Each Trainer and RRTP President, Steuart Pittman, has his or her own "Page" of blog entries with embedded videos. Access each trainer's page by clicking on their name below.
Kerry Blackmer - Kerry has Four X The Trouble, aka Tempyst, owned by Robin Coblyn
Tiffany Catledge - Tiffany has both High Level, owned by Jim Falk, and Solidify, owned by MidAtlantic Horse Rescue
Eric Dierks - Eric has Brazilian Wedding, owned by Pat Dale
Steuart Pittman - Steuart gets to post commentaries, plus he occasionally posts about Bodiddle, the horse owned by Lorna Starkey, that didn't make it to the Trainer Challenge
Miles Ahead Farm
Kerry took Four X The Trouble ("Tempyst") owned by Robin Coblyn
"Are you sure this is an OTTB? " That's what my farrier just asked me. You see as I type this, "Four X The Trouble" aka Tempyst is falling asleep in cross ties as he gets his feet done. The little wide eyed liver chestnut has officially settled in and has turned into a big pony.
I instantly fell in love with him when I saw him Friday afternoon at the MD Horse Expo. He has the look and build that I have always been drawn too. So what if he was galloping around the arena like a wild man?? I've always liked a horse that knows he's special. He is compact and short in his back with a very uphill build, exactly what I look for in an event horse. As soon as he came in the ring I thought to myself, "now that's the one I want."
Sadly I failed miserably at the trivia portion of the challenge. In my defense I could have told you how long a furlong is, which horse was known as The Gray Ghost, or who won the Kentucky Derby in 1988. (I bet Eric doesn't know any of that!) Oh well, Tempyst was going to be my first pick so I was thrilled.
Tempyst is only 4 years old, the youngest of the group. His last race was at the end of December. I knew from watching him go on Friday that I was probably going to be on the most nervous of the three horses, and I wasn't sure what to expect once we got him in the ring. My good friend Natalie Hollis came to help me. Thank goodness she was there, because trying to walk to the arena from the outside stalls was rather entertaining. I'm a klutz on a good day. Put a pair of slippery tall boots on me and have me walk up hill on ice is a whole other story. Natalie lead Tempyst up the path while I looked like Bambi on ice, not graceful. I only fell once before making it to the entrance of the expo hall. We were all set to lead him into the building when we were told to STOP! It was a small miracle that we stopped just before the parade of minis began to exit the building. One was puling a cart, scary stuff. After the minis were out of sight we got the go ahead to enter the building. Tempyst was pretty sure he was back at the track and he was ready to strut his stuff. Right before we lead him into the ring, his owner Robin Coblyn warned us "He hates clapping." So of course the test applause didn't go so well for us. Yep, Robin was pretty much right, he was terrified of the clapping. After a few more laps of hand walking around the ring it was time to get on. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well he stood and how good he was about the mounting block. He was naturally a little nervous in the ring. He pranced sideways around the ring staring at the crowd. Though I'm not convinced that he was scared of the crowd or if he just wanted to make sure that everyone was getting a good look at how handsome he was. After a few laps of trot and canter he started to settle, go a bit straighter and felt much more relaxed. Before I knew it, it was time to dismount. Even after that short ride I knew I had made the right choice and that this was my type of horse. I was even more excited to bring him home and get his training started.
His first day here at Miles Ahead Farm was pretty uneventful. He got some much deserved turnout time and promptly made a muddy mess out of himself. He also met his new turnout buddy "Coco Puff." Coco Puff is a bossy 12 hand pony that rules the farm. They have instantly become best buddies. But honestly, who doesn't love a furrry 12 hand pony?? After a little turnout time it was time to get down to business. Fortunately for me, Four X The Trouble is not living up to his name. He is already going straight, quiet and steady. This week I've been riding him with a loopy rein and getting him more comfortable with my leg. He walks around the farm on the buckle and falls asleep in cross ties. Oh, and he's getting quite accustomed to dogs, minis, and kids. All very important for the future show horse! I'm hoping to hack him out this weekend. Of course we'll be braving the trails with some seasoned buddies.
I'm pretty confident that in 5 weeks, everyone will be quite impressed with this little horse. I know I already am. Now if we can just get him used to clapping. If you happen to stop by the farm and see me standing outside a horses stall wildly clapping you'll know why.
The RRTP is a charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax deductible pursuant to applicable laws. Our mission is to facilitate the placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred.
Funding is needed to maintain and expand our internet services, conduct our Throughbreds For All events, produce educational videos, and finance our presentations at horse expos and other high visibility public events. We do not use donated funds to care for individual horses. That work is done by the farms and organizations that we serve.