He’s Pretty Terrific

Eor The Terrific enjoyed a recent outing at the July Poplar Trials. It was blazing hot.

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Nothing Can Beat a Thursday Gallop

 

We are up bright and early Thursday mornings since we’ve added a gallop to our fitness schedule. I’m hoping that it will not only give Louis better endurance, but also make him lighter in the bridle. We shall see in a few weeks!

 

 

The First Hello & The Last Goodbye

By Anastasia Gallo

In the competitive horse industry, especially in the marketing of sale horses, what does it take to be successful in selling horses? There’s a little hot secret in the North Georgia mountains of a woman who prefers to fly under the radar. She’s a savvy Thoroughbred trainer who manages to stay humble. Zeb Alampi Fry of Little Kentucky Farm holds former racehorses and the sport of kings near and dear to her heart.

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The name of your farm is interesting. To be located in North Georgia, there must be a connection to Kentucky?

  • Yes, I grew up in Lexington and in Michigan. I finished school in Kentucky, attending the University of Kentucky.

Have you always had a love for Thoroughbreds and horse racing?

  • I have. There’s a passion and an amazing history about them that leaves me awe-struck. I’m a bookworm and enjoy studying history and anything that has to do with racing. I’ve always had Thoroughbreds in my life ever since I can remember.
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What kind of business do you have and are you personally involved in racing?

  • Currently I own a training and sales barn on my farm. It seems to have morphed into things over the years, and follows along closely with trends, the economy and what the competition arenas are doing with Thoroughbreds. I do Eventing and that sport favors Thoroughbreds. I think they’re generally a well rounded breed and can do anything. I use to be at the track 24/7, and started working from the ground up. I did everything from grooming, mucking stalls, hot walking, gate training, galloping and eventually Steeplechasing professionally. My days started near 3:30am and then I was at my first class by 9:30am. School was always drilled into me and I hated it. It was so boring and almost came too easily for me. But my education was something I could fall back on and incorporate into my horse career.

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What do you struggle with mostly in your training and selling? 

  •  The frustrating part can be when people compare my horses to others on the market and assume my horses are ‘rescued’ Thoroughbreds. There’s also this huge misconception that Thoroughbreds must be rescued from the racetrack and that it’s this horrible place. The truth is that to compare my horses to ‘rescued’ horses is like comparing apples to onions. There are fantastic groups of owners, trainers and riders at the track who are hard workers and love their Thoroughbreds. Its also an interesting fact that many of the same people looking to buy a horse, will choose to buy a plane ticket to Europe, pay all costs to bring their instructor, buy a horse overseas, fly it back and then pay 6 to 12 months of training at their instructor’s farm. After’s all is said and done, they’ve probably spent $30K or more in a single year on a horse that’s real value is likely around $8K.

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Would you say there are stereotypes or stigmas that are attached to Thoroughbreds?

  • Sure there are and its just one more thing that grinds my gears. I think social media and lack of hands-on equine experience helps to fuel the rumors and ignorance. It is honestly laughable what I hear and read. I’ve been told chestnut mares are trouble, Thoroughbreds have terrible feet, Thoroughbreds can’t do Dressage, Thoroughbreds are difficult to put weight on, and they’re too high strung and dangerous. All those things are a bunch of lies and fairy tales, but sadly those prejudices can stick.

What trait or traits attracts you to a particular type of Thoroughbred?

  • I seem to have a lot of dapple greys, and thankfully that is largely due to Fort Prado. He was a gorgeous stallion both physically and mentally and he produced cookie-cutter offspring. I always go for big soft eyes, I’ve got to be able to touch the ears, and the horse needs to have solid hooves. It is also helpful to have breeders and trainers who are friends and who you can trust.

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You don’t have a big operation. Would you say you prefer it that way?

  • I use to think to be successful that I had to have a massive barn with every stall filled in order to make an impact. Turns out that isn’t true for me. Instead I work slowly to produce quality Thoroughbreds for 2nd careers in a variety of competition arenas. I have good ladies who work for the farm which allows to me focus and stay on course with whatever each individual Thoroughbred needs from me. I don’t get in over my head and I honestly don’t care what the other people who sell horses are doing. I’m that confident with the Thoroughbreds that I produce.

It must be easy to get attached to your horses. Do you have a hard time with your emotions when you sell one?

  • My friends would definitely say that I do. Sometimes I call them up and get their opinions on potential buyers and I take to heart their opinions. I have that nagging voice in my ear that says, “Maybe you should keep this one?”  I put so much time into them and I love them all very much. I don’t make it easy on anyone inquiring about one of my horses. I ask a lot of questions and research the buyers. I’ve been frustrated in the past by some professionals with outrageous demands. I use to believe having a professional buy one of my horses was a feather in my cap, but over the years I’ve found that the sincere horsemen are the serious amateurs. They are appreciative of their horses and don’t lead you through wild goose chases.  I see so many former sale horses out competing and winning! They’re happy and healthy with their new owners, and that lessens the pang I get in my heart when I see them off with our last goodbyes.

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He’s Certainly a Beautiful View

 

A Giant View (Zen) had his exclusive photo shoot with the farm’s favorite photographer, Leslie Threlkeld. He was the perfect model and the camera loved him! Photos have been added to his info on the HORSES FOR SALEpage.

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Little Kentucky Farm Caps

Little Kentucky Farm Thoroughbreds baseball caps are here! Uni-sex caps by Port & Co. 2 colors to choose from, Khaki with navy thread and American flag on the side or Navy with white thread and American flag on the side. $32 (includes shipping)

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Send email to littlekentuckyfarm@gmail.com or message Zeb Fry on Facebook messenger.

What. A. Horse!

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We are beyond excited to have this fabulous youngster on the farm. Introducing ‘A Giant View’ (barn name Zen). Zen wasn’t making fast enough published gallops, so we answered the call and brought him home. This horse is pure class and is certainly an attention grabber! He is by Grade 1 winner Giant Oak, out of the beautiful mare Grabit (who is by Tapit). Stay tuned . . . . we will be publishing photos, video and information on the web site and through our Facebook page.

SOLD – Watch Me Smok’em

Congratulations to the Hunt family of Asheville, NC on their newest addition of Watch Me Smok’em (Stevie). His new partner Molly was looking for an upper level prospect and Stevie was the first horse that she tried. Her search was immediately over. Talk about luck!

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Successful Schooling at Home

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In the beginning stages of my young horses, I start working them over trot poles before I ask them to jump a fence. It’s an easy exercise to help balance, coordinate, concentrate and strengthen their muscles and mental awareness. It also doesn’t pound on their joints. For riders such as myself, it helps me stay in a rhythm.

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In early jump training, its important to approach fences in a quiet trot that’s controlled and relaxed. Straightness is really important early on, so I focus on keeping the horse between my leg and hand aids, and will add poles on the ground to help guide the front and back end of the horse.

If everything is flowing along, I’ll start adding some canter fences, as long as the pace stays quiet and steady. Riders need to be careful to not teach the horse to rush at take-off or on landing.

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Introduction of friendly and approachable fences will build a youngster’s confidence. Don’t get ahead of yourself in the training and to always read what your horse is telling you. Start off slowly, because it will payoff later.

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When schooling over narrow obstacles, begin with a barrel on its side and put poles on each side spaced apart like a ‘V’, so that the poles funnel you to the middle and over the barrel. It is very simple, safe and the horse learns early that they can’t run out. If all your homework is going well, you eventually take the poles away. You can also set the barrel on its end to make the school more technical, but this is only when the horse is confidently accurate.

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Less is Definitely More

The season has started out super for Eor The Terrific (aka Louis) and I. We’ve certainly done and continue to do our homework with specific coaches (Harrison Ford, Kyle Carter, Michael Pollard and Daniel Sarango). I also took a look at the equipment I was using and made specific changes, for instance I’ve hung up a particular bit and made the change to a softer full cheek Waterford with a running martingale.

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Like magic, I have a happier horse. It took me awhile to figure out what seems to work for Louis, who is known to pull like a freight train. I’ve had a couple professionals ride him and they both handed the reins back to me winded and red faced. “I don’t know how you do it Zeb”, they said to me.

I was convinced that I needed a thin port Pelham with a chain. It not only made Louis lean and press hard against it, and it also curled his head and made him body sore. For this horse, this bit design only made the situation worse.

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A lot of good ideas come to me while I’m sleeping, and it finally came to me of a simple solution. I also told myself that Lou’s happiness is the most important thing and I’ve nothing to lose. I decided to pull out my full cheek Waterford and use the running martingale attachment. It’s a softer bit that got me the response I’ve been looking for, and Louis’ comfort and happiness.

We had a positive weekend at Chattahoochee Hills last week, with a 31 in dressage, clear cross country and clear stadium that put us in 6th place. Lou went home feeling confident with zero body soreness. The old saying of “less is more” definitely applied to my situation.

The photos on this story were from last week with us using the Waterford and running martingale.      Photos by Liz Crawley Photography

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Pure Class & Beauty

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Now that Watch Me Smok’em (Stevie) has turned 4 years old, its time to focus on muscle development, footwork and jump lessons. Its been an extremely wet (daily heavy rains and flooding) here in Georgia and there always must be a Plan B to continue training the young horses. With the opportunity of excellent carpet footing and a covered arena, Stevie hasn’t lost any time with his progress. He is AMAZING!

See HORSES FOR SALE page for information.