“In the beginning of 2021, my main competition horse became injured which ended his higher level Dressage career. This put me on the path for a second horse to train and show. I watched for months, but with the market being the way it is, most of these horses sold within hours/days of being posted. At the end of September, I saw Charlie posted on CANTER Chicago’s Facebook page and KNEW that I had to go look at this guy. He was a 3 year old stud, only having raced 9 times. He was everything I was looking for. I called immediately and scheduled a time to go look at him.
I headed down to Arlington Park in Illinois. Many thoughts ran through my mind. Was I ready for this? Did I have the ability to start a horse straight off the track? I had started and worked with many horses prior but this felt different. I decided to take the chance and go for it. Boy, am I glad I did.
Since Charlie was still very young, we took it pretty slow. We just got to know each other the first few months. He had very little ground manners and NO body awareness, and with his size (17hh), it was necessary to teach him ground manners to avoid getting squished. He was gelded and weight was put on. His feet were trimmed and reshod. He accepted everything with grace.
The second ride I had on him, we decided to take him to the beach down the road. We had no expectations for this ride, but let me tell you he blew me away. He walked down the road, semi trucks and dump trucks passing right down to the beach. He saw the water and basically jumped in. He has been a water bug ever since.
My journey with Charlie has had its challenges. Putting 8 staples in his forehead was one of those times after smacking his head...He isn't always the most graceful...babies am I right?!?!
Overall, it has been the most fun I have ever had. I never thought that after retiring my long time competition horse Abe, I would ever have a bond like I did with him. Charlie has brought hope to that. He has ignited my passion to ride and compete again and I am so glad that this big OTTB took a chance on me. He's everything I could have hoped he would be and more”.