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Re: [RC] [RC] state fair express unofficial ride results - Dawn Carrie

Good post, Susan...I think too many people get hung up on the letter grades the vets assign, instead of evaluating their horse themselves, and listening to what the vet tells them.  One of my horses, Bear, has fairly quiet gut sounds, even at home in the pasture (out of our 7 horses, he's consistently the quietest at home...I've gone out and listened to everyone a number of times, just so I know what's normal).  Bear has even gotten a B sometimes when vetting in the night before a ride.  I honestly don't worry about him getting Bs on gut sounds all through a ride, as long as he's EDPP normally.  I listen to him with my steth during holds anyhow, so I have a chance to evaluate him myself.
I remember when I did the 100 at Goethe in Florida, he got As and a few A-s on *every* parameter during the entire ride...except gut sounds.  He got variations of B (B, B-, B+) at every check, except he got one A- and one C+.  The head vet said as she completed us, "that horse had crappy gut sounds all day, I wasn't sure he'd complete."  But his gut sounds were normal for Bear, based on what I heard during our holds.  The vet probably wondered why I wasn't concerned about his "crappy gut sounds," but I knew he was within normal parameters for him, so was fine.
Different vets will assign a different letter grade to the same horse, based on their personal grading scale.  One gets to know how a vet "grades" after a while.  If a vet sees something of particular concern, they will generally make mention of it.  That's when I really pay attention.  But I pretty much know how my horse is doing before the vet assigns letters.  And I check him over during the hold, including checking HR and gut sounds, so the letter grades don't really mean a whole lot to me.  I put the most stock into any comments the vet makes to me about the horse, any give and take we have during the vet check, and my own evaluation of the horse during the ride and during the hold.  I definitely don't have any hurt feelings over letter grades. 
Dawn Carrie, Texas
and Bear (the stealth pony)

On 3/30/08, Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM <suendavid@xxxxxxx> wrote:
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 Garlinghouse, DVM

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sherman
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 1:57 PM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] state fair express unofficial ride results

A little more personal perspective...

My daughter has an awesome little mare with a huge ground covering
stride, so she looks like she's moving slowly. Her head stays low and
out on the trail it even bobs back and forth as she glides along. Shadow
totally relaxes, pulses down immediately, and takes care of herself
well. Unfortunately, she rarely gets better than a B for gait and
attitude because of this. Personally, I think a horse with a calm
attitude and relaxed, efficient way of moving is a big plus in
endurance. Too bad it can't be differentiated between a fatigued horse
and rewarded rather than marked down.


Keith wrote:

They did need more vets as I think about 70 horses started the two
events. From a personal perspective, it would be nice to have the all
the vets have an idea that not all the horses would actually "trot" for
the trot out. I ended up getting a "B" at the final vet check due to the
fact that the vet said she could not recognize what my horse was doing
on the trot out. One of the other vets tried explaining it to her but
she still gave me a B and a B on horses attitude because he wouldnt
trot. O well.
   It was a very fun ride/race and my wife and I will go back again.

Keith and Sandy Kibler
Shawnee Sunrise Farm
Gaited Endurance  

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[RC] state fair express unofficial ride results, sherman
RE: [RC] state fair express unofficial ride results, Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM