clinic

Vet and Volunteer Clinic Wrap-Up

Thank you to all of the attendees of the clinic this past Sunday, covering the topics of the AERC vet card, vetting parameters, and vetting procedures, and an intro to volunteering at rides.

We had 28 people attend, and it was great to see a mix of both long-time Arizona endurance riders, as well as new riders, and a number of folks interested in the volunteering portion of the clinic and how to get involved in volunteering at rides.

Thank you to Dr Debra Freiberg for presenting on the topic of vetting. She gave a step-by-step walk-through of the AERC vet card, what the vets are checking for at each point, the basic parameters of what those points should be, and a demonstration of vetting procedures. It was a valuable talk for both new and experienced riders to attend, and a subject that there’s always something to be learned!

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Dr Deb and demo horse ‘Khan’

A couple of key points from Dr Deb:

  • Knowing your horse’s “normal.” What is their resting pulse? Get to know their gut sounds. Put your hands on their muscles and feel what kind of muscle tone they have.
  • Practice vetting at home! Some horses object to having their mouth handled…get them used to this ahead of time. The stethoscope can feel weird to them initially. They should be able to have their tail and hind end safely handled. Teach them to trot-out and practice it frequently…a horse that trots out smartly with you at their shoulder presents the nicest, easiest-to-see picture for the vets.

The segment wrapped up with a chance for folks to take the pulse on either of the two demo horses, a good chance to practice for anyone who might have some interest in volunteering as a pulse-taker at a ride, and the perfect segue into the second segment, volunteering at rides, presented by Lancette Koerner.

Having volunteers at a ride is an absolutely critical part of making rides happen. However, ride managers often hear, “I would like to volunteer, but I don’t know what I’m doing.” To that end, one of the goals of AzERC is to provide volunteer training, both in giving a more in-depth explanation of what kinds of volunteer positions are often needed at a ride, and in some cases, such as pulse-taking, offering hands-on, ahead-of-time training and practice days.

If you’re interested in participating in any upcoming volunteer training sessions, or being involved in volunteering at rides, contact us to be put in touch with our Volunteer Committee Chair.

The 2019 AERC ride season wraps up on Nov 30, and Dec 1 is the start of the 2020 season. Arizona has a ride already on the calendar every month between December and April; check out our Upcoming Events page for more information if you’re interested in riding, volunteering at, or attending any of these rides.