Yesterday we had a meeting out at the fat farm with some very nice people – so not only did I get to go to one of my favorite places, but I got to leave work to do it! Not that I don’t love my job, or have loads of things to do, but…. well, it was Wednesday. Hump Day. Whatever you want to call it, it’s usually miserable and I usually get out of here and it’s dark already, which does a number on my mood.
Not only did I escape during daylight, but Allie is in town so I got to hang out with her and play with the horses for a while, which always makes me crazy-happy.
We started with trying to get some video clips of Cecil. Now that he’s better and getting rounder by the day, we need some more material to convince people of his awesomeness. Not that he’s not awesome all on his own:
I stumbled onto this ad for his sire the other day, and looky there, Cecil is his leading money earning offspring, and look how AWESOME he looks running! I’ve gotten used to seeing the fat, fuzzy, out of shape version, so I kept going back and glancing at this photo and giggling my fool head off.
I’ve known all about Cecil’s record since he arrived, but sometimes it’s fun to get a reminder of how awesome he was. Is.
We videoed him trotting around, and he actually looked pretty good – all the horses are just a little touchy right now, they are kept barefoot and the ground is rutted and frozen, with odd patches of ice here and there (some you can’t see until you slip on them), so my expectations weren’t too high. But he seemed pretty happy trotting around. When we were able to get him to trot, anyway – he wasn’t real concerned with our whirling leadropes and clucks of encouragement, instead focusing on a couple piles of hay that were conveniently located in the ring.
When we tacked him up, we found he has expanded a little bit. The girth I use on him fits, but it took significantly more effort than normal to get on the first hole on each side (I say “normal” but I’ve only been on him two or three times, heh).
With the wind whipping, some power saws sawing in the background, and intensely cold weather, we turned the camera back on to illustrate his excellent standing-at-the-mounting-block skills and his politeness. He rides green (steering is basic, etc), and at first glance he seems like a horse that is “up” – he holds his head fairly high and has narrow set ears that are almost always pricked at attention. But the reality is he doesn’t seem worried about anything. Laundry flapping in the wind? No problem. Sudden bursts of noise from the tool shed? Eh, whatever. That crazy thing on your back thumping and kicking and clucking? Best ignored.
While I was able to get him trotting pretty easily, the canter was another story. We went around a few times at a power trot that defies description – Allie laughing her butt off and me losing my stirrups and collapsing in giggles. At one point I thought I might even fall, just because I couldn’t stop laughing, but if you say “whoa” Cecil understands that well enough, even on a totally loose rein.
The whole time I had this narrator talking in my head (in a deep, dramatic male movie-preview voice):
“Meet “It’s a Monster”….. 6 years of Thoroughbred Racing…. 27 Starts… 6 Stakes Races…. 3 Stakes WINS… 12 total wins… Once ridden by Pat Day… and now… this crazy girl can’t even get him to canter.”
I admit it gives me a bit of a dorky thrill to sit on a horse Pat Day sat on (in the Hirsch Jacob Stakes, 2002).
In any case, he’s a very good horse and I enjoy him a lot. Can’t wait for someone else to enjoy him! 🙂
After that we pestered Leo a little bit – I hopped up bareback with a halter and two lead ropes, and rode him around the turnout area while his buddies all ran around and bucked and played. He’s such a good boy it’s ridiculous. He’s also picking up weight around his middle and starting to look much nicer. 🙂 He was so tolerant of me up there, even when the other horses were running up his butt and being obnixious. When we were done, he stood for a few minutes, but let me know he wanted to go play by throwing in a very polite, tiny little buck as the other horses ran by him. Then he stood there and waited for me to get off. He makes me want to just sit on him and hug him ALL the time. I wish I could bring him to work with me. Some photos and maybe video of that… coming soon 🙂