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RE: Legal Drugs


Wherever did you get the idea that endurance horses need to be
administered electrolytes and probiotics to survive?

Horses died (or still do in some cases) at endurance rides because they
are overridden.  And if they are dying at endurance rides in Mongolia, it
is not (I contend) because they aren't getting electrolytes and/or

I have competed for thousands of miles without giving my horse either of
these things (as have MANY endurance riders).  I do offer (just like at
home) free choice salts. However, if I felt that my horse's gut was
compromised to the point where I needed to administer probiotics...I would
pull my horse at that time (having just done that earlier this month at
the Desert Pines 100). 

A far a _I_ am concerned, probiotics are a "treatment" and thus prohibited
under rule 13.  However, I am aware that many/most people do not feel this
way, so for them to use them during competition is not prohibited.

As far as I am concerned, part of a horse's "natural ability" is the
ability to maintain a healthy gut during the stress of competition.  And
part of the rider's responsibility is to manage their horse in such a way
that the horse maintains a healthy gut during competition.  And that
probiotics are, in fact, gut "stimulants" (which is a claim they make on
the package).

I understand that not all people interpret rule 13 in the same way that I
do, and since the AERC has vehemently refused to interpret it, competitors
must do so themselves...for themselves.  I am not going to force my
definition of drug/treatment on other people--I just wince when I read
posts about the "drug cocktails" that people give their hroses to "keep
them going." 

What concerns me about the recent trend of endurance riders who in
thinking that probiotics are necessary for survival is that it may give
the uninformed the idea that we can prevent horses from dying at endurance
rides is we just administer all the right "supplements" during the ride.
Horses don't die at endurance rides when they are properly conditioned and
properly ridden for their level of conditioning.

Orange COunty, Calif.

p.s.  If administering probiotics to a horse allows competitors to ride
their horses harder without having them die....then that meets MY
definition of performance enhancement.

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