WOOHOO! We finally cantered today! After a year and half, I finally went for a canter with “Kwinn”. It was well worth waiting for though. He’s got a lovely naturally collected canter; nice and steady too. He never gained too much speed and came right back down when asked. I was so proud of him (and myself too)! We worked to get the signals down (left is better than right of course), but he did it each time I asked!
We’ve worked slowly at everything and it’s all paid off for us. I have this wonderfully sweet horse who works so hard to please me and learns quickly. “Kwinn” doesn’t spook at anything. And, if he’s unsure at all, all he really does is walk slowly and put an ear back listening for my reassurance that all is okay. He never refuses anything I ask. I really hope that anyone considering getting back into horses after a few years can see what we’ve done and know that they can do it too! True, I am also working with trainers to help us achieve our goals, especially for me transitioning from saddle seat riding style to more dressage style riding. But, in the end, it’s just “Kwinn” and I becoming a real team. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than that!
I read your site almost daily looking for tips from other success stories and of course, reading about the new OTTB’s looking for their perfect match. If I won the lottery, or my boys developed an interest in riding, I know I would have another OTTB. “Kwinn” has shown me so much more than I ever thought possible. So, I say to anyone sitting on the fence wondering if they should get back into horses with an OTTB, I say YES! I’m so glad to have found Elizabeth, Bits & Bytes Farm and of course, “Kwinn”!
Elizabeth’s Note: You can never bring these horses along too slowly but you can rush them and scare them. You do not have to be a professional to take a Thoroughbred off-the-track. You DO need to be confident in yourself and it helps to have a trainer who can point out things to work on. Ronni rode saddle seat as a child and wanted to learn to ride hunt seat and dressage. She is enjoying the process and not pushing too hard for results. The journey is more important than the destination. Reread this story and see what pleasure she is getting on her journey! We are very proud of our “re-rider” owners who are getting back to doing what they loved as a child. These are our favorite success stories. Take a look at “Our Mission” page which starts with another story from Ronni.