“I purchased Come On Dover off the backside of Fairmount Park Race Track near St. Louis just before Thanksgiving 2021. He had last raced on November 6th at Hawthorne Race Course near Chicago. I began working with him on the ground in December but with no indoor arena readily available here in northern Illinois, I knew his restart wouldn’t begin in earnest until the spring. He got most of December - March off to relax, learn how to live out in the pasture, and let his body recover from racetrack life.
I have learned that Neo’s biggest challenge is remaining relaxed in new environments. My current training strategy is focused on helping him feel safe and relaxed here at home, while taking him out to experience as many new situations as possible.
For the last several years, I have competed with my previous OTTB in Working Equitation, an emerging sport in this country. Working Equitation incorporates obstacles in competition, so I’m bringing Neo along with the goal of competing in the Competitive Trail class at the 2022 Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover. Not only will this assist in our Working Equitation training goals, but it’s my hope that learning to navigate obstacles will help build his confidence when confronted with unfamiliar situations in and out of the show ring.
While I enjoy competing in Working Equitation, I also enjoy trail riding and my primary objective is to bring along a well-rounded horse that’s willing to try anything. I grew up riding Hunters and Jumpers, and I dabble in Eventing, so eventually I will introduce him to jumping as well. I want Neo to eventually be willing to tackle trails both here in the Midwest as well as in the mountains out West, and I also want him to be comfortable participating in hunter paces, scavenger hunts, and whatever hair-brained riding activities my inner 12-year old dreams up. The TB Makeover is our primary competition goal for this year, but it is just a stepping stone in building a partnership that I hope will take us on a lifetime’s worth of adventures!"