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RE: [RC] Pulse Recovery - McGann, Barb

Terre -  I think you're absolutely right about the atttitude thing.  This is 
also what happened when we changed from a 15 min ( or even 30)recovery to the 
current pulse into the hold.  It changed peoples attitudes and behaviors...When 
we had a full 15 mins to get the horse recovered without losing any time, we 
GALLOPED into the vet checks, screeched to a stop, then frantically started 
doing things to get the horse down (sometimes looked like the indy 500 pit 
stops).  When the pulse into a gate idea was introduced, we started slowing 
down into the check, allowing our horses to come down gradually.  You knew it 
wouldn't do you any good to beat rider x into the stop, only to see him pulse 
down sooner and leave you in the dust.

Barb McGann

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of terre
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 3:27 PM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] Pulse Recovery


       This whole discussion/debate (in all the various forums) reminds me SO 
much of when "fit to continue" was adopted.  All of the same arguments were 
raised--"what about, yeah but, etc..."  In point of fact, very few of us 
were crossing the finish line with lame horses anyway, so it made no 
difference to us.  What it DID do, which can't be easily quantitated, was 
change rider attitude.  A rider, even one racing, with a 'slightly off' 
horse at the last vet check would slow down or elect to pull, knowing that 
if they screwed up they wouldn't even complete.  It may have saved a lot of 
horses from BECOMING lame, rather than just identify the ones that 
were....and that is the point.  But you couldn't have proved it by 
gathering stats as to "how many horses would be affected, based on past rides".
       What a lot of the naysayers don't seem to realize is that 15" is a LONG 
time.  Entire HOLDS (after recovering, of course) are sometimes 15" long, 
during which we vet, feed, electrolyte, etc...  The biggest problem is not 
that horses won't come down in 15", it's that it won't catch many of the 
tired ones.  HOWEVER, if a rider knows his horse is ADR, their 'fear' that 
the horse might not recover in 15" could motivate them to slow down...which 
is the better outcome.  Riders may become intensely aware of exactly how 
long it 'normally' takes their horse to recover, and notice for themselves 
when the recovery isn't as good as usual.  I think a lot of people don't 
really pay attention--they just poke around doing whatever until the PR 
person tells them they can move on.  Why do I think this?  Because so many 
people are worried about it!  My feeling is that if they checked back on 
all their cards, they would find they never came close to taking 15" (see 
Nancy's post re Turkey Trot).  The fact they think it is a problem 
indicates to me that they are not really aware of how long it takes their 
horse to recover.
       I think the investigations will show that most of the horses that have 
died in the last few years did, indeed, recover within a few minutes of 
arrival at the check.  It appears to me that fit, experienced horses "know 
how to come down" even if there is something horribly wrong with 
them.  What we may catch are the young/new/inexperienced horses, that are 
excited as well as tired; and may be in pain/discomfort from tack or 
whatever--in other words, the newbies (or the oldbies too unmotivated to 
learn).  These are exactly the horses that shouldn't be racing!  I have 
heard a few comments to the effect that "my horse always took 20" to come 
down for the first few years, until we figured out xxxxx".  But, maybe they 
would have figured it out faster if they had had the incentive of losing 
their placing!  There seems to be a perception that "excitement" is 
non-significant; ie "my horse was just excited".  Well, my experience has 
been that even young or nervous horses might spike a pulse because of a 
noise or whatever--but they still come down.  A horse that is SO excited 
that it's pulse sticks higher than mid-60s for 15" is, in my experience, 
undergoing additional stress equivalent to working--and should be cut a 
break!  This all goes back to rider preparation, and gives the rider a 
'reason' to seek education.

terre (another novel!)



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Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
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Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!

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