Horse Experiences, Memories and Opinions

My name is Tom Simmons. I have had Morgan horses since 1963. I have trained almost any breed you can think of. I have had a good amount of success. I have written articles for Western Horseman, The Morgan Horse, and The Carriage Journal. In the 47 years that I have worked horses, I have seen a lot. I would like to share with you some of my experiences, opinions and memories. Please feel free to email your thoughts. I will try to address them. Tom

Location: North Carolina

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Preakness

A few weeks ago I watched what was to be a great race. But something tragic happened. Barbaro, the favorite pulled up short in the very early going of the race. Something went terribly wrong with his right back leg. We saw another great horse go by the wayside.
I noticed before the race that this horse was very agitated. They had to saddle him on the go. Then there were two grooms leading him. They were having a hard time containing him. He had his head down and his mouth gaped open and he was bulling. My guess and it is purely a guess, before he ever came onto the track, being unruly, he could have hurt himself in the stall. His breaking through the gate is further evidence that something was not right with this horse. I told my wife he is not going to win today. I was thinking this horse is not broke, he needs training. Many race horse trainers do not discipline their horses. They seem to think that the horse will loose something when in reality the horse would gain. He would be easier to rate. Safer for people to work around. I think a relaxed horse could run a mile faster than a nervous or anxious one.
His trainer is an ex-eventer. And in all the years that I have done horses I have seen very few eveners have good mannered horses. They know how to leg yield, change leads, jump, but no manners. So on Preakness day we lost a great horse to no manners.