LOPE is excited to announce that Holly Flint of Flint Equestrian will be working with LOPE’s training initiative program! A talented eventing competitor and all-around trainer, Holly has a special fondness for OTTBs. Holly was a long-time student of Nancy Lindsey (Richmond, TX). She also has worked extensively with Clark Montgomery (Winner of the 2011 CCI*** at Bromont), Ruth Sawin, and Barbara Jacobs.
Holly has a deep passion for retraining ex-racehorses to have careers as eventing mounts. She also has a significant amount of experience dealing with green horses and problem horses. One of her own competition mounts is a young OTTB too!
As riding instructor, Holly strongly believes a good rider starts with solid horse management skills. The care a horse receives will ultimately affect the relationship between horse and rider and the extent to which a horse is willing to give his all!
We were fortunate that Holly had an opening in her barn at the start of 2013. On January 1, LOPE sent a young ex-racehorse to Holly for training. Ruff Slew (aka “Parker”) is a three-year-old bay @16.2 gelding who was incredibly slow during his training time at Retama track. His speed was so unimpressive that his trainer opted to not race him at all — it was very clear that Parker was meant for another type of career.
Holly will be working with Parker for at least the next month. She will be giving LOPE an initial assessment of his aptitude, temperament and potential athletic talent after 30 days with her. During the first 30 days, Parker will be gaining many important life skills in her barn — such as learning about cross-ties, round pen sessions and basic under saddle work. The work will be slow, steady and methodical — so that Parker can absorb the information in a non-stressful way.
Holly feels that patience is one of the most important factors in successfully retraining OTTBs. As she says,
“OTTBS come from the track with a whole book of knowledge, but that knowledge is not the same as what we want our riding partners to have. Everything we ask means absolutely nothing to them until we teach them what it means. Being able to patiently use repetition to teach them is the bottom line in re-training an OTTB.”
Welcome Holly and Parker to LOPE’s training initiative program! Regular updates will be posted on the blog about their progress together.
UPDATE: After about a week together, Holly reported that Parker is one of the calmest TBs she has ever worked with! From loading to round penning to general handling, Parker has shown good manners, a willing temperament and a sincere desire to please. We are happy to hear how well Parker is settling and are looking forward to watching him learn with Holly.