Comings and Goings

Today Parker and Vegas came home from the track. For the last time. They are being retired. When I heard about it, I got Jen to drive me down so I could welcome them home. And so I could see my young boys… Monster and William… head out for their first trip to the track.

Kind of a scruffy pic of Parker from last winter.

Parker is 7 years old. He’s been a respectable racehorse. He always tried his little heart out. But just never quite got it all together. Luckily, he’s beautiful (a super flashy chestnut), personable, sound, and has an owner who loves him. So he’s going to have a good future one way or another.

Vegas is his younger brother by a year. He always had a lot more natural talent than Parker. But a lot of bad luck. And he is a big bull of a horse, which always made him tough to rate. He is not so purely beautiful as Parker. He’s just way too big and imposing to be pretty (his nickname at the track was “the police horse”). But he’s just as friendly and cheerful. He has the same owner and thus the same safe fate.

If there is anyone out there who has a perfect farm, and is willing to be a PERFECT owner, let me know. She might, with a police check, and probably regular spying trips, allow one of her darlings to go be a perfectly pampered horse. Of course… I must admit, you’d have to get through me first before getting a look at Parker. I do covet that boy. If I wasn’t off work for months yet and with WAY too many horses here…

The boss came home with the two boys, along with Harri in the truck with the driver. They sedated Monster and William a little bit first. Monster, who is not exactly a bundle of energy on his best days, was quite sleepy looking until he saw the trailer. Then he told everyone that he wasn’t interested in that contraption. William said the same thing. Chaos ensued. Eventually, I couldn’t stand watching (okay there wasn’t much “eventually” about it LOL!) and got involved. We managed to get Monster on with a fair bit of pressure. Once loaded though, Monster discovered a big hay net. Yum!!! He cocked one hind foot and set about finishing that as quickly as possible. But William was not so easily convinced. He eventually kicked the driver right over backwards down a bank. I finally sent them all away. Made them go into the barn and told them not to come out.

William, at two. Playing in the field.

William was a funny foal. He really liked scratches. Not just the normal way that foals like scratches. William would go into a trance and start tipping over. And he never outgrew that. To this day, if William is jittering around, you can reach out and scratch him and he’s completely immobilized by his own bliss. So I essentially clicker trained him onto the trailer. First I took him away a few steps. Scratched him for a minute. Asked him to step forward. “Good boy!!” Many scratches. Asked for another step. “Good boy!” More scratches. He figured it out within a couple of minutes. He never once went backwards at all. We just did a step-scratch-step-scratch routine all the way onto the trailer. Jen timed it and said it took seven minutes from the time I shooed the men away until he was totally loaded on.

Monster as a baby, back when he had energy

I kissed both of their noses (the horses, not the men!) and told them to be good boys. They were my first foals when I started working at the farm. I spent a lot time with those two. Many “wasted” hours scratching them and giving them far too much attention. And there… it all paid off 🙂

Here’s Monster getting his scratches way back when he was little or at least littler. I don’t seem to have any of William from that time.

It ought to be beneath me, but I could not resist telling the guys rather gleefully that it was pretty sad when a one-armed woman (me with my broken elbow in a full splint) could load a horse that three men couldn’t manage 😀 They took it well.

And, since I seem to be in a very self-congratulatory mood today… I had another physio appointment this morning. My therapist was again amazed by how my elbow is doing. From last Thursday to Tuesday, it increased 20 degrees. From Tuesday to today, it opened another 20 degrees. So a total of 40 degrees of improvement in 8 days. She told that is phenomenal and that she has never seen that much improvement in such a short time. Now, mind you, we also determined that I’m getting a bit of soreness right where the fracture occurred. She thinks that it would be best if I didn’t have any more radical improvement for a while. So I told her I’d leave the splint on more for a couple of days to let it rest. I have an appointment on Tuesday morning with the surgeon to have it x-rayed and checked. So we’ll see what he thinks. But in general, the whole arm is feeling VASTLY better.

2 Replies to “Comings and Goings”

  1. I wish there was a video of the looks on the mens faces when you got that horse on the trailer, it was one of those PRICELESS moments.
    The trainer called it “masterful” and Harri somehow managed to take credit for “knowing all along that you could do it”. I also really liked how the men knew better than to put up a fight when you told them to get lost… it was a good day for all and thanks for the help.

    LOVE the baby Monster picture.

  2. Good for you for loading those horses with a gimpy arm!! Parker sounds like a total doll – if it was next May and he needed a home, I might be willing to entertain it. I told the hubby I wouldn’t add to the herd until next spring/summer. *sigh*

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