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Blogs - Allie Conrad

March 16, 2014

Horse-Shopping Etiquette 101

In this digital age, we’ve all come to expect instant information—whether we are looking for the temperature at precisely 3:27 a.m., or when we want a tidbit of information about a horse that caught our eye. 

I sell and place a lot of horses, and I meet a wide range of people—most of whom would make their mommas proud in the manners department. 

But there are a few of you that need a smacking with a heavy purse, and I think it’s time I let you know who you are, or at least tried to educate the people that turn my typical smile into what I call “Poo Face.” 

January 27, 2014

A Textile Obsession

My mom has this freaky obsession with textiles. Sheets, towels, blankets and pillows are carefully stacked, labelled, put in matched set with ribbons a la Martha Stewart. She also has this freaky ability to know EXACTLY when one of her things is missing, and woe to the person responsible for its walkabout! We all pick on my mom for her constant compulsion to buy the next softer blankie or set of decadent sheets. I mean, Mom! You have 30 sets of 9,035 thread count sheets! WHY do you have these brand new ones? How many sheets and blankets can one person use?  

October 8, 2013

I've Got To Get Some Cows

I came away from the Retired Racehorse Training Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover and Symposium at Pimlico this weekend with one predominant thought—Thoroughbreds and their fans ROCK!

September 6, 2012

It's Big. It's Burghley.

It’s Big. It’s Burghley.

That was the predominant phrase I heard while at the famed three-day event this past week. Every rider, when they were asked about the massive Mark Phillips designed course, had the same thing to say: It’s good! It’s big. It’s Burghley.

It was definitely big. I always say, with no disrespect at all intended, that the Land Rover Burghley CCI**** makes Rolex Kentucky look like Fisher Price My First Four Star.

Comments

lleytjarmaine
1 year 31 weeks ago

It’s good!

i agree that as it's big, and so it's Burghley. besides, the predominant phrase about the massive Mark Phillips designed course, had the same thing to say: It’s big. It’s Burghley.
August 29, 2012

Report From A Soggy, Sunny Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials First Horse Inspection

Apparently the weathermen in the United Kingdom are much more reliable than in the States, because when they said the rain would stop at 3 p.m., and it was still downpouring at 2:50, we were skeptical. But, shine the sun did, and just in time for the largest number of horses to jog that I've personally witnessed.

A few drops here and there did not dampen the spirit of the crowd, though collective breathes were held while several horses were asked to be represented.

June 8, 2012

Day 1 At Bromont

It was a gorgeous day at Bromont for Day 1 of dressage. The CCI* and *** were in the ring doing circles today, and there were many fabulous tests.

Michael Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni put in a phenomenal test, good enough for a 48.2. His test was a bit emotional to see considering the mare was a survivor of their terrible trailer accident two weeks ago.

Sitting in first place is the stunning Downtown Harrison, ridden by Jon Holling. This horse is a lovely mover with phenomenal trot work. A few bobbles were not enough to knock them out of first with a 46.0.

May 24, 2012

The Rehomer’s Dilemma

Over the years, CANTER Mid Atlantic’s retraining and rehoming model has evolved. At first it was very simple: Take horse from track—>Find horse new home.

Now it’s become: Take horse from track, give ample time off (three to six months), retrain for at least 30 days—>Rehome.

The current model is not the cheapest way of doing things, but this week I’m reminded of exactly why we do it this way.

Comments

easyrider
2 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks Allie for this

Thanks Allie for this wonderful and informative article. I've been in your shoes. It's amazing what you can feel when you're up on some horses that no one can see from the ground. It takes experience and courage to trust those feelings and understand what they signify, but it's what helps keep us alive as trainers. It's so sad when a horse with huge talent doesn't have the mind to go with it. If you're lucky enough to give that horse a forever home and know that no one is ever going to get on and get hurt, that's one thing. But a dishonest horse is always a danger and the more talented they are, the more attractive a danger they are. You make the point that serious misbehavior almost always has a physical component, but often we can never know whether it's physical, mental or a combination. I don't envy your position, but I've had several OTTBs and I'm so appreciative of the work that CANTER does.
123horsegirl123
2 years 21 weeks ago

Great points about the

Great points about the dilemnas in placing horses. I don't think it is irresonsible to euthanize the horse, from any standpoint. You tried your best and the horse is still homeless. The irresponsible thing would be send him down the road to hurt someone and likely end up at the slaughterhouse. I wish all horse owners would discuss euthanasia more openly and take responsibility for their horses. It is a far kinder option than turning a blind eye and sending your horse to an auction. Plus, if owners actually had to be part of the euthanasia process, they would not support the overbreeding and mass production of horses. They might step-up and demand responsibilty from the trainers and breeders before throwing their money at them and encouraging the process. It is much easier to send a horse down the road (even half-knowing it could end-up at an auction) than to call the vet and euthanize it.
Thoroughbred1201
2 years 21 weeks ago

Excellent article

I read this article with interest. I've alway had TBs (with the exception of 1 Zangerschiede Warmblood), and love the way they think and react. As such, I follow your blogs, and enjoy seeing what you have to say. CANTER is impressive in its care and its mission. This article reiterates this. I don't see euthenasia as irresponsible. On the contrary, in certain cases it is the most reponsible. But as you state, to be the person making the decision and holding the lead rope takes it from the academic to hard reality. There is no easy answer. Once, when it was clearly time that my OTTB (my best friend, long time show horse & then retired pet) needed to be put down, and I was having a hard time letting go, my trainer told me that she was acting as his advocate, and it was time to do what was best for him. She was right. She was acting as his advocate - just as you are for this horse and so many others. You and your organization make the hard decisions and do the hard work so that the rest of us may benefit. Being the true advocate for these horses show in the care that is taken for each one. Keep it up.
jkswbester
2 years 21 weeks ago

bravo

Thank you, Allie, for bringing to light this VERY REAL dilemma. It is a shame that so many people didn' t view euthanasia as the unthinkable...it is not an easy decision but in some cases, the safest and most responsible one.
Thoroughbred1201
2 years 21 weeks ago

Excellent article

I read this article with interest. I've alway had TBs (with the exception of 1 Zangerschiede Warmblood), and love the way they think and react. As such, I follow your blogs, and enjoy seeing what you have to say. CANTER is impressive in its care and its mission. This article reiterates this. I don't see euthenasia as irresponsible. On the contrary, in certain cases it is the most reponsible. But as you state, to be the person making the decision and holding the lead rope takes it from the academic to hard reality. There is no easy answer. Once, when it was clearly time that my OTTB (my best friend, long time show horse & then retired pet) needed to be put down, and I was having a hard time letting go, my trainer told me that she was acting as his advocate, and it was time to do what was best for him. She was right. She was acting as his advocate - just as you are for this horse and so many others. You and your organization make the hard decisions and do the hard work so that the rest of us may benefit. Being the true advocate for these horses show in the care that is taken for each one. Keep it up.
kinbilly1
2 years 21 weeks ago

Sad realities

I, too have read your article with much interest, and have often wondered what happens to those horses that are just not suitable for life beyond the track - especially with an amateur owner. I am a 'lifer' with horses, but a first-time ottb owner. I am head-over-heels over this horse, although he has tested my skills beyond my wildest imagination. I am up for the challenge, especially since I am convinced that he is 'all there' upstairs. I have wondered about the recent movement to rescue and retrain ottb's and how the groundswell of popularity could backfire, and I think you hit it on the head. Those horses that are - for whatever reason - so emotionally damaged that they could do serious harm to someone - even the most talented, gifted, or just willing person whose heart and soul are poured into such a horse. I have wondered what I would do if my horse turned out to be a 'head case' and too far gone. But I know what I would do. Hard as it would be, I would let him go. It occurs to me that your responsibility as a professional and expert in the retraining of these fine horses, would be to give such a horse the dignity in his death to prevent him from winding up in unspeakable circumstances. I guess that is the serious downside to what you do. Surely the rewards far outweigh these tragic circumstances. Yet, how fortunate a horse would be to have someone like you to end his suffering, be it physical or mental. As a passionate supporter of these horses, I applaude your efforts and thank you for what you do - including those hard decisions. The world needs more of you.
Carol Ames
2 years 21 weeks ago

TRY tELLINGTON tOUCH, tteam

i HAVE EXPERIENCED AMAZING CHANGES WITHE USE OF tteam, BODYWORK, AS WELL as GROUND EXERCISES;yOU MENTIONED Crushed WITHERS? have YOU HAD HiM EVALUATED BY A VETERINARY CHIROPRACTOR? iT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT MOST OFF TRACK HORSES BENEFIT FROM A GOOD VETERINARY CIRO/ ACUPUNCTURE EVALUATIO/ TREATMENTN
socalcanter
2 years 12 weeks ago

ALLIE!! I can't believe im

ALLIE!! I can't believe im just finding this article from you. I am one of Ali Dachers "retrainers" here in california and i have the EXACT issue with my mare. Ive been working with her since march, and everything you said in this article i have thought to myself. i actually told Ali a few days ago that maybe we should adopt her out as a broodmare, and i am NOT a believer in adopting any ottb as a broodmare. if not that then i feel like i personally need to adopt her because i fear she will bounce around from home to home living a very unhappy life. but like you said, she is a liability and i dont trust anyone on her but myself. what to do what to do... thanks for addressing this issue. it is comforting to know im not alone. ~ Sarah
May 16, 2012

One Cross-Country Accident We Can Prevent

I’m pretty sure Will Coleman never expected to be loading Cool Connection into a trailer and rushing him off to a surgery center in New Jersey only minutes after starting out on the Jersey Fresh CIC*** course this past weekend.

I watched the scores all day and frowned when I saw that Will Coleman and Cool Connection—owned by the rider, Tivoli Farm and Jim Wildasin—had a fall. I didn’t realize the seriousness of it at the time, but I soon got a phone call detailing the horrific—and entirely preventable—fall.

Comments

LShannon
2 years 22 weeks ago

Safe Flag option

I have wondered if a pool noodle would work for the flags? They are definitely cheap - well under the $10 mark. They could slide down into a recessed PVC tube or some other material that would be harmless (set down deep into ground or jump so they would not be able to break and splinter.) to hold them and keep straight. They give completely, are easily replaced and easy to see. They may not be real pretty. If that is important then a decorative sleeve could be easily and cheaply made to slide over them and make them fit in better with the course design! Anything to prevent that type of horrific accident happening again! Hope this helps! Laurie Shannon
Eventer404
2 years 22 weeks ago

How about...

rubber!!! Thin round rubber replacements that would bend but would still look rigid and work the same way!
tuheeden
2 years 22 weeks ago

flag marking

even pvc same with the plastic flexible pole (I work in the ER things get stuck everywhere ) can break and the wood come out of it..it can happen again... did you see at the fork how many flags, got torn down?? and each time they were try to put it back on with more strength so it would move. how bout cloth stapled to the side ( set up regulated size) tack them on to each side...if we need out of bound lines then we do what football and baseball have been doing and chalk them that way judges will know for sure if a foot in or out of the lines. just a quick suggestion to allow for change so this doesn't happen again.I would hate to Will right now. Heather
ise@ssl
2 years 22 weeks ago

I like the Noodle Idea

I'm sure they could have them made in any color and they are flexible and won't hurt anyone and they certainly won't stick in the ground. Super idea!!
Krand414
2 years 22 weeks ago

They should just paint the

They should just paint the side of the jumps. right side red and the left side white. It would be easier then trying to find a way to reinvent the flags. As long as there is something on the top of the jump Ie a flag eventually someone will hit it, but if we put paint or something ON the front of the jump then it should work, using something like they do on stadium jumps Also if yoru Running a CIC* and up you should know what way your going. Especially on cross country there is usually only one way to jump a jump, unless there are a few option or something like that.
StarfishLisa
2 years 22 weeks ago

Alkathene waterpipe

Dr. Susan Dyson, DVM of the UK solved this problem a few years back. She caught on her camera a similar incident that resulted in a fatality. Since then Britain requires that all flagpoles be made of some sort of Alkathene waterpipe. The US shouldn't be behind in a situation concerning safety, since it is more safety concerned than most other countries!
cwolf19380
2 years 22 weeks ago

So how is the horse?

Did he make it through the surgery OK?
April 24, 2012

Off-The-Track Thoroughbreds Fill The Ranks At Rolex Kentucky

How fun to have such an amazing, dynamic list of Thoroughbreds in contention for the CANTER Ex-Racehorse Award at Rolex Kentucky this year! CANTER USA will be awarding the highest-placing race-bred Thoroughbred with a cooler, a beautiful Five Star Bridle and $200 in cash on Sunday. 

Check out all of these race-bred Thoroughbreds, competing for one of the most prestigious and sought-after blue ribbons on the planet. Of course the $80,000 in cash and a Rolex watch doesn’t stink either! Here’s hoping a Thoroughbred ends up in the winner’s circle!

April 17, 2012

Off-The-Track-Thoroughbreds Are Stepping Into The Spotlight

Is this what a heyday feels like?

About nine months ago I was talking with a fellow CANTER volunteer about all of the exciting things happening in our all-encompassing world of Thoroughbreds, and I remember saying “Do you feel that? Do you feel the earth starting to rumble? It’s time, baby!”

It’s totally time.

Comments

dodonfarm
2 years 26 weeks ago

25 are Ex-Racehorses!

Erin researched all the entries at Rolex that were listed as Thoroughbred and found that 25 of them are OTTBs. You can see who they are (were) and their pedigrees here: http://bit.ly/HykRAU It would be a cool story to find out how each rider got their respective horse!
surodell
2 years 26 weeks ago

OTTBs at Rolex

20 years ago, nearly ALL the entries would have been OTTBs -- am I wrong?
Inner Bay
2 years 26 weeks ago

USEF name changes: Adding CMA will cost $

There is much to be desired when it comes to USEF's efforts to make it easy to trace any bloodlies or associations such as the "CMA" prefix or suffix would provide. When the Zangersheide accepted our As Di Ani (As Di Villagana/Camille) into their registry, I had to really do some persuading to keep from having to pay a full name change fee to add the "Z" to her name, just a couple weeks after we'd recorded her with USEF. Reason and common sense finally prevailed, but it was a close one. That situation needs to improve before a valid idea such as the one described in this article catches on.
netg
2 years 26 weeks ago

Except for the fact when

Except for the fact when you're adopting a horse from CMA it is not yet registered with USEF. If I had a CMA horse already I'd pay for the name change, but even if folks just start doing it now it will still make progress going forward.
trevelyan96
2 years 26 weeks ago

Great Idea

I love this idea and I will definitnely encourage my DD to put FLF (Finger Lakes Finest) in front of her OTTB's new show name. My other OTTB did not come from a program.
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