March 17, 2022

“This will be my fifth - and likely final at least for a while - TB Makeover. I wasn’t going to do it again after 2021. But while I was on my way home from the Mega-Makeover, my uncle passed away after a very long, grueling battle with cancer. Through my father’s closeness to his brother, my uncle had always been one of my closest extended family members. While he actually knew (or cared) very little for horses, he actively listened as I would describe my latest horse adventures. He saved every program from every horse show I entered as a child. He tried, in his own way, to be so supportive of something that made me so happy.

He also taught me to never settle and to trust my heart.

My 2021 horse, I had hoped, would be my second forever horse. However, things continued to not go as planned between him and I. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get him to settle into the barn I boarded at. So, I decided to try to find another long term partner.

I volunteer for Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds, Inc., a nonprofit that lists horses available at the Finger Lakes Racetrack for second careers. I found a gorgeous, dark bay, 16h 3 year old with a trusted tack connection that my trainer wholeheartedly approved of. He had a few more races, but I agreed to wait. He was exactly what my brain told me I needed. The perfect number 2.

However, at the end of a very long day, I met a cute gangly chestnut (gasp! I’m firmly a bay girl!) with a face that told my heart that my brain had clearly been mistaken. I showed him to my trainer. She vetoed him immediately. But I still couldn’t stop thinking about him. We listed him, and while other horses were flying off the market faster than we could write them up, he still remained. So, against advice and better judgment, I texted his owner and purchased him that day.

Perry is the town my uncle grew up in and much later returned to for his final days.

Currently, we are following the Dressage pyramid for his training. Slow. Methodical. Correct. Straightness and relaxation seem to be his biggest goals at the moment.

We are working through the typical track feet issues.

He loves carrots and peppermints. He couldn’t really care about anything else. He’s learned from watching his brother that the amount of treats is directly correlated to how many kisses he gives, so he frequently offers me his nose.

Maybe a lesser known fact - I’m actually a para rider (I’m missing my right arm). Perry is dealing with my asymmetry, my bridged reins, and life as a para horse phenomenally well. This smart boy learns so fast and takes EVERYTHING in stride. He’s such a special, special boy!”