February 2, 2023

“In 2021, I went to the Thoroughbred Makeover for the first time on my first OTTB from New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Moose (JC: Hard D S C). I had intended to do the Makeover just once, as a bucket list event, but soon after I got back I kept finding myself thinking about going back and doing it again, and even though I didn’t have a horse, I submitted my application in January 2022.In March 2022, I adopted Cheddar from New Vocations. Soon after I brought him home, we moved from Connecticut to New Jersey. My new farm didn’t have any sort of riding arena and was often too muddy to ride, so our ridden training nearly came to a halt, but I was able to put in a lot of groundwork with Cheddar and start training some obstacles and tricks from the ground.

As the weather warmed up, the ground dried out and we were able to start riding more frequently and Cheddar showed some really lovely natural movement and he was proving to have the most sensible mind, so I decided to enter him in Dressage and Freestyle.

Cheddar and I had a very successful week, placing 4th Amateur/11th overall in Dressage and 1st Amateur/2nd overall in Freestyle, but the highlight of my week was the friendships I made with my fellow competitors.

My best advice to anyone who wants to attend the Makeover is to worry about training your horse from December through the first week of October, but once you get to Kentucky, try to have fun and take it all in! They call it the happiest horse show on Earth for a reason - so make sure you really get to experience it!”