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[RC] Preventing Treated Horses at Rides - Ideas Please - Stagg_Newman

Would like to start on a thread on ideas of how to prevent treated horses at 
IMO greatly reducing the number of treated horses is one of the most important 
actions we can take to improve the sport. Moreover with increased scrutiny     
from animal welfare activists and others, it is one of the most important.     
And it is the right thing to do for the horse.                                 
I would suggest separating the discussion into three areas:                    
1. What are the reasons we have to treat horses and the early warning signs?   
As Dr. Jeannie Waldron frequently says, one of the problems is "we just don't  
know enough". So what do we need to do to learn more?                          
2. What are actions that we as riders and crew can take to prevent our horses  
from needing treatment?                                                        
3. What if any changes should ride management or ride vets consider to         
prevent horses from needing treatment?                                         
I will offer to compile the ideas received and then distribute to ridecamp.    
And if warranted we can the get the ideas more widely disseminated as I firmly 
believe rider education may be our most important tool.                        
In order to get the discussion going, here is my first idea.                   
AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.                                                           
Rationale: I believe one of the best indicators of how a horse is doing is     
the pulse at the end of the hold period. My belief is the pulse of the horse 
that is doing well 
should continue to decline during the hold period. If at the end of the hold 
period the         
pulse is down into the 40s then the horse is not likely to have metabolic 
on the next loop. On the other hand if the horse's pulse is hanging at 60 or   
has gone even higher than at the vetting in, that is a red flag the something 
wrong. A few rides have tried exit checks at some holds and they do seem to 
some horses that are starting to have problems. But we as riders do not        
need to rely on ride management. We can check the horse's pulse and then if we 
concerned check with the veterinarians, slow our pace, and/or withdraw.        
In addition to posting on Ridecamp, please cc me directly at                   
staggandcheryl@xxxxxxxxxxx since work sometimes                                
interferes with my keeping up to date on Ridecamp. Have to pay for the         
horse somehow :>)                                                              
Stagg Newman                                                                   

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