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Re: [RC] what's the point... - Howard Bramhall

I?m not sure if you really want me to comment or not, but, since I'm a well versed poker player I'll play the odds that you want me to say something on this, so I will (that "well versed poker player" is a joke, btw).
I won't talk of your situation specifically, because, you know better than I, and if you really believe none of your horse's experience with colic at that particular ride was endurance related I won't argue with you.  I did happen to witness a similar event, twice this year, with the same horse (not mine) at two separate rides which might resemble what happened to you.
The horse was a mare and I knew the rider.  We rode together at an endurance ride, rough, mountainous terrain, difficult, and challenging.  About half way through the 50 mile ride, at a water stop, the rider dismounted and her mare went down.  No prior warning, no nothing.  The rider and I talked about it and thought the best thing would be to have the horse trailered in.  I went and got a volunteer and that's what happened.  The horse was definitely experiencing a colic episode, was given a shot of banamine and was later, that night, OK, fine.  Was this endurance related?  In my opinion, it was.  The stress of the ride, after 20 some miles, caused the colic (plus she was riding with me and America which probably didn't help any).
A couple of months later this same horse was at another ride I happened to attend.  The rider vetted the horse in at the pre-ride check, passed the exam and was getting everything ready to ride the next morning.  That night, the horse colic'd again.  The rider didn't start the ride.  Was this endurance related?  Not like it was in the first situation, but, indirectly, the ride location might have had something to do with it.  The mare got so excited with all of the horses near her in Ridecamp it stressed her to the point where the colic kicked in again. 
Now, this is pure conjecture on my part and there might be more to it.  I do know the rider, who is up there in the horse knowledge department, was going to have the horse scoped to see if the mare might have ulcers (I find it a bit ironic that she and I sat together at that particular seminar at the AERC Convention).  I'm not sure what the results were since I haven't seen or talked with her since that last colic episode. 
IF the horse did end up having ulcers would either of the two situations be endurance related?  Probably not, but, I'd hate for us to get to the point where we start blaming ulcers on everything.  Like I said, I'm not sure how the scope results turned out on this horse.  But, if the Vet determines the horse does not have ulcers I sure would be reluctant to bring it to another endurance ride.  Not every horse is endurance material, including some Arabians, which this horse was.  It's one of the reasons why I no longer bring Dance Line with me to an endurance run even though he's still my favorite horse to ride. 
I'm sure there are exceptions to everything but I have witnessed enough in our sport to surmise that not all of these deaths or serious metabolic incidents are coincidences that just happen when the horse is competing at a ride.  But, ask John or Sue from Vermont if either of them thinks the recent tragedy that happened there is endurance related.  You already know my answer to what happened to me with Dance Line and, even though I got lucky, when War Cry went down at Big South Fork last month, there's no doubt in my mind both incidents were endurance related.  I hope Maggie doesn't get mad at me, but, maybe, when the time is right, you might want to ask if her experience at Nationals was endurance related.  I won't ask her because I kind of think I know how she's feeling right now and once you go through that sort of thing not all folks want to talk about it like I did (I didn't really want to but felt I needed to and now you're going to have a hard time getting me to ever shut up about it).
I don't have a suggestion for you but I guess I definitely have an opinion.  Hope that I gambled correctly giving it to you.
Howard (Marlins will win tonight and Gators will beat FSU next month, signed, the Wacky Gambler)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 8:52 PM
Subject: Re: [RC] what's the point...

"Trust me, when a vibrant, healthy, well conditioned horse gets into metabolic trouble at a ride, especially if it has to be put on IV or dies, it is endurance related. "
Howard I respectfully disagree with this statement.  I almost lost Ranger to a colic at a ride two years ago.  The circumstances were:
1. He was conditioned in the spring just as he had been every spring.
2. He had almost 1000 miles on him
3. The weather was ideal.
4. Because I don't push in the spring I was going slowly with a group of friends.
5. He was well hydrated before the ride.
6. He had eaten and drank well at the first two vet checks.
7. He had grazed (but not drank) on the last 12 mile loop.
8. The trail was flat.
9. He came in drank 4 Gal of water.  Passed the vet check fine.  He was alert. Gut sounds B (not unusual for this vet and horse combination)
10. 10 minutes later he exhibited mild colic.  I pulled him, and consulted the vets.
11. 5 hours later after 20 l of fluid we took him to a vet hospital.
12. The next day he was much better.
13. I talked to the 3 ride vets, and another vet later.  No one can to this day figure out what could have been done to prevent this serious colic. 
If you have a suggestion, I am all ears.  this incident was endurance related, but only in the sense that it happened at a ride.  That same year Wendy had a pregnant mare die one day in the pasture.  I personally feel that this death was about as endurance related as Ranger's problems.  (the endurance connection was that the foal was going to be a world class endurance horse.)
Ed and Wendy Hauser
Sisu West
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875
(406) 642-9640

[RC] what's the point..., John & Sue Greenall
Re: [RC] what's the point..., Howard Bramhall
Re: [RC] what's the point..., Sisu West Ranch