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Re: [RC] hot, HUMID, riding - Sisu West Ranch

This is a good excuse to mention a couple of things that have been on my mind.
1.  It is not to hot/humid to ride/compete.  I have done both CTR and Endurance in similar conditions.  (Endurance was easier, you could pour water on the horse.)  The horse does have to be acclimated to the weather (Sort of natural if you live there and condition starting in winter/early spring.)  Ride sensibly, check recovery, use lots of water (I used a garden hose after conditioning rides), put the water on, scrape it off. 
Not near as much fun as riding in the west where the humidity is low.
2.  This also reads on the latest push by the vet committee and Susan G. to decrease the recovery time post ride to 30 minutes.  The vets that are pushing for this seem to come from the West.  They do not have a real concept of the amount of work/water it can take to rapidly cool a horse in humidity.  They figure that a fit horse should be down in a few minutes especially if someone splashes a little water on them.  My experience is that it can take a lot of work and lots of water to cool a hot horse at the end of a humid ride.  It can be done, but I personally feel that all concerned are better off if the horse can take an hour to relax and eat instead of being aggressively cooled.
One of the best Midwest endurance vets I rode under, until the letter of the AERC rule was pointed out, required that the horses not be brought for final examination before 50 minutes.  He wanted to see them after they had a chance to come down from the competitive high.  Heidi Smith has voiced similar preferences towards seeing the horses just before they go back out on the trail.
By the way, I have no complaint with her call to reduce the 68 bpm to 64,60 or even 56 at the end of a ride.  Most rides seem to have level pulse requirements now anyway.  I do resent the statements in both these articles comparing being in favor of a one hour recovery to being in favor of 72 bpm and sound at a walk.  This is an unfair argument technique, attempting to smear those who disagree by labeling them as being old fashioned and not concerned with horse welfare.
Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875
(406) 381-5527

[RC] hot, HUMID, riding, Jane Rodrigue