Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introduction to us and why we are here.

I entered the blogging world just a few short months ago.  I since have fallen in love with documenting my life through this outlet.  Now this blog in particular has started because my other blog was supposed to be documenting my life as a wife, mother and farm girl.  It seemed to be over taken by my posts about my OTTB thoroughbred Steady Smiler.  So that is why I am here.  This blog will be dedicated to tracking and documenting me and Steady on our journey to retrain eachother to do eventing.  So this is us and here is our story.

 We had horses in our back yard before I was born.  So life without horses was foreign to me.  It all started well before I could walk I was on a horse.  After that you were hard up to get me off a horse.  I started formal training in hunter/jumping when I was 8.  I started with weekly lessons.  After about a year I started going to the barn daily.  In the summers I was dropped off in the morning and would leave at night.  During the school year I was dropped off at the barn by the bus every day.  So as you can see I lived at the barn.  I would exercise at least 5 horses a day for my trainer and in turn would earn my lessons.  Show season was what we lived for and I could not get enough of these animals.

At about 15 I was sent away to boarding school and this is when my hiatus from horses began.  Sadly I went for years and years without these beasts in my life.  But they were never out of my heart.  Straight from graduating boarding school I went to college and from college I was quickly married and started a family.  We were not in a financial postion to own a horse.  So I made a plan.  How long would it take me to acheive this dream of horses ownership again.  It was a five year plan and I am happy to announce about 5 1/2 years I brought home my very own horsey and my dream became reality!!!

This is where Steady comes into the picture into my life and into my heart.  April of this year our fence was put in, stall was built and we were ready to start looking.  Oh who am I kidding, I started looking way before that was all finished but we were finally ready to bring a horse home.  I did look at one other horse before I found Steady.  I can't tell exactly why I was so drawn to OTTB's.  I think it is in general the thoroughbred breed that I am attracted to.  They are so beautiful, strong, athletic, hardworking animals.  Those long leg can make some good jumpers too and that is what I wanted to do.

Me and Steady on our very first ride.  I was 20 lbs heavier, my saddle fit terribly and we were generally a big mess.  But I was as happy as a girl could be.

I decided on Steady and brought him to his new home, in my back yard.  This is where this story begins and why "Slow and Steady wins the race" came about.  The title of the blog does not refer to the speed of Steady himself.  He is far from slow.  He raced all the way up until 10 years of age.  He won 8, placed 9 and showed 13 races.  Had 75 starts and won a total of $335,000 over his career.  Not to shabby.  He even won a race as little as one year ago and his last race was January of this year.  Actually I was just told a story about how Steady would still be racing had the man that owned him not owed his trainer money.  The owner still wanted to race him but the trainer decided Steady deserved to retire and that is why she was finding him a new home.   Slow is refering to the process of retraining a racehorse for a new career.  If you have done it then I know you will relate.  If you have not but it interests you I am sure you can learn a little from our experience.  Even if it is from our mistakes.  They are unique creatures in many many ways as you will soon learn.

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