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Re: Why don't riders like to be judged? -- Let's get the facts straight

>Angie, Angie, how many of these rides have you been to? 

Just 4. 3 as drag rider, one as Pulse taker.  And they were all the same
ride/management combination.  I'm just relating my impression I got from
watching.  Feel free to correct me.  I certainly haven't done an in
depth, researched comparison, just sort of watched a few times.  I was
probably overly critical because they all put me on the defensive as soon
as they heard I did endurance.  Like I said, they had a quote in their
newspaper write up, "Please oh please don't confuse us with Endurance
Riding, where the first LIVE horse over the finish line wins".  I
complemented one rider on her nice horse.  I said, "He's nice, he looks
like he'd do well in endurance" and she stuck her nose up like she
smelled something and said, "Well he WON'T be doing ANY endurance.  I'm
not into THAT!"  Well EX-CUUUUSE ME! I thought, as I was very tempted to
bump the pulse I'd taken up a little!  

> Sounds like you rode >drag >behind the Novice division -- and you're
absolutely right, some of the >novice >riders don't know >how to check
hydration -- that's why they are there >and 

You're probably right, and I want to repeat, I think it's a great sport,
for those who want to participate in it.  More power to them, I hope they
enjoy it, I might want to do one sometime.  I simply resent the message
that they have a corner on the market when it comes to horsemanship.

  > There is this thing called 'forward motion' and normally before 
>a P&R >you are required to move forward for a specified distance at a
>specified gate >usually a trot, (depending on >terrain) a couple of
miles or so. 

>From what I understood, there was a marker 2 miles out and they were
riding pretty much any pace they wanted to until they got there, then
hanging around until they had just enough time, and were walking in from
there. Most of the horses I checked were around 44, so that sounded
right.  The check was on a dirt road and they had the horses line up as
they got there.  It was really tight is all I remember about that.  The
pulse taker thing was 9 years ago (I remember because I was pregnant). 
Things have probably changed some since then, and for all I know the
place they put me wasn't a full vet check.

  >The two >mile marker is just used by most experienced riders to >judge
your >timing back >to camp.  If you've paced yourself well, >you don't
usually have to >"hang >around". 

I remember several riders coming into the check and commenting on "so and
so" whose horse was out at the two mile marker and "as hot as a
firecracker".  The horse was apparently not coming down and the rider
kept staying out there hoping it would.  She finally came riding in on a
very excited horse.  She thought his pulse was probably super high, but
when I checked him he was plenty low.  He was panting and she was going
by that.  Riders had been talking about her for quite awhile and I kept
thinking, "If the horse is in trouble, he needs to be here with vets, not
out there trying to hide it".  As it turned out he was fine, just all
worked up.  He probably got worse every time a horse went by and she
wouldn't go with him.  That sort of stuck with me.  They probably were

 The final vet check back at camp is after you've cleaned 
>your horse >up and taken care of him, so that particular P&R doesn't
usually show >anything anyway.  At that check and ALL of >the other vet
checks >normally >hydration, mucus membrane, gut sounds, soundness and
all the usual >stuff are >DEFINITELY >checked.  

Somehow I missed those, but good.  When we ride drag they've usually
moved on when we get there, when I did P&R's they weren't doing a check. 

One big difference was that they had to do a lot more "map watching".  I
didn't envy them that.  They really were expected to pay attention at the
meeting, and have that map out figuring out where to go.  Looked too much
like work to me. :-)


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