Originally Posted by smrobs
I don't know. I am kinda on the fence about this one. One one side, I can agree with allowing very low doses for fit and sound horses that may have mild soreness after a strenuous workout. But the horse should be left out of work until the soreness or lameness is gone and they are completely off the bute.
On the other hand, if the horse is fit and completely prepared to be competed on at any stress level, there should be no resulting soreness. I do agree wholeheartedly with Spastic. Bute would be so easy to abuse and who exactly are they going to get to monitor how much the horses are recieving? Sometimes a small limp or mis-step every few strides is the only warning sign of a bout of founder or navicular or abcess or sprained tendon or strained joint. How many more horses are going to end up with serious joint and hoof problems because instead of seeing the early warning signs for what they could be, they are covered with bute. Then the horses are still in competition or full work and the signs aren't obvious until serious damage is already done, because they were given "aspirin" to alleviate what was thought of as soreness, not a rising issue.
Same as in a human athlete, you need to push past muscle stiffness and soreness. If you back off all the time, you are perpetually making it worse, because you are weakening the muscle and not strengthening it. Its why, when you are starting a workout, you are sore the next day, but need to go back to the gym to restretch those muscles so that they lengthen and don't seize up. And its why they invented tylenol and asprin :P so that you don't bitch TOO much about having to go back to the gym the very next day :P
They will be monitoring it, same as they would any drug. Drug tests are still going to be performed and the riders better understand the dosage that the horses are allowed, otherwise it will be considered doping.
And I disagree that bute will cause more problems than its worth. Not at this level. Maybe for the backyard breeders that are riding their horse for 5 hours at a time and buting them up so that Sparky can go on another trail ride or lesson. But these are competition horses who are in front of international judges. If something is REALLY wrong with the horse, no amount of bute (especially the low dose that is allowed at this time!) will mask that.