Saturday, November 15, 2008

Morning at the racetrack

Steve, Katie, and I got up very early this morning and went down to Golden Gate Fields to get behind-the-scenes look at the world of Thoroughbred racing from Devon and Howie, the people we got Bar from.

We watched some spectacular horses work gently and work hard. It was amazing to see not only such fit and athletic horses in their element--happy and running full tilt on a beautiful morning--but to also see the variety within the racehorses themselves. They don't all look tall, lean, and delicate. Some of them are shorter and stocky, some of them--like Devon and Howie's horse SittyTwoFitty--are tall and sturdy looking. No fragile looking legs on this girl. Here she is getting a post-workout poultice to keep those great legs in top shape.

We also got to see Devon ride their other horse, Continental Cream. They argued a little, which looked vaguely familiar to those of us who have tried to convince Bar to do what we want him to do instead of what he wants to do. Devon and C.C. both look very fierce in the shot below.

I have to say that we didn't see one unhappy horse there. We saw horses that were being taken care of, and that really, really, liked what they were doing. In fact, C.C. seemed to want to run more than she got to on such a fine Bay Area morning.

On the way home, we stopped at the barn to clean and carrot our two. The experience at the track gave me a snapshot into Bar's life, and his brain. He is bouncy, and a little bossy, but he wants to have fun and he wants to work. It also made me realize that he needs to work a little bit most every day and I need to give him that time and energy as often as I can. Of course, Lena needs that time and energy, too, because she is--after all--the spoiled first horse, aka Princess.

It was a really cool experience and I'm glad we did it for a whole lot of reasons. As Devon pointed out, watching these active racehorses showed us that Bar isn't nearly as wild and crazy as he could be. And he is who he is, and I even like him that way. A lot.

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