SOLD At The Grande

Congratulations to Evera Premo on the purchase of At The Grande. The farm will continue to work with Georgio and Evera and help them develop their partnership. Its going to be an exciting journey with many years of happiness.


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Are You Veruca Salt?

Today’s society where everything and anything is designed for immediate satisfaction, with little to none sweat equity, ask yourself if you have what it takes to develop a young prospect. I’m inclined to believe sweat equity is of bygone days. I’ve noticed in particular over the past 10 years of self-proclaimed experts and Generation X’ers who buy an inexpensive Thoroughbred and then rush through it’s training and completely ruin their chance of becoming a decent riding horse. Then there are those who lack drive, ambition and just plain ol’ horsemanship skills to train a green horse because of their overwhelming need to avoid any physical labor what-so-ever.


In the real world its impossible to set a deadline to a horse’s training. How high it should jump, when it can do correct lengthenings or balanced flying changes depends entirely upon each individual horse and rider’s horsemanship. I always start with small goals over a reasonable period of time, and gradually increase the challenges when the horse accomplishes the lessons. I don’t skip steps and over challenge my horses in the early stages of training.


For example, mounting off a block while the horse stands immobile, or learning to rein back, walking quietly on the buckle are important lessons I always start with first. They’re small goals that are ingredients for the BIG picture of each horse’s successful future.

Training involves developing the horse’s confidence and relaxed mental state. Some horses are naturally relaxed while others will have a more energetic personality. Some horses are described as ‘kick-rides’ , while others are ‘forward rides’. One horse isn’t  better than the other, and there are personal preferences for every rider looking for their next partner.

Developing and reconditioning an ex-racehorse doesn’t happen over night. Take into account that on average by 1.5 years of age, a Thoroughbred is being broke and goes into race training every day and on the same schedule over and over. They’re sponges and learn through repetition and routine. It comes to no surprise that they learn what to expect when the saddle is on and the girth tightened. . . . it means its time to go to the track and R-U-N.


Once home, the prospect stays active with a lesson of some sort each day. If I tack up, sometimes that’s all I do. I’ll put the saddle on and walk out to the arena and set fences while holding the lead. After fences are set, I may hand graze for a few minutes and then casually go back to the stall and untack. What this does is teach the horse to relax and to do nothing. I’m reconditioning them mentally, and it works.

Track horses have an incredible amount of experience that includes loading and traveling to different tracks, racing in daylight or racing at night, loud crowds, mechanical equipment such as hot walkers/ starting gates/ tractors/ golf carts and more. I take that foundation they’ve experienced from the track and build upon those lessons. I never attempt to erase their track experience, but rather build upon them and it makes what I do easier.


Beecher’s Brook schooling the ditch at home

Sweat equity isn’t for everyone and purchasing a made show horse has it’s advantages. But if you aspire to be a good horseman and devote yourself into training a prospect, it takes a year of steady consistent work when an ex-racehorse begins to understand and show improvement in it’s lessons. They also begin to understand not to associate sounds, loud PA speakers, cantering horses in the warm up, billowing flags on flag poles and electric vibes from other horses with something to react towards.

It comes to no surprise to witness so many Veruca Salts walking around in designer breeches. Personally I prefer anyone who resembles Charlie Bucket, who worked hard on his paper route to support his family.

GO Thoroughbred . . . GO the Charlie Buckets of the world!

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Awesome Finish at Stable View

Eor The Terrific had a fabulous time at the Stable View Winter Trials in Aiken S.C. this week. A big division of 29 riders in Open Training, Lou scored a 29 in the Dressage and maintained his score throughout the rest of the phases. He brought home some goodies along with winning champion Thoroughbred Incentive Program award.





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Father & Son

Ashford Stud lost Grand Slam in 2012 to heart failure. And somewhere in the corner of my mind, it makes At The Grande even more special.


Grand Slam


At The Grande




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At The Grande Photo Shoot

When I can schedule Leslie Threlkeld to drive in all the way from North Carolina for a photo shoot, I get excited and anticipate the day I hear her car drive down the gravel road. That means I bathe the model the day before, braid, and get all the stuff ready to make a horse perk up those unpredictable ears!


At The Grande (Georgio) didn’t have the best of weather, as the temperature was in the 30’s and a nice gusty wind froze our fingers and poor Georgio’s tush. But I have to admit, for a 4 year old who finished his last race in October, he is one cool dude.

The photos are lovely and display his excellent form and spirit.  They’re posted on the HORSES FOR SALE page.

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SOLD Prince Neff

A heartfelt congratulations goes to Kirstin Murphy of Longview Farm in Alabama on the purchase of Prince Neff. Kirstin comes from ‘Equestrian Royalty’ (google Dennis Murphy), and she plans on campaigning Eddie in the Retired Racehorse Project 2018.



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More Cowbell’s 3rd Career!


Thoroughbreds are incredible athletes who are multi-talented. More Cowbell’s first career began at the racetrack, then eventually found himself competing in Horse Trials. 7 years later together, both ‘Benny’ and Matti Burns found their true passion in the Jumper world.

Congratulations to former LKF Thoroughbred on fantastic placings during the Tryon International Fall CS15 competition. 1st, 2nd for speed rounds and 9th in the Jumper Classic. Their weekend finished as Reserve Champions in the High Adult Jumpers overall.

GO Thoroughbred!

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