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horses in trouble at vet checks

hi Kat...I agree with a lot of what you have said, but would like to add a
couple of other points.

>Nor, I might add, do I think it is the responsibility of P&R people to
>make sure that irresponsible riders do not try to hide things from the

I do.  I think that it's all our responsibility to take care of the
horses. If I see someone beating the hell out of their horse on trail, I
would see it as my responsibility to notify someone of such behavior.  I
would also see it as my responsibility to notify someone if I see a horse
in trouble at his trailer and no owner around.  likewise in the vet check.  
I have yelled at someone to stop walking their horse forward as they were
trying to drag the horse up in line and he was tying up BAD!  

I don't think it's a good idea for us to turn our head and say "Not my
responsibilty" when someone's horse could be in trouble.  I would rather
err on the side of safety for the horse.  Not all of us are extremely
aware of everything at all times to know 100% our horse is totally ok.
Vets can and do make mistakes with horses in the brief span of time they
get to see them.  I think we all have to work together. 

>p.s.  As a total aside, I have yet to see any horse at any endurance ride
>that was in such serious distress that seeing a vet 1-15 minutes sooner
>would make any difference.  Also, horses that are in such serious
>distress that 5-15 minutes is going to make a difference are in such
>obvious distress that the rider would know it.
>Has anybody ever heard of any horse dropping dead while standing in line
>for the vet?  

At the War Eagle one year, we very nearly had a horse drop dead in the vet
check line.  It was scarey.  the rider was aware that his mare was not
100% when he came into the vet check. He informed the P&R people that she
was not "right".  her pulse came down quickly, no problems were
encountered. The wait in line was about 15 minutes.  She dropped like a
rock in the line and went out totally.  Had it not been for the fact that
the War Eagle ride is held about 10 miles from Auburn University's school
of Vet Medicine, that mare would have died.  That from the vets that
worked on her.  They were able to draw blood and take it to the school for
a quick analysis of what she needed THEN!  She was down for several hours
and it was touch and go for most of the day.  Luckily she did recover and
she went on to later compete and do well.  
On that day, she was not over ridden, she was well conditioned, and she
had trouble.  the rider knew it and had a p&R person "escorted" the horse
to the vets quicker, they probably wouldn't have been able to keep her
from going down, but they could have gotten her the help she needed

Granted...this is one isolated case, but it is ONE case that I know of.
and if it happened once, it could happen again.  Why take the chances if
you know the horse may need help?

>vet.  I just don't see how P&R people escorting riders and their horses
>to the vet without being asked has any bearing on the welfare of the
>horses at endurance rides.

I wouldn't escort them without telling them first and seeing if they
thought the same thing.  What I  WOULD do is be sure and tell the vet they
were going to see that I thought there may be a problem with this horse.  
or at least what I saw/heard.  Observation is a powerful tool in our

I do know for sure that riders don't always come clean with the vets about
trouble they may be having.  

And Kat, you are right on when you say that most of the horses that have
trouble are the ones that have already seen the vet and are going out
again.  Maybe there is a way to help decrease those incidences?

Samm Bartee
SE region
AERC #9432

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