Welcome Sheldon!

Sheldon came to live with us today. This classy boy still has the look of the eagles.

It’s time for the Annual Suffolk Downs Showcase

CANTER New England Suffolk Showcase
Here’s one of about 80 horses that will be featured this Sunday at CANTER New England’s Suffolk Showcase.

If you are thinking about picking up a project horse for the winter, don’t miss CANTER New England’s 7th Annual Suffolk Showcase on Sunday, October 14, 8:30 AM – Noon at Suffolk Downs racecourse.

The Suffolk Showcase presents a unique opportunity for those interested in buying a horse to view approximately 80 horses all in one place at one time on the backstretch of Suffolk Downs. 

By attending Suffolk Showcase you will:

  • See the horses on the direct trainer listings in the flesh
  • Get a catalog of horses available for sale with information on the horse
  • Have the opportunity to speak with trainers or owners directly
  • Be able to visit the horses in their barns
  • Have fun viewing several amazing Thoroughbreds ready for their next career!

CANTER volunteers will be available to assist buyers throughout the day. Bring a group of people and spend a fun morning looking for your next prospect!

For more information please contact volunteer Jennifer at canterne.events@gmail.com or 617-207-1238.

As the happy owner of an OTTB adopted from CANTER New England, I can testify to the quality of the horses and the extreme helpfulness of the CANTER volunteers. If I had the room in my barn there’s no doubt that I’d fill it this weekend!

Welcome to the October 2012 Blog Carnival of Horses

Blog Carnival of HorsesWelcome to the October 2, 2012 edition of carnival of the horses. I hope you enjoy the posts in this month’s carnival!

Christine Meunier presents Importing Horses posted at equus-blog.com, saying, “Looking forward to participating in this carnival!”

Annemarie Field presents Greg Eliel Horsemanship Clinic at Apple Lane Farm | OatsNews.com posted at OatsNews.com.

Irene Beck presents Borrowing Freedom ~ Riding with an Invisible Illness: Memories of London 2012 (Part 1) posted at Borrowing Freedom ~ Riding with an Invisible Illness.

Irene Beck presents Borrowing Freedom ~ Riding with an Invisible Illness: Autumn Sunshine & Walking with Elephants posted at Borrowing Freedom ~ Riding with an Invisible Illness, saying, “Autumn evening hacking in the countryside.”

Faith Burden presents Life’s Lessons from a Mini Mule posted at The Three Muleteers.

Simpsonsparadox presents How to Train Your Horse in ‘Thoroughbred World’ on Facebook posted at Simpson’s Paradox.

Suzanne presents Let there be light posted at Confessions of an Amateur Owner Event Rider.

Suzanne presents Taking a load off posted at Confessions of an Amateur Owner Event Rider.

Fran Jurga presents a series on top three-year-old Thoroughbred colt Paynter who was  diagnosed with post-colitis laminitis. Throughout the month of September she has tracked his progress at Fran Jurga’s Hoof Blog:

Sarah K. Andrew presents Horses and Hope: Georgia’s Story posted at Rock and Racehorses: The Blog.

And here are a few new-to-me blogs that I’ve come across over the past month.
Sarah Miller presents Desensitization: It’s not just for horses posted at Halt near X.

StantheHorse presents 4 Strand French Braid posted at Weanie Eventer.

Jennifer presents Introducing Otie posted at The Journey Begins.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival of the horses using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Kelsey Lefever gets off with probation

According to the Paulick Report, Kelsey Lefever, who allegedly sold ex-racehorses to slaughter after promising to find them homes, appears to have taken a plea agreement that will result in probation.

Another report, on Pennlive.com states that Lefever has applied to the first offender program that would keep her out of the horse business for the next two years. As part of the deal, Lefever would be barred for life from obtaining a Pennsylvania thoroughbred racing license, which would keep her from participating in the race horse industry in any manner but after the two year ARD program was completed, she would be allowed to continue in the horse business outside of the racetrack.

It really sucks that someone who bragged about sending at least 120 horses to slaughter could get off with a slap on the wrist. Assistant district attorney Francis Chardo II said that because she is a “first offender” sentencing guidelines would likely result in probation.

First offender? Not likely. Just the first time she’s been caught.
My only hope is that the publicity this case has received and the outrage it caused among the horse community will help increase people’s awareness and maybe save a few horses from going to these bogus “forever” homes.
Seriously folks, if you are asking $1 for your horse you are inviting the scammers to call you. Don’t ever give your horse away to a stranger. Make sure you get references, make sure you sign a contract, and if possible follow up with a visit. I know the economy is tight but if you price your horse above the current “per pound” rate you give it a much better chance of going to a real home instead of giving them a one way ticket to Canada or Mexico.

Here’s a great FREE resource on retraining OTTBs

When I bought my first OTTB I was lucky enough to work with a trainer who had a long and successful history of restarting racehorses. It made a huge difference to work with someone who understood how a racehorse had been trained, what it expected from its rider and how it had been ridden.

Today I came across a great e-book: Understanding and Retraining the Off Track Thoroughbred by Kimberly Clark. You may know Clark through Leighton Farm and Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, which helps OTTBs transition from racing life and find non-racing homes.

I highly recommend reading it if you are considering an OTTB . . . or even if you already have one.

Bid on Zenyatta’s halter . . . and benefit CANTER!

You can win Zenyatta's Halter
donated by Lane's End Farm and Mr. and Mrs. Moss and comes with certificate of authenticity .

Own a piece of history . . . find some great deals on tack . . . or win a private polo lesson with polo great Memo Gracida — all while helping retiring racehorses find second careers. The auction begins on May 16th at noon PST and ends on May 22nd at 8 p.m. PST.

I’m a huge supporter of CANTER. This is an all-volunteer organization that does a phenomenal job of helping racehorses find new careers. All the money that is donated to them goes directly to help the horses — no one at CANTER draws a salary.

As many of you know, Freedom was donated to CANTER New England by his owners as they thought the organization would be the best qualified to help him find a new home.

I know from experience that CANTER volunteers work tirelessly at the track and off it to help these horses.

Right now CANTER California is running a fundraising auction. Even if you don’t think you need something, please go and check it out. The horses will thank you!

CANTER Auction

7-Days until CANTER New England’s Showcase


Okay, so I have a weakness for chestnuts. Senior Lavante is just one of many fine looking horses available at Suffolk Down right now.


If you have room in your barn now’s the time to bring your shopping cart (i.e., trailer) down to Suffolk Downs. CANTER New England is hosting it’s annual Showcase next Sunday, October 24th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Showcase is an opportunity for trainers to present horses nearing their retirement from racing to a large group of interested buyers. CANTER NE board members and volunteers will run the event and be available to answer questions from prospective buyers.

As the Suffolk Downs racing season nears its November 13 conclusion, CANTER NE’s focus is to help local trainers find new careers for their retired racehorses, be it in competitive jumping, trail riding, or simply lawn-grazing. Horses sold through CANTER NE go directly from their trainers to new homes, eliminating the costly need to care for them at foster facilities. The organization does not benefit financially from these sales.

CANTER NE is excited to build on the success of last year’s showcase, which saw a record turnout of both horses and people. Approximately 80 horses found new homes and careers. CANTER NE hopes to increase participation even more this year as more horse owners discover the possibilities and benefits of owning an ex-racehorse.

Interested parties wanting to learn more about the possibilities of owning an ex-racehorse and those actively looking for horses are encouraged to attend. The event will take place in the stable area and volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions. For more information please visit the CANTER NE website at www.canterne.org, e-mail canterne.events@gmail.com, or contact volunteer Jennifer at 617-208-8906.

This is a fantastic organization that deserves your support. It is entirely staffed by volunteers who work tirelessly to find homes for the horses.

And don’t let anyone tell you that racehorses are 1) too difficult to retrain 2) are all crazy or 3) are all lame. Freedom is a great example of a horse that’s willing, able and fun to ride (okay, I’ll concede that sometimes he’s a bit crazy).

Kudos to the racetrack trainers who rehome their horses.

War Storm is a horse listed for sale on the CANTER New England site. I love his look.
War Storm is a horse listed for sale on the CANTER New England site. I love his look.

Back in November I wrote a post about an inspirational trainer at Suffolk Downs, Lorita Lindemann, known as the Angel of Suffolk Downs. One of the things that struck me was how hard Ms. Lindemann had to campaign with her fellow trainers to encourage them to rehome their horses.

As buyers, let’s not discourage these trainers from working with us, the general public. They may decide it’s easier not to try. In fact some trainers will only sell to dealers; others, sadly ship straight to slaughter.

On the CANTER New England Website there is an excellent page that talks about what NOT to do when you want to buy from a trainer at the track. I’m going paraphrase here, but it’s worth reading in its entirety:

  • Don’t call and make an appointment and then not show up. Anyone who has sold a horse has probably had this happen at least once and it’s incredibly annoying to have someone waste your time like that.
  • Don’t try to tell trainers what their horse is worth or ask them to give you a horse for free. The horses on the CANTER site are being sold because the trainer needs the stall or doesn’t want to feed a non-competitive horse. But that doesn’t mean it’s a giveaway.
  • Don’t ask trainers to ship the horse for free. Or ask if you can trade another horse, tack, hay or anything else for the horse. They don’t need stuff, they need cash for the horse.
  • If you buy a horse, offer to pay the trainer a day rate to feed and care for the horse until you can have it shipped.
  • Don’t ask if you can make payments or take the horse on trial. Be prepared to pay the full purchase price in cash, via wire transfer or with a cashier’s check.
  • If you make an offer, be reasonable. Don’t offer $500 for a horse listed at $2500. Even at the killer market TBs are bringing $650.
  • And finally, don’t assume that because you buy a retiring racehorse that it’s a “rescue”. Most of these horses have been well cared for and loved by their trainers. The effort to find them a new home is another example of how these trainers are committed to finding their horses new jobs.

If  an OTTB does capture your heart. Please do a pre-purchase exam before you finalize the sale. Vets are available at the track or you can bring a vet or an experienced friend or colleague with you to examine the horse. Getting an informed opinion up front can save a lot of heartbreak and hard feelings.

Race horses experience wear and tear that is different from horses of the same age in less strenuous disciplines. Many are sound, others have injuries that may or may not impact their long term use. Often horses coming off the track are body sore and do best if they are turned out to “let down” for several weeks or even months. Know what you’re getting into before you hand over the cash!

Oh yes, and you should know that many OTTBs exhibit some behaviors that don’t always fit into commercial boarding facilities such as cribbing or weaving. Much cribbing behavior can be controlled with a cribbing strap, but if you strongly object to owning a horse that cribs, make sure you are certain that the one you bring home does not! My OTTB cribs AND weaves. He does very well in a barn where he can live out 24/7 but probably wouldn’t thrive in an environment where he was confined to a stall.