I am very excited to announce that I will be a part of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover again this year! Some of you may remember my last season as a Thoroughbred Makeover hopeful in 2016 with the talented but opinionated mare, Jennifer Q. While Jen and I made it to Kentucky, an accident in the warm-up arena ended our chances of competing, and resulted in a week spent at Hagyard Equine instead of the Horse Park! We then spend the majority of 2017 getting her set up to be ridden again. I am hoping to have better luck this year with my Makeover hopeful, Hawkins!
SO, World, meet Hawkins, Hawkins, meet the World!
Hawkins is a 2013 Gelding by Birdstone out of Baby Betty. He is a cute little chestnut with chrome for days and he has been one of the sweetest horses I have taken off the track so far. He was retired in March 2017 due to a bowed tendon. I immediately jumped at the chance of taking him and spent the following 8 months rehabbing his tendon. Now, I have had a lot of horses come in needing stall rest. As you can imagine MOST horses do not like being stuck in a stall day in and day out. Most get “hot” and grumpy, pacing their stalls and developing weird habits like chewing wood, cribbing, or weaving. Hawkins was by far the sweetest horse I have ever had on stall rest. Every day, twice a day, he was happy to graze quietly no matter what was going on around us. With his easy disposition and breathtaking looks, it did not take long to decide he was going to be my Makeover prospect for 2018.
In the last 2 months I have started riding him and he never fails to disappoint. We are still taking things easy to ensure that his tendon stays intact and healthy, but he is already showing promise. In our walk/trot sets he has shown more bravery than most, a natural softness and a willingness to please. He is already strong enough to hold a frame consistently at the walk and trot and is starting on lateral movements and even going over poles! I am going to have to pace myself as his tendon continues to heal, but I am very excited to see how far this horse can go, and am really looking forward to the year ahead!
I will be continuing with this blog to update everyone on our progress, talk about the challenges we face, and the successes we experience together. On top of that, Hawkins will be getting his very own Facebook page, for everyone to follow his progress in real time! You can follow his page: "Hawkins: 2018 RRP Thoroughbred Makeover Hopeful".
In my next post I will be talking more about his tendon injury, what that entailed, the rehab we did last year, and how we started again! This is going to be a great year and I am excited to get the ball rolling! Good luck to all my fellow RRP trainers and their hopeful prospects!