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Re: [RC] vetting durning holds - Heidi Smith

>One reason some prefer to vet thru on arrival is to be able to spend as much time as possible caring for horse and rider.  If there is any "backup" of vets there can be quite some time standing in line to vet out at the end of a hold.
OK, so let's say you spend 20 minutes in the vet line, and then have to spend extra time ensuring that your horse has time to eat.  What difference is there between that and taking the time to let your horse eat first, and then getting backed up?
In reality, the difference is that if the holdup is at the beginning, the horse gets short-changed if the rider tries to get out "on time" but if the hold-up is at the end, the rider gets short-changed on the clock.  Take your pick.  The majority of riders will leave when the clock says to leave.  And while I agree with the concept that it SHOULD be the rider that is responsible, what I find in reality is that in many cases, the problems occur not because the rider is gunning to get out on time, but because they are ignorant of what their horse actually needs.  The current set-up is fine for the rider that is truly a horseman--but I agree with Frank that we can't legislate horsemanship.  By ensuring that the HORSE gets the appropriate rest time first (which we do by putting the check at the end), then if the RIDER gets held up by incompetent ride management, he can certainly let his feelings be known, and "vote with his feet" by supporting the rides that are well-run and sufficiently staffed.  Personally, I don't rank unhappy riders at the same level of importance as compromised (or dead) horses, much as I think it is RM's responsibility to see to it that bottlenecks do not happen.
Bottom line--if the ride management hires competent vets and adequately staffs the checks, there shouldn't be any hold-ups.  Over the years, I think both the level of veterinary skill and the level of ride management understanding have improved.  But if we want to step up to the plate and look after the HORSES, the risk of an occasional holdup seems well worth it.

[RC] vetting durning holds, Dot Wiggins