This is fascinating: Yesterday, I queried all of you regarding your thoughts on whether I should try a 50 on Consolation at Fandango. I asked the same question of several, experienced endurance riders I know and respect in real life.
The endurance horse lovers, unanimously, said “yes.” The non-endurance horse lovers, also unanimously, said (or at least suggested) “no.”
Team Yes cited the opportunity to make better and/or different observations regarding Consolation’s physical and mental status. They noted that I could pull if necessary. They reminded me how well horses hold their conditioning during periods of rest. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Team No felt that the risks outweighed the benefits. The “best” that could happen isn’t worth the “worst” that could happen. What I would lose by staying home is less significant than what I could lose by going. Better safe than sorry.
All fair points. Taken together, they reminded me of this discussion held on this blog way back in November 2008, regarding the moral question of whether we ought to risk our horses in this sport at all. (Shout out to Lori, who is among my most loyal readers and who initiated that conversation with her excellent comment.)
But that is neither here nor there…and the same goes for me. I am still deciding about Fandango. But, I have a plan:
Wednesday — Haul Consolation to ride camp for an all-day hoofcare for the endurance horse clinic with Christoph Schork and Dr. Olin Balch. (The venue changed from a rented arena to ride camp.) The clinic will include an evaluation of Consolation’s feet, which will contribute significantly to my ride decision.
Thursday — Hang out in ride camp, where additional demos and discussions regarding barefoot care for endurance horses will take place. Make a decision about whether or not to ride. Stay or go accordingly.
Friday — Ride?
This strikes me as a worthy plan. Extra time. Additional information. No wasted moves.
What say you?