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

Dear Susan;
Yes, the "spotlessly clean" issue is interesting to me, too.  I did
exactly one ride in NATRC, mostly because of the fantastic
trail(Swanton, CA area), many years ago.  After finishing, I got points
off due to my horse having "dirty nostrils".  I honestly wondered during
the ride if they would come and pull me off trail when I ran out of
points for doing so many things wrong. 
> >  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.
> Ok, I'm curious about one thing that really bothred me the few times I did
> try NATRC (which was about ten years ago).  After I came back into camp, I
> had however long, 30 or 60 minutes, (I don't really remember) before I was
> supposed to re-present my horse.  The first two times I competed, I spent
> that time untacking, picking out feet, walking Mikey around, letting him
> roll, eat and so on.  I brushed and scrubbed off the worst of the saddle
> grime with a damp towel, washed the salt off his face, and from between his
> legs, but it was late afternoon, chilly with a stiff breeze, and no way was
> it "good horsemanship" to put alot of water on the horse at that point in
> order to get him spotlessly clean (and the only way of getting him really
> clean at that point was alot of water---grooming alone wouldn't have done
> it).  Good horsemanship  to my mind is taking care of the physiology of the
> animal, not the cosmetics.  But when I re-presented him, I got marked down
> big time because he was NOT spotlessly clean, therefore I presumably a poor
> horseman.  It would be one thing if it were 100 degrees, but how exactly can
> anyone remotely consider it good horsemanship to sluice water onto a horse
> in a chilly wind, accomplishing nothing beneficial other than making him
> pretty?  I saw another rider come in after me and promptly give her horse a
> full soap bath, when the poor animal obviously wanted to eat and (judging
> from the wincing and look on his face) be left the hell alone and stop
> getting scrubbed on.  That rider did better than I did in the scorecard
> department, but if that's "horsemanship" according to NATRC's standards,
> well, they sure aren't using much common sense or consideration for the
> horse.
> Susan G
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