In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.


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?


7 responses

  1. I was not able to find my previous comment that you were referring to. At any rate, this post was very interesting in that it was divided in two ways. Sounds like you have come up with a solution that is fair to the horse. I’m sure you will know what to do. Thanks for the shout.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:23 am

  2. Kathy Kates

    My opinion is, go. From what you posted it sounds like a valuable clinic and educational opportunity from which both you and Consolation can benefit.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:30 am

    • 🙂 Thanks Kathy. I wish the all-day clinic was still on, but at least there’s still the mini version on Thursday.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

  3. Thanks for giving me the link. I reread everything and still feel the same way. That was some response made by Carol. People who don’t agree with this responsibility concept would never leave a post and admit that they use their horses like they were sports cars. Even tho they know it’s not the best thing for their animals (whatever the event might be), they do it anyway and rationalize it. I pity the horses.

    Look at all the cranking in dressage! Do they really think it’s “beautiful” to maintain a frame with a jackhammer? Do what I ask or you will be punished…so many times in the mouth which leads to the back which leads to….Use them until they are too crippled to have a decent retirement. Sad.

    On a happier note, I look forward to seeing how everything goes with Consolation.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:52 am

    • Agreed. Any use of horses puts them at SOME risk…but then, so does complete disuse of them. (Not many would keep horses if all they could do with them is look at them standing around in a grassy field.) It’s all in how much care you take with what you do.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

  4. Pingback: Gang Aft Agley « The Barb Wire

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