Meagan DeLisle’s Thoroughbred Makeover hopeful Flash has been presenting quite a few challenges in his first months home — but showing plenty of potential too! From injuries to wild moments to progress, Meagan gives us the scoop.
It’s no secret that the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover has already had a big impact on the OTTB world. Kristen Kovatch catches up with RRP Ambassador Kyle Rothfus to talk about the bigger picture — and where she and Jobber Bill fit in.
Hundreds of off-track Thoroughbreds are strutting their stuff right now at the Kentucky Horse Park in a variety of second-career disciplines, hoping to earn the title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred!
We’re just one week away from the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover! Our spotlight trainers share their strengths, weaknesses and some advice for future would-be trainers.
With just a month to go until the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover, our spotlight trainers are sharing their advice for future Makeover/OTTB trainers.
With time ticking away before the Thoroughbred Makeover in October, we’re pausing to catch our breath this month so our spotlight trainers can reflect on their progress so far.
The summer heat hasn’t stopped our second round of trainers from pushing forward in their programs. This week, we finish out our month of review on tack or equipment that has helped these trainers during their retraining process with their former racehorses. As the event gets closer, some trainers are finding their groove, and others have to make tough decisions in the best interest of their horses and themselves.
Lauren Turner- Eventing, Professional
“Thoroughbreds are notoriously sensitive types. It is essential that you understand how all of your equipment fits and functions to give your horse the opportunity to succeed.”
Knowing how important it is to find the proper tack that keeps your Thoroughbred comfortable, Lauren heavily focuses on saddle fit with all of her horses. She has ridden in a variety of saddles over the years, from synthetic foams to flocked, but she has always found that she struggled with her position or her horses having a sore back. After years of bouncing back and forth trying to find the right fit for herself and her horses, she has found her way to County Saddlery. She appreciates their wool flocked saddles and wooden trees which allow for a tailored fit each horse, each time.
Gift goes in a County Innovation jump saddle and the Fusion dressage saddle. Lauren feels that Gift is more able to come through over his back and reach into a true connection while riding in the Fusion saddle. While the Innovation saddle allows him to jump up through his shoulder, while keeping herself in rhythm with his movement.
As you can tell, Gift is really starting to come into his own and excel in his new career as an eventer. Lauren is extremely pleased with his progress and cannot wait to see how he will perform at the RRP.
Savannah Ranes- Junior, Dressage
“I can’t believe I got so lucky with him. I took a chance on the horse with a broken leg and a bad attitude, and now I have a willing and wonderful partner.”
The longer Savannah and Bentley spend together, the stronger their bond grows. As he has come into his own, Savannah hasn’t found the need to use a lot of artificial aids in his training process. She does choose to ride him in a loose ring French snaffle, occasionally using a baucher as needed. Bentley is soft mouthed, so she finds a stronger bit isn’t needed to get him to use himself for Dressage. She also uses a flash as he likes to gape his mouth and grab the bit now and then when he is nervous.
When he first came back from his layover, Savannah began incorporating side reins in their program. She lunged him in side reins and also did some ground driving during that time. At first, Bentley didn’t know how to lift his back and balance himself, which is why she chose to start him in them very gradually. As Bentley began to get back into shape, she moved up to lunging him in side reins 2-3 times a week. Something she found helped a lot was utilizing a hill on their property where she would have Bentley trot up and walk down while in the side reins.
Bentley got to enjoy a lot of turn out this past month as Savannah has been out of town for quite a bit. She spent a week with him at her grandmothers where they lessoned every day with their trainer, which she feels has put them right on track for the makeover! He is now solidly schooling Training Level Test 2 and is exceeding her expectations. She cherishes every ounce of progress he has made because he is the first horse she has worked with on her own, of course with the support of her parents, grandparents, and trainer. She is eager to show off all of their hard work at the RRP!
Lindsy Behrend- Hunter, Professional
After the heartbreaking discover that Fergie would not be sound enough for a competitive career, Lindsy began her hunt for her next makeover mount. However, life led Lindsy down another path and she made the gut wrenching decision to withdraw her candidacy from the RRP and put her focus on her current string of horses. While we are going to miss watching Lindsy grow and progress with her horses, we are happy to announce that Fergie is in foal and has a forever home with Lindsy producing babies we are bound to see in the show ring in the future.
While we are saddened to have another trainer go, we can’t wait to see the final touches being placed on the remaining horses as we draw closer to October and the Makeover. Countdown to the RRP: three months!