Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Guilty Pleasure

My husband, ( not a horse type guy) likes to joke that if something has the word "Horse" or a picture of a horse on it (or in it), I'll watch it. I always disagree- but secretly I think he is right. I love horses, and always have. I live horses too, breathe them like air, need them to be happy etc. etc...
There is one type of discipline I don't know too much about- but it is my secret guilty pleasure. I am torn about the excitement I get from this too- but I know I can tell you all- you guys will understand- won't you?

It is, of course, Horse Racing, Sport of Kings. 

When I was little I read about King of the Wind, Black Gold, Seabiscut, Little Vic, Phar Lapp... anything about racehorses. I used to go to the track when the Fair rolled around, and my friends mother would let us choose a race horse to bet on from the papers that day. We poured over those names, trying to decide which name held the most power, would be the horse that would win! We played the Fair game that had all the horses names on one board, and pinballs advanced the players across the board in a pretend horse race. From that I heard about Whirlaway,War Admiral,Man O'War, Seabiscut,and others. 

When I moved out of my mothers home I moved into a dumpy apartment near the backside of the Fair Grounds. Junkies,Whores,Bikers lived next door, but it was within walking distance of the Backside, and the racehorses. I was able to board my horse there on the off season, and from that I learned some of the grim realities of Horse Racing- thus my guilt. 

The Fairgrounds would board  Racehorse in the off season too. The track was busy in the mornings with riders, trainers, jockeys. They would breeze on the track or in the big indoor arena. I met jockeys there- most of them on drugs. There were hardly any women and they were hard cases to be sure. The trainers hit on me incessantly, using their horses as enticements- luckily I was a lot smarter than that. (But I did have to chase a few of them off with a pitchfork.)
I witnessed cruelty there as well as apathy. If the horses wouldn't run- they were not there very long. There happened to be a slaughterhouse in town in that era- I bet more than a few made their  last run there. 
But in spite of all that- there is something so wonderful about a thoroughbred in full stride, hide glistening, muscles rippling that brings tears to my eyes, and a cry to my throat. 
I watch the Animal Planet show JOCKEYS. It facinates me- even though I KNOW that these horses are just a commodity, that they sell them to slaughter, that they run babies that have no business at full gallop, that those horses break down in various ways. And being a horseman I hate myself for wanting to watch it, for supporting the sport, and thus the cruelty that it spawns. 
There are a few Trainers out there that don't have cruel methods, I wish there were more. I wish I knew more about the sport. The Racing Commission says it protects the horses as well as it can, and because of very public breakdowns on the track newer safety methods are being introduced. But check the rescue boards and just see- the horses sold to KB's are appalling. 

And yet- Friday night- horses are running.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When in doubt-stick them out!


A very wise old judge and horse trainer once told me- "Hunny- when in doubt, stick 'em out!" He meant the boobies, of course. Now at the time, I just didn't even fathom what he could have meant by that. My boobies were as flat as could be! Why would I want to stick them out?

And now , years later, I kinda think that old axiom was 'on course'. You see, a LOT of women at QH shows have fake boobies! Even young girls! And I think that is because judges are mostly men, and men like boobies.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to have fake ones to stick out-

1.Your horse is 'tro-pping'...stick 'em out! ( a cross between a trot and a lope, only not as pretty as either and VERY common).


2. Your horse has missed a lead- Stick 'em out!
3. Your horse has tic-ed a pole in the trail class- Stick 'em out!
4. Your horse has the UGLIEST legs ever seen in a Halter class- Stick 'em out!


5. Your horse is kicking as other horses pass on the rail- Stick 'em out!
6. Your horse is perfect- but you like the way you look with boobies the size of watermelons- Stick 'em out!

I hope I haven't offend any of you that DO have fake boobies.
I'm just jelouse!
Here is a picture of Lil Mama and Bar Hoppin Bob in the class that they took eighth in. She shows in HUS and the horses that usually win are generally very scopy and leggy. Most of them are actually more Thoroughbred than Quarter these days. But sometimes you get an Old Fashioned type judge and they will place a good QH in the QH classes! So she keeps on trying.
I think he looks pretty good.
Of course I'm the MOM and what do I know?
I know to STICK "EM OUT!

Friday, August 14, 2009

No cigar...

Today was a beautiful day. Not too Hot, with only a slight breeze to keep things cool. Good thing for a horse show- however...Bob was a naughty boy anyway. 
WHAT? Oh yes, Big Beautiful Bob actually did his warm up perfectly, he looked great and so did Lil Mama. The first lap around the ring was actually very nice and the judge was taking notice. But as soon as they asked for the lope, Bob was  'carrying the mail.' He just wanted to go faster and faster- ignoring all his carefully planned cues. Can't figure out what he was thinking, but it wern't pretty.

On a better note- she actually picked up both leads beautifully. 
AND- LC was excellent! Not a cry or a whine or a tantrum (until about five and then it was happy hour and who cared!)
AND no one fell off and I had a good time visiting with my old friends...
AND there is always tomorrow ( it's suppose to be a lot HOTTER tomorrow-good for recalcitrant horses!)
All the things that I think make for a decent horse show- except for winning or placing in a class, were present. 
So as usual Stay Tuned to see what fresh Hell BOB comes up with for tomorrow! 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A horse of a different color

Here I am, at the final horse show in the series I usually go to.I'm not showing Desi- no money for that this year- but I am babysitting Littlest Cowboy! Lil Mama is showing Big Bob! First time in two years. 
I have to tell you though I am super happy to be here! I just love horse shows even if I'm not showing.  My friends are here, they all will talk bloodlines or patterns or tips with you all day long. It is hot today too- 92. And I'm in charge of the Little boy. wow! This is why fifty year olds shouldn't have kids- you cant keep up! I can tell you though that showing with a baby is a horse of a different color. Everything is different from how we go, to where we go. Our meals are different, our alcoholic beverage consumption is different ( mostly),our bedtimes and our awake times are different.
 Tomorrow I go to set up 'camp' between the two rings, in the grass in the shade. I'm taking blankets, toys, books, snacks, juice, diapers and a valium ( that is for me). Not Horse show Mom- but Horse show Granny! I'll post pictures and let you know how LM and Bob did tomorrow! 

Friday, August 7, 2009


Not me, I'm good!  My daughters and best friend Teri bought me tickets to go see the play-WICKED. Lil Mama went with me, and what a good time we had! We ogled the Orpheum Theater's Moorish architecture, drank GREEN Cosmos- called Wicked Witches- and dressed up.
I love plays. I always have. In fact there was a time in my life ( long ago) that I wanted to make theatre my Life! Not on the stage- oh no! I wanted the power of the Director! I directed my High school plays for two years- and even went to the JC with that in mind. Ah well.. life happened and that part of my life disappeared. But the Theater!  With it's lights and music and energy- well it still thrills me like nothing else! And WICKED was a beautiful way to be reintroduced to that long subverted love. 
Of course the book was brilliant, but the play just rounded up the whole story-and opened it up like a Emerald Birthday Gift. 
It was beautiful gift and it is one I will always remember!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Whaddya do?

I have to drive across the Benicia Bridge, toll is $4.00(freak'n) dollars. In line- waiting to pay the toll. 
Car in front takes forever. I sigh. Turn up the radio.  Ho hum! Finally my turn, I pull up, flash the $4 dollars. Toll taker waves me through.


"The car ahead of you paid for you" he says.

Sheesh- I used to do that when the toll was a BUCK! People still do that? 

I try to catch up to the car in front of me... it's going really fast. I weave through traffic to keep them in sight. They are way ahead of me.

Now what? Do I break the law so I can wave and mouth the word 'Thanks' at 75 miles per hour?Or... do I take the risk of being thought a Cretin by the Car In Front by not catching up? And now I can't just pass them... that would seem kinda weird.  What if I just drive excessively fast and pass them, without any acknowledgement? What kind of a jerk would I be then? 

Jeez!- All for four freakin' dollers!