Monday, February 16, 2015

Horse racing content on Medium

Starting this year, horse racing content will be posted (or re-posted) on Medium. You can see my profile on Medium here--links to my posts can be found on that page.

I will continue to post on this blog, but the content will mainly be Limerick-related.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Winter at the barn

A friend at the barn took the three photos below. One horse's blanket is hanging off him by a strap and the herd--riled up by the flapping, dragging thing--is running around with this horse. And is Limerick among them?

No, she thinks they're all fools!

The Super Bowl Blizzard of 2015 dumped over 19 inches of snow in the area January 31 through February 2 (thereby becoming the fifth heaviest snowfall in Chicago history). The worst of the blizzard was the night of the 31st but of course, that didn't stop me from going to the barn. My husband went with me and my VW Rabbit got us there safely.

Limerick the afternoon of January 31

Heavy snow drifts at the barn the evening of January 31. This area had just been plowed four hours prior!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

What a difference in the weather between the New Year's Days of 2014 and 2015. Last year we had a blizzard dumping inches of fresh powder onto a thick layer of old snow. This year, however, was sunny and brown.

My husband took the photo of Limerick and me on New Year's Day 2015, and I'm including the photos I took of Lim on New Year's Day 2014 for comparison.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2015!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Limerick lunging - video

I took a short video of Lim while I was lunging her before a ride a couple weeks ago. I think she moves so nicely for her age, and that pleases me to no end.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Feral cat shelter for the barn

The barn has three cats and one--Max--is feral. I try to ensure all the cats are in the tack room/kitchen area each night but due his nature, it is sometimes difficult to bring Max inside. In the past, when left outside at night, Max had access a dry, warm-ish place for shelter. But this area is no longer accessible. So I decided to make him a feral cat shelter.

The shelter will be placed off the floor in the garage, which is accessible by all the cats when they're outside.

1" insulating foam ($15, Walmart) and a polyfleece throw ($3, Walmart). Not pictured: a 20-gallon plastic bin ($7, Home Depot).

I lined the walls of the plastic bin with the foam and secured it with duct tape.

The lid of the plastic bin was also lined in foam.

For extra comfort, I cut the polyfleece throw in half and lined the walls of the bin with one section.

Two layers of foam insulate the floor of the bin.

The second section of the polyfleece throw went on top of the foam-lined floor.

The (near) finished product. It just needs catnip and straw (for extra insulation).

Brewsky gave the bin his seal of approval.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cigar's Memorial: Photos

At 2pm on November 14, an icy breeze denied the warmth of the sunlight that slipped by the clouds drifting over the Bluegrass. This same cold breeze wove through the columns of the Hall of Champions pavilion and nipped the cheeks of the people gathered inside. But despite the chill, at that moment the love for a great horse made the pavilion the warmest spot in the Kentucky Horse Park. 

 Welcome to Cigar's memorial.

"Unconquerable, invincible, unbeatable"

A shuttle took my mom and me to the location of the memorial, which left little time to prepare myself for his grave. As we got off the shuttle, I spotted it next to Cigar's paddock--a swath of black bark bare except for a gray headstone and a couple flower bouquets. It was an emotional punch to the gut. But honestly, if I had all the time in the world to prepare, the response would have been the same.

My mom signing Cigar's guest book.

Hot cocoa in hand, my mom says hello to Funny Cide.

On the monitors in the Hall of Champions pavilion, within the list of current Hall of Champions residents, Cigar's name was highlighted for the last time. Beneath these monitors the tributes and accolades flowed, and as sad as the memorial was, I was very grateful to be there with my mother, who watched Cigar race with me all those years ago.

You may watch a video of Cigar's memorial here. Many thanks to the Kentucky Horse Park for providing me with a sign language interpreter for the memorial service.

The memorial service.

Cigar's empty stall.

The Hall of Champions.

Flowers fill the bare oval of Cigar's grave. The Kentucky Horse Park will place a bronze statue of Cigar at the head of his grave next year.

A large banner hung behind Cigar's grave. Sharpies were provided for signatures. "Thanks for the memories" I noted on the banner. I paused then added a couple hearts. Hearts are not something that I draw loosely or often, but I knew the teenage girl in me--the one that watched the great horse run--would approve.

Man o' War's grave.

The Kentucky Horse Park--quiet on a cold day.