Monday, July 28, 2014


I didn't ride all 30 miles in one day.... Fortunately, it was a prep to see if I could do it, and now I know I can't, so we will skip the Unicorn Hunt and look for another intro ride. The October 4 Wacky Waco Wide looks good, and gives us plenty of time to train and we will be taking time off anyway so we should easily make it.

Friday I rode 20+ miles but overheated (stupid me) and took WAY too long so I left my horse over at my friend's place. Saturday I was in a city while my two older siblings competed, taking 2 seconds in 4 divisions. Sunday afternoon I rode my horse home.

I have decided to go through the Revelation. I love that book in the Bible. It talks about end times and I enjoy its almost science-fiction style... except it's not fiction.

Pictures from Sunday!!!


Galloping home (yes, I can take pictures while riding at a dead run)


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yesterday's Ride

Star and I didn't gallop the whole ten miles... I would have been dead by then... but we did gallop most of it, with Zactly tagging along, and my horse STILL had run left in her for not one but two working gallops. And it rained last night so the ground will be interesting for tomorrow's long ride. 30 miles! And we will be galloping/jogging/walking... using all three gaits and completing in 7 1/4 hours. I plan to leave out between 10 and 11, maybe a little later. It will be fun. And maybe the crazy dog will come the whole way with me. Not only are we building up our own stamina, but the dog's, too!

Endurance Race training does get boring, but you have to keep going if you want to succeed, as you have to in any sport. My horse and I have galloped, jogged, and walked probably hundreds of miles by now in training for endurance racing. Endurance racing demands stamina to the highest degree; we cannot be worn out when we finish, and we have to complete in a limited time. In Limited Distance Rides, the winner is decided by who "completed" first, or earned the vet's approval after finishing, and run from 25-45 miles, with completion maximum times starting at 6 hours for 25 miles, including mandatory rests and time until vet determines completion, which is within a half hour of arriving at the finish line. In the 50 mile races and over, they are actual races, where the winner is the first to cross the finish line. Completion is determined within an hour after finishing. If a horse does not earn completion, he is disqualified. Also, there are people watching at certain points on the trail. If you finish and they have not seen you, you are also disqualified. Intro rides are a lot like Limited Distance Rides, except that they are between 10 and 20 miles, do not have completion maximum times, and no order of finish prizes. You just earn a "completion" award, and you MUST complete.

Also, there is a Best Condition Award, given to the horse who finishes in the best condition of the top ten finishers of the race. This award is sometimes coveted more than the Winner award, and it is a rare horse who can earn both Winner and Best Condition, also known as BC.

The best horses compete in the 100 mile races, and there is an unofficial Triple Crown: the Tevis Cup, Old Dominion, and AERC National Championships. This year's Tevis Cup, the most famous event, is to be held August 9. The 100 mile race is demanding as it is held over rigorous trails in California and must be completed in 24 hours. To even complete is a prized honor. In 2006, a bay Arabian gelding weighing 1000 pounds, named Heraldic, won all three races under John Crandell III, starting with the June 10 100 mile Old Dominion, August 5 Tevis Cup, and winding up his season with the October 20 100 mile AERC National Championship, where he also earned BC. Also, the horse I wanted to breed Star to, VSF Otis, finished 4th in the AERC National Championship.

He is a 1998 bay purebred Arabian by Holland-bred Statistic and from Mi Hearts Desire, by Russian-bred racehorse Tamerlan. Heraldic has a 2000 full sister, Heroika, who produced a 2008 daughter of Strategem, Harmoniya. Strategem is by top European racehorse Sambist and from Statura, another racing-bred horse, herself by racing sire Ptersk. Harmoniya has no listed offspring.

Endurance Racing does not feel like a high-stake sport where both speed and stamina are required. The people are very friendly and it seems more like a gathering of friends there than it does a classy competition. I have only gone once, but I love it already.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Racehorse Workouts

Jess's Dream*: BULLET of 2 going 4f in 52.60 @ Stonestreet Training Llc (dirt) on July 19 (breezing)
T C B Kiwi's*: BULLET of 2 going 5f in 1:02.20 @ Retama Park (dirt) on July 23 (breezing from the gate)
Hashtag Bonnie*: 15/20 going 3f in 38.15 @ Saratoga (dirt) on July 19 (breezing)
Shared Belief: 13/13 going 4f in 52.80 @ Golden Gate (AWT) on July 17 (handily)
Wise Dan: 5/45 going 4f in 49.12 @ Saratoga (turf training) on July 18 (breezing)
Bootsy's Girl*: 9/14 going 3f in 38.20 @ Churchill Downs (dirt) on July 22 (breezing)
Will Take Charge: BULLET of 5 going 5f in 1:01.02 @ Saratoga (dirt training) on July 21 (breezing)
Seeking Paradise*: 15/25 going 4f in 51.00 @ The Thoroughbred Center (dirt) on July 22 (breezing)
Game On Dude: 2/75 going 4f in 47.60 @ Del Mar (AWT) on July 19 (handily)


Here's my typical routine these past few weeks on weekdays:

6:30am-7:00am: get up, saddle horse
7am-9am: ride, feed chickens, collect eggs
9am-10am: school
(Fri) 9am-1pm: babysit siblings. No school.
10am-11am: blog!!!
11am-12:30pm: help with lunch, eat
12:30pm-3pm: shower, nap, put horse in pasture
(Tues, Thurs) 3pm-5pm: Prepare for driving
(Wed,Fri) 3pm-5pm: Indoor chores, maybe blog again, get ready for supper
(Mon) 3pm-5pm: Babysit younger 2 brothers
(Tues, Thurs) 5pm-7pm: Driving practice
(Mon, Wed) 5pm-7pm: Supper, help with garage
(Tues, Thurs): 7pm-10pm: Supper, an episode of White Collar or just talk, bedtime
7pm-8pm: Catch kids for milking next morning, lock up ducks, catch horse for riding next morning
(Mon, Wed): 7pm-10pm: Work in garage, after supper chores, an episode of Stargate SG-1, an episode of White Collar

Saturdays we generally rest or work in the garage, and Sundays typically involve going to church and then garage work. I maintain the first two times listed on every day of the week unless there is a specified break. Tomorrow I won't be riding but I will be clipping wings! My pullets are ANNOYING and are flying the coop every single morning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Star's Weekend

Okay, so I rode Friday, not exactly galloping, but I did gallop her some. We went exploring (fun!) and the crazy Zactly came all the way with us.

Saturday I took off because I was babysitting my siblings, and had a wonderful evening celebrating my friend's birthday and going to the movies to watch Dawn of the Planet of the Apes with both my best friends and my two oldest siblings. It was nice being out of the house and with the ones I love.

Sunday I rode 7 miles, galloping, and yesterday I took off because I couldn't catch my crazy horse. Also, Zactly caught herself a rabbit so she turned around and went home just barely into my ride. That's great, because Zactly is generally to insane to actually catch anything!

I got treats last night and caught and fed my horse, and jogged a beautiful ten miles this morning. A day off seemed to have fixed her arguing with me. She was a PAIN to ride all weekend! We'd head out to the highway and on our way she'd turn around or head into the middle of the road, trying to get home, or she would stop and graze. I fixed that by having her back up in the direction I wanted her to go until she got sick and tired of it. This morning, she picked at the grass but kept going and was beautiful. Worked on getting her collected and worked on my posting and we blazed it nicely, with Zactly following along again. I do have a problem with not being able to switch from posting on the left diagonal to the right, though I can do vice versa nicely. Still, to feel my horse floating beneath me, more collected than I have ever had her, was wonderful. She seemed to enjoy it, too. And after about 9 1/2 miles of jogging, I stopped her and let her break off and fly and she was all out and still energetic! She is getting stronger, faster, and has more stamina.

Feeling my horse race along like that is a feeling I never get used to. She could have been worn out--the ground is still boggy and wet--but she wasn't and she seemed to take to the air. I love my beautiful horse.

Okay, here's the name of the horse I quizzed you on: Lemons Forever, shown winning the 2006 Kentucky Oaks. Her daughter? Well, I'll let you figure that one out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Herbs for Star

I have decided to enter the world of herbal medicine and use them to improve Star's gaits, joints, muscles, and overall performance. She is prone to injuring her joints, especially up front, and her muscles behind then hurt. She is pigeon-toed (toes turned in) up front, with her cannon bones spread too far apart, and she's splay-footed behind, though not as drastically as she is toed-in in front. So, here's what I found and what her diet will look like from now on:

MSM, 1 ounce
Oats, 1 quart
garlic & basil, 1 tsp each
peppermint, 2 tsp
devil's claw, 4 tablets
Turmeric, 1 tsp
garlic, 2 tsp
thyme, 4 tbsp
flax seed, 2 tsp
rice bran, 1/2 cup
oregano, 1 tsp
electrolytes, 1 ounce

Can't wait to get all of this stuff together. Her coat should improve, as should her hooves, joints, muscles, weight maintenance, fitness, and energy.

Official results are Wednesday, but Royalty finished 8th of 9 in her race, less than 8 lengths behind the winner, and Unbridled Forever finished 2nd in hers, 5 lengths behind the winner. It was a better result for Unbridled Forever, and she will never be the top of her class, but she deserves a Grade 1 win or two. Royalty, on the other hand, needs a change in routine. Or maybe it was just that she hadn't raced yet this year. She isn't doing her late brother or dam proud.

Seriously??? No guesses for the quiz?

Here we go. The horse is a mare!!! And it's a daughter of hers that's racing. Now guess.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Racehorse Update 2

Unbridled Forever: Saratoga Race 10, July 20, 1 1/8 miles dirt, Grade I TVG Coaching Club American Oaks. 9/5 morning line, post 2, 121 lbs. Field of 6 fillies.

Royalty: Saratoga Race 4, July 18, 6 furlongs dirt, Maiden Special Weight for 3yo+ fillies & mares. 12/1 morning line, post 3, 119 lbs 5 ounces (coupled with Running Wild). Field of 8 3yos, 1 4yo (9 total).

News stories:
Eblouissante: (nothing since May)
Shared Belief: (since July 1)
Wise Dan: (since July 1)
Honor Code: (nothing since April)
Texas Bling: (nothing since 2013)
Princess of Sylmar: (since July 1)
Australia: (since July 1)
Will Take Charge: (nothing since June)
Secret Circle: (nothing since April)
Unbridled Forever: (since July 1)
Game On Dude: (nothing since June)
Beholder: (nothing since June)

And another hint for the quiz:
The copyright on the picture reads: 2006 Cindy Pierson Dulay. And, the picture is taken at Churchill Downs in the spring meet. Think 2006 Churchill Downs and one of the major races of the spring meet!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Black Caviar Update

The historic racemare of Australia appears to be progressing well in her first pregnancy. She is due in late September (just barely over 2 months away!) to super sprinter Exceed and Excel. Black Caviar raced all over Australia and once in England, winning all 25 of her races, over both males and females alike. Discussion over who her second mate will be has already begun. From the link below: " 'She could go to More Than Ready, go back to Exceed And Excel, go to Snitzel, High Chaparral is in the mix and there's one other.' " Also, her connections have intentionally skipped learning the foal's sex, as they want a surprise.

Her half-sister, the $2.6 million yearling from Redoute's Choice named Belle Couture, is retired. She ran four times and won once, placed once, and was 12th of 13 and 16th of 16 in her other races. She was injured and apparently had problems in her last two races.

Black Caviar and Belle Couture are out of the unraced mare Helsinge.

Black Caviar did the impossible. She became the first horse in our generation (or possibly two or three generations) to win more than 19 consecutive races while undefeated! She also retired undefeated.... in 25 races.

Not even the great Frankel, the world's best Thoroughbred racehorse, did that. He retired with 11 less races under his belt. And he never shipped to another continent half a world away. Still, if the two produced anything, the value of the foal would be enormous, even more than the $5 million full brother to Belle Couture who unfortunately died of a spider bite and a reaction to the medication before receiving his official name, let alone racing.