Foul weather is fine
The last of the spring calves have been born, we’ve had about two inches of rain lately here in the San Joaquin Valley. If you’re paying attention to the news, you’ll know that’s a big deal for us. We’re glad to see it, even if it’s hard on the hillsides.
Good news for Tiz Ladys Legs
After her exciting win at Del Mar last November, we retired Tiz Ladys Legs and sent her to Kentucky a few weeks ago. When she arrived at Winter Quarter Farm, they called us to say we needed to breed her immediately. “She’s ready,” they said. We were shocked because it usually takes longer two months or more!
Her readiness also meant scrambling for last-minute paperwork. Julia scanned everything and sent it so Tiz Ladys Legs could be bred right away. We should know any day now if she’s expecting.
I’m just about to bring in all the two year olds—all four girls. When I go out to catch them in the field, they run over to me. I broke them so they know me. Plus I give them carrots. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.
We broke them last year and turned them out to get stronger. They’re so big now! Two of them I bought at the November weanling sale, and they were just little runts. I thought at the time, “They better grow or I’m going to look really stupid,” but now they’re big!
It’s always more of a gamble buying weanlings because you don’t know what they’re going to do. On the other hand, the chances of them not growing are low!
Now we’re starting to get them ready to go to the racetrack. Marco—our exercise rider extraordinaire—will be coming here regularly to get them going and give them confidence. I’m still deciding which racetrack they’ll go to, but we have a while to firm that up.
A different kind of riding
I just got a new trials bike. If you haven’t heard of it, trials is a low and slow kind of riding on a course. Ballet on a bike, they call it. It’s a lot more like dressage than racing. I did it as a kid and always wanted to do it again. It has nagged at me that I could have been better.
A few years back I signed up for a full-day lesson, but the instructor pawned me off on his son. Instead of the basics, this kid had me jumping rocks on the first day. That was too much at once.
Earlier this month, we took a weekend and drove up north to Concord to pick up the bike. Most of them are made in Spain by companies that can’t stay in business, so they’re pretty hard to come by. Plus they’re not that popular in the US, but the sport is huge in Spain.
It’s all about balance—slow as you can go—but graceful as you move over rocks and obstacles. Check out Adam Raga on YouTube. He’s incredible:
I’m nowhere near that level, but I want to keep at it. My plan is to ride in the arena so if I hit the deck, the ground is soft. I need to do slow work and get confident, just like when a kid learns to ride a bike. It’s like riding a horse.
So that’s the news from our farm lately. Lots of riding going on!