”What we are all really looking for is an experience that lets us feel the rapture of being alive” – Joseph Campbell
Nouveau Rich getting ready for The Delaware Park Arabian Classic. Wow, was I nervous!
In sport, there is nothing that compares to the feeling you get before, during and after your horse competes on the race track. The adrenaline, the nervous energy and the sense of hope is like few feelings in life. Flat track racing definitely makes you feel alive!
I got involved with the sport of racing flat track Arabians for several reasons. First, many of the best endurance horses come from the track and I wanted to be able to select some of my future endurance horses early and personally be involved in their progress and early training at the track. Second, I wanted to develop and shoe/boot option that would both conform to track traction rules and still allow the hoof to expand and contract as nature intended. Having my own horses at the track would be the quickest way to test these new designs and make modifications. Finally, I wanted to see the inside of a new industry and learn as a horseman.
Pass Play in a new prototype design before heading to Lone Star to race.
I've grown up with endurance horses and the sport of endurance gives riders and participants the opportunity to be involved with horse selection, conditioning, feeding, tack selection, hoof protection, hoof trimming, race pacing, race selection, etc. If you are unhappy with your results in an endurance race, the person in the mirror is the only place to point blame. If you are unhappy with your horse's feet or your horse's body condition, there is no one to fault but yourself.
EasyCare horses definitely had some success at the track in our first year but I guess my biggest take away from the first year with horses on the track is the lack of control. The biggest question I continue to ask myself is, as an out-of-state owner how can EasyCare participate and improve the chances of our personal horses and at the same time insure they have a life after racing? I don't have all the answers but my thoughts as a new owner are listed below.
1. Start with the best racing stock you can afford. In the Arabian track game there are many great breeders. I personally hit it off early with Dianne Waldron and Leah Bates of Rosebrook Farm. I purchased several horses from Rosebrook and I've been very happy with the quality and advice.
2. Pick a trainer that you trust, a trainer that has the horses best interest at heart and communicates well with you. In the first year I had the opportunity to learn from three trainers and see the differences in each.
3. Demand good hoof care and don't settle for hoof shape or length that your don't agree with.
4. Base training: do some of the base training at home. Get them legged up so they can go to the track or your trainer with base. This base will keep them more sound and cut your training bills.
After a year racing Arabians at Delaware Park, Arapahoe Park and Lone Star Park, EasyCare has learned a great deal and only scratched the surface. We have followed the rules and raced at each track in the the new EasyCare shoe/boot. If our new shoe/boot can be part of extending the careers and soundness of a handful of these horses the project and time at the races will be a success.
What are your suggestions that would give an out of state owner the ability to participate more in the results?
President & CEO
I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.