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Re: bring the kids!

At the risk of sounding like the Wicked Witch of the West, we had a bad experience
with the kids who were "just hanging out" while the parents rode this weekend.  A
small group (less than 10) were hanging around the P&R station playing loud games,
like all kids do.  No particular adult was in charge and the noise and activity
upset a number of horses in the P&R station.  (Thank goodness Rocket is
bomb-proof.  He just checked them out for handouts - carrots, apples, peanut
butter.)  Ride management did not know who the children belonged to & felt that
they had little they could do to police the kids - managing the vet check was a
big job in & of itself.

Where was the "sitter" or family member responsible for the children?  What if
something happens to your child while playing - who can give consent for the
child's medical treatment if you are out on the trail?  The children didn't
realize that they were being inconsiderate, but their supervising adult should
have recognized the situation.

On the other hand, we saw some terrific juniors riding a tough race (and they beat
ME!).  A friend's 8 y.o. granddaughter came to crew (and got to ride Rocket for 2
miles from the finish line to base camp).  Several mom's or dad's had kids in
their strollers watching the ride.

Supervised children or children participating with a sponsor - ABSOLUTELY
welcome.  Children who are unsupervised are a whole 'nuther story.  They can be
disruptive to the horses and riders and if they get hurt, how do you reach mom &
dad on the trail?  A sitter <cannot> give consent for medical treatment other than
to stabilize the child's life pending further treatment unless there is a well
written note from the parents (& the Doc will do the minimum until he actually
talks w/ the parent, anyway).  This means no immediate care for lacerations (ie
sutures), broken arms, concussions, etc.  (I was a pediatric nurse for years - it
can be a nightmare if we can't care for a child pending parental permission or a
judge's order to treat.)  I'd be a nervous wreck if I had left my kid unattended
because "there are a lot of people around who will keep an eye on them".

Linda Flemmer

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