Well, the Thoroughbred race colt I have a 10% racing interest in has come out of winter hibernation on a Texas pasture and has graduated into full-time training to see if he’s ever to become a full-fledged race horse.
His trainer, ol’ Trey Nimm, and his racing manager, ol’ Ray Simm, put their heads together down at Murchison, Texas, and devised a spring and summer training and conditioning plan for Giant Clawsway.
They report “Giant” acted goofy like a teenager for a couple of days after coming off pasture, but really remembered quickly all he’d been taught last fall. So, here’s “Giant’s” training/conditioning regime:
Almost every day he’s worked in furlong training sessions — one-eighth of a mile. The goal is to pace him to run each furlong in 15 seconds, with just a little blow between each session. The immediate goal is for him to reach 8-furlongs (one mile) and then 12-furlongs (1 1/2 miles) — each at 15 seconds.
Once “Giant” reaches that goal, the workouts will be repeated, with the goal of each furlong at 14 seconds, until he can go 12 furlongs. Then the whole regime is repeated with the goal of 13-second furlongs. And, the last training goal is to reach 12 furlongs averaging 12 seconds each.
In addition, each day he gets schooled in the starting gate. The facility has a 6-horse starting gate, so “Giant” is schooled to break from the inside, outside and getting squeezed by other horses when he starts in the middle.
If “Giant” stays healthy and reaches must of his training goals, he should be ready for his first real race sometime in August. After than, it’s his performance that will determine his future as a race horse.
And, at that time, I might find out if my race horse venture is a loser, a winner, or even a breakeven deal. Regardless, it should be fun.
A read lately that out in California, naturally, horses are being put through “equine yoga” exercises to cure their ills, maintain their health and mental equilibrium.
The story didn’t go into details about how the horses go through their yoga exercises, but I have a hard time visualizing any horse getting into any yoga pose I’ve seen on TV.
One thing I bet would be a good bet. I’ll bet equine yoga is not cheap for the owners, regardless of how it helps or harms the horse. Perhaps “Giant” can get into yoga if he flops on the track.
The role of bovine flatulence in climate warming continues to be a source of debate and research. So, in the interest of facts, here’s a snippet from the book Does it Fart?, written by Dani Rabaiotti of the Zoological Society of London and Virginia Tech conservationist Nick Caruso.
The book answers the question it poses about dozens of species. Millipedes fart, no doubt discreetly. Several species of herring communicate with each other that way. If you startle a zebra, says the book, it will fart with each stride as it runs away. Flatulence signals a baboon is ready to mate.
For the Bolson pupfish, found in Mexico, it’s fart or die. They feed on algae that make them buoyant, easy prey near the surface. Farts sink them to safety. Similarly, manatees may let loose when it’s time to dive deeply. Whale farts are, of course, epic. Birds and most sea creatures don’t. Clams clam up, though they’ve been known to throw up. The jury is out on spiders: More research is needed.
From London, Rabaiotti said methane emissions from cattle are belch-focused because the gas is produced near the start of their digestive system and comes up when they regurgitate their food to chew the cud.
Emissions from dairy are lower per food serving than emissions from beef. And for the record, says this authority on the animal kingdom’s ruder moments, “Yes, cows do fart.”
I’ll add that all the folks clamoring for people to do everything possible to reduce carbon dioxide in the air, they’d better lobby Congress to ban eating beans of all sorts, close down all the Tex-Mex eating establishments, and get rid of their pet dogs. My guess is that people and pets contribute more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than cattle.
And from Dee Dee in Missouri, comes this e-mail: “Finished reading your article yesterday. Enjoy all the things you write. Thought I would send you a funny after reading what you said about alcohol may not solve all your problems, but neither will water or milk.
“Seems there was a teacher who was having an experiment in his lab
class. He had four containers — one filled with beer, one with wine and another with whiskey, and the fourth with water. He then dropped a worm into each container.
“The next day in class, the students checked out the containers. The worm in the wine, beer and whiskey was dead. But, the worm in the water was still alive.
“The teacher asked the class ‘What does all this tell you ?’ A little wise acre
in the back of the class spoke up, “It shows that if you drink alcohol, you won’t have worms.”
There’s your wisdom for the week, right there from the mouth of a child. Have a good ‘un.