Dawn Willoughby wrote about Chance on the Easy Care blog, and today a comment was posted with the following link, and the question did I think being barefoot gave Vo Rogue an advantage?
Vo Rogue raced barefoot in Australia. He won 26 races from 83 starts and earned $3.1 million! From the description of him as dirty, I’m guessing that he also lived out. He looks pretty happy in the photo – which I also think is a factor.
Unfortunately, his trainer died in 1994, 3 years after Vo Rogue retired, so there’s no contacting him to ask questions.
It rained Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday, and this morning, but the ground was still good.
Rode Chance, which is a pleasure because he’s so easy. He’s back to normal regarding the saddle – he made a big face (as usual) when I put it on and did his biting thing when I girthed up. That said, he opened his mouth for the bit. That is a first! In all previous bridlings since I’ve had him, it’s taken a finger or thumb in the corner of his mouth to get him to take the bit. This time he actually opened his mouth all by himself. I really think that’s evidence of how much he likes the Pee Wee bit. Which is awesome!
I’ve been increasing the trotting distance each ride and finally we are getting close to the point where we will begin galloping. Just a few more rides.
Also rode Zola today. Put her on the lunge line and she was fine. Got on, walked three or four steps, and she stopped. I took a deep breath and waited a few seconds. Then I urged her to move. Clucking, chirping, squeezed my legs, said “get up”, tapped her with the whip. Got dirty looks. But then I tapped her harder and when she moved her head to tell me off, I pulled on the reins just a little. And it worked, she walked off. We went around twice and she did stop a couple times, but they were very brief, as I grew more confident tapping her harder. As we finished our second circuit and approached where she really gets stubborn, she walked right on without hesitation! A huge improvement. We went another quarter circuit, then I turned her around and went back. We had an nice relaxed trot on the way. I asked her to stop before she thought about stopping, which was great.
I had been dreading riding her, but it turned out to be a good ride.
Below is a link to the second article in the New York Times series on horse racing and its problems: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/30/us/casino-cash-fuels-use-of-injured-horses-at-racetracks.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
Here is a link to an article on drugs in horse racing: http://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/all-the-pretty-racehorses-full-of-all-the-ugly-drugs/
The link below has a list (and links) to many other related articles on horse racing and breeding: http://www.horsefund.org/horse-racing-resources.php
Here is a link that raises an interesting theory.
Basically the article reveals that i.v. injection of dilute hydrochloric acid has been used to cure many types of infections that would otherwise have remained chronic or resulted in death. It appears that our bodies are meant to have hydrochloric acid in them and when we don’t have enough it negatively impacts our immune system.
Interestingly,, additional searching online revealed that (in humans) stress initially increases the amount of hydrochloric acid production (hence stress can cause ulcers), but long-term stress actually reduces HCL production, weakening the immune system.
I was shocked – but fascinated. I do happen to be a firm believer that the body is designed for health and that diet/nutrition – the things we put into our body – are critical to health. Further research on the internet (we are so lucky to have the internet!!) revealed that this theory has other supporters. Another good article is here: http://keelynet.com/biology/hcl.htm
For those who don’t like to read I will say that one result of the injection of HCL, was a significant increase in the number of white blood cells in a very short time. What was even more interesting – to me – was that injection of distilled water had the same effect.
The idea of injecting Hydrochloric acid is scary so I did some more research – on how to increase hydrochloric acid in the body. It was very interesting to find that apple cider vinegar is an excellent way. Could this be one of the reasons that vinegar is so good for us?
Unlike us, horses continually produce hydrochloric acid in their stomachs. However metabolic alkalosis can develop when horse are overexerted, through loss of water and electrolytes in sweating (or by diuretics??). Or – and this is my opinion – due to inadequate minerals in diet. Electrolytes ARE minerals. Also, things that buffer the hydrochloric acid (alfalfa, ulcer remedies, etc.) may affect the immune system negatively by decreasing the hydrochloric acid in the body. Please note: acid buffering substances are only needed due to the unnatural lifestyle of horses.
In short, since the body is such a complex mass of thousands of reactions, processes, etc. and science is far from understanding the human body, let alone that of the equine, it seems best to provide the horse with as natural a lifestyle as possible in order to allow those processes of which we know nothing to take place as nature intended.
I received a link to this article today:
It’s nice to see some publicity about those using science and technology to condition racehorses. Australia and New Zealand seem to be leading the way in using heart rate monitors and other tools to get facts about the horses they train.
I will be rooting for Ortensia on June 19th!