Passing the Butterfly Baton

As I mentioned yesterday, when I received the Butterfly Award, part of my responsibility was to choose at least one new recipient.

I read several really cool horse blogs on a regular basis, but they’ve all received numerous awards. I decided to find at least one blog that deserved more recognition and which had not already been showered with accolades. I came up with three:

CANTER Mid-Atlantic’s Dixie Rumble

CANTER Mid-Atlantic’s LooknDowntheBarrel

CANTER Mid-Atlantic’s Calabria Rose

These blogs focus on the retraining of three retired racehorses owned by CANTER Mid Atlantic who are now in training in foster homes.

In an effort to chronicle the ups and downs of Thoroughbred Retraining, we have several people who have volunteered to write about their day-to-day experience with individual horses. This will provide a wonderful learning opportunity for the Thoroughbred-buying public, as well as being an amazing opportunity for our horses. You will read about the good, the great, the bad, and the ugly. Our hope is to bring each horse from the racetrack to recognized competition.

Fostering an OTTB is a wonderful experience. If you have an empty stall in your barn and are near one of the CANTER affiliates, you should consider it seriously! Every horse that comes into a CANTER program is there because it needs that extra help to transition to a non-racing career. Some are purchased by CANTER because they are at risk; others were donated by caring owners or trainers. These three horses have landed in great situations because they will have the groundwork instilled in them that will make them far more attractive to the buyer/adopter who might not want a horse that only knows how to gallop and stop!

CANTER is an amazing organization, made even more so by the fact that it is run completely by volunteers. This means that all the money that is donated goes directly to help the horses. With so many rescue scams out there soliciting money, it is good to know that you can contribute to an organization that truly makes a difference and does it completely above board.

I’ve been following the retraining of Dixie Rumble with special interest. My first OTTB was a son of Dixieland Brass (Dixie Rumble’s grand sire) and I have a fondness for the line. My gelding had the absolute best temperament ever but was kept from being competitive (both as a race horse and a competition horse) by a stifle problem. Still, I was able to place him in a non-competition home where his personality was an asset and his stifle could hold up to the job.

Later, I fostered a TB for CANTER New England (of course I adopted him!) and would happily do so again. In the meantime, everyone should be aware of the efforts that CANTER undertakes to help retiring racehorses find their next job. These blogs do an excellent job of chronicling the retraining experience. These foster “moms” and their equine “children” are very cool indeed.

3 thoughts on “Passing the Butterfly Baton

  1. I am honored to recieve the butterfly award. I can even begin to describe how satisfying it is to help transition the ottb’s into new careers. It is something I have been passionate about for a long time and I am honored to help out a great organization like CANTER MA. I will be sad yet happy when Dixie finds his new home. He is such a lovely horse to ride and I am having so much fun fox hunting him this season.


  2. Aww!!! Thank you so much! I am so happy people enjoy “following” our guys (and girls). It’s so rewarding to work with them, especially when they eventually find their person 🙂

  3. I’m very glad to know about these blogs! What a very neat idea. I admire them for what they do. I window shop all the time at Canter New England, but I cannot re-train a thoroughbred, so never atempt to adopt one. I owned one once who was re-trained by someone else, I could never even help him over come old issues that haunted him. They are magnificent horses though.

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