Archive | Retired Racehorse Project

RRP Wrap Up 2018

Sassy Ashley RRP

So RRP 2018 is a wrap and we couldn’t be prouder of Sassy Ashley and her performances in the polo and working ranch classes!  We had a great time attending this event again for the third year in a row to cheer on a Neigh Savers horse.  Like the other two before, Ashley came to us through the CARMA Placement Program.

Sassy Ashley RRP

Ashley competed in Polo and Ranch Work and gave Neigh Savers a thrill we haven’t had in three years competing.  She got a ribbon!  Ashley finished officially in 9th Place in Polo (though there was a 4 way tie for 7-10th)!  It was our first time in the top 10 at RRP, so it was exciting to see her in the ring Saturday during the finale to pick up her ribbon.

Sassy Ashley RRP

Ashley also placed excellently in the Ranch Work as well finishing 15th out of 55 horses.

We are so proud of her!  She handled herself pretty well despite being quite stressed out by a big, loud environment in the big covered arena for all of her rides.

Sassy Ashley RRP




Ashley RRP Update – August 2018

Ashley has had all sorts of adventures in August gearing up for RRP here in just a little over a month!  She took another trip to the beach and encountered all kinds of weird things!

She’s practicing obstacles she’ll encounter during her Ranch Horse class at RRP.  “Take a second out of your busy day and watch Ashley work out traversing her first REAL bridge, just last week.  Small act for many horses, big deal for her. She’s super skeptical about putting her feet places (not a bad thing necessarily), but this will be one of the obstacles she will have to do confidently at the Thoroughbred Makeover in October. So we’ve been piecing it together little by little at home, and she didn’t let me down out in the real world.”

She’s continuing to develop her cow horse skills. “This cow thought it could ACTUALLY out run a racehorse… silly cow.  This was Ashley and I last night. We were actually just working on WALKING our cows around the perimeter of the arena, getting and keeping things nice and quiet… good for the cows, and great work for Ashley. But, this heifer had other ideas and made a break for it. I asked Ashley to accelerate for the first time since I’ve had her, and she handled it with composure; we ran over there and got a good clean, straight stop, that was mostly soft and got our cow shut down… really good girl Ashley!”














Ashley also just took her first overnight trip and handled it with class! They recently visited Preston, Nevada for one of Kalley’s BHT Fundamentals Clinics.

These pictures don’t really capture the rugged majesty of this land, but they’re a good try.  In Preston and the surrounding area, there is still nomadic herding that goes on, where the herders and their dogs trail 1000 head plus, of sheep through the BLM land at different times of the year… it certainly takes you back to a different time and place.  In any case, Ashley and I just finished our first BHT Fundamentals Clinic together, and we had a FANTASTIC time.  Ashley got introduced to a herd of Cashmere goats for the first time, she wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, but ended up settling right in.”


Ashley RRP Update July

Ashley has moved up her training this month and declared for her categories at RRP.  She’ll be showing in Working Ranch and Polo!

Ashley Cow

Working Ranch used to require cow work, but no longer.  However Kalley has been working her on cows nonetheless! For the Working Ranch category she will be required to perform the AQHA Ranch Riding Pattern 1.  She will then immediately perform a Ranch Trail test of six to nine obstacles that are likely to include at minimum a gate, bridge, sidepassing, backing, and walking or trotting over logs or poles.  If she makes the finale, she will perform a different Ranch Riding Pattern that will include some trail obstacles in the finale.

Ashley has also started her polo work with a mallet and handled it with no problems!  For her Polo test she will be require to do a two and a half minute agility pattern to include figure eights with lead changes, roll backs, tight circles, a check and release and stops/step-backs.  She will also do a 2 and a half minute stick and ball work demonstration requiring the different ball strokes be shown.  If she makes the finale, they will be required another agility/stick and ball demonstration followed up by a 6 horse seven minute chukker (the five finalists plus another volunteer pair).  Exciting!  Polo is always one of the more fun events to watch at RRP and we cannot wait to watch her compete!

Check out the videos of her working a cow and having her first ride with the polo mallet on Ashley’s video stream here.


Sassy Ashley RRP Update May and June

Ashley has had an interesting couple of months with Kalley.  She went to her first public outing – a local barrel race, she starred in some of Kalley’s education materials (and her very own short flim), and worked on her patience and weight.  She’s doing great!!

In early May there was a local jackpot barrel race, so I though I’d get Ashley out under some “Friday Night Lights”  She did great for our first “public”outing. Lots of energy and excitement at those shows, and she got a little nervous, but all in all she handled it well… we just hung out, watched, and ate some grass.

Ashley joined Kalley for some filming for a new Chrome eBook article. She was a star of course.

Sassy Ashley Film Star   Sassy Ashley Film Star

Ashley is learning to stand at the trailer and be patient, and learning to Ground tie.  Little by little, Ashley is getting more and more professional in her demeanor.

Ashley Ground Tie     Sassy Ashley

Ashley is developing her own “out of the ashes” story…

Ashley has been REALLY tricky to get eating well, and consistently. But, with the help of the experts at Triple Crown Feed and Artaurus Veterinary Clinic, we are finally making head way with her health and nutrition and she’s starting to show it on the outside.


Sassy Ashley RRP Update April Adventures

April brought a lot of adventuring around for Ashley and Kalley.  Here’s what they’ve been up to!

Sassy Ashley

Ashley had her first beach ride!

There’s not too many weekends I get to myself, especially when clinic season starts, but we snuck away yesterday to give Ashley a taste of the good life.


She did great for a horse straight off the track. Where we go, there is about a mile or so of sand dunes as you trail through the trees etc to get out to the beach, so its a little tough going and gets them thinking before they see and hear the waves crashing to shore.

It was a perfect morning, couldn’t have been more beautiful. Ashley got to see some odd looking “articles” on the beach which made for some perfect training and confidence building along our journey.

Ashley also has been getting plenty of trail riding experience.

It’s a little tricky getting the hours logged on my 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover horse “Ashley”, while globe trotting to my BHT Clinics, but, we manage to get out to some pretty awesome places in the in between times.

This is a little state park that over looks the beautiful city of Petaluma, CA. There’s a lot of activity here; bicycles, hikers, runners, dogs on leashes, and more, which is fantastic exposure for Ashley’s training.

Slow and steady is our pace for now.

And as a special treat, Rachel from CARMA and Golden Gate Fields reached out to her contact at Calumet and was sent back two special treats!  Baby photos of Ashley and renewed a connection with some employees at Calumet that have known Kalley since she was a kid!

Ashley was born and raised at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, until she was a yearling. Then sold at the Keenland sale, and came out to California.


I don’t think there’s a better progress through a racehorse’s career than Ashley’s had. She was sold once, raced, did okay… won almost $40k, retired, went through the correct channels with California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) and Neigh Savers Foundation, and then I got her.

The owners and trainers Ashley had did a phenomenal job… she is quiet and sensible (great bloodlines helps that!), and she’s really well broke for a racehorse. HUGE KUDOS to those who influenced her life from the beginning in a good way. She’s carried those experiences forward, and they will help her be successful through the rest of her life.



Sassy Ashley Update – Feb & March 2018


Sassy Ashley

Sassy Ashley has had a busy start to 2018.   After arrival on Valentine’s Day at Kalley’s ranch, Kalley spent time getting to know Ashley and getting her looked at by her new vet and farrier.  Ashley also let Kalley know very clearly which food she wanted to eat and which she didn’t.

Me: Timothy/Alfalfa pellets mash?
Ashley: “No.”

Me: Timothy/Alfalfa + Oats?
Ashley: “No.”

Me: Plain Oats?..All racehorses love oats right? Ashley: “No.”

Me: Ok fine, you’re not a Sr, but how about Triple Crown Feed Senior?
Ashley: “Yes…Finally!”

Sassy Ashley   Sassy Ashley

In early March the real work began.

“Ashley’s been ridden a lot on the track, won almost $40k, but never been in a western saddle before… and Wowee did she have something to say😲

I grew up retraining off the track horses for Polo, and some horses you knew were started with western tack (breast collar, and back cinch included), and others like Ashley, you knew only ever had an English saddle on.

Sassy Ashley   Sassy Ashley

I like to saddle and turn them loose to let them get themselves acclimated to the different tack out on their own, that way I’m mostly out of the picture and blame for any upset in their mind. Then, once the dust starts to settle, I’m there to get them organized and settled, as they start to figure out it’s not something bad, it’s just different.

She got big and bad for a couple rounds, holy smokes, but impressively sorted it out very fast and settled in. I rode her yesterday and she was great. I tell you, this mare is so cool, I just love her. She’s got a “constitution” for sure, but a ton of common sense as well… to me, the perfect combination.”

Sassy Ashley     Sassy Ashley

She has gotten to enjoy lots of free time with new friends out in our lush green winter pastures just learning to socialize with others and enjoy a bit of freedom.

Kalley has been so impressed with Ashley that as of March 23rd, Ashley now belongs to Kalley!  She’s off the market!  But she will continue on to the Retired Racehorse Project under the Neigh Savers name.


2018 RRP Candidate: Sassy Ashley

We are excited to announce that we have accepted another CARMA Placement Program Graduate into the Neigh Savers program that will be aiming for the Retired Racehorse Project!  Sassy Ashley is a five year old mare with impeccable pedigree credentials, a blue-blood from the esteemed Calumet Farm in Lexington, KY.  Sassy raced 21 times in the California circuit and was letting down from the track at San Luis Downs when the December tragic fire broke out that took the lives of so many fine race horses.  She is a survivor of that fire and afterwards her connections retired her for good, as they were already thinking about it after her last race in October 2017.

Now, in partnership with Kalley Krickeberg Balanced Horse Training, we are once again paving the road to Kentucky and the Retired Racehorse Project for the third consecutive year and for the third time with a CARMA horse. We would like to thank CARMA Project Manager Natalie Reitkirk for her help in this placement. We look forward to many updates from Kalley as she begins prepping Sassy for Kentucky.  Ashley has been adopted by Kalley and is officially off the market.

You can keep an eye on Ashley on her dedicated video update page!





Thanks to all of our RRP Sponsors!

It takes a village to get a horse to the Retired Racehorse Project!  We want to thank everyone that has helped Taxi along the way and especially his sponsors!

A big thank you to KC Horse Transport for donating haluling and getting Taxi to Kentucky safely!  There is not a better hauling company out there!

A big thank you also to Estolia’s for sponsoring Intaxication AKA Taxi AKA Mr. E!  Head over to their website to buy some of their yummy salsa and support other non-profit projects!

Thank you to Dr. Shawn Frehner, DVM (his vet), Tony Steele (his chiropractor), and David Brough (his farrier) for keeping Intaxication healthy!

Big thanks to trainer Lindy Christensen for doing a wonderful retraining job and keeping him happy, healthy and showing him beautifully in Kentucky!

Thank you also to Claire Painter of Clever With Leather for donating a beautiful hand made halter for Taxi at the show!

Intaxication came from the barn of Billy Morey at Golden Gate Fields and was a CARMA Placement Program graduate.

Thank you everyone that expressed interested, gave support, and cheered us on!




RRP Wrap Up – Intaxication

A Neigh Savers horse attended the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky for the 2nd year in a row. Last year Neigh Savers was represented by Oso Smart, a horse taken from the CARMA Placement Program. This year Neigh Savers took another CARMA Placement Program horse, but this time it was Intaxication.

With the Makeover being moved up 3 weeks, the trainer timeline was even tighter than ever! This year had more horses enter, more horses show up and some really top quality talent (both trainer and horse). The Polo winner (trained by Junior rider Charlie Caldwell) won America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred, a small chestnut roan with big presence (Woodford Channel) won both the Freestyle and Field Hunter events and the Dressage winner, a horse fittingly named Chapter Two, almost pulled off a double as well taking 2nd place in Eventing.

Because of Taxi being a little late to the retraining game this year, trainer Lindy Christensen wasn’t sure he’d be ready in time for RRP, but he showed her good signs in their last show before RRP and she decided to take him anyways with only 5 months of retraining off his injury. She didn’t expect to win, but she did expect solid tests and good relaxation from him. He did a fantastic job on so little time and really impressed with his chill attitude in the big scary indoor arena that caused more than a handful of meltdowns from others.

In Dressage, Intaxication placed 35th out of 78 (a much-improved placing over last years CARMA grad Oso Smart). Lindy and Taxi earned a 60.58% on their regular test and a 42 on their demo ride (they placed 22nd in the scoring for the demo ride after Taxi noticeably relaxed in the second test out).

In Freestyle, Intaxication placed 23rd out of around 40 entrants. They performed a lovely Western Dressage test and may have helped inspire a promised addition of Western Dressage for next year’s RRP! It wasn’t the flashiest Freestyle, but he was certainly one of the most relaxed horses in the arena and Western Dressage may just be his calling.

We are so proud of Taxi and thankful to Lindy for doing such a wonderful retraining job with him.  We are already looking forward to next year!


Final update before RRP

Taxi's Final Update

Alas, here we are. My final update before Taxi takes his long journey to Kentucky. I can’t believe how quickly time has past. It seems like just yesterday that Taxi found his place in my arms. He’s been such a good boy from the start. It’s very impressive to see how much he has accomplished in a short amount of time. The sky is the limit for this sweet boy. Everyday he impresses me more and more. He is so mellow, so kind and oh so talented. Everyone has been very impressed with his temperament. Just the other day the landscapers were doing there thing right by the arena where we were working, we had leaf blowers and lawn mowers on either side and it didn’t phase him in the least bit. He remained focused and attentive on me and got the job done. Those who witnessed this phenomenon were quite impressed with him.

His dressage work has really excelled in the past month. He is successfully doing first level movements and even a couple of second level movements. He is just a blast to ride and to be around.

With Taxi moving along so nicely I’ve had numerous people ask how I could let something so talented and amazing go. Here are the facts, Taxi has all of the tools to succeed no matter where he goes. With his quite disposition and talent he has a bright future. I look at him and say to myself “Wow!!” I can’t believe that I played such an imperative role to this horses life and future. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I wish I had all the money and time in the world to keep every horse that comes through my barn, but I don’t.  Just like Taxi needed me there are so many others that could use my help. Saying goodbye to him won’t be the end, just another start to lend my talents and time to another in need.

I’m really looking forward to taking that trip down centerline in the coming weeks. We’ve had mountains to climb to get to this point and no matter the outcome Taxi is a winner. I never pushed this horse. The decision to go Kentucky was his. He’s proven that he is more than ready for the journey. Wish us luck and we’ll be sure to post lost of updates once we reach our destination.

Here is the link to Taxi’s latest video. I hope you all enjoy watching how much the boy has blossomed!



Stepping Back to Step Forward

Taxi August 2017


I can’t believe it!! Time has really flown by on this one. In just a little over a month Taxi and I will be taking our journey to Lexington KY. I’m amazed at what this horse has accomplished in such a short amount of time. I think he knew the odds were against us going into this and really wanted to show just how good of a boy he really was. I am so grateful he was the horse to take Salsa’s place in this endeavor. Taxi has been game since the very beginning and it’s really starting to show.

Taxi August 2017

Over the past month we’ve taken a little step back. I wanted to take the time to find the gaps in his training and re address them. As they say… sometimes to take a step forward you have to take a few steps back. We’ve done just that. Taxi is still a little unstable in his trot to canter transitions (which is to be expected, let’s not forget he didn’t start his re-training until mid April!!) so we’ve gone back to work on the ground, focusing on those transitions. It’s imperative that he finds the balance and confidence on his own. I’m happy to say they are finally getting better and he is really showing what he is made of.

Taxi is one of kind. He is a true athlete and aims to please. He puts his best hoof forward everyday. This boy is a star!!! Someone is going to be so lucky to have this horse in their barn. Those of you that are interested in adopting him should get their applications in ASAP!! This sweet boy won’t last long.



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