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RE: [RC] A Much Better Proposal - heidi

Jim has a valid point here.  Horses can look "fine" after a metabolic episode, but they are often still very vulnerable for a period of time.  It pays to be cautious and give them adequate recuperative time.
 
My hubby had one of those "comedy of errors" metabolic pulls this fall.  Ride was a long way from home--took two days on the road.  Horse was still somewhat inexperienced--had done 2 LDs, and this was to be his third 50.  Mistake #1--combining long haul with his first trip without a buddy from home.  Mistake #2--hauled with a stallion and a strange gelding.  Mistake #3--unavoidable sometimes, but had a breakdown on the road on the second day, and spent time in the shop.  Horse "appeared" to be just fine, but in retrospect, had not eaten or hydrated adequately.  Horse was pulled for thumps about 3/4 of the way through the ride, which seemed mild but did not improve.  Horse also had zero gut sounds.  Vet made a good call--hypocalcemic.  Gave some calcium in a liter of fluid, and horse was once again "just fine."  Thumps gone, gut sounds back.
 
So, should that horse have gone to a ride in the next few weeks?  No way!  He's a super guy, and if the two-legged components of his "team" don't make any more bone-headed mistakes like they made at this ride, his long-term prognosis is rosy.  But it takes TIME for gut, hormonal regulatory systems, etc. to stablize after even a mild insult like that.  It isn't just a matter of putting the "right stuff" back in--the horse has to once again fine-tune all of those internal systems so that he is once again self-regulating properly. 
 
In this horse's case, it was October--and we live in the "Frozen Nawth."  So we pulled his shoes and kicked him out.  He can have a fine season next year.
 
Kristen, in the case of the muscle cramp, did you do blood work to see if there was a tie-up?  And remember that muscles can be the "weak link" in situations like my example above.  The time off is definitely justified.
 
Heidi
 
Heidi


Jim wrote:
IMHO, yes.....  In fact if it were my horse I would give him a month off
anyway...without the rule.  How do you know he was "fine"? I would give him
two weeks off...just to be a pasture ornament, then two weeks of LSD before
asking him to compete in another ride. Things like muscle cramps or pulled
muscles are slow to heal and re-injure easily. I prefer to ALWAYS err on the
side of the horse.
in response to Kristen's post:
My horse had a muscle cramp
that caused his HR to hang above criteria. I had decided to pull him anyway,
but at the 30 min point, it was a metabolic vet pull. He was fine later that
day [both from a pulse and muscle cramp standpoint]. Should he be banned
from competition for 30 days?
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