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Re: [RC] the more money we come across, the more problems we see - Chris A

yesterday I rode my 25 YO stallion on trail. we did about 10 quick miles. Very tough miles, steep hills, lots of rock, mud bogs almost knee deep in spots.
We had a blast, he enjoyed himself as much as I did. Every time I offered him a rest,his n aswer was no, lets keep going! He didn't want to slow down, he was having too much fun. We did all that and he asked to canter in the last half mile. Why is this so remarkable?
Szyb, my boy, is a retired race horse. He had 45 career starts, 11 wins and was in the money in half his races. 45 starts! that's unheard of in the TB racing industry.
I'm not sure if it's good genetics or race training in the Arab race industry versus Tb racing, or just plain luck that he made it so long, ran so hard, and at age 25 still is sound and fast with a good attitude.
I thought a lot about Eight Belles while I was riding. I felt very blessed to have this gallant horse under me and felt very sad that the courageous filly crossed over without ever having known what it was like to just be a horse, not somebody's meal ticket.
I'm sure it's not a whole lot better in Arab racing, other than they wait a year longer to race them. Maybe they haven't yet bred them to be bigger and faster than their legs can take.
 I shudder when I think of my boy in 45 races. Good grief, that's a LOT of starts. Modern Tbs don't do 10 races in a career. When I first got him, I took him to a vet chiro for a checkup and he was astounded when I told him about the horse's career. Astounded that his legs and back held up. he told me that 90 percent of all race horses he's worked on have stress fractures in their hips.
These animals give us so much. They don't have to do it. We should really feel humbled.

oddfarm <jsalas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Well, I am pretty sure all day long the announcers talk about the horses. They talk about their age, where they came from, who trained them, etc,. My point is, they DO announce their age several times and if I am not mistaken it is also printed in the book the people who bet use. Whether or not people know about what it takes to get a 2 or 3 year old to race doesn't matter so much as what they see the end result could be. Most people don't know what goes into making a fighting dog either, but the know it isn't good because of what they see in the news as the end result.
It doesn't really matter how much they know, they still support the sport. The public knows enough when they see the horse put down on the track, don't you think? Without them the sport wouldn't exist and that was the point of my post.
Lisa Salas, The Odd farm
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 12:15 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] the more money we come across, the more problems we see

Lisa said:
For instance, most people know that these horses are very young.

I'm not entirely sure that's true, even among horse people, much less the general public.  Lots of horse sports have futurities for 3 yr olds.  It's considered perfectly acceptable to start a horse under saddle before it's 2 and train hard for a futurity, then leave it lame before it even hits 8 or so.  Sure it's not the same as a death, but the misery certainly lasts a lot longer.

As to the general public, how are they supposed to know that racing 3 yr olds, even 2 yr olds is unacceptable?  Except when one of these tragedies happens, there is no talk in the newspapers about the fact that the horses are considered too young for such strenuous training/sport.  Most non-horse people don't know that a horse is not mature til after it's 5 years old.  They don't know that starting a horse under saddle at 1 1/2 or 2 is like sending a 5 yr old kid off to work.  There aren't that many horse sports where the horse is not expected to be fully trained and able to withstand the stresses of hard work until its past 5 years old.  Even endurance rules allow 5 yr old horses to compete in 100 mile rides.   jeri

"Life is an ocean and love is a boat
in troubled waters that keeps us afloat"
Christy Moore, "The Voyage"
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Re: [RC] the more money we come across, the more problems we see, oddfarm