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01 September,2018

Life After The Race Track by Emma Flood

My first ever post. Where do I start? I’ve wanted to share my experiences for quite some time, but I have always found an excuse not to bother. No one would be interested, I don’t have enough time, what would I write about? But with the ever increasing popularity of the Thoroughbred, I thought why not? I have some funny stories to share after all, some of which I am certain many of you can relate to! I am a complete Thoroughbred convert and find the breed incredibly versatile, talented and loyal (once you’ve managed to get a handle on their overenthusiastic ways!)

Me at Badminton

So who am I, I hear you ask? My name is Emma and I am a country girl through and through, animal lover and long standing equine enthusiast. I have a love of all things equine and have no issue with admitting I spend more money on the horses than myself. Do you buy yourself a new pair of £75 shoes every 8 weeks without flinching? I very much doubt it! With that said I love country and equestrian fashion and enjoy following new brands as they emerge and grow. I was a  dedicated “pony clubber” from the age of 7 years old until I reached that dreaded age where they tell you that you can no longer renew your membership and point you in the direction adult Pony Club aka the Riding Club. I own 3 Gorgeous horses, Molly a 28 year old Warmblood x Irish Sports Horse and Pony Club legend, Phoebe a 17 year old failed ex-racehorse and absolute diva and the latest addition, Basil a 15 year old very successful ex-racehorse and the gentlest and most affectionate horse I have ever come across!

So what’s prompted me to share my experiences? I have two incredible Thoroughbreds which have taught me, amongst other things, how talented and versatile the breed is, a deep and secure seat is absolutely essential to avoid hitting the deck at every over exuberant shape they pull and patience’s and perseverance is key to keeping your sanity intact. The last one probably my most valuable lesson over the last 10 years. There have been times when they have pushed me so far I have wanted to walk away or they have knocked my confidence so hard that I’ve considered taking up a safer sport like table tennis!! However, I have always persevered, like all true equestrians do (horses teach you persistence don’t they?) and had a fabulous 10 years as the owner of an ex-racehorse. So with that, I would like to introduce to you the very horse that changed my perception of the breed…..Phoebe.

10 years ago this month (4th September 2007) my new horse was arriving. I set out looking for a gelding and anything but a Thoroughbred and funnily enough ended up with the very opposite. A very gorgeous 7 year old TB mare, named Piglet, later renamed Phoebe. Although in hindsight Piglet was much more suitable and I found that out pretty quickly in the months that followed. I was 17 years old at the time and looking back I was incredibly over horsed, but like all equestrian mothers do, mine chucked me on and we figured it out along the way. Albeit with a couple of trips to A&E.

We have had quite the journey over the last 10 years including more setbacks than I care to remember, injuries, injuries and some more injuries. Many self-inflicted through above mentioned over exuberance. I’ve experienced separation anxiety of other horses on a level like I never knew possible, that if she’s having a bad day please get off and start again tomorrow (bird flies out of the tree the wrong way now I refuse to do anything in a sane manner!! Sound familiar?) The warm up arena could possibly be the most exciting place in the universe and being ask to leave said warm up area can happen more than once!! It’s not just me that’s happened to, right?

But above all of that and through some serious dedication and A LOT of time and money spent, I have the best team mate I could have ever possibly dreamt off. This horse would jump the moon for me out on the cross country, she’s got personality by the bucket load and I have learnt that her over exuberance and love of life is just her and sometimes that will mean letting out an almighty leap mid schooling session, because, well she just felt like it, and I’m ok with that now.

Over the coming months, I hope to be able to share some relatable reading for you fellow equine lovers, with a particular emphasis towards ex racehorses and their life after the racetrack and make light of the mishaps that we all experience along the way. I am very passionate about ex racehorses finding a suitable job after their racing days are over as I think with the right training and care they’re an absolutely phenomenal breed and can go on to have incredibly successful careers in other disciplines. With that said I am by no means a Thoroughbred expert but I hope my insight into their life after the race track will be something, many of you can enjoy reading and relate to.

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Haynet is a leading equestrian and countryside blogging directory, telling your stories from the stables to the fields. If you love living in the countryside, riding your horse, farming the fields or walking your dogs through the woods – then you will feel right at home here!

Haynet is also the host of the Country Style and Equestrian Blogger of the Year Award celebrating top class bloggers within the industry. We also promote the hashtag #HorseBloggers with a dedicated Twitter channel to share equestrian related content, engaging with the rural blogging community. Together with a #HorseBloggers Meet Up Group on Facebook encouraging this blogging community, our aim is to raise the profile of equestrian blogging. Working also with equestrian and rural companies, Haynet brings you all the views, news and latest products that you will find of interest.

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