Posts Tagged With: saddles


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Yesterday, we concentrated on the barns at Keeneland Race Track, the workers washing, walking and prepping their animals. We met owner/trainer Greg Burchell and the type of affection and dedication you see among horses and their humans. Above a beautiful, graceful animal with two hundred years of breeding and pedigree enters the track. Follow along with us and watch through our lens.

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Notice two different types of saddles. The trainer has a conventional saddle, the exerciser behind him, has a light weight, practically bareback saddle. Trainers often ride a different breed of horse while training. They amble onto the track and discuss what expensive, precious horse needs to focus on.

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The exercisers cantor and post around the track until the horse is warmed up.

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The position of the feet is high on the saddle. The rider is positioned as though sitting in a chair.

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Then they get moving.

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Then they get moving a bit faster.

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There is a good bit of camaraderie among the exercisers, but for the most part, it is a solitary task between horse and human.

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Grace on the move. This rider carries a short whip and may be training her charge to the whip, though we watched and didn’t see her use it.

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At times the exercisers work together, imitating a race.

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Of course, what we like to see is those special moments when the horses are hell-bent for leather, but our cameras and our skills at photographing fast moving objects are somewhat limited but I got a few credible moments.

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The trouble is, if you catch the horse just gathering for the next lengthening of those legs, it looks like he is going to land on his bent ankles or toss his rider in some other pictures I took.

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They’re flying.

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We walked and took pictures the length of the track. This is right in front of the grandstand. It was hard to leave, so fun and so beautiful.

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We did though. We ran into Jim Cornes, an animal physical therapist. A much-needed guy on a race track. I asked him how he got interested in healing horses and he said his mother took him to Saratoga Race Track to watch the races. He was young and small and thought he’d like to be a jockey. His mother read all the horror stories about jockey injuries and kept discouraging any thought of it until she began to realize how much money they make. But, then he grew about two feet and the point was moot. He is addicted to the race track atmosphere, the horses the excitement. Can’t beat that if you love your job.

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There is always an equine ambulance near the track, even during everyday exercises and training. It lowers at the back like a moving van.

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Jim and I wandered into the grandstand and looked around. No racing now, so everything is empty.

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A one minute lesson on how it is done.

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People come here to bet the races from all over the country when and watch from these television screens. This is called simulcasting. It is very popular and it would have been nice to mingle with the crowds. Maybe another track someday.

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A beautiful building.

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Like an ivy covered college.

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Two-hundred pound cement jockies carry the colors for the racers for that day so a bettor can identify his horse from the color of his “silks” from the worst, and highest seat in the grandstand.

We had a wonderful time at the track. Very cool!

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Thousand Trails Medina Lake RV Resort, Lakehills, Texas – Day 7

Mary remains at home in California tending to medical issues. She had successful carotid artery surgery on Wednesday, November 14th,  returned home the following day and is in the process of recuperation.

The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails about 40 miles west of San Antonio.

Two days ago I took the Bronco and drove the about 20 miles back to Bandera, Texas. I say back to, because I drove through Bandera on the way to my current parking spot at Thousand Trails with the motorhome, but did not stop.

Bandera calls itself…The Cowboy Capital of the World. You can read about Bandera by clicking this link…

Since I’ll be at Thousand Trails for another about two weeks and all I have to show from there are deer photos, I’m going to stretch out the photos I took in Bandera over three days. For this second day, some photos of downtown Bandera…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

The major intersection of Bandera…

where they still ride horses on Main Street…

where, if you’ve nothing better to do,, you grab your guitar and sing songs for passers-by…

where If you are hungry, you wander into the O.S.T. (Old Spanish Trail) Restaurant that has been there since 1921…

where they have saddles for seats at the no-liquor or beer eating bar…

where they have a Chuck Wagon buffet bar…

where they are still doing a lively business in the mid-afternoon…

and where I enjoyed a great tasting Tex-Mex meal of two chicken Chalupas…

Enjoying Cowboy towns is another joy of the full-time RVing lifestyle!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Texas. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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