Zenyatta. A big, beautiful mare. Dappled out, the champion is relaxed in her new surroundings at Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky. She has been handwalked daily since her arrival. On December 9, for the first time, Zenyatta was walked around in her paddock. With her was Charles Campbell, Broodmare Manager at Lane’s End. Her habit of stopping to look around continues at the farm. And every once in a while she would do her well-known strut. The mare seems content as her life as a broodmare begins.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.Order this Photo.
In addition to these great photos you can also view photos from her public appearances at Keeneland and Hollywood Park before she arrived at Lane's End Farm.
Wonderful shots, thank you for sharing. The big girl looks great. The winter wonderland she is surrounded by makes the perfect backdrop for her majestic self.
Cant wait to see shots of her running free!
Thank You Lane's End & Blood Horse for these wonderful photos! It's good seeing her all dappled-out taking in her new surroundings. . .and we "Love to watch her strut". Hope the weather there warms up soon for all of you. Best Wishes.
Thank you so much for the pictures! We have been wondering what Zenny's new routine would be like. Keep our West Coast Queen warm please. She has her California coat on and might be a bit chilly until she adjusts. Sure don't want the new mother-to-be getting sick! Glad to hear Lane's End will keep a close eye on her until she settles in. Be safe Zenny. Thank you Lane's End in advance for all the updates and future pictures you will be providing - we will continue to need our Zenyatta fix you know. We the fans need to be eased into this new routine also.
YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL MY FAMILY AND
I WISH YOU GOOD HEALTH AND HAPPINESS AT YOUR NEW HOME. LOOKING FORWARD TO YOU NEW BABIES.
MANDY, SUZIE & MIA
Lucky guy that Charles Campbell! I want his job! Thank you bloodhorse.com, the Farish family, the Moss's, and the staff at Lane's End for continuing to show the fans Zen's adjustment. May you all have a joyous and merry Chritmas.
Good to see her settling in. A truly intelligent horse.
Treat her well and love her.
She looks fantastic - like she could go 10 furs right now.
Zenyatta was such a great horse with a very well established racing care. She will get the cream of the crop sire wise for her first foal. Which I am sure will be just as breathtaking as she is. My best wishes for her new home of Lands End of which I know well as I have been to that farm for breeding as I was a groom in Ky before moving out of the state. So again all the best to the owners,the trainer, and everyone that got the enjoyment of working with this great mare. Sincerely Mrs Emily LaBona
Zenyatta...have a very, very Merry Christmas!
Whoa Nellie! These 13 marvelous pics tell it all! Zenyatta is one happy looking horse, if I ever saw one. No doubt about it, she's quite content at Lane's End. Mario prepared her well for the Kentucky folks.
My absolute fav is pic #2. What a gorgeous holiday card that would make! Thanks to all for this fabulous update treat. I'm so happy for Zenyatta ... and all her new friends.
She looks absolutely stunning; those dapples are so beautiful!
Thank you for sharing these photos, Anne; as a young photojournalist-in-training who's dream it is to end up working at the track, these photos inspire me even more.
Lovely pics of the Queen, she looks happy. Kinda strange not to see Mario leading her, though. Happy retirement Zenyatta!
Is Z that hard to handle that they have to use a stud chain on her??? I really don't like seeing that; otherwise I'm glad she is adjusting to her new surroundings.
I think she's enjoying herself. Her tongue is out in each photo. What a lovely mare.
She looks great! Kind of a bummer they have a lip chain on her, though :S
She looks like a Grade 1 winner even on snow!
Love these photos! Thanks so much for sharing them with her adoring public. Each is a picture of contentment ...she is treasured at LE just as she has been at Barn 55. I hope and pray we will have the opportunity to visit her.
I miss her already! Keep the photos and videos coming, and thanks.
Again and again, what an absolutely gorgeous mare she is. I never tire of gazing at her for long minutes. Thank you everyone involved in bringing Zenyatta to us through these fantastic photographs.
Thank you, Lane's End Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Moss, for accommodating Lady Z's world-wide fans with photos and visitation planning. I hope to make the pilgrimage this year according to whatever the farm suggests and allows. By then, I hope she is in foal to A.P. Indy. Whatever the sire, her first baby will make headlines. First and foremost, may she stay happy, safe and sound. Thank you.
Thank you so much! I love how Z is looking at every thing--lots of mental stimulation for her.
She's beauty - I never noticed those dapples when she was racing.
She looks just wonderful!
Thanks to the people at Lane's End. She looks to be enjoying her new home!! Looking forward to visiting her one day.
Looks like heaven to me.
Almost heaven - Lexington, KY. I think Zenyatta agrees!
It's warmed up some today - probably in the low 40s. The snow is melting, but we're due to get another snow storm this Sunday. 1-3 inches. I hope the forecasts are wrong so Z can go out in her paddock.
I've loved seeing these pictures. I want to order all of them! LOL! Do we get a discount if we do?
Keep the pics and any info on her coming! Zenyatta fans have got to know how she's doing.
Thank you Lane's End and Bloodhorse for letting us see our Queen. Take it easy Zenyatta enjoy relaxing. To all of Team Z old and new. Merry Christmas. We all love and miss you Zenyatta. I will be first in line when they say we can come see you.
This mare is about as close to perfection as anything one will ever have the privilege to view. If only Cigar could make a baby! Long live the Queen - We will miss your "strut" dearly.
Thank you so much - it just warms the heart to see her adjusting so well to her new surroundings. And just to see her.
Happy we are finally getting to see her again. Don't like the lip chain, though. I hope they feel secure enough for Zenyatta to not use it again.
Can't help but wish she could return to CA where there is a consistently great climate and loving family.
Thank you for the update and thanks to the great crew at Lane's End for taking such great care of our Zenny, and being so patient with all of us as we go through withdrawal. I am sure she is having an easier time than we are! She looks great!
Anne, many thanks for these fabulous photos. To see Zenyatta without racing tack - in the bare flesh - and in such a serene surrounding - gives me a sense once again of just how exquisitely and powerfully built this statuesque mare has become. She is one of the most beautiful works of art I've ever seen. Your photos of Zenyatta in her new home capture this pure beauty for me and, like others, I never tire of looking at her here at Lane's End or on race days of the past.
Those dapples look gorgeous and so does she!
Avei I disagree, I'm glad to see they're making her safety paramount, not taking any changes of her getting silly, taking a bad step and ending up like Saint Liam.
These photos are just beautiful! Thank you for posting. Zenyatta deserves the absolute best because that's what she is.
Wow, what great pictures! I'm so glad they are providing updates for all of Z's fans. I hope that continues into the future. I would love to order all of them! I'm glad to hear she's settling in well. I'm sure she will love the Kentucky weather once she adapts. I love that she's only about 4 1/2 hours from me now. I was at Keeneland, and will definitely be down to visit her again at Lane's End. She is my generation's Man o' War or Secretariat. Was she as talented? Maybe...maybe not, but she still has the same type of devoted following!
She looks great. I hope Mario, her groom, and the rest of the people who worked with her are doing well.
That doesn't look like a broodmare to me, that girl wants to run. Thanks for the Zenny pic fix.
People, about the lip chain, she pretty much always has one. Even though they always say she's very chill and relazed, most of her meet and greets with fans she was lip chained. She's out in the paddock for the first time, it's cold, they don't want her to get loose. The chain isn't going to hurt her unless they clip it super tight or anything. Better than looping it over her nose and having her get loose and her herself. I find it kind of weird they have no blanket on her, but I think they took it off just for these few pictures.
She is absolutely gorgeous. I love these winter photos of her. Thank you, I know everyone was worried about how she's doing and it's great to see she's settled in. I knew they paddock-schooled the stallions by hotwalking and it's nice to see them doing that with the mares too.
#1 I'm so happy she is "home". We got to enjoy her for years here in California. Now it's time for a new chapter in her incredible life.
#2 for those people who think she is not "truly happy", I wish you would stop the negative energy! Team Zenyatta has always done what is best for Zenny. Why would that change now!?
Love the pictures. Does anyone know how tall the man pictured with her is? She's a beautiful tall girl.
Man...she is one healthy lookin specimen. Check out those dapples!
I've never seen a horse so dappled out.
Zenyatta is still nearly a race-fit mare in new surroundings; the chain is for HER protection. She could seriously hurt herself if she broke loose from her handler and took off in the ice and snow!
Give Lane's End a little credit, people!
Zenyatta has legs like telephone poles. They just keep going and going and going.
Reminds me of my girlfriend's long legs.
The second photo looks like it could be a portrait from the late 19th c., Zenyatta has that classic Thoroughbred profile - the backdrop, snow trees and a simple handler, is gorgeous! And the dapples are stunning :)
Lip chain is to keep her safe, once she relaxes should just be a nose chain ...oh, yeah, and a breeding twitch...hard to imagine the Queen getting twitched...gotta not think about it...she's a broodmare, that's her life.
Oh, and thank-you Anne, for the beautiful pictures. ♥
Maybe see if you can get some of Rachel???
thanks for the info about the lip chain.
the photos are gorgeous. Keep them coming. And thanks to everyone who is helping Queen Z make as peaceful a transition to her new home as possible.
I saw her in extreme close-up, in person before the '09 BC Classic and her dappling was just stunning. What a beauty, indeed.
She looks happy and every so beautifl. Is she dancing in that one photo??? I am so relieved. Of course, she loves everything, comes from having a good and beautiful heart. Thank all of you that made this possible. Lisa g
Zenyatta is 17.2 hands!
Our queen looks beautiful, doesn't she? I never thought she'd dapple out that much! Certainly becomes her.. Almost as though she were telling us how happy she is! Umm..so how bout some more photos of the broodmare manager...he's cute! Is he single? (I'm shamelessly willing to do a little flirting for some face time with Z).
She looks amazing!
It's bitter-sweet for all of us here in California to see her in her new Kentucky home! She is still her beautiful self and certainly looking perky and happy. !Andale Reina! Te quiero mucho y espero que estes muy feliz en tu nuevo hogar! (Translation: Keep on Keeping On Queen! I love you a lot and hope you're happy in your new home!)I'm sure she understands a bit of Spanish since she lived here so long with us. Thanks for taking good care of her.
I am so glad to hear some news about her at her new home! Isn't she just beautiful?!
Thanks so much for the pictures KY. I know it is hard for some people to understand how much she means to us "non-Horse" Following folks. Zen has bridged a gap for so many of us who did not understand the equine world but are learning.Her joy of life helps many who are struggling with life right now.. GOD BLESS YOU Z.
Zenyatta looks absolutely gorgeous! Hope she adjusts and settles in to her new home soon. Just want her to be healthy, happy and know that she is loved.
My Love & Blessings to you Zenyatta-Always!
Nice pictures, but she belongs back in Southern California, not in the snow in Kentucky.
Thanks so much for the pics. Zenyatta looks alert, interested and happy to me. What a gorgeous mare.
So glad to see our Queen looking as beautiful as ever. One wants to order all the photos and probably will. Be loving and kind to her or she will call me and I'll come bring her home.
Love, love, love the pictures thanks.
Her tongue is out because of that lip chain going thru her mouth.
Thank You So Much Anne, i hope you are able to come up with a book of photos of Zenyatta from racing thru motherhood.
She is just as regal as she always has been, there is, simply put, an aura about her that makes you think and know she knows exactly who she is.
I derive a lot of strength from her i guess i could say. She just is so positive she makes others feel the same.
Some of the comments on here are unbelievable. The lip chain doesn't have more pressure than if you were holding your finger under her lip. It's so weird everyone is upset about lip chains and twitches, and here she is with her californa coat walking around in subzero temperature.
Look how much slack is in the chain, it's hardly even touching her.
As for twitches, it's the same logic as the lip chain. A little dscomfort is a lot less cruel than letting the horse get badly injured.
Lane's end has been taking care of high value horses for years and years and years. I think they can handle it. It's good people are concerned for zenyatta's well being but seriosly, give them a break.
I wonder if she'll be allowed guiness while she's pregnant? :P
WE Zenyattaholics needed this!
Agree with everyone she looks stunning but then she always did.
#2 picture is a must have.
Thank-you so much for the pictures she is looking good as ever. By the way some horses stick their tongues just because. Some even hang them out so far when they bob their heads they slap themselves in the face.
Anyone from KY, are the dapples from the cold weather? I know she will grow longer hair soon to adapt to the weather change. She did have dapples before. Anyone know?
They must be so afraid of her to have a lip chain on. Usually you only see that on Stallions and fractious yearlings. She's lovely...I hope they treat her more kindly than that in the future.
Wonderful photos Anne ! I really like the one of Charles smiling as they walk along & of course the one with she and Charles stride for stride. It sure looks like things are going well to me and ZENYATTA shipped well. She is feeling great !Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much, Anne. I'm so encouraged after being discouraged from the videos yesterday.
I agree that #2 is stunning.
I think maybe Lane's End is beginning to get an inkling about how dearly we all love her.
Please continue to visit her and send us more great pictures.
Thanks for sharing these,they are wonderful pictures!
Picture 2. She's spotted Blame and won't get beat by him again!
I doubt she has a tongue tie on but she sure can stick that tongue out. LOL Not as bad as Rachel Anlexandra does it though. Sure is a change in climate from Hollywood. I hope she finds the love at Lanes End that she had at Hollywood Park.
Great photos, and an interesting article on how Zen is making the transition to retired life. She better watch were she puts that tongue though! Anyone here remember the opening scene from A Christmas Story? ;)
I often wonder why some horses like to stick their tongues out.
What's the big deal with the lip chain? She wore it often enough at Hollywood Park. And who cares about the blanket? Does a short jaunt in the upper-30s/low-40s really require a horse parka? In the videos that go with this, you can't see anyone's breath, and hell, the guy isn't wearing gloves or a scarf. It's not that cold. And I'm saying that as an Angeleno. She's a big, strapping, healthy young horse, not a hothouse flower. And does she ever look magnificent.
Great photos. I know they are copyrighted, so will use the link to this site to bring people here to view them. Just one question for Charles Campbell: might want to adjust her mouth bit...she keeps sticking her tongue out! I think she's saying she prefers the chain on the outside of her leather bridle instead of the mouth bit! Just kidding...I'm guessing that until all trust issues have been answered, this is the safer control for now. She's still in kindergarten for a little while!
Beautiful photos !! I beg Mr. and Mrs. Moss to please send Zenyatta to AP Indy !!! He's right there !!!
Big Z looks more beautiful than
ever. She's always had dapples the size of apples, but these are just georgous. Don't worry, the professionals at Lane's End know exactly what they are doing. I have a feeling the Queen will live a very long, happy life there on the farm. She will adjust to a more quiet life with a little less human interaction because she'll be hanging out with all her girlfriends out in the fields. She truly loves herself and her life and I have faith it will always be that way. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN now and forever!!! Hope to visit her over the summer.
As has been stated, the lip chain is for Zenyatta's protection. FYI, it doesn't work well if pressure is constant, so that's not happening. You have, what, about 1200lbs (That's heavy for race horse but she's a big mare) of racing fit (LOTS of energy) horse in a new environment with snow. You know what most horses would do in the snow first time? They'd get down, roll in it, then spring up like a jack rabbit, buck, and get silly. You don't want Z to even think of going there yet. You don't insure control of a horse that size, in a new situation, with that kind of energy, with a lead shank snapped to the halter. Besides, she is quite used to the lip chain and it imparts a message, "No matter what, listen to me."
Also, Zenyatta has a blanket. But it will do her no harm to walk around a little bit without one in the cold. If you were riding her, you'd take the blanket off, maybe have something over her loins, but that's it. Would you like to wear a coat all the time? She's moving, generating a little heat, and enjoying not having the blanket on. She needs to get used to the cold gradually although I don't think this first winter she'll be without a blanket. Not sure she would get an adequate coat.
I am impressed by this mare's ability to handle new situations. She's got clean air, a great home, and will soon have companions of the equine variety in addition to her handlers. Her "family" is about to grow a whole bunch.
Beautiful pictures of Perfection Personified!
Thank you, Anne!!
Thanks for the photos, I agree the Winner is #2. I'll need that one for Christmas. I'm glad to see she is being handled so carefully by Lane's End. She is a national treasure. Yes, Zenyatta fans are a little over the top, I'm one of them.
Thanks so much to Anne & Lands End for the incredible photos! She appears to be a very happy horse enjoying her well deserved retirement! It means the world for her fans to see Z in her new surroundings so again, thanks so much!
Her tongue hanging out?....she's looking for her tongue-tie!..lol
I don't worry about her in the cold...most horses love the cold, and never met one that didn't love!! playing in the snow...she has to generate a bit of a winter coat..she'll be just fine. :) Beautiful, amazing!! animal, 'our' Zenyatta....all thanks to the Z-Team, we can say 'our '.
Can just imagine the pressure on Lane's End now ...lol...they will be in for a bit of a ride also. :)
Happy Holidays!! all.
Everyone should chill out.
If Zenyatta got hurt -- or worse, had to be put down due to a self-inflicted injury (such as slipping and falling on the ice and breaking something), then every one of you would be screaming bloody murder because the proper precautions weren't taken.
The lip chain is simply an insurance policy. It is used to keep control of high-strung horses.
Yes, Thoroughbreds can often be high-strung, particularly when they are unused to their surroundings.
Zenyatta is new to Lane's End, cold weather, snow and ice.
Would any of you really think it prudent to walk her around without having proper control of her?
Her connections have always had Zenyatta's best interest at heart. Why should anything be different now that the great mare is somewhere else?
Long live the Queen. And with people who are obviously so careful with her and who love her so dearly, I think that much will be a certainty, if the good Lord is willing.
Here's something I found on You Tube- horse, pony, and donkey having fun in the snow. They settle down after about 5 minutes. They know the pasture, the surroundings, and each other. Something Z has to get used to yet. No, the dog is not making them run, he's....uh...quite a bit safer as a spectator.... There's a little slipping going on but as stated, these guys are in familiar surroundings and they are not racing fit. In a couple hours, they'll be ready to come in!
Just beautiful. THank you for sharing. A great tutorial in conformation --- she is perfection!
Susan ~ www.UnbridledRacing.com
Thanks Anne for the great photos of the Queen, she looks great as always.Looks alittle up no problem she should be after coming from Ca. I know that LE will take the best care of her.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures of our Queen enjoying a new phase of her life. She is one of the most amazing thoroughbreds I have ever seen. May she go on to have a wonderful motherhood.
dapples on dapples. i'll echo what a couple of others have said, hate the stud/lip chain. i only remember seeing carment and/or mario use it on her a couple of times, mostly in the wash rack. maybe the handlers the nervous one.
After reading the article about Zenyatta adapting to farm life I really like what I'm hearing. She is very special and Bill Farish and Lane's End are fully aware of it. Thank You so much to Lane's End
for making our Queen so comfortable, safe and happy! Happy Holidays to all. Godspeed!
Thanks for the breath taking pictures of Zenyatta. That mare knew she was having her pictures taken 'again'. Her paddock is twice as large as my little place, and my OTTB gets going much to fast in my field. Might have to go to Rolex again and take some time to visit Lane's End. Hope I can get to visit Z.
I really enjoyed these photos. Zenyatta's elegance stands out against the somewhat stark white snow. (But the tongue adds just a touch of whimsy.) She is SO dapple-y it's like the difference between a solid color and a bold print.
She has dapples in every recent picture I've seen of her, they aren't from the cold.
She also has a chain in every picture I've seen. It is for her protection, she must not get loose, she is racing fit and needs to be under control.
I've seen video of her in her stall with a blanket on but you don't want her to heat up and sweat in one outside. Plus horses lay down in the dirty spots in their stalls and blankets aren't so pretty in photos....
thanks so much for the pictures she looks fantastic. I hope they give her lots and lots of love
I agree with Carolyn (above). Most horses love the cold weather. I live in Montana, and our weather is currently about the same as Lexington. I take our dogs (German Shorthairs) for their run almost every day. The days we don't go are usually because the sun isn't out and it's windy, or it's below zero.
Looking at the photos, Charles doesn't have gloves or a winter hat on, so I'm sure she didn't need a blanket on for the short time they were out.
Also, as Carolyn said, she needs to start working on a winter coat.
Thanks so much for the great pictures...
I recently was told that brook mares have a very definite "pecking order" - and this could be difficult for a newbie - even a big one like Zenyatta. Can anyone fill me in? Thank you.
Wow. Her coat is gorgeous! Those dapples are the size of pancakes! She sure looks happy. I wonder if the cold bothered her at the beginning.
Please send us more photos!
Would EVERYONE please get off the STUD/LIP CHAIN !!! She's not a PONY, she's a NEWLY retired RACEHORSE!!! It's a PRECAUTIONARY measure !!! Those DAPPLES means she's FED RIGHT, not much different from when she was running, & I can promise she can STILL run, if SHE chooses. Plus, some horses like something 2 play with in their mouth (PACIFIER). Given the $$$ amount of what she's worth, & u can c he's not pulling the chain, & tugging on her mouth, she's 110% FINE...
The portraits of Zenyatta are lovely. They capture her majestic looks as well as the beauty of Lane's End in winter. A beautiful backdrop for a gorgeous mare.
Dapples are, I think, a sign of good health and condition.
I hope many more photographs are taken of Zenyatta while she is still sleek and muscled from being racing fit.
Thank you Anne E. for these photos of Zenyatta. How lucky you are to have her as a photographic subject!
I'm sorry folk's but I am a selfish kind-a guy and want to see Zenyatta race a few more times next year. "Can't get enough of that struttin stuff". Love ya big girl and make sure who ever entertains you, treats you right!
She should be back in California, with the warmer weather, with Mario & Co., and without the lip chain.
Really there is not any reason to be ugly, I took pictures of the Queen at Hot Springs and the dapples were outrageously present...good health is the reason..peace all!!
Enjoy The Beauty!!!!
SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL!!! BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you!!! Seeing your beautiful pictures of the lovely Zenyatta fill my heart with joy that she appears to be adapting to her new environment. Although I'm going to miss watching her race, as long as we can have photos of her and articles on how she is doing, it will help to ease the sense of loss. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for all these photos of our beautiful girl! She puts a smile on my face when nothing else can and has a way of making everything wrong in my world alright. I'm so happy to see that she's adjusting to her new home and I just want her to be happy and content. Love you Zenyatta!
She looks gorgeous! How wonderful for her that she will have room to run free, friends to spend time with, bluegrass to eat (at least when it warms up) and still have her own room and people who care for her. Can't wait until she settles in and they allow visitors! She is proof positive that when the horse is put first, we all win.
Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Please keep us informed about our Queen Z. Those dapples are wonderful. I enjoyed seeing them Monday at Keeneland. Please guys, don't worry about Zenyatta. Lanes End will take excellent care of her. Remember, she is new to all their employees. Until they get to know her better they are taking no chances.
Wow, Zenyatta you look absolutely beautiful. You are so elegant --a picture of perfection. It looks like you are really enjoying the winter scenes at your new home. Thank Anne and Lanes End for posting these pictures for us. I really appreciate it. We fans are very fortunate that you are doing all this for us. Thank you, Thank you!
Thank you for the continued updates and photos. We need to be let down slowly and all that is being done is appreciated.
Thank you Lane's End for the access to her, she is so well loved.
She looks splendid.
Anne, did you see Life Is Sweet while you were there? (Or was she asleep?) I'm looking forward to the reunion of these two old friends.
Superb photos of Queen Z! How would you pick just one? Z looks to be adapting well to her new Kentucky home. Kudos to the Mosses, all of Team Z, and Lane's End for their limitless dedication to the welfare of this wonderful mare. As another member of her enormous fan base, I am very grateful for the generosity and efforts of Team Z to indulge and spoil each of us with access to the Queen. Her fans are treated royally, too! A Merry Christmas to all!
Thank you Anne.. these are wonderful pictures of our Queen Z.. she looks great and as usual checking things out... we were all so worried because we did not know how happy she was or what she was doing.. it looks like she is getting along fine.. what a pretty shave she got.. I had not seen one that good looking... of course there is no other horse that is that good looking.. dazhing and elegant...keep the pictures coming when you can, we all love to hear how she is doing..
Gorgeous pictures of an even more gorgeous mare. Thank you Anne, Blood Horse and Lane's End for bringing her to us. We miss Zen terribly and cannot get enough of her. Keep them coming... withdrawals are a bear and we're all suffering from huge case of it.
Loved seeing her so alert and interested in her surroundings. It made me smile. I think she will be very happy and that makes me smile even more. I love her so...
Beautiful pictures of an incredibly beautiful horse. And she does look happy, doesn't she? And her handler looks on top of the world. I think she will be loved at Lane's End. And what nice comments Mr. Farrish made to help the rest of us adjust to her starting her new career.
I was so glad to see these pictures- I've been missing her like crazy. What beautiful photos- if she's struttin', she's happy! She deserves the rest, the country, the fresh air of Kentucky. She'll get the best of care there at Land's End. They will treat her like a queen! Merry Christmas Zenyatta and your caretakers! Love you girl.
Thank you for letting Zenyatta retire with class and exposure. My wife needs this and so do I for her....
My first thought was the same as some others have mentioned. Lip chain and Zenyatta do not belong in the same paragraph. If they do find it necessary, how about having the chain covered in leather, at least. She carries the heart and soul of thousands, or millions, of fans and is the most intelligent thoroughbred I've encountered in my 50+ years of working with them. Evey meeting with her, and race I've watched of her including her final, and best race has brought me to tears of joy...until I saw this series of photos. In all fairness, a lip chain is very severe, and no way does this amazing mare need to feel something that mean. Give her a chance. Recognize her compassion and talant..plezzzeeeeee.
Dapples are associated with good health. With daily grooming and proper diet the hair coat becomes healthier and the dapples become more noticeable. Some hair colors are more prone to dappling, so in those cases you can see dappling even on a poor coat. The cold has no effect. What you will notice when a horse is cold is that their hair will fluff. I call it the fluff factor. When that happens the hair basically traps the warmth from their body to help keep them warm. If their coat is dirty or wet it won't fluff. Horse tolerate the cold much better than the heat.
The stud chain has nothing to do with being afraid, it is for safety. When used correctly, the chain is nothing more than an assurance that if the horse (regardless of sex, age or breed) does spook or become fractious for any reason there is less chance of the horse getting away from you and getting hurt. The last thing you want is a horse running blind in strange or familiar surroundings, or rearing and flipping over backwards. Your first priority when leading any horse should be safety for the both of you. Zenyatta is not showing any signs of distress from the chain. I have seen countless videos of her in California and there has always been a stud chain laced through her halter whether she is walking, grazing or being bathed. She is too valuable to not have that little bit of insurance at their finger tips.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Thank you Lane's End for sharing these beautiful pictures of our Zenyatta. She looks very content in her new home. Merry Christmas Zenyatta xoxo
Ms. Zenyatta, just order an 11x14 of you dancing n the snow. My canine child is purchasing it for me for Christmas..shhh. You are the most beautiful of God's creatiions, and I am so happy to see you happy. I cannot wait to meet you in person next year. Sleep tight, keep warm, special dreams, I love you...Lisa g
Thank you to everyone for taking and posting these pictures. They are wonderful and she looks great. I am certain she is in a great place and in good hands. They are treating her beautifully and allowing us to see her at the same time by taking pictures. That is a very kind thing to do for her fans and much appreciated. In the spring, this farm is going to be breathtaking. I think she will be very happy there.
Thank you for the info. Just looking at her you know she is healthy as can be. I live in TX, was raised in CA, and just this week I have learned alot about changes. Maybe because I am older now, and pay attention better. What is up with the chain lip thingy, why the upset? Even I know she is a racehorse, and has to be trained not to race off, sort of speak. I have seen it at the track...a horse broke lose, crashed into the fense and was injured. Our Queen will adapt just fine, and just gallop and enjoy life. Thanks, again, GhostTown. I just need a little reassurance when it comes to our girl. Lisa g
Thanks to all the wonderful people of Kentucky that are explaining these things regarding the transition that THE QUEEN is going thru that we do not understand fully. I take great comfort in reading what you have posted. I have been able to sleep again. Thanks. Lisa.
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge to a non-horse person...I've learned so much from you and it has put my mind at ease..understanding what I'm looking at.
A few questions if posters don't mind answering:
You all have mentioned her coat and dapples being a sign of a good diet. I've read in other blogs that many of the LE horses are overweight. I suspect that happens to race horses after time, but it has me wondering if they feed them differently there. Thank you in advance.
Found this on Z's website from poster and love it!!
Z with trainer who came to visit her at 55(no her trainer). Enjoy :)
Observation from video: I do hope eventually that the LE guys loosen up grip on her like Mario in video. Guess that will come in time.
I have to chime in. Absolutely stunning. I ordered my pictures! She does look quite happy. No doubt she will be treated with kid gloves. I am thinking that her stallion of choice already resides at Lanes End?? Can't wait for that announcement.Long live the Queen.
Looks like Charles Campbell is having a great time with her in those photos! Charles, if you are reading this, take really good care of her. You have the honor to be in the presence of Her Majesty on a daily basis. She will love you the way she loves Mario! She is smart and kind which should be easy for her and the people around her. Just treat her right and she will do the same for you. I love the 6th picture from the top. The one from behind when both of them are just checking out their surroundings. I can imagine the staff at Lane's End will get attached to her and love her just the same as Jerry, Ann, John, Mike, Mario, Steve, etc. For anyone attending the Kentucky Derby every year, I suggest to make a stop at Lane's End as an extra bonus to meet a living legend. I guarantee it will enhance your KY trip experience. Keep those calls ringing. God, I miss her. She helped picked me up when my heart was broken from an ex-girlfriend last year before the BCC win. I do NOT care whether she wins HOTY or not. She will always be my horse of a lifetime. Love you always, babe.
OLE BOB BOWERS
I do not like her wearing the lip chain either, but I want her protected. She is a California Girl, and the best racehorse ever. She is not used to snow and ice, and no one wants her hurt in any way. I wish she would race one more year, but I do not want her hurt. Every race I would pray "Keep her safe", I was watching when Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure had the match race. Another thing, against match races..race normally or not at all. Maybe Ruffian is her angel, she is safe and soon that lip chain will be gone and THE QUEEN and Life is Sweet will gallop together and stop to take a bite out of a tree, or flowers, or whatever the girls want to do. Be patient, it won't be for long..and we know she is safe, and now I know just how healthy she is because of the dspples, I knew she was healthy, but this is a sure sign we can always see. It will not be forever, I think we all will get over this transitional period soon, but I think Zenyatta will do a better job of it than some of us. LIsa g
Thanks Anne for sharing your wonderful photos. She's a natural in front of the camera, and you've captured her statuesque essence, and playful demeanor. You need to do a table-top book.
Zenyatta looks active and like she'll be ready for some snappish weather when the paddock "turf" is a little more consistent. Here in Gulf Coast Texas, we don't get a lot of cold, but we get a few brisk nights. I rode for four years at a stable that focused on Arabian horses. Most horses were kept in paddocks with run-in sheds 24/7, with the occasional blankets. And these were "desert" horses in the cold night air. You build up a fuzzy coat, adjust to the crisp air and learn how to play again. If only Zenny could transition to Kentucky with the people she loves. But it does look like she'll get the best of care at Lane's End, and that includes the lip chain...it's a precaution. We don't have teeth or hooves to reprimand like horses do to reprimand each other. A stud chain will reprimand Zenyatta ONLY if she acts up or gets out of line. Peace out and cheers, and don't forget Rachel A...
Merry Christmas Zenyatta and to her team of wonderful people. Keep warm !
Thanks so much for the px of Z in the snow. I hope she's happy and will enjoy socializing with other mares.
We all miss her so and these px are a big help.
Thanks for the photos keep them coming! Take extra special care of our Queen. She deserves the very best.
Thank you, Anne for the fabulous photos of Zenyatta. Glad to see her so bright and happy. I think it was her grand-daddy, Roberto, who also displayed such visible dapples. Plus she is in peak health.
Thank you thank you thank you for the beautiful pictures!
Zenyatta appears to be bursting with good health, as is shown by the dappling in her coat. :-)
She also appears to be in good spirits, interested in her surroundings, and is having the best of care (and yes, the chain is a very sensible precaution given that she is in unfamiliar surroundings and an unfamiliar snowy environment. It means that they are doing everything they can to keep her safe).
I am so glad that Lane's End and Zenyatta's connections are willing to allow us to see how the Big Gal is doing! Top class all the way! Wish we could hear how Rachel Alexandra, my other beautiful lady, is doing in her retirement.
What a wonderful horse who I have admired for years. I wish Zenyatta the best in her future endeavors and wish only the best for her. Love her so much!
Thank you for the wonderful pictures. She looks so beautiful and quite magnificent, her size, the way she stands, her so adorable curiosity and personality. Always the champion! I sure do miss her. One big sigh..racing doesn't hold the same appeal for me right now, not without her. Zenyatta, you're a love.
We all have to admit one thing. When has Lane's End ever had a broodmare come in the gates and after two or three days there they have had to answer phones ringing off the hooks, let photographers in the doors to take pictures, drop what they were doing to take time to rush and update their(the horse) very own website ( because the fans were worrying them to death because they where so lost without her). NOw, just when or if ever has LE or any other farm encountered this? I know because I read it that the owner Farrish says, "HE has never seen anything like this'?.... They know now how special that newest addition to the farm is. I expect they are all overwhelmed. I also read another writer saying how special Zenyatta was and that her first foal would be followed around from the time he/she hits the ground. It will... They say the Queen resides at Farish's residence when she visits because of he being the ambassador from NA, So , I guess the queen will want to come visit the equine queen one day, Probably in May for the derby. sodapop
Great pictures. What an awesome horse in any setting.
Regarding the lip chain.....It is SPECFICALLY for her SAFTEY. Lip chains when used properly are the least intrusive of all of the mechanical restraints. Like a seat belt in a car, when applied correctly the chain merely sits across the gum. If the horse doesn't need pressure, none is applied. Being in such open spaces, out of her race track routine and surroundings its possible that she could get ambitous and act out. The last thing we ALL want is for her to get lose and run free. If that happened it would be fatal. Like all of Lanes Ends efforts, the lip chain is for her protection and is being used in a prudent manner.
Of course lip chains hurt(but not as much as a twitch)...that is why they are used, otherwise why would you not just snap the chain on the halter?...They hurt more than a nose chain...which hurts more than just a snappped lead on a halter...get real...pain & pressure are routinely used for compliance.
Yes, several of the Lane's End stallions ARE overweight. It seems to be more of a Kentucky overfeeding/under exercised problem than anything. If you look at stallions in other countries you rarely see them carrying the amount of weight that Ky stallions do.
Zenyatta's dapples are a product of good health & feeding that she's received while in Sherrif's care. That may change some as her activity and feeding program changes now that she's off the track. Many mares do dapple out when pregnant though so hopefully we'll still see that come this spring.
It is wonderful that Lanes End is stepping up and allowing access to the great mare in the future. It makes me feel much better about her life at the farm. To the reader worried about her gaining weight; Broodmares need to gain a considerable amount of weight to get in foal, carry the foal, and produce adequate milk when the foal is born. Zenyatta will put on 50/60 lbs and slowly replace her racing muscle with needed fat and reserves. This is in her best interest and the future foal. She will not be obese as that is not good, but you won't see her racing muscles in about seven months...except that big butt! Stallions on the other hand only need 1.5% more energy to breed, consequently it is unhealthy for them to be fat and exercise is as necessary for them as any horse. As others have said, the lip chain is for her protection and the handlers control same as a choke chain on a dog. If it is used appropriately it is not abusive in the least.
Horse Rules asked about pecking order in a broodmare band. Yes, there is a ranking within the band. It is not related to physical strength, either. My own mare has some physical issues and rarely does anything but walk around sedately. Even so, she is one of the top mares in the herd--she just has to give another mare the evil eye and the other mare submits.
Mares will buddy up with one best friend. They don't seem to choose their friends by their respective social status--top mares buddy with other top mares or with the low-ranking mares. A low-ranking mare who buddies up with a higher ranking mare will raise her own status in the herd. A high-ranking mare's foals have higher status within the herd as well. Herd dynamics are very interesting.
I hope all the other posters have cleared up the issue of a lip chain on The Queen. She is a very fit racehorse in peak physical condition. She has been cooped up for weeks, not getting the exercise her body is crying out for. She will be pretty tough to handle at the moment. She hadn't been loose in a field since she was a yearling. It would be dangerous for her to get loose.
Whether the farm admits it or not, she will be tranquillized before she is turned out for the first time. They will slowly wean her off the tranqs as she shows she can be sensible. This is all done to make sure nothing bad happens to her.
At some point, she will be introduced to another mare. If they get along, great, but if they don't they will switch mares until they find her a best friend she likes and who likes her. I don't know how Lanes End will introduce her to more mares, but I expect that the group of mares in her barn are the group that will eventually become her herd.
I, too, am sad she isn't racing next year. It just seems a waste not to race a fit, healthy competitive horse who loves her job.
She did not need racing, Racing needed Her. Thank you Street Cry
In the absence of proper handling and natural horsemanship techniques you could have used a photo editing program to get rid of the chain through the mouth and tongue hanging out. A beautiful horse in the hands of profit driven, inhumane humans, that sadly, don't even realize they are inhumane.
Thanks so much for sharing the photography, wow! She's just so beautiful, so majestic ... a definite champion and athlete and she has done so much for the horse racing industry along with those that worked with her, Ann and Jerry Moss, John Sherriffs and Mario Espinoza ... onto the next chapter for her and her fans that will be watching! Again, thanks for the sharing the beautiful photos ... all the best to her and those that care for her!
Thank you for explaining feeding changes, much appreciated. I think we need to prepare ourselves for the physical changes that will take place with Queen Z. That she will lose muscle mass, that her appearance will change, which doesn't necessarily mean bad care but different care.
The only think I have a hard time grappling with is that I feel that Z is different that most racehorses. She loved the work, the crowds, the race. She appears to be a very social horse, which my guess is very unusual for a racehorse. So, I feel, like other Z fans, that her transition will be hard for her. This is why I think one thing that would help in Z's happiness is to allow her to continue to have visitors. I think LE needs to make this happen. I feel LE needs to think out of the box when it comes to Z.
Lastly, I wonder how she will like being part of herd with no work. Will it be freeing and fun? Will she be bored? Will the pecking order with mares, zap her spirit? Or will her past be that, the past, once she becomes a mommy. I can't put in words how special this horse is....see her fan base.
Here is another picture of Z that shows her love for people and her gentleness.
Thanks to you and Lane's End for this glimpse into Zenyatta's new life at the farm. These photos are wonderful! As I gaze into Zenyatta's eyes and note her body language and head carriage, I see an intelligent horse who exudes confidence and curiosity as she holds her head high,looking into the distance. Perhaps, the sights,smells, and sounds of her environment will stir remembrances or instinctual feelings of being a foal and yearling,cavorting in a paddock. I believe horses remember more than people sometimes give them credit for. I think she will be happy in her new home even within the restrictions of being a broodmare. May she always be cherished!
I hope she can produce her self but this will be very hard. She is the most perfect mare I have ever seen. I just enjoy her for what she is. If her foals are even half as good as she is thats great. I want to go and see her since she is only about 80 miles for me/
Like everyone else, LOVE the photos and the update from Lane's End; it's wonderful that the farm, the Moss's and everyone involved with Zenyatta appreciate the fans' interest and are keeping us updated. I frankly don't think there's a stallion today that deserves to be bred with her! Recent BloodHorse article mentions A.P. Indy or Giant's Causeway; either is appropriate but too bad there isn't a King out there (i.e. Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Storm Cat in their primes) to meet the Queen. (P.S. would love to see updates on Rachel and the other top mares also recently retired!)
I see there is still a lot of misinformation about things used to control horses.
Twitches do not hurt. If you've ever seen a horse with a twitch on you would see that they are zoned right out, as if on tranquillizers. Very relaxed, not in pain or distress.
Twitches stimulate a pressure point that causes the release of endorphins. That is the latest theory on why they work, backed up by studies. Endorphins are naturally occurring opiate-like drugs an animal, including human, produces.
There are a variety of places where you can put pressure on a horse to get the same effect. Look at the video of Abrams working on Zenyatta that someone sent to this blog.
If you leave a twitch on too long, the horse can become agitated. The study's hypothesis is that it is a response to too much endorphins.
I love the update to the article as well. I wish the Mosses would announce a final suitor for her so we can quit whatiffing.
I must have lost my post before sending it yesterday, detailing how there is an endorphin response to pressure on the upper gum in horses. Its calming and helps them focus as so many have mentioned no one wants her hurt and getting loose on that ground looks a bit scary for our heroine in her dancing shoes.
I hope with all my heart that she produces a stallion of Merit. I would love to see her genetics available to breeders and Horse enthusiasts in racing and other disciplines.
In reviewing these photos again she just oozes athleticism and balance for her size. I still feel like she is a dressage and possible event horse masterpiece that has masqueraded as the best most exciting race horse I have ever seen for the last 3 years.
She looks like she could begin her training for a top grand prix career this moment. Just coming 7 a good time to start advancing training for horses, she is so finely sound looking, a true testament to her handling.
Just dreaming, but If pre-potent, her son could impart her balance with size and hind leg structure to his offspring. Late maturing - sure ,if 3 or 4 is late (only in racing) but powerful and sound - with good mind? you bet.
Thank you for the wonderful, beautiful photographs. She is just absolutely stunning!
Many thanks to all her California connections for taking her to KY in such great shape.
No pressure, Lane's End! No pressure! :-)
Take good care of our girl.
I love you Zenyatta! I love you SO much!
Thank you so much for the photos - Zenyatta is just breathtakingly gorgeous! I loved seeing her outside so that her beautiful dapples could show to their best advantage. I think Lane's End is doing right by slowly introducing her to snow and cold, and to freedom in a paddock. Zen is so smart and she will catch on quickly. I hope that my family and I can come to Kentucky and see her in the near future after Lane's End gets a visiting schedule set up for her. She is just stunning!
Ah, just gorgeous as usual!! Want to see her in person someday if we can.
Thank you for sharing these. I miss her already yet never saw her in person. Such a beautiful gal.
Stud chains do not hurt unless the horse is pulling. I've seen plenty suck the slack into their mouths and play with them. Using a chain is not cruelty, it would be negligent if she got loose. She is extremely large and powerful and racing fit. She could rip the shank out of his hands and knock him on the ground without meaning to. Some of you have no idea what it is like to have a racing fit Thoroughbred on the end of a lead shank especially one that is being transitioned down from the track and is being walked on ice and snow because it is not safe to turn her loose.
She is doing her "dance" in some photos and videos because she has excess energy. She isn't getting to race to burn it off.
Please relax about the chain. It is for her protection.
Yes, it's true that dapples on a coat indicate excellent health. It is just the appearance of a blooming coat, and when a horse looks good on the outside, they are likely to be internally very healthy as well. I think she will go to A.P. Indy. May this wonderful race mare also prove to be a blue hen as well! I realize that a lot was expected of Secretariat as a sire. He was so exceptional and so specialized that mares truly suitable to him were far an few between. However, check the pedigrees of the top stallions now. Secretariat is in their pedigree one or more times. A.P. Indy has him at least once.
One other thing, I know that some farms exercise their stallions regularly, some don't. I think that exercising them regularly could hold down the incidence of laminitis.
Just a thought for all those people who are 'backseat walking' Zenyatta and her lipchain.
Lane's End is under no obligation to share moments or pictures like this with people. In fact there was much bemoaning when Lane's End was first mentioned because of their reluctance to give people access to the broodmares. They're obviously trying to be accommodating to fans, coming up with new procedures for making sure fans have access and also getting to know the mare themselves.
But at the end of the day no where is it written that they have to do this and if people get too far up on their high horses and start challenging the farm at every turn, this lovely access we're currently enjoying could be quickly revoked.
Cold hard fact, she's going to get knocked around and bothered a hell of a lot more when she gets turned out with the broodmare band and when she goes to the breeding shed (studs aren't always gentlemen) than she's being bothered by a simple lip shank.
Stunning pictures of the spectacular Zenyatta!! I love Z**
Ultimate Wow factor. Look at that dappling!This is one hot chick.
Soon she will be furry and fuzzy, and maybe, leader of the band of broodmares. A life well lived takes one through many stages..and perhaps careers. Good health, good family, good friends and good fields to Zenyatta in the future. She has earned it.
These new pics of Zenyatta make me smile as they always do and warm my heart. I can't imagine her being anything but the Alpha Mare! but we will see. Sometimes a pony can be alpha but at any rate I am sure she will enjoy the company of the other mares. She loved life at the Hollywood Park Barn & the companionship and activity while there. Now she will have a whole pasture in which to graze and frolic, not just a little patch. When she stands and looks so intently at her surroundings I always thought she appeared to be surveying her kingdom so I just can't imagine any mare dominating her. Again these are more stories to look forward to hearing.
BTW some tongue thrusting can be a genetic trait and also due to the tack but Nothing to worry about.
I'm pleased those who are knowledgable about horses are kind enough to share their knowledge with worrisome fans. I have learned a lot from the BH Blogs over the years. It kind of tickles me, like worrisome grandparents thinking their children aren't doing quite a good enough job of caring for their child. Horses aren't people & it takes a lot of special knowledge & experience to give them proper care. They call Z the people's horse; everyone feels like they have a little ownership in her and are therefore concerned for her care & well being. I was reassured reading the comments from Mr.Farish and the pics even though I know logically she is getting the best of care. I only wish I could have seen her in person in her magnificent racing form. She will look different as a broodmare but will still be magnificent none the less.
I have read some articles and comments by long time racing experts who say Zenyatta's new fans will be gone in a year. They will not stay interested in the sport. HAH! I think the comments here & all those calls to Lane's End are an indication that they are very WRONG. I think Zenyatta will be an ambassador for racing and thoroughbreds her entire life. Long Live Zenyatta and God Bless her too!!!
Simply gorgeous photos!
Lane's End....isn't Curlin there also...wouldn't they make wonderful babies together !!!
Yes, she is beautiful. It would be a fantasy, but what if she took a year or so off and went into the Dressage arena? With her reach, she could possibly be a champion of an other sort.
Great Shots! Lane's End is the perfect spot for her. My wife and I went to Lanes End on Sunday of BC weekend and we were welcomed with open arms, along with lots of racing fans and breeders!
A little off topic but could you share when Runflatout will be entered for his first race? I have him in my virtual stable and noticed he worked recently.
There have not been recent updates on Rachel's transition; as Curlin is at Lanes End might she and Zenyatta meet there? A photo of those two stars together would be great!
Horses can still slip and fall with a lipchain on. I was also surprised to see them (in a video) walking her so much on pavement, especially with shoes still on.
She looks lovely though.
Thank you for the defense of the lip chain. It is solely for her protection because if she acts up and gets loose a terrible catastrophe could happen-you would be reading an obituary, not looking at a beautiful mare that is being let down from a long life confined to a stall or on the end of a lead chain since she was 2 years old which would be about 4 years. She has to relearn how to be a "horse".
Man...it's so hard to look at here with those dapples and not think "Go put a saddle on her and start training for Dubai!". Sigh...
Some of mentioned on here about Z's "dressage" movements. Curious, is this normal for horses not trained in this movement to do this naturally? It was beautiful to watch Z do this before races.
Hope this half-sis to Street Sense will settle into her knew life! merry chistmas Zenyatta and Street Sense!
what a wonderful fan base for Zenyatta. She's earned every single fan.
Lane's End is a very professional and beautiful establishment. I'm sure Zenyatta will have a wonderful
She looks great I just hope she is happy cant wait untill they announce her fans can see her I will be there Be happy Queen Z
Z's strut is not a dressage movement. She is a pawer who wants to paw.
diana, are you sure Zenny is still shod? I can't see shoes in any of the pictures, here and elsewhere; and I seem to recall reading that her shoes were removed just before she left CA.
I'm having the hardest time picking a favorite among the above pictures. They're beautifully framed in #2....#6 from the top is serene and sweet...#7 is fun, Charlie is smiling and it almost looks like he's trying to learn her dance-step. I'll bet he's never encountered a dancing mare before! :-) ALL the pictures are spectacular, Anne. Hope you'll be a regular visitor at LE!
Above all, I'm very relieved to see Zen looking so actively interested in her surroundings. Of course, she KNOWS the cameras are aimed at her and revels in the attention. The lip chain doesn't bother me, I've seen it on her in too many pictures & videos and I know it's necessary until she can safely run free in the paddock.
Weather report for the Versailles area not looking good with temps plunging and more snow expected. Poor girl, it will be awhile before she can really stretch her legs.
Patience, sweetie girl. That day will come and I just hope we'll get to see a video of it!
As weird as it seems, horses are not "half sisters or brothers" unless they have the same mother. Zenyatta has a gorgeous half sister named Balance who was also a great racehorse. She has a yearling colt by AP Indy that was the highest priced yearling at the 2010 Keeneland sales. She has another foal on the ground by Street Cry and is currently in foal to Street Cry. Do a search for her on Bloodhorse.com. She's gorgeous too! Balance is at Mill Ridge Farm.
By the way, Turbulent Descent is a two year old UNDEFEATED filly who won again today!! Cute as a button. Ridden by Zenyatta's orginial jockey, david Flores! Something and someone to watch while we are all missing Zenyatta!!!
Keep on strutten Zenny. You look great as usual. Love seeing all these great pictures of you at your new home. I guess you are still wondering about some things but at least you are taking things in stride and that is good. I know you will adjust because you are what you are. You are the Greatest ever and I will love you forever.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures so that all the fans who love this mare can see how she is doing in KY. We can't get enough of Zenyatta! She has touched our hearts.
No I am not certain, but the video I saw it certainly sounded like she was. I could be mistaken though.
I agree with MRO, put ''Z'' with 'Curlin', when she's ready to breed. A little 'Super foal' from those two!
Just once, I'd like to see this gorgeous horse without her tongue hanging out!
No definite race date yet for RFO. Sometime in January. Will know more once he's worked a few more times on dirt. Thank you for asking and following his progress.
I cannot believe people are still obsessed with Curlin, who lost to Rags to Riches. He was overrated, and once he lost to the classier filly, was put in his place.
Might be interesting to bring Zenyatta out of retirement, just for the chance to avenge her defeat.
One wonderful thing that I have noticed on the ZENYATTA sites and blogs is that when a "Green'' person asks a question, they are NOT attacked or put down.
All the other bloggers kindly explain the reason or opinion to the 'new' race fans.
Like the use of a lip chain or why there are dapples. NOT ONE blogger has said anything negative to those who blog & don't have experience with race horses.
There is another blog near-by and if your opinion differs , you get attacked in THE rudest way and this does not make you want to return anytime soon !
When I see the kindness on the ZENYATTA blogs, I am encouraged and feel happy for the Thoroughbred industry.
WE ALL love QUEEN Z, there are never any ''dumb questions", this is how people learn.
I have come to look forward to reading the blogs and "Anything ZENYATTA'' because of this kind nature of those who write in .
Blessings to all of you !
JON (Dec. 12 ) I am still obsessed with CURLIN. Please don't mention that one defeat without also mentioning all his wins and that he is "THE richest race horse in America''. Now he has foals and they are awesome, great bone and conformation, intelligent eyes. CURLIN belongs in the stallion rosters and I am a huge fan of this great stallion.I just wish I had the means to bring a mare to CURLIN !
I wish they get rid the change and a have a blanket it's freezing and she is from warm climate to adjust. I am glad she is still a million dollar treatment but hey she earn it.I thank you for the mosses,mr sheireff to love her and spoiled her,zenyattas the queen touch my heart I even dream at her touching her My wish I pray I can see her in person.
why her tough is hanging,also why don't have a blanket walking outside in the freezing temperature she cannot tell the leading person if she is cold or not praying she have a good life and healthy and happy
I hope all the other horses there are given the same equine equality treatment too!
Thanks for the wonderful photo's.
She looks beautiful and relaxed.
She will be missed on the track but we wish her only the very best future.
Thanks to Ann & Jerry for doing the right thing for her.
Thanks for sharing your photos of my all time favorite horse. I anxiously await the arrival of Little Zen and hope that he/she will carry on Zenyatta's legacy into the racing record. Most of all, I'm hoping that her colt learns to dance like Mama!
A response to Donnie's post,"Just once, I'd like to see this gorgeous horse without her tongue hanging out!" Donnie 12 Dec 2010 10:09 AM
Check out the Blood-Horse Zenyatta Commemorative Issue. The cover portrait of Zenyatta is elegant and there are numerous other photographs inside with no tongue showing. She's one gorgeous mare!
A thought about the tongue. In dressage, a tongue hanging out indicates resistance. That resistance might be triggered by stress so I'll extrapolate that maybe at times Zen's tongue hanging out is a sign of stress.
The Zenyatta Issue of the BH is well worth seeing.
You luck much better that Rachel does. You were a much better racehorse and will be 10 times the broodmare too!!
I have never seen dapples like Zenyatta's on any other horse,,did I just miss them or not paying attention? She is the most stunningly beautiful creature I have ever seen and it really makes me sad to think about her losing that magnificent body to have babies. Oh well, I'm ecstatically happy that she is as "healthy as a horse",lol. I prayed for her every day for her health and safe trips and will continue to do so...but gosh I hate to say it after so many years..but my excitement for racing left the track when she did! Hopefully her babies will bring me back:)
Anne - Thank you so very much! The pictures are beautiful, because Z is so stunningly beautiful! She looks quite happy and doing well in her adjustment to new circumstances. Please keep the photos coming - withdrawal is painful. I can't afford to purchase every single one, but I would pay any price for a book containing only photos of her and her eventual foals.
Like L (10 Dec 2010 2:09pm), my concern is that they (LE) do not repeat the tragedy that happened to my beautiful Saint Liam. Clearly, that handler was day dreaming, or thinking of things other than Saint Liam as he was leading him to the paddock. He should have been especially vigilant given how Saint Liam loved his paddock and the freedom it offered him from the stable. He was a horse with a mind of his own and the handler should have always been cognizant of that when leading him out.
Happy Holidays to everyone and a Healthy, Happy New Year!
Queen Z is looking healthy, happy and full of energy in the snowy bluegrass.
I wish I could be there to see her, but these pics are the next best thing.
Have I mentioned I love this blog? Thanks for sharing your talent, Anne.
Opps! I had no idea! I meant they had the same father. Street Sense's mother was Bedazzle. Zenyattta's mother was Vertigneux. My mistake!
She is some kind of horse
It's pretty clear, WE, Zenyatta's fans, are not going to fade away just because she has retired. We LOVE seeing her daily coverage. Thank you so much.
I just had to jump in and talk a bit about lip chains. They are not as cruel as they look. The chain puts pressure on a section of the mouth up under the lip. When it does that, it causes the release of endorphins in the horse's brain. The endorphins act somewhat like a tranquilizer as long as the chain is there stimulating them. I sometimes put a lip chain on horses being shod, just to make them a little more relaxed for the shoer. Light pressure and an occasional jiggle of the chain is all it takes to get them calm and relaxed. When walking a horse like the Queen, one wants to keep her as calm and relaxed as possible. So you use a lip chain which will cause endorphins to be released and help keep her calm and the chain also helps in control if it is needed. With the endorphins helping to keep her calm, it is less likely that the chain will be needed for control. So lip chains aren't mean, they are a very kind way of keeping a horse calm with their own endorphins and have the advantage of none of the side effects of tranquilizers (slowing the gut functions, etc) and they wear off in a few seconds when the chain is removed.
I have a friend with a miniature horse who is addicted to the endorphins. She comes up to her owner and demands to have her nose kneaded between her owner's fingers and when she gets what she wants, she goes all glassy-eyed and relaxed. Just loves it. I recommended she try it to get her to stand for trimming, and it worked. Unfortunately, little mini decided she liked it so much she now demands it on a daily basis. So don't worry about lip chains, the horses aren't in pain until they do something bad, they are just walking along enjoying the buzz.
I have seen pictures before of Zenyatta and RA with the chain going thru the mouth and not over the nose. If you look back at bath time for Zenyatta , CArmen used it to control her. I saw also John using it on her in the paddock sometime. I don't like it but I guess its a must sometime.
Another thing brought up in the article on the Zenyatta site, is that the chains help keep the horse focused on the handler. That's a VERY good thing in new surroundings. Much as you want a little kid to listen to you in new situations, you want that horse listening to you and not forgetting you are there.
I don't get people who won't let this lip chain thing go. I guess you've never had a horse pull away from you and take off goodness knows where, sometimes out onto a road or into a fence. And there was the mention of geese? Know what some horses will do when those decide to take off? You want and need that control until you know the horse, the horse knows its surroundings, and that pent up energy that can't all be burned off by hand walking can be let loose safely in a field.
Some horses may always need a lip chain if iffy situations. I had a pretty mellow horse but always in any potentially exciting or scary situation that chain would at least be over its nose because you can't hold 1200lbs of horse if it wants to go somewhere with just a halter. And that one never got used to birds, would spook every time they took off, some big spooks, some little. I think Zenyatta will be much better than that but please, there have been many very good reasons given and what you see as unnecessary a savvy horse person would not question. This isn't a dog or small animal. 1200lbs of spooked is not easy to control and if you need it, you can't put it on when/if the situation happens. These people are using insurance- they CARE about the horse.
She looks fabulous!!
Thank you Lane's End for continuing to share Zenyatta with her fans. She has become a part of our daily lives too, through photos, videos and social media.
We appreciate it!!
Laina- "natural horsemenship" with a newly retired racehorse? Your joking, right?
People would be complaining if she has the chain over her nose instead of a lip chain just the same- she is NOT a show PONY!! shes 1000+lbs of racing fit muscle. She likely needs that lip chain 110% especially in a new area and she DOES look like she's a bit of a handful!! (newsflash-most racehorses are!!)
She's not like the mares most of you see at your hunter jumper barns, lol. She's still very much a racehorse and all horses at the track have a stud chain on and generally all use a lip chain when in new surroundings.
This MAY be a stretch but I BET Lanes End people actually have some experience in this area?? Something tells me they know what they are doing. (please sense the sarcasm). Geesh. Lay off of them- they are around these horses every day and know how to handle them. You all may think Z has "understanding" and "compassion" but your forgetting that she's still just a racehorse who wants to run (and most of the time the great runners are the hardest to handle, and the meanest). Since none of you have handled her you can't really say what she does and does not need and to me she looks like she's feeling pretty damn good so I'd say the lip chain is 110% necessary. You dont walk racehorses around with a simple rope lead snapped to their halter...
As for not having a blanket common guys she's a HORSE she's not made out of glass!! She went out for a quick walk she doesn't need a blanket lol.
Happy to see she is still winning hearts ...looking forward to more perfection ! Thanks Bloodhorse and Lanes End for sharing the LOVE
My hats off to Ruffian, finaly sombody with sense. Haveing trained horses for many years I couldn;t agree with you more.
Ruffian, you said it, she's a racehorse she wants to run.
Wouldn't it be great if Zenyatta could take a winter vacation to California and be able to acclimate to a paddock much much sooner?
There is no question about Queen Z's fans, they will still be talking about her 10 years from now. And Ruffian I'm sure Z is still a handfull and feels great but I don't think mean is in her nature. There have been hundreds of pictures of Z with little children and non horse people and if she was a biter she would have gotten many pieces of the fans by now!! Even Steve Haskin got a kiss on the nose, an agressive horse doesn't stand there and let people give them a smooch. I remember one of the last times I saw John Henry and his handler was telling me how mellow John had become, John on cue reached over and took a bite out of the handler's jacket. He was a great horse with a mischievous personality.
I don't know if anyone saw Facebook today. There is a five minute video of Zenyatta walking in the paddock. It should answer any and all questions about how Zenyatta is doing. She looks fabulous!! She appears to love her surroundings (who wouldn't) and believe me for Land's End to be taking the time to publish these videos and spend so much time on one horse, you know they care as much for the horse as anyone else does. She's in a great place.
Wait until you see her out in the paddock this spring/summer.
She'll be stunning....still.
Early Speed - I agree on exercise keeping laminitis at bay. It’s a good Idea if sound enough to trot or gently canter a horse on a suitably cushioned surface to keep healthy hooves.
Even vigorous walking helps circulation and hoof health. All the former founders I know do best with as much exercise as they can stand too.
Resections heal faster with regular (modified) exercise and not just stall rest in our observations.
Certainly a balance must be maintained with a stallion and his increased nutrition requirements without dangerous over loading of carbs. I like higher protein /fat lower carb ration in performance and breeding horses.
No foot no horse.
Not to go on and on but just a word about "natural horsemanship" and the Fresh OTT racehorse; Parelli will get you and the horse possibly killed. Careful who you let teach you stuff, Anyone who jumps bareback with no helmet (and teaches methodology that way) is an Idiot, who demonstrates they don’t care enough about their own brain to protect it properly -(or perhaps their ego is in the way and they can’t get a big enough helmet) - nuff said.
Quarterhossgal, Ruffian didn't say anything about Zenyatta being mean, she said most top runners are tough to handle and many are mean. Ruffian didn't say all, she said most. I'll agree that most fit racehorses are a handful, but I don't think all that many are truly mean. Sure, many will kick and bite and may even be a bit of a bully, but that might just be an incredibly fit animal and not true meanness.
Zenyatta is a fit, sound racehorse who has been cooped up for a very long time. Her body is crying to go out and let off steam, but it is unsafe to allow it. She needs to be let down carefully so she doesn't get hurt.
Freetex, why do you think she could be acclimated to a paddock sooner in California? She needs to be acclimated to the farm where she is going to live with the mares she is going to be in a herd with. They are going as fast as they feel safe going--no faster than in California.
I think a lot of people are afraid that Zenyatta will have trouble coping with the cold. Nothing is further from the truth. Horses prefer cold to heat any day. Once she grows a winter coat, she should be able to live outside 24/7 as long as she has a run-in shed. I somehow doubt that she will be outside 24/7, but it is probably the healthiest way for her to live.
Zenyatta is the Horse of the Decade.
I say no more.
I was happy to see Zenyatta doing good at her new home in Kentucky. I was lucky to have taken four pictures with her at Hollywood Park( Barn 55). She is a special horse
and what a to have meet her. More special than the 27 Super Bowls I have been too.
JAJ- you're right I didn't say all were mean. Perhaps mean isn't the word- many bite and kick out of playfulness than actually being mean- although that doesn't make it hurt any less. Some ARE downright mean horses and WILL legitimately attack a person (I know several people who were attacked by racehorses- we're talking helicopter rides to the hospital, life threatening injuries).
People seriously need to stop worrying about her being in the cold. She's a HORSE. They are MADE to live outside. If you ever watch the morning works on a cool morning you'll see a significant amount of the horses acting up- why? because they FEEL GOOD in the cold! its a better environment for them. And common, its Kentucky! Its not going to be THAT incredibly cold.
She wouldn't get acclimated to a paddock any faster in the heat- this isn't about her adjusting to the cold its her adjusting to NOT racing, getting off of the high energy feeds, mellowing out, getting used to new surroundings, and being able to be safely turned out in a paddock, hopefully with a few other horses as well.
As to pecking order in a new herd of horses- yes of course horses have a pecking order. Theres no reason to think that Zenyatta will be at the top (just because every human sees her as the queen doesn't mean the other horses will!). But so what? She may get a bit pushed around but, again, shes a horse- this is how they interact! this is how life is supposed to be for them. She'll survive. lol.
Oh, and even if she went back to CA, she's not going to be back with her old groom (people mentioned this?) - he's a groom for racehorses, not broodmares. He stays at the track. she goes to a farm. horses come and go. its life on the racetrack.
And again, just because there have been photos of her with kids or people getting close to her doesn't mean she's a sweet loving horse- I'm not saying that shes not (I haven't "met" her) but I know that she's likely incredibly high strung and a right handful of a horse- generally speaking ALL racehorses are and just look at her, she looks like shes feeling great which means she's more likely to be a handful (this isn't a bad thing...).
Everyone here seems to think just because shes so great and her fans love her that makes her like a sweet little (well, large) puppy dog! its just not the case, you cant let your emotions determine what you think her deposition is. If she wasn't high strung, if she wasn't a handful, if she didn't have that energy and vibe, she'd likely not be as great as she is.
Isn't there a way of letting a horse down so that they still get exercised during the process? For Zenyatta to go from racing fit to just hand walking just doesn't seem the ideal. I'm aware the snowy weather has prevented turn-out, I'm aware her safety is paramount. But, I think controlled exercise (gentle trotting) is healthier for a horse so find myself thinking that Zenyatta's letdown might have been better accomplished in a warmer climate, then move her to Lane's End an appropriate length of time before breeding season begins. Z looks restless to me.
Jaj, there is no snow on the ground in Thousand Oaks, CA.
That's the only point I was trying to get across, just as Maryann 727 suggested.
I love Kentucky, but adjusting to a snowless paddock in an also beautiful setting In CA for awhile just seems reasonable.
I am just a zealous Zenyatta worrier, who truly believes the Mosses will always put Zenyatta's care first and foremost.
Snow is not affecting her being let down. If you let her down in California and got her to the point of being free in a paddock, you would have to go through the same process when she moved to Kentucky. Learning to be sensible in one paddock won't automatically translate to being sensible in another.
I tend to agree with Maryann 727 about giving her some exercise under saddle, but the farm may not be set up for it. Riding her is not without risk. She could very well dump the rider and you would have the same dangerous situation on your hands. I watched the video of her walking in the paddock and although I've walked a lot of very fit racehorses at the track, I sure wouldn't want to be the one on the end of her lead shank. She is looking to explode.
I'm probably echoing what everyone already said but thanks for the great photos and letting us see how "our" girl is doing in her new surroundings. I don't think I've ever seen a horse with such big incredible dapples - absolutely beautiful.
I hope fans can visit her there some day once she settles in. Surely they could find a way. I know they don't have to but I hope I haven't visited her for the last time.
I love to see she's still doing her strut. That would be cool if she continues to do that even long after her race career and the roar of the crowd have become distant memories.
Will she be treated like all broodmares, constantly bred??
When you view these magnificent and touching photos of Zenyatta an idea comes to mind. Lane's End should make a little track around the farm so her fans can still watch her race a little. I bet she would like that too. I know her fans would be ecstatic. With her caliber of thoroughbred she wouldn't hurt herself, I'm sure she would love the dance! Not since Ruffian have Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta caught my eye and watch out for Alexandra Rylee. Afleet Alex's little girl, I think she is the next female Secretariat. Just Watch!
Zenyatta or should I say Ginger Rogers-have a great life. You are awesome.
Mares are bred every year just the way nature intended them to be. Mares can conceive very soon after they have foaled. They immediately start cycling normally. If it were hard on them, nature wouldn't make it so easy for them to get in foal again.
Look at humans--as long as women are breast feeding their fertility is greatly reduced. Most can't conceive until after they have weaned (or almost weaned) their babies. Not so for a mare--they are cycling again 10 to 14 days after foaling.
Experienced broodmare managers know that a mare will take a year off when she needs to. You can be assured, Zenyatta will not be bred if there is any concern over her health.
Mares are not humans. They do just fine bred every year.
I hope this blog doesn't degenerate into a PETA-like bashing of the Thoroughbred breeding industry, Lanes End and Zenyatta's very gracious owners. Zenyatta has a great life ahead of her.
Fran- not likely to happen- having her ridden or "raced" poses far to great of a chance that shell get injured plus shell be in foal this spring- and likely almost every spring to come, shell have a baby by her side and be in foal again- she's not going to be ridden...
Racehorses are often hand walked when needed- days after work outs, days after races- again Lanes End has been through this procedure with a LOT of horses before- they know what they are doing! They know the care and exercise she needs. Her risk of injury from beige turned out isn't solely because of the snow and ice- the risk would still exist in a paddock in CA- that shell take off and trip, take a misstep, and injure herself. Plus if they want her there "plenty of time before breeding season" that has to be now- breeding season starts SOON.
I agree with JAJ- I've handled many fit racehorses but I woulnt want to be on the other end of Z's lead she looks pretty full of herself! :-)
I don't know about a baby every year. I thought 2 would be enough. A boy and a girl. Perhaps Tiznow would like to date the Queen, and see how she likes him. He is a handsome, big boy. Zenyatta fans do not forget Rachel..these last few years were the girls...Life is Sweet, Rachel, Goldikova and the best of all QUEEN ZENYATTA.
Thank you Ruffian (happen to love your sign-on name, I loved Ruffian, cried for weeks) I know it was just a dream, loved watching Zenyatta race-you see someone like her once or twice in a lifetime-they will take good care of her and you're right she is "spunkey". Thank you for the breeding info- learned alot.
I think Z looks great, very healthy and happy. I'm glad she's at Lane's End and it looks to me like they're letting her down slowly so her transition is gradual and healthy for her. In no way would you want them rushing her. Yes, she has tons of energy, but again, I think the Farm looks to be doing a great job with her. Regarding Z's tongue, it's out a lot. I think it's a trait of hers and usually she looks content at the same time, so I see it as a good sign actually. Also when horses are working and "on the bit" they'll do that, too. Not necessarily resisting just paying attention.
As to only 2 babies - I hope she has many more than that because I think we'll see some very good foals from her, and I want her influence to continue for years down the road, no longer racing but strengthening the Thoroughbred breed. A happy/healthy horse looks that way, and Z still looks happy/healthy to me - in every way.
It doesn't matter if she likes the stallion or not, that's what the hobbles are for.
I'm sorry if that sounds cold but some of this romanticism needs to be tempered with reality. She has a new job now, it's called being a broodmare and she is expected to produce foals who are hopefully as talented as she herself was. If history has taught us anything, this is highly unlikely because top performances mares rarely reproduce themselves but there is always a first time.
Regardless, when she was racing she was expected to go to the track with a workmanlike attitude and get to the wire ahead of the other horses. Now she is going to be expected to produce foals.
Thoroughbred mating is not romantic. She will be tested with a teaser stallion, then when she is receptive she will be kitted out in gear desired to protect both herself and the stallion. She will spend maybe 5 minutes in the presence of her covering stallion and that will be that. The rest of the time she will be out in the broodmare band hopefully with a couple good paddock buddies.
Personally for a horse like Zenyatta I think this is a shame. I think she should have been properly retired out of the Thoroughbred Industry and perhaps given a new job after being let down. But that 5% chance that she'll reproduce a foal even a hair as good as she was is too tempting to pass up and so she is now a broodmare.
And then "L" gives us a reality check. We fans all wish each racehorse could be like Seabiscuit in his retirement-on the owner's farm, ridden every once and awhile, alot of attention, and a beautiful resting place with nostalgia of the early racing years, but horseracing is a business also. To get too far from that and horseracing won't be horseracing, betting, future racehorses and fans. We can only hope when racehorses retire they are taken care of well and having visited one of the premier thoroughbred farms Gainesway Farm-I know this to be true. After all when Afleet Alex was retired-I wanted him in my backyard! Visiting a Thoroughbred Farm puts finality in good perspective of your favorite racehorses career, just do it often and you will never forget that feeling at the rail when the racehorse you loved sent a breath your way or gave you a winning glance.
Gee, L, you didn't need to be quite so blunt to get your point across.
I doubt she is "expected" to produce foals. I know with my own broodmare, I just hope for good foals. It can be a business and still be a loving relationship.
I disagree that top race mares don't produce themselves. It would be extremely unlikely for Zenyatta to produce a racehorse of her quality, but you are talking about one of the greatest racehorses of all time. The greatest just aren't very common; they are rare treasures.
There was a study published recently in the Blood-Horse where they compared the production of different groups mares. I'm going by memory so hope someone can find a link to the article.
The race records of foals of unraced mares, winning mares, stakes winning mares, graded stakes placed mares and graded stakes winning mares were compared. Not surprisingly, the graded stakes winning (or was is graded stakes placing?) mares produced the most graded stakes winners.
So, yes, it makes perfect sense to breed your good race mare. The reason they aren't as likely to get that big horse (as in the upper echelons of racing) is because they have very few foals. How many stand out racehorses has A. P. Indy produced? How many hundred foals did it take to get those few special ones.
I'm really sad at the tone this blog is taking on.
I thought Zenyatta was one of the truly special individuals the racing world has ever seen. She was kind enough to allow strangers close to her and her connections were kind enough to oblige. Now she is retired to live a natural life, cared for the way most people could only dream of and now we have some on the blog suggesting she has been turned into just a foal-producing machine.
Yes, the mare will likely be hobbled to protect the stallion. A kick is a normal communication tool amongst horses, but you don't want your stallion who is worth millions to risk getting hurt or fatally injured by a frisky maiden mare.
Yes, she will be teased by a teaser stallion and ultrasounded to ensure that she is bred at exactly the right time for the best chance of conception. And, yes, it is a five-minute event from the stallion walking into the breeding shed and walking out.
Once she is bred and in foal, she spends the year with her girlfriends. She will have the best of everything. Not a bad life for a horse. If all horses could be so lucky.
Did I ever tell you that I love you to pieces? Well, I do!!!
Gosh, Zookeeper, where did that come from? Thanks!
Yes I was blunt but some level of reality needs to be interjected in amongst all the flowers and rose petals.
Of course Lane's End is a top nursery facility and Zenyatta will get top care as a member of the broodmare band but let's not romanticize what being a broodmare is about. It's important to remember that this isn't like being pensioned, there are still expectations from her and risk.
Each foaling will carry a risk, sure everything is done to minimize that risk but there is still a risk, just like when she was on the track. For all that the Jockey Club insists upon a live cover, the breeding of Thoroughbreds is very artificial for just the reason you mentioned. The health and safety of a multi-million dollar stallion and an equally valuable mare is not conducive to these images of a 'romantic' encounter.
Ruffian had it dead on in that for the rest of her life Zenyatta will have a foal on the ground and/or be in foal, basically barefoot and pregnant. Yes, she'll be out with paddock buddies, taken care of and pampered but there is no denying that it is what it is, she's a baby machine now.
As for reproducing herself, I remember the article you're talking about and it was an interesting read and makes sense about the stakes winners but look at your Genuine Risk or Winning Colors. Sure then you get a Personal Ensign and hopefully Zenyatta is more a PE than a GR or a WC.
I have had a lot of horses in my life--racehorses, riding horses and my one broodmare. I can tell you, of all the horses I've had past and present, who all got the best of care, my broodmare has the best life. And, yes, I try to get a foal every year. I've owned that mare since she was a yearling, raced her four years and then retired her to be a broodmare. She is incredibly happy as a broodmare and loves being a mama.
If you ask a horse what kind of a life they would want to lead, I can't imagine any who wouldn't prefer to be out in a field with girlfriends and babies. It is so natural. They have a rich social life and want for nothing. They aren't cooped up in a stall which is unnatural. It is just the best life for a horse.
I find it odd that many in society now think reproducing is somehow a bad thing. There is a drive to reproduce, it is natural.
On the whole I agree with you, I've known many a broodmare in my time and 95% of them lived contentedly in their band with their girlfriends and babies.
But you have to acknowledge that there are some horses who don't let go of the 'lime light' so easily and Zenyatta just has the look and presence of one of those types. I honestly do hope I'm wrong and I know that if anyone can successfully bring her 'down' and transition her into her new life it's Lane's End but you never know.
What sticks a burr under my saddle blanket are the people who are romanticizing a horse to such a degree as speaking in terms of 'dates' and 2.4 children and a white picket fence. That is not what being a broodmare in the Thoroughbred Industry is about.
Well, I do have to agree with you about the very unrealistic ideas some fans of Zenyatta have. Some are pretty young and most have never gotten closer to a racehorse, broodmare or a breeding farm than their television sets. I don't think it does the industry any good to smack those dreamers in the head with a blunt version of reality.
I, too, hope you are wrong about Zenyatta settling easily into life as a broodmare, but it has always been a worry in the back of my mind. She just loved her job too much.
It came from always enjoying your comments. You're a realist but you're not brutal about it. Also, I can tell that your love of horses is genuine and comes from a long association with these wonderful creatures.
I got a little rambunctious there, I hope I didn't scare you!
I don't know what to say, Zookeeper. Thank you.
Zenyatta's half sister Balance just produced a colt that took down 4.2 MILLION at a yearling sale.
Please people as much as I too think she could be a star in another line of work or simply retired, she is the best racehorse in a long time. It is a sin not to breed a female of her phenotype, genetics and talent. She can realistically have perhaps 14 offspring and we need every one.
Yes Zenyatta is EXPECTED to produce a foal every year, god willing, until barren just like a wild horse would, I remind you.
I assume AP INDY, as he’s a producer with impeccable lines and getting old. While I’m at it, I hope not Giant’s Causeway as I think Zen and Balances scrappy little bro Souper Spectacular by GC is just good In phenotype he simply isnt as well put together as his sisters.
What’s more this isn’t about her choice it’s about the future of TB's she will not only be rigged up in hobbles but will likely be sedated too to calm her for the live cover which is a must for JC registration - remember too she is HUGE she in stature too and will be difficult to mount for older studs.
To bring her into cycle she must be kept in her stall at night under lights and likely be given hormone shots to bring on regular ovulation.
The mechanics of Live Cover Equine breeding are NOT romantic it’s about safety and success with less attempts - again safer to cover once then twice.
I adore Zenyatta she is LEGEND in my house and still I know her for a horse we must let her be a horse now and get some progeny on the ground - we all can see the potential if she breeds true to type - for the future here’s to a stallion of epic proportion out of our queen Z.
Thanks for the pictures. Good to see her! Best of luck and hope she settles well. Please keep us updated:)
I don't think that a horses tongue lolling about is always such a sign of stress or resistence as it is a sign of high energy and actually "talking''.
I have a yearling (Thoroughbred ) filly and she has been like ZENYATTA since she was very young, always has her tongue out. She is never stressed, but she sure has a lot of energy ! Even a little cough on my part causes her to jump in the air. My filly is happy, well adjusted and just plain exhuberent & full of vital energy.
She only lolls her tongue when people are near & it is part of her horse language IE: Talking & showing a happy excitement. My filly is very intelligent and "Talks" a lot , like ZENYATTA.
With this said, I don't see ZENYATTA as lolling her tongue as a "Bad thing", but only shows her high excitement about just being alive and well cared for be it heading to a race, or walking along. She is deffinitly people oriented & does have a LOT of high energy-power and exhuberance !
Also, ZENYATTA's bloodlines tell me that she'll be a good & natural dam & broodmare. I am hoping that she'll go to A.P.INDY as the sire of her foal.He is a fine stallion with old and proven bloodlines !
It's been awhile since we have seen a Blue Hen, wouldn't that be wonderful !I remain hopeful !
p.s. JAJ : Zoo-Keeper is not the only one who enjoys your considerate and knowledgeable comments,so do I! Good luck with your horses !
I adore zenyattas she is incredible gorgeous horse I wish I meet her.why her tongue out all the time at the photos,why she still have a change,why she don't have a blanket at the freezing temperature,I want her to be special as always and have a long healthy good happy life.
Zenyatta doesn't have a blanket on because she doesn't need one on. Not many horses need a blanket.
When you see her get a blanket after a race it is because she is sweaty and will get cold quickly. A reasonably fat, dry Zenyatta out for a walk is not going to get cold. If she were standing around, you might have a point, but she is walking and producing heat. She wears a blanket in her stall where she is standing around even though the barn will be warmer than the outside.
You ask, "why she still have a change." Did you mean why is she still wearing a chain? She absolutely needs it! Did you see the video of her prancing around in her field? She was so full of energy, she looked like she would explode. If she ever got loose in that field feeling like that she would race from end to end, bucking and kicking. Many horses have gone right through those great big fences in that sort of situation. She could slip and fall. She could get seriously or fatally hurt. She wears a chain because she is at great risk of becoming too difficult to control without one.
You, along with her owners, the people at Lanes End and countless fans KNOW she is special and want her to have the best life a horse can have.
Thank you for the photos of everyones' favorite mare.
She seems to enjoy this stage of life as she did racing.
Such a great rep of the thoroughbred.
I wish all horses were treated this well.....
Sunny Farm: So good to see you (miss you at the other site)!
As always, Sunny Farm, I find your comments balanced, helpful, & welcoming (sorely missing in most discourse, however informal).
JAJ: May I suggest that your reading of the extant (peer-reviewed & published) "scientific" literature on "twitches" (& lip chains) & the purported mechanism (of effect) is...insufficient.
The extant literature (on this subject) is (at best)...sparse.
Don't take my word for it: Everyone who has access to the Internet also has access to the most powerful electronic database of published biomedical research (human & non-human alike) in the world via...
PubMed & The National Library of Medicine (NLM; which is part of the National Institutes of Health). Here is the URL to the PubMed portal:
PubMed samples published (peer-reviewed) scientific literature (across innumerable species within Kingdom Animalia, human & non-human alike) from global resources, including those published in languages other than English.
If you conduct a search in PubMed on the twitch & the model (biological) mechanism underlying its purported effect(s) (what its use purportedly elicits in the way of a biophysiological response), you will find very little research (that’s why I used the adjective “spare” to describe the depth & breadth of the published extant literature) that has either been conducted and/or reported (& peer-reviewed--& published in refereed scientific journals).
What has been published SUGGESTS a possible mechanism but no legitimate scientist, or someone who is otherwise qualified to read & evaluate the merits (or lack thereof) of published scientific research, would “draw a conclusion” that the effects of the use of a twitch or a lip chain (e.g., over the lip) have been reliably observed--& replicated (measurement & replication constitute the essence of science/the scientific method), to elicit/produce the “release of endorphins.”
Although many (& these individuals know who they are) may leap at the chance to call me an ”elitist” for having the temerity to cite scientific references (& its underlying objectivist epistemology), I offer this perspective on the “research” (& I surmise that one of the articles you are referencing is the observational 1984 Lagerweij et al. article) you reference (without citing) & with which you justify (in a formal logical & epistemic sense) your argument (as a rhetorical form).
My point: It is NOT definitively clear yet (scientifically) what exactly is the mechanism underlying the use of the twitch (on the horse or other higher-order mammalian species, including homo sapiens sapiens).
On less firm (epistemic) ground, may I venture an opinion on the use of the lip chain: Its value (& attractiveness to those humans who use it) is, IMHO, primarily contained in its aversive properties, that is, in its potential & actual discomfort and/or pain-causing properties.
It is, in the terms of behaviorism & post-behaviorism (e.g., operant conditioning paradigms), an aversive stimulus & at best it causes discomfort—at worst, pain (however that construct would be operationalized & observed/measured).
Using aversive stimuli to modify & indeed control behavior—in human & non-human animal species, is a long-standing & widespread practice (for humans of a certain age, why don’t you refer to & watch “A Clockwork Orange” to observe an over-the-top application of aversive conditioning—applied to humans).
Much of what we term “natural horsemanship” (which, I suggest, is an oxymoron: There is nothing natural, vis-à-vis the horse, about what humans do to or with horses) features variable (in terms of intensity) forms of aversive conditioning.
As the immortal Ray Hunt often observed: A most effective way to motivate a horse to change her/his behavior—to make a “choice” between two clearly defined (behavioral) criteria, is to “make the ‘right’ thing (behavior) easy & the ‘wrong’ thing difficult.”
What did he mean? He meant that using varying degrees of discomfort (aversive stimuli) would facilitate or encourage the horse to choose what the rider (or horse person) wants the horse to do—instead of doing what the horse habitually does or tries/wishes to do.
May I suggest that there are thoroughbred trainers who eschew the use of lip chains & other aversive stimuli (e.g., Citation bits, Dexter ring bits, spurs, etc.) to elicit desired behaviors from thoroughbreds in their care?
The lip chain is a default aversive stimulus—some would term it a “tool,” for many thoroughbred trainers & those in their employ—many of whom are not students of or experts in equid ethology (to say the least).
Another reason the lip chain is often used in the thoroughbred industry (breeding, sales, & racing) is that it is an inexpensive & expedient “tool,” one that requires little understanding or training to use--& yes, there are many who use it who inflict real (namely, observable) pain on the horse.
In the end, I suggest, using pain to modify or control behavior—however anachronistic or primitive (in my estimation), remains at the forefront of human behavior.
Long live Zenyatta--& may she foal one & be done with it (& move on to another setting, such as the Kentucky Horse Park)!
Surely you jest (in a very scientific way, of course).
Soooo, who's in the mood for some real Zenyatta news? Love Dottie's diary notes on our favorite girl.
Those photos of you are so gorgeous; thanks to Land's End
farm for sharing those with your
I am so happy to hear that you are
adjusting well. This was a concern
It appears that you are being treated very well so that relieves my worries of potential abuse and
neglect of you.
I am so eager to hear that you are pregnant, and can't wait to see your new little one.
Love to you Zenyatta and Mr. and Mrs. Moss. They are really decent
I thoroughly enjoyed your post, although I found it drifted towards a bombastic screed rather than an attempt to impart knowledge or understanding of the subject at hand. I had to pull out my dictionary a time or two and that doesn't usually happen when I read a blog!
Now, lets be honest, virtually all studies into something similar to how and why a twitch works will only SUGGEST the mechanism involved. I can't imagine a study that will ever come up with a black and white answer as to why a twitch works.
There was one study that I read about in The Horse Magazine. I didn't cite it since I didn't have it at my finger tips, but it seems you did for me, thank you. I remember they found endorphins were elevated when a twitch was applied and I relayed that information to people here on the blog. M-D, I did not write a scientific paper--I wrote in a blog. Were you are expecting citations?
I will agree with you that the main features of a lip chain is its ability to impart extreme aversive stimuli and its relative ease in use.
Note to those how aren't familiar with lip chains--pain only happens when you pull or jerk on it, not by it just being there with light pressure applied. Horses may comply for a variety of reasons--endorphins may be one of them as might the fear/threat you will hurt them.
Humans have a long history of applying aversive stimuli (usually pain) to get the behavior they desire. Unfortunately, it works, which only reinforces the person using the aversive stimuli. Some of the detrimental side-effects of aversives in training are increased aggression, apathy, escape/avoidance behaviors and phobias (over-generalized aversion to the environment). (Translation: You can end up with an animal that shows aggression towards you; that simply does nothing and offers no behaviors no matter how much pain you inflict; an animal that tries to escape you or the training situation; or an animal that develops phobias/extreme fears and becomes terrified of something--perhaps you--that is associated in its mind with the pain or fear of the training situation.)
There is a bit more to your assertion that the way to get the desired behavior is to make the undesired behavior unpleasant. When choosing a behavior a learner is always choosing the behavior that has the MOST rewarding consequence to it. You can avoid using aversives when the "wrong" behavior is chosen simply by making the "right" behavior more rewarding for the learner.
I am a student of operant conditioning, having attended many week-long workshops with some of the best animal trainers in the business who eschew the use of aversives to get any behavior. I don't know that there are rewards strong enough to keep an extremely excited racehorse under control that doesn't use some aversive stimuli. It is something I think about often. I do think many people who handle animals (horses, dogs, cows and even human animals) rely far too much on aversive stimuli rather than looking for the least intrusive method to get the behavior they want.
I enjoyed this dialogue, but am sure you and I are the only ones who did. My apologies to everyone else.
Ditto JAJ (on enjoying this give-&-take)!
On alternatives to the twitch & the purported pressure point on the gum area above the teeth (the area where the lip chain is supposed to rest):
There is a product (cannot remember the name of it now) that was developed that features a pulley system & a metal line covered in plastic. This product hooks over the poll of the horse (behind the ears) & runs down to the mouth.
Cinching it up and/or down applies variable pressure on this purported "Chinese accupressure point" &...
purportedly activates some unspecified mechanism that results in the release of CNS endorphins.
If I am not mistaken, Carl Nafzger uses (used) this product--& may well endorse it.
I call attention to this product because it highlights how quickly such products--with scientifically unproven claims/benefits, can find their way into the marketplace.
Again, as with a twitch or a lip chain, using such a device without proper training (& appreciation of what consequences using it can have), can lead to some very "bad" outcomes for both horse & human.
JAJ, I very much appreciate your perspective on horsemanship & handling racing fit thoroughbreds (at the track).
Until one has been injured in either riding or handling a horse, one can NOT fully appreciate how potentially dangerous working with horses--racing thoroughbreds or otherwise, can be.
Unfortutunately, I have observed horrendous horsemanship (what I term working with horses in a systematic way, including training & riding--& managing their daily care) on the backstretch--& at numerous sport-horse boarding facilities. Bad horsemanship, IMHO, is...ubiquitous.
All that said, I have spent considerable time at various thoroughbred breeding farms &, notwithstanding how "professional" & pretigious the operations may be, I never cease to be amazed by how often I see grooms & others dragging horses around with the shank & a lip chain.
I certainly did NOT see (in the photos taken at Lane's End) any signs that Charlie Campbell (her groom?) was "dragging" Zenyatta around or attempting to use the lip chain to "discipline" Zenyatta or anyway compel (force) her to do something agaqinst her will.
Happy holidays, Zenyatta, & best wishes to all who believe in & practice gentle & compassionate horsemanship :)
I think I know the piece of equipment you are talking about--it is called a nerve line. Are you talking about a chain that is connected to a leather strap that goes on the horse's head much like a bridle with the chain (think of a bit in a bridle) going over the gum rather than in the mouth like a real bit? A nerve line is tightened or loosened by a buckle just as you would tighten or loosen a bridle.
While we may not know the mechanisms that make nerve lines or twitches work, there is enough empirical evidence to prove they do.
I, too, am often horrified by some of the really bad "horsemanship" skills I see practiced. Every animal that is in captivity is at risk of abusive practices. But to put that in perspective, so is every child born.
I think we have given the non-horsey people a bit too much information and I hope we haven't opened a really, really big can of worms that will take this blog somewhere it doesn't want to go. I am, as always, happy to clear up any misunderstandings that may be floating around.
No need to apologize, I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoyed your response. At least, I was able to understand it without a dictionary and did not get hopelessly lost by all the asides (or digressions).
The pictures of Zenyatta are beautiful. they take your breath away. and I can hardly wait to see her out running around.
Zenyatta, you have a Happy Happy Christmas. Blessings
My final thoughts on our thread, JAJ:
I admit to finding it discouraging--but hardly surprising, that many Americans object to having to reach for (perish the thought or prospect that they might have to rise up from their lounge chair & actually move their bodies a few feet to find & refer to) a dictionary or some other reference resource.
For using a word that may have required some to use a dictionary:
I confess my sin: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa-mea maxima cupla!
And may I say that bracketing thoughts (in my case through the use parenthetical remarks) to add additional information or elaborate further without having to break off & start a new paragraph--& risk losing the train of thought for both the writer & the reader, is not all the uncommon in published discourse?!
As I predicted (in my initial post), there would be some who regard my way of communicating as "elitist"--or at least regard it with (thinly-veiled) antagonism.
What we discussed, IMHO, was certainly NOT irrelevant (or "digressive") but rather directly addressed concerns expressed by many readers of this blog, that is, the use of the lip chain & similar aversive management & training devices on Zenyatta--& horses in general.
I do not apologize for being who I am--or for expressing myself in the manner in which I do.
It is patently offensive--to me, to engage others at the level of ad hominem attack & to be subjected to belittlement & hostility because I speak and/or write in a way that is different from that of others.
I shared what I did because the subject, that is, the use of aversive devices in the handling, training, & management of horses (& other species, human & non-human alike), in my estimation, warranted further & more sober consideration.
And it certainly was anything but "bombastic screed."
I grow weary to open or passively-aggressively expressed hostility to what I think, say, and/or write--or to how I express what I think.
For this reason, I rarely engage others in unmonitored forums such as this blog.
I got your message Zookeeper: You do not appreciate or like the way I write and/or express myself & you feel the compulsion to dismiss (dare I say belittle?) what I have contributed.
Given such interactional dynamics, I doubt I will be inclined to post another comment to this or other Bloodhorse blogs.
Who, in this day & age of such terrible problems & relentless suffering, needs to subject her/himself to unnecessary unpleasantness?
In the end, I suggest, much of such behavior boils down to dynamics & pragmatics arising from the individual-collective dialectic described in Christopher Lasch's landmark (1979) text, "The Culture of Narcisissism,"
And by the way: As you rush to judgment, may I remind those who would disparage me for yet again referring to the work of others that the USA is racing pell-mell to the bottom of the so-called civilized world in terms of educational achievement, particularly in science, technology, & math?
Are you aware that because of immigration/visa restrictions imposed following the 9-11 attack that large sectors of basic research & development (in both the basic & applied domains) in the USA lack sufficient numbers of intellectually able, well-trained, & well-educated foreigners (those who may not be as disinclined to get up/reach for a dictionary) to do the work necessary to sustain US preeminence in basic science, research, & technology-development?
Why do we need such foreigners? Because we do not have & cannot "produce" sufficient numbers of intellectually able, willing, well-educated, & well-trained individuals to do the science, math, & engineering necessary to sustain world preeminence in research & development.
That's not mere opinion. That is incontrovertible fact.
if you think I exaggerate, I suggest you read a few columns from that horrible New York Times elitist, Thomas Friedman.
Those highly capable & well-educated foreigners are now choosing in droves to go elsewhere to obtain their doctorates & do their work.
Have you been keeping track of how dominant China is becoming? I can tell you from having taught & worked with a fair number of Chinese doctoral students & postdocs that in the main they have no aversion, for example, to rising up from their chairs & reaching for a...dictionary.
And the rest, as the cliche goes, is (or will be) history.
Hope you can read the Daily Racing Form in Chinese!
Enjoy your little world of intolerance & contempt for learning, erudition, & complexity: It is fleeting.
Happy holidays, Zenyatta :)
Please don't take any comments so personally.
Okay, I apologize for calling your original post a bombastic screed. Screed was a bit of a stretch, but bombastic it certainly was.
You are quite capable of writing the same thoughts in plain English so that most of the people on this blog could understand your ideas. I think the message you offered was more important than the point you made that American vocabulary is shrinking and few people actually understand the written word.
Our discussion of the mindless and overly prevalent use of aversives in dealing with any living organism, people included, might have been lost by your choice of vocabulary and writing style. It was an important message.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed looking up some of your words, but I love the nuances of the English language. Sadly, not everyone does.
I agree with you that many blogs somehow encourage general bad behavior and ad hominem arguments, with a herd mentality thrown in for good measure. Is it the anonymity of the internet, giving people the courage to say things they wouldn't have the courage to say to another face to face? I'm sure it will be the subject of many a psychology dissertation.
Back to The Queen--unlike you I hope she has a dozen foals. Thoroughbreds need the genes of these wonderful performers passed on to as many as possible. She has few physical flaws. As you know, many of the stars of today and yesterday had serious conformational faults. When one has as few as the great Zenyatta does, I think it behooves us to try to get as much of her genes into the genetic pool as we can.
You certainly put me in my place. I loved every word. Please don't go away because of my quirky sense of humor.
Your post was unlike any I have seen on a BH blog. I teased you and I shouldn't have, since your sense of humor is not as great as your erudition.
Peace! and long live Zenyatta! May all horses be treated as kindly as you wish them to be.
Merry Christmas to you and forgive me for trying to inject humor in a subject that is obviously very serious and important to you (as it should be to all of us).
Breaking my promise (of not posting further on this thread or blog), however (another "sin" to confess):
May I say that, yes, I am unaccustomed to & generally do not welcome discourse that is not "governed" by some sort of underlying agreement/ethic/guidelines/rules.
Many academics are reluctant--or patently refuse, to appear on broadcast news programs, mass-media "debates," or even to be interviewed for mass media...
...because, we believe that life--even thoroughbred horse racing, cannot be adequately described, discussed, understood or even appreciated...
...in 30-second sound bytes from which all contextual information is edited/excluded.
May I say, Zookeeper, that I do have a dry sense of humor &, usually, with sufficient context, information, & encouraging relationship, I am able to readily access & express it--& appreciate a sense of humor in others.
Blogs, email, & other electronic media are...lousy media for expressing essential contextual information (in communication).
And, although I am not a professional linguist, I do know that contextual information (e.g., "body language") is essential to understanding, particularly understanding & interpreting emotion, motivation, & intent in any communication.
And truth be told: I am very likely too sensitive (give too much credence) to the opinions of others & what they may say in unmoderated interaction (with little contextual information) about me.
That is something for me to work on & overcome.
JAJ: I hear what you say about Zenyatta sharing her good conformation & durability & disposition through breeding...
& I still maintain my hope that she has an abbreviated career as a broodmare.
We can honestly disagree about this & yet share in & build on our concern about the lack of compassionate horsemanship...& treatment of what I term all sentient beings.
Safe & happy holidays to all--& that includes you, Meister Zookeeper!
when will we get a Rachel photo shoot? Ive only seen 1 pic of her(and no news on her) since her retirement, and she looked rather loney and sad in the picture :( maybe your next article can be on her? it would make my day! the 9th and 11th pix on this article are great
I certainly understand your point that complex ideas and information do not lend themselves well to 30-second sound bytes. However, where else does the novice Thoroughbred racing fan get any information about the inner workings of the industry?
Other than Preston Burch's bible, TRAINING THOROUGHBRED HORSES (and that is almost 60 years old), there isn't too much written about what goes into the day to day making of a racehorse.
I get a lot of my information from the people I am in contact with inside the industry, but I'm already "in" the industry. Where do you get good information if you aren't already in the business?
I can remember how little I knew when I first started in the business. I wish there had been blogs around to help steer me in the right direction. I would have saved myself a LOT of money and heart ache.
Glad to hear you have a sense of humor and also that you have forgiven me...(I think).
For your information (and to provide contextual detail) it is "Mistress" Zookeeper, if you don't mind. (Although "Meister" sounds a lot better.)
As to body language, I must resort (for lack of better) to a smiley face, (expressed thus: :) in blog parlance) as I relay to you my appreciation and enjoyment of the knowledge you have contributed to the discourse. :)
Rachelfan, Its not no one's fault that you don't hear of RA anymore. The fault lies on her owner's head, HE is the one that took her out of the equation and therefore, she is out of existance. I am sorry to say, he never cared for her only for the award, and he dont care for her fans either, IF he did, he would let you all say goodbye to her as the MOsses did with Zenyatta.
I think he done her and her fans wrong, very wrong.
Another thing, Steve Haskin just a week or so back answered someone's post about him doing something on RA, He said, He wasnt worrying about it because when he called to talk to someone about her he got the cold shoulder so he said forget it. Go over to his blog and ask him again or look back over his most recent blog , Or one one of his most recent ones. I hope that helps, but JJ doesnt want any visitors I guess, Look, His wife before NOvember said on a interview that RA wouldnt be sent to the farm until the middle of NOvemeber, and they were working on a farewell for her, What happened? they swept it under the rug and wisk her on to the farm without letting any of you say goodbye.
Thats a damn shame. She deserved better than that.
JAJ: My first exposure to the thoroughbred racing industry goes back to summertime in the late 1970s when I briefly worked on the backstretch of The Spa & occasionally on a nearby layup/training farm in Saratoga.
I started out mucking out stalls & “graduated” to hot-walking & even acting as a part-time groom.
Being at The Spa in the summer was…unfortgettable.
Many, many years later, I again rubbed elbows with the "industry" when I got caught up in the Smarty Jones story--& that led to my meeting a number of industry connections & a few trainers & having access to the backstretch East Coast/Mid-Atlantic) throughout that spring/summer/fall of 2004.
All of that changed after a traumatic visit to the backstretch at Charlestown...where I witnessed (literally) a vibrant & healthy thoroughbred being dragged on the ground to the back of a stock-style trailer...into which he was "tossed"...& then transported to a slaughterhouse.
Then I became intensely involved in thoroughbred & other horse-breed rescue--& I have not looked back.
I have attended numerous auctions--including many at the dreaded New Holland (PA) auctions, & have stood impotently & tearfully by as slaughter buyers & their stooges swooped into to buy healthy, young thoroughbreds (a number of them registered with The Jockey Club) & other breeds of perfectly healthy horses—for a price as low as $150, & then stood along the fences watching in horror in an impotent rage as they beat the terrified horses mercilessly to get them to load onto the two-tiered stock-style trailers.
This is the definiton of…horror.
And, in addition to doing what I could to help in the purchase/rescue of thoroughbreds at auctions-for-slaughter, I have sponsored thoroughbreds & other breeds who mercifully made their way into rescue.
Finally, a little over 4 years ago, I took the lunge & fully adopted a great grandson of Foolish Pleasure (sire = Bold Ruler) whom I was sponsoring at a local horse rescue. Since adopting him, I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I possibly can about equid ethlogy & classical horsemanship.
He is a beautiful solid bay with one socklet (& double-stacked swirls on his fore-head, which some horse whisperers identify as signs of exceptional ability--& complexity of personality) & is also a beautiful soul & a magnificent teacher—although he is his own individual & I do not pretend that he was put on this earth to teach me or any other human anything.
His life is valuable in its own right & does not need any association with mine—or that of other humans, to be justified & recognized as having substantive & intrinsic value.
This intense study of horsemanship led me to attend clinics & even enroll in horsemanship training programs with a number of well-known horsemen & women, some of whom are recognized as “masters” of so-called “natural horsemanship.”
“Natural horsemanship” no longer resonates with my own aspirations & I look to the rich European classical horsemanship (read: Dressage) traditions, particularly those emanating from the French Legerete School (one modern master I greatly admire is Phillippe Karl).
So much of my “horse time” now focuses on training (as Chris Irwin observes: “Training precedes schooling”) in the fundamentals to develop horses who can move efficiently, effectively, & biomechanically soundly while under tack & with a human on their backs (something that is not at all “natural” for a horse—of any breed).
I have worked with a number of rescued thoroughbreds & PMU foals, starting them & preparing them to be worked under saddle. Many of these horses could not even be haltered, let alone handled & administered to by a vet (for such basic procedures as vaccination, etc.).
Most of my work & training have been done from the ground. I am a terrible rider & a little over a year ago I started taking periodic riding lessons, mostly with teachers who situate themselves in the classical (NOT modern) Dressage tradition.
The work I now do is focused on developing my own riding skills-to complement my ground-work to help in the rehabilitation & development of rescued thoroughbreds (& other hose breeds). IMHO, the gymnastic flat work (& even some low-level jumping) of classical dressage is very good for both the body & mind of the off-the-track thoroughbred (OTTB).
Soon, I hope to be working with a Maryland-based thoroughbred trainer who also has a farm where she re-trains OTTB for other careers. She has a galloping oval (3/4 of a mile) & my primary interest is in learning how to gallop thoroughbreds (in the European tradition, which among other differences means that the stirrups are dropped lower than they are traditionally in North America).
So, JAJ, this is the “place” from which my perspective on thoroughbreds & horsemanship arises & is formed & informed.
Ms. Zookeeper: Very glad to correct my gender mis-attribution. I read your widely-placed comments/posts across a number of blogs & Internet sites. It is rare to make the acquaintance—however distant & technological, of a blogger such as you (& JAJ for that matter).
I am of the “old school” & prefer face-to-face &, if necessary, toe-to-toe interaction ☺
Again: Safe & happy holidays.
Im looking at the one and only SMART STRIKE baby to get on the ground!Good luck to ya Zen,only pick the best for this grand lady!
Zenyatta truely is the most beautiful horse there is. She loves all that loves her. She is adapting well. Her personality and charm always shines. She is the greatest horse in many ways that this sport has ever seen. No other horse compares and her millions of fans prove it. Please keep the pictures coming. they are great, then again you would expect nothing less from the QUEEN.
Oh , what a wonderful Christmas present. To see her again . She looks so beautiful. It makes you just smile from ear to ear to see her.. She is so majestic.
Thankyou for sharing.
Merry Christmas to ' the Queen " and all that are looking after her.
please continue walking her everyday all her life to maintain her muscukar statue, as well as to avoid developing laminitis and arthritis don't let her to get fat too much.maintain the way she is,she is part of the history concerning horseracing no one can compare with her style she is so beautiful and gentle with people and kids she is lovable gorgeous horse,Iwish I see her.
Zenyatta--we miss you--you brought a new exuberance to the sport of horse racing....you are the prettiest mare I've ever seen and hopefully you're adapting to your new surroundings....stay safe!!! What a great "gal" ! ! ! ! ! It will be a long time till we see the likes of another Zenyatta, I'm sure!
I congratulate you on your work rescuing horses, and I thoroughly enjoy your posts. But then, I do have a dictionary and I'm not afraid to use it.
Zenyatta IS an exceptional thoroughbred; she has heroic stature combined with nearly perfect balance. If she can throw a foal who's anything like her, the breed will undoubtedly benefit.
But, I do wonder what she could do with a few years of Dressage training. I can just picture her floating across the ring on the diagonal in a extended trot, or using those powerful hindquarters to elevate in a passage.
Right. The whole US Olympic Team couldn't afford to lease her forelock.
Happy holidaze, all.
The queen looks like she has been put in the Tower to me. All she has to do is look out at a barren white landscape. Lane's End might be able to "let down" the energy (and I have my doubts), but that ain't gunna cut it for a highly intelligent horse with so much curiosity. I am not hearing any talk of "enrichment" during the long cold winter and a controlled walk ain't much either.
I understand she is there to be bred. I understand Kentucky has the best grass full of lime for bone growth anywhere. But I hope for her sake she is allowed to go back to CA after she has produced a foal and reared it (and if not the Mosses buy their own farm in KY for her so she has more freedom and not part of a breeding mill).
The Dodgers knew the truth with their poster of Zen proclaiming My Home Town - Dodgertown.
At the moment, she might agree with you that she has been put in the Tower, but not for long. Letting a racehorse down is a process that takes time.
There is no better enrichment for a mare than being out 24/7 with a bunch of other mares in a herd. I don't know if Lanes End leaves their mares out 24/7 (I doubt it) but eventually when it is safe for her, she will be out at least all day socializing and walking around grazing and being a horse. Nothing could be better for her mentally or physically than being a horse in a big field with friends.
Much as I believe John Sherreffs and crew did a marvelous job of keeping that great mare entertained and relaxed, being out with girlfriends is better. Humans, no matter how much they love and try to enrich a horse's life, are not a horse. Horses socialize best with other horses. That is assuming, of course, that the horse is a reasonably well grounded individual who isn't too neurotic.
She is getting the best care a horse could possibly get, best for her physically and best for her mentally. Soon she will be out in a paddock, then out with a friend, and finally, out with a bunch of friends. She will be a completely different horse next summer.
I agree with Merrywriter. Her stall looks like a jail cell, or a hospital room. The Queen's excile to Siberia is going to take some getting used to, for her... but maybe more for us. Culture shock, to be sure. Love you Z.
Gosh Helen S, what did you expect?
She has a lovely stall with a big window--a heck of a lot nicer than the stall she had in Barn 55! She had no window in Barn 55.
What do you think stalls look like? They are big and squarish with either shavings or straw on the floor. They have a water bucket and a feed tub in them. That's about it for any stall. Some horses have a toy of some sort, but not usually since the toys are not often played with and can lead to injury.
Once she can go out safely in a paddock on her own, she will have a lot more fun.
Go to Backside55.com . That is a website straight from John Sherrifs barn 55. In his previous post on there he talks a great deal about Zenyatta at Lane's End, He proclaims that she is fine and everything is going to plan. He says she is happy and that the staff there is doing everything according to the way John himself has instructed them to do with her. I am a staunch Zenyatta fan, I felt a little more relieved after reading John's website and reading Zenyatta's diary post every day. It is updated daily. I think Lane's End, if they thought for a minute that Zenyatta wasnt settling in and she was digressing badly, I think they would be on the phone immediatly to the Moss's and John Sherrifs. I feel the way you do, but we have to give it a little time to let her get adjusted to her new life. Please read her diary every day, Dottie works with the girl from LE and helps prepare her daily diary post. ITs great.
As horse stalls go, Zenyatta's is very nice and quite big. As for the window, that's a nice luxury too and she doesn't see a barren landscape out the window, she sees a farm with other horses and stuff going on. She's only waiting to join the other girls! This is no jail cell. Once she can be out safely, she will be out much, much more than she ever could be at the track and not at the end of a lead shank, either. That is way more natural and relaxing for a horse. Of course John and others took good care of her. But the fact is, Zenyatta will be much happier when she can finally be a horse. Will she miss the fans and crowds? I doubt it, not once she can cavort and graze with her friends. That's the most natural it can be for her. Be happy for her.
This just in:
Zenyatta was turned loose in her paddock today!! Go to Facebook for the photo. It's my new desk top!!!She looks like she's in heaven running through the snow. It's a sight to behold!!
Check this out:
The Mosses, The Sheriffs, Mario and the hotwalker all flew in from California to see Zenyatta run free in her paddock for the first time. AMAZING!
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures!
Hugs to you Z
Absolutely thrilling to watch her running, romping, kicking, whinnying, snorting! Just like a real horse, fancy that! Thanks Blood-Horse for the great production qualities of this video...I have a widescreen large monitor, and it is almost as good being there--almost. So, so special. Thank you, thank you!
Just watched the video of Zenyatta on being turned out in a paddock at Lane's End: She is already a very different horse!
She does look very..relaxed & happy.
She has become a...level-headed horse (you know where that saying comes from), a sure sign that she is trusting & relaxed...& contented.
Nearly brought me to tears watching her kick out & whinny & nicker in celebration as she romped around the snow-covered paddock.
And Zenyatta was obviously delighted to see Mrs. Moss, Mario, & Carmen--& hear their voices!
The weight of the day has been...lifted--& I am grateful to share (however vicariously) in Zenyatta's joyous celebratin of life (in these dark & challenging times).
Happy holidays & best wishes to all!
She is absolutely breathtaking! It is so good to see her looking healthy enough to have dapples.
I don't care for the chain myself, but I have a 2 year old that is her size and you have to be able to handle them when they are excited by new things.
Thanks to Zenyatta and all the people so dedicated to her care! She gave me hours of excitement watching her race (Saw her in person at Oaklawn. What a race!!)
Take care of her and keep her happy!
Love u girl!
any way you cut it, she is just a delight. will miss her racing.