to Bits & Bytes Farm on the Web. Take a virtual tour
of the farm and see the beautiful
thoroughbred horses we have for sale. Follow their training and
learn how we bring them from racetrack to a new career in the show
ring, fox hunting or eventing. The "Horses
for Sale" page has horses that are
here at the farm. If you have the skills to take one right from
the track but not the contacts, check out our "Prospect
Horses for Sale"
page. Follow the Success
Stories of Horses
Sold with the help
of Bits & Bytes Farm. Read our past "Newz" stories
and watch for new postings on our "What's
New on the Site" page.
Click here to tell your friends about this Web site.
Training Off-the-track Thoroughbreds
Bits & Bytes Farm's mission is educating people about off-the-track Thoroughbreds and finding permanent loving homes for ex-race horses. Too many people are prejudiced against Thoroughbreds because of the myths they have heard. In our effort to find good homes for Thoroughbreds we have found it necessary to use our Web site to educate and share the horses' own Success Stories to "tell the rest of the story". Our Success Stories are real stories, from real buyers, of the Thoroughbreds we have identified as good prospect horses for new careers. They tell of their successes and their learning challenges. Please spend some time reading them if you are considering buying a Thoroughbred off-the-track.
Grayboo and Amanda. Click here to read their Success Stories. Photo copyright Mark Walter Lehner. See more of Mark's wonderful photographs at : www.HoofClix.com
We feel it is necessary to teach other people to do what we do because we cannot possibly save all the Thoroughbreds that are no longer wanted at the track. Most important is that they find a home with people who can train them for a new career. This is not difficult, but their training is serious business. Thoroughbreds are smart and if allowed to get away with bad behavior they could become dangerous and again would be at risk of going to auction/slaughter. So in the interest of teaching others to train Thoroughbreds, Bits & Bytes Farm has taken on our first intern, Jennifer Gralow.
Intern Jennifer Gralow meets Finder's Chance for the first time at Turfway Park in Kentucky.
Jennifer spent one month at the farm learning to train off-the-track Thoroughbreds. She is a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill in upstate New York. As her "final exam" we took her to Turfway Park and River Downs to pick up three former Prospect Horses for Sale, Finder's Chance, Political Pull and Brett to bring to the farm for training. She was the first rider, off-the-track, to get on two of the three new horses. Here is her story.
Intern Gains "Real World" Experience with OTTBs
Two years ago I bought my horse, Samson, off-the-track. I originally bought him with the intention of retraining him and selling him, however the bond which was established between the two of us made it impossible for me to let him go. His intelligence, gentleness, and capacity to love instead inspired me to want to help other ex-racers find a home, a life apart from what they had known at the track, and a chance to begin a new career.
I found the Web site for Bits & Bytes Farm a few months ago when I was looking for a place to do my school internship, to complete my degree in Animal and Equine Science. I had previously looked at several other farms, however, nothing at those facilities compared to the program that was being offered at Bits & Bytes Farm; they offered every aspect of the retraining process that I was looking to learn about. Since arriving almost four weeks ago I have had the opportunity to work with: Dr. Lance Cleveland, the equine chiropractor, Sally Reid the massage therapist, Chase New, the farrier, Jason Cashin, the equine dentist and Vera Vogt, the dressage instructor.
Vera Vogt and Brett with intern Jennifer. This was Brett's first time in our arena and he was fantastic as Jennifer's dressage lesson horse. He rounded and came down lightly on the bit.
I have also been able to visit the tracks at River Downs and Turfway Park with Barry and Elizabeth to pick up several horses that were ready to come off-the-track and begin their new careers. This has been a positive experience for me and it has given me the necessary skills to begin my own retraining program at home in New York.
Finder's Chance's first ride away from the race track.
Bits & Bytes Farm is a very unique facility, offering the essential components required to rehabilitate Thoroughbreds for a new life after the track. In addition to the support team of professionals that work diligently with the horses, there are many "Friends of Bits and Bytes Farm" that aid in their care and retraining. These "Friends" help to ease the horses into their new careers. The farm provides a warm and safe environment for the horses, where they are able to become horses again without the stress accompanied with racing.
Elizabeth Wood rides Political Pull for the first time.
I have witnessed it with the three horses that made the trip home with us from the track. Political Pull, Finder’s Chance and Brett have settled into their new home at the farm. They receiving a lot of love and care from their new "friends" - which they have happily accepted. This week "Pull", Brett and "Chance" had their very first rides off-the-track.
Jennifer was lucky enough to get the first ride on OTTB Finder's Chance after he came to Bits & Bytes Farm.
I was fortunate enough to ride "Chance" and Brett. I was amazed at how easily they adjusted to what I asked them to do. They responded willingly to my leg and "Chance" was eager to jump his very first fence. I was impressed by the ease in which the horses rode and I told Elizabeth that I’ve been on trained horses that haven’t responded as well as Finder's Chance and Brett..
Learning at Bits & Bytes Farm has been a wonderful experience. It offered me another opportunity to learn about the retraining process and realize that with a little kindness, these horses can have a chance at a second career.
If you are interested in a working student/intern position please send us an e-mail and tell us what you would like to learn at Bits & Bytes Farm.
More Success Stories to warm your heart
Do you still want to read MORE Success Stories? Go to our Success Stories page and choose a horse from the list on the right side of the page. Follow your favorite horse as he/she is trained for a new career after the finish line.
Vera Vogt and OTTB Pride of the Fox working on their dressage skills.
Call or come
by for a visit - but please call first!
Please call us to discuss which horse might be the best match for
you based on riding skill, experience and equine personality. We
do not send out videos because it is important to match the personality
of the horse with the personality of the rider. We are matchmakers,
not horse brokers. We have horses in a wide price range. Prospect
horses will not be sold to beginners or children without a full time
Morning turnout at Bits & Bytes Farm
horses are available for sale when they first come to the farm.
We like to work with them for a while to teach them the basics of
being a safe sport horse and to make sure they are healthy. You are
welcome to visit and to get on a waiting list to be the first to
ride them when we feel they are ready to be ridden by our visitors. Call
us to discuss prices or to schedule an appointment. We
are sorry but we cannot accommodate you if you just drop in unannounced.
We'd love to have you come meet all of our horses--we know that
it will be worth your time. Just bring peppermints!
Our security team springs into action. Sydney, Wizard and Zulu.