Tuesday, June 30, 2009
This is Shorty's hero. The horse is named Just Right, ridden and owned by Paula Wong. Paula purchased this horse as a four year old for $2,500 after the horse sustained a compromising, and very painful, quarter crack. Fortunately, he had healed and is sound, and he competes 3rd level.
Here's another hero of Shorty's:
This is Just Fun Stuff, ridden and owned by Melissa Hunsberger. She also rides and shows another OTTB named Expedience. Melissa was named to the USEF developing rider list in 2006 for her awesome work with these horses.
See? It can be done.
While our goals are not so lofty as FEI level, I'd love to make it through first level, maybe even work in second level. While it is difficult to recognize that Shorty does have a few issues and chronic lamenesses that will likely prevent him from doing certain dressage movements, I'm doing my best to be realistic.
One thing that cannot be accounted for is Shorty's heart. He puts a lot of effort into what he does, otherwise he wouldn't have raced for five years on three different racetracks. (Santa Anita, CA, Presque Isle Downs, PA, and Thistledown, OH). However, I do not want this horse to be uncomfortable when he is under saddle, so there's a delicate balancing act. Fortunately, I'm getting a lot of great feedback in my lessons, and riders more professional and experienced in the world of ex-racehorse rahab are setting some great parameters. My newest instructor feels there is no reason why Shorty can't work in second level and beyond once his spine alignment was addressed (and it was on Sunday).
I'm off to the barn to go ride now. I didn't ride yesterday due to Shorty's chiropractor appointment (I needed to give him some time off after being poked, prodded, and pushed around), so we start anew today! I'm excited!