Our Pony Club got to go on a private tour at San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall, CA this morning. I'm a hypocrit because I am so torn about such young horses being used so hard, but it was amazing to get to see such amazing animals up close.
One of the owner/trainers is a friend of one of our leaders and she personally took us around. We got to go out to the track where they were training. Gorgeous horse after horse kept coming out. Two came flying around the track and she said they were "breezing", not really working yet! Hah!! Going faster than I'd ever gallop on my horses and these ones weren't even working yet? Wow!! She gave us the history on her horse which used to be a race horse, now is mostly blind and works as a pony horse. Wouldn't have known he was blind, trusts her amazingly!!
We got to see them swim a horse for exercise/rehab in the pool. Funny how they curl their lip and snort to keep water from going up their noses, seem to like it.
All kinds of activity going on, horses being cooled out, babies being started, bathing, saddling up and exercise riders hopping on and trotting out to the track, horses on hot walkers, the track vet visiting. Busy, busy, busy place and apparently they are only at 1/3 capacity right now because Del Mar just started up for the season!
She has a couple horses racing and went through what they feed them. She calculated that she spends about $25 a day to feed and bed EACH horse! Her horses were absolutely stunning and one stallion that will be racing on Monday loves kids and was so friendly and interested in the kids. Talk about pampered animals. I was impressed by the level of care they receive. She said you have to take care of your animal to get good results. All the grooms were very kind and caring. Overall a really neat experience and an eye opener. This particular trainer also rehomes her horses. If they aren't good runners she tries them at jumping, dressage, pulling carts, looks for a good match.