From Dressage to race horses!

Thursday. I had an easy day at the barn. I warmed Hindu up then Tina had a little ride on her. She was very good and went really nicely for Tina. It was good to see her work with someone else as this was the first time I had seen anyone else ride her.

Kyra was also a good girl. I gave her her normal work out. Practising my changes and canter pirouettes. Tina watched and gave me some help which was also useful. Her owner then also did 20 mins on her, which I helped with.

Friday was my first day down at the track with Roger. The alarm went off at 4am and we left at 4.45. I drove the horse trailer to Paceson for Roger as he wanted to leave it there for travelling his horses.

The first thing we needed to do was go round the barn, checking all the horses legs. Then the first set went out. I wasn’t riding in this one. I didn’t mind this at all as it was still dark and pretty misty at this point which meant visibility was almost nothing.

The racing barn

I had my first horse to ride in the second set. Her name was kissable. She is one of Rogers better horses but she had just been on holiday and was only just coming back into work. I trotted her for a mile (one circuit of the track) the took her on an easy gallop for half a mile. Just coming back into work she was a little fresh and really thought she should be doing more than this. Especially when faster horses came past.

In the third set I took out Miss Cato. This time we went out onto the turf track. She is also one of Rogers better horses, but also coming back from holiday. She did a mile and a half trot and half a mile of easy galloping. She was really nice. Fortunately it was until I got back that Roger told me she was worth well over $1,000000.

The forth set was my hardest workout. I took Chakonni a 2yo that had only raced a couple of times out to the turf again. She went once round in trot. Then galloped twice round. By this time the burn in my shoulders and calf muscles was pretty intense. I consider myself to be a pretty fit rider but this is a whole different ball game. With my stirrups much shorter than I’d go xc in and in a racing saddle, I was using totally different muscles to normal and these horses are strong!!!

Miss Cato








My last horse at the track was a baby that had only just arrived in. This one was only walking and jogging around the barn. She was a very sweet chestnut filly that was just rising two.

Chuck with Perfect Shirl









Having survived my morning at the track I returned to Tina’s barn to work Hindu. She then had her first pair of fronts on. Which as with everything else, she was perfect for.

My last horse of the day was kyra. I gave Dana a little lesson on her. Before giving her a bit of a work out myself. Its now 10pm and I’m going back to the track with Roger in the morning as he’s a couple of riders down. Not looking forward to that 4am alarm!!!

Saturday. 4am was definitely harder on the second morning and my muscles were pretty sore. Thankfully I had a good soak in the hot tub last night which I’m sure helped.

My first horse today was Miss Cato. She trotted the first mile then galloped 5/8 of a mile on the all weather surface. She was definitely ready to start doing more now, after her holiday. She was a little bouncy walking back after her work.

I took Kissable out on the third set. I did exactly the same with her as Miss Cato. I felt better on her today and had the confidence to let her flow a little more. If I thought Miss Cato was bouncy on the way back Kissable had a few really good moves that she tried on.

For the fourth set I rode the baby (Sidneys Spirit) again. Having walked and jogged her in the lines, I took her out around the barns and lake. Then into a paddock for a trot and canter. She’s a real confident chestnut filly and although she was a little bouncy in the canter, I really enjoyed working her. Then Chuck Fipke arrived. He owns the horse that Roger won the Breeders Cup with last year (Perfect Shirl). I met him for the first time at the Olympics. He also owns Hindu. We went up to the track for him to watch Perfect Shirl work and I filled him in on Hindu’s progress. Before heading back to the barn for a quick beer.

I made it to Tina’s barn just before 1pm. Just in time to ride Kyra. Tina gave me some help with her wile her owner watched. The body was feeling a little battered by this time. Only one thing could help me now. Food and a margarita!

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