The Journey Begins - Jazz
Jazz is now in Iowa! We officially moved to our temporary location at the Snitker Dairy Farm in northeast Iowa at the end of January. Jazz is now resting easy at his new facility which includes his own snowy 7 acre pasture with a big, warm run-in shed where he can be out of the prevalent snow and ice. We are thankful to have full access to a lovely indoor arena and are excited to have a place to train indoors, away from the frozen tundra of the north Jazz and I are both unaccustomed too.
There is quite a stereotypical idea about Thoroughbreds in the world. I am finding this to be hard to overcome in most people's minds... I actually had a harder time finding a place to board in a new state because of it.
Since I am in the Quarter Horse/western/ranch/reining world, this is my first time actually owning an off-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) myself I have had many comments so far about this racehorse endeavor, a few of them:
"Is he crazy?"
"It's got to be difficult to train a racehorse for normal riding."
"What would anyone ever want a Thoroughbred for?"
"Does he know how to do anything but run?"
"I don't like Thoroughbreds."
The main reason I am ecstatic about working with Jazz and being a part of the Makeover is because this idea about Thoroughbreds is being debated in this competition. These racehorses have so much potential to be and do anything in the world. Yes, they are bred for speed and stamina; particularly for the racetrack itself. BUT, in the end these animals are horses. A Thoroughbred can be an amazing dressage horse, jumper, eventer, ranch horse, roper, barrel racer, youth horse, driving horse, trail horse, companion... The "crazy" stereotype about a track horse is simply not true. I understand, of course, the owner and trainer of an OTTB makes all the difference in the world. I also understand that there are always exceptions and all horses are different. There are almost 600 trainers in the Makeover this year. What an awesome collection of racehorses to show the world.
Jazz is a wonderful example of how kind and gentle these animals can be.
He came straight from the racetrack and has done nothing but race in his life.
He absolutely adores anyone who shows him love. He loves to be scratched on the neck and falls asleep when groomed. He will stand quietly anywhere he is tied. He is gentle with his feet. He is careful and respectful on the ground. He learned to lunge within 5 minutes because he is so eager to please. He is very smart and willing to try anything asked of him even if he doesn't understand what it is at first. He is quiet in a stall. He is not spooky, I have yet to see him spook at anything. He enjoys being around children. He is curious and playful, loves playing with jolly balls and toys. He stands to be mounted and dismounted.He is very soft in the mouth and I have him only in an o-ring snaffle. He walks quietly and calmly unless asked for more. He is not inclined to speed at all unless asked for speed. He stops well and likes to stop more than he likes to go. He is level headed and a very quiet ride.
He was a racehorse.
He is a lovely horse.