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.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association