Friday, November 13, 2009

Horse progress

Well, the day has been and gone. Elena went to the races. We haven’t come home from Ashburton jubilantly bearing a prize – Elena finished 11th – but with some motives for satisfaction. The result isn’t as bad as it sounds.
Firstly, she behaved. She went away well from her second line draw (see pic, she’s the yellow one) and, even though they went a cracking pace over the first half mile she went along with them. However, up front, there was a deal of cat-and-mouse going on, and during one of the sudden slowings of the pace, Elena .. tightly enclosed on the rails in the large field … got squashed for space, ennerved and ran out for a few strides. She made the ground back, but .. she wasn’t comfortable in there. And her hood had come adrift. Into the straight she was still in the middle of the field, and she trucked on past one or two of the fading ones and being passed by the fast finishers from the rear…
John, the driver, said she had done fine, and she will doubtless do better next time. But we have begun. After all this time, we have at least begun.

Back at home (where the bathroom and bedroom had been painted in our absence), it was time to turn the spotlight on baby D’Arcy. He is scheduled to leave us for his ‘finishing school’ at Motukarara this week, so it was time to teach him to walk into the barn. This is not a simple thing. Babies (a) don’t want to go ‘in’ places and (b) they have never experienced concrete under their feet. Last year it took ¾ hour and the threat of a mighty 4x2 to get little Mikie in, and finally we had bodily to winch him in.

So D’Arcy was walked down the racetrack, round the corner, up to the barn where big Boofie was acting as bait and .. wonder of wonders -- he simply walked straight in!
So he got his photo taken ‘on concrete’ (which he quickly discovered isn’t too much fun to scrape with your unshod hoofs) and I was in wonderment as to how he has grown since he was that wee boy with the bandage on his knee, just one year ago!

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