Winter is back from its vacation here in Michigan, USA which means Lola is enjoying lots of time playing in the snow with her horse friend Birdie (also an Off-Track Thoroughbred!
Lola and I have some very exciting news! I have been selected as 1 of 723 trainers to compete an Off-track Thoroughbred at the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover held at the Kentucky Horse Park October 2-5, 2019. This will be my third-year training and competing a Thoroughbred at the Makeover. I am very excited to share this years’ experience with Lola and with all of you! For those not familiar with the Retired Racehorse Project and the Thoroughbred Makeover let me go into a little more detail. The Retired Racehorse Project was created in 2010 to assist Retired Thoroughbred racehorses in finding second careers by increasing their demand in equestrian sports and serving the farms, trainers, and organizations that transition them. The RRP created the Makeover to showcase the train-ability and talent of off-track Thoroughbreds. This competition is intended to inspire trainers to take on OTTBs and transition them into second careers. Currently the Makeover offers ten disciplines and trainers can choose two from this list to compete in with their Thoroughbred after just ten months of off-track training. The disciplines are Eventing, Hunter, Jumper, Dressage, Field Hunter, Competitive Trail, Working Ranch and Freestyle. The decision of what discipline(s) we compete in will ultimately be up to Lola, but I am going to be aiming to compete her in Dressage (Western and bitless) and Field Hunters as it seems to fit her personality. Last year my OTTB Birdie and I competed in Dressage and Freestyle (she competed in her Scoots!). I was able to spread the word about Barefoot horses and the ease of using Scoots. For instance, during one of my rides at the Makeover someone came up to my Mom and said “she’s barefoot and sound!?” I was thrilled to share my barefoot Thoroughbred with the other competitors and fans and can’t wait to again this year!
The Lola-ism of the months is this; Lola loves her stall and is very calm and content to spend the cold windy nights inside. The mornings however she gets so excited for breakfast that she will buck in her stall and make squealing noises. I tried feeding her first and tying her in her stall, but she would still react the same. She wasn’t dangerous, it was actually rather comical, but I didn’t want her to continue this habit. I thought to see what she would do if I were to take her out of her stall and tie her in the aisle before she could get excited and lo and behold Lola stood quietly waiting like a perfect lady for her breakfast to arrive. Lola now eats all her breakfasts in the aisle and eats all her dinners in her stall.
The rest of February will be quiet for Lola and I, just rides around the farm as we await Spring and we have big plans for March so stay tuned!
Kallie Zeinstra has been involved with horses since she was born, began competing with her horses at the age of 9, and training professionally at 13. She is an avid barefoot enthusiast and spends her time assisting horses in their transition from shod to barefoot. Having worked with numerous breeds of horses in the last 20 years in Dressage, Western, English, Field Hunting, Mounted Archery, Eventing and Trail, she now spends her time transitioning Thoroughbreds off the track into new disciplines, training horses for clients and competing her OTTB Birdie and Percheron Baxter in Dressage and Eventing as well as Equine Therapy work with her Miniature horse Oliver. Kallie currently rides and competes her horses in Scoots in Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.