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[RC] Back checking, why it's done - Lucie Hess

I have heard  on several occasions from one of our
vets here in the Central Region that vets check backs
due to an event that happened many years ago, when
folks were quite invested in being the high mileage
rider.  I won't name names as I'm not sure exactly who
did this, but we are told that "back in the day", some
riders would compete horses that had 'TERRIBLE' open,
raw and nasty saddle sores. These riders were able to
compete with these horses with these sores, because
they checked their horses in saddled, checked them
saddled during the ride and of course checked them
saddled at the finish.  Some folks became outraged at
the condition of the horse, plus the vets themselves
felt pretty miserable over the condition of the horse
if they saw it unsaddled after the ride.  From that
some of the Vets decided to ask riders to have their
horses vetted "naked", no saddles, no interference
boots, splint boots, not even a belted heart monitor.
( I had to be asked to remove my belted heart monitor
at the Biltmore one year). 

When I started doing Endurance in the early 80's we
had very few rules, but due to the behavior of some
folks, we now have more and more rules.  (like you
can't start a ride several hours after the majority of
the riders leave and get your total time calculated on
when you left the start line.  That used to be done,
no rule against that.. well, there is now.)

I totally understand why some vets want the saddles
removed, so they can check for soreness/swelling,
wounds on the back and girth area, it's too easy to
hide those things with a saddle on.  Do I like taking
off my saddle at checks? Hell NO!  But I do as I'm
asked, if I understand the reasoning, even if I don't
understand it, I'll do it if I have to , but I'm just
that way.. 
Well, that just my understanding of why, it could be
totally wrong, but that's my story and I'm sticking to
it.  


Columbia, Missouri
Region 6



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