My name is Keri and I’m the author of Diligent Horse. I began riding 12 years ago. I adopted my first OTTB (off track Thoroughbred) in 2006, whose name was Ink Spot aka Ink (JC: Pavlovsk). Ink was my first real exposure to off track horses and also to the retraining process. Off track horses can be incredible additions to any barn and especially partners in all avenues of interest. I believe Ink taught me to be a better horsemen, to listen better and also the importance of a quiet seat and quiet hands.
In 2010 Ink was humanly euthanized due to a rare abdominal condition. He was special horse to me personally. An old soul. Tough and independent although full of heart. Through his invaluable teachings, inspirations and as a very large part of my life; I watched him quietly take his last breath and quietly lay his head to rest. To be part of the journey and seeing it through until the end was great gift and a blessing I am always thankful for. I spent nearly everyday at the barn, riding, conditioning, training, hanging out and grooming him. Learning lessons, gaining knowledge through my mistakes and learning all about him and the life of owning an ex-racehorse. I learned a lot and was exposed to a lot under his guidance and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
Below is a video I put together of Ink in 2009.
In May of 2010, I adopted my second OTTB. I named him Reason for Everything Happens for a Reason (JC: Good Folks). Reason is more of the sensitive type in all aspects. He’s very smart, creative and sly. He has required a lot more sensitivity from me and my guess is he will be the horse that teaches me to listen even more to the subtle language that horses communicate with and to be a better, more sensitive rider. Reason loves people and has a cool sense of humor.
Reason had only one start and was retired with a bowed tendon at 4. He spent 2010 and early 2011 rehabbing and came into work in the spring of 2011. After some set-backs during his first year back under saddle, we are back in the game once again. My goals with Reason are to learn more both in and out of the tack on the retraining process of OTTB’s, become a better rider overall and make my way into the show ring in three-day eventing.