> Saddlebred Training Tips: April 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Worry Farm

Just read your comments from 2009 about why worry farm...

enjoyed the hell out of it.
Stan hired me as an assistant in 1972 and I worked for WWF for about a year before my girl friend's dad decided I needed a respectable profession and gave me a job in his civil engineering company in Santa Clara.
I got to know Stan through Ralph Corpe, who trained Mrs. Roth's western horses. Stan hired me when I was training hunters/jumpers at Charter Oak Farm (woodside)
I had the big room at the end of the hall, upstairs in the groom's house. Used to spend a fair amount of my down time looking at the carriages in the carriage house. wonder what ever happened to them. an incredible collection.
Frank Felt was still there, Johnny Chanteloup, Jack York (the cranky tack man). Harry Smith bounced in and out. Used to call everybody "jazzbo". I really liked Harry, he just never beat the bottle. Same with Doug Robb. 
My background had been with over fences horses, some western, and it was an incredible experience working with old time horsemen like Stan and Harry, even Doug Robb, who was there briefly when I was.
Working Apollo's Heir with Stan watching was pretty intimidating at first, he didn't cut me any slack. Nor should he have; those were champion ponies and saddlebreds and didn't need anybody screwing them up. I learned quick from Stan. Had to.
I also helped Stan's wife, Viola, with her race horses--had to get my groom's license--and learned a boatload about keeping a horse sound.
I would also head over to Filoli to feed in the mornings and check on the yearlings. They had coming 2 year old colts who had hardly been handled. I remember trying to load one of them one day to bring him over to WWF. What a circus. Stan's standing there with a lunge whip, flicking the back legs of this 16 hand, 1000 pounds of "not interested at all in getting in that damn thing", yelling ,BOYS?! WHATS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!" We've got our arms locked under his rump, he's rearing and striking, trying to cow kick. We wrestled that horse for 20 minutes before we could get his hind legs off the ground and push him into the trailer. Gorgeous son of a gun, big chestnut with flax mane and tail, about an inch blaze. Don't know what ever became of him. Stan worked him about a year before I left. He was erratic as hell, but when he was right he was a show stopper. had him started in harness.
Only met Mrs. Roth a couple of times, but the first time I met her, she knew my name, how I came to be employed by her, that I knew Ralph, who I was working... just an incredibly nice lady without being patronizing at all.
The best part was probably listening to Stan, Harry, and the grooms talking about the heyday of showing. Seeing the photos on the tackroom wall. The names; Chief of Longview, Sweetheart, Wing Commander...
The farriers, Vern Smith, Dave Fraser... 
Johnny and Frank Felt, heading down to Harry's Hofbrau for dinner, same time every day...
Anyway, you and I are the same age, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.
Best wishes to you.
bob naegele
san diego