by Jan Randle
Teresa commented about our Vets being able to "write in the log book – `this horse needs 6 (or 12) weeks off before its next competition'. Well, yes, they can. However this is only done when a proscribed format has been followed.
If a horse is presented to the Vet with an obvious problem such as colic or injury, the Vet first completes the examination and then commences treatment. Most of our rides either have a Treatment Vet in attendance, or are located close enough to at Veterinary Hospital to enable a sick horse to be transported quickly for treatment. Depending upon the severity of the colic or injury (or other problem) there is a standard "Rest Order" applicable.
These Rest Orders can range from 2 weeks to 6 months. A horse may receive a 2 week Rest Order for a knee abrasion from falling, or a 4 month Rest Order for a colic problem that required the administration of 50 litres of fluid. These Rest Orders are marked in the Logbook by the Head Vet at the ride. The Logbook is returned to the RM, who then sends the Logbook to the AERA Horse Welfare Officer. The owner does not get the Logbook back until the Rest Order time period is up, hence restricting the ability of that horse to enter another ride.