This past weekend, my husband and I met my parents at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Virginia to enjoy some time together and place some bets on the Thoroughbred races. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved watching the races and trying to pick the winner. Everyone has their method for picking the “winner.” My Dad selects a name he likes. My husband actually reads the race statistics and workout times to select his bets. I bet on the horse that looks like my OTTB Cigar (bay with a white star)…and then there is my mother.
When she was a youngster, she used to go to one of the local tracks in New Jersey with her Uncle. He would ask her which horse she liked and would put a $2 wager on it to win. She would always pick the grey horse without fail. He would tell her she shouldn’t pick that particular horse. My mother would insist and when asked why she wanted the grey, “Because it is pretty.” What other reason would there be? To this day, she still bets on the grey. In one race there were multiple grey horses with not the best of odds. She placed bets on all of them and even tried a trifecta box. That trifecta box was a $48 bet; a wee bit more than she usually wagers. She was giddy at the thought of winning that bet and that is where the quote of the weekend comes into the picture, “I hope my antiperspirant holds up.” My mother was on the edge of her seat when the bell rang and was standing and screaming as the horses came around the final turn toward the finish line. Unfortunately, one of my bets and another horse ruined her plans of a big payout to supplement her shoe budget. Have no fear, she stuck with her greys and won a few dollars in the later races.
And speaking of antiperspirant, although I liberally applied it before I left the house, I doubt I still smelled spring-time-fresh by the time I was done riding Saturday morning. I managed to get an extra lesson in with Ms. C early in the day. Even early in the morning when the sun is not at its strongest, I was sweating like I was sitting in a sauna. Ugh, mid-Atlantic summers are so humid. The slight breeze was barely enough to stir the leaves on the trees. It definitely wasn’t enough to keep the sweat from raining down into my eyes and onto my glasses. Yes, I am a vision that will never make it into a deodorant commercial…not quite the marketing plan the executives have in mind.
Although the weather was not my favorite, Ike still performed like the stellar fellow he is. We continued schooling him in lengthening his stride at the trot. When we do manage to get some strides in which Ike is really using his whole body, I begin to wonder whether or not I will be able to sit that trot when the time comes. It is a lot bigger than I realized. It might not have the suspension of some of the top warmbloods, but there is enough “oomph” in there for this girl. And can I just say that there is no good way to learn how to sit trot other than getting on a horse and giving it a go. No amount of aerobics or sit ups or yoga is going to teach me how to move with my horse without stiffening or flopping like a fish out of water. Any advice is welcome, as well as any coupons for some more antiperspirant and deodorant.