Tell us a little bit about you and your horse.
Flint-(Tiz I Is) now (Kodiak)- is my 10-year-old gray Thoroughbred gelding. He entered my life about a year and a half ago. After my Warmblood, Caddy, passed away, we decided to get a project horse. We found Flint at a rescue in Wenatchee, WA. He was living in knee-deep mud, was covered in scratches, and had not been ridden properly since his last race in November 2015. When we got Flint he was in rough shape and didn’t know anything about hunter/jumpers. At our first ever show in May 2016, we walked over ground poles and I was terrified, having never jumped higher than a cross rail. Now I show Flint in 2’6″ and am able to gallop around the course with a smile on my face because I know he is going to take care of me.
What is your favorite part about riding an OTTB?
My favorite part about riding an OTTB is being able to have a bond with them that no other kind of horse can give you. The foundation of riding an OTTB is being able to trust them so they can trust you. OTTBs will give you 110% every time you ride them. I love OTTBs because they will be honest with you and I would rather have an honest ride with mistakes than a dishonest ride that was perfect.
OTTBs will teach you many things that you never knew about yourself. I have even often found that most days I ride Flint, he is teaching me more than I am teaching him. He has even helped me at shows, learning to be okay with the fact that we didn’t win. Because he is still learning and that’s okay. Flint has taught me to relax and just have fun, but most of all to trust him and to trust myself.
How did you first discover OTTBs?
I discovered my love for Thoroughbreds when I found out my “Warmblood” was actually 3/4 thoroughbred, with a full thoroughbred dam and a half-thoroughbred sire. Finding this out led me to want to know more about the Thoroughbred breed. After reading a couple books, and researching hundreds of websites and pedigrees and horses, I finally came to a conclusion. I loved Thoroughbreds.
After that, I started reading more and found out about how some Thoroughbreds on the track are really treated. When I found out about this I wanted to do something about it. Once I got Flint I learned about The T.I.P. Youth Ambassador Program and knew I wanted to do it. Since I’ve become a Youth Ambassador I have used this opportunity to teach people about thoroughbreds and their versatility and the highlight of my day at horse shows is when I get to talk to people about Flint.
What is your favorite part of T.I.P?
My favorite part about T.I.P. is the Youth Ambassador Program because it gives me a chance to spread the word about my favorite breed. T.I.P. also has an amazing program that provides a special category of performance awards and shows just for Thoroughbreds. I like T.I.P. because they encourage people to give OTTBs a second chance at a new job.