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In a message dated 11/30/2005 9:09:07 PM Central Standard Time, tprevatt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

From what I
have seen the percentage of metabolic problems and treatments in LD's is
much lower than in the longer distances.

First of all, I will state that I don't have a problem with awarding BC in LD rides...that's just my thoughts on it.  I pretty much just ride 50s now, but have no problem with LDers being able to stand for AERC BC.

That said...I think we're all missing an important point - the emphasis has been on metabolic problems.  These are certainly a danger.  But what about mechanical problems?  Yes, a horse could suffer a major lameness injury at an LD - bowed tendon, suspensory tear, etc.  But I'm thinking more about the cumulative wear and tear.  Say, someone decides to start out in LD, doesn't put enough base on their horse to ride fast (remember, aerobic fitness happens pretty quick, but onr can't rush the stengthening of tendons/ligaments and bone).  So the person goes fast at their first LD...the horse "does great," even top tenning and pulsing down right away.  So they think they've got a good one...they do the same at the next ride.  After several rides, the horse "suddenly" comes up lame - they may think it just happened, when in reality, they were straining those unconditioned tendons/ligaments too hard from the first ride, and it finally caught up with the horse, who now may have a significant suspensory injury or something similar.

I don't claim to know what the answer is...I still think al lot of it goes back to education.  But I hate to see people who have done their homework with their horses (and who prefer to stick with LD rather than endurance, for *whatever* reason) not be able to stand for AERC BC.  What I would like to see is more RMs make a point of recognizing high vet score.  Doing so can really bring home to riders that it wasn't just the fastest horse (or heaviest rider) who gets all the credit...it really emphasizes the condition of the horse, and the fact that speed isn't everything.  Seeing an 8th or 9th place horse earn high vet score, when BC goes to the second horse, for example, *can* make a powerful point.

Dawn in East Texas (I'm rambling, I know...)