You can take the horse away from the racetrack . . .

Freedom Flying

Yesterday I wrote about a racehorse that didn’t want to race any more. Today, I’d like to share a video of Freedom, playing in his pasture. Thank goodness he never bucks like that under saddle. I can handle the galloping but the bucking might be too much. One of the funniest parts of the video is Zelda’s amazed expression when she turns back to Curly. You can almost hear her thinking, “damn, I thought I was fast but he’s smoking.”

Freedom is 20 now. He retired from the track at age 6, after 29 starts where he collected three wins, two places, one show and $70,000. He had the potential to be quite a good racehorse. He’s quite well bred and when he puts his mind to it, he’s quite fast. Unfortunately, Freedom spent too much of his energy on the way to the starting gate. He’s always been high strung, and the anticipation of racing probably got him too worked up.

When I first got Freedom he didn’t know much about being a riding horse and he was difficult to ride in company because he insisted on going first. He could throw quite a tantrum when you didn’t let him. I remember taking him to a hunter pace once where I was looking for a partner. After watching his antics in the warm up ring, not a single team would let me ride with him. However, we got the last laugh. We went by ourselves and one the jumping division.

It took me a little more than two years to teach Freedom how to be second . . . or third. It took a lot of practicing and a lot of patience. I thought he’d never be a hunt horse because galloping in a group would trigger his race experience. Of course, he proved me wrong. He turned out to be a great hunt horse and he learned to go anywhere in the field without complaint. He never has lost his excess energy though and in the hunt field he is (in)famous for how much, well, energy he puts out when the hounds are cast. Although he will stand quietly on a loose rein until that moment, I now have a much better idea of what it’s like to leave a starting gate!


2 thoughts on “You can take the horse away from the racetrack . . .

  1. YOu’re right, Freedom can run!! So is Zelda the black with the blaze? The blaze looks like one of those silhouttes you see where if you look at it one way, it’s a vase, and if you look at it another it’s the outline of a face. My leased horse, Alydar’s Note, also retired at 6 from the track. In his case he was in over 25 races but only one once. I think his total winnings were $6K.
    GREAT capture (photograph) of Freedom with all four feet off the ground…or is that his normal way of going? 😉

    1. Yes, Freedom sure can run! His natural state of being is all four feet off the ground but only because he gets excited, never because he’s bucking. He is one of the most sure footed horses that I’ve ever ridden — just the horse you want to be on when galloping down hill following hounds. Zelda is the black with the blaze. She is not as sure footed but she sure is smart and sensible. You can tell by how she watches Freedom running, then turns back to Curly as if to say, “why would he do that?”

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