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Blog Tales from the LOPE Ranch

LOPE Academy: Onahotstreak Update #1


Onahotstreak (nicknamed Little Filly) came to LOPE very underweight. She had intensely disliked the track environment and had been anxious there. Her race trainer adored her, but knew that she would never thrive at the track. So she donated her to LOPE.

Little Filly has steadily gained weight and was given extra turnout time to help her relax fully. She is still a little underweight but seems to be on the upside of that issue. Earlier in November, our vets (Austin Equine Hospital) examined her and approved her to begin work.

Little Filly is just adorable (speaking objectively, of course) and has an intelligent, feminine personality. Like Levi Wilson, she is stiff in her jaw, poll and neck. It is harder for her to do flexions than Levi, but she shows much willingness to try. She has a cute, cat-like personality — and it is clear that she likes to select “her” people (which is super appealing to watch).

We have done some light ground work with her in the pasture and have had one round pen session. During her last “class” with Suzanne, Little Filly did extra well. She was still very stiff to flex, but she was quite agreeable. She did the go by exercise and yielding her hind/front quarters with lots of try.

In her first free lunge session, Little Filly showed surprisingly good movement. We expected her to be less coordinated (as a growing three-year-old) and perhaps a bit spastic. But Little Filly had some nice suspension and was very careful with her feet. She was much more relaxed about free lunging than is typical for a first sesson — and showed much poise and emotional maturity.

What is so cool about Little Filly is that she never seems flustered or worried — this is a big change from her track days and is great to see. She really likes the attention and enjoys being the star. For us, this demonstrates that Little Filly has an inherently sensible nature.

Although she looks very much like a three-year-old, Little Filly seems much more mentally mature than her classmates. Her weakness is in her physique. It is obvious that she is still growing and we want to be aware of that (and her lingering weight issues) as we work with her.

Test Results: Grade A+ for mental calmness and overall willingness, Grade B for natural movement, Grade C for flexions (but improving steadily).

Overall Assessment: Little Filly is ready to start with more consistent round pen work, flexion work and saddling practice. Mentally she seems ready for almost anything — but we want to keep her physical needs in mind as we move forward with her.

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