OTTB Wiseguy’s Out – A Case Study of Commitment and Reward

This show was the last one of the season for us. “Wiseguy” showed extremely well in large classes. He came in second in one of the level two jumper classes with 13 horses! He placed third and fourth in the other two jumper classes. He’s careful and quick.

Wiseguy's Out's competitive ability is a result of his owner's commitment and his trainer's understanding guidance

Wiseguy's Out's competitive ability is a result of his owner's commitment and his trainer's understanding guidance

I never would have believed just a year ago when I was near tears trying to tap into the extraordinary talent that I knew Wiseguy had that I would be sitting here writing this email. This feels like a fairy tale come true. At that time, as you know, I was doing lower level dressage with him and although I knew we were making headway it was hard. It just never felt that Wiseguy had found his true niche. He cooperated simply because I asked it of him but I knew he wasn’t truly happy.

Not to sound corny but I’m hoping by telling this story I can encourage people to stick with it because there’s truly a sport out there for every horse and it’s equally important to find a trainer who is really skilled at working with sensitive Thoroughbreds!

“Wiseguy’s” turning point came when I asked my trainer J.C. (who I had only been training with on Winston for a couple of months at the time) to give me an evaluation of Wiseguy.  . . Wiseguy’s Out and I were just hitting a brick wall in our dressage training. Numerous trainers had told me that this horse was too hot and spooky to safely jump. The first thing J.C. did when he came to ride “Wiseguy” was take off the tight noseband I’d been told to use by every dressage trainer I’d worked with. The minute J.C. was in the saddle you could see Wiseguy start to quiet down and really listen. J.C. warned me that “Wiseguy” had some rider trust issues to work through and that we wouldn’t know whether “Wiseguy” would step up to the plate when asked tough questions during training. I knew I’d finally found a trainer who believed in Wiseguy as much as I did. I was ready to hang up my dressage saddle for good and get back into jumping.

J.C. took it easy with him over the winter and added little jumps slowly. “Wiseguy” showed he could really do it at his first show in April and has continued to progress. As J.C. has said numerous times “Wiseguy” never takes a step back in his training. He loves his job and it shows.

As I said it’s been exactly a year now and Wiseguy’s Out has exceeded our expectations and continues to do so. He’s schooling 3’9″ and we will show him 3’6″ next year either as a jumper or as a hunter he’s getting so relaxed and quiet. I love seeing my comparatively small Thoroughbred head down to the ingate with the big warm bloods and do so well garnering compliments wherever he goes.

It’s been an incredible journey since that day in January when I tried Wiseguy’s Out at Bits & Bytes Farm for the first time. It’s certainly been filled with some tears and frustration but that makes our successes all the sweeter now!