I was speaking to my friend Brooke the other day when the conversation quickly turned to one of our most frequent laments….selling horses. The process of retraining thoroughbreds is quite near and dear to both of our hearts, and we quickly became friends through our journeys at the Retired Racehorse Projects Thoroughbred Makeover, a process that I have blogged often about. And we admit … Read More Training for Life
“But, this is the last one,” I reasoned with both my fiancé but mostly with myself. “Kennedy is tucked safely in the barn, Sail Maker is over at Lee’s, and the rest are accounted for. This would be the last one.” My fiancé Luke stares at me and rolls his eyes, fully knowing that I am moreso rationalizing what I am about to do … Read More Controlling the Future
A few weeks ago, I broke down in front of my PhD advisor. I felt lost. Trapped. Confused and unsure of where to go. And we spoke for hours. About what had brought me to this place, and which direction to take towards the future. Mats had moved past the place of boss and had become something of a father figure to me. At … Read More 2018: The Year of Confusion
I was recently asked by a friend if the Thoroughbred Makeover was worth it. Was it worth the cost? The time? The exhaustion, the nerves, the pressure? And I told her that if her goal was to have this single horse show be a goal to finish the year on, rather than the end all-be all of her horses life, then yes. If you … Read More The Makeover: Is The Risk Worth The Reward?
About a year ago, I rode in a clinic with my young, and very difficult, horse Nixon. Immediately before the clinic, my friend Brooke reached out to me and asked how I was doing with Nixon. Was I making any progress? Any training advice? Any bit changes? Exercised, or even gimmicks? Because she had taken on a quirky thoroughbred herself, and was about at … Read More Getting your groove back
Last night, I was invited to speak to a group of young women from the equine programs of Lake Erie College, which is an institution that is near and dear to my heart. Having existed just a stones throw from my hometown of Meadville, PA, we horse showed there often. Many of my friends attended, and many memories were made there. So when I … Read More Luck
A decade ago, my mother sat us down and said she had signed a DNI. A decade ago, I rushed to the hospital to ask my dad if it was true only to find him semi unconscious and untouched by my presence. A decade ago, I paced the halls of an oncology ward, listen to “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allen at 2 … Read More A Decade Ago
A few weeks ago, I pulled my talented horses shoes. So many of you have followed along with my journey with Nixon, and waited in anticipation for the great things we would do. You wanted to see us go to Rolex, or at least win a 1*. And I understand why. Nixon is extremely athletic. He is talented to a fault. He can prance … Read More The Back 40
I am a perfectionist. Sure, my house is filthy. And yes, my truck is full of dirty bandages and 17 pairs of shoes. But, perfectionists aren’t always obsessed with cleanliness. Instead, I’m obsessed with doing a good job. I hate criticism and I despise being told I messed up. And this carries into so many aspects of my life, and makes me turn into … Read More Perfectionism
I met this young girl a few years ago. I had seen her at shows previously, but never knew who she was. She was always the one on the rail with a camera strapped around her neck or blocking her face. She was always in breeches although I rarely saw her on a horse. And she was always wearing the same hat…every time. I … Read More Happy Birthday, JJ.
I started having anxiety attacks just a couple of summers ago. I would drive to the barn after a good day at work, and swing on my first horse. Shoulder in, canter half pass, rein back, or a caveletti or two, my ride would go well. I would untack, hose off, sweatscrape him, and place him back in his cool stall. I would undo … Read More Escaping My Escape
I am an equine scientist. I know, I know, many of you are currently sitting behind your monitor or laptop and thinking “yes Carleigh, we knew this,” but few of you probably understand what this means. I spend most of my morning on a research facility. A horse farm that serves as a location where we can house “research animals.” Only instead of lab … Read More Troubleshoot