry about trying to turn him out like a show
horse. Shade is good, if possible.  Grass is good.  An occasional ramble to
keep from stiffening up is good, but I don't do any forced marches.  Mostly
I just let him rest, and I observe.  I don't obsess over his pulse--but as I
observe, if I don't like what I see, I'll certainly take it.  I don't worry
too much about listening to gut sounds as long as he is ripping his hay bag
off the trailer for the next bite.  If he is reluctant to eat, then I worry.
Hauling home depends on where home is--if it is half an hour away and he can
rest better there--great.  If it is a long haul, he needs to rest first.
Although a certain amount of routine helps, I prefer to just use common
sense and do whatever needs to be done instead of saying "I always do this"
or "I never do that."


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