Ally and her trainer Carole had a week off from being in my blog spotlight, and when I returned to see them at San Sue Acres this Tuesday, some things had changed. Jackets replaced summer clothes. Horses played in the cool morning air, with steam blowing out of their nostrils. Ally-Gator (Jockey Club name Thewifedoesntknow) had sprouted a little bit of winter fuzz. Her coat is still very fine and soft, but it had a velvety feel and a rich color. She put on more weight and muscle since I saw her last.
Week 12, I noted that she had gained confidence from her schooling session at the horse show. During her ride this week, I saw that same confidence. Things that were once difficult are now easy. New challenges are met with enthusiasm.
Last week, Ally graduated from cross rails to a few verticals. I love their approach in this photo- Carole has a loop in her reins so Ally can stretch her neck and bascule over the jump. But she did not throw everything away- she has her leg on the mare to guide her to the fence.
The chilly morning air gave Ally a spring in her step. She purred excitedly during her ride, and Carole worked with the mare's extra energy instead of fighting against it.
- Click here to read my interview with breeder Meg Buckley, who bred and raised Thewifedoesntknow
- Click here to read my interview with Tim Shaw, who trained "The Wife" at Monmouth Park and retired her as a sound sporthorse prospect
- Click here to read my interview with jockey Shannon Uske, who rode "The Wife" in her last race
- Click here to read Karen Hagy's conformation analysis of the Thewifedoesntknow, and see "before/after" photos of the changes in her musculature and hooves since she retired from the racetrack in June
IN OTHER NEWS
Horses and Hope 2013 Calendar
With the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, my 2012 debut calendar contained over 100 photos of auction horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers all over, it raised nearly $40,000 for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have one calendar's worth of experience to draw upon, the 2013 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive.