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Performance Feature *Hadban USA (cont’d)

rode”. Dick also had some interest- ing observations about the sport of endurance riding and of the horsemanship he saw at such an event. One of his comments which amused us most was, “Why to all of these riders post the trot?”, as Dick sat the trot for the entire distance!

We had been advised by all three vets at the Kalispell ride that it appeared that Hadban would have no problem tackling a 50 mile ride in a month, and so, one month later, we took Had- ban to the Canyon Creek En- durance Ride outside of Hel- ena Montana. This time we had put pads on Hadban’s fronts, and this proved the perfect fix for our concerns that he might be getting some soreness from rocks on the trail. We had also learned our lesson about how to overnight camp with Hadban--we set him up in his trailerside corral and he was very well behaved all night. How- ever, the Montana weather threw us a curve; not only did it rain and blow during the night, it snowed too! But in the morning Dick and Hadban were ready to go at 7 am. When they arrived for the first vet check Dick said that Hadban had really shown a lot of energy over the first 16 miles. Dick had, once again, started about 20 minutes

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later than the front runners, and on this ride Hadban could see some of the other horses in the distance. This seemed to cause him to be somewhat anxious, and, while to- tally controllable, he was utilizing a lot of energy just being worried. When he came in to the first vet check I checked his pulse and it was

Hadban displays his “tough as a Radautzer” trot with Dick Vrooman aboard

already down under 60 immediate- ly after Dick dismounted. Howev- er, when getting vetted, the head vet detected a pulse that he later said he had never heard before.

Hadban’s heart would beat a few slow beats, then suddenly beat fast for a few beats, then go back down abruptly again. Dick and I speculated that it was probably due to all of the commotion with the mares around him. The vet

was concerned, however, because the next loop was 25 miles of very tough country, with a lot of steep uphills and downhills, plus a good deal of sidehill, rocks, and slick ground due to the rain. The vet said he did not feel comfortable releasing Hadban to continue on the ride, so we agreed to take him back to our trailer and when the vet had free time, he of- fered to come and check Hadban in quieter circum- stances. Well, unfortunately, about that time a big group of horses on the 25 mile ride came in for vetting, so it was 45 minutes before the vet was able to get away and recheck Hadban. This time when the vet checked him, he said his heart sounded fine, so off Hadban and Dick went, this time they trav- eled totally alone and with no other horses in sight!

But sure enough, in a couple

of hours Hadban and Dick reap- peared, having negotiated the 25 tough miles, and Hadban vetted out perfectly. Off they went for the final 16 miles. At the final vet- ting Hadban’s heart rate was 48 and his CRI (cardiac recovery time, in which the horse is trotted out and back and then the heart rate checked again within 60 seconds) was 52. So, in the long run, his

NASS NEWS Summer 2010

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