I was fishing with my son at a farm lake. They have some beautiful acres, and best of all a 3/8ths training track. It is well-groomed, and sits back in a very quiet area. I was thinking that if I were a horse, that it would be a welcome place to vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the track.
There is a pool for horses to swim and the training track is harrowed three time before training, and twice after training begins. It has the same composition of a local small track in Ohio, and the runners that stable there race in that state. The small oval is manicured, and sealed when rain comes rolling through. It is just like being at the track, but without the hassle.
My first thought was 3/8ths wasn’t enough, but it gives plenty of room to get in some needed pounding before heading off to the track. Nobody times the works, and the main focus is swimming a horse into shape, and allowing them to become a horse again by grazing and being in a pasture with three others. Some stay in their stalls, and others are on a walking machine under a tall grove of trees. It is a peaceful place, and it caters to the same folks who have secured stalls for 30-years. A time for a horse to be a horse, and just let their hair down.
I used to swim my horses, as sometimes they would develop an ailment, or just be plain sore. It helps keep their cardio in shape, and it allows the feet to heal. If it is a tendon, it can be done up after plenty of time in the water. I have read about the bigger outfits as of late, and the wonderful facilities they use to train. I feel it is just as important for a horse’s mental outlook, as it is for his fitness. For the runners on the track, they are never turned off. There is sound, action, and constant movement. After work time here, the runners hear feed buckets and water being served. Occasionally, the vet stops by and treats a horse, or looks over an ailment. But overall, it is “horse camp” and they are to become what they are again. Just some time down to fix what ails, and get back to bucolic settings of a time long ago. The facility is kept clean and tidy, and the track is safe. The swimming pool works wonders, and the two person staff is knowledgeable.
Yesterday, a horse entered directly off of the farm, and the trainer kept it quiet. He made the 20-mile van trip, and came back to the farm after the races. He won his low level claiming race, and feels this summer oasis can bring a horse back to soundness for the fall and beyond. Liken it to Keeneland on a much smaller scale, or Ocala. There are quite a few runners that come from serene settings. These trainers are not as hidden, and their names can be found doing well. If you have any doubts, check out trainers Eric Reed and Tom Drury. Just watch their efforts, and how they ready their charges. I love the way they train, and if you pay attention, you might just cash a ticket or two…
Best of luck !