I was back in Minnesota a week ago and went to visit my father at Canterbury Park. For those who don't know, my dad trains and races horses at tracks across the Midwest. For me, visiting the track is always bitter sweet. I love the horses, the sounds, and the community that makes up the backside. On the other hand, I hate seeing horses bound to stalls unless they are working on the track or going in mindless circles on a hot walker. I hate the drugging, I hate the running of horses younger than 4, and I hate watching people handle horses that have never looked into horse psychology as a way to help train. Still, I go because I love my dad and I want to support him. I have learned to pick my battles. I cleaned his tack room out for Father's Day and left a quote tacked to the wall, "Horses jump higher and run faster out of heart and desire." I wonder if he has seen it yet:-)
Here is an updated picture of Bri. I posted about her back in 2007. She is 15 now, still working for my dad and still dreaming about training horses. She is sitting on "Jessie." There was another addition on the backside...little Cadence. The story is his mom drove up from Nebraska and dumped him at the track and took off. His father works for my dad as an exercise rider. Everyone has been helping to watch him while Eddie rides. It broke my heart to see this nice little boy just abandoned by his mom and left here. Granted people on the backside find ways to pull together and make things work, it is no place for a two year old. They are getting creative and taking turns with babysitting. Someone rigged up a harness to attach to the hot walker and he goes around and around like a swing. I have a picture of Cadence napping on a tack room couch and you get a sense of how little he is. Also, one pic of my dad holding "Ground Candy" before a race...ran 4th.
4 hours ago