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Posts Tagged ‘ex-racehorses’

Winston Churchill said, “There’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”

Fact of the matter is, this could count for double in the world of preteens and teenagers. There’s nothing quite like horse-craziness to instill good work ethic, good sportsmanship, and a healthy body and mind…caring for, riding, and competing horses requires tired muscles, lots of time outdoors, and a willingness to be instructed, learn from mistakes, and put the well-being of another creature first.

There is no expiration date on such valuable lessons. Skills learned in the barn and on the back of a horse are as important today as they were fifty years ago.

That is why we at Trafalgar Square Books are so excited about the new BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES by Linda Snow McLoon. There’s a timelessness to the stories that speaks to all that young riders dream of, plus beautiful and challenging horses to ride, boys to like, coaches to impress, and jealous enemies to rise above.

“I really enjoyed the characters, the story line, and the writing, and more than anything else, the horsemanship that is woven into Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged,” says Susan Harris, Centered Riding Senior Instructor, international clinician, and author of the US Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship; Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement; Anatomy in Motion DVDs; and Grooming to Win. “I found the characters (especially Sarah Wagner), the horses, and the problems they face, believable and interesting, and the setting (a good boarding and teaching barn) authentic in today’s horse world, right down to the Jack Russell terriers. The reader will learn a lot about horses, good riding and horsemanship through these novels, but it’s part of the story, not a ‘lesson.’ I enjoyed the first book so much that I went right on to the second, and now I’m hoping the author is working on the next one! I highly recommend these books!”

Are you ready to meet the cast of characters in the BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES? We’ll let the author, Linda Snow McLoon, introduce you:

Brookmeade Farm riders are proud to have former Olympic rider, Jack O’Brien, head up the farm’s lesson program, and his students recognize that even though he makes them work hard, his instruction produces amazing results. The people who ride in his most advanced class, the Young Riders class, include:

Sarah Wagner is a slim girl with dark hair and long-lashed dark eyes who, in her lessons at Brookmeade Farm, has shown she’s a strong natural rider. Being somewhat shy and lacking in self-confidence, Sarah often depends on her best friend, Kayla Romano, to speak up for her. Sarah’s family can’t provide her with a horse of her own, but she can still dream. While her classmates all have their own horses, Sarah rides school horses in her lessons.

Kayla Romano has a chestnut Quarter Horse, Fanfare, whose red coat closely matches Kayla’s own hair color. Kayla isn’t hopeful she can attract a boyfriend until she sheds a few pounds, which she thinks would also improve her riding. Kayla and her mare trailer to Brookmeade for weekly lessons in the advanced Young Riders class and compete at local horse shows.

Paige Romano is a knock-out, with deep violet eyes, a clear complexion, and gorgeous blond hair. Her ever-present sense of humor makes her popular both at school and at Brookmeade Farm, where she rides her dappled gray Thoroughbred, Quarry, in the Young Riders class. Being competitive in nature, Paige is determined to train Quarry to be a successful event horse.

Tim Dixon, who dates Paige and also rides in the Young Riders class, found his horse, Rhodes Scholar, in Canada. Tim is a good-looking guy, tall, with intelligent brown eyes, and any number of girls at the farm and at school would like to trade places with Paige. Tim works hard to prepare his bay gelding to compete at events and horse shows.

Rounding out the Young Riders class is Rita Snyder, the girl who has everything. That includes her splendid black Dutch Warmblood, Chancellor, and a number of other horses that reside on her wealthy father’s estate. With long dark hair and intense green eyes, Rita is an excellent rider who brings out Chancellor’s best in both dressage and jumping – and Rita doesn’t let anyone forget it! She expects her horse to outshine all others, and she feels threatened when there’s a chance he won’t be clearly superior.

Get ready to follow along with the Young Riders as they experience all kinds of adventures in CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, now available for preorder at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

And be sure to check out author Linda Snow McLoon’s website http://www.lindasnowmcloon.com.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER CROWN PRINCE

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED

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Barry Irwin's vocal criticism of trends in US racehorse training reminds us of what we need to do to ease a transition to a drug-free life when Thoroughbreds retire.

It was with keen interest I scanned the piece in the New York Times yesterday on Team Valor International chief Barry Irwin’s blunt criticism of US Thoroughbred trainers. “At the heart of Irwin’s broad swipe at trainers,” writes Joe Drape, “was the use of medication — drugs given to keep horses running, to make them run faster, to make them run through pain or infirmity.”

Legislation has only just been introduced to limit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of flat racing, and the United States is admittedly behind the times when it comes to control of these substances. “Major players in the industry have acknowledged that medication rules in the United States are out of step with Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, where horse racing thrives,” says Draper, “and that it is time for a significant overhaul.”

The issue first came to my attention when I worked on our TSB book for transitioning and retraining “retired” Thoroughbreds—BEYOND THE TRACK by Anna Morgan Ford (Program Director for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption) with equine journalist and photographer Amber Heintzberger. In the chapter on common lameness and health issues seen in OTTBs, Ford and Heintzberger included a section on the aftereffects of anabolic steroids, as they can remain in a horse’s system for months even after administration has ceased, and negative side effects can last a year or even longer. It is of the utmost importance that those adopting retired racehorses or providing foster homes prior to finding them permanent living situations be aware of this issue and manage the OTTB carefully until enough time has passed for the horse to no longer feel the steroids’ effects.

According to Ford, there are several things you can do to ease an ex-racehorse’s transition to a life “off” steroids:

1  Quickly, but strategically, incorporate regular turnout in the horse’s life (a mild sedative may be necessary for the first few sessions), and if possible, introduce a confident, friendly same-sex turnout companion that remains the same for several months.

2  Handle any horse coming off steroids as you would a stallion—be extremely conscious of basic safety measures when grooming, handling, and working around him/her in the stall, and use a chain over the nose when leading.

3  Be sure to adjust the horse’s diet so he/she is consuming enough calories to gain weight as he/she loses the extra muscling associated with steroid use.

4  Above all, be patient and give the horse lots of time to withdraw from the drugs gently.

BEYOND THE TRACK, the book Liz Harris—former Executive Director of Thoroughbred Charities of America and current Vice President and Executive Director of Churchill Downs Incorporated—called “breakthrough racehorse literature” and “the ultimate in training manuals for anyone thinking about adopting an ex-racehorse,” is available at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the United States is always FREE.

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