Friday, July 15, 2016

Blessi on Emerald Downs Race Track

Each year, Emerald Downs Race Track sponsors a Parade of Breeds.  My Icelandic instructor Svanny rode Blessi twice at this event.

Blessi must have been on a competition track before.  He was quite calm in the warm up area (which was a parking lot) and he was not at all bothered by the crowds, loudspeaker, track equipment, or thoroughbreds barreling out of the start up gate right in front of us.  When Blessi got on the track the first year at the Parade of Breeds, he wanted to run all out.  Svanny did some half halts and he kept in gait.  The second year, Blessi knew that he was only suppose to tolt and was not so wound up.

Both years, the Icelandics were one of the few breeds that could be ridden on the track--as opposed to being led  And they were the only breed ridden in a snaffle bit.  One rider rode her Arab in an 8 inch shank bit and used it to control the horse.  The owner of an Andalusian (I think) asked if the Icelandic riders would go down the track with her so her horse had some "friends."
Blessi say his first train at Emerald Downs.  The train ran in the distance but you could see it and hear from the parking lot.  He was in the cross ties and got a bit antsy--moving his butt around but not pulling on the lead line.  I untied him and started walking him around the parking lot and he was fine.  Blessi knew that if that horse-eating train came after us he was faster than I was and it would eat me first.

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