Equine Frustration. I think we have all experienced it in one fashion or another. I finally got the right horse, got him broke, rode a few rides, and really let myself go and saturated myself in endurance.
Then the cruel reality. The horse has ulcers! So he's been diagnosed with grade 3 and treated, and he's healed now. He showed mild symptoms that just never really added up until most recently, then it was so clear that was the issue all this time.
The mild "colic" issues, not keeping weight when all the rest of the herd are easy keepers, sore back, etc...
After a round of treatment I am ready to continue. Only there is the issue of AERC forbidden the use of Ulcerguard as a preventative. I would rather pay $40 a tube and use 1/4 a tube for 4 days, then pay $40 a day for 28 days, costing around $1000.
My horse, along with probably about 75% of the rest of the endurance and equine population, are probably suffering from un-diagnosed ulcers as well.
What a shame, I will however, be supporting the change to allow Ulcerguard/Gastroguard, instead being labeled as a forbidden substance. I am not using it to perform faster, or to win. I just want to protect my horse's digestive system and prevent a deadly colic or pain and suffering on his behalf.
Endurance is not easy on a horse, between the hours of conditioning, trailering and stress, my horse deserves to allow his digestive system to work properly.
Just a vent of my frustrations, any one owning horses knows the pain of owning horses is well worth it.
The feel of their soft muzzle, the smell of their hair, the way they make you feel inside, even when everything else could be turned upside down, my equine partner knows how to pick up my mood and make my day and life just a little bit easier. They are my therapy, they are my life, shouldn't I owe them the little bit of care of prevention?
I will still compete in endurance, using the preventative measure and allowing the 24- hr withdrawel time period. I hope this works, for my friend and my partner. Only time will tell, and perhaps by then, the AERC regulations will make it safer for the horses to compete.