This old horsey wives' tale leads to a nightmare

Horse wisdom is passed from generation to generation, and top horsemen tend to be willing to learn from the sages of the ages. Still, sometimes old assumptions are pretty sketchy.

Take this one, for example.

“To establish dominance over a green horse, 
rub some of your own sweat on his nose.”

Raise your hand, if you've heard that one before. (Better yet, leave a comment to let me know where and when you heard it. I'd be willing to bet there's a story behind it.)

OK, this may help a horse to become acquainted with his human handler. And no one would doubt that colt starting takes plenty of human sweat.

But seriously?

Methinks there’s a whole lot more to it than that.
Rearing Horse
By Annalisa Parisi
 Creative Commons Licensing Photos

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Little Red Horse video is cute, but what about racetrack safety?

Have you heard about “Little Red” the racehorse?

Nope, this isn’t Secretariat. But it could be a cartoonish facsimile of the late great Big Red. 

This animated music video by Patty Shukla features a children’s song about a racehorse that walks, trots, runs, and gallops.

Gee, we gotta wonder what happened to cantering. OK, that may be splitting hairs.

Shukla’s video has racked up nearly 19 million views since it was uploaded on May 19, 2010. The YouTube video even boasts a button for a Spanish-language version, titled "Rojito.".


Once you listen to the song, you’ll begin hearing its refrain in your sleep. (Sorry about that.)

But that’s not my beef with this little horse cartoon.

Little Red runs on the racetrack, right under the twin spires (which greatly resemble Louisville’s Churchill Downs). The horse races along with several variations. Little Red runs under tack with a rider. He also runs at liberty, with and without tack.

What? There’s a runaway horse on the track?

And does anybody else have an issue with a horse running counterclockwise on the track, as well in the traditional direction?

Whoa! Someone call Churchill Downs Security – stat!

OK, “Little Red” is simply childlike fun. It’s animated, so the safety of Kentucky horse racing fans is still intact. Still, the equestrian accuracy may be just one mint short of a julep.

Then again, how accurate was Robert the Rose Horse? And he made it to the Winner’s Circle.


Video Screenshot - fair use

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It's Best Friends Day on June 8?

Today is Best Friends Day. (I think I'll go ride my horse.)

Oh, wait. It's also Upsy-Daisy Day. That may be an issue ...

Update: I rode two today, and they were both sweet. 

First, I rode the younger, greener horse. She and I enjoyed a peaceful and quiet jaunt all by ourselves in the indoor arena. We even tried a few leg yields at the walk, which she willingly performed. 

She's a whole lot smarter and nimbler than I tend to expect her to be.

This little gem is doing all she can to bring me back from a rough spell, even though she is naturally quite springy and still a bit unpolished. This sweet half-Arabian mare fairly seems to read my mind and my moods. It's a little daunting, to be frank.

Then I took the older guy outdoors for some trot work. He gave me some nice serpentines, a few laterals, and even a couple of lazy canters.

All in all, it was not a bad day at the barn. Is it ever?


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