A few weeks ago, I found some old photos of me competing or schooling some of my former horses - horses I brought along from the racetrack, or as youngsters with little or no jump training at all. It reminded me how far a horse and rider team can go, and I thought I'd share some with you.
Standing Ovation, also known as Storm, was purchased almost by the pound off the racetrack. A skinny but gorgeous grey, Storm was a terrible racehorse - having competed in claiming stakes for most of his career. However, Storm had a special something about him, so we took a chance on him.
Storm didn't end up being an event horse - he actually wasn't too fond of cross country. But he loved show jumping. Loved. A lot. When we figured out that he wasn't a huge fan of cross country, we sold him to a young rider who wanted to do jumpers, and they were a formidable team on the Northeast circuit for years. We were thrilled that Storm loved his job, and his new owner loved him.
You can just tell that he lived for those painted rails!
Those tucked knees are a thing of beauty!
This is by far my most favorite photo of Storm and I, though. A moment between fences - he was performing beautifully, and the look on my face says it all. As we were galloping hell bent for leather towards the next jump!
Then we have Kismet, who was imported from England. Kismet had such potential but I had an injury, and we couldn't let him languish in the field while I recovered - a very long road indeed. So we sold him and he enjoyed foxhunting and hunter pacing, but I had a ball working with him and training him.
The photos are grainy, but they give you an idea of how talented he really was.
And that brings us to the present day. Zeus has his show debut this weekend. While he won't be jumping anything other than little fences....it's a start. And if the work he's done the past few weeks is any indication, we have a bright future together!