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Re: RC: volunteers view

GREAT advice!!!!  Thanks, I sure hope many riders take this to heart.


Chelle Sherman wrote:

> Hi - I've spent this entire ride season volunteering at rides (both
> endurance and CTR) because I was temporarily without a competition-ready
> horse, and this has been very educational. I'd like to share some of the
> things I learned, so that they might help other aspiring distance
> riders:
> 1. Ride managers and vets/judges work very hard, maybe even harder than
> you do out there on the trail. Looking at all those horses is exhausting
> work, and most are tired, hungry, and losing patience by day's end. If
> you feel tempted to complain, use your evaluation form or contact them
> after the ride.
> 2. If your horse doesn't stand for examination, most vets/judges will be
> very patient with this, having probably been there themselves, but, by
> all means, figure out how to correct it next time. I saw judges at both
> CTR and Endurance rides getting pretty annoyed at riders who's horses
> habitually run them over in examination, year after year.
> 3. Teach your horse to trot out quietly, on a loose lead, and do large
> circles, or your horse may look lame, even if he isn't.
> 4. There are lots of poorly shod feet out there. I was amazed at the
> amount of  feet I saw this year that had long toes, low-heels, or were
> seriously overdue for a trim. Many of these horses were being ridden by
> novice riders. I would strongly recommend Nancy Loving's "Go the
> Distance" book to anyone who isn't quite sure how a distance horse
> should be shod. There is a great chapter on shoeing/foot care.
> 5. Don't leave your horse in camp after a ride and go somewhere without
> telling the vets where you are. At a very tough 50 mile endurance I
> recorded for, three riders with horses in questionable condition went
> out to dinner or somewhere to sleep, and didn't leave word as to their
> whereabouts. All three horses had to be treated later on, and it was
> thanks to the vets who took it upon themselves to be vigilant and check
> on these horses. The owners were irate at having to pay the vet bills
> for unauthorized treatments, and the vets were irate because the owners
> couldn't be found. The vets had some choice words for these folks, and
> their attitudes about their horses, and I don't blame them.
> 6. If you pull from the ride, tell ride staff IMMEDIATELY upon getting
> into the hold or into camp. At an endurance ride, we waited hours for a
> rider to come in, who had self-pulled, gone back to camp, and loaded the
> horse and went home. Nobody knew. This is in really bad form, even if it
> is 95 degrees and humid.
> 7. And this is for the ride managers - if at all possible, get
> walkie-talkies, cell phones, CB radios or something so that staff at
> various check points can communicate with each other. I saw a lot of
> time wasted driving around from check to check, trying to get
> information or pass messages to staff further down the trail. There has
> to be a better way.
> Happy riding to everyone!
> Chelle Sherman
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