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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Showtime Queen

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Showtime Queen (aka “Queenie”) was donated to LOPE a few months ago. She is a cute and intelligent filly — but she absolutely detested the track lifestyle and racing. Queenie developed serious ulcers at the track and had a great deal of difficulty holding weight.

Her race trainer (Tammy) is an excellent horseman and cares deeply about her racehorses. She had tried numerous treatments for the ulcers — and did her best to come up with feed combinations that might help Queenie gain weight. All to no avail — Queenie lost more weight and seemed miserable.

Although Queenie showed some promise and had attracted offers from other race trainers, Tammy felt it was best for Queenie to find a new home and different job. She donated Queenie to LOPE for that purpose.

Showtime Queen

As you can see from the photo, Queenie was quite underweight when she arrived here. Her coat was healthy and she had been fed properly — but nothing was sticking to her ribs, so to speak.

As you can see from the photo, Queenie was quite underweight when she arrived here. Her coat was healthy and she had been fed properly — but nothing was sticking to her ribs, so to speak.

We decided to take the long, slow approach. Instead of medicating her further, we simply turned Queenie out to pasture with a couple of retired geldings (who primarily spend their days eating and dozing). In addition to the turnout lifestyle, we adjusted her diet to a low starch pellet feed and gave her alfalfa twice a day.

Between the grass, mellow Zen pasture mates and a complete lack of “to do” items, Queenie visibly relaxed within a couple weeks. She steadily gained weight — and we simply left her alone to unwind and de-stress. Sometimes we like to maintain a routine of “benign neglect” for anxious, thin horses — where we make their lives as natural as possible with little human interference (other than monitoring health).

Queenie blossomed into a much rounder version of herself. In addition to the new curves, something else emerged — her personality. Queenie is an extremely intelligent and sensitive filly with an appealing quirkiness. For awhile, she insisted on sharing her feed bucket with her BFF in the pasture (Tulsa) — she liked his company over dinner. Queenie also turned out to quite curious and bold about new things in her pasture. We learned to pay attention if Queenie suddenly seemed to be inquisitively tracking something at the edge of the pasture (which turned out one evening to be a pack of feral hogs).

Showtime Queen

Queenie blossomed into a much rounder version of herself. In addition to the new curves, something else emerged — her personality.

Most of all, it became clear that Queenie is one of those super feminine fillies. She never, ever gets muddy (or even dusty) — and she carries herself with absolute certainty that she is pretty and everyone is looking at her.

Now that Queenie’s weight is back to normal, we have started her back into ground work. Our plan is to take her to a Colt Starting clinic with Tom Curtin. Tom is a great horsemanship teacher and is the star of our DVD on Retraining Racehorses. His Colt Starting clinics are a great way to restart a horse who hasn’t been ridden in awhile — and who might need some extra help with going over basics again. Huge thanks to Retama Park for sponsoring Queenie for the Tom Curtin class — thanks to their generous support, LOPE will be able to take her to the Colt Starting clinic!

Stay tuned for another update soon on Queenie — we have begun doing ground work with her to prepare for the clinic and plan to have some video up soon of one of our sessions.

Austin Equine Hospital Schleese
Paddock Foundation American Association of Equine Technicians and Assistants Sam Houston Race Park
Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance The Ranch Broker Moose Pants Studio
Thoroughbred Charities of America Scissortail Hill Equestrian Secretariat Foundation
Treaty Oak Equine Express