A few months ago a bunch of brave horses (and riders) tackled the Rolex Kent 3de.. the biggest event in the land.. among the entries were several ** OTTB’s.. among them parker, cAN’T fire me, Donner et.c.. These horses, who once broke from the starting gate.. will now break from the start box.. in a sport that requires the ultimate in horse flexiblity, multi tasking, cross training. DIVERSity
CANTER was there to present an award to the highest placed thoroughbred horse that was purpose bred for racing. It was won by Donner, and his rider, Lynn Symansky. Go them!
This has made me think of how diverse thoroughbred horses are.they can race.. then go on to compete in a sport like Eventing.. or the jumpers, or hunters, or Foxhunting. So, while I retrain CANTER horses in a way that looks like I want them all to be event horses – what I’m really doing is giving them a well rounded education – they do a bit of everything, and in the process learn to do a little dressage, jump show jumps, jump cross country jumps, hack out in groups, hack out with dogs, hack out alone and generally be good boys/girls on the ground.
In the past year alone I’ve retrained horses to do totally different things: while some are going to be eventers, we’ve got the other disciplines in there too!
Here are updates on just a few of them!
CMA Cherokee Ghost – this past weekend I caught up with Meredith who bought “Ghostie” last summer. They were Cross country schooling in Southern Pines with a large and very fun looking group from Monroe, NC. This was their first XC school. Meredith had great reports of their progress together and is doing dressage and hopes to start eventing with him because after the xc school she texted me that she was “hooked”! Love this and I can’t to see them out and about!
CMA Fabulous Jada – I had Jada in training at my home and was riding her one day when she caught the attention of my neighbor/friend and landlord, Annie who is a long time horsewoman, eventer, and sporthorse breeder. She loved Jada’s elegant conformation, kind demeaner and lovely movement.. not to mention her impressive Pleasant Colony bloodlines. She bought Jada to be a broodmare and in April she delivered this handsome colt by Bruce Davidson’s stallion, Keltic Lion. ( she is in foal to him again! )
CMA Bernard Terrace – I still miss this adorable face in the barn! When Julie’s mom Melissa called me about coming to see Bernie I was so excited.. Julie is a teenager who wanted to do the Hunters and Jumpers with her great trainer Liz in Mebane, NC.. Allie and I wished so much for a kid to come along for this special little horse – he was so sweet but so athletic and an awesome jumper. Julie rode him beautifully and had an immediate rapport with him. Look for them competing at area Hunter/Jumper shows!
Southern Review – Revy was the type of horse we could have sold 20 times! When he first arrived he was a little crabby but he totally blossomed in retraining. He loved going on long hacks, jumping logs in the woods, and even doing flatwork.. He was the type of horse that made me say to myself, “wow! This is a REALLy nice horse”.. Revy was humble that way. He never was pushy about it.. he just let you find out on your own. Enter Janice, from Delaware, a woman who owns her own pack of Penmarydel foxhounds and who was looking for a small, quiet horse that she could produce as a Foxhunter. If her posts on Facebook ( i.e.: I LOVE this horse!) are anything to go by, I think its working out perfectly.
As always it is so rewarding to visit with horses that I’ve had a part in retraining – and to see them so happy and with people who love them -and who are having fun with them.. but I never forget what they were like when I first started with them.. they were blank slates then, but with so much potential and ability; I just had to find out what else they wanted to be.
So when you’re perusing the CANTER listings, try to imagine your next project horse–Are you looking for a Jumper, Eventer, Dressage horse, or Foxhunter? Or are you looking for a fun quiet trail companion? What does your OTTB want to be ?
Stay tuned for news about the next group of CANTER horses in training in North Carolina!