Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Belmont Day!

Not much to report on Limerick; yesterday she had a digital pulse in the upper reaches of her pastern and the same goes for today. Not very much heat in her foot, though.

I soaked her foot in an epsom salt soak in case she has an abscess. The soak is supposed to be for ten minutes and yesterday, right at the mark, she knocked the tub over. Today, once again right at the mark, she stepped out the tub.

I bought the biggest digital thermometer I could find at Walgreens yesterday and checked her temperature yesterday and today. Yesterday it was 99.1, today it was 98.9. So her normal temperature is on the low side of normal (which is, in horses, 99-101 degrees).

I'm not doing much with her otherwise, except grooming or bathing/hosing her and showering her pretty head with kisses. Yesterday I gave her a massage along her spine (she took a powerful stretch after I was done with that!), and on her shoulder, neck, chest, and elbow. She sure loves that; she gets all sleepy and leans into me.

Today, leading her out the pasture, she suddenly and wildly scampered on the asphalt, eyes huge, spooking at something...but what? I glanced around quickly but couldn't spot what was scaring her so badly. It was so unusual for her to spook like that on the ground that I had a momentary sense of panic. She wheeled around and spooked again. I tried to walk her straight but she would try to ram into me with her shoulder as she spooked yet again, so I had to lead her to her stall in circles.

Finally, I figured out what it was. Someone had installed box fans in the windows of the arena barn directly across from the pasture entrance. The bright white fan blades spun lazily in the wind. Ohhhh, that's what it was.

Limerick has had box fans attached to former stalls with a bungee cord before so I'm not sure what was so surprising about them now. But I bet you that if she got close enough to figure out what those spinning wheels of death in the arena barn windows were, she would be mighty embarrassed.

She's a smart horse, and prides herself on it, after all.

Soooo today is the Belmont Stakes. Big Brown won the Derby and Preakness in easy fashion. Can he win the Belmont--and capture the Triple Crown? We have not had a Triple Crown winner since 1978, and thirty years is a very, very long dry spell.

Starting in 1997, there have been six bids--and misses--for the Triple Crown. Each one was more painful than the last. Smarty Jones' failure to get the glorious Crown in 2004 was particularly heartbreaking for me. I saw the horse win the Rebel and Arkansas, live, at an off-track betting location.

"That's my Derby horse!" I told my husband, who was then my boyfriend, at the time. Sure enough, he won the Derby and swept away the Preakness by eleven or so lengths. Then the heartbreak....ohhh...I watched his Belmont on YouTube a few days ago and the pain was still there, the rise and fall of emotions from sky-high to deep within the ground.

So, frankly, the idea of watching the Belmont today makes me want to vomit. Big Brown certainly has the talent, which makes it that much harder. If he was simply a lucky horse, my foolish expectations wouldn't be so high.

Good luck, Big Brown, don't let all those long shots get in the way today.

No comments: