Saturday, May 4, 2013

Field of Silly Dreams

I’m not the kind of spectator who can watch a horse activity without imagining myself participating in it.  I pick out the part of that activity that one of my horses could, maybe, possibly compete in, and then start the thought process of how to go about it.  That doesn’t mean I’ll actually ever come back with that horse to do that activity, but I might.

An intermission in the races to bring out the hounds, last fall.
So, last fall, while I watch the Genesee Valley Hunt Races, I first imagined myself tackling one of the long, leisurely-looking, over-fence races. Which horse? Starlight seemed too small for the jumps. And Hudson seemed too fat to race for more than two miles over fences without suffering a heart attack or great discouragement or both. 

OK, those might be tough.  Next? 

Well, the next obvious for Starlight was the Stock Horse Sprint, in which “non-thoroughbreds” tear ass for about a third of a mile in Western tack.  Starlight and her big, paint horse butt might have the sprinting blood to dethrone Woogie, a bay gelding of unknown breeding who has won the sprint the last two years.

But Starlight is a versatile horse, and I will likely be pointing her toward a combined test in the fall, not a sprint on the flat.

The race that glowed out of the program for me, the “pick me!” on the card was the Heavy Horse Race, in which draft-type horses rumble along for a half-mile, causing seismic activity that could give a bad case of the quivers to the US Geologic Survey.

Well, I did say she thinks she's Zenyatta...
Hudson needs to get in shape, and her having a draft horse for a mamma makes that a daunting task.  It takes hours and miles of slow walks, working up to greater speeds, done in a considerate way that won’t cause her to pop a tendon.  Should we focus her conditioning on preparing for a race, despite the unlikliness and general silliness of the concept (a racing spotted draft horse. Uh-huh. Right.)?

But, hey, it's a draft horse race.  Could she be a contender?   

Well, why not?

So this has become the goal for my 10-year-old fatty.  She definitely has the heart for it. We’ll just have to see how the body respond.  

Anybody want to take us on, sometime in September, for a pre-race sprint? Bring out your fatties and we’ll make a track in the hay field.

“And they’re off…”