How did you get started retraining OTTBs (or horses in general)?
My second horse was a crazy TB mare other people were scared of. I was too stupid to know better and just ignored her. She became mine when she was 4. She stayed with me until she was 29, she died in August of 2016. I knew if I didn’t keep her nothing good would happen to her. Because of her I was asked and willing to ride anything. The rest is history, one difficult horse made me into the trainer I am today.
How did you find your horse for this year’s makeover and why did you pick them?
I saw him listed on Amy Paulus’ Facebook page and had to have him. The price was right, he was built well, good breeding, I liked his face. We are still looking for a second horse to bring from Friends of Ferdinand Inc.
What is your favorite thing about the Retired Race Horse Project’s Makeover?
The group support! Everyone cheers for everyone!
Do you have any advice for people retraining horses?
Take your time, think outside the box, if something doesn’t work try something else. The baby horse should improve 1% every ride. A month later you look back and think “look what we accomplished”. Every small improvement is a win that culminates into the impressive animals who jump through hoops for us.
Do you have any funny stories from retraining a horse?
We all have funny stories I suppose, most of them include me falling off and learning something myself.
Perhaps one of my best stories was when I was a ten-year-old kid taught this demon POA pony how to do tempo changes because I thought it was cool but had no idea what they were. I just thought let’s change leads a whole bunch. That pony also used to read to avoid work (so people didn’t want to ride her) so I taught her to read when I wanted and she stopped using it against us. I would never try that these days!
What is your greatest challenge as a rider/trainer in this year’s RRP Makeover? How do you plan on overcoming this challenge?
My horse has a little bit of a spook and bolt in him. We are getting better with trust and confidence but it’s in there. He is a lot of horse under saddle. I can’t wait to see what he is like come October!!