Monthly Archives: October 2012

CANTER horses show off for NBC

Last week was pretty busy as we spent almost any moment not at work cleaning our house and farm for the arrival of NBC. They came down on Friday to interview CANTER Mid Atlantic for a story that will run during the Breeder’s Cup coverage.

We started in the morning at my farm. They took some footage of Corcho having a vet exam to illustrate how CANTER  investigates soundness issues before horses are adopted out. I had felt a little weakness on that right hind with Corcho and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything major. He did have an enlarged right hind ankle which was a bit oddly shaped. He didn’t feel sore on it to me but you just never know what is in there unless you take a xray. We went out and did some flexions and jogging and he was 1 out of 5 lame on the right hind. However, the flexions showed he was sore up high (above the stifle) which is exactly what I had felt all along. This is something we often find with horses that are recently off the track. The act of racing and breaking out of the starting gate can put a strain on the muscles in the hind end. We decided to x-ray the ankle just because we felt that any buyer would ask about the ankle and it is always easier to have an answer on what has caused the enlarged shape. I tend to hold my breath for xrays. They make me nervous!

The news was excellent. There are no chips, no spurs and overall just minor inflammation of the sesamoid in that hind ankle (Sesamoiditis). This is a common injury that you see in racehorses due to the high stress put on the ankle during racing. Corcho only shows a minor narrowing of the joint space and slight remodeling. The interesting thing about sesamoiditis is that it can quiet down with rest and the bone will heal itself. This is not at all career limiting (except for racing).

Corcho was a total clown for the cameras. He was so relaxed even with the cameras right in his space. The film crew was very impressed with so impressed with him. He was also so good for his flexions which my vet appreciated 🙂

They interviewed me and our super friendly barn cat decided she must be part of the footage.

Our course they wanted to talk about Letterman and how I picked him. Letterman was on his best behavior (notice he is cross tied in the wash stall though 🙂 )

We finished up and headed over to Silk Farm to do the 2nd part of the interview to show where the horses are being rehabbed. They are some of the luckiest horses as our CANTER layup farm are knee-deep in grass and are just horse heaven.

Gib and Jinjalad look at the camera

Mr. P.B. is a total clown. He mugged for the camera and chased all the horses away so it was all about HIM 🙂

Allie was interviewed at Silk Farm.

For the last part of the filming they went to visit with Amy Smith. Amy volunteers with CANTER MA and also bought a CANTER horse. They took some footage of her riding to show the final part of the process-rehab, retrain and resale.

This will all be condensed down into a 3 minute segment which will run either November 2nd or 3rd. We will be sure to keep you posted on the air date.

New pictures and video of Ridge and Corcho

I think the only way we stay less busy is to have vehicles that are broken. Our truck is in the shop and we aren’t sure how long it will be before it comes back. Something about a part that is really rare & expensive..story of my life.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day out yesterday and good picture-taking conditions. We took some conformation shots of Ridge since we missed that when he arrived. He has been here for a month and already filled out. Can’t wait to see him with a bit more time under him.

You will remember he is the one that managed to get kicked in the face the day we went to pick him up at the farm. Check out these before and after shots!

The vet did an awesome job stitching that up! The hair is still growing back and it’s a bit raised in profile but way better than I thought it would look a month later.

Ridge was dealing with a bruised foot for the past month so this is only his 4th ride. I think I would describe him as quiet..quiet..omg I’m tired of kicking you quiet 🙂 I don’t think he will always be so lazy but his general personality is just a very relaxed horse who doesn’t care if the wind is whipping, if I haven’t ridden, if it’s cold, if the trees are blowing and if his friends are running around like loons. He is relaxed and happy but I can see why he wasn’t a race horse.

Here is a video of him. The jumping is making me laugh hysterically. He was totally not convinced he knows how to pick up his feet but he tried so hard. This was his first attempt at jumping and he was such a cutie. Ha, just watched again and he did almost face plant in that first canter. That is a bit of the gate is over there so I must drift. I have my whip in the outside hand tapping the shoulder and outside leg on but he is still leaning left. He will figure that out with some more time. I showed that you can just drop the reins on him and he maintains a lovely rhythm.

I also really love him in the barn. He is the type that cares less about his buddies. Stands nice in the cross ties when his buddies are outside ripping up and down the field for whatever reason (Letterman is bad!). He loves attention and would do anything for a carrot. He needs to get fit before we can do any harder work but he has all the things to make a lovely amateur horse.

Corcho is my kind of ride. Total event horse/jumper type and built uphill with a nice short back. I like these short coupled horses as they feel like sports cars to me. He is really filling out and starting to muscle up. I imagine he will be absolutely stunning with just a bit more time on him as well.

I have been really working hard to get him to stretch down over his back and reach for the bit instead of drawing himself up. He can make himself feel short but it takes time to build the muscles in the right shape. I’m impressed with his progress so far.

We are working on that right lead and I can now get it using the pole and he does change the lead as well. I still  feel a bit of right hind weakness but I am thinking that this guy raced quite a bit and didn’t get a bunch of let down time so it could very well be muscular. The whole breaking out of the starting gate and racing thing is very hard on their bodies.

Here is the video for him-

He has such a nice canter. I imagine it will be awesome when he gets stronger. I didn’t jump him because he just got tired. I always try to remind myself that it is important not to push them to hard or too fast. Doing things right from the beginning results in a relaxed and happy horse.

Happenings around CANTER MA

My two CANTER horses are doing great. Ridge Amour has recovered from his foot bruise and is in work. I expect everybody to go nuts over him as soon as I get some pictures and video. 16h 4yr grey gelding who is quiet, sweet and easy. I think he will have no problem finding a home. Corcho continues to put on weight and muscle. He is really looking good. Life on the farm has been so busy that Kurt hasn’t been able to get any vid/pics of the horses lately but hopefully we will get some time this weekend.

I want to catch you up on things that are going on around CANTER MA. My fellow volunteers are blogging!!!! This makes me happy!

Suzanne writes about the CANTER horses in North Carolina-

Kelly is writing about the CANTER horses on one of our MD layup farms-

You may remember Gavilan Peak from some of my former posts. He came to us back in July of 2011. When I went to our lay up farm I thought the farm owners had gotten a new pony 🙂 Um nope..he was our most recent donation at 14.3 h as a 3yr. He was absolutely sound and sweet so we gave him some time to grow and he has how stretched into 15.2 h. He went off for some retraining and is now ready to move into a new home. Check him out here- He is just such an awesome horse. He came to my farm for a short time before he headed off for his retraining and I was smitten. I could see why our layup farm didn’t want him to go. He just loves people and is such a cool horse.

Allie posted the following on the CMA facebook page:

As you know, hay prices are out of this world. We have an opportunity to do a matching donation up to 3500$ for hay and would like to reach out to ask for support with a “buy a bale” fundraiser. Everybody who buys a bale will be entered in a drawing for a quillen leather halter with name plate! Our hay costs are estimated at 10,000 until next spring if we buy it now. If we wait, we will be looking at double that number and will have to significantly scale back operations. CMA is currently caring for 42 convalescing thoroughbreds, who all need rest and vet care before they will be ready to ride. Please help us support them by buying a bale and asking friends to do the same. Bales are 11.00 and every single one purchased is like buying two!
We had a few responses wondering how hay could possibly be $11 but a good deal of our horses are in North Carolina and hay is much more expensive down there. We also found that our Tb’s tended to colic on the hay that is grown locally (coastal hay) so it is hard to save costs.
I promise to get up some new pictures and videos of my boys soon.

Corcho starting to change his shape

Corcho has been getting a little ground work before rides. He is going through the my buddies are in the field stage and when he comes out he isn’t fully focused on me and the job I’m asking him to do. I have tried to keep it fun and I have started him lunging over jumps which he found to be boring 🙂 I don’t find that he is a hot horse nor is he silly but he just needs to learn a bit more focus. By giving him the time to get focused we end up having better rides and that is what it is all about. He has to learn to get into the routine. Here he is learning to do some jumps on the lunge line. I’m laughing hysterically watching him jump the barrel…omg to no big deal in a few jumps.

He has no clue what to do with his body but that is no big deal. That all comes with time and he is still dealing with some hind end funk (aka letting down track muscles and finding that his butt hurts).

He had his first session with the chiropractor last week and I can really feel the difference in his flatwork. He is actually really nice in the bridle but it takes a TON of leg to push him up to the hand and just to keep him forward. I can see and feel that the right hind is pretty weak. I’m not too worried about that and will just keep taking my time.  I am careful to keep the sessions short and sweet. The right lead is missing but I’m not really stressing about that either. At this point, I don’t drill them on it and he is still figuring out the transition let alone the actual lead. I would rather him be happy and relaxed right now and then work out the details later.

I am really working to push him from the inside right leg to create a bit of bend. Like most racehorses he is stiffer going to the right. Another reason that I think it’s important to teach a horse to push into the bridle is that it does give them a place to  go to when they are being looky/silly. The are a few moments in that right trot where he is spooking at things on the side in the ring and I kick him up into the bridle and tell him to keep marching on and stop looking.  I do move the bit in the mouth a bit to say hey focus, soften and stay with me. They have to have a place to move up to and be able to go forward.

I really like the way he feels and  I am excited to hit the trails with him this weekend.  

Ridge Amour is dealing with a ouchy foot. I am so eager to get going with him but our farm has missed all the rain. The ground is hard as a rock and I think he just has a terrible bruise which more than likely will abscess.

Former Horses Update

I often get emails from my readers about how former horses are doing so I will do a brief update with those that immediately come to my mind. I am sure I will forget some but these are the horses that I get frequent emails about.

Flint Hills- he of course belongs to my mom so I see him all the time. He is the world’s best horse and has been out eventing and going to paper chases.

Hold that Halo- also belongs to my mom and is doing great. Amazing to see the physical transformation in him from a gangly 3yr to a huge tank of a 4yr.

Areutrue- owned by Jim and Pat  who absolutely love him. He just went to a clinic this weekend to practice skills needed in the hunt field. I got great reports on him.

Bling Star Dreams- also owned by Jim and Pat. When I emailed to ask how the clinic went I got a reply back that said the picture explains all. It was of Bling jumping a single barrel and Jim grinning from ear to ear.

Houndy-  owned by Karen and I believe at one time she told me something along the lines if it came to her husband or her horse she would have a hard time choosing 🙂 Shh…we can be sure he doesn’t read the least I hope. She has been doing hunters with him and attending the TB celebration classes.

Diamond H- also owned by Karen and well-loved. She feels blessed to have these two fancy horses in her barn.

Burgiss- lots of great reports from Rebecca on how well he is doing. Rebecca had a string of bad luck with horses but something drew her to Burgiss’s cute face. Sounds like she is having great fun with him.

Raymond- I got an email from Carolyn’s daughter that said he is the kind of horse that every mom should have. How is that for a glowing report!

London Lullaby- I get texts from his owner Julia and she tells me that he has really grown up and is very fancy. She really is happy with him.

Mort Robbins- he was always one of my favorites and right as I was ready to sell him he slipped and torqued his stifle. He was later sold to the same person who was  going to buy him from me. Lauren Kieffer is eventing him training level and he is always at the top of the ribbons.

Ramblin Romeo- locally owned by Johnathan and is represent the Delaware State Police on their mounted unit.

Rockin Fun- also locally owned by Allison who is using him as an all around go have fun horse and also as a guest horse. I got a great picture of him in western tack out trail riding this weekend. I am totally working on invading the delmarva area with CANTER horses!

Rustyshouldrun- also locally owned by Michelle and boarded at my mom’s farm. The amount of love that his owner has for him is just over the top. He brought back her confidence and they are now out doing local combined tests and schooling xc. It has been so much fun to watch their partnership grow.

Wonderful Wise- she wasn’t at my farm but I think I may have posted some pictures. She was being retrained by another local volunteer who fell in love and will be using her to practice polo on!

Joyous Jester is eventing down in NC and has his own blog here-

AllaboutMack was sold to Debbie in GA but she said he didn’t love flatwork as much as she wanted him to so he started foxhunting and eventing. He was sold to a friend of Debbie’s where he is now foxhunting and loving it.

Cool Casey also went down to NC because his feet didn’t love the hard ground up here. He found an awesome home where he is an all around mount for the whole family.

Esstoga Tune and Dance with Bill were both bought by Karen as young 3yrs. Bill has matured into this absolutely stunning event horse and Esstoga is still growing but has tons of talent. These were two amazing horses so it has been fun watching them progress.

Bushy’s Yield sold to Patrice in Va and she is having a blast with him. I get to stalk him on facebook.

Fortheloveofrita is in NJ beginning her career in dressage and also eventing. We get lovely updates on the CMA facebook page about her.

Track’s Protege was bought by Allie (CMA’s director) and finished up his season eventing at training level. She will be foxhunting him this fall.

Letterman’s Humor- we all know that he is in my barn and very well-loved.

Sonrea- in NC with Mari and doing well. I don’t always get the updates on the horses that were sold from our NC location but I have seen some pictures of him out schooling xc.

Shine my Shoes- he is in IL with Jill and I get lots of emails with pictures. He is the cutest TB! He hasn’t always been the easiest but it sounds like he is now on the right track.

Ring Dancer was a gorgeous mare that had a sesamoid fracture. She was bought by Nicole who is breeding gorgeous sport horse babies.

Sea Flip- one of the first horses donated from Delaware Park. He is eventing with Bobby Costello.

Top Punch- he was my friend Alison’s amazing hunt horse. He is the horse that raced until he was 12yrs old and practically went right into the hunt field. She sadly has retired him this year.

No Time for Love- Has had a bit of a journey. Sound horse who was xrayed and all shocked to find a chip in the knee. Thought we got him a great home with a foxhunter but when he rode him he decided his body just couldn’t hold up to riding a young TB any more. When my friend Alison who owned Top Punch told me he was retired, I suggested Love. She is trying him out and knock on wood things are going well so far. He has been out trail riding and even went hunting with success. I have been over to do some lessons and will be seeing him again tonight.

I am sure the are some that I am missing but these are the horses that all came to mind with just a quick thought. We do a really good job of tracking our horses. It is very important to us that horses find the right homes with people who will be proud of them.