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I worked as a vet recorder at a ride earlier this year where one horse
created a real danger at VC's -- heavens knows what a hazard she was out on
the trail!!

The rider warned the vet at pre-check that this mare didn't like to have
her rear end messed with.  That was putting it mildly.  The vet carefully
started to check rear end muscle tone while standing almost at the horse's
withers and had to jump back to avoid a cow kick.

I wrote the horse's number on my wrist, and we notified the other vets to
watch out.  There was some discussion among the vets about DQ'ing this
horse/rider team, but the great distance they had traveled to participate
in the race seemed to be a signifiant counter-balance to the risk posed.
It was agreed that the horse would be DQ'ed if the situation got any worse.
 As the race progressed, the horse's reaction times slowed a bit and, since
we were VERY careful, there were no worse problems.  (And somehow, it
always seemed to be US getting stuck checking this horse.  Hmmmm.)

After the examination for completion, the rider complained about getting a
B+ overall rather than an A-.  The exasperated vet retorted, "There are
parts of your horse's body I couldn't even check!"

When I told the vet that I couldn't imagine taking such a horse to a race,
she replied that she "couldn't imagine even owning such a horse."  But this
horse is allowed to compete.

And the rider's response, when the horse showed warning signs, was to coo
to her, trying to soothe her.  Guess it's pretty clear who's the boss mare
on that team.

Cindy Eyler

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