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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Smokin' Fast hahaha

Okay, so actually NOT smoking fast. :p

We had our second double header jackpot at our place this past Monday and gave Lefta the night off and just rode Voodoo.  I hadn't rode him in the first one because he had a fresh cut.  Considering he's running and playing in the pasture and it's healing well I didn't feel too badly about entering him this time.  What I did feel badly about is he is sooo out of shape after a couple weeks on pasture without any riding.

Since I knew there was no hope at all of a competitive time and we just needed a jackpot the only game plan was to work on his gate antics and tune our pattern.  He could cruise through the barrels however "fast" he wanted, heck he could walk/trot if that's what he did nicely lol

I am lucky enough to have a fairly large outdoor arena, the pattern at my place is a full set... standard size pattern, standard distance timers to barrels, standard size timers to gate.  I joked that I'd be happy with anything faster than 25.0 ;)

Our first run he threatened to pop up a bit when I went to go in the arena.  I just kept my hands forward and squeezed my legs asking for forward and suddenly in he went (although he felt a little pissy about it).  Our "run" was okay.  *I* really need to work on ME and second barrel though.  We just loped through and our time was 24.31 haha

I mentioned to my friend KD that I may need help getting in on my second run and she laughed and said "Do you just want me & Tiz to ride up behind him again?" and that's when I found out she rode toward us when he started farting around and we joked Voodoo must have thought "I don't want to deal with those blondes" lol 

My second run came and KD was off to the side visiting so I tried going in on our own and what do you know... he went in just fine!  Again I rode with my hands forward, squeezing with my legs and thinking *forward*  and we walked quickly toward the gate.  He had a brief moment when he hesitated and I thought he'd skitter off or threaten to pop but instead he picked up a trot and swung into the arena without any helpers :)
This run was smoother, funny how going in nicely can do that ;) again I just let him cruise through but we picked up our time a bit... to a blazing 23.46 lmao

For the record, the fastest times for the day were 18.38 on the first run and 18.22 on the second.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bid Denied

I'm sure all y'all know by now... California Chrome didn't manage to make history and become the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown.  I'm not going to comment here on whether or not I think his injury out of the gate is what cost him the race*.  Instead I want to touch on sportsmanship and tradition.

Steve Coburn, Chrome's co-owner was quite... expressive... in his post race interview.  Matter of fact he came across as throwing a tantrum.  I passed it off as a passionate owner expressing his feelings in the heat of the moment (I'm sure I'd be less than gracious in the same situation).  However if the follow up stuff I'm seeing online is true he's just a real poor sport.

Going into a bid for the Triple Crown you KNOW the deal.  You know there are horses that raced in the Derby and not the Preakness, or possibly neither the Derby nor the Preakness.  However that doesn't mean the whole field has rested... shocking but there are other races on the TB calendar ;)  One thing is certain though, you know your horse will be facing fresher horses.  Ranting and raving that it's a coward's way out is not very classy.  Also, for the guy that's been doing all the PR, not too smart.  Also let's not forget his horse isn't the only one that ran all three races (hello Ride On Curlin and General A Rod)

Those that are saying only horses that have raced in all three should be able to compete is, IMO, ridiculous.  Trainers & owners choose which races to enter depending on their horse's talent and health. 
It also reflects the "everyone is a 'winner'" way that children are being raised now.  Guess what, not everyone wins and when you grow up and step out into the big ole world without ever having to lose or take a hard knock, or stretch yourself to find out what it takes to better yourself instead of everyone getting a participation ribbon, it's a huge adjustment.

Claiming that your horse has a target on it because it's going for the Crown is also pretty stupid, although yes it probably does.  However time and time again other horses have had "targets" on their back because of how dang good they are.  Google Phar Lap and see how even the stewards tried to take him out.  Talk to people that have worked in the industry and listen to stories about boxing horses in on the rail.  How many horses have been taken out of the winner's circle due to interference?
Bottom line, target or not, it's racing.  You only get paid if you win and it's not cheap to own, train and care for those horses so guess what, you're going to try to win (although I have no illusion that some horses are entered as sacrificial lambs to make things easier for stable mates).
IMO the only way to make it *fair* for everyone would be to have the horses run in lanes like human runners do.  No changing lanes, no bumping/interfering, a staggered start so everyone goes the same distance. (somehow I'm sure even that would have people crying "unfair")

The Triple Crown isn't officially a series of races as in a closed series or set, which is why horses can enter any of the races and don't have to compete in all three.  Guess what, it wasn't even called the Triple Crown until approximately 1930 (guess what, the first horse to win the Derby, Preakness and Belmont was Sir Barton in 1919.  Yep, before it was even known as the Triple Crown). 
Tradition and history have made the Triple Crown what it is.  Every.other.horse that has won the first two races has faced the same thing Chrome faced.  It's part of what makes winning the Crown such an accomplishment and why the Belmont is known as the test of champions... to be able to win all three races, in such a short span, finishing with the longest most grueling run, against horses that may be fresher.

Again just my opinion here, if "the rules" were to change and the only horses running are ones that have entered all three... well heck any of those that win that new Triple Crown wouldn't be able to be compared to Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed!

* For the record, while I would have LOVED for there to be a new Triple Crown winner I had serious doubts that it would happen.  Chrome didn't seem to finish the Preakness very strong and it looked like Ride On Curlin would have caught him if there had been any more distance*