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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WAY cool

This was too cool not to report so bear with me if you saw it last night.  They had a report on the US horses competing in the Olympics, and how they get them to London.  Unlike Ryan Lochte, they don't swim there.  They fly FedEx in a special cargo plane, in a "pod"--one per horse--all decked out with food, water, fresh hay or shavings with a trainer or familiar love person right there with them.  All the horses are on the same plane so they can whinny and talk--just not see each other very well, but that happens in a barn, too.
  It actually showed a crane, lifting the horse loaded pod, swinging it towards a loader, and onto the plane it went.  OK....I now have a new dream job.  I wanna be a trans Atlantic horse babysitter.  How cool would that be?  You visit with your horse as you fly, eat, be sure they have food and water, love on them, and then go lie down on a hay bale so they can see you, and you snooze your way there.  And you get paid for it.  As long as they can see you, their good, and if they want you, you know their gonna whinny or snuffle for you.  Piece of cake. 

They also showed all the packing that went on per horse.  You gotta be kidding me...duffel bags full of tack, back up tack, medicine, extras of everything, and several boxes of Dominoes sugar cubes.  Once arrived in London, they have an interim stop for health checks, physicals, etc., and then horses get transferred to the horse facility at Greenwich Park, unloaded, and shown to their new barn and stall.  Because they can have jet lag, too, they travel several days ahead to give them time to acclimate and get comfy.  One US rider being interviewed on his way to the barn, as the horses were unloaded out of their pods said "It's the longest amount of time we've ever been separated, and I just need to see him", as he broke into a run to the barn.  He knew his horse would feel unfamiliar and even a little scared so he wanted to be there to welcome him and settle him in.  Don'tcha just love that??  I just melted.  I'd feel the same way, too.

But here's the coolest part:  They have high tech gear, too.  It's the horse equivalent of a compression suit, developed by an Australian company called Hidez.  It takes about 3minutes to zip all five zippers on, and thirty seconds to zip it all off.  It enhances blood flow, decreases muscles vibration during travel, and minimizes the rigors of travel and exercise on their bodies.  Cool, no??  But not so fast.  I have one question.  Do they have ipods?

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