I wasn’t quite expecting to get another horse so soon, but when my trainer Lisa said she found one for a really cheap price earlier this month, I decided to take a look.
I was hoping to wait until at least the spring, see how Oh So made it through the winter and try to compete a bit next year, but sometimes life throws things your way, and I’m trying to take things in stride.
Lisa found Forward Thinking via a trainer friend at Charlestown Race Track. Apparently his owner/trainer had been arrested for fraud, so his horses needed to be dispersed.
His last race was on Nov. 3, and he was actually a pretty good race horse. He raced about 30 times and won seven times, taking home over $100,000. This year he was slowing down though and only raced a handful of times, finishing middle of the pack.
My biggest hesitation was that he’s 7, and will be 8 in May. That makes him almost the exact age that Oh So was when I got him, but he was already working under saddle and jumping little things.
I’ve always regretted those “lost years” I could have had with Oh So, but this horse was $700, has great conformation and seems very sweet, so I decided to take a chance on him.
I’m hoping he’ll be my next Oh So–one I can take through prelim, or at least training. I have lots of goals I want to accomplish, and I’m ready to feel motivated again.
I looked at him at the track on Dec. 1, vetted him on Dec. 3 and he came home on Dec. 12 after my trip to the USEA Convention, so this has all been quite a whirlwind.
I was nervous to turn him out since it’s probably been awhile since he’s had that luxury, but I had no options at my barn other than to put him out with Oh So on the first day. Lisa and I gave them both a little Ace, hand walked them around the field and let them go. Luckily there wasn’t a ton of running and they seemed to bond pretty quickly. Now the challenge will be to make sure they both get used to being separated, especially when one goes away in the trailer, because the barn is situated so they can’t see the other horses on the other side of the property.
He’s settled in well so far. I feel kind of bad because he probably got the shock of a lifetime being thrown into field board on one of the worst weather weeks we’ll probably have all winter. They weathered an ice storm last night and highs in the 20s earlier this week, but he seems to be taking it in stride and hasn’t lost his (considerable) appetite!
Lisa and I were able to work with him only once this week because of letting him settle in and the weather, so I’m a little anxious to get going, but next week is looking better.
We started by teaching him about lunging. He was a little tentative at first, but once he got the hang of it, Lisa was able to take him over a couple of trot poles. He seems like a willing and fast learner, so I’m hoping with my experience now we can move along a little faster than I did with Oh So and Bear.
I’ve spent the last few days just bonding on the ground and trying to think of a barn name. I still haven’t found one, and it’s a little weird calling him “new horse!”
I’m excited at the prospect of being able to compete next year, so fingers crossed he starts to enjoy his job!