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Re: [RC] Pull Codes - k s swigart

From: <heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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

RO-M and RO-L are almost totally invalid, since they are nothing more
than a guess at what might be wrong with a horse that a rider opts not
to continue with.  As a consequence, the next time I pull my horse from
a ride (after the horse has been cleared by the officials to go on), if
the vet quizzes me on why I am choosing not to go on I will say,
"Because I don't feel like it."  I am not going to aid and abet them
into pidgeon-holing my reasons into categories that are clearly

And, BTW, you are probably wrong about the RO-M for my horse that wasn't
having fun.  I THINK that she was that way because she had pulled her
suspensory.  After that ride, she had some thickening in her fetlock
that kind of came and went for the months following (although she was
never lame on it) including doing over 300 miles of competition with
several top ten finishes with 10 out of 10 for soundness on her BC
evaluations.  When the thickening finally bugged me enough to do an
ultrasound on it (3 days and one trailer ride after her top ten finish
with the 10 of 10 on the soundness evaluation), we discovered a 3 inch
lesion on her suspensory (my vet said that "most horses with one tenth
this damage are three legged lame.")  It may be that with this horse,
the way she says, "I hurt my foot." is to say, "You know, I am not
having very much fun right now."

Even so, all this is pure speculation.  She may have pulled her
suspensory in one of the subsequent rides or in her paddock and the
pulled suspensory had nothing to do with it; she may have been on the
verge of some metabolic crash that was averted and self-resolved because
I chose not to go on; she may have been (like many women) in a bad mood
for a few hours; or maybe she was just bored.

All of this is moot.  I did not pull her from the ride because she was
lame or because I suspected she might be lame (so RO-L is not the reason
I withdrew), and I did not pull her from the ride because I thought
there was something metabolically wrong with her (so RO-M is not the
reason), and I didn't pull her from the ride because there was something
wrong with me (so RO is not the reason); I pulled her from the ride
because she wasn't having fun, and for me, riding a horse that isn't
having fun is against the rules.  And for me, riding a horse that isn't
having fun isn't against the rules because I think it means that there
is something metabolically wrong with the horse.  For me, riding a horse
that isn't having fun isn't any fun (and even if it were, continuing to
have fun on a horse that isn't having fun is having fun at the expense
of the horse, so even if some people consider this fun, it is immoral).

I got in to endurance in the first place because I had a horse that
didn't think dressage and show jumping were fun (I originally bought him
to event on him), despite the fact that he was a talented dressage horse
(I could get him to do 2 tempi changes, we were working on ones before
he died....as long as we were out on the trail), and I could get him to
jump fences, logs, streams, gates and anything else that was in his way
(as long as it was out on the trail, if it was in arena and he could go
around, he would rather go around).  He wanted to be a trail horse.
After a while, he got so that the trails had to be interesting for him
to have fun...so...no more Death Valley Ride for him.  He didn't find 50
miles from Badwater to Furnace Creek un-fun because he was lame or
metabolically compromised, he found 50 miles from Badwater to Furnace
Creek un-fun because it is the most boring trail on the planet (except
for 150 miles along the Mexican Border at the old Renegade ride);
although, I could keep his interest up if I tucked him in behind a mare
in season. :).

Riders should be allowed to withdraw from the competition without having
to give a reason.  And if pressed for a reason, they are completely
justified in making something up. :)  Because, the way it stands now,
people are making things up anyway...witness Heidi's willingness to make
something up for my horse that wasn't having fun. :)

As I said in my first post.  If the reason for not asking the horse to
go on were obvious (ie. the horse were lame or metabolically
compromised), then the vets would have pulled the horse.  It is only
where the reasons are not obvious that riders opt to withdraw their
horses anyway, and if the reason is not obvious, then any categorization
of it is going to be nothing more than SWAG.  The AERC should not be
putting wild-ass guesses in their official records.

Orange County, Calif.


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RE: [RC] Pull Codes, heidi