Horsemanship With Lindsey Partridge: Mega Makeover Training Begins

With the postponement of the 2020 Thoroughbred Makeover, competitors are making big plans for the 2021 Mega Makeover. Lindsey Partridge is no exception. Read about what she has planned with her horse, Elysia.

I have been training my Thoroughbred Elysia for the 2020 Makeover since I got her at the end of last year. We were off to a rough start because she needed to have leg surgery as soon as she arrived for a sequestrum. Luckily the prognosis was very good and the procedure went off without a hitch.

Photo by Abby Krotz

We embarked on our training for the Makeover not knowing what would come. I did something different for the first time — I only took on one horse. Normally when I go to the Thoroughbred Makeover I have two horses. All of my horses have always made the top three in at least one of their disciplines and it has been very busy. This past year having my newborn child and two Thoroughbreds was a little bit insane, especially when both of my Thoroughbreds made the finale in both of their disciplines. It was really a hectic day. I was very proud of my horses, but at the same time I realized that I needed to slow down for next year.

I decided to take on just one Thoroughbred, and I started the training process like I usually do with building a relationship and then starting some off-site experiences. We went to the Horse World Expo together and did our first try at some freestyle work with the big blue tarp in front of thousands of people and she was a superstar. Shortly after we got home from that performance the pandemic started and everything has been getting cancelled.

Despite not being able to go to competitions or other Expos we were still practicing and training at home and even did an offsite schooling opportunity where we did some bridleless jumping. My horse truly is fantastic and extremely trainable. She is learning how to piaffe, already knows how to capriole and today we dabbled with bridleless driving. We were definitely planning an epic freestyle that was going to be my best yet.

Then we got the news that the 2020 Makeover is going to be postponed. I think this was a smart decision by the Retired Racehorse Project because the pandemic is proving to be a lot longer and more impactful than I think everyone initially suspected. Instead the organization is planning a Mega Makeover for 2021. I think this could be incredible. This means they plan on having a 2021 Makeover as normal, but then also offering classes for the 2020 horses. People for the 2020 year have the option to enter in the 2021 Makeover with their horse or they can roll over their entry fee into a 2021 horse.

I am planning to keep Elysia — she is such a talented horse that I think we have a very bright future together. I am a little intimidated to plan for a Mega Makeover in 2021. It makes me wonder what kind of tricks I need to be doing for the freestyle performance then. We were already going to have bridleless driving, bridleless riding/ jumping, piaffe, rear, lay down and many other things.

The funny thing is that I had purposely only gotten one horse so that I could make things easier for myself, and it would have been my first Makeover only having one horse. But now that 2020 and 2021 are combined, I have to make the decision if I will only go with my one horse or if I will pick up another horse for the 2021 classes. This means I would have two horses with me again at the Makeover, so I’m not quite sure what I will do yet.

During a time of pandemic, many things are postponed and the world is changing. It is exciting to have something to look forward to next year. I think the Mega Makeover could be the start of something even bigger for the Retired Racehorse Project. Maybe in years to come they will continue to offer classes to horses from different years.

Photo by Abby Krotz

The Thoroughbred makeover is one of my favourite competitions and usually a fun way to finish off the year. I will definitely miss it this year as it has been a tradition to head down to Kentucky for the last four years.

So now the planning begins. I’ll continue teaching my horse some new movements and tricks and then I will get to start learning a truly epic freestyle.