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RE: [RC] A Much Better Proposal - David LeBlanc

I'll give you a counter-point that's down the middle. My horse had a fairly scary colic at a ride early in 2004, and ended up on an IV. Turned out to be a gas colic. As you know, I'm pretty risk-adverse, especially with Laser. I'm fortunate to have one of the better endurance vets as our vet, and I consulted with him to follow up after the ride. I was prepared to give him a lot of time off, and the vet gave me the advice that it would be OK to go to a ride that was 3 weeks after the initial problem. I took his advice, and for good measure rode with Mary - I always finish riding with Mary - and everything was just fine. If I had been dumb about it and not ridden cautiously, who knows? We may have gotten different advice if it had been a muscle cramp or thumps.
While a rule like that might help some horse somewhere, I'd prefer to leave it up to the rider and their vet to do the right thing depending on the individual circumstance. Another point to consider is that if a horse is marginal, a 30 day timeout might be enough to cause some riders to not pull when they should.
I don't know about a rule change, but my advice is to consult a vet (unless you are a vet), and assuming they're a good vet, take their advice, and if in doubt, back off.
Another word of warning - when he colicked, he'd just passed a vet check with great scores conducted by a really good vet who vets a lot of rides, but I knew something was wrong and took him back.

From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 7:33 PM
To: Jim Holland
Cc: 'Kristen A Fisher'; ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: [RC] A Much Better Proposal

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.

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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RE: [RC] A Much Better Proposal, heidi