The equine athlete is no different from us, as a human species, whether we are an athlete or not in our daily lives. As individuals and living beings, we are in-tuned, in most instances, as to how different stressers, diets and activities impact our health and general well being. For instance, we may know that spicy food may upset our stomachs or create a sense of heat in our bodies. Or we may understand that over-exertion, whether physically or mentally, drains us of vital energy. Given these apparent observations, why is it that we can listen to our own bodies and heed warnings, but when it comes to our equine companions, often we do not?
I read the line “performance enhancing or performance restoring” as part of a quote from a regulatory veterinarian in a discussion regarding drug use in the equine industry. I like the line, because it helps to create potential criteria that determines a drug or herb’s potential use and implications. We all want to achieve the best, win that competition, but we have to ask what are we doing with these medications? Are we trying to enhance performance in an animal that may not be able to perform at the desired level, inherantly, or are we trying to restore performance to an animal that has become compromised to some degree?