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Re: [RC] Preventing Treated Horses at Rides - Ideas Please - Heidi Smith


 WE AS RIDERS SHOULD TAKE THE HORSE'S PULSE JUST BEFORE LEAVING A HOLD
 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
problems
 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 is
 wrong. A few rides have tried exit checks at some holds and they do seem
to find
 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 are
 concerned check with the veterinarians, slow our pace, and/or withdraw.

Stagg, I fully agree, but would take this one step further--THE VET CHECK
SHOULD BE AT THE END OF THE HOLD, not at the beginning.  An exit check is
all well and good, but why duplicate the effort?  If vetting is efficient,
it is not all that difficult to avoid lines and delays--simply send riders
straight from PR's to their crew areas to start eating, cooling out, etc.,
unless they have a specific problem that needs to be addressed.  By vetting
at the end of the hold, a ride vet can see and appreciate the horse as he is
actually expected to go out onto the trail again, not what he looked like 45
minutes earlier.  I've worked rides this way for years, with treatment rates
quite a bit lower than what I hear of elsewhere--and I can't help but think
that this is a large part of the solution.  It didn't really hit me until I
started attending rides in other areas as well as FEI rides and seeing how
bad some of the horses looked back in the crew areas, after passing their
checks with flying colors.  These horses were not yet in need of treatment,
but many were treated at the following checks, having done one loop too
many.  Had the vet checks been at the ends of the holds instead, the very
same horses would not have gone back out for the loop that pushed them clear
over the edge.

We will never eliminate ALL treatments, but I applaud your effort to cut
down on the necessity to treat as much as we possibly can.

Heidi


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