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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

Warhorse Makeover Series: Hammers Terror and Danielle


LOPE is doing a series of blog interviews with riders who are bringing warhorses or racing warriors to the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project TB Makeover.

Warhorse Details

  • Horse JC Registered name: Hammers Terror
  • Current Age: 9 years old
  • Description: @16.1H bay gelding
  • Barn name: Stanley
  • Number of races: 43
  • Earnings: $522,372
  • Age when retired from racing: 8
  • Pedigree:  http://www.pedigreequery.com/hammers+terror
  • Owned by: Danielle Dabkowski
  • RRP Status: Amateur
  • RRP Selected Discipline: Competitive Trail


About Hammers Terror

How did you acquire Hammers Terror?

A friend and past Makeover competitor adopted him from Second Stride, which is a Thoroughbred rescue in Kentucky. Due to his injury, he wasn’t suitable for her desired discipline.

What made you choose this horse? What was special, that called out to you?

He has such a quiet and gentle demeanor and when I took him on a test ride, he was completely un-phased by anything, including walking through water and riding through hundred-acre fields.

Tell me about your horse’s personality.

He is the boss of my herd, which consists of another OTTB and three donkeys. However one of my donkeys has taken to bossing him right back! He also has tiny, curved ears, which make him look more like a Saddlebred than a Thoroughbred. They look especially small from the saddle!

What does your horse love to do the most?

Stanley loves to move slowly. Even coming in to eat his breakfast, I have to wait for him to mosey in from the field at a slow pace.


What is harder for your horse to do?

Cantering in a circle has been quite a challenge. He has a lot of muscle loss from an injury recovery, so we will be taking it slowly in order to put the muscle back on.

What discipline(s) are you considering for your horse in RRP Makeover

Our primary discipline will be Competitive Trail and I am still deciding between Ranch Riding or Freestyle for our secondary.

Anything extra special or unusual about your horse’s racing history?

I was told that as a two and three year old, he was on the derby trail!

Does your horse have any old sports injuries?

He does! He is still in the final phases of recovering from a multi-branch suspensory injury to his left front leg. There is a little effusion, but no heat or lameness.

Are you currently rehabbing any injuries for your horse?

Yes. See above.

What are your training goals between now and June 1?

To be able to maneuver in all gaits by neck reining.

If your horse could have one song as his/her soundtrack, what would it be?

Renegades by the X Ambassadors.

What animated gif sums up your horse’s personality or your rides together?


About Danielle

Are you Amateur, Junior or Professional?


How long have you been riding OTTBs?

I rode my first OTTB when I was 15 and he became my forever horse.

Describe a favorite moment you had with a special horse in your life.

My forever horse, Presto (jockey club name Pressmenow), loves to approach me in the field and just gently rest his chin on my shoulder. He’s all the worse stereotypes of OTTB’s, but I love him!

What is your experience in the discipline(s) you are choosing for RRP?

I’ve been riding Western since I was eight and I was at a quarter-horse stable that specialized in trail. I’ve also trained extensively in dressage, so I’ve been thinking of training Stanley long term in Western Dressage.

If you have a life motto or favorite quote, please put it here.

Close Enough!

Please let me know any links to your horse’s FB page, Instagram, etc.


What favorite favorite story about your RP horse that you’d like to share?

I love his confidence. He has made me love riding again and I can’t wait to see where our journey takes us!

Who inspires you the most?

I love the training style of Monty Roberts. I aspire to be as quiet and confident as he is when I am working with my horses.

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