Betsy SOLD


Congratulation to Sandra McDonald on the purchase of our beautiful Betsy. We are so pleased that she will be Eventing with you and that its a start of a long and successful partnership together.

GO Betsy! GO Thoroughbred!

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Mark Your Calendars! January 1st


If you have a Thoroughbred, flip the lip and be sure to have a few apples and carrots ready to wish them a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! January 1st is recognized as a Thoroughbred’s birthday regardless of their foaling date. By age 2, they’re eligible to begin their racing careers.

The Thoroughbred breed originated back to 3 founding sires in 17th century England. Here in North America, The Jockey Club was developed in 1894, where all Thoroughbred racing stock is recorded.

Male (unaltered) horses are considered as ‘colts’ until the age of 5. If they breed to mares, then they’re called a ‘stallion’. If they’re gelded, they’re called geldings. Females by age 5 are called ‘fillies’, after that age they’re called ‘mares’.

The tattooed lip of a Thoroughbred is a wealth of history and information. Thoroughbreds who have completed race training and are prepared to run, or has raced, will have 6 tattooed images. They document the year the horse was born, identifies the horse (name) and the owner on The Jockey Club recorded papers.

The first image begins with a letter and that letter signifies the year the horse was born. For example, ‘A’ is the year of 1997 and ‘B’ is 1998, and so on. Once you go through the entire alphabet, you go back to ‘A’.

If you have a Thoroughbred, but not their papers, take a deep breath and relax. Look at their lip (if the tattoo hasn’t faded) and contact The Jockey Club. They will be able to assist you in finding answers. So, celebrate this special horse and meaningful day with love and appreciation.



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Q & A With Kelsey Byrnes of Devoucoux


 1) What was it that first attracted you to work for Devoucoux?

As a certified equine sports massage therapist, I was continually fixing sore horses from poor saddle fit and being asked my opinion on current saddle fit and which saddle is best for the horse. That lead me on the search for the most “horse friendly” saddle. Through my research I felt that Devoucoux was the company that really put the most thought, care, and research into developing saddles that truly worked for the horse by providing the most comfort possible to them. I was immediately attracted to Devoucoux’s passion for the equestrian sport and their ability to bring innovation into their products while holding true to the amazing craftsmanship that goes into every saddle they make.

2) What does being a Technical Advisor mean?

Being a technical advisor means I am an expert in saddle fit for the horse and rider. Devoucoux sends all new technical advisor to our headquarters in Biarritz, France for 3 weeks, where we received hands on training from Jean-Michel Devoucoux himself. While in France we visit the tannery where our leather is created, our research & development department, spend time in the workshop where all of our saddles are made, and visit local barns to learn about saddle fit. It is amazing to see passion and dedication everyone at Devoucoux has towards our products.


3) What 3 specific things makes Devoucoux tack stand out from the competition?

* Innovation
* Expertise
* Harmony created between horse and rider

4) Some horses are hard to fit due to conformation flaws. What can you do to try to find a good fitting saddle for those more difficult fittings?

When I am looking to make a saddle for a horse the first thing I do is evaluate the morphology of a horse. I always take their entire conformation into account but there are a few parts of their conformation that really play major roles in saddle fit and I focus on those parts. I carry a wide range of demo saddles in my car at all times along with fitting shims to be able to create the best fitting saddle no matter the conformation of the horse.


5) What custom services does Devoucoux offer?

Devoucoux offers a number of custom services. When building a saddle I always think of it as the top part of the saddle is for you, the rider, but the bottom part of the saddle is for your horse. So, for the rider we first pick the correct size seat and seat type, then we find the correct flap length/forwardness. For the horse I create a panel and girthing system that is going to bring them the most comfort and work best for their morphology.

We also offer multiple leather options to choose from. In our double flap saddles; grain calf, grain buffalo, full calf skin, and full buffalo. For our mono flap saddles we offer full calf skin or full buffalo. After you decide on your leather preference you can choose the color you would like that leather in; Medium Brown, Dark Brown, or Black.
If you would like to go even more custom we also offer different color options for saddle accents that are fun and really make the saddle stand out.


6) Where can people go to try saddles?

You don’t have to go anywhere, I come to you! Most appointments take place at your barn, but I also go to shows almost every weekend and am available for fitting appointments on site. Fitting appointments are always free and really fun!

7) What does someone do if they need repairs for their Devoucoux tack?

Devoucoux has two repairs shops in the US, one in New York and the other in California.
If you need repairs done on saddles or tack please contact me and I will get your tack sent to one of those workshops to get repaired. Also, if you already own a Devoucoux and want the fit checked on your horse I am happy to check that for you.


8) What is your contact info?

Cell phone: 334-717-1960
Facebook: Kelsey Byrnes – Devoucoux Technical Advisor

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Buyers In Sheep’s Clothing

It is usually articles in well circulated publications titled “Buyer’s Beware” that frighten the you-know-what out of the readers when it comes to the shady underworld of horse sellers. As a seller of Thoroughbreds for the competition world, I’ve gone through great lengths of marketing all my horses with clear and honest representation. I’ve been told numerous times that honesty is a rare trait in the horse world, and I can agree. But it goes both ways as a buyer and as a seller.


I vet buyers before they come to the farm to try the horses. I ask questions relevant to what their requirements are and then I tell them what mine are in order to buy a horse from me. Some may consider it intrusive of me. . . I think its smart.

For some strange reason there seems to be an influx of potential buyers who shall I say, are a smidge dishonest and come from La-La Land. The meetings are always a learning experience, very memorable and downright frustrating.

I hope to provide fellow sellers a peek into my experiences and how even the sweetest looking buyer in breeches is potentially someone in sheep’s clothing. Here is a list of interesting and true tidbits that will leave you nodding, shaking your head, laughing, and slack-jawed.

  • I use to ride at the Intermediate Level of Eventing in the 1990’s.
  • I was on the ‘Real Housewives’. I’m sort of a celebrity.
  • I’m close friends with George, Joe, Karen and Bruce.
  • I want my vet to do the prepurchase exam. You’re going to have haul to their clinic in South Carolina, or Florida, or Alabama before I decide if I want your horse.
  • Your horse must pass a prepurchase exam 100%.
  • I don’t like chestnut mares even though there’s zero scientific evidence to the fake stereotypes.
  • My dream is to ride in the Olympics. Can this horse take me there?
  • I want to ride in the Rolex 3-Day in 2 years. I only want to spend between $2K – $5K for a horse.
  • I know everything there is about Thoroughbreds and racing. I took a class.
  • I have to sell my horse first before buying a new one.
  • I just started looking for my perfect unicorn. Your gray fits everything I’m looking for and then some. But I need to try 20 more horses before I make a decision.
  • Can I come back and ride your horse a second, third, fourth time?
  • I’d need to take your horse on trial for 30 days before I decide on buying.
  • How do I know your horse can jump?


  • I spoke to my trainer and she said since you won’t pay her a finder’s fee, she told me to look at other horses.
  • I keep my horses on pasture board. I take their shoes off. I only feed Bermuda and Fescue hay.
  • I weigh 200 lbs. and I’m 5’4″. I want to buy a horse to help me lose weight.
  • My 12 year old child can ride anything. She jumps 4′ fences on a 31 year old local school horse.
  • Woman wears $1200 custom Italian boots and a Rolex, but offers less than half the price of the horse.
  • Can you make video of your horse free jumping, loading on a trailer, standing while being groomed and get it to me by this afternoon. I want to make sure it’s husband/boyfriend safe.

LKF Howie-2_web

My final experience is a doosey! After wasting my time for over 7 hours, and the person was still not making a decision to purchasing a horse, I was asked, “Is this horse fast?”

Exhausted, we walked out to the back pasture, I opened the gate and took the bridle off. I smiled at the person and slapped the horse on the rump and watched him gallop full speed down the hill and out of sight. “Was that fast enough for you?” I asked.

So to the buyers out there, I want you to know that I’m a straight shooter and I want to sell you one of my horses only if you’re honest with me and don’t play games. You’ll be lucky to have one of my Thoroughbreds to call your own.

Don’t be that person in sheep’s clothing.

GO Thoroughbred – GO Little Kentucky Farm!



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Buy American!


Consider this when horse shopping. . . .

  1. If you’re easily impressed with fancy hip brands, then just flip a lip of a Thoroughbred and get ready to be amazed.
  2. If it is a foreign accent that simply sways you, I can do a hell-of-a Irish brogue that will make you crave a pint of Guiness.
  3. If it is a pedigree you’re looking for, then get ready for a history lesson that will knock your socks off, because I can tell you the pedigree of most any Thoroughbred going back centuries to the original 3 that started the Thoroughbred breed.



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El Fin With 2016 Season

It’s interesting to imagine where Lou and I are today, compared to September 2014. We’ve done our homework, stayed the course and did fairly well competing. In 2014, I struggled to imagine ‘The Elephant’ ever being capable of jumping or being elegant in Dressage. Horses his size have to work harder in being ballerinas.


Each time we saddled up, there was always a tad bit of promise and I could feel myself getting excited about the future. Louis is so quiet and laid back, that it finally gave me a chance to exhale and enjoy myself at competitions.


I’ve worked hard getting this square peg to fit into round holes, and Louis never ever stops trying to get it right. I do recall that steering was optional in the beginning and we had to work on it, as he took me down the side of an embankment one day at full speed. My husband was amused as he was taping it. . . I could have done without The Man From Snowy River impersonation.

So what’s this all about and where do we go from here? Well, I continue to do my homework and stay the course, but with the outlook of moving up to Training Level. Not a big deal for some, but it’s a milestone for Lou and I. There’s plenty to work on and I think a horse with his size struggles with fitness as they go up the levels. In many ways Louis is more Warmblood than Thoroughbred.


It’s also very important for me to keep his gentleness and quiet temperament. I’ve seen many professionals and amateurs ruin perfectly quiet and talented horses simply because they’re in a rush and think they have to have a horse running Preliminary by age 5. That’s complete and utter nonsense to me.

Louis is figuring this Eventing stuff out. He is becoming more keen at the idea of running cross country. I’ve changed pieces of tack as he’s become stronger . . .but not his bit. He goes in a full cheek snaffle and I’m keeping him in a snaffle. I’ve changed the reins though, using racing reins that are heavier and stronger and knotted at the bit. I’m also working closely with my show jumping friend Karen Kerby of Pleasanthill Farm who is quite frankly very ‘old school’ and is a master horseman and lover of Thoroughbreds. There are no short-cuts with Karen.


There’s a lot to look forward to for 2017.

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It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

When my young prospects leave the track behind them and begin a new life as a show horse, there are many things I take into account for each individual horse.  Their physical make-up and their level of intelligence tells me where to begin their training transformation and how much I can challenge them. If it’s too much, we slow things down a bit and back off and then gradually build up to more interesting and difficult tasks.


The photo above was taken the Fall of 2014 of Eor The Terrific (Louis) when he was a few days away from the track. He was 3 years old, 17.3 hands and one of the biggest Thoroughbreds I’ve had the pleasure to own with size 3 feet. I had and still have A LOT OF HORSE to work with. Due to his size and body development, I work a lot on stamina, flexibility and learning how to lengthen and shorten his gaits with half-halts. It takes work and repetition, and we are starting to see the pay offs.


Now at 5 years of age, he’s really been one of the nicest horses I’ve ever had the honor to ride. He’s getting better and better, sometimes by inches and sometimes by miles.


When I talk to people about my prospects to purchase, I always remind them that the payoff isn’t overnight. It take works. It take time. It takes money. It takes dedication. It takes love. It’s totally worth it. . .  I swear.

GO Lou!  GO Thoroughbred!


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