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[RC] Endurance news article - sbolinge

There is a great article in this months endurance news written by Jeanette Mero, DVM of the Aerc Vet Committee. It is titled Endurance riding and animal welfare. Part of the article deals with the 60 minutes allowed at the end of the ride for a horse  to meet pulse criteria. Everyone should read it. She is suggesting that the rule be changed to 30 minutes. Here are some quotes from her article.  "We all know medically that heart rate recovery is one of the our greatest tools in assessing a horse's ability to cope with the work at hand...Control judges and treatment vets alike look for heart rate recoveries of 10 to 20 minutes as a good indication that the horse is metabolically stable.  Indeed we already require heart rate recovery times of 30 minutes or less at all control checks throughout the ride or else the horse is eliminated...As a rider, ask yourself: would you not be terribly worried about your horse on ride day if it took a whole hour to drop its pulse rate to criteria...As an organization it m ay look inconsistent to outside forces to allow for only 30 minutes recovery time consistently throughout a ride but  then allow a 60-minute recovery time at the finish. It does give the appearance that racing and even over-riding is not only allowed but encouraged since one would have an additional 30 minutes to recover their horse... The Vet Committee acknowledges that we are asking for change from the membership that may be uncomfortable and even painful. Please realize that we take very seriously our responsibility as the custodians for the equines in this sport. We faithfully make these suggestions as a necessary means to continue to protect both the horse and the sport of endurance riding for many generations to come."  She makes many other excellent points, so everyone should read the entire article.  Then at the end they ask for comments concerning changing the 60 minutes to 30 minutes, suggesting that comments be sent to your director, the office and/or the Vet Committee.