ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] treatment of unclear/L1-lame horses on rides

Re: [endurance] treatment of unclear/L1-lame horses on rides

Wendy Milner (wendy@wendy.cnd.hp.com)
Wed, 3 Jul 96 11:05:48 MDT

> I'm very interested how your vets proceed with horses which are not
> really lame but a little unclear (slightly off?) on endurance events.
> Do the vets warn the riders ? Do you have check/ rider cards where
> the vets fill in their diagnosis ?

The US riders carry a vet card with them. The vet will write down
any comments they have about the horse on these cards. The rider
carries the card with them from check to check.

> In Germany, the horse must almost be fit to go 20 km (15 mls) further
> without pain or damage, or will be eliminated. for practical use, the
> vets distinguish between 4-5 lameness grades. We make no big
> differences between pre ride, ride and post ride evaluation.

The vets grade the horses from 1 to 5 on lameness.
1 An occasional misstep at the trot on a circle
2 Lame at the trot on a circle
3 Lame at the trot on the straight
4 Lame at the walk on the straight
5 Gross lameness

> L1 is allowed to start or go further, but "conditional", slowly. If
> the lameness become worse, the rider is out.
> L2 is mostly out.
Generally a grade 1 will be allowed to start IF.
1. The rider knows that the horse is sometimes stiff to begin with
and thinks the horse will walk out of it.
2. The rider is cautioned that if the horse gets worse, it will
be pulled.

If the horse starts out sound but goes to a grade 1, then the vet
will determine if the horse can continue based on the difficulty of
the ride, the history of the horse, and the rider.

> Once I read that at some rides (in the USA?) the vets mark the legs
> of critical horses with BRIGHT COLOUR to help their colleagues and
> warn the rider. My oppinion: No bad idea, because the so
> "brand-marked" rider will ride more carefully! Does anyone knows such
> a rough practice ? Or do you have more sophisticated solutions (as we
> have, with our check-cards) ?

The vet will mark the level of lameness on the card. I had one at
a previous ride that said "Watch Left Rear, possible?" At the next
check, the vet could find no sign of lameness.

> Or do you let them go further anywhere ? Sometimes, when I read the
> result lists of the US-rides, I'm astonished about the fact you ride
> only excellent horses. But is this true ? Only an example: 50 mls: 45
> starters, 42 finishers. In germany, we would have 30 finishers - at
> the most ! (I'm not shure, maybe we/ our vets are too carefully??)

Depends on the ride. If there is only a few easy miles to go, the
vet may let a grade 2 go. If the mileage is rough, a grade 1 will
be pulled. It also depends on the vet and the rider.

As for the number of riders that finish, again, that is dependant on
the ride. At the last ride I was in, I think, 30% were pulled. At
other rides only 5%. At big hard rides you may see 50-60% pulled.
> I read in an article of DVM Mackay-Smith in some US-rides the
> post-ride-evaluation criteria is "sound at walk" instead of the older
> "fit to continue/ sound at trot". Is that true ? If yes, is it a good
> solution ? What is your oppinion ?

Most vets I've talked to use the "fit to continue" rule.
> I will be thankfull also for private email answers. Please mention if
> you are an experienced rider, official person or ride manager,
> because I don't know you exactly in the states.
I'm an experience rider with an inexperienced horse. I've been a ride
manager in the past. Other than the beginning rides with the young
horse, I ride 50 mile rides.


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Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000 Hewlett-Packard Company e-mail: wendy@fc.hp.com Mail Stop A2 Telnet: 229-2182 3404 E. Harmony Rd. AT&T: (970) 229-2182 Fort Collins, CO, 80525 FAX: (970) 229-4292