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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

April 11, 2014

Change Change & More Change

Sure a lot of stuff coming up on the AERC agenda for April.  I'm very excited about the proposed horse welfare changes.  I feel it is important that our organization remains on the forefront of leadership in regard to horse welfare.  The proposal looks to 2015 for implementation. 

One issue that isn't addressed is what I would consider palliative care of the horse at a ride.  Shouldn't a horse that gets a scrape or small cut be allowed a swipe of antibiotic salve to avoid infection?  It would probably be great if there was a definition between what we in human terms consider over the counter treatment vs. prescription treatment.   Only with horses.    When my veterinarian recently visited we had a discussion concerning "what can The Spotted Wonder have at a ride."  I said, "nothing."  She said, "you have got to be kidding? Nothing?"  I said, "well...if she gets a cut she can have Vaseline on it."  She says, "isn't that kind of extreme?"  Then we had a discussion about palliative care, preventative care, vs. treatment.

Why AERC has this stance of a no drug policy makes sense to me concerning performance enhancing drugs.  Otherwise the low-life cheater types would just dope their horses and ruin the sport such as certain riders from the  Middle East.  Oh wait...they have anti-doping rules, they just don't care and do it anyway.  I digress.  I suppose if I could wave my little sparkling Granny wand I would want simple preventative / palliative treatments allowed.  Performance enhancing drugs disallowed.

My feelings are very mixed on the use of Omeprazole for Gastric Ulcers.   I read that it is allowed up to 24 hours prior.  So if you can treat the horse that close to the ride, should the horse not be fine to get through the ride without the drug if it is just being used as a preventative?   If the horse needs it all through the competition, does that not mean you are competing a sick horse?   So I am really straddling the fence.  I get both arguments.  That it prevents onset of ulcers vs. allows a horse already with some ulceration to compete.  Hmmmmmm....

I did find on the drug policy some of the cut off times to withhold certain drugs for the purpose of competing drug free. That list needs to be much more comprehensive though.  The banned substance list is huge and the chart with cut-off times isn't very big!   Journey's current med withdrawal time is 48 hours prior.  It gives me the willys thinking of a full blown fit of coughing all night, so my plan is to withdraw as required, and soak the heck out of her hay, do a lot of handwalking so she can get her belly full of grass, feed a bit of soaked alfalfa cubes overnight, cross my fingers,  and (maybe I should take a sleep aid *LOL*).  

Mostly though, I'm happy with the current open dialog, and the feeling that the membership is getting some support on what they believe needs strengthened within our sport.  Staying tuned in.    ~   E.G.


  1. I love this guy's blog, and it came to mind re: wound care.
    I mean, for me, if it's a wound that I'd do more than hose off, I'm going to pull, and if it's just a scrape or a rub, I wouldn't do much more anyway.

    Fingers crossed for Journey's cough!

  2. Ahhhh....but I am the anti-infection and the nasty girl with folliculitis. I just got done smearing her down with some antibiotic. :) You are right that most minor stuff you can always soap and water, and if it is really bad you won't be riding anyway. The worst wound we've had here was when Cree had surgery and promptly ripped out all the stitches in the heat of the summer. We cold hosed that thing daily and the big gaping hole is a scar the size of my little fingernail now. If I could just cold hose these nasty little abcess / boils and cure them that would sure beat, scrubbing with antibacterial shampoo, and smearing betadine all over her. I did find some honey and vinegar cough stuff which should be legal during the weekend. It doesn't open her up but does seem to reduce her overall discomfort. The next two rides I'll have to see how it goes and decide if we have to pull the plug.

  3. Good luck; we know you will do what is best for Journey. Also glad to hear that the AERC has some good stuff going on.
    Bionic Cowgirl