Update June 30th
Kentucky is in a heat wave. It was over 100 on Thursday, 104 here at the farm yesterday, and already 95 at 11 this morning, on its way to 105.
The man who owns the farm next door – where Lena visited on her first night – stopped by a while ago. In the course of conversation he told me Churchill canceled racing on Thursday due to the heat. I looked online to get details, and learned that they moved Friday and the coming days to night racing. A wise decision, as my horses, standing in the shade doing nothing, with a breeze, were sweating the last two days.
Late yesterday afternoon, I was topping off the trough and Shadow put her face in deeply and started splashing herself to get cool. I sprayed her with the hose. Zola was quick to line up and stood very close to the electric fence to get sprayed. Chance too wanted hosing down. Maura wanted some, but not much, ditto Roxanna. The others were in a hurry to get back in the shade of the barn. I didn’t even consider riding them, and certainly would not have raced them.
Trainers at Churchill were not happy about the races being canceled (it was too late to switch racing to nighttime by the time it was decided it was too hot). I must say it is the first time in 138 years that racing has been canceled due to heat. Steve Asmussen was quoted complaining, and made the comment, “. . . canceling the Thursday is a decision made by people who aren’t feeding racehorses. More importantly, I wonder if any of them were feeding a horse that was in Thursday.”
That makes it pretty clear to me that concern for the horses’ well being is certainly not paramount with Mr. Asmussen.
Chance was going well prior to the heat wave. I rode him on the 25th, trotting 2 laps before galloping 4. I knew I was working on Wednesday, so rode him again on the 26th, just trotting him for a mile and a half. The ground is hard as a rock and I am happy that he appears to have no foot issues. Of course, now he’s off until the temperatures drop to something bearable.
I had trimming students last weekend (the 22nd, 23rd, 24th) and so all the horses got trimmed. Zola was slightly ouchy on her right, so didn’t get ridden early in the week, and of course is off now due to the heat.
Lena was also trimmed. She is such a sweet girl. I haven’t worked with her feet since touching her up on the 10th, but she was an angel, allowing me to trim all 4 feet without problems. She is very affectionate. She loves getting kisses on the face, and will put her face up to receive them. When the horses are turned out free in the morning, Lena stops for some attention on her way out, and is in no rush to give it up and go eat. She likes people and is very trusting and cooperative. When it gets cooler, I plan to start saddling her, in preparation for getting on her this fall.
Below are some photos of her feet. (Click on images to enlarge.)