Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday afternoon at the track

In the afternoon, we drove out to the race track again. Ali and his son Isaka had brought the mares and the three of us (Anette, Sofia and I) came by car. Nice deal, if you don't enjoy riding or if you want to wear something other than riding jeans for a while...

Our mission was let Sahara train endurance again. The first time we did it, about a week ago, we shocked the entire racing community. Some watched with little more than indifference when she galloped her two first rounds, but when she began her third, everything grew silent. One by one, the men stopped in their conversation and everybody's eyes were on the mare that was doing the impossible: running a third lap! Now as you've figured out by now, I love surprised, but the surprise that reigned and the silence that followed was more than I had anticipated before! People just stared as Sahara finished off at full speed. And I was satisfied because she had given her all and was thoroughly tired, something Arwen never is...

Chinada was not there this time, as he had gone to Kieby in Nigeria for their two week races. Ali found me someone else however who dared to let Sahara continue her three lap training, and although he was slightly easy on her and had go back and let her run a forth lap, he was just as thrilled about riding Sahara as Chinada was after he had ridden Arwen for the first time.

It's a funny thing with horses and jockeys. And owners as well, I would say! You fall in love with your first horse, and after that, few horses will ever stand out like the first one. Although he has much faith in Sahara's potential, Chinada will never be able to appreciate this second mare as much as the first one. The other jockey however was so impressed with her that he wouldn't stop talking about it, but then again, he has never ridden Arwen!

My fiends however are in love with Sahara, because she's such a sweet and comfortable horse to ride, and being "Arwen's shadow", you never have to worry about where she's going or what she will do once she picks up her speed. Arwen is more difficult to handle. She's my horse down to the bone and what I love about her is that there is nothing she won't do for me. There is no "gudu" in the world that she won't squeeze out if she just gets the feeling that I'm in for a gallop... Only problem is that when she's not stimulated enough, she gets kind of cranky and will often initiate acceleration even when it hasn't been called for. Unless you LOVE galloping, such a mare will not make it to the favorites with the any new rider, and neither Anette nor Sofia are comfortable galloping amongst a million bushes and trees.

Anyway, we had a very nice afternoon. Arwen power-walked around the track and behaved immensely well until she realized that she was to be taken home without having stretched her legs... Needless to say, Ali was pretty tired when he finally arrived half an hour later... As for the girls, they monitored Sahara's three laps and were pleased with the results!

Now believe it or not, while the little jockey rode off with Sahara for her forth lap, I ended up taking care of his horse. Yuk, I don't like mixed colors! This poor fellow had been painted with white dots all over his brown coat...


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