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RE: [RC] Rule 13 revised - heidi

Have you ever had a corneal laceration?  It is extremely painful.  Pain is a tremendous stressor--and having a painful eye lesion could easily cause enough stress to push a horse over the edge at a ride.  If an eye lesion is of sufficient severity to warrant treatment, it is of sufficient severity to suggest that the horse should not start.

I was surprised by this one.  I can think of lots of instances where I might want to use an antibiotic ointment -- like a superficial cut or scrape -- where the application isn't going to make one tiny bit of difference in the horses' performance, but it is a good idea from a preventive point of view.

Just as an actual 'for instance' that makes a good borderline example ... at a recent ride, a horse at the camp next to me came up with a watery eye the evening before the ride.  The ride vet looked at it and figured he had gotten something in it (like hay) that had possibly scratched the cornea.  His advice was to hot-pack the eye  (so "no drugs") until after the ride, at which time he could treat it more extensively.   

The revised rule would mean no change in this situation from the vets' perspective, which is too bad.  I really can't see how allowing the rider to treat the horse with an eye ointment to head off a possible infection would affect the horse's performance at all.  Instead, the horse has to wait a day (or more) for treatment to start, or the rider has to scratch from the ride for a very minor injury.

When one is trying to write a rule to cover everything, and particularly to stop chiselers, things have to be banned that may not have much abuse potential.

On the other hand, I think the rule could have language added that allowed topical antibiotics for *preventive* care for minor injuries which would not otherwise disqualify the horse.  
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