Stuck

Deauville has bagged it for tomorrow, which is actually good news, because it has been snowing all day in Maisons-Laffitte. We don’t usually get snow in winter here, and if we do, it’s usually a nice-looking dusting that is gone within hours. It started coming down here about 6 a.m., and it’s now mid-afternoon and there is at least three inches on the ground. It’s beautiful, but completely crippling: all horses stayed in their boxes and most humans, if they have a brain, are staying put. The ones that are trying to drive around are pretty amusing to watch, since most people have no idea how to drive in snow.

The temperature is forecast to drop sharply tonight, which means the snow will stay around for a bit and makes it unlikely we can do anything with the horses tomorrow, either. I still have two live entries for Saturday in Deauville, and I suspect all racing will end up being canceled, but just in case, I need to have them ready. Two days in the box will not be catastrophic, since both Pixie and Hard Way are fit and ready. On the contrary, for Pixie at least, the enforced time off will do her good. (Being a filly on the light side, two days of eating and rest should help rather than hurt.) And Hard Way is just so amenable to whatever we do with him, he won’t care. But by Wednesday, we need to get back out there if there’s any hope of a Saturday race. After that, the season in Deauville is officially over and we have to sit back and wait for March. Settling into a slower winter routine is fine, with less feed and little work, but the frustration is not knowing for sure if we’re there yet. So we just have to hang in there this week and see what happens.

0 Replies to “Stuck”

  1. Since I’m familiar with the layout of your yard, I’m wondering if you’re able to at least walk your horses daily, or are they truly stuck “in the box” for two days? Do you wish you had a shed row for hand walking or even an indoor arena for a turnout of sorts? I often wonder about the American practice of keeping racehorses in boxes save for an hour or so every 24 — is that any way to keep an athlete in top form, particularly equines, to whom movement is essential for proper blood circulation in the lower legs? The thing I love best about how you train in France is the seemingly endless trails through the woods, grass gallops and so on, that allow your horses proper amounts of exercise, at all gaits, daily.

  2. Great to hear from you, Susan! No, at the moment we’re completely stuck because it rained, then snowed the froze solid in quick sequence. There is just enough room to pass the muck cart and carry water. But today I found a solution: I borrowed Jean-Paul’s truck, saddled up Pencap and Pixie and trucked them down to the all-weather. Worked a charm. Pencap runs Saturday.

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