Last week a trainer at Golden Gate Fields gave our friend Nikki a gray gelding. His sire is Marino Marini, so Nikki calls him Mario. Friday night Cathy and I made the short trip to Vacaville to meet Mario. He is stunning. On Saturday another person at the barn offered Nikki $2,500.00 for Mario. Nikki decided to turn down the offer. It's nice to know the thoroughbred market is making a comeback.
Jin lives in Sacramento and she just had her Sweet 16. Jin has a summer job at a grocery store. She plays piano, golf, tennis and softball. Daily Jin finds time to ride her gelding Refusal, who she adopted from Tbfriends. We called him Ref. Jin and Ref were scheduled for a dressage show on Saturday, but it was cancelled because of triple digit heat.
Jin's dad is Robert, who works in real estate and makes his own beer. Robert coaches softball. He hikes in Lake Tahoe. Robert has seen every 49er football game on TV for 5 straight years. He loves Bon Jovi. Robert goes to the barn and watches Jin ride Ref. Not once in his entire life has Robert been on a horse. And he says he never will.
For a summer job 14 year old Alex must get up early 5 mornings a week to feed horses at a boarding stable near Woodland. She then scoops poop, puts on fly masks, and scrubs water buckets. It takes 3 hours for Alex to complete her chores. All of this for free board and riding lessons on her mare Haddie, who Alex adopted earlier this year from Tbfriends. On our ranch Haddie was known as Paris, because she has a French pedigree. We've always been clever that way.
Alex's dad is Mark, who drives a delivery truck during the day, and on weekends drives everybody in the house nuts by playing his guitar too loud. Mark has 4 children total, and they all love animals. His youngest son Ryan owns 4 lizards. Oldest son Adam volunteers at a vet clinic. Mark tells his kids, you want animals then you need to figure out a way to pay for their care. All 4 kids have income. Alex mowed lawns and trimmed bushes to buy her new saddle.
I get to meet the most amazing people. Families. Pets. Horses. I am one lucky old dude.