How did you get started in retraining OTTBs (or horses in general)?
I got started in OTTBs a long time ago, my first lease horse as a kid was an OTTB. He was an old school master and I fell in love with the breed after him.
How did you find this year’s makeover horse and why did you pick them?
I got him from a lady named Amy Paulus. I picked him because in his sales ad he had his tongue sticking out so I knew he was loaded with personality! At the bottom of his ad Amy wrote “this horse was meant for big things” so it was a done deal.
What is your favorite thing about the Retired Race Horse Project?
My favorite thing about the RRP is the awareness it spreads for just how the versatile the breed can be.
Do you have any advice for people retraining horses?
My advice would be to take things slow and to go about things the correct way instead of the faster and easier way. Listen to your horse, they’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Do you have any funny stories from retraining a horse?
When retraining Critical Summer, I found he wasn;t scared of anything when he was jumping over it (flower boxes, cones, etc.). However, if he sees it on the ground he flips out! We were moving flower boxes and he was next to us and he pulled back and cut up his face to avoid the “flower box monsters” that he jumps over on a weekly basis!
What is your greatest challenge as a rider/challenge in this year’s RRP Makeover? How do you plan on overcoming this challenge?
My greatest challenge has been the soundness of my horse. Critical Summer was retired from the track with a decent sized bone chip in his knee and required a couple months off. On top of that, his feet were in poor condition and couldn’t hold shoes.
At one point in time, we glued his shoes and he pulled them off! This left him with essentially no hoof. But with the right time off, turn out, some supplements, and an amazing farrier Critical Summer is cleared by the vet and well on his way to success!