Our training notes often show schooling at the farm but may also
include cross country schoolings and trail rides away from the
farm. Go back through our notes to see how we train our off-the-track
Thoroughbreds and prepare them for new careers as sport horses.
Hunter Pace - First Time Away Off-the-Farm!
Saturday morning March 1st has got to be the best day of the year
so far! The weather was sunny and warm -- but not too warm -- just
perfect for taking some new horses off-the-farm for the first time.
We loaded six off-the-track Thoroughbreds from Bits & Bytes
Farm and headed to the In
Unison Farm Hunter Pace in Kingston, Georgia.
The hunter pace ride was through the beautiful countryside
of Kingston Downs where the Atlanta
Steeplechase is held each April.
We did not tell our OTTBs that we were taking them to another race
track! Three of the horses thought they were going BACK to the
track as they had not been off-the-farm since retiring from racing.
They were a little nervous at first but once we got into the woods
they realized it was like riding in the woods at home.
K O River Crossing with his mom Loui Padgett.
It was the first hunter pace for both of them.
The hunter pace took us through the woods
and across wide open fields where we galloped. Photo by Andi Krakovsky.
Loverboy and Missy Miller were both first time hunter
pacers. Neither rider or horse knew what to expect when we lowered
the ramp of our trailer. They both figured it out fast and thoroughly
enjoyed themselves the entire day.
Missy Miller and Stevie Loverboy at their first Hunter Pace.
Other first time off-the-farm horses included K
O River Crossing with his mom Loui Padgett and
my ride - Aly's
Alpha Boy .
Alpha Boy saw the trailer his eyes told me he
was worried that he was headed back to the track. I reassured
him that I would be with him and that we were not going racing.
Even though he was worried, he walked into the trailer without
trouble and stood quietly while we loaded the other horses.
K O River Crossing and Loui Padgett. March 1, 2008
Barry rode his special fox hunter, Brew
This. "Brewster" is always
steady and dependable which we hoped would reassure the new
boys. It helps to have an experienced horse along. I believe
they talk to each other and explain what to expect to the
O River Crossing was nervous at first and Loui
was not sure she was up to handling his silliness. She traded
horses a few miles into the ride with Stephanie Bone who
was riding Era
Era of Chanago with Loui Padgett.
"Chanago" was filling in for Stephanie's
horse "Blue". "Blue" decided
he wanted to stay at Bits & Bytes Farm for the day and refused
to load up. Stephanie Bone is a two time buyer of Bits & Bytes
Farm horses. Stephanie purchased our Bargain
Barn horse Unanimous last
July and later Prospect Horse For Sale - "Blue" in
When "Blue" would not load, I loaded "Chanago" knowing
that if anyone had a problem they could get on "steady-eddy
Stevie Loverboy and Era of Chanago.
Stephanie surprised us all with her riding ability. We were very
impressed that she was willing
to ride Era of Chanago, a horse she had never
ridden, on a hunter pace. Then, when K O River Crossing was
enjoying himself too much, she traded horses with Loui to ride
yet another horse she had never ridden. Way to go girl!!!!
Aly's Alpha Boy and I had
fun racing each other in the big fields. Loui had a great ride
of Chanago and enjoyed galloping him in the fields
as well. She felt more comfortable on a more experienced horse
who could take care of her.
Stephanie Bone rode two horses she had never ridden before at the
hunter pace. This is her on horse two - K O River Crossing.
Bounced was the only horse jumping at the hunter pace. His "Friend"
Andi Krakovsky was on her very first hunter pace and she enjoyed
galloping Bounced and taking him over a few coops. This was Bounced
first time jumping coops and his second hunter pace.
Bounced and Andi practiced jumping coops
while Loui and Barry watched.
Andi and Bounced jumped the coops.
It was my first time galloping Aly's
Alpha Boy and what a fun
I had. I turned him loose and felt confident enough to put the
camera to my eye. We galloped along side Brewster and caught
a few photos of he and Barry enjoying a run.
Barry Zuber and OTTB Brew This aka "Brewster"
then Bounced and
Andi were galloping behind "River" and
Stephanie. I asked for some speed and soon we were galloping along
side taking photos.
Bounced and K O River Crossing enjoy a run
in the big field.
Bounced and Andi Krakovsky.
K O River Crossing and Stephanie open up in the field.
Stephanie decided to open it up and we had a blast racing them
in a field that was over a mile long. Each horse came back from
a gallop with very little effort and then quietly waited for the
others to catch up before walking on into the woods.
We had some incredible views of the North Georgia mountains during
the ride. We took the opportunity to pose for some photos.
Era of Chanago, Stevie Loverboy, Brewster,
K O River Crossing and Bounced. Not in the photo Aly's Alpha Boy
Brewster and Barry with K O River Crossing and Stephanie Bone.
We returned to the trailer with everyone having survived the ride.
No one fell off - no one got hurt. A fun time was had by all and
the horses seemed to understand that their racing careers were
over but their new careers as sport horses was just beginning.
Andi and Bounced with Loui and Chanago at
the end of the ride.
The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with old friends.
We were joined at lunch by another multiple horse buyer - Dr. Laura
Durham-Dixon. Laura is featured on our "How
to Buy a Prospect Horse"
page with the first horse she bought - Miss
With Attitude aka "Pooky"
. We also met Nikki Surrusco who is the mom of a former horse for
sale - Baileysontherocks.
It was great fun to see our horses with their new owners enjoying
the beautiful countryside and the gorgeous weather.
Elizabeth, Loui, Laura, Barry, Andi, Missy and Stephanie.
We caught up with Baileysontherocks and his new
mom. He is doing great! He enjoyed the hunter pace with his new
mom Nikki Surrusco. Read Baileysontherocks Success
Stories to see what he has been doing since we
sold him in 2004!
Taking horses to a hunter pace is a good way to introduce them
to new adventures. It is also a great way to spend the day with
friends. What could be better than galloping your own ex-race horse
across a beautiful field of grass on a beautiful Spring morning?
K O River Crossing took home a pink ribbon at his first "field
Stevie Loverboy finished fourth at his first ever hunter pace.
Era of Chanago won the yellow ribbon for his third place finish.
Bounced won a red ribbon at the hunter pace.
Aly's Alpha Boy wins a blue ribbon at his
first hunter pace. He also won Elizabeth's heart with his braveness.