Admiration is All About Being a Sport Horse

Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for the advice about Huey’s weight gain issues. He’s starting to put on some more weight; he’s still a little ribby but he’s looking thicker through the barrel. I added flax to his feed and have just been making sure he always has good quality hay in front of him in a net. He’s really a grazer and I think he was wasting a lot of his hay by chopping it up into his bedding at the place we were before. He’s starting to put on weight, and he’s getting along really well with his pasture mates; his socialization issues are almost non-existent now. He still loves to play though and always has his nose in everything!

I’ve started riding him again now that he doesn’t always have a new little injury from the field, and he’s doing pretty well. His big problem is that he gets above the bit and stiffens in the neck, so we’re doing a lot of circles and turns, asking for relaxation in the neck while striding forward. I upped his bit to a double jointed happy mouth elevator, and I think he needed that. I hate to go beyond a regular snaffle, but with six years of racing I think he just didn’t even really know the double jointed loose-ring I had on him was even there. I’ve also been riding him in a standing martingale, which I think helps the evasion issue. We actually had some giving through the back yesterday when I rode! It was our first time schooling in the new ring, and our first time schooling ever with other horses, so he handled it all like a pro.

His attitude is so trusting now that he is learning to live like a sport horse instead of a racehorse. The kids here just love him – we give him baths as part of our barn lessons, and I tell them about how he came off the racetrack. They are so excited to learn about what his life there was like and see the tattoo in his lip. He just lets them fawn over him like I would never have believed possible just three months ago. That’s about all from here. He enjoys playing with the welsh pony who looks like his twin – chestnut with four high socks and a blaze. They both think they are stud muffins and it’s hilarious to watch them together.