Rowdy Yearlings

Reno and Albert have been separated from Esmerelda for a few days now. And they are having a grand time being BOYS. Well… Albert is anyway. Reno might possibly be getting a bit tired of Albert’s antics. And the boss is waiting with completely unconcealed impatience for the day in the very near future when he can schedule the vet to come in and perform brain surgery (ie. castration) on both boys (but Albert most particularly).

A few photos of their performance this morning… Albert is the chestnut, Reno is dark bay.

So Long Dot

Dot ambling out after breakfast

Well, we lost our old girl… Queen Dot. She was 24 years old and has had colic off and on for the last couple of days. The vet let her go today.

Dot was crazy. There is no way to soft pedal that. Back in her racehorse days, she had to have her own pet goat. When Dot won a race and went to the test barn afterwards, someone had to make an emergency run for Natasha the goat. Dot would not calm down until that goat was there. She didn’t like flat bed trucks, and would start weaving crazily in her stall when the feed truck pulled up. Loud music bothered her, so radios had to be turned off. She was claustrophobic, so instead of a closed stall door they often just left a stall guard across the doorway.

But for all the craziness, Dot was well-liked by everyone who knew her, and loved quite intensely by her groom. She was kind and very gentle. And she won races. Twelve of them in fact. She was a front runner, and as a handsome grey with a big stride, I’d bet she was glorious to watch. She was quite lovely even in her twenties with her long white tail streaming behind her as she galloped around the pastures with the younger mares.

Dot was claimed in her last race and sent off to be a broodmare. She had at least nine foals, and when she was retired, the breeding farm sold her to her old groom for $1. Corinne brought her to my boss, who had been Dot’s trainer, to retire her. She’s been running with the broodmare band ever since. We let her live out, the way she wanted to do. She’d come in for meals, but we had to leave her stall door open so she could amble up and down the aisles peering in at the other horses (rather smugly, I always suspected), then darting back into her stall to grab another mouthful of feed. She liked to drool feed over my head when she had the chance. And escape out of gates that you just left open for a split second to bring a wheelbarrow through. Once loose, she’d cavort around the courtyard, chortling at the futile human efforts to catch her. Crafty old mare.

It won’t be the same without her.