Thoroughbred Makeover Diary: Team Unicorn Making Lemonade From Lemons

Aftercare
Daring Destiny, who will continue to aim for the Thoroughbred Makeover, with Sarah and Katie
Daring Destiny, who will continue to aim for the Thoroughbred Makeover, with Sarah and Katie (Courtesy Sarah Hepler)

Life happens — sometimes really fast and really hard. The farm where we were boarding our Dizzy is closing. Our team — our family — has to move. Because of where we all live, finding a central place to stay together was an impossible feat. It was determined that Dizzy would move closer to team member Katie as she was the one that had spent the most time in the saddle with him. With new jobs and new homes on the horizon, sadly teammates Skye-Anna and Shannon had to step down. Team Unicorn Training Club was threatening to totally dissolve.

I myself have to relocate. I have two horses in addition to my interest in Dizzy, and I was unable to find an affordable option in the Trumansburg area. I was extremely lucky to be able to take them to our trainer’s farm, but that would be taking me back to Rochester.  Relocation is stressful enough, but add in also still trying to find opportunities to show was enough to make me contemplate not attending the Thoroughbred Makeover at all.

Fellow Makeover trainer Meghan Crout and her mount I Can and I Will, teammate Amber Cobb and Smokem’s Charm, Sarah and Jacapo, and Katie, Skye-Anna, and Shannon and Daring Destiny
Fellow Makeover trainer Meghan Crout and her mount I Can and I Will, teammate Amber Cobb and Smokem’s Charm, Sarah and Jacapo, and Katie, Skye-Anna, and Shannon and Daring Destiny (Courtesy Sarah Hepler)

Some of you may be familiar with a movement I subscribe to called Lift Your Sister. This is only made possible because I live it and I am surrounded by my “sisters” that also support. Enter Amber Cobb, an already-accepted Makeover trainer and the race trainer of my 2018 horse Flat Leaver. She stepped in and stepped up. Amber came to me and stated, “I have seen the bond the Katie and Dizzy have, and Katie deserves to take him to the Makeover! I would love to join Unicorn Training Club to make this work!” She admitted that she had wanted to be a part of Unicorn Training club, but being an hour away, she found it impossible. Dizzy’s relocation would allow her to support her sisters and be part of the team.

With Amber completing the third team member requirement, Team Unicorn Training Club was back in business. Together with the support of our closest friends and fellow Makeover trainers Jordan Pruiksma and Meghan Crout, Katie and I both felt comfortable continuing our journey — both Daring Destiny and my personal horse Jacapo will still be heading to Kentucky in October!

All this being said, Dizzy is gaining weight, has grown at least a half an inch, and is truly blossoming. With Katie as his primary rider, he has become more balanced and is truly learning to use himself. We’ve backed off of jumping and have refocused primarily on his dressage and flat work, as we were all feeling it wasn’t quite where it needed to be. This is absolutely proving to be the right choice as his transitions are smoother and his gates steadier. This guy is something really special!

This blog post has been unique in that rather than focusing on our perfect little unicorn, it was about his people. I think it’s important for readers to understand exactly how difficult this journey can be and that it takes a village to get there. It was extremely important to Katie, Amber, and me to acknowledge our friends here, because without their countless hours of talking and encouragement, we wouldn’t feel as secure continuing on. We are trying not to focus on what we’ve lost — because we haven’t lost our friends — but what the future holds! We are very excited for Dizzy to move to his new home, Second Wind Stables in Rochester, N.Y., under the care of Jen and Gerad Levey, where he will also be able to receive more frequent lessons with our unicorn trainer, Holly Parker. Up next — show preparations and loads more fun!

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