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RE: [RC] Pull Codes - heidi

So...if you meant your above reponse as a joke, then you didn't answer
my original question.

Which of the current AERC pull codes should be put down when a rider
withdraws from the competition because the horse isn't having fun?

You answered it yourself.  You suggested perhaps RO-M.  I wasn't on your
horse that day, so I can't tell you whether a RO-M is closest to telling
the story, or whether it should be RO-L.  My junior rider recently
pulled with the same general feeling--the horse just wasn't having a
good day.  She chalked hers up to possible ouchy feet, and opted for an
RO-L pull.  I think she made a good choice.  If the horse is just
feeling punk, though, RO-M would suit better.  I've discussed this
choice with riders and have helped them decide, based on what the horse
seemed to feel like.  I suspect we may sometimes make the wrong call
here, since the horse can't talk--but still, usually the rider can talk
it through and come to a rational decision of one or the other.

This time, tell us what you really think, instead of just making a joke.
I didn't mean the question as a joke, it is a perfect example of the
many times that I have withdrawn my horse from a ride, and it is why
there are so many RO pulls in the AERC stats (which is how this whole
discussion got started).

And as you also stated, these pulls should not be RO pulls.

I will agree that very few of the RO pulls listed in the stats are
truely because there is something sufficiently wrong with the rider such
that the rider is unwilling/unable to go on.  

Well, so far this year I've had two genuine bona fide RO pulls.  One, I
was sick.  Vet talked me into pulling myself because he didn't want to
have to send an ambulance out for me in the dark.  He had already
cleared my horse.   The other, the horse fell, I smashed my helmet, got
a pretty good crack on the noggin, and had no business getting back on a
horse any further than getting back to camp.  Horse was fine--hubby
presented him to the vets for me.   There are a fair number of such
pulls.  Had multiple genuine RO pulls at one ride here in Idaho a
couple of years ago where the trail was REALLY tough and the weather
was REALLY hot, and several folks just flat didn't want to go back out.
They do happen with some degree of frequency--but I agree, there are
cases where the vets are not following up and are listing pulls as RO
as a catch-all.  And I don't think vets should be doing that.  Kim
seems to think that it is the riders doing it, but that is not my
experience, and if the vets were following up on these horses, the
riders probably would not push the issue.  As I stated previously, I
have one RO pull on my record that should have flat been a L pull.  It
wasn't even close to questionable.  But since it happened out on the
trail and I turned around, came back to camp, and handed in my card,
that is how it was listed, even though I told the vet the horse was
grade 3 lame, what the injury was, etc.  I was camped next to the
vet--he saw me walk the horse back to his pen.

And since the horse did
NOT go on, nobody ever had a chance to find out if/whether there really
was something wrong, or what it was, since most of the time the horse is
back to its normal self within a few hours (which is what happened in
the instance with my horse that wasn't having fun, a few hours later she
was doing arabesques tied to the trailer desperate to go some more).

It is up to the vets to examine the horses at the time of the pull and
query the riders.

Additionally, there is no "RO-OT"  and I have on many occasions seen
people pull their horses from the competition, not because they were
over time at that particular vet check (if a vet check doesn't have any
official cut off times, then the only place a horse can be pulled by the
officials for being over time is at the finish), but because they were
far enough behind schedule that they knew they couldn't ride responsibly
and still finish under time, so they withdrew before the finish.

No joking aside, I don't have any problem with that sort of a pull being
a RO pull.  The horse is fine to go on, but the rider opts not to do so.

It is time for the AERC to go back to what I suspect was the original
way that pull codes were handled, before they started publishing them.
If a horse is pulled by the officials, then the reason is M (metabolic),
L (lame), OT (over time), DQ (disqualified for breaking some other
rule).  If a horse is cleared by the officials to go on and the rider
OPTS not to go on, for whatever reason, then the reason given is RO
(rider option); however, since having "rider option" as one of the codes
leaves the impression that riders who were pulled by the officials would
have opted to go on had they not been disqualified, I suggest that RO be
changed to W (withdrawn).

I like your suggestion of W when there is nothing wrong with the horse. 
But I do think that RO-M and RO-L are valid, and can be used in a valid
manner if vets do their jobs and follow up with the riders who opt not
to go on.



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