New Vocations posted on Facebook that they're looking for success stories about their adopted OTTBs to publish in their summer newsletter, so of COURSE I submitted ours immediately (I may or may not have had the willpower to wait until we got home to submit said story). While Miles and I have not won any ribbons or even competed for them, I could not be prouder of him and where we are than if we had.
Really, I just want people to know how exceptional these horses are, and I want owning an OTTB to be a "status symbol" of sorts, the way Warmbloods are now in the English world; even more-so because those that buy or adopt an OTTB truly save a life. When was the last time you saw a Dutch Warmblood at a livestock auction? Also, I personally think my breed of choice has more charisma, athleticism and personality in one hoof than many breeds have in their whole bodies. Hey, it's my blog, I can say ridiculous things like that:) I experience this everyday with my own horse and the other OTTB at my barn, as well as others I've had the pleasure to meet and know in person. Not to mention the dozens of blogs I read that highlight the pure awesomeness of Thoroughbreds, whether they are pasture puffs charming everyone around them, or walking their owners down a dirt road and through fields and woods, or competing at 3 day events. I also think it's actually happening; New Vocations posted on their Facebook page the other day that, for the very first time, they have empty stalls and are adopting horses faster than they are coming in. Whoo Hoo!!!
Anyway, without further ado, below is my submission, and I included the black and white picture to the right of Miles and me after the dressage clinic. I know it's not good, and it's pretty sappy, but I believe every word of it. I'll let you know if we get published-if nothing else, the lovely Dot Morgan, Executive Director of New Vocations, did reply to my email and thanked me for providing such a great home for Masarin (I like to think of this as Miles superhero name). I replied that I could only thank her for the opportunity to own such an amazing animal. I've never been so grateful for anything in my life.
I adopted Masarin (now Miles) from New Vocations in September of 2009, and he has been nothing but a joy to train and work with since then. He has been game for anything and forgiving of my mistakes, all while maintaining that "Joie de Vivre" I saw the day I met him. We have worked on everything from basic dressage to trail riding, and now jumping very small cross-rails, and he has risen to every challenge I've put in front of him. All throughout his training, he has never once offered a buck or rear under saddle, and his spooks are few and far between. I love how he is busting stereotypes about OTTBs left and right; not only is he sweet, calm, and a gentleman, but I ride him in a bit-less bridle and he is barefoot (he has wonderful feet!). Miles is truly my "heart horse", beautiful and willing and goofy all at once. He always comes to greet me at the gate, ready to see what we might be doing that day, and he makes every ride special.
Two of the best days of the year for me came this Spring, first when we rode in a dressage clinic and then a couple of weeks ago when we cantered our first cross-rail. He is only 10 years old, and I can't wait to see where we go next. Miles is a wonderful advocate for OTTBs, and I'll always be grateful to New Vocations for this amazing horse!