Vinny The Puzzle

When I first saw him, I knew I had to have him. What was it exactly that gave me pause? Could it have been how he reminds me of California Chrome, Charismatic, Justify or the gorgeous chestnut The Pie from National Velvet?

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Vinny has all the pieces of the puzzle to become a competitive upper level show horse. His pedigree is the beginning of his solid foundation, and made me quickly learn more about him. He has correct conformation, super feet, clean and tight legs, along with height and lovely free movement that will become bigger as he develops. Then there are his eyes that speak of a gentle nature that is willing and kind, which is an added touch to future blue ribbons.

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Since coming home, Vinny has been enjoying long hacks, hill work and continues to fill out and look more like a show horse than racehorse. He’s honestly fabulous and when I ride him, I can’t help imagining his success in the future and the lucky individual who will have him in their stable and appreciate what they have.

Everything I’ve written about him are simply pieces to a fantastic puzzle. I may be a tad sentimental about him, but my gut feeling is never wrong.

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SOLD Gran Duque

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Little Kentucky Farm is over-the-moon happy for Des and his new owner Mary Quarles of Ketchen Place Farm in South Carolina. Mary recently lost her Thoroughbred stallion, and the addition of Des to her breeding shed cushions the loss she feels. Des has an impressive pedigree, with an emphasis of English and Irish blood. His affectionate personality and professional temperament will make for a promising addition to Ketchen Place Farm.

Future Eventing Star

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The WOW factor comes to mind with this 4 year old gelding. He has the look and he has the temperament to go in any direction in the show world.  Eye catching, tall, clean, sound, and sane . . . qualities that a professional or experienced amateur look for and can rely upon from Little Kentucky Farm.

Impressive Sale Horse

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Gran Duque (Barn name Des) is available at the farm to become your next show horse! An honest pleasure to work with and perfect for a professional or experienced amateur. Des actually sings for his meals. . . he doesn’t nicker, but rather sings a long chorus of some popular horse-tune. It’s very amusing to listen.

See more information on HORSES FOR SALE page.

Hello Handsome!

2015 sale prospect, Gran Duque (barn name Des) is another addition to the farm’s sales team.  He has excellent potential to go any direction, and qualifies for Young Event Horse and Retired Racehorse Project.

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Des is a well built youngster, along with an impressive pedigree of Irish and British racing blood. He is Florida bred by Rock Hampton, and has had 13 career starts. More information will be posted in the coming days.

Introducing Vinny!

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Vinny came home 5 days ago after a brief racing career (only 2 races). He is a 4 year old, 17 hand gelding who will not only be someone’s teammate athletically, but will grab at your heart and never let you go. See the HORSES FOR SALE page for more information.

March Trials 2018

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We are very proud of our team at Poplar Place Farm March Trials and the 2nd Place finish in Open Training and ANOTHER Thoroughbred Incentive Champion award. Louis is maturing and is turning into quite the Eventing Thoroughbred! We hope to have him running Preliminary level by May.

GO Thoroughbred! GO Big Lou!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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!

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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!

Something to be Said . . .

Indeed there is something to be said about a tall, dark and handsome gentleman. Today marks 30 days since Prince Neff’s last winning race. As he has been adjusting to his new career away from the track, he has had me in deep thought. Many words come to mind to try to describe him such as, ‘soulful’, ‘wise’, ‘gentlemanly’….and many more.

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