Last time we spoke I was the owner of a bay Off Track Thoroughbred names Whitehouse Ridge or Gentry as I called him. I bought him directly from the track and set to work getting him healthy and into training. The healthy part took a while, a long while, roughly a year. So by the time we were able to work together he'd had close to a year off and was enjoying life in the pasture. We began to work under saddle and it became glaringly obvious that he and I were not clicking. That feeling I had with my retired mare of "she knows what I'm thinking without me saying it." Was not happening with Gentry. Plus he terrified me, he used spooking and bolting as his tantrum du jour and I could ride through it - but I didn't enjoy it at all.
My trainer and I had a serious conversation about Gentry's future. My job didn't have the flexibility it needed to lend me to working Gentry 5 days a week. He craved being worked. And I think this is a facet that people forget when they buy an OTTB. The young ones who weren't successful and race minimally are easier to transition to new careers normally. Though some love to run they're just terrible at it. Others are successful at it but tire and are ready to slow their pace. Gentry was the rare breed that loved to run, was successful at it, and was aging out. He also loved to work, for him not working was fine but the working once or twice a week was NOT fine. He craved the structure and the challenge, he wanted to work each day and I couldn't give that to him. And it honestly wasn't fair, but it sucked. It really terribly sucked royally.
I put Gentry up for sale on OTTB Connect on Facebook, he sold within 2 days. He was extremely well bred with Seattle Slew very close in his lines on his dam's side and he is a striking horse. A wonderful woman in Tennessee bought him and she loves him the way he is and has the time to dedicate to him. She actually ended up sending him straight to professional training and they have a great relationship. Unfortunately he wasn't the horse for me. I cried and I instantly regretted selling him, and my trainer offered to set me up with an older gelding to learn on. But honestly the idea of going to an older babysitter didn't appeal. I've never ridden a babysitter type horse and I didn't want to start now, I wanted another OTTB but I had no idea where to turn.
Gentry was scheduled to leave on September 30th - I had the option to give up my stall in a barn that I loved more than anything or fill the stall. I set out to fill the stall ASAP. I knew I wanted another OTTB, I love the breed, the history, and the ability to know they were part of a great American pastime. I looked throughout the Southeast and set up one weekend in Florida trying out horses. I scheduled 4 horses to try out on Sunday and hopefully one would be in my price range.
I had my pick of a large 4 yr old unraced gelding/ an 8 year old small chestnut mare who was also unraced/ a large chestnut gelding with several old bowed tendons but a lot of experience/ and a grey 6 year old gelding who had race and had a bone chip but had a great deal of eventing experience.
I'll detail that day and that process tomorrow.