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[RC] Fit to Continue - Bruce Weary

I'm a little frustrated with how the term "fit to continue" is being construed by different people in this discussion, usually to support an already committed position regarding the metabolic standard that should be upheld at the finish line versus a vet check. Joe, I respect you and all you have done. I don't argue with those I don't respect. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones. :> You mentioned that the horses should be allowed to incur and tolerate higher levels of heat, heart rate, and metabolic stress because 1) These things are to be expected in the last leg of any given ride, and they are going no further, and 2) There are vets nearby.
Here are my questions to you: 1)Can't a horse build up intolerable levels of metabolic stress at any point in a ride, for various reasons, especially on a 100 miler? and 2) Aren't there vets at the vet checks, too?
I'm imagining an endurance ride where the evil ride manager adds a little twist. They advertise the ride as a 50 miler. You enter, and do your best to get to the finish line in whatever competitive capacity you choose, including that infamous "last leg." When you get to the finish line, the ride manager reveals that you didn't read the fine print. It said that if you completed the first 50 miles, you could be a candidate to head out for the REAL finish line, which is 15 miles away, for a total of 65. If your horse recovered in 55 minutes, with the definition of truly "fit to continue" being "able to go down the trail for more work", what would be the likelihood that a good vet would let you do that? What if he took even a full 30 minutes? Ridiculous example, I know, but it illustrates the difference between two definitions of "fit to continue", not predicated on where in the ride the horse was examined--a vet check or the finish line. In my mind these two definitions are being argued as "Done for the day and surviving nicely at the trailer," and "Truly ready to handle more work and recover yet again." I think we need to agree on a consistent interpretation of that term, and not insinuate additional meaning based on where the horse is located on the trail. Dr Q


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