Profiles in Horses – Achilles: No Weakness Here!

Achilles was born on the farm where I live very near to my human’s birthday the year I came to live here. His dam is Tessa a mixed-breed horse who is a real black beauty with a white star. His sire is a HUGE American Warmblood stallion known who is also the sire of Athena, Rocko and Aiden. Their sire’s dam, Song, also lives at the farm where I live. American Warmblood’s names start with the same letter as their sire. Rocko’s full name is Alacazam’s Rockin Whiz, so his too is an A name.

Achilles started out being a dark almost black color like his dam but then became almost a grey color before becoming once again a dark color like his dam. He has one blue eye that most likely came from Tessa’s lines, but neither his dam or sire have any blue eyes. He also has lots of “chrome” or white markings on his body. Achilles got his sire and damsire’s height as he is one big boy.

But, as is often the case, he is a gentle giant. Achilles is rather like a big puppy dog to horse and human alike. Thankfully, he does understand horse behavior, so he might follow you around, but he won’t get in your face. With humans, he is very easy going, which is good I hear because he is so big. Like any of us, he can have his moments where he doesn’t want to do something a human is asking and might get a little naughty, but still he is one of the best of us in getting along.

He is in training under saddle and great things are expected of him. I could really see him doing well in the dressage ring, as he’s so flashy the judges are sure to have their eye on him. It remains to be seen if he will take to the dressage ring or jumping or eventing or maybe something completely different. One thing is for certain though, Achilles has no weaknesses and is a fantastic horse who will go the extra mile to please.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Achilles. He’s one of the buddies I hang with during the “non-hay” months of the year in the big field. You can see more pictures of him at my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/blueblueseaottb) in the other horses folder.

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Mt Hope Horse Rescue 2012 FALL BULB FUNDRAISER!

Great place that needs help!

Pudge

Dear friends:

Fall is nearly here and it is time to start thinking about planting your fall bulbs! Your order is greatly appreciated and all proceeds earned by my barn through your support will help to support Mt Hope Horse Rescue! The horses need your support now more than ever as we will be closing our doors on November 1st. So please share with your family and friends so that we can help the barn babees!

Though we still plan on closing on November 1st, until that time we still have bills that need paid and to care for the remaining horses until they find homes.

The fundraiser will start on Mon. Sept 17th and run through Oct. 15th. Our goal is to make at least $2000!! We made $1500 last year. We should be able to double that this year if everyone who has a Facebook/MySpace/Blog, etc posts this…

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Feeding a Superstar Equine: Whey Better than It Looks!

Most of you know that I am a special horse. In 2006, I was afflicted with a horrible string of colic episodes, lost a bunch of weight and was finally diagnosed as having a malabsorption disorder. My disorder is similar to what a human with Crohn’s might experience. I was only supposed to live 1-2 years, but here I am in 2012, alive and well! The big key to keeping me alive and happy has been the help of Dr. Stratton-Phelps of All Creatures in California . She is a very talented and wise nutritional vet. Through her guidance, we have created a diet that keeps me going. I wanted to let you know a little more about all the ingredients that go into my special diet.

First up is whey! It truly is way better than it looks and sounds! Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. After the milk has been curdled and strained, there is a liquid that is leftover. That can then be processed into a powder that is especially popular with bodybuilders, as it is high in protein. Sounds yummy, right?! No, I didn’t think so either and didn’t like the look of it on my food when I first started on my new diet. In fact, I pretty much said “No Whey!” When my food kept coming with it though, eventually I had no choice. Now, I eat my food right up, unless I’m not feeling well. I’ve even come to rather like the mix of the ingredients, including the whey.

Why whey? Well, for the same reason the bodybuilders love it–all that protein. A side effect of my disorder is that I will have periods where my protein levels can become low. That can lead to weight loss as my body tries to find other protein sources, usually muscle mass! I need extra and easy-to-digest sources of protein, and whey is the answer.

So it may not look appetizing, may smell a little funny and have a rather disgusting origin, but I am keeping whey as part of my diet!Image

Profiles in Horses: Trooper

ImageThis week’s horse is Trooper! Trooper is an Arab horse who is around twenty years of age. We don’t know as much about Trooper as we do about horses like Allez Tam and I. While Arab’s lineage can be traced back even farther than Thoroughbreds (!), Trooper came to his current owner without all the backstory. He certainly is a handsome grey these days with the regal Arab look and quick mind.

When Trooper came to his current owner, he was a chestnut like me. Looking at him now, that is so very hard to believe. He is truly a roan horse. I would have liked to have seen Trooper in all his chestnut glory. Nowadays, he’s mostly grey with a few flecks of red.

Trooper is an excellent riding horse, but requires a rider who can be in charge and who is unafraid of moving out. Like more hot-blooded horses, Trooper likes to go fast. He also is pretty patient, too, as he will allow the farm dogs to ride on his back! I’m not sure I’d ever want a dog on my back, but Trooper will let them up with or without a human rider and take them around as well.

Trooper loves his treats, and for him, he’s not too discriminating. He will eat mints, carrots, apples and anything sweet and yummy. He’s a smart guy, too, because Trooper knows some tricks. His favorite, and the one that always gets him treats, is his bow. Trooper will cross one front leg over the other and lower his head. You know he gets a ton of treats for that one! I’ve seen him do it to an unsuspecting human in the field, and it’s always a hit.

Trooper gets along with most everyone. I’ve only ever seen Grafton have a problem with him. Once, Grafton, Trooper and I were all in a paddock together. Grafton just would not leave poor Trooper alone. He often chased after Trooper and ripped up his blanket. I tried to be friends with Trooper, but Grafton would always chase us apart. Out in the field with all the geldings, there’s enough space and buddies that Grafton doesn’t go after him.

Trooper is truly a gentleman and a dashing horse! I think he’s a great friend to horses, humans, and I guess dogs, too!

 

Profiles in Horses : Meet Allez Tam

Hello, friends! It has been far too long since I put hoof to paper. I wanted to start a new series on my blog. Each week I will share a profile of a horse at the barn. I want to let you know more details about who lives at my barn. Maybe one day you’ll get to meet them, too, if you come meet me. I figured we should do ladies first, since I am a southern gentlman, so I’m starting with my dear friend, Allez Tam.

Allez Tam is a registered Thoroughbred just like me! She was born in Pennsylvania, where so many of my dear human friends live. Her birthday is April 7, 1993, so she is six years older than me. She is by Every Intent and out of Bold Tam Tam (by Lemigrant). Some of the famous names she features in her pedigree are Pleasant Colony, The Minstrel, Bold Ruler and Ribot, just to name a few! She gets asked quite often by those how know racehorses if she has Tim Tam, but she does not. Around the barn she is typically called “Allez”.

She started her racing career on October 19, 1997 in a maiden special weight at Mountaineer in West Virginia. She finished seventh that day. Although she would go on to race 32 times over her four year career and finish some game seconds and thirds, Allez would never break her maiden. She likely would have broke her maiden on June 28, 2000 in a maiden claiming at Penn National. Unfortunately, she would break bones in her leg that day, but showing her Thoroughbred heart and soul, she held on for third. She finished her career with six seconds and five thirds for total earnings of $14,915. Amazingly, she finished her career racing for the same couple who bred her: Mr. & Mrs. Edward L. Springer.

The break in her leg meant her racing career was finished. She went on to become a broodmare, first for Thoroughbreds. We don’t know for certain how many babies she had. Eventually, she was purchased by the owners of the farm I live at. They used her as a broodmare for Paints and Warmbloods. She had several babies. I only met two of them: Robin’s Painted Night AKA Colt (whose sire is Buddy who also lives on the farm) and Athena, who was her last baby, five years ago. Nowadays, Allez is used sometimes for beginnger riders. She still enjoys being first when on a ride. My human rode her on a trail ride one day. They were at the rear of the line, but once everyone broke into a nice trot, Allez took off at a canter for the lead! 🙂

Allez’s only real bad habit is that she cribs like me. It can make her lose weight, as she’ll sometimes spend more time cribbing than grazing. She loves peppermints, a friendly voice and love pats. She’s a beautiful dark bay/brown who usually looks more black than bay.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know one of the horses where I live a little more. 🙂

Junebugred – KY Derby Contender

In the September 2010 Keeneland yearling sale, a chestnut colt went through the ring and sold for a mere $20,000 dollars. While most of us would not consider $20,000 a small amount of cash, consider that Seattle Slew sold as a yearling for $17,500 in 1975. With inflation, that sum would be considerable more than $20,00.

Junebugred was that chestnut colt who went through Keeneland ring in 2010. While it is way too early to compare any of the current three year olds to the great Seattle Slew, it’s important to note that Seattle Slew was considered a bargain at that price in 1975.  With over $95,000 in earnings already, Junebugred can already be considered a bargain for that $20,000. On top of that, he is a legitimate contender to make the gate on the first Saturday in May.

Checking, Junebugred’s pedigree, reveals a dosage index of 1.91 with a distribution squarely in the center – the classic distance – the Triple Crown races. He is by CORINTHIAN (Pulpit) out of the Dixieland Band mare, DIXIE MELODY. Corinthian ran 12 times, winning 6 and finishing out of the money only 3 times. Dixie Melody ran 7 times herself, winning twice. Both parents won ran in stakes company with Corinthian winning and Dixie Melody placing. Throughout his pedigree you will see the likes of such classic winners as: Northern Dancer, Easy Goer, AP Indy, Seattle Slew, Alydar and Secretariat.

Junebugred himself has raced three times so far in his career. His first out as a two year old he finished a non-threatening third. He raced again as a two year old. This time he broke his maiden in a battle with a determined foe from the 1/8th pole, finishing a length ahead. In January of 2012, he made his three year old bow, this time in stakes company in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Again, the colt faced setbacks, but was determined not to cede the lead once he had it, winning by a neck. In winning the Smarty Jones Stakes, Junebugred proved that he could hold his own in stakes company, beating the talented filly On Fire Baby and the well thought of Optimizer. More importantly, his handling of whatever was thrown at him – issues at the start, traffic issues and a determined foe – that he had the toughness to handle it all.

Going against Junebugred may be his breeding cross. Pulpit and his sons crossed with Dixieland Band mares has not been particularly successful. True Nicks only rates this cross as a C+. Cause for additional concern with his chances on Derby day is his late birthday. Junebugred was foaled on May 23. Such late born foals are not even actually three for the running of the Kentucky Derby. Often that can make a huge difference.

Should Junebugred stay healthy and make it to the gate for the Kentucky Derby, he may have the deck stacked against him on age and breeding, but I wouldn’t count him out of being a serious contender if he does make it in.

Fight to the finish and keep in the money!

Review of My Racing Heart

“Vivid memoir . . .Mooney is an adventurer at heart, and she escorts us with an unscrupulous, generous eye through her romance with the track.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

Published in 2002, Mooney’s tale of life, family and racehorses is certainly not new, but if it’s one you missed, it’s well worth picking up a copy and reading it. Mooney’s pace and method of weaving together her personal story, her grandmother’s history and life on the track are perfectly done to capture the reader’s attention and draw them in for a run to the wire.

Mooney begins by drawing us into her beloved grandmother’s world when the track was considered no place for a lady. The pull of the track is too much for her grandmother, and she ignores tradition, expecially when she travelled to watch the first Triple Crown contender she fell for – Regret – the champion chestnut filly who would storm home to be the first girl to win the roses. That determination and spunk were passed on to Mooney along with a love for the track.

Mooney recalls splendid days with her grandmother where they two of them would study the racing forms and make their picks for the coming KY Derby trail. She recalls with fondness and anguish her backing of my great-grandsire, Alydar, as he came in second all three times in the Triple Crown to Affirmed.

Not only is this a book about racing, it’s history and color, but it is also a story about family and bonding. It shows what racing can be at it’s best – a microcosm of our triumphs, failures and finest moments. I rate this book a solid 5 stars on my 1-5 scale for books. If you have not read this fine book, I encourage you to pick up a copy.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Racing-Heart-Passionate-Thoroughbreds/dp/0060198532

Nan Mooney’s blogsite:

http://nanmooney.blogspot.com/

That is all from Blue Blue Sea who is breaking free and heading for home!

Russian Greek – KY Derby Contender

Russian Greek is a beautful nearly black three year old colt by Giant’s Causeway out of the Grindstone mare Sand Dollar. Russian Greek sports a pedigree that includes Kentucky Derby winners: Secretariat, Grindstone, Unbridled, Northern Dancer, Swaps and Chateaugay. In addition, his pedigree also includes such horses as Alydar, Storm Cat and the great filly Mariah’s Storm.

Such a pedigree clearly shows that Russian Greek has the kind of classic breeding needed to win on the first Saturday in May. His dosage index sits at a solid 1.77, indicating he should have the stamina plus turn of foot needed to handle the classic distance.

On top of pedigree and dosage index, actual race record can show clues to potential for Kentucky Derby success. Russian Greek has run four times and only lost one of those efforts. He won his first race as a two year old, which was run on dirt. As the Kentucky Derby is run on a dirt track, it can be instructive to see if a horse can handle the surface. In that first race, Russian Greek easily handled the surface winning by five lengths. His next race proved to be his only lose. He came in fifth that day and never was any threat. It is important to note that his only loss came at six furlongs, a sprint. The Kentucky Derby is considered a route race. His next two races were route races and he won both, both were also Stakes races. His style of winning those two races also can point to KY Derby success. He proved in those races to be a deep closer with a big late kick to come up with the win. In the California Derby, his last race out, he was described as having a “bold rally” to win.

Potentially working against Russian Greek is that he is based in California. Historically, California horses do not fare well when they travel to Kentucky. Additionally, if most of his races continue to be on synthetic surfaces, there will be the question as to how he will handle dirt, in particular the Churchill surface, though he has logged one win on dirt.

Providing he can stay healthy and continue to run well, I believe we will likely be seeing him in Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. I will be interested to see what he does in his next planned race, the El Camino Real Derby.

Keep running toward the finish line my friends!

Blue Blue Sea

Kentucky Derby 2012

The Kentucky Derby may seem like a long ways off, but before you know the first Saturday in May will be here, and coz you humans like to sip one too many mint juleps, it will be too late to make any sense of who’s who in the Kentucky Derby field. 🙂

That’s why it’s wise to take a moment now to start scouting out potential Kentucky Derby horses. Then you can watch as the prep races are run and narrow it down, have your pick or several picks, make your bets early on Derby day and drink all those mint juleps. You’ll either be celebrating with another or drinkin another to forget how much you lost on the ponies. Why do you call us ponies? You know we’re horses right?

Anyhow, I’ll be taking some time in the weeks ahead to feature a horse who might be a Kentucky Derby contender. I try to stay away from the big names this early out, so don’t expect me to be blogging about Hansen or Union Rags and the like, not for now at least. Everyone will be watching them right up until Derby day should they make it that far.

So get ready to hear who an OTTB (that’s off-track Thoroughbred) sees as potential candidates that might not be the big names when I talk about them. My first one coming up will be Russian Greek, a horse that’s rather intriguing to me.

From in the stable,

Blue Blue Sea

Happy Birthday to Me!

Welcome friends to my blog – Stable Thoughts. I will post here short blogs about whatever I feel like – things I observe in the horse world, human world or other animal world or all of the above.

I am starting this blog on my birthday and what a birthday it was. My human visited with a special cake made just for me. I’d like to say that I chomped it down and was very happy with all the wonderful cards and mints sent to me by my friends. Well, I was very happy with those mints and ate several, thank you all! But what I wanted most of all was to get outside and stretch my legs a bit and play in all that snow! Knowing that was what I most wanted, my human let me out without too much fuss.

Once I was outside, I was a bit dissapointed to find that the snow had melted and refroze into ice, not so much fun to run and roll in, but it still felt good to be outside.

I am now not only officially 13, but have actually turned 13. On birthdays, I tend to find myself looking back and forward. Does that make sense? Last year, one of my little brothers got to leave Puerto Rico where our dam is and come to the United States. I wish our dam could come back home, too. I am sure she misses the fine KY fields where she lived until the year I was born. And then I think of my sire, Sea Hero, who has become the oldest living KY Derby winner. He’s far away in Turkey, not the kind you humans eat, but a country I’m told. I know he must miss those VA fields where he took his first wobbly steps. I miss KY myself. Paris is such a wonderful place for a young foal to grow up. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling since that day 13 years ago when I stepped into the world. I’ve been to Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusettes, West Virigina and now Maryland.

As I look forward to another year, I am thankful for all my equine friends, the wonderful new human friends I’ve met through the Internet, the humans who come to visit me and the human who I call my own. I hope to live at least another 13 years knowing such wonderful individuals.

Be kind,

Blue Blue Sea

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