Tuesday, December 30, 2014

True Confessions: I love TBs but they don't love Me.

One of the ideas I had for my blog was to write a series of True Confessions
 - features on topics/issues related to riding that are personal to me.

My first blog in the True Confessions is regarding Thoroughbreds.

I grew up in an era where the Thoroughbred still reigned as the ultimate sport horse.
I clearly remember hero-worshiping the likes of Gem Twist and Greg Best in the 1988 Olympics.
Touch of Class, with her bold white blaze and her double clear rounds in the 1984 Olympics was my all-time favorite and I hoped to grow up one day and own a carbon copy of her.
I cheered on the epic rivalry of Sunday Silence and Easy Goer,

and cried hot tears as I helplessly watched, on live TV, the breakdown of Go for Wand in the Breeders Cup.

Warmbloods may have begun to infiltrate the ranks of the A Circuit in the 80's,
but the trickle-down effect had not yet made its way to my local level.

All the Pros in my area rode Thoroughbreds, with epic names such as
British Sterling, Society Page and Rolls Royce.

I have always loved Thoroughbreds and my eye will forever be drawn to their fine lines.

But, I have come to accept that, as a rider, for the most part, thoroughbreds don't suit me.
Many require a level of tact that, as a rider, I don't seem to possess.

I am anxious and reactive by nature myself.  I have a busy mind and tend to light horses up. Because of their sensitivity, many thoroughbreds require a quiet, tactful, educated ride. I imagine that the sensory input from me (as a rider) must make their brains go into overload. I get frustrated, I get tense, I anticipate. All in all, it is usually a recipe for disaster.

I will never say never, but in my "old" age, I have accepted my own shortcomings and I appreciate my stoic Paint gelding. Even though my heart might always yearn at the sight of a blood horse, my older wiser brain now calls the shots and rules the roost.
After all, I don't bounce like I used to.


  1. I didn't like Thoroughbreds and thought they didn't like me until I started re-riding again in Texas. Simon has taught me to ride much differently, but it's been for the better for sure.

  2. I've always been a thoroughbred person. Of course most of my life I'd never actually been around one before let alone ridden one... But when I was in my early 20's I worked at the racetrack for a trainer one season. Working there basically shattered my dreams of ever owning a thoroughbred. I was dragged up and down the aisles, kicked at,smooshed, bitten... I'd decided that I was just never going to be strong enough as a horsewoman to ever have one of my own. Plus everyone I knew had AQHA horses. Fast forward to my late 20's I adopted a big red OTTB with plenty of chrome. He wasn't an easy horse to ride, only because he was so lazy. But when we clicked and became a team. he would do anything for me and made me appreciate the breed so much more. When he passed away suddenly I knew I had to have another OTTB so I adopted Independent George. He's quite different than my first OTTB, but once him and I get on the same page, and I am making George think he is the one calling the shots... he's amazing. He has such great work ethic and is going to make me a much better and rider.

    1. I actually remember Independent George from his racing days! I remember one of the commentators mentioning him on TV. It may have been Jerry Bailey, Kenny Rice or Bob Neumeier. You own a very nice horse!