2008 Bay Thoroughbred Gelding
Not for Love x Wandering Ways by Polish Numbers
26 Starts-3 Wins-2 Seconds-2 Thirds for earnings of $50,944
Last Start: 9/23/2014
As you can see from his stats, Jade is VERY fresh off the track having just started at Mountaineer in September. He only arrived two weeks ago but we got a nice day and decided to take him out...and wow, are we glad we did!
Dale started him off in the round corral in the long lines. We like to long line new horses as it lets us get a feel for their mouth, mind and general attitude towards work. We also had some less than ideal footing from the cold and wet weather of the past weeks, so Dale wanted to be sure he could handle it. He was willing and actually showed us he was well started and well ridden at the track--he even backed nicely, something few off-track horses do at the outset!
Next Dale took him out to the big arena and turned him loose, once more to see how he would handle the surface. Jade was pretty careful and never got dumb or ran "silly" like many horses might do, he felt his way around the whole arena and made his way back to Dale.
It was time to get in the saddle and really see what we had, so Dale mounted up. Jade has a wonderful, energetic walk--"enough to cover some country and bounce the bridle reins" as Dale says. But he walked around that big arena on a loose rein like a good horse should. He was just as maneagble and easy to ride when asked to trot.
The arena footing was pretty cuppy and frozen yet, so Dale thought it would be better to ride in the adjoining pasture. He rode to the big gate and was able to open and close it from Jade's back--a feat few horses are capable of on their first ride!
The adjoining pasture they were in is home to our bred heifers for the winter and that is where the real adventure for Jaded Lover began! These particular heifers aren't the fat, slow beef cows--they are rodeo-bred to be athletes and a bit "hotter" than average cattle!
When Jade got to the cows, he really got keen to march right into them, but the cows took off, and Jaded Lover was sure the race was on! To keep him from losing his cool, Dale had to keep circling and pulling him off the cows. Dale prefers to just keep a horse moving, rather than taking a hold of his mouth and starting a real fight. The idea is to keep their mind busy and keep them moving forward.
After the cows got done with their initial running and bucking, Dale was able to introduce Jade to the idea that you can follow cattle without all the excitement. He would not have normally introduced a horse to cattle like this on the first ride, but when something like this starts, it is best to finish it on a positive note. So they tracked the cattle at a walk and trot for bit, Jade was keen to "go get 'em" but settled into the role of follower quite nicely. Dale is really impressed with this horse and can't wait to move him forward from this first lesson!
We answer your questions about retraining Thoroughbreds for off-track careers and share the stories of the horses on the ranch.
Gate to Great Geldings
A Division of Horse Creek Thoroughbreds
Newell, SD 57760