If you have copious amounts of spare time, you can spend all of it at Retired Racehorse Training watching videos of Solidify, Four X The Trouble, Brazilian Wedding, and High Level, and drooling over them and possibly making new, brilliant plans to visit your local racehorse rehoming affiliate as soon as possible. It’s simple, you’ll just have some friends over, bribe them with pizza to help you build a new paddock and add a new stall on to the end of the barn, and bingo, room for another horse. You’re welcome.
I especially enjoyed the latest videos from Solidify and Four X The Trouble’s trainers. Both are coming along nicely, but both have picked different things to be sticky about. Solidify is concerned that no one is going to hold his nose up for him. Four X The Trouble is concerned that someone is sitting on him and therefore his hind legs are paralyzed and cannot move. They’re both common problems for OTTBs, because exercise riders A) hold the horse’s nose up for them and B) don’t sit down on them at the canter (unless they are unlucky and lose their stirrup leather somewhere in the homestretch. Oh hi.).
Solidify is especially impressive in this video, taken with Tiffany Catledge’s working student in the saddle and inside a creaking, groaning indoor arena being rocked by a rather cyclone-ish sounding gale. Solidify is much more concerned by the loops in the rein than by the sounds of impending doom raining down upon the party. He is happy to move with a little spring from his hind end, but he is still questioning the student’s motives in asking him to move into the void and find the bit himself.
Four X The Trouble winnows his way back into the first place in my affections by reminding me of my heart-horse, Final Call, in this video. “Canter!” “Shan’t!” “Canter!” “Shan’t!” “Canter!” “Fine but I’m sticking my head up in the air!” (Please note, for all subtitling purposes, Four X The Trouble has a British accent sort of like David Mitchell.) He is happy enough to move forward but oh! His poor BACK! He’s being SAT UPON! This is UNPRECEDENTED BEHAVIOR.
Come here and let me kiss you on your foolish nose, Tempyst.
As for Brazilian Wedding, I haven’t paid much attention to her, I realize. It’s not because she isn’t lovely, it’s because Erik Dierk has actually put together 35-minute training videos. I think this is simply amazing, and I applaud him, and I encourage everyone to watch them. I just haven’t had time.
I did watch the first five minutes of this one, and was interested by how completely different Dierk’s training strategies were from mine. Well, his strategies for mounting up, which was as far as the first five minutes got. I always preferred to get on in the stall and ride out (ceiling level providing). I thought that was a remarkably good time-saver, thank you racetrack for teaching that to me! Dierk likes to take the horse for a walk and girth them up slowly. He also doesn’t recommend changing stirrup lengths while in the saddle. Clearly he has never experienced the singular joy of fixing your stirrup lengths while you’re standing up your horse at the wire before a mile and a half gallop.
Then again, maybe he has.