Archive | Retired Racehorse Project

Taxi’s First Rated Show!

Taxi First Recognized Show

Taxi has been a real star as of late! He went to his first rated show and did a really good job!! Mind you we had to travel all the way to Temecula for this one. He finished with 3 firsts and 1 second. Blue certainly looks amazing on him.

Taxi First Recognized Show

We still have a lot of work to do but it was certainly nice to see his scores improve every time he went down centerline. I think our biggest obstacle at this point is getting Taxi to relax a bit more in show ring. I certainly can’t blame him for getting anxious in a new environment. Let’s not forget this handsome fella has had less than 90 days of retraining. However, I also know the more we travel and the more places we go he will soon have the confidence to face whatever is thrown his direction. So we are doing just that.

Taxi First Recognized Show

I plan on taking him to as many different facilities as I can in the next two months and hopefully hit another horse show or two come September. I am just so proud of the horse and everything he has accomplished in such a short amount of time.

Taxi First Recognized Show

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Taxi and Ava are BFFs

Taxi and Ava

Taxi is doing terrific!!! As always he is exceeding expectations and going above and beyond the call of duty. This horse is a perfect gentleman. He is truly one of the kindest, sweetest souls I’ve ever met.

Taxi and I are busy preparing for his first rated horse show. He is set to compete in both traditional dressage as well as western dressage. He is so versatile and it’s truly an amazing feat to see him so easily cross over into different disciplines. Taxi has quite the journey ahead of him this week. But, I know he’ll succeed with all of the love and support that surrounds him. Once again, I am asking nothing from him. He has had less than 90 days of retraining and owes me nothing. I simply want to set a solid foundation for him. I think traveling out of state and going to a horse show is a great way to do so. We really don’t have a lot of time until it’s time to hit the road for Kentucky, so every experience I can give him beforehand will greatly benefit us in the long run. Especially, when the time comes that I ask him to give me everything. Timing is so imperative when it comes to training or retraining horses. You can never ask more than what they can give at the moment. Right now I know where I stand with this horse. Our relationship is strong but he is still very green. Overwhelming him and pushing him isn’t an option. He’s the one who makes the decisions. I’m simply here to listen and guide him in the right direction.

Taxi has developed a bond with not only me but my soon to be three year old daughter as well. It sounds crazy to think that I would trust an OTTB with her but I do. Taxi let’s Ava Lin lead him around and certainly enjoys her kisses. He is so happy with his current circumstances and my heart bursts with joy and sheer happiness when I see the two of them together. Ava Lin’s birthday is coming up and I wanted pictures of the two of them for her invitations. He was a perfect gentleman for her photoshoot. He knew he had a job and that was to take care of the most precious package I have. He stood proudly by her side and was so gentle and kind. That, my friends is more than any horse trainer or parent could ask for. He’s one in a million and has a very bright future ahead of him. I’m so happy I could a lend a hand in that.

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Taxi’s First Show!

Taxi's First Show

Taxi is on his way and getting prepped for the big Retired Racehorse Project Makeover in Lexington, KY, the first week in October. Taxi/Mr. E. is a graduate of the CARMA Placement Program and originates from the Golden Gate Fields based barn of trainer Billy Morey. He is sponsored by Estolia’s Salsa for charity. Please enjoy this update from trainer Lindy Christensen.

Well he did it!!! Taxi went to his first horse show and did a wonderful job for his first time out. I was really proud of him and couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Mind you our test was far from perfect and we certainly have room for improvement but all things considered he was calm and cool and was actually very fun to take off property. No crazy horse moments!!! He had a few baby moments where he was tense and didn’t necessarily understand that walking on the bit is kind of a big deal in the show ring. But first and foremost it was more important to me to give him some positive experience in a show setting. Hopefully we can find a few more to hit before his big venture to Kentucky!!

Speaking of Kentucky, I’ve finalized our plans and we will be competing in dressage as well as the freestyle completion. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s going to be spectacular. Our music is finished and matches him perfectly. I’m so excited to see how his freestyle turns out.

Taxi is one of a kind. He is extremely sweet and down to earth. This horse isn’t one that can sit around for days on end. He needs and wants a job. He puts everything he has into his daily workouts. Just the other day we decided to try a new event “Don’t Squish the Goat.” Back story… we recently acquired a baby goat. Side note… cutest thing EVER!! Anyhow, every time Taxi and I would canter down the long side, Daisy had the brilliant idea to jump right in front of him. Taxi handled her shenanigans like a pro and politely stepped out of her way and went back to work. It’s the little things like this that create a willing and capable partner. It was so nice to see him handle this on his terms and in a very polite way for both myself and Daisy. We love having him in our barn. Can’t wait to see how much further we’ve progressed to in the coming weeks.

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Taxi – getting ready to be a star!

Taxi Update

Intaxication (Taxi/Mr E.) is a graduate of the CARMA Placement Program and is partially sponsored by Estolia’s salsa products that donate 100% of their profits to charity.  Here’s another update from trainer Lindy Christensen, LC Equestrian, Las Vegas, NV.

Intaxication is really showing us that the RRP is still in our future.  This guy is so eager to learn and is progressing in his training at an astonishing rate.  Since our last post we’ve nixed lunging and have gone to work exclusively under saddle. Taxi maintains himself in a beautiful frame at not only the walk and trot but the canter as well. I am so proud of this horse and what he has accomplished in such a short amount of time. He is actually picking up on some lateral movements. Taxi can leg yield and even does a bit of shoulder in. He is doing a fantastic job lengthening his stride at not only the trot but the canter as well. He is so balanced and is just a joy to ride. He hasn’t put a hoof out of place. This horse is truly going to be an amateur’s dream. His ground manners are superb and he is so easy to be around. Taxi took a field trip to the vet last week and was a perfect gentleman.  He loaded right in the trailer and was as sane as could be once we arrived. Might I add nothing is wrong with our boy.  He just needed to get a Coggins test because Taxi is set to compete in his first horse show this weekend!! I’m super excited to take him down centerline for the first time. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Taxi can hold his composure on a new property and in a totally different setting than at home. I have no reason to doubt him and I am certain this will be a great learning experience for him. I will be sure to post lots of pictures and updates of Taxi’s first horse show.

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Welcome our new RRP Candidate – Intaxication

After I said goodbye to our sweet Squishy I was totally devastated. I was so excited to take that trip down centerline in Kentucky with him. With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes I was feeling really down and out. So, I did what any 30 year old girl would do and gave my dad a phone call. A little background on this… my dad is amazing. He has always pushed me to succeed, especially when it came to horses. I’ll never forget the day, many years ago, when I fell off. I angrily stomped towards the arena gate. I was done, I never wanted to sit on the back of a horse again.  That day my dad taught me an oh so important lesson in life. He looked me square in the eye and said “you’re getting back on that horse, I pay way too much money for this and quitting isn’t an option.” Less than five minutes after falling off I was back in the saddle. So, after explaining to my dad what had happened with Salsa and how heartbroken I was, he responded with “well, I guess you better find another one. It doesn’t sound like you have a lot of time so stop crying and get to work.” As always, dad was right and I needed to get back to work. This was certainly going to be a challenge now. With Salsa I felt like I was so far ahead of the game and starting over with something new would likely set me extremely far back. But, I happened to know of a horse that I thought would be up to the challenge. I called Karin that same night and requested he get sent my way as soon as possible. In less than a week “Intaxication” aka Taxi, aka Mr. E. (courtesy of Estolia’s who is helping sponsor with the sale of their salsa) was delivered to my barn.

I am so happy to introduce this awesome guy now. There are so many wonderful things to be said about this horse. As time continues I’m sure you’ll hear them all. Taxi has an incredible work ethic, he thrives on having a job and aims to please. He has progressed so much in the short amount of time I’ve had him. He does have an old bowed tendon but it is solid and cold and he is moving out wonderfully. We are being very cautious and Taxi is always put to work with polo wraps or boots. Afterwards his legs are iced and closely monitored for any heat or swelling. So far so good as he grows stronger and stronger and the muscle is really coming in. This guy is a looker!!! He is going to make a lovely dressage horse, as he carries himself in an upper level frame. But, I think he would a super jumper as well. Time will tell on that one. Taxi’s program mainly consists of lunging in side reins but where we are low on time I try to ride him for at least 10 minutes after a lunge session. Primarily at the walk and trot but we’ve already progressed to a little canter work. I really feel like Taxi and I will still make the RRP but I am not the sort of trainer that will push a horse past their limits. If we make it to Kentucky that’s just going to be awesome. But I’m leaving that decision up to Taxi. Taxi owes us nothing and I know Salsa would have wanted me to give my heart and time to another.

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A heartbreaking goodbye: Salsa (Secret Room)

It’s with heartfelt sadness that I am writing this update. The other day I was forced to make a decision no trainer ever wants to make. Goodbyes are always hard but this one was mind blowing.  A couple of weeks ago as I started progressing Salsa (Secret Room)  into canter work I could tell he was extremely uncomfortable. In the beginning I thought he had a rib out and quickly called the chiropractor for an adjustment. He was adjusted and we were sent on our way. I thought for sure this was the issue and things were going to be smooth sailing from here on out. I was sadly mistaken. After a few days off I got back in saddle and could tell there was a serious issue. Something was wrong with our sweet boy’s back and he needed medical intervention ASAP. I loaded Salsa into the trailer and took him to a see a surgeon at Desert Pines Equine Center. She examined him and quickly agreed that his back was very concerning. He was brought back for X-rays and it was determined he had a very severe case of “Kissing Spine”. In all Salsa had 7 vertebrae kissing. He had already developed scoliosis in 4 of those. His back was quickly deteriorating and there was nothing we could do to stop it. The surgeon explained trying to fix this would be completely and totally unethical and he should never have a saddle on his back again. It was uncertain as to how comfortable he would be even living in a pasture for the remainder of his days. The amount of deterioration in his bones as a 4 year old was unreal. In all of my years, including the vets, we had never seen anything like this. The decision was made to lay our sweet boy to rest. Salsa was humanely euthanized with all the love and compassion in the world. I stayed by his side until his final breath. My heart is broken for this sweet boy. He had so much talent and so much potential. Letting this one go was really hard. I know he was only with me for 3 short months but the bond and partnership we developed together was truly an unforgettable experience. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. If we can take anything away from this and if I can change the life of just one horse it was time well spent. Listen to your horse, if he is showing signs of discomfort STOP and evaluate the situation.   Rest In Peace Salsa AKA Squishy. You will never be forgotten.

All my love,
Lindy

 

 

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Salsa’s New Friend

Salsa is doing wonderful. Everyday he grows a little stronger. We are still working on establishing some more balance at the canter. So as of right now he is still only getting ridden at the walk and trot. However, I think we will attempt some canter work under saddle in the coming weeks. He just had his teeth done so he is enjoying a little downtime.

This handsome man has quickly become a barn favorite. With his wonderful disposition it’s not hard to see why. The kids at the barn all love him. (He likes them to… kids = treats and hugs!!). One of my students, 11 year old Gabi is head over heels for him and spent a good majority of her week helping me out with him. She even rode him at the trot in the round pen. Although he is green, he is a patient teacher and certainly has Gabi pretty fluent when it comes to lunging horses and working with them on the ground.

This horse has an amazing future ahead of him. I’m so happy to be apart of his story!! A special thank you to Enviro Equine for recently sponsoring Salsa and supporting us on our journey. It’s been really rewarding to see how many people have come together for one special horse.

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Salsa 30 Day Update

I’ve officially had Secret Room AKA Salsa AKA Squishy for 30 days. So far it has been a spectacular experience and I couldn’t be more impressed. I can recall driving to the barn to meet with the shippers on January 15th. My brain was racing and I was thinking to myself…”Oh boy here we go, what was I thinking?” The moment he stepped off the trailer I felt a sense of joy and excitement. All of the worries I had about this endeavor quickly faded away. With one look in his eyes I knew he was special and together we were going to make this thing happen.

Squishy has proven to me time and time again that he has the talent and the heart of champion. What we’ve accomplished in our first 30 days together is quite the feat. I honestly never expected to even be riding this horse in the first few weeks, let alone taking him to a horse show.

I wanted to take the time to give you guys a little more in depth look at the process I’ve been using. Thus far its proving to work out really well. The first couple of weeks all of his work was done on the ground. Free lunging and just exploring different things around the barn. Shortly after we added side reins and a dressage saddle to his lunging program. He instantly accepted the bit and connected on his terms. At that point I said why not and began lightly working him under saddle. He has been a pleasure to ride. With the natural impulsion and suspension he is going to be a dressage star. At this time we are only doing walk and trot under saddle. He still needs to find just a tad more balance. Especially to the right (hmm.. I wonder why? LOL!!). Once Squishy is able to comfortably canter on his right lead on the lunge line we will move to canter under saddle. I really hope to achieve this in the next few weeks or so. Stay tuned for updates on that.

I’ve included a short video and some pictures of our boy so you can all see how he is going. I will be sure to continue with monthly video so you can share in his progress with me. Thank you to all who have supported us and our journey thus far.

 

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It’s only February…

…but Salsa has already competed in a schooling show! Our latest update from Lindy has us really excited for Salsa’s chances this fall!
“We’ve started doing a little work under saddle. Salsa has been such a gem to work with. He’s even more fun under saddle. He has really taken well to connection and is doing an awesome job keeping himself on the bit at the walk and trot (I haven’t attempted any canter yet… he still needs to develop a little more muscle and balance for that to be a success).  He has been so good, the 4 times I’ve ridden him at least… that I decided to take him to a local schooling show just to get him out and comfortable with the idea of going to new places. Well, he was such a SAINT I decided to enter Salsa in an Intro Western Dressage class. Today was the very first time I put my Western saddle on him and nothing about today phased him. He was a super super good boy.  And, he even placed 2nd!!”
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Meet our 2017 RRP entry Secret Room!

Salsa (officially nick-named Mr. Squishy) is being retrained to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project Makeover to be held in Lexington, KY October 2017.  He comes from the CARMA Placement Program and is currently in full training with Lindy Christensen at LC Equestrian in Las Vegas, NV.  We will be reporting on Salsa’s progress bi-monthly.  He was delivered to Lindy on January 15, 2017.
Salsa and Penelope
Lindy writes:  Salsa  has such a good head on shoulders. From the moment he stepped off the trailer he was level headed and extremely down to earth. He’s made friends with our barn pig Penelope and certainly enjoys his time in the grass pastures. We’ve been going nice and slow but nothing seems to phase him. All of our work has been on the ground. Lots of lunging to help establish balance and rhythm. I put a dressage saddle on him last week and he did really well with the irons knocking around on his sides. I’ll introduce the bridle this week as well as some side reins so he can slowly get comfortable with the idea of connection, on his terms. Jenny Valley of Valley Equine Massage has agreed to donate her time and services to Salsa. Salsa will be receiving biweekly massages to keep his muscles nice and loose and to insure we aren’t pushing him any further than what he is physically ready for. This one has heart and aims to please. He has shown some spectacular movement and I’m so excited develop him. We are waiting to see if Salsa will be sponsored for his supplements but in the meantime he is getting MSM and U-Guard mixed with some rice bran and beet pulp. He loves his bucket! Overall I’m very impressed with him and can’t get over how mellow and sweet he is. I haven’t seen a single vice.  He really is a spectacular horse.
To help Salsa please donate to his page here: http://neighsavers.org/portfolio-items/secret-room/
And/Or purchase some delicious Estolia’s Salsa:  http://www.estolias.com/salsa-that-saves-lives

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RRP Thoroughbred Makeover 2016

sigourney-jellins-oso-smart

I was lucky enough to go along for the ride this year with Neigh Savers Foundation to the Retired Racehorse Project‘s Thoroughbred Makeover at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.  This event brought together hundreds of OTTBs, their owners, trainers and fans from all over the country to compete for $100,000 in prize money.  Each horse had less than a year of under saddle training and competed in a number of disciplines: barrel racing, competitive trails, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunters, show jumpers, and working ranch.  Vendors, seminars, and training demonstrations filled in any time not spent watching the OTTBs compete in their individual events.  It is a large and ambitious show for an event that has only been run since 2013.  We cannot wait to see what it becomes in another 5 years time…

To read the rest of the story and see more photos, click through to the article on Decidedly Equestrian.

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Putting it All Together…

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks with Oso, who is really starting to put the pieces together on the flat and over jumps. We are now doing grids, coursing at 2’6″ and our flat work is becoming very steady and relaxed. We have started developing a bit of collected and stretching trot. Oso’s canter both directions is feeling great, and he seems to really enjoy jumping. Point him at anything in the arena–flowers, gates, panels–and over he goes! Someone is going to get a fabulous prospect for any discipline with this boy!

Oso Oct 1 Oso Oct 1

 

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