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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Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show

Board Director Maureen Sowell and Volunteer Annie Eitman just spent a great weekend at the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show in Temecula March 25-26, 2017.  Here is a recap of their adventure:
Thankfully the rain which had been forecast did not materialize and the weather was beautiful.  Natalie Reitkirk from CARMA said that it was the biggest turnout out that they have had with over 90 entries. 
The main reason we went was to see Jennifer Osborne from Fire & Ice Horse Rescue in Las Vegas compete with Pharrell, one of the horses from the Lockwood Valley rescue.  We could not believe it was the same horse, especially Annie, who had been involved in getting these 12 horses out two days before Christmas 2014.  Jennifer has done an amazing job with him.  He is super sweet, gorgeous, has loads of talent and has the potential to go a long way with the right person.
We also got the opportunity to meet Clover!  Oh, what a beautiful girl and again, JoJo Zumwalt has done a wonderful job in getting her started.  For a young, inexperienced horse to handle a 10 hour trailer ride down from Sacramento and back, being in a new place and all the commotion of a horse show around her, she handled it all like a superstar!!  She was featured in the Showcase on Sunday which is a new element that TCHS is bringing to feature horses are for sale or adoption.  There was some interest in her and I handed out cards and adoption applications. Natalie also took some professional photos of her.
All in all, it was a great weekend and we were glad to make connections with everyone.  It was also a good workout!!!  Annie and I checked our health apps on our IPhones and between the two days we walked over 8 miles!!!! 
Our little boy Pharrell has grown up! Rescued from starvation three years ago and so un-handled we called him by the name of “Feral” initially, he landed in the amazing hands of Jennifer Osborne of Fire and Ice Horses. Competing in only his second show he excelled in dressage, show jumping and cross country winning two first and two second ribbons in his events. Under patient and loving training, Jennifer has brought out the talent and potential in this once forgotten, neglected horse.
We were lucky enough to be able to show Cloverinahaystack (Clover) in the Showcase event. Even though this was her first “sleepover” in a strange place and after a 10-hour long round trip trailer ride, nothing phased her! This four year old beauty handled everything like an old pro. She is going to make some lucky person very happy! Many thanks to JoJo Zumwalt and Claudia Booth for transporting her all that way and back! You guys are troopers! Also, a big thank you to Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show for allowing us the opportunity to show her off!
The Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show improves with each show and Neigh Savers is very proud to continue our support of all TB horse shows.

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Bikers and Runners and Strollers, Oh My!

As always, Salsa is doing wonderful!!  I can’t say enough good things about him.  He has shown some great progress on the ground with his canter so we’ve finally started doing a little canter work under saddle.  At the moment I’m not asking for any collection.  He still needs a little more balance and strength before that can happen but it will come quickly.  He gave me a few collected strides the other day (on his terms) so that’s a small victory!!

Salsa has a new found love for trail riding.  It’s been great to get his brain out of the arena and focusing on something a tad different.  He has been a perfect gentleman every time I’ve taken him out.  There’s always something go on at the park.  Even with all of the commotion (bikers, runners, strollers, dogs… to name a few) he’s been fantastic.  All of these things are great for him to see. I strongly believe in the importance of trail riding.  It truly makes them more rounded and much more focused when they begin a show career.  Salsa is truly remarkable and we are so lucky to have him.

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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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CARMA Newsletter Feature

CARMA featured our very own Oso Smart in their latest newsletter! We’re so proud of our boy for his performances in the Thoroughbred Makeover 2016 and cannot wait to see what he does next.

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Placement Program Graduates

We have helped more than 100 Thoroughbreds transition from the racetrack into the next stage of their life.  Below are three “success stories” we are proud to share.

oso-jumping-rrp-2Oso Smart

This bay son of Curlin participated in the Retired Racehorse Project 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover.  Under the care of CARMA Aftercare Partner Neighsavers, Oso Smart showed in dressage and jumpers classes. He was one of the lucky Thoroughbreds to find a forever home at the show. He and his new owner have dreams of competing in the Paralympics.

21edae19-97b1-4ccd-8ee1-f30ac5ba6971Utopian

Our Graded Stakes Winner, Utopian, was saved by the generosity of his veterinarian who donated a live-saving surgery and CARMA taking a special interest in his unique circumstances. While he recovered well, this nine-year-old decided he would much rather enjoy life as a permanent retiree with our Aftercare Partner Humanity For Horses.

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With his incredibly sweet personality and unique appearance, our lovable one-eyed wonder has a second career as a therapy horse at CARMA Aftercare Partner – Square Peg Foundation. He helps children and adults with special challenges find their strengths by giving every visitor a hug when he meets them.

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7th Annual Day at the Races Wrap Up

We want to thank everyone that attended our 7th Annual Day at the Races and Holiday Party at Golden Gate Fields!  This year’s event one was for the record books with a full house of sold out seats, a huge and successful silent auction and our ever popular raffle.  It was a great day filled with new friends, old friends, good food and some spectacular racing.   We could not do it without you and we feel incredibly blessed to have had so many dedicated friends, volunteers and supporters join us for this fun day.

We were all treated to a rare dead heat in the first race of the day and to an exciting blanket finish in the Neigh Savers named race where a local jockey picked up her 500th career win.  Bear Creek junior volunteer Katelyn Read was honored with a winner’s circle check presentation for her award winning essay for the TCA.  After the last race as many of us were leaving, we were treated to one of the most spectacular sunsets over the San Francisco Bay.

This event goes a long way in supporting our mission to help re-home retired and endangered horses and we cannot thank you enough for your support.   We cannot wait to see you next year!

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RRP Thoroughbred Makeover 2016

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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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Race for the Rescues 2016

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Neigh Savers Foundation had a blast at Race for the Rescues 2016! Thousands of people came together to raise money to help save animals lives. The event raised almost $400K and out of approximately 80 teams Neigh Savers was placed 8th in fundraising efforts. We could not have done this without your help and we are so grateful to those of you who donated to this cause! Special thanks also goes to Jane Lytle who donated shirts, totes and caps and made our booth look so beautiful!!

It was also our pleasure to meet Jennifer Osborne of Fire and Ice Horses Rescue from Las Vegas who ran the 5k in her full fire fighting gear!!! We are fortunate to be able to reach out to Jennifer if we have a horse that needs special attention.

Once again, thank you to all the participants, donors, friends and family that made this our biggest Southern California fundraising event of the year!

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