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Re: heart rates & recovery

In a message dated 12/22/98 1:43:51 PM Pacific Standard Time,

<< Do you believe that
  any one of these indicators is definitive, or are you proposing additional
  criteria that should be considered as a body of evidence used for making
  the determination? >>

I don't think ANY one parameter (or small number of parameters) will EVER be
considered definitive--the horse is simply too complex.  Recovery is still,
IMO, the best we have, refined by the CRI, but is by no means the be-all and
end-all.  If the horse does not recover, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.  It is that
simple.  May be pain, may be metabolic, may be psychological, but there is
always SOMETHING.  By the same token, a horse can pass recovery parameters,
including a CRI, and walk away and crash.  Have seen it happen.  That is why,
once they have passed those things, we still look at A LOT of other
parameters.  And sometimes it boils down to "I just don't like the look in his
eye."  A good ride vet also has to be a good horseman, skilled at "reading"
horses.  If there wasn't an art to it, we could easily be replaced by a
computer, a chem panel, and the "peanut gallery" in camp that ALWAYS knows
more about soundness than the ride vet...  I think when we try to come up with
a few parameters that are "definitive" we miss the forest for the trees--one
must look at the WHOLE horse, and that requires taking a step back from the
numbers sometimes.

Heidi Smith, DVM

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