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RE: [RC] state fair express unofficial ride results - heidi

I am continuously baffled why riders continue to be upset over getting a B
on anything consistently throughout a ride, even more so when the same vet
has just okayed you for a COMPLETION, as in Fit To Continue.  Be upset about
an A at vet-in, then a B at VC 1, then a C at VC 2, then a Pull plus or
minus treatment.  The riders in my area know that I rarely give an A for
anything if the horse looks like it's left the barn---so what?  I very often
grade a horse as a B if for whatever reason, they are less than up and
dancing on their toes---as long as the score does not deteriorate throughout
the day, it only means to the vet(s) to take a close look to make sure you
are differentiating between a naturally relaxed moving (or bored) horse
versus a fatigued horse.  

I am increasing of the opinion that a vet card should consist of an "Okay"
or a "Not Okay".

Sorry, JMO, but this is right up there with the rider that I had awarded BC
to, and then looked at the judging card and wanted to argue with the vet
scores---while holding the BC award in the other hand.

Susan, a standing ovation from me on this post!

We are such a culture of "grade inflation" that we equate the letter system 
with school grades, and think that something is horribly wrong if we are 
somehow perceived as "less than perfect."  There is a HUGE range of 
"acceptable" and as long as a horse is in that range and STABLE (as you 
described), life is good!  

I personally hate the "grading system" and look upon it as a necessary evil 
because too many vets won't write out notes about perceived problems.  For 
years I used "OK" and wrote notes when I saw specific potential problems that I 
wanted the next vet to particularly note, and I still think that is far more 
effective and accurate--IF people will read the cards and use them as intended. 
We've had some really good ride vets bashed in our area for grading as you 
describe--and I'd much rather ride under them than most, because with their 
experience and outspokenness, they will pick up on things that I miss when 
riding with DIMR, and will tell me bluntly what they think is going on.  I'd 
MUCH rather have that than a vet card chock-full of A's and a horse in trouble.



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