all in Aftercare

I like to view goals as steppingstones on a journey rather than a destination at which to arrive. This mentality has allowed for the ever-humbling qualities of some horses to be a smoother pill to swallow when life hands you lemons. Sometimes things just fall out of place no matter how much planning went into them. Sometimes, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the lemonade. It’s in these times that we can often grow the most as horsemen and women.

If you’ve followed my story, you no doubt recognize that life with Wex has its challenges. In addition to training challenges, we’ve had numerous lost shoes, a kick from a pasture mate, mud, mud, and more mud. However, I am thrilled to report that we’re working through those challenges and accomplishing some of our goals!

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.

A horse who proved to love racing over his five seasons on the track, L. C. Sleepy earned the “warhorse” designation by making 65 starts in his career and winning races for three straight seasons. The gelding won $95,249 in earnings with five wins and 13 other top-three finishes, an extremely respectable career for a racehorse.

But it is in his second career that the veteran has shined.

After L. C. Sleepy retired from racing, he joined Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds. That is when “Simon” caught Shannon Ryan-Dinmore’s attention.

In our second edition of the question-and-answer session about training off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs), we talk to Beverly Strauss, the executive director and president of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA)-accredited MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, and Lisa Molloy, program director of TAA-accredited ReRun.

This session’s questions focus on getting a horse and transitioning them to life after racing with some things you should keep in mind when riding a horse soon after he retires from the track.

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