Cloud's Honor Racing

Cloud's Honor Racing
www.GoodHorse.org

Cloud's Honor Riding

Cloud's Honor Riding
www.LeightonFarm.com

Saturday, December 29, 2007

See Why I Hate Longeing, Human?

We did graduate to longeing in the open, but she was still very fast and not relaxed at all. After four weeks I decided to give her another months rest. When I started again it was the end of December. She did remember how to longe and also remembered how much she hated it. The ground isn’t as good in December and it was greasy one day and you guessed it, she fell down. When she got up, she was covered with mud and completely humiliated. I felt bad, I’d never seen the Gray Monster embarrassed before. Now she had more evidence that longeing was stupid. In all fairness to her, I broke her as a yearling and remained her primary rider throughout her career. Race training is rather predictable and she could count on me to be consistent. Graycie loved to know what was going to happen. She was a “know it all”. It was as if one day I got up, came down to the barn, and completely lost my mind. Everything was the same, same rider, same farm, but now I wanted her to run around a stupid circle every day. I was beginning to lose hope she’d ever take to this. It was suggested by more than a few people I breed her. After all she was beautiful and an outstanding mover. Athletic and extremely intelligent are her main qualities. I didn’t think she’d ever be happy as a broodmare. For me it was all about her, so I had a talk with her about the fact that I was probably too old to become an eventer, but I was definitely too old to start steeplechase training. Why, you ask didn’t I just hack her around the farm and leave the longeing for another time? Good question, the answer is she doesn’t hack. She only trains. Graycie has no use for meandering around the farm on trails. It’s okay to stroll around for ten minutes or so, but after that it’s time to train and if you don’t want to train, she’ll have a fit. Now when an extremely athletic horse has a fit, it’s intense and unpleasant. I really didn’t want to reprimand her for anything when she already hated everything about the new training. I also felt she should have more basic riding skills before tackling this, since it wasn’t relaxing her and she didn’t seem to like it either. She wanted to gallop, plain and simple. I wanted to gallop too. She was fun to gallop. Every exercise rider learns to gallop so they can someday ride a horse like her. She wasn’t for a beginner, but what a fabulous ride.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Graycie and Longeing

So after about a month rest on the farm I decided it’s time to teach her to longe. I know I have to do it in the round pen because there’s no way she’s going to stay around in the open. She was always a very good gate horse. There would be no problem getting away from me and my stupid whip with no fence to contain her.Longeing was a long and tedious process with this girl. She hated it. I mean really hated it. She also went faster around a 20 meter circle than any other horse I’ve ever seen. It was incredible that she remained standing up, and she did for the first few weeks. She kept looking at me in the beginning and I was thinking if she decides to run me over, I’m dead meat. I’m glad she never decided to mow me down. My philosophy was if I just waited and didn’t make a big deal of it, she’d begin to relax and accept it. But she just continued to hate it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Gray Monster

When I retired the Gray Monster from racing for the fourth time, I knew it was the last time. She was out of conditions and I knew if I ran her for $10K she’d be claimed. I’d be inconsolable. In fact, Sweeney, the trainer stabled next to me at Bowie asked me not to do that because he’d hate to have to move out of the barn. He just wouldn’t be able to stand being stabled next to me should I lose that girl. I had failed to retire her the times before because although she loved the farm, after a certain amount of time she expected to work. She loves her job as a racehorse and has a very good work ethic. This time was going to be different. I was going to get her a job. But what kind of job? What would she like to do? Well, I decided she’d like to be an eventer. No matter that I don’t know how to jump and haven’t done dressage for 20 years. I’m 45 now, oh dear. I am undeterred by this though because it’s all about the horse.