Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A day at the races

With G here this past weekend, horse time came in the form of a day at the track this past Monday. Monday was a holiday, and when we woke up in the morning the weather was perfect for a day out. Off we went on a 2.5 hour drive to Northlands Park. (I know, it sounds like we must be super devoted race fans, but G had to fly out the following morning and wanted to be in the general area anyways)
I know some people won't support racing due to the many potential welfare issues. I'm a bit on the fence. The horses we see at the track look, without exception, incredibly well cared for. More so than the good majority of "normal" horses. I see a lot of "city" families out with their kids and think its a great way to introduce them to horses. The outriders and even some of the TB grooms are great about bringing the horses up to the fence to say hi to the kids. The track had free balloons, cotton candy and facepainting as well, and the feel was definitely a family picnic afternoon rather than the stereotyped seedy gambling den. I just love thoroughbreds as a breed and there is a whole lot of eye candy at the track! I'm not sure what the statistics are in this area as far as injuries or where the horses go when they're done at the track. There are many people training them for hunters or eventers or even western games horses, so I'd like to think many go on to good homes. Long term planning certainly includes us being one or more of those homes :)
Still torn whether I'm heading to the coast or not. If we bought acreage here I'd be awfully content and we'd certainly get a lot more for our $. The horses would be on site with us which would give me so much time to ride! But home on the coast is good too, with riding time and opportunities available there as well.
Mostly I am frustrated that trainer girl and my horses are 1.5 hours away and there doesn't seem to be anything suitable closer. This is a small city, but most of the horse community is into reining or cowhorse events and I'm finding it to be pretty private - there doesn't seem to be a real boarding or lesson barn of any type.
Coming from an isolated community I can be pretty self sufficient if I have to be and I do like that there are lessons and clinics out there within a couple of hours drive. That should be doable every week or two. We won't be getting anywhere fast, but we'll get there.

Number seven wins us some $ for a nice dinner out:

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