After their racing days are through, some lucky Thoroughbreds find a second line of work. Some go on to be hunters or jumpers. Some gallop cross country fences in eventing or trot down the center line of dressage. And of course some stroll along trails with their new owners.
One story recently posted on OffTrackThoroughbreds.com tells the tale of a snow-white gelding who got his second chance after 11 years on the track.Now in his teens he has become the perfect partner for a 13-year-old boy in Salem, Va.
|Alisa Gusterer and Scattering Breezes|
But Scattering Breeze’s second chance at a new life off the track didn’t come without obstacles. Another story tells of former owner Alisa Gusterer’s journey with the gelding, who she called Apollo. “The first time I put my foot in the stirrup he reared and ran away,” Gusterere says. “There was another time, when the saddle didn’t fit him properly, that he bucked me off and then bucked all the way around the ring—twice.”
By the time Austin had come across Joey, 5 years after he retired from racing, Joey had spent time with experienced trail riders and had gone through extensive training using natural horsemanship techniques. “We went to see him right before Labor Day, and he was such a mellow horse that when I asked my son if he felt comfortable cantering him, he said sure, and cantered him up and down,” Heather Skeens told OffTrackThoroughbred.com. “We took him to this show the weekend after we purchased him. It was really blustery that day, and he didn’t look at anything, or spook.”
Scattering Breezes, aka Joey, and his rider, Austin, can be seen showing around the region. There next show will be this weekend (Nov. 8-9) at the Penmeryl Horse Trials in Greenville, Va.