From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Follow the link for your chance to win a Horze club winter jacket! I personally have not used these products before, but the company has a great reputation and it looks like a decent jacket. The New England nights are getting chilly, time to start thinking about winter!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just A Memory

I write this post with a heavy heart and watery eyes. Jet has happily settled into his new home and I am so glad that he has so many people that love and care about him.. Even though I know I made the right decision for both me and him, I feel completely empty and lost. I know he is not "gone," but it is as though he has vanished form my life.

When something so influential in your every day life ceases to exist, you can't help but feel lost and confused. I went from seeing Jet every single day to not seeing him at all. I don't know what to do. My poor new horse is getting the effects of this. My overall desire to ride and simply be around horses has significantly plummeted. The last time Jet left us, I stopped riding for 6 months. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen again.

Having a new project horse has helped me stay with it and carry on with my life. Don't get me wrong, I like my new horse, but he isn't Jet. I don't have the bond with the new guy that I had with Jet and I truly don't think I ever will. I don't love this new horse. Maybe I will someday, but I don't right now. In my mind, it seems like I tried to replace Jet with the new horse. Now I am realizes that the idea of replacing Jet is not even remotely possible.

Strangely enough, the thing I miss the most isn't the riding. It isn't all of the shows. It isn't the ribbons we won or the lessons we had. Just being around Jet and standing next to him as he sniffed my body from head to toe....him putting his nostril to my nose and breathing in each other's scent...him gently touching my face...licking my hand...scratching my scratching him all over for hours as he moved to show me where he wanted to be scratched....long in-hand walks through the woods and around the street... that is what I miss the most. That is what I can't get back, but that is what I will keep in my mind as just a few of the happy memories that I shared with my heart horse.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Beginnings

Jet went to his wonderful new home Thursday. I'll do a full post soon, but in the meantime I'll show you guys a bunch of photos on how we spent out last day together. Make sure you click to see more!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Push and Pull

Jet and I had a great ride yesterday! A nice flat/crossrail ride in the field and a long trail ride and walk around the street was the perfect way to spend our last Sunday together. Here are some pictures

On a more frustrating note, Baby Thoroughbred (who I think I am going to name Boomer - thoughts?) pulled a shoe just a day after he got them. Uggh, frustrating! He is definitely a lot more comfortable moving forward with shoes so fingers crossed that we will be going consistently soon!

Here he is before the shoe came off:

And here is the shoe:

Luckily it is getting put back on today. He should be moving to a new barn with an indoor sometime this week/weekend!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Follow the link to figure out how YOU can win some ShowSheen products!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 27th

This will be a short and to-the-point post mostly due to the fact I get very upset at the mere thought of the whole topic.

Yesterday, Jet got a visit from his old/new owner. "P" (as I will call her) came by to see how Jet was doing, get some info on him, and to spend some time with him. She purchased him when we sold him about 7 years ago, but honored my "first right of refusal" clause by offering him back to us 3 years ago when things came up in her life. I also honored her first right of refusal clause by offering him back to her after I decided to move on to a horse that would be better suited for my riding goals. After some long talks over the past few weeks, she has decided to take Jet back and use him as a trail horse. She will also put a few months of training into him (she is a dressage trainer which is exactly what he needs) and then her daughter will take the reins to do some schooling shows/have fun with him. He will be leaving me to go to his new home with P on April 27th. I am happy that I get some time to say goodbye, but I am absolutely heartbroken that I will be losing my best friend for a second time. This was easily the hardest decision I've had to make in a while, but it is one that I really needed to make. I'll miss my Jetstar

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Grass is Always Greener...

As some of you know (hello to my new followers!), Jet is being kept at my friend's house with her Thoroughbred mare. A few days ago, I received a frantic phone call from my friend that went something along the lines of, "HELP! The horses are galloping towards Tremont! (the busiest street in our little town) Jet won't stop. He jumped the fence. Dreamer is just following him. Come now!" Ofcourse, I immediately jumped into my truck and drove the 3 minutes down the road to the said location of the galloping horses. My heart absolutely dropped when I saw a cluster of cars and only one horse from a distance. A few seconds later (and some illegal driving on public land) and I saw my horse standing right behind Dreamer. Luckily, a horse person from a nearby barn saw the loose horses and caught them when they stopped to eat grass next to the busy street. Her and her mother held the horses until my friend and I got there. I was SO thankful that there were horse people around to catch the horses and that no people or horses were hurt. Minutes later, pictures were being posted to my Facebook that spectators took of the event. Not much happens in my small town so this was quite the talk of the town.

They ended up running to a store plaza/cemetery/soccer field intersection...interesting location that Jet has actually run away to before when he got loose at my house a few years ago. Someone went around the town opening stalls and gates and let a ton of horses go that night!

We didn't have time to think about lead ropes but we had bailing twine that temporarily served well until we had someone go grab the lead ropes for us at home.

QUESTION TO DOM - I have been unable to read your blog lately. Is it no longer going?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Back In The Saddle

Nothing impressive, but Jet and I went for a nice ride today. He was a little stiff, but he worked out of it. I have another story to post about later!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Head Over Heels

Jet and I took a nasty fall on Monday night. This will be a brief post since I am a little out of it but I will do a full post asap.

We were cantering on a slight down hill and he tripped. I went over his shoulder, landed on my head, he fell over me and almost did a somersault. He ended up kicking me in the back of the head and neck and on my back as he tried to recover. It took him a second to get up but he was up and trotting away before I could even sit up. The first thing that I said was "My head hurts. Where's my horse?" Apparently my speech was a bit slurred and I was out of it. After a second, I got up and fetched Jet and remounted. I walked only a few steps before I realized he was not okay. I got off immediately and untacked. My head and beck began to hurt even more. I walked Jet around a few times and he seemed to be moving around a lot better so we gave him some bute and put him away. I sat down for a little bit before heading over to the hospital. I ended up with a concussion, sprained neck, and several bumps and bruises but it could have been a lot worse! My neck is very sore and stiff and I can't turn my head too much. My left arm is pretty useless right now. I can't extend it in front of me or above my head and I can't lift anything with it. I also can't ride for 1-2 weeks so it will be long walks on the trails in-hand for me and my boy. The un-named Baby Thoroughbred will be lunged until I can ride again. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!

Monday, April 1, 2013


If you read my last post, you know that I did get the baby TB and he does have some aggression/territory issues. He seems to be improving and hasn't gone after anyone since my last post. Lots of ground work, ample turn out time, long grooming sessions, and peppermints have done wonders for him so far. The only time he even pins his ears now is when I do the girth. Fingers crossed more progress will be made!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Long Story Short

Long Story short - I ended up buying the young TB. Once we got him home it was evident that he had many behavioral issues, including charging at you with teeth baring and biting. He has bitten me a handful of times when he was in the stall and on the cross ties. He got my sister today in the paddock. A few days ago he bit my mom's face (she got a nice bruise) and he pushed her against the wall... as soon as he has a lead rope clipped onto him or once he is being worked he is an absolute saint. He is super calm undersaddle, w/t no problems and is quiet on the trails and on the road. He doesn't care if other horses are around him and gets along great with our guys in turnout. If anyone has any advice on correcting this aggressive behavior, please email me at I have been in contact with two trainers already and am working closely with one but am curious to see what others have to say/have experienced. If he does not turn out to be safe enough to be around in a few months I will have to sell him unfortunately. My family and my own safety are more important than a nice horse undersaddle.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Good Comes With the Bad

So sorry for the lack of posting. So much has been going on lately between family, friends, riding, school work, applying for college, etc. It all got me thinking about life and what I truly want to do. After months and months of thinking, I have decided that I need to move on to another horse that will be able to take me where I want to go with my riding. Realizing that it will not be possible financially or time-wise, I can only have one horse through college. What does this mean? Jet has to find a new home. This decision was one of the hardest things I had to do. After months of going back and forth trying to decide if I could emotionally handle losing Jet for a second time, I quickly sent Jet's old owner an email asking her if she would want him back. It was a quick decision to write the email and I knew ti had to be done before I changed my mind again. This is what it said:

"Hello P,

I am considering finding Jet a new home. I love him to death, but in order to do what I want to be able to do with my riding, I need to find a new horse. Since I am going to college in the fall, I know I will only be able to have the time and money for one horse. This leaves me in a horrible position. I cry even thinking about finding Jet a new home, but I know it needs to be done. I was wondering if you would be interested in taking him back? It could be a free lease or ownership. If you are interested, we could work something out. You were such a great owner and he was fat, happy, and healthy with you and got to live on acres and acres of open fields. While I have had him, we have done lots of shows, hunter paces, and fairs. We are going well wtc, and have jumped up to 3'. He loves trail rides and gallops in fields. We have even pulled an inflatable snow tube behind him during the winter (I'll attach a video below. He is such an awesome horse!) He lovessss to drive and that may be something he would excel in.

You can email me through here or call/text me at 508 *** ****.

Thank you,


Within minutes, I got the following response:

"Hi Emily,
OMG. So good to hear from you! Congrats on college. Where are you going? What will you be doing for riding? 
I may be interested, but I wouldn't be able to do anything for a few months. Any health issues with him? How easy is he to WTC and jump small stuff - xrails to 2'? He was always such a good boy. Is he still an easy keeper? What's your time frame?

My daughter has a rescued Saddlebred TB cross that we thought we'd be able to just condition for her, but he is progressing with neurological issues that are worsening despite all of our efforts. He has gone from just being "weak", to unsafe to ride, now to unsafe to himself in the pasture. I believe we have exhausted all medical intervention options, and we are being advised the end should be near in all fairness to him. (he's up there in age too. estimate 17-20 so it's the right thing to do.)
My daughter is 12 now and about my size (5'1, but she is much skinnier :)   and she just wants a buddy to bond with and hack around, have fun and take some lessons on. I would say she's an advanced beginner. She actually rides better than that, but she's a little timid, and now hasn't been on regularly in about 6 months. I would love to see the video of the snow tube. (I didn't get it) That sounds so fun! I've always wanted to do that with the kids, but my horses are crazed wimps! It would NOT go well. They are also unsuitable for her, at least for several more years. I'm not really sure she'll ever want to be crazy competition girl anyway, which is fine with me. One chronically injured person is plenty. Haha.

Let me know if you think he would suit her. I always loved him too. I'm not sure what I would have done if he didn't go back to you. I know how much you love him. At the very least I could probably find a job for him as a happy farm trail horse (showing the crazy young greenies how to do it without exploding) as long as he's not unsound. I love my Vet, but I could use a break from seeing them all the time (and I don't even want to add up how much I've spent this year), and I'm done with the emotional exhaustion. My daughter is in denial about her horse's condition and is still expecting a magical outcome. It's drained me as you can imagine.

Feel free to email or call me. I'd love to see the video and photos of him! And thanks for thinking of me :)

PS- How's your mom? Tell her hi for me. "

After a few more emails back and forth and some text messages, it has been decided that Jet will go back to his old owner so her 12 year old daughter can love him and ride him. P is a trainer and will put a few good months of dressage work into him too. She will use him as a trail horse/buddy to help her babies learn the ropes. He will be going back late April so it gives me some time to accept the fact that this is really happening, and needs to happen in order for me to do what I want to do. I have been casually looking for a new horse since last July. I have seen close to 40 horses now between private sellers, sales barns, and thoroughbreds on the track at Suffolk Downs. I have looked at everything from quarter horses to thoroughbreds to warmbloods to saddlebreds and everything else you could possibly imagine.I have only really really liked three of those horses. One fell through because of legal reasons (it was an abandoned horse and it was a long process of transferring ownership), one was a TB on the track that sold before I could get the vet out there to do a vet check, and other was bought out from underneath me by a friend who said that I could make the decision on the horse before they did. So it has been a crazy battle of finding the right horse and then actually getting it before someone else does. 

I went to go see a 3yr old, coming 4, TB gelding yesterday that I really liked (make that 4 horses now that I have actually liked). He is super cute, has a good personality (is a little to playful with his mouth though...), sound, put together well, and has been started undersaddle by a close friend of mine. My trainer is going to look at him with me this week and we will see what she has to say about him. I know that if I do not find a horse by the time Jet goes back, I will stop riding. Last time Jet left, I wouldn't even look at a horse for 6 months. By having a new horse already, the transition will hopefully be easier...I just feel so selfish doing this...but it does need to be done. I will always love Jet and I will take him back in a heartbeat if anything goes array down the road. Fingers crossed that he will make the little girl just as happy and as good of a rider and he has made me. 

This is the baby TB. Opinions on him?