As mentioned in a previous post, our friend Sam is part of the horse racing industry. After meeting her friends Herb and Caroline at Grand River, I was eager to learn more about the horses and what goes on behind the scenes.
Lucky for me, Sam’s friends really liked me, so invited us out to their farm in Milton.
Sam took Kira and I to the farm early Monday morning to help wash, groom and prepare the horses for their daily jog around the track.
Herb and Caroline worried about Kira and I working with some of the more unpredictable horses, so assigned us to work with three they felt were safe.
First we groomed Gem and got her ready for her jog. I brushed her with the softer brush, while Kira worked on her mane and tail and then we both cleaned out her hooves. Then Sam helped us put her gear on, showing me each step so I’d get an idea of how it all worked.
It’s not totally the same, but the harness racing gear is sort of like the gear Canyon wears for drafting.
Maybe I’ll see if Sam will explain it all to me so I can post it here sometime.
After Gem was ready, herb took her on to the track.
Next we worked with Love Detective or Lovie. Lovie isn’t as nice as gem in my opinion, she isn’t as streamlined, her hips are really boney and kind of stick out. Sam says the best horses are the ones with big butts, lol!
Lovie is a 3 year old filly. She is a really dark brown bay horse. I really need to ask Kira to describe how each of the horses look again, so that I can explain it better.
She was really patient. She stood calmly while I brushed the dust out of her coat and Kira combed her mane and tail. Then Sam came and we got her ready to take out. Kira really wanted to help Sam jog her, but Sam wasn’t sure how Lovie would be, so asked us to stay in the stable and help Caroline bath Photo Wine or Wine for short.
wine was a 2 or 3 year old gelding. He was going to race that evening, so needed to have a bubble bath.
first Sam wet him down completely with the hose then Kira and I got out sponges to soak Wine with soapy water and wipe down his body. he was perfectly happy to stand and wait for us to finish cleaning him. After he was thoroughly soaped up, we took turns hosing him off. Kira worked on his back end while I did his front and the top of his back since Kira couldn’t reach. At one point herb came over to tell me that I needed to aim a bit lower because I was hitting the horse in the next stall, lol!
While we were all busy working with the horses, Molly, Kira’s 2 year old female French bulldog was running around the stable looking for rats and other critters. At one point she found a toad that was probably half the size of her head. She went to grab it with her mouth and it sprayed her, causing her to foam for several minutes straight. While Molly foamed, Kira grabbed some water for her and Sam took the toad outside where it could find a new place to hang out.
I think I want to bring the golden retrievers to the farm the next time we go. I think Canyon will enjoy wandering around the stable and it will be good for Arizona to learn to interact properly with horses and other people.
After we finished bathing Wine, I stood with my back against one of the stalls. I didn’t know who was inside until Herb told me “your horse is in that stall behind you”. It turns out Gem was in the stall and she kept nuzzling the back of my head and neck and tried to eat my hood a few times, lol! Every time I turned to touch her, she’d back up and then when I turned, she’d return to nuzzle and check me out, lol!
caroline asked Kira and I to groom her again because she had been washed after her jog and needed to be brushed. Both Kira and I love this filly, so were eager to spend more time with her.
I brushed her with the soft brush and Kira combed out her mane and tail. Then Kira asked if it would be okay if she braided Gem’s mane and Caroline said sure. Unfortunately, Kira wasn’t able to finish the braids because lunchtime for the horses came, but she got about half of Gem’s mane done and it felt really neat. It would have been cool to see how her mane looked after the braids were taken out.
Once all of the horses were given their lunch of pellets made by Purina, Sam took Kira and I into the field to visit the brood mares and their foals.
There were about five mares and 5 foals, most of which were females.
The foals were about 3 or 4 months old and 3 of them were really interested in us.
We had some foals biting at our clothing and others trying to bite our bums. It was a really neat thing to experience. I had never been around such young horses.