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Re: [RC] Fw: [RC] What makes you do this? - heidi

Well, I hear you.  At 51 and having cleaned 21 stalls daily for 10
years, building fence, building barns, riding and driving, breeding,
training and showing, putting up 3000 bales of hay yearly, I don't need
to diet to stay fit either.  But I sure make sure I'm able to walk and
run when I have to.

You are fortunate.  There are those of us who do that sort of physical
labor and who still fight our weight.  There are also those of us who
fight the aftermath of injuries or other health problems that make it so
we can't run very well.  Fortunately, in endurance, there never really is
ANY time that one HAS to run or walk--one simply has to ride to the
capability of the team, and if the rider can't do those things, that is a
mild disadvantage.  Doesn't mean they can't ride well.

As for horses being happy--in my observation, the majority of endurance
horses are reasonably happy at what they do.  And I've always felt that
those that are not should be put into a different occupation.  Having
spent far too many years of practice working with show horses, it was
always a relief to come vet endurance rides and see how much happier and
healthier the horses were.  Somebody (was it Cindy?) mentioned that
endurance horses know how to "rest hard"--and they do.  They can look
pretty "down" at a vet check.  But when the tack comes back out, their
ears go up and they are straining to leave back out on the trail.  That
isn't the sign of an unhappy horse--that's the sign of a horse who's
learned to catch some zzz's when there is a lull in his work, but who
loves what he does.

I, too, have had the sad experience of retiring endurance horses, only to
see them dashing excitedly around at the gate when we hook the trailer up,
and then hang their heads disconsolately when we load up somebody else and
drive out.



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RE: [RC] Fw: [RC] What makes you do this?, Laurie Durgin
Re: [RC] Fw: [RC] What makes you do this?, Debbie Buick