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Re: [RC] the sport? - Howard Bramhall

When the Greenalls get ready, maybe, they'll tell us the entire story.  Somehow, I don't think they think it was the rider in this situation who was to blame at all (I really don't know).  And, my belief is, it wasn't the rider at all in Maggie's.  Not to compare the two, since Malik is alive and well.  But, if he were not, would any of you be jumping on Maggie?  Shame on you if you were to do so.  It can happen to anyone and her case proves that to me more than any other I've heard of recently. 
 
Shortening the distance between vet checks and making a few other changes could turn all of this around.  What should really be opening our eyes is when we lose horses at the top lever rides.  These are our best horses and riders.  Our very best.  And, trust me, there are ways to get even them to go slower.
 
There is a really good idea coming down the pike that would slow riders down.  I'm not going to bring it up because it's not mine (most of what I've listed are not mine, btw).  IN case you missed those ideas I'll list them again.  Please read them and consider which are acceptable to you and which are not.  Keep in mind if we want things to change, we really do need to make some changes.
 
I really feel that if the membership does not get behind this things will remain the same; 7 deaths per year at our rides and a large number of severe metabolic incidents where treatment was required to save the life of the horse.  Please, really, down deep in the pit of your heart, the center of your soul, try and put the horse ahead of what your personal goals in our sport are.  Mentally, ask yourself what you would do to make our sport the best, instead of one of the worst, places for a horse to compete and for you to enjoy.  I don't think I posted these on Ridecamp; please, take a serious look at them and try not to make it personal.  I don't care if you dislike me for talking like I do about all of this but when you voice your venom towards me it really takes away from it all (maybe, that's your intent). Pretend the list below came from someone you do like, rather than myself.  Read them objectively, I really am begging you to do this. Like I said, they're not really all my ideas anyway.
 
1)  Make 60 the standard beats per minute of the horse's heart-rate across the board.  Consider reducing it to 56.
 
2)  Make the maximum distance a horse can travel between vet checks 15 miles.  No longer.  And, actually, make sure via an independent source that the miles listed by the ride manager between loops is accurate. 
 
3)  Have a prerequisite for entering 100 mile rides.  I suggest 300 miles of 50's before a horse is allowed to do it's first 100 miler.
 
4)  Longer hold times at the vet checks; 45 minutes minimum and 1 hour at the half way mark.  I also suggest we use 11 hours of ride time (does not include hold time) for the 50 milers and 22 hours of ride time for the 100 milers as the time limit to obtain a completion.  That way, if the Ride Vet wants to add more time at the holds it won't affect the rider's available "ride time" on the trail.  
 
5)  All AERC vets most hold a license.  It doesn't have to be a license in a state where the ride is held, but, it does have to be a license in one of the 50 available.  No unlicensed vets at any AERC rides.
 
6)  Log books on horses similar to what they're doing in Australia.  It holds the rider accountable (they are) and makes our record keeping more accurate.  And, it will save the life of a horse or two along the way.
 
7)  The Education Committee needs to explain distance traveling while going to a ride and returning home.  I know that Stagg has written an article where this topic was mentioned, and it was a good one, but, this needs to be re-emphasized time and time again.  We must make sure every rider knows that the distance traveled to a ride along with the distance traveled back home increases the danger of a horse getting into trouble during an endurance event. It is part of the event! If a rider travels out of region to a ride I think we should require them to keep a log book of their travel to the ride.  Not for punishment, but, for educational purposes.  This form is turned into the Ride Manager prior to the manager accepting their entry.
 
If we ever want to get serious about this (and, yes, it really is happening; it's not some sort of illusion) we need to take action and make some changes.  And, this will help to eliminate all those bad apples from the sport I keep hearing of.  But, the only way it will happen is for ya'll to make it happen.  Otherwise, it's just words, and I got plenty of those.  It really is time for some action.
 
cya,
Howard
 
 
----- Original Message -----
From: terre
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 9:07 PM
Subject: [RC] the sport?

Greenalls wrote:

I watched a horse die of heat exhaustion (the autopsy is not
complete, but nothing else showed up) last weekend.  I watched
the whole thing.  The sport killed the horse.  Spain...same thing. 
Pan Ams, the same thing. 


Gee, I don't think so.  Actually, I think the riders killed these horses.  The difference between the horses that die and the ones that don't isn't "the sport"--it's the riders.  You could have five mile loops with hour holds--and some people would still manage to ride their horses to death.  As long as experienced riders, who know what they are doing, are prepared to risk the consequences of riding 'on the edge', there is no place you can put the edge where they won't find it.

terre



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[RC] the sport?, terre