Retired Racehorse Project TV

As the full leaser of an ex racehorse, you might accurately predict that I have a bit of a soft spot for thoroughbreds and ottbs. ¬†But in all honesty, I’d characterize it as just a big squishy heart for ottbs in general. ¬†Ever since I ¬†started riding with Alana, she¬†has had off track projects around, and I have always loved watching these guys progress from¬†little baby noodles (or perhaps big baby noodles) into solid riding horses. ¬†I even helped a little with one or two, but Murray has been my first full-time project (though of course he was quite a ways off the track before he came into my life).

There is just so much to love about the process of retraining¬†an ottb. ¬†I like watching them learn their life is a bit different now, that they can relax a little bit, and seeing the changes in their bodies as they come down from a racing fit and develop into¬†. ¬†I love watching their personalities come out as they relax and heal — my previous lease horse, Quincy, stared broncing and kicking out with joy after his first chiropractic adjustment. ¬†I really love when they start to figure out this whole riding thing; there is just something about watching a smart horse problem-solve (oh, you want me to use my back like this? You want my head here? I have to go over those coloured poles¬†every time? Going over this is FUN?) that really warms my heart.

This was, I believe, after dumping me in the water complex by rolling and taking off back to the trailers. Yeah, after never acting out once in a lesson, his personality really started to come out that season.
This was, I believe, after dumping me in the water complex by rolling and taking off back to the trailers. Yeah, after never acting out once in a lesson, his personality really started to come out that season.

So of course I’ve always been a fan of the Retired Racehorse Project, and whenever I’ve had time (even in Africa! When my internet was crappy and I had to buffer videos for half an hour to watch 5 minutes!) I have kept up with their retraining challenges. ¬†Do you love RRP? ¬†Well, if you do, get amped: RRP is now offering a TV series! ¬†Steuert Pittman plans¬†to highlight a bunch of different ways of training ottbs. ¬†Their first episode, “East meets West”, features trainer Dale Simonton faces off with Steuert to not only discuss the features that make a good ranch horse, but also see if he can put some Western moves on Steuert’s English-only trained horse. ¬†If you think you aren’t interested in western or working ranch horses, you’re probably wrong: RRP cuts in some fantastic footage of horses naturally cutting cows, and¬†Dale ropes the legs of his horse, Rikim, and then has the horse walk out of it while under saddle. ¬†I was absolutely thunderstruck by that move! ¬†If I tried to rope Murray’s feet while he was walking with me on him I think he would dump me forever!

This episode gets three thumbs up from me. I don’t know where the third thumb came from but I loooooved the episode!

Check out the first episode here: http://vimeo.com/110858352

In the immortal words of Steuert Pittman: LTFR!