I came off the cross country course at fence 7. My horse felt great in the warm up. My horse felt amazing fence 1-6. Big tables, ascending stairs, a massive brush angled line to a double brush. Tick, tick, tick. He jumped out of stride. He jumped well. I rode with efficiency. I rode well. Until I didn’t. A hanging log caught us off … Read More Perspective
The Lasix debate has reached its fever pitch, and I have avoided it thus far. Backed off by accusations that I am merely a scientist and not a race trainer, I have remained fairly quiet. But. I am a horsemen. I am a scientist. And maybe those two things needs combined for an opinion. An opinion based on fact. Not anecdote. Not legend. And … Read More Lasix: Treating the symptom and not the disease.
For the past three years, I have tried to get down South for some spring training. Two years ago, I ran out of money. Last year, I ran out of time. And this year, life happened. Each time, I hang my head and resign myself to longer road hacks in the freezing cold while the arena sheens with ice. Each time, I throw the … Read More Money, Time, and Life.
There are countless stories swirling the internet, voicing the hundreds of different opinions on this subject. We have heard Arthur Hancock ask for his industry to limit race day medication. We have heard PETA call for an end to all of racing. And we have heard countless others call for a full assessment of that fickle track. The 22nd horse broke down yesterday, after … Read More The Offensive: A Proposed Change To The Industry I Want To Love
I sat reading the comments under Paulick Reports piece and my eyes just grew wider and wider. It was a story of an anchor on Sport Illustrated questioning why horse racing was still a thing. With how many deaths it causes – both horse and human – why do we have this sport simply for gambling? The quote left me saddened. But the comments … Read More Public Relations
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