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Bathing bad boy rocks at dressage

It was bath time, and not the battle scars of a hard-knocking racing career that bothered him. Arbor Day detested everything associated with a soapy wash up, and on a warm afternoon on the Suffolk Downs backside, he decided enough was enough. He broke free from his groom and dashed from shedrow to shedrow, taking a bunch of harried handlers on a merry chase. He’d hide, then bolt, hop skipping away from the hose and sudsy bucket like a military combatant in a building-to-building skirmish. This is how Heather Hayes met the gelding she didn’t want, but couldn’t resist. Hayes […]

Bubbles floats over cross-country

Bubbles wasn’t supposed to stick. The plan was for the onetime Suffolk Downs racehorse, formerly known as Rub Softly Rube, to be retrained and resold quickly. But when the shrewd horsewoman who bought him began teaching the super cute horse the foundations of dressage and jumping, there was a development she hadn’t planned for. Bubbles turned out to be quite the charmer. And he plied the force of his nuzzling, snuggling personality upon Corinne Ashton’s daughter Rebecca. And pretty soon, the horse Ashton identified as a great sales prospect was one the girl coveted as a pet. “She begged me […]

Rood & Riddle vet offers tips on ex-racehorses

Q: Can you offer any pointers for judging a jog or watching a horse walk in hand?
A: I always tell people to use all of their senses- look and listen. Watch the head for obvious things like a “head-bob”. “Down on the sound” is a phrase many people use. A horse’s head is extremely heavy. When they are sore on one limb or another, they attempt to take this weight off of the affected limb to ease the load.