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eating while riding

Hi, Gang.

A couple of weeks ago there was a big discussion about whether or not to
let your horse eat while going down the trail.  I don't want to put a fly
in the ointment, but on May 16th I was present at a very good reason for
not letting your horse eat while going down the trail.  My friend and I
were merely walking slowly down a hill when my friends horse decided he
wanted some grass.  His head snaked out to the side to grab a bite, his
front foot stepped into a rut by the side of the trail and he took a hard
stumble.  My friend pitched out of the saddle and landed on her back just
in time to watch her horses hind foot land squarely on her sternum.  

I won't go into the troubles I had getting help for her, but suffice it
to say it was in the nick of time.  Lisa was helicoptered to the hospital
and spent 5 days in the ICU because they couldn't get the bleeding in her
chest to stop.  After another 5 days in the hospital she was sent home
yesterday.  She will recover fully (3 broken ribs just to the right of
her sternum) and is looking forward to riding again, but I am now in
charge of teaching her horse that munching on the trail is totally out of
the question.

I fully understand the reasons behind wanting your horse to eat along the
way, but please be careful when you let them do it. 


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